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

Part 1


To some Christ calls:  "Leave boat and bay,
     And white-haired Zebedee;"
To some the call is harder:  "Stay,
     And mend the nets for Me."

Springs in the Valley by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman


(Newest ones are last)
Living sacrifice Living Sacrifice
Humility Humility
Are you moldable? Are You Moldable?
You are a letter You Are a Letter
It is time to act! It is Time to Act!
Are you a faithful servant? Are You a Faithful Servant?
Will your works burn? Will Your Works Burn?
Walk worthy of your job Walk Worthy of Your Job
Turn on the light! Turn on the Light!
Are you being used? Are You Being Used?
Serving God Serving God
Jesus chose you Jesus Chose You
Pleasing God Pleasing God
Moving mountains Moving Mountains
Your job is to edify Your Job is to Edify
We must be confused We Must Be Confused
Let the light shine Let the Light Shine
Serving God acceptably Serving God Acceptably
Priestly duties Priestly Duties
More priestly duties More Priestly Duties
The world's way or God's way? The World's Way or God's Way?
They are watching They Are Watching
Opinions and truth Opinions and Truth
Less of me Less of Me
Don't Bend Don't Bend
Holy calling Holy Calling
Logic vs. waiting Logic vs. Waiting
Obtaining an excellent spirit Obtaining an Excellent Spirit
Is Being Used a Bad Thing? Is Being Used a Bad Thing?
You Can Be Wrong While You Are Right You Can Be Wrong While You Are Right
Thoughts are Important Thoughts are Important
Part 2 Bible Studies on Being Used by God Part 2:  Bible Studies on Being Used by God


10/6/97 Living Sacrifice
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
Romans 12:1-2
JJesus sacrificed himself so that we could be without sin and, as a result, be allowed into heaven. It is only right that we present ourselves to God as a living sacrifice, offering our lives to Him. He will use us and bless us as a result. Who doesn't need blessings?

How will you know what God wants you to do? You'll know! He'll tell you and tell you and tell you again if you aren't paying attention the first few times. If you have an ear to hear you will know it is from God. Ask God to use you and see what happens. (Be ready because He will use you - -I know!!)
I neglected to save the 10/6/97 welcome message


11/3/97 Humility
Luke writes that he was,
"Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations. . ."
Acts 20:19
It started when I ended up being the only soprano to show up for our small praise group one Sunday at church. I don't have a great voice and need to have another soprano I can lean on. Our leader sings tenor melody, so I can follow him pretty well. But, when you are in front of a microphone it isn't good when you know you occasionally sound bad, but aren't sure whether you are sharp or flat! Ya know what I mean?

So, I was rather upset when our praise leader led us in songs that have split men and women parts. There he was, singing his part, then it was time for the alto and myself to sing our parts. I stumbled through as well as I could. It seemed like the torture went on and on. Then we sang the song, "Humble Thyself in the Sight of the Lord." In that song it says if we humble ourselves He will lift us up. There it was. . .I was certainly not being humble and giving what I had to the Lord. I was concerned about what people would think.

 BLAM--right between the eyes it hit me! Then during the sermon we read the above scripture in Luke. BLAM--same spot! I wanted to be available when God led me. . .my pride was getting in the way.

I neglected to save the November 1997 welcome messages


3/2/98 Are You Moldable?
"For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty"
1Corinthians 1:26-27
God doesn't want to use people who consider themselves good teachers, good leaders, good anything in the secular world. He will use foolish things to confound the wise. God wants to use meek, moldable people. He will equip those He has called with whatever skills are needed to perform a job.

 If God calls you to be a teacher you may say, "I'm no good as a teacher." He doesn't want teaching skills; He wants your heart, or your love, or your sense of humor, or whatever gifts He has given you. He will equip you, or has already equipped you, for the job

. In God's world we are not teachers, we are "Life Changers." Two good examples of people called by God that felt inadequate for the tasks God gave them were Moses and Paul. They did have the choice to refuse the calling God laid upon their hearts, you know. Once you have knowledge about Jesus you have the responsibility to, "Go, ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15)

 Your portion may be in your own church, or in your own neighborhood, or in your own home. When God "doinks" you on the head with a commission, don't ignore it or shrug it off. Go with it, let God equip you, and you will be blessed!!

Link to 3/2/98 welcome message


4/30/98 You Are a Letter
"Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart."
2Corinthians 3:3
The Bible is a letter written to each of us by God. When we read our Bibles we are reading a personal love letter from God to us. You, too, are a letter. You are a letter from God to other people. If you are in close communion with the Lord then the Holy Spirit in you can be seen by others. The things you do and the things you say are demonstrating God's love for the people who are watching and listening. They will see something in you that they will want.

On the other hand, the things you do entirely out of your own pride, lust, or other selfish desire will also communicate something. Be careful that you are not misrepresenting God. You are responsible for your own actions. You are responsible for leading others astray. You are also responsible for leading people to the Lord. What kind of letter were you today?

Link to 4/30/98 welcome message


1/11/99 It is Time to Act!
"I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see."
Revelation 3:15-18
This scripture is directed at the church of the Laodiceans. Notice how the people of the church are complacent. They think they are fine. They think they are well off financially and are not needing anything. They feel comfortable in their relationship with God.

They probably go to church every Sunday (or at least most Sundays). They probably feel they are in that "comfortable" spot I mentioned in the welcome message However, as the scripture goes on it says they don't even know they are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked! How the heck could someone not know that?????

The problem is that they are looking at their situation through their own human understanding. If they would find out how God viewed it they would be shocked. God did not create us just to "occupy." He created us for a purpose. We need to find out what that purpose is!

God is not going to force us to do anything. He is not even going to force us to believe in Him! We have the choice of what to believe and what to do. He allows us to believe what we want. He allows us to deceive ourselves by relying totally on our limited understanding.

The part most people don't realize is that they will have to answer for all the decisions they made. Those that are just "occupying" will have to explain why they didn't spread the Word. They will have to explain why the Sunday school at their church was short on teachers. They will have to explain why their next-door-neighbor didn't know about Jesus. They will have to explain why the people living in the houses next door to the church didn't know Jesus. There will be a time when we all will find out where we missed the boat! It won't be pretty!

It won't be an issue of going to heaven or going to hell. Once you believe in Jesus you are born again and "whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (1John 3:9; Romans 6:23) It is an issue of pleasing God. Every person will be rewarded according to their works (Matthew 16:27).

Time is short. You have a job to do. Find out what it is before it is too late! How many people going to hell because you neglected your job is too many? That sounds pretty harsh, but it is reality!
Link to 1/11/99 welcome message


5/31/99 Are You a Faithful Servant?
"Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing."
Matthew 24:45-46
Jesus told this parable about Himself. He is the Lord who left His servants to rule over His household while he was gone. We are the servants. He has left us in charge of things down here until He returns.

So, what kinds of things are we supposed to be in charge of? People. It's all about people. We are supposed to be helping people learn about Jesus. Your job might be to seek out unsaved people and tell them about Jesus. That would be in the area of evangelism. Your job might be to help people who already know Jesus learn more about Him so they, in turn, can go out and help more people learn about Jesus. That would be the area of teaching or preaching.

Your job might be praying for the teachers, preachers, sinners, countries, churches, or others. That would make you an intercessor. Your job might be in the area of encouraging believers. You might have the job of doing physical labor such as cleaning the church, or preparing meals, or something along those lines for example, that would enable others to minister to the lost.

God knows what He wants you do be doing. God has the blueprints and knows where you fit in. He has probably already provided you with the talents and desire that you need to fulfill the job He has prepared for you. Find out what it is and step into it!

Notice what the scripture says about those who tend the household while the Lord is gone. They will be blessed when the Lord sees that they have been faithful!
Link to 5/31/99 welcome message


7/5/99 Will Your Works Burn?
"...verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity...."
Psalm 39:5
The very best thing you can do is basically nothing. Your efforts are next to nothing compared to the things God can do.

God created the world. What did you do that can compare to that? In order to be used by God we need to understand that we, in ourselves, can do nothing. God does not need us. Our talents are a tiny speck in the scheme of things.
It does no good to brag about how great we are. It does no good to imagine that we are something special. It doesn't matter how good we look in our own eyes, or in the eyes of other people. It matters how we look in God's eyes.

James 4:10 tells us, "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up." If you want to be good at something, then let God do it through you. Get humble and admit that it is only because of the talents God has given you that you can do as well as you do. Then He will lift you up to heights you never imagined!

So much of people's lives is spent trying to please other people. I spent a great part of my life trying to make people like me by doing good things. I felt pressure to be perfect so that everyone would like me. If I heard that someone didn't like me I panicked and set out trying to make them like me.

When I am dead and gone all those "great" things I did will be like dust. They will be unremembered and insignificant. The things I did for the Lord, however, will last forever. I, personally, may not be remembered for those things I did, but the effects of what I did will not fade away, but grow.

1Corinthians 3:13-14 says, "Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward." All our works shall be revealed some day. What works of yours make you proud? Will they withstand the test of fire?
Link to 7/5/99 welcome message


8/2/99 Walk Worthy of Your Job
"I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."
Ephesians 4:1-3
Paul was encouraging the Ephesians to walk worth of the vocation into which they were called. Who called them? God called them. God has picked a job for each of us in the Body of Christ and is calling us to it. He gives you the desire and He equips you with the talents you need to complete it.

He says to walk "worthy" of the vocation. If we are doing things for the Lord then the rest of the things in our lives all need to line up with His will. Our daily walk needs to line up with what is happening in our hearts. When we begin working for the Lord we are going to be watched by others. We are going to be critiqued and called "hypocrites" whenever we make a misstep. We are to seek God's help in getting the rest of our life lined up with His will. We can't do it without Him.

Paul also says we need to walk with all lowliness and meekness. We need to be moldable. We need to be ready and willing to change and release bad things in our life whenever the Lord brings them to light. We need to be able to be taught by others walking with the Lord. We have to give up our pride. We need to give ourselves to the Lord and ask Him to change our hearts. Then we need to be willing to allow our hearts to be changed.

We need to do all this with longsuffering. We need to be patient. We need to withhold our anger and frustration and give those things to the Lord. When we are dealing with people (which is what it is all about--every job that the Lord gives us has to do with people) we will encounter frustration and anger. We must be longsuffering.

Lastly, but most importantly, we need to forbear each other in love. We need to endure the things that happen and maintain love for the people we encounter every day. We need God's help with that, also. We, in our human hearts and minds, cannot love someone that is unlovable. We need to look at people through God's eyes and heart. We need to feel His love for them. It isn't easy, but that is what He wants us to do.

Like I mentioned in my welcome message, I believe the time is growing short. God is not willing that any should perish. He has given every one of us a specific job to do. Our job, if done the way He wants it done, will mesh perfectly with the jobs that others are doing. God has the master plan and it is perfect. We need to seek our portion and then we:
". . .are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit."
Ephesians 2:20-22

Link to 8/2/99 welcome message


10/11/99 Turn on the Light!
"Do all things without murmurings and disputings: that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world."
Philippians 2:14-15
Murmur murmur murmur...gripe gripe gripe...complain complain complain. That sounds all too familiar. I am as guilty as the next person. When we see things that are not right (in our eyes) and there is nothing that we can do about it then we have a tendency to talk about them. If we get enough people to see it our way then maybe something can be done. Well, that sounds good, but it might also be described as, if we get people to agree with us it makes us feel better or more important. If it is a person we are complaining about then it certainly makes us look better than that person!

We are in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation and among crooked and perverse people. That is a fact. We must deal with non-Christians all the time. They are in stores, on the street, in our workplaces, in our schools, in our government, and even in our churches.

We are going to come up against criticism, anger, hatred, and much more. We have a big advantage over them. We do not have to deal with those things alone. We have the Holy Spirit within us that will help us to maintain love and peace in the midst of turmoil. There is one condition, however. We have to want it. We have to truly want it. Otherwise we will end up acting just like "them." (Murmur murmur murmur...gripe gripe gripe...complain complain complain.)

God intends for us to be a light in the midst of darkness. When people are falling apart around you and you maintain that love and peace then people will notice. It will be just like turning on a light in a dark room. They will see Him in you!

How do you get the strength to be able to resist the temptation of acting in the flesh? I have written an article entitled "Becoming a Useable Vessel" that gives you some direction. It doesn't come easily, but there are many benefits to be gained as you take that journey. I can't describe all the joys and blessings that I've experienced as I've traveled the road leading me closer to the Lord! I'll tell you this. . .it has been absolutely glorious!

Doesn't today sound like a wonderful day to start?? Oh, hey, you have already! You have Philippians 2:14-15 in your heart now!!!
Link to 10/11/99 welcome message


10/18/99 Are You Being Used?
"Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."
Ephesians 6:11-12
Too many people are not at all aware of the extent of spiritual evil that exists in this world. Satan is very busy trying to keep people's eyes off of God! He has influences in the world of television, sports, newspapers, politics, and even in churches.

There are lots of things that are disguised as something innocent such as horoscopes, crystals for healing, children's cartoons about people or human-like robots with special powers, Halloween costumes of devils and witches, and many more things that are not at all innocent.

New Age things are not a passing fad. They are satanic in origin and fool many people into thinking they are innocent. The phrase "Mother Nature" is not just clever words. It, too, is a tool of satan that keeps people from thinking about God and the creation He formed.

The different, easier-to-read, versions of the Bible are not necessary nor are they innocent. They water down the Word of God and change it in many places. Satan found out he couldn't remove the Word from the world so he will change it instead and make it weaker. Is God not capable of helping you to understand His Word? Does He need the help of those other versions?

There are too many things to mention that are disguised as "good" things that are actually satan's tools. I don't want you to take my word for any of what I've said so far. I don't even want you to take the time to disagree with any of the things I've given as examples. It really doesn't matter at all what I think or what you think. It matters what God thinks. Let's examine some scriptures:

1Peter 5:8 warns us to, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour."

Romans 12:2 says, "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

Ask God what is good and what is bad. He wants you to be doing the right things and believing the right things. If you seek the truth He will provide it. Unfortunately, most people do not really want to know what things in their lives are not acceptable to God because they do not want to give them up. Actually, most people know exactly which things in their lives should be removed or changed because the Holy Spirit has already shown them.

You have a choice in this world. You can be a part of this world or you can be set apart for God. If you choose to ignore the warnings that the Lord is giving you about some worldly things you participate in then just keep in mind that you are being used as one of satan's pawns. The choice is yours.
Link to 10/18/99 welcome message


4/3/00 Serving God
"And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; and she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day."
Luke 2:36-37
This woman served God night and day. She didn't have to get a job to support herself and then see if there was any time left to serve God. In those days it was customary to provide for those who served God on behalf of the rest of the people.

These days we generally provide for our pastor, maybe a secretary or youth leader as well, and that is all. In many cases the provision given the pastor is not enough to pay his bills. This is the reason for the current world spiritual condition. God is not being served in the way He desires.

If we were serious about serving God we would see that God not only had the Israelites put together an army, but they also had a group of praise-ers that were just as important. We would find out that there are intercessors that are not spending the time in prayer that is necessary for the world's spiritual health because they have to go to work, or tend to other things.

The "world" places importance on jobs. It is important to have doctors and we pay them for their services. It is important to have auto mechanics and we pay them for their services. It is important to have school teachers and, again, they are paid for their services.

Is it equally important to have Sunday school teachers? What about intercessors? Pastors? Evangelists? There would be great benefits from our having people that were able to focus their entire attention on serving the Lord. We, as individuals, would benefit.

This has kind of turned into an editorial, which wasn't how it started. When I read about Anna serving the Lord day and night I thought, "How glorious!" I've often thought about how wonderful it would be to be able to dedicate my time to the Lord and be able to be in serious prayer with Him and to be able to do nothing but praise Him for hours on end every day.

There are others who have been equipped to serve the Lord in other capacities. There are those who could clean house or cook for others who are serving the Lord in other ways. Cleaning the house of someone to enable them to serve the Lord is, in itself, serving the Lord! I think you probably understand where I am heading.

We have all been given talents and gifts that should be used to serve the Lord. If we all sought where He would have us serve then we just might find that the Body of Christ was a perfect Body with no parts lacking! We are a part of the Body! If we are not doing our portion then the rest of the Body suffers.
Link to 4/3/00 welcome message


8/1/00 Jesus Chose You
"Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you."
John 15:16
Jesus was speaking here. Let's stop and think about the first part. He chose you. Why? Because He wanted to choose you. He chose to choose you. He willingly chose you. He had a choice and His choice was to choose you. Are you getting this?

OK, feel good? Now try this...He ordained you. He gave you authority to minister for Him. He entrusted you with authority. Wow!

The reason He ordained you was so that you would bring forth fruit. You are to bring a harvest for Him. A harvest of what? If you are given the gift of evangelism then you will bring in a harvest of souls. If you are given the gift of edifying the Body of Christ then you will bring in a harvest of strengthened Christians. There is no limit to the harvest that Jesus' ordained saints can bring! You have been equipped to be working shoulder to shoulder with the other saints!

Now for one of the perks...whatever you ask God for in Jesus' name you will receive. When you are walking in the path He has set for you then you will be blessed! Oh, this is definitely a good thing!

So many people don't want to commit their lives to God because they are afraid they will lose something. They feel they will lose control, they won't have as much fun, or whatever. God is not in the business of taking away! He wants to add to your life. He wants to add to your joy and peace. He will add to your pleasure. Every day will be better thanks to your relationship with Him.
Link to 8/1/00 welcome message


4/30/01 Pleasing God
"But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts."
1Thessalonians 2:4
Paul was commenting on how he preached the gospel in other places and it was not well received. They were treated badly because people didn't want to hear what he and his companions had been commissioned to say.

Paul acknowledged that they were given the privilege to be entrusted with the preaching of the gospel. He chose to be in God's will and was continuing to preach in spite of the fact that he would be stoned, thrown in jail, and more because of the things he was teaching.

The important part is that Paul recognized how much more valuable and important it was to be pleasing God and not concerned with what people thought.

If God places a call on your life and if you want to be in His will, then you must keep your eye firmly focused on that call. You must not allow people to sway you in the tiniest amount. God is not entering you in any popularity contests. He is not going to place you up on a pedestal for other people to ooh and ahh over you. He is going to, or has, given you a job to do. Only He knows the full extent of the results of your portion.

Once you know that you know the job He has given you then you must determine in your heart that it does not matter what people think, only what God thinks. He has a reason for giving you that job. His reasons all have to do with the love He has for mankind. He wants to draw all people to Himself. All the jobs He gives people have some part in that.

If you don't do your job because you are more concerned about offending people than in doing God's will, then somewhere there is a break in God's plan. It doesn't matter how small or how big your portion seems. Every single thing is important and only God knows just how important.

If you have a hard time with self esteem and are struggling with what people think of you, God can help with that. I know. I was a big-time people pleaser! I mean BIG time! He has brought me a very very long way and can do the same for you.
Some day it is God that you will have to answer to, not mankind! Think about it!
Link to 4/30/01 welcome message


5/29/01 Moving Mountains
"Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because though a man labour to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea further; though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it."
Ecclesiastes 8:17
Solomon wrote the book of Ecclesiastes. It is said that Solomon was the wisest man that ever lived. In the book of 1Kings it says that he was wiser than any man.

When Solomon thought about the works of God, he knew that he would never know everything about God. Solomon knew that he couldn't even know all the things that God does in the earth, much less understand them all! Here is a warning that you would be wise to ponder. If Solomon admitted he didn't know everything that God did and why He did it, neither does anyone else. We can't get comfortable with what we know about God. We don't know what God will do. We don't know why God does what He does!

I know some people who seem to think they know what God will and won't do. They think they have an answer for everything about God. We cannot know what God will do from one day to the next. We cannot ever say, "God doesn't do that any more," when discussing events of the Bible.

God has not changed from the God we read about in the Bible. He just might do the same things as He did during Old Testament times. He has the ability to do anything. We have to empty our minds of the earthly limitations that we try to place on God. We have to empty our minds of the things about God that we've been taught by other people. Don't close your mind to the miraculous. Don't allow anyone to tell you that God doesn't raise people from the dead any more. Don't allow anyone to tell you that God doesn't speak to people any more. Don't allow anyone to tell you that God won't still the wind, stop the rain, or make the earth stand still!

Try something. Re-read the following scripture with a new thought in your mind. You've read or heard this scripture before, probably many times, but have you ever read it and actually believed it? I don't mean just accept it as something God is capable of doing, but accept it as something God could do today. The scripture is Mark 11:23: "For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith."

You may be saying to yourself, "What's she talking about? I believe everything in the Bible. Of course I believe it." However, if you woke up one morning and found your house to be at the foot of a mountain that had not been there when you went to bed, would you be shocked or would you ask yourself, "Now, why would God have wanted to move that mountain?" Do you see where I am headed with this?

Since we live in the world, the things of the world tend to prevail in our minds. The laws of gravity and physics become factual and immoveable forces in our minds. With God, there are no laws of gravity or of physics! If we are going to be available to God as useable vessels, we need to empty our minds of any ideas we have about God or about His ways. We have to look at everything in a new light. Open your mind so He can enter in.

I will leave you with one more thought. When I say look at everything in a new light, I mean everything. If God wants to turn your computer into a puppy, HE CAN! If God wants to make you float in the air, HE CAN! God wants to use you in His Kingdom. He needs your cooperation. Let Him fill your mind with the things of Him. Look at things differently. Be asking God what He wants to do today. Be asking Him what He wants you to believe and to do. Find out your portion in the Kingdom of God!
Link to 5/29/01 welcome message


7/11/01 Your Job is to Edify
"Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church."
1Corinthians 14:12
God's plan is for people to work together and to strengthen each other. The gifts He has given us are to be used on each other. The jobs He gives us to do are designed to touch other people.

He wants us to love each other as much as we love ourselves. That means for every time we think about doing something for ourselves we are to think about doing something for someone else. Let's take it a little farther. When you are in a hurry as you drive somewhere, other people will always let you in front of them, if we all love each other the way God wants. They will know that you have an important need or else you wouldn't try to cut in and out in front of other cars.

We would spend as much time helping others as we spend on ourselves. If you and someone else found a $100 bill at the same time you would tell them to take it. The best part would be that you would receive as much pleasure from knowing they got it as you would if you had it.

These things are not impossible for you to achieve. With God's help you can love other people as much as God desires. However, you have to want to do it and it takes time and effort. It can be done.

In the meantime, focus on finding out what God wants you to be doing. If you do those things you will be edifying other members of the Body of Christ. From there it is onwards and upwards!
Link to 7/11/01 welcome message


1/14/02 We Must Be Confused
"Lo, these are parts of his ways: but how little a portion is heard of him? but the thunder of his power who can understand?"
Job 26:14
Job was reviewing some of the things that he knew God had done. One of the things he mentioned was that God hung the earth upon nothing. God does things that are totally beyond our understanding.

So often we tend to allow ourselves to put God in a box. Even though we know we don't understand His ways, we still have a tendency to get comfortable with our own interpretation of the things of God and God's attributes. Churches, in general, teach of God in a particular way and don't stress that we don't know everything there is to know about God.

Our brains can't even begin to comprehend who God is, what God is, how God does what He does, why God does what He does, where God is, why God is, and all other things about God. If I am not making sense, it is because I am trying to confuse you. Well, I'm not actually trying to confuse you, but I am trying to show you that, when it comes to God and the things of God, you should be confused. No person can understand the things of God.

We should keep asking for understanding. We should keep trying to understand. However, we must keep our minds open to the fact that God is God and He is not going to be able to be described in human ways. We must remain open minded to the utmost degree about the things of God.

God wants to use us, but if we don't open ourselves up all the way He is hindered in what He can do through us. We must give Him our pride, our embarrassment, our will, our mouths, our minds, and our hearts. It is possible that things He wants us to say and do would embarrass us. It is possible that the things He wants us to say and do will cause us to lose friends.

God has a plan for this world and it involves people who are open-minded to the things of God. Are you going to be one of those people?
Link to 1/14/02 welcome message


3/18/02 Let the Light Shine
"Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid."
Matthew 5:14
Have you thought about the part of this verse that indicates that you have been set on a hill? God has placed you in a prominent position, such as a city that has been set on a hill.

You may not feel like you have been set in a prominent place. You may feel like an ordinary person. God has placed you right where you are! He has work for you to do and it begins RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE!

Since all of the work God has for us to do centers around people we need to examine what people He has placed near us. What people do we meet each day? What people are we around on a regular basis? We are to be a light to them. On our own, we are not a light. It is what God pours in us that becomes a light.

We are to share the things He gives us. It could be telling someone about Jesus. It could be smiling and looking in someone's eyes and allowing them to see the love of God in us. There are many many ways we can be a light. I've even found where I can be a blessing to people I perceive as my spiritual mentors. God gives each of us something that can be used to edify, encourage, strengthen, or equip others. Those others could be family members, new acquaintances, or old friends.

God has set you on your own hill. Don't try to put down the things He has given you. Let the light shine. Open your mind to allow Him to show you where and how you are to shine!
Link to 3/18/02 welcome message


8/22/02 Serving God Acceptably
"Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: for our God is a consuming fire."
Hebrews 12:28-29
The book of Hebrews has always been one of the more difficult for me to read. I've seen where some say Paul wrote it, but there is something very different about the writing style that makes it extra difficult for me.

I am going to study the book of Hebrews a little more closely. I see bits and pieces of things that I want to understand more fully.

The more I read my Bible, the more the Word I absorb connects with the other Words I have already absorbed. I think that is why I have such difficulty quoting particular scriptures. God has gifted me with the ability to see a bigger picture. The smaller parts are important, but the smaller parts connect together into themes and ideas.

Anyway, let's examine these verses in chapter 12. I have come to know that the kingdom of God is within us. It is here, on earth, within the Body of Christ. The kingdom of God cannot be moved. We, as individuals certainly can be moved, but if we implant ourselves in the path God has placed before us and speak and do as He says then we, as individuals, are more likely to be immoveable.

Grace is a thing that doesn't come naturally to humans. Grace is basically unmerited favor. We are to look on other people the same way God does, with grace. We are not to look at what people deserve based on what they have done. That is not to be an issue as far as God is concerned. We must learn how to love as God loves. His love goes hand in hand with grace. His love is unconditional, as grace is unconditional.

Once we are able to look at people the way God does then we can be most effective in our ministry. In order to be able to do that, we have to have God's help. We need to choose to want to do it and then we need to ask Him to help us. It is pretty much impossible for us to unconditionally love people. The world doesn't reward you unless you earn it. That's the way most of us were taught. We have to forcibly remove ourselves from the worldly way.

I love the last part... our God is a consuming fire! He isn't joking. He has things for us to do. He is totally serious about what He wants to do. Let's hop aboard the "God train" and see where He takes us!
Link to 8/22/02 welcome message


8/27/02 Priestly Duties
"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light."
1Peter 2:9
We are a royal priesthood. Priests have duties. Chapter 8 of Hebrews tells us that even Jesus has duties as our high priest. 1Peter 2:5 says we are to offer up spiritual sacrifices as a royal priesthood.

We each have a job or jobs in the Body of Christ. We each have duties laid out for us to do. God has equipped us for the work He has for us. He knows what we are to be doing. He laid out the plans for what the priests were to do in the Old Testament. As a matter of fact, He was very very specific on exactly how He wanted things done.

Most churches have set aside jobs and duties for people that don't necessarily line up with the jobs God has for us. I've not attended any church that tells people that they are to find out where God wants them and embraces the place that God chooses. God's positions aren't necessarily the positions that churches offer people.

We don't know all the different jobs that God desires people to fulfill. Unfortunately, there are quite a few jobs that God has chosen that are not things that churches encourage people to do. It is a sad thing when the things that God wants don't take place because they are rejected by the church leaders!

It is time for everyone to stop and take stock of where they are in relation to where God wants them. God is perfectly capable of communicating His will to us. However, the only way we are going to discover His will is to seek it. We need to discard anything we've been taught that doesn't line up with what He wants.

It's time for a spiritual revolution. It's time to remove our focus from man made things and focus on God. It is time to hold everything up to God and ask Him what He thinks about it. In many cases there are lots of ideas, traditions, and doctrines that need to go.

God has designated you to be a priest. What are your duties?
Link to 8/27/02 welcome message


9/16/02 More Priestly Duties
"Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ."
1Peter 2:5
The last two weeks we've been discussing our status as priests:  WHAT IS GOD'S WILL? and BEING USED BY GOD.

This week I'm just going to give you some highlights to ponder. I'm going to gather duties that the Old Testament priests had and let you think about the New Testament implications and how they apply to your job as a priest.

PRIESTS: Offer sacrifices, offer the first fruits, light the lamps in the tabernacle, keep the sacred fire always burning, take care of the sanctuary, supervise the tithing, sound the trumpet in calling assemblies and in battle, purify the unclean, officiate in the holy place, and encourage the army on the eve of battle.

The bottom line is that you have duties as a priest. God is the assigner of priestly duties. Ask Him what yours are. Don't assume that you know what they are. Actually, let me leave you with this thought:
Be very very careful about what you assume about God!
Link to 9/16/02 welcome message


10/14/02 The World's Way or God's Way?
"Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up."
James 4:10
What exactly does it mean to humble yourself in the sight of the Lord? To me, the meaning is two-fold. Humbling ourselves in front of other people is one of the meanings and to humble ourselves in front of God is the other. The harder of the two is usually humbling ourselves in front of other people.

It is a natural thing to want to seem important to other people. The reason for that is because we live inside our own selves and, as a result, have a tendency to think that we are more special than anyone else. We usually want other people to see just how special we are and want them to respect us for the "wonderful" person that we are.

Have you ever been able to convince anyone that you were as special as you yourself feel you are? I haven't.

God can use us the most if we demonstrate humility in front of other people. By humility, I mean not forging ahead on our own agendas, but in waiting to see what God wants us to do and say. He usually wants us to demonstrate love, compassion, and understanding to others. He wants us to do those things whether we feel like it or not. Doing that is humbling.

It is important to remember the last part of this verse, "and He shall lift you up." It isn't necessary for us to lift ourselves up. We can never lift ourselves up as well as He can. If we are busy lifting ourselves up then we will never experience what it is like for Him to lift us up. His lifting is HIGHER and lasts LONGER and is WAY BETTER!

As we've been studying the last few weeks, we have to let go and let God. He has the best way. Our way is doomed to fail at some point or another. If we are humble in His sight because He chooses us to be, then the rewards will make it worth it. The hardest part is getting our minds out of the worldly attitude and into a spiritual attitude of submission to God.

We must make a choice... the world's way or God's way.
Link to 10/14/02 welcome message


10/29/02 They Are Watching
"But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation."
1Peter 1:15
Conversation means behavior. In other words, everything you do needs to be holy, sanctified, approved by God. The most important reason is because "they are watching you." They, as in everyone else besides you.

Have you ever heard anyone criticize Christians as being hypocritical? Why do you think that is?

I used to work in a place that was run by a Christian man who attended the same church as I did. He would come up to the office and get into conversations about God and about scriptural things with others of us that were Christians. Other people working there would hear him as they walked by.

However, this same man would do things such as falsify documents and lie in order to conform to what the company expected of him and to extricate himself from potential problems. The others working there would see that as well.

During my employment there I witnessed to some of the employees and had invited three of the employees to come to my church as none of them were attending a church. All three of them remarked that they would not go to a church where hypocrites were, referring to the boss.

What do people see and hear from you? When you give someone a ride in your car what music/station do they hear? When you drop a hammer on your toe what words come out of your mouth? When someone disagrees with you how do you handle it and what kind of look is on your face?

What kind of bumper stickers are on your car? They are representative of what is important to you. What do you think people are thinking when someone with a Christian bumper sticker drives irresponsibly?

What do you read? What do you watch on TV? What book do you take with you when you know you will have to wait somewhere?

THEY are watching you. They are your neighbors, co-workers, family, friends, and strangers. Some day you will be held accountable for influencing other people's walk with God when you weren't even aware you had a part in it. Be very aware of what others see. Be asking God to show you what things in your life need to change. Get Him to help you change them. He will.
Link to 10/29/02 welcome message


12/18/02 Opinions and Truth
"...what must I do to be saved?"
Acts 16:30
One of the prison guards asked this question when the walls of the prison had fallen down while Paul and Silas were praying and singing praises. The answer was, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house."

I've heard it preached by more than one minister that the salvation of the head of the household will cover the entire family. They use this scripture to verify their position. However, the next verse says, "And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house." If it were possible for one person's salvation to cover their entire household then they would not have had to go speak to his family.

This Bible study is not actually about how to get saved. It is about learning the truth about the things of God. How many things do we hold as truth that are only opinions that we have been taught? I will ask you some questions. I'm not asking for what is the truth. I'm asking you to do a self-examination of what you believe. If any of these things are what you have told others as the truth, then those are the things that are the most important for you to examine. Which of these things have you held up against the Word to prove? Of those things you have proved in the Word, how many have you taken to God, Himself, and asked for verification of the truth?

(Remember, I'm not asking for answers to these questions. They are only subjects that have various viewpoints.)

The Trinity -- God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost are ONE

"By whose stripes ye were healed," (1Pt 2:24) means we should no longer have any diseases
 satan cannot hear our thoughts

 With enough faith you can have anything you want

 Add every single thing about what you believe to the list.

 You see, there are usually at least two different viewpoints that are backed with scripture. I'm not saying you should research everything you believe. The first step is to be open to whether or not something you believe was taught to you by a person or by the Holy Spirit. Be careful what you tell others about what is the truth.

The second thing to do is ask God what He thinks. Perhaps there are some things that you don't have the truth about that He considers low on the priority list. Find out what He wants you to believe. Find out what He wants you to research and to pray about.

Don't believe something just because a pastor or minister says it. You MUST be in the Word yourself. There is no other shortcut. 

God has things for you to be doing and it is very important that you be prepared to do them. So many times we don't know what work He has for us, so our preparation must be guided by Him. Reading the Word is necessary, but have you ever asked Him where in the Word He would like you to be? Sometimes He is ready to reveal something to you through the Word and you might be plugging your way through, book by book, out of habit instead of being in the book He would have you be reading. 

Here are a few simple guidelines to follow:
~Be continuously asking God what He wants you doing and saying~
~Don't take anything for granted~
~Always run EVERYTHING past God before you accept it, say it, or do it.~
Link to 12/18/02 welcome message


12/31/02 Less of Me
"He must increase, but I must decrease."
John 3:30
John the Baptist was a pretty important guy. He had been prophesied about ("The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God." Is 40:3). He was a prophet. He had the current ruler shaking in his boots. People flocked to see and hear him. Overall, he had a pretty important ministry.

John never lost sight of his job. His job was to prepare the way for Jesus. When Jesus' ministry began, John's ended. He knew that.

God gives us a ministry. It could be to lots of people or it could be to just one. It could be speaking or it could be writing to people we will never meet. Whatever our ministry it is not about us. It is about Him. We are not to be the focus, our ministry is. In order for our ministry to be fully effective we must say,
"He must increase, but I must decrease."

Join me in my cry for this coming year:

LESS OF ME IN 2003!!!
Link to 12/31/02 welcome message


2/17/03 Don't Bend
"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
What difference does it make if we allow ourselves to do things we shouldn't be doing? After all, some things are so small and insignificant that they don't matter. Or do they?

Did God tell you not to do something? There's a reason. One of the main reasons is that your ministry loses effectiveness when you demonstrate wrong behavior. You lose credibility. You may even become one of those "hypocrite Christians" that cause people to stumble.

In my own home I am surrounded by witnesses. My husband and my sons are witnesses to what I do and say. As it is a lot of times, it is difficult to share spiritual things with and teach spiritual things to close family members. The only way we can teach and share is by our actions. One "small" disobedient act on our part may result in the total destruction of our ability to be a witness to our family.

We must keep our focus on the goal. My goal is to be walking in God's will. He has given me a job to fulfill and I will not even come close to fulfilling it if I pick and choose what I will do and say. I must not allow myself to look away from Him or I will get swallowed up in the things of this world that are trying to distract me.

I must demonstrate Godly behavior at all times. When great stress comes my way I must not give in to the temptation to yell or throw things. When I am in pain I must not allow myself the luxury of pushing the world away and focusing on my pain. When sorrow strikes I must rely on God's strength to keep me from falling into a pit of despair and hopelessness.

I am continuously surrounded by witnesses. What damage will I do if I only think about myself and do what I want to do?
Link to 2/17/03 welcome message


3/26/03  Holy Calling
"[God] hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began."
2Timothy 1:9
God has called us. According to His own purpose He has called us. To what has He called us?

He has called each of us separately and personally. It is up to each of us to find out what He wants us to be doing. He has equipped each of us beforehand with the things we will need to perform our ministry. We each have a portion, a job, in this world. God knows what He wants us to be doing and it is our responsibility to find out what that is.

Unfortunately, most people are not seeking to find out what God wants them to be doing. They are busy doing what feels right and/or feels good. Everything we do should be cleared through God first to find out if that is what He wants us to be doing.

I heard a pastor telling his congregation how each of his children was reacting to this war in Iraq. He told what his children's opinions were and what they were doing about following through on their opinions. I still am not sure what his point was, but I do know one thing. He didn't tell us that he counseled his children to find out what God's opinions were about the war and to find out what, if anything, God wanted them doing about it. That is where the rubber meets the road... zoom in on what God wants us to do and then do it.

Does God want us to be standing on a street corner protesting the war? So far He doesn't want me doing that. Perhaps He has called some to do that. I don't know. What I do know is that, unless God directs, we shouldn't be spending our energy working toward convincing other people to believe the way that we believe. We need to be saving that energy to focus it on the job that God gives us.

I've received email and had people sign my guestbooks who were intent on telling me that I was wrong about some things just because of their own personal beliefs. One guy went on and on about how the King James Version of the Bible was blasphemous. I had seen where he had gone to many different guestbooks at different sites that used King James and said the same things. He was spending a lot of time spreading his own personal opinion and demonstrating a lack of love and compassion on what he thought was a mission that God approved! I wonder what God actually wanted him to be doing.

We can ignore the calling that God has placed in our hearts. We can keep pushing it to the side and continue to do whatever seems best, easiest, most comfortable, or whatever motivates us. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people totally ignoring God and what He wants. There are also a lot of people who are busy doing things for God that God never asked them to do.

Our works often seem good to us. As a matter of fact, many times our works are confirmed to be "good" by well-meaning Christians. Let's go to the source of where our works should spring.... God's calling on our lives. We all need to continuously ask ourselves, "What does God think?"
Link to 3/26/03 welcome message


5/6/03  Logic vs. Waiting
"Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us."
Psalm 123:2
Are we busy doing things for God? Are we taking matters into our own hands and charging out to "fix" a situation? Are we taking our best guess on what to do in a situation?

To me, my logic always demanded that I do something when I saw something that needed to be done or saw something that needed to be fixed. I was and am a very logical person. I weigh facts, throw in what I have learned from experience, and consider all the different scenarios that could happen and come to the best, most logical conclusion about things. Well, that's the way I always used to do it. It worked well for the most part.

God had a great deal of work to do on me to get me to the point of surrender to Him. He isn't impressed with my logic. He wants me to wait on Him before I take any kind of action. Using my logic I could probably be doing things that were in God's plan most of the time just as a servant can anticipate most of the needs of his master. However, God wants me to be in His will ALL OF THE TIME.

I get frustrated waiting on God sometimes, especially when I think I know what He wants me to be doing. Plus, it is embarrassing to me when people look at me like I am lazy or I am crazy because I am not taking action. It is difficult to explain waiting on God to someone who doesn't seek to be doing His will.

Then, too, if I don't have a close working relationship with God I might miss my directions from Him. There are times when I have to keep asking Him to let me know if I wasn't paying attention and missed His guidance in what to do. He is faithful and will let me know.

In 1993 I got confirmation from God that He wanted me to take my sons and go to Texas and visit my ex mother-in-law on Thanksgiving. I purchased $1200 in round trip plane tickets through American Airlines. Right after I bought the tickets they went on strike.

I panicked. I began making phone calls to find out some alternative way of getting there without losing my money I had paid. God reminded me that He was the one who let me know I should go. So, I just waited.

As it got within days of the departure date I began to panic again. I made my first phone call to American and they couldn't tell me anything. God, again, reminded me that He was the one in charge of the trip. So, I hung up the phone focused on packing.

The DAY BEFORE OUR DEPARTURE DATE they went off strike! That was my first experience in really learning to trust God. Funny. I am just as bad as the Israelites were as they followed Moses through the desert. Over and over God proved Himself and they still murmured. Over and over He demonstrates His faithfulness to me and I still find myself jumping ahead of Him. Will I ever learn?
Link to 5/6/03 welcome message


7/22/03  Obtaining an Excellent Spirit
"Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm."
Daniel 6:3
The king didn't want to put Daniel in charge of his entire kingdom because Daniel was wise, a good leader, or well liked by people. It was because Daniel had an excellent spirit!  The king saw God in Daniel. It actually wasn't Daniel that would make a good leader of the kingdom, but God.

When people see God in us they no longer see our limitations. They see what God wants them to see. Perhaps they see peace, or love, or joy, or strength, or wisdom. The king saw that Daniel would make a better leader than any of the "home grown" men. Daniel was an Israelite who was part of the group that was taken captive by the Babylonians. Daniel was an outsider of another race and another religion yet was chosen to be in charge of all of Babylon.

What can we learn about why Daniel had this "excellent spirit?" "But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself." Dan 1:8 Daniel chose to obey God's dietary rules. It would have been easier to just resign himself to eating what was given him. After all, he had been taken captive and God would understand. He made a decision to obey God.

"Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would shew the king the interpretation." Dan 2:16 Daniel had a great deal of faith. He knew that God would give him not only the interpretation of the dream, but tell him the dream itself. "...he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime." Dan 6:10 This may be the most important clue as to where his excellent spirit originated. Daniel made time to spend with God three times a day. He developed a close relationship with God by spending time with Him.

Think about it. How many people do you spend time with three times each day? I'm talking about quality time. Time that you, on purpose, schedule. Time that will accept no interruptions. Even spouses generally don't dedicate time to each other in that way. Hmmm... if my relationship with God isn't what it should be where do you think I'm falling short?

Link to 7/22/03 welcome message


12/11/03 Is Being Used a Bad Thing?
"The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way."
Psalm 37:23
COMMENTS:  God has made a way for us to go.  He has laid out a path for us to follow.  Notice that it doesn't say that the steps of a good man are forced by the Lord.  Ordered means prepared or established.  God has chosen where you should walk and what you should do in order to fulfill the job He has assigned to you.  We can choose to follow that path or choose to go where we want.

God delights in watching us follow that path.  He knows what the results will be and He is delighted to see it being fulfilled! 

What happens when we stray?  The next verse says, "Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand."  I get so mad at myself when I don't focus on what I know God wants me to do and, instead, indulge myself.  When I should keep my mouth shut I decide to defend myself or try to make myself more important.  When I should pick up my Bible and read I decide to vacuum or do something else.  When I should just listen for God's direction I decided to not listen because I know He won't say what I want to hear. 

Afterwards I am totally frustrated with myself.  Yet, God is holding me up with His hand.  He isn't mad at me.  He is patiently waiting or me to come to my senses and choose Him and His ways!

God sees the big picture.  He knows what is necessary.  We are His tools.  He uses us to accomplish His will in the earth.  Being used usually is a bad thing.  It's no wonder so many people refuse to let God use them.  When people use us it makes us mad.  But, when God uses us it is different.  He doesn't use us the same way that people use us. 

People who use other people don't love the people they are using.  God loves us.  He isn't pushy.  He never threatens us with punishment if we don't go along with Him.  It is a joy and a pleasure to be used by Him.  He blesses us continuously as we offer ourselves to Him.

The only way to understand that being used by God is not a bad thing is to do two things:
1.  Get to know Him.  Spend time in the Bible and time in prayer getting to know Him.
2.  Ask Him to use you and go along with what He sends your way.

Jump on in and find out for yourself!   When you learn about God you learn to love Him and you learn how much He loves you.  It is a pleasure to work for such a loving boss.  There's a lot more that makes it worth the effort but you don't want a 5,000 word Bible study, do you?  Like I said, find out for yourself!

Link to 12/11/03 welcome message


5/25/04  You Can Be Wrong While You Are Right
"To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some."
1Corinthians 9:22
COMMENTS:  A number of years ago I was in a non-denominational church that ended up merging with a Southern Baptist church.  At the time I was a Sunday School teacher and had been for quite a few years.  I was also a member of the praise team, activities committee, and did the calendar and newsletter.  When we merged I continued to teach Sunday School since there were no Sunday Schools in existence at the Baptist church.

I had been baptized as an adult in a Presbyterian church.  As you may know, the Presbyterians don't dunk you, they just sprinkle water on your forehead when you get baptized.  As you also may know, the Baptists require that you be dunk-baptized in order to become a member of one of their churches.

As more and more of the people from our non-denominational group applied for, and received, membership I began to pray and ask God what I should do.  I had been baptized as an adult by choice after I got saved.  I just couldn't see the need for getting baptized again.  In my mind I was completely, thoroughly, and absolutely baptized.  I asked God if He wasn't satisfied with my baptism.  He was fine with it, too.  He let me know that, as far as He and I were concerned, there was nothing wrong with my baptism.

I even went so far as to collect all the scriptures that mentioned baptism and did a study.  There just wasn't anything there that caused me to desire to get baptized again.  I was right with God in the subject of my baptism.

A good friend of mine asked me why I wasn't interested in being baptized the same way that Jesus was baptized.  I told him the Jordan River was too far away and pointed out that he hadn't been baptized in Israel, either.  I then asked him why he wasn't interested in taking communion the same way that Jesus did, with wine instead of grape juice. 

The point I was trying to make was that baptism is symbolic of salvation.  It is both for the person who is being baptized and for those watching.  It is symbolic of what has taken place in the life of the believer.  Symbolism doesn't always have to be the exact same symbol to be understood.

I heard from my pastor that some members of the original Baptist church were grumbling that I was teaching Sunday School and wasn't an official member of their church.  (Church membership is an interesting topic, too.  Maybe we will study that one some day.) 

Anyway, I went back to God and asked Him what I should do.  That's when He reminded me of our scripture for this week.  He also reminded me of the scripture in Acts chapter 16 about Timotheus getting circumcised in order for him to be able to talk to the local Jews.

God pointed out that He knew I was baptized and I knew I was baptized, but the other people who wouldn't let me join their church until I was dunk-baptized didn't know I was baptized.  They were closed minded and would not consider me to be a working member of the Body of Christ until I got re-baptized.  So, I submitted and got dunked.

Sometimes the things God wants us to do are not for our own benefit, but for the benefit of others.  We need to be open minded about things.  God showed me I had already been baptized and that nothing would change that fact.  I could have stood firm in my belief and been correct about the belief.  However, I would have been incorrect in that I wouldn't have been doing what God wanted me to do.

Link to 5/25/04 welcome message


6/1/04  Thoughts are Important
"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."
Philippians 4:8
COMMENTS:  This lesson is a continuation on what we've been learning the past few weeks about holiness.  This scripture tells us how to think.  It isn't enough to be doing the right things.  It isn't enough to stop doing those things that we know to be wrong.  We must go that final step and only think about true, honest, just, pure, and lovely things.

God is as much concerned about our thoughts as He is about the things we actually do.  He is concerned about the television shows we watch.  He is concerned about the words we use when nobody is listening.  He is concerned about what we read.  Have you ever heard the phrase, "Garbage in, garbage out?"  It's true.  The things we allow ourselves to focus on then become part of us.  Oh, yes, there is never a time when nobody sees you... God always sees.

When we try to convince ourselves that what we watch on television doesn't make a difference or that reading certain kinds of literature won't affect us we are only fooling ourselves.  If we are sensitive to what God is telling us then we aren't even fooling ourselves because God is saying, "Don't!"

When Jesus said, "whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart" in Matthew 5:28 He meant it!  He wasn't just exaggerating to make a point.  He was actually saying that what we think is as important as what we do.

"But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.   For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies."
Matthew 15:18-19

The things that you allow to settle into your brain then enter your heart.  Then the things you do and the words you speak will be tainted with those things.  It may not seem like a big deal and we may think we can control those things.  However, God knows that it is important and that we will end up being affected by those things.

We must be selective in what we allow our eyes to see.  We must be sensitive to what God is telling us.  We must not think about things that we know would be wrong if we were actually doing them.  We must be holy from head to toe, inside and out!

Link to 6/1/04 welcome message

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