Faith is Stronger than Reason

Faith is Stronger Than Reason

That is how the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary gives definition to faith in its second definition “Faith is stronger than reason.”

Four events I have read in the Bible cause me to stop and question the strength of my faith in Jesus Christ. The first one is when God asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son, Isaac. Abraham did so without questioning his faith. The second is the story of Joseph who was sold by his brothers to lead an adventurous life of which included being placed in prison and eventually being placed in charge of Egypt. The third is the story of JOB, where everything he had was taken from him but his last breath, yet he would not curse God. The fourth example is of the opposite, it starts with Matthew 8:23, Jesus Christ and the disciples are in a boat on the lake and a furious storm developed, the disciples became so afraid, even though they had Jesus Christ in the boat, they woke him; his statement to his disciples was: Matthew 8:26 “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?”.

This last example helps me question my faith. Even though I have accepted Jesus Christ as my savior, in a way, he is in my boat, how do I respond when my life becomes turbulent like the lake did on the disciples. Do I proceed with faith, or do I do what the disciple did, become afraid, and have to wake Jesus Christ to take care of my troubles.

Even if I can recite versus from the Bible, I go to church every week; I engage in church activities, work on knowing about God and Jesus Christ, is my faith as strong as Abraham’s, Joseph’s, and JOB’s. I believe our faith in God, Jesus Christ our savior should far outweigh our knowledge of the Bible. If there is one thing I would teach anyone, it would to have unwavering Faith in God. Is your faith stronger than reason?

My favorite versus from the Bible on Faith are from the Book of James:

James 2:14 What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15 Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

James 2:18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”

Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

James 2:20 You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 21 Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.

James 2:25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

 

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Part 2 of 3 What is Your Version?

PART 2 of 3

{This is a comment I got from a friend when I posted What is Your Version?  I found it very informative and well written.  God Bless my friend Dave.}

If you’re more comfortable with an on-line source of the Bible, where several versions can be read at the same time, this can also help…..but, it can also lead you down a very incorrect path! There is an old saying: Translators are traitors! So, beware. We all stand before God for the things we do in this lifetime, so keep vigilent on what you think you know, and think you understand. Always be ready to reassess what you think you know as a new understanding challenges your conception of ideas gained from the Biblical text.

The significance of some of the errors are critical, however most likely none of you here would fully comprehend the reason why. That isn’t a put down, trust me, it’s just that it’s likely that none of you know enough about law, and your own relationship to the governments of the world, or the Kingdom of God to know why a particular word should’ve been translated a particular way.

Until you read the Bible as a POLITICAL book written about how governments are structured and how laws come into being and how you become bound to obedience to a particular society, then you cannot comprehend how Jesus did what He did, nor how He can set you free! Right now, you are all SLAVES. You’ve never known freedom on any level. That’s a bold statement that I make no apologies for. You need to hear it, and learn about your life in these perillous times.

The KJ translators were given specific edicts from King James to translate certain words certain ways! Hello!!! The King isn’t going to allow anyone to have a Bible that says you’re supposed to be following another KING…one King Jesus!!!! All other “bibles” are more politically inferior than the KJV.

My advice is: don’t look to any of the translations to “save you”. Only the Holy Spirit of God can do that. However, Study to show thyself approved….and, study like a Berean!

The Bible is a Tutor. If studied critically it will give much intellectual understanding of the Biblical era, and today’s quagmire that the whole world finds itself suffering within.

The Holy Spirit is not about knowledge, its about LIFE, and TRUTH. For all of my hours and years of studying law and the Bible I used very little of my “knowledge” to get myself out of the lions den. It was the Holy Spirit that gave me wisdom and understanding that set me free in my hour.

As far as Bible studies go, I can tell you this. It has taken me in excess of 20,000 hours to get to where I am now in reading and studying the Biblical text. In another 20,000 hours I think I can have a pretty good grasp on it. But, maybe not;>)

Cont’….  Part 3 of 3 What is Your Version?

What is Your Version?

Part 3 of 3 What is Your Version?

PART 3 of 3

{This is a comment I got from a friend when I posted What is Your Version?  I found it very informative and well written.  God Bless my friend Dave.}

Friends, please keep in mind that all of our lives we’ve been led down the primrose path. I went to school with at least five of you here. I expect that our backgrounds are relatively similar in many ways. But, our parents and their parents and their parents were all sold a bill of goods. They were all lied to, and in turn taught us those lies.

We now have access to information that dissolves those lies. We are re-connecting in ways that only a few years ago were unimaginable! We also have a huge resource in the internet and books that we can read that have, until now, been stored only in the finest libraries in the world.

When you read you must remember that your preconceived ideas are the result of your upbringing and life experiences. These will hinder your understanding of the Bible. We must become as little children, and learn anew.

Your trusted advisors in life: parents, teachers, ministers, government officials have all been trapped in the same matrix that you were raised in. And, until your eyes have been opened you cannot see the kingdom of God that is all around you.

The kingdom came 2000 years ago, unless Jesus was an impotent incompetent, or a liar. Did He not pray to the Father: Thy Kingdom come, they will be done on earth as it is in heaven? Well…Was His prayer successful, or not? If it was successful then where is this kingdom? If He was not successful, then He WASN”T the Savior!!!! You decide, there cannot be any other conclusion.

Relax, I can prove the kingdom came. He is the Savior!

But, if you’re reading from the NIV you might not be able to figure an awful lot of things out. The fact is, there are 64,000 alterations from the KJV. In some cases entire verses have simply been clipped from the text! Some of those omissions prevent you from learning the entire story of the life and times of Christ and the apostles. Other words are deliberately altered to LEAD YOU ASTRAY!

Another thing to consider…if ever hauled into court, and asked to give an account of your behavior, you will LOSE your case quoting from the NIV, NASB, or any other version than the KJV. That’s just the way the courts are set up.

I hope this helps.

David

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PART 1 of 3 – What is Your Version?

{This is a comment I got from a friend when I posted What is Your Version?  I found it very informative and well written.  God Bless my friend Dave.}

Please allow me to speak boldly and at length on this topic.

PART 1 of 3

The modern mind set that “we’re more sophisticated than previous societies” is simply stated out of ignorance of previous civilizations. The fact is,the Roman Empire was so incredibly sophisticated that modern scholars and researchers still cannot comprehend all the complexities of their society.

The laws in Rome are one example of how such a society operated. If one looks at today’s legal system you will find that all throughout the western world, we’ve adopted the Roman model. Go to Webster’s Dictionary…look up the term “Civil Law”. What you will find is it says: Roman Civil Law, this is because the system today is very similar to the system 2000 years ago. This is not accidental! For your friends who are skeptical of the importance of this fact, remind them about the Prophesy of the Kingdoms of the World as written specifically in Daniel and Revelation.

We are living in the last days, of the last days. The final empire of the world before the return of Christ is the Revived Roman Empire. Many of our laws in the USA have been brought forward VERBATIM from the ancient Roman Empire. Another point to consider is that our legal Maxims of Law are brought forward in Latin, the language of ancient Rome.

The one world government/New World Order that so many fear is this same Revived Roman Empire. That is a fact of law and prophesy that can scarcely be denied. All the world is being set up before our eyes to make this NWO happen. All countries are getting on board, and those that are not….are the one’s that the US is either at war with right now, or are threatening with war!

As an aside for those who follow the “we’re wiser than the ancients” argument, check out the website http://www.beforeus.com Get ready to be blown away at their advanced technology!!

As far as Bible Translations are concerneed there is a problem that no one here has addressed, and that is, one actually has to have an incredible amount of historical knowledge about Customs, Traditions, usages, laws, and life of the ancients before they can begin to ascertain how to select a particular word to fit into the context of the sentence and paragraph. However, having said that there are certainly better texts than others.

The first thing that everyone reading the Bible should know is that in order to obtain a Copyright and make a profit on the work of the Prophets, one must SUBSTANTIALLY change the ORIGINAL TEXT!!!! If you are serious about learning more about who God is, and how you should be living your life…do you really want to be reading from a text that has been substantially changed from the original??? I certainly hope not.

My experience has been that as time goes by the translations have a way of becoming worse, not better. Historically, I’ve used the King James Version for my research, but not because it is “so superior”, but simply because so many of the companion texts are keyed to it. For the last 15 years I’ve been using the George Ricker Berry Greek Interlinear, but it also has some weaknesses. Still, for the New Testament, I feel it is probably the very best that anyone could get their hands on.

Con’t….  Part 2 of 3 What is Your Version?

What is Your Version?

What is Your Version?

I wrote this back in 2010. It was motivated by a friend who let me know of the weaknesses of the version I had chosen.  He did not diminish me, he just pointed out some weaknesses he was aware of in my version of the Bible.  His revelation to me, caused me to realize there seemed to be a bit of snobbish people had about the version they chose.    After I published this, he wrote three very long and good comments about the Bible, the translations and versions, all well written and none of it diminished anyone or the version they chose.  I am posting my initial post and the next two posts will be his three comments back to me.  I hope you read them all and leave me your comments, thoughts, ideas!   God Bless!

Here is a link to a PDF file with a lengthy explanation about key issues to look for in Bible translations: How To Compare Bible Versions

What is your version?

This might be a question you get from a fellow Christian and might be used as a way of classifying you as a Christian.

I was never aware there was a debate about which translated version of the Bible is the “best” until a friend of mine just happened to say, “You aren’t using the NIV are you?”  In addition, continued to tell me about a couple ‘acclaimed’ errors in the NIV, which I validated.

This prompted me to do some research on the different versions of the Bible.  My findings were very, very surprising.  Firstly because there is a very heated debate over the versions of the Bible and which one is the ‘best’ or most accurate.  Secondly, I have been around all faiths of Christians my entire life and never heard of this debate, which means I guess I am ignorant.

In short the results of my brief research;

  1. There seems to be as much evidence of inaccuracies of every version.
  1. It is agreed none of the English translations can be considered ‘Devine’ because it is still a translation and even more importantly, we don’t have the true originals to compare.
  1. Many of the arguments against one version or the other are details none other than a true Bible scholar looking for such discrepancies would notice.
  2. The version YOU choose should be based on your desired use.
  3. It is recommended to have more than one version for example the NIV for ease of reading and the NASB for study.

compare_bibleVersions

One concern did come from my research.  There seemed to be a sense of ‘thou greater than you’ if you do not use a particular version.  We already have a division of the churches; debating or separating our brothers and sisters individually by insisting they are not true Christians by the version of the Bible they read is breaking up the church at its foundation, the people!

If your brother and/or sister believe as you do; then embrace and love each other as Jesus Christ commanded of his disciples.

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Links to comments – very good read:

PART 1 of 3 – What is Your Version?

Part 2 of 3 What is Your Version?

Part 3 of 3 What is Your Version?

 

First Year Anniversary

First Year Anniversary

 

May 10th of last year, Mother’s day I was baptized.  Being baptized to me was just like getting married.  I felt the commitment, the love, the passion, but how would my life, my relationship with Jesus Christ will change?

As I got up May 10th 2009 partially to my alarm and partially to my fear of being discovered, I felt an excitement, a peace, a relationship I thought I would never have.

I knew I had to be up and out of my storage shed, where I had been staying for the last couple of months before people started entering and the manager showed up.

Like most mornings while sleeping in this shed, which I had made into a makeshift apartment, I went over to my bucket of water I renewed last night and take a relatively fresh towel and douse it and then proceed to ‘sponge bath’ myself.   I do not know why, but the face is the most important part, if my face feels clean, the rest of me feel even that much cleaner.

The choice of clothes narrowed since doing laundry is not a luxury; my last batch was hand washed in my bucket using leftover shampoo I happened to have.  From time to time, I did receive some money, either a loan from my friend or because I sold some of my belongings.  With some money I had, I bought a spray that contained bleach.  This spray, as with bleach changed the color of the clothes, thus I only used it on the inside of the clothes.  This spray was a great saver, it killed of course germs, like under the arm type stuff but also made the clothes smell fresh out of the laundry, and at least I thought and hoped.

I dressed in my best jeans, cleanest T-shirt and today even shouldered a button down shirt, for I was going to be baptized.  I Finish up by wetting my hair and brushing it straight back. Found the shoestring I extracted from my tennis shoe the night before and tied it around my right angle, over the pants so my jeans would not get caught in the spokes of my bicycle.

I also had to pack my bag carefully and make sure I did not miss anything. Returning to the storage shed during the day was not a smart maneuver.  It exposed how the storage shed was set up and indicated it has more than just objects in it.  I had to make sure I carried even a change of clothes in my bag, computer, books, power cords, food, or anything else I might need for the next 18 hours.

I looped the shoulder bag over around my back so it sat just about the middle, I mounted my faithful Mountain Bike and glided over the push password box and entered my code.  Slowly the gate would slide open and I would peddle my bike through and then make a sharp right to get to my first destination, Starbucks, without much notice.

To get out with as little notice as possible, I was usually heading to Starbucks around 6:30 AM and today, my baptism does not start until 9:00 AM, so I have a little time to myself.  Today, as most days, I start by reading the Bible, writing in my journal and responding to potential job offers.

Around 8:30 AM, I mount my bike again, which I hid around the corner by the trash bin at Starbucks, and throw my bag over my shoulder, but this time it does not sit right on my back, it hits the bike seat and causes it so swing right or left when I stand to mount the seat.  This causes two challenges; firstly, I am off balance and two it gets in the way of riding.  With effort, I try to swing it back to where it should be without causing me to swerve into something stationary or cause the swaying of the bag to throw my balance off enough to where I have to start over getting going again.

The ride to the church is uneventful.  As usual, I am the only bike on the road, an odd feeling in a town with sidewalks; young people and great weather one might think they would be filled with them.  I have my routine down.  I cross the street back towards Starbucks then ride behind the RaceTrac gas station, then dart back across the street in a free break in traffic and charge up the sidewalk.

Down to the Town Square, where the multitude of shops, restaurants and the movie theater are, then back across the street.  I will stay on this side of the street for the remaining part of the ride.  The sidewalks are partial here; I know I have to cross four thresholds of grass before I will arrive at the church driveway.

Some mornings everything goes very well across these tracks, but it depends on the path, speed and how much they water the night before to whether it is a clean crossing.  Today, even though my day to be baptized, one patch of grass has been watered and a bit sloppy lake like, so I get a spraying of water and mud all over me, but it’s not to think and appears to have the ability to dry without a mark.

The parking lot of the church is full, there are five services available, thus the parking lot is continually full until after the last service and people are always around.  I am somewhat self-conscious riding my bike to church, thus come to the exit and enter from the sidecars do not usually drive through.

I found a great spot for my bike, to hide it from being noticed, thus limited embarrassment and for protection from being possibly stolen.  In front of the church, there is about a 5′ white brick wall, it hides the AC units for this section of the church.  There is enough room between the wall and the A/C units to put my bike, so I gently slide it between the two.  I grab my bible from one of the compartments of my bag and place it gently next to the front wheel of my bike.

I head over to the sanctuary I am to be baptized.  In my pass over, I stop in the main lobby and grab a donut and a quick cup of coffee and then I run into Ed.  Ed is a member of the church, is part of a group called “Stephen’s Ministry”, and he has been there to counsel and listen to me and to help guide me for the last several months.  As I shake hands with him and embrace in a hug, he asks me, “Did you ride your bike?”   I smiled and said of course!

That was about a year ago.   Today, I went to church.  I work up to the same alarm I did a year ago, but I did not have to get up and leave because of the lurking possibility of being discovered, in fact, I ignored the alarm and continued to sleep a bit longer.  My bed is soft and my blanket and comforter soft and clean.  I have a selection of clean clothes to choose from, but wonderfully more is I get up and get into a warm shower and shave with ease.

I walk down the few stairs from my loft of a bedroom; admire the artwork of my younger children abound on the walls and the floor.  I open my front door of my warm, carpeted apartment and get into my 1995 excellent running and reasonably kept Lincoln Continental and drove to Church.

Today I still wonder how my life has been changed by my renewed relationship with Christ.  Even though a tremendous amount has changed, I still this question, I ask this question because I do not feel as though I can have a close enough relationship with Jesus Christ and never feel like I want to be content with the relationship I have.  Each day, I want to try harder to server Jesus Christ even more.

Even though, with all my honesty I could tell you I feel as close to Jesus Christ today as I did last year the day I was baptized, my life, my outlook, my faith, and love have all changed for the better.  Is my life easier, no, it has not if anything it has gotten harder? Harder because I have greater wisdom, faith, and love, I did not have before.  So why is my life harder, it is because I struggle with my own vision of my limitations and the ones God has for me.  And constantly, when I feel I am out of capacity, I continue to have more.  In addition, having more love, faith, forgiveness, argues against my personal self-logic of why I should extend myself anymore.  However, I realize, I am not extending anything, it has is God’s will and if God can do it and ask me to do it, then I can do it, but it does not always make it easy.

I guess it’s no different than a coach believing the student can do more than the student believes themselves they can do as well as the teacher knowing the why the student needs to learn the lesson.

I look forward to my next year.  I know I still have so many obstacles to overcome, I know I will feel like I did this last year, that I was making no progress, my relationship with God and Jesus Christ needs even more work, but in the end I can say I learned even more lessons and been able to extend my love, grace, faith, and forgiveness even more.

With All My Prayers and Blessings,

 

Rhythm of Life

Rip-Roar Get High On Life

I believe life is to be lived, not worked, enjoyed, not agonized, loved, not hated.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 08, 2010

What is your Rhythm?

Rhythm of Life

How we pick our lives; the pace and what we do to me is no different than those of athletes.  Each athlete seems to find a sport, an event which fits there body, their personality.  And when they train, they train in a way which maximizes there potential.  Why is this observation of value; well to me picking what we do for our lives is just as important as an athlete picking the right sport and event?

But it seems like many, many of us don’t take this into consideration when we start our lives.  And this is reflected in the incredible increase in people stressing, needing drugs to sustain a pace, to calm themselves down, to wake themselves up.   And in all of this; it seems that there are some who are naturally able to constantly work at a high rate, yet there are many of us who are not designed to work at this incredibly high expected rate of work.

Think about it this way, if a sprinter spent his career trying to be a long distant runner, would they be as successful and would you guess it would be an incredible strain on them physically and mentally?  The same as a long distance runner trying to run the 100 meters, how would it affect them.  And if they could not be successful, would we call them failures?

My point is, I believe we each have a unique rhythm, a rhythm which brings harmony to our lives; but so many of us are trying to run our lives at someone else’s rhythm and pace, one our body, and mind cannot sustain, thus the gradual break down of our physical and mental soundness.

Have you found your rhythm?

Are you stuck in a dance you cannot get out of, does your health and mental soundness have to digress before you change?

Are we teaching or telling your children, how important it is to find a lifestyle which fits there personal rhythm?