Friday, August 22, 2014


Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made. ~ Matthew 5:33

Vows of any kind are extremely important, They are important to the one you made the vow too because you have made a promise that they expect you to keep, and to those who witnessed them because your ability to keep your vow speaks directly to your charter. Wedding vows are even more important, they mean something to God, whom you made this vow in front of. They mean something to the you and the person you are marring its a promising faithfulness to one another. They mean something to the everyone in attendance of the wedding who are a witnesses of the ceremony. These vows are not to be said before much thought and reflection, these vows are for your lifetime, a commitment to Christ to remain faithful to our true love. Just as with our salvation in Jesus, our marriage vows are a proclamation of faith. Through the good and bad that life has for us we promise to follow through.

We will have good days and bad ones, we will have joy and sorrow, we will rub against each other for comfort and warmth and sometimes the rubbing will be like nails on a chalkboard. We will be close at times and there will be times of much distance. Those of us who are wise will learn from our mistakes and grow from them and there are those of us that are hard headed and make the same mistakes over and over again, (this is the category I tend to fall into most often). But the key is remembering that we made a vow and through think and thin we must make our very best effort to keep our promise to Christ as well as our loved one. Remember communication and patience are the keys to a successful life. Amen. <><

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Abusive Language

29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. ~ Ephesians 4:29

"Corrupting talk," another translation says "foul or abusive language," another puts it "Don’t say anything that would hurt another person." No mater how you put it scripture says to not say ANYTHING that is going to be harmful to another human being, period! So why do we continue to day after day say things that put other people down? Why would we want to say, or do things that would cause another to stumble? But I'm not, you say. Are you positive? Are you absolutely one hundred percent positive, beyond any doubt what so ever that you have not said or done anything that would not hurt, offend, or otherwise cause a nonbeliever, or someone walking the fence to stumble? What about posting something or forwarding something via email? What about passed on a rumor or gossip about someone else?

You see in this day and age of computer technology it is so easy to repost something or tag somebody or something that may seen innocent at the time but someone else may find offensive. It's easy to become angers and post something on Facebook or Twitter because it's so impersonal, is so easy to vent when you are typing and no one is face to face with you to temper your anger or to gage your words by. Then someone who hasn't quite made up their mind about this Jesus thing sees you reacting the same way they would, the same way the world does, the same way the pagans do. They say well they are no better than me, is this Jesus real or something made up because what I see from His followers is the something I see from everyone else...

So I ask again, are you absolutely positively one hundred percent sure that you have not said or done something that caused harm to another human being? We are being watched every minute of every day and I know we are not perfect, I am the furthest thing from perfect. However, if we are going to call ourselves Christ Followers we must be making an attempt to live according to His standards, being saved by Grace, by being saved by Faith, by being saved by a Loving Savior is not a license to live like the pagans and expect the gates of Heaven to welcome us with no consequences. Amen. <><

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Is money is the root of all evil?

3 Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, ~ Matthew 27:3

It has been said that "money is the root of all evil." I however do not ascribe to the this old saying as we all know that in order to survive in this world you need money. However I do think that the desire for money can be an overpowering force. The love of money can even cause one to betray a friend. If we are not consciously aware the idea of making money will, without notice, take priority over all other aspects of our lives. Yes even investing in the relationships most important to us, spouse, children, friends, church family, etc. Here in Matthew the 27th Chapter we see Judas facing this temptation and as with many of us he failed. This is the very person who all the other disciples, even Jesus Himself had trusted with their monies and he, Judas violated this trust. Judas chose 30 pieces of silver over his influence with Jesus For the price of about four months income Judas chose to hand over the Messiah to His enemies. It was too late when Judas finally realized his mistake. We can see from his response and what followed that he was sorry, however he did not seek forgiveness from his savior Jesus, but made another bad decision. In this case of Judas we can clearly see that the love of money bankrupted his soul and removed Jesus from his sight. No Jesus no hope, Know Jesus and know hope.

We MUST keep money in proper perspective as it concerns our lives or it will slowly replace the love and peace of Christ with an unbearable emotional burden on all our relationships. If we convince ourselves that money is answer to our problem, that if I can just get this one more thing or pay this last bill, all I need is another $100 then I can concentrate other issues that I will be better equipped to place my attention on Jesus Christ. It I have these things then I will have more time to spend with my spouse and play with the kids. One more paycheck and I will be able to go to church and invest in others. If we truly believe that, then we are setting ourselves up for relational contest, one in which the important things, suffer.

Remember the man who ask Jesus what he must do to have eternal life? Remember their exchange about following the ten commandments, and how this did not satisfy the man so he ask Jesus what else he must do? Look closely here at what Jesus says too him, Jesus said to him, "If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me." (Matthew 19:21) Do you see what Christ places value on? It's not what we posses it is who we follow, it's not whom we know or have influence with it's who we follow. Give!! We must give in order to receive. We must follow Christ, not as simply a good teacher but with the deep desire to be like the one we follow, we MUST BECOME CHRIST to the world!

Nothing, I mean NOTHING else matters if we do not do this one thing first. Give total control to who you are to the One Who Made You. As we gain more and more momentum as we gain the trust and love of those around us we must be careful to give all the glory to God. The right-mindedness we develop over time is the single most important asset on our balance sheet. Who we are in Christ is to be treasured, not traded for treasures of this world which quickly disappear. Relationships are the legal tender that Christ treasures and blesses. Money is meant to be a means of living and should only be used as a tool to enhance how we love and to encourage others to love as Christ loves. We are to intersect the love of Christ with those we meet by developing a community that values people and lifts people up to love others. Amen. <><

Monday, August 18, 2014

In Who or What Do You Have Faith?

1 Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Also through Him, we have obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, 4 endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. 5 This hope does not disappoint, because God's love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. ~ Romans 5:1-5

Faith in Christ above all things is what will help us to successfully navigate through this life. If we do not have Christ in us then we have no faith, without faith there is no hope. Paul here says "we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God." I would go further and say that this "hope" is truly "knowledge", the truth in knowing that the glory of our Creator has and will triumph! This knowledge is what makes us rejoice, yes rejoice in our afflictions, some synonyms of this word affliction are, agony, anguish, hurt, misery, torment, torture, etc. People who do not have Christ will ask, how can anyone "rejoice" in the midst of anguish or torment? If you have Christ then you know who is the Triumph One! You in faith know that as "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another." (Proverbs 27:17) We know that "affliction produces endurance," which gives us not just character but "proven character!" Character that has and will stand the test of this world and of Satan himself! Character the not only produces hope but gives hope to those around them. A hope that has and will change the world. Therefore I besiege you to take the hope that is Christ, take the love God has poured into your heart by the power of the Holy Spirit and GO CHANGE THE WORLD!! Amen. <><

Thursday, August 14, 2014

English Translations of the Holy Scripture: An Historical Look

Have you ever wondered where we get the English translations of the Holy Scriptures? If so here is some research I have done:


Partial translations of the Bible into languages of the English people can be traced back to the end of the 7th century, including translations into Old English and Middle English. More than 450 versions have been created over time.


Old English: Although John Wycliffe is often credited with the first translation of the Bible into English, there were, in fact, many translations of large parts of the Bible centuries before Wycliffe's work. The English Bible was first translated from the Latin Vulgate into Old English by a few select monks and scholars. Such translations were generally in the form of prose or as interlinear glosses (literal translations above the Latin words). Very few complete translations existed during that time. Rather, most of the books of the Bible existed separately and were read as individual texts. Thus, the sense of the Bible as history that often exists today did not exist at that time. Instead, an allegorical rendering of the Bible was more common and translations of the Bible often included the writer’s own commentary on passages in addition to the literal translation. Toward the end of the 7th century, the Venerable Bede began a translation of scripture into Old English (also called Anglo-Saxon). Aldhelm (c. 639–709) translated the complete Book of Psalms and large portions of other scriptures into Old English. In the 10th century an Old English translation of the Gospels was made in the Lindisfarne Gospels: a word-for-word gloss inserted between the lines of the Latin text by Aldred, Provost of Chester-le-Street.[1] This is the oldest extant translation of the Gospels into the English language.[1]

The Wessex Gospels (also known as the West-Saxon Gospels) are a full translation of the four gospels into a West Saxon dialect of Old English. Produced in approximately 990, they are the first translation of all four gospels into English without the Latin text.

In the 11th century, Abbot Ælfric translated much of the Old Testament into Old English. The Old English Hexateuch is an illuminated manuscript of the first six books of the Old Testament without lavish illustrations and including a translation of the Book of Judges in addition to the 5 books of the Pentateuch. --- Middle English: The Ormulum is in Middle English of the 12th century. Like its Old English precursor from Ælfric, an Abbot of Eynsham, it includes very little Biblical text, and focuses more on personal commentary. This style was adopted by many of the original English translators. For example the story of the Wedding at Cana is almost 800 lines long, but fewer than 40 lines are the actual translation of the text. An unusual characteristic is that the translation mimics Latin verse, and so is similar to the better known and appreciated 14th-century English poem, Cursor Mundi.

Richard Rolle (1290–1349) wrote an English Psalter. Many religious works are attributed to Rolle, but it has been questioned how many are genuinely from his hand. Many of his works were concerned with personal devotion, and some were used by the Lollards.[2] The 14th century theologian John Wycliffe is credited with translating what is now known as Wycliffe's Bible, though it is not clear how much of the translation he himself did.[3] This translation came out in two different versions. The earlier text is characterised by a strong adherence to the word order of Latin, and might have been difficult for the layperson to comprehend. The later text made more concessions to the native grammar of English.


Modern English: Early Modern English Bible translations are those translations of the Bible which were made between about 1500 and 1800, the period of Early Modern English. This was the first major period of Bible translation into the English language. It began with the introduction of the Tyndale Bible. The early 16th century Tyndale Bible differs from the others since Tyndale used the Greek and Hebrew texts of the New Testament (NT) and Old Testament (OT) in addition to Jerome’s Latin translation. Tyndale is also unique in that he was the first of the Middle English translators to use the printing press to help distribute several thousand copies of this translation throughout England. This period continued with the introduction of the first "authorised version", known as the Great Bible (1539); the Geneva Bible (1560), notable for being the first Bible divided into verses; and the Bishop's Bible (1568), which was an attempt by Elizabeth I to create a new authorised version. It concluded with the release of the Douay–Rheims Bible (NT in 1582, OT during 1609-1610), and the landmark Authorized King James Version of 1611. The Douay–Rheims Bible was the first complete Roman Catholic Bible in English. It is called Douay–Rheims because the New Testament portion was first completed in Rheims, France, in 1582, followed by the Old Testament, finished in 1609-1610 in Douay (or Douai), France. In this version, the 7 Deuterocanonical books are mingled with the other books, rather than kept separate in an appendix.

Early English Bibles were generally based on a small number of Greek texts, or on Latin translations. Modern English translations of the Bible are based on a wider variety of manuscripts in the original languages (Greek and Hebrew). The translators put much scholarly effort into cross-checking the various sources such as the Septuagint, Textus Receptus, and Masoretic Text. Relatively recent discoveries such as the Dead Sea scrolls provide additional reference information. There is some controversy over which texts should be used as a basis for translation, as some of the alternate sources do not include phrases (or sometimes entire verses) which are found only in the Textus Receptus. Some say the alternate sources were poorly representative of the texts used in their time, whereas others claim the Textus Receptus includes passages that were added to the alternate texts improperly. These controversial passages are not the basis for disputed issues of doctrine, but tend to be additional stories or snippets of phrases. Many modern English translations, such as the New International Version, contain limited text notes indicating where differences occur in original sources.[4] A somewhat greater number of textual differences are noted in the New King James Bible, indicating hundreds of New Testament differences between the Nestle-Aland, the Textus Receptus, and the Hodges edition of the Majority Text. The differences in the Old Testament are less well documented, but do contain some references to differences between consonantal interpretations in the Masoretic Text, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the Septuagint. Even with these hundreds of differences, however, a more complete listing is beyond the scope of most single volume Bibles (see Critical Translations below). Modern translations take different approaches to the rendering of the original languages of approaches. The approaches can usually be considered to be somewhere on a scale between the two extremes:

Formal equivalence translation (sometimes literal translation or formal correspondence) in which the greatest effort is made to preserve the meaning of individual words and phrases in the original, with relatively less regard for its understandability by modern readers.

Dynamic equivalence, sometimes called Paraphrastic translation, in which the translator attempts to render the sense and intent of the original. Examples of these versions include Tree of Life Bible, The Living Bible and The Message. Some translations have been motivated by a strong theological distinctive, such as the conviction that God's name be preserved in a Semitic form, seen in Sacred Name Bibles. The Purified Translation of the Bible was done to promote the idea that Jesus and early Christians did not drink wine, but grape juice. Also, the New World Translation was partially motivated by a conviction that Jesus was not divine, and was translated accordingly.

But the NWB by the Jehovah's Witnesses add the term Jehovah almost 300 times in the NT altering the Greek to help with twisting the true meaning of the text.


Then we have the Individual translations: While most translations are made by committees of scholars in order to avoid bias or idiosyncrasy, translations are sometimes made by individuals. The translation of J.B. Phillips, J.N. Darby's Darby Bible, Heinz Cassirer's translation, R.A. Knox, Gerrit Verkuyl's Berkeley Version, The Complete Jewish Bible by Dr. David H. Stern, Robert Young's Literal Translation and Eugene H. Peterson's The Message are largely the work of individual translators. Other notable scholars, such as Robert Alter and N. T. Wright have translated portions of the Bible in light of their understanding of the ancient languages and cultures.


There are those who follow Alternative approaches: Most translations make the translators' best attempt at a single rendering of the original, relying on footnotes where there might be alternative translations or textual variants. An alternative is taken by the Amplified Bible. In cases where a word or phrase admits of more than one meaning the Amplified Bible presents all the possible interpretations, allowing the reader to choose one. For example the first two verses of the Amplified Bible read: IN THE beginning God (prepared, formed, fashioned, and) created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and an empty waste, and darkness was upon the face of the very great deep. The Spirit of God was moving (hovering, brooding) over the face of the waters


We even have translations that follow a Single source translation: While most translations attempt to synthesize the various texts in the original languages, some translations also translate one specific textual source, generally for scholarly reasons. A single volume example for the Old Testament is The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible (ISBN 0-06-060064-0) by Martin Abegg, Peter Flint and Eugene Ulrich.

The Comprehensive New Testament (ISBN 978-0-9778737-1-5) by T. E. Clontz and J. Clontz presents a scholarly view of the New Testament text by conforming to the Nestle-Aland 27th edition and extensively annotating the translation to fully explain different textual sources and possible alternative translations.[6][7] A Comparative Psalter (ISBN 0-19-529760-1) edited by John Kohlenberger presents a comparative diglot translation of the Psalms of the Masoretic Text and the Septuagint, using the Revised Standard Version and the New English Translation of the Septuagint. R. A.Knox's Translation of the Vulgate into English is another example of a single source translation.


We can not forget the foundational leaders of the Jewish faith with the Jewish translations: Jewish English Bible translations are modern English Bible translations that include the books of the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) according to the masoretic text, and according to the traditional division and order of Torah, Nevi'im, and Ketuvim. Jewish translations often also reflect traditional Jewish interpretations of the Bible, as opposed to the Christian understanding that is often reflected in non-Jewish translations. For example, Jewish translations translate עלמה ‘almâh in Isaiah 7:14 as young woman, while many Christian translations render the word as virgin.

While modern biblical scholarship is similar for both Christians and Jews, there are distinctive features of Jewish translations, even those created by academic scholars. These include the avoidance of Christological interpretations, adherence to the Masoretic Text (at least in the main body of the text, as in the new Jewish Publication Society (JPS) translation) and greater use of classical Jewish exegesis. Some translations prefer names transliterated from the Hebrew, though the majority of Jewish translations use the Anglicized forms of biblical names. The first English Jewish translation of the Bible into English was by Isaac Leeser in the 19th century. The JPS produced two of the most popular Jewish translations, namely the JPS The Holy Scriptures of 1917 and the NJPS Tanakh (first printed in a single volume in 1985, second edition in 1999). Since the 1980s there have been multiple efforts among Orthodox publishers to produce translations that are not only Jewish, but also adhere to Orthodox norms. Among these are The Living Torah and Nach by Aryeh Kaplan and others, the Torah and other portions in an ongoing project by Everett Fox, and the ArtScroll Tanakh.

So as you can see there have been many different sources for what we call today "The Bible" and although I do hold to the belief that some are better than others I would much rather have you reading a bible that some would refer to as sub standard than have you not reading scripture at all. I believe that in some way God's hand is in it all and it is still the best reading available, you might even say it is life saving... Amen <><

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Who Served Who?

14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith--that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. ~ Ephesians 3:14-21

I have not writing anything since August 3rd, because I left the next day for Bethesda Mountain Builders, a camp at Lutheran Valley Retreat near Pikes Peak Colorado and was there through August 8th. Since then I have been doing my usual things for Cross of Christ Church and my normal readings but mostly I have been downloading and reflecting about this week of camp. Most of you know that I was involved with SonRise Camp in Anderson Indiana and had been involved with this camp long before it was SonRise and had a home in Anderson. However after moving here to Denver in August of 2011 I have not been able to attend camp, mostly because of my health and there have been some scheduling issues.

So finally I was able to attend a week here in Colorado and I want to tell you that I was not disappointed! Seeing the ministry that I was involved with for so long grow and thrive the way this ministry has is totally God's providence, not for any one person but for the benefit of many. To see so many "strengthened with power through his Spirit in their inner being" has this servant humbled and in total awe! Seeing Christ dwell in the hearts of so many through faith has me still in tears, not of sorrow but of total joy and peace and love, that I can not put into words what I experienced.

Many of you who know me know that I am very seldom at a loss for words however this past week has left my heart full but my mind numb with wonder and awe. For those of you who do not know, this camp ministry is a ministry that "Ministers with adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities." This is a statement that I often question, after serving in this ministry for many years and being present this past week I truly question who has disabilities and who does not. I have been witness to many occasions where my friends that this society has labeled with a disability know the Gospel and trust in Christ to a level that I envy and long for.

This past week of camp was no exception, I again witnessed a level of trust and love of Christ that has left me feeling disabled. I witnessed a level of servanthood that has left me feeling so inadequate that I can do nothing but fall to my knees and ask for forgiveness to a God that loves so deeply that He has gifted my friends with a gift, a gift that we have labeled it a disability. I was allowed to witness a God that desires a relationship with us so much that He has put among us angels that know and love and trust Him with so much that they have given their existence here in this lifetime so that we might have a glimpse into a Heavenly existence in His presence. So I ask, who is disabled?

My prayer is that each and everyone of you are able to have an experience like the one I was so privileged to have. To have and experience that (as Paul so eloquently put it here in Ephesians) may give you a strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. I know that I have witnessed such a comprehension in the friends we think we are serving when in actually they are the servants that teach and show the love of Christ to a level of understand that this man longs for. Amen. <><

Sunday, August 3, 2014

God's Will

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies, 21 but test everything; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil. 23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24

I hear people all the time say, "if only I knew what God's will for my life was." My response, read the bible, its right there, God's will for our lives, just read it, believe it and live it. Here in a letter to the Church in Thessalonica we see a glimpse into God's will, to rejoice always, pray without ceasing and give thanks is all circumstances. If we do these three things we have a good start on living out God's will for our lives! Let the Holy Spirit live out through us do not stifle Him because this is God's Spirit leading, teaching, inspiring us to live out God's will. Do not despise, or look on with contempt the prophecies of God but test all things holding with all your life what is good because anything good comes from God! Keep out of your life every form of evil for these are the things of Satan and he is the one who deceives us. May God set us all aside for His Holy purpose and our entire spirit and soul and body be blameless in God's sight, not because we deserve it but because Christ redeemed us. Always keep your mind focused on Him knowing that He is always faithful and will surely do as He has promised. Do you still question what God's will for your life is? Do you need more? Then read His word! Talk to a pastor, email or message me and I will get you in contact with one. Please know in your heart that God Loves You! ...and so do I... Amen. <><