Free Kindle Books

The three volumes of the Kip Series will be free Friday, Jan 24.  The second in the series did get a recent rating of four stars so you might like to read all three of them.  Each volume is rather short so it won’t take long to read all three.

To order, you can log onto Amazon and search for the books Kip – The Optimist, Kip -The Realist or Kip – The Pessimist.  It might be easier to search for “Ben Rhodes”, though you just might find a bunch of books by other authors in which you’d have no interest.  Finally, you can just enter this in the search box:

http://www.amazon.com/author/story_teller

It will take you right to my Author’s page.  The advantage of this method is that you just might find another book or two that you might like to read.

In the series Kip is a detective working for San Diego.  Because of what all he has seen he has a difficult time believing in God.  His disbelief is somewhat increased as the result of some of the events in volume one.  It turns him from an optimist to a realist.  Then, of course, things really get bad in the second volume.  He has decided that if there is a God, that he hates Him for permitting such things.  In the third volume… well I’ll let you find out on your own.

If you enjoy the books, be sure and tell your friends and neighbors.  If not, never mind.  Either way, please tell me at Kaay@att.net.  Please keep your comments brief and reasonable.  If you spot any glaring errors, please let me know.

Thank you for reading the books and thank you for your comments.

King James Version

I had a short small chuckle when I saw a bumper sticker that said something to the affect… if it’s not King James, then it’s not the Bible.

To be sure, it is a serious subject.  Nonetheless, the foolishness of such a statement is easy to see.  Even so, in a way, I can kind identify with it.

Now that might sound like a bunch of mambo-jumbo, to be sure a conflict in ideas.  First, for those few who don’t realize the error, let me explain.

  1. The Bible was originally written in Hebrew and Greek. Certainly the Israelites studied what we call the Old Testament for centuries and it was completely valid.  Then, for a few centuries, the Christian Church studied the scriptures in both Greek and Hebrew.  That was, and is today valid.  In fact, for those able to read and understand the original language, it is likely an advantage.  I certainly wished I could read the original.
  2. The King James was written in a dialogue that most of us would have a difficult time understanding. Since it made its way on the scene, many of the words have changed meaning.  Many of the words are simply archaic.  It would be far better to read a translation that is more current, provided it is accurate.
  3. The original King James is not completely accurate. For instance, it translates the  commandant, as “Thou shalt not kill.”  It is almost unanimous among the experts that it should have been “Thou shalt not murder.”  Granted it is a small difference, but it has misled uncounted millions to use the commandant as a reason for not going to war.  Indeed, the scriptures speak of killing many times, but never does it justify murder.

Now that I have so badly ridiculed the translation, let me explain how the person with the bumper sticker had his heart in the right place.  Nowadays, there are many translations, some not so good.  Some suggest or outright say that God is female.  I do not want to consider stepping into eternity with that concept.

Too be sure, it is the modern concept of religion to accept beliefs a-la-carte.  They accept this belief while rejecting others.  Take for instance, Pelosi, as well as most democrats.  She said, as a Catholic, she learned not to hate.  Then, she allows, even encourages abortion.  Moreover, what she said was a lie and most of us know it.  She hates the president so much that she has permitted her time as Speaker to be an abject failure.  Mostly, her only accomplishment has been to impeach POTUS.

The scriptures were never intended as something to select from as on a holy buffet line.  It is akin to creating one’s own religion.  Of course, when a person makes up their own religion, it does have advantages.  However, all those advantages have an end.

In such situations, I am reminded of the passage, an illustration of a man who cuts down a tree.  Half of it he uses in a fire to keep warm.  The other half, he carves into an idol.  Then the man bows down to the idol and prays to it.  Have you ever heard of anything so ludicrous.

Of course, modern man does not make idols like that.  Well that’s not true.  A short trip through Asia will verify that there are still people in this world that expect help from things that cannot help them.  They are just a ridiculous as the idol the man carved from the tree.  Yet, I risk the anger of those who read this.  To them, I am committing a horrible sacrilege.  To them, I am being inconsiderate.

I ask.  Which is more horrible, to present the truth or allow people to continue to believe the lies?  Of course, if there is no God, it makes no difference.  There is no reason for me to rain on their parade.  It all rides on the one question.  Is there a God and who is he.  The question is important enough that we all should consider it.

When Pelosi’s heart beats its last, when she takes last breath and she comes face-to-face with her maker, she just might have some explaining to do.  To be sure, I will have to cough up a few explanations too.  However, she is going to have to explain the death, the outright murder of millions of babies under her watch.  Somehow, I think that will more than singe the locks on her head.

By the way, I prefer the New King James translation.  However, I am sure there are two or three other translations that are good.  Most of all, let’s not practice our religion a-la-carte.  That is even worse than not believing in God at all.  It gives Christianity a bad rap.

How Many Magi?

If you said 3, you just might be right.  On the other hand, you might be wrong.

Most people say that there were three, likely because they never read the passage in the Bible.  The fact is that Matthew never said how many.  That means, indeed, there might have been anywhere from two to who knows… maybe there were thirty.  For that matter, Matthew might not have known.  He was not an eye witness and might simply have been repeating the story as he was told.  If he was told, for some reason, he never passed it along.  If it was important, the Holy Spirit would have seen fit that it was reported by someone.

The fact is that he reported the event in the second chapter of Matthew.  No one else mentions it all.  Also, by the way, he said they visited him at his home, not a stable or manger.  The best guess is that they visited Jesus after He was at least six months and He must have been less than two years.  Matthew does not refer to him as a baby and Herod, after questioning his advisors, had all boys less than two years old killed in the town of Bethlehem.  On the other hand, the travel time for the Magi (sometimes referred to as kings or wise men) would have likely been at least 2 to 6 months.

Yet, every Christmas, we hear stories how the 3 magi worshiped the Baby Jesus in the manger.  The problem is that they never read Matthew chapter 2.  The problem is that they confused the story with the story of the shepherds.  The shepherds, indeed visited Jesus on the night of his birth as recorded in Luke, chapter two.  By the way, we also have no idea how many shepherds there were, either.

It does seem ironic that the King of Kings was welcomed into the world by shepherds, certainly not royalty.  Moreover, they didn’t represent any royalty.  On the other hand, who on earth would be royal enough to welcome Him?

I would suggest that anyone quoting the Bible read it first.  It just might keep you from looking stupid.  In this particular case, it likely causes no problems.  In other cases, it can mean leading people into hell.  That is bad and God will not hold you guiltless for preaching a false gospel.

Many say that the way to heaven is by being good.  That is to say, it is a reward for good works.  It doesn’t work that way.  If you don’t believe me, read Isaiah 45:21.

If you don’t believe me, read it yourself.  Please read it for yourself, especially before you spread false doctrine.  Then, maybe, it would be a good idea to figure out the real plan of salvation.  Everyone will know it after dying.  Then, it is too late.  The idea is to know it before dying and accept Jesus as your Savior.  (John 3, specifically John 3:2 and John 3:16 and 3:17)

Most of all, if you don’t read it for yourself, please don’t drag others into hell after you.

Public Schools

When our forefathers set up our government, they did a wonderful job.  There are a few suggestions I have for a change to the constitution, but by and large, they did a much better job than I ever would.  It would stand to reason they had a good look at what they didn’t want.

Unfortunately, I do believe they overlooked one major thing.  I can understand it.  It could not have been foreseen in the day.  The hitch is that now it is very likely too late.  It would seem that the federal government has crept into our education system.

They gave us the first amendment to keep the government out of publishing papers.  However, when the government controls what is taught in our schools and colleges, it really amounts to the same thing.  Our education system is horrible at teaching as compared to most developed nations.  On the other hand, it is very good at indoctrinating.  Worse yet, they are bound and determined to prevent private schools wherever possible.

The instant that anyone brings up the possibility of a penny going to a private school, it is about the same sound as when I accidentally step on my dog’s tail.  They don’t even want any money paid toward such private schools being tax deductible.  As such, people who do send their children to private schools end up paying twice.

Certainly, there are two reasons they don’t want private schools to thrive.  Already, statistics show that kids who go to private schools, or those that are homeschooled, do so much far better.  Their academic measures are better in every way.  Also, they are generally better citizens.

To add to the indictment of the public schools, the private schools provide the better education at about half the costs.  Certainly, the NEA does not want that getting around.

If students that normally do poorly were to be put into private schools and they suddenly started doing well, it would really give the public schools a black eye.  They certainly would not want that.

Worse yet, they would never get a chance to indoctrinate any student permitted to go to private school.  It would take them out of the reach of the NEA and the government.  Now you know why the government wants your children in their schools.  And woe to the parent who complains about them being indoctrinated.  And woe to anyone who complains about the public system.

 

Mayor Pete’s Oversight

Mayor Pete would do well to put aside his pride and remember Who ultimately makes the rules.  If he doesn’t get right with Jesus Christ before meeting Him face-to-face, homosexuality will be amoung his least conserns.  God will not likely be impressed by smart-allecy remarks, especially the ones where he implies he has some say-so in what is right or wrong.  He needs to remember that when we think we are smarter than God, we are always wrong.

Odd as It May Seem

A number of years after I was saved, I came across the passage in the Bible where Jesus healed 10 lepers.  One returned to thank Him.  Jesus asked were there not ten.  Where are the other 9?

Since that day, I tried to make sure I thanked God for what he has provided for us, though I must admit I did have some problems being thankful for the rain on cold nights when I walked a post on guard duty.  Indeed, I had a hard time thinking of just how much we humans need rain.

I also try to remind others to be thankful, even when their baseball game gets rained out or when the camping trip is ruined by the sudden deluge.  If that farmer doesn’t get that rain, he can’t feed us.  Moreover, the water from those rains is used in uncountable other ways, including manufacturing.  It is a small matter that our lives are disturbed for the short term, even if the rain becomes a little heavy.  Naturally, the rain can become a disaster.  Floods can be devastating.

My eyes have been opened to something else for which we should be thankful.  To be sure, to most, it will seem odd.  To be sure, God disciplines His children.  It hardly seems probable that a person should say, “Thanks God.  I needed that.”  Yet we should be grateful to him for His chastisement.   If He didn’t, how much more would we would go astray.  It would be bad for us and everyone around us.

We, as humans, even punish our dogs, knowing it is for their benefit.  To be sure, we chastise them when they run into the street, that is, unless we hate them and hope they get run over.  We punish our children when they decide to put their fingers on a hot stove or into the electrical outlet.  It is not because we hate them.  It is not because we take pleasure in it.  It is far easier to ignore them.

Through their childhood, we tell our children “No,” when they ask to do things that might lead to their harm.  Certainly, it is far easier to say yes and just hope for the best.

So, maybe, the next time you think God is punishing you, You just might say “Thank you.”  You might say, “I appreciate that.”  Conceivably, you just might even say, “I needed that.”  Even if you don’t mean it, it is still the right thing to do.  Eventually, it just might change your point of view.  It has already changed mine.

Two’s a Crowd

My wife and I had just sat down to eat.  We were in a fast food place.  I won’t mention any names.  It makes no difference anyway.

Suddenly, I was glad we didn’t arrive five minutes later.  Two busses pulled up.  Likely somewhere around a hundred or so people came pouring out of the buses and into the restaurant.

In this case, I say two is a crowd.  That is to say, two buses.

The thought came to mind; what if it were a hundred buses…5000 hungry people.  Just how long would it take for a McDonald’s or Burger King to feed a crowd like that?

Yet, Jesus fed 5000 and it likely didn’t take but around a half an hour.  When we read or hear of the biblical passage, most of us look at the miracle of the food quantity and few think about the logistics.

Yet the Bible makes it quite clear how Jesus did it.  He was very methodical about it.  First Jesus had the people sit in groups of fifty.  After blessing the food, He distributed it to His disciples.  Then, the disciples distributed the food to someone each group.  Finally, the food was distributed the food with the group.

You can do the math yourself.  Each disciple only needed to distribute to five or less groups.  (50 divided by 12 is less than 5)  It would only stand to reason that whoever received the food distributed the food to seven or eight groups within the group.

Slightly, hidden within the miracle is an important object lesson.  Jesus often refers to the Word of God as bread.  It only stands to reason that if we distribute it the same way as when Jesus fed the 5000, it would not take long before it would be distributed throughout the world.

I don’t know why, but God decided to use us to distribute the Gospel.  Unfortunately, we don’t do so good a job of it.  Certainly, I am more guilty than most.  It is just so easy to let the other person do it all.  Moreover, it is so easy to think of excuses.  I know.  I have as list as long as my arm.