Monday, July 31, 2006
Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
To the ancient Hebrews this passage represented one of the sternest commands of God.
Paul wrote in Phillipians 3:5 that he was “ circumcised on the 8th day of the people Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews”
The words ‘Hebrew of Hebrew ‘ meant that nothing but Jewish influence touched him in his early childhood.
The father of the household was primarily in charge of a child’s training. As a Pharisee, Saul’s father would have assumed this duty. The Pharisee represented some of the noblest traditions of the Jewish people.
They stood for strict religious life. Just as there are sometime bad ‘Christians’ there were some bad ‘Pharisees’ . Saul’s father would probably have been one of the ‘strict’ ones, not one of the bad ones.
Jewish parents considered children one of God’s blessings, and cherished them.
Saul would have learned prayers – saying them morning noon and night A child of normal intelligence would have been able to read scriptures by the age of 5. His mind would have been steeped in memorization of the Jewish laws.
At the age of 13 Jewish boys were considered men. The law of the Lord would have been his life.
This was a brief look at what it might have been like as Paul (Saul) was growing up. Next we’ll take a look at more of his education and life as a young man .
‘On Ya’ - ma
Sunday, July 30, 2006
To Live Is Christ..
A study of the life of the apostle Paul, one of Christ’s most passionate followers.
I am doing this Bible Study from the book ‘To Live is Christ’ by Beth Moore.
The apostle Paul was a remarkable man. His persistence and undying passion should convince us that he truly encountered the risen Christ.
His words should be a personal challenge to all
I want to know Christ – should be our plea
To live is Christ and to die is gain – should be our hope
He loved and served the Lord with every breath and drop of blood he had. His passion for Christ was indomitable. For these reasons the study of his life will challenge us.
God who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles.
The First Footprints
When Saul was born and raised in a Jewish neighborhood in Tarsus, he had no idea that someday he would have the call to work for God.
We can only imagine what his childhood and upbringing might have been like. The Bibles gives us only a few pieces of information about his upbringing.
We know that Paul was reared as closely to the letter of the Jewish law as possible. Therefore based on Scripture and the traditional Jewish code of law, we can find many details of his young life.
From the circumstances and practices of those times, we can draw conclusions of what his young life may have been like.
The rules and precepts of the Code of Jewish Law has been and continues to be the cornerstone of Jewish custom and tradition and an eternal light guiding Jewish moral, social and religions behavior.
His father. a Pharisee and Roman citizen, would have been an impressive man and one of the few the community who would command a certain amount of respect from both Jew and Gentile.
Paul would have been named and circumcised in a ceremony with words like …Just as he has been initiated into the covenant, so may he be initiated into the study of the Torah, to his nuptial canopy, and to the performance of good deeds.
In a society where a child could be discarded as rubbish, nothing was more important to the Jew than offspring. The child was a tangible piece of evidence that God was faithful and would do as He promised.
Custom would demand that the father would host a feast to the limits of his wealth. A man who offered less than he could afford was entirely improper. . They would gather with those who feared God and worshiped Him only.
The eight day old infant was circumcised and named Saul
In Galatians 1:15-16 Paul spoke of being ‘set apart from birth’. Genesis 17:1-11 describes circumcision as ‘ the sign of the covenant’ between God and the descendants of Abraham.
The importance of Paul’s Jewish identity can not be understated. It powerfully affected his lifestyle.
As we continue on in the study we’ll be leaving our ‘footprints’ all over the pages of Acts and Paul’s epistles
Next we’ll be taking a look at the childhood of a Pharisee’s son.
As you can see, I finally found my book and it looks like it will be an interesting and informative study. I hope you’ll join me in the days to come as I strive to learn more from the Wonderful Words found in the Bible.
‘On Ya’ - ma
Sunday, July 23, 2006
REFRESHED AND RENEWED FOR ANOTHER WEEK
SIXTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for You are at my side." —Psalm 23:4
Psalm 23 begins with a soothing picture of comfort. The Lord, the Good Shepherd (Jn 10:11), refreshes the psalmist.
I will appoint shepherds for them who will shepherd them so that they need no longer fear and tremble.” (Jer. 23:4)
Images from the world of shepherds characterize today’s readings. The Gospel recounts the return of the disciples from their missionary journey (Mk. 6:7-13), and Jesus invites them to come away to a “deserted” place for rest, which ends up being short-lived as crowds stream out and arrive before them.
As with us, so too did the apostles need a quiet time and place to renew their spirits and their relationship with Jesus.
The opportunity to eat and rest also meant more than renewing one's needs. The meal was an event that renewed fellowship and social bonds. The gospels imply Jesus had many meals with his inner circle to develop leadership and pass along the message of the Kingdom.
Just like his followers, we, too, are invited to find a quiet place to spend time with the Lord.
All times and all places invite us to prayer. But, there are quiet times and places to "come and rest" in the Lord
If you worry – you didn’t pray
If you pray – don’t worry
When we are over come with worry, we miss the moment we miss the now
All of us sheep also have a role to play in the shepherding of the flock. It's never safe to say, “I'm just a plain sheep - whatever happens to all the other sheep isn't my concern.” Each of us by our actions either helps to scatter, or helps to gather the flock. We're bound to get lost ourselves if we do nothing but sit around complaining
So everyone called upon to guide other sheep (and remember, that includes all of us to some extent) must never forget that there is only one Good Shepherd. We must never egotistically say, “Follow me!” Rather, we should always humbly point to the One greater than ourselves and say, “Follow Him!”
Jesus our Good Shepherd provides us with courage and direction. As we pass through various valleys of darkness and confront moments of loneliness and the trials of our lives, even our greatest fears can't drown out the comforting voice of this Shepherd, Who searches out all lost sheep, and calls us by name.
Happy, blessed are we who are part of His flock. Happy, blessed are we whom the Shepherd leads
His heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd
In order to do what is required of each of us, we need to take time to be with the Lord in order to be refreshed and renewed for the journey.
COME AWAY AND REST AWHILE
‘On Ya’ - ma
Sunday, July 16, 2006
Sometimes, like an old door in need of mending,
I hang askew Ñ stuck,
unable to move. I am afraid
I cry out my loss. Your spirit challenges
me both to cherish the memories and to let go,
trusting You will open a
new window. I sit and wait.
Doorways to Holiness
I’ve been lagging behind in my Bible study so far this summer. I got a new book so I could begin a new study and I can’t find it. I will sooner or later, in the meanwhile I’ll share some of my daily devotional thoughts with you.
Fifteen Sunday in Ordinary Time
He summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits" (v 7)
They did not go on their own volition, but under the power and authority of Jesus. Strengthened by one another, they must imitate Jesus by trusting in God's providence. Empowered by the Lord, the new missionaries went forth to announce God's reign, expel demons and heal the sick by anointing them with oil
Today’s liturgy reminds us once again that we must not permit ourselves to become so deeply involved with our means as to forget our ends
How many of us have had the opportunity to travel for the good of others? To heal broken relationships? To announce good news? Jesus gave his chosen Twelve that opportunity, the possibility to go out for people's ultimate good.
In the time of Jesus, hospitality was highly prized. And a host family claimed the honor of the guests. Meal time for stranger became a social event for the neighborhood, since their news could be heard by all.
In serving others, the missionary would depend on the goodwill of others and, ultimately, on the benevolence of God
Jesus asked us to be his witnesses. He wants all of us to be his light to the world, bringing more and more people into the light of his love.
Jesus did a lot of simple things. He hugged the children, had time for the blind begger, visited friends, went fishing with Peter. He enjoyed a drink of water at the well on a hot muggy afternoon, or a meal with His friends, and listened when he was asked a favor. None of it was costly or lavish, but it all made life good and hearts happy.
He taught us that we have within us all that we need to bring joy to this world of our.
May the Joy of the Lord be on YOU!
‘On Ya’- ma
Saturday, July 01, 2006
Almighty God, giver of all good things: We thank you for the natural majesty and beauty of this land. They restore us, though we often destroy them.
We thank you for the great resources of this nation. They make us rich, though we often exploit them.
We thank you for the men and women who have made this country strong. They are models for us, though we often fall short of them.
We thank you for the torch of liberty which has been lit in this land. It has drawn people from every nation, though we have often hidden from its light.
We thank you for the faith we have inherited in all its rich variety. It sustains our life, though we have been faithless again and again.
Help us, O Lord, to finish the good work here begun. Strengthen our efforts to blot out ignorance and prejudice, and to abolish poverty and crime. And hasten the day when all our people, with many voices in one united chorus, will glorify your holy Name. Amen.
May you all have a safe and happy Holiday weekend !
'On Ya' - ma