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  1. Em says:

    This is a month to concentrate our prayers for Michael. Does Faith/prayer influence tha. Father? I think it does! ! !
    God keep us ALL faithful

  2. Captain Kevin says:

    Amen, Em!

  3. The New Victor says:

    We pray for many more years of health for The Phoenix Preacher!

    I had to get my 11 year old off of online gaming this week. His little buddies next door turned him in to me, showing chats where he used the F word the N word once (ending in “a” referring to a rap song).

    He is ASD1 (what they used to call Asperger’s) so he’s largely guileless. He told them “don’t tell my dad!” So of course they did. His little sister is the defiant one, the Spitfire, and she’s been that way since 2, but my son really surprised me.

    I told him that parents who love their kids enact boundaries to teach them because the world which doesn’t love them will enact boundaries without prejudice, and that’s why many people end up in jail, and most of them didn’t have fathers (as I didn’t) to teach them. Being literal, he didn’t play one game, but played another. His little buddies snitched on him again, and I joked “snitches get stitches” but I thanked them for trusting me. I reiterated “no online games for a month, none.” If he violates again, the laptop takes a break for the entire summer. He hasn’t yet figured out that they told me. I spun a yarn that wasn’t a lie that I was always monitoring.

    He took it well, but I was really disappointed in the n word. He learned “negro” from black history month in school. Not sure where he heard rap. His cousin is half Mexican and half black. I pointed out how hurtful and wrong it would be if that slipped out of his mouth.

    6th grade next year, hormones and puberty; not just him but his peers. It’s getting more real…

  4. Em says:

    Sounds to me like TNV is a GREAT dad!!!
    These are tough times to be raising children…

  5. Michael says:

    Thanks, TNV.
    Raising an autistic young man takes a lot of love and wisdom…sounds like you’re doing well.

  6. Nathan Priddis says:

    I was listening to a history of Nicea as I went about my evening. My conclusion was both sides went off-topic regarding the saying: I and the Father are one.
    There wasn’t a sense on my part that Jesus was referencing essence, emanation, created status or substance.

    This sense felt reinforced when I switch to audio of John, ch. 5 or so, and listened up to the statement: “I and the Father are one.” I felt the unity spoken of was a unified polity. This could also be discribed as a unified front, faction or alliance, facing a common foe.

    This would fit the context of John where usually his own, are accepting and desiring the Father, but refusing, or at least unsure of the Son.

    “The Ecthesis of the Synod at Nice.

    We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of all things visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only-begotten of his Father, of the substance of the Father, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten (γεννηθέντα), not made, being of one substance (ὁμοούσιον, consubstantialem) with the Father. By whom all things were made, both which be in heaven and in earth. Who for us men and for our salvation came down [from heaven] and was incarnate and was made man. He suffered and the third day he rose again, and ascended into heaven. And he shall come again to judge both the quick and the dead. And [we believe] in the Holy Ghost. And whosoever shall say that there was a time when the Son of God was not (ἤν ποτε ὅτε οὐκ ἦν), or that before he was begotten he was not, or that he was made of things that were not, or that he is of a different substance or essence [from the Father] or that he is a creature, or subject to change or conversion [τρεπτὸν in Greek; convertibilem in Latin] — all that so say, the Catholic and Apostolic Church anathematizes them..”..

  7. Nathan Priddis says:

    The referenced video and discussion of nature of the Christ.
    Arius and Nicea. Ryan Reeves- Gordon Conwell.
    https://youtu.be/Nduka-QqXbQ

  8. Jean says:

    Michael,

    This article provided me a little window into some of the local challenges you have written about now and then, impacting your community. If you have a chance, I would love to hear how you would rate the article for accuracy.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2021/06/oregon-hotels-wildfire-survivors/619103/

    It seems to be a situation that I read about elsewhere as well. On the one hand, there are a substantial number of people struggling with affordable living (in this case caused by the impacts of wildfires and Covid-19 on home inventory and employment), who on the other hand live in the midst of others who are bidding up prices with apparently substantial financial means (the wealth gap).

    With the Covid-accelerated move to work-from-home for workers who previously worked in offices (which appears to be a continuing development even post-pandemic), many people are relocating to places with natural beauty, where housing is “relatively” affordable for them, and where there is land to build or tear downs to demolish and rebuild.

    This appears to be a mixed blessing for the current residents of the destination communities. If you have a house, you could sell it for a nice profit, but if you rent or want to buy and are not part of the “new” economy, housing can be very difficult to afford.

    I wonder if community planners are considering the impact of new developments on seniors and the working class in their communities?

  9. Em says:

    Jean, point taken!
    In 2013 i sold my home for $260,000 (complicated by Christian next door neighbors who were determined to make sure i didn’t sell to a family with children). This Spring same house just sold for $575,000!

  10. Michael says:

    Jean,
    I can hardly bear to read about it.
    It’s accurate as far as it goes…but the situation on the ground is much worse.
    The trailer parks that provided low cost housing for families and the elderly all burned…and the owners of many see an opportunity for huge profit.
    We’ve lost housing, workers, and maybe the soul of our communities…it’s too much to think about and fire season has come again…

  11. bob1 says:

    And the owners of many see an opportunity for huge profit.

    Yep. Bow to the god of the profit motive.

    Sad but true.

  12. Em says:

    bob1… AMEN! Sad truth indeed

  13. Em says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the “white race” embrace the Gospel to a greater degree than the rest of humanity?
    If true, it makes the popularity of white hatred demonic….
    Dunno… just pondering a strange phenomena this Monday morn’

  14. Michael says:

    The Christian faith was born and spread by non Caucasian peoples…race is utterly irrelevant to the faith…

  15. Em says:

    Yes, Michael, i agree with your. 9:29, but do we call the Jews (Paul) non Caucasian?

  16. bob1 says:

    When I was growing up, and even since, I’ve heard and sang this:

    “Jesus loves the little children
    All the children of the world
    Red and yellow black and white
    They are precious in His sight
    Jesus loves the little children of the world”

    So, do we need to stick an asterisk in front of “white” to show they’re more favored?? That because they responded better to the Gospel (which can’t really be proven)?

  17. Jean says:

    “do we call the Jews (Paul) non Caucasian?”

    They were Semitic people, like the other nations in the area. Semites have dark skin, which they need to live in the climate of the Middle East. They certainly were not Caucasian.

  18. Em says:

    I seem to have been misunderstood (thank you, Jean, for describing the Jew)…
    my question was not to whom was the Gospel offered, rather what segment of the human race most embraced it (numbers, not individuals)?

  19. Michael says:

    Historically, many Caucasians “embraced” Christianity at the point of a sword…as did many other races and peoples.
    The faith was founded and spread by Semitic peoples and Africa embraced it long before white people.

  20. Duane Arnold says:

    Em

    We’ve gone down this path before. During the first five centuries of the Church the faith was embraced by the inhabitants of North Africa and the Mediterranean littoral, the majority of whom were people of color. I might add that these sort of questions might be deeply offensive to a person of color.

  21. Duane Arnold says:

    Michael

    Sorry… please affirm we are not on the phone 😁

  22. Michael says:

    Duane,

    We are not… 🙂

  23. Em says:

    Confess to being unaware of African history…
    What turned them away?

  24. Jean says:

    Though I would defer to Duane on any details, my understanding is that by the beginning of the 4th century, Northern Africa preserved Christianity in the face of the conquests of the Vandals and other Germanic barbarians, who were Arian.

    Augustine was African from Hippo and another father, earlier than him was Cyprian of Carthage. Athanasius was Egyptian.

    The decline of Christianity in Africa occurred I believe because of the conquest of Islam around the 7th century.

    Europe descended into the Dark Ages, and I understand the Church and her sacred writings were preserved by the monks (probably an oversimplification).

  25. CM says:

    Em,

    For starters, Caucasian is a bit of a misnomer. Anthropologists, linguists, and archeologists use more precise and technical terms than “Caucasian”.

    Second, if by Caucasian, you mean the Indo-European Language Group, then the Jews (being part of the Afro-Asiatic Language Group) were certainly NOT Caucasian. Same goes with North Africa and Ethiopia.

    Though the Romance languages are part of the Indo-European Language Group, as are Hellenistic languages.

    Duane and Michael: Most of what we think of Caucasians (aka Western and Northern Europeans) did not become Christian until the latter part of the 1st Millennium AD and later.

  26. Em says:

    I was under the impression that, as their influence moved north and west, it was the Romans (not a single ethnic group, i know) who spread Christianity
    My frame of reference probably IS limited to the last 1500 years or so…..

  27. CM says:

    What people fail to consider is that the Byzantine Empire shielded Western Europe from Islamic Expansion for a good 200-300 years. Ironically it was the strength of the Byzantine Empire that forced the Islamic caliphates to expand along the North African coast. Only in the late 11th century were the Islamic kingdoms able to advance into Anatolia in Asia Minor.

    Of course you can thank those wonderful western “Christians” for the Sack of Constantinople in 1204. The Byzantine Empire never really recovered after that.

  28. Michael says:

    Part of the myth of Western and American exceptionalism is that they embraced biblical Christianity and therefore God blessed them with success.
    I would suggest a series of actual history classes for those so believing…

  29. Michael says:

    and some church history and theology classes…

  30. bob1 says:

    I would suggest a series of actual history classes for those so believing…

    Yes. Totally agree.

  31. Jean says:

    “Part of the myth of Western and American exceptionalism is that they embraced biblical Christianity and therefore God blessed them with success.

    That certainly makes sense from a human perspective. It coincides with the American church’s zeitgeist of the last 75 years at least. If Christians do their part, God will reward them. If Americans are prospering it must be a sign of our faithfulness to God. Why else would he favor us over Canada or Mexico?

    But Israel and Judah prospered for a long time while God’s prophets repeatedly predicted their impending doom. Rome prospered at its highest as John wrote to the 7 churches in Asia Minor of its impending doom.

    Why one country prospers for a short time period (very short for America when seen in the context of civilization) is a mystery. Persia prospered; Greece prospered; Chinese dynasties prospered; The United Kingdom of Great Britain prospered over a vast geography.

    We are not able to even judge what true prosperity is, because of our fallen reason. We call evil good, and good evil. But if we follow the Word of God, a faithful church and its Christians would suffer from the hatred of the devil and the world. Remember what the Greek word is for “witness!”

    American Christianity (the generic, Evangelical) wants a victorious, prosperous, suffer-less Christianity, which sells well to people who want justification and peace of mind, but has no foundation in the apostolic faith handed down from Christ to the apostles and written in our sacred Scriptures.

    How do you explain the prosperity Gospel to someone who has been a faithful Christian for decades, tithes, volunteers, etc. and then was just diagnosed with a terminal cancer or who just lost his spouse or child in a car accident, or lost his house in a wildfire? Did he harbor a hidden sin?

    And then there are the Christian prophets who keep getting their prophesies wrong, but who never seem to lose their followers. What’s up with that?

  32. Em says:

    Jean, PP6, sadly there is that problem…..
    That said, IF taught correctly we know that we represent The Faith – Christ – in an alien, hostile environment

  33. The New Victor says:

    “We are not able to even judge what true prosperity is, because of our fallen reason”

    This is a great post, Jean. We see things through the narrow window of our perceptions and experiences too often.

  34. Em says:

    I seem to have been caught up in the latest hacking dustup
    My fire tablet is a mess of bogus – i think – email msg.s, somebody in Idaho(?) gained access…..
    So i may not be posting for a time

  35. Michael says:

    Em,

    Change your password on the Fire and any accounts you access on it…

  36. Em says:

    thanks, Michael, i did that, but still getting strange stiff ? ? ?

  37. Em says:

    STUFF, not “stiff”…. sigh

  38. Michael says:

    If you’re getting junk email…join the club. I get 50 a day…

  39. Em says:

    Well, i guess that’s what my trash icon is for, but gee whiz…. 😏

  40. Jean says:

    I believe that most readers here, probably the majority, perhaps even virtually everyone, prays for, or at least sincerely would love to see, a revival (i.e., a penitent turn to God) among the citizens of America. So, I ask myself: What would the message look like that God might use?

    When if the message was: You are a sinner dear friend; I too am a sinner; we are all sinners. God gets it! It is not at though God looked down from heaven to see if there were any Christian candidates. He isn’t looking for the good people or the people with potential.

    God looked down from heaven and saw only ungodly sinners. The rich and the poor; the law abiding and the lawbreakers; the religious and the irreligious. He looked down and found no one in all creation who could be his child and friend!

    So God did for us what we could never do for ourselves or for him. He took on our humanity to redeem humanity from our fall into rebellion. God in His Son Jesus Christ was born of a virgin of our flesh, lived a free life obedient to the will of God, was crucified for our sins.

    But God raised Jesus from the dead, demonstrating the righteousness of Jesus and God’s forgiveness for who believe in Jesus.

    Jesus promised his disciples (all Christians): “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

    What a promise! Who would be so bold as to hope in such a promise? Do you feel perfect? Can you even fathom that you would ever be perfect? Most of us are repulsed by the thought of harboring the hypocrisy needed to feel we are or might ever be perfect.

    If I looked at the world, my life, and the church, I would think Jesus was mad. Even I understand that perfect means perfect. Not 99%, but 100% pure; 100% obedient; 100% loving; pretty much exactly like Jesus! Is that you?

    The message of the Gospel is that 1) God will credit you with Jesus’ perfection right now when you believe in Jesus (theologians call this the righteousness of faith); 2) God will renew and sanctify you in the truth as you grow in the knowledge of the grace of God; and 3) God will deliver you from condemnation for your sins; He will pardon your sins and grant you eternal life as a gift for no other reason than Jesus Christ died for you!

    Before you were born, Jesus Christ died for you.

    You don’t owe him. Jesus was doing the will of God. God wants a relationship with you. He wants that relationship to begin right now!

  41. Em says:

    Good words, Jean
    Our perfection is only found in Christ – what God sees in us of His Son…
    Renewing our minds in these troubled times isn’t the easiest thing to do, but reading folk here… pondering comments PLUS good, quality time in the Word of God (Bible). will do it
    IMNSHO

  42. josh hamrick says:

    That was Ray Comfort’s message.

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