Saturday, March 29, 2008

Schrodinger's Cat: a reflection on faith

Sorry if this is way off or that it might not make sense. Schrodinger's Cat is the idea that if you took a cat and a box, and place some atomic material like Uranium and a vial of poison with a hammer poised ready to fall and break the vial if an atom of the uranium decays, the hammer smashes the vial and kills the cat.

A tenet of quantum mechanics, uranium atoms, cannot be said to be in a definite state they are neither decayed or undecayed until they are observed. Until then, atoms hover in a quantum limbo, stuck in both possible states at the same time. Schrodinger proposed that until we open the lid and observe we also cannot assume the cat be alive or dead. In fact he proposed that the cat is both at the same time.

Now, Schrodinger supposedly used this as an illustration to mock his more mystical minded colleges who believed that observation created reality.

Yet, in this we have great stories of science fiction where we can meander a bit in the possibilities of this if true.

What if in the quantum realm we have both death and life intermixed. In fact if we read Genesis we see that Adam and Eve at the time of the curse suffer such a fate. Though they are "alive" they somehow "died" that very day they partook of the forbidden fruit.

Man exists in this sort of limbo such as the fate of Schodinger's cat.

Scripture teaches we must have life and the Life is in the Son.

Can you imagine a world where there is no death mixed in life? No decay at all. In some ways that may be sad as I love the color of the leaves in fall... or the color of old barn wood. Yet, imagine no death and no decay?

I imagine that God in a sense lifted the lid at the Cross and the atoms made their decision... for He made them and they will obey.

Do you think this is too far fetched? Then explain how Jesus in a physical body like yours and mine walked through a closed door and stood before His disciples. Jesus being God, knew the molecular structure of that door thus He could pass through it. He made all things so He knows the physics and quantum physics involved to do such things. Not to mention being dead for three days and then out and about walking through doors.

So, I see again, it is not the atoms who decide the fate of the cat, but that the God of the Atom decides the fate of the cat... and in that tells the atom to not only let the cat live, but give it life with no death at all!

Again, I may be off a bit. I have no education in physics let alone quantum physics, yet it makes me wonder what is in store for us in the New Creation.

Be blessed,


Friday, March 28, 2008

A little insider Humor.

Just a little insider Humor

Thursday, March 27, 2008

What a different world some live in....

What a different world some live in....

On very rare occasions, and I mean rare as in someone almost never... Yet, since I have on occasion noticed a couple of my friends mention Dan Phillips I read one of his articles...
And I just don't even relate to the question at all...
Here is the idea. You are a Christian and someone accuses you of being a legalist.
Dan then gives these examples of legalism or what others have said to him or... and that is where I get a bit confused I guess... but here are the "legalist" accusations with the questions afterward.

A legalist is...

  1. Anyone who thinks Christians are under the Ten Commandments
  2. Anyone who thinks Christians are under the Law of Moses (more broadly)
  3. Anyone who thinks that we must obey law (— any law, whether of Moses or of Christ) to merit salvation
  4. Anyone who thinks a Christian should obey the commands of Christ and the apostles
  5. Anyone whose example makes me feel bad about my life
  6. Anyone who imposes man-made rules on other Christians' conscience
  7. Anyone who lives by standards that I don't share
  8. Anyone who tells me that I should not do something I want to do, or do something I don't want to do
  9. Anyone who tells me that a sin I sinned was sin, that I must repent before
    God and man, and that I must make it right with those I've wronged
  10. Anyone who seriously thinks that what the Bible says is more important than what I strongly feel
  11. Anyone who seriously thinks that the Bible should be our only rule of faith and practice, and that it is wholly sufficient to that end
  12. Anyone who quotes a Bible verse I don't want to hear
  13. Anyone who affirms a Biblical truth I don't want to think about
  14. Anyone who thinks that, just because I say I believe in Jesus, I should take seriously anything that Jesus or His apostles or prophets say, even if I don't want to
  15. Anyone who evaluates my outpouring of emotions and reactions in a
    Biblical manner, however humanly and compassionately
  16. Anyone who holds to a lot of rules
  17. Anyone who applies the Bible accurately, but without so much as a breath of grace, patience, compassion or humility
  18. Anyone who thinks we should ever say "No" to anything we really deeply feel in our hearts
  19. Anyone who goes to church when he doesn't feel like it
  20. Anyone who takes literally parts of the Bible that I don't take literally
  21. Anyone who thinks I should go to church when I don't feel like it, just because I say I believe in Jesus
  22. Anyone who thinks I should respect an authority I don't agree with
  23. Anyone who thinks that, just because I call Jesus "Lord, Lord," I should actually do what He says

Update: Anyone who tries to hold another to a biblical standard [credit: Carrie]Update: Anyone who thinks that there is no problem that cannot be solved by more and better rules

In the meta, tell us:

Which of these have you heard most frequently?

Which do you think is (or are) accurate and legitimate uses — and on what basis?

Which do you think are inaccurate and illegitimate — and on what basis?

Now, there are some legitimate “legalism” there, but I see that the point is missed completely. If one adds one thing to the finished works of Christ Jesus, that is in itself, legalism.

So most of these, which some made me laugh out loud as things like, “22. Anyone who takes literally parts of the Bible that I don't take literally” when many people who claim to be “literalists” are not even close to being that, or say, Any of the “because I take Jesus seriously” ones which seem to totally miss what biblical obedience is.

The thing that gets me is that Dan Phillips is in the crowd that seems to get these statements aimed at them. Maybe for good reason? I never seem to get these statements aimed at me unless it is in the form or “you do it too!” when I try to rebuke someone in Dan’s crowd who hypocritically attacks a friend of mine or unjustly accuses someone I respect.

Before you think I am just on an anti Dan Phillips row here, I am not, I have also seen some legalism in my own camp which I do address, yet, I see more grace there than from many who propose their doctrines as “doctrines of grace”. I might even be as bold as to say that I have seen and experienced more grace from Arminians than from Calvinists… though I do not condemn all Calvinists in that manner nor I claim or state that most Arminians truly grasp Grace in its fullness (Nor do I for all its fullness).

Now, as far as these questions, most I see are just not even the right questions. If one is accused of these, then you need sit back and really consider what is being stated. I bet if one prays and truly considers the accusation against them they might see some truth to them all and might also be careful to consider oneself might fall into these traps of the faith.

So I see that before we try to justify or condemn someone for placing these statements at our feet, one should be wise to see if they really do apply to themselves.

I do not boast when I state I rarely hear people state these questions to me. For true Grace only comes from God and not from us. We can only love if we understand we are loved by God first. We can only give grace away if we have God’s grace to give away.

Be blessed,

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

If this famliy came to your church...

"Despite the fact that my belly is growing with a new life inside me, I am stable and confident being the man that I am.
“To Nancy, I am her husband carrying our child - I am so lucky to have such a loving, supportive wife.
“I will be my daughter’s father, and Nancy will be her mother. We will be a family.”

Are you ready for the Raptor?

Thanks Chris L

Love the Higher Law

Love the Higher Law

There are some things I just can’t grasp. One thing that I just can’t grasp or might not agree with is Leron Shultzs’ idea that we cannot analogize God. I see his point to a degree, yet the Bible is full of “God is like a…” statements. Yet, God does not have a beak or wings and Jesus is not a literal lamb… and Peter as dense as he could be sometimes was not a literal rock. So if one takes analogies to their extreme results… they will fall very short. Though I do like his idea of God as “Being in relationship.”

Now, one area I have thought about since High School was the concept of opposites. I had a teacher that asked the question one time, “What is the opposite of love?” we all stated “hate” just like you probably just did. Yet, he pointed out that the opposite of love is not hate, but apathy or the lack of emotion.

The opposite of hate is not love, the opposite of sorrow is not joy but all being emotions, are opposite to apathy.

Now, I am not sure if that helps me or hurts me as far as theology.

Yet let’s look at something in scripture called the Higher Law of Love.

1 John 4:16b “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.”

God dwells in the emotion of love. He calls us to live in those attributes that are of love. Grace itself can be best understood as the emotion God has for us, or knowing that God loves us.

Many people are quick to state that we are to “obey God” or it’s variation, that we are to “obey God’s Law”. Yet miss that to obey as they teach is actually “works”. For example, if you read this article you will note the author quotes verses on “He who does not love Me will not obey My teaching” yet misses that we cannot be obedient, for if we could, then we could obey the Law and would not have needed Jesus to die on the cross for the author only has half the teaching here… which is dangerous if one claims to be a teacher to only give half the teaching that one might mislead others down “works” salvation instead of total dependency on Christ Jesus for salvation. Though Jesus states “He who does not love Me will not obey My teaching” we must recognize a few things…

Jesus is talking to Judas who had his own agenda. Jesus knew Judas would betray him, yet, still gave Judas all the chances to turn. Jesus is stating that Judas to be filled with the Spirit of Truth by the Father because Judas believes on Jesus. Yet, most importantly one must understand what it was that Jesus “commanded” us to be obedient to. Here is what the bible teaches as to what the commands we are to be obedient to.

1 John 3: 23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.
1 John 4:21 And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.
Galatians 5:14 The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself."
2 John 1:6 And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.

Note that some seem to teach that we are still under the Mosaic law, while the bible teaches quite the opposite for Believers in Jesus.

Again there is more to obedience that so many miss, and that we as mere men, have no obedience in and of ourselves. Romans 5: 19 “For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.”

Though many quickly accept that we have no righteousness except Jesus as well as holiness of our own outside of the Holiness of Christ all imputed to us, for some reason many still believe wrongly that they have the ability to be obedient on and in their own power, or worse that they are “helped” by the Holy Spirit to be obedient. Now, there is some merit to the last one, yet we must realize that yet we must keep it in the biblical perspective. In a book by Chuck Smith “Charisma Versus Charismania” Chuck gives an example of lifting a table. We are on one side while God is on the other side and we lift and God helps. That is a terrible example… sorry to be so blunt.
The truth is any “works” we do will be tainted, yet the works God does are always good and perfect. So, if God is helping us God is defeating His own good and perfect will. Yet, if we understand that God lifts the table and we may look like we are lifting it, we are to only give God the glory in what He is doing by lifting the table. We are to be no less dependant on God than Jesus was Himself. In His own words he states in John 5: 19 “Jesus gave them this answer: "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”

Again if we look at Romans 5:19 we will notice that “through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners”. This many readily accept and have not issue with, yet, when we get to the second half many seem to balk at the very idea they cannot be obedient! They seem to hold to that our righteousness comes from our own obedience yet we read, “so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous”. It is from the obedience of the one man (Jesus) that we are made righteous. In Hebrews 5 we read, “8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9 and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him 10 and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.”

Jesus learned obedience Philippians 2: 5 “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” Again we see that Jesus was obedient even unto death.

The only obedience we can give is the obedience to Love God and one another. Yet, even that is with the understanding that Love is not generated from us, but is a response to what God has already done. That God loved us first, 1 John 4:10 “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”

Since we have responded to the love of God, then we receive the Holy Spirit. God is love and if we have responded then God lives in us, (1 John 4:12)

Once one grasps that truth, then we can allow God to work in us and through us. The sign in that this is happening in us is how we treat others. God does not care if you “repent” to Him, if you have harmed someone, yet do nothing to bring reconciliation. If you do not have reconciliation in your heart, which is driven by the love of God, then whatever you do is really worthless no matter how good one can teach.

Be blessed,

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Perhaps Hillary Inhaled Instead?

I offer this with no comment...

Hillary Clinton calls Bosnia sniper story a mistake

In a speech in Washington and in several interviews last week Clinton described how she and her daughter, Chelsea, ran for cover under hostile fire shortly after her plane landed in Tuzla, Bosnia.

Several news outlets disputed the claim and a video of the trip, showed Clinton walking from the plane, accompanied by her daughter. They were greeted by a young girl in a small ceremony on the tarmac and there was no sign of tension or any danger.

"I did make a mistake in talking about it, you know, the last time and recently," Clinton told reporters in Pennsylvania where she was campaigning before the state's April 22 primary. She said she had a "different memory" about the landing.

"So I made a mistake. That happens. It proves I'm human, which, you know, for some people, is a revelation."

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Walking through Romans: pt 13 Romans 12

Romans 12

1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. 17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,”[a] says the Lord. 20 Therefore

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;

If he is thirsty, give him a drink;

For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”[b]

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

We left off in Chapter 11 talking about that no one has given to God that God need repay them. It is that all things are from God and that is absolutely true when it comes to salvation. Though the Jew for a time has hardened his heart, thus receiving a “blindness” from God, the Gentile now received open eyes for an age so that a many as can be saved will be saved.

Because of this Paul calls us to give our mortal bodies as living sacrifices. No longer living in a way to satisfy its desires, but to now live as though the body was placed on an alter. I have heard of some that state that the difference between the OT sacrificial system and the NT system is that The Lamb was slain that took sin away, allowing for us to place our own being, on the alter before Jesus to offer each of us as a living sacrifice unto God. In this as we lay willingly down acknowledging our own death, we become a fragrant aroma unto God “For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task?” (2 Corinthians 2:15-16)

Genesis 8: 20 -22 “Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: "Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done" As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease."

Being like the OT sacrifice we now also have the promise of never being destroyed. Instead we are promised the “renewing of our minds” so that as we live as living sacrifices we prove that God’s will is also as He promised… “good and acceptable and perfect”.

No one has come into the Life of Christ without the gift of faith. It was by Grace faith was dealt to each of us. God has a purpose for each one of us. We are called the “Body of Christ” and realize that we are dependant on Christ Jesus as our Head. Here we have diversity and unity in action. We are One Body, yet many Parts of the same Body. I see this much like the Trinity itself. Unified, yet Each Person unique and with a specific purpose again acting as One in that same Purpose.
Some teach the gifts of God or at least some of them have ended, which is very sad as here Paul is stating, no encouraging with much enthusiasm, that we, having been given these gifts by God’s grace, to use these gifts “in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering”. Yet, some state that even the gift Paul states first and foremost here, as not even a valid one for today.

What is saddest to me is that here some deny the Holy Spirits’ power to minister in their own flocks.

Now many attach agendas to “love” and Paul encourages us to “Let love be without hypocrisy”. We should not attach our agenda, and I would be so bold to even say that to approach someone to come to our very church as possibly not having a pure motive at times. When was the last time you took time to “love” unconditionally and without an agenda someone else. Have you fed the family that has no food without advertising who you are? Have you given blankets or coats to those who are cold, without saying I am from such and such church? Jesus stated, do not let your right hand know what your left was doing, (Matt 6:3) Yet, most often we are out promoting our church or denomination in front of Jesus! When was the last time “love” compelled you to do “good works” God prepared for us to do? (Ephesians 2:10) Try it… you might be amazed in what God will do when you step back and not put your agenda ahead of His.

Though many bibles will have the subtitles (which in no way are scripture) some might say “Act like Christians”. In this world, actors are fakes! I will state that to “act like a Christian” will make you fake! Instead practice being what you already are… a Christian. There is no acting involved if you are already what you are. If you are redeemed of the Lord, then be just that! If you just practiced this one point in your life in Christ, you will see all the attributes Paul speaks of coming true in you. Re-read the passage from verses 9-21 and see what amazing things one will be like if agendas are dropped and letting yourself be who God is creating by the transformation of the renewing of your mind in Christ Jesus.

Lastly just a word of encouragement.

“17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,”[a] says the Lord.”.

Over the last couple of years I have had some very awful and nasty things stated about me. I admit fully at times I became angry. Yet, I also must thank those who persecute and have attacked me in that I have learned to now laugh and not worry about protecting myself. Rather, if their accusations be false, then I will let God repay them if He desires. This has freed me in many ways. I no longer care what someone states about me. (I will slip at times, but please extend grace! LOL!)

God is good and if I am more worried about what some fool is stating about me then I may miss a real opportunity to bless someone else!

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;

If he is thirsty, give him a drink;

For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”[b]
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

If one does these things it will be good for you as your time will not be consumed by those who are only out to divide and hurt others. What evil can be said that any will believe if you are feeding you very enemy or giving him drink… it truly is better to overcome evil with good.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Resurrection: How Great a Thing!

Luke 14: 12 Then Jesus said to his host, "When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."

How great a thing that Christ Rose from the dead. What a great ministry we have been given to reconcile all to Him. All that were mentioned in these verses were declared as unclean by man, yet by the death and resurrection of Jesus, we find them made clean. They have been made clean by the blood and now need be told that they can have Life in the Son.

Praise God for His Mercy and Grace. May the Passion of Christ rest on us all who claim His Name and drive us to do the Works of God we were created for.

Here is a great quote from N. T. Wright as we meditate on Resurrection and what it means.

But we are here today, on Sunday, the resurrection day, to celebrate and proclaim to the world the fact that Jesus Christ is risen from the dead. We live by this truth and we shall die by this truth. We comfort each other by this truth and we are stirred to love and devotion and service by this truth. Let us therefore settle it in our minds and hearts that we will allow the truth of the resurrection to propel us to be true revolutionaries. Not the cheap and easy kind of revolutionary, those who want to use violence to overthrow the present order and simply turn it upside down and replace it with one of their own. No, we’ve had plenty of those and it doesn’t work. No, we are like Jesus and, in his love and power to be double revolutionaries, celebrating his victory over death and sin, and finding through prayer and politics and Bible study and campaigning and love and fellowship and celebration and truth — finding the way to bring that victory to birth, both in the dark corners of our own private and personal lives and in the dark corners of God’s suffering world.

Be blessed this Resurrection Day!


SOLA GRATIA (Grace Alone)

SOLA GRATIA (Grace Alone)

In salvation we are rescued from God's wrath by His grace alone. It is the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit that brings us to Christ by releasing us from our bondage to sin and raising us from spiritual death to spiritual life.

We deny that salvation is in any sense a human work. Human methods, techniques or strategies by themselves cannot accomplish this transformation. Faith is not produced by our unregenerated human nature.
In this I affirm completely.
Interestingly, very few people put "Grace alone" and this verse together. James 4:6 and 1 Peter 5:5 "..."God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."
The sin of pride keeps one from receiving Grace through faith. God gives all mankind the gift of faith so that they may turn to Him and be saved. Yet, if ones heart is hardened and proud God resists that person in their attempt to do works that would save them. We owe God to great a debt to be able to pay off. The wages of sin, which is revealed by the Law, is death. But the Gift of God is Life. This Life is sustained by God's Grace toward us. We do nothing, except in response to what God has done, accept we are dead in our sins and humbly ask for mercy and Grace. God gives grace to the humble. That is a promise.
Be blessed,

The mystic ladder of Divine love, according to Saint Bernard and Saint Thomas Step Six

Wherein are treated the other five steps of love.

ON the sixth step the soul runs swiftly to God and touches Him again and again; and it runs without fainting by reason of its hope. For here the love that has made it strong makes it to fly swiftly. Of this step the prophet Isaias speaks thus: ’ The saints that hope in God shall renew their strength; they shall take wings as the eagle; they shall fly and shall not faint,.as they did at the fifth step. To this step likewise alludes that verse of the Psalm: ’ As the hart desires the waters, my soul desires Thee, O God.’

For the hart, in its thirst, runs to the waters with great swiftness. The cause of this swiftness in love which the soul has on this step is that its charity is greatly enlarged within it, since the soul is here almost wholly purified, as is said likewise in the Psalm, namely: Sine iniquitate cucurri.
And in another Psalm: ‘I ran the way of Thy commandments when Thou didst enlarge my heart’;and thus from this sixth step the soul at once mounts to the seventh, which is that which follows.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Walking Through Romans: pt 12 Romans 11

Walking Through Romans pt 12 Romans 11

Romans 11
1 I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying, 3 “LORD, they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life”?[a] 4 But what does the divine response say to him? “I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”[b] 5 Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. 6 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace.[c] But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.7 What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded. 8 Just as it is written: “ God has given them a spirit of stupor, Eyes that they should not see And ears that they should not hear, To this very day.”[d]9 And David says:

“ Let their table become a snare and a trap,

A stumbling block and a recompense to them.

10 Let their eyes be darkened, so that they do not see,

And bow down their back always.”[e]

11 I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles. 12 Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness! 13 For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, 14 if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them. 15 For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 16 For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. 17 And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, 18 do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” 20 Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. 22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness,[f] if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. 23 And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? 25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved,[g] as it is written:

“ The Deliverer will come out of Zion,

And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;

27 For this is My covenant with them,

When I take away their sins.”[h]

28 Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. 29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30 For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, 31 even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all. 33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!

34 “ For who has known the mind of the LORD?

Or who has become His counselor?”[i]

35 “ Or who has first given to Him

And it shall be repaid to him?”[j]36

For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.

In chapter 10 we talked about the purpose of the Law. Here we see that since we are not saved by the Law… nor are we saved by being a Jew, the natural question would be, “I say then, has God cast away His people? “

Paul is quick to state that, “Certainly not!” In fact this is so emphatic of exclamation that it may be taken as swearing in the original language… simply stated being, “Hell no!”. The point is that Paul is stating that God has not forsaken the Jews.

Now we must proceed carefully here as if one does not read this passage with great care there are many errors that one can come away with.

Foreknowledge being more that the bible refers to.
Election is more than the biblical definition.
That works are part of keeping salvation.
That “right belief” saves us.

These are some of the errors I have encountered that people use this passage to promote their errant teachings.

Yet, the truth is that we see that Paul refers to “His people whom He foreknew” meaning the Jew. And out of this there is a remnant that come from the faith of Abraham. We must be careful not to add to the scripture concerning “Foreknowledge” as if we do, we can enter into the misunderstanding that some are chosen on a personal basis meaning, that as an individual, God chose you to be saved. Now, there is some truth to that, yet, we see that Election is not about the individual, but about the Jew and Gentile becoming one man.

If one takes a look at Ephesians 2 you will see Paul teaching just this.

“14For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, 16and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.”

We see here in Romans that Paul is taking that same thought throughout this passage.

God foreknew the Election of the remnant… the Elect is the New Man made of the two being Jew and Gentile.

The issue then arises that though God “Chose” the Jew, and now also “engrafts” the Gentile and rejects the Jews for the sake of causing them to become jealous, that the Gentile not become prideful. For if the Jew was cut off (note not all as some are preserved as a remnant.) The Gentile then might become prideful and state, “, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” Which Paul states, “Well said.” Yet, if one then assumes as a Gentile, just as the Jew did before him, that because God now chooses the Gentile that all is well, pride can raise it’s ugly head and God can just as well cut of the Gentile. In fact there will be a time that this will happen. When the age of the Gentile is complete God will cut off those who did not come to Him in faith. Paul states in verse 25 “For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.”

Again if we read this as an “individual” it may sound like if we do not “continue in His goodness” which sounds like one might be able to lose salvation. In fact this is quite the opposite as Paul is reassuring that we the “Elect” are saved by grace and not by works. Even more we see that Paul’s assurance of God’s ability to save even those who have fallen. We see that though the Jew has fallen away, that he also may be grafted on again if he does not persist in unbelief.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

In Honor of St. Patty's Day pt 3 a prayer

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through the belief in the threeness,
Through confession of the oneness
Of the Creator of Creation.
I arise today
Through the strength of Christ's birth with his baptism,
Through the strength of his crucifixion with his burial,
Through the strength of his resurrection with his ascension,
Through the strength of his descent for the judgment of Doom.
I arise today
Through the strength of the love Cherubim,
In obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In prayers of patriarchs,
In predictions of prophets,
In preaching of apostles,
In faith of confessors,
In innocence of holy virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.
I arise today
Through the strength of heaven:
Light of sun,
Radiance of moon,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of wind,
Depth of sea,
Stability of earth,
Firmness of rock.
I arise today
Through God's strength to pilot me:
God's might to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me,
God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me,
God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me,
God's shield to protect me,
God's host to save me
From snares of devils,
From temptations of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone and in multitude.
I summon today all these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel merciless power that may oppose my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man's body and soul.
Christ to shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that there may come to me abundance of reward.
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the threeness,
Through confession of the oneness,
Of the Creator of Creation.

In Honor of St. Patty's Day pt 2

Paddy was driving down the street in a sweat because he had an important meeting and couldn't find a parking place. Looking up to heaven he said, "Lord take pity on me. If you find me a parking place I will go to Mass every Sunday for the rest of me life and give up me Irish Whiskey!"

Miraculously, a parking place appeared.

Paddy looked up again and said, "Never mind, I found one."

Saturday, March 15, 2008

In Honor of St. Patty's Day pt 1

Father Murphy walks into a pub in Donegal, and says to the first man he meets, "Do you want to go to heaven?"

The man said, "I do, Father."

The priest said, "Then stand over there against the wall."

Then the priest asked the second man, "Do you want to go to heaven?"

"Certainly, Father," was the man's reply.

"Then stand over there against the wall," said the priest.

Then Father Murphy walked up to O'Toole and said, "Do you want to go to heaven?"

O'Toole said, "No, I don't Father."

The priest said, "I don't believe this. You mean to tell me that when you die you don't want to go to heaven?"

O'Toole said, "Oh, when I die, yes. ; ; I thought you were getting a group together to go right now."

Taking Donations Now!

Hey, start saving up for my birthday, ok?

Be Blessed,


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

American Gladiators Rejects...

I admit it... I was into the original American Gladiators... And now they returned! Oh Joy..., I really think it is stupid.

So in honor of the Return of American Gladiators... here you go!

(Warning some PG language)

American Gladiators Auditions Rejects - Watch more free videos