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Archive for the ‘Faith’ Category

A Special Birthday

Today, May 2, 2011 is the 400th birthday of the King James Version of the Bible.  It was in 1604 or so, when King James in England decided he wanted the Bible translated from Greek and Hebrew into “The King’s English” so that the common man could read Scripture.  It took seven years for the Biblical translators to complete their task.  And what a glorious task it was!  For the first time, the English people could possess and read God’s Holy Word in the language they knew.

What a change took place for the  Christian and the church.  No longer were they dependent on learning God’s Word through the few church leaders who knew how to read Greek and Hebrew.  No longer might someone lead them astray, saying “He said!”   Now they could study God’s Word.

Since 1611, many others have translated the Bible into the English of their day.  But the King James Version has remained strong, familiar, and favorite – for 400 years!  I grew up with the King James Version of the Bible.  My grandparents gave me my first Bible when I was in 3rd grade.  It was a pretty big deal.  Black leather-bound, parchment pages edged in gold.  My name and the year 1963 were engraved on the front cover.  My Bible was my prized possession.  I used it throughout parochial (Lutheran) elementary school,  high school, and college.  In high school and college we studied God’s Word in-depth.  I underlined passages, highlighted others, color coded the missions of St. Paul, and wrote notes in the margins.  My little KJV Bible was well-loved, and well used.

In 1984 our Lutheran Synod began using the New International Version.  It was time to update the Bible into language we used and understood in this modern-day and age.  It took people a long time to accept the change.  Some how it seemed unholy to say ‘you’ instead of thee and thou.  But the need for people to understand God’s Word in their spoken language is the driving force for new translations.  Amazingly though, the King James Version is still in use 400 years later.  There are passages that just can’t be recited in any other way!

              “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a degree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed…”  Luke 2: 1-20

              “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.  He maketh me to lie down in green pastures;  …”     Ps. 23

               ” In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”  Genesis 1:1

Therefore, in honor of the 400th birthday of the King James Bible, I would like to share with you one of my favorite childhood readings from the KJV Bible.

“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.
He will not suffer thy foot to be moved;
He that keepeth thee will not slumber.
Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD is thy keeper;
The LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.
The sun shall not smite thee by day,
Nor the moon by night.
The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil:
he shall preserve thy soul.
The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in
From this time forth,
And even for evermore.”         Psalm 121


Feeling Bummed

I’m feeling a bit bummed lately.
Maybe it’s the weather,
Maybe it’s a lack of exercise.
Could be the lack of sunshine.
Probably a Vitamin D deficiency –
You know how those endorphins and serotonins
get all out of whack sometimes?
I’m definitely out of whack.

I have no energy or desire to do anything,
So I just sit

Brain dead.
Writers’ block.
Nothing to say.

I haven’t been in a very good mood either.
Feeling non-social.

Don’t mess with me,
Just leave me alone, please.

Well, not all alone…
Funny, when you’re feeling like
this it’s when you really need to have
folks around.
Folks who “have your back”,

And will stand with you
No matter what.

Someone who can help you see
That there is beauty in the world.
Today is done,
And tomorrow is a gift of a brand new day.

Sometimes I feel like a little lost lamb.
I’m all alone,
Stuck in a bad place.
I need rescuing,
I need help.
I need someone who cares about me,
Who will seek me out
And lend a helping hand.
Someone who loves me and is willing to
Search for my lost soul.

It’s nice to know that He is always with me,
Even when I feel bad.
He won’t leave me in my despair.
He comes to me when I need Him most.

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name;
You are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
And when you pass through the rivers,
They will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
You will not be burned…
For I am the LORD your God.
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”  Isaiah 43:1-3

Nothing like a ray of SONshine to brighten a
bummed spirit.

Where I Stand

Dear God,

I think you’d be pleased with me!
So far today I’ve done all right.
I haven’t gossiped,
lusted,
lost my temper,
or been greedy,
grumpy,
nasty,
selfish,
or overindulgent.
I am very thankful for that.

 

In a few minutes, though, I’m going to get out of bed.
From then on I’m probably going to need a lot of help.

Amen.


Day’s End

 

Jesus  Savior wash away

All that I’ve done wrong today.

Help me every day to be,

Good and gentle

More like Thee.

Good News

Fear not, I am with you.
Oh, be not dismayed,
For I am your God and will still give you aid;
I’ll strengthen you,
help you,
and cause you to stand,
Upheld by my righteous omnipotent hand.

When through the deep waters
I call you to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow.
For I will be with you
Your troubles to bless
And sanctify to you
Your deepest distress.

 

A New Future

Tomorrow morning will be the start of a new day.  It will also be the start of a new year.  And,  the start of a new decade.  When I wake up in the morning, I might have some plans made for the day; but that doesn’t guarantee  those plans will work out as I expect.  I may plan to go shopping … but there could be thousands of reasons waiting to squash my trip.  Dead car battery, unexpected company, bad weather, empty checkbook, busted plumbing, etc.

If I can have problems trying to know what one day will bring, however could I foresee the events of the upcoming year?  Or the next ten?!  When I look back at the departing decade, I never would have imagined the events and changes that took place.  My current path in life is not the one I expected to be on at the end of this decade.

Not knowing  what the future holds can be frightening.  There are so many bad things that could happen within the next day, or year, of decade.  Facing the future is like facing a barren wilderness, uncharted waters, or an unknown jungle.   You don’t know where to go, or what to expect, or what you will meet along the way.

I don’t know what a new day, a new year, or a new decade holds for me and my loved ones.  But I do know that God knows.

“For I know the plans I have for you,”

declares the LORD,

“plans to prosper you and not to harm you,

plans to give you hope and a future”

Jeremiah 29:11

It may not seem that way at times.  I have wondered and waited through some tragic times.  But I know that no matter what comes my way, The LORD will see to it that my faith and hope in Him prospers, and my  glorious future is in Heaven with Him.  I’m safe.  No matter what.

And it Came to Pass…

What is your most memorable Christmas ?  The year of the cool toys?  The Christmas when the whole family gathered once more at Grandma’s?  How about the office party that went on and on and on?  Each of us has at least one memorable Christmas.  It stays with you.  You can close your eyes and transport yourself back to that magical moment.

I have a few memorable Christmases of my own.  Many of them go back to my childhood.  I remember the year I was 4 years old.  When I ran out to the living room Christmas morning, I was shocked and amazed to see a whole nursery for my brand new Tiny Tears baby doll.  A wooden cradle, playpen, high chair, and a plastic bathinet which held water.  I can close my eyes and return to that site, and the thrill.  I still have my Tiny Tears doll.  She’s packed away in my cedar chest.  Only the wooden playpen survives to this day.  Several Christmases ago I refurbished the playpen and gave it to my granddaughter for her collection of baby dolls.

As a child, Christmas Eve was the big event of the year.  We performed in the children’s’ Christmas Eve Service at church.  It was tradition on Christmas Eve that after lunch, Mom would supervise baths, put curlers in our hair, dress us in our tights and slips and tuck us into bed for a nap.  At church we would recite the familiar Bible passages, and sing “Away in a Manger” and “Silent Night” in German.  From Kindergarten on, I memorized the Luke 2 story and recited it with my class mates.  “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a degree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed…”  One year we got to sing it.  I felt like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing the ” Halleluia Chorus”.

One year, upon awaking from my Christmas Eve nap, I walked out into the kitchen to my mother’s shock and dismay.  I had the measles.  I didn’t get to do the Christmas program.  My broken heart was pacified by the fact that I got to wear sunglasses all during Christmas.

Then there was the first Christmas with my new husband, and our first Christmas with baby.  Later, there were Christmases without loved ones.

For many people, Christmas can be a time of sadness.  They have no one to celebrate with.  No presents.  No Christmas dinner.  No Christmas joy.  But Christmas isn’t about all that.  Cookies, cards, gifts, trees, decorations, and lots and lots of shopping.  Christmas is about the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.  God the Son became a baby to grow up in our sinful world, to live the perfect life we can not live, to die and suffer our punishment, and to rise again from the grave victorious. He came to redeem us, to save us.   All because He loves us.

Christmas is a time of love.  Love between God and His people.  What else do we need?

Merry Christmas!  Spread the good news of great joy!