6/12/15

From Mark Copeland... "EQUIPPING THE SAINTS FOR MINISTRY" Organizing For Service In The Body





                  "EQUIPPING THE SAINTS FOR MINISTRY"

                   Organizing For Service In The Body

INTRODUCTION

1. In "Equipping The Saints For Ministry", the problem is not one of
   having enough things for people to do

2. We saw in our last lesson that there are many different things to be
   done, many different ways to serve as members of the body...
   a. In the area of public worship
   b. In the area of edification, evangelism and benevolence
   c. In areas of individual service, in roles that are not the work of
      the local congregation per se

3. Even in large churches, the problem is not a lack of roles for the
   members, as Flavil Yeakley wrote in his book ("WHY CHURCHES GROW")
   in reference to large churches:

   "Actually, the real problem was not always the ACTUAL roles-to-
   members ratio, but was sometimes the PERCEIVED roles-to-member 
   ratio. In other words, a larger congregation might actually have 
   more than enough specific task assignments to go around, but the
   members might not be aware of the many ways in which they could
   get involved." (p. 43)

3. As further suggested by Flavil Yeakley, the problem is one of 
   communication and organization...
   a. "If a congregation has a good actual roles-to-member ratio but a
      low perceived roles-to-members ratio, the problem is one of 
      communication..."
   b. "A congregation can have a high involvement level no matter how
      large it becomes--if..."
      1) "...that congregation will do the necessary organizational 
         work so as to have a high actual roles-to-member ratio..."
      2) "...the congregation's leaders will communicate in the right
         way so as to have a high perceived roles-to-members ratio." (p. 44, 45)

4. Somehow, therefore, there needs to be in any congregation that 
   desires to equip its saints for ministry...
   a. A means of communicating to the members what roles are available
   b. An organized method of encouraging the members to offer their 
      service and coordinating their efforts

5. One tool that can help accomplish this goal is the "Member 
   Involvement Survey"...

[Please note:  I am simply offering suggestions for communicating with
the members and organizing efforts to involve all who desire to serve.
These suggestions are not "set in stone" and should be implemented only
with the approval of the congregation and it's leaders...]

I. THE "MEMBER INVOLVEMENT SURVEY"

   A. A FORM FOR MEMBERS TO FILL IN...
      1. With space for their name, address, phone number
      2. With a list of roles available to members of the congregation
      3. With an option to indicate...
         a. What they are willing to do now
         b. What they think they would like to do in the future
      -- See sample "Member Involvement Survey"

   B. MEMBERS COULD FILL IN THIS FORM...
      1. When they first place membership, or when converted to Christ
      2. On an annual basis,  so as to...
         a. Keep the members apprised as to the work that is available
            to be done (available roles may change in the course of a
            year)
         b. Keep the elders apprised as to the work that the members 
            are willing to do (people may be willing to try new roles
            as time goes on)

   C. THE BENEFITS OF A "MEMBER INVOLVEMENT SURVEY"...
      1. It lets the members know what different things are available
         for them to do
      2. It lets the elders or leaders of the congregation know what
         people are willing to do
      3. It provides the preacher with some input that may help him 
         focus his efforts
         a. E.g., if there is an area in which no one is willing to 
            offer their service, perhaps some teaching or preaching on
            that need may be in order
         b. E.g., if several have indicated a desire to serve in a 
            particular role in the present or future, then a special
            class for training might accommodate those desires

[Even if nothing else is done with a "Member Involvement Survey", I 
know that it would help me in my efforts as an evangelist to do what I
can to stimulate others to love and good works.

But with the information taken from the survey, a little organization
can go a long way to provide many opportunities for service.  For 
example, consider another form...]

II. THE "LIST OF ROLES AND AVAILABLE VOLUNTEERS"

   A. A FORM FOR EACH AREA OF SERVICE AND ITS ROLES...
      1. Different forms for the areas of public worship, edification,
         evangelism benevolence, etc.
      2. Each form listing the various roles available in that area of
         service
      3. With a place for names of those who indicated their 
         willingness to serve in the "Member Involvement Survey"
      -- See the following samples:
         - "List Of Roles And Available Volunteers" - Public Worship I
         - "List Of Roles And Available Volunteers" - Public Worship II
         - "List Of Roles And Available Volunteers" - Edification
         - "List Of Roles And Available Volunteers" - Evangelism
         - "List Of Roles And Available Volunteers" - Benevolence I
         - "List Of Roles And Available Volunteers" - Benevolence II
         - "List Of Roles And Available Volunteers" - Miscellaneous Areas

   B. WITH THESE FORMS...
      1. Those charged with coordinating efforts in a particular area
         of service would know who is willing to do what
      2. Some examples...
         a. The person(s) preparing the schedule for public worship 
            could use it to plan the services
         b. The person(s) preparing the class curriculum would know who
            was available for teaching different classes
         c. If a need for benevolence arose, the person(s) coordinating
            efforts in that area could know who to call on for help

[By taking information gathered from the "Member Involvement Survey" 
and using it to complete the "List Of Roles And Available Volunteers"
for each area of service, a congregation can be a step closer to 
involving all its members.

But collecting this information alone is not going to get the work 
done.  There is a need for those to coordinate efforts in the different
areas, and to report the progress of such efforts to those with the 
proper oversight.  To aid in this, there is yet one more form...]

III. THE "MEMBER INVOLVEMENT REPORT"

   A. THIS "REPORT" IS BASED UPON AN IMPORTANT ASSUMPTION...
      1. That the responsibility of coordinating member involvement in
         a particular area has been delegated; for example...
         a. That someone is responsible for coordinating those involved
            in the area of public worship
         b. That similar responsibilities have been given to other 
            people in other areas
      2. In a congregation with elders and deacons...
         a. This responsibility might be given to deacons
         b. Who in turn might enlist the help of responsible men and 
            women, in those activities deemed appropriate
      3. In a congregation without elders, responsible individuals 
         might be appointed to help coordinate efforts in various areas

   B. WITH THIS "REPORT"...
      1. Information can be given on progress in fulfilling roles,
         accomplishing their functions, etc.
      2. Problems encountered in finding volunteers, accomplishing 
         tasks, etc., can be reported to the leaders of the church
      -- See sample "Member Involvement Report"

CONCLUSION

1. With such information provided by...
   a. The "Member Involvement Survey"
   b. The "List Of Roles And Available Volunteers"
   c. The "Member Involvement Report"
   ...the congregation can be kept apprised of the involvement of any member

2. Indeed, the use of such forms can tell a lot about the members of a congregation...
   a. Their desire (via the "survey")
   b. Their potential (via the "list")
   c. The opportunities they had to serve (via the "report")

3. Again, let me stress that these are simply suggestions on how a 
   congregation might...
   a. Communicate with its members who desire to serve
   b. Provide some sort of systematic method of seeing that those who
      desire to serve are given their opportunities

4. However one chooses to do it, let each congregation meet its design
   and purpose in some way by working toward having every member do
   their part in the body of Christ!

I hope that I have stimulated your thinking in this area with these lessons...



Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

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Finding Nebo-Sarsekim by Kyle Butt, M.A.



http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=13&article=2222

Finding Nebo-Sarsekim

by Kyle Butt, M.A.

Critics of the Bible attack every facet of its credibility. These critics claim that the books were not written at the time they profess to have been written, that the men whose names the books bear are not the actual writers, and that the biblical characters are mental fabrications of the authors. Such criticism, however, is impossible to maintain rationally and honestly in the face of the vast amount of evidence that verifies the validity and authenticity of the 66 books of the Bible. Archaeological findings provide one line of evidence that continues to add credence to the biblical text. Tablets, seals, papyri, pottery, and a host of other ancient artifacts have surfaced that document the lives of characters mentioned in the Bible. These finds often show that the biblical texts under discussion were written at the time they claim to have been written, and that the biblical characters were historic and real.
Cuneiform tablet containing name of Nebo-Sarsekim
Image courtesy of Ian Jones
One such archaeological find recently came to light. In 1920, the British Museum acquired a small stone tablet about two inches wide and one inch high. This stone tablet went into a large cache of tablets with ancient cuneiform writing on them. Since few people have the skill and knowledge to translate cuneiform, the tablet sat untranslated in the British Museum for about eight decades. Recently, however, Dr. Michael Jursa of the University of Vienna, one of the few people who can read cuneiform, translated the small stone tablet (Alberge, 2007).
The information on the tablet is nothing inherently spectacular. The tablet is dated to 595B.C. and simply states that a Babylonian official named Nebo-Sarsekim dedicated a large gift of gold to the temple of Esangila in Babylon (Reynolds, 2007). While this inscription is unremarkable by itself, it provides an exciting link to the biblical text.
In Jeremiah 39, the prophet described Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar’s successful attack on the city of Jerusalem. Jeremiah wrote that Nebuchadnezzar penetrated the walls of Jerusalem in the 11thyear of King Zedekiah, which corresponds to 587 B.C. Upon infiltrating the walls, Nebuchadnezzar and several of his Babylonian princes sat at the Middle Gate. One of the princes listed as sitting with Nebuchadnezzar was Sarsechim (Jeremiah 39:3). The name “Sarsechim” is recognized as the same name as Nebo-Sarsekim. Thus, the small stone tablet mentions a Babylonian official alive in 595 B.C.and less than 10 years later Jeremiah mentioned an official by the same name. One member of the British Museum’s staff, Dr. Irving Finkel, who works in the Department of the Middle East, said: “A mundane commercial transaction takes its place as a primary witness to one of the turning points in Old Testament history. This is a tablet that deserves to be famous” (as quoted in Alberge, 2007).
Skeptics already have begun to attack the find. They suggest that the Nebo-Sarsekim on the tablet could be a different Sarsekim from the one mentioned by Jeremiah. While there is always the possibility that they are not the same person, the circumstantial evidence linking the two names establishes a strong case that the names refer to the same person. They both mention a Babylonian official, during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, in a time frame that would be expected if the same person is under discussion. In fact, besides a few “ultra-skeptics,” the find seems to be accepted by the majority of scholars as extrabiblical evidence for the existence of the official mentioned in Jeremiah 39:3.
Concerning the significance of the find, Dr. Finkel stated: “If Nebo-Sarsekim existed, which other lesser figures in the Old Testament existed? A throwaway detail in the Old Testament turns out to be accurate and true. I think that it means that the whole of the narrative [of Jeremiah] takes on a new kind of power” (as quoted in Reynolds, 2007).
The biblical documents have more than archaeological evidence to commend them. Their internal consistency, unity, predictive prophecy, and scientific accuracy combine to produce an irrefutable case for the Bible’s divine inspiration. Archaeological finds such as the tablet inscription, do, however, add cumulative weight to the overall case for the Bible’s factual accuracy. As renowned archaeologist Nelson Glueck observed: “It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a Biblical reference. Scores of archaeological findings have been made which conform in clear outline or exact detail historical statements in the Bible” (1959, p. 31).

REFERENCES

Alberge, Dalya (2007), “Museum’s Tablet Lends New Weight to Biblical Truth,” The Times, July 11, [On-line], URL: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article2056362.ece.
Glueck, Nelson (1959), Rivers in the Desert: A History of the Negev (New York: Farrar, Strauss, and Cudahy).
Reynolds, Nigel (2007), “Tiny Tablet Provides Proof for Old Testament,” Telegraph, July 13, [On-line],URL: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/07/11/ ntablet111.xml.


Dawkins Can’t See the Forest for the Trees by Kyle Butt, M.A.




http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=3590

Dawkins Can’t See the Forest for the Trees

by Kyle Butt, M.A.

Richard Dawkins recently penned The Greatest Show on Earth that he believes sets forth overwhelming evidence to establish the “fact” of evolution. He wrote the book because he admitted that in his previous works, he “realized that the evidence for evolution itself was nowhere explicitly set out, and that this was a serious gap” that he “needed to close” (2009, p. vii). This self-acknowledged gap remains open, however, because the text of his newest book fails completely to state explicitly anything resembling “the evidence for evolution.”

Confirmation of the book’s failure to provide a rational case for evolution can be clearly seen in Dawkins’ discussion about trees (pp. 377-380). In his assessment of trees, Dawkins suggests that tall tree trunks are simply a waste of energy that could be disposed of “if only all the trees in the forest could come to some agreement” not to grow past a certain height. He states:
And this brings us face to face with the difference between a designed economy and an evolutionary economy. In a designed economy there would be no trees, or certainly no very tall trees: no forests, no canopy. Trees are a waste. Trees are extravagant. Tree trunks are standing monuments to futile competition—futile if we think in terms of planned economy. But the natural economy is not planned. Individual plants compete with other plants, of the same and other species, and the result is that they grow taller and taller, far taller than any planner would recommend (p. 379).
According to Dawkins, tall tree trunks are the squandered natural resources of plants that must constantly compete with other plants to capture the precious rays of sunshine that drive their nutrition production. In fact, he states that massive tree trunks “have no purpose apart from competing with other trees” (p. 379). He concludes that “the forest would look very different if its economy had been designed for the benefit of the forest as a whole” (p. 380, italics in orig.). He believes that only the idea of competition between individual trees can account for the look of a forest with massive-trunked trees filling it. In summarizing his “evidence” about trees, he states: “Everything about trees is compatible with the view that they were not designed—unless, of course, they were designed to supply us with timber, or to delight our eyes and flatter our cameras in the new England Fall” (p. 380, emp. added).

In assessing Dawkins’ conclusion about trees, it must be stressed that he has not provided any evidence by which one could conclude that “everything about trees is compatible with the view that they were not designed.” He has not shown how genetic information could spontaneously assemble itself through any known natural process that would give rise to a tree. He has not shown how genetic mutations could change one tree into another kind of tree, say an apple tree into an oak. Nor has he shown how trees could possibly share any type of ancestral relationship with animals, which he would have to do in order to defend evolution and refute creation. All Dawkins has shown is that trees have the genetic ability to grow trunks that eventually reach a certain limit of height and breadth that they cannot exceed.

Furthermore, Dawkins admits defeat, at least in his discussion of trees, when he acknowledges that a Creator could have in mind other things besides forest economy. Dawkins acknowledges that tree trunks would make perfect sense if they were designed to provide humans with timber or beauty. Yet that is precisely why the Bible explains God created the world—to be inhabited by man: “For thus says the Lord, Who created the heavens, Who is God, Who formed the earth and made it, Who has established it, Who did not create it in vain, Who formed it to be inhabited (Isaiah 45:18). Not only that, but also to show the glory of God (cf. Psalm 19:1 and Isaiah 6:3). Dawkins’ obvious mistake is that he refuses to accept that the Creator of the world might have a more involved agenda than Dawkins is willing to allow or can even conceptualize. Why would Dawkins waste at least three pages of his book on “explicit evidence” supposedly proving evolution, only to admit that everything he just said about trees is not evidence of evolution “if” the Designer had humans in mind? Simply because this is the only kind of “evidence” that can be marshaled for evolution—the kind that can rationally be refuted when a correct interpretation of the facts is made available.

REFERENCE

Dawkins, Richard (2009), The Greatest Show on Earth (New York: Free Press).

Another Living Fossil by Eric Lyons, M.Min.




http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=1348

Another Living Fossil

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

For nearly 100 years (1839-1938), evolutionists were under the impression that fish known as coelacanths were “close ancestors of the first vertebrates to walk on land” (Perkins, 2001, 159[18]:282). Coelacanths allegedly evolved 380 million years ago and became extinct about 70 million years ago (Raven and Johnson, 1989, p. 857). But then, in December 1938, the scientific community was “rocked” when a living coelacanth was caught off the coast of South Africa (“Diver Finds...,” 2006).
In 2006, a team of French scientists found a shrimp-like crustacean (Neoglyphea neocaledonica) in the Coral Sea. It previously was thought to have died out 60 million years ago (“‘Living Fossil’...,” 2006). Its discovery in modern times, as well as the discovery of the coelacanth, is comparable to finding a living dinosaur, which evolutionists believe went extinct 65 million years ago.
The latest “living fossil” caught on tape is the “prehistoric” frilled shark (see “Rare ‘Prehistoric’...,” 2007). Sometimes caught in fishermen’s nets, but rarely seen alive, this creature (named Chlamydoselachus anguineus) supposedly can be traced back 95 million years in the fossil record (Schmiedekampf, 2007)—thus, the designation “pre-historic” shark. The problem is, it is anything but pre-historic. It is a living fossil (see Butt, 2006, 5[7]:28-R). Even though it looks like a terrifying creature from an evolutionary propaganda painting depicting “pre-historic” times, it is as contemporary as iPods and LASIK surgery.
Once again, a “monster” that evolutionists once did not expect to see in modern times is found in modern times. And, once again, another free pass is given to the evolutionary timetable. One wonders what living fossil (if any) could be found to persuade evolutionists to discard their beloved—but flawed—billion-year geologic timetable.
The Bible still says, “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day” (Exodus 20:11). Truly, frilled sharks, shrimp, and coelacanths are only one day older than man (Genesis 1:20-28).

REFERENCES

Butt, Kyle (2006), “What is a Living Fossil?” Reason & Revelation, 5[7]:28-R, July, [On-line], URL:http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2975.
“Diver Finds Living Fossil” (2006), Science Now, California Academy of Sciences, [On-line], URL: http://www.calacademy.org/science_now/archive/headline_science/ coelacanth_010601.php.
“‘Living Fossil’ Found in Coral Sea” (2006), The Associated Press, May 19, [On-line], URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12875772/.
Perkins, Sid (2001), “The Latest Pisces of an Evolutionary Puzzle,” Science News Online, 159[18]:282, [On-line], URL: http://www.sciencenews.org/articles/20010505/bob13.asp.
“Rare ‘Prehistoric’ Shark Photographed Alive” (2007), National Geographic News, [On-line], URL: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/01/070124-sharks-photo.html.
Raven, Peter H. and George B. Johnson (1989), Biology (St. Louis, MO: Times Mirror/Mosby College Publishing), second edition.
Schmiedekampf, Katrin (2007), “Japanese Marine Biologists Discover a Pre-Historic Shark,” Spiegel Online, January 29, [On-line], URL: http://www.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/0,1518,462817,00.html.

Are Christians Guilty of “Brainwashing” Their Children? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.



http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=694


Are Christians Guilty of “Brainwashing” Their Children?

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

The more worldly and ungodly American society becomes, the more devout Christians will be criticized and persecuted for their beliefs and actions. One popular criticism that has been levied against Christians in recent years involves the Christian home. Allegedly, Christian parents are guilty of brainwashing their kids. Before children are old enough to digest for themselves all of the evidence for God’s existence, the Bible’s inspiration, or Jesus’ deity, some Christians (though sadly not near enough) are ingraining these beliefs into their children. Faithful Christian parents regularly and systematically teach their children fundamental Christian teachings without apology. Is this not a form of brainwashing? Is it not “forcible indoctrination”? How do Christians respond to the “brainwash” accusation?
First, we freely and unashamedly admit that we instruct our children in the ways of God from the time that they are born until they leave home. We sing to them about God. We talk to them about Jesus. We read to them from the Holy Spirit’s inspired Word. Moses instructed the Israelites:
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates (Deuteronomy 6:5-9).
Just as “Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men” (Luke 2:52), so the children of Jesus’ followers should be brought up “in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).
But is this really the right thing to do? Is it not arrogant to teach kids that atheists and agnostics are wrong and that theists are right? Should we not let kids decide on their own if they want to believe in God? Is it not cultish to say Jesus “is the way, the truth, and the life”—that no one will live eternally in heaven except through Him (John 14:6)? Shouldn’t children be allowed to think for themselves?
The fact is, all parents (even atheistic and agnostic parents) teach their children that certain things are true and certain things are false; that some things are right and other things are wrong. Think about it: Can parents teach their children that 2 + 2 = 4, or must they allow their children to learn this for themselves? Can a mother teach her children that they are not ever to crawl into a freezer and close the door, or must she allow her children to risk suffocation and “learn on their own”? Can a father forbid his son from touching his guns and knives, or should he just leave them on the floor for the child to discover on his own what he should or should not do with such things? Can parents teach their children that they are to be kind to one another, and if they bite and hit each other they will be punished? Can parents teach their children that lying is wrong? Or, must parents simply allow the children to lie whenever they want, and to make up their own minds if lying is wrong for them when they become 18? Most rational adults would never sanction such foolish “parenting.” All parents “brainwash” their children about certain things. [Furthermore, we also understand that children grow up and ultimately decide for themselves what they want to believe and how they want to act, regardless of past influences (cf. Joshua 24:15; Revelation 22:17).]
In truth, Christians teaching their children that God exists or that the Bible is God’s Word is as logical, truthful, and fundamental as teaching them that 2 + 2 = 4. If parents can teach their children laws of science, such as the Law of Causality, the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics, and the Law of Biogenesis, then they are implicitly teaching their children that God exists, because all of these laws point to a Creator. If parents can teach children that no mere man knows the future, and then read from the Bible dozens of examples of fulfilled prophecies, they have simply taught the fundamental fact that the Bible is a book of Supernatural origin. Indeed, God exists and the Bible is His Word.
God wants us to teach our children about Him and His Word because it is the right thing to do. If it is acceptable to teach our kids about reading, writing, and arithmetic, about the laws of science, and about how bad lying and murder are, it most certainly is rational to teach children about the evidence for God’s existence and the reliability of His Word. After all, we would not even have reading, writing, arithmetic, laws of science, truth, the value of human life, etc. without God. He is the foundation of every good and true thing. He “is true” (John 3:33). His “Spirit is truth” (1 John 5:6). His “word istruth” (Psalm 119:160; John 17:17). And the truth will set men free (John 8:32). Nothing is more important to teach children.
*If Apologetics Press may help you effectively “brainwash” (i.e., instruct) your children in the ways of God, please do not hesitate to call upon us.



From Jim McGuiggan... Psalm 103: Made new!

Psalm 103: Made new!

 Leslie C.Allen renders Psalm 103:1 this way. "Praise the Lord I tell myself; every part of me..." The more familiar "praise the Lord O my soul" sounds fine but there’s something about that "praise the Lord I tell myself." It all comes down to the same thing, don’t you understand, but different ways of expressing an old and much-loved truth make it even lovelier or at least it evokes other images that enrich the truth.
It’s clear the writer (maybe David) has a lot to thank God for and he means to call us all to remember what God has done for us. The stress is certainly on the character, generosity and compassion of God but there’s a clear call to the listeners to be obedient. The singer insists that the Lord looks for respect and loyalty. But why should that surprise us? David isn’t asking for a long list of moral successes, he calls us to a heart’s direction, a disposition toward God that would result in upright and true behaviour if followed.
For some of us it’s a ceaseless struggle against murky currents that flow deep down inside. How’d they get there, where did they come from, why are they so persistent and strong? Only God knows. Oh, I’m not suggesting that we’re in the power of some fate or force about which we can do nothing—the book of Proverbs alone defies that notion when it calls us to honourable living. The very fact that we tell ourselves to praise the Lord, the very fact that the protest against our own behaviour and evil thoughts is proof enough that strength is coming to us from somewhere. So we’re not helpless little souls that have a right to wimp around; still, it’s true that for some of us the road is long and hard and we get weary. David would have known about such struggles, wouldn’t he? But for all the struggle there’s the manly insistence that we’re to be loyal to God and there’s the cheerful realisation that God renews our strength.
He "satisfies you with good as long as you live so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s." (103:5, RSV) Now there’s a picture. Boreham said he watched the eagle, way up there in the hillside, building her nest, tearing out her own feathers to do it. There she was, battering herself into ugliness to get food and a home for her young. Then there was the molting followed by the breeding season and for a while he saw her no more; but when she reappeared, there she was—a thing of beauty and power. No more the shabby-looking, bedraggled and weary thing of earlier days, lacking in interest and energy, drained! Now she challenges the skies and rides the winds and stretches herself to her glorious limit! Made new! Can this be true? Is this for us?
Mmmmm, love the very thought of it and love it even more because God had him write it for us.

©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 12




June 12
1 Samuel 17, 18

1Sa 17:1 Now the Philistines gathered together their armies to battle; and they were gathered together at Socoh, which belongs to Judah, and encamped between Socoh and Azekah, in Ephesdammim.
1Sa 17:2 Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and encamped in the valley of Elah, and set the battle in array against the Philistines.
1Sa 17:3 The Philistines stood on the mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on the mountain on the other side: and there was a valley between them.
1Sa 17:4 There went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.
1Sa 17:5 He had a helmet of brass on his head, and he was clad with a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass.
1Sa 17:6 He had brass shin armor on his legs, and a javelin of brass between his shoulders.
1Sa 17:7 The staff of his spear was like a weaver's beam; and his spear's head weighed six hundred shekels of iron: and his shield bearer went before him.
1Sa 17:8 He stood and cried to the armies of Israel, and said to them, Why have you come out to set your battle in array? am I not a Philistine, and you servants to Saul? choose a man for you, and let him come down to me.
1Sa 17:9 If he be able to fight with me, and kill me, then will we be your servants; but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then you will be our servants, and serve us.
1Sa 17:10 The Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.
1Sa 17:11 When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.
1Sa 17:12 Now David was the son of that Ephrathite of Bethlehem Judah, whose name was Jesse; and he had eight sons: and the man was an old man in the days of Saul, stricken in years among men.
1Sa 17:13 The three eldest sons of Jesse had gone after Saul to the battle: and the names of his three sons who went to the battle were Eliab the firstborn, and next to him Abinadab, and the third Shammah.
1Sa 17:14 David was the youngest; and the three eldest followed Saul.
1Sa 17:15 Now David went back and forth from Saul to feed his father's sheep at Bethlehem.
1Sa 17:16 The Philistine drew near morning and evening, and presented himself forty days.
1Sa 17:17 Jesse said to David his son, Take now for your brothers an ephah of this parched grain, and these ten loaves, and carry them quickly to the camp to your brothers;
1Sa 17:18 and bring these ten cheeses to the captain of their thousand, and look how your brothers fare, and take their pledge.
1Sa 17:19 Now Saul, and they, and all the men of Israel, were in the valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines.
1Sa 17:20 David rose up early in the morning, and left the sheep with a keeper, and took, and went, as Jesse had commanded him; and he came to the place of the wagons, as the army which was going forth to the fight shouted for the battle.
1Sa 17:21 Israel and the Philistines put the battle in array, army against army.
1Sa 17:22 David left his baggage in the hand of the keeper of the baggage, and ran to the army, and came and greeted his brothers.
1Sa 17:23 As he talked with them, behold, there came up the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, out of the ranks of the Philistines, and spoke according to the same words: and David heard them.
1Sa 17:24 All the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid.
1Sa 17:25 The men of Israel said, Have you seen this man who is come up? surely to defy Israel is he come up: and it shall be, that the man who kills him, the king will enrich him with great riches, and will give him his daughter, and make his father's house free in Israel.
1Sa 17:26 David spoke to the men who stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man who kills this Philistine, and takes away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?
1Sa 17:27 The people answered him after this manner, saying, So shall it be done to the man who kills him.
1Sa 17:28 Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab's anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why have you come down? and with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride, and the naughtiness of your heart; for you have come down that you might see the battle.
1Sa 17:29 David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause?
1Sa 17:30 He turned away from him toward another, and spoke after the same manner: and the people answered him again after the former manner.
1Sa 17:31 When the words were heard which David spoke, they rehearsed them before Saul; and he sent for him.
1Sa 17:32 David said to Saul, Let no man's heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.
1Sa 17:33 Saul said to David, You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.
1Sa 17:34 David said to Saul, Your servant was keeping his father's sheep; and when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock,
1Sa 17:35 I went out after him, and struck him, and delivered it out of his mouth; and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and struck him, and killed him.
1Sa 17:36 Your servant struck both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.
1Sa 17:37 David said, Yahweh who delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. Saul said to David, Go, and Yahweh shall be with you.
1Sa 17:38 Saul clad David with his clothing, and he put a helmet of brass on his head, and he clad him with a coat of mail.
1Sa 17:39 David girded his sword on his clothing, and he tried to go; for he had not proved it. David said to Saul, I can't go with these; for I have not proved them. David put them off him.
1Sa 17:40 He took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in the shepherd's bag which he had, even in his wallet; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine.
1Sa 17:41 The Philistine came on and drew near to David; and the man who bore the shield went before him.
1Sa 17:42 When the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him; for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and withal of a fair face.
1Sa 17:43 The Philistine said to David, Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks? The Philistine cursed David by his gods.
1Sa 17:44 The Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the sky, and to the animals of the field.
1Sa 17:45 Then said David to the Philistine, You come to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a javelin: but I come to you in the name of Yahweh of Armies, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.
1Sa 17:46 This day Yahweh will deliver you into my hand; and I will strike you, and take your head from off you; and I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky, and to the wild animals of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel,
1Sa 17:47 and that all this assembly may know that Yahweh doesn't save with sword and spear: for the battle is Yahweh's, and he will give you into our hand.
1Sa 17:48 It happened, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew near to meet David, that David hurried, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.
1Sa 17:49 David put his hand in his bag, and took there a stone, and slang it, and struck the Philistine in his forehead; and the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth.
1Sa 17:50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and struck the Philistine, and killed him; but there was no sword in the hand of David.
1Sa 17:51 Then David ran, and stood over the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of its sheath, and killed him, and cut off his head therewith. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled.
1Sa 17:52 The men of Israel and of Judah arose, and shouted, and pursued the Philistines, until you come to Gai, and to the gates of Ekron. The wounded of the Philistines fell down by the way to Shaaraim, even to Gath, and to Ekron.
1Sa 17:53 The children of Israel returned from chasing after the Philistines, and they plundered their camp.
1Sa 17:54 David took the head of the Philistine, and brought it to Jerusalem; but he put his armor in his tent.
1Sa 17:55 When Saul saw David go forth against the Philistine, he said to Abner, the captain of the army, Abner, whose son is this youth? Abner said, As your soul lives, O king, I can't tell.
1Sa 17:56 The king said, "Inquire whose son the young man is!"
1Sa 17:57 As David returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, Abner took him, and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand.
1Sa 17:58 Saul said to him, Whose son are you, you young man? David answered, I am the son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.
1Sa 18:1 It happened, when he had made an end of speaking to Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.
1Sa 18:2 Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father's house.
1Sa 18:3 Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.
1Sa 18:4 Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him, and gave it to David, and his clothing, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his sash.
1Sa 18:5 David went out wherever Saul sent him, and behaved himself wisely: and Saul set him over the men of war, and it was good in the sight of all the people, and also in the sight of Saul's servants.
1Sa 18:6 It happened as they came, when David returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tambourines, with joy, and with instruments of music.
1Sa 18:7 The women sang one to another as they played, and said, Saul has slain his thousands, David his ten thousands.
1Sa 18:8 Saul was very angry, and this saying displeased him; and he said, They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom?
1Sa 18:9 Saul eyed David from that day and forward.
1Sa 18:10 It happened on the next day, that an evil spirit from God came mightily on Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of the house: and David played with his hand, as he did day by day. Saul had his spear in his hand;
1Sa 18:11 and Saul cast the spear; for he said, I will strike David even to the wall. David avoided out of his presence twice.
1Sa 18:12 Saul was afraid of David, because Yahweh was with him, and was departed from Saul.
1Sa 18:13 Therefore Saul removed him from him, and made him his captain over a thousand; and he went out and came in before the people.
1Sa 18:14 David behaved himself wisely in all his ways; and Yahweh was with him.
1Sa 18:15 When Saul saw that he behaved himself very wisely, he stood in awe of him.
1Sa 18:16 But all Israel and Judah loved David; for he went out and came in before them.
1Sa 18:17 Saul said to David, Behold, my elder daughter Merab, her will I give you as wife: only be valiant for me, and fight Yahweh's battles. For Saul said, Don't let my hand be on him, but let the hand of the Philistines be on him.
1Sa 18:18 David said to Saul, Who am I, and what is my life, or my father's family in Israel, that I should be son-in-law to the king?
1Sa 18:19 But it happened at the time when Merab, Saul's daughter, should have been given to David, that she was given to Adriel the Meholathite as wife.
1Sa 18:20 Michal, Saul's daughter, loved David: and they told Saul, and the thing pleased him.
1Sa 18:21 Saul said, I will give her to him, that she may be a snare to him, and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him. Therefore Saul said to David, You shall this day be my son-in-law a second time.
1Sa 18:22 Saul commanded his servants, saying, Commune with David secretly, and say, Behold, the king has delight in you, and all his servants love you: now therefore be the king's son-in-law.
1Sa 18:23 Saul's servants spoke those words in the ears of David. David said, Seems it to you a light thing to be the king's son-in-law, seeing that I am a poor man, and lightly esteemed?
1Sa 18:24 The servants of Saul told him, saying, On this manner spoke David.
1Sa 18:25 Saul said, Thus you shall tell David, The king desires no dowry except one hundred foreskins of the Philistines, to be avenged of the king's enemies. Now Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines.
1Sa 18:26 When his servants told David these words, it pleased David well to be the king's son-in-law. The days were not expired;
1Sa 18:27 and David arose and went, he and his men, and killed of the Philistines two hundred men; and David brought their foreskins, and they gave them in full number to the king, that he might be the king's son-in-law. Saul gave him Michal his daughter as wife.
1Sa 18:28 Saul saw and knew that Yahweh was with David; and Michal, Saul's daughter, loved him.
1Sa 18:29 Saul was yet the more afraid of David; and Saul was David's enemy continually.
1Sa 18:30 Then the princes of the Philistines went forth: and it happened, as often as they went forth, that David behaved himself more wisely than all the servants of Saul; so that his name was much set by.


Jun. 11, 12
John 14

Joh 14:1 "Don't let your heart be troubled. Believe in God. Believe also in me.
Joh 14:2 In my Father's house are many homes. If it weren't so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you.
Joh 14:3 If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and will receive you to myself; that where I am, you may be there also.
Joh 14:4 Where I go, you know, and you know the way."
Joh 14:5 Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going. How can we know the way?"
Joh 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me.
Joh 14:7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on, you know him, and have seen him."
Joh 14:8 Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us."
Joh 14:9 Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you such a long time, and do you not know me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father. How do you say, 'Show us the Father?'
Joh 14:10 Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I tell you, I speak not from myself; but the Father who lives in me does his works.
Joh 14:11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me; or else believe me for the very works' sake.
Joh 14:12 Most certainly I tell you, he who believes in me, the works that I do, he will do also; and he will do greater works than these, because I am going to my Father.
Joh 14:13 Whatever you will ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
Joh 14:14 If you will ask anything in my name, I will do it.
Joh 14:15 If you love me, keep my commandments.
Joh 14:16 I will pray to the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, that he may be with you forever,-
Joh 14:17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world can't receive; for it doesn't see him, neither knows him. You know him, for he lives with you, and will be in you.
Joh 14:18 I will not leave you orphans. I will come to you.
Joh 14:19 Yet a little while, and the world will see me no more; but you will see me. Because I live, you will live also.
Joh 14:20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.
Joh 14:21 One who has my commandments, and keeps them, that person is one who loves me. One who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him, and will reveal myself to him."
Joh 14:22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, "Lord, what has happened that you are about to reveal yourself to us, and not to the world?"
Joh 14:23 Jesus answered him, "If a man loves me, he will keep my word. My Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our home with him.
Joh 14:24 He who doesn't love me doesn't keep my words. The word which you hear isn't mine, but the Father's who sent me.
Joh 14:25 I have said these things to you, while still living with you.
Joh 14:26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and will remind you of all that I said to you.
Joh 14:27 Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, give I to you. Don't let your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful.
Joh 14:28 You heard how I told you, 'I go away, and I come to you.' If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I said 'I am going to my Father;' for the Father is greater than I.
Joh 14:29 Now I have told you before it happens so that, when it happens, you may believe.
Joh 14:30 I will no more speak much with you, for the prince of the world comes, and he has nothing in me.
Joh 14:31 But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father commanded me, even so I do. Arise, let us go from here.