The F-22 Raptor, Lockheed Martin Aerospace Systems, Atlanta, GA (I helped build the prototype in Fort Worth, in 1998)
Welcome to The Central Theme Of The Bible
My word given today came to me when looking at my desk and seeing the books piled up of which they have book-marking various references about many different topics which I need to put in some order or sequence for their presentation. And it suddenly occured that they all need to relate under a theme. Each word could be the theme itself, I thought. No, the theme is what carries the topical words, so I looked for the word theme in my bible dictionary and found a worthy quote which can be used to represent our theme. (Photo from Wikipedia Commons)
“Despite being of non-Biblical origin, the phrase topped a poll of the most widely known Bible verses. Seventy-five percent of American teenagers said they believed that (God helps those that help themselves) was the central message of the Bible.” (Wikipedia)
What is the book about? It is about the salvation or deliverance of a person or a people. I thought. So I looked up ‘salvation‘ I found the topic, looked it over quickly, as I was about to leave — someone was calling for me to hurry up — then I glanced at the summary. It said, “Both the OT and the NT present a basis for confidence in the Lord.” That was it. The last sentence of that made my theme question become resolved. “To all believers, faith is an expression of a person’s confidence in the trustworthiness of God.” So, we can say with some certainty, the Holy Bible is alive and powerful enough to convince us of its truth.(from The Expository Dictionary of Bible Words by Richards, Zondervan, 1985, pg 542)
A Rev, Dan McManigal tells us through his Reformation Theology website that includes some interesting comments: Reformation Theology taken from his series in Covenant Theology. “The diversity of the Bible is unified in Christ. He is the center that holds all of the biblical data together.” He said. “The bible is the Infinite Existence self-disclosure about how famous He really is as He shines this beauty centrally through His Son Jesus Christ on the cross.” Stated Oshea Davis, author, with his comment.
Rev. Ralph A. Smith in chapter one of his Introduction to the Bible is a bit more wordy but thorough in his presentation. “The covenantal kingdom of God is the central theme of Biblical revelation.” He concluded.
Here the pastor of PeWee Valley SDA Church expresses his ideas from a wordpress.com article by Rev. Douglas Na’a. “The greatest proof that Christ is the central theme of the Bible is John 5:39. ‘You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me’ ”. (Pastor Douglas Na’a)
These sources have a lot to say, and I believe all concur. The last few verses of the Gospel of St. John tell us if all that Jesus did could be reduced to writing — into books, there would not be room in the earth to keep them. (John 21:25) Then, what made it into the bible to become the church canon required a true act of congress.
In my bible, which is the New Living Translation, published by the Tyndale House, Wheaton, IL, 1996, it shows four basic topics that list life, relationships, future, and faith, that each include 21, 5, 4, and 6 subtopics, respectively, in a comprehensive overview. My point is that in this overview, there needs to be a fomula, which I cannot find, but has proven true in my own experience. The topic of Faith is most basic with its six subtopics, and needs to be primarily considered.
For without faith, opening each of the other topics, the book has no life, no relationships, and no future. So get ‘Born Again’, find God, learn to know God, learn to know Jesus Christ (Yeshua Ha-Mashiach), learn to know the Holy Spirit (Ruach Ha-Kodesh), and enroll in the school of prayer — before learning all the rest of the topics. The Holy Bible is a spiritual book of life’s personal values. It has its own regeneration, inspiration, and motivation.
I conclude with saying, check this out. The next time we try explaining all we know about the bible, we may just simply say what the central theme of the bible is, and leave it at that. The central theme of the Bible is the defining and demonstrating of personal confidence in the trustworthiness of God’s love.
Welcome to Revival!
“Christian revival is a term that generally refers to a specific period of increased spiritual interest or renewal in the life of a church congregation or many churches, either regionally or globally. This should be distinguished from the use of the term “revival” to refer to a evangelistic meeting or series of meetings.
“While elements such as mass conversions of non-believers and beneficial effects on the moral climate of a given culture may be involved, revivals are seen by leaders as the restoration of the church itself to a vital and fervent relationship with God after a period of decline.
“Historians have different numbering and dating systems. There were “Awakenings” around the years 1727, 1792, 1830, 1857, 1882 and 1904. More recent revivals include those of 1906 (Azusa Street Revival), 1930s (Balokole), 1970s (Jesus people) and 1909 Chile Revival (Revival in Chile) which spread in the Americas, Africa, and Asia among Protestants and Catholics.” (Quoted from Wikipedia/Revivalism)
“Great Awakening Atlanta, GA Day 1 – We had a great start here at World Harvest Church. Men, women, & children came to the altar in all 4 services and the power of the Lord touched many. Dr. Rodney Howard-Browne preached powerfully and exhorted everyone that the only hope for America is a Spiritual Awakening – a Great Awakening.” (from Revival.com )
This website shows tons of photos that describe a definite awakening. Even on the streets of Tampa Florida, people are turning out to hear there is hope for our country — right here at River Church.
Then there was a one night Holy Ghost meeting in Hawaii.
Interview with Dr. Rodney Howard Browne by YouTube (feelwellmonavie).
Rodney Howard Browne and his wife found an effective way of teaching people to fish symbolicly speaking. As a pastor Rodney’s passion is to help people spiritually but helping physically is also very important to Rodney and his wife. Get a fish or learn to fish. Which would you choose. Choose wisely because if you can fish, you can teach others to do the same. What better way to put a dent in poverty. God wishes for us to prosper not suffer. That’s what the other guy wants. Password for the opportunity is (freedom). http://www.thegreatproduct.com/thegoodlife “Mona-Vie”
“Revival is the Touch of God” YouTube (RowdyRevivalist) April 30, 2009.
I personally see a big movement of God which can be received. What faith is — is receiving. If we want what God has to offer? Then all we have to do is ask, for Him and His presence, and receive Him and His presence, along with His gifts.
Watch Revival Television Network here.
I have just researched all the verses in the Bible that tell us about the only four words that describe revival in context of both Hebrew and Greek documents.(The Inspired Words)
1) Revive, Hebrew: “chayah” (khaw-yaw) to live, to revive, be whole
Nehemiah 4:2: “And in the presence of his associates and the army of Samaria, he said, ‘What are those feeble Jews doing? Will they restore their wall? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they finish in a day? Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble–burned as they are?'”
Psalms 85:6: “Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?
Ps 138:7: “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes, with your right hand you save me.”
Isaiah 57:15: “For this is what the high and lofty One says– he who lives forever, whose name is holy: ‘I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.'”
Hosea 6:2: “After two days He will revive us; On the third day He will raise us up,
That we may live in His sight.”
Hosea 14:7: “People will dwell again in his shade; they will flourish like the grain,
they will blossom like the vine— Israel’s fame will be like the wine of Lebanon.”
Habakkuk 3:2: “LORD, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, LORD.
Give new life to your work in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.”
2) Reviving, Hebrew : michyah (mikh-yaw’)
Ezra 9: 9: “For we were slaves, but in his unfailing love our God did not abandon us in our slavery. Instead, he caused the kings of Persia to treat us favorably. He revived us so we could rebuild the Temple of our God and repair its ruins. He has given us a protective wall in Judah and Jerusalem.
3) Revived. Hebrew: “chayah” (khaw-yaw) to live, to revive, be whole
Genesis 45:27: “But when they told him everything Joseph had said to them, and when he saw the carts Joseph had sent to carry him back, the spirit of their father Jacob revived.”
Judges 15:19: “Then God opened up the hollow place in Lehi, and water came out of it. When Samson drank, his strength returned and he revived. So the spring was called En Hakkore, and it is still there in Lehi.”
1 Kings 17:22: “The LORD heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived.”
2 Kings 13:21: “Once while some Israelites were burying a man, suddenly they saw a band of raiders; so they threw the man’s body into Elisha’s tomb. When the body touched Elisha’s bones, the man came to life and stood up on his feet.”
4) Greek: anazao (an-ad-zah’-o) to recover life: live again.
Romans 7:9: “Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died.”
Romans 14:9: “For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.”
There we have it. Only four words that can give biblical (Scriptural) authority about Revival. It is something available for us. And if you missed it, you are personally invited to every meeting. Learn about how God is alive and well today. His love is a mandatory attribute for the revived life. How you will grow in faith is directly related to you’re hearing Him. God speaks through the proclaiming of His word. (Romans 10:17)
See you there!
Doing Christmas Together
“Here we come a wassailing among the leaves so green
Here we come a wandering so fair to be seen
(chorus) Love and joy come to you and to your wassail too
And God bless you and send you a happy New Year
And God send you a happy New Year
We are not daily beggars that beg from door to door
We are your neighbor’s children whom you have seen before
God bless the master of this house, likewise the mistress, too
And all the little children that round the table go.”
(Taken from: ChristmasTree.com)
Today, I am inspired to write you despite the quiet, even silent house from which my thoughts can run tippy-toe throughout. So I am getting the title and my mind is racing with this song: ‘Here we go a Christmassing among the trees so green!’ It sounds correct, but I still have to check it.(See PoemHunter.com)
The Olde English Christmastide then. Here is the interesting story of the wassail that I found in the Britanica Encyclopaedia of 1912 (from wikisource.org):
“WASSAIL (O. Eng. was hál, “be whole,” “be well”), primarily the ancient form of “toasting,” the term being applied later to the Christmas feasting and revelries and particularly to the bowl of spiced ale or wine which was a feature of the medieval Christmas. One of the earliest references to the wassail-bowl in English history is in the description of the reception of King Vortigern by Hengist, when Rowena “came into the king’s presence, with a cup of gold filled with wine in her hand, and making a low reverence unto the king said, ‘Waes hael hlaford Cyning,’ which is ‘Be of health, Lord King.’” In a collection of ordinances for the regulations of the royal household in Henry VII.’s reign, the steward on Twelfth Night was to cry “wassail” three times on entering with the bowl, the royal chaplain responding with a song. Wassailing was as much a custom in the monasteries as in laymen’s houses, the bowl being known as poculum Caritatis. What was popularly known as wassailing was the custom of trimming with ribbons and sprigs of rosemary a bowl which was carried round the streets by young girls singing carols at Christmas and the New Year. This ancient custom still survives here and there, especially in Yorkshire, where the bowl is known as “the vessel cup,” and is made of holly and evergreens, inside which are placed one or two dolls trimmed with ribbons. This cup is borne on a stick by children who go from house to house singing Christmas carols. In Devonshire and elsewhere it was the custom to wassail the orchards on Christmas and New Year’s eve. Pitchers of ale or cider were poured over the roots of the trees to the accompaniment of a rhyming toast to their healths.”
THE FIRST DAY OF CHRISTMAS
Since John was born on Passover, the 15th day of Nisan (the 1st Jewish month), Jesus would have been born six months later on the 15th day of Tishri (the 7th Jewish month). The 15th day of the 7th month begins the Feast of Tabernacles (Lev. 23:34-35), also known as Sukkot. Jesus was born on the 1st day of the Feast of Tabernacles! In the year 5 BCE, this fell in the month of September. (See ‘Jesus Real Birthday’ by Bryan T. Huie)
“The first day of Christmas occurred in a stable of a crowded inn that had a hord of horses and camels and mules, all used to transport the travelers. You can imagine how it was warmed by the foul breath of the animals, but also the droppings that are ever present there. (September 29th in the year 5 B.C.E.)”
My meditations don’t stop there, though my thought was to leave this soon-to-be-holy place. And Joseph and Mary arrived late with their hopes dashed for ever finding a decent place with which to accomplish their child’s imminent arrival. ‘What a deal! We had to come here for this?’ He asked himself as he ducked out into the alley-way for a breath of fresh air. His thoughts were of the dream he had as was the angelic visitation. (And speak of the Angel!)
A bright light was shining out of the stable entry, and Joseph was blinded by the sliver of light that reached out to where he was standing, but he realized it was coming from their stall. His tongue was stuck to his mouth when he saw his wife Mary being lifted up onto the immaculate delivery table where three angels were holding her and so gracefully taking the honors of bringing forth their King. Joseph took a step back in aghast, and steadied himself, as his imagination took over — was this another angelic dream he was having? It only took a few minutes.
“Whack!” Joseph heard from within. He heard the baby cry, and the light went away. Joseph hurriedly entered the now sweet smelling stable stall where he found Mary holding her beautifully perfect baby clothed in plain cloth completely protected from the harsh elements.
“Wha-what happened?” Joseph stutteringly asked his betrothed (wife).
“I was just feeling some movement like the baby was suddenly becoming alive within me, and my water broke.” She said beginning to describe the miraculous event.
“Ah, I saw the bright light and some other people in here that looked like a medical staff in an operating room.” He said.
“No Dear, they were really angels tasked to deliver our Lord as child.”
“Well I knew that, but while they were here, and I was watching, I could not even breathe for the fear their holy presence brought.”
“That is their supernatural nature, Joseph. Didn’t you tell me you met with Gabriel, the archangel, in a dream?”
“Right. That’s how I knew you were alright and being well taken care of.”
“Oh, Joseph! How you can carry on.” Mary said thinking his reaction was typical for the young Jewish man he was, and a Son of David at that.
Mary was holding her child as she was reclining on the blanket over the hay. She lifted up the baby to present him to her betrothed (husband).
“Isn’t he wonderful?” She said.
“Hello baby Yeshua.” Joseph said greeting him softly.
“Goo-gle ga-ga.” Jesus said in his baby-Nazareth dialect.
“What did he say?” Joseph asked Mary.
“He was greeting you with his very first words as he knows who you are.”
“His step-father, Silly.”
“I will have to write that down. His first words were calling me his google-gaga which is interpretted as Step-father.”
“That’s funny, Joseph.”
“What was that whacking sound?” He asked.
“The three angels had to decide who was going to slap our baby’s bottom, so they quickly did the scissor-rock-paper motions twice so that the one angel who won did the honors.”
“Aw, that’s not the truth, Mary?” Joseph said squinting his eyes.
“You’re right, I made that up. I felt no pain at all because the conception was exempt from the curse that enables pain. So what I think I saw might just be discounted and no one will want to remember that anyway.”
“Well who slapped Jesus’ bottom?”
“It was the last angel. He was bigger than the other two. He slapped him with a smile on his face, like he always wanted to do that, while the other two witnessed the event.”
“What happened then?”
“Yeshua breathed his first breath. And the angels left.”
“That was the cry I heard, right?”
Just then there was a knock on the stable entry, and a crowd of shepherd-looking people wanted to come in just to see their beautiful child. . .
“Quick, where shall we lay him? . . .”
And so you know the rest of the story. We were there briefly (in my mind) when it was the historic event that it was . . . The Bible says only that “Mary stored all these precious memories in her heart.” (Luke 2:19)
“For a child is born to us, a son is given to us; dominion will rest on his shoulders, and he will be given the name Pele-Yo’etz El Gibbor Avi-‘Ad Sar-Shalom [Wonder of a Counselor, Mighty God, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace],” (Isaiah – Yesha’yahu 9:5 CJB)
Christmassing today with our family and friends, or even being totally alone with yourself and our Deliverer, take these thoughts with you. Our imagination is an extension of our heart which is filled up with many wonderful thoughts. My thoughts are warm towards doing this toast with you right now,
“May your Christmas be the Christmassing of your heartfelt dreams, to take the cup of blessing and lift it high to our Deliverer and King, to give us all our place within himself, and welcome each other by his Spirit, drinking our full measure — even to fill us full from bottom to top and overflowing with his love. Amen”
And I think you need a hug. So watch this:
Video: Christmas Hugs YouTube
WELCOME TO DOING PLANNING TOGETHER
Intro-note: Did you see that video on my last post, Counseling? It is called “Do you hear me now?” By Bishop T.D. Jakes at the Lakewood Church in Houston. What a powerful message and delivery! Be sure to see the whole thing (50 minutes).
What are the plans God has for us?
He is now in our present, so how can he help make our present better unless he shows us a little of what his plans are for us. You know, something like getting a revelation when we are caught up into praise and worship, the heavenly place, or heavenlies is the place of vision that can show us direction to trust in going, and purpose to trust in doing. . .
“For I know the plans I have for you says the LORD (ADONAI), . . .” The Amplified says it best:
“For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
Professor Lawrence O. Richards wrote in his Expository Dictionary of Bible Words (Zondervan, 1985, page 510) about purpose: “God’s sovereignty is affirmed in both OT and NT. An important New Testament aspect of this affirmation is found in the repeated emphasis on that which God has purposed, planned, and decreed.”
. . .”Then you will call upon Me, and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear and heed you.” (Jeremiah 29:12)
“Two Greek words, prothesis and boule’ are particularly significant. Prothesis means “a plan” or “a resolve”, denoting a decision that has been made. The NIV renders the word “purpose” in four of the twelve places where it appears in the NT.” (Romans 8:28, 9:11; Ephesians 1:11, 3:11)
. . . (Jeremiah 29:13) “Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me [as a vital necessity] and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Deuteronomy 4:29,30)
The next Greek word is a stronger term that shows God’s fixed purpose (will) which is unchangeable by anyone’s action or behavior. The force of the Greek word boule’, is strong in the four places refering to God, and weak in the three places refering to human purpose. (Luke 7:30 Θ, Acts 2:23 Φ, 4:28 Φ, 13:36 Θ, 20:27 Θ, Ephesians 1:11 Φ, Hebrews 6:17 Φ) Take the time to look at each of these references. There is a hard-link (Φ) between God’s purposes and his plans for us. They are the same and they are unchangeable. But the soft-link (Θ) between man’s purposes and God’s plans are not always the same. Somehow, man’s purposes can fail and have to be reworked.
Is there a reason to bring the two purposes together?
Did you read Ephesians 3:11? Click on it, read it here in the Amplified Version:
“This is in accordance with the terms of the eternal and timeless purpose which He has realized and carried into effect in [the person of] Christ Jesus our Lord,” (My emphasis)
Now let’s turn to a more extensive indication of the increasing differences between God’s will and man’s will. I am refering to this year’s industrial skills-gap report. Manufacturing companies are reporting less and less employees with the skills to do the physical processes of production. See the 2011 Skills Gap Report by the Manufacturing Institute of Washington DC:
Just how bad is this report?
This shows us through several charts how there is a direction away from a balance in employment figures. Figure 6 shows 45% critical shortage of machinists, craftsmen, operators, distributers, and technicians. Figure 2 shows the area of most difficulty due to work force as 51% shortage of maintaining production levels consistent with customer demands. And it is getting worse.
Figure 3 shows there is 74% shortage of workforce segments that had a negative impact upon (your) company’s ability to expand operation or improve productivity. (And it is getting worse.)
“When manufacturers were asked what they expected over the next 3-to-5 years, 69% expected the availability of skilled production workers to worsen. Manufacturers also expect a greater challenge in hiring engineers, with 45% of companies expecting fewer qualified applicants.” (Ibid.)
This is saying it is going to get worse before it gets better. What can be done to fix this in our economy? Is it government? Is it a change of heart of the rich people? Our study on planning here is revealing there has been a whole lot of human (limited) planning going on. Is it not time to go back to God to learn his plan, finally? And how can God’s plan be made to turn this around?
I have found an interesting study that seems to be making some headway. There is this ‘Opportunity’ with TechMission which is saying it will connect resources with needs. And only God can do this in our hearts.
A Ten Year Plan For The Largest (Global) Social Network
Can we begin to think that in ten years how this vision for the Body of Christ to begin to use technology to gather the wealth of the world and be trusted to make distribution to all needs of food, shelter, clothing? The resources of volunteer workers is the initial answer. Bringing back the retired skilled workers to train up all those called to work with their hands. And do it right.
This means putting God’s plan to work in our family, in our community, in our state, in our nation. We will come to a point of no return. Like getting so far in debt as a nation, as a state, as a community, as a family, that there are no physical ways to pay our debts and remain solvent. We will become slaves to the world economy. The end-times are here. And the only plan that will work is God’s plan for us. Don’t you see this?
“The largest social network in the world is the global Christian community, and our goal is to use technology to match these resources to needs.” (TechMission.com)
City Vision Colleges, and the TechMission Volunteer Corps are organizations that will be tasked to get knowledge of God’s plan into the workers and once established, begin to produce employees to fill the skills gap, and recover the economy on a global scale in ten years.
The global formula seems simple enough:
Global Christians provide 18.17 trillion dollars, with the combined budget of Christian Organizations at 390 billion dollars, and the value of volunteer worker of faith-based workforce at 51.8 billion dollars. This will produce hundreds of millions of dollars for the poor through the tens of millions of web visitors and millions of volunteers.
God’s plan according to His will is the only sensible way our nation can be made to become a global economy as God has promised. But this takes a massive change of hearts. Repentance is key. But nothing is impossible with God. (Oh don’t worry, God is a perfect gentleman, he will never twist anyone’s arm to do this. He may just take our hedge of protection away. . .)
700 million dollars in resources are needed to transform our indebted nation into solvency with the global economy. It is miraculous in its concept because it will require supernatural capability. People will have to want to please God more than themselves.
This will take planning on a global scale.
But it can be done with a little help from the heavenlies. God has done everything he can do with his only Son who paid the price for our spiritual redemption. Now that we are saved (delivered), we can get our heads together and depend more fully on God and His servants to work this plan for us all.
Our government has failed. God’s servants in the Corporate Body of Christ (Messiah) alone can be trusted to fix our world. We have the power over the destructive forces that have caused our dilemma.
I am personally thankful to have written this blog for planning purposes. My work for God will depend upon His plan. Our fellowship is growing. There is a reason. More people are hearing the appeal of the Gospel. Our hearts are being changed. New plans result from regenerated souls. There is hope, but it is found only in using Covenant principles. All for the glory of our Father God, in Jesus (Yeshua) our Lord (Adonai). Amen.
Video: GOD’S PLAN YouTube
WELCOME TO DOING COUNSELING TOGETHER
This morning is different. I actually found a job I would enjoy doing and get paid for it. And my application submission was made without problem. Can you believe this? Of course it is a writer position, and it is work at the house, so the only challenge is to structure chores around serious writing. Ha! Piece of cake. Do you think you might read this and consider the mental depravity of this activity? I can have my cake and eat it too?
“No way man. You need counseling.” You say. Ok. That I may. But there is only one source of counseling that I would consider worthy of changing anything needing changing in my life. I just spoke to an associate at this morning’s men’s meeting and he happened to mention his educational goals. He wants a degree in holistic counseling. What is that? I asked him. and he explained it is really the Word-based kind, including the treatment of the body, mind, and spirit. The Word refering to the Holy Bible as really the only singular source for comprehensive solutions. (At least that is what I was told.)
All right. I can see the need for this as I have been raised in a Baptist and Pentacostal church and have always thought of it as Christian Counseling. But it is coming up with all the other politically correct terms. Why not call it something more folks can relate to. So we need to look more deeply into what the Bible is saying about how the prophets of God’s Hebrew Children were given counsel to go here, or go there, or even to say this or say that. And even we followers of God’s Only Son can hear his counsel today.
I made a vow to my mother when she was on her death-bed that I would never hurt anyone. So when I was in the Marine Corps and headed into a combat situation, circumstances were such that I was yanked out my assignment as left door gunner in the large cargo helicopter whose mission was to transport artillery shells to the front-line valley, where shooting defensive fire against enemy fire was part of the assignment. The chopper went down, and when all the smoke cleared, I was standing upright on one leg in the middle of a burning aircraft with four other crewmen — with large bundles of ammunition all around within the ammo dump.
Somehow I knew that my left leg was broken. The femur had snapped. It was everyman for himself. So I prayed? No, there wasn’t time, at least the kind of prayer I had learned to pray. You know, “Our Father, ” the formal kind. But I definitely heard a word. And I knew instantly what to do. I took off my flak vest, the survival knife was already torn off, and I knew to lean forward and slide head-first over the crewchief who was helping the pilot who had been injured upon impact — dislocating his shoulder and cutting his face from his broken (pilot’s) window.
The word I heard was not a human voice, but I have to consciously admit that it communicated help to me at that moment.
“Go toward the light!”
I heard that when diving over the pilot seat to exit the aircraft onto the ground. The light appeared to be coming from the broken window, and I made no quams about following it. The exit to the rear that was open had to be made in a hurry because every wire harness visible along the floor of the structure was burst into flames. They had to run out of the cargo area. But I couldn’t even walk. So I hit the ground in a crumpled mess and instantly was aware the fuel was on fire, and I needed to get out of it fast.
“Go toward the light!”
The words said that I heard. So in an instantaneous rebound from landing, the momentum carried me forward out of the flames and onto the sand directly beneath the burning forward section. I knew the impending danger all around me, and I tried to crawl out of harm’s way, but there was no energy left. I was totally spent. It was then, that I consciously voiced my prayer. “God help me to be saved or bring me home to heaven!” Was that a prayer? Why would I even think of an option here?
Then, I heard, “Get up Marine, run!”
Was the command I heard from the pilot. Captain Bill Connelly, whom I had never met, came up to me quickly and with forceful assertion,
“You try as hard as you can, I will try as hard as I can, and together we will get out of here!” He yelled.
The flames were making loud cracking noises as they lapped up and over the downed helicopter.
The pilot reached down grabbed me by my arm first and then around my back. His grip was encouraging my strength. I managed to get up on my good knee, then onto the right foot to begin hopping as he slowly did the same, and we went hobbling up the revetment that was our only hope of escape. Slowly up to half way, almost there. It took my total concentration and effort to get another step up while I was leaning on this man, and he would not let me go. (I had yelled back at him to go on and save himself. But he took my life into his hands as his own personal responsibility!) And again, slowly, up another step, and another, almost there. . . when we reached the top, suddenly,
The whole area within the revetment where 200 tons of eight-inch artillery rounds were exposed to the downed, burning helicopter was beginning to explode. We were blown down the other side to safety even though covered with flames and our exposed flesh was burning. But we were laughing about it.
“WE MADE IT!”
I immediately began saying the Lord’s prayer out loud, and Captain Connelly said I didn’t have to pray then. But I remember remarking that I felt that I definitely needed to, I was so thankful to God for his help in rescuing us.
That incident of cargo helicopter downed in Vietnam burned for three days before anyone could begin clean up. The cause was not assessed as pilot error, because the turbulance was extreme due to the terrain of the earthen revetments. I personally admit the fault could have been put on me, as I learned in subsequent flights as crew chief that the crew is responsible to tell the pilot if there is any danger of the tailrotor hitting anything. The rotor did collide with a ConEx storage container setting off to the side and partially on the revetment — it was higher than usual, and I guess because of the heavy load, the tail rotor was lower than usual. So,
And the tail pylon went flying off to achieve its own altitude record by itself.
I will conclude briefly that I did receive good counseling in this story. It was for me to move toward the light that I was able to perceive. There was light, sunlight that was made to shine through for me to follow. I was instantly obedient, and despite the struggle to get out, was able to be helped and was saved. The same message can be given to you today in this. Look for the Light in the only book that tells us of the light source of God’s salvation (deliverance). The Bible has the light. The Author and Finisher of Creation is shown to us as the Lord (Adonai) Jesus (Yeshua) Christ (Messiah). He is that Light: “Life itself was in him, and this life gives light to everyone.” (John 1:4 NLT)
Video: “Can You Hear Me Now” Dr. T.D. Jakes at Lakewood Church, Houston. (14 minutes)
Our study of the word of God is a particular mission that requires filing a flight plan and picking up a current flight map or maps that will show us exactly where our destination is along with all the codes for communicating with Control. We definitely need such knowledge easily available. Oh, but I forgot, that is old-school, most everything should be already stored in the aircraft’s navigation computer, right? (But remember your Call-sign.)
I am looking for the best system for learning the Holy Bible, so I picked one out to see what its editor might say to me in this regard. He said there is no such thing. Why, how could that be? In a matter of a few words, he managed to convince me that this was so. It goes something like this:
“Languages have different words, different syntaxes, different sentence structures, different semantics, different cultures, so that translation cannot be a simple, automated process. In addition to that, readers are all different in style and vocabulary. Even the concept of accuracy is reader dependent, and this is the point, because all readers are different, no one version of the Bible can possibly be best for all.” (Taken from Dr. David H. Stern, translator of the Complete Jewish Bible, Jewish New Testament Publishers, 1998, page xv)
There are two different ancient languages involved with its original manuscripts. No one speaks the languages today, so that the words — and use of certain words — are peculiar to both the subject and the culture. You don’t have to be a Jew to understand how the ancient Hebrew works, although being Jewish and having learned the present day language helps. And you don’t have to be Greek to understand the ancient Greek language and the purposes for it being used as it was in its day has changed.
There are 39 books in the Old Testament (Covenant), and 27 books in the New. A total of 66 books written by some forty different authors whom all claim to be inspired by God and given the words to speak or write. So we can appreciate that the purpose of God as our creator is quite evident, despite that it took nearly four thousand years to write. Moses, for example, was the author of the first five books that are covering 550 years of the history of the human race. Since he lived only 120 years, it was given to him as the deliverer of the Hebrew Children after he was 80 years old, to write down that history. (Reference our Reese Chronological Bible, Bethany House, Minneapolis, Minnisota, 1994)
But of course we are plainly told that Moses was given the grace to speak directly to God face to face. (Exodus 33:11) It all started when Moses and his brother Aaron went up to the top of Mt Sinai as described in Fire. It was written of Moses in Hebrews 11:27 “By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen.” It was an uncertain author who worte the Letter to the Hebrews, however the evidence of its origin and authenticity have been well established without knowing who wrote it. Most of Scripture is given its credence because of the source describing God giving a revelation of Himself. (Refer to The Authority of Scripture by Stephen B. Clark) And the greatest confirmation that I recognize in my personal life is that of the Holy Spirit, who will show us all things (John 14:16,17, 26; 16:13).
A good analogy here is that like a flight plan, a reading, studying, memorizing of anything scriptural requires considerable thought and purposeful planning. Shop for something easy for you to read. When I was in college studying religion as a “ministerial student”, I was required to lead a Sunday School class in a nursing home. The ideal Bible was a leather covered large print text, without any cross references. I rejoiced every time I opened that book standing in front of an audience. Even if they couldn’t hear very well, the humble spirit of what I was willing to do for them made the needed impact. We will always be blessed everytime we attempt to teach anyone, or everyone from the Holy Scriptures.
This is getting more to the point of our Study. Approaching the Holy Scriptures, as I have described in Attitude, how the scope and gravity of its content may shock the reader. So just reading to understand is a really big task. This article by the Bible Answer Man, Hank Hanegraaff is pretty concise and well able to put both our feet on the ground here (though we have passed ground school, and are now soloing).
“TO INTERPRET THE BIBLE LITERALLY, THINK LITERATURE IN KIND”
” In other words, to interpret the Bible as literature, it is crucial to consider the kind of literature we are interpreting. Just as a legal brief differs in form from a prophetic oracle, so too there is a difference in genre between Leviticus and Revelation. This is particularly important when considering writings that are difficult to categorize, such as Genesis, which is largely a historical narrative interlaced with symbolism and repetitive poetic structure.”
“FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE REQUIRES READERS TO USE THEIR IMAGINATION”
“Figurative language requires readers to use their imagination in order to comprehend what the author is driving at. Such imaginative leaps are the rule rather than the exception in that virtually every genre of literature contains metaphorical language. In point of fact, we might well say that figurative language is the principal means by which God communicates spiritual realities to his children.”
“GOD COMMUNICATES SPIRITUAL REALITIES THROUGH LIVING METAPHORS.”
‘A metaphor is an implied comparison that identifies a word or phrase with something that it does not literally represent. Far from minimizing biblical truth, metaphors serve as magnifying glasses that identify truth we might otherwise miss.”
“HYPERBOLE IS ANOTHER FIGURE OF SPEACH PROPHETICALLY PREVALENT.”
“While hyperbole is commonly used in our culture, it is ubiquitous in the Bible. This is particularly true of prophetic passages. The prophet Isaiah used hyperbolic language when he predicted judgment on Babylon: “See, the day of the Lord is coming-a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger-to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it. The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light. The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light” (Isaiah 13:9-10, emphasis added). To those unfamiliar with biblical language these words may well be taken to mean that the end of the world was at hand. In reality, Isaiah was prophesying that the Medes were about to put an end to the glories of the Babylonian empire.”
“We must therefore fervently pray that the Spirit, who inspired the Scriptures, illumines our minds to what is in the text.”