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New Testament beginning Mark

We've read through the Gospel of Matthew, and now we begin the Gospel of Mark.  Mark was the "John Mark" of Acts 12 & 15.  He was a young man when he traveled with Paul & Barnabas on their first missionary journey and mid-way into the journey he quit, returning home.  Subsequently, Paul did not want to take him along on the second journey.  Barnabas was insistent on taking him along and it caused a split among them. 
Later Paul wrote to ask Timothy to bring Mark, "as he is profitable to me".  Whatever else that happened, the relationship was restored and Mark served the church well.  He ended up as a disciple of Peter and it is - in all likelihood - wrote the very first of the Gospels as a record of Peter's records.

Mark moves quickly...the most common word in the Gospel is "immediately".  Over and over Mark keeps moving the story of Jesus along.  You'll notice that Mark is similar, in a shorter version, to Matthew's Gospel.  Along…
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Valentine's Day - God's Love

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New Testament in a Year, Matthew 15:1-20

As we read through the New Testament in a year we come to Matthew 15:1-20. Read the passage first and then take a look at some of my musings:
I cannot read the first part of Matt. 15 without hearing my mother's voice, "Make sure you wash your hands". At the time I didn't have any knowledge of Jesus' words, but they would have been handy.
What is going on is the continuing rising tension between the Religious rulers and Jesus. He confronts them with what I call their selectivity of what to obey. In selecting what to obey and what not to, they "void the word of God." WHY?
An important principle for our understanding of God's word is that if God's word is not authority enough in our lives we'll always be able to make things work the way we selfishly want and justify it as ok with God.
The quote from Isaiah 29 in vss 8-9 are especially condemning. It is also challenging as I look at them. I don't want to do that in my own life.
How can…

Reading the New Testament in a Year

This is certainly late for those of you who might have been interested, but I was urged by someone to post this to the Blog page.    Reading through the New Testament is not a difficult task as long as you keep at it on a daily basis. 
This reading plan begins in Matthew and has daily readings Monday thru Friday, with weekends free.
I don't want you to miss the early sections of Matthew but if you can catch up later on.

This week, we're reading Matthew 14 (today), and then the rest of the week is this:

Tuesday, Matthew 15:1-20

Wednesday, Matthew 15:21-39

Thursday,  Matthew 16

Friday,  Matthew 17

Weekend,  Matthew 18

If you want more, I am posting some thoughts also on Facebook.  If you don't have Facebook and you'd like those daily "musings", send me a note and I'll email them to you.

Today's posting is below, and it's an example -

Reading through the New Testament in a year brings us to Matthew 14. Read it through and then think a bit a…