Wednesday, November 30, 2011

How Do We Know the Bible is the Inspired Word of God?


Awhile back on a forum for homeschool graduates that I am a part of, there was a discussion about the inspiration of the Bible. It was a little surprising how many did not believe that the Bible was, in its entirety, the inspired, infallible word of God, believing instead that none of it was true, or, that only parts of it were true and others weren’t. There ended up being quite a discussion about it (of which I was a part), and my last post in the thread I thought I would share here as well in the hopes that it may be an encouragement/help to someone . . .

This thread has been a little disheartening to read through and see the various responses that have been given. Much evidence has been shared by others showing the support for the inerrancy of Scripture, yet the evidences given have for the most part, not been examined, but have instead, been overlooked and/or ignored.

If the serious, unbiased seeker of the Lord and of truth would examine the evidences and would truly examine the Bible without presuppositions, they would find that it IS in its entirety, God’s infallible Word.

The Bible itself claims to be the Word of God, but that in and of itself does not prove that it is (as many of you have pointed out.) The Koran and other religious works also make similar claims, and logically, all of these cannot be true.

How, then, is the Bible different from other religions’ books? Simply put, the Bible, and the historical, logical, and archaeological evidences, show clearly that the 66 books of the Bible are the inspired word of God (and what is shared below is just a tiny glimpse into these evidences, and is also not an examination of the canonization of Scripture, though that makes a very fascinating study as well) . . . .


To make a bit of a starting point, try finding ten people in your own town with similar backgrounds and walks of life and ask them to, without talking to one another, write a short paper on a controversial topic, such as: what is man’s purpose in life, and then see if they agree in perfect harmony. I would venture to guess that they would not. :) Consider that, then, in light of this . . .


--The Bible, even with its great length (1196 pages in my Bible), has perfect unity. It was written down by men (as in, the hand of God did not pen it like He did the ten commandments) over a period of 1,500 years by more than 40 different authors with very different education levels, backgrounds, cultures, ages, and more. They wrote in different places – city, wilderness, prison, island. The writings composing the Bible were written on three different continents (Asia, Africa and Europe) and in three different languages (Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic.)


--The Bible is composed of 66 books that deal with a wide variety of topics, many that are controversial, but the central theme that can be found throughout the entire Bible is God’s marvelous plan of salvation for mankind through Jesus Christ. And when considering the above points, that in and of itself is amazing.

--The Bible (and historical evidence) shows the perfect fulfillment of so many of the prophecies given in the Old Testament (Lamentations 2:17. And the prophecies that have not yet been fulfilled are still awaiting their fulfillment.)

--The Bible has no contradictions (and the supposed ‘contradictions’ that have been shared in this thread are not truly contradictions – a thorough examination of these ‘contradictions’ will bring that to light.) To clarify this just a bit, one of the foundational laws of logic is ‘non-contradiction’ - a thing cannot be both ‘a’ and ‘not-a’ at the same time. For example, if the Scriptures said that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, and then in another place said that He was born in Jerusalem, we have a contradiction and this would be a provable error.

This is where discernment and an unbiased examination of the evidence must come into play, however. Just because two statements may differ, it does not mean that they contradict one another. For example (and a rather simple one), I could say that “I went to the store today.” By that statement, someone might infer that I only went to the store today. Whereas I simply did not give the full information by my statement. A later statement (or statements) could give more information without contradicting the first statement. “I went to the park today” or “I went to the store today and yesterday” or “I didn’t go to the store this morning.” These do not contradict the first statement, but they do give a fuller and more complete understanding to what actually took place.

One additional point I would like to make to this is that our translations are not perfectly exact to the original texts (as in, an exact word for word translation – this is understood through even the translation today of one language to another, say, French to Spanish.) This is where it is helpful to have things such as interlinear Bibles, a concordance, lexicons, etc. that help us to understand the original Greek and Hebrew words that were used. Even with this, though, again, the Bible has no contradictions in it.


It basically comes down to the fact that there is irrefutable evidence that the Bible is true (and there is SO much more than the tiny little bit that was shared in this post that is evidence that the Bible is true . . . including in areas that were not even touched on here such as the archaeological, historical, and scientific evidences. There have been whole books written on these evidences, and I’d rather not write another one in this thread :) so this is but a brief glimpse into a part of it.) It is up to each one of us, then, to believe the evidences given, or to disregard them and continue believing that the Bible is false (or that parts of the Bible are false.) Each man has this choice to make . . . and the choice we make will have eternal consequences.

I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book . . . if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.” Revelation 22:18-19

For myself, I choose to believe and trust the indisputable historical, logical, scientific, and archeological evidences that abound and to take God at His word. Trusting that what He promised and what He has said is true . . . .

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.” Isaiah 40:8

"So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” 2 Peter 1:19-21

Monday, November 28, 2011

Putting Up Siding

The day after Thanksgiving promised to be a beautiful one with a forecasted high of 64 and sunny skies . . . and we spent the day out at Ryan and Ashley's putting up siding! Well, some of us put up siding and others did things like make lunch, watch Adelyn, etc. :)

We were all up early Friday morning with Dad loading up the truck and trailer with things needed to do the siding and Leah and I hurrying to get our morning animal chores finished. Dad and Mom headed out first, as Leah and I needed to run a few errands. And no, not because of black Friday! We try to avoid any shopping the day after Thanksgiving (unless it is a rare trip to the fabric store) as it is SO crazy in town, but of all times to run out of rabbit food, we did on Thursday evening. So into town we went to brave the crowds . . . thankfully, we could go to a small little town nearby to get it, and surprisingly, there was hardly any traffic at all there. Our errands quickly dispatched, we headed out to Ryan and Ashley's for a very enjoyable day . . .

Siding was pretty much a two (and sometimes three) person job, so Dad and Ryan worked on that, while Mom did various miscellaneous things outdoors and then helped the men when needed. Ashley, Leah and I were indoors making pizza and crazy bread for lunch, watching Adelyn, and visiting. It was so nice to have that time together!


Leah finding the spices for the pizza dough

Ashley making the dough for the crazy bread

Meanwhile, work on the siding was progressing (and this photo was taken through the living room window while I took a brief break from pizza making to take a few photos.)

Once the pizzas and crazy bread were finished baking, we called lunch and the workers came indoors. We enjoyed a pleasant lunch break, and Dad was able to spend some time holding Adelyn. I love watching him with her! He's such a great Grandpa . . .

"Hmm, which is more interesting, the toy or the fingers? Fingers!"

Smiles all around

But eventually there was a tired little girl with tears in her eyes in need of Mommy . . . the tears quickly vanished and smiles took their place once that need was met!

After lunch was finished, Dad, Ryan, and Mom headed back out while Ashley put Adelyn down for her nap and Leah and I cleaned up the kitchen. Then while I washed up the dishes, Leah went outside and took some photos of the work being done out there . . . .

Ryan measuring for the next siding piece

Dad taking the other needed measurement

Then it's time to saw the siding piece

And up it goes!

While Dad and Mom hold it in place, Ryan nails it in

Progress! It is looking so nice so far. It is a long process, though, so I'm sure we'll be having more 'siding days' sometime in the future when the weather is decent!

Leah and I had to leave pretty soon after these photos were taken as we needed to get home to take care of all of the animals before dark. But before we left, we enjoyed a really great time of visiting with Ashley. Then goodbyes were said, and we headed home with Dad and Mom to follow a couple of hours later. It was a wonderful day, and it was great to be able to see how much was able to be done on the siding!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving . . .

. . . one of my favorite times of the year . . .

~ a relaxing day spent with family ~

~ remembering the many blessings that the Lord has given ~

~ delicious food ~

~ the laughter and wonderful conversations ~

~ and much more ~

And here is a glimpse into our Thanksgiving (which actually began Wednesday with all of the baking :) . . .

Mom making bread cubes for the dressing

A pumpkin pie in the works (using pumpkin puree that I made from one of Ryan and Ashley's pumpkins that they had given us)

Leah making her specialty . . . crescent rolls

Thursday morning was a little busy (a good busy :), and we had just finished with the morning animal chores and cleaning up the house right before Ryan and Ashley arrived. Then the fun began! It was really a special day enjoying each other's company, playing with Adelyn, and visiting . . . .

Mom and Adelyn reading a book together

Ryan and Ashley are wanting to get a new camera so spent some time looking at Mom's

Leah and Adelyn having fun together. Adelyn loves being lifted up in the air like this! As you can probably tell from the expression on her face. :)

Daddy and Adelyn having a little conversation

Ryan and Ashley hadn't seen our finished goat fence yet (which I still haven't posted about! I hope to do so soon) nor had they seen "Louie" the Alpine buck we have on 'loan' (and there will be more about him later, too) so after it warmed up a bit outside, we went out to see the animals . . .

My dear family

It's always fun talking 'animals' with Ryan and Ashley as they have much the same vision as we do regarding self-sufficiency and raising livestock, vegetables, fruit, etc.

Leah and Adelyn

Daddy petting Sadie . . . she loves attention

Back inside, I was able to enjoy some Adelyn time, too
(something always looked forward to) . . .

One of my favorite things ♥
She's a little snuggler!

Ryan taking photos with Mom's camera

Time for the meal preparations! Mom was mashing potatoes, Ryan was getting ready to carve the turkey with Dad, and I was making gravy

Ashley and Ryan putting the sliced turkey on the platter

We enjoyed a delicious meal together gathered around our dining room table, and it was so special to have us all there. To think of all that the Lord has blessed our family with this past year! After the meal was finished, we ladies got busy cleaning up the kitchen while Dad and Ryan went into the living room and visited.

Ryan helping Adelyn stand up

I love this photo! Father and Son and Granddaughter . . . so special!

Someone's getting sleepy and really enjoying snuggle time with her Mommy

The sun was beginning to set and there was something we wanted to do before dark . . . take an updated family photo! We finally got everyone together and outside, bringing along the bench in our entry way so that some of us could sit . . . .

Mom and Leah and the bench. :) We're still waiting on everyone else! Meanwhile I worked on getting the camera's settings adjusted.

Our family . . . it's growing! How thankful I am for the many blessings that the Lord has given to all of us and the precious new addition of little Adelyn this past year!

Ryan, Ashley and Adelyn

And that's our Thanskgiving in a tiny little nutshell. :)


(which was followed by all of us spending the day out at Ryan and Ashley's
on Friday . . . and there will be more about that in an upcoming post!)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Time of Thanksgiving

To all of my American readers, may you have a very blessed and special Thanksgiving today with your families!

(and to everyone else, may you have a wonderful day as well! :)


"Give thanks to the LORD for He is good,
for His lovingkindness is everlasting.
"
Psalm 107:1


"O come, let us sing for joy to the LORD
let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation.
Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving,
let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
For the LORD is a great God
and a great King above all gods,
in whose hand are the depths of the earth,
the peaks of the mountains are His also.
The sea is His, for it was He who made it,
and His hands formed the dry land.

"Come, let us worship and bow down,
let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.
For He is our God,
and we are the sheep of His hand . . . ."
Psalm 95:1-7a

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Precious Moment

This past Sunday after the time of teaching and discussion had come to an end, after singing hymns together to the Lord, and after the meal that we all shared together was finished, we gradually began gathering in the living room . . . after I went in and sat down on the couch, the little six year old girl came and snuggled up next to me, listening as the conversation went on around us.
Both of us together at Maramec Spring

Various scriptural topics were being talked about amongst us all in a casual conversation, and at one point I opened my Bible to look at some of the verses that were being discussed. The Bible then remained open on my lap at John chapters 5 and 6. After a bit, I noticed the little girl leaning over my Bible, carefully focused.

Soon, she looked up at me her face all alight and whispered that she had read part of the chapter! I whispered back encouraging her on her reading and asking if she had understood what she had read. She thought a bit and then answered "yes."

This sequence continued with her reading a bit more, telling me what part she had read, and then me asking her if she understood; and if she hadn't, I would explain it to her. Or sometimes as I listened and took part in the conversation with the adults, a little finger would touch my hand and she would be looking up at me with a question on her face. I would tip my head down to hers and she would whisper to me while pointing "what does this mean?"


The first time that this happened is the one that stood out to me the most, and the verse she did not understand was . . . .

"This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day." (John 6:39)

What a joy it was to then explain to this precious little girl in simple words about believing in Jesus Christ, about becoming a child of God and being given forever to Christ, about the coming end of the world and how Christ will raise up and bring to heaven all of those who believe in Him.

After explaining this to her, I asked her if she understood it now, to which a smile and a nod were the answer. As all of this took place, I was reminded once again how children are like little sponges soaking up what we share with them and what they hear and see around them. I was reminded of the childlike faith that we are all called to have . . . a simple trust in God and His Word. And my heart was full of joy and thankfulness to see the sensitivity of this young heart to the Lord and her desire to read and understand His Word!

Monday, November 21, 2011

~ Family ~

When looking through photos recently, I came across these ones that Mom had taken over the past several weeks . . . such special times with family!

Ashley looking through one of our scrapbooks while Adelyn plays with her Daddy's fingers

I love this photo! It was so sweet how whenever Ashley would talk, Adelyn would tip her head back to see her and just grin and grin.

"Look at me! I can stand!"
(She loves standing up like this.)

"Whew! Break time now - that was tiring!"

Adelyn and I enjoyed a very long conversation together one Sunday afternoon - she was very vocal! And I so enjoyed spending this time with her.

Leah and Adelyn on a different Sunday afternoon - and yes, she's standing again! It's one of her favorite positions to be in now.

Oh, the joy of being an aunt to this precious little girl!
(Adelyn and I)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Sunday Hymn ~ Higher Ground

I'm pressing on the upward way,
New heights I'm gaining ev'ry day;
Still praying as I onward bound,
"Lord, plant my feet on higher ground."

Lord, lift me up and let me stand
By faith, on heaven's table land,
A higher plane than I have found;
Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.


My heart has no desire to stay
Where doubts arise and fears dismay;
Tho' some may dwell where these abound,
My prayer, my aim is higher ground.

Lord, lift me up and let me stand
By faith, on heaven's table land,
A higher plane than I have found;
Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.



I want to live above the world,
Though Satan's darts at me are hurled;
For faith has caught the joyful sound,
The song of saints on higher ground.

Lord, lift me up and let me stand
By faith, on heaven's table land,
A higher plane than I have found;
Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.



I want to scale the utmost height
And catch a gleam of glory bright;
But still I'll pray till heav'n I've found,
"Lord, lead me on to higher ground."

Lord, lift me up and let me stand
By faith, on heaven's table land,
A higher plane than I have found;
Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.


Words by: Johnson Oatman, Jr.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"For the night is almost gone and the day is near, therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light." Romans 13:12

"I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 3:14

Friday, November 18, 2011

Gathered Gems

As I have continued reading the book Kept for the Master's Use, I have been so blessed by it . . . so encouraged and convicted in my walk with Christ. And as I had mentioned in this post, I have been copying down those portions that especially spoke to my heart, and I thought I would share a few more here (and there will likely be more shared in future posts as well.)

I hope that they will be a blessing and encouragement to you as they have been to me!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"When we are aiming at generalities we do not hit the practicalities. We forget that faithfulness to principle is only proved by faithfulness in detail." (pg. 32-33)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"We do not want only to be kept from displeasing Him, but to be kept always pleasing Him. Every 'kept from', should have its corresponding and still more blessed 'kept for'. We do not want our moments to be simply kept from Satan's use, but kept for His use; we want them to be not only kept from sin, but kept for His praise." (pg. 36; emphasis in the original.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Oh, how much we have missed by not placing them [our moments] at His disposal! What might He not have done with the moments freighted with self or loaded with emptiness, which we have carelessly let drift by! Oh, what might have been if they had all been kept for Jesus! How He might have filled them with His light and life, enriching our own lives that have been impoverished by the waste, and using them in far-spreading blessing and power!" (pg. 38)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Does this mean that we are always to be doing some definitely 'religious' work, as it is called? No, but that all that we do is to be always definitely done for Him. There is a great difference. If the hands are indeed moving 'at the impulse of His love,' the simplest little duties and acts are transfigured into holy service to the Lord." (pg. 50; emphasis in original.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Let us ask Him so to shed abroad His love in our hearts by the Holy Ghost
which is given unto us, that it may be the perpetual and only impulse of
every action of our daily life." (pg. 60)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it." (Luke 9:23-24)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Chore Time!

Twice a day choretime comes around, and it is something that I almost always enjoy (there are those days, though, when I'd rather stay inside in the nice, dry warmth instead of heading outside!) It is just so relaxing to care for the animals . . . so peaceful and refreshing to spend that time outdoors. I've mentioned choretime numerous times on here, and I thought it would be fun to give a glimpse into what all that actually entails for me. :) So one day I brought my camera along to capture evening chores in photos (and then a few days later took a few during the morning as well.)

I generally follow the same pattern each evening, but sometimes I mix things up a bit just to have a little change. Lassie, though, is almost without exception taken care of first. She's always eager for her food!

Expectantly waiting while I put the food in her bowl

After Lassie has been fed (and petted of course :), she gets fresh water put in her water bucket as well. Meanwhile, someone is patiently waiting for me to finish up with Lassie, as she knows that she comes next . . .


Kitty gets fed in the barn, and as soon as she sees me start getting her food, she jumps from where she is in the photo, to a little opening in the top of our barn. So by the time I reach the barn door entrance, she is sitting at her food bowl waiting. And after feeding her, she gets fresh water as well . . .

She loves her food! Even petting must come secondary to that. :)

Once Kitty is taken care of, Lassie is about finished eating so I go back over to her and give her her glucosamine pill (she has really bad arthritis, and the glucosamine has done wonders for her!)

Next to do is Dixie and the boys . . . they got two flakes of hay this night. . .



Which they were glad to see . . . they really like getting the fresh hay! (before they can get it, though, they need to just about clean up all the hay that they already have. They can be kind of picky sometimes.)


While in their pen, I also put their salt block back in the tub (they are forever tipping it over), and they were in need of some more baking soda as well (which helps to prevent bloat), so I got them some more of that . . . .


And of course, just as with all of the animals (other than the chickens) there is petting and the like that is done as well. You can't (at least I can't :) take care of the animals without spending some time with them!

Now all that is left for Dixie and the boys is to fill their water tub with fresh water. On the way to the faucet, I enjoyed seeing the chickens out and about. With the sun beginning to set, they were starting to move back closer to their coop . . .


Fresh water for Dixie, Danny Boy and Chevy

After they are finished, the rabbits come next . . .

All the rabbits get at least some petting while I take care of them, but all of the babies get even more attention! They love being petted, and it makes me smile when I reach my hand in there and they all race over trying to get underneath my hand or arm - they just like being touched even if it isn't petting!

Leah does all of feeding and watering of the rabbits (except for the older buck) so all I needed to do over here was give them all some hay and then feed and water the buck. (Though since this post was written, Leah and I have gone back to our old routine with her doing both pellet and hay feeding and then I do all the watering - she had taken over the watering when I hurt my shoulder, but it is well enough now that I can manage the water pitcher again) . . . .

The buck enjoying his hay

With the rabbits finished, it is time to move on to taking care of the chickens . . . and on the way, I stopped to watch the energetic squirrels and blue jays a bit . . .

A gray squirrel enjoying an acorn

When Leah found out what I was taking all of the photos for, she offered to take a few as well. So these next ones are courtesy of her . . .

Me feeding the chickens - they get a couple of scoops of feed morning and night (and their feeder is in the coop) [photo by Leah]

The setting sun . . . I love the golden light that it covers everything in! [photo by Leah]

After feeding the chickens, I gave them fresh water in their coop as well. By this time, the sun was sinking lower, and there was only one more batch of animals to care for . . . Chloe and Sadie. I went inside and measured out their feed for them . . .


And then headed out to bring it to them. On the way, the rooster seemed rather curious as to what I was doing . . . .


As soon as I rounded the corner of the house, this is what greeted me . . .


Very expectant goats! They know that it is their turn after the chickens are done!

Chloe enjoying her feed (they each get fed in their own tub)

While I was out there cleaning up the spilled hay, taking hay out of their salt bucket, and dumping out their old water, Dad came out to put some more hay in their hay feeder . . .


We enjoyed time together watching the goats before I went to fill up their water tub. Right at the corner where their waterer is, is part of what Dad has been working on . . . the new fence! Here is one of the corners . . .

We're making progress! (And there has been much more done since this photo was taken - in fact, it is just about finished now!)

Filling up the water tub

I always enjoy ending my evening chores taking care of the Boers as I like to just lean against the fence and watch the goats, gaze across the beautiful pasture, and see the setting of the sun. And also seeing the moon in the east . . .


There wasn't much of a sunset to see, though, because as the evening wore on, clouds rolled into the west.

And that's what evening chores are like here! (For me anyway :) Leah's are different of course!) Morning chores are simpler for me as I don't have as much to do . . . feeding Lassie, giving hay to the rabbits, giving the chickens a bit of feed, and then also feeding Dixie and the boys their goat feed (Leah does it in the evening). So that Danny Boy and Chevy don't eat Dixie's grain, we put her on a collar and leash and feed her outside the pen. She always anticipates this! So much so that it can be a challenge getting the collar on her. And then when she starts eating you should see her tail going! She wags it just like a dog. :)

Dixie enjoying her morning grain. She is a SLOW eater, so while she eats, I sit on the log and think, pray, and enjoy petting Kitty as well. Most times she comes up during Dixie's feeding time and often spends much of it sitting in my lap being petted.

Another different part of morning chores is cutting up a mangel beet (which we grew a bunch of in the garden this year) to feed to Sadie and Chloe. They go crazy for them!

My "cutting board" - an old stump.

And last but not least I checked on the bee hive, and they had emptied their top feeder of sugar syrup so I gave them another pitcher. They're just about all set for winter now! (The reason they have needed the sugar syrup this fall is that due to the long hot and dry summer and early fall,j just about all of their honey stores were depleted. So we have needed to feed so that they'll have enough stores to last them through the winter.)


So that's generally what choretime looks like around here!

Though there are nights like tonight where they were done out of order and finished up by flashlight. :) Leah and I had been building a hoop house this afternoon for the goats, and weren't able to get it done until just about dark. So chores were a little different!