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Mark D. Roberts

Mark D. Roberts

Holy Week & Easter Archives

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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 This blog is no longer being updated.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 […]

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Typewriters are Coming Back!!

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Yes, that’s right. Typewriters are making a comeback among digital generation folks. The New York Times reports a wave of interest in even manual ones, in “Click, Clack, Ding! Sigh . . .” by Jessica Bruder. I’m not surprised about […]

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Social Science Palooza II, by David Brooks

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Check out this delightful and insightful column by one of my favorite writers, David Brooks.

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News Flash: Caltech Gets First Conference Win Since Reagan was President

posted by Mark D. Roberts

The New York Times reports that the California Institute of Technology basketball team won its first conference game since 1985, beating nearby Occidental College 46-45. Caltech won by scoring the last nine points in a row, delighting the home crowd […]

Sunday Inspiration from The High Calling: Reaching Out to God for Mercy

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Reaching Out to God for Mercy Psalm 28:1-9 Listen to my prayer for mercy      as I cry out to you for help,      as I lift my hands toward your holy sanctuary. Psalm 28:2 In the church where I […]

Sunday Inspiration from The High Calling: Kiss the Son!?

posted by Mark D. Roberts

READ Psalm 2:1-12   Submit to God’s royal son, or he will become angry,     and you will be destroyed in the midst of all your activities–for his anger flares up in an instant.     But what joy for all who take refuge in […]

How Happy Are You? Let’s Ask Twitter!

posted by Mark D. Roberts

The New York Times recently reported on a study that used Twitter to tell us how we’re feeling as a nation. “Tracking the National Mood” summarized research done by scholars from Northeastern and Harvard University. Their “Pulse of the Nation” […]

Public Repentance

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Okay, I need to repent. A few days ago I put up some snide comments about airline food, suggesting that pretzels and peanuts hardly count as food. (You can tell I don’t fly first class.) But, yesterday, on a flight […]

InterVarsity President Fears Implications of Supreme Court Ruling Against the Christian Legal Society

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Last week I commented upon a recent Supreme Court decision that supports the requirement of Hastings College of Law that all student groups be open to “all comers.” This means, in particular, that the Christian Legal Society chapter at Hastings […]

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A Surprising Easter Tradition

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Most of our traditional Easter practices happen on Easter Sunday: going to church with family, a sunrise service, a special dinner, wearing fancy spring dresses, hunting for eggs, and so forth. In church, we sing music reserved for Easter, hymns […]

Five Reasons to Love Spring

posted by Mark D. Roberts

In my adult years, I have come to enjoy flowers. When I lived in Irvine, I would always plant flowers at about this time of year: Impatiens, Begonias, etc.  Things are different now. My yard in Texas is considerably more […]

God’s Resurrection Power for Us!

posted by Mark D. Roberts

READ Ephesians 1:19-23 I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of […]

The Seven Last Words of Christ for Holy Week: The Seventh Word

posted by Mark D. Roberts

READ Luke 23:44-56  “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands.” Luke 23:46 Two of the last seven “words” of Jesus were quotations from the Psalms. Earlier Jesus had used Psalm 22, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned […]

The Seven Last Words of Christ for Holy Week: The Sixth Word

posted by Mark D. Roberts

READ John 19:19-30 “It is finished.” John 19:30 I never saw a more difficult film to watch than Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ. For most of that movie, I wanted to avert my eyes. It was horrible to […]

The Trauma of Changing Church Music: An Ironic Story

posted by Mark D. Roberts

As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, many people are traumatized by the changing of music in church. I am one of those people. I must confess that I am bugged when I’m singing a familiar hymn, one I […]

Crown Him With Many Crowns: A New Verse

posted by Mark D. Roberts

In yesterday’s post I explained the unusual origin and history of the hymn “Crown Him with Many Crowns.” Though most hymnals today include four verses of this hymn, its original author, Robert Bridges, wrote six. Then, a couple of decades […]

The Surprising Origins of a Great Hymn

posted by Mark D. Roberts

One of my favorite hymns, and one that is frequently sung during Holy Week and Eastertide, is “Crown Him with Many Crowns.” The lyrics of this glorious hymn celebrate the multi-faceted sovereignty of Christ. If you were to look in […]

Midwestern Happenings

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Today I want to comment on a couple of items related to the middle of our country. A Mennonite College and the National Anthem First, I’ve been fascinated by a story about Goshen College in Goshen, Indiana. The college has […]

New York: A Photographer’s Paradise

posted by Mark D. Roberts

My family and I visited New York City over spring break. I had fun taking lots of photos there. But I think I had more fun observing my son, who has become quite a fine photographer, taking his photos. I […]

Voldemort in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York???

posted by Mark D. Roberts

During a recent trip to New York City, I visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art. “The Met,” which contains over two million works of art, is one of the world’s largest art galleries. You could spend days wandering through its […]

Life’s Ironies

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Life is full of ironies. When you start looking for them, you’ll see them all the time. They make life interesting. For example, last week I had a business meeting in Dallas. I flew Southwest Airlines, which uses Dallas Love […]

Best of Friends?

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Over five years ago, we got our dog, Sandy, a mellow Golden Retriever. Sandy is about a good-natured as a dog can be. She has only growled once in her life . . . when she saw a cow in […]

What’s Better? Anticipation or the Real Thing?

posted by Mark D. Roberts

I read an opinion piece in USA Today that got me thinking: “We expect too much of our presidents” by William Choslovsky. I’m not so interested in the main point of the column, which is a defense of President Obama […]

Live Blogging Lent: With a Little Help From My Friends

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Part 7 of series: Live Blogging Lent Permalink for this post / Permalink for this series I doubt that John Lennon and Paul McCartney were thinking about Lent when they wrote: “With a Little Help From My Friends.” And I […]

Live Blogging Lent: Fasting from Fast? (Section 4)

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Part 6 of series: Live Blogging Lent Permalink for this post / Permalink for this series Today I finish up my Lenten reflections on Faster: The Acceleration of Just About Everything by James Gleick. Let me begin with a quotation […]

Live Blogging Lent: Fasting from Fast? (Section 3)

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Part 5 of series: Live Blogging Lent Permalink for this post / Permalink for this series Last Thursday I put up some comments about and excerpts from a book: Faster: The Acceleration of Just About Everything by James Gleick. On […]

First Signs of Spring

posted by Mark D. Roberts

I’ve seen the first signs of spring in my yard. We’ve had plenty of rain this year, along with unusually cold weather. But a few warm days, with highs in the 60s, have encouraged some wildflowers to start blooming. Here’s […]

Live Blogging Lent: Fasting from Fast? (Section 2)

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Part 4 of series: Live Blogging Lent Permalink for this post / Permalink for this series Yesterday I began a Lenten review of the book Faster by James Gleick. Today I want to respond a bit more to the book, […]

Live Blogging Lent: Fasting from Fast?

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Part 3 of series: Live Blogging Lent Permalink for this post / Permalink for this series I recently finished reading a book by James Gleick, Faster: The Acceleration of Just About Everything. Published in 2000, Faster argues that our lives […]

Live Blogging Lent: Lent is Odd

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Part 2 of series: Live Blogging Lent Permalink for this post / Permalink for this series Lent is odd. There are several reasons for this. One has to do with the length of Lent. If you were to ask people […]

Live Blogging Lent: Introduction

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Part 1 of series: Live Blogging Lent Permalink for this post / Permalink for this series I expect that most of my readers are familiar with live blogging. It is, as one would expect from the name, a version of […]

Lenten Inspiration from The High Calling

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Return to the Lord READ Joel 2:1-32  That is why the LORD says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear […]

Ash Wednesday Inspiration from The High Calling

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Ash Wednesday READ Genesis 3:1-24 “By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat until you return to the ground from which you were made. For you were made from dust, and to dust you will return.” […]

Could Mardi Gras Be for Christians?

posted by Mark D. Roberts

And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for […]

Book Review: Connected, by Nicholas A. Christakis and James H. Fowler (Part 2)

posted by Mark D. Roberts

In Friday’s post I began reviewing an intriguing new book: Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives, by Nicholas A. Christakis and James H. Fowler. Today I want to finish my review, first […]

Book Review: Connected, by Nicholas A. Christakis and James H. Fowler

posted by Mark D. Roberts

I recently finished a fascinating book: Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives. It was written by two top scholars, Nicholas A. Christakis and James H. Fowler. Christakis is a medical doctor and […]

Proof That Even Brilliant Professors Can Lack Common Sense?!?

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Last week I visited one of the leading universities in the United States. It is especially famous for its outstanding research faculty. Academic brilliance flourishes in this place. I was meeting with a member of that faculty, and spent a […]

Rereading a Classic: Christian Mission in the Modern World by John Stott, Part 2

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Yesterday I began sharing some quotations from John Stott’s classic book Christian Mission in the Modern World. Today I’ll add a few more: Let me return now to the Great Commission. I have tried to argue that its Johannine form, […]

Rereading a Classic: Christian Mission in the Modern World by John Stott

posted by Mark D. Roberts

I make it a practice to read classic literature on a fairly regular basis. These days, I often read the classics my children are reading in high school. Thus, in the last year, I’ve read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great […]

The Way of Jesus: When Good Confronts Evil

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Last Sunday I preached at Westlake Hills Presbyterian Church in Austin, Texas. A couple of days ago I blogged about this fine church. Today I’m putting up the text of my sermon. The biblical passage and title were given to […]

An Interesting Idea . . . What Do I Think?

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Yesterday I introduced Gospel Forth, a new website that’s devoted to raising money for Christian causes. It does so by having advertisers contribute money each time you visit a page on which their ad appears. So Gospel Forth promises to […]

An Interesting Idea . . . What Do You Think?

posted by Mark D. Roberts

I recently became aware of the Gospel Forth website. The stated purpose of this website is to raise money for Christian causes, without financial benefit to the website’s owner. This is the claim on the website. I do realize, of […]

Inspiration from The High Calling

posted by Mark D. Roberts

The Jesus Prayer READ Mark 10:46-52 When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus of Nazareth was nearby, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Mark 10:47 As Jesus and his disciples journeyed near Jericho, a blind beggar […]

Local Wildlife

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Recently spotted in my back yard: Black vultures looking for breakfast. Recently spotted in my house: A contented, bored dog. (Photo: Nathan D. Roberts)

Happy Birthday to Jesus!

posted by Mark D. Roberts

We Celebrate the Birth of Christ In the season of Advent we have used the Advent wreath and its candles to help us get ready for this great celebration of the birth of Christ. When we lit the first purple […]

Advent Devotion: The Lighting of the Fourth Candle

posted by Mark D. Roberts

We Remember the Meaning of Advent Advent is a word that means “coming” or “visit”.  In the Christian season of Advent we prepare for the “advent” of Christ at Christmas.  Our preparation includes many things: • We remember Israel’s hope […]

Webinar with Donald Miller Has to Be Rescheduled

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Earlier today I was helping to promote a webinar by author, Donald Miller. This online event, which was scheduled for Thursday, had to be canceled because of a serious illness in Don’s family. I’ll let you know when I hear […]

Advent Devotion: The Lighting of the Third Candle

posted by Mark D. Roberts

This is an excerpt from my Advent Devotional Guide that uses the Advent wreath. If you have a real wreath, you can use it, either alone, or with others. If you don’t have a wreath, follow this guide, and you […]

A New, New Atheism?

posted by Mark D. Roberts

By now, we’re quite familiar with the so-called “new atheism” and its primary preachers: Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and company. These men have in common a deep digust for religion and a barbed tongue. Their approach to converting […]

Advent Devotion: The Lighting of the Second Candle

posted by Mark D. Roberts

This is an excerpt from my Advent Devotional Guide that uses the Advent wreath. If you have a real wreath, you can use it, either alone, or with others. If you don’t have a wreath, follow this guide, and you […]

A Strange, Sad Christmas Irony

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Check out this story from Reuters: “Competitive Britons send nativity costs soaring.” Here’s a cheery excerpt: Gone are the days of shepherds in tea towels and tinsel-clad angels. Britain’s competitive parents are forking out on luxury pashmina shawls and velour […]

Is Advent Biblical?

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Part 6 of series: Introduction to Advent Permalink for this post / Permalink for this series Earlier in this series I mentioned the fact that many Protestant Christians reject Advent because they consider it to be a Roman Catholic practice. […]

Sharing My Greatest Advent Discovery

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Part 5 of series: Introduction to Advent Permalink for this post / Permalink for this series Earlier in this series I spoke of discovering Advent. Of course I didn’t discover it in the way an explorer discovers a place no […]

Growing Closer to God in Advent: Some Practical Suggestions

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Part 4 of series: Introduction to Advent Permalink for this post / Permalink for this series 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 […]

Why Advent?

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Part 3 of series: Introduction to Advent Permalink for this post / Permalink for this series In my last post, I told the story of my Advent beginnings. When I started out as pastor of Irvine Presbyterian Church in 1991, […]

Advent Devotional: The Lighting of the First Candle

posted by Mark D. Roberts

This is an excerpt from my Advent Devotional Guide that uses the Advent wreath. If you have a real wreath, you can use it, either alone, or with others. If you don’t have a wreath, follow this guide, and you […]

Advent Beginnings

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Part 2 of series: Introduction to Advent Permalink for this post / Permalink for this series 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 […]

Advent Approaches . . .

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Part 1 of series: Introduction to Advent Permalink for this post / Permalink for this series 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 […]

Laity Lodge on Worship Team Training

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Worship Team Training is a ministry that provides inspiration, training, and resources for worship leaders, especially but not only those who lead in contemporary contexts. Worship Team Training offers a whole-person approach to the training of worship leaders, focusing on […]

Honoring Veterans Today

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Today is Veterans Day, a day set aside to honor those who have served in the armed forces of our country. Once known as Armistice Day, to commemorate the armistice that brought an end to the hostilities in World War […]

You Don’t See This Everyday!

posted by Mark D. Roberts

A few days ago I flew from Los Angeles to San Antonio on Southwest Airlines. I was surprised to find the Southwest section of the terminal decorated for Halloween. Here are a couple of photos:

SimChurch: Being the Church in the Virtual World, by Douglas Estes

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Today this website is a “stop” on a blog tour for a new book, SimChurch: Being the Church in the Virtual World, by Douglas Estes (Zondervan, 2009). This book offers an in-depth analysis of so-called “virtual churches.” We’re not talking […]

New England in the Fall

posted by Mark D. Roberts

I’m in the Boston area this weekend to preach at Park St. Church. Had the chance to get up to New Hampshire today. There is nothing like New England in the fall! Not even Texas. This is New Hampshire. This […]

Whole Church: Leading from Fragmentation to Engagement, by Mel Lawrenz

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Today I’m pleased to be part of a blog tour for pastor and author, Mel Lawrenz. Mel has just published a fine new book called Whole Church: Leading from Fragmentation to Engagement. This book has much to offer for church […]

Inspiration from The High Calling

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Shirking Responsibility READ Exodus 32:15-29  “So I told them, ‘Whoever has gold jewelry, take it off.’ When they brought it to me, I simply threw it into the fire—and out came this calf!” Exodus 32:24 Exodus 32 reveals that the […]

Newsbreak: American Idol Gets a Shot in the Arm

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Today the producers of American Idol announced that talk-show-host and comedienne Ellen Degeneres will permanently fill the role of judge, taking the position that had belonged to Paul Abdul. Now this is news for American Idol fans, several of which […]

No Sign of Wile E. Coyote

posted by Mark D. Roberts

A genuine Roadrunner at Laity Lodge . . .

Inspiration from The High Calling

posted by Mark D. Roberts

My Holy People READ Exodus 22:25-31 “You must be my holy people. Therefore, do not eat any animal that has been torn up and killed by wild animals. Throw it to the dogs.” Exodus 22:31 Exodus 22:31 contains instructions about […]

Inspiration from The High Calling

posted by Mark D. Roberts

The Ninth Commandment: Don’t Lie READ Exodus 20:1-17  “You must not testify falsely against your neighbor.” Exodus 20:16 The original Hebrew of the ninth commandment reflects a judicial setting. Specifically, this verse refers to lying in the context of a […]

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

posted by Mark D. Roberts

I went to see Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince today with my family. As most of you know, this is the sixth of the Harry Potter films. And as you might have heard, it is surely one of the […]

The Brits Have Another Declaration of Independence!

posted by Mark D. Roberts

A recent news story revealed a surprising discovery. The British have another original copy of the Declaration of Independence. This copy, one of only 200 that were initially printed, brings to 26 the number of copies in the world today. […]

Is Twitter Making a Difference that Matters?

posted by Mark D. Roberts

You may have noticed that I am now including my tweets (Twitter posts) on this website. In the amazing world of computer automation, all I need to do is to create a tweet in my Twitter account, and it magically […]

Tuesday Inspiration from The High Calling

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Trustworthy Leadership READ Exodus 14:15-31  When the people of Israel saw the mighty power that the LORD had unleashed against the Egyptians, they were filled with awe before him. They put their faith in the LORD and in his servant […]

Monday Inspiration from The High Calling

posted by Mark D. Roberts

The Lord Will Fight for You READ Exodus 14:1-14  “The LORD himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” Exodus 14:14 As the Israelites left Egypt, they were pursued by the Egyptians. Fearful of the awesome power of Pharaoh’s army, […]

Technology and Theology: Unexpected Consequences

posted by Mark D. Roberts

When we begin to use a new technology, usually we focus on its primary impact. For example, when I got my first cell phone, I was excited about the possibility of staying in touch with people with whom I worked […]

Technology and Theology: A Negative Example

posted by Mark D. Roberts

In yesterday’s post I examined ways in which technology can support God’s work in the world. Specifically, I noted now the early Christian use of letters and roads helped to spread the good news of Jesus Christ throughout the Roman […]

Technology and Theology: Positive Examples

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Thanks to those who contributed comments to yesterday’s post, and to those who communicated with me by email. As always, I am encouraged, instructed, and challenged by your insights. When I think about the relationship of technology and theology, I […]

Technology and Theology: Your Ideas

posted by Mark D. Roberts

I have been asked to write an article on technology and theology for Outcomes, a magazine for leaders published by the Christian Leadership Alliance. The timing of this request seems to be providential. The cover of this week’s Time Magazine […]

What Makes Us Happy?

posted by Mark D. Roberts

The current issue of Atlantic Monthly has a long article with the title “What Makes Us Happy?” The author, Joshua Wolf Shenk, writes about the 72-year-long, in-depth study of 268 men from Harvard. He focuses considerable attention on the current […]

New Babies at Home!

posted by Mark D. Roberts

A couple of months ago, our back porch was invaded by a couple of Barn Swallows. They’re colorful birds that build bowl-shaped mud nests. Our invasion force picked our porch for such a nest and we decided to let them […]

The Twilight Books: Should You Let Your Daughter Read Them?

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Odds are that you’ve heard of the Twilight books, even if you’re not a teenage girl. If not the Twilight books, then probably the movie. Yesterday, in fact, it won five MTV movie awards, including Best Movie . . . […]

Red, Yellow, and Blue

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Some birds in my back yard . . . . Cardinal . . . . Goldfinch . . . . Scrub Jay . . . .

â??Hot in Recession: Chocolate, Running Shoes, and Spamâ?

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Now there’s a combination you don’t see very often: Chocolate, Running Shoes, and Spam. No, no, not the Spam that fills you inbox with donations from Africa and illicit invitations. This recent AP story referred to Spam, the stuff you […]

Some Thoughts for Memorial Day

posted by Mark D. Roberts

For most of my life, Memorial Day signified the beginning of summer with a day off from school or work. When I was in college, Memorial Day usually fell during my final exams, so it was an extra study day. […]

AP: Hanalei Bay the World’s Best Beach

posted by Mark D. Roberts

The AP reports that Hanalei Bay on the Hawaiian island of Kauai was ranked as the best beach in the world by “Dr. Beach,” Stephen P. Leatherman. (HT: Nathan Roberts.) Leatherman, director of Florida International University’s Laboratory for Coastal Research, […]

Commitment!

posted by Mark D. Roberts

If you’re a squirrel, it takes commitment to steal my bird seed.

For a Little Fun . . .

posted by Mark D. Roberts

I wasn’t able to put up the next post in my series on Thin Places because I was out late last night at my son’s choir concert at school. I’ll get back to the series tomorrow. For now, I thought […]

McKnight and Ford: Book Déjà Vu?

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Recently I put up a brief review of Scot McKnight’s newest book, The Blue Parakeet. You can read the review here, if you wish. The Blue Parakeet is Scot’s effort to help us think about how we interpret the Bible, […]

A Hidden Mickey at Laity Lodge

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Recently I found an unexpected surprise . . . a Hidden Mickey at Laity Lodge. “What is a Hidden Mickey?” you ask. If you’re a fan of Walt Disney lore, you probably know the answer. But if not, let me […]

Scot McKnight: The Blue Parakeet

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Yesterday I described Scot McKnight’s recent visit to Laity Lodge. Today I want put up a brief review of his latest book, The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible (Zondervan, 2008). Initially, the most striking thing about The […]

Unfashionable by Tullian Tchividjian, Part 3

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Today I’m finishing my review the book Unfashionable by Tullian Tchividjian. As I did yesterday, I will quote portions of the book and then add my comments. “God’s ultimate purpose for Christians is not to bring them out of this […]

Unfashionable by Tullian Tchividjian, Part 2

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Today I’m continuing the review I began yesterday of the book Unfashionable by Tullian Tchividjian. My plan is to quote portions of the book and then add my comments. This way you’ll hear Tullian’s own voice as well as mine. […]

Unfashionable by Tullian Tchividjian

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Today I’m participating in the “blog tour” for Unfashionable: Making a Difference in the World by Being Different, by Tullian Tchividjian. First, I’d like to introduce the author. I had not heard of Tullian Tchividjian until March 19, 2009.  On […]

Check Out The Divine Commodity by Skye Jethani

posted by Mark D. Roberts

When I was asked to participate in the blog tour for Skye Jethani’s new book, The Divine Commodity: Discovering a Faith Beyond Consumer Christianity, I had mixed feelings. I do think it’s essential for Christians (including me) to discover a […]

Easter Reflections

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Recently Ben Witherington III spoke at a Laity Lodge retreat. Ben, as you may know, is a leading New Testament scholar with impressive credentials. (When I printed his list of publications from his website, it took ten pages!) Ben also […]

The Stations of the Resurrection!

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed! Yes, I know Easter Sunday was yesterday. But, for Christians throughout the world, Easter is not just a day, but a 50-day season, beginning with Easter Sunday and continuing to Pentecost. So today […]

The Stations of the Cross: An Easter Postscript

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed! So Christians have proclaimed for centuries on Easter morning, as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. (Photo: A painting of the resurrection of Christ by Matthias Grünewald, c. 1515. I changed the shape […]

Suitable for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Today I saw something on my browser that is suitable for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. You know, it’s when he shows all sorts of funny print ads and newspaper articles. Well, here’s what I saw today: Now I’m […]

The Real St. Patrick

posted by Mark D. Roberts

In my youth, St. Patrick’s Day was most of all a day to wear green. Be caught without green and you got pinched by your friends, maybe even your teacher. (That was a long time ago, when teachers dared such […]

Hand Washing Tips from Disney’s Epcot

posted by Mark D. Roberts

A couple of days ago I made my first visit to Epcot, one of the four theme parks in Disney World, Florida. I was impressed by the overall experience. As always, Disney’s attention to detail is extraordinary. But I’ve never […]

A Few More Birds in Florida

posted by Mark D. Roberts

During my sojourn in Florida, I was able to visit Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. It lies along the Atlantic coast of central Florida, about 50 miles due east of Orlando. Among the animals we saw were several birds that […]

Birds in Florida

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Last week I attended a leadership conference in Florida. Though my schedule was full, I did manage to get an hour to walk along the beach in Naples. I was fascinated by the birds, several species of which I have […]

Sunday Inspiration from The High Calling

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Signposts of Nature READ Psalm 19:1-14 The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Psalm 19:1 I grew up in Southern California. The combination of smog and ambient light from Los Angeles and its suburbs meant […]

The Monkey and the Fish: An Interview with the Author, Dave Gibbons

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Yesterday I began a two-part “interview” with Dave Gibbons, author of The Monkey and the Fish: Liquid Leadership for a Third-Culture Church. Today I’ll finish up my conversation with Dave. Let me say, once again, how much I appreciate Dave’s […]

The Monkey and the Fish: An Interview with the Author, Dave Gibbons

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Today I’m part of a blog tour connected with the release of a new book, The Monkey and the Fish: Liquid Leadership for a Third-Culture Church, by Dave Gibbons. My website is one of fourteen that Dave will “visit” today […]

Lent Special!

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Yesterday I went to one of my favorite restaurants in Boerne, Texas. It’s called the Hungry Horse, and it specializes in Texas-style food: chicken fried steak, burgers, steamed veggies, appetizers, giant salads, etc. etc. As I was standing in line […]

Do You Have to Give Up Something for Lent?

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Part 2 of series: How Lent Can Make a Difference in Your Relationship with God (2009) Permalink for this post / Permalink for this series I grew up hearing about Catholics who had to fast during the season of Lent. […]

How Lent Can Make a Difference in Your Relationship with God

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Part 1 of series: How Lent Can Make a Difference in Your Relationship with God (2009) Permalink for this post / Permalink for this series Preface For the past several years, I have followed my posts on Ash Wednesday with […]

Staring Death in the Face (2009)

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Permalink for this post / Permalink for this series The denial of death . . . itâ??s all around us. When people die, they are often alone, sequestered in hospitals far away from the sad eyes of friends and family. […]

What is Ash Wednesday?

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Permalink for this post / Permalink for this series Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday. As has been my tradition for several years, in today’s post I will explain some of the basics about this holy day. Tomorrow I’ll add some Ash […]

Slumdog Millionaire Wins!

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Slumdog Millionaire prevailed at last night’s Oscars, winning eight academy awards, including Best Director and Best Picture. It beat a strong field of films, including my personal favorite, Frost/Nixon. But I was pleased that Slumdog Millionaire won. It’s a fine […]

Spiritual Warfare?

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Yesterday I shared the distressing news that the “NCAA Disciplines Incarnate Word.” And I never knew Jesus had a team! My commenters got me inspired to look for other headlines with a religious theme. I found a few in several […]

Bad News for the Son of God

posted by Mark D. Roberts

First it was Barry Bonds. Then Marion Jones. Then Michael Phelps. Then A-Rod. Now look who’s in trouble for violations of athletic regulations. Yikes!

Knighted . . . at Last!

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Move over Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Elton John. I have been knighted . . . at last! It happened last Tuesday at the staff meeting of the H.E. Butt Foundation, the parent organization of Laity Lodge. There, the accounting […]

A Fantastic Video Clip

posted by Mark D. Roberts

I expect many of you have seen this clip of Jason McElwain, but if not, it’s well worth two minutes and eleven seconds of your time. Enjoy!

An Unsettling Price Tag

posted by Mark D. Roberts

While on vacation a few years ago, I saw the following price tag on the bottom of a souvenir mug: Now I don’t know whether to be worried about what they use in China to make mugs, or what they […]

Seeing With New Clarity

posted by Mark D. Roberts

I recently got a new pair of glasses. I hadn’t had my prescription for my glasses updated in a few years, so it was about time. As it turned out, my distance vision had improved, while my up-close vision had […]

A Few More Scenes from the Rose Parade

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Yesterday I put up some pictures from my recent tour of the Rose Parade floats. I didn’t actually attend the parade, but rather observed the preparations for the parade. Here are a few more photos: Notice the amazing quantity and […]

Scenes from the Rose Parade

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Along with my family and some friends, I visited the Rose Parade on New Year’s morning. We didn’t actually sit along the parade route and watch the parade live. Rather, we got up extra early and toured the amazing floats […]

Happy New Year!

posted by Mark D. Roberts

What Did I Do That Really Mattered?

posted by Mark D. Roberts

This last Sunday I was able to worship at Irvine Presbyterian Church. As most of you know, I was the Senior Pastor there for sixteen years, from June 1991 through September 2007. This was only the third time I worshiped […]

My Comments on My Commenters

posted by Mark D. Roberts

When I first began blogging over five years ago, I didn’t have an effective commenting feature on my blog. This was a result of my peculiar way of blogging. Unlike the vast majority of small people, I did not use […]

The Inevitable, Ironic Pandemonium in Christmas Eve Worship

posted by Mark D. Roberts

This year my family and I joined a Christmas Eve worship service at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Burbank, California. My sister-in-law and her family are part of this church, so we joined them on Christmas Eve. The service was quite […]

A Few More Christmas Images

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Adults like Christmas, but children love Christmas. During my family’s Christmas celebration, I had fun watching my youngest nephew, Brody. He’s two years old, and a lover of Christmas, naturally. Brody examines his new bus closely. Brody tries to destroy, […]

Some Christmas Images

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Just for fun, here are some photos of Christmas celebrations. Fireworks mark the conclusion of the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade. Santa shows up at my father-in-law’s house on Christmas Eve. We all loved it. Too bad my son, Nathan, […]

Happy Birthday to Jesus? The Date of Christmas

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Tomorrow is Christmas Day, the day Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus. But is December 25th really Jesus’ birthday? Many people, including faithful Christians, skeptics, and scholars, answer this question in the negative. In fact, there are quite a few […]

Happy Birthday to . . . Still Not Jesus . . . But My Blog

posted by Mark D. Roberts

My blog just celebrated its fifth birthday. My very first blog post appeared on December 22, 2003, at 3:42 p.m. It was called: “Review: The Da Vinci Code is Truly Fictional” and contained 483 words. There’s a bit of irony […]

My Favorite Christmas Tree

posted by Mark D. Roberts

I’m a Christmas tree fanatic. I admit it. I love Christmas trees . . . their look, their feel, and their heavenly smell. So, as you can imagine, I’m not much into artificial trees, though I don’t criticize my friends […]

Advent Conspiracy

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Thanks to my sister, I recently learned of a fascinating new approach to Christmas and Advent. Started by five pastors in 2006, Advent Conspiracy encourages us to: Worship Fully, Spend Less, Give More, and Love All. Check out this short […]

It Isn’t Advent, But It’s a Great Pre-Christmas Tradition

posted by Mark D. Roberts

For the past few days I’ve been weighing in on Advent, explaining it and recommending it for those who are seeking a closer relationship with God and a deeper experience of Christmas. Today I want to change gears and recommend […]

Is Advent Biblical?

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Part 6 of series: Introduction to Advent Permalink for this post / Permalink for this series Earlier in this series I mentioned the fact that many Protestant Christians reject Advent because they consider it to be a Roman Catholic practice. […]

Sharing My Greatest Advent Discovery

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Part 5 of series: Introduction to Advent Permalink for this post / Permalink for this series Earlier in this series I spoke of discovering Advent. Of course I didn’t discover it in the way an explorer discovers a place no […]

Growing Closer to God in Advent: Some Practical Suggestions

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Part 4 of series: Introduction to Advent Permalink for this post / Permalink for this series So far in this series Iâ??ve explained what Advent is and why I have found it helpful to observe Advent. If youâ??re at all […]

Why Advent?

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Part 3 of series: Introduction to Advent Permalink for this post / Permalink for this series In my last post, I told the story of my Advent beginnings. When I started out as pastor of Irvine Presbyterian Church in 1991, […]

Advent Beginnings

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Part 2 of series: Introduction to Advent Permalink for this post / Permalink for this series In my last post in this series, I explained the timing and purpose of Advent, as well as its unexpected color scheme. I closed […]

Advent Devotion: The Lighting of the First Candle

posted by Mark D. Roberts

This is an excerpt from my Advent Devotional Guide that uses the Advent wreath. If you have a real wreath, you can use it, either alone, or with others. If you don’t have a wreath, follow this guide, and you […]

Advent Approaches . . . .

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Part 1 of series: Introduction to Advent Permalink for this post / Permalink for this series Tomorrow is the first day of Advent. If you’ve been reading my blog for more than a year, you know that I generally make […]

An Outstanding New Study Bible

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Iâ??ve just seen a copy of the newest study Bible. The ESV Study Bible, published by Crossway, is a work of excellence in both scholarship and beauty. Truly, I donâ??t know of any study Bible that shows such attention to […]

Hit By a Wave of Nostalgia

posted by Mark D. Roberts

I expect you’ve probably had an experience like the one that engulfed me last week. It can come from visual cues, though it’s often stimulated by the sound of an old song or a distinctive smell. As I was driving […]

A Strange View of Hurricane Ike

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Tonight at the football game of Boerne Champion High School, we had a strange view of the outer cloud bands of Hurricane Ike. Boerne, Texas, where is live, is about 200 miles from Houston, safely out of danger from Ike’s […]

A Thought for Labor Day

posted by Mark D. Roberts

On this Labor Day, may you consider the meaning of your work, and how you can do all things for the Lord. May you have a blessed Labor Day!

National Worship Leader Conference

posted by Mark D. Roberts

First, a word of explanation. Many of you have emailed me, asking me to get back to my series on the PCUSA. I will do that. But I should explain that this is my “high season” at Laity Lodge, with […]

Blog Tour: Trading Places by Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott

posted by Mark D. Roberts

I’m the seventh stop in a book blog tour for Trading Places: The Best Move You’ll Ever Make in Your Marriage by Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott. If you’re interested, you can find the other stops here. Here’s the Parrotts […]

Brazen Politics in Church on Pentecost & Mother’s Day

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Yesterday was Pentecost, the day when Christians celebrate the birthday of the church, which happened when the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the first disciples of Jesus. Yesterday was also Mother’s Day. In fact, it was the 100th anniversary […]

You Don’t See This Every Day . . .

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Last Saturday I was driving from New Haven, Connecticut, to JFK Airport in New York. I got of the highway to grab something to eat. I ended up at Friendly’s, one of my old favorites from my New England days. […]

No Food Allowed!

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Yesterday I was riding on the AirTrain at JFK Airport in New York. This ride came after a eleven-hour travel day thanks to a canceled American Airlines flight and a two-hour-delayed JetBlue flight. While standing on the AirTrain in my […]

What is the Most Central Doctrine of Christianity?

posted by Mark D. Roberts

This week I’ve been speaking at the West Coast Presbyterian Pastors Conference at Mt. Hermon, California, in the verdant mountains above Santa Cruz. That’s rather ironic, given the fact that I am no longer a parish pastor and no longer […]

Resources for Eastertide

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Eastertide? I hadn’t heard this word until I was well into my thirties. At that time I was the Senior Pastor of Irvine Presbyterian Church. My Director of Worship was a big believer in celebrating, not just Easter Sunday, but […]

Christ is Risen!

posted by Mark D. Roberts

  Reflection Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed! Christians confess that Christ is risen, not only in the hearts of the faithful, and not merely as some nice religious image, but truly and physically. On Easter morning the tomb […]

The Seventh Word: “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!” (Luke 24:46)

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Permalink to this post / Permalink to this series Copyright © Linda Roberts, 2007. For permission to use this picture, please contact Mark D. Roberts. Reflection Two of the last seven “words” of Jesus were quotations from the Psalms. Earlier […]

The Sixth Word: “It is finished!” (John 19:30)

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Permalink to this post / Permalink to this series   Statue from The Stations of the Cross, Serra Retreat Center, Malibu, California Reflection I never saw a more difficult film to watch than Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ. […]

The Fifth Word: “I am thirsty.” (John 19:2)

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Permalink to this post / Permalink to this series   Painting from a church in Taormina, Sicily Reflection No doubt Jesus experienced extreme thirst while being crucified. He would have lost a substantial quantity of bodily fluid, both blood and […]

The Fourth Word: “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” (Mark 15:34)

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Permalink to this post / Permalink to this series   So-called “God’s Tear” from The Passion of the Christ. Reflection As Jesus was dying on the cross, he echoed the beginning of Psalm 22, which reads: My God, my God, […]

The Third Word: “Dear woman, here is your son.” (John 19:26)

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Permalink to this post / Permalink to this series Copyright © Linda Roberts, 2007. For permission to use this picture, please contact Mark D. Roberts. Reflection As Jesus was dying, his mother was among those who had remained with him. […]

The Second Word: “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Permalink to this post / Permalink to this series Copyright © Linda Roberts, 2007. For permission to use this picture, please contact Mark D. Roberts. Reflection As Jesus hung on the cross, he was mocked by the leaders and the […]

The First Word: â??Father, forgive them, for they donâ??t know what they are doing.â? (Luke 23:34)

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Permalink to this post / Permalink to this series Copyright © Linda Roberts, 2007. For permission to use this picture, please contact Mark D. Roberts. Reflection It makes sense that the first word of Jesus from the cross is a […]

Chuck Colson Visits markdroberts.com on His Blog Tour

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Welcome, Chuck, to markdroberts.com. I’m pleased to be able to interact with you about your fine new book The Faith. In case you missed it, I put up a positive review of your book yesterday. Now, on to the dialogue. […]

Chuck Colson’s Blog Tour: Seventh Stop

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Chuck Colson and Harold Fickett have just published a new book: The Faith: What Christians Believe, Why They Believe It, and Why It Matters (Zondervan, 2008). In order to promote this book, Chuck Colson is doing a “blog tour,” in […]

When Your Prayer Doesn’t Come Out Quite Right

posted by Mark D. Roberts

I recently received the following blog comment from Mark Goodyear of goodwordediting.com: Interesting series, Mark. Funny side story. My brother in law was the chaplain in his high school in the early 1990s. He was elected after a farcical Ferris […]

The Commercialization of Lent?

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Well, I never thought I’d see it. But, sure enough, somebody has figured out how to commercialize Lent. Amazing. Luby’s Cafeteria, founded in San Antonio, now based in Houston, is making a run at a Lenten promotion. As I was […]

Lily’s Hiding Place

posted by Mark D. Roberts

My cat found a good hiding place a couple of weeks ago: a bag from the Apple store. Do you ever feel like just crawling into a bag and hiding from life?

Does John McCain Have a Secret Identity?

posted by Mark D. Roberts

A recent edition of the San Antonio Express-News contained a curious bit of information. The paper’s website was supposed to feature a column by George Will, in which he would explain how John McCain has rejected Republican principles. BUT, if […]

Reflections on Fasting in Lent

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Permalink for this post I grew up hearing about Catholics fasting during the season of Lent. No meat on Fridays, only fish, which in my school cafeteria was something to be avoided at all costs. This always seemed to me […]

Lent: A Season of Preparation

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Permalink for this post Well, we survived another Super Bowl. This year’s game turned out to be an thrilling one, unless, of course, you’re a New England Patriots’ fan. Nevertheless, last Sunday evening we watched the culmination of years and […]

What is Ash Wednesday?

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Permalink to this post Many Christians, mostly Protestants and independents, had never given Ash Wednesday a thought until four years ago. Then, in 2004, Ash Wednesday became a huge day in American Protestant consciousness. Why? Because on that day Mel […]

The Most Frequently Disobeyed Sign in the World???

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Next time you visit your local gas station, check out the sign on the gas pump. Chances are you’ll see something like this: Question: Have you ever obeyed this sign? Do you know anybody who does? Have you ever even […]

Final Christmas Photos

posted by Mark D. Roberts

From the family worship service on Christmas Eve at the First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood. Angels we have heard on high . . . . From Balboa Island near Newport Beach, California. Now those are some Christmas lights, don’t you […]

The New Media Frontier

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Roger Overton of The A-Team Blog announces the forthcoming publication of The New Media Frontier, to be published in September 2008 by Crossway. I have one chapter in this book, “Pastors and the New Media.” You’ll recognize many other others […]

A Strange Christmas

posted by Mark D. Roberts

This has been a strange Christmas for me and my family. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that we moved from California to Texas a few months ago. I left Irvine Presbyterian Church after sixteen […]

Merry Christmas!

posted by Mark D. Roberts

May God give you a blessed and joyful Christmas as you celebrate the Incarnation of the Word! BALDUNG GRIEN, Hans Nativity 1520 Oil on wood, 105,5 x 70,4 cm Alte Pinakothek, Munich Image c/o Web Gallery of Art What a […]

Christmas Resources

posted by Mark D. Roberts

I’m putting up links to several Christmas and related resources. I’m doing this, in part, for listeners of the Hugh Hewitt radio show. Today Hugh and I will be talking about Christmas together, and the resources to which I’m linking […]

Christmas Devotion: The Lighting of the Christ Candle

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Christmas Eve or Christmas Day [Re-light the three purple candles and the pink candle] We Celebrate the Birth of Christ In the season of Advent we have used the Advent wreath and its candles to help us get ready for […]

Advent Devotion: The Lighting of the Fourth Candle

posted by Mark D. Roberts

The Lighting of the Fourth Candle: Waiting for the Son For the Fourth Sunday of Advent (or thereabouts) [Re-light two purple candles and the pink candle.] We Remember the Meaning of Advent Advent is a word that means “coming” or […]

Advent Devotion: The Lighting of the Third Candle

posted by Mark D. Roberts

This is an excerpt from my Advent Devotional Guide that uses the Advent wreath. If you have a real wreath, you can use it, either alone, or with others. If you don’t have a wreath, follow this guide, and you […]

Advent Devotion: The Lighting of the Second Candle

posted by Mark D. Roberts

This is an excerpt from my Advent Devotional Guide that uses the Advent wreath. If you have a real wreath, you can use it, either alone, or with others. If you don’t have a wreath, follow this guide, and you […]

My Greatest Advent Discovery Revisited and Retooled

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Permalink for this post / Permalink for this series On Saturday evening I attended a Christmas parade in my new hometown of Boerne, Texas. Actually, it was a Weihnachts Parade. The German word for Christmas is Weihnachten (literally, “holy nights”). […]

Good News for Adventophiles Everywhere . . . Advent Begins

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Today is the first day of Advent. Yes, I know most popular Advent calendars begin with December 1, including my online version. But today is the first Sunday in Advent, which is the first official day of the Christian season. […]

I’m On “Converse with Scholars” Tonight

posted by Mark D. Roberts

I’m honored to be a guest on “Converse with Scholars” tonight at 10:00 EST (so 9:00 p.m. CST; 8:00 p.m. MST; and 7:00 p.m. PST). This is an online, live discussion, with audio and interaction. To listen to the conversation […]

Apologetics Links

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Today I want to suggest four excellent apologetic links. The first is a short piece by Stan Guthrie of Christianity Today called “Answering the Atheists.” The subtitle is “A Reader’s Digest version of why I am a Christian.” Good food […]

Blogging Like Jogging, Part 2

posted by Mark D. Roberts

In my last post I presented the thesis that blogging is like jogging. Even as many once became joggers, only to quit after a while, so it is with bloggers. One of the reasons people quit blogging is that long-term […]

Blogging Like Jogging, Part 1

posted by Mark D. Roberts

A couple of years ago everybody was predicting that blogging would take over the media world. Bloggers had toppled Dan Rather. Soon they would replace the New York Times and CBS Evening News. Now it’s chic to proclaim the death […]

Southern California Fires: Some Striking Photos

posted by Mark D. Roberts

The news from Southern California sounds good, as the weather has changed and the fires are being controled. I will never forget when I was in first grade and we had to evacuate because of a Santa Ana wind driven […]

Malibu Presbyterian Church Update

posted by Mark D. Roberts

On Monday I asked for prayer for Malibu Presbyterian Church because their building had been destroyed in one of the Southern California fires. Today I want to update you on what’s been happening with this church. First, the Los Angeles […]

A Request for Prayer

posted by Mark D. Roberts

I want to interrupt my regularly scheduled blogging to put up a request for prayer. No doubt many of my readers have seen the stories related to the fires in Southern California. You may even have noted that Malibu Presbyterian […]

MissionInsite: Hi-Tech Help for the Missional Church

posted by Mark D. Roberts

This week saw the launch of a new ministry, MissionInsite. MissionInsite provides demographic data to churches and denominational bodies, so that they might minister more effectively to their own members and to their neighbors. Or, to put it in the […]

Images of San Antonio, Texas

posted by Mark D. Roberts

San Antonio, Texas, is an amazing city. Of course it’s been in the news recently because of all the flooding that’s happened there this summer. But, excess water aside, San Antonio has a unique charm. It is also one of […]

We Interrupt This Regularly Scheduled Blog . . .

posted by Mark D. Roberts

. . . for a special announcement. Tod Bolsinger, my friend, fellow pastor and blogger, is preparing to run the Chicago marathon. Why? A change to get away from San Clemente, California to enjoy the Windy City? Probably not. An […]

An Very Honest Ending to a Book

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Recently I read The Velvet Covered Brick: Christian Leadership in an Age of Rebellion. As you may suspect from the subtitle, this book was written in the aftermath of the 60s, when traditional notions of leadership had been tossed aside, […]

Amazed . . . and Wondering

posted by Mark D. Roberts

I just did something I’ve done many times before. It shouldn’t have been a big deal. I expect many of my readers will be unimpressed, and will wonder why I’m so amazed, and why I’m wondering. So let me try […]

Memorial Day Gratitude

posted by Mark D. Roberts

(It is my Memorial Day tradition to put up something that suits the day. This post is similar to one I posted in 2005.) When I was young, Memorial Day was wonderful because it signified the beginning of summer. Even […]

Getting Older . . . What Goes Around Comes Around

posted by Mark D. Roberts

In my last two posts I’ve shared some occasions on which I had to deal with the fact of my getting older, at least in appearance. When I was much younger I used to think of this as cool. I […]

Getting Older . . . Even at 38

posted by Mark D. Roberts

In yesterday’s post I told the story of how, on my fiftieth birthday, I had just completed a 4-mile run when a young man complimented me for doing that “at your age.” Sounds pretty bad, doesn’t it? Well, I’ve heard […]

Getting Older . . .

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Last week I had a momentous birthday. Most people would say that I turned 50. I’ve actually been saying that I just entered my sixth decade. Might as well milk getting older for all it’s worth. On the day of […]

Handel’s Messiah: A Closer Look (cont)

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Part 3 of series: Handel’s Messiah and Easter Permalink for this post/ Permalink for this series (Note: I had originally intended for this post to appear last Wednesday, but the tragedy at Virginia Tech pre-empted my plans. Today I’m finishing […]

Handel’s Messiah: A Closer Look

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Part 2 of series: Handel’s Messiah and Easter Permalink for this post / Permalink for this series In my last post I explained why Handel’s Messiah, a piece we ordinary associate with Christmas, is really an oratorio for Easter. Today […]

An Unexpected Easter Masterpiece

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Part 1 of series: Handel’s Messiah and Easter Permalink for this post / Permalink for this series I ended my last post by promising to discuss one further piece of Easter music. Today I begin to keep my promise. Recently […]

Fifty Days of Easter: Some Suggestions

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Permalink for this post / Permalink for series – Easter: More Than Just a Day Note: This is an improved version of a post I wrote a couple of years ago. In my last post I began to answer the […]

Eastertide: Fifty Days?

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Permalink for this post / Permalink for series – Easter: More Than Just a Day Note: This is an improved version of a post I wrote a couple of years ago. In my last post I shared my personal discovery […]

What is Eastertide?

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Permalink for this post / Permalink for series – Easter: More Than Just a Day Note: This is an improved version of a post I wrote a couple of years ago. As a child, I liked Easter. Dressing up in […]

Previous Posts

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 »