The Mount of the Beatitudes sits on the top of a hill overlooking the Sea of Galilee. As we approach the park that now encloses the top of the hill, signs remind us to be silent because we are on holy ground. It was here on this very hill that Jesus sat down with his disciples and taught them about the Kingdom of God. Here in this place, as groups gather in various small clusters around the mount, one gets a feeling of what "Blessed" really means. The verses of Matthew 5 that capture the words of Jesus line the ...
Two words come to mind when we consider the parable of the prodigal son "Pride and Pride"
"Alongside Babylon's streams, there we sat down, crying because we remembered Zion."
Do you see them? No really they are everywhere! Come on surely you do see them.
I once went for a job interview and was offered the job based upon my passing the physical. It was as a result of the physical exam that I discovered I had a tumor in my bladder. Praise God! The short story is that I was blessed to be able to have the tumor surgically removed and have been bladder cancer free ever since.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; don't rely on your own intelligence. Know him in all your paths, and he will keep your ways straight. Proverbs 3:5-6 (Common English Bible)
Just a Thought: Jockeys are typically small people. Interestingly enough typically so are those people who spend much of their time "jockeying" for position (regardless of their physical size).
"Three days later Mary, the mother of Jesus, was at a wedding feast in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited and were there. When the wine was all gone, Mary said to Jesus, "They don't have any more wine." Jesus replied, "Mother, my time hasn't yet come: You must not tell me what to do." Mary then said to the servants, "Do whatever Jesus tells you to do." John 2:1-5 (Contemporary English Version)
Just a Thought: God's Word, prophetic or otherwise, is a clear and present reminder to us that He has all things under control. He has a plan both for our lives and all of eternity. There is to be a balance between knowing and studying what will one day happen with what we ought to do about today.
We have all seen them, those precious moments when a soldier surprises his wife or kids with a special unannounced visit home. How touching they are to see the emotion and joy that overcomes those who have been waiting so long for a glimpse, a touch and some time with their loved ones from whom they have been apart.
Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are ...
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What are you standing on?
When's the last time you've felt excited about giving an offering at church - I mean really excited? If you've been reading this column for the past month, you might remember that when I was in Nigeria, I wrote about how excited the Nigerians got about "offering time!" with the dancing and music accompanying the bringing of their gifts, spending at least an hour of their service giving their monetary offerings.
The debate in Washington this week was allegedly about the president's health care law, but it quickly became all about Sen. Ted Cruz. The Texas Republican objected to the law by speaking on the Senate floor for 21 straight hours. The effort made him a hero to some, a fool to others, and it ultimately had no legislative impact.
Just a Thought: There is a positive side to unjust punishment and pain. Oftentimes we hear people say, "What did I do to deserve this? All I did was stand up for what was right."
The great king Nebuchadnezzar had a dream: Daniel appropriately called it "awesome." (Daniel 2:31)
Greetings from Nigeria. Of course, by the time you read this one, I should have made it back already, God willing.
I write this as I sit in the mission house after my first day of teaching at Christ the King Lutheran Seminary in Uruk Uso, Nigeria. By mission house, I mean the home built for the American missionaries our church body used to send here to work among the Nigerians sharing the Gospel. That started 78 years ago.
Just a Thought: Being a person of Christian character is really mind over matter.
O Lord, you have examined me. You know me … You are the one who created my innermost parts; you knit me together while I was still in my mother's womb.
Wow! That's all I can say. I'm writing this on Sunday night after experiencing something I won't be able to adequately convey in words. A couple of days ago, I wrote to you from our secure hotel in Lagos, Nigeria, the big city of 20 million, home of Nigeria's biggest airport - the one I flew into. Today, I write from a world as far from that as Lagos is from Covington.
Your word is a lamp before my feet and a light for my journey.
Have you ever thought about foreign mission work? Could you do it? Last week, I wrote about redeeming the time - making the most of every moment of every day. So how's this for redeeming the time? As you read this, God willing, I'm in Nigeria teaching at our Lutheran Seminary there.
Just a Thought: What is this world coming to? An end!
As if public education in Georgia doesn't have enough problems, there is now a high-profile ruckus between Gov. Nathan Deal and State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge. It has gotten so peevish that there is talk that the school superintendent may challenge Deal in the Republican gubernatorial primary next spring.
Last week, we started talking about depression by looking at the prophet Elijah in 1 Kings 19. If you missed that, you can find it under "sermons" at www.abidinggrace.com. We looked at noticing the signs of depression and seeing the dangers of those tell-tale signs, from focusing on feelings instead of facts, to taking responsibility for things you're not responsible for, to withdrawing to "be alone." We focused a lot on the problem of depression. This week, let's see the solution.