One word description of the ocean

I, my family and some friends recently went on vacation to a beach in South Carolina.

My daughter has been to the beach before, but she was too young to remember the experience. This was her opportunity to get reacquainted.

We arrived very early in the morning (middle of the night basically), so she was able to hear the waves but not able to see anything. I don’t know what she saw in her imagination but I know her imagination didn’t prepare her for reality.

When “we” woke up that morning (with a little prodding of, “Do you want to go see the ocean?”) we walked out on to the balcony (which was approximately 150 yards from the shore), and the first word out of her mouth was, “Whoa!” She didn’t need to say anything else.

Her anticipation was not disappointed. Her hope became reality. Her joy overflowed.

So why am I including this story on a religiously themed site? Because you should be able to get at least two or three spiritual analogies out of it.

Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!”” (Genesis 28:16-17 NKJV)

#children, #experience, #spiritual-analogies


(#202) The Proverbs of Solomon-30:11-14-Generation D(estroyed)

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-29:27 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. Proverbs 30-31 were added and preserved by the Holy Spirit. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 30:11-14: “There is a generation that curses its father, And does not bless its mother. 12 There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes, Yet is not washed from its filthiness. 13 There is a generation-oh, how lofty are their eyes! And their eyelids are lifted up. 14 There is a generation whose teeth are like swords, And whose fangs are like knives, To devour the poor from off the earth, And the needy from among men.”

After Jacob had worked 14 years to “earn” his wife, his father-in-law, Laban, said, “I have learned by experience that the LORD has blessed me for your sake” (Genesis 30:27). “Experience” is a great teacher, and often, a hard teacher. It has been truly said, “Happiness will never come to those who do not appreciate what they already have.” “A generation” without the experiences of life becomes (v.11) Loveless; (v.12) Hypocritical; (v.13) Arrogant; and (v.14) Cruel, and will need few enemies, for it will self-destruct. Children whose world consists of a video screen, whose mind is filled with make-believe, and whose heart seldom connects with real people, have no experiences to help them grow, and become slaves who serve without conscience! It is a lost generation that never sees “the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied” (Ecclesiastes 3:10).

Verse 11: Those who disrespect the two who gave them life will not appreciate The God, His plan, and the life they have been given, “For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God” (1 Corinthians 11:12). Although the prevalence of divorce and single-parenthood has shattered the “DNA” of marriage, and taught successive generations this disrespect, those who turn to God’s Way will start a new generation of parental respect. It is when sin abounds that “the love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12).

Verse 12: It is difficult, almost impossible, for one to see one’s own sins. To such a generation, God send Jeremiah to say: “’For though you wash yourself with lye, and use much soap, Yet your iniquity is marked before Me,’ says the Lord God. How can you say, ‘I am not polluted’” (Jeremiah 2:22-23). The Apostle Paul wrote: “For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord” (1 Corinthians 4:4). Any generation that is known for major problems with drunkenness, irresponsibility, sexually-transmitted diseases, drug abuses, recklessness, and hatefulness (Titus 3:3) has its hands full and should not be pointing fingers at the previous generation(s)! Jesus Christ condemned those who “outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness” (Matthew 23:28).

Verse 13: Jesus Christ described this attitude when He said: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.’ Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt. Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?” (Matthew 23:29-33) While a generation may protest against their parents sins, it becomes guilty of its own sins, many of which are even worse than before (1 Kings 16:25)!

Verse 14: The cruelty is seen because they don’t care about the “poor” and “needy.” Selfishness is so narrow-minded that it cannot admit, nor allow, others to benefit who have greater needs. Jesus Christ said: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation” (Matthew 23:14)!

A generation may be changed if enough of them “are converted and become as little children…Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3-4). Obeying the command to “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” will let a soul “Be saved from this perverse generation” (Acts 2:38, 40).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#baptism, #bible-study, #christianity, #experience, #generation, #god, #jeremiah, #jesus-christ, #just-a-minute, #life, #love, #marriage, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #salvation, #sin, #wisdom

Experience is the Best Teacher

“Experience is a teacher, not the best one, and the tuition is high.”

Brittany Davis

Many people will agree with the experience is the best teacher quote without knowing the entire phrase. The Norwegian Proverb actually says, “Experience is the best teacher, but the tuition is high.” I agree, the tuition is high but experience is not the best teacher. For instance, as a child, I learned not to lie by lying. That lie cost me a very sore bottom. I learned obedience by being disobedient and again it cost me a sore backside; as you can see I needed lots of instruction. But God doesn’t intend for His children to learn through experience.

The Bible is a book of prevention; if one is willing to listen. God told Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit so they would not die (Gen. 2:15-17). Galatians 5:19-21 says, “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery,fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,envy, murders,drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Here, God tells us plainly that we cannot go to Heaven engaging in these acts.

God affords us unlimited opportunities to repent and come back to Him but sometimes the consequences of our actions prevent us from utilizing those chances. Nadab and Abihu were priests and sons of Aaron. They’d seen the proper ways to offer sacrifices and work in the tabernacle many times, but in Lev. 20 they took matters into their own hands. They offered profane fire to the Lord, fire which He did not authorize. They didn’t get another chance to correct their actions because God sent fire to devour them. For these young priests experience taught them a fatal lesson.

While God won’t send fire to destroy us today when we sin, we need to learn His word so that we can save ourselves the extremely high costs of learning from experience. The costs could be anything from shame, disease, a marred reputation or even death. Experience is not the best teacher, God’s word is and if we’d trust that He knows what’s best for us we could save ourselves a lot of heartache and stick around to make use of those innumerable chances He offers. What lesson can God’s word help you learn in order to avoid experience’s costs?

In Christ, Steve Preston

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#experience, #learning, #wisdom

Local Churches Expand As Membership Falls

An article from the Amarillo Globe News:

A quote from the article: “What we need to give people is an experience of the holy, allowing them to come as they are.”

Question: Is allowing folks to “come as they are” giving people an “experience” of the holy?

#allow, #article, #experience, #holy, #people, #quote

Helpful distinctions

Along the way, some good people or authors have introduced me to important distinctions. Here are some I can remember offhand.

  • Necessary, but not sufficient. For example, faith is necessary for salvation, but not by itself sufficient to save.
  • Form and function. Progressives have misused this terribly, but it still has important things to say. Some forms are tied to their functions by Scripture so that they may not be changed: immersion, for example, is a form with an inherent function, that of expressing the purpose of touching the purifying power of Jesus’ blood.
  • Experience and emotion. Emotion is reaction, for good or bad, with no necessary relation to the experience, imagined or real. In the gospel, experience is the essence of religion, the practice of walking with God and under his guidance; emotion is the nice little caboose pulled by the engine of faith. Some brothers I know think any talk of experience in religion is equal to wrong-headed emotional fervor.

#distinctions, #emotions, #experience, #form-and-function

The worst insect? I’m going with the on…

The worst insect? I’m going with the one Ed Boggess spoke of – the Yellow Jacket. They are unrelenting in the pursuit of their victims – I was one many years ago! Wasn’t too pleasant an experience.

#experience, #insect, #jacket, #pleasant, #pursuit, #unrelent, #victim, #worst, #yellow

All My Flying Days Are Over

When I was discharged from the Air Force, my flying days were over (yes, I enjoyed my brief flying experience). I’m kind of like my father on this one. Unlike an automobile, you don’t have any personal control over the vehicle [aircraft]. It’s all in the hands of the pilot and co-pilot. What happens when something goes awry with one or both of them? Well, you are in deep trouble unless a knowledgeable stewardess takes control. 🙂

#automobile, #discharge, #experience, #flying