28 January, 2010

Brother Cites Matthew 18 - Intends to Never Forgive Sister Again

If there's one thing that Jared and Charity Ellison do well, it's fight. Rarely is there a peaceful moment in the Ellison household when these two are home together.

"We have to stay on them constantly," said Father Mark. "We just don't know what to do sometimes. I mean, overall they're good kids, they just kick and claw and scream and yell and hit each other repeatedly. I'll scold them and say 'Now, you two shouldn't do that.' or make them do timeout or something, but they just keep on fighting."

But things recently got worse and for a reason the Ellisons weren't expecting. It all started when Mark and his wife Glenda decided it was time to start taking the kids to church. The first Sunday they had attended in a long time, the kid's Sunday School lesson was on the subject of forgiveness from Matthew 18:21,22;

"Then Peter came and said to Him, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?" Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven."

"When we heard what the Sunday School lesson was about we got all excited," said mother Glenda. "We thought that perhaps this would encourage the kids to start loving and forgiving each other more."

But the Ellisons were wrong. Upon hearing the lessons, younger brother Jared decided to take the verse literally, specifically where Peter asks about forgiving one's "brother." Now he never intends to forgive his sister ever again.

"Ha! It doesn't say anything in the Bible about forgiving your sister!" screamed an excited Jared. "I'm so glad we went to church. It was awesome. She has to forgive me because I'm her brother, but I don't have to forgive her for anything, because she's a girl!"

While a little dismayed, Charity may have found her own loophole in the command.

"Okay, so if I have to forgive my brother, I have to forgive him, but I only have to do it 'seventy times seven' just like the Bible says. I figured out how much that is. I've got straight A's in math you know. And seventy times seven is 490. You can bet your boogers I'm keeping track of how many times I've forgiven that little brat, and he's not going to get one extra forgiveness from me. Not one!"

According to Charity by the end of the day Monday following the Sunday School lesson, Jared had already used up 264 of his "forgivenesses."

19 January, 2010

A New Perspective on Paul

I'd like to take a moment today and contribute my own ideas to the discussion concerning the Pauline New Perspective.

Here's one perspective on Paul.

And here's a new perspective on Paul.

Well, that just about covers it. Thanks for reading.

09 January, 2010

Couple Dumps Church for Year-Round Ministry Cruises

Peoria, Illinois - Don and Mildred Dodson have been faithful churchgoers their whole lives. From the time they were both little they can recall having to attend Sunday School, and services every Sunday morning, Sunday evening and Wednesday night. Then there were "revival Sundays" that began "revival week" which meant a full week of extra church services. They were married in a church and all their married life were active in Baker Street Baptist Church in Peoria. Now in their early 70s, after a lifetime of faithful church attendance, they've stopped going altogether.

"As we got older and retired we started touring the world together," said Don. "So we were missing church a lot anyway. There were some times when we were gone seven to eight weeks in a row."

Like many in the Dodson's position, they began to feel slightly guilty about not being involved in a church anywhere.

"I'll be honest," said Mildred, "I did start to feel a little bad about never hardly going anymore. We'd show up to church after not being there for a month or two and people would say 'Well hello there strangers!' We were just starting to feel a bit uncomfortable."

But recently the Dodson's dilemma was seemingly solved as they have discovered a new venue to fulfill their spiritual needs - ministry cruises year round.

"I was looking on the internet one day and came across this ad for a cruise to the Bahamas with some preacher named Creflo Dollar," said Mildred. "It looked interesting to me so I started to read up on it. Supposedly you go on this cruise and just have to go sit in on some seminars or something."

As the Dodsons soon learned, literally hundreds of ministries around America and the world have annual ministry cruises usually to exotic places around North and South America with a few to Europe and Asia. After putting together a list of various tours and dates they came up with enough cruses to fill almost an entire year."

"We found 46 separate ministry cruises that didn't conflict with each other," said Don. "We simply figured that during a regular church year we'd miss at least 6 weeks because of vacation or sickness, so this just worked out perfectly."

While the schedule will be tight at times and the cost expensive the Dodsons feel they can make it work out without too much trouble, as Mildred noted, "I figure the amount we'll save in tithe each week will offset the cost some."