The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas


September 21, 2013

INSTANT MESSAGE: Don’t Be a Casual Onlooker

PALESTINE — Luke 14: 25 – 28 (NIV): 25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters--yes, even his own life--he cannot be my disciple. 27 And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. 28 "Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?

    We must look at this in context. Large crowds were following Jesus to hear him, be entertained by him, maybe to be healed by him. Jesus explained to them that there is more to being a Christian than looking on and being entertained. He used the shock value of saying they must hate their parents in order to be a disciple. We know that God does not want us to hate our parents or anyone else. This was a teaching device to catch the attention of his listeners. He means we cannot love anything in the world more than him; we cannot put anything in the world above him. He is looking for a total commitment.

    And there is a cost involved in being a follower of Christ. He wanted the crowd to understand this going in. When he says “whoever believes in me”, he doesn’t mean we believe that he existed, he means we put our complete trust in him for salvation. The one thing God does not want us to do is “dabble” in Christianity. He does not want us to accept part but not all of his teachings, for instance. And he wants us to be wholly devoted to him.

    I have heard it said that Jesus must be Lord of all or not Lord at all. But I also believe making Jesus Lord of our lives is a life-long process. Committing ourselves to him, however, and trusting him alone for salvation is not negotiable. He gave his life for us and wants ours in return. When he said “carry his cross”, his hearers understood that he meant “march to your death”. Jesus is not seeking casual onlookers, he is looking for whole-hearted disciples.

Text Only
  • 7-26-simon-slaw.jpg Cooking with Simon: Stomp grapes and eat Texas food

    If you’re picking up the newspaper on Saturday, you still have a chance to come out to Sabor a Pasion and celebrate the grape harvest at the 2nd Annual Charity Grape Stomp.

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • Two decades of storytelling

    For the past 20 years, I have covered everything under the sun while working as community editor at the Palestine Herald-Press. I have covered festivals, banquets, graduations, fires, wrecks, elections, giant vegetables, you name it, I probably wrote about it.

    July 26, 2014

  • At the Movies: 'Begin Again' — Fresh tale creates appeal

    Some people film big pictures.  Others do small pictures.  Writer-director John Carney makes small pictures. 

    July 26, 2014

  • IMG_1373.jpeg COOKING WITH SIMON: Summer produce brings recipe inspiration

    Chefs are always recreating their menus and finding new inspiration for recipes. People ask me how where my new ideas come from and what I do to get inspired. The answer – mowing the lawn – and, by the way, I have a lot of lawn, vineyard and fields to mow.

    July 19, 2014 3 Photos

  • Swiss Chard  & Peach Salad COOKING WITH SIMON: Garden vegetables ready to harvest

    Last month, I was invited to cook for a group of clients at a fishing lodge in Alaska. It was quite an experience – beautiful scenery, amazing salmon, halibut, and great accessibility to some of the best fishing in the world.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • watermelon COOKING WITH SIMON: Red, white and watermelon

    Happy 4th of July weekend! On every street corner the fruit of Texas is being sold from the back of old trucks and roadside produce stands.

    July 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • COLUMN: Musings about life and the pursuit of happiness

    Yesterday was July 4th, a time we celebrate independence and the truths that all men are created equal and “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,” to quote Mr. Jefferson.

    July 5, 2014

  • MOVIE REVIEW: 22 Jump Street

    I should have known better.  Just like “Legally Blonde” and “Dumb and Dumber,” a comedy based on a premise as opposed to one based on truly funny characters merged with a clever situation should never have a sequel.

    July 3, 2014

  • 6-28--SIMON-Lamb-Sliders.jpg Cooking with Simon: Celebrate July 4th with lamb burgers

    Being born in one country and raised in another can bring a bit of confusion to one’s life. And then to find yourself living in a third country as an adult, is one reason this kiwi is all messed up.

    June 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Editor's Notebook: Kids can create their own summer fun

    Things are so different today than when I was a kid. A recent conversation with my 9-year-old son reinforced my belief.

    June 28, 2014