a word for the wise

URW AntiquaT – We have a number of warnings that signify a clear and present danger. “Timber” tells us that a tree is falling having just been cut down. “Heads up” warns us that a small spherical projectile is somewhere over our heads. “Fore” tips us off that an even smaller spherical projectile is heading our way. “Duck” suggests that if we don’t hit the floor, something will hit us.


We have all sorts of warnings, sirens, poems, stickers, labels, and reccomendations. The Bible, however, manages to continually warn us of what is and what is coming.


Zechariah 14:12 and 2 Peter 3:10 (Nuclear Weapon)
Jeremiah 2:27 (Evolution)
2 Peter 3:10-11 and Revelation 16:8,9 (Global Warming)


These are only the major issues that hang over our heads like an ominous thunderhead. Then there are the details that couldn’t ever possibly happen …


An alliance between Iran and Russia – Ezekiel 38 and Revelation 20


The Creation of the State of Israel – Ezekiel 37


These are the weather from that cloud, and now we are waiting for what is coming next. There are certainly a few more that have not yet happened, but there isn’t as much left as there used to be. Many of the New Testament writers recognized that it was the last days in their time, how much more late are the days now! Like the warnings above, be pepared to follow the instructings of the warnings to come.

not a drop to drink

URWAlcuinT – pollution – http://www.comfortfortoday.com/eng/002eng.htm


There is large lake somewhere in the west called the Salton Sea. It was so popular back in the day, it was second only to Yellowstone. Today, you risk your respiratory system by being in the vicinty of the water on a windy day. Another famous instance of polluted water is the Cuyahoga River catching fire.


Why am I telling stories about polluted water? In the same way water can be polluted, so can we. By taking in things that we shouldn’t, we can find ourselves in a bit of a mess. We are in a mess because sin is pollution.


If there is an oil spill, a crew of people have to be called in to remove it. If there is sin, only Jesus can remove it. Today, people still check places where oil spills occured, because they haven’t fully stopped harming the environment. Jesus, however, takes away that sin and it is no longer there to pollute us.


We’ve been warned that pollution will enter the church by philosophies, why are we reconciling Evolution with the Bible, not following Paul’s guidelines for church leaders, and why do we turn to God in prayer as a last resort? Some people have toxic anger, others come and go and don’t get the experience that church (as in the body of believers) is meant to give, and the last group enter to teach only what they wish and not always the truth. If you are warned that a flood is coming, you’d prepare sandbags. So how do we prepare for this?

V3

TW Cen MT – Veni Vidi Vici, the words Julius Caeser used to describe his victory in the Battle of Zela can also be used to talk about another JC’s two victories. One has already happened. One has yet to happen.


 


Jesus came: 21 Reasons Why Jesus Came 


Jesus saw: to the needs of the people and that the people had a need for salvation


Jesus conquered: death, Satan, and barriers


 


Jesus Will Come: Shouts, trumpets, all that good stuff, and also upon a white horse as a Conquering king with His heavenly army.


Jesus Will See: I don’t know what Jesus will see, but I’ll ask…


Jesus Will Conquer: The world’s united army will be somewhere in the middle east ready to launch a devastating attack, but Jesus will conquer them and the one that is their leader.


 


Veni, Vidi, Vici, this is our moment as well. We came to be christians, we see now having once been blinded by sin, and faith is the victory that will overcome the world. (Sorry I had to keep this shorter, the internet took three hours to fix and after expanding on this idea, the whole thing crashed so I had to write what I remembered.)

Simon says “Follow the Leader”

Trebuchet MS – “…not as I will, but thy will be done…”


Think about that for a moment. It’s facing the fact that as much as I want something, the only thing I want more is that whatever God wants to happen. Inclement weather, often refered to as “an act of God” on insurance policies can take out parades on a day such as today. Everybody loves a parade, but if God wants to let it rain, He has a better reason in mind. After all, the farmers growing our food are preparing their fields really need that rain. (I know it wouldn’t hurt my Dad’s garden, anyway.)


God’s will is plainly illistrated in the Bible. For those of us more interested in our part of the big picture, it’s a little more difficult to find. After all, just how do you tie-in God’s will to the every day aspects of life? Here are a few things to think about:



  • God does have great plans for your life! = Isaiah 49:1, Jeremiah 1:5, Galatians 1:15, Jeremiah 29:11, and Romans 12:2

  • God’s will, first and foremost, is that we have a relationship with Him through His Son, Jesus Christ. = 1 Timothy 2:3-4

  • God wants us to be Christ’s disciples. = Luke 9:23

  • The Bible will help us to know God’s will. = Psalm 119:105

  • God promises to give us wisdom if we just ask Him in prayer, believing that He will give it. = James 1:5 and Phillipians 4:6

  • God has given us the Holy Spirit for guidance. = John 16:13

  • We should listen to the advice of godly men and women that God has placed in our lives. = Proverbs 12:15 and proverbs 15:22

  • The Bible says that there is a peace that comes when we are pleasing God with our lives. = Isaiah 32:17

  • We should trust God in faith that He will accomplish His will in our lives. = Proverbs 3:5-6 and Phillipians 1:6

  • God has given each of us gifts and abilities to use in His service. = Romans 12:6-8, 1 Corinthians 12:1-11, Ephesians 4:11-13, 1 Corinthians 10:21, Genesis 50:20, and Phillipians 1:12 (Christian Answers)

I watch a television program sometimes called Spiritual Warfare. I find the host a most interesting character, but his most recent series emphasized this point: Choice isn’t something you make, it’s what you get if you choose correctly. It doesn’t seem to make sense even if you read it again. Then I remembered that verse, he who can be trusted with little is trusted with little, but he who can be trusted with more, much more will be demanded of him. Isn’t it the same way with choice?


There are two keys for knowing God’s will for a given situation (1) Make sure what you are asking for or considering doing is not something the Bible forbids. (2) Make sure what you are asking for or are considering doing will glorify God and help you grow spiritually.
Romans 12:2 tells us, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Got Questions?)


So for me, it’s all pretty simple. Choose God’s will. Since He knows the future, I have to figure that whatever happens will all work out. Anyway, we already know that our side wins.

lunch

Times New Roman –


The Lunch Counter: Everything about this building was white. I turned one of the many corners to find a place to sit. It was a simple set up, a bar where a cook was waiting to serve me where a seat was waiting for me. It seemed that they served absolutely everything, so I stated off simply with two racks of ribs, a pile of mashed potatoes, and plenty of green beans. It wasn’t enough though, i had felt like I had only taken my first bite. I went through every page on the menu but I just wasn’t being filled. I was, however, getting pretty sick, but I couldn’t stop for anything. Suddenly a hand touched my shoulder. I turned around and met somebody who was trying to tell me that there was another lunch counter over there. I thought it was odd that I hadn’t noticed it before. I stumbled over there feeling much heavier than I was. I couldn’t understand why it was taking so much effort to take a few steps. There was another there who helped me sit down. I realized that I was thirsty for the one thing that the first lunch counter never provided. Water. I looked puzzled at the eight ounces before me. I was assured that it was enough. I became healthy immediately and I hated the first lunch counter. I joined the others like me who all try to guide people to the right lunch counter where there is water and it’s more than enough.


The disciples spent only three years with Jesus, but those three years affected their lives in a way they could have never had guessed. The word disciple itself refers to being a person who learns from another, especially one who then teaches others. Discipline and self-control are two things that Christians are to work for. The Bible has alot to say along these lines. A wise man accepts correction. God disciplines his children as a father. We are made new in Christ and are to follow His example. Jesus knew the scriptures really well, He quoted out of Deuteronomy while he was in the desert. He made a habit of praying somewhere out of the way. Even though he had been working all day, when another bunch of people came to be healed and hear what he had to say, he helped them. His parables, like the lunch counter, were made to make the mysteries of Heaven easily understood. Three years can change us for the better as well. Spending three years reading the Bible for total understanding, it’s bound to make a bit of a theologian out of you.

now we know what happens when today becomes yesterday

(Four hours. I’ve just spent the last four hours trying to think of post and I came up with nothing. That’s four hours that I could have put to a better use. That’s four hours that I can’t get back. At least The Phantom Tollbooth came with a guarantee, “If not fully satified, your wasted time will be refunded.”


Time is said to be the only thing we truely own. We have only so much of it, and we don’t even know how much. We trade it doing jobs to earn monetary compensation. Sometimes we suddenly run out of it. Sometimes we find ourselves wondering how much is left and what to do with it.


I hope that I’ll be able to make up for lost time, but after killing four hours, I don’t know if I can make the most of the time I’ll need for tomorrow’s post. I don’t know if I even have the time. Chronocide, as my friend calls it.


I have a chance to make better use of the time I’m taking now. This time is all the time I’ve got. There’s a time for everything, and now I don’t have the time to go into a long discussion about what little time remains. There is less time now than there was before, I know that. Four hours.)

When the saints come marching in …

TimelessTLig – Saints. It’s the last of the big three ‘S’s. Soldiers fight, servants see to the needs of others, but the work of saints is a little more difficult to describe. As christians we are sanctified. From the word sanctified we get another name for Christians, and that is saint. Saints collectively refers to all believers in Christ Jesus. The Bible seems to suggest that saints are living, breathing people.  Most websites are dedicated to another definition of Saint, technically these people were saints when they were alive.


A few definitions:



  • Sanctify: ‘to render holy or make holy and set for a holy use, dedicate to God, purify, cleanse, free from the guilt of sin’

  • Righteous: ‘to be morally upright; without guilt or sin, In accordance with virtue or morality, morally justifiable, and in the habit of doing what is right’

  • Holy: ‘to be seperated from sin and consecrated to God, set apart for a sacred purpose’

(Reformed Theology Article)


Christians in a particular locality or church are customarily designated God’s “saints” (Acts 9:13, 32; Rom. 15:25; 2 Cor. 1:1; Phil. 4:22); these holy ones are those for whom the Holy Spirit makes intercession (Rom. 8:27), to whom. God makes known His mysteries (Col. 1:26), and for whom we are to show acts of love (Col. 1:4; Rom. 12:13; Heb. 6:10; I Tim. 5:10).


(Theologica Blog)


So, our vocation as Christians includes sainthood. We are called by God to be set apart for Him and His purposes. Let me spell out a few implications of this aspect of our calling.
1. Because we are called to be saints, we have a new purpose in life, God’s purpose for us.
2. Biblically speaking, a saint is not an extra special Christian. All true believers are saints. Thus our job is not to try and become a saint, but rather to live out our sainthood.
3. Holiness has first to do with being set apart for God. It is an essentially relational characteristic. But in light of this set-apart-ness we have both a mission and a moral imperative. Our mission is to represent God to the world, in all that this means. Our moral imperative is to live differently from those who belong, not to God, but to the world. Our lives as holy people will be directed by God’s revealed will, not by our desires or by cultural expectations.

It’s so hard to find good help these days…

Tahoma – The mark of the wealthy is to have a staff of maids, butlers, cooks, chaufers, secretaries/assistants, and personal trainers. The mark of the spiritually wealthy is to be the servant and somehow find time to get your own laundry and dishes done. It’s no easy task. Jesus’s first coming was that of a suffering servant. Servants represent an element of humility. Jesus said that the first shall be last, the last first, and the greatest shall become a servant. It’s backwards to our thinkings both in that time and today.


God is not seeking the most qualified or talented; rather, He is seeking hearts that are surrendered to Him. he is seeking those who are available, dependable, and wiling to be used. (Our Daily Bread)


Servants Should Serve:



  • For conscience towards God (1 Peter 2:19)

  • In the fear of God (Ephesians 6:5; Colossians 3:22)

  • As the servants of Christ (Ephesians 6:5,6)

  • Heartily, as to the Lord, and not to men (Ephesians 6:7; Colossians 3:23)

  • As doing the will of God from the heart (Ephesians 6:6)

  • In singleness of heart (Ephesians 6:5; Colossians 3:22)

  • With good will (Ephesians 6:7)

Often when we think of the “servant of God,” we think of one like Paul (Acts 20:16-21) who devoted his life to public preaching. However, these verses show that “servants of God” are given a broad range of responsibilities that involve areas other than preaching. (Abundant Life)


A person is either saved or unsaved. A person is either following God in obedience or rebelling against God. A person is either a servant or not a servant… In recognizing our great value to God and in embracing the wonderful qualities that God has placed in us, we have a servant’s spirit when we are willing to use our gifts for the benefit of others and not solely to bring applause, recognition, or reward to ourselves. We “hate ourselves,” from God’s standpoint, when we completely abandon our own self-advancement in order to help others in need or to fulfill whatever call of the gospel God has placed upon our lives. (In Touch Minstries)


We may be tempted to use our limitations as an excuse for not doing the things God has enabled us to do. (ODB)

The Full Armor of God and Understanding

Symphony – (I know I’ve got this post a little more colorful, but it was the only way to differentiate from the ideas below and it just seemed strange to have two colors when I learned in discrete mathematics anything can be colored by four colors.) It seems that every page I went to had something I wanted to post, so I figured I post a little from each page:


Ephesians 6:10-18:


Acts 17:11 Bible Studies: 


1 Cor 10:12-13 (NIV) So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
Prov 2:7-8 (NIV) He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. Then you will understand what is right and just and fair–every good path.


Christian Arsenal Study on the Armor of God:


Being familiar with the truth is the best protection against deception a Christian can have.
The Helmet of Salvation: The greatest battlefield is in our minds. This is the area that the enemy wants to attack the most. One key area he wants to damage is our assurance of salvation. Paul gave some good advice in Philippians 4:8. (Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.) We must be on guard on what we let run free in our minds. Satan is very subtle in these areas. He has blinded the world and he will do the same to the unsuspecting or careless Christian. We must have a clear mind to be discerning in all situations. This comes by immersing yourself in God’s word and prayer.


Anne Murchison’s Thoughts:


Putting on the whole armor of God, as we will discover, means learning (Matthew 11:29), understanding (Colossians 1:9), trusting (2 Corinthians 1:9), believing (2 Corinthians 5:7), applying (Ephesians 2:10), heartily submitting to (Romans 12:1) and being indelibly transformed by (Romans 12:2) the truths of God by faith (Romans 3:27-28). These principles are the only real protection we have against the wiles of the evil one.
So how do we put on the armor of God? The significant key to the answer to this question is found in the two little words, “put on”. These words mean in their root form “to sink down”. In both the Greek and Hebrew, words that translate “to humble” also mean “to sink down, to bring oneself low”. These words clearly describe the spiritual posture of humility.


Crossroad’s Armor of God: Has a few good charts, though it’s written for a young child’s understanding.


All that remains are a few thoughts from me: We have a signficant amount of resources for understanding the Bible, and there is a risk to using all those found on the internet. These are only a few pages and thoughts, but there are many more out there. We are still fighting a battle and we are well-equipped to fight it, while we are fighting on one front, we still have the orders of the Great Comission to carry out. However, we aren’t only soldiers of the cross, but we are servants as well. 

Spiritual Warfare:

SouvenirGotAntDDem – (We cut down that pesky tree over the weekend. It’s taken a few afternoons of work and now we have to figure out what to do with the mostly rotten 5ft trunk. I haven’t had much luck getting the video uploaded, so I’m converting the format and going to try again. In the edge of the video is the drive way and it contines in the same angle, the top branches of the tree reached to the other edge of the drive way, so its a little taller than it seems. I couldn’t count how old the tree was because it was so rotten inside. I helped out whever I could, that is, dragging away brush and throwing the burnable wood in the cart, but the rest is beyond my strength for the most part and I have other work to turn my attention to such as figuring a way out of this writer’s block.)


 


There is a certain story, the one that begins with “God created” and ends with “forever, Amen.” This story doesn’t change, but it does change lives. The story has been written in dozens and dozens of languages. Not only is it Good News, but it’s the best news there can be. In that story, it’s always the story that God loves you. He wants the pleasure of your company in Heaven. He laid down His life so that you could have life and life to the fullest. He rose again from the dead and then ascended into Heaven. His second coming will be as a conquering king. How fit is that that christians are fighting in God’s army!


“Some speak of [Spiritual Warfare as being] the struggle between good and evil. Others talk of the battle between right and wrong, or between light and darkness. Still others refer to the conflict between the positive forces which seek to preserve life and order in the universe and the negative forces which tend to disturb and even destroy life and order. From a biblical perspective, however, this dualism is revealed to be an on-going conflict waged on two fronts: God and His angelic kingdom confront Satan and his demonic kingdom, while the children of God contend with the children of Satan.” (Quote from Wikipedia)