Reading Scripture helps us know God's Love. Every Bible verse is written for you. Jesus Christ is all mankind's Light. John 1!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Luke 4:38-44 ~ He arose and left the synagogue

Jesus, In the Synagogue. Painted by Greg Olson.

Luke 4:38-44

English Standard Version, David Cochran Audio Bible

38 And he arose and left the synagogue and entered Simon’s house. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was ill with a high fever, and they appealed to him on her behalf. 39 And he stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her, and immediately she rose and began to serve them.

40 Now when the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to him, and he laid his hands on every one of them and healed them. 41 And demons also came out of many, crying, "You are the Son of God!" But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ.

42 And when it was day, he departed and went into a desolate place. And the people sought him and came to him, and would have kept him from leaving them, 43 but he said to them, "I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose." 44 And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea [Galilee].

Jesus wasn't one who lived in the Temple. Anna lived in the Temple, waiting to see the Messiah.

Luke 2:36-38
36And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, 37and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. 38And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.

Simeon as well.

Luke 2:25-32
Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, 28he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,
29"Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace,
according to your word;
30for my eyes have seen your salvation
31 that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and for glory to your people Israel."

Simeon and Anna were godly people, living their lives, in God's plan for them. Luke's 2nd chapter, shows again when Jesus stays behind to debate the teachers of the law, practically living in the Temple - God's Son does not live in the Temple.

Many portions of Scripture tell us to plan for our lives, make our choices wisely. Anna and Simeon chose, in God's plan to live in His Temple. While Jesus never said He wanted to live in the Temple, the Scriptures do record Jesus saying his adult hometown was Capernaum, off of the Sea of Galilee.

Matthew 4:13
And leaving Nazareth he went and lived in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali

We see in today's passage a glimpse of Jesus. Always God's Son. Always a Teacher. Always willing to Heal. Yet in this passage, Jesus the Son of God sent to be fully human, fully divine tells us about leaving Capernaum. He must. He was sent. To send the Good News.

Jesus. Our Savior. A man with choices.

Matthew 8:20
And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”



Other Scripture for Today Blogspot passages on Capernaum.

July 10, 2011


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Mattew 12:1-12 ~ hope

Matthew 12:1-12

English Standard Version, David Cochran Audio Bible

1 At that time Jesus went through the grain fields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. 2 But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, "Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath." 3 He said to them, "Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, and those who were with him: 4 how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? 5 Or have you not read in the Law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless? 6 I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. 7 And if you had known what this means, 'I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the guiltless. 8 For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath."

9 He went on from there and entered their synagogue. 10 And a man was there with a withered hand. And they asked him, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?"— so that they might accuse him. 11 He said to them, "Which one of you who has a sheep, if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out? 12 Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath." 13 Then he said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." And the man stretched it out, and it was restored, healthy like the other. 14 But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him.

15 Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there. And many followed him, and he healed them all 16 and ordered them not to make him known. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah:
18 "Behold, my servant whom I have chosen,
my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased.
I will put my Spirit upon him,
and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.
19 He will not quarrel or cry aloud,
nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets;
20 a bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not quench,
until he brings justice to victory;
21 and in his name the Gentiles will hope."

Sunday, I had the great fortune to sit with the rest of my Church family (plus my mom, her wonderful boyfriend Jack and my husband) and hear a wonderful sermon partially on the do not be anxious Scripture. We were God's wheat sitting in His wheat field! Growing on that warm Sunday to be fruitful for God.

Matthew 6:25-34
English Standard Version, David Cochran Audio Bible

"Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

34 "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Last week, we talked about a woman who was weeping over more testing needed for re-occurring cancer and was letting me know how she was feeling guilt-stricken that Jesus would not want her to be fearful. And our sermon was about not dwelling on the hurts of the past to grab the peace God would give us as a gift. A supernatural gift.

My mom turned to me - glowing - and said it was the best sermon she'd heard in a long time.

God does not want us to suffer in worry over what He is willing to do for us. God is willing to become man, living as truth and grace among us. Understanding our sufferings. Weeping with Lazarus' sisters, freeing people from their illnesses and hurts. Dancing with David in victory.

When we look at today's passage, we see wheat - a harvest of fruitfulness in progress. We see Jesus commenting on getting sheep out of a pit. We have an incredible gift - a miracle of a restored hand from Father God. We are all talking about the same thing. Acts of God. Jesus is telling us His is merciful. Fruit must have time to grow. Supernatural gifts must have room to be celebrated. The man with the restored hand was that sheep in a pit.

The woman who was afraid, about cancer testing, wanted to be strengthened. Jesus is that kind of Savior. He is the Savior willing to be merciful to us as we grow in Him. The lady who was weeping last week, looks forward in hope this week.

Jesus tells us over and over about God's willingness. This is why in all circumstances, in good times, in difficulty, Jesus is our Hope.


Monday, August 29, 2011

Acts 6 ~ full of faith

Acts 6

English Standard Version, David Cochran Audio Bible

In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Grecian Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, "It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word."

This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.

So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.

Now Stephen, a man full of God's grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people. Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called)—Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia. These men began to argue with Stephen, but they could not stand up against his wisdom or the Spirit by whom he spoke.

Then they secretly persuaded some men to say, "We have heard Stephen speak words of blasphemy against Moses and against God."

So they stirred up the people and the elders and the teachers of the law. They seized Stephen and brought him before the Sanhedrin. They produced false witnesses, who testified, "This fellow never stops speaking against this holy place and against the law. For we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs Moses handed down to us."

All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.

~ They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.

Recently, I was again thinking about prayer; the Bible is full of prayer, and last night two passages were brought to my attention and here they are:

Psalm 8
3 When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
4 what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?
5 You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings [or God]
and crowned him with glory and honor.

Psalm 115
3 Our God is in heaven;
he does whatever pleases him.

and then:

9 O house of Israel, trust in the LORD—
he is their help and shield.
10 O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD—
he is their help and shield.
11 You who fear him, trust in the LORD—
he is their help and shield.
12 The LORD remembers us and will bless us:
He will bless the house of Israel,

he will bless the house of Aaron,
13 he will bless those who fear the LORD—
small and great alike.
14 May the LORD make you increase,
both you and your children.
15 May you be blessed by the LORD,the Maker of heaven and earth

Prayer is the conversation we have with Father God. He asks us to be constant in prayer; He wants communication, our thoughts. Father God always wants you to remember He is here for you, a loving Father. He is not far away and condemning, but loving and wanting, willing to bless us.

Recently, I was thinking of nothing in particular and I thought of the very last scene of the movie, The Passion of the Christ. Jesus is walking from the tomb; renewed, new, still willing, moving forward, in victory, willing. And then the scene where Jesus is enjoying talking with His mother about carpentry and tables. They were laughing. Jesus was willing to do what His Father asked of Him. Either scene, Jesus is doing the will of His Father. Because of our Jesus, the Good News spread to us. Beyond the boundaries of Israel, beyond the last two millenniums. Jesus, our hero. Our Brother, who adopts us. Our Savior.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Psalm 90 ~ For a thousand years in Your sight are but as yesterday when it is past

Remains of Tabernacle Dwelling
First Temple built by Solomon

Wall closest, Archaeological ruin of First Temple Wall.
Models of Second Temple

Night at Golgotha, Vasily Vereshchagin

Arch of Titus, Conquering Jerusalem, relief on the wall. The Ark of the Covenant is missing. The gold from the Temple was used to build the Colosseum. Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 AD, the time of the natural death of Jesus, if He'd lived to be old.

Way of the Cross, Good Friday Service at the Colosseum

4th Century Church of St. Peter's built by Constantine. Built to look like the Royal Stoa of the 2nd Temple in Jerusalem.
4th Century Church of St. Peter's built by Constantine
St. Peter's Interior Today.
Stained Glass Cathedral Rheims
Lyon Cathedral
Wells Cathedral

Country Church painted by Dzvinka Stifel
Beautiful altars

Psalm 90

A Prayer of Moses, the man of God.

English Standard Version, David Cochran Audio Bible

1 Lord, you have been our dwelling place [our refuge]
in all generations.
2 Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

3 You return man to dust
and say, “Return, O children of man [of Adam] !”
4 For a thousand years in your sight
are but as yesterday when it is past,
or as a watch in the night.

5 You sweep them away as with a flood; they are like a dream,
like grass that is renewed in the morning:
6 in the morning it flourishes and is renewed;
in the evening it fades and withers.

7 For we are brought to an end by your anger;
by your wrath we are dismayed.
8 You have set our iniquities before you,
our secret sins in the light of your presence.

9 For all our days pass away under your wrath;
we bring our years to an end like a sigh.
10 The years of our life are seventy,
or even by reason of strength eighty;
yet their span [or pride] is but toil and trouble;
they are soon gone, and we fly away.
11 Who considers the power of your anger,
and your wrath according to the fear of you?

12 So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.
13 Return, O Lord! How long?
Have pity on your servants!
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
and for as many years as we have seen evil.
16 Let your work be shown to your servants,
and your glorious power to their children.
17 Let the favor [beauty] of the Lord our God be upon us,
and establish the work of our hands upon us;
yes, establish the work of our hands!

Psalm 90:4
For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night.

2 Peter 3:8
But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

Two days ago, Jesus Christ offered Himself as our sacrifice. Death was abolished and a new Heaven was written of by the apostle John, breathed out by the Holy Spirit ~ in the eyes of our Father God.

When we stand in our sanctuary, Church, praising God, we are - in His eyes - a mere breath away from the events we see posted today.

We are just dust, but Precious in the eyes of God. God is God of the Living. Many generations Living with Him; He is our refuge!


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Psalm 67 ~ may God bless us still

The Nativity painted by Federico Barocci, 1553

Saint Bridget, a Swedish noblewoman, died in 1373, was well known for her visions, recognized to this day as given from the Lord. While on pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Birgitta experienced visions of the Virgin and Christ. Her vision of the Birth of Christ enormously influenced Nativity depictions. She saw the Virgin birth, Mary with her long hair flowing, knelt to adore Him, glowing with supernatural light.

Psalm 67

English Standard Version, David Cochran Audio Bible

May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face to shine upon us,

2that your way may be known on earth,
your saving power among all nations.
3 Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you!

4Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
for you judge the peoples with equity
and guide the nations upon earth.

5 Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you!

6The earth has yielded its increase;
God, our God, shall bless us.
7God shall bless us;
let all the ends of the earth fear him!

Numbers 6:22
22 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying:
23 “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying,
‘This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel. Say to them:
24 “May the LORD bless you and keep you;
25 May the LORD make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
26 May the LORD lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.”’

The Meek Were Kneeling
by Max Lucado
“Blessed are the meek,” Jesus explained. Blessed are the available.

That’s why the announcement went first to the shepherds. They didn’t ask God if he was sure he knew what he was doing. Had the angel gone to the theologians, they would have first consulted their commentaries. Had he gone to the elite, they would have looked around to see if anyone was watching. Had he gone to the successful, they would have first looked at their calendars.

So he went to the shepherds. Men who didn’t have a reputation to protect or an ax to grind or a ladder to climb. Men who didn’t know enough to tell God that angels don’t sing to sheep and that messiahs aren’t found wrapped in rags and sleeping in a feed trough.

A small cathedral outside Bethlehem marks the supposed birthplace of Jesus. Behind a high altar in the church is a cave, a little cavern lit by silver lamps.

You can enter the main edifice and admire the ancient church. You can also enter the quiet cave where a star embedded in the floor recognizes the birth of the King. There is one stipulation, however. You have to stoop. The door is so low you can’t go in standing up.

The same is true of the Christ. You can see the world standing tall, but to witness the Savior, you have to get on your knees.

So …

while the theologians were sleeping

and the elite were dreaming

and the successful were snoring,

the meek were kneeling.

Written by Bob Deffinbaugh -
One of the key words we must deal with is the word “blessed” because it occurs over and over and over again. You will find that in a number of translations, the word is rendered “happy,” and there is a sense in which that is probably true. But, I think you have to say that the word “happy,” just because of the meaning we give to it today, is probably not the best word. But in the Sermon on the Mount, in fact, you would have to say that those who mourn are not really happy. It’s hard to be both, so I reject as a preference making the emphasis on happiness, although there certainly is that. You could say that there is a sense in which there is always joy and delight—that’s always there, and I would certainly be willing to see that in this text. Probably the primary sense of the word “blessed” here is the sense of approval. It is saying that God has expressed His approval on these people. To be blessed is to be approved by God, and I think that probably fits.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Hebrews 12:28-29 ~ grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken

Hebrews 12:28-29

English Standard Version, David Cochran Audio Bible

Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.

Sometimes my gratitude levels are just limp like overcooked sphaghetti. Other days, like today, gratitude bursts from me like the sun. I once heard a sermon on my minister's favorite minister - who continued to be fruitful well into old age. He believed having gratitude was the key to being open to God.

Our blog is a bit late to publish post - I've been clearing out the dregs of my college sons home leftovers. Cleaning like a tornado. Most people have spring cleaning, but if you have sons college aged, you understand fall cleaning. So clean, clean, clean and we are hosting one of the Baylor Parents League prayer groups yesterday. Please give us the favor of your prayers, it seems our area has been trying to put together a prayer group like this with limited success.

And... the revised seasonal forecasts for Texas, LA, OK, NM looks very bad for drought. We discussed this last night at prayer group. Central Texas looks like the desert now. We didn't understand why news casters aren't standing in the fields showing the pictures. One lady at our Church is 78 years old and she says she has never seen the like.

Back to the gratitude.... Heaven is the unshakable kingdom. What a great God we serve.

I received an email from a loved one, family member, who has recently been starting to examine his faith. He's found an part of Scripture:

Mark 8:22-26
And they came to Bethsaida. And some people brought to him a blind man and begged him to touch him. 23 And he took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village, and when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, "Do you see anything?" 24 And he looked up and said, "I see men, but they look like trees, walking." 25 Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26And he sent him to his home, saying, "Do not even enter the village."

He is very excited about this. Because the men of Jesus' day wouldn't know about the brain needing to be healed as well as the eyes and my loved one is touched by this. So... he sent an email for an answer to prayer that promised if you forward this email prayer about needing God... to 12 people.... it is a sure thing. Guaranteed. So he did. Of course he was joking. Of course he was hoping that the door was opening.

And my loved one can be pretty brusque. So I, a little tentatively, explained to him, that prayer really does matter. All the studies prove it. Especially in prayer groups where people care for one another and God's love flows freely where He is called. I wrote of the no-doubt miracles I've seen 5 of in all my life. But I told him. If your wife backed out of the driveway and ran over his 2 dogs and his best rifle, he'd be angry. But I know how much he loves his wife and he would still love her.

You cannot put your faith in one prayer and ask God for one answer, as a test. Edward and I lost our daughter, Isabelle, at birth. I couldn't answer why it happened, but I can say, I believe in God - who is Love. I know we are receiving a Kingdom that cannot be shaken. I will love God and be grateful for His steadfast love. In death. In drought. But really, in His goodness, mercy and love and His eternal, steadfast love and promises.

Blessed be the Lord God Almighty. Who was and is and is to come. Amen.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Exodus 14:21-15:6 ~ the Lord saved Israel that day

Exodus 14:21 – 15:6

English Standard Version, David Cochran Audio Bible

21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. 22 And the people of Israel went into the midst of the sea on dry ground, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. 23 The Egyptians pursued and went in after them into the midst of the sea, all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots, and his horsemen. 24 And in the morning watch the Lord in the pillar of fire and of cloud looked down on the Egyptian forces and threw the Egyptian forces into a panic, 25 clogging their chariot wheels so that they drove heavily. And the Egyptians said, “Let us flee from before Israel, for the Lord fights for them against the Egyptians.”

26 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen.” 27 So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its normal course when the morning appeared. And as the Egyptians fled into it, the Lord threw the Egyptians into the midst of the sea. 28 The waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen; of all the host of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea, not one of them remained. 29 But the people of Israel walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.

30 Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. 31 Israel saw the great power that the Lord used against the Egyptians, so the people feared the Lord, and they believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses.

Chapter 15

Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the Lord, saying,

“I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously;

the horse and his rider

3 he has thrown into the sea.

2 The Lord is my strength and my song,

and he has become my salvation;

this is my God, and I will praise him,

my father's God, and I will exalt him.

3 The Lord is a man of war;

the Lord is his name.

4 “Pharaoh's chariots and his host he cast into the sea,

and his chosen officers were sunk in the Red Sea.

5 The floods covered them;

they went down into the depths like a stone.

6 Your right hand, O Lord, glorious in power,

your right hand, O Lord, shatters the enemy.

The Lord saved the children of Israel, not armies, not Pharaoh, not Moses. The Lord fulfilled His Word to Moses, the children of Israel would celebrate freedom on the Mountain of the Lord.

What a mighty sight to see the wall of water and walk through the Path He made.

Psalm 33:
10 The LORD foils the plans of the nations;
he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.
11 But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever,
the purposes of his heart through all generations.
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people he chose for his inheritance.
13 From heaven the LORD looks down
and sees all mankind;
14 from his dwelling place he watches
all who live on earth-
15 he who forms the hearts of all,
who considers everything they do.
16 No king is saved by the size of his army;
no warrior escapes by his great strength.
17 A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
despite all its great strength it cannot save.
18 But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
19 to deliver them from death
and keep them alive in famine.
20 We wait in hope for the LORD;
he is our help and our shield.
21 In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
22 May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD,
even as we put our hope in you.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Matthew 23:23-26 ~ clean

Jesus Teaching in the Temple, painted by James Tissot

Matthew 23:23-26

English Standard Version, David Cochran Audio Bible 

23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. 24 You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!
25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.

We've talked a lot about Jesus versus the religious elect. And John, the beloved disciple, reflected in his writings, with the Holy Spirit, especially in his later Biblical books. & that John believed evil had been allowed the power to destroy Jesus.

How do the actions of the religious elect persecuting Jesus act like the evil one? In Scriptures, twice, Satan goes to God for permission to harm Job. The evil one does not lie, but uses truth against Job as weapon. The evil one is perhaps jealous of the blessings spoken of - comfort - given by God. The devil used God's comforts and said they were self-indulgent. The evil one didn't have business with Job, the evil one made it his business.

Truth - sounds great. But what the devil lacked was mercy.

When we lack mercy in our words, in our actions. Then we err. Mercy is God's guide to a new and right Spirit within us.

Micah 6:8 He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Psalm 107 ~ cried to the Lord in their trouble

Psalm 107

English Standard Version, David Cochran Audio Bible

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever!
2 Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
whom he has redeemed from trouble
3 and gathered in from the lands,
from the east and from the west,
from the north and from the south.

4 Some wandered in desert wastes,
finding no way to a city to dwell in;
5 hungry and thirsty,
their soul fainted within them.
6 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
7 He led them by a straight way
till they reached a city to dwell in.
8 Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
for his wondrous works to the children of man!
9 For he satisfies the longing soul,
and the hungry soul he fills with good things.

10 Some sat in darkness and in the shadow of death,
prisoners in affliction and in irons,
11 for they had rebelled against the words of God,
and spurned the counsel of the Most High.
12 So he bowed their hearts down with hard labor;
they fell down, with none to help.
13 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
14 He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death,
and burst their bonds apart.
15 Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
for his wondrous works to the children of man!
16 For he shatters the doors of bronze
and cuts in two the bars of iron.

17 Some were fools through their sinful ways,
and because of their iniquities suffered affliction;
18 they loathed any kind of food,
and they drew near to the gates of death.
19 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
20 He sent out his word and healed them,
and delivered them from their destruction.
21 Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
for his wondrous works to the children of man!
22 And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving,
and tell of his deeds in songs of joy!

23 Some went down to the sea in ships,
doing business on the great waters;
24 they saw the deeds of the Lord,
his wondrous works in the deep.
25 For he commanded and raised the stormy wind,
which lifted up the waves of the sea.
26 They mounted up to heaven; they went down to the depths;
their courage melted away in their evil plight;
27 they reeled and staggered like drunken men
and were at their wits' end.
28 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
29 He made the storm be still,
and the waves of the sea were hushed.
30 Then they were glad that the waters were quiet,
and he brought them to their desired haven.
31 Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
for his wondrous works to the children of man!
32 Let them extol him in the congregation of the people,
and praise him in the assembly of the elders.

33 He turns rivers into a desert,
springs of water into thirsty ground,
34 a fruitful land into a salty waste,
because of the evil of its inhabitants.
35 He turns a desert into pools of water,
a parched land into springs of water.
36 And there he lets the hungry dwell,
and they establish a city to live in;
37 they sow fields and plant vineyards
and get a fruitful yield.
38 By his blessing they multiply greatly,
and he does not let their livestock diminish.

39 When they are diminished and brought low
through oppression, evil, and sorrow,
40 he pours contempt on princes
and makes them wander in trackless wastes;
41 but he raises up the needy out of affliction
and makes their families like flocks.
42 The upright see it and are glad,
and all wickedness shuts its mouth.

43 Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things;
let them consider the steadfast love of the Lord.

(This passage is great to hear it read to you. Let the Word pour over you.)

The secret to long life is lack of worry. False. The root of all worry is money. False. Success is guaranteed with hard work. False.

My grandmother was the world's worst for worrying. "No, no, no don't go sailing - you'll get a brain amoeba." She had her brain with her until her death at age 94. One of the most vigorous prayer warriors in the world. She took her natural tendency to worry and changed it into prayer.

I was 25 years old when our first child was born. Cal was born prematurely weighing in at 5 lbs and a hourly tendency to forget to breathe. I had to learn infant CPR before he could come home. Scared? I was terrified. He came home with an infant breathing monitor, a box about the size of a Direct TV box and wires attached to his chest with a patch of rubber cement.

Terrified. Petrified. I wondered if my Edward would come home to find me sitting with our beautiful, beautiful son dead and if he'd forgive me. Add to that hernia surgery at 6 pounds and the hospital giving him to a volunteer and not retrieving us from the waiting room. They left us in the waiting room so long that when I ran to the recovery room the volunteer greeted me by saying she'd held him for so many hours she hoped he was abandoned. The nurse said she thought the volunteer was the mom. Then a chest cold that was one step from pneumonia setting off the alarms constantly. His heart was at tachycardia for trying to keep up. The home visiting nurse saying the next 24 hours would be telling. I wondered if Cal wasn't so beautiful if he wasn't for this world. Then the episode of the special nipple for preemies collapsed and filled Cal with so much milk when I looked down - he was blue - the CPR did come in handy. I didn't stand up for the rest of the day.

We were so stressed, we told visitors about our stress level and asked them to stay for only 30 minutes. It didn't help when people gasped and said he was the smallest baby they'd ever seen and how did we stand seeing the poor thing with wires all over him. Some people were better with it. Cal had looked like an NFL quarterback when placed in the hospital with the rest of the preemies.

How did the home nurse visiting with the infant monitor deal with us? Like Professor Snape. (I apologize to the people who are offended by the Harry Potter quote. I see it as the equivalent as eating meat sacrificed to idols - I know who my Lord is and the rest is fiction.) I knew several people through the home monitor system and they all had the same experience.

Professor Snape:
"Fools who wear their hearts proudly on their sleeves, who cannot control their emotions, who wallow in sad memories and allow themselves to be provoked this easily -- weak people, in other words -- they stand no chance against his powers! He will penetrate your mind with absurd ease, Potter!"

We were told to get over our wimpy emotions - the other families were brave..... it wasn't true, but it got the home monitoring service out of the need for sympathy for the families.

Then later after our infant daughter Isabelle did pass on, I thought about fear.

Most people want you to put your chin up and not be fearful or emotional because it is uncomfortable for them.

The Scriptures tell us many, many things about worry and circumstance. If you are ever in grief or trauma worry, you can look at almost all of the Old Testament and see people walking a particular journey in life they don't want to do. They learn like Job, you have to walk that walk yourself. And trust God.

The Scriptures have something fortifying about worry. And what we are to do with people in distress. Now, I could show you the passage of Solomon being clothed in all his glory and the lilies of the field, but you've probably got that one. Don't worry. I think this has two meanings - don't be fretful and put your trust in God. God doesn't mean put away the cause for real emotion in real need and hair shirt it through your problem. But don't let it consume you.

What about this one? Cast your cares upon Him, He cares for you. (A rock! A Scripture worth hanging on to!)

But how are you going to deal with your "stop signs" and your "speed bumps" in life??? Let's look at Claude Monet. He didn't have a particularly tragic life for his time. But he had some set backs and some tragedies that he had no qualms saying - he was virtually unproductive for 2 years. At least 5 times in his adult life he experienced love one's death. That is a lot of Monet paintings the world is missing.

God does not put stop signs and speed bumps in our lives for us to continue to go 80 mph through them. We are supposed to cry. Search. Feel alone. Look for meaning. It is my take on life - the importance of life and its struggles - to grow up enough to go Home. Not just plowing down the highway going mach 1 with our hair on fire. Guaranteed to miss the narrow gate.

We had a friend who lost a twin in utero and the surviving twin was born with some intense swallowing trouble. The mom said she felt so angry at God. She said she was so mad, she wanted to call me and say why has God done this. Why did Cal suffer - his parents suffer and their family suffer. She didn't stop and she said, "What did you learn from THIS?" And the answer came to me - one I'd been probing like a tongue with a sore tooth - not verbalizing. "Because I know I wouldn't have appreciated the miracle my son is - just as a person - if I had not endured this." It wasn't necessarily her answer. But. it. was. mine.

Okay. Now back to the answers for all of us together.

Ephesians 4:14
so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes

The Bible tells us there are times to mourn. Times to built up.

We just aren't supposed to be the ones who will hold the hand of a friend and pretend it is okay for them to still be gasping and crying a week later because they almost had a car accident. We aren't supposed to say to the person with cancer news to be braver. We aren't supposed to say to the widow to buck up - for years. Or avoid them. Or pretend we can save them.

God says to us - when we recover from grief, trauma and small set-backs. We are to willingly give the same Jesus gave. Heal the sick, comfort the afflicted, cleanse the leper.

Matthew 10:39
Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

James 1:27
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

Be the one who comforts, visits, forgives. This time in life is so troubled. So much bad news. Partially it is because we've made it so okay to be comfortable. Speak to the people you like. Ignore the rest. An email is delightfully ignorable. Manners are the beginning of opening the door for Jesus Christ. As I look down my street of 12 houses, I can tell you the truth - there is a 'situation' in all of them. Friends have lost jobs, children and relationships. I couldn't say the same for Church. I'd tend to think that people are just afraid to be transparent. In the place where Jesus would have us come for refuge. When all of our 30 area Churches met - the pastors said that when they gather to strengthen each other they say, "all is not right behind the trees."

Nothing is new in - the world has trouble. We can make it new. Being the Light of Jesus to others. Today. Renewal, redemption, hope. (Never be a sponge. Sit. Soak. Sour.)


Monday, August 22, 2011

Matthew 16:13-20 ~ keys to the Kingdom of Heaven

Matthew 16:13-20

English Standard Version, David Cochran Audio Bible

13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it [the Greek words for Peter and rock sound similar ]. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

20 Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.

Scriptures are multifaceted. They are historical, for today; also important in mere verses and the way the parables are structured together. We've already thought about Jesus' important decision to bring the disciples to Caesarea Philippi for this important declaration.

Let's think about Peter. The man Jesus chose to walk His journey with Him.

John 1:40-42
One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. 41 He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ). 42 He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “So you are Simon the son of John? You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter).

Peter is Not chosen because he had the good spiritual eyes to see Jesus for all that He is. And point out Jesus first.

We are God's family and we will embarrass Peter, for a moment, with all of our funny remembrances of him. (Like your mom telling your Jr High Prom date how cute you were in the bathtub as a baby.)

Matthew 14:28-30 The Message
Peter, suddenly bold, said, "Master, if it's really you, call me to come to you on the water." 29-30 He said, "Come ahead." Jumping out of the boat, Peter walked on the water to Jesus. But when he looked down at the waves churning beneath his feet, he lost his nerve and started to sink. He cried, "Master, save me!"

Matthew 15:14-16 New International Version
Leave them; they are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.”
15 Peter said, “Explain the parable to us.” 16 “Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked them.

Matthew 16:22-23 The Message
Then Jesus made it clear to his disciples that it was now necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, submit to an ordeal of suffering at the hands of the religious leaders, be killed, and then on the third day be raised up alive. Peter took him in hand, protesting, "Impossible, Master! That can never be!" 23But Jesus didn't swerve. "Peter, get out of my way. Satan, get lost. You have no idea how God works."

Matthew 19:27
Then Peter chimed in, "We left everything and followed you. What do we get out of it?"

What did our Jesus see in our Peter?

Mark 5:37
He permitted no one to go in with him except Peter, James, and John. They entered the leader's house and pushed their way through the gossips looking for a story and neighbors bringing in casseroles. Jesus was abrupt: "Why all this busybody grief and gossip? This child isn't dead; she's sleeping."

Mark 9:2-4
Six days later, three of them did see it. Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain. His appearance changed from the inside out, right before their eyes. His clothes shimmered, glistening white, whiter than any bleach could make them. Elijah, along with Moses, came into view, in deep conversation with Jesus.

Mark 8:29
He then asked, "And you—what are you saying about me? Who am I?" Peter gave the answer: "You are the Christ, the Messiah."

John 6:67-69
After this a lot of his disciples left. They no longer wanted to be associated with him. Then Jesus gave the Twelve their chance: "Do you also want to leave?"

68-69 Peter replied, "Master, to whom would we go? You have the words of real life, eternal life. We've already committed ourselves, confident that you are the Holy One of God."

We know God can see into our souls and see us at our best - perhaps Peter was chosen for the spiritual growth ahead. Being such a perfect leader....

Acts 2:14
That's when Peter stood up and, backed by the other eleven, spoke out with bold urgency: "Fellow Jews, all of you who are visiting Jerusalem, listen carefully and get this story straight.

Acts 2:37
Cut to the quick, those who were there listening asked Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers! Brothers! So now what do we do?"

Acts 2:38
Peter said, "Change your life. Turn to God and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, so your sins are forgiven. Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 4:13
They couldn't take their eyes off them—Peter and John standing there so confident, so sure of themselves! Their fascination deepened when they realized these two were laymen with no training in Scripture or formal education. They recognized them as companions of Jesus, but with the man right before them, seeing him standing there so upright—so healed!—what could they say against that?

So what are we learning about Peter - with spiritual growth we are made perfect to face the lion's den??? So ... perfect we are God's mirror image?

Acts 12:9
And he went out and followed him. He did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision.

Acts 10
And he became hungry and wanted something to eat, but while they were preparing it, he fell into a trance 11 and saw the heavens opened and something like a great sheet descending, being let down by its four corners upon the earth. 12 In it were all kinds of animals and reptiles and birds of the air. 13 And there came a voice to him: “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” 14 But Peter said, “By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.” 15 And the voice came to him again a second time, “What God has made clean, do not call common.” 16 This happened three times, and the thing was taken up at once to heaven. 17 Now while Peter was inwardly perplexed as to what the vision that he had seen might mean

Paul said about Peter...

Galatians 2:11-14
But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party. 13 And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?”

So what does Peter do with the Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven and what can we learn from Peter's life?

Acts 10:26
But Peter lifted him up, saying, “Stand up; I too am a man.”

Peter was never perfect. He could not build a Church of God's to last 2,000 years. I was talking to a woman, today at Church, weeping because she has need for more tests for re-occurring cancer. Ashamed of crying for her fear, because it would not please Jesus. Jesus never loved Peter because he was perfect. Not once.

Hezekiah sure cried and cried & God wasn't upset with him for that.

Did Jesus love Peter? Yes - ! He died for Peter. Jesus always loved Peter for who God created him to be. Jesus tells us over and over. We do not save ourselves. Peter was like David - willing to walk on water for God, but when Peter got over his own self-righteousness - he still was willing to get into the water and swim to Jesus. Jesus thought eternity of David and Peter because they looked to Him, asked Him, loved Him. He loved them first.

What does God say about the Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven???? I am sure it pleases the living man named Peter, Keeper of the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. God says the 12 Gates of Heaven are always open.

Revelation 21:21-27
And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, transparent as glass.

22 And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. 23 And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, 25 and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. 26 They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. 27 But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life.

Blessed are You. Lord God Almighty. Lord God of Hosts. Blessed be Your Son, Jesus. Amen.

Isaiah 22:22
And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David. He shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.

1 Peter 5:7
casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you


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We believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He has saved all who call upon His name and rely on Him for His Grace. The Scriptures are living & active and are for understanding the Lord Almighty. Biblical readings are chosen from the Ecumenical Christian Church and the Nicene Council, 325 A.D., approved Apocrypha. People remember not just from reading, but by sight and orally- an image has been added as well as audio readings. God tends to link the passages together with fascinates - this blogger, Anne-Laurel Gardere

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Email registry at bottom.! “All Scripture is inspired by God” (2 Timothy 3:16). Men “moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (2 Peter 1:21). The Holy Spirit carried men along, moving and guiding them as they wrote in their own words what God wanted them to say. The Bible is unique; comprised of 80 separate books, & written over a period of thousands of years by more than 40 writers with one Author, spanning the centuries, different states of peace & war & different situations in life. The Bible answers the question: of who is God, who is man & what can their relationship can be. Although the Bible was written on perishable material and copied by hand for many centuries, its accuracy is not in doubt, proven by Dead Sea Scrolls and papyrus from 2,000 years. The Bible has survived persecution & criticism to be read with great interest in each generation. The Bible gives witness to the greatness of the Creator. A loving Father concerned for all of his creation. With each verse of the bible witnessing to God is love and the multitude & vastness of His attributes. The Bible was written for you. <><

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Good News for us to remember and Think Upon
Animals are found in Heaven ~ 6 Prophets See Animals in Heaven

Anger, Jealousy=Trouble

The Bible explains the Bible, Prophetically

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Blessing - unaware


Christmas - His Word Upholds the Universe - December 25th

Psalm 135 ~ who is in your midst
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Details - Putting it all together and discovering it is about God

Psalm 108 ~ In triumph I will parcel out Shechem

Determine your own path, just love Him

Judges 16 ~ like any other man
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Every Day, Still Today
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Exodus - History

Heavenly Hosts
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Elements of Nature Displaying HIS Glory
Exodus 40:16-38 ~ In the first month in the second year, on the first day of the month, the tabernacle was erected.

I Decide What is Right and Wrong - God noticed this in the Garden of Eden from Eve

Individualism and Groups

It's the End of the World as We Know it, And I Feel Fine. (One of our most read posts.)
Grandpa - The Bible is Really the Life Story of People and
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Gates of Heaven

Gifts of God, all of us

Giving - God certainly is


God sees His Creation as Good!!!


Good Friday




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Hated Emotion - Fear

History - Is There History Showing Jesus was Alive - VERY EXTENSIVE HISTORY


Holy Spirit ~ Manifestations

Homeward Bound, still a sojourner

Honey, Do this

John 3:31-36 ~ that God is true

Israel - Destroyed Completely and Rebuilt. A sign of Jesus. Existing today.

Jesus clearly put a Foundation for His Resurrection to be Believed by the Multitudes of all of Israel and the Nations

Jesus and His Childhood Privacy
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John the Beloved Disciple

The Journey of Joseph

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Luke 11:29-32 ~ Rise up
Psalm 126 ~ shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves
Luke 14:15-24 ~ there is still room
Joshua 1:1-9 ~ I am giving
Acts 5 ~ speak in the name of Jesus
John 1 ~ the Light shines
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~ they went on from there and passed through Galilee
Judges 20 ~ Israel

Losing a Loved One - Passing ON

Revelation 21:22-27 ~ those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life

Not Being Tossed Back and Forth with Emotion
Ephesians 4 ~ speaking the truth in Love

Romans 7:1-12 ~ bear fruit for God
1 Corinthians 7 ~ For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband
Genesis 37:12-24 ~ when Reuben
Psalm 143 ~ Your steadfast love
Psalm 86 ~ For great is your steadfast love

Media... taking it down the path
1 Corinthians 10 ~ Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God

Mercy, an Inseparable Component of Truth
Matthew 23:23-26 ~ clean
1 Samuel 12 ~ serve the Lord with all your heart
Matthew 22:34-40 ~ The great and first commandment. And a second is like it

Job 38 ~ Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding.
Psalm 19 ~ the heavens declare the glory of God
2 Kings 5:1-15 ~ a mighty man of valor, but he was a leper
1 Chronicles 13 ~ the Lord blessed the household of Obed-edom


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Luke 11:42-46 ~ Woe to you Pharisees!

Pictorial Images of the 12 Tribes of Israel

Picture It

Overcoming, with God's help!

Positive Attitude in Trouble

Prophets - the Law and the Old Men in Robes or People who Love the Lord. Flaws and Virtues. What They Sought in the Lord and What Drew Them to Him.



Psalm 91 ~ Prayer is always heard, God has an open door policy

Prayer Needs

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Seven Angels who stand before God

Revisionist History - Moses and Jeremiah said
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Second (3rd or 4th) Rate Seventh Level of Heaven

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Life and Travels of Paul



The World Changed Rapidly after the first Easter

Trust Him

Uncomfortable Scripture

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Who is like our God?


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Wrathful, Nasty Old God from the Old Testament


Years - Thousands of Them are Yesterday in His Sight

80 Books of the Bible
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