Porn found on Wikipedia, deputy director defends it

I use Wikipedia quite often. Of course, I know it is not the end all of information and in fact, quite a bit of it is balderdash. But, it does have a wealth of information and links for research. I was shocked to see this article on my homepage this morning: Wikipedia Distributing Child Porn, Co-Founder Tells FBI.  

One 2000 article translated from German to English, Erik Moller  defends pedophilia. He is quite cavalier about the innocence of children, even indicating that since 15 and 16 year olds cannot be distinguished from adults, that sex with them is not pedophilia. At least I think that is what he said because Google’s translation is very rough and the syntax of German is not at all like English. For that article, you can go here.

What is the most disturbing to me is that whether we like it or not, Wikipedia is a well known and much used research tool especially by children. The fact that the filters of porn may not work as well on research sites and that school children may be exposed to all these pictures makes my stomach roil in disgust.

I am praying that the FBI will take swift and decisive action on this. Life is dangerous, and some places are dangerous so we take precautions, we protect our children as best we can. But, there are some things that we can’t protect them from except to give them the best education in the Lord that we can. Once they have an excellent grasp of love and what is good in God’s eyes, then perhaps that old Dragon won’t be able to deceive them.

Self esteem vs Godly esteem

There are certain people in this world that have come to believe that they are completely useless. They have come to believe this for many various reasons. They believe they are only useful to be punching bags for others, to be rugs for others and that they could never be worthy to even breathe air much less to be of use for anything other than to cook, clean and be a repository for sperm.

These people believe what the world tells them and that is they are ugly. They believe what those around them tell them and that is they are useless. They do not believe what God tells them. I know, because I used to be like this as well.

One thing I have learned during my years with my Beloved Lord God and that is there is No Faith where there is no Hope. The two are so entwined and bonded together that it is impossible to have one without the other. And the third cord in the unbreakable heavenly rope is Love. With Faith and Hope comes Love. First the Godly Love that He pours into our hearts so that we can at least lift our face up to Him. Then comes the Faith and the Hope that Life really isn't ugly.

Most people equate self-esteem with selfishness, old nature, flesh, pride etc. This is demonstrated with false humility when we've done something for God. When we sing, "such a worm as I" and has now been changed to "such a one as I". We have changed the lyrics in our beloved hymns to remove the "wretches" and the "worms" because it is debilitating to our "self-esteem".  When we listen to the teaching that Selfishness and Ego and the Flesh are the same as Self-Esteem, we are removing Hope which takes away Faith and that takes away the capacity to recognize God's Love.

We love God because He created us with a huge God-sized hole within our hearts that only He can fill but we can only recognize something that Spiritual because He created us with a self-esteem that requires self-preservation almost at all costs. 

It is a God-created characteristic and is necessary for us to be able to recognize God's love. In other words, God created it on purpose.

What would you have me do?

That question was a global rotation stopping question. It is a double-edged sword. It pierced me to the core.

The question is as powerful today as it was several years ago when I first heard it. I was sitting on a comfortable couch. My friends from several different churches gathered about the TV with Beth Moore teaching her Bible Study, "Jesus the One and Only" on the tube. We had our Bibles open on our laps and she was talking about having a deep, open relationship with God through our prayer life. It must be vibrant. It must be personal… be a priority… be on purpose… and for a purpose. I'm nodding my head, 'Yes, of course! I knew all this.'

Then she tells the story of being wronged by a Christian sister.

My brain moves from what she's saying to an incident that had happened not so very before. A woman who professed Jesus, but never acted like she possessed Jesus was trying to get me fired from my job. I was very good at my job, but she couldn't stand the thought of me getting praise for a job well done. She took credit for several things that I developed. She assassinated my character to the point that I still cannot get a job where I live. I'm thinking she couldn't stand the sight of Jesus in me. Every day of the week there was new trumped up evidence that she would present to my bosses putting me in the wrong and her in the Wonder Woman suit saving the day. I can't tell you the number of times she took credit for my work... and not just to my bosses. She was so busy smearing mud all over me, her work suffered. She finally succeeded in getting me fired.

I told God on her. I told Him everything she did. I pointed out how hurt I was and how this demonic attack was affecting my job, distracting me from bringing a better economy to my part of the state. I prayed that God would expose her. I prayed that God would take her peace from her, if she really was a Christian. I prayed that God would convict her of her sins of lies and intrigues and strife. Steam was building in my soul, and anger was about to boil over, then I suddenly came back to the present. "I heard Him ask me, 'What would you have Me do to her, Beth?' What could I say, but 'Have mercy, Lord! Have mercy!'"

Forgiveness. "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." There isn't anything in that prayer Jesus taught His disciples which says, "Forgive us as we forgive only our brothers that offend us." Nor does it say, "Forgive us as we go about our daily life and never mind about those folks who offend us regardless whether they are Christian or not. They'll get theirs in the end anyway!"

Forgive them for they know not what they do. Stephen begged this as he was stoned. Jesus begged this as He hung on the cross. If they can do it in those circumstances, what is losing a job compared to that? There is much that God has forgiven me for, too much for me to harbor anger or bitterness against a woman that didn't understand eternal things. Nor did she know she was doing me a great favor in bringing me to my knees in front of my Lord and Savior. What a great blessing. What a great privilege. What a marvelous relationship builder as the Lord steps between me and Satan."Have mercy, Lord. Forgive her and bring her to Your side. Forgive her because she had no clue what she was doing because she didn't know the sweetness of Your forgiveness."

Several months went by. I thought I had forgiven her. I found out that I had not. She was sitting on the back pew of my church one Sunday night a few weeks ago. I didn’t recognize her until I was on my way home. So I had a bit of an excuse that night. But she was back the next Sunday. I had all week long to pray about it and still thought I’d forgiven her. I had not. I could not bring myself to go talk to her or to shake her hand and welcome her to church.

Have mercy on
me, Lord. Forgive me for I did know what I was doing and I failed You. I did know the sweetness of Your forgiveness and I failed.

Then God reminded me that forgiveness isn’t horizontal. Forgiveness is vertical. It is between my heart and the Lord. If I harbor anger, resentment and bitterness, that comes between the Lord and me and that ruins our sweet relationship. That is a choice I have… a choice of action on my part.

I must guard my heart against grudges or feuds. If I consciously decide to release that anger and resentment to God, bitterness never forms and my relationship is refreshed. I do not have to be best friends with someone in order to forgive her. In fact, it is wise to be wary of the sinner’s ways, for they can entice away from God’s side and God’s ways. 
Therefore, be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. Matthew 10:16

My siblings, this is a lesson we need to keep close because we face this kind of soul shaking all the time. Christians slice and dice each other with surgical precision. In order to keep the communication lines open, we need to pray without ceasing, and forgive without measure.

Weary and worn?

Are you weary and worn in this storm tossed life? That question from the hymn runs through my mind a lot, especially when I'm doing something I do not like to do--housework comes to mind rather quickly. So often we get bogged down in doing things we think we should do instead of asking God what He would have us do. We get caught up in church work and civic work, never taking the time to be with the Refresher, and the carrier of our load. 

We have two promises that I can think of right off the bat, "The LORD lifts those who are heavy laden and those bent beneath their loads," Psalm 145; and "Come to Me you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest," Matt. 11:28

I wrote a post about talents and gifts and it was sort of a half post, I had more to say but now it has gone past the newsworthy phase. So, I've revised it into weary and worn because that seems to be hitting a nerve with Christians recently. 

I said in my post that the Master gave the talents according to the abilities, but did not give the abilities in that particular parable. The story Jesus was telling was not about abilities or what kind of abilities, but more about willingness to use the ability to increase what was given.

Obviously, the servant who received the most from the Master enjoyed using it to make even more. He wanted to make the Master proud. He obviously used it wisely because he doubled what he was given. In the exact same way, the Holy Spirit gives us motivations which spur us on to do God's work without becoming weary or heavy laden. We just need to know what our motivations are in order to operate in them to the fullest extent of our ability.

Take a moment and analyze what motivates you... What interests you the most, and how to you go about solving problems?

Let's take one example and look at how each of the Motivational Spiritual Gifts Paul outlines in Romans 12:6-8 would handle the situation. The gifts Paul lists are: Prophecy/Perception, Server/Minister, Teacher, Exhorter, Administrator, Giver, Compassion with Cheerfulness.

Let's say that in a neighborhood live all the gifts, please note that every Christian has all the gifts of motivation each in proportion to their abilities and in proportion to their faith (something most teachers of the Spiritual gifts forget to mention, but Paul does not).

One neighbor gets sick. Which of these reactions best suits your instinctive desire to help your sick neighbor?

__will take over meals, offer to do housework, run errands, mow the lawn.

__ will ask how she feels, empathize, hug, weep, stay by her bedside.

__ will find it hard to relate to her, but will take a good book and tapes, magazines, or read out loud.

__ will go right over and encourage her, share uplifting Scripture, make sure she is following doctor's orders.

__ will find out what she needs and organize the neighborhood to meet all the needs.

__ will bring food and other gifts, spend time talking and listening, or just sitting quietly.

__ will pray both privately and with her for healing, strength and endurance.

When you've figured out what your motivation is, then you will operate according to that gift and you won't burn out, get weary, or get worn. It is when we are doing things with a mistaken motivation of DUTY that we get overwhelmed. 

Have you decided yet which way you respond to a friend or loved one who is sick? 

1.  Server
2. Compassion/Mercy
3. Teacher
4. Exhorter
5. Administrator
6. Giver
7. Perceiver

Would you like to know more about these gifts? Go here

Video called Collateral Murder is a ‘soda straw’ view of war

I reported on April 6, 2010 the story that Wiki Leaks has posted a full version and a shorter version of a military operation in Iraq. They call it  Collateral Murder. The fact that they have editorialized the title is a good indication of the bias view of the subtitles and focus WikiLeaks has put on the leaked video. The video shows several men who are carrying weapons and two who carry cameras. The journalists carrying the cameras are from Reuters. You can click on the link and view the video for yourself. I recommend you study the thing hard because it gives only a slice of the real story.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates lambasts the posting of the video from Iraq in 2007 because it is a "soda straw" view of war in a Fox News article. I agree wholeheartedly.

There are so many who think that war is where everyone fights fair and plays fair, when any military person could tell you that is not the case. Just ask anyone who fought in Viet Nam. Wiki Leaks proclaims they have scientifically analyzed this video and declare that murder was committed. I watched the full version which is 39 minutes long, beginning with several men walking along carrying AK47s, and several others who are not armed, gathering together before they enter a building. It ends with the US Military finally blowing up the building.

I am proud to be an American, and proud of how our boys reacted to this clear and present danger. Perhaps there was a bit of callousness in the radio transmission, but after so many years of this kind of war, I have no problem with their judgment. What the military guys said was true. Once the weapons are spotted, permission is asked to engage, meaning to fire upon those with weapons. In a war zone, any person carrying a weapon, and is not a military friendly, is up to no good. The Rules of Engagement were followed to the T, every i is dotted and every t is crossed.

Common sense dictates that you do not bring your children toward a military engagement where shooting is happening, you would run the other way. War has been going on in Iraq for a very long time and people there know that the US military is not playing games. Our boys have suffered more from sniper fire, roadside bombs, car bombs, suicide bombers and the like. These fanatics are not playing games either as this jihad bears witness.  They did right to not hold back from engaging those with weapons who regularly hide behind women and children. A point which Gates points out saying, "Let's also face the reality that we are in a war and our adversaries ... use civilians. They purposely put civilians in harm's way."

They also did right by evacuating the little girl and getting her hospital care as soon as possible. They did right when they shot those who were trying to pick up the wounded because, if you watch closely, you see two from the van shooting missiles at the helicopter above. You can’t hear the hand-to-hand combat, or see it, but you hear it reported from the troops on the ground. War is nasty and there are casualties. Iraqis know by now, if there are military personnel around and there is someone armed close by, they need to run the other way… unless, of course, they are up to no good .

I’ll let you judge for yourself, but from what I observed, our boys were fired upon and met that fire with considerable patience. It was a military operation, carried out with military precision. I find no fault here, and I definitely am considerably ticked that anyone has the effrontery to call it murder.

You just knew it was from God?

            Numerous times God has spoken to me or given me a delight for encouragement. Oh, not out loud, but in such a way I knew it was Him talking to me.
            I was on my teeth-grinding drive home from Arizona after my second husband decided he didn’t want to be married anymore. I was devastated and yearned to turn back, yet God kept nudging me forward. Finally, the whole western sky was a brilliant orange and I heard plain as day, “I’ve got your back.” That night as I lay in a hard, motel bed, I was sobbing my eyes out and crying out to God, “Why?” “What is so terribly wrong with me?” I felt Him press me into the mattress, covering me with His hands, and I heard, “You are acceptable to me, beloved. You need only worry about what I say.” The next day, my heart was lighter but I was still angry.
            Along about Albuquerque, I was enjoying the sun on the snow. I’m a Southern Magnolia; and we don’t see much snow. It comes only often enough to know what it is when we see it. For miles and miles the pristine snow stretched out on both sides of the Interstate. A thought flashed through my mind.
            Why not bring some of that snow back to sweltering Louisiana? I didn’t have a thermos or ice chest, but I did have a plastic bag, and I decided to stop. At the next exit, I drove down the ramp and pulled to the side of the road.
            Angling from the Northeast, across the road through the ditch and around the maintenance building were some deer tracks. A jack rabbit had hopped right over those tracks. What a find! I scooped up those deer tracks and rabbit tracks into the bag, and tossed it into the seat next to me.
            Back on the road, I chuckled and then laughed out loud. God is so funny. Only God could have directed the timing of those animals and the timing of my arrival to the exact point of intersection on that day at that hour. All I had to do was glance in the seat beside me at that melted snow and I would grin. The lighter mood lasted the rest of the way home.
            I stopped in Amarillo for the night. It was freezing cold and it must have snowed after I laid my head down because I had to scrape a goodly portion of ice and snow from the windshield. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky when I set out early the next morning. The first flush of dawn was just a thought in the back of God’s mind because He had done a spectacular job on the stars. When I hit Wichita Falls and turned south, the sky was His crystal footstool.
            I remembered something about a green flash that happened right at the nanosecond the sun touched the horizon. This phenomenon happens because the atmosphere has a prism effect, or so I had read. Not many people get to see this because conditions must be exactly right. I believe God reminded me of it so I’d watch for it.
            The first rays splashed across that crystal sky so beautiful it took my breath away. I glanced back at the road with a sigh because the green flash had not happened for me that morning. I sipped my coffee and thanked God for the morning. Then the sky, right at the horizon, turned this deep, brilliant emerald green and the color flashed across the sky from east to west. I was stunned. It was one of the most spectacular things I had ever seen and it happened so quickly I could have missed it if I’d blinked.
            I pondered the wonder of that as I drove through Dallas and somehow the stress of other drivers packed around me going 80 miles an hour melted away. God reached down to me to give me a delight to lift my sore heart. That trip was best thing I could have done to start the painful process of healing. It was just me and God on the road. I learned a lot about myself and about God. He absolutely does care deeply about each of us and what happens to us. He’s right there every second, in total control… like with the deer and rabbit tracks.
            I brought those deer tracks home to my Daddy. What a hoot that was!
            “What’s this?” Dad cleared his throat as he peered through the water in the bag.
            “Deer tracks and rabbit tracks,” I tossed at him dragging my suitcase from the back seat.
            “Whaaaa--deer tracks!”
            I told him what I’d done and where I’d scooped up the snow. He started laughing then and chuckled every little while then he told Mom, “I’m bringing that to church tomorrow.” She just laughed, fully aware of the “Top this!” game that he and someone at church were constantly playing. They would each bring something back from a trip... some gag gift or novelty toy and give it to the other just to watch the grins and hear the chuckles from everyone. Whatever it was, it would cause a stir in folks as they tried to figure out what it was.
            On Sunday, after I got my coffee at church, I passed a clump of people peering into that bag of water and one fellow was saying, “Yeah... I think I see it. What was it again?”
            It’s a God thing.
            Blessed are ye who weep now, for ye shall laugh Luke 6:21b

Steven Seagal's dilemma

I was watching the news last night and was surprised when the anchor on WDSU said that Steven Seagal was being sued for sexual harassment. 

Truly, Seagal is weird. I've heard some of his beliefs and have they are a bit "out there around Pluto". But, I've seen him in action and some of his causes, and I find it very difficult to believe the story. So I looked it up on TMZ and while I was there, Megan Kelly on Kelly's Court had a couple of attorneys talking about the very story on her show on Fox News.

If you click on the title link, I caution you that this court-filed suit reads like a very bad romance novel (something Megan pointed out). It is explicit and I find it all extremely bizarre. 

Megan Kelly showed a clip from Kayden Nguyen (the plaintiff) in which Nguyen claims she can "trick any man to do" what she wants and that she can "get any girl she wants." 

There are allegations that Seagal has had other harassment charges. Where there is smoke and all that. It would seem that Seagal did not learn his lesson from the previous allegations which, according to Kelly, came to nothing. 

The 32 page complaint has a great deal of detail which actually turns my stomach. I couldn't read all the way through it. It sounds to me like someone started telling a tale and got really caught up in the story telling. 

First of all, when a crime has been committed against your person, you go to the police. If you don't trust the police in the area where the crime was committed, then you go to the police where the company is based and that is in Los Angeles. For me it is truly suspect that she did not run the other way when her new boss said that his wife wouldn't mind if she became his lover. That is a tell which is made of neon, and no woman should ever play the "wait and see" if words like that are actually said to an employee.  

Take a lesson kiddies... don't set yourself up for a fall. Make sure you keep far away from the appearance of evil, check people out before you "fall in" with them. References are good, then most likely you won't have problems. Still, you can't be too careful. 

Most people will abide by the Walls a person puts up. If you act like a sex fiend, then you'll be treated like a sex fiend. If you dress like a floozy, then you'll be treated like a floozy. I have such a sick place in my heart caused by the way some women dress, act, and talk. We were not designed to be that way. We were designed to be treasures, for a good woman's value is far above rubies. We should take this as a directive from God and strive for it.

One of Peter Marshall's sermons derided the movement of women to become like men. I agree with him. We are softer, made that way on purpose. We are made to nurture and to have babies while men were made to hunt and defend. We've gotten our purposes mixed up. 

No wonder women on the prowl are called cougars and men are actually puppies in cheap fur coats. However, to turn a phrase from a Mark Twain quote, "What would men (or women) be without the other gender? Scarce, sir .. mighty scarce." -- Mark Twain

Study Reveals Religious Differences Can Seriously Impact Work Environment | Everyday Christian

Study Reveals Religious Differences Can Seriously Impact Work Environment | Everyday Christian

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Isn't it strange that we must have some social psychologist or social scientist somewhere do a study that we already know is fact?

Texas A&M diversity in sports director, George Cunningham, speaks out on how our religious differences make us "not fit in" and how when we work with people who have the same faith and beliefs we have, how we like our job more, like the people we work with more, and in general are happier workers.

So what do we do with this "new" knowledge? Does it give us more freedom to hire "like-minded" people when the new laws being pushed by our president are soon to make it more difficult to hire whom we like without facing incredibly risks of expensive law suits, especially when the LGBT or ACLU funds are thrown at lawyers to fight for the boy-dressed-as-a-girl to work in your day care center.

Whether Americans want to admit it or not, back in George Washington's day, people had the same beliefs in the same God, pantheists were unheard of, and this social acceptance helped put the United States on the map. They did not all go to the same church, but for heaven's sake, Thomas Jefferson held church services in the White House! It was the One True God our forefathers worshiped. It is high time the pursuit of Truth was literally endowed along with the right to the pursuit of happiness. Without Truth, there is no happiness because the lies that some are trying to choke our children with are leading down the road to destruction.

Talents and gifts

Is there a difference between a God-given talent and a God-given spiritual gift?

Yes, I believe there is. Doing a word search/study on Talents, we first notice that this was a measure of money back in Bible days. I think it is such a word play when we look at the servants of the harsh master. The Master gave each servant according to his abilities. To one, he gave five talents, to another he gave two talents and to the last he gave one talent. Noticing that each received according to his abilities is important. (Matthew 25)

The Hebrew word translated talent means round as in a round tract of land or a large, round coin. We say today that if a person is well-rounded, then he or she has sufficient skills and abilities to maneuver within a wide range of situations and/or problems with reasonable success potential. In Israel, a talent of gold weighed approximately 200 pounds. At today's prices, that would be about $3.2 million dollars for one talent (since gold prices fluctuate so much on a daily basis we'll call it $1,000 per ounce).

The Master did not give abilities, he gave the talents according to abilities. I find that so interesting. Paul tells us that he would not have us ignorant concerning the gifts so he describes them as Spiritual gifts in Romans 12 and in 1 Corinthians 12 which is followed closely by the Love Chapter 1 Corinthians 13.  That wasn't by mere chance. 

Romans 12:4  For even as we have many members in one body, but all members do not have the same function, 5  so we the many are one body in Christ, and each one members of one another, 6  but having different gifts according to the grace given to us...

The gifts are given so that we may actively participate in God's works through our functions.

In 1 Corinthians 12:21-26, Paul explains that each organ of the body has its own contribution to the body whether it is an "unseemly" part or a "seemly" part that needs no adorning, God has combined the various parts of the body, giving special honor to the humbler parts so that there might be no sense of division in the body but all organs might feel the same concern for one another. 

A finger cannot see the myriad colors of a calico kitten's fur as the eye can see. An eye cannot feel the soft fur of that cuddly kitten. Neither the finger nor the eye can hear the soft contented purr of that kitten, but the ear can. Put the organs together and the joy of the experience is not quite complete. We must have a hand to cradle the kitten and we need the cheek to ruffle the fur and the shoulder for the kitten to lay upon. Not once did the tongue have to do anything in that particular scenario. 

In order for the kitten to have a complete experience, however, the hand and fingers and cheek cuddle and stroke, but the soft voice gives great comfort as well as assurance that all is well for the kitten.
To say that a person must speak in tongues in order to have the fullness of the Holy Spirit is actually limiting the Spirit's usage of the whole body for a complete ministry of God's work.

We must not only know what to do, we must know how to do it. The Bible gives us that instruction, and it takes the whole body to absorb it to the fullest. Paul explains it thus:

1Corinthians 12:4  And there are differences of gifts, but the same Spirit; 
5  and there are differences of ministries, yet the same Lord. 
6  And there are differences of workings, but the same God is working all things in all. 
7  And to each one is given the showing forth of the Spirit to our profit. 

Differences but all of the same Spirit, given by the same Spirit for the same useful purpose which is the edifying of the body and the winning of lost souls to Christ.  Unity in purpose, but not uniformity in how we perform or function within that purpose. 

The only way to be perfect...

A difficult saying is found in Matthew 5:48: Be ye therefore perfect, as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

How can we possibly be perfect?

Τέλειος teleios (tel'-i-os) complete (in various applications of labor, growth, mental and moral character, etc.); neuter completeness: - of full age, man, perfect.

I like that "complete" part. Jesus makes me complete. No man, mom, dad or sibling, husband or wife can make a person complete. Oh... how long it took me to understand that.

Why depend upon anyone for my (your) happiness? Humans are fallable and will always fall down somewhere along the line.  But, Jesus never will.

Paul laments: Phi 3:12 Not that I already received or already have been perfected, but I press on, if I also may lay hold, inasmuch as I also was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brothers, I do not count myself to have laid hold, but one thing I do, forgetting the things behind, and stretching forward to those things before, 14  I press on after a mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Okay, so we're not perfect. But, wait!

Peter says: 1Pe 1:15 but according to the Holy One who has called you, you also become holy in all conduct; 16 because it has been written, "Be holy," "because I am holy." (Lev. 19:2)


How? I'm willing, but how? Then I find:

Deu 18:13 You shall be perfect with Jehovah your God. Ah HA!

I get it. I cannot be perfect when I'm trying all on my own. I can only be perfect because of God, through God and with God. But, we are not perfect here. That is because of this human frailty and physical body and the sinful nature that Adam passed down to us. Jesus came and Jesus conquered and Jesus lives within and Jesus perfects.

The catch is that we must let go and submit to Jesus. That means let Him have rule over every corner of our heart, hold nothing back. That's a huge thing.

Being holy in all conduct... That means letting the Holy Spirit's fruit love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control. (Gal 5:22-23) take root in our hearts. Easier said than done, I say. Which is why Paul assures us that God will continue to perfect His work that He began in us. That's a promise that we can treasure. Posted by Picasa

Hebrew Name study...

The Hebrew propensity for character analysis through a person's name is indicated by God when He changed Abram's name to Abraham, and Sarai to Sarah.

I haven't studied this enough to discern a difference between The Name HaShem, and His Covenant Name. I think God revealed Himself as much as He trusted mankind to know... a little at a time, especially since Adam rejected Him for Eve.

Years ago, I ran across a study about what the names of the ancestors of Jesus meant. I lost it, but have sort of recreated it here from the lineage of Joseph, husband of Mary. If you read down the list, the meanings create a sentence about God's promises finally ending with our Savior.

Adam - Red Earth
Seth - appointed, substitute
Enos - mortal man
Cainan - possession
Mahaleel - praise of God
Jared - descent
Enoch - initiated
Methuselah - man of the dart (he dies and the flood is sent)
Lamech - strikerdown, wild man
Noah - rest
Shem - Name; Ham - warm and hot, Japheth – wide-spreading
Arphaxad - son of Shem
Salah - sprout
Eber - beyond
Peleg - division
Reu - behold a son!
Serug - branch
Nahor - snorting, snore, nostril
Terah - wanderer, loiterer
Abram - exalted father, Sarai - my princess
Isaac - laughter
Jacob - deceiver, Esau - red
Israel - The prince that prevails with God
Judah - I will praise, Er - watchful, Onan - strong, Shelah - petition
Perez - breach
Hezron - surrounded by a wall
Aram - high
Aminadab - one of the Prince's people
Nahshon - enchanter
Salmon - garment
Boaz - fleetness
Obed - serving
Jesse - wealthy
David - well beloved
Solomon - peaceful
Rehoboam - enlarger of the people
Abijah - my father is Jehovah
Asa - physician or cure
Uzziah - strength of Jehovah
Jotham - Jehovah is upright
Ahaz - possessor
Hezekiah  - the might of Jehovah
Manasseh - forgetting
Amon - the mysterious
Josiah - whom Jehovah heals
Jehoiahchem - whom Jehovah has appointed
Shealtiel - asked of God
Zerubbabel – seed of Babylon, Prince of Judah
Abiud - father of praise
Eliakim-raised up by God
Azor - a helper
Sadoc - Just
Achim - the Lord will establish
Eliud - God his praise
Eleazar - help of God
Matthan - gift
Jacob - supplanter
Joseph - increase
Jesus - Savior, Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Emmanuel, Lamb of God, Son of Man, I AM...

Please note that Mary's lineage is given in Luke. Where it branches is between the two sons of David: Solomon and Nathan. Down from Solomon is Joseph, and down from Nathan is Mary. (I do not know why Joseph is listed as the son of Heli.)

Nathan - giver
Mattatha - gift of Jehovah
Menan - numbered; rewarded; prepared
Melea - supplying; supplied
Eliakim - raised up by God
Jonan - grace of God
Joseph - increase
Judah - praised, celebrated
Simeon - heard
Levi - joined
Matthat - gift of God
Jorim - whom Jehovah has exalted
Eliezar - God is his help
Joses- exalted
Er - watchful
Elmodam - measure
Cosam - diviner
Addi - ornament
Melchi - my king my counselor
Neriah - Jehovah is my lamp
Shealtiel - asked of God
Zerubbabel – seed of Babylon, prince of Judah
Rhesa – head
Joannas – perhaps a derivative of Johanan – gift of God
Judah – praised, celebrated
Joseph – increase
Shimei – renowned
Mattathias – gift of Jehovah
Maath – small
Naggai – illuminating
Esli – near me; he who separates
Nahum – consolation
Amos – burden
Mattathias – gift of Jehovah
Joseph – increase
Janna – flourishing
Melchi – my king, my counselor
Levi – joined
Matthat – gift of God
Heli - ascending

The Amish way of forgiveness

I watched the movie Amish Grace last night. I hope you caught it, too. It was an astounding account of the way the Amish embraced an extremely troubled, yet ruthless man who was angry at God and wanted to offend Him by killing little girls of the Amish faith.

Sometimes, we see the tragedy and cannot fathom how God can make something good come from something evil. We blame Him, a good and perfect God, for all the evil that He allows. We step closer to the picture rather than backing away to get a better and more perfect view of the framework in which God works. After all He holds the universe in His palm. Who are we to rail at Him for choices another has made, or that we have made which results in consequences which suddenly surprise us? 

This story could have been just another hostage/massacre story which the news media glorifies for the space of a few days without much impact upon the lives of those who hear the story or read it in a newspaper. Yet, God put in place the people, the situation, the wherewithal for a troubled man who was otherwise a wonderful husband and father to murder five little girls and put five more in the hospital. 

Evil transpired that October morning. Evil pervaded the homes of those Amish people and filled the home of a woman who thought she had a rock-solid faith. When her world was rocked, she crumbled. When the Amish world was rocked, they took each hour minute by minute to offer up to our Almighty LORD the anger and pain and grief. The testimony that these people raised up to God, the glory that they brought Him touched the lives of everyone who heard or read about the immediate visit in the aftermath of tragedy they paid the broken widow of Charles Roberts. There are several quotes that are freshly poignant today as they were back when all this happened. An Amish  father noted, "He had a mother and a wife and a soul and now he's standing before a just God."*
And in another report, Amish community members visited and comforted Roberts' widow, parents, and parents-in-law. One Amish man held Roberts' sobbing father in his arms, reportedly for as long as an hour, to comfort him.**

People around the world were astounded by the Amish reaction. Christians marveled. Yet, this is precisely what God told us to do. In fact, Jesus told His disciples that we are to forgive period. If we do not forgive, then the Father in Heaven will not forgive us. 

That does not mean that we lose our salvation, as I have heard some use this verse in Mark 11:26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in Heaven forgive your deviations.

It means that when we confess our sins as David did in Psalm 51, crying out to God to forgive his transgression, God creates in us a clean heart and He renews a right spirit within us. When we have not confessed our sin, when we do not acknowledge that we have sinned, then our spirit withers and our bones are troubled, Psalm 32:3  When I kept silence, then my bones became old, through my howling all day. And when we wallow in our sin, when we deliberately choose the path of anger and hatred, Psalm 38:3  There is no soundness in my flesh because of Your anger; nor peace in my bones because of my sin. 

Yea, though we walk through that valley of the shadow of death, we shall fear no evil because the LORD is with us, because He is always in control, because He causes good to come from something Satan meant for evil. Good always comes to those who love God and are called according to His purpose. It may not be today or tomorrow, but it will come. We may not see it because we focus on the evil rather that the potential for good. Why do we do this? Our human nature seems to be perpetually negative focused rather than giving it to the only One Who can fix the problem.

We cannot please God without faith. Without faith we cannot cut loose from anger and hate. But when we offer that anger to God, then those pleasant words are a balm to our sore souls. Proverbs 16:24  Pleasant words are an overflowing of honey, sweetness to the soul and healing to the bones. 

How incredibly pleasant are the words of forgiveness to a trouble soul. It is like pouring oil on troubled waters, it is like Jesus saying, "Peace, be still."

*^ "Amish Search for Healing, Forgiveness After 'The Amish 9/11' Religion News Service. 2006-10-05. Retrieved 2008-01-17.
 ** a b Carey, Art (2007-10-01). "Among the Amish, a grace that endures"Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 2008-01-17.