Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Prophetic Book

Today's Evidence

Origin of the Bible, Part III - The Power of Prophecy

Our final post in this series on the origin of the Bible is a look at the book's amazing fortelling of the future. Like some of us, I have a tendency to every so often just leave my Bible on the night stand for awhile without opening it up.

In doing this series I am reminded of how powerful this book really is and that I should not leave it unopened for very long. We will beginning a new "Today's Evidence" series later this week. Again, this from AllAboutTruth.org.

Part III

The origin of the Bible is God. It is a historical book that is backed by archeology, and a prophetic book that has lived up to all of its claims thus far. The Bible is God's letter to humanity collected into 66 books written by 40 divinely inspired writers over a period of over 1,600 years. The claim of divine inspiration may seem dramatic (or unrealistic to some), but a careful and honest study of the biblical scriptures will show them to be true. Powerfully, the Bible validates its divine authorship through fulfilled prophecies. An astonishing 668 prophecies have been fulfilled and none have ever been proven false (three are unconfirmed). God decided to use prophecy as His primary test of divine authorship, and an honest study of biblical prophecy will compellingly show the supernatural origin of the Bible. Skeptics must ask themselves, "Would the gambling industry even exist if people could really tell the future?" Again, no other holy book comes even close to the Bible in the amount of evidence supporting its credibility, authenticity and divine authorship.

Source: www.allabouttruth.org/origin-of-the-bible.htm

Friday, May 23, 2008

Is the Bible True?

Today's Evidence

Origin of the Bible - The Reliability of Ancient Manuscripts, Part II

We are continuing to take a look at the evidence of God by taking a closer look at the Bible. Some dismiss its relevance altogether, others in parts. But why? Is there another dimension to the Bible? Is there a dimension that some enter and then believe?

We will be taking a look at these questions later in the "Today's Evidence" series. Today, we look at the New Testament with help from AllAboutTruth.org. Happy day fellow bloggers! - Alexander

Part II

The manuscript evidence for the New Testament is also dramatic, with over 5,300 known copies and fragments in the original Greek, nearly 800 of which were copied before 1000 AD. Some manuscript texts date to the early second and third centuries, with the time between the original autographs and our earliest existing copies being a remarkably short 60 years. Interestingly, this manuscript evidence far surpasses the manuscript reliability of other ancient writings that we trust as authentic every day. Look at these comparisons: Julius Caesar's "The Gallic Wars" (10 manuscripts remain, with the earliest one dating to 1,000 years after the original autograph); Pliny the Younger's "History" (7 manuscripts; 750 years elapsed); Thucydides' "History" (8 manuscripts; 1,300 years elapsed); Herodotus' "History" (8 manuscripts; 1,300 years elapsed); Sophocles (193 manuscripts; 1,400 years); Euripides (9 manuscripts; 1,500 years); and Aristotle (49 manuscripts; 1,400 years).

Homer's "Iliad", the most renowned book of ancient Greece, has 643 copies of manuscript support. In those copies, there are 764 disputed lines of text, as compared to 40 lines in all the New Testament manuscripts (Norman L. Geisler and William E. Nix, A General Introduction to the Bible, Moody, Chicago, Revised and Expanded 1986, p. 367). In fact, many people are unaware that each of William Shakespeare's 37 plays (written in the 1600's) have gaps in the surviving manuscripts, forcing scholars to "fill in the blanks." This pales in textual comparison with the over 5,300 copies and fragments of the New Testament that, together, assure us that nothing's been lost. In fact, all of the New Testament except eleven verses can be reconstructed from the writings of the early church fathers in the second and third centuries. (A General Introduction to the Bible, Ch. 24.)

Source: www.allabouttruth.org/origin-of-the-bible.htm

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Today's Evidence

Origin of the Bible - The Reliability of Ancient Manuscripts

Today, we will be looking at the origin of the Bible. In proving or disproving God's existence, it is important to discuss "God's Manuscript," as some would call it. I've taken the following from AllAboutTruth.org. Stay tuned for more of Today's Evidence. Have a blessed day everyone! - Alexander

Another challenge against the origin of the Bible is the reliability of the manuscripts from which today's Bibles are translated. Remarkably, there is widespread evidence for absolute reliability. There are more than 14,000 existing Old Testament manuscripts and fragments copied throughout the Middle East, Mediterranean and European regions that agree dramatically with each other. In addition, these texts agree with the Septuagint version of the Old Testament, which was translated from Hebrew to Greek some time during the 3rd century BC.

The Dead Sea Scrolls, discovered in Israel in the 1940's and 50's, also provide phenomenal evidence for the reliability of the ancient transmission of the Jewish Scriptures (Old Testament) before the arrival of Jesus Christ. The Hebrew scribes who copied the Jewish Scriptures dedicated their lives to preserving the accuracy of the holy books. These scribes went to phenomenal lengths to insure manuscript reliability. They were highly trained and meticulously observed, counting every letter, word and paragraph against master scrolls. A single error would require the immediate destruction of the entire text.

Source: www.allabouttruth.org/origin-of-the-bible.htm

Mary Did It

Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. — Luke 1:26–27

This from Greg Laurie's Harvest Daily Devotion:


It is difficult for us to understand, 2,000 years later, the significance of the angel Gabriel's appearance to Mary in Nazareth.

After all, he could have found the future mother of the Messiah in Rome, the capital of the greatest power on earth at the time. He could have found her in Athens, the cultural center of the world, or in Jerusalem, the spiritual center of the world.

But God chose Nazareth, an obscure but extremely wicked city that was notorious for its sin. Upon hearing that Jesus was from there, Nathanael said, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" (John 1:46).

What is amazing about Mary is that she lived a godly life in a godless place, and she did so as a very young teenager. Commentators believe she may have been as young as 12, but not much older than 14.

Here she was, a nobody living in a nothing town in the middle of nowhere—precisely the kind of person that God goes out of His way to call. He chose an unknown girl in a relatively unknown city to bring about the most-known event in human history, an event so significant that we actually divide human time by it.

Maybe you are trying to live out your faith in a godless place today, at work or school or among unbelieving family members. You're wondering if it can be done. It can.

Mary stands as an example for us, proving that it is possible to live a godly life in an ungodly world.


Books by Greg Laurie can be found at Amazon.com.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Versical: Restoration

Peace has fallen on this person
In a static place, no less
It’s a lull before the storm breaks
Restoration time, I guess
To the state that He created
Undefiled by human touch
Like an onion, we’ve gained layers
Some a few, but many much.

Take a painting, sad and lifeless
Vibrant colours dulled by time
You can damage hidden beauty
As you scrub away the grime
So He takes His time about it
Lovingly He cleans away
Years of dead and poisoned foliage
In our cesspit of decay.

So I offer up my secrets
Some remembered, others not
Like a time lord reaching backwards
He is in a land forgot
But I know that when He’s finished
I will be His child renewed
Thankful that He loves me dearly
Restored, refined, no longer crude.

- Versical

Find Versical at Mike's Blogs

About Mike
I’m Mike and I am a Christian. I’ve been this way for over twenty years and praise The Lord for the way He has stuck by me and changed me. These blogs are my personal wanderings through life as the world formed me. Nobody is to blame as we are all subject to influences which distort the perfect creation that we were designed to be. May these poems and blogs bless you and you are welcome to use them.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Beyond the Shaking

It's been a tough week for some of us. But as we close out the week, I am reminded of China. A powerful earthquake killed more than 22,000 and injured tens of thousands more in Wenchuan County, located in China's southwestern Sichuan province. The quake struck at 2:28 p.m. local time on May 12. The Red Cross estimates that at least 4 million homes were damaged or destroyed. The earthquake death toll could reach over 50,000 lives lost.

I am also reminded of something else this week. That Jesus is the Rock, He is our salvation, and our hope. Understanding tragedy of this magnitude is impossible, however our comfort comes from Him, the one that gives us all these things.

The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the strength of my salvation, and my stronghold. - Psalm 18:2


World Vision Sheltering China's Children

World Vision has an area development project in Qingchuan County of Sichuan province, located about 125 miles from the epicenter in Wenchuan County. All six project staff members are reported safe and working from a temporary office. There are no sponsored children yet in this project.

As the death toll from the 7.9-magnitude earthquake continues to rise, World Vision offices close to the epicenter have dispatched relief and assessment teams to provide immediate supplies, such as blankets and tents, to 10,000 people, with more supplies on the way. We are asking for $2 million in additional funding to support our relief and rehabilitation efforts.

Focus on needs of affected children

May 14: Three Child-Friendly Spaces will also be set up to offer children a way of returning to their normal routines through structured activities, games, and informal education.

If World Vision's funding goal is reached, relief and rehabilitation activities totaling $2 million will reach more than 107,000 survivors. Long-term rehabilitation activities will focus on shelter and school reconstruction.

Lorries loaded with quilts and tents are expected to begin arriving in Qingchuan by Thursday or Friday. World Vision staff report that slippery road conditions and cracked roadways are slowing down the supplies.

Help China through World Vision now!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Serenity Now!

The answer to personality problems is found in a quiet return to Godlike thinking. - Science of Mind magazine

It's not easy being peaceful in a turbulent world. Chances are that spending 10 minutes watching the news these days will not do wonders for your inner peace.

I often look back with a chuckle at a Seinfeld episode in which George's dad, trying to pre-empt a tizzy fit, would look to the sky and shout, "Serenity now! Serenity now!"

If only it were that simple!

I was reminded yesterday that it could be one of a number of things that could prompt me to be in a better mood... and even be at peace. It was a quick visit to a pastor friend of mine. In 20 minutes I was truly listened to, encouraged, uplifted, and ready to rock the world!

I know I was experiencing God at work, doing what He does best...comfort and strengthen. Whether it be in your own quiet time, through a song, or through a friend...God works to make your life better...and peaceful!

This from Hazelden's Today's Gift email:

When we're edgy and critical or perhaps feeling inadequate or depressed, we've lost our attunement with God. And when acting the way God would have us act is no longer our priority, our character defects once again emerge and, in time, grow ever more numerous.

We can make the simple decision to always check out our proposal behavior against the behavior we know is from God. When we remember to think of God first before proceeding, we avoid unnecessary conflicts; we refrain from consciously hurting anyone; we manage to take our experiences restfully, moment by moment.

There's really no mystery to having a rewarding and peaceful life. Those we notice who do have likely made a more frequent companion of God than we. The decision to work more on our own friendship with God is an easy one to make.

I will act according to God's wishes today and, in the process, strengthen our friendship.

This devotion from Hazelden comes from the book In God's Care: Daily Meditations on Spirituality in Recovery by Karen Casey.

In God's Care guides readers in understanding and strengthening their connection with a Higher Power, however they choose to define that presence. With the inspiration and support unique to Hazelden meditation books, In God's Care offers encouragement and guidance for "practicing the presence of God" in daily life. - Amazon.com


Alexander is a writer in the online spiritual battlefield. You can also find him at The Scrooge Report.

Friday, May 9, 2008

What Follows Failure?

Too much to do. It seems like a disease these days...having too much to do in too little time. Arranging meetings, making deadlines, getting that gift for mom...it's Friday and I need another day before the weekend to make things come together.

At least that's what I think I need. But, what I really need is to just hang out with Jesus. He comforts. He strengthens and He shows me the way.

Thank you, Lord, for reminding me that I just need to reach out to you...the one who provides!

This from Max Lucado's Grace for the Moment, Volume 2:


In the past God spoke... many times and in many different ways. But now... God has spoken to us through his Son. - Hebrews 1:1-2

God, motivated by love and directed by divinity, surprised everyone. He became a man. In an untouchable mystery, he disguised himself as a carpenter and lived in a dusty Judaean village. Determined to prove his love for his creation, he walked incognito through his own world. His callused hands touched wounds and his compassionate words touched hearts....

But as beautiful as this act of incarnation was, it was not the zenith. Like a master painter, God reserved his masterpiece until the end. All the earlier acts of love had been leading to this one. The angels hushed and the heavens paused to witness the finale. God unveils the canvas and the ultimate act of creative compassion is revealed.

God on a cross. The Creator being sacrificed for the creation. God convincing man once and for all that forgiveness still follows failure.


Find Max Lucado books at Amazon.com!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Eyes Wide Open

The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel. - John 5:19-20

This from Henry Blackaby's Day by Day:

Jesus, realizing that His role was that of a servant, never sought to initiate activity for the Father (Matt. 20:28). The servant never sets the agenda—the master does. The servant must be so alert to what the master is doing that whenever the master begins to move in a direction the servant quickly joins him. Even the Son of God did not assume He knew the best thing to do in a situation. Instead, He looked to see the Father’s activity and then joined Him. Jesus knew His Father so well that He was keenly sensitive to divine activity around Him, immediately recognizing His Father at work.

It is possible for us to be so busy trying to bring God into our activity that we don’t even notice Him at work around us. He seeks to redirect our attention so that we might join Him, but we tend to be self-centered, evaluating everything by how it affects us. We must learn to view events around us from God’s perspective. Then we will see our world very differently. When God brings someone across our path, we will look to see if God is convicting that person of his need for salvation. Perhaps God is comforting someone in her sorrow. God might be encouraging your friend as she faces a challenge. We will then adjust our lives to join God as He works in that person’s life. We ought to live each day with tremendous anticipation as we look to see where God is working around us. As our eyes are opened to His activity, we will marvel at His great works.


Gold Medallion Award winner "Experiencing God Day-By-Day" is based on Henry Blackaby’s multi-million selling Experiencing God book and Bible study. Find insight and grace in this 365-day devotional focused on the divine presence in each life. This book will help you see what God has instore for you while sustaining the essential habit of turning to God on a daily basis.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Bloggers Demand Miraculous Signs

A recent series of comments about Intelligent Design in an exhaustive BlogCatalog discussion prompted me to post verses from the Bible that talk about the foolishness of this world.

This morning, I've run with those verses and come up with a "different" interpretation. Hope you like!

For since in the wisdom of God the blogosphere through its wisdom did not know Him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was posted to save those who believe. Bloggers demand miraculous signs and trolls look for wisdom, but we blog Christ crucified: a stumbling block to bloggers and foolishness to pagan posters, but to those whom God has called, both bloggers and trolls, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than blogger's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than blogger's strength. Blogroll mates, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were Dugg; not many were of noble ranking. But God chose the foolish posts of the blogosphere to shame the wise; God chose the weak comments of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this blogosphere and the despised things--and the things that are not--to bury the things that are, so that no one may rank before Him.

- 1 Corinthians 1:21-29 (Bloggers Edition, Alexander)

See also:
Do Not Crave His Traffic

Alexander is a writer in the online spiritual battlefield. You can also find him at The Scrooge Report.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Send In the Choir!

Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! — Psalm 107:8

This from Today's Devotion with Greg Laurie:

Remembering to Say "Thank You"

In the Old Testament, we find an interesting story of how King Jehoshaphat took an uncommon approach when his enemies waged war against him. Instead of sending in his army first, he sent in the choir and musicians.

Imagine the scene: "All right, guys, here's the plan today. An army is out there, armed to the teeth. So, we are sending in the choir and the musicians." If I had been a choir member or musician, I might have wondered whether the king liked our music.

But God had directed Jehoshaphat in this unusual battle tactic. We read that Jehoshaphat appointed people to sing to the Lord, praise the beauty of holiness, and go out in front of the army saying, "Praise the Lord, for His mercy endures forever" (2 Chronicles 20:21).

So that is exactly what they did. The Bible tells us that when they began to sing and praise, God sent an ambush against the enemy, and they were destroyed. God's people were able to go into this situation giving thanks, because He was in control.

In approaching God to ask for new blessings, we should never forget to thank Him for the blessings He has already given. Have you recently come to God for help and He came through for you? Did you come back to say "thank you"?

If we would stop and think about how many of the prayers we have offered to God have been answered and how seldom we come back to God to thank Him, it just might amaze us. We should be just as deliberate in giving thanks to God as we are in asking for His help.


Books by Greg Laurie can be found at Amazon.com.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

For the Lord, Not Men

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men. - Colossians 3:23

This from Henry Blackaby's Day by Day:

There is an important difference between doing something for people and doing something for God. God always deserves our best effort. People will disappoint us, betray us, neglect us, and mistreat us. Some will constantly ask for what we can give while offering nothing in return. From our human perspective, these people deserve our minimal effort at best. What then should motivate us to serve people, except our love for God? God deserves our love, and He demands that we love others in the same way He does. We are to love our spouses, not as they deserve, but as God commands (Eph. 5:22–33). We are to treat our friends, not as they treat us, but as Christ loves us (John 13:14). We are to labor at our jobs, not in proportion to the way our employer treats us, but according to the way God treats us. God is the One we serve (Eph. 6:5).

Mediocrity and laziness have no place in the Christian’s life. Christians must maintain integrity at home and in the workplace. Working for God, as opposed to working for other people, changes our perspective as we view our endeavors in light of what He has done for us. Our toil then becomes an offering to God. We not only worship God at church on Sunday, but our labor throughout the week is an offering of worship and thanksgiving to the One who has given us everything we have. When people do not measure up to our expectations and we feel our efforts are being wasted, we must keep in mind that we are toiling for holy God. He is worthy of our best effort.


Gold Medallion Award winner "Experiencing God Day-By-Day" is based on Henry Blackaby’s multi-million selling Experiencing God book and Bible study. Find insight and grace in this 365-day devotional focused on the divine presence in each life. This book will help you see what God has instore for you while sustaining the essential habit of turning to God on a daily basis.