Monday, November 30, 2009

I John 2:7-11 summary

Based upon my research of I John 2:7-11 (which I posted last week) I think John is telling his readers the following:

(7) My fellow earthlings, there is no difference between any of us though our color, race or creed may vary. We are all from the womb of a woman and we should look out for the needs of one another. Loving and caring for the needs of people is what Jesus practiced and we should do the same. It was the passion which drove Him to do what He did and it was the command He gave us to obey, a mission to fulfill.

(9) Any one who has had the love of Christ fill his heart will be sensitive to the needs of others. They will not turn a blind eye or deaf ear to their pain or need but will reach out to them as Jesus did. (11) Those who do not care for the needs of others simply prove that Christ's love has not yet purged their heart and that they have not yet found the real purpose and meaning to life.

Thanks for stopping by!


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Fight Club

Hello Men.
Happy Thanksgiving! Lord willing I'll see each of you on Saturday for our weekly Fight Club. We will meet in the church Cafe at 7:30 am. Our concentrated study will be I John 2. Come prepared to share!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I John 2:7-11 word study

As I continue my study of John's first epistle I find the author's focus in this section to be quite intriguing to say the least. He changes the manner in which he addresses his readers and his choice of words not only present a need for social action but also seems to suggest that the benevolent care of others is a true test for identifying genuine Christ followers.

I will share my interpretation of this passage later this week (Lord willing) but for now look over the word study below and see if you do not draw similar conclusions to mine. Be sure to conduct your own word study for comparison sake. The more research we have the better our interpretation will be.

The Text: I John 2:7-11
7 Brethren, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning. 8 Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.
9 He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. 10 He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 11 But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

Word Study:
"Brethren" (adelphos) meaning humankind or coming from the womb in likeness

"new" (kainos), new in the sense of freshness; refreshing

"old" (palaios), worn out; obsolete

"commandment" (entole), injunction or precept

"beginning" (arche), point of commencement; first estate or ranking

"thing" (hen-heis), appears in the negative tense meaning certain and abundant

"true" (alethinos), meaning truthful or truth filled

"darkness" (skotia), shading, dimness, or obscurity

"past" (parago), meaning to lead near; to go along with; departed

"light" (phos), to make manifest; fire within

"shines" (phaino), meaning to be seen

"hates" (miseo), to detest; persecute; to be loveless for

"brother" (same as brethren, see above definition), meaning fellow human

"love" (agapeo-agan), to love in a social or moral sense.

"stumbling" (skandalon), to be trapped; to be or do a thing of offense

"walks" (peripateo), meaning to be occupied with

"blinded" (tuphloo), to make blind; to obscure

"eyes" (ophthalmos), vision or sight. Also used in reference to a jealous side glance

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, November 20, 2009

First John 2:3-6 study

As I continue my personal study of I John I would like to share some of my research and personal translation of 2:3-6. John writes (NKJV),

"Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked."

Word study of the Text:
"know" in verses 3 & 4 - (Ginosko, Greek), meaning to be sure of; feel; experiential understanding; allow.

"keep" - (Tereo), meaning to guard; keep watch over or eye upon.

"commandments" in verses 3 & 4 - (Entole), meaning injunction; authoritative perscription; precept.

"liar" - (Pseustes), meaning a falsifier.

"truth" - (Aletheia), meaning verity; to become truth.

"word" - (logos), the use of the Greek article indicates "maintaining a presence (or state) of mind.

"perfected" - (Teleioo), meaning consummated; shown complete. Is a derivative of the word (teleios) meaning complete, right standing; of full maturity.

"abides" - (Meno), meaning a given place or state; indwelling.

"walk" - (Peripateo), meaning votary; as a companion.

My Translation of I John 2:3-6:
John is writing to those who are near and dear to his heart, his spiritual children in Christ Jesus. In this section he gives them the litmus test for their faith to expose the heresy of the Gnostics. He is saying the assurance of their completeness in Christ, the proof that they have experienced the fullness of His salvation is their singleness of purpose to honor the greatest command of the Christ to love one another. Greater enlightenment or higher knowledge and revelation is a tactic used of Satan to distract and confuse people, and to discourage the children of God. It is a dead end street which leads to nowhere.

Once Christ has purged our hearts with His love we should consider ourselves complete in the sight of God. We have been refashioned into the image of Jesus and in complete approval and fellowship with God. We are right where God wants us to be! The only thing left for us to do is to love others out of the abundance of His love which has been placed in our heart. If that is the desire of your heart then you've got it! You have become truth because He (Truth) fully resides in you!

Those who say they have experienced Jesus but still think they need something else in addition are deceived. They have simply not become singleness of heart and purpose yet. For those of us who have been perfected through the indwelling fullness of the Holy Spirit the operating system of our life has changed. We can no longer run the old program of sin. Our system of life is set by our Controller, Jesus Christ. And we live in that reality every moment of our day.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Pilgrim

"Guide me, O Thou Great Jehovah. Pilgrim through this barren land"

A pilgrimage is a journey undertaken in the light of a story. A great event that has happened; the pilgrim hears the reports and goes in search of the evidence, aspiring to be an eyewitness. The pilgrim seeks not only to confirm the experience of others firsthand but to be changed by the experience. (written by Paul Elie)

Heavenly Father, Paul told the Philippians that "the righteous that is from You is received by faith; so that I may have fellowship with You, know Jesus, and experience the power of His resurrection working within me this day. And though I have already attained Your favor and I am perfected in Your eyes through the righteousness of my Savior, I will press forward this day with Jesus as a pilgrim to lay hold of that which Christ has in store for me. So shall I walk by this rule today and this rule alone will be my mandate" (3:10-14, 16).

In Jesus' name, Amen.

Men's Fight Club

Men, you are invited to join me in the Church Cafe this Saturday morning at 7:30 am for the very best coffee served in northern Ohio. Yes you heard correctly. Why else would so many guys get up early on a sleeper day? Well, maybe it does have a little something to do with Bible study, Christian fellowship and men who are consecrated to Jesus Christ. But one should never under estimate the draw of a quality cup of Joe!

Anyhow, this will be a good week to attend. Rumor has it that chef Bubba will be in the house and breakfast will be cooked to your liking. Just think ... great coffee, a hot breakfast, Bible study ... does it get any better than this? I think not!

This week we will continue to work through I John 2. Come prepared to share what God is speaking to your heart from the text. Be sure to look over your Fight Club notes and the I John material posted on my blog as a refresher and to allow the Holy Spirit to prime your pump for Fight Club discussion!

See you Saturday. There is no extra charge this week for the coffee grounds served with every cup. They're on the house this week!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ancient wisdom

"The problem today is not a non-church going community but a non-community going church." (as quoted by A. Scott Matheson in his 1893 book titled: "The Church and Social Problems")

Papal pearls

Only those who are "on the way" aren't "in the way!" (taken from: Rise, Let us be on our Way, by Pope John Paul II)

Spanish advice

Caminante, no haycamino. Se hace camino al andar.

Translated, "Wayfarer, there is no way. You must make the way as you go." - Spanish poet Antonio Machado

I John 2:1-2 summary

John writes,

"My little children, these things I write to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the whole world."

Summary of the original text:
"My little children, these things I write to you that you may not sin"
- "My", (emos) meaning "proceeding from me"

- "Little children," (teknion) meaning "darling one; to be near and dear to the heart"

- "Sin," (hamartano) meaning to miss the mark and not share in the prize.

"And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous."
-"sins" (hamartia), meaning to be sin filled

- "Advocate," (parakletos) meaning intercessor or literally the one who brings to parties together.

- "righteous," (dikaios) meaning to make innocent. Derived from (dike) meaning to make equitable in character and action.

"And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the whole world."
- "propitiation," (hilasmos) meaning an expiator. Webster says an expiator is one who puts an end to guilt and assiduous labor.

- "sins," (hamartia) meaning sin filled

- "world," (kosmos) meaning the world and all of its adorning; all of creation in both the wide and narrow sense, including its inhabitants.

My translation of I John 2:1-2:
John is saying, My dear readers of this letter, you are near and dear to my heart because I am your spiritual daddy. I write to you at this time because I do not want you to miss out on the prize given to you through Jesus Christ because of the deception of the Gnostics. You were once sinfilled (not according to the original design of God; not being found in His image or likeness) but Jesus Christ reconciled you with God and to His original design for your life. Now you are one with the Father and perfect in His sight (or right where He wants you to be at this time, "telios"). Jesus has made you innocent (perfect, "telios")by purging you of a nature that was not of Him and replaced it with His. Jesus has put an end to your guilt and labor to gain God's approval. You have peace with God and no one has the right to tell you otherwise. Tell the whole world and all of God's creation, that Jesus can put an end to the guilt and shame of sin once and for all!

Thanks for stopping by!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What are we called to next?

The Church's vision and mission does not change. It is set by our CEO Jesus Christ. Our vision is to fulfill His Great Command and our mission is to implement His Great Commission. Our objectives in fulfilling the two can be tweaked from time to time, and we expect our leaders to help us develop an annual strategy to keep us forward moving but let's be clear the CEO sets the vision and mission for the Church. So what's our role?

Our role is to keep our objectives as a Church relevant in all that we do. Whether we are reaching up to God in worship, over to one another for support, out to our world in service or inward for Christlikeness, we must ever be evangelizing, encouraging, equipping, edifying and helping others experience to best, most fulfilling life possible. We must continuously discern God's will and assess the needs of our community and strategize accordingly. We must set annual goals that are "SMART" (Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound) and then follow through.

As a Church we must re-strategize and re-structure at least annually to avoid stagnation. Let me share with you the typical life cycle of a ministry. It goes like this: "Dream, beliefs, goals, structure, ministry, nostalgia, questioning, polarization, dropout" (Pete Stenkie, Implementing Positive Change). In every ministry of the Church we must interrupt the nostalgia stage (and the consequent downward spiral) with our vision and mission each year. A healthy ministry cycle looks something like this: vision + mission + objectives leads to dream, belief, goals, structure ...(assessed through the lens of vision + mission + objectives) leads to re-dream, beliefs, goals, structure, ministry ...(assessed through the lens of vision + mission + objectives) leads to re-dream, beliefs, goals, structure, ministry ....

It is our responsibility as a Church - to follow the vision and mission of our CEO. We must structure our ministry and use our resources in such away that His objectives are met. We appoint leaders and call pastoral staff to assist us in the setting and implementation of our strategy and we need to measure our success accordingly in all areas of our corporation. God help us to keep on dreaming together and may we never grow stagnant in following our CEO - Jesus Christ.
Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Right talk

Two Jesuit priests both wanted a cigarette while they prayed. They decided to ask their bishop for permission. The first asked but was told no. A little while later he spotted his friend smoking. "Why did the bishop allow you to smoke and not me?" he asked. "Because you asked if you could smoke while you prayed and I asked if I could pray while I smoked!" the friend replied (taken from "Leading Change in the Congregation", p. 133).

Sometimes it all in how you ask, Eh? After 29 years of marriage I have come to understand the importance of asking the right questions of Lisa. Most of the time I want to be "Mr. Fix it" when listening to her frustrations but one of the smartest things I learned to do when Lisa is opening up to me about her day or a problem she is dealing with is to ask, "Honey, is this something you want me to help you fix or do you just want me to listen?" Now that is sage advise for any man! Men if you have not dropped this phrase into your relational tool belt then I suggest you memorize it and put it into action asap!

Emotions are an important part of the human life and they play a major role in the Church as well. The Church is known as an emotional system which must be dealt with accordingly. If leaders ignore the emotional aspects of the Church then change will be hard to come by. Transition in the Church is like riding a roller coaster. Emotionally there are a lot of ups and downs, twists and turns.

There are two sides to the roller coaster known as "change" in the Church. The right side is logic and the left is emotion. People enter the coaster from both sides. Often times leaders will hang out with those who enter the coaster from the right and have little interaction with the masses who need to be validated emotionally through emoting communication. As emotion escalates in the congregation leaders must do less explaining and more listening. Unless church people have the opportunity to vent their emotion in productive ways to leaders they will not buy into change no matter how logical it my seem.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

What's God up too?

One of the most important questions a Church leader can ask during times of change is, "what is God up too?" I guess the same would hold true for individuals in times of transition as well. As Romans 8 reminds us, the Divine is using "all things" we experience for "His good and purpose" (28-29), whether we are speaking corporately or not. Either way, we need to pay attention to what God is doing and respond accordingly.

I like Rabbi Lawrence Kushner's take on this subject (as told by Rendle in Leading Change in the Congregation). He says, "I wonder why a God who can split the sea, create pillars of fire and make the sun stand still would resort to a cheap parlor trick like a burning bush to call Moses as a leader for His people? The answer is not that the burning bush that was not consumed by fire was not a miracle, it was a test. God was testing Moses attention span and ability to observe his surroundings.

It takes several minutes for a person to watch a bush burning to discover that it is not being consumed. Those who would simply glance at the bush would soon look away and only see a burning bush. In this case God was wanting to know if Moses could pay attention to something for more than a few minutes and if He could find the Divine in the midst of the common. When Moses did, God spoke."

What an interesting concept to ponder! Could it be the trick to healthy transition is to find and view what God is doing through our circumstances long enough to understand His will and experience His miracle? We need to hold on and not always rush to hasty decisions less we may miss God in the process.

Human nature is to run off and fix the problem. To distance ourselves as far away from the pain as we possibly can. God however, wants us to live in the moment as Jesus describes in the latter verses of Matthew 6. He says, do not fret over your circumstances but rather focus on Me and the need to be transformed into My image. Then eventually the path will be made clear and things will work out for your good and My glory (my paraphrase).

Lasting change requires some time in the wilderness. It is in the wilderness of pain, anxiety and disappointment that God gets our attention and reveals Himself to the keen observer in a life altering way. What extended the journey of the Israelites into year forty? Dwelling on the past and grumbling about the present. They said, "If only we had stayed in Egypt and died it would have been better than this! Here we are in the wilderness... surely we will die from hunger! (Exodus 16:1-2). How short sighted. Why it was only a few days since they witnessed the parting of the Red Sea, and were presently enjoying the warmth of the pillar of fire by night and the reprieve of sun through a cloud by day. Hello?

God help us to be aware of our surrounding and search Him out in the circumstances we face. Good things will be in store if we do! Thanks for stopping by...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

These changing times (part 2)

In his book, Leading change in the Congregation, Rendle asks, "why did it take Moses 40 years to cross the wilderness instead of 40 weeks or less, which would have been possible if a more direct route had been chosen?" Rendle states, the migration must be viewed as an act of transformation by the hand of God. It took the people 40 years to reorganize. Had they made the trip in 40 weeks they would have arrived in the Promised Land unchanged. They would have still had a slave mentality, still thinking and behaving like slave people. But during 40 years of being held in the wilderness, they were transformed into a people who had a new relationship with God in which they learned to trust His sufficiency and to consecrate themselves to His will. In the wilderness they gained a new understanding and identity of self, others, and a new way of organizing their community that went beyond Moses and Aaron. Through the wilderness they were genuinely transformed by God.

When facing change in the Church, leaders must be comfortable with their time in the wilderness and remain there long enough for divinely ordained transformation to take place. To be a leader in times of change does not require the ability to produce an answer or fix a problem; rather the patience and courage to hold people close to the pain and possibility that God can use to transform them. It's time to pay attention to people, hear their hurts and wishes, note what God is doing in people, and hold still long enough for significant change to occur.

The role of a leader is to pay attention long enough to what God is doing and not run off to fix something. Their role is to help people confront their pain, disappointments, and anxieties without diminishing them but also without being overwhelmed by them. It is to help people dream dreams that will provide direction and energy. It is to help people escape the boxes of their assumptions and learned behavior so that deep change can occur and not be subverted by old rules. Most importantly, it is the role of spiritual leaders to help hold people in the wilderness of their experience, the chaos of not knowing what comes next until it comes for the sake of their transformation brought on through the sovereign will of God.

Can you view the "wildernesses of life" as grace extending from God rather than a punitive act? Can you find comfort in the midst of uncertainty or is your obsession to quickly make something happen in order to dismiss the awkwardness and uncomfortableness of the circumstances? Can you enjoy the journey through the wilderness?

Thanks for stopping by!

These changing times ...

It's the time of year when a pastoral staff generally begins searching the heart of God for direction in ministry. Our staff is currently contemplating their call to WHFC and at the same time probing God for next year's ministry goals and objectives in their key areas of responsibility. Even if God should nudge their hearts towards a different opportunity there must be objectives in place to maintain consistency in ministry through the time of transition.

Our church must be comfortable with change. All living organisms (like the local Church for example) must change in order to thrive. I like the words of Michael Crichton in The Lost World, as they relate to the Church. He says, the Church is a complex system with a need to strike a balance between order and the imperative to change to achieve and maintain health. Healthy churches tend to position themselves at the place known as "the edge of chaos." A place where there is enough innovation to keep the Church vibrant and fluid, and enough stability to keep it from collapsing into anarchy. It is a place of unrest and upheaval, where the old and new are constantly at war. Finding the balance is a delicate and spiritually discerning matter ... only at the edge of chaos can healthy churches flourish.

Do you live on the edge of chaos? What say you? Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Old Fashioned Hymn Sing

I invite you to join me in the foyer of Willoughby Hills Friends Church this Sunday afternoon at 5 pm for an old fashioned hymn sing. My friend Marie will be taking requests from the grand piano. It should be a fun time for all! I hope you will make plans to attend.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Membership class

This Saturday from 10 am to 1 pm I will be leading a membership class in room 152. Perhaps you are new to Willoughby Hills Friends Church and would like to know more about our rich heritage and contemporary ministry. If so, then I invite you to come and be more informed.

Or, maybe you have been attending for awhile and would like to be more involved and expand your influence and activity through the ministry of WHFC for the glory of God and the good of our community. If so, then becoming a member is your next step! Please call or email me if you have questions or interest at this time in attending this next session. My office number is 440-944-1026 or email at

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday Men's Fight Club

Once again we will gather in the Meeting house on Saturday at 7:30 am for a time of fellowship and Bible study. This week we will continue our exploration of First John. In preparation I encourage you to read over the last few days of First John posts from this blog and write your summary of 1:5-10. Keep in mind that we are looking for the plain meaning of the text. Plain meaning of the text refers to what the original readers would have understood the Letter to mean in their setting.

I hope you can join me this week! We will be meeting in room 152 due to set up for the Image Arts Festival. So grab your cup of Joe from the Cafe and come on in. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

First John 1:6-10

As I continue with my personal study of First John I must consider the historical meaning of the words the author chose to use in order to find the plain meaning of the text (what John's original readers would have understood the words to mean in their setting or context). Let's view John's words in 1:6-10 verse by verse noting the meaning of some key words. John writes,

6If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.

Claim - (Epo, Greek), meaning "to tell something through writing or speaking"

Fellowship - (Koinonia, Greek), meaning intimate participation; social intercourse; benefactor.

Walk - (Peripateo, Greek), meaning to be occupied with; the companion of.

Darkness - (Skotos, Greek), meaning shadiness

Lie - (Pseudomai, Greek), meaning utter or proclaim an untruth.

Live - (Poieo, Greek), meaning to be moved within; to make or to do.

Truth - (Aletheia, Greek), meaning "verity - have become" (Strong's)

7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

Walk - (Peripateo), meaning occupied with.

Light - (Phos, Greek), meaning to be illuminated by an original source.

Fellowship - (Koinonia, Greek), meaning intimate participation; social intercourse; benefactor.

Purifies - (Katharizo, Greek), meaning to be purged and purified.

All Sin - (Pas, Greek), meaning the whole of, or all there is. John uses two words for "sin" in this section which I assume "all" is referencing.

Sin - (Hamartia, used in verses 7 & 9), meaning offense; and filled with sin or sin nature.

Sin - (Hamartano, used in verse 10), meaning to not share in the prize (benefactor) because of condition or action; personal action.

8If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

Claim - (Epo, Greek), meaning "to tell something through writing or speaking"

Sin - (Hamartia, used in verses 7 & 9), meaning offense; filled with sin or sin nature.

Deceive - (Planao, Greek), meaning wander, to be astray, seduced, to be found out of the way or off track.

Truth - (Aletheia, Greek), meaning "verity - have become"

9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Confess - (Homologeo, Greek), meaning to acknowledge, make a covenant with gratitude.

Sin - (Hamartia, used in verses 7 & 9), meaning offense; filled with sin or sin nature.

Forgive - (Aphiemi, Greek), meaning to send away.

Sins - (Hamartia, used in verses 7 & 9), meaning offense; filled with sin or sin nature.

Purify - (Katharizo, Greek), meaning to be purged and purified.

All - (Pas, Greek), meaning the whole of, or all there is.

Unrighteousness - (Adikia, Greek), meaning legal injustice; wrongfulness of character, life, act.

10If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives. (I John 1:5-10, NIV)

Claim - (Epo, Greek), meaning "to tell something through writing or speaking"

Sin - (Hamartano, used in verse 10), meaning to not share in the prize (benefactor) because of condition or action; personal action.

Liar - (Pseustes, Greek), meaning falsifier or one who conceals a truth

Word - (Logos, Greek), meaning Divine expression or revelation

As John continues to address the false teaching of the Gnostics he comes face to face with something we struggle with today; something the Church has wrestled with in every generation - the mixing in of man's philosophies with the interpretation of the text. The reason we study the Gospel writers and their subsequent Letters is because they witnessed (experienced if you will), the Truth firsthand (note I Jn. 1:1). His words and deeds became their faith, practice and teaching. They no doubt chose their words wisely in order to accurately communicate Jesus to their readers.

As Evangelical Friends we believe that any doctrine that does not keep to the plain meaning of the Bible is less than accurate. Our book of doctrine states that such teachings should be considered delusional in nature and avoided by the Christian. Sadly many today have tainted their understanding of scripture and skewed their theology by adding various philosophies (Greek, etc) to the interpretation of the Bible. Biblical Theologians (like Evangelical Friends) do not.

So what is John saying in these verses through his choice of words? I'll give my summary later but for now, I would like to hear from you! What say you?

Thanks for stopping by!

What do you think?

Your Yearly Dementia Test

It's that time of year any take an annual senior citizen test. Exercise of the brain is as important as exercise of the muscles. As we grow older, it's important to keep mentally alert. If you don't use it, you lose it! Below is a very private way to gauge your loss or non-loss of intelligence/memory.

Take the test presented here to determine if you're losing it or not. The spaces below are so you don't see the answers until you've made your answer.
OK, relax, clear your mind and begin.

1. What do you put in a toaster?

Answer: 'bread.' If you said 'toast,' give up now and do something else.
Try not to hurt yourself. If you said, bread, go to Question 2.

2. Say 'silk' five times. Now spell 'silk.' What do cows drink?

Answer: Cows drink water. If you said 'milk,' don't attempt the next question Your brain is over-stressed and may even overheat. Content yourself with reading a more appropriate literature such as Auto World. However, if you said 'water', proceed to question 3.

3. If a red house is made from red bricks and a blue house is made from blue bricks and a pink house is made from pink bricks and a black house is made from black brick s, what is a green house made from?

Answer: Greenhouses are made from glass. If you said 'green bricks,' why are you still reading these???
If you said 'glass,' go on to Question 4.

4. It's twenty years ago, and a plane is flying at 20,000 feet over Germany (If you will recall, Germany at the time was politically divided into West Germany and East Germany). Anyway, during the flight, two engines fail. The pilot, realizing that the last remaining engine is also failing, decides on a crash landing procedure. Unfortunately the engine fails before he can do so and the plane fatally crashes smack in the middle of 'no man's land' between East Germany and West Germany . Where would you bury the survivors? East Germany, West Germany , or no man's land'?

Answer: You don't bury survivors.
If you said ANYTHING else, you are in serious trouble and should schedule a counseling appointment with your pastor immediately. If you said, 'You don't bury survivors', proceed to the next question.

5. Without using a calculator - You are driving a bus from London to Milford Haven in Wales. In London, 17 people get on the bus.
In Reading, 6 people get off the bus and 9 people get on.
In Swindon, 2 people get off and 4 get on.
In Cardiff, 11 people get off and 16 people get on.
In Swansea, 3 people get off and 5 people get on.
In Carmathen, 6 people get off and 3 get on.
You then arrive at Milford Haven.
Without scrolling back to review, how old is the bus driver?

Answer: Oh, for crying out loud!
Don't you remember your own age? It was YOU driving the bus!!

PS: 95% of people fail most of the questions...

Thanks Duane for sending this along.

Monday, November 2, 2009

I John 1:5-10 summary

In verse five of the first chapter of John's First Epistle the author introduces a two-fold test Christians can use to determine if they possess correct doctrine and practice right behavior according to God's standards. The first part of the two-fold test is fellowship (1:5-2:29). In this section of scripture John begins by stating that "walking in the Light is a true sign of fellowship and that true Christians walk in the Light.

First we must ask, what do these key words (Light, darkness, fellowship, walk) mean in the context in which John uses them?
Light - (phos, Greek) meaning is the only source of illumination.

Darkness - (skotia, Greek), meaning dimness or obscurity.

Walk - (peripateo, Greek), meaning to be occupied with; as proof of ability; to deport oneself; to be the companion of.

Fellowship - (koinonia, Greek), meaning intimate participation with; social intercourse (Strong's N. T. Word Dictionary); benefactor.

Jesus Christ is "the Word of life" (1:1). He is the Word (Logos, Greek) meaning the full revelation of God and the source of life (zoe, Greek - literally meaning the life of God or eternal life). John is writing these words so his readers can experience the fullness of God's life that comes only through a relationship with Jesus Christ (1:4).

As the Light of the world, Jesus Christ is the only source of God's life. There is nothing more one needs (no darkness remains) to have God's life than to have intimacy with Jesus. Intimacy requires a deporting of self however. Intimate participation with Jesus only occurs through full surrender (consecration) of self. Only then will Christians see and experience Jesus Christ completely without obscurity (fullness of joy). Only when Christ's life is imparted through the full consecration to Jesus will the Christian become the full benefactor (fellowship) of God's life.

My testimony:
I asked Jesus Christ to forgive me of my sins before I entered High School. After doing so, I knew if I died that I would go to heaven and yet I did not have peace and joy in my life. Later on however, I discovered from the Bible a need I had for a deeper working of God that comes only through full surrender to God and a request to be filled with the perfect love of Jesus Christ. At that time Christ imparted His love into my life and I how have peace and joy.

What say you?