The Difference Between Reading the Bible and Meditating on God’s Word

The Difference Between Reading the Bible and Meditating on God’s Word

There always has to be a good reason to read the Bible. Even

“simply wanting to know what all the hoopla was about and why people were so hyped up on it”

could already be a good reason to start reading the Bible. From that point of view, it could give some good idea of what others are saying, what would or would not be in Scripture.

Best is to read the Bible to study it and to gain more knowledge of what is written inside it. Then it will give also a good idea of what others, like clergy, are insinuating what would be standing there in those 66 books of the Book of books, the Bible, and coming to see what is really written in it.

When

“in no way shape or form, did reading the Bible had anything to do with God.”

then it would be a very difficult start, already closing some gates to receiving knowledge or to coming into conversation with God. Reading the Bible is namely like being present by someone, listening to what He has to say. Reading the Bible also gives an opportunity to come into conversation with the Divine Creator of heaven and earth, the God of gods. When starting to read what He has to say, there has to be a willingness to listen to Him.

For sure, several people coming to read the Bible,

“some of their reasons aren’t particularly holy.”

Several people want to find reasons and words to attack those lovers of God, who find those words in the Bible sacred.

Sometimes, as the article writer mentions, coming to read the Bible is

“done out of curiosity”

as her friends in school did for religious studies

“and other times it’s for understanding the religion better.”

And that is a very good reason, more people should consider why reading that book is as important as reading other basic scriptures of certain religious groups.

All people should learn about the different religions and have to go through their basic scriptures. When the reason to read the Bible is to debunk the Bible, like some atheists and other (religious) people do they would often be surprised where they end up. More than once, an atheist or even a Christian or other religious person came to see the truth and came to look for a church that is living according to those Words of God.
That

“they use part of the bible to show why other Christian religions are wrong”

is not such a bad idea, when they do it with the right intention and lovingly, to bring people closer to the One and Only Real God, the God of Israel, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah, Who is One and not two or three.

Too often, people who call themselves Christian, do not dare to open their ears fully to those words of God, but prefer to be chained to the doctrinal teachings of their church, be it a Catholic or Trinitarian Protestant Church, instead of trying to read and understand the words like they are written black on white.

When there is a willingness to listen carefully to God’s Word as presented in the Bible, the reader shall be surprised how a whole new world might open up before him or her. But then it becomes most important also to accept those Words from God and to act to the received new insight. And that last bit is one of the very difficult parts when one has lived for several years in a certain Christian denomination. Often it is easier for an atheist to become a true Christian than for a Christian to become a real follower and believer in the son of God, Jeshua or Jesus Christ. Most people coming from a certain denomination have difficulties changing their lives and changing church, after they discovered that there are differences in the teachings of their familiar church and the contents of the Bible.

The difficulty for reading the Bible is that it has to be done with an open mind geared toward spiritual growth and with a willingness to change.
The writer of this article still has to go a long way, because she writes

“After all, the time He walked the earth stone was the paper of choice”

giving an indication that she still considers Jesus to be God instead of him being the son of God. God never walked this earth. God is an eternal Spirit Being (meaning having no beginning or birth and no end = no death) no man can see. Clearly, the writer of this article is still confusing and mixing two different Biblical characters. This comes perhaps because she is so clinched or stuck by her Catholic upbringing, where they worship a Trinity and other gods and saints.

We can only hope that those who read the Bible also one moment come to listen more carefully to the Words of God and start meditating on them as well, giving a two-way communication platform to the Author of the Book of books, so that more insight and wisdom will come to them.

The writer of this article (Marita) ends very nicely but also hits the nail when she writes

“Basically, meditating on God’s word is supposed to bring about change. Change in you and the world around you.”

And changing direction and adapting their belief unto what is really written in the Scriptures is one of the most difficult tasks for people who grew up in a Christian church tradition and who have come to read the Bible more thoroughly.
And the Bible deserves a thorough reading and study to be moulded by God and filled with biblical clarity rather than church indoctrination.

 

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Preceding

People Seeking for God 1 Looking for answers

People Seeking for God 2 Human interpretations

God of gods

The Almighty Lord God of gods King above all gods

Is reading the Bible necessary?

Being in tune with God

How Social Media is Shrinking the Bible

Ways to Approach Difficult Bible Passages

Followers, protestors and reformers

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Additional reading

  1. Bible
  2. Unread bestseller
  3. What Is: The Bible as Originally Written
  4. Bible Word from God
  5. Word of God
  6. Bible Inspired Word of God
  7. Today’s thought “Word of the Only One God – To be read and listened at” (November 21)
  8. Bible Word of God inspired and infallible
  9. Moshe Rabbenu and Torat Moshe
  10. Bible in the first place #2/3
  11. Appointed to be read (Our World) = Appointed to be read (Some View on the World)
  12. Best to read and study the Bible
  13. Not studying an abstract and arcane text of the ancient world
  14. Best intimate relation to look for
  15. No other god besides Jehovah who gives all explanation
  16. Main verses in the Bible telling us Who God is #8 Some more attributes of God
  17. Today’s thought “Jehovah God makes us dwell in safety and confident trust” (January 02)
  18. Fill your hands with the Lord’s work
  19. A living Word giving confidence
  20. Praying and acts of meditation without ceasing
  21. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #6 Words to feed and communicate
  22. Pray that we will make the time to listen: listen to God and listen to each other
  23. Today’s thought “On the eternity of God” (December 17)
  24. Today’s thought “Ability to circumcise your heart” (May 13)
  25. Conversations that Matter
  26. Necessity of a revelation of creation 10 Instructions for insight and wisdom
  27. Necessity of a revelation of creation 12 Words assembled for wisdom and instruction
  28. Fear of God reason to return to Holy Scriptures
  29. From nothingness to a growing group of followers of Jeshua 3 Korban for God or gods
  30. Making time for God is crucial
  31. 500 years of a provision of the Word in the language of the peoples
  32. A special anniversary for the Church where Catholics and Protestants find common ground
  33. Accuracy, Word-for-Word Translation Preferred by most Bible Readers
  34. A Bible Falling Apart Belongs to Someone who isn’t

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Related

  1. Are you making time or making excuses?
  2. Practical Christianity: Give Your Time
  3. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom
  4. Seeking God’s manna
  5. The Book
  6. Our Amazing Bible
  7. The Original Biblical Writings
  8. Scriptures
  9. Purpose of Scripture
  10. God breathed
  11. Bible Reading Discovery
  12. Conversation between God and Me
  13. How to Begin Conversations with God
  14. Conversations with God part 2
  15. Talkative God
  16. Confirms the Word
  17. The Word, Faith, and Testing
  18. The Word – Good News and Bad News
  19. Believing God
  20. A way to look for Christ, the Bible, Word of God
  21. Light Unto My Feet
  22. Practical Christianity: Don’t Be A Jerk
  23. When My Mental Health is Suffering
  24. Bad News and Good News
  25. How Do I Read the Bible?
  26. How to Interpret Scripture
  27. Book: How (Not) to Read the Bible
  28. Read the Bible in a Year
  29. The Bible Tells Me SoFall in Love With Reading the Bible: 10 Tips to Keep You Motivated & Passionate
  30. The Not-So-Quiet Time

Seeking Redemption

To those now deep into biblical scripture you are probably aware of the difference between reading the bible and meditating on the world. Naturally, like many young Christians, I had assumed that once you read the bible, and you knew God’s words and it was enough. But I kept hearing about ‘meditating on the word’ and never understood what it meant. Until over a decade later when I began meditating on God’s word.

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and, training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work,” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

2 Timothy 3:16-17

Reading the Bible

I’ve read the bible twice, decades ago and still could quote a single lick of scripture. I read it just like I did with any storybook. Enough to know all the main characters and get a clear…

View original post 1,410 more words

Wrestling with Genesis and Revelation

The inability of Christians to grasp the meaning and message of both Genesis and Revelation create a great divide in America. Christians struggle with both the beginning and culmination of the Scriptures — the Alpha and the Omega as they might be called. Both Genesis and Revelation bring a lot of baggage with them to the American religious scene.

We have great division on end-times views stemming from misadventures into Revelation. Our confused teaching has scarred our culture and created a religious society that has wasted immense energy preparing for the end of the world. The predictions have come and gone these past decades.

A few Christians are now ready, finally — at last, to leave behind the “Left Behind” mentality. Why? There have been too many false predictions. For some of us, they are hard to forget. Things got going with The Late Great Planet Earth in 1970. They heated up in 1987, and then we found it was really going to happen in 1988. Through the 90’s and even today we hear about the Middle East in prophecy. First, it was the Soviet Union. Then it was Saddam Hussein. Is it the European Union? Or is it Islam? The hot ticket for the Antichrist keeps changing hands. And who can forget Y2K? They have all come and gone and with them goes the credibility of tens of millions of Christians in America.

Genesis has been a more dangerous venture for some. Wrongly understood, it has the potential to undermine one’s faith in the God of creation.

Martin Timothy, Vaughn Jeffrey (2007) “Beyond Creation Science: New covenant creation from Genesis to Revelation” Apocalyptic Vision Press Whitehall MT

Seems a fair point. Those loudest about how Genesis must be understood have a long history of prophetic interpretative failures (from which nothing is learnt).

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Additional reading

  1. A Book of life recording the names of true believers in God
  2. Main verses in the Bible telling us Who God is #8 Some more attributes of God
  3. Between Alpha and Omega – The plan of creation
  4. God’s Word Framing universe
  5. From waste and void coming into being by God’s Word
  6. I am the Alpha and the Omega, Revelation 1:8 – Who is Speaking?
  7. Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 3
  8. The Song of The Lamb #3 Daniel and Revelation
  9. Matthew 16 Calvin’s view
  10. Religion and believers #8 Groups following one or another apostle
  11. Religion and believers #9 Old and new cults
  12. Much confusion about the Antichrist
  13. The Coining of the Lord Draweth Nigh
  14. Christian fundamentalists feeding Into the Toxic Partisanship and driving countries into the Dark Ages… #2
  15. Apocalyptic Extremism: No Longer a Laughing Matter
  16. Babylon is fallen
  17. 3/9/22 Adso on the Antichrist
  18. Antichrist
  19. Antichrist and The Most Hated Family in America in crisis
  20. The Most Hated Family in America
  21. For those who do everything to stop the work of Christadelphians
  22. Making the time ready for Jesus to return
  23. Last days and destruction of the flesh

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Related

  1. God’s Word, Just Nonsense, or Something Else? Pt. 2
  2. Alpha and Omega (where the aticle writer C. Newell wrongly says that Jesus Christ declared “I am the Alpha and Omega,”) It was God Who said that.
  3. Alpha and Omega
  4. “’I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God,
  5. TLIC Daily. Day 360. December 26: I am the Alpha and Omega.
  6. From Everlasting to Everlasting
  7. Guest Post: Blood and Fire (Alpha and Omega) by Kim Mullican ~ #BookTour #Excerpt
  8. Day 25: Christmas Day, Alpha and Omega
  9. “All that the prophets have spoken”
  10. …before YHVH ET (אֵת) in front of the veil
  11. Theology and the Anti-Christ
  12. AntiChrist’s Characteristics
  13. Ruler of the Nations
  14. March 25 is the Greatest of All Days in the History of the world
  15. Beyond Oblivion
  16. a sixth seal 
  17. Why Christians Must Prepare For The Metaverse – American Faith
  18. New Insight Destroys The Entire Plan Of The Antichrist. Ends Fear Mongering
  19. Russia: the Prophet Jeremiah’s Boiling Pot
  20. Recent Events In Russia And Ukraine Now Have Some Christians Asking Could Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelenskyy Be The Antichrist? Let’s Take A Look!
  21. Is Putin the Antichrist?
  22. The Final Showdown
  23. The Zionist entity🇮🇱 dreams of pushing the Arabs towards destruction in a Sunni-Shiite sectarian conflict against Iran🇮🇷! Zionism was, is and will remain the main existential threat & enemy of the Arab-Muslim world
  24. Christmas, typology, and Antichrist
  25. Yeshua Will Open Our Eyes and Ears
  26. Yeshua, the Mustering Prince of His Coming Army
  27. 1 John 2:22-23
  28. Defining Anti-Messiah – Part 1
  29. Defining Anti-Messiah – Part 2
  30. Is Government the New God? The New Religion of Totalitarianism
  31. The Time Has Come
  32. Already In The World
  33. Chaos Will Introduce A New World Leader – 02.17.2022
  34. Israel Will Embrace The Anti-Christ – 02.18.2022
  35. The Church, Men in heaven and the 4 horsemen
  36. What Is the Mark of the Beast? (w/ Dr. Matthew Halsted)
  37. Christ Returns To Earth – 02.19.2022
  38. The Reality of Dajjal
  39. Personalities in the Tribulation: The Unredeemed – Part 1
  40. Personalities in the Tribulation: The Unredeemed – Part 2
  41. Personalities in the Tribulation: The Two Witnesses
  42. Personalities in the Tribulation: The 144,000 Witnesses
  43. The Endtime News
  44. Rapture and the Seven-Year Tribulation (Part 2 of 2)

Pope & Pageantry what Jesus intended??

According to Catholic Catechism, the Catholic Church professes to be the “sole Church of Christ,” and that all duly consecrated bishops have a lineal succession from the twelve Apostles. In particular, the Bishop of Rome (the Pope), is considered the successor to the Apostle Peter, from whom the Pope (so called) derives his supremacy over the Church. There are also other Christian groups that make similar claims, but does God recognize any of these as His representative on earth?

When Christ established the early church through the Apostles, there were no complex ceremonies, no large structures, no soaring columns made of marble, no choir lofts and costly statues. There were only small gatherings in humble homes where his followers met together to study his words and the inspired words of his Apostles. Their example of the “simplicity that is in Christ” was meant to be a template or pattern for future gatherings of the church to follow throughout the Christian Age. 2 Corinthians 11:2, 3

This subject should be approached prayerfully and honestly. If there was but one church in the beginning, established by our Lord, there should be but the one church in the end – the faithful church triumphant in glory. Colossians 3:4

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Preceding

Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity

Missionary action paradigm for all endeavours of the church

A Church without Faith!

Funeral service only belongs in church building according to Catholic Church

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Additional reading

  1. Religions and Mainliners
  2. Getting out of the dark corners of this world
  3. Scepticals of the Bible
  4. Signs of the times – As the Day approaches
  5. 25 Orthodox rabbis issued a statement on Christianity
  6. Youngsters, parents and the search to root in life
  7. A new decade, To open the eyes to get a right view

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Further related articles

  1. Why I am NOT a catholic! / Waarom ik geen katholiek ben!
  2. The Dislike of Catholicism: Understanding the Holy in the Catholic Tradition – 5 – Psychological reasons
  3. Who belongs to the Catholic Church?
  4. “The Intimate. Polity and the Catholic Church” (Dobbelaere, Pérez-Agote, ed.)
  5. The Proper Response to the Crisis in the Catholic Church: Give the Laity a Role in the Appointment and Removal of Diocesan Bishops
  6. Religion and Young People: The Lost Generation?
  7. What is the urge to follow the Spirituality?
  8. My journey of faith
  9. Public Preaching and a Very British Dilemma
  10. Mary worshipped as a God?
  11. Trinity: The Truth about Matthew 28:19 & 1 John 5:7
  12. The Sabbath Principle in Modern Life

Between theology and philosophy

Theology is a heavily loaded word, which belongs more to the domain of philosophy and when looking at the many Theology colleges or universities one can wonder if it really is about studying the Logos or Word of the Theos the God, because in the majority of such institutions most time is spent into the writings of human beings, giving more attention to the many false human doctrines than the Biblical doctrines.

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To remember

  • on ThinkNet age-old debate on relationship between theology & philosophy.
  • reformational school of Christian philosophy > Neo-Calvinist movement inspired by Abraham Kuyper but brought to fruition by the legal philosopher Herman Dooyeweerd and his brother-in-law, D.H.TH. Vollenhoven).
  • James W. Skillen: when we write or speak + we know those reading/listening will think that any reference to a Christian, biblical perspective means “theology,” = simply talking about finding our place in the ongoing biblical drama of life in Christ–finding our place in the history of God’s work in Jesus Christ
  •  N.T. Wright insist that Paul is doing “theology,” > working to explain how God’s covenant drama with Israel is now being fulfilled in the revelation of Jesus Christ
  •  Paul =  following up on (or anticipating) his times of preaching + teaching in their midst, sending pointed summaries, extensions of what he already told them, + opening new vistas > communicating by living letters about life they share in Christ by the ongoing work of the Spirit.
  • Augustine used word “theology” in 2 different ways > represent essentially distinction many of us are trying to make.  = offer a preliminary explanation, “life of faith” <-> “theology”
  • the Christian way of life = Christian discipleship in all of life > not only a way of worship.
  • explain + interpret Christian struggle
  • multiple issues of political philosophy & “science” = to engage in theoretical enterprise including multiple “-ologies”
  • “politics,” > “political life as a whole” “dirty dealing,” “actions of government” (but not citizens), or “actions of citizens +  interest groups outside government.”
  • In political arena = to find ways of explaining + making distinctions
  • DFM Strauss (South African philosopher and author most recently of Philosophy: the Discipline of Disciplines):1) Theology =/= theological question = domain of philosophy => “Encyclopaedia of Theology” does not mention itself as a theological subdiscipline
  •  2) Dooyeweerd > not defend view that theology studies the faith aspect of creatio => Theology merely studies concrete reality as it functions within the faith aspect.= focuses on coherence of actual phenomena which function within that structure”
  • 3)   Calvinism/ Calvinistic = term only be explained historically by fact that this movement originated in the calvinistic revival which toward the end of the previous century, led to renewed reflection on the relation of the Christian religion to science, culture, and society.
  • Abraham Kuyper could not continue to be restricted to the reformation of the church and theology.
  • 4)    Thomas Aquinas “hijacked” Christian intellectual endeavours for theology by assuming that whenever something is considered in respectu Dei (in relation to God) such an activity is theological in nature.
  • Calvin Jongsma: Developing a theology of X = rampant among scholars who desire to advance a Christian perspective of X  >  Many will say = just a matter of terminology
  • Ponti Venter neo-liberal New Scholasticism = expansion of Theology to include all of human life has a number of contemporary sources:
 
  • marginalising of theology + religion in a secular society. => theology using secular natural science-theology debate to annihilate reformational philosophy for sake of their own financial survival.
  • We now have a huge faculty of theology, catering for every possible discipline and church, while the quality of ministers that is produced is weak, and every year fewer Reformed students report to study for the ministry. There are as many vacant pulpits in the Church as professors of theology who do weak research for the University, there and there are less students in the pipeline than professors.
  • 5. Neo-pragmatist scientism – or new old Scholasticism => to enlighten + govern. => Neo-pragmatism = one of worst forms of authoritarian elitisms
  • Rudi Hayward: Calvin Seerveld’s attempt to dissuade people of the “theology of arts” approach.> promotion of a general spiritualization of art, or a liturgical cast to art, or an evangelizing requirement for art, as the most Christian task misses the grounding biblical insight that art as normal creatural service can be a restored and redemptive, holy act, so artistry does not need an “extra,” theologically explicit insignia to be truly full-fledged service by Christ’s body-at-large.
  • Kerry John Hollingsworth: Philosophy of The Cosmonomic Idea = provided way to see that theoretical analysis (including theological analysis) does not give structural form to human experience within the creation > unpacks structural order of + for creation that is part of God’s “Let there be . . ”

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Find additional reading

  1. Protestant denominations of the Low Countries and Abraham Kuyper
  2. Wes Bredenhof on Abraham Kuyper
  3. Fullness of summer and abundance of harvest found in the satisfying plenitude of life in Christ

memory's sacred domain

ImageThere’s been some interesting discussion recently on ThinkNet on the age-old debate on the relationship between theology and philosophy. For the uninitiated, ThinkNet is a mailing list of people from various disciplines interested in the reformational school of Christian philosophy (often identified by the shorthand — for good or ill — as the “NeoCalvinist” movement. But for insiders, it is a philosophical movement inspired by Abraham Kuyper but brought to fruition by the legal philosopher Herman Dooyeweerd and his brother-in-law, D.H.TH. Vollenhoven).

On this point I have found useful Dooyeweerd’s introduction to his philosophy, In the Twilight of Western Thought, which has a chapter on theology and its relation to philosophy. One of his students, Johan P.A. Mekkes, also has a nifty volume on the topic, recently translated into English as Creation, Revelation and Philosophy

I present below snippets of the discussion, with some editing on…

View original post 2,273 more words

Turned backs on serious study

“Many in the church have turned their back on serious study, and have embraced an anti-intellectualism which refuses to learn anything from scholarship at all lest it corrupt their pure faith. It is time to end this stand-off, and to re-establish a hermeneutic of trust (itself a sign of the gospel!) in place of the hermeneutic of suspicion which the church has so disastrously borrowed from the postmodern world around”

Wright, N. T. (2005). Scripture and the Authority of God (p. 99). London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.

The ones blessing

Often people say God is the Only One Who Saves and Who blesses. Many trinitarians therefore also say the Jesus must be God because Jesus is the Saviour. First of all they do forget that many people can save other people, animals and plants, though those firefighters, surgeons, medics, animal protectors are not God. Secondly they also forget that in many religious institutions there are priests who are accepted to give blessings and to give forgiveness of sins.

Several people may question then the role of the priest when he can do nothing in the Name of God. Others may ask

If the priest who delivers blessing to the people isn’t the ultimate source of that blessing, what is her/his role?
And what does conveying or sharing blessings with or to another person even mean?

A pair of teachings, both found in Midrash Tanhuma, aim to answer the first question.

It does not suit My dignity that I should have to bless My creatures [Myself]. Rather, I am handing the blessings over to Abraham and to his progeny, and so, whosoever they bless, I will back up his blessing, as it is written: “and be a blessing.” (Genesis 12:2) [Midrash Tanhuma, V’zot ha’Berakha 1]

When we read between the lines of the Torah we also may find how God requires Abraham to take care for God’s People and to make sure they can be blessed. In the set apart Scriptures we also do find requests from god to bring over blessings to others.

And it came to pass, [on the day that Moses had made an end of setting up the tabernacle] – the Holy One, blessed be He, said, “In this world, I commanded Aaron and his sons to bless them, but in the future, I, in My glory, will bless them, as it is written, ‘YHWH bless thee out of Zion; even He that made heaven and earth.’” (Psalm 134:3) [Midrash Tanhuma, Naso 18]

Similarly, Midrash Tanhuma explains the role of the priest.

“In this way you shall bless” (Numbers 6:23) – Speak [amor] to them [using the ‘full’ spelling, i.e. with a vav], thus meaning: Say to them, to the priests, that just because I have told you to bless the people Israel, this does not imply that you may bless them begrudgingly or hastily [b’angaria u’v’vehilut]; rather, you should bless them wholeheartedly, so that the blessings have power for them; and thus is it written amor lahem, using the ‘full’ spelling. [Tanhuma Buber, Naso 18]

“Speak to Aaron and his sons: Thus shall you bless the people of Israel. Say to them: The Eternal bless you and protect you! The Eternal deal kindly and graciously with you! The Eternal bestow [divine] favor upon you and grant you peace!” (Numbers 6:23–26 TMC-E)

In pronouncing God’s favour on the people, we also find in several writings that the priest was to use a formula or blessing. Also do we find that the Elohim shall bless those who bless;

“I will bless those who bless you, and I will pronounce doom on those who curse you; through you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.””
(Genesis 12:3 TMC-E)

In the past people made use of that opportunity to bless others.

“‘Bring me game and make me tasty dishes, that I may eat—and [then] bless you before the Eternal before my death.’”
(Genesis 27:7 TMC-E)

“Let peoples serve you, nations bow down to you. Be a ruler to your brothers, and let your mother’s sons bow down to you. May those who curse you be cursed; may those who bless you be blessed.””
(Genesis 27:29 TMC-E)

“bestowing this blessing upon Rebekah: “Sister, may you become thousands of myriads; may your descendants take possession of the gates of their foes!” Rebekah and her servant girls got up and mounted the camels and followed the man, as the slave took Rebekah and went off.”
(Genesis 24:60–61 TMC-E)

Like in ancient time children asked their parents blessing, those responsible of others still should give blessings to those which they should protect. At the same time we too should ask our parents and God the Father their blessings.

“When Esau heard his father’s words, he broke into an exceedingly loud and bitter howl and said to his father, “Bless me! Me too, Father!””
(Genesis 27:34 TMC-E)

“And Joseph said to his father, “They are my sons, whom God has given me here.” He [Jacob] said, “Bring them to me, pray, that I may bless them.””
(Genesis 48:9 TMC-E)

In those text we also read that people could bow down for others, this not meaning that they would worship that person. Lots of trinitarians say because Jesus did not resist when a person bowed his head before Christ that this meant that Jesus wanted to be honoured as the God and did not refuse that people worshipped him. But the bowing down before some one has not to mean that one worships that person. It is a matter of showing respect.

 

By facing one another and desiring goodness for one another with a full heart, we get to bring a bit of Divine goodness into the world. Priests had to be and still should be partners with God to draw down goodness. Lots of people forget that in this present age all believers in God are all priests.

To bless one another is to increase the flow of love and compassion in the world. No wonder birkat kohanim is (perhaps) our oldest and most beloved prayer!

“And may God Almighty bless you, and make you fruitful and numerous, so that you become a host of peoples,”
(Genesis 28:3 TMC-E)

That you may go out into the world blessing others!

Be safe and take care of yourself and others,
Being blessed and blessing in the Name of God, so that the Name of the elohim be mentioned and He will come to you and bless you.

“Make for Me an altar of earth and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your sacrifices of well-being, your sheep and your oxen; in every place where I cause My name to be mentioned I will come to you and bless you.”
(Exodus 20:21 TMC-E)

 

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Related

  1. Blessing
  2. The Wise Father’s Possession
  3. Pray Faith Filled Solutions!
  4. Tuesday: Morning Prayer
  5. As to the Lord
  6. God Rejoices Over You!
  7. His Voice
  8. The Power of Blessing: 24 Word Blessing Birthed A Nation

Christian growth a team event

Staying True

I was recently reading Warren Wiersbe’s commentary on Psalms when I came across this thought on Psalm 19:9,

‘The mark of a true bible student is a burning heart not a big head.’

The truth of this struck me instantly as did a sense of sadness at the many times I have got this wrong in my own experience in studying and sharing Bible truth. It is a timely reminder to me of the other old truth that we stop teaching the day after we stop learning. It also took me back to the words of Sir Isaac Newton when praised for his great learning he said,

‘I am like a small boy walking along a beach and turning over a stone here and there while the vast ocean of truth remains undiscovered before me.’

I am not discouraged by how little I know. I am in fact encouraged to grow in Christian understanding and living and to do my best to help others to grow along with me. Christian growth is a shared happening. We share the little we have discovered with each other and together we grow.

Christian growth is always a team event.

~ Alan Hermann

Love-Hate Relationship

I am probably exaggerating things a little, but only a little, when I say that there is a love-hate relationship developing between society at large and the church.

Whereas once the church helped society establish and find meaning in a Christian approach to morality we are now in a situation where increasingly society at large rejects Christian morality. Whereas thy church teaches love for our neighbour and endeavours, to the best of its ability, to model this, society is increasingly becoming ‘me’ centred
The church continues to put God at the centre of being but all too often society gives God no place in their life or decision making. As this antipathy to the church and its beliefs and values grows we in the church need to respond with a growing love for all people. The more we are rejected the more we love in response and reach out help in every way that we can. To paraphrase Scripture ‘they will know us by our love.’

When Jesus was attacked He responded with love, costly, sacrificial love. We can do no other. Those who malign us, misuse us, criticise our church and our faith are people for whom Jesus died and whom He loves. Let them encounter that sacrificial, caring love in us.

~ Alan Hermann

2019 A New Year of Prayer

Prayer is so simple. It’s like opening a door and slipping into the presence of God. It’s about having a conversation with Him, sharing our thoughts, our worries, our joys, our thankfulness.

So why do we (why do I) find it so difficult sometimes?

We know from Scripture that an active prayer life is essential to our spiritual health, as individuals and as a church, and the start of a new year seems like a good time to think about ways in which we can sharpen our focus on prayer together.

There’s a general feeling that since some ecclesiae stopped holding regular prayer meetings they have lost a bit of that focus. Though it is good to know that various suggestions were made by their Arranging Committees, looking for ways to develop the prayer life of their community, and one was that they would have a monthly prayer theme which they can centre their prayers around, both as an ecclesia and in their private prayers.

That requires someone to manage/lead/coordinate. But the first thing to say is that this is should always also a community initiative and, if it’s to be relevant and inspiring to everyone, the ideas, the input and the energy need to come from everyone,
young and old.

We at this site shall also some thoughts but you too may let us know how you think we can improve our prayer life, and also what, or who, you would like us to pray for, week on week.

Paul says in Colossians,

“Continue steadfast in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving”,

and giving thanks in prayer is as important as petitioning. Our monthly themes should encompass both. One idea already suggested for a January theme is to remember those who are homeless. This is the worst time of the year to be on the streets, or to be a refugee without a home; news reports are telling us daily about migrants who are desperate enough to risk embarking on small boats to cross the busiest shipping lane in the world.

Over Christmas most of us have most been enjoying the warmth of food and family, so it would be a good time to thank God for those blessings and also to remember those who don’t possess such things, who are out in the cold, physically and metaphorically.

We can pray for COG, for the Food Bank and West Berkshire Homeless and the work we do with them; our praying should then prompt us to even more generous giving to those in need.

A monthly theme like this is a good start. As we focus more and more on prayer, who knows where else this will lead us? It’s an exciting prospect.

Matthew 6 10 (2).jpg

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Kler the Polish Spotlight on Poland’s Clergy Sexual Abuse

The oh so Catholic Poland now begins for many years later than our country to feel the consequences of the wrong attitude of the Catholic Church towards priests who abused young people.

New research shows that church attendance starts going down very quickly now. The Polish church also for the first time has to pay compensation to a victim of abuse.

In 1980, more than half of Poles regularly went to church, in 1986 it had dropped to a third. Nowhere in the world is church attendance decreasing so massive, the Pew Research Center concludes.

Karol Wojtyla, alias pope John-Paul II, may still be the most popular figure, but the Catholic Church not any more.

From the 28th of September the film “Kler” from the director Wojciech Smarzowski entered in cinemas. He says

I’m just a director. But I would like the church financing system to be open, paedophile priests to be sent to prison and that the Polish Church should finally take responsibility for the victims.

Wojciech Smarzowski – born in 1963. Director of the films ‘Wesele’, ‘Dom zły’, ‘Róża’, ‘Drogówka’, ‘Pod Mocnym Aniołem’. His previous film, “Wołyń” (2016), the president of TVP Jacek Kurski, awarded a special prize at the Gdynia festival.

Tadeusz Sobolewski thinks:

“Kler” will be the Polish “Spotlight“?

Spotlight (film) poster.jpgThe Oscar-winning biographical drama film directed by Tom McCarthy and written by McCarthy and Josh Singer follows The Boston Globe‘s “Spotlight” team, the oldest continuously operating newspaper investigative journalist unit in the United States and its investigation into cases of widespread and systemic child sex abuse in the Boston area by numerous Roman Catholic priests.

Initially the team believed that they were following the story of one priest who was moved around several times, but soon they came to understand it was a systematic system of the church hierarchy to cover up several sexual abuses of children by Catholic priests in Massachusetts.

For Poland Wojciech Smarzowski believes:

It’s a different situation. It must be remembered that in no country has the Church itself purified itself of the fault. There had to be state help, secular institutions. Anyway, “Kler” is not just a movie about paedophilia. It was important for me to make a movie about people who only distinguish themselves by wearing cassocks. There are three vectors that drive this story: the lust for money – greed, lust for power, and sexual desire.

And since we’ve started from it, let’s take care of this sin. Studies in Germany, which were carried out by secular commissions commissioned by the episcopate, showed that there are 4 percent of priests. paedophiles. But the episcopate provided archives to the commissions. In Australia, the episcopate made available all church archives and it turned out that it was 7 percent. Of course, we did not have any research, but even if only – as in 2014, Pope Francis said – 2 percent. all priests are paedophiles, and so more or less 600 pedophiles in cassocks walk each day between our children.

***

***

A few years ago, three Catholic priests’ fates were joined together by a tragic event. Their lives were miraculously saved. Now, on every anniversary the clergymen meet to celebrate their survival. Each took a different path.
Lisowski is moving up the ladder in the church administration in a big city, dreaming about the Vatican. Standing in his way is the Archbishop, a luxury-loving dignitary who uses political influence to build the largest sanctuary in Poland…
The second priest, Trybus is a rural pastor. Serving in a place full of poverty, he slowly succumbs to human weaknesses.
Kukula is not very successful, either, and despite his fervent faith, loses the trust of his parishioners overnight.
Soon, the clergymen’s paths will cross again, and the events that will take place will have an impact on the life of each of them.

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