Monthly Archives: August 2015

“The Original Top Ten”

(Video referenced in beginning of post and title can be found here: Kingdom Chums – Original Top Ten (1989) Full Video on YouTube)

I’m not sure if any of my readers also ran across this video (on VHS tape!) as kids, but I remember checking it out from the local library and watching the old school style of animation and hearing what was, at the time, some pretty rockin’ tunes. It looks a little silly now, but it was a great way to teach kids about the 10 Commandments found in the Bible, and a clever way to get them stuck in their heads with the catchy music. Side note: if you’re from my generation (in the USA), you may also recall Psalty The Singing Songbook (Psalty The Singing Songbook Kids Praise 5 Full Video on YouTube – this was the main VHS tape by Psalty that I had while growing up…yeah, I know, right?!?!).

So, for us adults, what’s the big deal with “the original top ten”?  The Lord gave us these commands to live by, in order to do two main things: 1) to show us our need for Jesus as Savior, since it’s impossible for us to keep them perfectly on our own and 2) for the good of the individual, family, and society by the institution of a moral code.

Here, briefly, I will detail for you all 10, in the order in which they are given in Scripture (see Exodus 20 for the entire passage).

1. “You shall have no other gods before Me.”

God demands our total devotion to Him, since He is both our Creator and Sustainer. “No other gods” includes idols that aren’t dieties – any thing or person that we prioritize before God in our lives (examples: significant other or spouse, money, popularity, work, recreation).

2. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord am a jealous God…”

Not only should we not put earthly things or people before God, but we are also commanded not to make any sort of object that we direct our worship towards, even if it is something in heaven.

3. “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.”

Taking God’s name in vain not only includes literal swearing with reference to “God” or “Jesus Christ” in an irreverent manner. It also includes taking on the name of Jesus Christ by calling yourself “Christian” while actively engaging in a lifestyle or behaviors that go against everything that God stands for, while making jokes about these sinful behaviors and/or thinking they’re ok or even that Gid condones them because, well, after all “it makes you happy.”

4. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work…For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth…and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the  Sabbath day and made it holy.”

As Jesus said in Mark 2:27, “Then He said to them, ‘The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.’ ” This commandments was given to us by God, because He is our Creator and knows that the human body requires an amount of rest after a week of hard work. He also wants us to step back and realize what’s important – worship of God. We don’t need to panic if there is an emergency need that we must take care of on Sunday, because the Lord looks at the heart and the true intentions/attitude and tells us to take care of emergencies on the Sabbath.

5. “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you.”

Those of us who are married are instructed to put our spouse as a priority over even our parents – the Lord takes honor of parents and respect of parental authority very seriously. Of course, if our parent(s) ask us to do something that goes against Scripture’s teachings, we should politely decline. Even when we disagree with parents, we can have an overall attitude of respect. God honors the sacrifices that parents make for their children as well as the sacrifices children make for their parents. After all, a little selflessness and extra love never hurt anyone!

6. “You shall not murder.”

This commandment pretty obviously was given for the benefit of society! Jesus also said in the New Testament that even harboring hate in our heart towards another person is like murder. We are to forgive, even if we can no longer trust the person. Since we are to hate what God hates. we are also to be very detested by the evil practice of the abortion of infant human life that is considered a legal, acceptable practice in most of the developed world. We must call it what it truly is: murder.

7. “You shall not commit adultery.”

Taking something that does not belong to us is stealing (another commandment!). Adultery is taking a person who does not have an avowed relationship to you as a spouse (no matter who in the affair is or isn’t married) and having an intimate relationship with them that should be reserved for a husband and wife. While having deep conversations with someone of the opposite sex who isn’t your spouse isn’t necessarily wrong by itself, emotional intimacy really shouldn’t be treated as insignificant, and while it’s not technically a physical affair, can lead to one, or even has been called by some “an affair of the heart.” Since humans are such emotionally and hormonally driven creatures, setting boundaries is incredibly important, when having any interactions with the opposite sex.

8. “You shall not steal.”

God doesn’t give exceptions to this commandment, but rather says if anyone has a need, they are to ask for what they need (especially food or clothing) at the local church level, or to ask a close friend, etc. We cannot just go around taking what is not ours. God also commands that we work hard – He does not appreciate laziness. “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” (2 Thessalonians 3:10) He does not want us to ask for help when we are perfectly capable of earning what we need to support ourselves/our family. At the same time, He commands the church to care for orphans and widows and others who are legitimately in need. Rather than stealing, those of us who have a legitimate need are to ask the local church for assistance/direction.

9. “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”

To “bear false witness” is to tell a lie or misrepresent by imply ing something other than “just the facts, Ma’am.” Jesus answered the question “who is my neighbor” by saying that any other person we come into contact with who we have an opportunity to show mercy towards is our neighbor (see Luke 10:25-37). Therefore, any person we have an opportunity to speak about, whether privately or in a court of law, is someone we are commanded to speak truthfully about. Lying or deceiving or “throwing someone else under the bus” in order to “save our own skin” is unacceptable. God promises to bless those who are merciful and who rightly speak about any situation. He despises lying and deceit in both the private and political spheres.

10. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife…or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

The dictionary definition of the word “covet” can really help us unpack this commandment by becoming familiar with the term being used. “Covet: (verb) yearn to posses or have (something.) Synonyms (for covet): desire, yearn for, crave, have one’s heart set on, want, wish or, long for.” So basically, we’re not to spend our time wishing for, yearning for, craving, or longing for a person or possession that belongs to another household. The Bible clearly demonstrates here that having your heart set on or longing after another person’s spouse is a sin, even if adultery itself is not committed – coveting another’s spouse is also known as lust. People may try to say that wishing for or lusting after another person’s spouse (or another single person who is not the spouse they already have) is ok because, after all, they didn’t “go all the way.” God, however, looks at the heart of the matter and says that even coveting is breaking His law.

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Health & Wellness

Getting and staying healthy is incredibly important for all of us, no matter where we are in our lifestyle or fitness. I’m beginning a new blog section here to talk about all things health and wellness. I plan to include exercise tips, “dieting” tips for eating healthy (please consult your physician if you need a customized eating plan), recipes or suggestions for ways to cook your favorite meals with healthier options, and more. I hope we can all learn something along the way. 🙂

As someone who has struggled with a weak immune system for many years, in addition to chronic allergies and asthma, yet strives to be as healthy as possible, I would love for anything I have learned along my journey to be helpful to my readers as well.

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Jesus Is The Resurrection And The Life.

“I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in Me…shall never die.” – John 11:25,26

Jesus conquered death in the miracle of the resurrection after His death on the cross. “He was buried, and He was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.” (1 Corinthians 15:4) This miracle also allows us to experience life after the grave, in addition to eternal life, which will be forever in His presence, if we have been saved. “For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.” (1 Corinthians 15:21)

Jesus’ death and resurrection story is the miracle of history (as is His virgin birth). This miracle truly made it possible for us who serve the risen Savior to experience life eternal with Him. No other religion offers the Hope found in the risen Savior – all others offer only religious views taught by some sort of leader who is dead (most even have a well-documented grave site!). Jesus stands alone as the only leader to have documented, eyewitness accounts (even from unbelievers) that prove He did not stay dead!

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Why Do I Blog?

Why do I do what I do? Why write almost-daily blog posts about Jesus for people to read who I may not even know?

The Bible says that we should share what we have learned with others. “You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.” (2 Timothy 2:2) In this passage, Paul is reminding us that many people witnessed the life, ministry, and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Once you discover the amazing work of Jesus and see how He is at work in your daily life, you too will be overflowing with a desire to share the message of hope and victory that only the Gospel of Jesus can bring.

I have, sadly, seen quite a few people become led astray by false teachers, who usually begin by questioning the validity of the Word of God itself, in order to encourage doubt and slip false doctrines into the minds of those who listen to their teaching. I don’t go sharing links to my blog posts with people who I personally know are caught up in these erroneous teachings, as they are currently in a place in their lives where arguing and presenting the Truth to them would not yield any profitable results. While I still pray for and show kindness towards these individuals, I know I must give them space now, so that God will do His quiet work in their hearts.

I am using this blog to remind those of us who are walking with Christ what the truth are that are found in God’s Word and to remind us of the various aspects of the Personhood of Jesus Christ, that we may live our lives in awe of our Savior and Lord. I also hope this blog may answer some question  you may have if you don’t know much about that Christianity is or why Jesus means so much to the history of the world. I sincerely hope that, if you’re not a follower of Jesus yet, you will consider the Scripture verses quoted in my blog posts, and also study God’s Word on your own, that you might discover Who Jesus is and realize what He has done in your life already and become willing to accept His sacrifice for your sin, so that you might experience His saving mercy and grace.

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Jesus Is The Door.

“Jesus is the door of goodness that has been opened to you. Through Him you are brought into every spiritual blessing, have access to the treasure chest that is filled with the riches of His grace, and been given a glorious hope of good things to come.” – Author unknown.

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with Me.” (Revelation 3:20) “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pastures.” (John 10:9) Once Jesus has entered into the heart of a person, they can enter the presence of God, blameless, washed “whiter than snow.” The door of our hearts must be open to the leading of His Spirit, with ears that heed His call. He is the gateway to worship with God for all eternity.

Without Jesus as the door, we could never again gain entrance into the Almighty, Holy presence of God, due to our sin. Jesus made the way to God the Father. He is the atonement for us. He is our intercessor. “So Jesus again said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.” (John 10:7) How can we go anywhere without Christ? We cannot truly know the Father without a personal relationship with the Son.

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Jesus Is The Covenant.

“I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles.” – Isaiah 42:6

Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Testament and the promise of both the Old and New Covenants. “…And to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.” (Hebrews 12:24) “When God speaks of a ‘new’ covenant, it means He has made the firs one obsolete. It is now out of date and will soon disappear.” (Hebrews 8:43) This clearly demonstrates how the rigorous religious standards of archaic Judaism point to our need for a Savior, but how they are no longer necessary in order to have a relationship with God.

Christ’s sacrifice on the cross is vital to our eternal life. Without it, there is no forgiveness of our sin. Those who deny the need for Jesus Chrisf as the atonement for sin are clearly in direct opposition to the teachings of God’s Word itself. “In he same way, after the supper, He took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is Lourdes out for you.’ ” (Luke 22:20) “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6)

Designed to Design

As you know, this is my personal blog and as such the thoughts written here come from my perspective on life. As a Christian, I’m not ashamed to say that my beliefs are based largely upon my faith as well as logic and reasoning. That being said, I respect other views on life and ask that you grant me the same respect. I understand you may not share the same worldview, but please keep your comments polite, and if you’re don’t like my blog or my opinions, you don’t have to keep reading. That being said, I do love it when I receive comments that relate to my posts.

Man has, throughout history, come a long way in working with both his hands and his mind (and here, of course, I use the terms “man” “his,” etc. loosely to refer to all of mankind). We were created to be creative beings. We are constantly inventing new machines, making music or art, etc. It is truly beautiful to enjoy all the very different things that have been made by creative individuals. I love sharing my talents and seeing you share your talents.