Eclipses and the Totality of 2017 by Alana May, M.S. & Branyon May, Ph.D.



Eclipses and the Totality of 2017

by  Alana May, M.S. & Branyon May, Ph.D.

On Monday, August 21st, the entire United States was treated to the exciting experience of seeing a solar eclipse, with a total solar eclipse visible to millions along the path of totality from Oregon to South Carolina. This event was a magnificent showing of an alignment between the Earth, Moon, and Sun. At just after 9:00 a.m. PDT the partial eclipse made its debut on the Western shores of Oregon. Shortly before 4:00 p.m. EDT the Moon’s remaining shadow moved off South Carolina’s coastal region. The umbral shadow of totality had a 70-mile wide diameter as it made its way across the country. While the entire continental United States was able to view the eclipse to some degree, only the regions within the 70-mile swath saw a total solar eclipse.

So what causes an eclipse? Although the Sun is physically 400 times larger than the Moon, it is also 400 times farther away. The Moon is approximately 240,000 miles from Earth, while the Sun is 93 million miles away. Yet from our view on Earth, the Sun and the Moon appear to be about the same angular size. This correspondence in apparent size is why we on Earth are able to experience solar eclipses. This type of eclipse (solar) is when the Moon passes exactly through our view toward the Sun, and it blocks the Sun’s light casting a shadow of darkness on Earth during the daytime.

When we consider this amazing event, we find Earth is the only planet where life can view a total solar eclipse. Mars is the only other terrestrial planet with moons. However, they are irregularly shaped and too small to eclipse the Sun. The Gas Giant planets cannot host life to view any possible eclipses. God’s design of the Earth-Moon-Sun system includes the precise correspondence necessary for such a rare and unique event to occur. Humanity has made use of eclipses throughout history to mark time and probe further the details of the Sun and Moon.

Dragonfly Flight and the Designer by Dave Miller, Ph.D.



Dragonfly Flight and the Designer

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

More proof of the existence of the Master Designer comes from research conducted by Z. Jane Wang, professor of theoretical and applied mechanics at Cornell University (Gold, 2006). Centering on flying systems and fluid dynamics, Dr. Wang notes that the best way to learn about flight is by first looking at what happens naturally. Interesting. In order for the complex human mind to comprehend the principles of flight, that mind must focus on the natural order—the Creation. So mind must learn from that which, according to evolutionists, came into being and developed without any mind. Intelligence is dependent on non-intelligence. Who can believe it?

Reporting her findings at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Dr. Wang observed that her research calls into question the conventional wisdom that ascribes to airplanes (human inventions) more flight efficiency than the flying creatures of the natural realm. Dragonflies, for example, are “a marvel of engineering” (Gold, 2006). “Marvel of engineering”—without an Engineer? So claims the evolutionist—despite the irrationality of such a conclusion.

Indeed, the dragonfly possesses four wings, instead of the standard two, enabling it to dash forward at speeds approaching 60 kph. Its unusual pitching stroke allows this amazing insect to hover and even shift into reverse. According to Wang: “Dragonflies have a very odd stroke. It’s an up-and-down stroke instead of a back-and-forth stroke.... Dragonflies are one of the most maneuverable insects, so if they’re doing that they’re probably doing it for a reason” (Gold, 2006, emp. added). “For a reason”? But doesn’t “a reason” imply a reasonable mind behind the reason that thinks and assigns a logical rationale to specific phenomena?

The more scientists study dragonflies the more they are impressed with these “marvels of flight engineering” (“How Do Things...,” n.d.). They appear to twist their wings on the downward stroke, creating a whirlwind of air that flows across the wings, facilitating the lift that keeps them flying. Even more amazing, one Australian scientist, Akiko Mizu­tani, of the Centre for Visual Science at the Australian National University, has studied dragonflies at length in the past few years. She observes that, while chasing its prey, dragonflies “shadow their enemies in complex manoeuvres that military fighter pilots can only dream of. Their tricks create the visual illusion that they’re not moving” (as quoted in “How Stealthy...,” 2003, 2398:26, emp. added). In fact, according to Dr. Javaan Chahl, the quick aerial movements allow the dragonfly to disguise itself as a motionless object (“Military Looks to Mimic...,” 2003, emp. added). These insights are not lost on the military establishment. They recognize the incredible implications for technological development—from the ability of fighter aircraft to approach the enemy undetected, to greater maneuverability, to enhanced helicopter logistics. Indeed, “scientists believe the insect’s flight control could have applications in new planes and helicopters” (2003). Is it any wonder that one of the very first helicopters produced was named “Dragonfly” (“Sikorsky...,” 2003)? If no one considers the helicopter as the product of time and chance, why would any reasonable person believe that the insect to which scientists are looking for an understanding of principles of flight evolved from mindless, mechanistic forces of nature?

If the human mind, with all of its complexity and ingenious design, is necessary to engineer flight capability (e.g., airplanes), what must be said for the Mind behind the human mind? If scores of intelligent scientists must expend vast amounts of time, energy, intention, deliberation, knowledge, and thought in order to discover the secrets of the “efficient motions” of the dragonfly, what must have been required to create that dragonfly in the first place? Mindless, non-intelligent, unconscious, non-purposive “evolutionary forces”? Ridiculous! Time and chance do not and cannot account for the amazing design found in insects like the dragonfly. The only logical, plausible explanation is that dragonflies were designed by the God of the Bible, and they testify to His wisdom: “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created” (Revelation 4:11).


Gold, Lauren (2006), “On the Wings of Dragonflies: Flapping Insect Uses Drag to Carry its Weight, Offering Insight into Intricacies of Flight,” Cornell University Chronicle, February 19, [On-line], URL: http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/Feb06/AAAS.dragonflies.lg.html.

“How Do Things Fly?” (no date), Boeing, [On-line], URL: http://www.boeing.com/compan yoffices/aboutus/wonder_of_flight/dragon.html.

“Military Looks to Mimic Dragonflies” (2003), ABC News, June 5, [On-line], URL: http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200306/s872489.htm.

“How Stealthy Insects Outsmart Their Foe” (2003), New Scientist, 2398:26, June 7.

“Sikorsky HO2S-1/HO3S-1G ‘Dragonfly’” (2003), USCG Homepage, [On-line], URL: http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g-cp/history/WEBAIRCRAFT/AC_Sikorsky_HO3S.html.

Don’t Bank Your Bucks in Big Bang Theory by Eric Lyons, M.Min.



Don’t Bank Your Bucks in Big Bang Theory

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

For the past several decades, untold millions of students around the world have been taught that the Universe and everything in it is the result of a tiny ball of matter exploding 13-15 billion years ago (e.g., Hurd, et al., 1992, p. 61). Immediately following this “big bang,” the exploding material supposedly expanded in less than a millisecond to cause “most of the growth” of the 14-billion-light-year observable Universe (see Coles, 2007). This expansion, called “inflation,” has purportedly been “well established as an essential component of cosmology” (Coles, 2007, p. 33, emp. added). In fact, in an article penned in 2007 titled “Boomtime,” Dr. Peter Coles recognized that the theory of “[i]nflation puts the ‘bang’ in the big bang” (p. 36). Now, however, scientists are inching closer and closer to the conclusion that “the theory seems to have failed” (Brooks, 2008, 198[2659]:31).

The journal New Scientist recently ran an article by Michael Brooks titled “Inflation Deflated” (2008, 198[2659]:30-33). In the article, Brooks admitted that “[i]nflation is arguably the most important theoretical idea in cosmology since the big bang” (p. 31). Inflationary theory has “suggested that the major problems in cosmology could be solved if the universe had blown up like a balloon, inflating faster than the speed of light in the moments after its birth” (p. 31, emp. added). Yet now, the theory first proposed nearly 30 years ago to solve “major problems” with big bang cosmology, and the theory that has been advanced in classrooms all over the world as fact, is sheepishly “starting to look a little vulnerable” (p. 31). “[T]he theory seems to have failed,” wrote Brooks. Why? First, “there is the lack of any solid scientific idea for why or how inflation might have happened” (p. 32, emp. added). Second, “satellite measurements of the cosmic microwave background radiation...seem to contradict the predictions of inflation” (p. 31). In short, although Brooks and others believe it is still “too early to say that simple inflation is definitely on the skids” (p. 33), “the theory seems to have failed” (p. 31). Atheistic cosmology’s “best theory of the early universe is starting to look a tad insecure” (p. 30, emp. added).

That must surely be a depressing thought to atheists: their “best theory” for the origin of the cosmos is “insecure,” lacking “any solid scientific idea for why or how inflation might have happened.” A better alternative to ultimate origins is found in the first verse of the Bible: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth” (Genesis 1:1). “For He commanded and they were created” (Psalm 148:5). So, “[l]ift up your eyes on high, and see Who has created these things” (Isaiah 40:26).


Brooks, Michael (2008), “Inflation Deflated,” New Scientist, 198[2659]:30-33, June 7.

Coles, Peter (2007), “Boomtime,” New Scientist, 193[2593]:33-37, March 3.

Hurd, Dean, George Mathias, and Susan Johnson, eds. (1992), General Science: A Voyage of Discovery (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall).

"THE GOSPEL OF MARK" The Source Of True Defilement (7:14-23) by Mark Copeland



 The Source Of True Defilement (7:14-23)


1. When confronted by the Pharisees and scribes regarding eating with unclean hands...
   a. Jesus described the danger of traditions - Mk 7:1-13
   b. How they can make our worship vain and the commands of God void - ibid.

2. Jesus then used the occasion to teach concerning true defilement...
   a. First to the multitude - Mk 7:14-16
   b. Then privately to His disciples - Mk 7:17-23

[Having the benefit of both His public and private teaching in Mark's
gospel, we can learn "The Source Of True Defilement."  From Jesus
remarks to both the multitude and His disciples we learn that it is...]


      1. From the Creation, man (and animals) may have been vegetarian - Gen 1:29-30
      2. After the Flood, God gave animals as food, but not their blood - Gen 9:3-4
      3. With the Law of Moses, Israelites were restricted in their diet - Lev 11:1-47
      -- In Old Testament times, God did have some stringent dietary guidelines

      1. Jesus has declared all foods clean - Mk 7:14-19
         a. To the multitude, Jesus hints at the source of true defilement - Mk 7:14-16
         b. To His disciples, He explains His parable - Mk 7:17-19
         c. "...purifying all foods" is likely a parenthetical statement  Mk 7:19
         d. For while the Law of Moses was in force, Jesus observed it in full - cf. Mt 5:17-18
         e. Thus Mark's parenthetical statement was intended for
            disciples living after the cross
      2. Paul later taught that all food is acceptable
         a. Teaching to abstain from foods would be a sign of apostasy - 1Ti 4:1-3
         b. Nothing is to be refused when received with thanksgiving and prayer - 1Ti 4:4-5
      3. There are a few exceptions...
         a. Things offered to idols, blood, and things strangled - Ac 15:28-29; 21:25
         b. Especially when connected to idolatry - 1Co 10:19-23; Re 2:14,20
         c. When certain foods becomes a stumbling block to the weak - Ro 14:14-21; 1Co 8:8-13
      -- From the New Testament, we learn of the dietary freedom we have in Christ

[From what Jesus taught His disciples, true defilement comes not from food...]


      1. The heart (mind) is a fountain out of which much that impacts life flows - Pr 4:23
      2. Affected by sin, it becomes deceitful and wicked - Ec 9:3; Jer 17:9
      3. Thus the heart is a source of much evil that defiles man - Mk 7:20-23
      -- The heart (or mind) of man is the real source of defilement

      1. Evil thoughts
         a. The general term translated 'evil thoughts' precedes the
            verb in the Greek text and is viewed as the root of various
            evils which follow - Bible Knowledge Commentary
         b. Evil thoughts generated in a heart unite with one's will to
            produce evil words and actions - ibid.
      2. Adulteries
         a. Illicit sexual relations by a married person
         b. Which Jesus said could occur in the heart - Mt 5:27-28
      3. Fornications
         a. Illicit sexual activities of various kinds, prompted by lust - cf. 1Th 4:3-5
         b. Including pre-marital sex, homosexuality, etc.
      4. Murders
         a. Taking life intentionally
         b. Which is connected to hate in the heart - 1Jn 3:15
      5. Thefts
         a. Stealing
         b. Including shoplifting, pilfering, etc.
      6. Covetousness
         a. Greediness
         b. Which makes one an idolater - Ep 5:5; Col 3:5
      7. Wickedness
         a. Evil acts
         b. Done with malice
      8. Deceit - acting with guile and intent to defraud
      9. Lewdness
         a. Unrestrained and unconcealed immoral behavior
         b. Closely related to lust - cf. Ro 13:13
     10. An evil eye - a Hebrew idiom for stinginess - cf. Pr 28:22
     11. Blasphemy - slander, verbal abuse against God or man
     12. Pride - arrogance, boastful opinion of one's self, often with disdain toward others
     13. Foolishness - lack of common sense, with moral and spiritual insensitivity
      -- Such sins prompted by evil thoughts are what truly defile us!


1. Today, many people choose to restrict their diet...
   a. Some for health reasons (allowed by the liberty we have in Christ)
   b. Others for religious reasons (not bound by the liberty we have in Christ)

2. From Christ and His apostles, we learn that all foods have been declared clean...
   a. When received with thanksgiving
   b. When sanctified by prayer

Thus we learn where our true focus should be:  removing that defilement
which springs from sinful hearts (Ep 4:17-24; 1Pe 4:1-3).  It begins
with obedience to the gospel of Christ... - cf. Ac 2:38; 22:16
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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Some Thoughts on Small, But Not Struggling Churches by Ken Weliever, The Preacherman



Some Thoughts on Small, But Not Struggling Churches

When we first arrived in Ontario, Mike Stephens, the Wellandport preacher for over 20 years, and I were discussing my schedule for the summer. This discussion turned to the topic of small, struggling churches. He commented regarding one of the congregations, “Oh, they’re struggling to reach 200, but they are not struggling spiritually.”

In reflecting on the summer and my association with several, but not all, of the Ontario churches, I echo this sentiment. Often in the States, we equate strength with numbers. But careful observation and scriptural consideration reveal this is not necessarily so.

The strength of a church is not measured in numbers, modern buildings, financial ability, the wealth of their members, the notoriety of their preacher, or even the ability to fully support a preacher financially.

The Bible speaks of Christians being “strong in the Lord” when they put on the armor of God, stand against the schemes of Satan, uphold the Truth, hold fast to the faith, live righteous lives, share their faith, persist in prayer, practice perseverance through trials and are spiritually alert (Eph 6:10-20).

These qualities that I observed, again and again, visiting with churches that were small in number, but large in faith, hope, and love. Our teaching and preaching was received with enthusiasm and appreciation. Never once was it suggested that I had a time limit. In fact, I was encouraged more than once to continue preaching or teaching past the time I thought it was advisable to conclude my lesson.

We are impressed with the eagerness of the brethren to study, learn and discuss spiritual matters. In one meeting we had appointments every day with those who had Bible questions and sincerely wanted answers.

The fellowship of the brethren in Ontario is unique. It crosses congregational lines. Not in an unscriptural way. But in a show of support. Care. Concern. And compassion. Brethren visit each other’s meetings. Some drive quite a distance and bring their children to be with other Christians for youth devotions or Bible studies. One sister remarked, “Our churches are all small, so we need to encourage each other.” And indeed they do.

Paul’s admonition to Timothy was to “be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” We witnessed God’s grace among these brethren. And a reliance on the Lord to provide what they need and when they need it. We never heard complaints regarding what they didn’t have or the size of their congregations, but ever an appreciation for their salvation. And gratitude for those who ministered in the Word to guide them into a knowledge of the Truth. Like Barnabas when he came to Antioch, we saw the grace of God among them in Ontario.

To the churches and brethren in the States who are financially supporting these men in Ontario, I commend you. You are doing a good work. And you are supporting men who love the Lord, love the brethren, and are doing their very best to strengthen the churches were they labor and lead the lost to the Lord.

Are the brethren perfect? No. Is there room for improvement? Of course. Can they grow stronger spiritually and in numbers? Absolutely! Do they know that? Yes! And obviously, that can be said for not only the churches in the States but throughout the world.

In fact, these observations regarding small churches who are strong spiritually can be seen in many of the more difficult areas in the United States and in other parts of the world.

We leave Canada with a warm feeling for these brethren and a deep appreciation for their spiritual strength. Until we return, we encourage you to “Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love” (1 Cor 16:13-14).

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman





Scripture is subject to interpretation. Is honesty and lack of pride a requirement in order to interpret Scripture accurately ?

Mark 16:16 "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. (NKJV)

My interpretation of Mark 16:16 is, he who believes and is immersed in water will be saved.


The following are some denominational interpretations of Mark 16:16.

1. He who believes is saved and shall be baptized as a testimony of their faith.

2. He who is baptized as an unbelieving infant will be forgiven of the guilt of Adam's sin as well as all sins they commit in the future, and they will be added to the body of Christ. [ Note: The only person guilty of Adam's sin, is Adam.]

3. He who is dead and is baptized by proxy will be forgiven.

4. Dead infants will be baptized and will have faith imputed to them by God so they will be saved. [Note: No infant dead or alive is guilty of sin.]

5. He who believes is saved by faith only and should be baptized because Jesus commanded baptism.

6. He who believes, believes because God forced him to believe, therefore he is saved by grace alone. Baptism is a work, therefore it is not essential for salvation.

7. He who believes is saved, however, he needs to be baptized in order to join a denominational church of his choice.

8. Belief and water baptism are not essential in order to be saved, because God will save all men.

9. Mark 16:16 does not apply because the church catechism of my denomination overrules all Scripture. Man-made creeds are more reliable than Scripture.

10. Mark 16:16 is invalid because the majority of those who claim Jesus as Savior do not believe it to be true.

11. He who believes and is baptized will be saved is a false statement, because there are many other ways to get heaven rather than Jesus.

Scripture is subject to interpretation, however, Scripture more likely to be misinterpreted.

Will Good Works Save Me? by Richard Mansel



Will Good Works Save Me?

I was speaking to a non-Christian who had not attended in a long time and he said, "I'm hoping good works will save me." This person certainly is not alone in their wish. Millions harbor the same desire to be saved without any commitment or change in lifestyle. Spending any time with Scripture will show this is certainly wishful thinking. God called us to live for Him through dying to self (Romans 6:1-11).

We ask, "What are good works?" They are considered to be kind deeds done to others. What would this include? How far should this go? If I go to the grocery store and a lady in front of me drops her grocery list and I pick it up for her, have I earned heaven? What if I help a child across the parking lot? Will that earn me heaven? What if I offer to carry someone's case of beer and cigarettes to the car? Will that earn me heaven? What if I go to a crack den and offer to hold the spoons and mix the drugs? Will that earn me heaven? What if I offer to feed the fish while an assassin goes across the country to execute someone? Will that earn me heaven since it is a good deed? What if I offer to sweep up for free at a brothel? Will that good deed earn me heaven? What if I volunteer to keep the supplies ready for satanists to worship Satan? Will that good deed earn me heaven?

My point is that "good deeds" are terribly subjective. Everyone will have their own definitions. There won't be any standard. What if I hold the coats while a Christian is executed in China? Will that good deed earn me heaven? Paul certainly did not think so.

In Acts 7:58, Saul (whose name would later be changed to Paul) held the coats of those who executed Stephen for preaching the gospel. In the next chapter he hunted down Christians and had them executed. Of the entire ordeal he later said he was the chief sinner of all men (1 Timothy 1:15). Paul by no means felt good deeds where going to save him. They won't save us either. If so, there was no point in Jesus coming to this earth to die for our sins.

God could have had a prophet tell us that good deeds will save us and saved millions of martyrs for the Cross. There would have been no use to spend the blood and pain of men getting the Bible into our hands. There would have been no reason to start the church because anyone could do good works without the church.

Jesus said we must do good works toward other men if we will be saved (Matthew 25). But, they are to be extensions of our faith and not in place of it (Ephesians 2:10). In fact, the previous two verses say, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9).

If we will be saved by good works then we will be lost by bad works. So, do we get merits for good works and demerits for bad works? Does that mean if you help ten old ladies across the street then you can push two down the steps? Won't it just be a mathematical equation? And who decides what are bad works? And what if some decide they are good while others decide they are bad? How do we solve that dilemma? Why didn't God just give us an exhaustive list?

It all becomes very messy. It won't matter though as it is not true anyway. Praise the Lord.

Richard Mansel

Published in The Old Paths Archive

Bible Reading for January 25 and 26 by Gary Rose



Bible Reading for January 25 and 26

World  English  Bible


Jan. 25

Genesis 25

Gen 25:1 Abraham took another wife, and her name was Keturah.

Gen 25:2 She bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah.

Gen 25:3 Jokshan became the father of Sheba, and Dedan. The sons of Dedan were Asshurim, Letushim, and Leummim.

Gen 25:4 The sons of Midian: Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah.

Gen 25:5 Abraham gave all that he had to Isaac,

Gen 25:6 but to the sons of Abraham's concubines, Abraham gave gifts. He sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, to the east country.

Gen 25:7 These are the days of the years of Abraham's life which he lived: one hundred seventy-five years.

Gen 25:8 Abraham gave up the spirit, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years, and was gathered to his people.

Gen 25:9 Isaac and Ishmael, his sons, buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron, the son of Zohar the Hittite, which is before Mamre,

Gen 25:10 the field which Abraham purchased of the children of Heth. Abraham was buried there with Sarah, his wife.

Gen 25:11 It happened after the death of Abraham that God blessed Isaac, his son. Isaac lived by Beer Lahai Roi.

Gen 25:12 Now this is the history of the generations of Ishmael, Abraham's son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah's handmaid, bore to Abraham.

Gen 25:13 These are the names of the sons of Ishmael, by their names, according to the order of their birth: the firstborn of Ishmael, Nebaioth, then Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam,

Gen 25:14 Mishma, Dumah, Massa,

Gen 25:15 Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah.

Gen 25:16 These are the sons of Ishmael, and these are their names, by their villages, and by their encampments: twelve princes, according to their nations.

Gen 25:17 These are the years of the life of Ishmael: one hundred thirty-seven years. He gave up the spirit and died, and was gathered to his people.

Gen 25:18 They lived from Havilah to Shur that is before Egypt, as you go toward Assyria. He lived opposite all his relatives.

Gen 25:19 This is the history of the generations of Isaac, Abraham's son. Abraham became the father of Isaac.

Gen 25:20 Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Paddan Aram, the sister of Laban the Syrian, to be his wife.

Gen 25:21 Isaac entreated Yahweh for his wife, because she was barren. Yahweh was entreated by him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.

Gen 25:22 The children struggled together within her. She said, "If it be so, why do I live?" She went to inquire of Yahweh.

Gen 25:23 Yahweh said to her, Two nations are in your womb. Two peoples will be separated from your body. The one people will be stronger than the other people. The elder will serve the younger.

Gen 25:24 When her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb.

Gen 25:25 The first came out red all over, like a hairy garment. They named him Esau.

Gen 25:26 After that, his brother came out, and his hand had hold on Esau's heel. He was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them.

Gen 25:27 The boys grew. Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field. Jacob was a quiet man, living in tents.

Gen 25:28 Now Isaac loved Esau, because he ate his venison. Rebekah loved Jacob.

Gen 25:29 Jacob boiled stew. Esau came in from the field, and he was famished.

Gen 25:30 Esau said to Jacob, "Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am famished." Therefore his name was called Edom.

Gen 25:31 Jacob said, "First, sell me your birthright."

Gen 25:32 Esau said, "Behold, I am about to die. What good is the birthright to me?"

Gen 25:33 Jacob said, "Swear to me first." He swore to him. He sold his birthright to Jacob.

Gen 25:34 Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils. He ate and drank, rose up, and went his way. So Esau despised his birthright. 


 Jan. 26

Genesis 26

Gen 26:1 There was a famine in the land, besides the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines, to Gerar.

Gen 26:2 Yahweh appeared to him, and said, "Don't go down into Egypt. Live in the land I will tell you about.

Gen 26:3 Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you, and will bless you. For to you, and to your seed, I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath which I swore to Abraham your father.

Gen 26:4 I will multiply your seed as the stars of the sky, and will give to your seed all these lands. In your seed will all the nations of the earth be blessed,

Gen 26:5 because Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my requirements, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws."

Gen 26:6 Isaac lived in Gerar.

Gen 26:7 The men of the place asked him about his wife. He said, "She is my sister," for he was afraid to say, "My wife," lest, he thought, "the men of the place might kill me for Rebekah, because she is beautiful to look at."

Gen 26:8 It happened, when he had been there a long time, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out at a window, and saw, and, behold, Isaac was caressing Rebekah, his wife.

Gen 26:9 Abimelech called Isaac, and said, "Behold, surely she is your wife. Why did you say, 'She is my sister?' " Isaac said to him, "Because I said, 'Lest I die because of her.' "

Gen 26:10 Abimelech said, "What is this you have done to us? One of the people might easily have lain with your wife, and you would have brought guilt on us!"

Gen 26:11 Abimelech commanded all the people, saying, "He who touches this man or his wife will surely be put to death."

Gen 26:12 Isaac sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year one hundred times what he planted. Yahweh blessed him.

Gen 26:13 The man grew great, and grew more and more until he became very great.

Gen 26:14 He had possessions of flocks, possessions of herds, and a great household. The Philistines envied him.

Gen 26:15 Now all the wells which his father's servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father, the Philistines had stopped, and filled with earth.

Gen 26:16 Abimelech said to Isaac, "Go from us, for you are much mightier than we."

Gen 26:17 Isaac departed from there, encamped in the valley of Gerar, and lived there.

Gen 26:18 Isaac dug again the wells of water, which they had dug in the days of Abraham his father. For the Philistines had stopped them after the death of Abraham. He called their names after the names by which his father had called them.

Gen 26:19 Isaac's servants dug in the valley, and found there a well of springing water.

Gen 26:20 The herdsmen of Gerar argued with Isaac's herdsmen, saying, "The water is ours." He called the name of the well Esek, because they contended with him.

Gen 26:21 They dug another well, and they argued over that, also. He called its name Sitnah.

Gen 26:22 He left that place, and dug another well. They didn't argue over that one. He called it Rehoboth. He said, "For now Yahweh has made room for us, and we will be fruitful in the land."

Gen 26:23 He went up from there to Beersheba.

Gen 26:24 Yahweh appeared to him the same night, and said, "I am the God of Abraham your father. Don't be afraid, for I am with you, and will bless you, and multiply your seed for my servant Abraham's sake."

Gen 26:25 He built an altar there, and called on the name of Yahweh, and pitched his tent there. There Isaac's servants dug a well.

Gen 26:26 Then Abimelech went to him from Gerar, and Ahuzzath his friend, and Phicol the captain of his army.

Gen 26:27 Isaac said to them, "Why have you come to me, since you hate me, and have sent me away from you?"

Gen 26:28 They said, "We saw plainly that Yahweh was with you. We said, 'Let there now be an oath between us, even between us and you, and let us make a covenant with you,

Gen 26:29 that you will do us no harm, as we have not touched you, and as we have done to you nothing but good, and have sent you away in peace.' You are now the blessed of Yahweh."

Gen 26:30 He made them a feast, and they ate and drank.

Gen 26:31 They rose up some time in the morning, and swore one to another. Isaac sent them away, and they departed from him in peace.

Gen 26:32 It happened the same day, that Isaac's servants came, and told him concerning the well which they had dug, and said to him, "We have found water."

Gen 26:33 He called it Shibah. Therefore the name of the city is Beersheba to this day.

Gen 26:34 When Esau was forty years old, he took as wife Judith, the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath, the daughter of Elon the Hittite.

Gen 26:35 They grieved Isaac's and Rebekah's spirits. 


Jan. 25, 26

Matthew 13

Mat 13:1 On that day Jesus went out of the house, and sat by the seaside.

Mat 13:2 Great multitudes gathered to him, so that he entered into a boat, and sat, and all the multitude stood on the beach.

Mat 13:3 He spoke to them many things in parables, saying, "Behold, a farmer went out to sow.

Mat 13:4 As he sowed, some seeds fell by the roadside, and the birds came and devoured them.

Mat 13:5 Others fell on rocky ground, where they didn't have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of earth.

Mat 13:6 When the sun had risen, they were scorched. Because they had no root, they withered away.

Mat 13:7 Others fell among thorns. The thorns grew up and choked them.

Mat 13:8 Others fell on good soil, and yielded fruit: some one hundred times as much, some sixty, and some thirty.

Mat 13:9 He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

Mat 13:10 The disciples came, and said to him, "Why do you speak to them in parables?"

Mat 13:11 He answered them, "To you it is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but it is not given to them.

Mat 13:12 For whoever has, to him will be given, and he will have abundance, but whoever doesn't have, from him will be taken away even that which he has.

Mat 13:13 Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they don't see, and hearing, they don't hear, neither do they understand.

Mat 13:14 In them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says, 'By hearing you will hear, and will in no way understand; Seeing you will see, and will in no way perceive:

Mat 13:15 for this people's heart has grown callous, their ears are dull of hearing, they have closed their eyes; or else perhaps they might perceive with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their heart, and should turn again; and I would heal them.'

Mat 13:16 "But blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear.

Mat 13:17 For most certainly I tell you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see the things which you see, and didn't see them; and to hear the things which you hear, and didn't hear them.

Mat 13:18 "Hear, then, the parable of the farmer.

Mat 13:19 When anyone hears the word of the Kingdom, and doesn't understand it, the evil one comes, and snatches away that which has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown by the roadside.

Mat 13:20 What was sown on the rocky places, this is he who hears the word, and immediately with joy receives it;

Mat 13:21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while. When oppression or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.

Mat 13:22 What was sown among the thorns, this is he who hears the word, but the cares of this age and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.

Mat 13:23 What was sown on the good ground, this is he who hears the word, and understands it, who most certainly bears fruit, and brings forth, some one hundred times as much, some sixty, and some thirty."

Mat 13:24 He set another parable before them, saying, "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field,

Mat 13:25 but while people slept, his enemy came and sowed darnel weeds also among the wheat, and went away.

Mat 13:26 But when the blade sprang up and brought forth fruit, then the darnel weeds appeared also.

Mat 13:27 The servants of the householder came and said to him, 'Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where did this darnel come from?'

Mat 13:28 "He said to them, 'An enemy has done this.' "The servants asked him, 'Do you want us to go and gather them up?'

Mat 13:29 "But he said, 'No, lest perhaps while you gather up the darnel weeds, you root up the wheat with them.

Mat 13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and in the harvest time I will tell the reapers, "First, gather up the darnel weeds, and bind them in bundles to burn them; but gather the wheat into my barn." ' "

Mat 13:31 He set another parable before them, saying, "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field;

Mat 13:32 which indeed is smaller than all seeds. But when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches."

Mat 13:33 He spoke another parable to them. "The Kingdom of Heaven is like yeast, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, until it was all leavened."

Mat 13:34 Jesus spoke all these things in parables to the multitudes; and without a parable, he didn't speak to them,

Mat 13:35 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophet, saying, "I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things hidden from the foundation of the world."

Mat 13:36 Then Jesus sent the multitudes away, and went into the house. His disciples came to him, saying, "Explain to us the parable of the darnel weeds of the field."

Mat 13:37 He answered them, "He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man,

Mat 13:38 the field is the world; and the good seed, these are the children of the Kingdom; and the darnel weeds are the children of the evil one.

Mat 13:39 The enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels.

Mat 13:40 As therefore the darnel weeds are gathered up and burned with fire; so will it be at the end of this age.

Mat 13:41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will gather out of his Kingdom all things that cause stumbling, and those who do iniquity,

Mat 13:42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be weeping and the gnashing of teeth.

Mat 13:43 Then the righteous will shine forth like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

Mat 13:44 "Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found, and hid. In his joy, he goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field.

Mat 13:45 "Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who is a merchant seeking fine pearls,

Mat 13:46 who having found one pearl of great price, he went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

Mat 13:47 "Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a dragnet, that was cast into the sea, and gathered some fish of every kind,

Mat 13:48 which, when it was filled, they drew up on the beach. They sat down, and gathered the good into containers, but the bad they threw away.

Mat 13:49 So will it be in the end of the world. The angels will come forth, and separate the wicked from among the righteous,

Mat 13:50 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth."

Mat 13:51 Jesus said to them, "Have you understood all these things?" They answered him, "Yes, Lord."

Mat 13:52 He said to them, "Therefore, every scribe who has been made a disciple in the Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who is a householder, who brings out of his treasure new and old things."

Mat 13:53 It happened that when Jesus had finished these parables, he departed from there.

Mat 13:54 Coming into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, "Where did this man get this wisdom, and these mighty works?

Mat 13:55 Isn't this the carpenter's son? Isn't his mother called Mary, and his brothers, James, Joses, Simon, and Judas?

Mat 13:56 Aren't all of his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all of these things?"

Mat 13:57 They were offended by him. But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country, and in his own house."

Mat 13:58 He didn't do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

Enjoy! by Gary Rose



I have had enough of anything political; its time I thought of something on the lighter side of life. This picture more than qualifies. Here is someone who is enjoying life in a more light-hearted manner. My guess is that the bike probably belongs to his grand-daughter, but, who knows?

Anyway, life for most of us is but a few decades, so I say, enjoy it the best you can! Then I remembered the wise words of Solomon in the book of Ecclesiastes…

Ecclesiastes 5 ( World English Bible )

18 Behold, that which I have seen to be good and proper is for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy good in all his labor, in which he labors under the sun, all the days of his life which God has given him; for this is his portion.

19 Every man also to whom God has given riches and wealth, and has given him power to eat of it, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labor—this is the gift of God.

God has given us many blessings. We should from time to time take stock of them and rejoice. Every so often, we sing the following at the Southside, Zephyrhills congregation…

When upon life's billows you are tempest tossed
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost
Count your many blessings, name them one by one
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly
And you will keep singing as the days go by

So, amid the conflict, whether great or small
Do not be disheartened, God is over all
Count your many blessings, angels will attend
Help and comfort give you to your journey's end

Count your blessings, name them one by one
Count your blessings, see what God hath done
Count your blessings, name them one by one
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done 
 And, just in case you feel like singing….

 Yesterday is but a memory, tomorrow, anything can happen. The only thing we genuinely have is the here and now. I often think of what the Apostle Paul has said…

Philippians 4 ( WEB )


Rejoice in the Lord always! Again I will say, “Rejoice!”

Be happy, for God loves us all. Do something today for the pure fun of it.

(riding a pink bike is but one option)