1. The New Testament reveals the establishment and early growth of the church...
    1. The church Jesus said He would build - Mt 16:18
    2. The church Paul wrote that Jesus loved - Ep 5:25-27
  2. The Lord's will is that there be one church...
    1. He prayed for the unity of His followers - Jn 17:20-23
    2. Paul later wrote that there is one body (i.e., church) - Ep 4:4-6; cf. Ep 1:22-23
  3. Yet we see around us so much religious confusion, so many different churches...
    1. How did it happen?
    2. What can disciples of Christ today do about it?

[In the first place, we really should not be surprised by the plethora of different churches. For in the Bible itself we read that there would be an "apostasy" (falling away)...]

      1. In warning the Ephesian elders - Ac 20:27-31
        1. Of "wolves" coming in from outside the flock
        2. Of men "from among yourselves" drawing disciples away
      2. In warning the church at Thessalonica - 2Th 2:1-3
        1. Of a great "falling away" that must come
        2. Revealing "the man of sin", "the son of perdition"
      3. In warning the evangelist Timothy - 1Ti 4:1-3; 2Ti 4:1-4
        1. Describing how some will "depart from the faith"
          1. Giving heed to "deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons"
          2. Forbidding to marry, commanding to abstain from meats
        2. Describing how some will "not endure sound doctrine"
          1. Getting teachers who will tell them what they want to hear
          2. Turning from the truth, turning aside to fables
      1. Peter warned of false teachers to come - 2Pe 2:1-2
        1. Who will bring in destructive heresies
        2. Whom many will follow
      2. Jude warned of false teachers who were present - Jude 3-4
        1. Who had crept in unnoticed
        2. Who were turning the grace of God into lewdness
        3. Who were denying the Lord God and the Lord Jesus Christ
      3. John warned of "antichrists" who had come - 1Jn 2:18-19
        1. Many, in fact, had come!
        2. Indicative of living in the "last hour"

        [As Jesus had warned, there would be false prophets (Mt 7:15). Before the canon of the New Testament was completed, the apostasy was already underway. As one examines early church history, there are further indications of...]

      1. In many cases, innocent at first
        1. Attempting to deal with errors in and out of the church
        2. Leading to a change in the organization of the church
          1. From autonomous and independent congregations overseen by a plurality of elders (also known as bishops and pastors) - cf. Ac 14:23; 20:17,28; 1Pe 5:1-2
          2. To a collectivity of churches under one bishop - e.g., Ignatius
        3. Resulting in centralization of power and influence among key individuals
      2. This subtle change made it much easier for error to spread
        1. When those in power began teaching false doctrine
        2. Before long, the very errors foretold by Paul were being taught - cf. 1Ti 4:1-3
      3. Through slow but gradual changes, the seeds of modern churches were sown
        1. Producing what later became known as the Roman Catholic Church
        2. But also many other "orthodox" churches (Greek, Egyptian, Russian, Armenian, etc.)
        -- Just as foretold, many departed from the simplicity of the Lord's church
      1. I believe the Lord's church continued on
        1. For not even the gates of Hades could prevail against it - Mt 16:18
        2. It is a kingdom that cannot be destroyed - cf. Dan 2:44; Lk 1:32-33
        3. Wherever there are faithful disciples, though few and unknown, the church exists - cf. Ac 2:47
      2. Faithful disciples would have undoubtedly been treated as heretics
        1. For refusing to follow those in "power"
        2. By those presuming to have "authority" over the Lord's flock
        -- History may not record (or may misrepresent) the existence of those who remained faithful, but the Lord knows His own!

      [Throughout the history of the apostasy, many have come to realize what has happened, and efforts made to rectify the problem...]

      1. Attempts by those within to reform what they saw as the "apostate" church
      2. Some reformers were persecuted, either executed or expelled (e.g., Luther)
      3. Followers of such reformers often started new churches (e.g., Lutheran)
      -- The end result was denominationalism
      1. Some claimed modern day revelation as a solution (e.g., Joseph Smith, Ellen G. White)
      2. Believing the Lord was using them to lead people out of religious confusion
      3. Followers of these "prophets" started many more churches (e.g., Mormon)
      -- The end result was even more denominationalism
      1. There have been many calls for "restoration"
        1. Some seeking to restore the Lord's church (as though it had been lost)
        2. Others seeking to restore people back to the Lord's church (which has always existed)
      2. In both cases, efforts usually centered around restoring the New Testament pattern for the local church (organization, worship, work, etc.)
      3. In many cases, the efforts appear to have been short-lived
        1. One generation may have truly been restored to the Lord's way
        2. Yet some in that generation and others to follow simply repeated the process of apostasy (e.g., the International Church of Christ)
        -- The end result often being even more denominationalism!
  1. Of the three (reformation, revelation, restoration), I believe the Biblical response is restoration...
    1. As illustrated by the restoration of the Jews after Babylonian captivity
    2. As illustrated by the restorative work of John the Baptist - cf. Lk 1:16-17
    -- We must be restored back to the church of the New Testament
  2. Yet the principle of restoration works provided we...
    1. Allow the Word of God to be our only guide and authority - cf. Ac 20:32; 2Ti 3:16-17
    2. Do not allow traditions of men to replace the commands of God - cf. Mt 15:3-9
    -- Otherwise we plant the seeds of apostasy and denominationalism all over again!
  3. As followers of Jesus, we do well to imitate His service to God while on earth...
    1. Living under the Law of Moses which was in force at that time, He was simply a Jew (not a Pharisee, Sadducee, etc.)
    2. Living under the law of Christ (1Co 9:21) today, we should simply be Christians, not members of some denominational party - cf. 1Co 1:10-13

What are you religiously? Involved with the descendants of the apostasy foretold in the Scriptures? One of those whose response to the falling away has resulted in only another denomination?

Why not simply be a Christian, by letting the Word of God restore you back to the church of our Lord as revealed in the New Testament...? - cf. Ac 2:36-42,47

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2021


This is a test by Gary Rose


About two weeks ago we purchased new smart phones from the home shopping channel. No, they are not the latest and greatest phones out there, but they are quite an improvement. Most of the time, I use my computer, so I am not an expert with “Smart” phones, but I am trying to improve.

I must confess, I am growing to like my new phone more and more as times goes on. I am learning a lot and with trial and error, I am getting better using this gadget daily. One thing that really impressed me was the 13mp camera. I took a couple of pictures just for fun and I was surprised at the quality. The picture at the top of the post was one of them. I used a sharpie marker to draw a few symbols on a piece of paper and put it on the table in the lanai. Ok, the symbols could use a lot of work, but when I uploaded them to my e-mail account, everything actually worked as expected. Success!

After awhile, the symbols actually began to make sense to me on many different levels… Perception, Bible Study and even the very nature of my own being all seemed to flow together. The Bible says…

1 Thessalonians 5 ( World English Bible )

23 May the God of peace himself sanctify you completely. May your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Perception: When I looked at that simple horizontal line on the white paper, I realized that I was looking down at it. A one dimensional view, simple, right? But, what if the view was changed to vertical? Then, the other two shapes that are hidden from the top view could be possible. A lot of people out there never get past the obvious straightforward concept; they simply look at things in black and white, nothing more. Spirituality is not an option, let alone allowing God to be LORD of your life. Consider John 5:19-47 and then think about what Jesus actually said about himself. But, the religious of his day were not into anything but the law and not willing to listen. I wonder, how many people out there are actually willing and able to hear what Jesus has to say to them?

Bible Study: The line represents the single proof text concept. People use proof texting to make the Bible say anything they want to. But, if you add the rectangle ( let’s just call a box ) then the context comes into view. Add the ellipse ( it started out as a circle, but I am artistically challenged ) and the concept of God’s presence within and through the Scriptures comes to mind. Again, consider the passage from John 5 as mentioned above.

Being: We are made in the image of God. We think rationally, emotionally and are linked spiritually to our creator by design. Christians have a mind-set that includes this concept and this worldview changes everything. We are multi-dimensional beings and what we think, do and truly understand are linked to our understanding of life, lived in the presence of Almighty God. See Genesis 1, Ephesians 1:3-11 and Acts 2:38

Well, so much for Smart phones, pictures and shapes. But, there is one thing more, for remember the title of this post: This is a test. The test here is all about listening to what God has done for those who are willing to obey HIM and live with HIM as LORD of their life. The question remains….. Will you obey and live for God or are you still stuck on just a horizontal line?


Looking Ahead by Gary Rose


Only 10 more days left in 2021. As we approach 2022, it is quite natural to reflect on what has transpired during the current year. If we just take the time to consider, we will find a mixture of both good and bad during this most recent 365 day period.

In just a few days, the date on the calendar will change, but I wonder, will we? Should we? If we are dwelling too much on the past, with all its hardships and things we could have done better, then the answer is a resounding … YES! As human beings we all make mistakes; accept that FACT and deal with it. For those of us who are Christians, we look to God for guidance and motivation and direction. Paul puts it this way…

Philippians 3 ( World English Bible )

13 …. Forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before,

14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Follow the example of the Apostle Paul. He persecuted Christians before his conversion to Christ; but after, well, his actions helped change the world for the better. How? By putting the past into its proper perspective and not repeating his mistakes. And, most of all pressing forward.

We too should Press on, change, improve your life! Yes, it IS OK to remember the past, but not to habitually dwell on it. In short, forget that rear view mirror, look straight ahead and with Christ’s help you will succeed in the future.

May God bless your efforts in HIS service!



Glowing yet? By Gary Rose


Three pictures of the same object taken at different distances and times. The object looks different in all three pictures, but what is it?

At first, I thought it was lightning hitting the tree, but no, lightning wouldn’t “drip” like that. Then I thought it might be radioactivity, but again, there is that dripping.

Finally, I decided the tree was on fire, but again, that just seems WRONG. It did, however remind me of an encounter from the book of Exodus…

World English Bible ( Exodus 3 )

1 Now Moses was keeping the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the back of the wilderness, and came to God’s mountain, to Horeb.

2 The angel of Yahweh appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.

3 Moses said, “I will turn aside now, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.”

4 When Yahweh saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the midst of the bush, and said, “Moses! Moses!” He said, “Here I am.”

5 He said, “Don’t come close. Take your sandals off of your feet, for the place you are standing on is holy ground.”

6 Moreover he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look at God.

7 Yahweh said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows.

8 I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey; to the place of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite.

9 Now, behold, the cry of the children of Israel has come to me. Moreover I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them.

10 Come now therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh, that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”

11 Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”

12 He said, “Certainly I will be with you. This will be the token to you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”

13 Moses said to God, “Behold, when I come to the children of Israel, and tell them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you;’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ What should I tell them?”

14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM,” and he said, “You shall tell the children of Israel this: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”

This encounter of Moses with God says many things, but I would like to focus on only one. The closer Moses came to God, the more he understood about the Almighty and what God wanted him to do. The same can be said for us. The closer we are to God, the more we will come to know HIM and serve HIM.

How? By reading and studying the Scriptures, by prayer and the practical application of the principles learned from the Bible. By the reality of becoming a faithful Christian and allowing God to work through us.

No, I didn’t forget about the pictures at the beginning of this post. They were originally all one picture, but I separated them in order to emphasize closeness. So, what are they anyway? The answer: time lapse photography of fireflies hovering around a tree.

Perhaps, if we “hover” around God long enough, we will glow ( spiritually ) something like them. We can only hope!!!


Really? by Gary Rose


If you have read my blog posts, then you probably are already aware that I love dogs. Size, age and breed really doesn’t matter much to me; I love them all ( but the ones that BITE, not so much ).

Over the years, I have grown to appreciate my own dog’s personality. Until the past year or so, when he wanted to go out for a walk he would just stare at me. Now, he still does the stare thing, but after awhile he will do a very faint woof, then a louder woof and finally a quite loud bark; and if its an emergency several barks. Sometimes, I can understand him when he will intermittently shift from staring at me to looking at the door – I get it, he wants out, NOW.

Having said all this, look at today’s picture. How would YOU caption this picture? For me, its a one-word title – “REALLY ?”! It is as if he is doubting what someone is trying to tell him.

As a Christian, sometimes I hear things about the Bible, the church or Christ himself that just doesn’t sound right to me. Then its time to do a little research in THE BOOK of books. This situation is nothing new, for as far back as the early church, some people were distorting the truth or just plain outright LYING.

The Bible says…

1 John 4 ( World English Bible )

1 Beloved, don’t believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit who confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God,

3 and every spirit who doesn’t confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God, and this is the spirit of the Antichrist, of whom you have heard that it comes. Now it is in the world already.

Now, the first century church had special gifts, such as prophecy and tongues ( see 1 Corinthians 12f. ), but today we have the complete revelation of God. See also, Acts 20:27; 1 Cor. 15:1ff; Jude 3 etc.. Paul writes to Timothy the following…

2 Timothy 3 ( WEB )

14 But you remain in the things which you have learned and have been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them.

15 From infancy, you have known the holy Scriptures which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith, which is in Christ Jesus.

16 Every Scripture is God-breathed and1 profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness,

17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Since the Scriptures enables one to be fully equipped ( 2 Timothy 3 ) and Jude 3 says..

3 Beloved, while I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I was constrained to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.

then we have a standard to go by, a measuring stick for the truth. Whether its the deity of Christ ( 1 John 4 above ) or the completeness of God’s revelation, we have the truth, the complete truth.

Its Ok to doubt when you hear something that doesn’t sound quite right, but the Scriptures have the final word, period. Believe that, for its true!


The past is... by Gary Rose


How does one actually stumble over something behind you? For if something is truly behind you it is not in front of you ( that you may stumble over it ). Now, there may some clever person out there who may answer; “you moonwalk”. Ignore such a one for that person is just practicing STUPIDITY.

The answer to the first sentence is that you keep putting the past in the forefront of your mind- you re-live it. The truth is that many people do this sort of thing -ALL THE TIME. They need to learn to put the past in the past.

When a person becomes a Christian, the past life is over. He or she has become a new person, with a new master – Christ. The goal of living becomes a dedication to serving ( and therefore, pleasing ) Jesus. When I think of this, I remember the Apostle Paul’s comments of Philippians chapter three...

Philippians 3 ( World English Bible )

1 Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not tiresome, but for you it is safe.

2 Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision.

3 For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh;

4 though I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If any other man thinks that he has confidence in the flesh, I yet more:

5 circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee;

6 concerning zeal, persecuting the assembly; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, found blameless.

7 However, what things were gain to me, these have I counted loss for Christ.

8 Yes most certainly, and I count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord, for whom I suffered the loss of all things, and count them nothing but refuse, that I may gain Christ

9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own, that which is of the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;

10 that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming conformed to his death;

11 if by any means I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

12 Not that I have already obtained, or am already made perfect; but I press on, if it is so that I may take hold of that for which also I was taken hold of by Christ Jesus.

13 Brothers, I don’t regard myself as yet having taken hold, but one thing I do. Forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before,

14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Paul emphasizes putting the past where it should always be kept – IN THE PAST. Some verses of the above passage seem to emphasize this more than others, so I have made their verse designation red in color for you to reflect upon.

The truth is that one can only stumble over the past by putting it in front of you. If you are doing that, stop! Put Christ in front of you and forget the past. I can only tell you that I agonize over decisions for some time ( perhaps, even too long ), but once I make a decision I live with it. I hope you can say the same!




Where in the world is this place? I don’t know, but my guess is that it looks like Norway, and yet I look at that mountain and all I can think is “Matterhorn” and the Alps. Does it matter? Probably not. What is important is not on Earth, but above it. Just look at that sky. The Milky way on a dark night is something to behold, simply beautiful.

When I view such a scene, I cannot help but think of the 8th Psalm, which says…

Psalm 8 ( World English Bible )

1 For the Chief Musician; on an instrument of Gath. A Psalm by David. Yahweh, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth, who has set your glory above the heavens!

2 From the lips of babes and infants you have established strength, because of your adversaries, that you might silence the enemy and the avenger.

3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have ordained;

4 what is man, that you think of him? What is the son of man, that you care for him?

5 For you have made him a little lower than God, and crowned him with glory and honor.

6 You make him ruler over the works of your hands. You have put all things under his feet:

7 All sheep and cattle, yes, and the animals of the field,

8 The birds of the sky, the fish of the sea, and whatever passes through the paths of the seas.

9 Yahweh, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Think of all that God has created, the sun, The moon and all the stars of the Milky Way Galaxy ( which is only one of an untold number of galaxies ). And yet with all this, God is concerned with ordinary human beings. ( see verse 4 above ). He cares for us and has proved that he does by sending Jesus for us. Today, consider who God is and what what he has done and is doing. Then tonight, go outside and look at the stars; I think that after you do, you will think more about God and less about yourself. A proper perspective is a wonderful thing!


Take a very good picture by Gary Rose


When I was young, my mother had a Brownie box camera. As the name implies, it was a box-like contraption and only took black and white pictures ( with real film, of course ). A few years after I was married, we purchased a Polaroid camera that developed pictures when you pulled the “film” from the camera. A few decades later we used a digital camera that made electronic pictures that could be easily modified by a computer. I still have this last camera, but hardly ever use it because I now have a “smart” phone. Over the past few years, I take pictures with it, but somehow it is just not the same; too commonplace, I think.

I have never really understood this “selfie” thing. Somehow, it just seems “wrong” to focus so much attention on one’s self, rather than the surrounding scenery or other people. Narcissism has become the norm in our world today ( at least in the photographic world, anyway ).

All this makes me wonder when the focus changed and people began to want to be in the forefront of everything.

As I was considering these things, I remembered Jesus’ post resurrection interaction with the disciples in the last chapter of the book of the Gospel of John...

John 21 ( World English Bible )

1 After these things, Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias. He revealed himself this way.

2 Simon Peter, Thomas called Didymus, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together.

3 Simon Peter said to them, “I’m going fishing.” They told him, “We are also coming with you.” They immediately went out, and entered into the boat. That night, they caught nothing.

4 But when day had already come, Jesus stood on the beach, yet the disciples didn’t know that it was Jesus.

5 Jesus therefore said to them, “Children, have you anything to eat?” They answered him, “No.”

6 He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” They cast it therefore, and now they weren’t able to draw it in for the multitude of fish.

7 That disciple therefore whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It’s the Lord!” So when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he wrapped his coat around him (for he was naked), and threw himself into the sea.

8 But the other disciples came in the little boat (for they were not far from the land, but about two hundred cubits away), dragging the net full of fish.

9 So when they got out on the land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid on it, and bread.

10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish which you have just caught.”

11 Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land, full of great fish, one hundred fifty-three; and even though there were so many, the net wasn’t torn.

12 Jesus said to them, “Come and eat breakfast.” None of the disciples dared inquire of him, “Who are you?” knowing that it was the Lord.

13 Then Jesus came and took the bread, gave it to them, and the fish likewise.

14 This is now the third time that Jesus was revealed to his disciples, after he had risen from the dead.

15 So when they had eaten their breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I have affection for you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.”

16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I have affection for you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.”

17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you have affection for me?” Peter was grieved because he asked him the third time, “Do you have affection for me?” He said to him, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I have affection for you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.

18 Most certainly I tell you, when you were young, you dressed yourself, and walked where you wanted to. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you, and carry you where you don’t want to go.”

Why did Peter want to go fishing? Verse 3 ( above ) doesn’t tell us, but my guess is that he wanted to resume his former occupation ( compare verse 3 with verse 18 part a ). In verses 15-17 Jesus questions Peter’s love and during this interaction directs his actions towards others. In verse 18 he talks about Peter’s future. Why he does this seems to be the point of the whole interaction; Jesus tells Peter to stop doing what he wants to do and listen to Jesus. Peter was focusing on his own desires and not the will of God.

All this is very familiar. People today are focusing too much on themselves and not on the needs of others. Remember that picture: “Selfie less, Jesus more”. Practice it, Prioritize it, Perfect it.

Enough said… Are you listening… Gary?


Focus by Gary Rose


We are at WAR. Not a war of guns, bombs or chemicals, but rather of words. Our left-wing driven media is using the same methodology as the German propaganda machine of World War II. Their plan: Redefine words to mean what you want them to mean, so that the truth is obscured. Tell lies so often that they appear to be THE TRUTH. When truth does surface, ignore it. Focus on hate and division so that your opposition is weakened. Repeat until absolute control is permanently achieved.

Christians: We need to focus our lives on what God wants for us. What does God want our focus to be?

The Bible says...

1 Corinthians 13 ( World English Bible )

1 If I speak with the languages of men and of angels, but don’t have love, I have become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal.

2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but don’t have love, I am nothing.

3 If I dole out all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but don’t have love, it profits me nothing.

4 Love is patient and is kind; love doesn’t envy. Love doesn’t brag, is not proud,

5 doesn’t behave itself inappropriately, doesn’t seek its own way, is not provoked, takes no account of evil;

6 doesn’t rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;

7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will be done away with. Where there are various languages, they will cease. Where there is knowledge, it will be done away with.

9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part;

10 but when that which is complete has come, then that which is partial will be done away with.

11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child. Now that I have become a man, I have put away childish things.

12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, even as I was also fully known.

13 But now faith, hope, and love remain—these three. The greatest of these is love.

The truth is that if you focus your life on foolish things, those things will define your life in ways that will ultimately ruin it. Seek love and be blessed with love. God’s ways are always the best ways. Try them and see for yourself. I think that you will simply love the results.


Doors by Gary Rose


Today’s picture is that of a door. We all have seen thousands of doors, of all shapes, sizes and colors. We use them to enter and exit rooms, buildings and even our automobiles. Commonplace as commonplace can be. Where this idea of using a door came from, I have absolutely no idea, except that someone thought of it thousands and thousands of years ago.

Doors can be very important to us and sometimes quite memorable; for example, I will always retain the memory of a hobbit house and that most unusual front door. There are others that will be forever with me as well, such as the front door of the first home we purchased ( In Valley Falls, New York ).

Doors” can mean other things to us as well. I remember going into the church where Linda and I were married, not so much about the door, but rather what we did there. There are numerous other things like this… coming home from the hospital after our daughter Darlene’s birth to our rented house and seeing an open door, a missing dog and the overwhelming smell of propane gas. And, there was the day that we left our home congregation in Clifton Park to travel to our first church ministry in Dover Delaware. That feeling of exiting the school building and realizing we were really starting a new, exciting aspect of our lives will be a cherished memory as long as I live.

But, enough about me. Jesus has something to say about doors…

John 10 ( World English Bible )

1 “Most certainly, I tell you, one who doesn’t enter by the door into the sheep fold, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.

2 But one who enters in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.

3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out.

4 Whenever he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.

5 They will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him; for they don’t know the voice of strangers.”

6 Jesus spoke this parable to them, but they didn’t understand what he was telling them.

7 Jesus therefore said to them again, “Most certainly, I tell you, I am the sheep’s door.

8 All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep didn’t listen to them.

9 I am the door. If anyone enters in by me, he will be saved, and will go in and go out, and will find pasture.

10 The thief only comes to steal, kill, and destroy. I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.

Jesus uses the concept of a “door” to explain his role for those who genuinely desire to enter heaven. The door is the way in and also the good shepherd who provides true life ( now and forever ). My thoughts about doors are important to me, but Jesus’ teaching can affect all who will truly listen. I pray that you will think about these things and determine this very day to either begin to follow Jesus or to continue to follow him faithfully until your last day on Earth.

One more thing about doors. They can say a great deal about you; your preferences, your character and even what you believe. Recently, my wife Linda and I were watching an episode of “Houses with History” and we learned that the door at the very top of this post is called “A Christian Door” Why? Because the top four panels form a cross and the bottom two represent an open Bible. What a wonderful way to express your faith to the world! The next time you need to replace a door in your home, you might consider “A Christian Door”. Why not share your faith? Someone’s life could be changed by the simple act of entering your home. Remember, anything is possible!