It’s YOUR New Year! Some Simple Suggestions for 2018

It’s YOUR New Year. Maybe you can’t change a whole lot in your life or your self. Maybe you don’t WANT to change a whole lot. Maybe you don’t even want to change ANYTHING. How nice 😊. But - maybe in an area or two. After all, within certain very real limits, it is...

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Are YOU On This List Yet? We are All In Increasing Danger.

TARGETED! One way or another, THESE people, mostly fellow American citizens - all fellow humans and all loved by God - THESE people are living in increased fear now compared to a year ago. "Making America Afraid Again" This is not a careful list; it's just...

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7 Signs of a Healthy, Christ-Following Christian Faith

  Unhealthy, dangerous forms of “Christianity” seem epidemic today. Are there healthy forms? Here, I believe, is a good example, from the church I attend. A summary of priority concerns of a Christ-following, healthy faith. 1. We strongly emphasize the...

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Forgiveness Requires … (A Quick Personal Check-Up)

“Forgiveness requires acceptance of the fact that the past is not going to change.” - unknown   After all, if we could change the past no forgiveness would be needed. Because the offense would have totally disappeared - from experience and from memory....

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Advent: Christ Has Come. So, What Do We Have TO DO?

  CHRIST HAS COME. SO WHAT DO WE HAVE TO DO? 1. STAND ALONE “Peter … asked, ‘Lord, what about him?’ Jesus answered, ‘… what is that to you? You must follow me.’” John 21:21,22 If Christ is really present to us in this world, we have to personally respond...

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4 Short Thoughts on Thanksgiving

Here are links to 4 short articles related to Thanksgiving, with very brief summaries. 3 Short Lists for Making Thanksgiving Work 1. Why we don't want to hear about it. 2. What it does NOT mean. 3. What it DOES mean. Think Thanks on Thanksgiving The...

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Stand With Israel? Not When Israel Stands Against God.

  We are often told we must love Israel - which is true - we are to love all peoples. We are often told we should “stand with Israel”. Now that’s not so easy. It seems to mean always take Israel’s side in any conflict or disagreement Israel has - or God...

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3 Short Lists for Making Thanksgiving Work

A. Reasons We DON'T LIKE to Hear About It. We're having a rough day. We're having a rough five years. We aren't really awake yet. We're physically sick. Some people are being stupid - or even mean or dangerous. We've just got too much going on. We're mad...

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Six 1-Liners: Diagnostic Guides for the Spiritual Life

These are the 1-liners featured in recent "Personal Quick-Check" Articles. They are worth a few minutes of attention. Click the sentence to see the original short article. The first act of love is always the giving of attention. – Dallas Willard Today I...

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Top 10 Posts on This Site (October)

Short Quotes - Martin Luther King's "Letter From Birmingham Jail" Kids' Version of the Declaration of Independence Turn the Other Cheek Means Resist Them Non-Violently If You Do Not Love Your Neighbor Whom You CAN See - Can You Love God? Jesus and Racism -...

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White Racism in Charlottesville – the old Nazi Thug Way

The Nazi-precipitated demonstrations and violence in Charlottesville a few weeks ago were disturbing for at least a couple of reasons. RACISM: the public gathering of arrogant whites proudly displaying contempt for all people unlike them.THE OLD NAZI STRATEGY OF FREE...

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Christians Should Not Enforce the Bible.

Here's another example of the misunderstanding and misuse of Scripture by the 'religious right'.  This was quoted to me to show that no Christian could ever vote for Democrats. "Don't you realize that if even one person is allowed to go on sinning, soon all will be...

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Most Popular Posts – Mid-February 2017

Short Quotes – Martin Luther King’s "Letter from Birmingham Jail" Turn the Other Cheek – means Resist Them NonViolently If You Do Not Love Your Neighbor Whom You CAN See - Can You Love God? Jesus and Racism - Samaritan Lives Matter A Few Chips Must Fly / Gaza & Israel...

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A Quick Personal Check-up: SINCERITY IN PRAYER

Hypocrisy or insincerity is the first thing to guard against in prayer. Beware not to say what you do not mean. ... Pour out your heart before Him.      - John Wesley   It might mean sometimes writing out one's prayer. That helps us to be aware a) whether we are being...

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A Quick Personal Check-up: DON’T IGNORE JESUS

       There is absolutely nothing in what Jesus himself or his early followers taught that suggests you can decide just to enjoy forgiveness at Jesus’s expense and have nothing more to do with him.        - Dallas Willard   Why would anyone ever IMAGINE that such an...

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Freedom to Not Always Fear Those Who Rule Us

One of the great achievements of free society in a stable democracy is that many people, for much of the time, need not think about politics at all. We need some people, of course, to think about politics, and help us keep aware. But the great achievement has been...

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A Quick Personal Check-up: IT TAKES SILENCE

God is the friend of silence ... We need silence to be able to touch souls. - Mother Teresa   ... because, I suppose, it calms US down. Wow. Even GOD likes it when we seriously calm down. It enables us to be comfortable with ourselves (or FORCES us to be!), so then we...

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The Moral Priorities of Jesus – What Did Jesus Teach?

He said, "Why do you call me 'Lord, Lord' but do not do what I say?" Maybe he meant it. This short book (40 pages) is available as a free pdf, or as a paperback at LULU.com (see the links below). It treats the following issues.  Here, each chapter title is followed by...

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A Quick Personal Check-up: THE LORD IS NEAR

        "Let your gentleness be apparent to all; the Lord is near."         - Paul, Philippians 4.   "Gentleness," OR patience, or kindness, or forbearance, or - we get the point 🙂 So is this cause and effect? BECAUSE God is near, we are gentle, kind, patient, etc?...

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New American Bad Bible – Not What Jesus Wants (Pt-2)

These sayings may have a Biblical sound to them. But they are not Biblical.   They set aside the teachings of Jesus, the apostles, and the Hebrew prophets, but unfortunately fit well with current neo-con (new Republicans') or neo-lib (new Democrats') American values....

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A Quick Personal Check-up: DO WHAT OTHERS WON’T

  "Today I will do what others won't, so tomorrow I can do what others can't." - Jerry Rice   If you want personal change to appear in your future, work on it in your personal present. Or, as has been often said, if you aim at nothing you are likely to hit it. This is...

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A New Era – President Trump. Should We Hope or Mourn?

A new era begins in America. We have reason to mourn, and reason to hope. Let's do both. We'll likely get the same old stuff, but much more blatant; and that's not good. And there may well be some good things happening. That IS good. It's already "more blatant,"...

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A Quick Personal Check-up: GIVING ATTENTION

    "The first act of love is always the giving of attention." - Dallas Willard     He was writing about our love for the Lord, in his book, The Spirit of the Disciplines. But it is a broadly applicable truth. Have trouble with love-relationships in life?  This may be...

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New American Bad Bible – Not What Jesus Wants (Pt-1)

These sayings may have a Biblical sound to them. But they are not Biblical. Setting aside the teachings of Jesus, the apostles, and the Hebrew prophets, these revisions unfortunately fit well with current neo-con (new Republicans) or neo-lib (new Democrats) American...

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Cowboy’s Christmas Prayer – Good Values

This prayer is online in a number of places. It was read in our church a while back by a professor of livestock management. (Yes, there really is such a discipline, and it takes some brains to master it.) Cowboy poetry does give you a different perspective if you can...

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Kingdom Manifesto – Sermon on the Mount Summarized

It might be a good project for each of us - to try to summarize the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5 - 7) in 209 words. Brian McLaren has done so in his The Secret Message of Jesus (chapter 15, "Kingdom Ethics", p 136). Each of us would no doubt change the wording in...

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War on Christmas? The Real Issue Is How CHRISTIANS Behave.

It’s about Christ – so it’s really a holiday (holy day) for any who love Christ. How could we expect those who do not love and follow Christ to be super sensitive to the religious, or spiritual meaning of the season? Why should we harass them about it? We should not!...

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Give Thanks Freely – but Not for EVERYthing!

It’s (almost) THANKSGIVING We appreciate food, and housing, clothes, and transportation. We prize friends. We are very grateful for family. We live by faith and fellowship. We feel – and express – thankfulness for many wonderful blessings. But there are some things we...

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I’m Relieved Clinton Lost – Still, Trump Is Dangerous

I am no fan of Donald Trump. But I felt a strong sense of relief as more states turned red last Tuesday and it became obvious Hillary was going to lose. It surprised me – but not greatly.  But Trump is dangerous in several ways, to all of us. Hillary – the Clinton...

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About PublicChristian

This blog was an active Christian Democrat site for a few years in the mid-oughts (around 2005). It seems to be coming back to life in late 2016.  I am still a Christian, but not a registered Democrat. The "Christian" part means I take the Bible seriously as a...

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Two Types of Religion – Authority vs Love

Seems to me there are obviously two primary modes for religious practice in this world. That amazement is the opposite of complacency and self-satisfaction. And that gentleness is very different from constant critique and...

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Turn the Other Cheek MEANS Resist Them Non-Violently

I. THE PROBLEM: Jesus says to turn the other cheek. [See a summary of this post.] Is it ever appropriate for Christians to resist authority? Many of us feel there is much in the behavior of our national leaders that cries out for criticism and resistance. Are...

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The Quiet Places in Our Lives Make Our Public Activity Safer

  Contemplation and Public Action The public good is most in danger when the voluntary visits to contemplation are neglected in favor of immediate communitarian action. We don't have to go off and become full-time contemplatives. But times of stepping aside from the...

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The Trump Danger to many Christians is Real

  Christian friends: If you support Trump, it is a pastoral problem for me. You are increasing the danger - the fear and threat - in which a significant percentage of my Christian friends, including my congregation, live.It is vigorously...

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100 Quotes

  Nerd alert! This is a list that used to be behind the quote widget on the upper right of the page. They are from various places, maybe half from my personal reading (books). I'm not documenting sources because I don't have time or did not record them. There's good...

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German Christians Sold Out to Power and Glory

[A Review of Strange Glory: A Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, by Charles Marsh, 2014] This book is not written to coddle nor to discomfort whatever our self-image is as American Christians today; Marsh is trying to show reality. To me, two eras of Bonhoeffer's life seem...

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NE Gov Candidate – "Do Justice, Love Mercy"

Chuck Hassebrook (D-NE Governor candidate) closed out his campaign last night by quoting Micah 6:8. "He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?" Coming from him...

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A Few Chips Must Fly / Gaza & Israel

This lists casualties of the Israeli efforts to subdue the Palestinians in two recent months. [This is from a powerful diary over at Daily Kos. Her article adds some very helpful historical illustration and comment.] I do not ask that you read the lists. But do scroll...

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10 Rules For Happy Marriage – from Experience

These were created on their recent tenth anniversary by a couple who are friends of ours . We have always felt they are some of the best people we know. Maybe it's attitudes like these that make that true. Be on each other's side no matter what. Don't keep track of...

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Not a Democrat. Definitely not a Republican.

This site began as a Christian Democrat site, way back in 2003.  I have been a registered Democrat for probably 43 years; but about four years ago my affiliation changed to independent ("unaffiliated"). So many Christians just assume that...

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Christ Asks Us to Choose His Way, Not Caesar’s.

. . . switch sides from Caesar’s way to Jesus’ way – before it is too late.* - Brian McLaren “Caesar’s way” stands for secular, temporal government or authority. The usage derives from Jesus’ saying, when asked about paying taxes: So give back to Caesar what is...

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Wear Your Diagnosis Lightly – It’s Not Really You

A lot of us have “been diagnosed” with specific personality or mental conditions. I don't formally have such a diagnosis (I've not yet seen anyone qualified to do it for me); but I'm sure there are several people around who'd be glad to offer suggestions! The thing I...

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“With Malice Toward None” – A Necessary Standard!

In pretty much his last words to the American people, Abraham Lincoln began the wrap-up of his Second Inaugural Address with these famous, beautiful ideals: With malice toward none, with charity for all . . . And I think he really meant it. In a nation that was an...

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What If Christians Are Persecuted Here?

Some American Christians worry that we are being persecuted and that our freedom of religion is being infringed. That's always true to some extent – and the idea is scary. How did Jesus deal with it? Jesus practiced non-violent non-cooperation toward evil persons. The...

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The Two Most Obvious Facts of Life

Here's my ex-temp ramble in response to the line "momentum succumbs to entropy" seen elsewhere ... "On the one hand ... but then on the other hand ..." + and you can say entropy succumbs to momentum. - but you have to have an energy source for momentum. + well, the...

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A Covenant for Civility (Sojourners)

[You can sign this covenant online at the Sojourners site. I have added underlines and bolds to the version below.] How good and pleasant it is when the people of God live together in unity. -Psalm 133:1 As Christian pastors and leaders with diverse theological and...

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Eisenhower on Security – and Moral Bankruptcy

there is no way in which a country can satisfy the craving for absolute security "No way." No way. As in not possible in this world. but it can easily bankrupt itself, morally and economically, in attempting to reach that illusory goal through arms alone. - President...

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“Emergent Evangelical” – Can I Be Both?

A friend recently asked what it means that I use "emergent evangelical" as my religious affiliation on FaceBook. So here's a look at what the phrase means to me. I. "Evangelicals" Today "Evangelical" has come to be a bad word in much of American society, for several...

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Abortion Numbers Trend Downward Under Universal Health Care

We can support policies that actually tend to reduce abortions in the short run. Or we can adopt a political strategy of taking over every branch of government with like-minded politicians so we can (try to) use the long arm of the law to force people to not have...

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Why I Pay Attention to Jesus Christ

WHY? Why should we focus any more on Jesus Christ than on Abraham or Moses or Isaiah? Or on the laws in the Bible, or prophecy, or the end of the world? Is focus on Jesus more needed than pointing out sins – especially other people’s sins? Is Christ actually more...

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Abortion and Social Justice – Douglas W Kmiec

Douglas W. Kmiec is a prominent Republican and committed Roman Catholic. He was head of the Office of Legal Counsel for Presidents Reagan and the first Bush. He became notorious for coming out in support of then-Senator Obama's campaign for the Presidency, and for...

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John Paul II: Private Prayer and the Dangers of Public Life

For decades he resisted Nazi, then Communist oppression. How did he cope? Connie and I recently watched Karol: A Man Who Became Pope. It portrays Karol Wojtyla's life from his late teens, when the Nazi's invaded his city and nation, through WWII, then through decades...

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Psalm 101 – Looking for Integrity, Humility, Decency

4  Men of perverse heart shall be far from me; I will have nothing to do with evil. 5  Whoever slanders his neighbor... , him will I put to silence; whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, him will I not endure. 6  My eyes will be on the faithful in the land, that...

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Obama’s Perspective on Faith in Christ is Biblical

Here's Obama on the significance of the Gospel: In an interview with Christianity Today magazine, Obama said this about his decision to accept Christ, What was intellectual and what was emotional joined, and the belief in the redemptive power of Jesus Christ, that he...

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