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Showing posts from March, 2014

Bible Musings (James)

How appropriate that today I'm in the book of James. Our pastor at church just started a sermon series on the book of James. Yesterday, the sermon was on "the joy of suffering". The sermon centered on James1:2-4, pointing out that we are called (as Christians) to "count it all joy" when we suffer not if we suffer, as in this present world, trials and suffering are sure to come our way.

"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." James 1:2-4

Bible Musings (Hebrews)

In Paul's letters, I focused on the greetings. In the Letter to the Hebrews (author unknown), I'd like to focus on the theology rich, Christ-centered benediction.

"Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working out in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen."

Hebrews 13:20-21

Bible Musings (Philemon)

The Letter of Paul to Philemon

Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,
To Philemon our beloved fellow worker and Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier, and the church in your house:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Philemon 1:1-3 (only one chapter in Philemon)

Bible Musings (Titus)

The Letter of Paul to Titus

"Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God's elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promtised before the ages began and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrausted by the command of God our Savior. 
To Titus, my true child in a common faith:
Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior."

Titus 1:1-4

Bible Musings (2 Timothy)

The Second Letter of Paul to Timothy

"Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus. 
To Timothy, my beloved child:
Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord."

2 Timothy 1:1-2

Bible Musings (1 Timothy)

The First Letter of Paul to Timothy

"Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope. 
To Timothy, my true child in the faith:
Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord." 

1 Timothy 1:1-2

Bible Musings (2 Thessalonians)

The Second Letter of Paul to the Thessalonians

"Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy. 
To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 

We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. Therefore we ourselves boast  about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring." 

2 Thessalonians 1:1-4

Bible Musings (1 Thessalonians)

The First Letter of Paul to the Thessalonians

"Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, 
To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
Grace to you and peace.
We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ."
1 Thessalonians 1:1-3

Bible Musings (Colossians)

The Letter of Paul to the Colossians

"Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother: 
To the saints and faithful brothers in Chirst at Colossae:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father. 
We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven... "

Colossians 1:1-5

Bible Musings (Philippians)

The Letter of Paul to the Philippians:

"Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, 
To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi with the overseers and deacons:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. 
Philippians 1:1-6

Bible Musings (Galatians)

The Letter of Paul to the Galatians:

"Paul, an apostle--not from men no through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead--and all the brothers, who are with me, 
To the churches of Galatia:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen."
Galatians 1:1-5

Bible Musings (2 Corinthians)

The Second Letter of Paul To The Corinthians

"Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother. 
To the church of God that is at Corinth, with all the saints who are in the whole of Achaia:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God." 

2 Corinthians 1:1-4

Bible Musings (1 Corinthians)

The First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians

"Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and our brother Sosthenes, 
To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge--even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you--so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called in to the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord." 
1 Corinthians 1:1-8

Bible Musings (Romans)

In the 66 in 66 journey, we've now entered in to the letters from the Apostle Paul. I love how he opens his letters (so much theology just in his greeting), so I'll be sharing those greetings with you for the next several posts.

The letter of Paul to the Romans

"Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. 
To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." 
Romans 1:1…

Cookie Baking Night 03/17/14

Tonight was Cookie Baking Night: In attendance this evening: Ethan, Carissa, and Alli. Tonight we made sugar cookies with cream cheese frosting. 

We thought as long as it was St. Patrick's Day, we would make green frosting for our cookies. 

As long as they're already green, might as well add a few "Spring-like" sprinkles.

Mmm. Tasty.
Tonight we read chapter 10 in our book Sammy and His Shepherd. Chapter 10 is titled "Surely Goodness and Mercy Shall Follow Me All the Days of My Life". This chapter talked about and beautifully illustrated the concepts of mercy and grace, a well-timed lesson for our group this evening. 
We ended the evening with a lively game of Zingo
As usual, a fun time was had by all!

Bible Musings (66 in 66 Update)

For those of you who may be new to the blog, let me give a short recap of "66 in 66". Our pastor at church challenged the congregation to read through all 66 books of the Bible in 66 days (that's a book a day). The challenge started on February 1. It is now day 44, and we're two-thirds of the way there. It has been a great experience to read through the entire Bible in such short succession and even greater to have the support of the members of our congregation seeking to do it at the same time.

I've been writing (or quoting) a short blurb on each book every day. Stay tuned as we press on to the finish line.

Bible Musings (Acts)

"Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate to ask alms of those entering the temple. Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms. And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. And leaping up he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God, and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, asking for alms. And th…

Bible Musings (John)

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." John 1:1

The first verse in the Gospel of John starts out by proclaiming Jesus as " the Word". That statement nearly jumps off the page at you if you've just read through the entire Old Testament in short succession because it is then that you realize that a great deal of what Jesus said during his time here on earth was Scripture (Old Testament). As I was reading through the Old Testament, I recognized a lot of Scripture that I knew was spoken by Jesus in the New Testament. The phrases that stood out to me as never before when I read through the Old Testament this time were "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" from Psalm 22 (which Jesus quoted while on the cross), I guess I never really connected that He was using and quoting Scripture in that moment of agony on the cross. The other phrase that stood out to me was "Son of Man". That seemed to be the phr…

Bible Musings (Luke)

And now ... the moment we've been waiting an entire Old Testament for ... the plan of redemption has been set in motion.

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for eyou have found favor with God. And behold, fyou will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of hthe Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” And the angel a…

Bible Musings (Mark)

One word that stood out to me as I read through the Gospel of Mark was the word "immediately". It was used many times throughout the book.

Just a few examples:

"In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove, and a voice came from heaven, "You are my beloved Son, with you I am well pleased." Mark 1:9-11

"Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, 'Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.' And immediately they left their nets and followed him." Mark 1:16-18

"And they went to Capernaum and immediately on the Sabbath he entered the synagogue and was teaching." Mark 1:21

And immediately he left the synagogue and entered the house of Simon and …

Bible Musings (Matthew)

I'm still on the "66 in 66" journey (reading a book of the Bible a day). Today, I have reached the New Testament (right on schedule). The book of Matthew starts with a genealogy. It starts like this:

"The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham." Matthew 1:1

Personally, I think this is the most fascinating genealogy in the Bible, as it starts with Abraham and goes through the birth of Jesus. If you just pick up Matthew and start reading it, the genealogy will stand out to you in its uniqueness but not nearly as much as it does when you have just finished reading the entire Old Testament in short succession. After reading the Old Testament, you are aware of the need for a savior for sinful man. God boldly proclaims his plan to redeem his own people to Him throughout the entire Old Testament and then introduces how He will do that (through Jesus Christ) on the first page of the New Testament. Brilliant! Another thing that stands…

Niece and Nephew Musings 03/12/14

Nope. It's not Cookie Baking Night tonight. It just looks a little like it. Tonight we babysat three nieces and nephews (Alli and her two brothers, Rylar and Enzo) on Greg's side of the family and it happened to be on the same night Emily (niece on my side of the family) was scheduled to spend the evening with us, so she joined in the fun. It was a little younger of a crowd than we're used to (Alli is 3, Rylar is 2, and Enzo is 7 months), but it was a good time all the same. Emily is 13 years old now and eager to hone her babysitting skills. She was a big help. We even did a little cookie baking project (more like a sorting and melting project, but close enough). We thank God for the opportunity to serve Him this way and spend some time with the nieces and nephews this evening.

It's okay, you can say it, he's adorable. (Not quite crawling yet but poised for action at any moment). 

A little coloring 

A little handwashing

A little baby holding 

A little sorting 

Bible Musings (Malachi)

"For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed. From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them.  Return to me, and I will return to you, says the LORD of hosts ..." Malachi 3:6-7

Bible Musings (Zechariah)

"And the word of the LORD came to Zechariah, saying, "Thus says the LORD of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart. But they refused to pay attention and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears that they might not hear. They made their hearts diamond-hard lest they should hear the law and the words that the LORD of hosts had sent by his Spirit through the former prophets. Therefore great anger came from the LORD of hosts." Zechariah 7:8-12

Bible Musings (Haggai)

Context: God, through Haggai, urged the people to continue their work of rebuiling the Temple.

"...Be strong all you people of the land, declares the LORD. Work, for I am with you, declares the LORD of hosts, according to the covenant that I made with you when you came out of Egypt. My Spirit remains in  your midst. Fear not."  Haggai 3:4-5

Bible Musings (Zephaniah)

Context: Zephaniah prophesied during the reforms of King Josiah, who brought spiritual revival to Judah after the long and disastrous reign of Manaasseh. Zephaniah pronounced God's judgment on corruption and wickedness but also his plan to restore Judah.

"Woe to her who is rebellious and defiled, the oppressing city! She listens to no voice; she accepts no correction. She does not trust in the LORD; she does not draw near to her God." Zephaniah 3:1-2

MacArthur Bible Study note: Jerusalem was soon to learn that to reject God's correction leads to destruction (as described in Prov 5:23).

Bible Musings (Habakkuk)

"What profit is an idol when its maker has shaped it, a metal image, a teacher of lies? For its maker trusts in his own creation when he makes speechless idols! Woe to him who says to a wooden thing, Awake; to a silent stone, Arise! Can this teach? Behold, it is ovelaid with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in it. But the LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him." 
Habakkuk 2:18-20

Bible Musings (Micah)

"Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love. He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. You will show faithfulness to Jacob and steadfast love to Abraham, as you have sworn to our fathers from the days of old." Micah 7:18-20

Bible Musings (Jonah)

God's control of the world is evident in the events of the book of Jonah.

Jonah did not want to go to Ninevah as God commanded to do, so he tried to escape the presence of the Lord by getting on a ship headed in the opposite direction to Tarshish. And ...

"the LORD hurled a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship threatened to break up. Jonah 1:4

Jonah was thrown overboard so the ship wouldn't go under. And ...

"And the LORD appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. Jonah 1:17

Jonah prayed to the Lord from the belly of the fish and repented. And ...

And the LORD spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah upon the dry land. Jonah 2:10

Jonah preached to Ninevah and they repented, but it made Jonah angry that God had mercy on them. Jonah left the city. And ...

"the LORD God appointed a plant and made it come up over Jonah that it might be shade over his head, to…

Cookie Baking Night 03/03/14

Tonight was Cookie Baking Night. In attendance this evening: Ethan, Carissa, and Alli.

Tonight, Carissa helped me prepare part of our supper. She made the fruit smoothies.

She cut up the fruit.

She added the fruit and some fruit juice to the blender. 

She blended. (And the fruit smoothies were delicious, I might add). 

Continuing with our fruit theme: For our "cookie" this evening we turned these very ripe bananas (that have been hanging out in my freezer for quite some time) into tasty banana bread (the kids were a little skeptical that those bananas could turn into anything tasty, but I think they came around in the end). Click here to view my favorite banana bread recipe. 

Tonight we also read chapter 9 from Sammy and His Shepherd by Susan Hunt. Chapter 9 is titled "You Anoint My Head With Oil; My Cup Overflows".  My favorite line from this chapter was this: "Precious pondered all that Sammy had told her about their shepherd. After a while, she turned to Sa…

Bible Musings (Obadiah)

Description of the book of Obadiah (Crossway/ESV): "Obadiah prophesied that Edom would be repaid for mistreating God's people. Obadiah also asserted that God is sovereign over the nations and that the house of Jacob would be restored because of God's covenant love for his people."

"Thus says the Lord God concerning Edom: We have heard a report from the Lord, and a messenger has been sent among the nations: “Rise up! Let us rise against her for battle!” Behold, I will make you small among the nations; you shall be utterly despised. The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rock, in your lofty dwelling, who say in your heart, “Who will bring me down to the ground?” Though you soar aloft like the eagle, though your nest is set among the stars, from there I will bring you down, declares the Lord." 
Obadiah 1:1-4

Bible Musings (Joel)

"Yet even now, declares the LORD, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster." Joel 2:12-13