December 9, 2015

Caelub’s Dedication

IMG_0239On November 29th, 2015, we had a Dedication service for our 2nd child Caelub. We celebrated it at our new place of worship Grace Bible Church.  We invited our closest friends to be there with us and to support us. The Solomon family were there as Caelub’s God Parents as well.

To break down a few things, our view on God Parents is more practical. We are close with the Solomon’s and thus have made them God Parents, to help be the representation of Christ to our children, not in a sense of ‘if we die’ they take over(for clarification). Heather and I are also God Parents to their last child, Ava Marie, as well and they view this blessing the same.

Speaking with our Pastor, David Dunn, we wanted an infant Baptism, but he firmly said,”No, there is no precedent biblically speaking for infant Baptism.”  I never really thought about it that way, just thought of it as ‘normal’, but we accepted this and asked for a dedication then for Caelub in which we brought him forth before our congregation, along with the Solomon’s, and he said a prayer blessing over us focused on Caelub. We were grateful for this blessing and prayer.

It is funny how tradition in “The Church” sometimes gets confused with scripture/truth.  Baptism is a personal decision and is only needed to be made once in life(I know folks that have done this multiple times) but is not required for salvation(Man on the cross next to Jesus at the crucifixion). I know this. It is also a personal decision to be made once your ‘of age’ as well. Thus, the zero precedent in scripture for infant baptism, even though many churches do this. My Pastor is a hardcore, Bible believing brother and taught us something that I never really gave much thought to. I am glad we spoke about this and am glad that at least we were able to do a beautiful dedication for Caelub to the Lord for that purpose.

We invited all our friends, whom we consider family, over to our home for lasagna and salad afterwards and had our Pastor and his wife over as well. It was a beautiful day and a splendid memory that we will not soon forget.

Love you my son, Caelub.

Of course, I must include scripture here for reference:

One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism – Ephesians 4:5

Luke 23:39-43 Man on the Cross – Baptism not required for salvation

*Now I dedicate him to the Lord. From this time on he is dedicated to the Lord, then they worshiped the Lord there – 1 Samuel 1:28

November 20, 2015

Gettysburg Address

abraham-lincoln-quotes

I thought it profound to read the President Lincoln speech. It is very short, yet profound. Concise and encapsulating. It takes your breath away. One of the best writings to have been spoken since the origin of America’s birth. Read it for yourself:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Abraham Lincoln

November 19, 1863

November 10, 2015

Feeling Alone?

hebrews 13_5

To start off a blog post with Scripture on this topic is very appropriate.  In my experience and knowledge and ingestion of society today, I have found that the feeling of Aloneness or being Alone is a dreadful thought.  What society has deemed moving forward with technology seems to have placed our eyes behind a computer or iPad or smart phone.  While this has improved our lives in many ways, it seems to have separated us from others and from conversation with people.  The physical act of communication ‘in person’ is becoming an almost lost art.  The emoji’s,texting and Instant Message has also made us less verbal and communicative and reduced our spelling capabilities.

My point for the above paragraph is to point out that technology has made us more alone rather than more connected to others. I feel that because of our mobile devices, we have less interaction with other human beings and thus ‘feel’ more alone even though we are more ‘connected’ than ever to the outside world.

“Do not forsake the assembling of each other together” Hebrews 10:25 

This scripture above written almost 2k years ago is extremely meaningful today than it ever was.  We are to meet as a body of believers and sing hymns, have fellowship and listen to sermons together, not behind a TV or a mobile device.  Now everything does have its place, but to replace our assembling together is not the point!

“Love your neighbor as yourself” Matthew 22:39

We can do this virtually, but in person is much better.  Get out and show your love to others in a personable way.  Get out and support a good cause by volunteering.  Get out and run a marathon.  Get out and get into a Bible Study.  Get out and grab a cup of coffee at your local brew-house.  GET OUT and touch some lives!!

We were never meant to be isolated from the world, but to have Jesus make us fishers of men(Matthew 4:19) and fulfill the Great Commission(Matthew 28:19-20)

I love facts and statistics and I could have included those in this post, but that really wasn’t my point.  My point is to encourage those feeling Alone to know there is hope and a future God has promised all of us and that getting our hands dirty and involved in our community is the best way to shake that feeling of ‘Alone’, because in my heart of hearts, I believe, we are never Alone when we know the true savior, Jesus.

Blessings!

October 21, 2015

Christianity today….

Where to start….

I have been having conversations with ‘Christians’ over the last few years and among them I have found that they differ from my views on biblical topics.  Do not judge they say or there isn’t just ONE way to Heaven or God would never do that or Why would God do that.  This Comic strip below really expresses what I have found Christianity to resemble a lot like lately in light of the current times. I will elaborate a bit more after you read the strip below:

i'm a C BUT

This comic strip really hit home for me in light of my conversations with not only Christians but non believers as well.  I keep hearing these common themes of ‘it’s personal’ and ‘that’s how I feel’ a lot.  For me, reading scripture and knowing Jesus and my God whom I serve is how I get to know him and learn what He wants from me and how I should live. It is not a feeling or something to be kept quiet.  We are meant to live out loud and shout the good news from the Mountain tops.

The sad situation is that there are so many Christians that believe this way and that needs to change. And that change needs to start with you and me.  To end with scripture that is apropos, I will end with this one.

 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work – 2 Timothy 3:16,17

August 12, 2015

Perseverance

From a blog that quoted Mr. Henri Nouwen:

Henri Nouwen: “We belong to a generation that wants to see the results of our work.  We want to be productive and see with our own eyes what we have made.  But that is not the way of God’s Kingdom.  Often our witness for God does not lead to tangible results.  Jesus himself died as a failure on a cross.  There was no success there to be proud of.  Still, the fruitfulness of Jesus’ life is beyond any human measure.  As faithful witnesses of Jesus we have to trust that our lives too will be fruitful, even though we cannot see their fruit.  The fruit of our lives may be visible only to those who live after us.

“What is important is how well we love.  God will make our love fruitful, whether we see that fruitfulness or not.”

August 4, 2015

Caelub

Heather and I had our second child. His name is Caelub, born on July 13th, 2015.  We didn’t know his sex until the doctor told us in the operating room. We both cried when we found out it was a boy.  What a true blessing from God that we had a boy. I am so grateful for this blessing from Him and am very happy that we have a boy and a girl now.

He was a healthy 7.15 oz and 20.5″ long.  In 2 weeks he’s gained almost 2 pounds and 2″ !!!!  So happy he’s healthy and strong.

We are in the ‘sleepless’ mode right now, but all worth it for this little bundle of joy.

Thank you Jesus for this true blessing of Life.

I wanted to add that Caelub’s name comes from scripture. Numbers 13 &14. Also, this too from Deut. 1:36 “except Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and (AP)to him and to his sons I will give the land on which he has set foot, because he has followed the Lord fully.”  I know it’s not the exact spelling, but I liked the spelling I gave him better.

Blessings!

July 9, 2015

Powerful Quote for Evangelism

“If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and unprayed for.”  Charles Spurgeon

April 24, 2015

History of the NIV Bible

I read this from a Faith Gateway Bible Study and thought it was a great short read on the history and insight into the NIV Bible and what went into getting it ready for publication. What astounded me was the 10 years it took to get it ready. That’s a long time to spend on something so important. So next time someone blows off the version of Bible your reading, share this post with them and let them know it was a Major undertaking and not something to take lightly as if it was created overnight.

Have you ever wondered how the New International Version (NIV) Bible came to be?

It started in the early 1500s with a humble man and a huge conviction: to translate the Bible into the English language. Standing on the shoulders of William Tyndale, the Committee on Bible Translation (CBT) was commissioned in August of 1965 “to prepare a contemporary English translation of the Bible.”

The NIV translation project was initiated by the signing of the NIV charter and the formation of the Committee on Bible Translation (CBT). The CBT was formed to create a modern English Bible translation from the oldest and most reliable biblical manuscripts available, providing the best possible blend of transparency to the original documents and ease of understanding in every verse.

The CBT began the translation process for the NIV in 1965, working from the original Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic texts. Their translation work took more than 10 years and in 1975, the New Testament of the NIV was released and in 1978 the entire Bible was published.

Since its release, the NIV has become the world’s best-selling Bible translation with more than 450 million copies in print worldwide.

Now, after fifty years, the world celebrates one of the great Bible revivals. A translation that captures the original meaning of Scripture in common, everyday language. A translation that is true to God’s Word and has changed how people read, experience, and live out the Bible ever since.

Visit the official NIV 50th Anniversary website and watch this video to learn more about how this translation came to be. On the website you can also sign up for free NIV Bible reading plans, download the free NIV Bible App, and so much more!

Blessings!

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April 15, 2015

The name of God

I wanted to post this for a long time. The reason is because from what I know now is of importance to mostly the ‘Western Hemisphere’. Of most importance to get across for me in this blog today is the name “ALLAH”. This name is a beautiful name of God in Arabic. It is also the ONLY way to call him “GOD” in Arabic. Just like we say “GOD” in English, the same holds true in Arabic. Muslims don’t hold the sole right to call God “Allah” just like Christians don’t either. It is the universal name of God in Arabic.
So for education purposes I wanted to share this with you. I am also including a great excerpt from Wikipedia.org about the many understandings of the name ALLAH below:

**Allah (English pronunciation: /ˈælə/ or /ˈɑːlə/;[1] Arabic: الله‎ Allāh, IPA: [ʔalˤˈlˤɑːh] ( listen)) is the Arabic word for God (al ilāh, literally “the God”).The word has cognates in other Semitic languages, including Elah in Aramaic, ʾĒl in Canaanite and Elohim in Hebrew.

It is used mainly by Muslims to refer to God in Islam,but it has also been used by Arab Christians since pre-Islamic times. It is also often, albeit not exclusively, used by Bábists, Bahá’ís, Indonesian and Maltese Christians, and Mizrahi Jews. Christians and Sikhs in West Malaysia also use and have used the word to refer to God. This has caused political and legal controversies there as the law in West Malaysia prohibits non-Islamic uses of the word.

The Aramaic word for “God” in the language of Assyrian Christians is ʼĔlāhā, or Alaha. Arabic-speakers of all Abrahamic faiths, including Christians and Jews, use the word “Allah” to mean “God”. The Christian Arabs of today have no other word for “God” than “Allah”.(Even the Arabic-descended Maltese language of Malta, whose population is almost entirely Roman Catholic, uses Alla for “God”.) Arab Christians, for example, use the terms Allāh al-ab (الله الأب) for God the Father, Allāh al-ibn (الله الابن) for God the Son, and Allāh al-rūḥ al-quds (الله الروح القدس) for God the Holy Spirit.**

I hope this helps when from now on you hear the word Allah, you realize that it is the beautiful name of God in the Middle-East and other parts of the world.

I also wanted to iterate the fact that God’s name should never be taken in vain, Exodus 20. This is where the 10 commandments lye and the respect, reverence and holiness of our Father should never be taken lightly or in vain.

Blessings

March 17, 2015

Life and the Craziness

Hello All,

I apologize for not writing here in a long time. I love to write, but life has been busy and you know…

My activity on Twitter is busy, so please keep up with me that way @sammm1777

So, we are in a new Church called Grace Bible Church(GBC). LOVE IT!! They do something there that’s Amazing! It’s called “Reading the Bible and Studying it.” What a concept, eh? Slight humor here as it is so refreshing to study God’s Word in Church and not focus on what the Church is doing today which is ‘Topical’ study with a verse of scripture thrown in here and there to justify the Topic. I have been enthralled with learning and being a ‘sponge’ at GBC and enjoy the preaching as well by Pastor David Dunn. We are currently studying the Book of James. We are 6+ months into the study and we are just now getting into the 2nd Chapter of the book. Tons of scripture are being read every Sunday and they are cross referenced to Old Testament as well. Heather is enjoying it as too and learning way more than she ever has. I recently bought her a new Bible and I think she is getting more into it now that she has another Bible that she can use. I pray that continues. I know that I am growing by leaps and bounds and my Faith and knowledge is growing as well. Grateful!

Personal note, we are having our 2nd Child and we’re expecting in July. 25th is the date, but Sophie came early and we expect this one to come early as well. We are not finding out the sex of the baby and have come up with a boy and a girl’s name. So when the Lord brings this baby into the world, we will name him/her then. Praise God for this blessing and we are very excited!!

Heather lost her job from Baker Hughes recently with the downturn in Oil prices. 8 years with the company, recruiting her out of college and all and they let her go. Unbelievable. God is good-All the time and we have always tried to live within our means and because of this, we are able to handle this impact to our family. We look forward to the next job she gets with another company and know that God always has something better in store for us.

It has been a up and down year so far and I do pray that it will get better for all of us.

Blessings as always.

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