41 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 7-12-16

  1. I am sure all of you know my hurts habits and hangup from attending a legalistic Christian school. One of the local mega churches with multiple campuses is advertising the School of Kingdom Expansion. What does that name make you feel? The w o rd kingdom does something to me

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  2. Good morning! That is a greeting for the peeps, but not for an angry or grumpy bird with a mean eye and long sharp beak. I’d be careful around that one. I bet even coyotes stay clear of him. He has mastered the Trump glare.

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  3. Kim, I know your question is serious, but it makes me think of the invasion of Jehovah Witnesses as they walk our streets and invite people to Kingdom Hall.

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  4. Good morning Kim & Janice.
    It’s just me and the dog up so far….pretty quiet around here…

    Kim: not having shared your experiences, the name doesn’t really trigger anything for me.

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  5. That sure is a skinny bird.
    The phrase “Kingdom Expansion” doesn’t mean anything to me.
    I would have to see what it’s about.

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  6. Do I have a blind spot about being too silly sometimes? I am sorry if I try to be funny when I shouldn’t.

    Kim, we pray for God’s “kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven.” So I guess I think along those lines and know that God is more active in rooting out evil in some areas of the world. If they are using the Kingdom Expansion as anything other than following God’s lead then it would be a legalistic effort and not based on God’s love. It would be something to pray about and ask God for discernment regarding any involvement. If the effort is not of Him then it will fail, but if He leads the effort in His will then it can not fail.

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  7. Our daughter came in last night with the RSVP card from her uncle Fred, and she actually accused her dad of writing it. Can you imagine that? When he didn’t give her a straight answer (he denied actions he didn’t do, like “I didn’t mail it”), she then went and asked her sister. I almost laughed out loud when her sister came into the kitchen later and my hubby asked her, “So did you send the RSVP card?” She’s not sure whether the culprit is her father or one of her uncles on her mom’s side (who also know about the family joke). She’s trying to figure out how anybody got hold of an extra RSVP card, and her sister was helpfully trying to help her think through who on her mom’s side has not sent back their RSVP.

    No one considered who on their stepmother’s side might not have sent back his RSVP card. (I did ask later, so as not to have it be part of the same conversation, which of my siblings has RSVPd, and only my sister has, so I said I’d contact my brothers. Now, if I were my daughter, my sister would be the most likely culprit, both because she and I are close and because we just saw her when we were in Alabama. So clearly it must not have been me.)

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  8. Kim, although ATI didn’t use the specific term Kingdom Expansion, I know exactly what you are talking about. In ATI, the apprenticeship student – the high school age students – were told they were the best of the best, and that our standards and Biblical education would change the world. We were regaled with stories of our ATI peers who at the requests of local and state government leaders, would teach Character First in the public schools, and how such instruction was going to restore the world. I remember my mother expressing concern that the gospel was not being taught as well – the Character First material was deliberately stripped of all Biblical references, which was just as well, considering the way ATI mangled the scriptures in the Character Sketches. Baton Rouge was one of those cities – I was reminded of that when I saw it in the news.

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  9. Speaking of the word Kingdom. . .I was recently reading some on the controversy that has been around for a while about Paul’s writings vs. the words of Jesus. One point was that Jesus’ focus was on the Kingdom of God, & Paul’s was on justification by faith. My view has been that Jesus gave the basic tenets of having faith in Him, & He used Paul to sort of expand on those teachings.

    Does anyone know of any good articles, or websites that would probably have a good article, on that controversy? Although I have a sense of what I believe about it, I would like to expand my own understanding of how Paul’s teachings & Jesus’ teachings really do mesh together.

    I tried googling, but the articles that came up on the first page were unsatisfactory to me. They either promulgated the controversy, or were not particularly convincing in defending Paul. I know there has to be something more convincing out there. (Again, it is not that I doubt that Paul’s writings were inspired by the Holy Spirit, but only that I want to expand my understanding.)

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  10. I’m up (technically) before dawn on Day 2 of the roof replacement. I feel like that bird looks.

    It will all be worth it when this and a couple other things are done, but, ay-yai-yai, the commotion. They’ve also begun replacing the wood railings on the front porch which were shot. So they’re roofers-plus, which is good.

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  11. Karen. I don’t understand the problem. I read it again and still don’t understand the problem.
    Paul preached justification by faith.
    If anyone thinks Jesus didn’t preach justification by faith, he hasn’t read the third chapter of John.

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  12. Karen, I’ve come across that before. Chas, it is a way of discrediting Christianity by trying to separate the teachings of Christ from the rest of the New Testament. Some people argue that Christianity as it stands is an invention of Paul and that Christ never intended his followers to act the way Paul told them to act. They use Paul’s former lifestyle as an aggressive persecutor to say that he may have changed his religion but not his character. It is a convenient way of getting rid of what even Peter called in Paul’s writing “things hard to be understood.” I remember reading a classic history of Europe, written in the 1930s, which argued that Paul, not Christ, was responsible for the rise of Christianity as it is. There was a new book published when I was in nursing school which resurrected the argument. There is nothing new under the sun.

    Karen, the entire gospel of John is about salvation by faith in Christ. Just one example:

    Jesus answered them, “Do not grumble among yourselves. No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me— not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.(John 6:43-47)

    The other gospels also clearly teach that faith is necessary for salvation. In Matthew 13, after a long account of parables of the kingdom (which is comes by hearing the gospel and having faith), it says that Jesus could not do many miracles in Galilee because of their unbelief. The opposite of unbelief is faith. There is the reproach that Christ uses several times to his disciples “O you of little faith” and the statement that if they had the faith the size of a mustard seed, they could move mountains. As for Paul’s authority, the account of Acts also shows that the apostles who had walked with Jesus approved Paul’s ministry. Paul’s own writings claim apostolic authority, and although people might try to say that Paul is praising himself, the fact that Peter reinforces Paul’s authority shows that the Apostolic church was fully behind Paul. Peter had personal reasons that could have motivated him to try to discredit Paul (the Galatians 2:11-14 account of Paul laying into Peter for his legalistic behavior) and yet Peter rather places Paul’s epistles on the same level as the Old Testament scripture in that passage I referenced above:

    And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. (II Peter 3:15-17)

    The above quote is also one in the eye for those who try to say that the New Testament canon wasn’t set until the 300s A.D.

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  13. Yes, it’s a juvenile heron. Still losing it’s fuzzy down. It may look big, but it was only about 15-18 inches high, with his neck stretched out. The pic makes it appear larger than it was.

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  14. They are called “red letter” Christians these days, I believe. 🙂

    Large parts of Scripture can then be quickly and easily discounted (if Jesus didn’t “say it” literally in so many words). It provides all the wiggle room one needs on a host of cultural issues that have played out in the ever-shrinking mainline Protestant churches.

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  15. Paul has long been suspect among many in that crowd. 🙂 He’s seen as complicating (at best) and corrupting (at worst) what was the pure and simple message of Jesus himself.

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  16. The roofers have arrived and Annie has vanished somewhere in the house. 🙂 Keeps her safe from the coyotes.

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  17. There is all that Roscuro points out and then there are those who also teach that there are two gospels. That is: The kingdom gospel that Jesus and Peter taught to Jews and then the teachings of Paul to the Gentiles. I imagine there are even more variations.

    The devil has no problem bringing confusion within the church.

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  18. Didn’t some of the more “modern” trends in this area actually begin as churches in the west jettisoned the ancient and historic creeds — with some actually adopting a “No creed but Christ” type of statement of faith? It may have sounded orthodox but left the way wide open for doctrinal errors to abound.

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  19. “The eighteenth century witnessed the rise of groups who, frustrated with denominations and confessions, advocated a “No Creed But Christ” approach in the hopes that this would lead to unity. This view continues to hold sway among many today, but far from fostering unity, it has instead led to even more division and strife. In this lecture, Dr. Mark Dever will discuss the nature of confessions and the way in which they promote peace, purity, and unity in the church.”

    http://www.ligonier.org/learn/conferences/peace-purity-unity-church-2010-pastors/no-creed-but-christ/

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  20. Yes, Roscuro, that is the controversy I was referring to.

    I had also thought about the words of Peter, & that some of Paul’s emphases are found in other NT books.

    The reason I would like to read something more in-depth is that I often think of questions my girls may someday have, when they have come to faith, or others who are genuinely questioning (IOW, not only trying to stir up argument).

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  21. Aww, just got a phone call from the JC VP thanking Dr. Ule for joining the staff.

    He, of course, is house sitting . . .

    Had an abysmal day yesterday with everything related to computers. At one point I asked my husband to hold my hands and squeeze, hoping it would transfer some greater power to me.

    That didn’t work.

    He watched amazed as he fixed my laptop, handed it to me, and the Excel spread sheet disappeared as soon as my hands touched the machine.

    “How did you even DO that?”

    It’s a mystery.

    Two minutes later I couldn’t close a website.

    “How DID you lose the little x-box to close it?”

    If I knew the answers to these problems my life wouldn’t be such a nightmare.

    Can hardly wait to start up again today, sigh.

    It’s hot here. I’m fried.

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  22. Mumsee’s answer reminded me of the cartoon I saw. A young woman was punching a picture with her finger.
    When you punch a picture or word, something is supposed to happen.

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  23. Donna, one scary thing about some of those red-letter Christians is that they disregard whatever they want in other parts of Scripture (e.g., homosexuality being wrong, and abortion being wrong because it’s murder), and then freely ADD whatever they want (extreme environmentalism, for example). Drives me nuts!

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  24. And speaking of coyotes, the last online discussion spiraled downward quickly, throwing out charges of Manifest Destiny

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  25. Michelle,

    Mine has done that on occaission because I hit something that causes it to do some variation of a full-screen. When it happens I lose my X to close and the minus and screen size choice. Hitting Esc usually works to bring it back to normal. I can’t say whether it’s the website or some key I hit by accident.

    As for the Excel spread sheet, no clue. But I’ll ask Cheryl when she gets home, ‘cuz she’s a spread sheet genius.

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  26. DCF will be making a visit tomorrow. When I heard they would be investigating R, I figured they’d have to talk to 1st Daughter, too.

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  27. Michelle, Perhaps you have too much electricity or magnetism in your system. I have known people who could not wear watches because they all stopped. The plus side is that when they went to the casino they always won the slot machines because of the same thing. Don’t you have some Indian casinos nearby? Go try your luck. Don’t take more than $20 in case I am wrong…after all, I am your friend who believes the surest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket.

    KAREN, Will the Tooth Fairy be paying a visit to your house?

    Kim is exhausted and will probably fade early tonight or perhaps this afternoon. We were away at 4:45 and in P’goula at 7. He wasn’t in recovery until 12 and we came home, I went to the pharmacy and the grocery store, then checked in with all of you. I didn’t sleep well last night. I kept having dreams that woke me up. In one I tripped over the president of our company and in falling woke myself.

    I am pleasantly surprised, I really like the keyboard on my new computer.

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  28. Chas, if a prophet arises which says he only speaks the truth about Christ, all true Christians should be running in the opposite direction. A prophet that claims to speak with more authority than any pastor of the church is a false prophet. Besides, Christ said he would build his church, and he also said that the Holy Spirit would guide his followers into all truth. The many false teachings in the world do not surprise me in the least, as John said of the heretics, the Gnostics and the Nicolatianes, of his day, “They went out from us because they were not of us. If they had been of us, they would have continued with us” (I John 2:19). If the apostles could not prevent false teachers from arising, why should we be any different?

    I shiver when I hear calls for a strong new spiritual leader today. It brings two memories to mind. The first is the Mormon missionary who stopped me on the street corner when I lived in the city. “Do you believe that God can give us a prophet for our time?” he asked. The other is something I saw in my very young childhood and still see occasionally. Along a provincial highway where the roadway is up above the surrounding land, there is a house with light up block letters clearly visible to the passersby. The message of the letters says “Jesus is alive” (the next door neighbour must have gotten irritated, because they put a sign on their roof saying “So is Elvis”). What a good Christian message, one might think. It isn’t. The man who put those words up thinks that he is Jesus, and has spent much of his life trying to persuade others to think the same thing. He isn’t mentally ill. He is mad with pride. Any man who comes forward and claims to have all the answers to questions about the Bible would also be maddened by pride. Those who trust Christ have the Holy Spirit, and that is enough.

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  29. Oh my. I have two Facebook friends whom I respect having a contentious debate on one of my posts. They are both very intelligent, & knowledgeable in the subject they are debating, & they are both Christian men. The one I only “know” online can be quite terse & even rude at times (he may have Asperger’s, but I’m not sure), & the other, whom I know in real life, can come across as a bit terse, too, sometimes.

    Praying they will both remember that they are indeed Christian men, & show a little more grace. (I did comment to the one I only know online that one of his comments was a bit harsh. Oh man, I hope he doesn’t get mad at me now!)

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