Reality, Biblical Correctness and GQ

I ended my post called Don’t believe Phil…or me either published on January 9, 2014 with the recommendation,

“If you really want to understand what Phil Robertson believes get his book unPhiltered, which was published after this article and controversy.”

IMG_20150711_113402.242 (3)I recently finished reading unPhiltered by Phil Robertson myself and am glad I followed my own advice. I enjoyed it so much I decided to share a few details about the book as well as provide a postscript to the GQ article controversy that encouraged me and I hope will do the same for you. I made the picture of his book black and white because Phil still believes, as I do, right & wrong as well as good & evil still exists. The fact that popular culture does not subscribe to this belief has no bearing on that truth.

Love God, Love Other People

If you want an executive summary of unPhiltered here it is:

Love God. Love one another.

Everything Phil Robertson believes and says flows through this filter. It is an amazingly simple, yet profound, summary of what Jesus Christ tells us, as Christians, to do. Phil is not the source for this thought or philosophy. It is a very concise paraphrase of what Jesus said in Matthew 22:34-40.

34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

The Way Phil Sees It

The subtitle of the book is “The Way I See It” and that is what you get; Phil’s opinion, wisdom and common sense formed in 28 years BJC and 40+ years AJC. This is not his life story. If you want that Happy, Happy, Happy is the book you need.

unPhiltered is presented in three sections, Personal Lifestyles, Hot Topics, and Faith. It is written in a conversational style as if you were sitting with Phil at his kitchen table listening to him describe the way he sees life and making a pretty good case for you to come around to his way of thinking if you are not already there. I found myself agreeing with his views and common sense and think many of you will too.

It is, as the title alludes to, unfiltered. Don’t be fooled by his appearance and slow talking Southern demeanor. Phil Robertson is a very wise man.

Personal Lifestyles

The topics of Spiritual Dieting, Money, Social Media, Family, and my favorite in this section Biblical Correctness are covered in this section.

He starts with a quote from the preface of the first edition of the American Dictionary of the English Language, published in 1828 by a man named Noah Webster.

“The moral principles and precepts contained in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. All the miseries and evils which men suffer from, vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.”

Phil believes this statement is true and does his best to live according to the precepts in the Bible. He captured my sentiments exactly when he said,

“The way things are going, it’s okay to have an opinion in America, as long as you don’t offend anyone and don’t quote the Bible.”

Biblical Correctness

Phil has decided to be biblically correct instead of politically correct and I think that is a wise decision. Here are a couple more highlights from this topic that give you a flavor for his perspective. These are even more true today than when this book was published.

“Biblical correctness has never changed. Conversely, political correctness is constantly changing and evolving. There has been a constant erosion of biblical correctness in our country. Political correctness is constantly morphing into a dark maze of nonsense. It keeps getting more and more nonsensical.”

“Today’s truth is based on what is socially acceptable, and biblical correctness has somehow become hate speech.”

Hot Topics

In section two Phil discusses Politics, Race, Entitlements, Government and Gun Control.

Gun Control

On the topic of gun control Phil points out murder is sin and has been so “2,700 years before guns were introduced. You can’t blame sin on the device one uses; you blame the person committing the sin.”

“Trust me, the murder rate in this country would drop dramatically if we started to love God and love one another. It is the solution to all of our country’s ailments, as well as the ailments of the entire world.”

There he goes again – love God and love one another. I told you that is THE central theme in how Phil sees the world.

Sin Control

“It was a love problem when the law was written – do not murder – not a weapons problem. It is a love problem now. We need sin control and self control.”

Faith

In this last section the topics are Intelligent Design Or Blind Chance, Good VS. Evil, Sin, Death and Good News.

In this last section the first chapter, Intelligent Design Or Blind Chance, Phil makes a solid case for why evolution does not make any sense and is not supported by the “evidence” evolutionists claim exists. He knows this subject very well and makes arguments you could use in discussing this subject with others too.

Sin

In the chapter on Sin he covers the GQ article interview and his description is not too far from the one I provided in my blog post Don’t believe Phil…or me either published a little over a year and a half ago. That was encouraging to me and proved the old adage even a blind hog can find an acorn every now and then.

He encourages you to read the source, the Bible, for yourself as I did.

“The gospel is the same, Jesus is the same, and the response is the same. I’m not saying anything that you can’t document, read, and verify on your own by simply picking up a Bible and reading it. I strongly suggest you do.”

GQ Article Controversy Postscript

In the aftermath of the GQ Article controversy and Phil’s suspension from Duck Dynasty you will learn how Phil felt about the whole situation and might be surprised. You will also be reminded God is always in control of every situation. He can and often does use the most unlikely situation for His glory. He did that again with this situation.

Phil gives two examples of people who learned about the GQ article controversy and, as a result, now have their eternal reservations confirmed in Heaven. Their lives were changed forever by what many only see as a controversy or even hate speech. You will have to get the book to learn the details. These are just two examples at the time he wrote the book of people who actually visited White’s Ferry Road Church in West Monroe, Louisiana, where Phil worships and teaches a Sunday School class. I am confident there are many more both before and since who have made similar decisions Phil is not aware of. God knows and the people whose lives have been changed forever know and that is all that really matters.

In light of this controversy and A&E’s response to it Phil’s perspective is probably not one Hollywood would share or promote but it is true.

“Who would have ever thought that Hollywood, through a reality TV show, would be financing the gospel being preached all over the United States and world?”

Good News

In closing here are a couple more thoughts from the book that most who condemn Phil for his beliefs ignore or refuse to understand. They are not unique to Phil Robertson but are shared by all who believe and live as Christians.

“I condemn no one, and you don’t have to judge anybody. Just go forth and tell people about Jesus. The power to save people is in the story. Just tell the story.”

“Just remember this–even if you hate me, I love you anyway. So does God.” 

Check it out for yourself

There is no way I could really do justice to this book here. I only scratched the surface. I hope I have shared enough to generate some interest and you will get your own copy and read it for yourself. Click here and order unPhiltered online or pick it up at your local book store. If you do I am confident you will be glad you did.

It might even make you Happy, Happy, Happy!

Until next time…

If you like what you read here or just want to see what comes out of my warped mind enter your email address in the sidebar on the left and subscribe. This is the only way to ensure you will be notified immediately whenever a new post is published.

 

7 Words

Is John 11:35 really the shortest verse in the Bible?350px-holy_bible-300x216

If you are familiar with the Bible I’m sure you’ve heard the shortest verse in the Bible is “Jesus wept” in John 11:35.

I had always thought that was the only verse in the Bible with only two words but recently learned that was not true. There is another verse with only two words.

You have to count characters to determine which is shortest. John 11:35 has two words and 10 characters. I Thessalonians 5:16 has two words and 14 characters.

So there you have it, John 11:35 is the shortest verse in the Bible but you have to go to a character count tie-breaker for confirmation.

Contrasts are interesting

In addition to just the number of words I find the contrast in these two verses interesting.

In John 11:35 Jesus shows us He loved and felt grief just like we do. Lazarus, a close friend of His, had just died and a wave of grief just passed over Him like it does us when we grieve, so Jesus wept.

In I Thessalonians 5:16 we are told to “Rejoice always.” That seems to be in direct conflict or contrast with John 11:35, but is it really?

This does not mean to pray continuously but to pray persistently and consistently. Don’t just use prayer as a crutch or your “help line” when you have exhausted all of your own great, or not so great, ideas. Try it as a first resort. His ideas are greater than ours and prayer helps us learn what those are.

You Can Memorize Scripture

Three very short verses, seven words, and you thought you couldn’t memorize scripture. I am confident if you will just read these three verses a few more times you will have memorized three verses today.

7 Words Verses

 

God Does Not Do Coincidences

God does not do coincidences. He knew what He was doing when he inspired these verses as He did with all the other verses in the Bible. I am not an expositor of scripture and did not stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night but I can draw a couple of thoughts from these three short verses of scripture that make sense to me.

As Christians, if we would practice praying without ceasing that would increase our chances of rejoicing always. If we rejoice always we will even be able to rejoice when a brother or sister in Christ leaves this world and takes up residence in their final home with Jesus. We know they are rejoicing and that helps us to rejoice. However we will also shed a few tears because we are sad they are no longer here with us and we do grieve.

In the end, as Christians, we do have the hope and promise we will see them again one day when we get home.

Do you share this hope?

If you don’t share this hope and would like to learn how you can visit Peace With God and satisfy your curiosity. What you learn there can allow you to begin rejoicing always. You just may be weeping for joy and praying without ceasing will become a real possibility.

Until next time…

Originally published on Peculiar Perspective on 5/2/2015

Right Thinking

Thoughts Banner 2From the title of this post you might think this was a political book expounding on the virtues of how right thinking, in the political realm of thought, is powerful. Let me put that thought to rest for you. It’s not.

What the author does provide in “You & Your Thoughts: The Power of Right Thinking” is much more powerful than any political thought ever…and there have been some powerful political ideas or thoughts.

Enough about, or not about, politics.

From the Foreword, “Many Christians are trudging through life without any compass, unaware of the transcendent yet everyday practicality of the timeless truths of God’s Word. Rediscovering a life of confidence and hope is what this book is all about.”

In this updated version, the original was published in 1977, a few minor changes have been made to bring the text up to date, but all the original ideas of Dr. Radmacher have been retained. The purpose of this book is to “allow Christians to use their minds to lift up the name of Jesus, advance the Gospel, and boldly proclaim God’s free grace.” I believe this book will help all who read it make progress toward that goal.

As Dr. Radmacher explains, using the computer related example of GIGO – Garbage In Garbage Out – our minds function very similarly. Just as computer programmers understand this truth and do their best to keep the garbage out, we should do the same for the computer God has given us, our minds…but do we?

This book will remind you of the importance of not allowing garbage into your mind and will go one step further in encouraging you to put the Word of God into your mind and heart instead.

You may be thinking, I don’t have time to memorize scripture. Regarding that thought the author poses a few convicting questions.

“Do we Christians have time to eat daily, but no time to get into the Word? Do we have time to read the newspaper every day, but not the Bible? Time enough to glue ourselves to the TV set, but no time for the Scriptures? What does all of this say about our values?

Do those questions hit you as hard as they do me? Do you really pay attention to what you are allowing into your mind? 

This principle reminds me of what Zig Ziglar often said, “You are what you are and where you are because of what has gone into your mind. You can change what you are and how you are by changing what goes into your mind.”

David said it best in Psalm 119, “Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee.”

What are you hiding in your heart?

If this sounds like something you would like to explore to refresh your memory or understanding or learn for the first time get your copy of You and Your Thoughts today and start re-programming your mind and thinking right. “It will make a difference.”

Until next time…

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What Do YOU Expect from the Holy Spirit?

Well, what DID you expect? When you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour what did you expect? Did you expect an upper room experience like the first Christians as described in the book of Acts?

For all of us who have come to accept Christ after his ascension we don’t have to wait. The moment we make that decision the Holy Spirit is there, immediately.

So, since we have this Helper or Holy Spirit inside us, what should we expect?

Holy Spirit 300x300

What To Expect from the Holy Spirit by Dr. Earl D. Radmacher and Jeremy Myers will help you answer that question.

 

 

Have you ever thought about what the responsibility of the Holy Spirit really is? I suspect you have or you wouldn’t still be reading this post.

 

Dr. Radmacher will either enlighten you or remind you of what Jesus said about the Holy Spirit, why it would be coming, and exactly what the purpose for its coming was.

The chapter titles will give you a clue as to what is discussed in this book.

The Pattern of Dependence

The Power for Witness

The Protector of the Church

The Provider of Gifts

The Possessor of the Body Member

This book is an essential study of the Holy Spirit Dr. Radmacher delivered as messages in 1980 and originally published by RBC in 1983.

This version has been updated and now re-published by Jeremy Myers. Dated references and references only really applicable in a live sermon were removed and a new preface, introduction, and Conclusion chapter was added.

The goal of this book is also to clarify some of the confusion that often accompanies teaching about Spiritual gifts and the filling of the Holy Spirit. I believe this goal has been accomplished.

The central message is to explain and reinforce the premise, “The Spirit of God has only the desire to focus on Jesus Christ.”

“This book seeks to determine from the Scriptures what we can know about the person and work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.”

The following excerpt from the book was an eye-opener for me. I guess I did know it but had never really thought about it exactly this way until reading it here. See if it has the same effect on you,

“The issue isn’t how much of the Holy Spirit we have or how much of the Holy Spirit’s power we can get. Due to indwelling and sealing, we have all of the Spirit we are ever going to get. The issue for Christians is how much of us does the Holy Spirit Have!”

So, if you are a Christian, you have the Holy Spirit living inside you. If you want to learn more about exactly what that should mean for you this book is an excellent resource. This book will also explain the Holy Spirit’s role in helping you discover and implement YOUR spiritual gift or gifts.

After reading this book you will possess either a new understanding or better understanding of what to expect from the Holy Spirit.

If you are not a Christian and want to learn more about what the Holy Spirit would mean should you ever decide to become a Christian, this is a good place to start.

This book was both enlightening and informative for me. I hope it will be for you too. I recommend you get your copy today, right now!

Until next time…

If you like what you read here or just want to see what comes out of my warped mind enter your email address in the sidebar and subscribe or select one of the other options to follow this blog and you will be notified whenever a new post is published.

Prayer and Politics

I have always heard and believed the old saying if you don’t vote then you have no right to complain when those elected don’t act in accordance with your beliefs. I still believe that but have come to a new understanding that goes a little deeper. I do vote whenever that privilege avails itself so I do maintain that “right” to complain.

My new understanding has come about over the past few weeks as I have tried to practice what Jesus preached in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5. There are many verses in the Bible that are hard for me to live by. In this sermon where Jesus says, “Love your enemies” and “pray for those who persecute you” those are some of the hardest.

Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber ...
Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber to be an example of a charismatic religious leader. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Love Your Enemies

43“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47And if you greet only your brothers,i what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

This goes even deeper than the fact this will drive some of them crazy once they become aware you are doing so. Jesus sets a very high standard for us as Christians to aspire to. I fall short every day.

Prayer changes…

One thing I have learned about prayer over the years is it changes the person praying more than the one you are praying to. It is a little bit…ok…enormously presumptuous to think that I am going to change God’s mind about anything anyway. Prayer, if practiced regularly, will, however put my heart and mind more in sync with what God has in mind for me.

Meanwhile…back to my original topic

It has always been difficult to pray for those in leadership when I do not agree with their methods, decisions, or intentions as I understand them. I have prayed they would be removed or replaced but that is not what I am charged to do from God’s Word.

Recently, I have found a way to do this that has worked for me. Maybe I am a little slow to arrive at this truth but I am there now.

Here is how my prayer goes regarding those who God has placed in leadership roles over me.

Leaders Prayer

That’s it. It is pretty simple and yet it is sincere in that it is what I want our leaders to do. This is true regardless of whether it is a leader I happen to have voted for or agree with ideologically. I want all of those who represent us and are supposed to be leading us to make decisions based on the best interests of us. The fact I may disagree with their decisions and direction they are leading is irrelevant. It really is. That may be hard for some of you to believe but it is true.

It is possible my prayers could help change their hearts but it is far more likely mine will be changed.

Not Silent

However, this does not mean I will be a silent observer when I believe decisions being made by those same leaders are ill-advised or are motivated by their own self interests. I am praying for them to make wise decisions and hope they do but I will speak out and share my thoughts and opinions when I don’t believe they did. I will work within our political process to get them removed and replaced by those who will make wise decisions. That is just part of my responsibility to be a good citizen.

Prayer in the Public Square

Contrary to what many want us to believe prayer does have a place in the public square. It is the only way this government, which was designed to serve and protect the people, will work. Anything else will result in chaos or something worse.

English: I took photo with Canon camera.
English: I took photo with Canon camera. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

As stated in 2 Chronicles 7:14, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

 

 

 

Will you join me in prayer?

Until next time…

If you like what you read here or just want to see what comes out of my warped mind enter your email address in the sidebar and subscribe or select one of the other options to follow this blog and you will be notified whenever a new post is published.

Size 13 Footprint

I received a Father’s Day gift this year from my son, created with “encouragement” from my wife. I have received many Father’s Day gifts over the years and I am sure many fathers have received a gift similar to the one I am writing about today.

However, I suspect few have received one in the same size as the one I received. You see, my son is 18 and has a size 13 foot.

Fathers Day Card_20140615

This gift marks a milestone for us. You see, this is our youngest child who is now away in college leaving us at home without children in the house for the first time in 27 years. We are quasi-empty-nesters. I say quasi because we do still have two children in college so they will be back pretty regularly until they finish college but they are gone now more than they are here and that will likely be a permanent condition.

We are now living in the second half of Proverbs 22:6, which says, “Teach your children to choose the right path, and when they are older, they will stay on it.” TLB

For the most part, we are done with the first half of this verse. He is now older and free to make most day-to-day decisions on his own. We will now have to sit back and observe to see if we really did teach him to choose the right path.

I am as confident as one can be when looking into the future he will make wise decisions. Does that mean he will make wise decisions every time the first time? Of course not. That is how we learn the most and gain wisdom – from our mistakes and unwise decisions. As long as he keeps learning and not repeating the same mistakes then those experiences will just become learning opportunities. I do hope he can learn from our mistakes too so he doesn’t have to make the same ones we did.

Will we worry? Of course we will. If I answered that question any other way I would lose all credibility.

Will we pray? Absolutely! We will Pray without ceasing as we are exhorted to do in I Thessalonians 5:17. I think many parents really heed this exhortation when their children leave for college or move away. It is nothing new for us to pray for our children. The focus of the prayers just changes over time. I hope our praying will outweigh our worrying but I am sure the balance of those scales will move back and forth as we grow. We are still learning too.

Our prayer for all our children includes but also follows the more familiar Proverbs 3:5-6 which says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths. 

Proverbs 3:7 says, “Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.”

This prayer will work in all situations for all of us.

Until next time…

If you like what you read here or just want to see what comes out of my warped mind enter your email address in the sidebar on the left and subscribe. This is the only way to ensure you will be notified immediately whenever a new post is published.

Time With Mom

Mom&Dad_1999 (2)I spent some time with my mother tonight.

If you don’t know me then you would say, “It’s Mother’s Day. Of course you did.”

However, my mother went home to be with the Lord 14 years ago yesterday. So now you are probably thinking, “How did you do that?” or “This guy is warped and needs help.” I wouldn’t argue with that thought myself. I am a little warped and can always use help.

Faith – Hope

My faith gives me a hope and assurance I will see all of my loved ones, who know the Lord as their personal Saviour, again, either when the Lord returns or when we die, whichever comes first. When you have someone close to you, such as a mother, father, or other family member or close friend die then that gives you a much more vivid view of and connection with Heaven. At least that is how it worked for me.

When I sing or hear songs about Heaven I have a real connection now because I “know” someone there. Of course I knew Jesus as my Saviour before she died and He lives there but this is a little different.

When I remember things I did with Momma that brings her back to me in a sense. It is just a memory but it is a good memory.

Good Memories

That is what happened tonight. To give you a little background here, when we were growing up on Sunday mornings in our house, while we were eating breakfast and getting ready to go to church, we always had the Gospel Music Hour (not sure if that is that is really the name of the show or not but that is not that important for my purpose here) on the TV. The two groups I remember as always or at least regularly being on that show were The Florida Boys and The Dixie Echoes.

Well, tonight we had the privilege to see The Dixie Echoes in our church and I was thinking about Momma. I know she would have loved it and it brought back good memories for me just thinking about how she would have loved it. It felt like she was here with me – in spirit anyway. It also reminded me of the time we did get to take her to a Gaither Homecoming concert in Tallahassee. Good memories.

Do It Today!

So, as you have probably already heard or seen on some commercial on TV or Facebook post, if your mother is still with you here on planet earth take time to go see her or call her today. If you didn’t get that done today, do it tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that…etc.

If she is no longer here on planet earth I hope you have some good memories of her to think about today and you share the hope that I do of seeing her again one day.

If you have questions about how you have this same hope I have please visit Peace With God or ask questions in the comments.

I do miss Momma and know I will see her again one day. Thanks to The Dixie Echoes I was able to spend a little time with her tonight. On that subject if you do get the chance to see The Dixie Echoes take it. You will not be disappointed.

Until next time…

If you like what you read here or just want to see what comes out of my warped mind enter your email address in the sidebar on the left and subscribe. This is the only way to ensure you will be notified immediately whenever a new post is published.

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I Am A Thief

I am a thief, I am a murderer.

Are you a thief too? A murderer too? I am.

Cross & Sky Christian Wallpaper Background a G...
Cross & Sky Christian Wallpaper Background a GIMP edit of my original (Photo credit: † David Gunter)

My blog is called Peculiar Perspective and this might just be one of those but maybe it shouldn’t be. I have been a Third Day fan for years. I love their music, their ministry, and Mac Powell, the lead singer, just happens to be an Alabama fan so that works for me too.

There are many of their songs I like and could and probably will at some point write about here. However there are none that affect me more at this time of year than one call Thief. They have two versions of this song. The original came out as a live version on their album named Third Day in 1996 and is my favorite version. Third Day_Third Day

They did a studio version for their Chronology Volume 1 Album in 2007 as well. The words are the same. The sound is just a little different.


Third Day_Chronology Volume One

I suggest you click on one of the links below and watch it and listen to the words. It will move you if you are a Christian. If you are not a Christian I think it can move you too if you watch and listen with an open mind, something that is rare these days but it can still be done.

A New Perspective

I liked this song before I ever really understood it. Let me try to explain. I like Third Day and their music and their “sound” so just for those reasons alone I liked the song. When I first heard it I liked it because it was different. I had never heard a song from perspective of the thief on the cross beside Jesus. I thought that is interesting and something I have never thought of that way, a new perspective.

It wasn’t until a few years ago when I really began to understand the gravity of what this song was saying, at least to me. That is when I realized I am that thief on the cross, as well as part of the mob yelling, “Crucify him”, as well as Judas, as well as Peter, when he denied knowing Jesus. If you listen to this or think of this story as the thief got what he deserved that is OK. You are right. However if you don’t also realize that we would all get what we deserve if it wasn’t for what Jesus did by staying on the cross then you are missing the point completely.

Here are the lyrics for Thief by Third Day.

Thief

I am a thief, I am a murderer,
Walking up this lonely hill.
What have I done? I don’t remember.
No one knows just how I feel;
And I know that my time is coming soon.

It’s been so long, oh, such a long time,
Since I’ve lived with peace and rest.
Now I am here, in my destination,
I guess things work for the best;
And I know that my time is coming soon.

Who is this man? This man beside me,
That they call the King of the Jews.
No, they don’t believe, that He’s the Messiah,
But, somehow I know that it’s true.

They laugh at Him in mockery,
They beat Him till he bleeds,
They nail Him to the rugged cross,
And they raise Him, yeah, they raise Him up next to me.

My time has come, and I’m slowly fading,
But I deserve what I receive.
Jesus, when You are in Your kingdom,
Could You please, please remember me.
Well He looks at me still holding on,
And the tears fall from His eyes,
And He says I tell the truth,
Today, yeah, you will live with Me in paradise, woah yeah.

And I know that my time, yes my time, is coming soon, woah yeah.
And I know that my time, yes my time, is coming soon, woah yeah, yeah
And I know that paradise, paradise is coming soon.

Writer: POWELL, JOHNNY MAC / ANDERSON, SAMUEL TAI / AVERY, BRADLEY B. C. / CARR, DAVID / LEE, MARK D.

Here is a link to a GodTube video of the song with lyrics.

Thief by Third Day (Lyrics) – Live version

Here is a link to a YouTube video of the song with images from The Passsion of the Christ so some of the images are graphic.

Thief by Third Day – Passion of the Christ images – Studio Version

I believe the song speaks for itself but do have a couple of observations.

I am a thief, I am a murderer

We are all sinners. You may not think your sin rises to the level of a thief or murderer, that people who commit those sins are somehow worse sinners than you are. That is not true. God sees all sin, even a “little white lie” as sin. 

And I know that my time is coming soon

All of our times are coming soon so if you are waiting for the “right time” that time is right now. We are not promised tomorrow so take care of this today.

No, they don’t believe, that He’s the Messiah,
But, somehow I know that it’s true.

I believe that somehow you know it is true too but might not want to admit it for fear of what others might think of you. That reminds me of a quote I heard from Zig Ziglar that says, “You wouldn’t be so concerned about what others think of you if you realized how little they did.”

You will spend it somewhere. Where you spend it is your choice. My prayer for you is you will choose wisely.

If you have questions about how you can accept God’s gift of salvation for you, please visit Peace With God or ask questions in the comments. I will answer with what I know and would love to hear from you.

Until next time…

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What is it? Where did it come from? Who wrote it?

It is only natural for anyone to have questions about the Bible if you have not grown up with it and learned about it in addition to reading it as I did. I will forever be grateful to my parents for affording me that opportunity. I will tell them that when I see them again.

If your primary knowledge of the Bible is what you have read about it or heard someone else say about it then your knowledge of the Bible is weak and probably not accurate and definitely not complete. That last one puts you in the same boat as all of us. None of us have a complete knowledge of all the Bible contains.

I will try to answer some of those questions here today but this is by no means an exhaustive answer to all these questions.

My goal is to give you enough information to make you curious to learn more about its origin, author, and purpose. I recommend you read it on your own because I do not know the message God has for YOU in His Word. That is something YOU have to discover on YOUR own.

What is it?

The Bible has been described as…

  • The best-selling book of all time
  • A book of fairy tales and fables
  • A history book
  • Not relevant for today’s world

Can I share a few facts with you about this book? 350px-holy_bible

I use the letters in BIBLE to help me remember these facts.

The first B stands for Books. The Bible not just one book. It is a collection of 66 books, all about the same subject – Jesus.

Who wrote it? Where did it come from?

 

I stands for Inspired. All of these 66 books were inspired by God. It is not just the writers’ opinions. These are actually God’s words that He inspired the writers to write down for future generations.

The second B stands for By. As I mentioned earlier the Bible was inspired by God and written by men. All throughout history God has chosen to use men to achieve His purposes. He does not need men but chooses to use men.

L stands for Love, Life, and Letters. The 66 books that make up the Bible are actually 66 love letters from God to us. As mentioned earlier they all point to Jesus who is Life.

E stands for Eternal. We all have eternal life. The question that each of us must answer is where will we spend eternity. The Bible helps us by giving us the answer as to how we can spend eternity in Heaven with Jesus.

Does that make sense to you or make you curious to see what is contained in this book instead of hearing someone else tell you what is in it? If so, find yours if you have one, get an electronic version for your e-reader or read it online at http://www.biblehub.com.

If you are curious and have never read it before why not try it now? Are you afraid of what you might find?

If you know all of this and this is just a refresher or reminder for you why not read it again this year. Every time the Bible is read you will see something different you did not see before based on your life at the time or the knowledge you have gained since your last reading.

There are numerous plans available today so if your excuse in the past was I don’t have a plan to follow or it is too confusing or I don’t have time those are just as described, excuses.

What I do know and can state without any doubt is God loves you and wants you to know and love Him. The way you do this is through reading his love letter to you, the Bible.

What do you have to lose?

What could you gain?

It is up to you. If you are looking for God you will find Him. He has not moved.

Until next time…

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Have YOU Read It?

In this post, prior posts and probably future posts too you will see me reference the Bible. I don’t do this as any type of authority or Bible scholar. I do believe the Bible is inspired by God and it is His love letter to us. The principles and precepts taught in the Bible are the lens through which I see the world. If I am not quoting or referencing it explicitly it is still there in my thoughts and view of the world. If you don’t share this belief then I would not expect you to understand this perspective. It is really not possible for you to understand.

That does not mean that we cannot have a dialog on this subject or we have to just agree to disagree.

My intent is never to force my beliefs on anyone but when sharing my beliefs I will be honest with you about what I believe. If that is offensive to you then, as mentioned earlier, I would be happy to discuss. I will not apologize for any part of it. However, my suggestion should this ever occur will always be for you to go to the source, the Bible, and read it for yourself and come to your own understanding. It doesn’t matter what your current belief or understanding is right now. Just as I would not expect you to understand the Bible if you haven’t read it, the flip side of that scenario is your arguments based on what you have heard or read about the Bible will not have any credibility until you have read it.

God’s Word – The Bible – is the standard and guidebook we as Christians use as our instruction manual for life.

English: The Bible
English: The Bible (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”

Just so there are no misunderstandings this does not mean we are perfect and do not get it wrong…often. There was only one who was perfect, Jesus Christ, and that standard is what we strive for but will never reach. I am a sinner just as you are. My sins have been forgiven and yours can be too but you will have to make that decision to accept the gift of salvation God has given us all. You cannot be “good enough” to earn your salvation. You just have to accept the gift.

That seems too simple for some but God wanted it to be simple so someone as simple and me could understand His plan of salvation for everyone. You see, God does not want anyone to perish or go to Hell. Yes, I do believe in Hell too. However He leaves that choice to accept His gift of salvation up to each of us.

If you have children it is easy to understand. Just as you would not force your children to love and obey you, God has chosen not to force us to love Him. He gives us free will and the ability to make that choice. An excellent way to learn more about this is to read His Word, the Bible.

I challenge you, if you have never done it to give it a shot and see what you learn.

Zig Ziglar said and I paraphrase, it’s not what people don’t understand about the Bible that bothers them. It’s what they do understand. Read it for yourself and see what you understand.

There are numerous Bible translations or versions and Bible reading plans available so there is one that will work for you if you really want to find out for yourself, what this book says. If you have a smartphone or tablet you can get the YouVersion Bible for free on either. With this software you choose from among many different reading plans and you will get a reminder every day reminding you to read. It is what I use for my daily Bible reading and I recommend it to anyone. I may address other tools, versions, and plans in a future post but my prayer and challenge for you is you will be curious enough to pick up a Bible or download a software version and read it for yourself.

Of this I am certain; God has a message in His Word for YOU but you have to open it and read it to receive it.

Until next time… 

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