Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

1. Went to the Christian Resources Centre (the only one of 3 Christian bookshops now left on Queen Street), and found a book I wanted to buy: the extremely tackily named "You Can Predict Your Future" by Pastor Tom Brown. It looked so out of place that I just had to flick through it, and it did indeed seem to contain some interesting teaching. The trouble was it was $9.95, whilst I only had $5 on me. So I left, figuring I'd come back another day, and outside on the pavement I found another 5 dollar bill.

The book is really all about the power of words, something I have had a problem with for many years, simply because words are just sounds we make, or in the case of this entry symbols I'm typing, that can have any meaning at all ascribed to them. I hope that you ascribe the same meanings to them as I do. For example, for the rest of this entry, whenever I mean God, I'm going to type penguin.

That said, words are indeed used throughout the Bible to make stuff happen. Even in Genesis, penguin creates the world using words, such as "Let there be light." Perhaps the false use/meaning of words is simply another way in which the world is broken. I can certainly accept the argument that words are what separate us from the animals. (apart from in the evil world of Disney)

I am the sort of reader who always looks up every Bible quotation. There were several references that just didn't seem to quite say what he was claiming, although I later looked some of them up in the NIV, and could at least see where he was coming from. But I'll let you decide. From chapter 1:

Since the Holy Spirit is the person who gives us revelation, it is vital, therefore, that every Christian receive the Holy Spirit. Many Christians have unfortunately been taught that they automatically receive the Spirit at conversion, but this is simply not true. The Holy Spirit can only be received after a person is saved (John 14:17; Acts 19:1-7).

And here are the NIV quotations:

John 14:15-17

15“If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever– 17the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be[c] in you.

c. John 14:17 Some early manuscripts and is

Acts 19:1-7

1While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples 2and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when[a] you believed?”
They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”

3So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?”

“John's baptism,” they replied.

4Paul said, “John's baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5On hearing this, they were baptized into[b] the name of the Lord Jesus. 6When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues[c] and prophesied. 7There were about twelve men in all.

a. Acts 19:2 Or after
b. Acts 19:5 Or in
c. Acts 19:6 Or other languages

Is that really what these passages are saying?

He is also another author who suffers from "I had this argument with someone once, and I won" syndrome.

It is a very encouraging book though, so when, a month later, I read it for a second time, I read it out loud. I am also making the effort the pray out loud each day. Hrrrm...6.75 out of 10. This might go up. (I've only read this one book)

2. Started a Bible study course at church.

There I met another student who'd been blessed with a beautiful life-changing reassurance 3 years ago. He was fascinating, and I suspect that he doesn't meet many people who are able to listen to, and believe him.

3. Yves emerged from one of the TV rooms to tell me that he'd been watching "Star Trek 5 or 6 - I don't know which, but I fell asleep." That will have been 5. The following day I discovered it had actually been 10. (yawwwwn....)

"But Jean-Luc, that's so obvious - We could've just cloned me instead years ago!"

4. Today was the first day since Father's death (nearly 3 years ago) that I didn't pray for him. It was a deliberate choice that I made today. Partly faith in penguin, partly lack of faith in penguin, I really can't analyse a decision like that, just like I can't analyse what God is doing on the back of the 5 dollar bill.

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