Tag: Word

The Hunter

The Hunter

Encouragment, Short Stories
The mark was easy. A country hick that wandered into the wrong alley of City Center, my alley. So, I welcomed him to our crusty city by relieving him of his bulging wallet and cheap watch. I didn’t even have to pull out Bertha, my six-inch bowie knife. Just the threat had him shaking like a California earthquake. I can hear the sirens already; the rube must have called 911 from Sam’s Corner Deli. No worries, there are plenty of alleys, backstreets, and dark corners in my hunting grounds. Tucked in a shadow of another alley I watch as my most recent benefactor recreates his story to two patrol officers. I almost laughed out loud when he stands in my footprints and tries to look like me. I’m more menacing than I thought. Good. “There is no fear of God in your eyes,” a voice said wit
Walking Through 2nd Peter, #5, God’s Word not Ours

Walking Through 2nd Peter, #5, God’s Word not Ours

Encouragment
I begin this step in our Walk Through 2nd Peter knowing that it’s going to make almost everyone angry, upset, or conflicted.  The words themselves seem innocuous, a harmless reminder that writers moved by the Holy Spirit conveyed God’s words. That truth is understood and accepted by those following Jesus. But when we consider Peter’s warning it challenges all of our assumptions, presumptions, prejudices, traditions, and preferences. Looking closely at what Peter meant sets off a nuclear explosion of life-altering proportions. Peter writes, “So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is
Walking Through 1st Peter – Step Eight – Long for the Pure

Walking Through 1st Peter – Step Eight – Long for the Pure

Encouragment
We have problems with Leviticus. We either laugh, cry, or simply give up when we read the specifics of God’s law to the Hebrews. Why would God care what they ate, or that they didn’t mix kinds of fabric, or who they had sex with, or what was clean and unclean? In many ways, God was taking a people, His people, and removing from them everything that corrupts directly or because of the connections to Egyptian and Canaanite religions. God was taking a mixed up group of people with an adulterated impure faith and showing them the way to becoming unadulterated and pure in their faith, life, and practice. Peter, along with others, provides similar instructions for us. Welcome to the eight step in our Walk Through 1st Peter. If you are just joining us or would like to share previous articles,
The Soundtrack of Life

The Soundtrack of Life

Encouragment
Ever notice how filmmakers use music? Through the soundtrack, they telegraph feelings and provide glimpses into what may be just around the corner. Think of the movie Jaws and how the feeling of foreboding is enhanced by a thumping droning series of notes when the shark is near. Or consider the trumpet flourishes as the heroes celebrate victory in the original Star Wars and Tolkien’s Return of the King. If your life was a movie what soundtrack would be playing right now? Paul wrote to the Colossians, “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” (Colossians 3:16, NASB95) Now, in all fairness, the punctuation for this verse is difficult to t
Let the Word of Christ Richly Dwell Within

Let the Word of Christ Richly Dwell Within

Encouragment
Ever have one of those moments when you read something in the Bible, something you’ve read a thousand times, and it suddenly comes alive? That’s what’s supposed to happen! Check out these words from Paul, “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you”. (Colossians 3:16a, NASB95) It’s not even a full verse, or the “therefore” to an argument; it’s just a simple encouragement. Well, that’s not exactly right, it’s much more than a suggestion or a pithy reminder like, “be sure to brush your teeth”.  Paul wasn’t suggesting that his readers open a door and passively let some fresh air in. His words are packed with meaning and ring with a call to action. Theologians differ on what Paul meant by “the word of Christ”. No surprise there that’s what theologians do - they differ if they didn’t the
Keepsake or DNA

Keepsake or DNA

Encouragment, Faith
I’m sure that, like Betty and I, you have keepsakes around your home.  Trinkets and memorabilia that mean something special to you.  Like my small collection of rocks gathered during family trips. Or the handmade cards from when the kids were younger. Or the hand-me-down keepsakes of generations past. One such keepsake in our home is an old bent handle hickory cane. Pretty much like any old cane except, for one thing, it belonged to my great-great-grandfather Adam Heinold. Adam immigrated to the United States from Germany in the 1870’s and settled near Morton Illinois. And that means practically nothing to most of you, and that’s ok and expected.  The reason Adam’s old hickory stick cane is important to this article is because it helps us to consider something that Jesus taught. In John
The Race: Go!!!

The Race: Go!!!

Series, The Race
The runners are at the line. They have carefully positioned their hands and feet and waited for the starter’s call.  At “set” they have risen from preparedness to readiness; their whole being coiled to spring forward at the next sound.  The starter pulls the trigger, the pistol barks, the runners step, push, and stride forward with all their might. In the two previous sermon articles, we examined 1 Peter 1:13-25 using the metaphor of race and the starter's call of“on your mark” and “get set”.  This article covers the last portion of that passage, verses 22-25. These verses cover the “go” portion. Or to put it another way, the action that all of the preparedness of the previous verses has led up to.   As a reminder, let’s read through the verses that we have covered so far.  “Therefor
A Simple Word

A Simple Word

Encouragment, Faith
My great grandfather, Louis Reeser, had a knack for nicknames.  Not only could he come up with interesting names but they stuck.  It was a trait passed down from his father.  While his own nickname was a plain Lou, his brothers sported names such as Camel, Doc,and Pec.  His children, one of which is my grandma, collected names like Tinse, Cat, Tic, Rap, and Hud.  I never managed to acquire a Reeser nickname, although my brother was often called Daver. One time, when I was a kid, a Sunday School teacher was presenting the story of Esther.  Somewhere along the way she mentioned that I had an aunt named Esther. That was news to me!  When I asked mom about it she laughed and said that the teacher was thinking of Aunt Tinse. Grandpa Reeser’s nicknames stuck like glue. With a simple word the rec