Pop Quiz: Can you guess who these celebrities are in the sound clips below? They are all clips from well known movies. Test your movie memory and then check below for the answers. If you get 8 to 10, you are exceptionally knowledgeable. All clips are courtesy of the computing magic of MovieSoundClips.Net Now... listen up!!!
Context of the script, familiarity with that particular actor, and prediction have a lot to do with the fact that you can identify and recognize the voices of the different actors. If they were saying something unfamiliar, or perhaps you didn't know ahead of time that they all would be celebrities from movies, and I'd pulled in different topics, then it would have been more challenging. But, regardless of how you did recognizing the clips above, how well do you think you would recognize the voice of God? That all depends on how familiar you are with His voice, and how familiar you are with the script-ures, and your expectations of hearing God speak to your situation at all. Has God spoken? Sure He has... just listen...
God, who at many times and in various manners spoke in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hebrews 1:1
Quiz Answers follow!
1. Liam Neeson - Aslan in The Chronicles of Narnia; the Lion the Witch & the Wardrobe
2. Mel Gibson - William Wallace in Braveheart
3. Christian Bale - Jim Graham in Empire of the Sun
4. Russell Crowe - Maximus in Gladiator
5. Bruce Willis - RJ in Over the Hedge
6. John Wayne - Lt Rusty Ryan in They Were Expendable (1945)
7. Sylvester Stallone - Barney Ross in the Expendables
8. Will Patton - General Bethlehem in The Postman
9. Antonio Banderas -Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan in the 13th Warrior
10. Nicolas Cage - Ben Gates in National Treasure
Jesus called Himself the way, the truth, and the life. These were not plural, but notice that he added that there was no other way or truth or life to get to the Father.
John 14:6 Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by me.
We know that He was called light as well. But, I can't stop comparing these three characteristics of God's nature to the three keys to Spirituality highlighted by Paul in the love chapter. And, don't forget to notice where the LOVE chapter is in the New Testament... it's sandwiched in the middle of a bunch of doctrinal issues and the Spiritual gifts. After you have paused for a moment to listen to the aged old man insist that he is going to show you the best way to be Spiritual, with a wave of his arm, then we will skip right through the chapter to the last word on love.
1 Corinthians 13:13 And now abides faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Here we see the three keys a Christian should strive for: faith, hope, and love... if we want to be so Spiritual. I see a correlation between the two sets of three. I believe a case can be made to match them up. We could do that here and now on the spot. But, I want you to make the match yourself. I've made mine. And, I have posted it on another of my websites for you to take a peek at... once you've done your homework. It's over on a new page
of Go-Minister that I am working up as a resource for unlocking our gifts and talents. After you compare your thoughts to mine, feel free to comment, tweet, email, or inbox me your thoughts, and what you make of the two verses together as interlocking puzzle pieces. My choices can be found at http://www.go-minister.com/puzzling-gifts.html
Be sure to check back on that page soon to see how the resource is going, and email me any contribution ideas you have, as always. God bless you!
We tend to think that where we are doesn't really matter much in the scheme of things... at least not to God. But, the reality of the matter is that the Bible is a Geography textbook, and God is a navigator, a surveyor, and a cartographer all at once where His children are concerned. When looking at the care He took with where they were and where they were going in the book of Genesis, I'm surprised he didn't create cell phones with GPS on the 8th Day. God didn't get any laxer as time passed and the nation of Israel aged into a country.
Looking through the first part of the book of Genesis, we see God quickly embroiled in a game of 20 Questions when His children became distant and quit talking. The very first recorded words God spoke in an actual conversation with man, were in the form of a question, when like any young child, they were hiding from Him. The questions continued, occurring frequently as the first recorded part of His conversation with different people. I've listed the first ten, with the references where I found them.
1. Where are you? Genesis 3:9
2. Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree, of which I commanded you that you should not eat? Genesis 3:11
3. What is this that you have done? Genesis 3:13
4. Why are you angry? Genesis 4:6
5. Where is your brother? Genesis 4:9
6. What have you done? Genesis 4:10
7. Where did you come from and where will you go? Genesis 16:8 (an Angel of the Lord)
8. Where is your wife? Genesis 18:9
9. Why did Sarah laugh? Genesis 18:13
10. What ails you, Hagar? Genesis 21:17 (an Angel of the Lord)
Notice that the two questions asked of Hagar are listed as questions from an "Angel of the Lord." Regadless, of whether this spirit was the Lord Himself, or an angel, the words were from God and delivered by God's messenger. Notice also, that the questions trickle out after chapter four and Cain kills Abel, and men begin to multiply. It's as if God steps back and watches silently for a bit to see what these guys are going to do next. He notices their misdeeds, but remains silent, pondering. There in Genesis 4:26 is where they get their cell phones, because the Bible records that it was then that men began to call home... (*weak analogy, I know but work with me here please.)
Genesis 11:6-8 And the LORD said, Behold, the people are one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Come, let us go down, and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. So the LORD scattered them abroad from there upon the face of all the earth: and they left off building the city.
He intervenes when necessary, as with the Tower of Babel, but for the most part lets them have free will. It is interesting that He confuses and scatters their languages at a time when they are not talking to Him. It's as if He says, "Hey, I'm still here! Don't answer when I call and I'll take your talking privileges. You won't even be able to talk to your buddies." We know from the story of Enoch and Noah that God continued to have actual conversations openly with some of the men who would talk to Him. But, we don't really see that happening otherwise, until Abraham came along. Then, not only did the conversation and easy friendship resume, but God asked questions again, trying to engage His son in a give-and-take relational conversation; not an easy job for most parents.
There were a couple of questions recorded, where men actually asked God something, just in the way of conversation. Both were indicative of argumentative type quarrels.
Man's first Questions:
1. Am I my brother's keeper? Genesis 4:9
2. What will you Give me? Genesis 15:2
Umhmm! You have to actually clear your throat a bit as you overhear those two conversations. Almost embarrassing for the Dad. They weren't really bickering over chores and allowances in those two cases. The first was not about the workload, but a diversionary question from a young man who didn't want to admit a murderous deed. The second was not about wanting something, but an aging son accusing his Father for what He never gave him.
I've spent quite a long time covering the actual questions, but my point is going somewhere here. And, that is the point... going somewhere. Yes, God is a geographer. He was concerned about where Adam and Eve were, where Abel had gone, where Hagar and Sarah were, why they were crying and laughing, and where they were going, and yes... what was in their wombs. He wasn't being nosy... just a concerned, loving parent to adult children. And, He just happened to be God.
He never stopped caring about where they were. He told Noah what to do, Abraham where to go, and Moses what to say. He led the wandering children of Israel across the wilderness and to a promised piece of land. He later sent them down to Babylon. Then, He brought them back out to Israel. There is much indication that God is concerned with where we are geographically. It leads me to believe that we would all be better off if we asked for God's advice before moving from where we are, if we don't want to lose contact.
Human beings were created with a resilency and an intended ability to revive. Nothing that you or I encounter here on earth can remove the seed that has been implanted within us. So long as that seed remains, we will flourish under God's care. Stories from God's Word are often sources of encouragement in my life. I have featured five special stories of people who are good examples of faith under the overcomers tab
on my Sunrise Scriptures
website; stories of people who are overcomers, or conquerors. These people illustrate what it means to be held in God's hand. It is my hope that you find some encouragement in your situation through these Bible stories. Take a moment to look through the ones that seem pertinent to your life, and ask yourself the following questions:
1. What skill set did the Believer have that provided helpful in overcoming his or her problems?
2. What skills or talents do I have that could be useful in overcoming my obstacles?
3. Why am I holding back on God, if He has given me the talents needed to solve this situation?
4. What method of miraculous intervention, or resources outside the believer did God utilize to help solve the problem?Available now: Cousin Mordecai's Ring, The Ash Heap Phoenix, Broken Chains, A Child Delivered, and Restored Bones. Also: If you would like to receive emailed copies of this blog in your inbox, subscribe to the mailing list.
You are on a boat, fishing in a lake. The boat springs a leak, and starts to take on water. At this rate, you will soon sink. With you in the boat, are three other people, a flashlight, a cooler of cold drinks, a tackle box, a bait cup, an old ball cap, one old life vest, and a Bible. Who would you want the three other people to be? You can choose any three people living or dead. They can be fictional or real characters. And, they can do anything they normally are capable of doing. But, they can not have anything with them other than what I already mentioned, and the clothes they wear. And, they must save you and themselves in some way. And, the Bible must be used. Please respond in the comments with your plan. :)
A stretching rubber band is something that has quite a few unique properties. There is more to the band than I can quite put in words. But, from playing with the simple animation on the website linked to the picture below, I think you will see what quality I am referring to...
Did you stretch the rubber band? Ok, what was wrong with the animation? What was missing? Simply put, when you stretch a rubber band, it doesn't really change size. It stretches yes, but it also shrinks in certain directions. Eventually it will snap. No matter how you stretch the thing, it is not going to really get any bigger. Ultimately, it still has the same amount of matter inside. The components are just displaced and distorted. We call this property elasticity.
Most people have a sense of morality. We have these limits in our mind that we feel very uncomfortable about crossing. I realize there are people who criticize the idea of imposing limits on yourself at all. I have had friends, using the word loosely, who seemed to be mocking me for my moral convictions. Yet, when I found myself on one such occasion snapping the rubber band and participating in something that I felt really crummy for later, what words did I hear from their mouths? "Now, remember Vicky, we didn't tell our husbands we are going to do this particular part of the evening. They would not like it at all!" I was aghast at hearing these words. The realization that they were afraid to tell their husbands what they were doing made me realize they certainly recognized the activity as wrong morally. Too bad that little tidbit wasn't apparent when I was being ridiculed for my morality earlier.
Myself, I was single at the time. But, I am the type of person who would just tell my husband what I was going to do. I wouldn't be sneaky about it at least. So, I saw this as definitely a violation of their own morals, as well as mine. The thing is, we all have morals. And, our morals do not grow to accommodate our behavior. I've heard it put aptly that we should always live up to our standards, by lowering them if necessary. But, you can't really lower your standards. You can break them. And, you can certainly try to just stretch them.
We do that you know. I thought about this today while playing an online game. Foursquare is a game where you get points and rankings for checking into places. So, the goal is to get 1st position, especially if you are competitive. You can add places to the map, if they are not already there, and part of the fun is in creating silly fictitious places. I haven't been able to get out of my house much, so I have a number of places created, likemy home, my street, my internet network, my bed, my coffee carafe... you get the idea. The only problem is, there is a thin line here in checking into places where my sense of "cheating" wants to kick in. I just find it difficult to check into any old place on the map, if I am just driving by, for example. And, I've noticed certain things are ok... like the cities, towns, parks, and several other things like the fictitious places. But, today I noticed the single rule that applied to all these places I was "stretching" the rules for... no walls. They all were open air places. That made me laugh. Clearly, my conscience could stretch enough to say, "Well, I am driving past a park, and it has no walls... hence I am at the park lol. But, I am not at that Krystal, so I can not check in at the Krystal."
Why are we made that way? Why will our conscience stretch like that to allow us to "bend" the rules without too much guilt? Why do we stop at a certain point when we feel we have stretched it too thin? I don't know the answer to these questions. Maybe you do.
Hope is not a street. It's a highway. Hope costs nothing. It arrives free, yet it must be fed. Hope promised and not delivered will make people sick. It's never in our best interest to promise hope, and deliver only legislation (law.)
HOPE is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.
I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.
Proverbs 13:12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick: but when the desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life.
Hebrews 7:19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by which we draw near unto God.
Where do you find hope? What do you do to increase your own hope? What fuels your hope for tomorrow? What tangible event in your life right now gives you hope? What do you see as hopeless? Who do you have the most hope for in your family? Look for hope.
There are questions that we don't have answers for, and they are not usually the ones answered with an education. Like, 'Why does the rain fall on the good and the bad alike?' One such verse I have been thinking about for the past two days appears in a book I am reading... Tess of the D'Urbervilles. 2 Peter 2:3 And through covetousness shall they with false words exploit you: whose judgment of old now lingers not, and their destruction slumbers not.
Do you really want me to break that one apart for you now? I didn't think so. No, we'll let sleeping dogs lie. Feel free to read it, and the context it sits in, a few hundred times before you finally pass out senseless, droopy eyed tonight from the phantasmic, hypnotic hold it has on you. It says so much and answers so little.
Sometimes the questions have more value than the answers. Speaking of questions... here's another open-ended verse. What exactly is that all about anyways?
1 Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who has called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that you have suffered a while, restore, establish, strengthen, settle you.
*Note: Have you found other open-ended verses that leave you wondering exactly what God is up to anyways? If so, comment or email me email@example.com
If you are awake enough for a quiz, I have a question for you. Look over my notes from reading today, and tell me who's the teacher. My notes are just phrases that stuck out to me in the reading. Don't scroll down below the picture until you think you have the answer.
It struck me in the reading that the three chapters are laid out very differently, and that so many of our common sayings in Christianity come from that 3rd chapter of the tiny epistle. Have a look at it. It takes about 10 & 1/2 minutes to read the whole book. The first two chapters are contrasting the Saved & the Lost. The third chapter outlines our promises. Yes, this is all from the book of 2nd Peter. I will leave you with a good example from the first column. The Homeless Ministry of Randy Dueck is an example of the work of a believer who has been an "Eyewitness of Majesty." Visit his website at Supernatural Life Transition Ranch for the Homeless in Red Bluff, and see what he is doing about the homeless sleeping under the Antelope Bridge. Perhaps YOU can lend a hand for some lost and wandering souls in the state of California, even if you don't live there yourself, just by clicking on the Walmart wishlist link.
Answers are not easy to find. But, the questions sure jump right out at you. :) Fortunately, the Bible has info on where to find the answers, and that's all we really need. Jeremiah 33:3 Call unto me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you know not. When you don't know how to answer, you are not alone. Romans 8:31 speaks of not knowing what to say. Sometimes we are speechless because staring into the distance is all we can do in response to circumstances.
I have found in my own life that God's answers don't just happen in a vacuum. When God answers, He will use people, places, events, and experiences to speak to you. I like to surround myself with people who can provide a flow of thought into and through my life. This does not mean that I surround myself only with people who believe like I believe, or who have the same thoughts that I have. It does not even mean that I surround myself with people who are nice to me and treat me well. Sometimes our enemies are an asset. We learn and grow from people who hurt us, just as much or more than we can people who help us.
We don't have to look for people who are prestigous, or renowned to fill our lives with meaning. Common everyday people who are willing to share and participate in the salt and light experience that Jesus spoke of can be wonderful places to hear from God. I have added a new page under my blog tab called Blogs I Read and Recommend. Here I have listed blogs by everyday bloggers like myself, as well as a couple by people I follow like Joni Erickson Tada. These blogs have spoken to me in the everyday situations that I face in my life. You may find a couple here that interest you. There are many sources of fresh thought in these blogs, but more than anything else, many of them are appreciated because they are human.
To be human means to be who you really are, out in the open with your thoughts and feelings. And that is what I look for in the blogs that I read, whether it be tech blogs, faith blogs, or blogs on living with a disability, as most of these are in one of those three categories. I will be adding descriptions to each blog title in the next few days to make it more easily referenced.
Wherever you are launching out into God's Word from, there you are, so keep moving. Find the answers you are seeking. God never intended for us to be in the dark. We stand on faith, but we are following the Light of the World.