Hood

The word “hood” has come to be identified largely as shorthand for “neighborhood.”  It’s yet another example of African-American culture taking over the American lexicon.  Fair is fair.  If their ancestors had to endure 250 years of oppression on this continent, I can stand being ridiculed for saying “bro” when the everyone else has advanced…

Little things

Parents tend to judge their parenting based on “big things.” By “big things,” I mean major events and accomplishments — getting the child baptized, getting them through college, getting them married well, keeping them off drugs, etc. But it has been my experience that “little things,” daily spiritual maintenance and life guidance, tend very strongly to lead to the “big things.”

Whitewash

Israel is brown.  Really brown.  I haven’t been, but I’ve seen pictures.  And I’ve heard others talk of their experiences.  Paint just gets sandblasted off the buildings, more or less, so most locals don’t really make the effort anymore. That’s what makes the “whitewashed tombs” of Matthew 23:27 remarkable.  They can’t possibly stay white.  Coat…

Re-examining my approach

I have taken it upon myself lately to reexamine my approach to brethren who are wandering, indifferent or erring. It’s all fine and good to say we should have “the spirit of gentleness” (Galatians 6:1). But what does that actually look and sound like? How might I self-diagnose more effectively?

Buggies

Some people always return shopping carts. (I suppose, after almost eight years in the Deep South, I should get used to calling them “buggies.”) Some never return them. And some return them occasionally, depending on circumstances. You probably didn’t need a university study to reach that conclusion. What was revealed in one such study, however, is surprising.

Building on rock

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on…

Blackened

I like blackened fish.  I order it from time to time.  And about 90 percent of the time it comes to me orange.  Not black.  That frustrates me.  “Blackening” refers to a coating of herbs and spices that turn black in a very hot cast-iron skillet.  It’s a Cajun preparation, credited largely to famous chef…

The myth of mandrakes

A mandrake is a flowering plant native to Bible lands.  It bears fruit somewhat like a plum, extremely fragrant.  The root of the female version (and yes, plants often are male and female) forks to resemble the lower half of the human body. Mandrakes have been associated with fertility for centuries.  There is absolutely no…

Wallow

When I feel ill, all I want to do is wallow.  Just sit and groan.  It’s not a cry for attention — usually I’m alone when I make my pathetic whimpers of discomfort.  I’m feeling sorry for myself.  It’s pathetic, but at least it’s private.  As we say in my family, “If you’re going to…

The “essentials” of the gospel

The question of which spiritual matters are more important than others, needless to say, is a complicated matter. We would all agree that some matters that involve our walk with Christ are matters of judgment and others are matters of doctrine. Distinguishing the one from the other is often complicated. A proper treatment of this…