Bill Cosby

Click on the above link to view!

James Taylor

You've got a friend

When you're down and troubled and you need a helping hand
and nothing, whoa, nothing is going right.
Close your eyes and think of me and soon I will be there to brighten up even your darkest nights.

You just call out my name, and you know where ever I am
I'll come running to see you again.
Winter, spring, summer, or fall, all you have to do is call and I'll be there, yeah, yeah,
you've got a friend.

If the sky above you should turn dark and full of clouds
and that old north wind should begin to blow,
keep your head together and call my name out loud.
Soon I will be knocking upon your door.
You just call out my name, and you know where ever I am
I'll come running to see you again.
Winter, spring, summer, or fall, all you have to do is call and I'll be there.

Hey, ain't it good to know that you've got a friend? People can be so cold.
They'll hurt you and desert you. Well, they'll take your soul if you let them,
oh yeah, but don't you let them.

You just call out my name, and you know where ever I am
I'll come running to see you again.
Winter, spring, summer, or fall, all you have to do is call, Lord, I'll be there, yeah, yeah,
you've got a friend. You've got a friend.
Ain't it good to know you've got a friend. Ain't it good to know you've got a friend.
Oh, yeah, yeah, you've got a friend. 

 Usually, I complete the blog posts first thing in the morning, but today was different.  I made the ones for Mark Copeland and my daily Bible Reading Plan and actually started to do one based just on the Bill Cosby video above, but something didn't feel right.  I can't put it into words, but somehow I just KNEW I need to stop.  And then I drove to Zephyrhills for church services. On the way there, I heard the above song from James Taylor and something clicked.  Then came the best couple of hours in the week--meeting with those who love Jesus and can tolerate me as well!!!  Wow, I enjoyed BOTH a great Bible class and a simply wonderful sermon!!!!  And the fellowship of kindred minds always fills my heart with joy!!!!  So, what a morning I had!!!!  Then, it hit me... friends and family may fail me, companions desert me, but Jesus NEVER WILL.  Which of course, led me to this passage from the book of John...

John, Chapter 15
 12  “This is my commandment, that you love one another, even as I have loved you.   13  Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.   14  You are my friends, if you do whatever I command you.   15  No longer do I call you servants, for the servant doesn’t know what his lord does. But I have called you friends, for everything that I heard from my Father, I have made known to you.   16  You didn’t choose me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain; that whatever you will ask of the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 

Truthfully, I have had more people let me down than I would even like to think about--both friends and "family".  However, I can honestly say that God has never let me down.  Corrected me, disciplined me, but never let me down.  His patience with me is beyond belief!!!  Somehow, the words of the Taylor song apply so well to God that they could be "Taylor made".  Better than words is the fact that Jesus backed his statements up with his very life.  Want to know if someone is really our FRIEND?  Ask yourself: What would they give up to save you from certain destruction?  The only person that I can think of that would say EVERYTHING IS JESUS.  How is that for one mind-blowing thought for today???

Bible Reading, Dec. 16

Dec. 16
Joel 1-3

Joe 1:1 The Word of Yahweh that came to Joel, the son of Pethuel.
Joe 1:2 Hear this, you elders, And listen, all you inhabitants of the land. Has this ever happened in your days, or in the days of your fathers?
Joe 1:3 Tell your children about it, and have your children tell their children, and their children, another generation.
Joe 1:4 What the swarming locust has left, the great locust has eaten. What the great locust has left, the grasshopper has eaten. What the grasshopper has left, the caterpillar has eaten.
Joe 1:5 Wake up, you drunkards, and weep! Wail, all you drinkers of wine, because of the sweet wine; for it is cut off from your mouth.
Joe 1:6 For a nation has come up on my land, strong, and without number. His teeth are the teeth of a lion, and he has the fangs of a lioness.
Joe 1:7 He has laid my vine waste, and stripped my fig tree. He has stripped its bark, and thrown it away. Its branches are made white.
Joe 1:8 Mourn like a virgin dressed in sackcloth for the husband of her youth!
Joe 1:9 The meal offering and the drink offering are cut off from Yahweh's house. The priests, Yahweh's ministers, mourn.
Joe 1:10 The field is laid waste. The land mourns, for the grain is destroyed, The new wine has dried up, and the oil languishes.
Joe 1:11 Be confounded, you farmers! Wail, you vineyard keepers; for the wheat and for the barley; for the harvest of the field has perished.
Joe 1:12 The vine has dried up, and the fig tree withered; the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree, even all of the trees of the field are withered; for joy has withered away from the sons of men.
Joe 1:13 Put on sackcloth and mourn, you priests! Wail, you ministers of the altar. Come, lie all night in sackcloth, you ministers of my God, for the meal offering and the drink offering are withheld from your God's house.
Joe 1:14 Sanctify a fast. Call a solemn assembly. Gather the elders, and all the inhabitants of the land, to the house of Yahweh, your God, and cry to Yahweh.
Joe 1:15 Alas for the day! For the day of Yahweh is at hand, and it will come as destruction from the Almighty.
Joe 1:16 Isn't the food cut off before our eyes; joy and gladness from the house of our God?
Joe 1:17 The seeds rot under their clods. The granaries are laid desolate. The barns are broken down, for the grain has withered.
Joe 1:18 How the animals groan! The herds of livestock are perplexed, because they have no pasture. Yes, the flocks of sheep are made desolate.
Joe 1:19 Yahweh, I cry to you, For the fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness, and the flame has burned all the trees of the field.
Joe 1:20 Yes, the animals of the field pant to you, for the water brooks have dried up, And the fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness.

Joe 2:1 Blow the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of Yahweh comes, for it is close at hand:
Joe 2:2 A day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness. As the dawn spreading on the mountains, a great and strong people; there has never been the like, neither will there be any more after them, even to the years of many generations.
Joe 2:3 A fire devours before them, and behind them, a flame burns. The land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them, a desolate wilderness. Yes, and no one has escaped them.
Joe 2:4 The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses, and as horsemen, so do they run.
Joe 2:5 Like the noise of chariots on the tops of the mountains do they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devours the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array.
Joe 2:6 At their presence the peoples are in anguish. All faces have grown pale.
Joe 2:7 They run like mighty men. They climb the wall like warriors. They each march in his line, and they don't swerve off course.
Joe 2:8 Neither does one jostle another; they march everyone in his path, and they burst through the defenses, and don't break ranks.
Joe 2:9 They rush on the city. They run on the wall. They climb up into the houses. They enter in at the windows like thieves.
Joe 2:10 The earth quakes before them. The heavens tremble. The sun and the moon are darkened, and the stars withdraw their shining.
Joe 2:11 Yahweh thunders his voice before his army; for his forces are very great; for he is strong who obeys his command; for the day of Yahweh is great and very awesome, and who can endure it?
Joe 2:12 "Yet even now," says Yahweh, "turn to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning."
Joe 2:13 Tear your heart, and not your garments, and turn to Yahweh, your God; for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abundant in loving kindness, and relents from sending calamity.
Joe 2:14 Who knows? He may turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind him, even a meal offering and a drink offering to Yahweh, your God.
Joe 2:15 Blow the trumpet in Zion! Sanctify a fast. Call a solemn assembly.
Joe 2:16 Gather the people. Sanctify the assembly. Assemble the elders. Gather the children, and those who suck the breasts. Let the bridegroom go forth from his room, and the bride out of her chamber.
Joe 2:17 Let the priests, the ministers of Yahweh, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, "Spare your people, Yahweh, and don't give your heritage to reproach, that the nations should rule over them. Why should they say among the peoples, 'Where is their God?' "
Joe 2:18 Then Yahweh was jealous for his land, And had pity on his people.
Joe 2:19 Yahweh answered his people, "Behold, I will send you grain, new wine, and oil, and you will be satisfied with them; and I will no more make you a reproach among the nations.
Joe 2:20 But I will remove the northern army far away from you, and will drive it into a barren and desolate land, its front into the eastern sea, and its back into the western sea; and its stench will come up, and its bad smell will rise." Surely he has done great things.
Joe 2:21 Land, don't be afraid. Be glad and rejoice, for Yahweh has done great things.
Joe 2:22 Don't be afraid, you animals of the field; for the pastures of the wilderness spring up, for the tree bears its fruit. The fig tree and the vine yield their strength.
Joe 2:23 "Be glad then, you children of Zion, and rejoice in Yahweh, your God; for he gives you the former rain in just measure, and he causes the rain to come down for you, the former rain and the latter rain, as before.
Joe 2:24 The threshing floors will be full of wheat, and the vats will overflow with new wine and oil.
Joe 2:25 I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the great locust, the grasshopper, and the caterpillar, my great army, which I sent among you.
Joe 2:26 You will have plenty to eat, and be satisfied, and will praise the name of Yahweh, your God, who has dealt wondrously with you; and my people will never again be disappointed.
Joe 2:27 You will know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am Yahweh, your God, and there is no one else; and my people will never again be disappointed.
Joe 2:28 "It will happen afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; and your sons and your daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams. Your young men will see visions.
Joe 2:29 And also on the servants and on the handmaids in those days, I will pour out my Spirit.
Joe 2:30 I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: blood, fire, and pillars of smoke.
Joe 2:31 The sun will be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of Yahweh comes.
Joe 2:32 It will happen that whoever will call on the name of Yahweh shall be saved; for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be those who escape, as Yahweh has said, and among the remnant, those whom Yahweh calls.

Joe 3:1 "For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem,
Joe 3:2 I will gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat; and I will execute judgment on them there for my people, and for my heritage, Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations. They have divided my land,
Joe 3:3 and have cast lots for my people, and have given a boy for a prostitute, and sold a girl for wine, that they may drink.
Joe 3:4 "Yes, and what are you to me, Tyre, and Sidon, and all the regions of Philistia? Will you repay me? And if you repay me, I will swiftly and speedily return your repayment on your own head.
Joe 3:5 Because you have taken my silver and my gold, and have carried my finest treasures into your temples,
Joe 3:6 and have sold the children of Judah and the children of Jerusalem to the sons of the Greeks, that you may remove them far from their border.
Joe 3:7 Behold, I will stir them up out of the place where you have sold them, and will return your repayment on your own head;
Joe 3:8 and I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hands of the children of Judah, and they will sell them to the men of Sheba, to a faraway nation, for Yahweh has spoken it."
Joe 3:9 Proclaim this among the nations: "Prepare for war! Stir up the mighty men. Let all the warriors draw near. Let them come up.
Joe 3:10 Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears. Let the weak say, 'I am strong.'
Joe 3:11 Hurry and come, all you surrounding nations, and gather yourselves together." Cause your mighty ones to come down there, Yahweh.
Joe 3:12 "Let the nations arouse themselves, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat; for there will I sit to judge all the surrounding nations.
Joe 3:13 Put in the sickle; for the harvest is ripe. Come, tread, for the winepress is full, the vats overflow, for their wickedness is great."
Joe 3:14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of Yahweh is near, in the valley of decision.
Joe 3:15 The sun and the moon are darkened, and the stars withdraw their shining.
Joe 3:16 Yahweh will roar from Zion, and thunder from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth will shake; but Yahweh will be a refuge to his people, and a stronghold to the children of Israel.
Joe 3:17 "So you will know that I am Yahweh, your God, dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain. Then Jerusalem will be holy, and no strangers will pass through her any more.
Joe 3:18 It will happen in that day, that the mountains will drop down sweet wine, the hills will flow with milk, all the brooks of Judah will flow with waters, and a fountain will come forth from the house of Yahweh, and will water the valley of Shittim.
Joe 3:19 Egypt will be a desolation, and Edom will be a desolate wilderness, for the violence done to the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land.
Joe 3:20 But Judah will be inhabited forever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation.
Joe 3:21 I will cleanse their blood, that I have not cleansed: for Yahweh dwells in Zion."

Dec. 16
2 John

2Jn 1:1 The elder, to the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in truth; and not I only, but also all those who know the truth;
2Jn 1:2 for the truth's sake, which remains in us, and it will be with us forever:
2Jn 1:3 Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.
2Jn 1:4 I rejoice greatly that I have found some of your children walking in truth, even as we have been commanded by the Father.
2Jn 1:5 Now I beg you, dear lady, not as though I wrote to you a new commandment, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another.
2Jn 1:6 This is love, that we should walk according to his commandments. This is the commandment, even as you heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it.
2Jn 1:7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who don't confess that Jesus Christ came in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the Antichrist.
2Jn 1:8 Watch yourselves, that we don't lose the things which we have accomplished, but that we receive a full reward.
2Jn 1:9 Whoever transgresses and doesn't remain in the teaching of Christ, doesn't have God. He who remains in the teaching, the same has both the Father and the Son.
2Jn 1:10 If anyone comes to you, and doesn't bring this teaching, don't receive him into your house, and don't welcome him,
2Jn 1:11 for he who welcomes him participates in his evil works.
2Jn 1:12 Having many things to write to you, I don't want to do so with paper and ink, but I hope to come to you, and to speak face to face, that our joy may be made full.
2Jn 1:13 The children of your chosen sister greet you. Amen.

Proverbs, The Folly of the Fool, Mark Copeland

                         "THE BOOK OF PROVERBS"

                         The Folly Of The Fool


1. The goal of Proverbs is to impart wisdom...
   a. To know wisdom and instruction - Pr 1:1-2
   b. To receive the instruction of wisdom - Pr 1:3

2. One way to learn about something is to consider its opposite...
   a. Want to understand what is wisdom?  Then know what is folly!
   b. Want to be wise?  Then don't be a fool!

[In studying the wisdom of Proverbs, then, we learn much about "The
Folly Of The Fool."  Exactly what is a fool...?]


      1. 'eviyl; it appears primarily in wisdom literature - Vine's
      2. An adjective meaning foolish in the sense of one who hates
         wisdom and walks in folly, despising wisdom and morality - TCWD
      -- A fool thus despises wisdom and walks in folly

      1. The word is used in Scripture with respect to moral more than
         to intellectual deficiencies - Unger's Bible Dictionary, p. 375
      2. The 'fool' is not so much lacking in mental powers, as one who
         misuses them... - ibid.
      3. In Scripture the 'fool'...is the person who casts off the fear
         of God, and thinks and acts as if he could safely disregard the
         eternal principles of God's righteousness - ibid.
      -- A fool thus chooses to disregard God and His wisdom

[To help us to further understand "The Folly Of The Fool," let's now


      1. In his own eyes, he can do no wrong - Pr 12:15
      2. Foolishly, he trusts in his own heart - Pr 28:26
      -- Conversely, we should trust in the Lord, not lean on our own
         understanding - Pr 3:5-6

      1. Fools despise wisdom and instruction - Pr 1:7
      2. Even the instruction from one's father - Pr 15:5
      3. Thus fools die for lack of wisdom - Pr 10:21
      4. A fool cares only to tell others what he knows - Pr 18:2
      5. For a fool thinks he knows every thing - Pr 18:13
      6. What fools know is soon known by all - Pr 14:33
      7. Their foolishness becomes apparent to all - Pr 12:23; 13:16
      -- Therefore we waste energy in trying to share wisdom with a fool
         - Pr 23:9

      1. Fools are destined for much punishment - Pr 19:29, 26:3
      2. Yet they are unlikely to learn from attempts to correct them
         - Pr 17:10
      3. Such hatred of correction is the height of folly - Pr 12:1
      -- Trying to correct a fool is folly within itself - Pr 16:22

      1. A fool is one who vents all his feelings - Pr 29:11
      2. His wrath is soon known - Pr 12:16
      -- His impulsiveness makes his folly worse - Pr 14:29

      1. Evil is like sport to a fool - Pr 10:23
      2. They even make fun of sin - Pr 14:9
      -- Thus it is difficult to get fools to depart from evil - Pro

      1. Despite the most extreme efforts to rehabilitate him - Pro
      2. Because he considers it an abomination to depart from evil
         - Pr 13:19
      -- Truly a fool is like a dog that returns to his own vomit - Pro


1. In summary, then, a fool is a person who...
   a. Trusts in himself
   b. Is deaf to instruction
   c. Cannot be disciplined
   d. Is impulsive
   e. Commits evil
   f. Is virtually unchangeable

2. Reinforcing these qualities of a fool...
   a. Let's now read Pr 26:1-12
   b. Where we find several observations about fools and their folly

Hopefully, such observations and warnings about "The Folly Of The Fool"
will encourage us to choose an alternative path in life; especially when
we consider the final contrast between the wise and the fools:

   "The wise shall inherit glory, But shame shall be the legacy of
                                                      - Pr 3:35

What shall we inherit?  What shall be our legacy?  It depends on our
willingness to listen to God...