UPDATED: Added the seventh honoree — October 21, 2012.
Last Thursday (September 11, 2012) I received nominations for two awards.
- From graciehill48 I received a nomination for The Super Sweet Blogger Award (see Awards Again…).
- FromBiltrix I received a nomination for the The Thought Provoking Blog Award.
Huh! I jumped to the obvious conclusion. The Food for Thought Award? Why not?
What’s The Food for Thought Award? How can we combine The Super Sweet Blogger Award with The Thought Provoking Blog Award? Well, when a Christian blog offers visitors wisdom from the Word of God, isn’t that blog providing its visitors food for thought? Ah ha! Thus was born a new award.
Well, we have to have rules. Unless we put bounds upon an award, it means litte. So what are the rules?
Here are the award’s rules for The Food for Thought Award:
- Post the award on your blog. DONE.
- Thank the one who nominated you and link back to their blog. THANK YOU graciehill48 and Biltrix.
- Share seven of your favorite Bible passages. For extra points (Perhaps our Father in heaven will award them.), explain why each these seven passages is a favorite. DONE
- Nominate seven other bloggers you admire and enjoy! Why seven? In the Bible, seven symbolizes completeness.
- Inform each person that you have nominated them.
Seven Of My Favorite Bible Verses
To say that there are only seven passages I find special would be absurd. It is the whole word of God that is the food of life. Yet I am only human. I know very little. So some parts of the Bible hold more relevance for me than other parts. Thus, I have my favorite verses.
2 Peter 1:16-21 Good News Translation (GNT)Eyewitnesses of Christ’s Glory
16 We have not depended on made-up stories in making known to you the mighty coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. With our own eyes we saw his greatness. 17 We were there when he was given honor and glory by God the Father, when the voice came to him from the Supreme Glory, saying, “This is my own dear Son, with whom I am pleased!” 18 We ourselves heard this voice coming from heaven, when we were with him on the holy mountain.
19 So we are even more confident of the message proclaimed by the prophets. You will do well to pay attention to it, because it is like a lamp shining in a dark place until the Day dawns and the light of the morning star shines in your hearts. 20 Above all else, however, remember that none of us can explain by ourselves a prophecy in the Scriptures. 21 For no prophetic message ever came just from the human will, but people were under the control of the Holy Spirit as they spoke the message that came from God.
What this passage does for me is provide the purpose of the Bible and the method of its interpretation. The Bible serves to tell us of Jesus and of His plan for our redemption. To understand the Bible we study it — the whole of it — and pray for understanding.
Genesis 1:24-31 Good News Translation (GNT)
24 Then God commanded, “Let the earth produce all kinds of animal life: domestic and wild, large and small”—and it was done. 25 So God made them all, and he was pleased with what he saw.
26 Then God said, “And now we will make human beings; they will be like us and resemble us. They will have power over the fish, the birds, and all animals, domestic and wild, large and small.” 27 So God created human beings, making them to be like himself. He created them male and female, 28 blessed them, and said, “Have many children, so that your descendants will live all over the earth and bring it under their control. I am putting you in charge of the fish, the birds, and all the wild animals. 29 I have provided all kinds of grain and all kinds of fruit for you to eat; 30 but for all the wild animals and for all the birds I have provided grass and leafy plants for food”—and it was done. 31 God looked at everything he had made, and he was very pleased. Evening passed and morning came—that was the sixth day.
On the sixth day, God created us, male and female. Then He looked at everything He had made, and He was very pleased.
There was a time when God was pleased with what He had created — when mankind pleased God. Because He has promised to redeem us, we have the hope that such a time will come again.
- Here are three verses for the price of one. The first two, from Matthew and Mark, are essentially the same.
Matthew 27:46 American Standard Version (ASV)
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
Mark 15:34 American Standard Version (ASV)
And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
The last comes from the book of Psalms.
Psalm 22:1 American Standard Version (ASV)
My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my groaning?
When I first read those verses from Matthew and Mark, they puzzled me. Why would He feel forsakened? Eventually, however, I read Psalm 22. Then what Jesus had said began to make sense.
- Ecclesiastes is one of my favorite books in the Bible, but it is a puzzle to understand. Thus, when I first read this verse, I could not make sense of it.
Ecclesiastes 12:12 Young’s Literal Translation (YLT)
And further, from these, my son, be warned; the making of many books hath no end, and much study [is] a weariness of the flesh.
Therefore, I consulted Matthew Henry.
9. The sacred inspired writings, if we will but make use of them, are sufficient to guide us in the way of true happiness, and we need not, in the pursuit of that, to fatigue ourselves with the search of other writings…(from here)
It occurred to me then that Jesus had said something similiar in a parable, The Rich Man and Lazarus. From the burning pit of Hell, a man once rich in the wealth of this world made a request of Abraham.
Luke 16:27-31 Good News Translation (GNT)
27 The rich man said, ‘Then I beg you, father Abraham, send Lazarus to my father’s house, 28 where I have five brothers. Let him go and warn them so that they, at least, will not come to this place of pain.’ 29 Abraham said, ‘Your brothers have Moses and the prophets to warn them; your brothers should listen to what they say.’ 30 The rich man answered, ‘That is not enough, father Abraham! But if someone were to rise from death and go to them, then they would turn from their sins.’ 31 But Abraham said, ‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone were to rise from death.’”
Those words helped me to realize that if I did not allow the Bible to convince me that Jesus died for my salvation — that I must repent of my sins — then nothing would be enough.
- Salvation is not something we can earn, but pride drives us to believe we can earn it. Through His creation, His Word, His blessings, and our life experience; God reminds of the the foolishness of such pride.
Jeremiah 9:23-24 Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)
23 Thus saith the Lord: Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, and let not the strong man glory in his strength, and let not the rich man glory in his riches:
24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, for I am the Lord that exercise mercy, and judgment, and justice in the earth: for these things please me, saith the Lord.
We are sinners. Without the grace of God, even the best man is doomed to Hell. Only God can save us, and through the gift of His grace, he would give each of us the opportunity to share eternity with Him. We must only believe, and pray for His grace, and He will give us the strength to grow more perfect.
- I am busy here of late. So there is little time to blog and do what little I can do to save the world. Fortunately, that is not something God expects us to do. What He wants us to do is difficult enough. In Romans 12, the Apostle Paul calls upon us to offer our bodies to God as “a living and holy sacrifice.” How? Paul encourages us to love each other, even our enemies.
Romans 12:17-21 New Living Translation (NLT)
17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. 18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.
19 Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,
“I will take revenge;
I will pay them back,”[a]
says the Lord.
“If your enemies are hungry, feed them.
If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap
burning coals of shame on their heads.”[b]
21 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.
Some see it as their business to “fix” what they perceive as the ills in their fellow man. Thus, they set about forcing “other people” to behave. Paul, on the other hand, does not call upon us to fix anyone. He just pleads with us to repent of our sins and pray for the grace to live a Godly life.
I suppose there are some who will see in Paul’s words a call for pacifism. Yet there is no love in standing by idly while enemies hurt our family and friends. What Jesus offered us was His peace. Because of His resurrection, we know the battle is already won. We know we can count upon God for our salvation. We need only seek grace from the Holy Spirit so we have the strength obey God’s commands. We need only do our best to love each other. Because it is His creation, God will judge His world and fix it.
- The Book of James was written for the practical man or woman. James tells us how being a Christian should change our life.What is being a Christian about? It is about establishing a proper relationship with God.
James 4:2-3 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
2 You desire and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. You do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and don’t receive because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your evil desires.
All the Gospels; Matthew (Matthew 7:7-12), Mark (Mark 11:22-24), Luke (Luke 11:9-10), and John (John 16:23-24); speak of God’s willingness to give us what we ask. There is just one condition. We just have to ask in the name of Jesus Christ. That is, we must ask with the right motives. Is that a trick? No. Consider how John explained this puzzle.
1 John 3:21-24 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
21 Dear friends, if our conscience doesn’t condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and can receive whatever we ask from Him because we keep His commands and do what is pleasing in His sight. 23 Now this is His command: that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another as He commanded us. 24 The one who keeps His commands remains in Him, and He in him. And the way we know that He remains in us is from the Spirit He has given us.
We are in every aspect God’s creations, and He wants what is best for us. For our own good, when we ask for something we should not ask for, He denies us. Therefore, we should seek to put ourselves in accord with His wishes. How? We can begin by praying for faith in Jesus Christ.
Seven Nominees (Seventh down and done)
- Lyn Leahz — Lyn Leahz is a writer who loves to write about our Lord, Jesus Christ. Nonetheless, her most most recent post, Blind Woman Obeys God, is a video about Diane Rose. See the post and you will understand why even the best writers sometimes defer and point their readers to the work of another.
- My Blog — At My Blog, loopyloo305 provides a collection of what inspires her and brings her joy. That includes cats, Christian music, powerful sermons, and passages from the Holy Bible. In addition, has a cause. She promotes Christian values, including religious freedom. See No Middle Ground.
- Thinking in Christ — This blog alternates between straightforward religious discussions, political advocacy, and the application of Biblical teachings to modern life. If you are a Christian who blogs and surfs, then Voyeurism and the New Media will interest you. In this post, Russ White, the author of Thinking in Christ, reminds us of something we can easily forget on the Internet.
The only real solution, in the end, is a worldview solution — to stop treating people as sources of entertainment, and to start treating them as people.
- quotes and notes and opinions — In addition to quotes and notes and opinions, Sherry posts on two other blogs: He Hath Said and A Joyous Rejoicing. God only knows where she finds the time, but in praise of our Lord each is beautifully done. As this page demonstrates, Good News, Sherry is a fan of the great C. H. Spurgeon.
- DeHavelle.com/ Level-headed discussion of politics and science — I suppose many people will find this nomination inexplicable, but here is the basis for it.
Romans 2:12-16 Good News Translation (GNT)12 The Gentiles do not have the Law of Moses; they sin and are lost apart from the Law. The Jews have the Law; they sin and are judged by the Law. 13 For it is not by hearing the Law that people are put right with God, but by doing what the Law commands. 14 The Gentiles do not have the Law; but whenever they do by instinct what the Law commands, they are their own law, even though they do not have the Law. 15 Their conduct shows that what the Law commands is written in their hearts. Their consciences also show that this is true, since their thoughts sometimes accuse them and sometimes defend them. 16 And so, according to the Good News I preach, this is how it will be on that Day when God through Jesus Christ will judge the secret thoughts of all.
“Jesus Christ will judge the secret thoughts of all.” We face a conundrum. Because we cannot know another’s secret thoughts, we cannot begin to judge another human being. We can only consider each other’s words and deeds. Yet we have little choice. We cannot survive apart from our race. We must assess the risks and benefits of associating ourselves with other human beings. Therefore, we do judge, and each of us gives other people our trust. Sometimes we go so far as to give prizes and accolades to honor them. Others we award high office and great power.
Do we call some people trustworthy solely because they call themselves a Christian? No. What concerns us most are words and deeds.
Keith DeHavelle is not Christian. describes himself as a ” sort of the antithesis of the antitheist atheist.” offers this short description of himself at the end of this post, The Antithesis of an Antitheist Atheist. In addition, in the comments (here), he notes that this video provides his “approach to things.” Thus, on his blog defends what most would consider Christian virtues. Regardless of their outward religious affilation, when people do what is right — when what the Law commands is written in their hearts — these people have found the Way.
- NooneOfAnyImport’s Blog — nooneofanyimport is a full-time homeschooling mom and a part-time Tea Party patriot. As her last post indicates, This Just In: Deer In Headlights Manages Feeble Post, she is suffering from a bit of stress.
This close to the election, I find myself entirely unable to wax eloquent on the current state of politics. It’s the suspense, guys. It’s killing me.
Can you guess what she posted? Her stress borders on battle fatigue. What’s puzzling to me is that this disorder does not seem to be the result of homeschooling two boys. 😀
So why is NooneOfAnyImport’s Blog an appropriate choice for The Food for Thought Award? NooneOfAnyImport’s Blog describes the adventures of a wife and mother who puts her family first. Don’t think that’s important? Behind every good man there is a better woman and a really great mom. Consider 1st and 2nd Kings and 1st and 2nd Chronicles. When these books provide genealogy of the kings of Israel, to their shame or credit, the mother of each king is clearly stated. The Hand That Rocks The Cradle Is The Hand That Rules The World.
Because knows what she is doing is important, she homeschools her children (See The Homeschool Year in Review.). Nonetheless, she struggles just as anyone would. Mothers may love their work, but that does not keep it from being hard and difficult work.
- Catholibertarian — Teresa Rice authors an excellent blog that offers a Catholic perspective on political issues.
This blog is dedicated to the proposition that the Catholic faith and civil liberty are compatible and that each flourishes in the presence of the other. We are committed to the idea of a limited government whose primary duty is the preservation of the liberty of individual citizens, and to the moral responsibility of individuals before God and their community. (continued here)
Here are several examples.
- My 180 on Torture reviews the issue of waterboarding. Is waterboarding torture? now thinks that it is. As the comment trail suggests, there is no simple answer.
- Impossible to Ascertain Who is the ‘Better Catholic’? Really? considers the Vice Presidential Debate and takes to task a Catholic priest for his inability to take a principled stand on critical religious issues.
- Saint Faustina on Hell considers a saint’s vision of Hell. Yes. In addition to politics, considers various aspects of Catholic religious doctrine, and Catholic doctrine teach Hell is real. That is also what Jesus said.