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Mark D. Roberts

Mark D. Roberts

November 2010 Archives

Growing Closer to God in Advent: Some Practical Suggestions

posted by Mark D. Roberts

So far in this series I’ve explained what Advent is and why I have found it helpful to observe Advent. If you’re at all convinced, you may wonder what to do about it. In this post and the next in […]

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Recommended Christmas Music: Under the Wonder Sky

posted by Mark D. Roberts

I have a new collection of Christmas music and I love it. Jeff Johnson and Brian Dunning have teamed up once again to produce a stellar album of Christmas music. Their earlier Christmas collections, A Quiet Knowing Christmas and Stars […]

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Why I am an “Adventophile”

posted by Mark D. Roberts

In my last post in this series, I told the story of my Advent beginnings. When I started out as pastor of Irvine Presbyterian Church in 1991, for the first time in my life, I began to see Advent as […]

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Advent Inspiration from The High Calling: Waiting for the Shepherd

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Please listen, O Shepherd of Israel,     you who lead Joseph’s descendants like a flock.O God, enthroned above the cherubim,     display your radiant glory     to Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh.Show us your mighty power.     Come to rescue us! Psalm 80:1-2 Introduction to […]

How I First Learned About Advent

posted by Mark D. Roberts

In yesterday’s post, I explained the timing and purpose of Advent, as well as its unexpected color scheme. I closed by noting that Advent is growing in popularity, especially among Protestant Christians who, in many cases, did not grow up […]

The Advent of Advent

posted by Mark D. Roberts

This coming Sunday is the first day of Advent. If you’ve been reading my blog for more than a year, you know that I generally make a big deal out of Advent. If you’re new to my blog, however, you […]

Inspiration from the High Calling: Thanksgiving – Not Just a Day, But a Way of Life

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Colossians 3:12-17 And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father. Colossians 3:17 Today is Thanksgiving Day in the United States, a day set apart by […]

But How Can I Be Thankful When . . . ?

posted by Mark D. Roberts

The Bible instructs us to be consistently thankful. In writing to the Thessalonian Christians, the Apostle Paul said, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thess 5:18). This sounds […]

Remember to Thank Other People Too!

posted by Mark D. Roberts

I’ll never forget something I heard at the baccalaureate service that was part of my graduation from college. As I sat in the Memorial Church of Harvard University, the President of Radcliffe College (part of Harvard) said something like, “The […]

Finding the Heart of Thanksgiving

posted by Mark D. Roberts

As you know, this coming Thursday we celebrate Thanksgiving Day. Yet for many of us, that day is so full of activity that we actually have little time for intentional, extended giving thanks to God. So, as has been my […]

Sunday Inspiration from The High Calling: Is God a Dragon?

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Is God a Dragon? Psalm 18:1-50 Smoke poured from his nostrils;      fierce flames leaped from his mouth.      Glowing coals blazed forth from him. Psalm 18:8 Psalm 18 celebrates God’s deliverance of David from danger and distress. “The ropes […]

Bible Cut from Harry Potter Film!

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Okay, I’ll admit that my headline is more suitable for a tabloid than my blog. But, hysterics aside, what I’ve just proclaimed is true. The Bible was cut out of the film version of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. […]

Thankful for Autumn

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Growing up in Southern California, I never really experienced autumn. Yes, a few trees in our neighborhood changed colors as the weather got a bit cooler. But there just isn’t much seasonal variation in Southern California. When I went to […]

A Brief History of Thanksgiving

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Several years ago, I asked my six-year-old nephew, “On Thanksgiving, to whom do we say thank you?” He quickly responded, “To the native Americans.” (No, I’m not kidding.) “Do we say thank you to anybody else?” I queried persistently. “To […]

Meals That Change Your Life

posted by Mark D. Roberts

As we approach Thanksgiving Day and its famous meal, Adam McHugh shares some thoughts on how meals can change your life. Check out his article in Relevant Magazine. 

Thoughts on Thanksgiving: Introduction

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Yes, I know that today is not Thanksgiving Day. Yes, I know that the official American holiday falls on the fourth Thursday in November, not the third. So, yes, I know that I’m a week early. But I’d like to […]

Was Jesus Divine? Early Christian Perspectives – Interim Conclusions (Part 4)

posted by Mark D. Roberts

In my last post I summarized several key factors in the early Christian discovery of the deity of Jesus. These were: Jesus Spoke with God’s Own AuthorityJesus Forgave Sins as if He Were GodJesus Assumed the Character of Divine WisdomJesus […]

Was Jesus Divine? Early Christian Perspectives – Interim Conclusions (Part 3)

posted by Mark D. Roberts

In my last post, I argued that the resurrection of Jesus, though not proving that he was God, did vindicate him and his ministry. Through the lens of Easter, the early Christians began to see things about Jesus that they […]

Was Jesus Divine? Early Christian Perspectives – Interim Conclusions (Part 2)

posted by Mark D. Roberts

No matter how Jesus lived, no matter what he said or did, if he had simply died on a Roman cross like so many other Jews in the first century A.D., then that would have been the sad ending to […]

Sunday Inspiration from The High Calling: Where Have You Fixed Your Attention?

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Where Have You Fixed Your Attention? Psalm 16:1-11 I know the LORD is always with me.      I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. Psalm 16:8 Psalm 16 begins with a cry for divine help: “Keep […]

Big Birds in My Back Yard

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Recently, I’ve been fascinated by big birds in my back yard. No, no, not the Big Bird from Sesame Street (pictured to the right). Rather, I’m talking about hawks and vultures. A certain hawk, at least I think it’s one […]

Was Jesus Divine? Early Christian Perspectives – Interim Conclusions (Part 1)

posted by Mark D. Roberts

After spilling ample ink (well, pixels) on the subject “Was Jesus Divine? Early Christian Perspectives,” I’m finally ready to begin to draw some interim conclusions. I call these “interim” conclusions because I believe that what I’m proposing here is not […]

Now That’s What I Call Putting Up Christmas Lights!!!

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Okay, okay. I am usually pretty cranky about businesses that put up Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving. But yesterday I saw something that deserves some attention. I was at a business meeting at the Gaylord Texan Hotel in Grapevine, Texas, near […]

Sometimes Life is as Strange as a Porcupine

posted by Mark D. Roberts

A few days ago I was driving along a country road in Texas when I saw a dead porcupine by the side of the road. I seem to come across porcupine-shaped road kill about once a year since moving to […]

Jesus the Son (Part 2)

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Yesterday I began looking at how Jesus referred to himself as simply “the Son” in relationship to God, whom he called “Father.” Jesus’ language suggested an unprecedented intimacy with God. Such intimacy was also implied in the baptism of Jesus. […]

Jesus the Son (Part 1)

posted by Mark D. Roberts

As we have seen, Jesus regularly referred to himself as the “Son of Man.” “Son of God,” on the contrary, appears on Jesus’ lips only twice in all of the gospels (John 5:25; 11:4). Not only did Jesus seem to […]

No One Does Good? Really?

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Psalm 14:1-7 But no, all have turned away;      all have become corrupt. No one does good,      not a single one! Psalm 14:3 I remember when I first resolved to read through the whole Bible. I was in high […]

Strange Stories Related to Food and Drink

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Check out these stories: U.S. Appeals Court Dismisses Suit Against StarbucksRachel Moltner sued Starbucks because she spilled a cup of Starbucks tea on herself, causing burns and related problems. She sued for $3 million, arguing, among other things, that Starbucks […]

What Do Anorexia Nervosa, Zombies, Ambition, and a Tractor Seat Have in Common?

posted by Mark D. Roberts

What do anorexia nervosa, zombies, ambition, and a tractor seat have in common? Answer: They are featured in recent posts at The High Calling: Everyday Conversations About Work, Life, and God. “So I Stopped Eating” is the first post in […]

Jesus, the Unexpected Son of Man (Part 2)

posted by Mark D. Roberts

In yesterday’s post I showed how Jesus startled his disciples by claiming that he, as the Son of Man, would suffer and die. Though Jewish visions of the Son of Man pictured him as receiving honor and glory, Jesus said […]

Jesus, the Unexpected Son of Man (Part 1)

posted by Mark D. Roberts

In my last post I showed how some of what Jesus said about the Son of Man was drawn from Jewish speculation about the future. Even as Jewish visionaries in the time of Jesus looked forward to the coming of […]

The Son of Man in the Judaism of Jesus

posted by Mark D. Roberts

In my last post I began to examine Jesus’ use of the self-designation “Son of Man.” I noted that although this was Jesus’ preferred title for himself, his followers have generally been confused by what Jesus meant when he called […]

Jesus and the Perplexing Son of Man

posted by Mark D. Roberts

In my last post, I noted that Jesus rarely referred to himself as the Son of God. Yet he frequently spoke of himself as the Son of Man. This title, rarely used by Christians today when we speak of Jesus, […]

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More blogs to enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Mark D. Roberts. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Red Letters with Tom Davis Recent prayer post on Prayables Most Recent Inspiration blog post Happy Reading!  

posted 2:09:11pm Aug. 27, 2012 | read full post »

Why Did Jesus Have to Die? Conclusions
In this series on the death of Jesus, I have presented four different perspectives on why Jesus had to die: Roman, Jewish, Jesus’, and Early Christian. I believe that each of these points of view has merit, and that we cannot fully understand the necessity of Jesus’ death without taking them all

posted 2:47:39am Apr. 11, 2011 | read full post »

Sunday Inspiration from the High Calling
Can We Find God in the City? Psalm 48:1-14 Go, inspect the city of Jerusalem. Walk around and count the many towers. Take note of the fortified walls, and tour all the citadels, that you may describe them to future generations. For that is what God is like. He is our God forever and ever,

posted 2:05:51am Apr. 10, 2011 | read full post »

Why Did Jesus Have to Die? The Perspective of the First Christians, Part 3
An Act and Symbol of Love Perhaps one of the most startling of the early Christian interpretations of the cross was that it was all about love. It’s easy in our day, when crosses are religious symbols, attractive ornaments, and trendy jewelry to associate the cross with love. But, in the first

posted 2:41:47am Apr. 08, 2011 | read full post »

Why Did Jesus Have to Die? The Perspective of the First Christians, Part 2
The Means of Reconciliation In my last post, I examined one of the very earliest Christian statements of the purpose of Jesus’ death. According to the tradition encapsulated in 1 Corinthians 15, Jesus died “for our sins in accordance with the scriptures” (15:3). Yet this text doesn’t expl

posted 2:30:03am Apr. 07, 2011 | read full post »

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