Shepherds and Academics
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GoodSalt.com-dmtas0009

Shepherds and academics do not appear to have a lot in common, but I grew up on a small sheep farm and later became an academic. Both jobs can be quite lonely at times. I can remember as quite a young lad having to go around our  small flock of about 200 sheep in the evening, checking that they were OK. In stormy weather in the lambing season I would ensure that lambs were with their mothers, and not wandering […]

When Should Someone Ask to be Anointed?
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Several years ago, a family form Central America, brought their toddler to Tampa, Florida for medical treatment, because she was not developing and was having seizures. The doctors did not have much to offer. After one of my Wednesday morning community Bible studies at the church, we had an anointing service for the baby. Months later when the family returned to the area, they told me their little girl never had another seizure after the anointing service. The Holy Spirit […]

When Job Prayed For His Friends
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For examples of patience in suffering, dear brothers and sisters, look at the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. We give great honor to those who endure under suffering. For instance, you know about Job, a man of great endurance. You can see how the Lord was kind to him at the end, for the Lord is full of tenderness and mercy. James 5:10-11 NLT

You know how you can read the same Bible story a hundred times, […]

Rich or Blind – a Perspective on Giving.
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Human rights activist Tara Teng

We should extend the ideas of James 5:2-3 beyond the mere accumulation of money and look at our penchant for gaining social position, and maintaining control. My daughter sent me this article to shake me out of my complacency: “Volunteerism: More Harm Than Good,” by Heather Ruiz. It is worth reading because the issues she talks about may be of more concern to us than monetary wealth.

Human rights activist Tara Teng

Heather Ruiz’s article reminded me that sharing wealth often has another […]

I Am the Rich Person James Is Talking To!
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Image © Krieg Barrie from GoodSalt.com

Look here, you rich people: Weep and groan with anguish because of all the terrible troubles ahead of you. Your wealth is rotting away, and your fine clothes are moth-eaten rags. Your gold and silver are corroded. The very wealth you were counting on will eat away your flesh like fire. This corroded treasure you have hoarded will testify against you on the day of judgment. For listen! Hear the cries of the field workers whom you have cheated of […]

God Knows My Heart, But Is That Really Good News?
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GoodSalt.com-kibas0310

While I love being with friends, it does not bother me to be alone. Being alone does not make me lonely. Being misunderstood makes me lonely.

In a youth group I asked the young people what specific things do others not understand about you that you wish they did. An ordinarily quiet group suddenly became very vocal. Everyone wants to be understood. Well not all the time. Sure, when our motives are pure we wish people could understand us, but not so much when […]

Faith or Works?
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After getting this far into the book of James, chances are you might be a bit confused. After all, James seems to contradict nearly everything Paul says in the book of Romans. He consistently talks about “works” whereas Paul was the “champion of grace.” However, how can the Bible contradict itself on such a major theological topic? For example, Paul writes in Romans 3:28 that “a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.” However, James […]

Can the Dead Talk to Us?
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GoodSalt.com-lwjas0024

A Bible student excitedly told me about a movie he saw where someone died and went to heaven where he saw his dead loved ones. When I reminded him about the state of the dead, he told me, “Well maybe they did not actually die. Maybe it was a dream.” He was quite emotional about the movie and told me it had strengthened his faith in God.

What could be wrong with that?

Well, it raises the issue of whether we regard movies as […]

Showers of Blessing
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Image © Krieg Barrie from GoodSalt.com

Bring the full tithe into the storehouse,
that there may be food in my house.
And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts,
if I will not open the windows of heaven for you
and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. Malachi 3:10 ESV

Image © Krieg Barrie from GoodSalt.com

I was four-going-on-five when my father died. My oldest sister was married, two others were college age and the one closest to me was 12. Mother […]

Why Didn’t He Say Anything?
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Several years ago one of my superiors made a false accusation against me at church. I asked a couple of friends how I should refute what was said. One friend answered wisely, “Don’t defend yourself against the accusation. Doing so will only give the accusation merit.” My friend was right. Sadly, the leader who made the accusation left the Adventist Church shortly after. As I continued my ministry I realized everyone forgot what he said. It may sound cliche, but some […]