Cotton Candy…in the bible?

Sometimes The Message makes me laugh. I usually cross-reference verses using BibleGateway between ESV (English Standard Version), NIV (New International Version), NLT (New Living Translation), AMP (Amplified Bible), MSG (The Message), and LOLBT (LOLcat Bible Translation). Granted the last one is just for a laugh.

So I was leisurely searching around in my ESV, found a passage in Isaiah, and wanted to see parallels from other translations. And The Message gave me this:

Hey there! All who are thirsty,
     come to the water!
Are you penniless?
     Come anyway—buy and eat!
Come, buy your drinks, buy wine and milk.
     Buy without money—everything’s free!
Why do you spend your money on junk food,
     your hard-earned cash on cotton candy? 

               –Isaiah 55:1a, 2a (MSG)

I understand that this particular translation is meant for a more contemporary, new-age group of Christians looking for layman’s terms; no thous or shalts or cometh-ing. But some of the content, to me, sounds just plain silly. I mean, come on, you couldn’t come up with something other than cotton candy? I realize that the lolcat version includes cheezburgrz, but it is also not being sold and used in churches. Then again, I guess a pro of The Message is that you can read the bible as an infomercial and sound legit. Now we just need a ridiculous commercial to go with it.

Which reminds me: a couple of friends posted this on Facebook this week; it was a post on Mashable regarding infomercials. I laughed so much I was crying. True human beings in all our imperfect glory.

Question: Do you think that The Message truly captures the message of the bible? Or does ‘cotton candy’ and the commercialized language deter from it in a way? Answer using the poll – only percentages will show. Also, leave a comment if you have something else to add!

He will quiet you by His love

The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

–Zephaniah 3:17Bible Heart Pages

It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of city life. Believe me, I know. Coming from a small city in upstate New York, there’s always downtime; Main Street is empty after midnight, houses are blanketed by darkness while their inhabitants sleep.

But in large cities like New York, there is always something going on; unless a power outage ensues, it will always be daytime in Times Square. Taxis are always on the lookout for potential passengers, even on Monday evenings (or, I guess, technically Tuesday mornings) at 3 a.m. Hence the nickname “The City That Never Sleeps”. Because someone, somewhere, is always awake. Always.

In the midst of all the people and places and things to do, it’s easy to lose a sense of peace. Even when I’m alone in my room, I constantly feel like I need to be doing something. Having internet helps a ton – there are always shows to watch, people to stalk on Facebook, random facts to be found. (Read my post about FOMO).

Being back home in a house with no internet (hello public library!), I find myself opening my bible. Now I guess this could be seen in two ways.

1) Seeing as I have nothing better to do (unless I want to spend all weekend in the library) I guess the bible is my best option.

Or 2) with the slower pace here, I don’t feel rushed or a dire need to be going, going, going.

Let’s go with option 2. Yeah, that sounds better.

So here in my silent house, I opened my bible and started scouring for passages about quiet, silence, and peace. My index doesn’t provide a vast array on the first two…and normally I would search the internet to supplement, but we’ve already discussed that situation. Peace, however, is a topic in which the bible has much of.

One such passage is 2 Timothy 2:22, which says,

So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

Youthful passions can be interpreted many ways, depending on what you as a young whipper-snapper like to do in your free (or not so free) time. I’m going along with this FOMO theme – needing to be here, while being over there, and still thinking there might be something better somewhere else. In layman’s terms, I think it’s telling us to SLOW THE HECK DOWN and, instead, pursue these other more important qualities.

I always forget how much I enjoy just thumbing through my bible, looking at what I’ve already highlighted, and finding more passages to highlight and try to internalize. And it’s times like these, in the quiet stillness of my large house (okay, not huge, but it’s much bigger than my dorm room in the city) that make me remember.

Does anyone else struggle with this, even if you don’t live in a large city?