Monday, February 28, 2011

Ear Lobe, Thumb, and Big Toe - Part 2

"The priest is to pour some of the oil ... and ... put [it] on the same places he put the blood of the guilt offering—on the lobe of the right ear of the one to be cleansed, on the thumb of their right hand and on the big toe of their right foot. - Leviticus 14:25-29
Early Jewish Christians believed the Old Testament, with all its sundry laws and ceremonies, actually pointed to Christ and godly living.1

So, why would God specify in the law, the priest was to apply oil, not just anywhere but only on top of the blood that was, first, placed on the ear lobe, thumb, and big toe?

Here's what I think.

Oil represents God's Holy Spirit which brings joy,2 healing,3 enlightenment,4 and endurance.5 The ear lobe represents the mind and what we allow into it. The thumb indicates the action of our hands and what we do with them. The big toe represents what we do with our feet - where we go.6

Gods blessings upon our lives through the Holy Spirit follow the applied forgiveness of Christ, not before. This also indicates God's desire for us is not just forgiveness but life!

- fritz

1 - Written for our sakes, 1st Corinthians 9:9-10
2 - Oil of Gladness, Hebrews 1:9
3 - Elders anointing with oil, James 5:14
4 - He leads into all truth - John 16:13, Anointing teaches us all things, 1st john 2:27
5 - Wise and foolish vergins, Matthew 25:3-4
6 - Ear Lobe, Thumb, and Big Toe - Part 1, February 26, 2010

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Ear Lobe, Thumb, and Big Toe - Part 1

"[T]ake some of its blood and put it on the lobe of the right ear ... on the thumb of their right hand and on the big toe of their right foot. - Leviticus 14:25
God was very specific about where to put the sacrifical blood!

We know the early followers of Christ believed the Old Testament, with all its ceremonial laws, pointed to Christ and godly living.1 So what is the significance of the ear lobe, the thumb, and the big toe?

Simple! Salvation is to impact everything we think and listen to (ear lobe), everything we do (the thumb), and everywhere we go! (the big toe).

- fritz

1 - 1st Corinthians 9:9-10

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Shared Participation

For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread. " - 1st Corinthians 10:17
This weeks' Church offertory lead to an epiphany - making that 15" journey from head to heart!

Our choir director gave the men and women in the sanctuary different words to sing, like a round. The men sang their part then the women sang theirs then both sang their different parts together and it was wonderful!

It wasn't a show I watched but an event - and I was part of it, reminded Church is not a show to watch but a participation to share!

The realization went further!

Why the liturgy with its printed prayers, times of sitting, rising, kneeling, eating, singing songs we can actually sing? - not for a love of ritual but because Church is not a show to watch but a participation to share. We may detour throughout the service, each having our own part as the Holy Spirit leads, but then we return and continue together.

I participate in a shared fellowship - I sing, I pray, I kneel, I eat, I make the sign of the cross - participating with my body as well as my soul and spirit. There is a place for the "I" in the voluntarily participation with the "We"! I belong.

There is a reason the Eucharist is also called "Communion" - we commune with Jesus and his body, a shared participation.

- fritz

Friday, February 25, 2011

2 Birds, 1 Stick, Red Thread, and a Branch

"Then shall the priest command to take for him that is to be cleansed two birds alive and clean, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop:

And the priest shall command that one of the birds be killed in an earthen vessel over running water:

As for the living bird, he shall take it, and the cedar wood, and the scarlet, and the hyssop, and shall dip them and the living bird in the blood of the bird that was killed over the running water:

And he shall sprinkle upon him that is to be cleansed from the leprosy seven times, and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the living bird loose into the open field. "
- Leviticus 14:4-7
What's this with the birds (not just one but two), the thread (it must be red), a stick (it must be Cedar), and a branch (it must be hyssop)?! It all seems arbitrary until we see Jesus!

Two Birds - Jesus and us. Christ set aside his glory to become one of us - completely human.1

Ceder Wood - The cross - Christ's and ours.2

Scarlet Thread - Thread representing what keeps us bound, Scarlet representing, sin3. It is our sin that binds us, breaks our relationships, and keeps us from living free.

Hyssop - Used for sprinkling sacrificial blood, water, or whatever on the people and things around the altar4 - God's blessings, His word, and His will are to be applied to our daily living, not just kept as theory.

Earthen Bowl - The real, tangible, physical world in which we live.5

Running Water - Life, activity, constant motion.

One bird killed, his blood gathered in an earthen bowl over running water - Jesus sacrificed on the cross at a point in time and a real place while life moved on and many never noticed.

Second bird, stick, thread, and branch dipped in the sacrificed bird's blood - Our lives, our daily trials,7 our many sins, are to be touched by Christ's sacrifice.8 His "blood" is to be applied to us and all we are or hope to be and do.

Second bird release - When touched by Christ's work on the cross we are set free from sin's bondage, released to live a full, abundant life!9

See, those laws are not arbitrary at all - the whole Bible is a book about one man - Jesus the Christ.10

- fritz

1 - Hebrews 2:14
2 - Luke 9:23
3 - Isaiah 1:8
4 - Numbers 19:18
5 - 2nd Corinthians 4:7
7 - Luke 9:23
8 - Hebrews 9:11-12
9 - John 8:36
10 - Hebrews 8:1-6, Hebrews 9:9

Thursday, February 24, 2011

God is At Work

"The trees ...the birds ... the wild goats ... the conies .... all the beasts of the forest do creep forth ....The young lions roar ... and seek their meat from God ...

Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until the evening.

O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all"
- Psalm 104:16-24
Most followers of Christ can see the miraculous hand of God in nature - it is God's handiwork! But the Bible says our daily work routine is just inspired by God.

God is at work at work!

Faithfully doing an honest day's work at an honest job is spiritual, don't let the routineness make you loose site of that!
"Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you'll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance - Colossians 3:24 (Message)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Married to a Friend

"Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; - Romans 12:10
Jim Martin, moderator for A Place For the God Hungry is starting a series on marriage and says something to remember.
"Many marriages end because husbands and wives stop behaving like friends.

Marriages would be helped by husbands and wives renewing their friendship with each another. This would mean eliminating behaviors that should be not be a part of any loving friendship. This also means being intentional about behaving in ways that rebuild and give energy to their friendship" - Jim Martin1
Renew your friendship.

- fritz

1 - Read Jim's whole post here

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sitting With Jesus

"that ye may know ...the exceeding greatness of his power ... Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places" - Ephesians 1:18-20
Jesus was bodily raised from the dead. That's why Christians worship on Sunday instead of the Sabbath - because that was the day it all happened! Jesus was raised, ascended, and took his place at the Father's right hand in heavenly places!

He is NOT the only one there - we are there, too!
"God raised us up and seated us in the heavens with Christ Jesus. - Ephesians 2:6 (Common English Bible)
Note the past tense.

How can I be sitting with Christ at God's right hand if I'm here with you, or on the job, or fishing Saturday morning with my son?

Easy! Think of it this way. My whole body is, right now, sitting in a chair at the library - my hands are on the keyboard and my feet are on the floor but these parts of my body are no less seated than the parts closer to the chair for I am one body and I am seated.

Similarly, we are members of Christ just as hands and feet. I may be here and you there but we who are in Christ are just as seated as our Savior who took his rightful place with the Father.

- fritz

Monday, February 21, 2011

Trinity Not Confusing to Paul

"Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus whom ... ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise" - Ephesians 1:2
Paul was not confused about the Holy Trinity. He could hold the oneness of God with the diversity of persons without complaining or confusion.

Something being both one and more at the same time is seen every day in ourselves. Who do you argue with when your conscience tells you something? How do you know your body is hungry, and do you give it everything it wants?

I'm not talking about multiple personalities, but our own spirit, soul, and body 1 interacting normally. My conscience is its own person, my mind is its own person, my body is its own person - each acting independently, yet still only one of me.

Which one rules? Well, in my imperfection, sometimes its my body and sometimes my will. I can accomplish great things when my conscience confirms what my mind envisions and my body obeys.

God acts together. There is no struggle for attention or dominance. The Father loves, plans, feels and directs. The Son acts in voluntary obedience, and the Spirit communicates God's motives, intentions, and joy.

It is God, our Father, who planned the way of Salvation. It is God, the Son, who of his own free will chose to obey, even to the cross. It is the Holy Spirit who gives us a taste of heaven and tells us God's true intentions and motives.

- fritz
1 - 1st Thessalonians 5:23

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Time - Inside and Out

Self proclaimed "Scientist, Theoretician, and 'Biocentrism' author", Robert Lanza, M. D. has been grappling with the concept of Time.
[S]cience has brought us countless insights ... What eludes us is the big picture, which unfortunately encompasses all the bottom-line issues: What is the nature of this thing we call reality?"1
He postulates a "life-created reality" like a phonograph record (anyone remember those?) with "now" being like the needle, moving sequentially through the tracks. To him, no one ever really dies they just remain where they were after the needle has moved on.

Where's the comfort in that?! The Bible tells us we don't remain in a moment of time - we continue fully conscious into eternity.2

Dr. Lanza also seems unaware that the content of a "record" is determined by an author, not itself.

Take just a moment to ponder C.S.Lewis's view on Time3(Don't will be worth the extra time spent)
Almost certainly God is not in Time. His life does not consist of moments following one another. If a million people are praying to Him at ten-thirty tonight, He need not listen to them all in that one little snippet which we call ten-thirty. Ten-thirty--and every other moment from the beginning of the world--is always the Present for Him.

If you like to put it that way, He has all eternity in which to listen to the split second of prayer put up by a pilot as his plane crashes in flames. That is difficult, I know. Let me try to give something, not the same, but a bit like it.

Suppose I am writing a novel. I write "Mary laid down her work; next moment came a knock at the door! " For Mary who has to live in the imaginary time of my story there is no interval between putting down the work and hearing the knock. But I, who am Mary's maker, do not live in that imaginary time at all. Between writing the first half of that sentence and the second, I might sit down for three hours and think steadily about Mary. I could think about Mary as if she were the only character in the book and for as long as I pleased, and the hours I spent in doing so would not appear in Mary's time (the time inside the story) at all.
C.S.Lewi's conclusion? (don't go just yet...)
God is not hurried along in the Time-stream of this universe any more than an author is hurried along in the imaginary time of his own novel. He has infinite attention to spare for each one of us. He does not have to deal with us in the mass. You are as much alone with Him as if you were the only being He had ever created. When Christ died, He died for you individually just as much as if you had been the only man in the world.
- fritz

1 - Why You Will Always Exist: Time is 'On Demand', Huffington Post, February 14, 2011
2 - 2nd Corinthians 5:8
3 - C.S.Lewis, Time And Beyond Time, from Mere Christianity

Saturday, February 19, 2011

More than Mere

For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? - 1st Corinthians 3:3b(NIV)
"I'm only human!" is no longer an excuse because we more than mere!

We are not only human - we have God, in Christ and through his Holy Spirit, living within. It's time to realize it and start acting like it!

- fritz

Friday, February 18, 2011

Were There Not Twelve?

"And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach" - Mark 3:14
Which apostles can you name?

Bartholomew and Thaddaeus were just as anointed as Matthew and John, just as called and important as the later apostle Paul - but there is something most of the original apostles did NOT do - they did NOT write!

Their lives were not wasted, they had purpose and success in their own way, but it was the writers who's message endured through changing cultures and dynasties.

Not all who write are remembered but, except for our Lord, none are remembered unless they write.

Do you possess a God-given faith? Do you want it to be passed to your children, or to their children?


It doesn't have to be much, just done.

- fritz
Related Post: Carpe Diem, June 5, 2010

Thursday, February 17, 2011

God's Good Pleasure

[H]e hath chosen us ... according to the good pleasure of his will" - Ephesians 1:4-5
God's has a will and it gave him good pleasure putting you in it long before you even arrived on the scene.

It is found in Christ. Don't let discouragement cause you to quit before God's purposes are fulfilled.

- fritz
Related Post: "God's Kind of Ending", February 13, 2010

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Most Damaging Kind of Strife

"What are the most damaging kinds of strife in a church?"

The quiet ones. The submerged, diffused, unacknowledged conflicts that smolder for years and years. If the institution is not willing to grab hold, debate, decide, reconcile, split, or whatever needs to be done, the issue becomes a cancer within. It eats at the body’s vitality, consuming its energy, spreading until the case is terminal.

Give me a genuine theological donnybrook any day. At least you know what you’ve got and can set up a process to deal with it." - Lynn Buzzard1
- fritz
1. SURVIVAL GUIDE: MASTERING CONFLICT, ARTICLE 1, War and Peace in the Local Church A leadership interview with Lynn Buzzard, pg 8

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Conflict - Catalyst for Necessary Change

"And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews " - Acts 5:1
"And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him, saying, Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them." - Acts 11:2-3
We want to shy away from conflict - we all do, but it can be a good catalyst for necessary change
"We haven’t developed a very good theology of conflict in the church. We’ve talked so much about unity and peace. Nobody ever says, “Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a few quarrels?”

But when you look historically for the great moments of the church—the kind of things we make movies and write books about—they’re chock-full of angry, bitter conflict! No one ever hails those quiet times when everybody was having wonderful potluck suppers together.- Lynn Robert Buzzard1
- fritz
1 - SURVIVAL GUIDE: MASTERING CONFLICT, ARTICAL 1, War and Peace in the Local Church, A leadership interview with Lynn Buzzard, pg. 2

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Missing Servant

"And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability - Matthew 25:15
There's a missing servant in Jesus' parable of the talents!

Those familiar with the story will remember that a man divided some of his wealth to his servants to manage while he went away. When he returned each servant gave all the money back with additional amounts earned by investing. Everyone returned at least what he was given.

Where is the servant who had nothing to return - the bankrupt entrepreneur? Did they NOT have those? You know they did! Why is that one not in the story?

I think it is because in God's economy using what one has always returns something positive. The only loser is the one who does nothing.

So don't just sit there, do something good with what you have!
"Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain." - 1st Corinthians 15:58 (NIV)
- fritz

Sunday, February 13, 2011

God's Kind of Ending

"And the evening and the morning were the first day." - Genesis 1:5b
God's days never end in darkness. See it through to God's kind of ending!

- fritz

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Avoiding a Misconception - Fatherhood

"Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father" - 1st Timothy 1:2b
The tendency to understand God, our Heavenly Father, by the experience of our earthly fathers (most have one but some have fore) always leads to a misconception.

Fatherhood is to be understood as God has revealed it, not the other way around.

God is the father our fathers should have been like. As Eugene Peterson translates 1st Thessalonians 2:11,
"With each of you we were like a father with his child, holding your hand, whispering encouragement, showing you step-by-step how to live well" - The Message Bible
How do we avoid the Misconception?

1). Repent of judging God by our standards;

2) Ask God to show you what fatherhood is really like;

3) Forgive the imperfect examples;

4) Bask in his fatherly grace.

- fritz

Friday, February 11, 2011

Using Law Lawfully

"But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully" - 1st Timothy 1:8
Interesting phrase - using the law lawfully - implying, of course, the law can be used un-lawfully and not be good.

Proclaiming "Our Creed is the Bible" isn't enough.

Though the Bible is now available in our own language and, for many of us, free to use as we may choose, it's not helpful unless used correctly.

So how does one use the law lawfully?! Hmmm...

Using the law (indeed, all parts of the Bible) lawfully will:

1)Be Christ centered - see how the Apostle Paul quotes from the law, substituting "Christ" for "Commandment".1

2)Encourage living God's kind of love in good conscience and with an open/honest faith. 2

3)Bring life in the hearers - Jesus said he came to bring abundant life.3 It's the enemy who steals, kills, and destroys, so we should be able to say that using the Bible to steal, kill, and destroy is a misuse.

Yes the Bible is used to correct sin and error, but God's correction applied correctly (law used lawfully) brings hope.

- fritz

1 - Romans 10:8 / Deuteronomy 30:11-14
2 - 1st Timothy 1:5
3 - John 10:10

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Becoming A Person Of Influence

If you want to be a person of influence, or if you want to lead, or for that matter if you want to succeed, start reading...

Turn off your television and read two books a week next year and you’ll be counseling the Pope or the President.

It’s true what I learned all those years ago: Readers are leaders. 1
- Don Miller

Who will join me in setting a goal of reading an average of one good book a week for the rest of 2011?

- fritz

1 - Read Don Miller's whole article Here
I am currently Reading/Listening to:
Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan
The Lost Art of Gratitude by Alexander McCall Smith

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


"The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree ... They shall still bring forth fruit in old age - Psalms 92:12a,14a
Out culture worships youth, but God uses old people!

Moses was 80 when he lead Israel out of Egypt. Paul was called "the aged" when he wrote much of the Bible. Zachariah and Elizabeth were old when they had John the Baptist, to say nothing of Abraham and Sarah!

I met a husband and wife called to the mission field at age 60.

It's God who gives strength, vision, and drive - don't let anyone count you out because you arn't a spring chicken.

There is a reason why church leaders are called "Elders".

- fritz
See also: "Three Score and 10?", August 1, 2010

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

3 Actions to Get Wisdom

"A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it..."3
There are three things a person needs to do to get wisdom: Seek wisdom early1 and listen to instruction.2

1 - Proverbs 8:17
2 - Proverbs 4:13
3 - Proverbs 29:11

Monday, February 7, 2011

Where's Your Heart Located?

"A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left." - Ecclesiastes 10:2
God's word has a subtle way of putting us in our place.

The next time you think you are so wise and able, ask yourself on which side of the body is your heart - the right or the left?

Mine too.

- fritz

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Gentleness and Glory!

"The voice of the LORD breaketh the cedars ... maketh the hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory" - Psalm 29:9
"And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way" - Isaiah 30:21a
God's voice is so powerful it breaks trees, and does whatever he wants it to do. Yet, he is so gentle with us - he is heard in a whisper and lets us choose to follow.

- fritz

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Gospel - Like a Cake Mix!

"but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it." - Hebrews 4:2b
I'm no cook, but I do know something has to be added to dry ingredients to make them stick together and become an actual cake! Just putting the dry mix in the oven doesn't work.

The Gospel is like that. Faith needs to be added to make it hold together in a person's life and become a blessing.

Where does the faith come from? God, gives faith for the asking.

- fritz

Friday, February 4, 2011


"wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved." - Ephesians 1:6b
Words change meaning. Today, we accept a lot of things we are not pleased with, simply because we must.

This is NOT what the Bible means! The original Greek word used by the Bible actually means "highly favored", "charming", "circled with favor".

What's more, with its precise word form and endings the Greek word, here, tells us an additional nuance. Ours was not a onetime time acceptance but ongoing! We are currently living in the high favor of God by being in the one whom He loved, our savior, Jesus, the Christ.

- fritz

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Two Oars on Life's Dinghy

"..holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck" - 1st Timothy 1:19
Living is sometimes compared to guiding a boat. It could end up where you want to go or it could end up drowning everyone on board.

There are two (2) oars on life's rowboat:
1. Faith
2. A Good Conscience
The Bible says letting go of either is a real mistake!

- fritz

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

How Do You Receive Correction?

"And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man" - 2nd Samuel 12:17
David stopped listening to God or his conscience. He saw what he wanted and it ended with adultery and murder. Because he was king no one dared confront him - except Nathan, the prophet.

Though perhaps not with the same sin, we all have times of closing off our conscience and spiritual ears, requiring God to send someone like a Nathan.

God always does it - maybe by using a spouse, a friend, your pastor, even a Police officer - but how do we handle it?! By denial, anger, and self-righteousness -- or by soul searching, repentance, and kindness toward the messenger?

It doesn't have to end badly. King David penned his response in Psalm 51. He also named one of his children, Nathan, no doubt after the man whom God used to bring him back to life.

- fritz

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Desires can be Good.

"If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work" - 1st Timothy 3:1
I have been in churches where expressing a desire to lead made one suspect. Everyone just knew a calling was something not to desire but surrender under duress.

Paul had no such ideas. God moves through holy desire, and so should we.

- fritz