Buy any new smartphone….

ipad-underwater4Buy any new smartphone and get a brand new SinkPad free!*

*Must purchase smartphone in store via on-line App on WorstPricePlan@ on a new 2-year wireless agreement, with optional pigproof** case. Use of smartphone does not make you smarter. Installation of the Superman App does not enable the operator to fly. Our phone makes no legal representation that it is better than your grandmother’s rotary phone. SinkPad not a real sinker. We reserve the right to make fun of fine print. This offer makes no representation that anything in life is free, oh, except one thing, see fine print at very bottom.

**Pig-proof cases not yet patented, nor available in store.

So you’re still reading, huh? Sorry about that. That’s what I think of these ads. They lure you in; thinking that you are getting something for nothing!

We all know there is no such thing as a free lunch, but I still like to find a bargain (when there is one). But unfortunately nowadays, unless you’re using Dealnews.com, Brad’s Deals, or some other web-service to filter out the somewhat deceptive advertising, you’re likely being conned without knowing better.

Don’t believe me? (Oh, I thought you would, been there huh? – thus no reason to give an example)

Thankfully, there is one other source you can go to for a true deal. And that’s Jesus. No strings attached, Jesus wants to provide you eternal life, and doesn’t ask for anything at all but your heart. That’s right, give your heart (not physically, but spiritually) to Him, and He will grow you into things you could never dream of, and then after your physical life has ended, He has provided an eternal life that you can live in Heaven above.

Isn’t it comforting to know that in the world full of deception, that at least one thing remains true!

7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. – Galatians 6:7-8

***FinePrint: See details above in larger print.

The big days is here! Or is it?

Today’s the big day! How many times have you said that in your life? Did you parents say it for your first day at school? What about on graduation day? What about on the day you got married? Or your first day at work in a new job?

Believe it or not, we celebrate the “big days” of our lives in a manner that would almost seem nonchalant. We talk about it for only a few seconds, and then the brief time passes, and it is merely a memory in our past.

But what about that big day that is still coming? You know the one I’m talking about.

27For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. … 30 “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. – Matthew 24:27, 30-31

That big day is on its way to a hometown near you. When? We all know that we don’t know. Many people have tried to predict it, and many have been wrong. Others have claimed that the Bible clearly tells us that we don’t know when it will be here…..

36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. – Matthew 24: 36-37

The exact day is honestly irrelevant; no reason to worry about when it’s coming. However, we should be aware of one fact that is true. When that day gets here it’s too late! Too late for what?

Too late to beg. Too late to stand before Jesus at the throne of God and say, “but Jesus, I was waiting….” There will be no excuses for any of us on that day. We all know we have to make a decision to accept Him. But we also know that if we have accepted Him, we have a duty to tell others. And it is just as important for us to tell others about Christ. If we wait until that day, it will be too late.

Do you really want your friend, your relative, your sister or brother, son or daughter to miss the opportunity to be in Heaven because you were too embarrassed to share your love and devotion to Christ with them? What’s the worst they could say “sorry, not interested” or “you’re stupid for believing….”

On that Big day, the truth will be revealed to all, and some of us can very sadly have the ability to say “I told you so.” But instead, we will unfortunately be saddened that they haven’t accepted Christ. So what could you change now, before the Big Day, in order that your loved one would be more responsive to your sharing of the Gospel?

Trivia Questions 9-12 (Ark focused)

It’s all about the Ark today:

9. What mountain did Noah’s Ark come to rest upon?
a) Carmel
b) Sinai
c) Moriah
d) Ararat

10. How many people were on Noah’s Ark?
a) 2
b) 4
c) 6
d) 8

11. How many pair(s) of each animal were taken on Noah’s Ark?
a) 1
b) 2
c) 5
d) 7

12. How many months (approximately) passed with Noah and the animals on the Ark?
a) 8
b) 12
c) 17
d) 24

 

Want answers to yesterday’s trivia?  Click HERE!

Trivia Questions 5-8

Hopefully you got at least one right yesterday (check your answers HERE)….

5. Who was the 12th apostle, replacing Judas?
a) Bartholomew
b) Barnabas / Barsabas
c) Matthias
d) Justus

6. How much was Judas paid for betraying Christ?
a) 30 silver coins
b) 30 gold coins
c) 30 denarii
d) 50 denarii

7. After His resurrection, near what body of water did Jesus appear to His disciples?
a) Sea of Galilee
b) The Dead Sea
c) Sea of Tiberias
d) Jordan River

8. Which of the following plagues was not sent upon Egypt due to Pharoah’s hardened heart?
a) Frogs
b) Lice
c) Flies
d) Snakes

For those of you who made it this far, did you find the spelling mistake in the last blog? Actually, there were 2 mistakes, not just one. The first one “not that it’s correct spelling or grammer” – the second? “Oh, and if you don’t send this t0”

Check answers to yesterday’s trivia HERE

Trivia Questions 1-4

So you think you know the Bible pretty well?

Ok, let’s see….  No, this isn’t a Facebook quiz with 10 questions that you can post your result.  You’re not going to be graded a “Holier than thou” (not that it’s correct spelling or grammer anyway).

But here goes:

 

1) Which of the following animals were the Israelites forbidden to eat in the Old Testament?

a. Rabbit

b. Sheep

c. Ox

d. Goat

2) While in Joppa, whom did Paul “raise” from the dead?

a. Tabitha

b. Lazarus

c. Jairus’ daughter

d. Eutychus

3) What is the longest book in the Bible?

a. Psalms

b. Proverbs

c. Leviticus

d. Revelation

4) What is the name of Adam & Eve’s third son?

a. Judah

b. Seth

c. Ham

d. Japheth

 

Oh, and if you don’t send this t0 10 people in the next 10 minutes, you won’t win the lottery, and your dreams may not come true.  The good news is, even if you don’t send it, you’ll still be blessed, and your dreams may still come true.  I hate chain letters and any words like this at the end.

By the way – there was an INTENTIONAL spelling mistake in this blog – can you find it?

Is that the right translation?

I spoke with a colleague today that had a French exam yesterday. He felt confident that he passed, but still hasn’t received his grade yet. When he asked me if I spoke French, I told him the long story: I took a semester of French and a year of Spanish in high school. In college, I studied Spanish again. However, I soon found myself traveling the world with the military; and in Egypt I tried to learn Arabic; in Korea, I picked up some Hangul. Soon after, I found myself in Seminary studying Hebrew and Greek. Needless to say, I’m glad (and lucky) I can still speak English.

All that to say, which Bible is right? I mean after all, there are soooooo many translations out there!

So which Bible is truly the right one? Well, first let’s go to the history of how the Bible was created. Remember, that “all Scripture is God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16). Following 1500 years, and 40 authors, in 382 AD a church council (of sorts) was formed to pull together all the relevant documents of text that we now call the “Bible.”

But let’s not forget, as someone recently pointed out to me, that even BEFORE experts pulled together all the books of the Bible, they were still Scripture. We know that Jesus read from Scripture in Luke 4:16 – “He went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and He stood up to read. And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to Him.” He read, and all present were marveled at His words. Then in response He spoke again: “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:21 ESV).

We also need to remember that these scrolls/letters were originally written in different languages: Hebrew (Old Testament), some Aramaic (Daniel, Ezra, …), and Greek (New Testament). Throughout the ages, these original texts (scrolls) were translated into a myriad of languages individually. During the Protestant Reformation (1517), Martin Luther (a Catholic priest and monk) had the Bible translated into German, and the invention of the printing press allowed the Bible to be further distributed to the lay church in mass production. In 1546, the Roman Catholic Church declared the Latin version (Latin Vulgate Bible) as the official and authentic Bible. Then in 1611 King James had the Bible translated into English.

The Bible specifically states for no one to add or take away from the Words of the Bible (Deuteronomy 4:2, Proverbs 30:6, Revelation 22:18-19). That being said, many experts have spent years translating and updating a variety of translations to include the most popular recent releases such as the NLT (1996), ESV (2001), HCSB (2004), TNIV (2005), and the Message (2002).

So, which one is right? While I don’t support any particular translation, I will say that each version has its pros and cons. What I think is most important is that we take time to study a Christian Bible, no matter what translation you use. The only recommendation I would suggest is to stray from “paraphrased translations” such as the Living Bible or the Message, as they do not translate direct words or language, although they are sometimes more readable.


 

I have a lot to do

You may think, “I have a lot to do”. And you’re probably right. Today, I looked at my list of to-do’s for work (203) and for home (59). That seems like a lot, and sometimes it can get purely overwhelming. Considering that I actually accomplish 10-20 in a day, I should be done in 15 days, right?

Well, as you know, to-do’s get added everyday also. So, I’ll never finish all of them. Instead, I have to prioritize what’s important.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the list does not include simple recurring ordinary items like wake up, check e-mail, go to work, eat, etc. On the contrary, these are real tasks that are one time events. For example, change oil in truck, paint arch in hallway, check on moving claim, etc. And for work, I have meetings to schedule, reports to write, people to call, powerpoints to compile and present, etc.

So, why do I belabor this point? We all have “stuff” that needs done. On the surface, it all looks important. And some of it is.

It’s so easy to get behind on our “stuff.” And then it’s easy to get distracted from the really important things. You see, I don’t have anywhere on my list – “write blog.” I just do it. It’s one of those recurring daily activities that has become a habit of mine.

The neat thing about the blog is this – just like sermons, the pastor or preacher giving the sermon usually needed the inspiration or message as much as you did. I know when I write a blog, it speaks to me, just as much as it does anybody else. It’s my way of having my own devotion on a daily basis with God.

Jesus spent a lot of time in prayer away from others and with God. Just as it’s important for Him to spend time with His Father, it’s more important for me to spend time with God, my Father.

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness – Matthew 6:33a (NKJV)

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.  – James 4:8a (NKJV)

Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving – Colossians 4:2 (NKJV)

Thank you for being a “subscriber” to my blog, and allowing me to open my heart to you.

Metamorphis – complete?

blogAs I complete the move of my blog from one webhost to another, I have also decided to upgrade the “feel” of my blog. Please visit my direct website HERE, and give me your feedback – do you like it?

I discovered quite a bit of lessons learned through this ordeal. And because it was so painful, and took so long, I don’t know if I ever want to do it again. Isn’t that the same reason we just sometimes don’t want to “change” anything?

It is widely known that people don’t like change. Despite how much somebody hates the way something is done, they generally refuse to change it. “That’s the way it’s always been.” In fact, most people won’t change companies after having the same one for years, because they would rather complain about their current job, than to go through the heartache and pressure of finding a new company to work for.

So why the discussion on change? Well, that’s what Christ calls us to do. He wants us to CHANGE! From the time we open our heart to hear the Holy Spirit speak to us, we are called to change WHO we are. We are called to leave behind our past life and become new:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. – 2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. – Romans 12:2 NKJV

Once we accept Christ in our lives, we are saved. But that is not the end of our responsibility. A lot of people go around preaching Salvation, which is great; we need to tell people about Christ. And THEN, after we tell them, we are to make disciples, and ensure they begin following Christ in everything, not continuing their old ways:

Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,  – Acts 3:19 NKJV

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you,  – Matthew 28:19-20a NKJV

This blog will never be “saved.” But that’s ok, it’s only really some 0’s and 1’s in a computer somewhere, translated into English. But hopefully someday, it will reach out and help someone to realize that Salvation is only the first step to a total transformation of mind, body, and soul. In the meantime, I’ll rely on you to help me tell others. Let’s help this world change (for the better)!

25

There are only 24 hours in day.  That’s not a new revelation. In fact, since the beginning of time (at least shortly after God created man), the days became a standard length, and we have limited daytime and nighttime.

So, if this has been going on for over 6,000 years, why worry, right?

Because of one simple fact – “I don’t have time to read the Bible!”

At least that’s what some of us say. After waking up in the morning, fixing breakfast, getting ready for work, working 9 hours, coming home, fixing dinner, going to soccer practice, piano lessons, and arriving home around 10 PM at night, all we want to do is watch some TV and go to sleep.

But why do we do this?

First, we have to work – I understand that. Second, we want our kids to be involved in stuff – I understand that too.

But let’s face it, how much STUFF does your kid(s) need involved in? I’m not saying to stop letting them play sports or music, art, or whatever the event.

What I’m trying to say is this: when you spend time doing something, you are teaching your child that it is important do it. Whether going to sporting events, watching TV, or reading the Bible, you are training your child what is important in life.

I, for one, am guilty of not spending enough time with family. Are you?

I’m also guilty of not reading the Bible with my family, and praying with them enough.

The Bible clearly tells us that reading God’s Word is VERY important:

Jesus told [satan], “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”  (Matthew 4:4 NLT)

Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. (Joshua 1:8 NLT)

With these two passages in mind, how should we change our life?  We only have 24 hours in a day, so we can’t fit in an extra hour to read the Bible.  What then can you give up to spend more time in His Word?

Be a quitter! …?

After our first week’s Sunday School study in “Love Does” and 3 challenges to my weekly routine, it was quite hard for me to stay focused on life. But I think that was part of the purpose of Bob Goff’s initial kick-off in the study that accompanies his book.  We are not living right today, and we must change (for the better).  The first challenge was probably the hardest for me. “Quit something this week.” He mentioned he quits something every Thursday – wow!

Now that’s something I was not prepared for.  I mean come on – the title of the book is “Love Does,” not “Quitter, Quitter, Everywhere!”

What does this have to do with LOVE? I don’t know, but I’m sure he’ll teach us during this series on “Love Does.”

Where do I start?  I’ve tried to NEVER be a quitter.  I think my parents engrained that into me when I was a child.  Even when starting college, I had a picture that I wrote on the frame “DGU-DTB” (Don’t give up, Don’t Talk Back).  Why would I have that in college? I didn’t go to the type of college known for block parties every weekend (or ever for that matter).  I attended a military college. Strict discipline, demanding academics, and hazing of the Freshman class was the name of the game.  By about the 4th month or so, I was ready to quit. My family and girlfriend supported me; they said it was my decision. Their support and love in allowing me to come home, however, is the reason I didn’t quit.

Throughout the next few years, it took a lot of focus and a determination NOT to quit in order to graduate. However, this week, our Sunday School teacher goes and challenges me to quit something.  Really?  Come on!

But, I think I’ve made my decision.  A good suggestion in our e-mail last week has made my list:  >>No checking e-mail after dinner<<

A hard challenge for me, but I think it’s appropriate.  I’ve double and triple checked, and there are no commands in the Bible that say “Thou shalt check e-mail every hour of every day.”

After dinner, I should be spending more time with family. So here goes nothing….  Go ahead, test me, send me an e-mail after dinner and see if I respond.  🙂