Mike Huckabee and Christian Healthcare Ministries

When I first heard about this organization I was skeptical, but I thought I would give it a try.  My wife had an operation last year and CHM did everything they said they would!!!  More than that, I could tell they really cared about us; they prayed for us, encouraged us and went out of their way to assist us!!!! It didn't feel at all like "business"; it was more like just one friend helping another. I heartily recommend them to anyone who does not have health insurance!!!  I plan to keep them as supplemental healthcare when I turn 65.  Click on the video and see what I am talking about; you will be glad you did!!!


Most of the time, I start off the day with a couple of cups of coffee.  It has become routine and is one of the more pleasant aspects of my day.  Today, my coffee will be a bit different: I am changing from my usual liquid Coffee mate creamer to powdered creamer and stevia (sweetener).  Why?  Weight watchers point reduction of course.  This eliminates 6 points a day and over time, that is a lot!!!  No, I am not just being "obsessive"; Weight watchers works!!! So far I am down 51 pounds and counting!!!  Even though this may sound like a lot to some of you, remember, I still have at least an additional 100 pounds to go!!!  So, for the next year or so, I will be working towards my goal.  It just seems to take FOREVER to get there though.  If you read Jim McGuiggan's post concerning the book of Hebrews today, you will be thinking about the Jewish Christians of the first century and their motivation to remain faithful.  So, with this on my mind, I searched for the word "forever" and these are the results:

Hebrews, Chapter 5
  6  As he says also in another place, 
“You are a priest forever,
after the order of Melchizedek.”

Hebrews, Chapter 6
13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he could swear by no one greater, he swore by himself,  14 saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.”  15 Thus, having patiently endured, he obtained the promise.  16 For men indeed swear by a greater one, and in every dispute of theirs the oath is final for confirmation.  17 In this way God, being determined to show more abundantly to the heirs of the promise the immutability of his counsel, interposed with an oath;  18 that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we may have a strong encouragement, who have fled for refuge to take hold of the hope set before us.  19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and entering into that which is within the veil;  20 where as a forerunner Jesus entered for us, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. 

Hebrews, Chapter 7
1 For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of God Most High, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him,  2 to whom also Abraham divided a tenth part of all (being first, by interpretation, king of righteousness, and then also king of Salem, which is king of peace;  3 without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God), remains a priest continually. 4 Now consider how great this man was, to whom even Abraham, the patriarch, gave a tenth out of the best plunder.  5 They indeed of the sons of Levi who receive the priest’s office have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brothers, though these have come out of the body of Abraham,  6 but he whose genealogy is not counted from them has accepted tithes from Abraham, and has blessed him who has the promises.  7 But without any dispute the lesser is blessed by the greater.  8 Here people who die receive tithes, but there one receives tithes of whom it is testified that he lives.  9 We can say that through Abraham even Levi, who receives tithes, has paid tithes,  10 for he was yet in the body of his father when Melchizedek met him.  11 Now if there were perfection through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people have received the law), what further need was there for another priest to arise after the order of Melchizedek, and not be called after the order of Aaron?  12 For the priesthood being changed, there is of necessity a change made also in the law.  13 For he of whom these things are said belongs to another tribe, from which no one has officiated at the altar.  14 For it is evident that our Lord has sprung out of Judah, about which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood.  15 This is yet more abundantly evident, if after the likeness of Melchizedek there arises another priest,  16 who has been made, not after the law of a fleshly commandment, but after the power of an endless life:  17 for it is testified, 
“You are a priest forever,
according to the order of Melchizedek.”

  18  For there is an annulling of a foregoing commandment because of its weakness and uselessness  19 (for the law made nothing perfect), and a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.  20 Inasmuch as he was not made priest without the taking of an oath  21 (for they indeed have been made priests without an oath), but he with an oath by him that says of him, 
“The Lord swore and will not change his mind,
‘You are a priest forever,
according to the order of Melchizedek.’”

  22  By so much, Jesus has become the collateral of a better covenant.  23 Many, indeed, have been made priests, because they are hindered from continuing by death.  24 But he, because he lives forever, has his priesthood unchangeable.  25 Therefore he is also able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, seeing that he lives forever to make intercession for them. 

  26  For such a high priest was fitting for us: holy, guiltless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;  27 who doesn’t need, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices daily, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. For he did this once for all, when he offered up himself.  28 For the law appoints men as high priests who have weakness, but the word of the oath which came after the law appoints a Son forever who has been perfected. 

Hebrews, Chapter 10
  1 For the law, having a shadow of the good to come, not the very image of the things, can never with the same sacrifices year by year, which they offer continually, make perfect those who draw near.  2 Or else wouldn’t they have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having been once cleansed, would have had no more consciousness of sins?  3 But in those sacrifices there is a yearly reminder of sins.  4 For it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins.  5 Therefore when he comes into the world, he says, 
“Sacrifice and offering you didn’t desire,
but you prepared a body for me;
  6 You had no pleasure in whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin.
  7 Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come (in the scroll of the book it is written of me)
to do your will, O God.’”

  8  Previously saying, “Sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin you didn’t desire, neither had pleasure in them” (those which are offered according to the law),  9 then he has said, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He takes away the first, that he may establish the second,  10 by which will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.  11 Every priest indeed stands day by day serving and often offering the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins,  12 but he, when he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God;  13 from that time waiting until his enemies are made the footstool of his feet.  14 For by one offering he has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.  15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us, for after saying, 
  16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them:
‘After those days,’ says the Lord,
‘I will put my laws on their heart,
I will also write them on their mind;’”

then he says, 
  17 “I will remember their sins and their iniquities no more.”

  18  Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.  19 Having therefore, brothers, boldness to enter into the holy place by the blood of Jesus,

Hebrews, Chapter 13
 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever

 20  Now may the God of peace, who brought again from the dead the great shepherd of the sheep with the blood of an eternal covenant, our Lord Jesus,  21 make you complete in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.  

 Jesus is a priest who lives forever; imagine that one!!!  Someone to intercede for me FOREVER!!!  Eternal, permanent, without change are just a few of the terms that come to mind.  The priests the Jewish Christians of the first century knew permanent death, but not Jesus!!!  Is it any wonder then, that the theme of this book is "BETTER"!!!  As I write this, my pot of coffee has just finished brewing and its time to try my new mix, so my "forever" of waiting is over.  Next; the forever of heaven-- can't wait!!!


Spending Time with Jim McGuiggan


I could easily see Jews [Jews who are Christians and those that aren't reading the book of Hebrews with special interest. If they rejected Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah it's to be expected that their motivation would be to critique it. If they were Jews who have embraced Jesus of Nazareth as Messiah and Lord it would be to learn more about Him and his purpose. Jews, I would confidently suspect, would be especially interested in Moses, Aaron, tabernacle, priests, animal sacrifices, curtains, genealogies, Joshua, the Old Covenant, the heroes of Israel's history and such. How would that he difficult to understand?
What is surprising [at least] is that Gentiles would find it interesting, much less sometimes enthralling.
Here's this book, something like 2,000 years old that from beginning to end speaks of things that have peculiar relevance to people with a Jewish background and we Gentiles eagerly pore over it.
Of course, it must be said, that we mostly look to the book of Hebrews for arguments to prove that we are right to view Jesus as we do. Is this not true? I think it is true.
But when did we the Gentile rank and file ever meet a Jew and reason with him? When did we ever reason with a devout Jew [if ever we did] in favor of Jesus using the book of Hebrews?
I think our abiding interest in the book of Hebrews is more than surprising—I think it is close to astonishing, especially if we forget the writer's aim!
The Hebrew writer's aim is to keep Jewish believers on their feet!
Church attendance was down, disappointment was everywhere, some had walked away and no longer assembled with Jesus-believing fellow-Jews. They were drifting back to the Judaism they knew with its sacrifices, Aaronic priesthood and visible structures, back to what Jerusalem stood for and the Hebrew writer wanted to stop the rot among them and enrich their faith.
How does he go about it?
He doesn't try to prove anything—he proclaims! Well, yes, he so structures his presentation that he's "making a case" for staying with the Lord Jesus but his "arguments" aren't arguments, they're claims on behalf of Jesus. And he makes these claims on Jesus' behalf because he is already committed to Jesus on the basis of the gospeling of eye-witnesses of the life, death, resurrection and exaltation of the Lord Jesus. He doesn't demonstrate from Scripture that the Jesus they had come to believe in was indeed the Messiah. He doesn't pretend that believers carried around a card with all the predictions about the Messiah and when they met Jesus he had all those identity markers. No, like all the other believers, including the apostolic group in the beginning, they read the Scriptures in light of Jesus rather than Jesus in the light of Scriptures.
The book of Hebrews is a "sermon" addressed to people with a Jewish heritage that mattered to them.
It appears to me if we are to use the book of Hebrews well it won't do just to find out what all the verses meant and repeat them and their meaning—we must do more than exegesis. To be faithful to the Hebrew writer's purpose which is to keep believers on their feet and enriched in the gospel of and about Jesus Christ—to keep faith with that book we must use it in our setting and culture to do what he did. It isn't enough to say, "Here's what each verse means and here's how his 'argument' works for Jews." 
To be faithful to that book [and any other in the Bible] we need to pay attention to the gospel sub-text which is everywhere underneath the verses in the text before us. This vast and indispensable sub-text shows itself every now and then with powerful clarity and to be faithful to the book we are to do with it in our time and culture what the Hebrew writer did to his time and culture.
He proclaims that Jesus is a greater High Priest than any of Aaron's line [in part] because he's deathless. He doesn't develop an argument about Jesus' immortality—he preaches it [contrast it with 1 Corinthians 15:3-9].
It's right and proper that we should examine how the Hebrew writer made his case for loyalty to the Lord Jesus but we mustn't think that having worked out marvelously how he made his case to these Jews that our business is to ceaseless repeat how he did it and leave it there. "See, that's the book of Hebrews!"
The 21st century believing Gentile might well nod in approval at our accuracy and then ask, "So what? What does a Jewish sermon have to do with us?" 

Bible Reading, Jan. 16

Jan. 16
Genesis 16
Gen 16:1 Now Sarai, Abram's wife, bore him no children. She had a handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar.
Gen 16:2 Sarai said to Abram, "See now, Yahweh has restrained me from bearing. Please go in to my handmaid. It may be that I will obtain children by her." Abram listened to the voice of Sarai.
Gen 16:3 Sarai, Abram's wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her handmaid, after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to Abram her husband to be his wife.
Gen 16:4 He went in to Hagar, and she conceived. When she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes.
Gen 16:5 Sarai said to Abram, "This wrong is your fault. I gave my handmaid into your bosom, and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes. Yahweh judge between me and you."
Gen 16:6 But Abram said to Sarai, "Behold, your maid is in your hand. Do to her whatever is good in your eyes." Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her face.
Gen 16:7 The angel of Yahweh found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur.
Gen 16:8 He said, "Hagar, Sarai's handmaid, where did you come from? Where are you going?" She said, "I am fleeing from the face of my mistress Sarai."
Gen 16:9 The angel of Yahweh said to her, "Return to your mistress, and submit yourself under her hands."
Gen 16:10 The angel of Yahweh said to her, "I will greatly multiply your seed, that they will not be numbered for multitude."
Gen 16:11 The angel of Yahweh said to her, "Behold, you are with child, and will bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, because Yahweh has heard your affliction.
Gen 16:12 He will be like a wild donkey among men. His hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him. He will live opposite all of his brothers."
Gen 16:13 She called the name of Yahweh who spoke to her, "You are a God who sees," for she said, "Have I even stayed alive after seeing him?"
Gen 16:14 Therefore the well was called Beer Lahai Roi. Behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.
Gen 16:15 Hagar bore a son for Abram. Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael.
Gen 16:16 Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram.

Daniel: Daniel's Penitential Prayer, Mark Copeland

                          "THE BOOK OF DANIEL"

                  Daniel's Penitential Prayer (9:1-19)


1. As we continue our survey of the book of Daniel, we come to a
   remarkable chapter...
   a. In which we find a beautiful prayer expressed by Daniel - Dan 9:
   b. In which we find an amazing revelation regarding "seventy sevens"
      - Dan 9:20-27

2. Without question, the latter part of the chapter is difficult...
   a. Edward J. Young describes it as "one of the most difficult in all
      the OT, and the interpretations which have been offered are
      almost legion."
   b. H. C. Leupold wrote "This is one of the grandest prophetic
      passages; and yet, if there was ever an exegetical crux, this is
3. In light of its difficulty...
   a. We should certainly approach this passage with humility, and not
   b. We should be careful not to draw conclusions that contradict
      clear teachings of Scripture

4. But before we consider the actual vision of the seventy weeks, let's
   take the time to consider the prayer offered by Daniel...
   a. A beautiful example of confessing sin and seeking forgiveness
   b. Akin to the prayer of David in Ps 51

[A wonderful blessing we enjoy as Christians is the cleansing blood of
Jesus as we confess our sins (1Jn 1:9).  Daniel's prayer in this
chapter provides insight into the art of confessing sin...]


      1. In the first year of Darius, son of Ahasuerus - Dan 9:1
         a. Of the lineage of the Medes
         b. Made king over the Chaldeans (Babylonians) - Dan 5:31; 6:
      2. The time is now about 538 B.C.

      1. Daniel knew the prophecy of Jeremiah, regarding 70 years of
         Babylonian captivity - Dan 9:2; cf. Jer 25:9-12; 29:10
      2. The 70 years of Jerusalem began in 606 B.C., with the
         captivity of Daniel and the first devastation of Jerusalem
         - 2Ch 36:5-7; Dan 1:1-6
      -- So with this first year of the Medo-Persian empire (With
         Darius the Mede over Chaldea, but with Cyrus the Persian over
         all), the prophecy of Jeremiah was almost completed - 2 Chr 36:21-23; Ezr 1:1-4

      1. Daniel set his face toward the Lord God - Dan 9:3
         a. To make request by prayer and supplications
         b. This may have included facing toward Jerusalem - cf. Dan 6:
      2. With fasting, sackcloth, and ashes
         a. Physical preparations which illustrated his humility and
         b. Similar to the practice of others - Neh 9:1-2; Jon 3:5-9

[With the Word of God fresh on his mind, his heart humbled by his own
sins and those of his people, even his physical body humbled into
submission, Daniel begins his penitential prayer...]


      1. Addressing the Lord his God - Dan 9:4
         a. As great and awesome
         b. Who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who:
            1) Love Him
            2) Keep His commandments - cf. Ps 103:17-18; Jn 14:15
      2. Confessing in behalf of his people - Dan 9:5-6
         a. Of sinning and committing iniquity
         b. Of doing wickedly and rebelling
         c. Of departing from His precepts and judgments
         d. Of failing to heed His servants the prophets, who spoke to
            their kings, princes, fathers, and all the people - 2 Chr 36:15-21
      3. Contrasting their shame with God's righteousness - Dan 9:7-9
         a. To Judah, Israel, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem belong
            shame of face
            1) Those both near and far off in countries where God had
               driven them
            2) To them, their kings, princes, and fathers
            3) Because of their unfaithfulness against God, their sin
               and rebellion - Ezr 9:6-7
         b. To God belongs righteousness
            1) To Him belongs mercy and forgiveness
            2) Even though they had rebelled against Him - Ezr 9:8-9
      4. Reviewing their sin, and the fulfillment of God's warnings 
         - Dan 9:10-14
         a. The nature of their sin - cf. Neh 9:13-30
            1) They have not obeyed the voice of the Lord
            2) They have not walked in His laws set before by His
            3) They transgressed His law, and departed so as not to
               obey His voice
            4) They had not prayed that they might turn from their
               iniquities and understand His truth
         b. The fulfillment of God's warnings - Lev 26:14-39; Deut 28:
            1) The curse and oath written in the Law of Moses has been
               poured out
            2) He has confirmed His words spoken against them by
               bringing a great disaster upon them
            3) Especially the disaster which has come upon Jerusalem
      5. Summarizing their sin - Dan 9:15
         a. To Him who delivered them from Egyptian bondage with a
            mighty hand
         b. They have sinned, and done wickedly!

      1. His passionate plea for God to:
         a. Turn away His anger and fury - Dan 9:16
            1) From His city Jerusalem, His holy mountain
            2) Because of their sins and iniquities
            3) For which they have become a reproach
         b. Hear his prayer and supplications - Dan 9:17a
         c. Cause His face to shine on His sanctuary, which is desolate
            - Dan 9:17b
         d. See their desolation, and the desolation of the city called
            by His name - Dan 9:18
         e. Hear, forgive, act and not delay! - Dan 9:19
      2. His passionate plea based, not because of their righteous
         deeds, but upon:
         a. God's righteousness, and for His sake - Dan 9:16-17
         b. God's great mercies, and for His city and His people called
            by His name - Dan 9:18-19


1. Like the penitential prayer of David in Ps 51, this prayer of
   Daniel is a classic example of how to confess our sins and seek
   God's forgiveness
   a. To seek forgiveness on the basis of God's lovingkindness and
      mercy, not one's own righteousness - cf. Ps 51:1-2
   b. To acknowledge one's sins before God - cf. Ps 51:3-4
   -- As we confess our sins (cf. 1Jn 1:9), remember the example of
      godly men like David and Daniel!

2. Daniel's noble character is seen in how he identified himself with
   his people in their sins...
   a. Even though he had been faithful to God throughout his life - Dan 6:10
   b. For such reasons he was "greatly beloved" by God - Dan 9:23; 10:

May the example of Daniel's life and faith inspire us in our own walk
with God, for we too have been blessed to be "greatly beloved":

   "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that
   we should be called children of God!" - 1Jn 3:1a

Are we trusting in the love and mercy of God for the forgiveness of
sins, and not our own righteousness?

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011