Taking the Epistle

A biblical journey through the epistles

Monthly Archives: August 2014

Everything that kills me makes me feel alive

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I write this shortly after watching the Emmys last night, as I type this I can sense that at least 5 legalistic who read my blogs are reaching for the big red x at the top right hand part of their screen.

Measuring the climate of a culture

I read a quote several years back that spoke of measuring the climate of the culture of that day that in order to assess what they were really like you had “to examine the literature that was popularly read at that time”. Today reading sadly is falling by the wayside as we get further and further strapped to our gadgets and I fear that unless I reverse the trend in mm you own house, turning the page of a book will be a forgotten art.

Anyways, back to the Emmys!  When I watch awards shows I realize how little TV I actually do watch, many of the shows mentioned I had never seen. I don’t actually have either DirectTV,  Dish or Cable & if I want to see a series that bad I will impose on someone else or wait until it comes on Netflix.

Back to the literature analogy, the writers of the books of that day had to make them relevant to the potential reader otherwise we would not have the evidence of their book to analyze and see what they were reading about. If it was irrelevant then it would not be popular,  the same with many of today’s shows.

Today’s shows have so much competition in both content,  genre’s,  channels and trying to engage the audience and get them hooked in as short a time span as possible. I have two feelings about this.

My 1st feeling is that as a Christian I should not have anything to do with it and avoid as much as possible.  It is true that many of the shows that become popular have really bad stuff in them in order to keep them as real as possible.

If TV affects you in a negative way then I would say that it is best to not allow yourself to stumble. In reality it is all down to the individuals walk with Christ and where your sin issues are.

But there is some value in knowing what is going on in the world,  it does allow you to keep relevant to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to people, a way if you will of making conversation on a neutral ground?  If that is why then that is awesome.

The downside of popular TV

Because if this competition, networks have had to outdo each other, whether it has been more sex, more relevant characters, (gay, divorced, wherever Hollywood’s sympathies are that month) more alcohol, more drugs (and that’s just breaking bad) whatever they think will keep the public interested enough to stay with their show.

Wholesome entertainment

I will admit, I have bought into it as much as the next couch potato. However I do yearn for more shows like Duck Dynasty, ones that have a good overall message, Regrettably I am in the minority and these shows don’t sell.

I am not telling you, nor would I want to be your “Holy Spirit” that TV is all bad because we know that it is not. When John Logie Baird from Helensburgh,  Scotland first made pictures appear in that box, I bet he had no idea how wide ranging or far reaching his invention would be.

How does it affect you?

TV itself cannot make you sin, you and only you and how you deal with it is what makes you sin, is it removing time from what God has placed as his will and plan for your life?

The same could be said for anything,  it is only a sin if you let it become a consuming passion.

Why the title?

Well sin is designed to be a temptation.  Even as far back as the Garden of Eden,  we were tempted with something that would enrich our lives, however it was slowly killing us, hence the title,  it is in my opinion the perfect description of sin.

God bless and I pray this was a blessing please share, comment or like as the LORD leads.
TGBTG
TTE

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Have a little Compassion

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Matthew 25:35 (ESV) For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, .you did it to me

Have a little compassion

I don’t normally use this blog to promote other Christian organizations (perhaps I should as we are all the body of Christ) but this is an organization that is very close to my heart as it combines the love of Jesus with the wellbeing of children that really need our help.

My wife and I have supported Compassion International since 2006, we have a sponsored child from Uganda, we first got involved with compassion after visiting visiting a booth at the Scottish Christian festival called “Frenzy”.

Compassion are an awesome charity that facilitates communication between the sponsor and the sponsored child, distributes money just not for the child’s education but also has programs that will help out the community at large.

Of course many programs do this, however what attracted me to these guys and the reason I have stayed with them (Apart from our “African daughter”) I’d the strong emphasis on honoring Jesus name in everything they do.

I do not get anything for promoting them, this is an advert which is written without prior consent of Compassion and I do not get reimbursed in any way.

Over the years I have help “Compassion Sundays” at my church and have manned and staffed Compassion booths in my local area at concerts as diverse as Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith and Chondra Pierce.

Sponsoring a child is very easy and surprisingly affordable. (Works out to be about $38 a month/just over a $1 a day)

You can learn more about sponsoring sponsoring a child here

God bless you and I pray that you share, like or comment below
TGBTG
TTE

Happy Rosh Hashanah 5775

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Here is an article to celebrate the Hebrew/Jewish New Year.

New year/new beginnings

On this Rosh Hashanah I would like to exhort you in a closer relationship with Jesus, whatever that looks like in your personal relationship with Jesus. To the Non-Christian I urge you to investigate my Messiah Jesus Christ and invite him into a day to day relationship, to the Christian I urge you to have a deeper relationship with him.

Rosh Hashanah is traditionally celebrated at the beginning of the Jewish month Nisan,  scripture tells us that in the books of Exodus and Numbers in the Law of Moses how to celebrate this festival.

Shofer so good

The shofar is blown 100 times during Rosh Hashanah. 

Teki’ah (long sound) Numbers 10:3;Shevarim (3 broken sounds) Numbers 10:5;Teru’ah (9 short sounds) Numbers 10:9;Teki’ah Gedolah (very long sound) Exodus 19:16,19;Shevarim Teru’ah (3 broken sounds followed by 9 short sounds).

Why do I care about the Jewish New Year as a Christian?

I care because Jesus cares! Jesus himself wept over Jerusalem! The Jewish messiah came to save not just the Jews but the Gentiles also.

I have a great love for the Jewish people and also for the people of Israel and my desire is that they repent of their sins and follow their true messiah, who is of course Jesus Christ.

Many Christians are Pro-Israel and claim they love Israel, they even put their hands in their pockets and financially help Jewish charities. But they stop short of talking about the messiah for fear of offense.

I could never hate a Jewish person so much to not tell them about the way to heaven. Being Jewish you will know the prophecies, please check them out and compare it to Jesus’ life.

My hope

My hope is that this article will be a reminder to start anew with Jesus, regardless of how far you have strayed, our God is a God of grace. 

God bless you and I pray that this blesses you, please forward to your Jewish friends as I wish them Happy New Year
TGBTG
TTE

Happy 9th Anniversary Chelsea – UMF

Happy 9th Anniversary Chelsea – UMF

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Ephesians 5:25 (ESV) Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.fn 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church

Writing with great joy

I write this post with great joy I my heart as today is a very special day in our families calendar. You see 9 years ago today my wife and I got married. We actually got married twice,  once to complete the paperwork for Chelsea to get her UK Visa and our “wedding we could invite people to”. (This is our VISA or legal anniversary)

To say that I am grateful for the LORD sending me my  wife would be the biggest understatement that I could imagine. You see, before I met my wife I was a mess. I drank way too much (you tend to do that when you are an alcoholic) partied too hard and was a mess in every single area of my life. (See my testimony page for more information)

She saved my life

My wife loved me for who I was, the mistakes that I made, she showed me who Jesus was and how I needed a Saviour. She got me started at a good solid bible teaching church in Glasgow, Scotland and helped me change the direction of my life.

Has it always been easy, no! Have we woke up every morning like the characters in a romantic comedy, no! But what I do know is that my love has grown for this woman so much in the time we have been married. 

Further blessings

5 years ago we were blessed with our daughter Tabi and LORD willing we may have another child, either by birth or adoption,  please keep our marriage in your prayers,  we have a desire to do Gods will in our home. 

How will we celebrate? 

We had numerous options to celebrate our anniversary, options I wasn’t able to do were a men’s breakfast in Porterville,  our churches at Tulare,  Hanford and Sanger are having a joint baptism at Avila Beach, but the princess has a soccer game where she gets her prizes for the season and her cousin has a birthday party later.

Despite me, I love her and cherish her

My wife knows I love her, she also knows that often times I don’t get it right, I am still that mess if a man that she married 9 years ago, older, somewhat wiser, sometimes not. Thank you for all you have done and all you have yet to do.

I love you

Please join me in wishing Chelsea a happy anniversary, we would love it if you shared this, liked this or commented below
TGBTG
TTE

What is worse, a potty mouth or a potty mind?

What is worse, a potty mouth or a potty mind?

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Philippians 4:4 (ESV) Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

This blog is inspired by a bible study that happened at Calvary Chapel Tulare. last night, the LORD pressed on me this verse and with your permission I would like to share.

Another reason why I write this blog

I write this as a guy who messes up all the time, if you want confirmation of that then please contact my wife. The reason I write this is that the main reason that non-Christians give for not coming to church are the current inhabitants. This is a fair comment as in some occasions we do find that there are some folks that don’t come off as natural. We all have seen them regardless of which church you attend there is a “Barbie and Ken”, beautiful, they are everyone’s best friend, never a hair out of place, life seems so easy.

Then you have the others where life is good, on the outset you don’t see any problems but they have internal issues, a married couple divorce suddenly, or a family just leaves church (not just one, but the faith completely) with no surface explanation. Morality slides and although they live a society version of a moral life, they no longer adhere to living a Christian life.

And you have the guys like me, The Apostle Peter’s, the ones who suffer from “foot in mouth disease”, the ones who serve but are never considered for other roles that would stretch them, when the newcomer or visitor sees this situation in a church then he will either try to become in the first two groups or bail if there is any chance he would be in the latter group.

People in category number one and two are usually in the leadership roles of the church. (At some point of their church lives) The number threes are the guys who will be the silent backstage workers who will serve and serve and keep on plugging away because it is done for the LORD and not the kudos of man.

Again why it is VITAL that we have community

Today’s church by in large is faulty, it is made by sinful man and often times we set it up to protect our little kingdoms and not let folks in to help, we then wonder why we don’t get the next (or current) generation into the fellowship. We need to fix this hemorrhaging loss prior to putting this verse into practice.

Rejoice

Paul starts this by stating that we should rejoice, be grateful for what the LORD has saved you from. I was going up to a remote town last Saturday evening to deliver a meal to a sister who was ill, I love these long drives with my wife as we get a chance to talk and I shared with her that I am grateful to her and the saving power of Jesus. Had it not been for my wife’s love and showing me my saviour, then I would probably be still drinking too much, in bad relationships, and not living a good life. In fact my life would be described as self-destructive.

We have to be grateful for the small things, waking up in the morning, money in the bank, love in our homes, clean water in our fridges, clean clothes for our backs and dry shoes for our feet (hopefully with as little holes as possible) and a roof over our heads, lets even be thankful for the device that you are reading this on.

We have to really battle entitlement, we see what other believers have been blessed with and we get a touch of the “green eyed monster” this really kills our rejoicing and our worship. Lastly we have to be content where the LORD has placed us, at least until he stirs our hearts up to change.

How to be reasonable

This is the hard part for me, letting go and allowing God to deal with stuff that I want to micro manage. I trust in God but there are still (9 years after I have got saved) that I want to “get it for God” and I fail to receive the blessing that the LORD has for me in casting my burdens unto him. Paul reiterates the words of Jesus in Matthew 6, who says in a way much better than I can.

Matthew 6:25 (ESV) “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Guard your heart

Let’s face it; we are swimming in the toilet bowl of humanity in this earth. Switch on the TV, the internet, even open the wrong magazine and we will be encountering all manners of stuff that will cause strife in our hearts. We all have different hot buttons and we alone will know how to “guard our hearts” but my advice is do not play with fire. If (like me) you struggle with alcohol, don’t go to parties where folks are offering you beer, or don’t hang out in bar rooms. If your heart is attracted to illicit images, then get some accountability and don’t put yourself in that situation.

What you have to ask yourself is “what is keeping you from deepening your relationship with Jesus Christ?” search deep within, then you will find out what needs to change in your life, it might be something that is regarded as innocent, it may be the amount of time you spend on your phone. It maybe the amount of time you spend playing games, it doesn’t have to be some hardcore sin all it has to be is something that occupies your time and mind.

Jesus speaks of the heart in Luke 6

Luke 6:43 (ESV) For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, 44 for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. 45 The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

Which is why we have to guard our hearts. I have had the issue of “potty heart” where whilst I don’t let it escape my mouth, I certainly think it in my mind. We have to get rid of it in order to get over this.

Guard your mouth

If you fail to guard your heart, then your mouth will begin to show you up. If you drop the swear bombs each time frustration gets to you or every time you drop something in your kitchen, that exposes your heart as well as embarrasses you. I know some awesome Christians who struggle with this, it is not a salvation issue, however you need to get down and pray about it. Jesus explains the issue and relationship between allowing the heart to fester in sin and letting it spill out in Matthew 15.

Matthew 15:17 (ESV) Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? 18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. 20 These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.”

Let us look at this practically; it is really hard to serve someone and esteem others higher than yourself if you are swearing and calling them names in your mind, saying “God bless you brother” from your mouth while all the time thinking “You idiot” from your heart. Eventually something has got to give and like a cancer, this will eat you from the inside out and should you leave this unchecked you will eventually show your “true colours”.

I speak from experience. In my “BC” days, I had a short psychological pulse; I had a fuse that was so short it measured in millimeters instead of inches, I still pray on a daily basis for patience because even although I do not lose it these days, I know that deep inside me is that volcano that erupts at the most silly of times. I know the power of prayer in this area and if you have a few seconds I urge for you to pray for me in this area also. Like I say it is not an issue so much these days but it is something I keep a very tight lid on.

What is worse?

As discussed, both sinning from the heart and from the mouth lead into one another, the question we have to ask is “Out of the choice, which is worse?” I would go so far as to answer this honestly by stating they are of equivalent nature. It really is a case of “pick your poison” One will stay internal and can sometimes cause other sins such anger, strife, resentment, unrealistic disliking of someone based on the case you have built against them. The other would just be the one who would embarrass you if it comes out. Jesus talks about the sin aspect of this in Matthew 5.

Matthew 5:21 (ESV) “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. 23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. 26 Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny. 27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.

I love this verse as many “moral” but non-Christian folks would say “I have never murdered” so I am moral, well Jesus talks about the heart. He also talks about offering praise to God whilst still in a heart to not do so, that is vital, we want to approach our worship with God as clean as we can be, so that when we pour out our praise we do it as blamelessly as possible.

In conclusion

You will notice I quote a lot from Jesus; he is my ultimate authority on these matters. I am much like the continuity guy on the radio or TV who whilst he plays a role, is not the reason you tune in, he gives a wee filler in between bible verses, but I have this desire to point you to the life changing words of Jesus Christ, this is not about me, and it’s all about him.

Lastly I can’t say it any better than Paul does when he speaks of what we should focus on “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”

God bless and I pray this was a blessing, please prayerfully consider liking, sharing or commenting below.
TGBTG
TTE

At the name of Jesus…

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At the name of Jesus…

Philippians 2:1 (ESV) So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

DISCLAIMER: – The above verses are quoted to give the full counsel of what was written about and give context, in this article I will mainly look at verses 9-11.

Relevant today as it was then

This is the reason I do this blog, verses like this! Paul writes to the church at Philippi and writes this encouraging, challenging, exhorting and wonderful letter that is as relevant today as it was when the ink was still wet on the parchment that was being delivered to the recipient.

If I could have one prayer in my life, I would pray to have the heart of Paul, regardless of how he was treated, maligned, how he was spoken about, he displayed the love of Christ. He was who he said he was. He was NOT PERFECT, however, when he claimed that he was a bondservant, a willing participant in yoking himself with earthly bonds and affliction for the gospel of Jesus Christ. This guy was beaten, shipwrecked, imprisoned on several occasions and really had a life that most folks would have chucked it long before a trial in Rome. That’s the kind of faith that I want to have!

Being maligned, mis-spoken and disliked (I have a smidgen of this and I whine like a puppy wanting attention!) faced with death, imprisonment and danger every step he made, did that make him a better Christian? Possibly, but it gave an urgency that we do not have in todays “men of faith”.

Let’s get real

Let’s get real here! People are dying in their sins every day, by the thousands. Like a huge scoop into the trash can that is called hell that is the lake of fire that leads to eternal perishing and separation from the creator God. Can you imagine eternal torment? In the same way I can barely get my head around how awesome heaven is going to be, I have the same trouble imagining what hell is going to be like for those who do not choose eternal life in heaven.

I once had a conversation with someone at a place that I worked at where he was not a believer. He responded quoting verse 10 of this passage that “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” and he said to me, perhaps not understanding the gravity of what he was saying.

Yes the verse does state that “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” it does not say that once they state that they will be given a free pass into heaven. Yes they will be confessing the truth of who Jesus is, many will be doing so in despair as they realize that they have no time to repent.

Paul is not declaring a “universal salvation” as some of the cults who base their doctrine on works and associate their works as being part of that unit, but merely stating that no-one will be served the judgment that they have chosen themselves without being faced with the reality of who Jesus is. Regrettably, my former colleague did not take that well and he chose to inform me that “I will believe what I want to believe and you do likewise”, I am hoping that before his time on this earth that he changes heart.

In heaven, in earth and under the earth

We read that is states “in heaven and on earth and under the earth” speaks about the whole timescale of the world. In my younger days I learned a hymn which I love to this day. The chorus went like this:

“What a day that will be, when my Jesus I will see,
when I look upon his face, the one who saved me by his grace,
and then he’ll take me by the hand, and lead me to the promised land,
what a day, a glorious day, that will be!”

Paul pulls from a scriptural reference in Isaiah 43:25 which reads:

Isaiah 43:25 (ESV) By myself I have sworn; from my mouth has gone out in righteousness a word that shall not return: ‘To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear allegiance.

And all those who have passed before, that are passing today (also those alive when the LORD returns) and are passing in the future have a choice to make, the same choice that Adam and Eve had. They have the choice to follow God’s plan for their lives or to reject it.

Jesus Christ is LORD

Jesus stated in John 14:6 that he was “the way, truth and life and that no-one comes undo the father, but by him”. That is the truth. Regardless of what you have heard from other religions, other creeds, other gospels that have Jesus down as anything other than the SON OF GOD, then they are wrong. I am sorry if this offends you but I have to be honest in this matter.

Whether you choose to admit this freely while you have time, or whether this situation that we are describing here applies to you, it does not negate the truth of the matter, that Jesus Christ is in fact who he said he is. If you do not read any other part of the bible in your lifetime, what you have read at the top of this page is enough to show you who Jesus is. These verses show that the religion that the LDS (Mormon) church, the Muslim (Islam) and any other faith that has Jesus down as an angel, a brother of Satan, a prophet or anything that demines him as the Son of God, then that is wrong.

I also left the prior verses to show Paul’s original point that the reason that he suffered, that they suffered, the reason they required encouragement, the reason to love one another, to serve one another, to esteem others greater than themselves, to look out for others before yourself is that Jesus was (and is) LORD.

To the glory of the father

The last part is awesome “to the glory of the father” which is what Jesus and his mission to earth was all about, to give glory to God. To be what God required which was an atoning sacrifice for the sins of the world.

My prayer is that folks will read this, look at their Christian life, see how it matches up, and if you are not a Christian, then I pray that it leads you to question in your heart who Jesus is.

God bless and I pray this was a blessing, please prayerfully consider liking, sharing or commenting below.
TGBTG
TTE

The only way is KJV

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The only way is KJV

1st Timothy 1:3 (ESV) As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, 4 nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith.

I love this…

I am sure you get sick of reading the words “I love this part of scripture” & must wonder if I do really love all I write about. The honest answer is for the most part I do. I am not a fan of the confrontation that Christian blogs attract. (Regrettably often times it is friendly fire from those within our own camp)

I speak of such things as I am reminded of a post I did on this blog that was repeated from an earlier blog that I had done. I had written a post that was on,  what I thought to be,  a non-inflammatory topic that was called “Which version of the Bible was the best?”

Ding, ding, offended bus stops here

I had no idea the views that this post would generate! The link was shared by those already aboard the offended bus (some had yearly passes)

Let me let my bias out here from the beginning,  I love the KJV, of course I do, it was dedicated to a Scotsman! But in my formative years I only knew of the King James version. It is what I grew up reading and I only ever found out there was a “different bible” around the age of 14 when a friend of mine gave me a NIV for Christmas. 

Treating the Word of God with due respect

I love the Word of God,  however,  we as humans turn things that are meant to point us to God and make them gods themselves.

I believe in giving the bible the due respect it deserves, that the words that quite literally jump of the page are life changing and have the ability to transform lives, however it is not a god. 

Why KJV?

The current version of the King James bible I have was given to me by a friend, he was investigating Messianic Judaism at the time and was very vociferous about the only translation worth trusting was the KJV.  I have issue with this because personally it causes division.

The KJV is a translation of the bible, nothing more, nothing less, for me the words are as God inspired as the ESV, NASB, NKJV,  Geneva or any other translation.

I say this because of one of the main points of discussion with the “King James only” is that due to the age and the fact it was translated from another language so long ago that makes it correct.

Flawed logic

Where we are going wrong is to apply man’s logic to the Words of God,  which transcend time, language and translations.

If we are using the KJV is right because of the translation,  then why do we not learn German to read Luthers translation  or learn Latin to read earlier translations or to take it to an unhealthy level learn Hebrew/Greek and Aramaic to avoid the use of translation? 

Or do we allow God to show us through the words on the page? Do we have faith that God inspired the words on the page and meant for them to be read?

Endless genealogies

I find looking at bible history interesting,  however I would not use it as my first port of call for witnessing to a new believer,  perhaps as an apologetic tool for a skeptic, but I do wonder how effective it is in reaching new believers.

Like many arguments that I hear us as Christians get into, I do wonder what fruit it will have for the kingdom of God?

Life changing power

Can only be found in the Word of God. It gives insight to the heart if God. If we truly wish to serve God and be a true disciple of Jesus Christ then we need to read whatever version that is in front of us.

To state that one version is more holy or better than another in my view demean and attacks the bible. The words that are different, unless they change the meaning, really is a null argument.

As Christians we are our own worst enemies at attacking the very things that can help others due to “personal preference”.

If a new believer understands the NIV better than the KJV and is growing daily in a relationship with Christ, that to me is what matters. They then grow and want to start discipling others.

Because that is what really matters

God bless and I pray that this was a blessing,  please prayerfully consider sharing, liking or commenting on the article.
TGBTG
TTE

Dog – gone it! We are a family of 5 again!

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Dog – gone it! We are a family of 5 again!

I don’t normally do personal posts but this one was needed (please indulge me for a few moments please)

I was hoping to do the family of five headline when we were done with our adoption deal. That has not happened as quickly as we were both hoping.

But as the headline states,  we are a family of 5 again. Those of you who know me know I am allergic to animals however I do love them and would never want to see them harmed, you will also know of my two Labradors called Woody and Buzz.  (It is what happens when you let your kids name the pets)

Well Woody (normally the chilled out one) took an air snap at a child he didn’t know,  we did not know if it would be an isolated incident,  but when we are adopting we have to have pets that are 100% good with kids,  so we rehomed Woody. Then we got reduced down to four.

Buzz misses the company so we decided to get a new dog who we can train to be good with kids and yesterday we got “Anya” (notice a theme with cartoon characters) again named by the princess.

So far Buzz has sniffed her a lot,  noticed she is “different” but we do wanna make sure both animals are safe. We have entered a new chapter in our family journey taking on this wee adventure.

We need prayer,  that the dogs will settle in together,  that we finish our adoption deal and that this adventure be educational.

As I type this,  I am looking over her in a crate asleep, she is a light sleeper and the slightest thing wakes her up. I feel like a nesting bird. 

Here is how you can help

Does anyone have any tips for bringing a new puppy into a home where there is another dog?  I would love to hear them below? 

God bless you and I pray that you find this article entertaining please prayerfully consider sharing,  commenting or liking below. Also please share on any social media you have.
TGBTG
TTE

Westboro Baptist Church are at it again

Colossians 4:5 (ESV) Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

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Source – Christian Today (Australia)

Regular readers to my blog will observe that yesterday I spoke of the need to pray for the family and friends of  Robin Williams,  the actor who committed suicide on Monday.

One controversial group who calls itself a Christian church does not agree. I am of course talking about the Westboro Baptist Church.

I am not one to bash fellow believers in the LORD, however I do have a hard time with these guys. I do agree that we are supposed to be willing to share the truth about our beliefs with the world,  we are commanded to be “salt” and “light”, but I do wonder if they are achieving much for the kingdom of God with their tactics.

The reason they wish to do so is that Williams played a gay man in the movie “The Birdcage” and also for the cross dressing scenes in “Mrs Doubtfire” where he dresses up as a nanny to enable him to see his kids during a messy divorce.

For those of you who are new to Westboro,  I would urge that you do not take my word for it and do a quick search engine site search on four simple words “Westboro Baptist Church protest” and you will see that the church and it’s followers are one issue radicals who march up and down the country (and sometimes go international) to spread a message that “God hates gay people” and “God hates the military”.

As most of you know, I live in Central California in an area that is very patriotic, mostly Republican voters who have an almost country style of living.  The church threatened they would picket two separate military funerals in my area,  I wandered over to see if there was anything that could be said to them, they chose not to come to the one I attended due to local community and local Sheriffs support for the family.

Here is my deal, by all means stand against the sins of this world, but picketing funerals who are packed with people who are already hurting and are not in a place to receive any message, far less a controversial one like the one you are peddling really helps no one.  Yes it gets your name in the media, perhaps that is the aim after all.

If that is the aim then Jesus addressed this when talking to the Pharisee guys who wanted to proclaim Gods name and Gods truth in public and on the street corners where they could be seen by many as “they already have their reward” which basically means that you are doing it vainly or for yourself and their is no eternal or heavenly value in what you are doing.

You do not have to believe me on this one, a quick Web search on the WBC (I do not wish to directly link to their website) will take you to their website (Even the domain name is inflammatory) where they celebrate such things as “soldiers that God has killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, pickets conducted by WBC,  cities that have been visited by WBC, weeks that WBC has held daily pickets on the mean streets of doomed america, people whom God has cast into hell since you loaded this page, gallons of oil that God poured in the Gulf, national debt of doomed america, people that God saved in the flood, people that God killed in the flood, Jews that will be saved in these last days and lastly nanoseconds of sleep that WBC members lose over your opinions and feeeeellllliiiiiings.” These guys are truly displaying the love of Jesus huh?

Let me correct some faulty doctrine here, God is love, God does not hate homosexuals,  military people or anyone. God hates sin however and should we choose to let our time on this earth expire and not choose to reconcile with God, then we will be apart from him forever. Take this from a guy who has most likely never met you, however has made it his life’s goal to tell you that Jesus loves you, so much that he died for you,  so you can be reconciled to God,  Nothing more, nothing less, we are the ones with a choice to make,  we can choose eternal life or not.

People who read this who are fans, family and friends of Robin Williams,  my hope is that Robin took Jesus as his Saviour prior to death, because really not much else matters beyond that. The fame, the Oscar,  the many awards, he can’t take with him and his eternal destination has already been decided, you on the other hand can still choose.

God bless you and I hope this is a blessing,  please prayerfully consider liking, sharing or commenting on the article.
TGBTG
TTE

Robin Williams – praying for his family

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Source – ABC News

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (ESV) For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

I read with great sadness of the death of one of my hero’s of the silver screen. A comedic genius who has kept me entertained for many years.

I am of course talking about Robin Williams,  the star of many movies that I love was found dead in his home in Tiburon, California. 

Reports that are originating from mainstream media are suggesting that the star lost his ongoing battle with depression by committing suicide.

I know that I make it sound like we were friends but my lamenting is for the loss of a movie star that I admired for his on screen talent as opposed to someone I will genuinely grieve for.

As far as I am aware, I have never formally met him, I have however been at the Lonach Games in Scotland when Robin was visiting the Scottish comedian Billy Connolly.  It was announced that he was there but as far as I am aware we have never actually met.

I have to admit I am a fan! So perhaps I will be more gracious than just another guy who is commenting on his passing.

So to the man who made Mork & Mindy, Good Will Hunting,  Mrs Doubtfire,  Popeye, Hook,  Jumanji,  Dead Poets Society, Good Morning Vietnam, Aladdin,  Robots, Flubber, Patch Adams, Night at the Museum,  RV, License to Wed, August Rush, The Big Wedding and The Butler much better films just by being Robin Williams.

According to the media it was suicide and if that is the case then I truly pray for the folks that have been left behind by the stars departure. 

I pray that Robin found Jesus as his Saviour before he passed away. I am sad for his family and close friends and I know that suicide is not the way out.

God bless you and I pray that you prayerfully consider liking, sharing or commenting on the article.
TGBTG
TTE