Dreams, Visions and Voices

Dreams, Visions and Voices

Holy Spirit as a Dove – image pixabay.com

SONG: Twila Paris – I Will Listen

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUnk1td2sQU


General revelation (creation) suggests to most people GOD as the creator. The Bible Christians use is a special form of revelation:
Inspired Scripture – image pixabay.com
1) Holy Spirit inspired writings,
2) GOD generated visions and dreams,
3) Angelic visitation and,
4) GOD’s spoken voice. 
Let us look at an example of each:

1) Holy Spirit

John 14:26 ESV

Holy Spirit as a Dove – image pixabay.com

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

2) GOD generated visions and dreams

Genesis 37:5-8 ESV

Spencer Collection, The New York Public Library. “Full-page miniature with four scenes” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 17, 2019. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-e9b4-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Spencer Collection, The New York Public Library. “Small miniature of John and full-page miniature of the First Vision” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 17, 2019. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-eca0-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers they hated him even more. He said to them, “Hear this dream that I have dreamed: Behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and behold, my sheaf arose and stood upright. And behold, your sheaves gathered around it and bowed down to my sheaf.” His brothers said to him, “Are you indeed to reign over us? Or are you indeed to rule over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.

Acts 16:9 ESV

Apostle Paul – image from pixabay.com
And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”

3) Angelic visitation

Luke 1:19 ESV

And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news.
Angelic Visitation – image pixabay.com

4) GOD’s spoken voice

 

1 Samuel 3:10 ESV

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “Moses receiving the Ten Commandments” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 17, 2019. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/b0d728c0-e148-0132-1904-58d385a7bbd0
And the Lord came and stood, calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant hears.”

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Why the Fisherman, Sinners and Tax Collectors

Why the Fisherman?

The-Fishermen – image pixabay.com

Jesus was not starting a new religion, he came to lead the Hebrews back to GOD. All the people of Jewish hierarchy  were well in trenched in the dogma they established and perpetuated.

Fisherman – images from pixabay.com

Most of the augmented law of  The Pentateuch had been corrupted to benefit the religious and secular Jewish leaders. The Jewish fisherman and other laymen understood “The Law” and traditions but were open to what a new Rabi (Jesus) had to say.

Matthew 23:1-39 ESV

Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, so practice and observe whatever they tell you—but not what they do. For they preach, but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, …

Sinners and Tax Collectors?

Matthew 9:11 ESV

And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

Mark 2:17 ESV

And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Jews Seek to Attack Jesus The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “The Jews Seek to Stone Jesus” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 10, 2019. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/6728e710-a397-0134-6963-00505686a51c

OK John the Baptist offered a way for the Jews to repent and regain favor with GOD and apparently most rejected him. Jesus came to offer the same to all the Jewish people but it seems only sinners and tax collectors heard and obeyed. Only a very few leaders responded as Nicodemus had. Eventually the hardened hearts resulted in the Crucifixion of Jesus and the offer of salvation to all people (including Gentiles).

 

 

 

 


SONG: Open the Eyes of My Heart by Michael W. Smith, lyrics included.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idQ1n3cdgfo

 


Acts 28:28 ESV

Therefore let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen.”


Jerusalem – image pixabay.com

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Evil Redux

Evil Redux

About Evil – image pixabay.com
Evil Personified – image pixabay.com

Yes I wrote about evil before however, I thought it worthwhile to reiterate aspects of this seemingly ubiquitous aspect of life. If we just focus on The Ten Commandments and select those that instill an immediate threat to humans we should gain a bit more insight concerning evil. So, if I avoid debating social or cultural dilemmas head on cool heads may allow why sin is the source of evil. When GOD created the Heavenly Hosts they misused their Free Will as humans eventually had done later on when they were created. Satan and his demonic supporters fell from grace and influenced, and still influence, humanity: tempting us to give in to our sin nature thus perpetuating the influences of evil upon our world.

Isaiah 5:20 ESV

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Self defense,  defending good, defending your family may lead to killing because there is little choice; possibly self sacrifice if it can do good is possible, but:

Ten Commandments – images from pixabay.com

Exodus 20:13 ESV

“You shall not murder.

Rather than go through every possibility in a short blog I will point out how  two more sins cause evil to linger on the Earth.

1. Untruth: lies, omission, deception, manipulation . . . These cause the innocent harm; rob the innocent of what is theirs; encourages and enables a perpetrator to continue in these sinful ways.   2. Greed: How much does a person really need of anything? If a selfish person acts greedily innocent people loose out: food, clothing, healthcare, . . . . . employment doing honorable work.  

Left Out of Prosperity – image pixabay.com
There is no such thing as a victimless crime according to the Laws of GOD. Jesus paid for sin and fulfilled the penalty for sinning but He did not do away with GOD’s standards and definition for sin.
Our Hope – image pixabay.com
Accept Jesus’ sacrifice and gain eternal life.

SONG: I WILL FEAR NO EVIL / Worship Song by Pastor Daryl K Williams

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8ChhXg8E-k  


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Free Will

Is Free Will an Illusion?

Fork in the Road 2 – image pixabay.com

We go about our lives thinking we are deciding what to do, where and when to go; what to eat; who to marry; what job to take. Yet when any of these decisions turn out negative our minds may go into overdrive attempting to figure out what happened (a consequence of free will?). Philosophers have wrestled with this question for a long time and I myself confronted baffling outcomes to my choices. First, GOD blessed us with free will and had also blessed the angles with free will resulting in some rebelling introducing evil to creation.  

2 Peter 2:4 ESV

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment;

God does not allow Satan (a fallen angel) free reign:

Job 2:3 ESV

Satan
Rare Book Division, The New York Public Library. “Then Los & Enitharmon knew that Satan: is Urizen.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed April 26, 2019. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47db-b5e1-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil? He still holds fast his integrity, although you incited me against him to destroy him without reason.”

If you read Job you will see a great struggle because with permission Satan tormented Job and still he held up to the onslaught.  

Job:
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “Job Conversing with His Friends” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed April 26, 2019. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/c26b7a20-64a3-0133-111b-00505686a51c


 



 

 

 

 

 


I Surrender – Hillsong Worship

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7jXASBWwwI


Job 42:16 ESV

And after this Job lived 140 years, and saw his sons, and his sons’ sons, four generations.

Bottom line: GOD gave free will because when we choose GOD it is on our own accord not a forced choice.

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Why Character Matters

Why Character Matters

Mutual Faith – image pixabay.com

In some places in the world trust is a rare commodity. It is difficult to trust leaders, police, military, neighbors or even friends. When you need something people in these palaces are never sure they are getting what they are paying for or, they expect that in order to receive the correct goods or services they often must be prepared to bribe someone.    

Philippians 4:8 ESV

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Our Society Honors Success Often Above All Else

Honored – image pixabay.com

We often value people with more material success more than others. This can lead to tolerance of sin, evil and abuse of less privileged people.

1 Timothy 6:10 ESV

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

Trust in Prayer – image pixabay.com
As Christians we know our salvation does not depend on earthly things so we should focus on our future in heaven

 

Luke 12:33 ESV

Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys.

Strong Bond – image pixabay.com

Song: My Reward video by Ronald Nard feat vocalist, the awesome Jermia Cannon. This video put’s a visual perspective to the song. “My Reward” is in Heaven. Lead by Jermia Cannon and background vocals by Kacy Harvey & Sound Of Praise. 

https://youtu.be/i6I2m-Djn0s


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The Last Supper, Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday

Jesus and His Disciples Observed Passover
We know it as the Last Supper

Good Friday: We Call it Good because of what Jesus has accomplished:

Jesus In Gethsemane

Jesus and His disciples went to pray in the garden as Jesus knew what was about to take place:

Matthew 26:39 ESV

And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”

Jesus arrested tortured and crucified:

Jesus Pays for Sin – images from pixabay.com

Matthew 26:47-56 ESV

While he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a great crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; seize him.” And he came up to Jesus at once and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” And he kissed him. Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you came to do.” Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and seized him. And behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. …

Luke 23:33-43 ESV

And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments. And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!” The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” …

 

Romans 8:11 ESV

If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

The Resurrection – images from pixabay.com

Chris Tomlin – Resurrection Power Lyrics (Worship Song 2018)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GiatOIz8h0A

Chris Tomlin – Our God (Live)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJpt1hSYf2o


Resurrection Sunday

Palm Sunday: https://filozofiaquest.com/archives/29436   The Last Supper:   Good Friday:   Resurrection Sunday:    

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Passover aka The Last Supper

We Christians Must Understand Jesus as a Hebrew

The Last Supper – image from pixabay.com

Exodus 12:21-28 ESV

Then Moses called all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go and select lambs for yourselves according to your clans, and kill the Passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and touch the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. None of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning. For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians, and when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you. You shall observe this rite as a statute for you and for your sons forever. And when you come to the land that the Lord will give you, as he has promised, you shall keep this service. …


The Passover meal was the last supper we recognize: The lamb sacrificed at the Passover foreseen Jesus as the ultimate sacrifice for all sin.

SONG: He Let the People Go by James Halifko

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ql9HaPJmzxo  


Moses
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Moses Fountain,Washington Park, Albany, N. Y.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 24, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-a305-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

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Turning away from substance abuse

Support Each Other – images from pixabay.com

Proverbs 20:1 ESV

Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.


Mercy Me- Hold Fast- Recovery Video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GY_BTvsBeug


Not a Solution – images from pixabay.com

Before I became a Christian I lead a decadent life with few constraints; ultimately this lead to several negative challenges in my life – I failed to correct my faults. Finally admitting I was a sinner unable to control my sin nature without help. I turned my life over to GOD through Jesus Christ. Sure life became better but consequences still arouse and occasionally I needed to remind myself what my weaknesses were and that it was GOD not me that made the recovery possible.

Not the Answer – images from pixabay.com

Finally after more than thirty-five years my most difficult battles seem to be in the past.

Pills – images from pixabay.com

Lisa Scinta – Addiction Lyrics Video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2DLZOAth78


I must not drop my guard: In a culture that seems to be challenged more and more by substance abuse, depression and declining morals my only hope for a better life, the resistance to temptation is my trust in Jesus and the Word of GOD as my guide.

Like minded Christians can be of enormous help

Support Each Other – images from pixabay.com

Hebrews 10:25 ESV

Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Help one another, study The Bible together and encourage each other. If one stumbles prop him or her up.

Renewed Life – images from pixabay.com

1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

Excerpt from a secular blog of mine: Odd Thoughts (with Christian influence)

What is a Realistic Education (Biblical Stewadship; resonsibility)
Somewhere along the way Americans seem to have lost their understanding of what a useful education really is: A realistic education prepares a student for becoming a productive citizen with realistic expectations, skills for industry and in home life and, an understanding of right and wrong. Knowledge of our political system with its checks and balances with accurate expectations as a citizen. What do I believe about this topic?
First there is no one route to success, second few people will achieve recognition for some esoteric or exotic invention. The overwhelming majority of our citizens will work for a living and mange their affairs in a responsible way which yields satisfaction (contentment and happiness). What kind of knowledge and training do people need?
There is more than one (or just a few) paths
A. Basics: Language – reading and writing and, math skills.
B. Advanced Basics:

Education – images from pixabay.com
  1. Health: Nutrition, dangers, medical routines, exercise . . . etc.
  2. Personal Economics: Money management, retirement planning, running a household.
  3. Thorough knowledge of American History and our relationship to World History.
  4. Detailed knowledge of our political system with checks and balances and relationship of majorities to minorities; our economic system.
  5. Morality: right from wrong; civility and common courtesies. THE TEN COMMANDMENTS Respect for spiritual matters.
    C. Advanced Studies: in compact programs, vocational schools, military service and then Colleges or Universities.
  6. Job skills
  7. Leadership skills (if applicable)
  8. Advanced Mental Health: accurate knowledge of self and the relationship with others.

New Woman – images from pixabay.com

TRW360 learn about Christianity in your language.

LINK: https://www.twr.org/

New Man – images from pixabay.com

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Merry Christmas

Church Vocal Choir – images from pixabay.com


Merry Christmas

Nollaig Shona Dhuit! …Feliz Natal/ Boas Festas!

Feliz Navidad! …Joyeux Noël! …Zalig

Fröhliche Weihnachten! … Buon Natale!

Selamat Natal, god jul,

メリークリスマス,   क्रिसमस की बधाई,

圣诞节快乐,  메리 크리스마스

LINK TO EUROPEAN MERRY CHRISTMASES:

https://www.slavorum.org/how-to-pronounce-merry-christmas-in-slavic-countries-of-europe/

LINK TO WORLD CHRISTIANS BY COUNTRY:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_by_country

Peace to all: James Halifko

Don’t let Krampus (JÓLAKÖTTURINN. …FRAU PERCHTA. …BELSNICKEL. …HANS TRAPP. …PÈRE FOUETTARD. …THE YULE LADS. …GRÝLA),

Don’t let materialism ruin your Christmas!

MY CHRISTMAS SONG:

Matthew 1:18-25 ESV

Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: …


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Next Week: Happy New Year

 

Who and What Depends on You

Staff – images from pixabay.com

 

 

 


Honorable Provider – images from pixabay.com

Who Depends on You

Philippians 2:4 ESV

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Hungry Homeless – images from pixabay.com

Christians as in many social networks care for one another. Not only family, local community or nation but all fellow humans. Christians have experienced The Love of GOD and GOD has no limit to offering love.

1 John 3:17-18 ESV

But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

 

What Depends on You

Genesis 2:15 ESV

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.

Orderly Plan – images from pixabay.com

The purpose GOD bestowed on humanity was not to just care for ourselves without regard for our planet and all the lifeforms we share it with; we are to be caring responsible caregivers.

Numbers 35:33-34 ESV

Remember some gave all – images from pixabay.com

You shall not pollute the land in which you live, for blood pollutes the land, and no atonement can be made for the land for the blood that is shed in it, except by the blood of the one who shed it. You shall not defile the land in which you live, in the midst of which I dwell, for I the Lord dwell in the midst of the people of Israel.”


SONG: Angie White – Reliable God

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHpsHsxE16Y


But, Your, Eternity Depends on You

Jesus did many things for us, paid for all sin, makes us acceptable to GOD and gave us much instruction, this is the most important gift to us:

John 10:27-29 ESV

More than Hope – images from pixabay.com

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.

Next Week: A Season of Hope and Joy

 

ESV: English Standard Version – Crossway

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