1 Peter 3:4 but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious.
Okay, at the beginning of yesterday's sermon, the pastor showed a PowerPoint slide of a yogurt foil label.
I took that visual in a different direction than I think the pastor intended.
Stirrers, skimmers, diggers...We have all of these types in the Christian body.
Those who stir, those who skim, and those who dig. The beauty is that each of us shows all of these tendencies at some point or another.
When you hear "stir" - what do you think of? Is it the negative "stir up bottom muck?"
Or do you think positive?
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, (Hebrews 10:24 ESV)
As believers, do we stir up one another to look more like Christ? How does this work? For me, getting into the fringes of something, then finding another person, taking that "something" and running with it...with that other person, pulling more and more people into this "something."
Or simply encouraging another into a deeper walk.
I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder, (1 Peter 1:13)
what was Peter "stirring?" The list begins... faith, virtue, knowledge.
I see (rightly or wrongly) a lot of anti-intellectualism in a lot of people. "Knowledge" is third on Peter's list and knowledge is what leads to self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, love.
They're in this order for a reason, and each acts a foundation for the next.
How do we stir our spiritual siblings to greater faith, virtue, knowledge?
Merriam-Websters has one definition:
to look over or read (something) quickly especially to find the main ideas
Yeah, okay. That works. Why would a Christian "skim?"
We may skim a chapter of Scripture, then settle on the "main idea" and go for a deeper study of that idea that the Holy Spirit is laying on our heart and mind.
We may skim the church bulletin and rest our eyes on something that intrigues us.
We may skim community groups until we find one that we really click with.
Somebody may ask a question and we skim material looking for information.
These can show good fruit. I know a little bit about a lot of different things. Enough so that if somebody asks me a question, I can point them to good resources. A lot of these things I have not dug into deeply.
I pass over a lot of ministry opportunities that are not in my range of interest...
Waiting to find the right place is good.
but...you if you stay in that "skim" place, or if ALL of your places are skim place, that shows a shallowness that does not show good fruit.
You have to
I can skim Philippians, then land on "I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel,"
What does the Bible say about persecution? Start digging...
I can skim the church bulletin, then land on one opportunity that screams at me...start digging.
But we don't exist in a vacuum. Help others dig!
So, in some things, I'm a skimmer, others places a digger. In still other places, I can stir up others to do their own skimming and digging.
And...that's where I took that PowerPoint slide...
I've read on this for a while (years) and I remain a creationist. I believe that God created - not evolved. I don't think that God-directed evolution is correct. God created.
I'm just not sure that the "day" of Genesis 1 represents a literal 24-hour period.
Then Justin Taylor wrote "Biblical Reasons to Doubt the Creation Days Were 24-Hour Periods"
One of his points I've heard before.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
Okay...are we reading a prelude, a heading title, or a summary of what follows?
Genesis 1:1 tells us that “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
This is not a title or a summary of the narrative that follows. Rather, it is a background statement that describes how the universe came to be.
In other words.
At some point in the past, God created the universe.
Then (starting in Genesis 1:2) He formed our planet into our place.
At some point, the universe came into existence, then some time later,
The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. (Genesis 1:2-3)
In this case, even the six days of creation took place inside of a larger history.
From the Acton Institute Power Blog -
Persecution Of Christians: Will It Get Worse?
Even Christian-majority states are experiencing unprecedented levels of exclusion, discrimination and violence. The 2015 World Watch List reveals that a staggering number of Christians are becoming victims of intolerance and violence because of their faith. They are being forced to be more secretive about their faith.
According to 1onews.com, “A woman’s chance of being raped in Sweden during her lifetime is about one in four which is about the same as the chance of being raped in a war torn country such as Syria or Iraq. When it comes to rape, Islamized Sweden is already in a state of war. Sweden does not publish statistics on immigrant crime. If we want a clue about who is committing these tens of thousands of rapes and other types of sexual assaults, we can look at to another Scandinavian country, Sweden’s neighbor Norway. In Norway nearly 100 percent of all Oslo attack-rapes (where the attacker and the victim did not know each other) in the last five years were committed by immigrants from “non-Western” countries. In the Norwegian city of Stavanger, 90 percent of rapes are committed by “immigrants.”
I had used Lauren Winner’s Girl Meets God once before in class, an honors freshman colloquium on the theme of metamorphosis of body, heart, mind, and spirit. On the first or second day of discussing the book, comments made by a few students surprised, stunned, and, ultimately, silenced me.
“I wasn’t raised with any religion,” one student said, “so I can’t relate at all to this book.” A couple other students agreed.
And Part 2:
Dear Mom and Dad (and whomever else I made a hypocrite in the eyes of God), the letter-essay begins.
I suppose all the baptismal water has evaporated out of my pores by now. Every inch of my body must scream sin to you. I wonder what happened. When did I make you feel that you failed as a disciple of Christ? I am sorry that I made it impossible to keep the promises you made twenty years ago while I was crying in your arms in a gown of white. I feel guilty knowing that even though you believe in the existence of heaven, you do not have the reassurance that you will meet me there one day. I am sorry I do not believe in what you do.
- Observation – what does it say?
- Interpretation – what does it mean?
- Application – how do I need to change?
I'll be referring to this often, I think.
I feel exactly this way about a "Christian book" that I'm reading.
from Aish.com by Dr. Gerald Schroeder
How did I get to this site? My thought process was something like
- How old is the world?
- How old is the world according to Scripture?
- How can we best understand what Scripture means (answer: find out what the people who wrote it and originally read it thought it meant.)
- Who would know better what the ancient Jews thought...than ancient Jews?
- What is the closest we can get to that?
A lot of this made my head hurt.
Dr. Gerald Schroeder earned his BSc, MSc and double-Ph.D. in Nuclear Physics and Earth and Planetary Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology...
So...he's a smart guy 😉
Now...add to that, the Bible commentary he uses is all pre-1300 (so, no modern science has affected the reading of Scripture.)
In 1959, a survey was taken of leading American scientists. (...)Two-thirds of the scientists gave the same answer: "Beginning? There was no beginning. Aristotle and Plato taught us 2400 years ago that the universe is eternal. Oh, we know the Bible says 'In the beginning.' That's a nice story, but we sophisticates know better. There was no beginning."
That was 1959. In 1965, Penzias and Wilson discovered the echo of the Big Bang in the black of the sky at night, and the world paradigm changed from a universe that was eternal to a universe that had a beginning. After 3000 years of arguing, science has come to agree with the Torah.
Okay - when do the Jews say the universe began? They start with Rosh Hoshana - the Jewish New Year.
"Hayom Harat Olam ― today is the birthday of the world."
Does it mean that (about)5,700 years ago, the universe came into existence? According to this article, the "birthday of the world" celebrates, not the cosmos, but rather the creation of the human soul.
So (to use the article's wording) the Bible has two clocks. The first "clock" is the time leading up to Adam, the second clock begins with the soul of Adam.
One of the reasons for seeing this concept is the language. Is there anywhere else in the Bible where a "day" is described as "morning and evening?" This bizarre word usage is used until Adam; after Adam "normal" human time is always used.
Remember the days of old; consider the years of many generations;(Deut 32:7 ESV)
Nachmanides (died 1270 AD) saw this verse as "split time" - "days of old" = pre-Adam; "many generations" = post Adam.
I think this is going to be an issue - some of the media have already targeted Herman Cain's personal stand on homosexuality, expanding it to his public behavior (the media coverage doesn't stand up to examination, but it won't keep them from trying, and it won't keep a lot of folks from buying.)
"Well, dear friends, you know that some men can do to the glory of God what to other men would be sin. And notwithstanding what brother Pentecost has said, I intend to smoke a good cigar to the glory of God before I go to bed to-night.
"If anybody can show me in the Bible the command, 'Thou shalt not smoke,' I am ready to keep it; but I haven't found it yet. I find ten commandments, and it's as much as I can do to keep them; and I've no desire to make them into eleven or twelve.
"The fact is, I have been speaking to you about real sins, not about listening to mere quibbles and scruples. At the same time, I know that what a man believes to be sin becomes a sin to him, and he must give it up. 'Whatsoever is not of faith is sin' [Rom. 14:23], and that is the real point of what my brother Pentecost has been saying.
"Why, a man may think it a sin to have his boots blacked. Well, then, let him give it up, and have them whitewashed. I wish to say that I'm not ashamed of anything whatever that I do, and I don't feel that smoking makes me ashamed, and therefore I mean to smoke to the glory of God."
HT: Gospel-Driven Church
I like it.
I benefit from the flexibility building of yoga type exercises, but don't like the spiritual aspects.
This DVD is really good.
(if you click through here and buy thing, I get a credit)
I did the warm up, including several marching in place segments where you recite Bible passages that come up on the screen.
The stretching was good and hit my target spots - and the positions were named things like "rainbow" (and while we were holding the position, we were reciting Revelation 4:3 (And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald.)
and Genesis 9:13 (I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.)
And so forth...
Arm circles and stretching went along with the passage about the armor of God.
I will most likely get the other DVD's in the series.
software for the iPod and lots of free downloads.
Well worth looking at.
Listening to Driscoll
Reading Hebrews 4
Please, Lord, let this be the day. Let this be the day that time ends.
My Bible fell open to Isaiah 40
Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and cry to her
that her warfare is ended,
that her iniquity is pardoned,
that she has received from the LORD's hand
double for all her sins.