Okay. Let’s Try This Again.

I obviously didn’t re-launch the way I had intended. Things are really busy and I am still trying to figure out a schedule that works with family, church, and Walmart. I’m not there yet. That being said, I will try to make posts over the next three weeks but I don’t plan to officially jump start this (or the videos) until January 1, 2018. I do have some things I want to share and I do plan to look back at 2017 but as far as jumping out with all new content I plan to wait so that the new blog will be worth it.

 

This is my current favorite Christmas song. Enjoy.

May God our Father give you grace and peace.

 

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Two Days Until Re-Launch

Today is Wednesday, November 29, 2017 and I am two days away from seriously re-launching this thing. I was making daily posts just a couple of years ago so I know that it is possible. I have gotten busy with life that I just didn’t make time for this. I have always used the excuse that I don’t have time but the truth is that you make time for the things that are important to you. This just wasn’t high enough on my list of priorities. It still isn’t near the top but it is more important that some of the things I waste time on so I have decided to trim some of that stuff away and give this thing some attention. I am using Colossians 3:17 as a sort of motto for everything that I write about here and post videos about on YouTube.

And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (CSB)

 

That has kind of been my “pet” verse for quite a while now but I really do believe it applies to everyone in all situations. I try to live it out whether I am teaching a class, preaching a sermon, writing a blog post, or greeting people at Walmart.

I do know that one of the first posts I will be making is my top ten albums of 2017. I hope to have that one done on Monday, December 4. I am working quite a bit at Walmart right now do I am planning to write at night before I go to bed and then post the next morning before I go to work. We’ll see how that works.

I will leave you with U2 performing a new track, Get Out Of Your Own Way, live in London.

May God our Father give you grace and peace.

Re-Launch This Blog

Okay. I have taken enough time off. It’s time to get back to writing consistently. I have used the video blog as an excuse to ignore this one but they’re really supposed to go hand-in-hand with one another. I am not going to attempt to go back and recreate a written post for every video I’ve done. That would be time consuming and confusing on my end. With that in mind, I am cleaning the slate here. I am currently working through the Sermon on the Mount with the videos. However, I have decided to do other things with the videos and I will not be recording and posting one every single day. My goal is three a week for the time being and I would like one of those to be geared towards reviewing books, movies, and music. I have also started writing daily devotions that I am posting on the church Facebook account. That takes planning because my Walmart schedule is getting weird now that the holiday season is upon us. I also want to start using Twitter more so I’ve got to start planning this stuff. We’ll see how well I do. I do want to keep this particular passage in mind while doing all this planning because ultimately I don’t know what tomorrow brings. I think it is perfectly fine to plot out a course (I kind of believe God expects us to) with the knowledge that ultimately we’re not in control.

13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will travel to such and such a city and spend a year there and do business and make a profit.” 14 Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring—what your life will be! For you are like vapor that appears for a little while, then vanishes.

15 Instead, you should say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16 But as it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 So it is sin to know the good and yet not do it.

James 4:13-17 (CSB)

 

What I do want to do is take advantage of every opportunity God has given me to use my talents to point people to Him. While I would honestly love it if thousands of people followed this and shared all the things I write I don’t know that I could handle it. I can definitely see myself getting conceited about it. I will just concentrate on using all of these things to influence the little circle of folks I walk with. I think that is all God wants me to do.

May God our Father give you grace and peace.

Let’s Get Back To It

Okay, I haven’t posted in a week and for that I plead…well…I plead nothing. I’ve been doing other things. The video blog which is intended to supplement this one is going well. I’m posting every day which means I have no excuse for ignoring this one. I have actually finished the walk through the Beatitudes there and have moved on to the next section of the Sermon on the Mount. I do want to go back and make actual posts here that go along with the videos but honestly, that will take some time and I don’t have a lot of that this week. I will EVENTUALLY get that stuff caught up and figure out a way to link it all together. I may go back and add the link to each video in the corresponding post. We’ll see.

I just finished recording tomorrow’s video (it takes FOREVER to upload them) and it is on Matthew 5:14-16. Here is that passage in both the CSB and The Message.

14 “You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. (CSB)

14-16 “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven. (The Message)

I made a comment in the video (which will post tomorrow) that there are three Newsboys references in that Peterson’s rendition of that passage. When I was filming I wasn’t sure when his version came out in relation to the two Newsboys’ albums referenced. Well, Not Ashamed came out a year before The Message NT was released and Going Public came out the year after. I wonder.

Anyways, I am going to get this thing back on track if you all will be patient with me. It may take me a week to get things in sync but that is my eventual goal.

May God our Father give you grace and peace.

The Humble

Matthew 5:5

Blessed are the humble, for they will inherit the earth. (CSB)

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.(ESV)

God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth. (NLT)

The gentle are blessed, for they will inherit the earth. (HCSB)

Blessed [inwardly peaceful, spiritually secure, worthy of respect] are the gentle [the kind-hearted, the sweet-spirited, the self-controlled], for they will inherit the earth. (Amplified Bible)

You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought. (The Message)

For the duration of this study I am going to use the same versions in each post. That will keep things consistent and less confusing. Because I pulled up the HCSB last time I went ahead and included it in this one as well. Once again it is a slightly different. It’s interesting that the CSB (which is a revision of the HCSB) differs that much. Of course, when looking at the intended meanings I don’t guess they differ that much at all. I do want to give another shout out to the Amplified Bible. Like I said last time, I really am starting to appreciate it more now that I have looked at it. As I searched this passage on biblegateway.com I noticed that there’s also something called the Amplified Bible, Classic Edition. I assume that it has been revised just like most other versions. That made me wonder, “How different (if any) is it from the current Amplified Bible?

Blessed (happy, blithesome, joyous, spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the meek (the mild, patient, long-suffering), for they shall inherit the earth! 

I was somewhat surprised to see that it is actually quite different. I am now curious about those two versions and will be doing more research on them in the future. That, however, will have to wait for another post.

We have already discussed what it means to be “blessed” in the context of this passage so we won’t spend any more time on that other than to say that true blessedness/happiness can only be found when one is progressing along this Kingdom Path. The part we do want focus in on is this business about inheriting the earth. What exactly is Jesus suggesting here? Are those who are humble/meek/gentle going to actually rule over the earth at some point in the future? I am inclined to disagree because we know that Jesus is the King of Kings and he is the only one who will rule in the end. So what does it mean?

In The Chronological Life Of Christ, Mark Moore suggests that this is a “laughable paradox” (166) when one considers the role those who are meek or mild play in a culture that is driven by selfishness. It was true in Jesus’ day and it remains true today as well. You do not get ahead unless you are self-serving and willing to step on others to move ahead. There is no room for gentleness or meekness. Only the strong survive. Moore suggests that there is a connection between being “poor” and “humble” that bridges our personal recognition and public recognition of our place before Almighty God.

I said that this statement is not referring to the acquisition of material wealth but there is some aspect of that in this teaching. Romans 8:17 says that we are co-heirs with Christ. Likewise, 2 Corinthians 6:10 says that we posses all things in Christ (Moore 166). Jesus’ statement is actually a reference to Psalm 37.

10 A little while, and the wicked person will be no more;
though you look for him, he will not be there.
11 But the humble will inherit the land
and will enjoy abundant prosperity. (CSB)

We will live as co-heirs with Jesus when he establishes his eternal kingdom on the new earth. It will be somewhat like Eden recreated where Adam and Ever were supposed to exercise dominion over God’s creation as His representatives. So the eschatological element does address the actual inheritance of Paradise Restored but in the original context I believe Jesus was talking about right then and right there as well. Those who followed him would be partners with him in his ministry to the lost, they would eventually be filled with the Spirit when he left, and finally they would continue his kingdom work until he returned.

Another aspect could be that because this is God’s world and He rules in completely, we, as His adopted children are the rightful heirs. If that is in deed the case then it’s a matter of us reclaiming what was once ours. This world was created with us in mind and we were to be God’s crown jewel. Our sin tarnished all that but Jesus came to reconcile not only us but all of creation back to the Creator. Those who truly following Christ are taking their birthright back from the enemy through the blood of Christ.

As with much of Jesus’ teachings, it is about attitude. We cannot claim to own any of it or forcefully take any of it. It’s not ours for the taking. It’s only through humble and gentle obedience to Christ that we are put back in the place God intended for us in the beginning.

May God our Father give you grace and peace.

A.L. Kennedy – Doctor Who: The Drosten’s Curse

The Doctor of my childhood (what little I was able to watch) was Tom Baker. I have enjoyed the newer Doctors quite a bit but when I hear “Doctor Who” it is Baker’s lovable mug that comes to mind. I am also a fan of Douglas Adams and a friend described this as being Adams-inspired. That was enough for me to snag this copy and dive into it. I am not familiar with any of Kennedy’s other works and I have never read any of the Doctor Who novels. I was truly a “virgin” going into this. There is nothing bad about this book and it is actually quite entertaining (what bits I finished) but it never really grabbed my attention and held it. Kennedy is a capable writer and the story felt very much like Doctor Who but I continued to lose interest enough times that I never actually finished it. I confess that I received this particular title during an rather hectic point during my life and that may have contributed to my lack of interest with it. This is not a indictment of Kennedy or her novel. As I said, the parts I read were truly interesting and stayed true to The Doctor. I did find some of the writing to be a bit long winded but it was not nearly as tiresome as Tolkien or Lewis. I do hope that one day I will be able to pull this one down from the shelf and give it another shot.

I give it a three out of five simply because I never finished it. What I read was good but I just cannot comment much more.

I was reviewing a copy I received from bloggingforbooks.