Brady Stephenson

Brady Stephenson

02 August 2009

WFT- weird

The Merriam-Webster Word of the Day for July 13th was weird.

1 : of, relating to, or caused by witchcraft or the supernatural 2 : of strange or extraordinary character : odd, fantastic

They provided this insightful etymological information:

You may know today’s word as a generalized term describing something unusual, but "weird" also has older meanings that are more specific. "Weird" derives from the Old English noun "wyrd," essentially meaning "fate." By the 8th century, the plural "wyrde" had begun to appear in texts as a gloss for "Parcae," the Latin name for the Fates — three goddesses who spun, measured, and cut the thread of life. In the 15th and 16th centuries, Scots authors employed "werd" or "weird" in the phrase "weird sisters" to refer to the Fates. William Shakespeare adopted this usage in Macbeth, in which the "weird sisters" are depicted as three witches. Subsequent adjectival use of "weird" grew out of a reinterpretation of the "weird" used by Shakespeare.

I recently saw this video on You Tube entitled DID JESUS GIVE US THE NAME OF THE ANTICHRIST? The author of the video proposes that Messiah Yeshua gave us a warning regarding the name of the antichrist in Luke 10:18. He suggests that a Hebrew translation of the passage would essentially read "I beheld Satan as lightning from heaven [Hebrew: barak obamah]". After watching the video I became curious and decided to investigate the matter for myself.

01 August 2009

The Deceiver

Recently the men of my congregation met and discussed several matters regarding our community. One of the matters discussed was the increase in email traffic which focused on the activities of the current U.S. administration and the concern it was generating among some of our families.

News and rumors regarding violations of the constitution, health care rationing, socialism, geriatric euthanasia, government funded abortion, and other serious matters abound. Some emails have alleged government conspiracy. The prophet Isaiah had a few words to share about that:

"You are not to say, 'It is a conspiracy!' In regard to all that this people call a conspiracy, And you are not to fear what they fear or be in dread of it. It is the LORD of hosts whom you should regard as holy. And He shall be your fear, And He shall be your dread. (Isaiah 8:12-13)

These echo the very words of the Messiah:

Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.

Have you ever had a day where frustrations were mounting and you said a little prayer along the lines of "oh, Lord, give me patience"?  You may have noticed that G-d often seems to answer those prayers by bringing something (or someone?) into your life that will test your patience... a lot.

Being the sensible guy that I am, I have learned to curb my tongue when it comes to uttering that particular prayer.  I'm like a child at the dinner table when the spinach is being passed around: "Patience?  No, thank you, Lord.  I'm full."

On the other hand, I usually seem to have an appetite for more wisdom.  As it is with desert, my response to wisdom has usually been "May I have more, please?"

22 January 2012

Is Mormonism a Cult?

Last October, after introducing Rick Perry at the Values Voter Summit, Pastor Robert Jeffress told reporters that Republicans shouldn't vote for White House hopeful Mitt Romney because he's a Mormon and described the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a "cult".

At the time it caused a bit of a stir in the media but the question still remains: is Mormonism a cult?

Literal, linear, and analytical as always, let's begin with a definition from the American Heritage Cultural Dictionary:

cult definition
In anthropology, an organization for the conduct of ritual, magical, or other religious observances. Many so-called primitive tribes, for example, have ancestor cults, in which dead ancestors are considered divine and activities are organized to respect their memory and invoke their aid. A cult is also a religious group held together by a dominant, often charismatic individual, or by the worship of a divinity, an idol, or some other object. ( See animism, fetish, and totemism.)

Note : The term cult often suggests extreme beliefs and bizarre behavior.

Does Mormonism fit this definition?


Mormonism is a "religious group held together by a dominant, often charismatic individual": Joseph Smith.

In a recent article entitled "What the Bible Really Says About Sex", Pastor Mark Driscoll outlines several of our society's issues with sex and contrasts those with the Bible's position on the topic.  He does a fairly good job of expressing Scriptural truths and shares what he calls "seven essentials" about sex from the Bible.

Soon after his article appeared, another opinion columnist, Shari Johnson, delivered a response entitled, "My Lesbian Daughter, the Bible and Sex".  In her article, she shares that her "world was rocked to its core the night my 37-year old daughter called to tell me she is gay.  Did I run out to find a gay parade to march in?  No.  It was a painful process for both of us."

She also expresses her concerns regarding two of Pastor Driscoll's seven points:

#3. Marriage is for one man and one woman by God’s design,  and

#5. Sex outside of marriage is a sin.


Ms. Johnson makes this statement in her article:

When I hear terms like “God’s design” and “Biblical marriage” I have to wonder who decides these things.


The answer, ma'am, is that G-d decides these things.  That's kind of the point of the Bible: to provide a source of instruction for all humanity regarding G-d's ways.

04 December 2011

Be an Encourager!

Given the state of the economy and the pressures and stresses that often surround the end of the year there is almost certainly someone near you that could use encouragement.

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:9)


Paul tells the believers in Thessalonica to encourage one another and gives them several ways to do that. Here are his 15 recommendations.

A friend of mine named Robert and I recently got together for lunch.  Robert had passed along a link to a article entitled "Bible has some shocking 'family values'” and wanted some help answering the claims that were made in it.  He wanted to provide a good, solid, Biblical response to his brother-in-law who had sent it to him.

Once we had ordered lunch, we got down to business.

"The guy who wrote the article, Michael Coogan, makes three claims that we should discuss", I said.  "Let's start at the top."


G-d is not the author of Scripture

09 October 2011

Men Are In Trouble

When I first read the headline I chuckled and thought, "what new way did guys find to get in trouble now?"  Then I read more of the CNN article entitled Why Men Are in Trouble and pondered the serious questions it raised.  Here is the problem outlined in various quotes from the article...

The Problem

For the first time in history, women are better educated, more ambitious and arguably more successful than men.

Now, society has rightly celebrated the ascension of one sex. We said, "You go girl," and they went. We celebrate the ascension of women but what will we do about what appears to be the very real decline of the other sex?

Have you ever met someone who had an immediate and positive impact on your outlook for life? In my life such meetings have been rare but they have happened. I was recently blessed when I met a friend of a friend while out at lunch. Our introduction began in a normal fashion:

“Kevin, meet my friend, Brady.”

“Kevin? Hi! Nice to meet you.”

“Nice to meet you, too!”


We exchanged the normal pleasantries, asking each other how long we had known Chad, our mutual friend: are you married, have any kids, etc. Then the conversation turned to work.

“So, Kevin, what do you do?”

“I’m in the import business.”


Chad turned to him with a shocked look on his face. “Did you lose your job at the bank? You’ve been there for years! What happened?”

Torah Portion




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