Saturday, November 10, 2018

Light Shines from the Sun ... and the Son

Image result for light
In the last post I looked at how the New Testament book of John begins with the pre-existence of Jesus. Here’s chapter 1, verses 1 – 5 again:

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

“The light shines in the darkness.” This is the start of multiple passages referring to the light. The curious thing about matching up the order of the 66 books in the Bible is that you get 3 columns of 22 books each matching a corresponding Hebrew letter. That puts Ecclesiastes and Jude on either side of John and puts all three next to the 21st letter “shin.” A key word that starts with this letter is “sun.” I found more instances of the word sun in Ecclesiastes (a decidedly pessimistic book) than in any other Bible book. As a contrast there is not one mention of the word sun in John (or Jude).

There is no reason for such an absence other than to show God’s precision in His design of the Bible. It’s almost as though John is linked to Ecclesiastes by this singular contrast. However, despite the absence of the sun, look how the light shines in John.

John 1:4: In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
John 1:5: And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
John 1:7: The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
John 1:8: He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
John 1:9: That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
John 3:19: And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
John 3:20: For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
John 3:21: But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
John 5:35: He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.
John 8:12: Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
John 9:5: As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
John 11:9: Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world.
John 11:10: But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.
John 12:35: Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.
John 12:36: While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.
John 12:46: I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.

See? We don’t need the light of the sun, we need the Light of the Son

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Did Jesus Exist Before He was Born?

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The book of John can be divided into several major parts. It begins with the pre-existence of Jesus. Let’s look at chapter 1, verses 1 – 5:

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

“In the beginning” is an allusion to Genesis 1:1. Now the interesting thing here is that 1st century Christians with a Jewish background would get this right away but

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Do You Swear?

Photo by Gabriel Matula on Unsplash

My mother never swore. Almost never. I heard her say “damn” once, but that was it. I remember one time when I was in the back seat of the car and she was driving. A nice conversation was underway between me and someone else in the car (I no longer remember who) when in response to something incredible that the other person said (probably my sister) I expressed amazement by saying "gees" instead of my usual "gee!"

Faster than a whip came my mother’s hand across my mouth. “You don’t talk like that!” she simply said, not yelling.

What did I do? What did I say? She went on to explain that “gees” was just too close to Jesus’ name. I was maybe nine or ten and I understood the Ten Commandments, especially the one about not taking the Lord’s name in vain.

Pretty rough, you’re thinking, to strike a child for that, but

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Solving Biblical Puzzles (This is an amazing find!)


I wrote this short story and hid my own coded message within as well. After you read how Danny solves his mystery go back and look for my message. Comment below with your solution.

Danny’s Puzzle

Grabbing his pencil Danny set to work again practicing the letters from the workbook his friend, Arnie, had lent him. It was so strange to make the weird symbols and to go from right to left across the page, but he had watched Arnie do it with ease and, though he knew his friend had been in Hebrew school for years, Danny felt that mastering the twenty-two letters within the month was a reasonable goal for himself. Arnie’s bar mitzvah was Danny’s target date and he was the type of kid whose competitiveness would keep him focused. He wasn’t trying to actually learn the difficult ancient language; he just wanted to be able to recognize the letters and maybe a few words.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

What I Learned about Blending Families


Tips for Blending Families – Remarriage after Divorce

When my husband and I married long ago our children were 6, 8, 10 and 11. My girls were 8 and 11 and his daughter was 10 and his son was 6. We both had full custody. Divorce and remarriage was challenging for all of us, but we succeeded as a family and all of the kids have grown into wonderful, productive adults with children of their own. Here’s what we learned from our experience.

1 – Get a new place. This may be really hard,

Saturday, September 29, 2018

THE GIRL IN THE TIME MACHINE

THE GIRL IN THE TIME MACHINE

A NEW TWIST TO TIME TRAVEL


A desperate girl
A faulty time machine
A paradox waiting to happen ...

Seventeen-year-old Laken Mitchell thinks using her parents’ time machine to send abused girls to the last century will make their lives easier. And it does, until dead bodies start turning up.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Cool Stuff You Learn Reading this Blog



1) 
If you list the 66 books of the Bible in three columns Proverbs, Luke and 3rd John all line up. They also line up with the 20th Hebrew letter, resh. The symbolic meaning of resh is “head.” (Ever heard of Rosh Hashana? The Jewish New Year or “Head of the Year.”)

Also, the letter resh starts the Hebrew word for friend which occurs more than twice as often in these 3 books combined than any other 3 books. Think about that!

Monday, September 10, 2018

Secret Codes in the Bible? Yes!

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I’m pretty skeptical when I read that there are codes and secret messages in the Bible. Since I love all types of puzzles I’m willing to check out these claims for myself.

Have you ever played the game where you have to name something you’re taking on a trip? You start with the letter A and the next person says your answer and adds a new item that starts with B and so on through the alphabet. If you had to remember a large number of random things it would be a lot harder than it is when they’re in alphabetical order. The Bible does the same thing a number of places. There are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet and in several chapters of Psalms, Proverbs and Lamentations the verses or lines start with each succeeding Hebrew letter. These are called

Friday, August 31, 2018

Cool Stuff about the Psalms


Everybody has heard about the Psalms, right? Who doesn’t know the 23rd Psalm? The Lord is my shepherd . . . Well, here’s a small piece from one of my chapters that gives, I hope, some information that you may not know.

The Psalms were written by various authors spanning a time period of almost 1000 years. Among the authors were Moses, King David and King Solomon, and also various priests or Levites. The book of Psalms is a compilation of prayers, poems, and hymns that focus on praising and adoring God. Some were used in worship services of ancient Israel. According to Talmudic tradition, psalms were sung by

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Lazy Days of Summer Giveaway Hop



Win a mobi or epub copy of THE TIME BENDER.

If you've already read it then comment on your entry with a link to your Amazon review and I'll automatically send you the second book in the series for FREE! Win, win, win.

If you want to win and read THE TIME BENDER, be sure to enter. I'll be giving away at least twenty copies - your odds of winning are great.


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Tuesday, August 7, 2018

The Parable of the Sheep and Goats



The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats is found in Matthew 25: 31 – 46. Many preachers use this text to encourage us to be kind to strangers, to help the needy and to visit those in prisons. Great advice – but there is so much more to this parable. In fact rather than call it a parable let’s call it a secret message about the last days. You know I love decoding secret messages . . . here I go:

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. (Jesus Himself is talking about His 2nd Coming at the end of the 7 years of Tribulation)32 All the nations (“nations” refers to Gentiles) will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. (the sheep are the saved, those who will come to belief in Christ during the Tribulation, and the goats are the unsaved, those who will side with the Anti-Christ)
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father (implies grace, that is, salvation through faith, not of works); take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.  (Did you get that? The Kingdom has been prepared for us since Creation!) 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ (All of these kind acts, though definitely things we should do now, are in fact referring to the potentially fatal acts that Tribulation Christians will graciously perform for “Christ’s brethren” mentioned in verse 40.)
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ (Christians will be surprised that as they help Christian Jews during the Tribulation they help Christ.)
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (“One of the least of these who are members of my family” or in some translations: “these brothers of mine" refers to the 144,000 Jews who will proclaim Jesus as Lord during the Tribulation.)
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ (These verses about what happens to the goats contrast exactly with what happens to the sheep. The goats commit the greatest sin of all: a sin of omission; they fail to put their faith in Christ.)
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” (Jesus is quite clear: it’s either eternal punishment or eternal life.)

What do you think? Did I miss anything?

Monday, August 6, 2018

Psalm 133, A Song of Ascent - Going Up the Steps


There are 15 psalms in a row, Psalm 120 through Psalm 134, that are labeled “Songs of Ascent” or some translations may have “Songs of Degrees.” Since I love to solve a puzzle I did a little research and found that these psalms were sung by the procession as they went up the steps to the temple. Some sources say there were 15 steps from the court of the women up to the next court in the temple and the priests would chant the next psalm as they ascended. Possibly the key changed, musically going a step higher as well.

I looked into this because Psalm 133 is often read as a responsive reading in church services. It’s very short, just 3 verses, but seemingly obtuse on first looking at it. Here it is, verse by verse:

1) Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
Well, yes, that’s a nice thought. Actually King David wrote this when he regained his throne after his son Absalom’s rebellion. The story is in 2nd Samuel and 1st Chronicles and tells how the people were of one mind to make him king and support him again – together in unity – and the Hebrew word for together and for unity is the same word and is repeated here so the verse ends with the same word twice.

2) It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;
Sounds kind of messy and oily, but as I looked up the recipe for this oil (Exodus 30: 25) I found that it contained myrrh and cinnamon and lemon grass and other great smelling herbs and I bet it was a very pleasing aroma, very different from the smells I suspect were common place in Bible times.

3) As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.
This place called Hermon has really, really heavy dew, so here the psalmist is just coming up with a way to show how the Israelites’ unity was covering them all. I love the commanded blessing: life for evermore.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Family Cliches

“It’s dumb. It’s stupid. I hate it,” were the standard three sentences my step-son gave in response to anything that didn’t work out right. If he was frustrated or angry or annoyed we could count on hearing this triad of opinions.

Are there “family clich├ęs” in your household? Phrases that everyone can finish? If I say something is dumb, I can expect my husband to add that it’s stupid and a daughter to say she hates it. Then we all laugh.

Something bad happened one Christmas years ago and one of the kids accused another of ruining Christmas. Her response was “I said ‘oops’.” Now everyone waits for the inevitable mishap at any family holiday so they can be the first to say “you’re ruining Thanksgiving (or Easter or whatever)” and someone else will say, “but I said ‘oops’.” Again we laugh. It never gets old.