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Archive for the ‘Tradition’ Category

My Beloved Is Like A Young Stag

Posted by infinitygoods on April 16, 2008

For more participants in Word-Filled Wednesday, be sure to visit Amy at The 160 Acre Woods.

Posted in bible, blogging, Christian, Christianity, Church, culture, Faith, Family, Flickr, God, God's Word, Home, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, life, love, nature, reading, religion, Spiritual, spirituality, Spreading God's Word, Tradition, Uncategorized, Word Filled Wednesday | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

Jesus Directed To Prepare The Passover

Posted by infinitygoods on April 8, 2008

Have you ever celebrated Pesach or Passover as Jesus did with His apostles for The Last Super?

Pictured here are samples of the Seder Plates used for the Passover dinner. Our church and several other churches in our area celebrate the seder meal each year and several newspaper articles have been written about it in the Los Angeles Times and the Los Angeles Daily News. Has this Jewish celebration been adopted by your church, I wonder? If you are Jewish, I’d love to hear about your memories or what you look forward to each year during Passover.

Visit Amy at The 160 Acre Woods for more Word-Filled Wednesday Participants.

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Behold The Lamb Of God

Posted by infinitygoods on March 19, 2008

http://the160acrewoods.wordpress.com For more participants, be sure to visit The 160 Acre Woods.

Another Cute Lamb Pic in Flickr public files by Ennor

Wishing you all

a

Peaceful Holy Week

and a

Happy Easter!! 

Posted in Baby, bible, Blogroll, carnival, Christian, Christianity, Church, culture, Faith, Family, Flickr, free, God, God's Word, Holidays, Home, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Lent, life, nature, Photography, religion, Spiritual, spirituality, Tradition, Uncategorized, Word Filled Wednesday | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Key To Happiness By Reading & Understanding The Bible: Chapt. 24 Purpose Driven Life

Posted by infinitygoods on March 4, 2008

Walking Inside The Painting by Araleya from Flickr public files

“Truly happy people are those who carefully study God’s perfect law that makes people free, and they continue to study it. They do not forget what they heard, but they obey what God’s teaching says. Those who do this will be made happy.” James 1:25

Rick Warren tells us in Chapter 24 to read the Bible daily and apply God’s words to our daily lives.

When we read the Bible or listen to a sermon or a homily, do we have a closed mind? Do we read it superficially? Or are we distracted? Or do we really understand and accept God’s Word?

I read the Bible, but I admit I am one who skips around the various books. I have studied the Bible in small study groups and I have even taken college religion and Bible classes including a Jewish studies class where we read the first five books of the Old Testament almost line by line. Yet I have never read the entire Bible from cover to cover. Over my lifetime I have more than likely read the great majority of the Bible, but never from start to finish in a linear fashion.

We wouldn’t take other books and hop around back and forth within those books. I have no idea why we do that with the Bible, but that’s the way I’ve always been advised to do it. That’s the way my church has always done it on Sundays picking and choosing verses from the Old Testament and from the New Testament. The Bible studies at church have never followed a linear path either. One day it was Acts, one day it was women of the Bible, another time it was Psalms and Proverbs. We’ve never done it from cover to cover, one Bible study at a time.

Warren tells us we can read the entire Bible in one year if we only commit to 15 minutes a day. I’m a slow reader because with any book I like to fully appreciate each and every single word and their full connotations. So maybe it would take me 30 minutes each day. That’s not difficult. I love to read and I’m sure most of you do to since you spend time reading blogs. I often spend several hours reading books, including the Bible so if just minutes can get me to read every single word of God, then that’s something I am eager to do.

What about you? Perhaps you have already done it, but did you fully appreciate the meaning, the nuances, the connotations? Perhaps it is time to read the Bible from cover to cover another time and truly study its meaning by asking questions and writing down your insights. Pastor Brian at our son’s former school always encouraged that we have a study Bible where we highlight and write in the margins. He even gave each second grader their first adult Bible with a bright yellow highlighter. He told them to highlight every verse they ever memorized and to highlight all the verses that meant something to them. He told them to write in it and keep writing in it all their lives. He made a great ceremony of it. It was like a graduation ceremony, receiving a Bible and highlighter instead of a diploma.

That was not the way I was brought up. When I was in college we had to write in our Bibles and because I could not bring myself to do that in a pristine copy, I got a used hardcover study Bible complete with full-color pictures and commentaries. It was already highlighted and written in, but not much. It is still the copy I use to study my Bible and the one I bring to each Bible study even though it is bulky and heavy, but over the last couple decades, it has been thoroughly highlighted and written in. It has been a great blessing and I fully agree with Pastor Brian. If you haven’t experienced this blessing yet, perhaps you too were taught that you should never write on the word of God (or any book), then go ahead and jump right in. Perhaps you’ll want to get a used copy as I did. The white page will not defend itself with a used copy.

What are your thoughts? I would have a lot more to say about the word of God, but this blog post is already long. Let all of us know how you feel. Or just think about it to yourself if it is easier, but do reflect on it. Take the time to ponder on the subject.

Tomorrow we will move on to Chapt. 25.

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Think And Act Your Way To Godly Habits: Chapt. 22 Purpose Driven Life

Posted by infinitygoods on March 2, 2008

Green Tree by droog in Flickr public files

“Let your roots grow down into Christ and draw up nourishment from Him. See that you go on growing in the Lord, and become strong and vigorous in the truth.” Colossians 2:7

We begin the third section of The Purpose Driven Life. Our third purpose is to become like Christ. Rick Warren reminds us of the characteristics of God and of Jesus. We were created in God’s image and were given these same characteristics. We are spiritual beings, intellectual, relational and we have a moral consciousness. Our life on this earth is meant to develop these characteristics. How much work and effort have you put into these areas until now? God is always there to help you with the desire and power to please Him.

Warren tells us that our character is essentially made up of our habits. Did you know it takes approximately three weeks to develop a good habit? Ephesians explains that we have three responsibilities to become Christlike. First, we must act in new ways. Second, we must think in new ways. Third, we must develop new godly habits. How do you habitually or usually act? How do you usually think? What are your habits?

Our ways of thinking and acting or behaving are very important, very key to our character. The way we think and the way we behave can even change the way our brain works. I was watching the documentaries in the DVD of the Aviator with Leonardo DeCaprio and learned that the latest research in psychology shows that actors’ brain waves become like the brain waves of the characters they play. I’m paraphrasing and simplifying a complex area of study, but for example, when DeCaprio was acting like a person who is Obsessive Compulsive, after a few weeks or months of rehearsing and shooting for the movie, an actors’ brain takes on the same characteristics.

I also remember many years ago Justine Bateman had played a role of a young blind woman. Although she is not blind, during the shooting she put her hand right through a glass pane door, missing the door handle completely and slashing her wrist. The articles had quoted her saying she had not seen the handle — just as if she had been actually blind rather than merely pretending to be blind.

So the way we act or behave can really change the way we are. The same goes for our thinking. If we think something, pretty soon we will believe it. We’ve all experienced self-fulfilling prophecies based on whether we thought positively or negatively about something. For these reasons, we need to develop godly ways of thinking and behaving.

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Put Time And Effort Into What Matters Most to God: LOVE Purpose Driven Life Chapt. 16

Posted by infinitygoods on February 24, 2008

Untitles by R4pH in Flickr public files “‘You must love the Lord your God will all your heart…’  This is the first and greatest commandment.  A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the other commandments and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”  Matthew 22:37-40

Have you noticed that most of these chapters are about love?  Does it seem like it just might be important?  Rick Warren tells us it is what matters most.  Matthew tells us that Jesus told his apostles that loving God and loving His people are the two greatest commandments and that the other commandments are based on these two.

So if love is so important to God, how much time and effort do we put into it?  How many hours do we spend showing our love to God?  Or showing our love to our families?  Or to our fellow man, whether they are Christians, Jews or even non-believers?

Let’s not wait until we are on our deathbed to realize that our relationships are our most important accomplishments.  As Warren reminds us, “All you’re taking with you is your character.”  We won’t be taking any awards, gold watches, money, cars, designer clothes, or any material trappings showing earthly successes.  Yet, how often do we get trapped or sucked into the rat race for the material, sometimes even in the hope of helping or pleasing our families, but in reality robbing our loved ones of a quality relationship with us?

Even when we spend time together, how often are we not even looking at our loved ones?  How many of us eat in the car with our children staring at the back of our heads?  How often do we stare at the road, going to yet another destination?  At home, are we staring at a TV screen or a computer screen?  Even when we are cooking for our family, are we looking at our children when they speak to us, or are we too busy following the recipe?  How often do we face each other and look into each other’s eyes?

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In Memoriam, Helena, ‘Thrice Blessed Momma’ Passes

Posted by infinitygoods on February 24, 2008

In Memoriam Helena Thrice Blessed Momma We have lost one of our blogging sisters. A young mother of 5-year-old triplets has passed away only 2 years after the passing of her husband. These dear babies, Zoe, Madison and Jonathan, now have no parents. It was a sudden death and the family does not yet know the cause.

Helena of Thrice Blessed Momma had written in her next to last post, “I’m exhausted! This goes way beyond being tired. More than PCOS tired. More than SAHM of Triplets tired. More than I need to lose some (okay, lots of) weight tired. This is even more than PCOS-triplets-I need to lose weight tired. This is that and so much more. Deep in your bones tired. If I had no children and no responsibilities at all and could stay in bed and sleep for a month, I don’t think it would help. And it’s not depression either.”

And yes, the red type is hers, not mine. While her entire blog was in the traditional black type, this post was in bright red, crying out for help.

The family will be putting her blog into a book for her children. They are also interested in collecting memories for the book, and Helena’s cousin wrote in the comments section of Robin’s blog at Around the Island, “I can be reached via e-mail at samantha_edelman@hotmail.com. Please pass the word.”  Whether or not you knew Helena through her blog, years from now, when these babies are older, I’m sure it would please them to see many comments from all over the blogosphere in support of their dear mommy, whom they might only barely remember since they are so young.

I’ve only today discovered Helena’s blog through Robin’s blog post, but it has touched me. She had a good blog, and it was full of love for her children and her husband. I encourage you to visit her blog as friends would visit a memorial. Her blog can be a virtual memorial so that through blog hit statistics her family and her children can see how much she was loved too and how much blogosphere sisters (and brothers too!) care about each other.

Please do take the time.

Posted in blog, blogging, Blogroll, Childhood Memories, Children, children's stories, culture, Faith, Family, God, Health, Home, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, Jewish, Legacy, life, love, Memories, reading, religion, Tradition, Uncategorized, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Are You Baptized? Come Join God’s Family! Chapt. 15 Purpose Driven Life

Posted by infinitygoods on February 23, 2008

Water Fountain by holidaygirl in Flickr public files

“Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into Christ’s body by one Spirit, and we have all received the same Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 12:13

 

We begin discussion on our second purpose, which according to Rick Warren is to be formed for God’s family.

Are you baptized? If you believe in Christ and God, Warren tells us you should be already. Without delay, you should have been baptized. He says, “Like a wedding ring, it is a visible reminder of an inward commitment made in your heart. It is an act of initiation, not something to put off until you are spiritually mature. The only biblical condition is that you believe.”

I was baptized as an infant and we baptized our son as an infant as well. There was no delay. As most of my regular readers know, I worked for our church for several years. When I started working there, I was highly surprised to find out (and you might be too) that many people attending church every Sunday and some even during the week, are not baptized. And since Warren brings up wedding rings, you might find it interesting to know that many people are not married either, even though all would think that they are.

People put things off. They start living together and pretty soon there are children. People just assume they are married. They are good people. They go to church. They participate in the church. They volunteer for the church. They donate money to the church. They go through all the motions, but they never got around to getting married. And when it comes time to baptizing the children, they never get around to it either.

Now of course this is not everybody. But it is a far greater number than you realize. Some young couples have even come to our church to get married and they themselves assumed they had been baptized because they had attended church their entire lives, but later came to find out from their parents, after the pastor asked, that, no, no one had ever actually taken the time to baptize them over the years — over the decades.

Does any of this surprise you? I was greatly surprised. At first I thought it would be one or two isolated cases, but as I continued working, I came to realize that it was far more prevalent than it should be, especially for people who are attending church. I’m not talking about people who don’t believe in God here. I’m not talking about people who only occasionally attend church, whenever it’s convenient or once or twice a year for Easter or Christmas. I’m talking about church regulars.

People don’t realize this is often the case because of course this is confidential information. The pastor, the staff are not going to blab or gossip about the people who attend their church.

If this describes you, there should be no shame and as you can see, you are far from being alone. There is no need to postpone any longer because you are afraid of telling your pastor. It’s OK. He’s unfortunately all too used to it and will rejoice in baptizing you. So postpone no longer if you truly believe in your heart in Jesus and in God. Go get baptized.

And if you are and you baptized your children too, thank God. Thank Him and praise Him for having led you to Him through His church.

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Worship Is Not One Size Fits All: Purpose Driven Life Chapt. 13

Posted by infinitygoods on February 20, 2008

Bold Tree by Zack Stern in Flickr public files

Previous chapters can be found on the Purpose Driven Life page.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. Mark 12:30

How do you worship God? Do you have more than one way? Does it change with the seasons or as you have gotten older?

Rick Warren tells us to be accurate, authentic, thoughtful and practical. To be accurate, he tells us to know the word of God. To be authentic it must be genuine, heartfelt and with deep feeling. We should be thoughtful rather than merely going through motions and we should be living sacrifices. We should live for God, not for ourselves.

How do most of us measure up? Are some ways easier than others? Do you read the Bible? When you go to church to you go through the motions, barely even hearing the week’s message or are you fully focused on God?

We all have our good days and our bad ones of course. But how do we rate most of the time? What is in our heart? Are we going to church for God, for ourselves, for keeping up appearances?

Chapt. 14

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Drawing Closer To God: Chapt. 12 Purpose Driven Life

Posted by infinitygoods on February 19, 2008

Those of you who don’t have WordPress must be wondering where the daily Purpose Driven Life posts have gone. WordPress has been down. We have all been unable to post or approve comments, etc., while readers have still been able to read our blogs. My clock and auto-posts have also acted up in the last couple of days. WordPress has uncharacteristically given us no reason for this down time so I cannot tell you what happened or if the clock problem is related.I will pick up where we left off. Today we will discuss Chapter 12. I think it is best to only post one chapter rather than two so that noone falls behind because of this incident and so that we follow Rick Warren’s recommended schedule of only 1 chapter per day. He strongly advises NOT to do more than that. It does not pose a problem since I have been posting on Sundays too, so we will still finish before Easter.

Cool Green Tree by idg on Flickr Public Files

Previous chapters can be found on the Purpose Driven Life page.

My determined purpose is that I may know Him — that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His person more strongly and more clearly.” Philippians 3:10

This chapter reminded me very much of my own dad. It is one more example for me that our relationship first with our parents and later with our children teaches us how to have a relationship with God.

Throughout my childhood and even into my adulthood my dad would say to tell him everything. Whatever it was, whether positive or negative, my dad was the person to tell. If I had a problem at school, if I had a problem with my mom, if I had a problem with my allowance, if I had a fear or a concern, whatever it was I should report it to him. If I was proud of an accomplishment, if I was looking forward to a special event, if I was happy, I should tell him. Does that sound like the first step Warren brings up in this chapter? Does it sound like I had to be honest with my dad and tell him the truth in everything, just like Warren tells us we should do with God? We must tell our Father everything. Tell God the good and tell him the bad. Have entire conversations with Him just as you would if you were telling your dad or your confidant. Let God be your confidant.

When you tell a confident everything, it’s because you have confidence in them. You have faith or trust in them. Have faith and trust in God. Warren tells us that if we have faith or trust in God and we love Him, we will obey Him. And if we trust God, we will also trust his values. When we have a good friend we value their opinion right? If Martha tells us that something is good, we trust her and believe that it is good. If we trust God then we value his opinion and values too. It’s all related and intertwined. Warren tells us that God can be our friend too and that we should want his friendship above anything. Do you?

How would you describe your relationship with God? Are you on friendly terms? Do you talk to Him regularly? Do you listen to Him and do what he believes to be good? What do you do to get closer to God? What ideas and thoughts has this chapter sparked in you?

Chapt. 13

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