Confessions

Jesus Christ, the historical man who walked this earth a little more than 2000 years ago, is the son of the living God, who created all we see and works even to today in the lives of men. This same Jesus died, was buried, and rose again showing himself to witnesses who wrote about these events so you and I can know about them today. He is now in heaven, working in the hearts and minds of men, to bring them to a knowledge of God so that people may be saved from their sins and can live with him forever.

“until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts”

Sorry I have been gone. I have been absent in my own mind. Still am. Thank God for his mercies and tender love.  Let him who has ears to hear, hear before it is too late.

God bless.

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Giving Gifts

I am greedy. I love to get gifts and I really stink at giving gifts. I am not the only one in my family with this problem; however, I am the only one who is an adult. Ouch.

You expect for children to have difficulty with selfishness and some greed. All you have to do is examine a few Christmas lists to get a good idea of what I mean. But, they are innocent. They do not understad how the national economy and supply and demand make it very difficult for Santa to deliver scuba gear for the family pet dog and cat. They think big. Adults think big too but we have no excuses for our bad attitudes and greed. We should know better.

This Christmas I spent time thinking about some examples from scripture about giving.

The Rich Young Man

The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept; what am I still lacking?”Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieving; for he was one who owned much property. Matthew 19:20-22
The Widow’s Mite

And He sat down opposite the treasury, and began observing how the people were putting money into the treasury; and many rich people were putting in large sums.A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent.Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.” Mark 12:41-44

Ananias & Sapphira

But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and kept back some of the price for himself, with his wife’s full knowledge, and bringing a portion of it, he laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land? “While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.” Acts 5:1-4

James’ Faith

What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. James 2:14-17

Forgive me for the over simplification. So much more can be learned from these scriptures. For now, what strikes me from these verses are refusing to give up what is mine, giving out of my surplus, giving to get gifts (in this case fame), and ignoring the immediate needs around me. Truth hurts.

Well, the past is gone. Thank God for His Son’s shed blood. Time to move forward making some changes. Here are my suggestions.

  1. Give your things away. I like them, maybe someone else will too.
  2. Don’t buy junk. Give things away you would want or even need for yourself and don’t have.
  3. Give in secret. God said he will reward this kind of giving. Even if you never receive any physical reward, the spiritual reward is emmense.
  4. Don’t ignore the people around you. Neighbors, coworkers, people you pass on the street.

I know I can do better. I am looking forward to it. God bless.

Rain

I have always enjoyed watching rain fall. Actually I love to stand out in the rain and watch it fall. The colors, the sound, and the tranquility it brings me. Most of all I love the smell.

I know I am standing in a storm. But I don’t see that. I see the pieces. I feel the wind. Hear the thunder. See the clouds. Smell the water in the air.

Despite the storm around me, I feel peace.

I think about how the rain cleans the air and the earth. It reminds me of the water that cleans me through baptism.

In Spring, the rain makes the flowers grow. The Dogwoods blossom. It makes me think of Christ and his resurrection from the dead. And my new life through Him.

Storms always remind me of the time Jesus calmed the storm while his friends panicked. Life is a storm and Jesus calms storms.

I love rain. I hope you do to.

God bless.

The Search for Truth

I want to know Jesus the Christ. My quest is personal and it is real. I refused to be satisfied with anything imagined, man made, or mythical. I want the truth.

Why would anyone stand for anything less? Why live a lie? Why believe just what people say?  BUT we do. I do.

Here is a personal example and the reason I am not using the New International Version in my personal studies for now.

I cut my teeth on the NIV. I can remember winning a new NIV New Testament from my Father for memorizing the entire text of Acts chapter 2 when I was in the 6th grade. This was the translation I carried from class to class in my public high school. I debated from it. I preached my first sermon from it. And for the most part, I believe the NIV equip me to know God.

But then I began to study the history behind the English bible. It is a fascinating history. I was stunned. I found out that men have since the time of the Apostles set out to deceive people to achieve certain ends.

You may have already known this; however, I did not realize every English translation made has been tainted by the mind of the men translating the text. I found it interesting to learn the history behind the different translations during the Protestant reformation. The Protestant translators trying to make the Catholic Church look bad and the Catholic Church trying to produce translations that were “Authorized” so the populous would be “protected” but really controlled. The result created an arms race, okay maybe a publishing race, to produce the official Word of God.

And, we bought it.

Still even today, modern English translations are following the same path. What bothers me is how overtly the owners of the NIV are changing things. I know they want a “modern” translation. I know they want to appeal to a broader audience. In theory these goal are good. But watch out. What truths might be compromised to avoid hurting anyone or to sell more books?

Search out truth for yourself. Don’t believe what people tell you. Weight the evidence. The task is not about getting to know my personal god, a modern god, or the god for cat lovers or whatever the next publishing craze is. It is a quest to know The God who gave us His Word through the things inspired men of God wrote down. The only way to accomplish this is to honestly, and I mean really honestly, look at what the documents say. My attempt is to limit human interpretation and human bias.

To really do this I think one must learn the original languages. However, not all of us are going to take that burden on. I for one am not ready to do so. Therefore, I must pick wisely the documents I read and to read many different ones.

The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. Psalm 145:18

May God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, bless you in your search to know Him. May he give us all a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of our hearts will be enlightened.

God bless

Updated Blog Roll

I have updated my blog roll. I have removed some sites and added some new ones. The changes reflect the new direction I have taken in my personal study. Some of the sites I removed are blogs that are not being added to any more. However, one change will be of note and I hope to write about my decision in a post. I have stopped using the New International version and have been doing the bulk of my study from the New American Standard Bible.

The new link on my blog roll is for Stand to Reason. I cannot tell you how much I have enjoyed listening to Greg Koukl’s radio show. I am looking forward to getting my copy of Tactics, Greg’s new book. I highly recommend his material. I hope to share some of the things I have learned.

I have updated John Mark Hick’s blog link. He switched to WordPress and has a new site. I am excited to see he is keeping it updated well because I really enjoy his thoughts.

These are just some of the links I find interesting. I hope you enjoy all the links.

God bless.

Anyone Here?

Yep. I have not been posting. I am here. Unfortunately I have been distracted. My fault.

I am working my way back. I have been studying 1 Corinthians. I have discovered Stand to Reason, which I have added to my blog roll, and Apologetics.com. I am part time preaching for a small congregation. Work is keeping me hopping.

I have things to say and will share them in time. Some are still bouncing around in my pea brain and are too complicated for me to understand. Its one of those things were you know about something but not well enough to explain it to anyone. I get a lot of ideas like that. Makes me really wish I could write well.

God bless.

A Note To Myself

Busy, busy, busy. That is how I have been of late. You too? Life happens. I have been filling my evenings with family and wasting time and learning about SQL and dot net programming. Whooo, hoooo. What kind of fun things are you doing.

What I have not been doing is writing on my blog. I have been preaching a couple of time a month. That has been good as I give some time to bible study. But for the most part I feel like I am very disconnected from God.

He and I have been talking about it and that is key. When you do not feel close to God, go talk to him. He is there and waiting. That is the funny part. We are the ones who “feel” disconnected when all the while we really are still connected. We just do not pay attention.

I forget. Forget that God is there. Forget He loves me. Forget He cares and is taking care of me. I forget. I sin and turn away from God.

Thankfully He is waiting. On me and You.

God bless.