Saturday, January 10, 2009

Blogs ???

I really miss JS as I try out several blog sites that are so different. This blogspot seems to be the easiest one of the lot. Wordpress is driving me crazy. I know that you can post a picture on wordpress but I haven't figured it out yet and their "HELP" sections is worthless. With all its troubles JS was a much better site to work with.

Sorry about griping here but I am so frustrated about it. Anyone out there udnerstand WP's process for posting pictures?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Love and Forgiveness

Love and forgiveness are quite different though it often takes a lot of love to forgive someone.

Forgiveness requires

1. A wrong done; 

2. Admission of guilt; 

3. Repentance by the wrong doer: and 

4. Forgiveness by the one who was wronged.

This is why we confess our sins to God and repent. The word repent means to turn around - that is make a commitment to not do the sin again. This is a lot more than saying "I am sorry."

Repentance and Forgiveness restarts the relationship fresh.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Strife in the Holy Land

This is a short history of strife in the Holy Land.

The children of Abraham and Cana have shared the land we call “The Holy Land” off and on for a very long time.  When Abraham left Ur {which is now is South Iraq} about 2000 BC and arrived in the Jordan River valley the children of Cana were already living there for thousands of years. One of the children of Cana Melchizedek the king of Salem, now Jerusalem, welcomed Abraham as a friend.


Later the great grandson of Abraham named Joseph was betrayed by his own brothers and sold as a slave to Egypt. He rose above it to become powerful in Egypt and in a time of famine invited his family to live in Egypt. Jacob abandons Cana to live in Egypt for four hundred years. Then Moses led them back to Canaan. Joshua led them across the Jordan river to take the land away from the Canaanites. He was supposed to have cleansed the land but he failed to do so and the Children of Abraham and the children of Cana shared the land for a long time.


After the death of King Solomon the land split with 10 tribes to the North as Israel and Benjamin, Judah and some of the Levites formed the kingdom of Judah in the South.  Later Israel was assimilated by Assyria and disappeared altogether. Judah later was captured by Babylon and was take captive to Babylon for 70 years. The children of Cana remained in the land.


Judah, Benjamin, and the Levites returned once again to share the land with Cana, living first under the rule of the Persians and then the Greeks.  Then for a short time they had their own King until the Romans came to rule them in 63 BC. In 68 AD they rebelled and in 70 AD the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and covered it with dirt. A second revolt in 130 AD was also put down and the Jews expelled from Judea and Romans even renamed the area Palestine. Canaanites became Palestinians.  There after they lived under the Romans, Eastern Romans, Arabs, European Crusaders, and Ottomans. The children of Cana abided in peace.


 In 1917 England gained control of Palestine as a protectorate. Slowly European Jews began to move back to the Holy Land. After 1946 the flow became a flood and the conflict was on until 1948 when the UN saw fit to divide the land with one part Israel and the other Palestine. Neither the Children of Abraham nor the Children of Cana liked the division.


Today radicals on both sides urged that the other be destroyed. War brings death to both sides. It must stop and both must find a way to live in the same place in peace.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Effective Bible Study

The Bible is valid for guiding our relationship with God. It is not one book even though it is bound that way. Each book can stand on its own but as you say we need to understand who wrote it and when and under what circumstances. 

Within the text of the library we call the Bible are different types of information and styles of writing. Each author had his or her own story to tell and world view to tell it with. It helps us to understand the scriptures better if we are able to recognize what type of writing we are reading. 

In my opinion there are five types of writing in the Bible that we need to recognize in their order of importance. 

Type One: The Direct Word of God.  
These include:  
[A] the Ten Commandments,  
[B] where the writer say, "Thus says the Lord." and as a Christian I believe, 
[C] The words of Jesus the Son of God.  

Type Two:The Indirect Word of God.  
This is where the prophets interpret dreams and visions using their own words and giving directions according to their understanding of the meaning of the vision. Daniel and Revelation are good examples of this type of writing. 

Type Three: The response of the people.  
We recognize that the people who heard God's word sometimes obeyed and often failed to obey. We can learn from both actions and the results of the obedience and the sin. 

Type Four: The history of God's people.  
The Bible also records normal historical events of both the Hebrew people and the people they dealt with. This information may not be "God's Word" per say but it is interesting information about the culture they lived in and is relevant to our understanding the scriptures. 

Type Five: Inspired writings.  
One normal response to God is to lift our voices in praise. The inspired writings include the Book of Psalms [the hymn book for the Hebrews]. There is also "Prose" which include Esther, the Song of Solomon, and Job. Then we have the witty sayings called Proverbs. 

The Old Testament was written mostly in Hebrew, with a few sections written in Aramaic. The New Testament was written mostly in Greek. All "English" Bibles are translations from these languages. 

The word "Testament" can mean "Covenant" or an agreement. Testament can also mean that it is a personal witness of the people who had a relationship with God. The Old Testament has the Covenants God made with His people before the coming of Jesus the Christ. The New Testament is the witness of God's grace given to us and is about His relationship with all people after Christ came. 

We can learn more about the bible if we recognize the type of writing we are reading. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Merry Orothodox Christmas

Merry Orthodox Christmas
January 6 is the day that was celebrated in the Christian Church in the Roman Empire and the Eastern Orthodox churches still do. 

After the Christian Religion became legal in Rome the Roman church changed it to December 25th to ease the pagan solstist celebration into celebrating the birth of the son of God as apposed to the celebration of  the rebrith of the sun as days get longer.

So Merry Christmas everyone.

What Does "Messiah" Mean?

MESSIAH is a term that changed over time.

 It is a Hebrew word that means "The anointed one" and is used more than thirty times in the Old Testament to describe the Kings of Israel and Judah, the priest and the patriarchs and even Cyrus the King of Persia. King Saul and King David were Messiahs and it is David's kingship that is the model for the Jews for the "expected Messiah" who would restore  the grand Kingdom of David. In Daniel 9:25-26 we have the first prophecy of a coming Messiah as a king who would restore Israel.

In Jesus day the Hebrew people's expectations - including the disciples - was of a political king who would rid Judah of the Romans and restore the throne of King David. Jesus understood the Messiah differently as that of the suffering servant whose "Kingdom is not of this world." The early Christian Church picked up on that as a spiritual kingdom for those who accepted Jesus as their savior.

Messiah is a title which when translated into Greek was Christos or Christ.
So Christ is not one of the names for Jesus it is his title...
Properly written is Christ Jesus or Jesus the Christ. In English it is Jesus the anointed one.  

Monday, January 5, 2009

Judy ask a follow-up Question on Resurrection

Judy said...

So when we die, the instant we die we got straight to Heaven? That's great to know. :)

Hmmm, but since we are already in Heaven when we die, then what's happening with the Resurrection?



Resurrection is a different issue:


The early Christian leaders understood the second coming resurrection to be a resurrection of the body that would be transformed. From the ashes and dust of the earth would rise the bodies of the faithful - regardless of what had happened to their bodies, burned, hacked up or eaten by lions - the earth will give up its dead and the transformed bodies of the faithful will rejoin the soul.


There are a lot of opinions on this idea. I like that my soul goes directly to God, I am not sure I care what happens to this old body. The ancients argued about this a lot. Food for thought.

Judy Ask: "Where do we go when we die?"

Judy said...

I have a question, Pastor Larry :)

Where do we go when we die? I hope I can go traveling especially to Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Austria, and Paris when I die.

Judy as stated in the post below I bleieve that when we die our imortal soul goes back to God and our body returns to the dust of the earth.

So for me that means that if you want to visit Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Austria and Paris you better do it now while you have the chance.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sally's Question on Soul Sleep

Question: "What does the Bible say about soul sleep?"

Soul sleep is a minority belief that the soul sleeps unconsciously between the death of the body and its resurrection on Judgment Day. The concept of “soul sleep” is not a biblical doctrine. When the Bible says a person is “sleeping” in relation to death Luke 8:52 and 1 Corinthians 15:6, it does not mean literal sleep. Sleeping is just a way to describe death because a dead body appears to be sleeping. The Bible tells us that the instant we die, we are taken to heaven or hell based on whether we have placed our faith in Christ for salvation. For believers, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord 2Corinthiasns 5:6-8 and Philippians 1:23. For unbelievers, death means everlasting punishment in hell Luke 16:22-23. The moment we die, we face the judgment of God Hebrews 9:27.

Present-day defenders of soul sleep include the Seventh Day Adventist the Jehovah’s Witness and the Christadelphian churches.


Ecclesiastes 12:7
Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was; and the spirit shall return to God who gave it.
That is, the soul has an existence independent of the body, and returns to God at death, etc.


One of the more confusing passages in this regard is 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17, where Paul speaks of the dead in Christ as being asleep, and as rising only when Christ returns. This may at first give the impression that they are rising from sleep when Christ returns, and that prior to that they are not with him. However, "rise" (from the Greek anistemi) is not the normal word the Bible uses to describe those who cease to sleep -- "awake" is. "Rise" generally refers to the simple act of standing up, but it also refers frequently to the general resurrection when our bodies will rise from the grave (Mark 9:9; 9:10; 12:25; Luke 16:31; 24:46; John 20:9; Acts 10:41; 13:43; 17:3,31). In these cases, the point is not that our souls wake up or rise, but that our bodies do. This being the background of the language of "rising" (anistemi) in the church, the Thessalonian church would have understood "rise" (anistemi) in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 to refer to the bodily resurrection, not to awaking from soul sleep. 

There is no explicit teaching in Scripture that outlines any doctrine of "soul sleep," but it is an inference drawn from the metaphor/euphemism of death as "sleep." The Bible does explicitly teach, however, that our souls are immediately present with the Lord upon our deaths. For example, Jesus told the thief on the cross that the thief would be with him that day in paradise (Luke 23:43). Further, Paul explicitly taught that to be absent from the body was to be present with the Lord -- he mentioned no third alternative such as soul sleep (2 Cor. 5:6-9). Moreover, we have actual examples of people who died but did not experience soul sleep: Moses and Elijah (Matt. 17:3; Mark 9:4; Luke 9:30-31); perhaps Samuel (1 Sam. 28:3-20); and of course Jesus himself (e.g. Luke 23:43). Some would add the debatable example of Abraham, Lazarus and the rich man in the parable of Luke 16:19-31.