How do I know if I’m called to ministry?

Lots of people do think only theologians may lead the church. they forget that the first churches in Christianity were not lead by theologians nor by very highly educated people, except the ecclesiae lead by Luke and Paul.

The followers of Christ arranged the meetings to bring and to keep people in the faith. also today it are those who have come into the faith who should arrange meetings and make the best of a service to study the Word of God and to worship God.

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Each believer should take up his or her task according the talents God has given him or her. Each person in the Christian community should remember that it is God Who calls and gives the blessings. We should be pleased with God’s election unto salvation and treat it carefully (Matt 9:13; 1 Cor 1:9; 7:18, 22; Gal 1:6, 15; 1 Thess 2:12; 1 Tim 6:12; 2 Tim 1:9).

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We do have to follow God’s call and have to pursue the mission we are required to fulfil by Jesus Christ, going out into the world proclaiming the Gospel of the coming Kingdom. Those who are married, have no excuse saying they can not be a priest, pastor or ‘theologian‘. There is no obligation of celibacy. It may be more difficult as a married person to work for God and having a family, needing to work for a living, etc. when we do feel like we should engage ourselves in the work of God we should go for it. We should make work by studying the Bible and not as much all those theological books , writing of human beings, who were themselves not the chosen ones from God. Moses, Joshua, Samuel, Ezra, Nehemiah, Mordecai David, Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Habakkkuk, Zephania, Zecchariah, Malachi, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, James, Peter and Jude were the men god has asked to write down His Words. Their writings we should take as the most important study material. Writings of others may be of help, but never may be receiving the priority, like they get at university and theology colleges.

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We always should remember that Jesus asked his disciples to proclaim the Word of God, and that is what each Christian should do. The biblical criteria for being qualified for ministry is not having a degree in theology but is most of all the will to be a servant for God. It is lowering yourself and giving yourself to take any position needed to have an ecclesia or church working and growing. To get life into an ecclesia there has first to be enough desire (1 Tim 3:1) and the right character to help all those in the group of believers. (1 Tim 3:2-7).

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God Himself has given the directions for creating, making and keeping a community of believers = an ecclesia or church. We should follow His directions and offer ourselves as a person willing to take up the necessary job in that ecclesia. Please never come with the excuse you are not a theologian, for not having to organise a bible study class, or to bring prayers in front of the community, or to lead a worship service.

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To remember

  • How do I know if I’m called to ministry? = common question posed by men + women feeling a tug to full time vocational ministry.
  • Each of us called to love our neighbor as ourselves + each of us is called to ministry of reconciliation that Paul speaks about in 2 Corinthians 5.
  • some are called to pastoral ministry as a vocation.
  • Thomas Oden’s book, Pastoral Theology, offers some very helpful + probing questions to ask yourself if you’ve received a “call” to life-long church ministry.
    • intellectual ability up to it
    • Having means of grace (worship, sacraments, Scripture) ingrained in lifestyl
    • How much willing to give up in order to serve
    • competent to lead a community of faith
    • communicate Christian message with persuasiveness and integrity
    • cultivating spiritual disciplines
    • capable of becoming competent interpreter of Scripture
  • = good gut-check

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Preceding messages

Jehovah steep rock and fortress, source of insight

Looking for True Spirituality 7 Preaching of the Good News

Missionary action paradigm for all endeavours of the church

Good Morning January 25 We are theologians

Mental Enslavement and Sins Syndrome (MESS)

Luther on Being a Theologian: Oratio, Meditatio and Tentatio

The Pastor Theologian

Theology as Discipleship

What Makes a Theologian

What Should I Preach ?

How to Choose a Bible for Preaching

 

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Additional reading

  1. To know Christ is filling life with meaning
  2. A voice and a Word given for wisdom
  3. Bible for you and for life
  4. Bric-a-brac of the Bible
  5. Necessity of a revelation of creation 10 Instructions for insight and wisdom
  6. When believing in God’s existence and His son, possessing a divine legislation
  7. Atonement And Fellowship 4/8Hope by faith and free gift
  8. Your position about materialistic desires having conquered the world
  9. Looking for a shepherd for the sheep and goats
  10. Making church
  11. Looking on what is going on and not being of it
  12. Breathing to teach
  13. Showing by the scriptures that …
  14. Perishable non theologians daring to go out to preach
  15. Different assessment criteria and a new language to be found for communicating the faith
  16. What Should I Preach ?
  17. Necessary to be known all over the earth
  18. Salvation, trust and action in Jesus #3 as a Christian
  19. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  20. A Christian has to have eyes and ears and a tongue to use in good ways
  21. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation
  22. Preaching Christ Is Not Enough
  23. Preaching by example
  24. Daring to speak in multicultural environment
  25. Beautiful feet of those who announce the good news
  26. Preaching to an unbelieving world
  27. Crisis man needed in this world
  28. It is Today
  29. Signs of the Last Days
  30. Many forgot how Christ should be our anchor and our focus
  31. When discouraged facing opposition
  32. Learn how to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News of the coming Kingdom
  33. Engaging the culture without losing the gospel
  34. Counting sands and stars
  35. The Big Conversation
  36. The Big Conversation – Christadelphians in the United Kingdom
  37. The Big conversation – Antagonists
  38. Trying to get the youth inspired
  39. Preachers should know and continue the task Jesus has given his followers
  40. Being Missional
  41. Theology without spirituality sterile academic exercise
  42. Let us make sure we are not stiff-necked
  43. A Synod to speak freely and to listen without reservations

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Related articles

Praxis

Slide1

This is a common question posed by men and women who are feeling a tug to full time vocational ministry. Now, I get it. In one sense we’re all called to ministry. Each of us is called to love our neighbor as ourselves and each of us is called to the ministry of reconciliation that Paul speaks about in 2 Corinthians 5. I’m all for this!

But while each of us is called to ministry in that way, I do believe some are called to pastoral ministry as a vocation. Thomas Oden, in his book, Pastoral Theology, offers some very helpful and probing questions to ask yourself if you think you’ve received a “call” to life-long church ministry.

The questions speak for themselves. They are as follows:

Is my intellectual ability up to it? Can I write complete sentences? Think critically? Spell sacrament? Speak intelligibly? Identify a leap in…

View original post 338 more words

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What Makes a Theologian

Oswald Bayer wrote Martin Luther’s Theology: A Contemporary Interpretation > summarizes Martin Luther’s thinking on what makes a theologian and what rules should govern the theologian.

Luther argued that a theologian is made through six things.

  1. The grace that is worked through the Holy Spirit
  2. The agonizing struggle
  3. Experience
  4. Opportunity
  5. Constant, concentrated textual study
  6. Knowledge and practice of the academic disciplines

Luther goes on to say that three rules should govern the life and task of the theologian.

  1. Prayer = Oratio (prayer)
  2. Meditation = Meditatio (meditation)
  3. Agonizing Struggle= Tentatio (affliction)

theologian = to know both sides of a theological concept: the objective + subjective

theologian = responsible to study, pray, meditate + agonize

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Preceding articles:

Mental Enslavement and Sins Syndrome (MESS)

Luther on Being a Theologian: Oratio, Meditatio and Tentatio

The Pastor Theologian

Theology as Discipleship

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Gospel & Gratitude

Oswald Bayer wrote a fine book titled Martin Luther’s Theology: A Contemporary Interpretation. In this book he summarizes Luther’s thinking on what makes a theologian and what rules should govern the theologian. Luther argued that a theologian is made through six things.

  1. The grace that is worked through the Holy Spirit
  2. The agonizing struggle
  3. Experience
  4. Opportunity
  5. Constant, concentrated textual study
  6. Knowledge and practice of the academic disciplines

Luther goes on to say that three rules should govern the life and task of the theologian.

  1. Prayer
  2. Meditation
  3. Agonizing Struggle

I love the intersection of experience, suffering and study in Luther’s thought on the development of a theologian. It takes more than books and a degree to make a solid theologian. As the quote goes, “a smooth sea never made a skillful sailor.”

One must know the roaring of a condemning conscience and the silencing power of the gospel to bring the…

View original post 216 more words

Theology as Discipleship

We should not so much focus on theological works, but concentrate on the Word of God, studying the bible itself, because that is the Word What tells everything a man should know.

There is a certain Catholic subculture among theologians today, especially those who teach at colleges and universities. This culture treats every question as if it were open to theological speculation. The terms heresy and heretic are not politically correct, regardless of how clearly a fellow theologian is rejecting Church dogma. They have excised from the Gospel message and from the example of Jesus every harsh rebuke of grave sin and sins against faith. They have reduced the number of dogmas to as few as possible. They ignore the anathemas of Ecumenical Councils. They have taken away all the sharp edges of the Gospel. {Who is qualified to write theology?}

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To remember

  • Theology is irrelevant to our life as Christians. = what many evangelicals tend to believe
  • focusing on practical things
  • theology = dangerous <= divisive + potential to confuse people about God
  • Keith Johnson in Theology as Discipleship argues that neither of these are the case. In fact, theology is vitally relevant to our lives as Christians and it actually has the ability to help us grow in Christ. Or as he himself puts it:
  • traditional goal of Christian theology = to develop a better understanding of God => can think + speak rightly about God within context of a life governed by our faith in Christ + our discipleship to him in community with other Christians.
  • theology went “wrong” (i.e. anti-intellectualized & over-academia-ized)
  • Part of theology’s purpose = to help us to know Christ + grow in our understanding of our union with Him

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Preceding articles:

Mental Enslavement and Sins Syndrome (MESS)

Luther on Being a Theologian: Oratio, Meditatio and Tentatio

The Pastor Theologian

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CWoznicki Think Out Loud

Theology is irrelevant to our life as Christians.

At least that’s what many evangelicals tend to believe. There is this thought that runs through much of evangelicalism that theology is either irrelevant because we should be focusing on practical things. There is also another line of thought that seems to believe that theology is dangerous because it is divisive, and has the potential to confuse people about God. Keith Johnson in Theology as Discipleship argues that neither of these are the case. In fact, theology is vitally relevant to our lives as Christians and it actually has the ability to help us grow in Christ. Or as he himself puts it:

The traditional goal of Christian theology is to develop a better understanding of God so that we can think and speak rightly about God within the context of a life governed by our faith in Christ and our discipleship…

View original post 271 more words

The Pastor Theologian

The first disciples of Jeshua, the Christ, were, except Luke, no scholars. It was only after Jeshua had died and was risen that an other scholar joined the disciples and became known as the great apostle Paul.

The early members of the ecclesiae of the followers of Jesus were a mix of all sorts of professions, where everybody became a partaker of the group, taking up different roles. They did not go to universities to have their degree in theology and did not have a training in the synagogues to become a priest in the ecclesia.

They were people united in the body of Christ, humbling themselves to be a worker for Christ and for God, not aiming to be the Leader, because they knew very well who had to be the leader, namely Jesus Christ should be the cornerstone of the community.

It is very nice to hear that

“At the end of the day theology is not about having more head knowledge or even about pursuing more academic degrees. It’s about getting to know the God of the Scriptures who is able to do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine. And when he is made much of – that is, when he is encountered and known, the real work of ministry is done in our hearts, our communities, and the world!”

Though it is a pity that so many theologians have become blinded by human doctrines that they do not see the biblical truth any more.

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To remember

  • pastor = CEO or “leader” dominating conference scene
  • two of the Church’s finest leaders – Andy Stanley + Craig Groeschel = god-like on stage + every ear attune to their words of wisdom
  • wondering if we’ve pushed focus on leadership too far to the neglect of the study of theology
  • Gerald Hiestand + Todd Wilson in their book, The Pastor Theologian: Resurrecting an Ancient Vision, think this may be the case.
  • great chasm between study of theology and the Church
  • office of pastor + theologian not always separate
  • birth of university => divide => best + brightest minds pursued work in the academy+ those gifted with people skills became pastors in the local Church
  • Church could use some more theology while the academy could use some more pastoral wisdom.
  • all ministry leaders should prioritize study of God
  • to keep a close watch over own life and doctrine (teaching)(1 Timothy 4:16)
  • guard against false doctrine if unable to identify it
  • health of the Church + the making of disciples = both reliant on sound teaching.

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Preceding articles

Mental Enslavement and Sins Syndrome (MESS)

Luther on Being a Theologian: Oratio, Meditatio and Tentatio

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Additional reading

  1. The importance of Reading the Scriptures
  2. No other god besides Jehovah who gives all explanation
  3. God’s forgotten Word 3 Lost Lawbook 2 Modern scepticism
  4. Theologians and a promised Spirit to enlighten us
  5. Necessity of a revelation of creation 9 Searching the Scriptures

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Praxis

Thepastortheologian

We live in an age where the pastor as CEO or the pastor as “leader” dominates the conference scene. I remember attending a Catalyst One Day Conference in Chicago several years ago. One day packed full of vision casting, leadership tips, and inspirational quotes from two of the Church’s finest leaders – Andy Stanley and Craig Groeschel. I was mesmerized. They were god-like on stage and every ear was attune to their words of wisdom. I took copious notes and made it a priority to implement as much as I could into the college ministry I was leading at the time. It goes without saying that much of what leadership literature and media have to offer is valuable and necessary.

I’m just wondering if we’ve pushed the focus on leadership too far to the neglect of the study of theology. Gerald Hiestand and Todd Wilson in their book, The Pastor…

View original post 516 more words

Luther on Being a Theologian: Oratio, Meditatio and Tentatio

Augustine of Hippo (354–430), Latin theologian. His writing on free will and original sin remains influential in Western Christendom.

The world has created so called scientists in the knowledge of God. Lots of people do put all their trust in such scholars who received a degree in theology at a university.
The majority of those theologians are as most of them would consider a theologian is,

“one who is dedicated to life in Christ and the contemplation of the Holy Trinity.” {What Does It Mean To Be a Theologian; by David Russell Mosley}

For many who studied the godsThe Philokalia“, a collection of texts written between the 4th and 15th centuries by spiritual masters”, was their primary guide for what it meant to be a theologian.

We always should know that to come to know God and to worship God we do not have to be people who have a university degree in theology, but we should be people who take time to study the bible. Lots of theologians have spend more time in studying writings of other human beings instead of looking more closely at the Word of God, the Bible. When you look at the theology courses, you will notice much more time is spend at those human writings, philosophy and human doctrines than at Biblical doctrines. No wonder that there have been much more books written by trinitarian scholars than by non-trinitarian Christians, because for the latter it is evident what is written in the Bible is the truth and as such in the non-trinitarian denominations of Christianity there are not so many divisions or matters of dispute as in the trinitarian denominations of Christendom.

We should remember that each of us has to be a theologian, a person who wants to know and worships the Only One True God of gods. A knowledge of the other gods may help in this, but the main focus should be on the real True Divine Creator, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jakob and of Jeshua, who is mostly known as Jesus Christ by English speaking countries.

Each person who claims to be a Christian should be a follower of Christ and should worship the same God Christ worshipped, namely his heavenly Father. Like Jesus prayed to his heavenly Father we also should pray to that God of Jesus, Jehovah the Most Almighty God. That Oratio (prayer) should be grounded in the Word of God.

God cannot tempted, but Jesus was and we also shall be tempted more than once. This Tentatio (affliction) is not something God uses to drive us a way from self, but is our own selfish will because we are so much busy with ourselves. In case we would be more busy with the Will of God we would not be so much and so often suffering from our wrongdoing. Then we would also be more forthcoming to God His Will and would be more able, like Christ did not his own will, not to do our own will but being happy to do God’s Will.

To avoid going astray we do need the Meditatio (meditation) which should be the continual study of the Holy Scriptures and not so much the study of the many theological works by human beings.

We should trust more the Call and the Voice of God instead the voices of so many people who call themselves theologian, whatever they may mean by that word.

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Preceding articles

Mental Enslavement and Sins Syndrome (MESS)

Some one or something to fear #7 Not afraid for Gods Name

Pascal’s Possibility

Sharing thoughts and philosophical writings

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Additional reading

  1. The importance of Reading the Scriptures
  2. No other god besides Jehovah who gives all explanation
  3. God’s forgotten Word 3 Lost Lawbook 2 Modern scepticism
  4. Theologians and a promised Spirit to enlighten us
  5. Necessity of a revelation of creation 9 Searching the Scriptures
  6. Necessity of a revelation of creation 11 Believing and obeying the gospel of the Kingdom of God
  7. Necessity of a revelation of creation 14 Searching the scriptures
  8. Missional hermeneutics 1/5
  9. Missional hermeneutics 5/5
  10. Approachers of ideas around gods, philosophers and theologians
  11. To find ways of Godly understanding
  12. Position of the Bible researcher
  13. Theology without spirituality sterile academic exercise
  14. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  15. Being Missional
  16. Christendom Astray The Devil Not A Personal Super-Natural Being
  17. A god who gave his people commandments and laws he knew they never could keep to it
  18. Our life depending on faith
  19. Perishable non theologians daring to go out to preach
  20. Reasons why you may not miss the opportunity to go to a Small Church
  21. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  22. The meek one riding on an ass
  23. Does there have to be a Holy Trinity Mystery
  24. Altered to fit a Trinity
  25. the Trinity – the Truth

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Further related writings

  1. What Hath the Church to do with the Library?
  2. Theology of Experience
  3. … 506 years ago
  4. The Calvinist ‘God’ and God
  5. Jealous God | Jealous for God
  6. So, Here Goes…
  7. The Angelic Doctor
  8. Good Morning January 25
  9. What Makes a Theologian
  10. The Pastor Theologian
  11. A Quote from St. Augustine on “The State”
  12. Theology as Discipleship
  13. 43rd of 2015.
  14. What Does It Mean To Be a Theologian
  15. What is Distinctive about Christian Analytic Theology?
  16. Pulpit Supply: Sunday School: Four Key Concepts to be a better Theologian
  17. Theologian Spotlight: Kathryn Tanner
  18. Saint Augustine
  19. Puritan John Owen – Doctrine of the Spirit and Mortification of Sin (Christian audio book)
  20. C.S. Lewis Died on This Date
  21. Albert Schweitzer
  22. Jean Guitton
  23. Biblical Christian Theology: Definition by DR. Donald E. Battle
  24. DR. Donald E. Batle: Theologian And Christology Scholar
  25. Who is qualified to write theology?
  26. What is the Recipe to Survive in the Storms of Life?
  27. Crossing Divides: Can an Atheist be a Chaplain?
  28. So Now I’m a Christian. Now What? Part 4:The Loving, Triune God
  29. Thought on the Trinity, Its Being Less than Mysterious, and the Biblical Support of an Analogy to It
  30. The Incarnation a Contradiction?
  31. 1 Corinthians 10:15 (Don’t Take My Word For It)
  32. Christ Strengthens You

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Gospel & Gratitude

In John Doberstein’s The Minister’s Prayerbook, he discusses Martin Luther’s understanding of the development of a theologian. Luther believed that the “right way to study theology” is anchored in the three rules set forth in Psalm 119: Oratio, Meditatio, Tentatio. For Luther “Everything centers around the practice of meditation, for prayer prepares for it and its results are confirmed in the experience of conflict. For Luther, meditation is the key to the study of theology. No one can become a true theologian unless he learns theology through it” (Kleinig, “The Kindred Heart”, 142). The discussion that follows is taken directly from Doberstein and explores each of the three dimensions.

  • Oratio (prayer) is grounded in the Word of the Lord. Prayer is the voice of faith. That is to say, that prayer grows out of the Word of the Lord. “The richness of the Word of God ought to determine our prayer, not…

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Sharing thoughts and philosophical writings

Exercising restraint for sharing

It seems very difficult to get Christian people to share a place with others on the same platform. The idea of bringing religious news from different view-points could be really interesting for both parties, the readers as well as the writers.

No one wants to write blog posts and have them sink into the bottomless pit of the internet. We as Christians are no different. We want people to read what we want to tell. Many like Facebook and spend lots of time posting notes in that system, but they do forget they only reach a few already connected people of a circle which can grow, but always shall have to find readers from their own circles and ‘friends of friends’.

Why do so many keep unresponsive to come to gather with other believers? What is it that held back people to join hands and make something new to happen? We should not be deterred by a few small setbacks. Many people may scrambler back as soon as they are asked to join forces and to come out in the wide world.

Freedom to join and to make fertile

Personalizando WordPress 1.5

Personalizando WordPress 1.5 (Photo credit: juanpol)

Having the opportunity to come on a more open system with WordPress, having the liberty to start an own website or blog or making an effort to join ranks and bring writers together on one place to talk about certain specific fields. The best way to attract readers is to read and comment on others’ blogs, allowing them to find your main blog, under your own name. But why not put in an extra dimension, not only to let yourself be found on your own blog, but giving hands with others to try to make a website which can be interesting for many, trying to find different subjects put together?

Those studying the Bible could find it interesting to find religious news at one place they could visit regularly or subscribe to. It would be lovely to see “Stepping toes” growing to become such a place where several writers could bring different ideas about ethical, philosophical and religious matters.

Backgrounds to choose

English: The Bible Students' Convention in Ski...

The Bible Students’ Convention in Skien, Norway, 1923 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Those who are free Bible Students have the advantage that they are a lay-based community where people can act independently. That independence can be good but it may not be that small units are formed, which excludes themselves from others, or do not want to know at all of other groups or denominations. It also would be wrong to say as a religious layman that we do not need theological seminaries or people who pursue studies in the humanities and add minors or majors in philosophy or ancient history, or even major in Biblical studies.

Some serious Bible Students even may think a study of philosophy, derived from Greek roots that mean “love of wisdom”, could interfere with the study of the Bible and could bring the faith in God in danger. We do believe such fear is unfunded. It is not because philosophy is not built on acceptance of belief in God that a person interested in reading philosophical works would not be interested in supernatural powers, gods or the God of gods.

Brains to use

God has given men brains to use. He provided them with a system to think and to allow to order their mind. Every human being should question the things. The Creator God has given us life and wanted us to do something with it. Therefore we do have to reason and wonder why we live, why certain events occur. God allowed people to bring their ideas together in a field of science about the thinking of man. That field tries to give people a unified view of the universe and endeavours to make them critical thinkers. According to some it employs chiefly speculative means rather than observation in a search for truth. We should have some philosophers to go deeper into that matter of reason to think and why we should question so many questions. But there is a lot to ask and a lot to say.

Limitation of man

But when we look at that field of ‘wisdom‘ we always should remember that it only comes from people. They may have been atheists, deists or theists, believers in something or some one, but always they got their capabilities to think and write from the Creator who gave them those abilities. Though no human person is been made perfect, so everyone of us has his or her limitations. As such when we read each others work we should keep that in mind. Never may we put ourself above somebody else nor may we put somebody else above the Creator God.

The Bible informs us:

“It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step.” (Jeremiah 10:23)

History testifies that trying to ignore that limitation has not produced good results. Humans by nature have limitations. Additionally, their experience in life is relatively brief and is usually confined to ones culture or one environment. The knowledge they possess is thus restricted, and everything is interconnected to such an extent that they constantly find aspects that they had not adequately considered. Any philosophy that they originate will reflect these limitations.

We all are connected with the time and culture in which we live. We all ere dependent on the upbringing we got and on the experiences and lessons we wanted to take out of life. There exists a way that is upright before a man, but we get blinded by the things around us, and whatever we try to do we shall all have to encounter the ways of death which  are the end of it afterwards (Proverbs 14:12)

Learning from others

Having the knowledge that we are only just small elements in that big universe, we should be humble enough to recognise that we can and should learn a lot from others around us. The willingness of sharing ideas is a matter of brotherly love. Being prepared to offer your ideas and those of others, to other people around you, even to those you might not know, shows your interest in other human beings. By searching for good ideas, by which you can learn but also others could learn, and the preparedness to share them with others, you can show your love to your neighbour and your willingness to show respect for the Creation of the Most High, where we should try to help each other to become better humans.

We can help each other by giving information and by sharing our knowledge. It is true that the wisdom of the wise men may perish, and we shall also see that the intelligence of the intellectual men will be shoved aside. (1 Corinthians 1:19-25) Many books full of human ideas have disappeared in oblivion. The writers are already long gone, but there are still some few ideas hoovering around. Many wise man, interesting scribes and good debater of this world (the system of things) are already long forgotten, some of those writings having taken with several people to set them thinking. We should know they can give us some ideas, they may set us off to start a debate. Because the Creator has gifted many people they will have told also reasonable things which could help us to grow. We can make use of them. We can listen and meditate about those writings. though we may never forget to put them in the light of the most important writings the world has received.

The book of books to be placed first

Philosophical Studies

Philosophical Studies (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When we look at the evolution of science, read some old ‘wisdom books’ we can notice that lots of those creative writings in the end did not pull the right string, and many of them had ideas which are already long time ago surpassed. Many of those older writings, wisdom of the old times has become foolish in the world of today. We all should be aware that what we consider to be so today might be not so any more in a few years time. (Look for example at the smallest element of an object which is not any more the molecule or the atom.)

When it is about the universe, its creation and Who is behind everything the world through its wisdom did not get to know the Divine Creator God. God saw good through the foolishness [as it appears to the world] of what is preached to save those believing. The Most High Creator has given The Writings which can bring enough wisdom to have a good life and to find the way to even a better life than we do have hear at the moment, on earth. In those Words given by god we should go and look for the most accurate teaching we can have. In the Bible we can find all the answers we do need to make the best of our life. The Book of books gives us in many writing styles in different ways of telling over and over the same message, so that we can not have any excuse that after reading them we could not understand.

Many people might find those old Writings ‘passé’ and laugh at the wording. They do not understand that a foolish thing of God [as the world views it] is wiser than men, and a weak thing of God [as the world may see it] is stronger than men

“19 For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” 20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling-block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.” (1 Corinthians 1:19-25 NIV)

Wisdom on its head

In the passing of time, the history of humankind, we see that God turned conventional wisdom on its head. The Creator of allthings, showed by the works of Creation how many times man was wrong with his ideas how to handle the world. So-called experts became exposed as crackpots. when we do write we also should consider that. We should know that we can not have all wisdom in us, and we may be utterly wrong in certain facts. Also the other person may be right in many facts but may also have it at the wrong end in other facts. Therefore we should be humble and patient when we look at writings from others. We should be aware there can be lots of good in it but also lots of bad. When there is something we do not agree with, that should not mean that it is bad. That what is contrary to our opinion can be wiser than our ideas.  Also the opposite may be true, things which others consider wrong about our way of thinking can be right at the end. We should always look at the wise spectrum which we receive in front of us and be thankful that we can read such a diversity of opinions. This diversity can be more richness than many people think. We should use it more than the critics of this world.

Knowing that not all wisdom can be found it the worldly human writings, we should be content to find find someone truly wise, truly educated, truly intelligent in this day and age. Knowing that God has exposed it all as pretentious nonsense what many have written in the past, we should always turn to His Book of Wisdom, the book of books, the Holy Scriptures which we call in short: the Bible.

Since the world in all its fancy wisdom never had a clue when it came to knowing God, God in his wisdom took delight in using what the world considered dumb—[preaching], of all things!—to bring those who trust him into the way of salvation.

Going right on preaching

While atheists laugh at the ideas of a supernatural being, Jews clamour for miraculous demonstrations and doubters or those who do find themselves contemporary thinkers, go in for philosophical wisdom, we should go right on proclaiming Christ,’ the Crucified’ and let the world know that it was a man of God who died at the wooden post to look a fool. We know the sign of having this man taken out of death is a sign for what can happen to us. Jews treat this like an [anti]-miracle — and many civics pass it off as absurd. But to us who are personally called by God Himself, Christ Jesus, the son of man and son of God, is God’s ultimate miracle and wisdom all wrapped up in one.

The Gutenberg Bible displayed by the United St...

The Gutenberg Bible displayed by the United States Library of Congress, demonstrating printed pages as a storage medium. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Human wisdom is so tinny, so impotent, next to the seeming absurdity of God. Human strength can’t begin to compete with God’s “weakness.” God has provided in the Bible, the most widely circulated book in the world, a clear statement of his purpose. He has sent his witnesses to discuss it with all who will listen. How foolish for any creature to think that he has wisdom greater than that of God! What a sad mistake it would be to choose such deceptive human philosophy in preference to acquiring true wisdom as a disciple of Jesus Christ, the second-greatest person in the universe, next to God himself!

Danger of unrestrained approach to Biblical interpretation

In an attempt to reconcile the Bible with philosophy many, like the third-century theologian Origen, relied heavily upon the allegorical method of interpreting the Scriptures. More theologians assumed that Scripture always had a spiritual meaning but not necessarily a literal one. As one scholar noted, this allowed Origen “the means of reading into the Bible whatever non-biblical ideas were congenial to his own theological system, while professing (and no doubt sincerely imagining himself) to be a particularly enthusiastic and faithful interpreter of the thought of the Bible.”

This unrestrained approach to Biblical interpretation blurred the lines between Christian doctrine and Greek philosophy. For example, in his book entitled On First Principles, Origen described Jesus as ‘the only-begotten Son, who was born, but without any beginning.’ And he added:

‘His generation is eternal and everlasting. It was not by receiving the breath of life that he is made a Son, by any outward act, but by God’s own nature.’

Origen like many after him violated the basic Scriptural principle: “Do not go beyond the things that are written.” — 1 Corinthians 4:6.

We should be careful not to mix human writings, be it philosophical or theological with Biblical writing.

Disciples of Christ gathering

Those who call themselves Christians, should be followers of Christ. As such they should be eager to get to know the teachings of their Master teacher Christ Jesus, the Nazarene Jew Jeshua of the tribe of King David. His words are written down in the New testament which is complementary to the Old Testament or Hebrew Writings.

Coming together, looking at others, going out to preach, we should always remember that it should not be our aim to prejudge others based on their religious convictions. Among our fellow worshippers are many who at one time sincerely embraced false religious beliefs.

In the New Testament we have the example of the apostle Paul who had established common ground but knew that his listeners were educated in Greek philosophy and unfamiliar with the Scriptures. He adapted his approach in several ways. First, he presented Biblical teachings without directly quoting from the Scriptures. Second, he identified himself with his listeners, at times using the words “us” and “we.” Third, he quoted from Greek literature to show that certain things he was teaching were expressed in their own writings.

The Dawn Office in East Rutherford, New Jersey

The Dawn Office in East Rutherford, New Jersey

We should remember those first followers of Christ and see that they also where willing to listen to others and did dare to use their sayings to let them see how they thought and where they went wrong. Today we also can use those worldly sayings, the many writings of people who are respected by the world. We can and may present the many thoughts which circle the world, be confronted by them, loo at them, think about them, criticise them whenever needy, use them for our advantage, and continue our path on or continuous learning process.

So, some may not find it appropriate to find different denominations their ideas placed together on one platform, we do believe we can learn from each other, as well do show interest in each other and know what is happening in this world.
It is not because we are serious Bible Students and active Christians that we should not look at others their writings, ignore the many ideas which are uttered in this world. It is also not that we should not be allowed to meet with others who do not think exactly the same as us. No, by coming together and by willing to share thoughts, we all can feed each other, and be helpful to develop as human beings.

Not trivial

Andrew Perry notes the problems of confessional bias and liberal unbelief that can subvert the unwary student, then concludes:

“It might therefore seem surprising that we advocate degree level Biblical Studies as a university choice.

“There is much of lasting value in such a choice; a value for life. First, there is the grounding in Hebrew and Greek which is of obvious benefit. Second, there is a vast amount of historically pertinent information to be had about the Bible—information that does not call into question beliefs about the Bible.

“Accordingly, any challenges to faith can be met head-on and handled. Here a study of Philosophy is valuable for the analytical skills it imparts; these skills help a student pick apart the challenges to faith. Furthermore, for every critical viewpoint on a matter, there is always a conservative counterpoint. So, while there are dangers, there are also paths to follow.”

If even one in fifty Christadelphian university students took a minor in philosophy, ancient history or ancient languages, and used that knowledge to the service of our faith, the flow-on effects would not be trivial.

Welcome to all

May we welcome you, and let us do hope we can share many thoughts, being little cogwheels of this world system in which we all together would like to look for a better world for every one, be it a believer, non-believer or other believer.

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Find also to read:

  1. Words to push and pull & Words to bring message
  2. Wisdom lies deep
  3. Many Books, yet One
  4. Unsure about relevance Bible
  5. The Bible: God’s Word or pious myth?
  6. Scripture alone Sola Scriptora
  7. The importance of Reading the Scriptures
  8. Why believing the Bible
  9. Appointed to be read
  10. Do Christians need to read the Old Testament
  11. Getting to know the Truth
  12. Bible for you and for life
  13. The Bible is a today book
  14. Possibility to live
  15. Bible like puddle of water
  16. Loving the Word
  17. The radiance of God’s glory and the counsellor
  18. Science and God’s existence
  19. Creator and Blogger God 3 Lesson and solution
  20. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #5 To meditate and Transform
  21. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #6 Words to feed and communicate
  22. History of Christianity
  23. Seeing the world through the lens of his own experience
  24. Thirst for happiness and meaning
  25. Change
  26. Morality, values and Developing right choices
  27. Power in the life of certain
  28. Be like a tree planted by streams of water
  29. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation
  30. Chief means by which men are built up
  31. Golden rule for understanding in spiritual matters obedience
  32. Bringing Good News into the world
  33. Feed Your Faith Daily

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  • October Series of the Month: Kant’s Questions (routledge.com)
    “Have the courage to use your own understanding! – that is the motto of enlightenment.” – Immanuel Kant
    The Enlightenment is one of the most important and contested periods in the history of philosophy. The problems it addressed, such as the proper extent of individual freedom and the challenging
  • The Problem Is That (You Think) You Think Too Much (coriwong.com)
    Hardly anyone has heard of philosophical counseling, but now that I’ve started my own philosophical counseling and consulting business, I’ve had loads of opportunities to describe the “how’s” and “why’s” of this form of philosophical practice. I start by emphasizing that, at the heart of the matter, philosophical counseling entails thinking about our lives and experiences in ways that help us become better people who think, live, and feel better along the way. Even though I think that’s a pretty compelling description of what’s at stake, it’s been met with a variety of responses.
  • Philosophers, those bloated parasites… (naughtthought.wordpress.com)
    Philosophy…the very world bears a halo so tarnished with the fingernail scratches of a desperate hold that its meaning is as dim as it is persistent.Philosophy begins in wonder, in disappointment, with anything except instantaneous experience (according to Laruelle). So say the philosophers. Though few comments have seemed as honest as Lyotard’s – that philosophy is at best graffiti on the ruins of the world.
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    There is also too much to be said about the conceptual engineer figure of philosophy according to Deleuze – the false modesty of ‘just being a brick layer’ but Deleuze does not think he is just a brick layer. He thinks the philosopher can fold the unknown outside into thought. That’s a power beyond brick handling.
  • “For Nietzsche a philosopher’s ideas were less important than the quality of his striving” (kingslandrogue.wordpress.com)
    For Nietzsche a philosopher’s ideas were less important than the quality of his striving towards existence on a philosophical or supra-historical plane.
  • Sartre and some faux intellectuals – An obnoxious view on obnoxious people (semifeminist.wordpress.com)
    I guess coming from a science background, I’d rather hear things about what people do.  If there’s a contradiction between what a person says and what a person does, then the essence of what they say is lost on me.  Show me your faith by your actions… :D :D :D (pssst it’s a reference to James)
    +
    Ok it’s cool you made some great observations about society and humans. But what have you done about it? Have you presented any model that could change an aspect of society?
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    Walk the talk. Do the deed. Say what you will. It’s that simplicity we need.
  • Word of the Week: ‘Philosophy’ (therelateblog.wordpress.com)
    Philosophy is made up of a range of different branches each discussing different topics which makes it a tricky word to define! For example, metaphysics looks at questions about realty whereas aesthetics considers beauty.
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    There are many other famous philosophers such as Kant, Descartes, Aristotle, Hick, Spinoza and Nietzche. How many can you name?
  • Why Take Philosophy A Level? (scribblingsofasimpleton.wordpress.com)
    Philosophy is not, I repeat not, what you would call a “doss” subject. People often assume that Philosophy is a subject you can take because it’s easy. Anyone that says or believes that couldn’t be more wrong. To be brutally honest, Philosophy is hard. And I mean really hard. Universities look at it at the same academic level as Physics or Maths.
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    Philosophy requires an inordinate amount of brain-power and a Philosophy student will need to question everything-including their own existence. It is not a subject for the faint-hearted.
  • Has David Birnbaum solved the mystery of existence? (theguardian.com)
    David Birnbaum

    David Birnbaum: ‘There must be an answer. How is it possible that so many brilliant people, over thousands of years, have missed it?’ Photograph: Brian Finke for the Guardian

    In the summer of 2012, a number of philosophers at British and American universities received a bulky, unmarked package in the post. It contained a 560-page book, written in English but with the Latin title Summa Metaphysica, by an amateur whose name they didn’t recognise: David Birnbaum. It isn’t unusual for philosophy departments to get mail from cranks, convinced they have solved the riddle of existence, but they usually send stapled print-outs, or handwritten letters; Summa Metaphysica stood out “for its size and its glossiness”, says Tim Crane, a professor of philosophy at Cambridge. The book was professionally typeset. It even included endorsements from Claude Lévi-Strauss, the legendary French anthropologist, who described it as “remarkable and profound”, and from the Princeton physicist John Wheeler, who once collaborated with Einstein. It would later transpire that 40,000 copies were in circulation, a print run any academic philosopher might kill for.

  • Essential Readings on Universalism (afkimel.wordpress.com)
    I thought it might be helpful to others to share the essential stuff that I have read and consider worthy of consideration:
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    As a Catholic theologian, Balthasar could not and would  go beyond the hope that God would save all, but that we must hope and pray for universal salvation, he fervently believed.
  • On being an attractive woman and being taken seriously in philosophy (leiterreports.typepad.com)
    I also use twitter to connect with philosophers around the world, and find it a generally supportive and stimulating space to communicate with like-minded people. But I received a troubling tweet in response to a (non-sexual) photo I posted recently. The tweet was by a male philosopher. He said that philosophers are not supposed to be pretty.These experiences have made me wonder whether being perceived as pretty, to some, will also mean that I will be taken less seriously in philosophy. Clearly, the tweeter’s comment was not well thought out. It was a tweet. But  do we still have distorted understandings about what philosophers are “supposed to be” or “supposed to look like”?

Some one or something to fear #7 Not afraid for Gods Name

Fear to use a name of a ghost, person or group

13. Not afraid for Gods Name

It is notable that a lot of priests or preachers do not dare to use God’s Name or even do not talk much about His person nor His works. In a lot of schools the religious instruction has not much to do with God but in fact concerns more general moral ethics or moral philosophy. Often there is more philosophy than studying the Word of God. Bible study is more often little sleeping baby than the popular theologians.Calling on the Name Jehovah to be Delivered

One does not dare to speak too much about God, because one is frightened to fail then. One thinks that people will pull out or that they (as preacher or as person) will be less popular. The own popularity is more on their mind than the popularity of their God. They are more concerned with what others might think about them. They prefer concealing God rather than to be unpopular in this world.

They have a worldly fear of failure which is still less to gloss over than the children their fear of not succeeding for a house task or test. It should not be our priority to succeed in this world or to become acknowledged and popular. We as Christians should aim to follow Christ, listen to him and accordingly honour his Father. Our aim should further be to succeed to become approved by God.

To be able to dare to come before the eyes of God we must dare to omit our fear. Though the world may look frightening we should be strengthened by the Force of our God. The world may not frighten us. We should dare to speak out the Name of our beloved Father, the Creator of us all. And we should know that to be able to be recognized and to be accepted by the God of gods, we shall have to accept His position and have to dare to speak out His Name which He loves to hear. We should have no excuses not to dare to pronounce His divine name and also to address Him with that Name that He has given to Him and us and also wants to hear.

“Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image, nor any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them; for I Jehovah thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, upon the third and upon the fourth generation of them that hate me,”(Exodus 20:4-5 ASV)

“Being then the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold,or silver, or stone, graven by art and device of man.” (Acts 17:29 ASV)

“Their idols are silver and gold, The work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not; Eyes have they, but they see not; They have ears, but they hear not; Noses have they, but they smell not; They have hands, but they handle not; Feet have they, but they walk not; Neither speak they through their throat. They that make them shall be like unto them; Yea, every one that trusteth in them.”(Psalms 115:4-8 ASV)

“God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24ASV)

“I am Jehovah, that is my name; and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise unto graven images.” (Isaiah 42:8 ASV)

“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” (John 14:13 ASV)

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Additional reading:

  1. Who is the Only “True God”? (John 17:3)
  2. Believing in God the rewarder
  3. Only one God
  4. God of gods
  5. God is one
  6. Attributes to God
  7. Titles of God beginning with the Aleph in Hebrew
  8. Is God the Father?
  9. The Divine name of the Creator
  10. I Will Cause Your Name To Be Remembered
  11. Lord or Yahuwah, Yeshua or Yahushua
  12. God about His name “יהוה“
  13. I am that I am Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh אהיה אשר אהיה
  14. Hashem השם, Hebrew for “the Name”
  15. יהוה , YHWH and Love: Four-letter words
  16. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #2 Calling upon the Name of God
  17. Jehovah Yahweh Gods Name
  18. God Helper and Deliverer
  19. God my fence, my hope for the future
  20. The Divine name of the Creator
  21. Some one or something to fear #7 Not afraid for Gods Name
  22. Jehovah Yahweh Gods Name
  23. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #2 Calling upon the Name of God
  24. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #1 Listening Sovereign Maker
  25. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #2 Witnessing
  26. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #3 Callers upon God
  27. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #8 Prayer #6 Communication and manifestation
  28. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #10 Prayer #8 Condition
  29. Listening and Praying to the Father
  30. Praise the most High Jehovah God above all
  31. Praise the God with His Name
  32. For Jehovah is greatly to be praised
  33. The Bible and names in it
  34. Jehovah in the BASF
  35. Lord or Yahuwah, Yeshua or Yahushua
  36. Jesus and his God
  37. A philosophical error which rejects the body as part of the human person
  38. Manifests for believers #2 Changing celibacy requirement
  39. Uncertainty, shame and no time for vacillation
  40. Who are the honest ones?
  41. Fragments from the Book of Job #5: chapters 32-37
  42. At first looking like a loss
  43. God’s measure not our measure
  44. God loving people justified

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Also of interest:

  1. Draw Close To God
  2. ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’ – What Name?
  3. Has anyone else noticed the profound disrespect
  • Charles Spurgeon: Preachers and Weakness (samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com)
    I have known preachers who have been very weak, and yet they have been used of the Lord. For many, many years, my own preaching was exceedingly painful to me because of the fears which beset me before entering the pulpit. Often, my dread of facing the people has been overwhelming.
  • Inspirational – When I am afraid …. (alexdekkers.wordpress.com)
    Psalm 56 as it shows a very important reassurance God has given us. It is so easy to get afraid and think that the situation won’t go over, or that no help will come.
  • October 12 @ Proverbs 29-30 (phyllisbenigas.wordpress.com)
    Sometimes we fear what people think of us, and that is every bit as debilitating as fear for our lives.  Moses almost missed his mission in life of delivering the Israelites out of Egypt because he was afraid they wouldn’t accept him, afraid that they would question his authority.  Many of the Old Testament prophets feared that their messages would be rejected and mocked by the people. “Fearing people is a dangerous trap” and may keep us from fulfilling our calling.
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    To overcome fear, we need to change our perspective and who better than God to help us do that
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    When we focus on the faithfulness of Almighty God instead of fearing mere humans, there’s nothing left to stop us from pursuing all that God has for us and those things with eternal value.
  • A Prayer About Our Fears (jimkane.wordpress.com)
    Father God / It is hard to admit sometimes but we are afraid. / And it is not the “big” things we are most afraid of.
  • Catechism in Motion: 1. The Desire for God (catholicmediaoutreach.com)
    The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for
  • Be Courageous (debbiepresnell.wordpress.com)
    I prayed and asked God to help me get over my nervousness and not be afraid. I asked Him to help me do the talk.
  • The Preacher (dofstehage.wordpress.com)
    It’s Sunday. / The preacher steps into the pulpit. / Unsure / Uncertain
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    Self-righteousness brings indignation / I am self-consumed / Self-consumption reveals a less than humble heart / I am plagued with worry and fright
  • Thoughts on Pilgrim’s Progress, Part the Second – #9 “No fears, no grace” (angie5804.wordpress.com)
    One example in Pilgrim’s Progress is in the character of Mr. Fearing.  Mr. Great-Heart explains it this way when asked why
  • Confidence in God (maryscatholicgarden.com)
    few Christians have confidence strong enough to dispel anxiety and doubt.  Lack of confidence can cause us to hesitate, and sink into despair and discouragement.  When St. Peter saw Jesus walking on the water, he eagerly jumped out of the boat with assurance and confidence.  But when the waves rose threatening to overpower him, and he saw the ferocity of the raging storm, he became frightened and took his eyes off Jesus, promptly sinking like a rock!
  • Let God’s Acceptance Save You from Fear by Rick Warren (christianmotivations.weebly.com)
    You were created by God. Christ has made you acceptable. It doesn’t matter what you say about yourself; it doesn’t matter what other people say about you. If God says you’re OK, then you’re OK.