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Showing posts from October, 2017

The issue is... the bridge?

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My Iranian friends and I sat together in Denny's yesterday afternoon. What a joyful time in sharing between a non-practicing Jew,  a non-practicing Muslim, and me. We talked about so many things: politics, love, our own stories... good times. One of the topics we discussed I want to share with you here. It has to do with... love and sin. Please read on.

Each of us agreed that we all want others to treat us well, and similarly, we desire to treat everyone fairly. That's decency. Most societies in the world, Persian, American, Australian... most want to demonstrate love in some measure. Agreed. So why, they wanted to know, do we need religion and more importantly, why do we need God?

Good question. My answers? Most probably, all of us have a personally defined level of decency to which we ascribe. We think older people should be cared for, and we think husbands should not cheat on their wives. We think of honoring people who serve others or their countries, even without being a…

What really matters? Football, stock market, and mother

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The advertising campaign for Godzilla (about 15 years ago) said, "Size does matter." The great monster could take out a whole city if it wanted, they alleged. The Hollywood crowd and the public were not too keen on their slogan and even less on the movie. Flop.
Others talk about education that matters or costs involved in a significant trade. The big slogan in some circles last year was "Black lives matter." Students in Australia just now are sitting their high school exams and many are alleging that "test results don't matter." 
Last night I was in Kansas City, and the team I've cheered for since about 1962, the Kansas City Chiefs, were in a tight battle with the Oakland Raiders on Thursday Night Football. I hoped my friend with whom I'm staying would record the game at his home so I could give myself to other matters as I was speaking at an evangelists' fellowship at IHOP. In fact, I didn't even think about the game, although I mention…

The Pittsburgh Platform

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The Pittsburgh Platform was a formulation of principles agreed upon by the Reform movement at the Pittsburgh Conference in 1885. Convened at the behest of Kaufmann Kohler of New York, the conference was chaired by Isaac M. Wise, one of the foremost figures in Reform Judaism.
The principles agreed upon symbolized the merger of the Eastern U.S. and Germanic wings of the Reform movement, distinguished it from Orthodox and Conservative Judaism and remained the basic tenets of Reform Judaism for nearly half a century until their revision by the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) in the Columbus Platform of 1937.
An examination of the Pittsburgh Platform indicates religious optimism, acceptance of other religious perspectives and emphasis on the Bible as the consecration of the Jewish people to its mission. It also makes modern sensibility the standard by rejecting halachic restrictions on diet, priestly purity and dress and discarding Jewish peoplehood. "We consider ourselve…

Courage in a complicated world: A message on Esther

The Hollywood Director who doesn't show himself By Bob Mendelsohn Given at North Beach Baptist Church 8 October 2017 Perth Australia
[The church in Perth’s northern suburbs asked me to give a talk, an overview on the Book of Esther. They also gave the message a title, “Courage in a Complicated World.”] Good evening. Thank you Brad [pastor of the evening congregation] for the kind invitation.It's always good to be back in Perth, and here at North Beach, to be with you to share with you from the Older Testament book of Esther. Hopefully by what we discuss today, you will learn some valuable lessons for your life and your relationship with God, that will last long after the last BOO is shouted at the name of the villain of our story, Haman. I’ve been given the assignment of Opening Batsman for your next Bible talk series. And I appreciate that opportunity. Some of you will be quite familiar with the story of the biblical book of Esther. For others, this might be first time you will cons…