LIVING Stones!

Lifeless Stones. Photo courtesy of secrets-of-stonehenge-tours.co.uk

In 1 Peter 2:5a (NLT), Peter painted this amazing picture. Speaking of you and me, he wrote,

“And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple.”

Living stones. As you are about to hear in the PODCAST, Peter may have been an uneducated fisherman. But he was inarguably the master of the metaphor.

Last week, he referred to us as “priests”—a metaphor rich with a wealth of meaning once we understand the role of priests throughout the biblical narrative.

For this week, “living stones.” What a meaningful metaphor that is—“living stones.”

As we are about to learn, this is perfect for us to consider as we close out 2018—a year that has dealt with most of us in a remarkably unkind way. The challenges we have faced, the trials we have endured, the obstacles we have overcome… And yet, and yet, like “living stones,” you are still standing. And for that, I applaud you!

Now to the point at hand: Does anything strike you about Peter’s reference to “living stones”?

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you richly as you listen.

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Peter’s (and Paul’s) Impassioned Plea (Which BTW Echoes My Own)

Melchizedek Blessing Abraham by Walter Rane

Twitter has become the bane of my daily existence.

(You’ll discover why as you listen to this PODCAST.)

How I LONG—with every fiber of my being, with every beat of my hyperactive heart—for a kinder, gentler Christianity.

So did Peter.

So did Paul.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you richly as you listen.

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Bible Bootcamp — The New Testament

Courtesy of zazzle.com

Welcome to our third and final installment of Bible Bootcamp.

As you will hear in the PODCAST, with due deference to Peter’s challenge to you and me—1 Peter 2:2 (KJV), “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.”—we thought if beneficial to take a bird’s-eye view of the entire Bible. An overview. A survey. The box top to the biblical puzzle.

This so that we can understand how each individual piece fits into the whole.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you richly as you listen.

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“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.”

The hilltop mansion of Machaerus, the dungeon of which held John the Baptizer. Courtesy of ancientpages.com

In honor of this Christmas season now officially upon us, let’s go back to the beginning.

In this PODCAST, you will hear from the one, the prediction of whose birth shattered 400 years of a deafening silence and started the Christmas ball rolling—our old and dearly beloved friend, John the Baptizer.

This is his compelling story, as told in his own voice.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you richly as you listen.

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Bible Bootcamp (Part 2) — The Old Testament

As you are about to hear in this PODCAST, Jesus is in every book, 39 out of 39 books, in the OT.

Genesis: Jesus is the Seed of the woman (3).
Exodus: Jesus is the Passover Lamb (12).
Leviticus: Anointed High Priest (8).
Numbers: Brazen serpent (21).
Deuteronomy: The Promised Prophet (18).
Joshua: Captain of the Lord’s angelic army (5).
Judges: Angel of the Lord (2).
Ruth: Our Kinsman-Redeemer (2).
1 Samuel: The coming Messiah (2).
2 Samuel: Seed of David (7).
1 Kings: Thick cloud of God’s glory (8).
2 Kings: The Lord God of Israel (19).
1 Chronicles: The God of our salvation (16).
2 Chronicles: The God of our fathers (20).
Ezra: Lord of heaven and earth (1).
Nehemiah: God who keeps His Covenant (1).
Esther: The God of providence (Esther).
Job: Our Risen Redeemer (19).
Psalms: The King of glory (24).
Proverbs: Personification of wisdom (8).
Ecclesiastes: The God to be obeyed (12).
Song of Solomon: The one who loves selflessly (SoS).
Isaiah: The Suffering Servant (53).
Jeremiah: The Lord our righteousness (23).
Lamentations: The faithful / compassionate God (3).
Ezekiel: Lord who dwells with His people (48).
Daniel: The Son of Man (7).
Hosea: Picture of God’s redemptive love (3).
Joel: Giver of the Holy Spirit (Joel 2).
Amos: The plumb-line by which all is measured (7).
Obadiah: Destroyer of the wicked (1).
Jonah: The God of second chances (2).
Micah: Messiah to be born in Bethlehem (5).
Nahum: The Lord who is slow to anger (1).
Habakkuk: The Rock of our salvation (1).
Zephaniah: The King of Israel (3).
Haggai: The One who will bring peace (2).
Zechariah: King riding on a donkey (9).
Malachi: The sun of righteousness (4).

No wonder, then, that as Peter wrote in 1 Peter 2:2 (NASB),

“Like newborn babies, (we) long for the pure milk of the word (including the so-called OT!), so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation.”

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Bible Bootcamp: Inspiration and Interpretation

Image courtesy of Christian Games and Crafts

Welcome to a well-deserved pat on the back.

As you are about to hear in this PODCAST, I am thrilled to be able to look you in the eyes (metaphorically speaking) and say to you (literally speaking) with absolute confidence and conviction that you fulfill the mandate of Peter’s words to a degree that would delight the apostles’s heart, as well as my own.

The fact that you as a precious podcast listener have taken the time to click on a link to this podcast given the enormous numbers of online distractions proves that you “As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.”

My friend, we have so much to talk about.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you richly as you listen.

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A Life-Giving Touch of Kindness

Life is short.

People are fragile. So very, very fragile.

We who have committed our lives to a Gentle Jesus should of all people be a cascade of kindness to others.

As you are about to hear in this PODCAST, that is Peter’s message to you and me today.

Pretty basic. In a perfect world (which ours is not), this should not even need to be said.

But sadly, it does need to be said. And we need to be reminded that…

Life is short.

People are fragile.

We who have committed our lives to a Gentle Jesus should of all people be a cascade of kindness to others.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you richly as you listen.

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“The God of All Comfort”

Artwork of my dear friend, Udi. http://www.blueandwhiteart.com

It is the single saddest day on the Jewish calendar.

As you are about to hear in this PODCAST, that statement, purposely given with the present tense “is,” is true today.

It was equally true for Peter’s original Jewish readers.

One day each year, indelibly imprinted on the collective psyches of our Jewish friends then and now.

“It is today as it was then.”

A day which reads in English, “the ninth day of the month of Av” (usually around our month of August).

In Hebrew it is called, Tisha B’Av.

If we don’t understand what this day is all about, we will not understand what the closing verses of 1 Peter 1 are all about. For Peter’s original readers. And for us!

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you richly as you listen.

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Family Matters

There is a play-on-words in 1 Peter 1:22.

As you will hear in this PODCAST, an insightful play-on-words that we miss to our peril.

Coming as it does from Peter’s pen, I can assure you that this play-on-words is most-intentional. Pregnant with meaning poignantly personal to Peter, and to us as well.

This play-on-words is a bit of a pun—not humorous at all, but serious in the extreme—that goes straight to the heart of what it means to be committed-Christ-follower now, today, in our current Christian culture.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you richly as you listen.

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Redeemed! How I Love to Proclaim It.

It is one of the most beautiful words to appear anywhere in the Bible.

So beautiful, as you will hear in this PODCAST, that the biblical writers invoke this word one hundred one times.

Peter will employ it in 1 Peter 1:18 when he writes these 3 amazing words:

“You were redeemed.”

That is a declarative sentence, causing us to ask, What’s the picture??? The biblical picture of redemption.

I’ll give you a hint: It all has to do with one of the so-called Minor Prophets. Minor in terms of his book’s length; MAJOR in terms of its message.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you richly as you listen.

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