Bible Study Blog

Wonderful

We just had Thanksgiving, and I had one of those “aha” moments. My husband and I hosted Thanksgiving this year for the first time in a long time, mainly because we haven’t had a house large enough to host. So, this year we decided to host since finally we have the space to do so. 

Well, you know the normal questions people ask which usually are “How are things going?” or “How are you doing?”

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MORE THAN I DESERVE

What am I thankful for? I am thankful that I have been given more than I deserve.

In the United States of America, we just celebrated a national holiday called Thanksgiving. Summarizing the history of the day briefly, it is a day on which, in the fall of 1621 A.D. the Plymouth colonists, the remains of a group of religious separatists from England, hosted a three-day feast with approximately 90 Native Americans.  

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Oh, the world doesn’t revolve around me?

Humans in general can tend to be very selfish and sometimes egocentric.  Some may call it our survival instincts. But usually I believe, we just we like to get our way, and we do not like it when we don’t.  However, I have long figured out that things usually do not go our way, and that people don’t always agree with my opinions either.  In fact, the world does not and will never revolve around me, so I better get over myself if I want to enjoy life in general.

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MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN

Having just finished a horrific election cycle in the United States of America, I want to talk about a phrase taken from the campaign of president-elect Donald Trump. Mr. Trump anchored his entire campaign to this concept using the phrase: “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN”. 

This will NOT be a blog about politics, or the carnage we witnessed over the past year and a half during that run for the presidency. I personally would like to remove myself as far as possible from the evil of that race and never think of it again.

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Don’t Take Life for Granted

Do you ever say, “next year I’m going to do…. Or tomorrow I will do…”?  I do a lot.  I think it is just engraved in us to live forever.  Therefore, we plan, sometimes years in advance, of what we “will do.”  However, life is unexpected.  We honestly have no idea what we are going to do tomorrow, let alone years from now.  I believe that is why James tells us not to say what we are going to do tomorrow because we “do not even know what will happen tomorrow!

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WHEN YOUR CUP RUNNETH OVER…FILL SOMEONE ELSE’S CUP

The Psalmist declared that, in His care for him, the Lord provided so much abundance that his cup overflowed (Psalm 23:5). What did David mean by this? In context of the psalm he was writing, he talked about God providing sustenance, even when being chased by his enemies, and healing ointment for his head and body. But is that all this verse is about

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Clarity

Do you ever find yourself asking God to tell you what He wants you to do with your life?  Well, I do a lot.  Especially during those times when I thought I was going in the right direction, but nothing was going well for me.  I started getting confused and started doubting my decisions.  During these times I wish God had a cell phone that He would answer.  I know that we have prayer, but wouldn’t it be nice if He told us exactly what He wants us to do in every situation we face in life?   Wouldn’t it be awesome if we weren’t looking through a dark glass (1 Corinthians 13:12) and instead we had complete clarity? 

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Working Together in Unity

The Body can heal. The Body can work in unity. The Body can show love. The Body of Christ, His people, can actually communicate across organizational lines as long as we are willing to make the effort.

I had the privilege to be a part of a Feast site at Land Between the Lakes, Kentucky this year where three different groups worked together. They were Church of God International, Christian Educational Ministries, and United Church of God.

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WHEN BEING RIGHT BECOMES WRONG

The Feast of Tabernacles is a wonderful time in which we get just a glimpse, a small foretaste as viewed through a dark glass or in a foggy mirror (1 Corinthians 13:12), of the wonderful and amazing 1,000-year reign of Jesus Christ. So many good messages, so much uplifting and inspiring music, delicious food, and shared friendship always seem to be the highlight of every Feast.

The Feast is also a time we spend fellowshipping with spiritual brothers and sisters that we have either not seen in a long time, or new people we have never met before.

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FEASTING AT THE FEAST

As a child growing up, I remember being excited every year when it came time to go to the Feast of Tabernacles. To be sure, I liked all of the holy days as a youth. But the Feast of Tabernacles was always such an extra special, fun time. 

We got to go away from home and visit new places we had not been before, or sometimes go back to a place we had been but loved. We got to see friends from years past and meet new ones. 

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Won’t it be Wonderful?

Won’t it be wonderful when pain and suffering are no more? When tears of sadness are extinct? When fear ceases and God’s Kingdom rules? Unfortunately, a lot has to happen before this great and glorious time, but we must not give up on hope. Life without hope is meaningless. Without hope we cannot have faith because faith is the “substance of things hoped for” (Hebrews 11:1).

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A RETURN TO EDEN

The Day of Atonement is rich with symbolism. As we approach that day, my mind turns to one of the more significant meanings it offers. The word atonement has significant meaning in Scripture. In the vast majority of cases, both in the Hebrew and the Greek, the word translated into the English as atonement can be synonymous with the words reconcile or reconciliation. Whether in the singular or the plural, Hebrew or Greek, the vast majority of the time these words are interchangeable in meaning.

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Lip Service

The other day I was thinking about what am I doing with my faith? It all started from a scripture in Isaiah. God is speaking to Isaiah in regards to Jerusalem because of all their sins, and He makes a statement in verses 13 that kind of hit home to me (emphasis mine):

Then the Lord said, 

“Because this people draw near with their words

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Feast of Trumpets

God’s fall Holy Days are nearly upon us. I really love God’s appointed times. They are always the highlights of my year. Each year I try to meditate on what they mean so that I don’t lose sight of their importance.

This week I have been reviewing the Feast of Trumpets, also known in Hebrew as Yom Teruah, meaning day of shouting. This year the Holy Day falls on October 3. The Jewish community likes to call this day Rosh Hashanah, which means New Year’s Day.

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FIGHTING DISCOURAGEMENT

Life can be discouraging sometimes. Do you ever feel that way? 

As we approach the fall holydays, a lot of strange things can start to happen. It seems that Satan becomes more active, stirring things up, causing problems, and creating difficulties for us; sickness, family problems, financial problems, car problems, and spiritual problems too. I am not just talking about “things” not going well. I am talking about deeply rooted personal problems as well. Maybe we are still struggling with a sin we have had for…well, way too long. 

 

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Don’t be a Stumbling Block

Are we showing the world the benefits of being a Christian or are we giving them reasons to dislike us? I have been wondering for a while why it seems that to the outside, Christians aren’t very loving. Isn’t that one of the major requirements of being a Christian? Are we actually our worst enemies when it comes to spreading God’s Word and light to others? What if we are stumbling blocks by our actions, reactions, and condemnations of others? We are told in Leviticus 19:14 not to “curse a deaf man, nor place a stumbling block before the blind.”

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TRUSTING GOD’S JUDGMENT

“This is what God is asking of me right now, Babe. He says He will not give us more than we can handle, so I must be able to handle this. I trust His judgment.” As my wife paraphrased 1 Corinthians 10:13 to me, I was stunned, deeply moved, and humbled by her words of surrender, tears streaming down her face.

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True Happiness, Priceless

We have all heard the saying, “Money can’t buy happiness.” I have also heard the statement, “Well, I have heard that theory, but may I have a chance to try it out please?” The temptation to have more is all around us, especially here in the United States. I also think, in large part due to social media, the whole world now sees others that seem to have “more,” thus causing a rise in the temptation of desiring more stuff.

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FAREWELL, J.R. — ’TIL WE MEET AGAIN

I would not normally use this space for personal thoughts, but on this occasion I will ask you to indulge me as I honor the passing of a true Christian. Having just performed the memorial service for him this past Sabbath, my thoughts are weighing heavy on my mind. On that day we put to rest one of the truest, most precious Christians I have ever known. His name was Jess Rodney (known to all as just “J.R.”) Hamilton

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Climb Every Mountain

I think I listen to music too much, but I was trying to figure out the title for my blog and this title came in my head. Immediately, I had the song from Sound of Music looping in my mind over and over again. I must stop coming up with titles that are also titles of songs. My original title, though, would have been way too long, which was The Mountain May be High but the View is Great Once on Top. 

Obviously, I am using the term “mountain” as a metaphor for trials. It seems lately that a lot of people I know and my family are going through a variety of various trials. I find that sometimes an overflow of trials usually seems to happen around God’s Holy Days but maybe that is a coincidence.

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