From Jim McGuiggan... FAME IF YOU WIN IT


There was a time when you’d have to be from a distant planet not to recognize the name John Wayne. For lots of reasons the name’s still way up high on the recognizable scale. It’ll take a long time before a whole generation will say, “Who ‘s that?” But it'll happen, won't it.

There’s something sad about that but there it is. It’s like my Cassie says (she’s my little Yorkie dog, bilingual, speaks Dogese and English, but speaks English to no one but me}—she says it doesn’t matter, the thing that really matters is living with integrity. 

I’ve told her more than once that I wish she would speak English to everyone but she just won’t have it.  Just wants to live a quiet life of integrity. Now and then I tell people Cassie speaks English and they only laugh—I told her that and she said, “Well, what do you expect?” I told her she could earn a lot of money and be famous. That was a mistake!

Immediately, there she was up on her hind legs waltzing all over our little apartment floor, giving me the Jimmy Durante impression and singing a couple of lines from one of his hits, Make Someone Happy. 

  Make someone happy,Make just one someone happy;Make just one heart the heart you sing to.One smile that cheers you,One face that lights when it nears you,One girl you're ev'rything to.Fame if you win it,Comes and goes in a minute.Where's the real stuff in life to cling to?Love is the answer,Someone to love is the answer.Once you've found her, build your world around her.Make someone happy, Make just one someone happy,And you will be happy, too.                                    

When she got to, “Fame if you win it/comes and goes in a minute,” she really started that Durante head-shaking business with her front paws out sideways. Sigh. That dog!
Still, I can’t deny that she’s right on target with her philosophy of life. 

You don’t begrudge celebrities like John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart and Tom Hanks their fame, do you? Others who you think are too coarse or crude or who work hard at being offensive—you might wish they didn’t have as much influence or prominence. It’s true they don’t care a button about what people like me think and that makes sense to me; working from their perspective why would they?

Look, there’s only one Jesus! The rest of us were born into a fallen world and it was inevitable that we’d end up sinning—God knows that better than we do. That’s why he didn’t send any of us to save us; he came himself in and as Jesus of Nazareth.

I’m aware of my own sinfulness and I don’t in the least find it strange that everyone else is as I am. What troubles me is how some of us truly exult in our evil—evil that targets the voiceless, the weak, the vulnerable, the helpless and makes hell out of life. 

I wonder if there are people who truly, actually, sincerely and genuinely don’t give a damn about the agony they inflict? Do they never—never—lie in the darkness of their room at night and wonder who or what they are, what they have become? I suspect there are such people but, dear God, what moral insanity that is, what an awful moral death that is. 

They weren’t born that way! Who knows how many factors [individual/familial/cultural] that begin the slide down into such an abyss, into such slavery where men and women look with pleasure at the chains that bind them? Or is it worse if they don’t even think of them as chains but as honor beads or medals of glory?

People with power [fame, money, intellect, brute strength, whatever]—when it’s used for evil it isn’t just personal guilt, it’s world-shaping.


When it's used to ease pain and lift peoplethat's world-shaping too. It doesn't matter that people don't know God is using them, he's doing it and it would be wonderful if they knew it.

From: Bert Thompson, Ph.D. ... What is the Relationship Between Morals, Ethics, and World Views?


What is the Relationship Between Morals, Ethics, and World Views?

by  Bert Thompson, Ph.D.


It seems to me that the view a person holds on the topic of origins ultimately will affect the view he holds on morality. What do you think?
The late philosopher/theologian, Edward Carnell, in An Introduction to Christian Apologetics, made the following observation in his chapter on ethics.
It is evident that we must act, if we are to remain alive, but we find ourselves in such multifarious circumstances that it is difficult to know at times whether it is better to turn to the right or better to turn to the left, or better not to turn at all. And, before one can choose a direction in which to turn, he must answer the question, better in relation to what or to whom? In other words, if a man is going to act meaningfully and not haphazardly, he must rationally count the cost; he must think before he acts. Right judgment, then, and proper actions always go together (1948, p. 316, emp in orig.)
Dr. Carnell’s point is well taken. Each of us must act as we face opportunities and challenges that require not only forethought and decision, but commitment and dedication. Right judgment and proper actions do go together. If we desire to think carefully, choose wisely, and act forcefully, what standard(s) shall we use to ensure that our thoughts, choices, and actions are, in fact, correct? What shall be our moral/ethical compass?
Morality (from the Latin, mores, meaning habits or customs) is the character of being in accord with principles or standards of right conduct. Ethics—the discipline concerned with what is good and bad or right and wrong—deals with moral principles and values.
Morals and ethics are important to all people, regardless of their world view. The late atheistic evolutionist of Harvard University, George Gaylord Simpson, stated that although in his estimation man was “the result of a purposeless and materialistic process that did not have him in mind,” nevertheless “good and evil, right and wrong, concepts irrelevant in nature except from the human viewpoint, become real and pressing features of the whole cosmos as viewed by Man—the only possible way in which the cosmos can be viewed morally because morals arise only in man” (1967, p. 346, emp. added). Indeed, the words “ought” and “ought not” are as much a part of the atheist’s vocabulary as they are the Christian’s. The question is: If good-and-evil/right-and-wrong are “real and pressing features,” how are we to determine what actions and thoughts fall into those categories?
Atheism contends that each indivdual should make that determination—separate and apart from any objective, moral standard. Simpson wrote:
Discovery that the universe apart from man or before his coming lacks and lacked any purpose or plan has the inevitable corollary that the workings of the universe cannot provide any automatic, universal, eternal, or absolute ethical criteria of right or wrong (1967, p. 346).
It hardly is surprising, then, that the Humanist Manifestos I & II (atheism’s “Bill of Rights”) boast:
We affirm that moral values derive their source from human experience. Ethics is autonomous and situational, needing no theological or ideological sanction.... We strive for the good life, here and now (1933/1973, p. 17, emp. in orig.).
As a “naked ape” in an “accidental Universe,” man’s morals and ethics are viewed as “autonomous” and “situational.” That is to say, something becomes “right” because the individual determines it is right on a case-by-case basis, thus invalidating the concept of common moral law applied consistently. For example, if a sane man decided it was “right” to kill his business competitors, upon what basis could we (justifiably) ask someone (e.g., the police) to stop him without denying his autonomy and thus violating (and ultimately invalidating) the very principle upon which this ethic is supposed to work? But then, who really wants to live under such a system? As Wayne Jackson noted:
No sane person will argue that absolutely “anything goes....” One may indeed become so insensitive that he abandons virtually all of his personal ethical obligations, but he will never ignore the lack of such in those who would abuse him (1984, p. 320, emp. in orig.)
If humans are merely “matter in motion,” if no one piece of matter is worth more than any other piece of matter, if we are autonomous, if the situation warrants it, and if we can further our own selfish interests by doing so, could we not lie, steal, maim, or murder at will? If not, why not?
Compare that kind of thinking, however, to the moral/ethical instructions contained in God’s Word that teach us to: love all people—friend and foe alike (Matthew 5:44); treat others as we would want to be treated (Matthew 7:12); help those who are afflicted (James 1:27); aid those who are less fortunate (1 John 3:17); embody joy, peace, patience, kindness, and meekness (Galatians 5:22-23); and do good unto all men (Galatians 6:10). Then answer this question: Who would you rather have as your neighbor—a person who practices the brand of situation ethics advocated by atheism, or a Christian who practices the kind of objective morality taught in the Bible? Kind of makes you think, doesn’t it?


Carnell, Edward John (1948), An Introduction to Christian Apologetics (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
Humanist Manifestos I & II (1933/1973), (Buffalo, NY: Prometheus).
Jackson, Wayne (1984), “False Doctrines of Human conduct,” Doctrines and Commandments of Men: A Handbook on Religious Error, ed. John Waddey (Knoxville, TN: East Tennessee School of Preaching), pp. 319-335.
Simpson, George Gaylord (1967), The Meaning of Evolution (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press), revised edition.

From Mark Copeland... The Sin Of Partiality (James 2:1-13)

                    "THE EPISTLE OF JAMES"

                      The Sin Of Partiality (2:1-13)

1. In the first century, A.D., polarized conditions governed society;
   people were either rich or poor, slaves or free, Jew or Gentile,
   Greek or barbarian

2. However, part of the good news of the gospel was that in Christ
   Jesus social barriers lost much of their strength
   a. As Paul wrote to the Galatians:  "There is neither Jew nor Greek,
      there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female:
      for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. (Ga 3:28)
   b. Again, in writing to the Colossians:  "Where there is neither
      Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian,
      Scythian, bond [nor] free: but Christ [is] all, and in all.
      (Col 3:11)

3. But it took a while for this truth to sink into the hearts of those
   who were Christians; even the apostle Peter had to be told this
   truth through a vision and then a special outpouring of the Holy
   Spirit - cf. Ac 10:34-35

4. From the second chapter of the epistle of James, it is apparent that
   showing partiality was still being practiced and its sinfulness
   needed to be pointed out

5. Because "The Sin Of Partiality" is still prevalent in some forms
   today, let's examine Jm 2:1-13 and consider what James has to say
   on this subject

[Consider, first of all, exactly what is...]


      1. We know from other scriptures that Jewish Christians often
         showed partiality in regards to the Gentiles
      2. But in this epistle, the problem was one of showing partiality
         between the rich and poor - Jm 2:2-4

      1. By showing partiality between rich and poor
         a. For example, giving preferential treatment to visitors at
            our assemblies based upon their apparel
         b. Or showing hospitality towards our rich friends, while
            ignoring those who are poor (sometimes, it is the poor who
            despise the rich)
      2. By showing partiality between people of different races (again,
         this can easily go both ways)
      3. Even by showing partiality between friends and visitors to our

[Sadly, the sin of partiality (i.e., being biased, prejudiced, racist)
is probably just as prevalent if not more so than it was in the days
when James wrote his epistle!

This makes the words of James very relevant and worth our consideration.
Let's therefore notice...]


      1. It is possible that this point was being implied by James in
         using his appellation of Jesus to introduce the subject
      2. What does OUR partiality have to do with the LORD OF GLORY?
         a. As Christians, we profess to be Christ's disciples, or
            followers, whose goal is to imitate Him - Lk 6:40
         b. As such, our actions are likely to be considered by others
            as a reflection of what Christ teaches
         c. If we show partiality as Christians, we leave the impression
            that Jesus Himself is partial (prejudiced, biased, racist)
      3. Therefore, if we are not careful, the glory of the Lord can be
         tainted by OUR partiality!

      1. God has always hated unjust judges
      2. Jesus Himself warned about:
         a. The dangers of judging - Mt 7:1
         b. The need to make righteous judgment - Jn 7:24
      3. If we judge against the poor due to our prejudice against them,
         we will find ourselves fighting against God! - Ps 109:31

      1. Both then and today God has chosen to honor the poor
         a. The gospel was proclaimed to the poor - Lk 7:22
         b. The majority of those who responded were from among the poor
            - 1Co 1:26-29
      2. Both then and today God has chosen to honor ALL men - Ac 10:
         a. Therefore, when we show partiality because of a person's
         b. Or because they are a stranger we do not know...
         ...then we despise those whom God has honored by His offering
            to them salvation through the gospel!
      3. Do we want to face God on the Day of Judgment guilty of such
         a crime?

      1. The rich were doing this to the Christians in James' day
      2. Who are the ones most likely to oppress Christians today if it
         ever came down to "push and shove"?
         a. Those who have the resources to do so
         b. And most likely that would be the "majority" and the 

   E. WE BREAK "THE ROYAL LAW" (2:8-11)
      1. Which is "You shall love your neighbor as your self"
      2. This is one of the most fundamental laws that God has ever
         a. As proclaimed by Christ - Mt 22:36-40
         b. As taught by Paul - Ro 13:8-10
      3. And, as emphasized by James, by breaking one law, we become
         guilty of ALL the Law!
         a. I.e., to show partiality is to make one as guilty as if they
            committed adultery or murder!
         b. This illustrates just how terrible any sin is!

      1. This refers to the law of Christ, or the gospel
         a. A law that has set us free from the bondage of sin through
            the mercy shown in Christ - cf. Jn 8:31-36
         b. And a law that sets us free from man-made restrictions 
            - cf. Col 2:20-22
      2. But if we:
         a. Apply man-made restrictions upon others (like showing
         b. Do not show mercy toward others
         ...then NO MERCY will be shown toward us! - cf. Mt 6:14-15


1. In view of all these things, we can understand why James would say:

   "My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, [the
   Lord] of glory, with respect of persons." (Jm 2:1)

2. We can also better understand Peter's reasoning why he had to accept
   the Gentiles:

   "Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as [he did] unto us,
   who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could
   withstand God?" (Ac 11:17)

3. And we are more likely to heed the prayer and admonition of KPaul:

   5  Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be
   likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: 6  That ye
   may with one mind [and] one mouth glorify God, even the Father of
   our Lord Jesus Christ. 7  Wherefore receive ye one another, as
   Christ also received us to the glory of God. (Romans 15)

Brethren, we serve A GLORIOUS LORD, we serve to do things to His glory;
may we NEVER allow the sin of partiality, bias, prejudice, or racism to
taint that wonderful glory in any way!

[And a concluding word for the NON-Christian:

   1) Notice that in our text James speaks of:
      a) The terribleness of even one sin (2:10)
      b) The fact of judgment (2:12)

   2) Won't you accept the mercy God offers to you in the gospel of His
      Son Jesus Christ?
      a) Remember, God is not a partial judge - cf. Ro 2:4-11
      b) Why should He show mercy to you when you despise His mercy
         just as much as the vilest sinner?

Accept His mercy in obedience to the gospel today!]

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Gary... Bible Reading April 10

Bible Reading  

April 10

The World English Bible

Apr. 10
Numbers 11, 12
Num 11:1 The people were complaining in the ears of Yahweh. When Yahweh heard it, his anger was kindled; and Yahweh's fire burnt among them, and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp.
Num 11:2 The people cried to Moses; and Moses prayed to Yahweh, and the fire abated.
Num 11:3 The name of that place was called Taberah, because Yahweh's fire burnt among them.
Num 11:4 The mixed multitude that was among them lusted exceedingly: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, "Who will give us flesh to eat?
Num 11:5 We remember the fish, which we ate in Egypt for nothing; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic;
Num 11:6 but now we have lost our appetite. There is nothing at all except this manna to look at."
Num 11:7 The manna was like coriander seed, and its appearance like the appearance of bdellium.
Num 11:8 The people went around, gathered it, and ground it in mills, or beat it in mortars, and boiled it in pots, and made cakes of it. Its taste was like the taste of fresh oil.
Num 11:9 When the dew fell on the camp in the night, the manna fell on it.
Num 11:10 Moses heard the people weeping throughout their families, every man at the door of his tent; and the anger of Yahweh was kindled greatly; and Moses was displeased.
Num 11:11 Moses said to Yahweh, "Why have you treated with your servant so badly? Why haven't I found favor in your sight, that you lay the burden of all this people on me?
Num 11:12 Have I conceived all this people? Have I brought them forth, that you should tell me, 'Carry them in your bosom, as a nurse carries a nursing infant, to the land which you swore to their fathers?'
Num 11:13 Where could I get meat to give to all this people? For they weep to me, saying, 'Give us meat, that we may eat.'
Num 11:14 I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me.
Num 11:15 If you treat me this way, please kill me right now, if I have found favor in your sight; and don't let me see my wretchedness."
Num 11:16 Yahweh said to Moses, "Gather to me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them to the Tent of Meeting, that they may stand there with you.
Num 11:17 I will come down and talk with you there. I will take of the Spirit which is on you, and will put it on them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, that you not bear it yourself alone.
Num 11:18 Say to the people, 'Sanctify yourselves against tomorrow, and you will eat flesh; for you have wept in the ears of Yahweh, saying, "Who will give us flesh to eat? For it was well with us in Egypt." Therefore Yahweh will give you flesh, and you will eat.
Num 11:19 You will not eat one day, nor two days, nor five days, neither ten days, nor twenty days,
Num 11:20 but a whole month, until it come out at your nostrils, and it is loathsome to you; because that you have rejected Yahweh who is among you, and have wept before him, saying, "Why did we come out of Egypt?" ' "
Num 11:21 Moses said, "The people, among whom I am, are six hundred thousand men on foot; and you have said, 'I will give them flesh, that they may eat a whole month.'
Num 11:22 Shall flocks and herds be slaughtered for them, to be sufficient for them? Shall all the fish of the sea be gathered together for them, to be sufficient for them?"
Num 11:23 Yahweh said to Moses, "Has Yahweh's hand grown short? Now you will see whether my word will happen to you or not."
Num 11:24 Moses went out, and told the people the words of Yahweh; and he gathered seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them around the Tent.
Num 11:25 Yahweh came down in the cloud, and spoke to him, and took of the Spirit that was on him, and put it on the seventy elders: and it happened that when the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied, but they did so no more.
Num 11:26 But two men remained in the camp. The name of one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the Spirit rested on them; and they were of those who were written, but had not gone out to the Tent; and they prophesied in the camp.
Num 11:27 A young man ran, and told Moses, and said, "Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp!"
Num 11:28 Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his chosen men, answered, "My lord Moses, forbid them!"
Num 11:29 Moses said to him, "Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all Yahweh's people were prophets, that Yahweh would put his Spirit on them!"
Num 11:30 Moses went into the camp, he and the elders of Israel.
Num 11:31 A wind from Yahweh went out and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, about a day's journey on this side, and a day's journey on the other side, around the camp, and about two cubits above the surface of the earth.
Num 11:32 The people rose up all that day, and all the night, and all the next day, and gathered the quails. He who gathered least gathered ten homers; and they spread them all abroad for themselves around the camp.
Num 11:33 While the flesh was yet between their teeth, before it was chewed, the anger of Yahweh was kindled against the people, and Yahweh struck the people with a very great plague.
Num 11:34 The name of that place was called Kibroth Hattaavah, because there they buried the people who lusted.
Num 11:35 From Kibroth Hattaavah the people traveled to Hazeroth; and they stayed at Hazeroth.
Num 12:1 Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married; for he had married a Cushite woman.
Num 12:2 They said, "Has Yahweh indeed spoken only with Moses? Hasn't he spoken also with us?" And Yahweh heard it.
Num 12:3 Now the man Moses was very humble, above all the men who were on the surface of the earth.
Num 12:4 Yahweh spoke suddenly to Moses, to Aaron, and to Miriam, "You three come out to the Tent of Meeting!" The three of them came out.
Num 12:5 Yahweh came down in a pillar of cloud, and stood at the door of the Tent, and called Aaron and Miriam; and they both came forward.
Num 12:6 He said, "Hear now my words. If there is a prophet among you, I Yahweh will make myself known to him in a vision. I will speak with him in a dream.
Num 12:7 My servant Moses is not so. He is faithful in all my house.
Num 12:8 With him I will speak mouth to mouth, even plainly, and not in riddles; and he shall see Yahweh's form. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant, against Moses?"
Num 12:9 The anger of Yahweh was kindled against them; and he departed.
Num 12:10 The cloud departed from over the Tent; and behold, Miriam was leprous, as white as snow. Aaron looked at Miriam, and behold, she was leprous.
Num 12:11 Aaron said to Moses, "Oh, my lord, please don't count this sin against us, in which we have done foolishly, and in which we have sinned.
Num 12:12 Let her not, I pray, be as one dead, of whom the flesh is half consumed when he comes out of his mother's womb."
Num 12:13 Moses cried to Yahweh, saying, "Heal her, God, I beg you!"
Num 12:14 Yahweh said to Moses, "If her father had but spit in her face, shouldn't she be ashamed seven days? Let her be shut up outside of the camp seven days, and after that she shall be brought in again."
Num 12:15 Miriam was shut up outside of the camp seven days, and the people didn't travel until Miriam was brought in again.
Num 12:16 Afterward the people traveled from Hazeroth, and encamped in the wilderness of Paran.

Apr. 10, 11
Luke 7

Luk 7:1 After he had finished speaking in the hearing of the people, he entered into Capernaum.
Luk 7:2 A certain centurion's servant, who was dear to him, was sick and at the point of death.
Luk 7:3 When he heard about Jesus, he sent to him elders of the Jews, asking him to come and save his servant.
Luk 7:4 When they came to Jesus, they begged him earnestly, saying, "He is worthy for you to do this for him,
Luk 7:5 for he loves our nation, and he built our synagogue for us."
Luk 7:6 Jesus went with them. When he was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying to him, "Lord, don't trouble yourself, for I am not worthy for you to come under my roof.
Luk 7:7 Therefore I didn't even think myself worthy to come to you; but say the word, and my servant will be healed.
Luk 7:8 For I also am a man placed under authority, having under myself soldiers. I tell this one, 'Go!' and he goes; and to another, 'Come!' and he comes; and to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it."
Luk 7:9 When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turned and said to the multitude who followed him, "I tell you, I have not found such great faith, no, not in Israel."
Luk 7:10 Those who were sent, returning to the house, found that the servant who had been sick was well.
Luk 7:11 It happened soon afterwards, that he went to a city called Nain. Many of his disciples, along with a great multitude, went with him.
Luk 7:12 Now when he drew near to the gate of the city, behold, one who was dead was carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. Many people of the city were with her.
Luk 7:13 When the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said to her, "Don't cry."
Luk 7:14 He came near and touched the coffin, and the bearers stood still. He said, "Young man, I tell you, arise!"
Luk 7:15 He who was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he gave him to his mother.
Luk 7:16 Fear took hold of all, and they glorified God, saying, "A great prophet has arisen among us!" and, "God has visited his people!"
Luk 7:17 This report went out concerning him in the whole of Judea, and in all the surrounding region.
Luk 7:18 The disciples of John told him about all these things.
Luk 7:19 John, calling to himself two of his disciples, sent them to Jesus, saying, "Are you the one who is coming, or should we look for another?"
Luk 7:20 When the men had come to him, they said, "John the Baptizer has sent us to you, saying, 'Are you he who comes, or should we look for another?' "
Luk 7:21 In that hour he cured many of diseases and plagues and evil spirits; and to many who were blind he gave sight.
Luk 7:22 Jesus answered them, "Go and tell John the things which you have seen and heard: that the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them.
Luk 7:23 Blessed is he who is not offended by me."
Luk 7:24 When John's messengers had departed, he began to tell the multitudes about John, "What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?
Luk 7:25 But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft clothing? Behold, those who are gorgeously dressed, and live delicately, are in kings' courts.
Luk 7:26 But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and much more than a prophet.
Luk 7:27 This is he of whom it is written, 'Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you.'
Luk 7:28 "For I tell you, among those who are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptizer, yet he who is least in the Kingdom of God is greater than he."
Luk 7:29 When all the people and the tax collectors heard this, they declared God to be just, having been baptized with John's baptism.
Luk 7:30 But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the counsel of God, not being baptized by him themselves.
Luk 7:31 "To what then will I liken the people of this generation? What are they like?
Luk 7:32 They are like children who sit in the marketplace, and call one to another, saying, 'We piped to you, and you didn't dance. We mourned, and you didn't weep.'
Luk 7:33 For John the Baptizer came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, 'He has a demon.'
Luk 7:34 The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, 'Behold, a gluttonous man, and a drunkard; a friend of tax collectors and sinners!'
Luk 7:35 Wisdom is justified by all her children."
Luk 7:36 One of the Pharisees invited him to eat with him. He entered into the Pharisee's house, and sat at the table.
Luk 7:37 Behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that he was reclining in the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster jar of ointment.
Luk 7:38 Standing behind at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears, and she wiped them with the hair of her head, kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.
Luk 7:39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, "This man, if he were a prophet, would have perceived who and what kind of woman this is who touches him, that she is a sinner."
Luk 7:40 Jesus answered him, "Simon, I have something to tell you." He said, "Teacher, say on."
Luk 7:41 "A certain lender had two debtors. The one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.
Luk 7:42 When they couldn't pay, he forgave them both. Which of them therefore will love him most?"
Luk 7:43 Simon answered, "He, I suppose, to whom he forgave the most." He said to him, "You have judged correctly."
Luk 7:44 Turning to the woman, he said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I entered into your house, and you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head.
Luk 7:45 You gave me no kiss, but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss my feet.
Luk 7:46 You didn't anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment.
Luk 7:47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little."
Luk 7:48 He said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."
Luk 7:49 Those who sat at the table with him began to say to themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?"
Luk 7:50 He said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you. Go in peace."

From Gary... Is that you, God?

Terri Justice sent me this picture yesterday.  Looks like an advertising slogan, and if so, it did what it was supposed to do- made me think!!!  Naturally, I wondered, "who is speaking to me"?  And the thought occurred to me- what if it was God? If so, why would he say such a thing???  Also, has God ever done this before?  The answer is a resounding YES and it is confirmed by the apostle James...

James, Chapter 2
  14  What good is it, my brothers, if a man says he has faith, but has no works? Can faith save him?  15 And if a brother or sister is naked and in lack of daily food,  16 and one of you tells them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled”; and yet you didn’t give them the things the body needs, what good is it?  17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead in itself.  18 Yes, a man will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without works, and I by my works will show you my faith. 

  19  You believe that God is one. You do well. The demons also believe, and shudder. 20 But do you want to know, vain man, that faith apart from works is dead?  21 Wasn’t Abraham our father justified by works, in that he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? 22 You see that faith worked with his works, and by works faith was perfected;  23 and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him as righteousness”; and he was called the friend of God.  24 You see then that by works, a man is justified, and not only by faith.

Abraham was called the "the friend of God" because his faith and his works showed his true friendship towards the ALMIGHTY!!! Further, the patriarch became the "friend of God" because he obeyed.  And not just a little order, either!!!  Considering this, I find it mind boggling that people often can take or leave what the Bible tells them what to do in order to be with HIM forever.  If you think I am exaggerating, then go to Acts 2:38 and ask yourself why people say that you are NOT saved at baptism? Need more? Consider Titus 3:3-5; 1 Peter 3:21 and Romans 6:1-11. Still not enough? OK, Matthew 28:18-20 and Mark 16:15-16.  I know this will make you do some work, but it is worth the effort.  Who knows... God could say "Hello Friend" to you- this very day!!!