Nudge: What is one of the things about me that people are surprised to learn?

I’m a southern gal. I’ve lived in the southeastern part of the USA all my life. I learned to read, write, talk, cook, extend courtesies, etc…, all in the south. I am quite proud of the fact that, even though I live close to Washington, DC, I still live below the Mason-Dixon line. And so, many people seem rather surprised to learn that I was actually born in NY. I neither sound nor act like the stereotypical north-easterner. I find myself having to explain the story of how I screamed at the top of my lungs non-stop for the first few months of my life because it was so COLD there, and how my parents decided to move south where I promptly settled in and became a very happy baby.

My husband likes to tease me about being a Yankee. However, I have news for him: I didn’t have a choice where I was born but I made it clear where I wanted to be. He, on the other hand, chose to marry me: a Yankee.

#birth, #born, #northern, #southern, #yankee

My best Christmas ever was in 1986. I do…

My best Christmas ever was in 1986. I don’t actually remember much of the normal Christmas activities that year, but I gave and received the best humanly possible Christmas gift ever. Two days after, I became Mrs. Tinnel.

Boredom

Speaking of boredom, the power went out for about an hour this morning. I’ve been on a mission to purge my house of all the old, useless stuff, so I took the opportunity to sort through more junk. I came across a spool of bubble wrap, which my youngest showed keen interest in. So I gave it to him. 15 minutes later he returned, dressed from head to toe in bubble wrap. This is what children do when they are bored. BEWARE.

The most misued word in the Bible

My vote for the #1 and #2 misused words in the Bible are “believe” and “faith”. Entire denominational doctrines have been built around a non-scriptural definition of these words. Biblical saving faith or belief is not a mere mental assent that Jesus is the son of God and came to save us. James 2 provides an excellent commentary on this whole matter.

#belief, #believe, #faith

Caving In

The first Biblical example of someone caving in that comes to mind is Peter, his from fear of what the crowd might think of him the night Jesus was taken into custody. Peter showed remarkable cowardice. Fortunately he gained a ton of fortitude and made up for it on the day of Pentecost, when he spoke with boldness.

So what was the difference in these two circumstances? In the former, Peter left the disciples and faced the crowd alone. In the latter, he was with the twelve. What lesson do we learn from this?

#coward, #peter

What do we do differently?

I’m having deja vu here. I think this topic has been covered before. None the less…

When we assemble on Sunday mornings, we worship first and then have our Bible classes. I thought it odd at first, but have grown to prefer it. The emphasis of our assembling is placed on worship and the Lord’s supper. The downside is that it often confuses our visitors.

#bible-classes, #different, #worship

Pets?

It is common place that we have pets today: cats, dogs, birds, fish, and even snakes. But what about Bible times? There are accounts of people having live stock, but it seems that owning animals then was more a matter of livelihood. Can anyone think of an account of someone owning a pet in Bible times? Is the reason for no (or little) mention of pets that people either didn’t have the luxury of being able to feed a pet or perhaps that they were too busy working to care for one? Just curious.

#pets

Christianity Upsets The Religious Apple Cart

Christianity turned the first century “world view” upside down because it challenged and changed the commonly held religious thought of that day in a drastic way. It taught that all Christians are priests. It taught that Gentiles were acceptable before God. It taught that the attitude and actions of man as he worshiped God are important and NOT the physical location of worship. It taught that the inward man needed to be cleansed as opposed to the outward physical man. It taught that the kingdom of God is spiritual and not earthly. It taught the end of the Jewish nation as God’s kingdom. Most Jews rejected Christianity for this very reason.

Today is no different. True Biblical Christianity challenges the commonly held beliefs of “Christiandom”. It teaches there is a heaven and a hell and that ALL will be judged and sentenced according to their actions on this earth. It teaches that salvation is exclusively in Jesus Christ and that Atheists, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Wiccans, and the like will be lost. It teaches that the church is the exclusive body of Christ and that only those in the church will be saved. It teaches that faith is not a mere mental assent that Jesus is God’s son; true Biblical faith requires obedience. It teaches that one can so sin as to lose his own salvation. It teaches that God has specified how He will be worshiped and anything outside of that is vain worship. It teaches that man cannot live however he pleases; he must repent — he cannot continue to live in sin and expect a home in Heaven. All of these things are contrary to the teachings of one denomination or another — today’s religious apple cart. True Biblical Christianity is being rejected today, just as it was by the Jews of the first century, because people do not want their “world view” turned upside down.

#atheism, #buddism, #denominations, #islam, #judiasm, #religious-thought, #world-view

Work Ethic and the Christian

What does the Bible have to say about a Christian’s work ethic? I’m beginning to think that maybe this is an area the church has been remiss in teaching about. I’d say we need a sermon, but at this point, I suspect we need an entire 13-week series of Bible studies on it! Give me your thoughts.

#work, #work-ethic

A messy desk is the sign of intelligence…

or so they say. I must be a genius! 🙂

Mortality Sinks In

Mortality hit home for me when I was in college. I was on my way to take an exam and zoned out going over all the material in my mind. The roads were wet from the drizzle and there were accidents all over the place, so of course, I took the back roads. The witness says I went past his driveway at about 50 mph, and he knew what was going to happen. I hit the 75 degree curve and turned the wheel. The car didn’t. I bounced off the guard rails like a bumper car and got shoved off the road where I center punched a tree. He stopped and offered me a lift. I rode to campus where I ran to class and took my exam. I aced it. After the test, I realized what had happened and went to call my parents. The car was totaled.

#driving, #mortality

An ah-ha moment in time…

My most memorable ah-ha moment occurred as I sat in a Bible class in the basement of an old church building in Woodbridge, VA some 15 or so years ago. We were studying Romans, after having spent nearly 2 years studying 1 Corinthians. We got to Romans 8:26-27, which I had never understood, and admittedly had never given much thought to because I just couldn’t make sense of it and found it to be outright confusing. I figured it just was one of those “secret things” that belonged to God and maybe some day, when I reached Heaven, God would enlighten me.

The teacher asked a question: is the spirit being discussed here the Holy Spirit? Well, I had never considered it could be a reference to anything else. I mean, what else could it be? It’s *capitalized*, so of course it’s the Holy Spirit! The teacher explained that there was no capitalization in the Greek text, so while it could be the Holy Spirit, it did not necessarily have to be so. Okay, I was game to explore options, so the question next became, what else could be under consideration? The teacher suggested that perhaps the spirit here might actually be a reference to man’s spirit. I plugged that idea in and read the whole chapter in context. Suddenly it made sense, and the lights went on: the spirit that was groaning in verse 26 became a continuation of the idea in verse 23. I had often wondered why the Holy Spirit needed to use groanings that couldn’t be uttered when He was perfectly capable of choosing the very words to put in the mouths and hands of the inspired apostles. My ah-ha moment was that He didn’t. And I felt like a dense fog had been lifted.

#ah-ha-moments, #enlighten

Self-Destructive Behavior

Self-destructive behavior is all around us. I think one of the most commonly seen forms of this is the act of failing to take personal responsibility for our own actions or lack there-of. Why might this be self-destructive? Because people engage in self-deception when they do this, which impacts subsequent behavior. Until people see and admit their own faults and short comings, they simply will not change. Change is required to be truly happy in this world.

But more importantly, change is required to be pleasing to God. People who will not accept personal responsibility simply will not repent of their ways. Without repentance, there is no hope of eternal life. There can only be certainty of eternal punishment. This is the ultimate form of self-destructive behavior, IMHO.

I think one of the best examples of this behavior is found in Genesis 3. In verses 9-13, we see that Adam, upon being called out for disobeying God, blamed Eve, his wife. Eve subsequently blamed the serpent. However, upon close examination, we see that Adam actually did something worse. Much worse. He said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” Adam in essence blamed God because God was the giver of Eve, a point which Adam was careful to make. Adam and Eve had it made in Eden. The place was a paradise. God walked with them in the garden. Yet when Adam failed on the one and only command given him, he “passed the buck”. The end result was being kicked out of the garden and being forced to a life of hard labor and toil.

I find it interesting that the account of this behavior is the very first inspired account of man’s failings. Perhaps it was placed up front and center for a reason… We should take note.

#obedience, #repentance, #self-destructive-behavior

Children’s Books

“What children’s book should every child read?” Not sure I can limit it to just one. Two that immediately come to mind are “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” and “The Little Red Hen”. The values they teach about being honest and having a good work ethic are sorely needed. Unfortunately these two books seem very passe these days. I don’t see them in the children’s book section. Perhaps that is one reason why our society has problems with a lack of values in these areas.

#books, #children, #values

Is Ignorance Bliss?

We use the saying “ignorance is bliss”. But is that really true?

Recently I made a statement that I was disappointed in the ungodly stand that a particular organization has taken. One young college-aged lady responded by saying, “Why exactly is it disappointing? We as Christians are supposed to be a non-judgmental people. We welcome anyone with open arms and an open heart.” She went on to incorrectly quote Jesus’ saying regarding the woman caught in adultery: ‘He who cast the first stone, let he be stoned.’ That is not not what Jesus said. Clearly, this young woman has a gross lack of knowledge of God’s word.

Sadly, this woman is not alone. The attitude she portrayed here has permeated our society because it is ignorant of what God’s word teaches, not only regarding right and wrong, but also in how Christians are to react to and behave toward sin.

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.” Hosea 4:6

Lack of knowledge (or ignorance) comes from *rejection* of knowledge. Is rejection of knowledge bliss? Rejection is a willful act. I pray we all be mindful that we not be guilty of being ignorant.

#gods-word, #ignorance, #knowledge, #study, #studying