Discipling or Cloning?
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Oct. 4 006

While living in Texas I was taking a Texas history class at a community college. In writing a paper for class, I mentioned a political figure who was assassinated. I contrasted the pomp and circumstance of his funeral with the plain funeral of the man who killed him and was killed shortly after. I pointed out in my paper that, humanly speaking, the political figure was not any more of a saint than the man who killed him, yet he [...]

Crime and Punishment
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Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

When a crime is not punished quickly, people feel it is safe to do wrong. Ecclesiastes 8:11 NLT

Several years ago I was studying with a family, while the wife’s father had a stroke and was in the hospital. I went to see him and arrived literally moments after he had passed away. The family asked me to join them in the family room as they met with doctors. A son said he probably would not have died if they would [...]

Porcupines In Church
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http://www.goodsalt.com/details/stdas0489.html?r=ssnet

What? You say you’ve never met a porcupine? I’ll bet you have. In fact, you may be one yourself. I’m pretty sure I am.

“The German philosopher Schopenhauer compared the human race to a bunch of porcupines huddling together on a cold winter’s night. He said, ‘The colder it gets outside, the more we huddle together for warmth; but the closer we get to one another, the more we hurt one another with our sharp quills. And in the lonely night [...]

Videos: Exhortations From the Sanctuary
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HopeSSDec28

Martin Pröbstle has another brief introduction to this week’s lesson on Vimeo and on Youtube. You can review previous lessons at Sanctuary Lessons on Vimeo or on The Youtube Bogichannel (also in German).

And you can watch the full hour-long, inter-active study of the lesson for the week by the Hope Sabbath School class led by Pastor Derek Morris on the HopeTV site. (Adobe Flash Player version.) Or you can download it as a MP4 file to watch later.You can download lesson [...]

Immanuel – God With Us
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angelchoir

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:  “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” Luke 2:13-14 NKJV

What a wonderful message from heaven to fallen man! The angels did not come and say, “God is over in Bethlehem, and you better get over there, and see if you can get things straightened out between you!” No! God is at peace with man if man will just,

“…take hold of [...]

The First Advent Is Good News
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angelchoir

During this time of year much of the world turns its attention to the Bible account of the first Advent of Christ. You can read about it in Matthew 1-2 and Luke 1-2. Just as the angels of heaven brought “good news” to the shepherds, this is a good time for us to share the good news of Jesus with our friends and neighbors.

Jesus saw in every soul one to whom must be given the call to His kingdom. He reached the [...]

Battleground
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Bryce Pine tree photo by Maurice Ashton

Have you thought about the story of Job lately? Some people don’t like his story because it reminds them that following God doesn’t always make sense.

Bryce Pine tree photo by Maurice Ashton

Sometimes following God (being a Christian) finds us experiencing excruciating physical and/or mental distress, for which there is no logical explanation – surrounded by family and friends who say exactly the wrong things.

Here’s the thing, we want the “happily ever after” part of the story without having to [...]

None to Welcome Him
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nativity-st-pete

Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking,  “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.” King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was everyone in Jerusalem.  He called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law and asked, “Where is the Messiah supposed to [...]

Cleansing of the Sanctuary Message in Christmas Carols
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http://www.goodsalt.com/details/lwjas0042.html?r=ssnet

Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

God rest ye merry, gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember, Christ, our Saviour
Was born upon this day*
To save us all from Satan’s power
When we were gone astray
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy-Published by William B. Sandys in 1833. Author unknown.

There is some good theology in these older Christmas carols as well as some of the new.

The writer of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” knew the power of the gospel when he [...]

A Detour
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GoodSalt.com-pppas0119

At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire.  (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.)  All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census.  And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee.  He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who [...]