Archive for the ‘Scripture’ Category

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Experiencing Scripture

May 29, 2009

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“We sit in the same padded pew, week in and week out, listening to stories about Jesus calming the wind and the waves. The disciples had a totally different experience. They were in the boat on the lake when the skies grew dark and hurricane winds started to blow. They walked beaches, climbed mountains, and trekked across the wilderness with Jesus. Their experience was four-dimensional, while ours is one-dimensional. So when we read the Bible, we tend to focus on theology, overlooking the Meteorology, the psychology, and even the geology that shaped the stories we read.” “Wild Goose Chase” by Mark Batterson.

 When I first began my ministry I spent a lot of time studying proof texts for what I believed. I wanted to be prepared to take on all comers and be able to wow them with my rapid fire quoting of scripture. I love to read those of our fellowship who seem to have all questions answered and knew exactly the right way to present their case for their cause. For a while I missed the real power of Scripture. I missed the experience of Scripture.

 Today my study is very different. I have such a hunger to taste, feel and experience the world in which this powerful book was written.  I want to try to see what they saw and feel what they felt. I know this has it limitations, but there is a wealth of information out there for anyone who wants to add new dimensions to their study.

 Ray Vander Laan has done a wonderful job putting together study helps that bring the scripture alive. There are wonderful videos where he takes you to the places the scripture speaks about and brings them alive. If you are not aware of his site you need to go there and spend some time looking around. It is called “Follow the Rabbi”.

 I am presently teaching the Gospel of John on Wednesday nights. One of the helps I am using in class is the movie, The Gospel of John. This movie is word for word based on the Good News Bible translation of the American Bible Society. The acting is filled with reality and very well done. While obviously not perfect (I didn’t direct it (-:), it is a great help to add another dimension to your teaching. Many in the class have bought their own personal copy. (I bought one for $5.00 at a local Family Christian Book Store.) We are becoming more and more a visual society. People learn more and more quickly when you can allow them to experience the scripture and not just see it as words on paper.

 I still remember my early days growing up in church. The teacher gave us a booklet with a story for each week. We were to read the story and then fill in the blanks at the end. More often than not, I would give the story a quick read on Sunday morning as I was getting dressed and then filled in the blanks as quickly as I could. When class time came I was ready. The teacher then proceeded to ask each question and if discussions arose they were often not about the story at all, but some rabbit someone wanted to chase.

 We live at a great time in history with so much at our disposal. Let me encourage you to take advantage of it. It will truly add new dimensions to your study and understanding of the Scripture.

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“Gentlemen, this is a football”

August 6, 2008

“Gentleman, this is a football”, Vintage Vince Lombardi. The quote was all about getting back to basics. And it is true with reference to more than football. Whenever you find yourself floundering…get back to basics. If you are not growing…get back to basics. If you don’t know what to do next…get back to basics.

 

Followers of Christ are in a numerical decline. Even the Baptist are beginning to fess up to their over inflated “membership” numbers and admit that there are many more on the roles than in service to the King. (Read more here). Today there is a greater profession of believe in God and a greater lack of evidence of that faith than at anytime in history. Evangelism has not only become an archaic word that strikes fear in the hearts of Christians, it is no longer practiced as a response to the marching orders of our King. Percentages of those who are involved in pornography, that are getting divorced and that are materialist to excess are about the same for both Christian and Non-Christian alike. Christ followers need to get back to basics. Can I get an Amen?

 

“Ladies and Gentleman, this is a Bible”.

 

Prophets of old along with John on Patmos were told to, “Eat this book” referring to the message that God had given them. Read it, chew on it (meditate), digest it; make it apart of who you are. This is an individual responsibility.

 

As for the assembled church, Bible Classes need to become Bible Study Classes.  Does this sound familiar? A teacher stands up and reads a verse, then asks the class, “What do you think that means?”  And off they go into 30 to 45 minutes of shared ignorance, parroted answers learned by rote and uneducated guesses.  No wonder our kids are leaving the church in greater numbers than ever before.

 

Sincere and genuine Christians are trying to be better Christians and think that the answers will be found in the next great spirtual novel or spiritual self help book. They are fighting a battle with no armor, no weapons and no ammunition. The roaring lion is hot on their trail and they are trying to fight him off with a switch.

 

If you are stubbing, falling over things in the dark and trying to feel your way through life…turn on the light!

 

 

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Who Wrote It?

September 10, 2007

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I am really enjoying studying for our class on Hebrews. I probably said that before, but I really am! One of the age old questions that always has to come up in preparing for this study is, “Who wrote the Letter to the Hebrews?” I still don’t know, but I do have a different slant. Here is what I think.First I think it was someone who so loved the Lord and the people he was writing to that he did not want his name and life to take away from the message. I believe that the group that received this letter knew who it was from, as there are clues through out that the writer was well aware of there situation in life and that they were not only not growing, but were in danger of falling away from the Lord all together.

Second, it may well be that this group was apart of a larger group, and this message was just for these Christians where they were in their struggle. Some believe that the Hebrews could have been the group of priests that were converted, that are referred to in the Book of Acts. (Acts 6:7) This group may be a little early for the time of writing the letter, but I am sure there were other priests like them whose hearts had been touch by the Gospel.

Whoever the writer was he was eloquent in word, bold in confidence and faith, and unquestionably devoted to Jesus Christ. I know, I know it does sound like Paul, and it may well have been, but the truth is we just don’t know. And you know what? I kind of like it that way, because regardless of who He used, it was God’s spirit that inspired this powerful message.

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Ryan Ferguson Recites Hebrews Chapters 9 & 10

August 30, 2007

Thanks to Steve at Vade Mecum for the link to this power video. What an awesome Savior we have. This is why I love the Book of Hebrews.

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A New Favorite Scripture

March 21, 2007

If you are like me, you probably have a number of favorite scriptures. I have just added a new one to my list and I plan to use it to start each day the rest of this year. Here it is:

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Some how those few verses bring a lot of Biblical truths together in one place. I like that!