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by Rick Bowen | May 1, 2013
Let’s get right to the point! I was reviewing my frustrations the other day. Yep, I was frustrated. When I am frustrated, irritated, annoyed, or angered, I go over it in my mind to see if I need to repent. I check to see if I brought it on myself. I suppose that this is good because we can discover when we need to repent and adjust our minds to the WORD! Believe me, I have repented many times. I have also found that sometimes it is not me, rather it is God (in me) that is grieved. I actually get to empathize with God. Or, maybe it is better to say I feel in a SMALL way what God feels.
God can be grieved (Ephesians 4:30). Right away the concept of emotions and God becomes a subject for another blog post. However, let’s zero in on the fact of his grief for this post. The Bible says that we can grieve the Holy Spirit!
I looked up the word grieve in the original and it means to cause severe mental or emotional distress, vex, irritate, offend, or insult
. Think about it! You can insult and offend the Holy Ghost. I want to propose to you that many that are called by the name of Jesus are currently (NOW) grieving the Holy Spirit. I don’t think most wake up one morning and whimsically decide that, “Today, I think I will just vex the Holy Spirit! Yep I said vex!
How so? It would be easy to conclude that you could do it by allowing wrath and slander to be a part of your life. However, look at the context! The pericope of Ephesians 4:17-31 includes much more.
It teaches us that we are not to walk as the “Gentiles” (pagans) which have dark minds and function in futility (what a waste). They are ignorant because of hard hearts. In other words they chose ignorance. Oh Wow! Because of this they have become callous and then give themselves up to sensuality and practice every kind of impurity. This choice is a process of making bad decisions, sometimes small and sometimes huge. As time goes by darkness and callousness set in.
Apparently Christians can grieve the Holy Spirit assuming that their seal is automatic and thus something that can be neglected. This passage teaches that in order to keep from grieving God, a consistent and permanent effort must be made to put one self in a position of maturity and strength.
Those that please the Lord upon hearing his teaching are those that will avoid grieving the Holy Spirit. Notice the words like taught in this passage. We learn what to do and not to do. I don’t know how people learn or get taught when they are not present. So you got it, my frustration was about delinquency and sloppy church attendance. Those that do not make frequent and consistent teaching and worship a priority in their lives by default put themselves in this place of potentially grieving the Holy Spirit and the Word says, “Don’t do it!”
by Rick Bowen | April 17, 2013
As I was praying today, I felt the Holy Spirit drop something into my spirit for you (and me). Taking this Enoch walk this year and drawing a parallel between our days (365) with Enoch’s years (365), we have deemed each day a STEP, a God pleasing step!
I remember a phrase that used to be used in some circles I traveled in, “Don’t half step!” This simply means give a full effort. Maybe you have used the description: half hearted! Either way you can see that there remains an emptiness when all a day has is not accessed or it’s potential is not realized!
Every day of the year has 24 hours in it. Health professionals tell us that we must allow a certain amount of that time for sleep if we are going to function in an optimal manner. Then there are waking hours. Some of this time is used to plan. Planning is good. But, then some is used for worrying, fretting and regretting. Worry and regret are thieves that steal our time and leave us feeling cheated and empty!
I think you can agree with me that we arrive at the end of many of our days (steps) with a feeling of waste, futility, and even failure. We simply do not “feel” that we used the day to the fullest. No, we are often not fulfilled when the sun sets.
So, I propose to you that every day has a fullness to it and our goal should be to get the fullness out of each day. What that is specifically is determined by any number of criteria. There is no doubt that we need the Holy Spirit and the Word of God to help us determine what that is. Sometimes we won’t know exactly how to chart it. But, we can have a mindset of valuing each day as a gift from God and seek to find fullness in each one.
How did this come to me? Oddly from the scriptures found in the book of Acts 2:1-4, where the Bible says: When the Day of Pentecost had FULLY come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it FILLED the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all FILLED with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Even though this scripture obviously speaks of something that had to happen on that day (the coming of the Holy Spirit), I think we get a glimpse into the purpose of A day. I hope you don’t mind me using a play on the words filled or fully to make my point. But, it is certainly something to think about.
Ephesians 5:18 says we are to be filled with the Spirit. Therefore each day does have a fullness to it, the fullness of the Spirit. Will you get the fullness out of Today?
by Rick Bowen | April 2, 2013
Okay, I have seen the final episode of The Bible Miniseries, one of the most watched television productions of all time. We can certainly conclude that their is a hunger for some things spiritual in this country. It may be hard to believe with all the emphasis on the huge fundamental changes that seem to be taking place in our face. But, the statistics don’t lie. Someone is interested in the Bible and someone is interested in decent television.
I have to admit they got me on the death of John. I thought, “now that can’t be”! Something is not right here! Then, ha ha! John is not dead after all! How could he be? He had to write the book of Revelation of the Island called Patmos. But, all the talk of inaccuracies prepped me to be thrown by what looked like it would have been one of the biggest.
They got all kinds of baptism in that last episode too. So I guess all denominations got their version presented in part. Although we do believe in immersion in the name of Jesus, it begs the question, what would I do if I didn’t have enough water and someone wanted to be saved and follow Jesus? You would probably do whatever you could for the time being. The Ethiopian eunuch in the Bible told Phillip that there was water so what kept him from being baptized. He and Phillip went down into the water. Because they could, they did (Acts 8:26-40). Everyone that follows Jesus should be baptized in his name (Acts 2:38,39)!
Although I saw Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ more than once, I have to say that Mark and Roma’s presentation of the flogging and crucifixion was just as moving. I moaned and groaned and was on the verge of tears. Uh! Thank God. Thank you Jesus!
I had never seen, to my recollection, anyone include the tongues of Pentecost in a movie before. I think they did a good and tasteful job of that. It should make all of us want to have a fresh up to date experience in the Holy Spirit!
In order, to get it all in, they kind of mashed numerous stories into one. I understood the method, so I had no problem with it. In context, it is a movie. The Book is always better. Read it, believe it and live it.
The Bible Miniseries has only begun its journey in the media, around the world, and into the minds and hearts of men and women, boys and girls! It will be viewed and talked about for many years to come and has and will set all kinds of records. Like the Book on which it based the numbers and statistics of usage will be staggering!
Ah. The Bible. The Book. His WORD!
by Rick Bowen | March 25, 2013
There is no doubt that literary license was employed to compose the highly successful Bible Miniseries. Some of that latitude has been questioned and even ridiculed. There are some things I wonder about as well.
But, after having done my research about the motive and method of Mark and Roma, I have moved beyond the reasons to be harshly critical about seeming discrepancies. I am solid on the Book itself. The Bible is the Word of God. The movie is, well, THE MOVIE.
Ironically when viewing the “adapted illustrations” of many truly biblical scenes by making them into one, I have learned a few things. For instance, the Miniseries shows David as a friend of Uriah the Hittite, and thus Bathsheba, before the infamous lusting scenario. I went hmmm, okay maybe so. Then today I got my Bible out and found out that Uriah was one of Davids 30 mighty men (1 Chronicles 11:41). So he had to have known him well and probably interacted with him and his wife.
Some things are a little obscure in the Bible and don’t readily jump out at you. But, when you study, lo and behold there it is.
To further allude to this particular story line, you may have noticed Nathan the prophet talking with David about the future building of the temple while David was peeking periodically over the side of the roof at Bathsheba’s bath time. Both of these things happened, but I doubt they happened at the same time. This is an example of taking two or more things that happened and condensing them into one scene. We can agree it shorts the screen time.
So far, the one scene that I did have the most problem with is the way that Lazarus was raised from the dead and HE WAS! In the Bible, Lazarus is called out of the tomb by Jesus. We don’t see Jesus and Martha going into the tomb. Why did the writers do this? I don’t know. I know what The Book says. And if people go to the Bible itself like Mark and Roma WANT them to and to Church and get in relationship with Jesus they will begin to see more clearly what The Scriptures record, document and proclaim! Stay tuned for the last episode and Thanks Mark and Roma for this month of video reminders!!
by Rick Bowen | March 19, 2013
Are you enjoying the Bible Miniseries? I hope so! I am! Some scenes are riveting and worthy of a loud shout like, “Jesus, His name is Jesus!” I had to shout on that one. There are others that make me raise my hand in exultation! “God is with us”! If he is then who can be against us (Romans 8:31)?!
There is no doubt that countless thousands across the country are gleaning a new inspiration to read the Book and engage others in fruitful scriptural discussion. This opportunity to talk about the stories of the Bible and the truths that they portray is priceless! I plan to take advantage of it. I encourage you to do the same. The movie never is as a good as the book. So we always hope people will go further and read their Bible, find the Savior, and go to church!
I still notice some on Twitter, etc. wondering out loud, if not criticizing, about certain discrepancies. Was Moses white? Was Sampson black? Why did they leave this or that out? Criticisms come from people that don’t understand the purpose of the producers, haven’t done their research, don’t know who the producers are. They also come from honest folks that believe in accuracy. Of course there are also the scoffers and mockers that have no intention of doing anything but damaging and destroying all that Christianity holds dear.
I have seen so many questions and/or criticisms that I have begun watching it with a more critical eye, not for the purpose of giving a thumbs down, but to see why the producer might have made certain choices. Since I know the Bible well and I know that we only have 10 hours to work with, I understand a large part of the decisions that were made. Would I make the same ones? Probably not. But, I am not a television or movie producer. In order to move the theme (primary story) forward great stories were left out. Narrations help this but still there has to be a way of establishing continuity. The plot has to flow. When doing that it seems that inaccuracies are employed. Perhaps technically they are necessary. At the same time if you know the Scripture, your mind remembers that this is where the Handwriting on the Wall would be, for instance! You can fill in the gaps. The person that is not a student will need to find a local church and start reading the Book so that they can find out “the rest of the story”!
Problem would be solved if one would just read the disclaimer that is posted at the beginning of every episode. This is an ADAPTION of the Bible Stories, we have attempted to stay true to the theme”! I believe that Mark and Roma have done that, stayed through to the theme. So let us continue to watch it and enjoy it with that in mind. In the mean time its time to read the Bible more than ever and ask the Holy Spirit to help us rightly understand and apply it! What a GREAT BOOK!
by Rick Bowen | March 7, 2013
We recently had to move and organize a number of things in our house including our books. I came across the “Left Behind Series” by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. I think there are 15 volumes in all. This series is based on a traditional pre-tribulation viewpoint of eschatology. We know that all theologians and Christians don’t agree on endtime events. But, the books were very compelling and enjoyable. They are meant to be fiction based on fact. When a reader allows for that idea, he doesn’t get thrown by any embellishments! He knows it is not anything less than literary license to make the story flow and speculate as to how the characters might feel and act.
Today I thought about the more recently made movie call “One Night With the King.” This movie was made based on a book written by Tommy Tenney. Again, we have a true biblical story that has been “fleshed” out to include thoughts and conversations not mentioned in the scriptural text. When we read fiction based on fact we enjoy it and then challenge ourselves to do a little research to find out what happened and what didn’t and what might have. It makes our understanding more comprehensive and full.
Many more allusions could be made in my reading and viewing experience with things pertaining to the scriptures. This month’s miniseries, The Bible is similar. The Bible Miniseries was purposefully put together in a way to present the main theme of the whole book in a compelling way. In doing so, time, video parameters and protocol, along with the imagination of the writers give us a lot of fiction between the lines as the attempt to present many important facts is employed. It is intended to be a panoramic presentation of the scripture. I am not a movie critic! However, I know when I have enjoyed something and feel like it looked pretty real here and there. I expect more of the same in the upcoming episodes.
If I were schooled in all the technicalities of story telling and film making, I am sure I would have opinions as to the details of the quality and the attempt to follow protocol by those involved in the making of this series. But...
I am a prophetic teacher. I am a student and teacher of theology. So, I welcome this opportunity to take this tool that was put together in “good faith”. I value the heart of a couple that has a huge appreciation for the Bible. Instead of picking it apart for what it might not be, I am using the opportunity of this attention getting presentation to teach the truth as much as I know it (based on the actual Book of course)
In doing so I will point out a few things that were left out, or, that were included that may or may not be in the TEXT. Most important, I have a window even a door into some people minds and hearts to impart the truth rightly divided by the help of the Holy Spirit that I didn’t have before. I for one, think that is a good thing!
by Rick Bowen | February 26, 2013
As I listened to a webinar, I realized that the upcoming miniseries was NOT another “TV misrepresentation of our Faith!” Rather it was the sincere effort to present, in visual form, the message of the Bible in 10 hours. It is an introduction to the viewer of the greatness of the Book. Several of the main stories of the Bible are tied together in a way that gives an overview of The Scriptures with a good flow. It is definitely a contrast to much what you have seen on TV in recent years. After viewing many things we feel disappointed and even assaulted. After viewing this you should feel encouraged, challenged and empowered!
Listening to Roma, over and over, talk about praying over casting the roles and praying with the actors, listening to these producers talk about striving for accuracy by consulting with theologians and people that knew more than them brings great peace to those of us that want our faith validated and not attacked!
You can hear their love for The Bible as they talk. It is compelling and it is contagious. It makes you want to spread the news that this opportunity is almost here. Let me encourage you to use your tools, social media, email, snail mail, telephone and of course your personal interaction with people to get the word out that the Bible will be on television for 5 weeks. There will be 3 chances each week to see each 2 hour episode. Don’t miss one minute of it.
Use this platform to get people talking about the greatest story every told. Invite them to church to hear some of the answers to questions they might have or a further explanation of some of the things they will see. Renew your devotional time as well. Get Ready, get ready, get ready!
by Rick Bowen | February 14, 2013
Opportunity! Window! More! Door! Chance! However you want to characterize the month of March in the year of 2013, one thing is for sure, it will be unique! For 5 consecutive weeks, The Bible Miniseries will be shown on television (3/2hour episodes each week).
It has been said that a picture paints a thousand words. What about a moving picture!? The redemptive theme of the Bible is presented in realistic living drama, suspense, mystery, romance, and action. Your friends and relatives can see it. All you have to do is let everyone you know know about it!
At Victory Temple we will do Sunday mornings in cadence with the series. Our sermon content and worship themes will be centered on this unfolding plot that runs from Genesis to Revelation in one short month. People, that ordinarily might not come to church with you, have a golden opportunity to enter into a new phase of their life with a fresh view of the Scriptures.
Will you be a catalyst to encourage the participation of several that you know? We will be announcing this coming Sunday some of the tools and resources that will be available upon request. Start making your plans now to be as involved as possible.
You might consider having a viewing party at your house on Sunday or Monday evenings. Refreshment and 4-8 people watching the series together, having discussions that make a difference and maybe praying for requests that some offer would be so rewarding.
Continue to log back into our website for updates. Check out Victory Temple on facebook or even VictoryTempleMI on Twitter and you will be sure to stay informed.
by Rick Bowen | January 31, 2013
A number of things have been said already about starting 2013 off right. Here is one more:
All too often Christians want to make certain changes in their lives only to fail miserably. It is not the lack of desire alone, but sometimes the frustration of failure that binds one to the status quo. What's the use? Think about it! Would God ask you to do something that you couldn't do and expect you to follow through?
He will only require you to do those things that He empowers you to do. However, there is a key factor that you provide! You must SET yourself in agreement with Him and SET yourself to do what He has asked you to do.
When you want the temperature changed in your house, you SET the thermostat. Similarly, when we need to make a change in our lives we must SET our minds. Habits and routines keep us where we are. We are confined to keep on with the same old same old until we decide to change and SET our mind to do what God has prompted us to do. He will then help us and make the path clear for us to reach our goals.
Collosians 3:1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
by Rick Bowen | August 20, 2012
Balance the budget! That makes sense. Make sure that the money you intend to spend is virtually the same or less as the money you generate. We hear this often today in politics. Unfortunately it seems to be nothing more than a platitude. Wouldn't it be grand though?
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