The Cyclical Nature Of Bible Study

The Cyclical Nature Of Bible Study – By Daniel W. Sheridan (Twitter: @DanielWSheridan)

I have devotBibleed my life to the study of the Scriptures. I have discovered that an honest Bible student, if truly interested in pursuing truth wherever it leads, will go through a continuous three-phase cycle in this pursuit:

  1. Discovery
  2. Criticism
  3. Reconstruction

Discovery is that “ah ha” moment when you come across a new truth. This is a dangerous time, however. Too many mistake the thrill of the moment for substance. The discovery must go through phase two, it must be proved. Criticism is the thought process that examines a discovery and looks for its beauties or defects. Many “ah ha” moments, though thrilling at first, when they are examined in the quietness of mature meditation, of rumination, in combination with consistent perusal of the Sacred Volume, are found to have been inaccurate and in need of adjustment – of reconstruction.

Treat new discoveries as a working theory. Subject that discovery to criticism. Most importantly, be willing to reconstruct that working theory to align with truth.

“Be careful for nothing,” says Paul, including your growth in the knowledge of God’s Word.

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The Big Picture

The Big Picture – By Daniel W Sheridan (Twitter: @DanielWSheridan)

The Bible begins with, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” The Bible ends, not with Revelation, even though that’s the last book in the Bible it’s not the end historically, but the Bible ends historically in 1 Corinthians 15:20-28 where we read, “Then cometh the end…that God may be all in all.”

The Bible tells us creation came out from God and all of it leads back to God. In the beginning God was all, in the end God will be all in all. In between we have the story of the human race, Adam’s sin in the garden, the consequences, nations rising and falling, the coming of the Savior into the world accomplishing redemption, from that point the Savior’s redemption is being worked out in human history until its blessing reaches every nook and cranny of God’s creation.

The word “end” doesn’t mean “over” in the sense that there’s nothing else to the story. When Paul says the “end” he is talking about the accomplishment of a goal. It’s “the ultimate point or thing at which one aims or directs his views; the object intended to be reached or accomplished by any action or scheme; purpose intended…” (Webster). God’s ultimate object, His intended purpose, His obsession, is to be all in all, that is, all things to all people – their everything. God took action to accomplish His object by sending His Son Jesus Christ to be the Savior of the World. The “end” is secure because Jesus Christ is no failure!

It’s good to know the end of the story, isn’t it? God’s story ends happily ever after. But we don’t know all the details along the way, we have to experience those, and much of that experience isn’t too pleasant, but it will have been worth it in the end. As the road to true love never did run smooth, so too in the story of the human race, there are hard times along the way, but every wrong will ultimately be made right, hatred will be replaced by love, and death replaced with life, and then we together will have made it to our desired haven.

That’s the story of the Bible in a nutshell – Big Picture!

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Cable Across The Pacific

On this day, December 14, 1902, work begins one what would become one of the greatest accomplishments in the history of commercial and industrial America. Here’s the story:

Cable Across The Pacific – By Daniel W. Sheridan (Twitter:@DanielWSheridan)

The laying of the Commercial Pacific Cable was one of the greatest accomplishments of the commercial and industrial history of America: crossing the Atlantic with a telegraphic cable.

The Silverton_Pacific CableOn this day, December 14, 1902, the cable ship Silvertown, of the India Rubber Gutta-percha and Telegraph Company, sailed from San Francisco on a mission to lay telegraphic cable across the Pacific.

They laid 17 nautical miles on the 15th, they were up to 259 on the 16th, increasing their output to average about 200 miles of laid cable per day. These brave men worked through the holiday having laid a total of 2,109 nautical miles by the end of Christmas day. After two weeks of intense labor they made were close to Honolulu having laid 2,277 miles of cable. Check out this graph:

Cable_Stats

From that beautiful island paradise, on January 1, 1903, they sent a successful test message. A few days later the system was up and running and available to the public. Later that summer cables were extended from Honolulu to Midway, from Midway to Guam, and finally from Guam to Manila.

Silverton Cable DeckA contemporary writer wrote praised the work saying it “speaks volumes for the energy and resources of the Commercial Pacific Cable Company. And it is particularly gratifying that this great enterprise has been achieved by private capital and without aid from the Government.”

On July 4 of 1903 President Roosevelt sent the first message from Long Island, New York, to Governor Taft at Manila. It read,

“I open the American Pacific cable with greetings to you and the people of the Philippines.”

Taft Responded congratulated the President saying the cable “will certainly lead to closer union and a better mutual understanding of each other’s aim and sympathies and of their common interest in the prosperity of the Philippines and the education and development of the Filipinos.”

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The Virginia Bill Of Rights: Christian Love, Forbearance, and Charity

It’s Bill of Rights Week! Did you know that the practice of Christian forbearance, love, and charity, towards each other is foundational to the Bill of Rights? Find out how:

Mason's Hand Written Draft_VintageThe Virginia Bill Of Rights: The Forerunner To Our National Bill Of Rights – By Daniel Sheridan (Twitter: @DanielWSheridan)

The year 1776 saw the signing of the Declaration of Independence, it was also the year of Constitution making in the new states. But there was one question that Americans couldn’t answer clearly yet: Who had the right to declare what the law shall be?

Historian Forrest McDonald describes the problem facing the Patriots:

“Of the eight constitutions established in 1776, six were drafted by bodies especially elected for the purpose, but they were never submitted to anyone for ratification…Proclamation of a constitution by a legislative order was scarcely a satisfactory procedure, for what one legislative body could enact another could repeal. To cope with this problem, some early constitution makers appended to their constitution a list of principles that, they declared, no government could properly violate.”

The first of these lists of principles was written by George Mason of Virginia. It was on June 12, 1776, the “Virginia Declaration of Rights,” or “Bill of Rights,” was approved by the Virginia Constitutional Convention. This Bill of Rights became the preamble to the Virginia Constitution. Other states followed Virginia’s example using Mason’s work as a prototype while making revisions of their own, yet all of them with one voice proclaiming their common beliefs about the role of government and man’s natural rights.

They guaranteed, for instance, freedom of speech, of the press, and religious worship. Individual liberty was the fundamental law. “A freeman’s remedy against a restraint of his liberty ought not to be denied or delayed,” declared the North Carolina Constitution. Other freedom principles were recognized too: representative government, trial by jury, the protection against unreasonable searches of people and papers, cruel and unusual punishment were forbidden, and other fundamental liberties were secured.

Thomas Jefferson’s wording in the Declaration of Independence was inspired by Mason’s work; so were the first ten amendments of the U.S. Constitution – our national Bill of Rights.

The Virginia Bill of Rights contains sixteen declarations. George Mason wrote the first fifteen; Patrick Henry wrote the sixteenth concerning religious liberty.

Declaration 15 states:George Mason Meme

“That no free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people, but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality and virtue, and by frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.”

The word “recurrence” means “to resort to,” “to return to,” “to think about.” Mason is telling us that a government based on freedom principles won’t last long unless the people are constantly thinking about and applying correct principles to every area of life. Principles help us make the right decisions personally and politically. When Mason wrote the Virginia Declaration of Rights the principles they contained were well known and believed by the people at large because their culture was inculcated, both at home and in the classroom, with the universal principles of justice which apply to all people everywhere.

I’m not saying they practiced them perfectly, especially with the existence of the institution of slavery, but they knew them and had the courage to proclaim them as the foundational principles of our country. Our practice is usually sluggish when it comes to our principles, but if we hold on to correct principles, our practice will catch up. Living up to our lofty principles is part of the American experience; we always strive to be better.

So before we point fingers at generations gone by let’s ask ourselves: Are WE living up to these principles today?

Patrick Henry Adversity Toughens ManhoodPatrick Henry concludes the Virginia Bill of Rights with Declaration 16:

“That religion, or the duty which we owe to our CREATOR, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity, towards each other.”

America won’t remain free unless “We the People” practice these two things:

1. Think about, resort to, and return to fundamental principles.

2. Practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity, towards each other.

On June 12, 1776, the Virginia Constitutional Convention approves George Mason’s Bill of Rights, the forerunner to the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

Did you enjoy that? Then put your money where your mouth is and spread the message of liberty. Get your Pocket Constitutions at www.FreedomFactor.org and give out copies of the Constitution to friends and family! Let them know what a great heritage we have. Plus, learn how you can create custom Pocket Constitutions with your company or organization’s information on the covers!

Let’s make America an Empire of Reason Again!

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The Transforming Power Of Christianity In The Individual

The Transforming Power Of Christianity In The Individual: Men and Women

The following is an extract from Phillip Schaff’s “History of the Christian Church.” I so enjoyed these words I transcribed them for you. Enjoy!

—The Men

The transforming spiritual power of Christianity appears first in the lives of individuals. The apostles and primitive Christians rose to a morality and piety far above that of the heroes of heathen virtue…Their daily walk was a living union with Christ, ever seeking the glory of God and the salvation of men. Many of the cardinal virtues, humility, for example, and love for enemies, were unknown before the Christian day.

Peter, Paul, and John…were not without defect, indeed they themselves acknowledged only one sinless being, their Lord and Master, and they confessed their own shortcomings; yet…the moral influence of their lives and writings on all generations…is absolutely immeasurable. Each exhibits the spirit and life of Christ in a peculiar way. For the gospel does not destroy, but redeems and sanctifies the natural talents and tempers of men. It consecrates the fire of a Peter, the energy of a Paul, and the pensiveness of a John to the same service of God. It most strikingly displays its new creating power in the sudden conversion of the apostle of the Gentiles from a most dangerous foe to a most efficient friend of the church. Upon Paul the Spirit of God came as an overwhelming storm; upon John, as a gentle, refreshing breeze. But in all dwelt the same new, supernatural, divine principle of life. All are living apologies for Christianity, whose force no truth-loving heart can resist.

—The Women

Notice, too, the moral effects of the gospel in the female characters of the New Testament. Christianity raises woman from the slavish position which she held…in heathendom, to her true moral dignity and importance; makes her an heir of the same salvation with man, and opens to her a field for the noblest and loveliest virtues…The Virgin Mary marks the turning point in the history of the female sex. As the mother of Christ, the second Adam, she corresponds to Eve, and is, in a spiritual sense, the mother of all living. In her, the “blessed among women,” the whole sex was blessed, and the curse removed which had hung over the era of the fall. She was not, indeed, free from…sin…on the contrary, as a daughter of Adam, she needed, like all men, redemption and sanctification through Christ, the sole author of sinless holiness, and she herself expressly calls God her Saviour. But in the mother and educator of the Saviour of the world we no doubt may and should revere, though not worship, the model of female Christian virtue, of purity, tenderness, simplicity, humility, perfect obedience to God, and unreserved surrender to Christ. Next to her we have a lovely group of female disciples and friends around the Lord: Mary, the wife of Clopas; Salome, the mother of James and John; Mary of Bethany, who sat at Jesus’ feet; her busy and hospitable sister, Martha; Mary of Magdala, whom the Lord healed of a demoniacal possession; the sinner, who washed his feet with her tears of penitence and wiped them with her hair; and all the noble women, who ministered to the Son of man in his earthly poverty with the gifts of their love, lingered last around his cross, and were the first at his open sepulcher on the, morning of the resurrection.

Henceforth we find woman no longer a slave of man and tool of lust, but the pride and joy of her husband, the fond mother training her children to virtue and godliness, the ornament and treasure of the family, the faithful sister, the zealous servant of the congregation in every work of Christian charity, the sister of mercy, the martyr with superhuman courage, the guardian angel of peace, the example of purity, humility, gentleness, patience, love, and fidelity unto death. Such women were unknown before. The heathen Libanius, the enthusiastic eulogist of old Grecian culture, pronounced an involuntary eulogy on Christianity when he exclaimed, as he looked at the mother of Chrysostom: “What women the Christians have!”

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Sheridan Voice Video Presents: Why Do We Have A Bill Of Rights?

Learn the story about how our Bill of Rights was created and why.

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