Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Who Is This?

I know - I haven't been posting here as often this year as in previous ones. I can find all kinds of excuses - and a couple of good reasons, but just wanted you to know that I have been sharing our Lord in other ways.

First has been our ladies' mission group, Together We Can Change Lives. We bring our change in jars (or baggies, or simply dump purses!), combining them with fundraisers through the year and provide assistance to missionaries our church supports: a home/school for boys; orphans in another land; homeless in our own area, meal and snack bags, clothing; warm clothing for Native Americans. We make a wide variety of handmade crafts, too, for a fall craft sale.

This year I choose to make zippered pouches, which didn't sell all that well until I thought of machine-embroidering names/words on them. First ones didn't sell well, and it wasn't because they were the first I made. Second batch did better, with words - first sold was "Mine." Worked well. Then I offered to personalize them - and I had to order a couple dozen zippers three time!

By our end of year sale in December, we had done at least one project each month direct to missionaries and raised over $3,000 in sales to provide funding for their projects. For me, that's a good year, even if I didn't post here much.

I did get some good Bible verses out on my Facebook account. Under my real name. I need to get one under Grammy Blick, too, I guess. The verses leading up to Christmas were my favorites because they pointed to exactly who that baby in the manger was, however, the .gif files won't load from my laptop, so here's what lay atop backgrounds:

And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? (Matthew 21:10 KJV)

People still ask that question - wondering why something 2000 years ago could possible be important today. Who would be interested in the birth of a baby when no one can prove it happened? Something to do with an old myth that goes back even longer, and needy people buy into it because their lives are miserable without hope. Why think about this? Just head to the mall or go online and get the shopping done. But other verses explain:

While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. (Matthew 17:5 KJV)

That's not the only verse where God speaks directly of His son, but it's just about my favorite. God inspired others to write of Him, too:

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6 KJV)

"The mighty God." Now, there's a verse to remember. The Child will be equal to God - and that will get Him killed. We can't celebrate Christmas without knowledge of the crucifixion and resurrection.

Still, once a year we may take time from that busy shopping season where we are expected to overspend and keep our faltering economy moving forward. When we do, decide what your answer is for the "Who is this?" Would you believe what God, prophets and angels said:

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, (Luke 2:9-13 KJV)

Or what God revealed to one man:

And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 16:16-17 KJV)

That's what I believe.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

It’s Not Always The Bible . . .


Photo taken by Raysonho – Wikipedia Commons

. . . that brings our thoughts back to where they should be. This morning it was a book’s paragraph, written by an author I’ve followed for decades.

Two characters in the book were discussing relationships with mothers, but in a Christian aspect, it is applicable in a number of relationships:

'"The problem is, your mother was someone who wanted to do everything by the book . . . and she could never quite bring herself to appreciate a daughter to insisted on coloring outside the lines. Mine, either."' she added quietly.'

I, too, am someone who sees things black and white. I've read the black and white:

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Romans 3:23 KJV)

And am consistently reminded:

For the wages of sin is death;

Yet seldom reminded that particular verse continues with a promise:

but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
(Romans 6:23 KJV)

So a trip back to those same black and white verses quoted by men who heard Jesus’ words, along with a question: Just what did Jesus do with people He called sinners?

Try Matthew 9:2-5, or Mark 2:5-9, or Luke 5:18-24 for the same story. Another is shown in Luke 7:36-50. Still another  in John 5:1-17. Another mentions the sinfulness, but doesn’t point it out to the sinner nor absolve her of it, just opens the door to her understanding in John 4:1-42.

So Jesus is more than capable of recognizing sin – He is in the business of forgiving sins. Christians don’t doubt that, and we expect Him to forgive ours. But after acknowledging that, what are we supposed to do?

Let’s start with the important commandments.  Jesus had been able to silence the Sadducees who believed this life is all mankind has – there was no heaven, nor hell. Matthew 22 tells how that was done, and follows with Jesus’ confrontation with Pharisees who depend upon their compliance with the Law to enter heave. Jesus condensed the Jewish law into two:

But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:34-40 KJV)

I can add a note that sometimes Christians get this, but too often we don’t when we believe another has broken them. We tell ourselves we have righteous anger because that other person has openly broken one or both of those two commandments.

May I remind myself (and you, along the way) that I am not to: 1) forgive sin;

For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. (Hebrews 10:30 KJV)

and 2) make anyone else regret their sin;

Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: (Luke 6:37 KJV)

Study the fullness of the message in Matthew 7 and Luke 6, keeping in mind this one description Jesus gave of His followers:

By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (John 13:35 KJV)

Monday, October 16, 2017

So You Want To Be A Foot?

(My apologies for not knowing the source of this beautiful graphic)
There are many people in our world who will tell you that you can be anything you want to be – there are no limits to what you can achieve. All that is needed is to set and achieve goals, a step at a time and never, ever, give up your dream. You will read stories from and of people who have followed these instructions and are multiply-successful in all phases of their lives. I’m not refuting their stories at all.

No way I’d attempt to prove their stories right or wrong – it was theirs to live and to share.  But what if someone wanted to be a foot and instead should have been an ear?
Not familiar with that concept? Come see a few scriptures. Sunday’s sermon included verses from I Corinthians 12. Paul is writing to a church that needs a few lessons. Just as we still need a few lessons today.

Paul knew scriptures very well, and used Isaiah 52:7 in a letter to Romans:

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! (Romans 10:14-15 KJV)

There are a lot of people who feel they want to be the one to use their feet to preach Christ’s gospel of peace, bringing glad tidings of God’s redemption. But not all people should be missionaries – though all have a mission.  Take Paul’s examples in Chapter 12.

Paul is describing a single body – the total body of believers in Christ – being made of multiple parts. God has given us all gifts:

And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. (1 Corinthians 12:6-7 KJV)
Paul describes some of the gifts the Holy Spirit works within us. That does not make one “better” or “worse”, either. Whatever our calling, whatever our gift, wherever we work for our Lord, we still do it as one body:

If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? (1 Corinthians 12:15 KJV)

While there is a whole study in this one chapter, and I encourage spending time here, relating to ourselves and our own gifts from God, the final verse here leads into a beautiful chapter that applies to all:

But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way. (1 Corinthians 12:31 KJV)

Yes – the chapter showing the description and importance of Love.

So – what if you wanted to be a beautiful foot but your calling is simply to show love to all around you? There’s an answer in the Old Testament:

For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?  (Esther 4:14 KJV)

I do not wish there to be enlargement and deliverance from another place when I was placed for a specific time. What’s your opinion?

Friday, October 13, 2017



Not yet called Christians, Jesus’ followers heard Him say:

Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. (Mark 11:24-26 KJV)

There’s another example:

Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. (Matthew 18:15-17 KJV)

One more:

Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. (Matthew 5:23-24 KJV)

Sounds as though it’s rather important. There are examples of this at work in the letters of the New Testament.  There the discussions are among those who were first called Christians at Antioch, and the word still applies to those who follow Jesus, God’s Christ.

I'm picking one I've been reading for the rest of this blog - Paul and John Mark.  Half the story of Paul and John Mark (yes, the Mark that wrote the book, and the nephew of Barnabas) is told in Acts 15:36-41.  It began with John Mark leaving "Paul and his company" in Acts 13:13.

The end of the story shows them reconciled in II Timothy 4:9-11, where Paul is giving closing instructions:

Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me: For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry. (2 Timothy 4:9-11 KJV)

Here we see that Mark is profitable to Paul in continuing his ministry while Paul is in prison. They worked out a reconciliation.

But someone else moved away – this time Demas left, “having loved this present world.” The Bible does not tell what caused the rift between Demas, who in Colossians 4 and Philemon 1, is named as Paul’s companion, just as Luke and Mark are.

All those words, and the examples. Do they make an impression on us? Or do we not hold out a hand of reconciliation? Do we have to do it on every occasion? Let me leave that last question for the next blog. I need to spend time myself on this one. Rereading. Praying.

Thursday, October 12, 2017


This has shown up several times across the web. The accompanying comments usually state a professor is wearing the T-shirt and had students that stated the second type was missing.

I thought there could be a lesson here and found a good example in John 3 while studying. The Pulpit Commentary discusses what scholars had to say about Jesus’ knowledge of Nicodemus’ reason for coming to Him:
A controversy has arisen on the point—Did our Lord, by these penetrative glances, manifest his Divine nature, assume a Divine prerogative, or exercise a lofty, penetrative human gift? Westcott, on the philological ground of the contrast in meaning between γινώσκειν and εἰδέναι, urges that the former word, used here, represents knowledge acquired by processes of inquiry and perception, as distinct from the latter, which is reserved for absolute and settled knowledge. Godet, on theological grounds, urges that the phrase refers to the human faculty of observation rather than to the Divine prerogative of heart-searching. There are, however, many other indications of this same thought-mastery, which the evangelists appear to regard as proofs of Divine power; so that I think the real significance of the passage is an ascription to Jesus of Divine power. The supernatural in mind, the superhuman mental processes of Jesus, are part of the proof we have that, though he was Man, he created the irresistible impression that he was more than man.
It helps to know the different connotations between γινώσκειν and εἰδέναι, but that goes very deep into theological studies.  While I find them interesting, no controversial discussions have changed my mind that Jesus is the promised Messiah, supernaturally created by God.

I believe Nicodemus “extrapolated”, or extended his knowledge of God’s work with the Jews to include Jesus’ actions, assuming the miraculous occurrences were a continuing trend of God’s intervention in mankind. I believe we can extrapolate across the centuries, based on the wide range of eye witness writers during that first century as well as the number of theologians who have studied those writings, that what we see of God’s work in our lives is a continuation, too.

Although there have been detractors and deniers, The Bible continues to be a best seller around the world. People read it, study it, pray with it, define their days with it, and best of all – share it with others. That’s all Peter and Paul did as they reached Jews and gentiles – witness to others their personal experiences with Christ.

Peter means to me that we can err and return. Paul means to me that we can be willfully involved in fighting Christ and meeting Him, follow in service. While I love reading Hebrews’ 11th chapter, that list of Judaic faithful, I love even better:

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2 KJV)

We’ve had another two-thousand years to see additional faithful join that great cloud of witnesses. We’ve also seen some who failed, miserably, taking others with them. Stick with the full story of God’s gift to us – because He loves us. Read more in the Bible.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Two Paths, One Witness


Yes, they knew each other – and they both are Jews who lived in the first part of the first century. It appears they were about the same age, but they were very different men.

We know quite about about Peter’s family because he and his brother, Andrew, were workers in the family business. It was Andrew who first heard John the Baptist introduce Jesus – perhaps attending Jesus’ baptism. Andrew told his brother and instead of following the family business, these fishermen became “fishers of men.”

And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. (Matthew 4:19-20 KJV)

The next three years were tumultuous. People were divided. Sides were taken. Peter was very vocal about his support of Jesus. Immediately following Jesus’ telling the disciples of His death and resurrection, Peter says:

Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended. (Matthew 26:33 KJV)

Open your Bible to that verse – read the previous, then read Jesus’ response. Then turn to Matthew 26:69-75 to read the rest of that particular story.

One of the detractors of this band of Christ followers was Saul. He describes himself as the “Hebrew of Hebrews”:

Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; (Philippians 3:5 KJV)

He continues in the following verses to confess as to his persecution of Christ’s followers, but the best of the story is found in Acts, chapter 9. What a tremendous event it had to be to change this man’s heart! He had to be struck blind before he could see.

Those are the two paths taken to reach an understanding of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, but they pretty much give the same witness.

It comes earlier in Acts, Peter’s witness, Acts 2:1-36. Yes, I’ll include the link, but I really wish you would pick up your Bible and read those verses, then flip over to Acts 26:1-29 and compare Paul’s witness.

Both witnesses tell fully the verses Jesus said to Nicodemus:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:16-18 KJV)

Do you know Christians today who give the very same heart witness account that these eyewitnesses gave? It is the message Jesus Himself gave then and gives now.  Begin there, and learn about Him if you haven’t before.  If you have met and love Him, please go tell someone so they can do the same.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

The Invitation


That’s not a very informative invitation, is it? We would want to know what, when, where and pretty much who else is going to be there. We might not want to spend time with some of the others, right? Sort of picky about who we spend time with. Why not? Time is valuable and there are some people who simply take up your time without providing entertainment, enlightenment or even companionship.

So we look at invitations, and turn some down.

Would the host come looking for you? Of course not! How silly. The host would understand that this particular event was not something that drew your interest.

What if you found out later that it was a marvelous occasion! Many of your friends, some of your most liked relatives (along with some you really didn’t want to spend time with, though) accepted the host’s invitation and not only had a wonderful time – they were still there! Imagine that. Didn’t even call out to you and let you know that this was simply not to be missed. What would you do?

Here it comes. The Bible verses you knew just had to be here – this is a blog to encourage Bible reading. You knew that when you surfed here, didn’t you? Pick up your Bible and turn to Matthew 22:1-14. (Yes, there’s the regular link. I know some of you really don’t like to pick up a Bible. I make it easy for you.)

Have you heard that story before? I see two or three applications, but the one I want to write about today addresses those who believe 1) there is no God – thus, no hell; 2) there is a God – and everyone goes to heaven; 3) there is a God – who sends people to hell.

The Bible teaches heaven and hell. The Bible teaches those who die go to one or the other. The Bible teaches how we get to where we are going.

The Bible teaches why God created hell:

. . . Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: (Matthew 25:41 KJV)

Hell was not created for humanity. It was created for the angels that did not wish to be in His presence. There are humans who do not wish to be in His presence, either. They have turned down His invitation.

I’ve known one or two that specifically denied the existence of a supreme being. Yet, when they passed, their friends said, “They’ve gone to a better place.” Heard that on television recently. “He’s in a better place.” I have not found a definition regarding this better place – unless it comes from a person who believes all are going to heaven. Unfortunately, no religion has ever promised that.

Got sends out invitations:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:16-18 KJV)

God does not send people to hell. They simply turned down His invitation to be in His presence. Why would He force them to spend eternity with Him when they turned down every invitation He sent?

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Don’t Ask WWJD

You can find the jewelry all over the web. The initials remind us to ask ourselves, “What would Jesus do?” then we are to follow His example.

May I suggest we change the word “would” to “did”? Just for a little while we need to ask ourselves:  What did Jesus do?

What did Jesus do about going to religious services?

And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. (Luke 4:16 KJV)

Not only had Jesus built the custom of attending the synagogue, He took His turn reading scripture.  I wish you would take the time to read this entire scene (Luke 4:16-21) to see that He understood what He read.

What did Jesus do about saying a blessing before He ate?

And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. (Luke 24:30 KJV)

This is only one of many verses that affirm Jesus blessed food before eating.  This one is my favorite because of the entire story – which takes a bit more reading (Luke 24:13-22). Has nothing to do with blessing the food, but a lot to do with understanding Jesus.

What did Jesus do about praying for what He wanted?

And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. (Matthew 26:39 KJV)

In Hebrews (12:2) we are told Jesus endured the shame of the cross. He knew it was coming and He knew shame and what physical torture there would be. Yet the end of this first of three prayers for the very same thing, He bent to God’s will.

What did Jesus do when asked about God’s the most important commandment?

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. (Matthew 22:37-38 KJV)

He gave the same answer that echoed from the time God created the heavens and the earth. However, He went a step further and continued the explanation:

And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:39-40 KJV)

Jesus did not stop with answering the initial question. He moved on to the next step in God’s commandments, giving only two reasons for all the law and all the prophecies in the Bible. Two reasons that will answer all the questions about what Jesus DID do.

That should also provide for us the answers for:  What should I do that will follow Jesus’ example? Love God with all myi heart and my neighbors as myself. What Jesus did do is based entirely on those two ideals.

Yes. Totally applicable in this day and age, too.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Past Whispers For Today

For this to make sense (sort of), yesterday’s post is a lead in. The concept came from a magazine article that asked about “the biggest challenge facing evangelical churches today” and the person being interviewed,Carl Trueman, answered:
How can the church, when it has one or maybe two hours on a Sunday, truly shape people’s minds and characters, when there is so much in the wider culture that is now directly antithetical to Christian ethics and Christian ways of thinking? (“WORLD Magazine”, September 30, 2017, Page 25 printed copy)
The Question and Answer session was an interview in front of students at Patrick Henry College. The topic was Trueman’s book about Martin Luther, as the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation approaches. 

One of the results of the Reformation was the printing of Bibles in common languages and the speakers of those languages reading it on their own. I have personally spoken with people who believe that was – and remains – an error. That only theological training makes a person able to interpret the Bible correctly.

For many, having it in their own language did not open the book for them to read. The majority of the people could not read – that was for the upper class. Today, there should be no educational system that does not teach students the ability to read for themselves.

The Bible was written by a number of different men who tell us over and over it was inspired by God, to carry His word down centuries for us. Paul mentioned the old writings:

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. (Romans 15:4 KJV)

Paul wrote of them all:

But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. (John 20:31 KJV)

Peter speaks of Paul’s writings being equated with scripture:

And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. (2 Peter 3:15-16 KJV)

My favorite was written by John – author of several of the Bible’s books:

But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. (John 20:31 KJV)

That last is the very same reason I return to this blog and write a bit more, sharing not only what I read – and study – but what I believe. Every once in a while I ask: What do you believe?

Monday, October 2, 2017


When I was a child, it was called “Telephone Game.” Wikipedia tells us:
Chinese whispers—known as telephone in the United States—is an internationally popular children's game, in which the players form a line and the first person in the line whispers a message to the ear of the next person in the line, and so on, until the last player is reached, who announces the message to the entire group.
I don’t know if children play it today. If there is a variation of it, I’m certain it’s no longer called Telephone, simply because that word isn’t in use in today’s vernacular.

Words do take on meaning changes across generations, and that’s one of the problems facing explaining why I read a Bible that still uses thee, thou, wouldst, gathereth, etc. I don’t have a problem with those words – my mind translates them as easily as it translates si, nyet, nien, claro que se, por favor and a multitude of other words I’ve read and/or studied.

Years ago I learned that:
Porque de tal manera amó Dios al mundo, que ha dado a su Hijo unigénito, para que todo aquel que en él cree, no se pierda, mas tenga vida eterna. (Reference)
meant the same thing as:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (Reference)
Most people who have attended Sunday School for more than a month could tell you that is John 3:16. If they attended for a year or more, they can tell you those were words Jesus said. It would take longer for them to know that they were said in a conversation – even longer to recall He was speaking to Nicodemus, a “ruler of the Jews.”

It takes even longer to get to the point one remembers the following verses:

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:17-18 KJV)

If the verses, even repeating all three, make their way around the “whisper game”, they’ve been known to come out resembling:
Wow, God loves us so much that His Son died for our sins and we are not condemned to hell but will have everlasting life!!
Isn’t that an awesome message? One that everyone can accept simply because love conquers all?
Regrettably, a full reading of the chapter does not leave us with that ending of the “whisper game.” A full reading of the Bible doesn’t, either.

Have you ever taken a walk with someone? Often, you go where they want you to, not your first choice. You discuss with them what you want them to hear, but you are expected to listen to them, too. Direct from them, not through the “whisper game.” Direct conversation – an odd idea when combined with a deity, isn’t it? But there’s a whole book where such conversations take place. A standard set for knowing if the conversation does take place, too.

How do we know we should walk and talk with our God?

He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? (Micah 6:8 KJV)

Go ahead, read the surrounding verses. Read the book. Find out where/when/why it was written. Does it apply today? I believe it does, since God first walked with His creation:

And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. (Genesis 3:8 KJV)

I’ve run out of time – and over my regular word count. I’ll continue tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Cantaloupe Rows

Looks pretty good, doesn’t it? Have you grown a few? A lot? Yesterday I thought about how many we had grown (and given away – not enough to sell, too many to eat) and how many grow around our community. The soil is right around here and it’s nice to purchase local produce. But, a lot of work goes into placing these on our tables.

It’s been on my mind since yesterday’s funeral. A 17-year-old soon-to-be-junior in high school died in an accident on the farm road we use often. I had seen him with his Mom, Dad, and sister at our combined church services July 2. His Dad had been our church’s youth minister several years ago and is now pastor at another local church.

As with every human on this planet, he was unique. No one else has an exact backstory, no one else experienced the same incidents in the same order/timeframe. He took no one’s place, no one can take his place, and he left his mark on hundreds of lives. His Dad told us some of their stories while we grieved, yet celebrated his life.

He worked in cantaloupe fields. To do so, he needed a good shade hat and a hoe. The task is removing weeds down one row, then turn around at the end and remove weeds down the next row, repeating repeatedly. He questioned, “Why?” and was told it allowed the plants to grow good fruit. It was hard to understand when there were only greenery around him and it all appeared to be weeds. His Dad was right – soon there were blooms which turned into small green fruit. The weeding became easier as the plants and fruit grew and he took pride in doing his work.

There were many more stories, but this one lends itself so well as a biblical example. When we realize our sins and accept God made plans for us, it is fairly easy that first day to begin walking down the rows of our life and remove sinful deed/thoughts. Too soon, it becomes hard to differentiate between fruit bearing plans and weeds in our life. Paul wrote of something similar:

I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: (Galatians 1:6 KJV)

It happens to many. Some early in their walk with the Lord, some later. Some so serious they sit down in defeat, some continue slowly, and others appear to keep that hoe moving down the rows successfully. None of that matters as to how we do our own. We are not responsible for them, only for ourselves. Nothing I do, say or write can change one person – but it might make them think.

For me the story is one of perseverance. I know the physical work paid off because he eventually started a company of his own, putting friends to work. Even in high school he was offered a job that would grow into a career, had he lived.

More importantly, he was taught integrity, responsibility, the difference between doing right and doing wrong. From his friends we heard examples of the application of those lessons. Most importantly, he learned the difference between saying he was a Christian so he would “fit in” with friends in church – and actually accepting that Christ was his needed way, truth and life. It takes faith to express that change to the people he knew and loved. He did that this past winter.

John explained why he wrote. He mentioned it twice – in John 20:31 and again:

These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. (1 John 5:13 KJV)

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16 KJV)

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Running Out Of Material?

There are a lot of fears, but I did not realize so many of them had their own phobia word.  I wasn’t aware that someone could fear running out of reading material. With so many books available digitally. From Free eBooks Project Gutenberg (and app for all kinds of devices) along with Amazon’s Kindle books that are free or extremely reasonable (again, their Kindle app runs on most all devices) you can read old, new, classic, ridiculous.  The choice is yours.

Plus, I’ve never run out of reading material with my Bible. I’ve mentioned in the past that e-Sword is my favorite. Used to be a free app, but I understand there is a cost on iPhone and Android, but the pc version (excellent for studying) is still free. I use another app on my Samsung tablet due to limitations and there are numerous other apps available (yes, next time I’m buying more memory!!! It’s bad enough not having enough memory in my head – not having it on devices is frustrating. And, my fault.)

If you’ve read through the Bible and think you’re done, forget that and add a commentary to your reading. It’s easy with e-Sword to have the biblical text up along side a commentary on that text. Reading them together brings up questions. Did I miss something that the commentator saw? Was the author right – or do I disagree? If I disagree, why? Can I back up my premise with another verse? Does it impact the context?

All those questions slow down the reading – and increases the comprehension.  I was reminded to day how important context is. Supposing someone one told you:  “It’s in the Bible, and I believe it”, using this verse to prove they will receive all they want by worshipping:

And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. (Matthew 4:9 KJV)

It’s in the Bible. People who accept the Bible as true will have to defend it, won’t they? I will uncategorically state, I will not fall down and worship as this verse requires.  I’ve read the rest of the story, the verses surrounding this one, and know it is taken out of context to prove one thing – lies. Of course, taken in context, Matthew 4:1-11, it proves to be a lie. A huge lie.

One of the biggest lies is connected to:

Judge not, that ye be not judged. (Matthew 7:1 KJV)

How can that be separated from the verse that immediately follows:

For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. (Matthew 7:2 KJV)

One last thought – I do not believe we are to judge whether or not a person is a Christian. A parable gives the best example. We are instructed to share the gospel, shake off dust if we are not heard and are told another will do the judging as to who heard and obeyed:

And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. (John 12:47-48 KJV)

If you’ve read this far, I know you aren’t abibliophobic – you found more to read! There’s always reading waiting for us in the Bible.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Almost Twenty-five Years Later

Do you know what you had for breakfast November 14, 1992? I know what I ate because a letter surfaced. On that day, my grandson wrote my parents about a trip I took with him and his sister.

My grandchildren weren’t certain what to call Dad, so instead of great-grandpa, he told them, “Just call me Old Bill.” No, his name wasn’t Bill or even William. I have no idea where that came from, but all the family used it from the time the first grandson used it. So the letter was addressed to Old Bill and Grandma Maye. He was pretty specific about who went on the trip, where we went and what we did.

We took pictures, of course, using their “Kodaks Fun Saver 35 Cameras”, one for each of them. I don’t know if I could put my fingers on those photos right now, but his 8-page letter brought the memories back in full color.

A microcosm of the Dead Sea Scrolls, waiting two thousand years for discovery. While none of the letters Paul, Peter or John wrote about that same time frame. But – their letters were copied and shared from one church to another, one city to another, carried by one Christian to another.

Within a very short period of time, comparatively speaking, the letters were compiled into one history of Jesus’ time here on earth, along with His apostles’ letters to churches. Those letters were designed to carry the good news around the world – and that has been successful. Can you recite John 3:16? Billions can. Along with Genesis 1:1, Matthew 22:37-40, Psalm 23 – hundreds of scriptures, and one that tells us why they exist:

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16 KJV)

My grandson’s letter was profitable to regain memories and it holds truth – but no doctrine, no correction no instructions. Yet it is pleasurable to read and remember.

How much better it is to read scripture and learn of the beliefs spoken by Jesus. Uncertain about it? Do as the Bereans did:

These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. (Acts 17:11 KJV)

Why? Even that is covered in the scriptures:

But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. (John 20:31 KJV)

That is my prayer for people I love who do not believe, and I tremble for their souls.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

My Apologies - my blog was hacked

I do apologize for anyone who stopped by responding to a weird post. No - I haven't posted advertisements, but it appears my blog was hacked.

I regret any notifications you might have received under my name and will work to get this corrected as soon as possible.

Thank you for understanding. And for accepting my apologies.

Grammy Blick

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Lazarus – and the Rich Man


Do you remember the story?  A painter tells it in three panels. The first panel covers:

There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. (Luke 16:19-21 KJV)

Then we move to the second panel:

And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; (Luke 16:22 KJV)

But the third covers a great deal more information – a conversation:

And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. (Luke 16:23-25 KJV)

If we buffet-pick from scripture, we could just read these verses and determine if we have riches in this life, we will not in the next; and reverse, if we have bad in this life, we will have good in the next. However, that’s not the end of the story. Through the gulf between them, the rich man begs:

Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. (Luke 16:27-31 KJV)

“Though one rose from the dead.” We can certainly believe this part, can’t we.  We each know loved ones who have not responded to any of the scriptures – except to brow-beat Christians who fail to do what they deem scriptures require. We all fail to meet the perfection that is our example in Jesus, and we are all grateful that our salvation depends on Him, not our actions.

I do know of many who believed in His resurrection – they saw Him. The disciples. Crowds of people. Most emphatically, Saul. They wrote what they had seen and told others who told others for millennia and now it’s down to us. We each have the choice to read the scriptures, be persuaded by the prophets and listen to the one who rose from the dead. Or, not.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Fear Not – it’s not just for Christmas


Somewhere I’ve read that there are 365 verses in the Bible that tell us not to fear. Other’s have felt enough curiosity to do some research. One’s a blogging pastor’s wife, who created a printable list less than 365; another is a blogging Christian author, who found more than 365.

I haven’t verified either, but with the help of, I could list all the 62 KJV verses specifically state “Fear not.” That’s enough for me to continue with the theme that beautiful graphic put in my mind.

Fear not. Most of the things we fear are unknown, aren’t they. We anticipate future events and conjure up what can possibly go wrong – or, is it as my children say, I’m the one mother that lived by a personal variation of Murphy’s law:  Anything can go wrong and when it does it will happen at the worst possible moment and circumstances.

Yet – I believe the book that tells me about the God who knows all.

I believe Him when He inspired:

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. (Jeremiah 29:11 KJV)

He was speaking specifically to Israel, but we know He is omnipotent and knows the plans for us, too. He also inspired:

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 KJV)

There is nothing in that verse – or any other – that tells us we won’t have troubles, but it will work for good. Nothing to fear there, because we’ve read the rest of the story and know that the Lamb wins. I read two good book on that very subject – Revelation and “And the Lamb Wins.” Both those books speak of lots of trouble. Yet, we are to fear not.

What kind of troubles may we expect? Read the Bible and see what examples are laid out before us. I suggest beginning in Hebrews 11:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. (Hebrews 11:1-2 KJV)

Read the next couple of chapters and learn about these elders – then look them up in the Old Testament and learn more about their lives. There were rough patches, weren’t there?

How about God’s only begotten son? He’s an example in Hebrews, too:

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2 KJV)

He knew, as He sweat great drops as of blood that there would be joy following the coming pain and shame. He knows what is in store for us:

Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12:32 KJV)

Still – for all the good words found in God’s book, I love the ones that not only were spoken to remove fear but to provide promises:

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:10-11 KJV)

Which causes me still to pray in gratefulness:

Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift. (2 Corinthians 9:15 KJV)

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Does It Matter?

A nice meme, isn’t it? I saw it posted and it sounded good – for a moment. Treat others nicely and all is well. Unfortunately, it doesn’t match what I’ve learned over my lifetime and I have a few questions – along with some biblical background.

First – why doesn’t it matter how many Sundays you sit in church? Doesn’t the Bible tell us:

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. (Hebrews 10:25 KJV)

And, didn’t we learn from our Saviour how the example was set:

And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. (Luke 4:16 KJV)

Yes – Jesus was accustomed to attending worship services.

Second – it doesn’t matter if you think you are saved? Once again, I turn to my Bible, where it tells me why it was written:

But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. (John 20:31 KJV)

The most memorized verse is from that same book:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  (John 3:16 KJV)

Two optional outcomes: perish, or everlasting life.  One way (even if it does appear to be exclusive, remember that “whosoever believeth”):

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6 KJV)

Third – God really does see what you do and how you treat people:

But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. (Matthew 12:36-37 KJV)

There are many verses that outlines God’s requirements beyond John 3:16. One of my favorites is:

Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? (Micah 6:7-8 KJV)

My conclusion is similar to Solomon’s, so I’ll use his words:

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. (Ecclesiastes 12:13 KJV)

Jesus gave us God’s definition of His commandments:

Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:36-40 KJV)

Please take time to read the Bible to confirm that what I’ve included here is correctly quoted and in context. Church attendance is helpful, but not necessary. It will by natural course follow salvation and the desire to love God with all our heart. There is no doubt in my mind that salvation is important and is not determined by how we treat other people, but how we treat them in accordance with God’s command.

Do you see it differently?

Monday, May 8, 2017

Vessels For . . . ?


The King James Version of the Bible was translated from a number of sources, none as old as the Great Isaiah Scroll found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. These scrolls are older than the New Testament, but they do show how carefully the books of the Old Testament were preserved for over two thousand years. We have clay jars and a dry climate to thank for that.

Simple clay vessels. Seems as though there should be a spiritual thought there, right? Maybe from:

But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: (Acts 9:15 KJV)

Here the Lord is speaking to Ananias about Paul. Better than most of us – reminiscent of Samuel – Ananias answered God by saying:

Behold, I am here, Lord. (Acts 9:10b KJV)

A lot of biblical characters as well as people today would not recognize the call, much less respond. Most would be fearful – as Ananias was when he heard what he was supposed to do:

And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, (Acts 9:11 KJV)

Ananias knew Saul’s reputation – for imprisoning and killing followers of Christ. Men, women, children – any person teaching or believing that Jesus was the son of God, Saul had the authority over their lives.

But, to God Saul was a chosen vessel, little better than those that kept scrolls safe for two thousand years. It did take Jesus Christ stopping Saul on the road to Damascus to make that vessel fit for God’s work. That message was given hundreds of years before:

The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words. Then I went down to the potter's house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. (Jeremiah 18:1-4 KJV)

Ananias may have known that scripture, but we know for certain Paul did when he wrote:

Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? (Romans 9:19-21 KJV)

God created Saul – and recreated him into Paul, a vessel fit to complete the work God had in mind for him.

Why, then are we - marred as we are by life and things of this world – so loath to allow the Potter to take our lives and make “it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make.” Do we really think we can do the job better than He can? More likeable than He would? Just what vessel do we want to be in the Potter’s hand?

Saturday, May 6, 2017


Not displayed in this graphic is the bone structure surrounding the eye. If you are sufficiently interested, click here for information on the seven bones that make of the orbital structure protecting the eye.

Why the anatomy lesson? To help understand why our eyes are important. The Bible tells of the importance:

The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! (Matthew 6:22-23 KJV)

Losing one’s sight can happen in an instant, or over a long period of time. Macular Degeneration can take years for sight to be lost, but an accident takes second.  My son-in-law stepped into a door handle that hit the orbital bone below his eye, shattering the bone. When he got into the house, his first question was, “Is my eye still in?” The trauma was so great he thought he had literally lost his eye. Fortunately, there was no damage to the eyeball and eventually the muscles and bones healed without loss of sight. That quickly, an inch different, and his sight would be gone and at least half of his body would be as the Bible said, “full of darkness.”

However, the Bible speaks figuratively as well as literally and the light here also means:

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. (John 8:12 KJV)

John recognized this early in his gospel:

In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. (John 1:4-5 KJV)

We have all seen examples of those who do not comprehend – those who will not see. The first quote that comes to mind isn’t from the Bible, though it is close to Jeremiah 5:21:
There Are None So Blind As Those Who Will Not See:
• According to the ‘Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings’ this proverb has been traced back to 1546 (John Heywood), and resembles the Biblical verse Jeremiah 5:21 (‘Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not’). In 1738 it was used by Jonathan Swift in his ‘Polite Conversation’ and is first attested in the United States in the 1713 ‘Works of Thomas Chalkley’. The full saying is: ‘There are none so blind as those who will not see. The most deluded people are those who choose to ignore what they already know’.
There is a reason for many not seeing what they read, not hearing what they’ve been told, nor accepting what they’ve been taught:

In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (2 Corinthians 4:4 KJV)

How are they blinded and deafened? By things that appear desirable and attainable. And we see those things everywhere we look, don’t we? Our entertainment is filled with images that too often look better to us than what God has to offer because the gratification is instantaneous. “We have what you want – buy it here – on sale!”

Jesus tells us differently:

The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness. (Luke 11:34-35 KJV)

People around us see what we say and do – how we live. What is the light that shines from us – God or this world? Who sees it? Everyone in our lives at any given moment. That’s why we need to follow Peter’s advice:

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: (1 Peter 3:15 KJV)

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Second Conference Post


While I’m not going to repeat all of conference notes, I do want to cover some of the “Be Our Guest” notes about hospitality. Take time to read II Kings 4 to learn about her. If you find it interesting, move ahead to II Kings 8, where we learn more about this hospitable lady, whom the Bible describes as “great”:

And it fell on a day, that Elisha passed to Shunem, where was a great woman; and she constrained him to eat bread. And so it was, that as oft as he passed by, he turned in thither to eat bread. And she said unto her husband, Behold now, I perceive that this is an holy man of God, which passeth by us continually. Let us make a little chamber, I pray thee, on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and it shall be, when he cometh to us, that he shall turn in thither. (2 Kings 4:8-10 KJV)

Not all of us have the means to build “a little chamber” and furnish it for a traveling preacher – but wouldn’t it be nice? That is hospitality above our cultural level. But, we do invite people into our homes – unless we live in CHAOS!!!

That’s an acronym. One I’ve used as the full statement when I believed my house was a mess (and it often is – to me) and I simply Couldn’t Have Anyone Over. It’s a Syndrome.  Yep, that CHAOS. Mrs. Terrie Chappell gave us that acronym, but I recognized the syndrome.

For Christian women, if we don’t believe we live up to Proverbs 31, we simply can’t have anyone over until everything is picked up, put in the right place, cleaned, polished, decorated correctly – but that’s ridiculous, isn’t it? We respond to invitations and assure the lady of the house that having the dog food bowls in the kitchen aren’t a problem. We kiss the child with the chocolate-covered face and love them before and after the chocolate is wiped away.

I am reminded of a missionary I heard speak in North Carolina in 1960. She and her husband ministered to migrants who made the trip from south to north picking the ripened fields along the way. She and her husband had served their ministry a short while before a migrant family asked them to join them in their evening meal. It was a huge step, and she was not expecting the same lifestyle she lived.

The differences between their lifestyles were much more than the mismatched, cracked dinnerware. That was made evident when the lady opened a can of dog food instead of a can of hash, heated it on a wood fire and shared with her family and the visitors.  Yes, our missionary ate the same meal as those in her ministry.

Tell me, is our personal CHAOS similar to this situation? Are you concerned about being an example in a mission conference? If so – and even your home truly is chaos – would you deprive someone of being a blessing to you. Would you deprive them of receiving a blessing, too?

Hospitality isn’t even showing our very best. It is accepting people into our home in the same manner Jesus accepts us into His kingdom. The thief on the cross simply asked to be remembered – and Jesus accompanied him to Paradise. When Jesus is our daily companion as Savior, let us open our homes as we have opened our hearts. What better place to share Him with people who wish to spend time with us?

Friday, March 17, 2017

Conference March 11, 2017


The beautiful graphic is a bit misleading – we were there in the early morning light, having left our First Baptist Church of Cottondale at 6:00 am for the slightly over an hour’s drive on Saturday, March 11. Please feel free to visit both churches if you are in the Fort Worth area.

Conference theme was:         DaughtersOfTheKing

Which was appropriate, based on:

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. (Romans 8:14-17 KJV)

It was a day filled with fellowship, food, service and learning opportunities. While we left at six, it was after five before we returned home, and I know I could have stayed a bit longer.

Breakfast was ready for us at 8:00, Welcome and instructions at 8:45; Main Session at 10:00 with three split Sessions (plus an awesome lunch) from 11:00-2:30 with another Main Session lasting until 3:30. Each of the Sessions offered life lessons with royalty themes – and I’ll be posting some of my thoughts in coming blogs. May not be the same received from other attendees, but these I found applicable for me.

Among the papers in binders prepared for each attendee was a map. It is so helpful for the first timers to have a map of what to expect and where rooms are to be found.

Another page were the Session Leaders:

  • Mrs. Terrie Chappell – Clicking on her name will lead you to the “About” page of her blog. Click on the menu and you’ll find information on her books, too.
  • Mrs. Danielle Mordh – Also a pastor’s wife, she is involved in a number of educational ministries.
  • Mrs. Kristine Sisson – A graduate of Lancaster Baptist School and West Coasts Baptist College, she and her husband serve in the youth department.
  • Ms. Martha Johnson – Martha has severed as a lay Biblical counselor for twenty-eight years. She maintains a counseling practice at Victory Baptist Church in Weatherford, Texas (and I’ve attended several conferences over the years to her wisdom-filled application of biblical teachings.)

The opening session, “Be Our Guest” – Creating an inviting home – covered the principle of hospitality. I must tell you, those principles were well displayed by the Joshua Baptist Church members.

First, the conference was for ladies, so no gentlemen in the auditorium or sessions, but they were there – serving. They served our breakfast, our breaks and our lunch. And, they did it with smiles of welcome and answers for any questions we might have. With so many women (last count I heard there were over 350), the men gave up three of their restrooms in the church. Making certain of the cleanliness (the whole church was spotless!), the signs “Men” were replaced with “Today these facilities are for women’s convenience” and it was appreciated. Lunch was plated and waiting for us as we filed into their Fellowship Hall.

That, my dear readers, is hospitable!!! And, hospitality is biblical:

Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. (Romans 12:13 KJV)

Use hospitality one to another without grudging. (1 Peter 4:9 KJV)

But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; (Titus 1:8 KJV)

Dale Evans Rogers made this verse among the most popular and filled with love:

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. (Hebrews 13:2 KJV)

Now – I need to set aside time to share more with you about this conference that was such a blessing to me and others. Tomorrow’s blog will begin the sharing.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Submit. Or Else?



Graphic screen capture from FB, linked to

Over decades I have seen this subject arise when speaking of spousal abuse in a “Christian” home. The fears are validated by the reality we see in our own communities and requires Christ’s followers to turn to His word for answers.

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. (Ephesians 5:22)

One verse, repeated in:

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. (Colossians 3:18)

And families have actually died over misunderstand this single message: Submit – or else.

In functioning Christian churches and families, there is not this single message, standing alone, but it is included in a passage that affects the entire family and beliefs of Christ’s church. In it’s message is inclusion of all Christians, the local church, the husband and the wife. All are called to do specific actions  in life:

For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband. (Ephesians 5:8-33)

Verbal and/or physical abuse of a spouse fails to achieve what defined here. When any spouse – husband or wife – uses these verses to demand less than Christian actions for their spouse, it is sinfulness. We are not required to remain in a sinfully damaging relationship that will affect future generations. No husband – and especially no congregation – is biblical in any way, shape or form by requiring a spouse to remain in such a broken relationship.

When we are faced with such situations, when we learn of them, it is not be turned into gossip nor an item for church vote. Neither are we to shame or censure without knowing the particulars. When we do – when actions are evident, our response should be biblical – exhort, support and aid in God’s plan of salvation for individuals. Not in character assassination or retribution. At worst, the family does break apart. At best, there is repentance and restoration. Does the Bible require less? Then cite your source.