Index

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Perfection And Creation

Index of Blog Articles


When I first started to consider this question, I thought to myself: “Oh, this is an easy-to-answer question--a couple scriptures and boom, it’s done.” Then I started to consider all the nuances that this issue has taken on in the form of honest questions. Here are two of them:


  • If Adam was perfect, how could he sin? (The assumption here is that “perfect” implies that such a person would be incapable of doing wrong.)
  • Since the scriptures teach that everything God does is perfect, why then do we accept the death of animals as normal but view death of humans as abnormal? (There are at least two things I can think of that need to be addressed here: 1) Does being perfect imply eternal existence? 2) Does God’s intentions and promises toward us differ from other life forms?)
For this first installment, I am going to start with the definition of perfect as used not only in Scripture, but also in common daily speech. Dictionary.com offers five definitions for the word. Given the context of any particular verse, most of those would fit one or more ways that Scripture uses the term. The following short list of synonyms links to specific verses that use the word perfect: flawless, indiscriminate, impeccable, fully capable, complete, matchless & uncompromised, without obstacles, able to get at the heart of matters.

For the most part, the concise definition I’ve settled on is that "perfect" means that which is completely suited for the intended purpose. One point that seems to be missed by some I speak with is that there is room for planned obsolescence within the definition of what “perfect” is. In the linked article, it states that manufacturers can and do actually design products to have a specific “life-duration.” We may not like it, but it is there. So, if your cell phone lasts around four years, as far as the industry is concerned, it outlived it’s life. (I participate in one online forum regarding cellphones and read several online industry website articles about the technology. Based on the numbers, it seems most people keep a particular make/model of phone for an average of 18 to 24 months. The market-life is even shorter. 2nd reference.)

So those that argue that “perfect” does not necessarily mean everlasting--you are right. But that is not all there is to the subject when considering what God’s Word, The Bible, says about humans. If you are interested, continue reading Parts 2 & 3.


Part 2: If Adam Was Perfect, How Could He Sin?
Part 3: Was Adam Perfect and Does That Mean He Would Have Lived Forever?


Index of Blog Articles

If Adam Was Perfect, How Could He Sin?

Index of Blog Articles

Part 1: Perfection And Creation. How Does the Bible Use The Word "Perfect"?
Part 3: Was Adam Perfect and Does That Mean He Would Have Lived Forever?

(This is Part 2)
Most parents, even today, would not intentionally raise their children to hate them. Most parents want to see their children succeed. A recent article I read asked the question, “Given the choice, would you raise your children to be exact replicas of you, to be totally opposite of you, or would you want to raise them to blossom into responsible adults, nurturing their individual talents, able to express their individuality and make wise decisions?” Most parents would agree that we don’t want our children to be automatons, then again a loving parent would not want to raise a child that grows up hating them. The best we can try for, is to give them solid moral, emotional and practical training. Hopefully, if they are appreciative, they will likewise grow into responsible adults.

In like manner, God also does not want automatons of his human creation. Thus He gave us the ability to reason, to have a sense of right and wrong (conscience), to appreciate loyalty, love and honesty. He also gave us the choice to decide for ourselves what we would do with these powers and freedoms. That is the essence of free will. In Adam’s case, he was given the opportunity to demonstrate appreciation by following the simple directions given him: 1) cultivate the ground, 2) have oversight of the animals, 3) reproduce, and 4) of all the fruit-bearing vegetation available to him, he could eat it all except the fruit of one specific tree. This last directive allowed God to see how much appreciation Adam had for his Father’s authority to set limits. Would Adam be willing to leave that one tree alone, no matter how appealing it may look; no matter how sweet it may smell? It was not a hard test, it was not a confusingly difficult test. It definitely was not overly restrictive--it was just one tree out of many others. It was simple and straightforward.

I gained an appreciation of this simple test early in my life. At the time I was living with my aunt and uncle. It was a temporary solution while mom’s health improved. My uncle had a fruit tree in the back yard that was his favorite fruit. The yield was very small so he “commanded” us (me and my cousins) that we were not to even touch the fruit. Well, needless to say, I did and was punished. But the hardest thing to face was my uncle’s disappointment. Yes, he was upset at my blatant disobedience, but more than that, he was hurt by my lack of love. Here he had taken me in, housed me, fed me, clothed me. He thought I loved him. I did, but apparently not enough to respect his wishes.

Likewise, Adam showed great disrespect for his Creator. One simple restriction, and he wouldn't obey it. The difference with Adam was that he wasn't plagued with the moral imperfections, the tendency toward wrongdoing that we are today. In that God had already warned him that disobedience would result in death, that warning demonstrates that, as far as God was concerned, Adam was fully capable of being obedient. As in our definition of “perfect” in the first installment, Adam was made completely capable of carrying out everything God told him to do. Adam chose disobedience, not because he was somehow deficient morally or mentally (thus imperfect), but because of misusing his free will to make a selfish choice. (Again, reflect on Deuteronomy 32:4, which, in part, states God is not unjust. For those that want to believe Adam was made imperfect, they would also have to believe that, contrary to this scripture, God is unjust--because if Adam were somehow defective or deficient then the death penalty would have been unfair. From what I've learned and experienced in my life, I am 100% confident that God is just & more merciful than we deserve.)

Again, the matter over which Adam was to demonstrate his obedience was not rocket science, it was a simple test. Just as we raise our children to hopefully become responsible, well-adjusted and loving adults, God gave Adam all the right circumstances, all the right instruction and the best of conditions. But just as even rich kids born with the proverbial “silver spoons” in their mouths can turn out to be rotten, just so Adam chose to intentionally reject that one restriction. Being perfect does not preclude the ability to consider and act on a wrong choice. (I did not include Eve’s role in this because the focus is addressing Adam’s actions--would he listen to his Father’s voice and live, or would he listen to his wife’s voice and disobey?)

But what about Adam dying regardless of whether he proved loyal or not? I’ll address that question in part 3 this article.

Index of Blog Articles

Was Adam Perfect and Does That Mean He Would Have Lived Forever?



Part 1: Perfection And Creation. How Does the Bible Use The Word "Perfect"?
Part2: If Adam Was Perfect, How Could He Sin?

(This is Part 3)
In the first part of this article, I stated that one question I've come across is: Since the scriptures teach that everything God does is perfect, then why do we accept the death of animals as normal but death of humans as abnormal?  I mentioned that there are at least two things I can think of that need to be addressed here: 1) Does being perfect imply eternal existence? 2)  Does God’s intentions and promises toward us differ from other living life forms? I also stated that perfection does not necessarily mean something or someone lasts forever. It lasts for the duration of the intended use.

There is no record in scripture that animals sinned against God, so their dying cannot be attributed to that. Nor is there any promise from God that animals could have the potential of living forever. We accept animals die as part of planned obsolescence. (Animal lovers, please take note. I intend no cruel coldness here. At present, I have four animals, two dogs and two cats. I’ve trained them all live in harmony as a united pack and they all play and sleep together. In the past several years, as our animals aged, both my wife and I have shed heartfelt tears over having to put down sick and elderly pets. At present, two of our four animals have grown old and we know we’ll be faced with losing them.)

But the question is did God intend for us to become obsolete? In the most simplest and straightforward terms, the Bible itself answers that question by stating that Jesus came to undo what Adam had done and reverse what Adam had lost, and thus give us everlasting life. God’s Word plainly calls death “the last enemy” and that it will be eliminated. In the last book of the Bible, Revelation, we read thatdeath will be no more.” This will mean “life everlasting” for us. So if Jesus had to undo what Adam lost, it must have been that Adam lost more than God’s approval--he lost everlasting life for all his descendants. In short then, God did not originally design obsolescence into us. Just as his spirit creatures (the angels) have never died, he also intended for his fleshly intelligent creatures (that were the only ones on earth referred to as being made in God’s image) to also live forever.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Life In A Rearview Mirror



Would you drive down the road paying more attention to your rearview mirror (where you’ve been) than to your windshield (where you are heading)? (Ok, so some of you with sharp wits will say, “yes I would, if I were driving backwards”) And you are right, but you also make my point even more valid. How? Because we naturally look in the direction we are headed. Now imagine you are on a street with cars and people all around you. If you feel a big bump like you rolled over something, the immediate reaction is usually to look at your rearview mirror to make sure you didn't hit somebody, human or animal. If you keep worrying about it, unless you pull over to take a look, what is going to happen if you keep looking backwards while driving forwards? It is very likely you will cause an injury to whatever is in front of you. Maybe it is another car that noticed a stop sign or red light and came to a stop. But you are still looking backwards. Maybe it is a child on a bike that loses their balance and swerves in front of you. Maybe it is a dog or cat that runs right in front of you.

My point? Most drivers know that watching where they are going is more important than looking at where they’ve been. It is something so simple most would agree it is a “no brainer.”  Yet in other facets of life, people act as if the best thing to do is to look at the rearview mirror. Specifically I am talking about people that worry about what has happened so that they never move forward in life. These are not pulling over, stopping to see if they need to do something. No, their life continues on down the road, but they set their focus on the past of what happened and are crippled by worry, depression, and confusion. The sooner they stop living their life in the past and start concentrating on the life in front of them, accepting that whatever happened is not nearly as important as what can and will happen, they will find themselves a lot more content and happy.

I knew a person that really frustrated me for the extent to which they carried this. They made constant excuses for the way they endlessly, needlessly, unproductively worried. They convinced themselves that the reason that their life was the way it is, is due to their youth. Yet this person was in their 70’s. At one point I stated, as gingerly as possible, “You are now over 70 years old. Don’t you think it is about time you stop blaming the first 10 years of your life for all that has happened to you?”

But that person is not alone. I’ve met others that blame what happened in their youth for the way they are. In contrast, I’ve met others that rose above their past, determined that it would not define who they want to be. These latter ones are the ones that are driving their life, looking through the windshield at what is coming toward them. Yes, just like in actually driving, we all will continue to encounter road conditions that calls for focused reaction.  But we cannot drive down the road worrying that a ball may roll out, an animal or child may run out, or another car that pulls out in front of you. What we can do is slow down in residential areas, scan the road in front of us for potential dangers and keep paying attention. Same with living our life. Worrying about what may happen can only cripple us. Learn from your past, apply what you know and make decisions based on your experience. If you need advice, do not be like the stereotypical male that refuses to ask for directions. Seek out those you know have had success in make good choices in life and ask for their insight in examining your options. The decision is ultimately always yours to make, but it can only help you develop wise decision making to get input from others that “have been there, done that.”

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Our Love of God--What It Means In Practical Terms



 When talking to people of various backgrounds, they tell me that they love God. But they always seem to knowingly or unwittingly qualify that love and thus show that they really do not know what it means to love God—according to what God himself defines as “love” in the Bible. It is definitely great fodder for this blog.

In Matthew 22:36-39, Jesus was asked a question. Notice the conversation here: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” He said to him: “‘You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. The second, like it, is this, ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’"

Everyone I've met that says they love God, immediately say they agree with Jesus’ words. They equate love of God with some vague inner acknowledgement that who He is and what he wants are good. But is it just some non-committal feeling that obligates us to nothing beyond a mental acknowledgement that Jesus meant? In answer to that question, notice what James wrote: James 2:19 “You believe there is one God, do you? You are doing quite well. And yet the demons believe and shudder.” So love does not equate to mere acknowledgement of God’s existence. What more is involved? God’s word, the Bible, does not leave the matter to guesswork.

Loving God: 1 John 5:3 "For this is what the love of God means,  that we observe his commandments; and yet his commandments are not burdensome." Yes, love & obedience go hand-in-hand. But obedience to which rules? Religions, for some reason, have decided to complicate things by adding a list of rules. Jesus himself referred this as adding an unnecessarily heavy load on people. Finding out for yourself what the Bible says will help you to appreciate the truth in John’s statement that God’s “commandments are not burdensome.”

Before I continue, please know that I will not be hitting on every possible facet of what true love toward God means for us. Each of us must make a practical and honest review of our daily lives—we owe this to both ourselves and our Creator. After considering the following, hopefully you’ll see at least some of the practical ways our love for God can be demonstrated.

Loving our "Fellow Man:" In the starting quote from Matthew 22, Jesus said that those serving God must "love your neighbor as yourself." In Matthew 7:12, Jesus spoke about the proactive nature of that love--not that would wait around for others to love us first, but that we would demonstrate love first. "All things that you want others to do to you, you must do to them." This means that if we want love, we must first take the initiative to display love.

1 John 4:20, 21 "If anyone makes the statement: “I love God,” and yet is hating his brother, he is a liar. For he who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot be loving God, whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him, that the one who loves God should be loving his brother also." It is easy to say that we don’t hate people, but really, how do we treat those we don’t like. Do we refuse to talk to them, do we avoid them, do we treat them poorly, do we discredit them to others? When we consider how God freely forgives our sins and willingly listens to our prayers, are we in any position to do less to our fellow man? Jesus himself addressed this exact situation in an illustration:

Forgiveness is not Optional: Matthew 18:23-35 “That is why the kingdom of the heavens has become like a man, a king, that wanted to settle accounts with his slaves. When he started to settle them, there was brought in a man who owed him ten thousand talents [=60,000,000 denarii]. But because he did not have the means to pay [it] back, his master ordered him and his wife and his children and all the things he had to be sold and payment to be made. Therefore the slave fell down and began to do obeisance to him, saying, ‘Be patient with me and I will pay back everything to you.’ Moved to pity at this, the master of that slave let him off and canceled his debt. But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves that was owing him a hundred denarii; and, grabbing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay back whatever you owe.’ Therefore his fellow slave fell down and began to entreat him, saying, ‘Be patient with me and I will pay you back.’ However, he was not willing, but went off and had him thrown into prison until he should pay back what was owing. When, therefore, his fellow slaves saw the things that had happened, they became very much grieved, and they went and made clear to their master all the things that had happened. Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘Wicked slave, I canceled all that debt for you, when you entreated me. Ought you not, in turn, to have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I also had mercy on you?’  With that his master, provoked to wrath, delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay back all that was owing. In like manner my heavenly Father will also deal with YOU if YOU do not forgive each one his brother from YOUR hearts.”

Today, our monetary system doesn't use “talents” or “denarii.” So how can we be helped to appreciate the magnitude of the above? One commentary I read indicated that the daily wage for a common laborer back in the days that Jesus walked the earth was one denarius (Denarii being the plural form of the word.) This is based on the account at Matthew 20:1,2. So using that as a measure, the peer of the first slave only owed 100 days, a little over 3 months wages, to the first slave. However, the first slave owed the master the equivalent of 60 million days. Using our modern calendar of 365 days, that equals 164,383 years! If we average that within a 70-year lifetime, that equates to over 2,300 lifetimes of 70 years. So what Jesus is helping us all appreciate is that our debt to God is so great, there is no way we could ever pay it back. If he is willing to forgive us (which he is) such a great debt, we have no excuse not to forgive others that sin against us. Their debt to us is insignificant compared to what we owe God.

Generosity & Tangible Help To Others: James 1:27 The form of worship that is clean and undefiled from the standpoint of our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their tribulation, and to keep oneself without spot from the world." This doesn't mean you are going to give money to every beggar standing on street corners. But it does mean that when you know of deserving people that won’t misuse or waste gifts of mercy, you will do your best to help them. In agreement with this, Paul wrote to Timothy: 1 Tim.6:17, 18 "Give orders to those who are rich in the present system of things not to be high-minded, and to rest their hope, not on uncertain riches, but on God, who furnishes us all things richly for our enjoyment; to work at good, to be rich in fine works, to be liberal, ready to share." (Note that I’m not even attempting to cover the latter part of James’ words, “…to keep oneself without spot from the world.” Perhaps I’ll do that in another article.)

While on the subject of money, here is some more advice the Bible gives about the matter:

Matthew 6:24 "YOU cannot slave for God and for Riches."

1 Tim.6:10 "For the love of money is a root of all sorts of injurious things, and by reaching out for this love some have been led astray from the faith and have stabbed themselves all over with many pains."

Yes, if we “slave…for riches” we demonstrate a “love of money” that betrays our love of God. Note that money is not evil, it is the LOVE of money that the Bible warns against. We all need to work, we all need money to live. But if we compromise our lives so that God takes back seat to work, then God has a problem with that. One way this becomes very evident is the admonishment recorded at Hebrews 10:24,25 “And let us consider one another to incite to love and fine works, not forsaking the gathering of ourselves together, as some have the custom, but encouraging one another, and all the more so as YOU behold the day drawing near.” Regularly “gathering together” for spiritual encouragement demonstrates our appreciation for the brotherhood we are given. If work is more important than that, then we need to reexamine our priorities.

Love of God and Neighbor Interconnected: Besides our meetings, there are other ways to demonstrate appreciation for God. In dealing with fellow humans that we love, we both enjoy talking to them and listening to them. This mutual sharing of each one’s likes and dislikes is what forms friendships. The same goes with our God. We need to talk to him in prayer. But even more importantly, we need to listen to him. How? By reading his Word the Bible. Over the decades I’ve had a few people say, “Hey, if the heavens opened up and I heard God’s voice tell me what to do, then I’d listen.” (I couldn’t help but wonder how they would be sure it was God’s voice, but that is another matter.) But these same people fail to realize that when they read the Bible, they are indeed hearing God’s thoughts. It takes years for this to “sink in,” for us to “get it.” So don’t think that speed-reading the Bible is going to result in instant understanding. All “real” and “deep” relationships take time to cultivate, to grow, to mature.

For the most part, I’ve covered our conduct. But Jesus said that both our minds and hearts had to be completely committed to God. How does that work? Two examples:

Self Control: Matthew  5:27,28 “YOU heard that it was said, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ But I say to YOU that everyone that keeps on looking at a woman so as to have a passion for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” A good friend of mine gave a wonderful illustration about this. He said, “It is one thing if a bird momentarily lands on your head. It is completely another thing if you allow that bird to build a nest.” So while anyone can have a momentary “bad thought,” allowing our minds to dwell on immoral thoughts is a lack of love not only for our fellow man (and women), but also for God who expects us to not only act morally upright, but think morally upright.

James 1:26 "If any man seems to himself to be a formal worshiper and yet does not bridle his tongue, but goes on deceiving his own heart, this man’s form of worship is futile.” Here, we are reminded that self-control in our speech is required of true followers of Christ. Anger is something all of us experience. Paul acknowledged that when he wrote at Ephesians 4:26, 27 "Be wrathful, and yet do not sin; let the sun not set with YOU in a provoked state, neither allow place for the Devil." The point is that we want to control our anger. Enraged, boisterous outbursts of shouting and screaming are not acceptable for those who want to be followers of Christ. Years ago, when I was given to angry outbursts, a friend told me, “It is possible to disagree without being disagreeable.” It took me a long while to ponder and understand that. Essentially what he was telling me was that a mature Christian may whole-heartedly disagree with the other person, but they will make every attempt to be calm and respectful.

Love, true love, deep love, is something God wants back from us. It is the only thing that we can truly “give” him. He gave us free will, so when we respond with obedient and loyal love, we are giving something that he doesn’t already own. He definitely deserves it; he owns our bodies, but our love he allows us to give because we want to. Its take a lifetime of commitment and earnest effort to prove that love.


Friday, March 22, 2013

Index of Blog Articles

Top of Blog: http://bartreflect.blogspot.com/
New as of 10/11/2013: Illustrations blog. Mostly original material, some heard elsewhere.

Reflections on Scriptural Topics
(Where verses are discussed, they are listed in alpha order, not in the order listed in the Bible.)

144,000 Are Chosen By God, Not Men (4/7/2017)
1 Corinthians 7:31 Scene of This World (4/13/2017)
1 Corinthians 15:14-19 (Who Are "Most To Be Pitied"?)
1 Timothy 2:6 Corresponding Ransom (4/9/2017)
2 Corinthians 6:1 Do Not Take For Granted. Do Not Miss Purpose
2 Corinthians 11:14, Satan's Disguises (4/15/2017) supernatural, occult, enlightenment
2 Corinthians 12:2-7 (Third Heaven, Paradise, Unlawful Words)
2 Samuel 7:1-3 - Acting Presumptuously Do Not Assume to Know the Path
2 Kings 18:4 Copper Serpent Idol (4/16/2017)
A Special Possession -- How? (2/24/2017)
A Surgeon's Quest for Clarity (3/236/2017) Paul Kalanithi, neurosurgeon
A Theologian Claims Jesus born in a House (3/18/2017)
Achan Impulse, The (Selfish Greed)
Adam & Eve: Justifiable Disobedience?
Anger Management Is unrelenting anger like murder?
Anxious vs Eager Matthew 6
Adoption, Why Needed?
Are Angels Gods? (Discussion of Psalms 8:5, Isaiah 9:6 "Mighty God")
Armageddon-Act of Love?
Arrogant and Close-Minded People (Personal lesson in humility. Luke 18:9-14)
Assuming Approval (1/2017)
Being A True Friend (My reflections on failed friendships)
Believe On The Lord Jesus (What does that phrase really entail?)
Benefits of Serving God
Bible--Fact or Fiction?
Bible Interpretation: Let the Bible Interpret Itself (4/5/2017)
Bible Reading: Annual, Recirculating (Provides a schedule based on Book/Chapter, not on page numbers)
Birthday Celebrations What does the Bible say about them?
Blowing Smoke (2/2017) 2 Corinthians 4:4
Brainiacks Dispute the Bible (2/2017)
Brotherhood of Mankind (Unity, not segregationism, defines true Christianity)
Business Insider Discredits Itself (3/26/2017)
Can We Earn Salvation?
Catholic Church in Decline - Statistics (3/20/2017)
Catholic Pope Successor to Peter?
Catholic Prayer Extorts Saint Joseph
Catholics' "Sign of the Cross" (4/7/2017)
Character Assassination (3/1/2017)
Chicken or the Egg- Which First? (2/27/2017)
Childish Attitudes in Adulthood (4/13/2017) Jeremiah 23:33-39
Christ's Better Resurrection
Christmas--Is It Christian? (Worst cases of bad conduct seen during this season)
Church Ranks Hemorrhaging (3/18/2017)
Clever, But No Cigar (3/2/2017) Philippians 2:5-7, CSB
Colossians 1:15 (Firstborn of all creation)
1 Corinthians 1:16 Jesus Made All Other Things (4/18/2017) Trinity debunked (again)
Colossians 2:8 Taken as "spoil," a captive
Colossians2:14 What does it mean to have our sins “blotted out”?
Complacency, "If Jesus Were Complacent" Use Jesus as a role model of what a true "man" is.
Consider All Joy (Don't doubt God's love when under trial. James 1:2-8)
Consistently Patient God (God' personality in both the Hebrew and Greek writings is the same)
Conscience--Clear or Seared?
Contentment--A Mark of A Mature Person
Convenience of Visions and Dreams (4/6/2017) Ramanujan - The Man Who Knew Infinity
Creation or Evolution: How We Got Here And Why It Matters
Credulous Thinking - Science and Truth At Odds (Evolutionists, atheists, science)
Crucifixion: Was Jesus Crucified? (Research by a grad student from a Swedish university)
The Cross--Is It Something To Be Reverenced?
Curiosity (We are pounded from every venue to be more sexually curious)
Dealing With Death of Loved One
Death--History and Future Hope
Decency--A Boundary (Lacking in today's world but required of true Christians)
Deut.4:7 Incomparable God and People
Deut. 6:4 Jehovah is One Jehovah  (1/2017)
Deuteronomy 30:19 Heavens & earth as witnesses (2/2017)
The Devil--God Did Not Create Him (as a wicked creature)
Disasters Are Not Acts of God Luke 13:1-5
Dignity, My Definition
Divisive Arrogance (Jude's Letter. His warning counsel.)
Do Animals Appreciate Beauty? (4/10/2017) And, Why do we appreciate beauty?
Do Not Take For Granted
Does God "Discipline" Non-Believers?
Does Good Need Evil for Balance? (4/9/2017)
Dying Before Their Time (Consideration of Ecclesiastes 7:17)
Earth--Will God Destroy It?
Earth A Testing Ground? (3/19/2017) Heaven, earth, man's future
Exodus 32:14 In what sense did God “feel regret”?
Exodus 32:14 God Regrets (2/2017)
Fake News Seems To Be Popular (1/2017)
Fantasies and Consequences
Field Mice And The Lion (3/28/2017) Jehovah's Witnesses are not a threat to governments
For the Good of the Whole (4/3/2017) Older ones training younger ones
Forget Shovel, Bring In the Backhoe (2/2017)
Forgiving Repentant Ones Luke 17:3,4
How To Make A Big Deal Out Of Nothing (Evolution)
Humility--A Hard Lesson To Learn (Part of the Joseph-Life-Lessons series)
Human Compassion And The Vagus Nerve
Human Consciousness -- What Is It?
Human Eye And Evolutionists
Idol Worship From Heaven? (3/20/2017) Mary worship, Artemis
If Life Purposeless Why Argue Point? (2/2017)
Implicit Trust
Implicit Trust and Loyalty (3/12/2017)
Is All Religion Man-Made (2/2017)
Is God Aloof, Frightening and Impersonal?
Isaiah 28: Warm Blanket or Cold Straight Jacket (1/2017)
It Will NOT Be Late! (1/2017)
James 2:19 Demons Not Atheists (2/2017)
Jeremiah - A Prophet With Backbone (3/20/2017) Jeremiah 7:4, 8:5,8; 9:26
Jeremiah 9:24 Bragging, Trophy Case (2/2017)
Jeremiah 10:23 Directing Our Own Step (3/20/2017)
Jeremiah 23:25-27 Forgetting God's Name
Jeremiah 27:12-15 Why Go To Babylon? (4/17/2017) Determining who is speaking truth
Jeremiah: "It Makes No Sense"
Jesus Is Our Savior
John 1:1 (Trinity Teaching examined)
John 6:15 Kingship Declined
John 6:41. How is Jesus "Bread From Heaven"?
John 20:25 How Many Nails (2/2017)
Joseph – Husband of Mary (2/2017)
Just A Job? (Serving God should be an engaging, rewarding way of life)
Just Be Kindly Truthful (2/2017) Waning membership in churches, objections from those we meet
Justice--A Weighty Issue (Proverbs 11:1; Proverbs 16:11)
Justice, Patience, Leniency (4/5/2017) hellfire or death: Punishment from God
Keep Testing Yourself (recertification)
Lamentations chapter 3 Silence Is Golden. How does God view our complaining about our lot in life?
Learning: Make Learning Fun (The Secret)
Leviticus 5:1 Testifying to an Event
Liars. So Who is Lying? (Trinitarians would have us believing that God is the liar)
Light of the Nations (2/2017)
Logic of Science and Wisdom of Bible
Looking at All Sides (Exegesis vs Eisegesis) (2/2017)
Lost Donkey (4/4/2017) Chasing the winds of wealth, fame, position
Love Extinguishes the Fuse (Part of the Joseph-Life-Lessons series)
Love is Love is Love (3/14/2017) fallacious reasoning of homosexual culture
Loyalty: Confused Loyalties Loyalty to other humans compared to loyalty to God.
Luke 21:11 - Composite Picture
Luke 4:13 - A Convenient Time (Circumstances in our life Satan might view as "convenient" to tempt us?)
Luke 8:4-8
Luke 23:43 Where does the comma belong?
Main Bible Topics (flowchart graph in PDF format)
Mark 4:40 Lacking Faith
Marriage - Why Wait? Human maturity goes way beyond puberty.
Matthew 5:3 Appreciating our Need for God
Matthew 5:6 Hungry Thirsty For What?
Matthew 7:21-23, "Not Everyone Saying To Me..."
Matthew 8:10 Complete Confidence, Nothing Like It!
Matthew 8 vs 29 Demons Tormented
Matthew 12:43 What are the parched places and in what sense do the demons seek rest?
Matthew 13 The Different “soils”
Matthew 18:23-35 Debts and Forgiveness
Micah 6:8 (Walk Humbly & Modestly with God)
Miracles Demystified (4/11/2017) Sciences demonstrate potential
Miracles Getting Easier to Believe (1/2017)
Misogyny Not Promoted in Bible (12/2016)
Money, Is It Evil?
Money Versus Wealth
Moral Compass Watch out for moral magnetic interference!
Mosaic Law-Why?
My Determination (Dealing with feelings of worthlessness)
Names(?!) of God (2/2017)
Neural Nets and Intelligent Design
Neutrality
No Fence Sitting (1/2017)
Noahic flood - Why Did the Children Die?
Not Mere Hearers (Public declaration of our faith is required)
Not Perfect Yet (Phil 3:12, Planting and maintaining a garden)
Once Saved Always Saved (non-scriptural belief discussed)
Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires (2/2017)
Opposers: Handling Determined Dissenter / Opposers
Ostracized (4/16/2017) disfellowshiping, shunning
Our Hope Made Sure (12/2016)
Philippians 2:6, 7 What does Jesus’ being in “God’s Form” mean?
Philippians 2:6,7 Revisited
Pigeonholing God (or, God-In-The-Box)
Perfection (Three-Part Article)
  • Part 1: Perfection And Creation. How Does the Bible Use The Word "Perfect"?
  • Part 2: If Adam Was Perfect, How Could He Sin?
  • Part 3: Was Adam Perfect and Does That Mean He Would Have Lived Forever?
Plagiarized Fables? (Sorry attempts to discredit the Bible)
Poteyto, Potahto, Tomeyto, Tomahto (5/5/2017) (Does religion really matter?)
Positive Attitude Although Discouraged (Genesis 40:23) (Part of the Joseph-Life-Lessons series)
Prayers, Delayed Answers to (Reasons why they may be delayed)
Prayer--Jesus Provides A "How To"
Prayers for Peace Unanswered
Productive Activity
Protecting the Family Name (1/2017)
Proverbs 19:11 - It is beauty to pass over transgression In what sense is it “beauty” on our part to forgive?
Proverbs 30:12 Idealism vs Realism
Psalm 34:8, "Tasting God" (What does that entail?)
Psalm 105:17-22 (A Personal Lesson: Reward vs. Blessing)
Psalms 119:165 Love God In What Sense?
Punishment (Just Punishment) Death Sentence or Torture?
Purgatory - Another Unscriptural Lie (5/5/2017)
Purple Triangle Video: Interview with Simone Arnold
Racism and Nominal Christians (12/2016)
Raking Fire To Our Chest Proverbs 6:27,28. Passion and Sexual Desire
Raising Children and Pets (similar behavioral challenges)
Revelation 20:12 What are the contents of the “new scrolls”?
Road Trips (1/2017)
Romans 10:13 Salvation From God and His Son
Romans 14:8 Live as Belonging to Jehovah (Sixteen Tons)
RSV and the No-Name God
Russia, Public Opinion, And Jehovah's Witnesses (5/2/2017)
Ruth - Book of (3/16/2017) Lessons gleaned
Satan, God of this System-How?
Satan - A Sentient Being?
Satan's Shrewd Wording (4/9/2017) Satan's temptation of Eve and Jesus
Seeing the Invisible (2/2017)
Shallow Research (Huffington Post article on Millennials and view of religion)
Shifting the Blame (2/27/2017) (Deuteronomy 31:16,17)
Should Our Beliefs Be Kept Private?
Sin-Missing The Mark
Sly Wolves (Misrepresenting truth and the Bible)
Sons of Moses -- Whatever Happened to Them? (4/25/2017)
Soul, Can It Die?
Sowing Seed, Luke 8:4-8
Splattering Blood Saves Lives? (What really saved the Israelites?)
Studying--Getting A Rich Spiritual Tan
Street Smarts (2/2017)
Structure In Universe (Science confirms the Bible)
Survival Of The Fittest
Take Pleasure In Weaknesses (2 Cor.12:10; 1 Peter 3:15)
Tent of God (What is God's Tent--Revelation 21:3)
Tests--How Does God Test Us?
That Should Not Happen (Does gross sin mean the religion is bad and the person completely corrupt?)
Them's Fightin' Words! (Commentary on Eph.6:12-17)
Thomas' Statement (at John 20:28) - Does it prove Jesus is God?
Tomb of Jesus (3/24/2017)
Tools (Learning About Tools)
True Christianity - It's Defining Characteristics
True Righteousness - Romans 14:17
Types of Christians (Foxhole, Armchair, Pew Warmer, Active-Authentic, Extremist)
Understanding Why Not Always Important (Example of Job)
Unmatched Generosity (2/2017)
Unreserved Commitment Is Primary
Unseen Exists: Claiming to believe only in what can be seen ignores the facts.
Valuable Restoration (Leonardo da Vinci painting shot)
Vine’s Dictionary (2/2017)
Walk With God--How?
Was Jesus' Death A Human Sacrifice? (4/5/2017)
We Are Our Own Worst Enemy Feelings of worthlessness and guilt can ruin our faith
The Weight of Evidence, Numbers, and History (12/2016)
Vehement Hatred is Usually Narrow-Minded (3/27/2017) hatred of God unreasonable
Were Our Ancestors Dummies?
What Color Is This? (Dress controversy vs religious truth)
What Does God Look Like?
What Does God Really Want From Us?
What Is A Ritual? (4/18/2017)
What Is Our Motive

Pictorial Language of the Bible
(As in the commentary list above, this section will list scriptures in alphabetical order.)
Introduction to the series
1 Kings 20:11 Girding on Armor
Ecclesiastes 11:4 (Wind & Clouds. Procrastination & Excuses)
Ecclesiastes 11:4-6, A Second Look (3/26/2017) Second-guessing God.
Isaiah 48:18 Peace Like A River (2/2017)
Isaiah 60:16 Breast of Kings (2/24/2017)
Joel 2:13 Rip Apart Heart Demonstrating true repentance
Righteousness Like Waves of the Sea (2/2017)
Romans 12:11 Aglow With the Spirit
Stay On Path (Isaiah 48:17) (2/2017)



Inspiration For Writers (*)
Storyboarding for Speakers (&Writers)
  

Technology & Sciences
Cooking - A New Experience for me
Enjoying Accomplishment (3/10/2017) (Excel VBA and formula writing, designing new system)
Good Bye Good Riddance Samsung
Grammarly (3/17/2017) Grammar checking plug-in for Chrome
Hemingwrite vs Other Options
Satellite Orbital Areas Which are the nearest and farthest from earth?
Wild Dogs & Patent Meat A commentary on the ravenous patent hording by corporations
Zero and Infinity (4/3/2017)


Miscellaneous
Health: Neti Pot My personal experience
How I Meditate, Reflect, Contemplate, Ponder (3/16/2017)
I Am Not Worried About Dying (A copy of a reply letter sent to a well-wisher)
If Bones Visited The 20th Century (my chemotherapy experience) (Final Post here)
Larger Audience Than I Thought (3/28/2017)
Life In A Rearview Mirror Worrying is like a rearview mirror