Sunday, March 25, 2012

Romans 8:35-39

Photo by Alice E (Lisa) Guinther (c) 2012

Friday, March 23, 2012

Lord, Should I Change?

Something that has been bothering me.  I have been wondering about my personality, as a member of the body of Christ, I think I'm a bit *Loud* (who, me?)  As I walk this road with God, and grow closer to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, I note that I don’t seem to have a nature like most of the other people that I observe walking with God, and I wonder, “Lord, should I change?”

I think on the many personalities I read of through the pages of the Bible, looking for uniformity, something that will tell me, “Yes, Lisa, here is an example of how you are expected to behave—this is your example of how God wants you to act—your personality should be just like this.”

But I can’t seem to find one “type” of person I should be like—everyone I read of between the covers of the Bible is different.
Examples like these:

Joseph was bold before a king, yet cried in front of the brothers who sold him into slavery.

Moses ran from a king, then, even while stuttering, led his people out of bondage.

Miriam led the whole worship for the nation of Israel, but complained about her brother’s wife

Rahab; an inn-keeper (harlot) in an army-citadel—not afraid to talk to spies: saves her whole family, and marries a prince.

Caleb and Joshua told the nation to take the land—the nation quit, died in the wilderness—but Caleb and Joshua walked the Promised Land.

Achsah, Caleb’s daughter has enough were-with-all to ask for her inheritance (instead of her husband) for a spring to make her inheritance of land better.

Ruth, willing to follow a mother-in-law: ends up leaving idol worship to be the great-grandmother of King David. (Her husband was the son of Rahab)

Debora, who not only was a prophet, was the commander and Chief of the tribes of Israel: wrote a song that is still a part of the Bible. (Perhaps we should set it to music now?)

Jeremiah was lamenting.

Ezekiel was play-acting.

Isaiah saw a Messiah suffer.

Qoheleth complained about the vanity under the sun.

Joel saw men and women filled with the Spirit of God.

Zechariah saw a remnant, refined by the fire of God.

Simeon and Anna prophesied over Jesus, the Messiah.

Junia was an Apostle, Phoebe preached to the churches of Rome.

Lydia, business women from Thyatira, had her whole household baptized (funny, no mention of a husband there), and a woman named Damaris followed Paul after his Mars Hill Sermon.

Euodia and Syntyche were temporarily arguing co-workers of Paul’s, who shared in his struggles in the cause of the Gospel.

Well Lord, I guess I just keep my eyes on You, stay in prayer, and keep on going.  It seems like you love me just the way I am.

There is no-one way to be.  As with all your created image-bearers: I am unique.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

J.P. Moreland, Love God with All Your Mind.

Watch this great video by J.P. Moreland.

And then take his challenge to make yourself an expert in one area of Christian knowledge...Things like Science and the Bible, the historicity of the Bible, The Cosmological argument; but don't sit there and not do, study, learn.

Understand that we do have better answers in Christianity. Please learn what those answers are.

And thank you to all the Christian philosopher (including you, J.P.) who encourage me to keep on studying.  I keep you all in my prayers, everyday. God bless you all.


Monday, March 19, 2012

How much is enough?

How much is enough God?

Did you ask me to take this…filth?

Am I supposed to stay quiet, or to object?

You know what happened the last time I did,
 I was brave,
 And it was bad.

Should I do that again?

I’m just one very small woman, standing against the darkness…no one stands with me.

But many, many of your followers are good at telling me what I can’t do,
But they don’t help,

 and they don’t get the openings that I get…I don’t get it? 

If it really takes a big strong man, why do you keep sending me?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

How Do You Get Wisdom?

How do you get wisdom?
Proverbs 8:34
Blessed is the man who listens to me [wisdom], watching daily at my gates, waiting at my doorpost.

So how do you get wisdom? The wisdom that is better than the profit of silver or fine gold (3:14), or jewels (8:11)?

In 8:34 is the answer.
  1. Listen
  2. Watch
  3. Wait

Listen to what?
Listen to wise teachers.  Find a mentor who has successfully negotiated the traps and snares of the world.  Find those old “saints” of the church, who read and study the bible, who pray and speak of answered prayers.  Find the business leader, or the college professor, and ask a real question and wait for the answer.  Don’t talk, just listen. Don’t try to impress them. And when you receive a precious jewel of wisdom, write down what they tell you…yes, take notes.

Watch whom?
Observe what goes on around you.  Don’t just walk around in a fog, pay attention to the people around you.  Are they distracted, or alert?  Are they tense, or relaxed? What can you learn from the actions of those around you?

Finally, wait.
Wait for what and how long?
I don’t know. Perhaps wait until you stop hurrying.  Until you know you can’t do everything. Until you hear from God. And how will you hear God if you are so busy talking, giving your opinion, trying to get attention, and get ahead…of what or whom, I don’t know.  It might be that you are getting a head of the very teacher God sent your way, that you could actually learn some wisdom from…but only if you stop talking.

And yes, I'm talking to myself here also...that's wisdom I can share.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Thoughts on Christian Ministry

Thoughts on Christian Ministry.

I started writing this while sitting in the lobby of a hotel, waiting to drive to the airport to get my flight home. I just finished two long days of an intensive ministry seminar.  In this down time I decided to reflect on what I’ve seen, heard, and learned over these last couple of days.  My “take-away” from this seminar is a wider vision of what God is doing locally and globally.

To sit in a room filled with Kingdom workers with one single purpose: to fulfill the Great Commission…without hesitation. People who when Jesus said “Take up your cross and follow me” they did. People with hearts to reach the lost: from the high school gym to the orphanage in India, from the inner city, to the jungles of Thailand.

I am humbled and honored to have been in the same room with them.

But even with the magnitude of the God given visions for the lost, the world, and the Church; we had moments of just pure silliness!

Laughter, kidding around, and telling some really corny jokes; it was so wonderful to have something in common with over 60 people: a unified commitment to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with all our hearts, souls, minds, and abilities.

But with this meeting I can clearly see the vital need for the organization that I belong to:

Time after time workers in ministries aimed at high school and college age students gave us examples of kids coming to them with challenges to their faith: Youth leaders sharing stories of college students bullied by professors questioning their faith, young men and women in these ministries feeling frustrated and defeated because they couldn’t answer questions thrown at them.  These youth leaders were reaching out to learn the answers.

 Graduates of Apologetics programs frustrated, serving in churches who want to quit because their churches “…just don’t get it!”

 And the saddest one of all, the story of a bright young Christian student taking her first philosophy class without answers to the challenges of her professor.  She walked away from the faith.

Parents, you can’t keep your kids locked up at home.  You aren’t supposed to.  You are to equip your children to be workers in the Kingdom of God.  All of us, no matter what age (yes, even your 7 year old) should understand our faith, not just spout memorized lyrics to praise songs.  It is great and wonderful to teach children the song “Jesus loves me this I know…” but can they explain why?

When your kids come to you with questions about faith and reason, about Darwinism, about the accuracy of the Bible, and the reasonableness, rationality and TRUTH of Christianity; are you ready?  If you don’t know the answers, do you know where to get them?

I have found that to say “all you need is faith” usually means you might be worried that the questions an Atheist might ask you are true.  Blind faith is NO faith.  Mustard seed faith is supposed to grow into “…a tree so large that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.” (Matt. 13:32).

So I ask you, where will you get the answers to defend your faith?
Why not start here:

In our web-site you can ask question, get answers, and find links to other Christian Apologetics ministries.

Please, don’t wander around without an answer.  If you have questions regarding faith and science, the historical accuracy of the Bible, or how the Bible relates to our world today; please don’t go without an answer.

You are also welcome to email me personally and if I can’t answer the question, I can direct you to someone who can.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Blindsided: The Lament of Job (part 1) from Mark Eckel

A Post from the blog "Warp and Woof" from Mark Eckles, Dean of Undergraduate Studies and Professor of Old Testament at Crossroads Bible College, Indianapolis.

“A person can know the meaning of life but still has to find a way to make it through Wednesday afternoon.” Walker Percy

Blindsided. In American football, the word means the quarterback who is about to throw the ball to one side of the field is hit from his blind side. He never sees it coming. Often the team loses the ball and the quarterback loses his health. Being blindsided accurately describes unexpected grief in life. The awfulness of having one’s job taken without notice or reason, suffering the death of a loved one, or being given the diagnosis of cancer are only a few of the many ways humans are blindsided. Moments like these are times when we question the rules and The Referee of life.

Job wishes for an official to rule on the hit he took but finds “There is no arbiter between us” (Job 9.33). Wealth taken, family killed, Job did nothing to deserve what he received. The first verse declares Job “blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil.” In fact, Job 1 and 2 explain that the ‘why’ question could only be answered in Heaven. Job would call out only to hear the echo of his own voice. Job’s cry in chapter 3 of the book named for him is the cry of every human: what did I do to deserve this?

You can read the rest of the post here at Warp & Woof.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Gyges of Lydia and why do good?

In Plato’s Republic book II is a thought experiment in the form of the story of Gyges of Lydia, who one day found a magic ring (far pre-dating Frodo) which makes one invisible.  Of course Gyges did utterly despicable things with the power of this ring.  But the object of the teaching of this myth is to put yourself in the place of Gyges and then ask yourself the question of “If I could get away with murder, rape and theft…truly get away with it, would I?”

OK, so that’s pretty extreme. Let’s re-frame the question; if you could do anything you want, what would you do?

But the underlying question in this exercise is this: what is your motivation for doing good?
 For upholding justice?
For supporting Truth?
For offering aid and comfort to the less fortunate?

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under food by men.  You are the light of the world.  A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it give slight to all who are in the house.  Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:13-16

“…these are the eyes of the Lord which range to and fro throughout the earth.”  Zechariah 4:10