Posts Tagged ‘Bible’

Twenty one year old Shafia and her family were outcasts in their Pakistani village.  They were poor, and many of their Muslim neibhbors scorned them because they followed Jesus Christ.  People called them chura, which means ” lowcaste sweeper” . They were considered the lowest of the low. In Shafia’s village Muslim men harassed Christian girls. Shafia’s brother Rafi publicly confronted them. Months later, he was killed.

The family wanted to prosecute Rafi’s killers, but they needed help.  A man named Masood offered to file the neccessary paperwork for them.  Masood asked Shafia to sign some papers for the case. but later, she discov ered it was a marriage certificate. Masood bragged the two were now married, and Shafia enrage Masood by disputing the marriage.

On Sept. 25, 2007, Masood kidnapped Shafia at gunpoint. He locked her in an upstairs room of his house. He beat her and raped her repeatedly.   Masood told her, ” If you convert to islam, I will stop beating you.” But she stayed strong telling him, ” Christianity is my religion, not Islam.  I am a Christian, and if you want to kill me  then kill me, but i will not accept Islam.”

After four months in captivity, Shafia found the door unlocked one day while Massood was at work. she fled to her family. The family’s situation was desperate.  They had to pay to file a legal case against Masood. They had no money, so they borrowed $217. To pay the , all 11 members of the family worked at a brick kiln, making bricks 12 hours a day.

” Daily in the evening we had a prayer meeting at home with my family. i felt strong in my faith when we read the  Word,” Shafia said.

Shafia and her family ar free from their debt of labor today because of Voic e of the Martyr’s fund. Mondey from the fund paid Shafia’s debt and allowed her family to purchase a rickshaw.  Now the family has a taxi business and they earn enough to take care of their needs.  With her dept paid,, Shafia is living a normal life in her village.  She still attends weekly prayer meetings and continues to stand for her beliefs.

This is a story shared by the Voice of the Martyrs, and is taken from their pulciation ” Praying for a RESCUE”. 

Check out tomorrow to hear the story of the second women, the title of the article is two women.

I was listening to my favorite Christian Radio Station the other day, WAY FM, and the morning talk show hosts were having a discussion about a song that has a line in it that says the following (paraphrase) ” I found God on a street corner smoking his last cigarette”.  Now what the conversation quickly became was about is smoking a horrible sin?

Now I am an ex-smoker, and I am the last one that would preach about smoking or not smoking.  And if you think I am going there you are wrong.  The conversation on the radio became a comparison of smoking.  Ranking it with other sins.  Ad in the grand scheme of things do I think that smoking cigarettes should be on the same level of sin as say murder, or lying, or stealing.  Can’t say that I would make that decision. But there is a catch in that statement.

The catch is what “I” would say.  Me, the dumb bald one writing this post. I might not see smoking as “bad” sin, or one of the worst.  But when you start putting sin in a priority list you start down a slippery slope.  And before you know it you are in a dangerous space of legalism.  Where you say that it is okay to commit these sins because they are not as bad as other sins.  Sound like anyone from the Bible? 

IF, and I put that in big letters because smoking is something that the Bible does not speak clearly about, if you classify smoking as a sin you can not place it in priorty listing.  Once something falls under the catagory of sin it no longer comes under human perspective and automatically comes under God’s perspective.  And the way that He sees sin is simple, it is sin, and there is no other definition. All sin put Jesus on the cross.  And it is by His blood that we can have forgiveness of any and all sins, because all sins must be forgiven and brought under the blood.

Have you ever seen the movie ” 30 days of night”?  I know that it is a movie that is probably not very high on the clean list. It is bloody, yes I agree.  And of course by no means would I consider it a good movie.  The plot was predicatable, acting not very good, and the story line incredibly predictable.  But I love vampire stories.  And in light of it’s recent popularity I know what your next question is, have I seen “Twilight”? And the answer would be, NO.  A story about vampires that do not drink human blood is not a vampire story.  Those stories have nothing to do with vampires.  Stories of vampires are about the struggle of good versus evil, and the darkness versus the light.  That is the story of a vampire.  Okay stepping off this rabbit trail, let me get back to the movie “30 days of night”. 

If you haven’t seen the movie it set in town in Northern Alaska, and where this town is located there is a particular time of year where there is no sun for 30 days.  Perfect feeding ground for vampires, right? And you would be right.  That is the plot of this story, these vampires come into this town and successfully break all communications and isolate those people in the town.  And for 30 days without sun light they have a feeding ground.  So for 30 days of night these survivors struggle to hide, fight and stay alive from the vampires.  Towards the end of the time the vampires realize that the sun will be returning and there is a particular scene which is the round about point of talking about this whole movie.  The lead vampire is sitting down talking to his subordinates and he says to them knowing that there are survivors still hiding in the town, and they have to leave.  Realizing that they will be left behind he makes the statement, ” We have worked to hard to make them believe that we don’t exist.” 

Making someone think that you do not exist is an excellent way to hide, and fight a war.  Think about it.  If you are a vampire and you want to hide your existence, the best way to do is to make people believe that you don’t exist.  Make a stupid movie about a bunch of people going to an eastern european town, or maybe a bunch of boys in Santa Cruz.  then when someone walks along and says there are vampires, everyone will think you are nuts.  The best way to hide is to make your very existence laughable!  Brilliant!

Well I know that vampires do not exist, I know the history behind the legend.  But this morning while driving to my first appointment I was listening to WAY FM morning show and they were talking about the belief in Satan.  Apparently tomorrow night on Nightline there is going to be a discussion of several intellectuals debating the existence of Satan.  There is apparently one man who does not believe in Satan.   That doesn’t surprise me, but then they said that he believed in God and believe in angels.  He just didn’t believe that angels were created with free will, which in essence means that Satan (once an angel) could not rebel if he did not have free will. This would defy the very definition of who Satan is.  And of course if there is no Satan then there is no source of evil.  So the debate continues that there is no source of evil, that all the evil in the world is a result of man’s choices. And I don’t even question that there is evil in man, but I firmly believe that Satan exists.  And is the source of all evil.

So, well done Satan. Well done on convincing the world that you don’t exist.  If you don’t exist we don’t have to worry about you, becuase you are a figment of our imagination.  Then you can have free reign to do whatever you want.  Because no matter what you do you can never get blamed because you don’t exsist.

Everyone in America has the right to believe what they wish, they are given that right in America.  But Christians we must not let Satan establish the belief that he does not exist. We will give him free reign to do as he pleases and lie, steal, destroy as he is desires to do.  I don’t want to preach Satan’s existence but we have to be careful oursleves that we do not trivalize his existence and help his charade that he does not exist.  Because if we fail in our task of sharing salvation, which includes the story and existence of Satan, with the world then there will be many souls that are truly well done in hell when they meet Satan face to face.

I attended a small group leaders meeting this morning at my church. While we were there one of the things that we were talking about was growth. And of course we began to talk about reaching out to the lost in the community around us.  As a part of that conversation the question was posed to the thirty or so small group leaders who were present, if they knew lost people in their life.  And predominatly everyone raised their hand as we all know someone who does not know Jesus as their Savior.  But as I thought more and more about the question I began to think that I really don’t know anyone who is lost.  I am aware of lost people, or I might associate with them, but I don’t know any lost people in my life.

In case you missed it I am making a jump off the work to know someone.  There are people in my life that I know, or aware of, but I have not invested much time in their lives.  I have not invested the time to get to know them.  I do not avoid them becuase they are lost, but for much more ridiuculous reasons. Because we don’t have the same interstes, or we are of different age groups, or a host of other reasons.  But as I thought more and more about this question I began to think more about this.

If I am truly about the kingdom then those in my life who do not know Christ are the people that I need to invest in. These are the people that I need to get to know.  They may never come to know the Lord as their Savior, but the likelihood that they will never feel, witness, or know the Love of Jesus if I don’t show them is a distinict possibility. 

So if someone asks you if you know someone who doesn’t know the Lord, stop and give that some thought.  Think about how much time you spend with the lost, and then look at how much time Jesus spent with the lost.

For all the scientists out there, and for all the students who have a hard time convincing these people regarding the 
truth of the Bible, here’s something that shows God’s awesome creation, and that He is still in control. 
 
Did you know that the space program is busy proving that  what has been called ‘myth’ in the Bible is true? 
 
Mr. Harold Hill, President of the Curtis Engine Company in  Baltimore, Maryland, and a consultant in the space program, relates the following development. 
 
I think one of the most amazing things that God has done for us today happened recently to our astronauts and space scientists at Green Belt, Maryland. 
 
They were checking out where the positions of the sun,  moon, and planets would be 100 years and 1,000 years from  now.. We have to know this so we won’t send up a  satellite and have it bump into something later on in its 
orbits. 
 
We have to lay out the orbits in terms of the life of the  satellite and where the planets will be so the whole thing 
will not bog down.They ran the computer measurement back and  forth over the centuries, and it came to a halt. The computer stopped and put up a red signal, which meant that  there was something wrong with either the information fed into it or with the results as compared to the standards. 
 
They called in the service department to check it out, and  they said, ‘What’s wrong?’ Well, they found 
there is a day missing in space in elapsed time. 
 
They scratched their heads and tore their hair out.. There was no answer. 
 
Finally a Christian man on the team said, ‘You know,  one time I was in Sunday School, and they talked about the 
sun standing still.’ While they didn’t believe him,  they didn’t have an answer either, so they said,  ‘Show us, ‘ 
 
He got a Bible and went to the book of Joshua where they found a pretty ridiculous statement for any one with 
‘common sense.’ 
 
There they found the Lord saying to Joshua, 
 
‘Fear them not, I have delivered them into thy hand; 
there shall not a man of them stand before Thee.’ 
 
Joshua was concerned because he was surrounded by the enemy!  And if darkness fell, they would overpower them. So Joshua  asked the Lord to make the sun stand still! That’s  right… ‘The sun stood still and the moon stayed and  lasted not to go down about a whole day!’  (Joshua 10:12-13) 
 
The astronauts and scientists said, There is the missing  day! They checked the computers going back into the time it  was written and found it was close but not close enough. The elapsed time that was missing back in Joshua’s day was 23 hours and 20 minutes, not a  whole day. 
 
They read the Bible, and there it was about [approximately] a day. These little words in the Bible are important, but they were still in trouble because if you cannot account for 40 minutes, you’ll still be in trouble 1000 years from now. 
 
Forty minutes had to be found because it can be multiplied many times over in orbits. As the Christian employee thought about it, he remembered somewhere in the Bible where it said the sun went BACKWARDS. 
 
The scientists told him he was out of his mind, but they got out the Book and read these words in 2 Kings that told of the following story: Hezekiah, on his death bed, was visited by the prophet Isaiah who told him that he was not going to die. Hezekiah asked for a sign as proof. Isaiah  said ‘Do you want the sun to go ahead 10 degrees ?’ 
Hezekiah said, ‘It is nothing for the sun to go ahead 10 degrees, but let the shadow return backward 10 
degrees.’ Isaiah spoke to the Lord, and the Lord brought the shadow ten degrees BACKWARD! Ten degrees is exactly 40 minutes! 
 
Twenty-three hours and 20 minutes in Joshua, plus 40 minutes in Second Kings make the missing day in the 
universe! Isn’t it amazing? 

 
References: Joshua 10:8 and 12,13 and 2 Kings 20:9-11.

A little effort…

Posted: July 4, 2008 in Bible, Faith
Tags: ,

I have several bookshelves in my study, and I could probably use another one as many books are stacked on top of others and spread about in varying places.  One entire shelf is where I keep my Bibles. And yes I have several of them. I have varying translations, study bibles, hard cover, paper back but numerous Bibles.  I have always told myself that I need them all for my studies, and that rational is true.  And I know that there are plenty of Christians around the world today that don’t even have a Bible because of persecution.  But that is not what I am here to talk about this morning.  What I want to talk about is how we use those Bibles.

Several months ago I came across a version of the Bible that seemed to fit me very well as a note taker. It was a wide margin Bible with plenty of note taking space on each page.  As someone who writes everything down so that they can remember it became a very good match for me.  But there is another thing that I love about this Bible.  It is just a Bible.

Now at the back there are maps, and a short concordance.  But the text is all there is.  There is no scriptural reference notes in the margin, or in the center of the page. There is no application at the bottom, or commentary here and there on each of the pages. It is the text, plain and simple.  Now stay with me this is not a commercial for a wide margin, note takers Bible!

Have you ever put a car together from scratch?  Probably not, as I have not either.  But I drive a car every day.  When something goes, wrong or I need to know something about that car, I take it to someone who knows not only how to put them together but take them apart and then put them back together. But everyday I still drive the car and use it.  Now here is my question do we treat our Bibles like our cars?

I have several Bibles on my shelf as I would say many of the members of the church in America do as well.  But do we treat them like our cars, and don’t spend much time digging in to them.  If we run into a question we quickly look down to the bottom of the page and take someone else’s answer as the answer.  Or we quickly call a Sunday School teacher or a pastor for the answer, as we do with our cars.  When we do that we are missing out on something. Sometimes the true value of an answer is the process in getting that answer!

Going back to the Bible that I have taken as my own.  I recently was struggling with putting the life of Paul in a chronological order. Would seem like a simple task, pick up a book and put it all together.  But I also wanted to know how that fit into the context of Acts, and all his epistles and the end of his life.  Little bit of trivia, the Bible doesn’t record the end of his life.  He is still alive at the end of Acts and doesn’t die for about another six years after the end of the book.  So fill in the gaps.

What is the chronology of his life, where did he go when, where was he when he wrote this epistle, when he speaks of going places in Galatians where does that fit in to the story and order of Acts.  Things like this my mind wanted to know. And I know that my wife would say that makes me nuts, and probably many of my friedns would agree. I can accept that. 

Because here is my point.  In seeking those answers I went over books outside of the Bible, jumped through the scriptures putting it together and taking it apart.  And when it was done, I knew not only the answer to my questions but had a deeper understanding of my Bible.  To often today we want the easy answer, the quick solution.  And we have allowed that to apply to our Bible Study.  By allowing someone else to do all the work and study for us and have those results at our finger tips we are giving up a great privelege to dig into God’s word and learn how it works in our lives, and learn more of His great plan and who He is.

Now I can hear the words of my friends. You have degrees in ministry. You have books that we don’t have.  You know this or that.  And to some extent I give that point. Not everyone learend Greek and Hebrew in college.  But the books that sit on my shelf are not priveleged books only given to those who go to school to study theology.  They are available to everyone. You can walk into Lifeway Christian Bookstores, Barnes-n-Nobles, or Borders the same way that I can and pick up these books. You can go online and order them the same way that I do. 

All these things. Different translations of Bibles, study bibles, wide margin note taking bibles, applications, commentaries, concordances, maps these are all things that are meant to be tools. And we have begun to use them as crutches.  Crutches that give us the oppurtunity for easy answers.  And one hard answer can teach you more than a hundred easy answers. 

Here is my challenge. Whatever Bible you use, whatever your study method. Just study. Ask the questions and find the answers with the help of the Spirit. 

Last night when I was looking over the notes of my research into the chronology of Paul’s life and sorted through the stacks of my books on my desk I saw it come together. The spirit showed me that last missing piece, and reminded me of something and then there it was. Unfolding in front of my eyes the answer to my question. Paul’s life in the context of what we have recorded in scripture. I was ecstatic. I was walking around the house just smiling, and all excited and mumbling to myself amazed at how it came together. A joy only to be found by those who going searching!