Trip Down Memory Lane

This past weekend I took a trip out to upstate New York (Maine/Binghamton, Cincinnatus/Cortland areas) for my dad’s mom’s funeral. It was a bit of a trip down memory lane.

This was my parents’ home church and thus mine when we lived in the States. It used to also have a Christian School as part of it. I attended 3rd grade, part of 5th grade, 7th, 8th, & 9th grade at this school.

The auditorium/sanctuary of the church, First Baptist Church in Cincinnatus, NY. This was the church where I was baptized on April 24, 1983 at the age of 9.

My first real job (other than babysitting) was as a helper at the local library in Cincinnatus, NY. It was a summer job when I was 15 years old. Loved working there! Above is a current picture of the library in April 2013.
Though for a sad occasion, it was good to be together with my family. None of the spouses were able to make it, so it was just my parents, brother, sister and I. Not sure the last time that it was just the 5 of us.
In front of the missionary board, which my parents are one of the missionaries that the church supports. This church has supported our family my entire life.
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Gladys (Delanoy) Totman Randall Obituary – K.L. Sharp Funeral Home

Gladys (Delanoy) Totman Randall Obituary – K.L. Sharp Funeral Home

My grandma (my dad’s mom) passed away this past week at the age of 84. Above is the link to her obituary. I will be traveling to New York next weekend for her funeral. The last time I saw her was actually over 10 years ago, at my cousin’s wedding in Florida.

Grandma and I in 2002
I’m thankful that she knew the Lord and that I will see her again one day in Heaven. The hope we have as Christians is not an empty hope. 1 Corinthians 15:19-26 (NIV) states: “If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.”

In the Beginning…We Misunderstood

In The Beginning... We Misunderstood: Interpreting Genesis 1 in Its Original ContextIn The Beginning… We Misunderstood: Interpreting Genesis 1 in Its Original Context by Johnny V. Miller
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Very quick, easy read and quite compelling arguments for how to interpret Genesis 1. The important thing when reading the Bible is to read with the original audience in mind. What was the intent and meaning for the original audience? That is the lens by which we need to interpret Scripture. Don’t remember who said this but “it cannot mean what it never meant”.
The authors’ argument is that Genesis 1 was not written as a scientific treatise on how the earth was created. Rather it was written in a theological framework for the Israelites leaving Egypt and the worldview that they had developed while living there. The Egyptian worldview was of multiple gods creating the world. The intent of Genesis 1 was to show the Israelites that God was the sole Creator and only god in the universe. He alone had the power to rule the world, not these other gods that they had been exposed to.
Recommended read – important context for when Genesis 1 was originally written.

“The question, however, is now, ‘How can I trust the Bible if it does not mean what it says?’ What this question is really asking is, ‘Can I trust the Bible if it does not mean what I thought it meant from my context when I initially read it, before I understood what it would have meant to the original readers?’ We have already established the principle that the authority and reliability of God’s Word is based on what it affirms. Affirmation must be understood in light of what God said through the original author to the original audience – how they would have understood its meaning. We cannot force the text to say what we want it to say without doing violence to God’s intent and the medium of normal human communication. Our job is to discover the meaning that God intended for the original audience, so that we can apply it truthfully and fruitfully to subsequent audiences in all ages (2 Tim. 3:14-17). Then we will know that we are hearing the Word of God, and we can trust his intended message. This message will not be different from what the original audience would have understood.” (Emphasis mine)

“It is a natural, understandable tendency to import our cultural expectations into our reading, rather than to see through the eyes of the original audience. But to be accurate biblically, we need to put ourselves into the original audience’s sandals, try to hear with their ears, and try to listen with their expectations and perceptions.”