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    Bible Backgrounds: Read Some NT Books with the Artemis Cult in View

    Ever seen drawings of the ancient goddess Artemis? If so, she was probably carrying a bow and arrow. More recent iterations of her as Wonder Woman still depict her the same way—with shields, bows, and arrows. Ancient literature includes many references to Artemis as a master of archery. We see a similar connection in the epigraphic (inscription) evidence. In what is known as “the Oracle Inscription” found in the ruins of Ephesus, the goddess is described as “Artemis of the golden quiver,” a “shooter of arrows” and a “straight-shooting one.” In the ancient Ephesians’ manifestation of her, as with the more generic Artemis, the arrow was her primary weapon. What…

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    Saintly Superstitions Are Substitutes for Christ

    Listen to this blog as a similar podcast: The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who demonstrated through His life and His words that He was fully God. All God’s powers and attributes are in Jesus—nothing missing. There is nothing more of God that we can get apart from Jesus. Jesus Christ is over everything. Evil is under His feet. As we sit with Him in heaven, evil is under our feet. So, when life’s challenges hit us squarely in the face, why do we turn to substitutes? What happens when you get tired of waiting for God to answer your prayer? What happens when you…

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    Journey With Me to Ephesus

    This month I take you on a photographic tour of Ephesus. The city of Ephesus was the capital of the Roman province of Asia (Asia Minor, modern Turkey). It was an important political, educational, and commercial center as it was the gateway to Asia. It was a strategic military location and the hub for caravan travel. Ephesus was also known for the temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World (Acts 19:35).  (To learn more about Artemis, please see the blogs linked below.) As it was such an important commercial center and located on the coast of the Aegean Sea, it was an affluent city. Its markets would…

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    My Sin is Not Sexy

    I have come to the fundamental understanding that I am LAZY! I even googled it! I WikiHow’d the title “How to stop being a slob.” While we all joke about being lazy now and then it goes far beyond that. After much denial I am ashamed to say I struggle with the sin of slothfulness or laziness. We're past procrastination. I dream about accomplishing things that I never start. I miss deadlines. I am often late. I have a problem. Waking up is the beginning of my troubles; I am the type of person that sets the alarm 30 minutes early so I can hit the snooze button a dozen…

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    Submission: The truth about Ephesians Chapter 5

    Submission is one of those subjects that many people like to tip toe around. It often conjures up ideas of cringe worthy male chauvinism or maybe for you, it brings about the dark idea that women are to be seen and not heard. It's understandable that so many women like you and I have this type of reaction to the idea of submission because it has been distorted, misused and abused for centuries. Before digging into what is laid out for the wife and the husband in Ephesians 5:22-33 one must undo these distortions by putting this passage of scripture into context. By doing some ground work and taking a…

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    Appia’s Story

    Today my city, Colossae, lies buried under a mound of dirt in Turkey, awaiting excavation financing. But if you’ll come with me on a journey through time—two thousand years back—you’ll find me living there with my husband, Philemon, and my son, Archippus. Colossae is located in Phyrgia, a region that sits on a rocky ridge above a branch of the Maeander River. Its waters plunge into a chasm and disappear underground for a half-mile. A few miles away, Mt. Cadmus towers over us, jutting up two miles into the clouds. People pass through here on their way east to the Euphrates, and most of these travelers come from the port…

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    Becoming Fully Human

    For the past seven years, my favorite go-to t-shirt has been a maroon one that simply reads “becoming fully human.” Never mind that I didn’t have a clue what the phrase meant. The shirt was soft with a lived-in feeling and I liked the abstract design on the front. It also was a great conversation starter. The inked cashier at Whole Foods told me that he loved “that band” and someone else commented “surely there is alien life somewhere out there.” Hmm… somehow I don’t think that is what Oklahoma Baptist University had in mind when they chose “becoming fully human” as the theme of “Welcome Week,” the orientation week…