Friday, December 28, 2012

Their Redeemer is Mighty

Oh how my heart is breaking today. Life is so uncertain today...we are on the edge, ready to free-fall unless the Lord of Mercy intervenes. You see, Satan is working hard to destroy the fatherless. Yes, my very own brother and sister. President Putin is preparing to sign a law that would prevent them from coming home. Not only them, but thousands of Russian orphans. If you know how to pray, please do. They have a mighty Redeemer  Who cares about them. God is capable of changing the Russian government. Please pray with us today!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Power of One - Part 3

Well, I'm back - sorry it was a bit longer than I expected...but I am back now and will TRY to be a little better about posting :)

Ok, so back to this "power of one" series. I think we've come to the logical conclusion that God is not the Author of confusion, and has therefore given us one Bible. And, because of God's perfect nature and promise to preserve His Word, we have a perfect, preserved Bible today.

Here's where the unpopular part comes in.....and in all honesty, it would be a whole lot easier to skip it.

I believe that the King James Bible is God's Word perfectly preserved for us in the English language.

Now that you know where I stand, I need to explain a few things:

First, I want to apologize for the hateful, abrasive stand that many people who share this belief take. I can tell you truthfully that there are many people who hold this belief with a gracious, Christ-honoring spirit, but I've also run into enough "Bible-thumpers" to understand why people are shy of "KJVers". So again, my apologies, but I will believe in right, regardless of the "image" people tend to associate it with.

Second, I do NOT believe that you can't be saved if you don't believe in the King James Bible. This belief is heretical, and if it weren't so scary and sad, it would be comical....I mean, I'm pretty sure Paul wasn't saved with a King James Bible.....but I digress....

Third, I do not believe that there is NO truth in modern versions. I just believe that the truth has been watered down and distorted.

Fourth, I am not the kind of girl that is going to go around trying to force everyone to believe the same way I do. (I may pray intensely for you though :D) As a friend said, "Don't think I don't believe it just because I'm not always hollering about the King James Bible. You see, I serve One King, KING Jesus, and I'm too busy shouting about Him." (or something to that effect....I can't find the precise quote right now...sorry!)

Here's one of the most frequently asked questions that I've received :

Isn't it really hard to understand? Wouldn't a newer translation be easier to read?

Well, here's the thing- a newer translation might be easier to READ, but the KJV is easier to understand. Why? Because it's wording is so precise! So yes, it may require looking up a word in *gasp* a dictionary, but you'll survive, your vocabulary will thank you, and you will have a much clearer understanding of what God actually said. :)

If you have any other questions about odd beliefs a KJVer might have, feel free to ask - I won't be offended, I promise :)

The thing is, I'm rather unsure of where to go with this series next.....I could share the history of the King James Bible, or I could address specific fallacies of other versions, or just do q&a.... But would you help me? Just leave a comment - tell me what your thoughts are, or ask a question. I promise not to be offended :) Please be gracious, of course, but feel free to ask any honest question or give me any well-meaning comments, negative or positive.

Again, I've tried to write every bit of this series in a gentle manner that would honor the One Whose Word I'm seeking to exalt. Please just consider what you read here, and allow God to speak to you - because I'm completely incapable of changing hearts, but God is more than capable of guiding you.

Oh, and one more thing....I don't feel that I'm the most qualified person for writing this. In fact, I know I'm not. Unfortunately, when I started this series, I had intended to just share links to other websites that would do a better job of explaining every aspect of this touchy subject, but I couldn't find any that I could promote in good conscience. So, out of a lack of graceful dealings with this subject, I chose to share my limited knowledge, and I pray that God uses it to work some good :)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Still here :)

Hi! I'm still alive, and still planning to get back to our series, but the last several weeks have been incredibly hectic, so the next post will arrive, at best by next week, but probably more like 2 weeks :) 

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Power of One - Part 2

Here is part two of the mini-series about the Word of God. Once again, I'm not asking you to immediately believe what I write, but please, read it, think about it, and study it for yourself. It's way too important to miss!

In the last post, we discussed the importance of God's Word. We also determined that God is a God of order, not confusion, and therefore could not be the author of the many "versions" of the Bible that exist today. In fact, if we are to believe in absolute truth, then we must believe that God wrote one Bible. After all, the Bible says in John 17:17, " Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth." So, if God's Word is truth, there can be only one version of it.  From a human perspective, we often have different "sides of the coin", which could be called our "version of the truth". In reality, though, there can be only one truth. Just as there can be only one God and one way to Him, there can only be one Bible, the absolute truth on which our faith is based. Where do we find this absolute truth? Well, many people believe that this definitive truth, the perfect word of God, can be found only in the original Greek and Hebrew manuscripts. If this is the case, it's rather unfortunate for Christianity, isn't it? After all, we no longer have originals. The oldest manuscripts that we have are still merely copies of copies. Never fear, though, God's word still exists. How? Through His preservation. You see, God is, by nature, unable to lie. Absolute honesty. He is also all-powerful. Literally. Therefore, not only can He make unbreakable promises, but He can also keep them perfectly. 1 Peter 1:25  tells us,  "But the word of the Lord endureth for ever..." If God says something will happen, it will. Simple as that. In many places in the Bible, God promises that His word, His law, His commandments, His judgments, etc. will not pass away, but will exist forever. The question? Did He keep those promises? The answer? Absolutely!

One problem with all the version debate is that people often assume that with translation comes error and change. That argument, though, is useless, when we see that Jesus Himself translated the Word of God. (And since Jesus is God, you can be certain that He didn't make a mistake!) In fact, Matthew 4:4, ( 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.), is taken from Deuteronomy 8:3. Of course, the Old Testament was written in Hebrew, while Christ was speaking Greek. Did He translate His word? Was anything lost or misinterpreted? In reality, it's rather silly to assume that one must know Hebrew and Greek fluently in order to read the Word of God. Jesus Christ Himself shared the Word in the language of the people.

Now we have discussed the following points:
1. Every Word of God is important, so having the right Bible matters.
2. Only one "version" can be absolutely true.
3. God's absolutely perfect Word does exist today.
4. Translation does not necessarily corrupt the text.
5. Translation is a good thing., as it gives people the Word of God in their own language.

Again, I pray  that all of this has been said decently and in order. I pray that each word would appear to the read as it was written - the truth spoken in love. I know that I am just scratching the surface of the big, ugly wound on Christianity known as the "version debate". However, it my my fervent prayer and desire that each Christian would become confident in the Bible that they hold in their hands, and that their confidence would not be misplaced. While I cannot claim to speak with perfect knowledge,  I can tell you what I know, and allow you to study more from there.


Friday, July 20, 2012

The Power of One - Part 1

Every now and then, an everyday experience leads me to think more deeply on the truths and doctrines of God's Word. Those times are wonderful opportunities for growing in my beliefs - when things make sense for me, not in a theoretical sense, but in a real, day-to-day sort of way. Anyway, one thing that has been on my heart lately is the Bible itself, and I'd like to share why....

A few weeks ago, I attended a piano recital for one of my piano teacher's students. Although I didn't know the pianist, I was excited just for the chance to hear classical music performed live, not on a radio (a rare treat in rural Maine :) The recital was held at the Universal Unitarian "Church". Having been a Baptist my whole life, I had no clue what to expect. Walking in the door, I was immediately very glad that I was there for a recital, not a service! I was quite happy when a Christian friend of mine walked in. You see, this "church" had a very interesting way of looking at things. They tried to make witchcraft, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and all other "religions" work together.

Before and after the recital, and in between several other conversations, my friend and I spent some time noting the inconsistencies of this church. For me, one of the biggest problems was this: "How can religions which have nothing in common be unified?" Obviously, this "church" had no foundation at all.  Do you know why? Because there is only one God. There is only one Truth.  Ephesians 4:4-6 states,   "There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all."

God is a God of order, and not of confusion. Therefore, rather than creating hundreds of "rivers that lead to the sea", He created one path to salvation, plain and simple. I don't think I've lost anybody yet - this is all pretty basic Christian stuff, right?

Well, here's where things get tough...because this is a topic that we don't all agree on. I'm going to try to approach this with a spirit of grace, so please, just read and think about the information, ok? You don't have to agree - just give it a fair chance.  :)

As Christians, we can agree on one Lord (Jesus Christ). We can agree on one faith (salvation by grace through faith, not by works). We can even (usually) agree on one baptism ( by immersion, for believers, as a testimony, not for salvation). But unfortunately, in the modern "church", we have no foundation for any of these agreements. Why? Because we can't even agree on what God said. The large majority of American Christians simply don't believe in "absolute truth" where God's Word is concerned. They believe that we can have the "idea" of what God was saying, but we can't have His exact words.

May I respectfully explain why this is a wrong and dangerous doctrine?

First, we need to understand why it is so important to have the Word of God, and to know that it is true. Matthew 4:4 says, " 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." Did you catch that? By Every Word. God's words are important, every one of them. I think we can agree on this, right? In the last several years, I have heard about some pretty silly "translations", because people are concerned with their own ideas rather than with God's words. So of course, one of the first steps in discerning the true Word of God in the midst of the confusion is to eliminate "thought" translations, and look at word-for-word translations.

Second, by nature we can see that the explosion of "Bible versions" is not of God. Remember, I Corinthians 14:33 says that God is not the author of confusion, but of peace. If having hundreds of "the same" Book is not confusion, I really couldn't tell you what is. Especially when each of those versions is vastly different from the rest.

Before I go on to explain a little more in the next post, I want to take a quick break. Do you agree that every word of God is important? Do you believe that God is the creator of the great array of "Bible versions" available today? If so, which ones did He write, and which ones are man-made?

This will be a mini-series, as, obviously it's too large a subject for one post. My prayer is that it will be simply a starting point for your own study in this area. What could be more important than knowing that the Bible you hold is absolute truth?

If you have a specific question, feel free to ask it in the comments, and I'll be more than happy to address it in a future post. Again, I want to say that I don't think I know more than any of you - in fact, from many of my readers, I have been instructed in so many ways and been drawn closer to Christ. I am only writing this because God has consistently put it on my heart for several weeks, and I feel that I would be in disobedience to His Spirit if I refused.

Humbly yours,


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Coming back :)

I have decided to resume blogging, but my approach has changed a bit. I want to blog only what the Spirit directs, not whatever random snippets of my life I feel like sharing. There is a specific issue that God has been leading me to write about here, and I've been working and praying hard for a few weeks to get that post finished up soon. So, I will be blogging again, but probably not as often, and more intentionally than before.  :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Do you believe in miracles? Because I always thought I did. I grew up in a Christian home, and as long as I can remember, I've always known verses like "For with God nothing shall be impossible." I read stories of the great things God had done...for other people. And even though I have experienced salvation, the greatest miracle of all, somehow "real" miracles seemed terribly distant to a very ordinary college student in a small town. If only I had known how close the God of miracle really was! If you've read anything on this blog, you know that my heart is torn apart right now - part of it lies halfway around the world with my precious siblings in Russia. You also know that my family needed a substantial amount of money in order to bring them home. Well, I have something to tell you.

Since August, I've been witnessing everyday ordinary miracles. I've watched $20 from a college friend here, $50 from another friend over there turn into several thousand dollars. I've watched dozens of students who have never met me pour entire day's or week's wages into the adoption.

I've watched my family and friends unite to put on fundraisers, and I've learned so much about what God can do in hearts.

I've watched my parents shave and tighten and stretch the budget in dozens of ways.

Last week, our mailbox held a check for $4000 from a church we've never visited.

And I was amazed. That was enough to remind me that God would bring my siblings home.

But God wasn't done. I asked at the beginning of the post "Do you believe in miracles?" Well, here's why I asked.

Sunday night we received some wonderful news - friends of ours decided to adopt a sibling group of four that my dad had met on a previous trip to Russia. I was ecstatic! As I drifted off to sleep with a huge smile, I thought, "I could not possibly be any happier than I am right now!" How very wrong I was.

Yesterday, at about 5:45, the phone rang. My mom answered, and next thing I knew, she was there in the kitchen, smiling, with tears streaming down her face. She said, "Someone anonymously donated $50,000 to bring our kids home!" At that moment, I knew. Our God hasn't lost His power. He is so good!

I couldn't stop crying - my heart was, and is, totally and completely overwhelmed with what God has done! After nine months of wondering how we would find the finances to rescue them, now the biggest obstacle had been crushed! The mountain is moved! And now only paperwork stands between us and our beloved family members!

We could never express our gratitude to our God for speaking to this donor's heart - for allowing them to be a ministering angel to our family! My mom put it best when she said, " How do I even go about thanking someone for giving me my children?!"

I have collapsed in tears more times than I could count these past 24 hours. And my heart has soared as I realize that miracles are no longer something reserved for previous generations, other people, or Christian movies. Because my God worked a miracle for me!

I believe in miracles!