Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Stones on Graves (Charlie's Bible Question)

Charlie’s Question Concerning the Jewish 

Tradition of Putting Stones on a Grave


It is a Jewish custom to leave stones on graves.

Though anyone may put stones on a grave, the practice is based in Jewish tradition. Most graves in Jewish cemeteries have at least a few stones on them because Jewish visitors leave stones each time they visit a loved one's burial place. The origins of this tradition range from the symbolic to the superstitious.

Ancient Marker

  • In ancient times, Jews buried their dead beneath markers made of gathered stones. Placing a stone on a grave symbolically contributes to the tombstone.

Symbol of Visit

  • For some people, placing a stone on a grave is equal to the gesture of leaving flowers. Placing a stone pays tribute to the dead and leaves the mark of one's visit.

Symbol of Memory

  • While flowers symbolize life's beauty and evanescence, stones symbolize the longevity of memory. By placing a stone on a grave, we enact our long-term commitment to remembering the dead.


  • Some Jewish people believe that stones placed on the grave help to keep the dead in the ground, preventing their spirits from haunting or harming the living.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

April's Wrtten Sermon "Do Something"

Do Something
John 4: 11-30

"15": The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.
"16": Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither.
"17": The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband:
"18": For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.
"19": The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.
"20": Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.
"21": Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
"22": Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
"23": But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
"24": God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
"25": The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.
"26": Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.
"27": And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her?
"28": The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men,
"29": Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?
"30": Then they went out of the city, and came unto him.

I.                   Be honest with yourself
a.     (Start with reading Verse 29) This woman leaves the scene where she encounters Jesus, and goes to the city and ministers a message, come see a man who told me all things that ever I did. And when she comes with this message, the MEN, and I would suggest to you many of whom she had had previous dealings (STOP).  I slipped that in, and let me talk to you about why I slipped that in.  She has had five husbands, and a “situation”.  And, when Jesus comes to her about the situation she (Verse 17) "17": The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband:  Stop lying to God about your situation.  Stop lying to yourself about who you are or who you used to be.  Why?  She has had five husbands, and a “situation”.  And yet God uses her to be an evangelist because she has had a Jesus encounter. Look at what God does here.  He sends her to talk to the Men of the city, and because of her “level of comfort” with many of them; isn’t it funny how God can use something that once worked against and use it to work for you for the Kingdom of God.  This is how you know all things work together for the good of them that love the Lord.  Not all things are good for you but all things works for your good by the power of God.  She is able to persuade them because she really knew them.  Jesus could have called someone else, but she may have been intimidated by the men.  (some of them went just because they wanted to see who was this that knew what they thought no one else knew, but it doesn’t matter, Hook or Crook.  If you just get them to Jesus, he will do the rest.  What am I saying to you.  I am saying that you can spend the rest of your life feeling bad and hurt and condemned for what you used to do and where you came from, or you can thank God that you survived it, and ask him how you can use what you have THIS for your glory.  He used her to save the city and she was a woman
                                                             i.      Good woman,
                                                           ii.      Moral woman
                                                        iii.      Married woman, but still he used her. 
                                                        iv.      GOD CAN USE YOU, IF YOU ARE HONEST WITH HIM YOU CAN DO ANYTHING. 
b.    And stop lying to yourself about why you are not working.  (HOLE IN MY BUCKET)
II.                Do it in strange places and do it small
a.     Samaria.  Why Samaria?  They did not worship God, they did not have anything to do with God. But says in the forth verse that "4": And he must needs go through Samaria. So he goes to Samaria, and sits at the well and waits. 
                                                             i.      The orthodox Jews won’t come to this place because it is too dirty, and he waits.
                                                           ii.      The good Christians don’t hang out here, but he waits.
                                                        iii.      The Jehovah’s witnesses don’t knock on doors in this neighborhood……..and he waits
                                                        iv.      The Methodists have developed a method for avoiding this place, … and yet he waits.

b.     So why does he wait. He waits because no one else is willing to be here.  He waits because he knows that if he can get his message of salvation into the heart of one woman HERE, he can start a revolution.  And so the disciples come back and see him sitting there and nothing has happened but he is smiling.  No one has come.  He has not baptized anyone yet. He has not saved hundreds or souls, but he has put the seed of his goodness in one heart, and he is celebrating the SEED.  We have a penchant to want to wait for BIG things to celebrate.  If it isn’t huge, we don’t want anything to do with it,
                                                             i.      If you do it to the least of them
                                                           ii.      If you can save one soul
                                                        iii.      My meat is to do what he sent me to do.  I don’t get fed by the harvest.  I get fed by doing God’s will. 
1.     if it’s not big, I don’t want to do it.
2.     if I am not going to get a lot of recognition, I am not going to do it. 
3.     if no one knows about it, I am not going to do it.  Just shut up and DO SOMETHING.
                                                        iv.      If you can just plant the seed, I don’t care if you never see the harvest.

c.      Why Samaria.  (Good Samaritan)  (Differences in Theology)  (He was setting an example for how we have to Do what we Do)
                                                             i.      He is trying to tell you that I am going to save people, regardless of what they look like
                                                           ii.      I am going to save people regardless of where they come from
                                                        iii.      (HURT) I am going to save people that you don’t like.
                                                        iv.      Deacon Roberson story

d.     You don’t have to save the world, just save one soul.  You don’t have to do it big.  Just do it.
III.             Do it Now
a.     This woman leaves the well, she drops her water pot and goes to the city and says come see a man who told me all things that ever I did.  She does not wait go get her stuff together she goes right now.  (That’s too easy to preach, I am going to leave that one alone).  She does not stand there and marvel at the fact that Jesus just told her every thing that she just did, she goes now.  Think about it.  He just told her everything that she has ever done and she doesn’t stay there entranced by the process.  (Stuck in the Awe phase of what God can do for us, that we are not willing to allow God to work through us.)  NOW I got to go and add a verse 35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest?  Your problem is that you are always putting your blessing before you.  
                                                             i.      I cannot wait until 2010.
                                                           ii.      Cant wait until I get married
                                                        iii.      Cannot wait until I get there
                                                        iv.      Cannot wait until this happens.

b.     And the problem with that is that people who are always waiting for the right time to do something never get to the time when it’s right to do anything.  Stop counting down the days until you are ready to work, and get to work now.  And, I recognize my part in this.  I realize that I serve as a cog in a religious system that has peddled a prophetically powerful God. See religion has a tendency to  always put God’s power in the future of in the past.  (OLD TIME RELIGION)  (One glad morning when this life is over I’LL FLY Away)  Well the old time religion won’t help me now.  And Heaven won’t help me with what I am going through right now.  (I am so tired of people who are ‘BOUT TO PEOPLE.
                                                             i.      I need a God that will invade my present moment and illuminate it with light. 
                                                           ii.      I need a God who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all and do it NOW
                                                        iii.      I need a God…………fiery furnace……
                                                        iv.      Open the red sea
                                                           v.      Heal the issue of blood
                                                        vi.      Raise Lazarus from the dead