and rend your hearts and not your garments.”
Return to the Lord your God,
for he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love;
and he relents over disaster.
“….and rend your hearts and not your garments.”
That was the line that caught my attention, so I made a note to write about it. I was familiar with the word render, which means in the verb form: “to provide or give”, but rend, was throwing me a bit of a curve. I thought it had to do with tearing since, “rend your heart” was followed by “and not your garments”. I took the time to look up the definition just to be sure. And that is what it means, to tear into two or more pieces. Continue reading
The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shone.
Biblical scholars’ commentaries on this verse say that Isaiah is referring to the defeat of the Assyrian army and that the great light mention may be referring to the coming of Christ.
I thought differently when I read this verse and decided to write about it. Continue reading
In another post I wrote about Matthew 6:1-18 and how I was struck by the simplicity of Christ’s teachings, how all the teachings in the Sermon on the Mount boil down to keeping it simple. Life is simply your relationship with God.
It is a simple philosophy but don’t confuse simple with easy.
Realizing your relationship with God is an ever vigilant lifetime endeavor. It’s tough and takes work and self discipline. Not because God made it hard, but because we make it hard with all our worries, cares and sins.
Get it right and everything, the good, the bad and the ugly, which you will always have to deal with, will fall into place. Continue reading
(I wrote this post three years ago and thought I would share it again this Christmas Eve. Merry Christmas to all.)
This year is the first time I can ever remember not having much Christmas Spirit.
Honestly I’m not really sure what Christmas Spirit is so I thought I would write about it to see if it helps me figure it out.
I guess most people would say Christmas Spirit is the feeling of joy and the spirit of giving.
I know when I was a kid Christmas was the most anticipated time of the year. The joy and the spirit of giving wasn’t the reason for the excitement, it was the joy of getting.
I was a kid and that’s what Christmas was all about. It was the one time of the year (besides your birthday) that you got gifts, nice gifts.
But it wasn’t totally about me and what gifts I was going to receive. I also loved the family getting together, the lights, the trees and the special once a year food. (Steamed shrimp, yum / fried oysters and oyster pie, yuck) Christmas Eve was the only time of the year my grandma got out her fine punch bowl and filled it with ginger ale and scoops of orange sherbet.
I grew up but hung on to the love that I had for Christmas. Continue reading
Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new. So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription: ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are indeed his offspring.’ Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”
I read this story and was intrigued by the twenty first verse that talks about the Athenians and foreigners who “would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new”.
I assume the writer is trying to convey to the reader that these were opened minded people and willing to listen to anything they hadn’t heard before. This was fertile ground for Paul to spread his words.
Paul tries to enlighten them and what he says about God is how I felt for years. Continue reading
For the household gods utter nonsense,
and the diviners see lies;
they tell false dreams
and give empty consolation.
Therefore the people wander like sheep;
they are afflicted for lack of a shepherd.
I wrote this one down because boy oh boy is it true today. Continue reading
I have written about the simplicity of God and Christ and how the simplicity of life is you and your relationship with God. Work on your relationship with God and the rest will fall into place.
I cited Matthew 6:1-8 which is part of the Sermon on the Mount. Christ talks about how your relationship with God is just between you and God. Christ talks about getting your heart straight with yourself and with God. Once this is accomplished or I should say as you keep improving your relationship with God, the rest of your life will fall in line.
When I ponder this I think about how this is also true with music or any art. Your music, your art is a very private affair. Continue reading