This little gem was sent to my Cloudburst poetry list back in 2008. Nobody saw it outside that now defunct list. (Here’s the post I wrote on the occasion.) So I thought I’d revive it, since it applies even more, now that we have some grandkids near us to share the holiday with. What doesn’t apply is the mention of cold. All the windows are open here, and the fans at high speed.
The short of it: The church of the Lord Jesus Christ does not celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday. The New Testament knows nothing of Christmas. First-century Christians had no yearly Yule. Our faith is based upon Scripture. The celebration of Christmas is a later addition. The only special day celebrated in the Bible is every first day of the week, when Christians meet and break bread around the Lord’s table. Continue reading →
Why the big to-do over what happens on a cable TV channel? Because Americans are obsessed with non-reality. To most of the world—and to most saints around the world—it’s a non-issue. Wake up, people. Let’s get busy doing the real work of announcing the kingdom of God. This is reality.
• This is not the world we want for our children and grandchildren. No place on earth is the place we desire for them. We want a new heavens and a new earth, that is, a heavenly realm. “Lord, come quickly.” Continue reading →
When I started blogging back in 2002, almost 10 years ago, I called my first weblog “Random Variables.” The adjective was an obvious play on my name, and the title served as a tip-off that no single theme would dominate. I like the title to this day, although math is not my field.
I saw a mention of Thomas Sowell’s occasional “Random Thoughts” for his weekly column (excellent, by the way) and was reminded of mine. Not that the two have much in common, with Sowell’s incisive, powerful content. Me, just buzzing along. Continue reading →
Yesterday, one Journey paragraph mentioned alliteration. Can we say another word on that? Maybe there was a day when a topical sermon was effective with the key words or points all beginning with the same letter. I have my doubts about that today. I’ve done alliterative sermon points. Used to. Can’t remember the last one, however, since my sermons now are almost all textual and expository. Again, who hasn’t heard sermons where the words are forced so they’ll fit a scheme? One man’s opinion here is that alliteration ought to be retired in sermons. Has gotten too gimmicky. (I’m braced for the preachers’ reprisals.) Continue reading →
During the Lord’s supper today, John 18:1 caught my eye: “When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was a garden, and he and his disciples went into it” (NIV). Prayer doesn’t often change the challenges we must face, seldom does it improve our situation, but rather by prayer God prepares us to meet the trials or temptations with self-control, purpose, and faith. Then, we can glorify God. Jesus prayed and went into Gethsemane where he was betrayed. He knew all that was going to happen to him (v. 4), and with the power invested in him through his prayer, he walked straight to the cross. We can do the same. Continue reading →