Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Titus 1:3, which was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior;

but has in due time manifested His word through preaching, which was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior;
I've got to get my morning Bible reading back on track and get back into regular teachings of His word (that are in English).

Written January 30, 2012

Sharing: Josh's study

Titus 1:2, God, who cannot lie,

in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began,
(I'll be going on a little rabbit trail of cross-references here, but you can follow the asterisks to see where they were suggested by those who placed them in this electronic version of the NKJV.)

The New King James translation of the Bible on my handy-dandy iPod touch points to Numbers 23:19 as a related verse.

Numbers 23:19
"God * is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He ** said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?

I'd also like to include verse 20 just for kicks because it's cool.
"Behold, I have received a command to bless; He has blessed, and I cannot reverse it."

I also liked comparing these verses with their English Standard translations, which instead of "repent", "make it good" and "reverse" use the words "change his mind", "fulfill it" and "revoke":

"God is not a man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind.
Has he said, and will he not do it?
Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?
Behold, I received a command to bless:
he has blessed, and I cannot revoke it."

Now Numbers 23:19 in its beginning contains three cross-references to:

*Samuel 15:29
And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor relent. For He is not a man, that He should relent."

*Malachi 3:6
"For I am the Lord, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.

*and James 1:17
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

The second sentence in Numbers 23:19 also contains cross-references to Numbers 11:23, in which God replies to Moses' bewilderment at a provision of meat for a month until they are sick of it to the people of Israel ("six hundred thousand men on foot") [Num. 11:18-22], and 1 Kings 8:56, in which Solomon rises from prayer and begins to bless "all the assembly of Israel with a loud voice" [1 Kgs 8:54-55] after having brought the Ark of the Covenant into the then completed temple.

Numbers 11:23
And the Lord said to Moses, "Has the Lord's arm been shortened? Now you shall see whether what I say will happen to you or not."

1 Kings 8:56
"Blessed be the Lord, who has given rest to His people Israel, according to all that He promised. There has not failed one word of all His good promise, which He promised through His servant Moses.


I'd really like to share Josh's study today. It has really made me reconsider where my thoughts have been going in planning for after Potter's Field, and what exactly my real intentions and motivations are for those plans. Even if plans are good, am I allowing personal desires to cloud my mind from seeing the very best plans of God?

The Bible is Truth, the Word of God, His revelation to us. He is eternal and absolute, perfect and unchanging. Uncompromising. Unbending. If He says something, it doesn't need to be said 'as a promise' or it doesn't quite count. If He has said it, it is truth indivisible. God does not lie.

Proverbs 16:9
A man’s heart plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps.
Jeremiah 10:23
O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself;
It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.
Psalm 37:23
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord,
And He delights in his way.
Proverbs 16:1
The preparations of the heart belong to man,
But the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.
Proverbs 19:21
There are many plans in a man’s heart,
Nevertheless the Lord’s counsel—that will stand.
Proverbs 20:24
A man’s steps are of the Lord;
How then can a man understand his own way?
Proverbs 21:30
There is no wisdom or understanding
Or counsel against the Lord.
Isaiah 46:10
Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times things that are not yet done,
Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
And I will do all My pleasure,’



Written January 28, 2012

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Titus 1:1, accords with godliness,

Paul, a bondsevant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness

Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;
Paul, who was a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, FOR the faith of God's elect and the acknowledging of the truth which is accords with godliness.

Written January 27, 2012
. . . To be honest I didn't really do this IBS. That paraphrasing of the verse after giving two translations was as far as I got. I had originally planned on just skipping it so no one would see but. . . that didn't feel right in sharing what I have done for IBS, even if it means including my distracted, funk of a mood empowered studies.

So, here is my 'muy mal' IBS in all it's infamy and glory.

Isn't it great God will even use an unreliable guy like me to glorify Himself? ;D

Psalm 69:16, Your lovingkindness is good;

Hear me, O Lord, for Your lovingkindness is good;
Turn to me according to the multitude of your tender mercies.
The beauty of prayer is something that won't be understood until having planted one's face to the ground and truly given time and attention to communion with our loving Father in Heaven, with our Dad, with a full knowledge in heart and mind that He really does listen.

The struggle of prayer is also something that is not fully understood until having planted one's face to the ground as one small step in the effort to fight against every wandering thought and distraction; or woken up at 6 o'clock, 5 o'clock or 4 o'clock and even earlier so that there is time to devote as long as is felt necessary ((or good) or even possible); or when you petition the Lord and time goes by, and keeps going by, and your desperate cries remain unanswered and yet, in unfailing faith, you fight to keep your heart from doubting with an almost physical effort day after day, month after month, year after year, trusting that in His good and perfect time, an answer will come.

For the past two days, or more like week, I've been waking up in the morning and thinking I need to start devoting time first thing to prayer again; but, afraid that there was too much to do and too little time, I had simply been saying something about how I'd be praying to Him throughout the day and a quick little something about needing His support with no depth or time of devotion.

That's going to change tomorrow.

Written January 24, 2012
Hear my prayers and my cry
Hear the words from hands raised high
Take my words and hold them close
My perfect Holy Priest

Jesus Christ
Mediator King
You hear my words
And pass them on perfectly

Prayers perfected
Praises made pure
Prideful Pleas turned to fallen knees
All by you

Broken on the cross
The lamb slain for Your will
He saved my life
He hears my cry

Prayers perfected
Praises made pure
Prideful pleas turned to fallen knees
All by you

Call me
Lead me to you
The One and Only God
By the Holy Spirit I cry to you
Lead me where you want me Lord
Lead me to you
Take me where you'd have me Lord
Bring me to you

Prayers perfected
Praises made pure
Prideful pleas turned to fallen knees
All by you

Prayers perfected
Praises made pure
Prideful pleas turned to fallen knees
How gracious are you

Hear my prayers and my cry
Hear the words from hands raised high
Take my words and hold them close
My perfect Holy Priest

My Spirit, God and King

Monday, March 26, 2012

Psalm 69:5, O God, You know my folishness;

O God, You know my foolishness;
And my sins are not hidden from You.
The Psalm continues:

Let not those who wait for You,
O Lord God of hosts, be
ashamed because of me,
O God of Israel.

David cried out to God in this Psalm; recognizing God's complete omniscience, that He is aware of all our shortcomings and folly, and omnipotence, that He is the great orchestrator and able to bring about all things. With a torn heart David begs God to not allow his mistakes and shortcomings, sins and 'silliness' to cause others, "those who wait for [the Lord God of hosts and Israel]", to be ashamed.

Reading this I can't help but think of the Campos Blancos location I help with each Sunday; specifically, the increased responsibility David, our location leader, has now given me. Last Sunday David explained that in a few weeks I will be expected to teach the Bible lesson to the younger group, though my Spanish is not on a level that would make me comfortable with teaching (even a lesson meant for six to eight year olds) and though this will actually be my first time teaching a lesson in English or Spanish. More immediately, on Wednesday he instructed me to prepare a craft for the younger class this coming Sunday.

I must pray like David and ask God to help me with this. That He would give me strength and help and fill me ever continually with His Spirit.

That He knows my foolishness and sin, and that my fellow workers at the church would not be ashamed because of me.

Studies to share: Josh, Kayla

Written January 23, 2012
Oh glorious King,
Oh glorious Lord,
Beautiful and mighty,
Perfect are thee;
Lord fill up this broken vessel,
Break it, reshape it, fire it in preparation of thy will.
Fill me with your Spirit,
Lead me down your narrow way.
Make me as ready as you would have me,
Give yourself glory by those times I am not.
Show me your will God,
I want to live for you!
My life is yours God!
Take it!
Use it!
I beg of you!
Just point me God and I will do it!
I will run!
Stumble me into the path you would have me walk and I will shout,
Not with anger, frustration, or pain,
But Joy!
Please God!
Just soon, soon, soon!
Only in your perfect time God!
Reveal your will for the actions of this life that is yours,
It can do nothing on it's own,
It is weak where you are glorious and strong;
Yet in this weakness your strength is made perfect.
The conundrum of my service.
I can do nothing without you,
But God it is my honor to do all things for you,
My joy that you would use me,
And God, I ask you, please,
Lead me down this path in life that is most perfectly of YOU.
I am impatient!
I'm sorry!
I lay this at your cross.
I seek after you, and you alone,
The service for my God must never be my god,
My worship more pleasing to me than the God I worship;
What a sad and sorry shame that would be.
For those times it has happened,
Those times it will,
I'm sorry,
Please forgive me God.
I raise my hands to you and ask that you put them to work
Because that is how I know to show my love,
It is the way I show my love;
But I know you want my seeking,
And I will keep seeking,
And never stop.

de facebook: "Wintery Soul"

Wintery Soul challenges those facing depression and struggling with a cold, hard heart to finally recognize that it is time to give up and stop fighting the battles in a war they can never win.

That there is nothing you can do on your own, that it is time to stop relying on your own strength as you slowly fall apart from the inside out and to call out to God with 'more than the words of a prayer'; that it is time to call out with all your heart and soul, crying out with all your faith, admitting your weaknesses and sin, saying, "God take this my life is yours!"

I can say this personally:
More than any resolve, more than any momentary joy or happiness, more than all the support and care you could desire of family and friends, more than every good and right thing in this world, more than human love, more than the pain we hate and never want to let go, the love of our God and Christ saves and sets the captives free.

To give up the ghost of our insignificant pride in honor of the One and only worthy of honor is more fulfilling than anything you will ever know apart from the love of Christ.

It is beautiful to be broken,
to drown in the deluge of His love.

"Wintery Soul" Song Interview By Take No Glory's singer and songwriter:


Friday, March 9, 2012

de facebook: "Straight"

So I've just finished organizing a massive number photos dating as far back as the beginning of December. I have never been one to share photos or anything like that, but by golly I am going to find a use for all(/some) of these things! >:0
Plus a number of the more recent photos will be put on facebook and the Flicker account for our team in El Salvador. (I finally saved the URL a few days ago! )

Linked is the music video for the song "Straight" by Take No Glory; a non-profit band recommended to me by Theodore Rein Jedlicka. So far the only other song I've listened to is "Beautiful Slave", a song written based upon the true story of a young girl who was kidnapped and forced into prostitution, but their music is powerful and, so far, I can believe God intends to use them mightily and has blessed them with great gifts that they are faithfully using in His service and for His glory.
I'd encourage everyone to check them out at where all of their songs are available free for download, and share this music with your friends so that their platform will grow and touch all the more lives for Christ.

Everyone struggles with sin, and there isn't any sin more inherently 'sinful' than any other: sin IS sin, and in sin we have ALL fallen short of the perfection of God. But in His perfection God also has a perfect love, and in His love our creator sent Christ, the savior, to die on the cross for our sins.
Mutilated and broken, humiliated and alone, Jesus took the price of our wrongdoings and failures, all of them, that God's justice might be made perfect and true and yet we, those who call out to Christ saying, "Lord SAVE ME!", might also still be saved and come to sit in His presence and bask in His glory rather than face the price and punishment of a debt we, in our sin, could never repay.

Praise be to the Lord who saves us!
Praise be to Him who makes all things new!
Praise be our Savior!
Praise be His name!
Praise be His victory!
Praise be His gain!
For we were all lost!
Wandering, astray!
But Christ came to save us!
To lead us the way!
To find us and bind us!
To take all our sins!
My God, my God!
My Savior, my King!
To you, you alone, I cry with ALL my heart!
Glory and honor be thy name!

Here's the link to a short video in which the singer/songwriter of Take No Glory explains "Straight".