Does God ‘regulate’ sin?

regulate

verb   reg·​u·​late | ˈre-gyə-ˌlāt also ˈrā-regulated; regulating

Definition of regulate 

transitive verb

1   a : to govern or direct according to rule

    b  (1) : to bring under the control of law or constituted authority

        (2) : to make regulations for or concerning:  regulate the industries of a country

2 : to bring order, method, or uniformity to:  regulate one’s habits

3 : to fix or adjust the time, amount, degree, or rate of:  regulate the pressure of a tire


Growing up in a small Southern town situated in the Bible belt, there were more than a couple denominations with sins that I couldn’t find in the Bible.

One denomination said that drinking alcohol was a sin Continue reading “Does God ‘regulate’ sin?”

Tales from the bus: Seeing

My longtime readers remember some older posts in the Tales from the bus series, valuable illustrations that came from work experience.  Here is a recent addition.

A few weeks ago, a driver came in after their afternoon route and complained their bus was making a clicking sound in the left front end when making sharp left turns.  I agreed to go take a look before calling maintenance and quipped it was probably nothing more than a rock stuck in the tire treads.

After strolling across the bus lot to the bus in question, I bent over to run my hand around the tire, looked down, and my jaw hit the ground!!!

Seven of the ten lug nuts were loose!!  Some were backed off by as much as 1/3+ of an inch!!  Wowsers!!  How in the world?! My mind raced as I called maintenance to get a service truck over.  I  know the driver does a twice a day walk around inspection, I’ve witnessed it on multiple occasions.  I’ve been by that bus dozens of times and so has the fuel guy.  How had we missed this?

Ultimately, we found multiple dropped balls in the maintenance and inspection chain and numerous of us were culpable to varying degrees.  By Yah’s grace, there had not been a disaster with a bus load of kids.

What did I determine was the major problem?  ~All of us looking, but not seeing.  Essentially,  we were going through the motions of a visual check, turning our head and eyes to the right places, but habit was blinding us.  We were not seeing what we were supposed to be looking at.

It occurs to me that we do that so often with Scripture.  We look at it and think we know what it says, so we don’t see  what it actually says, yet we are accountable!  I’m guilty.  I can go through the motions and see only what I want to see, or what doctrinal filters tell me to see.

Our prayer should be that Abba open our eyes and show us truth.  We must ask Him to remove blinding traditions and doctrines that we  see what is actually written!

Mizrah and serendipity…

38 if they return to You with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their captivity, where they have been taken captive, and pray toward their land which You have given to their fathers and the city which You have chosen, and toward the house which I have built for Your name, 39 then hear from heaven, from Your dwelling place, their prayer and supplications, and maintain their cause and forgive Your people who have sinned against You.

A dear friend recently sent us a beautiful card with detailed embellishment and the Hebrew word ‘Mizrah’ in the middle. IMG_20160711_213132669 Inside the card, she mentioned that ‘if you didn’t have a mizrah, you do now.’

Well, I didn’t know what a ‘Mizrah’ is, so this evening when I had a minute I did a quick web search to find out more.  I found that ‘mizrah’ means ‘east’ and every observant Jewish home has one hanging on an inside eastern wall to point the direction toward the Land, Jerusalem and the Temple.

Mizrah can be stylized in many ways, as evidenced by an image search of the word.  See all of these on Bing.

When I saw all of those images, the type and style along with the information contained in many struck and I jumped out of my office chair and ran Continue reading “Mizrah and serendipity…”

Difficult verses in the ‘Christmas’ story… p.2

Yesterday, we began a short series considering some verses from the ‘Christmas’ story that challenge the traditional theological narrative of Christendom.  As I implied yesterday, these verses should pique our interest in a search for truth.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t care what men say, I want to see what Scripture says….


Thy Kingdom Come

When someone talks about the Millennial Kingdom or the future eternal Kingdom, what comes to mind?  Whose Kingdom is it?  Who rules over it?  Who was it promised to?  Who Messiah throneactually gets it?  Etc….  At the end of the Book of Revelation, what does the Kingdom look like and who is in it?

Scripture gives a very unified story that often does not match the narrative I was taught growing up.  At least, the focus I heard in church was quite different than what Scripture says.

A beloved part of the ‘Christmas’ story is the angel’s visit to Mary.  Here is part of the encounter and a difficult verse.

Gabriel, a messenger of God, visited Miriam (Mary’s real Hebrew name) and said,

Luke 1:31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus (Hebrew = Yeshua). 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; 33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”

Here, the messenger Gabriel affirms multiple prophecies that seem to get lost in the Christian perspectives of this promised Kingdom.  This Son of the Most High will,

  • sit on the throne of David,
  • reign over the house of Jacob (aka, Israel),
  • forever.

What surprises many when they dig into these verses is that they lead directly to Ezekiel 37, a chapter most are at least partly familiar with.  The first part of the chapter is Ezekiel’s vision of dry bones that leads to the mid part of the chapter on the two stick prophecy followed by a detailed account of this Kingdom the Messiah will rule over.  Those shocking closing verses say, Continue reading “Difficult verses in the ‘Christmas’ story… p.2”

And, another zinger…

Funny, several friends have sent me some pretty pithy images in the last day or so…  Yesterday, I put up a ZINGer.   Here’s one from Julian Hamilton, a member of our home fellowship group.

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The challenge to each of us is, do we prefer unchallenged comfort that may not be true, or pursuing challenging truth, even if it makes us uncomfortable?

Me?  I much prefer the latter.  How about you?