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Virus-Driven Reading of the Bible — Some Satire from the Babylon Bee!


BURLINGAME, CA—Local Christian Tim Kabara has grown extremely bored during this whole Coronavirus quarantine thing. He has already watched every show on Netflix, done 6,000 push-ups, and read every book on his shelf—every book except for his dusty old Bible.

Kabara grew up in a conservative Christian family and goes to church every Sunday, so it only makes sense that this is the only book on his shelf that hasn’t been read. He is actually quite surprised that it’s still up there.

“Okay, fine,” Kabara said to himself—and to his grandpa, who is in Catholic heaven. “Let’s open this bad boy up, see what’s in here.” Amazed, Kabara read the Good Book for nearly six hours straight.

“Wow, so that’s the book of Genesis,” Kabara said to himself. “Only 820 pages left! I can’t wait to tell all my friends about this!”

It took Kabara a full sixteen hours of quarantine to read the Five Books of Moses, but after that, taking the advice of a good Jewish friend, he just skipped on over to the New Testament.

Kabara is now an entirely new person, thanks to the Coronavirus quarantine forcing him to read the Bible. He has learned some new things, like how to betray your friends, how to get away with murder, and whose feet to wash in an emergency.

Kabara knows deep down that if it weren’t for this year’s Coronavirus, he would have never read the Bible at all. So he did something he hasn’t done since that home run in sixth grade—he thanked God. “Thank you God, for bringing us the Coronavirus.”

 
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Posted by on March 28, 2020 in Bible reading

 

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Wild Thing! A Great Geico Commercial!


The very first song I learned to play on the guitar was …. WILD THING!  Here’s what I looked like . . . 55 years ago!

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2020 in commercials

 

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A Theological Check-Up: Do You Really Believe? Part 11: Man (Final Series Post)

Friends: I goofed. Somehow I forgot about the area of Christian theology that deals with human beings. Anthropology, the study of man, asks a variety of questions about man’s make-up: does man have an immortal soul? What does it mean to be made “in the image of God”? Should we believe in capital punishment [WHAT?! Where did that question come from?!], etc.

These posts were inspired by my thinking about the books from the late Paul Little who wrote Know WHAT You Believe and Know WHY You Believe. We’ve been asking not WHAT or WHY, but IF. Do we really believe what we say we believe?

When it comes to the issue of man, the Bible has much to say about this aspect of “the glory of God” (I Cor. 11:7). God made man “in His image,” a description found several times in the Scriptures. Here’s a brief chart I’ve put together:

Today’s Challenge: IF I believe that men and women are made in the image of God, I will treat them with respect. I will also pray for opportunities to share the gospel with others, recognizing that every person will spend eternity either in fellowship with God or separated from Him.

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

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A Letter of Martin Luther During a Plague

In a letter to Rev. Dr. John Hess, found in Luther’s Works, Volume 43 p. 132, as “Whether one may flee from a Deadly Plague,” Luther writes:

“I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance inflict and pollute others and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me however I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely as stated above. See this is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.”

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2020 in plagues

 

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A Theological Check-Up: Do You Really Believe? Part 10: The End Times

These posts were inspired by the late Paul Little’s books Know WHAT You Believe and Know WHY You Believe. Those are certainly worthwhile questions to ask. WHAT exactly do we believe as Jesus-followers? And WHY do we believe such things?

The question that intrigues me is this: DO we really believe the things we say we believe? The question is WHETHER or IF we truly believe. Belief in the Bible leads to life-change, priorities’ reordering, a recalibration of one’s goals and dreams. IF I truly believe the Bible and the Bible alone is God’s Word, I will spend significant time and energy pouring over its truths. IF I truly believe that Jesus is the only Savior — and that man is in desperate need of salvation — then I will strive to be a friend of sinners like Jesus was.

What about the “end times”?  What do Jesus-followers actually affirm concerning issues such as heaven, hell, the intermediate state (that time period between one’s death and one’s bodily resurrection), the Second Coming, and the Millennial Kingdom?

Jesus-followers disagree with each other on some of the specific details, such as the timing of the Second Coming vis-a-vis the tribulation. But all believers affirm that Jesus is coming back.

One of the great controversies today is the very idea of . . . hell. Will the God of the Bible actually separate “the wicked” (those who die without Christ) from Himself and the glories of heaven forever? I’ve blogged a lot about this issue — because I came to Christ out of a fear of God’s holy judgment. But that’s not the primary reason I believe in eternal lostness. The Bible is quite clear that there will an eternal bifurcation between “the righteous” and “the wicked.” Matthew 25 makes this clear, as do many other Scriptures.

Today’s Challenge: We have no idea how much time is left before God’s final judgment. Are you and I looking for opportunities to share the gospel with others — before it is eternally too late?

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2020 in beliefs

 

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Social Distancing — A Few Thoughts

As an “expressive introvert” (I’ve taken the tests: Myers Briggs, Briggs & Stratton, etc.), I recognize that my default setting requires a fair amount of alone time. I can identify with the desert monks centuries ago who lived in caves by themselves and contemplated the glories of God away from this broken, fallen world of sin.

However, they could not escape from themselves. We take ourselves with us when we self-isolate. Blaise Pascal, the 17th century mathematician and theologian said, “All men’s miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone.” Aloneness, solitude, can be one blessing from how our culture is dealing with the Coronavirus.

But we have a supernatural enemy who hates quiet. He majors in noise and often we cooperate with his wicked plans by providing as much noise as we can. It is hard to contemplate when one is immersed in sound. Quietness is a rare commodity in our culture, but one we can pursue with profit.

Here are several benefits of self-distancing that occur to me:

1. We can re-discover reading. You remember reading, don’t you? Pastor John Piper once said, “To most Christians, the Bible is like a software license. Nobody actually reads it. They just scroll to the bottom and click ‘I agree.’” What books do you have in your library that you would read — if you only had the time? Now you do.

2. We can concentrate on conversation. With much of the hustle and bustle of regular life forcibly put on pause, we can talk with our spouse or significant other about life, and suffering, and challenges. And we should focus on becoming better ASKERS rather than TELLERS. Asking good questions of those we love gives them the opportunity of expressing their views and perspectives. Someone has said that “The ability to hold a good conversation has almost become a lost art form.” Edith Wharton once wrote, “Ah, good conversation. There’s nothing like it, is there? The air of ideas is the only air worth breathing.”

3. We can major on meditation. We who know Jesus have no excuses not to meditate on God’s Word. Many of us now have what we seemingly lacked B.V. (before the virus) — and that is TIME. Use it wisely. Develop or re-develop the habit of pouring over God’s Word — and thinking about what you read there. Chuck Swindoll writes, “In place of our exhaustion and spiritual fatigue, God will give us rest. All He asks is that we come to Him…that we spend a while thinking about Him, meditating on Him, talking to Him, listening in silence, occupying ourselves with Him – totally and thoroughly lost in the hiding place of His presence.”

4. We can achieve a new perspective on prayer. Human helplessness in the face of this pandemic is remedied, for followers of Jesus, by the simple practice of prayer. We must pray for our leaders as they make key decisions. We can pray for our neighbors whom we hardly know. We can commit ourselves in prayer that life will be different when we are through this trial. We can pray for our churches which have discontinued meeting together. The church is not finally defined by its services or its building, but by its members who love and pray for one another. Prayer is the antidote to worry. Corrie Ten Boom said, “Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be made into a burden.” And we can pray for others, for our lost neighbors, for those who have turned away from the gospel. J. Sidlow Baxter wrote, “Men may spurn our appeals, reject our message, oppose our arguments, despise our persons, but they are helpless against our prayers.”

Your thoughts?

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2020 in social distancing

 

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A Theological Check-Up: Do You Really Believe? Part 9: The Holy Spirit

The Apostles’ Creed says, “I believe in the Holy Spirit.” I find it interesting that the Holy Spirit is left to the end of the creed.

Many have referred to the Spirit as “the forgotten God” or “the forgotten Third.” Granted our primary attention should be given to the Lord Jesus. We are also clearly told in the Upper Room Discourse (John 14-16) that the Spirit will be sent to glorify the Son. But “primary” attention does not mean exclusive attention.

Jesus-followers should know and worship God the Holy Spirit (because He is divine). We should develop a relationship with Him because He is personal. We can speak to Him, listen for His promptings, and not grieve Him. Developing a relationship with God the Holy Spirit involves learning about His ministries to us and to the world — and co-operating with Him!

IF we say that we “believe” in the Holy Spirit, what does that mean? It must mean more than believing facts about Him. It must mean that our lives will daily be impacted by His indwelling, filling, convicting, illuminating, comforting, confronting, assuring Presence!

A few questions about your relationship with God the Holy Spirit:

1. Do you ever pray directly to Him? Do you ask Him to bring conviction of sin to those you love who are outside of Christ?

2. Do you thank God the Holy Spirit for the spiritual gifts He has given you (Romans 12, I Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4, I Peter 4) to serve the local church? Are you using those gifts?

3. Have you ever grieved the Spirit of God? What did you do about it?

4. When you are reading or studying Scripture, do you pray for the Spirit’s illuminating ministry to you? Can you give an example of His answering your prayer?

Today’s Challenge: Write out a prayer to God the Holy Spirit. It might relate to His ministry of conviction or comfort or challenge. Post that prayer in the Comment section below if you wish.

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2020 in beliefs

 

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