Sunday, March 25, 2007

Bridge Between The Continents

We can learn from each other!
This week we'll have the opportunity and privilege to fly between California and Holland. We are planning to spend several months on the European continent, re-connecting with the old world so to speak. After a pretty long stay in the USA (since September 2005) we are curious to find out what's happening in Europe, revival-wise!
Recent publications about the post-secular future of Europe have stirred up the desire in us to experience things from up close! It is our dream to build a bridge between the continents and truly learn from each other. Please check out for yourself what's going on there!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Heart and Mind, Mind and Heart

Just having knowledge is not enough!
Why does God need so many words to teach us right and wrong? The Bible is a huge book, isn't that a bit too much, since we all know deep down inside the difference between good and evil?
Personally I think having knowledge of something isn't enough to be acting likewise. Knowing that pizza is fattening doesn't keep us from eating it, does it? Knowing that smoking may cause cancer doesn't keep people from doing it. Just having knowledge is not enough, we need understanding! We need conviction in our hearts! According to the Bible we have knowledge of good and evil. In Genesis 3:22, after Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden fruit, God says, Now the man has become like one of us and has knowledge of what is good and what is bad.
That knowledge wasn't sufficient, He decided to give us guidelines to live by. He wants to enter our head, but also our heart. In Hebrews 10:16 He says, I will put my Laws in their hearts and write them on their minds. Heart and mind, mind and heart! Once God's teachings are in both places, it becomes easier and easier to live a life that is pleasing to Him!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

About Guidance And Correction

Are you on the road to nowhere?
When God speaks about respecting our parents He speaks to everybody; we all have (or had) parents, otherwise we wouldn’t be here. Respecting parents and treating children right almost sounds like an old-fashioned idea. After all, in our society numerous families are divided, relationships distorted and authority is laughed upon. Many find it hard to show respect to parents who abandoned or abused them. Does God expect us to obey and respect the people who hurt us? Is that really the right thing to do? Well, in chapter two of Respectfully Yours we have already seen that our attitude towards others should no longer be the result of past experiences, but the key to unlocking future blessings. The right attitude is based on Christ’s love in us. The right attitude is, just like obedience, a virtue we have to work on and God wants to help us. God wants to guide us, not punish us. He wants to teach us, not confuse us.
Today many people seem to make up their own laws and don’t care about what God says or said thousands of years ago. They do not want to be guided or corrected but rather find their own way through life. I am not saying that living that way is an impossible thing to do (millions of people are doing it), but I know it will lead to a lot of frustration. Be honest, how will you know if you are on the wrong track if there are no road signs? How will you know if you are on the right track if there is no map to guide you? How will you know when you have arrived if you don’t know where you’re going? You will never be corrected and never receive a compliment either.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Mirror For Our Lives

The Bible is a user's manual
I am the Lord your God, the One who wants to teach you for your own good and direct you in the way you should go (Isaiah 48:17).

Why does God need so many words to tell us how to live? Well, if He would have simply said: "Be good," how would we know what being good meant? It would be the same thing as telling a teenager to "be careful." Be careful with what or whom or where? We are supposed to explain what the dangers are. God shows us through different stories, prophecies and parables in the Bible what dangers we may encounter when we do not live according to His guidelines. The history of the people of Israel is the mirror for our lives.
The Bible wouldn't be attractive to anyone if God only talked about about dangers, that is why He promises blessings too! When God speaks about respecting parents and treating children well, He promises to bless us with a long life!