Mary's Page

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Thanks for stopping in!  


The story continues to this day.

Testimony 

My son Dave is married to Cynthia and they have Grace and Jack.  They live in Oregon and I don't see them near enough.  He is an incredible speaker and has an amazing ministry helping at-risk youth, since he identifies and is able to communicate with them so well.  He encourages people with his incredible story of what God has shown him as he went through treatment for Lymphoma and Leukemia.  God is using him in amazing ways, and it's so beautiful to see.  


In addition to my son Dave, I have Stephanie who is a missionary to Togo.  She and her husband are in missionary aviation, and after several years of hard work and fund raising they have finally finished language school in France, and moved to Togo on December 28, 2014.  They took two of my beautiful grand daughters with them, Leslie - 7 and AnnMarie - 4.  My heart is broken, but I'm thankful for FaceTime.  .  

Missionary Aviation to Togo, Africa

My son John and his wife Dani have three adorable kids, Bailey, Sequoia, and Noah.  They are such a precious family.  Dani is the perfect wife for my son, and it's such a blessing when you see your kids doing do well.  


My daughter Aliya Rose, well she's in this group with me!  She amazes me constantly with her heart for God, and her sincere desire to do His will.  She has always been this way, even in the times when it always seems like it would be hardest.  She struggled with many teachers who taught things that were opposed to Scriptures, and had no trouble staying on God's side of things and always had amazing grades in school.  My years in school were rough, so she's like an alien to me.  I learn a lot just watching her go through her life.


I love studying Scripture.  I'm currently working on a project involving the lineages of the Bible, the blessing and curses of God in those lineages, the promises and covenants of God in those lineages, and the fulfillment of each of those, where they are recorded in Scripture, and what hasn't been fulfilled at this point.  It's quite a large project, and I don't expect it to be done in the next year.  It's very fun to work on though and I'm learning so much through the process!


If you've read this far, and you like Bible discussion, add a topic in the comment section and let's chat!


No Artificial Sweeteners or Preservatives  
by Mary Kunz of Straighter Road    
                                                                                                                                                         Mary@straighterroad.com
Bible Quote:
I have not turned aside from Your ordinances, for You Yourself have taught me.  How sweet are Your words to my taste!  Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!  From Your prospects I get understanding; therefore, I hate every false way.  Psalm 119:102-104

Are you spiritual?  What does it mean to be spiritual?  What is the idea of spirituality based on, and does it matter?  When we talk about something that is spiritual, are we all talking about the same thing?  If it feels soulful, spiritual, real, makes philosophical sense based on ones own observation, or seems to meet some inner need of whatever sort one is looking for, then it may be accepted as spiritual.  Since all of us have varying experiences, and these experiences shape what we do and how we feel, each person may prescribe spirituality accordingly, and thus, spirituality is relative.  What may be right for one person is not necessarily right for another, and it would then follow that ultimately, it's your choice, and you choose whatever is right for you.  Is this true?  Does it make sense to you?

The following report on spirituality is based on the premise that truth is not relative, and therefore, spirituality cannot be relative since there is a true answer even if we don't know what that answer is.  For example, there are tangible truths such as, the earth is round, or two plus two equals four.  No one would dispute these answers, they are absolutely true.  There are also absolute truths that we don't readily know the answer to but are just as tangible.  I couldn't off the top of my head tell you how far away Mars is from the Sun.  It doesn't change the answer.  The distance between Mars and the sun is what it is regardless of whether I know the answer, or not.  However, I did take a moment to look up the answer and found that the average distance between Mars and the Sun is 227,940,000 kilometers.  In order to accept that answer I have to make an assumption that the person who wrote the answer knows how to make such a measurement.  I can trust this answer, or learn to measure the distance myself and see if I come up with the same answer.  Regardless, there is a true answer to the question, and there are three options regarding this information: 1) I can assume 227,940,000 kilometers is correct, 2) I can learn how to make such a measurement and seek to know if the correct method was used, or 3) I can decide that the answer isn't important enough to spend time on.  I want to point out here that in reading this, you have made one of those three decisions about the true distance between Mars and the sun.  Regardless of which decision you have made, there is one true answer that did not change and is completely tangible.

My aim here is to take one more step then in my original direction towards spirituality and say that there are truths beyond our measuring, adding, surmising, deducing, or figuring; yet there is still one true answer.  The existence of God is either true or not.  It isn't a matter of what feels right to one person and not another.  Either God is, or isn't.  One might think, guess, believe, or know whether God is or not, but it wouldn't change the truth.  You have the same three options, and you make a decision one way or another about this truth.  You can trust what someone tells you, seek for yourself, or decide it isn't important enough to spend time on.  The imperative question is, does the decision that you have already made matter?

There is a predominant, even stylish form of spirituality that feels sweet, it's comfortable, and it leads to the idea that one has the ability to simply embrace any suitable spirituality based on one's perception, and God loves you no matter which way you decide to find Him.  This would be just fine, assuming that it's ok with God, assuming God is.  Is that a safe assumption? 

Bible Quote:
Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, and in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom. Psalm 51:6



[Picture]
The chart to the left is data compiled from primary research sources such as government census reports, statistical sampling surveys, and organizational reporting, as well as citations from secondary literature, which mention adherent statistics.  Adherent.com is a growing collection of over 56,000 adherent statistics and religious geography citations - references to published membership/adherent statistics and congregation statistics for over 4,200 religions, churches, denominations, religious bodies, faith groups, tribes, cultures, movements, ultimate concerns, etc.

This chart indicates that at least 84% of the world believes in some sort of spiritual truth.  All of these would agree that what you believe affects your life here on earth, and also your life after death.  At least 54% (33% Christianity, 21% Islam) would state that there is one Creator, and many of their teachings are the same.  Yet they each would conclude that only one doctrine is absolutely true.  It may be comfortable to subscribe to the idea that God would accept every religion, but most religions say this isn't possible.  These doctrines define God very specifically, and believe their definition to be true.  And since their specific accounts completely contradict one another, AND teach that God is a jealous god and would accept no worship intended for another god, it rules out the idea that we can come to God however we feel like it.  For instance, Muslims believe that the sole authoritative scriptures from God come from the Koran.  Christianity believes that the Bible is the word of God and that any god other than the Creator would be a false god, thus a false spiritual connection based simply on emotional or spiritual deception.  No matter what the doctrine, their very definition rules out other definitions, and thus, it is impossible for all of them to be true.  No matter what idea we hold to, if God is, then the truth about Him and who He is is absolute and tangible, and there is only one answer, and what you already believe is either true, or not, and it matters.  

Bible Quote:
See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.  For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority... Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind,... These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence. Colossians 2:8-10, 18, 23

...because that which is known about God is evident to them.  For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.  For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.  Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and crawling creatures... For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. Romans 1:19-23, 25

It may seem much easier to embrace the idea that God would tolerate all religious beliefs.  This leads us back to a relative god, with relative truth, allowing for us to make decisions and judgments based on our own perception of life experience.  However, to say that God agrees with this idea is not based on any measurement and is not based on any spiritual doctrine at all.  So is it true?  Either this idea is fine with God, or it isn't.  So how do we find out?  Again, you have three choices, 1) assume that whatever god you have been taught about is true, 2) you can get out your measuring stick (so to speak) and start learning on your own based on tangible truths and see how various doctrines line up with historical and factual truths, or 3) you can decide that this question isn't worth your time.

My aim is to encourage you to examine the decision that you have made about spirituality and God.  I believe that truth about God is critical.  The Bible teaches that there is only one true God, He is a jealous God, and He will not accept worship that is intended for any false god.  Therefore, what we believe about God is important to measure.  Our very life depends on it.  

Maybe you already spend time listening to spiritual leaders, which is important.  But if you only listen to your spiritual leader, how can you discern whether you are hearing the truth or not?  You can only make an assumption that their research is judicious.  Going to church or involving yourself in other spiritual groups is important.  But if you don't actively seek on your own, the same question arises as to how you will discern the truth.  You can participate in a spiritual or soulful experience and decided that due to the feeling that you had, it must be real.  I would caution that this too would be deceptive.  There are various actions and agents that can induce euphoric feelings, yet this would not be considered to produce a genuine spiritual experience.  If there is an absolute truth, yet varying ideas on what the truth is, then it's clear that there are false teachers leading people to false spirituality, and false gods.  Even an atheistic viewpoint would agree with that statement.  Discernment is crucial, especially regarding what you believe to be true.  One might suggest that it would be judgmental to determine that what one person believes about God is true or false.  Yet I wouldn't encourage anyone to judge a person for what they believe, but to discern whether the belief is true or not.  

Bible Quote:
There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.  Proverbs 14:12


Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.  God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.  John 4:23-24


All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.  2 Timothy 3:16,17


But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.  2 Peter 1:20,21


One thing you can say about every believer in Jesus is that they claim a new life, one that they never saw before.  As the song goes, "I once was lost but now I'm found, was blind but now I see".  It isn't necessary to feel some sort of peace, or inner connection, or vibe in order to know that God is with us.  God is not an emotion, or a feeling.  You can't discern whether God is real, active, or listening by how you feel.  Feelings are deceptive.  God has given us a guide.  The guide is the Bible, God's word.  It is necessary to use wisdom and seek out true facts.  

The Bible is just a book.  Right?  Of all the books that you have had to learn from, this is one you should check out.  There are no artificial sweeteners or preservatives, only the sweetest Truth.