On My Mind

The Rejected Challenge

By Joe Barnett / March 2, 2019 / Comments Off on The Rejected Challenge

Turning his bruised and bloody face toward Jesus, he asked, “Are you doing this for me?” “Yes. And for that soldier with the club hanging from his belt, that he’s going to use at sundown to break your legs. And for the one standing next to him, thumbing the tip of the spear that he’s […]

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Jesus, a.k.a. Barabbas

By Joe Barnett / February 2, 2019 / Comments Off on Jesus, a.k.a. Barabbas

Are you offended by the title of this essay? Me too. But I’ve titled it this way to make a point: Barabbas was the first person saved from death by Jesus; Jesus took his place on the cross. (Many Bible exegetes believe the cross on which Jesus died was intended for Barabbas.) Barabbas was a […]

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“Because You Say So”

By Joe Barnett / January 5, 2019 / Comments Off on “Because You Say So”

Jesus sat in Simon’s boat and preached to the beach bunch. Then he turned to Simon and said, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch” (Lk 5:4). Say what?! On the face of it, there were two things badly off base with this suggestion. One, the timing was wrong: […]

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After 400 Years of Silence Something Big Happened

By Joe Barnett / December 8, 2018 / Comments Off on After 400 Years of Silence Something Big Happened

When the Old Testament ended, God turned off the lights, closed and locked the door and walked away. Or so it seemed. For the next 400 years, God was silent, while the Jewish world waited and wondered about the promise of a Messiah. Then suddenly, something big happened. An old white-haired priest was on duty […]

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Be Ready, Responsible, and Reliable

By Joe Barnett / November 3, 2018 / Comments Off on Be Ready, Responsible, and Reliable

In Matthew 25, Jesus pitches three straight-shooting stories. 1.Be Ready A story about ten bridesmaids (vv. 1–13). Five were judged wise because they were prepared for the arrival of the bridegroom to begin the wedding banquet and five judged foolish because they weren’t. It’s that simple: we are ready for the Lord’s return or we’re […]

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Some Things I Believe

By Joe Barnett / October 6, 2018 / Comments Off on Some Things I Believe

I Believe Jesus is Lord I believe that Jesus was with God in the beginning; that he gave up his place in heaven and came to earth in human form, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary; that he lived a sinless life; that he was betrayed by Judas Iscariot, forsaken […]

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God Wants to Be Your Friend

By Joe Barnett / September 8, 2018 / Comments Off on God Wants to Be Your Friend

God wants to be your friend. That seems strange in a way because people of different social, educational, or economic levels seldom become close friends. Presidents don’t generally pal with peasants. Research scholars don’t normally fraternize with grade-school dropouts. Seven-figure executives don’t ordinarily socialize with the homeless. There are refreshing exceptions, but we usually form […]

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Two Are Better Than One

By Joe Barnett / August 4, 2018 / Comments Off on Two Are Better Than One

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? […]

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Why This Waste?

By Joe Barnett / July 7, 2018 / Comments Off on Why This Waste?

Following Matthew’s chronology, the dinner given in Jesus’ honor in Bethany was the last supper before the Last Supper. There were seventeen people present: Simon the Leper, Mary, Martha, Lazarus, the twelve apostles, and Jesus. While they were eating, Mary broke the seal of an alabaster jar of expensive perfume and anointed Jesus. “Why this […]

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A Quartet of Life-Changing Questions

By Joe Barnett / June 2, 2018 / Comments Off on A Quartet of Life-Changing Questions

Answering the following questions will jumpstart the next chapter of your life. Is This In My Control? You can save yourself a lot of agitation by sorting out what is in your control and what isn’t. Your actions, words, and thoughts are in your control. Other people, the weather, and some life events are not. […]

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