Word of the Week: Awesome

WOW #1 (aka, “Word of the Week”)

By: Keith Olbricht

“Awesome”

So…I want to introduce a new segment to our blogging called “WOW” or Word of the Week.  I have been called a “grammar nerd” by some, and I suppose there might be a small degree of truth to that, but the reason I so like words is…they are how we communicate!  Every thought we have, everything we see, hear, taste, touch, or smell has a word associated with it.  (One day I will give you my greatest philosophical argument against instrumental music based on this concept.)  WE HAVE TO HAVE WORDS!!!!!!  You may be what is called a “visual learner” where you associate concepts with images, but even then, you have to have words to describe those images.  Anyway, I think you get the point.  What I want to do here is to take some words from the Bible, break them down a bit, and see how they apply to us today.

I chose to open this blog segment with the word “awesome.”  If you are an OKJ person (Old King James) and you look in a concordance such as Strong’s, you won’t even find this word in your Bible.  But the newer translations have included it, and included it a lot (for example, x38 in the NKJV and x32 in the ESV).  But what does it mean? Continue reading “Word of the Week: Awesome”

Do You Have Time to Read this Article?

Do You Have Time to Read This Article?

By: Zach Collins

William Penn once wrote, “Time is what we want most, but… what we use worst.” Time. Time is defined as, “the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole.” In the great words of my Co-Host, Keith Olbricht, “No matter who you are, no matter how tall or short you are, no matter where you live, no matter what you are experiencing, one thing remains constant, time.” Every day, and every week, everyone experiences the same amount of time, twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week. For some, that time is too short. For others, that time feels like time without end. However, what is the constant in life that we spend the least amount of time contemplating but the most time consuming? Time. Usually, we do not contemplate our time, especially the use of our time. We just complain when we run out of time. But, that’s just it that time is our time. It is only relevant or pertinent to our lives. It is at our disposal and we can consume it as we see fit.

Continue reading “Do You Have Time to Read this Article?”

Blog – Take Your Medicine

Take Your Medicine

By: Keith Olbricht

Have you ever received instructions like this: Take 2 pills twice a day for 10 days? You get that bottle of medicine and you are relieved to know that you hold what you need in your hand, and that in 10 short days you should be all better. You take the medicine on day one, morning and evening. Days 2 and 3, likewise. Then about Day 4 you begin to feel a little better. Day 5, you take it in the morning, but forget that evening. By Day 7 you feel like new, but the bottle of medicine has now gone untouched for 2 days. Ten pills remain. That is no big deal, is it? You feel better, and that is all that matters. Isn’t it? If your illness should return in a few days, who are going to blame: the doctor, the medicine, the pharmacist, or the patient (a.k.a., you)? In the days of Jeremiah, God dealt pretty harshly with His people. Continue reading “Blog – Take Your Medicine”

Article – Do You Groove?

Do You Groove?

By: Zach Collins

As humans, do we sometimes get in a groove? I do. I am a creature of habit by all meanings of the phrase. Every morning, I wake up and complete the exact same routine. I shower, eat, watch television, and then get ready for the day. I watch the same thing on television. I sometimes even eat the same thing for breakfast. While my schedule might vary from day to day, my routine, my actions, and my motivations all remain the same. Is that a bad thing? No. By mere instinct, I feel as if some humans are inherently creatures of habit. People have been ‘grooving’ for centuries and will continue to ‘groove’, and I do not mean dancing. We find things that we enjoy or things that make us comfortable and we repeat those things every single day of our life. We are simply enjoying the pleasantries of life that God has given us. However, when does that groove became a bad thing? When does our adherence to things comfortable become hindering? It is when we let that comfortability inhibit our ambition to venture out of our comfort zone. Or, it is when we let that comfortability hinder our willingness to evolve as a human being. Everyone grows. Just as the leaves are changing colors during fall, we should be changing and evolving within our own lives. Continue reading “Article – Do You Groove?”

Blog – Go Ahead and Shake It

Go Ahead and Shake It

By: Keith Olbricht

 

No, it is not time for Christmas just yet, but don’t you love seeing a beautifully wrapped package with your name on it?  What is inside?  How much does it weigh?  Does it rattle?  Is there a corner of the wrapping that might be a little loose?  Can you get a little glimpse, any hint of what it might be?

OK, so you may be past that point in your life.  You see a package there with your name on it, but if you feel any excitement at all you suppress it.  You tell yourself that it is probably just socks or underwear and there is no need to get excited.  As a matter of fact, in order to avoid any display or outward show of enthusiasm, you may go in the opposite direction and seemingly ignore the very existence of the package.  That is what mature, dignified adults do.  Right?

Continue reading “Blog – Go Ahead and Shake It”

Blog – When Does It Stop?

When Does It Stop?

By: Zach Collins

Let me begin this blog post with an interjection: My intent is not to manufacture a political argument whatsoever. Now, let’s get started. I, along with others, awoke Monday morning to the news of another public mass shooting. This time, the shooting was the worst incident of the sort in the history of our nation. Over 50 human beings died, while over 500 other human beings were wounded. Now, notice that I said human beings. I did not say political assets. Have we become so callused to tragedy, as a society, that we no longer remember that the victims of these shootings had hopes, dreams, and aspirations? Have we become so politically oriented that we use tragedies, such as this shooting, in order to gain an upper hand politically? Continue reading “Blog – When Does It Stop?”

Blog – Some Though On Las Vegas

Some Thoughts On Las Vegas

By: Keith Olbricht

What do a deranged shooter and an unemployed television business executive have in common? Neither demonstrated a value for human life.

The Las Vegas shooting is a tragedy of epic proportions. The absolute disregard for humanity is astounding and mind boggling. Authorities will be searching for weeks and months to come in an effort to unravel the motivations behind the event. At the end of it all, though, the motivations will not matter. Whatever they find, there cannot be justification for his actions. The ends do not justify the means. They never have. They never will. Surely this is something that we can all agree on. No matter what pain this man may have felt, no matter what ghosts may have haunted his past, his present, or his future, the disregard for human life is without merit, without excuse, and without justification.

Continue reading “Blog – Some Though On Las Vegas”

Random Post – A Question About Anger

A Question About Anger

By: Zach Collins

What makes you angry? Is it the television commercials that have overtaken your favorite show? Is it getting cutoff in traffic? Is it getting 9 pieces of chicken, instead of 10, in your 10 piece Chicken McNugget? I mean, seriously, how hard is it to place 10 nuggets in a box? Not 8! Not 9! But 10! I digress. Whatever it is that makes your blood boil. Whatever it is that pushes your buttons. Whatever it is that makes you grit your teeth, it compares in minute amounts to the anger that God feels when we sin against him. Even when that sin is getting angry. In the book of James, specifically 1:19-20, we read, “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”

As Christian’s, are we quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger? In other words, do we listen to someone else’s problems? Or, would we rather voice OUR problems?

As Christian’s, are we slow to speak, instead voting to hear? Do we think about the words we are about to speak and how those words might be perceived? Or, do we constantly put our foot in our mouth? Do those things we say in passing offend others? Do we push others away from god with our words, rather than drawing them closer? Proverbs 25:11 says, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” Do we speak words of encouragement or do we speak words of discouragement?

As Christian’s, are we slow to anger? In other words, does it take a lot to make us angry? Or, do we let simple things overcome us with anger? Instead of dwelling on our anger, do we forgive and forget?

Notice the words in verse 20, within the given scripture, “for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” When we get angry in public, do others see it? When they do see us overcome with anger, do they see the righteousness of God within you? Or, do they see a person who is distracted by worldly problems and not focused on the eternal goal?

The fact of the matter is, we are going to get angry. You are going to have your buttons pushed at some point in your life. Everyone has experienced it. Everyone will continue to experience it. However, the manner in which we handle that anger, or channel that anger, is the deciding factor for which we are judged.

Continue reading “Random Post – A Question About Anger”

Random Post – Keith Olbricht

You Are Special…But Maybe Not the Way You Think

By: Keith Olbricht

  • You are not special because you walk on two legs, for many animals do, too. However, you are special when you use those legs to go where God has sent you (Mark 16:15; Hebrews 11:8).
  • You are not special because you can sing, for the morning birds out-sing us all. However, you are special when God is praised with your song (Acts 16:25; Psalm 95:2).
  • You are not special simply because you are loved, for parents have loved their children since the dawn of creation. However, you arespecial because God has loved you (1 John 4:10; Ephesians 2:4).
  • You are not special because you can find your way home, for dogs, horses, and cattle do it every day. However, you are special when you find your way to heaven (Acts 17:27; John 14:6; Matthew 7:13-14).
  • You are not special because you can argue, for 2 year-olds do that with great enthusiasm and marvelous skill. However, you are special because you have an advocate—one who stands on your behalf—in the presence of the Father (1 John 2:1).
  • You are not special because you can reason, for even mouse can find its way out of a maze. However, you are special because you can work out your own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12).
  • You are not special because you have problems, for even Solomon had great problems (read the book of Ecclesiastes). However, you arespecial if God is one your side (Psalm 46:1-3).
  • You are not special if you face death, for death is one of the equalizers of humanity. However, you are special if death has no power over you (1 Corinthians 15:50-57).
  • You are not special because of the color of your skin or your hair, your gender, your race, or your heritage, for we are all of one blood (Acts 17:26). However, you are special if you have been washed in the blood of Jesus (Hebrews 9:15; Revelation 1:5).
  • You are not special if you sin, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). However, you are very special if you have been washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of our Lord Jesus (1 Corinthians 6:11).

Blog – Unity Within Christianity and America

Unity Within Christianity and America

By: Zach Collins

Abraham Lincoln once said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand” (Matthew 12:25). He should know, he led the country through the most tumultuous time in our history. See, unity is woven into the very fabric of our nation. It took unity to form our nation, it has taken unity to sustain our nation, along with our liberties and freedoms that we experience, and it will take unity to preserve our nation for the future generations of Americans. Without a shadow of a doubt, unity is essential to the health of a nation, both present and future. In fact, strength as a nation can only be found in unity. Yet, today, I am not seeing a lot of unity in our country. We are literally divided on every single issue we face as a country. From gun control, to race relations, to climate change, to immigration, there exists no cohesiveness in opinions surrounding these issues. In fact, when discussing these issues, we enter the conversation divided, because we stick to the platforms of our political parties or the opinions of our favorite news media or talk show hosts. We are either a Republican or Democrat, a conservative or liberal, African-American or White, wealthy or poor, but not an American.

Conversely, you could also make the same argument about Christianity. We are divided on most issues we face spiritually. Right now, there are over 40,000 different denominations within the Christian religion, each with their own interpretations and opinions of scripture. Peter wrote, in the first epistle of Peter. “Finally, all of you have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind” (1 Peter 3:8). This book was written to Churches in Asia Minor who were suffering religious persecution. Paul wrote in First Corinthians, “I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought” (1 Cor. 1:10). This book of scripture was written to correct the fallacious views in the Corinthian Church. I sense none of the unifying concepts such as the aforementioned, that chief apostles Paul and Peter taught and Jesus Christ inspired, being practiced in Christianity. The truth of the matter is, we have let our own ideologies and personal interpretations of God’s Word divide us into sects and groups where we can no longer agree on the simplest of spiritual concepts. Much like our nation, as children of God, we are no longer united; there exists no cohesiveness within our doctrine and teachings. We are separated and shall continue to be separated until we seek unconditional truth and love, in its purest form through God’s Word. When Christians are divided, our convictions falter, our message no longer resonates with those who are seeking the love of God, and our faith becomes weakened. As a result, our nation suffers. Does the dysfunctional and divided state of our society not directly correlate with the state of Christianity today? Woodrow Wilson once said, “You cannot become thorough Americans if you think of yourselves in groups. America does not consist of groups. A man who thinks of himself as belonging to a particular national group has not yet become an American.” If you replace Americans with the word Christians, the quote reads as such, “You cannot become thorough Christians if you think of yourselves in groups. Christianity does not consist of groups. A man who thinks of himself as belonging to a particular Christian group has not yet become a Christian.” If you have followed the plan of salvation correctly, and become a Christian, then you are, first and foremost, a Christian. That relationship trumps any particular group or sect of Christianity.

I would like to leave you with two thoughts. First, as Christians, I pray that we can put our differences aside as children of the creator and achieve unity through one doctrine, based solely on the pure teachings of the bible, and ultimately becoming one mind, one body, and one spirit (Ephesians 4:5). Secondly, as a nation, I pray that we heed the advice of the great Abraham Lincoln, along with so many other forefathers, and unite because of our differences before we falter because of those differences. In order to do so, we must follow the words that Paul wrote in Colossians, “And over all of these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” (Colossians 3:14)

Continue reading “Blog – Unity Within Christianity and America”