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Showing posts from September, 2018

The Christian and the Politics

As I write this week I'm aware that a national debate is taking place concerning the appointment of Judge Kavanaugh to be a Supreme Court Justice.  I am genuinely grieved by the character of that debate, and for a number reasons. Last week I taught from Philippians 1:27, where Paul says: "Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ..." Conduct is an interesting word.  Paul uses a particular Greek word, politeuma, which as you can see contains two of our English words:  Polite and Politics.  Together it seems oxymoronic doesn't it?  Who has ever heard of polite politics?  The Greeks used the word to describe conduct that was civil, discourse that was listening as much as speaking;  a desire to reach a consensus through understanding.   One could only wish couldn't we?   Conduct...worthy of the Gospel.   The Gospel is a message of salvation through the sacrifice of Jesus, our Savior.   The Gospel is a reminder

Completing a good work

Here's some thoughts from Philippians 1, where the Apostle Paul writes the words: "in all my prayers for you, I always pray with Joy...because your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now...and I'm confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." I live in a rural area where life is slower...not much changes over time.  There are no tall buildings, no large construction booms building apartments and shopping centers, with endless road construction as life in Madison, Wi. once was.   The land means comes from the work on the land.  The people look at life rather simply....but don't think for a moment they are simple.  These are people who with high school educations (often) are running multi-million dollar businesses.  They are smart, hard-working, and no nonsense.  They value family, honesty, goodness and kindness and hate duplicity and stupidity.  Common s

Joy For the Journey

I've come back to writing today after a vacation time, and another week off because of surgery.  I am beginning a new series of teaching from the book of Philippians.  Philippians is a Joyful book.  It is filled with Paul's effusive love for this church he founded in Acts 16.  As he writes to them the word Joy appears over and over... which begs the question, "What do we mean by Joy?" For a lot of people Joy is related directly to their circumstances especially in terms of their happiness.  Yet Biblically speaking Joy is not necessarily conditioned by "happenings" that "happen" to bring "happiness".   Now, I'm not saying that Joy cannot accompany happiness.   Nehemiah spoke telling the people in the renewal of the temple and the restoration of the walls of Jerusalem to " enjoy food, drinks...this day is sacred...for the Joy of the Lord is your strength." (8:10). The angel Gabriel came in Luke 1 to Zechariah, the aged pri