Aug 22, 2006

the right ear of malchus

Just some curiosity here!

After Judas applied the finishing touches in his betrayal of Jesus with a kiss, Simon Peter brandished a sword and sliced off the right ear of Malchus (the servant of the high priest,) as described by Luke in chapter 22:49-51 (ESV):

And when those who were around him saw what would follow, they said, 'Lord shall we strike with the sword?' And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus said, 'no more of this!' And he touched his ear and healed him.

I'm curious to know what actually happened to the servants ear! When Jesus "touched his ear" did he reattach the ear, replace the ear with a new ear, or just heal what was left dangling from his lopsided head? Whatever the healing process, surely his ear was replaced with the perfect match.

Certainly Malchus instantly realized the great power of Jesus when his ear was miraculously restored, and it's hard to believe the arresting party missed this unusual event; they would have to be physically and spiritually blind to overlook such an unusual occurrence, and it's hard to imagine this group thought they were arresting just another average ol' Joe. I'm curious how this might have shaped their future lives.

When reaching old age, could Grandpa Malchus describe his encounter with the Lord that night to his grandchildren while pointing to his perfectly replaced ear without considering the pain of losing an ear, and the subsequent miraculous replacement? Surely the world of Malchus was shook to the core by this miracle, and it must have crossed his mind that Jesus was the promised son of God. I'm curious if he ever accepted Jesus as the Messiah, and his Lord.

And the sword(s) the apostles carried, that's another poser for another time.

Aug 14, 2006

a snake story

The Sierra Nevada mountains in California is a beautiful place to live, but being surrounded by all this beauty and quietness exacts a price; like meeting face to face with a two foot long Gopher snake in your silverware drawer while reaching for a fork. A snake this size may not seem large at first thought, but when crammed in a small drawer it's huge!

A snake out in the woods away from the house doesn't bother me, but when its living inside the house slithering through the kitchen cabinets its a major catastrophe, as far as I'm concerned.

What really hurts is that by the time I finished running through the woods, getting as much space between me and the critter as I could, it disappeared. Now my imagination is running wild with a snake in the house that I can't locate. I can't even put my feet under the table to eat without first checking for a snake. Going to bed at night is another story!

Enough snaky stuff; Just wanted to share this lovely experience.

Aug 8, 2006

retraction and removal of lark posts

Sheepishly I have removed the posts from my blog based on articles from Lark.

Kendall Ball (and I thank him) made a comment on the last article I posted asking if I knew the Lark site was purely fictional, similar to The Onion, and some of the other tongue-in-cheek sites. While I knew the information was skewed to a point to embellish certain aspects of the story, I honestly thought the articles were based on facts (even after reading their disclaimer,) but they are 100% fiction.

Please forgive my ignorance! I removed them as soon as I received the confirmation from the Lark site which is presented below:

My email to LarkNews on 8/4/06:

Editor of LarkNews Staff:

Of course many of your articles are based on satire, but I was wondering if the information itself is valid, or just based on humor from start to finish?


And the reply from the LarkNews staff on 8/6/06:

Larry, thanks for asking. The articles are purely made up. They have no basis in reality to our knowledge.

LarkNews staff

So now I sit around with egg on my face promising myself to check information a whole lot better before I toss it on a page again.

The only good thing is the fact that those weird stories are not a part of some churches, for this I'm thankful. Sorry I goofed...

Aug 4, 2006

questions, questions, questions

Am I the only person on earth who hates to fill out a questionnaire?

The little COC group where I meet has handed all the members a questionnaire that is a real doozy... it has four categories with seven questions in each category. Each question is to be answered on a scale of 1 to 5; 1 being tops.

A sampling of the questions:

I am motivated to earn as much money as I can to be able to give to the Lord's work.

Meeting obvious needs has special appeal to me, because I respond quickly to needs that I see. Others think that I am being pushy.

I welcome opportunities to do physical jobs thus relieving others in the church to do their work among the members.

When I see problems with the system I am motivated to speak out boldly about it.

Nothing was mentioned about the why of the questionnaire, but I assume it's the brain child of the elders, but who knows! We are allotted two weeks to return them; after that the preacher promises to corral us individually to be sure we respond.

My dilemma is whether to lose the questionnaire, or face the preachers wrath!

Aug 1, 2006

disappearing christians

Family Org, a web site of Focus on the Family cites a sobering statistic that should cause us to consider the way we relate, or don't relate, to those in our church family. I have no way of knowing if every detail of this statistic is accurate, but do know that many souls are leaving the church. Below is a quote that is scary, and sad:
Approximately 22 million Americans say they are Christians and made a faith commitment to Jesus Christ, and say that commitment is still important to them, but they have struggled with faith or relational issues and therefore quit going to church. Tens of thousands more will join their ranks this week.
When one considers the value God places on even one soul, and multiplies that 22 million times, it is beyond tragic. What must we, as the church, do to stop this migration from His body? It's easy to always condemn those leaving as being weak, if this is true, what are we doing to strengthen them in an effort to make them strong?

There are many professing Christians who have left the church and no one seems to care. No one in their church family has contacted them, and the one leaving feels that the church doesn't care one way or the other about them. If our blood brother or sister just disappeared, for whatever reason, we wouldn't stop looking until we found out exactly what happened, but if it's our Christian brothers and sisters we often just look the other way and write them off.

Not everyone claiming Jesus as their savior will remain faithful, but when 22 million Americans leave the church, something is definitely wrong!

ADDED NOTE: Al Maxey in his newest Reflections article; Churches of Christ in Crisis, describes some of the problems causing the church to decrease numerically.