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Month: August 2017

When The World Turns Cold

It was cold even for the children. In school we had drills about where to go if a tornado was coming. There were fire drills when teachers led us outside in orderly lines. And we had drills should a nuclear bomb explode. We were instructed to get beneath our desk and not look at the explosion.  Even children felt the cold of the cold war. There was the threat of the Cuban Missile Crisis when Russian missiles were pointed at the United States to be launched from Cuba. Our parents understood what was at stake. Even though we didn’t understand the cold war, it took away some childhood innocence. Perhaps some of the unrest of the ‘60s grew partially from these experiences. I thought my grandchildren would not grow up under a nuclear cloud. The nuclear saber rattling with North Korea, the threat of war with Venezuela, bring back cold memories. Sadly, there are those in evangelical Christendom that are all too ready to go to war. There is nothing in the teaching of Jesus that encourages such action. If you read the “red letter” editions of the Bible (those where the words of Jesus are in red) we have…

The Long First Step

You knew something was wrong. Maybe you were self aware. You recognized you weren’t enjoying things any more. Your energy was at low ebb. You had become an angry person. You blame your family. Their expectations of you are too high. They have drained your energy. All you are is a paycheck. They become the focus of your anger. You distance yourself physically and emotionally. There are fights and arguments. Gradually it dawns on you they are not the problem. You are suffering. Is it depression? Burnout? Mid-life crisis? On the other hand your friends and family may be the ones to point out that you are always angry. You don’t participate in activities any more. You stare off into space and when asked what you are thinking about you say, “Nothing” and it is the truth. They point out that you have changed, and not for the better. In a moment of clarity you admit they are right. They say, “Snap out of it.” They don’t know how hard you have been trying You are always the one in charge. You take care of others, they don’t take care of you. You are in control and so you tackle…

A Disruptive Party Guest

Have you ever had a disruptive guest at one of your parties?   Later when Jesus was eating supper at Matthew’s house with his close followers, a lot of disreputable characters came and joined them. When the Pharisees saw him keeping this kind of company, they had a fit, and lit into Jesus’ followers. “What kind of example is this from your Teacher, acting cozy with crooks and riffraff?” Matthew 9:10. Msg This verse is about Levi, also known as Matthew. Right after Matthew began to follow Jesus he threw a party. Matthew, a tax collector, was probably not popular. But he knew some folks. He knew street people. In other words, Matthew had “rough and rowdy friends.” People from the “wrong side of the tracks”. Maybe some were pickpockets or homeless people. Matthew knew the seamier side of life. What did Matthew do? He threw a party for everyone he knew. A Jesus party. He wanted the people he knew to follow Jesus. And they came. Seldom are the homeless invited to a party. Who was the disruptive guest? The disruptive guest was Jesus. He was enjoying the party. There were some people there who were very proud of themselves.…