It’s Sunday all over again.

Back in the day, which would be a couple of years ago now, I would spend Sundays on my blog sharing my thoughts about my faith. Please, don’t turn the channel yet. This particular post won’t exactly be faith sharing as one might think of it. It’s more like explaining, and that’s to Christians as well. We can all learn a little something we thought we knew already.

It’s Father’s Day here in the USA and in an article I read yesterday a celebrity of sorts was quoted as saying “It’s God first and family second.” I’ve seen and heard that phrase plenty during my years as a Christian, but when I read it this time, it occurred to me, for the first time, that many people probably misunderstand what that really means, including the Christians that say it. That brings me to my purpose for writing today.

I believe that a large majority of Christians today haven’t been taught properly about what being a Christian is, because I don’t see them being Christ like, and if you talk to them about Christianity, they can’t do what is called defending the faith. Meaning, they can’t explain why they are a Christian or why certain things are the way they are in the Bible. Even those who think they know it all continue to learn every day. And if they aren’t? They might need to be checked on by a brother or sister in Christ. No, there isn’t a Christ Cops airing on TV busting backsliding Baptists.

Christians are at various stages in their life as a Christian, ranging from Baby Christian, which is what I was at 23 when I was saved to Mature Christian, where I feel comfortable in saying I am now. Not telling you my age. But age don’t mean a thing when it comes to your walk with Christ. Here are some things any stage of a Christian’s maturity level in their walk and knowledge should think about when reading the Bible.  Or for non-believers who hear people quoting scripture to prove how evil Christians must be.

1) The Bible is a text book. More precisely, a History book. It’s not a book of fairy tales or approved by God events. If that were the case, the Bible would be a lot shorter. As with any text book, the author, God doesn’t have to, and most likely doesn’t, approve of every last fact in the Bible. God either directly told, as to Moses, what to write, or He inspired someone to write, as in the New Testament, those feelings and put them in to words that God approved of. Normally in the New Testament these are letters to either churches, mentors, or students who are helping a church.

2) The Old Testament is the history of the Jews and is included in the Bible to show us why Jesus had to come, and thus Christianity begins. That’s correct, Christians don’t follow the Old Testament. Christianity doesn’t begin until the New Testament. We don’t follow or believe in or even like the idea of the laws/rules that the Jews had to live by. There are some denominations of Christianity that do follow parts of the Old Testament, but they are in a very small minority but always seemed to get picked by media to represent all of Christianity.

3) All you really need are the words of Jesus to follow. If anything else in the New Testament disagrees with the words of Jesus then those words are incorrect and are just an opinion of whoever physically wrote those words. Usually the author will say, in some way, they are giving their own opinion.

4) If you are reading the Bible or hear a verse from scripture you need to keep these things in mind; where, when, and why (WWW). That goes for any historical text you might read.  I’ll give you an example. 1 Corinthians 14:34 Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says.” These are the words of Paul writing to the church in Corinth.

Where and When: Corinth, first century A.D.. Why is Corinth important? Because it is a Roman controlled city, under Roman law.

Why: Corinth is having problems with all sorts of members who are doing things to draw the attention of others.

Results of WWW: Roman law during this period forbade women from speaking in public gatherings and many other things. They couldn’t even own property. The house was their domain and that is where they were expected to talk and ask questions about anything from church to politics. Thus in order to keep the young Christian churches growing and spreading, it was important not to give Rome a reason to break up or give problems to a church. The use of the lowercase L in law is important here, as if Paul were referring to Jewish Law he would normally use the uppercase L, as he does earlier in the same portion of the text, not the lower which normally referred to Roman or local law.

I hope you see why the WWW is important to know when reading or interpreting something in the Bible. I’ve never really heard people outside of fellow Apologists who explain details like that. With Jews writing these letters, it is important to remember how important word selection and letter case is.

5) The Bible we have was put together by man. Man chose which letters and text to include in a unified book form. Constantine order for Bibles to be made for the Bishop of Constantinople and the churches in the area around the city. It is believed this may have been what prompted the idea of having just one version of the Bible that could be used, although some Bibles, even today, have a few extra books outside of what was finally decided upon. Some say it was divinely inspired as to what to include. Perhaps. I leave that for you to decide. I just know I stick to the words Jesus said, and I know I’m doing good. Although I still mess up in some way every day.

You are probably wondering what all of this has to do with “It’s God first and family second.” When many Christians see or say this, they really put God before the family in such a way that it interferes with family. The truth of it is, if you are following God, following Jesus, then you are not allowing what I call pollutants to contaminate your life and interfere with your relationship with your family. When you put God first you really are doing so in order to be a stronger and better person for your family. No, you won’t be perfect. No one ever will be. The whole point is for you to know that and keep trying, talk to God and ask for His help to give you strength to get through whatever might be giving you problems. Don’t confuse God and church as the same thing. I know people, like myself at one point, who thought if I am doing everything that I’m asked to do for the church then that’s what God wants me to do. But that can interfere with your family life. You can put God first everywhere you are and at any time.

It’s God, Family, then church.

Well, I hope I helped someone out there understand a little bit more about Christianity, at least how I see it. I’ve experienced a lot, learned a lot, and led a lot. I’ve fallen even more than all of those three put together. God isn’t about a building or what a preacher says to you or about a clique or club inside the church. God can’t be contained by a building. The only time God is in a church is when his followers are there to talk to Him, to worship Him, or praise Him. Because each believer/follower, has a bit of God in their heart.

I end with a New Testament verse that I live by and an Old Testament I live by that is still relevant for we Christians.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” Romans 1:16

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;” 46:10a This helped in my time of great confusion, distress, and fear. We all need to learn to be still. Pick our battles. Choose our moments. And let all the other insanity be. Do what we can, and let others do what they can, and be happy with what we have done while still living our life by living it not existing it.

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10 #Books for #Christmas #Gifts from my #Reviews this year.

Looking for a last minute present for Christmas?

Want a great book?

Need a gift to put you into that FREE Shipping range?

Here are my suggestions from my reviews this year. Click the links for the reviews. Or click the book image to go to Amazon.

10 Book Ideas for Christmas

Dancing to an Irish Reel by Claire FullertonLiterary Fiction, Ireland, Contemporary

#Book Review of Dancing to an Irish Reel by @cfullerton3

“You might at times want to hit Liam over the head with something, like his accordion, but then, he is a man, it’s love, and he’s young, so what else would you expect? And that is one thing that makes this book real and allows the reader to connect with it. No one is perfect in the book. “

The Judas Apocalypse by Dan McNeilHistorical Fiction, Adventure, Archaeology, WWII

The Judas Apocalypse by @DanMcNeil888 “At times his encounters are humorous, deadly, and explosive.”

“He’s been referred to as the new Dan on the block of historical fiction conspiracy theories. I don’t agree. Dan McNeil handles his subject with a better hand than Brown ever has. Yeah, sure, you want to knock him across the room at times but who doesn’t want to read something that gets them on an emotional level at times? If you want a fluff read, skip this review. McNeil isn’t about fluff.”

Sex and Samosas book cover by Author Jasmine AzizMarriage, Relationships, Humor, Self Discovery

#Book Review by @RonovanWrites of Sex & Samosas by Author @JasmineAziz

“Nothing is perfect. Sex isn’t perfect like a scripted movie. Things happen, and man, I am still dying over the what I call ‘on fire’ part of the book.”

Jesus vs. Santa: Christmas Misunderstood by Jason E. RoyleChristian, Inspiration, and Parenting.

Jesus vs. Santa: Christmas Misunderstood by @JERoyle #Book Review by @RonovanWrites

“You’ll learn where the answer to how we handle the issue of Santa with our kids begins. A great deal of what you find in Jesus vs. Santa you can use in everyday life with not only your children, but yourself as well.”

jason royle

Judas: Hero Misunderstood by @JERoyle

“The style he chose to use is contemporary in the use of language and symbolism in order for anyone today to relate and connect to the story. Unlike many other takes that are similar to what Royle has done you don’t get a preachy style. At the very end, after the story is all done and over with, you receive a look at passages from the Bible to show you what may or may not bring credence to what Royle has written.”

alesha escobarFantasy, Vampires, WWII, Magic, Wizards, Adult

#Book #Review of The Tower’s Alchemist The Gray Tower Trilogy Book 1 by Alesha Escobar @The_GrayTower

“Isabella George is not your typical spy. For one she’s a female spy in WWII sneaking in to German occupied France. Yes, there were female spies but not the norm in literature of this type. And for another thing, she’s a wizard. Her mission in this first book of the Gray Tower Trilogy is to find and bring home the wizard creating a chemical weapon for the Nazis. But would it be a book worth a Trilogy if it were that simple?”

Levant Mirage by Oliver F. ChaseAction, Adventure, Terroists

Levant Mirage by @OliverFChase “It’s so possible, it’s scary.” #Book Review

“Levant Mirage takes snapshots from the headlines of the past few years to build a character and combines it with frighteningly realistic possibilities to give a story you pray never happens.”

Close Up on Murder by Linda TownsdinMystery, Suspense

Close Up on Murder by Linda Townsdin @ltownsdin. A #BookReview.

“Levant Mirage takes snapshots from the headlines of the past few years to build a character and combines it with frighteningly realistic possibilities to give a story you pray never happens.”

ali isaac jane doughertyIrish Mythology, Folklore, Short Story Collection

#BookWorm @RonovanWrites Review Grá mo Chroí Love Stories from Irish Myth @aliisaac_ & @MJDougherty33

“The stories are of love and tragedy and more. I felt while reading the stories I was reading not about people in a book, or about love between two people and what befalls them but the love of a people for their homeland and their culture and the tragedies they faced throughout the ages. Yes, it hit me where it hurt, or it felt. Got me in the heart. “

A Haiku Perspective by Annette Rochelle AbenPoetry, Haiku

New Book! A Haiku Perspective by Annette Rochelle Aben @YouAreTheExpert

“Welcome to my haiku perspective on life. It is easy to enjoy this book because haiku flows, which means it can be experienced effortlessly. Perhaps reading this book will open up some creative energy within you and if so, you will share your haiku as well. Those who live to express themselves with words, craft a world using the alphabet, are giving life to imagination and thought.”

© Copyright-All rights reserved by litworldinterviews.com 2015

A Cry For Help Ignored.

Christian Flash Weekly Event #40 From Christian Weekly.

A Flash Fiction Challenge.

Prompt and Word Limits for Event #40
Length: 1-150 words
Prompt: John 11:35 (KJV)
Jesus wept.

“I’m so confused,” Charlie said.

“Sup, man?” I asked.

“Dude, I just don’t know anymore. Parents have been dogging me about everything. I don’t think I can take it much longer.” His hands kept clenching and unclenching.

“Not a problem, man. You know all parents are like that. They just trying to get to you. Maybe trying to help too, in their own weird way,” I said. I laughed a little, hoping to lighten the mood.

“It ain’t funny. You know I ain’t going to put up with it much longer. I can’t take it. I gotta do something.”

I knew he wasn’t joking. “Dude, just chill til tomorrow. I gotta go now, but text me later, okay?”

“Sure, man. Yeah.”

In the car Mom could tell I was upset. “What’s wrong Jeremy?”

“Nothing, Mom.”

“We have to be at church early before Youth Group tonight, so we’re going to just run through somewhere for fast food, okay?”

“Sure, Mom.”

Jesus wept.

 

As a former youth pastor I tried so hard to show my kids how to reach out to others, how to share their faith, how to talk to people, how to simply invite someone to the Youth Group on Wednesdays to have some fun and ease into church. It was a frustrating time. We even went out and visited people in the hopes of making a connection. But it was difficult when the Youth didn’t know where their friends lived. But we still tried. Tuesdays we would load up the van and go visiting and Wednesdays we would gather for our studies and activities.

It wasn’t just about more kids in church that was my biggest concern. It was about helping them. I knew there were dozens, hundreds of kids out there needing help. But with a church body that wasn’t as a whole as concerned about young people, the lack of empathy was absorbed by the youth themselves. Yes, there are many who care but too many that don’t.

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