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to whom much is given.....

The Vineyard Dear Friends,   For as long as I have been a student of the Bible, one of the most soul searching verses for me has been Amos 3:2 “You only have I chosen of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your sins.”   Amos was preaching to the divided kingdoms of Israel and Judah when he uttered these words.  These two kingdoms were special! God called them into existence  for a purpose, and they had woefully failed to produce the results He intended. To whom much is given, much is required.  I wonder: do we talk about this enough?   One reason that verse has haunted me is that many of us—myself...

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I believe in the resurrection....

The Vineyard Dear Friends,   Is He risen?  We celebrate Easter each year and proclaim His resurrection, but as I grew older I began to wonder and doubt. My parents believed but I was not so sure they “really” were certain of it. It just seemed to me that they believed because they had to. After all, we were raised in the “Bible-belt” of the South.  But as I learned of new things and new beliefs, I found myself wanting to believe, but truly not certain about it.   And so I determined, many years ago, that if the resurrection was real, I would be totally dedicated to sharing the good news, but if it was not, I would “eat...

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A magical sentence?

The Vineyard Dear Friends,   Are there “magical” words in the world?  The Psalmist seems to say so when he states, quite clearly, “ If you say, : “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.   For he will command his angels concerning you  to guard you in all your ways”.  This seems almost like some sort of enchanted spell!  Just say this and all will be fine.   Count me it!   But of course there’s a point here that needs to be made: You have to mean it—i.e faith is required.   What does it mean to utter: The Lord is my refuge?...

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No regrets......

The Vineyard Dear Friends,   Yesterday I had the honor of saying good bye to an older friend that might not be here by the time this blog is posted.  He was one of the first people I met when I came to this mountain thirty-four years ago…. he has remained a steadfast friend for all those years.   I learned yesterday that he once guarded Adolf Hitler’s top officials right after the fall of Berlin——he never talked about it to me until yesterday.  But such was his generation—they don’t brag or toot their own horns.  I am sure my friend had his flaws, but I was unaware of them.  He remained faithful to one wife his entire adult life,...

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Against thee only.......

The Vineyard Dear Friends,   A day ago one of the boys rushed to tell me that one of the other boys had broken one of “nice” glasses in his bedroom. I asked him did he know who broke it, and he said that he “knew for sure" that it was the other brother.  After our typical ten minute investigation, it became clear that it was not the other brother that had broken the glass, but the rather it was the very one that brought me the news of the broken glass in the first place!   I asked him why he would accuse someone else and why he did not tell me the truth! He retorted that he knew...

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