Monthly Archives: September 2014

True Reflections: God Revealed

I can’t stress enough how important it is, to your Christian walk, to pray and to read your Bible-every day. The formula is still true:
Pray more
+ Study more
= Be More

It is amazing how much God reveals to you … if you will let Him.
It’s not just that He reveals a lot about me, as I read His Word, but He reveals Himself.

I always encourage those new to the faith to read the book of John. People still ask me which book in the Bible they should start reading. I always say to start with the book of John, as it is the one book which concentrates on the divinity of Jesus … reveals just Who Jesus is. It is so important to fully understand just Who Jesus is.
His Word and His Person.

It is interesting that the book of Genesis and the book of John open with the same three words:
“In the beginning.”
John wastes no time in establishing the divinity of Jesus, and the fact that Jesus is eternal: Always was … always will be …

A risen Jesus would later, in another book written by John, in the very first chapter of Revelation, say, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”
John’s writing revealing the divinity of Jesus? Keep in mind that “the book of Revelation” is actually “The Revelation of Jesus Christ,” or “The Revelation of Jesus Christ to John.” In case we still didn’t get it, in the last chapter of the book which we usually just refer to as “Revelation” or “Revelations,” Jesus would say again, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.”

You just can’t know Jesus without reading His Word. Why?
Because, as John wasted no time explaining, Jesus is the very Word of God made into flesh/made into a man, which John stated clearly in John 1:14: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth.”
This was John’s way of explaining verse 1: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Both verses also explain how you cannot separate the Word of God from Jesus, as Jesus is the Word of God made flesh … “and the Word was God.”
This is why the more you read the Bible … any book in the Bible … the more Jesus is revealed …
The word “history” is just that … “His Story.”

Jesus had much to say about Himself in the book of John, perhaps none more telling than this statement, which Jesus said to Philip: “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (John 14:9).

Another disciple, Thomas, when first confronting the risen Jesus, would simply look at Jesus and say, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28).

There are so many other things which Jesus said, and did, to confirm His true identity.

Allow me to put it simply, to explain:
Jesus, simply, was God revealed in the flesh. God revealed in the form of a man. We can’t see God, as He is a spirit. We also can’t “see” the Holy Spirit … which is also Jesus … which is another explanation for another time.
So, in order to “see” God “in the flesh,” He came in the flesh … in the person of Jesus.

And, now, here is the “revelation” of Jesus which God gave to me, while I was reading His Word a few days ago. I hope this helps, and this is the main reason that God wanted me to share this with you. I wasn’t even thinking about “who Jesus is” at the time … I was just reading His Word … in fact, I was reading the book of Proverbs … when God revealed this to me:

To fully understand Who Jesus is … How He can be God in the flesh … think about this:
Just imagine, for a moment, that you could see God … that He wasn’t a Spirit, but, for a moment, He could be seen … If He could be seen … then, He, if He stood in front of a mirror … would have a reflection, right?

If this was possible … and you looked at God’s reflection in the mirror …
What you would see would be …
Jesus.

That’s the best explanation I can give of just Who Jesus is … and, the best explanation which God has ever revealed to me.

Hope this helps!

Blessings,
Richard.Vincent. Rose.
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Video For Teachers, Parents, and Students: Dalton Sherman-“Believe in Me”

Even though this video was made back in 2008, I just saw this video this morning, as it was sent to me recently, with the title of “Motivation.”.
For our friends who are teachers, parents, or students … this is the “real deal.”

When I played this, I saw the brief introduction of the speaker, and I waited for him to arrive on stage … Of course, I had a pre-conceived notion of what the speaker would look like, how he would dress, etc. … What I saw, on stage, was, well … jaw-dropping … then, I heard the speaker … my jaw never recovered from its dropped state … as I heard, in, admittedly, disbelief, the words which came from the speaker’s mouth … I must also admit that I could not tear myself away from the presentation …
Hey-I just noticed that the word “tear” and “tear” are spelled the same … I guess I always knew this, but it strikes me now that they are spelled exactly the same …
As I could not “tear” myself away from the speaker, the other meaning of “tear” would make its way to me, as I sat and listened at my desk, amazed at what I was hearing … and, from whom I was hearing it from.
(Note to fellow teachers: Did you notice the way that I recovered nicely, and used the word “whom” correctly?)

Again, I know that this was recorded, in Dallas, Texas, in 2008, but for those of you, like myself, who had never seen this, please enjoy Dalton Sherman, in front of 20,000, kicking off the school year with “Believe in Me.”

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Can a Video Really Change our Perspective of an Athlete?

Yes … it can.
Or, shall we say … it still can.

I’m not immune from the “news of the day,” even though I don’t watch much news, or anything on network television other than football … which, unfortunately, has been where much of the news seems to come from these days. It doesn’t seem to matter that we don’t hear so much about the 99% of athletes who are not in trouble …
So … back to our question:
Can a Video Really Change our Perspective of an Athlete?
It still can.

Let’s go back to 1979/80:
To a commercial which changed the way the world looked at a defensive tackle who had earned the name of “Mean Joe” Greene. Born Charles Edward Greene, “Mean Joe” Greene is still considered one of the greatest defensive linemen to ever play in the NFL. He was the cornerstone of the legendary “Steel Curtain” defense, and is the last surviving member of that legendary Pittsburgh Steelers foursome.

“Mean Joe” Greene was considered … well … mean … right?
Unapproachable. Unfriendly. Someone you wouldn’t want to run into (literally).
That player that everybody hated to play against, but would love to have on your team.

Anyway … then came that “Coca-Cola” commercial. And, that “changed everything.” It really changed the way “we” viewed Mean Joe Greene. How popular was that “Coke” commercial?
Whenever I did a search for information on “Mean Joe” Greene, right along with the Hall of Fame stats, was always the mention of that commercial, still considered to be one of the greatest television commercials of all time. Mr. Greene has said that he has received more mail as a result of that one commercial than for his entire football career.

Two things I learned from watching the new “A Football Life” documentary: The lady who was behind the Coke commercial wasn’t a football fan, and had never heard of “Mean Joe.” But, she thought the idea of having someone with a name like that in this type of commercial may be effective.

Can a Video Really Change our Perspective of an Athlete?
As I found out from one of the videos we feature, “most of the letters were from mothers, who thanked him for being an example of kindness for their children.”
By the way, “Mean Joe” Greene received the prestigious “NFL Man of the Year Award” in 1979, which honors a player’s volunteer and charity work, as well as his excellence on the field. The name of this award was later changed to Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year.

So, enjoy this look back. The commercial first aired in October of 1979, and really gained attention when it appeared in the Super Bowl in early 1980.

The first video features the commercial, with comments made from football player “Mean Joe” Greene, right after the commercial aired:

This next video, is from the Coca-Cola company, and I wanted to include this because this features “Papa Joe” talking about the effects of the commercial … how it changed the way people looked at him …

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Email Classics: Baptist Campground: B.C.

A very proper lady began planning a week’s camping vacation for her Baptist church group. She wrote to a campground for reservations. She wanted to make sure that the campground was fully equipped and modern, but couldn’t bring herself to write the word “toilet” in her letter. So, she decided on the old-fashioned term “Bathroom Commode.” Once written down she still was not comfortable.
Finally she decided on the abbreviation “B.C.” and wrote,
“Does your campground have its own “B.C.?”


When the campground owner received the letter, he couldn’t figure out what she meant by “B.C.” He showed it to several of the campers, one of whom suggested the lady was obviously referring to a Baptist Church, since there was letterhead on the paper which referred to a Baptist Church. So he sent this reply:

Dear Madam:
The B.C. is located nine miles from the campground in a beautiful grove of trees. I admit it is quite a distance if you are in the habit of going regularly. No doubt you will be pleased to know that it will seat 350 people at one time, and it is open on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday of each week. Some folks like to take their lunch and make a day of it. The acoustics are very good, so everyone can hear even the quietest passages. It may interest you to know that my daughter met her husband there. We are also having a fundraising to purchase new seats, as the old ones have holes in them. Unfortunately my wife is ill and has not been able to attend regularly. It’s been a good six months since she last went. It pains her very much not to be able to go more often. As we grow older, it seems to be more of an effort, especially in cold weather. Perhaps I could accompany you the first time you go, sit with you, and introduce you to all the other folks who will be there. I look forward to your visit. We offer a very friendly campground.”
Camp Director

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Classic Video: John Wayne’s Words to Daughter Marisa

I am continuing to enjoy my personal study of the book of Proverbs. As I continue to study, I am struck by how personal the book is. Much of it is written as a loving father giving words of instruction to his children, as in Proverbs 4:20: “My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings,” and 4:10: “Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings …”

I discovered this video of John Wayne, making an appearance on the Dean Martin television program. John Wayne’s youngest daughter, Marisa, was only 8 months old, which would have placed this in October of 1966. After a couple of jokes, Dean Martin asked John Wayne what he wanted for his baby daughter. Here was his answer:
“I’d like her to know some of the values we knew as kids … some of those values that too many people these days are thinking are old-fashioned … Most all, I want her to be grateful as I am, every day of my life, to live in these United States.
The first thing my daughter’s learning from me is the Lord’s Prayer, and some of the Psalms. And I really don’t care if she ever memorizes the Gettysburg Address (how about that!), just so long as she understands it. And, since little girls are seldom called upon (remember, this was 1966) to defend their country, she may never have to raise her hand for that oath … but, I certainly want her to respect all those who do.
I guess that’s about what I want for my daughter …”

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Before You Get Success, You Must Get This-Part Two

Maybe it was the start of a new school year … or being in the middle of a major home improvement project which is testing not only my strength and endurance, but my ability to learn new “do it yourself” skills … I felt led to begin, next, a study of the book of Proverbs. However … there is never a time in my life … any day … in which I don’t need more wisdom and understanding.
Wisdom and understanding.

If you think about it, what better way to start your day (there’s that rhyme again!) than by consulting the book of Proverbs. But then, there’s not a day that goes by, when I don’t need more wisdom and understanding. When I need all the help I can get to “think right, do right.” I was watching the Thursday Night Football pregame show, and of course, much of the discussion was not about football, but players’ actions off of the field. I found it interesting that host James Brown, in addressing recent news events, challenged all men to take the lead in their “thoughts, words, and deeds.” Almost like he’d been reading our cards.

We’ve written much about how impossible it is to control our thoughts, words, and deeds without the Word of God, and prayer. Every day. And, how important it is to get your day started
right, with both.
Wisdom and understanding. God’s Word and prayer. To get both, you need both.
I have written much about the importance of wisdom and understanding, using not just the book of Proverbs, but all of Scripture.

God has really impressed upon me the importance of Proverbs 4:5-9, leading to the title, “Before You Get Success-You Must Get This-First.” These early verses in Proverbs explain what real success is … and how to get it. And … perhaps even more important: How to keep it. It all begins with wisdom and understanding. It really struck me how critical these two words are to success in every area, every part of your life, every day. Often, when we think of success on the job, we think of the word “promotion.” Even that is included within this passage.

Here are the words, directly from Proverbs 4:5-9:
“Get wisdom and understanding: forget it not … Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principle thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honor, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.”

To really get the picture, to really understand the words, I paraphrased this passage, and it really made the whole process so clear to me. It is amazing how clear the message is:
“Get wisdom and understanding:
Do not forget wisdom and understanding.
Do not forsake wisdom and understanding, and wisdom and understanding shall preserve you: Love wisdom and understanding, and wisdom and understanding shall keep you.
Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all your getting get understanding. Exalt wisdom and understanding, and wisdom and understanding shall promote you:
Wisdom and understanding shall bring you to honor, when you embrace wisdom and understanding.
Wisdom and understanding shall place on your head an ornament of grace:
Wisdom and understanding shall deliver to you a crown of glory.”

When you study Scripture, to fully understand the particular passage you are studying, you must always read what comes before, and after, the passage.
Before this passage, there are these words:
“Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live” (Proverbs 4:4).
And, after the passage, “Hear … and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many” (Proverbs 4:10).

Blessings,
R.V.R.

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Before You Get Success, You Must Get This-Part One

God’s Word is so wonderful, so awesome … and, so necessary. 

Every day.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to make a point to spend time every day, reading God’s Word, and praying/speaking to Him. For me, the best time is first thing in the morning. There is just no better way to start you day (hey, that’s a great rhyme!) than to read God’s Word and pray.

Young Christians often ask me what the first book in the Bible I would recommend for them to read. Usually, I will say the book of John, and then move on to the other Gospels. The reason why is simple: First, you must know Jesus. He is the only One who can save you, and keep you. Period. So, get to know Him first and foremost. Learn what you are in Him, through Him, and because of Him. I try to pray every day that I would see other people the way He does. And, that I would see myself the way that He does. But, first, you must know Him, and the best way to do that is to read His Word. Read about Him first … and, then, He will lead you into the next phase of your study.

Every book of the Bible has its own great reasons for spending time to study. For example, I would have never imagined that the book of Haggai was so deep in meaning for all of us today. I would have also never thought that I would get so many lessons from just those 2 chapters, but that is how God’s Word is. I had read the book of Haggai many times (as part of reading through the Bible), but, it was only when God directed me to study the book, next, that I discovered how rich the book is. It is because God revealed so much to me, and He wanted to reveal all these things to me, to help me in my own walk with Him.

It is so hard, if not impossible, to have a relationship with someone you don’t know. And, how can you possibly have a relationship with someone you don’t talk with? And, if you do all of the talking, how will you, how can you, know what is on the other person’s mind? And, if you don’t listen, how can the other person really know that you are interested in them?

God will reveal Himself to you through His Word, and then in the time which you spend talking, and listening to Him. How hard is it to have a good, meaningful conversation with someone, in the middle of a loud, busy restaurant, or other loud place, full of distractions? This is why it is so important for you to get somewhere alone, away from the crowd, away from distractions, and spend quiet time, alone, with God. Reading His Word, and listening. How many times have we seen a couple, maybe just getting to know each other, and they are in a crowded restaurant, or train station, or shopping mall …. and, one will say to the other, “Let’s go somewhere quiet where we can talk.” Jesus, who wants a personal, intimate relationship with you-more than anyone else-also wants to “go to a quiet place with you so that we can talk.” He speaks though His Word, and He speaks to us, gently, yes quietly, as we spend time with Him in prayer.

As you read and study God’s Word, He will direct you to “where you should go next.”

There are times in our lives, when we are going through the toughest times, when we’ll be directed to certain passages in the Bible. We’ve all been there. When I was going through the toughest part of my life, for reasons I can’t explain, God led me to 1st and 2nd Peter. Then, He led me to the book of Isaiah. To this day, when I read something in the book of Isaiah, I get a certain “feeling” which I can’t explain. It’s just that that book, Isaiah, meant so much to me. A book which I didn’t understand at all … until God led me to it, and revealed things to me as I read. Things which I would not have known, or understood, unless I had read this book. Most of all, things I learned about Him by reading the book. And, that is always the idea.
Always.

There are so many books in the Bible I’ve read, during study or preparation, which I have gone back and read-after God directed me to them again … this time, to go back and read for His purpose. Often, and you know this is true: You can study, in preparation, a passage or entire book of Scripture, and yes, God will reveal much to you. But, when He leads you back to that very same book-for His purpose, His preparation of you, it’s like you are reading the book for the very first time. And, the more you read and study, the more God will lead you to something else. And, that’s when you get so much more out of your study.

I also love the Psalms, which was my Mom’s favorite book. Like so many, who have followed the Lord for years, the book of Psalms holds such a special place for us, as we return again and again to those pages and verses which have helped us all during our toughest, most trying times.

Anyway, there are so many books, and, so many in the Old Testament, which I love so dearly, and each time I return, it’s like I’ve never read them. For instance, how often we may forget just how great a book Deuteronomy is. Or, how about the story of Joseph? Of Median?
Are there any better first chapters in the Bible than the first chapters of Daniel? Please understand my meaning … I’m not putting one book over the other. The four Gospels, I believe, stand alone. Yet, in their own way … all of the books in the Bible stand alone. That is one of the great things about the Bible. Each time you read something you haven’t read in a long time, it’s like reading it all over again.

Would you believe that I began this writing to speak about the book of Proverbs, and something which God revealed to me this morning? Once again, God took over, wanting me to share this with you. So, I’ll make this Part 1, and try to get to Proverbs next time.
God is so good.

So, to have a successful day, first read God’s Word, and then you pray.
Still like that rhyme!

Blessings,
R.V.R.
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