Monday, July 29, 2013

Why Go to Church

Matthew 16:18 - "And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it."

For some time I have been hearing negative comments concerning the church and why it is better to stay home and worship rather than going to church and worshiping with other Christians.  What is being forgotten is that the church belongs to God and when we reject the church we are rejecting God.  I agree that the church is not perfect, but it is because we are all human that there is a problem.  It is not because God is doing something to mess things up.  I believe that instead of avoiding church we should be involved and try to remind everyone about what the Bible says.

Following is a short story I found among my papers that might help to make my point.

A church goer wrote a letter to the editor of the newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church.  "I've gone for thirty years," he wrote, "and in that time I heard something like 3,000 sermons.  But for the life of me I can't remember a single one of them; so I think I'm wasting my time, and the pastors are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all."

This started a real controversy in the "Letters to the Editor" column, much to the delight of the editor.  It went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher:  "I've been married for thirty years now.  In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But for the life of me, I cannot recall what the menu was for a single one of those cooked meals.  But I do know this.  They all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work.  If my wife had not given me those meals, I would be dead today."

No comments were made on the sermon comments anymore.
When you are down to nothing, God is up to something!  Faith is invisible, believes the incredible and receives the impossible.
                                                             Author Unknown

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Bible Word Search

Bible Word Search

Some time ago Kelly spoke with you about a book titled "Bible Word Search."  Since I am the author, I would like to take this time to share with you the format of the book and a little about what I was hoping to accomplish.

I would like to start by saying that in every Bible study I have attended, with the exception of one, the leader started with a Bible story, read it, and then proceeded to ask questions about the story, hoping to generate a discussion.  This works minimally, but I have never witnessed a truly exciting Bible study.  My hope with this book is to change that.

Educators, and particularly music educators, will tell you that when you practice a composition in the same way all the time very little is learned or changed.  This is the concept around which I wrote this book.  In order to learn you must approach a subject in many different ways, ie: go in the front door, back door, a window, and many other approaches.  For this reason I chose a series of topics, such as "Titles for Jesus."  Do you know that there are over 100 titles for Jesus mentioned in the Bible.  Most people do not.  Using the topic "Titles for Jesus" I then developed a fill in the blank section by finding the Chapter and Verse where a specific title was used.  I then developed a Word Search grid where these titles can be used to do an old fashioned word search.

This Bible Study can be done alone or with a group.  If done in a group each title can be discussed to determine who referred to Jesus in this way and why He was called by that title.  I also included a very short pararaph about the history of a topic as well as a dictionary that included many terms that might be unfamiliar.  I hope that you find this book to be as educational and entertaining as I did when I wrote it.  You can find a copy of a sample puzzle on this blog by clicking here.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Is There Really a Holy Trinity?

Holy SpiritI recently read an article in which the writer stated that he did not believe in a triune God.  This concept, which is professed by Christians, says that God is of one essence, but consists of three persons that are equal in nature.  These three are God, the father; Jesus, the son; and the Holy Spirit.  The writer goes on to say that the Trinity is not possible because there is only one mention of the Holy Spirit in the Book of Revelation.  Clearly, this writer has ignored the remaining books and does not give credibility to the words of Jesus concerning the Holy Spirit.

In Mathew 28:18-19 Jesus said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."

At the time of His ascension Jesus said to His disciples, "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes to you," Acts 1:8.

John 16:5-16 makes it clear that the Holy Spirit is not to be found in Heaven, but with us and in us.  In John 16:7 Jesus makes this very clear when He says, "It is for your good that I am going away.  Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you."

John 14:15-31 is also very clear about the existence of the Holy Spirit; specifically John 14:16 where Jesus says, "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever."  Also, John 14:26 where Jesus says, "But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you."

Jesus' words are enough to convince me that the Holy Spirit does, in fact, exist and is a vital part of the Trinity.  He does not exist in heaven; but right here with you and me guiding everyone who truly loves Jesus and believes that He is their Savior.

AppleI would also like to offer an example that might help make the concept of the Trinity a little more understandable.  If you hold an apple in your hand, you are holding one apple which consists of three parts: pulp, seeds, and peel; ie: 3 in 1.  Without the seeds the pulp and peel are nothing.  Without the peel the pulp and seeds are nothing.  Without the pulp the seeds and peel are nothing.  You must have all three to make one apple.  They are three separate and distinct parts, but all are necessary to make one apple.

If an apple can be 3 in 1, is it so difficult to imagine that God, with whom all things are possible, could also be 3 in 1.  Yes, the Trinity does exist and Christians worship one God consisting of three inseparable persons.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

My Introduction

Hello to everyone,
I would like to take this time to tell you a little about myself and the major focus of what I will be writing.  First of all I will be building on what Kelly Madison has written and will be revisiting some of her writings when it is appropriate.  I will continue, as Kelly did, in basing my writing on quotes from the Bible.  If you are going to write about the Bible, it should be your primary source of information.

Also, I am a firm believer in Christian education.  We hear again and again that if you want a good job, you need to get the best education that you can get.  This holds true for religion also.  I have an acquaintance who is an atheist and he knows more about the Bible than most Christians I know.  Unfortunately, he uses his knowledge against the Bible and always makes the Christians he is talking to angry, because they don't know what he is talking about and, as a result, can't hold their ground.  He ends up appearing to win and the other person is left angry and confused.  The only way to stop this is for Christians to learn what the Bible is telling them.  This is why you will frequently hear me say that you must study and read.  Learn all that you can about religion.  There are many good books and Bible studies out there and don't be afraid to question and even challenge your pastor, if you don't understand or disagree with what he/she says.  I am going to close with 2 Bible passages that tell what God teaches about acquiring knowledge.

Proverbs 8:10-11 - Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies.

Hosea 4:6 - My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.