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Posts Tagged ‘Bible’

Whenever I have a question, wonder how to do something, and need that quick fix, I Google it.

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Just in the past few days I have ‘Googled’:

-a recipe for Greek salad dressing

-a recipe for a marinade with pineapple

-how to lay carpet

-how to transport a refrigerator

-health issues

-weather on the east coast

-the meaning of “to be or not to be”

and more!

Sometimes I wonder how I ever survived the curiosities of life, before there was Google, to answer my every query.

When we were first married, and hubby needed a quick fix he reached for duct tape and WD40.

That man could use duct tape and WD40 in massive amounts, and in a massive variety of places.

If something was making a noise, or did not operate smoothly, out came the WD40.

If something was coming apart, unattached, out came the duct tape.

Recently we ‘forced’ our son to watch the movie, A Big Fat Greek Wedding. We knew that he was at an age when the humor of the movie would delight him (and it did).

In this movie, the father, Gus, uses Windex to solve every problem and ailment, from pimples to aches. For Gus, Windex is his fixer upper of choice.

What about when Windex doesn’t eliminated the pain and bruises? What about when duct tape won’t repair what is broken, and put it back together? What about when Google doesn’t have the answers?

There is another fixer upper.

The Bible … the word of God.

It has been around since the beginning of time …
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1

The authority of it is THE authority on truth … our heavenly Father …
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” 2 Timothy 3:16

It is true and trustworthy …
“For the word of the LORD holds true, and we can trust everything he does.” Psalm 33:4

It offers protection …
“Every word of God proves true. He is a shield to all who come to him for protection.” Proverbs 30:5

It is a guidebook …
“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105

It has always been and always will be available …
“Grass dries up, and flowers wither, but the word of our God will last forever.” Isaiah 40:8

This is the best fixer upper!

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As I snuggled down into the suds of the bath water, ready for a few moments of peace and relaxation to end the day, I heard the following words from the radio broadcast playing from the bathroom counter top :

” … my word that goes out from my mouth will not return to me empty …”

And with those words, the endless to do list in my head dissolved, and my brain became preoccupied with those words, and the depth of their meaning.

If you, like me, have ever had opportunity to share the word of God with another person you will understand that horrifically dreadful feeling when we think that we failed miserably in our execution of sharing of God’s word.

Being married to one who preaches from the Word of God on a regular basis, I have certainly have heard the words, after returning home from a Sunday church service, “I blew it” from hubby.

But this passage would indicate that those words, that feeling of the failure of good delivery of the most important message on Earth, are always safely executed, because God himself has ordained that His word will always be heard. It would seem that, perhaps, the mystical nature of God’s word is such that once it is expressed through the lips of man, it travels into the ears of others through the direct leading of God himself.

This confirms to us that God’s word is His, from beginning to end, from first breath until the last word is heard by another’s ear.

We cannot ruin the delivery of the word of God … it is His, never ours, and it is in His best interest that it is heard … and He even ensure that.

“So, whoever speaks my words,no matter how freaking ridiculously poor,
they are still My words,
and they will reach the ears of the one who I decree should hear them.
Imagine how fantastic an author I am 😉 “
The Carole Wheaton version of Isaiah 55:10

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I was skeptical about the television production of The Bible when I first heard the radio advertisement.

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But, I have loved being wrong about this!

I loved that we were told of the story of Creation through Noah, as he was telling his family on the ark that God had provided for their survival. Their ark, a living exposition of Creation itself.

I loved that in the story of Abraham being tested, Sarah worried that Abraham had taken her son, her only son, to give sacrifice to God … without a lamb, and she raced off to them.

I loved the telling of the story of young shepherd boy, David, defeating the giant, Goliath, with a small stone, and a big faith.

I love the way the Jesus interrupts Peter on his boat, and how He offers a new life to Peter.

I especially loved the way that Jesus told the story of the Pharisee and the tax collector. The story that tells of the two going to the temple to pray and how Jesus finished his parable with words from Luke 14:11, “for all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

I loved the way they portrayed Joseph, the husband of Mary, the earthly father of Jesus, a good and strong man, willing to obey the word of God.

I am still waiting to watch the finale, and cannot wait to see how they have re-created the stories that I have already imagined in my mind.

Oh, I am not saying that I view this production as the total and complete … gospel truth. Certainly there are inaccuracies, additions and omissions that make it … well a translation (like the Message), rather than a version (like the English Standard version).

What I did love was that:

  • it was done … well, and anyone who has seen any older versions of Biblical tales knows that it was time!
  • the focus of the story of the Bible was not changed
  • the person of Christ was not created to be something He was not (although … I did think it was wrong to have such a good looking man play Jesus … after all Isaiah 53:2 says, “he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him” 😉 )
  • my kids, who would not join hubby and I for any other television shows, would wander into the room, once the music (Hans Zimmer, you are brilliant!) started
  • millions of people … more than 50 million … have been exposed to the truth!

I read a Time online article titled, “Behind the Hit Bible Miniseries? The Man Who Helps Hollywood Get Religion” and I sighed. Sure, I would love that Hollywood produce more movies that are entertaining and unoffensive, but my hope with the visibility of the greatest book ever written is not that it become ‘trendy’ but that it become KNOWN.

I think Matthew said it well,

“These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit—but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock (Matthew 7:24-26 … The Message).

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“He who has ears to hear,
let him hear”
Matthew 11:15

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A wise person theologian … one once said,

I think that our inner compulsion is to run from it. That gives us complete separation, and immediate relief. But does running from it have positive, long-lasting results? I do not know for sure that answer, but I tend to think it might chase us, and when we least expect it, re-surface again.

Then there is learning from it. Oh, how slow that process seems, and painful for to learn is to look at the pain and face it. But could more, long lasting good come from that process? I do not know for sure that answer, but I tend to think it is the better way.

There is a man in the Bible, of whom little is known, but one thing we do know is that he did not run from his past.

This man is Jabez. His one entry in the Bible is in the Old Testament book of 1 Chronicles. He shares his name also with a town near Bethlehem, but I am not sure if the town was named after him.

The accounting of Jabez, and his life is:

“Jabez was more honorable than his brothers.
His mother had named him Jabez,saying,
“I gave birth to him in pain.” 
Jabez cried out to the God of Israel,
“Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory!
Let your hand be with me,
and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.”
And God granted his request.”
1 Chronicles 4:9-10

Jabez was named by his mother, and I would guess that would not have been the norm, in such a patriarchal society. Now either his birth was horrific, or the timing of his birth was, or something else dreadful must have accompanied his entry into the world for his mother to have named him as she did.

The name Jabez is Hebrew, and it means sorrowful or pain. In those days, and within that Hebrew culture, a name was almost a prophetic statement, or a foundation for who this baby was to become. Andpas his mother saw his future as sorrowful or painful.

Whatever the reason his mother named him as she did, Jabez past followed him everywhere. Imagine the teasing of his childhood peers down by the well, “hey Sorrowful, having a good day? Oh, that’s right you NEVER have a good day, you are Sorrowful!”

He had a choice, run from it, or learn from it.

Well, it would appear that he did not run from it, heck, he didn’t even change his name, nor did God as He had of others in the Bible (Abraham, Sarah, Paul, etc.).

Instead, he somehow knew that the only hope he had of a future that was not sorrowful, was to pray. And pray he did:

“Jabez cried out to the God of Israel,
“Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory!
Let your hand be with me,
and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.”

His prayer was for a future complete with a relationship with the God of Israel, complete with blessing (perhaps the blessing he did not get from his parents), complete with God’s protection, complete with freedom from … pain. The prayer of Jabez is the desperate cry of a man born with a curse, with a past, and he knew it well. But, he also knew that he did not have to stay in his sorrowful state, and he knew the only one who would hear his cry … the God of Israel.

“And God granted his request.”

And, He will hear our cries to be freed from our hurtful pasts,
we just need to learn to cry out to the One who will hear us,
to change the direction of our lives.

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As I was leaving for work one day last week, over and over and over in my mind I heard, “I thank my God every time I think of you.” It had been a day when, as a team of special education and learning assistants, we were one unit, working together, and loving each other. It felt good!

Then I awoke this Monday, and was preparing for work when I remembered that it was team devotions and meeting day, and that I was on for the devotions part … fear cursed through my body! Devotions are not an area of comfort for me, and my first instinct was to call in sick! Then I remembered that day last week, and those words were again remembered, “I thank my God every time I think of you.” I had it! My blood pressure began leveling out to a normal range.

I opened my Bible app. and searched for Philippians 1, the passage I would use:

“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1:3-11

I used the emboldened part when doing devotions with my class later that morning. To be free to remind them that the one who gave them life does not give up on them, but that he has a plan that is not completed until the day of Christ, is to share a great hope.

And then today another teacher used the same passage for her class devotions …

I began thinking that maybe the message that I have been feeling and sharing, for others, might just be something that God wants me to hear too.

It has been a sucky, emotional, hormonal, week. I am tired and feeling worn down and discouraged on so many levels. And then today, I heard the words echoed back to me: “he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion.” What a message to rest my head pondering!

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