So many things today are made with a cheap façade – a false front. So much furniture is made with a plastic veneer over particle board. Fake flowers look pretty real, not like the plastic things from years ago. Manufacturers have gotten very good at making things look like the real deal. The more they work at it, the better they get at it. So it is with the Christian façade.

I don’t have any faults or foibles. At least I like others to think I don’t. That in itself is a foible, maybe even a fault. Then when I mess up, I expect people to understand that I am not perfect. They should know that plastic just doesn’t stand up well. I know I am full of imperfections and I know that they know, too. What a cheap façade!

Why do I dig in my feet when I read this verse? Why do I find myself pushing back? Why am I shaking my head “no”? My first thought is that I am not going to tell anybody about some of the greatest concerns in my life - those things that come under the “unspoken” part of the prayer list.
First of all my ego does not like to be bruised. It’s pretty fragile and can be popped like a soap bubble.

Second is being afraid of gossips. Prayer is a good thing but gossip in the name of prayer is not. Prayer is helpful, gossip is destructive. Do we trust other Christians? Do they trust us?
Third is admitting sin. No one likes to do that.

A rote repetitious redundant recycled smattering of words does not bring results. A polished prayer spoken in King James English has no more value that cosmetic jewelry – pretty, but not worth much. However, a prayer spoken from the heart with fervor is effective. The words aren’t as important as the heart.

The point is that to pray for one another intelligently and with heart is to know the need and to care about that need.

“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” James 5:16.

© copyright 2016 Kevin T Boekhoff

5-9-16 Olive Squeezings

“The elders of another church (name omitted) came over to pray in tongues and anoint my uncle with oil and healed him,” a church member informed me. A couple days later he called and said his uncle died. He was perplexed because the other church proclaimed the guy healed.

He directed me to James 5:14 and expressed his confusion. “But God’s Word says…”

As we talked, we looked at verse 15 and saw the major emphasis. When we delved into this passage we discovered a few things. (1) Anointing with oil was medicinal only. The olive oil represented taking medicine. (2) Praying in tongues didn’t mean more prayer power. In fact, the gift of tongues was not in effect anymore. Prayers in English work well. (3) The elders were the spiritual leaders of this member’s church, not a shaman, a fortune-teller, Christian charlatan, or any other ungodly “healer.” (4) The power was in prayer of faith in the name of the Lord. (5) Healing came from the Lord. (6) If the sickness was a result of sin, only the Lord could forgive his sin. (6) God can heal, but it may not be His will to do so.

The point is not trusting in olive squeezings, tongues, or other religious scams, but in the Lord.

“Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.” James 5:14-15.

© copyright 2016 Kevin T Boekhoff

5-3-16 Obviously

I like comfort food. You know, ice cream, caramel topping and brownies thrown in, followed by chocolate chip cookies and a cappuccino. It doesn’t necessarily help me feel better when my Parkinson’s is acting up, but I justify it by seeking comfort.

I like to celebrate good things that happen to me. Nothing like rewarding myself with ice cream, caramel topping and brownies thrown in, followed by chocolate chip cookies and a cappuccino.
I find it interesting that I do the same thing for opposite occurrences. 

I just realized as I thought on this verse this morning that two things in life can make me forget about God. Afflictions and blessings.

This verse was one of those that I never really thought about. It is kind of a “duh” moment. It makes perfect sense that a Christian should do those things. In fact, it should come natural. Odd that I need to be reminded of something so obvious.

The thought here for me today is, no matter what happens, don’t forget about God. Keep Him in the loop.

“Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.” James 5:13.

© copyright 2016 Kevin T Boekhoff


5-2-16 Pinky Promise

“Promise?” My girlfriend, later my wife, asked.

“Yes, I promise.”

“Pinky promise?”

“Pinky promise?” 
I had never heard of such a thing. She explained that two people would lock pinkies to seal the promise. Sounded pretty silly to me. I can’t remember if I did it or not. I’m sure I kept my promise regardless. I couldn’t see how locking pinkies gave a promise more credibility.

Shaking hands, swearing on mother’s grave, swearing to tell the truth in court and such really don’t either. Buying a house has so much paperwork even to the point of one document requiring my signature saying that I really am me. At least my Mom didn’t have to sign it, too.

James is telling Christians that they simply need to keep their word in this verse. Wow, wouldn’t keeping one’s word change our world? Lawyers would go out of business. Police would be able to keep up with crime.

Christians can’t change the world by keeping their word, but it does give our witness credibility that a pinky promise doesn’t. Our witness might help someone come to trust Christ as Savior. Thus, keeping our word might change someone’s world!

“But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.” James 5:12.

© copyright 2016 Kevin T Boekhoff