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Point of Reference

    by Fred Price

The concept of servanthood, let alone slavery, is largely foreign to people in the developed countries of the world today. Many third-world citizens do, however, still toil under conditions of absolute control by others, while some modern-day laborers wonder if their treatment by corporate CEO’s might qualify……  ( Click for more )
February 9, 2024
Have you ever wondered how some holidays got their start? All of them intend to be a reminder of something or someone, commemorating the day a significant event occurred or the person who did it. Some are obvious; Christmas, Easter and the 4th of July. Some, however, we view in a light not at first anticipated;……  ( Click for more )
February 2, 2024
Decades have passed since missionaries Jim Elliot, Pete Fleming, Nate Saint, Ed McCully and Roger Youderain were killed by Waodoni spearmen in the wilds of Ecuador. (Ironically only ten years after five other young men had been killed in a Bolivian jungle by other antagonistic tribesmen.) But their witness and example……  ( Click for more )
January 26, 2024
Repeated events involving the real and at times imagined desecration of the Muslim holy book make for big news around the world. Predictably, violent acts erupt among adherents of the Quran in response to these supposed slights. Attempting to explain the shock and anger expressed by those brandishing their holy……  ( Click for more )
January 19, 2024
Last week we looked at the lives and “ministry” of a number of women involved in Jesus’ life. Luke seems to intentionally write of them more than any other gospel, noting how, as Jesus traveled the countryside with his disciples, women accompanied them and served Jesus, the Twelve and I’m sure……  ( Click for more )
January 12, 2024
Contrary to poplar opinion, Christianity has raised the profile and status of women around the world. The Jews usually held women in high regard personally, “officially” not so much. A first-century Jewish blessing, offered each morning by Jewish men, began with “Blessed are you, Lord God, Ruler……  ( Click for more )
The importance of counting the cost of discipleship (Lk. 14:25-33) and bearing the cross of faithfulness (Lk. 9:23-26) cannot be overstated. The cultural battles we face today are not only for the soul of our country but of our churches as well, as recrimination and discrimination come more and more from those who……  ( Click for more )
December 29, 2023
A brand New Year with new opportunities and responsibilities is about to unfold. I hope you will look at this New Year as if it were a blank piece of paper, ready to record your responses to the possibilities for success in 2024. But don’t fill it with New Years’ resolutions and promises you won’t……  ( Click for more )
December 22, 2023
Don’t you just love this time of year? The family get-togethers, exchanging gifts, playing in the snow and caroling. Even the charitable contributions we make to food and gift drives for the less fortunate warm our hearts as we express genuine concern for others. (The Christmas season opening our eyes to the……  ( Click for more )
December 15, 2023
A herald is described as someone who foretells what or who is to come, a dignitary announcing significant news; sometimes an ambassador carrying official messages and/or proclamations. Such a person was John bar Zechariah, later identified by his “occupation”, calling sinners to repentance and baptizing……  ( Click for more )
December 8, 2023
Some thought the discovery of a long-lost gospel a few years ago would force Christianity to re-think itself because of its portrayal of the quintessential traitor – Judas – as a trusted friend and confidant of Christ. Rev. Donald Senior, President of the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago however,……  ( Click for more )
December 1, 2023
I generally try to be positive with everyone, and my comments now hopefully won’t be interpreted as an attack on anyone. However, ongoing news coverage of three individuals, and the issues they represent, seem to me to be symptomatic of society today. The one featured Melissa McCarthy, a plus-sized……  ( Click for more )
That’s unreasonable, isn’t it? Not everything benefits me; in fact, I don’t like a lot of what happens. Yet much of thankfulness has to do with our attitude toward life. Some people suffer through hardship or calamity and ask, “Why me?” Others realize it could have been worse……  ( Click for more )
November 17, 2023
Music plays a significant role in rallying people to any number of causes, unifying hearts and minds and eliciting a response to those causes’ needs. Incorporated into worship, it facilitates our acknowledgement of God as we praise him for who he is and what he does. It has at times become a point……  ( Click for more )
Most positive things have a corresponding negative aspect. Music is no exception as it inspires, incites, emboldens and excites. It likewise calms, refocuses, and encourages; leading us to contemplation and hopefully a reasoned response. Which includes seeking, praising and glorifying God. Complicating……  ( Click for more )
November 3, 2023
Our world is awash with sound, portable sound no less, so we can always be in range of the latest news, gossip, music, etc. The pertinent question for today being: Is there a difference between hearing and listening? We all learn over time to tune out “background noise” and concentrate on……  ( Click for more )
Should Christians be involved in the celebration of Halloween? A good first indicator might be to consider the images it conveys. Ghosts, witches, monsters, blood and gore; the devil, demons, graves and black magic – symbols of evil or good, wholesomeness or unwholesomeness? Even the cry, “Trick or Treat!”……  ( Click for more )
October 20, 2023
The image of an all-powerful God who can both create and destroy is given scant attention in worship these days. But both testaments of our Bible seem to indicate we should be aware of the duality of His being, the key is a proper understanding of what it means to be “afraid” of his……  ( Click for more )
October 13, 2023
One reason for the confusion surrounding the function of the Holy Spirit is because of his inclusion in the “Trinity.” A word nowhere appearing in scripture but one theologians devised to describe a unique and difficult concept; characterizing the Spirit’s existence and function. Besides……  ( Click for more )
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia once challenged Christians to, “Have the courage to have your witness regarded as stupidity. Be fools for Christ. And have the courage to suffer the contempt of the sophisticated world.” (For Biblical examples of just such willingness – see Paul at Athens, Acts……  ( Click for more )
Answering that question necessitates posing another. What does it mean to be compelled? Webster’s defines it as accomplishing a task by force or great effort, doing something forcefully or to be driven; the definition most applicable for the concept under consideration. Significantly, the……  ( Click for more )
Forty percent of the Gospel of Luke, ten chapters, is concerned with Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem; ending in his death. His frank declaration that he would be rejected, suffer and die at the hands of the authorities there – and rise three days later – hardly aligned with his disciples expectations.……  ( Click for more )
Are you kidding me? Am I not supposed to talk now? That’s hardly the point, but a number of scriptural admonitions indicate the importance God places on how we express ourselves. Any observance of the conversations taking place around us reveals the frivolous, coarse, indifferent way we treat people and the……  ( Click for more )
Last week we briefly looked at the declarative statements of Jehovah and Jesus using the descriptive assertion – I Am.  This week we’ll observe how that same self-descriptive phrase was often used by those responding to the call of “Come, follow me.”  In both the Old and New Testaments. God……  ( Click for more )
How would you describe yourself starting with the phrase – I am…; male or female – large or small – generous or stingy – black or white? Declarative statements such as these help define us, Jesus describing himself this way a number of times. For example, in discussing the coming of……  ( Click for more )
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