Getting somewhere requires effort,
faith to push on,
it's easy to screw up,
Friday, July 6, 2012
How did the bible get divided into chapters and verses?
Fri, July 6, 2012 | link
Isn’t it interesting how we can see things continually in such a way that we become so accustom
to them that we fail to
ask ourselves how they come into being?
If we pick up a novel, or any other book, we find that we tend to index it by the page numbers. Yet, with the bible
this is not the common reference point! We have these numbers alongside the text that refer to chapters and verses.
How many of
us really know how the chapters and verses in the bible came about?
No matter what bible one picks up we find the same division of chapters and
verses. Even if the content is on different pages, the text referred to by the chapter and verse is sure to refer
to the same original Hebrew or Greek from which it came.
This leads us to think that the original contained these divisions. The fact is that it didn’t!
Strangely enough it was the Archbishop
of Canterbury, a man by the name of Stephen Langton that is credited with dividing the
bible into chapters.
was elected as Archbishop of Canterbury in 1207A.D. Before he provided the chapter numbers, the bible was divided by blank
spaces at the end or middle of lines, (called the petuhoth or setumoth). Stephen provided
the numbering which has been adopted worldwide from that time onwards. The first bible using this was the Wycliffe Bible.
This was around 1227A.D. and it took
until 1488A.D. for Rabbi Mordecai Nathan in completed a concordance to the Hebrew Bible (the Christian Old Testament) to assign
what is now our verse numbers. The New Testament still did not have verse numbers at this time.
Then in 1551, Robert I Estienne (or Robert Stephanus as he was
known) assigned the New Testament verse numbers that we now know.
When we read the modern bible, we are privileged to have the reference points with which to refer to and analyse
it with ease. These took time, effort and great political influence to establish and we need to be thankful to these men who
took time to get this done.
Today as I read my bible I thank God for these Godly men, inspired to make changes that we can now
enjoy into perpetuity.
That’s the interesting fact for today. I do hope you will have an enjoyable and God blessed day!
Thursday, July 5, 2012
Higgs Boson- discovered!
At last they claim to have discovered the Higgs Boson, although everyone agrees more
testing is required. That huge expense of the LHC has paid off.
Thu, July 5, 2012 | link
I had blogged about it previously Higgs boson (so called “God” particle) may exist!!!!
It is amazing that we
are discovering something fundamentally new. Then, I really like the fact the scientists are referring to it as the “God”
particle. Let’s give credit to the creator of this particle without which we would not have mass.
So today as we hear the new reports lets give God thanks for the
amazing world he created.
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
A certain young man named “Lucky”
Wed, July 4, 2012 | link
Seneca was a Roman stoic philosopher that lived in the mid-1st century
AD. He was a tutor and advisor of that infamous Roman emperor Nero. He was not “lucky” since he was forced to
commit suicide, supposedly for being involved in a plot to kill Nero.
“Luck is what happens when
preparation meets opportunity.” ~ Seneca
What is “luck”?
The online dictionary defines it as “Success
or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one's own actions.” Luck
is when the path of life goes in a way that supports our actions, but is unplanned by ourselves. It is something that Christians
often ignore as being part of their lives, because many of us Christians see life as planned by God, not established by chance.
Many of us even rebel at the thought of chance intervening in life.
This takes some of the fun out of events, if we consider them all
to be deterministic.
I used to create computer games, the random number generator provided the unexpected results that made the games interesting. I think in life, although I believe God directs everything, these
unplanned changes in lifes path provide gains in ways we can never expect. They are far better than the drudgery of plodding
through life without the smile and expectation of changes in fortune.
Here is a piece of writing from our bible that addresses luck. See if you can spot it! I think it shows God’s humour.
A young man named Eutychus
was sitting in a window. He sank into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. Sound asleep, Eutychus fell from the third floor.
When they picked him up from the ground, he was dead. Paul went down and threw himself on the young man. He put his arms around
him. "Don't be alarmed," he told them. "He's alive!" Then Paul went upstairs again. He broke bread and
ate with them. He kept on talking until daylight. Then he left. The people took the young man home. They were greatly comforted
because he was alive. (Acts 20:9-12 NIRV)
Did you see the part where “Lucky”
occurs? Probably not!
That’s because we are not familiar with New Testament Greek. The name Eutychus / Eυτυχος
it? Eutychus was named well before he fell, and it seems
that his resurrection was planned from the start of his life. He was a lucky man!
This shows the complexity of life our loving Father in heaven has
planned for us! The Father has planned our lives and yet
we are also totally able to choose what we want to do each second of every day. “Lucky” or “Eutychus”
seems to have been born to enable this small piece of scripture writing to be established. He was brought back to life to
give God glory.
He is one of very
few people reported to be brought back to life from the dead in New Testament writings.
Are we lucky?
As we go about our days let’s remember how lucky we are to have Holy Spirit with us guiding our lives and decisions.
The luck of a Christian is not random chance luck, it is God planned, directed luck. Think about that!
Have a great day!
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
The dilemma : Are absolutes valid in our world?
Tue, July 3, 2012 | link
“Science can purify religion from error and superstition. Religion
can purify science from idolatry and false absolutes.” ~ Pope John Paul II
Last Friday, my wife and I had a group of young people in our home
having fun, climbing, slacklining (walking tightropes), and playing pool. Then at one point in the evening we got together
to discuss a subject. This time the subject was whether there were absolutes in this world
or if truth was situation (changing depending on the situation).
Initially the discussion was heavily weighted in favour of truth differs depending
on the situation and the person.
In other words, this postmodern
group believed in the mantra of their generation, truth is relative.
If truth is developed by man, then it is created and not discovered. There can be no truths across cultures since each culture should develop its
own truth. Truth of this nature is not consistent, but changes with circumstances and ones beliefs. It is that which is decided
by the individual or group.
this view is flawed from the start! Just ask whether we
can be absolutely sure that truth is relative, and if the answer is yes, then the person has made an absolute statement counter
to their own arguments.
The laws of science and physics seem immutable and absolute.
We teach this all the time in our schools and universities. It would be a poor academic who allows a student to answer what
they consider truth on an exam, rather than provide the “correct” answer(s).
If God created the universe, and the God of the bible propounds absolute truth, then
those who adopt the relativistic, situational truth perspective are on shaky ground.
Don’t we all want people to deal with absolutes when we discuss things with them?
We all agree that two opposite statements cannot be true simultaneously. Our courts and justice system are founded on this
absolute truth or premise.
we all agree that something is, or it isn’t, but cannot have any other state of existence. Most of us agree on this
as well. (I know those in quantum science argue this point in specifics, but in the macro world in which we live, things either
are or aren’t)
We all agree
that we know what we mean by truth is not falsehood.
Truth is for all of us something tangible and very central to our existence.
As Christians we look at truth in a specific way;
Truth is what is discovered
when understanding God’s creation and reading his
words in our bible.
truth is absolute and cannot be bent, twisted or molded
into what we would like.
truth applies to everyone equally since he created everything
and built his nature into all he created. We can discover truth by investigating his creation.
God’s truth never changes and is eternally valid.
God’s truth does not depend on perspectives of individuals. Perspectives are filters that limit the value that we find in God’s truth, but they do not
change its eternal unchanging nature.
truth enables concepts to “hang together”. Different
parts truth uphold and support other parts.
Our postmodern viewpoint is a damaged viewpoint in that it is a selfish one! It is held to in order to profit the
person holding the viewpoint.
Yes, those holding onto a postmodern relativistic truth viewpoint have a selfish disposition. They want to mold the world into their perspectives and to substantiate it. They
want to blindly believe there are not absolutes.
If there are absolutes, it would mean they are responsible for discovering and working with absolute truth.
we cannot believe in relativistic truth. It is not compatible
with the truth that Jesus brought to us, or the truth of the God of our bible. We understand reason is not the only revealer
of truth. God almighty is the prime provider of truth. Reason is simply one tool he has provided us in order to expose it.
So today as we plan our day, make decisions,
and guide others, let us do it within the absolute truths God has provided to enable us to work, love and live effectively.
Have a great day!
Monday, July 2, 2012
Suffering how did Job do...part 3
Friendly advice is not always what is needed is it? How can we know that a friend’s advice is in fact
good and to be trusted, since the best of intentions can be misdirected, can’t they? (This is part three in
the series )
Mon, July 2, 2012 | link
Eliphaz, that speaker
in the book of Job (in the bible) claims to be Job’s friend. His advice seems good on the surface...
8 Here's what I've observed.
People gather a crop from what they
If they plant evil and trouble, that's what they will harvest.
9 The breath of God destroys
The blast of his anger wipes them out.
Is a rather narrow minded view isn’t it? We all know of Godly men and women who have undergone great trials, and similarly we know of scoundrels
and thieves that have died with no apparent earthy disadvantages.
Perhaps it is not as true as it seems! We later find out as we continue to
read that God disagrees with Eliphaz.
God is more complex than this. We cannot say if we do this, then
that will happen! God has eternity to settle the scores of evil and does not have settle them on this Earth.
Job is suffering from sores from the
bottom of his feet to the top of his head. His children, servants and possessions have been destroyed and his life is in ruins.
Even his wife seems to be offering poor advice!
Yet Job stands by the knowledge that God is just, even if he cannot understand it. I think this is courage that few
today would have the ability to bring to bear in similar situations, don’t you agree?
Eliphaz’s comes to give Job advice. His advice is to first
explain to Job that he is suffering because his faith has failed and must have done something wrong to bring
these sorrows on himself.
the other hand knows he hasn’t! Job answers...
"A man's friends should love him when his hope is gone.
They should be faithful
even if he stops showing respect for the Mighty One.
15 But my friends aren't faithful to me.
They are like streams that only flow for part of the year.
They are like rivers that flow over their banks
16 when the ice begins to break up.”
This prompted thinking about how we comfort people!
Particularly those of us on the male side of life often think that comfort is finding a solution
to a problem.
sometimes a solution is not available, or is out of our reach.
Comfort is more coming alongside and being with the person in their pain. Offering our love and companionship as the pain
tries to ostracise the person and pull them into the depths of depression. Solutions may or may not help but companionship
and love always help!
Job hit the
bottom in regard to depression, saying things like...
8 "I wish I could have what I'm asking for!
I wish God would give me what I'm hoping for!
I wish he would crush me!
I wish his powerful hand would cut off my life!
10 Then I'd still have one
thing to comfort me. It would be that I haven't said no to the Holy One's commands.”
Job wants God to take his life...but God will not allow Satan to
Job has misunderstood the
fact that is not God, but Satan who has engineered these circumstances.
Job is in fact a spiritual warrior of God at this point of time, and is perhaps never
greater than when he is in the depths of despair but refusing to curse God. He has a major task in life, that of proving Satan
has failed and God is supreme. He is well on his way to showing this.
Sometimes in the depths of despair, we cannot see how God plans to use our pain for universal gain. When this happens,
let’s remember Job was instrumental in defeating Satan for God by his faith that did not in fact waiver to the point
relationship with God is of more value than even our lives!
We are powerful fighters in the spiritual world. We cannot see this power, or wield it like the movies would have us do so,
for it is an unseen power. Yet it has the power to save lives, turn us from the worse despair to the greatest heights. It
moves huge obstacles and infuses life with a joy and purpose that is lacking in the mundane normalcy of non-Godly living.
The beauty of our
lives is the powerful presence of God in our lives. Job
couldn’t see or hear God in his life, but pushed through pains and emmense suffering keeping faith.
Sometimes we are in desperate circumstances! When this happens, let us turn to true believers and evaluate their words against
the absolute truth found in the bible. Let’s find God’s guiding for our lives!
In many ways, we live in an evil times. Yet these times been described before...I will paraphrase Paul’s
description of our times...
shows his anger from heaven. It is against all the godless and evil things people do. We are so evil that we say no to the
truth. The truth about God is plain to us. God has made it plain.
the world was created it has been possible to see the qualities of God that are not seen. We’re talking about his eternal
power and about the fact that he is God. Those things can be seen in what he has made. So we have no excuse for what we do.
We know God. But we don’t honor him as God. We don’t thank him. Our thinking
has become worthless. Our foolish hearts have become dark. We claim to be wise. But we have made fools of ourselves. We would
rather have idol’s and images of idols than the glorious God who lives forever. Our idols and images of idols and movies
of idols are made to look like people, birds, animals and reptiles.
So God let
us go. He allows us to do what our sinful hearts want to do. He has let us commit sexual sins. We pollute one another's bodies
by what we do..
We chose a lie instead of God's truth. We worship and serve created
things. We don't worship the Creator. But he must be praised forever. Amen.
So God lets
us go. We are filled with shameful longings. Our girls commit sexual acts that are not natural. In the same way, the guys
turn away from their natural love for girl’s. They burn with sexual longing for each other. Guy’s do shameful
things with other guys. They suffer in their bodies for all the twisted things they do.
We don’t think it is important to know God. So God let us go. He allowed us to have dirty minds. We did things
they shouldn't do.
We are full of every kind of sin, evil and ungodliness.
We want more than we need. We commit murder in our hearts and sometimes actually do it. We want what belongs to other people.
We fight and cheat. We hate others. We say mean things about other people. We tell lies about them. We hate God. We are rude
and proud. We brag. We think of new ways to do evil. We don't obey those we should obey. We are foolish. We can't be trusted.
We are not loving and kind.
know that God's commands are right. We know that those who do evil things should die. But we continue to do those very things.
We also approve of others who do them.
Our times are not healthy and
righteous but we can be! In the midst of this type of life around us we can live victorious. Jesus died to enable us to clean-up
our life and live in a powerful correct way!
We need to check all our friend’s advice against God’s guidelines and follow the truths of our universe,
not the false things sent in various ways to dissuade us from the courageous path God has set.
This week, I want to walk in truth with God even when I appear
to be losing. I will know it is not my battle to uphold, I am merely one person, all I need
is to stand firm on God’s principles. That provides the most gain!
Have a wonderful week and let’s give loving Godly advice to our friends when
they request it, merely being alongside and comforting until this request comes.
Have a good one!
Romans 1:18-32 NIRV (paraphrased)
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May you be blessed today!