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Christianity Family Life

Pride again rears its head.

Pride

The other day, in the middle of a somewhat heated debate via email, I realized another aspect where my pride hiders my ability to follow Christ and for that matter to be a good friend. I was so tied up in the idea of being right and clever that I refused to even consider the points my friend was making. I even continued to argue points that I didn’t really believe just to be right; it was a pure pride issue. I didn’t even realize I was doing it until I stopped to think after I had sent my latest email.

I had to send a follow up apologizing to my friend and then took some serious time to not only contemplate his points but to consider where this type of action could take me. I took some time today to examine what the Bible says about the proud and it isn’t a very pretty picture.

The LORD detests all the proud of heart.
Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.
Prov 16:5

Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud,
but humility comes before honor.
Prov 18:12

Whoever slanders his neighbor in secret,
him will I put to silence;
whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart,
him will I not endure.
Psalm 101:5

Not only is God against my pride but it prevents me from getting closer to him. How many times have I sinned and refused to approach him in the very hour of need. But how do you fix something like this? Only God can change the heart of a man. I just wish he would work faster.

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Through The Bible

Through The Bible: the Middle of the Beginning

Through The Bible: the Middle of the Beginning

One thing that stood out to me some time ago in reading Genesis regarding the tradition of building an altar at a place where God speaks to you, much like Jacob did at Bethel. It seems to me that almost every time God did something signifigant in the life of our forefathers they built an altar as a marker in their lives. This blog has become my series of altars, when God speaks to me I make note of it here and I can come back to it to remind myself of what God has spoken to me. Whether you do it on a blog, or in a journal, I believe everyone should keep track of those things God speaks to you.

There are so many lessons from the book of Genesis and the one I have learned is you should NOT to business with family. Jacob goes to family to find a wife and the trickster becomes the tricked. He worked his butt off for seven years to marry Rachel only to wake up in the morning to Leah, the ugly one. He marries Rachel the same week but is committed to working another seven years.

Genesis 34 is one of my favorite stories the entire Bible. I used to use it all the time to show young men that there are interesting stories in the Bible. They slaughter the entire tribe of the man who raped their sister, which I can fully understand. Although Jacob condemns their actions immediately as well as on his death bed. The tribe of Levi becomes the priesthood of all Israel.

The story of Joseph shows us a great deal about a God who deals with dreams. The scripture makes it clear that God even gave Pharaoh the dream that Joseph interpreted, which would mean that God is even giving dreams to unbelievers. Some time ago I began to keep track of my dreams, everyone that I could remember. I am sure that not every one of them has significance but I believe at least one was God speaking to me and I want to always want to be able to look and see if God was using a dream to speak to me.

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Videos

Friday Videos: Potter Pals and TMTN

I have not watched any of the other videos in this series but I can not get this song out of my head.

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Random

Randomality Jan-08

• A lot of people are irritated by Bluetooth headsets and how crazy they have made life but as someone who talks to himself on a regular basis, I am glad they make me look less crazy.

• Can we please decide on a secure password standard so I can have one that works on all of the websites I use? Some have to have 8 characters, some have to have 6 some have to have a special character (the ones above the numbers on the keyboard) and some don’t allow them. I have to keep track of my passwords on a sheet of paper, now that is security.

• At my work we have two soda fountains, one Coke and one Pepsi. I got a coke cup and got Barq’s but it was running out of syrup so I was going to get something else, I didn’t want to dirty another cup but I didn’t like any of the Coke products. So there I was with Pepsi in a coke cup. Why to these little things bother me?

• How have I never noticed that Rachel and Leah prostitute Jacob before? “
In the days of wheat harvest Reuben went and found mandrakes in the field and brought them to his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.” 15But she said to her, “Is it a small matter that you have taken away my husband? Would you take away my son’s mandrakes also?” Rachel said, “Then he may lie with you tonight in exchange for your son’s mandrakes.” 16When Jacob came from the field in the evening, Leah went out to meet him and said, “You must come in to me, for I have hired you with my son’s mandrakes.” So he lay with her that night. 17And God listened to Leah, and she conceived and bore Jacob a fifth son. 18Leah said, “God has given me my wages because I gave my servant to my husband.” So she called his name Issachar. Gen 30:14-18

• Reading is really like running, if you get out of shape it is really hard to get back into it. Or perhaps I just haven’t found a book I can sink my teeth into.

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News Politics

From the land of Duh: CARRYING GUNS WILL STOP VIOLENT CRIMES | National Center for Policy Analysis

CARRYING GUNS WILL STOP VIOLENT CRIMES | National Center for Policy Analysis

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Christian and Culture Through The Bible

Through the Bible: Strangers

There are so many things to think about in this section of the Bible, that I hesitate to write about anyone of them for fear of doing a disservice to the remaining items.

This section of Bible includes a story often referenced when discussing the tithe, the story of Abraham and Melchizedek. I have already written my thoughts on this elsewhere so if you are interested feel free to read them.

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Entertainment Misc Videos

RICK NASH RULES

I am not a huge hockey fan but I love going to see the Jackets. This is being called “The Goal of the Year” by ESPN

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Godfidence

Book Review: The Immortals — Tracy Hickman

ImmortalsI read this book for several reasons; first Tracy Hickman is one of my favorite fantasy authors, secondly it was available on podiobooks.com for free.

It is a near future story that tells of American intern camps for people suffering from an AIDS like disease. I think it was a bit to overbearing in its attempts to strong arm the reader into following the authors beliefs. Perhaps it was written for a different time, the author says he wanted to write it years before it was possible but was dissuaded because he was a fantasy writer and should stay away from such serious topics.

The characters are not as vibrant as they possibly could have been although there were a few like Amanda that pulled on my heart. It was interesting to see the authors interpretation of the psychology of those in such camps, and the fascism and political intrigue that takes place behind the scenes, both topics I normally enjoy reading.

Over all the book was not one of my favorites and I am glad it was offered free, since I own plenty of Tracy’s other books I won’t feel bad about not giving him an offering for this one.

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Christianity Family Life

My Journey II

This is a continuation from “My Journey I” So you may want to start there.

Campus life also had three large events each year, events where we would take over a hotel and their conference rooms. These were probably the best times I had because I got to hang out with a lot of other young people and have a great time while at the same time hearing more about Christ and his gospel. I must have answered a dozen altar calls during this time all with a little more affect than the last, and it was at Campus life summer camp where I met Don Nonnenman, whose story can also be found here.

Don invited me into his home, bought me my first Bible helped me to understand it, gave me books and tapes which I devoured like a starving man and over all helped me to really follow Christ as a disciple. He may have also helped to push me to a more fringe faction of the church but I owe him my gratitude for his help in my life.

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Through The Bible

Through The Bible: Job

I have read many things written on the book of Job that have taken many differing points of view, I don’t subscribe to any of them completely. (I actually finished it so I am slightly ahead of schedule.  Heather and I were reading together and got a great synergy going) 

The first chapters of Job and the last are the most interesting as far as I am concerned.  Listening to the debate that takes place between job and his friends is a little irritating at times and for the most part I would like to smack his friends.  I appreciate the fact that they simply sat with him for seven days in silence.  This was the tradition of the culture, Job was to be the first to speak.  There are so many clichés that one can use at those tough points in life, but silent friend ships, I believe, speaks louder than them all.

You can’t really take any doctrine or teaching from the dialogues of the book because although the words are inspired of the Holy Spirit to be written correctly, doesn’t mean that Job or his friends were speaking God’s word.  In fact God rebukes them later so we can assume that some of what they said was, indeed, wrong.  This is another reason I find this book tiring, although picturing it as a play makes it more interesting.

I did find a new character reading through this time thanks to the notes in my bible and the fact that I was paying closer attention.  Elihu who appears in chapter 32 is not one of the original three friends introduced in chapter:

Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that had come upon him, they came each from his own place, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. They made an appointment together to come to show him sympathy and comfort him.

 

Elihu says he has remained silent through the initial conversation out of respect to his elders. (Job 32:6)  His critique of Job centers on the words used in the book and not on blaming Job’s positon on an ungodly life.  He is, interestingly, not included in God’s rebuke of the Job’s other three friends. 

Elihu stresses an issue almost completely neglected by the three friends: the disciplinary and redemptive role of suffering.  This is a topic not to be taken lightly but also not, as is more common, to be ignored.  If the book of Job is to teach us any thing I believe it is a lesson in God’s sovereignty.  God allowed and directed Satan in the book of Job, he limited his attacks and some would say called Job out to suffer because Job was a faithful man. 

Tragedy strikes the life of every believer and the question soon becomes what we are to do when it comes.  You can like Job’s wife suggests, “Curse God and die,” but to whom will you turn?  God is the only God.  In our world of “Your best life” and keys to blessing we forget that suffering can also be a part of God’s plan.
 

If we only seek God in the good times, when trouble comes we may find ourselves reacting like one of his friends, blaming ourselves.  While we can bring trouble upon ourselves that may not be the case every time, and unfortunately this is all to often the initial reaction of Christians.  “He must have sinned”  God himself calls Job “Blameless and upright.” 

I like to say “I didn’t ask Jesus into my heart, I gave him my life and it is his to do with as pleases him.”  Who am I to question the all mighty?  I will pray as I am commanded, seek his face at all times and life my life to please him.  If trouble comes I look for God in the fire, like those Israelites that refused to bow down to the idol.  I trust him to not give me more than I can bear but like my high school coach he will show me that I am capable of handling more than I thought.