Saturday, August 20, 2011

Why did Jesus tell His disciples to buy swards if God is against violence? A contradiction or more?

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Greetings in the name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.  How is everyone doing?  Everything is going OK here.  My truck has broke down again.  This time it is the transmission.  In the last two months I have not been doing very good  because my truck has been having lots of mechanical issues.  On Monday I will be calling fleet assignment and asking them what accounts they have available in my area.  The plan is that if I get on an account with Werner then they will work harder to make sure I have a truck that is working because they can't afford to have a truck down on contract accounts.  Unfortunately, Werner doesn't look out for their OTR drivers as much as dedicated drivers.
I talk to lots of people about God.  In my talking to people, I come across people (both Christians and non-Christians) that say that the Bible contradicts itself.  The problem with this is that if the Bible does contradict itself then the Bible can't be the word of God.  If the Bible isn't the word of God then where do you get God's word from.  Some will say that God speaks to them directly.  Yes, God does speak to His people directly.  God speaks to me every day.  However, so does my adversary and so does my flesh (or human nature).  How do you know if it is God speaking to you or if it is the adversary or if it is your human nature talking to you?  Jesus was tempted by Satan in Matt 4 and as you can tell, Satan used scriptures to try to convince Jesus that it was OK for Him to commit the sins.  Satan does the same to us.  If we don't use the Bible then it is even easier for Satan to convince us that it is OK for us to sin by saying the actions are not sin.  Jesus shows us how to react to this.  So how do you know if it is Satan talking to you or God?  The way I do it is to take what is being told to me and test it against what the Bible says.  If what is being told to me contradicts the Bible then I know it is either Satan or just my human nature.  But of course, you need to have faith that the Bible is the word of God first.  Without this, you don't have anyway to challenge the spirits, do you?
One of the things that I have been told is a "contradiction" is in Luke 22:36 "He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one."  If you just read this verse then you would think that Jesus promoted violence.  But then you read other verses in the Bible then you will see that Jesus was against violence.  This includes when Jesus rebukes Peter for using the sword to help Jesus.  Contradiction?  Or is there more to why Jesus tells His disciples to buy swords?
The best way to avoid being taken by Satan or false prophets is to not just read verses but to understand the Bible.  Remember that originally, the word of God wasn't written as chapters and verses.  They were letter or notes.  You must read the Bible as a bunch of letters and notes.  This means that you can't just read Luke 22:36 and understand what Jesus was talking about.  That would be like taking one sentence of this blog and trying to understand what I am talking about.  Lets take a look at what Jesus said, "Then Jesus asked them, "When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?"
"Nothing," they answered.
He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. It is written: 'And he was numbered with the transgressors'; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment."
The disciples said, "See, Lord, here are two swords."
"That's enough!" he replied"
The first thing I want to point out is that Jesus told them to have swords but never told them to use the swords.  Jesus never wanted the swords to be used to fight because He said that two swords were going to be enough.  Two swords to fight an army of men?  When you read the whole conversation regarding this, you see that Jesus explains why His disciples had to have swords.  "It is written: 'And he was numbered with the transgressors'; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment." 
By the disciples having swords (and Peter actually using it) and the army of people there to get Jesus having weapons, Jesus was numbered with the transgressors.  By Jesus healing the ear of someone who was there to arrest Jesus really showed something amazing.  He healed someone who hated Him.  Jesus also rebukes Peter for using the sword and then goes peacefully with the army of men. 
What you will not find is that Jesus tells all His followers to buy weapons and He doesn't tell the disciples or any of His followers to use weapons.  Actually, under the new covenant, Jesus speaks against ALL violence even if someone does something against us. 
The exact way that I have looked into this verse you can do to every part of the Bible.  If something looks like a contradiction dig into the verses.  Another thing to look at is who wrote the book, who was speaking, who was the verses or book intended for, what was going on at the time.  Believe it or not, not everything God or God's people said was intended for everyone and some of the things said in the Bible was going against God.  Yes, sometimes God's people sinned and God had it recorded so that we can learn from it. 
Well, I will end this for now.  I will try to post more blogs like this to help clarify other verses that people may think contradict other verses.  Take care and God Bless.
The Oklahoma Tomcat
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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Who do you follow, your employer or God?

Oklahoma Police Captain Faces Disciplinary Action for Refusing to Attend Islamic Event. Http://
High school biology teachers refuse to teach evolution. Http://

Teachers call for right to boycott sex education. Http://

FYE Fires Employees Who Refuse To Mislead Customers About Subscriptions And Other Ripoffs Hanover Maine

Truck Driver who Refused to Violate DOT Regulations

The above is just a few stories of people who have been told that they have to go against God's word or be disciplined. How about you? If you were told by your employer (weather you word for the government or private company) to go against God's word, would you follow your employer or would you follow God? Be sure your feet are under your seat. I have a feeling that I will be stepping on peoples toes.

On February 23rd I heard a story on the radio about a Tulsa, Oklahoma Police officer who refused to attend an Islamic Event. At first, police officers were told it was voluntary that officers attend the event but very few officers signed up for the event. The department then made the event mandatory and this one officer still refused to attend. I was cheering him on. Attending would go against his Christian faith and so he risked his career to follow God. I then thought of the number of people I know or have talked to that told me that they do what they know is wrong but their boss makes them. When I ask, "why" they say that they can't afford to get fired. This is very sad and very dangerous.

We all sin. No denying that. The reason we sin is because we are greedy and selfish. We all have hate. But how about when we sin because we choose to keep our job? I find that this is a very dangerous decision. I have blogged that we must obey our employers and work as if we are working for God. That is until our employer goes against God's word just as we are to obey the law of the land until that law goes against God's word. If you are sinning because you are afraid that you will be unemployed you are saying that you do not believe God will provide for you if you follow Him. You have more faith in your boss then you have in God. If you don't have faith that God will provide for your needs and you are willing to go against God's word to protect your employment, what are you going to do when things get worse? How about if someone threatens your life unless you deny God? How about if someone threatens your life unless you sin against God? If you are not willing to put a job at risk to follow God then how will you be willing to risk your life. How about the days that we know will come?

In Revelation we read that there will be a beast and he will put his mark on people. Everyone who refuses to have the mark of the beast will not be able to sell, buy or trade. Have you ever given this any thought? If you are around for this, you will have to make a very tough decision. If you choose to obey God, the government of this world will not allow you to sell, buy, or trade. How are you going to eat? Where are you going to live? What are you going to wear? Do you have faith that God will provide for you? Do you? Really? What we face now with our employer is nothing compared to what will come in the future and since we do not know when those days will come, it is possible that you will be around. But, even if you are will not be around. What do you think God feels about you having no faith that He will provide for you for doing what is right? Does God like that you have more faith in your boss to provide for your needs then Him? And what if Government does make laws that go against God's word (as we see it is already trying to do)? If you are not willing to stand up to your boss at the risk of loosing your job, how are you going to stand up to government at the risk of going to jail?

So, what are some of the things an employer can tell you to do that goes against God? Some of the common ones I see is: Cheating log books (truck drivers), speeding (travel), forbidding you from praying, lying, stealing, using your looks in a sexual way to get customers to buy something, teaching things that go against the Bible, and much much more.

I pray that this blog will at least get you to think of the choices you make next time your employer tells you to go against God's word. And when you have decided in your mind what choice you are about do, ask, "Am I putting my faith in God or man."


The Oklahoma Tomcat

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

My dad's jacket

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior.  How is everyone doing?  I pray that this blog finds you all in good health and spirits.  Everything is going good out here.  I have been having mechanical problems with this truck ever since I picked it up in Dallas, TX.  Still having problems with it but I am hoping that it will keep going until my next home time in which then I will take it to the Freightliner dealer in Oklahoma City.  I am just tired of being down for several days when I should be running.  The family is doing good back at home.  Abigail is now in 1st grade and doing very good.  She has found out what the red pen is.  Paula has started grading her papers.  She tries so hard to get high grades and one time she was so saddened when she got a 93. 
The year was 1990 and I was in 12th grade.  My friend, Anthony, was in trouble and asked if he could barrow some money.  He had gotten another speeding ticket.  So, I we drove to the Jeffersonville bank and I lent him the money.  A few month latter he was unable to pay me back so he gave me his leather jacket.  I liked the jacket.  It was a heavy leather jacket that had leather strips hanging across the back and sleeves.  I wore the leather jacket when I visited my father and he liked it.  I asked him to try it on and the sleeves were short but he didn't care.  He liked it. So, I gave him the jacket.  After I joined the navy I picked my dad up a patch of an eagle with lightning bolts in the background.  My dad liked eagles which I do too.  When I came home and visited him I gave him the patch so that he can put it on his jacket.  Yesterday, I was blessed to be able to visit family in NY.  I picked up a loaded trailer in Springfield, OH and will be delivering it in Wilton, NY.  The load has lots of time on it and I was not allowed to deliver it early.  So, I asked my dispatcher if I could go out of route and stop in White Sulpher Springs to visit family.  He told me I could.  This was the first time I got to see them since my father died.  During my visit, Val (my father's wife), asked me if I wanted his jacket.  I had a feeling she was talking about his leather jacket.  It felt weird because I had given it to him and I have never took something back that I have given someone.  It also was neat that he still had that jacket and wore it a lot after all these years and now I would have something that I gave him and he cherished.  She went into the bedroom to get it and I already felt tears coming.  My sister, Judy, what sitting next to me.  Neither Judy or Val new that this was the jacket that I gave dad.  Val brought the jacket out and sure enough, it was the jacket I gave him when I was in 12th grade.  I turned the jacket around and looked at the back and there was the eagle.  I could tell that he wore the jacket a lot.  The jacket was in real good shape.  I could tell that he took very good care of it.  But it has that well worn look to it. Val asked me if it fit me.  I put the jacket on and told Val and Judy about the day I gave dad the jacket and the patch and they were amazed.  Val now understood why the sleeves never fit and yet he always wore the jacket even though he would be teased about it.
It is amazing how God works.  How he will put things into motion to cherish great memories of those loved ones we loose and reminds us how much those people loved us.   It is those memories that bring us great joy.  I still remember the huge smile on dad's face when he put that jacket on for the first time and I told him it was his.  I remember every detail of that day.  Where he lived, where we were sitting, everything.  I am so glad that I gave him the jacket and the patch.  It means a lot to me that he put that patch on the back of the jacket and to hear that he wore that jacket a lot.  And I am so blessed that Val (not knowing that I gave him that jacket) had asked me to have it.  Thank you Val and thank you God.
Take care and God Bless
The Oklahoma Tomcat
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