Archive for April 13, 2012
Tags: Egypt, Exodus, God, Israelite, Joseph, Passover, Potiphar, Red Sea
“The sea looked and fled, the Jordan turned back.” – Psalm 114:3
As the Passover meal progresses, we go from recounting the Passover story to expressing our gratitude for the great miracles that God did on behalf of the Nation of Israel. What better text to read from than Psalms of thanksgiving written by King David? In Psalm 114 we read about the Exodus from Egypt. The Psalmist reveals that when the Israelites approached the Red Sea, it “looked and fled.” But what exactly did the sea look at that made it split?
Jewish tradition teaches us that the sea saw the bones of Joseph, the son of Jacob, who had requested that the Israelites take his remains with them when they left Egypt. Something about the bones of Joseph caused the sea to react. What? For the answer, we turn to Joseph’s greatest moment.
Joseph’s greatest achievement was not becoming the second-in-command of Egypt. It wasn’t even his willingness to help out his brothers even though they hadn’t exactly treated him with the same kindness that he would later bestow upon them.
Joseph’s greatest moment came when he refused the advances of the wife of his master. After being sold into slavery in Egypt, Joseph found himself working in the home of Potiphar. Potiphar’s wife took a liking to him and tried daily to ensnare Joseph in sin.
Against his grain and natural desires, Joseph was able to refuse her offers: “…‘How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?’ And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her” (Genesis 39: 9–10). Tradition teaches that when the sea saw the remains of Joseph it said, “If Joseph can go against his nature, I too can go against my own.” And it split.
Friends, are you looking for miracles in your life? Look no further than yourself. Every day is a chance to bring the miraculous into the world. Are you drawn to gossip? Hold your tongue. Do you worry incessantly? Trust in God. Find the areas in which you come up short – and go beyond them. Like Joseph, go against your nature, change yourself, and you may just find that your world changes, too.
Tags: ABC, American Broadcasting Company, AT&T, Chloe, Discover Card, Order of the Bath, Television, Television network
Silly me. All these years, I’ve been under the impression that the “B” in ABC stood for “Broadcasting.” You know, “American Broadcasting Company.” It sounds quite venerable and dignified, doesn’t it? Well, it seems as if ABC has a different “B” word on their minds (and in their shows) lately – and there’s nothing venerable about it. Vulgar would be a more appropriate adjective.
Yes, ABC has added another show to their lineup referencing the word “b—ch” in the title. First, ABC trotted out the show “GCB,” which, as you mostly likely know by now, stands for “Good Christian B–ches.” Now a new sitcom premiered last night on ABC entitled “Don’t Trust the B—- in Apt. 23.”
Express your concern to the advertisers of this show who are empowering the increasing obscenity-filled lewdness on network television.
Click here to send a message to the sponsors of “Don’t Trust the B—- in Apt. 23.”
The Left indignantly accuses conservatives of engaging in a “War on Women.” Yet where is their indignation when one of their own, the liberal entertainment industry, uses the public airwaves to denigrate women?
Yet the offensive content of the show doesn’t stop at the title. In the opening minute of the premiere episode, Chloe, the titled “B” of the show, is engaged in an explicitly vulgar sex act with her new roommate’s fiancé. This is followed by Chloe walking around the apartment completely naked. And, pushing the envelope yet again, the nudity is not just implied or “hidden” by furniture or some other object as is often done on TV these days. Instead, ABC merely pixilated the nudity leaving very little to the imagination.
Other crudities packed into this 30 minute sitcom include an implied group sex scene where Chloe asks June (Chloe’s roommate) to join her and two guys on the couch for a “four-way.” Masturbation is engaged in or discussed multiple times. In one repulsive scene, a neighbor is obviously masturbating as he carries on a conversation with June. Chloe gives alcohol to a 13 year old, getting him drunk, and she also is involved in selling drugs.
It all adds up to what now passes for humor and entertainment.
And while the word “b—ch” may not be explicitly stated in the title, it is certainly used very frequently within the show. Just five years ago that obscenity would have been rarely heard on network television. Now, as we’ve sat back and watched it happen, such language is becoming regular fare.
As one commentator stated: “People are raised mimicking media — TV is the other parent — and kids are growing up without common decency and respect for each other. They’re fed that women are second-class citizens; women are bitches …”
And Erin M. Fuller, president of the Alliance for Women in Media, stated: “Obviously, they’re using it to be polarizing and controversial and attention-getting. Why else would you use that word? I don’t think … that word is a celebration of women.”
Yet, as indicative of how far we’ve fallen, this new show has garnered little criticism, but loads of acclaim for its “edginess” and “humor.”
We need to let our voices be heard! Express your concern to the advertisers of this show who are empowering the increasing obscenity-filled lewdness on network television.
Click here to send a message to the sponsors of “Don’t Trust the B—- in Apt. 23.”
Tags: Canaan, Christ, God, Holy Ghost, Holy Spirit, Jesu, Lord, Satan
Do not lose your joy whatever else you lose. Keep the spirit of spring. “Rejoice evermore,” and “Again I say, rejoice.”
The loss of Canaan began in the spirit of murmurings, “When the people, as it were, murmured, it displeased the Lord.” The first break in their fellowship, the first falter in their advance, came when they began to doubt, and grieve, and fret.
Oh, keep the heart from the perforations of depression, discouragement, distrust and gloom, for Satan cannot crush a rejoicing and praiseful soul.
Look out for the beginning of sin. Don’t let the first touch of evil be harbored. It is the first step that loses all. Oh, to keep so encased in the Holy Ghost and in the very life of Jesus that the evil cannot reach us!
The little fly on the inside of the window-pane may be attacked by the little bird on the outside, and it may seem to him that he is lost, but the crystal pane between keeps him safely from all danger as certainly as if it were a mighty wall of iron.
Tags: Christ, Epistle to Philemon, God, Jesus, Lord, Onesimus, Paul, Philemon
Please get a room ready for me. I hope your prayers will be answered, and I can visit you.
Over the last few reflections on Philemon, we haven’t spent any time thinking about Paul’s methods of persuasion in this letter. At best, we might say that Paul is being a bit playful in this letter to Philemon and his church. The letter is clearly intended to pressure Philemon into doing what Paul wants for Onesimus. If Paul is being playful, there is a real edge to his playfulness. And rightly so, because this is a very serious matter for Onesimus.
Paul begins the letter emphasizing how much he values Philemon, how much he considers Philemon to be a model of Christ’s love for others. He promises that he is not trying to coerce Philemon to do the right thing, but he also states that he knows Philemon will do the right thing. At his most aggressive, Paul reminds Philemon, “Don’t forget that you owe me your life.”
If nothing else, I leave the book of Philemon feeling empowered. Paul puts on the pressure on Philemon to do the right thing. Paul is kind, but he is also direct. Paul is subtle, but his intent is clear.
Paul is also practical. He knows that words are cheap without accountability. It isn’t enough to just send a letter, Paul reminds Philemon that may visit in person. The final verses of the letter echo Christ’s return. Unlike Paul, Christ isn’t imprisoned. Far from it! Christ is already living and working in the world through his people, and he invites us to be his coworkers, filled with his Spirit and living in submission to the Father.
And yet, just as Philemon may have felt removed from Paul, I may sometimes think of my daily routine as somewhat removed from Christ. It’s ironic, isn’t it? The goal of our site is to help people integrate their faith and work. And the Senior Editor often struggles to integrate faith and work. Yet I know that Christ is returning soon. He wants me to get everything ready for him, because he hopes my prayers for his return will be answered soon.
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: Are you surprised by Paul’s methods of persuasion in this letter to Philemon? Who helps hold you accountable as you strive to live with honor at work, at home, and in your community?
PRAYER: Dear God, like Philemon I need someone to hold me accountable. I’m afraid that my faith is often weak. I need someone who is going to visit me in person, eat a meal with me, and help me evaluate where I can honor you more through my life.
I thank you for your grace because I know the things I do can never be enough to restore my relationship with you. Thanks be to God that you sent Jesus to redeem the whole world, even me. Forgive me, Lord, that I sometimes feel very distant from Jesus. I am used to conversations with people I can see and touch and hear.
I desperately want to see you, Lord, and touch you like Thomas did. Help me serve you faithfully in all that I do until the day that you come again. And, Lord, come quickly, okay? Amen.
Tags: Christ, Christianity, Eternal life (Christianity), Evangelism, God, Jesu, Religion and Spirituality, Second Epistle to the Corinthians
In August 2009, Blair and Ronna Martin lost their energetic 9-year-old son Matti when he was dragged to his death by a family cow. I had a chance to meet this Kenai, Alaska, family and share in their grief. And I know how tough this tragedy has been for them.
I also know that they are seeking God’s care and comfort for their pain. An observation made by Matti’s mom is valuable for anyone walking through one of life’s valleys. During one of her down times, Ronna was reading 2 Corinthians 1:9, which says that “we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead.” She felt as if Jesus were telling her, “Ronna, I know the journey has been too much for you, and you are bone-weary. Do not be ashamed of your exhaustion. Instead, see it as an opportunity for Me to take charge of your life.”
When the journey gets too tough to navigate, 2 Corinthians 1:9 is a reminder to us that we don’t travel alone. We have the help of the One who showed us His power in the resurrection, and who will demonstrate His power again when He raises believing loved ones of all generations to eternal life. “My strength and my hope have to be in Christ alone,” Ronna said. That’s a truth we all need as we travel the journey God has for us.
Tags: Christ, Christian, Christianity, God, God in Mormonism, Godhead, Jesu, Religion and Spirituality
There is an art of forgetting, and every Christian should become skilled in it. Forgetting the things which are behind is a positive necessity if we are to become more than mere babes in Christ. If we cannot trust God to have dealt effectually with our past we may as well throw in the sponge now and have it over with. Fifty years of grieving over our sins cannot blot out their guilt. But if God has indeed pardoned and cleansed us, then we should count it done and waste no more time in sterile lamentations. And thank God this sudden obliteration of our familiar past does not leave us with a vacuum. Far from it. Into the empty world vacated by our sins and failures rushes the blessed Spirit of God, bringing with Him everything new. New life, new hope, new enjoyments, new interests, new purposeful toil, and best of all a new and satisfying object toward which to direct our soul’s enraptured gaze. God now fills the recovered garden, and we may without fear walk and commune with Him in the cool of the day. Right here is where the weakness of much current Christianity lies. We have not learned where to lay our emphasis. Particularly we have not understood that we are saved to know God, to enter His wonder-filled Presence through the new and living way and remain in that Presence forever. We are called to an everlasting preoccupation with God. The Triune God with all of His mystery and majesty is ours and we are His, and eternity will not be long enough to experience all that He is of goodness, holiness and truth. In heaven they rest not day or night in their ecstatic worship of the Godhead. We profess to be headed for that place; shall we not begin now to worship on earth as we shall do in heaven?