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Showing posts from March, 2015

Praying with Icons

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In class last night, our session was “Praying with Icons.” I’ve never done this before and wasn’t too sure what to think about it. But there was one thing I was sure of and that’s the idea of “communion with the saints.” That is, someone explained it to me like this — “Did you ask your Mom to prayer for you when she was in this world?”
“Of course,” I replied.
“Then why wouldn’t you continue to ask her to pray for you now that she’s in the Otherworld?”
See, for me, it was about my belief in the resurrection. Do I really believe that my loved ones are alive?
Jesus was asked a similar question in Mark 12.18-27. There, he responded —
“As for the resurrection from the dead, haven’t you read in the scroll from Moses, in the passage about the burning bush, how G‑d said to Moses, I am the G‑d of Abraham, the G‑d of Isaac, and the G‑d of Jacob? Yahweh isn’t the G‑d of the dead but of the living. You’re seriously mistaken.” (vv. 26-27; adapted).
So, what does this have to do with icons? As one pers…

Happy 150th Anniversary Peterson Pipes!

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As many of you know, I smoke pipes. Not all the time, mind you; just occasionally. And when I say “occasionally,” I mean I think I smoked less than a dozen times all of last year. I started several years ago when a friend of mine threw away a pipe bag. He had left the sliding window of his truck open during a rain shower. The rain had soaked the interior of his truck and saturated his pipe bag. I dug through the bag and found a Dr. Grabow that wasn’t too badly damaged. In fact, it was virtually dry. I cleaned it up and went down to a local tobacconist.
“So,” I asked, “how do you smoke one of these things?” The guy behind the counter went to the back and returned with a few sheets of paper.
“Here,” he said, “read this. It’ll tell you everything you need to know.”
So, I bought some of their best selling tobacco, matches, and pipe cleaners then set off to learn how to smoke this strange instrument.
After a couple of years, and a couple of “cheap” pipes (the ones that range below $50 in a box…

Misunderstood Scripture — 1 Corinthians 2.9

1 Corinthians 2.9 (ERV1; adapted): “No one has ever seen,    no one has ever heard, no one has ever imagined    what Yahweh has prepared for those who love God.”
I’m sure you’ve seen this verse quoted many times. It’s on bumper stickers. Posters. Daily Bread blessing cards. Memory verse flashcards. And, most recently, one will find it on memes in social media. The idea is that God still has something hidden out there for you. God’s got a plan for you—bigger than anything you could ever imagine—hidden away and past finding out.
But that’s wrong.
This is one of those verses that’s continually quoted out of context. Maybe purposefully or maybe it just shows our lack of biblical understanding. Either way, it drives me a little mad (like in “as a hatter”).
So, the purpose of this post is to do some good ol’ fashioned exegesis of the verse. We’ll seek the context of the verse, the passage, and the letter as a whole. But, we’ll do all of this in reverse order.
Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians…