Friday, September 22, 2006

The Bible in a Nutshell - part 1 of 2

The plot of the Bible and the story of life – a spiritual being with unlimited power and no restrictions such as time, space and energy creates a universe. The third rock from the sun in this universe is a planet called earth. The creator makes plants that produce seeds and fruits. He also makes animals from the dust of the earth that live on the land, water and earth.

The creator then forms a being (he calls human) from the dust of the earth in his image, with his likeness. The creator breathes into his creation and the human gets the spirit of life. He is placed in a perfect garden with only one restriction, not to eat from a certain tree or he will die. The creator also gives him authority over all the other living things, plants and animals. It’s a big job and the human needs help, so time to create again. This time a woman is created in the image and likeness of God. The creator declares that everything is good. Both humans enjoy unbroken connection with their creator as she joins him in the garden to live happily ever after. The creator then rests for a day. (it was a tough week:).

Oops, the humans make a mistake, a major mistake. There is an opposing force to the creator, an enemy that wants to be in charge. This enemy tempts them and they chose to disobey the one restriction they have and the relationship between the creator and his creation is strained. Life gets tough; no more perfect garden, now weeds, pain and stress come into the picture.

The earth fills with more humans and connection with the creator seems hard and most forget about him. But there is one man, Noah who remembers his creator in the midst of the indifference all around him. He chooses to obey and is used to save his own family and the animals. A late step in creation happens as rain falls on the earth for the first time (only dew before) and doesn’t quit for 40 days and nights. Noah’s intense work for the past decades pays off and he and his family are safe aboard the floating zoo. They begin life anew months later on dry ground with a promise in the form of a rainbow in the sky from the creator saying he would never destroy humans like that again.

Ancient records vary, but some two to four thousand years later, the creator connects again with one of the humans. He chooses Abram and promises to not only bless him, but all people through him, if he does as directed. He is also told that his descendents will be too many too count. Abraham chooses to obey, so he moves north and waits. No baby comes to him and his wife Sarah until both are near 100. That means he is having senior moments while feeding the baby (who is this child? : ) One son, Issac is all they have, he marries Rebekah and they have twins, Esau and Jacob.

Jacob, later named Israel, marries and has 12 sons, the youngest one is Joseph. There is brotherly rivalry and Joseph is sold to the neighboring country of Egypt. Through an odd series of events and because of wise choices by Joseph, he becomes 2nd in line to the ruling Pharaoh of Egypt. A major famine happens all through the land, but due to Joseph’s connection with the Creator, he and all of Egypt have been preparing for 7 years for this, storing up tons of food. So, people from all neighboring countries come to Egypt for food. And yes, you guessed it, one day his brothers show up.

Another series of odd events happens and eventually Joseph is reunited with his father, Israel and the rest of his family as they all move to Egypt. Fast forward about 250 years and all memory of Joseph and Israel are gone. Concern of a rebellion by this large group of people known as the Israelites scares the Pharaohs of that day and they treat them as slaves, becoming meaner to them with each passing year ... to be continued.

Monday, September 11, 2006


I was thinking about prayer recently and here are some thoughts about prayer that I like ...

There is a vast difference between saying prayers and praying.

To be a Christian without praying is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Prayer is when you talk to God; meditation is when you listen to God. - Diana Robinson

A grandfather was walking through his yard when he heard his granddaughter repeating the alphabet in a tone of voice that sounded like a prayer. He asked her what she was doing. The little girl explained: "I'm praying, but I can't think of exactly the right words, so I'm just saying all the letters, and God will put them together for me, because He knows what I'm thinking." - Charles B. Vaughan