Mother Lode Christian School

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Test Your Knowledge of Easter

Are you pretty up on things surrounding the day Christians celebrate the resurrection of Christ? Let's find out (answers below and page links to where answers were gained)...

1. Each Easter Americans buy the following amount of Marshmallow Peeps shaped like chicks, bunnies and eggs (of which yellow is the #1 color chosen): (a) 7 million; (b) 70 million; (c) 700 million; (d) 80 million.

2. The day of Easter varies from year to year. How is the date determined?(a) mark 12 weeks from Christmas, multiply that by 3, then divide by 2; (b) 7 possible dates are taped to a wall. The Pope then plays pin the tail on the donkey; (c) it is always celebrated on the first Sunday after the blue moon that takes place on or after the vernal equinox of March 21; (d) it is always celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon that takes place on or after the vernal equinox of March 21.

3. What percentage of Americans believe that Jesus rose from the grave after having died? (a) 100%; (b) 75%; (c) 50%; (d) 25%.

4. Among other things, the use of eggs on Easter stands for: (a) the start of Spring; (b) new life; (c) an empty tomb; (d) fruitfulness.

5. The bunny as a symbol of Easter is believed to have it's origins in: (a) Germany; (b) Italy; (c) Israel; (d) America.

6. In its infancy Easter was celebrated on changing days of the week. Which political figure ruled that Easter must fall only on a Sunday? (a) Henry the VIII; (b) Julius Caesar; (c) Constantine; (d) Cleopatra.

7. The first one to see Jesus alive on Easter Sunday was: (a) an angel; (b) Pontius Pilate; (c) the Virgin Mary; (d) Mary Magdalene.

Answers: 1. (c) 2. (d) 3. (b) 4. (b) 5. (a) 6. (c) 7. (d)

(This test was developed and based on information from the following websites: The Christian Post, Easter -, Easter Candy Facts, Easter Egg - Wikipedia, Easter Bunny History, and Bible Gateway and The History of Easter.)

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Sunday, March 2, 2008

God in Human Terms

"The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their cry" (Psalm 34:15). Of course, the Lord doesn't have "eyes" or "ears." These are what's called "anthropomorphisms," which is just a big word for when God is described using human terms. This is how the Bible Encyclopedia defines anthropomorphism: "[It's a] figure of speech whereby the deity is referred to in terms of human bodily parts or human passions. ...Exodus 24:10 speaks of the feet of God. The commandments were written witht he finger of God (Ex. 31:18). Moses sees God's 'back' but not His 'face' (33:23). Actually, this last instance is questionable. The Heb. word here is not the regular word for 'back' but can mean 'after effects.' That is, Moses saw the glory, but not the essence of God. ...The Psalms illustrate the use of anthropomorphisms. The highly poetic Psalm 18 pictures God as breathing forth smoke (v. 8) uttering a voice of thunder (v. 13) and whose breath is the wind (v. 15). God's eyes and eye lids test the children of men (Ps. 11:4). Second Chronicles pictures the eyes of the Lord as running throughout the earth (16:9)" (Zondervan Pictorial Bible Encyclopedia, Vol I; 177-78). Now coming back to Psalm 34:15 for a moment. What we gain as far as application for our own lives as regards the "eyes" of the Lord on the righteous and His "ears" attentive to their cry - again, God doesn't have eyes and ears in a literal sense, but He does perceive in a very real way what each of us is dealing with in the present and He's ever ready, willing and able to respond to our needs. He's concerned and working on our behalf, beloved. It's a good word from the "mouth" of God! Did you need to hear it today?

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Friday, February 22, 2008

On Appointed Tasks and Talking Donkeys

It's interesting in the story of Christ riding on a donkey as He enters Jerusalem on Palm Sunday (Matthew 21:1ff), how the donkey just moments prior to the disciples coming to get him for His God-given appointed task, my friends, he was really just wallowing and whining and lamenting the fact that he'd never been ridden before. Right? If only donkeys could talk. (I think there was one in the Bible some where.) And can you just hear this donkey if he could talk? "Oh, woe is me. I'll never amount to anything. What's the use?" Right? And then one second later he's got the very Messiah riding on his back. I mean - do you know what I mean? And what's just around your corner that you know nothing about and God is going to use you in incredible ways that you've been created for beforehand (Eph. 2:10)? I get so excited just thinking about it. ******* And just remember when God starts using you that the applause goes toward Him and not you. (And what if that little donkey thought as they entered Jerusalem, "They're cheering for me," and not Jesus? Lord, help us to not be that kind of a donkey.)

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Thursday, January 31, 2008

What is Truth? - Part 2

With Jesus standing before him, Pilate asked the question, "What is truth?" And it was because Pilate lived in a day much like our own, I'm convinced, where we just don't know what to believe anymore since it isn't always the case that we can trust what we're being told. Right? We literally live in a land of liars ("the heart is deceitful above all things" - Jer. 17:9) under the management of the father of lies (John 8:44). And so how can we discern the truth in such a place? Is it really possible to separate fiction from fact? Well, in this second and final post on the subject (click here to read "What is Truth? - Part 1") I'm gonna do my best to give you an answer. You want to know the truth? Do you really? Then here's how: First, get Jesus in your life. After all, He is "the Truth" (John 14:6). Separating fiction from fact starts with Christ. It is through living in a close relationship with Him that we gain the sensitivity to tell when it's a lie we're being fed. And then the second thing you can do to know the truth: Hunger for the truth. When I want pizza and somebody gives me broccoli instead, it just doesn't cut it. Amen? I won't be satisfied until I sink my teeth into a thick, fluffy pan crust with pepperoni and sausage and five different cheeses on top. And it needs to be the case with truth. What are you hungering for today? "Those who "hunger and thirst for righteousness shall be satisfied." And I believe it's the same when it comes to the truth, too. Don't be satisfied with anything less. And then the third thing you can do to know the truth: Immerse yourself in the truth/Scriptures. When was the last time you read your Bible? Mmm? And that's just the least you can do, beloved. There's so much more. The writer of the book of Hebrews was surprised over the condition of certain Jewish followers of Jesus. They were still "babes" when they should have been "teachers" (Heb. 5:12-13). And some Christians are still sucking on a pacifier in their understanding and application of God's Word. Is it any wonder that these same people could think that abortion was a viable choice for women? Are you kidding me? And then the last thing you can do now to know the truth: Find someone who's trustworthy that can teach you. Apollos was a great instructor in the early church. But he still needed Aquila and Priscilla to take him aside and explain the "Way" more "perfectly" (Acts 18:24-26). Let us not fool ourselves that somehow we know it all (or can). And so to summarize the four points: (1) Get Jesus in your life; (2) Hunger for the truth; (3) Immerse yourself in the Scriptures; and (4) Find someone that can teach you. As you do these things you will become good at separating fiction from fact. And you'll be able also to help others answer the question, "What is truth?" for themselves.

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

What is Truth? - Part 1

Many years ago Pilate asked Jesus the question, "What is truth?" And Pilate asked that question, I'm convinced, because he lived in a day much like our own - where we just don't know what to believe anymore. Do you ever find yourself feeling like that? And as everything that happens and everything that's talked about and said, it seems like it's up for grabs whether it's fiction or fact. For instance, the Holocaust - it didn't really happen - right? - according to one world leader. He's probably the best example of how many are giving their own "spin" on things these days. Do you know what I mean by "spin" and "spinning"? And if you really want the truth about something, well, you just better make sure to read the New York Times. And then - whatever happened to Dan Rather? And then there's another reliable source to go to if you can't get the New York Times or have HDTV (Dan Rather's show is on it) where you can be convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt about things, my brothers and sisters. I'm talking about none other than Wikipedia - - the encyclopedic website where they offer a rather unique approach. You see, it's collaborative. (Web 2.0 I think they call it.) You can add your own "take" to entries on Wikipedia. It's not revolutionary. It's evolutionary (literally). It's just another example of what I'm talking about - we just don't know what to believe anymore and the potential for "spin" and "spinning" is everywhere and anywhere. What we really could use is a "No Spin Zone." They ought to have a show like that. Do you think? (Of course, I know about Bill O'Reilly's show on Fox. I also know there's even "spinning" that takes place in the "No Spin Zone.") Which brings us back to the quesion: "What is truth?" which was relevant to Pilate's time and is to ours as well. So how do we answer the question? How do we discern the truth? How do we separate fiction from fact? Watch for my next blog post on this subject where I'll do my best to give you an answer.

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