We have a skillet with a removeable rubber grip on the handle so you can use the skillet in the oven. This week we cooked some garden fresh yellow squash with slices of onion sprinkled in olive oil in that skillet. Shortly after it was removed from the oven, I was going to move it and without thinking I grabbed the hot handle without a pot holder. Ouch! It took a nano-second for me to let go. I put my hand under tap water and I was fine. Pain hurts but it helped me to let go!Continue reading “Pain Hurts!!!”
I remember some of the old timers from our valley and ridges talking about folks who were going through difficult times and using the rhetorical phrase, “I don’t know how they have ‘walkin’ around sense?”
That’s the truth. When you look at the suffering of some folks, you think, “How do they keep their senses about them?” I am amazed how some people go through horrific things and seem to weather the storm with supernatural strength. Well, it is with supernatural strength. God gives the that extra “Umph!” to get them over the line.Continue reading “Suffering and the Kingdom”
A Story of the Executioner at Golgotha by Harry L. Whitt
After their scourging, we herded the three men through the jeering streets to Golgotha. The citizens of Jerusalem hate us only a bit less than we hate them. Being assigned to the occupation force of Judea is a good point for a possible promotion but today the city is set on edge. One of the three is a popular prophet to the common people but hated by the elites of their counsel.
Finally, we are out of the bustle of the city streets and bring the three miserable souls to the top of the hill, the place of the skull. The rock outcropping resembles a skull, and today it the place of execution for all to see.
The schemer who devised the crucifixion is to be congratulated. Nothing puts the fear and dread in occupied people as the crucifixion. It is an agonizing death to endure and to witness. I have killed countless men in warfare with sword and spear, but this is the most gruesome of all.
The poor creatures are hammered on the cross with hand forged spikes which tear flesh and sinew. We set their knees at a bend, so they can push up to catch a breath of air, and then hang by their arms until they began to smother. This reeling up and down until their last life fades from their bodies takes sometimes days. It is a wretched sight for wretched souls.
We put the so-called prophet in the middle as he is the most renown. The other two are common thieves. The middle one gets the most attention as some of his mourners are at the foot of his cross. Some say his mother is present along with mostly women and a few men. Why do they come to see? I do not know.
His scourging left his back nothing but ribbons of flesh with clotted blood. He cried out as we laid him on the splintered wood. Then we raised his cross and the jar of the upright going from empty hole to solid earth left him with a quiver in his body that took some time cease.Continue reading “The Executioner’s Dream”
The short answer to my title question is, “You can’t!” We all have spent time racking our brains about something so absurd and coming to no conclusion to our question of “Why?”
A stranger with whom you have no quarrel keys your car with a long scratch. You watch the news where a young child was playing in their room when a stray bullet sends the child to Heaven and the perpetrator to jail and perhaps to Hell. The horrors of war fill our screens and you and I collectively scream, “WHY??”Continue reading “How to Make Sense of Nonsense?”
In these difficult days, how shall we as Christians live? What do we need to do and how do we need to respond?
As Christians, we are against lawlessness and violence. We pray for peace and pursue peace in all our endeavors. Peaceable dialogue is our default mode. We peer to the horizon and see swirling clouds of a storm against us.Continue reading “How Shall We Live?”
The uncertainties of life would drive a sane person mad if they obsessed about it. We tend to tuck the doubts and fears in a back corner of our minds so we can have (as my Appalachian kindred would say) “walking around sense”.Continue reading “Certainty of God”
If I’m travelling on the road and dog tired, the “Vacancy” sign in the motel window promises a hot shower and a bed with clean sheets. On the interstate to somewhere the “Cracker Barrel sign in two miles” puts hope in my stomach and cheers me on to the next exit. But what about rest for my soul?Continue reading “Where to Go at the End of the Road”
There are some lessons about trouble that we can learn from the coronavirus. As in every difficulty of life, we can learn some valuable lessons. The latest situation with the coronavirus pandemic has some components that is like all troubles. Continue reading “Six Lessons from the Coronavirus”
On a typical Sunday morning in the United States, as we ease into our comfortable pews if someone were to ask us, “Are you comfortable?” Our response may be about the pew or the temperature level in the church. While in other places of the world “comfortable” is not a consideration in their Christianity. They may have looked over their shoulder as they turned down the street leading to the gathering of the saints. The cramped quarters or the temperature level is the least of their concerns. Continue reading “Persecution from a Christian Perspective”
I remember climbing into my mosquito-net-covered-bed while in Haiti and lying down to sleep just sweltering in the 85 degree heat even at 10:00 pm. It was June, we had no electricity, and my only relief from the heat was a little battery operated six inch fan positioned to blow a little relief over my torso and face. In that moment, I remembered a phrase I had heard or read but no longer remembered the source; it was something like, “Be comfortable, being uncomfortable”. So in my mind, I surrendered to the state of contentment; being comfortable with my uncomfortable situation and went to sleep in my sweat.