I believe it was Samuel Elliot Morrison the noted American historian, who compared history to a poker game. He pictured the nations sitting around the table each of them being dealt several hands of cards. Some of the players had consistently good hands, some consistently poor hands, most of the others had a mixture.
Some of the players with good hands, played them poorly and came away from the game losers. A few with bad hands played them shrewdly and came away winners. Some of those at the table didn’t play at all, they simply sat in and let the game go on around them.
Some at the table played according to principles, others acted according to hunches. One thing Mr. Morrison said at the conclusion of his article, was that it is the same with men and nations, it is not simply the cards we are dealt, but how we play the cards that make a difference in the game.

One thing that Samuel Morrison did not say is that all of the players sitting around the table would like to get a look at the deck before the cards are dealt. If they could see what cards are coming up, or what cards lay hidden on the table, then they would have a decided advantage.
In the world of poker, professional gamblers sometimes mark the deck, and in that way they are able to anticipate the future and therefore know when to raise the bid or when to drop out of the game.
And it seems that it is true with people and nations, when throughout history, people have been desperately concerned with getting a look at the deck. If only we could anticipate the future, if only we knew the cards that we were going to be dealt, then we would feel much less vulnerable when it came to the choices and the decisions of life.
This was true of most of the pagan religions, this is true of the palm readers and the horoscopes that you see in the newspaper or hear on the radio. Some people look at stars, others look at palms, others look at the liver of an animal, mediums, spiritists, or tea leaves, hoping to get a glimpse of the cards.

Some choices seem to be particularly difficult:
What school to go to
What vocation to enter
What job to take or relationship to pursue
When we face those choices we often feel vulnerable and so Christians have felt like we’d like to get a look at the deck or at least understand the mind of the dealer, and as a result we tend to become passive and feel less responsible for our choices.

Flop the bible open

That is why though that temptation is there for all of us and it is understandable, it is quite shocking when you turn to the Bible, we discover that asking the question—“How do you know the will of God when you are making up your mind in these decisions?” we discover that that is not a Biblical question. That the Bible does not encourage us to ask it, and even more significant, it gives us no direction on how to answer it.
What we seem to want to know most when we face lifes choices, the Bible does not address at all.
What the Bible does is give us itself.

2 Timothy chapter 3 verses 16-18

In this great passage Paul declares that all scripture is inspired by God. This book is to God, what breath is to you or I—it comes out of his innermost being, moves out of the very nature of God.
Then he says that this God breathed volume is profitable for 4 things
1. profitable for Teaching- tells us what we ought to believe
2. profitable for Rebuke- tells us when we’ve gone wrong
3. profitable for Correction- it gets us back on the path again
4. it’s profitable for Instruction in right living

And those 4 uses of the Bible are all designed to do one thing, that the man or woman of God may be thoroughly furnished for every good work.
This God breathed book is not only inspired, it is all-sufficient to give us all that we need in all of lifes decisions, to be all that God wants us to be. To live according to this book is to live,…in the will of God.
This God breathed volume gives us all that we need to know, to be all that we need to be, in all of lifes situations, to be in and do the will of God.

Let’s suppose that Jesus were going to come back to the earth for just one day. It doesn’t fit the book of Revelation, but, humor me.
Let’s suppose that he was going to come back and he was going to tell us, how we could know God and how we would know how we can live in the will of God. I suspect that some of the entrepreneurs, the resourceful among us would rent GM place, they’d have the networks there and there would be satellite transmission to all the parts of the world.
The crowded GM place would be hushed and people would be huddled in front of their TV sets as Jesus came to give us this word about how to know God, and how to know his will,
He would come and step in front of the microphone, and he would not say a word. He would simply hold up this book, and say, “I have given you my word, all that you need to know in faith and practice is in this book, IT IS ENOUGH!! It is not only all inspired, it is all sufficient to give us all that we need to know in all of lifes decisions to be all that God wants us to be. It is enough not only to save us for eternity, but to guide us in time.

The Christian with a Bible in their hand and with the intelligence to use it, has all the guidance they need.

The difficulty in saying that, is that it makes us uneasy, because there are decisions that are not spelled out in the Bible. There is no chapter devoted in the Bible to why you should attend this school or that one, date this person or, not. No passage tells you what job you ought to take.
To say that seems to remove God from us and leave him back 2000 years ago when the Bible was written, but it doesn’t give us very much help today. But if that is our reaction, then its because we haven’t taken the Bible very seriously today.

One of the things that the Bible teaches us is that God IS working out his will. It is HIS unfolding drama and we are privileged to be a part of his story.

script in hand, -- stay hungry, stay foolish.


  1. wow! I'm going to read my Bible. Thanks Phil!

  2. Hey Mr. Harbridge.

    It's Bryan

    Great message! That was a good way of describing the world leaders with the poker game. I think that it's true that everyone wishes they where told exactly what they needed to do. God doesn't do that though because he gave us freewill to choose what to follow and to do. Also many people feel that the bible has nothing about what is happening now, instead that it's about what was happening then. I think that to understand the bible and be able to make good descicsions is by seeing what God says we should do, like the ten comandments. I think that after we begin to understand the bible then we will be able to make good descisions from the knowledge of the bible.

    P.S. Can I please have your e-mail for msn. Thanks

  3. Hi Phil,
    Great analogy! Great message! We need more head and heart searching thoughts/ideas like this. Since the bible is SO important it seems logical that we search it out daily

  4. Hey Mr. H,
    it's rachel...
    that's a really interesting way of putting things!
    I just wanted to thank you for being a really amazing Bible teacher and for teaching me about God and helping me to understand what he is like and how he wants us to act. Some things you've said in that analogy really made sense to me and your classes really help me to want to learn more about God. You have been such an awesome teacher for me and I hope next year I will have you for at least one of my classes!
    -Rachel V.

  5. Hey Mr. H!
    Personally, i think you did a really good job at explaining things to us here. ( I might have interpreted this passage wrong...but... I'll give it a shot) I like how you put that bit in about Jesus coming, and i totally agree with you saying that we would all be waiting around, just waiting for him to tell us exactly what to do,so we wouldn't have to make the decisions ourselves. I don't know how many times I've asked for help from God, when hes already provided the answer for me right in front of my face. i think...i may be running out of!

  6. Heyy Mr Harbridge it's Leo.

    That is a very cool way of explaining the message to us. There's this part where I really liked. It’s when you said good players can lose even when they have good cards and bad players can win even if they have bad cards ->> in the "poker section". This does apply to Christians in my opinion, because it tells us that even though when sometimes our lives are going smooth and good it can always turn bad unexpectedly. It can also be the opposite (bad to good). We should trust God to guide us through these hard times because he will never let anything harm us and eventually turn our not so good lives into good ones =] God help us through the hard times. =D MR H ->>>> Thanks for being our Bible teacher!! You're always there when I need to talk to you. -leo

  7. Hey Mr. H.

    Awesome message! I really agree with you about the part where people would want to have a glimpse at the future. However... I think that most people would actually miss out on alot of things if they did look into the future. There would be no surprises, no excitement, and hardly anything to look forward to; since you already know what happens next. Also, I think that most people just [want]to know the future during the hard times, but after overcoming the difficult times, they would have improve and grown in the process. Knowing what would happen does not help in growth. Difficult times are also times where we can be closer to God, knowing that God is always there for us, no matter what. To your other analogy about Jesus coming to Earth for one day and telling us the Bible is our guide, I think that would be a great motivation, but also defeating God's original purpose of us having faith in God. Also, i think that the Bible does apply to our daily lives/problems, maybe not so directly, but if you think about it, it will definately help!
    Those are my thoughts for today! By the way, your message is very thought provoking and inspirational!! Great job!


  8. Mr.Harbridge,
    I think that this is very true...the world is wanting to see the cards of life and not wait to see what God's will and plan is for us. We have other things going on in life and don't want to wait...This world is just too busy for God and don't feel that God could possibly tell us what we should do or what path to choose. God gave us a conscience and didn't make us robots - He gave us the ability to make decisions but also the ability to look to Him and just know what we should do that would glorify God in the end. I know that for me, and I'm sure this is true for many others, that I don't make time for God and to read His word and directions. However, I know that I need to make time for Him because He will help me and never leave me, no matter what pot hole I have gotten myself into and need directions out of or directions to the correct path to choose. Thank-you for this thought-provoking message! I hope that I can play the cards given to me with the best of my ability and with the best knowledge that God can give to me.

  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  10. hey Mr H.

    i agree with that message.
    and sometimes i am one of the ones who want to see what in for me in the future..
    but i realized that i have to trust God, because he already has a plan for me... the BEST plan.
    sometimes.. i have no idea what im supposed to choose.. and i don't really get how im gonna know what God wants for me. until now...
    i still can't figure it out..
    but i know i should just trust in him.. but how would i know.. okay waht im saying is confusing me. lol.
    but people who wants to see the future, even though it isnt time for that.. falls into traps and they dont benefit from it.. and they dont have faith in God.. yeah..

    well thats it

  11. A good way of showing how the world thinks, not just the leaders.
    I think I get it, if I were to know what choices I had to make and the outcome of them then I would know what would be in store for me and I would know the right choices to make(this life would be way too easy to live) and I would feel safe and secure(if this happened, then what would we need God for? there would be practically nobody who would put their faith and trust in God because we would know what would happen and that would give us a sense of security, or maybe they would, this is sooo complicated)but we don't know what is in store for us unless we put our faith in God, even then some things have to stay a mystery. Some people don't believe in God or His Word because they think it is just a hoax or they think that believing in God is just for people who need something to believe in because they(the Christians) have an emotional and spiritual need(and we do have a spiritual need, in a good way), but they keep wanting to know things that only God can answer, all the answers we need are in the Bible but people keep pushing God and the Bible away and instead they are turning to people who study the stars, planets, earth, our palm, animals, ect. when the answers they need are in the Bible. Some answers are not in the Bible, they are choices we have to make, we can ask for God's guidance and pray that we will make the right choice and we have to leave it at that and when we feel like we know what descision to make we make it and we should know if it was the right choice or not. I think our choices in life should not be for us(or against us) but FOR GOD. I mean it is not by our will that we live but by God's will. One of my friends went on a missions trip and she said that GOD-WILLING she would have a safe trip there and back, and you know what? God willed her and her daughter safe travels. It is not by our will but by GOD'S. It took me a while to get that and I still have a hard time with it, it should not be the stars that give us the answers but God should. Like you said Mr Harbridge, the Bible is enough for us, it gives us all the answers that we need and guide us through life and give us eternal life through Christ Jesus. This life I have should not just be mine but God's also.


  12. Hey Mr. Harbridge

    It's Amy

    This is an awesome analogy. I especially like the point you made about the bible not giving us black-and-white, yes or no answers. One thing this concept made me think about was how incredibly dull, safe and predictable life would be if every little question had an obvious answer to be found in the scriptures. People have questions about how God can be all knowing and yet give people free will. Just imagine how much stronger this issue would be if every answer was in fact given to us!

    One thing that I've been learning the hard way recently is that sometimes it's pointless to fight God. You can hold parts of your life back from him all you want - you can't outsmart him. He's the only one who gets to see the hands before they're delt.

  13. Hey Harbridge...

    This is Jon. I got some time to kill, so yeah...I better get my extra credit ;)

    Anyhow I liked your little rant/post/thing. It was pretty cool. I really wanted some fries and ketchup after seeing that first picture. I'm kinda hungry right now.

    As a history buff I liked Morris' analogy of the card game. I think that to continue that metaphor the Bible doesn't give us a look at the deck. It gives us the rules to play by.


    How's that for a witty response!

    Mind you I only skimmed the article so if you already said that that's pretty cool. Great minds think alike and all that...

    ...and fools seldom differ :)

  14. I think that the Bible is relevant, but many people don't think it is anymore, especially teenagers. The Bible often is viewed as a book of dusty old rules. I should hope that people look at the Bible more as a relevant guide on day-to-day life than a book of outdated, irrelevant rules.

  15. Hey Mr Harbridge,

    It's Carolina.

    Personally, I think this was a very inspiring analogy to show us what most people think. I have always been one of those few who...who just thought that seeing the deck was the most important or forseeing the future. Most people just want to make sure they wont make the wrong choices in life but that is not what is important. At least from what I have learned from this analogy, this is not what is important. I think what is important is to not know or try and forsee our future because what if we do know the future? If we knew what every single day in our life was awaiting for us, how could we even rely on God? It is like relying on ourselves, our mind, our knowledge. I think best to do is to let it be and let tomorrow unravel itself instead of trying to seek the future. That way, we can rely on God and wait for God to show us the answers. For example if you had to make a very important decision, even if you made the wrong choice, I don't think the outcome is what is the mostimportant. It is the process of it or if you glorified God through the process, not just thinking of yourself but like you said, showing love to others and doing what we are good at to serve others. This is all based on what I think. =)

    Carolina xD

  16. Hey Mr. H,
    THis is Josh

    I just wanna say that what u said is a very good thing and that we can all apply what you have just said into our lives and live how God wants us to live. God always gives us chances to follow him and stay on the right path with him but we are constantly walking off of it. Thanks for writing this message as it really touches me and has opened my eyes to read the bible in a different way to understand and to put in my heart what the bible (and God) wants me to do to live a near perfect life of God. The poker example was also really cool because i think that your just trying to say to morris is trying to say that we are all people and that if we have to right cards (the bible) but use them poorly (sinning and not repenting) then we will lose (die) but if we have horrible cards (non-christians) but play them well (become a christian and follow God) then we have a very good chance at winning (eternal life). People who have mixtures (are Christians but sin and repent) will sometimes win depending on how they play (repent or not trying their best to keep themselves holy) is this what ur trying to say? cause it really got to me

  17. Hey, Mr. H ,
    Wow that is an amazing analogy. It is really interesting to think that such a simple concept can be so complex and intricate. It is astonishing that you can weave a card game into the meanings of life and its problems. I know from personal experiences when I wished that I had different and better card dealt to me. At other times I know that God is always in control and he know what we can handle. No matter what style of cards you are playing Texas Hold’em or five cards. He will never leave in the middle of a game.

  18. First let me say that when I opened this, I was expecting a boring thing to read and then say my thoughts on. But then, it starts with poker, which just clicked and made so much sense, how we can’t see what cards we will get. In poker, you have to take the bad cards with the good, and the same is in life. The poker thing prompted me to keep reading, and came across, “What the Bible does, is give us itself.” And that hit me; we have the bible, why do we need more answers. I also liked the – hypothetical super bowl where Jesus comes to tell us the answers to life. He would go up to the mike, and say nothing, zip, notta, because there is nothing to say. He would hold up the book, and state clearly “I have given you the word, everything is here, IT IS ENOUGH!!” (And there’s no closing quote on that in the thingy.). And when it says, “It is enough not only to save us for eternity, but to guide us in time” that was like - guiding in time – taking us through every step in everyone’s life. It’s amazing. After that, “The Christian with a Bible in their hand and with the intelligence to use it, has all the guidance they’ll need.” The bible has everything that we’ll ever need, but don’t miss-interpret that into ‘all the answers we ‘want’. The bible doesn’t spell out all the answers, but is help us make the decisions we need to. God wants us to know that he is NOT here to blatantly tell us all the answers, but to help us make our decisions through him.
    ~ Joy R.

  19. HIII MR HARBRIDGE !!! it's megan from gr.9 XD

    It's true about different people have different thoughts since God has created us differently. Although not knowimg what will happen in the future makes us afraid, but that's the reason why we need God. It would be cool to know about the future, but then there would be no point of living it either.

    It's also pretty amazing that God who created the universe acctually have something to say to us, and one of the way is through the Bible.
    Reading the Bible can sometimes tell us what God would do in our situations. But when the Bible doesnt, we could pray and see if we have the peaceful feeling inside our conscience.

  20. Hey Mr.Harbridge!
    it's chrissy. =)

    I agree with that message. And like the others said, I too, admit that im one of those poeple who really wants to know whats in my future. And sometimes, i forget about God, then i remember him and go, "oh right, he holds my future in his hands" blahblah and i know that i have to trust in Him, and i do, its just that... sometimes its really kind of hard for me to just put all my faith on Him. A LOT of times, i wished i had better cards and for a while i would worry about them, but i realize that... God is here. God is always here and he'll never leave me. He's got it in full control. And yeah... i think people don't really understand or try hard enough to understand what the Bible says about us. That's why some of us have trouble in knowing what God wants for us and what He wants us to do... and i also admit, one of those people is me. Im starting to read the Bible more often now and just try to listen and understand so that i can have good understanding on what God wants for me.

  21. Mr. Harbridge,

    I thought Samuel Elliot's comparisson bettween playing cards and life was very interesting. What was especially thought provoking for me was the part that you added to it, about all of the players wanting to catch a glimpse of the deck and know what to expect and what they should make of certain opportunities. This made me wonder: Why does God send dreams and visions to only a small handful of people? I mean, it hardly seems like a fair game if some players get to see part of the deck, but not others? I came to the conclusion that God probably choose to not give everyone the gift of being a prophet because then, when we have questions in life; like you said we will turn to to the Bible and we will talk and pray to God. When we don't know the whole deck of cards we are forced to not be dependant on ourselves, but on God and grow spiritually through that. As Samuel Elliot once said: " I think I might have been a more interesting actor, had more of a career earlier on, if I had more of formal preparation. When I see something ten years later that I was in I think 'Boy, would I love to do that over.'" So, because we can never acheive perfection and often regret decisions, we often look for more preparation for future challenges and come back to the Bible. I also enjoyed the sentence " It is HIS unfolding drama & we are priviledged to be part of his story." I agree that we often do get so caught in our own personal lives, that we forget that we are part of the bigger picture- of God's story. At times I think I must be acting so disrespectful towards God. I imagine him saying " Don't you realise that this is my story and I am looking out for you? I'm in control- don't you realise that I am the author and you can trust in me?"

  22. hey Mr. H...
    I love this post. I think it's really true. Some Christians don't care of Bible or God, because they only remember of them when they need help. God's love is soo great that he accepted all sinners and he still helped even you only went to him when you help.

    Thanks God for all the helps, love, and cares he gace me.

  23. Hey mr. Harbridge,
    its Charlotte
    i totally agree with this post. i think that people usually rely on the themselves instead of thinking to put their trust in God and thinking that he has a plan for us and allowing him to work his plan through us. Also everyone wants help in life and to see the future but i believe that we shouldn't do that but know that God has a plan for us. As well as, i really agree with how the bible doesn't tell you any answers to how to live your life but we just have to judge it by ourselves. the only thing the bible is there for is for God to guide us with and for God to hope that we take the messages in the bible in the right way and apply it in our lives. I just have to remember that we are 'dealt' with both bad and good cards and we have to be happy about it and make the best out of it because that is truely the smart way to do things. There is no use in being bitter about them because those things are what is given to you and you can't change it. you just have to embrace the fact that thats all you have but God is looking after you from above. Personally though, i must say that i always try to make the best out of bad situations but sometimes i just can't and unfortunatley i sometimes blame God and ask him why i deserve them. but i know it's really wrong to think this way. Also, i find myself sometimes always wanting to know the answers of my future. i always want to see how my future will end and like how my life will be. but now i realize that if knew the answer then there will be no purpose in living because there we be no surprises.i also realize there is no point fighting and blaming God because he always wins in the end.
    yeah... those are my thoughts...

  24. Heyyyyyy Mr Harbridge

    I agree with this article because the world is way to busy to let God into their lives. THe people cannot wait for God to show them the way that they just go on ahead without God like the poker exmaple. Some people use their lives well and lives for God is like the people with bad hands but walking away as winners but people who are just to busy for God and does not bother to talk to him and let him deal the cards then even though you get very good cards you will come out as a loser

    GOod MESsage

    Grade 9 Block A English 9
    BY: Adriel Chan

  25. Heyy Mr.Harbridge

    hahaha =) ii just found the websitee >=(
    anyways hope it not too LATE.

    I agree with that message. It is really true. Life is full of goods and bads just like a game, something i want to know what my furture will be like. I remember i watched a movie called paycheck and inside the main guy said one thing, If someone sees their future then they WON'T have a future anymore. What I think is although it is really scacy not to know the "cards" you will get in life, but I see it as a challenge that God gives us to see how we can turn the GAME around and learn to trust and WIN the game.
    I see it as a lesson not to complain or want what you CANT GET, and just work with what you've got =)

    In this Example, i can see 3 types of people. Those who SIT AND WATCH, those who TRY their best and TRUST (true christian) or those who complain and wants MORE than winning ( non-Christian).
    Life is never a SAFE GAME. Got to take a chance (leap of FAITH)


  26. Hey, Mr. H ,
    Wow that is an amazing analogy. It is really interesting to think that such a simple concept can be so complex and intricate. It is astonishing that you can weave a card game into the meanings of life and its problems. I know from personal experiences when I wished that I had different and better card dealt to me. At other times I know that God is always in control and he know what we can handle. No matter what style of cards you are playing Texas Hold’em or five cards. He will never leave in the middle of a game.

  27. Hey Mr. Harbridge!

    Wow! That was really inspirational! I wasn't expecting that to be so deep. Anyway, it's so true that people want to see the cards ahead of time, like there are even some people (ex. fortunetellers) who devote their life around trying to figure out what will happen before it does! I think that if we knew what was going to happen there would be no surprises, no anticipation, and nothing to look forward to. Life is supposed to be full of surprises! :)
    I think God wants us to make our own decisions and learn from them and grow deeper in our faith. We just have to remember that God is the only one we can rely on and put our faith in because HE is the only one that knows what the cards are going to be before they are dealt to us.
    I also enjoyed your analogy of Jesus coming for one day and we all watch him on TV at GM place. Then wait anxiously to here what he says about how to live your lives and all he does is say that it's all in the Bible! I had never really thought of it that way. I was always taught and I always knew the Bible was God's word, but what did that exactly mean? God didn't write it so how is it His word? Know I fully understand that God has given us the Bible as guidance in our lives and in each chapter there is a lesson to be learned, even though the lesson may be hard to find sometimes because the Bible is so complex. I'm definitely going to start reading my Bible more often!

    Thanks so much Mr. Harbridge!!
    You really are an awesome teacher! :)

    ~ Marie ~

  28. Hey Mr.H!
    This is Brian!

    I have to say that this is a very profound(lol)message here. I really liked the way Morris compared the ways of life to a poker game. I often regret about things I've done and think that I could've handled this much better, if I knew that this was going to happen back than. I think that people turn to palm reading and other superstitious beliefs so they can have a small glimpse of their future. I often fall into temptations to try these things because when I'm vulnerable. To keep away from these things I believe that I should read the bible more often. After all, bible is the words of God and it will help me to make decisions throughout my life.
    That was some cool stuff you wrote on there!
    -Brian Lee

  29. Hey Mr. H
    this is Jowin
    I hope its not too late to post a comment and get some extra marks but yah...
    This passage thingy was really really difficult to understand. I shall give you two responces, one from a non believer and one from a person brought up in a Christian background. Ok...
    As a "non beliver" I agree that being humans all of us want to know what is coming and not let God control my life.
    And from a Christiany brought up person. I think that humans rely on themselves instead of putting their trust in God and letting him work out his plan for us. I agree that the bible doesn't tell you any answers to how to live your life but have to make us think about what God is trying to say. The bible is there for God to speak to us and help us in our struggles. yah... i'm tired bi
    - Jowin

  30. Wow that was an amazing message. i really like how you described the world leaders to the poker game. it was a really good example. I do feel like sometimes that i want to know what i am going to do the rest of my life. i want to know all the details about everything. God doesn't want us to know everything, that way we can figure it out on the way and continue to ask for His help. We should listen to God more closely and trust Him with all our hearts.

    Thanks mr H

  31. That was a really great message that you did. I thought that it was a cool resemblance between the world leaders and the poker game. It really shows me all that stuff. Sometimes i wish that i could know everything all the time. For example, i wish i could know what i am going to be when i grow up, and where am i going to go. I worry alot about nothing really and i wish i could know what will be happening. But i now realize that we have to wait for God. God knows everything in the world, we shouldnt waste our time worrying. God has a plan for us. We need to understand the bible and what it tells us. Trust in God