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|The Kingdom of Heaven |
Towards the end of Jesus' life here on earth, the Israelites believed that Jesus was going to establish an earthly king as a powerful authority but the Kingdom of God that Jesus was establishing was invisible not visible - it was like a mustard seed - progressive, maturing slowly but surely.
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But just because the Kingdom of God is invisible does not mean that it isn't real. The Kingdom of God is like bread growing.
Our King, Jesus Christ, will not only reign in the future, He reigns now - like a mustard seed, a pearl of great price.
20131204 Bill Johnson  Category:   Tags:
|Rethinking the Reason|
As I write this the week before Thanksgiving, Christmas is still over a month away. The carols have not yet become inescapable and stale, the snow has not yet flown, and the debates over holiday greetings have not yet begun. The campaigns to get the word out that "Jesus is the Reason for the Season" are just starting to roll out.
I think sometimes we can get so caught up in little battles like "the war on Christmas" and take them as personal offenses - that the things we value are no longer valued by our culture. But, as we are fond of saying, Christmas is all about Jesus - He was marginalized and we will be too.
In spite of being raised in a Christian home, in Reformed and Baptist traditions, and in conservative West Michigan, it's taken me 23 years and the internet to actually understand the great Gift that inspired the biggest shopping day of the year, a whole month of weird music, and bringing trees into our homes. Ok, so I don't understand the last one, but, hey, it's still fun.
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20131121 Chris Johnson  Category: Christmas  Tags: Christmas, Gospel, Jesus
|Attn. Kmart shoppers – vulgar ads on your TV|
Kmart’s new Christmas television commercial - entitled “Show Your Joe” - features six men with hand bells, spiffily dressed in tuxedo jackets, and lined up behind a cloth-draped table. The men play the introduction to Jingle Bells, ringing their hand bells as professionally as any hand bell choir I’ve ever seen.
Suddenly they set down the bells on the table which is whisked away to reveal that they are missing the bottom half of their tuxedos. The men are clad in Kmart’s brand of “Joe Boxer” boxer underwear.
What happens next has “all the tender sweetness of a seasick crocodile,” to quote my favorite Christmas cartoon. The three best words that best describe it, are as follows, and I quote
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20131119 Lisa Van Houten  Category: Television  Tags: K-Mart, Joe Boxers
|God likes you|
So I now know the pleasure of seeing my child grow and develop and the idea that God feels that way about me inspires me that much more to learn to walk with Him.
Dan Doriani made a similar point in a Gospel Coalition Blog post:
"If you want a picture of God's unconditional, sacrificial love, watch parents care for an infant in the first weeks of life. A baby boy does not, cannot, do anything for his parents. He can't even give them a smile. A baby girl is a bundle of needs, demands, and interruptions that obliterate normal life. Yet as we watch the parents' eyes, we see the look of unconditional love. They feed, change, hold, and comfort a baby who has done nothing, and will do nothing, for them. But how they love him! There is no better image of God's unmerited favor, freely given. John says, "See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are" (1 John 3:1).
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20131114 Chris Johnson  Category:   Tags:
|Liberal lies - a hard pill to swallow|
However, while these ads are degrading and offensive, they are also promoting deadly lifestyles. In addition to the cavalier depiction of irresponsible drinking among young adults, the ads also send the message that sex is nothing more than a recreational sport – consequence-free – as long as you have your ObamaCare birth control.
Look at the “Let’s Get Physical” ad pictured above. “… Let’s hope he’s as easy to get as this birth control. My health insurance covers the pill, which means all I have to worry about is getting him between the covers.* I got insurance. Thanks Obamacare!”
Notice the asterisk in the middle of that tag line – right after “all I have to worry about is getting him between the covers.” That asterisk is there because Progress Now is covering their behinds from a potential lawsuit. That tiny little asterisk is there because preventing pregnancy with ObamaCare covered birth-control pills is not all young women need to worry about. The asterisk leads you to tiny print in the bottom of the ad which states: “The pill doesn’t protect you from STDs, condoms and common sense do that.”
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20131113 Lisa Van Houten  Category:   Tags:
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