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The Confession of a Recovering Martha
Posted by Clare
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In Luke we have this familiar story:

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.  She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.  But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one.  Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42

Most of my life, I’ve not been all that wild about Mary, because I’m a Martha. I’m a doer. I like getting things done for the kingdom of God. I like organizing things, starting new ministries, teaching and leading.

Mary’s don’t seem all that interested in moving forward or pitching in with the work. They’re happy and thankful when you or other do it, but they are generally people, people. They hang out with people and they love quiet times of contemplation and Bible study. They’d rather “be,” than “do.”

Does Jesus favor Mary’s?

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What If There Is Nothing After Death?
Posted by Clare
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A few weeks ago, I gathered with our older grandchildren (high school and college) for what they call Papa School. They suggest topics they’d like to discuss about the Christian life, the Bible, history – you name it and I try to answer them.

One of the questions they asked was “how can we say with confidence, all other religions are wrong and we are right?” You can read my blog “The Myths That Not-Yet Christians Believe About God” for the answer to that question.

But one of the other impromptu questions during that discussion was this, “Papa, what if the Bible isn’t true and there’s nothing after death?”

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Why All the Fascination with the “End Times?”
Posted by Clare
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Every few years, my former pastor, now with Jesus, used to ask the congregation for topics on which they’d most like him to teach. “The End Times,” the events leading up to Jesus return, the judgment and the eternal kingdom of God were always in the top five. Above all, “when will Jesus return?”

Our Single Adults pastor used to joke, the most three popular topics for unmarried Christians were;

  1. End Times
  2. Sex
  3. Sex in the End Times

So, why all the fascination with End Times and in specific, trying to pin-point when Jesus will return?

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Was Jesus “Soft On Crime?”
Posted by Clare
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I think most Christians believe the God of the Old Testament was fearsome. He spoke from Mount Sinai words that terrified the Israelites. He gave them hundreds of laws and commanded harsh penalties for disobedience. He actually killed 25,000 Israelites once for disobeying his command to not intermarry with other nations.

To be fair, God also declared his love for his people time and time again, but disobedience wasn’t an option. He was a God to be both loved and feared.

Then along came Jesus. “Meek and Mild” Jesus. The forgiver of the woman caught in adultery and of Peter who denied him. He even asked the Father to forgive the soldiers nailing him to the cross. It’s easy to think of Jesus as being soft on sin – a kinder, more gentle version of the Old Testament God.

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