The Prodigal Son Is In Good and Regular Standing
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Prodigal

Whenever the subject of the prodigal son comes up, we picture a young person who has lost his way. We use this story, and rightly so, to show the dangers of a life of aimless, godless living. For many mothers and fathers this story gives hope to the day that their own “prodigal” child returns home. If it could happen for the young man in this biblical account, surely it could happen for us. Amen, somebody.

While all of the above [...]

A World Without Sacrifice?
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Jim and his wife Plessie, who knew you can't have paradise without sacrifice.

Has modern technology removed the need for sacrifice? Now everyone can have their own way. When I was growing up back in the  20th century, my family had one black and white TV. On Monday nights, at our house we had to make compromises.

Jim and his wife Plessie, who knew you can’t have paradise without sacrifice.

My dad and me missed the first hour of Monday Night Football so that my mom and sister could watch Little House on the [...]

A New Commandment That Was There All Along
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Image © Stan Myers from GoodSalt.com

Image © Stan Myers from GoodSalt.com

There is a trick question I love to ask people. What was the tallest mountain in the world before Mount Everest was discovered? I get all kinds of answers, like “Mount McKinley “and so forth, but you know what the answer is? Mount Everest!

Mount Everest was the tallest mountain in the world (Now I know a lot of geography buffs are going to tell me there are even taller mountains in the depths of [...]

Repairing the Potholes
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potholes2

We’ve had a tremendous amount of rain this year, with five inches just last Friday.  When I was driving in the pouring rain with the grandchildren, I told them we needed a boat, as every now and then, the water splashed up 20 feet or so on either side of the van. When the sun came out the next day, we saw washed-out driveways and big pot holes where the rain had washed away parts of roads. It [...]

Legalism vs. Temperance
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http://www.goodsalt.com/details/jtbps2020.html?r=ssnet

I have found that there are some important topics that nobody wants to talk about. I went to all my regular websites and found an entire category suspiciously missing. It goes by several names – temperance, moderation, abstinence, self-control, balance …

Part of my problem, I think, is that a couple of those terms have taken on very specific meanings even though they can be applied in lots of different situations.

Temperance, for example, has come to be used almost exclusively in relation [...]

Acts of Humanity
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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 [...]

Try a Little Love and Tenderness
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grandmahug

This week’s Sabbath School lesson is about Hosea and the relentless love of God. For me, one of the key verses is Hosea 2:14,

But then I will win her back once again.
I will lead her into the desert
and speak tenderly to her there.

I am so thankful for parents who understand this. I wish all parents understood this is the way to win their children’s loyalty to God and to themselves.

Several years ago I was preaching for Father’s Day, and I had a few people, [...]

Easter? Pascha? What Is It?
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The Resurrected Christ

Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

“The day of resurrection –”

John Wesley sang,

“Earth, tell it out abroad!
The passover of gladness,
The passover of God!”

But that brings us no closer. What does that mean?

The answer lies far, far away. Go back in time. Back a hundred generations, to the margin of the Roman Empire, in a little province called Palestine, where a small band of people have just gone straight to hell.

Over the past few years, they had learned something wonderful. They [...]

Fear. God. Love.
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Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

Test your knowledge. Put your hand over the screen and guess the three most common mental disorders in the US.

Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

They are, in order, with lifetime prevalence rates: Anxiety disorders (about 18%), mood disorders (about 10%), and ADHD (about 5%).

It might come as a surprise that anxiety rates higher than depression. Actually, anxiety diagnoses multiply like rabbits in the Diagnostic Manual put out by the American Psychiatric Association. Here are the primary ones: acute stress [...]

A Love Story
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Mike-and-Jen2-300x200

It must have been fall when she first heard him sing, because she remembers how his tenor soared among the fiery maple leaves one hundred feet above ground as she sat by her window. It made her breath come in gasps, as if she was doing the singing. She saw him from a distance many times, but they conversed only shyly in small bites, like sparrows pecking at morsels of maybe. Then came the moment he told her he had [...]