Seven Comments Overheard From Friends Online


Friend One

A friend posted a link to a rather unhelpful (to say the least) article titled “Why the Vatican Removed 14 Books From the Bible in 1684”. The article contains quite a number of flaws, including its miscounting of the number of books found in today’s Bibles. The Bible used by Protestants contains 66 books (including only Old Testament books that were in the Hebrew canon). The Bible used by Roman Catholics contains 73 books (because in 1546 they added 7 books to their canon from the Greek Old Testament, which is called the Septuagint). Given that there are such basic flaws as this within the article, I recommend taking everything it says with a giant sized grain of salt. In fact, it’s so bad I’m not even going to provide the link.

In lieu of that link, I’ll offer a better resource. Given that I am myself a Protestant, I have referenced a Roman Catholic source in order to help dispel undue appearance of bias on my part. This link only barely touches on all the details that could be shared, but does provide a somewhat helpful and simple overview. I hope it is useful to you.


Friend Two

A second friend posted something quite a bit more helpful than did my first friend. She wrote:

Lamentations chapter one was my devotional material this morning. The meaning behind Lamentations 1:14 is at first, sin seems to offer freedom, but the liberty to do anything we want gradually becomes a desire to do everything. Then we become captive to sin, bound by its “yoke”. Freedom from sin’s captivity comes only from God. He gives us freedom not to do anything we want, but to do what He knows is best for us. Strange as it may seem, true freedom comes in obeying God – following His guidance so that we can receive His best.


Friend Three

A third friend, a pastor I’ve known for many years, wrote:

I somewhat selfishly splurged by buying the six-volume ESV Reader’s Bible for my daughter for her tenth birthday (leather bound, to boot). I told her I wanted this to be a family heirloom, and I wanted her to give the set to her child on his or her tenth birthday. I told her this Bible represented the central role which we wanted the Word of God to occupy in our home. It sits now prominently on top of the piano… it is beautiful. Perhaps it will stay there. She woke up this morning and pulled out the Poetry volume. She read the opening chapters of Job to me, one of her favorites. She held the volume in her hands, and said, “This is such a beautiful book.” I don’t regret this gift.

PS, Here’s my short review: It is beautiful. The paper is like a standard high quality book, the print is the same size as an ordinary book. No chapter or verse numbers or notes of any kind. Just text on the page.


Friend Four

A fourth friend posted a joke featuring words attributed to the devil. It reads: “I’m really getting behind these liberals. Planned Parenthood?! I wish I’d thought of that. But I couldn’t be a democrat. I know Christ.”

I asked for clarification: “Is this a James 2:19 joke?”

My friend responded: “James 2:19 –‘Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.’ Yup, I had to look it up, good call. This is why I miss you.”


Friend Five

Someone else posted: Wow! Helpful article for when you dive into Bible study. What Is the Amplified Bible? And How to Use (and Not Use) It


Friend Six

A sixth friend posted images of an alleged pastor literally tackling people and slamming them into a tub of water in apparent baptism rites. My friend jokingly typed, “That’s what I’m talking about… who’s next?”

I sarcastically retorted: “I’m sure this is exactly how the practice of baptism is modeled for Christians in the New Testament. After all, who needs reverence for a sign and seal of God’s covenant of grace which brings regeneration (and ingrafting into Christ) for followers of Jesus?”


Friend Seven

A seventh friend posted a link to an article about which he has very strong feelings. He actually called for “a public retraction” because the author used “a very broad brush” and “sweeping generalized statements” which are “dangerous” and “based on very flimsy evidence”. One of his primary concerns revolves around the rhetorical question, “Abolishing human abortion as an objective should be on the hearts of all redeemed Christians shouldn’t it?” But the primary concern centers on “false accusations” in this “hit piece”. He calls the writer to account saying, “This is sin brother, unless you can prove the accusation. I believe you’ve gravely erred on this charge.”

Here is the link, followed by what I had to say about it:

A shortcoming of the article, it seems to me, is that it states as its thesis: “One of the heresies plaguing professing Christianity in these days is Christian Nomadism.” But then it goes on to posit almost the full weight of its argument on the AHA folks. This makes it seem as though there might actually be two theses, which has the unfortunate effect of undercutting the focus on the initial thesis (i.e. Nomadism = Bad). This is a bummer. A thoughtful article about the ills of Christian Nomadism would have been more compelling, in my opinion.


Closing Thought

As I close, let me add one more thing. I had this song on my heart today. May it bless you with the promise of His perfect Amazing Love. This is one of my most favorite bands. I’ve seen them in concert probably a half-dozen times. (Four when they were the “real” Newsboys with Peter Furler singing lead.)

John 3:16



The blog above was first published on the original version of this website.  Since then the site has been completely reformatted and upgraded.  With this change, the blogs needed to be re-uploaded to correct corruptions that occurred with the transition in 2023.  While doing this, some additional information is added at the conclusion of many of the older blogs in a “postscript” section that might not have appeared in the first draft that was published on the first website.  Think of this as “bonus material” if it’s brand new content.


Every Day is a Day to Worship God

This video has good reasons to keep the Sabbath, but he forgot one – a day set aside to WORSHIP GOD!


Rant From a Colleague

Can I suggest something? You know the practice of coding IDv3 Tags on streaming music services? No? Oh, ok. Well, the IDv3 contains the track information of the song so when it plays, the album cover and name and track title and artist and that stuff shows up on the screen. Right? Ok.

So, I’ve discovered that streaming services often put information in the IDv3 from a compilation album. Like a movie soundtrack, or a greatest hits album, or the “NOW” series, or “Rhino Returns to the 90s, Vol. 1” – things like that. Can we stop doing this?

I realize that Roy Orbison’s “Oh Pretty Woman” is on the soundtrack of the Julia Roberts/Richard Gere movie, but Roy (and Bill Dees) wrote and recorded that song almost 30 years BEFORE the movie. And, while the song was only released as a single in 1964 (common practice in the early days of rock-n-roll), it had to have a jacket with some kind of picture on it to use for the IDv3. It makes more sense to accurately catalog the music; so when listening to the 60s channel, for example, we don’t see the movie poster from the 1990s on the screen. I’d prefer to know which album “You May Be Right” comes off, other than the obvious “Billy Joel’s Greatest Hits”. (The answer is “Glass Houses”, for those keeping track at home). Let’s fix this. That’d be awesome.

That was such an epic tirade, all I needed to say in response was:

When you are right, you are right. I think this IDv3 tagging nonsense might have been the birth of fake news.

Easier Said Than Done

An associate made this observation:

I always find it funny when someone says “if you don’t like America, leave.” I’m like, but you keep complaining about your job. If you don’t like it leave. Likewise, you keep complaining about your relationship. If you don’t like it leave. It’s probably easier to find a new job than a new country.

To this I commented:

Yeah, that’s pretty funny. But not as funny as the people who say they are going to leave, but then don’t. J

His cutesy remark in return was:

I haven’t met one of them types yet. Lol

Not wanting to miss an educational opportunity for my associate I shared:

Well, if you ever run into one of these 25 people be sure to bring it up because you will have then met one. Stephen Baldwin, Neve Campbell, Cher, Miley Cyrus, Barry Diller, Lena Dunham, Tina Fey, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Whoopi Goldberg, Eddie Griffin, Chelsea Handler, Omari Hardwick, Katie Hopkins, Samuel L. Jackson, Keegan-Michael Key, George Lopez, Ted Nugent, Amber Rose, Amy Schumer, Chloë Sevigny, Al Sharpton, Jon Stewart, Barbra Streisand, Raven-Symonè, Eddie Vedder.


An “Easer Egg” Inside Joke for a Friend

Please explain how you became color blind.


Many blessings to you,

Pastor Troy Skinner