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Month: November 2019 Page 1 of 4

Saturday 11/30 ~ What Adam & Eve did Right

The scripture for today, November 30 (11/30), is Proverbs 11:30 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.”

Remember back in the Garden of Eden? Going by the age of their three sons, Adam and Eve were in the Garden close to one hundred years.  Instead of centering on what they did wrong, look at what they did right.  They were sinless for nearly a century! Hardly any of us can accomplish that in 100 minutes.

Just think. Walking through a garden lush with the beauty of holiness.  Walking through a garden with the water of life to drink. Walking through a garden with God (materialized) himself.

How many times did that snake Satan, upright like a king’s scepter and perhaps with a crown of gold and ruby on his head, make his way gracefully through the garden, laughing and enjoying the company of newly made humans? How many times did he coil up his tail like a maelstrom spiraling through the heavens full of light and beauty as he watched the couple enjoy the fruit of the garden? How many times did this magnificent creature sway back and forth, back and forth as cobras do as he spoke hypnotic words to make them feel like gods?

“Oh, look at the fruit on that tree over there? God told you never to touch it, but God is wrong.  Go ahead. Touch it. That’s right. Did anything bad happen to you? Of course not, because God is wrong.  How about touching it with your lips? That’s right. You’re not really eating it. You’re just touching it. Smell it too. Have you ever smelled anything so wonderful? God doesn’t want you to have it. He knows you will learn what evil is and then be as smart as him. God is jealous of you. Go ahead. Take a tiny bite. It won’t hurt you.  See there? Are you dead like he said you would be? No. You are still alive. God is a liar. I am the only one who tells you the truth. I am on your side. God hates you. Sure, go ahead and take another bite, and Adam might like some too.  It’s harmless. Do not believe anything God says. He hates you. I am the only one who loves you.”

How many thousands of times did Adam and Eve chase him off, only to have him back in their lives a few hours later? How many thousands of times did they try to resume what they were doing and try to put him out of their minds? How many times did they do it right? One stumble was all the enemy needed.

That was a long time ago. Now the Tree of Life, which God withheld from Adam and Eve, is in heaven waiting for them. Waiting for you.

And as you wait, win souls.  Snatch them out of the beautiful flower-strewn web of mankind’s enemy number one. He is still out here, still beautiful, still suave, and still lying.

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MICHEL: THE FOURTH WISE MAN lived a few miles from the Garden of Eden where the Tigris & Euphrates Rivers meet.  It was now under water.  Michel descends from Daniel. His dream is to buy what was the Garden of Eden, restore it, and bring people to it to meditate and pray so that perhaps God will return and walk the earth again. Little did he know that is what was happening over in Bethlehem.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this……….https://amzn.to/2Y9Z4wQ

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Friday 11/29 ~ Rest for your soul

The scripture for today, November 29 (11/29), is Matthew 11:29f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Ah, Lord Jesus. I am so weary worn.  It seems everything that could ever go wrong in my life is happening right now. Just when I think I have one problem at least partly under control, another raises its ugly head. Or should I say Satan raises his ugly head?  Satan, why are you doing this to me? It is you who is causing all the diseases and problems at work, and the car wreck and progressive blindness.  Was it you who set me up in that posh job which you knew was never popular in the company and would only cause me grief? Was this new house I bought with my pay raise worth it after all?

I am so tired. Help me, God.  I don’t know which way is up anymore. God?  I’m calling for you. God? Don’t you even care?

“Let’s trade, my child. I’ll take your burdens and you take mine.”

But, Lord, I do not understand. What could your burdens possibly be? You’re all comfortable in heaven.

“My child, my burden is to reach out to everyone and tell them how much I love them. My burden is to take their burdens on my shoulders. You can do it too. You can write encouraging messages to them every day. You can open up the newspaper and pray for everyone in it by name. You can call someone who is depressed like you and sing them a sweet song.”

But when, Lord? When would I find time?

“Use your brooding time, your crying time, your anger time. Let loose of them so I can brood, cry, and be angry for you. Remember, it’s a trade.”

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A CHILD’S LIFE OF CHRIST:  FLOOD GATES.  Jesus’ life on earth was filled with taking other people’s burdens onto his shoulders.  The people loved him for it and didn’t care that their leaders hated him for it.  Oh, how he loved us.  At the end of each chapter is “THINK AND DO” for children to apply that chapter to their own lives with a good work.  Perfect for children’s classes, church libraries, grandparents, birthdays, Christmas.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this……….https://amzn.to/2XZM5xo

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Thursday 11/28 ~ Sundays, our special Thanksgiving day

The scripture for today, November 28 (11/28), is 1st Corinthians 11:28,31 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup [of the Lord’s Supper]….If we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment.”

“When they met on THE first day of the week to break bread” (Acts 20:7), these first-century Christians were meeting to keep the Lord’s Supper, for the word (“met”) in the original Greek of the New Testament means a religious meeting. Interestingly, the word “the” in the original Greek means each and every without exception perpetually.

Even if we did not know the Greek, look how the Jews (and we) interpreted “Remember THE Sabbath Day to keep it holy”. They did not remember the Sabbath day monthly, quarterly or yearly, but weekly. Therefore, , the first-century Christians realized that “When they met on THE first day of the week to break bread” (Acts 20:7), it meant every Sunday.

We can sing, pray, teach and read the Bible any day of the week. What makes Sunday special is that’s the day Jesus came back to life, the day Jesus ascended back to heaven, and the day the church was established. Today, on the special first day we are to meet to take the Lord’s Supper, the Communion ~ the bread representing his body dying in our place, the wine representing his blood dripped out of his body in our place.

During the Communion, we consider Jesus’ terrible sacrifice in order to save us from hell. And we consider our sins that made his sacrifice necessary to save us from hell. Today’s scripture tells us that. During our weekly partaking of the Communion, we should be examining ourselves, comparing ourselves to Jesus. It is kind of like taking weekly exams so we will be ready for the big final exam on the Day of Judgment.

God thought of everything ~ weekly remembering the sacrifice of our Lord so that we never take him for granted, and weekly remembering our sins. And, in the process, our souls fall at his feet and whisper “Thank you. Oh, my Lord, thank you.”

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THE LORD’S SUPPER: 52 BIBLE READINGS WITH PRAYERS is for those leading the weekly communion and for participants to read as they partake.  Perfect for church libraries and special-occasion gifts for fellow Christians.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this:  ……….https://amzn.to/2L45Y14

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Wednesday 11/27 ~ Teach the teachers?

The scripture for today, November 27 (11/27), is Mark 11:27f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“…the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders came to him [Jesus]. ‘By what authority are you doing those things?’ they asked. ‘And who gave you authority to do this?’ “

Of course, the answer to their question is that no one needs authority to teach God’s Word. You do not have to be “ordained” by someone else who is a teacher. Actually, you do not have to be “ordained” by another preacher to preach although elderships sometimes laid their hands on people to send them out as missionaries. But that is all. Now, what about you as a teacher?

As you learn more of the Bible, consider teaching your community’s Bible leaders and teachers. Have the courage to speak up and quote something in the Bible which that church may not be following? Then, when your religious teachers and leaders go to you wanting to know by what authority you teach something new, be ready for them with the scriptures.

Periodically tell them about this newly-discovered truth in private ~ gently and respectfully ~ again and again.

Just remember leaders often take longer to accept a new teaching. It may take them months or years to accept it. Keep on keeping on. And be patient with them.

Pray for your community’s religious teachers and leaders.  Ask God to touch their hearts. He will not go against their natural nature, but if they have honest hearts, it will work. Plant the seed, and God will give the increase (1st Corinthians 3:16). God said, “My Word will not return to me void” (Isaiah 55:11).

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TITUS: THE ARISTOCRAT was born in a city of privilege, Antioch in the province of Pisidia in today’s Turkey.  He was educated.  When he became a Christian, Paul turned him into an arbitrator and sent him to “teach the teachers” in CORINTH of Greece, then the island of CRETE, and finally up in today’s area of Albania. Timothy brilliantly figured out who was lying to him, how to persuade those fake apostles to leave, how to keep under control imitating the Roman empire with its vestal virgins (nuns) and head bishops. All the while, he endures his own personal tragedies and eventually rises above them.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this………. https://amzn.to/2MRwnmn

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Tuesday 11/26 ~ Welcome Home

The scripture for today, November 26 (11/26), is John 11:26 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

” ‘ And whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’ “

Jesus was talking to the sister of his close friend, Lazarus, who had just died. Of course, we understand he was talking about spiritual death ~ the death of our souls. And death in the original Greek means separation; so in the case of our souls, it would be separation from God.

Revelation 20:6 & 14 refers to the second death of our souls which is the lake of fire. So what is the first death of our souls?

In John 3:3 Jesus said we must be born again of water and the spirit. Romans 6:4 says “we were therefore buried with him through baptism into death [of that sinful life] in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a NEW LIFE.”

Ah, the thought of living on inside the walls of salvation in heaven where Satan can never touch us again. The thought of walking and talking with God and never growing tired of it. The thought of singing with God with pleasure unending.

How reassuring to us when Jesus said believers’ souls would never die. Oh, glorious thought.

And so, day by day I keep on walking and keep on walking. I’m on a journey.  It will not end until, at last, I hear those words, “Welcome Home”.

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COME FLY WITH ME is the last novel in the series THEY MET JESUS. Jesus has come back to life and visited with many people.  Once, he interrupts his own funeral and has a conversation with all 500 in the past seven books for whom he changed their lives.  But mostly his time is with his Twelve.  They must be in charge after he leaves.  They have their ups and downs. The GRAND FINALE is when John visits heaven.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this………..  https://amzn.to/2pWXy4u

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Monday 11/25 ~ Come death. Be my door.

The scripture for today, November 25 (11/25), is John 11:25 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies.’ “

This has always been puzzling to me: People who have been Christians all their lives find out from their doctor they are going to die, and they weep and beg God to keep them alive. Why?

Heaven is your final destination, not earth. You claim you want to go to heaven, but you do not want to do what is necessary to get there. Death is the door to heaven. Death is not the end, but the beginning!

Why would anyone want to cling to this life in this world with all its problems? Why would anyone who claims to be a Christian wail and cry? Is it because living here is like living in a dark cave and we cannot imagine life with light and color and warmth? Where is all that faith you claimed to have? Where are all the songs you have sung with gusto like, “When We All Get to Heaven”, “When the Roll is Called Up Yonder”, and “I Shall See the King”?

Be willing to look death in the eye and say, “Jesus has conquered you! I will close my eyes here and open them again to behold my Creator and my Savior!” Oh, happy day!

 

THE ROAD TO HEAVEN begins in the despair of the Garden of Eden, progresses to another garden, the Garden of Gethsemane, and finally to heaven itself.  It begins with Satan and ends with Jesus.  It begins with death and ends with life.  It begins with the long journey from Adam’s and Eve’s sin and ends with hallelujahs in heaven, our home. To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this……….https://amzn.to/34eO4Ap

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O Glorious Day!

Sunday 11/24 ~ Let your soul soar with thanksgiving

The scripture for today, November 24 (11/24), is Ezekiel 11:24 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

“The Spirit lifted me up and brought me to the exiles in Babylonia in the vision given by the Spirit of God.”

Symbolism in the Bible is God’ is God’s way of getting deeper into the meaning of something for our human understanding.

For example, how did the Holy Spirit move people? Not by making them fall down, but by lifting them up. Ezekiel was the prophet who experienced this most often, and the Spirit never made Ezekiel swoon and fall down. It always lifted him up. Literally.

Jesus said in John 14:17 that he would send the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth. And in John 17:17 he said, “Your [God’s] Word is Truth.”

The Word of God does throw some people off symbolically but not physically, and that’s because they don’t like everything it says. So, they, in turn, throw the Bible down in a symbolic sense.

Even today, the Word of God lifts up the soft-hearted and receptive. If we let it, the Word of God can turn our lives around (in a symbolic sense ~ we don’t physically turn around) and our souls can soar to the throne of God (in a symbolic sense, not literally).

Be careful when reading something in the Bible that is symbolic to not turn it into something literal. Symbolism is there to convey a greater understanding of God that cannot be put into human words.   Keep on reading the Word of God and let the Holy Spirit continue to lift you up.

These are God’s parables in phrase form instead of story form.  What would we do without the Walls of Salvation, the Good Shepherd, the Lamb of God?  So, let God lift you up. Let your soul soar with gladness.

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THE OLD OLD STORY SET TO OLD OLD TUNES contains 80 Bible songs set to folk tunes ~ 40 on the Old Testament and 40 on the New Testament.  Easy and fun to sing.  Remember “The Old Grey Mare, She Aint What She Used to be”?  That’s the tune for “Abraham, Sarah, they ain’t what they used to be.”  Then there’s “Farmer in the Dell” which becomes “Jonah got burped up”.  Give one to each teacher of children in your congregation. Also great for parties, homeschoolers, grandparents entertaining the little one on visits, for long trips in the car with children.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this……….https://amzn.to/35FhiJd

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Saturday 11/23 ~ Eternal Thanksgiving

The scripture for today, November 23 (11/23), is 1st Corinthians 11:23ff as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ “

How the hearts of Jesus and his closest friends must have been breaking that night. How the apostles must have struggled to hold back the tears. They all knew the religious leaders in Jerusalem were plotting to execute Jesus. They knew he was risking his to be in the city ~ their lives too. How could they part with the one they now knew was the Son of God but also the Son of Mankind ~ their dearest friend?

When you take the communion every Sunday, where are your thoughts? What you’re going to do after church? What someone sitting near us is wearing? How the person in front of us is blocking your view?

Have you ever during the communion wept as Jesus’ apostles must have wept ~ and probably even as Jesus himself wept?

Oh, Jesus, it was my sins that caused you to go through that horrible death!  My punishment! How could you love me that much? I fall at your feet. I am so sorry.

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THE LORD’S SUPPER: 52 READINGS WITH PRAYERS can be used for private meditation during the Lord’s Supper or by whoever is leading the congregation for the communion.  The Lord’s Supper is the main reason early Christians under apostle leadership met on Sundays. They could sing, pray, study any day of the week.  Sundays were specifically for the Lord’s Supper.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this……….https://amzn.to/37pApsa

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Friday ~ How on earth could they live to be 900?

The scripture for today, November 22 (11/22), is Genesis 11:22 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

“When Serug had lived 30 years, he became the father of Nahor. And after he became the father of Nahor, Serug lived 200 years and had other sons and daughters.”

How can it be that people could live so long in the early centuries of the world? Isn’t that stretching things a bit? Isn’t it just folklore? Here’s more.

Noah had his first son at age 502 (Genesis 5:32, 11:10). Noah lived a total of 950 years (Genesis 9:29). Noah’s son, Shem, had his first son at age 100 and lived a total of 600 years (Genesis 11:10-11). Now we have Serug, the 7th-generation grandson of Noah, who had his first son at age 30 and lived a total of 230 years (see above).

Do you see the trend downward of ages after the flood? Most of Noah’s life was lived before the flood. Some of Shem’s life was lived before, but most of it was after the flood. All of Serug’s life was after the flood.

Many scientists believe that the earth originally had a constant cloud covering like the planet Venus does. Genesis 2:5-6 says it had not rained yet, but a mist rose to water everything. The King James Version of the Bible regarding the flood in Genesis 7:11 says the windows of heaven were opened. Genesis 8:2 says the windows of heaven were stopped.

Notice, it did not say the windows of heaven were closed; they were just stopped, meaning it could rain again periodically after that. If indeed, Earth did have a constant thick cloud covering before the flood, then humans would have been protected from radiation from the sun, and therefore could live longer. After the change in Earth’s atmosphere after the flood, humans beings exposed to more radiation would have lived shorter lives.

Something to think about…. And, one more thought ~ rainbows wouldn’t be possible with a constant cloud covering. The flood brought us rainbows! (Genesis 9:13). 

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A CHILD’S BIBLE HEROES:  NOAH is a familiar story for children. This 85-page storybook has big writing for the early reader and hyphenated long words to help pronounce them.  It takes your child from Noah’s normal life to a life of building a boat on dry land and being laughed at, the family’s year on their boat and descending to dry land with no one in the world but this one family. Oh, and tells of their wonder at a blue sky and, yes, the very first rainbow.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this:  https://amzn.to/37wDDtR

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