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"Joyful Curmudgeon" An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.


Born Again – 6 March 2007
By Mary T. Hoffman

Being spiritually “born again” involves positive change; and this change, after an initial “eye-opening” experience, is ongoing and does require effort, as Paul tells the Philippians in 2:12:

12. Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. ~ King James Version

In Matthew 5:48, Jesus sets a high standard for His followers:

48. “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” ~ New American Standard Version

The expression “born again” is found in three places in the King James Version and also in the New King James Version of the Bible, and in four places in the New American Standard Version.

Nicodemus, a religious leader of the Pharisees, had come to Jesus at night to question Him about this “new” teaching. It is believed that he came secretly at night so that the other Pharisees would not find out about his conferring with Jesus.

In John 3:3-13, Jesus explains this necessary spiritual change of being “born again” to Nicodemus:

3. Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

4. Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?”

5. Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

6. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

7. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’

8. The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

9. Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?”

10. Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things?

11. Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness.

12. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?

13. No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.”
~ New King James Version

Go on to: Born Again (continued) – 7 March 2007
Return to: Church Dinners – 5 March 2007
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