Posts by Mike Mazzalongo

The Preacher’s Wife

She is not appointed but expected to serve, rarely mentioned but ever present. I speak, of course, of the minister’s wife. In normal circumstances the congregation usually sees her as an adjunct to her husband’s ministry – but preachers’ wives provide elements not usually seen or understood by those who have not been there themselves: 1. She Bears Burdens All of us should bear each others’ burdens (Galatians 6:2) and the preacher usually has a greater share because of his…

James: The Bottom Line

This section in the Book of James defines the type of thinking and behavior that constitutes the “bottom line” in what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. There has always been debate over various issues in the religious world. Our brotherhood is no different. Our journals and books are filled with passionate arguments over topics such as proper elements of worship, methods of evangelism and approaches to biblical interpretation. The early church was not free from this…

James: Michael Jackson and James

Michael Jackson’s old song, “Black or White” reflects the attitude that James says Christians should have towards other people. In Michael Jackson’s 1991 album, Dangerous, he sings a song entitled Black or White. In it he repeats the words, “It doesn’t matter if you’re black or white,” promoting the idea that he did not want to judge or be judged based on skin color. These lyrics capture the spirit of what James is saying in the section of his epistle which we…

Rock Throwing

The Old Testament law stated that in capital offenses, the primary witness was to cast the first stone at the point of execution. (Deut. 17:7) In the story of the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11) Jesus refers to this point of law when addressing the woman’s accusers, however He reverses the rules for this occasion. In verse 7, He says, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” In…

Who’s Your Person?

As Christians, we are our brother’s keeper whether we realize it or not. How we care for each other in society, family or the church is a true measure of our moral health. Of course there is a higher expectation for us in the church because how we care for each other is not only a measure of our spiritual health but away of witnessing the sincerity of our faith. Our concern for each other’s well being therefore is not…

James: Dealing with the Dragon

Sin is everybody’s problem and in this lesson Mike reviews the true tested method that James provides to successfully deal with the everyday temptations to sin. The book of James was written to Christian Jews in order to help them learn how to live the Christian life. The lessons here are easily transported to our lives today in helping us learn the Christian lifestyle as well. In the previous chapter I said that one of the features of the Christian…

What 60+ Years Has Taught Me

My birthday was in April and with each celebration I see more clearly some of the basic realities of my life. For example: 1. I’M NOT GETTING BETTER, I’M GETTING OLDER. Wine gets better with age but people tend to break down. Good food, exercise, positive attitude are helpful but the sad truth is that nothing works like it used to. It helps when we stop fooling ourselves and just act our age. 2. FAMILY AND FRIENDS ARE THE MOST…

Polite Conversation

One of the more subtle mistakes we make in our spiritual lives is to substitute polite conversation for heartfelt prayer with God. Polite conversation tends to review the things we know God likes to hear; praise for His kindness, petition for our needs, a reference to others and their needs. It’s neat and orderly, all the bases covered and when it’s over you feel that a duty has been done and you can go on with the rest of your…

James: Beyond the Trouble

James explains the radically different way Christians deal with trouble in life, and why they do so. The author of this epistle is James, the earthly brother of Jesus, not the Apostle James. then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; – I Corinthians 15:7 He was a leader in the church at Jerusalem and was writing to Christian Jews living outside of Jerusalem who were growing weak in their faith. In this letter he explains that Christians…

Seniors and Sin

In Genesis 27 we read the story of how Isaac’s attempt to bless Esau (against God’s will) was foiled by Rebekah’s devious intervention. Isaac’s disobedience and Rebekah’s scheming demonstrate that even in old age, as they were, it is possible to fall into serious sin. This being so, it would do well for senior saints to remember the following ideas concerning their own struggle with sinfulness; 1. GOD IS YOUR SENIOR. It is easy to get into the habit of…