Imagine with me a ship called Argy-Bargy. Captain Accord is given a mission to sail the ship to an island called Habitué. He tells Lieutenant Divagate to set a course of 340 degrees but the officer is distracted and misunderstands the course as 314 degrees. When he repeats the course back to the Captain, his southern accent does not help and he is given confirmation that is 26 degrees off course. Petty Officer 3rd Class Makebate got in a fight with Petty Officer 2nd Class Invidious and, though he was the instigator, he was furious when Ensign Feckless threw him in the brig for three days. When he got out he managed to convince Petty Officer Mugwump and Seaman Apprentice Fulminate that the officers on board Argy-Bargy were corrupt and out to get them. They hatched a plan to sabotage as many officers as they could on social media by spreading malicious lies. What they didn’t realize is that Lieutenant Commander Popinjay overheard them talking and reported them to Master Chief Petty Officer Sot who just happened to be from Makebate’s home town and was a friend of the family. Sot, after a few beers to think about the whole thing, chose not to say anything to the Skipper. Instead he casually shared with the XO, Commander Garboil, that a misunderstanding had occurred among some of the junior enlisted men but that he had handled it. What do you think of the state of unity on this ship? Will it reach Habitué?
The telephone rang and it was Effron. He and I played soccer together for over 10 years but we had not seen each other in quite awhile. After some catching-up small talk, Effron asked if I would be willing to officiate his impending marriage to Ramona*. I shared with him that I would be honored but first I would need to meet with them three times to do premarital counseling. He sounded a little surprised but agreed and so we set a night to meet.
Why did God scatter people across the globe and confuse their languages? The Scriptural interpretation for an offended God is often based on a literal reading of Genesis 11:4, “And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the sky. Let us make a name for ourselves; otherwise, we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” But why would God be angry with people for plotting to fabricate some skyscraping tower? I don’t know any stupid architects. No one can build anything that reaches heaven. Therefore, there had to be something about the purpose of the tower that drew God’s wrath. Marvin Rosenthal provides us analysis from his careful research.
Prayer can be one of the most disingenuous exercises we undertake as Christians. When I go to the Lord in conversation am I intent on discerning His will or am I out to gain my own agenda? My life is full of plans. I know what I would like to happen. It’s my life and I know what is best for me. Immediately I have gone astray. I have made the cardinal error that so many Christians insist on making.
Julie* smiled at me but her radiant ivories could not hide eyes that hurt. In five years with Curt he had yet to give her flowers. She would drop hints. Once,she shared why her dad gave her mother special plants. But practical Curt mentally pictured shriveled bouquets and concluded why waste money on something that won’t last. Curt did not understand that flowers were not the real issue.
Romans 14:8-- If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.