Morning Musing: Mark 10:17

“As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him, ‘Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

I remember when our oldest first hit the “why stage.” He was about three. Conversations with him – as much as you can have a conversation with a three-year-old – became an endless string of questions and answers. One why led to an explanation which led to another why which led to another explanation which led to another why and so on and so forth. So. Many. Questions. When I was feeling good and patient, I would see if I could keep explaining things until he quit asking. Usually I couldn’t. As he’s gotten older, the number of questions have decreased, but the ones he asks now have harder explanations. This is true for all people. We may understand more of how the world works than a three-year-old, but some questions persist. This man asked Jesus one of them.

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Morning Musing: Mark 7:14-15

“Summoning the crowd again, he told them, ‘Listen to me, all of you, and understand: Nothing that goes into a person from outside can defile him but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

What do you get when you squeeze a tube of toothpaste? I recently saw a magician squeeze ketchup and then pour salt out of the same tube of toothpaste. I’m pretty sure he monkeyed with the tube somehow. Normally, when you squeeze a tube of toothpaste out comes a glob of…toothpaste. This isn’t rocket science. Now, here’s the real trick question: Why does toothpaste come out of that tube when you squeeze it? Ready for this: Because that’s what’s in it. I know, I know, this is mind-blowing stuff. So why am I thinking about toothpaste this morning? Because of what Jesus said here. Let’s talk about it.

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Digging in Deeper: Romans 3:9-10

“What then? Are we any better off? Not at all! For we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin, as it is written: ‘There is no one righteous, not even one.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

There is a difference between encouragement and reality. They may point in the same direction, but they are not the same. Given that, which is better? Is it better to offer encouragement that deviates from reality, or to simply drop reality on the table and let it be what it is? I guess the answer to that depends on who’s being asked. Some people would rather wave away reality and find some bright side to their situation even if it isn’t truly real, while other folks just want the unvarnished truth and they’ll figure out how to deal with it later. Why am I thinking about this kind of thing this morning? Because we are entering graduation season. Let’s talk about it.

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The One Thing

This Sunday I focused my attention specifically on the graduates we were honoring.  If you’ve got a graduate in your life, this is a great message to share with them.  Even if you’re not a graduate, though, this is a message you need to hear.  In what follows I offer an answer to the question of how we can be prepared to give a reason for the hope we have in an increasingly non-Christian context.  Thanks for reading.

The One Thing

I don’t know about you, but new things always make me at least a little bit nervous.  I thrive in environments that are stable and consistent.  I can tolerate a little bit of change…a very little bit of change…but it’s got to be within preset limits.  Beyond that, I’m outside my comfort zone.  Perhaps the most nervous I have gotten at various points in my life is when I have started a new job.  I remember starting work at OfficeMax in seminary.  The first week was nice because I got to sit in the back office and take training courses on the computer.  They were functionally meaningless since I didn’t remember any of them once I left the room and in any event I learned everything I needed to know while I was actually doing it, but I did get to spend the whole first week hiding out.  Once I hit the floor, that’s when things got scary. Read the rest…