I <3 the emoji Bible

About a year ago, I started tinkering with the idea to create an emoji/text abbreviation Bible.  Basically I wanted to make something that would be easily translatable to text messaging, social media, and would speak to the digital generation. screen-shot-2016-05-24-at-17-33-02-504x396I wish I would have jumped on the idea because they have now created the emoji Bible. Here is my disclaimer: I have not had the chance to preview it, but the way it has been described and the samples I have seen they have taken the KJV, the old Standard of Bibles, the Authorized translation of most denominations and added emoji and abbreviated texting to represent the words.

It is really an interesting concept and I really love the idea. Nevertheless, there are many Christians calling this effort to reach the digital age heretical. Some of the comments stated that it was dumbing down the word of God and that the Holy Spirit is supposed to be the only thing we need to understand God’s word. My answer to this, then we need to get rid of the English, Spanish, and other translations and every one buy a Hebrew and Greek Bible and allow the Holy Spirit to help us understand it. Everyone knows that sounds stupid, but it makes as much since as this argument.

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The second argument is that we are taking sacred things and making them secular. Sadly, that is a pharisee or Old Testament way of thinking. Jesus went to the lowest of the low and ministered to them in a way they would understand. He told parables and gave insight into the word of God that everyday people were unable to grasp. He dumbed it down for the people and they understood and accepted him.

Another argument was, how is this different than taking the Bible and creating a Gay Bible that supports Homosexuality. Again this has no merit. The Gay Bible is promoting a sin, but an emoji Bible is not promoting anything. It is offering a translation that help common people understand. Much like the work of Martin Luther when he made the first German Bible in the language of the common people or when William Tyndale made an early English translation that predates KJV.

Basically, Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23:

19 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

So what do you think about this?

Memorial Day?

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Last week was Memorial Day. Normally, I would have done a post for Memorial Day; however, with the insanity that has been going on in the nation regarding the treatment of veterans I really did not know what to write. I am deplored at the way the nation is treating our military personnel.

The individuals who put their lives on the line everyday are under paid and under funded. While bureaucrats and politicians sit in their posh mansions making politically correct, unneeded legislation and spending millions of dollars preparing for their next run for office, our soldiers live in unthinkable conditions away from their families. They sacrifice so much and then return home to be treated badly by the people that they fight so hard to protect.

I am really sad to think about the lack of respect that we have for our military/arm forces. We have the chance to meet their needs and show them the respect they deserve and instead we give the funding and support to illegal aliens and refugees.

Memorial day is a day that celebrate the memory of those who have given their lives for the cause of freedom. Instead this year people all over the nation are declaring war on our military. There are people choosing to exercise their freedom of speech by belittling those who have served. They choose to tear down people who put their lives on the line and worked to provide the very freedom they are abusing.

Alas I am at a loss for words. We need to honor the lives and sacrifices of the men and women who said they would risk it all for the sake of our freedom. Let us stop and look deep inside. Let us put away our ignorance and show respect to those who deserve it. Let us begin to see the truth before it is too late.

Military Holidays

Working as a Pastor we have always celebrated holidays in church. I put together videos for Memorial Day, Independence Day, Veteran’s Day, etc. I always wondered why we celebrated each of these holidays in the same way. So many people celebrate their veterans on memorial day, the active soldiers on veterans day, and those who lost their lives on both. Interestingly, there are separate holidays to celebrate each different group of military personnel.

On the final Monday in the month of May we celebrate a holiday referred to as Memorial Day. It is a time to celebrate the memory of those fallen. Individuals who were in the military but are no longer with us. For most people this would only include those lost in battle. For me I include veterans who have now passed on.

On November 11 we celebrate Veteran’s Day. This day acknowledges those who were at one time in the military but are no longer. They may have retired from full time service or were discharged when their time was up, either way, they served, but are no longer in the service.

The final day is the one most people miss. It falls on the 3rd Saturday in May and is at the end of Armed Forces Week. Armed Forces Day recognizes individuals who are in the Armed Forces.

Next time you decide to celebrate a military holiday, make sure you know which one you are celebrating. And if you forget then honor all three just in case.

Blahging

I stink as a blogger. I would like to say I get up and blog every day. I lay our words of encouragement and tell people what God has laid upon my heart. But I suck at it. Namely, I choose to play angry birds or solitaire on my phone instead. I choose to watch TV. In a way I choose to waste time on menial things that have no real consequence in the world. I choose to avoid things that would actually make a difference in the lives of others.

It makes me wonder what it takes to be a successful blogger. Someone who blogs all the time. I always have something on my mind, but taking the time to get it down is the hard part. We will see how it goes.

Night before easter

Tonight is the night before Easter. The night before the glorious resurrection. In just a few hours, we will celebrate the risen Christ, the coming of new life and the victory over death.
But think with me for a minute. Tonight I can’t help but wonder about the disciples, the followers. Those who had given their all. Those who set aside jobs and families and notoriety to follow this man from Galilee. To trudge after this teacher from Nazareth. Most thought he would bring a revolution and free his people. They thought his kingdom was about to rise up. Even though he warned them for months and even years that his kingdom was not of this world, they still expected him to grant them freedom.
Now it is Saturday night. He has been dead for over 24 hours. He could have called angels to free him, but he didn’t. He had the chance to rise up in glory and demonstrate the sum of his power but he chose not to. Now they sit alone in a darkened upper room, waiting. Every sound could be the government coming for them. Worst of all, they had all scattered like sheep.
They were filled with fear and regret. They were filled with anxiety, not knowing what would happen next.
So many times we find our selves in the same place. We lay looking up at the darkened ceiling, wondering why things have happened. Why didn’t he do something different? Why did the report have to say cancer? Why did the child have to make friends with the wrong crowd? Why did the car breakdown? Why did the accident have to happen?
We live in Saturday night but never realize that tomorrow, Sunday, is on the way. We can get so caught up in the misery of now not noticing that tomorrow is coming.
Saturday night was the darkest night in history. They thought the crucifixion was bad. But now he was still in the tomb. It was the time of greatest doubt. Sadly even those closest to him never understood his words. The Bible seems to indicate that no one was really watching and waiting for him to rise. The women were going to prepare the body. When he did rise they were in shock. Mary Magdalena saw Jesus in the garden and could not recognize him. Instead she thought the Romans had moved his body.
Nevertheless, Jesus revealed himself to them. He proved that everything he said was true. When we are caught is the darkness of Saturday night, just remember Sunday is just a few house away.

Focused on Heaven

Today I heard Levi Lusko on the radio today. He said that when a Christian truly realizes that he or she is a pilgrim the Christian will start reacting differently. No believers will say, “You are different know.”

Lukewarm Christians will say, “Back down you are too fanatical.”

Then he went on the compliment this mindset of being a pilgrim and looking to heaven. The little that I know about Lusko I do not think he is saying that we need to take out focus off of the earth to focus solely on Heaven but hearing his message made me wonder what many Christians would think. I really feel like many Christians will hear his message and feel like they should focus so much on heaven that they are not relevant and reliable to reach the world.

If God wanted all of our focus to be on Heaven, he would have zapped us to heaven when we got saved. Nevertheless, God left us here to work as his hands and feet. We are called to be witnesses. We are called to fulfill the role of Christ in the world. Don’t ever let yourself be conned into believing the seduction that you are supposed to set tunnel vision on heaven, and miss the work Christ needs us to do here.

Why does LGBT hate Church?

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Far too many people get really upset when LGBT fight against the church. They argue and criticize the church. They try to push the church to accept their way of life as normal and get angry when anyone questions it. Why do they treat the church so poorly? We are only trying to promote the Good News of Jesus Christ, Right.

Sadly, the church has been done more to promote hate than it does to promote love. We try to say, “We love all people. We hate all sin, but we can still love the people.” We stand in our pulpits and sit in our choir lofts under the guise of understanding. Sadly, we never acknowledge that we are still filled with hostility. We secretly point fingers and talk under our breath.

We are dehumanizing people. We are negating their needs to be acceptance. How can we show love for people who we don’t recognize the individual is seeking the same things that we are seeking.

There has to be a way that we can show the love of Christ with out being judgmental. What do you think we need to do?

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