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Lonely People and the Gospel

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen  An expression that most people know bears repeating, that we do not know what is happening in the hearts and minds of people. In the 1976 ballad "I Never Cry", Alice Cooper (who became a Christian in the late 1980s) said, " I may be lonely, but I'm never alone ." It was about his struggles with alcoholism. That feeling of isolation can happen in a crowd as well as being physically alone. Sometimes loneliness can be overwhelming. Chuck Girard wrote " Plain ol' Joe " about a lonely person who ended his own life. People are complicated, where some want to be left alone, others are alone and want to let someone in. Yes, there are those who are masterful at putting on masks. The Lonely Ones , Edvard Munch, 1899 As people, do we show interest in others and try to connect beyond superficial levels? I'll allow it's not easy because there are so many that cross out paths. Many build walls which serve to keep others out but im

Bad Times on Good Friday

When Bible-believing Christians say that faith in Jesus is the only way to salvation, some people become indignant. They believe, without reason, that there are many roads. Such a thing is not possible. The Crucifixion of Jesus proves it. Reading one of the four Gospels, one may get the notion that circumstances and also the blunt words of Jesus came together to get him nailed to a cross. Those things and people who hated him were a part of it. However, the greater context takes us back to Genesis. Red and white neon cross, Unsplash / Rod Long Adam and Eve sinned against God, who is holy. He had no reason to do anything other than let us go on our self-destructive path. However, humanity earned  death because of sin, but God loved us even then, and offered the gift of life (Rom. 6:23, Gal. 2:28, John 1:12). There was only one way possible for all this to come together. It was a mystery, and if Satan understood, he and his minions would not have crucified Jesus (1 Cor. 2:7-8). Friday wa

Seed and Four Kinds of Soil

There are different kinds of soil which are suited to different kinds of plants. A person does not simply dig it up from the yard and expect a plant to flourish, it may be a persnickety plant. Soil has unique compositions that can be detected with special analysis. People who watch detective shows set in modern times have probably seen lab work where certain soil on shoes, tires, carpet, or whatever is found. Forensic science is historical science (so is the study of origins), using what is observed in the present in an effort to reconstruct the past. Planting in the soil, Freeimages / Dieter Joel Jagnow In Mark 4:13, Jesus indicates that the Parable of the Sower is important to understanding all of the parables. It does not matter what kind of seed is sown, nor is the good soil identified. Of the four kinds of soil, one was right for the seed. On a spiritual level, professing Christians may seem enthusiastic and pretend to care about important things related to the Kingdom of God, but

Having Just Another Thanksgiving Day?

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen  In the formerly United States, many people are getting ready for Thanksgiving. Some of this article be useful to people in other countries as well. Preparations to be made, such as hosting families go shopping for food, get out the table extensions, decorate, lots of cooking, and so on. We may think about how the same things happen every year, and maybe how to avoid arguments. Then there are the offbeat relatives that do annoying things. But we need to elevate our own thinking — even if only for ourselves. Turkey at Thanksgiving, Pexels / Monstera Production Something I hope for is that my own knowledge, observations, and experiences will be useful to others. As some readers know, my wife died unexpectedly on September 20, 2023. This post is very  difficult to write because I keep stopping to cry. (Yes, grown men weep. Accept it.) I see her two slow cookers that she used, plus the stove and oven... Same old thing every year? I'll miss that, and her, the res

Clothes Laid Out and Waiting

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen  Go down the short hallway, past the bathroom, through the open door of the bedroom. Look behind the door. You see several things such as mostly unused crutches from my knee surgery, a clothes drying rack, two 3-drawer plastic storage units, and more. On top of a storage unit are a pair of pants, a shirt, and shoes. Unpretentious clothes. Charlene had efficiently laid them out so she could use them when she returned from her surgery. She is not coming back for them. Ever. This is being posted four weeks from the day she passed away. My beloved wife's clothes are waiting in vain for her return Most everyone has heard it said that we are not guaranteed tomorrow. In her case, she did not finish "today," the day of her surgery, when she was stricken. In the midst of my bitter tears, I know that she was a child of the living God. When the angel came to escort her to Jesus, Charlene must have been thrilled to be free of a life that had so much physical an

Heresies about Jesus Today

Although it is an old word and often used when movie studios mock Christians who are the villains shout it, heresy is useful. Heresies about Jesus abound. Perhaps it is a heresy when an atheist claims there is no God (or the absurdity that he never existed), but we will focus on heresies among professing Christians. Unfortunately, people believe at least three of the most common false teachings. Why do they believe them? Because they are easily deceived. Bluntly, this usually comes from spiritual laziness and biblical illiteracy. The Good Shepherd , Public Domain Pictures / Bernard Plockhorst, mid-1800s As mentioned before, I was raised in a theologically liberal denomination. When I went to a conservative Christian school for my last three years, I had no understanding of the Trinity or that Jesus is God the Son. Yes, the Trinity cannot be fully understood and must be taken by faith, but we can learn basic teachings in the Bible. Some teachings are not heresies but are heterodox, oft

Linking Noah, Moses, and Jesus

There are several literary terms that apply to the historical events in the Bible, such as foreshadowing. In stories (including movies), people are given hints as to what will happen later. There are also types  involving events and people (e.g., 1 Cor. 10:11, Rom. 5:14). It is interesting that in the Bible, historical events actually happened and people really lived who were paralleling what was to come. (Indeed, there are startling similarities between the sacrifices of Isaac and Jesus .) Strong links between Noah, Moses, and Jesus can be seen. Public domain images of Noah, Moses, and Jesus via Breadsite People who read their Bibles and pay attention to good teaching know that the Scripture has a large number of prophecies. Many have been fulfilled (especially surrounding the birth, death, and Resurrection of Jesus) and others are yet to be filled. Perhaps the parallels between Noah, Moses, and Jesus can be considered somewhat prophetic, since prophecy is not difficult for God. They

Think Like Jesus about Scripture

It should stand to reason that people who say they are Christians — followers of Jesus — should give give great value to his view of Scripture. Unfortunately, there is a great deal of biblical illiteracy among Christians. To be direct, many who bear that name are actually heretics . People sure are fond of their opinions. Post something on social(ist) media, you get a passel of "Well, I  think..." responses, and many of those are contradicted by the linked articles they refused to read. Opinionated biblically illiterate heretics are ripe for deception by cults. Bible open to Genesis, Pexels / Luis Quintero Many professing Christians are not committed to the inerrancy of Scripture, and often add in teachings, sayings, traditions, and opinions. We look to the Bible to learn about Jesus and salvation. We also read it to find out about living the Christian life and the return of Jesus. Why bother if it's full of errors or alleged contradictions ? This also a clear rejection o

The Trail of the Resurrection from Genesis

As many know, the bodily Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is vitally important to Christianity. While others reject the truth, many Christians have only a superficial knowledge of the Resurrection. There is depth to it that can be traced throughout Scripture. An old expression often found in found in Western stories is  cutting sign . It is used today as well. Basically, it means to look for evidence of an animal or a person and follow their trail. Christians can cut sign beginning in Genesis. Empty tomb,  Free Christian Illustrations The Bible is such that much of it can be understood by us reg'lar folk, but we can keep learning throughout our lives. It certainly keeps theologians busy mining truths. An important procedure is to interpret Scripture with Scripture. We can follow the trail in the Old Testament for the death and Resurrection of Jesus. Working backward, the New Testament tells us that he is our Creator (Col. 1:16, John 1:1-3, Heb. 1:2-3). God the Son came to

William Shatner and other Legacies

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen Every once in a while, celebrities make remarks about their legacies and the public also gets involved for a spell. Perhaps we all want to be remembered. Most of us want to have a legacy that is kind to us, but others may strive for a legacy of crime and evil. A song by Blue Öyster Cult titled "Goin' through the Motions" has several possible meanings , the most likely being about troubled relationships. It referenced earlier dreadful lyrics , but was a mite touching here: To thee, I dedicate this photograph  I'll even sign it "love to you" again And when it's faded and forgotten in some book You'll sometimes look... A celebrity was important enough to someone to want an autograph, but the singer knew he would be mostly forgotten. Will we forget Bill Shatner? Truth Jabs  by Dan Lietha, used with permission (click for larger) People probably know him from the Star Trek  franchise and hosting The UnXplained  documentary series, am

The New Creation of the World

People have been fascinated by ideas about the end of the world almost since it began — maybe Adam and Eve speculated on the subject. People lived for decades in terror of nuclear annihilation, and that specter looms again. NASA tells us why the Mayan prophecy of 2012 was wrong, but they  are incorrect because they speak from a naturalistic paradigm. Some consult the vague stuff of Nostradamus and various fortune tellers, others expect a giant rock from space. All wrong. The world will  end, but not in any way these folks expect. End of the World, Pixabay / Geralt (Gerd Altmann) When people say that the Genesis Flood is just an allegory, point out that Peter referred to the Flood as real when he wrote about the coming Big Bang at the end of the world in 2 Peter 3:5-10. Also, Jesus likened the end to the Flood in Matthew 24:37-39. There is a Judgment coming, and people need to be ready. There are people who think that perhaps the world will not be destroyed and remade, but more like i

The Word in Creation

People get a mite confused about the Word. The word Word has several meanings, whether in English or usage in the Bible — you have my word on that. Christians refer to the Bible as the Word of God, and Jesus is also identified in the same way. Sometimes it helps to add written  Word when referring to the Bible. What was the apostle doing in John 1:1? Was he assigning a new title to Jesus? After all, we know that Jesus is the Creator (John 1:3, Colossians 1:16, Hebrews 1;8), and in Genesis, God spoke words when creating. Some of us simply accept it that Jesus is the Word, but there are reasons. John 1, Unsplash / Anthony Garand John affirmed that Jesus is God and the Creator, and it turns out that Scripture refers to the Word as a person in other ways, and he is part of the Trinity. All this links back to Genesis. To determine these things requires knowledge of the original languages, and help can be found by consulting some ancient writings. We don't need to do all that, thankfully

Why Sin is Serious

It is common to hear people make an appeal to a form of religiosity by declaring something is a sin. Presumably this is done to give their declaration some form of power or impact, but it usually just sounds trite. My wife's parents said it was a sin to throw away food. I say it's a sin to eat Brussels sprouts. Anyone can make such a claim, but can seldom support it with Bible verses or scriptural principles. This is not surprising, since most professing Christians are biblically illiterate. Worse, t hey are functional heretics and are unsaved ! To say that something is sinful without having knowledge is trivializing sin and the death of Jesus on the cross. Kneeling at the Cross, PxHere When posting material that refutes the idea that Christmas and Easter are of pagan origin, I see many professing Christians clinging to their uninformed opinions and traditions rather than examining the well-researched material. They were judging knowledgeable Christians and acting like they wer

Christmas and the Big Picture

At this writing, we are in the final days before Christmas 2022. From the condition of the formerly United States to other parts of the world, and even in the lives of individuals, some people are not feeling it. Put up the tree, watch some movies, buy presents. Depression is rampant at Christmas. We get focused on our obligations, our problems, our ailments. All those songs about feeling happy seem to make things worse for some of us. I reckon that the problem is not with Christmas (how can it be?), but with our focus. Bible and Christmas, Pixabay / congerdesign It's time to saddle up and ride to the top of the hill and get the big picture. The big stores, songs about "the most wonderful time of the year" (which are nonsensical outside certain latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere anyway), other trappings are add-ons or even corruptions of the true meaning of Christmas. It is far, far greater in its scope and impact than people can imagine, and prophesied back in Genesis!

Big Space, Little Planet, and God

It is indeed unfortunate that Christians can have their faith negatively affected by atheists spouting things that sound sciency, but are essentially hooey-laden personal opinions. Although other people make fact-free assertions, most of those are not directed at our faith. One of these speculations involves our place in the universe. When misotheists say things like, "We know the universe is unfathomably huge. Religious people believed it was small, but Earth is actually insignificant. If God exists, he would not care about it, or us." There are several problems with such remarks. ISS above Earth, NASA (usage does not imply endorsement of site contents) First of all, it is prejudicial conjecture; the scoffer already suppresses the truth of God (Rom. 1:18-23) and uses this presupposition to spread unbelief. He or she has no logical basis for thinking that the Creator of the universe would not care about us. Next, the claim that people thought the universe was small is errone

Jesus Pictures and — Idolatry?

Years ago, the forerunner of this weblog was called A Soldier for Jesus . There was a drawing of Jesus on it. Someone accused me of being an idolater because of it. Also, I joined a Christian-based humor group on Fakebook  that prohibited posting images of Jesus because some people got upset. Probably that idolatry thing again. Where do they get such ideas? Eisegesis from the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20:4-6 and other places. I am going to be blunt here. People who sanctimoniously accuse others of being idolaters because they use images of Jesus (or God the Father, such as  Michelangelo  and  William Blake ) have no basis for their pride. They are showing ignorance of scriptural context. It's not a difficult theological context, either, because they are not even reading the rest of the verse. Jesus Pictures ( source here ) as Gallery Exhibit, PhotoFunia (cropped) Pictures can be used as a way of praising God and giving him glory, and possibly a means of focusing in worship. I hav

Restoring the Image of God in Humanity

A basic principle of Christianity is that humanity was created imago Dei , in the image of God. This is contrary to the concept of dust-to-Darwin evolution, where we are the products of time, chance, natural selection, mutations, and luck. For them, we are nothing special. Just another animal. We often do not show that we are created in the image of God, and evolutionists may use our current state to reject the truth of the Bible. Something clearly happened after Genesis 1:27. Night silhouette under stars, Unsplash / Greg Rakozy Adam and Eve were exploring, enjoying, and doing other newly-created beings stuff. Then in Genesis 3:1-17, that sidewinder Satan decided to foul things up. After all, we are God's masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10), and he hates that. The Christian worldview holds that people are image-bearers of God, worthy of dignity and respect. This is one reason abortion is abhorrent . Eve took the fruit, gave to Adam who was with her , and all have sinned (Romans 3:23) and

Pagan Gods, Jonah, and the Creator

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen  When reading some of the battles in the Bible between Israel and the pagan nations, we see that the pagans had gods for practically everything. They were also territorial, and thought Yahweh was like their false gods. You may recall in 1 Kings 20:23, Syria thought Israel had gods of the hills, so they could do better fighting in the plains. It did not go well. Many times in Scripture, God declared that he is above the false gods of their imaginations, and that he is the Creator. A similar pagan theme was used in the unremarkable 1978 movie The Manitou . Native American mythology was used, combining animism and pantheism. (The Great Spirit is called the Gitchi Manitou in Algonquin. Manitowoc in Wisconsin supposedly has its name based on this.) Everything has a manitou, or spirit, even inanimate objects. In the movie and book, one particular manitou was being reincarnated, and it was both powerful and extremely angry. It had to be stopped. The medicine man Singing

The Creator-Savior and Christmas

Other biblical creationists and I like to point out the mirific act of God the Son, Creator of the universe (Col. 1:16, John 1:1-3, Heb. 1:2-3), humbling himself to take the form of the man Jesus (Phil. 2:4-11). He did not just pop into existence, but was born of Mary, a virgin (Matt. 1:23). People sing songs about Santa Claus and lie to their children (the  real Nicholas  was a godly man), making him a demigod that rewards good behavior with toys once a year. Secularists obscure the true meaning of Christmas with sentiment. The truth is known to some extent by many professing Christians: Jesus came into the world to save us. But what does that really mean? Far too many people make salvation into a means of gain, a way to be a good person, be happy, get the most out of life right now. In some cultures, "accepting Jesus" is taken to mean, "Add Jesus to your list of gods", but without emphasizing that false gods must be forsaken, and surrendering to the lordship of Ch

Surrendering to the Laziness of Atheism

Edited 5 December 2021  To be a Bible-believing Christian (as opposed to a "cultural" or in name only) is not easy. It may seem tempting to put our beliefs out to pasture and embrace the laziness of atheism. We can sit back and say, "I lack belief", and demand proof for everything a Christian says, only to reject anything that does not meet our subjective criteria. Very lazy. Very selfish. But for a Christian, it means denying our very nature — and denying what we know is true. Unknown source image derivative via FotoSketcher and PhotoFunia A Christian is born from above (1 Peter 1:3, John 3:3) and a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17). To act in such a way means denying our very nature and rejecting what we know is true. Atheistic philosophies and excuse-making are ongoing. Just watch when a Christian wants to share evidence and have a discussion: atheists keep dodging and changing the subject, as well as attacking God and people. It's also a safe  religion as well as