Picture of eagle's head with text, "Bible studies"


(Newest ones are last)
A firm foundation
A Firm Foundation
Be rooted in Christ
Be Rooted in Christ
Promises you can believe
Promises You Can Believe
Choose wisely
Choose Wisely
The final authority
The Final Authority
Get plowed under
Get Plowed Under
In God we must trust
In God We Must Trust
Why should the Word abide in us?
Why Should the Word Abide in Us?
Don't Get Carried Away!
Don't Get Carried Away!
Set Memorial Stones
Set Memorial Stones
Help My Unbelief!
Help My Unbelief!

Having a Pity Party?

Having a Pity Party?
Unlearned in the Things of God
Unlearned in the Things of God
Study Your Bible
Study Your Bible
Are You Going to Heaven?
Are You Going to Heaven?
Foolishness is No Excuse
Foolishness is No Excuse
You Have No Excuse You Have No Excuse


11/17/97 Guidance
"For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me."
Psalm 31:3
Wouldn't it be nice to know that you are always protected? What if you had a choice? Surprise!! You do have a choice! God can be your rock and your fortress all the time. That is what King David was trying to tell us in this psalm.

 God loves us more than anyone--even more than we love ourselves. He will guide you in everything you do. All you need to do is ask Him. We don't know what the best decisions are for anything. We are only giving things our best guess. Doesn't it make sense to leave things in the hands of the one who can see the future and who loves you dearly?
I neglected to save the November 1997 welcome messages


8/4/98 A Firm Foundation
"And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ."
1Corinthians 10:4
I just had to use this scripture for this Bible study. It was the main scripture for the Vacation Bible School. The name was, "Building on the Rock." It had a construction theme and we started out talking about blueprints and the second day was the foundation.

What could be a more solid foundation than a rock? In order for a structure to be strong it has to start with a firm foundation. If the foundation gives way then no matter how solidly the rest of the building is built, it will fall. In order to begin building something strong and sturdy you need to start with some good plans and begin with a firm foundation.

The plans you need to build a good, strong life are called the Bible. Everything you need to know about how to live is contained in the Bible. The firm foundation is the Rock called Jesus. A life built on Him will definitely be a strong and good one.

The song that the students grabbed onto has the chorus, "On Christ the Solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand. All other ground is sinking sand." It is a fact. . .all other ground is sinking sand. It may seem solid at first, but will fall out from under you and leave you in a broken heap. If your life seems too difficult to bear then seek the Rock--Jesus!

Things are NEVER hopeless. You only think they are. There is always hope when you get hold of the reality of who Jesus is and what He has done. If you don't know about Jesus here's a simple explanation God has helped me to put together:  Jesus- - -the Only Way!
Link to 8/4/98 welcome message


1/4/99 Be Rooted in Christ
"As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving."
Colossians 2:6-7
In order to receive everything that God has for you it is imperative that you be rooted in Christ. You need to have your roots attached firmly in Him. Roots are what brings nourishment to a plant. Christ has the things you need to be able to survive in this world. He has the peace, the patience, the understanding, the love, the wisdom, the joy, and all the other things you need.

If you are not firmly attached then you will flounder when trials come. If you are only attached with a suction cup you will pop loose at the first sign of disaster. You won't even notice that you've become detached. You will be thrashing about on your own trying to handle things in the best way you can.

If you are rooted then you will be able to hang on and draw the things you need from Him. If you should happen to become detached you will quickly re-sink your roots back in Him because you will immediately notice that you are in trouble. Just as roots give life to a plant, you will notice yourself starting to shrivel and die if your "roots" become detached.

Notice that the scripture also says to walk in Christ. It doesn't mean walk with Him, beside Him, behind Him, or ahead of Him. You are to walk IN HIM! That means you do nothing outside of Him. Everything you do, every decision you make, every word you say should be coming from inside Christ. He is your filter. He filters out the bad things that are in the world that can enter you. He also filters out the bad things that come out of you.

If you are walking in Jesus you are walking in the Spirit. If you are rooted in Him, you will be living in the Spirit. Without Him you are walking and living in the flesh. Paul said in Romans 7:18, "For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not." Paul was perhaps the greatest apostle that ever lived, yet he struggled daily with sin. He knew that he couldn't do anything on his own. He knew he needed to filter everything through the mind and heart of Jesus.

Times are getting harder and harder. The world is getting uglier and uglier. It will be more and more difficult to handle problems on our own. As things get worse you will see an increasing number of people committing suicide, taking drugs, drinking too much, and basically just trying to escape from reality. Jesus can be our reality. He can be our shelter and our escape. He is ready, willing, and able to strengthen us. We just need to root ourselves in Him and walk in Him.
Link to 1/4/99 welcome message


4/19/99 Promises You Can Believe
"That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us"
Hebrews 6:18
This is the basis for a lesson I've had burned in my heart lately. God cannot lie. Everything that God says is the truth. If God says something will happen, then it will happen. If God says He will do something, then He has to do it.

GOD'S WORD IS TRUTH! God's Word is the most powerful thing in existence. His Word created the universe. Take a look in Genesis and see how God created everything. The first thing He created was light. How did He create it? "And God SAID, Let there be light: and there was light." (Genesis 1:3) That's how it was ALL created - - by God's Word.

Now we've established that God's Word contains power and that it is always the truth. Here's where it gets exciting, because we are going to apply His Word to our own lives.

There are promises to you and to me in the Bible. There are promises that have been issued from God, Himself. They are truth. He HAS to do them. Are you starting to get excited?? You should.

I was going to say, "Let's start small and work our way up," but nothing about God's promises is small!! Hallelujah! Let's start big and stay big!!

In John 16:23 Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you."

Matthew 7:7-8 tells us, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened."

Joel 2:32 tells us, "And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered...."

Matthew 21:22 says if we have enough faith then, "And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive."

My poor little human brain has such a limited capacity to understand this next one, but what I do understand gets me really excited!!

In John 14:12-14 Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it."


Oh, my, just meditate on that promise a while as you remind yourself that God CANNOT tell a lie!
Link to 4/19/99 welcome message


10/30/00 Choose Wisely
"Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit."
Jeremiah 17:7-8
Doesn't that sound wonderful?? Have you ever driven through a desert in the summer? With some exceptions, it is brown. The rocks are brown, the dirt is brown, even the plants that manage to grow out there are a brownish-green. It is brown as far as the eye can see.

When we drive toward Arizona from where we live in California we eventually come upon the Colorado River. You know when you are approaching the river. You can see the green lining both sides of the river. Trees and plants grow there that cannot normally survive in the heat of the desert because they get all the water they need from the river.

If you trust in the Lord, then you are as one of those trees. Your roots become firmly implanted in God. You draw nourishment from Him. He has everything you need to survive and to flourish.

Take a peek at the two verses that precede these verses, "Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited." If you trust in men or in yourself then you are like the brownish-green plants. You are barely surviving. You are struggling. You don't even know what it is like to be one of the fruitful trees planted by the river! You think you are living the good life!

Your flesh (arm) did not create the universe, God did. Your flesh cannot heal the sick, give peace where there is none, see the future results of your decisions, help yourself love the unloveable, save your children from all dangers, etc. etc. etc. God can!

DON'T listen to your parents or to your teachers or to the world when you are told, "You have to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps and carry on" or, "everything is up to you." The world likes to think that man is able to do everything on his own. The world doesn't want to admit that man has no control. Look to the Creator of everything. Look to the One who knows everything and has control over everything.

Don't be fooled. God will allow you to believe that you have control if that is what you want. He allows you to believe anything you choose. Choose wisely. Everything depends on it.
Link to 10/30/00 welcome message


1/29/01 The Final Authority
"Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God."
John 12:42-43
Back when Jesus walked the Earth there were many that believed in Him, but wouldn't admit it. The reason they wouldn't admit it is because they would be kicked out of their synagogue (church) for their beliefs. Now that's a sad thought. God sent Jesus to fulfill the scriptures that were being taught in the synagogue. The religious leaders of that time didn't believe that Jesus was the Messiah and they condemned anyone that believed it.

Unfortunately, the same type of thing is happening today. There are people in established churches that have pre-formed beliefs about what the Bible says and they are not open to the actual moving of the Holy Spirit. There are doctrines of belief that are being taught about what God will and won't do in the lives of believers.

Most churches plan their agendas and beliefs to be people-friendly. They want to keep people coming to their church so they plan the service around entertaining people. They know that many people expect to have a regular routine in church so they provide one. They don't mention things that might cause doctrinal discussion because they might upset people.

One good example is the gifts of the Spirit. There are many Christians who don't believe in the gifts of tongues, of prophecy, of knowledge, etc. I guess that when someone in their congregations professes to have one of those gifts they must be perceived as either a liar or a fool (since they believe the gift does not exist). That person might be ignored or even asked to leave. Most of the time nobody bothers to pray about what to do or whether the gift is legitimate.

People who don't believe God gives those gifts any more are basing their opinions on certain scriptures. They stand firmly on those scriptures in coming to their conclusion. What is sad is they will never receive any of those gifts or else they won't realize that they might already have some of those gifts since they are closed minded to what God might want to do.

It isn't prudent to be closed minded based on what you have been taught about what certain scriptures mean. The only thing that makes sense is to find out what God thinks. It is fine to learn about the Bible from someone else, but it is unwise to allow what you have been taught to become your opinions.

There are quite a few issues that have different interpretations. The people believing the different interpretations are using scripture to back their viewpoints. Don't take a stand based on what your parents believe or what your pastor believes. Keep in mind that for every scripture that they use to make their point, there is probably another scripture used by the opposing viewpoint.

God is the final authority. Ask Him for verification. He wants you to have the truth. After all, when you are face-to-face with Jesus it won't matter one bit what your parents believed or what your pastor believed. It will only matter what you believed.

Oh, one more thing. If you follow my advice in the welcome message and you start quizzing the leadership of your church on whether or not they seek God's will in the order of worship then be prepared for them to get defensive and perhaps even angry. People who are stuck in tradition or in their own opinions or opinions of people they trusted get upset when you suggest that God might not be pleased with things as they are.

I'm afraid I am not welcome at a few churches because people think I'm off my rocker. People don't want to think that they don't have a handle on God. They are afraid to allow God to do His thing because then they feel they will have lost control (as if they have any control in the first place). It makes them nervous when you suggest that there might be another way that would be more pleasing to God. To some people, I might as well be telling them I have heart-to-heart conversations with Winston Churchill rather than with God. Either way they think I am nuts.

I just wanted to warn you about the possible human reaction to being open to what God wants to do. The good news is that there are other people out there that are also open to the move of the Holy Spirit. Even better, God will bless you a million times over for being obedient to seeking His will. Remember, you will be spending eternity with Him and He is the One you need to please!
Link to 1/29/01 welcome message


10/8/01 Get Plowed Under
"Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity; ye have eaten the fruit of lies: because thou didst trust in thy way, in the multitude of thy mighty men."
Hosea 10:13
Examine how many things in your life are built entirely upon the good ideas and inventions of men and women. I'm not just talking about objects, but ideas and policies and organizations and more. How many of those things have had no input from God?

Without seeking God's opinions and God's ideas about things we might as well be building houses out of cardboard. One good rain and they will collapse.

How much do you depend on your own strength and abilities? Are you feeling secure in being able to take care of yourself? Are you proud of the opinions you have about things? Do you feel that anyone who doesn't hold the same opinions as you is not as intelligent as you are?

Are you comfortable with the choices you make every day? What about the shows you watch on TV? Have you ever considered what God thinks about them? What about the candidates you've voted to put into office? Have you ever considered what God thinks about them? What about the things you do at work or the business practices of your place of employment? What is God's opinion?

Most of the world has been built based on the "good ideas" of people. We trust in the workings of men. We trust in what man has done and can do.

I know this seems a bit vague, but pray about it. I think you are seeing what God is wanting to say. Look at the previous verse, "Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you." Don't let your heart and mind depend on what has already been done in the world. Don't let the world plant ideas and laws and ways into the fallow ground of your heart. Don't grow crops that were planted by mankind.

Seek God and His opinions. Let Him plow over the fields in your heart and mind. It isn't easy. You have to give Him free reign to plow everything under and replant what might be an entirely new crop!

You will have to leave your comfort zone. You will have to let go of the things that you've grown to trust. You will have to become "different" that the rest of the people that are people-pleasers and people-trusters. You will have to quit giving your opinions on things. You will have to quit doing something just because it seems OK. You will have to read the Bible instead of watch TV. You will have to allow God to fill you. You will have to look stupid to others when you choose to say, "I'm going to wait and find out what God thinks about that."

Begin today. Clean your own house of the things that are made of paper and cardboard. Rebuild on the Rock!
Link to 10/8/01 welcome message


11/13/01 In God We Must Trust
"The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence."
2Samuel 22:3
In the United States we have the saying, "In God We Trust," engraved onto our money. This means that, at one point in our history, our country made a decision that God would be the most important factor in our nation. Yet, over the past 200+ years, we have pulled very far away from trusting in God as a nation. It would probably be more accurate to say, "In Our Military Strength We Trust."

The sad thing is that it truly is only God in whom we can place our trust. He can and will protect us from our enemies. The question then arises, "Why didn't He?"

Verse 25 gives us a clue, "Therefore the LORD hath recompensed me according to my righteousness; according to my cleanness in his eye sight." Also, 2Chronicles 7:14 gives us a clue, "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

God expects us to fulfill our end of the arrangement. We need to be, on purpose, trying to do the things that He wants us to be doing. We need to be seeking Him (and not just when we are having troubles!) He is, among other things, our Father, Counselor, Leader, and Friend. He created each of us desiring an intimate relationship with us. Unfortunately, when most people are born they usually are influenced by their parents' opinions about God which, more often than not, are the wrong opinions. Too many people remain satisfied with what they have been taught (or not taught) about God and never actually seek Him.

Verse 49 of 2Sam 22 says, "...thou also hast lifted me up on high above them that rose up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man." Does the USA need that kind of help today? Do we need the God of our forefathers? Do we need to repent of how far we, as a nation, have pulled away from God? In a word... YES!
Link to 11/13/01 welcome message


11/5/02 Why Should the Word Abide in Us?
"And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not."
John 5:38
The point we will ponder this week will be the Word abiding in us. Lets think about the word "abide." When you abide in a house you are living there, eating there, sleeping there, thinking there, being alive there.

When God's Word abides in us it is being alive in us. It is doing things. It is continuously revealing God's nature to us. It is continuously teaching us, calling us, drawing us closer to God.

How does the Word come to abide in us? How do you come to abide in a house or apartment? You make a conscious effort to move in. To get the Word in us we have to make a conscious effort to read our Bibles. We need to ponder the things in the Bible that touch us. We need to study the Word, discuss it with others, think about it, and read it again.

What does our scripture verse tell us? The people who chose to not believe Jesus didn't recognize Him because the Word didn't abide in them. They missed Jesus because of a decision they had made to NOT study the Word and allow it to take residence in them.

The Word provides us with answers, comfort, wisdom, strength, peace, joy, love, encouragement, direction, and SO MUCH MORE! Another scripture that speaks of the Word abiding in us is in John 15:7:  "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you."

It is very difficult to describe what the Word does within if you haven't experienced it yourself. It is as if it is a living, breathing entity.

If you do not have the Word in you then you are susceptible to the lies of the enemy. How do you think that people get drawn into cults? They listen to the teachings of people and don't have the Word within to which to compare what they hear. They fall for the teachings of silver-tongued charismatic people.

If you do not read your Bible and do not have the Word abiding in you then I suppose you have really good reasons why not. No time? (Do you never watch TV or read the newspaper? Do you never read any magazines? All your time is taken up with very important something-or-other??) Can't understand it? Have you asked God to teach you what it says? Have you forced yourself through it? Did you know that the more you read the easier it is to understand?

In order to work in you the Word has to be in you in the first place! It takes time to get it there. There is no other way. Make an effort!
Link to 11/5/02 welcome message


9/22/03  Don't Get Carried Away!

"That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive."
Ephesians 4:14
COMMENTS:    How many different denominations are there?  How many divisions within denominations?  How many different opinions are there about heaven?  hell?  salvation?  the Trinity?  Satan?  Jesus?  Why is thatWHY? Do you think God planned it that way?  Do you think God wants different people to believe different things about Him?  Do you think He wants us all to be split into different ideological groups?  Does He enjoy seeing His children arguing over who is right about Him? The answer is simple.  The answer is

 Every person has opinions about things.  We all have our ideas about God and what He does and doesn't do.  Many of our opinions are formed after we are taught something by another person.  Perhaps someone we trust and respect has an opinion that we adopted.

 I used to trust doctors.  That was a big mistake.  I had a miscarriage at 23 weeks which might have been prevented had the doctors I had been seeing had paid attention to what I was telling them.  They finally listened to me after it was too late to do anything.  Just because they went to medical school for bunches of years doesn't mean they take their job and their patients seriously nor does it mean they know what they are doing all of the time.

 I used to trust what I read in books in the library.  My son did a project that checked into the validity of books.  He tried to contact authors to find out if they would change anything if they could.  It was almost impossible to find any authors, but those he found had more information they wish they could have added.  So, he checked with publishers to find out how they made sure the information in books was factual.  They didn't.  Even the encyclopedias obtained information based on popular opinion and reported it as fact.

 I used to trust pastors.  After all, they went to school and studied the Bible for many years.  However, they learned a lot about what the Bible means from other people, who learned if from other people, who learned it from..... get the picture?  Way back when someone may have come up with a good explanation for a scripture and it got passed on from person to person without anyone questioning it, just like information in encyclopedias.  It stays as fact until someone yells loud enough and has enough convincing information to cause people to change their opinions.

So, who has the facts?  Who has the truth?  There is only one source of truth and that is God.  You won't have a clue as to what someone is trying to tell you about the Bible is true or not if you don't read and re-read your Bible on your own! You will be carried away by doctrines. 

Some people come up with new doctrines out of greed.  They may enjoy the fact that people listen to them and follow them because of their new idea.  They may enjoy the money they receive from having a congregation and a following.  I know of some well-known cults that were begun that way.  There are many many people who are in those cults because they choose to believe what they are being told rather than checking out the truth for themselves.

 God didn't write the Bible to be a mystery.  He wants us to understand what is in it.  He will open our minds as we read so we can understand more and more of it.  Each time I read mine I find and understand new things. If we don't immerse ourselves in the Word of God then we are vulnerable to being taken for a ride.

  I've heard well-respected pastors taking scripture out of context and preaching on them.  People who have read their Bibles for themselves wouldn't be nodding their heads in agreement.  I've been to some churches where the pastor made things up and nobody said anything.  Do you think that is how a cult or new denomination begins? Do not be as a child and take everything you hear as truth.

  People are humans.  Many times they cannot differentiate between what they know to be true and what they only believe to be true.  Many times theories are taught so many times they are no longer referred to as theories but as fact.  Evolution is a good example.  How many times have you heard it said that an animal evolved from something? 

Warning!  Don't be fooled!  Take everything you think you know about God right to God, Himself.  Make sure that you clear everything through Him.  Don't take anything for granted.  Don't assume that something is true just because someone throws scripture on top of it. Make sure you are familiar with your Bible so you can recognize false teaching when you hear it.  Get a good concordance so you can look words up yourself.  Whatever you do, make sure you are not fully reliant on humans to teach you about God!  Get your opinions straight from God!

Link to 9/22/03 welcome message


10/20/03  Set Memorial Stones
"And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he talked with him, even a pillar of stone: and he poured a drink offering thereon, and he poured oil thereon."
Genesis 35:14
COMMENTS:    Jacob set a memorial pillar of stones at the site where God spoke with Him.  That was also the place where Jacob had the dream of the angels going up and down the ladder to Heaven.  He had placed a memorial there at that time as well.  (Gen 28:10-22)  That place was where Jacob was told by God that the mighty nation promised to Abraham would come through him and his children.  The memorial was set there to remind Jacob of the promise God gave him. 

There are a number of instances where we see memorial stones being set.  Many were placed as altars.  Noah built an altar when he exited the ark (Gen 8:20).  When God promised Abraham the land of Canaan Abraham built an altar (Gen 12:7).  Isaac built an altar at the place where God confirmed His promise to Abraham (Gen 26:25).  Moses built an altar where God promised him He would defeat their enemy, Amalek (Ex 17:15).  Joshua built a memorial when God allowed the Israelites to pass over the Jordan River on dry ground (Josh 4:8).

Another thing that was used as a memorial were the feasts.  God told the Israelites to remember something that He had done for them by having a regularly scheduled feast or holiday.  (Example:  Ex 12:14)  (For studies of the feasts see:  Index of Feasts.)

We need to apply this principle to our spiritual walk.  There are going to be times when we will go through a spiritual desert, a dry place.  There are going to be other times when we are going to be under attack by the enemy.  We may become ill or we may be bombarded with things that take our focus off of God and off of the job He has for us.  It is at times like that we will have a tendency to slide backwards in our spiritual walk.  We will begin to question things that we previously had accepted as factual.

We must set a spiritual pile of memorial stones when God gives us a promise or when He brings us to a new level in Him.  We need to have numerous memorials set.  The first one might be when God proves His existence to us.  When we set a memorial at that point then we must not go back and begin to question the existence of God.  We don't need to have Him prove Himself again.  Often we can't bring to mind how it felt when He proved Himself or maybe we can't even remember the exact thing that proved it to us.  We need to be able to go back to the memorial knowing that the proof was good enough for us to have set that spiritual memorial in the first place.

Another memorial might be set when we see the proof that God loves us unconditionally.  When God gives us a promise for us or for our children we must set a memorial.  You are the only one who will know when it is time to set a spiritual pile of memorial stones.

When times get rough and I am sailing on a sea of spiritual nothingness, I am able to bring up a memorial and stand on it.   It isn't necessary for me to remember the details of how I came to that point of placing the memorial.  All I have to do is know that it is there.  I don't have to explain it to anyone, nor would I be able to explain it if I was asked.  It is just for my own spiritual walk.  I can stand on that memorial and not slide back any farther. 

 I  often feel like I am standing on a rock in the middle of an ocean without seeing any evidence of land.  However, the fact is I am standing on a rock and that rock reminds me that the ocean will recede and I will be restored to the place I was or to a better place.

When we don't feel the presence of God in all the hubbub of life's activities we can stand on the memorial we placed when God proved to us that He is always right by our side.  When we are ashamed of ourselves because we strayed off the path that God designed for us we can stand on the memorial that we placed when we discovered that God loves us no matter what.  When we don't see any evidence of our being used by God we can stand on the memorial that we placed when He said He would use us.

As it is with spiritual things, the description of this concept of placing memorials is somewhat vague.  I can't give specifics for you.  God will let you know when it is time to set a memorial.  Not only is it up to you to set the memorial but, more importantly, it is up to you to purposefully stand on it when necessary.  Believe me, it will become necessary.

Don't waste your time going back and proving the things of God over and over.  Don't slide backwards past the memorials you have placed.  That way your progress will always be forward.  Even when you are standing on that rock out in the middle of nowhere your progress is forward because God is always teaching us as we travel through difficult times.  I don't want to waste my time re-learning the things He has already taught me.  Do you?

"This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope."
Lamentations 3:21

There is an article about setting mental memorial altars.

Link to 10/20/03 welcome message


2/9/04  Help My Unbelief!
"And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you."
Matthew 17:20
COMMENTS:  The disciples couldn't cast out a demon in a child because of unbelief.

Adam and Eve chose to not believe God because they wanted to be wise.

Ishmael was a product of Abraham and Sarah's unbelief.

The Israelites melted their jewelry down into a golden calf because of unbelief.

People are not going to heaven because they don't believe in Jesus.

Miracles are being quenched because of unbelief.

Why don't we take God's Word at face value?  Why do we put restrictions on it?  Why do we choose to believe that there are certain things God will and won't do?

Unbelief of the things of God is a choice generated by our desire to control our own life.  It is an easy choice to make because God does not rise up and punish us for it.  He stands back and let's us choose what to believe.

Often unbelief comes about because we choose to apply humanity to God.  We reason for Him, "He won't do that because it doesn't make any sense."  "God said it in the Bible but that isn't what He meant." 

Look at all the preachers, books, and denominations that proclaim GOD WILL DO THIS and GOD WON'T DO THAT!  Why are there so many different opinions when it clearly says in 1Jo 2:27, "But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him?" 

It is because of unbelief.  They often say that God won't speak to us today which means He won't clarify what He wants us to believe about Him and His Word.  Many are comfortable in believing what they believe.  If they believed that God would actually move a mountain they wouldn't like it.  That goes WAY out of their comfort zone!

If we don't develop a personal one-on-one relationship with God then we only hear about the God of other people.  Their God becomes our God because we choose to believe what we are taught about Him.

God is hindered by unbelief.  He isn't going to force miracles on us.  He isn't going to force us to believe in Jesus.  He isn't going to force us to do anything.

There is crime in the world because of unbelief.  Criminals choose to either believe there is no God and their only punishment will come if they get caught or they don't believe that God will do anything about it.

What we think is belief may actually be unbelief.  Let's start a revolution!  Let's allow God to show us what to believe!  Let's get into our Bibles and allow God to teach us what He wants us to know.  Let's open our spiritual eyes and believe that God will do what He wants through us because we choose to allow Him to show us what He will and won't do.

Let's cry out, "...Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief."  Mt 9:24

Link to 2/9/04 welcome message


3/5/05 Having a Pity Party?
"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us."
Hebrews 12:1
One of my daily devotionals used this scripture and what they said put it into a new light for me.  Now I'm going to share it with you.  If you ever have any thoughts about how bad you have been, or that God must be very upset with you due to your behavior, or even that God must be disappointed with you then this study is for you.

We are going to use you as an example since I've already used myself.  How many Christians have there been up until now?  How many Christians have there been before you?  How many of those Christians probably sinned or weren't in God's will during the time they were Christians?  How many of them sinned prior to becoming Christians?

OK, so what makes you so special?  Why should God be more upset with you than with anyone else?  Have you done something that nobody else has done?  Why do you think He has singled you out and is more focused on you than anyone else?  Don't look now, but you are NOT more special than anyone else in God's eyes!

So, do you feel God is punishing you?  Read on to verse 6, "For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth."  If He doesn't rebuke you for things you do wrong, then He doesn't love you!

Are you still with me?  Let's move to verse 12, "Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees."  It's time to get to work!  Don't let anyone see you moping around!  God has work for you to do!  People are watching... a great cloud of witnesses is watching!  It's time to get to work!

Put all that nonsense behind you and start fresh!  Have you been at your own Pity Party?  Look around you!  There are no other guests at your party!  Time to take off your sad little party hat and move on!

God is not mad at you!  He LOVES you!

Any questions?

Link to 3/5/05 welcome message


4/14/06 Unlearned in the Things of God
"As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.   Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness."
2Peter 3:16-17
Peter was referring to letters that Paul wrote which contained some things hard to understand.  He then referred to people who were unlearned and how they wrestled with those things that were hard to understand to their own destruction.  That doesn't sound good at all, does it?

How would a person go about getting educated enough that they would be able to understand the things that Paul wrote?  They would have to learn more about the things of God and the things of Jesus.  How does one go about doing that?

The Bible is full of information about God and about Jesus.  Both the Old and the New Testaments provide information about them.  By reading the Bible we can learn about the things that God has done in the past.  We can learn about God's love for mankind.  We can learn about God's nature and His intentions.

We can learn about how Jesus was around since the beginning of the world.  We can learn about how people struggled with the laws of the Old Testament.  There are TONS of things in the Bible that open our understanding about the things of God.

I have been pondering the existence of various religions, cults, and denominations.  Why do they exist?  Why do people believe so strongly that their opinions about God are the correct ones and the others are all wrong?

It all boils down to individual people and their being unlearned in the things of God.  Their minds are open to any doctrines that tickle their fancy or that come from people they respect.  When someone who has gone to school to learn about God and to obtain a degree stating they are learned enough to teach about God then they command respect from a lot of people.  There are a lot of people who will believe everything that the "learned" person teaches without ever checking to see if it is true.

I examined my own thought processes and wondered how I could have been so open to things about God that were outside the teachings of the churches I was in.  Even though I grew up in churches that believed the gifts of the Spirit were not in use today I actually taught about those gifts when I was a Sunday school teacher and believed that people had been given those gifts.

Why was I different?  Why was God able to get through to me and not to most of the others?  It was because I read my Bible.  I read it from cover to cover more than once.  I continuously read it and searched through it for answers to questions I had.  I did not allow a teacher to be the one to teach me about God.  I allowed God to teach me about Himself through His Word, the Bible.

God's Word is a powerful thing!  It is alive!  It carries the truth inside of every word in it!  I have read testimonies of people who realized they were in a cult and got out of it.  The way they found out was they began to read their Bible on their own.  That's all.  Simple, isn't it?

Think about this.  How many pastors, preachers, Bible teachers, ministers, deacons, priests, clergymen, etc. have read the Bible completely through over and over while absorbing every word in it without using any other materials that told them what to think about what they read?

Based on the number of religions, cults, and denominations I would say that there are a lot of people who rely solely on other people to teach them the "truth" about God.  That includes those that are preparing to become a church leader and teach others.  Are you one of those people who obtained your knowledge from teachers?  Where did you get your opinions about God?  Has God verified that everything you believe about Him is the truth?

This is a serious matter.  There are a lot of people who are going to be very surprised when they say, "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?" and Jesus replies, "I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."  (Matt 7:22-23)

Again, I repeat, THIS IS A SERIOUS MATTER!  We must be filled with the knowledge that is obtained by reading the Bible so that we know what is true and what is false about the things of God.  As our scripture says, being unlearned about the things of God is the error of the wicked.  We must only rely on God to provide the final truth about Himself.  He equips people to teach us, but He expects us to verify everything through Him.

"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.  But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.  For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.  Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.  But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.  For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ."
(1Cor 2:9-16)

Link to 4/14/06 welcome message


11/17/09 Study Your Bible
"No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us."
1John 4:12

This week's lesson is on taking scripture out of context.  This is a good example because we have two sentences that can be plucked out of the Bible and used to create a doctrine.

Let's start with the first sentence.  We'll do that study in
blueThe second sentence study will be in brown.

I've heard it taught, have you?  No person has ever seen God and no person ever will unless they are dead and in Heaven.

Then how can we explain the following scriptures?
"Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel: and they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness."
Ex 24:9-10

"And he said, Thou [Moses] canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.  And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: and it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: and I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen."
Ex 33:20-23

"In the year that king Uzziah died I [Isaiah] saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple."
Is 6:1

Rather than explaining those scriptures lets go back to our verse in 1John and take a closer look.  First of all, what do the two sentences have in common?  Isn't it kind of odd to have those two sentences side by side?  Verses 7-11 and 13-21 all talk about loving each other and God loving us.  Why would there, all of a sudden, appear a sentence about not seeing God?

Look at verse 20: "If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?"  OK, that makes more sense.  It talks about how we should love people that we see because we love God whom we haven't ever seen.

People have taken the first sentence in verse 12 and used it as stand-alone scripture.  You can't do that.  That's why it is important to read before and after all scriptures.  In some cases you have to be able to pull in other scriptures from other books like we did here out of the Old Testament.

Sentence number two:  "If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us."  We are automatically saved and the Holy Spirit dwells in us if we love other people.  Oh, yes, and we will love everyone perfectly.

No???  That's what it says.  I won't bother showing you other scriptures about how one gets saved.  I'm sure you know them.  I just wanted to make a point.

Never never never let anyone teach you anything about anything spiritual unless you are able to know whether they are telling you the truth or not!  You must not allow others to do all the work for you.  The results could be disastrous.

It is imperative that you read the Bible yourself and allow God to interpret it for you!  I've said this before and I'll say it again, God didn't throw the Bible at us and say, "Good luck in understanding it!"  Take a look at the first verse in the chapter we began with, "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world."

Acts 17:11 says of the Bereans, "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."

It is easy to pull scriptures out of context and use them to create a new doctrine.  That is why there are so many denominations and cults.  People took their own ideas, their own interpretations, and even their own greed and taught people who blindly followed.

Are you following God or are you following a man-made doctrine?

Link to 11/17/09 welcome message


11/5/10 Are You Going to Heaven?
"Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."
Matthew 7:14

When my husband and I go on road trips we listen to audio books.  I have gotten quite an assortment.  The ones I like the best I got from christianbook.com.  You can sort them according to price and get some at a VERY reasonable price.

The last one we listened to was called Rescued by John Bevere.  It had a very thought provoking topic.

A pastor and some of the more productive members of his conversation were dying in an accident.  They were, one by one, standing in front of Jesus for their judgment.

The pastor was saying how the members of his congregation were a cinch to get into heaven.  He was dismayed to find out they were going to hell.  The woman was a gossiper.

"And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient ; being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them."
Rom 1:28-32

Wow, look at that list!  Someone who teaches Sunday School, donates items and time to the church, and who reads their Bible could go to hell for being a gossiper!!  Think about it!

The other man in the story was an unscrupulous businessman.  He, too, was being sent to hell.  The pastor then had his turn.  He found out that he, too, was going to hell.  He had divorced his wife and remarried someone from the church.  He kept telling the congregation that God was the one to get him out of a bad marriage and brought him his new wife.

Jesus pointed out that he and the others hadn't repented of their sins.  The moral of the story is that sin is sin.  Sin can't be excused away.  It can't be ignored. 

The way to heaven is narrow.  Not all that think they are going to squeeze through will actually make it.

"Be not deceived ; God is not mocked : for whatsoever a man soweth , that shall he also reap...."
Gal 6:7

Link to 11/5/10 welcome message


11/17/10 Foolishness is No Excuse
"Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them."
Romans 1:32

Continuing off of last week's study, I'm going to go into a little more detail.  In my Bible I wrote out the definitions for the words in Romans 1:29-31.

"Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful"

Verse 32, our verse of the week, says that the people doing those things are worthy of death.  The words sound awful, don't they?  Fornication:  yeah, that's a bad one!  Maliciousness:  Bad bad bad!  Malignity:  sounds awful, whatever it is.

Let's look at the definitions of those words that aren't quite so obvious (the obvious ones are in green above):
unrighteousness:  injustice, wrongfulness (of character, life, or act), iniquity, wrong
fornication:  idolatry, fornication
wickedness:  malice, iniquity
covetousness:  greediness
maliciousness:  naughtiness, evil, troublemaker
envy:  ill-will, jealousy
debate:  quarreling, contention, debate, strife
deceit:  trickery, craftiness, deception
malignity:  bad character, mischievousness
whisperers:  implying slander, whispering lies
backbiters:  talking against, slanderer
despiteful:  insulting, injuring, treating someone badly
proud:  appearing above others, haughty
boasters:  someone who brags, speaks with exaggeration and pride
inventors of evil things:  someone who thinks of harmful and wicked things to do
without understanding:  foolish
covenantbreakers:  breaking contracts or promises
without natural affection:  hard-hearted toward relatives and those you should have affection for
implacable:  truce-breaker
unmerciful:  not having compassion

Carefully review all of those things.  They aren't all giant crimes.  If they are worthy of death then they are sins.  Insulting people, not having compassion on people, and deceiving people are sins. 

We all know that lying is a sin, right?  What if you allow people to believe something that isn't true?  Isn't that deceit?  Oops, it's a sin.

When you are driving your car and you zip in and out of traffic because you think it is important that you get to your destination faster than other people get to theirs, could that be pride?  If you don't think it is pride, then it is unrighteousness.  Take a look at the definition.  If you changed lanes without signaling, if you went over the speed limit, or if you caused someone else to have to hit their brakes to avoid hitting your car then you committed a crime.  Do you obey all the laws when you are zipping in and out of traffic?  OK, then, you are greedy.  You wanted what someone else had, a spot in the road that was ahead of you.  No?  You weren't greedy?  Then you were treating them badly and not having compassion on them.

So, are you aware of what God thinks of sin?
"For the wages of sin is death...."
Romans 6:23

I suggest you carefully examine those things in your life that just possibly could be sins.  If you have a relationship with God then you know what they are.  You will have felt pinpricks as God let you know of His disapproval.  I'm not telling you what God will think of the things you do.  I'm not telling you that you will go to hell.  What I'm telling you is you need to find out for sure what God wants you to be doing and, just as importantly, what He doesn't want you to be doing!

"...we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.  For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God."
Romans 14:10-11

One last suggestion; don't tell Jesus that you were just being foolish.  That, too, is worthy of death.

Link to 11/17/10 welcome message


8/15/11 You Have No Excuse
"Thou shalt not see thy brother's ass or his ox fall down by the way, and hide thyself from them: thou shalt surely help him to lift them up again."
Deut 22:4

Moses brought a whole bunch of laws down from Mt. Sinai.  God gave him the main ones, the Ten Commandments, but He also gave a lot more.  As you read the laws you start to wonder why some things even need to be stated as a law since it is just common sense or perhaps common decency.

If you see a friend or relative in trouble (OK, so we don't necessarily all have oxen or asses) and it will take some physical effort to help we should automatically help them without it having to be a law, shouldn't we?

I went on a tour of a juvenile detention facility once.  In the gymnasium the walls were covered with, "If you do such-and-so, the punishment is this-and-that."  The tour guide said every time one of the juvenile inmates thought of a new crime to commit then that crime and the punishment went up on the wall.  That way none of the juveniles could say they didn't know it was a crime.

That is just like some of the laws that God gave way back then.  He didn't want people to say they didn't know what to do or what not to do.  He even told them what to wear, what to eat, and what animals should not be yoked together.

I was pondering the way that Adam and Eve were given the perfect environment with only one rule, don't eat the fruit on the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  They broke that rule before they ate of the fruit from the other trees there.  They hadn't eaten the fruit from the tree of life, and they weren't forbidden to eat that fruit!

Then God made it easy, like the authorities did at the juvenile detention facility.  He listed everything in detail.  The people couldn't follow those rules then, either.

God knew what would happen before it happened.  We won't have the excuse for sinning when we face the Lord that He shouldn't have put us in such a hard environment.  He will just say, "Look at Adam and Eve.  It would have been the same for you."

We also won't be able to say we would have been able to not sin had He listed every single thing that was a sin.  Again, He would use the Old Testament laws as the proof that knowing right from wrong because it was all written down doesn't work.

God came to Earth in the form of a man.  Jesus was tempted as we are.  He knows what it is like to be in human form.  We also can't say, "You just don't know what it is like to be human."  He
does know.

We don't have one single excuse, at least none that hold water.  The fact of the matter is that, deep down or maybe not so deep down, we know right from wrong.  We choose what to do, what to say, what to think, and what facial expressions to use.  We have no excuse.

Link to 8/15/11 welcome message

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