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GandalfTheWise

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About GandalfTheWise

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  1. Self-taught. In terms of how long it took, I could say it either took over 30 years, or about 5 years. I spent about 30 some years doing the typical approach to learning Greek and making no real progress. I worked on memorizing tables, grammar, etc. and just couldn't seem to achieve any amount of reading skills. To make a long story short, I was ready to give up when I ran across some independent language learners online and realized I was going at stuff all wrong. In an hour of study, I was probably spending 55 minutes thinking in English about Greek and perhaps 5 minutes actually looking at Greek. When I reversed that I started seeing real progress in comprehension. I started using a combination of recordings (Spiros Zhodiate's modern greek pronunciation of the Greek NT) and following with an interlinear. I found that over the course of weeks and months that my brain started internalizing greek. I started with the gospel of John and just repeated the audio and followed it several times for each paragraph or so until it started to seem familiar and then moved to the next one. Basically, I turned learning Greek into something similar to learning songs. It's sort of like learning the happy birthday song or Christmas carols. Via repetition, they just become more and more familiar. I then used grammar and tables as reference tools to improve my understanding of things I was uncertain about. Here's a link to learning this way I put on another site. https://www.christianforums.com/threads/online-cf-experiment-can-you-learn-some-greek-i-think-you-can.8018322/#post-71531033 I would say I can now read greek in the same way I say I can ride a bicycle. It is a skill that improves over time on a continuum. You start off riding bike by trying not to fall off, depending on how much you practice and ride, you can get comfortable riding around the block, riding a few miles, or becoming a competitive on road or motocross rider. When I started practicing reading, I was doing good to understand a fraction of what I saw. Day by day, more and more things started to become internalized and familiar. Now, I can look at most narrative genres (gospels, acts, and books such as Genesis, Samuel, Kings, etc. in the Septuagint) and understand most things I see. In contrast, genres such as wisdom and prophetic books in the OT have a more challenging vocabulary because of so much symbolism and comparisons to random things in nature or other places. I read the Septuagint in a parallel Greek/English version. I spend most of my time reading the Greek with glances to the English as a quick look up for things I don't catch. There is a nice recording of the gospel of John on the Librivox site by a woman (native Greek speaker I believe) with a pleasant voice and intonation (at least to my ear). There is also a PDF version of the old out of copyright Interlinear Greek NT by George Ricker Berry available various places online. The two of those sources are a nice starting point to just listen and follow for perhaps 10 minutes in the morning and evening. I use Audacity (an audio editing software package) to play the audio so it's easy to pick sections to play and re-play.
  2. My impression is that this is not too far from my view on the Bible but I would nuance and explain it much more carefully to avoid misunderstanding. I see two aspects to the Christian use of scripture, one is a direct spiritual use by God to change people in particular situations, and the other is as an authoritative standard for all Christians at all times. I think the proper use of scripture requires discernment and balance. It must include both the work of the Holy Spirit across millennia in the body of Christ as a whole and in our individual day to day lives. It is the Holy Spirit's direct active work that changes people which brings a spiritual empowerment to particular sections of the Bible at particular times in someone's life. I have heard countless testimonies over the years of how people's lives have been changed by the Holy Spirit bringing to life particular passages and verses in a way that spoke to them in a way that helped them grow. This is God directly using parts of the Bible to speak to people's hearts in transformative ways. Sometimes this is done with careful contextual studies, but more often it is simply that a particular verse regardless of context just spiritually jumps out and affects us. It is the sinner really hearing John 3:16 for the first time with the Holy Spirit drawing them to the Father through Jesus Christ. This is in contrast to Christians having theological debates over what John 3:16 "really" means from a theological perspective and if it truly an offer of salvation to all human beings or only the predestined elect. I believe that the Holy Spirit directly empowering a verse to speak to someone's heart and change their life stands in stark contrast to Christians arguing over whether such a verse supports OSAS or not. I also think the Holy Spirit directly empowering a particular passage for ministry to someone at times stands in contrast to Christians spouting their opinions about things by quoting particular verses that reflect their opinions. This work of the Holy Spirit is primarily a spiritual one that can at times be separated from good study habits or context. It is about a particular message for a particular time and place. This is the person going through a rough time in life reading in Acts about Paul and his companions being shipwrecked and God speaking a message of comfort and encouragement that He is there in the storm. As an authoritative standard for the entire body of Christ, I think we need to consider the entire Bible in its original languages, along with the testimony and witness of how Christians through the ages have understood it, along with what we can learn of historical context and other things. It is looking to all sources and considering their spiritual credibility to best understand what is being said in any particular book or passage. In practice, most Christians understand this (and hence we see most Christians ignoring OT prohibitions on eating pork for example). Issues such as what the Bible teaches about women in ministry come down to how this is approached. As a practical matter, most churches and denominations have their preferred way of doing this and carefully indoctrinate their members and attenders as to the "correct" way to approach this. For me, this is about building a house on rock or sand. I try to carefully look at the long term fruit of large groups of Christians with different views on things as well as individuals I've observed. For example, the long term fruit of calvinists and arminians seems about equal over centuries of time and I cannot see any appreciable difference in individual Christians I've know. In contrast, the long term fruit (on the order of decades) of some mainline denominations with strong modernist/rationalist movements tends to be one of declining and aging membership. A part of this takes the Bible rationalistically assuming it is largely not historical in nature and is part of decades long trends of shrinking membership. I personally try to separate out those things that spiritually vibrant Christians throughout the ages have disagreed on versus those things that are held by groups that basically spiritually died out. I also try to understand God's principles and character which remain constant over the millennia from the specific examples given in specific times and places. Where I see Christians getting unbalanced is when they depart from either of these two practices in various ways. I've seen some Christians take an almost superstitious view of the Bible as something akin to magic where each and every word and sentence has spiritual power and authority to be addressed to any and every situation in life. Frankly, this often ends up being them expressing their opinions by picking a random verse that expresses a particular opinion and adding "thus saith the LORD" authority to their personal opinion. This sometimes reaches a point where any amount of contextual study is dismissed and anyone who disagrees is obviously rejecting God. I've seen others go to the other extreme where convoluted studies and analyses become how they see scripture. They learn some theological terms from their church, the "proper" interpretation of a few proof texts, some explanations of what the Bible really teaches, and they are off to the races explaining everything they see in the Bible on that basis and rejecting anything that disagrees with that as unscriptural. I believe we need to carefully discern the Holy Spirit's prompting and use of scripture to individual hearts for individual times and situations. I believe we need to carefully study and discern the Holy Spirit's activity in the body of Christ across millennia as well as today and how Christians in different parts of the body of Christ have understood scripture.
  3. Would I be correct in guessing that this is the result of much time working together, slowly becoming more and more emotionally involved, and basically falling in love with each other over the course of time? My observation is that most affairs between those in ministry are the result of unhealthy emotional relationships which build over time rather than some sudden impulse. The problem with such relationships is that they start off healthy as colleagues and friends and slowly change into a romantic and intimate relationship without admitting that is what is happening. Many people get caught up in this without realizing what is happening and find themselves infatuated and feeling deeply in love with someone without intending it. Some people realize what is happening and cut ties or back off to create separation. Others find themselves in a full blown affair without knowing how they got there. My sense of things is that most Christians who end up in physical affairs do so as the result of starting an emotional affair and not realizing what is happening. Once a physical affair is started, there is no going back. Damage and hurt is done. The only real solution is often to cut ties and separate from each other. There will be a real pain and confusion because the feelings are deep and real. It is often a real friendship that slowly went in an unhealthy direction to a romantic intimate one so there are very real feelings of affection involved. It is often giving up being around a person you care deeply for. This can be a painful loss. My feeling is that the pastor should have confessed to the other pastors or elders or leaders of the church and then stepped down. He needs to step away from ministry and rebuild his marriage and other relationships that he has betrayed. I'm not going to give advice one way or the other about saying something or who to talk to. I'd just recommend prayerfully considering the time and place and people whom to say anything to. Turning it into a public spectacle is not helpful, but at some point the senior pastor is going to have to deal with this. The reality is that this is what sin is. It is a falling short of what God intends. His intent was for a healthy relationship with appropriate bounds for you and the senior pastor as friends and colleagues. You both fell short of that and now have to deal with some of the consequences of that. It does not make you better or worse than any other Christian, just that there was a sin that is having some big consequences. I'd suggest finding another church and fellowship to become part of. You do need to form healthy relationships with other Christians right now.
  4. I used to pooh-pooh open air ministry such as preaching, handing out tracts, and the like as not being effective and creating a bad impression of Christians. I was saying something of the sort in a Sunday school class when a young man my age told about his conversion. He was walking across a university campus to class, was accosted by a group handing out tracts, took one to be polite to avoid talking to them, went to class, pulled the tract out of his pocket, read it, and committed his life to Christ. He started going to church the next Sunday. I've now known him for close to 40 years and he's been a faithful Christian over that time. Since then, I have heard testimonies of people who've been saved through this type of ministry. I was surprised by how many of these were "normal" people with comfortable lives who just happened to stop and listen or watch for a few moments and the Holy Spirit started drawing them and speaking to them. Not all people are homeless and destitute and need (as the old Salvation Army street ministries to the destitute in London would say) soup, soap, and salvation. The vast majority of people I've known active in open air ministry are NOT loud obnoxious in your face types. I knew one young woman in college who started a street ministry with teams who'd go to the rough part of a nearby city on Friday and Saturday nights to share the gospel with street prostitutes and drug addicts. A large number of missionaries use open air ministry because there are no church buildings in many places. They go to where people gather and speak to them, often in small groups and sometimes in crowds. Here's a link to an article by Charles Spurgeon about open air ministry. http://www.biblebelievers.com/StreetPreaching2.html The reality in America is that there are large numbers of people who are unchurched and who are not destitute nor have compelling needs for Christians to physically meet. These are people walking in groups at fairs, festivals, and other places who've not heard the gospel. That open air group playing music, doing drama, sharing testimonies, or whatever might be the first time some people hear the gospel. In places like Europe (which is largely postmodern and non-Christian in many places), open air ministry is the first time many have heard the gospel and come to Christ. Some places in the US are not much different than that. In our last church, there was a group that just started to go out and offered to pray with people. A few would refuse, but a surprising number had some deep concern, worry, or trouble in their life that they'd share with a complete stranger to pray for them. A few started crying as the person was praying with them. It's about going to people where they are at and showing God's love and sharing the good news with them. I've spoken out against excesses in open air ministry (and other ministries) on this site. I've called into question such things as carrying a pig's head on a pole to muslim gatherings under the guise of evangelism. (I think that thread was deleted at some point.) I've always considered the messenger and his or her behavior as important as the message they speak. I've seen many Christians blow their credibility and lessen their ability to minister by the unkind and disrespectful tone of their words and attitudes. However, I've seen people God has called into this type of ministry who are effective at sharing God's love and the good news of the Gospel with people who haven't heard it before.
  5. Last year there were a number of threads and debates on this general theme. A number of us expressed the viewpoint that the messenger and how they behave cannot be separated from the message. Often, the amount of fruit of the Spirit we clearly exhibit in our lives is the strongest message we can preach. A number of us quite passionately argued for this point. I took the OP and following posts in general as being accusatory in tone toward most Christians and any evangelism outside of a church building instead of focusing on the attitude and behavior of a few that was meant to be the target of the thread. I think the case that we as Christians should set a model of behavior, attitude, and fruit of the Spirit for others to emulate was not being clearly emphasized. As I review the thread, I can see that was likely the intention, but the images, words, and emphasis chosen have distracted away from that main point. Until I went back and re-read various posts very carefully, I thought that this thread was primarily arguing against public evangelism and that most Christians do it incorrectly.
  6. I think there are two aspects to things like this, first forgiving ourselves and second moving on. The first is in effect forgiving ourselves in the same way God has forgiven us or that we have forgiven other people. We often hold things against ourselves that we would have long before forgiven someone else for. We can tell ourselves in our head that we are forgiven but it hasn't registered with our heart yet. At times we might need God's healing touch in our lives for dealing with things like this. The second is that as new creations in Christ, our lives are transformed and those things we have done simply become a smaller and smaller part of the totality of our lives as we move forward in Christ. It doesn't make them go away, but it makes them less and less significant in the big picture of our lives as months and years and decades go by.
  7. Open air preaching or more generally sharing the good news of Christ with people in an open public setting has long had a place in the body of Christ. In the Gospels and Acts time periods, it was common. Jesus spoke both in synagogues and to crowds in open places. Peter spoke to a crowd on Pentecost. Philip spoke to crowds in Samaria. Paul (and companions) spoke both in synagogues, private places, and in public. In Athens, Paul spoke in both synagogues and the market place. The good news was taken to wherever people were and might listen. Throughout church history there are examples of many ministries where Christians spoke to crowds in public settings. The early methodists (largely being closed out of established churches) preached open air. George Whitefield alone was estimated to have spoken to millions of people over the course of his life. William Booth took to the streets of London sharing the gospel with the poor and destitute in the streets. Open air preaching of some form is often how many missionary endeavors first started in many areas of the world. The style and way of sharing vary with the individuals doing it. Our last church supported a missionary family in Europe whose most effective evangelistic ministry is open air preaching in crowds in big tourist areas. They've seen hundreds of people per year who've never heard the gospel before come to Christ. They do a combination of music, drama, speaking, sharing testimonies, and the like. They usually do it in teams so there is a combination of public speaking and private discussion with those they meet. It sounds like the main objection being voiced is an inaccurate straw man argument which characterizes all open air preaching as being highly confrontational "turn or burn" monologues.
  8. He used the term "put on a shelf" to mean when God stops using a Christian for ministry for a time. In the video, he seems to attribute this entirely to punishment/chastisement and God dealing with hard heartedness. He also seems to think that this can be temporary or lifelong. I think that this is unbalanced. It puts seems to put everything in terms of our lives being primarily driven by getting rid of sin rather than by being shaped by God into who He intends us to be. Many Christians get put on the shelf for times of growth. I know some Christians would say Moses was put on the shelf for 40 years because he presumptuously killed the Egyptian and tried to get ahead of God. They seem to see Moses' 40 years primarily as punishment or consequence of his errors. I think they see the 40 years as something negative that could have been avoided and that Moses' life would have been better without. However, in God's greater plan, He didn't want Moses to be another pharaoh or military leader over His people. God wanted a Hebrew prophet. That 40 years in the desert changed Moses from an educated Egyptian into a self-sufficient shepherd living the life that God's people would be leading in the promised land. No amount of effort on Moses' part was going to change him from living and thinking like an Egyptian to living and thinking like a Hebrew without decades of actually living the life. Some Christians would call this being put on the shelf and a wasted 40 years. I would call this 40 years of necessary transformation to become what God wanted Him to be: a Hebrew prophet. Moses needed to be out in the wilderness to be changed from a sophisticated wealthy urbanite into a hard working shepherd living off the land. Moses had 40 years of few obligations becoming a true Hebrew before being saddled with the burden and weight of leadership. I think rather than being "put on the shelf", many Christians are "sent on vacation" or "enrolled in advanced training" instead. When God closes many (or all) doors for ministry, there can be many reasons for it. One reason can be that something in our life has gotten so out of control God pulls us out of ministry for our own good and the good of others. I think however more often it is because God wants us to take a needed break, move to something else, or to move into a time of change and transformation. Speaking for myself, a number of years ago, I hit a point where literally every ministry I was in either shut down or I was left out of. This was after being a Christian for over 30 years and very active in every church and ministry I was in. Even at work, I had a boss who wouldn't use my abilities and put me off in a corner. I went from being active in a lot of things to having nothing. I went stir crazy. I asked around and looked for places to be involved and found nothing. I looked for hidden sin, spiritual attacks, what the next open door was, and found nothing. When I finally settled down and start to relax (which was several months), I found God was taking me on a journey of transformation. Throughout my life, I had made activity and accomplishments my identity. I saw myself through the filter of being a good Christian, a good husband, a good father, a good employee, a good church member, etc. I saw my purpose in life as learning about my gifts and talents and using them in service to God to bear much fruit. I was doing what most Christians do, taking on the identity and practices of what we think God wants us to do and be. However, I was completely missing that God didn't want me being busy doing things, but rather to simply be the unique person He created me to be. In order for God to teach me who He made me to be, I needed to be in a quiet place clear of obligations, responsibilities, and distractions. It was a year or so long desert experience that changed me deeply. I walked out of that desert in much better position to do ministry than I had been before. I found that there was a new anointing on everything I did. I walked out of that desert much more confident and calm and assured than I had been in my entire life and with a much clearer sense of who God made me to be. My gifts and talents are now tools to use and not an identity and purpose in and of themselves. Ministry is now something that naturally flows out from me rather than a laborious activity to be found worthy of. For me, being put on the shelf was a needed time away from busy-ness and distraction for a time of transformation and change.
  9. I'm seeing many red flags all over the OP and in later posts. If the two of you were married to other people, this would have many of the signs of an emotional affair that would threaten to destroy both marriages. If you are sharing lengthy intimate talks with a man you've known less than a year at a level that only matches two best friends of over a decade, this is likely part infatuation, part romance, part neediness, part protective feelings, and many other things mixed together. One of the best pieces of marriage advice I've heard and often pass on to people is this. Our deepest emotional talks and connections should be reserved for our spouse or close friends of our own gender. A few of the signs of an emotional affair are calling that other person "a very good friend" or similar term and trying to get them deeply involved in our lives and looking for excuses to spend time with them. Obviously, the two of you are not married to anyone, but when it reaches a point where lengthy talks with someone rate as among the most intimate in our lives, we are going well beyond friendship to something else. Especially if it develops in a few weeks or months rather than over a period of years. Deep friendship is something that grows over time. Romantic infatuation can sprout up quickly and be very intense. Repeated contact with that person makes it grow. It doesn't just disappear because we want it to. Often the only option is to reduce or eliminate contact with the person. The posts also seem to have a very strong sense of being on a rescue mission. The posts seem to paint a picture of an oppressed misunderstood man with a good heart who needs someone to take care of him, rescue him, defend him, and help him change. Instead of seeing a list of what good characteristics this man has and what is going right in his life in the posts, there is a list of people who've hurt him, what problems he's having, and why he needs a special friend to help him overcome these things to have a happy life. To be blunt, many people get into very bad relationships because they see someone needing help and instead of providing that help at a safe distance get dragged into that person's issues and problems themselves. The posts also seem to have some amount of excuse making and blind defense. Most men in the choir don't like him because of tattoos and piercings. His girlfriend isn't good for him and the relationship problems appear to be all her fault. His problems with friendships now are primarily due to people in the past. He doesn't always know how to treat people right but that's okay because he's working on it. Even though he spends hours talking to you on intimate matters, he's completely innocent about it and not being unfaithful at all to his girlfriend. My observation in life is that there are always two sides to every story and when there are consistent patterns of problems, some of it's usually self-inflicted to some degree. There is supporting people and then there is enabling people. Supporting people helps them grow and mature and change. Enabling them helps them stay more or less the same. I can't tell which I'm seeing in the posts. If he hasn't, I think your friend might benefit from meeting with a Christian counselor. It sounds like he's dealing with many things (depression, inability to treat people correctly, relationship problems, and other unspecified struggles). I know many Christians where God used pastors and Christians counselors as a means of healing and growth for some things. This relationship is a confusing mixture of many incompatible things. It may have started out with God's call to do something but something seems to have gotten sidetracked. These are just my impressions and observations from the posts.
  10. I laughed the first time I saw it and it doesn't seem to get old. It seems to pop up in a lot of random places and I'm not sure of the original source.
  11. It doesn't matter whether one uses the Greek NT or most any English translation, they all tell the same story with the same context. The Bible says that the meal in Luke 7 is followed by a significant amount of ministry in many places far away from Jerusalem while the meal in John 12 is immediately followed by the entry into Jerusalem and the Passover. If one accepts the details given in scripture as trustworthy, Luke 7 and John 12 cannot be the same event. After the meal in Luke 7, the following events occur in the following chapters: Jesus traveled from town to town preaching, Jesus' mother and brother came to see him, Jesus calmed the storm when crossing the lake, Jesus cast out demons from a man and they went into a herd of pigs, the healing of Jairus' daughter, Jesus sent out the 12 in ministry, feeding of the 5 thousand, then finally near the end of chapter 9 (9:51) Jesus starts heading to Jerusalem, then he sent out the 70 (or 72 depending on translation) ahead of him, and then more happens. Many of these events happened in Galilee far north of the region of Jerusalem. It's not until chapter 19 that Jesus enters Jerusalem riding a donkey being met with a crowd with palm branches shouting Hosanna. After the meal in John 12 in Bethany (which is close to Jerusalem), the next day (John 12:12) Jesus is riding a donkey meeting a crowd from Jerusalem with palm branches shouting Hosanna.
  12. John 12 occurred in Bethany (just outside of Jerusalem) 6 days before the Passover. It is probable that this event is also recorded in Matthew 26 and Mark 14 which also occurred in Bethany. In John 12:12, it says the the next day was when Jesus' entry into Jerusalem (aka Palm Sunday) occurred. In Matthew 26 and Mark 14, the next thing recorded is Judas going to the chief priests to set up the betrayal of Jesus. Matt/Mark record the event at the house of Simon the Leper in Bethany. John does not record whose house it was at but was someone who obviously knew Lazarus, Martha, and Mary. The biggest difference between John 12 versus Matt 26 and Mark 14 seems to be that John 12 has the nard being put on Jesus' feet and Matt/Mark have it being put on his head. In contrast, the many events recorded after Luke 7 occur long before Jesus' entry into Jerusalem and the Passover and include many events that occurred in Galilee. Indeed, the next passage in Luke talks about how Jesus started going from one town and village to another. Luke 7 was probably weeks or months of time before the Passover. This event was in the house of Simon the Pharisee. There is no way Luke 7 could be the same event as John 12, Matt 26, and Mark 14. I've read a lot of very sloppy commentary on these two events which assume that they are the same event. I've seen fanciful conjectures on how Simon (who was a Pharisee with leprosy) was one son of the high priest and Judas was his son (which is how Judas knew how to contact the leaders to betray Jesus). I've seen conjectures on how Simon was related to Lazarus and the two sisters. These types of guesses all go way beyond the bounds of what scripture does say.
  13. I've read the Bible through in several different English translations as well as a couple Spanish ones and Greek. My favorite has changed over time. A long time ago, I used the Living Bible. When the NIV came out, I started using that and later picked up a 1901 ASV that became my favorite. For a time, I used the ASV for OT reading and the NIV for NT reading. I now do most of my reading in Greek using the Septuagint for my OT reading.
  14. One of the things that changed my approach to the Bible about 25 or so years ago was a series of meetings I had with JW and LDS people. One day I realized that we were all using the Bible in exactly the same way. We were pulling out proof texts, explaining what they really meant, and then assuming that there was an authority associated with the Bible we were taking onto ourselves. This incongruity bothered me because I knew there should be something much different about how I was using scripture than they were. It took awhile, but I realized that the Holy Spirit plays a huge role in empowering the words in the Bible and giving the Bible authority. Indeed, I've slowly come to the conclusion that the most powerful use of scripture occurs when it is the Holy Spirit prompting and empowering its use. It seems at times like everyone and their brother quotes and tosses around various Bible verses and their interpretation of various verses to prove why they are right and give directions to other people. Often this is to little effect in changing people or their lives. As I've observed people in the body of Christ, the most powerful use of scripture I see is when the Holy Spirit directs someone to a passage and empowers it to change lives in some manner. Anyone can quote the Bible. However, it seems to take a degree of spiritual depth and maturity and direct guidance and empowering of the Holy Spirit for it to have spiritual authority when we use it. The second thing that changed my approach to the Bible is that I've now read it through in 3 different languages and about a dozen or so different translations. I found that my memory of particular passages is now much more the main idea of the passage than the particular words. I also tend to remember the context much better than I used to. I used to take verses such as Proverbs 25:2 (It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings. Prov 25:2 NIV) and Matthew 5:18 (For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished" Matt 5:18 NIV) as my guide to reading the Bible. I saw hidden treasures and meanings in individual words and verses waiting for a super-spiritual person (me!!!!) to find them and reveal them to the world. However, I started to see that my great finds were often dependent on picking the right translation with just the right phrasing and were usually just reading my own conjectures into verses. Now, I just take the approach that if something is very important, God is going to say it over and over and in many different ways in a solid context so that we cannot possibly miss it. No one can miss that the Bible teaches that Jesus is the Son of God. No one can miss that the Bible teaches that Jesus died and was resurrected. Most of my use of scripture used to be trying to determine who was doctrinally correct and who was not and to search out the hidden truths of God. Now much of my use of scripture is sharing passages that the Holy Spirit can use to touch lives and reveal God. I find that as I listen to someone two things often happen. The first is that a clear picture of what their real need is just seems obvious. The second is that some passage or passages of scripture come to mind that addresses that need in a way the Holy Spirit uses to touch their heart in some way. My focus now tends to be on discerning what particular thing God wants to say to someone. I more often seeing God using that to touch someone's life than when I used to go on scripture quoting binges.
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