Sound of Stones Dropping

>> Sunday, November 24, 2019

The whole incident was a set up.  She had been caught, no trapped, in the very act of adultery.  In bringing only her to Jesus, the Jewish leaders were breaking the law.  Where was the man she had been caught with?  He should be stoned too.  Perhaps it had been one of them.  How else would they have known the exact time and place of the act?  

Each of the accusers carried a stone in his hand.  They were ready for the punishment to be meted out.  

Jesus didn’t believe in adultery.  They were counting on that.  Wonder what they thought when he stooped down and used His finger to write something in the dirt.  What did He write?  The name of the guilty man?  A list of the accuser’s sins?  
 
They badgered Him until He stood up and agreed, “Ok, go ahead and stone her.  But to qualify to throw that stone, you must be sinless.”  Then He bent down and began to write some more. 

“Thud.”

“Thud, thud.”  

In the silence, all that could be heard was the sound of stones dropping to the ground.  One by one, the accusers began to slip away.  

Do you have a stone in your hand?  Have you caught someone in the act of doing something you consider wrong?  Are you ready to mete out the punishment?  

Are you sinless?  Am I?  I think not.   

Before we throw that stone, we need to take a review of our own lives.  The next sound we hear will be the stone falling from our hands to the ground.  

“The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery.  They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.  In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women.  Now what do you say?”  John 8:3-5 (NIV)

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Automatic Door

>> Saturday, November 9, 2019

As I walked toward the doors of the grocery store, a lady stepped in front of me and headed the same way.  I watched as she strode past three double doors that said “pull” and went to the one that was automatic.  I was puzzled.  Lazy?  Bad arms?  I pulled on the first door and entered.  We arrived at the grocery carts about the same time, so I intersected with her several times throughout the store.  She reached across items, reached high on shelves; she didn’t seem to have arm problems.  

I pondered.  Recently, I had done some research on the church culture today.  I saw a parallel.  

It takes effort to pull on a door and open it.  There is no effort involved in walking through an automatic door.  More and more churches offer the automatic door.  It seems folks just want to sit in a building on Sunday morning, be told how good they are doing; and to have a wonderful week.  

No effort involved.  

But there are still a few churches that think living as Christ taught takes some time and effort on our part; that we need to use our spiritual muscles to stay healthy. On Sunday morning they offer guidance from the Bible to help us.  I recently heard a very well-known preacher say, “It is very hard to go to hell.  God is love.  Just be a good person.  Heaven awaits.”  He’s preaching an automatic door religion.  

 Which door do you choose?  

“Don’t look for shortcuts to God.  The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time.  Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do.  The way to life – to God – is vigorous and requires total attention.”  Matthew 7:13-14 (MSG)


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S H I E L D

>> Saturday, October 19, 2019

Since Dementia has recently affected my family, I’ve become very aware of articles pertaining to that particular ailment and ways to help fend it off.  One report caught my attention due to its succinct approach to dealing with that risk.  An acronym has been developed to help us remember the lifestyle factors we need to be aware of.  



S H I E L D

Sleep: developing good sleep habits
Handle stress: learning how to deal with stress
Interact: spending time with friends and family
Exercise: undertaking some form of daily exercise
Learn: work on learning a new skill
Diet: eating a healthy diet

This is excellent advice for everyone.  

But as I thought about that shield to help protect my health, my contemplations turned to a scripture that mentions a shield.  It has to do with our spiritual health.  The Bible is just as succinct with its instruction.  

“Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”  Ephesians 6:14-16 (NIV)

This is also excellent advice for everyone.  

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It Was a Boa

>> Thursday, October 3, 2019

I stood in line at Starbucks in the Barnes and Noble store.  Ahead of me were two more people and then a woman with a very strange scarf around her neck.  The design had a print that looked like a Boa.  I was trying to analyze how that matched her clothing when it moved.  

It was a Boa.  

I was no longer standing in line.  I removed myself a safe distance away and bravely looked at her again.  The snake was around her neck, her waist and around one leg.  It kept moving.  A lady came to stand beside me and said, “That’s why I got out of line.  Why do they let her stay in here?”  

I had no answer.  

That Barnes and Noble is attached to a mall.  After she received her drink, that’s where she headed.  I could only imagine the double takes she received.  Maybe that was what she was after.  

Later that evening, I was watching a television program that had been enjoyable during the previous season. As the program progressed, my mind kept returning to the Boa.  This show had looked okay to me before.  But I began to get a feeling that just maybe it was not an okay program to watch.  

The Boa was moving.  I needed to back off.  

The program had been recorded, so I pushed pause.  I pondered the premise of the show, the focus, the goal it had in mind.  Just as I had realized the Boa around that lady’s neck was real, I suddenly faced the realization that I was watching a snake in my TV room.  As a Christ-follower, I could not continue to watch.  

I deleted the show.  



As our world gets crazier and more immoral, I believe it is going to require us to become more aware of the insidious techniques of evil that have invaded our culture.  It may look innocent enough, but perhaps the hidden agenda contains a scheme to do harm to our moral fiber.  

It’s up to us to remain vigilant.  

“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flows the springs of life.”  Proverbs 4:23 (ESV)

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