Fathers must not be put to death for what their children do, nor children for what their fathers do; each must be put to death for his own sin. Deuteronomy 24.16.

Moses said it by inspiration to the people of Israel, before they entered the land of Canaan. Centuries later, the prophet Ezekiel developed it further, speaking again to the Israelites. (See chapters 18 and 33.) Go to the New Testament and see that condemnation and salvation are determined on an individual basis.

The one who believes and is baptized will be saved, but the one who does not believe will be condemned. Mark 16.16.

Some Bible versions published in recent years throw statements into the plural in order to avoid the singular masculine pronoun. All fine and good, but it sometimes misses a point, like individual responsibility.

Let each one examine his own work. Then he can take pride in himself and not compare himself with someone else. For each one will carry his own load. Galatians 6.4-5.

Am I to blame for what happened a hundred years ago or more? God is more interested in what I am doing right now. Continue reading

This short essay was posted several years ago on a secondary blog of mine that not even my mother read. On that service I experimented with a post without a title. Here it is, significantly updated and augmented.

The no-title-post experiment was fine, except that it shows up as Untitled in the subject line of the email that subscribers get. Not so good. I wouldn’t open an email with Untitled as title. Would you?

Then again, some of the best, or most famous, art — think paintings and poems — are untitled. Maybe Emily was on to something. Continue reading

A few times people have asked me how I manage to do all the things I do.

Having all the kids gone from home helps, of course. And I have a devoted wife who picks up a lot of the slack and allows me time to write and work. But there’s more.

We live simply, with fewer of life’s distractions. We could do better here, but we’re working on it. Continue reading

A church bulletin I received this week featured a friend’s article. I forwarded the bulletin on to my friend, who would not have otherwise known that they had published his article. He thanked me and seemed pleased, and I was glad to have encouraged him, if indeed it did.

In reply, I wrote him and said this: It may not work for others this way, but I usually feel more motivated and inspired to do more and better writing when I see that others use my material or benefit in some way from what I have written. Continue reading

I have no polls or surveys to indicate how much or little people dislike the following, so I’m going on hearsay and anecdotal evidence. But I know what I like.

1. Mondays

The start of a new week excites me. Maybe if I had a job I hated, a life I despised, a schedule determined by someone else, but I don’t. Monday means a new slate, almost like a new year, but Mondays come more often. Monday means putting into practice what we heard and said on Sunday. What’s not to like? Continue reading

The chemical weapons stockpile has been stored at Pine Bluff Arsenal since the 1940’s.The disposal of the ton containers at the PBCDF is the final campaign of the chemical weapons disposal mission. via KAIT-8.

Seventy years of stockpiled chemicals. Do governments ever throw anything away? The human gathering and storing instincts pop up in the strangest places.

Like my office. I started, um, reignited, my declutter mission, attacking the piles of paper so that FlyLady would be proud of me. I have to stop at times to let the shredder cool off. That’s when I hear all the precious sheets of deadwood declare their essentiality to my well-being. And who knows, but that tomorrow, or maybe even in an hour’s time, I may need the information or the proof of purchase that little square holds? Parting is painful sorrow.

Joy in Tanzania is cheering me, and millions others, on to greater heights of simplicity. I confessed, when she asked yesterday, to being a pile-shifter. But isn’t that what corners and cubbies are for, to safeguard sliding columns of yellowed paper? Continue reading

A Facebook friend posted a picture of jelly beans, chose a color to express her mood and asked what color the reader was. Not content with that, I gave a different reply, here expanded.

I am Color. More than the incandescent stripes of the rainbow, more than the modest drops of covered chocolate, more than the jar of painted beans. Continue reading

• Satan attempts to keep people from coming to the Lord. He will use even well-intentioned souls to throw up obstacles. Just as the well-meaning Peter became a barrier to Jesus, who told the apostle to get out of his way. An intense competition for the souls of men rages in the streets; we dare not draw back because we think we are above the fray, superior to those who are scrapping to win others. We do not use their under-handed tactics, nor do we make outlandish promises, but our feet must be swift and sure so that the true voice of God is heard by the masses.

•  Those hopes of mine not based on God’s specific promises are prayers for blessing on friend and foe. Hope in its biblical sense has a foundation, the truth of God, the promises he makes for our future. Then there are those human hopes that we desire for others: health for the sick, mates for the lonely, peace for the perturbed. Those hopes we turn into prayers, since to grant these things to others is beyond our powers. Continue reading

Here’s the headline: “Ohio woman celebrates lottery win, then killed by car.” And here are the details of the story.

She wins $8000, celebrates in a bar, drinks, then leaves on foot, and is struck by a car. Not enough details to know if she stumbled, walked in front of the car, no knowing what happened. But it does make one wonder. Continue reading