Saturday, November 24, 2012

Pondering the Book, The Harbinger

What is becoming of our society?  We are traveling rapidly down a very slippery slope.  I am not sure where we will end up.

I have been reading the book "The Harbinger" and it really has me thinking.  This is not lighthearted reading.  It is one of those books that keeps you thinking and pondering.  It also keeps you engaged in the story.  I recommend it to those who look around and cannot quite put their finger on what is wrong with what is happening in our society.  But for those who do know for certain, we are way off track as a country.

Those of us who are patriotic and love our country and all it stands for, or at the least, stood for, I recommend this book.

Amazon - The Harbinger
  The Harbinger: The ancient mystery that holds the secret of America's future

Friday, July 27, 2012

Getting Dressed

Looking at the Old Testament and New Testament verses that tell us to "put on".

Click here to see all of the scripture verses in the Old and New testament telling us to put on something.

As I ponder these verses, I think of our daily routine.  We get up out of bed, we eat breakfast, we shower, and we chose to get dressed for the day.  We women tend to contemplate our attire more deeply than our male counterparts. Either way, we all make an effort to get dressed.

So as I review these verses, as I stated in my pondering of the OT verses, So our garments that we PUT ON spiritually transmit holiness?  It sure is worth thinking on.   

What are we told to put on?
Put on righteousness, and it clothed me; My justice was like a robe and a turban.
Put on strength
Put on righteousness like a breastplate, And a helmet of salvation on His head 
And He put on garments of vengeance for clothing And wrapped Himself with zeal as a mantle.

Put on the Lord Jesus Christ
Put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.
Put on the new self,
Put on the full armor of God
Put On the New Self
Put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience ;
Put on love
Put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.

So we are to intentionally to get dressed each day spiritually just as we do physically.  We are to be clothed in Jesus Christ.  We mortals are to put on immortality as God has set eternity in our hearts.  As we put on Jesus, we cannot manufacture it.  As we sit quietly in His presence, basking in that fellowship, He becomes our armor bearer.  The armor bearer helps the warrior PUT ON their armor before the battle.  We cannot do it ourselves.  We must come before our armor bearer and allow Him to work with us as we CHOSE to PUT ON all that we are to PUT ON for the day.  You see we have an armor bearer that KNOWS what we need to wear in order to face the day that is before us. 

So as we choose to be clothed in Christ, we will be a new self, we will be compassionate, kind, humble, gentle and patient.  As we allow Christ to dress us in this new self

Since we no longer really use a breastplate, lets take a look at what it is.
  • One definition says it is a device worn over the torso to protect it from injury, as an item of religious significance, or as an item of status. (I think the closest thing we have in our time is the bullet proof vest)
Read some of the information regarding the breastplate on this web page.  It is beautifully written. The Breastplate of the High Priest   Also  from Breastplate of Righteousness    "At the time the Bible was written, the breastplate was perhaps the most important piece of armament for a Roman soldier to put on and keep on in battle.  It protected his heart area, and other vital organs.  What significance does the “breastplate of righteousness” have for believers now? It is perhaps best understood in this manner:

  • Project yourself into the future.  Imagine standing before God on the Judgment Day.  You will enter the place of Judgment with one of these two garments.
  • 1) Your filthy robe of unrighteous rags.
  • 2) Christ’s spotless robe of righteousness.  
  • Either you will have your filthy unrighteous robe of rags covering you, or you will have Christ’s spotless robe of righteousness covering you -- there is no third robe God will allow you to wear on the Judgment Day.  And ... it will be your choice of which robe you will be wearing: God gives each of us that choice right now. 
  • How do we describe your or my “filthy robe of rags?”  Our robe of filthy, sin-saturated rags is our own perceived holiness – our own perceived righteousness - we bring or attempt to present to God, based on our “religious doing good.”  This was what we ignorantly (or pridefully) did during our lifetime on earth to try to help make ourselves “good enough” to be allowed to spend eternity in heaven with God."
The battle for Christians is in the mind. Thoughts believed become spirit. God has given us armor to protect us in this thought life battle. Righteousness is the first thing to seek, and the first thing the devil wants to take from you. If he can get your righteousness he can inflict a terrible wound.  The devil always wants Christians to base their righteousness on their own performance. Your performance will never qualify you to be righteous. Even if you had a a perfectly flawless performance and never sinned but one time you would be disqualified. The bible says Jesus is our righteousness. When the priests took the lamb before the sacrifice in the temple they examined the lamb for the flaws not the person bringing the lamb. If you start talking to the devil about anything righteousness related that relies on your performance you loose. The only righteousness that exists for human kind is the blood of Jesus Christ. Their is no human righteousness. If you messed up then put it under the blood and use your breastplate.
Joseph prince quote:
“I believe that right believing leads to right living. You cannot set yourself free from condemnation by self-efforts. But when you believe the finished work of Jesus has made you righteous in God’s eyes, you receive His power to reign over your negative circumstances and live the abundant life.
Condemnation kills, but the Spirit gives life! Always look to the finished work of Jesus who paid the price for your freedom. Look and live!”
As a trainer in the fitness industry, I am always encouraging my clients to strengthen their core.  the reason we strengthen the core is so we can stand strong and be able to properly support our structure.  A strong core helps prevent injuries and maintain healthy living, it also allows you to do the things you need to do with less fatigue.  ALL physical movements originate in the "core"

Protection from Prosperity

Protect yourself against prosperity that brings death spiritually.  How?  I believe the Lord wants to bless us.
Prosperity deals with overall well being, abundance, and overflow.  So when we are in abundance of anything, we grow complacent in that area.  We forget who supplied the abundance and that very forgetfulness can become the reason we lose it.

We protect prosperity by being thankful to the ONE that supplied it.

God wants to bless us with all spiritual blessings, but because he is such a great Daddy, He will only give us what we are ready for and what we can handle.  Too much abundance brings death to the soul.

Be on guard.

Remember we enter His presence with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise.  So praise Him for who He is and thank Him for all He has done, and as always, walk in obedience to Him daily.

Just a few moments ago I posted another blog post about the book The Harbinger.  Read the two in relationship to each other.  This was a post I had prepared some time ago but held onto it in my drafts.  I guess it was not finished with it.  But as I was reading thru my old drafts, I couldn't get passed how it pertains to the book I am reading and referenced in my post this very day.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Paul Harvey's Prophecy

This is a little something that was sent to me in an email.  Just something to ponder.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Focus on the Present

We need to learn to LIVE in the present. It is the only time/situation you can affect. You can't change the past. Worrying about the future will not alter it one bit. So deal with the future once it is today. Did you know that about 90% of the things we worry about never happen. That means we worry for nothing 90% of the time. Besides worrying doesn't do anything to help the situation. It just robs us of the moment we have before us. So BE ALERT to the moment. Live in the moment. You will feel much better and enjoy where you are. Even enjoy your life. We can make good intentional choices and decisions TODAY.

If your current moment is filled with Lemons, learn to love lemonade. Remember, no matter how hard you try to make a lemon into an orange, it will never be. So add lots of SUGAR (SWEETNESS) and drink up. You may not love lemons and prefer the orange, but maybe in this season of your life, God knows you need the lemons! YIKES

Renovation (again?)

Going thru another renovation in my home.  This time it is the small 1960's size bathroom (looks like an average size closet).  We cannot really increase the size but we are updating the look.  As I am typing this, there is the sound of breaking tile and hammering going on.  The cement behind the tile is really thick and the there is wire behind that.  I think it is going to take lots of time and effort to get that out of there.

However, progress is noisy, messy, intrusive in our daily lives.  But in order to go from where we are to where we want/need to be, it takes going thru the mess, noise and discomfort.  Spiritually speaking, God never wants to leave us in our current state.  He has plans for us that go beyond what we can even fathom.  We long to be significant yet we don't want to get out of our comfort zone in order to become significant.

I was watching a movie "What If..."  and this angel is talking to the main character.  The man says to the angel, "It can't be that simple."  And the angel replied, "It is that simple. It is just hard."  That made me think that the entire Christian walk is that way.  It really is simple but it is hard for us because we really don't want to go thru the renovation process with our Lord.  It takes work, it is painful and yes sometimes it can be a bit annoying and noisy.  We really just want Him to do a miracle in us and immediately have the new person appear.  We always like the miraculous, but God loves the process.  He also knows us.  We need that time, and that process in order to appreciate the work He does in us.  We think of miracles as being those instant changes, but that process works in us a maturity and a staying power in us that no instant fix can ever do.   so really that process of God working in us is a miracle.

BUT with my bathroom scenario, the process of change takes time, hammering, strange smells, LOTS OF DUST, and the intrusiveness of having people in my home until the BEAUTY of a new bathroom appears.  So will be the case for us and our process of change to become significant and be able to be used by God in His purpose for our lives.

So here is my question for the day; Are we willing to go thru the pain, discomfort and interruptions to become the beautiful creation that our Lord died for us to become?  The only way we can truly see what He has in mind for our lives is to surrender to Him and tell Him you are ready for your new remodel!!!!!!!!!

Let the construction begin!

PS. I came across a little statement that I thought went along well with this topic.  "It was never promised to us to be easy, only worth it."

Be blessed today.
Your sister in Christ

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Love Letter Christ

2 Cor 3:3  Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts.        

Oh I want to be a letter worth reading!  How will that be possible?  I think through cooperation with the Holy Spirit in full surrender, willing to be molded by obedience to God's word, allowing my "own evil desires" to be crucified daily, and learning to walk in love; I will be a love letter from Christ to the world worth reading.

Wow, the world needs this  hope and yet the very place I am called to minister (the world) can become a distraction to me.  The world can become so enticing that we loose sight of our Lord, our calling, and our ministry.  It makes my heart ache at how much the world needs what we have, which is the hope of glory and salvation.  But believers in Christ who get distracted by the world are like a doctor you go to for help with your health and the doctor is too distracted by his own health that he starts talking more about his own ailments than being concerned for your welfare.

We were called to demonstrate the "results" of being reconciled with God through Christ to a world that is in desparate need of the same results.  Although they may not know it, they too need to be reconciled with God.  This reconciliation should bring about a life of joy, love, peace, patience, kindness, compassion.  Is the world seeing that in the believers?  We each need to search our hearts and answer that question honestly.

I for one want my life to be a letter worth reading!!


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Be Still and Know that I am God

 Pondering the things that consume our time.  I wonder how it is that we get so busy doing things that we may have even been led by the Holy Spirit to do.  Yet in the midst of the execution of our tasks, we lose site of the one that called us to it.  I think that I personally forget that the reason the Lord called me was in order that I may be His instrument to accomplish HIS will.  I can feel myself saying in the middle of the busyness "well I have got it from here" and just going on my merry way just doing the thing by my self.

You know that God created us because He wanted to be in relationship with us.  Not so we could "do things" for Him.

I am really trying to rest in the "be still and know that He is God" command right now.  That is right where I am and where I want to stay.  It is such a great place of rest for me.

I have been in the middle of some serious activity.  Things have been going on that just gets your attention.  I spend WAY too much time in the trenches.  As I am in the midst of this whirlwind of activity, I have to remind myself that I am too busy NOT to seek the Lord.

Hoping to have some much needed time of rest and rejuvenation.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Science vs. Faith

Young EinsteinA friend shared this information with me and I just had to pass it on.  It is worth taking the time to read.

Let me explain the problem science has with religion.' The atheist professor of philosophy pauses before his class and then asks one of his new students to stand. 

'You're a Christian, aren't you, son?'

'Yes sir,' the student says.

'So you believe in God?'


'Is God good?'

'Sure! God's good.' 'Is God all-powerful?

Can God do anything?'


'Are you good or evil?'

'The Bible says I'm evil.'

The professor grins knowingly. 'Aha! The Bible!' He considers for a moment, 'Here's one for you. Let's say there's a sick person over here and you can cure him. You can do it. Would you help him? Would you try?'

'Yes sir, I would.'

'So you're good!'

'I wouldn't say that.'

'But why not say that? You'd help a sick and maimed person if you could.. Most of us would if we could. But God doesn't.'

The student does not answer, so the professor continues. 'He doesn't, does he? My brother was a Christian who died of cancer, even though he prayed to Jesus to heal him. How is this Jesus good? Hmmm? Can you answer that one?'

The student remained silent.

'No, you can't, can you?' the professor says. He takes a sip of water from glass on his desk to give the student time to relax. 'Let's start again, young fella. Is God good?'

'Er...yes,' the student says.

'Is Satan good?'

The student doesn't hesitate on this one, 'No.' '

Then where does Satan come from?'

The student falters, 'From God.'

'That's right. God made Satan, didn't he? Tell me, son. Is there evil in this world?'

'Yes, sir...' 'Evil's everywhere, isn't it? And God did make everything, correct?'


'So who created evil?' The professor continued, 'If God created everything, then God created evil, since evil exists, and according to the principle that our works define who we are, then God is evil.'

Again, the student has no answer.

'Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things, do they exist in this world?'

The student squirms on his feet. 'Yes.'

'So who created them?'

The student does not answer again, so the professor repeats his question, 'Who created them?' There is still no answer...

Suddenly the lecturer breaks away to pace in front of the classroom. The class is mesmerized. 'Tell me,' he continues onto another student. 'Do you believe in Jesus Christ, son?'

The student's voice betrays him and cracks. 'Yes, professor, I do.'

The old man stops pacing, 'Science says you have five senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Have you ever seen Jesus?' 'No sir. I've never seen Him.' 'Have you ever felt your Jesus, tasted your Jesus or smelt your Jesus? Have you ever had any sensory perception of Jesus Christ, or God for that matter?'

'No, sir, I'm afraid I haven't.'

'Yet you still believe in him?'


'According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your God doesn't exist. What do you say to that, son?'

'Nothing,' the student replies. 'I only have my faith.'

'Yes, faith,' the professor repeats. 'And that is the problem science has with God. There is no evidence, only faith.'

The student stands quietly for a moment, before asking a question of His own.

'Professor, is there such thing as heat?'

'Yes,' the professor replies. 'There's heat.'

'And is there such a thing as cold?'

'Yes, son, there's cold too.'

'No sir, there isn't..'

The professor turns to face the student, obviously interested. The room suddenly becomes very quiet.

The student begins to explain... 'You can have lots of heat, even more heat, super-heat, mega-heat, unlimited heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat, but we don't have anything called 'cold'. We can hit up to 458 degrees below zero, which is no heat, but we can't go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold; otherwise we would be able to go colder than the lowest -458 degrees.' 'Everybody or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy. Absolute zero (-458 F) is the total absence of heat. You see, sir, cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat we can measure in thermal units because heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.'

Silence settled across the room. A pen dropped somewhere in the classroom, sounding like a hammer.

'What about darkness, professor. Is there such a thing as darkness?'

'Yes,' the professor replies without hesitation. 'What is night if it isn't darkness?'

'You're wrong again, sir. Darkness is not something; it is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light, but if you have no light constantly you have nothing and its called darkness, isn't it? That's the meaning we use to define the word. In reality, darkness isn't. If it were, you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn't you?'

The professor begins to smile at the student in front of him. This will be a good semester.

'So what point are you making, young man?'

'Yes, professor. My point is, your philosophical premise is flawed to start with, and so your conclusion must also be flawed.'

The professor's face cannot hide his surprise this time, 'Flawed? Can you explain how?'

'You are working on the premise of duality,' the student explains... 'You argue that there is life and then there's death; a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can't even explain a thought.' 'It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life, just the absence of it...' 'Now tell me, professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?'

'If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, young man, yes, of course I do.'

'Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?'

The professor begins to shake his head, still smiling, as he realizes where the argument is going. A very good semester, indeed.

'Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you now not a scientist, but a preacher?'

The class was in uproar. The student remained silent until the commotion has subsided. 'To continue the point you were making earlier to the other student, let me give you an example of what I mean.' The student looked around the room, 'Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the professor's brain?'

The class broke out into laughter. 'Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor's brain, felt the professor's brain, touched or smelt the professor's brain? No one appeared to have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, with all due respect, sir.' 'So if science says you have no brain, how can we trust your lectures, sir?'

Now the room is silent. The professor just stared at the student, his face unreadable. Finally, after what seems an eternity, the old man answered, 'I guess you'll have to take them on faith.'

'Now, you accept that there is faith, and, in fact, faith exists with life,' the student continued, 'Now, sir, is there such a thing as evil?'

Now uncertain, the professor responded, 'Of course, there is. We see it everyday. It is in the daily example of man's inhumanity to man. It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. These manifestations are nothing else but evil.'

To this the student replied, 'Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God's love present in his heart. It's like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light.'

The professor sat down.

The student was Albert Einstein.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Churchy Words

 As I read my devotion yesterday from Jesus Calling, it challenged me to walk by faith and not by sight.  That is something that our church is challenged with each Sunday as we are about to end the service.  So as I read the devotion, I began to think on the word faith.  We say it so often.  I decided to do a word study on it.

American Heritage dictionary says it is a confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea or thing.  2. Belief that doesn't rest on logical proof or material evidence.  3. Loyalty to a person or thing: allegiance 4. a.Belief in and trust in God. b. religious conviction  5. a system of religious beliefs

Then looking at those definitions, I began to wonder about the word believe or belief.

Belief is the mental act, condition or habit of placing trust or confidence in a person or thing. 2. Mental acceptance of or conviction in the truth or actuality of something.  3. Something believed or accepted as true

Believe is to accept as true or real. 2. to credit with veracity.

Websters: faith is belief especially in a revealed religion: trust or reliance ; a system of religious doctrines believed in ; loyalty ; pledged word

Belief in Websters is full acceptance of a thing as true and believe is to regard as true; to trust.

So as you look at what we are being asked to do, when we are asked to walk by faith and not by sight; we are being asked to trust God even when it looks like all is falling apart.   Even when it looks as if you have everything in life going your way, to trust Him and what He says as true.

Basically we need to not trust what we see with our eyes.  For that which is before us can be misleading whether good or bad.

So if we are going to be people of faith, we need to stand behind what the word says to be true which is what God says is true.  It was faith that caused God to count Abraham as righteous.  It was doubting God that caused Adam and Eve to be cast out of Eden and into unrighteousness.

We must learn to trust God and all that He says to be able to stand up to all the accusations, temptations and attacks that come from the enemy and our own EVIL DESIRES that cause us to be enticed and dragged away according to James 1:14.

Friday, March 9, 2012

More Churchy Words

In light of the previous posts, I wanted to continue down this road with the churchy words we often use and may not fully comprehend their meaning.  there are a multitude of them and I may continue down this path, but for now, here are a few that just encouraged me to look at.  also, some of the words I just didn't get until I started researching them.

Emmanuel - God with us!!!!

He promises never to leave us nor to forsake us.    I find that so incredibly comforting.

Mount - the verb - to rise or ascend
           to get up on something above the level of the ground
           to go up:  climb
This brings to my mind the verse from Isaiah that references the "mount up on wings as eagles."  The verse that inspired this blog.  Also, the definitions remind me of two songs.  "You Raise Me Up" by Selah,    and "I Will Rise" by Chris Tomlin.

Grace - Receiving something you can never deserve or earn.  Unearned favor

Mercy - Where there is guilt yet not receiving a punishment you deserve

"I Lift My Hands" by Chris Tomlin

Fetter - chain or shackle for the feet; something that confines; restraint

Fount - fountain or source

Ebenezer - Stone of Help. The name Eben-Ezer also means "God has led us thus far" or "Thus far God has helped us" according to 1 Samuel 7:12. 

Look at the words in the old hymn, "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" which uses some of these words in the lyrics.  Over the years the song went through changes.  See below the various versions.  Click on this link and scroll down to see all the lyrics.

How Big is God

If we want to take take some time to reflect on just how big God is (I mean just trying to get some sort of perspective) and reflect on how small we are in comparison, take the time to watch these clips.  This is just a simple reality check on the absolute vastness of God.  This should humble us all.

How big is God part 1 by Louis Giglio

Part 2 Take a look at the size of the planets in relation to earth 

Earth's Size Compared to Some of the Planets

The Planets in Perspective

Our Star Compared to Several Others

Our Sun in Perspective with some other Stars

Drum roll....

Doesn't that make you feel small?

But wait:  Check this out! Take a look at yourself.

Part 3: You are fearfully and wonderfully made.  

Quote by St. Augustine:  Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering.

Part 4  This is the one regarding Laminin

Hang in there, this is Part 5 and the end

He will strengthen you and hold you in his righteous right hand.

We are held together
Col 1:13-20 The Incomparable Christ
13 For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation16 For by Him all things were createdboth in the heavens and on earthvisible and invisiblewhether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together18 He is also head of the body, the church ; and He is the beginningthe firstborn from the deadso that He Himself will come to have first place in everything19 For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross ; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.

"How Great is Our God" by Chris Tomlin

The "CHURCHY" Words We Use - Hallelujah

I remember when it occurred to me that Hallelujah is one of those churchy words that I would blindly sing.  Since I had heard it all of my life, I just used it as all of us have.  But it was one of those words that I would sing without REALLY comprehending what I was truly saying.  So I stopped singing it until I could really grasp its meaning.  I began to research it.  I remember when I was doing a study by Beth Moore called "Stepping Up".  In Week 5 day 1 she talked about this word Hallelujah.

This is a quote from that day.  "The Hebrew reference "Yah" is also spelled "Jah".  this shortened form of the covenant name "Yaweh" is employed many times in the Hebrew Old Testament.  You say it every time you use the word, Hallelujah, meaning "Praise ye Jah".  Here is the part I find most intriguing: "JAH is a shortened form of Jehovah..Pronounced "ya", this name signifies, HE IS, and can be made to correspond to I AM, just as Jehovah corresponds to the fuller expression I AM THAT I AM.

This is what I found in reference to the definition of Hallelujah:
Hallelujah meaning "Praise Yah". The last syllable is from the first two letters of the name of God, YHWH.  the word is used a great deal in the Psalms in part of the Hallel prayers. Psalms, e.g. 111–117145–150, and four times in Revelation.
"hallelujah" means more than simply "praise Yah", as the word hallel in Hebrew means a joyous praise in song, to boast in God. Hallel could also refer to someone who acts madly or foolishly.
The second part, Yah, is a shortened form of YHWH, the name for the Creator. This name is not pronounced by Jews, as they do not permit the speaking of the name of God, and in any case the correct pronunciation is not known.
The word hallelujah occurring in Psalms is therefore a request for a congregation to join in praise toward God. It can be translated as "Praise God" or "Praise Yahweh, you people", and is usually worded in English contexts as "Praise the LORD".
"Hallelujah" appears in Revelation 19, the great song of praise to God for his triumph over the Whore of Babylon.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Hosanna! What does it mean?

I often sing great songs in worship along with other believers in church.  I am occasionally troubled in my soul when I am singing words I really am not sure of its meaning.  Some of the older songs that use words like "fetter" "fount" and even "hallelujah".   I remember several years ago I sensed that I wanted to be authentic and truly sing the words in worship from my heart to the Lord.  I began noticing there were many CHURCHY words that I really had sang for years that I really couldn't get my heart around.  So I would not sing them.  I would go home and research the words and once I could grasp the meaning I could them sing the song unto the Lord!  You could not believe how much deeper and richer my time of praise to the Lord became.  It brought life to my personal time of praise with the body of Christ.

So I was singing a song in church one Sunday and I began to try to remember EXACTLY what I had learned about the true meaning of the word Hosanna.  That morning I looked it up in various places and came across these sermon notes.  I wanted to share it.  I was so encouraged.  I hope you find encouragement as well. 

March 27, 1983
(Palm Sunday Evening)
Bethlehem Baptist Church
John Piper, Pastor


I know one of the concerns of the children's music ministry is that the children understand what they are singing and that they mean it. And I share that concern for our people. In a moment the choir will sing a song called, "Hosanna, Hosanna!" And after that we all will sing a song which begins: "Hosanna in the highest!" So I want to give a little lesson in Greek and Hebrew to make sure we all know what the New Testament means when it says in three different places, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" (Mt. 21:9,15), or "Hosanna in the highest!" (Mk. 11:9,10), or simply, "Hosanna!" (John 12:13).
You all know that the New Testament was first written in Greek and the Old Testament was first written in Hebrew. Wherever the word "hosanna" occurs in the New Testament do you know what the Greek word is? Right! It's "hosanna." All the English translators did was use English letters (h-o-s-a-n-n-a) to make the sound of a Greek word.
But if you look in a Greek dictionary to find what it means, you know what you find? You find that it is really not originally a Greek word after all. The men who wrote the New Testament in Greek did the same thing to a Hebrew word that our English translators did to the Greek word: they just used Greek letters (UNABLE TO DISPLAY GREEK CHARACTERS ) to make the sound of a Hebrew phrase ( UNABLE TO DISPLAY HEBREW CHARACTERS ). I know this sounds sort of complicated. But it's really not. Our English word "hosanna" comes from a Greek word "hosanna" which comes from a Hebrew phrase hoshiya na.
And that Hebrew phrase is found one solitary place in the whole Old Testament, Psalm 118:25, where it means, "Save, please!" It is a cry to God for help. Like when somebody pushes out off the diving board before you can swim and you come up hollering: "Help, save me" … "Hoshiya na!"
But something happened to that phrase, hoshiya na. The meaning changed over the years. In the psalm it was immediately followed by the exclamation: "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" The cry for help, hoshiya na, was answered almost before it came out of the psalmist's mouth. And over the centuries the phrase hoshiya na stopped being a cry for help in the ordinary language of the Jews. Instead it became a shout of hope and exultation. It used to mean, "Save, please!" But gradually it came to mean, "Salvation! Salvation! Salvation has come!" It used to be what you would say when you fell off the diving board. But it came to be what you would say when you see the lifeguard coming to save you! It is the bubbling over of a heart that sees hope and joy and salvation on the way and can't keep it in.
So "Hosanna!" means, "Hooray for salvation! It's coming! It's here! Salvation! Salvation!"
And "Hosanna to the Son of David!" means, "The Son of David is our salvation! Hooray for the king! Salvation belongs to the king!"
And "Hosanna in the highest!" means, "Let all the angels in heaven join the song of praise. Salvation! Salvation! Let the highest heaven sing the song!"
Picture a super bowl game, and (believe it or not) the Vikings are three points ahead of the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers are on their own 35 and have no more time outs. There are two seconds remaining on the clock. The Vikings' fans are going wild. The Steelers line up, fake a pass to the receivers on the left field line and run a wide sweep around the right end and the quarterback breaks into the open and heads down the right sideline -- 40 - 45 - 50 - 45. The only hope for the Vikings is Willie Teal, the safety, cutting a diagonal across the field. And out of the Vikings' grandstand come two kinds of Hosannas, the old kind and the new kind. One part of the crowd is yelling: "Catch him! Catch him, Willie!" (That's the old Hosanna.) The other part of the crowd is yelling, "You got him! You got him, Willie!" (That's the new Hosanna.) The word moved from plea to praise; from cry to confidence.
So when we sing "Hosanna" now, let's make it very personal. Let's make it our praise and our confidence. The Son of David has come. He has saved us from guilt and fear and hopelessness. Salvation! Salvation belongs to our God and to the Son! Hosanna! Hosanna in the highest!

Adding to this later:  Also, in a Beth Moore study, "Stepping Up", Beth describes this term as  - Oh Lord, save us, Save now and send Messiah. Which was sung in the Psalms of Accent.  These were the Psalms 113-118 that the Israelites would sing on their way to celebrate Passover as they journeyed to the tabernacle.  She noted that it shifted to Hosanna in the Highest, saving is happening NOW!

Balancing our lives

I have so much going on right now.  There is so much in my heart and head.  I don't know what to say these days.  I am processing it all and not sure what to say about any of it.

I have really been looking at the life and ministry of an individual and that of a corporate ministry.  I wonder why we find it so difficult to find balance.  We either eat too much or not enough.  We either exercise too much or too little.  Well, we can get that way in any area.  In the church environment, we can get to saturated in fellowship and ignore other aspects, we can get overly immersed in bible study that we neglect our prayer time, and we can get so prayer focused that we forget the actual physical needs of those around us.  So when we are doing anything in our lives, lets pray for balance.