Posts Tagged ‘Bible’

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nearly FREE EBOOK FRIDAY (E.M. Bounds)

December 18, 2015

Bounds Quote (1)

 

I made a goal at the beginning of 2015 to make prayer a more consistent part of my life (Training Plans).  I don’t feel like I have made much progress in that area.  Although, I did read the very insightful and challenging book on prayer, The Necessity of Prayer by E.M. Bounds as a result of my desire to improvement my prayer life.

Bounds Quote (3)

I enjoyed The Necessity of Prayer so much that I am currently reading Power through Prayer by E.M. Bounds.  I am more convinced than ever that the Church doesn’t need better methods; it needs better men.  The Church needs men, distinguished by Bible-reading and prayer, possessing the soldier element, to live the Christian life in love and kindness.

Bounds Quote (2)

I highly recommend E.M. Bounds.  You can get The Complete Works of E.M. Bounds for $0.99.  It is not free but fairly close.  I hope you enjoy his writing as much as I have.

 

 

 

 

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QUOTE (C.H. Spurgeon) – Jan 6

January 6, 2015

Português: fotografia de Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“You know more about your magazines and novels than what God has written; many of you will read a novel from the beginning to the end, and what have you got? A mouthful of foam when you are done. But you cannot read the Bible; that solid, lasting, substantial, and satisfying food goes uneaten, locked up in the cupboard of neglect; while anything that a man writes, a best seller of the day, is greedily devoured.”
~ C.H. Spurgeon

“The Bible must be your chart, and you must exercise great watchfulness that your way may be according to its directions. You must take heed to your daily life, as well as study your Bible, and you must study your Bible that you may take heed to your daily life. With the greatest care a man will go astray if his map misleads him; but with the most accurate map he will still lose his road if he does not take heed to it. The narrow way was never hit upon by chance, neither did any heedless man ever lead a holy life. We can sin without thought, we have only to neglect the great salvation and ruin our souls; but to obey the Lord and walk uprightly will need all our heart and soul and mind. Let the careless remember this.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon

In honor of Charles Haddon Spurgeon, an English Baptist preacher, who was converted to a living faith at age 16 on this day in 1850.

Resources:
January 6 – Today in Christian History
Quotes> C.H. Spurgeon

 

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AM I SICK – Dec 29

December 29, 2014

“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” Psalm 63:1

After a month of eluding, it has happened.

An occasional dry cough has mined down into my bronchi to produce the rattling notes of illness. My sinus passages refuse to work in unison. They are contented to take turns passing air while the other throbs with the pressure of an impassable clog.

I am sick.

I had successfully managed to avoid this cold as it passed through our household. Germs have filled the confined atmosphere of a house sealed against the frigid winter weather. These germs have systematically progressed through my family – son to daughter to wife… and now to me.

I thought I had successfully eluded the buggers since wellness prevailed through our home for more than a week. Yet, there were signs that all was not well for a few days.

Sleep has been restless;
Sinus pressure has built;
And a tickle has been maturing in the back of my throat.

My wife asked me how I felt this morning and made an observation as to why my immune system may have now succumbed when it had been able to fend illness off for so long. “We haven’t been eating well lately,” is what she said.

It is true. We came off of our diet cleanse (SOUL CLEANSE) through the Christmas festivities. We have not been eating horribly but it surely hasn’t been as well as before.  Our diet might not be the sole reason for my illness, but I surmise that it was a significant contributor.

I came across a survey at Ligonier Ministries recently. The survey purported to take the temperature of America’s theological health.

TheStateOfTheology-InfographicThe survey concludes:

  • Answers are reflective of our “made-to-order” god.
  • The majority of Americans perceive “goodness” to be a better description of people then “sinful”.
  • The majority of Americans aren’t convinced of a literal heaven and hell.
  • Pluralism is rampant within our culture.
  • Our culture is anti-theological – we are in a new dark age.

The survey demonstrates that many professing Christians are theologically sick. After writing this blog for a couple of years, these survey conclusions do not surprise me. I regularly get emails and comments from individuals purporting beliefs that are anti-theological.  I wonder if one of the contributing reasons for the theological illness of America is our typical Christian diet.

I read Psalm 63 as part of my daily Bible reading this morning. I was struck by three words.

Earnestly
Thirsts
Faints

We will not earnestly seek after someone we don’t value. We will never wait for our thirst to be quenched by someone we don’t trust. Surely, we will never exert ourselves to the point of passing out for a belief we doubt.  I find these words very convicting because they do not describe me to the degree that I would like.

The passion of the Psalmist is the natural manifestation of a healthy soul. It is the result of someone regularly grounded on a dietary foundation of sound doctrine. It is through sound doctrine that the value of Christ is expounded; the trustworthiness of God is demonstrated; and doubts are answered.

Doctrine is not a bad word.

Doctrine merely means knowing what you believe, why you believe it, how to live it, and how to share it. It is anti-theological to reject doctrine just because it is doctrine.  This attitude resigns us to a life of chronic spiritual aliments.

Let’s embrace a regular diet of theology and the passion that will come from a spiritual healthy life.  If you are interested in my thoughts on how to cure bad theology, check out CURING BAD THEOLOGY.

“People are cutting themselves off from 2,000 years of the Holy Spirit’s ministry of the Word of God. We never want to exalt tradition over Scripture, but we still need to recognize that we are par of the historic body of Christ.” ~ Stephen Nichols

PRAYER: Father, thank you for your word.  Thank you for the centuries of ministry by the Holy Spirit to your children.  Lord, I want to be passionate about you.  I want to thirst for you.  I want to seek after you earnestly.  Give me that commitment to follow you and be obedient to you.  Draw me closer to you.  Heal me of my chronic spiritual aliments.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ELISHA EQUATION – Dec 7

December 7, 2014

“Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots and fire all around Elisha.” 2 Kings 6:17

mr finchIn a recent episode of Person of Interest, Mr. Finch was inquired as to his favorite equation. “What a fascinating question”, I thought. I don’t even remember his answer as I became lost in the consideration of whether I had favorite equation.

I really wanted to have a favorite equation. It seems such an intelligent thing to have. However, the opportunity for pride was quickly dispelled when I finally concluded that I know only a few equations worthy of being a favorite and those lacked the obscurity that pride necessitates in making others feel inferior. Nevertheless, I pursued the question of equation preferment.

As an engineer by education and profession, I have taken a lot of math classes. I survived mathematics not through any special abilities but through sheer determination. “Math for math’s sake” never intrigued me. It was only when I began to understand the beauty of its utility in physics that I began to enjoy it, which is probably why I am an engineer rather than a mathematician.

I have always been enticed by the ability of mathematics to describe the world we live in. The fact that we can use very simple and elegant equations to calculate the path of projectiles still fascinates me. The magnificent utility of a simple right triangle’s mathematics is fabulous.

I love mathematics that I can visualize in my mind; this mathematics makes sense with the physical world that I know.

We live in a 3-dimensional world. It is natural for us to visualize a 3-dimensional world. I even can understand the 4th dimension as space-time. It is the world of mathematics and physics beyond the 4th dimension where I become shaky.

The dimensions beyond the 4th are of an existence beyond our senses and the mathematics looses most of the simplistic elegance of Newton’s laws in my opinion. I guess that is why, beyond the 4th dimension, my ability to visualize the language of mathematics falls apart.

I really wanted my favorite equation to be one of quantum mechanics. As much as I long for the Schrödinger equation or Heisenberg equation to be my favorite, they are not. I don’t really understand them or the physics that they are calculating, no matter how much visualizing I attempt.

However, my lack of understanding does not diminish my belief in the existence of a 5th dimension. We are told that physicists are close to proving the existence of a 5th dimension. I have only to read my Bible to see that it exists.

What is it that you believe Elisha and his servant
saw along the horizon of Dothan? (2 Kings 6:8-19)

space horizon

Elisha prayed for his servant’s eyes to be open to see what existed but was beyond his ability to see. We know they could see their physical 3-dimensional world. We know that what they saw within the 4th dimension – time. They were looking into a world that existed beyond our physical world yet parallel with it.

Sort of sounds like the 5th dimension to me.

I believe that Elisha and his servant were given the ability to split the fabric of our dimension and peer into another to see its inhabitants – the servants of God. My guess is that there is some mathematics that describes the physical phenomenon that allowed Elisha and his servants to see this other dimension. I wonder if it has a name. I think I will call it the Elisha equation until I know its true name.

I sit at my desk and gaze out my window into the white fog. I can imagine it parting like a curtain to allow me to see what I know by faith is there. Unfortunately, I don’t know the Elisha equation and God is not doing it for me, so I will continue to live by faith.

However, I do find great comfort in the existence of the Elisha equation. I find great comfort in the reality that God and His servants are truly with me even though I do not see them. They know the Elisha equation and can aid me in any manner that is in accordance to God’s will. Therefore, Elisha’s words to his servant still ring true to us:

Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them. (2 Kings 6:16)

My favorite equation is the Elisha equation.

It is an equation that I don’t understand, cannot derive, nor even describe but I believe to be true. It is an equation that describes a condition in a world created by my God in such a way for Him to send His own Son from one dimension into another to condemn the sin of my flesh in order that the righteous requirement of His law might be fulfilled in me.

That is a pretty glorious equation and an incredibly glorious God.

star-trails-from-space-01

PRAYER: Father, thank you for creating the world as you did.  Thank you for being near.  Help me to remember that I am never alone and that even interstellar dimensions cannot separate me from You.  Thank for making me a child of God.   I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen

 

 

 

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QUOTE (Charles Dickens) – Dec 2

December 2, 2014
 
English: Detail from photographic portrait of ...

“I put a New Testament among your books, for the very same reasons, and with the very same hopes that made me write an easy account of it for you, when you were a little child; because it is the best book that ever was or will be known in the world.… ”
~ Charles Dickens; a note written to his child upon leave home

In honor of Charles Dickens, considered the greatest novelist of the Victorian period, who held his first public reading in the United States on this day in 1867.

Resources:
The Faith Behind the Famous: Charles Dickens
This Day in History for 2nd December

 

 

 

 

 

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LOSING KNOWLEDGE – Oct 14

October 14, 2014

“And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and breadth of mind like the sand on the seashore, so that Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt.” 1 Kings 4:29-30

What is the function of a conjunction?

Volumes surround me; books standing in perpetual attention upon my shelves, clothed in dusty neglect. Familiar titles call out to me:

Process Geomorphology
Organic Chemistry
Applied Numerical Methods
Differential Equations
Probability and Statistics
Corporate Finance
Cost Accounting

 

 

The intellect of generations and genius are contained within these tombs of knowledge. I once communed among their concepts. I excavated their principles and deciphered their puzzles. I cursed the forced regurgitation of their laws and theories, consumed in short bursts of intellectual gluttony. Yet, I proved to be competent as an educated man.

I have the diplomas to prove it.

However, each text has found a forsaken place on my office shelf; set aside in a head-long pursuit of a profession. Years have swept aside those inquisitive days of study.

Theory replaced by practice;
Integration and derivation yielding to empirical;
Schedule triumphing over intellectual indulgence.

These books have become more decoration than source. They are a reassurance to visitors that the diplomas and licenses that hang on my wall have a foundation. I have learned my profession through years of practice. Yet, I have lost something through the years. Specific knowledge has faded to general in many subjects; conceptual understanding has replaced hard achieved competence.

Knowledge is not perpetual…at least not in my mind.

I do not have the mind of Solomon but neither does anyone else. God gave Solomon a wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and a breadth of mind like the sand on the seashore. The limits of my wisdom and understanding are easily delineated in a game of “Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader”, and the scarceness of my mind is more like the occasional sand dollar on the seashore than the sand.

The typical mind has a very limited capacity for the specific. Time erodes away a mind’s competence, when study is neglected, leaving a hollowed relic to the practical. The scores of educated adults who prove that they are not “smarter than a 5th grader” is testimony to our mind’s inability to retain knowledge absence the reinforcing power of study.

The surrender of the knowledge of a conjunction’s function may be a reasonable acquiescence to the pressures of a busy life.

What about the gospel?
Are you willing to surrender the knowledge of the gospel to the pressures of a busy life.

What is the function of the gospel?
Can you clearly present the gospel to someone who has no knowledge of it?

 The ability to clearly explain a principle is demonstration of competent, specific, knowledge of that principle. If you can only generally explain the gospel, it demonstrates a general knowledge.

We have been called to more.

God has revealed Himself through His Bible. We can know our Lord and Savior more and more through the study of His Word. This is why David delighted in God’s commandments and law. It is why David studied.

 Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them. (Psalm 111:2)

 How are you doing studying the Bible?
Are you demonstrating your delight in God by studying His great works?

We must remember the minds we have been created with. We must remember that every moment that we spend away from the Word of God, time is eroding the razor edge of specific knowledge down to a blunt instrument of a general understanding. We must not acquiescence our time in God’s Word to the pressures of a busy life. We must not forget His Word.

 I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word. (Psalm 119:16)

 

PRAYER: Father, thank you for your Word.  Thank you for speaking to us perfectly even though we are imperfect.  Thank you for giving us everything that we need to follow you today.  Help me to glorify you from the place where I am today. Forgive me for thinking I need a special word from you. Teach me obedience in the everyday. Help me to live upon the nurturiousment of your Word, the Bible.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen

 

 

 

 

 

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QUOTE (Helen Keller)

June 27, 2014

English: Helen Keller. Français : Helen Keller.

“For three things I thank God every day of my life: thanks that he has vouchsafed me knowledge of his works; deep thanks that he has set in my darkness the lamp of faith; deep, deepest thanks that I have another life to look forward to–a life joyous with light and flowers and heavenly song.”   ~ Helen Keller

“Unless we form the habit of going to the Bible in bright moments as well as in trouble, we cannot fully respond to its consolations because we lack equilibrium between light and darkness.”  ~ Helen Keller

“If the blind put their hands in God’s, they find their way more surely than those who see but have not faith or purpose. ” ~ Helen Keller

In honor of Helen Keller, an American author, political activist, and lecturer, who was born on this day in 1880. She was the first deaf and blind person to earn a bachelor of arts degree.

Resources:
This Day in History for 27th June
Helen Keller>Quotes

 

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