From Mark Copeland.... "DISCIPLINES FOR THE DISCIPLE" The Discipline Of Singing

                     "DISCIPLINES FOR THE DISCIPLE"

                       The Discipline Of Singing


1. Our study of spiritual disciplines have so far examined such
   spiritual exercises as...
   a. Prayer - especially the value of secret, simple, and steadfast prayer
   b. Meditation - contemplating God, His works, His words, and things
      worthy of virtue
   c. Fasting - as a means of humbling one's self before God, especially
      when joined with prayer

2. Another discipline in which we engage regularly is singing...
   a. We spend nearly a third of our assemblies engaged in this activity
   b. Rightly so, for it has the potential of reaping great spiritual benefits

3. But I wonder if some do not appreciate the value of singing...
   a. Many Christians sing with virtually no emotion, some do not sing
      at all!
   b. I have known Christians, who...
      1) Complained because time available for classes was taken up by
         singing a few hymns
      2) Will not attend a worship service if they know it will be
         devoted to singing

[Singing as a spiritual discipline is of great value, and should be a
habit engaged by those who desire to grow in godliness.  To appreciate
why, let's review...]


      1. This is the most common concept of the purpose of singing
         a. Indeed, this is certainly the idea inherent in the word'hymn'
         b. Which comes from the Greek word humnos, meaning "a song in
            praise of"
      2. The Psalms call upon us to praise God in song
         a. "Sing praise to the LORD, you saints of His, And give thanks
            at the remembrance of His holy name." - Ps 30:4
         b. "Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our
            King, sing praises! For God is the King of all the earth;
            Sing praises with understanding." - Ps 47:6-7
         c. "Oh come, let us sing to the LORD! Let us shout joyfully to
            the Rock of our salvation." - Ps 95:1
         d. "Oh, sing to the LORD a new song! Sing to the LORD, all the
            earth." - Ps 96:1
         e. "Sing to the LORD, bless His name; Proclaim the good news of
            His salvation from day to day." - Ps 96:2
         f. "Oh, sing to the LORD a new song! For He has done marvelous
            things; His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the
            victory." - Ps 98:1
         g. "Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before His presence with
            singing." - Ps 100:2
         h. "Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good; Sing praises to His
            name, for it is pleasant." - Ps 135:3
      3. Praising God in song should be a natural for Christians !
         a. David reacted this way to the blessings of God - Ps 28:6-7;59:16-17
         b. Christians are taught to sing praises when joyful - Jm 5:13
         c. Paul and Silas even reacted to persecution by singing
            praises - Ac 16:25
      -- Is not God worthy of being praised in song?

      1. Singing is not always directed toward God...
         a. Certainly, many songs are
         b. But songs are often directed to each other - cf. Col 3:16; Ep 5:19
      2. That's because many songs are designed to teach one another
         a. Teaching and admonishing us to live properly, to enjoy the
            blessings of the Christian life
         b. It might even be said that 'congregational singing' is
            actually 'congregational teaching'!
      -- Do not our brethren deserve the encouragement that comes from

      1. David wrote of the personal benefit of singing praises
         a. It made his lips and soul to greatly rejoice - Ps 71:23
         b. He found it to be pleasant and beautiful - Ps 147:1
      2. Singing can be a means to being filled with the Spirit
         a. Paul charged the Ephesians to be filled with the Spirit - Ep 5:18
         b. He explained how:  by singing and making melody in one's
            heart to the Lord - Ep 5:19
      2. Singing can be a means to being enriched by the Word of Christ
         a. Paul charged the Colossians to let the Word of Christ dwell
            in them richly - Col 3:16a
         b. Again he explains:  by singing with grace in one's heart to
            the Lord - Col 3:16b
      -- For a truly Spirit-filled life enriched by the Word of Christ,
         singing is essential!

[Singing is a wonderful spiritual discipline that blesses God, those who
hear us, and even ourselves as we sing.  How can we get more out this
spiritual discipline?  Here are some thoughts regarding...]


      1. Remember, singing is teaching and admonishing one another
      2. This assumes that we understand what we sing - cf. 1Co 14:15
      3. We must be careful that our enjoyment of singing is not like
         how many people enjoy their popular music (i.e., liking the
         music without necessarily understanding the words)
      -- Give careful attention to the words of the songs

      1. When we sing, we must do so...
         a. "with grace in your hearts" - Col 3:16
         b. "making melody in your heart" - Ep 5:19
      2. This assumes that we involve our 'heart strings' (emotions) as
         we sing!
      3. To sing without emotion (without grace in our hearts)...
         a. Is hypocritical, and condemned by Jesus! - Mt 15:7-8
         b. Will be evident in our countenances! - cf. Pr 15:13
      -- Put your heart into your singing

      1. Sitting alone or spread out discourages many from singing as
         they might otherwise
      2. People become more involved, are more uplifted, edify others
         better, when they sit together and closer to the song leader
      -- One of the first steps to enjoy singing is to sit with others
         who love to sing!

      1. Singing is more enjoyable when we are able to read musical
         notes, sing different parts
      2. Churches often provide singing classes
      3. Indeed, every opportunity to sing is an opportunity to learn
      -- Take advantage of any opportunity to learn how to sing

      1. Is your singing limited just to the public assemblies, on the
         first day of the week?
      2. Singing, like prayer, ought to be spontaneous, arising whenever
         the circumstances call for it - cf. Ac 16:25; Ps 34:1-3
      3. Take advantage of special opportunities to sing, such as
         monthly and annual singings
      4. As a spiritual exercise, it should be done in private devotions
         as well as in public worship
         a. Sing while you work, travel, or alone in your private
         b. Make use of hymns on tapes or CDs when traveling or
      -- Increase your opportunities to sing at other times with others,
         and when alone


1. David exemplifies the attitude of one who exercises himself through
   the discipline of singing...
   a. "I will sing to the LORD, Because He has dealt bountifully with
      me." - Ps 13:6
   b. "I will praise You, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing to You
      among the nations." - Ps 57:9
   c. "I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praise to
      my God while I have my being." - Ps 104:33

2. He likewise calls upon us to sing praises both in public and in
   a. "Praise the LORD! Sing to the LORD a new song, And His praise in
      the assembly of saints." - Ps 149:1
   b. "Let the saints be joyful in glory; Let them sing aloud on their
      beds." - Ps 149:5

As we seek to exercise ourselves unto godliness (2Ti 4:7), consider the
discipline of singing as an appropriate complement to other spiritual
activities such as prayer, meditation, and fasting...

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

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Does Human Fallibility Imply a Fallible Bible? by Brad Bromling, D.Min.


Does Human Fallibility Imply a Fallible Bible?

by Brad Bromling, D.Min.

Humanity is broken. Few would deny the biblical affirmation: “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). All people stand in need of redemption and are incapable of currying God's favor by their own imperfect efforts (Ephesians 2:3-9; Galatians 3:22). Even for those who “walk in the light” (1 John 1:7) personal sin remains a reality (1 John 1:10-2:1). The question, “Are Christians sinners who are forgiven or saints who sin?,” bespeaks the perplexity that saved people feel in the face of their daily struggles with the evil one (Saucy, 1995). This realization has driven some people to wonder whether it is even possible for the Bible to be infallible, since fallible humans were employed in its production.


The belief that Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible has a long, venerable history. Although some conservative scholars are willing to grant that Moses may have employed ancient cuneiform tablets in his composition of Genesis (Harrison, 1969, p. 548), the case favoring his personal authorship of the Pentateuch is quite compelling (Archer, 1974, pp. 109-123). Moses was a man who at times was given to self-doubt, frustration, anger, and disobedience (Exodus 2:12; 3:11; 32:19; Numbers 20:10-13). Could he, with all his fallibilities, have written an infallible record of the first 2,500 years of sacred history?
The great giant-fighter, David, is credited with the authorship of much of the Psalter. As the sweet psalmist of Israel, his songs have inspired millions to rely on God when everyone else proves unreliable. Countless saints have been laid to rest under the comforting lyrics of Psalm 23. And yet, the shepherd-king had bloodstained hands. He fell prey to lust, deceit, and even murder. Could such a man compose poetic verses for an infallible volume?
The all-too-carnal actions of God’s prophets, priests, and kings embarrassingly remind us of humankind’s hopeless condition. Even apostles were unable to rise above the charge of sin and the threat of condemnation (Galatians 2:11). Is it reasonable to believe that sinners such as these—with the same penchant for error as the rest of us—collectively produced a volume that can be trusted?
One might even wonder how a book could at the same time be both of human and divine origin. Mechanical dictation (the view that the Bible’s human authors were totally passive and acted like a computer that converts voice input into typed words) has long been rejected as unsatisfactory (see Paché, 1969, pp. 66-70). The obvious stylistic differences between biblical writers have been the major objection to this view. In principle, the dictation view would be unable to alleviate the possibility of fallibility anyway, since it still requires some human involvement; if human involvement is inherently problematic, then anything short of God’s actually writing Scripture and handing it to humanity as a finished product would be suspect. The biblical writers do not shy away from ascribing human authorship to the Scriptures, which they viewed as of divine origin (Luke 24:27; Acts 4:25; 2 Peter 3:15). For them, human participation did not diminish Scripture’s divine authority (Acts 1:16; 2 Timothy 3:16; Mark 12:36; Matthew 19:4-5). Would their confidence have been so strong had they believed the Scriptures were fallible?


The error-prone condition of humans and the imperfections of their handiwork, might lead us to the natural but incorrect conclusion that error, sin, and brokenness is inextricably inherent in being human. While it is true that nothing originating in humanity is sufficient to deal with the universal problem of sin, it is false to view sin as part of the essential definition of humanity. It is helpful to understand the difference between “truly essential” and “merely common” properties. Gerald O’Collins illustrates this point:
Until recently all human beings were conceived within their mother’s body. With the advent of in vitro fertilization, we now know that being conceived within our mother’s body is a common property but not an essential one (1995, p. 269).
While sin certainly is a “common property,” it is not essential to humanity. In their original state, Adam and Eve were sinless. Yet, they were nonetheless fully human. Sin amounts to a departure from the ideal humanity God intended for us. Since sin is not inherent in the definition of “human,” human involvement in the writing of Scripture does not demand that it is fallible.


The incarnation of Jesus provides a helpful analogy to understanding the inspiration of Scripture. The New Testament writers unhesitatingly affirmed three propositions about Jesus: He was divine (John 1:1-3); He was human (Galatians 4:4); and, He was sinless (1 Peter 2:22). Just because the Savior was human, and bore the likeness of “sinful flesh” (Romans 8:3), does not imply that He sinned. Instead, Jesus’ sinlessness reminds us of the original state of Adam (see Romans 5:12-19; 1 Corinthians 15:22,45; Hebrews 4:15; 1 Timothy 2:5). Like the Living Word, we might say the written Word is both fully human and fully divine. Clearly, if God could produce a human being (Jesus) Who was infallible, then, reasonably, God could also produce a “human” book that is infallible (see Geisler and Brooks, 1990, p. 152). How this was accomplished has not been revealed. Apparently, like the prophets of old, all biblical writers were “borne” along by the Holy Spirit in their writing (2 Peter 1:21).


Archer, Gleason L., (1974), Old Testament Introduction (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, revised edition).
Geisler, Norman and Ron Brooks, (1990), When Skeptics Ask (Wheaton, IL: Victor).
Harrison, R.K. (1969), Introduction to the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
O'Collins, Gerald, (1995), Christology (New York, NY: Oxford University Press).
Paché, René (1969), The Inspiration and Authority of Scripture (Chicago, IL: Moody).
Saucy, Robert L. (1995), “ ‘Sinners’ Who Are Forgiven or ‘Saints’ Who Sin?,” Bibliotheca Sacra, 152:400-412, October-December.

Can God Do Everything? by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Can God Do Everything?

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Can God do everything?


Both Christians and atheists generally have assumed that if the God depicted in the Bible exists, He can do anything—since He is represented as being all-powerful. However, this assumption is incorrect. The Bible does not claim that the omnipotence of God implies that He can do anything and everything. In reality, “omnipotence” by definition does not, and cannot, apply to that which does not lend itself to power. Skeptics and atheists have posed queries that they feel nullify the notion of omnipotence, thereby demonstrating the nonexistence of God. For example, “Can God create a boulder so large that He, Himself, cannot lift it?”
Separate and apart from the fact that God is not, Himself, physical, and that He created the entire physical Universe, though He is metaphysical and transcendent of the Universe, the question is a conceptual absurdity. It’s like asking, “Can God create a round square or a four-sided triangle?” No, He cannot—but not for the reasons implied by the atheist: that He does not exist or that He is not omnipotent. Rather, it is because the question is, itself, self-contradictory and incoherent. It is nonsensical terminology. Rather than saying God cannot do such things, it would be more in harmony with reality to say that such things simply cannot be done at all. God is infinite in power, but power meaningfully relates only to what can be done, to what is possible of accomplishment—not to what is impossible! It is absurd to speak of any power (even infinite power) being able to do what simply cannot be done. Logical absurdities do not lend themselves to being accomplished, and so, are not subject to power, not even to infinite power (see Warren, 1972, pp. 27ff.).
Further, to suggest that God is deficient or limited in power if He cannot create a rock so large that He cannot lift, is to imply that He could do so if He simply had more power. But this is false. Creating a rock that He, Himself, cannot lift, or creating a four-sided triangle, or making a ball that is at the same time both white all over and black all over, or creating a 90-year-old teenager, or making a car that is larger on the inside than it is on the outside—to propose such things is to affirm logical contradictions and absurdities. Such propositions do not really say anything at all. Though one can imagine logical absurdities that cannot be accomplished, they do not constitute a telling blow against the view that God is infinite in power.
So, no, the concept of “omnipotence” does not mean that there are no limits to what an omnipotent being can do. While God can do whatever is possible to be done, in reality, He will do only what is in harmony with His nature. In fact, the Bible pinpoints specific things that God cannot do. For example, the Bible states unequivocally that God cannot lie (Numbers 23:19; 1 Samuel 15:29; 2 Timothy 2:13; Titus 1:2). He is a Being whose very essence entails truthfulness. Falsehood is completely out of harmony with His divine nature.
Another impossibility pertaining to God’s power is the fact that He shows no partiality or favoritism (Deuteronomy 10:17; Romans 2:11; Colossians 3:25; 1 Peter 1:17). He is “open and above board”—evenhanded—with all His creatures. He can be counted on to interact with human beings as He said He would. His treatment of us centers on our own self-chosen behavior—not on our ethnicity or skin color (Acts 10:34-35; 1 Samuel 16:7).
A third instance that qualifies the meaning of “omnipotent” is seen in God’s inability to forgive the individual who will not repent and forsake sin (Joshua 24:19; Proverbs 28:13; Matthew 6:15; 18:35; Luke 13:3,5). As great and as magnificent as the mercy and forgiveness of God are, it is impossible for Him to bestow forgiveness upon the person who does not seek that forgiveness by meeting the pre-conditions of remission. God is literally powerless to bestow forgiveness through any other avenue than the blood of Jesus and obedience to the Gospel of Christ (Romans 1:16; 2:8; 2 Thessalonians 1:8; 1 Peter 4:17; John 3:5).
The more one studies the Bible, examining the attributes and characteristics of the God depicted there, the more one is struck with (1) the inspiration of the Bible—since its skillful handling of such matters places it beyond the charge of successful contradiction, and (2) awe at the infinitude of God. Not one of the factors discussed in this article reflects adversely upon the reality of God’s omnipotence. But it is abundantly clear that a person may so live as to render the God of heaven incapable of coming to that person’s aid. It is imperative that every human being recognizes the need to understand His will and to conform one’s behavior to that will. It is imperative that every individual avoid placing self in the precarious position of being in need of that which God cannot do.


Warren, Thomas B. (1972), Have Atheists Proved There Is No God (Jonesboro, AR: National Christian Press).

Alien Life, Evolution, and Telescopes by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Alien Life, Evolution, and Telescopes

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Astronomers from more than 30 research institutions in 15 countries are working together to select a site for a giant telescope that they hope will read TV or radio signals from alien civilizations. Slated to cost $1 billion, the Square Kilometer Array, or SKA, would be the world’s most powerful radio telescope. Speaking at a conference of the International Society for Optical Engineering in Orlando, Florida, project astronomers said they hope to find “immediate and direct evidence of life elsewhere in the Universe” (“Sites Under...,” 2006).
The scientists admit, however, that they face several “ifs.” First, they may be unable to “eavesdrop on the latest episode of little green men’s reality shows” since the instrument might not be able to actually decode the transmissions. Second, any programs received would be several years old, because of the delay in light transmission to Earth. Third, astronomers are unsure how to recognize such signals. Last, but certainly not least, astronomers concede that there may well be no signals for the simple reason that there may be no little green men (“Sites Under...”). Indeed, the irrational preoccupation with “extraterrestrial life” fails to take into account the perfectly plausible alternative explanations for the spaciousness of the Universe (see Miller, 2003).
Nevertheless, astronomers insist there are other worthwhile uses of the telescope: “The instrument would also serve to study the evolution of the universe from shortly after the fog of the Big Bang explosion, believed to have originated the universe, lifted” (“Sites Under...”). Never mind the fact that the Big Bang theory itself has been blown to bits, its credibility completely debunked (cf. Thompson, et al., 2003).
Think of it. One billion dollars—to be wasted. Imagine what that money could do if directed to more noble and worthy purposes. When we reject belief in the Creator of the Universe, confusion, futility, and superfluous pursuits are inevitable (Psalm 14).


Miller, Dave (2003), “The Universe—A ‘Waste of Space’”? [On-line], URL:http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2261.
“Sites Under Review for Telescope that Could Detect Alien TV” (2006), World Science, July 10, [On-line], URL: http://www.world-science.net/exclusives/060711_ska.htm.
Thompson, Bert, Brad Harrub, and Branyon May (2003), “The Big Bang Theory—A Scientific Critique,” [On-line], URLhttp://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2635.

Another Muslim Elected to Congress by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Another Muslim Elected to Congress

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

When Representative Julia Carson died in December 2007, Indiana voters were required to elect a replacement for the remainder of her term in the U.S. House of Representatives. So they selected her grandson, Indianapolis City Council member, Andre Carson. What is notable about the 33-year-old Carson is the fact that he converted to Islam about a decade ago (Cebula, 2008). That makes him the second Muslim elected to the U.S. Congress in two years, following closely on the heels of the election to the House of Keith Ellison of Minnesota (see Miller, 2006).
Many Americans—those who have been influenced by the social and political liberalism of the last few years—praise this diffusion of America’s historic values. They believe that such diversity is healthy and serves to strengthen the fabric of society. They have swallowed the politically correct propaganda, touted over the last 50 years, that pluralism is the superior ideology, and that all religions are equally valid, authentic, and true (see Miller, 2008).
Contrary to current claims that the Founding Fathers of America advocated “pluralism,” “diversity,” “multiculturalism,” and equal acceptance of all religions, ideologies, and philosophies, the truth is that they feared for the future of the nation should its Christian foundation be compromised. The Founders insisted that the Christian religion provided the beliefs and values that give cohesion to the American Republic. They well knew and believed that one’s religious beliefs affect his character and moral values. They insisted that the nation draws its strength from the God of the Bible and the moral precepts He enjoins on a people. The dissolution of those values via contrary religious encroachments will lead to the demise of the Republic. Pluralism, therefore, spells national suicide.
The Father of American Geography, Jedidiah Morse, cogently articulated the rationale of the Founders and most early Americans when he insisted:
The foundations which support the interest of Christianity, are also necessary to support a free and equal government like our own. In all those countries where there is little or no religion, or a very gross and corrupt one, as in Mahometan and Pagan countries, there you will find, with scarcely a single exception, arbitrary and tyrannical governments, gross ignorance and wickedness, and deplorable wretchedness among the people. To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom, and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoy. In proportion as the genuine effects of Christianity are diminished in any nation, either through unbelief, or the corruption of its doctrines, or the neglect of its institutions; in the same proportion will the people of that nation recede from the blessings of genuine freedom, and approximate the miseries of complete despotism (1799, emp. added).
Americans would do well to sit up and pay attention to these sobering, prophetic words that forecast what is to come, should this nation continue down the path it is now treading in its disregard for God. Americans desperately need to heed the words of God via the psalmist: “Now consider this, you who forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver. Whoever offers praise glorifies Me; and to him who orders his conduct aright I will show the salvation of God” (Psalm 50:22-23). “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain” (Psalm 127:1). “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God” (Psalm 9:17).


Cebula, Judith (2008), “Second Muslim elected to Congress,” Reuters, March 11, [On-line], URL:http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080312/us_nm/usa_politics_muslim_dc;_ ylt=AoYm_wx0lWq7W4uyD7lpTyNH2ocA.
Miller, Dave (2006), “A Muslim Now In Congress?” Apologetics Press, [On-line], URL:http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/3141.
Miller, Dave (2008), “U.S. House Honors Islam: The Destructive Corrosion of Diversity,” Apologetics Press, [On-line], URLhttp://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/3587.
Morse, Jedidiah (1799), A Sermon, Exhibiting the Present Dangers and Consequent Duties of the Citizens of the United States of America (Hartford, CT: Hudson and Goodwin), [On-line]: URL: http://www.archive.org/details/sermonexhibiting00morsrich.

From Jim McGuiggan... A Strange Hymnbook

A Strange Hymnbook

 The psalms, like many of our hymns, were written by individuals when they were in a certain mood. Note the different tone and subject in so many of them. But sometimes we "preach" too much on texts and don't "sing" them. Sometimes I think of a Jew lying there in the shade somewhere grinning and admiring the whole world situation with God in it—that’s Psalm 1. That’s how the book opens and it closes with this: "Let everything that breathes praise the Lord!"
Psalm 1 is like a boy, under a tree, contented and smiling, watching his pup, admiring it and rejoicing in it, seeing all its great qualities and listening to its snuffing and growling, full of life and spreading it around while the boy looks and thinks, "You’re somethin’ else!"
The whole book of psalms is called "tehillim"—praises, the book of praises. Even the lament psalms are part of the five books that make up the "tehillim". The protests of the psalms, the weeping and complaining were all brought to God as part of their trust in God. They didn't go down the road to some Ba'al shrine or over to Molech's place and complain about Yahweh. No, they came to God.
They didn't get off with a group of complaining Jews and whisper treason and dis-ease, spreading the stories of their disappointments and periods of bewilderment in unlit streets or gloomy cellars. No! They sang them—in church! In church, for pity's sake! This was no arrogant spirit that looked around to see if others were impressed by their boldness. It wasn't an ugly attempt to prove that they had "authentic faith" that would even put God in the dock. These sang their broken hearts to the one that had earned the right to hear their complaints first hand.
And when the happy psalms were sung the poor and downtrodden sang them along with their richly-blessed brothers and sisters. They didn’t begrudge the blessings to those that had them. And when the sad and groaning psalms were sung, the happy people sang them along with their hurting brothers and sisters. The lonely people and those under pressure in one way or another were not left to sing alone. Nor were they "put up with" while they sang their hurt to God. No! Their brothers and sisters added their voices to the voices of the anguished and carried the sad sounds higher into the air—just so God could hear them.
But they all sang out of the same hymnbook. The people of Israel by the Spirit of God and in light of their history with God put all their songs together, put them in a hymnbook and stamped PRAISES on the cover.
©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.

From Gary... Bible Reading June 2

Bible Reading 

June 2

The World English Bible

June 2
Ruth 1, 2

Rth 1:1 It happened in the days when the judges judged, that there was a famine in the land. A certain man of Bethlehem Judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.
Rth 1:2 The name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehem Judah. They came into the country of Moab, and continued there.
Rth 1:3 Elimelech, Naomi's husband, died; and she was left, and her two sons.
Rth 1:4 They took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they lived there about ten years.
Rth 1:5 Mahlon and Chilion both died, and the woman was bereaved of her two children and of her husband.
Rth 1:6 Then she arose with her daughters-in-law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab how that Yahweh had visited his people in giving them bread.
Rth 1:7 She went forth out of the place where she was, and her two daughters-in-law with her; and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah.
Rth 1:8 Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, Go, return each of you to her mother's house: Yahweh deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead, and with me.
Rth 1:9 Yahweh grant you that you may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband. Then she kissed them, and they lifted up their voice, and wept.
Rth 1:10 They said to her, No, but we will return with you to your people.
Rth 1:11 Naomi said, Turn again, my daughters: why do you want to go with me? Do I still have sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands?
Rth 1:12 Turn again, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say, I have hope, if I should even have a husband tonight, and should also bear sons;
Rth 1:13 would you therefore wait until they were grown? would you therefore stay from having husbands? nay, my daughters, for it grieves me much for your sakes, for the hand of Yahweh is gone forth against me.
Rth 1:14 They lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth joined with her.
Rth 1:15 She said, Behold, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people, and to her god: return after your sister-in-law.
Rth 1:16 Ruth said, "Don't entreat me to leave you, and to return from following after you, for where you go, I will go; and where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God;
Rth 1:17 where you die, will I die, and there will I be buried: Yahweh do so to me, and more also, if anything but death part you and me."
Rth 1:18 When she saw that she was steadfastly minded to go with her, she left off speaking to her.
Rth 1:19 So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. It happened, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them, and the women said, Is this Naomi?
Rth 1:20 She said to them, "Don't call me Naomi, call me Mara; for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.
Rth 1:21 I went out full, and Yahweh has brought me home again empty; why do you call me Naomi, seeing Yahweh has testified against me, and the Almighty has afflicted me?"
Rth 1:22 So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter-in-law, with her, who returned out of the country of Moab: and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest.
Rth 2:1 Naomi had a kinsman of her husband's, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech, and his name was Boaz.
Rth 2:2 Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean among the ears of grain after him in whose sight I shall find favor. She said to her, Go, my daughter.
Rth 2:3 She went, and came and gleaned in the field after the reapers: and she happened to come to the portion of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech.
Rth 2:4 Behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said to the reapers, Yahweh be with you. They answered him, Yahweh bless you.
Rth 2:5 Then said Boaz to his servant who was set over the reapers, Whose young lady is this?
Rth 2:6 The servant who was set over the reapers answered, It is the Moabite lady who came back with Naomi out of the country of Moab:
Rth 2:7 She said, Please let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves. So she came, and has continued even from the morning until now, except that she stayed a little in the house.
Rth 2:8 Then said Boaz to Ruth, Don't you hear, my daughter? Don't go to glean in another field, neither pass from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens.
Rth 2:9 Let your eyes be on the field that they reap, and go after them: haven't I commanded the young men not to touch you? and when you are thirsty, go to the vessels, and drink of that which the young men have drawn.
Rth 2:10 Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said to him, Why have I found favor in your sight, that you should take knowledge of me, seeing I am a foreigner?
Rth 2:11 Boaz answered her, It has fully been shown me, all that you have done to your mother-in-law since the death of your husband; and how you have left your father and your mother, and the land of your birth, and have come to a people that you didn't know before.
Rth 2:12 May Yahweh repay your work, and a full reward be given you from Yahweh, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.
Rth 2:13 Then she said, Let me find favor in your sight, my lord, because you have comforted me, and because you have spoken kindly to your handmaid, though I am not as one of your handmaidens.
Rth 2:14 At meal time Boaz said to her, Come here, and eat of the bread, and dip your morsel in the vinegar. She sat beside the reapers, and they reached her parched grain, and she ate, and was sufficed, and left of it.
Rth 2:15 When she was risen up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, Let her glean even among the sheaves, and don't reproach her.
Rth 2:16 Also pull out some for her from the bundles, and leave it, and let her glean, and don't rebuke her.
Rth 2:17 So she gleaned in the field until even; and she beat out that which she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley.
Rth 2:18 She took it up, and went into the city; and her mother-in-law saw what she had gleaned: and she brought forth and gave to her that which she had left after she was sufficed.
Rth 2:19 Her mother-in-law said to her, Where have you gleaned today? and where have you worked? blessed be he who did take knowledge of you. She showed her mother-in-law with whom she had worked, and said, The man's name with whom I worked today is Boaz.
Rth 2:20 Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, Blessed be he of Yahweh, who has not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead. Naomi said to her, The man is a close relative to us, one of our near kinsmen.
Rth 2:21 Ruth the Moabitess said, Yes, he said to me, You shall stay close to my young men, until they have ended all my harvest.
Rth 2:22 Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, It is good, my daughter, that you go out with his maidens, and that they not meet you in any other field.

Rth 2:23 So she kept fast by the maidens of Boaz, to glean to the end of barley harvest and of wheat harvest; and she lived with her mother-in-law.

Jun. 1, 2
John 9

Joh 9:1 As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth.
Joh 9:2 His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"
Joh 9:3 Jesus answered, "Neither did this man sin, nor his parents; but, that the works of God might be revealed in him.
Joh 9:4 I must work the works of him who sent me, while it is day. The night is coming, when no one can work.
Joh 9:5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world."
Joh 9:6 When he had said this, he spat on the ground, made mud with the saliva, anointed the blind man's eyes with the mud,
Joh 9:7 and said to him, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam" (which means "Sent"). So he went away, washed, and came back seeing.
Joh 9:8 The neighbors therefore, and those who saw that he was blind before, said, "Isn't this he who sat and begged?"
Joh 9:9 Others were saying, "It is he." Still others were saying, "He looks like him." He said, "I am he."
Joh 9:10 They therefore were asking him, "How were your eyes opened?"
Joh 9:11 He answered, "A man called Jesus made mud, anointed my eyes, and said to me, 'Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash.' So I went away and washed, and I received sight."
Joh 9:12 Then they asked him, "Where is he?" He said, "I don't know."
Joh 9:13 They brought him who had been blind to the Pharisees.
Joh 9:14 It was a Sabbath when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes.
Joh 9:15 Again therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he received his sight. He said to them, "He put mud on my eyes, I washed, and I see."
Joh 9:16 Some therefore of the Pharisees said, "This man is not from God, because he doesn't keep the Sabbath." Others said, "How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?" There was division among them.
Joh 9:17 Therefore they asked the blind man again, "What do you say about him, because he opened your eyes?" He said, "He is a prophet."
Joh 9:18 The Jews therefore did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and had received his sight, until they called the parents of him who had received his sight,
Joh 9:19 and asked them, "Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?"
Joh 9:20 His parents answered them, "We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind;
Joh 9:21 but how he now sees, we don't know; or who opened his eyes, we don't know. He is of age. Ask him. He will speak for himself."
Joh 9:22 His parents said these things because they feared the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that if any man would confess him as Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue.
Joh 9:23 Therefore his parents said, "He is of age. Ask him."
Joh 9:24 So they called the man who was blind a second time, and said to him, "Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner."
Joh 9:25 He therefore answered, "I don't know if he is a sinner. One thing I do know: that though I was blind, now I see."
Joh 9:26 They said to him again, "What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?"
Joh 9:27 He answered them, "I told you already, and you didn't listen. Why do you want to hear it again? You don't also want to become his disciples, do you?"
Joh 9:28 They insulted him and said, "You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses.
Joh 9:29 We know that God has spoken to Moses. But as for this man, we don't know where he comes from."
Joh 9:30 The man answered them, "How amazing! You don't know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes.
Joh 9:31 We know that God doesn't listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshipper of God, and does his will, he listens to him.
Joh 9:32 Since the world began it has never been heard of that anyone opened the eyes of someone born blind.
Joh 9:33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing."
Joh 9:34 They answered him, "You were altogether born in sins, and do you teach us?" They threw him out.
Joh 9:35 Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and finding him, he said, "Do you believe in the Son of God?"
Joh 9:36 He answered, "Who is he, Lord, that I may believe in him?"
Joh 9:37 Jesus said to him, "You have both seen him, and it is he who speaks with you."
Joh 9:38 He said, "Lord, I believe!" and he worshiped him.
Joh 9:39 Jesus said, "I came into this world for judgment, that those who don't see may see; and that those who see may become blind."
Joh 9:40 Those of the Pharisees who were with him heard these things, and said to him, "Are we also blind?"
Joh 9:41 Jesus said to them, "If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, 'We see.' Therefore your sin remains. 

From Gary.... When friends do the extraordinary...

Jay Whalen was my next door neighbor for quite a few years and he was a great one too!!!  To this day we remain internet friends; a fact that I am very thankful for!!!  After all, you can't have too many friends in this world, especially those you have known over 25 years!!!  Well, by now you probably have noticed all the exclamation marks and they are there for a reason- he is someone special on a variety of levels!!!!  Bowling just happens to be one of them.

Think I am making too much of this... well, read on...

Romans, Chapter 13 (WEB)

 7 Give therefore to everyone what you owe: taxes to whom taxes are due; customs to whom customs; respect to whom respect; honor to whom honor.

And he deserves every bit of it!!!!