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Showing posts from October, 2017

Halloween or All Hallowed's Eve

Revelation 19:6-8 6  Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. 7  Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; 8  it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. Like most kids growing up I participated in Trick or Treating on Halloween.  Costumes varied, but they were old bed sheet with holes cut out for mouth, nose and eyes made me a ghost one old pair of overalls, ragged shirt with hay stuck in my waist, pockets, hat made for itchy uncomfortable scare crow costume one year.  The town we grew up had about 1200 citizens and as a paper delivery boy I knew the houses that were generous and ones that were stingy.  My brot

God and the bounty of the Harvest

Psalm 65:9-13 9  You visit the earth and water it; you greatly enrich it; the river of God is full of water; you provide their grain, for so you have prepared it. 10  You water its furrows abundantly, settling its ridges, softening it with showers, and blessing its growth. 11  You crown the year with your bounty; your wagon tracks overflow with abundance. 12  The pastures of the wilderness overflow, the hills gird themselves with joy, 13  the meadows clothe themselves with flocks, the valleys deck themselves with grain, they shout and sing together for joy. Living in south central Wisconsin in October is awe-inspiring with colors in nature, sunrises and sunsets over steel looking lakes, geese flying to fields and lakes, and crops of soybeans and corn being lifted from the earth by massive farm machinery.   I am amazed every year and I cannot help but feel joy, gratitude, and praise to God for the beauty and the bounty.  The Psalmist captured the essence of

The Reluctant Pastor

I've been reading a book by Eugene Peterson that I would heartily recommend.  But before I get to the book, let me say that if you have not read Eugene Peterson's books I feel very, very sorry for you.  You have no idea of the jewels you are missing. I began reading Peterson in 1980 when his book "A Long Obedience in the Same Direction" which is subtitled, "Discipleship in an Instant Society", was released.  I consumed that book and have re-read it several times.  Then three years later he released "Run With the Horses"; then "Traveling Light"; and on and on it would go. It's interesting that what most people know of him is that he published the paraphrase of the Scripture entitled "The Message" - which I have to admit is good, but not my favorite of his books. I've read all 30+ books he has written.  WHY?  Why read any one author to that extent.  It's hard to say except to say that his writings touch my soul...e

There and back again

It was J. R. R. Tolkien (Lord of the Rings author) who penned the seldom used term eucatastrophe .  Most of us are familiar with the word "catastrophe", but not so much with eucatastrophe.  Eucatastrophe has to do with " a sudden and favorable resolution of events in a story that leads to a happy ending". The death of Jesus Christ on the cross was an eucatastrophic event.  It is not just because of the resurrection of Jesus, but it means Jesus suffered where we did not.  I said recently in one of my teachings that the divine exchange of Jesus' death for me and my sins upon him so that I might gain His righteousness is mind-blowing.   We who are Adam's descendants all share the same problem - sin.  Martin Luther reminds us that "the issue is not the quantity of my sin, but that at the core of my being - i.e., at the root - is this Sinful nature.  Jesus became a man in order to take upon himself the Sins of Adam's race.  We died with him. Coloss