Visions of Hope (Zechariah)
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“This is what the Lord Almighty said: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.’” Zechariah 7:9-10, NIV 

An oft-recurring theme with the Minor Prophets and echoed again with Zechariah is the plight of the oppressed. Strangely, it is not the foreigners that Zechariah is accusing of this crime. It is God’s chosen people, the Jews. Today’s parallel might [...]

The Vision of Hope for Laodicea
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Daytona Beach sunrise.

Daytona Beach sunrise.

In the late fall of 2006 I bought a brand new car. A few days later, or nights actually, I lay in my bed wide awake. I glanced at the clock as it read 4 AM. Then the idea hit me. If I jump in my brand-new car right now, I can travel across Florida to the east coast in time to watch the sun rise. I had seen several sunsets on the west coast where I [...]

Wax On – Wax Off
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Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

If you don’t understand this cultural reference, it’s from the movie, The Karate Kid. The main character in the movie is a teenage boy, Daniel who has just moved to town and is getting bullied. In order to stop it, he wants to learn karate. He meets up with the manager of his apartment building, Mr. Miyage, who agrees to teach him. One requirement of this agreement is that Daniel must obey Mr. Miyage’s [...]

Punishment of the Wicked In Light of The Cross
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Image © Justinen Creative from GoodSalt.com

Image © Justinen Creative from GoodSalt.com

To me, the biggest lie out of the Dark Ages is not that Sabbath was changed to Sunday, or that when you die you go straight to heaven. To me, no lie distorts the character of my loving heavenly father like the lie that sinners will be tormented throughout the endless ages of eternity. Fact is:

It is no arbitrary decree on the part of God that excludes the wicked from heaven; they are shut [...]

Call off the Search … Significance Found
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Many of us, especially in “First World” societies, devote a considerable amount of time, money, and energy to discover and maintain some reason to be on this planet. In fact, a few years ago, California state legislator, John Vasconcellos, put together a task force to promote self-esteem (a feeling of significance) for the school children of California.

Image © Providence Collection from GoodSalt.com

While that sounds like a really great idea, in actual practice what has happened is that people who [...]

First Things First! (Haggai)
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Ruins

“Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?” Haggai 1:4, NIV

Very old ruins have held a romantic fascination for me. When I walk beside the ruined walls, I wonder what stories could they tell of lives lived long ago. What hopes and dreams did the people who built them have? What tragedies might they have witnessed? Were the lives of those ancient folk mundane with routine and boredom? [...]

Giants, Grasshoppers and Reality
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Image © Rolf Jansson from GoodSalt.com

Reality is 90% perception, or so they say. I don’t know who comes up with these statistics, but it makes a lot of sense to me.

Image © Rolf Jansson from GoodSalt.com

When I was in sales, I led my district one year, but also went through a three-week drought with no sales at all. So what was my reality? Was I a good salesman who had a bad drought, or was I a bad salesman who just happened to get [...]

Going Home
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Probably all of us can remember a time when we were homesick. Can you remember coming home after being away for more than just a weekend? You just can’t get there fast enough, right? I’ve even read that animals can sense when they are going home.

Image © John Baker from GoodSalt.com

“Shepherds say that sheep that have spent the summer in the high country and are on their way back to the shepherd’s fold anticipate their homecoming. Even though they [...]

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.”

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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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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 [...]