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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

December 29, 2017

Do we mean what we pray?

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

Anyone who travels a lot by plane or train gets accustomed to the routine announcements made by flight attendants or train personnel. More than once I have experienced a new flight attendant who had to read the safety instructions from a prepared text prior to takeoff and landing. And there are flight attendants who have made those announcements so many times that they know the text by heart. (more…)

December 22, 2017

Signs of the time(s)

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

Christians have been waiting for centuries for the promised return of Jesus Christ. And starting with the first generation of Christians ("we who are alive and remain") probably each generation since has hoped for Christ to return in their lifetime. And up to today that hope remains unfulfilled. (more…)

December 15, 2017

God's puzzle: the church

Filed under CoG Potpourri

The "birthday boy" buys the drinks for his friends, at least that is often what happens in Germany. In the United States the tradition was quite different. The "birthday boy" was the center of attention, receiving gifts from family and friends, and sometimes even telling people in advance what he wanted for his birthday. (And that might explain the earlier viewpoint of the church on the subject of birthdays, with the viewpoint basically being based on the American tradition.) (more…)

December 8, 2017

The creatorless creation

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

In 1985 we took a teenager from the German church as our guest on our home leave to the USA along, as we were granted home leave back then once every three years. The young man was from a rural area in northern Germany, and on his trip with us he experienced cable TV for the first time, which at that time had more than 50 channels. After watching TV a couple of hours, his comment was: "Back home we only have 3 channels with a lot of nonsense. You have more than 50 channels with a lot of nonsense!" (more…)

December 1, 2017

Symbolic "images"

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

My mother told me that of her 8 children I and my oldest brother were the ones who gave her the most grief (I was the 5th of her children). She told me once: "It's good that there is only one copy of you." She probably would have identified with a message on a public church message board in America: "Don't try to make someone else in your own image, because you are unique and the other person is, too." (more…)

November 24, 2017

What soil type are you? (3)

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

"What were the characteristics of the 'good ground' in the parable of the sower and the seed? Think about it and let me know what characteristics the 'good ground' must have to bear fruit for eternal life." Here are some more of the responses I received. (more…)

November 17, 2017

What soil type are you? (2)

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

“What were the characteristics of the ‘good ground’ in the parable of the sower and the seed? Think about it and let me know what characteristics the ‘good ground’ must have to bear fruit for eternal life.” Here are some of the responses I received from last week's "Thoughts for the Sabbath": (more…)

November 10, 2017

What soil type are you?

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

At church services last Sabbath here in Mobile, Alabama a member asked me: "So, are you here now because you like pumpkins?" I misinterpreted the question, because I thought she was referring to the cut out pumpkins of Halloween. However, she had the American holiday Thanksgiving in mind, celebrating each year on the fourth Thursday of November, when pumpkin pie is a traditional desert. (more…)

November 3, 2017

The temple veil

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

There were two rooms in the tabernacles in the wilderness and the later temple: the holy place, the larger room in the front, and the holy of holies, the smaller room at the rear of the structure. The were separated by a veil or curtain, that was suspended in front of the holy of holies. Only once a year was one person allowed into this rear room, the high priest: "The Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest" (Hebrews 9:8). (more…)

October 27, 2017

Protection from wolves

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

True Christians belong to the little flock of Jesus Christ (Luke 12:32). And in His own words, Jesus is the good shepherd of His sheep (John 10:14). The analogy of the church being a flock of sheep helps us to understand our responsibility as individual members (sheep of the church (flock). (more…)

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.

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