Australian style="margin:0 0 1px 0; height:100%">
"a self evident truth"


A voice with way too much enthusiasm and happiness jolted me from my desperately needed sleep. The perky, chipper, and well, just too happy voice told me traffic was backed up due to a sofa on the beltway. A pathetic moan came from somewhere deep within me and my face buried itself in the pillow. But the beltway (a sofa?…really!), my boss, my family and my obligation to society beckoned. Above my nagging conscience and the ‘too happy’ voice I heard, "You haven’t read your Bible in three days."

"Thanks, God. I needed that."

Coffee and toaster strudel in hand, I sat down next to my Bible and the small box recycled from my last check order (it held my spare specs and pencil). A book mark projected from the top of my Bible and I opened to it. A huge Number Two and a heading too small to read told me I was in the section called "Second Best…Theocracy to Monarchy". A large arrow pointed to the page on the right.

I read that page thinking how grateful I was to not have to make up for those lost three days. Then I turned the page, flipped the book mark (one page is the maximum so it takes real discipline to stop) but left it down below the top of the page. Then I easily located the next book mark hidden in II Chronicles somewhere and prepared to pull up that one so I could read there next time.
"But look, I’ve still got a little time."

I sipped my coffee and read the page indicated by the arrow on the Number Three book mark, "Captivity to Rebuilding". It pointed to the left so I just flipped it when I was done and replaced it invisibly half way down the page.

Section Four is called "Messiah !!"…go figure. I located that book mark and pulled it up just above the top of the page.

As I lay down my Bible I gave some thought to what I just read and noticed that my Bible looked just like I found it...a friendly bookmark protruding, waiting patiently, not condemning, not chiding, not even remembering all the time I left it alone. And I thanked God for the miracle that is The OnePage Solution. I decided I would read a few more pages after work.

Months before, I had read an unusual ad in a Christian magazine that said "Give up on that One-Year program". Well, I had already done that…several times. But the ad said there was a solution…with a money-back guarantee.

"I have to pay to read the Bible!? But then, who knows…maybe it’ll work this time."

So I found the website and ordered the thing. "The thing" arrived shortly and included eight of these "Reference Guides", some instructional material (there was a two-page full-color spread with pictures like putting together a computer), and a CD.
I thought, "All this just to read the Bible?"

Well, I found out that they knew what they were talking about.
"This idea is so simple that it simply works," they said. "The simplicity of this idea however is not intuitive. In fact it’s counter-intuitive. Nobody reads anything this way."

So they got my attention. I read all their stuff and looked at the material on the CD. Then I embarked on the most amazing journey of my life. They call it a ‘journey’ and an ‘adventure’ because it is. It’s not a one year plan or a two year plan or any plan like you’ve ever imagined. It’s for life!

I will probably finish the Bible in about sixteen months (actually three times through the New Testament) at my current pace…the OnePage Companion computer program on the CD calculates this for you. But that’s not the important part. What is important is that I have no reason to stop after sixteen months. Anyone I have ever known who actually read through the Bible in one year was so exhausted from the stress of meeting the daily requirements…and the frustration of making up double or triple when they missed a day that they never wanted to do it again.

I don’t know exactly when I’ll finish but when I do I’ll just keep moving the "Guides" to the next page and section. My reading requirement remains the same. Zero. And that suits me just fine. Without the guilt and frustration of trying to meet some external quota I am motivated to read even more.

But I haven’t even begun to list the other benefits of this idea. You’ll have to read about those on the website. Then try it. You just might be surprised.

(c) The Axxiom Group, Inc., 2012  All rights reserved.


Faith seems to be a touchy subject nowadays. Some are even accused of belonging to a ‘Faith’ movement which is apparently bad. Funny how something Jesus would have applauded (He did several times) can be turned into something negative.

Do you have faith? I hope so. So then you’re a ‘Faith’ person, right? Maybe you accept that label and maybe you don’t. I’m a Methodist and a believer and I certainly consider myself as possessing ‘Faith’. So what’s the big deal?

I’ve been a student of Scripture and Christianity for over three decades and one thing I have learned that interferes with discussion at times is ‘wagon words’. Those are words that carry with them more than just letters. Sometimes there is a whole ‘wagon’ of meaning and interpretation and misunderstanding and perspective that can confuse a relatively simple conversation.

For instance, if you were looking for something for your children to watch you might go to the ‘children’s’ section of the video store. But if you were looking for something for yourself, would you go to the ‘adult’ section? Probably not. ‘Adult’ is definitely a ‘wagon’ word which if connected to other contexts like entertainment or beverages can become much bigger than originally intended.

And so is ‘Faith’.

‘Faith’ means simply ‘belief’. But of course it is also much more. ‘Trust’ actually comes closer to an American / English understanding.

It is not,
‘I believe in God.’ Jesus would say, "…the demons believe…and tremble."
Nor is it,
‘I believe everything will work out.’ Jesus would say, "…if you do what I say your house will in fact stand…but if not, the storm will wash away what is built on sand."
Nor is it,
‘I believe in what has no foundation in fact.’. Jesus would say, "…the same works that I do, bear witness of me…"

So what is ‘Faith’? And why has it become a ‘wagon’ word?

'Faith' in the biblical sense can mean belief and/or trust in and acting upon everything in God's Word relating to the promise that was fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
Two uses are prominent in Scripture and there is very little difference today. For instance in Acts chapter six we read of several (Jewish) priests becoming 'obedient to the faith'.
While in the very next verse, Stephen is spoken of as being 'full of faith'.
The first refers to 'Christianity' or 'the Way' as it was called, or the body of truth established by God's Word from Adam to Christ.
The second regarding Stephen refers to trust in the Words of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit to work wonders and miracles in the ministry of the gospel.
Similar, but not identical. And we treat our English word the same. "What 'faith' are you?" can mean simply, "What denomination" or in a broader sense, "To what religion do you adhere?"
So to unhook the wagon we'll look at just the usage at it applies to Stephen.  

Many believe that this 'faith' that Jesus (and the Apostles) spoke of is just as available today as it was in the first century.  
Of course 'The Way' (or 'Christianity' as it came to be called later) is available. No question there. 
But since it is the same Hebrew, Greek and English word can we not also surmise that the 'mountain-moving' faith that Jesus claimed as available to His followers then is also available to His followers today.
The argument in favor is very convincing. Else why do we yet struggle against evil? Is the enemy less active in our world today than in the first century?  
In other words, if faith in God for victory over the enemy and power to work miracles of healing and deliverance were only for one generation, what are we* to do?  
And is 'faith' a one-time gift only or is there room for growth? I for one acknowledge a glaring lack of faith; else how could I hope to increase?
*"Go to the doctor or hospital" is one answer. But is that God's highest or is it His compassionate response to our 'unbelief'? And have you seen the disclaimers on all the 'wonder' drugs they want to feed us? Personally, I'll take 'faith'. It has no negative after effects. 

"Then why am I so sick and tired?"

Good question. And that ‘good question’ is the main reason some reject the premise that ‘this kind of faith’ is not available today. In fact the astonishing claims of the Bible make up the main reason why folks don’t believe it.

I don’t mean we reject the Bible completely. Although I have heard from some who do. ‘Michael’ is one of them whom you read about a few weeks back. But there is a more serious issue among ‘Bible believing’ Christians. It is ‘believer’s unbelief’. And we’re all guilty here.

Let me explain. Do you believe you can move mountains? Probably not, at least literally. When Jesus said that He was just using a figure of speech, right? Jesus used parables (and usually announced he was before hand) but He seldom used metaphor or allegory and never hyperbole. Casting mountains may be extreme but His point was to express the limitless authority available to the believer.

Which brings us back to the ‘believer’s unbelief’. Or in the words of the ‘common wisdom’: "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is." We are bombarded daily with car ads, face cream ads, diet ads, the lottery, Publisher’s Clearing House riches, and campaign promises. Most of which we have learned to ignore.

Yet when it comes to Scripture we are confronted with wilder claims that any of these; physical healing, deliverance from demonic forces, authority over the elements, even raising the dead. No wonder these issues become controversial. And it is no wonder that Bible commentaries and sermons relegate these to a special generation or treat them as allegory.

And of course if we pursue all of this with an open (and literal) mind we run headlong into that icky issue of ‘faith’. If I claim to believe literally what Jesus said then I am taking a stand that will reveal my level of faith. Two issues are very important here. One, the ‘Arrogance of Humility’ the we discussed earlier. And two, where did this contest come from whereby folks are measured good or bad by their level of faith?

If I don’t see the results that I am believing for then am I guilty of a lack of faith? According to Jesus the answer is a resounding ‘yes’. So do we retreat and pout? Or do we give Him the attention and reverence He deserves and find out how to fix the problem?

Our first response is to inquire of God what we’re missing. It could be unconfessed sin or a grudge against someone who has wronged me or it could be that I just need to develop my faith in the area in question…or something else. In other words, what God says is not in question so we don’t need to find some rationalization to protect Jesus’ reputation (or ours). And therein lies the key to this entire discussion.

If God’s Word runs up against my sensibilities or offends me or in some way challenges my lifestyle or goes beyond what I can wrap my head around, then by faith I am committed to choose God’s Word…and my mind, body, mouth, brain, imagination and spirit are just going to have to deal with it.

Does that mean that cemeteries and hospitals and mental wards are emptied whenever you or I pass by? Actually, yes, if that’s God’s plan and He is the One that sent me there and for that purpose. But until I hear that direction I’m standing on His eternal and unchangeable Word in every situation.

"And how is that working out for you?"

Very nicely, actually. Especially in the areas where I have spent time developing my faith. For instance, I haven’t had so much as the sniffles for over five years. You may easily top that record, but I previously never went ten months without a severe attack of bronchitis accompanied with severe and prolonged coughing attacks. Time, rest and medicine were always the cure (accompanied with generic prayer of course).

But two things changed over that period of time that had a profound effect on the faith process:

1) I studied how prayer and spiritual warfare work and how the power of the tongue was controlling my life (all while perfectly well and under no concentrated attack), and I continued the Bible immersion program known as The OnePage Solution, and

2) I joined in covenant with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob the same way they did…through the tithe.

Two points worth noting: 1) I set out to know God’s will while still well. I’d already had enough of sick, broke and tired. You can seek Him anytime you choose but why not now? And 2) You’re probably already tithing but are you doing it in faith? Of course you pray over it and of course you give into ‘good soil’ or where the Word is being taught without holding anything back. But what I mean by ‘giving in faith’ is a) understanding what God’s Word says about your particular type of seed (giving), and b) standing on that Word in faith believing for the return exactly as He promised.

It took me a long time to come to grips with ‘believing for the "receiving" part of my giving’. ‘Giving to get’ used to stick in my craw like a raspberry seed. Finally God got it through my thick skull that His economy operates on ‘giving and receiving’. "For God so loved…that He gave His only Son…" and what did He ‘get’ in return? According to Hebrews 2:10 His ‘return’ was to bring ‘…many sons unto glory." The Father gave His best so that He could receive the highest and best end of His faith…the family He purposed back at the Garden of Eden.

‘Giving to get’ it seems is how God plans to finance His work in the earth. Money is not a bad thing. But the ‘love’ of money is a very bad thing (and a favorite tool of the enemy). And the ‘love of giving’ is a very good thing (and a debilitating attack against the enemy). So fall in love with giving and let God bless you so there will be more to give.

The Bible covers various types of giving and the return for each. But rather than here trying to cover them all, let’s look at the tithe. I mentioned the tithe earlier in connection with joining into covenant with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The reason for the connection is that it appears with THE BLESSING or covenant with each of these three (very important) generations.

Abraham, in Genesis 17. Isaac in Genesis 26. And Jacob in Genesis 28.

…more to come