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Knowing Good and Evil

“For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil,” (Genesis 3:5). Satan promises Eve knowledge of good and evil. I recently read a book that pointed out that Adam and Eve already knew right and wrong to some degree. They knew that eating the fruit would be wrong. So, what does Satan mean? Satan is promising they will be like God and be able to decide right and wrong for themselves. But there is another meaning here as well. Eve knew that eating the fruit would be wrong, intellectually, but she didn’t have a deep understanding of what sin meant. The word “know” in Hebrew is laden with meaning. The very next chapter, Genesis says, “Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant.” The Hebrew word for “lay with” is this exact same word, “to know.” To know something in Hebrew is intimate. Eve intellectually knew about evil, but she didn’t know it intimately.
 

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All

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
A preacher friend occasionally posts bible trivia questions, and a recent one was, “What is a root of all evil?” The answer is, “money” (1 Timothy 6:10). Deciding to be a bit pedantic, I pointed out that the verse actually says, “all kinds of evil.” My friend responded that the original Greek didn’t have the word “kinds” in that verse. I looked, and sure enough, he was right. To me, there’s a significant difference between “all kinds” and “all.” In that verse, “all kinds” seems to imply that there are kinds of evil that do not find their root in a love of money. “All” implies totality. There’s no exclusions. If you go to a zoo and they have “all kinds” of animals, then one would expect quite a variety of animals. But if they had “all” the animals, then one would envision a zoo with literally every species in existence.

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The Weakest Among Us Has a Gift

The story goes that two men were talking. One was a huge, strong fellow while the other was quite
small in stature. The small man was admiring the physical proportions of the other and said, “Boy, if I was as
big as you, I wouldn’t be afraid o’ nothing. Why, I’d go out in the woods and find me the biggest bear there
and I’d tear that big bear limb from limb.”
 

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Stand Firm

Abigail played piano with Phyllis first service yesterday, so Jackie and the kids came to support her.
Gabe, our youngest, wanted to walk around with me before service. One congregation member asked his name,
and I told him “Gabriel.” They responded with, “That’s a strong name to stand up to!” And Gabe said, “Well,
I’ve got strong legs!”
 

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Mentoring and Discipleship

Discipleship is deeply rooted in the Christian faith. Jesus reached out to large crowds (such as the feeding of
5,000 men), his core disciples (numbering 120 by the time of Acts 1:15), the Twelve, and, finally, the Three (Peter, James and John). Jesus seemed to cultivate a deeper relationship with the Three even beyond his relationship with the Twelve. He took them alone onto the Mount of Transfiguration. All the disciples followed Jesus into the Garden of Gethsemane, but Jesus called the Three away from the others to be closer to Himself.

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The Tomb is Still Empty

Easter Sunday has come and gone. It’s easy for us to move on with our lives. We have busy schedules. Bills need to be paid, meals need to be prepared, chores need to be done. It’s so easy for us to slip back into the routine of our daily lives. Yet the tomb is still empty. The resurrection we celebrate at Easter Sunday doesn’t stop on Monday.

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Weary

I know it may come as a huge surprise to many of you, but I’m not terribly athletic. When I was in gym class in
elementary school, I remember dreading the day we had to run the mile. I would make it to the finish line and collapse on the ground, my lungs on fire, barely able to breathe.

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Olives and the Stench of Death

I hate olives. I wish I didn’t. They seem like such a convenient and fun bite-sized snack. They are
versatile enough to add to a wide range of dishes. But they are one food I just can’t stand. Like the refined
senses of the princess in the old fairytale of the princess and the pea, even if there’s one olive piece mixed in
with a vast amount of food, I feel certain I could taste it. Jackie, on the other hand, loves green olives. The kids
have each chosen a side in this critical debate. How can one food divide so deeply? To one group it’s one of the
most cherished topping on a pizza. To the other it’s anathema, and any pizza sullied by the putrid touch of
olives must be disposed of promptly.

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Dyson Spheres and Jesus

A Dyson sphere is a term for a theoretical hollow shell that would encompass a star, harnessing all the star’s energy and providing exponentially more energy than one tiny planet could gain on its own. The idea started in science fiction, but the idea has crossed into actual science. Mathematician Freeman Dyson, for whom the idea was named, speculated that advanced alien species might have constructed such spheres, unintentionally making it harder for outside observers to find them (because the light from the star would be blocked by the sphere).

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Extreme Danger, Extreme Sacrifice

A few days ago I was listening to the news out of Texas. In some major cities nearly 100% of people
lost power at the same time the state was receiving freezing temperatures. The domino effects of cold weather, loss of power, boil orders, and more have caused a crisis in the region. In spite of the difficulties, people have gone out of their way to help others. Families who still have power have invited other families into their homes. The news talked about the risks of this kind of arrangement because of Covid, but the citizens of Texas decided that the leaving neighbors to freeze was worth the risk.
 

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