LargoD – (I didn’t write this, but I thought that it was important to put up here because so many can’t see how being a christian affects every single aspect of every day life. I saw the same chart on a video but without the verses. We had a cake Saturday and no trace of it was left by sunday morning. I can’t think of much to say at the moment.)

The Christian Theological Worldview affects every aspect of life:

  • Theology: Theism, Genesis 1:1; Colossians 2:9,

  • Philosophy: Supernaturalism, Genesis 1:1; John 1:1; Colossians 1:17; Revelation 19:13,

  • Ethics: Ethical Absolutes, Genesis 2:9; John 1:9; John 3:19,20,

  • Biology: Creation, Genesis 1:17; John 1:4; John 11:25; Colossians 1:16,

  • Psychology: Dualism, Luke 1:46,47; Titus 2:13,

  • Sociology:Traditional Home, State, and Church, Genesis 4:1; Luke 1:30-31; Isaiah 9:6,

  • Law: Biblical/Natural Law, Genesis 3:11; Genesis 49:10; Revelation 5:5; Isaiah 9:7,

  • Politics: Justice, Freedom, Order, Psalm 9:6; Luke 1:33; 1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 19:16

  • Economics: Stewardship of Property, Genesis 1:28; Psalm 24:1; Psalm 50:10-12; 1 Corinthians 10:26,

  • History: Historical Resurrection, Genesis 3:15; John 1:14; Galatians 4:4; 1 Timothy 3:16.

Let’s take a closer look at the Theology and Philosophy today.

The theology of Christianity is the affirmation of the existence of an intelligent, powerful, loving, just, and awesome God who exists in the Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. From the Christian
perspective, “In the beginning God” (Genesis 1:1) is the foundation for all meaning. Christianity further proclaims that this powerful, intelligent God who created all things in heaven and earth is the same God who took upon Himself human form in the person of Jesus Christ and died for our sins. Christianity proclaims a God who is both Mind and Heart – who not only created the world, but also loves it so much that He sent His only begotten Son to die for it. Christian theism declares in large letters, “God is,” “God created,” “God loves,” and “God judges.”

The philosophical quest that most appeals to Christians is the attempt to obey 2 Corinthians 10:5, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” What makes philosophy non-Christian, what the Bible refers to as “vain and deceitful philosophy,” is basing philosophy upon the “traditions ofmen, after the basic principles of the world, and not after Christ” (Colossians 2:8). The single most important philosophical truth in the Bible is that Jesus Christ is the Logos (word, or mind) of God.
Christian philosophy says Christ the Logos is the explanation for the universe and everything in it. The major charge against Christianity in general and Christian philosophy in particular, is that it is
unscientific. Christians claim that the Christian doctrines of God, creation, Logos, design, purpose, law, order and life are consistent with the findings of science, history, and personal experience in a
way that the vain and deceitful philosophies of dialectical materialism and philosophical naturalism will never be.

The End Of The World As We Know It

IsonormD – TEOTWAWKI is comming. You can guess when, but you’re already wrong. If you’re wrong, you can guess again and again. But you’ll be wrong again and again.  The big T could happen in many different ways. Scientists think that the instability of an aged sun, A massive asteroid such as Apophis, the culmulative effects of global warming, a third world war, and the possible though not probable attack from aliens (What is the politically correct name for aliens from outer space?) could be the begining and the end of the big T.

Before the 1800s are 26 dates and times people expected the big T, but they were all wrong. If they were correct we wouldn’t be here discussing that they were wrong. There are 42 dates given between the 1800s and 1990s, and we are still guessing. A few names appear multiple times on the list of guessers, but the list of guessers is extensive. Another 144 gueses were made for various dates between the 1990s and 2007 as well as another 16 dates that haven’t come to pass yet.

It’s no wonder why we feel the world is ending, we’ve ended it hundreds of times over through all the guessing we’ve done. There’s a sum of 224 dates and methods of the big T. People have used the big T to motivate people to find a religion, their religion. Let me ask, what good has all this speculation done? Only God the Father knows the date and the time. I have noticed that we are guessing more in less time. Instead, let us witness more in this time.

Guessing serves no one, there is story after story about people who didn’t live because they thought that it would all end tomorrow. Let us all live because it could today, but work as if we will continue the next day and all the days thereafter. After all, this is not the sort of surprise that you would want to spoil, even if you could.

eyes on the prize

Imprint MT Shadow – Many people think that it’s a blessing to win the lottery. These people haven’t heard the statistics. On ‘Rugrats’, Chaz lost everything after investing in a machine that didn’t work. In ‘It Could Happen To You’, the police officer recieved a divorce and lost all the money in the settlement. In a few sci-fi books and movies, to win the lottery is to lose your life. The truth is, if you win a lot money, worse things may happen to you.

It would be something to be famous. Certainly people will look up to you. Then again, if you become famous, you’ll find that you have lost the privacy that comes with anonimity. Every action will be questioned, every motive will be scrutinized, and every word will be debated. You will become the you that your fans expect. Your image is everything, even if your principles go against it. There are other types of fame, but it does not matter, the rise of a star is just as entertaining as its fall. However, it is very difficult to keep the faith and keep the fans.

However, the best things that this world can offer aren’t really all that good. To gain something in this world, you apparently have to lose something. What benefit would it be to gain the world and to lose your soul? Money will degrade, and fame lingers only in the memories of the fans, but faith lasts into eternity.

To borrow another blog’s concept, as much as this world is a mess, being a Christian will mess up your life. God will interrupt your life to teach you various lessons. If you don’t learn it the first time, God has plenty of time to teach it to you until you learn it. Just like learning to walk, God will take a step back so we can take a step forward in the faith. God will take things away and he’ll give them back. It’s not a life for those faint of heart, it’s a life for those who want to live their life to the fullest.

The Fourth

Hobo Medium – Salvation, grace, faith, and others, you would think that all Christians know these things. They probably do, but they are not by the same definition. What do you do if you find one word has two differing definitions? You can choose the one you like better or stick to the one that somebody is referring to.

Works is one that seems contradictory. In this denomination, they “work” very little saying, “people are saved by faith, not works so that no one can boast.” In that denomination, they “work” constantly saying “we work because we want to honor God.” And in a third denomination, the amount of “works” you do can secure you a really nice mansion in Heaven. In all cases, “works” refer to volunteering, visiting, and things like that. It’s difficult to believe that these are all Christian beliefs, but remember that Christianity is a general name for several denominations who have only Christ in common and agree very little on other concepts, if they agree at all.

In some denominations, they have slowly replaced God with The Church. I saw it over and over again in various interviews. “It’s all really about The Church.”, “We’re really excited about The Church.”, and “We just wanted The Church we attend to have a good environment.” It’s almost as if they teach God, Jesus, The Holy Spirit, and The Church. Having realized that they’re not God, The Church’s Leading Body tweaked a few definitions to words such as salvation, grace, faith, and works to name a few.

A church is a building where the body of believers, also called a church, gathers to worship God. The Church of a few denominations where the body of believers think they are worshipping God, but they really have no idea what’s going on in the Leadership. The Church has been exalted in many denominations, but there’s always a few ways to tell which ones they are.

They claim that the Bible is fine, with the exception of its translation errors. They claim that wherever the Bible is incorrect, they have a seperate divinely-inspired text that is always true. They revere their founder/human leaders with more enthusiasm than they do Jesus. Finally, they always claim that only their denomination is the right way, all others are apostate, in other words, all other denominations aren’t really going to go to Heaven, and you’d be worse off if you were to leave this one for any of those.

The best way I can figure to help these people are to clear up the misconceptions, first about the so-called “Bible Translation Errors” and then help them from there. I have had six or seven Bibles (I don’t know if I’m counting the one the dog ate,) of five or six translations, and I haven’t come across any contradictions or errors (unless they are really well disguised as, *gasp*, the truth!) so if anybody comes across anything, let me know, and we’ll see if I can clear things up.

Hold that Thought

GoudyOldStyTExtBol – “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” Hebrews 4:12-13

In the time of Jesus, you would think that the Pharisees were down right religious. They followed the commands, they did proper worship, and their offerings were usually more than ten percent out of the extra they had made that week. According to Jesus, though, these men were playing a religious game of keeping up with the Jones’ and in doing so were selfish in their acts of worship.

This is something to think about, the thoughts and attitudes are of the heart. Faith is of the heart. Perhaps this is why we are told to set our hearts on things above. If faith and these things were of the mind, we could intellecually debate them and then be done with it. But since they are in the heart, they are connected with the idea that these things are felt. Not only are these things felt, but the Bible says that both good things and bad things come from the heart. It takes serious effort to apply self-control to our thoughts, but we must.

The Real No. 1

Gill Sans MT – It’s sad that the television has to remind us to be decent human beings. Before commercials from The Foundation for a Better Life, would you have gone out of your way to open a door, visit a stranger in a nursing home, or see to the needs of a poor neighbor? Do you do these things even now? Now a new set of commercials exist for an investment bank. They don’t promote the exact same values for the same reason. They’re just trying to point out that they are as responsible as the rest of us. Now that inspires confidence. People are more responsible for themselves than they are for others. They look out for number one first.

I have an idea. Why don’t we let God, be number one, look out for us, and tend to the work that He’s given us to do? There are many advantages to this concept 1.) He is our Creator, He looks our for the interests of His Children, 2.) He doesn’t sleep, the 1/3 of our life we spent sleeping, He’s awake watching over us and He doesn’t get tired, 3.) He never fails to keep His promises, 4.) He looks out for us anyway, with Him already doing so, why should we worry about ourselves?, and 5.) He hasn’t and will not ever make a mistake, if He has given you work, He has every confidence in you to complete it. The work that he assigns to us tends to further His kingdom, deepen our faith, and provides for our needs all at once. It’s really not a bad deal. If your waiting for the television to tell you these things, you have a long wait.

Wanted: Love that Overcomes Hatred

Georgia – “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger; anger leads to hate; hate leads to suffering. I sense much fear in you.” – Yoda, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

I know Oklahoma’s history fairly well. Hundreds of Native Americans from dozens of tribes were marched on the Trail of Tears to the newly dubbed Indian Territory. The Bureau of Indian Management did a bang up job securing supplies for various reservations. Some years later, the Native Americans began to lose their land one lot at a time in the various Land Runs. The settlers did not always get along with the Native Americans, but there were times of peace among them. In the early 1900’s, new conflicts were arising. This time it was among the settlers descendants due to their contrast in color. One city covered up the results of a riot that ended in the deaths of about twenty African Americans. Thirty years later, it was the ’60’s and much was accomplished.

People are afraid of things that are different. Some agressive people are only hiding their fear in their anger. Once anger has developed, it results in hatred. Hatred is a necessary ingredient in cold-blooded crimes. Hatred is an idea that cannot be put on trial and sentenced for its crimes. These crimes have lead to much suffering, especially of late, but it isn’t over yet. Hatred has killed children, burned churches, asphixiated millions, and destroyed entire nations. Hate crimes, hate groups, hate symbols, all thrive if you know where to look.

Hatred has only one enemy. Hatred becomes powerless in its presence. It’s called love. It’s the kind of love that asks you to buy a meal for that homeless man on the corner, donate an old coat to keep a kid warm in the winter, to gather extra food to give to those who have none. This kind of love isn’t for somebody who would keep it to themselves, it has to be shared. This kind of love isn’t for somebody who would give it only to those who show it, it has to be given to everybody, enemies included. This kind of love isn’t for somebody who would invest it expecting a great return, it has to be bestowed on those least likely to pay you back.

Take a look at 1 Corinthians 13. It talks about the sort of love that can overcome hatred. This kind of love is better than Hollywood’s use of “love”, in fact, this kind of love is Hollywood’s opposite. This kind of love is available to all, is for all, and is there for you as well. The more this love is out there, the less hatred can thrive. Don’t worry, the more you learn about this love, the more you’re likely to change to share it as it should be even if this love wasn’t for you when you first learned of it.

Singing and Praising

Garamond –

“It Is Well with My Soul” is a very influential hymn penned by hymnist Horatio Spafford and composed by Philip Bliss. This hymn was writ­ten af­ter two ma­jor trau­mas in Spaf­ford’s life. The first was the death of his only son, shortly followed by the great Chi­ca­go Fire of Oc­to­ber 1871, which ru­ined him fi­nan­cial­ly (he had been a weal­thy bus­i­ness­man). In 1873, while cross­ing the At­lan­tic, all four of Spaf­ford’s daugh­ters died in a col­li­sion with an­o­ther ship. Spaf­ford’s wife Anna sur­vived and sent him the now fa­mous tel­e­gram, “Saved alone.” Sev­er­al weeks lat­er, as Spaf­ford’s own ship passed near the spot where his daugh­ters died, the Ho­ly Spir­it in­spired these words. They speak to the eter­nal hope that all be­liev­ers have, no mat­ter what pain and grief be­fall them on earth.

“Rock of Ages” is a popular Christian hymn with lyrics by Reverend Augustus Montague Toplady, and music by Thomas Hastings. The lyrics to the hymn were first published in The Gospel Magazine in 1775, with the music added in around 1830. According to a famous but largely unsubstantiated story, Rev. Toplady drew his inspiration from an incident in the famous gorge of Burrington Combe, a Mendip gorge close to the Cheddar Gorge. Toplady, a preacher in the nearby village of Blagdon, was travelling along the gorge when he was caught in a storm. Finding shelter in a gap in the gorge, he was struck by the title and scribbled down the initial lyrics on a playing card.

“How Great Thou Art” is Christian Hymn written by Carl Gustav Boberg in Sweden in 1885, translated into English by Stuart Hine. It was popularized by George Beverly Shea and Cliff Barrows during Billy Graham crusades. It is a more recent addition to the collection of age-old hymns. The Reverend Carl Boberg of Monsteras, on the southeast coast of Sweden, was 25-years-old when he wrote the lyrics of this song after trekking through a thunderstorm from a church meeting two miles away.

These are some of the greatest hymns that are sung practically everywere every Sunday. Like many Psalms, they are written in adveristy, both in circumstances and weather.  They are questioning why and praising God. Such was the case with Job. We can learn a few things from these examples:

  • It’s okay to ask “why me?”,

  • God is a safe place in the storms of this world,

  • We may not always understand why we’re going through adversity, but there is always an oppurtunity to grow,

  • God is up there and here with us at the same time, so know that you’re not going through adversity alone, and

  • God’s other names include Comforter and Counselor, He can do all things and strengthen you in the storm.

The School of New Tricks

Franklin Gothic Book – The Bible has this to say about obedience:

  • Luke 11:28 – He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

  • John 14:15 – “If you love me, you will obey what I command. (3 other variations in this chapter and 2 other variations in the next chapter)

  • Romans 2:13 – For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.

  • Romans 6:16 – Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?

  • Hebrews 5:8-9 – Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.

  • 1 John 5:3-4 – This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.

     I can’t recall the majority of the details, but at a certain English Orphanage in the early ninteen hundreds, the headmaster was horrified to discover that there was no food for breakfast that morning. He had over a hundred children in his care and not enough food for even one of them. He gathered them all together in the cafeteria and blessed the meal they were about to eat. Just as the children were asking among themselves where the food was, there came a knock on the door. A milkman told the headmaster that his truck had broken down and everything would certainly spoil before he finished fixing the truck. The milkman donated the milk for the orphans’ breakfast. Five minutes later, the baker brought several loaves of freshly baked bread. He explained that he wasn’t able to sleep last night and he felt that it was important to bake alot of bread and bring it to the orphanage. After a most filling breakfast of toast and milk, the headmaster praised God for his providence.

It would have been easy to despair about the situation. However, the headmaster, who was also a preacher, blessed the meal they were about to eat knowing that there was no food to eat. Even the baker showed an element of obedience and was able to bless the orphanage with freshly made bread.

Obedience is a tall order because we are asked to do things in a way other than our own. Obediences is probably one of the more difficult aspects of the Christian life. We are asked to change the most when we are asked to obey the word of God. Change doesn’t always come easy, but it’s always worth the effort. I like to do things my way, but that puts me in charge. I know that I can’t be my ticket into Heaven, I would probably boast about all of the wonderful things I’d done. Having been saved, I’m trying to make Jesus’ way of doing things my way. I don’t always get obedience right the first time, but neither did my dog when I tried to teach her a new trick. There is also an attitude of obedience. Anybody can bring the required sacrifice to the altar, but do they also think that this sacrifice atones for their sins? Anybody can bring a tithe, but to they also think that this ten percent is a blessing to God? There is a doing and a thinking in the act of obedience. When you obey, you are submitting to God’s will.  God’s plans are for your good and to prosper you, so why not obey?

Small Steps and Giant Leaps (III)

It seems that no two Christians pray exactly the same way. In fact, no two prayers in the Bible are the same. We see that Nehemiah prayed for everything. So many people see prayer as a last resort, but therein lies the problem. Prayer should be the first resort. Scientists have seen that something happens in our heads when we pray. We know that something happens in our hearts.

I’m cetain that the acronyms and various methods of prayer are helpful, but eventually we’ll find that a person has his or her own way to pray, as it should be. A televangelist suggested that instead of praying, “Please do this for me’s” to pray “You are’s”. “You’re grand, you’re unimagineable …”
Somebody once told me that it was helpful to pray with each of the five aspects of prayer represented by a finger, the thumb might be thanksgiving, the pointer might be petition, and so forth. All of these various ways are enough for even me to be confused. Some of these prayers are like training wheels on a bicycle.

In essence, prayer is talking directly to God. God hears the prayers of those that aren’t His children. The Lord’s prayer, the Sinner’s prayer, and all the various prayers prayed by prayers, and even your prayers all reach God’s ear. After you pray, you have a sort of responsibility to that prayer, that is, faith, obedience, and patience. Faith: God will do whatever is best, even if that means not answering the prayer. Obedience: The Bible has a lot of things to say about obedience, among them is that it shows your love for God when you obey him. Patience: God isn’t bound by time, we’re on his schedule, he’s not on ours, not all prayers are granted that same week they are prayed.