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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Don't Fade To Grey


I've not read the book or seen the movie, but sounds to me like Mr. Grey was appropriately named.  The little bits of information that I've learned about him are that he is very wealthy, does what it takes to get what he wants and has a penchant for... well, I imagine you know that all ready. I think of his character as being very worldly. And I think of the world as being very grey. The subtle erasing of the line between black and white, right and wrong, has wrought increasing chaos in every aspect of our society; touching every life in one way or another.  Yes, there have always been darker elements of society, but they are no longer held in check. It happened ever so slowly, but battle lines were drawn. Some that come immediately to mind? Pornography springs to the forefront in light of current controversy. Human trafficking. Racism. A woman's right to choose. Political correctness. "YOLO!" And the list goes on. Meh.

Images we have had pounded into our brains have left us desensitized. Things that once shocked the majority of our society have become very commonplace. And with each passing generation the shade of grey grows darker. The eye candy glows brighter. The tolerance level of what's okay grows higher. We may "tsk, tsk" from time to time, but for the most part just turn our heads and look the other way. Better to over look it than take a stand and make waves. Easier to succumb to the theory that "it's just the way things are now" than to make a change. Desensitized. Meh.

I'm stepping up on my soap box now in hopes my voice will carry through the ever-thickening fog, rise above the den of the croaking frogs begging for a kiss, and will resonate in your very soul. This is important! There's a battle to be won! We are all soldiers for one side or the other whether we want to admit it or not. Mankind has been duped by a cunning adversary while he carefully formed and worked into shape his dastardly plan. If God is real, so is the devil. And he has been working hard since time here on earth began to blur right and wrong into what's right only for himself! His one goal is to pull us further and further away from God. Taking us down a path so ridden with darkness that we never find our way back.  If you are a follower of Jesus, he may not be able to pull you completely off the path into the muck and mire (and he can never have your soul) but he will try.  Because he wants to keep you from the life God has planned for you. God has a plan for all of us, but will not force us to follow it. Then we would be puppets on a string.  Forced love is not love at all. Free will. God wants us to choose His way, but He won't make us.  He has given us guidelines in the Bible to live by, but the choice to do so is ours.  Don't fade to grey!

It's my plan to share those guidelines in future posts, but for now I will leave you with a verse from the Bible that will provide you with enough ammunition to take a stand.

I'll repeat:

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable ~ if anything is excellent or praiseworthy ~ think about such things.    ~Philippines 4:8

Now... Charge!!!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Blech! I Kissed A Frog! :/

So this post will be starting with a disclaimer.  In sharing the story of the Prodigal Son with you, I used The Message, a paraphrased translation of the Bible.  I don't own a copy, but have heard passages read and liked what I heard so sometimes I look up a verse or passage online to use here or there.  Anyway, I couldn't shake the thought that I should do a little research and it turns out this translation is not always a reliable source.  But! I usually like to read several translations of the scripture I am using when teaching and did so when deciding which to use last post.  The Prodigal story is sound with a minor difference. The number of meals (3 square) is not mentioned in the King James. That's my go to translation and I will share with you why, but first... Back to The Message.

The Message was written by Eugene H. Petersen in the late 1990's and claims to be the Bible in Contemporary Language, but it is a paraphrased version and may even be taken from ancient manuscripts from Alexandria, Egypt that have been proven corrupted.  I, also, learned Mr. Petersen has copyrights on the text. Copyrights on the text???  And this really bothers me, because of the copyrights, people are only allowed to copy/use up to 500 words without obtaining written consent beforehand.  (I neglected to do a word count.  Oops!)  There are, also, proven contradictions, numerous omitted verses and Jesus is never referred to as Lord Jesus.  Not once.  (I'm a little rusty in my writing etiquette, but think I am supposed to note my sources since I have not read The Message in it's entirety enabling me to come to the above conclusions on my own, right?  The two main sources:   and
Frankly, there is a lot of information out there on the inaccuracies of this text when bumping it up against the King James, but my free time (which is my writing time) is extremely limited and I have used a few days worth all ready researching the little bit I've shared with you so far.  I've seen enough to say I will not be using The Message in the future.  That way, I won't be steering anyone who may be considering reading more of God's Word to read it from that book.  You want a copy of the word that you can trust.  I know because this is not the first time I have nearly been sucked in to the bog of false teaching.

When I was 13, my Mom got me a copy of The Living Bible.  It had only been out for a couple of years and was all the rage. So easy to understand! It, too, was paraphrased.  But the finished product never earned the backing of Biblical scholars.  There were too many flaws within it's pages to be called an accurate Biblical account.  When word of that got out many abandoned it.  My Mom among them.  We switched to the NIV (New International Version) which has credible backing, but admittedly has a few verses omitted.  These omissions are noted in the text and given in the footnotes though so I have never felt deprived of the knowledge.  It became my preferred scripture, but I couldn't bring myself to throw the Living Bible away.  It just didn't seem right, the word Bible was right there on the cover!  So it sat on the book shelf next to the King James, dormant for years; only being touched when packing and unpacking during a move.

Fast forward about two and a half decades.  I had taken a concern to God and was certain He had literally put scripture right in front of me that was the answer I needed.   The concern involved others and I needed help knowing how to address the situation.  Believe me when I tell you I read and re-read those verses in the days prior to my speaking up.  I can't remember why I didn't have my Bible at hand that night, but I didn't.  That was why I reached for a different one on the shelf just a couple of days before I was going to speak up for God.  I eagerly looked up the scripture and began to read expecting the same sense of exhilaration and wonder at the awesomeness of God Almighty.  Thanking Him (again!) for answering my prayer so perfectly.  Then I reached the next to the last verse of the passage and instead of exhilaration all I felt was confusion.   The verses prior had addressed the problem and what God thought of it.  This next to the last verse had spoken clearly of what the outcome could be if ways were changed.  But what I was reading did not contain any of the words I was expecting to read. Not one. There was no way I could get the same meaning from this text. I was floored.

And that's how easily doubt can creep in.  I gave not a thought to the reason that "Bible" had been abandoned on the shelf all those years before.  I just began to wonder if I had been mistaken.  Had I been about to make a huge mistake?  I immediately started asking God what in the world was going on! And continued to do so for the next day or so.  Still wrestling with my dilemma, I decided I needed some clear my mind time so I sat down at the computer to play a game of spades one evening.  I was pleased to note the person to the right of me had a "nick" that reflected their belief.  Lots of bad, bad sports out there in online game world.   It was good to see the odds were in my favor that at least half of this team would take a loss graciously. ;)  You know what? I don't have a clue if my team won or lost, but score one for God for sure!  After the game the other two players clicked off the table immediately and I was getting ready to say good bye when the person to my right asked if I was a Christian.  I answered affirmatively and then found myself pouring out my new problem over the problem I had been so certain God had solved so adequately.  The person to my right said,

"Let the King James confirm it for you, child.  You can trust it every time."   

Our computer was arm's reach from the book case.  I immediately reached for the suggested edition and turned to the verse in question.  It's meaning confirmed my NIV version.  Relief flooded my soul and I felt sure of my task once again.  I thanked God and my opponent profusely and left the game table filled with joy and praising His name.  God had calmed my unrest with two sentences spoken by a stranger.  The King James became my go to edition for confirmation from that moment on. 

Did God, Himself, take time out to play a game of spades with me that night? Probably not, but if He did... wheeeeeeee! I think more than likely He used one believer to help another.  That's part of His plan.  Lifting other believers up when they are down.  Sharing what we have learned with believers and non.  Ever growing closer to Him.  Becoming more certain when we hear His still small voice in this loud, loud world.  Knowing we can turn to His Word to help us solve all our problems. 

I love Him!  He loves me!  He loves you, too!  See you next time.