Tag Archives: woman

Huh? Is that really in there?

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When I was a young man, my grandfather would tell me a story from when he was a youth worker and my parents were teenagers. My grandfather has always been active in the church, so when my parents were teens, he saw a need to step in to facilitate classes and activities for the teens.

One Sunday morning he saw two young men walking down the aisle, and he decided to have some fun with them. Bear in mind that this was probably the early 1970’s. Both of these teen boys had mustaches, so my grandfather asked them,
“Do you boys read your bible?”
“Oh yes sir,” was their reply.
“Well, then you can quote Hezekiah 14:26.” My grandpa was trying to hold back his grin.
“Um, can you remind us how it goes?” The boys were back pedaling quickly.
“Thou shalt not grow tame upon thine upper lip what groweth wild upon thine leg.”

The two hairy-lipped boys thanked him and went their merry way. The next time Grandpa saw them they had shaved their lips. Obviously they hadn’t bothered to look up the verse, because if they had they wouldn’t have found it. Hezekiah was a king, it isn’t a book in the bible. There is no verse that says men shouldn’t grow mustaches. I cracked up every time I heard that story.

Do you know your bible? Let’s take a test today. I’m going to list some common phrases, and see if you can figure out which ones came from the bible and which ones didn’t.

Is this from the bible or not?
1. Cleanliness is next to godliness
2. The apple of my eye
3. The golden rule: “Do unto others what you would have them do unto you”
4. Once saved, always saved
5. Spare the rod, spoil the child
6. God helps those who helps themselves
7. The sinner’s prayer
8. The lion will lay down with the lamb
9. Hell hath no fury like that of a woman scorned
10. The writing on the wall
11. Wolf in sheep’s clothing
12. You reap what you sow
13. This too shall pass
14. A fool and his money are soon parted

Well, how did you do? The only ones that are actually in the bible are numbers 2, 3, 10, 11, 12, and 13.

We believe a lot of things that just aren’t true. Not being willing to check out the facts through any form of research is a high form of self-deception. We are given a brain to use, but many of us just accept everything at face value.

When Luke wrote the book of Acts, he said that the Bereans were of “more noble character” than those around them because they heard Paul’s message and went home and searched the scriptures to see if it was true.

This practice should apply to every area of our lives. There is an election coming up. Do you believe the hype, or have you done the research so that you have an educated opinion upon which you will cast your vote? Do you accept what the preacher says just because he is the preacher? Do you accept what your school says because the teacher proclaims a message that sounds good?

“Most people who profess a deep love of the Bible have never actually read the book.” Rabbi Rami Shapiro

Please don’t be a person who hears something and accepts it without verifying the facts. There are plenty of people who will lie to you with lies that sound too much like truth. Even some religions will expect you to take what they say at face value without verification. One very popular religion has even made it their rule that what they say is more important than what the bible says. Thus there is no way to be a Berean in that system of religion.

The bible is full of wonderful information that feeds your need for truth. Preachers, pastors, and teachers are flawed, erring human beings, so it is important that you verify what they say. Don’t do it because you’re just a skeptic. Don’t do it because you think they’re bad people. They aren’t, I’m sure! In fact, I try very hard to tell the truth all the time, but sometimes I get my facts confused. It is important, then, that you have the ability to discern truth on your own.

You can be noble like a Berean as well.

If you know any other common phrases thought to be in the bible but aren’t, then I’d love to hear them. Many of these are truths that can be verified in scripture, but the wording isn’t there. Shoot me a message at mrjdobbs@gmail.com or comment on this article at my blog at http://www.mrdobbs.org. God bless you as you seek His truth every day.

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Are You the Puppet or the Puppeteer?

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I have two dogs. One is a black Lab, and the other is a Weimaraner. The Lab is docile but mischievous, and the Weimaraner is curious, hyper and ditzy. The Lab’s name is Katy and the Weimaraner’s name is Mija.

I have not been incredibly fond of Mija. She steals food from Katy, is overly rambunctious, and excited pees on my floors. She is also difficult to take out on a leash.

When I first started walking with Mija she would be all over the place. She would try to yank my arm out of socket. Then she would wrap me up in the leash. Then she would be between my legs. Then she would be sniffing something interesting and not want to keep going. She desperately wanted to be in control. But there was one problem for her. She was on a leash, and I am bigger than her.

When she would be all over the place and not listening to commands, I would get frustrated. OK; that’s an understatement. Nevertheless, the more frustrated I got the worse she behaved. I actually had to finally put a choker chain on her as we went for walks. She learned by way of this very quickly.

If you’ve never seen a choker chain for a dog, it works like this: the more they pull away, the tighter it gets around their neck. So, in essence, when they pull away they are choking themselves, but when they behave and walk as intended, then the collar loosens and they are comfortable again. I know that some people think this is cruel, but it works quickly and effectively.

After one session on the choker chain Mija is walking on the leash fine and doesn’t need it. Now, if I wait too long before walking her again, chances are that she will re-develop bad habits again, and we may have to re-introduce the choker chain to remind her of the rules to walking on a leash.

As I think about Mija, however, I realize that I shouldn’t get too frustrated with her. So many times I am just like her, only God is the one giving the directions.

What Mija doesn’t understand is that I have to curb her wild instincts so that she won’t get in trouble, and so that we can help her survive in a comfortable lifestyle as part of our family. It is a blessing for her to live with us.

What I don’t understand often times is that God is doing the same thing. He is trying to give me direction for my life, but I want to do things my own way. If only I would trust that God’s way is best, I would find out that life is so much richer. When I try to do things my own way, something always goes wrong.

In Galatians it talks about how everyone who has been baptized into Christ has clothed themselves with Christ (Galatians 3:27). Romans 8:9 says that we who are “of Christ” have the Spirit of Christ living inside us as well. Inside and out we are covered in Christ. Today I heard a preacher talking about how often we try to fit Jesus and his will into our lives instead of trying to fit our lives into His will. It’s much like trying to tell God what you’re both going to do that day.

“Jesus, I know it would be more beneficial to worship with the Saints this Sunday, but I’m so tired, so I think we’ll just stay home today.” When it’s written like this it seems pretty silly, but we do just this every time we choose to tear someone down or get drunk or disobey our parents or mess around with someone who isn’t our spouse. We even do this when we make a choice not to do something that we should be doing. James 4:17 says, “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.”

We are called to allow the Spirit of Christ to be in control. When we don’t, He allows us to reap the consequences of our actions, and we can choose to learn from those consequences like Mija did on the choker chain, or we can remain stubborn and live a life far short of what God has intended for us.

You see, God has this wonderful plan for your life so that it can be the best life possible (Jeremiah 29:11), but if we don’t allow Him to be our puppeteer – if we try to cut the strings and still claim to be His – then we end up with a very messed up life indeed.

This coming Sunday is the beginning of a new year. It’s a great time for a fresh start, and God is great about allowing us to start over any time we are ready. Are you ready to make the decision to allow God to help you find true life in the midst of this messed up world? Are you tired of always messing up because you are always in control? He created you. You are His, and He loves you beyond your comprehension. He has a great plan for you. Do you trust Him?

If you’d like to know more about giving your life to God and having your sins washed away so that you never have to worry about them again, please feel free to contact me. You can reach me at the office at 979-245-1611 or via email at jddobbs@verizon.net. God bless you, and may you have a truly happy new year as you allow God to be in control once again.


What to do when we wait

Can you imagine the situation of the apostles? Their leader, whom they had lived in close quarters with for the last three years has now been taken prisoner. They were trying him unjustly and illegally so as to frame him for crimes he did not commit. Then, they planned to kill him.

And they succeeded. They killed Jesus.

We speak often about Friday, and we preach about Sunday, but what about Saturday? It was on Saturday that they had to wait.

I don’t think this was a comfortable waiting either. They must have been constantly questioning themselves. Is that it? Was he really who he said he was? Did we just waste three good years of our lives? What’s next? He talked about rising from the dead, but what if it doesn’t happen? There had to be much trepidation in the hours between the cross and the empty tomb.

Read the account for yourself. Have you ever thought of what it must have been like?

We wait all the time, don’t we? We wait at restaurants, stores, doctors’ offices, amusement parks, airports, even the DMV. It is inevitable that sometime during your day you will have to wait for something. You’re not alone. Everyone waits.

What do you do with the time that you must spend waiting? Some people tap their foot and wrinkle their brow and become increasingly disgruntled. You know the pattern…they start mumbling about how slow this is and how much of a hurry they are in. They become rude to the people who are doing their best to serve them. God forbid they have to wait.

Is this you? I hope not. Waiting doesn’t have to be a negative time of your day. In fact, the next time you wait – for anything – try one of these few ideas.

First, remember the apostles on that lonely Saturday. What did they do? They prayed. Waiting is a great opportunity to pause and spend time in the presence of God in prayer. He wants to hear from you, and the only way you’ll have a great relationship with Him is to talk to Him. Pray for all kinds of things that you are going through, but don’t forget to pray for those who are making you have to wait. Perhaps they are having something worse than waiting that is going on with them.

Second, spend some time in the word. We live in the age of tiny technology. If you have a smartphone, you can access the mobile version of biblegateway.com, or you can download the youversion app or the logos app. All these are free, and they are great resources for reading the bible in whatever translation you desire on the go. I use all three of these at different times, and they are really great! More than just reading the word, though, just read a verse or two, and meditate on that passage. You will find God often speaks to you through His word in ways that cut right to what you are dealing with, even if it’s a struggle with being patient while you wait for that incredibly slow train that is cutting the town in half while you are trying to get the kids to school on time.

Lastly, just breathe. Take deep breaths and relax and let the cares slide right off of your shoulders. Sometimes we need to create peace times in our days, and waiting in line or at the red light can help fill those peaceful needs.

Jesus came to bring us peace. I think it was a powerful lesson in trust that the apostles went through on the Saturday so long ago as they waited for their messiah to be raised. You are faced with the same trust questions. Do you trust that God is in control even of this very situation? Do you trust that he works all things for your good (Romans 8:28)?

May you see waiting times as joyful opportunities rather than painful detours to your carefully planned schedule. Besides, when we tell God our plans He probably has a pretty good chuckle at our expense. He is always in control, and he wants us to allow Him to guide our lives so that Jeremiah 29:11 can be fulfilled in us.

If there is ever anything I can do for you, please call me at 245-1611, or email me at jddobbs@verizon.net. God bless you all!


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