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Showing posts from August, 2016

Critiquing Confirmation

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During the late 1970s, I went through two years of confirmation at the Lutheran Church I attended as a kid. Back then I didn’t have much interest in spiritual things. It didn’t help I was mistreated by some of my classmates. Nevertheless, I learned more about the Bible from reading assignments and listening to tapes. One of the latter was a comedy routine by Bill Cosby about Noah that had me laughing hysterically.
Occasionally I served as an acolyte, which the dictionary defines as “a person assisting the celebrant in a religious service or procession.” My duties were to light candles and put them out at designated times while wearing a long white robe. Another thing confirmands had to do was turn in critiques of the pastor’s sermons. That was an adjustment for me. I was used to letting my mind wander while sitting through unemotional messages containing few (if any) Scriptures.
My confirmation class also went on retreats. We traveled to a campsite in rural North Dakota on a bus that of…

The Naked Truth

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During the 1980s I regularly watched MTV (an initialism of Music Television) to hear cool sounding songs I wouldn’t have heard otherwise on the radio. Although I wasn’t living for the Lord then, I still didn’t care for the suggestive imagery in many of these music videos. It’s ironic this network still calls itself MTV considering their programming nowadays is mostly reality shows that have nothing to do with music.
That’s also the case with MTV’s sister channel VH1, which originally played songs targeting older viewers. One of their current programs called “Dating Naked” features nude contestants (with certain areas of their bodies blurred) talking openly about sex and body parts. This program came to my attention through a Charisma article about the activist group One Million Moms. They launched a protest that resulted in one of the “Dating Naked” advertisers pulling their ads.
Some argue nudity is “natural” since the first people mentioned in the Bible “…were both naked, the man and …

Wise Guys

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One thing I appreciate is preachers who maintain a sense of humor. Many Christians (including myself at times) tend to take themselves too seriously and need to lighten up more. As Proverbs 17:22 says, “A merry heart does good, like medicine…”
I also enjoy listening to comedians as long as their material is clean and don’t contain profanity. To this day I still laugh while watching old Three Stooges films. Who could forget all the crazy sounds made by Curly Howard plus his various catchphrases? One of which sometimes used by the other Stooges was “Oh, a wise guy!”
Once I was married to a woman whose maiden name was Kerley. Although that short-lived marriage ended acrimoniously, one fond memory I have of my ex was her calling me a “wise guy” when I said or did something funny. To which I replied, “What do you expect? I married a Kerley!”
God wants all of us to be “wise guys”…or in other words have wisdom. Proverbs 4:7 (KJV) says, “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and w…

St. Peter and the Pearly Gates

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Three days ago I took a road trip from Minneapolis to Sioux Falls, South Dakota with another evangelist. One of our pit stops was in St. Peter, Minnesota. The name of that city had me thinking about the proverbial belief of the apostle standing by the gates of heaven. This is based on some people’s interpretation of Matthew 16…
15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.  18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.  19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
Jesus was actually talking about kingdom authority. The power of binding a…