Archive for October, 2014

Free For All Friday 10.31

Just go read it!

Marriage: Let them have it.

In case you were wondering exactly where I stand on the issue of same-sex marriage, I basically agree with this. I typically argue for keeping the government out of marriage, but I am not opposed to what is being offered in this post at Apologetics With Me. Make sure you also read the comments. The short debate (one minor challenge with a long rebuttal!) only helps to clarify the argument more.
Daniel

Apologetics With Me

gay-marriage-map

I am a single Christian male. I believe in the inerrant Word of God. I believe the Bible is infallible and that “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…” 2 Timothy 3:16.  I also believe that marriage needs to be redefined. Hopefully the righteous Christians have not clicked the “x” at the top right corner, yet. There is a small catch to this proposal of redefining marriage that might keep everyone engaged to the end (pardon the pun).

Currently, the cultural understanding of marriage is intertwined with two overriding authorities: government and God. Interestingly, however, both authorities vary greatly in their recognition of the other. The Bible boldly proclaims the need for law as stated in Romans 13:1; “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God…

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Too deep, or not too deep…

My friend Jesse and I have many similar thoughts. I liked this thought … about deep thoughts …
Go read his blog!

The Unwinding Path

The question of “to be, or not to be?” is quite deep, and knowing how so many people today don’t want to think about anything that is deeper than football, fashion, or the latest funny movie (that, in actuality, is so gross and stupid that it is an insult to their intelligence) I thought the question of “too deep, or not too deep?” is so very applicable.

First, since I am by nature a deep thinker (which can, at times, be quite frustrating), it is difficult for me to understand why certain people cannot, or will not talk about anything that they deem to “heavy” or “deep.” In fact, those are the only things that are really worth spending words on. But before I get ahead of myself, let me first clarify that I understand that life and relationships need not be one deep conversation after another, because we must…

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Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 10/26/2014

Find the God of wisdom with some thoughts on His wisdom literature at Proverbial Thought!

Perhaps you have heard the doubting question, “Where is God when we cry to Him?”

I say doubting, and not unbelieving, because many Christians and Jews alike have asked this type of question, and the poem today was written after such a time in my own life.

And we know King David dealt with similar doubts, for those with the strongest faith tend to be those who have faced the darkest trials, and he wrote these words:

In my distress I called upon the Lord;
    to my God I cried for help.
From his temple he heard my voice,
    and my cry to him reached his ears.
Psalm 18:6, ESV

 I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry.
Psalm 40:1

I wrote these:

what if God did not listen

what if His ears were deaf

there would be no reason

to come and offer ourselves

there would be no creation

all of life would be a jest

we were created to talk to Him

created for relationships

 

praise to the Lord God Almighty

He listens to all of our cries

who but the King of Majesty

Who sent His Son to die

would care enough to see

that we see Him in our lives

praise our Father and King

for sending Jesus the Christ

proving He listens

When We Call, He Is Near

Find how close God is through His wisdom as discussed at Proverbial Thought.

This is a special reminder for all of us who are facing trials, confusion, and difficulties.

I will let God’s Word speak for itself:

“I called on your name, O Lord,
    from the depths of the pit;
you heard my plea, ‘Do not close
    your ear to my cry for help!’
You came near when I called on you;
    you said, ‘Do not fear!’

“You have taken up my cause, O Lord;
    you have redeemed my life.”
Lamentations 3:55-58, ESV

“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”
. . .
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
John 14:18-21, 27

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 10/19/2014

Count the ways wisdom is beneficial for your life through the thoughts at Proverbial Thought!

The poem today was written almost exactly seven years ago, and it was soon after meeting a young woman (who is now my wife). She and I met when she was still in a relationship with another young man (a relationship on the way out, I would learn only a week later) and I was focusing on my relationship with God. I was quite taken with her, and I did not understand why at first.

The other inspiration came from others taking note of my affinity for noting times and days (and their affinity for asking me to tell them the last time, to the minute, I had last played with Legos!), and they did not understand why. I was able to point them to a verse I had only memorized that summer:

So teach us to number our days
    that we may get a heart of wisdom.
Psalm 90:12

This poem is also a bit of a call to remember that all of our relationships are meant to honor God, and our pursuit of another person, boyfriend or girlfriend to become husband or wife, should therefore be important enough to take note of important things, such as special moments.

counting time for her and God

 

i get made fun of a lot

for being so aware of time

that i really need a girl

to straighten out my life

but having someone here

would only make it worse

for every moment with her

should be a moment of worth

every single moment is

another moment with her

keeping a catalog of those

is what she should deserve

God deserves nothing less

which is why i count time

for my life forever changed

the day i met Jesus Christ

He counts the days as well

until with all of us He can abide

He anxiously awaits the day

He returns for His Bride

so do not make fun of me

but join me in this venture

of the waiting of our Lord

and counting the days to His Return

Not So Faust …

Make a deal with Wisdom and read more at Proverbial Thought!

I read a story in high school, that I think actually played a role in my responding to Christ’s call.

The story has many variants over the centuries, but I will relate the version from my high school textbook.

Faust was a man who felt he had learned all he could. He became bored with life and lamented not being able to learn more. So he made a deal with the Devil: in exchange for his soul he could receive earthly knowledge and pleasures. After a certain amount of years, the Devil would come to collect.

Faust lived for many years growing in knowledge and enjoying many pleasures. After those years, and knowing that his time was growing short, he purchased a Bible to use to defend himself when the Devil would come. He carried the Bible everywhere with him.

One night, while Faust was eating dinner, there was a knock at the door. He went and opened the door, and there stood the Devil. In that moment, Faust realized he had left his Bible on the table. There was no time to get to it. The Devil took the man’s soul down to Hell.

When I became a Christian, I read the story of Simon the Magician in Acts chapter 8 (ESV):

But there was a man named Simon, who had previously practiced magic in the city and amazed the people of Samaria, saying that he himself was somebody great. 10 They all paid attention to him, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is the power of God that is called Great.” 11 And they paid attention to him because for a long time he had amazed them with his magic. 12 But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13 Even Simon himself believed, and after being baptized he continued with Philip. And seeing signs and great miracles performed, he was amazed. . . .

18 Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, 19 saying, “Give me this power also, so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” 20 But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! 21 You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. 22 Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. 23 For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.” 24 And Simon answered, “Pray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.”

Here are some lessons to be learned:

  • There are many today who offer the message that we can get happiness, health, and wealth in this world. This kind of teaching says that a) we can tell God what to do for our every whim, b) we can buy our way into the Kingdom of Heaven, and/or c) we can earn a better standing with God.

Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.
John 15:20

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33

For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) “or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Romans 10:5-9

  • Many believe that it is enough to be a good person, go to church, and/or own a Bible to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.
Psalm 14:3

And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.
Mark 10:18

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
John 14:6

For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.
Romans 3:20-25

There is nothing we can do to escape Satan’s grasp nor the wrath of God. Jesus paid the price that moves us from being children of Satan (John 8:44) to saving us into children of God (1 John 3:1). Through Christ’s faithfulness we can have faith that Satan has no lasting power over us, that sin has no lasting hold on us, and we are God’s loved and redeemed children!