I think I understand
joelolea

-First Corinthians-Chapter Two-
(verse 10-16)


Try to explain how bad something hurts to some one else. I mean really try to describe it. Have you ever clipped your fingernail too close to the skin and there is such a sharp and intense pain when it happens. I think everyone has some kind of connection to that specific pain. When I was about 9 years old I broke the bone that connects my shoulder to my elbow, the humerus bone. I broke it right in two and that was the worst physical pain I have ever felt in my life. Kids my age asked what it felt like and I still to this day can't quite describe it to someone who hasn't broken a bone like that. I think other people cannot truly understand specific kinds of pain unless they have experienced it for themselves because physical pain is completely subjective.

Paul brings up spiritual understanding in this chapter, another subjective yet relatable experience. In vs 11 Paul makes a simple statement, we cannot perceive another persons thoughts, only that person can. Then he parallels that to the Holy Spirit's perception of God's thoughts. Now because we have the Spirit it is like having the perception of someone else, in this case God, so that we can realize, comprehend and appreciate the divine favor and blessings He lavishly bestows on us. Let me just pause for a minute. That is a big pill to swallow. I have the Spirit of God IN me and through that I can understand Gods intentionality? This may be leave you with a raised eyebrow but consider verse 14. Paul is saying in section of this verse ... People who do not have God's Spirit cannot understand God's truths (this is my interpretation of the verse the bible reads differently look at it and study it). This isn't to be taken with a feeling of division, but rather taken as an experience one may have never been through themselves. If you are not someone who subscribes to this perspective and you see someone else nodding their head up and down at words like this, know the thought of having a spirit in them may bring a feeling to them that you may not be able to relate to. I would say to this person think of it like the physical pain I mentioned earlier. When it comes to having the Spirit in me I can only describe what this feels like in a basic description. When I feel the Spirit of God it feels similar to when I hear a part of a song that makes me get the shivers or goosebumps or whatever you call that feeling but in a spiritual sense. Can you relate to that? I marvel at the fact that we have been given the understanding of God but we ourselves cannot have the same understand of one another. That's what makes God great and unfathomable.

Be blessed


I Can't Understand!
joelolea

-First Corinthians - Chapter One-
(Vs 19-31)

I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and discard the intelligence of the intelligent. (isa 29:14)

I believe we seek intellectual understanding of God more so than spiritual understanding of Him and In this letter to Corinth, Paul talks about how God's wisdom is so much greater than we could possibly imagine.

Can you agree with that? If my God was comprehensible He would not be much of a God figure.

God wants us to seek wisdom and meaning and truth, but have a clear understanding in ourselves when we truly find it in Him. God made sure, because he is wise, that we cannot really know Him on an intellectual level. Paul says He can use even our "foolish preaching" to save the ones who believed in Him. Meaning even as I write this very statement God is able to use my inability to intellectually understand him, to communicate to others that which I am not really able to understand. That is just a glimpse into how Gods head works. He gave us an active spirit that is mindful and comprehends on a different level than our brains. In philosophy there is the mind-body problem. We have mass in our head called a brain and we also have thoughts "in" that brain. This is sometimes referred to as your soul. We want to reach God with our brain but we can't, we can't read a book about God and understand him or "learn" him. We can, however, reach him with our spirit through experiences, prayer and many other ways. We can relate through our spirit and not our brains. That is why we have examples and parables and stories of the characteristics of God in the Bible and in the lives of people around us to help us grasp who God really is.

Well since we have a hard enough time grasping the concept of God, why not add in a messiah while we are at it. Paul puts Jesus in the equation and the says how He is another incomprehensible subject to all people. The Jews can't comprehend why people are saying Jesus is messiah. The Gentiles also hear that this PERSON is a God and deem it all as nonsense and absurdity. But Jesus is the literal power and wisdom of God personified for us to relate to. He proved it by His actions, teachings and sacrifices and, is to Christians, the manifestation of Gods power and wisdom.

We hardly have any kind of thorough knowledge of God. Because of that, we will always be subject to believing He is someone we can put faith into because He is the only one that really understands and I, for one, am grateful for that.

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I'm back!
joelolea

Wow June 24th was my last entry. With inspiration, from more people than I thought read my posts, I will be starting up again.
Thank you.

At one time in my life I was not working and spent a lot of time with my grandparents with whom I lived. I remember a room we had with some recliners from my grandparents previous house that were broken in just right. Each morning I would sit in one and read a chapter of the bible everyday and really study what I was reading. Sometimes I was there for 20 minutes and would fall back asleep as the rising suns warmth crawled into the room through the sliding glass door. Other times I was there for one or two hours studying maps and reading about people in the bible I never knew existed. In that place I found sanctuary. In that place I truly experienced God. I miss it.

I dedicate these next series of postings to my grandparents who influenced me in so many ways. I love you and miss you so much.

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Why bad things happen to good people
joelolea

In Jeremiah 30:11 it says:
For I am with you and will save you,”

says the Lord.

“I will completely destroy the nations where I have scattered you,

but I will not completely destroy you.

I will discipline you, but with justice;

I cannot let you go unpunished.”

This is after 29 chapters of God telling the same group of people he is so mad at their actions against Him and how he is going to wipe them out. God has a way of breaking us down, why? To save us. He is like a parent in this sense being a guide in life towards better. God doesn't like to punish us just like a parent but if you don't discipline a child then they are bound to go astray and fail. They may find their way back but on a much longer and more difficult road. Why does God allow a family to go homeless? Why does a respected man get in a car crash and get paralyzed? Because God is trying to save them? ... I say, yes, we can't know from what but that's what faith is all about. We have to choose to believe in something even if that something is nothing but God is like a perfect parent, He knows how to guide us to success with discipline or something greater we can't understand.

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Modern America and 7th century Jerusalem
joelolea

Jeremiah covers two situations that caught my eye. First Jeremiah is on a mission from God that puts him through great sorrow and he keeps obeying when, I think, anyone else would have failed at it. Second it's a historical record of Jerusalem around the time of 626 BC when Jeremiah is told to reveal sins of the people. I really feel that this story is put in the bible to warn people that they cannot be deliberately defiant toward what God has for you and take it so far as to basically be spitting in the face of God, someone we know has the best things in mind for us. The things God is really mad about in this book is stuff that infested our culture again. Now I'm not saying Gods gonna start lighting the world on fire nor do I blame him for major devastation on the earth because I don't have information other than speculation to conclude anything like that, nor do I conclude that myself. What I am saying is that God called a culture to something better and they created idols. Now when I think of idols I think of statues that people used to worship. The idea of having an idol that everyone actually thinks is God just is not something we deal with in our own culture. To relate the context of an idol I think it is something that you would replace the idea of a god with through actions or ideas. They as a culture saw nothing wrong with what they were doing and continued on doing so. Now Jeremiah, himself, has little to do in my comparison between modern America and ancient Jerusalem except that he is a reminder of how to obey unconditionally. But we need to not let an evil culture bring us away, in any kind of way, from God. So try and identify what things you are putting your trust in and evaluate if it's better than putting trust in God for those things.

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Bait and Switch
joelolea

"This American Life" is a broadcast by journalist covering all kinds of topics. Today I was listening to an episode of this radio show and the topic was called Bait and Switch. One of the stories was about how Christians share their faith. One group of evangelists went to such extremes as to have girls pass out flyers to young men during spring break to a "get together". Obviously no one was saved there. As a sales guy for most of my working life you are taught something fundamental about selling. People like to buy, they don't like to be sold. People, especially our peers, like to share a common ground with each other. As Christians we are called to make disciples not converts and to help answer questions for people who are looking for truth. The good news is when people look for truth they find it.

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Christians acting in a very unchristian kind of way
joelolea
I spent many years attracted to church because I love the idea of a group of people who are always really accepting and caring  toward me all the time and were available for me to be open and honest with. Being at a church for a while has been very benefical to my life and has helped me connect to my spirituallity and I believe that everyone should exercize their spituality no matter what. The fact of the matter is we all have our own subjective world views and its wise to live strong in what your personally believe in. I am a Christian...Christians dont like to be associated with the word Christian... not because we believe in Jesus, the Bible and prayer but because the legacy that has been left behind by imperfect people. I want to change how we as christians are perseived and I want to improve the perseption so that people can have a true and personal expeience with God. So far non-Christians do not generally find our sub-culture very appealing I almost feel like when I talk about God and Christianity people get a bad taste in their mouth about Christians. Probably because they were hurt by a Christian. I've heard to many stories of people getting kicked out of a church or of people getting betrayed by someone they believed was good person. Non-Christians look at Christians and basically think, "You say your so perfect well then act like it." They have the right to make such a request, our job description as Christians is to be accepting and loving and to be like God. [Ephesians 5:8-10 For you were once in darkness, but now you are the light in the Lord. Walk as children of light finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.] My heart is to see Christians be the people God called us to be and to interact symbiotically with all people while holding our values close while being an example of what the love of God is.

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