Friday, April 28, 2006

Ecclesiastes 2:1-2

"I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity. I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What doeth it?"
(Ecclesiastes 2:1-2).

In chapter one of Ecclesiastes and in the previous post about that chapter we saw that Solomon had broken fellowship with the Lord. He was backslidden. (Ecclesiastes 1:1 , Ecclesiastes 1:2 ). We saw that he had shifted his focus and lost sight of the Lord. (Ecclesiastes 1:3-11). We found that Solomon had given his heart to the world. (Ecclesiastes 1:12-18 ). A couple of post explored the results of all this a bit closer. (Ecclesiastes 1:10 , Ecclesiastes 1:18).

Now we come to chapter two and what do we find? We find a man who has shifted his focus to the world and given his heart to it now going completely against what he knows to be true. Solomon starts right off here, "I said in mine heart".

"I said in mine heart" is a long way from "He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered" (Proverbs 28:26). Of course we know "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? " (Jeremiah 17:9). Solomon did not have the benefit of Jeremiahs councel which despite being the wisest man who has ever lived, he probably could have used.

"I said in mine heart" one time, "God has failed me!". I had just gotten divorced. I was upset.
I said to myself, "Let's go for it--experiment with pleasure, have a good time!". Click This For Testimony . Have you ever turned yourself over to having a good time? Did you notice that trying to have a good time away from the Lord takes twice the effort for half the reward? It is no wonder that Solomon says, "and, behold, this also is vanity". I too came to the conclusion that what I was doing was pointless, there was nothing to it, nothing but smoke. It was all a fading wisp with no meaning and empty promises of things unattainable.

"I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What doeth it? " (Ecclesiastes 2:2). Do you know why the term "the pursuit of happiness" is called a pursuit and not a capture? No one ever will have it! Laughter? Sure, we may laugh. People may carry on outside the Lord. It's not real. Lost people do not know JOY!. Lost people do not have "the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, (that) shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:7).

You know what? Neither do we if we have shifted our focus from the Lord. Neither do we if we have taken our heart away. Neither do we if we are worldy and fleshy and walk after our own desires. The peace of God will be lifted from us.......but you know what else?........

........GOD IS GOOD!

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9). Solomon knew this too. "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy." (Proverbs 28:13).

The problem with Solomon was he said in his heart and thus corvered his sins. How about you? What are you saying in your heart? Where is your joy today? Are you in "hot pursuit" or are you at rest in the Lord?

Thursday, April 27, 2006


Something happened when I started the study on Ecclesiastes. The number of people coming to Deeper Truth doubled the most that had ever come and has tripled the average amount.

It is clear to me now that bible study is where God wants this blog to be. I think He is keeping His promise, "So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it" (Isaiah 55:11).

I would like to thank all of you who visit here. I would also like to thank all of you who take the time to comment. I would like to publicly take the time to Thank God for what He is doing here. I pray all the glory goes to Him!

This blog is a work in progress. I have enlarged the fonts for easier reading and spread the columns out a bit so things don't seem so cramped. As many of you have commented on the background has changed. I simply inserted it into the stock template I use from Blogger. I want to do some work to the header title but thus far have been stumped in the idea I would like to implement. There are some other tweaks and what not I am trying to figure out. If at anytime anything here is not working properly please let me know since everything I am trying to do is trial and error. Hopefully less error.

Thanks Again!

Thank God!

And have a blessed day that your in!

Next Post: Ecclesiastes 2:1-2

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Ecclesiastes 1:18

"For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow." (Ecclesiastes 1:18).

Here we have a man who God blessed to be the wisest man who has ever been or ever will be saying to increase knowledge is sorrow. I have always been struck by this verse. Read it again. It does not say he that increaseth says knowledge.

Do you know what the difference between knowledge and wisdom is?

Wisdom is knowledge applied! Wisdom is knowledge that has become part of one's being. Wisdom is when knowledge becomes understanding. Many people have knowledge but have no understanding. Solomon is even worse. Solomon had God granted wisdom above and beyond anyone ever and squandered it.

So what is the knowledge that Solomon increased of? What is it Solomon discovered? "For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God" (1 Corinthians 3:19). This is what Solomon discovered. Solomon increased in worldly knowledge and found no wisdom in it. It only lead to sorrow.

"But wait Michael, It says, 'in much wisdom is much grief. What about that?'". Well, let's check it out.

Where does wisdom come from? "For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding" (Proverbs 1:7). We know that "God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much". (1 Kings 4:29). We also know from reading 1 Corinthians 3:19 above that worldly wisdom is foolishness.

So is Solomon saying that worldly wisdom brings much grief?


He is also saying that the wisdom God gave him brings much grief. Why? Remember, Solomon strayed. He shifted his focus. He gave his heart to the world and removed it from the Lord. All that wisdom that God had bestowed upon him was eating him alive. It is called a conscience.

When we open the Word of God and acquire knowledge, the Holy Spirit in us brings understanding. When we apply that understanding we become wise. When we don't. We feel convicted. You might want to argue that but if the Holy Spirit has brought you to an understanding and you ignore it, "to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin" (James 4:17). I don't think I have misapplied that verse at all.

Solomon knew better. He was and still is the wisest man who has ever lived. Solomons conscience was having him for lunch. God was convicting him.

The more anyone reads God's Word the more they will increase in knowledge. Anyone can get knowledge from the bible. Only people who have accepted Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior get understanding. "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Corinthians 2:14).

The more a child of Christ reads His Word the more He will bring them to understanding. The more understanding we have the more accountable we are. The more accountable we are the more our conscience is fine tuned to the will of God. The more we listen to God pricking our conscience the more we will be blessed with His Wisdom. When we don't listen to that "still small voice" (1 Kings 19:12) our hearts become hardened. We loss focus. We give our heart away to the world and the lust thereof.

Wisdom does indeed lead to much grief then.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Ecclesiastes 1:12-18

"I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem.
And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith.
I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.
That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.
I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.
And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit.
For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow." ( Ecclesiastes 1:12-18).

When do you suppose Solomon decided that the wisdom of the Lord wasn't enough?

"Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.
And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore" (1 Kings 3:13, 4:29).

If I understand the first verse above correctly there has never been and never will be a person granted the wisdom that Solomon had. God blessed him exceeding much! That wasn't enough for Solomon though.Notice what he says in Ecclesiastes 1:12, "I gave my heart". I think that this is a very telling statement early in Ecclesiastes. He once gave his heart to the Lord. He wrote, "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding" (Proverbs 3:5). He knew, "A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps. The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will" (Proverbs 16:9, 21:1).

Solomon knew these things and yet he says "I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven". Notice that at some point he started seeking things out UNDER HEAVEN. That is the earth. That is wordly things. That is he stopped seeking the Lord and started seeking the world. He further makes this clear when he says, "I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly". Madness and folly have nothing to do with the Lord. Solomon knew this too.

"Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.
For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.
She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.
Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honor.
Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace" (Proverbs 3:13-17).

How does one find wisdom and have this pleasantness, peace, and be happy?

"For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honor is humility." (Proverbs 1:7, 9:10, 15:33).

It comes from the Lord. When Solomon gave his heart to the world he took it from the Lord and lost His ways of pleasantess and peace.

I would like to ask you today as I ask myself..... Where is your focus? Who has your heart? Who are you trusting? Mr. Wordly Wise Man cannot bring peace. Everything done under the sun, in the world, cannot bring peace.

Peace is a gift from God's Grace to us. "Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 1:3). Search your bible and you will find this thought is repeated over and over, that grace and peace come from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27).

Who are you going to trust with you heart? Who and what do you give your heart too? Solomon took his heart from the Lord and gave it to the world. We are studying the results of that decision in this series.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Ecclesiastes 1:10

"Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us" (Ecclesiastes 1:10).

I briefly went over this verse in the previous post. I would now like to look at it alone a bit more.

I think this verse is often misapplied to external, physical, stuff. I know I have done it. We might do it looking at a car, "Ya, a car like that was out a long time ago". We might do it with a song or with music in general, "That song sounds just like something the Beattles already did". It could be any number of things and then we go, "Well, the bible says there is nothing new under the sun".

This is not what is intended here I am sure. What follows after this verse is twelve chapters of experiences. There isn't anything new in human experience. We will all feel the same emotions. We will all have the same experiences, oh, the circumstances might be different, but the emotional reaction will be the same. I haven't been skydiving (I would like too though!) but I am certian I have probably felt the same adrenalin rush and have been as excited, scared, whatever one might use to describe skydiving. Most of the people that come here I'm guessing haven't done the drugs I have done but I bet everyone has felt the same emotions, they just handled them differently. These are probably bad examples but the point I want to make is that Solomon is right. There is nothing new in human experience.

People got up and went to work in Solomons day. They paid bills. They paid taxes (high ones at that! I'll let you search it out). They fell in love, got in fights, stressed out, had fun, bought stuff, sold stuff, envied others, were envied, ect, ect. People in Jesus day did the same things. People in all ages have done the same things we are doing today. The only thing that has changed is technology. Instead of watching entertainers in the square, at the gate, in the palace, where ever people went, we goto the movies, watch TV, surf the internet. I'm sure you can think of other examples.

"So what's your point Michael?"

Well, my point is, Solomon is about to give us twelve chapters of human experience. All of it had already been done. All of it was going to be done again. All of it is being done right now.

I think Solomon sat down, looked back, found when He lost fellowship with the Lord, and began writing about all the things he did to fill that vacancy in him. I have done a great many things to fill the vacancy in me. I have drank to the excess. I have drugged to the excess. I have had sex to the excess. I have done most everything I have ever done to the excess. When the Lord came all that changed. The vacancy was gone. God filled it up. I think in the next twelve chapters Solomon is doing his best to ask God to come fill him up again cause none of the things he list were going to do it.

I know there are people who come here who are experencing difficulties right now. I know there are temptation whenever difficulties arise. I know if we give in to them they might help for a brief moment but it will take something bigger, better, and more of it the next time. I admire and find encouragement in people such as live, love, laugh at Sweeter Than Ever! who is trusting wholeheartedly in the Lord as her mom is ill. "It's in God's hands, only He knows how much time we have. I could go today, I am not promised tomorrow, she may be here six more months, or maybe one day, only He knows".

It's who we trust with our experiences that make the difference. Trust in the Lord or trust in nothing since everything else is empty and void. Were about to start a twelve chapter trip down a list of things that will never make anyone happy. Will never bring joy. Will never amount to anything. All any of it will do is bring a person to depression when they realize "vanity of vanities; all is vanity." (Ecclesiastes 1:2).

What Solomon needed is the same thing people need today. THE LORD! Want something new? Try Christ! "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Ecclesiastes 1:3-11

"What profit hath a man of all his labor which he taketh under the sun?
One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth forever.
The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.
The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.
All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.
All things are full of labor; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.
There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after" (Ecclesiastes 1:3-11).

If you have not read the previous two post on Ecclesiastes may I suggest you do so now?

All of creation testifies to the Glory of the Lord. Solomon would have knowen this. I'm sure his dad David would have explained to him the importance of natural revelation in Psalm 19:1-6. (Got your bible?) At the very least Solomon would have read his fathers writings. Creation testifies to God's glory continuously, verse 1. Creation testifies to God's glory completely, verses 3 and 4. Creation testifies to God's glory clearly, verses 4 thru 6.

It seems that Solomon lost sight of what creation was telling him. I find this remarkable seeing he clearly understood the wonder of God's creation when he wrote a song about him and his lover we know as the Song of Solomon. I would guess that Solomon wrote this early in his reign as king. Probably within the first couple years after he took Pharaoh's daughter for his wife. This would have been his first wife. I can't imagine him writing this song for any other. They would have been young and powerful. Solomon was under God's blessing. It would have been first love unlike the thousand other women he collected. Read the Song of Solomon. Is it not a song of first love? Do you really think Solomon could have written that for his second, hundredth, five hundredth, a thousandth woman? I think not. Solomon used the wonders of creation as figures to write about love. He clearly knew the glory of God's creation.

When Solomon broke fellowship with God he lost sight of the wonders of God's creation. When we loss sight of Jesus we will inevitably find everything ordinary. When everything becomes ordinary we will fall into the next trap Solomon got caught in. The trap of thinking things are better somewhere else. That the grass is greener over there. That person must have it better. That there is nothing new and nothing left. Everything is the same and it's ordinary and boring at best.

Do you think Solomon really thought he was writing for all time when he wrote Ecclesiastes? I doubt it. "There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after" (Ecclesiastes 1:11). Solomon was depressed. He lost fellowship with God. He lost sight of the miracles that had happened in his life. He couldn't see the might of God's hand around him. I think Ecclesiastes in many ways is Solomon's Psalm 51 except Solomon's "heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father" (1 King 11:4) and thus Solomon comes to the conclusion, "Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man" (Ecclesiastes 12:13) and David comes to the conclusion, "For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise." (Psalm 51:16-17).

I wonder if Solomon was trying to manufacture a broken and contrite heart. I have tried to manufacture a broken and contrite heart. It doesn't work. God will break us if need be and there is nothing that will stop it and there is nothing we can do to break ourselves. Have you ever noticed only broken people cry for God? It's never like people wake up and go, "Oh what a beautiful day! All the bills are paid. I'm in perfect health. I'm just so very happy. I think I'll go get saved!". Nope, that just don't happen and that is why bad things happen. It's only in bad times people call on God. When their hearts are broken and contrite. When there is nowhere else to turn. When there is nothing left. That is when we find God.

Sunday Morning

The kids are marching around under orders from their mom. "Brush your teeth! Brush that hair! Here, wear this!" All the while she is trying to get ready.....

"Michael, Help Me!".

"How? You wouldn't like what I lay out for the girls. I can't do your hair. I took the trash out. I did the morning dishes. I'm just going to stay out of the way."

And so I wander over to the computer. I surf around the blogs. I make some comments. I try and remember to pray for my pastor. I try to remember to pray for.....I just try to remember to pray.

I think about the day ahead. The Risen Lord. My Savior. I think about how I'll mumble the songs and wonder why I don't shout with joy the hymns I read. I sometimes try and rehearse a prayer incase I'm called on but I seldom am and if I am I never remember what it was I was going to say.

I have been reading today about how special and great today should be. It's Easter Sunday! Yep, somehow it's the same as every Sunday. Not to say I don't love my Risen Savior and what He has done for me. Not to say I am not remembering the Cross and Calvery. Not to say I don't remember and think of the empty tomb.....but I really do think of these things every Sunday. I think of these things most every morning in the hour drive I have to work. I think of these things when I'm beating myself up for not being perfect. I think of these things when I'm remembering how far the Lord has brought me. I think of these things as I read all of your thoughts on the blogs I surf. I think of these things when I'm far from God and am in desperate need of finding the one prayer that will bring me back. I think of these things when I'm all snuggled up close and in perfect fellowship. I'm thinking of these things now as my wife calls from the background........

"Will you come finish these dishes! I don't want to come home to them."

I must go. Duty calls.

Have a great Day Your In!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Ecclesiastes 1:2

"Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity" (Ecclesiastes 1:2)

The preacher here is Solomon. He is approximately 55. He has been king over Jerusalem for 38 years. He has broken fellowship with the Lord. The judgment of the Lord is upon him in the form of three people who have risen against him.

I can see Solomon surrounded with splendor. Servants, slaves, wives, concubines, everyone and everything at his immediate demand....but he is not content. He once walked with his Lord. He once cherished wisdom and truth. He walked in them and held them close. Now they haunted him. Now wisdom mocked him and the truth was far from him and yet, it was there alright, He knew it and it's in Ecclesiastes for anyone who wishes to find why this broken man is crying "vanity of vanities, all is vanity".

Websters defines vanity as, "Emptiness; want of substance to satisfy desire; uncertainty; inanity." The word translated vanity comes from the Hebrew root word habal which means "to be lead astray". This is what happened to Solomon.

"When Solomon was old, his wives turned away his heart after other gods" (1 Kings 11:4). Solomon was lead astray and the result was emptiness; want of substance to satisfy desire; uncertainty; inanity.

I wonder if Solomon realized at this point just how patient the Lord had been with him. It was probably within the first couple years of his reign he "made affinity with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh's daughter, and brought her into the city of David, until he had made an end of building his own house, and the house of the LORD, and the wall of Jerusalem round about" (1 Kings 3:1). "And it came to pass at the end of twenty years, wherein Solomon had built the house of the LORD, and his own house, And Solomon brought up the daughter of Pharaoh out of the city of David unto the house that he had built for her: for he said, My wife shall not dwell in the house of David king of Israel, because the places are holy, whereunto the ark of the LORD hath come" (2 Chronicals 8:1,11).

It was after taking Pharaohs daughter that Solomon asked for wisdom and had his second personal encounter with God. During the 20 years of building the house of the Lord Solomon took other wives from the countries around about him which the Lord had forbidden. I don't think he built any alters to other gods at this time though. This seems to happen after the last of his father David's advisors dies off. It seems that Solomon had at least 20 years of purely undeserved blessing culminating in the glory of the LORD filling the Temple (2 Chronicals 7:1).

Are not all our blessing purely undeserved? The very fact we are saved is undeserved favor of our God. One day our undeserved favor from the Lord will culminate in His glory filling the New Jerusalem upon a new earth where we will dwell with Him forever "and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: And there shall be no more curse" (Revelation 21:4,22:3).

Praise God!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Ecclesiastes 1:1

"The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem" (Ecclesiastes 1:1).

So begins the lament of a preacher, a son, a king, and an old man who has lost sight of his first love, namely, God. This man was Solomon.

In 1st Kings chapter 11 (I suggest you read verses 1-13 now please.) we learn that Solomon broke God's command in Deuteronomy 7:3 (Did you get your bible yet?). When he broke that commandment his heart was turned away after other gods which leads to one of the most amazing verses in the Word of God in my humble opinion.

"And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice" (1 Kings 11:9). God was a little more than angry with Solomon. The word translated angry is anaph. It means, "to breathe hard, that is, be enraged: - be angry (displeased)".

God had appeared twice to Solomon! Twice! "The Lord his God was with him, and magnified him exceedingly" (2 Chronicles 1:1). Solomon built the Temple and after praying "fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the house" (2 Chronicles 7:1).

I simply can't imagine after all this having a heart turned away from God, but then, I don't have to imagine. I have turned my heart away from God. I have plenty of miracles I can count in my life and yet I have turned away. Shortly after giving all of myself to Jesus I took it all back and went crazy with sex, drugs, and drinking. I wonder if God was breathing hard.

God's judgment came upon Solomon for his unrepentant ways. 1st Kings 11:11,14,23-25 (did you get your bible yet?) and 26-40 discuss three adversaries that were brought against Solomon. I said Solomon was unrepentant. I think Ecclesiastes is his tirade at God. I know I have been in an unrepentant state and blamed God. I have questioned what everything is about. In the last couple post I have expressed feelings of distress. Sin does that to us. It separates us from God and sometimes even though we know better, we separate ourselves. We lose fellowship and nothing can fill the emptiness that is left. This is what Ecclesiastes is about. The emptiness in everything outside of God. It was in this state of affairs that Solomon wrote Ecclesiastes.

What is interesting about Ecclesiastes is it ends (12:13) where Proverbs starts (1:7). Solomon is an old man at this point in time, perhaps 55, with about 2 years left of his life. He comes full circle in Ecclesiastes. He begins in wisdom (1 Kings 3:1-15, 2 Chronicles 1:7-12) and comes back to it (Ecclesiastes 12:13).

I ask that you keep in mind how far Solomon has fallen and the adversaries that are out his door and in his family. These two facts help determine the tone of Ecclesiastes.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers in/on the previous two post. I have considered them all. I have had a chance to talk with somebody I respect and I have received some additional good advice. Just voicing my thoughts and feelings helped immensely. Here are some decisions I have made.

I am going to talk to God whether I'm cut off or not due to bad feelings I hold. I'm not going to let myself cut myself off.

I am going to refocus my prayers. Instead of praying for others to change or what I usually do is pray for Him to change me, I'm going to pray that He will help me simply get out of the way so that He can work through me for change in everything.

I was told to start a family bible study on Proverbs. I have thought about this. I think it good advice. I think I will simply let God speak. I'll read a bit and let everyone decide what it is saying to them. I don't think I'll have any specific study plan since I would aim it and that wouldn't be of God.

I am going to let my step son pick a new bible so that we will all have the same translation for the bible study instead of each of us having something different. People often have strong emotions over their bibles. I know I was devastated when I lost my first bible. I still wonder if one day it will ever find it's way back to me. I think between picking his own and knowing it is the same as his "mama's" bible will have an impact.

I am beginning to see one set of footprints in the sand and it's not because I was alone.

Awhile back I asked what people would like me to write about here. I have leaned toward the idea of Ecclesiastes. I think I will start on this soon with a goal of posting roughly every three days.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Some Thoughts and Findings.

I feel as though I am coming out of a drought of sorts. I have been asking Jesus to help me in checking myself out as I said in the previous post. Here is what I have found that I am willing to share.

I found I have a great deal of animosity built up in me. My wives son has been living with us almost a year. He is 16, over 6 feet, 270 pounds. He does nothing. He doesn't go to school. He doesn't work. He doesn't pick up after himself. He doesn't have chores. He stays up all night and sleeps all day. I have a great deal of animosity built up in me.

I have road rage. My wife made me aware of this. I usually drive by myself and have never given much thought to it. After my wife made a comment I have been more aware of it and she is right. I have road rage.

I get bored at church. I am certain that this is probably not right but it is true none the less. I am way more enthused about going to my seminary extension classes than church.

I am probably hard on myself. I feel like I fail God way more than I am used by Him. Out of this self defeating position I have taken on myself my prayer life has dwindled which is the next thing.

I don't pray much. Sure, I talk to God but I don't ask for anything. I don't pray for other people very often. Most of my prayers are prayers to ask God to help me to pray. I seem to be stuck in a loop. I want to pray, nothing comes out. I want to pray with my wife, I just don't. This is the most troublesome thing to me as I am sure much of what I am finding about myself could be taken care of through prayer.

I feel stuck in my walk. I want to move forward yet I find myself saying I am not even faithful in the little things so how can I expect to move forward? I would love to get ordained. I see men of God I greatly respect and I want that. I want to be used of God like that. The Lord knows that is the one area I don't falter in. I study my bible. I have a desire to serve. I could babble on and on in this one topic but I won't.

Out of the desire to get ordained I find discouragement. I have tried to make myself available to preach, teach, and otherwise serve. I have called people that need people to preach at old folks homes. It hasn't worked out. I have expressed my desires with my pastor. It hasn't really worked out. I am going to these seminary extension classes. I'm not sure where they are going....other than I really like them. It seems that the messages I preach when I have are discouraging because I call sin sin and "people just don't want to hear that".

I have given much thought about whether I am in the will of God at this time in my life or not. It's not like God doesn't know all this that I am writing. I write here and some people get blessed and I wonder if God would use me like that if I was not in right standing with Him.

It is a big decision to put this out in the open like this. I try an be transparent in everything, especially here at my blog since I want to help, encourage, and otherwise affect you who come here. I think the best way to do that is to be honest. I simply cannot be the only person who hits areas of their walk with Jesus where they are like, "what is going on here?".

I appreciate any comments and or suggestions but what I would appreciate most is your prayers........maybe I'm the brink of something big. I have felt this way before other steps of maturity in Christ.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Losing God's Blessing

When I started this blog I had the idea I wanted to write about a bunch of things that I had always thought about and so I started writing a whole series of post. It was my intention that they should have gone on much longer but I stopped writing the series. I just didn't think God's blessings were upon that line of writing anymore.

Many of you enjoyed the Heaven series. I thank you all very much! I was going to write one last post in that series but it began to feel like I was writing in my own strength and so I haven't.

Over at Puritan Belief there has been an ongoing series of post that seem to me they have gone on too long. At Modern Day Magi's sight there was the potential for a post to drag on to long when he had a post titled Green Beer which started a Catholic debate.

All this leads to a question....

Is it possible to move out from under God's blessing upon our endeavors and into a place were we are doing everything in our own strength?

It's not just writing I have been thinking about. It's prayer. It's study. It's going to church. It's the whole Christian walk. It's all part of spiritual check up I think I need. I have been checking myself. Does anyone else do that?

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The Fathers Name

The following post was in part a response to the topic What is the Fathers Name at Puritan Belief. See link at right.

It started getting good to me so I worked it up into a post here.

"In the beginning God created heaven and earth" (Genesis 1:1).

God here is Elohim. It's the first of the three primary names of Deity. It is always plural as is backed up in Genesis 1:26 which demonstrates the plurality of the name,

"And God said, Let us....".

The following verse, Genesis 1:27 demonstrates the unity of the name.

"So God created man in his own image...."

Where did the US go? It's in the plural name Elohim.

In Exodus 3:14 we have God, Elohim, saying I AM THAT I AM.

In Exodus 3:15 we have Elohim still speaking and He says His name is Yahweh which means to be, subsist, signifies "He who is", or "subsists", i.e., eminently and in a manner superior to all other beings; and is essentially the same with eheyeh, "I AM", in the preceding verse.

When Elohim speaks saying that He is Yahweh and that it is His Name forever He is saying that He is the self existent one and that He is in that position forever.

If one looks at "this is MY NAME" in Exodus 3:15 you will find that the word rendered "my name" in Hebrew means position.

The third primary name for God is Adonai. The name Adonai, translated "Lord" (only the "L" capitalized), occurs approximately 300 times in the Old Testament. It's interesting to note that it is almost always used in the plural possessive form meaning "My Lords".

So we have Elohim which is a plural name for One God. We have Elohim calling Himself Yahweh which literally means I AM, and we have Adonai which again is a plural name of Lords.

Seems to me God is saying. I AM LORD!

"the LORD our God is one LORD" (Deuteronomy 6:4).

Saturday, April 01, 2006

1 John 5:7

At the seminary extension classes I have been taking we have learned much about the importance of 1 John 5:7 and about the King James Version translation of it.

Not being satisfied with simply believing what I'm told I have been looking into this verse. Here is the verse from the King James bible.

"For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one" (1 John 5:7).

What we have learned is that many translations of the bible combine verse 7 with verse 8 and read like this....

" 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement" (N.I.V.)
" 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement" (N.A.S.B.)

Now, here is verse 7 and 8 together in the King James.

" 7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one".

See the difference? I was pretty amazed when I found out my trusty N.A.S.B. had left out the only verse in the bible that definitively expresses the Trinity and so I have been looking into Greek around the web and giving myself a bit of a crash course in how Greek works. What have I discovered? It's all really confusing stuff about neuter nouns, a masculine participle, and more nouns. All that is dependent on what Greek manuscripts are being used.

There is the Byzantine text-type which is what the King James came from and then there is the Alexandrian text-type which pretty much everything else comes from. Youngs Literal Translation demonstrates the difference between the two best I think.

"7 because three are who are testifying 8 the Spirit, and the water, and the blood, and the three are into the one."

I purposely left a part out. Young's Literal Translation follows the Alexandrian text-type in the form I have presented but Young provides the Byzantine text-type as italics so that it reads like this.

"7 because three are who are testifying in the heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, and these--the three--are one; 8 and three are who are testifying in the earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood, and the three are into the one."

Young leaves out the three agreeing all together.

Everything I have just written lead me back to looking into the different text types. I have surfed all over the web reading both sides of the argument. The "King James Only" crowd and the other side which seems to be just about everyone else.

It's all pretty interesting stuff. It all solidifies my opinion that one should question everything!