Proverbs 21:12-13 [NET] The Righteous One considers the house of the wicked; he overthrows the wicked to their ruin. The one who shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and will not be answered. It runs counter, I think, to our stereotypical understanding of the book of Proverbs … Continue reading Bible Note #23: Blessing without Regard to Deserving & the Gracious Heart of God
"To live happily the evils of false ambition and self-love must be plucked from our hearts by the roots." John Calvin, The Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1952/2005, page 33.
"Ministry is fertile ground for failure, and failure is fertile ground for ministry." J. R. Briggs, Fail: Finding Hope and Grace in the Midst of Ministry Failure. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2014, p. 22
Opportunities to represent my congregation in ministry in our community present themselves to me from time to time. For example, along with the pastor of the local Christian and Missionary Alliance Church and I will be involved in the opening ceremonies for the local township fall festival later this month. Although I was out of … Continue reading Pastor Note #77: Funerals and the Growing Number of Non-believing Neighbors
Facing the Evil The year 1944. The place, Nazi-occupied Poland. The narrator, Dr. Viktor Frankl, an Jewish psychiatrist from Austria. Fifteen hundred people had been traveling by train for several days and nights: there were eighty people in each coach. All had to lie on top of their luggage, the few remnants of their personal … Continue reading Bible Note #22: Facing the Evil
"If you asked twenty good men today what they thought the highest of the virtues, nineteen of them would reply, Unselfishness. But if you any of the great Christians of old, he would have replied, Love. You see what has happened? A negative term has been substituted for a positive, and this is of more … Continue reading Quote of Note #20: Love
"If anyone . . . appears before you who is in need of your kind services, you have no reason to refuse him your help. Suppose he is a stranger; yet the Lord has pressed his own stamp on him and made him as one of your family, and he forbids you to despise your … Continue reading Quote of Note #19: Gracious Help to those in Need
“Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.” Proverbs 14:31 [NIV] We have here an antithetical parallelism. The two halves of the couplet contrast with each other, and in that way the writer shows us one key truth by showing us both sides of the … Continue reading Bible Note #21: Proverbs 14:31–The Heart of God and the Poor
"The Bible's standard for speech is incredibly high. Every word that comes across a Christian's lips must be infused with grace in order to build up the people who hear. There are no vacations or even coffee breaks permitted in order to unleash harsh, critical, unkind, or harmful speech--a believer's mouth must always be on … Continue reading Quotes of Note #18: Christian Speech
"Joy and resentment cannot coexist." Henri Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming. New York:Image/Doubleday, 1992, page 73.