Political primaries are intended to be a “survival of the fittest” ordeal. If you have the stamina, popular support and financial backing to win state contests and accumulate delegates, presumably you would make a worthy nominee. As far as such things go, it’s probably as good a process as any, and better than most. There…
Mark 5:25-43 tells the story of how Jesus healed the daughter of the leader of the synagogue, a man named Jairus. The people had already pronounced her dead by the time Jesus arrived, but that did not stop the Lord. He told her to rise up, and she did. The text describes the people as being “completely astonished” — a reaction that astonishes none of us. We would be astonished as well.
The healing itself is remarkable on its own, of course. However, I have always found it interesting that Jesus asked specifically that she be given something to eat immediately afterward.
So-called faith healers insist that the faith of the one being healed is essential for the success of the healing. The Bible does not support that assertion. In fact, Luke 9:38-42 indicates that it is the healer’s faith, not the faith of the one healed, that is essential. The disciples did not have sufficient faith to cast out the demon; the faith of the demoniac and/or his father is not discussed.
Thank you for being here today. You had options. There are churches all over, offering all sorts of incentives and enticements. For instance, the Castle Church Brewing Community in Orlando bills itself as “Orlando’s newest destination brewery.” If you are asking yourself, “Is that what it sounds like?”, the answer is yes. They actually brew, sell and drink beer. Not in the actual assembly, mind you — at least, not as far as I can tell. But immediately afterward, and pretty much any other opportunity that affords itself.
I took Tracie to my favorite restaurant on our second date, way back in the day. It was my favorite restaurant for a number of reasons, but high on the list was their carrot cake. I have never been one to order dessert with dinner (I’ve been reluctant ever since I realized they would charge me for it), but for some reason I had had the carrot cake at this particular establishment. And it was wonderful. Moist cake, and plenty of it. Plump, juicy raisins throughout. A delicious cream-cheese icing, but not too much. Perhaps the best dessert I had ever eaten that had not come out of the kitchen of my mother or grandmother.
Dinner went fine. I was funny. I was engaging. The food was delicious. Things were going so well. And then I suggested dessert. “You have to try the carrot cake,” I said.
That’s when she told me she didn’t like carrot cake.
A flock of what appeared to be black-capped chickadees descended on the church property this week. (Forgive me, Mom, if I’m ornithologically incorrect here.) Tiny little things, just hopping all over the place looking for seeds. Peck. Hop. Peck. Hop. Peck.
In heaven you will find holiness; in hell you will find wickedness and impurity (Revelation 22:14-15).
In heaven you will find those who obeyed the gospel; in hell you will find those who did not (2 Thessalonians 1:6-10).
In heaven you will find Jesus (John 14:3); in hell you will find the devil and his agents (2 Peter 2:4).
The word “trending” has gone through an interesting metamorphosis in the social media generation. Used to be, something was “trending up” or “trending down,” depending on whether one was discussing (respectively) butter or margarine, cauliflower or broccoli rabe.
Now things are just “trending.” It is as though the quality of an item or topic is irrelevant; all that matters is that people are talking about it. It’s the new version of “no publicity is bad publicity,” I guess.
I was surprised during my recent “camp out” how many of my fellow preachers wake up to the same alarm. Of course, pretty much everything surprises me at 5 a.m. But we can discuss my love of sleeping another time.
Alton Brown, my favorite foodie, has a real attitude about what he calls “unitaskers” — that is, kitchen implements that serve only one function. Strawberry slicers, rice cookers, countertop rotisseries, basically anything sold on late-night television — scrap them all. The only unitasker you should have in your kitchen, he says, is a fire extinguisher.
It is the exception to the unitasker rule that I would like to address here.