Have you noticed how strongly Jesus ties our forgiveness of others to God's forgiveness of us? (If not, this lesson should help you.)
I now live at a children's home in Kentucky, helping care for babies and toddlers of women who are in prison or drug rehab. It keeps me busy! That said, I'll try to dust off this blog and get it active again, if I can.
As for books, I've started work on a new Richard Hugh book (MI5 1/2 series), and a new Smolder book, centered on the Reuben character from The Unexpecteds, a few years older than when that book ended. It's early days on both books - neither has a full rough draft yet. And did I mention that caring for babies and toddlers and helping with housekeeping and meals, etc., keeps me busy?
Here is what happens if you believe on what Jesus did, rather than on Him as a Person. You end up separating His offices and worshipping a 1/3 Jesus. Jesus was the Messiah, the Anointed One of God. That anointing made Him to be Prophet, Priest, and King.
And if you think you can get around that by quoting Ephesians 2:8-9 (For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.), please go read the article, which looks at the meanings of grace, saved, faith, and works, as found in the Bible.
Again and again over the last several years, I've heard of people finding out that many of the 'orphans' in orphanages or up for adoption aren't really orphans. Watch this video to see what the Heaven's Family ministry is doing to reunite children with their families, and to prevent other children from being sent away in the first place.
The link goes to a sermon from July 23, 2012, aimed at the household of faith. On the same website are links for more sermons from Blessed Hope Christian Fellowship, plus links to the websites of Charity Christian Fellowship, Ephrata Ministries, and Berne Christian Fellowship, where you can find more sermons and other resources for people serious about following Jesus. I couldn't get their Berne Christian Fellowship link to work this morning, so here's a link to their main page.
The Duty of Charity to the Poor, Explained and Enforced, by Jonathan Edwards, from January 1732, presents a balanced view of the topic. And if you think you've got an excuse, my guess is that he'd already heard it, and has an answer for you.
Desiring God briefly outlines the life of Menno Simons (1496-1561), for whom the Mennonites were named.
J. Warner Wallace notes that the early church was active, and powerful.
Lyrics: Break Thou the bread of life, dear Lord, to me, as Thou didst break the loaves beside the sea. Within the sacred page, I seek Thee Lord. My spirit pants for Thee, O living Word. Bless Thou the truth, dear Lord, to me, to me, as Thou didst bless the bread by Galilee. Then shall all bondage cease, all fetters fall, and I shall find my peace, my all in all. Thou art the bread of life, O Lord, to me. Thy holy Word the truth that saveth me. Give me to eat and live with Thee above. Teach me to love Thy truth, for Thou art love.
In the 'nothing new under the sun' category, much of what we're seeing today among the utilitarian, and pro-choice, and 'it's better to be childless,' crowds is pretty much what was kicking around when Christianity came on the scene.
From Under the Influence: How Christianity Transformed Civilization by Dr. Alvin Schmidt:
When in Rome, do as the Romans do." So goes an old saying. But when the early Christians arrived in Rome from Jerusalem and parts of Asia Minor, they did not do as the pagan Romans did. They defied the entire system of Rome's morality. The low view of human life among the Romans was one of their pagan depravities: "The individual was regarded as of value only if he was a part of the political fabric and able to contribute to its uses, as though it were the end of his being to aggrandize the State."1 Moreover, the pagan gods taught the people no morals, as St. Augustine, a former pagan himself, knew from personal experience (The City of God 2.4). This too did not enhance the value of human life.
Read the rest of the excerpt: The Sanctification of Human Life, at Issues, Etc. It covers a wide range of topics, including, but not limited to, infanticide, abandonment, abortion, gladiatorial shows, branding of slaves, and human sacrifice.
Update: The author released what appears to be a revised or expanded edition, under a new title. Unlike the book linked above, How Christianity Changed the World is still in print: in paperback, ebook, and audio.