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WHATS IN THIS BLOG ABOUT FORGIVENESS • What Jesus said about forgiveness. • Forgiveness is vertical but reconciliation is horizontal. • The danger of unforgiveness. • Examples of unforgiveable damage or hurt.

OLD-FASHIONED SPIRITUAL WORDS. It is said that old-fashioned words, from the Bible for example, are going out of fashion. Words such as sin, repentance, grace, or mercy don’t appear in our conversations much, and certainly not near as often as words like I-phone, apps, Facebook, likes, or Wifi.

THE WORD FORGIVENESS IS AN EXCEPTION, since the concept is brought up frequently in today’s conversations. When a couple split, for instance, they are told they must forgive the other person. If we make a huge mistake in life, we are urged to forgive ourselves to be able to move on.… More

WHATS IN THIS BLOG: • A prostitute crashes a dinner party. • With a crazy act of love, she becomes the center of attention. • The host secretly blasts her act of love. • A guest uses the gift of mental telepathy to criticize the host. • He then calls out the woman and rewards her. • The cozy dinner-party atmosphere is blown to bits.

To begin, at a dinner party Jesus met up with a prostitute, and some crazy things happened. Here is my “engineering” interpretation (the story is given in full at the bottom):

. • Jesus was invited to a dinner party by Simon, a church elder. He was reclining, probably on cushions. • A prostitute crashed the dinner party.… More

Although I have lived in the southwest USA for seven years, I was surprised and spiritually refreshed by some encounters on a recent driving tour with family members.

First of all, at Hanging Lake, close to Glenwood Springs west of Denver, the parking lot was full. We circled the lot a couple times waiting and hoping that some hikers would come down and drive away. However, a jeep ahead of us using the same strategy suddenly waved for us to come forward, and indicated a parking spot that he was holding for himself.

We were astonished, and when I asked him, he merely said that he knew we had been there before him. I asked him if he were a Christian, and he laughingly said no.… More

Every close relationship (eg, romantic; marriage; boss and employee; parent and child) can be described by a positive circle and a negative circle. If the positive circle is larger, the relationship tends to succeed, and vice versa. The success of a relationship can depend on which circle we emphasize. If we emphasize the positive, that circle tends to grow, and God may even amplify the circle further. And vice versa. Therefore, one key in a good relationship is to emphasize the positive rather than the negative.

Within this context, problems come to everyone, rich or poor. How we respond to them is critical. Can we respond positively? Or do we react negatively? How resilient are we? Resilience is a relatively new word that has crept into education theory……it’s now become popular to teach our kids about this.… More

When the tornado sirens began to whine, I was shaving. Stupidly, I made a decision to finish shaving, which took about two minutes. On the last day of May 2013, we watched on TV a line of deadly thunder cells stretched out along a north-east direction. It was crawling eastward toward southeast Kansas where we were staying.

This happens every year in May or June, when the jet stream lies along this concourse and meets warm air from the gulf. It happened on three consecutive days while I was there. My business partner warned me about this on the first day of the storms: “Do not be out driving later in the day” he spoke gravely. “You may die”. He was not kidding.… More

She was 18 years old, and had graduated from high school just three weeks ago. We stopped for a dinner of barbecue brisket, at Dinks in the Oklahoma town of Bartlesville. This town used to be one of the richest towns in the USA (oil money from the Bartlesville sandstone discovered in the early 1900’s). A pretty brown-haired lass, Amanda had a contagious smile.  She was courteous in waiting on us. In the fall she would head for Oklahoma Baptist University to embark upon a nursing degree.

As we paid the bill, we noticed a tattoo behind her right ear. It was a thin gray rectangle bending back at 45 degrees. The words in the tattoo, which I had to lean forward to read, said Isaiah 58-11.… More

The separate abduction in Cleveland of three young women, aged 14, 16, and 20, who were held captive for almost ten years, has shocked us to the core. First of all, how were they abducted? Furthermore, how were they kept in this one house without being detected by other homeowners along the street? In addition, where were they imprisoned….basement or attic? For example, were they tied up or chained? Were they raped? Unless we have been incarcerated, it is hard to visualize what this brutal ordeal must have been like. After we ponder the perverted morality of the perpetrator, we feel like singing and dancing with the women who were liberated after so long.… More

This is as clear as a desert evening in Albuquerque: “Jesus told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not to faint, lose heart and give up” (verse 1).… More

Do you know which well-known Christian wrote these words: • “If Jesus appeared at your dining table tonight with knowledge of everything you are and are not. You would feel his acceptance and forgiveness. Unreservedly accepted, approved, and infinitely loved”. • “The living presence of Jesus awakened joy and set people free”. • “He freed them from self-hatred, and gave them what they needed more than anything else – encouragement for their lives”.

• “His mission and message: peace and reconciliation for all, without exception, even for the moral failures”. • “A person who cherished life, and especially other people, as loving gifts from the Father’s hand”. • “We should have a welcoming disposition toward the fellow travelers who knock on our door.… More

This letter was written, from my imagination, to try to illustrate what God would say to my Mom. It was sent to her shortly after my Dad died. At the time, I told Mom if the letter seems self-righteous or judgemental, please forgive me, because that was not my intent.

The letter was meant to be uplifting and encouraging, and not critical at all. This letter is reproduced now, about three years later, with Mom’s kind permission….it may help someone else who is grieving a loss or a separation (of any kind).… More

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