Steven's Blog

Thoughts from just another face on this planet

A Translation Worth Reading

leave a comment »

I planned on blogging the following during National Bible Week but on top of going out of town for the Thanksgiving holiday, my daughter became ill so that further hindered my punctuality in getting the blog post accomplished. I did, however get plenty of time to read what is likely becoming my favorite translation…

I’ve been a fan of the NIV Bible for quite some time. I actually refer to several different translations when I’m deeply studying but the NIV has always been my “go to” translation. All of that has gradually changed since I’ve picked up the Common English Bible, hereafter referred to as the CEB.

If you thought the NIV was an easy-to-read translation while being considered a reliable translation, try the CEB on for size. The CEB is an even easier to read translation that has been painstakingly brought together by 120 different people, of 24 different denominations!

Additionally,

”…more than 500 readers in 77 groups field-tested the translation. Every verse was read aloud in the reading groups, where potentially confusing passages were identified. The translators considered the groups’ responses and, where necessary, reworked those passages to clarify in English their meaning from the original languages. More than 700 people worked jointly to bring the Common English Bible to fruition; and thanks to the Internet and today’s technology it was completed in less than four years.”*

That sounds pretty good to me.

I know there are skeptics out there. I actually know a handful of them myself. They either only trust one version, which is typically the KJV, or they’ve just recently come around to the NIV or NASB and they aren’t about to let anymore translations in the door. This is all fine. You go with what you trust and with what you know. All I ask is that you possibly give the CEB a try, especially if you want a really easy-to-read translation.

I will be posting more on the CEB in days to come and I’m going to provide some examples from it and other translations to show you how much more readable the CEB is than the NIV.

I hope no one gets me wrong. I am in NO WAY saying to stop reading the NIV, NASB, KJV or whatever your preferred translation. I’m just saying you ought to give the CEB a read. Go to www.biblegateway.com, plug in a verse and select the Common English Bible translation and read some select passages. Compare the passages with other versions you currently read. Let me know what you think. I look forward to hearing what you have to say.

 

*http://www.commonenglishbible.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=lnmWOySTa1Y%3d&tabid=399

Written by stevenlwolf

November 29, 2011 at 10:27 am

Live and Let Live…right?

with 11 comments

Am I the only one that grows tired of non-Christians, or anti-Christians, complaining over each and every little thing that involves Christmas? Whether it’s the atheists wanting prayer yanked from schools and sporting events, or Jehovah’s Witnesses wanting Christmas called Winter Celebration, or Winter Holiday, whatever it is they’re hollering about, I am just sick to death of hearing about all of the complaining.

Christmas has been called Christmas since, well, forever. And up until the early 60’s prayer was okay in school until two people, or groups of people, complained*. Even back then I’m certain non-believers just told their children they didn’t have to pray and you know what? Schools and teachers were likely just fine with that.

I’m not hip to what kind of holidays Jehovah’s Witnesses celebrate, if any, or what holidays Muslims, Wiccans, Buddhists, or Atheists celebrate, but I can tell you I could not possibly care less that they celebrate them. Like my title says, “Live and Let Live” I say.

Now if it gets down to any sort of indoctrination, that’s when I will rise and make my voice heard. As far as I know, school prayer prior to the early 60’s was just done. It was a “norm”, kind of like the Pledge of Allegiance, which is another blog in and of itself. I haven’t heard stories that Teachers punished kids not praying. I could be wrong and there could certainly be cases of that having happened. If it did happen, then I disagree with it. No one should be forced to do anything when it comes to a religious practice.

I guess every religion has a violent past, including Christianity, but that all changed many, many years ago, except for some radical groups that I’m sure are still present worldwide.

So, am I wrong in having the mindset of live and let live, or get over it? I’ve read a lot of court cases regarding freedom of religion, or freedom FROM religion, but I didn’t see many clear cut cases of anyone attempting to indoctrinate those not of the Christian faith. I haven’t seen or heard of anyone getting tossed out of a football game because they didn’t bow their head for the opening word of prayer. I haven’t heard of a child getting suspended from school because they didn’t bow their head. I’m not an expert and I’m certainly not all-knowing so if there are cases such as these, bring them to my attention. Like I said, I don’t think it’s right if it’s happened.

My family and I have Bible readings and study every night. My kids also have questions regarding other religions, or no religion at all (I consider Atheism a religion of sorts but there again, for another blog).

I teach my children what I believe is right AND I teach them not to hate others for what they believe. I think if we teach our children this type of thing we’d likely not have to lose a bit of sleep over what goes on around us, as long as our children are not being forced to participate in such events.

Please comment and let me know what you think. I welcome any and all viewpoints.

 

*http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0370_0421_ZS.html

*http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=us&vol=374&invol=203

Written by stevenlwolf

November 17, 2011 at 8:29 am

Thinking Twice About Pain

leave a comment »

I have read Job a few times but this time I’m reading around a chapter a day in order to really dig deep into the message of the book. In reading chapter two, these two verses are especially striking:

Job’s wife said to him, ‘Are you still clinging to your integrity? Curse God, and die.’ Job said to her, ‘You’re talking like a foolish woman. Will we receive good from God but not also receive bad?’ In all this, Job didn’t sin with his lips. – Job 2:9-10 (CEB)

These two verses are awesome because too many people think that God will ONLY allow good in our lives and never any bad.

I love how the Common English Bible translates this exchange. One can almost hear the talking between Job and his wife. She indeed must not realize how the things of God works so Job instructs her by questioning her, essentially asking, is there a promise of only good from God and not any bad? Although in severe pain, Job tells his wife that he accepts what God is putting upon him, without question and without doubt. He knows God enough to realize that along with joy, pain and heartache are also in the package.

When we have questions about why God is doing something negative in our lives, reading the book of Job can help us to persevere in the midst of our trials and struggles because we are shown how painful life can be. Many of us likely will not experience the type of emotional and physical struggles Job dealt with, which should make us look at our issues with a whole new perspective.

I don’t know about you all but I catch myself complaining over things that seem menial in hindsight. Reading the book of Job certainly helps me put things in perspective, not to mention the things that people in the New Testament went through. John, Paul, and many others in the New Testament went through various painful trials and struggles.

The ultimate example of pain and sacrifice, of course, was Jesus Christ. He went through what most of us likely couldn’t even begin to handle. He did it for a cause, for love, He went through that for US! God sent Jesus to go through all of that so is it really that hard to comprehend that He might send pain, trials and struggles our way?

I hope you find yourself thinking long and hard about that because it sure gets me to thinking.

Written by stevenlwolf

November 16, 2011 at 10:49 am

In God’s country

with 2 comments

I just spent several days in the Ozarks in southern Missouri. Although it is far from being the first time I’ve been there, for some reason it felt like the first time. Although I’ve probably been there a hundred times, I think this was the first trip to where I totally let every bit of stress of my daily life leave my mind to where I could really relax and enjoy my mini-cation. Although the word relax might be a stretch, since we travelled to two natural springs and to the river in a relatively short span, but “relax” in my vernacular equates to “not working”.

Now, I’m the type of person that can see, each and every day, the miracle of God’s creation. There isn’t a day that goes by to where I don’t stop and think “Wow” when I look around me at nature. Think of this only magnified by about 100 when I’m in southern Missouri. My wife’s hometown of Winona is a small one, set among seemingly millions of trees and many hills. Unlike here in Wichita, where towns and cities are becoming more and more connected, as new houses are being built every single day, once you leave the city limits in Winona, there are scant few houses. What connects the towns in southern Missouri? Trees.

This time of year it is perfect. Not hot, but not yet cold either. You can still drive to the rivers and enjoy them, perhaps not daring to get in but enjoying their majesty all the same. I plan to go again over the holidays and I look forward to the chilly, perhaps even downright cold mornings, when I can step out on the porch and hear the sounds of nature and smell the wood burning in fireplaces that are perhaps miles away. I intend to take my notepad with me next time so that might be able to clearly convey through words the sights and sounds around me. Who knows? Maybe I’ll even figure out how to upload some pictures.

If you’ve been there, or live there, you obviously know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t been there, trust me, you must go and visit, even for a few days. Walk in the woods and talk to God. You won’t have to struggle to hear Him over the sirens and car engines.

 

Romans 1:19‑20

What may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature‑‑have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

Written by stevenlwolf

October 18, 2011 at 9:00 am

Posted in Christianity, General

Tagged with , , , , , ,

Why men are never depressed

leave a comment »

Okay, since I’m off work for the rest of the week after today, I’m obviously in a good mood so I thought I’d post something humorous. This is a riot. Enjoy…

Men Are Just Happier People –

What do you expect from such simple creatures?

Your last name stays put.

Wedding plans take care of themselves.

You can be President.

You can never be pregnant.

You can wear a white T-shirt to a water park.

You can wear NO shirt to a water park.

Car mechanics tell you the truth.

The world is your urinal.

You never have to drive to another gas station restroom because this one is just too icky.

Same work, more pay.

Wrinkles add character.

Wedding dress $5000. Tux rental-$100.

People never stare at your chest when you’re talking to them.

One mood all the  time.

Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat.

A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase.

You can open all your own  jars.

You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness.

If someone forgets to invite you, he or she can still be your friend.

Your underwear is  $8.95 for a three-pack.

Three pairs of shoes are more than enough.

You almost never have strap problems in public.

You are unable to see wrinkles in your clothes.

Everything on your face stays its original color.

The same hairstyle lasts for years, maybe decades.

You only have to shave your face and neck.

You can play with toys all your life.

One wallet and one pair of shoes — one color for all seasons.

You can wear shorts no matter how your legs look.

You have freedom of choice concerning growing a mustache.

No wonder men are happier.

Send this to the women who can handle it

And to the men who will enjoy reading it.

___________________________________

Men Are Just Happier People

NICKNAMES
If Laura, Kate and Sarah go out for lunch, they will call each other Laura, Kate and Sarah.
If Mike, Dave and John go out, they will affectionately refer to each other as Fat Boy, Bubba and Wild Man .

EATING OUT
When the bill arrives, Mike, Dave and John will each throw in $20, even though it’s only for $32.50.  None of them will have anything smaller and none will actually admit they want change back.
When the girls get their bill, out come the pocket calculators.

MONEY
A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he needs.
A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item that she doesn’t need but it’s on sale.

BATHROOMS
A man has six items in his bathroom: toothbrush and toothpaste, shaving cream, razor, a bar of soap, and a towel.
The average number of items in the typical woman’s bathroom is 337.  A man would not be able to identify more than 20 of these items.

ARGUMENTS
A woman has the last word in any argument
Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.

FUTURE
A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband.
A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.

SUCCESS
A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend.
A successful woman is one who can find such a man.

MARRIAGE
A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn’t.
A man marries a woman expecting that she won’t change, but she does.

DRESSING UP
A woman will dress up to go shopping, water the plants, empty the trash, answer the phone, read a book, and get the mail.
A man will dress up for weddings and funerals.

NATURAL
Men wake up as good-looking as they went to bed.
Women somehow deteriorate during the night.

OFFSPRING
Ah, children.  A woman knows all about her children.  She knows about dentist appointments and romances, best friends, favorite foods, secret fears and hopes and dreams.
A man is vaguely aware of some short people living in the house.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
A married man should forget his mistakes.  There’s no use in two people remembering the same thing!

Written by stevenlwolf

October 12, 2011 at 8:37 am

Posted in Humor

Tagged with , , , , , ,

Occupy Wall Street? They’re No Tea Partiers

leave a comment »

Occupy Wall Street? They’re No Tea Partiers.

Click on the link and read it! This is a great article, clearly explaining the differences regarding the Tea Party and the Occupy Wall Street movement, for those of us that wanted the basics of what the fuss was all about.

Feel free to comment here, or on the linked page.

Written by stevenlwolf

October 11, 2011 at 2:54 pm

Posted in Politics

Tagged with , ,

Tragedy close to home

with 4 comments

I recently heard a story, about a little two year old boy who died in Ark City. I saw the story “headlined” on Twitter last week. Of course stories like this are constantly in the news so I wasn’t particularly drawn into it, although I’m always devastated to hear of a child dying.

Seeing as how the death occurred in Ark City, a town in which I have many relatives, I clicked on the link to read the story. Names weren’t familiar to me, which is nothing new as I have never lived in Ark City nor have I spent much time there beyond a weekend or two, or maybe a week at my Grandparents’ house as a kid. The gist of the story is that a man picked up his child from the babysitter and, once he got the baby home the baby started convulsing. The man took him to the hospital, or called the paramedics, I forget which, and tragically the boy died a short time after that.

According to the man, the baby seemed fine when he picked him up. He had been drinking juice and soda. (The man told the reporting newspaper that he had picked the boy up but, as you’ll read a bit further, I have been told the boy was delivered to him).

When I finished reading the story and I had read the name of the father, I remember thinking to myself, “I wonder if any of my relatives know this guy?” Ark City is a fairly good-sized town, but generally small enough to where a lot of people know one another, or at least have heard of one another.

It hadn’t been two hours after I read the story that I received a text from someone saying a cousin (in-law) was involved.

The story I got was that this cousin-in-law, whom shall remain nameless pending the ongoing case, had left some liquid materials lying around. She used this liquid material to concoct methamphetamines. I was told it was hydrofluoric acid. The babysitter left this lying around and the two year old boy drank some of it. If you think that is disturbing enough, keep reading.

This babysitter also has three children of her own (or “had” is the correct term). Allegedly, her own children, how many, I do not yet know, drank the acid as well, albeit not as much it turns out.

This babysitter calls on a relative, her Mother-in-law actually, to come help her. No one, and I mean, NO ONE, at this point has been cognizant of the decision to take the children to the hospital to be safe. The babysitter’s Mother-in-law goes and picks up the boy later that afternoon to deliver him to his father. On the way to the boy’s father’s house, he starts puking in the back seat and “stuff” is coming out of his mouth. Rather than transport the child to the hospital, AT THAT INSTANT, she decides to continue on to his father’s house. A short time later the child is dead.

This should have never happened. Had the child been taken to the hospital right away, there is a 100% chance he would have survived.

Now, I want you to know that the information I have gathered is from people either very close to the situation or from people directly involved. No one I have spoke to would have reason to distort any facts. In fact, I’d be bold enough to say that these witnesses actually WANT to believe it differently, that someone they have been close to all of their lives is NOT involved. Sadly, this isn’t so. Obviously, I have refrained from using any names whatsoever, so as to let the proper investigators to investigate. I realize emotions get involved and there are risks of information points getting skewed. I will say, however that some of my family in Ark City are directly involved. One member is involved in the worst way and another is involved in a positive way. (I will have a post forthcoming sharing the positive information, trust me).

As devastating as all of this is, what with family being involved in this child’s tragic death, the obvious tragedy is that this child had to die due to the lack of common sense and responsibility of at least two people.  I am certain more information will be coming out soon. The information that is not made public, I will try as best I can to relay it here.

 

Closing thoughts:

I can say, without a shadow of a doubt, that this dead child is safe and smiling in the arms of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Although his life was cut way too short, he’ll never, ever experience pain and suffering again. We may never know why children are made victims but we absolutely do know that children are a gift and blessing from our Creator and we should NEVER allow any harm to come to them, whether they are ours or we’ve never met them.

Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him – Psalm 127:3

To be continued…..

Written by stevenlwolf

October 10, 2011 at 3:06 pm

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.