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A Homeless Paradox

Do males give birth? Do mammals lay eggs? And what on earth is this picture?

Things are not always as they appear.

The answer to the first question is, yes. The answer to the second questions is, yes. The answer to the third question, well, I’m going to hang on to that for a moment.

What does the Bible say about things are not as they appear?

Ecclesiastes 7:15, “…there is a just man who perishes in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man who prolongs life in his wickedness.” NKJV

What you just read is a paradox.

Paradox: a seemingly absurd or self-contradictory statement or proposition that when investigated or explained may prove to be well founded or true.

But what is the meaning of this text?

John W. Ritenbaugh wrote, “…This verse teaches us to be cautious when making judgments about a person's spiritual standing before God and his morality as we might perceive them in his day-to-day surroundings.

"This supplies insight into why Jesus cautions us about judging…We should not allow ourselves to jump to self-righteous conclusions about people and to misjudgments about God's involvement. In either case, we are fully capable of raising ourselves spiritually above them. Thus, an overall lesson in these verses is that we must learn to be cautious about accusative thoughts that may arise within us.” (Source:

There is a story of a pastor that transformed himself as a homeless man and then positioned himself outside his soon-to-be new mega-church. He wanted to see what the members would do.

His name is Jeremiah Steepek and he was about to become the pastor to 10,000 members. In fact, he was to be introduced as the head pastor that morning.

He walked around his soon to be church for 30 minutes while it was filling with people for the service. Three people out of over 7,000 people said hello to him.

Now granted he did not come in contact with every single one of those thousands of people, but he came in contact with many, and they all said, ‘no’.

What was the question?

“Do you have any change so I can buy some food?”

Not one person gave him even a nickel.

He went into the sanctuary to sit down in the front row and was asked by the ushers if he would please sit in the back.

He said hello to people and smiled at people only to be greeted with starts and dirty looks.

As he sat in the back of the church, he listened to the church announcements. When all that was done, the elders went up and were excited to introduce the new pastor of the church to the congregation.

“We would like to introduce to you Pastor Jeremiah Steepek.”

The congregation looked around clapping with joy and anticipation.

The homeless man sitting in the back stoop up and started walking down the aisle. The clapping stopped and all eyes were on him. Can you imagine the hush? And the thoughts that must have started forming in the minds of those people?

He walked up to the alter and took the microphone from the elders, who, by the way were in on this. After pausing for just a moment he began to recite, “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a s stranger and invited you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison or go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

The pastor then looked over the congregation, thousands of people, and told them all that he had experienced that morning. Many began to cry, and many heads were bowed in shame. I can almost imagine one or two slipping out the back door so they would not have to face him.

He then said, “Today I see a gathering of people, not a church of Jesus Christ. The world has enough people, but not enough disciples. When will YOU decided to become disciples?”

Yesterday I wrote about following in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. It should be more than just talk. It needs to be a lifestyle that others around you can love about you and share in.

What do you see when you see a homeless man or woman begging for money or food on the street corner?

Do you see a child of God or just a dirty, homeless, nameless human? Do you see a life that needs you, or do you see a bother to society? Because things are not always as they appear.

Hebrews 13:2 reminds us to show hospitality to strangers. Why? Because some people have unknowingly entertained angels.

Things are not always as they appear.

So, do males give birth? Yes! If you are a Seahorse, Pipefish, or a Sea Dragon.

Do mammals lay eggs? Yes! If you are Duck-Billed Platypus, or a Western Long-Beaked Echidna, or the Eastern Long-Beaked Echidna, or the Short-Beaked Echidna, or Sir David’s Long-Beaked Echidna.

And what on earth is this picture? It’s the inside of a white trash can that Denise is mixing paint in. She decided she need a bigger container, yes bigger, and started pouring from the small white trash can to the large black tote. I thought it was photo worthy.

Friend, time is ticking. We are closer than ever before. Jesus is coming, and all signs point to: SOON.

As you look around, life goes on like normal. The sun comes up, the sun goes down. We celebrate birthdays and weddings and anniversary’s. We go to school and get a job and start our career and plan for retirement. We plan a family and start raising children. We become grandparents and plan retirement…but things are not always as they appear.

“But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” Matthew 24:36-44 NKJV

by Jeanette Stark – Tuesday, March 7, 2023

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