Author Archive

Back from the Dead: Back from the Dead – A Repost

As I said last week, I am taking a break from the blog to recuperate from much school, work (at a school!), and ministry. Here is a reminder that there is great wisdom to be found at Proverbial Thought. The post for today comes from November 1, 2011. It seemed a good idea for the holidays celebrated this week!

Back from the Dead

Today is All Saints Day, Day of the Dead or Dia de los Muertos, All Hallows, or Hallowmas. No matter what it is called, today is a day that celebrates those who have come before and moved on to the next life. No matter the history of today and Halloween (All Hallows Eve, the day before All Hallows/Hallowmas … think what Christmas Eve is to Christmas), there is a rich history all over the world of honoring or venerating the dead.

I will not get into whether or not it is okay or even good to do such things or celebrate holidays here. That is for later.

I want to discuss death.

The picture I have above is from the website zombiejesus.com, and it is definitely satirical but not theologically sound. They quote two verses from the Bible:

1) He came back from the dead Acts 2:24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him

2) He encourages zombie like behavior John 6:53 Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have  no life in you”

As someone said elsewhere, “While precocious PKs (Pastor’s Kids) may try to pull off the Zombie Jesus costume, passionately asserting that Jesus did rise from the dead, a quick-witted parent will counter that He did NOT, however, rise from the UNdead.” The point: A zombie is the walking dead; Jesus defeated death. Zombies are in a state of perpetual death, never satisfied and never resting; Jesus was freed “from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on Him” and satisfies all our needs and gives us rest.

I have to point out that it should be “zombie-like,” with a hyphen. Other than nitpicking grammar, zombies do not drink blood. That is vampires. Therefore, they would have to include that Jesus is a Vampire. However, they are both undead creatures.

Ooh! There is a good point. These things are still creatures – CREATED THINGS! Jesus is not created, He is “begotten” or comes directly from God and IS GOD!

Moving on, I actually agree with this point for the humor-value (after fixing the small grammar issue), especially seeing as this very point is what kept many from becoming Christians in the first few centuries of the Church’s temporal existence. Though it is misguided, since we eat bread as Christ’s body and drink wine/juice/water as Christ’s blood.

Jesus is not a Zombie.

You might still here me (if you know me personally) occasionally refer to Christian Zombies, but it is slightly different (but only slightly).

Also, do not worship the dead or pray to them in the sense that you expect them to actually help you. They might hear you ask them to speak to God on your behalf, but if they do hear prayers (pray essentially means “ask”) I must confess to not thinking it matters much (sorry Catholic friends and family, but I have a point). We have a mediator: Jesus Christ. As I said above, He is God and is our connection to God through the Holy Spirit.

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 10/28/2012

Do not forget to get your daily dose of wisdom from Proverbial Thought.

Perhaps you have heard the saying “Freedom is never free.” As carriers of the gospel message, we share with others how the price was paid for our sins by Jesus Christ. Many times, we carriers also must pay a high price.

price to be paid

for goodness to spread
for Truth to be proclaimed
for love to be known
for God to be famed
there is a need
a price to be paid

a price for all of this
is paid frequently
though not as often
as there could be
the price to be paid
needs to be paid by you and me

the Name advances
by this special price
it is a price that
no one could deny
it is the ultimate love
that we lay down our lives

Taken from deeper words for God from a simple man of God by daniel m  klem, page 179.

I do not know Chris Jordan, and I only found his blog through a great blogging brother, but check out this. Whether you are a preacher, a listener, or a doer, this list of 15 quotes on preaching should convict you.

Back from the Dead: Merciful Death – A Repost

As I work on finishing up my degree (especially Calculus, at the moment!), I need a break from some things. As you saw last week, I had a guest blogger, and there will be more in the future. For this week, I am taking us back to one of the more popular posts from my blog last year. I also found it fitting leading up to my birthday and All Hallows’ Eve next week! Feel free to comment and add to the discussion!

Merciful Death

Cross Walk 2008

Me doing the Cross Walk in 2008

If we honestly looked around our world, we could see plenty of good reasons why people would want to take their lives. Sad? Definitely.

Sorry to be gloomy and maybe even a bit sick, but what if they are on to something?

Sweet Death

I read an article recently in Christian Research Journal (Vol. 34, No. 2, 2011) titled “A Christian View of Human Nature“. The author, John S. Hammet, had this to say about death:

Moreover, may not the end of life in this world be a severe mercy from God? True, death entered the world as the punishment for sin, but a punishment that opened the door to mercy. For once humans had fallen and become like God in knowing, not just good, but now evil, God intervened: “He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life, and live forever” (Gen. 3:22). It was the mercy of God that established the limitation of life as a fallen human; as redeemed persons, we are welcomed to the tree of life (Rev. 22:3).

Not only could God have allowed death as a mercy to get away from the suffering we brought upon ourselves (and for the record, I am not making any arguments today about the afterlife for all people; this is just about this life), but He used death to defeat death!

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned.

But:

Since the children have flesh and blood, [Jesus] too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.

From the beginning, God showed us mercy through death. Even if you do not hold to Hammet’s take, here are some examples:

What do you think? Is death God once again showing His grace in the midst of our punishment?

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 10/21/2012

[Your usual reminder to check out Proverbial Thought]

My wife and I had our first date at a church dedication ceremony, and we started our relationship by dedicating it to God. Good start, eh? (Yes.) We built our relationship for the next year and a half, and then we got married establishing a lifelong commitment. Now we are working on decorations and reinforcing our foundation and walls.

That is not the point, though. The real point is that God sets things apart in eternity, then builds and establishes them in their proper time.

Including us. This poem talks about me, but it is about each and every person who comes to God in faith.

daniel michael klem
Designed: Before Eternity Past – I think it was a Saturday
Constructed: October 26, 1983, 6:03 am – Wednesday
Established: January 9, 2000, 6:42 pm – Sunday

established date

thought of in eternity past
loved and thought of through all time
held in His arms until
the moment had become right
now created and moving
but merely existing
the big change to come
true life yet to begin
finally years after construction
the Truth gets inside
the real change beginning
to make things right
while it has taken time
to get from what was made
when Christ enters in
that is the established date

Taken from deeper words for God from a simple man of God by daniel m  klem, page 177.

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 10/14/2012

Life is not always easy. In fact, for Christians at least, we are promised problems (John 16:33). We should accept that blessing, even when it is hard and a struggle to get through. (This also qualifies as a “stupid prayer”.)

the only way to move

i want to go where You want me
i want to be where You send me
help me get there quickly
keep me struggling through things
so that i always seek You
it is the only way to move

Taken from deeper words for God from a simple man of God by daniel m  klem, page 175.

Used and Loved

Here is your regular, friendly reminder to get your daily dose of wisdom from Proverbial Thought!

As working through the book of Luke with our youth group, I was inspired to write about some things. I had a great idea for a passage from Luke 12, but my theology was rocked so hard that I will wait on that one! Instead, I am going with one of the other ideas from that chapter.

The Parable of the Rich Fool

Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”

Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’

“Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’

“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

“This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.”
Luke 12:13-21, NIV

Stuff and People

There are two ways to handle stuff and people in this life, and our youth group is intelligent enough to notice! In their words:

“We can use things and love people or love things and use people.”

We can get so caught up in what is ours and what is not ours that we can forget about people.

For example, someone in the crowd may have just lost his parents, yet he is more concerned with getting his share of the inheritance than mourning. This shows one aspect.

Another aspect is that his brother is clearly there, otherwise Jesus could not tell him to share the inheritance. What really makes this poignant is that Jesus had just finished talking about avoiding hypocrisy, so we know what the first man was really getting at: that he judged his brother a hypocrite. (What does this show of him, then?)

One further aspect is that our own selfishness and greed gets in the way of another relationship. This man is talking with a wise leader, he might even know this is the Messiah. Instead of actually listening to the teachings (meaning taking them to heart and learning from them), he tries using this Teacher to get what he wants.

How many times do we go to God asking for things instead of seeking His will?

One more thought: Who gets rebuked?

At first, it looks like a rebuke of the man wanting his inheritance. “‘Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?’ Then he said to them, ‘Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed’.”

It is as if Jesus is saying, “Dude! Get over it! Stop being so greedy!” (Also, He was and is the perfect judge and arbiter, but He was making another point)

But then He goes on. He tells us about a man who became quite wealthy and hoarded it all. This certainly sounds like the brother was being rebuked for his greed at the same time the original brother was being rebuked for his greed.

WHOA! Jesus is a great multitasker!

One man was not worried about his family and used God to get what he wanted. The other man also was not concerned about his family, instead holding onto his new possessions.

Used and Loved

Both of these brothers were guilty of breaking the greatest commandment(s): “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40)

We can be guilty of the same (in fact, we all are: Romans 3:22-24).

We use people and God to get the things we want, when we should be using things and loving God and people.

Instead of a question this week, a suggestion:

Check yourself. Find out where your heart is: with things or with God?