When was the last time you heard an honest sermon about gluttony?

Greetings Dear Reader,

I mentioned food as an example yesterday. When I ponder it at length, many of us have an improper relationship with food. We eat too much or too little. We eat things that are not healthy for us. Obsession with the food or with our physique causes us to see it in the wrong way.

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I have had a life-long struggle with my relationship with food. It has taught me several things about how to be faithful. The heart of the matter for me begins with trust. Jesus has said clearly that we are not supposed to worry about what we will eat. I have been in situations where I did not have food or a way to get food. …

No matter how good that green persimmon looks, I would not eat it.

Greetings Dear Reader,

Some years ago, there was a popular event called the Darwin Awards. According to their site, “The Darwin Awards salute the improvement of the human genome by honoring those who accidentally remove themselves from it in a spectacular manner.” These are tragic examples of those who have failed to think things through or whose arrogance has caused them to ignore the warnings of their common sense.

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There are some things we just should not do. Some things are completely foolish and other things are a failure to learn from the examples, good or ill, from those who came before us. We can learn from the mistakes of others. …

If we could buy redemption by being good, it would not be worth the price that was actually paid for it.

Greetings Dear Reader,

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast.”

Whether you share my faith or not, please look carefully at this quote from Paul’s letter to the Christ-followers in Ephesus. No matter what anyone tells you that you must DO, redemption (salvation) comes through faith by way of grace. It is not from anything we can do because it is a gift. …

We are at war. We fight every moment of every day. The difficulty is that we sometimes switch sides during the battle.

Greetings Dear Reader,

I realize that as someone who places love and grace above everything, “Warriors” is an odd title for my post this morning. I am, however, in good company. The New Testament writers often framed what we do in the metaphor of being soldiers in a conflict.

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Even when things are peaceful and sublime, we must not forget that we are at war. The difference is that our front lines are not visible as the battles are always first fought in the heart and mind. Our weapons are not made of steel and wood. Still, we are in a battle every day and often at every moment. …

When we see the journey of our lives through the Father’s eyes, we will see layer upon layer of sweet grace that allows us to become good.

Greetings Dear Reader,

When I taught Information Technology at the college level, one of the primary things students had to master was the Open Systems Information (OSI) model. It is a seven-layer set of protocols that explains the flow of information through a network. Each semester my networking students had to come up with creative ways to demonstrate their understanding of the OSI model.

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Over the years students presented nesting dolls, video games, and even a song to the tune of the 12 Days of Christmas. One group of students made a list of thirty different ways to remember the layers of the model. My favorite project over those years was the seven-layer cake presented one fall semester. …

“And the universe wheels and whirls like a dervish in perfect seven-step time. The Lord made the Danse, He taught her the steps, and He causes the songs to shine.”

Greetings Dear Reader,

I have a friend who dances between belief in God and unbelief. The thing he says that keeps him believing that there may be a God is free will. My friend is very intelligent. He has reasoned his way to the understanding that the only genuine deity would be one that gave us the freedom to choose him.

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Once we accept the truth that we are not good enough to merit the redemption that we need, we must also see that we have a choice to make. This choice is whether we put our faith in the source of our redemption or reject it. The logic goes like this: We are given the grace to see that we need redemption. Then we are given the grace to understand that we cannot redeem ourselves. …

The very best person we know is not good enough without grace.

Greetings Dear Reader,

I am close to someone who, no matter what you do for him, it is not good enough. There is always something you should have done better or forgot to do at all. Nothing is ever seen as complete or viewed as the best you could do with what you have.

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In the journey to be lovingly unoffendable, this person is a constant test of my resolve. A good friend of mine just mentioned last night that learning to be unoffendable is not easy and that sometimes it really hurts. …

James T. Kirk: My friends, the great experiment… the Excelsior, ready for trial runs.
Hikaru Sulu: She’s supposed to have transwarp drive.
Montgomery Scott: Aye. And if my grandmother had wheels, she’d be a wagon.
James T. Kirk: Come, come, Mr. Scott. Young minds, fresh ideas. Be tolerant.

Greetings Dear Reader,

Several of you have written asking my opinion of the new Star Trek series. Here is my response. There are no spoilers.

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The newest Star Trek series offered by CBS premiered this month. I have wanted a series based on the STTNG episode “The Lower Decks” since it premiered twenty plus years ago. …

In giving good over to grace, we must allow grace to dissolve any residual fear that we need to merit favor.

Greetings Dear Reader,

A friend posed a question that is clearly part of what must be explored to address our journey properly. In approaching grace, one must understand why grace is necessary. It begins with my introductory quote, “‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fear relieved.”

My friend asked this: “What part does fear play in this journey? Grace teaches us fear, and also liberates us from fear if we let it in. So maybe some of the good works that are set as ‘reserves to ensure redemption’ are born of fear that pre-dates acceptance of grace…whether tempting faith or testing faith.”

“‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear and grace my fears relieved.”

Greetings Dear Reader,

There is a management book, Good to Great by Jim Collins. It is one of those books that can transform an existing entity or create a lasting foundation in a new venture. I recommend it for anyone starting a new business.

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There is something beyond that though, I wish to ponder. When do we in business, friendships, and all of life get to the place where we think of moving from good to grace? Yes, I meant grace. I read recently that of those who identify as Christians, over 60% believe that they can earn redemption. …

Aramis Thorn

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