All posts filed under: z11

Was there a sinister plot behind the woman caught in adultery?

Many are familiar with the adulterous woman dragged before Jesus at the temple by the pharisees and scribes (John 8). When the pharisees asked if the woman should be stoned according to the law of Moses (v 5), Jesus replied, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her” (v 7). Then Jesus wrote on the ground. It is not known what He wrote, but some suspect it listed the sins of those in the crowd and it diffused the situation. Then John makes this interesting statement. He says the purpose of this confrontation was so the Pharisees “might have grounds for accusing Him” (v 6). But we are not clear at this point what these accusations involved. Though the account seems straight forward, there may have been another reason for this confrontation and it had little to do with judging the adulterous woman. The real reason for the confrontation That reason involved Jesus’ mother Mary and the suspicion Jesus was illegitimate. If Jesus had commented …

There is something strangely missing in the Old Testament!

A judge from Saudi Arabia, Turki Al Qarni, recently ordered a man’s tooth broken. The problem started when the man’s mother contacted the police saying her son had attacked her, breaking a tooth. The elderly woman who was battered and bruised by the assault received hospital treatment. The unnamed man in his 30s pleaded guilty and the judge ordered his same tooth broken as his mother’s. The judge’s ruling was based on a verse in the Koran that reads “And we ordained therein for them; A life for a life, an eye for an eye, a nose for a nose, an ear for an ear, a tooth for a tooth.” 

The Project of Life: Put down the donut!

Any important project requires an investment of you, and that is why so many great ideas die. What makes us stuck so that our projects die? We all get stuck and there is a small industry explaining our failures. There are books, including a Christian study guide called “Stuck” to explain the inertia problem that kills our projects. They identify negative things that we need to deal with so we can keep moving forward. But the problem is not a problem; it’s positive and good, not negative and bad. Can you find a problem in the list below? Are you a dietician? Mixed Berry Smoothie, Chocolate Danish, Double Berry Muffin, Walnut Crunch Doughnut, Timbit Dutchie, Gingerbread Man Cookies, Ice Cream all flavors, Egg Salad Sandwiches, Blueberry Fritters

Why do I have a wrong perception of God?

A 1994 study reported in the Journal of Scientific Study of Religion revealed children perceive God in much the same way they perceive their parents. The researchers studied 49 children from a middle to upper-middle class Christian Reformed church and 94 children attending a nursery school, a Head Start day care program and two elementary schools. Each of these 143 children were presented with a set of characteristics such as patience, kindness and warmth and asked to rank how much these attributes applied to both their parents and to God.

A small footnote on grace

In my vast experience as a human being, I’ve noticed what appears to be a universal problem.  This humanistic tendency cuts across all economic lines, cultural barriers, age, and societies’ sub-cultures.  Have I piqued your interest? This is the problem: we all try to justify ourselves by comparing our good and bad qualities with others in our peer group. 

Blood moons, a sign of the times?

“I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth, Blood, fire and columns of smoke The sun will be turned to darkness And the moon to blood Before the great and awesome Day of The Lord comes (Joel 2:30, 31 NASV) [by Dean Smith] In the Book of Joel, the prophet, peering into the future about the coming Day of The Lord or end times, saw it would be marked by three unusual events. One of those involves the moon turning to blood, commonly called a blood moon. The others seem to be an eclipse of the sun and an earthly event marked by ‘blood (death), fire and columns of smoke’.

James’ Ossuary, Deer, and Being a Witness to Our Families

These three things may seem like totally unrelated subjects, but let me try to connect them.  Over the last few months I’ve talked to many Christian friends who are deeply grieved over family members, especially adult children who have turned from God and seemingly are on a self-destructive one-way journey out of God’s kingdom. I have seen the deep pain and self-blaming in the lives of good people grieving over kids gone wrong.  Let me start by stating the obvious – you can’t make someone do something that they do not want to do.  God created us with a free will. Our children may have all kinds of reasons or excuses for being mad at mom and dad and God, but the real reason is a heart one.  Arguing with them often results in angry words and a slammed door.  This scenario plays out in too many homes.  So, what is to be done? 

Reported case of demon possession in Gary, Indiana parallels Biblical accounts

The case of demonic possession reported in Gary, Indiana seems like it was a long, lost script from the Exorcist, except in this case the demonic actions were witnessed by secular members of society — police officers, medical staff (including a doctor) and welfare officials. Some of the strange happenings included a child walking up the wall backwards which was seen by a Registered Nurse and a manager for Indiana’s Department of Child Services (DCS). The case involves Latoya Ammons and her three children, a girl 12, and two boys aged 9 and 7 all of whom were reportedly possessed by evil spirits. 

Is an ancient jug for “inferior wine” evidence of King Solomon’s reign?

The remnants of a jug found in July 2013 near the Temple Mount in Jerusalem provides evidence of King Solomon’s kingdom. Excavators discovered two shards of the rim beneath the floor of  an ancient building dated to the 10th century BC. There were seven letters etched on the two pieces. The text was written in an ancient script called Ophel — a 3,000 year old alphabetical text. Professor Gershon Galil of Israel’s University of Haifa believes this is an early form of “southern Hebrew” that used two letters (yods) to spell wine instead of the current one. The first four letters referred to either the 20th or 13th year of Solomon’s reign.