Who’s Your Source

Researching a quotation can be fun, but it’s not always easy and many times may require some serious digging. ~Sharon Rickson, New York Public Library

Fake news. It’s all over the headlines. Kind of ironic, don’t you think?

You go to the news to find out whether the news is really “news.”

English teachers and Media Resource Center directors stress to their students to check the facts. Don’t use the first website that pops up on Google. Make sure your source is reputable.

Paul had a reputable source. His teacher was Gamaliel.

Gamaliel came from a line of Torah scholars, namely his famous grandfather, Hillel. Gamaliel lived in the first century AD and held a position of authority and leadership in the Sandhedrin- the ruling council. To study under him was to attend Harvard or Oxford.

Continue reading “Who’s Your Source”

There’s always something to learn

Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow. ~Anthony J. D’Angelo

I’m reading a book that I find error-prone. Yet, I also believe it contains some truth and probably a lot of opinions that others in my sphere hold. So I keep reading it and try not to set my jaw too tightly.

Exposing our minds to differing beliefs and teachings helps us understand our own beliefs. Sometimes we feel justified in our beliefs, and sometimes we might find that we were wrong.

A Jew named Apollos was living in Alexandria. He was a smart guy, well-educated and an eloquent speaker. But he didn’t have all the facts.

Priscilla and Aquila taught Apollos the way of Jesus and suddenly Apollos’s eyes were opened to the truth. His willingness to study further, to listen to others, and to accept that he may have been incorrect led Apollos to be a missionary to Achaia and to lead many more people to the truth of Jesus Christ as the Savior.

But Apollos didn’t just spout off his opinions. No, he used the Jews’ own scriptures to show that Jesus was the expected Messiah. He studied, prepared, and listened to the Spirit.

How do I know when I come across error-filled teaching? Because I know the scriptures. I read God’s word daily. I pray. I listen. I talk to others and process their conclusions. I surround myself with others who do the same.

Are you making sure that you know the truth and are being set free on the right path?

Then they asked him, “Where is your father?” “You do not know me or my Father,” Jesus replied. “If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” He spoke these words while teaching in the temple courts near the place where the offerings were put. Yet no one seized him, because his hour had not yet come. John 8:19-20 NIV

The B-I-B-L-E

The book to read is not the one which thinks for you, but the one which makes you think. No book in the world equals the Bible for that. ~Harper Lee

I watched Fragments of Truth recently, a documentary about how the validity and historicity of the Bible is checked. Though it was very academic and demanded full-attention, it was an interesting, thoughtful movie.

I don’t know how many Bibles I have in my house. I have more than twenty available on my phone. I can view it in different translations, listen to it, even watch parts of it acted out in full cinematic wonder.

Because I live in America.

Chinese Christians, however, are now banned from purchasing the Bible.

The Bible was available in China through Christian bookstores and online retailers until a month ago. Then suddenly, it disappeared.

The Chinese government sent out a ‘white paper’ explaining that the Bible is being reinterpreted over the next five years to display a more acceptable socialist mindset.

I’m not sure what’s more socialist than Jesus and his apostles. They said take care of each other. Feed the orphans and widows. Visit those in prison.

But they also said, Jesus is Lord . . . King . . . Prince of Peace.

And that’s scary to those who want to be in power.

Because China has set its leaders up as God. The leaders decide what is right and wrong. The leaders decide who gets taken care of and who gets thrown out with the bath water.

But don’t take our American privilege for granted.

Though California’s lawmakers deny that if passed a new bill would prohibit the sale of the Bible, there seems to be quite a bit of gray area. They are concerned that people with identity issues might be told that acting on some of their desires would be wrong.

It might be easier for California to follow China’s lead and “reinterpret” the parts they don’t like.

That’s why knowing the Bible  THE WORD OF GOD is so important.

Are you taking it for granted? Would you be able to identify changes or reinterpretations?


For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4 ESV

 

 

Treasure

We treasure the word of God not only by reading the words of the scriptures, but by studying them. We may be nourished more by pondering a few words, allowing the Holy Ghost to make them treasures to us, than to pass quickly and superficially over whole chapters of scripture. ~Henry B. Eyring

“These are two or three hundred years old.”

“And your mother lets you touch them!?”

I was teaching one of my ESL students about the idea of “passing down” things from one generation to another. He showed he understood by sharing some articles his family has in a box. He shuffled through the box as if he touched 300 year old items every day.

Well, he lives in China; perhaps he does.

Hilkiah the high priest found a book in the Temple. He knew it was the Book of the Law and very important. When the king sent his secretary to check on business at the Temple, Hilkiah passed the book along to Shaphan, the secretary.

Shaphan recognized its importance and passed it along to the king.

King Josiah also understood its importance. He feared for his people because they had not kept the Law for many generations. King Josiah sent men to the prophetess Huldah to find out what they should do.

How long had the book survived?

Hundreds of years.

How long had it been since anyone read it?

Hundreds of years.

So how did the men know to go visit Huldah?

Some people had hidden the Book of the Law in their hearts. They had saved it, passing it from one generation to another. A treasure not hidden away, but opened for children’s hands to thumb through, to play with, to ask questions about, to learn from and to teach.

Huldah was one of those people. She knew the ancient words.

Where do you keep the ancient treasure? Is it collecting dust on a shelf?

Do your children know where to find it? Do they play with it and thumb through it with confidence?

Do people look for you to share the ancient wisdom? Are you known as a prophet who knows the Lord?

Have you obeyed the command of God . . .

“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” Joshua 1:8 ESV

The treasure is waiting to be opened.


“Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear.” Mt 24:35 ISV