Tag Archives: word

CDs May Be Out, But No Matter The Format, Spread The Word!

This summer marks the end of an era. Best Buy is announcing that, like K-Mart before them and so many others who are following suit, they will no longer sell CD’s. Goodbye. Eject.

If you’re like me, you’ve lived through a few music format changes. I used to own vinyl albums, 45’s, and cases of cassettes. I even had a friend who had an 8-track player in his car! Only niche listeners use those formats anymore. (see graph)

But when CD’s emerged, people praised their clear sound and portability. And, (unless you scratched them) they were supposed to last “forever.” Well, think again!

The announcement highlights an important fact – nothing in this world is forever.

Do you even remember what was the last physical CD was that you bought? These days, music is everywhere: Spotify, iTunes, Pandora, Amazon, etc. You can stream it, download it, or subscribe to a satellite radio. Automobile manufacturers even warn that CDs in cars will soon disappear.

One thing is certain when it comes to technology; it will change! And, this fact is a great reminder for Christians. While God does not change, adapting to new formats is important; nothing (on this earth) lasts forever!

Not long ago, churches agonized over using PPT in worship. Some preachers still insist on hearing “page turning” rather than digital devices for Bible reading. Many people don’t share blogs or sermons online because they won’t learn new formats.

Don’t get me wrong – CD’s will still be around for a while, and there is no need to throw away your printed Bible just because others use a Kindle, phone, or tablet. If you prefer the page turning that’s just fine with the Lord. But as we reach out to others, we should do everything we can to reach as many as we can (1 Corinthians 9:22).

Of course, we must never compromise the truth. Nevertheless, we must consider new formats that meet scriptural moral standards. The times may be a-changing, God doesn’t! (Numbers 23:19; Hebrews 13:8; James 1:17). The eternal truth of God’s Word never changes…no matter what the format.

On Valentine’s Day, The FBI Warns Against Romantic Scams…and So Does God!

This Valentine’s Day, the FBI has a message for you: “Avoid romance!” Well, not really, but you might think that is the message if you listened to recent warnings. Romantic scams have become a serious problem, and the FBI is warning you to BEWARE!

As online dating grows, it is more common for couples to meet through dating websites and online boards. In fact, it is the new normal for many. But online relationships are also a breeding ground for scammers looking to bilk unsuspecting romantics.

Did you know that the FBI “received more than 15,000 reports linked to romance scams last year?” They estimate that losses exceeded $230 million for 2016. Their advice? Be skeptical!

The problem, of course, is the heart. It wants what it wants. The FBI says that even intelligent, cautious individuals lose control when their feelings outweigh their rational minds.

One victim, Debby Johnson, said, “At this point your heart rules your head, and I was doing what my heart wanted me to do.”

There is nothing wrong with romance. In fact, love is the greatest emotion and spiritual gift. But a heart that rules the head is in grave danger. And, spiritually speaking, it could lead to eternal disaster.

God warned us long ago about the danger of letting the heart rule the mind: “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). Our hearts might FEEL that something is right, but living according to God’s Word is ACTUALLY right. That’s why Jeremiah said, “a man’s way is not in himself, nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps” (Jeremiah 10:23).

God wants your heart and your mind. He gave us “everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence” (2 Peter 1:3). Feelings change. But the Word of God will never deceive.

Don’t be scammed! True knowledge in Him is the basis of true love. Anything else is just a con.

Instructions With A Good Warning! “Common Sense Required”

Recently I finished a tile project in the kitchen. I had never used this tile cutter before, so, I decided to do something smart; I read the instructions. I came across the most interesting paragraph. It read:

“The warnings, precautions, and instructions discussed in this instruction manual cannot cover all possible conditions and situations that may occur. It must be understood by the operator that common sense and caution are factors which cannot be built into this product, but must be supplied by the operator.”

Now that is a disclaimer!

In other words, they have explained the right way to use the product, and they have given reasonable warnings. But no manual can devise warnings for every possible misuse of their product. A little “common sense and caution…must be supplied by the operator.”

When it comes to the Bible, the same is true. The Bible is a tremendous collection of law, history, poetry, wisdom, prophets, letters, and apocalyptic literature. It tells us how to be saved. It tells us the proper way to live in order to go to heaven.

But it can’t list everything in the “don’t” category. Even if God tried, which He doesn’t, people would look for loopholes. Yet, people seem to want to hold the Bible to a ridiculous standard: “It doesn’t say I can’t!”

A little common sense would go a long way for reading God’s Word. That’s why Paul writes in Philippians 2:12, “work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” In doing so, we receive the grace God provided through His Son.

So…give the Bible a read. It isn’t a list of every “don’t;” we must supply a bit of common sense and caution. But it does reveal the words of eternal life (John 6:68).

There is one main reason for using a tile cutter – to cut tile! There is one main reason for reading God’s Word – to be assured of eternal life. If you skipped reading the instructions, you probably missed something important!

“Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand” (Matthew 7:26).

Prank Caller, Prank Caller…Hang Up!

If you lived in the 90’s, you may remember the “Jerky Boys.” They became famous by prank calling people while using voices and characters they had invented. They recorded the calls, got them played on the Howard Stern show, and eventually sold over 8 million copies of their albums.

Recently, pranksters known as “The Russian Jerky Boys,” have taken it to a whole new level – prank-calling heads of state! They successfully prank called Senator John McCain and Elton John. Their latest victim is Energy Secretary, Rick Perry.

In a 22-minute call, Rick Perry thought he was discussing cyber hacking and biofuel with Ukraine Prime Minister Volodymyr Hroisman. They discussed deals on coal exports, fuel innovation, and the Paris accord. But it was all a lie – jokesters masquerading as Ukrainian officials.

No one likes to be fooled. It is embarrassing. And sometimes it can be more than just a joke – it can be downright disastrous.

The Bible tells us to watch out for those pretending to be something they aren’t. Specifically, the Apostle Paul warns:

“For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).

Did you catch that? Satan masquerades as an angel of light. And so do false teachers!

So what’s a person to do? How can we know what is true? How do we avoid being duped by a “prank caller” with eternal consequences?

John gives a simple solution: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). And how do we do that? By comparing God’s Word against the things we are told by all teachers and preachers (Acts 17:11).

Want to avoid prank calls? Check the number. Want to avoid false teachers? Check the Word.