7P: One of the gravest sins of all

  1. One website lists hundreds of sins mentioned in the Bible. One is refusal to be baptized, Lk 7.29-30. I know some people committing that sin.

  2. When a good deed turns out not so good? Just keep going forward.

  3. The abstract mind struggles to get specific. God’s Word helps greatly with that problem, among so many others.

  4. The brotherhood, in some places, is now into titles and degrees. They are flaunted to impress. Before long, insistence on calling them doctors and reverends will follow.

  5. Ladder to new home office was just installed this morning. Now to move in my books from the old office.

  6. An original verse: Work with joy, and give the task your best; / At day’s end, you can truly rest.

  7. A Bible verse: “The Lord stands aloof from the wicked, but he listens to the prayer of the righteous” Prov 15.29 REB.

7P: Lunch with a guest

  1. Went to meet with the saints in Eugênio de Melo (the other congregation in town) this morning, preached at their invitation. Good to see some old friends. Attendance was down. Did they hear I was coming?

  2. We had lunch at Empório Ancheita and invited José Roberto along, since we were taking him home.

  3. Much cooler today than normal. Not complaining. Cool is me.

  4. Sore in the lower back today from exercises yesterday morning at the gym. Case of the old gray mare?

  5. Bought a book lately? Try this one: Choose! Easy to read, challenging to practice.

  6. A verse of mine: Pounding drums from a distance, / The party invades our privacy, / No one knows or cares, / Gone the spirit of civility.

  7. A Bible verse: “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, sure and steadfast, which reaches inside behind the curtain, where Jesus our forerunner entered on our behalf, since he became a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek” Heb 6.19-20.

Can you ‘share’ the gospel?

  1. Is it wrong to speak of sharing the gospel with someone? Paul didn’t think so, 1 Thes 2.8. (Most versions translate metadidōmi as “share.”)

  2. With God’s acceptance, we can face all our warts and shortcomings and work by his power to perfect holiness.

  3. One writer says we can only “try” to be Christians. Point that it’s a process is well taken, but that doesn’t mean we are less than saints, less than God’s holy people.

  4. I often pray that God will give us growth in all areas: numbers, spirit, good works, generosity, love, in knowledge and certainty of truth. What am I missing?

  5. Every night, before laying your head upon your pillow, zero out all anger, irritation, resentment, and bitterness. You’ll rest well and rise refreshed.

  6. A verse of mine: My view, beyond my desk, of light and palm, / Refreshes the mind and brings the spirit calm.

7. A Bible verse: “For this reason Christ died and returned to life, so that he may be the Lord of both the dead and the living” Romans 14.9.

7P: Not nationalistic

  1. From Oswald Chambers: “The missionary’s message is not nationalistic, favoring nations or individuals; it is ‘for the whole world.’ When the Holy Spirit comes into me, He does not consider my partialities or preferences; He simply brings me into oneness with the Lord Jesus.”

  2. People want feedback, but then they don’t. Somebody once said to keep your counsel to yourself. Not a bad piece of advice. I should remember.

  3. If God knows me completely and loves me still, I can be honest before him about who I am. I can also be transparent when with others, revealing, in appropriate ways and at proper levels, who I am.

  4. John Henson wrote that Israel forgot “material wealth is a terrible indicator of national well-being.” A bad habit of many peoples.

  5. Perspective is important. Check out this map that shrinks countries to size on a Mercator scale.

  6. An original verse: The single drop of rain from heaven seems small / Until another joins and together they fall.

  7. A Bible verse: “But these people say evil things against whatever they don’t understand. And the very things they do understand will destroy them. That’s because they are like wild animals that can’t think for themselves. Instead, they do what comes naturally to them” Jude 10 NIrV.

7P: Reader of headlines

  1. I confess: I’m a reader of headlines. There’s not enough time to read it all. Many people are like me. Alert to publishers: Make headlines descriptive; quit the sensationalism and teasers.

  2. Now using my home office full-time. Still have to buy chair for the desk and other items, as well as unpack most of my books and papers. But it’s getting there. This is the place.

  3. Ed Mathews wrote in today’s devotional: “The first missionaries were refugees.” Persecution for God’s people is a given.

  4. The dividing line is drawn between those who want to love God by faithful obedience and those who want to redefine love in their own terms.

  5. Long holiday weekend sees travelers to the coast frustrated over closed Tamoios highway with several landslides due to heavy rains.

  6. A verse of mine: “God gives all his children the power to stand, / For nothing can remove them from his hand.

  7. A Bible verse: “To you, O Lord, I call out for help, for fire has burned up the pastures of the wilderness, flames have razed all the trees in the fields” Joel 1.19.

God is.

  1. More than 200,000 people are expected over the Oct. 12 holiday weekend at Aparecida, just down the highway from us, where Brazil’s patron Catholic saint stands behind bullet-proof glass.

  2. God is. God is love. God is good. God is working to bless. God is seeking fellowship. Do you believe?

  3. Big file for future book is freezing LibreOffice software in new laptop. Filed bug report, but no one has been able to replicate the problem.

  4. Heard tell that a new Truth for Today commentary on Hosea, Joel and Amos by Jack P. Lewis is now available. I want it. Can I, can I?

  5. Some people in the church agree with Bill Clinton’s statement about politics, “We need not just a new generation of leadership but a new gender of leadership.”

  6. An original verse of mine: We’ve no idea of what we truly need, / God shows the way, and Jesus takes the lead.

  7. A Bible verse: “But we are not among those who shrink back and thus perish, but are among those who have faith and preserve their souls” Hebrews 10.39.

7P: Personal attack

  1. Been getting lots of spam calls on my old cellphone. So I’ve turned it off. Want to talk? Send me an email.

  2. Suffered a sustained personal attack in a Twitter conversation as I argued for the exclusive use of the name Christian.

  3. I love fonts. Confession: there’s an occasion or two that I spend too much time figuring out what font to use in a document.

  4. Walls and barriers are but tests for one’s dedication and opportunities to prove the power of God.

  5. Is multitasking a myth? Do we try to justify our lack of concentration? To do one thing is not to do it well? If so, we are doing many things badly.

  6. An original verse: Grace comes not once but twice, and still again, / So let us ask not if he’ll come, but when.

  7. A Bible verse: “My people will live in peaceful settlements, in secure homes, and in safe, quiet places” Isaiah 32.18.

Sans necktie preaching in gospel meeting

  1. I preached a gospel meeting. On the last night, I did not wear a necktie. The roof did not fall. The brethren did not faint.

  2. Another excuse to drink falls to the ground. Forget the idea that a glass of wine is healthy.

  3. Friends rented my old office. TortaStore owners needed more space to prepare their chocolates. May it serve them well!

  4. Didn’t feel the usual strong desire to go home after two weeks away. I was a trooper for the whole 5 weeks. Must be growing up.

  5. Need to put final touches on presentation of our time in the U.S. First time to do that.

  6. An original verse of mine: Bought with a price, do not be human slaves; / But serve the Lord, who frees and loves and saves.

  7. A Bible verse: “Joseph replied to Pharaoh, ‘It is not within my power, but God will speak concerning the welfare of Pharaoh'” Genesis 41.16.

7P: Travel, elections, and pizza

  1. Brazil’s presidential election is tomorrow, so there’ll be much movement in the streets as people go to their obligatory vote. Hopefully, no violence.

  2. Kavanaugh is now on the U.S. Supreme Court. Let justice prevail.

  3. Missus and I arrived home today. Stay tuned for a short presentation of our time in the U.S.

  4. No food in the house, after five weeks of absence, so tonight we ordered pizza. Missus remarked that we had no pizza while in the U.S.

  5. In record time, three suitcases have been unpacked. One to go. It takes days to readjust, but getting back in routine is comforting.

  6. An original verse of mine: The righteous rejoice when justice on earth prevails; / They’ve faith in God when human fairness fails.

  7. A Bible verse: “He went up to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring olive oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him” Lk 10.34.

7P: Policeman praying

  1. Lunch with Missus and Mom at a local taco place in small hometown, good food, tacos 69¢ apiece, far superior to Mexican fastfood down the road.
  2. Seen at lunch: city police officer in uniform, sitting at table with two women, giving thanks for food.
  3. Mom recognized the guy in line in front of us: son of former neighbors from across her house—small town, as I said.
  4. My cousin works next door to the taco place, owner, I think, of the beauty shop.
  5. Plans and routines are necessary to move us toward positive actions that bless—we need them.
  6. An original verse: How do I, later, want to be remembered? / My present actions must be well measured.
  7. A Bible verse: “Drive out the scorner and contention will leave; strife and insults will cease” Proverbs 22.10.