Monthly Archives: November 2008

Family Advent Devotions

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Last year I posted The Family Advent calendar, here are the links, for your viewing pleasure:

Week One  ~ the Prophets

Week Two ~ The Angels Message

Week Three ~ The Shepherds Response

Week Four ~ The Wise Men

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

 

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Musings on…. Joy

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Main Entry: 1joy Pronunciation: ˈjȯi Function: nounEtymology:Middle English, from Anglo-French joie, from Latin gaudia, plural of gaudium, from gaudēre to rejoice; probably akin to Greek gēthein to rejoice Date: 13th century

1 a: the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires : delight b: the expression or exhibition of such emotion : gaiety
2: a state of happiness or felicity : bliss
3: a source or cause of delight
joy·less  -ləs adjective
joy·less·ly adverb
joy·less·ness noun
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From here: [secular article]
The Basic Practice

Joy is an essential spiritual practice growing out of faith, grace, gratitude, hope, and love. It is the pure and simple delight in being alive. Joy is our elated response to feelings of happiness, experiences of pleasure, and awareness of abundance. It is also the deep satisfaction we know when we are able to serve others and be glad for their good fortune.

Invite joy into your life by staging celebrations. Host festivities to mark transitions and changes in your life. Toast moments of happiness you notice as you go through your day. Dance — jump for joy — as often as possible. Life is not meant to be endured; it is to be enjoyed.

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From the True Source of Joy here Luke 10:17-24

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Excerpt from Mike’s blog

Joy is both an outcome of our relationship with the Lord and our source of strength for our obedience of Him. (John 15) The Joy of the Lord is our strength. (Nehemiah 8:9) God desires for His people to be strong in Him so He graciously gives us joy as we cooperate with Him in our sanctification. (Philippians 2:12-13)

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50 ways to find joy article here [secular article, no mention of the Almighty One]

Question: How/where/who do you find joy?

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in the new testament there are 15 different words or tenses of the word joy HERE, 39 in the old testament Hebrew HERE

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Spring 1991 faculty preaching series on the fruit of the Spirit, Assemblies of God Theological Seminary

By John C. Katter, D.Min.

1. Christians have joy because of their place in Christ

2. Christians have joy because of their purpose in life.

3. Christians have joy because of their perspective on eternity.

[i would have to agree with him on these points, we should, as christians have joy because of these things. But do we? and if we don’t, why not?]

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some joy scriptures I love:

Luke 10:17-20
The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.”  And He said to them, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning.  “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you.  “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.”

LUKE 15:9-10 “When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost!’  “In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

John 15:9-13
“Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.  “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.  “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and {that} your joy may be made full.  “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.  “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.

JOHN16:20-22 “Truly, truly, I say to you, that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will grieve, but your grief will be turned into joy.  “Whenever a woman is in labor she has pain, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy that a child has been born into the world.  “Therefore you too have grief now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one {will} take your joy away from you.

ROMANS 14:16-18Therefore do not let what is for you a good thing be spoken of as evil; for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who in this {way} serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men.Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Romans 15:13
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

JUDE 1: 24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
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 Thru trials of life right now, my joy is gone, wandered off to the other side of the street, to another family, to another time.

I want joy, I pray for joy, I just don’t seem to have it.

It seems too hard to rescue it from the traffic as it plays in the street. I demand it come back and entertain me with its smile and life and light.

it flutters away thru the open window of the neighbor’s house, winking at me, beckoning me to find catch it….

it floats upward to the heavenly stars, motioning to me with its embracing arms, it points to the place i should look, but it’s too bright…..

like a shooting star its gone, leaving me standing on the ground, praying for it to return to me….

Musings on ……. Temptation

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Strong’s Number: 5254 hsn  [Old Testament]
Original Word Word Origin
hsn a primitive root
Transliterated Word Phonetic Spelling
Nacah naw-saw’
Parts of Speech TWOT
Verb 1373
Definition
to test, try, prove, tempt, assay, put to the proof or test
(Piel)
to test, try
to attempt, assay, try
to test, try, prove, tempt

Translated Words
KJV (36) – adventure, 1; assay, 2; prove, 20; tempt, 12; try, 1;
NAS (37) – make a test, 1; proved, 1; put, 1; put to the test, 2; tempted, 3; test, 13; tested, 9; testing, 3; tried, 1; try, 1; venture, 1; ventures, 1;

 [New Testament]

 Strong’s Number: 3985 peira/zw
Original Word Word Origin
peira/zw from (3984)
Transliterated Word Phonetic Spelling
Peirazo pi-rad’-zo
Parts of Speech TDNT
Verb 6:23,822
Definition
to try whether a thing can be done
to attempt, endeavour
to try, make trial of, test: for the purpose of ascertaining his quantity, or what he thinks, or how he will behave himself
in a good sense
in a bad sense, to test one maliciously, craftily to put to the proof his feelings or judgments
to try or test one’s faith, virtue, character, by enticement to sin
to solicit to sin, to tempt 1c
of the temptations of the devil
after the OT usage
of God: to inflict evils upon one in order to prove his character and the steadfastness of his faith
men are said to tempt God by exhibitions of distrust, as though they wished to try whether he is not justly distrusted
by impious or wicked conduct to test God’s justice and patience, and to challenge him, as it were to give proof of his perfections.

Translated Words
KJV (39) – assay, 1; examine, 1; go about, 1; prove, 1; tempt, 29; tempter, 2; try, 4;
NAS (40) – did, 1; put, 1; put to the test, 2; tempt, 2; tempted, 13; tempter, 2; test, 6; tested, 2; testing, 7; tried, 2; trying, 2

 

So my little question that i always think to myself and i’m sharing it with you, [in hopes you won’t think i’m really wacked out] is this:

When we are tempted, the desire can be overwhelming, until we give in to that desire. Then for the moment we are satisfied, eased from the pulling desire upon our hearts and minds.

Jesus, being both man and God, was tempted by Satan, but in a sense He ‘passed’ the test and Satan left and angels tended to him.

But Jesus had to have other temptations in his life, you can not walk upon this earth without them. I don’t care who you are.

So if Jesus was tempted and never sinned, the temptation was still there, nipping at His heels, right?

Or did it come and go, like a lady walking in and out of the room……

and if He never gave in, was He always overcome with an irrestible urge to do wrong?

Kristina 

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 1 Corin 10:13

12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. James 1:13

People Who Breathe Grace….

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Peacemakers are people who breathe grace. They draw continually on the goodness and power of Jesus Christ, and then they bring his love, mercy, forgiveness, strength, and wisdom to the conflicts of daily life. God delights to breathe his grace through peacemakers and use them to dissipate anger, improve understanding, promote justice, and encourage repentance and reconciliation.

Taken from  The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) p. 11

Food for Thought

Have you ever been around a person who was truly filled with the peace of God? Were you drawn to her serenity—regardless of her circumstance? (For didn’t you see Christ’s peace in her the most when her trials were at their worst?)
Did his confidence in God’s goodness strengthen you when you faced times of trial and doubt? (Because you knew that his faith in God was not a shallow faith—but one born of great suffering and painful perseverance through the storms of life?)
When you think about that peaceful, grace-filled person, what were her relationships like?
Did she leave a legacy of hurting, offended, discouraged people in her wake? Was he known as a man who “always had the right answer” and frequently spoke words of condemnation? Probably not.
People who are filled with God’s peace also tend to be at peace with others. Why? 

 

“Peacemakers are people who breathe grace,” Ken reminds us. The peace of God transcends all understanding and it fills their hearts like fountains bubbling over with mercy, kindness, genuine care, and abiding love. They are so filled with God’s grace that they splash it onto everyone around them. They could no more stop breathing grace than a person could stop breathing air—because grace is the air that they breathe. Their prayers sound something like this:

 

  • Breathing grace in: The one true holy God sent his Son to die for me? I am saved from hell, from my sin; justified before this holy God; forgiven and adopted? What wondrous love is this! Thank you, God. Thank you for forgiving me all my sins and making the way for me to be at peace with you. I worship You!
  • Breathing grace out: And now, dear Lord, as I head into my day—let the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ be the heartbeat of my life. Please, God, let every word I say, every action I take, the attitude of my heart, my desires and inclinations—let my life be used by You, for Your glory and the furtherance of Your Kingdom. Please help me to treat others not as they deserve—but as You treat me. May I be your image-bearer, your representative, your ambassador. Thank You, Lord.

Dear friends, let every breath we take and every word we speak today be filled with grace!

 — Tara Barthel (Billings, MT) is a former attorney and director at Peacemaker Ministries, and the author of our new Women’s Study. She currently serves her family as a homemaker while regularly speaking at women’s events and blogging on God’s considerable grace.

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Do you know of someone like this?

When were the Books of the New Testament Written?

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ok, this isnt a very good job of cut and pasting an excel sheet, but i thought it was very interesting.
My son did an extra credit project finding out when the books of the new testament were written.
here are the the results…..
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Books   The Living Bible   NIV   Reformation Bible
Matthew   60 AD   60 AD   100 AD
Mark   55   55   70
Luke   63   70   63
John   90   85   90
Acts   65   70   105
Romans   58   57   52
1 Corinthians   56   55   57
2 Corinthians   57   55   55
Galations   49   53   49
Ephesians   60   60   62
Philippians   60   55   61
Colossians   60   60   55
1 Thessalonians   51   51   50
2 Thessalonians   51   51   51
1 Timothy   63   63   63
2 Timothy   66   63   67
Titus    65   64   62
Philemon   60   60   60
Hebrews   60   70   96
James   48   50   44
1 Peter   63   67   60
2 Peter   66   68   63
1 John   85   85   100
2 John   85   85   100
3 John   85   85   100
Jude   65   65   66
Revelation   95   95   95

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I’m curious to know why the dates are different…anyone know why?

Blessings, Kristina

Optimism, Pessimism and Hope

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Optimism, Pessimism, and Hope

(I just started up my Modern Reformation and TableTalk magazine subscriptions again for me and the boy)
Enjoy this little article!

I am a Southerner. Lost causes don’t bother me. We are used to them. And ours is not even lost-at least, not in the long run.

In the short run, I am not very optimistic for our society or for the church. We as a society are trying to maintain our democracy while dismantling its foundation: the self-evident truth that all people are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. This project is doomed to failure. Nevertheless, having repudiated the only foundation on which a successful democracy has ever been erected, we presume to teach the rest of the world how to “do” democracy.

Meanwhile, the conservative church’s only response to this situation is senselessly to berate society for departing from a foundation it no longer remembers ever having had, rather than doing the only sensible thing to address the problem: re-evangelizing American society from scratch and teaching it the biblical worldview all over again. At the same time, I see our theological birthright, the hard gains of an evangelical movement that clawed its way up out of fundamentalist anti-intellectualism, being squandered for a mess of postmodern epistemological pottage, soft nihilism masquerading as humility about truth. But look: if there is no resurrection, then Christ is not raised; and if there are no valid metanarratives, then Christianity is not true. It is really as simple as that.

Unwilling to face that stark simplicity, the evangelical movement finds itself exactly where the mainline Protestant denominations were a century ago, losing its message to the spirit of the age so slowly and subtly that it doesn’t realize what is happening. Only now, as this new apostasy “emerges,” the friends of truth, remembering how ugly things turned during the old fundamentalist days and thinking that nothing could be worse than to be labeled a “separatist,” no longer have any stomach for the fight.

Fortunately, both history and theology save me from despair. History tells me that things have looked this bad before, or worse-right after the fall of Rome, at the height of medieval papal corruption before the Reformation, at the height of the Endarkenment of the eighteenth century before the first Great Awakening came seemingly out of nowhere. And theology tells me that God is sovereign and doesn’t need favorable cultural situations to accomplish his purpose or preserve his remnant or even initiate a new Reformation leading to a new awakening.

So, thank God, I don’t need optimism. In fact, the need to find optimism based on a Pollyanna-ish view of circumstances through rose-colored glasses-which a lot of Christians seem to think it their duty to concoct-is the most pessimistic and depressing thing I can imagine. We can offer something much better. Let’s be pessimistic enough to be pushed away from the broken reed of optimism back to the solid staff of Christian hope, based not on any reading of the circumstances at all, but on the reality and character and promises of God.

The Prince of Darkness grim,
We tremble not for him.
His wrath we can endure,
For lo! His doom is sure:
One little Word shall fell him.

 

We have no hope in this world. Good! That means we have the Enemy right where we want him. Lift up your heads, for our redemption draweth nigh!