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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Generational Blessing

These are some of my grandparents. (You may click the image to enlarge.)

My ancestors are largely a mystery to me.

Of my great-grandmothers, two lived to be over one hundred (bottom left and top right corners). My father's paternal grandmother (in the red dress with white trim) was a Native American from an unknown tribe of Zaruma, Ecuador. I knew these three women mostly through their loving gestures and stories passed down from other relatives.

My mother's doting mother (pictured with me) died when I was three, and my only memory of her is when my uncle held me at her funeral so I could say good-bye. Her father died before she grew up. My paternal grandpa (wearing the hat) lived until I was nine, but his alcoholism made him scarce enough that we spent little time together until his last months of relative sobriety.

I knew my paternal grandmother well. After her four boys and two grandsons, she lavished love on the first little girl in her life, until her death in 1997. I disappointed her when I left the Roman Catholic church. She softened in many ways as she grew old. I am grateful to God that He allowed her to finally say to me, "Well, as long as you're following Christ, that's what really matters."

I know that her parents were also people of faith (far left—can you see it in their peaceful countenance?) Her husband turned to God when He turned away from the bottle. I have assurance of a happy homecoming when I one day get to finally know these people I didn't know on earth—people who live on in me, because their faith is vibrant and alive in me.

"The LORD God [is] merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children's children to the third and the fourth generation."
~ Exodus 34:6-7 (NKJV)

So began yesterday's Question of the Week, which addressed the spiritual principle of generational sin. The topic is painful. And if the discussion stopped after bringing up the problems in our life passed down from our ancestors, it would not be accurate.

If asked to identify race, I am German, Hispanic, Irish, and Native American. My children are also French and Polish. Their children will no doubt be once more removed from the full-blooded races of my ancestors.

If asked to identify generational sin, my spiritual enemy would readily name violations of all ten commandments. Being a couple of hundred generations removed from Adam and Eve has not diluted the DNA of sin passed on to me.

If asked to identify generational blessing, my cup runneth over. I am descended from grandparents of faith. My mother has prayed for me more than any other person in my life and taught me what it is to live out unconditional love. My Father in Heaven is the King of the Universe, and I am royal heir to His infinite riches and life.

And though I've not yet seen Him in person, His loving gestures and stories passed down from others convince me that He is indeed "merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands." I have assurance of a happy homecoming because He has forgiven my iniquity and transgression and sin.

I love hearing from you. Reply to comments or e-mail
Copyright 2010, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Question of the Week:
Generational Sin?

Family faces are magic mirrors. Looking at people who belong to us, we see the past, present and future. We make discoveries about ourselves."
~ Gail Lumet Buckley

"The LORD God [is] merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children's children to the third and the fourth generation."
~ Exodus 34:6-7 (NKJV)

"Does this biblical curse still exist today?"
Bud Ezekiel

As surely as the Lord is merciful, gracious, longsuffering, abounding in goodness and truth—yes, sin is indeed visited upon successive generations.

This is most obvious when people imitate the same sin they observe in the world, often in a context which makes sin look normal. Another explanation for the same negative behaviors occurring in multiple generations is genetic predispositions being passed on in the flesh. (Those related to some forms of mental illness are one example; the human disposition to sin is another.)

But what about spiritual factors? The Bible says God does not tempt anyone (James 1:13). When otherwise inexplicable forces seem to be powerfully at work for evil, presence of the devil (a demon) is a possibility. Evil spiritual forces may even follow a generation in the person separated from a parent, such as by death or adoption.

The person belonging to Christ is inhabited by the Holy Spirit, and need not fear being possessed by a demon. Yet we can still be influenced, tempted, and attacked by demons:

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
~ 1 Peter 5:8 (NKJV)

God has not left us powerless against sin:

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
~ 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NKJV)

Iniquity is visited upon our generation by the devil, the world, and our own flesh desires. Knowing that the devil is an adversary out to get us should prompt daily training with the spiritual armor provided by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 6:10-18). Such practice readies us to defeat temptation, regardless of its source.

A closing thought is that with God, even His curse works for our good.

Christians will face sin which feels irresistible. We are then frustrated by seeming inability to overcome sin and its inevitable suffering. But like a pregnant woman compelled by love to overcome the temptation to take in unhealthy substances which can hurt her child, the realization that our sin hurts others besides ourselves works together with love to compel us to muster the resistance we cannot otherwise find.

Those in Christ are members of one body. Any sin to which we yield is visited upon our natural and spiritual family. There is no such thing as a sin we can "get away with."

If it wasn't absolutely clear above: we are not powerless against sin, no matter what word is used for it, no matter its source in our lives. Next week's question will be about the different words for sin / kinds of sin, and about overcoming sin.

Tomorrow: Generational Blessing.

© 2010 Anne Lang Bundy
Image Source:

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This post originally appeared at Bullets & Butterflies. To see additional comments click here.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Fear Not Surrender

When I saw [the Son of Man],
I fell at his feet as though dead.
But he laid his right hand on me, saying,
"Fear not ..."
~ Revelation 1:17 (ESV)

Fear Not Surrender

"And it shall be, in that day," Says the LORD, "That you will call Me 'My Husband,' And no longer call Me 'My Master,'
~ Hosea 2:16 (NKJV)

Whether ancient or foreign, some cultures do not ask a woman's consent to marriage—betrothals involve agreement between bridegroom and bride's father. Yet honorable men have nonetheless given a woman the option to accept or reject a husband. (One example is Rebekah.)

Once wedded, some men might approach a bride with the attitude, "I now receive what is mine." An honorable man will approach the virgin gently, bidding her to surrender and fear not.

Fear of the Lord is not an outdated Old Testament concept, but is also urged in the New Testament. His church's reverent fear is received by a Bridegroom Who says, "Fear Not."

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
~ 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)

More than any other imperative, the Bible records Jesus directing us "Do not fear," "Do not worry," "Do not be anxious." We approach God with fear knowing that He will still it.

We surrender not as an enemy who has been vanquished, but as a bride who is beloved.

Lord Jesus, please help each of us to see which areas of our lives hold fear of surrender to You. Please speak gently to us, and enable us to give You all.

Your feedback is appreciated. Post to Comments or e-mail to Copyright 2010, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
Image from album "Face Down" by Matt Redman,

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The I AM Made Mine

"I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End," says the Lord, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."
~ Revelation 1:8 (NKJV)

The I AM Made Mine

God Almighty is the Beginning and the End—but not always my God, my Almighty, my beginning and end.

"... lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven ... For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
~ Jesus (Matthew 6:20-21 NKJV)

It's been said that a person's god is identified by calendar, clock and checkbook. How often is my foremost use of talent, time and treasure consistently centered upon the One I call "Lord"?

Now He could do no mighty work there ... And He marveled because of their unbelief.
~ Mark 6:5-6 (NKJV)

Just yesterday I argued with God about something being impossible. How often do I limit what He might do in my life by my lack of faith, by calling Him less all-powerful than I know He is?

" 'And you shall love the LORD Your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment."
~ Jesus (Mark 12:30 NKJV)

I love my God. I wish I never failed to think of Him first upon rising, last at day's end; to unfailing ask Him first for my next step rather than come to Him as a last resort in adversity; to accept every blessing from Him with thanks and praise upon my lips. I fall short more often than I nail it. I take great comfort in knowing that His love for me is without condemnation, that He knew me before my beginning, and that when all else is laid to rest, He shall indeed be my end.

Lord God Almighty, how often I speak Your name without giving it full weight. I ask for myself and for everyone who reads these words that You would renew our awareness of Who You are. Please increase our faith in You, increase our love for You, increase our generosity with You.

Your feedback is appreciated. Post to Comments or e-mail to Copyright 2010, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Behold Your God

"The ultimate aim of the gospel is the display of God’s glory
and the removal of every obstacle to our seeing it
and savoring it as our highest treasure."
~ John Piper

Behold Your God

From Jesus Christ,
the trustworthy witness,
the firstborn from the dead, and
the ruler over the kings of the earth.
To Him who
loved us and
washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has
made us kings and priests to His God and Father,
to Him be
glory and
forever and ever.
~ Revelation 1:5-6 (NKJV)

The number three represents entirety or wholeness when it appears in Scripture. Father, Son, Spirit. Beginning, End, Middle. Was, is, is to come. These verses contain three threes.

The Person of Jesus is Trustworthy Witness, in Whom we put faith. He is the Firstborn of the dead, in whom we have life. He is Ruler, Prince, or (literally) Primary over all other authorities, before Whom every knee will bend, either freely in this life or under condemnation on a day to come.

The Presents of Jesus to His people are His love, in greatest fulfillment for the human soul. He washes us from sin, that we may have peace with God, fellow man, and ourselves. He then bestows to us highest honor—we are not merely royalty, but kings; not merely servants, but priests.

The Power of Jesus is His matchless glory, the beauty of purest Light which compels us to fall down in worship. His dominion is unrivaled, and can be contested by no other power in the heavens, on the earth, or under the earth. His power is eis toús aīonas ton aionōn, "unto the ages of the ages," undiminished by passage of time.

Behold your God. Let your pride be diminished before the Person, Presents, and Power of the Lord Jesus Christ. Love Him well.

Father in Heaven, much dissatisfies us in this world. Forgive us for believing we need more than what You are to us, bestow to us, and reveal to us. Remind of us often of the great honor You’ve shown us. Increase our capacity to love You.

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2010, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
Photo from

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Necessity of Beauty

The look at the book of Revelation begun in January was interrupted. It will be picked up again, going back to the beginning for continuity.

"Though we travel the world over
to find the beautiful,
we must carry it with us
or find it not."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Necessity of Beauty

Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.
~ Revelation 1:3 (NKJV)

The Bible's last book—"The Revelation of Jesus Christ"—is exhaustively studied concerning end times and Christ's second coming. But what might the book reveal about the Person of Jesus as He prepares to receive not only a throne but also His bride, the church?

Ancient Israelite custom was for the bridegroom to prepare the couple's home and wedding, while the bride gave full attention to preparing herself as would please her husband. Among the betrothal gifts he gave her were garments, perhaps as an indication of his preferences.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church ...
~ Ephesians 5:25-27 (NKJV)

This journey through Revelation will look specifically at Jesus, the garments of righteousness He gives His bride, and how he defines His bride's beauty. We'll look again at the necessity of beauty, not for the world's sake, but in anticipation of pleasing our Beloved Bridegroom.

Lord Jesus Christ, You are King of kings, Lord of lords, and most especially our Beloved Bridegroom. Please give Your Holy Spirit as our divine Valet, to open our eyes to what most pleases You, that we might make ready for Your coming.

FOLLOW-UP NOTE: An invitation for response from the male perspective is included in Wendy's comment below.

Your feedback is appreciated. Post to
Comments or e-mail to Copyright 2010, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
Photo from

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Oh, magnify the LORD with me,
And let us exalt His name together.
~ David, (Psalms 34:3 NKJV)

By age 16 I'd smelled enough untruth in church to leave it. My quest for Truth and life purpose took a meandering route through a variety of places both ungodly and goodly. I sensed Truth was connected to God, and He was connected to church, so my path finally led back there.

Though Truth eluded me in the Roman Catholic church I attended, the Lord kept wooing me until I found myself in a church which magnified the Bible and the Bible's God. The beauty of the Lord and His Truth loomed large, and we've been in love ever since.

Among the many reasons I attend church is that when we come together as God's people, the Lord and His Truth are magnified. If lies make us prisoners and Truth makes us free, then exalted, magnified Truth makes known the breadth of our freedom.

"And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
~ Jesus, (John 8:32 NKJV)

Steven Curtis Chapman

How could I stand here
And watch the sun rise
Follow the mountains
Where they touch the sky
Ponder the vastness
And the depths of the sea
And think for a moment
The point of it all was to make much of me
Cause I'm just a whisper
And You are the thunder

I want to make much of You, Jesus
I want to make much of Your love
I want to live today to give You the praise
That You alone are so worthy of
I want to make much of Your mercy
I want to make much of Your cross
I give You my life
Take it and let it be used
To make much of You

And how can I kneel here
And think of the cross
The thorns and the whip and the nails and the spear
The infinite cost
To purchase my pardon
And bear all my shame
To think I have anything worth boasting in
Except for Your name
Cause I am a sinner
And You are the Savior

I want to make much of You, Jesus
I want to make much of Your love
I want to live today to give You the praise
That You alone are so worthy of
I want to make much of Your mercy
I want to make much of Your cross
I give You my life
Take it and let it be used
To make much of You

This is Your love, oh God
Not to make much of me
But to send Your own Son
So that we could make much of You
For all eternity

I want to make much of You Jesus
I want to make much of Your love
I want to live today to give You the praise
That You alone are so worthy of
I want to make much of Your mercy
I want to make much of Your cross
I give You my life
Take it and let it be used
To make much of You

I want to make much of You
Much of You Jesus

Your feedback is appreciated. Post to Comments or e-mail to Copyright 2010, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
Lyrics of "Much of You" by Steven Curtis Chapman, © 2004 Sparrow Records

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Heading Back,
Heading Forward

"Ask yourself what makes you come alive.
And then go and do that."
~ Harold Whitman

Your word has given me life...
I rejoice at Your word
As one who finds great treasure.
~ Psalms 119:50,162 (NKJV)

If there's something that makes me come alive, it's expressing my passion for the Bible.

I can't help but see all of life through the lens of Scripture, because I see Scripture has already focused upon all of life.

If there's only one thing I know and write, love and breathe, it's the Bible and its Author.

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The above photo and text were the start of a post I wrote on January 16—post #699. Later in January, I experienced an interruption to life and to blogging and to my established routine in manner of walking with the Lord.

This is post #796. For most of the last 100 posts, I've been drifting through life and the Bible without much direction beyond keep putting one foot in front of the other. I'd like to again be more purposeful. I believe a meaningful way to is restore a more orderly blogging routine on a daily basis, and I'm going to try that.

I plan to make more frequent posts shorter. Successive passages of the Bible will be the foundation for Monday thru Thursday, Bible / Christianity Q&A will make for a longer Friday post, something more casual and personal seems fitting for Saturdays, as does church community and praise for Sundays. And although I think a photo can really enhance my words, it will help me reduce the time it takes to post if I put the focus on writing.

I'm grateful for the prayer support so many friends have offered in the last several difficult months. I appreciate any prayers you remember to offer on my behalf as I move forward.

Much love to you all,
~ Anne4JC

Friday, July 23, 2010

Question of the Week:
Who Killed Jesus?

Who killed Jesus? ~ Anonymous

I offer these questions in reply: Who didn't kill Jesus? Exactly what killed Jesus?

The scheme to kill Jesus was empowered by satan. (Luke 22:3-4)

The betrayer Judas arranged for Jesus to be seized and killed. (Matthew 26:14-15)

The leaders of the Jews orchestrated the execution of Jesus. (Matthew 27:1-2)

The people of Israel had gathered to Jerusalem for Passover, nearly rioted to demand Jesus' death, and declared that His blood should be upon them and their descendants. (Matthew 27:20-25)

Pilate clearly willed to release Jesus, affirmed Jesus as King, and washed His hands of Jesus' blood—yet gave the consent by which both the individual Roman soldiers under his command and the Roman government carried out the crucifixion of Jesus. (John 19:16-22)

Jesus Himself submitted to death despite His power to escape it (Matthew 26:53)—not because it was His will (Matthew 26:39-44), but because it was the will of His Father:

Yet it was the will of YHWH to crush Him with grief of suffering.
When You make His soul a sacrificial offering for sin,
He shall see His seed,
He shall prolong His days.
The will of YHWH will prosper [triumph] in Him.
Isaiah 53:10 (author; full context: Isaiah 53)

God set in motion all these events because there was no other way to remove the guilt of our sins and triumph over death:

... without shedding of blood there is no pardon for sin... [Christ] has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself... Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many.
Hebrews 9:22,26,28 (NKJV)

The "many" for whom Jesus died is all humanity. Thus we might see ourselves responsible for His death only as part of the collective human race—except that each of us has sinned as an individual and is therefore personally guilty.

Exactly what killed Jesus? The above verse of Isaiah 53:10 says Jesus was crushed with chalah, a Hebrew word for sickness of grief or extreme suffering. Medical science and Scripture indicate that Jesus likely died neither as a result of bleeding to death nor of the suffocation which accompanies crucifixion, but of extreme grief. For more details, see "Broken."

Please allow me to suggest that when we resist the touch of the Lord in our lives, we fail to show appreciation for Jesus' death and continue to cause Him grief.

© 2010 Anne Lang Bundy
Image from the movie "Passion of the Christ," © 2004 Icon Productions

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This post originally appeared at Bullets & Butterflies. To see additional comments click here.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

To Make It or Break It

For more random posts
from people who love the Lord,
click the image.

For a random Thursday post, bedroom decor seems as good a subject as any. I’ve encountered blog posts which featured photos of beds shrouded in romantic light and buried in pillows of decorator linens, worthy of a Better Homes and Gardens cover.

This is not one of those posts.

The bedroom in my cozy home has a decor which can best be called eclectic. Faux-finish of navy blue frames the double window’s northern light, and navy blue carpet acts as magnet for every piece of lint in the house. The antique curio cabinet was my great-grandmother’s, and the antique rotary phone on one side of the bed is flanked by a cordless on the other. The doors and frames are all a light honey, while the furniture is gradient shades of dark mahogany.

The bed is, of course, the reason for a bedroom. Our four-poster used to have a lovely quilt, but it didn’t fare well with kids and was replaced by a hunter green blanket of wool. The foot of the bed has a Mexican blanket to remind me of Colorado sunshine back home, and the head of the bed is buried in pillows of warm colors to counter the chills of Michigan winter and summer AC. Across the room is the antique chair everyone fights to relax in and at the foot of the bed is a bench. All three are draped with children each night for bedtime prayers. If I occasionally sleep in after a late night of writing, I’ll wake up to cuddly kids in my bed as well—even better than sunrise birdsong for an alarm.

Clean laundry gets cleared from the bench when I tire of digging for it. The ceiling fan is dusted when it gets fuzzy enough. A vacuum is run when the lint starts to look like snow.

But making the bed is for every day.

A friend convinced me years ago that the bed makes or breaks the bedroom atmosphere. Everything else can be neat as a pin, yet spoiled by an unmade bed. On the other hand, the average mess is quite tolerable when the blankets and pillows are in place.

I so want the same to be true of me. The pretty professional portrait on my sidebar makes me look nice and decent. I think I’m fairly proficient stringing words together. When I publish a post, I want the ideas to look neat as a pin.

All the while, I try to be transparent enough for my audience to know that I have kids and a marriage and a life that’s not perfect. I lose my temper and yell sometimes and speak words unworthy of a voice. I think things that ought not be thought.

Even so, just one thing makes or breaks the atmosphere of my life—love.

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
~ 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NKJV)

Everything else in my life could look neat as a pin, yet be spoiled by absence of love.

On the other hand, my average mess is quite tolerable when love is in its place.

Make it so, dear Lord. Please, make it so.

Your feedback is appreciated. Post to
Comments or e-mail to Copyright 2010, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Time to Dance,
A Time to Mourn

This picture is being moved here from the foot of my blog. It's been parked there for about the last seven months, since our church’s Christmas program when the picture was snapped. It was my first (and, so far, last) opportunity to take part in the worship dance I’ve longed to do for the last twenty years.

And behold, a man of Ethiopia ... had come to Jerusalem to worship, was returning... So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, "Do you understand what you are reading?" And he said, "How can I, unless someone guides me?" And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him.
~ Acts 8:27-31 (NKJV)

Sunday night my church presented a report on a recent trip to Russia by our pastor and one of our elders. They'd provided critically needed training to a team of Russian pastors, who live with great needs. Unemployment is at 80%, and they work however they might to survive so that they can serve their churches on weekends. In one community of 70,000, only 200 are Christians. Their beautiful woodland areas are devoid of the wildlife which has been hunted by residents for subsistence.

Their greatest need is materials and teachers to gain understanding of the Bible.

Distress of economy did not hinder Russian hospitality. Our visiting duo was treated with the best to be offered, such as liver gravy over rice and fish hash. Their “riches” were traded for the riches of knowledge being transported across the Atlantic.

In America we take for granted our access to abundance of food and knowledge. The Russians take nothing for granted, Before our pastor left, he was cornered with a plea: "Can your wife come next time? Can she teach our women? Please?"

I restrained tears at such words, my heart mourning in the same room where I once danced.

And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, "Come over to Macedonia and help us."
~ Acts 16:9 (NKJV)

I publish this blog to share what I’ve learned through intensive study of the Bible. I ask the Lord to send people here as pleases Him, assuring myself that it doesn’t matter how many or how few visitors He sends. His Word shall not return void.

But now, I long to reach just a few more people—some of my Russian family. Might they find access to Bible truths and Q&A for which they are famished in this place? Perhaps? (Is there any chance, Lord?)

I don’t yet know that answer. In the meantime I’ve streamlined, removing some photos and features so this page loads more quickly on a dial-up connection. I’ve installed a translator so posts can be read in Russian, or a host of other languages. I’m putting a couple of my “back 40 posts” (as my friend Bud calls them) in storage, because they might be confusing.

"And indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you."
~ Acts 27:24 (NKJV)

I will plow now and pray for rain.

My Father, I'm grateful for all You've granted me to learn about You and the Bible. You know where famine exists for understanding Your Word. Please show favor to Your hungry people and send them Bread from Heaven. And if it might please You, please use me. Here am I, Lord.

Your feedback is appreciated. Post to Comments or e-mail to Copyright 2010, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Who Am I?

"I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies and of all the truth which You have shown Your servant."
~ Genesis 32:10 (NKJV)

Who Am I?

The Bible quotes David asking three times, "Who am I, that ..." The man after God's own heart asked this of Saul shortly after slaying Goliath, of God after receiving promise of an everlasting kingdom, and again shortly before he died.

Please permit me to quote from that last instance with greater length than I generally use here:

"Blessed are You,
LORD God of Israel, our Father, forever and ever.
Yours, O LORD, is the greatness,
The power and the glory,
The victory and the majesty;
For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours;
Yours is the kingdom, O LORD,
And You are exalted as head over all.
Both riches and honor come from You,
And You reign over all.
In Your hand is power and might;
In Your hand it is to make great
And to give strength to all.
"Now therefore, our God,
We thank You
And praise Your glorious name.
But who am I, and who are my people,
That we should be able to offer so willingly as this?
For all things come from You,
And of Your own we have given You.
For we are aliens and pilgrims before You,
As were all our fathers;
Our days on earth are as a shadow,
And without hope... "
~ 1 Chronicles 29:10-15 (NKJV)

Whatever his lapses, whatever his achievements, David did not lose sight of the fact that he was quite small, and God is quite large; that without the Lord, we are utterly without hope; that the Lord is worthy of our blessing at all times, even in the valley of the shadow of death.

It is a fitting perspective.

Who am I, that the Lord of all the earth
Would care to know my name
Would care to feel my hurt?
Who am I, that the bright and morning star
Would choose to light the way
For my ever wondering heart?

Not because of who I am
But because of what You've done
Not because of what I've done
But because of who You are

I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
A vapor in the wind
Still You hear me when I'm calling
Lord You catch me when I'm falling
And You told me who I am
I am Yours, I am Yours

Who am I, that the eyes that see our sin
Would look on me with love
And watch me rise again?
Who am I, that the voice that calmed the sea
Would call out through the rain
And calm the storm in me? ...

Whom shall I fear?
Whom shall I fear?
'Cause I am Yours
I am Yours

Your feedback is appreciated. Post to Comments or e-mail to Copyright 2010, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
Lyrics of "Who Am I?" as recorded by Casting Crowns are written by Hall, John Mark; © 2003 Reunion Records, Inc.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Question of the Week:
How Should Marriage be Performed?

"Chains do not hold a marriage together.
It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads
which sew people together through the years."
~ Simone Signoret

What does the Bible say about how marriage should be performed? Are marriages outside the Church valid?
~ Rachel Hirst, Port Orange, FL

If there's a topic offering more room for misunderstanding of Scripture than the Trinity and the sovereignty of God combined, it would be marriage.

Though the first question (above) is how marriage should be performed, it implies a query about how to perform the weddings by which marriage is established. Let’s address both.

The Bible (particularly Song of Solomon) describes how couples of ancient Israel were joined in marriage—but Scripture does not give actual instructions on necessary components of a wedding.

Marriage itself was established when the Lord created Eve, in a passage later quoted and confirmed by Jesus. The verses are most familiar for their use in wedding ceremonies:

But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.... Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And Adam said:
"This is now bone of my bones
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man."
Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
~ Genesis 2:20-24 (NKJV)

The Bible goes on to say a great deal about how men are to treat their wives. Several places address women about their attitude toward husbands. Throughout Old and New Testaments, it is clear that God established marriage as a most sacred institution, and that He thoroughly abhors adultery and divorce. Reverence of marriage is emphasized as a portrait of the covenant relationship the Lord makes with His people.

Who has authority to validate marriage?

Marriage between a man and woman is the family institution which stabilizes civilizations, and societies in which marriage breaks down also crumble, so the state is one entity with a reasonable interest in establishing marriage, where no church sanction is sought. However ...

Where there is no counsel, the people fall;
But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.
~ Proverbs 11:14 (NKJV)

The man and woman who respect God do well to ask the counsel and blessing (officiating) of church authority. Responsible church leaders of all denominations will actively guide couples to neither enter nor exit marriage without the most serious consideration.

I am aware that the Roman Catholic Church goes beyond offering counsel, and that it denounces marriage by Catholics performed “outside” the church. However, since I consider the Bible the first and final authority on matters of faith, I suggest that a valid marriage covenant is established when a man and woman:
• reverence marriage as a permanent relationship established by God;
• exchange formal vows before witnesses; and
• give themselves to one another in physical union.

© 2010 Anne Lang Bundy
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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Multiple Jumpers

I thought I might try a more casual post for Pleasantly Disturbed Thursdays, the brainchild of the pleasantly disturbed and awkward-tender-moment-infamous Duane Scott.
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"Blessed be childhood, which brings down something of heaven
into the midst of our rough earthliness."
~ Henri Frédéric Amiel

My kids have a good daddy, who this week assembled the new trampoline he did NOT want (due to injury potential).

Our kids longed to jump with joyful abandon and break free of gravity. They came to me, believing I can bring the impossible to pass. They offered to pay for most of a trampoline (they did), to be careful and pray for safety (yes please, Lord), and to be good for the rest of their lives (do I really look that naive?) if I would talk Dad into a trampoline.

I told them to wait, and wait some more, until weeks passed and they thought they would die from waiting. Then when they'd performed a particularly gruesome, cruel and unusual chore to impress their father (the details escape me), I used my subtle influence to garner the coveted approval.

Surprise #1 was watching a deceptively small box birth a behemoth for which we'd not seen a display model. Surprise #2 was the inane warnings. MULTIPLE JUMPERS INCREASE THE RISK OF LOSS OF CONTROL LEADING TO PARALYSIS OR DEATH—ONLY ONE PERSON AT A TIME / DO NOT DO SOMERSAULTS (FLIPS) / SECURE THE TRAMPOLINE AGAINST ANY UNAUTHORIZED USE / NOT FOR USE BY CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 6 / AVOID JUMPING TOO HIGH OR FOR TOO LONG. Are you kidding me? Did the manufacturer's legal team ever experience a trampoline or a childhood? What are the standards for too high or too long? And secure it how? Disassemble and put back in the box after use?

Our house rules include being careful with the little kids, flips are allowed only when you jump solo, and if you involve me in a dispute about taking turns, you risk being the one to get a time out.

For the first few hours, my five darlings were the picture of consideration and caution. The following hours included the abuse of rules (either flippancy or shoving rules at others), the finger-pointing, and the selfishness which sadden and frustrate me.

Yet consideration and caution seem to have nonetheless prevailed. I'm hopeful that we've managed to instill in our daughters and sons the house rules suitable for all situations: love one another, look out for one another, and remember to be careful of your own self, too.

I cannot help but think of the church. We come to Jesus leaping with abandon, joyful to break free from the burden of sin. Everything starts out pleasant and lovely. Then people impose well-meaning but unrealistic rules which are powerless to compel the caution and consideration not inherent to our natures. Following close behind will be the abuse of rules (either flippancy or shoving rules at others), finger-pointing, and selfishness which sadden and frustrate me.

Yet I remain hopeful that the Holy Spirit will eventually prevail and convey this message: love one another, look out for one another, and be careful of your own self while you're at it.

"By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."
~ John 13:35 (NKJV)

P.S. Surprise #3 is that I'm a favorite trampoline partner, because the kids love to make a laughing fool of me while playing Crack the Egg.

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Scorch of Heat

The theme for today’s blog carnival (hosted by Bridget Chumbley) is "Summer." You're invited to visit her site for other related thoughts. :D

"Find the Lord before you need Him."
~ Randy Travis, from Don't Ever Sell Your Saddle

Scorch of Heat

"Some [seed] fell on stony ground ... and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away."
~ Mark 4:5-6 (NKJV)

"Find the Lord before you need Him" could easily be read as no more than "get converted to Jesus before you die, lest you face Hell's fire."

Scorch of heat shows up way before you die, as does some form of death.

It might be the death of a dream, of a job, of health. It might be the death of a relationship or loved one. Death travels with sin, and you can plan to encounter the two often in this world. When they arrive, plan on a forecast of heat.

"But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away."
~ Luke 8:13 (NKJV)

Those who declare faith in Jesus but then fail to build their lives upon Him will be like plants without deep roots. They may look good for a short time. But when scorching heat comes, they quickly wither.

We are a pampered people with little tolerance for heat. (Anyone remember the days when air conditioning was an option on cars rather than standard equipment?) Pain need not be tolerated when an array of medication is available. Health care is expected to remedy any affliction. No money? Buy now with no payments until you've forgotten they're due. Has disaster struck? Sue someone or elect new politicians. Relationship difficulty? Move on.

Or so says the culture.

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
And whose hope is the LORD.
For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear when heat comes ..."
~ Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NKJV)

The person who has learned to trust in the Lord in the everyday difficulties will know how to find Him when facing life's deaths, when true heat arrives.

And you can plan that scorching heat will come, as surely as summer does.

Refiner, help us to trust Your fire. Help us to cooperate with Your work of testing us, refining us, proving us, assured that You will not burn us. Put words of praise in our mouths at all times.

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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Make the Love Between Us Flow

"This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you."
~ John 15:12 (NKJV)

Reconciliation was and is the work of God. In every way, the Lord Jesus worked to bring reconciliation between God and mankind, among people. The difficulties in our life which God allows draw us to His throne in prayer, and compel us to work together for resolution and unity.

True unity is of another, unseen world. We learn it from the things of this world which are seen. We see birth and death that we might understand a bigger circle which unifies.

We see colors, that we might better understand the God Who is all colors of light—Who visited the earth as Son of Man and allowed us to glimpse purest love.

The Coloring Song

Red is the color of the blood that flowed
down the face of Someone Who loved us so,
He's the perfect Man, He's the Lord's Own Son,
He's the Lamb of God, He's the only One,
that can give us life, that can make us grow,
that can make the Love between us flow

Blue is the color of a heart so cold
that will not bend when the story's told,
of the Love of God for a sinful race,
of the Blood that flowed down Jesus' face
that can give us life, that can make us grow,
that can keep our hearts from growing cold

Gold is the color of the morning sun
that shines so freely on everyone,
it's the sun above that keeps us warm,
it's the Son of Love that calms the storm
that can give us life, that can make us grow,
that can turn our mornings into gold

Brown is the color of the autumn leaves,
when the winter comes to the barren trees,
there is birth, there is death, there is a plan
and there's just one God and there's just one Man
that can give us life, that can make us grow,
that can make our sins as white as snow

That can give us life, that can make us grow,
that can turn our mornings into gold,

That can give us life, that can make us grow,
that can keep our hearts from growing cold,

That can give us life, that can make us grow,
that can make the Love between us flow

Your feedback is appreciated. Post to Comments or e-mail to Copyright 2010, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
"The Coloring Song" by Petra, from the album Never Say Die
©1981 Star Song Records

Friday, July 9, 2010

Seven Day Creation, More

This week's Question of the Week is about the Bible's account of a seven-day creation.

For further information on the Creation and Science vs. Evolution debate, I offer the following highlights from a section of the Biblical History and Culture course I occasionally teach to elementary home school students.

If I could choose a single biblical point to show Scripture's irreconcilable conflict with evolution, it is the emphatic assertion (recorded in both Old and New Testaments) that death did not exist anywhere in creation until after humans sinned. Evolution demands that life evolved from billions of years of death before man and sin existed.

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SCIENCE = ("what is"—facts)
can be proven by observing and experimenting with
structure and behavior of the physical and natural world
(examples are biology, chemistry, astronomy)

HISTORY ("what was"—facts)
a record of past events
passed on by people who observed them,
or as shown by other physical evidence
(examples are artifacts, archeology, preserved records)

science of the earth’s structure and substance,
which is also a record of our planet’s history.

THEORY = AN IDEA (opinion)
looks at science and history and offers
an uncertain explanation for missing details
(if it’s proven by facts, it’s not a theory anymore)


The Bible and collected evidence explain geology
by the catastrophic disturbance of the global flood
+ erosion, deposition, fossilization
("a short time and a lot of water")

Evolution says geology is a slow process
of erosion, deposition, fossilization
+ occasional local catastrophes
("a long time and a little water")

Berlingame Canyon and Mount St. Helens
are two examples of major geological formations
observed to take shape in a matter of days
and of the unreliability in rock dating methods


• Bible says all kinds of life came before any death (not death before some kinds of life)
• Bible says creation began with God’s spoken Word (not "Big Bang")
• Bible says creation took six days (not billions of years)
• Bible says the earth is about six thousand (6,000) years old
• Bible says perfection became disorder (not disorder became order)
• Bible gives a seven-day week not present in Astronomy
• Bible says man has knowledge of good and evil from the Creator

• Science cannot explain the origin of non-biological matter
• Science shows life comes only from existing life; life cannot emerge from a sterile environment under any condition
• Science does not see life cells gain new information leading to more complex life forms (1)
• Science cannot find links necessary for evolution
• Science shows interdependent biological systems could have neither evolved independently, nor reasonably evolved in tandem
• Science measures changes which could not take billions of years (2)
• Science shows not all planets rotate in the same direction (3)

(1) Science only observes mutant life forms produced by dysfunctional cells with either defective or missing information
(2) Numerous measurable processes (earth’s magnetic field decay, ocean salt and sediment accumulation, gravitational collapse of the sun, continent erosion, and atmospheric helium accumulation from radioactive decay are a few examples) are either far too slow or too fast to have possibly occurred for millions or billions of years.
(3) Retrograde rotation of the planet Venus and horizontal rotation of Uranus are inconsistent with theories of explosive debris from a "Big Bang."

Facts that can be explained only by the Bible’s version of creation:
• Days, months, and years are all measured by astronomical functions of the earth and moon, while the seven-day week—used across the globe—is a measurement which originates only in Scripture.
• Moral laws written on the conscience ("common law") exist in civilized and isolated tribal cultures alike because they originate with the Creator.
• The enormous power which both originated matter and set creation in motion is the might of God’s spoken Word; the same radical power of God’s Word explains other miraculous events of the Bible and is contained in the Bible itself.

Compilation by Anne Lang Bundy, © 2007, 2010, all rights reserved.

Question of the Week:
Seven Day Creation?

“Nothing less than a whole Bible can make a whole Christian.”
~ A.W. Tozer

Does a person have to believe that the world was created in seven days in order to go to heaven?
~ Russell, Port Orange, FL

Nope. But it sure is the shortest and safest route.

If a person believes the Gospel of Jesus Christ contained in the pages of the Bible, it will bolster faith considerably to also believe the entire Bible as God’s Word. The moment a person begins to pick and choose which parts of the Bible to believe, no point of faith—including salvation—can be certain.

Evolution masquerades as science. It is an absurd and rapidly crumbling theory of atheism, in conflict with both science and the Bible. A culture brainwashed to accept evolution as fact will have difficulty believing the opening pages of the Bible which describe the actual creation.

Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
Genesis 1:31 (NKJV)

If the Bible can be discounted on page one, why believe anything else it says? It isn’t difficult to believe that the earth was created in seven days, because science thoroughly supports that fact.* The Bible goes on to assert quite outlandish ideas which completely defy science:
• the woman Mary conceived a child by divine word without a man;
• Jesus was raised to life after being dead for three days and nights;
• Christians will one day be instantaneously transported into the sky without any vehicle.

Today’s question could also be viewed this way:

How much of the Bible must a person believe and understand to secure eternal life? How does a person determine which details of Scripture are critical to faith, and which ones supplement faith?

Neither theologians nor committed Christians will all agree on all those answers this side of Heaven’s gates. The points of Scripture I personally consider critical are contained in my
Statement of Faith.

If I could choose a single biblical point to show Scripture's irreconcilable conflict with evolution, it is the emphatic assertion (recorded in both Old and New Testaments) that death did not exist anywhere in creation until after humans sinned. Evolution demands that life evolved from billions of years of death before man and sin existed.

* For those interested in creation facts from the Bible and science, showing their agreement with one another and their conflict with evolution, you may find a handful of them

© 2010
Anne Lang Bundy
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This post originally appeared at Bullets & Butterflies. To see comments, click here.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Psalm 56:8-11

Today's post is dedicated to my beautiful friend Susan.

My tremblings
of an exile longing for home
of a wayfarer knowing no rest
steps without number
these, Thou mark each one.

My tears
rivers of bitter waters
my food day and night
seeds sown for joy
these, Thou place in Thy drinkskin.

Are these indeed accounted and stored
as sacred to Thee?
Would each tremble be numbered
as if costly treasure?
Would each drop be preserved
until aged as fine wine?

Behold my frailty!
When I cry out Thy name
proclaiming Thee
then my enemy shall cease
turning back from whence he came
for Elohim is with me.

In Elohim
in His Word
I boast.

in His Word
I boast.

My trust
my attachment
my confidings
my reliance
these, I place in Elohim.

No fear shall I own.
For what can be accomplished
to concern me
by men of dust?

With Thee shall I wait
for all Thou shall accomplish.

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Art image: A Drop of Wine, Steve Mac
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Sunday, July 4, 2010

I Pledge Allegiance ...

Today's post is written with love for my nation and is dedicated to my sister Mary, who challenged me to write on a topic which proved far more difficult than I anticipated.

I Pledge Allegiance ...

... to the flag of the United States of America ...

My country’s flag fills me with pride. It has long represented a nation which has been a hero to deliver allies in time of war, which has shown compassion to enemy and ally alike in disaster, which has represented Christian values and principles to the world.

... and to the republic for which it stands ...

Other than the Bible, no other writing receives my reverence as does my government's constitution.

... one nation, under God, indivisible ...

My homeland is worthy to defend with my life and blood, against foreign invasion, infiltrator's attack, or traitorous subversion.

... with liberty and justice for all.

I see my nation's gross failures. I yet love her for all she has aspired to be. She remains the greatest world power in history. I am grateful to my Creator that I am a citizen of the United States of America.

allegiance noun : the fidelity owed by a subject or citizen
to his sovereign or government

I do not hesitate to salute the American flag. I respect those who speak the Pledge of Allegiance. There may be a day when my perspective changes about what it means to pledge my allegiance to my government, when I am willing to do so.

I have spoken marriage vows by which I live. It does not seem unreasonable to likewise speak a pledge of allegiance for the nation to which I am loyal. Yet the words stick in my throat, and I do not speak them.

Because words have power. And I am determined to remember my only Sovereign.

To Him alone I give absolute allegiance.

For the LORD is our judge,
the LORD is our lawgiver,
the LORD is our king;
it is he who will save us.
~ Isaiah 33:22 (NIV)

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Friday, July 2, 2010

Question of the Week:
How to Hear the Holy Spirit?

"I still have many things to say to you,
but you cannot bear them now.
However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come,
He will guide you into all truth."
~ John 16:12-13 (NKJV)

How does a person know the voice of the Holy Spirit?
~ T. Anne

The same way one knows any voice—by being familiar with it. But of course, the Holy Spirit must also speak to be heard.

My experience and the testimony I’ve heard from other people is that to hear God speak audibly (with the ear) occurs on only the most exceptional occasions. (If that happens, there’s no doubt about Who has spoken.)

My experience and the testimony I’ve heard from other people is that the Holy Spirit speaks words like a breath heard in the heart alone.

Part of prayer is talking, but richest prayer includes hearing. Many people have told me that they don’t hear God speak when they pray. I would offer the following reasons for that:
• we don’t listen quietly enough
• we don’t listen long enough
• we talk too much to listen
• He is silent for a reason
• we confuse His voice with other voices
• we don’t recognize His voice
• He is speaking without words

We live in a loud world. Retreating from noise makes it easier to hear from God. Listening long enough is another. Quieting our own desires (our will) is perhaps most important of all, because until we lay aside the will within us, it usually drowns out hearing God’s will.

Which is one of the reasons God may simply be silent—He knows we’re not ready to truly hear what He wants to say. We might pray for a long time, telling Him what we want, and never reach the place of asking what He wants. But if we do ask what He wants, and are ready to do whatever it is, I’ve never known Him to remain silent or unclear.

If we are in prayer and hear (feel) someone speak but aren’t sure whose voice it is, making assumptions is unwise. It could be the Lord, or our own will—or the voice of the devil, who certainly makes himself heard. If it was the Lord, waiting for Him to confirm Himself is better than assuming He spoke.

We better recognize the Lord’s voice by spending time with Him. The more time we spend in prayer and reading the Bible, the more sensitive we become to His voice and language. The more time we spend listening to the world, the more difficult it is to discern Him.

I have also known the Spirit to sometimes speak without words during prayer. He will gently turn my attention where He wishes it and fill me with such clear understanding that I know it is truth. I think of it as "the light bulb goes on."

Any good relationship is far more than talking to a person. It is talking with a person—talking mingled with listening. In relationship with God, one listens attentively for His voice, knowing He wants to be heard.

When one deeply loves God and sits quietly in His presence, even His silences can be quite pleasant.

"And the sheep follow [the shepherd], for they know his voice... I am the good Shepherd... My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me."
~ John 10:4,11,27 (NKJV)

© 2010 Anne Lang Bundy
Art image: "Pentecost" (1732) by Jean II Restout
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