An excerpt from today’s daily bread… Happy New Year!
All of my life I’ve had to ‘be ready.’ As a child, I had to be ready for dinner by washing my hands. As an adult, being ready for important responsibilities continues to be an ongoing reality. But I’ve come to realize that nothing is more important than being ready for our reunion with Jesus.
As we consider the possibilities that Jesus could return this year, let’s be sure that we are ready. Let’s strive to be pure as He is pure, anticipating the day when tears and sorrow, pain and death will all be replaced with the everlasting joy of His presence. Joe Stowell
I see that progress and failure are both part of the journey. I gain insight from past struggles that help with issues I am currently facing. And, most important, journaling shows me how God has been faithfully working in my life.
Journaling may be useful to you too. It can help you see more clearly what God is teaching you on life’s journey and cause you to reflect on God’s faithfulness. Dennis Fisher
(link to the journal on CYF)
What says, “I thought of YOU!” more than a personalized gift. They know you didn’t regift it. They know you had to think about it in advance. AND with it being a Bible, they know you thought enough about them to give them something so precious and inspirational and loving.
Here is a link to the ENTIRE collection of personalized Bibles… click here and enjoy!
The San Damiano Cross is the large Romanesque rood cross that St. Francis of Assisi was praying before when he received the commission from the Lord to rebuild the Church. The original crucifix was painted by an unknown Umbrian artist in the twelfth century.
The San Damiano Cross is rich with symbolism based on the elaborate imagery contained in this icon. The cross is called an icon cross because it contains images of people who have a part in the meaning of the cross.
Below are some selected highlights along with reflection Scriptures to consider.
The central element of the San Damiano Crucifix is the figure of Christ. It is not the body of a corpse, but of God Himself, incorruptible unto eternity and the source of life, radiating the hope of the Resurrection. Christ is a figure of light dominating the scene and giving light to the other figures. Christ stands upright, not nailed. The eyes of Jesus are open: He looks out to the world, which He has saved. He is alive, the one who is eternal.
“Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.’” John 8:12 NKJV
The Hand of the Father:
From within the semi-circle at the very top of the Icon, He whom no eye has seen reveals Himself in a benediction. This blessing is given by the right hand of God with the finger extended – the Holy Spirit. The Father gives the gift of the Holy Spirit to all because of the merits of the Christ’s Passion.
“And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, ‘which,’ He said, ‘you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’” Acts 1:4-5 NKJV
The Astonished Angels:
Around the crossbar of the cross, there are two groups of angels – animatedly discussing the scene unfolded before them.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 NKJV
The Centurion of Capernaum:
To the right of the Cross stands the Centurion. He holds a piece of wood in his left hand, indicating his building of the Synagogue (Luke 7:1-10). The little boy beyond his shoulder is his son healed by Jesus. The three heads behind the boy show “he and his whole household believed” (John 4:45-54). He has extended his thumb and two fingers, a symbol of the Trinity, while his two closed fingers symbolize the hidden mystery of the two natures of Jesus the Christ. “Truly He is the Son of God” (Mark 15:39).
“Jesus said to him, ‘Go your way; your son lives.’ So the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way. And as he was now going down, his servants met him and told him, saying, ‘Your son lives!’ Then he inquired of them the hour when he got better. And they said to him, ‘Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.’ So the father knew that it was at the same hour in which Jesus said to him, ‘Your son lives.’ And he himself believed, and his whole household.” John 4:50-53 NKJV
Also to the right of the Cross stands Mary Magdalene, she who loved the Lord so sincerely that she would not even abandon Him at His grave. Listening intently to Mary Magdalene is Mary Clopas, another woman who came to the tomb with Mary Magdalene, to anoint the dead body of the Lord. These two women typify an intense and courageous devotion that persists no matter how difficult life may become.
“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39 NKJV
In the red border around the cross are scrolls that recall tendrils of vines. They bring to mind Christ’s admonition that He is the vine while we are but branches. To bear fruit, we must remain in Him.
“‘I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.’” John 15:5 NKJV
Near the border of the Cross on the right, just below the level of Christ’s knees, you will find a small rooster. Firstly, this recalls the denial of Peter, who wept bitterly, and reminds us that we should not be presumptuous of the strength of our faith. Secondly, the rooster proclaims the new dawn of the Risen Christ, the true light (1 John 2:8).
“Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.” 1 John 2:8 NKJV
“But for you who fear My name, the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings” Malachi 4:2 NKJV
For further explanations into the meanings of these and many other symbols and icons on the San Damiano Cross, please visit any of the following websites:
Celebrate Your Faith sells Italian crafted replicas of the original cross in sizes ranging from 3-29 inches. These are reproductions of the original that hangs in Santa Chiara (St. Clare) Church in Assisi, Italy. Along with this, we have many other Wall Crosses.
On May 2, 2011 the world will celebrate the 400th Anniversary of the King James Bible. The history surrounding the publishing of this version of the Bible showed a hunger by the people to have the unadulterated Word of God accessible to them on a daily basis so they could commune with God and know Him through His Word.
The King James Version, or Authorized Version, of the Bible was commissioned at a time of Renaissance of literature and language in England, which led to a translation rich with the rhythms and beauty of Elizabethan poetry and drama. At the same time, the relatively new technology known as the printing press was seen as a means with which to open up accessibility to the Scriptures to ordinary Christians on a massive scale for the first time in history.
“There is no doubt in my mind that the King James Bible not Shakespeare set this language on its path to become a universal language on a scale unprecedented before or since.” – Melvyn Bragg, British Author and Broadcaster
The King James Version (KJV) of 1611, also known as “the people’s Bible”, became an enduring work in an age when religion mattered to almost everyone in a way that is difficult to appreciate today. When people believed in God and what the scriptures taught, Christian beliefs were part and parcel of daily life. It mattered what was taught and understood. It mattered what people really believed. It influenced their lives, their attitudes and their actions – from the highest in the land to the lowliest man or woman. The KJV had an enormous effect on peoples’ lives; its language and terminology may seem archaic today but it was the everyday parlance of ordinary people and its language became entwined into English literature over many generations, not just in England but wherever the Bible was carried into what has become the English-speaking world, and is with us today. (KJV Development)
“The King James Bible is a cornerstone of our culture and our language. Whatever our faith, whatever we believe, we have to recognise that the rhetorical power of this book, and in particular its power to fuse history with poetry, connects at the most fundamental level with our own history and poetry.” – Andrew Motion, Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom, 1999-2009
A Timeline of Events leading up to the publishing of the King James Version
- 1601 – 16 May, a meeting of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland took place in the Parish Church of Burntisland, Fife, attended by King James VI of Scotland. It was at this meeting that the proposal to have a new translation of the Bible was first discussed.
- 1603 – James VI of Scotland became James I, King of England
- 1604 – The Hampton Court Conference on the future of the church; at this conference it was decided to commission a new translation of the Bible in an effort to provide a new translation which would be acceptable to everyone. The issue of too many marginal notes in the Geneva Bible became a rallying point for the adoption of the following resolution: “That a translation be made of the whole Bible, as consonant as can be to the original Hebrew and Greek; and this to be set out and printed, without any marginal notes, and only to be used in all churches of England in time of divine service.” King James I and Richard Bancroft, Bishop of London, later to become Archbishop of Canterbury, drew up instructions for the translators which would ensure that the new version would conform to the theology of the Church of England.
- 1610 – Meeting to discuss the translation at the Stationers Hall, City of London. Building on the advances in Hebrew and Greek scholarship, together with the insights of previous translators, the translation teams produced a remarkably rich and resonant version, which was to serve for public readings in churches as well as private devotional reading. The Bishop of Gloucester, Miles Smith, wrote the Preface, which acknowledged the new translation’s debt to its predecessors, but set out the hope that “out of many good ones” there would now be “one principal good one” used by everyone.
- 1611 – The King James Bible was published, despite considerable problems printing it.
- 1620 – The Pilgrim Fathers set sail to America, taking the English Bible with them. This was an immensely important step in the diffusion of the bible world-wide, which was further enhanced by its use during the expansion of British influence across the world with the East India Company, the establishment of colonies in Africa, and the discovery of Australia and New Zealand.
Four hundred years later, the King James Version of the Bible continues to inspire people from all walks of life and faith traditions and is regarded as the most influential book ever published in the English language. H.L. Mencken, a 20th Century American writer, praised it as “probably the most beautiful piece of writing in all the literature of the world.”
Celebrate Your Faith has a number of special 400th anniversary products in our Bible Boutique to celebrate this milestone. Remember, we can personalize any of these Bibles for you, for a gift, or any special occasion!
This beautifully crafted family Bible will become a treasured heirloom for generations to come! This new edition contains a special full-color celebration of the 400th anniversary of the King James Version. Bonded brown leather.
This two volume set contains the New King James Version and the original KJV 1611 edition. This version has authentic spellings, capitalization, and punctuation used by the 1611 translators themselves, before centuries of changes began to occur. Set in roman type for easier reading, it includes the original notes, references, and books of the Bible, including the Apocrypha, as in 1611.
The most comprehensive King James Version study Bible published in 50 years, The King James Study Bible has 2,000-plus pages packed with thousands of notes and commentaries from respected conservative scholars. Also includes a 24-page full-color historical booklet commemorating the 400th anniversary of the King James Version.
This KJV 400th Anniversary Bible celebrates this passionate rendering of God’s Word, presenting it in a highest quality format for those who love the translation’s rich heritage and reverent language.
This study guide and prayer book celebrate the history of the King James Version of the Bible with topical Scripture text and historical information to bring encouragement, comfort, and joy to the reader. Scripture selections are divided into 45 topics that shed light on the vastness of God’s love for each one of us.
We have much more in our Bible Boutique! To view all of our King James Bibles or other translations follow the links below:
For more information on the 400th Anniversary of the King James Version, visit the following websites:
Since 1941, National Bible Week has been celebrated from Sunday to Sunday during the week surrounding Thanksgiving (Nov. 21-28, 2010). The National Bible Association’s signature event is meant to “raise awareness of the Bible’s importance and relevance to our nation as a whole, as well as in the lives of individuals.”
As Christians, we can use this week as an opportunity to rededicate ourselves to spending time with God by communing with Him through the reading and study of His Word. John 1:1 says “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” The Bible says that Jesus is the “Logos”, the very written Word of God.
“For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” (John 1:17 KJV) Because Jesus brought the gospel of grace and truth to this world, and because Jesus and the Word are One, we can look to the Word of God to minister grace and truth to us in our everyday lives. It is vital that we spend time in the Word so that we can be refreshed and renewed, and receive direction from God regarding every decision we make.
God wants to speak to us, and one of the most common ways He does that is through illumination of His written Word by the Holy Spirit as we spend time meditating on His Word. Just look at some examples of what the Bible says about itself:
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.”
2 Timothy 3:16-17 NLT
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”
Joshua 1:8 NKJV
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”
Psalm 119:105 KJV
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
Hebrews 4:12 NIV
At this time of year when our nation celebrates Thanksgiving, we should be thankful for the religious freedom we have in America. The freedom to openly own and actively study the Bible is not a freedom enjoyed by everyone around the world. Many people in other nations go to great lengths to even possess a Bible. It is a privilege we often take for granted as our Bibles gather dust on our shelves as we busy ourselves with the demands of modern life. But, God’s Word is eternal, always relevant, and will instruct us and encourage us.
In recognition of National Bible Week, CelebrateYourFaith.com is unveiling our new Bible Boutique. Celebrate with us by pulling your old Bible off the shelf, or purchasing your very first one! Buy, borrow or use the internet to access a different translation and see the Word come alive in a new way. Give one as a gift to a friend, a young child, or a loved one who is struggling and needs a touch from God. Use a devotional Bible or study Bible to help you commit to spending more time in the Word.
Rediscover your love for His Word, and in turn for Him, at this most wonderful time of the year!
The Bible is a progressive revelation. If you skip the first half of any good book and try to finish it; you will have a hard time understanding the characters, the plot, and the ending. . . The OT testament also contains vast quantities of wisdom that the New Testament does not share. Many of these are contained in the Psalms and Proverbs.
- Without the Old Testament, we would not understand the Jewish customs which were a big part of the life of Jesus and the early church.
- Without the Old Testament, we would not know the numerous detailed prophecies that could only have come true if the Bible is God’s word.
- The Old Testament contains numerous lessons for us through the lives of its many fallible characters.
- Without the Old Testament, we would not know about the promises God will yet fulfill.
In summary, the Old Testament is a mirror that allows us to see ourselves in the lives of OT characters and helps us learn vicariously from their lives. It sheds so much light on who God is and the wonders He has made and the salvation He has wrought. It shares so much comfort to those in persecution or trouble (see Psalms especially). It reveals through repeatedly fulfilled prophecy why the Bible is unique among holy books—it alone is able to demonstrate that it is what it claims to be: the inspired Word of God. It reveals volumes about Christ in page after page of its writings. It contains so much wisdom that goes beyond what is alluded to or quoted in the NT. In short, if you have not yet ventured in depth into its pages, you are missing much that God has available for you.
CYF staffer Cheryl called our attention to GotQuestions.org, the source for this material; we agreed that it was worth sharing here, and hope it may prove helpful to you, too.