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Old 12-29-2013, 11:46 AM   #361
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Sunday Dispatch.644

Sunday Dispatch.644

The Lord is my strength and my song, and He has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise Him.

~Exodus 15:2
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Old 01-05-2014, 09:43 AM   #362
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Sunday Dispatch.645

Sunday Dispatch.645

How you gonna tell your story
Are you gonna tell it true
Either with or without reason
Love has paid the price for you

Oh, there's somebody waiting
Oh, there's somebody near
Oh, there's somebody waiting
Oh, there's somebody here

Love has paid the price for you

~The Call, Michael Been
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Old 01-12-2014, 01:09 PM   #363
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Charles Templeton, in the 1940s, was a young famous Canadian evangelist. He founded the Youth for Christ Ministry and soon invited, the also young, but unknown, Billy Graham to join him. The two preached together in North America and across Europe during the later part of the decade. They became friends.

During this postwar period the death and suffering of World War Two began to trouble Templeton. The horrific images from the Holocaust caused him to begin to question how a God of love could allow such death and suffering. He recounted years later how he once saw a cover picture on Look magazine of a young African mother holding her dead child in her hand. The death caused by a severe drought. Why did God not send these people something as simple as rain?

Templeton discussed his increasing doubt in God and the Christian faith with his friend. He soon told Graham he was leaving God and abandoning his faith. He became an agnostic.

This troubled Graham and caused him also to go through a period of questioning and doubt. Templeton said later that Graham resolved this issue after spending a night in thought and prayer. Graham held to his faith in God.

The 2008 film Billy: The Early Years of Billy Graham highlights their relationship.

The two parted ways. Graham continued in evangelism. Templeton went on to careers as a cartoonist, newspaper editor, broadcaster and author. His most famous was his 1995 book A Farewell to God: My Reason for Rejecting the Christian Faith.

Despite the issue that divided them the two remained friends through the years.

"Billy is the most honorable man. I would say he is the most honorable man I have ever met. He is the only mass evangelist I would trust." ~Templeton, PBS interview 1995.

"We remain friends. I can call Chuck anytime and our friendship just takes off where it left off. I have great admiration for him. He is the most talented person I have ever known." ~Graham, PBS interview 1995

"A friend loves at all times."
~Proverbs 17




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Old 01-19-2014, 02:55 PM   #364
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Sunday Dispatch.647

Sunday Dispatch.647

“Many people are leaving the church to find God.”
~Lenny Bruce

I can understand, I think, some of what Lenny Bruce meant when he said that. There are people who have left a church because
of confusion, mistreatment, abuse or other reasons. And some have just abandoned the idea of even trying to find a church to visit
or confused because of the vast variety of denominations and distinct doctrines.

Where to go in search of God with so many choices?
If this of interest, the next several Dispatches will be a suggested guide on how to search.

A Suggested Guide on Searching for God in a Sea of Religion

Introduction

“If I cease searching, then woe is me, I am lost. That is how I look at it. Keeping going, keep going come what may.”
~Vincent van Gogh, Letters to Vincent

If the question of whether God exists is still troublesome, don’t let it stop you from searching. I think atheists/agnostics,
even if not convinced of God, can benefit from a clearer understand of religion.

Before investigating the Christian faith, some have found it helpful to read and explore the world’s religions.
Most people agree that all religions contain elements of truth. The trick is deciding if you believe all of them are
the same, but different paths to God or if only one of them is true.

Chapter 1

Jesus and the Christian Faith

“If corpses can’t be raised, then Christ wasn’t, because he was indeed dead. And if Christ weren’t raised, then all you’re doing is wandering about in the dark, as lost as ever. It’s even worse for those who died hoping in Christ and resurrection, because they’re already in their graves. If all we get out of Christ is a little inspiration for a few short years, we’re a pretty sorry lot.”
~1 Corinthians 15:18-20 (The Message)

As you go....

-Don’t watch Christian television, confide in your family, friends, or read books about the Christianity. You might be sidetracked. Keep your search personal for now. Wait until later to talk to others or explore other media.

-Find a reliable translation of the Bible that you find easy to read. Bible Gateway has dozens of translations you can choose from you can read online.

-As you read don’t get stopped or discourage if you come across something you don’t understand or unbelievable. it will happen.

To Start...

Read the Gospel of John first. This is important. Like the munchkins told Dorothy, to get your destination it’s always best to start with the first brick on the road.

John was the youngest of Jesus’ Disciple. It was written around 50 A.D. John wrote this only a few decades after the crucifixion of Jesus.

“There are so many other things Jesus did. If they were all written down, each of them, one by one, I can’t imagine a world big enough to hold such a library of books.”
~John 21:25 (The Message)

Note: The Bible (Old and New Testament) was written over an 1800 year period, with a 500 year gap between Testaments by 66 authors. There are over 5,000 ancient manuscripts that confirm the reliability of the text. An ancient scroll was found near the Dead Sea in 1947 that contained the entire text of Isaiah as we have it in today’s translations.

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Old 01-26-2014, 11:37 AM   #365
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Sunday Dispatch.648

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‘If there was a God, he’d guide the winds, let them blow for me
so that, with a tug of my string, I’d cut lose my pain.”
~Khaled Hosseini

A Suggested Guide on Searching for God in a Sea of Religion

Chapter Two

For many people the biggest question about God is not whether he exists, it is about whether God is truly good. How can a loving God create a world that allows such suffering and evil?

A question people have asked all through history. It is one of the oldest questions directed to God. It’s interesting that the book of Job not only tackles this question but is also the oldest book in the Bible.

It was written between the 7th and 4th centuries B.C. Jewish scholars believe it was written in another language before being translated to Hebrew. Job was a man renowned in antiquity as being righteous. Job is even mentioned in the Quran. The book of Job, as the saying goes, is as old as dust.

Job is not an easy read. It is 42 chapters and can be quite bewildering at times. The style jumps from poetic dialogue, monologues to speeches by God.

I recommend reading the New International Version translation. It is a reliable translation. There is also the NIV Study Bible that has excellent footnotes that do help in sorting it out.

Does God answer the question? Don’t let the answer stop you from reading Job but the answer is… no.

The answer my friend as Dylan sang is blowing in the wind. The wind however is not all elusive; One can often know the direction.

~ih
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Old 02-02-2014, 05:46 AM   #366
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Sunday Dispatch. Extra

Sunday Dispatch. Extra

Sailing down my golden river
Sun and water all my own
Yet I was never alone.
Sun and water, old life-givers
I'll have them where'er I roam
And I was not far from home.

Sunlight glancing on the water
Life and death are all my own
And I was never alone.
Life to raise my sons and daughters
Golden sparkles in the foam
And I was not far from home.

Sailing down this winding highway
Travelers from near and far
Yet I was never alone.
Exploring all the little by-ways
Sighting all the distant stars
Yet I was not far from home.

~Pete Seeger
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Old 02-02-2014, 07:53 PM   #367
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But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
~Galatians 1:8

Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.
~Galatians 3:8

A Suggested Guide on Searching for God in a Sea of Religion
Chapter Three

False teachers entered the new Christian faith early. The false teachers were adding extra baggage to the Good News of Christ. To be right with God you must keep this law or that rule, you must do this or that.

It was “another gospel” and it really upset Paul. He let it show in the opening verses of his letter to the Galatians living in the Roman province of Galatia. Paul uses some very strong and shocking phrases: “let them be accursed” and those things he left behind as “dung.” Paul uses a Greek word for our English “dung” that is equivalent to the effect of the Germanic four letter word used today for animal or human excrement.

Many of these teachers were also teaching that males must be circumcised. To fulfill God’s command in the Old Testament Jewish males were circumcised eight days after birth. It was a sign that they were the Lord’s people. Eight days after birth a baby’s body is able to clot blood when cut and doing it early, although it hurt, the males did not remember it.

The requirement being taught upset male Gentiles (non-Jews) and rightly so. How many adult males today would submit to being circumcised without the use of modern day anesthesia?

Paul deals with these issues and reminds the Galatians and us that we
are reconciled by the grace of God.

The moment we try to earn it by keeping laws or doing
good deeds it is no longer grace but another gospel.
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Old 02-09-2014, 08:44 PM   #368
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That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete.

~1 John 1-3

A Suggested Guide on Finding God in a Sea of Religion
Chapter Four

The suggested reading order so far: The Gospel of John, Job and Galatians.
We now come to 1 John. It is a letter written, around 85-90 A.D., by the same writer of the Gospel of John. John was the youngest disciple of Jesus but now he was advanced in age. He addresses the readers as “children.” It is five chapters and long and was a circular letter passed to Christians in various locations.

John opens the letter by reminding us that he was one of the witnesses to Jesus. He was there. He desires that we will live a life of joy.
This is a “get back to the basics” of the faith. We should not only follow Jesus we should obey his teachings. We can’t claim to walk in the light if we hate our brother.

John encourages readers to strive to be holy. To be holy means to be "set apart." We should strive for perfection. I mean what else could God ask for? Be ye perfect half the time? Three fourths of the time? Sin means "missing the mark." We will mess up and sin. We will stumble but we ask for forgiveness and move on. We should not let the bumps in the road derail us and hinder the journey. Jesus is here with us to help. He is our best friend.

To be obedient and in this we find happiness and joy. The Christian faith at its core is a personal relationship with Jesus.

False teachers were a huge problem during the first two centuries of the church. Unfortunately they are still with us. John warns us to beware and don’t be deceived.

This is the final chapter of this brief guide. I hope you have found it helpful. I would like to end with a few suggestions for you to consider.

-The N.I.V. Study Bible is a good translation. The introductions to the books and footnote are helpful.

-After reading the four books I would go and read Matthew, Mark and Luke. It would be good to continue reading the Gospels until you have a good understanding.

-Pray (do this awhile and you will be pleasantly surprised)

-Remember what Jesus said about not bragging to others about your good deeds. Do them without boasting. God knows what you are doing.

-Read Your God is too Small by J.B. Phillips (a short book with giant message)

-Find a church to attend. Take your time and find out what the church teaches. Remember to test everything with scripture.

-Enjoy your journey. It's like getting a new set of glasses to see the world. A lot of beautiful things out there. The simplest things will become very important. Life with meaning and purpose.

- Remember the false teachers. Don't expect a life free of trouble and health and wealth 24/7. The Christian is not immune from trouble and strife but when the storms come you will be prepared.

Take care
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Old 02-16-2014, 08:08 AM   #369
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Sunday Dispatch.651

Sunday Dispatch.651

Rich Mullins & The Ragamuffin Band - "My Deliverer..." - YouTube
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Old 02-23-2014, 06:37 PM   #370
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“Jesus promised his disciples three things—that they would be completely fearless, absurdly happy, and in constant trouble.”

~G.K. Chesterton
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Old 03-02-2014, 10:08 AM   #371
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“God will invade … When that happens, it is the end of the world. When the author walks on to the stage the play is over. God is going to invade, all right, but … this time it will be God without disguise; something so overwhelming that it will strike either irresistible love or irresistible horror into every creature."

~C.S. Lewis
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Old 03-02-2014, 02:23 PM   #372
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Carman - Who's in the House - YouTube
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Old 03-09-2014, 01:16 PM   #373
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May the road rise up
To meet you.

May the wind be always
At your back.

May the sun shine warm
upon your face.

May the rain fall soft
upon your field,

And until we meet again.
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

~Celtic Blessing
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Old 03-16-2014, 05:41 PM   #374
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Sunday dispatch.655

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“God, my God, omnipotent King, I humbly adore thee. Thou art King of kings, Lord of lords. Thou art the Judge of every age. Thou art the Redeemer of souls.

Thou art the Liberator of those who believe. Thou art the Hope of those who toil. Thou art the Comforter of those in sorrow. Thou art the Way to those who wander. Thou art Master to the nations.

Thou art the Creator of all creatures. Thou art the Lover of all good. Thou art the Prince of all virtues. Thou art the joy of all Thy saints. Thou art life perpetual. Thou art joy in truth.

Thou art the exultation in the eternal fatherland. Thou art the Light of light. Thou art the Fountain of holiness. Thou art the glory of God the Father in the height.

Thou art Savior of the world.

Thou art the plenitude of the Holy Spirit. Thou sittest at the right hand of God the Father on the throne, reigning for ever.”

~ St. Patrick
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Old 03-23-2014, 07:45 PM   #375
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The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell.
~Song of Solomon 2:12-13

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.
Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.
~Psalm 19:1-4

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth... God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.
~Genesis 1:1, 31

"How many are your works, O Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number-living things both large and small.
~Psalm 104:24-25

Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
~John 1:3

Christ "is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.
~Colossians 1:15-16
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