The “Perfect” Debate
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Image © Krieg Barrie from GoodSalt.com

In Christ’s day in Palestine, you could start a heated debate in the church by just saying the word “resurrection.” Today you can accomplish the same thing during fellowship lunch by just casually using the word “perfect.”

Image © Krieg Barrie from GoodSalt.com

In my 47 years of being an Adventist I have observed something ironic. I have met people who have told me, that if I don’t believe that we can live without sinning, that I am not a real [...]

Unforgivable
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http://www.goodsalt.com/details/epcas0321.html?r=ssnet

Does anybody remember the call-in radio show with Dr. Laura? For a while, Laura Schlessinger had a very popular radio advice program where she told people exactly what she thought about their behavior and how they should fix themselves. She often didn’t let the caller get to the actual question before she started telling them how to fix it.

I will never forget the day I heard her tell a caller that she didn’t have to forgive the person who had [...]

Eager to Forgive (Jonah)
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multi-ethnic_people

“Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.” Acts 10:34-35, NIV

As human beings, we can come to understand our relationship to God in terms of familiar bonds. We can see that we are God’s children by virtue of the biblical account of the Creation Story.1 Although God did not bear us in the womb and [...]

And Justice for SOME
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We humans are a funny bunch. We love to talk about fairness and justice and everybody getting what they deserve – just as long as we get to decide just what that means.

Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

Jonah is a prime example. God tells Jonah to go to Nineveh and tell the folks there that if they don’t make some big changes, He’s going to destroy the whole place. Jonah’s response is to hop on a ship going as far [...]

Lord of All Nations (Amos)
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famine

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?” Isaiah 58:6-7 NIV

It is a sad reality that in this world, many [...]

Double-Edged Sword
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http://www.goodsalt.com/details/wjpas0856.html?r=ssnet

My father was a sculptor. His medium of choice was wood. He was also one of the most patient men in the world. Anybody who asked for a lesson would immediately find themselves situated behind a fresh piece of wood, holding a chisel.

Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

The very first thing my father would tell everyone is, “Always cut away from yourself.” And everyone would smile, nod and think to themselves, “Well of course, everybody knows that.”

The lesson [...]

Monday: Justice for the Oppressed
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Image © Rolf Jansson from GoodSalt.com

God’s universal judgment is one of the central teachings found in Amos.

Image © Rolf Jansson from GoodSalt.com

In the beginning of his book, the prophet announces God’s judgment on several of Israel’s neighbors because of their crimes against humanity. Then, however, Amos boldly declares that God also will judge Israel. The anger of the Lord was directed not only at the nations but also at the people He had chosen. The people of Judah had rejected the Word of the [...]

Thursday: The Refuge in Times of Trouble
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Image © Janet Hyun from GoodSalt.com

Biblical prophets compare the coming judgment from God to the roaring of a lion,

Image © Janet Hyun from GoodSalt.com

a sound that makes everyone tremble (Joel 3:16, Amos 1:2, 3:8). In the Bible, Zion designates the location of God’s earthly throne in Jerusalem. From this place God will punish the enemy, but at the same time He will vindicate His people who patiently await His victory. They will share in His triumph when He renews creation.

To some people the Scripture’s portrayals of [...]

How I Know God Is With Me
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My niece Hannah and I, a few years after this story took place.

My niece Hannah and I, a few years after this story took place.

Several years ago I was flying from Fort Worth Texas to go home to Tulsa, Oklahoma, for the Thanksgiving holiday. It was a short flight and I was on a commuter plane. Upon landing, instead of pulling up to the terminal like the big jets, we were let out on the tarmac. I went up the stairs into the terminal and saw my family staring out the [...]

Anticipation
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Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

Do you remember the Charlie Brown Halloween special? Linus, Lucy’s little brother, spends the entire program going on about the Great Pumpkin. He tells everybody he meets about how the Great Pumpkin will appear. He even convinces Charlie Brown’s little sister Sally to wait in the pumpkin patch with him, while all the other kids make fun of him. Throughout the night he repeats his belief of how the Great Pumpkin will appear and [...]