Critical Thinking – Application

Last time we said – When we struggle with certain “sins” or are not sure about a teaching or “doctrine” it is because we have not found out how to process specific information relating to that “sin” or doctrine or issue. It is not that the information is incorrect (although it could be), but the information could be slanted, corrupted, biased or incomplete. But the answer is in how the information is processed and that is where critical thinking skills come in to play. Remember, the brain is the tool, a toolbox and the mind is what processes the information.

So let’s look at a generic application and then let’s look at how significant changes we make alter our life.

When Paul was speaking to the Corinthians he addressed how Satan corrupts our mind, our thinking process. People who are addicted to some vice – to anything – their mind has been corrupted. The way they process information has been corrupted. It does not matter what the addiction is – food, drugs, sex, alcohol, smoking, work, money, sex trafficking, shopping, anything, people “think” they have to have whatever their addiction is. They think they can not live without engaging in their addiction.

Yet, everyone knows if they stop their addiction they will still live and not die. But they think they can not make it through the day without engaging in their addiction. So something happens from the time the thought enters their mind, (their thinking process) to the time they act.

Thoughts can be good thoughts or they can be bad thoughts. Bad thoughts we could compare to malware or a virus. Malware and viruses “mess up” the normal functions of an operating system. Wrong thoughts and bad thoughts “mess up” the normal functions of our thought process, our mind.

Addict is defined as one who devotes one’s self habitually. To devote time and attention by constant practice. We can be addicted to God’s word, good deeds, church attendance, work, family, drugs, alcohol, sex and many other things. But notice in the definition the addict devotes time and attention. What is attention?

Attention is defined as the act of heeding of the mind to objects presented to its contemplation. Another words, your thought process (your mind) heeds to objects. The only way to stop addiction then is to change the thought process about a specific object.

If you think believers do not have addictions, you would be wrong. Ecclesiastes 12:14 KJV  “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”

Think about the things you struggle with in your own life and ask yourself why. Why can’t I stop ______________(fill in the blank). The reason is you spend time thinking on the object.

People appear to do really stupid things sometimes. Why? Because the way they process information does not leave them with the same conclusions others have reached. That is not necessarily a “bad” thing because that is where break throughs can come. New inventions, medicine and yes, even a break through with God and his word.

The process of critical thinking requires one to look at all the evidence. For and against. So how can we make significant changes in our life? Examine your thought process. Let me explain.

If I were to ask you, what is the “fruit” of the Holy Spirit, what would you say? You might list the 9 fruit and say they are evidence of the Holy Spirit being in one’s life. Then you would go about your business. You would try to develop these 9 fruit and years down the road you would not be much farther along with understanding the fruit of the Spirit. Why? Because of how you processed the information about the Holy Spirit and the fruit.

But what else do you see? Here is the information – Galatians 5:22-26 KJV
  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
[23] Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
[24] And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
[25] If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
[26] Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.”

After reading these verses from God’s word, what do you see about the fruit ( verses 22 and 23)? There are 9 fruit. Yes, what else? Some deal with emotions. Yes and emotions are part of? The soul, the mind, will and emotions. Okay, what else?

Critical thinking skills require you to dig deeper. Look deeper at those two verses. What do you see? It is the fruit of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will produce these 9 fruit. Yes. But where? And how? And these two questions we will answer next time as we conclude our Critical Thinking series. Until next time.

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How do you process information?

Critical Thinking – Processing Information

The brain is like your tool box or like a file cabinet. As you go through life you store information in your tool box. You store your experiences in your tool box. Then when presented with a question or a problem, your mind ( your thinking process ) goes to your tool box searching for the proper tool to answer the question or solve the problem. But what if the tool needed is not there?

When we struggle with certain “sins” or are not sure about a teaching or “doctrine” it is because we have not found out how to process specific information relating to that “sin” or doctrine or issue. It is not that the information is incorrect (although it could be), but the information could be slanted, corrupted, biased or incomplete. But the answer is in how the information is processed and that is where critical thinking skills come in to play. Remember, the brain is the tool, a toolbox and the mind is what processes the information. The mind can not process the information correctly if the information is slanted, biased, wrong or corrupted. Paul the apostle addresses this in –

2 Corinthians 11:3-4 KJV  “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
[4] For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him .”

The serpent, Satan, subtilty (refinement and slyness), corrupted Eve’s mind. The way Eve processed information was corrupted. Eve knew what God said because of Adam. Yet, Eve chose to disobey. Eve processed the information differently even though she knew what God said. Why? Because the serpent refined what God said and twisted it and fed Eve’s toolbox wrong information. So Eve’s critical thinking (how she processed the information) was corrupted. The same happens today. We are fed information from the world. People twist information causing others to believe a lie.

We know Satan was in the Garden of Eden and we know he was around at the time of Jesus because he entered Judas Iscariot and Paul is talking about him to the church and he is around at the end in Revelation. Satan’s methods are the same, to corrupt the way you process information – another words, corrupt your mind.

We are all given the same information about God through his word. Yet some process that information differently, why? Critical thinking skills force you to focus. That means you can control your thoughts. You decide if you will entertain that thought.

People who have been “indoctrinated”  can not explain why they believe what they believe. They can not answers questions about their belief and they do not understand any evidence for or against what they believe, they just believe what was told to them from people, governments, government run schools, religious people and parents. They do not know critical thinking skills and sadly, many millennials have been indoctrinated.

People with critical thinking skills look at all the evidence – for and against a particular teaching. They research the issue and eventually come to a conclusion. And they can explain WHY they believe what they believe. But there is a danger here too. What if some evidence comes along that makes you question your conclusion? If you do not examine the evidence, you risk falling into “indoctrination”.

God’s wisdom is infinite. Mankind can never figure God out.  Believers risk having their “mind” corrupted if they close the door on God teaching them new things, through his word and the Holy Spirit. This is the warfare believers fight along with the world’s teachings.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 KJV  “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
[4] (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
[5] Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”

When believers have an issue or a sin they are trying to settle,  the key to settling the matter is their thought process, their mind. It is not the information itself, but how they are processing the information. And as Paul says in the above verses, the process is corrupted by:
Imaginations
Knowledge
Thoughts
Another words, what we think we know about something and how we process that information keeps us bound in “strong holds” , in lies, in sin, in wrong information. And it is Satan messing with your thought process because Satan wants to control your thought life so he can get you to fail, get you to get it wrong. Why? Because he is in a battle against God and if he can get God’s people to screw up he can accuse them. Psalm 143:3 KJV  “For the enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath smitten my life down to the ground; he hath made me to dwell in darkness, as those that have been long dead.”

Your mind is how you process information. Your mind is part of your soul. There are over 95 verses on your mind in scripture and about 50 of them in the New Testament. Paul makes it very, very clear, it is in the mind where the battles are won or lost.

When a person really gets saved, their spirit man is made alive or quickened unto God (John 3:3-6) but it is their soul that gets saved 1 Peter 1:8-9 KJV
  “Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
[9] Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.”

Leviticus 17:11 KJV  “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.”

Psalm 19:7 KJV. “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.”

Your soul includes your mind – the way you process information, information from the world and information from God. Until next time.

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Critical Thinking – What Are Thoughts?

Remember,  this series is focused on critical thinking. So when I ask, what are thoughts, I am asking relative to critical thinking. Why? Because people are given evidence every day and yet these people come to different conclusions. Why?

There are plenty of books written by several authors about the mind, the way we think and how the mind is a battlefield. But understanding critical thinking skills puts into action our conclusion.  Let me try to explain.

Last time we explained the mind and the brain are different. It is the mind that does the thinking and the brain is the tool we use to think. Brain damaged people still think but they are using a tool that has been damaged. It is like a piano player, the piano is the tool but the player is the mind doing – the action.

The brain is like your tool box or like a file cabinet. As you go through life you store information in your tool box. You store your experiences in your tool box. Then when presented with a question or a problem, your mind ( your thinking process ) goes to your tool box searching for the proper tool to answer the question or solve the problem. But what if the tool needed is not there?

The world, government run schools and even religious leaders all try to fill your tool box with their tools. You have to decide what tools and whose tools you want in your tool box. How you fill your tool box and with what determines your mind ( your thinking process ).

We add tools to our tool box as we travel through life. And some tools we gathered we throw out. And for believers, they have set the word of God as their main tool. 1 Corinthians 1:25-31 KJV  “Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
[26] For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called :
[27] But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
[28] And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea , and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
[29] That no flesh should glory in his presence.
[30] But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
[31] That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”

Critical thinking has a method and a process:

Method ~ Students / people weigh the evidence of a claim, thought or teaching and apply critical thinking skills to come to a conclusion and be able to present a compelling case for their conclusion.

Process ~ Gather evidence related to the subject matter. Lay out the evidence. Separate the evidence into each point of view or teaching. Perform experiments when possible and catalog results. Ask yourself questions like what if I do this instead of that, what happens? Or from a scripture point of view, are there other supporting scriptures? Come to a conclusion.

The key to the process of critical thinking skills is the evidence. Where does the evidence come from? Is the evidence supplier biased to a particular conclusion? Who supplied the evidence? Is there more evidence available than what I was given? Answering questions like this is where critical thinking skills are critical to coming to a correct conclusion.

Evidence can be presented in a way to lead students or people along to a predetermined conclusion. Government run schools do this with their teaching of evolution.  Because government run schools threw God and the Bible out, they are leading their students to a predetermined conclusion – evolution.

And those who believe in “the big bang” never explain where the pieces came from to bang. Oh they are particles. But where did those particles come from? Cells. Where did the cells come from. And whatever answers they give, they can not explain where the matter that banged came from. And because they threw God out, they do not believe,
Genesis 1:1 KJV  “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”

Critical thinking skills would look at both sides of the issue, the evidence, ask questions, run experiments, research and come to a conclusion. Then they would be able to give a compelling case for their conclusion.

People still come to different conclusions after examining evidence. Police still target or arrest the wrong person. Things once thought good for us are now known to be deadly. Even believers disagree on some spiritual matters and Paul addressed this when he said 1 Corinthians 14:26 KJV  “How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.”

The secret – It is the mind that does the thinking and the brain is the tool we use to think. The mind processes what is put into the brain. The evidence is fed into the brain through words and sometimes, visual aids. If the evidence is slanted or biased then the mind processes the biased or slanted evidence and concludes a biased or slanted conclusion.

The problem – After you come to a biased or slanted conclusion, how do you handle information that comes along disputing your conclusuon? A modern example today is a computer saying, that does not compute.

Information is fed into computers to process information. But when you throw in a curve, something the computer was not programmed for, you get, this does not compute.

The hard drive is the brain, the tool for the processing. And because only God gives life, computers may appear “alive” but they have processors. The Tin Man in the movie The Wizard Of Oz wanted a brain, a tool to process information. In government run schools, the government is supplying the evidence through their curriculum. The government feeds the information to your brain and then you are told to process that information. No wonder students come out of school today all thinking the same way. I am going somewhere with all of this.

You see, when we bring God into the picture, and his word, we learn the key is twofold – our thoughts and our mind ( how we process those thoughts ). Let me explain. Presuming you are a believer in God and you believe God’s word, do you believe there is a devil? Do you believe there are many devils? Do you believe Satan is in charge of the devils?  Your answers to these questions you base on the information you have stored in your brain, your tool box.

We often say there is a force of good and a force of evil meaning an energy. Even the world believes there is good and evil in the world, they just can not explain those forces because then they would have to acknowledge God. As believers, we believe God and his word. So if we were to apply critical thinking skills to what God tells us about good and evil we would conclude, there is a war going on in the spiritual realm. But why?

Scripture tells us Satan rebelled against God. But Satan is not alone in his rebellion, he took one third of the angels in heaven with him and God reserves them for judgment. 2 Peter 2:4 KJV
” For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;”

But how did Satan do it? How did he convince one third of the angels to rebel with him? He had to put thoughts in their mind convincing them he would win. And Satan wants to control your thoughts and your mind through deception. Why? So he can war against God. Because Satan is in warfare against God. So Satan and his workers are dedicated to destroying your thoughts. What processes your thoughts? Your mind.

It is not your tool box Satan is after, not your brain. He wants to destroy your processing information from God and he uses half truths and deception and greed. He is trying to mess up your mind, the way you process what God tells you. And if you are not taught critical thinking skills, how to process information correctly, you are confused or indoctrinated. That is how cults are started.

We will pick it up from here next time. Until next time.

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A Little Different – A Critical Thinking Quiz

Last time, in our post,  Is Passing The Torch Possible we looked at how Baby Boomers were the last generation taught “critical thinking” skills in public schools. We explained how Millennials have been indoctrinated into certain ideologies and not taught critical thinking skills. We also explained the methodology of “critical thinking”, not the skill.

Remember,  the methodology of “critical thinking ” is present both sides of an issue honestly and fairly. Students would have to think for themselves. They would have to weigh the evidence for each teaching and apply critical thinking skills to come to a conclusion and be able to present a compelling case for their conclusion.

What would be the best way to examine our beliefs? Our conclusions about specific issues? Yes, testing our critical thinking skills. We know the method to test our critical thinking skills – to examine both sides of an issue fairly and come to a conclusion and be able to present a compelling case for our conclusion. But how do we do this? Lots of people look at evidence and come to different conclusions, why?

Do you believe in evolution or creation and why? Do you believe in “global warming” and why? Why do 50% of all marriages end in divorce? Will God take everyone to heaven and why? Are you broke and why? Are you a good parent and why?

We have to ask ourselves why we believe what we believe. Have we been indoctrinated or can we make a compelling case, with evidence to support our belief? An example. Many people have been indoctrinated in to believing in “global warming” and people use for evidence, fossil fuels. They claim “greenhouse gases” increase. What is a greenhouse?  Oh wait, that is critical thinking.

Many claim these gases are methane. Do you know where methane comes from? Farting is a key. Cows and animals and humans expel methane when they fart. People claim these gases are causing our ocean temperatures to rise. One problem with that theory. Under the crust of the earth is molten lava. And those who measure temperatures  under the earth’s crust have been writing, the molten lava is warming up. So how is farting in the air warming hot lava under the crust of the earth? Volcanoes have erupted for hundreds of years, before automobiles.

And instead of looking at all the evidence, fairly and honestly so one could apply critical thinking skills, people are indoctrinated into ideologies, not facts. So governments set up laws against fossil fuels. But what about God and spiritual matters? How does critical thinking apply to God and the scriptures?

God created man from the dust of the ground, giving man an earthly body, Genesis 2:7 KJV  “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”

The breath of life is our “spirit man”, see our previous posts on the spirit man. And man became a living soul. What is your soul? Your mind, your will and your emotions. (Again, see our previous posts). And what ties these three together? What ties your spirit, your soul and your body together? The heart. If the heart is not working, you’re dead.
The heart is like the energy.

You can have a car but without a motor or energy to move the car, the car can not move. Look at a bicycle. What is the energy? Not the wheels. Just because a bicycle has wheels, it can not move until you have someone pedal. Because I am a musician, let me use a piano example.

You see, our soul, our mind, will and emotions, has a brain. Our soul has a mind and a brain. Our mind does the thinking. Our brain is what we think with. Our brain is the instrument or tool we use. So someone with brain damage means someone has a tool that has been damaged. Can they still use their damaged tool? Yes.

A piano is a tool. There are different kinds of pianos,  spinets  (36″-39″ tall), consoles (taller), grand pianos. The piano represents the tool, the brain. The piano player is the mind. The energy.

Scripture says, regarding the saved, true believers, 1 Corinthians 2:16 KJV  “For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.”

We have the “mind” of Christ. Remember, the mind does the thinking, the brain is the tool to think with. The mind is the energy. The force. And what ties all of this together? The heart. So if the heart changes, the mind can change, whether for good or evil. And if the mind changes, the heart changes.
Don’t forget, it is the soul, the mind, will and emotions that go to heaven or hell.

Which brings me to a “critical thinking quiz”. Scripture tells us we are in a battle. We fight warfare. So here is a quiz. Using critical thinking skills, answer the quiz.

Who are we in a battle with?
Why are we in that battle?
How did we enter the battle?
How does our enemy attack us?
What specific area of our being is attacked and how is it attacked?
How do we fight back?
Can we win this battle?
What weapons do we use in this battle?
How often are we in this battle?

And use critical thinking skills. We will pick it up from here next time. Until next time.

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Is Passing The Torch Possible?

God instructed grown ups to teach their children about the Lord and the Lord’s ways. We read many times how people were instructed to teach their children. Deuteronomy 6:7 KJV  “And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”

Jesus said the Holy Ghost would teach us in Luke 12:12 and Paul tells the church to teach one another in Colossians 3:16 and there are plenty more verses on teaching mankind God’s ways. Why would God want us to teach our children about him and his ways? I think you know the answer.

Prior to the 1960s and 1970s, the normal in America was a two parent home. The government did not run our education, people went to church regularly, we had the Bible taught in public schools and there was school prayer. The constitution and Bible were the laws of the land.

After the 1960s and 1970s the “normal” began to shift. The government took over the education of our children based on a man’s beliefs. The man was John Dewey. Dewey was born in 1859 and died in 1952. John Dewey was not a believer and Dewey called for a “directed reconstruction of economic, political and religious institutions “. Dewey said, of the Christian religion, it is only good for people working in soup kitchens.

Government would take over education in Dewey’s world, a clear from of communism, government control of everything. But this is not what this post is about, it is just some background information. Why? Because it is not relative to America only, but all nations around the world.

After the 1960s and 1970s, the normal changed. Government took over education and Dewey’s teachings and beliefs to reconstruct America’s economic, political and religious institutions was implemented. So society went to “licenses” instead of rights, property title changed from allodial to fee simple. (Allodial title means you own your property free and clear without fees or taxes. Fee Simple means you own your property as long as you pay a “fee” (taxes). Even vehicle ownership changed and UCC (Uniform Commercial Code) provided titles to be sold for vehicle ownership. That is why when you buy a car you pay a title “fee”.

Everything we knew as “normal” prior to Dewey’s philosophy being instituted, was different than today. It is not that generations do not get along. We see thousands of years laid out in scripture where everyone knew the truth. Their normal included God in everything. But after Dewey’s beliefs and philosophy was adopted by the US Congress to be the law of the land, America was going to  change. In the 1960s and 70s God was thrown out of the public schools and school prayer was attacked. Schools could no longer offer students “church school” after regular classes.

Education shifted to no longer being about critical thinking. Now education is indoctrination. And that is why today, 2017, students come out of schools all thinking the same way on specific issues. These students have been indoctrinated and a good example is Creation vs Evolution. Students have been indoctrinated, by government run schools, to believe in evolution and creation is not even taught or allowed to be taught fairly.

Evolution has been drilled into student’s minds from kindergarten through college. The result? Students believe evolution over God and the Bible. But if you were to give an honest teaching of both creation and evolution, you would instill “critical thinking”. Students would have to think for themselves. They would have to weigh the evidence for each teaching and apply critical thinking skills to come to a conclusion and be able to present a compelling case for their conclusion.

Baby Boomers were the last generation to be taught critical thinking in public schools. Baby Boomers were born from about 1945-1965. Dewey’s new restructuring of education was just beginning to be implemented. It is not until the 1980s when we see a full implementation of Dewey’s beliefs. And the generation who is a recipient? Millennials. These are those born about 1980s and 1990s and they would become of age at the turn of the millennium, the year 2000.

The “normal” of millennials is nothing like the baby boomers. Baby boomers were taught critical thinking, millennials were indoctrinated. Boomers were taught to work hard to get the prize, Millennials were given participation trophies no matter how hard they tried. Boomers were taught you must work for what you want, Millennials think they are entitled. Boomers are results oriented, Millennials are social oriented. Boomers are focused on the job at hand, Millennials are unfocused and self absorbed. Boomers were taught to respect authority and because many Millennials grew up in single parent families, where dad left, Millennials have no respect for authority.

When Millennials finish school and go into the real world, they discover the real world is not what they thought. The world is not what they were indoctrinated to believe. Did you ever ask yourself, why would so many Millennials support Bernie Sanders (a communist system lover) for president?  Bernie represented what Millenials were indoctrinated with through government run schools. You do not get a participation trophy for coming to work, you get a job.

Millennials have no respect for law and order because they grew up in a broken home. Dad left and mom is more about nurture not discipline. That is just the way God wired us. So boomers don’t understand millennials because they have been taught a completely different  foundation. Boomers did not have “Time Out” they had spankings.

And because Millennials are social minded they use social media a lot.  They pretend to present themselves a certain way just to have “likes” or “shares” or followers.

Picture this – you teach your child one thing at home. They go to school and the government run schools teach your child something completely different than what you taught. On top of that, if your child voices a disagreement with their teacher they are given a failing grade and mocked in class. Then their “friends” start mocking them. Does the child believe their parents or the school?

We saw parents start pulling their children out of government run schools and putting their children in private schools. Homeschooling blossomed. Government tried to stop parents with regulations even though Congress sends their children to private schools.

Did God know this shift would occur? Certainly.  2 Timothy 3:1-5 KJV  “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
[2] For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
[3] Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
[4] Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
[5] Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”

We see exactly what God said would come to pass in the Millennials. Not all of them naturally,  but most of them. The snowball effect is what we see with violence, sodomites aka Gay Pride, unthankful, disobedient to parents, unholy and having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof.

Boomers learned to get lazy and we saw dishwashers, microwave ovens and remote controls invented. Millennials are impatient. Everything for a Millennial has to be on demand. Instantly. And because of this, Millennials don’t know how to cultivate relationships. They don’t know how to grind out success. They do not understand taking time to learn about God and his word.

God is very patient and long suffering and learning about God is more about the journey than the reward. Why? Because along the journey God teaches us, strengthens us, blesses us.

So now we see two cultures in conflict. We see the boomers and the millennials and when the boomers die off, the country will be changed. Sure God will have believers around but the mocking of believers, assaults, attacks because of their faith will increase. So how is today’s church dealing with this culture conflict? We are at a fork in the road. Sadly, many churches have decided to feed the Millennials craving for On Demand. So we see churches have 20 minutes of entertainment, 15-20 minutes of story related bible teaching and a social club after service.

So what do we do? How do we reach Millennials? We need to show them how governments want them to think the government will take care of them but the government will require them to give up their freedoms and liberty first. And then show them how God says, John 7:37-39 KJV  “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
[38] He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
[39] (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given ; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)”

Then we teach them that God had them born for such a time as this. Their social nature God will use to reach millions. We need to teach them how to build truthful relationships. We need to teach them success comes from hard work. And above all, we need to teach them God has all the answers and God’s word may not have the “modern” words but the definition of the “modern word” is in scripture. We need to teach them how to find their answers from God. Until next time.

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God’s Plan

God’s plan is more than the Gentiles would be saved. If you look carefully at the following verses, you can see several plans God laid out. See how many you can find in these verses.

Ephesians 3:1-21 KJV  ” For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,
[2] If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:
[3] How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
[4] Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
[5] Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
[6] That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:
[7] Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.
[8] Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;
[9] And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
[10] To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
[11] According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:
[12] In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.
[13] Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.
[14] For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
[15] Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
[16] That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
[17] That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
[18] May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
[19] And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
[20] Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
[21] Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”

Until next time.

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Dreams, Symbols And Dream Books

Students of the word of God know God uses symbols to convey information to people. Unbelievers do not know or understand God using symbols or pictures and a good example is King Nebuchadnezzar and Daniel. The king had to have Daniel interpret his dream because the king did not understand the symbols.

Even the Pharoah of Egypt did not understand the symbols in his dream so he has Joseph brought in to explain what the symbols mean. These are only  two biblical cases where unbelievers did not understand God’s message. God was giving these unbelievers a message but they did not understand.

Even the book of Revelation is a message from God to all of mankind, believers and unbelievers. There are symbols in the book of Revelation. Have you ever explored what the symbols represent?

Notice in Daniel’s case the “false prophets” the fakes could not provide the answer to King Nebuchadnezzar. So what about today? Yes, God does give us messages when we sleep, in dreams. Job 33:14-16 KJV  “For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not.
[15] In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed;
[16] Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction,”

But can we understand the messages God gives us today? I believe yes, we can understand. Yes, God gives us his word to learn his ways, about him but like God says in Job, he seals our instruction when we sleep. He gives us messages through dreams and the Holy Spirit guides us.

Even the prophet Joel tells us, Joel 2:28-32 KJV  “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
[29] And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.
[30] And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.
[31] The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come.
[32] And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call.”

So how can we understand the message from God? The symbols. If you look to man’s interpretation of symbols or you look to what scripture  refers to as soothsayers or such, you loose. To get the truth you have to go to God and his word to interpret the symbols. It is kind of like putting a puzzle together except God is giving you the pieces. I find that a very interesting journey.

I had a dream a few years back and I knew 100% that dream was from God. How did I know? Because there were two angels and the one started the conversion telling me, “God has heard your prayer”. I had made a prayer that night before I went to bed. A special prayer like I had never prayed before. And when the angel told me that – I knew God sent them. What they had in their hand and what they said, I knew 100% they were from God. I knew the scriptures tell us, when people prayed God sent prophets and angels and they said, “God has heard your prayer”.  So when the angels told me that, I knew that is how God responded in the scriptures.

I did not understand the dream then but,  I was so excited with what God told me, I woke up and just started thanking and praising God. Then I looked at the clock and it was about 4am and I could not go back to sleep because I was so excited. Then I was upset with myself because I didn’t ask a bunch of specific questions.

I sought out a believer who had a gift from God in understanding dreams. They would not answer my question about the dream because I did not make a payment. They were selling what God gifted them with.  Could you imagine Joseph telling Pharaoh, pay me first? Or Daniel, make a “donation” to my ministry first?

Then there are those believers who try to understand using the world’s interpretation of symbols instead of God’s word. Their information just leads people down the wrong path. So what is the answer? God’s word and here is how I do it. I bought a small wire bound notebook. I titled the notebook My Dreams. Then when I have a dream that I remember or a dream that has an impact, I write in the notebook everything I can remember about the dream. I do it right away so I do not forget the details. I even keep a pad and pen on my night stand for when God tells me something in my sleep, I can write it down when I wake.

After I have written everything, in detail, from my dream I note the following.
~ Was my dream in color or B&W – color
~ Who was in my dream? What people specifically.
~ What objects were in my dream? A tree, a pair of slacks, a ladder, a table and a cup. The things that stood out to me. They made me notice them.
~ How many scenes were in my dream? Another words, did the dream take place all in one area or was I like moved to another area.
~ How did I feel during the dream and when I woke?

The old Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance does not have a section in the back called A Subject Guide, but the New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance does. What’s interesting about the Subject Guide is it tells you symbolically what objects mean biblically. It does not tell you all of the meanings and some it never mentions but if you are looking for a starting point in understanding the message God sends you in a dream, this is a good starting point.

The Subject Guide will use words like figurative or symbolic and then gives you the scripture showing you where it is used. Doing this allows God to interpret his message to you.

So let me encourage you to keep a Dream Book. To write everything in your dream book, in detail, about your dreams. Then identify the people and objects in your dream. Objects are symbolic just like Daniel explaining the image was symbolic of nations and John writes symbols in Revelation. Then look up what the objects / symbols mean. And above all, pray and ask God to help you undersrand.

Until next time.

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