Archive for the ‘Faith’ category

Is God a Hard Taskmaster?

July 10, 2017

Depositphotos Image ID: 10941070 Copyright: magann

In the parable of the talents[1], the master gives his servants different amounts of funding before he leaves on a long trip. The servants given 10 talents and 5 talents invest them and make more money. The servant given one talent buries it in the ground. When the master comes back and asks for an accounting, the servant who buried his only talent in the ground told the master that he knew his master was a “hard taskmaster” reaping where he did not sew and gathering where he scattered to seed, and the servant was afraid so he hid the talent in the ground. The Master explodes, calling the servant wicked and slothful, and He takes the talent away from the servant.

The Master’s response seems harsh – like a hard Taskmaster! At other places in the Bible we see statements of God honoring the industrious and treating the slothful as wicked, but is God really a hard Taskmaster?

This parable is an allegory illustrating our relationship with God so gaining understanding of what Jesus is saying here is important.

(more…)

If/When God Sends Us Difficulties

July 10, 2017

Depositphotos Image ID: 86547374 Copyright: Johan-jk

“If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people….”[1]

We like to view God as a Great Benevolent Giver in the sky. We want Him to pour out good gifts to us and make our lives easy for us, and we are disappointed, disillusioned and discouraged when we don’t experience the generosity we imagine and want from God.

God is benevolent for sure, but He is much more than that. He doesn’t just want to give us good things; He wants to give us Himself. In fact, he doesn’t just want to give us Himself, He wants to pour Himself out into and through us to bless others as He desires to bless us.

But, this ultimate desire and purpose of God to bless us takes on a different form than we would like at times. God’s activity in our lives doesn’t always feel like a blessing.

In this verse from 2 Chronicles 7, we learn that God, Himself, may cause difficult things to happen, or simply allow them to happen, in our lives. But why? And what can we do about it?

We need to read the second half of the verse and consider the context in which it was written for a more complete picture.

(more…)

Daily Prompt: Brassy

June 2, 2017
Jazz concert

       depositphotos Image ID: 38371383 Copyright: wangsong

via Daily Prompt: Brassy

  • sounding like a brass musical instrument; harsh and loud.
  • tastelessly showy or loud in appearance or manner.

When a brass section plays along in harmony with a band, it can be a magical, musical experience. Those bold, brassy tones blending together in tight harmonies, complimenting the melodies and, sometimes, doing the solo thing – at the right time of course – are beauty in sound.

Everything is beautiful in its place, and its time. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

Musicians will affirm that “chemistry” is important in a musical group. Each person must be attuned to the other and to the whole and, at the same time, be focused on his or her own contribution. This is multitasking at its finest! When the chemistry is there, it is a wonder to behold. When it isn’t, it just falls flat.

(more…)

My Portion

June 2, 2017

             Photography ID: 146192405 Copyright: Lindasj2

via Daily Prompt: Portion

We live in a world, in the US, specifically, in whch we have more than we need (most of us). We take more than we need, and it’s a way of life.

Read the portions on the box, or can, or bag of whatever it is you just ate. How many portions did you judst eat?

I rest my case.

Ok, I am certain to be wrong about you, or him or her. Outliers always exists. On the whole, though, we consume way more than we really need. We have more than we need.

How many pairs of shoes do you have?

I rest my case again. For real this time.

(more…)

Without Leaving a Trace

June 1, 2017
people

               Depositphotos Image ID: 15819245 Copyright: Kuzmafoto

via Daily Prompt: Trace

The crowd pushed and heaved to get a better view.

“This man, Jesus, was saying some crazy things, and people were just as crazy to believe it. I just happened to be in the area. I certainly wouldn’t go out of my way, but the spectacle caught my attention,” I said to guy next to me.

“I am comfortable with my life,” I told him. “I don’t need the drama. I don’t need to go chasing after every man who claims to have a direct line to God, and God knows there are many of them these days. They’re all crazy! They end up getting carried away with their own rhetoric. They make the Roman authorities nervous, and then they are thrown in jail or killed to make an example of them, and the crowd disperses. It always does.”

The guy next to me didn’t seem to hear what I said. He was listening to Jesus, so I listened for a few seconds.

“This guy Jesus is a good talker, isn’t he,” I said in case the guy might hear me this time. “The people hang on every word. He talks like he really knows what he is talking about, but no different than the last guy I guess. I didn’t really listen to him. Never really had the chance. More like, I wasn’t really interested.”

He looked at me only long enough to signal that he knew I was there, but he went on focusing on Jesus apparently wrapping up his message.

“Not that I’m not spiritual or anything,” I continued. “I am as spiritual as the next guy. I try to be a good person. I don’t hurt anyone. I’m certainly not like those guys this Jesus hangs around. Good for them, though. They need someone like Jesus to straighten them out. Maybe they will get their lives together.”

And, with that, the crowd began to break up and wander off. The guy next to me apparently left also. He was nowhere to be found.

“I guess this Jesus is done talking”, I thought. “Not sure what he was even talking about. I thought I heard someone say something about a miracle. Crazy! I would never get suckered like that.”

And the Son of God moved on without leaving a trace that He had ever been there, that I had ever encountered Him or ever heard anything He might have said.

When Sin Crouches At the Door

May 20, 2017

depositphotos Image ID: 39910063 Copyright: ectorass

“If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” Genesis 4:7

We know the story of Cain & Abel. They were the sons of Adam & Eve. They both offered sacrifices to God. Cain gave an offering from “the fruit of the ground”, and Abel of the “fat portions”[1] from the “firstlings”[2] of his flock. (Genesis 4:3-4) All was good, right?

Well, no. God “regarded” Abel’s offering, but didn’t “regard” Cain’s offering, and that is when the problem started. Cain became angry[3], and his “countenance fell”. (Genesis 4:4-5) We know the rest of the story: Cain ends up killing Abel.

Lest we be tempted to think that we don’t need to pay attention to the details of this story because we aren’t like Cain – we would never kill anyone – consider these words of Jesus:

“You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not commit murder’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court….” (Matthew 5:21-22)

Anyone who has ever been angry with another person, might do well to consider the details of the story of Cain and Abel.

(more…)

To Be Immortal by Mitch Teemley

May 20, 2017

High School graduation was a big deal. We were adults, and underclassmen suddenly seemed so young. En route to prom, my lacey-gowned girlfriend and I were asked if we were married. Married? That’s what grown-ups do! A few days later, I threw an all-night party, something my parents had never let me do before. Why […]

via To be Immortal — Mitch Teemley

Before (or maybe after) reading Mitch’s great piece, To Be Immortal, consider that the greatest writers in history have returned again and again to that well of desire for immortality (or is it posterity? or maybe just fame?).

Shakespeare in his famous Sonnet XVIII rued that “summer’s lease hath all too short a date” while clinging to the consolation that his “eternal lines” would live “so long as men can breathe, or eyes see” and give some sense of life to Shakespeare, the poet, longing to live on in his poetry.

And Keats, in his Ode to a Grecian Urn, sought some “immortality” by his lines immortalizing the Grecian urn. But what immortality did he earn? Some fleeting fame in his own time? Some lingering posterity lasting so long as men breath?

William Wordsworth, in Ode on Imitations of Immortality, wondered, “Whither is fled the visionary dream? Where is it now, the glory and the dream?” While “heaven lies about us in our infancy” the “shades of the prison-house begin to close” even “upon the growing boy”; and the light and joy and vision the boy beholds, the man see “die away and fade into the light of the common day.”

Emily Dickinson and many others waxed on about death and dying, mortality and posterity, and the longing for immortality has lurked in those themes since the beginning of human time.

But, God it is who made everything beautiful in its time and put eternity into our hearts. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

Like the Grecian urn will someday return to dust, the lines by which the greatest writers among human kind sought their own version of immortality will cease to be known. Time will take them. Men will breath no more. The science by which we gain vantage into the wonders of the universe as certainly show us that our end is inevitable.

Our immortality does not lie in the art that men can mold with their hands or the lines they can pen. Immortality lies in something more transcendent than crafted artifacts of dust that to dust will return or lines fading from the finite consciousness of men.

 


Small Town Girl Taking on the World

"The world is a book and those who do not travel only read a page." - St. Augustine

t2gospel

Core Ideas of the Gospel of Jesus Christ

The Daily Post

The Art and Craft of Blogging

Convergent Christianity

Where Evangelical, Charismatic and Historic church expressions are brought together in unity.

Urban Poetry

Where Legends Live in Words. A Digital Art & Poetry Wordpress By Linda J. Wolff

The Truth Will Make You Mad

Skeptical believer. Christian anthropicist. Post-partisan Hayek-Friedman-Reagan classical liberal.

Larry Hurtado's Blog

Comments on the New Testament and Early Christianity (and related matters)

WIT

Women in Theology

Real as the Streets

Faithfully Authentic

Reflections

We are what we think.

Rationalising The Universe

one post at a time

The Life Project

Finding Clear and Simple Faith

Boosterclub Blog

Supporting positive change

The Invisible Things

Articles in Apologetics

Overflow

Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.

The Freedom Fight

Fight for Life. Fight for Liberty. Fight for Freedom.

Defending Hope

We Must Always Be Ready To Give A Reasoned Answer For The Hope That Lies Within (1 Peter 3:15)

Today's New Reason to Believe

Integrating Science and Faith

Testimonies

Christ Inspired

PastorBrianChilton.wordpress.com

This website has moved to BellatorChristi.com. Go there to see the latest posts and podcasts from Brian. Blessings!

SixDay Science

Faith in Science | Science in Faith

Daniel B. Wallace

Executive Director of CSNTM & Senior Professor of NT Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary

%d bloggers like this: