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Monday, December 26, 2011


I went on a missions trip to Serbia, which is why I had a lack of posts for a while. There are so many things I can say about what I went through and here are just a few things.
First of all, I went to several special needs school and the kids there were so sweet. They all where patient and better behaved than some other schools we went to. I loved being able to give them a box filled with toys and watch them learn about Jesus.

There were any other places I went to, mostly schools. Everywhere I went, though, we told everyone how to become a christian. No matter if the kids had special needs, had one eye, or they couldn't walk they all had the same need, Jesus Christ. I hope I helped bring people to God with those shoe boxes, and I'd like to thank the Germans who packed the boxes that I helped hand out and for anyone who has every packed a shoe box through Samaritans Purse because when you pack a shoe box, you help transform a needy child's life. They all need Jesus and before                  
they touch a box, they are told how to become a Christian. My team handed out 1,000 boxes and gave Jesus to them and their parents. They all have been given a gift that they can choose to open thanks to they prayer of my friends and family and the Germans that packed them. You'll be hearing more about my trip, but for now this is all I have to say. Thank you to everyone who made my trip possible.

Friday, December 23, 2011

The legend of the candy cane

Look at the Candy Cane
What do you see?
Stripes that are red
Like the blood shed for me
White is for my Savior
Who’s sinless and pure!
“J” is for Jesus My Lord, that’s for sure!
Turn it around
And a staff you will see
Jesus my shepherd
Was born for Me!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree

Merry Christmas! On this post, I want to tell you about the Christmas Tree. I have always thought of a Christmas tree being a lot like myself.
I try my best to grow in Jesus, and in the same way, a tree grows. Some people have fake Christmas trees, but I get a real tree. If a real one doesn't get water, it will shrivel up and look ugly. If Christians don't read the bible, while it will not effect their physical appearance, they will spiritually shrivel up.
But God wants us to be bright green, he wouldn't stop there, he wants to decorate us!
He wants to give us presents, lots that he will let us unwrap at the perfect time and he gives us lots of lights and  ornaments. And spiritual decoration is virtue and character because when people see virtue and kindness, they like it. It makes others wants to become Christians if they see people who have spiritual ornaments and lights, but they sure don't if all they see are shriveled up Christians. Make sure you keep your lights shining all season long, not just for Christmas. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Thessalonians: another note on the conclusion

Ok, so I had a random fan E-mail me about my conclusion to Thessalonians, and what the person said was a good input on my previous, here is what they said:

What a great example about your mom writing you a letter and then “Bob” actually writing the letter. That would be disappointing.
What I think that verse might refer to is a reference to dictation. In some cases, when a boss wants to write a letter they might call their secretary in and say “I would like to write a letter” and then they speak the words that they want to have written and the secretary takes notes and then goes and types up the letter. The secretary then returns with the typed up letter and the boss proof reads the leader, makes corrections and when the final draft of the letter is ready the boss signs the letter and sends it.
Paul might have had an assistant that was writing the letter as Paul spoke. Maybe the assistant had better hand writing and was able to make the letter look nicer. As I imagine it, at some point Paul said to his assistant, “give me the pen (or quill)” and Paul finished the end of the letter by writing with his own hand. If you had a copy of the original letter, you could tell by looking at the hand writing that there was a change in who was writing the letter. If you typed up a letter on the computer, printed it out and then thought of something really important to add, you might write it with your own hand and then sign the letter by hand.

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1 Thessalonians Part 1
2 Thessalonians Part 1
2 Thessalonians Part 7 (The original conclusion)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Thessalonians: conclusion (Part 2.6)

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.
I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand, which is the distinguishing mark in all my letters. This is how I write.

Why would it make such a big difference if say Timothy had written this letter? The facts are hard to gather on this one, but I think knowing that since Paul wrote it, he would know everything enclosed in the letter. Also, Paul tells most people that he'll write them and just because the scripture in acts does say nothing about him doing so, doesn't mean that it didn't happen.
And the best example and I an think of is, what if your mom said she'd write you a letter when you left for a trip. A week later, you get a nice long letter and at the end, it says, "Sorry your mom couldn't write this letter, she was busy.
I'm sure you'll understand.
I personally wouldn't be to happy to hear my mom didn't write the letter.
Now back to Paul, he wanted them to know that he took the time to write this letter and not hear he jotted down a few notes for Bob to turn into a letter.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

1 Thessalonians Part 1
2 Thessalonians Part 1
2 Thessalonians Part 7

Thursday, December 1, 2011

2 Thessalonians: chapter 3:1-15 (Part 2.5)

Finally, brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you.
And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not everyone has faith.
But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.

God will protect us from Satan. and he wants to, but he also wants us to trust him, you see bad things are not from God, but he allows all bad things that happen to test our faith in him.

We have confidence in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we command.
May the Lord direct your hearts into God's love and Christ's perseverance.
In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers, to keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the teaching you received from us.

Why does Paul point that out? Because people you hang out with affect how you act. If they do not live according to the scripture, you might begin to also. You should warn them that they are wrong, but you should keep away from  them.

For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you,
nor did we eat anyone's food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you.
We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to make ourselves a model for you to follow.
For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: "If a man will not work, he shall not eat."

That rule is very important because one should not gain from another toil without giving them something in return. It would stealing if Paul sat around all day while others work very hard, on the contrary, he worked so that he could eat.

We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies.
Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the bread they eat.
And as for you, brothers, never tire of doing what is right.
If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of him. Do not associate with him, in order that he may feel ashamed.
Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.

1 Thessalonians Part 1
2 Thessalonians Part 1
2 Thessalonians Part 6

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Holidays: Thanksgiving Edition

Everyone loves holidays, but not everyone knows what holiday's are for. Break the word "Holiday" up and it says "Holy day." Why would Thanksgiving be a Holiday?  Well, being thankful is good, but why are we thankful? Why is there a day set aside for giving thanks?
Being thankful is your choice. Most everyone has a big meal, so should you thank you parents for fixing you a wonderful meal? You should, but that is not the purpose of the holiday. The Pilgrims thanked God for safe travel when they where settled in America. What do you have to thank God for this Holiday?
God loves it when we thank him. you don't have to wait until thanksgiving to thank God. You should thank him all year long, but thanksgiving is a reminder that you need to thank God.
In a way it like an alarm clock, when it buzzes it reminds you to wake up. When Thanksgiving rolls around we should be remind "Be thankful!"
Thanksgiving is a Holiday because we remember all God has done for us. I like to write down 100 things I'm glad God gave me. I can usually get to 50 pretty easy, but from there on, I have to think hard. Find a way that work for you, something that gets the thankful part of the mind started up.
What does Holy mean? A dictionary describes it as having a spiritual quality, but the bible means being perfect.
The Sabbath is a Holy day, so a holy day is a day you spend with God, one set aside for God.
A holy person is someone who is perfect, a holy day is a day you remember the only perfect person, God.
Have a great thanksgiving everyone! And remember to give thanks to the lord for thing he has done for you. God is worthy of our praise. And I hope you have a blessing filled holiday!

Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.
2 Corinthians 9:10-12

Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.  Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Psalm 100

Thursday, November 17, 2011

2 Thessalonians: 2:13-17 (Part 2.4)

But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.
He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope,
encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.

You know, I constantly mention that Paul uses the most of his letter  talking about encouragement. "God...gave us eternal encouragement" ""Encourage you every deed and word"
And it is very important to "encourage your heart and strengthen you in every good deed and word"
So remember to be encouraging!

1 Thessalonians Part 1
2 Thessalonians Part 1
2 Thessalonians Part 5

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

2 Thessalonians: chapter 2:1-12 (Part 2.3)

Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers,
not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come.
Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. 
He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

Isn't that a good thing to know? There are people that pick a random date and say Jesus is coming, but he never does, so don't listen to people who say that.

If anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or, 'There he is!' do not believe it. No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. (Mathew 24:13;36)

So do not get excited about Jesus coming back, when that verse in Mathew said "the son" it was talking about Jesus, so anyone who says "I know the day!" They are putting themselves about Jesus.

Don't you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things?
And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time.
For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way.
And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.
The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders,

Fake miracle? So the bible is saying that close to the end Satan will be able to make fake miracles? That does sound a little crazy, but the truth is Satan will soon be able to give his follows the power to heal people and when he does, you need to know what is true and what isn't.

and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie
and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.

It's sad to think about how people will be won over to Satan's side by false signs. That's why every christian should be spreading the gospel and when the false prophets rise up, you don't want to be caught in there schemes.

1 Thessalonians Part 1
2 Thessalonians Part 1

2 Thessalonians Part 4

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

2 Thessalonians: 1:4-12 (Part 2.2)

Therefore, among God's churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.
All this is evidence that God's judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering.

It's important to know that God's judgment is right. If you believe God's judgment is not right, then it's best you soon learn otherwise. God wants us to be happy and you can't be fully happy if you don't trust that Jesus' way is best

God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you
and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels.
He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.
They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power

It's important to remeber God pays back wrong for wrong. I tend to want revenge and not to let God pay people back. That's something I need to learn to trust God about.

on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.
With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith.
We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Trust in God. Try and find out what you need to do better. 

Stop bringing meaningless offerings! wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow. "Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword." For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.
Isaiah 1:13a;16-20

1 Thessalonians Part 1
2 Thessalonians Part 1
2 Thessalonians Part 3

Sunday, November 6, 2011

2 Thessalonians: 1:1-3 (Part 2.1)

Paul, Silas and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace and peace to you from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing.

This is a short passage of scripture, but it's Paul's introduction to the three chapters of his letter. Paul had more than three topics to discuss, though.  If I where to continue in this chapter, I get into prayer and being thankful, but I think these first three verses are important. You might look at them as 66 words, but these 66 words have some important thing in them.

Your faith is growing more and more.

Is your faith growing more and more? What would Paul write to you if he knew all the troubles you have. would he say "we ought to thank God for you? and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing?" 
There are some people Paul writes to that don't have a greeting with encouragement. what I mean is Paul does encourage them how he can, but with the Thessalonians, he encourages them more more than he rebukes them.
Of course they aren't perfect.
Be sure to give thanks to the lord as Thanksgiving is drawing near. Share Gods love with everyone one around you.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.
(Psalm 118:1)
Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done.
(1 chronicles 16:8)

1 Thessalonians Part 1
2 Thessalonians Part 2

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

1 Thessalonians: conclusion (Part 8)

Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. 
Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. 
And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.
Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else. 
Be joyful always; 
pray continually; 
give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 
Do not put out the Spirit's fire; 
do not treat prophecies with contempt.
Test everything. Hold on to the good.
Avoid every kind of evil.
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.
Brothers, pray for us.
Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss.
I charge you before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

That is how Paul concludes his letter and that is how I will end mine.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

1 Thessalonians Part 1
2 Thessalonians Part 1

Friday, October 28, 2011

1 Thessalonians: chapter 5:1-11 (Part 7)

Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you,
for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, and they will not escape
But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.
You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.
So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled.
For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night.

Ok, so last post I was talking about Paul's mentioning of people being asleep to Christ. These verses are talking about being asleep to Christ as well. So don't fall asleep, but do awake. And paul will tell you more on being awake.

But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.
For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Both this chapter and the previous chapter of 1 Thessalonians  where talking about the coming of the lord. (The last more so than this one.)
Part 1
Part 8

Monday, October 24, 2011

1 Thessalonians chapter 4 (Part 6)

Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more.
For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.
It is God's will that you should be sanctified
that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable,
not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God;
and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you.
and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you.
Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.
Now about brotherly love we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other.
And in fact, you do love all the brothers throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers, to do so more and more.
Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you,
so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.
Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope.
We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.

Fallen asleep in him? Is this referring to death or to quenching the holy spirit? Possibly both. I have already read further in this, so it seems logic to assume that Paul was talking about death, but at the same time, since that is in a different verse, he could mean that if we are asleep in him (we have quenched the holy spirit, which means that we are not listening to God.) So, if we are asleep in him, then we might be out of Gods will. So back to the scripture (you'll see what I mean by he could be talking about death.)

According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.

I know that now you are wondering why I put the previous text in because now it's obvious that Paul was talking about dead people. Well, that is because while it may be true that Paul is talking about the end days, other books in the bible talk about being dead to the spirit, but alive in Christ. 

After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
Therefore encourage each other with these words.

I know I'm stating the obvious, but Paul is always mentioning that the Thessalonians should encourage each other. And so we should encourage each other "encourage each other"
Part 1
Part 7

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thessalonians: Chapter 4: 9;11-12 (Part 5)

After I read the bible, I write about what I read in a notebook. As I look at the book, it says, "Words to remember: 1 Thessalonians 4:9;11-12"
 So I am going to start by writing that verse down.

Now about brotherly love we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

I want to point out why I noted that, It is because " you have been taught by God to love each other." You know how to love each other, you don't need any but God's help to love others because "those who fear the lord lack no good thing." (Psalm 34:10)
I am going to spend this whole post on these verses, so they must be important. You see, if I go in depth in these three simple verses a few verses come to mind, I already wrote down part of Psalm 34:10, but it goes like this:

The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.

So the moral of this verse is you can do anything good. The moral of the first verse I wrote is almost the same, it says that you only need God's help to love each other because if God has the power to say it in his word, he's got the power to do it and trust me, if you ask God to help you not sin, he'll by all means say yes, but be careful, because Satan will discourage you from any good and pure goal you have. And no matter how hard it is "Those who fear the Lord lack no good thing." I wrote on the Psalm verse a while back, so if you can find that post, it will tell you more on that verse.
Part 1
Part 6

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Thessalonians: Chapter 3 (Part 4)

So when we could stand it no longer, we thought it best to be left by ourselves in Athens. We sent Timothy, who is our brother and God's fellow worker in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith, so that no one would be unsettled by these trials. You know quite well that we were destined for them. In fact, when we were with you, we kept telling you that we would be persecuted. And it turned out that way, as you well know.

So, Paul is telling the Thessalonians that they will be persecuted (This is also a reminder to us that God sends us through trails.) And this is also a good time to point out that God uses trials to bring us closer to himself. If we are in sin (even if we're not) God will bring us trial and so those times are a good place to examine yourself.

For this reason, when I could stand it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith. I was afraid that in some way the tempter might have tempted you and our efforts might have been useless. But Timothy has just now come to us from you and has brought good news about your faith and love. He has told us that you always have pleasant memories of us and that you long to see us, just as we also long to see you. Therefore, brothers, in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of your faith. For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord. How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you? Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith. 

So here Paul is telling them that he longs to see them and he is also encouraging the Thessalonians. Paul must be making a point, he has spent three entire chapters encouraging the Thessalonians. He must think christians need encouragement and I agree with him. For now, let's get back to the scripture. 

Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus clear the way for us to come to you. May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones. 
Part 1
Part 5

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thessalonians: Chapter 2 (Part 3)

You know, brothers, that our visit to you was not a failure. We had previously suffered and been insulted in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in spite of strong opposition. For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts. You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed--God is our witness.

Paul starts the second chapter by simply telling the elders that his trip the Thessalonica was by no means a failure, he wanted to make sure they knew that just because there was a riot in the city, it doesn't mean that the work the elders were doing was useless, this first part is simply encouraging them.   
We were not looking for praise from men, not from you or anyone else. As apostles of Christ we could have been a burden to you, but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children. We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us. Surely you remember, brothers, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed. For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.

So why is Paul writing this? I think he was reminding the leaders of the church how he acted and how they should treat other believers.

 And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe. For you, brothers, became imitators of God's churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own countrymen the same things those churches suffered from the Jews, who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to all men in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit. The wrath of God has come upon them at last.
But, brothers, when we were torn away from you for a short time (in person, not in thought), out of our intense longing we made every effort to see you. For we wanted to come to you--certainly I, Paul, did, again and again--but Satan stopped us.

So why did Satan stop Paul? Why didn't God stop Satan? If you've been reading my posts for a while, then you'll remember my posts from Job, where Satan was asking for permission to harm Job. 
God let Satan stop Paul because he had a better plan for Paul that didn't include revisiting the Thessalonians.

For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy.  
Part 1
Part 4

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Thessalonians: Chapter 1 (Part 2)

Paul, Silas and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace and peace to you.
We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers.
We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you,
because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.
You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.
And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia.
The Lord's message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia--your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it,
for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God,
and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead--Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.

This is Paul's introduction to his letter, he wants to encourage the Thessalonians to continue fighting hard and being an example. This chapter speaks for itself, and I am starting to dig into both of these books.  
Part 1
Part 3

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Thessalonians: Introduction

In my bible reading, I've been going through both books of Thessalonians, I started by reading Acts 17:1-9 (Where Paul visits Thessalonica  on his missions trip)

When they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue.
As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures,
explaining and proving that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead. "This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ," he said.

If you've read through acts, you'll see the same pattern mentioned, Paul goes to Jewish people first. And why is that?
I don't for a fact why, but the Jews read the Torah (The first five books of the bible.) and they believe in God, just not in Jesus, they believe what the first five books say.
Now take what I just said and apply it to what Paul did, he simply started with the easier people and worked up to hard people. What I mean by this is it is easier to teach someone who believes half of what your saying than someone who totally disbelieves what your saying. 

Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and not a few prominent women.
But the Jews were jealous; so they rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, formed a mob and started a riot in the city. They rushed to Jason's house in search of Paul and Silas in order to bring them out to the crowd.
But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some other brothers before the city officials, shouting: "These men who have caused trouble all over the world have now come here,
and Jason has welcomed them into his house. They are all defying Caesar's decrees, saying that there is another king, one called Jesus. 
When they heard this, the crowd and the city officials were thrown into turmoil.
Then they made Jason and the others post bond and let them go.

Paul isn't always welcome where he goes, but he got some followers who he rights a letter to, that I will start talking about next post.
Part 2

Friday, October 7, 2011

Job: Happily ever after

Then Job replied to the LORD:
"I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.
My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.
Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes."

After the LORD had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, "I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.
So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and sacrifice a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has."
So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite did what the LORD told them; and the LORD accepted Job's prayer.
After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before.
All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the LORD had brought upon him, and each one gave him a piece of silver and a gold ring.
The LORD blessed the latter part of Job's life more than the first. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys.
And he also had seven sons and three daughters.
After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation.
And so he died, old and full of years.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Job: the lord Answers (Chapter 40)

Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. He said: "Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. (Job 38:1-2)

Starting with Job 38 (going through Job 41), I will write out some questions God asks Job. if you have extra time, try reading all the questions, they are interesting, but I don't have the space to write them all here.

Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him? Let him who accuses God answer him!
And here Job finally says something, here it is:
"I am unworthy--how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth. I spoke once, but I have no answer--twice, but I will say no more."

Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm: Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. Would you discredit my justice? Would you condemn me to justify yourself?
Do you have an arm like God's, and can your voice thunder like his? Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor, and clothe yourself in honor and majesty. Unleash the fury of your wrath, look at every proud man and bring him low, look at every proud man and humble him, crush the wicked where they stand.
"Look at the behemoth, which I made along with you and which feeds on grass like an ox. His bones are tubes of bronze, his limbs like rods of iron. He ranks first among the works of God, yet his Maker can approach him with his sword. The hills bring him their produce, and all the wild animals play nearby.
When the river rages, he is not alarmed; he is secure, though the Jordan should surge against his mouth.
Can anyone capture him by the eyes, or trap him and pierce his nose?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Job: the lord answers (Chapter 39)

Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. He said: "Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. (Job 38:1-2)

Starting with Job 38 (going through Job 42), I will write out some questions God asks Job. if you have extra time, try reading all the questions, they are interesting, but I don't have the space to write them all here.

Who let the wild donkey go free? Who untied his ropes?
Do you give the horse his strength or clothe his neck with a flowing mane?
Do you make him leap like a locust, striking terror with his proud snorting? He paws fiercely, rejoicing in his strength, and charges into the fray. He laughs at fear, afraid of nothing; he does not shy away from the sword. The quiver rattles against his side, along with the flashing spear and lance. The quiver rattles against his side, along with the flashing spear and lance. In frenzied excitement he eats up the ground; he cannot stand still when the trumpet sounds.At the blast of the trumpet he snorts, 'Aha!' He catches the scent of battle from afar, the shout of commanders and the battle cry. Does the hawk take flight by your wisdom and spread his wings toward the south?
Does the eagle soar at your command and build his nest on high? He dwells on a cliff and stays there at night; a rocky crag is his stronghold.From there he seeks out his food; his eyes detect it from afar.

This chapter was all about God's amazing animals, although there were much less verses than the last chapter, but I still didn't write it all down and you should try reading the rest. I think Job is so amazing, it is a great example of what God can do!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Job: The Lord Answers (Chapter 38)

Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. He said: "Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. (Job 38:1-2)

Starting with Job 38 (going through Job 42), I will write out some questions God asks Job. if you have extra time, try reading all the questions, they are interesting, but I don't have the space to write them all here.

Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell me, if you understand.
Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it?
Who shut up the sea behind door when it burst forth from the womb, when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness.
Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place, that it might take the earth by the edges and shake the wicked out of it?
Have you entered the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of the hail, which I reserve for times of trouble, for days of war and battle?
Does the rain have a father? Who fathers the drops of dew?
Can you raise your voice to the clouds and cover yourself with a flood of water?
Do you send the lightning bolts on their way? Do they report to you, 'Here we are'?
Who has the wisdom to count the clouds? Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens
Do you hunt the prey for the lioness and satisfy the hunger of the lions when they crouch in their dens or lie in wait in a thicket?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Job: His second test

Ok, so Job's second test might not seem very clear to you if you've read Job, but his is when three friends ( Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite) came to visit him, I find it another test because as God says later,  "I am angry with you because you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.
Job and his friend spend more than thirty chapter talking, which we will not be discussing, but they are great chapter and if you ever need a passage to read, you might want to consider them. and next time I'll tell you what God asks Job.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Job: Satan talks to God

One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them. (Job 1:6)

Ok, I'll stop therefor a little. Some of you may be asking to yourselves 'What is Satan doing before God?" Well, Satan cannot touch you without God's permision. Yes, he can tempt you without it, but if he wants to kill all of Job son's and daughter along with...

The LORD said to Satan, "Where have you come from?"
Satan answered the LORD, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it."
Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil."
"Does Job fear God for nothing?" Satan replied. "Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face." The LORD said to Satan, "Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger." Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.
One day when Job's sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother's house, a messenger came to Job and said, "The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were grazing nearby, and the Sabeans attacked and carried them off. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!"
While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, "The fire of God fell from the sky and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!"
While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, "The Chaldeans formed three raiding parties and swept down on your camels and carried them off. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!"
While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, "Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother's house, when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!"
(Job 1:7-19)
I bet your wondering if Job curses God, well keep on reading:
At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised."
In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.
(Job 1:20-22)

Next: Job's second test.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Job: Introduction

Ok, so many of you have heard of Job, he has a book in the bible called "Job" which is about the tests God gave him. This book has over 40 chapters, so I could make quite a long series about  him, but I'll make it as short as I can while hopefully teaching you something about Job.

In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. He had seven sons and three daughters, and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East. His sons used to take turns holding feasts in their homes, and they would invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would send and have them purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, "Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts." This was Job's regular custom.
(Job 1:1-5)

Job is a very rightoues man, he does everything he can to please God.
Next: Satan talks to God

Monday, July 18, 2011

The legend of the sand dollar

The Legend of the Sand Dollar

There’s a lovely little legend
That I would like to tell,
Of the birth and death of Jesus
Found in this lowly shell.

If you examine closely
You’ll see that you find here,
Four nail holes and a fifth one
Made by a Roman’s spear.

On one side the Easter Lily,
Its center is the star,
That appeared unto the shepherds
And led them from afar.

The Christmas Poinsettia
Etched on the other side,
Reminds us of His birthday
Our happy Christmastide.

Now break the center open
And here you will release,
The five white doves awaiting
To spread Good Will and Peace.

This simple little symbol
Christ left for you and me,
To help us spread His Gospel
Through all Eternity

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Flood: Painting a Picture

Ok, so some of you might think of the flood as destroying the earth, which it was, but the flood is much of than that. let me explain, the flood is like God painting a picture, of course there was creation, but God changed the world and did some touch up work when the flood happened. (I'm not saying that when God made the earth it wasn't perfect, I'm saying that sin and humans made the earth less perfect and God destroyed all living things while repairing the world.)
Imagine a mountain...many peaks behind it and just beautiful.
Keep that picture, but now think of the ocean... waves hitting the beach...and it gets better in the sand sometimes a wave leaves a mountain looking impression.
Now, imagine huge, powerful waves hitting rock and carving the mountains we see today. pretty cool? that is why creation makes sense. some people say that with an explosion the earth was created .
Ok, another picture, imagine buying a model car set, then getting all the pieces in a bag, now shake the bag...think about how long it will take you shaking the pieces up so that you have a car when you open the bag maybe...never.
When people talk about "the big bang" they are saying an explosion created the earth and universe. To me, it seems crazy to think that could happen by shaking things up.
You see, God wants us to see that he signed his picture and he left incredible evidence.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Flood: Introduction

Ok, so I am doing a two post series on the flood. first I'll start by telling the bible story most of you have probably heard "Noah's Ark" 
Let's start. first, you should kniw that people lived a lot longer then. see genesis 5, which is a list of people after Adam.
Genesis 5:32: After Noah was 500 years old, he became the father of Shem, Ham and Japheth.
See, that's a long time, but now I'll take you to genesis 6, where God looks all the people in the earth.
The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.So the LORD said, "I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth--men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air--for I am grieved that I have made them." But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD. This is the account of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God. Now the earth was corrupt in God's sight and was full of violence. God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways.

So God said to Noah, "I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high. I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark--you and your sons and your wife and your sons' wives with you. You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them."
Noah did everything just as God commanded him.

Then we move to chapter seven, after Noah has finished the ark.

The LORD then said to Noah, "Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation. Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made."
Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters came on the earth. And Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons' wives entered the ark to escape the waters of the flood. And after the seven days the floodwaters came on the earth.

In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, on the seventeenth day of the second month--on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than twenty feet.
Every living thing that moved on the earth perished--birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind.

The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days.

First, this last part is true, it rained for 40 days, but the water didn't vanish in moments after 40 days, it took 150 days for the water to soak up into the ground.