Be Still

“Be still and know that I am God.” – Psalm 46:10

What would you do with an unlimited amount of time to think, pray, and write? While imprisoned in Rome, Paul wrote letters to the Philippians, Colossians, Ephesians, and to Philemon. Paul had an abundance of time and silence; he wrote to encourage and to further explain the meaning of the faith they had accepted.

In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul especially focused on the role of the Holy Spirit; every chapter gives insight into the work of the Spirit: Continue reading

“Must Needs”

Samaritans practiced a hybrid worship reflective of their mixed ancestry. At one time, Samaria was considered it’s own governmental entity rivaling a group in Judea; they also “maintained a temple in Mt. Gerizim that the Jews regarded as schismatic….The tension between the two people was so strong that the Jews who traveled between Judea and Galilee usually avoided Samaria by crossing the Jordan” (Tenney 246-247).

Such was not the case for Jesus. Continue reading

Philippians 4:6-7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—

   where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord,

   the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—

   he who watches over you will not slumber;

   indeed, he who watches over Israel

   will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you—

   the Lord is your shade at your right hand;

   the sun will not harm you by day,

   nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm—

   he will watch over your life;

   the Lord will watch over your coming and going

   both now and forevermore.

John’s Gospel and Belief

The statement of an essay’s theme typically comes within the first couple of paragraphs, if not the first few sentences; however, in John, the thesis statement is not “concisely” presented until the next-to-last chapter:

Many other signs therefore did Jesus in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book: but these are written that ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye may have life in his name. (John 20:30-31, emphasis added)

While, generally speaking, this is an atypical structure, it’s use in John’s Gospel makes sense in that he uses the previous chapters to build up to this ultimate ‘proof.’ Continue reading

Still Practicing

Back when I was still a teacher, I shared a classroom for a couple of years with the school’s Latin teacher. A former Catholic priest, he was an extremely interesting person and made for a kind and thoughtful roommate; conversations were never dull. We often shared tales of raising our respective children, especially stories of my learning disabled son and his two profoundly handicapped children that he and his wife had adopted years ago. Continue reading