Let me begin by thanking you for your service. I’m sure you serve an important role in the immigration office, making sure that only legitimate travelers are allowed into your country, and that terrorists and suchlike are denied. I also am aware that your job is not necessarily a pleasant one, and that you would probably much rather be at home watching TV at 11 PM instead of stamping passports. So please accept my sincere gratitude for your efforts.
However, I do have a minor complaint. Are you aware that my U.S. passport features 17 pages for you to stamp visas on? I certainly don’t expect you to count them like I just did, but I can’t help but notice that, every time you stamp my passport, you always add your stamp somewhere in the first few spreads, which have been stamped many times before. It’s almost as if, instead of looking for a blank space to stamp on, you are looking for the very spot in my passport that is so overstamped, that no one could possibly spot, much less read, a new stamp! Every time is the same, continuing the vicious cycle.
I know this is an insignificant grievance, but when I look through my passport and see whole blank pages, just longing for someone to stamp on them, I can’t help but wonder what you were thinking when I handed you my passport and you thumbed through it. All I ask is that you look more carefully next time, and give some love to the lonely back pages of my passport before it expires.
So, today I happened to be browsing a North Korean website—that’s totally normal, right? Well, the truth is, I don’t do this often, since North Korean websites generally serve up an uninteresting array of news related to what Kim Jeong-eun is up to, and how awful South Korea and America are. But this time I was surprised to see a button labeled “Game”—not only did it promise something more interesting, but they used an English word that South Korea has adopted, but which I would expect the northern comrades to avoid. At any rate, I was ready to play some North Korean computer games!
Not all of them would load (North Korean servers aren’t known for their speedy page delivery), but I got a few to fire up. First I played a geography game with a map of the Korean peninsula, the goal being to recognise each province and major city by its shape, and then stick it in the proper place on the map. I didn’t do too bad, despite my very limited knowledge of Korean geography! Read More
I live under a rock. And it wasn’t until yesterday that I was informed of the big news that happened while I was chilling out under said rock. Frankly, I was not surprised to hear it, nor was I horrified or thunderstruck. Really I’m surprised it hasn’t happened sooner, what with the way things are going these days.
And it’s no secret where Google’s allegiance lies–I happened to open YouTube this morning to see a whole featured playlist of videos under the title “#LoveWins in Supreme Court Ruling.” The phrase “Love Wins” really struck me, and got me to thinking.
You know the phrase, “Love the sinner, hate the sin”? It is as true as ever, but we run into difficulty when it comes to homosexuality. You see, homosexuality is one sin that in modern times has become an identity. And when something becomes your identity, it is who you are. Me, I’m a Texan, born and raised. If you start a diatribe against my home state, I’m going to be very upset! Why? Because Texas is who I am, I am part of Texas. This is how homosexuality is now. It’s not so much considered something that people do, but something that people are. (I would have to research this, but my understanding is that this is a fairly recent phenomenon in light of history.) Read More
Has it been three years already? Yep, three years ago today, I started my new job at Truth For The World, in a new state and hundreds of miles away from home. The week before that I spent in Texas packing my earthly belongings into the back of my pickup, and the weeks before that I was busy taking finals, graduating, and taking a road trip clear across Texas with my parents and friend. Sometimes I feel like I haven’t slowed down since!
A lot has happened in the past three years. There have been both victories and disappointments. Times when I felt very stressed out, and times when I have been at peace. Friends have been lost, and friends gained. It’s been a time of growth, and although I haven’t accomplished everything my ambitious and naïve mind had planned before I started life on my own, all in all it’s been good. Read More
At the Duluth Church of Christ this coming Sunday morning, Thomas Reid will be speaking to us about two brothers in Christ who were very special to the apostle Paul: Timothy and Epaphroditus. As we look at the characters of these two special men, we can learn how we can model our character after them.
The following songs are from the book Praise for the Lord.
Seek Ye First – 883
The words to this song come straight from Jesus’ mouth, quoted from Matthew 6 and 7. And although you might not think of this as a song of praise, notice that each phrase ends with the word “Alleluia,” a Hebrew interjection meaning “Praise the Lord!” As we think about the providence of God, we can praise Him for taking care of us as we seek His kingdom first, just as Timothy did: “For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:21 NKJV)
God’s Family – 855
This spiritual song was written in the 1970s, shortly after “Seek Ye First,” and paints a beautiful picture of what Christians should be as children of God. Paul may not have been married, but he knew his true family was his brothers and sisters in Christ. “When a brother meets sorrow, we all feel his grief.” This is how the Christians in Philippi felt when they heard that Epaphroditus was sick: “he was longing for you all, and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick.” (Philippians 2:26 NKJV) In the same way, Paul knew they would rejoice to see him again. As children of God, we are family, and we should act like it!
There’s a Royal Banner – 671
Before the sermon, we will sing this rousing spiritual song from the 1880s that encourages us to serve as “soldiers of the king.” One of the descriptions Paul gives Epaphroditus is “my fellow soldier” (Philippians 2:25), and when we realize that being a Christian means being at war, and that it is a matter of life and death, things suddenly become more serious! As a soldier of Christ, Epaphroditus understood this, and almost died as a result of his service to God (Philippians 2:30). We should follow his example and “For Christ count everything as loss.”
Come Unto Me (O Heart Bowed Down With Sorrow) – 107
We will sing this song after the sermon to invite those who are burdened with the sin and troubles of the world to come to Christ and make their life right. This song emphasizes what Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30, that the way of salvation is so much easier than the life of sin. “His peace is like a river, His love is like a song…”
Oft We Come Together – 511
As we begin turning our minds towards the Lord’s Supper, we will sing this beautiful spiritual song by brother Tillit S. Teddlie. Notice the first line: “Oft we come together, oft we sing and pray.” This should be true for all Christians, but sadly, for some it might be more accurate to say “Sometimes we come together, every now and then we sing and pray.” Let us be more devoted to worshiping our God and being with the saints every time the door is open!
God Will Take Care of You – 191
Before the closing prayer, we will return to the thought introduced by the first hymn, that God will take care of us if we seek Him first. And although not specified in this song, one of the ways that God takes care of us is through other Christians like Timothy and Epaphroditus. As we go through life, let us always “beneath His wings of love abide.”