|Nicola Poussin, the judgment of Solomon|
29 God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore. 30 Solomon’s wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the people of the East, and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt. 31 He was wiser than anyone else, including Ethan the Ezrahite—wiser than Heman, Kalkol and Darda, the sons of Mahol. And his fame spread to all the surrounding nations. 32 He spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs numbered a thousand and five. 33 He spoke about plant life, from the cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of walls. He also spoke about animals and birds, reptiles and fish. 34 From all nations people came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom.
Who built the ark? It’s a good question for many of today’s parents and children, who are “unaware” of Bible stories. Almost three in 10 children do not know that the story of the birth of Jesus is a Biblical tale, research by the Bible Society found.
And many others are unable to identify Adam and Eve or Noah’s Ark as Christian stories.
Although many parents believe it is important for their children to be aware of what is written in the Bible, large numbers of youngsters have never read, seen or heard some of its most well-known stories.
The Bible Society said that these findings point to a decrease in Bible literacy and show that while many people still place great importance on the book, little is being done to promote it.
In the survey of 800 eight to 15-year-olds and around 1,100 parents, 29 per cent of children didn’t realise that the Nativity came from the Bible.
One in five (20 per cent) didn’t identify Noah’s Ark as a religious story and 19 per cent didn’t recognise Adam and Eve.
But almost one in 10 (9 per cent) incorrectly though that the stories of King Midas and Icarus came from the Bible, while 6 per cent thought the story of Hercules was contained in the book.
Nearly a quarter of children (23 per cent) had never read, seen or heard Noah’s Ark, along with 25% for the Nativity, 38% for Adam and Eve and 43% for the Crucifixion.
And parents did not fare much better. Nearly half of those questioned (46 per cent) failed to recognise Noah's Ark as a Bible story, while around a third were unsure of or did not recognise the tales of David and Goliath (31 per cent) and Adam and Eve (30 per cent).
Adults also confused modern day literature with the Bible. The report found that almost half (43%) of parents whose children had seen, heard or read Bible stories said it was important for a child to do so because these tales provided good values, while two in five (40%) thought these stories were important to our history and culture.
Three in 10 (30%) said it was important to ensure that classic stories and books were passed on to future generations.
It also revealed that over a quarter of children (28%) said they would like to read, hear or see more Bible stories.
The Bible Society published the research to mark the launch of its new Pass It On campaign, which aims to encourage parents to keep the Bible alive by passing on its stories to their children.
James Catford, group chief executive of Bible Society, said: "It's clear that parents want to give their children the best start in life. "The Bible's contribution to our culture - language, literature, the visual arts and music - is immense. "It doesn't matter who you are or where you come from.
"The Bible enriches life, and every child should have the opportunity to experience it.
"If we don't use the Bible, we risk losing it.
"We're calling on parents to pass it on."
Have a blessed week. Yours in Christ, N.
6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
Have you ever felt that you were unable to handle a situation the right way? Then I felt inadequate but somehow after admitting it and leaving it to the Lord, things got better and eventually for the best. Though I have read this verse in 2 Corinthians 4:7, I confess that I did not understand it much! Once I realised that I am a vessel for the Lord's love and grace, it became clear. My eyes were open.
When we surrender our whole to Jesus, He restores us, heals us and repairs this 'broken pottery' for his purpose. David says in Psalm 31 I am forgotten by them as though I were dead; I have become like broken pottery.The Lord tells us through Jeremiah that He is the potter and He shapes us (the pots made of clay) the way he wants us to be. How wonderful to be looked after by our Father.
This is the message that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 “Jeremiah, go down to the potter’s house. I will give you my message there.”
3 So I went down to the potter’s house and saw him working with clay at the wheel. 4 He was making a pot from clay. But there was something wrong with the pot. So the potter used that clay to make another pot. With his hands he shaped the pot the way he wanted it to be.
5 Then this message from the Lord came to me: 6 “Family of Israel, you know that I can do the same thing with you. You are like the clay in the potter’s hands, and I am the potter.” This message is from the Lord.
Finally, I like to read this verse of Isaiah, 'We are the clay, You are the potter, We are all the work of Your hands." Our Father who knows us so well moulds us, refines us and transforms us. Are you ready to let Him transform you?
Yesterday, my bible reading notes brought a new explanation to the passage in Matthew 8:23-27.
1- I just thought it was a normal storm, it wasn't because: 'The language used indicates that the lake was being stirred into a frenzy, threatening to overwhelm them totally'
2 - I learnt a new cultural element, 'to the Jews the sea represented primeval forces of chaos, the home of monsters, and it was only the saving power of God that could bring calm.'
3 - A new idea is offered, Jesus told his disciples off. How could they lose their faith in Him, after all He has done (many healings and he'd just resurrected a widow's son in Nain)? Jesus could not have died in a storm in the middle of his messianic work. However it takes discipline to ban fear in my life and I don't think that I have managed to get it right. I know that Jesus says 'Do not worry'... when I hear bad news or reports, I tend to worry first and then I'll give my worries to Jesus, on the foot of his cross. Lord, help me change, may I call on you first and remember that You are in charge!.
I need to change some of my bad habits..yes I am using the plural. One being procrastination, this one needs a miracle, - prayers please - it's a big mountain and I haven't quite chipped at it yet.
The second one is ' going to bed too late'. Last week, I managed to go to bed at 9:30 pm on Thursday and I was really pleased. I confess that this was due to an intolerable sense of fatigue that meant that I just couldn't open my eyes hence I had to go to bed!
On Friday, we were out but managed to come back fairly early and I went to be at about 11 pm. I knew that I had to get up to meet my friend at Cannock at 9:00 am and did not want to be late.
Last night I went out with a friend and though I was back home at 11, I ended up going to be after midnight. Worse, I woke up at 4 am and I could only go back to sleep at 6 am. As it is 19 36 now, I meant to post something and I can hardly keep my eyes open. I'm off for a nap. These habits are only the tip of the iceberg..others include eating before diner...etc...
Have a blessed evening. N.