“My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise you voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find knowledge of God.” Proverbs 2:1-5
Last post we looked at a guy who transcribed a copy of the complete Torah, with perfect accuracy, using a feather pen and a sheepskin parchment (it took him eight years). Today I saw a story about how the moon might be used to preserve the Torah. As newscientist.com put it, the moon will be used as sort of a backup hard drive for the supercomputer we call Earth. Let me explain. Continue reading
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not… James 1:5
You know that guy who’s intimidating. The one who makes you feel like he’s unapproachable. Maybe at some point he had information you needed, but you didn’t ask him for it did you? You didn’t ask him for it because you were afraid he’d come down on you if you did.
Well God won’t respond like that.
I’ve read James 1:5 at least a dozen times, but I never saw it until this morning. What it says is that God will never come down on you when you ask Him for wisdom.
So ask Him.
God was pleased when Solomon asked for wisdom. He’ll be pleased when you do too.
“Now, Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”
The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. 1 Kings 3:7-10
[Image via walknboston – Creative Commons]
Some of the players in today’s Super Bowl use this app.
I love the YouVersion Bible App, use it all the time. If you’re interested, you can check it out here: YouVersion Bible App.
J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and the Gospels
In our last post we looked at how J.R.R. Tolkien of Lord of the Rings fame, argued with his atheist friend, C.S. Lewis, and how he ultimately persuaded Lewis to believe in Christianity. And we also saw what C.S. Lewis, an expert in ancient literature (Oxford and Cambridge professor, and chair of Mediaeval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge) said about the gospels:
I have been reading poems, romances, vision-literature, legends, myths all my life. I know what they are like. I know that not one of them is like this. Of this text there are only two possible views. Either this is reportage… Or else, some unknown writer in the 2nd century, without known predecessors, or successors, suddenly anticipated the whole technique of modern, novelistic, realistic narrative. If it is untrue, it must be narrative of that kind. The reader who doesn’t see this has simply not learned to read. -C.S. Lewis
(Click on the link to read the previous post in its entirety Smurfs and the Genuine Seeker)
So here’s one of my personal heroes, Tolkien, the creator of all the original writings having to do with Hobbits and in my view one of the great genius minds of all time, and he convinces his friend C.S. Lewis that the bible is true. And then Lewis, another one of the great minds of all time and an expert in ancient literature, recognizes the gospels as true documentation of the life of Christ.
So what am I to do with this? How am I to react to this? Continue reading
Smurfs May Lead to “Harder” Entertainment Media
So, your parents forbid you to watch the Smurfs and you think that is one of the stupidest things ever, right? But take a breath and think this through with me. Somewhere, down deep inside, you know in your heart that it was when the Smurf high faded, it became the gateway television show that led you to your use of “harder” entertainment media. Come on, admit it. We’ve all heard the stories about Smurf watchers graduating to Harry Potter books and even engaging with others in the sport of Quidditch.
I even heard that one poor soul tried out for the position of Seeker. He was last seen in a deserted alley, chasing imaginary Quaffles and Golden Snitches.
Clearly it was the Smurfs cartoon that led to your ruin.
A Genuine Seeker of Truth
Okay so you’re probably right about the impact of the Smurfs on your childhood. But while we’re on the topic of the position of Seeker… I was on Google+ one time and I saw this post comparing an Egyptian mythological character named Horus to Jesus. The guy who posted it said that the gospel accounts of Jesus’ life were just ripoffs of this Egyptian legend. It seemed pretty compelling so Continue reading
Jesus is the Son of God. He said, “If you really know me, you will know my Father as well.” Then he said, “From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” A few moments later he just came right out and said it, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14:6-9)
So think this through with me. If Jesus is who he said he is, then who on earth is more important? He is the Creator of the universe. He’s the Creator of the 100 trillion cells that make up my body. He’s smarter than I am. He’s smarter than anyone–ever. He’s God. Why wouldn’t I want to hang on his every word? I mean really, whose words are more important?
A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there.) The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush. The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Asshur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.
The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.
The second two rivers mentioned, the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, we know of today. We know their location, in fact, you can go to Bing Maps right now and find the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates, just to the North of Basrah, in Iraq, which I’ve marked on the map with an orange push pin. Interestingly, the headwaters of these two rivers are not very far apart — both are found in East Central Turkey. Although we don’t know the location of the other two rivers, perhaps, the location of the Tigris and Euphrates headwaters gives us a clue as to the location, or former location of the Garden of Eden.
In Genesis 2:15 we read, “The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” I was reading an article recently on stress that listed the top 10 stressors in life. Guess what? Retirement made the top 10! Here in Genesis 2:15 we see that God has created this perfect environment for Adam and notice that, included in the perfect environment, is work! God has designed us to work. Over the years as I’ve watched friends deal with unemployment and retirement I’ve seen all kinds of problems as a result of leading a life without it, without work. According to the American Journal of Public Health men who are unemployed experience more somitization (similar to hypochondriasis), anxiety, and depression than those who are employed. The unemployed also take more medications, visit their doctors more, and spend more time in bed sick even when the unemployed and employed receive the same number of diagnoses.
In Mark chapter 1 Jesus saw some of the disciples working, they were fishing to be exact. As he passed by them He called to them and said, “Come, follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” (Mark 1:17) Perhaps God has blessed you in such a way that you’re in a position where you don’t have to work. That’s great! God is good. He’s given you time that most others don’t have. I want to encourage you to use it for His glory. I know of a number of people in this position — several use their time volunteering at a dump in Mexico, they minister to the impoverished people there, several others I know have dedicated themselves to helping in their church. Use your time to influence people for God’s kingdom. Use your time to fish for men!
If you are perhaps younger, and you have to work to provide for your family, as I do, then give thanks to God for your job if you’re employed. And if you’re not employed, I want to encourage you to work as God desires you to. A number of years ago a friend of mine worked a job in a cabinet shop for less money than what he would have made had he collected unemployment. Some said that he was a fool to take less money, just so he could continue to work, but during this time, I could see the Lord doing a work in this man. His attitude and his work ethic were growing. Conversely, I’ve watched friends take their unemployment and enter into a downward spiral of inactivity. Their initiative eroded away. If you can’t find work for pay, then work for free. Help in the children’s ministry, find a widow or someone fatherless who’s in need and help them — these are things that are pure and faultless in God’s sight. (James 1:27)
As with everything God directs us to do, we’ll be at our best, at our healthiest, and at our happiest when we’re in the flow of God’s will.
God wants you to work.