10.11.2006

The Architect of the Roller Coaster

Life in the kigdom of God can feel like a wild roller coaster ride. But, what we need to remember in those moments when we're hanging right before a drop, is this: that this car will never go off the track. And the designer and architect of this track is Jesus Christ. He is faithful. He is the "author and perfecter" of this roller coaster ride (Heb.12:2).

And that is why we pray, knowing that He is. That prayer chain was fun! What a blessing! Now, who is with me? Let's scream ourselves silly as this roller coaster plunges on, fastened securely onto the promises of God:

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!

22 comments:

Kris_in_WA said...

Ronald that was too funny ;) So - which one in the picture are YOU? hee hee. I believe it looks like a certain roller coaster that I myself have been on (literally!) a few times in my younger years! Yep, I was crazy enough to go on it more than once! So - why do we so quickly jump on those things and .... hesitate with Gods? HA!

God-coaster, JOHN-train. All the same. YAAAAAH!!!!

Anonymous said...

I am with you.... holding on for dear life but will be there all the way. God bless you for all you do behind the scenes. love from Esme' South Africa.

The Gospel According To John said...

Actually, i'm not in the photograph at all! (The first roller coaster i ever rode was The Viper at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, CA. Never did get on another one after that~!)

JOHN-train, God-coaster, Jesus-coaster... PRAISE, PRAISE, PRAISE.

Marlena in Pa said...

Not much of a coaster girl, myself, but completely understand the analogy, thanks. I will most definitely ride this roller coaster with ya'll though, or God-Coaster, John-Train, Jesus-Coaster, Chariot of Fire, whatever you want to call it. I have been so blessed just taking the journey that to stop now would be absolute foolishness, even with all of the ups and downs and the best part of all is knowing where it stops. Amen!!
So praise God for this ministry and for all of you!!!

And let me add one more....

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

Anonymous said...

I loved the name "Chariot of Fire", Marlena. May I also add "YAAAAAAAAAH! as we desend and then RISE up. What joy it is going to be when Jesus says STOP !
Blessings - Esme in SA

Anonymous said...

Dear Ron:
Sorry to have to sign in as anonymous but I forgot my ID/password. Russ Davis, russed@onlyinternet.net. At the risk of a serious note about making the Gospel of John into film in an age where everything must be superficial and "fun," I have a request for a change in the text from the regrettable NIV paraphrase to something more faithful to the original text. Sadly most people, being selfish and Biblically illiterate (and often at least functionally illiterate otherwise too thanks to the tv, proven idiot box) are more interested in the selfishness of how the Bible "speaks to THEM" rather than whether or not it loses fidelity to GOD'S Original Word (Koine, Aramaic and Hebrew/LXX) thereby, as is too ofteh the case with the NIV paraphrase. Since I read the Koine, not the English, I know what I'm talking about concerning NIV's unfaithfulness to the text, especially its perverse handling of connectives (like for, and, therefore, etc.) that often mangle the flow of the inspired argument, especially crucial in Paul. At least as bad is that Arminian contamination that exalts man and belittles God, violating the doctrine of the Fall. Since professing Christians today are sadly mostly self-centered, not God-centered, this is desirable to them, even if contrary to God's Word, especially in Romans 9 & Philippians 2:12-13. Strange how what people would consider irrational to hold in the natural birth they demand in being born again: that the child "receives" the father in order to be born! No further illustration should be needed of the madness of this exotistical departure from God and His perfect Word.

I long antedate the thirty plus years the NIV's been around now and it's only gotten worse, as the lies of the TNIV catastrophe proves, so I'm praying you'll consider something like the ESV to replace it in order to be more faithful to the words our Lord actually said, for despite its popularity with the Biblical illiteracy of most professing christians today, the NIV is far more paraphrase than translation yielding misunderstandings of what our Lord actually said, and so I pray God will move hearts for this to be taken more seriously than heretofore. Proverbs 21:1.
I realize the idea is to focus this film on the unchurched, but what good is it to them to have a purported Word of God that is ultimately unfaithful to His original Word? I pray you'll not be so foolish as to ask NIV proponents for their propaganda on why it's good, like having the fox guard the chicenhouse.

I regret that due to the tragic proprietary nature of the generally preferable NASV it's usually not something able to be considered. God will use the movie as He sees fit and He will do what He will, as Ps 115:3 says, but I'm praying it won't be with the unreliable NIV paraphrase our sad modern Biblically illiterate and thus egoistic, "fun," and "do your own thing" crowd sadly usually prefers to abiding in God and His Word. Professing christians today seem oblivious to the fact that we will stand before God to give Him an account of EVERY idle word (Matthew 12:36). A good place to begin in considering the deep riches of John 15 abiding in Christ is John Piper's www.desiringGod.org, especially the messages on Romans, especially chapter 6. Be sure and do the audio (either free streaming or mp3 download) which often has more than the sermon manuscripts that are what he preaches from. God be praised! Russ Davis

The Gospel According To John said...

Dear Russ,

Thanks for stopping by, it's always exciting to see a new face here in the blog!

While I, too, enjoy reading the ESV, for JOHN it has been confirmed through much prayer, many years of waiting, and under pastoral guidance to wait for the rights to use the NIV, and below you can read the stories that reveal the heart of this non-profit film project by clicking through the links below.

Blessings!

A Word from Bruce

Testimony

The Lord's Leading

Marchiano Ministries

By the way, this gives me an idea! Bloggers! What version of the Bible do YOU read, and why?

Kris_in_WA said...

Dear Russ,

I hear your concern and appreciate your passion for the word of Christ. Please know I make the following statement not to belittle or to sound judgemental or to even sound argumentative or divisional: I too share such passion, as do many of the christians who read various versions of the bible I'm sure. I have more than one bible version in my home and have read and compared them. For me as a professing believer of Christ/Jesus/the ressurection/our Savior and our life in eternity shed from His blood, what matters to me - and I would imagine also matters to God -- is that the original meaning is kept. I don't get hung up on whether or not a verse says "Thee" or "you" or "thine" or "my" or "gay" or "joy" for example. I believe in my heart that when we receive the Holy Spirit into our hearts, it is He who gives us the truth regardless of the version so long as that version has not added or deleted valuable text that removes the Lord's original meaning. And I feel a peace in my heart when I make such statements. And I guess Ronald, that is the answer to your question to us bloggers, which version do we read, and why. I read several versions, though I do like the NIV quite alot as it is put quite simply and is quite easily understood for many; even for those who aren't quite as literate as I. It "speaks" to me. Other versions that I own speak to me as well, but I find that I feel connected when I read NIV. There are many versions that I have not yet read, as there are many, many versions out there. I also use the study bible because I like to be able to apply the text to my life and the theology comments from various persons give me something to think about as I do so. I do realize that NO human on this earth is perfect. Thankfully we have the infallible word of God to guide us!!! In the end, God knows our hearts, and when we seek, He guides, regardless of our very much fallible ways. The church was made for the sick; the fallible and even the illiterate. And, we pretty much all fit into that category...until He comes again! I don't get hung up on versions. I realize that some do and it's unfortunate that the church so oftentimes gets caught up in the divisions like that -- I choose not to get caught up in divisions. And instead, I choose to seek Him in whatever way I feel him leading me; in whatever way I feel I grow in Him; and in whatever way I feel Him speaking to me. That is why I read what versions I do. And I speak from an "I" and a "me" perspective because Jesus tells us to look inward; to grow inward so that we bless outward. And, I am not opposed to reading other versions as they come into my life and I feel growth as outlined above :) I would never, ever take the word of God lightly. But I do believe in fun, and in joy! ;) I just pray we as a Body of Christ let that into our hearts as the enemy seeks to lie, kill and destroy..and certainly to steal away any such joy every time he gets the chance. Thankfully, we have fellowship to share joy and to hold each other up in strength and unity! And thankfully, we have those (and there are many) like Marchiano Ministries who, despite any bombardment from the enemy, or even -- despite heartfelt concerns of others who may see it differently than they -- still hold onto what God has put into/onto the hearts! Pressing on toward the goal... walking through the fire...pressing on...true to whatever the Lord puts on the heart...this is something I appreciate very much about Marchiano Ministries!

frank said...

Oh Lord, have mercy!

Sharon said...

We were just having a conversation this afternoon about having a passion for seeing people come to know Jesus...a passion for Jesus and a passion for souls. Where does that figure into this?

Father, forgive us for our self satified attitudes and break our hearts for the lost.

Kris_in_WA said...

Yes, Sharon...a passion for people is what is important! And those of us who know the hearts behind this JOHN project know that that is where the passion is! :) God hates division, any division; and calls us to fellowship and unity and to obey and reach out - and as such he blesses us with our varied gifts - not that we are all one single part of the Body but that we are VARIED parts in such that we work together in our varied ways to the strength of His glory and His love for His people -- all people, regardless of language, of culture, of ethnicity. For God so loved the world! :) I'm thankful for the fellowship that I have encountered in this project and on this blog - hugs to all!

Kris_in_WA said...

You know I just had to share this, this is so precious! I just saw on World News tonight a woman who volunteers at the local hospital and has for many years -- she is 104 years old! And her secret to longevity? She said, "Well first, you have to keep breathing; and then, you have to stop thinking about yourself - and start thinking of others and helping others." You know.... I think she gets it! :)

Anonymous said...

I do believe that Bruce has heard from the Lord in this - Much prayer has gone into each and every aspect of this production. I stand by Bruce's decision and his integrity with regard to using the NIV translation.

Dear ones - remember "the Joy of the Lord is our Strength". God bless - Esme- SAfrica

Marlena in Pa said...

Ron -
If I may lighten the mood a bit, I had to laugh at your question, which version of the Bible do I read. I had to stop and think, which version I haven't yet read. :-)
Now, if I may interject a little on the discussion and believe mine is not to belittle or offend, so please forgive me. I think the most important aspect of this is that as Ron pointed out, The Gospel According to John is obeying God's direction in all of this. Secondly as translations go, it is true the some seem to be a better read than others but what it all boils down to is this, the scripture and especially the scripture in, of all places, the gospel of John...
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
"He was in the beginning with God."
"All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made."
"In Him was life, and the life was the light of men."
John 1:1-4 NKJV
We also must remember that it is the Holy Spirit that guides us in our understanding of the scriptures and it is the spirit that draws our hearts in salvation. Finally, it is the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, that continues to guide us in our Christian walk. Pray, pray for all with ears to hear, eyes to see, and hearts to draw near. Pray for souls both lost and found! Praise, praise Jesus for His unending Love!!!
Hugs and prayers to all!
God Bless!
In His Love,
Marlena

Anonymous said...

I haven't written on this for so long, but have been reading it, seems that the same people are always faithful to it! But I agree that new people are refreshing and challenging, like you Russ! Thanks for your views, I'm sure you feel quite strongly about this and we must be vigilant as Christians to such things, but I also just want to share that many people that I work with that are illiterate - living of course in the poorest areas of South Africa with little to no education and find some versions you refer to as too difficult to understand rendering them quite "disabled" when it comes to their own private bible study or listening in church. I find that you have to be SO sensitive to their levels of understanding as they differ VASTLY to mine being so privileged as to have been educated. I do however agree that the meaning must NOT be lost and perhaps in many it has (I have NO idea, definately a non-guru on this topic!) but we have to trust that the basic message at least is being put out their to non-believers - the love of Jesus and salvation is through Him and Him alone. The rest we'll let the spirit do, both in then and through us if we are willing. So I also agree though with Kris and others that God has given Bruce the correct version - and personally the previous film "Gospel According to Matthew" was to me one of the most awesome films that reached deep into my soul and transformed me- so I don't think the bible version mattered in the end to me as the spirit made it crystal clear! Amen to the next film bringing Light into the lives of many where there is darkness. Respect and greetings to all,keep up the EXCELLENT work, Taryn in SA

Kris_in_WA said...

Hi Taryn!

Welcome back! ;)

Kris

Anonymous said...

I know this is a cliche - but it works for now -

"United we stand, divided we fall" - so -
Let us press on and not be distracted - pray pray pray ! love to all - Esme S Africa

Kris_in_WA said...

Hi Esme'...

This comes to mind!

Phil 3:10 - (and quoting the amplified bible here!Italics/bold mine...and please forgive any type errors as again, mine!):

[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly],...

and, 3:12...

Not that I have now attained [this ideal], or have already been made perfect, but I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus ( the Messiah) has laid hold of me and made me his own.

3:13 - 3:14...

I do not consider, bretheren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]; forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, (14) I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.

3:15...
So let those [of us] who are spiritually mature and full-grown have this mind and hold these convictions; and if in any respect you have different attitude of mind, God will make that clear to you also. (16) Only let us hold true to what we have already attained and walk and order our lives by that.

End quote!

In other words...let God take care of our concerns and/or distractions; through the Spirit...and press on! :) Ride that coaster...yahoo! Buckle up folks and hang on because it's going to be wild; it's going to be difficult; it's going to be fun and exciting; and it's going to be "God"!!
Catch the vision: JOHN

marika_croatia said...

Greetings in the Name of Jesus to all my brothers and sisters all over the world who read this :-).

I regularly check up on this site, not commenting too often unless I am touched to say something as I am now. I was reading through Russes comment on the Bible translations and I DO share his view as for NIV version. English is not my native language and I do have more translations available for better understanding and I must admit that the Amplified Bible is my favorite, at the time of being. As for the NIV version I came to dislike it as I do find that in many cases it does not hold true to the original text.
What I have learned about the translation is the following: there is a law about every new publication of bible translation: it has to be different from any other at least 30% to receive the right to publish it. So, when a new translation is added to the existing ones it has to be different.... So, of course that the original text will suffer.
At the same time I do believe that GOD is able and willing to reedem our human shortcomings and will use EVERY translation of the Bible available on the market to bring people to Himself and THAN if necessary use other translation to bring them to the full knowledge ot the truth. We should never forget that the Scriptures were given to bring us to JESUS! Once we have come to Him He takes upon Himself to bring us to the truth by sending His Holy Spirit to lead us and guide us :-))).

Another point that I would like to make at this time concerning our passion for people.... Paul, the great apostole appointed by our Lord Jesus, taught by Jesus NEVER had passion for people - his passion was to PREACH THE GOSPEL. He knew NOTHING but JESUS CHRIST and HIM CRUCIFIED.
Many times I find people to be more concerned and have passion for the lost and loosing on the power which is found ONLY when our passion is focused on the GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST.
I hope that no-one will missunderstand what I am saying here but our focus should never be on the lost BUT on the Gospel. The power unto salvation is in the Gospel which preaches the death of the Lamb for the forgivness of sins and HIS RESSURECTION. With Him we die by HIM we live, blessed be His Name, Jesus.

So back to my original comment :-): if the Lord hasn,t dealt with Bruce about the translation which he is to use in the movie than we should stay assured that it will serve the purpose: the Gospel will be preached and the lost will come to their Saviour.

Thats all from me and God bless you all.

Marika from Croatia

Ida said...

When I read the comments here, I keep thinking of Bruce and how he got the rights to the NIV version. I have full confidence in Bruce that he seeks God’s guidance in everything he does, and that the script for the film is made with utter truthfulness so that no one can be in doubt of the Message of Salvation. Because I think that is what sums up the entire Bible from the first page to the last; salvation through Jesus and deliverance from eternal separation from God. A love letter from God, written with his own blood.
My first “encounter” with the Bible was in my childhood when I got my own Bible. It was translated in 1917 with all the “thee” and thine” and other (for a child) strange words. But there was no other version so I didn’t have much choice. It was from that Bible my Sunday school teachers taught us children, and it was that Bible that fed my soul with the Word of God. I never asked if it was a good or bad translation; my only concern was what God said about me and my life, and what he said about Himself. And the Word came alive in my heart because of the Holy Spirit and one evening when I was ten years old, I kneeled on the kitchen floor together with my mother, uncle and cousin and asked Jesus to come in to my heart. All those strange words had taken root in my heart even if they were hard to understand. Later I have come across several translations and today I have a Bible called the Quattro Bible with four versions in one book; including NIV and one that is a translation word for word from Greek. I thank God that he has protected his Word so that his “love letter” to us still is readable. However, what I have missed during the past years and really wish for now are tender teachers of the Bible that are seeking to communicate the HEART of God. I wish that I had heard more about the LOVE of God than the Doomsday – preaching when I grew up. It would have saved me from a lot of fear and despair during many years. It took over 40 years until it really dawned in my heart that Jesus REALLY loves me, and that His salvation was valid even for me. What finally helped me get through to the HEART of God was “Matthew”. There are many testimonies about what that film has done for people around the world and I am one of them. The words in John 13:9 “anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” came alive before my eyes and it turned my life around. I have met Christians who have looked down on my testimony because “it was just a film” and not a revelation in a meeting with a well known preacher on the platform. It is nothing wrong with that but it was God’s choice to reach down into my circumstances and use Matthew as a tool to make me understand who Jesus really was and is.And that God and Jesus are one. And I am convinced that God will reach into many more people’s hearts with “John” together with the NIV.

The Gospel According To John said...

Ida,

I agree with that. That God would use JOHN to reveal Jesus to people. Watching "Matthew" got me reading the Bible, and through the Word I met Jesus. I know He'll do the same with JOHN.

Let's keep praying...

Johnnie G. said...

Lord God, in the Name of Jesus Christ, You have blessed us and graced us to allow Your Only Begotten Son to die on the cross for our sins. His Name is Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God. This One, I know and love dearly. He has bore the burden of the world, He has bore the heat of the day as He allowed Himself to hang suspended on a cross for the entire world. He has bore the stripes, the excruciating pain of beatings uncomprehensible to ordinary man...This One I know and love with all of my heart, soul and mind....The days have been long and endless, yet we continually stand, awaiting the anticpated day of His Glorious Reappearing...Let us take a moment and look at His Magnificent Being as He sits at the Right Hand of the Father at this very moment. When we are able to see HIM,This Magnificent Wonder named Jesus Christ, then are we truly able to see Him in the greatest sense. He is Awesome and all Powerful. Simply Awesome...I pray that I will forever be enveloped in His Arms and Care as He will always do for all of His Children. Glory to Him Forever..Amen.