Tag: Faith

Freedom From Religion

Around every Christian holiday, I can count on seeing a post or two shared on Facebook from an organization whose mission in life is to be free from religion. Strangely, I strongly endorse their efforts – but likely not in the way they imagine.

To understand what religion is, you must travel back to the beginning. God created Adam from the dust of the ground and filled him with spiritual life. He placed His children in the Garden and gave them dominion over the Earth.

However, they weren’t alone for long. There was an enemy present, Satan. His rebellion before led to a catastrophic judgment of Earth, leaving it in darkness, and covered with water. This was the condition when God recreated the earth in Genesis 1. He was an outsider, an intruder, and had Adam or Eve exercised their authority, they could have sent him packing. Instead, he engaged in a conversation with Eve. And she listened to what he had to say.

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Transfiguration

Its The End Of The World As We Know It

In the press leading up to the new Nicholas Cage movie, Left Behind, I came across an interesting quote from someone described as a Christian philosopher. Now I am not quite sure what that is, but it can’t be good. Philosophers work in the field of philosophy, a word handed down by the Greeks (philosophia) which literally means “love of wisdom”. If that is truly the focus of this person’s endeavors, all would be well, since wisdom comes from God and is far superior to even the greatest knowledge of men. (Proverbs 2:1-15, 1 Corinthians 1:17-31, 3:18-20, James 5:1-8). However in practice, philosophy often gets stuck in the reasoning and foolishness of men. That would be very bad. Its the traditions and ideas of men that has led to so much confusion concerning God’s Word. Its the religious that have so confused the simplicity of the Gospel, and given us so many interpretations to divide the Body. God’s Word, His Truth, is designed to unite Believers. God is not the author of division, confusion, and strife. (1 Corinthians 14:33) Its the enemy that has twisted and confused God’s Word from the very beginning, causing the downfall of so many. (Genesis 3:1-4, 2 Corinthians 11:1-3) The enemy has the greatest success turning people away from God’s Truth, His Word, by working through religion.

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Read The Word

To Suffer Or Not To Suffer

I recently took part in a discussion on suffering, specifically Christian suffering. All the usual anecdotes were offered, the unborn, the premature death, the physically disabled, those born into poverty, or living in war zones. The usual Biblical examples were dragged out – Job and Paul’s thorn. It makes you wonder what Bible people read. Let’s take a look at some of these examples.

In a passage often quoted from Job 1, Satan complained to God because He had placed a hedge around Job, and blessed all the works of his hands to the point that he was the richest man in the East. For Believers, this should be cause for hope. Instead, this passage is often misunderstood as either God, or Satan, removing the hedge and attacking Job. If this is what you have been taught, you need to dig deeper into God’s Word. The Bible tells you exactly what brought that hedge down, and hindered the Blessing. It definitely was not God, or Satan directly.

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Did God Really Say…

In my last post, I discussed the Blessing, the fall of man, along with Satan’s temptation of Eve. If you missed the article, I recommend taking a quick peek back before continuing. One of the most common weapons the devil uses to undermine faith, is to get people to doubt God’s Word. Because if you doubt God’s Word, your faith will definitely fail. How can you have faith in someone, if you don’t trust their word?

Just the other day I was sitting in a church listening to a sermon on Hezekiah, the Assyrian invasion of Judah, and the siege of Jerusalem (2 King 18:13-37, 2 Kings 19:1-37). This is a wonderful story of how God supernaturally destroyed the Assyrian invasion force, 185,000 men in a single night. Hezekiah had heard Sennacherib’s threats, and instead of worrying about it, or focusing on the circumstances, he turned the problem over to someone who could handle it, God.  But that’s where the sermon derailed a bit. The pastor started to undermine the story – maybe it wasn’t 185,000 killed, or perhaps there was a plague, or maybe the writer embellished the story. Though momentarily offtrack, he somewhat recovered by mentioning the decline of the Assyrian Empire from that point, and the fact that Judah would remain independent for another 100+ years until Babylon invaded. Unfortunately though, the damage had already been done. Because you don’t believe the story because historians, theologians, or even archaeologists think its true. You believe the story because God’s Word is Truth. Natural evidence may put your mind at ease, but faith rests in your spirit. You KNOW the Word is true in your heart first, and you renew your mind with the Word of God until it falls in line with your spirit. Faith comes from hearing the Word of God. But you must have spiritual “ears that hear.” (Matthew 11:15, Mark 4:9, John 16:12-15, Romans 10:17, 12:2, 1 Corinthians 2:4-16, Galatians 3:1-6, Ephesians 4:15-23, 5:6-10)

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In the Garden of Eden

And God Blessed Them

“Why Did This Happen To me?”

Its a question that gets asked far too often. And unfortunately, it is often coupled with a belief that tragedy, sickness, or death was sent by God. It is like a no-fault religion. A belief system that takes absolutely no responsibility for what happens in life. But as in the natural world, you have cause and effect. In the spiritual world, its called sowing and reaping.

This topic sometimes makes people uncomfortable. The opposite should be the case, especially for Believers. If you are prone to ask these types of questions, or question God, remind yourself of God’s ultimate will for mankind. This can be found throughout the Bible. But let’s look at Genesis 1 to get started – underlining added for emphasis.

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God Is Not The Unjust Judge And You Are Not The Widow


In Luke 18:1-8, Jesus gives a short parable about a widow who keeps coming before an unjust judge, badgering him until he finally gives her justice. Then Jesus explains that God is nothing like the unjust judge, and will grant justice speedily to all who call on him. He ends the parable with an interesting question,

“But when I, the Son of Man, return, will I find people who have faith?”

Luke prefaces the story with an introductory line telling folks the parable is about praying, and not giving up. A common explanation for the parable is that Believers should keep praying until they get the answer. But what sometimes gets communicated, or understood, is the notion that you need to act like the widow, and pester God until He gives you what you want. It seems people are more focused on the actions of the widow and the godless judge, rather than God’s promise to grant justice speedily.

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Do You Believe In Love?

The film Mirror Mirror (2012) was a reimagined version of the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs fairy tale featuring Julia Roberts, Nathan Lane, Sean Bean, and Lily Collins as Snow White. In the closing scene, the adorable Lily Collins performs a Bollywood-esque dance to her song titled “I Believe In Love.” The song is about romantic love, Snow White getting the prince, and of course ridding the kingdom of the evil queen.

If you missed the movie, here is the video of the closing scene. It really is a catchy little tune.

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The Terribly Scary Storm

The Story Behind The Terribly Scary Storm

“Boris learns a valuable lesson about fear when he faces a scary thunderstorm.” – Harrison Woodard

BackgroundThe Terribly Scary Storm is the 9th story in the Boris Kitty series. The real Boris was one of bravest cats I have ever known. He could climb any tree and stare down dogs three times his size. I once watched him chase two cats over the fence and out of the yard. The cat was fearless.

The only thing that gave Boris pause, was a thunderstorm. As the thunder got close, and the rain started, he would make his way into the utility room to wait out the storm in safety. On rare occasions, I could keep him on my lap for a few moments, but then a large thunder clap would end that quickly.

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The Adoption Miracle

The Story Behind The Adoption Miracle

“Boris learns that he must patiently wait for God to answer his prayer for a new home.” – Harrison Woodard

BackgroundThe Adoption Miracle, was the second story I completed in the Boris Kitty series. The story was based on actual events and came from my pondering what if animals had faith to pray for a home. I have always been bothered by caged animals. God made the creatures of this planet to live free. And wherever possible, I believe wild animals should be allowed to live in their native habitat, free from cages. Of course many dogs and cats have been domesticated to the point that living in the wild could be hazardous.

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Spiritual, But Not Religious

I am fascinated by people who proclaim themselves spiritual, but not religious. I first started seeing this in the dating/singles world and then later with celebrities as a technique to distance themselves from the sometimes awkward subject of religion. Much like the independent or moderate tags come up when it comes to politics, the term spiritual sounds to some as more worldly, or dare I say transcendent.

The wicked are too proud to seek God. They seem to think that God is dead. — Psalm 10:4 <NLT>

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Though He Slay Me, I Will Hope In Him

I recently was having a discussion on a Christian message board about healing. It was very revealing how angry and passionate people were to prove that God does NOT heal. In fact, one of the arguments against healing was by someone that posted Job 13:15.

God might kill me, but I have no other hope. I am going to argue my case with him. — Job 13:15 <NLT>

Now why would anyone want to make their religious stand on these words of Job? And why, as it is translated by the NLT, would you love God if you thought He was likely to strike you down at any given moment? What kind of fellowship could you have with someone who might kill you for any old reason? It boggles the mind the poison that the enemy sows and religious tradition perpetuates!

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Lord, even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the table.

Lord, even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the table.

I am presently working on a page about Jesus healing the daughter of a Syrophoenician (Matthew 15:21-28 Mark 7:24-30). Part of this requires research to find other sources that might be helpful to my readers. I was so saddened by some of the commentary out there about our Lord and savior Jesus.

One page said that Jesus was tired and annoyed, so as a human, insulted the woman. Really? God is love and Jesus is the Son of God who never sinned, therefore he acted out of love?

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A Thunderstorm Lesson

A Thunderstorm Lesson

Today, I found myself reading in my bedroom when a late summer storm hit. Boris is usually terrified by storms, but this time he came and crouched on my lap. As the thunder and lightning intensified, he would start to move towards the utility room, his favorite “safe” place during storms. But I would talk to him and get his focus back on me and he would settle back down. Then there would be another clap of thunder, or more intensity in the rain, and he would take his eyes and attention off of me and back on the storm. This went on for almost the entire duration of the storm.

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