Getting somewhere requires effort,
faith to push on,
it's easy to screw up,
Friday, May 13, 2011
How do I read the bible? It seems difficult! Help me!
If we open a bible and the first words we read
are from Genesis 1 and they say: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the
earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
Fri, May 13, 2011 | link
Then we could get very discouraged
and put it down forever! The bible is not a normal book and needs to be read in a different
way. I always suggest starting at the book of John. (A book of the bible
is like a chapter of a normal book, look for John). Within the book of John look for Chapter 1 and then start reading
at the verse marker number 19.
Well, John writes in a story form and tells how Jesus came to
be and do what he did. When you finish John and carry on reading you get to read about what the early church does in that
book called acts, and if you then read further, you get to read a lot of the letters to that early church environment. It
is an easy way to get into the bible.
Okay, so thats where to start! Now I guess we need to consider how
to do the reading to gain maximum information.
I don’t have too much time to explain
and so will only give the high level points but here goes:
Firstly, start with talking to God.
Something like “here I am God, help me understand what I read and help me do the things it suggests after I agree with
them!” is a good start. You will chat a lot more as time goes on.
Now pick a piece to
read, read it over once to get the overall idea and then go through it again carefully considering the; who,
what, where, when and how’s? This focuses us on the elements of the text. Pick up a pen or marker,
and underline main points (a bible is to written in not only read). Identify any lists and chapter themes.
Look for comparisons, contrast’s, and discussions indicating time.
look at each piece of information in the context of the information around it. We don’t just write pieces of
disconnected text, so we shouldn’t read bible stuff that way either, right?
only take one piece of advice from the bible without reading a whole lot on the same subject in the bible.
It’s the overall truth that counts.
Reading only one part is
like taking the part of a paragraph… “Take a gun and shoot yourself.”... without looking
at the whole piece of writing to find the person has written... “I hate gun’s! Keeping one in the house is silly.
It’s like saying to a child ‘Take a gun and shoot yourself’. You should never do that!” Different
The common example is the guy who opened a bible and pointed to a verse and read “Judas went
and hanged himself”, not happy with this the guy repeated his attempt to gain information and got “Go thou and
Are we crazy enough to read stuff in this way and think God will bless
We need good common sense! That’s why we have brains!
Okay, now for some other pointers… remember that God’s word does not contradict
God’s word, so if you see an apparent contradiction, investigate it carefully! There is probably a golden principle
in there somewhere.
Don’t base your understanding on an obscure part of the bible, take the overall truth given
This means you need to read a lot of the bible before you
decide on an understanding of obscure bits!
Look for the main meaning of the text you read
and remember God was writing for everyone, not only nuclear scientists.
the common meaning is the one he intended.
Lastly, if you have the ability, find
out about the audience he was addressing with that particular part of the text. Things change over time and words
used then, can be different now.
A modern example of this is that thirty years ago a “gay” person was
happy, now they are considered to not have heterosexual tendencies. Times change, but the words written mean what they meant
at the time they were written.
I hope that helps you! Let’s go read Gods
word and enjoy the insights it gives.
Then let’s do what it suggests!
all God is not likely to be wrong provided we do what he suggests.
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Refugees from other countries celebrate freedom of religion in America. Why do we so often reject religion and these people?
Thu, May 12, 2011 | link
"Displaced societies are of value.
Their issues are our issues."
-- Cynthia Basinet
Don’t you find it ironic that we who have the greatest opportunity to have freedom
of religion, are the ones who seem to respect the fact the least?
I was reading of refugees from
Nepal who arrived in Austin, Texas and how these people who battle for existence every day, unable to speak English
and often being rejected as workers are completely thankful for their lot.
The privilege of being
able to follow Jesus without persecution is to them a wonderful reason to accept these other hardships in life.
I live in
the wonderful country of Canada in a city called Toronto. Here we have people from many different countries and cultures
living together. At work in the row of worker cubicles I am in we have ten people and they represent seven different
cultures and language groups. All are now top level consultants speak English better than many Canadians and love Canada.
Talking to them we all agree, freedom to live with respect for each other and worship
God the way we want to makes this a wonderful country.
When I get together with my American
and Canadian friends, I hear similar words, but often find that the true actions and attitudes don’t follow to the same
Mockery of God is below the surface in secular conversations.
Pleasure at the expense of others is prolific. Capitalism is abused to become a suppressor of the poor rather than the upliftment
of the masses it has proved it can do! Attitudes that a religious person is a dangerous person lives subliminally in the mind
Why? Why are we so two faced that we say one thing, but believe another?
Is education to blame, or self-conceit, or self-pleasure, or fear of others, or just a lack of love?
are changing and I know as Christians we have an attitude that there is
not much time left. I guess that comes from ...
Rom 13: 11 on … And do this, understanding the present time:
The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now
than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds
of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime,
not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather,
clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.
Our focus is on improving life for everyone! Sometimes that means taking a stand when people
speak down to other social, cultural or race groups.
to proclaim with great confidence that religious freedom gives me the right to love others unconditionally, the way Jesus
That’s what built the country of our forefathers and will build our future. We
better believe it!
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Wed, May 11, 2011 | link
We live in an age when people are so full of their time and space they rarely
have time to take a turn at assisting someone else. Every day we are lost in the sins of chasing our own perspectives and
in full flight hardly recognise the fact that around us others are needing to be helped, supplied, encouraged and communicated
“He that does
good for good's sake seeks neither paradise nor reward, but he is sure of both in the end”
Our very essence is lost in that great drum of eternal self worth and we claw our
way around as if making a difference is all that counts. We forget we are
in the drum of life and cannot escape.
What should we do, what do we do if we want to change this?
reducing the aims and goals of individuals who are self focussed to that of a single cause that is focused from outside that
drum can we start to work in unity and love.
God says, “Give to everyone what you owe them:
If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor” in Romans
13 of the Christian holy writings.
The love that overflows into our lives and stops the mad scramble
for the top of a seething pile of humanity gives us space to respect ourselves and others. As we honor those that need it, they respect us in turn!
We find ourselves supporting and helping
one another, and asking what the other needs before we ask for what we
want, and often we no longer have to ask for our desires because in some strange way, guided by the God of the universe, others
supply our needs before they develop those wants.
This is one of the mysteries of life! In giving we receive, in loving
we are loved!
Let’s go out and experience this today with joy in our hearts and a preparedness
to do what it takes! Have a good day in Paradise!
We are worth of being loved, right?
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Let's get rid of our ice claws! We are all worthy of being loved, right?
Tue, May 10, 2011 | link
unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person
who has nothing to eat.
Even the rich are hungry for love, for being cared for, for being wanted, for having
someone to call their own.
Each one of them is Jesus in disguise.
Prejudice is like ice claws!
It tears away at people in society and leaves gapping wounds
but when we look for the weapon, it evaporates and it appears as if the assailant is a lovely pussy cat!
North America being a first world country is full of prejudice!
Coming from the Apartheid hurt country of South Africa, I was appalled how many people on
this continent would sidle up to me and reveal a prejudice about which
they would not speak to anyone else.
feelings and attitudes abound!
not just race that is targeted, but level in society, that rich/poor division, and even the rural/city division.
Faced with their prejudice, these people suddenly are all loving, kind and say the
a pity that I already know differently having heard their inner most
We need to take to heart the advice Paul gives to Christians
and which I believe Mother Teresa took to heart… Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with
people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Why do we think we are better than another?
It is but the grace of God that gives us abilities to perform
differently than others.
Each of us is asked to develop to our own optimum potential without
looking at others aren’t we? Do we do this?
Do we do our best
to develop our own abilities, overcome
our own failings and know God intimately in our own way?
we do, we tend to see others as doing the same!
If we see others as doing the same, it does not depend on their station in life, it depends on their
resolve to do the best in this world.
Those are the people I want to be with and learn from independent
of whether they are rich, poor, clean, unclean, rural, city, white, Asian, black or other.
I want to be with people who teach me how to love more like my God and care more
real joy of living!
Have a great day!
Monday, May 9, 2011
Eveís fruit eating mistake, or was it Adamís?
Mon, May 9, 2011 | link
“Ever since Eve gave Adam the apple, there has been a misunderstanding between the sexes about gifts”
Nan Robertson quotes
men and women, husbands and wives, male and female seem to appear in the most unlikely places.
Have you ever been at an airport when a couple gets belligerent with each other? I have.
ever heard hard words between couples at restaurants? I have.
On street corners, at movies, on road trips,
in the kitchen, the bedroom and in a multitude of other venues inappropriate words are used as swords to inflict injury and
to point out that one or other sex is better off or more capable.
Is this true?
of the things many men seem to point back to is those words in Genesis 1:
1 Now the serpent
was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You
must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,
3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch
it, or you will die.’”
4 “You will not certainly die,” the
serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like
God, knowing good and evil.”
6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree
was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave
some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they
were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
was obviously Eve’s doing, was it?
Take a second look! Read verse
six again carefully.
Yes! Adam was with her!
This guy was doing the guy thing of hanging back
and letting his women get herself into trouble.
God had originally given HIM the instruction, and he KNEW she should not take the fruit,
and he was WITH her, so he was no less culpable than she was in this event! It is a human failing to blame another isn’t it? We like to get out of trouble by pointing
to another. I find this very prevalent in North America but would believe it to be a human condition rather than a localised
Today I must be sure to respect woman as equals in this task of loving others the way God does. Women
need to respect men the same way! That way we together reach our potential and as “one flesh” move the temptations
out of our lives and reach for true life.
That’s my goal today! What is your?
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May you be blessed today!