Thursday, July 31, 2008

Moped Update

I bought the bad boy back at the beginning of May and have filled it up only three times since. I see that envy! I’ve been driving it for 3 months straight and have spent $18 in gas so far. What do you think about those apples? Not so dorky anymore am I? I’ve gotten over the dork factor for the most part. There was this one incident where some guy looked at me and literally laughed out loud as I was driving by. Maybe he was laughing at a political add on the radio?

I’ve put about 350 miles on it and have averaged 75 mpg, maybe a little more. One thing I’ve noticed is that there are a lot more mopeds zooming around Bluffton. I know they can’t all be people who have a DUI. That makes me feel a little better. I’ve even got a few moped buddies I wave to now and again. On a slightly different note, I’ve ran out of gas twice now while driving. Luckily, I was only about a mile from the gas station. Walking is good exercise too! I do have a gas gauge, but have a hard time telling exactly where the empty line is.

Well, that’s the moped update.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

iBread 1.8

“God’s Word is food for the mind.”
Cyril of Alexandria

The Meal
Take a moment and read slowly the story of Genesis 32:22-32.

Table Talk
- Who is Jacob wrestling with in this story?
- Who does Hosea say Jacob wrestled with in Hosea 12:4?
- How does Hosea describe the outcome of Jacob's wrestling match?
- What does it mean that the man could not overpower Jacob?
- Is this a good thing for Jacob?
- What is Jacob seeking from the man?
- Why is that important?
- What does that man give Jacob in verse 28?
- Why is this important for Jacob?
- Do you wrestle in understanding the point to this story?
- Is it a good or bad thing to wrestle with what a story in the Bible means?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I can't hear you God!

I’m halfway through Hearing God by Dallas Willard. The book was written to help followers of Jesus Christ develop a conversational relationship with God. Willard believes we were designed to live in a conversational relationship with God that includes, “speaking and being spoken to” (p.18). I love this book! This is a classic! I can’t recommend it enough. The tree used to make this book has been redeemed. I keep thinking, if only I would have stumbled upon this book while in high school.

One of the things that immediately grabbed my attention in this book was Willard’s statement, “Only our communion with God provides the appropriate context for communications between us and him” (pg 33). What is he saying here? We can’t spend a week working, watching TV, mowing the lawn, playing with the kids, talking to the spouse, eating, sleeping, and doing whatever else we might do in a week and expect to hear from God. We must consciously choose to spend time with Him (just like we do with our families). We must get alone and be with Him. Out of this being with Him we learn to hear Him and come to know His voice. This is what led the psalmists of our Bible to write such intimate and personal prayers and praises to Yahweh. They spent time with Him. They knew Him. One psalmist declares, “Yahweh, you have searched me and you know me.” (Psalm 139:1 NIV)

Have you been with Him?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

iBread 1.7

“God’s Word is food for the mind.” - Cyril of Alexandria

The Meal
Take a moment and chew on 1 Chronicles 10:13-14. Read the passage three times through very slowly. Try reading several different translations of this passage.

Table Talk
- Where does Saul turn for guidance?
- Why is this a problem?
- What was Saul trying to force according to verse 13?
- Do you think people today try and force God’s guidance? If so, how?
- How can we make sure we are not forcing God’s guidance?
- What are some things a disciple of Jesus could do each day to be correctly guided by God?

Thursday, July 03, 2008

The Witch of Endor (part 2)

If you have an NIV Study Bible, which is a great resource and study tool to have on hand (I keep one on my desk), here is how it attempts to make sense of the events in 1 Samuel. The study notes spell out three possible explanations for the events of Saul’s encounter with the dead Samuel:
- God allowed Samuel’s spirit to be brought up by the woman.
- An evil spirit, pretending to be Samuel, possessed the witch. The problem with this interpretation? You can’t back it up with this passage or the rest of the Bible. There isn’t one instance in this passage or elsewhere in the Bible that would suggest Samuel’s spirit is actually an evil spirit. The only passage that has anything to do with 1 Samuel 28 is 1 Chronicles 10:13-14.
- The woman was able to read Saul’s mind and then pretend to be Samuel to him. The problem? Again, this passage makes it clear that Samuel, or Samuel’s spirit, is the one speaking to Saul.

The Expositor’s Bible Commentary acknowledges the fact that there is a wide range of different views on Saul’s encounter with the dead Samuel. This commentary reveals that two of the possible explanations given in the NIV Study Bible (the last two mentioned above) for the event of Saul talking to Samuel, come to us via the early church fathers. They had a hard time believing a medium could call up a righteous man like Samuel from the dead, and so came up with the idea that Samuel’s spirit was really a demon in disguise. Origen and Gregory of Nazianzus seem to be the only church fathers at peace with a literal reading and understanding of this text. The author of this commentary, Ronald Youngblood, goes with Gregory of Nazianzus in the assertion that Samuel was literally raised or brought back from the dead by a medium. This seems to be the best way to read and understand this passage. Are we ok with reading and understanding it like this?

Any thoughts?

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Colbert's Curiosity

Hey, sorry to forsake you. Had a week of campmeeting, District Assembly, and then Jr. High Camp. I'll be back Thurs for more on the Witch of Endor.

Until then, I found a video of N.T. Wright on the Colbert Report that is pretty interesting. I was kind of surprised to see him on a Comedy Central show! I've mentioned before, but this guy (N.T. or Tom) is a great spokesman for Christianity and really connects to the 20 somethings. His books are worth checking out!

Hope you enjoy this interview.

N.T. Wright on The Colbert Report