Being Oddly Good When Violence is the Norm (1 Peter 2:11-12)

1 Peter 2:11-12

For those of us living in modern Western civilization, it is hard to imagine a time when Christians were a minority group. Nevertheless, at the time Peter wrote his First Letter, Christians were verbally berated and sometimes hunted down and killed. They would not give in to all the values and customs of the culture around them and were scorned for doing so. Tacitus, a Roman historian and a near contemporary of Peter, said of Christians, “…an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted […]. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight expired.”

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Let Love Bloom (1 Peter 1:22-25)

1 Peter 1:22-25

There is a flower more exquisite than any found on earth. The purity of its white hue, the fragrance of its perfume, the permanency of its bloom compares with nothing else. I speak figuratively of the Christian way of love. It is the fruit of the faith, the hallmark of Christian belief.

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The Pandemic (Matthew 4:4)

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Submitted by Andy McIlvain.

Matthew 4:4

There is a pandemic that has silently moved through the world. It is particularly acute in our region. It is not the Coronavirus or Avian Flu. It is Bible Illiteracy. Continue reading

Help Reading the Bible – Part 2 (Translations and Resources)

 

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Submitted by Andy McIlvain. 

God wrote a book-The Bible. As Christians we should strive to live and breathe the Bible.
The Bible is inspired (God-Breathed), meaning God divinely influenced the human authors of the Scriptures to write the very Word of God. In the context of the Scriptures “inspiration” simply means “God-breathed,” making the Bible unique among all other books. The human authors, though inspired by God, had different writing styles with their own personalities, worldviews, and cultural influences. Yet, because the words of Scripture were received from an all-powerful, all-knowing, perfect God, the Bible in its original form is inerrant and authoritative. Continue reading

Who Created the Heavens and the Earth? (Genesis 1:1)

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Genesis 1:1

The Bible begins with the words, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1).” It is difficult to imagine nothing: no white room, no bright light, just nothing. Whether over seven literal days or through some instantaneous initiatory event, like a big bang, the Bible affirms that God spoke all creation into existence. Every star in the sky, celestial satellite, atom, molecule, tree leaf, and toenail resulted from God’s creative act. Continue reading

Nursing In a Fallen World (Jerimiah 30:17)

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Submitted by Andy McIlvain.

Jerimiah 30:17

I have been in the nursing profession for 10 years now. I am an LPN and have experienced nursing in a hospital setting, home health, and now in family practice. We in America, despite the dysfunction of our medical system, live in a time and place of unprecedented health benefits. Although many people do not get the health care they need, many do. We should be thankful to God for these blessings. Many people travel from around the world to have health care in our country. Continue reading

The Life of Your Mind (Ecclesiastes 2:1-3)

 

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Submitted by Andy McIlvain.

Ecclesiastes 2:1-3

“Our whole life is an Education — we are ‘ever-learning,’ every moment of time, everywhere, under all circumstances something is being added to the stock of our previous attainments. Mind is always at work when once its operations commence. All men are learners, whatever their occupation, in the palace, in the cottage, in the park, and in the field. These are the laws stamped upon Humanity.” These were the words of Edward Paxton Hood in his Self-Education: Twelve Chapters for Young Thinkers, published in 1852. Continue reading

Old Books: The Clean Sea Breeze of the Centuries

The Clean Sea Breeze of the Centuries

Submitted by Andy McIlvain.

Recently at an estate sale I purchased a set of 8 small books. They were published in 1910 by Merrill Publishing. One book in particular caught my eye: Selections from the Writings of Abraham Lincoln. In its preface it states, to paraphrase; “The speeches have a deeper significance and a higher mission…They are exponents of a character and the mirror of life.” The book was published only 45 years after Lincoln’s death. Continue reading

Making Sense After Charlottesville (Genesis 3:8-13)

Blook on your hands

Genesis 3:8-13

The recent events and violence in Charlottesville, Virginia are tragic, reprehensible, and embarrassing. Continue reading