The wind blows wherever it pleases...       John 3:8
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Grace Notes

Mike Leno

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imageIt felt like a contest between “What’s Love Got to Do with It?” and “Love Is All You Need”—except it had very little to do with romance or music. But make no mistake, it was no trivial matter. The very essence and foundation of our faith was at stake. Or so we thought.

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By Mike Leno

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“What is truer than truth? Answer: The story.” – Jewish proverb.1

As Jesus often demonstrated, good stories tell the truth in a way nothing else can. Stories can help us see God and the universe in new ways, and also motivate us to be better people. So how does sucha good thing often go bad? Continue reading

By Mike Leno

PM JesusAccording to Popular Mechanics, this is the way Jesus may have appeared. It’s still an artists conception, of course, but it has the advantage of being based on archeological evidence and forensic anthropology techniques.[1]

A couple of months ago I posted a blog (See “Inventing Jesus” at www.gracenotesblog.com) that included a relatively modern portrait of Jesus; the point being that the way we imagine Jesus, and the reality of Jesus based on the evidence we have, are often two very different things. We now continue that same general theme, noting in more detail why Jesus did not match the messianic expectations of many, including the most prominent leaders of his time. And although it seems disconcerting at first, seeing Jesus as he really was, gives us confidence that the New Testament character was not simply invented out of convenience or necessity. Furthermore it turns out that our inventions of Jesus are not what we really need anyway. Continue reading

By Mike Lenoterrorist

Newscasters can deliver the most horrible news in the most routine way. But even the most skillful reporters could not smooth over the latest example of barbaric cruelty by the group known as ISIS; the self-identified “Islamic State.” I will not describe what they did to a Jordanian pilot. If you don’t know already, I urge you to put it out of your mind. Suffice it to say, describing ISIS as a violent terrorist group is a gross understatement; like saying that serial killers are sort of naughty.

In the words of Hosea, “They sow the wind, and they will reap the whirlwind.” And predictably, Jordan has responded with a whirlwind of airstrikes and promises to rain down final destruction on the terrorist perpetrators. But another thought also emerged in my troubled mind. This is not our fight. Continue reading