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Showing posts from January, 2017

Dinner With A Hypocrite

"But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party." - Galatians 2:11-12 (ESV)

In the Apostle Paul's letter to the churches of the region of Galatia we find a few very interesting historical details in regard to the author's experiences in his introduction to the early Christians and Christian leaders.  We are told of his difficulties, his status as being relatively unknown by sight and, finally, his acceptance by the leaders at Jerusalem.  From that point, we are lead to the city of Antioch and the scene of what would be a most eventful and educational dinner.

There in Antioch, where the Disciples were first called Christians, the Apostle Peter, called Cephas, was eating with the Gentiles.  It is reasonable to assume that these Gentiles were Gentile Christians but whether …

When Soap Gets In Your Eyes

"Jesus said to his disciples: 'Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come.'" - Luke 17:1 (NIV)

Inspiration comes to me in some strange places frequently.  For example, I remember reading the label on a shampoo bottle and noticing a couple of things.  First of all, I was surprised that there was a need for actual instructions on something as self explanatory as shampoo.  Secondly, I noticed a warning printed in bold letters.  Since that time I have tried to find that warning on other shampoo bottles and haven't had a lot of success in my search.  Occasionally I've found a brand of shampoo that includes these words:  "WARNING: Eye irritant.  If product comes in contact with eyes wash thoroughly with water immediately."  Again, this seems like common sense and not really necessary on the label of a shampoo bottle.  Then again, we do live in the age where a can of very clearly labeled honey roasted pe…

It's Just Prayer Meeting

"The believers continued to devote themselves to what the apostles were teaching, to fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to times of prayer." - Acts 2:42 (ISV)

We're going to begin this article with a hard statement of fact: many churches do NOT have prayer meetings anymore.  And when we say "prayer meeting" we're not just talking about a regular service dedicated to nothing but the practice of prayer.  We are also referencing the lack of prayer meetings before worship services.  Pre-service prayer, it is often called.  The lack of prayer in the house of prayer is alarming.  Even in those churches where prayer meetings are still on the schedule, it is going to be the one service every week when people will find a reason not to attend.

Pre-service prayer is optional, after all, because "having church" really doesn't start until the worship team steps to the stage to perform.  Being there for "having church" is the most importan…