Monday, February 27, 2012

Stooping to the Same Level

Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy.  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you: That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye?  do not even the publicans the same?  Matthew, Chapter 5, verses 43-46.

God isn’t asking me to ignore hurtful and spiteful things that people do because I am a Christian.  He is asking me to go further than that.  He wants me to be nice to them in return, despite their actions and to pray for them.  I think we are much better examples of our beliefs when we don’t stoop to the same level as others, but it’s difficult at times.  God can take care of my pride if I ask Him to, making me a better example of how He works in my life.

Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage.


This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Pulling an Attitude

Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek turn to him the other side also.  Matthew, Chapter 5, verses 38-39.

When frustrated with someone who has been rude or insensitive to me, it’s really easy for me to say something back, displaying less than Christian behavior.  I may not say something rude, but if I pull an attitude, harboring hatred or resentment toward that person, I haven’t genuinely turned the other cheek.  It’s important for me to remember to turn my feelings over to God when these occasions arise.

Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage.


This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Hiding Things Under My Rug

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.  Matthew, Chapter 5, verses 27-28.

This makes me think of when I am attracted to particular male movie stars and have thought inappropriate things that only God knows about.  He also knows all the times that I think mean, hateful things about other people.  Of course, no one else knows these things except for God and me, but I just stuff them under my spiritual rug like someone who can’t find a dustpan.  God sees what I think and what’s under my rug, so I need to start “cleaning house” soon!

Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage.


This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

I've been hiding my light under a Bushel.

Ye are the light of the world.  A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick: and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.  Matthew, Chapter 5, verses 14-16.

I’ve kept my relationship with God hidden under a bushel for most of my life.  I’m not much for walking door to door to talk to strangers about God.  I haven’t done much to try to actively convert people.  I guess writing this book isn’t any big-time “shining” when you think about it.  I’m sharing this information in a low risk fashion.  I need to make more of an attempt to take the risks that God needs me to on His behalf.  I guess I have to start somewhere and this is it.  I will see where God leads me from here.

Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage.


This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Pep Talk from Jesus

And He opened His Mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.  Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.  Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.  Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.  Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.  Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.  Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake.  Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.  Matthew, Chapter 5, verses 2-12.
I picture this as a pep talk with Jesus as the coach of a team of Christians.  He might say something like, “Of course there are teams that get ahead because they do unethical things, and the ones focused on playing a good honest game on earth don’t get ahead.  I know the team takes a hit for playing the game ethically and sometimes gets laughed at.  I know you definitely don’t rake in the big bucks and status the way other players do.  I promise that you will have your compensation in heaven for all your hard work and sacrifice on My behalf.  Your efforts never go unnoticed and will be repaid.  Keep up the good work and don’t let the world get you down!”
Here is a related passage:
*And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for My Name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.  Matthew, Chapter 19, verse 29.

Because this example of how I’ve applied these Bible passages to my life only focused on a portion of the passages, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passages.


This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

I need a "Round Tuit"

And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.  And He saith unto them, Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.  And they straightway left their nets, and followed Him.  Matthew, Chapter 4, verses 18-20.

I remember getting a round hot pad called a “Round Tuit.”  It’s a gag gift you give to people who always answer that they will do things when they get “around to it.”  I realize that the disciples didn’t even know Jesus, but when He asked them to be fishers of men, the disciples dropped everything, no questions asked.  In contrast, here I am asking for a “Round Tuit” saying by my actions, “Well, I’m busy right now, God, but I might talk to others about the impact You’ve left on my life when I get around to it.”
Here are some related passages:
*And going on from thence, He saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and He called them.  And they immediately left the ship and their father and followed Him.  Matthew, Chapter 4, verses 21-22.
*And another of His disciples said unto Him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.  But Jesus said unto him, Follow Me; and let the dead bury their dead.  Matthew, Chapter 8, verses 21-22.
*And as Jesus passed forth from thence, He saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and He saith unto him, Follow Me, And he arose, and followed Him.  Matthew, Chapter 9, verse 9.
*So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me more than these?  He saith unto Him, Yea, Lord; Thou knowest that I love Thee.  He saith unto him, Feed My lambs.  He saith unto him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me?  He saith unto Him, Yea, Lord: Thou knowest that I love Thee.  He saith unto him, Feed My sheep.  He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest Thou Me?  Peter was grieved because He said unto him the third time, Lovest thou Me?  And he said unto Him, Lord, Thou knowest all things; Thou knowest that I love Thee.  Jesus saith unto him, Feed My sheep.  John, Chapter 21, verses 15-17.

Because this example of how I’ve applied these Bible passages to my life only focused on a portion of the passages, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passages.


This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Pudding Thief

Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.  And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He was afterward an hungered.  And when the tempter came to Him, he said, If Thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.  But He answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the Mouth of God.  Matthew, Chapter 4, verses 1-4.

When I was a child, I saw a big bowl of my mother’s home-made butterscotch pudding sitting on the kitchen cupboard.  I looked around and couldn’t see anyone, so I sneaked over to the bowl and ran my finger around the side of the bowl.  I ever so carefully got a small amount of pudding on my pudgy finger and licked it off.
I thought I was going to get off “Scott free” but I didn’t realize there were spies about and a bounty on pudding thieves.  After being told the pudding had to be thrown out because I had gotten germs all over it, my consequence was to be sent to my room.  Instead of being remorseful for what I did, my thoughts were, “If I had known the pudding would be thrown out, I would have eaten a whole bunch instead of a little bit.  That would have made my consequence much more worthwhile.”
I gave in to these temptations and lost my perspective of right and wrong and I hadn’t even been fasting for forty days like Jesus.  In fact, I had eaten a filling lunch but still was vulnerable to the lure dangled in front of me.  Now some might think that this isn’t a major sin but don’t realize that Satan works in very subtle ways to get us to rationalize our actions.  He is able to lead us astray without our ever realizing it.  Fortunately for me, Jesus didn’t give in to the temptations for food, status or power that we often fall prey to.
Here are some related passages:
*Then the devil taketh Him up into the holy city, and setteth Him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto Him, If Thou be the Son of God, cast Thyself down: for it is written, He shall give His angels charge concerning Thee; and in their hands they shall bear Thee up, lest at any time Thou dash Thy foot against a stone.  Jesus said unto him, It is written again, thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.  Matthew, Chapter 4, verses 5-7.
*Again, the devil taketh Him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showeth Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them: And saith unto Him, all these things will I give Thee, if Thou wilt fall down and worship me.  Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.  Matthew, Chapter 4, verses 8-10.

Because this example of how I’ve applied these Bible passages to my life only focused on a portion of the passages, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passages.


This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Would you believe a fable got me started reading the Bible?

Would you believe that a fable got me started reading the Bible?  In 1980, someone said something to me about, “god helps him who helps himself,” and referred to it being in the Bible.  I had heard this saying over the years, but realized it contradicted some other things I had read in the Bible.  I looked through the Concordance at the back of my Bible but couldn’t find this passage anywhere.  Perplexed, I decided the only way I would know if it was in the Bible was for me to read it from cover to cover for myself.  Now, this decision wasn’t based solely on my frustration about this quote.  I had a neighbor who quoted different contradictory things from the Bible, as well.  I figured that I needed to read the Bible to see what God really said about the topics the neighbor kept referring to.  I get concerned when people quote passages from the Bible out of context, making them sound the way they want.
Well, it’s twenty-three years later and I have completely read the Bible from cover to cover sixteen plus times.  “God helps him who helps himself,” is not in it anywhere!  Actually, the Bible says that we are supposed to turn to God for our every need, trusting that He will provide for us (paraphrased.)
I was frustrated as I continued to hear people quote this, because I couldn’t figure out where people got it.  Most of the people who used this quote, said it as if they thought it came from the Bible.  Well, I finally have closure on this…after all this time!
I was reading some Aesop’s Fables to my students.  They have to be able to identify the moral of a story for a test they have in the spring.  I decided that I could help them be more successful on the test if I had them identify the morals from Aesop’s Fables.  Well, after reading “Hercules and the Wagoner,” I finally realized where “god helps him who helps himself” came from.  It’s from this fable!  The moral written for this fable is “Self help is the best help” and “Heaven helps those who help themselves.”
When they are talking about god, they aren’t talking about God.  They are talking about the mythological character, Hercules.  I bet most people haven’t the slightest idea that they are quoting a fable instead of the Bible.
This may seem like a trivial thing, but it has been a confusing issue to me for twenty-three years and now it’s resolved!  I feel so relieved and wanted to share this with others.  Actually, this has really worked out well in the long run.  If it hadn’t been for my inability to find this quote in the Bible, I might not have been motivated to read the Bible from cover to cover.  I enjoy reading it so much that I continue to read it from cover to cover again and again.  Every time I read it, I get something new out of it.
Particular passages in the Bible have really influenced my life and have molded my relationship with God.  I felt led to share these with you, since they may have a similar impact on your life, as well.
Whenever someone quotes Bible passages, it’s really good to read them for yourself.  You should read a portion before and after the passage.  This helps you know if people are pulling these passages from the Bible out of context, distorting the meaning by making it sound the way they want.
I use the King James Bible for my quotes which tends to spell things somewhat differently than we do (example: labour for labor).  In order to keep the passages just as they are in the Bible, I use the exact spellings, punctuation, capitalizations or lack thereof in order to not alter the passage.  I do attempt to explain what these passages mean to me, or I describe how they have influenced my life.
I’m not a minister and don’t profess to be one, but I feel that reading the Bible can influence your life, as well.  Will it impact your life in exactly the same way?  Probably not, the Bible is a very personal thing.  If 1,000 different people read the Bible, there would be 1,000 different interpretations.  Every time I read the Bible, passages I have read before often mean something totally different to me, depending on what is going on in my life at the time.  God uses the Bible as a means of communicating His personal message for each and every one of us.
Reading the Bible may seem like a major undertaking for some of you.  Actually, after you get through the “thee’s” and “thou’s,” it’s not as difficult to understand as you might think. A chapter in the Bible isn’t like a chapter in a novel.  A Bible chapter is generally about one to two columns long.  It’s hardly ever longer than a page or two, at most.  I read at least one to two chapters a day for about 10-15 minutes.  It takes me an anywhere from one year to two years to read the Bible from cover to cover, depending on how many chapters I read each day.  It’s so rewarding that you might consider reading it yourself!  The quiet time I have with God each day as I read the Bible, sets a positive tone for my day and my life.
I was just beginning to read the New Testament when I started writing this book.  That’s why the New Testament is written first and the Old Testament is written afterward.  After I finished writing the book, I had thought about cutting and pasting the Old Testament first but realized it wouldn’t work.  As I wrote the book, I made comments about passages and referred back to them at other times.  If I put the Old Testament in the beginning, some of the comments I share with you would be out of sequence.  I am hoping that leaving the book in this order doesn’t cause a problem for anyone.  If it does, I apologize in advance, but still feel this book has many redeeming qualities, more significant than whether the Old Testament is listed first or second.
The passages in italics are from the Bible.  Otherwise, they are my personal comments on how these passages have influenced my life.  I also try to capitalize any reference to God/Jesus out of respect, which makes it easier for you to follow who is speaking or being spoken to.  I may group similar passages from the Bible together so that you have an approximate idea of how many times God stresses a particular topic.  The sheer number of times that God has had something mentioned in the Bible has led me to make changes in my life.  Although you may not relate to these passages in the same ways I have, the reader can be influenced by the Bible in a way that is personally significant to them.

These postings are just an example of how I've applied various Bible passages to my life in hopes that others will be able to relate to God through the Bible in a way that is personally significant to them, although different from mine.


This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 

Foreward

                                               Foreword

     In much the same way that Reality shows allow the observer to take a glimpse into another person’s life, thoughts and decisions, this book allows you a very candid, enlightening glimpse into my personal and spiritual life.  The Reality show doesn’t just portray the strengths of the person observed.  It also portrays the weaknesses, as does this book.  Reading the Bible on a daily basis has positively enriched my life in ways that go far beyond literal interpretation.

Although this book has the potential of being controversial, it is not my intent to offend any person, group or religious belief.  I feel obliged to honestly express how the selected Bible passages have influenced my life and would be negligent, as an author and a Christian, to do anything less.
It’s my desire for readers of all ages and religious backgrounds to find that reading the Bible never becomes outdated and continues to hold personal significance for all types of readers of the new millennium.
                                                            D.S
This book and blog were created to give an example of how I have related particular Bible passages to my life in hopes that it will help other relate to God through the Bible in a way that is personally significant to them. Debbie


This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 

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