Monthly Archives: April 2010

I’m Back!

I just came back from Lawrence Ks, where I grew up. The journey home was a slight Odyssey. The problem happened when we went into Detroit. The airline that I was flying (Delta) had parked all their airplanes in front of the gates, and since some flights were delayed by a storm down southeast, there was no gate for my plane to disembark. It took them an hour to move a plane so that we can have a gate, and by that time we had landed. My connecting flight to Philadelphia was so long gone that it was no longer in the computer system. I was then directed to the C2 Gate, which had a long line that as not moving. The first thing they want you to do is to scan your boarding pass. It said that I needed to pick up a phone that said help desk. But all those phones were occupied by people who obviously had been on hold an awfully long time. I looked at the departures and saw a flight to Allentown (about 100 miles from where I live), so I dashed for it. I talked to the lady there – and she was not authorized to give me a boarding pass to get on that flight. She sent me back to C2. As a I went back from C30 to C2 there were plenty of gates with people with computers not doing anything, but I had to go to back to C2 with a long line that wasn’t moving. The line hadn’t moved in the 20 minutes it took me to go to the Allentown gate. I then went to another gate, and the guy gave me another boarding  pass for an 8:45 AM Sunday flight, the next day. I asked him if I could get a hotel l room and he said that he was not authorized to give that to me, but I might be able to get it at C2. So I went back to C2. The line had not moved. So I  decided to go to dinner. I ate supper – and spent $20 on a mediocre meal. I then went back to C2 gate. The line had moved. There was only about 5 people to go. So I waited for them to go – while I was waiting, a guy from the same flight I was on told me that he had gotten the same 8:45 AM flight to Philadelphia and a hotel room. As I was waiting, the lady at the C2 gate waved me down – so I went over to her. She told me that I did have enough time to catch my flight, but that I could get a hotel room for $58. I told her that was totally unacceptable because I did not have enough time to catch my flight. She sent me back to C2, which she said was her supervisor. I went back to C2, explained my situation, and he did give me a free hotel room at the Hilton Garden Inn. By the time I got to the Hilton it was 9:30 PM. They were very nice, but they were surprised that I did not have vouchers for meals as well as a free hotel room. When I explained that I was on a Delta flight, they understood. The hotel room was very nice, and I got to watch Al Pacino play Jack Kervorkian on a HBO special movie. It was very good, but not as nice as being home with my wife, Gretchen.

I did finally get home at around noon on Sunday.

I have been twittering quite a bit – and then I have all my twitters forwarded to my facebook account where they get commented on by my most loyal friends. The problem with this system is that I am limited  by 140 characters, and a lot of my thoughts are more than 140 characters long!

Please feel free  to follow me at twitter at

http://www.twitter.com/Mark.Cole

or follow me on facebook by searching for Mark Cole West Chester PA and adding me as a friend. Leave a message if you do not know me personally but know me from my blog, and I will befriend you!

I will continue to blog here -and keep you up-to-date on my thoughts that are over 140 characters long!

God Bless,

Mark

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Jennifer Knapp and passing the test on Jesus’s merits alone

I have been commenting on the Jennifer Knapp story . Here is what the gospel according to Mark sounds like when Mark is angry at what people are saying:

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Why is it that there are certain sins that you must give up to become a Christian, but that there are others that you come to Jesus JUST AS YOU ARE?

There is a difference between the Gospel and what is percieved to be the gospel. So listen up – I will tell you what the Gospel message is. We are all in the same boat and it is approaching Niagara Falls. We are all going down. There is no safe way to shore. There is no hope. We are obviously all “very damaged”. We all, by our actions “deny what he is affirmed”, even though we may say that we “love the Lord”. This includes acting on our sexual appetites but also our attitudes to others, our self righteousness, our greed, our unthankfullness, etc. etc. and more etc. etc!

God, because he so deeply loved the world (not just you, it is not just about you!) which includes people from every tribe, nation, and people, poor and rich, famous and unknown, handicapped, Jennifer, sinners and priests, Muslims and Buddhists, gay and straight- EVERYONE EXCLUDING NO ONE – came to earth to die in our place. He came to rescue us. It has nothing to do with works – what we have done – but it is by grace alone.

When we come to a knowledge of Him – He gives us the Holy Spirit. We do not instantly become perfect, but we become a son or daughter of the most high God. His Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin and He grows us up in Him.
He asks us to forgive others and not condemn them or judge them – that is His job – and not to bully people or call them “very damaged” or that “Christian and Lesbian doesn’t belong in the same sentence” or that people that you do not even know are living in rebellion against God. This will not lead people to Christ. This will lead people away from Christ.

Sorry for getting preachy.

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I immediately got a question:

What is your thoughts on Pauls words to the Corinthians in 1Corinthians 5:1-13? Keep in mind I’m asking about professing christians not unbelievers who do not have the power to break away from sin

That sounded reasonable, so I gave this answer:

I would say that Paul is talking about a matter inside the local church. The elders of Jennifer’s church do have a special accountability toward her, that I don’t have – and if she is guilty of sexual immorality, it would be their responsibility to church discipline her. CCM is not a church so I don’t think it applies to this situation at all. If you believe that Jennifer is not a good Christian that would be a good reason not to buy her CDs, but not to throw stones at her. It is important to realize that there are many, many “Jennifers” out there who need Christ, and that by condemning this particular singer we are really condemning more than just her.

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and then the commenter said this:

Well explained. I just wanted to make sure you understood that judging must take place. It is important , however, how we judge. Scripture says test the spirits. You passed. Keep your passion for the lost even if they once professed Christ. Your love may reach them. If not well, you would have at least gave them the chance as you were given a chance. You would do well to keep modeling Christ as you walk in truth and love. Ezekiel is a great book I think you would. like.

So I am glad I passed! Yay!

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The Incredulity of Saint Thomas by Carvaggio 1602-1603

Thomas

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My 10 suggestions to myself

  1. Drink water, not soda
  2. No credit card debt! Seek Financial freedom with a passion that transcends the passion for the latest *thing*.
  3. Eat breakfast. Limit coffee to 2 cups.
  4. Give generously- starting point 10%
  5. Read/listen carefully to the Bible everyday
  6. 10 PM appt. to go to bed and talk to wife. Get up later if needed.
  7. Work out 3 times a week at least
  8. Avoid spur-of-the-moment purchases, wait at least a week to see if I really really need or want something. Did slaves make the thing I am thinking of buying?
  9. Answer emails quickly, especially queries about salvation.
  10. When not doing anything else – pray. If I don’t know what to do next – schedule.

note: these are only suggestions and are not laws or legalisms. They can be rescended at any time for any reason. They are not in the order of importance.

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