Death and Taxes

I am not thinking about the subject of death right now, but am about ready to do my taxes. If Mitt can get his out so can I! Matthew 17:24-27 is an interesting text describing Jesus as a tax payer. The payment of a yearly temple tax was established in Exodus 30 as being the responsibility of every Jewish male over twenty. The amount was a half-shekel or two Greek drachmas (didrachm) and was the equivalent of two days wages.  Tax booths were set up in every town and village from March 15-25th and if one failed to pay it then, they would have to pay it in Jerusalem before they were allowed to enter the temple for worship. It is interesting that tax collectors in this passage came up to Peter and asked whether Jesus had paid the tax. Continue reading “Death and Taxes”

Are You A Procrastinator?

Procrastination is the intentional delay of action without any real reason or likely benefit. Procrastination is especially damaging when such delay becomes habitual, which is the case with a majority of college students. Hey, only Robinson Crusoe had everything done by Friday!  Yes, well the early bird may get the worm, but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese. Can you tell I’m procrastinating writing this blog? While laziness may have something to do with it, procrastination is multi-faceted and cannot be simplistically diagnosed. While some believe that there is a genetic predisposition towards procrastination, there are many other causes which need to be considered, such as: ADD, rebelliousness, indifference, pessimism, depression, anxiety, passivity, perfectionism, fear of failure, low self-esteem, etc.  “Procrastination is my sin. It brings me naught but sorrow. I know that I should stop it. In fact, I will–tomorrow!” (Gloria Pitzer) There I go again, sorry. Continue reading “Are You A Procrastinator?”

Use of Time

Each new year brings a certain awareness of the passing of time and the brevity of life. We may not measure our days with handbreadths like the Psalmist, but we know that our lives will be all too soon over. Thus our time is a precious commodity with which to make our mark in service for the glory of God. In Ephesians 5:15, 16 Paul counsels the church in Ephesus not to live in dissipation and drunkenness like their unbelieving neighbors who attended the Church of Dionysus, but to live wisely and carefully, “redeeming the time because the days are evil” (NASB). Jonathan Edwards preached a sermon on “The Preciousness of Time” which was based upon that passage in Ephesians. He makes some salient points:  Continue reading “Use of Time”


We often get confused with the difference between a job, a career, and a calling. I bet you didn’t know that my first job was in an orange juice factory, but I got canned. I couldn’t concentrate. Then I went up north and worked as a lumberjack, but I just couldn’t cut it so they gave me the axe. Finally I tried an inside job and was trained as a tailor, but it soon became obvious that I wasn’t suited for it. You know I am kidding, don’t you? Unfortunately, it does sound like a familiar scenario to many who go from job to job trying to find something that suits (oops) them. This is very confusing to many men in our culture (more than women, I think) who still tend to define themselves by their occupation. I think it might help if we first establish our “calling.” Continue reading “SO WHAT DO YOU DO?”

Child with Four Names – part 4

part 1 is available here

part 2 is available here

part 3 is available here

Isaiah 9:6 describes the character of Messiah by a series of four compound names. We have already discussed the first three: Wonderful Counselor (lit. a wonder of a counselor); Mighty God (el gibbor); Father Forever (Everlasting Father). Finally, the fourth name is Prince of Peace (sar-shalom). The Messiah will not bring peace to his people by brutality or slashing violence. The peace He brings first accomplishes reconciliation between God and man and then flows out as peaceful relationships with others. Continue reading “Child with Four Names – part 4”

Child with Four Names- part 3

part 1 is available here

part 2 is available here

The character of Messiah is described in Isaiah 9:6 by a series of four compound names: Wonderful Counselor (lit. a wonder of a counselor); Mighty God (el gibbor). The third name is Father Forever (Everlasting Father).  I have translated it in this order because the primary emphasis is on the Messiah’s personal relationship to His people. Again, ancient monarchs were often called “Father,” but they seldom had their people’s best interest in mind. The Messiah, however, will be a Father Forever to his own; perhaps a Father that many have never experienced; a Father that will never leave, a Father who understands, a Father who gives his life, and whose plans are motivated by deep love and concern for His children. Continue reading “Child with Four Names- part 3”