Pepper Grinder Post Listing

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Lessons from Chirrut - December 8, 2017 - Who in the world is Chirrut? What can we learn from him?

You Will Know I Am the Lord - November 18, 2017 - There is a phrase that crops up over and over in Ezekiel: 'You will know that I am the Lord.' Why does God care so much about that?

Mourning - October 28, 2017 - Mourning has been an important part of almost all cultures, including those portrayed in the Bible. Have we lost touch with this part of life?

Jury Duty - September 29, 2017 - I finally got called for jury duty. In some ways, it was a frustrating and disheartening experience, but it made me think.

Mixed Up - August 26, 2017 - What happened at the Tower of Babel? How does that affect us today?

In the Gap - August 6, 2017 - Why did God listen to Moses when Moses argued with him? Why would God actually want people to ask him not to do what he is planning to do?

The Art of Compromise - Part 2 - July 22, 2017 - Last post we looked at a compromise Aaron made when Moses left him to run the show. Today I'll look at the effects of that compromise when Moses returned.

The Art of Compromise - Part 1 - July 8, 2017 - Compromise can be a good thing, but in this post I look at a bad compromise made by a master compromiser.

Whatever Your Hand Finds To Do - June 17, 2017 - Can we be guided by God if we don't know what he wants us to do? Samuel and Saul show us how.

Equipping - May 27, 2017 - What are Christians being equipped for? What part do people like pastors have to play in the process? And what is the point of it all?

Tongue-tied Prophet - May 12, 2017 - Ezekiel the prophet was commanded to warn the Israelites to turn from their sins. Yet, in the verses that came right after this command, he was told he would be tied up and unable to speak! What's up with that?

Ministry for the Average Person - Part 6 - April 20, 2017 - What does ministry look like for the average Christian? In Part 6 of this series, we talk about how to practically apply the teaching that men should support their families.

Ministry for the Average Person - Part 5 - March 25, 2017 - What does ministry look like for the average Christian? In Part 5 of this series, we look to a passage about widows to show us something about the responsibility of all Christian men.

Life vs. Death - March 10, 2017 - Despite my best efforts, my back yard demonstrates that life is more powerful than death.

Ministry for the Average Person - Part 4 - February 19, 2017 - What does ministry look like for the average Christian? In Part 4 of this series, I address the question of whether the idea of a wife not working outside the home is practical in modern times, using me and my wife as an example.

Ministry for the Average Person - Part 3 - February 9, 2017 - What does ministry look like for the average Christian? In Part 3 of this series, we see what Paul thinks ministry consists of for the average young woman.

Ministry for the Average Person - Part 2 - January 21, 2017 - What does ministry look like for the average Christian? In Part 2 of this series, we look at the picture Paul paints of the ministry in which older women are to engage.

Ministry for the Average Person - Part 1 - January 14, 2017 - Should we always be 'doing ministry'? What does ministry look like for the average Christian? In Part 1 of this series, Paul gives us some ideas about what the ministry of older men should look like.

Comments - December 26, 2016 - The new comment system for The Pepper Grinder. The idea behind it and how it works.

Ant Traps - November 26, 2016 - My response to an ant infestation and how that makes me think about government aid.

Election - November 13, 2016 - Are you unhappy about Trump being elected? Think about Nebuchadnezzar.

Let a Woman Learn - October 29, 2016 - What does the Bible teach about women preaching?

The Eternal Now - September 24, 2016 - What is the 'Eternal Now?' I talk about how I see this concept differently as a Christian than I did before.

What? No Way! - Part 2 - September 11, 2016 - I say what I think the correct interpretation of 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 is. I explain why I do not think women need to be completely silent in church.

What? No Way! - Part 1 - September 3, 2016 - I evaluate how Kris Vallotton does at interpreting 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 which talks about women being silent in church.

Not Like Us - August 6, 2016 - I look at whether one of the quirkier-sounding laws of the Old Testament applies to us, and ask what these laws are supposed to teach us.

Thomas on Trial - July 17, 2016 - We have probably all heard of 'doubting Thomas.' But did Thomas do so badly? Let's look at the evidence.

The Final Enemy - June 25, 2016 - How our belief about God's sovereignty affects our attitude toward death.

Easy Egypt - April 24, 2016 - What would Moses's return to Egypt have been like if things had been going well for the Israelites? I present my fantasy of this scenario.

Adventure Novel - April 9, 2016 - Why do we like stories where the hero overcomes overwhelming odds to save the day? I believe it is because we are made in the image of God.

Deconstructing - March 25, 2016 - Taking apart a piece of furniture I built makes me think about death and new life.

Curses - Part 4 - March 3, 2016 - This is the final post in the series examining the Fall of Man. We turn to men now, and see how the Fall affects not just farmers, but everyone. Is it wrong to try to escape the effects of the Fall? Has Jesus undone the Fall of Man?

Curses - Part 3 - February 19, 2016 - This is part 3 of our examination of the Fall of Man. What does Genesis have to do with the battle between the sexes? How does the cover of Cosmopolitan mesh with God's pronouncement to Eve?

Curses - Part 2 - January 30, 2016 - This is part 2 of our examination of the Fall of Man. In this post I dive into the word used to describe women's childbirth experiences and men's work. Have some of the major translations made a major translation mistake?

Curses - Part 1 - January 16, 2016 - What can we get out of the story of the Fall of Man? Is it a weird myth? Is it an attempt to make us feel guilty? Or can we learn something about the God of the Universe and our relationship with him through it?

Superhero - December 23, 2015 - Ever wish you could swing from buildings and rescue innocent people? You aren't alone. Some seasonal thoughts about superheroes.

Be Careful How You Listen - December 9, 2015 - Why would a warning to be careful how we listen follow Jesus warning his followers not to hide our light? I try to decipher a saying of Jesus that confused me.

Defensive Driving - November 21, 2015 - In which I get roped into taking a defensive driving course and learn something that helps with both driving and living the christian life.

Kicking You When You're Down - November 7, 2015 - What can we learn from a psalm in which the writer asks God, in the strongest terms, to go after his enemies? How should we act when we're hurt? How should we treat hurting people?

Faucet Fumblings - October 25, 2015 - My experiences trying to fix a leaking faucet and how this reminds me of God working in my life.

If the World Hates You - October 9, 2015 - Did Jesus really say people would hate us if we followed him? Is that as bad as it sounds?

Politics vs. Relationship - September 26, 2015 - How were Jesus's goals different from those of a politician? What does he expect from us and what does he promise in return?

ACTS - September 16, 2015 - The prayer equivalent of the four basic food groups.

Look at Me Driving, Daddy! - September 2, 2015 - Why would God make victory in battle depend on an old man holding his hands in the air? What does this show us about our dependence on God?

Children's Sermons - August 7, 2015 - A comparison of two very different children's sermons.

The Splendor of Old Age? - July 30, 2015 - Is there anything good about getting old? Solomon had something to say about that.

It's Magic - July 18, 2015 - The appeals and drawbacks of magic. How prayer is way different from a magic wand.

Salt of the Earth - July 6, 2015 - What does it mean to be the salt of the earth? How can salt become unsalty?

Where Will We Die? - June 20, 2015 - A quote from a Catholic bishop makes me think about the future of Christians in America.

Do Your Own - June 6, 2015 - Do you beat yourself up because of things you don't do as well as other Christians? If so, Paul has an encouraging word for you.

Smart Watchmaker - May 28, 2015 - Belief in chance evolution is hard, even for the people who believe it.

The Best Investment - May 6, 2015 - A quick look at Matthew 13:44-46 reminds us that we have struck it rich.

Wind in the Trees - April 27, 2015 - A story of two groups of trees in the forest with a lesson about God using the supernatural spiritual gifts.

Love Your Enemies - April 19, 2015 - What does it mean to love our enemies? How does this relate to a billboard in Times Square?

Mad-Eye - April 9, 2015 - Do you have a Mad-Eye? Should you?

Toilet Struggles - March 29, 2015 - My struggles to repair a toilet, and what this has to do with spiritual warfare.

The Shunned Blessing - Part 2 - March 19, 2015 - Does the Bible have anything to say about having children and using contraception? We finish looking at this in light of Psalm 127.

The Shunned Blessing - Part 1 - March 11, 2015 - Does the Bible have anything to say about having children and using contraception? We start answering this question by looking at the second half of Psalm 127.

He Gives Sleep - February 27, 2015 - What does the Bible say about sleep? How can we know we are doing what God wants? This post looks at Psalm 127 and tries to answer these questions.

True Love - February 14, 2015 - What is true love? How does biblical love differ from the modern, romantic idea of it?

I Want to Suffer? - February 7, 2015 - Can we know Jesus and have his power without going through his suffering? The answer Paul gives exposes the way the modern church often tries to flee suffering.

No Rewind - January 28, 2015 - What is better than a time machine? How rules can be a good thing.

Hezekiah's Troubles - January 18, 2015 - Hezekiah was in a very bad way. What did he do? Can we learn from this?

The Lord Looks at the Heart - January 11, 2015 - What does God see when he looks at us? Is it okay for us to care about how we look?

Did Mary Say Yes? - December 23, 2014 - I think we can agree that Mary had a wonderful attitude of submission to God. But could she have said 'no' to God? Can any of us?

How to React to a Disaster - December 11, 2014 - Has modern science eliminated the need to see God's hand in a calamity? How should a Christian view a disaster?

What is Faith? - Part 3 - November 29, 2014 - In the conclusion to our three-part series on faith, I present a new definition of faith which (to me at least) makes sense of many seemingly incompatible verses on faith.

What is Faith? - Part 2 - November 16, 2014 - We move farther along in our quest to understand faith by focusing on verses 1,2, and 6 of Hebrews 11. This is the second in a three-part series.

What is Faith? - Part 1 - November 6, 2014 - Is faith as simple as believing that you will get what you ask for? I take a high-level look at Hebrews 11 to try to understand what faith is and is not. This is the first in a three-part series.

Come with me Now - October 26, 2014 - Can we get something good out of a 'secular' song? Here's one that grabbed me.

Two Wishes - October 10, 2014 - Can you imagine someone asking not to be too rich? A wise man in the Bible prayed exactly that.

Scientific Ants - October 3, 2014 - An ant colony's response to a disaster leads to some thoughts about evolution and Intelligent Design.

Ask me for Anything - September 27, 2014 - Can we ask God for anything and be confident that he will grant our prayer? What does it mean to pray in Jesus's name?

I Want to Help! - September 19, 2014 - Meditations based on an experience mopping a floor with my grandson.

God is so Good - September 5, 2014 - It often bugs me when someone says, 'God is so good.' In this post, I explain why.

Strong Women - August 25, 2014 - Did you ever hear of a Proverbs 31 woman? Is the woman described in the 31st chapter of Proverbs a perfect conservative housewife, or a proto-feminist, or none of the above?

Heads or Tails - August 17, 2014 - Are there really more payday loan stores than McDonalds in America? What does the Bible have to say about debt?

No Regrets - August 10, 2014 - Do you have regrets? Read what the Bible says about how to leave them behind.

Inoculation - August 2, 2014 - Are some of our well-meaning programs for youth actually inoculating them against truly following Christ?

Pillars of Churchianity: Tithe to Your Local Church - Part 2 - July 20, 2014 - Are Christians commanded to tithe? If so, is all of the tithe supposed to go to a believer's local church? This is the second in a two-part series on tithing.

Pillars of Churchianity: Tithe to Your Local Church -- Part 1 - July 13, 2014 - Are Christians commanded to tithe? If so, is all of the tithe supposed to go to a believer's local church? This is the first in a two-part series on tithing.

The Black Dog - July 6, 2014 - What we can do when we find ourselves in a prison.

Idiot! - June 27, 2014 - How many times have you been tempted to call someone an idiot? What does Jesus's teaching about anger in the Sermon on the Mount have to do with this?

Wilting Flowers - June 15, 2014 - Thoughts on the changing attitudes toward youth and old age and how this fits with the Bible.

The Good Guys Win - June 7, 2014 - Sometimes, like in the movie 'Chinatown,' it seems like the bad guys win. How are we supposed to deal with it when we feel angry over injustice that we are powerless to change? Psalm 37 gives us some pointers.

Why Didn't I Take the Blue Pill? - May 31, 2014 - Remember the movie, 'The Matrix?' I muse about how the famous red pill, blue pill scene relates to Christians and to Psalm 73.

Blest be the tie that Binds - May 25, 2014 - Is oxytocin a trick played on us by evolution or part of God's design? If it is God's idea, are we playing along or fighting against it?

Pillars of Churchianity: Go to Church - Part 2 - May 16, 2014 - What I call 'churchianity' is a set of teachings that most Christians are taught but that aren't well supported in the Bible. This post is the second of two dealing with the teaching that Christians must go to church.

Pillars of Churchianity: Go to Church - Part 1 - May 11, 2014 - What I call 'churchianity' is a set of teachings that most Christians are taught but that aren't well supported in the Bible. This post is the first of two dealing with the teaching that Christians must go to church.

Disaster Recovery - May 3, 2014 - What is a disaster recovery drill? What should our disaster recovery plan be?

Moan and Groan - April 25, 2014 - What was it that saved the people in Ezekiel's bizarre vision from slaughter? What should our reaction be to a society that disobeys God?

Run the Race - April 19, 2014 - As we remember Christ's death and resurrection, a story told by a dog encourages us to run the race.

I am the Way - April 13, 2014 - What does it mean to say that Jesus is the way and the truth and the life? Is this really as arrogant as it sounds?

Intolerance - April 6, 2014 - Should Christians take warning from what happened to Brendan Eich?

Living a One-Story Life - March 30, 2014 - If we accept the idea that belief in God should not be relegated to the 'second story' of our life, how should this affect how we approach our work and vocation?

Tattoos - March 21, 2014 - Is it bad to get tattoos? How do the laws in Leviticus apply to modern Christians?

Two Story World - March 14, 2014 - How we have been hoodwinked into believing in the two story view of reality. Why we need to let our beliefs influence all of our life.

Money - Part 3 - March 6, 2014 - The final installment in the money series. What does Paul say about people who are already followers of Christ and have more money than they need?

New Pepper - February 22, 2014 - A new arrival in the extended Pepper family changes my plans and makes me think about the fall of man and the promise of a new body.

Man Up - February 15, 2014 - A quick look at Kennedy's response to the failure of the Bay of Pigs Invasion and how this provides a model for modern men.

Money - Part 2 - February 8, 2014 - Is it okay for a Christian to try to become rich? I look at what Paul has to say in 1 Timothy 6:3-10

Equal Rights for the Unborn - February 1, 2014 - In remembrance of the Roe vs Wade anniversary and in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr, I make the case that abortion is both sexist and racist

Money - Part 1 - January 26, 2014 - What does it cost to come to Christ? We look at Luke 18:18-27 to try to answer this question.

Positive Thinking - January 18, 2014 - Is positive thinking something a Christian should do?

Legalism Blues - January 11, 2014 - Paul's feelings about legalism. What does this have to do with us?

Quilting - January 4, 2014 - I talk about my wife's quilting and share lots of pictures. How God puts people together the way a quilter makes a quilt.

Fair is Fair - December 29, 2013 - When a man came to Jesus expecting him to settle a property dispute, he got a lecture about greed. Are we greedy? How can we tell?

Adventus - December 20, 2013 - My experiences in a liturgical church. Some thoughts on Advent.

God: Sheriff or Father? - December 14, 2013 - I try to answer the question of whether God wants us to have fun or not by looking at Genesis 2 and events before and after the Fall of Man.

The Hookup Culture - December 1, 2013 - I discuss an app called Tinder and the Hookup Culture in general.

The Fall - November 26, 2013 - Leaves, leaves, and more leaves! I talk about the mixed blessings of living around a lot of trees and speculate about the fall of man and our response to it.

Coffee - November 20, 2013 - I share my affection for that wonderful beverage and talk about a recent study I read about the beneficial effects of coffee. How our biases affect what we do and don't hear.

Three Tents - November 16, 2013 - Why would Peter suggest pitching tents when Jesus turned into a human light bulb and was met by Moses and Elijah? What could this possibly have to do with Vacation Bible School and Revival Meetings? How was Peter like Lloyd Dobler? Matthew 17:1-8

Why do White-tailed Deer have White tails? - November 14, 2013 - My musings about the color of White-tailed deer's backsides and how this fits with evolutionary theory.

Finishing - November 7, 2013 - I talk about finishing the shelf I wrote about building the post before last. I try to look at the process from the wood's point of view and compare that to how I feel when God is working on me.

Delight Yourself - part 2 - November 2, 2013 - Want to know the secret to having the desires of your heart fulfilled? This picks up where we left off last time, looking at Psalm 37:5-6, and discusses practical ideas for HOW to find delight in the Lord.

Man the Creator - October 30, 2013 - I talk about building a shelf and compare my creative abilities to God's.

Delight Yourself in the Lord - Part 1 - October 20, 2013 - Want to know the secret to having the desires of your heart fulfilled? King David has some advice for you in Psalm 37:3-4

Fruit Happens - October 6, 2013 - What do we have to do to bear fruit? It's simpler than you might think. This picks up where the last post left off and looks at John 15:4-6

God the Gardener - September 22, 2013 - A look at how and why God cuts us in light of John 15:1-3

Martha, Martha - September 8, 2013 - Confessions of a Martha. Looking at Jesus's true message to Martha in Luke 10:38-42 and seeing if there is hope for those of us with Martha-ish tendencies.

My Starting Place - August 25, 2013 - This is the post that I wrote as an introduction to the whole blog. It makes the point that everyone has preconceptions, and lays out what mine are. It also expresses my desires for how readers will approach the blog.

One Body, Many Parts - August 25, 2013 - This post looks at Romans 12:4-5 and talks about the church, using Paul's analogy of it being like a body. The basic point is that we are supposed to be unique individuals, not little cogs who can be fit in as needed into a church machine.

How I Study - August 25, 2013 - Here is where I tell you my secrets for studying the Bible in hopes that they won't stay secret! I try to present ways that a person who does NOT have seminary training can do a "deep dive" into a set of Bible verses.