Saturday, January 21, 2017

Book Review: Tower Of Babel - Bodie Hodge

One of the things I wanted to do with this blog is share some of what I have been reading, studying, and learning.   I usually have 4 or 5 books that I'm chipping away on at any one time, and Tower of Babel by Bodie Hodge is the latest one to finish.  I've got one other I just finished (probably the only benefit of having been under the weather for a couple of weeks) and will get a review done on that one soon.
Image result for tower of babel bodie hodge
I bought this book last summer when De and I took a short vacation to the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter in northern Kentucky.  It was one offering in the very well appointed bookstore associated with the Creation Museum.  If you ever get the chance to visit either or both, jump on it. (They're located some 40 miles apart, as I recall.)   They've done amazing things with both and you will be blessed for a lifetime for making the trip.  For us it's about a 5 hour drive so we'll be visiting again, God willing.

The book is primarily a cultural history that starts with the account of the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11, which includes the table of nations that came about after the people were scattered.  It combs through the scriptures to located passages that provide insights into the migrations throughout the post-Babel event years.  The book also refers to lots of extra-biblical supporting documentation.  LOTS of extra-biblical supporting documentation.  It is well foot- and end-noted for those that care to check references.

Hodge traces the likely origins of many of the world's cultures all around the globe starting with the Babel event.  The basis of his claims begins with biblical references and he then brings in the corroborative extra-biblical accounts of the creation, the Flood, the Babel event, and the subsequent spread of humanity of which nearly every recorded history has some version.  Hodge is quick to point out all this is not happenstance or coincidence but accomplished per God's plan and instruction down through ages.

The book is not a casual read, if you want to get the whole benefit of all the research done by Hodge and the many others that are included.  It is, in fact, tedious for significant stretches.  The book is loaded with names, genealogies, and the tracing of languages, all of which takes some attention to follow.  It does, however, "come up for air" frequently enough that one does not lose hope.  That being said, I think would be possible to 'skim through' some of the more tedious passages and still get a lot out of the book.

I enjoyed and recommend the book, but do go in 'with your eyes open'.  There is much to be learned in reading and I found it be one more confidence builder in the reality of God's work and plan.  At a time when most of academia seems "hell bent" to discredit the whole of God's word one account at a time, Tower of Babel is a refreshing bit of encouragement that points to the ample evidence available to prove the Biblical accounts are accurate, factual and true as written.

Tower of Babel is available on Amazon in both paper and Kindle versions, as well as other Christian book sources both online and in brick-and-mortar stores.

Col. 1:9-12,


Sunday, January 8, 2017

I Felt Awful

This past summer De and I bought some chicks.  We had a broody hen but the eggs had failed to hatch, so we decided to buy chicks and hope she would just adopt them.  She did and everything was great.  Six cute little chicks all running around doing just what chicks do.  It was adorable. Then there were five.  Mama had decided to settle down with them outside for the night and in the process of getting them all back inside where they belonged, one got underfoot.  I killed it.  I felt awful.  For days.  In a moment of carelessness and inattention, I had been responsible for the death of an innocent little life.

A couple of days later, during my morning quiet time, a question came to me.  "So why don’t you feel that bad about the sins you’ve committed that sent the innocent Son of God to the cross?   What about the moments of carelessness and inattention during which you sinned against God and those around you?  Why don’t you feel that bad about those?"  Wow…  But after agonizing over that a few more days, and feeling worse the whole time, the answer came to me.

I can’t ‘undo’ those sins any more than I bring back that chick.  But I don’t have to.  All those sins have been forgiven.

In 1 John 1:8-9 we read, 8If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.   
Jesus himself made this clear to us the night before He was crucified.  His words are recorded for us in Matt. 26:26-28.   26While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” 27Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”

"...for the forgiveness of sins."  God's word reminds us that, if we confess our sins to Him, if we believe and truly trust in Him, we are forgiven and we can leave the guilt behind.

I still feel bad about the chick, and hope I never cease to feel the Spirit’s conviction when I sin.  Most importantly, I pray I will never forget or take lightly the gift of forgiveness that was given through the death of an innocent Savior.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Still Here!

Hi Folks,

Thought I would put up SOMETHING at least to show I haven't completely wandered away.  I've had a bit of a rough time this winter (duh!).  I have been working most of the time, but when I get home I'm pretty much done, done, done.  After a chain of three docs and two outpatient hospital visits, we seem to a have a pretty good lock on the likely cause.

I have a bit of surgery in my future, likely next month, and hopefully will be on the upswing after that.  De and planned a cruise vacation almost a year ago and, with the help of some "temporary fix" meds and a few activity changes, we will be able to enjoy our vacation before my surgery.  In the mean time, I hope I can start sharing a bit of the spring homestead plans as time and energy allow.  I also hope to start making some blog visits and see how you all are getting along.

Col. 1:9-12,


Friday, January 1, 2016

In the Gap!

I'm a little late with this one, but I still think its a good thought so here it comes, late and all...

Here we are in the gap between two celebrations:  Our celebration of Christ’s Birth and start of a new ‘Calendar Year’.  Most of us are hoping to finally close the gap between the start and end of the ham or turkey, and hoping the gap between the start and the end of the pie will hold out a just a couple more days.  Most of us are in the gap between finishing the business of 2015 and starting the business of 2016.  Often times we have a gap in our daily routines that is replaced by different routine:  Meet the family here, get this clean before the folks come tomorrow, drop of the kids for a party there, go, run, smile.  But the gap doesn’t last forever.  In a few days the gap will close and will be behind us.  We all get to start a New Year.

But also during the gap we also usually get a few rare moments to reflection and think back over the year, and often we don’t like everything we see.  There are always good things and memories we’ll treasure forever, but often time we see other gaps. 

  • We see the gap in the time we should have spent with our family instead of at work.
  • We see the gap in our patience we’ve shown with our children or parents.
  • We see the gap in our character where we chose not to do what we know was right or judged someone wrongly.
  • We see the gap in the time we know we need to be spending in prayer.
  • We the gap between the times we could have shown God’s love and when we just walked away.

We see the gap between who we have chosen to be and who God intended us to be, and this gap won’t go away in few days on its own.  Oh, I can work on my patience and reallocate my time but nothing I can do will ever close the gap between who I am and who God intended for me to be.  That gap is there because of sin.  It’s ugly, it’s shameful, it’s in my life and it’s in yours.  That sin also creates a gap between God and ourselves.   Because of that sin, we live in the gap.

Paul expressed it well in the 7th chapter of Romans:

18For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. 

24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? (NIV)

During this season we should take the time to celebrate the answer to Paul’s and our question.

1 Pet 3: 18For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, (NIV)

Romans 5:6You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.(NIV)

God loves us so much that he sent His Son to die to close the gap created by sin.  The same love that led to the Baby in the Manger we celebrate at Christmas, drove the Man to the cross to purchase the new beginning we all crave all New Years. Christ love has filled in the gap.

Happy New Year to All!

Col. 1:9-12


Monday, December 21, 2015

Ol' George Got it Right!

Who do you love?  We all gotta take time to answer the question.
Ol' George got it right!  At least the question: The answer - Not so much....  "Who do you love?" is the question, and I should probably be a bit reticent in stating I know the one asking is a somewhat rowdy 1980's rock-and-roller (now a bit 'long in the teeth', I imagine) named George Thorogood.

The question came up while reading my Bible during my morning quiet time.  I was reading in I John chapter 2 where John is exhorting his readers: "Do not love the world or anything in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (v15 - NIV)  The thing that immediately popped into my mind was the voice of a day job co-worker saying "I love Christmas!!".  As I was pondering this the question came up, sadly in ol' George's gravelly voice with the appropriate guitar riff grinding away in the background, "Who do you love?"  (George fades out, but the questions keep coming.)  Do you love Christmas or do you love Christ?  Or do you even connect the two?

It can be so easy to let 'Christmas' mask out 'Christ'.  So often when I hear people say they 'love Christmas' the context refers the much romanticized hustle and bustle of shopping for gifts with the old carols playing in the background, all the colorful trappings of trees, Santa and snowmen, the TV Christmas specials, the huge gala gatherings with family and friends, and the growing anticipation of a noisy Christmas morning: A season of celebration that starts, for some, as soon as the Halloween decorations are back in the box.  And at least in the most of the US, nobody finds 'I love Christmas!!" the least bit awkward or more than a tiny bit odd.

On the other hand, try saying "I love Christ!!" in the same conversation.   For most of the same  population - Awkward!!  Without getting off on a rant of why this is so or how we got there, I want to encourage anyone kind enough to take the time to read this far to pause and ask yourself the question:  "Who do you love?"  We have to pick, and according to the passage I quote a above (along with many others) you can't pick both.  You can't pursue both Christ and 'all the good life the world has to offer' at the same time.  We have to be able to separate in our own minds the Christmas of Jesus our Lord and Savior's earthly birth from the Xmas of shopping, parties, Santa, and year-end-sales.

Once we separate Christmas from Xmas we can each make our own choices on where we go from there.  I know that not everyone will agree with me on this, but I think gift giving is great, holiday gathers are fun and family gatherings are wonderful, and decorations and 'holiday spirit' are fine too, as long as the context is right.  Do you do these things as part of celebration of Christ's birth, or do you do these things because it makes you a part of what those around you are doing?  What are you celebrating?  Who do you love?

Just stopping long enough to ask the question with help 'reset' most everyone who has come to this blog, and that's what I'm encouraging you to do.  Just pause now again during this busy season, take a breath, look at everything around you, and ask yourself - "Who do you love?"

Col. 1:9-12,


Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Blessings and the Blesser

Here at Hoosier Country Christian / Hoosier Country Home we have so much for which we are thankful.  We will celebrate the day like most, I suppose, sharing the day and a meal with family and friends.  There will be brothers, sisters, in-laws, in-laws to be, friends, children, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, grandnieces and grandnephews.  Our family Thanksgiving gatherings have always been a place where those among us who have no family near can come and be welcomed, and we have been richly blessed with their company.  There will be talk of family, Church, community, and world goings on.  There will be games, noise, running indoors, shooing outdoors, and lots of laughter.  And there will be prayer.  One more way in which we are blessed is that we have an extended family that not only counts our blessings, but recognizes our most cherished blessings come in proportion to our relationship to the One who blesses.
And thus God has always intended it to be.   Before His chosen people would enter the Promised Land, God instructed them of the connection there would be between the blessings He would send and their relationship to Him. 
Dt.8:6 (NIV) Observe the commands of the Lord your God, walking in obedience to him and revering him. For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills; a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills. 10 When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. 11 Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. 12 Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, 13 and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, 14 then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 
Many generations, and a virgin birth, a cross, and an empty tomb later, the Apostle Paul reiterated the connection and plainly set into words what a right relationship with Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord looks like, and how is it reflected in our relationship with those around us. 
Col:3:12 (NIV) Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
So today and every day enjoy that with which you have been blessed.  Count your blessings, thank the One who blesses, and strive to live today and every day like you are truly are grateful for all of it.  We are blessed! 
Col. 1:9-12,