I was not a total total newbie to the Bible, but not even close to knowing it. My opening of the Bible was pretty much that. I remember opening and reading some of the King James verses and realizing I understood almost nothing, but what I did understand hit me as the truth, and this is when I was in 2nd or 3rd grade.
Went to church a few times with a friend in High School and college. Received a Bible for my 20th birthday from my roommate, but don’t remember reading it much. So, had a familiarity with it, but I knew about it, like most people I believe today, we know about it, but don’t know it.
Regardless, let’s say you want to feel significantly less ignorant than you are now. There are a few ways to get there, and one of them of course is to read the Bible itself. The challenge I had is not in the reading of the Bible, but understanding the context of the characters, the story, and the meaning of them. There is so much more to the Bible than simply the words; how was I going to extract all of that by going to church one or two times a week? Oh, I could listen to sermons 24/7, but that did not seem realistic either, how?
I remembered the books for “Dummies”, how experts in a field were able to take all there knowledge and summarize it into a very easy, understandable read. To my great delight, there were lots of books for the Bible in the “Books for Dummies” collection. They were written by Ph.D. Theologians. They took all the knowledge that was in thousands of sermons and condensed it down into concise stories. It was fun and easy to read, I always was looking forward to what I was going to learn next.
I wanted to know three things about the Bible when I started my drink of knowledge. How it all started, how it was going to end and a testament to faith. I ended up buying four books of the Bible for Dummies collection. One was Bible for Dummies, which summarized the Bible overall. One was for the book of Genesis, One was for book of Revelation and the final one was on the book of JOB.
Why the book of JOB. Well, that is one of the stories of the Bible which brought shock and awe. A man who lived life to the fullest for God was the victim of a test between God and Satan. He had all that he had taken away, but was resilient and faithful to God’s love. To me, he is an example to follow, because in my scenario, I had lost everything and I needed to know what faith was. In comparison, my dilemma was nothing compared to JOB’s.
The books introduced me to many characters in the Bible, there stories, the meaning of the stories and how they can be reflected in my own life. Once I had read most of these, when I read the Bible, I did not feel like I was a foreigner in a strange land. I recognized the people in the Bible and the stories. What was great is if I ran into a story or a character I was not familiar with, I could go to my Bible for Dummies books and look them up.
One of the things that bothered me while in church was knowing: Firstly, where the book of the Bible the pastor was referencing was in the Bible and secondly, knowing it was a book in the Bible. So, I finally achieved my goal and memorized all the books in the Bible. I don’t know why, but I thought that this was a good step in making me even more familiar with the books. I then could reference context, characters and stories within each book. I then realized the Ten Commandments are often referenced, but I had not memorized them, so I did that too. I was surprised, they are a lot more wordy than I thought. They are most often referenced in condensed form, but that is not the way God wrote them. Oh, the first thing I memorized was the Lord’s prayer:
Matthew 6:5–15 (NIV)
5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’
14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Bibles, so many people get stuck on Bible versions.
If you are new to the Bible and want something, like the Dummies books to give you a strong, but not perfect understanding of the Bible, I recommend the paraphrased Bibles. They are much quicker to read, much less interpretation by the reader, but less accurate than a word-for-word. Many folks have at least three versions today. One might be a simple to read version, another might be a thought-for-thought, such as the NIV and then there are word-for-word like the ESV. I often like to put these three right next to each other and read them. The paraphrased often gives me the background information I need, then the next two get more in word order and exact words, it helps me understand the verse, character or story even better.
Once I began to feel strong with regards to my understanding of the Bible, I began to challenge myself. There are website dedicated to trying to degrade the Bible, including a well know Professor at a well know Theology College.
Being able to defend against those things, proclaimed conflicts in the Bible, things that don’t make sense, and anything else is known as Apologetic. I have found that you have to do most of the apologetic learning on your own, you won’t find your pastor having a series on them.
If you have a resource which you have found to be awesome, share it in the comments, we are all looking to be stronger in our knowledge, faith, love and service to our Lord.
Let me ask you a question: Who goes to Church? Let me ask you another question: Do you watch thinks you don’t understand?
If you don’t understand the rules, the game, the process, it’s hard to enjoy it, to learn and get anything out of it. So my questions are to this point. You, me, we go to Church and we for the most part understand what the Pastor is talking about. We have an idea of where in the Bible the story or verse is coming from, there is some sort of reference we can make with what the Pastor is telling us.
So, let’s say you are a newbie, you’ve heard about God, Jesus and being saved and you go to a Church and walk in. You have no idea of what the Pastor is talking about, it is all for insiders. Let me ask you another question. If you were asked to give a fifteen minute speech on how to turn your life over to Christ, how comfortable would you be in doing it. One more question, what if a group of people were chatting, say 4, 6 or 8, they suddenly see you and say hey, this person wants to turn their life over to Christ, but has some questions? Or they say, this person wants to turn their life over to Christ, what does one say? How comfortable are you?
For me, I would not be comfortable with any of these, although I should be and I believe I have the knowledge to be good in any of them, but I don’t feel comfortable, I don’t feel qualified.
So, this is what I am eluding too. If you are a seasoned church goer, a reader of the Bible, God and Jesus imprinted on your heart, if you are not talking and walking the Gospel, 24/7, like the Disciples of Christ, why are we not?
So, this gets me to a little on the Churches we are going to. Should not these Churches be preparing us to be disciples, to help us gain the confidence, not in our faith, but in telling it to others as Paul, Peter, James, John and the rest did? Should these churches be also for the newbie, the beginner, to be able to understand what is going on in the Church, how to gain as much knowledge as quickly as possible?
Did not Jesus prepare his disciples well?
I am guessing of course he did, that’s why we have the Bible today. So, let me ask you this, if your Pastor or church is not doing this, should we not be doing this together, strengthening ourselves, preparing ourselves? Especially as it seems we are moving closer and closer to the end-of-times. As Christians are being and going to be more and more persecuted?
So, why did Whataburger decide in general to get out of the Restaurant business? Here is my uneducated, uninformed guess.
When Whataburger initially started, I don’t think it was designed to be a fast-food restaurant, it was designed to come, order, sit down and get a great burger what would make you exclaim “Whataburger” when you were done. However, to keep up with the times, Whataburger has tried and done reasonably well at speeding up their service to suit their customers. Yet, many of their stores, I am guessing, are not designed with fast, quick expedient making of a hamburger or whatever was on the menu. Nor was it initially designed to have as many varieties or as much customization as it has now.
After 50 years, I believe the Whataburger family had a sit-down chat and talked about the new future of Whataburger and how it differed so dramatically from the vision the founders had.
What are the challenges:
- I think updating their stores so they are more efficient:
- Not in just food making, but in technology too.
- This might mean too, a deep and heavy investment into
- Moving stores from their current location
- Rebuilding the ones in their current location
- How to roll out their stores across the nation. So far, it’s been a very slow rollout compared to chains like In-N-Out, KFC, or McDonald’s.
- To make many changes as well, there style will have to change, which I think they may reflect negatively on the family, this, them now are the front if things go a little sour, they will get the blame.
- Expanding like they want to, will take as above, updating the stores, but a huge capital cost as well. If they fail, the cost comes back on them, a risky adventure from a sure thing.
- They don’t have the know how, expertise or maybe don’t want to take this on.
- If the company fails in it’s national rollout, the risk is on the back of the new owners, the Whataburger family already has retirement money in the bank.
- Additionally, the family would have to be tighter on the controls of how their stores function and work. So, those in Texas who go to a Whataburger in California get the same taste. I believe there will be a cleaning house of some of the older managers, who cannot keep up with the new pace of the new Mission of Whataburger.
- Finally, only about 1/8 of Whataburger stores are franchised, they may go to Franchising. Not a bad idea in this good economy. But, even to Franchise, there will be huge upgrades and changes to makes sure the consistency of the stores are the same from coast to coast.
- But the first things will be to remove overhead issues, smooth out operations, improve consistency across all the stores, train, train, train, then maybe franchise. Or, they may sell it at this point to another investor
Well, that’s what I expect. Overall an improvement, especially to those who work at Whataburger. I work at a Whataburger and the amount of work one has to do because they were not designed for the type of business they are now in, is amazing. I applaud them, they are hard, excellent workers.
Have you ever looked at something that seemed remarkable, like a house, a car, a piece of art, a computer and wonder who made it, how it was made? Isn’t it remarkable when we find out the answers, it is always someone and somebody who made it?
Yet, when we get up in the morning and we look into the mirror, I wonder if we wonder who made that, how was it made? The wild part, nobody has the answer, nobody can show you how that face came about. They can tell you it was from the copulation between a man and a woman. Which of course leads to even more questions. How did all of this get created, who did it. I just cannot believe we expect an answer about the art, the computer, but accept the concept that we, nature just was there, it just is.
But we know about the cycle of life, we know the amount of air is limited, the water we drink is limited, we are not masters of the universe, for we cannot even make what already is. We can make only from what we have been given. I love this joke between God and Satan. They are having a contest to create mankind. God reaches down and scoops up a handful of dirt and breathes life into it. Satan, unimpressed reaches down and starts to scoop up some dirt, God interrupts him and says: “Get your own dirt” This is how I feel about us who expect an answer to who made what, but think we cannot accept the fact that actually someone, somebody made us and the earth, the universe
We look at these creations and don’t wonder how? Some wonder about a computer but don’t demand an answer to the brain. Even today, we don’t know all the areas of the brain, we don’t know how it does what it does. Its see’s, it hears, it remembers, it controls our muscles, it controls everything about us, yet who created it?
I wonder about how we cannot wonder how we became to be. I wonder, about how we don’t wonder about how everything seems to circle and be balanced. So, I wonder how we don’t wonder about ourselves, yet there is still the world around us, like the wonders of the world.
I don’t believe any of us, who know these things, just by looking at them, know there is a human creator behind each. Yet, when we look at our world, the incredibly complex, balanced world we live in, we accept that there is no creator.
Yet, an answer has been given to us. We know it both inherently and with His written word in the Bible. Yet, with this revelation, many people still believe someone created everything but themselves and the world they live in. I find this illogical.
Thanks to a friend of mine who had a blog, my piece on drowning was first posted eight years ago to the day in 2010. It went viral and crashed his website. Since then, it’s been translated into 15 languages, was published in the Washington Post, and Reader’s Digest eventually requested to buy the rights. After years of saying yes to requests to republish, repost and translate (there have been hundreds), I released the piece to the public domain. But I never got the article into a major boating magazine as I intended. Well, this is my blog, so I like my chances this time.
Summer is coming, folks, and I think the short article below is the most valuable thing I’ve put together, ever. I wanted to make sure followers of this blog have read it.
The new captain jumped from the deck, fully dressed, and sprinted through the water. A former lifeguard, he kept his eyes on his victim and headed straight for a couple who were swimming between their anchored sportfish and the beach. “I think he thinks you’re drowning,” the husband said to his wife. They had been splashing each other, and she had screamed, but now they were just standing neck-deep on a sandbar. “We’re fine, what is he doing?” she asked, a little annoyed. “We’re fine!” the husband yelled, waving him off, but his captain kept swimming hard toward him. “Move!” he barked as he sprinted between the stunned owners. Directly behind them, not 10 feet away, their nine-year-old daughter was drowning. Safely above the surface in the arms of the captain, she burst into tears and screamed, “Daddy!”
How did this captain know — from 50 feet away — what the father couldn’t recognize from just 10? Drowning is not the violent, splashing call for help that most people expect. The captain was trained to recognize drowning by experts and years of experience. The father, on the other hand, learned what drowning looks like by watching television.
If you spend time on or near the water (hint: that’s all of us), then you should make sure that you and your crew know what to look for when people enter the water. Until she cried a tearful, “Daddy,” the owner’s daughter hadn’t made a sound. As a former Coast Guard rescue swimmer, I wasn’t surprised at all by this story. Drowning is almost always a deceptively quiet event. The waving, splashing and yelling that dramatic conditioning (television) prepares us to look for is rarely seen in real life.
The Instinctive Drowning Response, so named by Francesco A. Pia, Ph.D., is what people do to avoid actual or perceived suffocation in the water. And it does not look like most people expect it to. When someone is drowning there is very little splashing, and no waving or yelling or calling for help of any kind. To get an idea of just how quiet and undramatic drowning can be, consider this: It is the number two cause of accidental death in children age 15 and under (just behind vehicle accidents). Of the approximately 750 children who will drown next year, about 375 of them will do so within 25 yards of a parent or other adult. In 10 percent of those drownings, the adult will actually watch them do it, having no idea it is happening.
Drowning does not look like drowning. Dr. Pia, in an article he wrote for the Coast Guard’s On Scene magazine, described the instinctive drowning response like this:
- Except in rare circumstances, drowning people are physiologically unable to call out for help. The respiratory system was designed for breathing. Speech is a secondary or overlaid function. Breathing must be fulfilled before speech occurs.
- Drowning people’s mouths alternately sink below and reappear above the surface of the water. The mouths of drowning people are not above the surface of the water long enough for them to exhale, inhale and call out for help. When the drowning people’s mouths are above the surface, they exhale and inhale quickly as their mouths start to sink below the surface of the water.
- Drowning people cannot wave for help. Nature instinctively forces them to extend their arms laterally and press down on the water’s surface. Pressing down on the surface of the water permits drowning people to leverage their bodies so they can lift their mouths out of the water to breathe.
- Throughout the Instinctive Drowning Response, drowning people cannot voluntarily control their arm movements. Physiologically, drowning people who are struggling on the surface of the water cannot stop drowning and perform voluntary movements such as waving for help, moving toward a rescuer or reaching out for a piece of rescue equipment.
- From beginning to end of the Instinctive Drowning Response, people’s bodies remain upright in the water, with no evidence of a supporting kick. Unless rescued by a trained lifeguard, these drowning people can only struggle on the surface of the water from 20 to 60 seconds before submersion occurs. (Source: On Scene magazine: Fall 2006 page 14)
This doesn’t mean that a person who is yelling for help and thrashing isn’t in real trouble — they are experiencing aquatic distress. Not always present before the instinctive drowning response, aquatic distress doesn’t last long, but unlike true drowning, these victims can still assist in their own rescue. They can grab lifelines, reach for throw rings, etc.
Look for these other signs of drowning when persons are in the water:
- Head low in the water, mouth at water level
- Head tilted back with mouth open
- Eyes glassy and empty, unable to focus
- Eyes closed
- Hair over forehead or eyes
- Not using legs
- Hyperventilating or gasping
- Trying to swim in a particular direction but not making headway
- Trying to roll over onto the back
- Appears to be climbing an invisible ladder
So, if a crewmember falls overboard and everything looks okay, don’t be too sure. Sometimes the most common indication that someone is drowning is that they don’t look as if they’re drowning. They may just look as if they are treading water and looking up at the deck. One way to be sure? Ask them, “Are you alright?” If they can answer at all, they probably are. If they return a blank stare, you may have less than 30 seconds to get to them. And parents — children playing in the water make noise. When they get quiet, you need to get to them and find out why.
Learn More Myths About Drowning.
Yet trigonometry—a subject whose rules are generally based on right
triangles—can still be used to solve a non-right triangle. You need
different tools, though. Enter the laws of sines and cosines.
angle measures and the three side lengths. To solve an oblique triangle
you need one of the following sets of information:
- Two sides and an angle opposite one of the known sides
angles and any side
sides and their included angle
sines to solve the triangle. If you know (3) or (4), you must tag-team
with the law of cosines and then the law of sines to find the solution.
and angles in triangles. The law states that for the angles of a
non-right triangle, each angle of the triangle has the same ratio of
angle measure to sine value.
of an angle opposite one of those sides, you can use the law of
sines to find the other opposite angle. The measure of the third angle
can be easily found using the fact that the sum of the angles of
a triangle is 180º. Finally, you can use the law of sines again
to find the length of the unknown side. Here’s an example:
values of a, b, and into the law of sines:
by using the rule that all interior angles of a triangle add up to
and into the law of sines:
triangles and can be used when you don’t have the information necessary
to use the law of sines. This is the law of cosines:
see a resemblance to the Pythagorean theorem. In fact, for right
triangles, the law of cosines simplifies to the Pythagorean theorem.
Try it yourself. The last term drops out (since cos 90 = 0) and
you’re left with the familiar formula of c2 = a2 + b2.
If you’re curious, the 2ab cos(C)
term compensates for the lack of a right angle.
which you know any three of the four unknowns in the formula. There
are two ways you might know three of the four unknowns:
- If you know two sides and their included angle, use
the law of cosines to find the length of the third side. Then use
the law of sines to complete the triangle.
you know the lengths of all three sides, use the law of cosines
to find the measure of one angle. Then use the law of sines to complete
law of cosines is basically just plugging values into the formula
and solving it.
18.20º and B ≈ 33.12º.
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Introduction to the SAT II
Content and Format of the SAT II Math IIC
Strategies for SAT II Math IIC
Math IIC Fundamentals
Practice Tests Are Your Best Friends
I feel at night, when I look at the stars, if I could only stand higher, I could reach out and grab a star. I sometimes feel betrayed, I remember the news, the stars are so far away, I could not even reach them at the speed of light. I also feel betrayed because I remember then, these are only the visible stars, they span out forever, way beyond what we can see.
It makes me wonder what is out there and then I recall, the is a forever. It boggles my mind, we cannot see the end and even if we do, we’ll wonder what is on the other side. Not having an end is against what I know, because all I know is destined to end.
I first remember the day ended, the night began, there were meal times, bed times, sleep times, school years, races, pain ends, pleasure ends, and most dramatically, life ends. It seems as though we are enthralled with things that end. There seems to be 100’s of movies predicting the end of earth, the restart of the human race, the destruction of the world. We are so enthralled with it, we have the ration of the diameter of a circle to how many times it goes around the circumference approximately 3.14 times but we have divided it out to over a trillion times to try and find the end.
What’s wild is we are so fascinated with ends, yet this has two sides. It is hard to imagine something with no end, yet we’ve been given hints of the end yet do not seem to be able to recognize them.
The Demand for a Sign
Matthew 16:1–4 (NIV) 16:1–12pp—Mk 8:11–21
16 The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven.
2 He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ 3 and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. 4 A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” Jesus then left them and went away.
I wonder how many people look at the complexity of a personal computer, smartphone, automobile, and believe it created itself out of randomness? I wonder if people look at the cycle of life as something that just happened, got lucky and stuck. Like a rough rock, a piece of granite, turning into a wheel.
I believe if you believe this world, this universe just happened by chance, then you can also believe it was created by a creator, I know as God.