How do I define....

Who am I?  I probably would respond by giving my name.  But, that was something given to me at birth and it may or may not reflect who I am.  Again, who am I?  Now it gets interesting-- years ago, I might have responded by saying my occupation or perhaps my martial status.  Today, I view myself as a mixture of the past and present (like the odd blending of old and new in the picture).  More than that though, I define myself as a Christian, who just happens to have a history and a future.  And what will that future be?  That depends on my choices in this world....

Matthew, Chapter 13
 47 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a dragnet, that was cast into the sea, and gathered some fish of every kind,  48 which, when it was filled, they drew up on the beach. They sat down, and gathered the good into containers, but the bad they threw away.  49 So will it be in the end of the world. The angels will come forth, and separate the wicked from among the righteous,  50 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth.”" 51 Jesus said to them, "“Have you understood all these things?”"

They answered him, “Yes, Lord.”

  52 He said to them, "“Therefore, every scribe who has been made a disciple in the Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who is a householder, who brings out of his treasure new and old things.”"

I am what I value. More than the interests represented in the blending of the picture above, I place the highest value on pleasing God.  His integration into every aspect of my life changes me.  I am no longer a name or a title or a status, but rather beloved of God, simply a Christian trying to do the best I can.  Over time, this defines me and I hope to find myself on the right side at the upcoming separation.  What stories I will tell in heaven; not of clocks or computers or worldly things, but of the treasures of my heart in loving God Almighty.   Hope you can say the same!!!

Aug. 11 Nehemiah 10, 11

Aug. 11
Nehemiah 10, 11

Neh 10:1 Now those who sealed were: Nehemiah the governor, the son of Hacaliah, and Zedekiah,
Neh 10:2 Seraiah, Azariah, Jeremiah,
Neh 10:3 Pashhur, Amariah, Malchijah,
Neh 10:4 Hattush, Shebaniah, Malluch,
Neh 10:5 Harim, Meremoth, Obadiah,
Neh 10:6 Daniel, Ginnethon, Baruch,
Neh 10:7 Meshullam, Abijah, Mijamin,
Neh 10:8 Maaziah, Bilgai, Shemaiah; these were the priests.
Neh 10:9 The Levites: namely, Jeshua the son of Azaniah, Binnui of the sons of Henadad, Kadmiel;
Neh 10:10 and their brothers, Shebaniah, Hodiah, Kelita, Pelaiah, Hanan,
Neh 10:11 Mica, Rehob, Hashabiah,
Neh 10:12 Zaccur, Sherebiah, Shebaniah,
Neh 10:13 Hodiah, Bani, Beninu.
Neh 10:14 The chiefs of the people: Parosh, Pahathmoab, Elam, Zattu, Bani,
Neh 10:15 Bunni, Azgad, Bebai,
Neh 10:16 Adonijah, Bigvai, Adin,
Neh 10:17 Ater, Hezekiah, Azzur,
Neh 10:18 Hodiah, Hashum, Bezai,
Neh 10:19 Hariph, Anathoth, Nobai,
Neh 10:20 Magpiash, Meshullam, Hezir,
Neh 10:21 Meshezabel, Zadok, Jaddua,
Neh 10:22 Pelatiah, Hanan, Anaiah,
Neh 10:23 Hoshea, Hananiah, Hasshub,
Neh 10:24 Hallohesh, Pilha, Shobek,
Neh 10:25 Rehum, Hashabnah, Maaseiah,
Neh 10:26 and Ahiah, Hanan, Anan,
Neh 10:27 Malluch, Harim, Baanah.
Neh 10:28 The rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the porters, the singers, the Nethinim, and all those who had separated themselves from the peoples of the lands to the law of God, their wives, their sons, and their daughters, everyone who had knowledge, and understanding;
Neh 10:29 They joined with their brothers, their nobles, and entered into a curse, and into an oath, to walk in God's law, which was given by Moses the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of Yahweh our Lord, and his ordinances and his statutes;
Neh 10:30 and that we would not give our daughters to the peoples of the land, nor take their daughters for our sons;
Neh 10:31 and if the peoples of the land bring wares or any grain on the Sabbath day to sell, that we would not buy of them on the Sabbath, or on a holy day; and that we would forego the seventh year, and the exaction of every debt.
Neh 10:32 Also we made ordinances for us, to charge ourselves yearly with the third part of a shekel for the service of the house of our God;
Neh 10:33 for the show bread, and for the continual meal offering, and for the continual burnt offering, for the Sabbaths, for the new moons, for the set feasts, and for the holy things, and for the sin offerings to make atonement for Israel, and for all the work of the house of our God.
Neh 10:34 We cast lots, the priests, the Levites, and the people, for the wood offering, to bring it into the house of our God, according to our fathers' houses, at times appointed, year by year, to burn on the altar of Yahweh our God, as it is written in the law;
Neh 10:35 and to bring the first fruits of our ground, and the first fruits of all fruit of all manner of trees, year by year, to the house of Yahweh;
Neh 10:36 also the firstborn of our sons, and of our livestock, as it is written in the law, and the firstborn of our herds and of our flocks, to bring to the house of our God, to the priests who minister in the house of our God;
Neh 10:37 and that we should bring the first fruits of our dough, and our wave offerings, and the fruit of all manner of trees, the new wine and the oil, to the priests, to the chambers of the house of our God; and the tithes of our ground to the Levites; for they, the Levites, take the tithes in all the cities of our tillage.
Neh 10:38 The priest the son of Aaron shall be with the Levites, when the Levites take tithes: and the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes to the house of our God, to the chambers, into the treasure house.
Neh 10:39 For the children of Israel and the children of Levi shall bring the wave offering of the grain, of the new wine, and of the oil, to the chambers, where are the vessels of the sanctuary, and the priests who minister, and the porters, and the singers: and we will not forsake the house of our God.
Neh 11:1 The princes of the people lived in Jerusalem: the rest of the people also cast lots, to bring one of ten to dwell in Jerusalem the holy city, and nine parts in the other cities.
Neh 11:2 The people blessed all the men who willingly offered themselves to dwell in Jerusalem.
Neh 11:3 Now these are the chiefs of the province who lived in Jerusalem: but in the cities of Judah lived everyone in his possession in their cities, to wit, Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the Nethinim, and the children of Solomon's servants.
Neh 11:4 In Jerusalem lived certain of the children of Judah, and of the children of Benjamin. Of the children of Judah: Athaiah the son of Uzziah, the son of Zechariah, the son of Amariah, the son of Shephatiah, the son of Mahalalel, of the children of Perez;
Neh 11:5 and Maaseiah the son of Baruch, the son of Colhozeh, the son of Hazaiah, the son of Adaiah, the son of Joiarib, the son of Zechariah, the son of the Shilonite.
Neh 11:6 All the sons of Perez who lived in Jerusalem were four hundred sixty-eight valiant men.
Neh 11:7 These are the sons of Benjamin: Sallu the son of Meshullam, the son of Joed, the son of Pedaiah, the son of Kolaiah, the son of Maaseiah, the son of Ithiel, the son of Jeshaiah.
Neh 11:8 After him Gabbai, Sallai, nine hundred twenty-eight.
Neh 11:9 Joel the son of Zichri was their overseer; and Judah the son of Hassenuah was second over the city.
Neh 11:10 Of the priests: Jedaiah the son of Joiarib, Jachin,
Neh 11:11 Seraiah the son of Hilkiah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Zadok, the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitub, the ruler of the house of God,
Neh 11:12 and their brothers who did the work of the house, eight hundred twenty-two; and Adaiah the son of Jeroham, the son of Pelaliah, the son of Amzi, the son of Zechariah, the son of Pashhur, the son of Malchijah,
Neh 11:13 and his brothers, chiefs of fathers' houses, two hundred forty-two; and Amashsai the son of Azarel, the son of Ahzai, the son of Meshillemoth, the son of Immer,
Neh 11:14 and their brothers, mighty men of valor, one hundred twenty-eight; and their overseer was Zabdiel, the son of Haggedolim.
Neh 11:15 Of the Levites: Shemaiah the son of Hasshub, the son of Azrikam, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Bunni;
Neh 11:16 and Shabbethai and Jozabad, of the chiefs of the Levites, who had the oversight of the outward business of the house of God;
Neh 11:17 and Mattaniah the son of Mica, the son of Zabdi, the son of Asaph, who was the chief to begin the thanksgiving in prayer, and Bakbukiah, the second among his brothers; and Abda the son of Shammua, the son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun.
Neh 11:18 All the Levites in the holy city were two hundred eighty-four.
Neh 11:19 Moreover the porters, Akkub, Talmon, and their brothers, who kept watch at the gates, were one hundred seventy-two.
Neh 11:20 The residue of Israel, of the priests, the Levites, were in all the cities of Judah, everyone in his inheritance.
Neh 11:21 But the Nethinim lived in Ophel: and Ziha and Gishpa were over the Nethinim.
Neh 11:22 The overseer also of the Levites at Jerusalem was Uzzi the son of Bani, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Mica, of the sons of Asaph, the singers, over the business of the house of God.
Neh 11:23 For there was a commandment from the king concerning them, and a settled provision for the singers, as every day required.
Neh 11:24 Pethahiah the son of Meshezabel, of the children of Zerah the son of Judah, was at the king's hand in all matters concerning the people.
Neh 11:25 As for the villages, with their fields, some of the children of Judah lived in Kiriath Arba and its towns, and in Dibon and its towns, and in Jekabzeel and its villages,
Neh 11:26 and in Jeshua, and in Moladah, and Beth Pelet,
Neh 11:27 and in Hazar Shual, and in Beersheba and its towns,
Neh 11:28 and in Ziklag, and in Meconah and in its towns,
Neh 11:29 and in En Rimmon, and in Zorah, and in Jarmuth,
Neh 11:30 Zanoah, Adullam, and their villages, Lachish and its fields, Azekah and its towns. So they encamped from Beersheba to the valley of Hinnom.
Neh 11:31 The children of Benjamin also lived from Geba onward, at Michmash and Aija, and at Bethel and its towns,
Neh 11:32 at Anathoth, Nob, Ananiah,
Neh 11:33 Hazor, Ramah, Gittaim,
Neh 11:34 Hadid, Zeboim, Neballat,
Neh 11:35 Lod, and Ono, the valley of craftsmen.
Neh 11:36 Of the Levites, certain divisions in Judah were joined to Benjamin.

Aug. 11, 12 Acts 24

Aug. 11, 12
Acts 24

Act 24:1 After five days, the high priest, Ananias, came down with certain elders and an orator, one Tertullus. They informed the governor against Paul.
Act 24:2 When he was called, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying, "Seeing that by you we enjoy much peace, and that excellent measures are coming to this nation,
Act 24:3 we accept it in all ways and in all places, most excellent Felix, with all thankfulness.
Act 24:4 But, that I don't delay you, I entreat you to bear with us and hear a few words.
Act 24:5 For we have found this man to be a plague, an instigator of insurrections among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes.
Act 24:6 He even tried to profane the temple, and we arrested him.
Act 24:7 but the commanding officer, Lysias, came by and with great violence took him out of our hands,
Act 24:8 commanding his accusers to come to you. By examining him yourself you may ascertain all these things of which we accuse him."
Act 24:9 The Jews also joined in the attack, affirming that these things were so.
Act 24:10 When the governor had beckoned to him to speak, Paul answered, "Because I know that you have been a judge of this nation for many years, I cheerfully make my defense,
Act 24:11 seeing that you can recognize that it is not more than twelve days since I went up to worship at Jerusalem.
Act 24:12 In the temple they didn't find me disputing with anyone or stirring up a crowd, either in the synagogues, or in the city.
Act 24:13 Nor can they prove to you the things of which they now accuse me.
Act 24:14 But this I confess to you, that after the Way, which they call a sect, so I serve the God of our fathers, believing all things which are according to the law, and which are written in the prophets;
Act 24:15 having hope toward God, which these also themselves look for, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.
Act 24:16 Herein I also practice always having a conscience void of offense toward God and men.
Act 24:17 Now after some years, I came to bring gifts for the needy to my nation, and offerings;
Act 24:18 amid which certain Jews from Asia found me purified in the temple, not with a mob, nor with turmoil.
Act 24:19 They ought to have been here before you, and to make accusation, if they had anything against me.
Act 24:20 Or else let these men themselves say what injustice they found in me when I stood before the council,
Act 24:21 unless it is for this one thing that I cried standing among them, 'Concerning the resurrection of the dead I am being judged before you today!' "
Act 24:22 But Felix, having more exact knowledge concerning the Way, deferred them, saying, "When Lysias, the commanding officer, comes down, I will decide your case."
Act 24:23 He ordered the centurion that Paul should be kept in custody, and should have some privileges, and not to forbid any of his friends to serve him or to visit him.
Act 24:24 But after some days, Felix came with Drusilla, his wife, who was a Jewess, and sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ Jesus.
Act 24:25 As he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was terrified, and answered, "Go your way for this time, and when it is convenient for me, I will summon you."
Act 24:26 Meanwhile, he also hoped that money would be given to him by Paul, that he might release him. Therefore also he sent for him more often, and talked with him.
Act 24:27 But when two years were fulfilled, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus, and desiring to gain favor with the Jews, Felix left Paul in bonds.

"THE EPISTLE TO THE EPHESIANS" Chapter Two by Mark Copeland

                     "THE EPISTLE TO THE EPHESIANS"

                              Chapter Two


1) To consider the riches of God's grace toward sinners, how we are
   saved by grace through faith

2) To understand the Gentiles' condition outside of Christ, the effect
   Jesus' death had on the Law, and what Gentiles can now become in 


Having expressed his desire that his readers might know the exceeding 
greatness of God's power toward those who believe (1:19), Paul reminds
them of how they had been dead in sin but made alive together with 
Christ.  Indeed, they were raised and made to sit together with Christ
in the heavenly places, that God might show even more riches of His 
grace in the ages to come.  All this God did by His love, grace, and 
mercy.  While it involved their faith, it did not involve any works 
whereby one could boast.  The end result is that they have been created
in Christ to walk in good works, as God planned beforehand (1-10).

Paul also wants them to remember how far they have come as Gentiles,
courtesy of Jesus Christ.  Once strangers from the promises made to 
Israel and without God in the world, they can now draw near through the
blood of Jesus.  By His death on the cross Jesus abolished the law of 
commandments which separated Jews and Gentiles, and has reconciled them
both to God in one body.  The Gentiles can therefore be fellow-citizens
and members of God's family; they are also part of that grand temple 
being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Jesus
as the cornerstone, in which they serve as a habitation of God in the 
Spirit (11-22).



      1. Dead in trespasses and sins (1)
      2. Walking according to the course of the world and the devil (2)
      3. Fulfilling the desires of the flesh and mind, by nature the
         children of wrath (3)

      1. God made us alive together with Christ (4-5)
         a. By virtue of His mercy and great love
         b. Even when dead in trespasses
         c. By His grace we have been saved  
      2. God raised us with Christ (6-7)
         a. Made to sit with Him in heavenly places
         b. That in ages to come God might show the exceeding riches of
            His grace
      3. Saved by grace through faith (8-9)
         a. Not of ourselves, it is the gift of God
         b. Not of works, lest any man should boast
      4. We are thus God's workmanship (10)
         a. Created in Christ Jesus for good works
         b. Created to walk in good works which God prepared beforehand


      1. Aliens from the commonwealth of Israel
      2. Strangers from the covenants of promise
      3. Having no hope and without God in the world

      1. Made near by the blood of Christ (13)
      2. Can now be "one body" with the Jews, because...
         a. Jesus has made Jew and Gentile both one, breaking down the
            wall of division between them (14)
         b. Jesus abolished in His flesh the law of commandments
            contained in ordinances that had separated them (15)
         c. Jesus now reconciles them both to God in one body through
            the cross (16)
         d. Jesus preached peace to those afar off and those near (17)
      3. Can now have access by one Spirit to the Father (18)

      1. They are now "fellow citizens with the saints" (19)
      2. They are now "members of the household of God" (19)
      3. They are now part of "a holy temple in the Lord" (20-22)
         a. Built upon a foundation of the apostles and prophets, with
            Jesus the cornerstone
         b. Joined together and growing as a holy temple, a habitation
            of God in the Spirit


1) What are the main points of this chapter?
   - Raised and seated on the throne (1-10)
   - Reconciled and set into the temple (11-22)

2) What was our condition outside of Christ? (1-3)
   - Dead in trespasses and sins
   - Walking according to the course of this world and the devil
   - Fulfilling the desires of the flesh and mind, by nature the 
     children of wrath

3) What motivated God to save us? (4)
   - His rich mercy and great love

4) What did God do, even though we were dead in trespasses?  How? (5)
   - Made us alive together with Christ
   - By grace

5) What else has He done?  Why? (6-7)
   - Raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places
     with Christ
   - To show the riches of His grace and kindness toward us in Christ
     in the ages to come

6) Upon what basis have we been saved?  Upon what basis have we not
   been saved? (8-9)
   - By grace through faith, as the gift of God
   - Not of ourselves or of works, lest anyone should boast

7) What are we now in Christ Jesus?  For what purpose?  (10)
   - God's workmanship
   - Created in Christ Jesus to walk in good works which God prepared

8) What was the Gentiles' condition outside of Christ? (11-12)
   - Aliens from the commonwealth of Israel
   - Strangers from the covenants of promise
   - Having no hope, without God in the world

9) What has Christ done through His blood? (13)
   - Those who once were far off are now brought near

10) How has Jesus become "our peace" through His death on the cross?
   - By breaking down the middle wall of partition between Jew and
   - By abolishing in His flesh the law of commandments contained in
     ordinances that had separated Jew and Gentile
   - By reconciling them both to God in one body
   - By preaching peace to those afar off (Gentile) and those near

11) What do we both have through Christ? (18)
   - Access by one Spirit to the Father

12) What can Gentiles now become because of what Christ has done? (19)
   - Fellow citizens with the saints
   - Members of the household of God

13) Upon what are we being built? (20)
   - The foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ as the
     chief cornerstone

14) What kind of building are we?  For what purpose? (21-22)
   - A holy temple in the Lord
   - To be a habitation of God in the Spirit