Saturday, December 18, 2010

100 posts


Since I've started this blog, I have 100 posts (this is post #101.) It's a milestone worth noting. From videos to songs to Bible study to world views, it been a fun ride. Thanks to everyone who's been keeping up! So tell, which posts did you enjoy reading?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

As we grow

"Every year you grow, you will find me bigger." --Aslan.

I love this quote from C.S. Lewis's Prince Caspian. Lewis does such a good job capturing the natural of God and Christianity. As our knowledge of life and God grow, the more we realize how big and powerful God is. The more we learn about God, the more we see we He is too big to understand Him fully.

Monday, November 29, 2010

How it Your Way by Britt Nicole

A powerful song by Britt Nicole


Feels like I`ve been here forever,
Why can`t you just intervene?
Do you see the tears keep falling?
And I`m falling apart at the seams.
But you never said the road would be easy,
But you said that you would never leave.
And you never promised that this life wasn`t hard,
But you promised you`d take care of me.

So I`ll stop searching for the answers,
I`ll stop praying for an escape,
And I`ll trust you,God, with where i am,
And believe that you will have your way.
Just have your way.
Just have your way.

When my friends and my family have left me,
And I feel so ashamed and so cold.
Remind me that you take broken things
And turn them into beautiful.

So I`ll stop searching for the answers,
I`ll stop praying for an escape,
And I`ll trust you, God, with where i am,
And believe that you`ll have your way.
Just have your way.
Just have your way.

Even if my dreams have died,
And even if I don`t survive,
I`ll still worship you with all my life.
My life.
Whoa-oh..

And I`ll stop searching for the answers,
I`ll stop praying for an escape,
And i`ll trust you, God, with where i am,
And believe that you will have your way.
Just have your way.
Just have your way.

I know you will.
I won`t forget.
Whoa-oh
You love me.
Have your way.

Listen to the song

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Prayer: an act of humility

There's something we need to be able to pray effectively: humility.

Think about it. When we are praying, we have to admit that Someone is greater than we are. We have to admit that we can not control everything, and we have to go to Someone for help.

This is one reason why praying on a daily biases is so important; to helps us remain humble.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Killer Questions

If you don't know who Bill Jack is, you should get acquainted. I had the honor of meeting him at TeenPact. I bought some of his DVDs, of one which discussed the power of asking good questions.

First, it takes little knowledge to ask good questions. Yon don't need to know everything, (which is good news for me!)

These questions will get you to the heart or foundation believe of whoever you are talking to. I've used these questions before, and it's amazing how many people don't think through their world view.

Here are the four killer questions:
  1. What do you mean by______________?
  2. How do you know?
  3. What if you are wrong?
  4. What differences does what you're saying make? (or, so what?)
If you know how to use these questions, you can get to the heart of any believe conversation you have.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sweetly Broken by Jeremy Riddle

O the cross I look and to the cross I cling
of its suffering I do drink
of its work I do sing

on it my savior both bruised and crushed
showed that god is love
and god is just

at the cross you beckon me
you draw me gently to my knees, and I am
lost for words so lost in love
I am sweetly broken wholly surrendered

what a priceless gift undeserved life
have I been given
through Christ crucified

you called me out of death
you called me into life
and i was under your wrath
now through the cross I’m reconciled

at the cross you beckon me
you draw me gently to my knees and i am
lost for words so lost in love,
I am sweetly broken wholly surrendered

at the cross you beckon me
you draw me gently to my knees and i am
lost for words so lost in love,
I am sweetly broken wholly surrendered

in awe of the cross I must confess
how wondrous your redeeming love and
how great is your faithfulness

at the cross you beckon me
you draw me gently to my knees and i am
lost for words so lost in love
I am sweetly broken wholly surrendered

at the cross you beckon me
you draw me gently to my knees and i am
lost for words so lost in love
I am sweetly broken wholly surrendered

I’m broken for you
I’m broken for you my lord
Jesus, what love is this
I am sweetly broken


Listen to the song

Monday, October 11, 2010

Why Parables?

Why did Jesus tell parables to make his point? He could have just told his listeners. Why did he tell stories?
One reason is because we remember stories. Stories provide an emotion connection. It's one thing to be told something; it's another thing to see that principle in action. It's one thing to hear that God is forgiving; it's anther thing to see that forgiveness acted in the prodigal son.

Jesus faced a lot of opposition in the later years in his ministry.
That's about the same time he started telling parables. It was a way to make his point without the religious leaders breathing down his neck.

The disciples also asked Jesus this question; why parables?
11He replied, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 13This is why I speak to them in parables:
"Though seeing, they do not see;
though hearing, they do not hear or understand.
14In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:
" 'You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
15For this people's heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.'--Mathew 13:11-15

Saturday, October 9, 2010

What is a Parable?

Jesus told a lot of parables. Some where about fish, other about wheat, and another about rebellious sons. Jesus didn't tell these stories merely as a form of entertainment. He told stories to make a point, or to show us something new about God.


First, what is a parable? Parables are earthly stories with a spiritual truth. Most parables are told by Jesus and are found in the Gospels, mostly Luke.
Parables compare the known to the unknown. Parables draw examples from the familiar.

What are some things parables are not?

Parables are not fables. A fable is a myth or legend, or a story that is not true; falsehood.

In parables, the examples used should not always be emulated. The application should be repeated, but somethings the examples shouldn't be. When Jesus tells the parable about the sower, it doesn't mean we need to go down to the store, buy a bag of seeds, and casts them as we walk through our neighborhoods.

Should you ask your father for your half of the inheritance, then run off and waste it all on parties? Probably not. Somethings, the examples are not Biblical; a servant who refuses to forgive, or the shrewd manager who steals from his master. The application should always be applied, but the examples themselves should not alway be repeated.

Parables are not factual. The stories themselves aren't historic accounts. That's one reason there are no names in parables. Did a Samaritan really find a injured Jew on the road? We don't know. The point of a parable is not to tell a historic account, but rather that we learn something from the story.

I hope you can join me as we look at some of the parables that Jesus told and that we can find the meaning and application together.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Wager

Belief is a wise wager. Granted that faith cannot be proved, what harm will come to you if you gamble on its truth and it proves false? If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation, that He exists.

--Blaise Pascal

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Forever with You by Decyfer Down

Like shooting stars how brief we are
And I wish this moment could last forever
Here with You I am made new
I want to live like every breath matters

You are not so far away, just hear me when I say

Chorus
I want to love what You love, I want to see what You see
I want a hope that burns like a fire in me
I want Your light in my life, I want my heart renewed
Here I am forever with You

The falling rain can bring a change
I never knew how farther I could fall
I can hardly wait till I see You face to face
I can't believe Your love remains the same

You are not so far away, just hear me when I say

Chorus
I want to love what You love, I want to see what You see
I want a hope that burns like a fire in me
I want Your light in my life, I want my heart renewed
Here I am forever with You

Now I live with You after all that I've been through
I just can't live without the grace You gave to me
Now I see what You see
Your beautiful life forever in me

Chorus
I want to love what You love, I want to see what You see
I want a hope that burns like a fire in me
I want Your light in my life, I want my heart renewed
Here I am, here I am, here I am forever with You

Listen to the Song

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Psalms 31: Trust in the Lord

Psalms 31 has two very clear word patterns. The first theme describes God as a protecting fortress. The second theme describes all the trouble David is having in his life. So what is one to do when afflictions come? When sorrow and grief arise? When it feels like everyone has abounded you?

14 But I trust in you, O LORD;
I say, "You are my God."

15 My times are in your hands;
deliver me from my enemies
and from those who pursue me.

The word "but" is very important. Even though everything around David looks hopeless, he is remembering the promises of God. He remembered who God is. He remembered what He has done in the past. He remembered that He is a protecting fortress, and he trusted in Him.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Psalms 31: Anguish of my Soul

In the first part of Psalms 31, David describes God as being a strong refuge. Now, the theme of the psalm is going to change. In verses 6-8, we start to see the second theme creek into the passage.

6 I hate those who cling to worthless idols;
I trust in the LORD.

7 I will be glad and rejoice in your love,
for you saw
my affliction
and knew the
anguish of my soul.

8 You have not handed me over to the enemy
but have
set my feet in a spacious place.

Can start to see the second theme creek in? All though David is still speaking to God and how God had helped him, you start to see trouble and sorrow coming; my afflictions, anguish of my soul, enemy, etc. You didn’t see any of these words in the first theme of the psalm.

From verses 9-13, we see the second theme fully.

9 Be merciful to me, O LORD, for I am in distress;
my eyes grow
weak with sorrow,
my soul and my body with
grief.

10 My life is consumed by anguish
and my years by
groaning;
my
strength fails because of my affliction, [a]
and my bones grow
weak.

11 Because of all my enemies,
I am the utter
contempt of my neighbors;
I am a dread to my friends—
those who see me on the street
flee from me.

12 I am forgotten by them as though I were dead;
I have become like
broken pottery.

13 For I hear the slander of many;
there is
terror on every side;
they
conspire against me
and
plot to take my life.

In the second theme, David is in the pit. Everything is going against him. He is weak and broken. So what is one to do when afflictions come? When sorrow and grief arise? When it feels like everyone has abounded you? We’ll see how David responded in the rest of the Psalm.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Psalms 31; God is my refuge

I love how David describes God in the Psalms. He captures who God is with his good and rich adjectives. Psalms 31 is a good example. The whole psalm is well written; it describes God as a refuge, how wickedness is trying to destroy David, and last, how David cries out to God. We also see rich word patterns and a strong contrast between God and wickedness.

Today, we will look at the first word pattern in verses 1-5

1 In you, O LORD, I have taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame;
deliver me in your righteousness.

2 Turn your ear to me,
come quickly to my
rescue;
be my
rock of refuge,
a
strong fortress to save me.

3 Since you are my rock and my fortress,
for the sake of your name lead and guide me.

4 Free me from the trap that is set for me,
for you are my refuge.

5 Into your hands I commit my spirit;
redeem me, O LORD, the God of truth.

Can you see the word pattern? David has a very strong and vivid description of God. He is strong fortress, refuge, deliver, etc. I like to look up the definitions of words. Let’s look at the adjectives in this passage:

Refuge-- a place of shelter, protection, or safety

Deliver--to set free or liberate: to release or save

Rescue--to free or deliver from confinement, violence, danger, or evil

Rock of Refuge--
a firm foundation or support shelter, protection, or safety strong fortress

My rock--
a firm foundation or support

My fortress--a large fortified place; any place of exceptional security; stronghold

Free--pertaining to or reserved for those who enjoy personal liberty

Commit--to give in trust or charge; to pledge (oneself) to a position on an issue or question

Redeem--to discharge or fulfill (a pledge, promise, etc.); to buy back or recover

Don’t you love David’s rich word choices? With his words, he is about to paint a dramatic picture of God.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Psalms 21

If you want a good place to practice looking for word patterns, the book of psalms is a good place to start. I’ve been reading through Psalms and have been amazed how much David uses word patterns. Sometimes, there are two or three contrasting patterns. Psalms 21 is a good explain of this.

Most of the psalm is David is praising God because He is generous and gives freely to those who serve Him. Look at the word patterns:

O LORD, the king rejoices in your strength.
How great is his
joy in the victories you give!

2 You have granted him the desire of his heart
and have
not withheld the request of his lips.

3 You welcomed him with
rich blessings
and placed a crown of pure gold on his head.

4 He asked you for life, and you gave it to him— length of days, for ever and ever.

5 Through the victories you gave, his glory is great;
you have bestowed on him splendor and majesty.

6 Surely you have granted him eternal blessings
and made him glad with the joy of your presence.

As you can see, David is very thankful for the blessings God has given him. Why?

7 For the king trusts in the LORD;
through the unfailing love of the Most High
he will not be shaken.

Now David spends a little time to contrast. What happens to thoughts who don’t trust in the Lord? Look for the words patterns.

8Your hand will lay hold on all your enemies;

your right hand will seize your foes.

9 At the time of your appearing
you will make them like a fiery furnace.
In his wrath the LORD will
swallow them up,
and his fire will
consume them.

10 You will destroy their descendants from the earth,
their posterity from mankind.

11 Though they plot evil against you
and devise wicked schemes, they
cannot succeed;

12 for you will make them turn their backs
when you aim at them with drawn bow.

As you can see, there is a big contract between the how God responds to the ‘those who plot evil’ and ‘those who trust in the Lord.’ To the righteous, God blesses and gives. To the wick, he takes away and destroys.

As for most of David’s palms, he ends the psalm like he began it; with praise.

13 Be exalted, O LORD, in your strength;
we will
sing and praise your might.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Ruth: Word Patterns

Last post, we looked at how word patterns can show us what's important in a current. Sometime it can be tricky to find word patterns since we loved to use a thesaurus today.

Ruth is an excellent example. In the first chapter, the Hebrew word “shub,” which means “return,” is in the first chapter 10 times. Now, when translated, the word “return” is not always there, so it makes it more challenging to pick up the pattern. Try to also look for concepts as well as specif words.

Ruth Chapter 1:

6 When she heard in Moab that the LORD had come to the aid of his people by providing food for them, Naomi and her daughters-in-law prepared to return home from there.

7 With her two daughters-in-law she left the place where she had been living and set out on the road that would take them back to the land of Judah.

8 Then Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, "Go back, each of you, to your mother's home. May the LORD show kindness to you, as you have shown to your dead and to me.

10 and said to her, "We will go back with you to your people."

11 But Naomi said, "Return home, my daughters. Why would you come with me? Am I going to have any more sons, who could become your husbands? 12 Return home, my daughters; I am too old to have another husband. Even if I thought there was still hope for me—even if I had a husband tonight and then gave birth to sons-

15 "Look," said Naomi, "your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her."

21 I went away full, but the LORD has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The LORD has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me."

22 So Naomi returned from Moab accompanied by Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter-in-law, arriving in Bethlehem as the barley harvest was beginning.

As you can see, the concept of returning is very strong in this first chapter. Therefore, we know the that returning is a strong theme in the book of Ruth.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Word Patterns

When you're studying the Bible, it's good to have a few tools to help you understand the meaning, or point of the passage. One of these helpful tools is too look for patterns. If a phrase or word is repeated, it is important. For example, look at Psalms 150: The word "Praise" is repeated. In six verses, the word "praise" in there 13 times. The word praise is apparently important.

Sometimes it can be trickier to find the patterns. In today's world, we are taught not to repeat words, but to use a thesaurus. Sometimes, the translator doesn't like to use the same word over and over, so he turns to his thesaurus. In the example above, instead of using the word "praise" every time, he might also use "respect" "worship" "extol", etc. All though it may be easier to read, it will be harder to find the word patterns. We’ll look at an example from the book of Ruth tomorrow.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

"But..."

The word “but” has an interesting meaning:

  • on the contrary; yet: My brother went, but I did not.
  • unless; if not; except that: Nothing would do but that I should come in.

When we are in prayer, it is very easy to use the word “but.”
“But God, I don’t want to do that.”
“Yeah, but what about so-and-so?”


When we are talking to God, this is the wrong way to use the word “but.” However, when we share our testimony, the word should come up often:
“Things were out of control, but God was in control.”
“I was wounded, but God healed me.”
“I didn’t know what to do, but God guided me.”

When talking to God, we shouldn’t say “but.” When we are talking about God, we should always say “but.”

How often do we use the word “but” in the wrong conversation!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Prayer Requests

I’m sorry I haven’t posted in a while. Life has been moving very quickly. I thought I should let you know what I’m doing this fall so you could be praying for me.

I am a full time college student at Morgan Community College. I am studying for a multimedia/teaching degree.

I am trying to start a weekly high school worldview class at my church.

I am coaching a Bible Quiz team this year.

Thanks for your prayers!

~Becky

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Leadership; To Have Influence

You are a leader.

Wait, you may say. I’m not a leader; I don’t speak to crowds of people, and I’m not the president of a big business. I’m not a leader.

You’re wrong. We all are leaders. A leader doesn’t necessarily standing up in front of thousands of people to give a speech, or make million dollar choices.
The definition of a leader; a person who has influence.

We all have influence over thing, or someone; your friends, siblings, kids, co-workers, etc. If you have influence over a person, you have become a leader to him.

Since all have influence over something, we all are leaders. You no longer have to ask yourself, “am I a leader?” You need to ask yourself, “What kind of leader will I be?”

Monday, July 5, 2010

Who Were Good Leaders?

Thanks to everyone who posted on my ‘who’s a good leader?’ poll.


All of you choose George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, and rightly so. Those men were outstanding leaders with great influence. They united people to a common goal.

What might surprise you is that all the men in my poll were good leaders. All men had great influence. Hilter was one of the greatest leaders of time. They all had influence to change people’s mind, and ultimately to change their course of action.

The difference between these men wasn’t if they were good leaders; it was where they lead. Washington and Lincoln were godly and servant leaders, while Hitler and Darwin promoted a lie, and death. They all had influence. The questions was whether it positive or evil.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

My Soul Longs for You


A new worship song I've found. I really love this song, and I hope you enjoy it.




Lyrics



My soul longs for You my soul longs for you
Nothin' else will do nothin' else will do

My soul longs for You my soul longs for you
Nothin' else will do nothin' else will do...

I believe You will come like the rain...

You'll come like the rain

So let it rain let it rain let it rain let it rain...
Hallelujah Halleljujah You'll make all things new

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Deadliest Monster

If you are interested in looking more in depth at the nature of man and worldviews, I would recommend you check out The Deadliest Monster by J.F. Baldwin.


It's a really good book; I've gotten my information for my lost few posts from this book. Mr. Baldwin does an excellent exploring the subject and explains it well. He drives into other worldviews and how the view of the nature of man affects us.


In June, I had the honor of meeting Mr. Baldwin and hearing him speak at Worldview Academy. He is a brilliant man. I would highly recommend reading it.

Product Description

What kind of a monster are you? Mr. Hyde? Frankenstein? The answer forms the foundation of your "worldview," says Baldwin, in this thought-provoking discussion about the nature of man. He explores a wide range of assumptions about God, truth, morality, psychology, and politics---and offers a systematic catalog of the ways in which the Christian perspective best matches reality. Ages 14 and up. 272 pages, softcover from Fishermen.
Order the book at Christianbooks.com

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Hyde Monster

According to the Bible, we are all like Hyde. We are born with the evil all ready inside of us. Society doesn’t corrupt us and make us do evil. We are born ready to do evil without any help.

Have you ever noticed that you never have to teach a child to hit, or to lie, or to talk back? Those are skills they devolve all on their own. Mankind is basically evil.


This is the evil in everything that happens under the sun: The same destiny overtakes all. The hearts of men, moreover, are full of evil and there is madness in their hearts while they live, and afterward they join the dead.
Ecclesiastes 9:3

The heart is deceitful above all things
and beyond cure.
Who can understand it?
Jeremiah 17:8-10


It’s kind of scary. We don’t like the idea that babies are all ready corrupted, or that we are only capable to do wrong and are incapable to do anything good, including saving ourselves from own monster.

This is the biggest separation between worldviews; every other world view believes that man is basically good, and therefore can earn his own salvation. Christianity says that man is basically evil and therefore can’t earn his salvation. An outside force must save him.

As Christians, we are saved by Jesus Christ. We are able to watch our Hyde crucified and die. We are able to be set from slavery to our evil twin, and new are free to serve the One who freed us.

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Galatians 5:24-25

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

What Kind of Monster are you?

Ok, so you may be wounding why we’ve been talking about these two old books. So what, you might say. Who cares about books written in the 1880s? Well, the reason I brought up the story of Hyde and Frankenstein is because one of these stories is true.

Which story do you think it is? Which monster describes mankind? It can’t be both. Let’s look at the fundamental differences between the two:


Hyde

  • Man is inherently evil
  • Evil (sin) controls us and leads to death
  • Individual is responsible for his wrong actions
  • Man can’t save himself


Frankenstein

  • Man is basically good
  • Society turns him evil, and therefore is responsible for his wrong actions
  • Man can save himself


As you can see, both monsters can’t be true. So, what kind of monster are you? Comment your answer.