Category Archives: B90X

B90X Jan 3, 2012 “Something about Job”

Some people don’t like Job.  Yes, its true.  I have heard them say it.  So this blog will hopefully clear up something about the complexity of the book.

Overwhelmed by suffering, Job was not comforted, but condemned by his friends.  Each of their views represents a well-known way to understand suffering.  God proves that each explanation given by Job’s friends has less than the whole answer.

First, let me say that reading through the Bible Chronologically is going to be very cool.  Already, after jumping from Genesis 11 to Job 1 there was a mercurial excitement, not the predictable sameness we are so used to when beginning the Pentateuch.

Men with profound erudition have been able to boil down the seemingly endless prolix narrative of Job.  It all just gets jumbled and pointless after awhile, so let me share a little something I came across:

The only way any of Job’s friends help is by silencing their diatribes for seven days.  Allowing Job to have plenty of time to think through his mourning and crank up the pity-party.

Eliphaz explains Job’s pain by intimating that his suffering is because he sinned. His advice to Job is to go to God and lay his cause before God (5:8).  Job retorts with demands that Eliphaz take back his accusations (6:29).  In the end, God rebukes Eliphaz (42:7).

Bildad thinks that Job is hiding his sin and won’t admit it, so Job must suffer.  He encourages Job to give up and confess (8:2).  Bildad wants Job to confront God and ask what charges God has against Job (10:2).  Like Eliphaz, God rebukes Bildad (42:7).

Zophar is the more Pharisaical, religious one, he thinks Job deserves even more suffering than he has already experienced.  He advices Job to get rid of his sins (11:13, 14).  Job stands firm and doesn’t fall into Zophar’s super-pious hubris, and knows that he will be justified (13:18).  He too is lumped with Job’s other friends who have no valuable advise (42:7).

The youngster, Elihu, is the only one who gets close to getting it right, albeit wrong.  He thinks God is using the suffering to mold and train Job.  He is just a bit off, yet instructs Job to be silent and he will be taught wisdom (33:33).  Because God doesn’t deal directly with Elihu, we are left to wonder if his analysis is correct.

In the end, we hear from God himself.  Job is confronted by God and is told to be content without knowing why he is suffering.  There is no reason given for the suffering and asks Job how long he wants to argue with the Almighty (40:2).  Job realizes he was talking about things he did  not understand (42:3-5).

How a “Charlie Brown Christmas” almost never happened

 A great article on how the infamous and highly popular Charlie Brown Christmas Special almost never aired and wasn’t going to be run ever again.

Few headlines about network television make me giddy. Fewer still make me hopeful that all is good in the world. But back in August of 2010, I read the following headline from the media pages with great excitement: “Charlie Brown Is Here to Stay: ABC Picks Up ‘Peanuts’ Specials Through 2015.” The first of these to be made, the famous Christmas special, was an instant classic when it was created by Charles Schulz on a shoestring budget back in 1965, and thanks to some smart television executives, it will be around for at least another five years for all of us to see and enjoy.

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This whole Reformation thing…

“Reformation? What is that?”

I did some impromptu surveys on some folks asking what they knew about the Reformation? Nearly every person couldn’t connect the dots regarding people, places, times, reasons, etc. from the church event that changed history on Oct. 31, 1517. So this past week I went on a tear and read more about those series of events than I ever had before. There was a determination to get some info on the subject out to our CRBC family.  I had never done a “Reformation” sermon, or really heard one myself, so I gave it a shot.

For years I thought that church history began with Jesus, Peter, and Pentecost, there was a gap, and then, boom, Billy Graham.  I wasn’t aware of all the stuff in between.  Such naivete. 

Synergistically, several components had to be in place for the reformation to occur. Those components culminated throughout Europe in many places. The Holy Spirit was speaking to men and women in lots of countries. Fortunately, they heard and responded. Who knows what the church would look like today had the events not gone the way they did. If it were not for the courage by a few interesting characters, a church promoting incredulous proposterosities (new word), and masses hungry for something real, the events of “the reformation” would not have taken place.

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Today in History- Contact with the Woadani Indians of Ecuador

I have a friend named Scott who traveled with Steve Saint, the son of murdered missionary Nate Saint, to this village.  He has some pretty interesting stories about his trip and experience.  It is a place like no other.  The gospel has radically transformed the jungle community.  Pretty cool stuff.

So today in Christian history has a bit of a deeper meaning to me.  Product photo

September 19, 1955-

Neighbor Search in Ecuador    by Dan Graves, MSL

How’d you like to go looking for your neighbors?” Nate Saint had just flown into Arunjo on his weekly run from his permanent base at Shell Mera and was talking to Ed McCulley. The weather was favorable for searching for the elusive “Aucas” (Woadani). The missionaries wanted to share the gospel with them. Months earlier, Nate had flown over the last place they were known to have lived, but found no traces of them.

Ed eagerly boarded the “modern missionary mule” as Nate liked to call his little yellow missionary plane. The two lifted off into crystal clear air and began their hunt above the Ecuador jungle, searching for signs of Auca houses among the trees, especially along rivers. Some of the villages which had been reported earlier had hugged streams.

It seemed as if the hunt that began on this day, September 19, 1955, would prove futile like all others. Gas was running low and it was essential to turn back soon. But then Nate noticed a blemish, “barely discernible in the jungle.” He headed for it. It grew and they saw it was a clearing with manioc plants growing. In the few minutes remaining to them, they spotted fifteen more clearings and a few houses. Elated they headed home. They had found the Aucas.

Excitement was intense because the men had long hoped to contact these sturdy forest dwellers who fiercely resisted all efforts to subdue them, killing many who ventured into their territory. Ten days later, ferrying men and goods to another station in four flights, Nate deliberately flew different routes each way, zigzagging to bring as much territory under his plane as possible. On the third flight he spotted Auca dwellings barely fifteen minutes by air from the Arunjo station.

On October 1st, bad weather kept Ed from going back to Arunjo. Ed, Nate and two other missionaries gathered at Shell Mera and talked into the wee hours of the morning, huddled over maps and trying to establish the best strategy for reaching the Auca. How could they show them they came in peace and not in hostility?

Although they badly wanted prayer cover, the men decided to say as little as possible to the outside world. Government powers or secular forces might try to one-up them with armed expeditions. Nate and the other missionaries hoped to prevent that. They wanted no interference in winning Auca souls.

The outcome is well known. Nate Saint, Ed McCulley, Jim Elliot, Roger Youderan and Pete Fleming made contact with the Aucas. They dropped gifts to them from the air and landed on a beach where they spoke with members of the tribe. On January 6, 1956 all five were massacred in an ambush. Later, through the efforts of the widows, the Aucas discovered the meaning of Christian love and forgiveness and were converted to Christ.

Bibliography:

  1. Elliot, Elisabeth. Through Gates of Splendor. New York: Harper, 1957.
  2. Hitt, Russell T. Jungle Pilot: the life and witness of Nate Saint. New York: Harper, 1959.

 

http://www.christianity.com/ChurchHistory/11630810/

The Devil’s Beatitudes

I cannot take credit for this (The Devil’s Beatitudes), as it came across my computer screen in studying for last Sunday’s sermon.  If and when I find out who wrote these, I will give credit where credit is due.

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to just stay thinking the same old way, all the time?  Sometimes it is good to think outside the box.  Occasionally someone comes along who thinks from the other side of the paradigm, brings things into a different light, and that different perspective can really make one think.  CS Lewis did this very thing in his now significantly powerful and antithetically written Screwtape Letters.  When one reads, thinks, and acts from a  stale, closed minded perspective, one can be lulled and pacified.  Lewis brought folks to life mentally and spiritually when his two main characters talk with eery similarity to the way many current Evangelical Christian might.  Such banter really made many folks see their role in spiritual warfare come to life. 

A similar mind shaking document, albeit significantly smaller, is one called The Devil’s Beatitudes.  Someone took the time to rewrite the oft quoted beatitudes of Jesus and made them so thought provoking, it is very convicting.  So many times someone of high moral character does something they don’t think is sinful or ungodly, when in fact it may be.  But they have gotten away with such ungodliness, they become numb to it and the conviction which  the Holy Spirit is pouring out on them, the call to godliness is ignored. 

Here is the list.  I suggest reading through it slowly and devotionally.  Let the Holy Spirit speak to you.  If you sense familiarity with one of the ideas- stop, pray, and ask Father to help you with changing the anti-kingdom blessing into a life-giving one. 

The Devil’s Beatitudes

1. Blessed are those who are too tired, too busy, too distracted to spend even an hour once a week with their fellow Christians – they are my best workers.

2. Blessed are those Christians who wait to be asked and expect to be thanked — I can use them.

3. Blessed are the touchy who stop going to church –for they are my missionaries.

4. Blessed are the trouble makers – for they shall be called my children.

5. Blessed are the complainers –for their complaints are music to my ears.

6. Blessed are those who keep a list of the preachers mistakes — for they get nothing out of his sermons.

7. Blessed is the church member who expects to be invited to his own church – for he is a part of the problem instead of the solution.

8. Blessed are those who gossip — for they shall cause strife and divisions that please me.

9. Blessed are those who are easily offended — for they will soon get angry and quit.

10. Blessed are those who do not give an offering to carry on God’s work – for in stealing from God you steal for me.

11. Blessed is he who professes to love God but hates his brother and sister — for he shall be with me forever.

12. Blessed are you who, when you hear this, think the preacher is talking about someone other than you– for I’ve got you right where I want you.