Wednesday, February 17, 2010

History Repeating

European Union Growth

Roman Empire Growth

I am not really try to imply anything, and plenty of people before
and after me have already made this comparison, I just happen to enjoy the photos of the two "empires" and how history repeats itself. As the verse goes: Nothing new under the sun.

Also mind that the EU growing is a bit outdated, as several Eastern European countries, including Turkey, have been approved for EU candidacy or potential candidacy. So in reality, its only a matter of time, a few years really, before the EU looks more like it does blow, when these new counties join. This map seem familiar!?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

God's working in my life: A Record (Part A)

In recent days, I have been reading Genesis, particularly enjoying Joseph, but I’ve been about all the extraordinary ways that God answered the man’s prayers, and how even the things done against him that his own brothers met for evil, God used for good. As I begin to mediate on this Scripture, God showed me many things, one most important thing was he reminded of all the ways he has manifested himself in my life, both in big and smalls ways, some subtle and some as gentle whispers.
As such, I taken upon myself to make an account of all the amazing ways God has answered my prayers, or just shown up in my life in just clear and powerful ways. If for no other reason that my own posterity and the Glory of our Creator I present such account. These won’t be detailed of all the facts, but have enough context to convey the excellence of God. So here are a few examples I know of, about how God has Provided.

On October 16, 2003, my heavenly eternal destiny and earthly purpose changed one night after a class. When at 9:25pm Thursday night when given the choice between 2 pathways, one leading outside to my car and a 5 minute drive to my house and the other up a set of stairs to an Intervarsity Christian Fellowship Meeting that had ended but where people love to hang around and talk. Like a fool arguing aloud with myself at this pathway about to go home or visit; a little voice inside my head said “just go up what do you have to lose”. So I did. Once there a friend named Tim Perkins, says in the most sincere voice I have heard before “what is keeping you from a personal relationship with Christ?” Not wanting to give a halfway answer, I replied after several moments of thought…”nothing”. So I went and accepted Christ with Tim’s help. Later, I got home at 11pm to turn on the news with report of a car accident right beside my home, in fact the very intersection I just drove through. The next morning as I read the paper looking for info about the wreck, the time of the accident was 9:30. As I said, it takes me 5 minutes to drive home and at 9:25 I looked at my watch deciding to go up those stairs and have life and soul forever changed, as my jaw dropped, that same voice I heard before spoke to me again saying “I saved you twice last night Brad, I am real, and I love you”.

A side from my testimony God has revealed himself to me in other situations in the past 7 years. Besides providing me to the funds for 6 years of college, bills, and other expenses, including $2000 worth of mission trip the Dominican Republic; for which I had no parental help, mostly just me and God, 2 examples of his financial provision stands out in my mind more clearly than all others. Once at IVCF conference in Pittsburgh in 2006, before I left I found I had accidently overdrawn my account by like 1 dollar, which meant that recent checks I had just wrote were going to bounce, resulting in hundreds of dollars worth of bounced checks and over drafted charges. I was utterly sick to my stomach about how I could let this happen and had no clue about how I was going to pay it all, since I had no job at the time. So that night, the conference had a retreat of silence I went back to room, and poured out my heart and tears to God, asking for help, he lead me to Eph 3:20, which says God do immeasurable more than we could ask or imagine. The next morning as I called bank computer over the phone, to check the dmg, the computer voice said +300.00 dollars, again my jaw dropped. I was speechless. I hung up and called back and put all the info again just to make sure I did it right the 1st time. Sure enough, she said the same amount. I started to cry again, my tears of sorrow became a weep for joy. Later, I found that Penn State had acquired another scholarship for me, of which I knew nothing about at all until the money has shown up. Praise be to God.

The 2nd example, as I said I went to the DR a few times, one of times I went I had problem raising the funds about 3 days before I was suppose to leave I was still about ½ short on the required funds. That night for my Quiet time I was reading John 11, where Jesus, tells mary and Martha that he is the resurrection and that if they believe, they will live, “then he says do you believe this?” That caught my attention as the Spirit asked me “brad, do you believe this? That I can provide for you?” I said “Lord, I want to and do, show me, help me please” with that I fell asleep. The next day I went to the mailbox, and sure enough a check from a friend for the amount I needed. Again God came through for me. That night as I finished John 11 for my QT, I read verse 40, which says “Then Jesus said, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?" With that I cried again and gave him the glory. Also, as I am writing this I recalled a 3rd time, God came through for me, the 1st time I left for the DR, the night I left, I checked the atm I had like an extra 200 dollars in my account, I didn’t know why, when I looked online my IRS tax refund had come in about 2 weeks ahead of time. As with Abraham, My God is Jehovah-Jireh.
A few cool ways that God has provided for me is by having the right people show up along my path when I need them the most. Suddenly they are just there and it goes beyond a fluke or chance. Once i got dropped off at a diner coming back from Christian Retreat in Michigan (CFW). Anyhow, my dad was suppose to pick me up at such and such a time and place, but due to communication error and no cell phone, he never came. I waited for an hour. Deciding I would walk to my grandma’s house which is all I could think of, since she was like 5 miles away. So I started walking with Luggage toward her house. As I walking down the road like a homeless man, I prayed “Lord, please provide me someone that I know to drive by and give me a ride, please..” and before I could even finish my prayer, a pickup truck slows down beside me and parks off to the side, and sure enough my cousin jumps out offering me a ride…That’s my King!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Another cool prophecy that Jesus was and is the Messiah.

Anyone who as taken the time to go through their Old Testament will and probably has seen the dozens and dozens of Messianic prophecies, and in the NT how Jesus fulfilled them. As one pastor has proclaimed "the NT is the OT concealed and the OT is the NT revealed.Anyhow, recently I discovered a prophecy i had never understood until now, which is just utterly fascinating as a believer and Historian.

In Genesis 49:10, Jacob prophesizing over his 12 sons before he dies, says to his son, Judah "The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor a lawgiver from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes; And to Him shall be the obedience of the people".

(Let us remember that Judah is the line of the kings David. Also, in a few verses before that Jacob even says that Judah will rule his brothers.)

So, the King and "scepter" from the verse represents his right to rule, administer justice, carry out the Law, and punishments, etc...all the power of King. The king had given the daily administration of the country and part of his authority in such manners to the Sanhedrin and experts of Moses' laws, hence the "lawgivers" serving at the king's feet idea.

Also, most of the ancient Rabbis viewed the part about "until Shiloh comes" to mean the Messiah. There are many reasons they believed this, but the point is they did believe it to messianic. In modern language, I think we could understand this prophecy as "when the kingdom of Judah finally loses it's sovereignty as a nation to make and enforce its own laws, the Messiah will appear and draw the people toward himself". Now of course Judah the nation has been destroyed and rebuilt a few times, but when it did exist it was always allowed to carry out the law's Moses had given, even when they were ruled by Alexander and the Greeks.

However by 6-7 A.D. the tension between Rome and the Jewish leadership had come to a head. Rome crushed the Jewish revolts. Archelaus, the king of the Jews was dethroned and banished. Coponius was appointed Roman Procurator. Moreover, Sanhedrin lost their ability to administer its authority, especially crushing was the ability to carry our capitol punishment on lawbreaker. When the Jewish leaders realized that indeed the "scepter" had departed from them, many put on sackcloth and ashes weeping, and thinking that word of God had been broken, as Judah's sovereignty was gone, but the Messiah had not yet come; or so they thought.

One Rabbi Rachmon observed at that time: "When the members of the Sanhedrin found themselves deprived of their right over life and death, a general consternation took hold of them; they covered their heads and their bodies with sackcloth, exclaiming, 'Woe unto us, for the sceptre has departed from Judah and the Messiah has not come.'"

Little did they know the Word of God had not been broken, but rather a few miles north of Jerusalem in hills Galilee, a small ~10 year old boy was in his father's shop learning to make new thing and fix the broken, who in a few more decades would come calling, his name: Yeshua Ha-Mashiach.

The Word of God was not broken, for the Word himself had come down and was dwelling amidst us, furthermore, "The Word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty,but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it." ~ Isaiah 55:11

Monday, February 1, 2010

Jesus, what a guy

He was the meekest and lowliest of all the sons of men. Yet, he spoke of coming on the clouds of heaven with the glory of God. He was so austere that evil spirits and demons cried out in terror at His coming. Yet He was so genial and winsome and approachable that the children loved to play with Him, and the little ones nestled in His arms. His presence at the innocent gaiety of a village wedding was like the presence of sunshine.

No-one was half so compassionate to sinners. Yet no-one ever spoke such red-hot scorching words about sin. A bruised reed He would not break, His whole life was love. Yet, on one occasion He demanded of the Pharisees how they ever expected to escape the damnation of hell. He was a dreamer of dreams and a seer of visions. Yet for sheer stark realism He has all of our self-styled realists soundly beaten.

He was the servant of all, washing the disciples feet. Yet, masterfully He strode into the temple and the hucksters and the money changers fell over one another to get away from the mad rush and the fire they saw blazing in His eyes. He saved others. Yet at the last Himself He did not save. There is nothing in history like the union of contrast which confronts us in the gospels. The mystery of Jesus is the mystery of Divine Personality.

– James Stewart, Scottish theologian

Gospel in Geneology Form

I am sure that many people already know those, but it cool anyhow. In the First 5 chapters of Genesis we are introduced to the first ten generation from Adam to Noah, which of course spell out the coolest of messages that is to say the Gospel.

Hebrew Name English Meaning
Adam Man
Seth Appointed
Enosh Mortal
Kenan Sorrow
Mahelalel The Blessed God
Jared Shall come down
Enoch Teaching
Methuselah His death shall bring
Lamech Despairing
Noah Comfort, Rest

When we write this out:

Man[shall be] appointed mortal sorrow, [but] the blessed God shall come down teaching [that]his death shall bring the despairing Comfort.

So yes, the ancient Hebrew Rabbi's just snuck this little gem in here, knowing that one day their God would come down and that their God would die for them to bring them comfort...yeah right...Thank you Holy Spirit for your divine inspiration...