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Twitter

//Godfidence Tweets 2009-12-27

  • A whole box of @JohnPiper and @NoelPiper books arrived yesterday. Just in time for my Christmas Vacation. I am one happy camper. #
  • Mommy: Do you want to go to the Library? 3y old: No to the Mall to buy new shoes. — Dear God I am in trouble. #
  • Watching the old willie wonka – the only good one #
  • I have just spotted the elusive femullet in its natural habitat – KMart #
  • God help me, I love the chick power hits of the 90s. #
  • Merry Christmas to all #

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Christianity Godfidence Through The Bible

Tools for the Trade — Bible Reading

Every year tons of people start the year off with the goal of reading the Bible.  Most people quit somewhere in the first five books.  Usually in Leviticus after all those details are like trudging a molasses bog at times.

This year I am one of those people who are planning on reading through the Word of God.  I have planned it every year since about 2000 but haven’t succeeded since 2002, when my daughter was born and although I could blame it on her but I take full responsibility for my lack of discipline myself.

Many of you have started this trek with me but let me offer some assistance I have found.

My Chronological schedule – Reading the Bible in Chronological order gives an entirely new view on many passages by putting them in their historical context.

PodCast – If you have a 15 minute commute you can read the bible in a year just by driving to work.

1. Go to the ESV Reading Plans page.

2. Right-click (Ctrl-click on a Mac) the “RSS” link of the feed you want.

3. Choose “Copy Link Location” or “Copy Shortcut.”

4. Start iTunes.

5. Choose Advanced > Subscribe to Podcast

6. Paste the URL from step three into the box.

7. Click OK.

This will download the passage every day and you can listen on your podcast.

By Email – If you are an email person you can have the passage of the day delivered to your email every day as well.

Really we take the Bible for granted, there are people who only have what they can remember because they are not allowed to read the Word of God.  And we sit with 5 Bibles on our shelves and ignore them.

However you do it, read God’s Word this year.

Categories
Twitter

//Godfidence Tweets 2009-12-20

  • Just realized I am half way through the second book in the Dresden Files without reading the first one. I grabed the wrong one CRAP!! #
  • Do we put words into God's mouth? Survey says… Probably http://bit.ly/5NvJv7 #
  • RT @PastorMark: FREE! Books For Your Pastors http://bit.ly/4vzd3y #
  • AGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH $%$&*#*!*&!*!&!*@!!#@*&!#@*&@#$*&$(@*#$&($%(!@(*&@#!((*$*@!#&@(#@( and !)@#(*@*$R&%$(!@(#((&$&!@^@@#, now I feel better #
  • A few good thoughts from Noel Piper on Santa and Christmas. http://bit.ly/6LjIyY #
  • "Fairy tales don't teach children that dragons exist. They already know dragons exist. They teach them dragons can be defeated!" #
  • Finally all my google services in one place. http://bit.ly/8YuNJC #
  • #FF @PastorMark @JohnPiper @theResurgence @between2worlds @veritascolumbus @actlikemen, haven't done FF in a while. #
  • Vacation I am HERE!!! #
  • Is it too much to want to hear a Christmas song about Christ? #

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Misc

Oral Roberts 1918-2009

Oral Roberts passed away of Pneumonia yesterday.  I don’t know much about his ministry, having come to faith much after Robert’s prime.  I do know that he had a tremendous influence in bringing his personal brand of minsitry into the mainstream for better or for worse.

I pray that God would comfort those close to him in this time.

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Through The Bible

What God believes

This article from Reason Magazine online pointed me to a very interesting study being done by the University of Chicago.  They did fMRI scans of people’s brains while asking them some questions.  They asked what famous people thought about 10 hot button religious topics, what they personally felt about those topics and what God felt about those topics.

What they found was The part of the brain that activates when people things about their own beliefs and God’s beliefs are the same.

[T]hese data provide insight into the sources of people’s own religious beliefs. Although people obviously acquire religious beliefs from a variety of external sources, from parents to broader cultural influences, these data suggest that the self may serve as an important source of religious beliefs as well. Not only are believers likely to acquire the beliefs and theology of others around them, but may also seek out believers and theologies that share their own personal beliefs. If people seek out religious communities that match their own personal views on major social, moral, or political issues, then the information coming from religious sources is likely to further validate and strengthen their own personal convictions and values. Religious belief has generally been treated as a process of socialization whereby people’s personal beliefs about God come to reflect what they learn from those around them, but these data suggest that the inverse causal process may be important as well: people’s personal beliefs may guide their own religious beliefs and the religious communities they seek to be part of.

Finally, these data have interesting implications for the impact of religious thought on judgment and decision-making. People may use religious agents as a moral compass, forming impressions and making decisions based on what they presume God as the ultimate moral authority would believe or want. The central feature of a compass, however, is that it points north no matter what direction a person is facing. This research suggests that, unlike an actual compass, inferences about God’s beliefs may instead point people further in whatever direction they are already facing.

Now while Reason would use this article in an attempt to discredit any religous moral judgement, I would like to take a moment and examine my thoughts on why this may very well be true.

I am assuming this test was performed only on ortodox Christians for the sake of my discussion.

Too many of us simply don’t read the Bible, and even if we do, it is simply to confirm out own beliefs, and not to understand the divine revelation of God.

I have become fond of saying “If there isn’t something in the Bible you disagree with or wish wasn’t there; then you aren’t reading it right.”  Not that we have the option of disagreeing with God, we must always assume when we disagree that we are the ones who are wrong.  But far to often we read the Word of God like a fortune cookie and make it mean what we want it to mean.  In Studies in Words C.S. Lewis made a great point when discussing how to intuerpret something you are reading:

If we read an old poem with insufficient regard for the change in the overtones, and even the dictionary meaning, of words since it’s date — if, in fact, we are content with whatever effect the words accidentally produce in our modern minds- the of course we do not read the poem the author intended. What we get may still be, in our opinion, a poem; but it will be our poem and not his. If we call this tout court ‘reading’ the old poet, we are deceiving ourselves. If we reject as ‘mere philology‘ every attempt to restore for us his real poem, we are safeguarding the deceit. Of course any man in entitled to say he prefers the poems he makes for himself out of his mistranslations to the poems the writers intended. I have no quarrel with him. He need have none with me. Each to his taste.

If we read something without considering the intent of the author but simply insert our own intent and meaning we are not even reading what we intend to read, but merely our own translation.  We may have this perogative when it comes to poetry but when when it comes to the very words of God.

Once again I want to invite you to read through the Bible with me this year.  Let us help one another to actually read the Word of God and to understand it better than we ever have.

[T]hese data provide insight into the sources of people’s own religious beliefs. Although people obviously acquire religious beliefs from a variety of external sources, from parents to broader cultural influences, these data suggest that the self may serve as an important source of religious beliefs as well. Not only are believers likely to acquire the beliefs and theology of others around them, but may also seek out believers and theologies that share their own personal beliefs. If people seek out religious communities that match their own personal views on major social, moral, or political issues, then the information coming from religious sources is likely to further validate and strengthen their own personal convictions and values. Religious belief has generally been treated as a process of socialization whereby people’s personal beliefs about God come to reflect what they learn from those around them, but these data suggest that the inverse causal process may be important as well: people’s personal beliefs may guide their own religious beliefs and the religious communities they seek to be part of.

Finally, these data have interesting implications for the impact of religious thought on judgment and decision-making. People may use religious agents as a moral compass, forming impressions and making decisions based on what they presume God as the ultimate moral authority would believe or want. The central feature of a compass, however, is that it points north no matter what direction a person is facing. This research suggests that, unlike an actual compass, inferences about God’s beliefs may instead point people further in whatever direction they are already facing.

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Twitter

//Godfidence Tweets 2009-12-13

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Misc

Desiring God on Unregenerate Children

Ever since I have started following Desiring God and John Piper I have been continually impressed with his wisdom and humility.  If you don’t follow him you should.  @JohnPiper, desiringgod

If mere external conformity to God’s commands (like don’t lie, don’t steal, don’t kill) is hypocritical and spiritually defective, then why should parents require obedience from their unregenerate children?

I suppose the main point in this quote is the word, mere.  I can’t say this hasn’t crossed my mind on some occasion when I am attempting to correct my child’s behavior or even my own.

Read the entire article here

Categories
Christmas Family Life

Christmas stuff

I have written extensively on things about Christmas in the past, I have my issues with the holiday and I love it at the same time.

I have relaxed my view on Santa, I don’t tell my daughter about him because I have constantly told her that I don’t lie to her.  I don’t want her to be confused about what this Holiday is all about, it is about the Advent of Jesus.  Grandparents and friends may talk about Santa but she won’t here that out of my mouth.

The only thing I hold the line for is the idea that “If you aren’t good, you won’t get any presents.”

Christmas is about the single greatest undeserved gift in all of history, we give to one another not because we deserve it but to remind each other that “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son.”  And he did it despite the fact that we don’t deserve it, and can’t behave well enough (which is kind of the point of the gift to begin with.)

For Christmas we have begun several traditions, this year we are going through doing something special on each night of advent.  Our family worship time is pointing to the coming of Christ.  Each night our we read a story of our redemptive history and decorate an ornament for out advent tree.  And each night the girls get to open a door on their advent calendar.

I hope that in these little ways we can honor God with this season instead of creating little consumer monsters.

Categories
Misc

//Godfidence Tweets 2009-12-06

  • I just downloaded music from Sojourn @NoiseTrade. You can download it for FREE at http://tinyurl.com/4kj8yb #
  • Finally got my wave invites. Anyone want one? DM me. #
  • Does anyone want to read through the Bible Chronologically this year with me and keep me accountable? Serious commitment preferred. #
  • RT @stevenbennett2: http://bit.ly/8Iw2Su I love the Muppets. Seriously, funny stuff. –Full of AWESOME #
  • @nicknye Congrat Papa. I saw the name and thought at first you got surprised with a boy. #
  • Warming up my old Blog, http://bit.ly/4sQybz #
  • Why am I awake this early again? #
  • Check out the article: : So, long everyone http://www.improvethequality.com/long/ #
  • At the mall with the girls playing at playground #

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Family Life Through The Bible

Honest About My Lack of Bible Reading

One of my goals in relaunching this blog is to be more honest.  Honestly I haven’t read the entire Bible since my oldest daughter, who turns 4 in January.  Prior to that I had read through the Bible several times over two years.

A few weeks ago I posed a question to people on twitter and facebook “Is it more important to be culturally relevant or Biblically faithful.”  Overwhelmingly the responses were that it is more important to be biblically faithful.  The natural question that follows is how much time to we spend on it.

I am unable to find any definitive research on the matter but I would wager a guess that 50-90% of “lay” people don’t open the Bible from Sunday to Sunday.

I am one of those people in most cases, if you eliminate the scriptures I read for our community group then I have normally been one of those people.

My wife and I confessed to each other on a recent road trip that neither of us have a love for the Word of God like we feel we should.  Part of it is familiarity, part is laziness, part is lack of discipline, and part sin and the sum is I don’t read the Bible.

It is my desire to change that this year, I am returning to a yearly reading of God’s word no matter what I need to sacrifice to do it.  How can I learn more about God without his authoritative self-revelation?

How can I make the time in a busy life to honor God with my time?  Any suggestions?