Updates from February, 2011 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts
Ch. 5 – Jesus heals the man possessed by Legion / Jairus’ daughter & woman with issue of blood healed
Ch. 6 – Unbelief of Jesus’ own country / Apostles sent out 2-by-2 / John’s death / Jesus feeds 5000 / Jesus walks on the sea
Ch. 7 – Thoughts from the heart are what defile / Syro-Phoenician woman’s daughter healed / Deaf man healed
Ch. 8 – Jesus feeds 4000 / Beware the leaven of the Pharisees / Blind man healed / “Thou art the Christ” / Cost of discipleship
My favorite has long been The Far Side. Those are always some of the funniest cartoons ever, yet they are almost always just one frame. I used to get the calendar every year from my parents for Christmas, & I always looked forward to that, even though I knew what I was going to get & had already seen most (if not all) of them…they never get old to me!
Rusty Pettus posted this on his blog.
Have you heard the latest theory for our existence? The latest is multi-universes, the idea that there are limitless billions of universes in which any and every possibility are ultimately realized. Thus, by multiplying universes the hurdle of improbability that life could spontaneously appear is believed to have been overcome. It is alleged that every conceivable form of alien life exists somewhere in some alternate universe. It sounds to me like something for the SyFy channel, pure science fiction, a clip from the series “Fringe”. Why do notable physicists, such as Steven Hawking or Leonard Mlodinow, pander such speculative crock? I believe they belong to a growing number of aggressive and professional atheists whose aim is to destroy faith. This is Just-A-Minute with Ed Boggess
A reader asks, “Would you be willing to share your thoughts on whether our prayers should specifically include an acknowledgment that Christ is our mediator?”
It seemed good to put this question before the Fellows, who no doubt will provide some excellent replies.
A favorite cartoon of mine, but I don’t think it is in print any longer, is Calvin and Hobbs. I wish it was in our daily paper (even reruns).
The Golden Rule
We cannot make bargains for blisses,
Nor catch them like fishes in nets;
And sometimes the thing our life misses
Helps more than the thing which it gets.
For good lies not in pursuing,
Nor gaining of great nor of small,
But just in the doing, and doing
As we would be done by, is all.
(Gal 6:10) Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.
“Thoughts For Today to Brighten Your Day” by Glenn Hitchcock
What’s your favorite cartoon feature? (The newspaper type, not the TV moving pics.) What about it do you like, above the others? Is there a specific cartoon, recent or ancient, that you found especially good? Share it with us, either by posting or linking.
Humor is a blessing, and many of us think God had a sense of humor when he created giraffes and playpuses. Not to mention kangaroos. (The Aussies got most of the funny critters.) And some see a hint of humor in some of Jesus’ words, beam in the eye, and all that. Cartoons are a great source of humor, so share your favorites with us.
Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me” (Matthew 19:21, ESV). Some will interpret the Lord’s words as being the virtue of all virtues – selling what one has in order to help the poor, but this would be a mistake in interpretation. The Lord’s point is not selling and then giving, but getting rid of the hurdle that has now become a hindrance to one’s standing before the Lord. What hurdle is it that you feel like you have to jump in order to be pleasing to the Lord? With the Lord’s answer to the young man, the rich man turned away disappointed. Will you consider the hurdle the Lord wants you to remove, or will you turn away disappointed? 2/28/2011
1. The chain of events that brought Israel to Egypt is now brought before us. Joseph, being twelve (or thirteen) years in prison was released to stand before the king of Egypt; he was thirty years old (41:46). The king has him brought forth because he had heard it said of him that he is able to interpret dreams, but Joseph accepts no credit for this; instead he gives all attention (glory) to God (41:16).
2. When Pharaoh replays his dream Joseph gives him the meaning of the dream. He declares that the two dreams are one and that the “doubling of Pharaoh’s dream means that the thing is fixed by God” (41:32). The wording of this verse might encourage one to think that the lack of doubling-dreams by the chief baker and the cupbearer would suggest that the interpretations were not fixed by God. This would be a mistake in understanding; when the Lord brings about a dream for those involved – it is fixed.. The Chumash reads this way, “As for the repetition of the dream to Pharaoh – two times – it is because the matter stands ready before God, and God is hastening to accomplish it.”
3. So impressed was Pharaoh that after the recommendation by Joseph concerning how to address the upcoming fourteen years he placed him in authority over all (41:44). Now married to the daughter of an Egyptian priest, two sons were born to him and his wife. Having made all the necessary preparations the famine comes (41:54).
4. Application: For a period of 12 or 13 years Joseph was in prison and, all of a sudden like, he is removed, cleaned up, and is standing before the king. To make the circumstances all that more anxious, it is demanded of him to hear and interpret the king’s dream. Perhaps Joseph was in full control of all his emotions at this juncture; on the other hand, perhaps he was feeling the stress of it all. In either case, it is likely he knew that an interpretation not liked or received could result in death – even if God gave the answer. Joseph stays the course (41:16). Again, suddenly he is thrust from the position of a slave to the second highest ranking man in Egypt. Did his managerial skills over a household and over prisoners prepare him for this? Whether it did or not, we can say for certain that the Lord prepared him. Has the Lord prepared you for a work to be done?
Our good friend Kimber wrote this today:
Please keep my grandaddy George Bailey in your prayers. He’s in the hospital in Houston for an infection and suffering from general weakness. Lord willing, we’ll know more after tests results are back in the next day or so. Thank you for your prayers for him, my grandmother & my parents as they continue to take care of them.
From Roy Davison:
Additions to the Archive
These lessons in text and audio are recent additions to my page in the Old Paths Archive.
Is there no hope?
Jesus called them sons of thunder
Here are the Dutch versions.
Is er geen hoop?
Jezus noemde hen zonen van de donder
There is also a short item I wrote several years ago but had not yet placed on the Internet (text only).
An unfinished nest
May the Lord bless you.
1. The work consisted of the Holy Spirit calling for the setting aside of two men (servants) (Acts 13:2, 13).
2. This work consisted of traveling (Acts 13:4, 6, 14).
3. This work consisted in the proclaiming of God’s word in the synagogue (Acts 13:5, 14-41).
4. This work consisted in resisting (Acts 13:6-12).
5. This work consisted in using the miraculous to harm another, but in this there was a “sign” (Acts 13:12).
6. This work consisted in perseverance (Acts 13:42-43).
7. This work consisted in the use of symbolism (Acts 13:51).
8. This work consisted in joy with the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:52).
The old standard used to be the New Bible Commentary: Revised, which has been updated again and has a name like 21st Century Edition or some such. But lately I’ve been using editor F.F. Bruce’s, New International Bible Commentary, which I have in English under a previous name, but it has the same innards. It has also been translated into Portuguese, so that’s a plus. That’s the one I’d have to name, I reckon, out of the few one-volume commentaries I have.
I’ve bought a couple of one-volume commentaries since then, but although they have some good features, they don’t seem to measure up all around. Nor did I expect them to, since one was a hodge-podge of liberal, feminist, and liberation theologies, another a Catholic liberal volume (which has a lot of good features, however), yet another doctrinally fine, but not so helpful on overall approach, literary structure, and theological synthesis.
I can handle the denominational and other religious works better than something by brethren which takes off on all kinds of tangents, which I don’t buy. One expects it from other quarters, but the disappointment would be so great, coming from a brotherhood source, that I don’t bother.
So my vote is Bruce’s work, at least, for this year. Ask me again next year.
I would like to share with you the blog of Mike Swims. I met him at a congregation in Jacksonville, Florida. He has a blog called Faith Forum where he posts his studies in Apologetics. I hope you enjoy reading them.
I don’t use many commentaries, but the one volume commentary I use the most is Adam Clarke. The one volume commentary by Jamieson Fausset and Brown is a pretty good one-volume commentary as well.
My wife has two one-volume commentaries, the B.W. Johnson book and Jim Sheerer’s commentary. Honestly, I don’t use either of them, though I am keeping the Sheerer book for her. In an interesting footnote, Sheerer’s book was published by Yeomen Press, Chickasha, OK, which is a beautiful little town outside of Oklahoma City and just a few miles from the Rush Springs Church of Christ, a superior body of Christ.
The United Prayer effort is something of an orphan, unfortunately, in our online offerings. Mike R. was lending an important hand to the Twitter account, until hootsuite went to premium paid services, and that hindered his contributions. The WordPress site was even more neglected, as a spinoff from Twitter.
So I’m experimenting with switching and making the WP site the main one, which will post to the Twitter account.
Anyway, today we extend an invitation to the brotherhood to pray together during the month of March on a couple of items. Come join us.
I do not use one volume commentary’s like I once did. Those that I did use were the following: Barnes (on NT); I still like Barnes. Edersheim on OT History; When I was in Desert Shield, it was his volume that I took with me. At that time we were in post-combat mode, and I was able to read it through. It is an old work, but I still like it. I have often reflected on my library and what it would be that I feel compelled to keep if I had to whittle down. Of the one volume books, these would be two that I think I would hold on to.
It’s Saturday, and the preachers are finally getting around to sermonizing for Sunday. (Weylan: “Yeah, right!”) Bible school teachers will begin to think of their classes in the morning. (Laura: “You got it!”) So one of the resources available to Bible students is the one-volume commentary.
So here’s your nudge for the weekend (actually for Saturday and Sunday, the latter being the First Day of a new week): what one-volume commentary do you like best and use? It should cover at least the whole New Testament, if not the whole Bible.
One-volume commentaries are a favorite of mine. (For what reason, I can’t say, other than I like getting to the point, and pithiness.) So this is a subject dear to my heart.
It can be within the brotherhood or not, though within, you’ll be highly restricted as to choices.
We thank Cougan Collins for the permission to reproduce this graphic from his webpage, “How Do You Get Saved?“
This from Allen Melton, deacon of missions with the Nederland church:
Juan Martinez is a self-supported church of Christ preacher in Saltillo, Mexico. In 2009 we trucked about two tons of materials by land from Nederland, Texas, to Saltillo, Mexico, and Juan saw to it that part was distributed in Northeastern Mexico and the majority put in the Mexican mail service. Juan did this for us in 2009 and 2010, and I’m praying that he will this year. The materials are on the border waiting for transhipment from McAllen, Texas to Saltillo, Mexico.
The Zetas cartel called Juan and told him to pay 4,500 USD or they will murder one of his family members. A US citizen was threatened and subsequently his wife was killed close to Monterrey, Mexico. This happened about two or three weeks ago. These are very cruel people.
When he receives his materials I will go to Mexico to be with him while he mails the materials in Saltillo, Eph. 4:14.
Does anyone know of a Bible passage that refers to plants either as living or dying?
“The Bible is about how man fell by transgression, and how God worked through the ages to restore eternal life for him.”
Answering the nudge about a verse on responsibility, here’s my choice. The God’s Word version gets to the point of Galatians 6:5: “Assume your own responsibility.” Similar to it is the NLT: “For we are each responsible for our own conduct.” The ESV and other versions sound more like we’re used to hearing: “For each will have to bear his own load.”
Fewer and fewer in this world are willing to heed this truth. Many even in the church are ready to let others take responsibility, pushing their work off on to preachers, elders, and deacons.
Reminds me of a preacher who directed a youth camp and purposefully broke the rules. Later, he told the board of directors, “I assume responsibility,” but the phrase was more of a scapegoat than a statement of submission. He does his own thing and rules to him are an inconvenience. Including the Lord’s rules.
From Ashby Camp, who shares another study:
Yesterday I put online a paper titled "Archaeology and the Bible" in which I summarize in chronological order (roughly) many archaeological finds that have a direct connection to people, places, or events mentioned in Scripture. There is, of course, some subjectivity in assessing "direct," and I make a couple of exceptions to that criterion.
It’s the first link under "Miscellaneous Bible Studies". If you think it’s worthwhile, please pass it on.
The Bible is about the coming of Jesus as our Savior, His teachings, & our necessary obedience to those teachings in order to attain heaven.
1. Joseph, now in prison (dungeon) had proved himself all over again (39:22-23). It is unknown exactly how long Joseph was with Potiphar before he was put in prison; Jews think it was but one year, while it was the ninth year of Joseph’s “residence” in prison that we read of the events in this chapter (cf. 41:1, 46).
2. Two of Pharaoh’s royal officials were cast into the prison where Joseph was a servant overseeing many of the prisoners. One of the prisoners was a cupbearer (chief butler, NKJV). “The Hebrew term cupbearer corresponds to the Egyptian wb’, an official (frequently a foreigner) who often became a confidant of the king and wielded political power (see K. A. Kitchen, NBD, 248). Nehemiah held this post in Persia” (NET, E-sword). The other prisoner was, just as the words indicate, the chief baker. These men played an enormous role in protecting the king; if the food or drink was tainted at all, these men who would be the “tasters” suffer first and, thus, spare the king.
3. While in prison they had dreams that were perplexing to them. Joseph inquires and declares that only God can interpret dreams. Because God was the interpreter of these dreams the certainty of their meaning was indisputable. Just as Joseph told the officials of Pharaoh, it came to pass.
4. Application: Dreams are remarkable. There are times when we dream and wonder about that which we dreamt. Other times we hardly remember if we dreamed at all. Every now and again I will think on my dreams and try to ascertain some reason for its existence in the overnight hours. Invariably, though, I have no luck at all. Since only God can properly interpret, it is a matter of good judgment for man to leave it there; however this good judgment has not prevented man from offering interpretations just the same. Even if one might properly interpret dreams, certainty of meaning (if any) belongs exclusively to God. Another point of application might be worth considering: it would have been easy, and perhaps it was actually occurring at the time, for Joseph to be in despair. For no wrong that he committed, he was in prison. He was in prison because of the evil of man (female). How should he approach his existence? One of two ways, I suppose. He could reply with despair and defeat or as Paul and Silas (Acts 16:25). Admittedly, it is much easier to say what should be done when sitting in the comforts of an office. However, is it not true just the same?
New mercies, each returning day,
Hover around us while we pray;
New perils past, new sins forgiven,
New thoughts of God, new hopes of heaven.
(Psalm 23) The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.
“Thoughts For Today to Brighten Your Day” by Glenn Hitchcock
Take a Twitter approach to the Bible and sum it up in one sentence of 140 characters. Imagine you’re talking to a non-Christian on an airplane and he’s just asked you, before deplaning, what the Bible is all about. You have 30 seconds — 140 keyboard taps — to tell him.
What did this prophet look like? Just how uncomfortable was camel hair clothing as he wandered around those deserted areas? I’ve eaten bugs before, but they were chocolate-covered. Even with that sweet coating they weren’t great. Locusts definitely don’t sound very appetizing. Maybe if you dip them in honey. . .
Initially, people may have been drawn to see him because of his quirks. I believe what kept them coming back was yet another unique trait. This great man of God did not adjust his message to please his audience. He simply told them what they needed to hear. That alone distinguishes him from the pack.
God give us more men with the courage of John!
In a discussion on Facebook, I posted the following and I want to share it with you. I said, “I have no reason to accept man’s ignorant knowledge when I can accept God’s infinite knowledge.”
We cannot conceive of any idea too bizarre that it does not already have defenders. Their theories will be banded about and given validity by someone. However, in the field of ideas on God’s Word, man can have his own views, but they will amount to nothing. In fact, in terms of these ideas, it doesn’t matter who is right or wrong, it only matters that God is right (Psalm 119:89).
Let us always stand firm with Him, because we have no choice if we wish to be right in the end (Revelation 20:11-15). “Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar” (Romans 3:4).
Ch. 1 – John’s work / Jesus’ baptism & temptation / Peter & Andrew, James & John called / Jesus’ ministry begins
Ch. 2 – The palsied man healed / Matthew called / “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance…”
Ch. 3 – Jesus heals on the Sabbath / 12 apostles ordained / Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit / Jesus’ true family
Ch. 4 – Parable of the soils / Parable of the mustard seed / Jesus calms the storm
In my view, the most “colorful” (key word) historical figure of all time would have to be Will Rogers, the Oklahoma cowboy whose creed was, “I never met a man I didn’t like”: http://www.willrogers.org/wrbio.html
See also: http://www.notablebiographies.com/Ro-Sc/Rogers-Will.html and Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Will_Rogers
Will Rogers catches my attention because of his “down-to-earth” common sense philosophies and his love of the common man, a characteristic which our present-day politicians need to emulate.
Here’s some of the wisdom of Will Rogers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IR_VAirKE9I
A sad story that might turn out well…with much work and prayer. I can’t imagine the difficulty associated with such things, but we did come close some time back with a scare of this kind.
Who do you consider to be the most colorful historical figure of all time? Don’t think of your nation’s history only, look across to world history as well. This person could be in politics, religion, business, science, in any area of human endeavor. Why does this person catch your attention?
Remember: the key adjective here is colorful.