Publishous

Maybe Not the Greatest But the Latest

Photo by  Hannah Busing  on  Unsplash

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on Thinking Out Loud, so I thought I’d better catch you up on some of my writing.

As I’ve mentioned before, most of my writing other than Devotionals and Bible studies, which can be found on my Home page, is being posted on a couple of online publications on Medium.

So, here are some links to what I’ve written lately on Medium…


Photo by  Artem Kovalev  on  Unsplash

When God Entered the World He Created

God revealed in the midst of humanity

Generally, we tend to not believe in what we can’t see.

Of course, this carries over to believing in God and the miraculous.

Many will say it’s not logical or rational to do so. And yet, we believe in the existence of many things invisible to the naked eye and miraculous in nature — thoughts, atoms, life in all its forms, and even feelings of love.

The reason it’s not logical to believe in God is that it doesn’t fit what we know in the natural world. This is our human dilemma. God is supernatural — He’s above and beyond the natural realm. He will never fit within the limits of our logic.

Click here to read more…


My mom enjoying some time on the porch at her memory care home—photo by TK

My mom enjoying some time on the porch at her memory care home—photo by TK

Me, My Mom and Dementia

a haiku

Locked memory loops

You lost in time remembered

Me lost in time now

Grief in bits… slow… sad

Watching talking listening

Alone together

My mom passed away a month ago but this was written not too long ago.

We would sit on the porch while she drank her caramel-macchiato latte from Starbucks…just enjoying the beauty of the day and the outside porch. Even though dementia had washed away some thoughts and memories, it was a good time together.


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A Voice in the Desert

The prophetic role of John the Baptizer

What makes a person a prophet of God?

Personality? Character? Their message?

Those may be indicators but there’s only one true requirement.

A calling from God.

I know people who consider themselves prophets and people others claim are prophets. But my question is often, is this God’s calling or a title they’ve taken on for themselves or that’s given them by others?

Click here to read more…


Photo by  Liv Bruce  on  Unsplash

Photo by Liv Bruce on Unsplash

Do You Think Unconditional Love Exists?

My reflection on a recent post

Reading a recent post on unconditional love got me thinking. Does the idea of unconditional love seem remote or unrealistic to most people? Does unconditional love exist in our world?

The short answer, for me, is yes. But perhaps this prompts another question—if an unconditional love exists, where can it be found and is it sustainable?

If an unconditional love exists, where is it found and is it sustainable?

Click here to read more…


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The Christian Faith Is All About Jesus, Not You or Me

5 Foundational Truths of the Christian Faith

It’s not always about you or me. When? Most of the time and with almost everything in life.

American and western culture might influence us to think differently but it’s true—especially true when it comes to the Christian faith. Though the popular trend in churches is to appeal to individual concerns, this is the opposite of what the Lord intended.

In a previous post, I pointed out that a general understanding of Christianity often revolves around moral goodness. Moral goodness in and of itself is certainly not bad but it is not the basis of genuine Christian faith.

Click here to read more… (this is a revised and updated version of a previous post)

Thanks for reading!

What's Been On My Mind

As I mentioned in previous post on Thinking Out Loud, I’ve been posting on Medium, an online consortium of blogs with various publications. Most of the time I post on either Publishous or Koinonia or Faith Hacking.

So, here are the latest blogs since the last time I posted on Thinking Out Loud. Click, read, and enjoy! If you have some thoughts—constructive and edifying ones—then please comment.

Thanks for reading!


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Want to Know the Origin of FOMO?

Why we seem to get locked into it

FOMO seems like some type of diagnosable condition or syndrome. Perhaps it will become so.

If you’re not sure what FOMO means — perhaps you’ve just spent a year on the International Space Station, been in a coma, or are unfamiliar with American idioms. Anyway, it’s an acronym for Fear Of Missing Out.

It’s a real thing. We’ve probably all felt it at some point in life. At least when we were children and we thought other kids got to do what we weren’t allowed to do. Read more…

Some people seem obsessed with FOMO


Who Has the Right to Be Called a Child of God?

When does life begin — at conception or birth?

Before 1973, the obvious answer would be at conception but the Roe v Wade Supreme Court decision changed that in America.

That decision may have changed the law of the land and people’s opinions but it didn’t change basic biology.

In Asia, age is generally determined by conception and the lunar calendar. For centuries and centuries in the rest of the world and biologically, conception is seen as the beginning of life.

Life on earth has a beginning and end date — our physical birth and death. Yet, billions of people in the world believe in some form of life beyond physical birth and death. Read more…


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His True Nature

Loyal though You were

betrayed…your true nature

is revealed…love

abandoned by followers

rejected despised and

forsaken in death

You stand by me when

I fail…fall…go my own way

this your true nature

divine…human…Son

humble faithful proven love

true friend brother Lord


Photo by  Zac Durant  on  Unsplash

Photo by Zac Durant on Unsplash

Acceptance and Approval are Keys to a Healthy Self

How I found a trustworthy basis for acceptance and approval

We need to be loved and we need to belong. This is one of the five basic needs Dr. William Glasser identified as essential to our well being as people. I learned of his Reality and Choice theories while pursuing certification for drug and alcohol counseling.

At the time, I was a full-time pastor of a growing church in the southern California high desert with a full counseling load each week. With many young families in our church and our school district’s non-existent policy on alcohol and drug abuse, I realized my need for further education.

It was the mid-eighties and self-esteem was a major focus. Theories abounded on what is needful for a healthy sense of self. They still abound.

Some theories encourage internal centeredness while others give direction on controlling and minimizing externals. But I learned to focus my heart and life on acceptance and approval from an eternal standpoint. Read more…


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I Don’t Wanna Be a Pharisee

A children’s song with a serious truth
I remember a children’s song from many years ago with a serious truth. Various versions of the song still exist but one line comes to mind as of late.

I don’t wanna be a Pharisee…cuz a Pharisee ain’t fair you see.

Unless you understand who the Pharisees were, this punning rhyme doesn’t make sense or you won’t relate to it very well. But this simple line explains in a succinct way the drawbacks of being a Pharisee. Read more…

Thanks again for reading!

Catching Up!

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Since I’m working on a couple of book projects and other things, I thought it good to catch y’all up with some posts I’ve done in Medium including two haiku poems (my first attempts).

Enjoy and thanks for reading!


© Ed Henderson Photos (IG– ed_henderson619)

© Ed Henderson Photos (IG– ed_henderson619)

Starry Wonder

A child’s wonder

lost in nighttime starry gaze

endless universe

https://medium.com/@tkbeyond/starry-gaze-4f162167d911


Out of the Ashes

Beauty for ashes, gladness instead of mourning

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denny-muller-1260019-unsplash.jpg

Fire!

“Sir, Ma’am…fire!” We popped out of bed disoriented and pumped with adrenalin. In the early morning darkness, somewhere around 4 am, Susan and I ran out of our room and saw the fire’s glow at the other end of the building where 24 children under our care slept soundly.

I grabbed the fire extinguisher as I ran to the back bedroom and began spraying at the flames. I could almost hear the fire laugh out loud at my feeble attempt to put it out.

I threw the emptied extinguisher on the floor and helped grab the babies in cribs closest to the fire. It was chaotic…intense heat…overwhelming.

We brought the babies and children out to the lawn in front of our building. As I ran back to rescue more children, I could hear the circuit breakers popping and cracking as sparks lit up our kitchen area.

My wife cried out with desperation, “Leanna!” Our teenaged daughter was trapped in her upstairs bedroom. “Go! I’ll keep getting the others!”

Susan dashed up the stairs. As she took hold of the doorknob, she cried out in anguish to our daughter over the roar of the flames and as the doorknob seared her hand.

They stumbled and crawled down the stairs through the smoke to where we gathered the children on the lawn.

A wrenching reality

As we counted the children and staff, a sickening realization wrenched our gut. We hadn’t gotten all the children out!

As Susan started to run back in, the intensity of the heat and spectacle of flames made it clear—no one else could be rescued. As she cried out, “My babies!” I restrained my wife from a desperate attempt to save those missing.

Some of our staff woke three of the older children but they fell back asleep. Two of the babies were consumed by the fire before we could reach them. We were stunned and in shock—mesmerized by the raging fire and tragic reality.

Thankfully, someone—a neighbor, a friend? We don’t know. But they backed the only vehicle we owned away from the building. It was an old car built to hold six to eight people.

We piled ourselves into and onto the car—nineteen babies and children and a few staff and our family.

As we drove into the darkness of the early morning, the firetruck arrived—too late to be of any help but to douse the twisted ruins of our children’s home.

As we drove out our driveway, dodging the firetruck and weaving through the onlooking neighbors, we headed to the only place of refuge we knew. All we had was each other and what we wore to bed.

We were stunned and in shock — mesmerized by the raging fire and tragic reality

Continue reading… Out of the Ashes


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raquel-pedrotti-775921-unsplash.jpg

Refreshed

fresh spring wildflowers

splashes of color refresh

reviving my soul

https://medium.com/haiku-hub/refreshed-92dbf48641b6


A Maligned Gift and Enduring Memorial

What do you have to offer Jesus?

Mary-anoints-Jesus Julius-Schnorr-von-Carolsfeld / Photo thanks to–  povcrystal.blogspot.com

Mary-anoints-Jesus Julius-Schnorr-von-Carolsfeld / Photo thanks to– povcrystal.blogspot.com

I read two posts a while ago about kindness and it got me thinking about how we may have differing personal views on kindness. This personal view involves our motives and intents — how and why we value kindness and perhaps what we consider as kindness.

A simple story found in three of the four gospels — Matthew, Mark, and John — reveals at least two different views on kindness. It also reveals the heart and character of two people — known for very different reasons.

I’ll give a synopsis of the story below but you can read it for yourself here — Matt 26:6–13Mark 14:3–9John 12:2–8.

A story of two hearts

Following the Lord’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem, at the beginning of the week and before the Passover Feast, a woman named Mary comes to anoint Jesus with an expensive ointment as He reclines at a meal given in His honor.

Lazarus, whom Jesus raised from the dead only a short while before this, reclined at the table with Jesus at the home of Simon the leper. Martha, the sister of Lazarus, is busy serving the guests as her sister Mary anoints Jesus with fragrant spikenard.

As the fragrance of the oil filled the room, it prompted a complaint and caused some dissension.

Why the complaint?

It was seen as a waste of money. Who complained? None other than Judas who would soon betray Jesus — the focus of this act of pure love.

Mary understood who Jesus was and expressed her love and devotion by sitting at the feet of Jesus as her sister Martha served. Once again, her devotion to Jesus caused some dissension. This time with her sister, Martha, who complained to Jesus about her workload because of Mary (Luke 10:38–42).

When Mary poured her oil on Jesus, it was an expression of love, a picture of true worship.

It’s as if she poured her soul out to honor Jesus. It was true kindness.

Continue reading… A Maligned Gift and Enduring Memorial


Spiritual Talk

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ben-white-131241-unsplash.jpg

Can someone really hear God speak?

When you hear people say things like, “The Lord told me…,” do you wonder how this happens or if they really hear from God?

Do they have some mystical connection with God or are they just hearing voices? Or, is this just some spiritual sounding talk?

I’m really skeptical of anyone who says to me, “The Lord told me to tell you….” And yet, throughout the Bible, we read of God speaking to people.

This is a test…

Years ago, when I took courses to be certified as a substance abuse counselor, I needed to take the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI). Several questions dealt with hearing voices and God speaking.

The clinical bias of the test was that if you heard God speak, or heard any other voices, your mental stability was in question.

Since I understood this, I carefully picked my way through the test. And if you’re wondering — yes, I passed the test and my courses.

So, how is it possible to hear God’s voice and be in your right mind?

Continue reading… Spiritual Talk


3 Approaches to Cultural Shifts

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Finding a better way to approach cultural change

Culture is dynamic. Fluid. Fickle. Culture changes over time. Sometimes with extreme pendular swings. Popular culture is reflective of shared beliefs, values, and social norms.

Each swing of culture has its own trends like currents within an ocean or sea. These trends are movements within the larger cultural context.

People tend to respond in one of three general ways to pendular swings in culture — to reject, embrace, or engage each swing. Only one of these approaches is effective in bringing helpful change or productive dialogue.

These pendular swings have one fixed point — human nature.

Though these swings may be wide or wild extremes, it all pivots on self — our basic nature. Not our identity but our being — our innate essence which centers around self-preservation.

Cultural swings have one fixed point — human nature


Continue reading… 3 Approaches to cultural shifts

Fresh Mercy

Photo by  Roman Kraft  on  Unsplash

Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash

Every morning God’s mercy is fresh and new

Have you ever smelled fresh-baked bread as it comes out of the oven?

I remember mornings in the Philippines when I’d walk by a bakery and smell the fresh pan de sal rolls baked fresh every day. It makes me hungry just thinking about it!

Living near the beach in North Florida, I enjoy taking in the fresh salt air drifting in from the ocean or the rain evaporating with the first rays of daybreak.

These images come to mind as I read these verses about the Lord’s mercies being new every morning. They bring great assurance though written during a very dark time in the history of Israel.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22–23)

Read more…

This post was originally published in Publishous on Medium—click on the link “Read more…” for the rest of the post… Thanks!