Monday, June 29, 2015

What is a godly woman?

A godly woman is God-fearing, efficient, strong, knows that doing God’s will for her life is more important than doing what she wants, doesn’t take advantage of others, uses what God has given her to glorify Him, knows that she is intelligent, competent, and valuable asset to the kingdom of God.  She possesses godly wisdom, prudence, reliability, and trust.  She always speaks the truth and does not participate in gossip.

She is praised and appreciated by her family.  If she is married, she is a crowning joy to her husband.  Her husband should be a godly man with a vision and who knows how to encourage and positively influence his wife.  The two of them complement each other and their marriage is a partnership.  A true woman of God is sent by God to fulfill her roll in God’s divine plan.  She is spiritual and practical.  She applies the Word of God to her life.  She lets her light shine and does not waste time doing unproductive things or throwing pity parties.  She knows how to be content in all circumstances, how to be business-minded, and has a benevolent heart.

A godly woman thinks before she acts, knows how to comfort and encourage, accepts and give nothing less than the best, and does not let outside influences stop her or her household from achieving their full potential, because she is covered by the blood of Jesus.

Which of these characteristics describe you?
Which of these do you need to work on?
Would others say you are a godly woman?

Women of God, we are royalty!  Let’s not live beneath our stations as princesses!  We are special, because our heavenly Father cherishes us.

We should be confident that we are DORKS, Daughters of the Risen King.  God’s wants us to feel better about ourselves.  He wants us to be more excited about our future, more grateful, and more enthusiastic about our faith.  As a believer in Jesus Christ, God has given us His Holy Spirit to help us live life according to His perfect plan.

We are not perfect and all these characteristics mentioned set the bar high, but they are certainly things we are to aspire to.  Sometimes we compare ourselves with others and feel inadequate.  Here is a letter that could have been written from God that just maybe, will help change our attitudes.

Dear Woman,

When I created the heavens and the earth, I spoke them into being.  Then I created man, formed him and breathed life into his nostrils.  But you, woman, I fashioned after I breathed the breath of life into man.  Because your nostrils are too delicate, I allowed a deep sleep to come over him so I could patiently and perfectly fashion you.  Man was put to sleep so that he could not interfere with the creativity.  From one bone, I fashioned you.  I chose the bone that protects man’s life.

I chose the rib, which protects his heart and lungs and supports him, as you are meant to do.  Around this one bone, I shaped you…I modeled you.

I created you perfectly and beautifully.  Your characteristics are as the rib, strong yet delicate and fragile.  You provide protection from the most delicate organ in man, his heart.  His heart is the center of his being; his lungs hold the breath of life.  The rib cage will allow itself to be broken before it will allow damage to the heart.  Support man as the rib supports the body.  You were not taken from his feet, to be under him, nor were you taken from this head, to be above him.  You were taken from this side, to stand beside him and be held close to his side.

You are my perfect angel…You are my beautiful little girl.  You have grown to be a splendid woman of excellence, and my eyes fill when I see the virtues in your heart.  Your eyes…don’t change them.  Your lips…how lovely when they part in prayer.  Your nose…so perfect in form.  Your hands…so gentle to touch.  I’ve caressed your face in your deepest sleep.  I’ve held your heart close to mine.  Of all that lives and breathes, you are most like me.

Adam walked with me in the cool of the day, yet he was lonely.  He could not see me or touch me.  He could only feel me.  So everything I wanted Adam to share and experience with me, I fashioned in you; my holiness, my strength, my purity, my love, my protection and my support.  You are special, because you are an extension of me.  Man represents my image, woman my emotions.  Together, you represent the totality of God.

I love you,


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Monday, June 22, 2015

I Hate Cell Phones!

Do you have a cell phone?  If you don’t, you’re not living in the modern world.  Cell phones are nice to have, but sometimes I HATE Cell Phones!  It may not be the cell phone’s fault.  People who have them may be the problem.  Let me explain. 

When talking to someone face to face and all of a sudden their cell phone rings, what happens?  Do they continue to give you their full attention and check their phone later?  No, they don’t.  What do they do?  They answer their phone and leave you standing there.  They continue to talk for several minutes as if you were not important at all.  It is the same when they get a text. 

You’re eating in a restaurant with your friends and everyone is constantly on their phone.  They’re playing games, checking emails, texting, etc.  Again, you are left sitting there as if you were not important at all.  Whatever happened to face to face communication?  I thought it was bad when we started emailing instead of writing letters.

Since some people don’t have a home phone and only have a cell, they carry the cell phone around as if it were attached to them.  It’s always in their pocket or right beside them on a table.  They even take it to the bathroom with them.  They cannot miss a call!  How important can a phone call be that you can’t miss a call for a few minutes?

Young people and yes, older ones, too talk for extended periods of time.  This is wasteful time and of course money if you’re paying for your minutes.

When driving on my way to work, I see people on their phones.  What do you need to talk about that early in the morning?  What is that important that you can’t wait until you park your car?

Cell phones used when driving is very dangerous.  It only takes a second to lose control of your car when dialing your phone and even more dangerous is texting while driving.  Texting while driving is unlawful in some states.  They also emit some radiation and can be harmful to our health.  They have linked cancer and brain tumors to cell phone use.

People never leave home without it.  What did we do before cell phones?  We live in a time of instant access to communication, business and entertainment. 

Some people violate other peoples’ privacy.  Cell phones are misused when people use the camera to take pictures without others permission.  They can record conversations, too. 

There are places you should not use your cell phone - movies, bathrooms, churches, elevators, hospitals, meetings, funerals and weddings, planes.  You get the idea. 

When you talk on your phone, people tend to talk louder than usual.  This is very disturbing to others.  AND don’t put your phone on speaker!  Don’t multi-task by talking on your phone when shopping, banking or waiting in line in the grocery store.  This is VERY annoying to others.

As you can see, I get very agitated about cell phones and those who rudely use them.  Yes, they are useful in cases of emergencies.  But come on people, use them responsibility.   I hope this makes you stop and think when and how you use your cell phone.  AND – heaven forbid, if you forget to charge it!  You might have to wait 30 minutes for it to charge before you can use it again.

NOTE:   Wouldn’t it be great if we treated our Bible like our cell phones - Carried it with us everywhere, turned back if we forgot it, checked it for messages all throughout the day, used it in case of emergencies, and spent an hour or more a day using it?


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Monday, June 15, 2015

How To Study The Bible

 Why should I study the Bible?

The Bible is God speaking to us.  It was written by 40 different people over a period of 1600 years.  No book has ever been more analyzed or criticized yet it has been preserved over 2,000 years.  No other book has been so consistently bought, studied and quoted as the Bible.  It is the most translated book in the entire world.  It is as relevant today as when it was written.  It is ignored by those who are uncomfortable with its teaching, but still it is the central book of Western civilization.  The Bible is the most important book we will ever read.

The Bible has a message for all ages from childhood to the aged and is for all classes of people.  It tells stories of many types of people - faithful and sinful.  It tells of the fall of man and how man can repent and get right with God.  It begins with God’s creation of the world and ends with Jesus’ return to judge the wicked and reward the faithful.  In the middle it tells of how God uses different people to bring about His divine plan for mankind.  It tells of God’s miracles and wonders with many, many lessons for us to learn.

The doctrine of the Bible is Jesus Christ.  Its subject is Jesus Christ.  Its object is Jesus Christ.  Its symbols are of Jesus Christ.  Its predictions are about Jesus Christ.  Its gospel glorifies Jesus Christ.  Jesus is throughout the Bible from Genesis through Revelation. 

To reject the Bible is to reject God Himself, His commandments, and His authority.  To accept the Bible and God’s Son, Jesus is to live a life eternal in heaven.

God gave us His Word to guide us as to how we should live.  2 Tim. 3:16“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 

Where do I start?

So let’s get started studying.  First be sure you read it and study daily even if it is only 15 or 30 minutes.  Find a special place where you do all your studying.  It’s important to get away from distractions.  Turn off the phone and go to a quite place and shut the door.  Try to study at the same time each day.  Mark the day and time on your calendar and don’t let anything interfere with your appointment with God.  You make time to go to that hair appointment don’t you?  And you would never break that appointment so don’t break your appointment with God.  Pray before you begin and don’t forget to pray when you finish.  Ask God to help you apply what you’ve read that day.

“Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.”Joshua 1:8

Here are several ways to study the Bible that might interest you:

#1 – Start reading the entire Bible.  Start at the beginning and read straight through.  Read 1 or 2 chapters daily or a whole book of the Bible, but be sure you read it daily.  Then you can go back later and study a book in more depth. 

I find the best time for me to spend time with God and His Word is in the morning, before I get too involved with the tasks of the day.  Then it seems that the day runs much more smoothly.

#2 – You can start your study with a small book like James or Peter or even 1 John.  Spend a couple of weeks on it and be sure to pray before you start by asking God to help you understand.  At first just read through the book several times looking for themes throughout the chapters.  Then look for how you can apply what you’ve read to your life.  Then take it verse by verse and don’t be afraid to use highlighters to mark meaningful verses or phrases. 

Also try not to look at commentaries until you’ve finished your study.  You want God to speak to you, not get someone else’s interpretation.  The Bible is sufficient enough.  God will reveal to you what you need to understand.  So give God a chance before you look into commentaries. 

When reading, ask yourself who is speaking; to whom are they speaking; what is the context of the passage; and what is the purpose.  Look up any words you don’t understand in the dictionary.  I use the internet for a quick definition. 

#3 – There are small inexpensive study books on specific topics and on different books of the Bible that you can buy at a Christian book store.  They contain daily study questions that can help.  You can study these kinds of books in a group or do them on your own.  Some are very basic and some are more advanced.  Ask the store clerk to help you decide which one is best for you.

#4 – You can join a small group Bible study group at your church, in your neighborhood or start one of your own.  This is very helpful to be involved with others as you study.  You will gain new insights and be encouraged by them.  You will see that you are not alone in understanding the harder lessons.  You will also gain knowledge from others who are stronger in their walk with God and be an encourager to those who are weaker.

#5 – Join a BSF group.  I have been in several church Bible studies over the years and I have learned many things, but the best study I have ever been in is Bible Study International (BSF).  It is an in-depth study and is throughout the world.  This is a study in more than 1,100 classes of 400,000 people in 39 countries and it includes people of all ages, races, and cultures.  Classes are held in many cities and in many different churches, although BSF is non-denominational.  It’s for people who are discovering the Word for the first time or who have had many years of studying the Bible.  Every class around the world is studying the same book of the Bible. 

When you join a BSF, you will attend a class once a week.  There are daily questions for you to answer.  Then you attend a class where you will meet with others and discuss your answers.  After class you attend a lecture on what you’ve studied which helps you to understand it even more.  You will receive written notes on the same lesson.  This is a four-fold approach to your studying.  If you don’t understand it in your daily study questions, you probably will through the discussion, lecture or notes.  No one is ever put on the spot during discussion time, but you are encouraged to share. 

BSF is not based on any particular denomination or their beliefs.  It is based strictly on the Bible.  BSF Core Values are:  values dependence on God, a passion for Jesus Christ and His people, integrity, consistency without inflexibility, excellence with humility, and caring for other with Christ’s love.

To find a BSF class near you go to their website –

It’s a Process

I have studied the Bible for many years and I still don’t know or understand it all – and – I never will in this life.  But as the years of study go on, I learn more each time I read and study.  It’s a process.  Every time you study you will learn something.  When you discover its power and truth, you will begin to see changes in your life.  God reveals bits and pieces along the way and before you know it, you have more and more knowledge of the Bible and a better relationship with God.  You learn who God really is.  You learn His commands and His promises.  You learn what He expects of you.  You learn about His character and how much He loves you.  You learn many lessons for your life from the stories and characters in the Bible.  You learn how God uses all kinds of people to bring about His plan and how He uses even the worst of sinners.

“Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophets own interpretation.  For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”2 Peter 1:20-21.

You will see through your study of the Bible that Jesus is woven throughout the Old Testament as well as the New Testament.  You will learn that God is the Creator of all things.  You will learn about the fall of man and how God provided a way for sinful man to reconcile to Himself by way of His Son, Jesus who died for all mankind.  You will learn how to pray and trust God in every part of your life. 

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”Ps. 119:105

Are you too busy to study your Bible?  BUSY is “Being Under Satan’s Yoke”.  Satan will do everything he can to keep you busy so you think you don’t have the time to study God’s Word.  Satan knows his time is running out and he is working extra hard to keep you from Jesus.  You need to make a choice on how to spend your time.  Don’t let yourself be robbed from the lessons and blessings you will receive by reading and studying the Scriptures.

So get started now!  You won’t want to miss out on the blessings you will receive.  God is waiting to speak to you through His Word.

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Saturday, June 6, 2015

Joshua 23-24

Last week we saw how Joshua divided the Promised Land according to how the Lord commanded.  This week we see the death of Joshua, but before his death he encouraged Israel to have strength and courage and to continue to serve only God. 

Joshua 23 – Joshua’s Farewell

We don’t know how much time had passed.  It may have been many years, but we know that Israel lived in peace.  The Lord gave Israel a time of rest from all their battles and now Joshua was well advance in his years.  Joshua summoned all the elders, leaders, judges and officials of Israel and reminded them of all they had seen God do for them.  It was the Lord who fought for them in conquering the land.  The Lord will dive out the remaining nations and they will again take possession. (Joshua 23:1-5)

We as Christians should remember all God has done for us.  Sometimes we get wrapped up in our circumstances and fail to see God working.  As I think back over my life I can see now when I couldn’t see then, He was there.  He was with me when I thought no one else was or could understand.  He was there when I made those wrong decisions bringing me through them as I learned and grew from them. 

I was in a Bible study several years ago and our group was asked to section off our life in increments of ten year periods.  Then write down each event that happened to us during those times – school, job, marriage, birth of a child, divorce, etc.  When I did that, I could see how God was there guiding me and how I matured in my faith.  It showed me how I got to where I am today and how God was with me in each event.  He is and has always been on my side as He is on yours.  He is working and fighting for us and He always keeps His promises.

When in your past, have you seen God working in your life?
Did you recognize God in your circumstance?
How did you grow in that circumstance?

Joshua told them to be very strong and careful to obey the Book of the Law of Moses.  He reminded them to not associate with these nations and worship their gods.  They are to hold fast to God.  The Lord made Israel into a powerful nation.  He fought for them as He promised.   So they are to love Him and Him alone.  (Joshua 23:6-11)

BUT – if Israel associates with the survivors of these remaining nations and if they intermarry with them, God will no longer drive them out.  These nations will become snares and traps for Israel.  Israel will lose the land.  (Joshua 23:12-13) 

We can follow the world or we can follow God.  That is the only option you have.  Who do you follow?  We need to hold to the ways of God.  Being with other Christians, going to church, praying, and doing Bible studies are all important.  If we listen to God, we will not listen to the world.  We need to be obedient.  Disobedience does not bring blessings.  We have a choice.  Anytime you obey God’s Word you will be blessed and will also bring blessings to others.

Joshua reminded them that all the Lord’s promises had been fulfilled and none had failed.  Just as the good promises were fulfilled so will the evil He threatened.  If Israel violates the covenant with God and serves other gods, the Lord’s anger will burn against them and they will quickly perish from the land He has given them.  (Joshua 23:14-16)

Christians must be careful, too.  We must be strong and careful to obey God’s commands.  God will not forget us if we sin, but it will spoil our fellowship with Him and cause us trouble.

What will be your last words?
Will they be words of encouragement?
Do you encourage others to keep God’s commands?

Principle:  God’s promises never fail.

Joshua 24:1-27 – Covenant Renewed

Joshua assembled all of Israel and reminded them of what the Lord had done for them.  He charged them to fear and serve the Lord.  The people agreed that they would serve Him.  Joshua told them that God is holy and jealous and will not forgive them if they rebel or if they serve other gods.  The people again said, “No!  We will serve the Lord.”Joshua 24:21.  Joshua said they would be witnesses for themselves that they had chosen to serve.

On that day Joshua made a covenant for the people and recorded it in the Book of Law of God.  Then he took a large stone and set it under a tree near the holy place of the Lord.  “This stone will be witness against us.”Joshua 24:27.  This is like signing an agreement to keep the Law of Moses and the stone was the seal of the agreement.

The Israelites chose to serve God.  We have a choice, too.  We can serve God or other gods.    What is the #1 thing you give most of your attention?   Where we spend most of our time, money and energy is worship.  It becomes our god or idol.   The other gods that we sometime serve are our families, sports, entertainment, money, our job, shopping, and even false prophets.  If we focus on these things more and put them before God, that’s idolatry.  We take a good thing and make it an idol.

What are your idols that compete with God? 
Where or who does your approval come from? 
What do you long for or desire? 

Exodus 20:3-5a You shall have no other gods before me.  You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.  You shall not bow down to them or worship them…”

We must serve and worship the one true and living God.  He freed us from sin by sending His Son, Jesus to die on the cross for us.  Jesus bought us with His blood.  We belong to Him.  That is why we should and must worship Him on Him alone.

What false gods are you seeking instead of the one true God?
What consumes your thoughts, time, energy and emotions?
Is it God Himself, or is it some idol which leaves you with nothing to give to the Lord?

Principle:  God wants us to serve Him and Him alone.

Note:  See my older post “What is Worship”

Joshua 24:28-33 – Joshua’s Death

Joshua died at 110 years of age.  Three people were buried.  Joshua was buried in the land of his inheritance.  Joseph’s bones that were brought up from Egypt were buried in the land Jacob bought, which was the inheritance of Joseph’s descendants.  Eleazar, Aaron’s son died and was buried also. (Joshua 24:29-33)

Israel served God throughout Joshua’s lifetime.  Joshua was a great leader of great faith.  He feared God, believed God, obeyed God, and glorified God.  He knew God would keep His promises.  He was only concerned with doing the will of God.  He tried to do the commands of God to the fullest.  Joshua died, but the God of Joshua is still alive.  Joshua like Moses and Aaron was buried on a mountain.  We are all to be like Joshua.  “Be strong and do not be afraid.  Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you do.  Do not let this Book of the Law depart from our mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.  Then you will prosperous and successful.  Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”Joshua 1:7-9.

Do you fear God, believe God, obey God, and glorify God?
Do expect God to keep His promises?
What legacy will you leave behind?
Will others say you were of great faith?

Joshua was by Moses’ side since his youth.  He was appointed Israel’s leader when Moses died.  He was a warrior for God.  He was gifted with leadership.  God confirmed his position with the miraculous crossing of the Jordan River.  At the end of his life he encouraged Israel to choose God over all else.  He did everything that God commanded.  Under his leadership, “Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to the house of Israel failed; every one was fulfilled”. Joshua 21:45. 

Joshua was told 7 times to “be strong and courageous”.  All of the battles were won in the Lord’s strength and not by the hands of men.  If we choose to fight our battles in our own strength and power, we will lose.  But if we choose to recognize how God gives us power, we will win.  “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord Almighty”Zech. 4:6.  Through prayer the Spirit will destroy evil influences in our lives.

How devoted to prayer are you in fighting the enemy?
Do you try to fight your own battles?
Do you turn to God only as the last resort?
How do you recognize God’s power in you?

Principle:  We must choose to recognize God’s power and strength in our battles with the enemy.

God continued to be with Israel in their future battles.  God continues to be with us.  We just need to listen, trust, and obey His commands.  We need to be strong and courageous like Joshua.  You can see the next chapter of the Israelites in the book of Judges. 

I hope you have enjoyed this study and have learned many lessons from it.  I know I have.  This book of Joshua gives us insights into God’s character and nature:
God is Creator – His creation is subject to His sovereign control.  He stopped the Jordan so Israel could cross, He shattered the walls of Jericho, He sent hail from heaven to destroy the enemy, and He lengthened the hours of a day.
God is faithful – He led Joshua and Israel to the Promised Land fulfilling His promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  He gave each tribe their inheritance leaving no one out.  He even allowed Joseph’s bones to rest in the Promised Land as promised.
God hates sin – He waged war against the wicked Canaanites and anyone who sinned in Israel.
God is our eternal leader – He appointed Moses and Joshua to serve Israel.  He is our Great Leader.
Jesus is revealed – Joshua’s names means “Lord is my Savior” or “Jehovah is Savior” which points to Christ as the Captain of our salvation leading His people by the power of the Holy Spirit.

For the rest of the summer I will not be posting on a specific book of the Bible, but on several different topics.  Next week we will talk about “How to Study the Bible”.  See you next week.  Until then, “be strong and courageous”. 

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