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March 14, 2009

My wife Sandy and I are reading through the Bible together each day, and this week we read Numbers 7, the 2nd longest chapter in the Bible . . . and eighty-nine of the most monotonous, repetitive verses in all of Scripture!
I'm sorry, but read 'em for yourself and tell me it's not so!
In Numbers 7 we are told of the gifts that each of the twelve tribes gave for the service of the Tabernacle.
So in verses 12-17 we read:
The one who brought his offering on the first day was Nahshon son of Amminadab of the tribe of Judah.  His offering was one silver plate weighing a hundred and thirty shekels, and one silver sprinkling bowl weighing seventy shekels, both according to the sanctuary shekel, each filled with fine flour mixed with oil as a grain offering; one gold dish weighing ten shekels, filled with incense; one young bull, one ram and one male lamb a year old, for a burnt offering; one male goat for a sin offering; and two oxen, five rams, five male goats and five male lambs a year old, to be sacrificed as a fellowship offering. This was the offering of Nahshon son of Amminadab....

Tags: giving, kenya, missions

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His Name Means "The Lord Will Enlarge" Him

March 12, 2009

Could God Use You To Make It True?

Like the eldest son of Noah, the progenitor of all Europeans, his name is Japheth.  This slight, gentle Kenyan with the soft voice and bright smile might weigh 100 lbs.  If so, most of that would be heart--a giant one of pure gold.
We first got to know Japheth, his pretty wife Lillian, and their two sons Jones and Jason when Jason (3 yrs old at the time) accidentally drank some household cleanser, severely burning his esophagus and stomach.  For months he had to be fed an expensive baby formula through a tube that went directly to his stomach.  Sandy and I were blessed to help with the expense of the formula.
Eventually God healed Jason, Japheth graduated from seminary, and the Biwott family went back to Kenya to equip other Kenyans to love and serve the Lord.  Japheth is now the dean of Kapsabet Bible College, training other young men to serve their village churches as pastors, teachers, and evangelists.
I am the dean of a Bible College just like Japheth.  The difference is that I make enough money to meet all my needs.  I cook on an electric range or gas grill, or I go...
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Never Say Die!

February 3, 2009

I have an encouraging story for you from one of our TMT subscribers.  It occurred to me that maybe others of you could use some encouragement too.  (If you don't need it today, file this away--but not too far!)
Many subscribers have often encouraged me.  This one is a former student of mine and a longtime friend. 
Though he gave me permission to share this, I won't use his name because there are still some issues in his church and you never know when some unintended consequence of an innocent testimony may come back to bite you.
By the way, it's a sad situation isn't it when we have to worry about Christians "biting" each other? But it has been that way from the start.  Paul had to warn even 1st Century believers not to devour one another (Gal 5.15).
Well, on with my story.
This friend of mine has pastored his present church for over ten years, and it was not too long into his tenure there that opposition arose.  He and I often talked together over the years about how to handle some of the situations he encountered.
This dear brother always dealt gently and wisely with his adversaries, but he never compromised...

Tags: adversity, dont quit, faithfullness, perseverence

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You Know A Bubba ( And A Bubba Knows You)!

February 3, 2009

There's something I just want to remind you of.  No big breaking news, nothing you don't already know, just a little reminder and encouragment to keep your eyes open for something the Lord may be doing with you.
A few days ago I told you that I had spent a couple of days at WinShape.   This is a beautiful retreat center a couple of hours north of my home.  It is owned and managed by Truett Cathy's Chick-fil-A, Inc., a wonderful Christian-led business that does everything for the glory of God. 
(By the way, Mr. Cathy was suffering some serious health problems while I was there; please pray for him.)
So on the last day of the retreat I had lunch with Bob Skelton, a good brother who helped build the WinShape program and who oversees the beautiful campus.  He was explaining to me all of the different ministries that take place there--marriage ministries, leadership seminars, pastor respites, youth camps, overseas missionary projects, college worldview and apologetics workshops, and on and on it goes.
Amazed at the impact of such a ministry, and at the blessing of being able to be involved in such a thing, I smiled and asked Bob, "Dude, how...

Tags: help a friend, helping others, providence, winshape

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The Amazing Fatherhood of God

February 3, 2009

Could I share something personal?  God has been so good, and I feel I must tell you about it.
Late Friday afternoon I came back from a two-day retreat in the North Georgia mountains.  Sandy was planning on coming with me but had previously committed to manning a station at the local hospital's "Health Fair." She could not keep her word to the hospital and still accompany me, so Thursday morning we kissed goodbye and I went to WinShape alone.
Friday, on her way to the hospital, Sandy's CD player clicked to a song by Steven Curtis Chapman about a husband's commitment to his wife during dark, uncertain days.  (The song is "Go There with You."  You can read the lyrics here.
For no apparent reason, the Lord strongly impressed upon Sandy the thought, "You know that's how Jim feels about you.  He will walk through anything with you."  She didn't understand what that was all about; but it made a deep impression, and she knew it was coming from God.
A few hours later, during a lull in the Health Fair, Sandy decided to take one of the free tests for diabetes.  To her shock the test came back positive.  Not only...

Tags: faithfulness, fatherhood of god, healing, providence

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An Epistle Is the Wife of an Apostle, Right?

January 23, 2009

Biblical illiteracy has long been a concern for many in the church, but obviously not for most. (Just watch a couple of hours of "Christian TV" and you will agree!) 

What has been done to address this problem?  Precious little in most local churches!

A recent story in WorldNetDaily gives little comfort to those of us who have lamented the tragedy of biblical ignorance that appears all around.  The story's headline is shocking:

1 in 3 'Christians' says 'Jesus sinned.'

WND cites a January 12 report from The Barna Group that found that half of American adults "pick and choose" their beliefs from the Bible, from organized denominations, from secular philosophy, and from non-Christian religions.  Among those under 25 years of age, 82% (a little over 4 out of 5) prefer this "cafeteria" approach to faith.

Such an "al a carte" method of building a belief system would not exist if members of local churches had been taught in convincing fashion that God Himself has spoken to man in the Bible--His inspired, inerrant, understandable, and authoritative Word!  (Former students of mine will recognize that last sentence as the crux of my "Seven Presuppositions" lecture.)

But we who have been given the stewardship of...


Tags: barna, bible institute, biblical illiteracy, worldnetdaily

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Line Upon Line in 2009!

January 14, 2009

At the beginning of this new year, I mentioned to you my plan for getting our church to read through the Bible in 2009.  (If you didn't get that message, find it here).
Remember?  I bought every family a One-Year BibleThe idea was that everyone in our church will read the daily selection every day of every week, and each Sunday sermon in 2009 will come from one of the daily passages that we read together the preceding week (probably the OT passage).
Last Sunday was the first such sermon (we had previously invited a guest preacher the first Sunday, and  his message on "Unity" was providentially the perfect introduction to this plan of reading the Bible together as a family). 
So for last week's sermon I introduced the book of Genesis and linked several of the week's passages together in a biographical message called "Abraham and Lot: Two Different Kinds of Believers; Two Different Kinds of Living."  The message was organized around the story of Abraham's walk on "The Path of Faith" and Lot's walk down "The Path of Flesh."
It went over very well.  Those who had been faithful in their reading nodded with familiarity as I brought out gems...
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Eight Hundred and Nineteen (819) Count 'em!

January 7, 2009

A couple of years ago I met a guy online who has become my good friend and mentor when it comes to online ministry. 

He is waaaaay ahead of me in this arena and has been very generous with his time and advice, eventhough he has a demanding full time job outside of his Bible teaching ministry.

I'm talking about my good friend Dr. Glenn Brooke.  Glenn has created a great product for Bible Teachers called Teach the Jesus Way (TTJW).  You've probably read my recommendations for it, but that's not what this post is about. 

Instead, I want to point you to Glenn's blog:  http://teachtochangelives.blogspot.com/ where you will find 819 short, to the point, and very helpful articles and resources to help you in your ministry of communicating Bible Truth.  For regardless of what you do for the Lord, the most important aspect of your ministry is communication of His Truth.

Check it out and see what Glenn has uploaded to help you.  After you have browsed through this mountain of material, you will understand the value of learning how to teach like the Master from this master teacher!

I think you will really enjoy Glenn's perspective on what the coming year might bring in our...


Tags: bible teaching, glenn brooke, how to teach the bible, teaching tips

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December 29, 2008


Churches around the world who participate in the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual January Bible Study will be studying the book of Exodus in 2009.  Thanks to our tax dollars at work, those leading the studies are apt to have an added challenge. Why?  Because the taxpayer-funded Public Broadcasting System recently debuted a two-hour Nova special called The Bible’s Buried Secrets that, among other things, floated the ideas that: ·         The patriarchs of Israel may have never existed·         The so-called Israelites were really Canaanites·         The exodus as depicted in the Bible never happened·         Moses wasn’t a historical character·         The so-called “Books of Moses” were actually compiled many centuries after the supposed events they recount·         Exodus was written by multiple authors, none of them Moses (who didn’t exist)·         And all of the above is settled fact upon which all intelligent scholars agree[i] William Dever, one of the featured archaeologists on the program, said that the PBS Nova special was “designed for intelligent people . . . who want to read the Bible in a modern way.” [ii]  

One would...


Tags: bible critics, exodus, nova, pbs, tv

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How To Enter the New Year

December 28, 2008

Moses had died.  Joshua and the nation of Israel found themselves on the brink of a new era, at the edge of a place they had never been before.  Isn't that where we are today?  On the threshold of a new year . . . a year we have never seen before.

I can remember when A.D.  2009 sounded like the setting for a science fiction movie.  In 2009, so I thought, we would get around with jet packs while robots did all our work.  But here we are, in pretty much the same circumstances we were in when we were dreaming about flying saucers and one-hour work weeks. 

How shall we enter this new year?  None of us has been this way before.  We don't know what kind of giants, what kind of battles, await us in the coming year. 

But surely the Lord's instructions to Joshua are applicable to us today.

Heeding God's Word in Joshua 1, let's . . .


1:1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' assistant, “Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over...


Tags: 2009, bible reading, joshua 1, new year, one-year bible, presence of god, promises of god

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