Difficult Scripture

A Blog from David Johnson

My daughter in law belongs to an online faith group. It does tend to have some very conservative members and tackles some hard to understand passages.  One of the topics that came up in the group was Genesis 6:1-4.  


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Be Still and Know That I Am God

Feeling the stress of the holiday season? Feel like there is no time to get everything done? Those are symptoms of our world which demands we give it our attention. In those times, when we feel the most overwhelmed, we need to listen for the voice of God who reminds us to
“Be still and know that I am God.” Spend a moment with that passage from Psalms 46 verse 10. Dissect it, meditate on it and let it give you peace.
 
BE – A simple verb whose various forms are (there’s one right here) used in just about every sentence. It means to exist, occur, occupy a place in time or space, represent, signify, come, go, visit. Two letters and so many thoughts, actions, qualities represented! Sometimes, BE means to take no action at all as in “Just let it be”, to allow everything wash over you while you merely exist. used with the first person singular, “BE” becomes “AM” as in “I AM”, the very name of God, who exists in all time in all places, comes and goes with us and sent His representative, Jesus, to us, not as a visitor but as one of us. He was, is and ever shall be. Therefore, when you are commanded to “BE”, you dwell in God where you exist as His holy child.
 
BE STILL – Be quiet, Be not afraid, Be in the moment. You are commanded by your Heavenly Father to take a moment and just listen, quiet your thoughts and emotions and dwell in that heavenly peace. It’s a peace only God can give and it is a true gift.
BE STILL AND – And here is the operative word. A conjunction, it brings with it a sense of anticipation, of knowing more is to come. Being still is not the end, in fact, it is just the beginning. What does God have in store for you next? What is around the corner. We are given His peace and do not need to be anxious, but we can look forward with faith to what happens next.
 
BE STILL AND KNOW – In the quietest moments, when our mind and bodies are at rest, God speaks to us and if we listen, we will know. Know can mean have knowledge of but it means have developed a relationship with (someone) through meeting and spending time with them
In those quiet moments, we are developing that relationship in we may know God. We know He has plans for us and we know He loves us and so much more!
 
BE STILL AND KNOW THAT – Emphasis here is on ‘that’. That can be a pronoun, an adverb or a conjunction. As a pronoun, the sentence is strong statement that I know all that has come before – I know that I am a child of God, I know that God gives me the peace that passes all understanding. I know that I exist because He made me and I dwell in Him as His Spirit dwells in me and I know there is more to come!
 
BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM – As long as we know who is doing the talking, the sentence can end here too. The great I AM, who spoke to Moses in a burning bush, who speaks through the prophets, who transcends time, unbound by past, present or future. His name is on our lips even when speak about ourselves, acknowledging the I AM who created all things.
 
BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD. Three times in this sentence we hear God’s name as God speaks to us. We hear it in the verb ‘be’, we hear it in “I AM” and now we finish the sentence as we started with God’s name on our lips. He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, He is my first thought in the morning and my last before sleeping. He has given peace, knowledge and assurance for our present as prepare for the future. One small sentence is many and the many speak of God.
 
 
 

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My Resolution For This New Church Year

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A Churchmouse Blogs:
It is cold and dreary over most of the US this time of year. Luckily, we live in Florida. But I know many people who are wearing sweatshirts and gloves when they visit the beach. LOL.Sunset gets earlier and the night seems darker. Maybe the cooler air has pushed the clouds away and as I gaze upward, the dark of night seems darker against the bright stars. It is this setting that ushers in the season of the Church known as ADVENT, a kind of darkness before the bright star of Christmas comes and shines into our lives.
 
Advent is the beginning of a new church year. Maybe we should make New Year’s Resolutions now. Resolutions for our faith life and relationship with God. I will be careful and not make resolutions I can’t keep. So I will keep it simple. My resolution for this new church year is to pray more. If you’d like to join me in praying more, here are ideas for your Advent prayers:
 
1) You bring HOPE into our world. Help me share that with family and friends
2) Open our hearts and minds to the guidance of Your Holy Spirit, Lord.
3) Heal the emotional wounds we carry with us that keep us from growing
4) Open our eyes to the needs of our neighbors that we can serve them in Your name.
5) Strengthen our relationships with others.
6) In the midst of the hurriedness of the holidays, lead us to PEACE in our lives.
7) Strengthen our resolve to pursue justice for all Your people.
8) Grant us clarity of thought so that can communicate Your Word.
9) Teach me to praise You first and thank You for Your many gifts
10) May we see Your grace daily and offer thanks for this most undeserved gift.
11) Help us put aside worry so that focus on the things we can change.
12) Inspire me to open the Bible and read Your words which speak to all people at all times.
13) Let me feel JOY and reflect it to others.
14) Inspire us all to make our homes and churches welcoming and nurturing.
15) Curb my fears and replace them with Your boundless love
16) Give me boldness to speak Your truth
17) Teach me to be patient with myself and others
18) Help me find quiet to spend with you in prayer during the busy-ness of the holidays
19) Help to always see others with the eyes of LOVE
20) Give me a grateful heart, a hope-filled attitude and willingness to go where You lead
21) Let the wonder of the Christ-child dominate my celebrations this season
 

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Do I Choose Or Am I Chosen?

 

Every day, you and I are confronted by choices. 

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People Who Do Bad Things

Will God love people who do bad things?

Is God’s grace available even for people who commit terrible crimes? 


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Doubts About God’s Activity

Can a faithful Christian have doubts and questions about God?

“Don’t be a doubting Thomas.”  Have you ever heard that phrase?  It refers to the story of Jesus appearing to the disciples after his death and resurrection. 

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Non Christians in Heaven?

Will those who are non-Christian go to heaven?
 
As we enter into this third week of our series on Big Questions of Faith, we tackle a particularly important question for people of faith?  Will those who are not Christian be saved?
 
Even as you read that question, you are probably having an internal reaction to it. 

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Why Bad Things Happen

Why do bad things happen to good people?

This question has been around for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.  The argument has often been stated as follows: if God is a good and loving God, while also being omnipotent and omniscient, then why do bad things happen?  If God loves God’s people, then God should protect them…at least that is the way many people approach this question.

And yet, is it as simple as all of that?  Harold Kushner had this response to this question in his book by the same title.


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The Big Question

Welcome to our new blog for Lutheran Church of the Cross.  The goal of this blog is to encourage discussion around matters of faith, as well as putting faith into practice in our daily lives.

For the first weeks of this Blog, I am connecting it with the summer sermon series at Lutheran Church of the Cross – Big Questions of Faith.  Over the course of the new few weeks, we will explore a variety of questions that people have about faith.  Some possible questions include:

  • What will heaven be like?
  • What is the Holy Spirit and how does a person receive it?
  • What does a person NEED to be saved by God?
  • Why are there so many different denominations and religious traditions, and along with that, how do we know which one is the true one?

These are just some of the potential questions we will cover.  Do you have a question that you would like us to possibly cover this summer?  Respond to this post and add your own ideas.  There are only a few basic ground rules for this discussion space:

  • Practice Christian love and respect to all who post,
  • There are no “Bad” questions to ask,
  • Speak for yourself as you respond to those who post, using “I” to describe what you think or believe
  • Avoid making assumptions or over-generalizations about how groups of people think or feel
  • Remember that this is a thread about our faith in Jesus Christ, not primarily a political forum, though faith does intersect with matters that may be political.
The featured Big Questions will be discussed during Sunday worship, during the Wednesday night dinner discussions, and on this blog.  Join the discussion as we wrestle with the Big Questions of Faith.

Follow us!


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