Devotional (Archive #1 of 3)
“Now I lay me down to sleep; I pray to God my soul to keep: if I should die before I wake, I pray to God my soul to take.” That’s the prayer my sister and I were taught by my mom. Of course, we were young and impressionable, and we were taught to get in the proper prayer-position by being on our knees with our palms together and clasped under our chinny chin chins. That was a nightly routine. It was very effective in laying to rest all the trials and tribulations of the day (even though there was a monster in the closet next to my bed).
Atheists will probably say, “That’s indoctrination!” True, it is; on the other hand, it provides a foundation of support of a higher power that aids in reducing concerns of safety (among other things) for our Little One. In addition, when we add other prayers of support such as the 23rd song of David, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want, He makes me lie down in green pastures, He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness, for His names sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever,” it provides a reassuring inner strength that, when added to physical awareness, is unbeatable.
Remember, we are molding a little stick of dynamite, a being who will make the world his for the taking. He will mold the world into what he wants it to be and adapt his conditions to suit his desires. Many individuals will say, “That’s easy for you to say, but how does one do that?” We at the “Bridge To Success” say, it’s also easy to do! Keep in mind, you set the stage, and when you treat life in such a way that it (life) is a barrel of fun, at the same time is a serious condition with consequences and alternatives, then you can mold your Little One into all he is meant to be. All you need to do is personalize the technique, method or whatever you want to call it as revealed on this site. Personalize means make it yours, make it fit the uniqueness of you and your child. If you need help, talk to me at email@example.com.
My mom also taught my sister and me her other favorite song of David (the 100th psalm): “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before His presence with singing. Know ye the Lord He is God; it is He that has made us and not we ourselves; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him and bless his name. For the Lord is good, His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endures to all generations.” That’s a powerful prayer, but it might be meaningless if you, the parent, cannot explain what it means. Well, what does it mean? When your little one asks, “What does, ’make a joyful noise unto the Lord’ mean, dad?” what would you say?
You might say, “That’s a good question, son. First of all, I’m sure you would agree that you did not make yourself, right? (don’t continue before he answers that question) I think you would also agree that we enjoy being alive: running, jumping, laughing, and surviving the challenges of life.” “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord” means, thank your maker (thank you Lord for providing me with eyes that can see the beautiful sunset, with a nose that can smell the yummy bar-b-que ribs, with ears that can hear the music of mom’s singing, etc, etc.). That’s a good time to illustrate the value of thanking our Creator for what we have, as opposed to concerning ourselves with things we do not have.
Even as we talk, there are those who do not have eyes to see, ears to hear, voices to speak, legs to walk, arms to hug. Now might be a good time to talk about Nick Vujicic, an individual who was born without arms, and without legs; nevertheless he is an inspiration to millions of individuals all over the world, who have all their physical anatomical assets: he is really something. He thanks God for his being who he is. In fact; he has produced tapes about his belief in the goodness and love of God. You might want to share it with your Little One.
The atheists might say, “There is no God: praying is a waste of time!” “Not only that, it’s easy for you to talk, but what about those poor individuals in the ghetto, the ones who are afraid of physical and/or mental abuse, the ones that are abused in one manner or another everyday of their lives: what about them?” The answer is, there is nothing we can do about or for them in our “Bridge To Success.” However, when it comes to your Little One, you can not only protect him and arm him with the tools he needs to rise above the ghetto (victim) mentality, you can insure he will never, ever be poor or want for anything an individual can desire or need. That’s the gift you can provide to your Little One and the world. If prayer is not your cup of tea, don’t pray; nevertheless, if as a parent, you utilize the methods on this site, your little one will never, ever be poor.
Please allow me to add one more thing: poor is a mindset, not a condition. An individual can have a ton of material things: houses, cars, clothes, etc., and still be poor. At the same time, an individual can be without the finest of material assets and not be poor. Our “Bridge To Success,” part one, sets you up to provide the mindset for your Little One so that he will never, ever be poor. Part two is designed to help guide you and your Little One through the joy of enjoying life as it is meant to be — a barrel of fun.
From this point of view, all you need to do is, “Make it happen and make it fun.”
That’s the end of Devotional (Archive #1 of 3)
Begin Devotional (Archive #2 of 3):
A few days before Christmas, I scribbled a note on the nearest scratch pad I could find. The little note said: “1st Corinthians 13”.
I have no idea why I noted that, I can relate to you the fact that I exercise with one of my many Christian friends, one day a week. When we break, we talk about all manner of things. On that occasion we must have been talking about love; obviously, my friend must have quoted from the Christian Bible: 1 Corinthians 13.
Before I go any further, let me just say: this blog is in no way intended to be a Christian forum. However, I do not intend to restrict it from any and all categories, including religious. Having said that, please allow me to continue…
I thought it might be appropriate to reveal the message here in our “LOVE Is Timeless (Archives)”, and our Devotional (Archives), so here it is:
1 Corinthians 13 New King James Version (NKJV) The Greatest Gift
13 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, it profits me nothing.
4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
You said, “you desire to know more about who said it, when and where he said it,” well, here it is:
First Epistle to the Corinthians
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The First Epistle to the Corinthians, often referred to as First Corinthians (and written as 1 Corinthians), is the seventh book of the New Testament of the Bible. Paul the Apostle and “Sosthenes our brother” wrote this epistle to “the church of God which is at Corinth“, in Greece.[1Cor.1:1–2]
This epistle contains some well-known phrases, including (depending on the translation) “all things to all men” (9:22), “without love, I am nothing” (13:2), “through a glass, darkly” (13:12), and “when I was a child, I spoke as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child” (13:11).
There is near consensus among historians and Christian theologians that Paul is the author of the First Epistle to the Corinthians, typically classifying its authorship as “undisputed” (see Authorship of the Pauline epistles). The letter is quoted or mentioned by the earliest of sources, and is included in every ancient canon, including that of Marcion. However, two passages may have been inserted at a later stage. The first passage is 1 Cor 11:2–16 dealing with praying and prophesying with head covering. The second passage is 1 Cor 14:34–35 which has been hotly debated. Part of the reason for doubt is that in some manuscripts, the verses come at the end of the chapter instead of at its present location. Furthermore, Paul is here appealing to the law which is uncharacteristic of him. Lastly, the verses come into conflict with 11:5 where women are described as praying and prophesying.
The epistle was written from Ephesus (16:8), a city on the west coast of today’s Turkey, about 180 miles by sea from Corinth. According to Acts of the Apostles, Paul founded the church in Corinth (Acts 18:1–17), then spent approximately three years in Ephesus (Acts 19:8, 19:10, 20:31). The letter was written during this time in Ephesus, which is usually dated as being in the range of 53 to 57 AD.
The traditional subscription to the epistle, translated in the King James Bible, states that this epistle was written at Philippi, perhaps arising from a misinterpretation of 16:5, “For I do pass through Macedonia”, as meaning, “I am passing through Macedonia”. In 16:8 Paul declares his intention of staying in Ephesus until Pentecost. This statement, in turn, is clearly reminiscent of Paul’s Second Missionary Journey, when Paul travelled from Corinth to Ephesus, before going to Jerusalem for Pentecost (cf. Acts 18:22). Thus, it is possible that I Corinthians was written during Paul’s first (brief) stay in Ephesus, at the end of his Second Journey, usually dated to early 54 AD. However, it is more likely that it was written during his extended stay in Ephesus, where he refers to sending Timothy to them (Acts 19:22, I Cor. 4:17). Also, his references to Apollos (1:12, 3:4, etc.) show that Apollos was known to Paul and the church at the time of writing, which would preclude the first recorded visit to Ephesus (See Acts 18:24–28).
The epistle may be divided into seven parts:
- Salutation (1:1–3)
- Paul addresses the issue regarding challenges to his apostleship and defends the issue by claiming that it was given to him through a revelation from Christ. The salutation (the first section of the letter) reinforces the legitimacy of Paul’s apostolic claim.
- Thanksgiving (1:4–9)
- The thanksgiving part of the letter is typical of Hellenistic letter writing. In a thanksgiving recitation the writer thanks God for health, a safe journey, deliverance from danger, or good fortune.
- In this letter, the thanksgiving “introduces charismata and gnosis, topics to which Paul will return and that he will discuss at greater length later in the letter” (Roetzel, 1999).
- Division in Corinth (1:10–4:21)
- Facts of division
- Causes of division
- Cure for division
- Immorality in Corinth (5:1–6:20)
- Discipline an immoral Brother
- Resolving personal disputes
- Sexual purity
- Difficulties in Corinth (7:1–14:40)
- Christian liberty
- Doctrine of Resurrection (15:1–58)
- Closing (16:1–24)
- Paul’s closing remarks in his letters usually contain his intentions and efforts to improve the community. He would first conclude with his paraenesis and wish them peace by including a prayer request, greet them with his name and his friends with a holy kiss, and offer final grace and benediction:
Now concerning the contribution for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia… Let all your things be done with charity. Greet one another with a holy kiss… I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.
—(1 Cor. 16:1–24).
Corinth was the meeting point of many nationalities because the main current of the trade between Asia and western Europe passed through its harbors. Paul’s first visit lasted nearly two years and his converts were mainly Greeks. Some time before 2 Corinthians was written he paid them a second visit (2 Cor. 12: 14; 2 Cor. 13: 1) to check some rising disorder (2 Cor. 2: 1; 2 Cor. 13: 2), and wrote them a letter, now lost (1 Cor. 5: 9). They had also been visited by Apollos (Acts 18: 27), perhaps by Peter (1 Cor. 1: 12), and by some Jewish Christians who brought with them letters of commendation from Jerusalem (1 Cor. 1: 12; 2 Cor. 3: 1; 2 Cor. 5: 16; 2 Cor. 11: 23).
Paul wrote this letter to correct what he saw as erroneous views in the Corinthian church. Several sources informed Paul of conflicts within the church at Corinth: Apollos (Acts 19:1), a letter from the Corinthians, the “household of Chloe”, and finally Stephanas and his two friends who had visited Paul (1:11; 16:17). Paul then wrote this letter to the Corinthians, urging uniformity of belief (“that ye all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you”, 1:10) and expounding Christian doctrine. Titus and a brother whose name is not given were probably the bearers of the letter to the church at Corinth (2 Corinthians 2:13; 8:6, 16–18).
In general, divisions within the church at Corinth seem to be a problem, and Paul makes it a point to mention these conflicts in the beginning. Specifically, pagan roots still hold sway within their community. Paul wants to bring them back to what he sees as correct doctrine, stating that God has given him the opportunity to be a “skilled master builder” to lay the foundation and let others build upon it (1 Cor 3:10).
Later, Paul wrote about immorality in Corinth by discussing an immoral brother, how to resolve personal disputes, and sexual purity. Regarding marriage, Paul states that it is better for Christians to remain unmarried, but that if they lacked self-control, it is better to marry than “burn” (πυροῦσθαι) which Christians have traditionally thought meant to burn with sinful desires. The Epistle may include marriage as an apostolic practice in 1 Corinthians 9:5, “Do we not have the right to be accompanied by a believing wife, as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas (Peter)?” However, the Greek word for “wife” is the same word for “woman”. The Early Church Fathers including Tertullian, Jerome, and Augustine state the Greek word is ambiguous and the women in 1 Corinthians 9:5 were women ministering to the Apostles as women ministered to Christ (cf Matthew 27:55, Luke Carlson 8:1–3), and were not wives, and assert they left their “offices of marriage” to follow Christ and to preach.
Paul also argues unmarried people must please God, just like married people must please their spouses. The letter is also notable for mentioning the role of women in churches, that for instance they must remain silent (1 Cor. 11:2–16, 14:34–35), and the role of prophecy and speaking tongues in churches. After discussing his views on worshipping idols, Paul finally ends with his views on resurrection. He states that Christ died for our sins, and was buried, and rose on the third day according to the scriptures (1 Cor. 15:3). Paul then asks: “Now if Christ is preached as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?” (1 Cor. 15:12) and addresses the question of resurrection.
Throughout the letter, Paul presents issues that are troubling the community in Corinth and offers ways to fix them. Paul states that this letter is not meant to make them feel ashamed but to “admonish” them as beloved children. They are expected to become imitators of Jesus and follow the ways in Christ as he, Paul, teaches in all his churches (1 Cor. 4:14–16).
shows the powerful self-control of the apostle in spite of his physical weakness, his distressed circumstances, his incessant troubles, and his emotional nature. It was written, he tells us, in bitter anguish, “out of much affliction and pressure of heart … and with streaming eyes” (2 Cor 2:4); yet he restrained the expression of his feelings, and wrote with a dignity and holy calm which he thought most calculated to win back his erring children. It gives a vivid picture of the early church … It entirely dissipates the dream that the apostolic church was in an exceptional condition of holiness of life or purity of doctrine.
The author of the Easton’s article concludes, “Many Christians today still find this letter to speak to modern-day problems within church communities.”
There is more in the Wikipedia encyclopedia, but if you want more than that, be my guest and search!
Begin Devotional (Archive #3 of 3):
If you are a Christian, the following testimony might be familiar to you: if you’re not a Christian, chances are, the following devotional message may or may not sit well with you. I wish to not be rude, but that’s not my problem: it is my belief!
First of all, either you believe God is real, you don’t, or you are not sure. Let me tell you, whether an individual believes or not, his perception has no effect on existence.
God is real!
“He” is a spirit, the only force that causes existence to change. I don’t intend to imply that I know God’s will, I don’t, but I do know His intent. My place in our mortal world is to inspire individuals to believe in the goodness of His existence. That is the essence of our devotional message today.
Men and women have a direct revelation from God: that it is beyond question. To put the matter more concretely: we know the Bible is the inspired word of God, primarily for three reasons:
“Because it reveals more truth about God and the duty of man than any other book:” An example is, the figure named Abraham; he was brought up as an idolater. Then look at his story and see how he was led into the worship of one true and only God. How could this have come to pass unless there had been some Divine revelation to him. Also, take the grand utterances of the figure we know as Moses when he proclaimed the love of only one God, and that individuals should love their neighbor. At that time all the world was sunk in idolatry; from whom could Moses have received this majestic truth if not from God direct. In the midst of Roman idolatry and polytheism, we find him saying, “God is a Spirit, and they who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth.” Such a saying calls for more than mere human intelligence.
Because of the fulfillment of prophesy uttered hundreds of years before the events occurred. The first promise of the Bible for the future was the promise of a deliverer from sin (Genesis 3:15). That promise runs like a golden thread down through Old Testament times. Then too, every day we see results, conditions, and experiences which are a direct fulfillment of the prophetic teachings of God’s Word, many of which, from a mere human standpoint, might seem paradoxical and/or absurd.
Because of the influence it has had in the uplifting and purifying of human society. The wonderful miracles of the Old Testament are evidence of that fact. Results speak loudest.
Also, every part of the Old Testament points to a Kingdom that had its beginning 1500 years later in the cross of the Calvary. Even the tearing from top to bottom of the great veil before the Holy of Holies on the day of the crucifixion, was a type which betokened the fact that from that time, every man has access to the Creator through Christ as His High Priest. That act signaled the knowledge that the Creator “sent” Christ Jesus to earth for three reasons:
- To save mankind from self-destruction
- To clarify details outlined in the Old Testament
- To provide a human instrument that would experience and understand the trials and tribulations experienced by individual men and women.