After uncountable moons, I added another One-Liner Dictionary entry on my blog. Which prompted this thought: Sincerity is not blabbing everything that pops into your head, but it is rather freedom from hypocrisy and purity of motive. Instead of giving permission to speak ill of others, or to others, sincerity allows one to consider their needs and speak and act in their interest. Sincerity does not oblige one to say all one thinks, but induces one to choose carefully and in a timely manner how to be honest and frank and to avoid duplicity and hypocrisy.
• The owners of the West, Texas, fertilizer plant are Christians. Several homes of saints were destroyed, including the preacher’s. For more, see the BNc story by Mark Teske. As in any disaster, they need help, and fast. Brethren are responding.
• After learning on April 7 that we’d be losing some major support in August, we’ve renewed the invitation for congregations and individuals to share in the GoSpeak effort. This effort includes TFR, BrotherhoodNews.com, Forthright Magazine, and a host of other services, virtual and real.
The American economic crisis is taking its toll on the worldwide missionary effort. Our loss is just one small piece of it. We do well responding to material needs and meeting physical crises. Not so well, perhaps, in feeling the urgency of the gospel message.
• The Firstborn has fired up his blog. Do read and follow him. I think he’s the only one at the moment who, among our progeny, is doing some writing.
• Here’s another evangelistic effort, an e-book, that I’ve heard good things about, but I’m not sure sure what the “generic version” tries to do that the other can’t. I’m in the middle of reading.
• Working on an article, inspired from using Psalm 14 last night in our reading group: “Why Does the Bible Repeat Itself?” Got any ideas on how to answer that question? I’ve thought of four, so far. Not sure where I’ll use it. My first thought is Biblical Notes, since I’m long past overdue for an article there.
• With the Boston explosions and now the West, Tex., incident, the sermon outlines about why bad stuff happens are getting dusted off, with reason. (Lately, they’ve had lots of use.) Let us be sure we preach the right perspective, however.
When people of Jesus’ day shared with him the newspaper’s latest headlines about disasters, he preached repentance, Lk 13.1ff. He did not vary from his message, Mk 1.14-15. He corrected their wrong interpretations of events and urged them to make sure that their lives were in order before God. Let us make sure we do the same as our Lord.
• It’s been a bad week for many. (My bad week was last week.) So it might, at first glance, seem callous of Chuck to tell us to be cheerful and praise God. Or just maybe he’s got the right note. This is not to make light of immense suffering now going on, but to highlight that what is most precious cannot be taken from us. (And yesterday he did talk about suffering and prayer.)
• God exists. He is engaged with humanity. To deny he exists, philosophically or practically, is foolish, says Psa 14.1. Faith believes that he exists and rewards those who seek him, Hb 11.6. Some deny the first truth. Others, live in denial of the second. Little good it does to affirm the first but ignore the second. Truly, a fool’s errand.
• Moderns are taken by celebrities. The church reflects the world in this. It’s pathetic to see. We’ve forgotten the lesson of James 2.