Knock, knock.

The man who lived in the house on a street in Ur went to the door and was faced with a stranger.


Stranger: Good day to you. You’re name Abram, son of Terah and husband of Sarai?


Abram: Yes, sir, that’s me. And you, who are you, sir?


Stranger: Oh, for now you can just call me El Shaddai.


Abram: And how can I help you sir?


El: [looking steadily at the man] I have an enterprise, a purpose, I wish to bring to completion and I’m here to take you and your wife to a place where it will all begin.


Abram: [quietly] May I ask what that enterprise is, sir?


El: [earnestly] I want to save a world, my world—this big round teeming world!


Abram: Are you sure, sir, that I’m the man you need. I love the sound and the glory of the vision but I’m sure I’m not up to the task—my health isn’t the best.


El: I know about your health and I know about Sarai. I know you aren’t up to the task but I know I am. Can you believe that?


Abram:  [after only a moment’s thought] Yes, I can and you can count me in, sir.


El: Do you want to ask me where I’m taking you?


Abram: No, sir, I now know all I need to know. I trust you.


And so it was that Abram and his family left Ur and headed for Canaan but they settled in Haran where Terah, the father of Abram died before he and Sarai crossed the Euphrates and made their way down into Canaan. An unlikely pair—he with a body old before its time and she unable to bear the children she longed for.

Abraham entered Canaan seventy-five years old and lived among the people there as a pilgrim, a very successful pilgrim but a pilgrim, a childless pilgrim. He must have looked at his great riches1 and he thought what would happen to them when he died2 and so he made his case to God.3 God assured him the promises would be fulfilled; Abraham believed him and God confirmed his promise in a formal way by making a covenant with Abraham.4

Whatever their flaws as moral creatures and despite the wayward moves they’d make these two were God’s chosen. Peter called her the mother of the faithful and God said that out of her he would bring nations and kings of nations.5 Abraham would be the father of a multitude of nations. But it was twenty-five years before they had the child who was their future and then laughing Sarah died—died away from home. As one great servant of God put it6 they never inherited as much as a foot of ground. It was more than fifty years since they’d been told about a land, a family, a name and their destiny as God’s instruments of world redemption. But at the time of Sarah’s death at 127 years old the only piece of property she and her husband had in the Promised Land was the gravesite Abraham bought to bury her in.7

The Hebrew writer spoke of Abraham and said that he could have gone back to Mesopotamia and taken her with him—at least she could have been buried at home amongst her own people. But because he believed that God would keep his promise that he would inherit a city greater than Ur he wouldn’t leave.8 Watch him as he counted out and weighed the four hundred shekels of silver and weighed them. Hear him say to himself four hundred times as he threw a shekel into the pile to be weighed: “God is faithful!”

Four hundred times he said, “God can be trusted!”

Four hundred times he said, “God can be trusted no matter what appearances, our limits, harsh realities or our personal failures say!”

God looks at such people, said the Hebrew writer, and feels proud of them; “He is not ashamed of them, to be called their God!”9

And what does all that mean to believers in the 21st century? What does all that mean to the nations of the world? What does all that say about God’s intention toward them? How does the one we have come to know as the Lord Jesus, the Christ”? What does it mean when we’re told that having in faith been baptized into Christ that we are “heirs according to the promise”? What does it mean when we think of ourselves as a People who have been called out of “Egypt” and how do we see ourselves when we think of ourselves as a People called out of the world of “Babylon”—from the great city of “Ur”? What does it mean to believers such as ourselves when we use the phrase of God that he is “the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob?”

1. Genesis 15:3

2. Genesis 15:2

3. Genesis 15:3

4. Genesis 15:2-18. It’s clear to me that Abraham met God who entered the “corridor” between the divided pieces as Abraham’s covenant partner. It’s clear that God’s commitment was “unconditional” in the sense that he would never break it. It’s also clear from the entire biblical witness that to enjoy and experience God’s faithfulness the individual and the nation had to cleave to God in covenant love. For the walking between the pieces to formalize a covenant see Jeremiah 34:18-19.

5. 1 Peter 3:6; Genesis 17:16-17

6. Acts 7:5

7. Genesis 23:1-20

8. Hebrews 11:8-16

       9. Hebrews 11:16
©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.
Many thanks to brother Ed Healy, for allowing me to post from his website, theabidingword.com.

The Resurrection of Christ as a Fact of Science by Kyle Butt, M.A.


The Resurrection of Christ as a Fact of Science

by Kyle Butt, M.A.

Famed atheist and New York Times bestselling author Sam Harris published a book in 2010 titled The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values. In the book he attempted to show that atheistic materialism can provide a standard by which to judge moral behavior. He failed to prove his point, as we have shown in other places (Butt, 2008), but he did make some telling admissions.
In the introduction, Harris provided an endnote that described his view of the concept of a “fact.” He stated:
For the purposes of this discussion, I do not intend to make a hard distinction between “science” and other intellectual contexts in which we discuss “facts”—e.g., history. For instance, it is a fact that John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Facts of this kind fall within the context of “science,” broadly construed as our best effort to form a rational account of empirical reality. Granted, one doesn’t generally think of events like assassinations as “scientific” facts, but the murder of President Kennedy is as fully corroborated a fact as can be found anywhere, and it would betray a profoundly unscientific frame of mind to deny that it occurred (2010, p. 195).
Harris is exactly right. Events that happened in the past such as assassinations can be every bit as scientific and factual as other types of experiential knowledge. In fact, those of us who believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ have contended for years that direct observation is not necessarily needed to establish it as factual. If the assassination of J.F.K. can be nailed down scientifically and established as a fact, is it not also true that the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus Christ can be equally validated as a scientific fact in the way Harris describes? Certainly it is. (We have established the case for the fact of the resurrection elsewhere, see Butt, 2002.)
“In our best effort to form a rational account of empirical reality” we are forced to conclude that no other series of events offers the explanatory power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The event is recorded in detail in the only book in the world that is proven to be inspired by God. Hundreds of people in the first century saw the resurrected Lord, and testified of such. And the fact is that Jesus’ tomb was empty.These facts and others combine to provide a cumulative scientific case to establish the fact of Jesus’ resurrection.
Of course, Sam Harris would disagree about the resurrection of Christ being a fact. But his insightful discussion of what actually constitutes a scientific fact opens the door for the resurrected Lord to walk through. “And it would betray a profoundly unscientific frame of mind to deny that it occurred.”


Butt, Kyle (2002), “Jesus Christ—Dead or Alive?” Reason and Revelation,https://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=10&article=147.
Butt, Kyle (2008), “The Bitter Fruits of Atheism,” Reason and Revelation,http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=12&article=2515.
Harris, Sam (2010), The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Value (New York: Free Press).

From Mark Copeland... "THE CASE FOR CREATION" The Biblical Case For Creation

                                     "THE CASE FOR CREATION"

                     The Biblical Case For Creation


1. Among the fundamental questions of life, are those related to the
   issue of origins...
   a. Where did life come from?
   b. How did it all begin?

2. The answers basically fall into two groups...
   a. Matter is eternal, and life has evolved through purely natural
   b. Matter is not eternal, and life was created by a supernatural

3. The answers are not without consequence...
   a. Those who believe matter is eternal tend to deny the existence of God
   b. Those who believe matter was created tend to believe in a Supreme Being

[The question of origins cannot be answered with 100% certainty.  But
there is evidence from various sources that make it very reasonable to
believe matter (and life) was created by a Supreme Being.  In this
lesson we shall review one source as we examine "The Biblical Case For


      1. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth... - Gen 1:1
      2. In six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and all
         that is in them - Gen 1:2-2:3; Exo 20:11; 31:17
      -- The lawgiver of Israel attests to the creation of all things by God

      1. David, king of Israel - 1Ch 16:26
      2. Solomon, king of Israel - Pr 3:19; 8:22-30; Ecc 12:1
      3. Hyram, king of Tyre - 2Ch 2:12
      4. Hezekiah, king of Judah - 2Ki 19:15
      -- The wisest kings of Israel and Tyre attest to the creation of
         all things by God

      1. The heavens, the work of God - Psa 8:3
      2. By His word the heavens were made - Psa 33:6-9
      3. He laid the foundation of the earth, the heavens the work of
         His hands - Psa 102:25
      4. Many other passages - Psa 104:24; 115:15; 121:2; 124:8; 134:3;
         136:5-9; 146:6; 148:4-5
      -- The singers of Israel attest to the creation of all things by God

      1. Isaiah, prophet to kings - Isa 37:16; 40:26,28; 42:5; 44:24;45:18; 51:13
      2. Jeremiah, prophet to a dying nation - Jer 10:11-12; 32:17;51:15
      3. Zechariah - prophet to a restored nation - Zec 12:1
      -- Prophets of Israel attest to the creation of all things by God

 [The testimony of the Old Testament is clear.  As proclaimed by the
returned captives of Israel, God created both the heavens the and earth
(cf. Neh 9:6).  Let us now consider the case for creation...]


      1. He spoke of the beginning of creation - Mk 10:6
      2. In which God created mankind and all things - Mk 10:6; 13:19
      -- Jesus certainly attests to the creation of all things by God

      1. By John in his gospel - Jn 1:1-3,10
      2. By the apostles in their prayer - Ac 4:24
      3. By Paul in his preaching - Ac 14:15; 17:24
      4. By Paul in his epistles - Ro 1:20; 1Co 8:6; Col 1:16-17
      5. By the writer of Hebrews - He 1:2; 3:4; 11:3
      6. By Peter in his epistle - 2Pe 3:5
      7. By John in the Revelation shown him - Re 10:5-6
      -- The apostles attest to the creation of all things by God

      1. By the twenty four elders around the throne of God - Re 4:11
      2. By an angel flying through the midst of heaven - Re 14:7
      -- The heavenly voices attest to the creation of all things by God


1. The Biblical answer to the question of origins is clear...
   a. Matter is not eternal, but was created by a Supreme Being
   b. Created by the God of Israel, together with His Son and Spirit
      - Gen 1:1-2,26; Col 1:16-17

2. Those believing in creation by a Supreme Being join those who...
   a. Had a great impact on the history of mankind (Moses, David,
      Solomon, Jesus, Paul, etc.)
   b. Have a solid foundation on which to build their lives and direct
      their actions

3. Of course, not all are willing to accept the Biblical answer...
   a. Some not wanting to, unwilling to face the consequences
   b. Some not aware of the evidences that support creation

In our next study, we shall consider another one of those evidences:

                 "The Philosophical Case For Creation"

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

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From Gary... Bible Reading February 23

Bible Reading  

February 23

The World English Bible

Feb. 23
Exodus 4

Exo 4:1 Moses answered, "But, behold, they will not believe me, nor listen to my voice; for they will say, 'Yahweh has not appeared to you.' "
Exo 4:2 Yahweh said to him, "What is that in your hand?" He said, "A rod."
Exo 4:3 He said, "Throw it on the ground." He threw it on the ground, and it became a snake; and Moses ran away from it.
Exo 4:4 Yahweh said to Moses, "Put forth your hand, and take it by the tail." He put forth his hand, and laid hold of it, and it became a rod in his hand.
Exo 4:5 "That they may believe that Yahweh, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you."
Exo 4:6 Yahweh said furthermore to him, "Now put your hand inside your cloak." He put his hand inside his cloak, and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous, as white as snow.
Exo 4:7 He said, "Put your hand inside your cloak again." He put his hand inside his cloak again, and when he took it out of his cloak, behold, it had turned again as his other flesh.
Exo 4:8 "It will happen, if they will neither believe you nor listen to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign.
Exo 4:9 It will happen, if they will not believe even these two signs, neither listen to your voice, that you shall take of the water of the river, and pour it on the dry land. The water which you take out of the river will become blood on the dry land."
Exo 4:10 Moses said to Yahweh, "Oh, Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before now, nor since you have spoken to your servant; for I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue."
Exo 4:11 Yahweh said to him, "Who made man's mouth? Or who makes one mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Isn't it I, Yahweh?
Exo 4:12 Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth, and teach you what you shall speak."
Exo 4:13 He said, "Oh, Lord, please send someone else."
Exo 4:14 The anger of Yahweh was kindled against Moses, and he said, "What about Aaron, your brother, the Levite? I know that he can speak well. Also, behold, he comes forth to meet you. When he sees you, he will be glad in his heart.
Exo 4:15 You shall speak to him, and put the words in his mouth. I will be with your mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what you shall do.
Exo 4:16 He will be your spokesman to the people; and it will happen, that he will be to you a mouth, and you will be to him as God.
Exo 4:17 You shall take this rod in your hand, with which you shall do the signs."
Exo 4:18 Moses went and returned to Jethro his father-in-law, and said to him, "Please let me go and return to my brothers who are in Egypt, and see whether they are still alive." Jethro said to Moses, "Go in peace."
Exo 4:19 Yahweh said to Moses in Midian, "Go, return into Egypt; for all the men who sought your life are dead."
Exo 4:20 Moses took his wife and his sons, and set them on a donkey, and he returned to the land of Egypt. Moses took God's rod in his hand.
Exo 4:21 Yahweh said to Moses, "When you go back into Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all the wonders which I have put in your hand, but I will harden his heart and he will not let the people go.
Exo 4:22 You shall tell Pharaoh, 'Thus says Yahweh, Israel is my son, my firstborn,
Exo 4:23 and I have said to you, "Let my son go, that he may serve me;" and you have refused to let him go. Behold, I will kill your son, your firstborn.' "
Exo 4:24 It happened on the way at a lodging place, that Yahweh met him and wanted to kill him.
Exo 4:25 Then Zipporah took a flint, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet; and she said, "Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me."
Exo 4:26 So he let him alone. Then she said, "You are a bridegroom of blood," because of the circumcision.
Exo 4:27 Yahweh said to Aaron, "Go into the wilderness to meet Moses." He went, and met him on God's mountain, and kissed him.
Exo 4:28 Moses told Aaron all the words of Yahweh with which he had sent him, and all the signs with which he had instructed him.
Exo 4:29 Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel.
Exo 4:30 Aaron spoke all the words which Yahweh had spoken to Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people.

Exo 4:31 The people believed, and when they heard that Yahweh had visited the children of Israel, and that he had seen their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshiped.
Feb. 22, 23
Matthew 27

Mat 27:1 Now when morning had come, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death:
Mat 27:2 and they bound him, and led him away, and delivered him up to Pontius Pilate, the governor.
Mat 27:3 Then Judas, who betrayed him, when he saw that Jesus was condemned, felt remorse, and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,
Mat 27:4 saying, "I have sinned in that I betrayed innocent blood." But they said, "What is that to us? You see to it."
Mat 27:5 He threw down the pieces of silver in the sanctuary, and departed. He went away and hanged himself.
Mat 27:6 The chief priests took the pieces of silver, and said, "It's not lawful to put them into the treasury, since it is the price of blood."
Mat 27:7 They took counsel, and bought the potter's field with them, to bury strangers in.
Mat 27:8 Therefore that field was called "The Field of Blood" to this day.
Mat 27:9 Then that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled, saying, "They took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him upon whom a price had been set, whom some of the children of Israel priced,
Mat 27:10 and they gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord commanded me."
Mat 27:11 Now Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, "Are you the King of the Jews?" Jesus said to him, "So you say."
Mat 27:12 When he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing.
Mat 27:13 Then Pilate said to him, "Don't you hear how many things they testify against you?"
Mat 27:14 He gave him no answer, not even one word, so that the governor marveled greatly.
Mat 27:15 Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release to the multitude one prisoner, whom they desired.
Mat 27:16 They had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas.
Mat 27:17 When therefore they were gathered together, Pilate said to them, "Whom do you want me to release to you? Barabbas, or Jesus, who is called Christ?"
Mat 27:18 For he knew that because of envy they had delivered him up.
Mat 27:19 While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent to him, saying, "Have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him."
Mat 27:20 Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the multitudes to ask for Barabbas, and destroy Jesus.
Mat 27:21 But the governor answered them, "Which of the two do you want me to release to you?" They said, "Barabbas!"
Mat 27:22 Pilate said to them, "What then shall I do to Jesus, who is called Christ?" They all said to him, "Let him be crucified!"
Mat 27:23 But the governor said, "Why? What evil has he done?" But they cried out exceedingly, saying, "Let him be crucified!"
Mat 27:24 So when Pilate saw that nothing was being gained, but rather that a disturbance was starting, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, "I am innocent of the blood of this righteous person. You see to it."
Mat 27:25 All the people answered, "May his blood be on us, and on our children!"
Mat 27:26 Then he released to them Barabbas, but Jesus he flogged and delivered to be crucified.
Mat 27:27 Then the governor's soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium, and gathered the whole garrison together against him.
Mat 27:28 They stripped him, and put a scarlet robe on him.
Mat 27:29 They braided a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and a reed in his right hand; and they kneeled down before him, and mocked him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!"
Mat 27:30 They spat on him, and took the reed and struck him on the head.
Mat 27:31 When they had mocked him, they took the robe off of him, and put his clothes on him, and led him away to crucify him.
Mat 27:32 As they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name, and they compelled him to go with them, that he might carry his cross.
Mat 27:33 They came to a place called "Golgotha," that is to say, "The place of a skull."
Mat 27:34 They gave him sour wine to drink mixed with gall. When he had tasted it, he would not drink.
Mat 27:35 When they had crucified him, they divided his clothing among them, casting lots,
Mat 27:36 and they sat and watched him there.
Mat 27:37 They set up over his head the accusation against him written, "THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS."
Mat 27:38 Then there were two robbers crucified with him, one on his right hand and one on the left.
Mat 27:39 Those who passed by blasphemed him, wagging their heads,
Mat 27:40 and saying, "You who destroy the temple, and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross!"
Mat 27:41 Likewise the chief priests also mocking, with the scribes, the Pharisees, and the elders, said,
Mat 27:42 "He saved others, but he can't save himself. If he is the King of Israel, let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him.
Mat 27:43 He trusts in God. Let God deliver him now, if he wants him; for he said, 'I am the Son of God.' "
Mat 27:44 The robbers also who were crucified with him cast on him the same reproach.
Mat 27:45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour.
Mat 27:46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lima sabachthani?" That is, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
Mat 27:47 Some of them who stood there, when they heard it, said, "This man is calling Elijah."
Mat 27:48 Immediately one of them ran, and took a sponge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him a drink.
Mat 27:49 The rest said, "Let him be. Let's see whether Elijah comes to save him."
Mat 27:50 Jesus cried again with a loud voice, and yielded up his spirit.
Mat 27:51 Behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom. The earth quaked and the rocks were split.
Mat 27:52 The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised;
Mat 27:53 and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection, they entered into the holy city and appeared to many.
Mat 27:54 Now the centurion, and those who were with him watching Jesus, when they saw the earthquake, and the things that were done, feared exceedingly, saying, "Truly this was the Son of God."
Mat 27:55 Many women were there watching from afar, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, serving him.
Mat 27:56 Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.
Mat 27:57 When evening had come, a rich man from Arimathaea, named Joseph, who himself was also Jesus' disciple came.
Mat 27:58 This man went to Pilate, and asked for Jesus' body. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given up.
Mat 27:59 Joseph took the body, and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,
Mat 27:60 and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut out in the rock, and he rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb, and departed.
Mat 27:61 Mary Magdalene was there, and the other Mary, sitting opposite the tomb.
Mat 27:62 Now on the next day, which was the day after the Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees were gathered together to Pilate,
Mat 27:63 saying, "Sir, we remember what that deceiver said while he was still alive: 'After three days I will rise again.'
Mat 27:64 Command therefore that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest perhaps his disciples come at night and steal him away, and tell the people, 'He is risen from the dead;' and the last deception will be worse than the first."
Mat 27:65 Pilate said to them, "You have a guard. Go, make it as secure as you can."
Mat 27:66 So they went with the guard and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone. 

From Gary.... Do you live in a barn?

The picture reminds me of.... "Clean up your room, do you think you are living in a barn"?  Of course this doesn't really apply here, as everything is neat and tidy (Bristol fashion may be appropriate in this case [notice the ship models]). These things also remind me of a verse from the Bible that I heard in church recently...

Colossians, Chapter 3 (WEB)
17  Whatever you do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father, through him. 

WWJD (What would Jesus Do) is the answer to most things.  I guess this includes cleaning up your room OR your barn. And also.... your LIFE!!!