Many words are used in the New Testament to describe spiritual leaders in the church. Bishop, or overseer (episkipos); elder (presbuteros); pastor; minister (diakonos); evangelist; prophet; teacher; apostle (one sent out). All of these, except perhaps the last, are used interchangeably and appear to be but different functions or gifts of the same office. An … Continue reading Qualifications of a minister of the gospel
There are many supposed and real hints in the Bible of just how things will play out when our Lord returns. For centuries eminent scholars have scrutinized these hints and endeavoured to put together a coherent time line of that event. They have written many stories based on those searches; they all sound wonderful, but … Continue reading Where was the manger?
Use hospitality one to another without grudging. As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability … Continue reading Hospitality as stewardship
The factory where I found work made engineered rubber parts for the automobile industry. I was started on the press line, where rows of hydraulic presses produced vast quantities of rubber parts. The moulds were maintained at tempertures above 300° F to cure the rubber. I started when the weather was already hot and humid … Continue reading Finding home
The Machine Stops, by E.M. Forster depicts a future age in which technology is able to supply all our needs. People live in individual underground compartments, all their needs are supplied by the all-encompassing machine at the push of a button. Direct person to person contact is unheard of, having been replaced by electronic means … Continue reading Is technology dehumanizing us?
What are you putting in? Are you a church shopper? Do you go from church to church to find the one that will give you the most value for the lowest cost in personal involvement? Are you a builder or a freeloader? A church service service is not entertainment. If you are looking to find … Continue reading Don’t get much out of church?
We share our home with three cats. Each one came to us as a feral kitten at about six months old. This summer they will be 15, 7 and 6. They are dependent on us for shelter, food and affection. They tolerate each other, but don't appear to really like one another, though Pookie will … Continue reading Cats and compassion
"If a white person marries a black person," my father said to me one day, "their children will be born with one black leg and one white leg, one black arm and one white arm." I was still in my early teens but I didn't think such a thing was possible and I told my … Continue reading Strange ideas about strangers
"As every man has received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as faithful stewards of the manifold grace of God" (1 Peter 4:10). I don't recall ever hearing much discussion of this topic. When we talk of stewardship, we are generally thinking of our possessions and financial affairs, and too often … Continue reading Stewards of the grace of God
The Delta flight was leaving on time. Three of us were strapped in, one next to the other, each finding it easy to make small talk. As the plane lifted off, so did our burdens of office work. We were off to Glorietta, New Mexico, for a week-long conference, and our minds were filled with … Continue reading Foreign to Familiar