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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 [...]
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.
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While that sounds like a really great idea, in actual practice what has happened is that people who [...]
“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? [...]
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.
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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 [...]
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.
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“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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
This is me preaching when I was about 5 years old, from a pulpit my father built me, when I told him I was going to be a preacher.
While many people ask why God does not show them His will for their lives I have come to a simple conclusion. He does not need to.
He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, [...]
“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 [...]
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.
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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 [...]
Al Lang Field is one of the old spring training fields in St. Petersburg Florida. It is one of the places where Babe Dahlgren probably played.
Babe Dahlgren was enjoying the off season after winning the 1939 World Series with the New York Yankees baseball club. Back home in San Francisco he decided to meet with a local batting instructor for the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League to get some friendly tips. When he re-joined the Yankees [...]
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“I hate, I despise your feast days, and I do not savor your sacred assemblies. Though you offer Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them, Nor will I regard your fattened peace offerings. Take away from Me the noise of your songs, for I will not hear the melody of your stringed instruments.” Amos 5:21-23
Prophets have a hard job. God tells them what to say, and then they have [...]
“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 [...]
As this week’s lesson talks about acts of inhumanity being sins against God, I would like to write about acts of humanity.
Taking a walk in Texas, I came across a beautiful patch of Texas Blue Bonnet flowers and Indian Paint Brushes. Among the flowers I saw some litter. I thought to myself, as ugly as sin has made this world, God still has His beautiful flowers for all to enjoy among the litter.
Not long after the New York World Trade [...]
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.
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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 [...]