Thursday, April 30, 2009

Timothy's Parents

His mother was Jewish, but his father was Greek.

There is no indication that his father converted to Judaism or Christianity.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

More Mentions

Three of the Seventy Disciples, from the left:...Image via Wikipedia

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Paul & Timothy in 1 Corintians 4

Paul informs the Corinthian church that he is sending Timothy to remind them of Paul's "way of life."

Timothy's ministry is still a partnership, based upon teamwork and modeling, but he is now being sent out alone.

Paul is gradually giving Timothy more and more independence and authority.

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Timothy times twenty-nine

The name Timothy appears in the Bible 29 times.

In Acts 16-20, Timothy appears seven times. In every case, his is part of a group.

There is no need to be a Lone Ranger in service to Christ. Timothy's early service was completely as a member of a team.

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

We Meet Timothy

According to the Zondervan NIV Bible Commentary Volume 2: New Testament, we first meet Timothy in Acts 16:1-3, part of Paul's second missionary journey.

It is believed that Timothy first came to faith as a result of Paul's preaching on his first missionary journey, just two years before Paul recruits him.

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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Who Is Timothy?

Here's his Wikipedia entry:

I know him best for being mentored by Paul. That makes him a special case study.

Who are my Pauls? Who can I look up to and correspond with so that I can grow in my faith?

Who is your Paul, dear Reader?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Paul's Benediction

"Grace be with you" (6:21b, NIV).

Powerful, short words to conclude this 8-week study.

Do I say more than necessary at the conclusion of matters?

Yes, definitely. I go on and on.

Like I'm doing right now.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Good to GreatImage via Wikipedia

Within minutes of picking up Jim Collins' leadership classic, From Good to Great, I was struck by the list of model companies:

  1. Abbot: Never heard of them
  2. Circuit City: Bankrupt and liquidated
  3. Fannie Mae: Sadly in turmoil
  4. Gillette: Merged with Proctor and Gamble
  5. Kimberly-Clark: Do they make groceries?
  6. Kroger: Like the Wegmans of the South?
  7. Nucor: Who?
  8. Philip Morris: Yes, I know who they are
  9. Pitney Bowes: Have they handled the digital revolution?
  10. Walgreens: Still successful
  11. Wells Fargo: Here's one of many negative stories
I immediately recognized some of the eleven for very negative coverage. Paul wisely warned of the passing value of financial success and the mistake many people make relying upon money in 1 Timothy 6:10. It's a lot harder finding positive examples that last than negative ones!
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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Hymenaeus and Alexander

Christians must be evervigilant.

Hymenaeus and Alexander were sincere believers whose faith ws "shipwrecked."

Paul "handed them over to Satan" to teach them a lesson.

It is vital that believers not engage in sinful actions which require this level of intervention.

But many of us do, in fact, require a strong level of correction.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

John 1 and Greek Thought

For the Easter 2009 edition of the Guardian Science Weekly podcast, Alok Jha discusses Christopher Potter's book, You Are Here: A Portable History of the Universe.

The "skeptical audience" to whom Alok Jha refers is those people who are skeptical of a materialistic explaination of the universe.

Christopher Potter's reply is fascinating and correlates strongly to John 1:1-18.

This exchange correlates closely to a comment I left on in response to Damon Ballard recently. (Please note the high quality of Damon's reply!)

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Avoid the Wrong Thing

An important theme in 1 Timothy is to avoid the wrong thing, not only to do the right thing.

Do I spend more time doing the right things or avoiding the wrong things?

Is this a 50/50 proposition, or is one task more important than the other?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

What Controversy

I thought Paul's teaching on gender roles would be much more difficult to process, but he says that these are his opinions.

First Timothy is not where we find unnegotiable descriptions of the differences between men and women.

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Review of 1 Timothy

Paul emphasized in this letter that church leadership is all about relationships.

There really isn't anything new under the sun!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Avoid Pointless Arguments

Part of keeping our faith strong is avoiding pointless arguments.

This is not the same thing as avoiding thoughtful conversation. But debate is futile in the arena of science vs. religion.

So don't bother.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Warn the Rich!

Financial crisis / FinanzkriseImage by alles-schlumpf via Flickr

Paul tells Timothy to remind rich people to trust in God, not their wealth.

God is a sure thing. Wealth is temporary and fleeting. The current economic crisis is an obvious application of this teaching.

Doing good deeds with our wealth will result in lasting rewards.

I sometimes forget that I'm wealthy. It's easy to compare myself to people with more money. But relatively speaking, my family is incredibly wealthy!

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Characteristics of Jesus

Ecce Homo ("Behold the Man"), Antoni...Image via Wikipedia

  1. God gives life
  2. Testified before Pontius Pilate
  3. Will reappear on earth
  4. Blessed
  5. Sovereign
  6. Top King
  7. Top Lord
  8. Immortal
  9. Surrounded in unapproachable light
  10. Never seen by humans
  11. Honored
  12. Eternal ruler
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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Love of Money

MoneyImage by TW Collins via Flickr

In verses 6-12, Paul teaches the following:

  1. Goal: godliness with contentment
  2. Implied: a person can experience godliness without contentment!
  3. Existence: we enter and leave the world with nothing of value
  4. Needs: food and clothing
  5. Wants: everything else
  6. Danger: love of everything else
  7. Consequence: ruin and destruction
  8. Alternative: pursuit of righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness
  9. Word picture: fight the good fight of faith
  10. Result: eternal life
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Monday, April 13, 2009

Biblical Disagreements:
Teaching different information than Jesus shared is a symptom of pride.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Advice to Slaves:
Like today's employees, be a responsible worker. The idea is not to keep the working class in submission, but to serve the employers with excellence. Do I live out this principle? Not always as well as I should.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Outline of 1 Timothy 6
A) Honor your coworkers
B) Teach the truth
C) Be satisfied with food & clothes. Don't chase after money
D) Living the Christian life includes both gentleness & a fight for the truth
E) Tell about your faith
F) Tell rich people to be generous
G) Don't listen to stupid ideas that just sound good on the surface

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday Reflections

Since I was born on Good Friday, I use this as a day to reflect upon the previous year and consider where I've been and where I'm going.

In terms of meeting last year's annual goals, I missed the Greek goal entirely, partially met the growth in faith goal, and met both school and family targets. All in all, not a bad year!

Next year, my spiritual goal with be developing a less selfish attitude.

My intellectual goal is still learning to decode and comprehend NT Greek. Let’s focus just on John, since that’s traditionally considered the easiest to understand.

My school goals are being published before age 40 and growing in my leadership.

And my family goal stays the same: staying connected with Amy, Jack and Sarah.

Thank you, Lord, for the clarity you’ve given me. Remind me to stop comparing myself to others. It is vital that I measure my progress against your standards, Lord, not the world’s. You desire mercy, not sacrifice! This means, in particular, that I need to give up my perfectionism related to teaching targets.

Serve and get better results via prayer and spiritual growth, not more intellectual and professional struggle.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Booze and Accountability

Have trouble with your stomach? Drink some wine.

Have some trouble with your character? Remember that both good and bad deeds will become public.

We've seen this in the news over and over and over again the last couple of weeks.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

High Standards with Proof

Paul advises Timothy that church leaders should not be disciplined with the accusation of just one witness.

However, he also reminds Timothy to hold members of the church to a high standard.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Living Wage

337/365: The Big MoneyImage by DavidDMuir via Flickr

According to Paul, serving God should not be equivalent to working for free.

Do workers in other industries have a right to quote verses 17-18 as evidence that they're entitled to higher pay? I'm not sure.

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Monday, April 6, 2009

Paul's Advice on Serving Widows

This Soviet war poster conveys the message: &q...Image via Wikipedia

A) If they're under 60, then they're likely to remarry and receive support from a husband, so focus the church's efforts on older widows.

B) Focus on service, not gossip.

Point B I buy completely.

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Sunday, April 5, 2009

We Are Family

Jack Whinery and his family, homesteaders, Pie...Image by The Library of Congress via Flickr

In verses 1-2, Paul directs Timothy (and the members of his church) not to distinguish among the various gender and age groups represented, but to treat one another respectfully, as brothers and sisters and parents.

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Saturday, April 4, 2009

Outline of 1 Timothy 5

A large glass of red wine contains about three...Image via Wikipedia

  1. Honor older men and women
  2. Advice about widows
  3. Honor elders
  4. Aside: drink wine
  5. Good and bad deeds follow us
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Friday, April 3, 2009

Excellence in Vocation

I wonder if Paul's advice to Timothy in this chapter applies equally to secular work?

Is it possible to find complete meaning in a vocation which does not allow freedom of religious expression?

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Keep Up the Good Work

In verses 13-16, Paul encourages Timothy to use his gift to continue teaching and sharing Scripture.

He also tells Timothy not to neglect his gift. This implies that it's possible to neglect spiritual gifts.

What gift do I neglect? What gift do you neglect, dear Reader?

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Fruit on the tableImage by Milica Sekulic via Flickr

Christians are measured by their "fruit," the results of their actions, not the number of their years.

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