Abundant Life

Did You Know There is a Life Handbook?

I know. Life is rough right now. So many “experts” telling you what to do, where to go, who to see. Get the vaccine, (or more accurately, the experimental injectable) or not get the vaccine – that is the question everyone is asking. Follow the crowd or assert your independence and refuse to conform? Who do we listen to? WHY would we listen to someone who doesn’t really care about us? Who is telling the truth and who is lying?

AND WHEN CAN WE GET BACK TO NORMAL LIFE?

Or, is this our new normal?

Who do we trust? Where do we go for some peace? What is real and what is fake?

I can’t answer these questions for you – all I can say is that the majority of the information you’re being exposed to is a lie and to encourage you to seek alternative news sources and get ALL the information before making decisions that will affect you and your family.

However, I can offer a bit of hope. A resource, if you will, that will honestly help calm your fears and smear a soothing salve on your soul.

The Bible.

HEAR ME OUT!

Before you go rolling your eyes or sticking your nose up in the air thinking, “oh great, another religious wacko” consider this – what’s the harm in looking into God and His wonderful book of life?

Why should you care? This is from an article on the Truth or Tradition website by Renee Dugan:

“There is a plethora of reasons why understanding the Bible is crucial for everyone, from the new believer to the seasoned scholar. There is not a person alive who doesn’t stand to reap some benefit from knowing, understanding, and applying the principles of the Bible. Here are just a few reasons why understanding the Bible is so crucial:

  1. It Empowers Us for Right-Living
    The Bible offers countless wise missives, instructions, and clear warnings on what to embrace and what to avoid in order to live a blessed, successful life. Understanding these things—why they matter to God, why they should matter to us, and how to structure our lives by them—is absolutely crucial to living both an abundant life and one pleasing to God. Without grasping this, at best we’re subject to the tailwinds of the world’s ever-changing notion of morality, which offers no tangible guarantee of joy, salvation, or righteousness. To live right, and live well, we must derive these things at their very definition from the Bible.
  2. It Gives us a Framework to Understand the World
    Without a firm grasp of what the Bible says about the age we live in, the spiritual forces at work, and who and what we are up against, we can very easily become despondent, confused, and angry as struggles come our way. Thankfully, the Bible very clearly lays out the truth about the spiritual battle raging around us, the enemy in charge of this fallen world, and the role believers can and should play in the fight. To understand the battle and stand our ground in it, we must fully grasp the nuances of the world’s state both spiritually and physically as explained in the Bible.
  3. It Demystifies Difficult Realities
    The spiritual battle is not the only aspect of life that’s difficult to understand—nor is it the only one the Bible explains! The problem of evil, sin, and suffering, why bad things happen to good people, why things seem to get worse rather than better around the world, why man is even here, why God’s Son had to die a horrific death, why there were certain cultures God ordered His people to wipe off the map—these are all very deep, very difficult realities to contend with. Even a surface reading of Scripture may not be enough to fully grasp the intricacies and necessities of these subjects. That’s why we can’t just read the Bible—it’s important to understand it. To have a clear, logical outlook on why so many things have come to pass the way they did and continue to, we must dive in deep and do the hard work to grasp the meaning and reasoning laid out in the Bible.
  4. It Elucidates the Past, Present, and Future
    There are countless details of history, the current atmosphere, and the coming future that can’t be truly explained without a scriptural framework. Some things have happened and are happening that had to fall into place in a certain way due to the Messiah’s coming over 2000 years ago; similarly, some things still must come to pass in order for all of God’s purposes to play out. Understanding these purposes—not to mention what’s happened, why it’s happened, and what still must—helps us to not become embroiled in guesswork and conjecture, but to live our lives with a proper perspective of the days and seasons in God’s hands. To fathom the truth of the past, make the most of our time now, and have hope no matter what comes, we must view all of history through the perspective laid out in the Bible.
  5. When we Misunderstand the Bible, It’s Easier to Misunderstand the One Who Authored It
    Circling back around to where we started, let’s touch again on the heartache that comes from an author misunderstood. When we stay high-level with Scripture, doing a cursory reading without making the diligent effort to dig in and truly understand it, we are building a house of cards on a sandy shore. Anything could come along and blow our beliefs down or rip the floor out from under it. We also run the risk of constructing an improper view of God when we don’t make it a point to truly understand His Word, which can lead to all sorts of pain—from legalism to loose-living, from hyper-judgementalism to hyper-tolerance, from loving Him without the proper respect to hating Him outright. Countless extremes spring from simply misunderstanding the heart of God as He laid it out for us in the Bible. To fully understand the Author, we must understand the blueprint He laid for us: the Bible, His very Word.”

With all the craziness that is our world right now, we have a God that loves and cares about us – ABOUT YOU. He only wants the best for you and who offers hope and light during these dark times. A lot of people have been deeply affected by this past year – it’s been rough – and it’s nice to know there is a resource out there that can help lighten our personal burden.

Listening to “experts” and the government is not helpful, nor is it encouraging. But God, now He’s someone you can rely on, who will NEVER let you down and promises everlasting life.

Sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

I hope you’ll consider checking Him out. What do you have to lose? (Answer: Nothing).

Abundant Life

Is COVID19 God’s Judgement?

Short answer is no.

But don’t take my word for it, listen to John and learn more.

There is an interesting comment on the YouTube page:

I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. Isaiah 45:7 Please interpret”

Answer: “I make peace and create evil.” God does not “create evil.” That would be against His character and contradict the fact that He is love. Love and evil are mutually exclusive. This is the common Semitic idiom of permission, in which God (or anyone else) is said to actively do something that they were only related to in some way. In this case, God gave people free will, and also gave them laws, rules and norms that made a distinction between good and evil. Thus, when spirit beings or humans did evil of their own freewill, by the idiom God was said to have caused it. [For more on the idiom of permission, see commentary on Romans 9:18].

I’m bringing this up because this is an excellent resource for anyone who would like to study the Bible in more depth and learn what it says as a whole as opposed to hearing snippets taken out of context in traditional churches in order to promote agendas. (Gee – sounds like our political environment, too. Everyone has an agenda – don’t forget that. My agenda is to promote TRUTH).

This resource is the “Revised English Version of the Old/New Testament” and goes through the Bible, book by book, translating from the oldest versions of the Bible available. I can especially appreciate this because every translation of the Bible that comes out seems to be get further and further from the true meaning of the Bible. Remember the childhood game of telling a person a secret, and then they tell someone, then they tell someone so that by the time it gets to the last person, it’s no longer the same secret but something else entirely? I believe the modern day Bible is something like that.

Here’s an introduction from the Review English Version website:

“Introduction

The Revised English Version® (REV®) is a new Bible translation produced by Spirit & Truth Fellowship International®. The REV translation project began by using the American Standard Version (ASV) of 1901 as a base text. Work began on this translation in the year 2000, and the first edition was released and printed in 2013. It is titled the Revised English Version because it is a translation of the ancient texts into English, and yet while it has much in common with other modern English versions, it also has significant differences.

In light of the continually increasing number of biblical manuscripts that contribute to our knowledge of the original text, there is a need for newer versions of the Bible to reflect these discoveries and the advancement in textual studies of the Bible. For example, the number of Greek New Testament manuscripts that the translators of the King James Version had to work from was quite small—a couple dozen at best—compared to the more than 5,700 manuscripts we have available today, thanks to the work of archaeologists and historians. In addition, the oldest Hebrew Old Testament manuscript before the mid-twentieth century AD was from the ninth century AD. But since the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest Hebrew Old Testament manuscripts now predate the birth of Jesus Christ and the writing of the New Testament.

Furthermore, with the discovery of more secular manuscripts from the biblical time period, our knowledge of the biblical vocabulary continues to develop. Also, the English language continues to change, making older terminology and expressions obsolete and confusing. For example, at the time the King James Bible was written, “by and by,” meant “immediately” but now it means “after a while” (Matt. 13:21). This is well known, and modern versions read “immediately” or an equivalent.

The REV is designed to be a more literal translation whenever the literal rendering can be accurately reflected and understood in modern English vernacular. However, there are times when the REV has departed from a strict literal translation in order to make good sense in English. Strictly literal translations can be more difficult than helpful at times because the mechanics of Greek and Hebrew differ dramatically from English. In addition to grammatical and syntactical differences, idiomatic expressions are rarely cross-lingual as well. In any translation, the objective is to communicate the meaning of the original language in the receptor language. Therefore, if a literal translation obstructs this goal, a more functionally equivalent expression is employed in the REV.

With so many other modern English versions of the Bible on the market today, the reader might wonder what differences in the REV make it worth reading compared to another popular English version. Since the beginning, the goal for translating the REV has been to produce a translation of the Bible that more closely represents biblical truth and textual accuracy than any other translation currently available. When translating from a foreign language, a person must correctly understand the meaning of the original text in order to be able to translate it correctly. Therefore, when it comes to a religious text, such as the Bible, the theology of the translator always affects the way he or she translates the Greek or Hebrew into English. In other words, the degree to which the Bible is accurately translated then is dependent upon the degree to which the translator accurately understands what the Bible means beyond attempting to identify merely an equivalent word in English. The fact is, every translation reflects the theology of the translator, sometimes more or less depending on the methods used for interpreting the Bible.

And so, producing a new translation of the Bible is always met with criticism due to the vast array of differing theologies throughout Christianity. But several reasons have eclipsed these concerns and have warranted the need for the REV. First and by far foremost, when concentrating on helping followers of the Lord Jesus Christ learn and grow in the Word of Truth, readers of the Bible are better served by reading a version that is accurate theologically instead of having to make mental corrections or skirt around verses that are translated with an alternate theology in mind. Ultimately, the goal of the REV translation is that, as much as possible, the Bible can simply be read and believed without the reader being burdened by having to cope with the inaccurate theological biases of most translators.

It is our prayer that the REV translation will be a great blessing to all readers regardless of their personal theological beliefs. We desire for it to help those who are truly seeking to understand the Bible to be able to understand it on its own terms, free from the compulsion of centuries of Christian tradition that has affected nearly every modern English version.”

I pray this is a blessing to you and I pray you take advantage of this resource. Do you have faith-based questions? Are you seeking the truth? Then perhaps this will help.

God bless you and thanks for reading.

Abundant Life

God Gives People the Responsibility of Governing Themselves

Now more than ever it’s important to be involved, and/or at least aware, of what our government is doing, or trying to do. More and more I hear people say, “Oh, I don’t pay attention to politics.”

Truth moment – I used to be the same way.

I think people, as they get older, naturally start paying attention to government more because policies affect older people more. If we don’t pay attention to what our government officials are doing, then we wake up one day and realize that half our paychecks are being taken from us to pay for government programs that are inefficient and worthless or we have less freedoms to live our lives because an elected official makes decisions for us because they “know what’s best for the people.” *snort*

We have to pay attention and vote for the best person to represent US, the people. And if they aren’t representing the people, then we vote them out and get someone in there who will.

It amazes me that people like Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, continually get voted back into office and for what? What have they accomplished other than pit people against each other and chip away at our rights?

(Or any government official for that matter, regardless of the party affiliate, who consistently does a bad job).

We, THE PEOPLE, have a responsibility of voting these power-hungry idiots OUT.

It’s time to wake up and #walkaway

Happy Sunday, by the way.

Abundant Life

Got Time on Your Hands? Make Your Relationships Stronger

Good Sunday evening, everyone.

We just got done watching this video from the Truth or Tradition YouTube channel and I thought I would share it. I think it’s a timely subject and one that a lot of us typically don’t take the time to think about or work on.

Since we have some time on our hands with our self quarantine, why not invest in building your relationship with your spouse and children? Spend some time together. Talk to each other. Make plans, play games … this is the perfect time to do the things with your family that you otherwise never have time for.

This is a stressful time for everyone but stay positive, pray often and remember – THIS TOO SHALL PASS.

Stay healthy, friends.

Abundant Life

Spiritual Fads Are a Waste of Time

Breathwork, really? I guess this is the newest “fad” to try and find inner peace.

I have a theory – people are constantly searching for peace, meaning of life, purpose. I feel like “restless souls”, or people who feel the need to constantly move, whether that’s in their daily lives or physically move locations, are simply searching for … something.

I think that “something” is different for everyone and maybe most people can’t define it, but it makes me sad. So when I see videos like this one, I can’t help but roll my eyes because to me, it’s simply another “fad” where people are trying to once again, SEARCH for the elusive SOMETHING.

I believe that “something” is spiritual, in essence. People who don’t believe in a higher being, or have faith in something outside of themselves, are generally unhappy with themselves, with their lives and dissatisfied by life in general.

This is simply my opinion coming from a Christian who likes to observe people and analyze motivations. For example, why are some people into tarot cards? Or Scientology? Or witchcraft? Or any other beliefs outside Christianity? To me, the essence of those beliefs are not any more strange to believe in than the “fate” or messages from cards that a person randomly flips over, or from aliens or from a super natural power than it is to believe in a kind, loving God who started all of this by creating humans to inhabit a world He specifically made for humans. I just don’t understand – if people are willing to put so much FAITH in these alternate beliefs, then why NOT believe in God?

To me, people who participate in alternative rituals or beliefs are almost making a conscious effort NOT to believe in Christianity. As if they are saying, “Nope, I’m not believing in Christianity because it’s an old and antiquated way to believe and the majority of people are Christians and I’m enlightened and different and there MUST be something else out there that I will work hard to try and find just so I can prove EVERYONE else wrong.’

I’m not saying this to insult anyone who is not a Christian, believe what you want, it’s called free will, but as an observer of life and looking at these various “fads” and “religions” from the outside, it truly baffles me that people put so much time and effort into something other than Christianity.

What’s the end goal here? If you’re looking for peace or the meaning of life, or the purpose of YOUR life, the Bible has those answers. Are the answers not good enough? Do they not satisfy a deeply embedded need? Is it not enough? Is it too simple? Do people think it can’t surely be this simplistic and reject it to pursue new and different?

I truly want to know.

Matt talks about “hallucinogenic’ effects of breathwork whenever he would participate. Could it be simply that you’re depriving your brain of oxygen and that’s why you’re feeling this way and it has nothing to do with any spiritual experience? And the fact that he admits to feeling emotional at the retreat, where his wife was present, and not having that feeling when he tried it at home by himself. Could you have had that emotional experience because you heard your wife cry out and empathized with her struggles because you love her and that’s what we do when we love someone? Perhaps it had nothing to do with a spiritual experience and more to do with the fact that you were forced to still your mind and body and be more aware of your surroundings, your thoughts and feelings.

I think breathwork is bogus, but I do appreciate, yet again, an attempt to MAKE people stop and disconnect with technology and appreciate stillness. I think anything that makes us do that is important, especially nowadays where it’s trendy to be “busy” and “connected” through all of these crazy social media outlets.

Don’t you find it ironic that we’re more “connected” than we’ve ever been in the history of man and yet so many people are lonely, sad and unhappy?

We are more connected to “each other through electronics” but more and more people are being persuaded to get away from God because it’s not “cool” to be a Christian and you must be crazy to believe in an invisible, all-knowing, and all-powerful creator.

You don’t think there is some correlation there? Because I do.

All I’m saying is, why not forego these crazy new spiritual “fads” and desperate attempts to create something that brings people peace and fulfillment and just go back to what has been available this entire time: God?

Just a thought.