Monday, August 11, 2014

Seeking For Meaning

   On Sunday I heard that the other person I was thinking to add to this blog as an author has decided to start off with another organization. He is no longer available to blog with me. So it is just a one person blog.
  I wasn't always a Christian. Before I was I belonged to the Roman Catholic Church. A Roman Catholic has all the facts but the final step, that of asking Jesus alone to save them from the penalty of sin and give them assurance of going to heaven when they die.. that part is missing.
   If belonging to the right group (There is none) and believing my security was in man and good works which I have done to get me to heaven, than I would have been okay. There would have been no reason for the resurrection.
   Yes. It was the resurrection that sealed the truth. Not the death alone. A dead person has never been able to save another.
    I was born a Roman Catholic. It wasn't something that I chose. I was educated in a Catholic environment through grade school.. And still my paternal grandmother said "if only you had stayed you would have understood." when it came to, what?
   Salvation is not in a church group.
    When I was twenty one and away at school , this was when I got hold of a Bible and read it for myself. I wanted to know what it said, not what a priest said it said.   About this time the Vietnam war was still going on. My brother was killed in that war. He was so young.
   I realized that young people died not just the elderly. And If I were to die, where would I spend eternity? And how could I be sure?
   I sought answers. I was seeking for meaning.
   Now, being a Roman Catholic is not all bad. The facts were all there. The application was not. Not the way that will draw you to seek answers outside the church.  Nor would my saying a Roman Catholic have made the truth apparent to me as my paternal grandmother was no doubt trying to say.
    A personal encounter with Jesus Christ and the resurrected Savior who took the penalty for my sins.. which was eternal separation from God, was needed.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Grafted Into The Vine

 This past Tuesday, 5 Aug, was held the national evening to thank the police and other organizations of service in the community. It was a night of food, dancing, booths where we could see what our police department and fire department and other service organizations were up to.
   There was a good attendance. Also there was the Jewish organization of Chabad.
    I was asked twice if I were a Jew. Now, I don't look Jewish. But I guess they ask all males.
    While I am not a Jew I am grafted in to the vine. That vine is attached to the Abrahamic promise of blessing. It is the same vine from which the Jews come and the Messiah.
     To pick up the trend. The Olive tree was mentioned by Saul of Tarsus in what comes down to us today as the letter to the Romans found in the second half of the Bible. The gentiles ( Non-Jews) can be grafted in as a wild branch. They can be grafted in when they have a relationship with God through the blood of Jessu Christ. This union grafts them in with the same privileges as a Jew. That is a true Jew.
    What makes one a true Jew? In today's parlance that would be a Jewish individual who has found their Messiah.
    But for us non-Jews we have to be grafted into the vine. It is not hard to do.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Faith Is The Answer To So Many Things

 Let us look at faith.
  Faith is the answer to so many things. Yet so few of us know what faith is.
  It can't be touched. You can see the results, but it is not something you can putt in a testtube and mesaure.
    Yet again we have in the eleventh chapter of the epistle to the Hebrews a number of names of people faith worked for. But it was a daily day by day walk without any tangible object to touch, taste or smell.
    In Hebrews 11:1 we are told that faith is a substance of hope that shows evidence . But what kind of evidence? We can't see it now. We will see it later. At least those of us who are in a proper relationship with God.
    Our examples of faith are listed. Abel who lost his life because he did right. Noah who saw no rain but still built the boat. Abraham who left his family and went out to a land that he never really did get. Abraham who also had a child in his old age who hung on because God said a child was coming. (Abraham who fathered an offsring that wasn't the one God was going to bless him and the world through. A child that would father the nation of Arabs) Abraham who was willing to sacrafice his only claim to fame because God told him to, but was stopped and received the child back. Moses who lead the people out of Egypt.
    So many more. They are all there in the book. Our examples. Not perfect but still what I would call masrters of faith.
   And it was learned.
   The key. There is always a key. The key to faith is found in verse six. The rewards of faith come about because of God's existence. God delights in rewarding those who believe in Him and His power. His ability. His existence.
    The question to ask is do we have our reward now? When  we pray and ask in faith, do we have a tangable reward now? If we ask for finances do we get finances now?
    That is the question. And the answer is..I really don't know. Yes, we believe the heaven is a place of no needs. No reason to have a form of barter. But as for this moment on earth, I really don't know the answer to the  need.
     This is a puzzlement.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Let Us Discuss Prayer

    So now let me look at the one right we have. I call it the believer's privilege. That is the one weapon beside the Bible that we have. It is prayer.
    Prayer has a power, so I have been told. Things can happen because a Christian prays.
    Let me define Christian. A Christian is a person who has a relationship with God because he has acknowledged he is a sinner and that Jesus died and rose again for him. Confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, and you shall have a relationship with Him.
    And you are given a weapon called prayer. Not only a weapon but a way to talk to God. Just as a child talks to his father, so we talk to God by prayer. And if we pray right we shall receive what we request.
    It seem most of the time.  The request must be in accordance with what God sees is best for you to  have at that point in your life.
    I am also coming to undertand we must be on praying ground. As I see it praying ground is not having sin blocking the passge way. That is why we confess our sins to cler out the passage way.
   And the passage way has been set up by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. So we all have praying ground. God himself has provided the ground.
   God sees us sinless. So the ground is always open on His end.
    When  can I pray? Always. The ground is open. If you have confessed all the sin you know of, you have the assurance that the way os lear. God sees it clear at all times. The blockage is on
our side if there is blockage.
     Please feel free to leave your comments.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Bible Study Methods Win Out

  I was looking back at my statistics and find that bible study method posts seem to be the ones people are looking at mostly. Readers of this blog don't seem to be so interested in discussions of theological issues.
  I would thus determine the readers of this blog want more help in the study of the Bible for themselves. They may be tired of having some other person tell them what they should believe or what the Bible says.
   And that is the reason for studying the Bible for yourself using a Bible, a notebook, a pen and common aids that are provided. Aids such as a Bible dictionary to find out some background on the area or concept you are looking at.
   And you are asking questions as you are reading. Questions such as: who is speaking? Where is this taking place? Who are the hearers? Is this addressed to me or others? What is it saying to me in a way I can apply it to my life?
     You are jotting these answers down in your notebook. Not all questions have to be answered. These will provide you with areas to pray about..To pray for more understanding. To pray for application. You should aim to do what you determine the book is telling you. After all, it is my view, that God is speaking. He has written all He wants us to know in the Bible. He expects us to study it and apply it.
    No doubt you are studying  in a group so you can discuss what you are finding . You can't hope to grow if you absent yourself from the congregation. Find a good Bible teaching church that expects you to be accountable to one another.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

World Views

     Let's face it. We all respond to life and things that are going on according to the world view we hold.
     So what is a world view?
     It is the grid through which we see and interpret things.
     If we have a world view that we are only pawns and things happen around us that we can change and make things better. Well, that is one grid.
     Another grid is that we are a special creation made by God and have meaning. At one time we had fellowship-- a relationship with God, but lost it. But we still have worth. So much worth that God provided a way we can get back in relationship with Him. This way points back to a cross and an empty tomb.
     The world is not improving. The world, also a creation of God, is also cursed to a cycle of destruction.
    But this is not the final home of mankind. We are created to live forever. One world view would say that we are gods and can improve ourselves. The other says, no, we are not gods but creatures who were created to have eternal fellowship with out creator. This world we are in now is but a waiting station to the next.
   If you have read C.S.Lewis's The Great Divorce, it is the same idea.
   Just thought I would share this thought in this blog. Have a great day.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Prayer Is the Church's Furnace

     I am a big fan of prayer. We know that prayer is talking with God as we would talk to our friend. We let our friend know what is going on.
     On the one hand we understand  God knows all things. That would mean we can't tell God anything He doesn't already know. It also means there isn't anything we can tell Him that will shock Him. And maybe there is nothing that we can say that will cause Him to loved us less.
     He has heard it all.
      That being said we have to realize that prayer has power to get things done. Not always when we wish it to be done. There is a saying that God is an on- time God. He may not act when you want Him to but He always answers on time.
       And prayer is the church's furnace. The prayer room is often referred to as the boiler room of the church. When prayer goes up, is a saying, blessings come down.
        Recently I was handed a devotional by a member of my church. I am a deacon and need to be on the team that pushes prayer as our next step to growth. The idea is to get a group together in our zip code and form a prayer unit that will pray for growth and wisdom.
        Every pastor and congregant needs prayer/.
        That being said let me say this- this little devotional called "The Power Of Prayer" can be reviewed by me this way.-
        A devotional made up of a compilation of the works of E.M. Bounds concerning the subject of prayer.
        Set up as a daily reading per month and day it can be read through in a year’s time.
        Short excerpts with a prayer, attached this devotional will introduce you to the thoughts of Bounds without the reader having to buy and use the three booklets used  by Kobus  Sandenbergh, the compiler.

       It may do you some good but I don't care for devotionals as they seem like predigested food to me. They may offer a springboard for further and deeper exploration.and as such are useful.

      That said I still feel prayer is needed. God wants to hear from you. 
       We pray. He answers.
        In fact He has already answered. His answer is in the Bible. That is why I link prayer with Bible study.