Terry Sturtevant

Maybe your mortgage is "underwater." Possibly you are stuck in a bad job. Maybe you've had a bad argument. You live in a horrible apartment, yet can't move or lose the love of your life. No money to pay the bills? It seems you find yourself at the end of a dead end road and the GPS says "turn left now."

We have all been in those difficult situations. They are difficult due to the limited choices at hand and your anxious state of mind. When it happens, you are Caught Between A Rock and A Hard Place.

The term comes from the 1917 dispute between mining companies and the miners in Arizona. The miners made demands, the companies refused and many workers were forcibly deported to New Mexico. The workers had a choice to make. They could stay working at a hard dirty job and be underpaid as they literally faced the rock daily, or go to New Mexico and live in sure poverty.

Just like being "between the devil and the deep blue sea," it's a terrible place to be.

So often in this dilemma  we forget that there is another option; going to our knees in prayer. There have been too many situations in my life when I was so caught up in day to day stresses that I forgot that my knees could bend. 

When you find yourself between the rock and the hard place; if you feel there are no choices left; when your mind can't make itself be still, bend your knees in prayer.

Terry Sturtevant

When you only have a fork, be creative!! When you don't even have a choice, ask God for one.   Gary

Bible Reading Nov 1

Nov. 1
Isaiah 21-24

Isa 21:1 The burden of the wilderness of the sea. As whirlwinds in the South sweep through, it comes from the wilderness, from an awesome land.
Isa 21:2 A grievous vision is declared to me. The treacherous man deals treacherously, and the destroyer destroys. Go up, Elam; attack! I have stopped all of Media's sighing.
Isa 21:3 Therefore my thighs are filled with anguish. Pains have taken hold on me, like the pains of a woman in labor. I am in so much pain that I can't hear. I so am dismayed that I can't see.
Isa 21:4 My heart flutters. Horror has frightened me. The twilight that I desired has been turned into trembling for me.
Isa 21:5 They prepare the table. They set the watch. They eat. They drink. Rise up, you princes, oil the shield!
Isa 21:6 For the Lord said to me, "Go, set a watchman. Let him declare what he sees.
Isa 21:7 When he sees a troop, horsemen in pairs, a troop of donkeys, a troop of camels, he shall listen diligently with great attentiveness."
Isa 21:8 He cried like a lion: "Lord, I stand continually on the watchtower in the daytime, and every night I stay at my post.
Isa 21:9 Behold, here comes a troop of men, horsemen in pairs." He answered, "Fallen, fallen is Babylon; and all the engraved images of her gods are broken to the ground.
Isa 21:10 You are my threshing, and the grain of my floor!" That which I have heard from Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel, I have declared to you.
Isa 21:11 The burden of Dumah. One calls to me out of Seir, "Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night?"
Isa 21:12 The watchman said, "The morning comes, and also the night. If you will inquire, inquire. Come back again."
Isa 21:13 The burden on Arabia. In the forest in Arabia you will lodge, you caravans of Dedanites.
Isa 21:14 They brought water to him who was thirsty. The inhabitants of the land of Tema met the fugitives with their bread.
Isa 21:15 For they fled away from the swords, from the drawn sword, from the bent bow, and from the heat of battle.
Isa 21:16 For the Lord said to me, "Within a year, as a worker bound by contract would count it, all the glory of Kedar will fail,
Isa 21:17 and the residue of the number of the archers, the mighty men of the children of Kedar, will be few; for Yahweh, the God of Israel, has spoken it."

Isa 22:1 The burden of the valley of vision. What ails you now, that you have all gone up to the housetops?
Isa 22:2 You that are full of shouting, a tumultuous city, a joyous town; your slain are not slain with the sword, neither are they dead in battle.
Isa 22:3 All your rulers fled away together. They were bound by the archers. All who were found by you were bound together. They fled far away.
Isa 22:4 Therefore I said, "Look away from me. I will weep bitterly. Don't labor to comfort me for the destruction of the daughter of my people.
Isa 22:5 For it is a day of confusion, and of treading down, and of perplexity, from the Lord, Yahweh of Armies, in the valley of vision; a breaking down of the walls, and a crying to the mountains."
Isa 22:6 Elam carried his quiver, with chariots of men and horsemen; and Kir uncovered the shield.
Isa 22:7 It happened that your choicest valleys were full of chariots, and the horsemen set themselves in array at the gate.
Isa 22:8 He took away the covering of Judah; and you looked in that day to the armor in the house of the forest.
Isa 22:9 You saw the breaches of the city of David, that they were many; and you gathered together the waters of the lower pool.
Isa 22:10 You numbered the houses of Jerusalem, and you broke down the houses to fortify the wall.
Isa 22:11 You also made a reservoir between the two walls for the water of the old pool. But you didn't look to him who had done this, neither did you have respect for him who purposed it long ago.
Isa 22:12 In that day, the Lord, Yahweh of Armies, called to weeping, and to mourning, and to baldness, and to dressing in sackcloth:
Isa 22:13 and behold, joy and gladness, killing cattle and killing sheep, eating flesh and drinking wine: "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we will die."
Isa 22:14 Yahweh of Armies revealed himself in my ears, "Surely this iniquity will not be forgiven you until you die," says the Lord, Yahweh of Armies.
Isa 22:15 Thus says the Lord, Yahweh of Armies, "Go, get yourself to this treasurer, even to Shebna, who is over the house, and say,
Isa 22:16 'What are you doing here? Who has you here, that you have dug out a tomb here?' Cutting himself out a tomb on high, chiseling a habitation for himself in the rock!"
Isa 22:17 Behold, Yahweh will overcome you and hurl you away violently. Yes, he will grasp you firmly.
Isa 22:18 He will surely wind you around and around, and throw you like a ball into a large country. There you will die, and there the chariots of your glory will be, you shame of your lord's house.
Isa 22:19 I will thrust you from your office. You will be pulled down from your station.
Isa 22:20 It will happen in that day that I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah,
Isa 22:21 and I will clothe him with your robe, and strengthen him with your belt. I will commit your government into his hand; and he will be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah.
Isa 22:22 I will lay the key of the house of David on his shoulder. He will open, and no one will shut. He will shut, and no one will open.
Isa 22:23 I will fasten him like a nail in a sure place. He will be for a throne of glory to his father's house.
Isa 22:24 They will hang on him all the glory of his father's house, the offspring and the issue, every small vessel, from the cups even to all the pitchers.
Isa 22:25 "In that day," says Yahweh of Armies, "the nail that was fastened in a sure place will give way. It will be cut down, and fall. The burden that was on it will be cut off, for Yahweh has spoken it."

Isa 23:1 The burden of Tyre. Howl, you ships of Tarshish! For it is laid waste, so that there is no house, no entering in. From the land of Kittim it is revealed to them.
Isa 23:2 Be still, you inhabitants of the coast, you whom the merchants of Sidon, that pass over the sea, have replenished.
Isa 23:3 On great waters, the seed of the Shihor, the harvest of the Nile, was her revenue. She was the market of nations.
Isa 23:4 Be ashamed, Sidon; for the sea has spoken, the stronghold of the sea, saying, "I have not travailed, nor brought forth, neither have I nourished young men, nor brought up virgins."
Isa 23:5 When the report comes to Egypt, they will be in anguish at the report of Tyre.
Isa 23:6 Pass over to Tarshish! Wail, you inhabitants of the coast!
Isa 23:7 Is this your joyous city, whose antiquity is of ancient days, whose feet carried her far away to travel?
Isa 23:8 Who has planned this against Tyre, the giver of crowns, whose merchants are princes, whose traffickers are the honorable of the earth?
Isa 23:9 Yahweh of Armies has planned it, to stain the pride of all glory, to bring into contempt all the honorable of the earth.
Isa 23:10 Pass through your land like the Nile, daughter of Tarshish. There is no restraint any more.
Isa 23:11 He has stretched out his hand over the sea. He has shaken the kingdoms. Yahweh has ordered the destruction of Canaan's strongholds.
Isa 23:12 He said, "You shall rejoice no more, you oppressed virgin daughter of Sidon. Arise, pass over to Kittim. Even there you will have no rest."
Isa 23:13 Behold, the land of the Chaldeans. This people was not. The Assyrians founded it for those who dwell in the wilderness. They set up their towers. They overthrew its palaces. They made it a ruin.
Isa 23:14 Howl, you ships of Tarshish, for your stronghold is laid waste!
Isa 23:15 It will come to pass in that day that Tyre will be forgotten seventy years, according to the days of one king. After the end of seventy years it will be to Tyre like in the song of the prostitute.
Isa 23:16 Take a harp; go about the city, you prostitute that has been forgotten. Make sweet melody. Sing many songs, that you may be remembered.
Isa 23:17 It will happen after the end of seventy years that Yahweh will visit Tyre, and she shall return to her wages, and will play the prostitute with all the kingdoms of the world on the surface of the earth.
Isa 23:18 Her merchandise and her wages will be holiness to Yahweh. It will not be treasured nor laid up; for her merchandise will be for those who dwell before Yahweh, to eat sufficiently, and for durable clothing.

Isa 24:1 Behold, Yahweh makes the earth empty, makes it waste, turns it upside down, and scatters its inhabitants.
Isa 24:2 It will be as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the creditor, so with the debtor; as with the taker of interest, so with the giver of interest.
Isa 24:3 The earth will be utterly emptied and utterly laid waste; for Yahweh has spoken this word.
Isa 24:4 The earth mourns and fades away. The world languishes and fades away. The lofty people of the earth languish.
Isa 24:5 The earth also is polluted under its inhabitants, because they have transgressed the laws, violated the statutes, and broken the everlasting covenant.
Isa 24:6 Therefore the curse has devoured the earth, and those who dwell therein are found guilty. Therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left.
Isa 24:7 The new wine mourns. The vine languishes. All the merry-hearted sigh.
Isa 24:8 The mirth of tambourines ceases. The sound of those who rejoice ends. The joy of the harp ceases.
Isa 24:9 They will not drink wine with a song. Strong drink will be bitter to those who drink it.
Isa 24:10 The confused city is broken down. Every house is shut up, that no man may come in.
Isa 24:11 There is a crying in the streets because of the wine. All joy is darkened. The mirth of the land is gone.
Isa 24:12 The city is left in desolation, and the gate is struck with destruction.
Isa 24:13 For it will be so in the midst of the earth among the peoples, as the shaking of an olive tree, as the gleanings when the vintage is done.
Isa 24:14 These shall lift up their voice. They will shout for the majesty of Yahweh. They cry aloud from the sea.
Isa 24:15 Therefore glorify Yahweh in the east, even the name of Yahweh, the God of Israel, in the islands of the sea!
Isa 24:16 From the uttermost part of the earth have we heard songs. Glory to the righteous! But I said, "I pine away! I pine away! woe is me!" The treacherous have dealt treacherously. Yes, the treacherous have dealt very treacherously.
Isa 24:17 Fear, the pit, and the snare, are on you who inhabitant the earth.
Isa 24:18 It will happen that he who flees from the noise of the fear will fall into the pit; and he who comes up out of the midst of the pit will be taken in the snare; for the windows on high are opened, and the foundations of the earth tremble.
Isa 24:19 The earth is utterly broken. The earth is torn apart. The earth is shaken violently.
Isa 24:20 The earth will stagger like a drunken man, and will sway back and forth like a hammock. Its disobedience will be heavy on it, and it will fall and not rise again.
Isa 24:21 It shall happen in that day that Yahweh will punish the army of the high ones on high, and the kings of the earth on the earth.
Isa 24:22 They shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison; and after many days shall they be visited.
Isa 24:23 Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed; for Yahweh of Armies will reign on Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem; and before his elders will be glory.

Nov. 1
1 Timothy 1

1Ti 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God our Savior, and Christ Jesus our hope;
1Ti 1:2 to Timothy, my true child in faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
1Ti 1:3 As I urged you when I was going into Macedonia, stay at Ephesus that you might command certain men not to teach a different doctrine,
1Ti 1:4 neither to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which cause disputes, rather than God's stewardship, which is in faith--
1Ti 1:5 but the goal of this command is love, out of a pure heart and a good conscience and unfeigned faith;
1Ti 1:6 from which things some, having missed the mark, have turned aside to vain talking;
1Ti 1:7 desiring to be teachers of the law, though they understand neither what they say, nor about what they strongly affirm.
1Ti 1:8 But we know that the law is good, if a man uses it lawfully,
1Ti 1:9 as knowing this, that law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,
1Ti 1:10 for the sexually immoral, for homosexuals, for slave-traders, for liars, for perjurers, and for any other thing contrary to the sound doctrine;
1Ti 1:11 according to the Good News of the glory of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.
1Ti 1:12 And I thank him who enabled me, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he counted me faithful, appointing me to service;
1Ti 1:13 although I was before a blasphemer, a persecutor, and insolent. However, I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
1Ti 1:14 The grace of our Lord abounded exceedingly with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
1Ti 1:15 The saying is faithful and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
1Ti 1:16 However, for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first, Jesus Christ might display all his patience, for an example of those who were going to believe in him for eternal life.
1Ti 1:17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
1Ti 1:18 This instruction I commit to you, my child Timothy, according to the prophecies which led the way to you, that by them you may wage the good warfare;
1Ti 1:19 holding faith and a good conscience; which some having thrust away made a shipwreck concerning the faith;
1Ti 1:20 of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I delivered to Satan, that they might be taught not to blaspheme.

3 John, Introduction, Mark Copeland

                      "THE THIRD EPISTLE OF JOHN"


What was the early church like?  We know a lot about its early leaders,
such as apostles Paul and Peter; but what about the average Christians
themselves?  Were they more spiritual than Christians today?  Did they
experience the kind of problems seen so often in churches today?

Several books of the New Testament reflect the life of the early church,
and this is especially true of The Third Epistle of John.  It is a
private letter, between "The Elder" and a Christian named Gaius.  It
provides portraits of three different men, and in so doing gives us a
glimpse of 1st  century life in local churches.

When one examines the portraits found in this letter, we learn that
there is not much difference between people back then, and in the church
today. Therefore this epistle is very relevant, though we may live
almost 2000 years later.


"The Elder" (3Jn 1:1) is believed by most conservative scholars to be
the apostle John.  The internal evidence for the third epistle is
similar to that of the second:

   *  The three epistles of John utilize much the same language and ideas

   *  All bear similarity to concepts and language to the Gospel of John

   *  The term "elder" would be a fitting description of John as the
      author, writing in his old age

The external evidence is slight, but Dionysius of Alexandria, living in
the third century A.D., credits John with being the author.


The epistle is addressed to "beloved Gaius".  Gaius was a common Roman
name, and appears five times in the New Testament (Ac 19:29; 20:4; Ro
16:23; 1Co 1:14; 3Jn 1:1).  Whether he is one of those mentioned by Luke
or Paul cannot be determined.  He was evidently a dear friend of John,
known for his hospitality (more below).


Ephesus is usually suggested as the location from which John wrote this
epistle, as he was known to live there in the later years of his life.
Estimation of the date of writing varies widely, some placing it before
the destruction of Jerusalem (70 A.D.).  Most however place it around
90-95 A.D.


The purpose of the epistle is threefold, related to the three men
mentioned by name:

   *  To confirm that Gaius did right in supporting those teachers who
      came his way, encouraging him to continue this hospitality - 3Jn

   *  To express his condemnation of Diotrephes for rejecting John and
      others whom he should had received - 3Jn 1:9-10

   *  To encourage Gaius to imitate what is good, commending Demetrius
      as a good example - 3Jn 1:11-12

As for the theme, with the examples of the three men preserved for us in
this letter, let me suggest one based on the words of John in verse 11:

             Do not imitate what is evil, but what is good


Here is a simple outline of the book...

Greetings, with an expression of great joy (1-4)
The confirmation of Gaius (5-8)
The condemnation of Diotrephes (9-10)
The commendation of Demetrius (11-12)
Concluding remarks (13-14)


1) Who is author of The Third Epistle Of John?
   - The Elder, likely John the apostle who wrote the gospel of John

2) Who was the recipient of this epistle?
   - The beloved Gaius, identity otherwise unknown

3) When was it written?  From where?
   - Most date it from 90-95 A.D.; Ephesus

4) What has been suggested as its threefold purpose?
   - To confirm Gaius did right
   - To condemn Diotrephes for doing wrong
   - To commend Demetrius as a good example

5) What has been suggested as its theme?
   - Do not imitate what is evil, but what is good

6) What are the main divisions of this epistle as outlined above?
   - Greetings, with an expression of great joy (1-4)
   - The confirmation of Gaius (5-8)
   - The condemnation of Diotrephes (9-10)
   - The commendation of Demetrius (11-12)
   - Concluding remarks (13-14)