Zinn And The Purpose And Value Of Scripture

So, the Tour de France is over and WhatNow2Do is in race withdrawal. A good moment to stop and consider Scriptural Truth.

Here is God’s view of scripture from 2 Timothy 3. For fullness, we include it in the NLT translation and the MSG paraphrase.

Talk amongst yourselves:

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NLT

Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 MSG

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Rest

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NASB

On this Sabbath rest day, let us focus on God’s ultimate rest.

Our Savior has invited all that labor and are heavy-laden, to come unto Him. In some sense all men are so. In Jesus’s time people were oppressed by the burden of religious legalism imposed by the scribes and Pharisees. In the today’s world, we burden ourselves with worldly pursuits of power, pleasure, possessions and prestige. Simply put, sin is the burden and we desperately need ‘rest for our souls.’ We recognize the irony of suggesting Sabbath observance as a remedy from the burden of religious law, but the 4th commandment (remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy) given through Moses was not intended to be a burden. Try it.

Our prayer:  Father, today I take up Your yoke.  I accept the rest that only You can provide.  I will free myself of worldly distractions and rest in Your Sabbath.

Shabbat shalom

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Cure Leukemia: Le Tour Meets Character

Ready for another good news story from the 2021 Tour de France?

The Cure Leukemia peloton set out with two goals. Complete the entire Tour route of some 2,200 miles in 21 days – the same as the pro cyclists.  And raise £1-million ($1.4 million) for leukemia research in the United Kingdom, specifically for the Trials Acceleration Programme (TAP). The Cure Leukemia team is not composed of trained cyclists. It is made up of men and women of varying ages (some older than 60), and of varying athletic ability.   Many riders are cancer survivors. 

The Cure Leukemia Team was successful on all fronts.  They surpassed their financial goal.  And they completed the ride in 21 days.   Can you say “knackered”?  Imagine the impact on cancer research these 18 amateur cyclists have had.  

Geoff Thomas, the leader and a driving force for the entire endeavor, survived chronic myeloid leukemia 18 years ago.  A year earlier, Thomas had retired from a distinguished career as an English football player.   Given only three months to live he defied the odds, thanks to an experimental TAP’s treatment and transplant from his sister.   This marks Geoff’s fifth time riding the tour route. Just before the 2021 Cure Leukemia ride began, the Queen awarded Geoff the prestigious MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire).

Cure Leukemia is a UK-based charitable organization and an official partner of the Tour de France.

Once again ordinary people with a common purpose triumph.

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Today’s Choice

Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! Moses, ~1405 BC, Deuteronomy 30:19 NLT

We were created by God and given free will, the exercise of which has eternal consequences. The decision for you today is precisely the same as for the Israelite in 1405 BC. Oh that you would choose life.

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Fitting The Pieces Together

I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word. Psalm 119:15–16 ASV

Are you a 350 piece jigsaw person? Or are you a serious jigsaw-puzzler and nothing less than 1,000 pieces will do?

Putting together hundreds of funny-shaped little pieces of cardboard is impossible without all the puzzle pieces facing up. And without careful study of the picture on the cover of the box.

The Bible is, in some ways, a glorious jigsaw puzzle. It can seem like bits and pieces with no meaning in themselves. That’s why we need the Holy Spirit. He turns over the puzzle pieces one by one until they come together and we see Jesus.

In John 16:13, Jesus said the Holy Spirit would “guide you into all truth.”  As you read your Bible, ask the Holy Spirit for guidance. The pieces will fit together.   The complexity of God’s Word will be revealed and understood as we patiently assemble the full picture and story.

Adapted from Fixing My Eyes On Jesus, Anne Graham Lotz

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I Have Good News And Bad News

Moses on the good news and bad news of God’s commandments: “The good news: I kept him down to ten. The bad news: adultery stays.

No Joke: Making Jewish Humor, Ruth Wise [Paraphrased]

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The Alt Tour

I am able to all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

The Tour de France is a grueling competition.  23 days. 2,100 miles through the mountains to Paris. 150,000 feet of climbing.  Rain. Heat. Crashes. Le Tour is widely considered one of most difficult athletic events on the planet. On the plus side, riders eat well, get transported between stages by bus or airplane, stay in reasonably decent hotels, and even get massages.

Could a lone rider, riding solo, with no support, including no transport between stages, beat Le Tour to Paris? Lachlan Morton set out to try. And he even allowed Le Tour a head start.

The answer came today and it is a resounding YES.  Morton arrived on the Champs-E’lysees in Paris at 5:30 AM this morning.   An amazing six days ahead of The Tour!

So, you’re asking, why is this significant?  It is a testament to the impact one individual can have when using one’s talents for a greater purpose.

Lachlan Morton is a professional cyclist on the EF Education Nippo team.  Although he did not make the cut for the Tour team, he decided to go back in time, before the days of elaborate support teams, hotels and transport between stages.  This was the way of the early Tour de France. 

Morton’s goal was to ride the entire route self-supported. His purpose was to raise awareness and funds for World Bicycle Relief, an organization devoted to delivering rugged, locally assembled bikes to people in need. Several thousand bicycles will be distributed as a result of Lachlan. Think for a moment of the lives that will impact.

The Alt Tour was incredibly demanding for a solo rider compared with the regular Tour de France:

  • 5,510 kilometers (3,423 miles) compared to 3,383 kilometers (2,100 miles) for regular  Tour riders;
  • 65,500 meters of climbing (214,900 feet) compared to 45,700 meters (150,000 feet) in the regular Tour; and,
  • 18 days riding versus 23 days (including 2 rest days) for the regular Tour.

We can all be inspired by Lachlan Morton and his Alt Tour accomplishment. And his dedication to his purpose.   What purpose are you called to? 

Today’s Prayer:  Father thank you for Your  grace and abundance in my life. Help me to be as committed to Your Kingdom purpose as Lachlan Morton was to his. Amen.

The Alt Tour: here

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If At First

The Holy Spirit is determined that we will have the realization of Jesus Christ in every area of our lives, and He will bring us back to the same point over and over again until we do.

A spiritually vigorous saint never believes that his circumstances simply happen at random, nor does he ever think of his life as being divided into the secular and the sacred. He sees every situation in which he finds himself as the means of obtaining a greater knowledge of Jesus Christ. 

#IdentifiedwithChrist

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Shabbat Shalom

Then Jesus went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath he went as usual to the synagogue. Luke 4:16 GNT

On this Sabbath, let’s get some perspective.

We view the Church as just one piece of the tapestry of our lives. It is not so. The Church (the Body of Christ) is the center of it all. All the other pieces of our life (work, play, etc.) are peripheral. Jesus at the center of it all. Listen to God himself:

“At the center of all this, Christ rules the church. The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church. The church is Christ’s body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence. Ephesians 1:23 MSG

Similarly, the Sabbath is the center of the week. The main day. Writing in The Sabbath, rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel puts it this way:

“The Sabbath is not for the sake of the weekdays, the weekdays are for the sake of Sabbath. It is not an interlude but the climax of living.”

Here, then, is God’s view of things: The Sabbath was the last and crowning act in God’s creation. And the first in His intention for our lives. This Sabbath, govern yourself accordingly.

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Grace, Glory, And Righteousness

For the Lord God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right. Psalm 84:11 NLT

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