post

The Numbers of the Book of Numbers

I wrote this post about a year ago and didn’t post it because I didn’t really feel like it provided enough value.  I’ve decided to post it now with the hope that others might add to these thoughts with their own.

 

If you have read through the Bible before or maybe you are doing it now for the first time, you’ve noticed that when it comes to the genealogies, the descriptions of the ceremonies and sacrifices and also the references to locations in and around Israel, it can be hard to read and even harder to understand what they mean, and how they are relevant today.

Well, they are difficult and there are some good books that can help (see post on New Year’s resolutions) but since I just finished the Book of Numbers, I thought I would share a thought on the census data provided.

In Numbers chapter 1 and chapter 26, we hear about the first and second census of the Israelites.  This is why the book is called Numbers.  Here is what the numbers look like graphically:

Book of Numbers, Census of Israelites, Bible

I believe there are at least 3 things you should note from these numbers.  First, the size of the family of Simeon dropped by over 63% in the 40 year period between the two census.  Second, the family of Judah is the largest at both times.  Finally, the family of Manasseh has the largest increase.

The question to ask is why?  By looking at the history of the family, Jacob’s blessing and Moses blessing, we can find these answers and make Numbers more interesting at the same time!

  • Jacob’s blessing (or curse) on Simeon stated “I will divide them in Jacob and scatter them in Israel” – Genesis 49:6.  This seems to be exactly what happened during these years.
  • Moses blessing (EnduringWord.com) – “The prophecy I will divide them in Jacob and scatter them in Israel (in Genesis 49:7) was given to both the tribes of Simeon and Levi. For the tribe of Levi it was a blessing, as they were scattered throughout the nation to minister to the people and to bring God’s word to the whole nation. For the tribe of Simeon, the scattering was a significant curse; they are not even mentioned among the tribes being blessed here.”
  • Jacob’s bless on Judah “You are he whom your brothers shall praise…as a lion…the sceptor shall not depart from Judah, not a lawgiver from between his feet…to Him shall be the obedience of the people…until Shiloh comes”  Judah would be separated from the rest of Israel but had kingship even during the time of Daniel.  out of line of Judah, came the Messiah.  
  • This leaves Manasseh’s growth to explain.  We do know that Jacob adopted both Ephraim and Manasseh but he put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh.  It was clear that both were blessed, although they would later both sin and be cursed.  I can’t fully explain this growth, it might be best to look at both of Joseph’s sons together and understand that they were more in number than any other single tribe.  Do you have a better explanation?  Share in the comments!

Finally, this map from BibleCities.com really helped me picture the scene in my mind.  Notice that Simeon is surrounded by Judah and would later be swollowed up by it.  Also, notice the size of Manasseh.  Finally, you will notice that the Levites received no inheritance.

I hope this helped put a little more context around the Book of Numbers and encouraged you to keep reading.  Please let us know what you think in the comments!  Thanks

post

The King Shall Come!

The King shall come when morning dawns and light triumphant breaks;
When beauty gilds the eastern hills and life to joy awakes.
Not, as of old, a little child, to bear, and fight, and die,
But crowned with glory like the sun that lights the morning sky.

The King shall come when morning dawns and earth’s dark night is past;
O haste the rising of that morn, the day that shall ever last;
And let the endless bliss begin, by weary saints foretold,
When right shall triumph over wrong, and truth shall be extolled.

The King shall come when morning dawns and light and beauty brings:
Hail Christ the Lord!  Your people pray, come quickly, King of Kings.

- Greek (Unknown)

dawn, jesus' return, Jesus, King, The King Shall Come, Jesus, dawn, sunset, sunrise

globeattractions.com

post

May We All Have Such Dreams!

post

Looking For a Job? Join us!

WorkingTogetherUpdate: Next Meeting is February 13th!

Are you looking for a new job, out of work, or know someone who is?  We created a transition group in October that now meets every month.  Our goal is to provide support, connection and prepare you for the job search.  Our tagline is Together, Let’s Get Back to Work!

We meet every second Wednesday at Community Bible Church of Northern Westchester

Due to a scheduled event this month, we are meeting TONIGHT!  Please feel free to join us at 6:30pm for coffee and encouragement.  You don’t have to go through your job search alone.

For directions, see CBC’s website at: http://www.communitybiblechurch.org/

Tonight’s Discussion: Preparing for an interview

Please don’t forget to bring a notebook and business cards if you have them.

Feel free to forward this to anyone you feel would benefit.  All our invited.  Thanks!

post

Livestream: A Night of Hope and Healing Concert

You can find it here: http://new.livestream.com/accounts/327121/NightofHopeHealing

Hope and Healing concert

post

My Father; My Hero

written by Gene Wiggins

My father is my hero. He hasn’t always been, I’m ashamed to say, but he is now.

dad, hero, mentor, model, MENTOR, father, fatheringHere are some of the reasons that my father is my hero:

  1. He’s always composed and calm.  Never out of control, nor does he ever yell, unless someone is yelling too much and too near him.  (A person can only take so much.)
  2. He recognizes he makes mistakes and he apologizes when he hurts someone’s feelings.  He knows he’s not perfect but he accepts it for what it is.   Some people strive to be perfect and others like to point out other’s mistakes.  Which are you?
  3. He smiles and talks to people he likes and loves.  He doesn’t talk to people that he’s either annoyed with, or plainly doesn’t like.  But doesn’t say anything negative about that person.  He generally nods them to death and pictures a donkey in his head.
  4. He prefers a person’s company rather than gifts.  But if your going to give him clothing make sure he has plenty of room, but that it’s not too big.  If you give him candy, make sure it is butterscotch, or chocolate or caramel or all of the above, and always salty.
  5. He knows when someone wants something from him.  He may look like a western hick, but he’s as smart as they come.  He’ll catch you in a lie.  He’s not forgetful, he’s just slow of hearing.
  6. He’s not materialistic.  He would be happy anywhere as long as he has something to keep the rain off his head, something to keep him warm and a bed to rest in.  (I hear you giggling, Donna and Lynda)
  7. He’s generous and caring.  He’s generous with gifts and will give away all his possessions without thinking about it.  But somehow he knows who’s genuine, and who’s trying to play him.  The devil himself would give up and go back to hell before he got anything out of my old man.
  8. He’s helpful.  He’ll go out of his way to fix something or build a fence for a neighbor.   I heard a story from a neighbor who lived next door to my father once.  My father overheard his neighbor talking about hiring someone to cut down a tree in his front yard.  The man heard my dad shout “I’ll be right back.”  Shrugging the man continued his conversation with his friend.  A moment later my father came back with the longest chainsaw he ever saw (that’s my dad–overkill).  He started the motor up and went to work. The man said he witnessed sawdust and chips flying all over the place.  So much that he couldn’t see my father or the tree.  Another moment later, the tree slowly toppled to one side.  And low and behold my father still stood there completely covered in sawdust, including his glasses.  He took his glasses off and said ‘there ya go’ and promptly began sawing it up into fireplace sized pieces.  It was all done in ten minutes.  He helped his neighbor stack the pieces in the side yard off the lawn.  And they became best friends and the neighbor later on became my best man.  He loves telling the story to outsiders, just so they would know what kind of man my father is.
  9. He’s a veteran of three wars.  World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam war. Although he never saw combat, he sat behind a gunnery tower keeping his eyes on the night sky and drinking the world’s strongest coffee.  Navy coffee.  What’s left over they use to remove the paint off the ship.  No really, seriously.  What does that do to your insides then?
  10. He is a true believer.  He believes in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  He’s always believed God will get you out of any fix you’ve stumbled into.  And he’s had a few close calls.
  11. He loves me unconditionally.  After recovering my long term memory in the hospital I remember how much he had to put up with me.  All the trouble I would get into.  All the trouble I would cause, and all the trouble makers I would hang with.  I always said the wrong thing at the wrong time, pulled the wrong pin, or cut the wrong wire.  My dad would just shake his head and sometimes let out a breath of air at the same time, but just walk away.  But never did he hit me, never did he say a discouraging word, and he most certainly never spanked my bottom.  But he knew there was something not quite right with his son.  Dad let me tell you what it was, hormones and the scantily clad girl across the street.

These are just some of the reason my dad is my mentor.  I love him very much, as much as my wife loves her friends and family, and I’m glad he’s my father, but mostly, I’m proud to call him my hero.
Creative Commons License
My Father; My Hero by Westchester Men’s Ministry is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at http://www.facebook.com/notes/william-wiggins/my-dad-my-hero/187371661403412.

post

A Night of Hope and Healing for Newtown, CT

A host of award-winning Christian bands, artists and speakers will be on hand sharing God’s message of Hope and Healing on Tuesday, January 15, 2013, from 6pm to 10pm at the Webster Bank Arena, 600 Main Street, Bridgeport, CT.

This is not a fundraiser, it is a FREE EVENT to showcase love, worship, prayer, and healing to the surrounding communities via Christian pastoral speakers and live musical performances by the industry’s top artists.

The evening will include prayer, music and a message of God’s healing love in the midst of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy.

Appearances by Max Lucado, Mary Beth Chapman and Louie Giglio.  Worship music to be provided by Building 429, Steven Curtis Chapman, Casting Crowns, Mandisa, TobyMac, Laura Story and Chris Tomlin.

Families and children are invited to attend.  Tickets will be available free of charges on January 2, 2013 at ticketmaster.com and at the Webster Bank Arena box office.  You will need a ticket to attend the event.

HopeAndHealing


For more information, please visit the event Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/events/315827618517428/ 

post

New Year’s Resolutions

resolutions, goals, Christian, new year's, new years, plan, new year's resolutions, Christian
In 2010, I created a set of goals.  It was an aggressive list of over 27 goals broken into 9 categories.  I’ve been working on those goals ever since.  They weren’t exactly new year’s resolutions because I knew that was too much to expect but I think the categories might be a helpful way of determining where you need to improve most.

  • Know/Love God – Seek to know God & ‘Who needs me Today?’ (Mark 12:29-31)
  • Family – Home is the Primary Mission Field (Acts 10:2)
  • Finances – Be a Good Steward of Finances (1 Timothy 6:7-10)
  • Health – Accomplish All of God’s Will in my Life (Philippians 3:12)
  • Career – God is in Control; Work as on to the Lord (Matthew 6:31-33)
  • Ministry – Hope for the Hopeless (Matthew 28:16-20)
  • Avoid Idols – Starve the old self! (Matthew 6:24)
  • Recreation – Observe a Sabbath Rest (Mark 6:31)

For each category above, I create a list of things I thought were critical and that I either aspired to do, or to continue to do.  So, for example, under knowing God my list looked like this:

Know, Love, God, new year's resolutions, resolutions, goals, ChristianI choose the goal ‘Knowing God’ to show here because it is probably the most generic and many of these goals probably could apply to you as well.  My goals under the other categories are very specific to my walk and may not apply.

I know, and science proves, that the highest achievers all have one thing in common… you guessed it, they set goals.  So, I’m reviewing my goals before I start the year so I can make sure I focus my attention.  I’m far from where I want to be and likely even farther from where God wants me to be.

So, why not share your new year’s resolutions here, or on our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/NYMensministry

I hope you have a very happy new year’s day and a blessed 2013!

Creative Commons License
New Year’s Resolutions by Westchester Men’s Ministry is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

post

Homeless – Until He Moved in With Jesus

homeless, Jesus, faith, praise, sharing, example, poor, poverty,

Re-posted with permission from Darrell Creswell’s blog: http://darrellcreswell.wordpress.com

Experts estimates that at any given time there are between 1 to 2.5 million people who are homeless in America.

Years ago, I traveled quite frequently and on this cold winter night in 1985, happened to be in downtown Chicago. I was staying in a hotel downtown and wanted to take a short walk before retiring for the evening. I stepped outside and saw a gentleman slowly walking toward me. He was a haggard soul, wearing a hat, walking with a cane and humming a gospel song that I recognized from my days as a young man at camp meeting in Texas. As he approached, I asked him how he was and he said “Blessed, I am blessed”. I asked him his name and he replied in the most curious way—he said to me, “I have no name, I have no face, I am but an ordinary man, but God put me here to spread love and cheer and I am doing the very best that I can. If we would but give our hand to our fellow man this world would be a much better place.” He then tipped his hat, pushed off with his cane and walked away with a smile on his face, humming that same song.  I stood there for a minute, trying to take in and absorb what this 70+ year-old man had just told me when I decided to catch up to him and give a few dollars to help him along his way.  I rumbled in my pocket and pulled out six or seven single bills and handed them to him, and he said to me, “the Lord thanks you”.  Again he tipped me his hat, put down his cane and walked off still smiling and humming that song.

I watched him as he walked along that frozen sidewalk on that cold, blistery winter night—stopping every time he saw another distressed individual on the street, and he would share with them some of the money I had just given him.  As I walked back up to the hotel, I asked the doorman who had witnessed my encounter, “do you know him?”—the doorman replied, “I know who he is, but don’t know his real name, we all call him Holy-Roller Sam”.  He said none know much about him, where he came from, or how he got here, but he walks around always smiling, humming that same song, saying the same thing to everyone he meets.  “ I have no name, I have no face, I am but an ordinary man, but God put me here to spread love and cheer and I am doing the very best that  I can. If we would but give our hand to our fellow man this world would be much a better place.”  The doorman went on to tell me that Holy-Roller Sam regularly shares with all the homeless who are most desperately in need of the funds people give him on the streets.  I went to bed that night, and could not get Holy-Roller Sam off of my mind.

The words he said to me kept echoing through my brain over and over—“I have no name, I have no face, I am but an ordinary man, but God put me here to spread love and cheer and I am doing the very best that I can.”  In this one instant, all that I thought I was and all that I thought I could be seemed to dim in comparison to who I knew he was in God’s eyes.  I wanted to know more about him, and so I decided to venture out that next night to see if I could find him, and talk to him.  For about an hour or so, I walked up and down the block hoping to see him—but no Holy-Roller Sam.

I saw the doorman and walked over to ask him if he had seen Holy-Roller Sam—it was then that the doorman told me that Sam had been struck by a driver and killed earlier in the day.  I stood there stunned for a moment, and I slowly walked back to my room—amazed by the tears that had welled up in my eyes.  To this day, I ask myself, if only I had shared with him more than a few bucks from the thousands I had in my wallet—if only I had of gotten him a room for a night or two . . . perhaps I could have changed the course of his demise.

Since my chance encounter with Holy-Roller Sam, I see the homeless in a different light—and I always will. We are a society overly obsessed with our looks, and I am just as guilty—or more than many—always wanting to look my best.  I used to be more so, always making sure that I looked absolutely perfect.  I paid special attention to my face, ensuring it was perfectly pampered . . . all until that fateful day when I met a man who said that he had no face—no face, no identity, no pretense, no vanity, no airs—only an ordinary man giving his hand to his fellow man from the crumbs he collected from strangers.  As I look in the mirror each day I see the wrinkles that have formed on my face over the years, and I remember the man—Holy-Roller Sam—who told me he had no face, and my concern turns to a smile, letting me know I’m okay with a few wrinkles.

That chance encounter with Holy-Roller Sam on that cold Chicago winter night forever affected my life for the better.  Holy-Roller Sam was homeless until he moved in with Jesus.

And by the way the song he was always humming is the song I shared in my last blog (Unworthy – God’s Love – He Made Me Worthy)– I find myself now even at this moment tearing as I write.

Unworthy, unworthy, a beggar; In bondage and alone

But He made me worthy and now by His grace,

His mercy has made me His own.

post

Journaling: What Did You Learn?

Journaling, journal, challenge, Bible, Bible studyToday is day 40 of our 40 day journaling challenge!!   Congratulations!  I hope you have enjoyed this challenge.  I would definitely like to hear what you’ve learned and anything else you would like to share.  Please add a comment either here or on our Facebook page:  http://www.facebook.com/NYMensministry

I thought I would share some of my thoughts on what I’ve learned, in no particular order:

  • God is faithful!  He desires to spend time with us and blesses us when we do.  Especially if we are not doing it out of obligation
  • God talks!  I knew this but who among us, would rather hear themselves instead of God?  I hope I can continue to improve my ability to hear his still quiet voice.
  • He makes it clear that He is the one speaking.  Someone mentioned that they heard something on the radio about prayer, and they thought, ‘come on speak about James 5 because that is what I’m studying.  They than went to their Bible study group and the topic was about how James 5 relates to prayer!  Amazing.  I, too, have seen God give me two unrelated pieces and than all of a sudden he gives me the middle piece that causes it all to make sense.
  • Practically, it is easier to pray and journal first thing in the morning.  I found that if I didn’t do it then, there was only a 50% chance that I would do it at all.  This might just be me.
  • Everything technique you use can be hijacked by the devil.  As I pray, sometimes I would find myself reflecting on the previous day.  Sometimes God would show me the truth behind certain events or bring to mind something I thought during the day.  Other times, the devil would use it as a way to distract me from hearing God.

Day40

These thoughts are off the top of my head and I would love to hear what you experienced, even if you journaled for just one day.

I can tell you that I hope to continue to journal and grow closer to God and I hope you do too.  Please let us know what you think.  Thanks!
Creative Commons License
Journaling: What Did You Learn? by Westchester Men’s Ministry is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 5,397 other followers