Thursday, June 29, 2023



The second chapter of the book of Acts is fairly foundational for those who want to base their Christianity on the earliest model. That's not to say the 21st Century Church needs to do all the things the 1st Century Church did in the same way it did them. The actions and activities recorded in the book are eyewitness accounts of what happened...not necessarily meant to be prescriptions for us to follow.


Acts 2:42 certainly seems like a good idea for a group of Christ-followers to pay attention to.

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

You and I both know what it means to devote oneself: to concentrate on a particular pursuit, occupation, purpose, or cause. And to focus on the pursuits of Jesus' teachings, sharing love and life with fellow believers, and communing with our maker through prayer...this is worthwhile and foundational for calling yourself a church.


What if we looked at the phrase they devoted themselves a little differently? What if we compared devote to similar words like deflate and deaccelerate?

What if we stopped thinking we had a vote on everything that happens in our lives? What if we decided that our decisions are not always the end-all and be-all of our spiritual journeys?

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Truth is...I want to de-vote myself. I want to take myself out of the driver's seat and give Father, Son, and Holy Spirit complete control.

Have thine own way, Lord. Have thine own way. Thou art the potter. I am the clay.

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Here, Boy! Come on, Fido!


In contrast to Shakespeare's taunting question, "What's in a name?", Gregory Berns suggests there might be something significant in one's name...even if the individual we're talking about is a dog.

Thanks to Gary Larson

From What It's Like to Be a Dog:

"How do animals treat names? If an animal doesn't have the faculty to understand that words are symbols, it is unlikely that they can translate their names into a sense of self. More likely, animals learn that a particular utterance means something interesting is about to happen and that they'd better pay attention. Whenever someone said (to the dog Callie) 'Callie,' Callie directed her attention to whoever made that noise. I never got the sense that she equated her name with 'me.'

"The experience of animal trainers would support the attention-grabbing function of names. 'Callie, sit,' is thought to be more effective than 'Sit, Callie.' ... Callie responds better to the first because her name gets her attention for the subsequent action. The reverse order requires her to remember the action that precedes her name."

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Not to equate humans with canines, but the same holds true. In a conversation or group discussion, it's always better for someone to say "Dewey, what do you think about XYZ?" than "What do you think about XYZ, Dewey?"

The second phrase could very well get the response: "I'm sorry, what were we talking about?"

Truth is...when God says, in Isaiah 43:1, "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine," it not only comforts me; it gets my attention.

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Are Your Kids Ready to Face the World?


First things first, let it be said that it is not the local church's responsibility to raise children that love Jesus and can navigate the Bible.

Hear me.

Educating children in spiritual truth and Scriptural literacy is not the responsibility of the congregation of believers commonly referred to as the church. That is a parent's job.

Second things second, it is also true that any congregation worthy of the designation "church" will take seriously the mission of coming alongside its parents and helping in that job.

It is the seriousness of that task that is emphasized in the meme below:

Truth is...The world at large is not necessarily a friendly territory for faith in Jesus, and preparing our children to live in that world needs to be more than just keeping them busy while Mom and Dad worship.

Thursday, June 8, 2023

This Title Is a Lie


Once upon a time, there was a "movement" that started in the realm of art that espoused the absence of meaning in everything it created. It was called "Dadaism".

"A state of mind rather than a literary or artistic movement, according to its spokesman the Romanian poet Tristan Tzara (1886-1963), Dada was anarchic, nihilistic, and disruptive. Dadaists mocked all established values, all traditional notions of good taste in art and literature, the culture symbols of a society based, they believed, on greed and materialism and now in its death agony. The name Dada -- a nonsense, baby-talk word -- means nothing, so was well suited to Dada's wholly negative nature. Dada even denied the value of art, hence its cult of non-art, and ended by negating itself. 'The true Dadaist is against Dada.'" [Hugh Honour and John Fleming, in The Visual Arts: A History]

The self-negating nature of Dadaism causes me to think about certain statements:

  • "There is no absolute truth." ( that absolutely true?)
  • "People have no right to judge one another." (Usually spoken by someone who has determined, i.e., judged, that someone was being judgy.)
  • "Nobody can be totally sure about anything." (Are you sure about that?)

And what about the title of this post: "This Title Is a Lie"? If that's true, then it's a lie, but then that would mean it was true by being a lie...but if it's a lie that would make it true, which would make it NOT a lie, which would make it a lie...

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Truth is...It's not that hard to confound a human's mind. Kinda makes it easy for me to believe Isaiah 55:8-9. “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts."

Thursday, June 1, 2023

"Well, I Didn't MEAN To!"


When Carrie Fisher found herself on the set of the first Star Wars movie, part of her plan, in addition to working hard to learn the techno-babble dialogue of George Lucas, was to have a Hollywood romance. As she explains in the diary she kept at the time (later released as the book, The Princess Diarist), she DID have at least one self-imposed standard:

"It's difficult to imagine a childhood less likely to make one pro-adultery than mine. When I was born, my par­ents, the handsome singer Eddie Fisher and the beautiful actress Debbie Reynolds, were known as 'America's Sweet­hearts.' The gorgeous couple with their two adorable little babies (my brother, Todd, came along sixteen months after I did) were the American Dream realized, until Eddie left Debbie for the recently widowed gorgeous actress Elizabeth Taylor, who, just to pile it on a little more, was a friend of my mother's from their early days at the Metro-­Goldwyn-Mayer Studio. For those too old to remember or too young to care, it was one of the great midcentury tabloid feeding frenzies, and I watched it at very close range.

"So when I was contemplating having an affair on this movie, I wasn't going to include married guys. One of the things I knew when Harrison and I met was that nothing of a ro­mantic nature would happen. It wasn't even an issue. There were plenty of guys out there who were single whom I could date without needing to dip into the married guy pool. He was also far too old for me -- almost fifteen years older! I would be twenty in a matter of months, but Harrison was in his mid-thirties -- old! Well into adulthood, anyway.

"Also, he was a man. I was a girl -- a male human like him would have to be with a woman. If Harrison and I went to the prom together, no one would believe it. 'What's he doing with her? Captain of the football team and president of the cool literary club? What's he doing with Cutie-Pie Sweetcheeks, with the troll doll collection and Cary Grant obsession? Must be a glitch in the machine ... '

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It should come as no surprise that the end result of Fisher thinking more and more about not having an affair with Harrison Ford is that she kept thinking more and more about him...and they did indeed carry on a sexual affair during the making of the film.

Truth the Old Testament account of Potipher's wife trying to seduce Joseph, Joseph made the wisest decision he could have. The minute he saw that reasoning with her was having no effect, he turned tail and ran away. Standing on the brink, wondering how close you can get, will almost always end in falling off the cliff.