Monday, January 7, 2013

     

YOU’RE BLESSED
            1–2      5 When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said:
            3      “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
            4      “You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
            5      “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.
            6      “You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.
            7      “You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.
            8      “You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
            9      “You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.
            10      “You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.
            11–12      “Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble


Peterson, E. H. (2005). The Message: The Bible in contemporary language (Mt 5:1–12). Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

NEVER TAKE LOVE FOR GRANTED

15–16 Do you know the saying, “Drink from your own rain barrel,
draw water from your own spring-fed well”?
It’s true. Otherwise, you may one day come home
and find your barrel empty and your well polluted.

17–20 Your spring water is for you and you only,
not to be passed around among strangers.
Bless your fresh-flowing fountain!
Enjoy the wife you married as a young man!
Lovely as an angel, beautiful as a rose—
don’t ever quit taking delight in her body.
Never take her love for granted!
Why would you trade enduring intimacies for cheap thrills with a whore?
for dalliance with a promiscuous stranger?

21–23 Mark well that GOD doesn’t miss a move you make;
he’s aware of every step you take.
The shadow of your sin will overtake you;
you’ll find yourself stumbling all over yourself in the dark.
Death is the reward of an undisciplined life;
your foolish decisions trap you in a dead end.


Peterson, E. H. (2002). The Message : The Bible in contemporary language (Pr 5:15–23). Colorado Springs, Colo.: NavPress.

Monday, February 13, 2012

YOUR LIFE IS AT STAKE

1–2 4 Listen, friends, to some fatherly advice;
sit up and take notice so you’ll know how to live.
I’m giving you good counsel;
don’t let it go in one ear and out the other.

3–9 When I was a boy at my father’s knee,
the pride and joy of my mother,
He would sit me down and drill me:
“Take this to heart. Do what I tell you—live!
Sell everything and buy Wisdom! Forage for Understanding!
Don’t forget one word! Don’t deviate an inch!
Never walk away from Wisdom—she guards your life;
love her—she keeps her eye on you.
Above all and before all, do this: Get Wisdom!
Write this at the top of your list: Get Understanding!
Throw your arms around her—believe me, you won’t regret it;
never let her go—she’ll make your life glorious.
She’ll garland your life with grace,
she’ll festoon your days with beauty.”

10–15 Dear friend, take my advice;
it will add years to your life.
I’m writing out clear directions to Wisdom Way,
I’m drawing a map to Righteous Road.
I don’t want you ending up in blind alleys,
or wasting time making wrong turns.
Hold tight to good advice; don’t relax your grip.
Guard it well—your life is at stake!
Don’t take Wicked Bypass;
don’t so much as set foot on that road.
Stay clear of it; give it a wide berth.
Make a detour and be on your way.

16–17 Evil people are restless
unless they’re making trouble;
They can’t get a good night’s sleep
unless they’ve made life miserable for somebody.
Perversity is their food and drink,
violence their drug of choice.

18–19 The ways of right-living people glow with light;
the longer they live, the brighter they shine.
But the road of wrongdoing gets darker and darker—
travelers can’t see a thing; they fall flat on their faces.

LEARN IT BY HEART

20–22 Dear friend, listen well to my words;
tune your ears to my voice.
Keep my message in plain view at all times.
Concentrate! Learn it by heart!
Those who discover these words live, really live;
body and soul, they’re bursting with health.

23–27 Keep vigilant watch over your heart;
that’s where life starts.
Don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth;
avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip.
Keep your eyes straight ahead;
ignore all sideshow distractions.
Watch your step,
and the road will stretch out smooth before you.
Look neither right nor left;
leave evil in the dust.


Peterson, E. H. (2002). The Message : The Bible in contemporary language (Pr 4:1–27). Colorado Springs, Colo.: NavPress.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

DON'T ASSUME YOU KNOW IT ALL

Words of wisdom from the Message Bible


DON’T ASSUME YOU KNOW IT ALL
1–2 3 Good friend, don’t forget all I’ve taught you;
take to heart my commands.
They’ll help you live a long, long time,
a long life lived full and well.

3–4 Don’t lose your grip on Love and Loyalty.
Tie them around your neck; carve their initials on your heart.
Earn a reputation for living well
in God’s eyes and the eyes of the people.

5–12 Trust GOD from the bottom of your heart;
don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for GOD’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
he’s the one who will keep you on track.
Don’t assume that you know it all.
Run to GOD! Run from evil!
Your body will glow with health,
your very bones will vibrate with life!
Honor GOD with everything you own;
give him the first and the best.
Your barns will burst,
your wine vats will brim over.
But don’t, dear friend, resent GOD’s discipline;
don’t sulk under his loving correction.
It’s the child he loves that GOD corrects;
a father’s delight is behind all this.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

THE OLD IS OUT THE NEW IS IN

Hebrews 10 (The Message)
1 The old plan was only a hint of the good things in the new plan. Since that old “law plan” wasn’t complete in itself, it couldn’t complete those who followed it. No matter how many sacrifices were offered year after year, they never added up to a complete solution.
2 If they had, the worshipers would have gone merrily on their way, no longer dragged down by their sins.
3 But instead of removing awareness of sin, when those animal sacrifices were repeated over and over they actually heightened awareness and guilt.
4 The plain fact is that bull and goat blood can’t get rid of sin.
5 That is what is meant by this prophecy, put in the mouth of Christ: You don’t want sacrifices and offerings year after year; you’ve prepared a body for me for a sacrifice.
6 It’s not fragrance and smoke from the altar that whet your appetite.
7 So I said, “I’m here to do it your way, O God, the way it’s described in your Book.”
8 When he said, “You don’t want sacrifices and offerings,” he was referring to practices according to the old plan.
9 When he added, “I’m here to do it your way,” he set aside the first in order to enact the new plan—
10 God’s way—by which we are made fit for God by the once-for-all sacrifice of Jesus.
11 Every priest goes to work at the altar each day, offers the same old sacrifices year in, year out, and never makes a dent in the sin problem.
12 As a priest, Christ made a single sacrifice for sins, and that was it! Then he sat down right beside God
13 and waited for his enemies to cave in.
14 It was a perfect sacrifice by a perfect person to perfect some very imperfect people. By that single offering, he did everything that needed to be done for everyone who takes part in the purifying process.
15 The Holy Spirit confirms this:
16 This new plan I’m making with Israel isn’t going to be written on paper, isn’t going to be chiseled in stone; This time “I’m writing out the plan in them, carving it on the lining of their hearts.”
17 He concludes, I’ll forever wipe the slate clean of their sins.
18 Once sins are taken care of for good, there’s no longer any need to offer sacrifices for them.
19 So, friends, we can now—without hesitation—walk right up to God, into “the Holy Place.” Jesus has cleared the way by the blood of his sacrifice, acting as our priest before God. The “curtain” into God’s presence is his body.
22 So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out.
23 Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word.
24 Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out,
25 not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.
26 If we give up and turn our backs on all we’ve learned, all we’ve been given, all the truth we now know, we repudiate Christ’s sacrifice
27 and are left on our own to face the Judgment—and a mighty fierce judgment it will be!
28 If the penalty for breaking the law of Moses is physical death,
29 what do you think will happen if you turn on God’s Son, spit on the sacrifice that made you whole, and insult this most gracious Spirit?
30 This is no light matter. God has warned us that he’ll hold us to account and make us pay. He was quite explicit: “Vengeance is mine, and I won’t overlook a thing” and “God will judge his people.”
31 Nobody’s getting by with anything, believe me.
32 Remember those early days after you first saw the light? Those were the hard times!
33 Kicked around in public, targets of every kind of abuse—some days it was you, other days your friends.
34 If some friends went to prison, you stuck by them. If some enemies broke in and seized your goods, you let them go with a smile, knowing they couldn’t touch your real treasure. Nothing they did bothered you, nothing set you back.
35 So don’t throw it all away now. You were sure of yourselves then. It’s still a sure thing!
36 But you need to stick it out, staying with God’s plan so you’ll be there for the promised completion.
37 It won’t be long now, he’s on the way; he’ll show up most any minute.
38 But anyone who is right with me thrives on loyal trust; if he cuts and runs, I won’t be very happy.
39 But we’re not quitters who lose out. Oh, no! We’ll stay with it and survive, trusting all the way.


[1]
[1] Peterson, Eugene H.: The Message : The Bible in Contemporary Language. Colorado Springs, Colo. : NavPress, 2002

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Heaven Our Hope

Please read this passage from the Message Bible from 2 Cor. 5:1-14. It expresses clearly why heaven will be worth it all!

2 Corinthians 5:1-13 (The Message)
1 For instance, we know that when these bodies of ours are taken down like tents and folded away, they will be replaced by resurrection bodies in heaven—God-made, not hand-made—
2 and we’ll never have to relocate our “tents” again. Sometimes we can hardly wait to move—and so we cry out in frustration. Compared to what’s coming, living conditions around here seem like a stopover in an unfurnished shack, and we’re tired of it! We’ve been given a glimpse of the real thing, our true home, our resurrection bodies!
5 The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what’s ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we’ll never settle for less.
6 That’s why we live with such good cheer. You won’t see us drooping our heads or dragging our feet! Cramped conditions here don’t get us down. They only remind us of the spacious living conditions ahead.
7 It’s what we trust in but don’t yet see that keeps us going.
8 Do you suppose a few ruts in the road or rocks in the path are going to stop us? When the time comes, we’ll be plenty ready to exchange exile for homecoming.
9 But neither exile nor homecoming is the main thing. Cheerfully pleasing God is the main thing, and that’s what we aim to do, regardless of our conditions.
10 Sooner or later we’ll all have to face God, regardless of our conditions. We will appear before Christ and take what’s coming to us as a result of our actions, either good or bad.
11 That keeps us vigilant, you can be sure. It’s no light thing to know that we’ll all one day stand in that place of Judgment. That’s why we work urgently with everyone we meet to get them ready to face God. God alone knows how well we do this, but I hope you realize how much and deeply we care.
12 We’re not saying this to make ourselves look good to you. We just thought it would make you feel good, proud even, that we’re on your side and not just nice to your face as so many people are.
13 If I acted crazy, I did it for God; if I acted overly serious, I did it for you.


[1]
[1] Peterson, Eugene H.: The Message : The Bible in Contemporary Language. Colorado Springs, Colo. : NavPress, 2002

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Next Chapter

Officially as of 11-18-2009, I am retired! What does the next chapter of my young life hold? Right now, we are traveling in the South (Texas etc) and catching up with friends and relatives. I will have more to say later about this new chapter in our life.

Blessings to you and yours this Lord's day!