God Loves Colors

The Bible says we can learn about God from what He has created.

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
Romans 1:18-23 NKJV

Here are a few photos I have taken. It’s clear God loves colors!

There are also plenty of clues in the Bible that God loves colors.

Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald.
Revelation 4:2-3 NKJV

14 Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. 15 And he who talked with me had a gold reed to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. 16 The city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed: twelve thousand furlongs. Its length, breadth, and height are equal. 17 Then he measured its wall: one hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel. 18 The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. 19 The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.
Revelation 21:14-21 NKJV

I love colors too. The last purchase I made in 2019 was my next notebook and two more sets of fine-point pens.

Is there a spiritual point? Indeed there is!

12 Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.
Hebrews 12:12-13 NKJV

The pens from the different manufacturers all look different on the paper and feel different as I write, and selecting which pens to use for the day’s Bible study is something I enjoy. Am I in the mood for slippery gel or the more firm ball point or felt tip? How bold do I want the writing? I never take long to decide, and most days I choose a different look from the previous day. But choosing which pens to use is something I enjoy, and it’s an easy, inexpensive thing that helps keep me excited about studying my Bible. It is one of the ways I make straight paths for my feet.

Discover things that help you do the things you know you should do, and then do them. 🙂 Make straight paths for your feet!

Jesus is coming soon. Be ready!

But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.
1 Thessalonians 5:4-6 NKJV

32 “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! 34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.”
Matthew 24:32-35 NKJV

34 But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.
Luke 21:34-36 NKJV

Are you following God's plan for your life?    
You should.
Your plan sucks.
It really, really sucks.
Suckage Maximus.

Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Jesus is coming.
Are you ready to meet Him?
Give your life to Jesus Christ.
Time is running out.

Make Bible Ribbon Placemarks

I like to have at least four place mark ribbons in my Bibles, to keep track of where I am in the Old Testament, Psalms, Proverbs, and the New Testament.

But few Bibles come with more than one ribbon. If there is a gap between the stitching that holds the pages together and the leather cover, you can make your own. You will need a stiff piece of paper like an index card, ribbon, and glue. I prefer rubber cement because I’m impatient and it dries quickly. 🙂

Fold the index card in half lengthwise, then trim it so it slides easily between the cover and the binding.

Glue the ribbons to the inside of the folded index card.

Get them nice and flat before the glue dries.

Glue the index card shut and wait a bit for it to dry. Then slide it into its new home in your Bible.

Put the ribbons into the Bible.

Cut the ribbons to the length you want.

How long will it last? I bought this Bible in December 2002, and probably made the ribbon placemarks within the first week. So they last a long, long time.

Just a note. If you make one with eight placemarks, this might be primarily a reminder that you’re not doing as much Bible reading as you thought you would. 😉

Are you following God's plan for your life? 
   You should.
      Your plan sucks.
      It really, really sucks.
      Suckage Maximus.

Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Jesus is coming.
   Are you ready to meet Him?
   Give your life to Jesus Christ.
   Time is running out.

Bang! — The Big Bang Theory

I love the dialogue in the early episodes of The Big Bang Theory. A sentence expresses a complete thought. Sometimes the script’s sentences are long and complex, and sometimes they are short and to the point.

Sheldon: Ah, yes, well that may be the proximal cause of our journey, but we both know it only exists in contradistinction to the higher level distal cause.

Leonard: Which is?

Sheldon: You think with your penis.

I was one of the people who “got this” the first time. I then laughed at myself for missing the obvious punchline.

Leonard: What did Penny mean, you’d make a cute couple?

Sheldon: Well I assume she meant that the two of you together would constitute a couple that others might consider cute. An alternate, and somewhat less likely interpretation, is that you could manufacture one. As in, oh look, Leonard and Lesley made Mr and Mrs Goldfarb, aren’t they adorable.

Leonard: If Penny didn’t know that Lesley had already turned me down then that would unambiguously mean that she, Penny, thought that I should her, Lesley, out, indicating that she, Penny, had no interest in me asking her, Penny, out. But because she did know that I had asked Lesley out and that she, Lesley, had turned me down then she, Penny, could be offering consolation. That’s too bad, you would have made a cute couple. But while thinking, good, Leonard remains available.

Sheldon: You’re a lucky man, Leonard.

Leonard: How so?

Sheldon: You’re talking to one of the three men in the Western hemisphere capable of following that train of thought.

Leonard: Well, what do you think.

Sheldon: I said I could follow it, I didn’t say I cared.

The writers put a lot of work into the early episodes. I could believe Sheldon and Leonard had a combined IQ of 360. The style of speech matched some very smart people I have known. Short sentences slapping sentences Dickens would have to read thrice, with humor so dry it’s a fire hazard. Brilliant!

Leonard: Excuse me, if I were to give up at the first little hitch I never would have been able to identify the fingerprints of string theory in the aftermath of the big bang.

Sheldon: My apologies. What’s your plan.

(Leonard starts rattling the doors violently.)

Sheldon: It’s just a privilege to watch your mind at work.

Leonard: Come on, we have a combined IQ of 360, we should be able to figure out how to get into a stupid building.

(Two girl scouts arrive carrying bags of cookies. One runs her hand down the intercom, pushing all the buttons. The door is buzzed open.)

Sheldon: What do you think their combined IQ is?

Leonard: Just grab the door.

In later seasons the writers phoned it in, somewhat. The writing is not as good. But they added a couple smart, pretty girls, who are somewhat ignorant of their areas of incompetence. So the series stayed entertaining for me.

The Big Bang Theory became the DVD version of my Rex Stout Nero Wolfe paperback “sleeping pills.” Sometimes when I lie down for the night the hamsters in my brain are running 100 miles per hour in their wheels-to-nowhere, and I know sleep is at least a couple hours away. But if I give the hamsters something familiar, they get out of the wheels and lie down. I’ve read most of the Nero Wolfe books. I know them very well. But I like the writing, so I don’t mind rereading them. It’s familiar. I can fall asleep quickly while reading them, right in the middle of a paragraph, the hamsters having fallen asleep too.

I prefer to fall asleep in a dark room. But on nights when my brain was going and going, I’d put in a The Big Bang Theory DVD. With the volume very low (I know the dialog) the hamsters and I would usually be sawing logs before the 3rd episode.

But my own writing is convicting me. The setting of TBBT is modern. The characters have no objection to sex outside of marriage. In I Don’t Watch CNN I wrote about the importance of what we see and hear. By watching TBBT I was programming myself to fail via Lemming Theology. Fortunately I woke up in time and repented. I knew better, but did it anyway — like Adam I sinned with my eyes wide open. I ignored Romans 12:2, which is especially easy to understand in the Phillips translation.

Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity.
Romans 12:2 Phillips

When I got saved in 1979 I had a lot of rock albums. I got rid of them. I’m going to do the same with my TBBT DVDs. Like the rock music, I can’t give them away: “Here. Have some mental poison to help you on your journey to eternal damnation.” Just getting rid of bad stuff is Biblical.

A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas.
Acts 19:19 NIV

Hebrews 12:14 is an interesting verse. Many translations use the word “holiness,” which connotes to me a state, a condition in which I play perhaps a minor part, if any. There is no one English language. Each of us has our own unique dialect.

Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Hebrews 12:14 KVJ

To me, sanctification suggests that I have a large role to play in the process the Lord uses to get Him reflected in me, for the benefit of others.

Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.
Hebrews 12:14 NAS-1977

When I’m digging, I turn to the Amplified Bible.

Continually pursue peace with everyone, and the sanctification without which no one will [ever] see the Lord.
HEBREWS 12:14 Amplified

The Classic version uses consecration, which connotes to me the necessity of actions on my part that border on downright painful! It also has “and holiness,” confirming to me that there is a difference between consecration and holiness. Consecration is more what I do. Holiness is more the result. It’s “tion” v “ness.” Action v State.

Strive to live in peace with everybody and pursue that consecration and holiness without which no one will [ever] see the Lord.
Hebrews 12:14 Amplified, Classic

The greek is interesting. Which leads to hagiasmos, and has this definition.

Definition: the process of making or becoming holy, set apart, sanctification, holiness, consecration.

Ah ha! It is a process! The word holiness connotes a more passive activity to me. Sanctification is a more accurate word in the Mark Jerde Dialect of American English.

In Bible Reading & Bible Study I say that I can spend a lot of time in Bible study, but not cover very much of the Bible. I thought I’d provide a sample. 🙂

Postscript. I took action. It wasn’t trivial.

Are you following God's plan for your life? 
   You should.
      Your plan sucks.
      It really, really sucks.
      Suckage Maximus.

Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Jesus is coming.
   Are you ready to meet Him?
   Give your life to Jesus Christ.
   Time is running out.

Bible Reading & Bible Study

When I first thought about this post I thought it would be about the superiority of Bible study over mere Bible reading. I’m not so sure anymore. For me, Bible study is Bible reading with a large notebook open, and pen handy to write notes, verses, related verses, categories, items for prayer, and so on. When a thought strikes, I may spend a lot of time searching and studying related passages for additional understanding. It is a very valuable process. I learn a lot. But I don’t necessarily cover very much of the Bible in a given amount of time. I’m starting to think I need to spend more time just reading the Bible, to simply read lots of its words. The only notebook I should allow myself to have open is my pocket notebook, to capture only the most important thoughts.

Which brings me to The One Year Bible. For each of the 365 days of the year, it has slices of the Old Testament, Psalms, Proverbs, and the New Testament. After a year, you will have read the entire Bible. It only needs one bookmark to read the whole Bible in a year. If you miss a day, week, or month (been there) just go to today’s reading. Forgive yourself, forget the past and press on to the future. As someone (*) has said, “If you miss a goal, cut it in half and start over.” If you don’t have a regular Bible reading system, I suggest you get a copy of The One Year Bible (OYB) and use it. I’m on my 3rd copy. (I’m just a satisfied customer. I’m not getting paid to write this.) First I used a King James OYB for over a year. I can see now that it was “training wheels” for regular Bible study. When I was a young Christian I was lazy. It seemed that moving 4 place marks would be too difficult. The OYB worked nicely. Eventually I got tired of not being able to easily find passages I had read recently, and I moved to a “real” Bible. I found that moving 4 place mark ribbons wasn’t that difficult at all. 🙂

Then there was a dark time in my life, and I fell out of daily Bible reading and study. When I knew I needed to get going again, I bought a NIV OYB. I used it to get going again. I recently bought another NIV OYB to get going again, to come out of my recent time in the desert. (My previous NIV OYB was left behind somewhere in my many post-separation address changes.)

Do I need to use the phrase, “get going again,” again? Remember, what is not doing something you know you should do called? That’s right. Sin.

If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.
James‬ ‭4:17‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Make straight paths for your feet,” the Bible says. That is, make it easy for you to do what you need to do. The OYB is an excellent tool for reading the Bible in a year.

I left this post in draft a couple days, to see how I would end it. I am now using the OYB for daily reading, only allowing myself to use my pocket notebook to record the most important of notes and thoughts. I feel I am to continue to use the OYB to just simply read the Bible in a year, and use my “real” Bible and notebook for the in-depth study I so enjoy. Yet another time a post has turned out quite differently from how I imagined it. Writing is a cool way to meditate.

(*) When I heard him speak at ALFCWilliam Van Crouch said, “If you miss a goal, cut it in half and start again.” The quotes in this post vary; I don’t remember his exact words. The 1980’s were some time ago. 🙂 Three other things he said I have repeated often:

“We lived so far back in the woods we had to go towards town to hunt.”

“I came from such a large family, I never slept alone until I got married.”

(On being the chaplain for a pro sports team, the Chicago Bears IIRC.) “You think you have problems. Try getting a bunch of young, healthy millionaires to go to bed at 10 PM.”

Are you following God's plan for your life? 
   You should.
      Your plan sucks.
      It really, really sucks.
      Suckage Maximus.

Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Jesus is coming.
   Are you ready to meet Him?
   Give your life to Jesus Christ.
   Time is running out.