Tag Archives: God

When Time is Up

When Time is Up

kk 4/28/13

 Within just a few weeks we watched

Three friends bury their beloved husbands,

All younger than we,

Which begs the question, why them, not us?

Women who would give anything

For one more moment,

One more embrace,

One last goodbye.

Children, lost without their dad.

Parents bearing a burden

No parent should have to bear.

And yet here we are, a family,

Alive, healthy and whole,

Yet sick and torn apart,

Not by death but by choice.

Empty hearts at a loss

To understand the anger,

That would cause such grief and loss,

And ripping lives apart.

Then I recall how those,

Enduring death

Remembered their loved one,

Who lived for God and others,

Always helping, always giving,

No doubt forgiving and being forgiven

Throughout their shortened life,

As if they knew that time was short

And they must make the most

Of what they had with family.

And not waste the precious hours

And days in selfish anger;

How next to God,

They valued family.

I heard how many lives were touched

And changed by these three,

Bringing glory to the One

Who would call them home.

How they were examples of

Selfless love, hard work,

And witnesses for Christ.

And then I wonder, when our time

Is up and we are gone,

What will be said of us—of me?

Did I love others more than self?

Was I quick to forgive, or accuse?

Did I really make a difference?

Or was it all about me?

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History of the Sabbath

I had always asked myself, when reading through the Bible, why we, as believers, didn’t keep the biblical Sabbath.  I knew Sunday was not the Sabbath.  When I started learning the history of the Sabbath in regards to the church, I was just blown away.  I got out a Strongs concordance and looked up every single reference to Sabbath and read it.  That convinced me (and my husband.)

I hope and pray these documents will at least pique your interest.

Confessions-of-Sunday-Keepers-Concerning-the-Sabbath romes_challenge_to_the_protestants

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Blogging thru the Bible/New Covenant

I have been absent from blogging, but not from reading thru the Bible, so after a long absence I will share a few thoughts on some of the things that caught my attention as I have been reading.

Much has been written about the New Covenant.  Some have even created a partition between the Old and New.  As if everything in the old has been set aside by the new.  That is a concept taught in both Islam and Mormonism.  If another, later prophet teaches something contrary to what was written earlier, then the newer teaching replaces the old.  Some think that the “new covenant” that God established was with the Gentiles and did away with the “old covenant” He had made with Israel.  I don’t see that in scripture.  We do know that the Mosaic covenant did not set aside the Abrahamic covenant, neither did the Davidic covenant set aside the Mosaic covenant.      He made a new covenant, not with the Gentiles, but with Israel.

Jeremiah 31:30  “Here, the days are coming,” says Adonai, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Y’hudah”.   (CJB)

Jeremiah 10:16 “…Israel is the tribe he claims as his heritage; Adonai-Tzva’ot is his name.”  (CJB)

Matthew 15:24  “He answered, I was only sent to the lost sheep of Israel.” (NAS)

In His letter to the Romans,  chapter 11, Paul tells them they (from the wild olive tree) have been grafted into a cultivated olive tree, that is Israel.

For me, the puzzle pieces fell into place when I finally understood that the new covenant did not set aside the old.  YHWH does not have two sets of people with two different sets of rules.  There is not the harsh, judgmental God of the Old Testament and a loving, forgiving God of the New Testament.  We are not polytheists.  There is but one God.  (Deut. 6:4) He has one people, Israel and one set of rules to live by, Torah.

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Blogging thru the Bible/ I Kings/Judgment

I just finished the book of I Kings and here are some of my observations:

12:32,33  Yarov’am (Jereboam) sets up his OWN festival in the month and place HE chooses rather than encourage the people to observe what YHWH had commanded.

I’m sure  no one would think of doing that today….right??

11:1-10 “King Shlomo loved many foreign women…..he didn’t obey Adonai’s orders.”  Solomon was supposed to be the wisest man who ever lived, yet he disobeyed YHWH’s instructions NOT to marry pagan women.  Sure enough, they led him astray after false gods.

If that could happen to the wisest man who ever lived, do we think it won’t happen to us if we marry people who do not keep His commandments?

20:43; 21:4 refers to Ach’av (Ahab) being resentful and depressed, resentful and depressed.  If you read the story, he was resentful and depressed because he was bringing on God’s judgment by his disobedience and he was coveting something (a vineyard) that did not belong to him.  In 21:27  He finally shows some sign of remorse (instead of just being resentful and depressed) and God postpones some of the judgment that is due him.

The next time we are resentful and depressed, perhaps we need to ask ourselves why.

11:14;  11:23;  14:15; 20:20  All indicate  YHWH has brought disaster, raised up adversaries and, scattered, and given Israel over into the hands of her enemies for their refusal to obey His commandments and walk in His ways.

Could it be that He has raised up adversaries against us, brought disaster on us and given us over into the hands of our enemies for the same reason?   Or are we somehow exempt from His judgment?

 

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The Voice

The Voice

7-14-12/kk

 My friend when no one cares,

My confidant when no one listens,

Always on my side,

Defending me when no one will.

 

Filling my ears and my mind,

To drown the wave after wave

Of would-be friends and family

Who can never see it my way.

 

Their silent disapproval

Makes me angry and vengeful;

Those holier-than-thou,

Who do not really care.

 

Yet, this tender voice of pity,

Always understands,

The wounds and hate I’ve taken

From those who say they love me.

 

Even God, suppose to bless

Seems bent on cursing me,

I’ve had it with His “help”.

He’s not been there for me.

 

At least that’s what the voice says,

He’s the only one I trust,

I’ll keep on listening to him,

Though some say he’s my enemy.

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Blogging thru the Bible/Keeping the 9 Commandments

Incidentally, I discovered recently that the first commandment is not what I thought it was.  Instead, see:  Exodus 20:2  (CJB)  “I am Adonai your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the abode of slavery.”  (See my very first blog about this. 9/11/11)

I always wonder why, in the churches most of us grew up in, we were taught to keep only the 9 Commandments.  Last time I checked, there were ten (at least).  Every time I read through the Bible, over and over again, I read that God set apart the 7th day, starting in Genesis 2:3.  The commandment to keep Sabbath is repeated numerous times in the scriptures.  God even wrote it in stone.  But somehow, our religious leaders come up with all kinds of convoluted reasons why we do not have to keep it.  None of the passages they quote, are quoting God, who instituted the Sabbath.  Seems to me, He is the only one qualified to abolish or make it UNholy.  (See Matthew 5:17 & following.)

Also, if you really want to know the truth, get a concordance and look up every reference on the Sabbath and I think, like us, you will come to a whole new understanding of the Sabbath.

What people don’t seem to understand is, that it is a gift, #1 & #2, it is supposed to be about God.

Exodus 16:29  (CJB)  “Look, Adoinai has given you the Shabbat… each of you is to stay where you are; no one is to leave his place on the 7th day.”

Exodus 20:8, 11  (CJB)  “Remember the day, Shabbat”  to set it apart for God.” “This is why Adonai blessed the day, Shabbat, and separated it for Himself.”

See also, Leviticus 23 and Isaiah 56:6,7 & 58:13, 14.

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Blogging thru the Bible/A Fair Fight?

“Y’hoshua captured all these kings and their land all at the same time, because ADONAI, THE God of ISRA’EL FOUGHT ON ISRA’EL’S BEHALF.”  Joshua 10:42  (CJB)

It seem that the whole world, once more, is against Israel.  Anti-Semitism is on the rise across Europe and even America.  Terrorists blew themselves up in cafes and buses in Israel, but the news was how cruel the Israeli police were.  Hamas shoots hundreds of rockets into Israel, but all you hear is how Israel’s response is out of proportion.  Again, the nation is threatened on every side with total annihilation. But, as we see many times in Scripture, and in every war Israel has fought since 1948, Adonai will once again fight for Israel.  Kind of evens things up, don’t you think?

Puts things like this in perspective.

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Blogging thru the Bible/Do You Feel Like a Failure?

“Yes, keep this book of the Torah on your lips, and meditate on it day and night, so that you will take care to act according to everything written in it.  Then your undertakings will prosper  and you will succeed.”  Joshua 1:8  (CJB)

If I had to choose one “life” verse, this would be it.  The Word of God is the only 100% sure anchor and roadmap for our lives.  To the extent we learn it, meditate on it and DO it, we will prosper and succeed.  If you don’t read and study it, you won’t know it.  If you don’t know it, you won’t do it.

When my life is in the greatest turmoil and strife, it’s usually because I haven’t been doing what this verse says.  Doesn’t mean I won’t have sorrow, or great trials.  But it does mean in the midst of them, I will have peace –shalom–the true security and well-being that comes only from the Father.  It doesn’t mean I will be famous or have great wealth, but it does mean I will be accomplishing what the Father has set before me to make a difference in His kingdom.  It does mean that I will be blessed, because the Father cannot bless disobedience.

The enemy knows this verse probably better than we do, because he throws so many roadblocks in our way to keep us from the Torah/Word of God.  Some of them are frivolous.  We live in such an entertainment, “I deserve it”, oriented world that we often spend an inordinate amount of time being entertained.  Some of the roadblocks are seemingly “good” things that take our time.  Trust me, I’m a type A personality & I always have a long list of things I really need to get done.  All very important.

When we cannot find time for the Word of God in our lives, we really do not believe what this verse says.  We usually manage to eat three times a day.  We should be able to find time to feed on the Bread of life at least once in 24 hours.

 

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I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist

Below is my (2nd) response to an atheist who has written me twice to tell me why I shouldn’t believe in God, the Bible or even a Creator. The names have been changed to protect the foolish.  (“The fool says in his heart there is no God. Psalm 14:1; 53:1)

  March 11, 2012

Dear (Mr. Atheist),

I see that you are a man of great faith!  I admit that I do not have enough faith to be an atheist.  It seems to me we must believe either:

The universe has a beginning or no beginning,

It has a cause or no cause,

The cause is either personal or impersonal,

There is either meaning or no meaning,

There is absolute truth or no truth.

I believe science has accepted that the universe had a beginning.   To believe there is intelligent design behind the complex universe seems to be a logical conclusion that we apply to every other realm of thinking.  Has anyone ever suggested that such simple things as a chair, a building, or a clock had no design or maker?  It would be ludicrous to suppose that our complex computers and rockets came out of nothing and there is no creator behind them.  Even throwing in millions of years and shaking up  & throwing out all the components of a computer or rocket, it’s hard to believe you would come up with anything close to the complexity and function with no creative mind behind them. Yet, it puzzles me that atheists see no inconsistencies in failing to apply the same reasoning to something as complex as human life or the universe.

You find it incredible to believe God created the human species in an instant or that there was a worldwide flood, etc., but have no problem assuming the universe created itself out of nothing?  I contend that takes more faith than I have.

C.S. Lewis said, “If nothing is self-evident, then nothing can be proved.”  Even science has to assume that 1. Order exists, 2. A law of causality, 3. That we can learn.

I think it takes far more faith to assume that order and cause created itself.  Can something come out of nothing?  Can order come out of chaos?  Outside of a Creator God, it seems very reasonable to me to deduce that nothing can produce nothing and chaos cannot produce order.  If it started with a single cell, where did it come from?

You say that “potential has evolved with our purely material brains”, and that “ideas such as reason, democracy and liberty are human ideas, not a god’s”.  How do you get non-material out of purely material?  Can a rock produce an idea?  If beauty, truth, reason, and liberty, morality exist, one has to admit they are beyond the material.  All those, and logic itself have no place in a universe that is purely material.  Can there be meaning in a purely material universe?  What is the meaning of meaning?

It seems the crux of the argument is whether there is absolute truth or not.  If there is no creator, you are right.  There can be no unchanging absolute truth.   Well, are there unchanging truths, that are always true?   Is it always wrong to torture babies?  Rape women? Assault the helpless and elderly?  Commit incest?   Eat your neighbor?  If those truths don’t change, perhaps there are others.

The law of non-contradiction assumes that opposites can’t both be true.  This flies in the face of moral relativism, which seems to postulate there are no absolutes.  With moral relativism, it would conceivably be ok to torture babies if society approved, but not ok if another society disapproved.  But one society could not say the other was wrong.  Applying this to history, who are we to say that Hitler,  Mao or Stalin were wrong in murdering millions of  innocent people (FAR MORE  than “religious” wars, as some contend)?  They thought, through their own reasoning, they were right at the time.  Who are you to say they were wrong?  You might say their morality (or lack of it) evolved.  If it’s wrong to take innocent life—who defines innocence and why does a person’s life have any value?

If there are no absolutes, how can you criticize the God of the Bible, who you say doesn’t exist?  How can you criticize Christians who look to the Bible for morality rather than individuals “evolving” into ever-changing morals?  It seems that pluralism and moral relativism accept  ANYTHING as valid EXCEPT the Judeo-Christian morality based on the Bible?   That contradicts moral relativism, does it not?

It seems self-defeating to say:

“There is no absolute truth.”  Is THAT true?

“One can’t know truth.”  How do you know that is true unless you know everything?

“All truth is relative.”  Is that true for everybody, all the time?

You say the law of “my god” changes and then you give examples of how the Catholic church changed it from Judaism and Protestants changed it from Catholicism with much terror, torture, massacres and prejudice along the way.   The only fallacy is that you did not prove the law of God changed.  I readily agree the Catholics and Protestants changed their interpretation and their practice (totally contradicting the Scriptures).  That in no way proves that the law of God changed.  It only proves most churches ignore a lot of scripture.  Your statistics about “Christians” in prisons and committing various crimes only proves that they do NOT follow the dictates of the Bible.

Words used to mean things.  Tolerance used to mean that you would allow in society those you disagreed with.  Love used to mean you wanted the very best for another person.  God used to mean (in our society), the Creator God of the Bible.  Only He defines himself, but lately everyone else is giving Him a new identity, totally apart from the Bible.  OK.   But let’s define our terms.  That is not the God of the Bible.  Christianity USED to mean one who not only followed Christ, but His teachings, which are in the Bible.  (By the way, He taught more than “Love one another”.)   You quoted Confucius, who quoted the golden rule in 375BCE, as if Jesus was quoting him.  You forget the Torah, which is most of what Jesus quoted, was written long before 375BCE.   Many people define Christian as anyone who believes in “God”.  That is not the biblical definition.

I think the evidence very strongly suggests intelligent design.  (Seems an oxymoron to say, “We can’t allow intelligent design in science”, when we apply it to everything else.)  It seems apparent to me there are absolute truths.    If truth exists, it is true, whether I believe it or not.  Certainly, God doesn’t need your belief to exist.  I may not believe you have a car in your driveway, but that doesn’t make it untrue.  Ecclesiastes indicates a life divorced from truth and the Creator is a life without meaning.  Those who say their life has meaning apart from God, have to borrow from the truths He established to come up with meaning.  I find it far easier (because there is more evidence) to believe in a Creator than to believe the Universe just happened and we are all just material beings.  That doesn’t explain truth, beauty, kindness, intelligence, and justice, and meaning, which could not have evolved from the purely material.

As for our founding fathers being anti-Christian, the quotes you provided do not prove that.   Condemning the actions of some so-called Christians does not indicate they were anti-Christian.  I could list just as many quotes from the men you mentioned proving they believed in a Creator God and that our liberty came from Him.  I condemn a lot of things done in the name of Christianity, including the Inquisition, and Fred Phelps, but that doesn’t make me anti-Christian.  Again, many call themselves Christian, who don’t fit the Biblical definition.  Like moral relativists, they are also seeking to redefine “Christian”.

Some of your statements seem a little condescending, as if believers are somehow ignorant and less educated than you and those you agree with.  Many if not most of the great scientists and inventors at least believed in a Creator God.  Even Einstein spoke of the mind of God and the creation of the universe.

I also might mention there are several former atheists who come to mind (quite educated, I might add), who set out to disprove God or the Bible and had a change of mind along the way.  Among them, Antony Flew, Richard Morgan, Michael Bauman, Josh McDowell, Lee Strobel, Walid Shoebat, to name a few.  Other quite educated minds who make a much better case for belief than you make against it, JP Moreland, Phil Fernandez, Frank Turek, Calvin Beisner, John Stonestreet, Francis Beckwith, Francis Schaeffer, and of course, C.S. Lewis, and the list goes on.

That said, I don’t base my beliefs on who does or does not believe in or approve of a Creator or the Bible.   It is based it on evidence, reason and logic, in spite of your judgment to the contrary.

To say “I already read the Bible” is a little like saying “I already took a Spanish or Russian Class in the 2nd grade”, and expect people to look to you to be fluent, much less as an expert in that language.   Many of your charges and assumptions about it reveal your lack of understanding and no doubt, rudimentary study of it.  You mentioned that you study biblical analysis.  That’s not the same as studying the Bible.

You say we are no longer children, don’t need God, and can take care of ourselves. I suspect there may come a time when you have second thoughts, but maybe not.  That sounds a little like something one of my young teenagers would say.  Along with that goes the “And you can’t tell me what to do.  You’re not the boss of me.”   My children have the choice after they leave home whether to follow what I have taught them.  They don’t have to, but their lives will be better if they do.  You certainly do not have to follow the teachings of God, starting with the Ten Commandments, but you and society are always better if you do, whether you believe in Him or not.   Perhaps you can concede that we are better without rampant murder, stealing, lying, adultery…. or maybe not.  If there is not absolute right or wrong, who cares.?  Who’s to say society is better one way or the other?

You say that believers must “struggle under the constant burden of guilt….and non-believers can take pride in their achievements Saying believers must struggle with a constant burden of guilt is not a biblical concept.  While the Bible defines good and evil, it also clearly teaches repentance and forgiveness.  One who experiences forgiveness need not be under a constant burden of guilt.   That is the gospel message.

Since I am not retired (just tiredJ), I cannot address every point you brought up, but have attempted to answer a few.

Sincerely,

(batTorah)

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Planting Seed/Be Prepared.

I enjoy planting seeds in my greenhouse, watching them sprout and finally, harvesting and enjoying the product.  I hate it when I plant seed and it doesn’t sprout.  I feel like I’ve wasted my time and the seed.

I’m currently involved in a back and forth correspondence with an atheist who wrote me a letter in response to one of my letters to the editor of the newspaper.  He proceeded to imply that I was uneducated and ignorant and that we cannot rely on the Bible for morality since our God is responsible for all kinds of atrocities, and anyway,   there is no God or creator and morality evolves with people.

I sent him a letter and he responded with another, longer, letter, which caused me to think, perhaps he protests too much.  Makes me wonder about his true motives.  Perhaps there is a doubt?  Maybe not.  One cannot always tell  when planting seed whether the soil is ready to sprout the seed.  I hate to plant when I cannot see a harvest, but in this case, it seems that perhaps my role is to just plant the seed and leave the rest with the One who knows.

In the midst of all this, I was prompted by the admonition from I Peter 3:15 (NAS)  “…always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.”  J.P. Moreland’s book, “Love Your God With all Your Mind” suggests believers are not as ready to defend as we should be.  He explains not only why we should be but how we can be.

In addition to the Bible, there are some excellent resources out there from people like JP Moreland, Francis Beckwith, Phil Fernandes Michael Bauman, and many others.  I was delighted to find both video and audio files (for free) online in addition to the books that are available.

I hear a lot from Preppers, who tell us we need to stock up on supplies for whatever is coming.  I don’t disagree, but I think the most important preparation is spiritual because that is and will be the most serious and deadly assault.  Be ready.

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