In my later teen years I began to notice certain coincidences in my life were derived from more than mere random chance. There seem to be interesting patterns and connections in life that could only be explained as part of a grand design. Of course, we find that design in the pages of our Bible, which is key to proving it as the Word of God, but you have only my cognitive recall of what actually happened in my lifetime’s history of events. All I know is that long before my conversion, the Lord was working on my heart in many arduous ways to win my soul if I were so interested.

One of those ways was through the various messages I heard and how easily my response was accepted among men without any basis for belief. For example, I was asked by my mother and her friend if I regarded Jesus as my Lord as we soaked in Lava Hot Springs pools in southeastern Idaho. They joyously received my reply of  “yes” though I had no idea of what my answer really meant and yet I recall it to be an honest answer on my part. Consider the numerous Israelites delivered from oppressive bondage by God’s servant Moses.

“For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened.” Hebrews 4:2

Deception crept in this year through another gospel, referred to as the Message. It was my Bible-reading version until earlier this month when I decided to factory reset my phone due to lack of phone memory storage. It worked, but it also successfully disabled the Bible software I was using.  Through it, I ingested a daily dosage of MSG (the abbreviation for ‘the Message’). I found cravings for the paraphrase translation to rear its ugly head, as it gave me a fresh perspective on God’s Word, though not without altering a few concepts along the way. I’m thankful to be back to a word-for-word translation and consider it a fruit of repentance. Though the ESV isn’t respected in all circles, I use it in a class with two sixth-grade girls on Wednesday afternoons since they now each possess a bilingual version. When seeking some offline Bible apps after the last one’s performance fizzled, I found an ESV with study note and cross references. This is the best one I’ve seen yet for the Android user, though a second place was discovered shortly after. Some of you may be acquainted with E-Sword. This app is called MySword and works in much the same way, offering modules to be downloaded. One of the modules I joyously jumped up and down in the Spirit over was ‘pinyin’ or simply put, Chinese with our alphabet. The app allows a compare mode, which is extremely useful in learning Chinese with the Inspired Word, along with being able to compare the Strong’s numbers from the KJV with those in the CUV. Again, more bilingual integration, which is most useful since a few months back when most of my studies with other souls have started to be interpreted by my wife, Ted or our water-bearing buddy, Kevin. Most notably Kevin, once declaring his view of baptism to be an ‘inward sign of an outward grace’, an invention not found even in the paraphrase versions of the Bible, has been learning a rightly divided teaching of Scripture through his efforts to convert our message from one tongue to another. What a blessed message we’ve heard, eh brethren? Allow me the liberty to leave you with a few verses from the apostle John hand via the Holy Comforter:

“This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”

1 John 1:5

“For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.”

1 John 3:11

Thanks for not changing the channel,



RSS Trackback URL humblebe | October 17, 2012 (9:38 pm)

Saint's Sojourns

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