Daddy blog

I started this blog when I was following the Life Journal Bible reading plan on YouVersion. (I've since completed that plan.) At that time, YouVersion didn't provide any way for people to respond to my notes, other than to "like" them. So this blog is here to remedy that problem. You may comment on my notes here in the comment section.
I also have a general blog.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Take the first step of faith


S: Joshua 3:13-16 The priests will carry the Ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth. As soon as their feet touch the water, the flow of water will be cut off upstream, and the river will stand up like a wall.” So the people left their camp to cross the Jordan, and the priests who were carrying the Ark of the Covenant went ahead of them. It was the harvest season, and the Jordan was overflowing its banks. But as soon as the feet of the priests who were carrying the Ark touched the water at the river’s edge, the water above that point began backing up a great distance away at a town called Adam, which is near Zarethan. And the water below that point flowed on to the Dead Sea until the riverbed was dry. Then all the people crossed over near the town of Jericho

O: The Lord told them what to do -- step into the water. But the Lord also told them that the miracle wouldn't start until they took that first step of faith.

These people were the children of the people that saw the crossing of the Red Sea. The oldest of them were children when that crossing happened, and the ones younger than 40 were not even born yet. So they never saw this miracle before.

They had been told of the miracle, so they had a rational reason to trust that God could do such a miracle. But they had to take that first step of faith themselves -- that first step into the water -- before the miracle would happen.

A: God's not asking us to irrationally have faith. Our faith can be based on rational evidence. We have heard of the miracles God has done. We've heard the testimonies. But we often still need to take that first step of faith, that first step of obedience, before we see the miracle in our own lives.

P: Father, lead me step by step, and may I follow You all of my days. In Jesus' name, amen.

Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Pray for healing AND see doctors


S: Sirach 38:1-14 1Honour the physician because of necessity, and because the Most High created him. 2For all healing is from God, and so he will receive gifts from the King. 3The expertise of the physician will lift up his head, and in the sight of great men, he will be praised. 4The Most High has created medicines from the earth, and a prudent man will not abhor them. 5Was not bitter water made sweet with wood? 6The benefits of these things is recognised by men, and the Most High has given this knowledge to men, so that he may be honoured in his wonders. 7By these things, he will cure or mitigate their suffering, and the pharmacist will make soothing ointments, and he will form healing medicines, and there will be no end to his works. 8For the peace of God is upon the surface of the earth. 9Son, in your infirmity, you should not neglect yourself, but pray to the Lord, and he will cure you. 10Turn away from sin, and direct your hands, and cleanse your heart from every offence. 11Give a sweet offering, and a memorial of fine flour, and fatten your oblation, but also give a place to the physician. 12For the Lord created him. And so, do not let him depart from you, for his works are necessary. 13For there is a time when you may fall into their hands. 14Truly, they will beseech the Lord, so that he may direct their treatments and cures, for the sake of their way of life.

O: This is a passage from the Wisdom of Jesus ben Sirach, which is in the Catholic and Orthodox Bibles but not in the Protestant Bible. [See footnote] However, the Protestant Reformers nonetheless considered these books to be good Christian books, though they did not consider them to be scripture.

This passage shows a good balance between praying for healing and seeing doctors for treatment. The Bible is very clear that God can and does heal miraculously, but it also shows that God doesn't always heal miraculously, but we should use medical knowledge as well, for example, Paul advised Timothy to use wine medicinally because of his weak stomach. [1 Timothy 5:23]

Many people go overboard in one direction or the other -- some saying that there is no longer any possibility for miracles today, while other say that you must never see a doctor for treatment but only rely on "doctor Jesus".

A: We should both pray for healing and get medical help when we need it. If God chooses to heal you miraculously, thank Him. And if He chooses to heal you through a doctor, thank Him as well.

P: Father, thank You that You have given us intelligence to do research and learn how Your world works. Thank You also that You do intervene in our lives and hear our prayers. In Jesus' name, amen.
Footnote: The leaders of the Protestant Reformation rejected these books from the Bible because they are not in the Hebrew Masoretic text preserved by the non-Christian Jews, and Protestants wanted an Old Testament that was not "contaminated" by the Catholic church. The reason they are not in the Masoretic text is because they either were not written in Hebrew or Aramaic or if they were, the Hebrew or Aramaic is lost and we only have the Greek, and the non-Christian Jews were in the process of removing all Greek influence from their scriptures because the New Testament was in Greek and the Christians were using the Greek translation of the Old Testament, the Septuagint, to back up the claims of Christ.

Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Living in the real world


S: Philippians 4:1-3 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stay true to the Lord. I love you and long to see you, dear friends, for you are my joy and the crown I receive for my work. Now I appeal to Euodia and Syntyche. Please, because you belong to the Lord, settle your disagreement. And I ask you, my true partner, to help these two women, for they worked hard with me in telling others the Good News. They worked along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are written in the Book of Life.

O: Even in the first-century church we find sincere believers facing disagreements and personality conflicts. So it should not be surprising that we see that today.

We're living in the real world, and when we are in close contact with other people, differences of opinion will arise.

A: When we find ourselves in conflict, we should seek to reconcile and forgive, just as Christ has taught us to. Don't let our anger drag on. (See Ephesians 4:26)

P: Father, when we are upset with others, help us to forgive and reconcile. In Jesus' name, amen.

Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Saints in a Fallen World


S: Philippians 2:14-15 Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticise you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.

O: God has called us to be saints in a fallen world. It is not surprising that bad things happen around us, because all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

However, God did not leave us in this horrible hopelessness, but has called us out of darkness into His marvellous light.

A: I personally find it very easy to get caught up in all the complaining about the boss, the government, etc. It's not that we shouldn't work to improve things, but complaining and arguing in a destructive manner doesn't help things.

Constructive criticism, working out solutions, etc. those are definitely things we as followers of Jesus should be involved in, but all too often, I find myself joining in with others to just complain, complain, complain, and sometimes even initiate the complaining myself!

P: Father, help me to live in such a way as to be salt and light to the world, to be part of the solution rather than to be part of the problem. May we keep a good and Godly attitude. In Jesus' name, amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)