“You are what you eat,” is a truism blatantly ignored, which brings a high price.

People everywhere are finally waking up to the indisputable fact that all simple sugars are not the same when it comes to the physical end results they create. … When these differences are understood, it’s easy to see how and why fructose—mainly in the form of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)—is in large part responsible for the meteoric rise of obesity and its related health problems.

It’s a staple ingredient in a vast majority of sweetened beverages and processed foods of all kinds, from pre-packaged meals to baked goods and condiments. And the number one source of calories in America is soda, in the form of HFCS! via Fructose Affects Your Brain Very Diferently than Glucose.

A chilling truth you need to know about fructose. It’s in most all processed foods, and it’s basically a poison to your system.

This world is slated for destruction. Our intended home is in heaven. This poem paints a dark picture of this world and points us to that “languid heaven” where God reigns.

ROIL THE OCEANS
by J. Randal Matheny © 2011

Roil the oceans, folding ages,
The deep and heights clash and heave;
Rock the mountains to sink and melt,
The elements burn, and earth is ended.
Continue reading

The Maiden skipped out to the capital this afternoon, catching a ride with Jorge and Paula. She was to attend an evangelistic event tonight at the Ninth of July church, then go out with a group of young people to eat. She’ll spend the night with Jorge and Paula, then Paula will put her on the bus for home in the morning.

Very heavy rain tonight on the way home from the church in Taubaté. I might have averaged 70 km per hour on the Dutra interstate highway. Usually, such driving makes me nervous, but I was the cool cucumber tonight. After getting into town, the Missus and I got a bite at the mall, then brought home some doughnuts and made Earl Grey tea. Ah!

An American brother in Christ came from Rio last night to SJCampos. He’s here on business, and wanted to meet with a congregation, so he flew from Rio to São Paulo, then hired a car here. Took us out to a fine restaurant, spent the night with us. Turned out his flight out of the airport here was earlier than he thought, so he had to leave right before our meeting started. He searched the Internet for someone else, in São Paulo, who he knew years ago. He didn’t find him, but found us. We’d never met before. Continue reading

God never changes
God is always the same

All generous giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or the slightest hint of change.
James 1:17 NET

They say that one of the trials of living with an alcoholic parent is never knowing how he will react, whether today he’ll be nice or mean, whether he will ignore the child or beat him. Continue reading

In a four-part series of sermons on Luke 6, one preacher provides, in his last lesson, this structure — chiastic, of course — to the Sermon on the Plain, and it seems to hold together well. Fantastic!

luke-6-plain-sermon-outline

Would be interesting to know if this is original with him, or if he picked it up somewhere. I wasn’t able to make a comment on his site to ask. See also his PDF handout at the link above. You can also click back through his series. Recommended. Continue reading

But the Pharisees and the experts in the law rejected God’s purpose for themselves by refusing to be immersed by John.
Luke 7:30

The Jewish leaders’ refusal to be immersed by John signaled their rejection of God’s purpose for them.

John had been “sent from God” (John 1:6) to prepare the way for Jesus. His message included a change a life and immersion in water so that sins might be forgiven. Although his baptism was preparatory and temporary (see Acts 19:1ff), during that period it was part of God’s purpose as a concrete sign of repentance and to bring about God’s forgiveness. Continue reading

“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and don’t do what I tell you?
Luke 6:46 NET

Just talk. That what the person does who calls Jesus Lord without doing what he orders. Without obeying Christ’s commandments, faith is vain.

The words of Mary still apply: “Whatever he tells you, do it” (John 2:5).

The parable that follows Jesus’ question reveals destruction for those who ignore his words. Continue reading

The world is always moving beyond and below the disciple of Christ. Many a saint expresses surprise that society is changing, but such surprise betrays an expectation of the world that can only be true of heaven. The world is in a state of constant degradation (not stasis, and certainly not evolution), while heaven provides the only safe and stable environment for humans. That is why we must work to get to heaven, rather than focus our energies on improving society.

• To what point does a faithful saint attempt to stop the doctrinal seepage that invades the church generally? Or does one just stay at home and work with the local family of God, and let the rest of the brotherhood slide? That was the question a friend asked recently. Obviously, God is in charge of his kingdom, but how far does he want his people to go when the walls are breached elsewhere?

• No good, recent Portuguese Bible version is free to copy and reproduce. Copyrights, which I appreciate and respect, as a writer and publisher, have them all tightly bound up. Should the Word of God be treated differently from the way we work with other books? (English Bible versions aren’t in much of a better situation.) Continue reading

“Then astonishment seized them all, and they glorified God. They were filled with awe, saying, ‘We have seen incredible things today.’”
Luke 5:26 NET

When Jesus forgave the sins of the paralitic man, he was criticized. But when the crowd saw Jesus cure the man, and the man walking and carrying his stretcher, the witnesses glorified God and exclaimed that they had seen something extraordinary.

Afterwards, Jesus calls Levi to follow him, and criticisms rain down on him again, No praises.

The verse above concludes the passage about the paralytic, but do you reckon that Luke isn’t wishing that the reader would make a similar exclamation about Levi’s calling?

For what is more incredible: forgiving sins, reclaiming a soul, inspiring a fat cat to leave his riches in order to follow the Lord, or restoring a man’s body? Is it not the former?

Today, things haven’t changed much. We are impressed with the material, while the spiritual passes unnoticed. Or criticized.

What impresses you?

First some slightly technical stuff, then applications below the fold.

Using italics to indicate words not in the original text (not generally a good practice, to my mind), our deceased brother Harold Littrell shows a missing word in his translation of Luke 3:18, “Also with many other things he admonished while preaching to the people” (ESB). This verse gave me pause, because a Portuguese version (Edição Pastoral, for the curious) gave it another twist. My translation: “John announced the Good News to the people by many other means.”

The translation reminded me of 1 Cor. 9:22b, “I have become all things to all people, so that by all means I may save some” (NET; emphasis mine). But there doesn’t appear to be much of a connection between the two texts. Most versions take Littrell’s “things” to be “words” (NIV, McCord) or join it to the idea of exhortations (NET, NASB, NRSV; “warnings,” NLT) also found in the verse. Most other Portuguese translations also go this route as well (CNBB, A21, ARA, NVI, TEB, BJ, BA).

So John was a wordy fellow. Continue reading