Vote For Randy

Filed in PersonalTags: Friends, Kalamazoo, Music

My friend Randy, from my days in Kalamazoo, is a musician in Nashville. He entered a radio station contest, and needs your votes! So, go listen, and Vote For Randy!

OYB December 13

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Obadiah 1
NT: Revelation 4
Ps: Psalm 132
Pr: Proverbs 29:24-25

Today´s notable verse:

Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.

Proverbs 29:25 (NIV)

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

She’s Moving!

Filed in PersonalTags: Family, Fatherhood

Today both Steph and I experienced a major milestone: earlier in the day, for the first time she knew definitively that she felt the baby move! And this evening, while she was telling me about it, I felt her move, too! Soon, she will be able to hear and recognize my voice... hard to believe that we are already half way through the pregnancy, and that in four and a half months, we will be holding our daughter!

OYB December 12

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Amos 7-9
NT: Revelation 3:7-22
Ps: Psalm 131
Pr: Proverbs 29:23

Today´s notable verse:

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.

Revelation 3:20 (NIV)

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

OYB December 11

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Amos 4-6
NT: Revelation 2:18-29, Revelation 3:1-6
Ps: Psalm 130
Pr: Proverbs 29:21-22

Today´s notable verse:

3 If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? 4 But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared.

Psalm 130:3-4 (NIV)

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

OYB December 10

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Amos 1-3
NT: Revelation 2:1-17
Ps: Psalm 129
Pr: Proverbs 29:19-20

Today´s notable verses:

Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.

Amos 3:7 (NIV)

You know, it is pretty amazing to think that God actually would do nothing without revealing His plan to his servants the prophets. First, to know that we serve a God who is still actively involved with His creation, and second, to know that He reveals the plans of that involvement - these thoughts are almost beyond imagination.

But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

Revelation 2:6 (NIV)

I never took the time to consider who the Nicolaitans were, nor why their practices were so detestable to God. In the second chapter of Revelation, we see that the church of Ephesus hated the practices of the Nicolaitans, while some from the church of Pergamum followed them. One interpretation - and one which I am inclined to accept - is that the word translated "Nicolaitan" is a contraction of three Greek words: Nikos, Laos, and Ton: Nikos-Laoston. The first part, Nikos, means "conquest; victory; triumph; the conquered; and by implication, dominancy over the defeated", and the second part, Laoston, means "the laity" - the latter part being a a contraction of Laos and Ton. The author concludes (emphasis in original):

Therefore, we have, without the legal Greek construction, the English hyphenated word Nickos-laoston, but which, with its lawful elisions and contractions, becomes the English name: Nicolaitanes, the full meaning of which, in its native tongue and in its ecclesiastical setting, is that the bishops and prelates of the Church have gained a triumphal victory or conquest over the laiton -- the laity -- until they have been compelled to submit to the arbitrary dominion of men who have become that thing which God hates: "Lords over God's heritage."

Others agree here and here, though the Roman Catholic church refers to the Nicolaitanes only as "a sect", and others believe the Nicolaitanes to refer primarily to a Gnostic/antinomian heresy. However, the connection between the name "Nicolaitan" and an early deacon, Nicolas - and further, the connection between this Nicolas and Gnostic/antinomian heresy - is unproven. Thus, I am likely to accept the former definition of abusing church hierarchy to lord over the "laity".

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today, which include this question from Revelation 2:

Verse 17 is intriguing! "Everyone who is victorious will eat of the manna that has been hidden away in heaven. And I will give to each one a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one knows except the one who receives it." The second sentence is very intriguing to me - a white stone will be given with a new name upon it. I need to do some more research on what exactly this means. If anyone has thoughts on the white stone / new name, please post up in the comments below.

I found this reference, which theorizes that the "white stone" could refer to either the practice of ancient courts giving a black or white stone to a convicted or an acquitted defendant, respectively; or to the practice of the ancient olympics awarding victors a white stone. The former symbolizes our unearned acquittal through God's grace, and the latter symbolizes our hope for future reward in heaven for faithfully serving our Lord. This reference adds to these two also the theory that the "white stone" refers to another ancient practice of using white and black stones to cast votes in elections, with the white stone being acceptance, or a "yes" vote; and also the ancient practice of a host offering to a house guest a "white stone" that conferred upon the guest all the rights of the host in the host's home.

OYB December 9

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Joel 1
NT: Revelation 1
Ps: Psalm 128
Pr: Proverbs 29:18

Today´s notable verse:

Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways.

Psalm 128:1 (NIV)

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

OYB December 8

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Hosea 10-14
NT: Jude 1
Ps: Psalm 127
Pr: Proverbs 29:15-17

Today´s notable verses:

5 I will be like the dew to Israel; he will blossom like a lily. Like a cedar of Lebanon he will send down his roots;
6 his young shoots will grow. His splendor will be like an olive tree, his fragrance like a cedar of Lebanon.

Hosea 14:5-6 (NIV)

Interesting that this reading should come this week! We found out that we are going to have a girl, and have been discussing names. It is very important to me that we give our children names with significant meanings, so that we are speaking something positive into them every time we call them by name. In my search of name meanings I came across two that appear in this passage: Lilian and Olivia. Lilian is derived from the lily, which is used as biblical symbolism for purity and resurrection, and also in this Hosea passage as symbolism for God's grace. Olivia is derived from the olive or olive tree, which is used as biblical symbolism for beauty, prosperity, and religious privilege.

But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.

Jude 20 (NIV)

A great reminder to rely upon the strength and working of the Holy Spirit in our lives, and that building ourselves up in faith is an active, purposeful endeavor.

3 Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him.
4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth.
5 Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.

Psalm 127:3-5 (NIV)

I remember reading these verses six months ago, and wondering when God would give me this greatest of blessings - and now, here we are, a short four and a half months away from the birth of our first, blessed, baby girl! God is amazing, isn't He!

15 The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother.
17 Discipline your son, and he will give you peace; he will bring delight to your soul.

Proverbs 29:15-17 (NIV)

I eagerly look forward to the wonderful relationship I will share with my daughter. I saw her face in our first 4-D ultrasound, and I knew then that I was already in trouble. That said, I know that raising her is a huge responsibility, and that to love her, I must discipline her and raise her to be a responsible woman who loves and serves the Lord. These verses are a great reminder of that responsibility.

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

OYB December 7

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Hosea 6-9
NT: III John 1
Ps: Psalm 126
Pr: Proverbs 29:12-14

Today´s notable verse:

Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God.

III John 1:11 (NIV)

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

OYB December 6

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Hosea 4-5
NT: II John 1
Ps: Psalm 125
Pr: Proverbs 29:9-11

Today´s notable verse:

A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.

Proverbs 29:11 (NIV)

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.