Morning Musing: Zechariah 12:2-3

“Look, I will make Jerusalem a cup that causes staggering for the peoples who surround the city. The siege against Jerusalem will also involve Judah. On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who try to lift it will injure themselves severely when all the nations of the earth gather against her.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

I want you to imagine something for me for a minute. Imagine that you are part of a people who have known persecution. No, that doesn’t mean you haven’t been able to get a good parking spot at the mall in ages. It means that you have been regularly and intentionally made the victim of injustice and prejudice for a long period of time. Victimhood is part of your psyche in a way people who don’t think through a lens of persecution can’t understand. It was taught to you by your parents—even if unintentionally—and you have taught it to your own children because your people are victims so often that you simply assume you’ll be a victim at some point even if it hasn’t happened yet. Got it in your mind? Depending on the color of your skin or the country in which you were born that may not take much work to imagine. Now, here’s my question: What is it that you want? Zechariah here gives us one answer.

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Digging in Deeper: Acts 19:20

“In this way the word of the Lord flourished and prevailed.” (CSB – Read the chapter

Have you ever watched a movie, gotten to the “and they lived happily ever after” part, and thought, “There’s got to be more to that story”? So often, when a movie ends—especially a romantic comedy—it ends at a point where there is still a whole lot left to sort out between the characters. We’re just to assume love will work everything out. The fact is, in the real world, life keeps going. Here in Acts, we see this incredible victory by the believers in the city of Ephesus and for me at least, it gets me thinking there has to be more to the story. Well, there is. 

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The Hard Road

This past Sunday morning we wrapped up our series, Bible Stories to Make You Squirm, by looking at another doozy. When Jesus entered the world as a baby and King Herod found out about it, he murdered all the boys two years and under in Bethlehem. What we are supposed to do with this and what it means for us is what we talk about here. Keep reading to learn more.

Also, this week I am going to make some changes to my posting schedule. Producing two posts, three days a week isn’t such a big deal for me on the writing side, but as someone who reads other blogs, I know that trying to read two posts on any given day is a lot. You’ve hung in here with me as I keep learning how to do this better over the last couple of years, and I am supremely grateful. Going forward, I am going to move to five weekly posts–one each day, Monday through Friday, all at 8:00 am. Mondays will be the previous day’s sermon or a Digging in Deeper post if I’ve had the weekend off. Tuesdays and Thursdays will be the usual Morning Musings. Wednesdays and Fridays will be Digging in Deeper posts (usually just a bit longer than the Morning Musings or else a chance to go a little deeper into a conversation we have started on Tuesday or Thursday). Saturdays and Sundays will still be off, although I may start adding some guests posts on the weekends in the not-too-distant future. Hopefully this will make for better pacing for you, the faithful reader, while keeping you still interested in making connections between the Word and the world. Thanks for sticking with me all this time. I’m looking forward to many more good conversations in the days ahead. Blessings to you!

The Hard Road

Most cultures have a set of proverbs, adages, axioms that form the popular foundation on which the bulk of its people stand when it comes to thinking about how they are going to get by and get along with one another.  Many of our culture’s most popular proverbs come from the wit and wisdom of Benjamin Franklin, one of our Founding Fathers.  Many of these you probably know well: Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man…healthy, wealthy, and wise.  A penny saved is…a penny earned.  Don’t put off for tomorrow…what you can accomplish today.  Some of his proverbs are a little less familiar, but still really good: He who sows thorns should not go barefoot.  The one who is content has enough; the one who complains has too much.  Wealth is not his that has it, but his that enjoys it. 

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Morning Musing: James 1:2-3

“Consider it a great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

In college one time I went to hear a lecture given by an education specialist from England. I don’t remember his name or what he talked about, but I do remember one thing he said: humor often comes from the connection of two previously unrelated ideas. He told a joke about a guy accidentally eating a canary to make his point which I also don’t remember, but I do remember laughing until I cried. If what that guy said is true, then the opening of James’ letter here should be hilarious. 

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Digging in Deeper: Jude 1:17-18

But you, dear friends, remember what was predicted by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They told you, “In the end time there will be scoffers living according to their own ungodly desires.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

If you ever want to feel accomplished in reading the Bible, start with a book like Obadiah or Philemon or Jude here. You may not understand all (or even most) of what you’re seeing, but you can finish the whole book in a few minutes. Then you can say, “Why, yes, I have read whole books of the Bible before.” And when you do, you’ll come across some gems like this one. So…what does it mean?

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