Thursday, July 19, 2012

Children's Version of the Bible in a Nutshell

I hope that you enjoy this humorous take on the Bible from a child's perspective.

In the beginning, which occurred near the start, there was nothing but God, darkness, and some gas. The Bible says, 'The Lord thy God is one, but I think He must be a lot older than that.  Anyway, God said, 'Give me a light!' and someone did. Then God made the world. He split the Adam and made Eve. Adam and Eve were naked, but they weren't embarrassed because mirrors hadn't been invented yet. Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating one bad apple, so they were driven from the Garden of Eden .....Not sure what they were driven in though, because they didn't have cars. Adam and Eve had a son, Cain, who hated his brother as long as he was Abel.

Pretty soon all of the early people died off, except for Methuselah, who lived to be like a million or something. One of the next important people was Noah, who was a good guy, but one of his kids was kind of a Ham. Noah built a large boat and put his family and some animals on it. He asked some other people to join him, but they said they would have to take a rain check.

After Noah came Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Jacob was more famous than his brother, Esau, because Esau sold Jacob his birthmark in exchange for some pot roast. Jacob had a son named Joseph who wore a really loud sports coat.

Another important Bible guy is Moses, whose real name was Charlton Heston. Moses led the Israel Lights out of Egypt and away from the evil Pharaoh after God sent ten plagues on Pharaoh's people. These plagues included frogs, mice, lice, bowels, and no cable. God fed the Israel Lights every day with manicotti. Then he gave them His Top Ten Commandments. These include: don't lie, cheat, smoke, dance, or covet your neighbor's stuff. Oh, yeah, I just thought of one more: Humor thy father and thy mother.

One of Moses' best helpers was Joshua who was the first Bible guy to use spies. Joshua fought the battle of Geritol and the fence fell over on the town. After Joshua came David. He got to be king by killing a giant with a slingshot. He had a son named Solomon who had about 300 wives and 500 porcupines. My teacher says he was wise, but that doesn't sound very wise to me.

After Solomon there were a bunch of major league prophets. One of these was Jonah, who was swallowed by a big whale and then barfed up on the shore. There were also some minor league prophets, but I guess we don't have to worry about them.

After the Old Testament came the New Testament. Jesus is the star of The New. He was born in Bethlehem in a barn. (I wish I had been born in a barn too, because my mom is always saying to me, 'Close the door! Were you born in a barn?' It would be nice to say, 'As a matter of fact, I was.') During His life, Jesus had many arguments with sinners like the Pharisees and the Democrats. Jesus also had twelve opossums. The worst one was Judas Asparagus. Judas was so evil that they named a terrible vegetable after him.

Jesus was a great man. He healed many leopards and even preached to some Germans on the Mount. But the Democrats and all those guys put Jesus on trial before Pontius the Pilot. Pilot didn't stick up for Jesus. He just washed his hands instead. Anyways, Jesus died for our sins, and then came back to life again. He went up to Heaven but will be back at the end of the Aluminum. His return is foretold in the book of Revolution.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Remarkable Pastor

I shared this on my Facebook page but wanted to put it here as well.  This picture is of Santiago Rosales, pastor of the Primera Iglesia Bautista (FBC) of San Marcos.  He's one of my heroes among the pastors I've gotten to know in the last 6 years or so of conducting leadership training conferences for pastors and leaders in western Guatemala.  This shot is of him in his carpentry workshop, displaying a bunk bed that he and his crew are finishing up.

A word about his helpers . . . .  These young boys are former street kids who lived on the streets and eked out a meager existence by shining shoes.  For the past 15 years or so, Pastor Santiago and his wife have taken in street kids, housing and feeding them initially in their own 2-bedroom parsonage behind the church.  They've had as many as 8 or 9 of these young men living with them at one time.  Pastor Santiago ensures that they attend school and then he's teaching them carpentry skills so they can earn a decent living when they finish school.  What they make and sell also helps provide for their living expenses.  Our church plus FBC Farmington, MO donated funds a few years back to build a dorm to help house these young fellows.  It was great to spend a couple of days in his church the week before last conducting medical clinics, fitting folks with reading glasses, distributing bags of food to needy families, etc.

The Value of Suffering

When we’re confronted as we so often are with the harsh realities of life and the seemingly unjust sufferings that so many are forced to endure, it’s easy at times to entertain questions about God’s justice and sovereignty in the midst of so much pain. Our minds struggle to understand and accept that a loving God would allow those who love Him to experience such profound depths of hurt.

In Into the Depths of God, Calvin Miller writes, “The trials that keep us kneeling before our lifelong assignments are never haphazard. All the sufferings that are thrust upon us can serve to bring us to maturity.” Then he makes this startling statement: “Hurt is the essential ingredient of ultimate Christ-likeness.”

Peter writes, “Do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon your for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing.” We’re not to be surprised when we suffer nor consider it odd, but to rejoice that God has counted us worthy to follow in the footsteps of Him who suffered everything for us.