Looking at Scrolls & Praying Scripture

My “Scroll to eBook” class at New Hope Eugene will have the opportunity to examine a genuine Hebrew Scroll on April 9, 2014. New Hope Christian College Librarian will bring the College’s scroll and  introduce the class to the nature and use of a scroll.

man-praying-top-head Sammis Reachers-Flickr

Sammis Reachers – Creative Commons

We we also look at using the Bible as a prayer book. The Bible contains many prayers that can become our prayers.

You may download the powerpoint for Scrolls

and Scripture Prayer

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Scroll at NHE

NHCC Scroll (3)On April 8, Jan Kelley will display a 200-year old Hebrew scroll at New Hope Eugene. Jan is Director of Library Services at New Hope Christian College and enjoys all books — from Scroll to eBooks.

The scroll was donated to the College in order to increase appreciation for the gift of scriptures.

The first part of my class, “From Scroll to eBook,” will examine the scroll and other technologies for maintaining writing during the ages.

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Scroll to eBook and Resources

papyrus-p52-Tonight is the third session for my New Hope Eugene course, “From Scroll to eBook.” We will discover two reasons we can trust that the Bible we have is the Bible God inspired.

In the PowerPoint for  How We Received the Bible , I also list three books that have helped me as I researched for the class.

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Believing and Meditating

Tomorrow night (Wednesday) I will continue an amazing journey at New Hope Eugene. Last week an enthusiastic group gathered to hear “Why We Follow the Bible.” This week we move on to “Why We Believe the Bible.”

Each week, I share a Truth about the Bible, and a Tool for using the Bible. This week, we will look at Biblical meditation, which the Bible strongly encourages. In a time when the word “meditation” usually refers to eastern mysticism, this may seem strange.

The Biblical form of meditation is very different from “emptying the mind.”

Here is the PowerPoint presentation for “From Scroll to eBook,” session 2 Why We Believe the Bible

 

 

 

 

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From Scroll to eBook

Tonight I begin a six-week teaching series entitled “From Scroll to eBook” at New Hope Eugene. This series will explore the ways in which God revealed his truth to us, and ways in which we make God’s word part of us.

Check out the PowerPoint for the first week: Why Do We Follow the Bible

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Stephen Covey’s Legacy

I just wrote a post at my leadership blog on my initial reflections upon the death of Stephen Covey.

Please read my post — or read Covey’s book. Better yet, imagine what would happen if we all devoted time, energy, and resources to developing our character each year!

Paul claimed that he was “being transformed into the same image [of Christ] from one degree to another.” I believe we can all look more like Jesus next year than we do today — but only if we make that an intentional goal.

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A Strange Job to Love

I affectionately describe my new job as “the guy who writes those boring reports.” While “boring reports” identifies how some might feel about my responsibility, I actually see it very differently.

In June, I began a part time job at New Hope Christian College as “Academic Assistant.” My biggest responsibility is helping to shepherd the creation of a “self-study” document to submit in favor of our ten-year renewal of accreditation. NHCC has been accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education since 1983. Click on this link for the New Hope website, or this one for a video introducing NHCC.

Every ten years, member colleges have the opportunity to examine how well they are fulfilling their role in training students for Christian lives and ministry. This is a growth opportunity to examine, evaluate, explain and plan. The two-year process almost always leaves a college stronger, more focused, and more confident.

2 Corinthians 13:5 encourages, “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves.” I realize that the epistle is asking individuals for a personal evaluation. However, when the collection of believers gathered as a Bible College examine themselves, they enter many of the same blessings that scripture promises.

In the next few months, we will certainly find some blind spots – our comprehensive review will reveal weaknesses that our busy-ness has kept us from discovering. We will correct those and emerge healthier. However, for every blind spot to weakness, we will also uncover two or three strengths that we have taken for granted. When we are evaluated by an outside team, they will highlight our strengths as well as areas needing improvement. This will build our confidence.

I admit an ulterior motive behind taking this job. Since it gives leadership to the whole college, I will have an opportunity to work with a large number of the New Hope team. I love seeing people at work, and learning how I can mesh my work of the Spirit with theirs.

So this job is not boring; self-studying actually excites me. The task benefits will be corporate confidence and direction. The personal benefits include a growing sense of contributing to the lives of the many gifted leaders at New Hope Christian College.

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Ancient Warfare

I just finished reading The World of Joesphus by G.A. Williamson. Josephus was a first century historian who wrote extensively about Jewish life at the time our New Testament was written.

As I read through the story of the “War of the Jews” and the destruction of Jerusalem by Rome in AD 70, I was struck with how brutal war has always been. We read in the news about the 10,000s of Iraqi citizens who were killed during the time our troops fought there. That disturbs us, and it should. The taking of one non-combatant life causes us consternation.

However, when Jerusalem was besieged and demolished in AD 70, 1.1 million non-combatant citizens were killed. And this is in addition to 100,000s of citizens killed in Judea while Roman armies were advancing towards Jerusalem.

I remember reading Biblical commentaries saying that when Jesus mentioned fleeing the destruction of Jerusalem in Mark 13, he was predicting the catastrophic events of AD 70. However, no Biblical commentary comes close to recounting the horrors of that war.

And yes, historians also say that many Christian Jews did flee the Roman wrath, and saved their lives.

While the book is not easy reading, Josephus does provide much helpful material to the Bible student. This book (there may be better ones) reduces Josephus’ 30+ volumes into one 300 page book.

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What is Christ Quickening?

“God made us alive together with Christ (Ephesians 2:5).”

What part of me has Christ made alive today? When I look for the new thing that the Lord is doing, I find satisfaction and joy.

By contrast, when I rivet my attention to my struggles and shortcomings, I feel depressed. When I try to suck satisfaction out of what I do for myself, or what others do, I feel fear. For I know that satisfaction drawn from human accomplishment quickly disappears.

Am I aware of the new life Christ is producing in me – today? Yes, when I make the effort to identify the new things Jesus is doing in and around me. Yes, when I respond to the new impulses of the Spirit. Yes, when I develop the new relationships God brings my way. Yes, when I accept the new limitations from the Lord as part of his protection.

O God who dwells in newness of life, forgive me for obsessing over things which I do not control, and which cannot give me joy.

Today I will actively seek your work in my life, my relationships, and my tasks. I will join you in the good that you are doing, and I will take my role in opposing the evil which wrestles against you.

As I pursue your life, give me more of yourself that I might finish this day satisfied with the joy of having partnered in your plan for my world.

AMEN

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When I am afraid, I will not fear

David of Bethlehem survived many near misses in life. It seems like people were always conspiring to harm him, but God consistently delivered him.

King David in Prayer - Pieter de Grebber

In Psalm 56, David begins with fear (everyone’s reality) and moves into trust (not always our response):  “But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you.  I praise God for what he has promised. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me Psalm 56:3-4, NLT)?

David knew from repeated deliverances that harm hatched over many months by people could be dispatched by the Lord in just a minute. This morning I read the story of Absalom’s rebellion. His act of treason took many months to mature. And in just 48 hours, God orchestrated the complete vindication of David.

When we face trying times, especially when we find our dearest values threatened by those around us, we need to move from fear to trust. “What can mere mortals do to me,” David asked rhethorically. And the answer is “quite a bit.” But the bigger picture is that what people labor to construct against us God can remove with a mere breath.

We put too much trust in the power of those who harass us. Let us strive to placing greater trust in the maker of heaven and earth. For “this I know: God is on my side (Psalm 56:9!”

 

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