10 Years an Outcast

January 3, 2019 at 1:34 pm | Posted in Outcasts of Ministry | 3 Comments
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Happy 10th Anniversary to The Deep End! I want to thank the Lord for allowing me to continue blogging with some measure of consistency and perseverance for 10 straight years. Thanks to my wife, who originally set up the format and got me started. And thanks to everyone who has subscribed, followed, shared, commented, and read over the years.

The Deep End has never really gained much influence popularity-wise among the big-name Christian blogs on the internet. Although it has gained a little attention (and even notoriety!) here and there, it doesn’t really fit into a particular pre-set niche, and is something of an outcast, I suppose. Therefore, in honor of the occasion, I am sharing the links to an old category started way back in 2012 called:

Outcasts of Ministry: the Addict, the Slave, and the Man Who Fell out of Church

The Addict (His Characteristics) (I Corinthians 16:15-18)
The Addict (Signs of Addiction) (I Corinthians 16:15)

The Slave (His Owner and Overseer) (Philemon)
The Slave (His Obligations) (Philemon vv.18-19)

The Man Who Fell out of Church (Narrative) (Acts 20:7-9) *
The Man Who Fell out of Church (Application) (Acts 20:9-12)

* most-viewed post in category

The Bottom of the Ninth

January 3, 2018 at 3:54 pm | Posted in Common Expressions | 3 Comments
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Today is the 9th anniversary of The Deep End. One thing that brought me a great deal of joy during this past year (2017) was seeing the Houston Astros win the World Series for the first time. As a lifelong fan, this was very satisfying. Watching, talking about, and reading about baseball has caused me to realize how many baseball expressions or sayings have made their way into our daily vocabulary where they apply to situations which don’t necessarily have anything to do with the sport. For example, when someone does a great job successfully completing a project, we might say that “he hit that one out of the park.” A gentleman approaching a young lady in order to try to get to know her better and perhaps get her phone number, only to find himself rebuffed, is said to have “struck out” with her. Someone sacrificially and willingly enduring a hard time for the benefit of his friends, family, or company might be applauded for “taking one for the team” (just as a batter who leans into, instead of away from, an inside pitch so that the ball smacks him in the shoulder, allowing him to take first base and extend the inning, embodies the same phrase).

The reason I bring this up, is that when I first started teaching adult Sunday School, in addition to teaching chapter by chapter through books of the Bible, I would include a “common expression” from the Bible as a bonus lesson each Sunday morning. Some of these, such as “a fly in the ointment” and “the handwriting on the wall” originated in Scripture and became common idioms. Others, such as “a little bird told me” and “you can’t get blood from a turnip” originated elsewhere, but came to mind as I saw something similar in the Bible. I also began taking requests from the class to see if anybody had a suggestion for a colloquialism that might come up in conversation which could then be steered into an opportunity to share God’s Word. This produced posts like “Get a Life” and “Over a Barrel.”

In honor of the beginning of the 10th year that the Lord has allowed me to write about the Bible here on The Deep End, I have listed links to the posts under the category “Common Expressions:”

1. Don’t Get Caught Up the Creek Without Your Oars (Acts 17:1-3; I Thessalonians 1:8-9)
2. Birds of a Feather (Psalm 84:3-4)
3. As Good as Dead (Genesis 20-21)
4. Getting Your Goat (Daniel 8:5-8; Zechariah 10:3; Matthew 25:31-46)
5. Don’t Beat around the Bush (Exodus 3-4)
6. Forget-Me-Nots (I Corinthians 11:24; Jeremiah 2:32)
7. Thrown to the Wolves (Ezekiel 22:27; Habakkuk 1:8; Zephaniah 3:3; Matthew 7:15, 10:16; Luke 10:3; Acts 20:29)
8. The Handwriting on the Wall (Daniel 5)
9. A Leopard Can’t Change His Spots (Jeremiah 13:23; Acts 8)
10. Kick the Bucket (Acts 26:14)
11. Stand Your Ground (II Samuel 23:11-12)
12. He Was Beside Himself (Mark 3:21; II Corinthians 5:13; Acts 26:24-25)
13. Prepare to Meet Your Maker (Amos 4-5)
14. Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket
15. Pining Away (Ezekiel 33:9-10)
16. Over a Barrel (I Kings 17)
17. Beware of Dog (Philippians 3:2)
18. Eye to Eye (Isaiah 52:7-8)
19. Made a Scapegoat (Leviticus 16:7-22; Isaiah 53:11; John 1:29, 11:25-26, 19:16; I John 2:2)
20. Get a Life (John 14:6; Romans 6:23, 8:6; Ephesians 2:1-2; Matthew 10:39; I John 5:11-13)
21. You Can’t Get Blood from a Turnip (Genesis 4:1-5) *
22. Lord Willing (James 4:13-15; II Peter 3:9)
23. Face to Face (Ezekiel 18-20)
24. Show and Tell (Deuteronomy 32:7)
25. Nothing New Under the Sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9-10)
26. You the Man! (II Samuel 12:1-7; Psalm 51:1-7)
27. Innocent Bystanders (Acts 22:17-21; II Timothy 1:9)
28. The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men (Ecclesiastes 8:13, 9:3-12; Genesis 2:17, 3:5-6; I Corinthians 15:26-26)
29. A Fly in the Ointment (Ecclesiastes 10:1)
30. His Heart Was in the Right Place (Ecclesiastes 10:2)
31. A Little Bird Told Me (Ecclesiastes 10:11, 20)
32. Throw Down (Jeremiah 1:4-10)
33. Hard-Headed (Proverbs 21:29; Ephesians 6:17; Psalm 119:5; Ecclesiastes 8:1)
34. Sticks and Stones (Numbers 15:30-36; I Kings 17:8-12; James 3:6-8; Proverbs 12:18, 13:2, 18:21, 25:18, 26:21)
35. Won’t Hold Water (Jeremiah 2:13)
36. Don’t Let ’em Give You the Slip (Hebrews 1:13-14, 2:1; Titus 1:9)
37. When Pigs Fly (a.k.a. Deviled Ham) (Matthew 8:28-34)
38. Flesh and Blood (Hebrews 2:14; Ephesians 6:12; I Corinthians 15:50; Galatians 1:16; Matthew 16:17; Leviticus 17:11)
39. Think Again (II Corinthians 10:7)
40. Hindsight is 20/20 (Jeremiah 29:11; Nahum 2:8; John 16:33; Luke 7:19, 9:59-62; II Timothy 4:10)
41. All Dressed up and Nowhere to Go (Ephesians 4:1, 6:10-15; Genesis 5:24)
42. Cross-Eyed (Mark 15:29-32)
43. Up to Spec (Exodus 35-38)
44. This Is Going to Hurt Me More than It’s Going to Hurt You (Hebrews 12:11, 15; Ephesians 4:30; Deuteronomy 23:13)
45. The Powers that Be (Romans 13:1)
46. Take the Good with the Bad (II Corinthians 10:5)
47. Here’s Mud in Your Eye (John 9:1-7)

* most-viewed post in category

One Year Athe-versary

January 5, 2010 at 11:17 am | Posted in ProfessingAtheists | 1 Comment
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This post is a couple of days late, but, in celebration of the one year anniversary of this blog (which actually started on January 3, 2009), I have decided to re-post the post which has been by far my most-read post. It is one in a series of posts which make up an ongoing dialogue between a Christian and a professing atheist.

Professing Atheists Worship Creation Rather Than the Creator

Professing Atheist: I would challenge any Christian to step out side of the Christian “box” and just for a moment consider the vast scientific evidence regarding the origins of the universe and of life.

Christian: Since you have brought up scientific evidence, this may be helpful: Little children, in elementary school, are commonly taught the “scientific method.” I know it’s more complicated than this, but, basically it boils down to teaching them to take matter and examine its properties, and learn about it, using their natural senses. Touch it. Look at it. Smell it. Taste it. I’m not opposed to children being taught that way, but think of the spiritual implications. In Genesis Chap. 27, Isaac employed a form of the scientific method with Jacob. Jacob and Rebekah plotted to deceive Isaac into thinking that Jacob was Esau. Isaac touched him. He listened to him. He couldn’t see him but, no doubt, he smelled him. And he came to the wrong conclusion! It would have been better for Isaac just to believe God’s promise by faith, that Jacob, although the younger, and not Esau, was to receive the blessing.

Professing Atheist: Have you ever been in an aircraft? If so, the fact that you landed again is because a large number of scientists kept working and improving things until they got their sums right. Evidence matters. Planes fly, diseases are cured, water comes out when you turn the tap on, and you and I can argue in cyberspace like this. You benefit from real, evidence-based science as much as I do. It’s hypocritical of you to dismiss it.

Would you say that (for example) Iranians and pagan Vikings would be “without excuse” if they “failed to acknowledge” God?

Christian: Hypocrisy is being grateful for the benefits of evidence-based science while ignoring God, who created all the scientific laws that the aviators, doctors, and engineers have discovered (John 1:3). Every time your heart beats, it is not thanks to cardiology or cardiologists. It is thanks to God, Who has caused it to beat, by His sovereign power, your whole life. When you expel the next breath of air from your nostrils, you will have hope of another breath, not because a scientist discovered evidence of the air you breath, but because God provides it (Isaiah 2:22).

You can check this out by climbing up on a roof. Shake your fist, and cry out, “I don’t believe you exist, Gravity! You can’t be real! If you were real, you would not have held all those Norsemen and Iranians down! You would have let them float away in true freedom! Therefore, I defy, O Gravity, that you exist!” Then, leap off the roof. (By the way, I do not recommend that you really try this.) But if you did, you would see that, if you break God’s law of gravity, then God’s law of gravity will break you – literally. It’s the same way with God’s Biblical laws. You can break them if you want. But, if you do, they will break you (Galatians 6:7)

Professing Atheist: Well, I have other, more worthwhile calls on my time, but the Devil can quote scripture, as they say, so here I go. You will be as familiar with John 3:16 as I am, or as any of those people who hold up placards at wrestling matches. You would, I feel sure, assert that God’s purpose to all humanity, in sending his Son to die for us, is loving and merciful. Tell me, what do you believe that loving and merciful God, and gentle Jesus, meek and mild, have in store for these billions of people, all ignorant, in my humble opinion, through no fault of their own?

Christian: When considering the decision to accept, or willfully reject, the truth of the existence of God, it is irrelevant what anyone “thinks” would produce results, or what anyone’s humble “opinion” is – apart from Scripture.

I hope that the more worthwhile calls on your time do not include actually going to the wrestling matches where the John 3:16 placards are held. You are coming to that verse in isolation, not taking into account the entirety of Scripture. These Iranians and Vikings you mention – just like me, and just like you, and just like everyone else – are wicked sinners, who deserve God’s judgment (Romans 3:10; 3:23). Because He is loving and merciful, He sent His Son to die. Because He is just, righteous, true, and holy, He must judge those Who reject His Son.

(The other posts in the series – which received some attention, but were not nearly as popular as the one posted above – can be viewed here:)

Atheists Aren’t Real
Professing Atheists Are in Denial
Professing Atheists Are Disturbed by the Truth
Professing Atheists Fear the Bible
Professing Atheists Try To Allay Their Fears
Professing Atheists Understand More of the Bible Than They Want To Admit
Professing Atheists Are Incapable of Being “Good”
Professing Atheists Conveniently Pick and Choose Their Own “Morality”
Professing Atheists Do Have Faith
Professing Atheists Are Affected by Their Past
Professing Atheists Are Angry at God
Professing Atheists Pretend They Would Like God If He Could Be Controlled
Professing Atheists Despise the Idea of Answering To Their Creator
Professing Atheists Are Blind to Their Own Lack of Objectivity
Acting Like We’ve Been There


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