Posted by: The Simple Guy | December 19, 2014

Worth reading

What do you think?

The Simple Guy

Posted by: The Simple Guy | December 6, 2014

Taking off, putting on

I have been looking at John 13 lately and the story on Jesus washing the disciples’ feet.

Since we just finished Colossians in our fellowship, the themes of putting to death, taking off, and putting on were in the back of my mind.

So in Colossians we are to put to death these things:
Colossians 3:5 (KJV) 5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
We are to put off these things:
Colossians 3:8 (KJV) 8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
Colossians 3:9 (KJV) 9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
And we are to put on:
Colossians 3:12 (KJV) 12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
Colossians 3:13 (KJV) 13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also [do] ye.

In John 13, Jesus is on the way to the cross, within 24 hours, he was in the tomb. (Put to death)

John 13:1 (ESV) 1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
2 During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him,
3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God,
4 rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist.
5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

Jesus took off his clean teacher clothes (represented righteousness). He put on a towel and then wiped their feet on the towel. The streets of Jerusalem had beasts of burden as well as animals for sacrifices in them. There must have been lots of manure in the streets. It has been said that so many animals were sacrificed during the Passover that the streets ran with blood.
This disgusting cocktail is what was on their feet, and was wiped off onto the towel. This was wiped on the towel he WORE not just carried.

He literally took off his righteousness and put on our filth and was put to death for our forgiveness.

In this story I believe Jesus is addressing forgiveness against the backdrop of the “who is the greatest” debate. Interesting reading that side by side with Colossians chapter 3.

Colossians 3:10 (ESV) 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its
11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.

I don’t have a lot of details yet, still just observing. But the parallels are striking.

What do you see?

The simple guy.

Posted by: The Simple Guy | November 18, 2014


Thinking about Onesimus. His name meant useful. In life he was not. He was a thief. He did not live up to his name.
I am made in Gods image but I have not lived up to that. I have taken my body that was made to represent God and used it in ways that break His heart.
Onesimus was restored to be useful in a way much more beautiful than just as a slave.
I am crucified with Christ and he now lives in me. I have a new chance to display the image of the invisible God.

Your thoughts?

The Simple Guy

Posted by: The Simple Guy | November 16, 2014

Why the whisper?

1 Kings 19:12 (HCSB) 12 After the earthquake there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire there was a voice, a soft whisper.

1 Kings 19:13 (HCSB) 13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Suddenly, a voice came to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah? ”

Our teacher this week looked at 1 Kings 19 and the story of Elijah. I was struck by some things, and I need to look closer. I wanted to list some of the things I noticed partly so I can come back later and remember, and partly for your input. I would love it if some of you who stop by would de-lurk and put in your perspective if you have something to say!!!

In this story, Elijah is running from Jezebel after his stunning victory at Mt Carmel. He runs for his life into the wilderness and God sustains him. After an angel feeds him, he goes for 40 days and nights without food or water. He goes to Mt Horeb, hides in a cave, and God meets him there. God asks him what he is doing there and he complains.

Then there is a great wind, a great earthquake, and a great fire; but God is not in any of them. At this point a quiet whisper is heard, and God is in the whisper.

So the thing that struck me is this:
There are 3 men who went 40 days and nights without food in scripture. Moses, Elijah, and Jesus. Two of the three do so on the same mountain and meet God. The fire, earthquake, and wind happen both with Moses and Elijah. The quiet whisper is new.

Also, these are the three men on the mount of Christ’s tranfiguration.

These parallels are all to show us Christ, but what are we to see? I know there is a beautiful truth here, but I am not seeing it yet.

As I discussed this with my lovely wife, she mentioned that this conversation was very similar to God’s conversation with Job at the end of his trial, too.

I also wonder if Elijah in the cave is a parallel to Moses in the cleft of the rock.

Is the whisper a prophetic look at how Jesus the Messiah would come? Fully capable of the storm, earthquake, and fire (all pictures of the final judgment), but coming in peace and humility? A bridge of sorts between Sinai (Horeb) and Golgotha?

What are your thoughts?

The Simple Guy

Posted by: The Simple Guy | November 14, 2014

Quiet Faithfulness

Col 4:7-14
(7) Tychicus will tell you all about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord.
(8) I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts,
(9) and with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you of everything that has taken place here.
(10) Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, and Mark the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instructions—if he comes to you, welcome him),
(11) and Jesus who is called Justus. These are the only men of the circumcision among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me.
(12) Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God.
(13) For I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis.
(14) Luke the beloved physician greets you, as does Demas.

Our little fellowship is teaching through Colossians.  This text is my next assignment and I still have about a week to study.  Don’t quite have things nailed down yet, but have enjoyed the scenery during the journey.

I have enjoyed looking at the cross references of each of the names in this text.

First: Tychicus

We read about him in Acts 20:4, 2Tim 4:12, and Titus 3:12.

Acts 20:4 is just after the riot in Ephesus when Paul leaves and starts traveling to Jerusalem.

Chronologically, Titus 3:12 would be next.  This is much later.   Between Acts and Titus are several of the hardest years of Paul’s life.  He left Ephesus to take a gift to Jerusalem.  While there, he was arrested and this began the long prison years of Paul’s ministry.   In Titus we see Tychicus is still with him, and is carrying a message to Titus.  Much like here in Colossians.

The last time we hear about Tychicus is in 2Tim 4:12 where Paul is sending him back to Ephesus.  When Paul writes 2Tim, he knows he is about to die.  It appears the last errand he sent Tychicus on was to go back home where their journey began.   It appears that behind the scenes, through most of Paul’s prison time, Tychicus was there.  Interesting that Paul had this to say about him:

He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord.
(8) I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts,

Second: Onesimus

Paul is also sending back one of their own, but one who they do not know as one of their own.  Onesimus deserves his own post.  His own chapter.  His own book of the Bible!  (Oh, wait; he has one: Philemon)

Onesimus was a runaway slave who apparently met Paul in prison, and went from a worthless thief, to a useful (that is the meaning of his name) brother.  Many of the church of Colosse would have probably known him from before, as an unsaved servant of Philemon.  But Paul sends him back as a brother.

and with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you of everything that has taken place here.

Onesimus goes back of his own free will, regardless of the consequences.  His safety is at stake, but his integrity is worth more.   He has an uncomfortable meeting to deal with when he arrives.  Will they accept him?  Will Philemon forgive him, or is his life on the line?  Paul could empathize with this, as he (a former persecutor of the church) went back to meet the church in Jerusalem after his conversion on the Damascus road.  Paul could also empathize with the church in Colosse, Philemon in particular, which we will see later.

Also notice, Paul sent Onesimus with Tychicus.  This was an important task Paul entrusted to Tychicus.


Third: Aristarchus

Aristarchus is mentioned three times in Acts.  Chapter 19:24, 20:4, and 27:2.  Aristarchus was one of Paul’s friends who was dragged out in the street during the riot at Ephesus and beaten.  Remember Reginald Denny in the LA riots?  This is the picture that comes to my mind.  I would think I would quickly want to disassociate myself at this point, but not Aristarchus.   In chapter 20:4, he leaves for Jerusalem with Paul.  In chapter 27, Paul is in his sea voyage to Rome.  That means Aristarchus was probably shipwrecked with Paul on Malta.

Paul refers to him here in Colossians, and also in Philemon as well.  Here Paul refers to him as a fellow prisoner.  This either means he was so close to Paul that he bore the imprisonment with him, or that he has actually been arrested himself.

A friend in hard times.

Fourth: (and last for this post) Mark

Remember John Mark, the younger cousin of Barnabas?  Remember the guy who abandoned Paul and Barnabas in their first missionary journey when it got hard?  The guy Paul was so opposed to allowing to accompany them on their second journey that they parted ways?  Yea, that guy.

Interesting that Mark and Onesimus are mentioned almost in the same breath.  Interesting that Mark, and Onesimus are mentioned along with Tychicus and Aristarchus.

Especially considering that chapter 3 said this:

Col 3:13
(13) bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

Do you kind of hear between the lines something like, “I know how you feel, but remember how Christ forgave you?  Is what Onesimus did to you worse than what you have done to Christ?  Sure you don’t want to associate with a runaway slave, but Christ associated with you. . . .”

Brings me pause, I must say.

Add to that the fact that we find ourselves looking up to those like Aristarchus and Tychicus, but if we are to follow their model in being Christ like, we must also forgive and be faithful friends to those like Onesimus and Mark.  The character trait we admire in them is the same one that causes us to forgive and serve.

Father, help me.  I am so self-centered. . . .

Your thoughts?

The Simple Guy


Posted by: The Simple Guy | November 9, 2014

Small verse; life long task

Colossians 4:2 (KJV) 2 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;

“Continue” and “watch” are actually one word and it is only used once in the verse. It is written something like this:
Continue watching in prayer, and all of the above with thanksgiving.
This one word grabbed my attention. It is the idea of staying, watching, guarding, waiting.

It is the word used to describe the soldier and servants in this text:

Acts 10:7 (KJV) 7 And when the angel which spake unto Cornelius was departed, he called two of his household servants, and a devout soldier of them that waited on him continually;

So think of a security guard, or a waiter, or even a mother. That’s the picture.

What are we to station ourselves in watchfulness about? Prayer. Specifically thankfulness.

Many texts come to mind. Watch and pray lest you enter into temptation. How often does temptation prey on my lack of gratitude? Or how about 1 Thessalonians 5 where we are told to always rejoice, to never cease in prayer, and give thanks in everything. This is God’s will in our lives.

We find in Romans 1 that God’s wrath is directed toward those who know the truth, who know God, and are not grateful.

This is a big deal.

Your thoughts?

The Simple Guy

Posted by: The Simple Guy | November 8, 2014

How To Read Your Bible

I put a couple of postings together about how to study your Bible recently. Today I came across this. I find it is good to get solid advice from several sources, so I thought I’d pass this on. Also because I want to remember to re-read this from time to time.

Dear Children

Dear Children,

Here is a list of ways that I read my Bible.  I’ve written them as a lists of Do’s and Don’ts, but please don’t confuse that with the rules of interpreting your Bible.  That would be hermeneutics, and hermeneutics is not different for different people.  Even though I have them listed as do’s and don’ts, it would probably be better stated as: “I suggest that you…”, and “I suggest that you not…”.


Make it a goal to read your entire Bible.  Once you have read it, make it a goal to read the entire thing again in time.

Ask God silently–or aloud if you wish–to reveal Himself to you before you read.

Pick a book, any book.  Try to grasp the entire book as a whole.  Ask yourself what is the overarching message of the book as a whole?  What is the central message that God is telling His people in…

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Posted by: The Simple Guy | November 4, 2014

Some fun from the past

Here is a song our band recorded several years ago. My brother sings lead, I’m the low harmony, pictures are of the family of one of the band members. Lead guitar is his Dad.
Fun times.

Posted by: The Simple Guy | November 2, 2014

Pigsty Christianity

Re read this post an Internet friend put up years ago. Still good. Still true. Words still fail me.

Christ the Truth

Sermon audio – Luke 15LINK NOW WORKING

“Here we have a son devising a speech and a repayment plan to get his life back.  And what he is proposing is self-redemption.  He wants to stop being a younger brother type and to start being an older brother type.  He’s given up on the freedom lark, now he’ll try slaving.  But this is NOT the way back to Jesus.  The pigsty is NOT the turning point.

So often I hear evangelistic talks and they go something like this:  “You’ve made a mess of your life haven’t you?  You realize you can’t do life on your own don’t you?  Well then come to your senses.  Pick yourself up out of the pigsty, make some resolutions to try really hard for God.  And return to Him using this prayer that is guaranteed to win God’s favour.  You’ll have to promise to behave…

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Posted by: The Simple Guy | October 31, 2014

Was that really nice?

I am the father of 6 children, ages 3 – 19.   There is a lot of personal interaction in our house, as you might imagine.  I can’t count how many times in the last month I have asked someone, “Now think about what you just said/did.  Was that really nice?”

I’m not going to back away from that at all.  I insist on treating one another with courtesy and respect.  I believe that is a biblical concept.

However, in light of these verses, I have been wondering if I am conditioning my family, and even myself to be shallow and hypocritical with others.

Col 3:8-10
(8) But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.
(9) Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices
(10) and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.

Now that I have you thoroughly confused. . . 🙂

I am thinking of verse 9.  How many times do we say the “nice” thing and avoid the truth?  How many times do I send a grumpy little girl across the room to her sister with this instruction, “Now that wasn’t nice.  You tell  your sister you are sorry.”  So to avoid consequences with me, they grumble “sorry” and stomp off.  Anyone can see that they aren’t sorry.  Am I teaching them to lie to one another, because it is the “nice” thing to do?

So I posed this question in a text to several friends and family the other day:

“Have been thinking about verse 9.  When we love one another, we do not lie to each other.  Sometimes we think it is being nice to someone to not work things out, but really we have just defined how deep the friendship is.  Just my pondering.  What do you think?”

I got this response from my Dad:

“Relationships are built on TRUTH.  Christ is TRUTH.  If we don’t speak truth to one another, we can’t trust or be trusted.”

So does this mean I just have to sit back and watch rudeness in my children for the sake of honesty?   I think not.  I think the secret lies in being committed to each other through the truth, and learning to communicate toward a resolution.  We need to learn to express love and commitment, while at the same time communicating the unpleasant things that need to be said.

I have to learn this attitude myself in order to model it, and then teach it to my children.

Your thoughts?

The Simple Guy


This might not be a new thought to some of you.  Have you learned anything in this area that you think might be helpful?

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