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/ December 17, Zechariah 5. The curse for the thief and liar http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6440948 Zechariah sees a scroll which is a curse on thieves and liars, it's not indicated if it was meant for Israel or for the world in general. When you think about it these two are the primary faults in every sin, stealing is against man and lying against God. The problem with this is that we're all thieves and liars, so we're all cursed. But then there's grace. Repent and confess and He will forgive. Yet there are always consequences. Sun, 17 Dec 2017 05:57:43 EST December 16, Zechariah 4. The golden lamp-stand. Perhaps the light of the world? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6440703 I've read several commentaries on this vision and I've come to the conclusion that no-one knows what it really means. But I like this idea. The lamp is The Word, or Jesus, they are one in the same. And the olive trees supplying oil for the lamp are God's never-ending supply to bring that light to the world. Maybe there's something else but that's enough in itself. The light of The World will shine in all dark places and it will never burn out. Sat, 16 Dec 2017 06:06:18 EST December 15, Zechariah 3. He will cleanse us from our filth http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6440407 There are actually several items to see here. It's prophetic and subject to interpretation but here is my take. Joshua, (which is actually Jesus Hebrew name), represents all of Israel and The Lord is Jesus. Satan has come to accuse Israel. There is a text in the book of Jude where it says that an angel disputed with Satan over the body of Moses. That text could mean either a physical body, or it could be the teachings of Moses, ie The Law. So this might be that dispute. Jesus rebuked Satan as... Fri, 15 Dec 2017 05:10:29 EST December 14, Zechariah 2. Jerusalem will be a great city http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6440113 In this prophecy I see some encouragement to continue working and a prophecy of what the city will someday be. Cities up until this time rarely exceeded 10,000 people. The largest city in the first century was Rome with just about 1 million. The city of Jerusalem was a little smaller than one half the size of New York's Central Park. I don't think anyone could conceive of the size of our modern cities. Today in Jerusalem there are 800,000 and in New York nearly 8 million. Certainly when God c... Thu, 14 Dec 2017 05:10:49 EST December 13, Zechariah 1. God is jealous for His people http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6439804 The first section, a call for man to repent and return to God could be said to nearly any people at any time. We can certainly say it today. The prophet here is also giving encouragement in the building of the temple. A warning to not be like their fathers, who turned form God to idols. And a promise that God will once again return to Jerusalem and the people will prosper. This prophecy could be for that time or it could be for a time yet to come. It's the first section that's important, do n... Wed, 13 Dec 2017 05:23:06 EST December 12, Haggai 2. The coming glory of God's temple http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6439534 To understand some of this you need to know the stories of Ezra and Nehemiah. when they took the people back to Jerusalem, the people living in the area resisted their efforts and tried to stop them from rebuilding. In this distraction God gives encouragement. Although in the context I believe that the workers thought God spoke of the temple that they were rebuilding but I think it's more a prophecy of the final temple. The original temple that Solomon had built was indeed the most elaborate ... Tue, 12 Dec 2017 04:50:10 EST December 11, Haggai 1. Work that never prospers http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6439253 It seemed fitting to read Haggai and Zechariah after Daniel as the time line flows together. This takes place about 68 or 69 years after Judah was taken to Babylon. Darius, sometimes called Cyrus, has given the decree that Jews can go and rebuild Jerusalem. They return with some enthusiasm but shortly lose that. The destruction was pretty severe and rebuilding would take a long time. So instead they built their own homes and started new lives, leaving the rebuilding, the primary task for the ... Mon, 11 Dec 2017 05:08:22 EST December 9, Daniel 12. God's people delivered http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6438711 This final section of Daniel's prophecy is just as obscure as any other. Again there have been men through the ages who've tried to make it fit various times. There are two significant items to note. One is there will be troubles in every nation as have never before been seen. And God's people will be delivered. The text says all who are in the book. I take that to mean all who have trusted in Christ. Which will include many of the Jews under The Law as the old system still pointed to the pro... Sat, 9 Dec 2017 05:46:57 EST December 8, Daniel 11. Kingdoms of men rise and fall http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6438443 There are a lot of commentaries on this chapter. If one wants to they can follow family lines after Cyrus to see the next kingdoms. But does any of it really matter? Kingdoms of men have risen and fallen, one by one, all through time. Not all rise but all eventually fall, why? Because men believe they can do it all themselves. That kingdoms are built by men, and in some aspects they are, and so they all fall. This will not stop until God Himself establishes the final kingdom, His. It matters ... Fri, 8 Dec 2017 04:51:41 EST December 7, Daniel 10. Daniel visited by an angel? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6438147 Quite frankly I have no idea who it is that Daniel meets with. Many call this being an angel, and I'm inclined to agree. Some name him Gabriel but there's no evidence for this. There are some who believe this was a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus, but I don't think so. The reality is that no-one knows. What we do know and can discern from this is that there are things happening on levels that we are simply not aware of. There's a line from the original movie Men In Black; "There is always a... Thu, 7 Dec 2017 05:01:38 EST December 6, Daniel 9:20-27, Seventy sevens for Israel http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6437845 We move into the most commonly discussed prophecy in the book of Daniel, the so called 70 weeks. The original manuscripts read as seventy sevens but it's commonly accepted to mean seventy weeks of years, in other words 490 years. Again I feel that man tries to make events fit prophecy but there is something here that might just be more than coincidence. We're told that the years start with the command to go and rebuild Jerusalem. That date can be traced in biblical and secular history. Xerxes... Wed, 6 Dec 2017 04:56:15 EST December 5, Daniel 9:1-19. Conviction and repentance http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6437556 After the Jews had been in exile for nearly 70 years, suddenly Daniel finds Jeremiah's prophecy and realizes the time is nearly complete. A coincidence eh? This reminds me of the story in II Kings 22 when the book of The Law was found and the king became convicted of the sins of Judah. Maybe when things get to just the right point God moves by His Spirit to bring man back to His Law and a state of repentance. I don't know if we're there yet. I've seen people descend down to some pretty low p... Tue, 5 Dec 2017 05:07:41 EST December 4, Daniel 8. More visions http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6437226 Daniel has more visions and I will not try to figure out what he saw. I think the whole of the visions can be summed up in the last sentence; "...I was appalled by the vision and did not understand it." No-one understands this, so many men have tried to make history fit with these images. Should the final days take another thousand years others will interpret it differently again. Some things are specifically explained. The kingdoms of Medes and Persians and Greece. Other than that we know no... Mon, 4 Dec 2017 05:15:06 EST December 3, Daniel 7, Daniel's visions http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6436935 In the past 25 years or so I've heard and read so many different ideas on what Daniel's visions meant. Dreams are strange things, our minds try to sort out the things of the day with images that may not make sense. Was Daniel given visions of a time to come by God? I think so, but I also think he saw things which didn't exist in his day and tried to describe them in terms of animals with which he was familiar. Take a Jeep back to 400 BC and ask someone to describe it. The headlights look lik... Sun, 3 Dec 2017 06:40:52 EST December 2, Daniel 6:10-28 The character of Daniel, and the king http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6436626 Even though Daniel knew what the king had written, he knew the law was wrong and chose to obey God. Which to his credit is what the plotters expected. This now places the king in a bit of a dilemma, he wants to save Daniel but also wants to obey his own law. Interesting that these men who conspired against Daniel are so quick to point out that the law can't be changed. But why or why not? Bad laws shouldn't exist in the first place, and just because there is no precedent doesn't mean somethin... Sat, 2 Dec 2017 05:12:15 EST December 1, Daniel 6:1-9 The character of men http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6436324 We're getting into the most familiar story of Daniel and there is a lot of stuff in this chapter. While it's most common to depict Daniel as a young man, in this story I think he's close to 60, most of the bible time lines have in captivity 45 years to this point. He's lived through a lot, be taken captive from home, threatened with death, elevated to king's advisor. He's lived through three kings, none of them ever accepted that God is ultimately in charge, and Daniel has seen the foolishnes... Fri, 1 Dec 2017 04:47:52 EST November 30, Daniel 5:13-30 What must I do to be saved? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6436019 That's the question which wasn't asked but should have been. Looking at each piece, Belshazzar is troubled and calls on the worldly wise men to help him out. The problem is that the worldly wise have no idea about things spiritual. And even today I wonder how wise people can be if they can't even figure out that an animal with a penis is male. At least one person has enough sense to call upon a man who knows God. Now we see Daniel, most of the time when we see him he's depicted as a young man... Thu, 30 Nov 2017 05:13:11 EST November 29, Daniel 5:1-12 So just who is Belshazzar? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6435702 In scripture Belshazzar is one of those characters who simply appears without much background and we don't know what happened to the king before him. In reality he was never actually king but regent for Nabonidus, who we never hear of at all. Probably because he wasn't home, hence the reason Belshazzar was regent. There is a time shift here from the last chapter of at least 25 years as Babylon had another king, Amel-Marduk. The Jews called him Evil-Marduk, there is very little known of what h... Wed, 29 Nov 2017 05:12:44 EST November 28, Daniel 4:19-37 He can't say that he wasn't warned http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6435381 I think the argument again can be made that Nebuchadnezzar was bi-polar, and then probably demon possessed. God gave him specific warnings and prophesied what would happen. What would it take to avoid these things? Humility. Nebuchadnezzar felt pride in self at his accomplishments, look at this kingdom that I made. Oops that was the mistake. The text indicates 7 periods of time but doesn't indicate what they were. For his hair and nail to grow such it had to be a while. Some believe it to be... Tue, 28 Nov 2017 05:23:34 EST Daniel 4:1-18. Almost a believer http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6435167 <BR> When I read this section I think of what Herod said to Paul. Almost I am persuaded to be a christian. Nebuchadezzer almost gets it. At first acknowledges God but he's still a polytheist. He never actually accepts that there is one God. He's about to be humbled by the one true God. All men will be humble before God, by personal choice or by life but it will happen. Better by choice I think. Mon, 27 Nov 2017 11:17:59 EST November 26, Daniel 3:8-30 Rack, Shack, and Benny in the furnace http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6434766 I always loved that Veggie Tales story, the opera aspect and the songs were addictive. Watched it with my sons and I still sing the songs occasionally. The story is fairly well known, these three particular Hebrews refused to bow down to a false god and were threatened with death. But God intervened and they lived. Sunday school lessons and sermons tend to convey the message that God is with you in the furnace, and there's usually just a bit of suggestion that He will bring you out unharmed. ... Sun, 26 Nov 2017 06:00:22 EST November 25, Daniel 2:46-3:7 From knowing God to building an idol http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6434503 This idea fascinates me, how a man can go from knowing God to building an idol. The text doesn't tell us what caused this. Was it personal desire or was he influenced by others? In either case these things happen. When someone has great success the tendency is to think they don't really need God. And there are usually people around who can stroke their ego. It starts out with "I did this" and progresses from there. Sat, 25 Nov 2017 06:35:14 EST November 24, Daniel 2:24-45 Nebuchadnezzar's dream http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6434252 I've never put much stock in dream interpretations, most seem to be way off base and prophecies tend to go the same way. I believe that Nebuchadnezzar was shown this for a very specific reason, that kingdoms will rise and fall, that wealth and power are not the same thing (gold represents wealth but iron and steel are stronger than gold). The most common interpretation of this is that from the head down these are the supposed empires; Babylon, Medo-Persia, Macedonia, and Rome. So many scholar... Fri, 24 Nov 2017 07:47:28 EST November 23, Daniel 2:17-23 Having friends who pray together http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6434002 I think this is one of the things I see lacking in so many lives. Close friends to begin with, and close friends who truly support each other. Two things that Daniel does that I find significant is that he wants to go to God, and he doesn't want to go alone. Calling together Rack, Shack, and Benny, they have a prayer meeting and during the night God gives a word of knowledge to Daniel. Not that this is a recipe or formula to move God, but certainly coming together has some significance. It wa... Thu, 23 Nov 2017 08:38:18 EST November 22, Daniel 2:1-16 Was Nebuchadnezzar bi-polar? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6433655 I believe that he was indeed. This man has such extreme mood swings, like a bi-polar man experiencing menopause. What he's asking in one way seems impossible yet these advisors have hinted to some spiritual or mystical powers to interpret and see the future. So it's time to prove it. I'm reminded of the movie Poltergeist when the skeptical father tries to answer the psychic with his mind. I believe that most of the fortune teller in that day, like today, are total frauds but some are accurate... Wed, 22 Nov 2017 04:53:41 EST November 21, Daniel 1:8-16 Proper nutrition http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6433356 Unfortunately the text does not tell us why Daniel and his friends did not want to eat the food provided. There is some conjecture but no actual facts. Some believe it was meat from unclean animals, meat that was improperly prepared (not in accordance with The Law), or meat offered to idols. Any or all could be true but we do not know. We know the benefits of drinking water daily and of a balanced diet. After just ten days it would be difficult to make a clear determination, and we all know t... Tue, 21 Nov 2017 05:06:33 EST November 20, Daniel 1:1-7 Youths of Judah, the vessels of the temple taken http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6433048 We finished Corinthians Saturday and I took Sunday off as I really wasn't sure where I wanted to go next. Deiced last night on Daniel, not really sure why but every time I study any part of the bible I learn something so I expect that will happen again. When one thinks of Daniel typically I think we get three or four different stories. The three men in the fire Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (AKA Rack, Shack, and Benny). Or we may think of the lions' den, maybe Daniel's prophecy and his visi... Mon, 20 Nov 2017 05:20:46 EST November 18, II Corinthians 13 Every charge established by two or more witnesses http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6432473 <BR> That's a pretty good principle, it should be used in legal matters but at times it's not. And it should always be used in personal matters and most often it's not. How many times have you repeated a rumor, forwarded a post, made some claim simply because you believed it? That's one of my peeves, people who simply forward stuff because it seems plausible. The internet is this huge search engine, it takes seconds to verify the truth about rumors yet so many won't take that time. Before ... Sat, 18 Nov 2017 07:08:26 EST November 17, II Corinthians 12 God given vision http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6432163 In this chapter Paul for the first time speaks of the vision he had of heaven. He calls it the third heaven and that term has caused some confusion over the years. English is a poor language for translation as some words simply don't translate. The word used here for heaven could posibly be better as expanse or maybe area, again it simply doesn't really translate. I'll describe the three in simpler terms. The first expanse is the earth, including it's atmosphere. The second expanse is the un... Fri, 17 Nov 2017 05:13:49 EST November 16, II Corinthians 11 Eloquence isn't intelligence http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6431854 Paul says that he's not a "super apostle", skilled in speaking. It seems that through history God used a lot of people who were not eloquent to spread the gospel. I have found that if someone speaks with a certain level of confidence and they make a plausible argument, then others will believe them. There are a lot of rumors in our society which are essentially just that, someone who had the appearance of intelligence made a statement and it's now commonly believed. I make a case in point. Ab... Thu, 16 Nov 2017 05:00:55 EST November 15, II Corinthians 10 Our record should speak for itself http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6431521 It appears that someone was accusing Paul of being insincere. He defends himself by noting his authority is from God to be an apostle. But even more than that he defend himself by his record. Things that we do and what we've done in the past show what and who we are better than anything else. I have the impression that Paul's outward appearance wasn't anything special. Not a muscular hunk, not a handsome star. A small plain man, maybe even a little smaller than average. He says that although ... Wed, 15 Nov 2017 05:12:34 EST November 14, II Corinthians 9 Sowing, reaping, and hedging bets http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6431217 There are some good principles in this but they're typically misused. We do reap what we sow but it's not always finances. If you're a grouch at work your coworkers will avoid you. And if you show kindness that too will have a reaction. Comparison can be made from a multitude of places but greedy preachers use this idea for a prosperity gospel. The first section carries over from yesterday. Paul uses flattery again but he is also giving a heads up that visitors are coming. He told people how ... Tue, 14 Nov 2017 05:06:20 EST November 13, II Corinthians 8 Flattery and guilt can get you a lot http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6430926 I may meet with some disagreements here but I think this is an example of how scripture depicts history, unedited and not necessarily how God wanted it. Paul uses flattery and guilt to motivate the church to give to missions. The churches in Macedonia are poor but they gave a lot, you have a lot and I now that your heart is moved to give. Like it or not it's manipulation. It's still used a lot today and I think it's wrong. In verse 14 he states that their abundance should supply other's needs... Mon, 13 Nov 2017 08:03:28 EST November 12, II Corinthians 7 What you're doing is wrong and you need to stop http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6430587 Now how many people want to hear this? Someone telling us that we need to change will probably just make us angry. But this is what happened with Paul and the church at Corinth. Paul's first letter was telling them they were wrong, and in this letter he's happy that they took the criticism and made changes. It's been a while since anyone told me flat out that I was being dumb, not to say that I haven't been pretty dumb in the recent past, just no-one said anything. While we may not want someo... Sun, 12 Nov 2017 06:56:56 EST November 11, II Corinthians 6 Now is the day of salvation http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6430264 I think that when Paul wrote this he actually believed that the time was short and there was an urgency in telling people that NOW is the day of salvation. It could be looked at as a reference to a prophecy by Isaiah, that at a time God would offer salvation to His people. We take the meaning today to be an era. We live in the time of salvation, when men can come to accept Christ. But knowing that there is a time of salvation I must accept that it will not always be. I think that one of the b... Sat, 11 Nov 2017 05:36:15 EST November 10, II Corinthians 5 What we are is known to God http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6429961 This can be a scary thought, what I am, the real me deep inside is known only to myself and to God. I suppose that someone in a state of pride or self righteousness may make a similar statement. Trying to justify something they've done. But I look at the other side of the spectrum. There's a lot about me that I never want anyone to know, but God already knows and still He calls me His. Paul goes on to say that he no longer regards people in the flesh. That's how we all function, we regard the... Fri, 10 Nov 2017 05:06:23 EST November 9, II Corinthians 4 This body is not the real me http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6429763 Paul covers a few topics in this chapter. Denouncing those who corrupt The Word for their own ends. <BR> He notes that to those who choose not to believe, the gospel can not be understood. And he speaks of the treasure contained in fragile vessels. Interesting that in a short time I'll be attending a memorial for a friend today. His body has ceased to function but I believe that he's not there anyway. I think that's what Paul means. The flesh will suffer pains, will age and eventually fail. B... Thu, 9 Nov 2017 12:07:49 EST November 8, II Corinthians 3 Can one brag on their works? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6429314 Paul asks this question, can or should he commend himself. He's preached Jesus to a lot of people and has seen a lot come to salvation but it's not his works. Paul understands this. He speaks of how Moses received The Law and the people could not look on Moses' face. We can't look into The Law without being convicted, that's what it does. The Law is a mirror which shows us we've sinned and need grace. I had a response to yesterday's blog where someone listed several different names, believing... Wed, 8 Nov 2017 05:07:43 EST November 7, II Corinthians 2 The gospel is simple, it's life or death http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6428979 Paul ends with this and I'll look at that in a minute but first there's an issue of forgiveness or I think in this case unforgiveness. Someone in the church did something and they continue to mistreat this person. Forgiveness is key to the whole gospel. Depending on what the sin was, I think it prudent to try and keep this person from the same influence. The principle is basic, alcoholics can't ever drink again, the same would be true of any addiction. Forgive and forget the offense but don't... Tue, 7 Nov 2017 04:53:46 EST November 6, II Corinthians 1 Comfort, prayer, and flexible plans http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6428635 Sometimes when I read Paul's writings and the way he makes loops it gets confusing. Finding comfort in affliction. I know some really pious folks who always seem to have the right Christian words to say and always wearing this painted on smile that's fake as can be. There is no comfort in affliction, it hurts. Regardless of what it is, sickness, financial failures, death, family strife, it all hurts and claiming some spiritual comfort is denial. But through it all there is hope. Everything ch... Mon, 6 Nov 2017 05:02:27 EST November 5, 1 Corinthians 16 Paul gives some final advice http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6428333 As Paul closes this letter, it seems that there are still several things he wants to say and tries to squeeze in as much as possible. One verse stands out today; 13 Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. One can break this down to be watching for evil and for opportunities. Stand firm by remembering where you were and what you've learned. But the one thing that really jumps out is to act like men, I'd change that last word to adults. There is far too much childishness... Sun, 5 Nov 2017 08:02:50 EST November 4, 1 Corinthians 15 The gospel is about death, and resurrection http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6428013 I've posted lately of how I feel that the church in general has been trying to "sell" Jesus. Telling people that they need God and when they come to Him life will be better, they'll find peace and God will take care of everything. The problem is that's not true. For some people lives do change drastically, for others not so much. And for some life takes a really bad turn. We still live in a world that's been bent by sin, and by it's nature the sins of others will effect me. Happiness and pro... Sat, 4 Nov 2017 04:45:15 EST November 3 1 Corinthians 14 Tongues, personal agendas and order http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6427706 Paul covers a few different topics but in a nut shell here's what I see. When people gathered together there were some who spoke in tongues, but no interpretation. Some had a special song or prayer or some scripture they wanted to read. The gathering wasn't about worship or in lifting up one's neighbor, the gathering became a personal forum for the super spiritual to strut their stuff. Some things don't change with time. I'll not debate tongues, it's a gift and I believe all gifts still exist... Fri, 3 Nov 2017 04:41:47 EST November 2 1 Corinthians 13 It's all about love http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6427367 This section is frequently used in wedding ceremonies, reminding both the bride and groom what love is all about. But even more than that, love is what The Gospel is all about. God loves humanity so much that He became like us to be with us. Everything in this world will fade away but love will not. Love is an action but it's not a reciprocal action. We don't love because of something, we simply love. It's manifest by actions, by personal sacrifice. By placing the needs and desires of others ... Thu, 2 Nov 2017 05:06:19 EST November 1 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 Another look at gifts http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6427024 Not spiritual gifts today but practical. I've been involved is various forms of construction and manufacturing most of my life, currently I'm a machinist and I'm pretty good at it. That's my gift from God. I typically make parts for customers not knowing what it is or does but sometimes I get several pieces that go together and it's neat to see how they all fit. And satisfying that they actually do go together, which means that I did it right. I've been thinking of making an open gear clock o... Wed, 1 Nov 2017 05:09:33 EST October 31 1 Corinthians 12:1-11 Spiritual gifts http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6426700 Paul addresses the different spiritual gifts. Most Christians I know will accept that some are still manifest today but others are not. I question why? Where in the scripture does it say that God no longer gives certain gifts? Paul makes a quick list; wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, prophecy, tongues, and interpretations. Most will readily accept that wisdom and faith are still given but will balk at miracles and healing. With these two I typically see some distinct problems. The first is... Tue, 31 Oct 2017 04:51:51 EST October 30 1 Corinthians Hair and communion http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6426365 This first section dealing with hair and head coverings is really just more tradition that anything else. Long and short hair becomes a cultural thing, in the early 1700's men had long hair. Today the current trend is for women to have very short hair. In the 60's long hair began as a protest to the military actions in Vietnam. But the length of one's hair has noting to do with our salvation or relationship. In the second part Paul refers to the lord's supper. It wasn't a simple communion tha... Mon, 30 Oct 2017 05:05:59 EST October 29 1 Corinthians 10:23-33 Be careful of what you eat http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6426071 Being that I post this on a health and fitness site it's fitting to address nutrition. When Paul says that all things are lawful he refers to foods. Under The Law there were clean and unclean animals, but now those restrictions are removed. But that doesn't mean that we should eat just anything. We've learned that diets high in one nutrient and low in others can cause problems. It's been the fad for a while to demonize carbohydrates, 30 years ago it was all about fats, currently it's gluten. ... Sun, 29 Oct 2017 06:54:48 EST October 28 1 Corinthians 10:1-22 Avoid idolatry http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6425770 Paul speaks on idolatry and gives some examples that have always baffled me. In the story of The Exodus we have these examples of how God delivered Israel and right after the miracles the people resort back to idols. They walked through the red sea and watched Egypt's army destroyed then complained about their food. Drank water from a rock and complained of thirst. They heard the voice of God as He spoke to Moses on the mountain and still made a gold calf to worship. When bitten by a serpent,... Sat, 28 Oct 2017 05:50:32 EST October 27 1 Corinthians 9 Should preachers be paid a salary? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6425457 I've got some pretty specific ideas about this. I personally know people who have decided to make a career in ministry, not because they feel called but because as a part of a specific denominational conference, they are guaranteed a salary no matter where they may be assigned. In this case it's simply a full time job and nothing more. I also think it's wrong for the conference or any governing body to dictate a salary amount, some places simply can't afford the cost of a pastor and churches ... Fri, 27 Oct 2017 05:10:32 EST