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/ January 17, Ezra 5:1-5 Do what God says. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6299721 After the death of Artaxerxes (pronounce; are tax zerk sees), the people resumed the work. What I specifically note is that two prophets told them to disobey the king's proclamation and go back to rebuilding. One of the few places in scripture where the people actually heed the prophets of God. Still the enemies return trying to stop the work, but the workers will not be swayed unless the new king sends a command to stop. Finishing the chapter, Tattenai the governor of a small province doe... Tue, 17 Jan 2017 04:44:26 EST January 16, Ezra 4:7-24 Evil forces may seem to delay God's plan but will not stop it. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6299010 So these Samaritans send the letter and in fact history shows that the people of Judah and Jerusalem were in fact rebellious. he letter is also laces with lies, that too is a tactic of evil, even today so many laws are passed because of lies told which frighten people. Had the king searched a little more some other facts also would have come out but that will happen later. It's unclear just how long the rebuilding stopped, some believe as long as 7 years, we know at least 2 years. Here we fin... Mon, 16 Jan 2017 05:03:43 EST January 15, Ezra 4:1-6 The most dangerous enemy is the one who says he is your friend http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6298379 This tactic used by the adversaries of Judah is very common, if I flatter someone or convince them that we work towards the same goal I can disarm them. It's practiced widely today by governments and by Satan. The movements across the globe that all religions worship the same god, just in different ways. The bumper stickers or T shirts I've seen with coexist spelled out in religious symbols. The problem with that is some of those religions at their core advocate killing everyone who doesn't ... Sun, 15 Jan 2017 06:44:56 EST January 14, Ezra 3:8-13 A groundbreaking celebration http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6297763 After two years they are finally able to start rebuilding the temple. For most of us the temple simply represents a religious building but for Israel it represented God with them, it was central to their culture. I've been to groundbreakings where it's simply a few shovel fulls of dirt and I've been to ones where there's heavy equipment moving lots of dirt. I was at one where there was a big party with a band on a flatbed trailer and a large celebration. That's what I picture here, it's a ce... Sat, 14 Jan 2017 04:45:51 EST January 13, Ezra 3:1-7 Returning to worship http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6297120 The people of Israel have been back in the land for seven months and some may wonder that they didn't rebuild the altar first. But we don't know the extent of the destruction in the city, was it safe to go to where the altar was? Maybe it took some time to even get to that point. We also don't know that they didn't find some other place to worship while building. When I read this I get the feeling that as soon as they could, they restored the most important parts and began the old ceremonie... Fri, 13 Jan 2017 04:46:07 EST January 12, Ezra 2, Lots of names, what does it all mean? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6296444 For most people the family genealogy isn't very important except for some personal curiosity. I note that today there is more interest than there has been for quite some time. But to the Jew the family line was very important. The land and duties were divided by tribes and one needed to identify to what tribe they belonged. Most of this text is names and numbers but this particular issue comes up at verses 61-63. A group of people had no proof to what group they belonged and although they cla... Thu, 12 Jan 2017 05:03:23 EST January 11, Ezra 1, God moves a pagan king for His purpose http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6295762 The beginning of this chapter makes a reference to a prophecy by Jeremiah and we need to take a quick look there. Jeremiah prophesied that Israel would be captive for 70 years and that time has now come, but of even more significance is that Isaiah prophesied nearly 150 years ago that God would use king Cyrus, called him by name, to restore His people. (Jeremiah 25, Isaiah 44) <BR> <BR> Several things to note here, when the time came for the people to return, God's spirit moved in them to a... Wed, 11 Jan 2017 05:00:09 EST January 10, Luke 24:13-53 Just talk with your friends about Jesus http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6295071 We'll finish up the gospel according to Luke today with some thoughts on the road to Emmaus. Have you ever considered why this is included, what the significance is? Two of Jesus' disciples are walking and they're talking about Him. Then suddenly He comes, they're not aware that Jesus is with them. I think that's an example of how we should share the gospel. Just talk about Jesus with our friends, He will be there too and the conversation will draw others, or at least plant seeds. Being an ev... Tue, 10 Jan 2017 04:54:42 EST January 9, Luke 24:1-12 The most significant event in history http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6294329 Should you ask any group of people what the most significant event in history was you'd get a variety of answers. The worldly and scientific may consider some discovery or invention. Some may consider some social society and it's influence but in reality THE most significant event is the Resurrection of Christ. It wasn't the birth that was so important, granted that without the birth there couldn't be a death. But it's the example of death and Resurrection. Jesus proved that He alone holds th... Mon, 9 Jan 2017 05:03:25 EST January 8, Luke 23:17-56 A selfish rebellious nature http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6293629 I think pretty much everyone is familiar with the story of Jesus crucifixion. I want to focus on the crowd of people. Last week they welcomed Jesus and wanted Him to be their king, today they're angry and want Him dead. What happened? They didn't get their way. That seems like such a simple explanation but it's essentially the truth. There's a part of us that's been bent since the beginning of time, God calls us stiff-necked, it's selfishness and pride. From that stems all sorts of misbehav... Sun, 8 Jan 2017 04:57:39 EST January 7, Luke 23:1-16 Try to make everyone happy http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6293004 <BR> Pilot is a politician and as such his objectives are to make a personal profit and keep everyone happy. The first is possible but the second is not. People today still haven't figured that out, you can't make everyone happy. As soon as Pilot realized that he could pass the decisions over to someone else, Herod, he did so. But that still wasn't enough. Herod too was a politician and sent Jesus back. The problem when wanting to please everyone, what happens is that the loudest group get's... Sat, 7 Jan 2017 05:42:02 EST January 6, Luke 22:54-71 Have you ever denied Jesus? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6292349 I think sometimes Peter gets a bum rap here. I know some self righteous people who claim that they've never denied Jesus but in reality we all have at some point. Not necessarily a flat out denial but sometimes when we should have spoken up for righteousness we've been silent. In Peter's defense he did not yet have the Holy Spirit and trying to do these things on his own strength just wasn't going to happen. We look finally in this chapter at the trial behind closed doors. What began in the d... Fri, 6 Jan 2017 04:54:42 EST January 5, Luke 22:35-53 I often wonder about things done in the dark http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6291666 Jesus goes apart to pray and His disciples still don't quite understand what's about to happen. Why should they expect anything, they've been in the town for several days with just little trouble. I's hard to imagine what the difference would have been had the expected the soldiers and priests were coming, perhaps they would have prayed too or more likely would have stood as armed guards. But all of these things needed to happen, and they needed to happen in the specified time frame. The forc... Thu, 5 Jan 2017 05:09:08 EST January 4, Luke 22:24-34 We all say and do dumb things http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6290904 I understand competition, I've played a lot of different sports, I do mud runs and there's a certain rush to winning and although not as high, a certain satisfaction in not finishing last. But sometimes we work as a team and then it's not about who can do what or who is better. Why do we need to compare ourselves when we all have the same goal? God has given His church different gifts to accomplish His will, find peace in what your gift and do it to the best that you can. We look at Peter as... Wed, 4 Jan 2017 05:05:16 EST January 3, Luke 22:14-23 The subtleties in communion http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6290080 There is a lot of ritual and imagery in the Passover feast, if you ever have an opportunity to attend a Jewish celebration it's well worth it. Especially if it's with a Messianic Jewish family. Things that most Christians don't know about the passover are what the bread stands for and the cups of wine. Here is a short explanation, the meal begins with three pieces of unleavened bread on a plate. They are looked at in several different ways but of significance is the middle piece. It is brok... Tue, 3 Jan 2017 04:38:52 EST January 2, Luke 22:1-13 Free will and destiny http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6289244 Actually looking at two items today, let's first look at Judas. Tradition paints him as an evil greedy thief, John alludes in his gospel that Judas kept the money bag and dipped into it. The only problem here is that according to The Law no-one can be convicted without at least two witnesses and this is only accounted by John. This creates a bit of a quandary, the Word is inerrant and The Law is The Law, so I won't convict Judas without more evidence. This greed is supposed to be the motive f... Mon, 2 Jan 2017 06:21:10 EST January 1, Luke 21:10-38 We fight and break stuff, it's what we do http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6288390 Jesus speaks of the future, it's usually interpreted of the end times just before His return but it really speaks of humanity's future in general. Through history there have always been wars, natural disasters, wanton random destruction. I remember living in Germany and went to see places ancient that were built by the Roman empire which had scars from battles over 2000 years ago. We also saw buildings with scars of World War II. And more frightening we toured a concentration camp. People te... Sun, 1 Jan 2017 05:25:55 EST December 31, Luke 21:1-9 The love of wealth and stuff http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6287792 The first section about offerings is fairly common, I've heard it a lot when preachers are trying to raise money but typically it has a guilt twist that we should give until it hurts. What we may not see or understand is the noise associated with the giving. Money up until at least the seventh century was coins, so a wealthy man could come in with a sack full and drop them in the box, making lots of noise. This widow may have been embarrassed and tried to very quietly put in her offering. I d... Sat, 31 Dec 2016 05:42:14 EST December 30, Luke 20:27-47 Yes there are dumb questions http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6287296 We've all heard that before, we're in some sort of class and the teacher says this socially correct phrase that there are no dumb questions. Will I have to disagree, there are dumb questions and sometimes really dumb questions. This section begins with the statement that the Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection.That's why they're sad you see. (OK bad joke but still I like it). The question they pose is so convoluted and ridiculous that it should be the definition of a dumb question. ... Fri, 30 Dec 2016 04:53:12 EST December 29, Luke 20:19-26 Pay your taxes http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6286797 I knew a man about 25 years ago who said that he liked paying taxes, in fact he thought there should be more and that government should provide more services. Personally I don't like paying taxes but I do like having roads to drive on and police and fire departments. Israel was in a unique position, they were never originally supposed to have a king and should not have been subject to Rome but because of their disobedience they were. These religious leaders were only concerned with trickery, ... Thu, 29 Dec 2016 05:05:00 EST December 28, Luke 20:1-8 Who told you that you can to do this? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6286295 That's a common question asked when someone either in authority challenges someone, or when someone is threatened by another. Having a better understanding of yesterday gives us a better understanding of today. Jesus rode in on a donkey and although he never specifically said it, it was implied that He is messiah and king. This test by the religious authorities is trying to get Him to say it. Remember that when they bring Jesus before Pilot the accusation is that He proclaims to be king of t... Wed, 28 Dec 2016 04:49:26 EST December 27, Luke 19:28-48 Jesus presidential motorcade http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6285814 The story of Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey is fairly common, even for the people that only attend church on Easter and Christmas they're familiar with it. Most gentiles don't totally grasp the significance though. Today riding into any town on a donkey might seem ridiculous but in that day it would be like riding in a limo. The disciples both preceding and following behind, the palms and garments laid on the ground, like a ticker tape parade. But there was a purpose and a message in... Tue, 27 Dec 2016 05:02:31 EST December 26, Luke 19:11-27 Just do something with what you have. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6285395 The story says that the ruler left and gave his servants something to trade with. Some have interpreted this ruler to be God and what he gave to be skills, others tell the story that the money represents the gospel message. I suppose either interpretation is valid. Let's just look at face value, the ruler gave his subject some money to trade with. In Matthew's gospel he adds that to each was given according to his ability. Some traded and made more but one did nothing. It was with this man th... Mon, 26 Dec 2016 04:53:27 EST December 25, A different Christmas message http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6285280 I would be remiss if I didn't address Christmas on Christmas day so today I am posting an extra blog. No scripture reading for this, just some thoughts on familiar stories and perhaps one not so familiar. Thanksgiving day here in the US typically marks the big Christmas season rush of activities. It is for most merchants and manufacturers one of the most profitable times of the year. In the recent past so many Christians have been objectionable that Christmas has become so commercialized, bu... Sun, 25 Dec 2016 18:47:36 EST December 25, Luke 19:1-10 Jesus came to seek and save the lost. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6285088 Zacchaeus was a wealthy man and said to be a chief tax collector. That could mean that he made a lot of money as one or a supervisor of other tax collectors. History tells us that tax collectors were legal extortionists. They used the might of Rome to collect the taxes due and then more which they kept. Something about Jesus made Zacchaeus curious, maybe the holy spirit was moving in him. Something obviously happened when Jesus came to his house, he changed. The text indicates that Zacchaeus ... Sun, 25 Dec 2016 06:27:03 EST December 24, Luke 18:35-43 What do you want God to do for you? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6284768 This is the question Jesus asked the blind man, and he had an answer. Do you know what you want God to do? Sometimes we may think we do, we see a perceived need, some situation that needs to be fixed and focus on that but maybe that's not what we really need. This blind man wanted more than anything to see, and to see God. Do you know what you want God to do? There is a danger in this thought, we may think of God as a genie granting wishes but He told us to go to Him with our needs. What is i... Sat, 24 Dec 2016 06:21:58 EST December 23, Luke 18:18-30 What's in this for me? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6284432 I skipped ahead a bit because the other sections seem very familiar. But here we have an example two types of people. A self righteous religious man who has accumulated a certain wealth. He trusts in himself and would seem the motive for the question is to brag. Jesus's response wasn't as expected. You're not that good and your wealth isn't worth much. This desire to have stuff and to put trust in the stuff is a definite flaw in the human psyche. It probably stems from the rebellious nature ... Fri, 23 Dec 2016 06:55:25 EST December 22, Luke 18:1-8 Can I pray enough to annoy God until He moves? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6284042 This story of the woman and the judge gives this impression. She was so persistent that she wore down the judge and he relented. But can we apply those same principles to God? I don't think so. On one hand God wants us to go to Him constantly, and on the other hand I don't think it possible for someone who is humble enough to go to God that they could annoy Him. One problem with this section is that people teach that if you pray constant long enough then God will move. Most of us know people ... Thu, 22 Dec 2016 04:56:30 EST December 21, Luke 17:20-37 When will the lord return? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6283589 Every generation wants to know when God will finally say enough and bring this to an end. In the past 30 years or so I believe there have been at least 8 different people who thought they had the date. No-one knows, the things depicted that will precede Christ's coming are simply man doing the things that man does. It's not hard to predict that governments will rise and fall, that people will wage war for any variety of foolish reasons. And that people who once followed God will fall away. I... Wed, 21 Dec 2016 04:29:13 EST December 20, Luke 17:11-19 Being cleansed along the way http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6283184 I heard a sermon on this section about a month ago, I started thinking about it in a different way than in the past. Under The Law a priest could pronounce a person as a leper for a wide variety of issues, pretty much any skin condition could result in that pronouncement. And only a priest could pronounce someone as clean. These lepers came to Jesus for healing and I note that He never said they were healed, simply to go and show themselves to the priest. So I wonder what were they thinking,... Tue, 20 Dec 2016 04:54:53 EST December 19, Luke 17:1-10 Temptations and lazy workers http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6282766 Have you ever noticed that when you decide that you'll stop doing something the temptations are greater? Especially when someone decides to make changes in eating, it seems that people around you intentionally bring things to tempt. In some cases that's true and it's a certain kind of evil involved. I wonder how someone can find satisfaction to sabotage someone else's life. The section from 7-10 is an area I've seen more than once, an employee who does just what's required every day, never p... Mon, 19 Dec 2016 05:19:19 EST December 18, Luke 16:19-31 Does your neighbor know that you love them? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6282346 One could read this story and get the idea that the rich are lost and beggars find salvation. That's certainly not true, we all know some wealthy people who understand the gospel and some poor who do not. In this text we could find several lessons, in what do you place your trust is one. But today I look at the message of Christ, especially as we approach Christmas and celebrate the gift of His birth. The rich man in the story never understood the message. Abraham tells him that it was preach... Sun, 18 Dec 2016 05:15:38 EST December 17, Luke 16:14-18 Can someone force their way into heaven? And what about divorce? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6281947 These two sections are confusing and the latter has caused a lot of people some grief. What does it mean for people to force their way in? The parallel to this is in Matthew 11:12, here is a good explanation of the colloquialism of the time and it's meaning as they would understand it. It would be as if an army was sieging a fortified city and one wall breached, the forces would rush in through that breach. Up until this time the only way to salvation was through the Law, with it's sacrifices... Sat, 17 Dec 2016 04:29:13 EST December 16, Luke 16:1-13 Be as wise as the crooks of the world http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6281551 In this story of the crooked manager it seems that Jesus praises him for his actions. But what He's actually doing is praising him not for what he did but how. He used the things at his disposal to secure for himself a future, corrupt as it may have been still it showed wisdom. We too should use wisdom, not in the same way or manner but use what is available to do what's needed for our future. A future not based on material gains but on what's righteous. It also teaches us to be wary in the ... Fri, 16 Dec 2016 05:16:27 EST December 15, Luke 15 Be glad for other's good fortune http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6281130 There are three distinct stories here but the underlying message is the same. Jesus is speaking with tax collectors and sinners but the religious folks are being judgmental. Still happens, how can you possibly hang with those people? The story of the lost sheep is what should happen, the one sheep did't know it was lost, like so many people. And when it's found and returned it's welcomed into the flock. The other sheep aren't mad because the shepherd went for it. The coin is lost and found s... Thu, 15 Dec 2016 04:51:58 EST December 14, Luke 14 Excuses are all dumb. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6280703 We'll read the whole chapter today but my focus is on the middle part, verses 12-24. Jesus healed in the temple on so many Sabbaths that we're already aware of what that caused, and the last section, although I probably could write on that but the bottom line is what does it cost to be Jesus' disciple? Everything. So now on to today's thoughts. Someone asked me once what word I hated the most, it's really a phrase of three words. I can't because. When I hear that I'm about to hear some lame ... Wed, 14 Dec 2016 05:12:51 EST December 13, Luke 13:18-35 There is only one way http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6280216 This first section about a mustard seed or leaven is sometimes confused with the verse about having faith of a mustard seed. It represents how the gospel spreads from one small act to impact many. The things we do each day to individuals can have an impact on people through their lives. This next section is most important, there are a lot of religions in the world, most advocate self improvement. But Christianity is different from any other, we're told that we're all broken and can't fix ours... Tue, 13 Dec 2016 04:51:59 EST December 12, Luke 13:6-17 Religion must always be proper, right! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6279739 There are actually two items we look at today, the parable of the fig tree is pretty universally accepted to mean God as the land owner and Israel is the tree. Jesus would be the dresser who pleads for more time. The basic lesson, for Jew or Gentile is that a time will come when God will expect fruit, if there is none then the verdict is death. But it's the second story that's more significant. Jesus heals a woman whos been crippled for 18 years. The priest, like stuffy religious people want ... Mon, 12 Dec 2016 05:16:56 EST December 11, Luke 13:1-5 No it's not karma http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6279303 This philosophy exists in so many religions, it permeates most societies that people are punished for things they do. In one aspect there could be just a bit of truth, our sins set in motion circumstances that will eventually cause troubles. But to look at political or natural disasters as a divine judgment is wrong. The first incident here could be one of several possibilities, there was a time during a feast in Jerusalem that Roman soldiers killed 300 people while at the temple making sacri... Sun, 11 Dec 2016 05:28:55 EST December 10, Luke 12:57-59 Settle out of court http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6278851 There are at least three distinct aspects to this section, let's look at the modern times. One of the most prolific and profitable industries in the us is attorneys. We see and hear advertisements for how many millions they've gotten for their clients. But in reality who wins in the court cases? If it's a dispute between two individuals a verdict for the plaintiff could destroy someone's life. Can someone say that they love their neighbor while at the same time going to civil court to take e... Sat, 10 Dec 2016 04:49:58 EST December 9, Luke 12:35-56 Are you ready? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6278388 Sort of an open question, ready for what? But that's the point, be ready for anything. If you look at all of Jesus' teachings you'll see that he wanted His followers to be ready for any situation. Sometimes it may require physical labor, sometimes being a friend or just being. Sometimes being a peacemaker and sometimes a fighter. Being ready to answer the call to do whatever needs to be done is what should set Christians apart. This section is typically interpreted to be ready for Jesus' retu... Fri, 9 Dec 2016 04:46:36 EST December 8, Luke 12:4-34 What are you afraid of? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6277898 I'm lumping fear and anxiety together. I know some people that claim they have no fears, that they totally trust God for everything. I also know they're liars. We all have fears, one of the best descriptions of the fears of regular people comes from a fantasy novel I read. The character speaking is a blacksmith addressing a knight who for the first time has been truly afraid. Here's the quote; "I'm an ordinary man, ordinary men live in fear all the time. We're afraid of the weather, we're afr... Thu, 8 Dec 2016 04:26:08 EST I did something stupid http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6277430 There's a special post today, you see I did something dumb and need to try to make it better. We'll get back to Luke tomorrow but this is more important today. <BR> <BR> As most of us do by now I am involved with different groups of people and post on different forums. Something happened in the past few days and I realized that, along with several others, I did something stupid. I tried to fix someone's problem. You see there's a member of one group who's having some difficulty and shared ... Wed, 7 Dec 2016 04:11:31 EST December 6, Luke 12:1-3 Secrets http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6276976 We're just looking at three verses today but something very significant. What constitutes a secret? As soon as a second person knows then it's not a secret. I served in military intelligence, yes I know people joke that's an oxy-moron, but learned first hand what secrets are, or at least should be. Sometimes when you want certain people to know something you make it to be a secret when it really isn't. There are two distinct aspects to secrets, those that we really want to tell someone and th... Tue, 6 Dec 2016 04:41:37 EST December 5, Luke 11:14-54 No matter what happens, some will just not believe http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6276495 The rest of this chapter deals essentially with people who simply will not believe. They existed then and they still exist now. Those then asked for miracles and signs to prove who Jesus was. There were signs certainly but still they wouldn't believe, even attributing the things of God to the devil. Jesus tells them their end, it's the same through the ages for people who demand signs and still won't believe. <BR> <BR> It actually takes more faith to believe that life spawned from fungus in... Mon, 5 Dec 2016 05:02:11 EST December 4, Luke 11:1-13 The most powerful prayer http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6276032 The text says that John the Baptist taught his disciples to pray. I'd be curious exactly what he taught them. Jesus' disciples ask Him too for instruction in prayer, I think it's something in us that looks for a magic formula. There are a lot of prayer books, specifically I think of the old church liturgy and some of Sturgeon and Wesley's prayers are in books that people still pray. But there's really nothing special about the words used. The most powerful prayer recorded was prayed by Peter,... Sun, 4 Dec 2016 04:48:36 EST December 3, Luke 10:21-42 A bologna sandwich guest http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6275613 The story of the good Samaritan is fairly common, the principles in it can be seen nearly daily. It seems to me that I have an opportunity every day to do something nice for someone, perhaps not to that level but some act to show love to my neighbor. As a footnote here about the Samaritans, they too were children of Israel and of course Abraham. The divisions and prejudices come from events back in the books of Kings. One of the main claims the the Jewish people had at that day were that they... Sat, 3 Dec 2016 05:41:22 EST December 2, Luke 10:1-20 We live in a mission field http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6275139 Jesus sends out 70 missionaries who will experience what I talked about yesterday, some places will receive them and some places will not. What I find interesting though is that these also had the same report as the disciples had when they went out and returned. They were amazed to have authority over demons. And Jesus response is the same also, don't marvel at the what the demons do, rejoice that you are saved. Which is more powerful, being able to cast out demons or delivering the gospel? A... Fri, 2 Dec 2016 04:52:40 EST December 1, Luke 9:43-62 What's really important? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6274638 There's a bit of foolishness in this last section, the disciples argue about who is greater. Really? I understand in a sporting event perhaps training to be the best but always remember that the best today will be beaten tomorrow. But that's an actual competition, life shouldn't be a competition, do your best and be content to do that. Later we see that Jesus is rejected at a village and that although people come to Him saying they'll follow, their heart isn't really in it. Have you ever noti... Thu, 1 Dec 2016 04:52:26 EST November 30, Luke 9:37-42 The disciples can't cast out a demon http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6274141 I was initially going to lump the last of the chapter together but as I read this section a different idea came to me. The same story is told in Matthew and Mark's gospels, the difference though is that in those books they ask Jesus why they couldn't cast out the demon. Matthew's book suggests their faith wasn't enough and Mark's says this kind requires prayer and or prayer and fasting (depending on the translation). I don't profess to know which is the most correct, I have issues with the id... Wed, 30 Nov 2016 04:58:41 EST