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February 2019

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I confess to singing when I'm upset but I suspect initially it is to comfort me first and THEN praise to "the Great Comforter".
What struck me today is in the OT--Deu 4:21 among other places when Moses cannot go into the Promised Land "because of you". Moses repeatedly blamed the Israelites for HIS sin of disobeying God. I probably shouldn't be so hard on Moses because I prefer to blame other people for my sinning also.

Yes, I drive a van with 10 speakers, and it is awesome to listen to and sing along with praise music in a rolling concert hall. My favorite right now is The Hymn Project by Chris Rice.
It gets me back on track after a long day at the office.

Which is better: singing or preaching?

The reason we have both at service is not to "cover our bases" but because some people learn more through words (and some read, which is why churches include the text in a PowerPoint presentation) and others through music... while the rest of us learn by all three... and so, we need all three. Thus, the question is not if one is better than the other but is one better for you (not measured by how good it makes you feel but by how you change for the better - seen in your good works afterwards).

Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your MONEY!

"Strength" is actually a common mistranslation... I guess money sounded too Jew for whitey. Clearly, however, our checkbooks are by far the best measurement of our faith. Moreover, that's how the Jews understood it for thousands of years before one special Jew quoted it again (in a book written by Jews, for Jews, about Jews). If fact, this is the first Bible phrase taught to a young Jewish child, it is spoken four times a day (long before Christ), and every Jew tries to say it with their last breath as this is one of the two most important Jewish prayers (the Shema - Hebrew for Listen, and the Amidah - Hebrew for Standing as it is said standing, facing and bowing to Jerusalem, the gateway to heaven... long before the Muslims did it). For example, five members of a Dutch family were part of the fifteen deaths in the Sbarro Pizza bombing in Jerusalem. The father had managed to reach over and hold the hand of his 4-year old son as the two of them lay bleeding, burning, and dying. Together, their last words were heard to be the Shema prayer. "Listen, O Israel! The LORD our God, the LORD is One." The cry of “Shema Yisrael” (Listen O Israel) has always symbolized the ultimate manifestation of faith in the deadliest of situations (and so was an especially important aspect of Jewish life in German concentration camps).

The idea that God (and all) is one runs contrary to the earlier Zoroastrian (origin of all modern religions and members were known at the time of Christ as the Magi, which means astrologers) doctrine of dualism, which propounds the idea of two conflicting powers -- good and evil (common belief to other religions). The Shema is specifically spoken with one’s eyes closed (as in death) to symbolize striving for an understanding upon death of how even the “bad” in our lives was actually for our “good.” To love with our “heart” means to love with our emotional desires, to love with our “soul” means to love specifically in our worst moments (to death), and to love with all our “resources” means to love even with our money.

As the Torah traditionally progresses a series from easiest to hardest, does this suggest we love money more than life? In Nevada, in fact, hotel room windows are always built to open no more than a crack to stop people who have lost all their money not to jump out and also lose their seemingly less important lives. The oral traditions passed down to Moses also speak of a man walking through a thorny field who pulled up his pant legs so that even though his legs were torn up, his pants were saved. Finally, Machiavelli sadly noted in “The Prince” that people are likewise generally more affected by the lose of property than by the lose of their father.

Jesus also refers to the Shema in The Gospel of John 10:30. A group of Jews in the Temple in Jerusalem at the Feast of Dedication, or Hanukkah, asks him if he is Messiah, the anointed one of God. Jesus concludes his response with the words “I and my Father are one” (NIV). This is an allusion to the Shema, which any Jew then or today would immediately recognize.

Therefore, Jesus was being somewhat of a sarcastic cuss when He was asked, “How do we get to heaven?” and He replied with the Shema as He was really saying, “You recite the answer at every service and whenever you retire to bed and whenever you arise, and yet you still harass me!” In the same way, when they asked Him how to pray and He replied with a summary of the Amidah (the Lord’s Prayer), He was really saying, “You recite the answer three times a day - even to replace the offerings as prophesied by Hosea - and, yet you still harass me!”

The reality is that, if we are honest, we generally know the answers but lack the faith to obey. We read the Bible not to primarily increase our knowledge but hopefully to first help increase our faith and obedience (as demonstrated by our checkbooks).

Shalom

I have regular Praise and worship in my car all the time. I pray, sing, and talk to God.

The Word of God says to "make joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.
Ps 98:4.

Also Sing a new song to the Lord. All you people of the earth, sing to the Lord. Sing to the Lord. Praise him. Day after day tell about how he saves us. Ps 96:1

For those of you that have a car/van etc.I think it's fine to sing God's praises or to listen to a preaching.
(Your friend who isn't into the singing, perhaps one day God will suprise them - by teaching them something through a scripture based song)!
I usually travel by bus or train. I have often met other Christians, been able to help someone in some way or ended up silently praying for people around me.
You hear many peoples difficultites overhearing their 'private' mobile phone converstaions now days! Instead of just thinking well I would have never said all that in a public place. . .!!I pray for them and their situations. If you are doing the driving you probably need to concentrate more on the road more than a passenger who can more easily get into praying for others.

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