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Posts Tagged ‘Truth’

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Do you ever think about heaven?

Recently the discouragements of life were getting me down, so I turned on some music that I had hoped would lift me up from my pit of despair.

All of a sudden a song by Matt Redman started to play, called One Day. One Day is a remake or modern take on the old hymn When We All Get to Heaven. Eliza Hewitt wrote this timeless hymn as a young woman, while bedridden with illness for an extended period of time.

I guess she too was in a pit … but rather than than play encouraging music, she wrote it.

That is what we all need to do when we feel surrounded on every side … write or proclaim what is true. It was in John 8:32, that Jesus himself said, “the truth will set you free”

For Eliza Hewitt, the truth was what she wrote from her sick bed. For myself it was in seeking truth, proclaimed by others.

Truth will never fail us. It can temporarily hurt, or make us uncomfortable, but it does not fail in giving us a freedom that lies (of others and of ourselves) can never thwart.

The hope of heaven is a freedom beyond anything that this Earth can provide. And sometimes that hope can propel our minds when this earthly journey gets hard, and we need to be reminded of what awaits us.

“When we all get to heaven
What a day of rejoicing that will be
When we all see Jesus
We’ll sing and shout the victory”

 

 

 

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I love when truth about myself is revealed to me. I am talking the good, the bad and the ugly, and let me tell you there is ample material in my life of all three.

This sort of truth is especially poignant to me when it is revealed to me through indirect means … someone speaking of their own life, reading a verse in the Bible, or, as in this case, a FaceBook status of someone on my feed.

The words that spoke truth about me came from co-host of the 700 Club Canada, author and speaker, Laura-Lynn Tyler Thompson,

“Believing there is a God
and giving virtually no thought
to Him or His will for your life
is like being married
and never speaking to your spouse.”

Though I claim that I believe in God, in His perfect plan for my life. Though I claim to have given my heart wholly and fully to Him. Though I claim to be living with and for Him …

I am often guilty of not giving any thought to Him or to His will for my life.

I am guilty of not practicing what I preach.

I allow life to get too busy.

I allow priorities to be skewed.

I allow myself to worry about things that are not mine to worry about.

I forget to pray, to petition, to lay my days at the feet of the One who hears my voice before a word is on my tongue.

Yet, He is the faithful One, who waits for me to remember His presence in my life.

And like a scorched plant in the driest soil of the garden, when His truth rains down on us, He will remind us that He was and is our first love, and He will restore our strength.

“The LORD will guide you continually,
giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like an ever-flowing spring.
Isaiah 58:11

 

 

 

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Did you hear the story about the (female) pilot at WestJet, who received a note from a passenger?

I hung my head in shame,

for the way that passenger twisted God’s Truth in arrogance and self righteousness.

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So, if you haven’t heard, here’s the story :

After a WestJest flight (last weekend) from Calgary to Victoria, a note was found on one of the seats.

Here is what was written :

“The cockpit of an airliner is no place for a woman. A woman being a mother is the most honor, not as ‘captain.’ Were (we’re) short mothers, not pilots Westjet.

Proverbs 31.

(Sorry not PC)

PS I wish WestJet could tell me a fair lady is at the helm so I can book another flight!”

As I read his note, I was embarrassed that this man used a biblical reference (Proverbs 31) to ‘prove his point.’

Despite the reality that Proverbs 31 is a portion of scripture that is a song, and is simply a bar to aim at (similar to Matthew 5:48, which says, “be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” … now that is a high bar!), it makes most women feel that we will never arrive as a wife.

This Proverbs 31 woman is described as one who :

“She shops around (she’s a traveler) for the best yarns and cottons …

She looks over a field and buys it (she is a realtor) 

then, with money she’s put aside (she is an investor) 

plants a garden (she is active in horticulture)

First thing in the morning, she dresses for work (she works … ALL women work, not all women are paid for what they do)

rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started (she enjoys her work)

She senses the worth of her work (there is value to what she does) …”

Hum,

I am thinking that the gentleman who made a point of including Proverbs 31, was perhaps not all that familiar with it.

When the seventeen year veteran pilot of the plane, Carey Steacy, read the note she responded with a post on FaceBook, ending with a point they could both agree on :

“Now, back to my most important role, being a mother.”

I like this woman!

Oh, and also, Proverbs 31 is not just a job description of the perfect wife.

The first ten verses are titled :

“Speak Out for Justice”

It is the advice a mother gave to her son, and as I read it I wondered if her motherly comments might also be appropriate for this WestJet-flying, napkin-writing, scripture-twisting man …

“Oh, son of mine, what can you be thinking of!
    Child whom I bore! The son I dedicated to God!”

Proverbs 31:2

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As I read and re-read the title of an article, in a Canadian Christian publication I was aghast! Not that someone would have the view, but that such a view would be printed in a Christian publication, for it’s readers to interpret as the voice of a learned Biblical scholar … of a lover of the Christ whose name we claim.

The entire title of the article was, “Unlearning the Bible to Welcome Homosexuals.”

There is a great misconception in this author’s assumption … that a church has to unlearn the Bible to welcome homosexuals.

To that I say, nay nay!

The Bible is VERY clear that God’s second greatest commandment is to love our neighbor as ourselves (Luke 10:27), which is pretty closely linked to the Golden Rule of do to others what you would have them do to you (Matthew 7:12). And it does not indicate that we should only love certain neighbors. So, with that biblical background of the second most important commandment, from the lips of the Son of God, himself … I do not believe that to welcome homosexuals (or anyone else) means we need to unlearn the Bible.

The Bible can be a very complex book, full of what might seem to the casual reader, contradictions.

It is a book full of poetry, history, genealogies, prophesies and fulfillment of those prophesies. It is a book of :

  • love and hate
  • war and peace
  • unification and separation
  • creation and destruction
  • birth and death
  • gentleness and harshness

It is history … HIS … STORY

and we, who claim HIS name,

are the HIS … STORY students, followers, believers.

If the editors of this ‘christian’ publication are willing to print an article, which questions the very authoritative foundation of the Christian faith … the Word itself … then who or what do they believe our authority to be?

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I need to make a disclaimer …

I am not a learned Biblical scholar. I have never formally studied the Bible.

But this I do know, as one who pours over it daily :

the Bible is a better authority than science (Isaiah 40:22, tells us that “He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth” … no flat Earth society in these pages),

and the Bible is definitely an authority with more longevity than I, with an eighty-five year lifespan!

IF

the Bible is not our authority … then who is?

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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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For the next week, I will be featuring guest posts, as I spend my regular ‘writing time’ preparing for a speaking engagement. If you feel led to pray for me in this regard, I would so appreciate it, and specifically that Pinterest does not pre-occupy my writing time 😉  … I am so weak!

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This was an interesting read recently from Christianity Today. The story of an ardent atheist, who, like Lee Strobel (author of “The Case for Christ”) studied and investigated to prove her belief was true, until …

Click at the bottom of this snippet for, as Paul Harvey would say, the rest of the story …

“I don’t know when I first became a skeptic. It must have been around age 4, when my mother found me arguing with another child at a birthday party: “But how do you know what the Bible says is true?” By age 11, my atheism was so widely known in my middle school that a Christian boy threatened to come to my house and “shoot all the atheists.” My Christian friends in high school avoided talking to me about religion because they anticipated that I would tear down their poorly constructed arguments. And I did.

As I set off in 2008 to begin my freshman year studying government at Harvard (whose motto is Veritas, “Truth”), I could never have expected the change that awaited me.

It was a brisk November when I met John Joseph Porter. Our conversations initially revolved around conservative politics, but soon gravitated toward religion. He wrote an essay for the Ichthus, Harvard’s Christian journal, defending God’s existence. I critiqued it. On campus, we’d argue into the wee hours; when apart, we’d take our arguments to e-mail. Never before had I met a Christian who could respond to my most basic philosophical questions: How does one understand the Bible’s contradictions? Could an omnipotent God make a stone he could not lift? What about the Euthyphro dilemma: Is something good because God declared it so, or does God merely identify the good? To someone like me, with no Christian background, resorting to an answer like “It takes faith” could only be intellectual cowardice. Joseph didn’t do that.

The Cross no longer seemed a grotesque symbol of divine sadism, but a remarkable act of love. Christianity began to look less strangely mythical and more cosmically beautiful.

And he did something else: He prodded me on how inconsistent I was as an atheist who nonetheless believed in right and wrong as objective, universal categories. Defenseless, I decided to take a seminar on meta-ethics. After all, atheists had been developing ethical systems for 200-some years. In what I now see as providential, my atheist professor assigned a paper by C. S. Lewis that resolved the Euthyphro dilemma, declaring, “God is not merely good, but goodness; goodness is not merely divine, but God.””

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2013/march/atheists-dilemma.html

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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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