Islamic State to America: ‘We will drown all of you in blood’

Islamic State terrorists sent a blunt warning to the United States via video, threatening to fill the streets with blood if White House-inspired airstrikes are successful and disrupt their raids. Specifically, the video showed a photograph of an American who was beheaded while U.S. soldiers occupied Iraq, along with other victims, along with the English statement:…

The Expanded Bible by Thomas Nelson Publishers

The Expanded Bible by Thomas Nelson Publishers

The Expanded Bible by Thomas Nelson Publishers

The Expanded Bible by Thomas Nelson Publishers is a New Testament which was written to help people understand the Bible. There are a variety of editing devices to help the readers.  The editors take great pains to make sure that the words of this translation are made clear. Clarification is made in different ways (I have noted the clarification used in The Expanded Bible in quotes. My comments are below each quote):

[ ] - EXPANSION: Other possible ways of translating a word, phrase, clause, or sentence. Expansions are enclosed within a set of brackets [ ], and provide synonyms, different nuances, or sometimes more sophisticated diction.

The use of expansion works like the Amplified Bible. Words are added, not to add to the Bible but to help the reader know different ways of saying the same thing.

[or] - ALTERNATE: A different translation possibility that takes the meaning of the original language in a different direction than the base text does. Alternates provide information not possible in a standard translation, which must choose between possibilities for its main text. These are signaled by an “or” within a set of brackets: [or].

In most translations, this information is but in a footnote. In this case, the writers thought it best to place it in the text.

L - LITERAL: A more literal rendering of the original language, allowing the reader to see why translations make varying choices.These are signaled by a superscript L within a bracket: [L ].

This notation will help the reader understand from the original language the most literal translation of the English word. Traditionally, this is done by people who translate Greek and Hebrew. In this case, the most literal translation is given.

T - TRADITIONAL: Provides familiar terms and well-known renderings from past translations, especially those in the King James tradition. Signaled by a superscript T within a bracket: [T ].

As notes by the editors, the familiar tradition is given. This may be different from the literal translation.

C - COMMENT: Briefly provides historical, cultural, theological, or other explanatory information to help readers better understand a verse or passage. These are signaled by a superscript C within a bracket: [C ]. (There is no bullet in the base text for these because no replacement is required.)

This make The Expanded Bible (New Testament) not only an amplified Bible, but also a commentary. There is an advantage to this commentary. It helps give clarity to the cultural background of the situation one is reading in the Bible.

As the editors state in the introduction, a bullet is used to show which word is being examined:

For Expansions, Alternates, certain Literals, and certain Traditionals (see below), a bullet (· ) is used to show where to begin the replacement of a word or words before the set of brackets with the word or words within the set of brackets. The Literals and Traditionals that are not associated with a bullet do not require to be substituted for any word or words in the base text, but are just to be added.

This translation also show the reader what words are being “expanded” by the use of a bullet. This helps the reader understand as one reads the text that an explanation is coming. Many times, a commentary or a Bible translation will use footnotes to make show these changes. Some Bibles have comments in the margins. The editors of this Bible purposely decided to insert the information in the text. As someone who reads books, seeing that I have to read a footnote can detract me from the main idea I am reading. I have to refocus to get back on track. This problem is not avoided by the what these editors have done with the Expanded Bible. However, it seems to help keep the reader focused on the Biblical text. If that was the goal, then they have succeeded.

Religious Threads Run Through Ferguson Protests

Ferguson, MO — It’s hard to go far in Ferguson without encountering a church or three. Near the now famous Ferguson market, there are 10 churches less than a 10-minute drive away. And as demonstrators take to the streets demanding police investigate the death of Michael Brown, it’s hard not to hear how religion is fast…

Job 1:1-2:10 What to Do When You Feel Like Giving Up

Job 1:1-2:10 What To Do When You Feel Like Giving Up

The Bible shows in this passage the enormous amount of emotional energy that can lead someone to consider giving up. We have heard this week about a famous comic and actor who committed suicide – Robin Williams. He has brought out many emotions from people concerning depression and suicide. 

Let me say this right now: If you are in the place where you are considering the idea of giving up, don’t. Call out to someone and ask for help. 

I chose this passage because Job is a man who trusted God. Even though he encountered a set of circumstances which did not seem fair, he still trusted God. He loses all of his property and his family, aside from his wife. He gets sick to the point that he feels like he could die. We know this because his wife tells him this. She says “give up.” 

That is what the world will tell you. “Give up.” She sounds like a lot of people and circumstances that will make you think you need to give up. Let me share with you these possibilities which will make you want to give up:

Suicide – The deliberate taking of one’s own life. It is a rare occurrence in Scripture.


1. A sense of guilt leads to suicide (Matthew 27:5, Acts 1:18-19)

2. Defeat leads to suicide (1 Samuel 31:4)

3. Defiance leads to suicide (2 Samuel 17:23)

4. Failure leads to attempted suicide (Acts 16:27)


Desire for death is more frequently expressed in the Bible than actual suicide. This desire for death is more common expression. 

1. The desire for death in a prophet’s depression (1 Kings 19:3-4)

See also Jeremiah 15:10 ; Jeremiah 20:14–18 ; Jonah 4:1–3 A desire for death does not lead to taking of one’s own life, but to entrusting the place and time of one’s death to the Lord.

2. The desire for death arising from grief and pain (Job 10:1)

3. The desire for death because of judgment (Revelation 9:6)

4. Life hated because of its apparent futility (Ecclesiastes 2:17)

No matter why you feel or think that life is over and useless. No matter what psychological issue makes you think about suicide, God is the only one who controls life. That is why suicide is a sin. 


God is sovereign over life. 

Job describes this two times in the passage we just read:

saying: Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will leave this life. The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Praise the name of Yahweh.” (Job 1:21, HCSB)

“You speak as a foolish woman speaks,” he told her. “Should we accept only good from God and not adversity?” Throughout all this Job did not sin in what he said.” (Job 2:10, HCSB)

God gives life and ends it. 

God gives us a life and we are to deal with whatever comes. Bad and good come, and we need to learn to trust God. 

Now granted, when we read the account of Job, we know that there is a grand cosmic drama going on. Satan is testing one of God’s children. We need to know that behind every physical reality, there is a spiritual reality. Behind every mental illness, there is a spiritual reality. 

Suicide usurps God’s sovereignty over life. 

God is Creator and suicide tells God that you don’t want God to be in control of your life. 

You gave me life and faithful love, and Your care has guarded my life.” (Job 10:12, HCSB)

For it was You who created my inward parts; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will praise You because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well. My bones were not hidden from You when I was made in secret, when I was formed in the depths of the earth.” (Psalm 139:13–15, HCSB)

Then the Lord God formed the man out of the dust from the ground and breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, and the man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7, HCSB)

Do not murder.” (Exodus 20:13, HCSB)

God controls life and more importantly death

saying: Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will leave this life. The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Praise the name of Yahweh.” (Job 1:21, HCSB)

Job was a man like you and me. He encountered very difficult, stressful, painful circumstances. Yet, he was able to trust God. 

Don’t fear those who kill the body but are not able to kill the soul; rather, fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28, HCSB)

Jesus said that the person who trust is the One who can control life and death. 

If you are feeling like you want to end it all, then don’t. You can get through this. It may be hard, but God will never leave you nor forsake you. Let me leave you with the Word of God:

1. Lean on God and His Word during these times.

2. If you feel like giving up, get out and tell someone. 

3. God wants you to live. The devil wants you to give up. 

A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.” (John 10:10, HCSB)

4. Don’t give up. Keep discovering what God wants you to know until you get your answers to the struggles you encounter. 

5. You can make it. 

#RobinWilliams, #sermon, #suicide, #BookofJob,

An Intimate Collision by Craig Lounsbrough

An Intimate Collision by Craig Lounsbrough

An Intimate Collision by Craig Lounsbrough

An Intimate Collision by Craig Lounsbrough, are a collection of stories that are part of as he puts it: “God’s novel.” Lounsbrough recalls from his personal experience a series of stories. They become like “faith markers” on the highway of his journey with life and Jesus.

This book is a set of stories, which end with questions to consider. Each story centers around a theme. These themes are meant to be thought-provoking. At times, Lounsbrough writes in the vein of Max Lucado. At other times, he tends to ramble too long in the story. However, the stories are refreshing. Like Garrison Keillor, Lounsbrough draws you into the characters which are central to each story. Many times, these are stories within stories, because within each story, Lounsbrough draws attention to the Biblical story which relates to the theme. I am not sure he planned to write this way. However, this is how it seems to flow. Each chapter concludes with a point to ponder and a set of questions surrounding the main thoughtful theme.

The themes he writes about include: love, handicaps, drifting, life purpose, coffin biers, judging appearances, hearing and deafness, blindness and sight. He tells the stories as if they are real events. Yet, the point of these stories is to drive home the principles which come from the Bible. These are real issues, which we will encounter in our journey with Jesus Christ. One could read these stories for the sake of the stories themselves. However, I tend to think that while one could read them like a novel, there is much more to be learned. I sense that Lounsbrough’s desire is for us to learn while we read. Learn from the personal stories as well as the Biblical stories to which they are linked.

The Bible is story. It is also about real life. By writing this book, Lounsbrough does a great job at connecting the two goals – story and life. As he says in the video, he wants us to be real Christians because the Bible is about real people. This book accomplishes that goal.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author and/or publisher through the Speakeasy blogging book review network. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR,Part 255.