Tag: Jesus Christ

New Words, Old Words

Noah_webster_small

Noah Webster

collegiate-dictionary-11th-edition

The first American dictionary, A Compendious Dictionary of the English Language, was published in 1806 by Noah Webster. It was replaced by An American Dictionary of the English Language in 1828. When Webster died, George and Charles Merriam purchased the rights to publish revised editions of the dictionary – creating the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.

The dictionary has been revised many times (new editions are released about every ten years). New words such as hashtag, selfie and tweep are a result of advances in technology and social networking.

Few people read the dictionary through in order to discover new words, so I subscribe to a “word a day” email. The words given are often obscure.

  • antimetabole – A repetition of words or an idea in reverse order: “To fail to plan is to plan to fail.”
  • zeugma – the use of a word to modify or govern two or more words usually in such a manner that it applies to each in a different sense or makes sense with only one (as in “opened the door and her heart to the homeless boy”)
  • synecdoche – A figure of speech in which a part stands for the whole or vice versa: “head count” to refer to the count of people or “the police” to refer to a police officer.

Who uses such words in casual conversation or even writing for that matter? Regardless of the frequency of their use, there is a word for it!

Words are not only added to the dictionary. Old words are deleted – those not in common use anymore.

  • ostmark – unit of currency in the former East Germany
  • hodad – word from The Beach Boys era meaning “a nonsurfer who frequents surfing beaches and pretends to be a surfer” and
  • snollygoster – a shrewd, unprincipled person (often used by President Harry S. Truman).

It is interesting to observe the evolution of words used in the English language. As a Christian, I can count on one Word never changing. He is not new. He is not old. He is not obscure. He is eternal – my Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God….

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1: 1, 2, 14).

 

 

 

 

 

The War Is Over

Onoda-youngHiroo Onoda, who died on January 16, 2014 at the age of 91, was the last Japanese soldier to leave the Philippines after World War II was over.  Lt. Onoda held his post on the remote island of Lubang until 1974 – 29 years after the official end of the war. During this time he and his comrades killed over thirty Filipinos still believing them to be the enemy.

Lt. Onoda refused to believe the war was over even though leaflets declaring this (he believed they were enemy propaganda) were dropped on his island. It was not until his former commander made the trip from Japan to Lubang island did he understand that he had been fighting a war that had ended years before. After his commander officially relieved him from duty, Lt. Onoda met President Marcos in Manila, presented his sword and surrendered. President Marcos returned his sword and issued a pardon for the men he had killed after the war had ended.

Hiroo Onoda received a hero’s welcome when he returned to Japan. When interviewed about those 29 years and asked what was on his mind during that time, he said, “Nothing but accomplishing my duty.”Japanese_Surrender_at_Tokyo_Bay,_2_September_1945_A30427

It is possible to admire Hiroo Onoda for his commitment to duty for his country but it is also a reminder that his purpose during and after the war – up until the time he understood the war was over – was to kill his enemy.

Satan and his demons have been waging war against God and His soldiers for thousands of years. There is no honor in their fight – only evil. They continue to fight a war that has officially been won by Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The Bible tells us that the war is over, but they refuse to quit or surrender, continuing to bring death and destruction until they can do no more harm. Unlike Lt. Onoda, there will be no pardon.

But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool (Hebrews 10:12-13). Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war…He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called the Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses (Revelation 19:11, 13). “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels’ (Matthew 25:41).

New LIfe for Broken Things

 

800px-American_Pickers_Antique_CarReality television series featuring “pickers” who travel through their country looking to buy antiques and collectibles have become popular in several countries: Canadian Pickers in Canada, Aussie Pickers in Australia, Salvage Hunters in Great Britain and American Pickers in the United States.

As an antique lover, recycler and thrift conscious person, I enjoy watching American Pickers. It is very interesting to see what Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz discover as they go through people’s old barns, homes, out buildings, storage sheds and property. They will climb through unstable attics and go under collapsed buildings in order to pull out a treasure or two for their Antique Archaeology stores.

Mike and Frank introduce themselves at the beginning of each show, saying, “We travel the back roads of America looking to buy rusty gold. We’re looking for amazing things buried in people’s garages and barns. What most people see as junk, we see as dollar signs. We’ll buy “anything” we think we can make a buck on. Each item we pick has a history all its own and the people we meet? Well, they’re a breed all their own. We make a living telling the history of America…one piece at a time.”

Everything they uncover had value at one time. Believing it would be useful or decorative, someone bought or made the item. Some of the people they “pick” have their collections displayed and continue to enjoy them. Others have items buried so deeply the guys have to dig through a lot of other stuff to find them.

Uncovering these old things and using them in new or even original ways restores these items to usefulness. As Frank said in one episode, “Broken does not mean useless.” He knows someone somewhere can see beyond the broken parts and either make it whole again or use it just the way it is.

So much is disposable today. Our landfills are full of disposable containers and items people no longer use. In an ever increasing throw away society, it is refreshing to know some people are working to salvage or restore items rather than get rid of them.

God is the ultimate restorer – our Redeemer. Vance Havner (1901-1986), a well known prVance2Aeacher and Christian author, once said, “God uses broken things. It takes broken soil to produce a crop, broken clouds to give rain, broken grain to give bread, broken bread to give strength. It is the broken alabaster box that gives forth perfume. It is Peter, weeping bitterly, who returns to greater power than ever.”

God knows the potential of usefulness in each of us. Sin and circumstance can break us down, but when God recreates us through His Son Jesus Christ, we are better than before.

“My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise” (Psalm 51:17). Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new (2 Corinthians 6:17).

 

Dead Ends

120px-MUTCD_W14-1.svgWhen driving or riding with someone else in a car, I have noticed several “dead end” situations.

The road I am on may intersect with another in which we are able to turn right or left onto a new road. The end of one road leads to another one. Those roads are not dead ends, but simply a place where a choice needs to be made.

Sometimes the end of the road is a dead end. There is no way to go beyond it. The difficulty may also be magnified by the fact that it was a one-way road. You cannot turn around.

These roads are marked in various ways in different countries. Terms used on highways might include dead end, no exit, no through road, not a through street, or no outlet. In some cases the signs are just drawings indicating a dead end.

Where residential areas have been built with limited through traffic (sometimes a circular design) the term used is 799px-Cul-de-Sac_croppedcul-de-sac. The no through traffic design results in more privacy in the neighborhood and potentially a safer environment for children.

Some dead-end roads are adjacent to a highway. They are very short roads built for the large construction equipment to park while the road is being built. These are of short term use and have no function after the road is built. They truly are dead end roads going nowhere.

Unless one pays attention to the signs leading up to the dead end roads, you can inadvertently wind up on the end of the road with nowhere to go – a real dead end.

During life, people come to many roads where important choices need to be made. Until death, there is an opportunity to make the right choice – to turn to God through Jesus Christ or to continue going in the wrong direction heading toward hell – the ultimate “dead end”. Putting off that choice is a choice in itself. Death often comes as a surprise with no time to rethink the decisions of the past.

480px-Zeichen_357.svgThere is only one way to heaven and that is through trusting Jesus Christ. Through His sinless life, sacrificial death and resurrection, He paved the road for all believers to join Him for all eternity. Any other path literally leads to a spiritual dead end. There is no way out.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me (John 14:6). There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death (Proverbs 14:12). For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23). Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2).

Pivotal Point in History

Throughout my lifetime, I have been accustomed to seeing historical dates using BC – before Christ – and AD – Anno Domini meaning the year of our Lord. Although they have been around for a very long time, I have recently discovered an alternative to this dating: CE – Common Era – and BCE – Before Common Era. The C in these designations can also mean Christian or Current, but since Common Era and Before Common Era do not explicitly reference Christ or Domini, they have become more acceptable. It seems that because the BC and AD usage is offensive to non-Christians, authors, publishers and other groups wishing to be neutral use CE and BCE attempting to remove overt references to Christ.

Sadly, in America, this type of non-Christian sensitivity has reached a new level. Even though America’s beginnings are clearly and deeply routed in Christianity, our tolerant society is tolerant of everything but Christianity. Every other special interest group has increasing voice and rights while the voice and rights of Christianity is diminishing.

Try as they might, societies wishing to ignore the impact that Jesus made in history cannot be successful. His birth, life, death and resurrection remain the pivotal point in the history of His created world.

Even those who do not or will not celebrate or recognize Christmas and Easter cannot ignore them.

History is the story of God’s love expressed through His Son, Jesus Christ. It is really His Story. Everything preceding His arrival looks forward to it. Everything after His resurrection reflects back on the meaning of that event.

The sixty-six books of the Bible are divided into two sections. The Old Testament chronicles the journeys of faithful men and women of God who looked for the Messiah. Many prophesied about that day. The New Testament begins with the birth of Jesus, gives the story of His life, death and resurrection, the activities of the first century church, promises His final appearance and notes the judgment that will take place when history is over.

Of all the events in the life of Jesus that marked the fulfillment of the prophecies of the Old Testament that was fleshed out in His person in the New Testament, His resurrection is the culmination of all that had come before.

f72123The resurrection of Jesus Christ marks the pivotal point in history where reconciliation between God and man became possible. His birth was miraculous. His life was pure and without sin. Jesus revealed God in the flesh. His death was the sacrifice for our sin. It was the resurrection that put the period on all that had come before. With the resurrection of Jesus, His mission was completed.

And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!…If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. But now Christ is risen from the dead... (1 Corinthians 15:17,19,20).

The Importance of a Good Seal

Since my husband is a handyman (not by profession), he does most of the work in our homes himself. Watching him install a shower caused me to be curious about the word “seal”. The drain in that shower had to have an adequate seal to keep it from leaking. It became obvious to me that creating a good seal was not only important, but also takes a lot of work and patience.

As a noun, a seal can be an aquatic animal, a devise used for stamping a document to authenticate it, something that gives credibility to something else (a seal of approval), or a substance used to join two things together so as to prevent them from coming apart or prevent something else from passing between them.

As a verb, a seal can mean to make tight to secure against leakage (as in sealing windows or a shower drain), close securely (as in sealing an envelope or sealing homemade jams), prevent something from escaping by closing an opening, isolate an area to prevent entry and exit (as in sealing off a crime scene), apply a coating to a surface to make it impervious (such as sealing a finish with a varnish), fry a piece of meat briefly to keep juices intact or secure something to exclude the possibility of reversal or loss (as in sealing a business deal).

Pieczec_notariusza_wkskrakowThe definitions of seal have an application when applied to the Christian life. God the Father placed His seal of approval on His Son; God set His seal of ownership on His children and we are marked with the seal of the Holy Spirit (John 6:27, 2 Corinthians 1:21 and Ephesians 1:13). Jesus never broke the seal during His lifetime. His integrity remained intact. He never allowed anything to come between Him and His Father’s will.

For the rest of us, it is a constant struggle to keep worldly temptations from distracting us. The apostle Paul reminded us to be continually filled with the Holy Spirit, but as my husband often says, “we leak.” The presence of the Holy Spirit is real to us. We have already been “authenticated,” but while we are still here on a fallen planet, we must be diligent in remembering that we have to work hard at preventing anything from entering our lives that will dishonor the Spirit who lives within us.

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you (Ephesians 4:30-32).