Tag Archives: Bible

Doing your good deeds publicly?

HydrantsFBBack in mid-February, our local newspaper social media guru wrote: “A good deed loses some of its purity when it’s broadcasted by the ‘doer’ on social media.” I thought this was self-evidently true.

One person replied: “I’d like to think people do this to inspire others to follow suit. But the skeptic in me is pretty sure that they do this to satisfy their ego.” I have no idea about the motivation, but too often, it just feels unseemly.

Another: “If you want to pay it forward, just do it! If you are looking for praise for your complimentary cup of coffee , then you did it for the wrong reasons.” I’ll give that an AMEN.

And: “Bragging about a good deed is tacky. Class is when you do the right thing, not only when no one is looking but also when no one will thank or praise you.” YES.
Continue reading Doing your good deeds publicly?

Note to self: do not talk about religion on Facebook

Twice late last month – once on Christmas eve – I had “conversations” about religion on Facebook. It’s often unsatisfying, because I am a believer in spite of uncertainty, and these folks are usually convinced of their rightness.

Oddly, both ended up involving the Biblical phrase “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, render unto God what is God’s.” Without getting into the whole back-and-forth, one guy insisted that the verses, appearing in all three of the synoptic Gospels (all, except John), meant that we are directed to obey earthly authority, pay taxes, and the like.

My view is more in line that Continue reading Note to self: do not talk about religion on Facebook

Loving with your whole heart is not easy

This is the Advent devotional I wrote for the FOCUS churches this year. It had to be based on a particular Scripture lesson (Matthew 22:34-46), be of a certain length, and end with a prayer. For your convenience, I’ve followed the piece with the Scripture.

In the Scripture lesson, Jesus is being tested theologically. The religious leadership of the day is constantly trying to trip Him up, asking a bunch of questions. What IS the greatest commandment? To love God, and likewise, to love each other.

We are often tested trying to follow these dictates. Sure we may see ourselves as “good” and “nice” people. Maybe we go to church, quote Scripture. Do we REALLY love God with all our heart, mind, and soul? I think God knows that a mysterious and disembodied deity may be sometimes difficult to comprehend.
Continue reading Loving with your whole heart is not easy

God bless the talents

Ever have one of those eureka moments when you realize that one piece of information you have is related to another piece? Then it’s OBVIOUS, when it had not been.

My wife’s reading this book about education, and there is a reference to the Matthew effect, basically this: “Early success in acquiring reading skills usually leads to later successes in reading as the learner grows, while failing to learn to read before the third or fourth year of schooling may be indicative of lifelong problems in learning new skills.” (This suggests that services such as Head Start are vitally important.)

It was the naming, though, that brought me up short. Continue reading God bless the talents

Past time for a Rolling Jubilee

Musing about that billionaire guy who said, more than once, that rich people in general — and business-people in particular — are not job creators: Indeed, in the video, he talked about what great undeserved privileges the wealthy already have.

They sound like the people portrayed in the satirical I am a job creator: A manifesto for the entitled. Just one of many good quotes Continue reading Past time for a Rolling Jubilee

Prince of Egypt at First Presbyterian on Sunday

The youth at my church, First Presbyterian in Albany , are putting on, with assistance of a number of adults, a production of The Prince of Egypt, the musical based on the 1998 animated film. The storyline is adapted from the Moses story in the biblical Book of Exodus. It will take place this Sunday, March 17 at 12:15 pm

In a decision beyond my understanding Continue reading Prince of Egypt at First Presbyterian on Sunday