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Monday, June 26, 2017

We Have Been Forgiven By God


One of the biggest challenges that we as Christians face is to forgive others. This is so important to our salvation that the Bible recounts several times where Jesus told us. In the Lord's Prayer, we say "and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us". In Matthew's Gospel, Jesus says (Mt 7:1-2) "Stop judging, that you may not be judged. For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you." Luke's Gospel recounts a similar statement by our LORD (Lk 6:37): "Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven." This message of not judging is also included as one of the more important points to the story The Shack. Continue reading "We Have Been Forgiven By God"

Monday, June 19, 2017

Even If



One strong underlying theme throughout the Bible is that we should trust God. The trust should be absolute, that is, to trust him when things are going badly as well as when things are going great. The Bible documents those times when individuals did not trust God as well as when they did. Thus, Adam and Eve did not trust God and instead believed the devil, then were thrown out of Eden. The Israelites did not trust God when he first let them see the promised land resulting in their wandering through the desert an additional 40 years. Continue reading "Even If"

Monday, June 12, 2017

Washed Clean by His Blood


The human race is fallen, beset by a sinful nature. It is evident every day all around us. We see violence and hatred. We see greed and selfishness. We see envy, lust, and sloth. People have shown themselves capable of performing unspeakable acts of depravity on other people. Continue reading "Washed Clean by His Blood"

Monday, June 5, 2017

Open Up The Heavens


Pentecost means fiftieth. Pentecost is celebrated on the fiftieth day after Easter. It's timing is based on the Jewish celebration of the Feast of Weeks, Shavout. Shavout celebrates the Jews becoming God's holy people by the acceptance of the Law. For Christians, Pentecost is symbolically similar to Shavout in that the Christian community celebrates becoming the Church of Christ, initiated by the actions of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost is, therefore, the birthday of the Catholic Church.

The Acts of the Apostles describe the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles (Acts 2:1-4):    Continue reading Open Up The Heavens

Monday, May 29, 2017

Contemplations on the Scriptures






One of the consequences of this writer's efforts directed toward understanding the meanings behind the music and lyrics of Christian rock is that he tends to gain greater insight into the Scriptures. After all, to understand the lyrics, one must know where they are found in the Bible. And since the Bible is a set of continuous books, as opposed to simply brief anecdotes, one must also study the context of the the text. For example, when Jesus was on the cross, he called out to the Father "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Mk 15:34). One may think that this is a cry of despair. However, Jews in first century Israel would have known that Jesus was referring to Psalm 22 in its entirety. Further reading of this psalm reveals both a deep trust in God (vs 22-31) and God's final victory over all of the earth forever (vs 32). Continue reading: Contemplations on the Scriptures

Monday, May 22, 2017

Great Things




What do you think are great accomplishments by you or others? Run a marathon? Set a record in high school or college? Achieved that promotion? Performed to a sellout crowd, and get a standing ovation? Win a championship? Get elected president of a group or a company?   Continue reading

Monday, May 15, 2017

Sweet Redeemer


This blog posts revisits a previous posting.

How do you read the Gospels? I know that I sometimes read them like a reading assignment, just wanting to finish the chapter. Sometimes I read the verses, trying to understand the spiritual message the evangelists were trying to convey. Sometimes, I try to put myself in the place of one of the people the evangelists describe - the blind beggar, the leper, the apostles, even the Pharisees and Sanhedrin.  Continue reading...