Go, and Sin No More

*Haha, I just noticed that little flower beside the title!! Very ‘manly’ there. 😉 But that is okay cause I like the layout, and flowers are cool too. *

Just last night I read a very inspiring little story. One which condemned me, and also relieved me.

I am sure many of you are familiar with it. It takes place in John 8:1-11, which, in my Bible at least, it says that most ancient Greek manuscripts do not include this passage. (I have no clue what that is supposed to mean, but I would assume it means that there is doubt in its authenticity. But, like I said, I do not really have any idea what it means.)

In case you are not familiar with the passage, or need some refreshment of the memory, I will insert it below. If, by some rare chance, you have it memorized, or if you know it well enough, then feel free to skip the quote.

Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.“Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”

They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.

When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”

“No, Lord,” she said.

And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”

When I read this last phrase, it slapped me on the face. It made me perk right up. It registered in my brain. It hit me like an asteroid hitting a planet!

“Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” Is it really that simple?

Right away, I knew in my heart that it was God’s way of telling me, “Get up, keep going, it’s alright–go and sin no more!”

When I fail, and it seems like I do a lot, God can forgive me. When I do something wrong in God’s eyes, it is not the end of the world. I merely must repent, and he will tell me, “Go, sin no more!” It almost brings tears to my eyes to think about Jesus saying that to me.

It did not help that when I had first opened my Bible, it had opened right up to Proverbs 12, which starts out just splendidly, “To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction.” Oh, great! I am about to learn something here! Ook, well let us check it out–cautiously, of course.

“The Lord approves of those who are good,
but he condemns those who plan wickedness.”

Oh, ouch.

“Wickedness never brings stability,
but the godly have deep roots.”

Mmm, good advise.

“The plans of the godly are just;
the advice of the wicked is treacherous.”

Ugh, stab.

“The words of the wicked are like a murderous ambush,
but the words of the godly save lives.”

Huh, s’more good advice.

“The wicked die and disappear,
but the family of the godly stands firm.”

Where am I at, I wonder?

“A sensible person wins admiration,
but a warped mind is despised.”

Okay, let’s be sensible.

“Better to be an ordinary person with a servant
than to be self-important but have no food.”

Okay, sensible–but ordinary.

It would be rather long if I would put all the verses in here, so if you have an interest in reading them, see Proverbs 12

“The wicked are trapped by their own words,
but the godly escape such trouble.”

“Wise words bring many benefits,
and hard work brings rewards.”

“Fools think their own way is right,
but the wise listen to others.”

Ooo, another correction. I shall take it.

“A fool is quick-tempered,
but a wise person stays calm when insulted.”

OW!! Stop talking about me!

“An honest witness tells the truth;
a false witness tells lies.”

“Deceit fills hearts that are plotting evil;
joy fills hearts that are planning peace!”

Mmm…

“No harm comes to the godly,
but the wicked have their fill of trouble.”

Talk about making me feel so warm and fuzzy!!!

“The way of the godly leads to life;
that path does not lead to death.”

Whoever wrote this book was wise!! Good note to end on.

So now I am all down, feeling condemned, and needing to get back on the ‘way of the godly’.

Then I flip through my Bible some more, and it comes to the passage in John. And I am like, “Okay, looks interesting, I’ve read it before, let’s read it again.”

And then I read verses 10-11. ”

“Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”

“No, Lord,” she said.

And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”

My heart seriously skipped a bit. It was like, wowzers. God can really talk! He wisely let’s me read Proverbs, then brings me here. He breaks, and then repairs–correctly.

That little phrase is so powerful! -Neither do I condemn thee. Go, and sin no more- Precious words indeed.

“Neither do I condemn thee go and sin no more! Precious words divine…”

“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me!”

Another lesson from the passage of John, is that of which the Pharisees received.

Who are we to judge? Are we not the same as the one we are judging?

“Let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!”

I don’t know about you guys, but I should be the first to receive the stone! Nobody is perfect, none of us is worthy to throw the first stone. Only God is. And the ‘problem’ with Him, is that He forgives–even my enemies. Not only the sinners I am stoning, but my enemies.

I can just picture it.

I’ve raised my hand to throw the stone, and Jesus walks up, stops my arm as I begin to throw, and says, “Here, let me have that.” But then he takes the stone and tosses it away, turns and lifts the condemned to his feet and says, “Go and sin no more.

C.D.

To Die Is Gain

“For to me to live is Christ, to die is gain.” NKJV

“For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better.” NLT

Philippians 1:21

I wonder how many times I have said that. And if I have, did I really mean it? Would I really find it a gain to die? I know in my heart that it is, but when it came down to it–would I really rather die–for Christ, mind you–then to live? (I would not want to die for anything but Christ..which might include dying to save another.)

And do I really live as Christ? I really have to compare myself to this verse sometimes. I have great admiration for Paul. Because, half the time, I think I end up living as myself, and to die is loss.

I have been reading out of the Martyrs Mirror (also titled Bloody Theater), about how each of the apostles, and people shortly after Jesus’s crucifixion, were persecuted, and eventually martyred. (And these stories are only a fraction of the book, there are hundreds of stories–or at least it seems so. It is about as thick as two and a half Bibles.)

Anyways, it has really challenged me.

These men were devoted to the faith. At least three of the apostles crucified, one of which was Peter who requested to be crucified upside down because he did not deem himself worthy to die like Christ. (His crucifiers were happy to oblige him of course, because it would increase the pain.)

And Andrew, Peters brother, was crucified in a different fashion than Jesus or Peter. (See picture below.) But he was not nailed to the cross, but rather, tied to it, and he hung there for three days instructing the people around him.

(See pictures below for third apostle crucified.)

And of course we all know what happened to Paul, and it is no less significant than any of the others–he was beheaded. James the greater was martyred in the same fashion.

Mark, or John, also John Mark, was “dragged out of the congregation, through the streets  and out of the city; so that his flesh everywhere adhered to the stones, and his blood was poured out upon the earth, until he, with the last words of our Saviour, committed his spirit into the hand of the Lord, and expired.” Martyrs Mirror, page 78.

Christians in general were not martyred by any less cruel ways. Many had pitch and such substances poured on them, then tied to stacks and used as torches! And that is only one way in which Nero persecuted them.

James the lesser was thrown off the top of a building and then stoned. And as he was being stoned (for the fall had only broken his legs) he prayed the words of Jesus as he was dying. “Lord, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Hearing this a priest called out for the stoning to stop saying, “What do ye? the Just is praying for us. leave off the stoning!” But someone took a club and hit James over the head with it, killing him. (See page 75 of the Martyrs Mirror.)

And of course, Stephen was stoned to death, which is also no little way to die.

Luke the evangelist, and physician, was hung by the neck on a tree.

(And there are still hundreds of later martyrs and other apostles whom I have not the time to write of. Plus more that were never recorded.)

All these men, died for He who first died. They followed His footsteps to the very end. Some not only followed His footsteps, but spoke His words.

Even today there are persecuted men and women.

And yet I sit here in comfy America.

“..to live is Christ, to die is gain.”

C.D.

A Simple Story

Well, so, this is just a little story I thought I would share with all of you.

It is not a story of magnificence, nor one of life threatening situation. It is not a story with a hero or a villain. It is not a story set in another world.

It is a story set in another time, and another place. It is a story of God pulling through for a young lad.

It was not very important, but it was frustrating, for the young lad. You see, this young lad was about…mm, 9 or so. He grew up a PK.

What is a ‘PK’? It is a ‘Preacher’s Kid’, or a ‘Pastor’s Kid’. What is the significance of being a PK? Well, to tell the truth, it varies for every PK. Each has a different life. Some have hard, troubling lives. Others have easy, popular lives. And some, have middle lives, not to bad, not extremely swell. I think this particular PK could fall in all three of those categories.

Something you must remember before we go on. Every PK is, normal. They make mistakes too. They are human, in need of God’s grace.

Back to the story,

This lad not only grew up a PK, but he also grew up a CK, now a CK is less known. In fact, I do not think I have heard Ck ever used before, so I shall explain to you what a CK is.

A CK is a ‘Contractors Kid’ or, ‘Carpenters Kid’. And an interesting fact is, Jesus was also a CK. But like PK’s, CK’s are not perfect either.

This young lad of about 9 had a special Bible that his father had given to him when he was younger, about 7, I believe.

Now this Bible was very Important to–uh, Caleb, we shall call the lad Caleb. Caleb Dale Washington. Not only was the Bible special but the things inside were special. Now I know that the artifacts inside a Bible should not be more important then the Bible itself, though I am not saying they were, but you must understand that Caleb grew up in a country where you could just go buy another Bible at the local bookshop. We shall call Caleb’s local book shop Town Medicine, for you could also pick up medicine there. (The bookshop was not the only place to buy Bibles, there were many other places to buy Bibles, but we shall omit them for sake of time.) But, this bookshop does not pertain to the story I am telling.

As I was saying, this Bible was an all around important Bible, both because his father had given it to him, and because of the pictures and drawings he had inside it.

But one day, to the horror and astonishment of Caleb, the Bible disappeared!! What should he do? Caleb immediately shifted into search and rescue mode.

He looked all over his house, but he could not find this Bible–anywhere.

It was not long before Caleb became a very sad lad. His mother tried and tried to find the Bible, but it had disappeared. Vanished. Caleb tried to think very hard. “Where could of it gone to? Where did I lay it down?” He thought.

Over time, Caleb began to forget about his Bible. He stopped looking for it every time his family went to church, and Caleb became positively angry at God for taking away something so special. He tried to tell himself it was just a Bible and the things inside were, merely things….but, they were, merely..special, things.

Little did little Caleb know that God was teaching him many different lessons. He was teaching Caleb, Patience. He was also teaching Caleb that He [God] is more important then ‘things’.

Caleb would pray that his Bible would come back. But he never expected it to. He began to blame his poor brothers and sisters for ‘stealing’ it. But of course, they had not.

His mother would ask around at different churches when they would visit, to see if maybe Caleb had left it there on a prior visit, but it never was there.

And then one day, when Caleb was older his family decided they were going to move. Caleb did not want to. He did not want to leave his friends, but God was telling his family to move, to a far far away land.

So now they had to pack up and move. But before they could pack up, they had to sort through their boxes and sift out what they did not need.

And as they were working their way through the boxes in storage closets and such like, they came across a box that belonged to Caleb. What was inside it? he opened it up–and there were a few random odds and ends that he had to sort through and get rid of the stuff he did not want, or need.

But then, as he pulled out the things, his hand pulled out a green thick book. And there, in his hand was a–Bible. The Bible,  the one that had caused him so much turmoil! The one that God ‘supposedly’ had taken away unjustly.

So, this was one of God’s reasons for the move? He wanted to prove himself to Caleb. And it was not God’s fault, nor anyone else’s. The Bible had merely been misplaced. And how, when and who did it remains a mystery to this day. But it was an obvious mistake.

Caleb also found many other long lost possessions because of that move. And little did young Caleb know, but that move would change his life–forever. And a change, for the good.

C.D.

Psalm 73–Reflection and Deliberation, and More

Last night, I opened my Bible to read out of the Psalms. There is a certain method of reading them that I use–but it is not original with me, so I will not take credit for any of it. But the method is, to take the current date and read that Psalm. Yesterday was the 13th, so I read the 13th Psalm, then you add 30 and read the Psalm that equals the sum. (Huh, that almost rimes!!;-) So I read Psalm 43. And you just do that until you have no more Psalms to read. Anyways… So, I was doing that, I read the 13th, 43rd, then the 73rd. And as soon as I read the 2nd and 3rd verses of Psalm 73, I immediately knew it was about me. Or most of it at least.

Below is not the exact version I wanted, but it is close enough, I think. I was reading out of the Life Application Study Bible (NLT), but this is just plain NLT, but I think it is close enough. I changed some of the really important parts to the Life Application words. Because they are more…..applicable, I guess. 🙂

By the way, I really like the Life Application Bible (and it actually has a small story for God’s glory itself!!) for reading the Psalms and Proverbs and such like. Especially over the KJV just because it is easier to understand. Not that Psalms or Proverbs is confusing, it is just the KJV is…as I am sure you all know already. (But I will say that I like to memorize in the King James.)

So, I liked this Psalm because I could identify with it. And I thought I would share it with you.

Psalm 73

A psalm of Asaph.

1 Truly God is good to Israel,
to those whose hearts are pure.
2 But as for me, I came so close to the edge of the cliff!
My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone.
3 For I envied the proud
when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness.
4 They seem to live such painless lives;
their bodies are so healthy and strong.
5 They don’t have troubles like other people;
they’re not plagued with problems like everyone else.
6 They wear pride like a jeweled necklace
and clothe themselves with cruelty.
7 These fat cats have everything
their hearts could ever wish for!
8 They scoff and speak only evil;
in their pride they seek to crush others.
9 They boast against the very heavens,
and their words strut throughout the earth.
10 And so the people are dismayed and confused,
drinking in all their words.
11 “What does God know?” they ask.
“Does the Most High even know what’s happening?”
12 Look at these wicked people—
enjoying a life of ease while their riches multiply.

13 Did I keep my heart pure for nothing?
Did I keep myself innocent for no reason?
14 I get nothing but trouble all day long;
every morning brings me pain.

15 If I had really spoken this way to others,
I would have been a traitor to your people.
16 So I tried to understand why the wicked prosper.
But what a difficult task it is!
17 Then I went into your sanctuary, O God,
and I finally understood the destiny of the wicked.
18 Truly, you put them on a slippery path
and send them sliding over the cliff to destruction.
19 In an instant they are destroyed,
completely swept away by terrors.
20 When you arise, O Lord,
you will laugh at their silly ideas
as a person laughs at dreams in the morning.

21 Then I realized that my heart was bitter,
and I was all torn up inside.
22 I was so foolish and ignorant—
I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you.
23 Yet I still belong to you;
you hold my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
leading me to a glorious destiny.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
I desire you more than anything on earth.
26 My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
but God remains the strength of my heart;
he is mine forever.

27 Those who desert him will perish,
for you destroy those who abandon you.
28 But as for me, how good it is to be near God!
I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter,
and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do.

I think it is so true. And it is comforting to know that it is not just in the modern age that the wicked/ungodly have ‘prospered’. Not that the godly do not prosper, but it just seems like the wicked “strut throughout the earth.” The end resolves the beginning.

Always strive to prosper in God, not in the world. “Lay up treasures in Heaven.”

This is becoming a rather long post, but I feel like I must…..deliberate some more…

And after Psalm 73, and 103, I read Psalm 133 and it kind of goes along a little bit…..

When we follow after the ungodly, the proud and wicked, we do not have harmony with our brothers in Christ. And when we are proud ourselves, we have absolute unharmony…that is not a word.

Psalm 133

A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem. A psalm of David.

1 How wonderful and pleasant it is
when brothers live together in harmony!
2 For harmony is as precious as the anointing oil
that was poured over Aaron’s head,
that ran down his beard
and onto the border of his robe.
3 Harmony is as refreshing as the dew from Mount Hermon
that falls on the mountains of Zion.
And there the Lord has pronounced his blessing,
even life everlasting.

Christopher D.

Gobly-gook

So, I am sitting here at the computer–happy that the internet is working, finally–listening to Relient K’s best album yet ‘Mmhmm’, but feeling completely uninspired on what to write. It is about time that I write something, but what? I think and write a lot, but approximately 2% of it ever gets on the net, and probably only 5% more will ever get put on in the future!! So it is not that I have just been idle, it is just nothing I write is…right, if you know what I mean. It just does not have the umph! that a good post needs. Anyway, as the title expresses, this is just Gobly-gook, or Gobly-guk, or however you spell that.
Maybe I’ll post something in the near future…maybe it will even be good! 😉