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Showing posts from October, 2016

Halloween for the Christian

Can God redeem anything? The bible shows how Christ took back for himself the symbol of the snake, demon-possessed people, actions meant for evil, meat sacrificed to idols, and the alter the Greek’s made to an unknown god. 
But there are also some things that God commits to destruction because their wickedness is too great: the world at the time of the flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, the inhabitance of Canaan, the alters to Baal and Asherah, and people who committed certain crimes. 
In the new testament we are told to put to death the deeds of the flesh: lust, greed, malice, envy, hypocrisy, slander, deceit. Sins aren’t worth keeping. The sinner is redeemable up to a certain point, but they will probably have to sacrifice certain activities or pastimes to stay far away from the sins that so easily ensnare them.
So how do we know if something can be used for good or if it should be committed to destruction? Certainly it will be different for every person. One man will refuse to even walk into …

Tales of Central Park

The usual assortment of people were at Central Park today. The hispanic nannies, the lovers making-out beneath the trees, the homeless fellows sleeping next to their chihuahuas, the engaged dad holding a fairy wand while chasing his daughter across the lawn, the mentally handicap man with bright orange hair with his completely functional son, the lanky little girl missing two front teeth and talking to her imaginary pink dog, the threesome of boys and one highly flirtatious girl trying to engage both admirers but always leaving one rather bored and depressed.

Lee and Rose were playing with the big kids on the play structure. A group of three boys around six or seven years old gathered around the base of the play fort. Lee had climbed up inside and was scaling the walls of the fort using the pretend windows as footholds. He popped his head over the top and looked down at the big boys below.

"You're too small to do that," said one of the boys.

"Yeah," joined his …

Dragged Out of the Mud

Dang! I’m not as perfect as I thought I was. Wait! What am I saying? I mean everything is fine. Nothing to see here. Just move along. Yes, if you were in my shoes, you might discover you were a raging monster too.
Dustballs in the corners, toys and un-toys strewn across the house, continuous nagging, defiant rebellion, screaming and crying and the long-past sleepless nights have all burned away a layer of goodness that I was sure I had. That’s what a good trial will do to you: show you what’s beneath. And this “trial” is merely the common experience of motherhood. I have it quite easy, which is probably why I’ve been able to continue believing myself rather good for so long.
I suppose it is the curse of the rich. We can keep our darker selves at bay with tasty food, trendy clothes, luxurious homes, and lengthy insurance policies. And here I thought that low income people could behave themselves if only they tried harder. Yes, if I were in their shoes, I might discover I was a raging mon…

Strange Genesis Stories

Genesis has some peculiar stories. Random stories. Stories that seem to completely interrupt the plot. I'd like to share how two of these stories make much more sense to me after reading John Walton's NIV Application Commentary Genesis. The placement of these stories isn't accidental, and their themes are not disjointed.

Take the rape of Dinah. This story comes towards the end of Jacob's conflict with his brother Esau, which was a result of Jacob stealing Esau's birthright. Jacob has moved back home and after wrestling with God and making peace with Esau, Jacob's daughter Dinah is raped by the Shechemites. When Jacob's oldest sons, Simeon and Levi, hear of this, they slaughter the Shechemites. But what's that got to to do with anything? Does it simply show the sorry state of Jacob's family or explain how third-born Judah became a tribe of leaders and kings? Well, yes, but it does much more.

Backtrack a few chapters to when Jacob is first fleeing his…