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Uncle Dave

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About Uncle Dave

  • Birthday 01/11/1953

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    San Jose, Ca
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    I like working out, baking, gardening, and on a limited basis these days, web programming.

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  1. Q1. 1. How can a local congregation lose its "first love" for Jesus? Looking at this question from the perspective of personal experiences, I am very inclined to go with deception. Jesus warned about deception. He knew how full of trickery Satan was more than anyone who has ever lived. The Bible is full of people who were duped with deception beginning with Eve (Genesis 3:1) in the garden. Even the high priest was deceived by not knowing what the scriptures really said and could not accept the fact that Jesus was the promised savior of mankind thinking he would appear as a king displaying pomp and royalty rather than a homeless (Matthew 8:20, Luke 9:58 “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”) person displaying humility for what it really is. 2. What are the signs of genuine love for Jesus in worship and ministry? Doing God’s will. Searching the Bible for truth and acting upon it. 3. How does the lack of love show up? The lack of love shows its face as member’s begin to do “little things nobody will notice” (or so they think not giving thought to the fact that such deeds will eventually be exposed), excuses like “everybody does it” become common and once a cancer begins, it does all it can to spread and left unchecked what people see is the church being no different than the world itself. 4. How can a congregation regain this love? Repentance. A return to living lives according to scriptures without justifying them away—something I see which is quite common in the church today. Jesus said that many are called but few are chosen (Matthew 12:14). People think that they are followers of God because they sing in the choir, loyally go to church and pay tithes Too many people like this take the Word of God for something which a preacher explains it without searching it out for themselves. In other words, after the service its hurry home to watch a football game and return to the ways of the world for the remainder of the week.
  2. Day 1 Meditation (Revelation 4; 5:6). 1. Why is everyone around the throne worshipping? The celebration of eternal life. Having come through the trials of what the world has to offer and now at the beginning of the realm of eternal life would surely be more than just an over-joyous moment. Why, having attained such a standing would one not want to give thanks to Christ for all he has done for us? 2. Why are they chanting and singing? I would imagine the singing would be coming from the heart. There is no such thing as singing out of tune when it comes from the heart. Compare a well-trained choir to a group of pre-school children singing and ask yourself which is better. The choir might be in practiced pitch and sound nice, but the children would sound most precious. This is because they sing from their heart and not their minds. Jesus gives us room to express what is in our hearts and he also said we need to become like little children. Its all about what comes out of the heart. 3. Why do you think that we get bored with worship after a few minutes? It is the evil in man that would make a person bored with worship quickly. Maybe “mind pollution” could be the proper term. We fill our hearts with all the evil of the world and have great longing to get back to the call of it. How many people sit through a church gathering only to sit there preparing a shopping list of filled with the pre-occupation of trying to figure out how all the bills will be paid, or can we afford this or that. 4. What does that indicate about our hearts? This should be telling us that our hearts need to be changed. Rather than worry about the things that fill our days with confusion, we need to become like the little children who trust that they will be taken care of. 5. What can we do to change this? To change this, I would think we need to do as Jesus told the rich man when he told him to sell all he had and give the money to the poor. One could also relate the prodigal son to what needs to be done. If a person is so filled with the cares of the world and everything Satan has to offer, we need to get rid of everything and bring ourselves to a level where we are not only totally dependent on Christ, but acknowledgement of the fact that he is the only one who can meet our needs.
  3. 1. What is the significance of the exalted Jesus walking among the lampstands? I would think this to be that Jesus was proving that he was telling the truth when he said he would never leave us. 2. What does this teach us about the church? That Jesus and his church are all in one the same as he is as one with the Father? 3. What does it teach us about Jesus? Could it be that this means that we are the church and Jesus is the leader.
  4. 1. The vision of Christ among the lampstands (1:12-20) is much different than the Carpenter-Teacher who walked the roads of Galilee and Judea. Why? The one John saw in Revelations 1:13-16 was not Jesus who walked the Earth as a servant but the resurrected Son of God who, in glory will return as a King. 2. What overall emotions is this vision of Jesus among the lampstands designed to evoke in the reader? One has to really think what the event will really look like when it happens because to just read the verses a person can’t grasp the depth of the situation as it will be on that day. 3. Why is this understanding of Jesus important to a balanced faith? Because most people think of Jesus as the one seen portrayed by Hollywood actors which always show the humble servant who walked the Earth with his disciples and ends up executed on a cross. People need to understand that was how he was the first time he came but when he returns he will come as a king to judge the earth and people will be grief stricken when he does because they aren’t ready, while those that are will find him to be so much beyond their expectations upon his return.
  5. 1. In what countries are Christians presently experiencing tribulation or persecution for the faith? In answering this question, I will say that there is not a place you can go where a Christian would face persecution, be it so mild as not noticeable to extremes. It is easy to overlook a situation where people are in the background snickering because someone is carrying a Bible even though technically, that could be considered persecution. Fact is, in such a situation Satan is making known his presence. He works day and night to get people to do is work and most do it for him unknowingly. Although this might seem like nothing to be concerned about it has the capability of growing into something bigger. Looking at things from an extreme measure, people are rotting away in medieval comparable prisons, subject to intense torture and often death. There are places a Christian is unsafe just to think about entering. 2. How can the Book of Revelation be a comfort and encouragement to them? The Book of Revelation can be of great comfort to them because the reward that awaits them is revealed and also the fact that persecution will be a part of a Christian’s life and under certain conditions it will only get worse but we need only remember that our time here, no matter how it seems to drag at times is short and although the opposition can kill the body, he can’t get what Christians have returned to him and that is eternal life. In the end, which regardless of how long it takes to get here, we will not have to put up with him.
  6. 1. What does 1:8 tell us about the Father? The verse tells us that he always has, and always will be present, like it or not and is supreme above all. 2. The Father is the speaker here in 1:8 and in 21:6. But Jesus is the speaker in 1:17 and 22:12-13. What is the significance of this for our understanding of who Jesus is? These two verses explain to us that Jesus will return, and many will be very sad that they did not accept him as the one who gave his life as a payment for the sins of ALL mankind. It explains how, when he returns he will divide his inheritance among those who did.
  7. Q1. 1. Revelation is written to encourage and strengthen a church facing intense persecution. Why is the theme of testimony and witness so important to that purpose? It is important because not only does this book tell what the church will experience, it also gives us hope in what awaits those who overcome & endure to the end. 2. How is Jesus as the "faithful witness" (1:5) supposed to encourage us? Jesus proved his words when he was resurrected like he said he would. He promised the same eternal life for us and this was all coming from a man who never lied about anything. 3. Why are we afraid to be clear witnesses in a culture where we aren't persecuted? Is it cowardice? Being too involved in & part of the world? I would think the fear of being beaten or tortured would be greater than the fear of dying. Perhaps it all comes down to just being too worldly. Or maybe the fear of losing an argument that might follow and not having an answer for everything that happens in the world(although we do need to know when to bridle the tongue. Regardless, it is dangerous ground.
  8. Q4. (Philippians 3:13; Revelation 2:4) 1. What does it look like when a person "loses his first love"? When one loses that first love, he/she has gone astray from the narrow path they should be running on and gets caught up in the ways of the world. If left unchecked, the lure of the world’s attractions becomes stronger and more enticing. This is dangerous ground and only leads to a spiritual quicksand. If God has called you and you don’t attempt to get things in order, God will do it for you and that usually means hitting the “bottom” and like Nebuchadnezzar being lowered to the point of eating grass like a wild animal. God will never give up on you, but you must respond. 2. Has this ever happened to you? Yes, this has happened to me. It was a seemingly long drawn out process, and painful at times. It took my admitting how fallen I had become but until I was truly sincere, the chastisement continued its work (Hebrews 12:5-11). 3. How can you regain a personal intimacy with Christ? Much time spent in the Word, even more time (in my case anyway) one on one with Christ and coming to praising God always for everything and constant prayer (communicating). 4. What might you need to repent of to restore this? Although I have restored my connection with Christ, every day I find something I need to repent of. Hard to believe there are so many things a person could do wrong. On the outside I might look like a “good person” but there is only one who is good and until I am resurrected with a total transplant (heart), I will continue to find things, regardless of how small or great. I might control what my hands do or where my feet take me but Satan attacks from the inside and so the war rages.
  9. Q3. (Philippians 3:8-9) 1. How can pride in our own righteousness and religious achievements actually get in the way of "knowing Christ"? Because it makes us forget where our righteousness really comes from. It causes people to walk around in their “religious uniforms” and pass by those in need. There is no such thing as “tit for tat” or doing favors for God. When you are doing anything, it should be done as though doing it for God under the veil of humility, that is, your right hand should be blind to your left and visa versa. Jesus said “…inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:40) If you are doing something for the sake of recognition you can have your good feeling about it but in the end, it will go up in smoke. 2. Has this ever happened to you or someone you know? If I said it never happened to me, I would be lying. The spirit of zealousness shows no favoritism. I can’t help but think that this (undesirable) quality of finding it in others is like a contagious disease that blocks any self-detection of the symptoms in one’s self. I thank you for this question for helping me to see something.
  10. Q2. (Colossians 1:14-20; Romans 8:1) 1. What does it mean to be "in Christ"? Let me begin with the line “image of the invisible God on this one. As Christ was the image of God, we need to set our sites on being just like Christ. Matthew 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. The verse says it all. Jesus was without sin just as His Father is without sin and, on top of that Jesus was willing to be a servant to all going so far as to die for our redemption of sin. We need to be imitators of Christ, living our lives without sin, willing to do what Christ said was the ultimate show of love for fellow human beings. That is quite a belly full but isn’t that what Jesus said? 2. Why is such union with Christ so important? This union is important because if we are looking for the resurrection which leads to eternal life, yet on that day Jesus would look at one of us and say “I don’t know you” then everything you lived for is lost forever. Jesus said to defeat sin and live accordingly so that we may serve His purpose here in this life and also in a life hoped for to come.
  11. Q1. (Philippians 2:5-11) 1. How did Jesus demonstrate the importance of humility and forego his rights in order to do God's will? Jesus demonstrated the importance of humility in that He regained the glory He set aside as a result of living the life of a servant. He said that he who exalts himself would be humbled and he who humbles himself shall be exalted and the part of being exalted is exactly what happened, only after a death that, when you think about it is so cold hearted as to make one wonder who would even dream of something so evil. Rather than get into the gory details or evil devices which works a person’s mind to come up with something like that, I think it needs to be stated that even today Jesus serves us. What do we have that He didn’t give us? All we have to do is pray and He is right there to forgive us and bless us beyond our wildest dreams. I do believe that utilizing such blessings to bless others, especially the poor is part of His intentions for us. Often, these blessings come without so much as a thank you from the person who was blessed but rather than giving God the glory for all that happens, His people have a tendency to call upon Him only in time of need with the expectation of the best. 2. What happens when we try to exalt ourselves, rather than waiting for God to exalt us? When this happens, we often take a fall of sorts as an attention getter. God does not want us to do this and is very clear about it more than once. Many are those who have fallen from self-imposed states of glory as a result of patting one’s self on the back a time too many. Things always begin to go good again once one returns to God, such as the story about the Prodigal Son. 3. What do you call this tendency? I’m sure there are many terms to describe this tendency, but I call it prideful greediness with a sure “kick” on the way. A person who has little is probably better off when something like this happens because when a poor person loses it all, they have more of a tendency to reach out to God and get back on track whereas a rich person usually don’t understand why they fell and start looking for ways to buy themselves back into that from which they have fallen.
  12. Q4. (Philippians 1:20-23) 1. In what way is death "gain" for Paul? (verse 21). Death would have been gain for Paul because instead of rotting away in chained torment, he could be with Christ where every tear is wiped. 2. Which is better for him? Life or death? (verse 23) Death would be better for him in fact it would be better for all believers because it would mean the end of all struggles. We must patiently await the day God calls us home though keeping in mind until that time He has something for us to do. 3. How does Paul decide which he prefers -- life vs. death -- according to verses 22-24? Paul decides on life however I don’t think it was so much his idea as it was God’s. Paul decided that it wasn’t his time and there were still things he needed to do.
  13. Q3. (2 Corinthians 5:10; Romans 14:10) 1. Why should appearing before Christ as Judge make us fearful? Seeing Jesus is what I want more than anything, yet it could be like traveling to a different country to meet someone you met say, on the internet and you find out the barriers you thought you had broke still kept you nervous. If one has came up in the first resurrection, there should be no fear. I don’t expect to be rewarded much because even if I did everything book perfect that I should have done while in this shell, I shall be content just to be there. 2. Will we be condemned at that judgment? If we died in Christ or were caught up with Him at the last trumpet we won’t be condemned. 3. What saves us (Romans 8:1; Revelation 21:12)? It is faith in Christ, that He died for all the wrongs we have done, and also that He rose again, on the third day just as He said He would, and that He would one day return to gather us up to Him. 4. How will our works be judged on that day (1 Corinthians 3:12-15)? Our works shall be tried by fire. It will be the “un-burnable” that passes through. Love is something not made of human hands and I believe it is love on which the judgement shall be based. Love includes many things—charity being the action part. If you give something to someone in protest, it shall not be counted as worthy. It shall be that which is freely given, without a second thought or worry about the cost, be it goods or your time. Jesus gave the best example with the story about the good Samaritan who, at the risk of being beaten and robbed himself, took it upon himself to help a wounded Jew—a person who normally was at odds with the Jewish people, by treating him and putting him up in a place till he was healed of his wounds, at his own expense. Instead of worrying about the cost he told the inn keeper that if the cost ran higher, he would compensate.
  14. Q2. (2 Corinthians 5:8; John 14:2-3) 1. In what ways is heaven like your "home"? This is a touchy one at this time, but what I see concerning Heaven is that it is God’s dwelling place. I believe what Jesus said when he mentioned “theirs is the Kingdom Of Heaven” and “great is their reward in Heaven” in Matthew, and 5:3 & 5:12, but when I try to figure out what Heaven really is the only thing I have come up with so far is from Genesis 1:10 …and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. So often I hear the stories told about Heaven with it’s pearl gates and streets of gold but if you read what it says in Revelation 21:2 it says he …saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem coming down out of Heaven… So where is this city coming down to or whatever is the new earth for. I take it that heaven is the space between everything contained in the heavens which would include the New Earth. I do apologize if this offends anyone but it appears the earth is like what it says in Psalm 115:16 The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD'S: but the earth hath he given to the children of men. Is not Jesus to ultimately be the King who will rule the new earth? There are just too many variables at this time for me to give the answer I would like and that is mainly because I have too many questions myself. I do believe we have the offer for eternal life though and that is good enough for me—to spend eternity with Christ. 2. Which is eternal? That which is eternal comes after life as we know it now. 3. Which is temporary? Temporary is where we are at this point. Everything we have, have had, hope to have, have seen, see, will all pass (2 Peter 3:10 & 11). 4. What kind of faith would it take for you to walk or live with this as your belief, rather than holding on to your earthly possessions, status, and life? Temporary is where we are at this point. Everything we have, have had, hope to have, have seen, see, will all pass (2 Peter 3:10 & 11).
  15. Q1. (2 Timothy 2:3; 3:10-12; 4:7) 1. Why are we quieted so quickly by mild societal disapproval of our witness? That is a great question which will be answered by the “quieted” should they remain that way. Just like actions, inactions shall come to account. This bothers me because there are so many opportunities that have escaped me. Disapproval, at least in the U.S. is, for the most part nothing to really be concerned about because violence against preaching the word is rare. I know in other (not all) countries it has its consequences but not so much here. The worst fire I ever came under was with someone who acted offended when he told me he was a believer of something other than Christian belief but even at that we didn’t end up with WWIII. 2. What would enduring hardship "like a good soldier of Christ" look like in your life? As one who spends most of my time in the U.S. and also spends time in the Philippines, which is a country deep into Catholicism, the hardest I would more than likely have to deal with would be rejection. 3. What would it look like to "fight the good fight" for you? Fighting the good fight for me would mean hitting the streets every day like I should be doing.
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