Welcome back, everyone. Today is Monday, November the 20th. I'm Ryan Hill.
I'm John Galantis. And you're listening to Clearview Today with Dr. Abidhan Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at ClearviewTodayShow.com. If you have any questions for Dr. Shah or suggestions for new topics, send us a text to 252-5825028, or you can email us at contact at ClearviewTodayShow.com.
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Absolutely nothing less than five stars. I will know that it's you if you do something cute like that. We're going to leave you a couple of links in the description so you can do just that. Today's verse of the day is coming to us from the book of Titus 2-13. It says, Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. It can be easy to be distracted by the things going on in your life. I mean, the things that pop up, our attention naturally is diverted there. But Paul reminds us in this letter to Titus, keep your eyes focused on Christ. Stay focused on God and what He's doing. And that requires God giving you spiritual eyes to see. That's not natural for us as human beings. We default to focusing on the world around us.
But God can give us spiritual eyes to see His Son and see what He's doing in the world. There's a song that we do here at Clearview Church. It's an original song. It was written by actually my vocal coach, Dr. Shah.
I met him a couple of years ago and kind of set us up together. And there's an original song that he wrote that we do a lot here at Clearview Church. It's actually going to be on our upcoming album coming out this summer.
But this upcoming summer, I should say. But it's the very first line and it's become a favorite at Clearview. It's give me eyes to see you wholly. That's the first line of the song.
And I love it because it's the perfect way to start that song off. Because it's not God, I see what you're doing. I've come to this moment of realization. It's give me eyes to see. I'm not going to see what you're doing unless you give me those eyes.
It's completely dependent on His mercy and His grace and His plan for our lives. Speaking of eyes to see realities and things, we had somebody approach us with, I would say, I mean, what's a good adjective to use here? Absurd? Outlandish?
Yeah. To be moronic. This was by far the most confusing topic that we've ever been suggested to talk about.
It was one of the most absurd conversations I've ever had with any individual. They're into weightlifting, but they're new, right? This is a good guy.
We know this guy. They're talking about what kind of protein powder should I have. And I was like, you know, I'm not an expert in weightlifting. I just use like whey, strawberry, banana protein. He's like, here's what I want to do. I want to get double the protein.
This is absurd. I'm telling y'all now. I want to get double the protein. So I got a glass of milk. I'm going to put chocolate protein powder in the milk. Sure.
No problem. But I want double the protein, but I don't want more chocolate. So I'm going to put vanilla protein powder in the milk.
But what I'm worried about is that the two flavors, because it's chocolate with vanilla, it's going to cancel each other out and just go back to being regular milk. And I said, never contact the show again. We will add your number to the blocked list. Instant question marks from me. This was crazy. This I mean, this was absolutely crazy.
I almost didn't want to talk about it because it was so absurd. And people have been asking us like, what, you know, what does any of this have to do with with, you know, Christianity? And I'm like, hey, look, it's fun. It's fun intros. It's a way for us to break the ice. This is absurd.
Yeah, this is crazy. Well, here's the thing. Like if if you have chocolate and vanilla that cancel each other out, what is swirled ice cream taste like Neapolitan ice cream? What is cookies and cream taste like? So what do Oreos taste like?
So a couple of thoughts on the table. Number one, vanilla is not plain. Vanilla is a flavor. Just because it's the default flavor that most stuff come in doesn't mean that it's like plain. No, it is an actual flavor. Milk isn't vanilla.
No, milk tastes like milk. Right. Milk is not vanilla.
You can get vanilla milk, but there's no vanilla. Right. Also, milk and I'm sorry, vanilla and chocolate are not polar opposites. They don't cancel each other out.
Right. It's not like negative numbers. And like if I have negative five, that's chocolate. And then I add positive five, that's vanilla.
Now you're at baseline. That's not the way that it's just it's the same as saying I'm going to mix spaghetti sauce and Alfredo sauce. And since those are opposites, I end up with no sauce. There's no sauce.
It's just plain noodles. I talked to this person and I told him all this. I said, I'll talk about on the show.
My fear is that you will look foolish because those aren't the opposite. He said it's it's it does cancel it out. It doesn't matter the flavor because vanilla is white.
So it's going to cancel out the brown and bring it back. What? So I said I said put ranch in your milk. Yeah. Put put Alfredo sauce in there.
You let me know if it goes back to just being regular milk, if it cancels out the chocolate. This is unbelievable. I'm I'm blown away.
I don't think that anyone else is going to hold this position, but I'm interested to know what are some similar positions that you are. You've maybe you don't hold them. We'll give you the benefit of the doubt. But maybe you've heard people voice those opinions that you're like, I can't tell if you're serious right now. It's so silly. I mean, it's kind of funny.
Yeah, but it's so silly. I hesitate to even ask Dr. Shaw about it. I think I'm just going to see which he likes better. Vanilla or chocolate. Yeah, I think he's a vanilla guy. I think he is a vanilla guy. Well, he does like chocolate. I don't know.
I mean, you can like chocolate candy, but overall be a vanilla person. I don't know. We'll see. We'll ask him. Let's see. Write it and let us know about those conversations you've had with people that kind of make you raise one eyebrow. And they're like, what's happening? To be fair, this person is a teenager, so I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt.
Because I had some crazy opinions when I was a teenager. So text and let us know 2525825028. Or you can visit us online at ClearViewTodayShow.com. Stay tuned. We'll be right back.
You can worship God in any situation. In the car, at home, in the gym, while cleaning your house. Wherever you are, we'll be right there with you. You can check us out on Apple Music or on Spotify.
Anywhere digital music is consumed. We've got a few singles out right now. We have an EP out as well. And right now, at this moment actually, we are working on our first ever full length original album.
Hopefully that's going to be out sometime this coming summer. ClearView worship on iTunes and Spotify is your 24-7 place for inspiration and worship. Follow us today and let God's message of hope, love, and faith be a guiding light in your life. Amen. Let's hop back into the show. Hey, what's going on, listeners? My name is John.
And I'm Ellie. And we just want to take a second and let you know about Dr. Shah's new book on the market right now called Can We Recover the Original Text of the New Testament. Boy, that is a long title. True, but it's a very simple message. The original text of the New Testament is not only attainable, but there are lots of different ways that scholars go about discovering it. There's a lot of people out there saying that the original text is lost forever or that it's hopeless to actually try to find it or that there's many texts of the New Testament. But alongside Dr. David Allen Black, Dr. Shah has actually compiled papers from some of the world's leading experts in textual criticism, including one written by himself on various methodologies for extracting the original text. And listen, if you're interested in textual criticism, this book is a great introduction to the field. You can pick up your copy on Amazon or you can buy it from our church website. That's ClearviewBC.org. We're going to leave a link in the description box so you can get your copy today. Love that. Ellie, let's hop back in.
Let's do it. Welcome back to Clearview Today with Dr. Abbadon Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at ClearviewTodayShow.com or if you have any questions or suggestions for new topics, send us a text to 252-582-5028.
That's right. We are here once again in the Clearview studio with Dr. Abbadon Shah. Dr. Shah, I've got to say welcome back.
Thank you. I missed being here, but it was a great trip. I'm so glad I was able to go and read the paper. It was very exciting.
A lot of good things are going to come through that. We actually recorded a lot of episodes beforehand, so the radio audience, to them, it's like you never left. Lever radio magic. That's the power of batch recording, scheduling, getting ahead of time. They're like, hey, I'm here.
I'm along the way. And hard work, because it's a lot of hard work on you guys to make sure. And David and Nicholas over there, because they have to get things done ahead of time.
They have to dedicate that time to get these shows ready. And I just come and talk. First off, I wouldn't say all that. But I would also say that our hard work allows you to go do your hard work elsewhere. Now our impact is even bigger, and maybe next week we can talk about your trip and exactly what you went for.
That's right. Love to. That would be really fun. But this week? It is Thanksgiving week. And this is the week that everybody kind of takes a break from pre-Christmas. So October ends. November starts. Pre-Christmas. Take a little break to respect Thanksgiving.
And I hate to push back right here at the top of the conversation. Because it's Monday. We haven't started. But it is not pre-Christmas. It is just Christmas. It's just Christmas. It's just Christmas. With a brief interlude for Thanksgiving. Christmas begins. It's like there's no ex-Marine.
It's just Marine retired. Exactly. So it's Christmas. It's pre-Thanksgiving Christmas. But not pre-Christmas. It's just Christmas that occurs before Thanksgiving.
Let me just make sure I got it. Christmas. Thanksgiving break. More Christmas.
Right. Thanksgiving is a holiday that occurs within the Christmas season. Yeah, the Christmas season is now, it's like all two months, two full months is all Christmas.
Three. October is Christmas too? No, January. Unbelievable. January.
Unbelievable. Because when do we get the most cold weather and snow? It's January. So you've got to extend Christmas into the snow and cold weather.
Let's hop into Thanksgiving. Before we do, I do want to ask you, because fans are clamoring to know. Yeah.
Real quick. Chocolate, vanilla. Which one are you? Oh, vanilla. Any day. You're going vanilla over chocolate? Absolutely. It's the superior flavor.
I would agree. Vanilla is the superior flavor. Some people trick themselves into thinking white chocolate is vanilla.
No. Like they get the white chocolate reese cups. Like white chocolate. There is some white chocolate that is actually vanilla. It's called white chocolate, but it is actually vanilla. You ever been cooking and you taste vanilla extract by itself?
Yeah. I haven't done it multiple times. Don't do it.
You only do it once. It's just so, so intense. It's intense. Really? It's like if you had a bowl of vanilla ice cream and threw it at someone's face. Yeah. It's intense. It will just make your whole face just cave in on it.
Really? Oh my word. I was cooking.
We were making cookies a few weeks ago and I was like, oh, I wonder. I wonder what it's like. And I just put a couple of drops on my tongue. Super, super intense.
It is powerful. That's why the bottles are only like this big because that's really all you need. That's really all you need. Listen, I'm thankful.
I'm thankful, Ryan, for all the warning labels that say, seriously, don't do this. Yes. It was almost like someone had a plan putting them together.
That's right. That was a nice little setup. That was a tee ball.
That was a tee ball. That was good. That was good. We're talking this Thanksgiving week. As you head toward the big day, get your turkeys ready. You're busting out the stretchy pants so you can, you know, fill your tummy with all that food. We're talking about what it means to be thankful and the various things.
Was that funny? Stretchy pants. Stretchy pants. You wear stretchy pants on Thanksgiving. I remember going to your house one time and seeing that you were wearing a nice button down shirt and jeans. And I was like, this dude's wearing jeans on Thanksgiving.
I thought we were going back. I need elastic waistpants. Throw down. Elastic waistpants. Gym shorts. I gotta have some pants.
Gotta have some gifts. Compression pants. Yeah. Like gym pants.
I do. Compression pants are different, right? I call them compression. They're not really compression pants. You think of athletic pants like joggers. They're just like joggers. Yeah.
Okay. Compression pants are like... They're different. That's like restricting. That's the opposite of jeans.
Yeah. I call them compression pants, but they're not. Maybe we should wear compression pants. That's the secret we've been missing all along is that you'll get one bite of cranberry sauce and be like, I'm stuffed. I'm done.
I can't do this. Couldn't possibly have another bite. It could be just a nibble. I think we should be thinking this week about what it means to be thankful and the various things that we have in our lives to be thankful for. A lot of times people have that moment at Thanksgiving where you sit around the table and you're like, I want to go around the table and everybody say one thing they're thankful for. And it's good to take that time and really kind of sit and focus on what we had to be grateful for. But sometimes in the grand scheme of things or when you're outside of Thanksgiving week, you often miss those blessings in your life that you ought to be grateful for.
Right. There was Joseph in the Bible and Joseph had every reason to be bitter, to be cynical, to be selfish. Just this is about me. Life has not been good to me.
My family has not been loving and kind to me. So this is going to be about me. And yet he chose to be thankful. He chose to focus on God's sovereignty and God's goodness, right? That God is in control and whatever has happened, God has worked all things together for good.
And that's not easy to do. We say that, but that's very hard to do when you're going through a difficult time or people have disappointed you or hurt you is very hard to believe that. But when you do believe that and when you do have a heart of Thanksgiving and gratitude, you are able to not only live and live in peace and joy and freedom, but you're also able to bless them who curse you or bless them who hate you or spitefully use you or persecute you. You're able to bless them. Now, if they don't know Christ, they need to come to know Christ.
If they do know Christ, they need to get their hearts right with him. But ultimately you are no longer wishing ill on them. You're not sitting here hoping they have a wreck or find out they have cancer or they just move far away. I mean, none of those things are preoccupying your mind. And I think it's even harder at the Thanksgiving season because so many people are focused, like hyper-focused on their family dynamics. And if there's any level of dysfunction there, typically, not always, but typically people choose to be bitter and they choose to hyper-focus on all the things that their family has done to them. It's still kind of like you said, it's still very me-focused. It's me as the moral center and here's all the ways that my family or my friends or whoever I'm celebrating with haven't lived up to my impossibly high standards or just my unfair standards. Yeah.
Yeah. And that's a very bad place to be. And when you are in that place, it's more than just, it's a bad place to be. That's how you react, how you respond, how you blow up or how you clam up or how you lash out or how you hold it all in. All those things are not good for you.
They're not good for you. And so I'm hoping in our discussion today, we'll talk about how even if you have a dysfunctional family, you can still have a heart of gratitude. Well, I love how you mentioned Joseph because if I think of a dysfunctional family in the Bible, that's typically where I go.
Yeah. You know, you sometimes fall in that trap of thinking biblical families and biblical heroes just had this idyllic life. They were like larger than life people, these heroes that you see in your Sunday school coloring books. But there were people just like us, they had messed up lives just like we do. If I was in early humanity and I was making myths for what people should be, how people's behavior should be, I certainly wouldn't put any family dysfunction. I would make all my characters, if they're truly mythological, I'd make them flawless.
I'd make them like a Superman or something where they're the ideal for human behavior. And it's just the opposite. I mean, if you go beyond Joseph, go back to his parents, Jacob, Leah and Rachel. He just wanted one wife, he ended up getting two.
Think about that. He didn't want one. I mean, not that he hated the one, it was just not what he wanted, but he ended up having two. If you back up a little bit, you got Isaac and Rebecca, they had two sons who didn't get along. Jacob and Esau didn't get along, and then Esau married women that were so annoying to Isaac and Rebecca. And then if you back up even further, you have Abraham and Sarah, and then you have Hagar in the middle.
I mean, it's just a mess. And then if you go further back into the book of Genesis, chapter three and four, you got Adam and Eve. You see family dysfunction all through the book of Genesis. And families that God is directly working through. This isn't like some tangential family that we encounter every now and then. They're like this minor character that keeps their center stage.
These are the subjects. This is the one that God is directly working through. Yeah, these ain't even like the Edomites off in the wilderness, this is like the people that God himself is speaking face to face to, and they're like, I still can't. The Edomites are doing well. The Edomites have their road named after their family, and they have family on either side of the road. They look like the Grinch at the very end when he's carving the roast peas, and they're all sitting around the table, and the Edomites are like, we got this.
I don't know what y'all have a problem with. They got it made. They got it. Everybody's watching, everybody's back porch and front door, I mean, they're great. Everybody gets sick, the whole family shows up.
Somebody has a wreck, there are like three cars you can borrow and four trucks you can take. Get into the beautiful picture. You talk about the heroes, they're like, my brother wants to kill me. I know, I want to kill my brother too. Oh, no, no, he's the guy running over there.
I got to go. He's actively trying to murder me. Hey, is that your wife? This is my sister, man. It's all good. Take her. You're good.
You can have it. Like, what's going on? What got you to Egypt? Well, my brother sold me. Yeah. Beat me up.
Sold me. Just one of them? Nope, every single one. Every single one. Next level one.
Next level one. Yeah, they wanted, well, honestly, they wanted to kill me, but he made them look deep inside their heart. Thank goodness they just settled for selling me into slavery. Yeah, they showed me mercy and sold me into slavery. So I mean, if you didn't think about that, I hope somebody listening today who feels like how did this happen to my family, or I wish I could restart my family, just know that you are in good company. You're not in the company of the Edomites, you're in the company of, you know, God's people.
That's right. And this is sometimes what happens, and it doesn't make sense. It is frustrating, but just know through it all, you are acting out the drama of how God relates with his people. I think that's a great point, because it's in the midst of those, it's in the midst of those times in life where I think we blind ourselves to God's plan the most. You know, like, I never go through drama or hardship in life, and I should, but I never go, you know what, maybe this is part of God's plan. Maybe this is, maybe this is, God is weaving something together. It's only when, like, I'm almost over it and I look back and I'm like, eh, maybe it was all for the best, but never in the middle to give me hope and encouragement. Right, right.
Yeah, I totally agree. And that's what we're going to see in this brief lesson today is that his family was messed up and, you know, he was sold into slavery, as we mentioned, by his own brothers. And this problem began very early on where there was animosity between them because of Joseph's dreams. In fact, it says in Genesis 37.4, but when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peaceably to him. So you can just imagine how there are no good, good memories in their lives.
Sounds like a lot of Thanksgiving dinners these days, just no peace at the table. And then he is in Egypt and God's divine plan is working in Genesis 39.1. He is taken to Potiphar's home, who is an officer of Pharaoh, and he's a captain of the guard, an Egyptian, and he makes him work in his home.
And while he's working there, he realizes that this man is special and everything that he touches is successful. So he turns over everything to Joseph, except for his wife. He said that's how much power Joseph had in Egypt.
And then as you know, life is never simple. Joseph's master's wife, Potiphar's wife, begins to cast longing eyes after him and then attacks him, and Joseph runs away and she falsely accuses him. And Potiphar, I think he knew what was happening, and he threw him into prison. But he didn't throw him into any prison, he threw him into federal prison, where the high-profile people were. Just like where we live here, there's a federal prison down the road and some very, I'm not going to mention the names, but very well-known people, like world-famous people have been incarcerated there.
At least one I can think of is there at this very moment. But yeah, I do see what you're saying, God's plan is working in a way that Joseph, at least maybe at the moment, just can't see. It's like everything bad that can happen is happening.
Yeah. Joseph, you said it, but he had every reason and every, I mean we would even say every right to be discouraged, to be frustrated. It was like one thing after another after another. Even after he gets sold out from his brothers who were this source of tension, he has Potiphar's wife to deal with and then he's thrown in prison, he's wrongfully accused, even though God was taking care of him and even though Potiphar was looking out for him and throwing him in federal prison, I can't imagine how discouraged he must have felt. Do you think this was his phone booth moment?
If you don't know what I mean by that, Dr. Shah has told a story on the podcast before, we can link to that episode. But everybody has in their life that phone booth moment where it's like this is the low point. This is the lowest. This was for me in 1993 and this was December and I had gone through a very rough patch in my life. Everything fell apart around me in my life, relationship, finances, everything. And I felt very low. And in that low period, my brother called me to come join him for Christmas. I didn't want to go, but he sent his friends over and said, just get him and bring him.
And so I remember this guy coming to my room and saying, hey, so you're going with us to Philadelphia. I said, I don't want to go. I want to just stay here on this campus. Nobody's around.
Just a handful of international students. We work. So I don't mind doing that. He said, oh no, your brother wants you to go. So I went, long story short, and we were supposed to meet up at this exit and my friends dropped me off at the exit and they kept on going. And my brother was supposed to come to that exit, but as you know, in some places, a northbound exit is in one part of the city and a southbound may be completely different, right? It happens. I mean, right here in our town, we can see that, but the northbound and southbound are not right side by side.
Now some are, some are not. And so I stood there. It was cold and there was a telephone booth there. I went into the gas station.
The gas station, after a while, closed at 10 o'clock at night. So I went into the telephone booth and it's freezing cold. I mean, there's snow everywhere and there's nothing. And there was this one light.
I was going to say, this is December in Pennsylvania, so I mean, it's really bad. And there's a light outside the gas station and right about 12 o'clock at night, the light goes out. It's pitch dark. That's bad. Pitch dark. There is some light in that gas station, you know, lighting up the, the, the freezers and all that.
That's it. And so I get inside the telephone booth and I close myself in and people are swinging by to use the phone and I'm like, playing like you're not coming through here. I'm staying in here. I pretend like I'm on a call and, um, but I made a made it not, not, not really a deal with God, but I kind of told God that, God, if you get me out of this, you know, I want to follow you. I want to do what you've called me to do and I've lost my focus for quite some time. And long story short, you know, God brought me out of that. And that was my telephone booth moment.
That was my in Egypt on the auction block or in Egypt falsely accused and now sitting in prison. But just like Joseph ended up in the end being thankful for that. I know if you could go back in time and tell yourself while you're in that phone booth, like, Hey, this is something you're going to be thankful for in the future. It'd be like, get out of here, man.
Do you have any, do you have any keep me warm? Thankfulness is like the last thing on your mind, but with the, with the gift of time, looking backwards and seeing how God has worked in your life since then, because you were faithful to that promise and because you were obedient and his faithfulness to you, I can see Joseph doing the same exact thing. Yeah. So, I mean, to, to condense this story, as you know, Joseph's brothers came, he forgave him, and now it's 27 years out from the time they sold him into slavery to the moment his father dies. And Joseph's brothers are thinking that he's going to take revenge. All right, he's going to kill him. And so they come to him and they, they say, please, please, your father said, don't kill us.
Forgive us. And Joseph's response is so beautiful. In Genesis 15, 19, he says, do not be afraid for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring it about as it is this day to save many people alive. I mean, he's like, I know what you did was wrong, but do you think I'm God?
Do you think I'm going to like control your life and destroy you because daddy is dead? No, I know God is in control and he allowed it to happen so that I could save many people, your lives, your children, your grandchildren. So there's no resentment here. There's no bitterness here. We got the bigger picture in mind. So I want to ask the people who are listening or watching, I mean, do you have the bigger picture in mind? You got to get the bigger picture.
If you don't get the bigger picture, the little things in life will bring you down solo. You can talk about the joy of the Lord, but it's not there. You can talk about how God gives you peace, but it's not there. You can talk about hope and a better day is coming. It's not there unless you truly believe that God's sovereignty and goodness is working in your life. And I think one of the best ways, I appreciate you saying that so much, and I think one of the best ways that you as a listener can gain understanding and clarity on that bigger picture seriously is to subscribe to this podcast on iTunes because this is the kind of thing that we're going to start talking about more and more and more as we go forward.
Yeah. I love that bigger picture and how to be grateful in everything. There's nothing wasted in the Christian life.
There's nothing that is pointless. God can redeem everything. And you know, Joseph's story is a great example of that. He acknowledges what his brothers did was bad. He doesn't call it good. He calls it evil. He calls it wicked.
But God took that and He used it for good and He can do the same in your life. If you enjoyed today's episode, if you have any questions or suggestions for new topics, if today's episode was helpful for you, write in and let us know, 252-582-5028. Make sure to visit us online at ClearviewTodayShow.com.
Like John said, make sure you subscribe to the podcast, share it with your friends, and click that donate button on the Clearview Today Show website and become part of our Clearview Today Show family. What's coming up tomorrow? We're talking about being thankful. Talking about some more thankfulness, talking about just being thankful for our church family. Our church actually does a Thanksgiving dinner. A lot of churches do this too, but we do that because we are a family. I don't want it to be that this is my family that I just see on Sundays or Wednesday nights if I'm feeling like I've had a really tough week. That's right. If this is truly our family, then we sit down and we eat together. I mean, even we as a staff do that every single week.
So yeah, that's what we're talking about. Love it. We love you guys. We'll see you tomorrow on Clearview Today.
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