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Old 02-28-2016, 11:00 AM   #481
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Sunday Dispatch.754

Sunday Dispatch.754

The birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus means that one day everything sad will come untrue....

~ J. R. R. Tolkien
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Old 03-06-2016, 11:00 AM   #482
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Sunday Dispatch.755

Dear friend who loves God:

Several biographies of Christ have already been written using as their source material the reports circulating among us from the early disciples and other eyewitnesses. However, it occurred to me that it would be well to recheck all these accounts from first to last and after thorough investigation to pass this summary on to you, to reassure you of the truth of all you were taught.

~ Luke 1:1-2 (The Living Bible)
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Old 03-13-2016, 02:45 PM   #483
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Sunday Dispatch.756

King of the universe
Creator of the earth
galaxies and stars
to our Father above
our Redeemer
we pray
we give thanks for life now and life eternal

Lord grant us courage and strength as we face this day
and the days to come
Lord forgive us our sins
You know our thoughts
our sighings
our cryings
our weakness in body and spirit

You Lord are the greatest physician
You heal
You protect
You care
You love
You are kind
You are our light and salvation

In Jesus’ name we pray
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Old 03-20-2016, 09:58 AM   #484
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Sunday Dispatch.757

“You don’t have to wait for the End. I am, right now, Resurrection and Life. The one who believes in me, even though he or she dies, will live. And everyone who lives believing in me does not ultimately die at all. Do you believe this?”

~ John 11:25 (The Message)
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Old 03-27-2016, 06:11 PM   #485
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Sunday Dispatch.758

Sunday Dispatch.758

“Jesus Christ is God in human flesh, and the story of His life, death, and resurrection is the only Good News the world will ever hear.”

~ Billy Graham
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Old 04-03-2016, 10:32 AM   #486
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Sunday Dispatch.759

Sunday Dispatch.759

“It now seems to me that the findings of more than fifty years of DNA research have provided materials for a new and enormously powerful argument to design.”


“I now believe there is a God…I now think it [the evidence] does point to a creative Intelligence almost entirely because of the DNA investigations. What I think the DNA material has done is that it has shown, by the almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which are needed to produce life, that intelligence must have been involved in getting these extraordinarily diverse elements to work together.”

“…we have all the evidence we need in our immediate experience and that only a deliberate refusal to “look” is responsible for atheism of any variety.”


~ Antony Flew (‘There is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind.’)
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Old 04-10-2016, 12:13 PM   #487
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Sunday Dispatch.760

Selected from an interview with Paul Kent about his book, The Real Force: A Forty Day Devotional ~ from Bible Gateway

Why do you think Star Wars and its themes of good and evil resonate with audiences so well?

Paul Kent: “Good and evil” is the world we live in. We see it every day and everyone—most people, at least—hope to see the “good” win. The first six Star Wars movies are really a story of redemption, starting with Anakin Skywalker’s seduction and fall to become Darth Vader, continuing through his restoration at the end of Return of the Jedi. I think that’s what most people want to see—evil defeated and people made good.

How did you find familiarity between those stories about a “galaxy far far away” and the Bible?

Paul Kent: A lot of people these days are talking about the Bible as a story. There is a big “story arc” in Scripture, starting with the Creation and then the fall of humanity, with God’s plan to redeem people through Jesus, taking us all the way to new heavens and a new earth. I think any good story—like Star Wars—will have parallels to God’s big, overall story of life. When I watch the films, I see characters and events and themes that remind me of characters and events and themes in the Bible. There are heroes who do great things, even though they’re not always perfect; very much like many Bible characters. There are villains who do terrible things, even though—like the Bible says—our battle isn’t against flesh and blood, but against spiritual powers like that “dark side” of the Force. The analogies aren’t always exact, but there are plenty of similarities to draw biblical points from.

Why do you think there are so many similarities in Star Wars to popular themes and stories in the Bible?

Paul Kent: As I mention in the book, I want to be careful not to imply that the Star Wars movies are “Christian films.” They aren’t coming from a specifically biblical point of view. But, having said that, I believe all great stories will have parallels to the ultimate “story of life” that we see in the Bible. There’s an ongoing battle between good and evil. We have people in need and a great hero to fight for us. There are victories and defeats along the way, but in the end—with both the Bible and the Star Wars series—good wins. Those are the big themes, and individual scenes and characters fall within them.

With Star Wars such a phenomenon, do you hope to inspire some fans who may not be as familiar with the Bible?

Paul Kent: Definitely. One of my goals in writing is to spur people’s interest in the Bible. And I think when we start with something that people already know and love—like the Star Wars films—and then bring up some interesting biblical parallels, it may cause people to say, “Hey, I’d like to know more about what’s in the Bible.” That’s certainly my hope.


Bio: Paul Kent has coauthored, contributed to, or authored many books, including Know Your Bible, Bible Curiosities: An Illustrated Guide to the Mysterious, Odd & Shocking Stories of Scripture, and The Complete People and Places of the Bible: A Concise Guide to Every Named Person and Location in Scripture. His goal is to spur interest in the Bible for readers of all ages and backgrounds.
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Old 04-17-2016, 12:16 PM   #488
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Sunday Dispatch.761

The Message that points to Christ on the Cross seems like sheer silliness to those hellbent on destruction, but for those on the way of salvation it makes perfect sense. This is the way God works, and most powerfully as it turns out. It’s written,

I’ll turn conventional wisdom on its head,
I’ll expose so-called experts as crackpots.

So where can you find someone truly wise, truly educated, truly intelligent in this day and age? Hasn’t God exposed it all as pretentious nonsense? Since the world in all its fancy wisdom never had a clue when it came to knowing God, God in his wisdom took delight in using what the world considered dumb—preaching, of all things!—to bring those who trust him into the way of salvation.

~ 1 Corinthians 1:18-21 (The Message)
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Old 04-24-2016, 06:07 PM   #489
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Sunday Dispatch.762

Sunday Dispatch.762


"I venture only where God send."

~ Harriet Tubmam
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Old 05-01-2016, 09:31 AM   #490
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Sunday Dispatch.763

Sunday Dispatch.763

When U2 musician Bono reads the Psalms, a book of the Bible filled with ancient hymns, he sees the full range of human emotions: anger, irritation, sadness, bliss. While the Psalms have been a source of spiritual inspiration for him throughout his life, Bono has much harsher words for contemporary Christian music.

Modern Christian worship music has often been critiqued for its mediocrity — the repetition of the same four chords, the same set of reliably inspirational words, and theological jargon that leaves outsiders bewildered.
Bono, who has become more outspoken about his Christian faith in recent years, is advocating for a return to the raw and honest emotion of the Psalms.

“The psalmist is brutally honest about the explosive joy that he’s feeling and the deep sorrow or confusion,” the singer said in Fuller Studio‘s newly released documentary “The Psalms.” “And I often think, ‘Gosh, well, why isn’t church music more like that?’”

The singer’s comments in the film were part of a wide-ranging conversation he had with Eugene Peterson, a pastor and scholar who is best known for “The Message,” a translation of the Bible into contemporary language. The film documents the friendship between the unlikely pair, who were drawn together by their common interest in this ancient book of the Bible.

Peterson talked about how his translation of the Psalms are as close as he could get to the original meaning of the text.

“It’s not smooth, it’s not nice, it’s not pretty, but it’s honest,” Peterson said. “I think we’re trying for honesty, which is very, very hard in our culture.”

~ Huffington Post
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Old 05-08-2016, 12:41 PM   #491
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Sunday Dispatch.764

So don’t put up with anyone pressuring you in details of diet, worship services, or holy days. All those things are mere shadows cast before what was to come; the substance is Christ.

Don’t tolerate people who try to run your life, ordering you to bow and scrape, insisting that you join their obsession with angels and that you seek out visions. They’re a lot of hot air, that’s all they are. They’re completely out of touch with the source of life, Christ, who puts us together in one piece, whose very breath and blood flow through us. He is the Head and we are the body. We can grow up healthy in God only as he nourishes us.

So, then, if with Christ you’ve put all that pretentious and infantile religion behind you, why do you let yourselves be bullied by it? “Don’t touch this! Don’t taste that! Don’t go near this!” Do you think things that are here today and gone tomorrow are worth that kind of attention? Such things sound impressive if said in a deep enough voice. They even give the illusion of being pious and humble and ascetic. But they’re just another way of showing off, making yourselves look important.

~ Colossians 2: 8-10, 16-23 (The Message)
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Old 05-15-2016, 08:10 AM   #492
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Sunday Dispatch.765

Sunday Dispatch.765

“It is a world of magic and mystery, of deep darkness and flickering starlight. It is a world where terrible things happen and wonderful things too. It is a world where goodness is pitted against evil, love against hate, order against chaos, in a great struggle where often it is hard to be sure who belongs to which side because appearances are endlessly deceptive. Yet for all its confusion and wildness, it is a world where the battle goes ultimately to the good, who live happily ever after, and where in the long run everybody, good and evil alike, becomes known by his true name . . . That is the fairy tale of the Gospel with, of course, one crucial difference from all other fairy tales, which is that the claim made for it is that it is true, that it not only happened once upon a time but has kept on happening ever since and is happening still."

~ Frederick Buechner
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Old 05-17-2016, 06:24 PM   #493
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Originally Posted by the iron horse View Post
Yet for all its confusion and wildness, it is a world where the battle goes ultimately to the good, who live happily ever after, and where in the long run everybody, good and evil alike, becomes known by his true name . . .
i wonder what it's like to live so detached from reality
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Old 05-17-2016, 09:29 PM   #494
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Rude and unnecessary.
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Old 05-18-2016, 11:31 AM   #495
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it's rude to point out that the idea of good always winning and people living happily ever after is not based in reality?


and anyways i wasn't saying that to iron horse, i was commenting about frederick buchner, whoever that is.
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Old 05-22-2016, 11:49 AM   #496
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Sunday Dispatch.766

Sunday Dispatch.766

And if my thought dreams could be seen
They'd probably put my head in a guillotine

~ Bob Dylan


I would not want all my bad dreams and thoughts revealed to others, would you? We all have bad thoughts. We all make wrong choices. We all say and do stupid things. We are a flawed people. We are nowhere near perfect.

Not to say we do not try to do the right thing or try to control our thoughts, we do try but the truth is we still miss the mark of perfection. Even a young child will lie to parents. We do not have to be taught to lie or be selfish, it is the result of our flawed condition.

We were made in the image of God but our image has been broken by sin. Sin is missing the target of perfection.
Sin is a problem in our lives. It is also a problem for God. Why? Because God is perfect. God is holy.

God’s response to sin is not emotional, it is conditional. It is in his nature. Consider our response to fire. When our hand touches a hot iron, it is in our condition (our makeup) to instantly repeal from the heat.

This is why sin must be judged and removed from God’s presence for us to be reconciled to God.
We are indeed in a mess with ourselves and with God but there is good news.

This good news is the central message in the scriptures reveals to us the beautiful plan of God to forever fix this problem. Because God’s condition requires judgement a sacrifice had to be done. All through the scriptures God reveals that a sacrifice must be without flaws. It must be perfect. Since we are not perfect, God set his plan in motion.

The fix was God coming to earth as a human being. He lived a perfect life. He never sinned and because he was sinless he could take the judgement for us. He took our punishment. I don’t think we can even imagine what he experience in those few hours on the cross. I read one person describe it as three hours of eternity. God’s laying down his life for his friends.

After his death on the cross, he came back alive for eternity. By being human he is forever linked to us. He knows who we are as humans.

If we accept this plan, we appear in God’s presence as perfect. We are made sinless in his eyes. This does not mean that we no longer sin. The scriptures say we are a fool if we claim to be without sin but we are to confess our sins (acknowledge them) and repent.

Don’t get tripped up by the word repent. Repentance simply means to turn, it is the activity of reviewing one's actions and feeling contrition or regret for past wrongs. It is an action of our hearts.

And then we move onward towards God. We will continue to make mistakes, to be imperfect, to miss the mark but we are no longer haunted by our imperfects, we know that God has and will take care of us and our future is settled. The Kingdom of God is a Party and we will be there. This is the good news.

We can be at peace because we know God has set things right. We are in a relationship not a religion or system that enslaves us.

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

~ Matthew 11:30 (The Message )


Paul expresses this well in Romans 3.


Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ.

Romans 3:23-24 (The Message)
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Old 05-29-2016, 04:26 PM   #497
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And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free!

~ John 8:32
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Old 06-05-2016, 11:30 AM   #498
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Sunday Dispatch.768

Sunday Dispatch.768

We do not draw people to Christ by loudly discrediting what they believe, by telling them how wrong they are and how right we are, but by showing them a light that is so lovely that they want with all their hearts to know the source of it.

~ Madeleine L'Engle
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Old 06-12-2016, 11:24 AM   #499
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Sunday Dispatch.769

Has the biblical text been corrupted over the centuries?

Jonathan Morrow: One of the most common objections today is that the Bible has been changed and corrupted over the centuries. Often the “Telephone game” played in elementary schools is used as an illustration of how the copies of copies of copies of copies (you get the idea) have been changed and the message garbled over the years. This is not a good illustration because that is not how the biblical text has come down to us.

To see why, let’s briefly look at the New Testament. There was an intentional process of transmission in place and people cared about getting these texts right because eternal matters were literally at stake. When it comes to recovering the text of the New Testament, we need to ask the right questions:

- How many manuscripts do we have to work with?
- How early are the manuscripts we have to work with?
- How important are the textual variants between these manuscripts?

When we examine these questions, the New Testament is by far the best-attested work of Greek or Latin literature in the ancient world—it’s not even close! I go into much more detail in my chapter in Questioning the Bible, but the bottom line is that we have a lot of manuscripts to work with; we have early manuscripts to work with, and none of the differences between the existing manuscripts affect any central teaching or practice in the Christian faith. You can trust that what was written in the first century is essentially what we have today.

~ Selected from Bible Gateway interview of Jonathan Morrow about his book, Questioning the Bible: 11 Major Challenges to the Bible’s Authority
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Old 06-19-2016, 10:10 AM   #500
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Father! — to God himself we cannot give a holier name.

~William Wordsworth
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