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Does a Pharisee see far?

Christianity

The Pharisees get a roasting in the New Testament. They first pop up in Matthew 3 and John the Baptist lays into them immediately.
But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to watch him baptize, he denounced them. “You brood of snakes!” he exclaimed. “Who warned you to flee God’s coming wrath? (Matt 3:7, NLT)
He doesn’t see their fine robes or their importance – he just sees a brood of snakes. From there on it doesn’t get any better for them. They just don’t seem to be able to see what is happening in front of them. Many people see the miracles of Christ; they only see the works of Satan. Many see a Saviour; they see a threat to peace.

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A present for the present

Christianity

The Lord has gifted Bezalel, Oholiab, and the other skilled craftsmen with wisdom and ability to perform any task involved in building the sanctuary. Let them construct and furnish the Tabernacle, just as the Lord has commanded. (Ex 36:1, NLT)
It’s always great to watch an artist at work. With just a few lines, a blank page can be brought to life, a story can reveal itself. But it isn’t just artists that can amaze – I am stunned at how quickly a carpet fitter can transform a great sheet of stiff carpet into a perfect fit for a room; or how an author can grab our attention with that book you just can’t put down; or how a surgeon can mend a broken face. There are so many skills out there, so many abilities.

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A sign of things to come

Christianity

For most of my life IT has been a very prominent feature. Information Technology has improved exponentially during the last few years, and we can get the information we are looking for at the touch of a few buttons. But we get loads of information without pressing buttons. Just look around you – it’s everywhere! I don’t know how many signs there are in the UK. It must be a huge number. Everywhere you look there is one in front of you, probably more than one.
During World War 2, the UK Government removed all the road signs so that if the Germans invaded they would get lost – or it would at the least slow down their advance. Can you imagine the chaos that would happen if they did that now? If every sign suddenly disappeared, there would be total disaster. Think about it – all the road signs, street signs gone in an instant! It would be OK for the locals, but others would get lost in no time. There would be jams as cars go the wrong way up one-way streets, accidents as drivers go straight across without giving way. Just imagine the house numbers being removed from people’s homes – how would you find anyone?

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Setting the world right

Christianity,General

One lazy Sunday afternoon, a father was dozing on the sofa. His wee girl shook him awake, “Daddy, I’m bored!” He looked around for something to do, and noticed that the Sunday newspaper had a photo of a map of the world. He showed her the picture, then tore it into pieces, and told her to put the world back together again. Since she was too young to know where all the countries were, he thought the rest of the afternoon was his to doze in.
A few minutes later she shook him again. “I’m finished, Daddy!”
“You can’t be!”, but when he looked he saw that the world had indeed been put back together. “How did you do that? You didn’t know where all the countries are!”
“Well,” she said, “there was a picture of a person on the other side, and when I got my person back together, the world got back together too.”
We are like that. Too often our lives get ripped to bits. Our person is in pieces, and because our lives are in pieces, our world is too.

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Who is in charge around here?

Christianity,General

I have been watching the events in Egypt with astonishment. I have marvelled at the courage of the people, and there is no doubt that the world has changed dramatically. Twitter, Facebook and the internet in general gave them a “weapon” which was never before possible, and put the world in a place where revolution can take place with scarcely any bloodshed. There is no doubt that the impact which the protest had on the shaky economy also brought pressure to bear, as did the worldwide TV coverage. Thirty years of authoritarian government ended in fewer days.

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