N_SPECT_R's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=N%5FSPECT%5FR N_SPECT_R's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community SparkPeople.com http://assets2.sparkpeople.com/assets/nav/logo_spark.gif http://www.sparkpeople.com/ July 28 Genesis 3, The fruit, the fall and who is at fault? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6392970 There is a lot to learn from the things which happened then. First off the fault lies with Adam who stood by and did nothing. Lesson for us through the ages, to stand by and do nothing is wrong. There is a scripture in James, he who knows to do good and does it not, to him it is sin. We typically call the fruit the apple, no-one knows what it was. It may have actually been an apple tree, maybe it wasn't actually the fruit but the action of picking fruit from THAT tree. It's really not importa... Fri, 28 Jul 2017 05:20:42 EST July 27 Genesis 2, Lets name the animals and then, WOW! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6392572 Through chapter two it speaks of how God made all of the trees and animals and brought them to Adam to name them. We know that He made all animals in pairs to reproduce but didn't make Eve until after. I have a theory, Adam's reaction seems a bit subdued to me, it's verse 23. Eve was the absolute perfect woman, beauty incarnate. And I suspect that Adam would have been the perfect man. So when he sees Eve for the first time the reaction was probably a bit more than what's on the page. I suspec... Thu, 27 Jul 2017 04:49:48 EST July 26 Genesis 1 Male and female He created them http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6392135 There is much in the creation story that will not be known until we get home. The meanings of the expanse, the waters, the void and just how long was a day? But there is so much that is totally clear. God created everything, from the dust on the ground to the fish in the sea God created everything. And finally He created man and gave man the earth to be a steward. But the key is that God created them male and female, so that they can multiply. Somewhere our logic has run amok, people think th... Wed, 26 Jul 2017 05:00:00 EST July 25 Luke 24 Simple final instructions http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6391721 In the week immediately after Jesus' crucifixion His followers had to feel a roller coaster of emotions. I've experienced losses of close friends and family, the first several days are not good at all. But Jesus comes, not to console but to instruct, as the pair walk to Emmaus Jesus teaches them what the prophets meant. And when He appears in the midst of the group it's to have fellowship and give some simple instructions, they're in verse 47; repentance and forgiveness of sins are possible t... Tue, 25 Jul 2017 05:04:12 EST July 24 Luke 23 The depravity of man has no bounds http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6391277 This chapter deals primarily with the crucifixion of Jesus, the text can't possibly communicate the horrible method of torture and death that came from that. It truly looks at the depth of man's depravity. Just in the past week or so a video has surfaced of some teens watching as a man drowns while they laugh and joke about it. I see in both the same attitude, life is only worth the entertainment value. In today's reading the people of Jerusalem made a choice of a criminal over Jesus. The onl... Mon, 24 Jul 2017 05:02:38 EST July 23 Luke 22 Turn the other cheek or buy a sword? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6390860 That could almost seem contradictory but it's not. It depends on the attitude and severity of the offense. Something minor, a verbal insult or a simple slap may be painful but the results are not severe or fatal. It may be best to simply let it go. Especially the verbal name calling, currently our political leaders behave like grade school children with this foolishness, and it's pretty much all of them. This attitude pervades the country. Unless we stop being offended by stupidity it will ge... Sun, 23 Jul 2017 06:24:19 EST July 22 Luke 21 Bad news and good news http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6390468 Jesus' disciples marvel at the construction and beauty of the temple, history says that it was well made and lavishly furnished but Jesus also says that some day it will come down. Some day everything comes down, simple reality of life. I do find it interesting though that some construction lasts longer than others. I lived for three years in Germany and saw a lot of old stone buildings dating back to the Roman occupation still in use. Probably a lesson about building with rock here. Modern h... Sat, 22 Jul 2017 06:17:36 EST July 21 Luke 20:27-40 The most important aspect of Christianity http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6390065 What do you suppose that is? That God became flesh? That He paid for our sins? These are crucial but the most important aspect of being a Christian is THE resurrection. Jesus told the people that when they killed Him He would rise, not if they would kill Him but when. It was a foregone conclusion that Jesus would be killed and rise again. I don't know what eternity will be like, there are descriptions of the New Earth with streets of gold but simply they're visions. My hope doesn't rest in a ... Fri, 21 Jul 2017 05:02:28 EST July 20 Luke 19:11-27 Don't be paralyzed by fear http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6389668 There are actually several aspects to this parable but let's look at fear today. There are certainly things to be afraid of but to allow fear to paralyze us is a problem. In this story one of the servants did just that, he was afraid of losing his master's money and afraid of being punished. I really believe that if he'd just tried something and failed the master would have forgiven the loss because he tried. Helping people overcome fears is one reason that I do high ropes training. This past... Thu, 20 Jul 2017 05:06:53 EST July 19 Luke 18:9-14 Be cautious when you think that you deserve something more http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6389239 I've heard a lot of people in the past decade speak of what they deserve. Some think that they've worked so hard at their job that they deserve more money of a better position. Some say they deserve to be happy, or I deserve a better spouse. Why? Others that they deserve a break, a long vacation, or some such nonsense. There is in reality only one thing that we all deserve, it's judgment from God and that means death. It is only by the grace and sacrifice of Christ that I don't get what I des... Wed, 19 Jul 2017 04:56:54 EST July 18 Luke 18:1-8 Pray and don't lose heart. Sometimes hard to do. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6388819 We really don't understand prayer, we want to make it a formula which is why there are lots of books written but it's not a formula. It's speaking with God. I see three types of people concerning prayer, those who've prayed and received. They're enthusiastic about prayer, simply follow their method and God will answer. Those who actually haven't received but have read the stories and heard the testimonies so they too approach prayer with some enthusiasm. Then there are those who've followed ... Tue, 18 Jul 2017 05:07:51 EST July 17 Luke 17:5-6 Faith doesn't have size, it simply is http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6388385 The disciples asked Jesus to increase their faith, possibly in response th the requirement of forgiving their neighbors 7 times a day. But I don't think faith actually has a size. Jesus said have faith like a mustard seed, he didn't say the size of one. I think it could have been any seed, if we plant a seed it will sprout and grow. I think that's what He meant. Have the faith when you do things as if you were planting seeds. Expect something to grow. <BR> <BR> Today's workout, back biceps ... Mon, 17 Jul 2017 05:13:03 EST July 16 Luke 17 We all sin, so don't tempt me http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6388004 Sin is a universal thing, we all do it. Most times it's thought out, premeditated so to speak. But sometimes it's more spontaneous, a temptation is presented and we give in to the flesh. I've always had problems with government sting operations. Sometimes they find corrupt businesses, that were corrupt before the "sting" but I know of a company that wasn't until the under cover FBI agent came with a proposal. Unfortunately we all know the nature of man is to do evil, so it becomes easy to cat... Sun, 16 Jul 2017 06:51:06 EST July 15 Luke 16 All rich people are not evil http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6387622 In two places Jesus mentions rich people and they're not cast in a very good light. The first seems fairly neutral but the second is certainly not. Money and financial/social status has been and still is used to separate people. It's also used a lot by politicians to generate class envy, how often do we hear that they want to tax the rich, or that the rich don't pay their fair share? The problem is that we all define rich a little differently. I know some people who I consider rich but if you... Sat, 15 Jul 2017 06:34:02 EST July 14 Luke 15 Today's preachers are doing it wrong http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6387200 I'm not sure where the message was lost or exactly how but it's certainly been lost. The first line in this chapter tells it all. The tax collectors and sinners drew near to hear Him. How many tax collectors and sinners draw near to hear preachers today? Just like then, the religious leaders are teaching rules and formulas, Jesus came and said it's not about the rules, rules are used to control people, it's about freedom and love. <BR> <BR> Today's workout chest-shoulders-triceps <BR> ste... Fri, 14 Jul 2017 05:05:12 EST July 13 Luke 14 Man will never stop bullying http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6386779 I was always the geeky nerd growing up, wasn't interested much in sports, plated my trumpet and played with radios. Later my dad taught me how to fix cars. But I never hung out with the "in" crowd. As I type this I see things still haven't changed. I do remember being invited to a party by a very popular pretty girl in 10th grade. But I knew something was suspicious and it was a set up to be made a fool of, I had enough sense to not go. That's exactly what's happening here. I wish I had today... Thu, 13 Jul 2017 05:08:52 EST July 12 Luke 13:18-21 What is the kingdom of heaven like? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6386355 In Matthew's gospel the comparison of the kingdom of heaven is a bit different. There Jesus calls it something of great value. But here it's how do we go from a mustard seed to a tree? Or from leaven to loaves? The kingdom of heaven is a seed, planted in faith, believing that one day we'll see it. And the yeast to leaven, when added into a loaf disappears in the flour. We cant see it now but we know that the bread will rise. So what is the kingdom of heaven like? It's us daily planting seeds ... Wed, 12 Jul 2017 06:23:44 EST July 11 Luke 13:6-17 Fruit vs religion http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6385903 <BR> <BR> I think that these stories are placed together just so that we can see a contrast. The parable about the fig tree is aimed at the religious community. It's what should be happening and it shows God's patience, waiting until the very end for His people to grow fruit. Then we see the sick women who is healed on the Sabbath. Certainly that's fruit, that someone has received a miraculous gift should be a time of celebration but instead religion says that things need to be done in a ce... Tue, 11 Jul 2017 04:47:32 EST July 10 Luke 13:1-5 Should punishment fit the crime? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6385470 I can't remember how many times I've heard such statements, that someone who made others suffer should also suffer. That's not justice, it's vengeance and that belongs explicitly to God. Evil exists in the world and we live in a broken system. Sometimes we suffer from our own sins and sometimes from others'. The degree of suffering though most times has nothing to do with our own sins. Jesus is addressing two instances where people felt that others were punished for sins. Much like the foolis... Mon, 10 Jul 2017 05:12:50 EST July 9 Luke 12 Do not be anxious, God provides http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6385077 I must confess this morning this is an area where I struggle. In the last three years, due primarily to medical issues, my wife and I have spent more than our house is worth. We currently still owe more than $6000 from past surgeries and just last week I had my shoulder repaired. Looking at another $3000-5000 before that's finished. I've been hesitant to share this but think that maybe it's time. Still through all of this we're together. I do not understand the reasons for what has happened, ... Sun, 9 Jul 2017 06:07:29 EST July 8 Luke 11 Teach us to pray http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6384708 I suppose it depends on where you place he emphasis in this statement. Could it be teach us to be praying people? Or are they looking for a formula, teach us like John's disciples. Did John's disciples show a life of prayer or was there a perception that they prayed with some power? Jesus does give an example but it's not a model of power, it's simply an encouragement to pray. Remember that all things come from God who is holy, and concern our selves with just today. There is no great form... Sat, 8 Jul 2017 07:03:10 EST July 7 Luke 10 To actually meet Jesus and still say no http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6384321 When we think of Jesus' disciples we typically think about the 12, but here we're told that He sent out 70 as evangelists or missionaries. The fact is that anyone who follows Jesus' teachings is His disciple, even today. The text tells us what they were to do in towns that received or didn't receive. I interpret that to mean that some did not receive. I can't imagine how one could actually meet Jesus and not believe yet it's still true. People are proud and stiff necked. <BR> <BR> I want to... Fri, 7 Jul 2017 07:05:04 EST July 6 Luke 9:21-62 What does it cost to follow Jesus? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6383910 For a lot of people that question doesn't amount to much. In most of the developed world Christians are simply accepted, although climates are changing somewhat. But in a large part of the world it means a great deal. Families will cast out Christian converts. Local governments will levy heavy taxes. And as we've seen more and more a lot of entire families are killed for their faith. For me personally I gave up some acquaintances, they weren't actually friends. And changed some habits, but th... Thu, 6 Jul 2017 05:15:56 EST July 5 Luke 9:1-20 The most important question http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6383487 Jesus' disciples were given authority over all things in order to reach people for Him, curious that none of their specific acts were recorded, perhaps to keep the focus on Jesus. These events certainly caused news to spread, the text says that even Herod was curious but not curious enough. And that crowds came to hear Jesus and be healed. The miracle of the feeding is a fairly common story, it shows God's compassion. But all of the events in this chapter can lead us to a question, who is Jes... Wed, 5 Jul 2017 05:04:10 EST July 4 Luke 8:22-56 Faith and demons http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6383093 The rest of this chapter deals with the storm at sea, demons being cast out of a man and Jesus healing/raising a little girl. I don't wish to debate faith and healings, there is no formula for why some are healed and some are not. Too often we do more hurt by saying that someone's faith just wasn't strong enough. But I'm looking today at a contrast to the places Jesus went and the response. Jesus leaves Galilee to go across the sea, there in the country of Gerasenes, (some sources call them G... Tue, 4 Jul 2017 06:46:47 EST July 3 Luke 8:1-18 The gospel is for everyone, let others see the light of Christ http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6382672 In the first three verses Luke shows us how Jesus reached across all social and economic groups. His disciples were mostly blue collar workers, he traveled through the cities and villages where you'd find the lower classes and in his group of followers was Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod's household manager. So the message is going from the king's palace down to the dirt farmer. That's what we're still supposed to do. The gospel message is the same for everyone, we're all sinners needing Chr... Mon, 3 Jul 2017 05:09:22 EST July 2 Luke 7 You can't help stubborn people http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6382276 There are a lot of things happening in this chapter, something in the scriptures that bothers be a bit is the lack of time lines. Certainly this all didn't happen in the same day, was it days or weeks? Probably not all that important though. Jesus heals the sick and raises the dead all for His purpose. John the baptist knew Jesus and believed in Him, even to declare who and what He was. But now he has doubts. It's OK to doubt but also look at the evidence and make decisions based on that. The... Sun, 2 Jul 2017 06:11:15 EST July 1 Luke 6:17-49 Basic instructions for life http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6381893 The rest of this chapter contains nearly everything we need to know to live our lives how God wants us too. Unfortunately so much of it gets perverted or manipulated by people with different agendas. Although Jesus pronounces a woe on the rich, not all rich are evil. Turning the other cheek doesn't mean to allow someone to walk all over you, there are other places when Jesus says one should be prepared to defend oneself. The section on Judging others doesn't mean to judge between what is righ... Sat, 1 Jul 2017 05:54:16 EST June 30, Luke 6:1-11 Someone is always watching you http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6381470 Having someone always watching can be either good or bad, it really depends on the context. In this case it's bad. I've worked with people and I'm sure most others have at least known someone who enjoys finding faults or watching someone fail. I never could quite grasp that concept, we work together for the same company, if one person fails then the whole company suffers. The same cold be said for any organization or country. If a nation's leader fails then the country suffers. So why would s... Fri, 30 Jun 2017 03:51:18 EST June 29, Luke 5:27-39 There's more to life than church http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6381086 Looking first today at the call of Matthew. Tax collectors were typically extortionists, Rome wasn't concerned how they collected the taxes or how much they collected over, as long as Rome received her portion. We don't know how Matthew did his business, maybe he only collected what was required, the text simply doesn't say. We do see conviction in him though to repay or repair wrongs that he'd done. I'd say that's a sign of change. In the last section the religious crowd finds fault with Jes... Thu, 29 Jun 2017 05:01:18 EST June 28, Luke 5:17-26 A religious conference http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6380659 Typically in this section the attention is on the men who take apart the roof for their friend, but let's look at things differently. Who is in attendance? Verse 17 says it was the religious teachers from all around the country, from every village and Jerusalem. So we have a religious conference. It doesn't say what Jesus was teaching, probably expanding some aspect of The Law. But then things change, the paralyzed man is brought through the roof and Jesus forgives him. This sort of sets off ... Wed, 28 Jun 2017 05:14:49 EST June 27, Luke 5:1-16 What do you want from God? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6380215 We all want something, from God and from people around us. In the first section there was a crowd listening to Jesus teach, I suppose that if it were important what the subject was then it would be included. Later He tells Peter to go out for a catch. Interesting that in this story Peter really didn't want anything from Jesus specifically, he certainly wanted fish but I don't think he expected that Jesus could give him some. The first crowds wanted to hear Him. Later we have crowds coming to ... Tue, 27 Jun 2017 04:56:44 EST June 26, Luke 4:31-44 A time for preaching and a time for healing http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6379765 In the beginning of this chapter Jesus was teaching in the synagogues, here at the end He's healing all manner of sickness at Peter's house. I don't profess to know why God does what He does. I suppose that it was important for the people to be healed, perhaps to encourage faith. I don't believe it was to proclaim His identity, He told the demons to be quiet. Certainly there was compassion but there was probably another reason. All things that God does are for His glory. Jesus still heals peo... Mon, 26 Jun 2017 05:16:14 EST June 25, Luke 4:16-30 It's good news, not religion http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6379363 Jesus reads from the prophet Isaiah, that He is anointed to preach good news. The reality is that anyone who preaches the gospel message could read this passage and say that it's fulfilled. Here is the good news, this world we live on is broken and filled with evil. But God has prepared a place for His people where they can live with Him forever in perfect peace. And all you need to do is believe. It's not something that you need to buy and it's not based on performance, just believe. Contras... Sun, 25 Jun 2017 04:46:44 EST June 24, Luke 4:1-12 Prove it! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6379015 Think about that simple statement. How often do we either hear it or say it, and what is the motivation? Typically you'll hear this after someone makes a claim that they are or can do something. And from where does the motivation come to seek proof? If I tell you that I can do some specific thing, do you take that at face value? Or would you like me to prove it? And should I prove it? With people it becomes a challenge of sorts, a desire to be right or to win an argument. And it usually begin... Sat, 24 Jun 2017 07:20:52 EST June 23, Luke 3:1-22 The gospel according to John the baptist http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6378607 John is a character in the scriptures that I really would like to have actually seen. I picture him a bit wild looking, he wears a leather girdle, no shirt, he's hairy all over with long hair and beard. His voice is graveled from years of preaching. For the people of the time John is an entertainment, sort of like a juggler or acrobat. His message is specifically to Israel, to people who should know The Law. John spends days preaching repentance and symbolic baptism but the message is similar... Fri, 23 Jun 2017 04:52:21 EST June 22, Luke 2:22-38 Jesus' first temple visit http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6378177 According to The Law, the mother and new born child must make an offering 40 days after birth. Some would argue that neither Mary or Jesus need to be purified but it was still The Law and Jesus was here to complete all of The Law. That they bought two doves reflects their state of poverty. My focus today though is on Simeon and he un-named prophetess. These two people had an on-going relationship with God and the Holy Spirit spoke to them. Note that they are not clergy. Sometimes I think bibl... Thu, 22 Jun 2017 04:53:21 EST June 21, Luke 2:8-21 And what were you boys doing in the field? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6377740 We've heard this story many times too, the shepherds were keeping their flocks and a host of angels came to them. Just think about this for a moment, the nature of man has not changed in the thousands of years. At that time there hasn't been a prophet for over 400 years in Israel. So let's change the place and time a bit to add some perspective. Imagine it's June 21 2017 and you're a shepherd just outside of Tulsa. You see a heavenly host of angels singing praises and they give you a message.... Wed, 21 Jun 2017 05:12:36 EST June 20, Luke 2:1-7 God moves people http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6377330 It seems odd to look at the Christmas story in June but we might actually be closer to the time line. It's amazing how God can move the right people at the right time to where He wants them. Or move the mind of kings to make people move. The story of Joseph and Mary going to Bethlehem is very familiar, that the creator of all things should be born to common people, but let's look at things from a different angle. Why were they living in the obscure small town of Nazareth? I read a commentary ... Tue, 20 Jun 2017 04:55:24 EST June 19, Luke 1:57-80 Zechariah preaches Jesus! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6376903 Zechariah hasn't said a single word for 9 months. I wonder at the mechanics behind this. Did God remove his vocal cords? Certainly his mouth needed to work in order to eat but he couldn't even whisper. I suppose that really doesn't matter but the engineer in me wants to know why mechanical things work or don't. There can be nothing normal said about the birth of John, his parents are old, I suppose like Abraham and Sarah. The birth was apparently very easy for Elizabeth, and although Zecharia... Mon, 19 Jun 2017 05:00:13 EST June 18, Luke 1:39-56 Elizabeth knows, but how? And Mary sings http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6376536 We the readers know that Mary is pregnant, or at least soon will be but how does Elizabeth know? The text says that she was filled with the Holy Spirit, perhaps He revealed this. But what about the people around them, didn't this greeting seem strange to anyone else? Another curiosity I find in the scripture. I understand that all of the bible is true but it does not contain all truths. So perhaps Elizabeth was also visited by an angel which was not recorded. And Mary's song, of how God has b... Sun, 18 Jun 2017 05:40:20 EST June 17, Luke 1:26-38 An angel speaks to Mary http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6376170 It doesn't matter if you're a Christian or not, this section should be familiar to everyone. An angel came and told the virgin Mary that she would have a son. When I read Luke's description I can't help but have a lot of questions. Where was Mary when it happened? Was it in a dream, was she at the well getting water, was she alone in her room, maybe out in a field? I think depending on the location there could be different reactions. And I really wonder at the recorded conversation, is that r... Sat, 17 Jun 2017 06:32:57 EST June 16, Luke 1:5-24 A funny thing happened at the altar today http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6375768 I love this section, it shows God's sense of humor. Zechariah is ministering in the temple, he would be in the holy place, the area reserved for priests but not in the most holy place where the ark should have been (the ark was lost to Babylon and never recovered). Zechariah has fallen into the ritual thing, he's doing religion, praying the same old prayers and going through the motions. I really get this, religion becomes stale, we do stuff just because we've always done stuff like this. B... Fri, 16 Jun 2017 05:15:06 EST June 15, Luke 1:1-4 Biographies of Jesus http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6375362 I've decided to look at the gospel of Luke for a while and maybe go a bit deeper than last time. Here in the first section there are some things which I find intriguing. Luke notes that the reason for his writing is because 'many' others have written already but there is a inference that those may not have been true. Have you ever considered the number of biographies written about prominent people? It goes to reason that there probably were many stories written about Jesus, yet these four gos... Thu, 15 Jun 2017 05:09:35 EST June 14, Obadiah. Nations, and men, rise and fall by God's choosing http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6374935 Obadiah is an obscure prophet, no-one knows where he came from. He lived and prophesied around the time that Nebuchadnezzar captured Judah. His prophecy is primarily against Edom, who were the descendants of Esau. They did what nearly all nations do when they become powerful, forgot God and thought they did it all themselves. God says that though they soar like eagles, and make their strongholds in the rocks, He will bring them down. It's a timeless lesson for nations and individuals alike, n... Wed, 14 Jun 2017 05:16:45 EST June 13, Jude. Learn lessons from the past http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6374474 Much of what's in the bible is history and I think that a large part of our social problems is that we've forgotten history. I think Jude is writing to a group that stumbled away from the faith, possibly because of false teachers. Jude cites specific figures or events in the Jewish history, Moses, Egypt, Balaam, and Korah all point to specifics and events. Moses and Egypt would be positive from obedience where Balaam and Korah were disobedient times and have a negative effect. I think that's ... Tue, 13 Jun 2017 05:13:14 EST June 12, II Thessalonians 3 Keep trying no matter what http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6374019 There are two ideas in this chapter which stand out, one is being idle and the other getting burned out so to speak. As to being idle. I've never been a big fan of welfare systems, they've become far too corrupt and in the current system they're really not designed for people to ever get off once they're on. I also believe that when we give things to people it removes the motivation to actually work. As to the second part. It's very easy to become frustrated when doing things for others and t... Mon, 12 Jun 2017 05:19:02 EST June 11, II Thessalonians 2 Prophecies of the end times http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6373590 There have been people even since Paul's time trying to fix a date and time for Jesus' return. So far they're all wrong. What is the great attraction to trying to know the future? Paul's letter indicates that several events need to occur first, and one of which seems to be a person performing what appear to be miracles setting himself up as god. I won't try to interpret the meaning, it's really not all that important. What is important is to tell others about the forgiveness and salvation whi... Sun, 11 Jun 2017 05:00:29 EST June 10, II Thessalonians 1 Judgment is coming http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6373197 A day is coming when all of the people that have mistreated or abused God's people will be judged and it won't be pretty. I suppose for someone who are suffering persecution this could bring comfort, but I just feel a deep sadness. The end of times, so to speak, will bring the church together with Christ but it will also eternally separate the unbelievers from Him. There are some pretty bad things that can happen to us here in this life but nothing can compare to eternity without God. <BR> Sat, 10 Jun 2017 05:14:18 EST June 9, I Thessalonians 5 Respect those who admonish you. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6372806 That's a hard thing to do, no-one wants someone to tell them that they're wrong. I knew a man once who had so much tact that he could tell someone that they royally screwed up and they'd actually feel good when he finished. And in reality we should look at correction in a positive way, acknowledging an area of fault or weakness allows us to focus a little more and make some improvements. Of course the key here is to have some people in our lives who we respect and are actually willing to tell... Fri, 9 Jun 2017 05:18:12 EST