The neighbor doesn’t like my driveway light

When the neighbor complained that he could see my driveway light from his kitchen window, I suggested he put up blinds so he could close them. He scoffed at that idea. This, apparently, is a more elegant solution. (He put up that string in the foreground a couple of weeks ago because he thought the nose of my parked car was over the property line.)

weird tarp

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It’s true, Hertz … apologies are not sufficient

a hertz_logoBig news! Hertz regrets the inconvenience of renting me a car with a nauseating stench of cigarette smoke:

Dear Mark Kelly:

Thank you for your correspondence regarding your recent rental experience. We appreciate the opportunity to review your concerns.

All Hertz vehicles should be properly cleaned, serviced, and in good mechanical condition before being released for rental. The condition of the vehicle you received is a concern to us, and we apologize for the inconvenience you experienced. We always want to provide quality vehicles to our customers and certainly appreciate your letting us know of your experience. This matter will be reviewed with our maintenance personnel.

Apologies are seldom sufficient when customers receive poor service and we regret the inconvenience. We hope you will allow us the opportunity to serve you again so that we can regain your complete confidence in Hertz.

Sincerely,

It’s true. Apologies are not sufficient.

But when you’ve had a terrible experience, who goes back to the same place in hopes of having a better one?

UPDATE April 7: We received a letter from Hertz over the weekend. Apparently blog posts carry more weight than direct complaints. The company issued a credit to our credit card, equal to about a third of what we were charged. Feeling much better now!

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Start by just acknowledging God for who he is

My mother is my mother. How simple is that? It would be silly for me to pretend otherwise. And if I lived each day denying who she is, how insulting would that be?

Almighty God is your creator. Why do you live each day as if that weren’t true? How do you think he feels when you pretend he isn’t even there, much less that he gives you “life, breath, and everything else”? (Acts 17:25) He loves you more than you can imagine.

Jesus died so you could be set free and healed. Isn’t it time to acknowledge God for who he is and live each day in light of that fact? You’ll be astonished by the difference it makes.

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Do you ever wonder what happened to the Western church?

“When you have eaten your fill in this land, be careful not to forget the LORD, who rescued you from slavery in the land of Egypt.” (Deuteronomy 6:11b-12 NLT’96)

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‘Censorious,’ not ‘discerning’

One of the best things about blogging: A leader in the “discernment” clique (someone who has for 10 years been trying in vain to make a reputation for himself by hating Rick Warren) leaves an anti-Rick comment — and I get to mark it as spam.

An insignificant gesture, I admit, but much more satisfying than one might think.

The 19th-century evangelist George Watson wrote a marvelous essay on what he called “censorious” Christians. A brief excerpt:

“Censoriousness is composed of self-conceit and severity; a self-conceit that we are superior to others, and are entitled to some sort of lordship over them; and then a severity of judging others by the outward letter of righteousness instead of by the Spirit. … How many thousands of times have we denounced, or severely judged others, not so much because they were displeasing to God, but because they were displeasing to us; not because they were in reality breaking the word of God, but because they were breaking our notions and offending our artificial taste. Oh, it is a miserable view of life, to turn ourselves into wooden yardsticks, and metallic scales, by which to weigh and measure our fellow Christians, and then to do this under the profession of holiness.”

Read the entire essay here.

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Setting the stage for redemption and deliverance

bricksExodus 5:19-23 Since Pharaoh would not let up on his demands, the Israelite foremen could see that they were in serious trouble. As they left Pharaoh’s court, they met Moses and Aaron, who were waiting outside for them. The foremen said to them, “May the LORD judge you for getting us into this terrible situation with Pharaoh and his officials. You have given them an excuse to kill us!” So Moses went back to the LORD and protested, “Why have you mistreated your own people like this, Lord? Why did you send me? Since I gave Pharaoh your message, he has been even more brutal to your people. You have not even begun to rescue them!” (NLT’96)

We are so like this, blaming others for our circumstances, even when the Almighty himself was the one who told us what to do. Complaining to God when things don’t go the way we thought they would. Faith requires us to trust that when we are walking in God’s ways, he is ruling over our circumstances and has a purpose in every “bad” thing that happens.

What if your current difficulty — like theirs — is God setting the stage for redemption and deliverance? Notice what he says in response to Moses’ complaint: “Now you will see what I will do ….” (6:1)

Trust God. Press on.

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The Kainos Press Topical Index of the New Testament

All contents copyright © 2014, Kainos Press

Topics

Backsliding/Apostasy
Disciples
Endurance
Faithing
Fear God
Bear fruit
Holiness
Judgment
Justice
Kingdom
Love others
Mission
Obedience
Perseverance
Repentance
Salvation
Salvation future
Security
Servanthood

About

The Kainos Press Topical Index of the New Testament consists of 4,462 entries on 19 topics: Backsliding/Apostasy (292 entries), Disciples (1,130), Endurance (177), Faithing (252), Fear God (23), Fruit (36), Holiness (241), Judgment (149), Justice (232), Kingdom (199), Love others (163), Mission (114), Obedience (271), Perseverance (231), Repentance (36), Salvation (614), Salvation Future (131), Security (100), Servanthood (71).

The index was compiled over the course of two years, making three passes through the Synoptic Gospels and two passes through the rest of the New Testament. The purpose of the study was to gain a fairly comprehensive overview of the New Testament biblical witness on the selected topics, as preparation for writing a book about salvation as a “journey into justice.”

The topics are broadly construed and include verses considered relevant to each topic; the topic word itself does not necessarily appear in a verse or passage. The goal was to highlight the interrelations between the various topics — relationships neglected by much of evangelical Christianity, both moderate and conservative.

The “Disciples” topic was the most broadly conceived, so that it contains many verses disciples ought to understand, as well as those specifically relevant to what it means to be a disciple.

A degree of overlap exists between the “Perseverance” and “Endurance” topics, which some would take to be synonymous. In this case, “Perseverance” is used in the “salvation present” sense of the believer’s need to press on in spite of obstacles. “Endurance,” on the other hand, is used in the “salvation future” sense of, having successfully completed the course, receiving the reward of salvation at journey’s end.

The “Backsliding/Apostasy” topic is an extension of my Divorcing Christ project. “Faithing,” rather than “Faith,” was selected as the name of that topic to reflect the fact that New Testament Greek has a verb form of the word but English does not. Using a verb form of the English noun helps convey an essential dimension of the topic.

The wording of index entries reflects the 1996 edition of the New Living Translation. That version was used because it was the NLT edition offered at biblestudytools.com, which I prefer because it offers the New American Standard Bible with the Strong’s concordance. I use the NAS for serious Bible study but prefer the NLT for communication. There is a newer version of the NLT, published in 2007.

A number of acronyms were used throughout the index, primarily serving as a shorthand that conserves space and keystrokes. Most of the abbreviations are intuitive when viewing the text: G for God, X for Christ, K for Kingdom, GN for Good News, etc.

The index was compiled in Microsoft Excel in Bible book order. When completed, the index was sorted by the topic column, with book and reference columns as the second and third sort values. One result of that approach is that the books display in alphanumeric order, rather than the traditional order in which they appear in the Bible. The primary drawback of using Excel was that the sort logic (and/or the user) was not sophisticated enough to adequately process the reference column. The program sorted multi-verse references into a group below the single-verse references, and the multi-verse references had to be moved individually into proper sequence. In addition, Excel was confused by the traditional chapter:verse notation. In some cases, it interpreted a reference like 6:40 as a time notation, and when those references were converted back, the program turned them into decimal numbers. In retrospect, labeling each book name in numerical sequence (01 Matthew, 02 Mark, etc.) would have caused the books to sort into “proper” order. Using a decimal point (.), rather than a colon (:), would have help the verse sort to some degree.

No doubt there are typographical errors and other mistakes in the index, though efforts were made to identify and eliminate as many as possible. If you see an egregious error that ought to be corrected, please e-mail us. By the same token, if you recognize a verse/passage that ought to be included under a topic, please let us know.

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