Archive for the ‘Words’ Category

Showing some blogger love

Posted: December 3, 2011 in Fun Stuff, Words

Last week I threw up (gross) a post asking if any of you blogged, and it turns out that a lot of you do. So I sent emails to those who left a comment and asked, “What’s your best post? Send me the link and I’ll put it up on BDB.”

And I’m a man of my word.

Here are the links I got back in my electronic mail account. Take a few minutes to read through these, leave some comments for them, and enjoy this dose of Saturday awesomeness:

Your Love is Better than Chocolate – One of the sweetest things ever, by Jessica Buttram

How To Be A Doctor – Ricky Anderson gives (terrible) advice on practicing for this profession.

Ecclesiastes is Meaningless – Thomas Mark Zuniga on the most depressing book of the Bible

A New Beginning – Ed Christian shares some thoughts on why life sometimes falls apart.

If you would have told me… – Joe Knight on what he might have said

History – It had to come from somewhere, right? Joseph Craven explains. (Kind of)

The Fruity 1 – Chris Vonada made up a reality show based on the fruits of the spirit.

A Dirty Christian Word – Josh Fults discusses doubt.

Feel free to leave a link to your best post in the comments section.

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The problem with Bible verses

Posted: December 1, 2011 in Serious Stuff, Words

On a pretty regular basis, I have people ask me something along the lines of, “Where’s that verse in the Bible that says _____?” Though I can’t prove it, I feel like most of the time I’m being used to help show a friend or relative the error of their ways. The problem with trying to do this, though, is that there usually isn’t a Bible verse that says whatever it is they’re wanting it to say. The Bible wasn’t written like that, and was never intended to be used that way.

Think of it like this: We live in a very image-saturated society. Photos are used so much because they’re easy to understand. The subject is clear, the intent is evident, and it doesn’t take a lot of critical thinking to see what’s happening in a photograph. But if you take a picture and turn it into a 5,000 piece jigsaw puzzle, suddenly things aren’t so easy. It’s hard to see what’s going on because you have to take time to see how it all fits together, putting together small sections at a time before putting the small chunks together to form a bigger picture.

Biblical living is more like a jigsaw puzzle than a photograph.

Often, what people want is a snapshot of God. “What does God say about this?” But that’s not what he gave us. Granted, there are a few verses that spell out how God feels about a particular subject. “Don’t murder” is a pretty clear cut one. So are, “Don’t commit adultery” and “Don’t steal.” Everybody knows those things are wrong. (If you’re trying to convince a loved one not to murder someone, don’t go to you pastor, go to the police. We didn’t take any crime prevention classes at preacher college.) But for the most part, the Bible is a collection of stories from which we are supposed to draw conclusions and understand principles to live by, and you don’t usually get those principles from single verses.

It’s a complex book with hundreds of characters that span thousands of years. It’s got history, parables, census-taking, genealogies, private letters, essays, narrative- have you ever read the Bible? There’s a lot going on there. And when you try to reduce it to single verse, dogmatic statements, you’re doing it wrong.

You can’t understand God and faith by memorizing or relying on single verses. You have to take into account the breadth of scripture, and piece together your understanding of God like a huge puzzle. One piece at a time, see where it fits in the larger context, grab another small piece, figure out where it fits… It’s a lifetime’s effort.

People don’t like that. It’s hard work and it takes time. When we’re in the heat of theological or moral battle, we want to be armed and ready with that silver bullet verse.

Sorry, kids. Most of the time they don’t exist.

That’s why it is so important for Christians to study the Bible. So that when those things come up, you can say, “This happened in 1 Samuel, and Paul mentions this in Romans, and Jesus said this- so I think what God is saying about this issue is…”

If you claim to be a Christian, and you want to understand the will of God better, there’s no way around it: study the Bible.

Our God of Hope

Posted: November 29, 2011 in Serious Stuff, Words

This Sunday marked the start of the Advent season, and even though my lifelong stance has been that Christmas celebrations should wait until December, you just can’t argue with the liturgical calendar. (Actually, you can, and a lot of Protestant denominations have, but that’s beside the point.)

Each Sunday of Advent has a different theme or focus, and this week we talked about Hope.

As I was studying for my sermon, reading scripture, and praying for our church, I was struck with the fact that over and over again in the Bible, God gives His people something to hope in. He really is a God of hope.

When he first spoke to Abram in Genesis 12, he promised that Abram would become the father to nations, and that the whole world would be blessed because of his family.

When the people of Israel were enslaved in Egypt, God used Moses to come and bring a message of deliverance and freedom, and to remind them that God hadn’t forgotten his promise to them.

Moses led them toward the promised land, and Joshua assured them that it would be theirs.

And even after Israel fell to the Assyrians, God sent another message of hope through the prophet Isaiah:

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned…For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing it and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. (Is. 9:1, 6-7)

To a nation that had been overrun, scattered, and oppressed, this was an incredible message of hope. They were being reminded, once again, that God had not abandoned them. He still loved them, had plans for them, and was going to send them a savior.

And then he did. (Spoiler alert: Jesus was the fulfillment of this prophecy.)

And since God doesn’t change, he is still a God of hope. Let me show you two passages that provide hope for us today:

Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me. In my father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me, so that you also may be where I am. (John 14:1-3)

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:1-4)

Yeah, I like that. And I look forward to the day when those words of scripture become a reality. I look forward eagerly to those events coming to pass. I know that God is honest, and faithful, and good.

And his words give me hope.

You should go check this out…

Posted: November 25, 2011 in Words

Hey gang, I’ve got a guest post over at Jessica Buttram’s site today. I wrote about a few ideas for your turkey day leftovers. You should go read it, but you should also bring a tent and camp out on her blog for a while. Jessica’s a cool gal for multiple reasons, including but not limited to:

  1. Her name is spelled “Butt Ram,” which is awesome and hilarious.
  2. She was Punky Brewster for Halloween.
  3. She was raised by wolves.
  4. Her Twitter handle is @JButtWhatWhat
  5. She knows what she’s talking about when it comes to holidays.

Go check it out, and have a great weekend, everyone.

(And, yes- I’ll post some bad drawings next week. It’s the holidays, yo. Give me some slack.)

Do you blog? Let us know!

Posted: November 22, 2011 in Words

I know a lot of you guys who read BDB have blogs. I know that, but I want everybody here to know, too

It’s awesome to get new readers, and more readers, so if you have a blog, tell us about it.

Leave a comment with your blog address and 2-3 short sentences telling us what it’s about.

Go on, then- let’s hear about ’em!

This is why I blog

Posted: November 21, 2011 in Serious Stuff, Words

Last week, I asked people to leave their addresses so I could mail out Thank You cards to my readers.

Today, I’m mailing cards to lots of places in Texas, as well as Wisconsin, New Mexico, Georgia, Alabama and California.

One of the cards I’m sending is to a person I’ve never met, and probably never will. They left their name, address, and this comment:

Happy Thanksgiving, Jared! I’m thankful I found your blog. I’m a new-ish Christian and still struggle to spend the time I should in reading the Bible. Your goofy drawings give me an added incentive to look up those passages, since I almost never get the reference myself.

Doing BDB is a lot of fun, and I’ve gotten to know some great people (online), but that comment? That’s my goal. Thanks, guys.

BDB ThanksGiveAway!

Posted: November 19, 2011 in Fun Stuff, Words

Since Thanksgiving is happening next week, and this is the time of year when we’re all reminded to be thankful, I thought it would be fun for me to thank you, the readers of Badly Drawn Bible.

Here’s the plan:

Everyone who signs up will receive a token of appreciation in their mailbox. Everyone’s a winner. It won’t be much, but every single one of you will get something from me in your mailbox- and one lucky reader will receive a prize more awesomer than the rest.

You want a piece of this action? Just leave a comment with your name and mailing address and you’re in. No comment ever gets published without my approval, so none of your addresses will go public. I’ll just copy down your address, and delete the comment. (Privacy for the win!)

So, go ahead- Leave your name and address, and I’ll start sending out “gifts” next week.

Have a great weekend!