Sunday, January 29, 2012

Ten Commandments Song

Deuteronomy 11:19 is a reminder to us to "...teach them to your children."  God wanted His people to know and obey His commandments.  He wanted them to pass from one generation to the next.  His commandments bring us freedom from the consequences of sin -- in other words, if you obey these things, you won't have to face the consequences.  In a generation that is pulling down all references to the commandments in schools and public buildings, our job is getting harder.  Not everyone knows the commandments -- some have never even heard of them.  When my children were small, we were looking for a fun way to teach them, and I ended up writing this little song.  It follows the tune of Ten Little Indians (roughly), except instead of singing "One little," take the same space for "One," and then a little rest and it works out.  This song is copyrighted, so please carry that information along with my name in any copies.  You are free to copy for church or personal use, but otherwise, please ask my permission. 

Ten Commandments Song
written by Colleen Berry

One, two, three commandments
Four, five, six commandments
Seven, eight, nine commandments
Ten commandments in all!

“No other gods” is the first commandment
“Make no idols” is the second commandment
“Respect God’s name” is the third commandment
Ten commandments in all!

“Remember the Sabbath” is the fourth commandment
“Honor your parents” is the fifth commandment
“Do not murder” is the sixth commandment
Ten commandments in all!

“Don’t commit adultery” is the seventh commandment
“Do not steal” is the eighth commandment
“Do not lie” is the ninth commandment
Ten commandments in all!

“Do not covet” is the tenth commandment
God gave us all the ten commandments
God loves those who keep His commandments
Ten commandments in all!

copyright by Colleen Berry 2003

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Judging Others - Or What About Hitler?

I was having this conversation with a woman, an owner of a kid-oriented Christian business -- someone I have a lot of admiration for.  She was debating whether it was okay to hire someone who was a homosexual and finally reasoned that it was, because "we aren't supposed to judge others."  While I appreciate her heart -- her desire to be loving -- I cannot agree with this position.  It took me a long while to think of my comeback, but here it is:

Really?  What about Hitler?  Would you hire Hitler to work with the kids?  If you say "No," are you being judgmental?  After all, he was just a sinner, like you or me.  If you say yes, you would hire him, then I must ask:  Are you crazy?

At some point, a "judgement" can and must be made.  Different people draw their lines in different places, but we all draw lines.  And it is important to be led by the Holy Spirit as to where to draw yours.  The Bible says we should "Judge not, lest we be judged."  But that is a judgement for those outside the church -- the unregenerated.

Within the church, we are told to expel those who claim to know Christ but who choose to live in habitual sin (Titus 3:10-11; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13).  How could we do that without a "judgement-like" process?  The judgement (or "fruit inspection" as my pastor likes to say) is to be done gently, lovingly, truthfully, and with an attempt at discipleship.  But, the ultimate choice lies with the offender.  If they do not accept rebuke and repent, they are no longer to be welcomed in the body.  That would be like knowing you had an operable cancer, but letting it stay and grow inside of you.  Once they are out of the church for a while, we are told to treat them (habitual sinners) again as unbelievers and try to woo them back in.

But, we are NOT told to put them in positions of leadership.  The Bible is clear that leaders within the church (not the building, but the body) must be held to even higher standards of behavior (Titus 2:3-15, 1 Timothy 3:1-13).  We are also told to not be "unequally yoked" (1 Corinthians 6:14; this can apply to marriage or business).

Yes, of course, we want unbelievers to feel welcome and loved.  But, we must make sure that we are influencing them, not letting them influence us.  God's Word does not change for political or social reasons.  And love, true love, is tough -- wanting to help someone avoid sin and hell, rather than making them (and ourselves) feel good in the moment.

Some of you may feel threatened or judgmental about what I have written.  Please feel free to comment, but without any vulgarity please.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Book of Beginnings - Part One

I'd like to start a series here, going through the book of Genesis, spouting out things I have learned over many years.  This certainly won't be a complete analysis, because what I know is probably pitiful compared to what can be known about this book!  Some parts may be very brief and others more extensive.  I would also love to hear your insights and thoughts about verses as we go.  But, let's begin at the beginning and see how it goes!

First of all, the book of Genesis was most likely written by Moses, although the first few chapters may have been handed down by previous generations (maybe even beginning with Adam's notes) until they reached his hands for editing.  Genesis is part of both Jewish and Christian holy scripture.

The word "genesis" is defined as "the origin or coming into being of something."  This book is all about origins:  the origin of the universe, man, sin, redemption, nations, government, marriage, and much more.

In Genesis 1:1, we see that God created, and thereby transcends time, space and matter -- the three dimensions of our universe, all in one fell swoop.

In the beginning, GOD created the heavens and the earth.

Time:  In the beginning.         Space:  the heavens        Matter:  the earth

He was already there, in the beginning, so BEFORE the beginning, if you will.  Before there was time, space or matter, there was God.

And that is just the beginning!

God's Resume

A few months ago, we were challenged by our Sunday school teacher to write out God's "resume." Certainly, it can't really be done.  And, of course, His real resume is the Holy Bible.  But, here is a weak stab at it from my perspective.  What kind of references would you give Him?


v     Address:  “…Enthroned above the circle of the earth…”  Isaiah 40:22
v     Phone:  “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”  Jeremiah 33:3

I am come that [you] might have life, and that…more abundantly.  John 10:10

Creator, Self-employed 
About 4004 B.C.
Created the universe from nothing, including the sun, moon, stars and planets.  I created life on Earth, including plants, animals and people.  I completed this project in 6 days.  Genesis 1:1

Deliverer, Egyptian Enterprise 
About 1550 B.C.
For the horses of Pharaoh went with his chariots and his horsemen into the sea, and [I] brought back the waters of the sea upon them.  But the children of Israel went on dry land in the midst of the sea.  Exodus 15:19

Savior, Father & Son Enterprises 
About 33 A.D.
I provided a way for man to escape the death sentence of sin.  I sent my Son, Yeshua, to die on a Roman cross and take away the sins of the world.  John 3:16

Provider, Anywhere
All the Time
I “shall supply all your needs according to [My] riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

King, Israel & the World
Now and Forever
For the Lord [YHWH] is a great God, and a great King above all gods.  Psalm 95:3

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of [Me], who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.  James 1:5

Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, the nation of Israel, Simon, Andrew, James, John, Philip, Thaddeus, Bartholomew, Matthew, Mark, Peter, James the Lesser, and even Thomas, Stephen, Paul, and many more upon request.  Even “…the demons believe, and tremble.”  James 2:19