Showing posts from 2012

Free NIV Bible App

Happy New Year 2013!  The NIV Bible Available for Download in the Bible Gateway App

The following details are from regarding their exciting offer:

Starting on January 1 and for a limited time, you’ll be able to download the full text of the NIV onto your mobile device using the Bible Gateway app.
Also, the Once-a-Day Bible Promises devotional designed to help you get into the habit of daily Scripture reading. 
For technical reasons, the NIV download will only be available for users of the iOS app (sorry, Android users!). Zondervan, in cooperation with Biblica, are to thank for providing this short-time free download of the NIV in the Bible Gateway app.

If you don’t yet have the Bible Gateway app, download it for free for iPad, iPhone, Android phones, and Kindle Fire and watch for the NIV download to become available on January 1!
Thanks Biblegateway!

Free Downloadable Bible Reading Plans for the New Year -- Happy New Year!

Newly added to this post are the Bible reading plans for children.  You may wish to peruse it before handing it out to make sure there is nothing that doesn't line up with your doctrine in it.  The Bible reading plans include a book of the Bible and a follow-up question for the reader.  More difficult passages are left out.  For instance, Numbers starts later in the book than the first chapter.

Bible reading plans for children

Bible Reading Plans from Ligonier Ministries

Note:  I have a lot of agreement with my Reformed friends at Ligonier but we go our separate ways on eschatology (prophecy/the last days) and Israel (the Reformed believe the Church has replaced Israel while I believe that everlasting means everlasting and God never breaks His Word).

Bible Reading Plans that you can download from Ligonier include:

52 Week Bible Reading Plan

Read through the Bible in a year, with each day of the week dedicated to a different genre: Epistles, The Law, History, Psalms, Poetry, Prophec…

Funniest Newspaper Edition to Ever Grace My Door

Never before have I laughed so hard at my local paper.  No, Jay Leno didn't buy it and turn it into Comedy Central News.  What got me laughing was the front page story of a reporter going to the local mall to ask some simple questions:

1) Best memory of 2012
2) Worst memory of 2012
3) Biggest hope for 2013
4) Prediction for the U.S. in 2013

My favorites included a shall remain unnamed 21 year old male who answered with the following:
Comments are mine (not in bold)

1) Best memory of 2012 - When I met my girlfriend 
2) Worst memory of 2012 - Getting arrested by the cops and getting tasered 
I see a bright future for this young man (and perhaps his girlfriend)
3) Biggest hope for 2013 - I hope to stay sober and find a job and maintain that and get my money up
4) Prediction for the U.S. in 2013 - I think it's going to be a good year for us. We're in Obama's hands . . . 
He makes a great character witness, don't you think?

Someone else answered the question Worst me…

A Tribute To General Schwarzkopf and Memories of the Gulf War

( image found at )
One of the defining times of my life happened when my unit, the 442nd Field Service Company out of Philadelphia, was mobilized for Operation Desert Shield in September of 1990. I had just begun my first post-college job at a local Christian school. Incidentally, as I interviewed for the school’s Bible teacher position in August of 1990 I was asked of the likelihood that I would be deployed.

Major movements had already begun at that time. Saddam Hussein’s forces invaded Kuwait on August 2. United States ground forces were already being sent to Saudi Arabia as President George H.W. Bush announced that “this aggression will not stand.”

The chances were slim to none, I asserted confidently. My reasoning was that I was an Army Reservist. Certainly, they wouldn’t deploy many if any of those. I couldn’t be more wrong.

About a week or so after beginning my job, or ministry, as the school’s Bible teacher, our uni…

Rebuttal to Newsweek's Cover Story on 'The Myths of Jesus'

I wanted to point you to a good and concise rebuttal of Newsweek's recent Christmas cover story entitled "The Myths of Jesus."

But first, it would help if you read what Dr. Bart D. Ehrman wrote.  The Daily Beast has it posted under the title What Do We Really Know About Jesus?

Take a few minutes and read that and then read this rebuttal.

Rebuttal to Newsweek's Cover Story on 'The Myths of Jesus'

The work that Jerry Newcombe cites in his article is the
New International Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties
by Gleason Archer

Merry Christmas to You; Get These Books for Free!

Still Not Professionalsby Daniel L. Akin, Doug Wilson, Jeff Vanderstelt, John Piper,Mike Bullmore, R. C. Sproul Jr., Ray Ortlund, Sam Crabtree, and Thabiti Anyabwile

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Foxe's Book of Martyrs

This book is by a pastor friend of mine.  Check it out - for free, for a limited time!

Stories that Got My Attention

The Fruit of the Spirit is Love

The word for love in Galatians 5:22 is agapē.  In the Greek speaking world of New Testament times there were three words used for love:

1) eros
This refers to erotic or sexual love (it’s not used in the NT but is common in Greek literature of the time)

2) phileo
That is used in reference to close relationships one has with a friend or family member. It is very common in the NT and extrabiblical literature.

3) agapao (and its cognate agapē) It is rarely used in extrabiblical Greek. It was used by believers to denote the special unconditional love of God1

[1] Lanier, D. (2003). Love. In C. Brand, C. Draper, A. England, S. Bond, E. R. Clendenen & T. C. Butler (Eds.), Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (C. Brand, C. Draper, A. England, S. Bond, E. R. Clendenen & T. C. Butler, Ed.) (1054). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

God expressed agapē love for us when He responded to our sin with His plan for our salvation …

Where's God When It Hurts -- Philip Yancey E-Book is Free!

Philip Yancey's Where is God When It Hurts is free on the Kindle for a limited time.  Get this offer while it is here.

"Using examples from the Bible as well as the author's personal experiences, this edition speaks to everyone for whom life sometimes doesn't make sense. Philip Yancey can help us discover how to reach out to someone in pain even when we don't know what to say. It shows us how we can learn to accept without blame, anger, or fear that which we cannot understand." -- Amazon summary
About the Author

Why Doesn’t God Do More to Restrain Evil and Suffering? Part 1 - Blog - Eternal Perspective Ministries

Free Resources to Help You and Yours Process the Tragedy in Newtown, Conn.

There are plenty of resources online, on your television and radio to get you upset.  However, there are also ones to help you process this awful tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut.  I would urge you to take in the news updates in small doses, get a break from it every now and then and let your loved ones know how much you love them in some tangible way without freaking them out ;)  Also, enjoy Christmas, it is what these children would've wanted us to do.

How Can I Help My Child Deal with Disaster and Trauma by Focus on the Family

Parenting in the Midst of Tragedyis a free 11 page pdf by Glenn Lutjens and brought to our attention by Focus on the Family

Grief:  Finding Hope Again is a 25 page booklet that you can view online.  It is also available from the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation

God's care is our Comfort in Fear and Tragedy, a sermon on Exodus 16 by Alasdair Groves
New Life Live: December 17, 2012:
topic is the trauma and grief process in the aftermath of th…

Building Up the Men in Our Lives: A Guest Post by Sheri Rose Shepherd

Note:  Sheri Rose Shepherd writes for women in this series.  Obviously, the men who read this blog are indirectly addressed in this post.  As always, I provide this disclaimer that Mrs. Shepherd appears to be very sound from what I have seen.  I am sure that all of us will find points of disagreement with her but by and large what she has to write is worth our time and effort to read and learn from.  
Christmas is approaching and I have a copy of her book, Your Heart's Desire. It is a softcover retailing at $15.99. I wouldn't mind sending this to someone for free. Leave me a comment below and I will select someone to send it to.  Here is the Google Preview of the Your Heart's Desire.  
Building Up the Men in Our Lives by Sheri Rose Shepherd
When our husbands let us down, it's hard not to voice our anger and disappointment. We don't do it to hurt or embarrass our husbands. We are women, and we're wired to share our hearts with another person. We definitely need …

Free iPhone or iPad Ap -- Charles Spurgeon Daily Devotional

For my friends with an iPhone or iPad. Have fun and Merry Christmas early!

Faith's Checkbook a daily devotional by Charles Spurgeon with Bible verses taken from the NIV, ESV, NLT, and NET Bible.


Finding Grace in the Depths of Disappointment

While driving and doing errands today, I came upon a great Family Life Today program that I believe you simply must hear or read.  It is heart-breaking, faith-filled and encouraging all at the same time.  
Finding Grace in the Depths of Disappointment with Rob and Rhonda Bugh from the series When the Bottom Drops Out (link provided below to get the book)

Family Life Today's introduction:  Rhonda was a beloved wife, a great mom and a successful pediatrician. Her husband was a Godly man, a respected surgeon and the love of her life. Together, it looked like happily ever after, until the day her husband came home with stunning news: “I have terminal cancer”. Join us for Rhonda’s powerful journey through the valley of the shadow of death, and beyond.
Get the links here to either listen to the broadcast, download it for ITunes or download a transcript for free: Finding Grace in the Depths of Disappointment 

What is Hanukkah?

Are you not sure what Hanukkah is all about? Check out this link for a quick summary.

The Light Shines Brighter Still by Elwood McQuaid

For those curious about the legend of the oil, the story goes something like this: "By 165 BCE the Jewish revolt against the Seleucid monarchy was successful. The Temple was liberated and rededicated. The festival of Hanukkah was instituted to celebrate this event. Judah ordered the Temple to be cleansed, a new altar to be built in place of the polluted one and new holy vessels to be made. According to the Talmud, olive oil was needed for the menorah in the Temple, which was required to burn throughout the night every night. The story goes that there was only enough oil to burn for one day, yet it burned for eight days, the time needed to prepare a fresh supply of oil for the menorah. An eight-day festival was declared by the Jewish sages to commemorate this miracle." (from

I rejoice with my Jewish fri…

Pride in One's Race: Is That Why Christ Came?

CNN has a collection of stories of people who are black.  It is part of what America has become, divided along class lines and racial lines.  This isn't good yet it is promoted and encouraged by media and various groups, including some denominations and sectors of denominations.  Read the CNN piece here: Black in America

As Christians, we are to follow Christ and not the world.  Note what His Word has to say about these things.

Acts 17:26a " And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth"

America is divided into tribal groups; black, white, Asian, Hispanic, etc. Do we really want to become like the former Yugoslavia (Bosnia, Serbia, Kosovo), the Tutsi and the Hutu of Rwanda, and the Shiites and Sunnis of Iraq? God made us all of one blood. There is one race of people; the human race. There is no white Jesus or black Jesus but the divine Jesus who took on human flesh (that one blood flesh) in order to die for our sins and ri…

Yes Here, Yes Now and Yes It Is Good News!

The frenzy of Christmas preparations is upon us. Shopping, planning for the holy-day feast, seeking to keep disparate members of the family happy by going here today and then there tomorrow can be a logistical nightmare. Yet, in the midst of all the craziness we are drawn to a manger scene from two thousand years ago.

Imagine a world where the superpower is Rome; where might makes right. Taxes, the enemy of today, was the enemy back then. A census was taken and people were on the move to their ancestral homesteads across the Promised Land. One couple among hundreds, if not thousands perhaps, arrives in Bethlehem. Door after door announces the news, “Sorry, there is no room.” Finally, one innkeeper takes mercy on the young woman about to give birth. “There is a stable, it’s not much, but there you can find shelter and warmth,” the man apologetically offered. It would have to do, Joseph thought, what else could he do? Mary was weary from the journey and who knows when this chil…

In 'new Egypt', mobs sexually assault women with impunity

Egypt needs some serious prayer. Imagine a society where people can sexually assault and grope women with no fear of punishment. This is Egypt.

In 'new Egypt', mobs sexually assault women with impunity

Lara Logan's honesty reminds us that the pain and suffering can continue long after the assault has ended

Lara Logan says Egypt assault left her with PTSD

Clouds in Egypt's Sky:  Sexual Harassment from Verbal Harassment to Rape
This survey revealed that sexual harassment in Egypt occurred to 98% percent of foreign women and 83% percent of Egyptian women.

Mars Hill and Rob Bell After "Love Wins"

Rob Bell's controversial book and the storm that arose after it's release led to big changes in Rob and Kristen Bell's life and the life of their church. Here is the story of what happened and where Rob Bell is today and what he is now doing.

Rob Bell Tells How 'Love Wins' Led to Mars Hill Departure

Here is a link that gives you a bit more information on Rob Bell's replacement.  Evidently, the church will still struggle with Christian doctrine.  

Mars Hill Bible Church Picks Kent Dobson as Rob Bell's Replacement
Some may wonder, what happened?  How did Rob Bell get the position that he did?  If he were mentored by Ed Dobson, isn't that good?  Perhaps this will give you some insight.  
Rob Bell:  The Sobering Look, When Elder's (sic) Rethink Their Decisions
For those reading this blog only recently, I have read "Love Wins" and do not recommend it.  My thoughts chapter-by-chapter appear on this blog.  In fact, Rob Bell's book has the distinct…

» Book Review: ‘2012 and the End of the World: The Western Roots of the Maya Apocalypse’ Theological Matters

Dr. Paige Patterson blogs a review of a book examining the hysteria over the Mayan calendar and the supposed end of the world.  If you have been wondering about this or worried about this, it is a quick read on his thoughts.

» Book Review: ‘2012 and the End of the World: The Western Roots of the Maya Apocalypse’ Theological Matters:

'via Blog this'

He recommends the book for further study.  For those interested, here is the link.

A Great Little Book That Every Patriot Should Read

American Patriots by Rick Santorum

Rick Santorum nearly became our president in 2012. Being the last man standing to oppose the frontrunner, Mitt Romney, he eventually conceded the race to him. Previously, Rick Santorum served the great state or, more correctly, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as the junior U.S. Senator for twelve years.

The book is a great one filled with stories of patriots of the American Revolution. Some are well known, others not so well known. Each story is as unique as the person being profiled. Men and women hazarded their lives to break off the yoke of oppression and live in a free land.

As a Christian minister, I especially appreciated how he began each chapter with a verse of Scripture. Many of those profiled were Christian in faith and included laypeople as well as ministers of the Gospel. However, he also profiled at least one Jewish man who helped immensely to finance the revolution and the newborn nation.

I think that you will enjoy this book as …

Luck Isn't a Lady; She's a Slave-master and Her Target is You

Are you feeling like you wish you could win the lottery? Check out the stories of some of these “winners.” It may give you pause and reason to give thanks.

Lottery Winners Share Hard Lessons

$500 Million Powerball Jackpot: The Tragic Stories of the Lottery’s Unluckiest Winners
Need a little proof that money doesn't buy happiness? For these 10 lottery winners, cashing in turned out to have been the worst decision of their lives.

Also, remember that there are a lot of losers to produce just one to a handful of winners. From where do you think all those millions come? You are much more likely to be a loser every time you play for the rest of your life than you are to have some of the following happen to you: 
11 Things More Likely to Happen to You Than Winning  the Powerball Jackpot

Lotteries are clever in building up people’s hopes. They keep that hope alive with a little “winning” here and there. Just how much did you spend in lottery tickets before and after you won that $40.00…

Two Kindle Books for $1.99 Each - For Those of You With Children

This deal at Amazon came to my attention this morning from someone else'e site.  So, I pass it on to you.

Cybersex Temptation | Today's Christian Woman

According to the article, Dr. Mark Laaser "lived a secret life that included pornography, affairs, and encounters with prostitutes. Today, 12 years into recovery and a healed marriage, Laaser heads the Christian Alliance for Sexual Recovery, lecturing and conducting workshops around the world. He has worked with hundreds of addicts and their families and has consulted with many church congregations and pastors after their clerics' sexual sins were exposed."

The piece is in a question and answer format and ends with the following helpful assessments:

Signs you are at risk for sex addiction

Warning signs your spouse may have a secret cybersex problem

What to do if you suspect you are a sex addict.

Here is the article link: Cybersex Temptation | Today's Christian Woman
Laaser's Christian Alliance for Sexual Recovery (888-HELPHOPE).

His books that you may find helpful:

When Friendships Go too Far | Today's Christian Woman

When Friendships Go too Far | Today's Christian Woman

Although I am uncomfortable with how far she goes in the God Will Be Your Husband section, Heather Riggleman has some valuable things to say about how she began to get into trouble with a man not her husband and how to seek to avoid it and/or come back from it, including building up a good marital relationship

Beauty for Ashes: First World Problems

Beauty for Ashes: First World Problems

My friend Shay posted this and I think it illustrates how much we in the USA have for which to be grateful.

America's Hope: A Rallying Cry for Christians

America's hope will not come by force of arms but by fervency of prayer

Not by the election of mere men, women and political parties

But by the sovereign providence of God and spiritual power

It is not a takeover of Washington and state capitols that is needed

But the salvation of men's and women's hearts that is desired

This battle is not one of flesh and blood and ballots and polls

But one of Spirit and grace and mercy and holiness

America doesn't need a political transition from one party to the next

She needs a spiritual transformation from sinners to saints

So let's not start a new political party or transfer from one to another

Instead, let us bow the knee in prayer and turn our hearts to God

Let's not talk secession and a new civil war between Red and Blue

But let's work toward reconciliation with the Prince of Peace

And redouble our allegiance to Him

King Jesus we seek!  Not by political campaigns or slogans

But one heart, one soul, one person at a…

Free Advent Book! Enjoy

Click here: Good News of Great Joy
A special thank you goes to our friends at Desiring God Ministries

Giving Thanks When Times Are Tough

Economically, relationally and physically these are tough days for many people.  To many, it would seem a bad year to celebrate Thanksgiving.  Perhaps some would have liked to have forgotten it and held out hope for better next year.  Yet, we are to give thanks in everything and at all times. 
So what is thanksgiving?  It's A Time to Reflect

It's A Time to Reject

and It's A Time to Renew
It's a Time to Reflect
It's a time to reflect on the people, pastand present who have enriched our lives (Phil. 1:3; 1 Th. 3:9-10).  Each of us could easily think of individuals who have blessed us.  Some have gone on to their eternal destinies while others are still with us.  In either case, it is not a time to be sad or depressed for who is missing but to be grateful for the time that we had with them and the blessing they brought us (or for those who are still with us -- that they still bring us today).  
It's a time to reflect on thepossessionsthat we have.  We shouldn't dwe…

Following the Early Church Model This Christmas

Helping others in need goes back to the beginning of the Church. In this passage, the believers in one location helped their less fortunate brethren in another in a very big way.

And in these days prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch. Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout all the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar. Then the disciples, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea. This they also did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul. Acts 11:27-30 (NKJV)

When is the last time that you had more than enough and you felt God's leading to do something big for a brother or sister who had little? Perhaps God is moving you to do something for someone this Christmas. Listen to God's prompting and be blessed by blessing another. If you have ever supplied for someone else's lack, you know what that mea…

Free E-booklet for Married and Soon to be Married Ladies

Free e-booklet (21 pages) to help wives understand their men in the arena of that three letter word.

It begins with S has an X at the end and a vowel in the middle ;)
Sometimes ladies aren't in the mood, argues Aileen Challies, but there is a way to postpone and there is a way to reject.  The right wording and attitude can make all the difference.  She dives into the heart and mind of a man and argues that it is not about release but about connection, giving and receiving love.  When a man's advances are rejected, he feels personally rejected.

Here are a couple of quotes:

The fact is that your husband wants both the physical release and the relational intimacy he finds in your arms. He wants you, body, soul and spirit and he wants to give you his body, soul and spirit. He needs you to be willing to both give and receive. The physical desire he feels is a kind of trigger to remind him to seek this connection with you. It is a reminder and motivator to him that he needs to pur…

A Comparison and Contrast of Santa, God and People's Views of Both

I saw this on a fellow blogger's site,, and thought I would share it with you.  Enjoy and remember the reason for the season. Hopefully, you have a much deeper and more meaningful view of God.  To Him be the glory.  

Anti-Santy Ranty from on Vimeo.

Thomas Nelson Survey and Free E-Books Thank You

A survey is being conducted by Thomas Nelson Bibles on Bible reading and translations.  They would like to have some people take a few minutes (10-15 minutes maximum) to fill out an online survey.

As a thank you, three FREE e-book downloads will be given to you via your email in pdf format.  If you get the same ones I did, they include the following: 

1) All You Want to Know But Didn't Think You Could Ask

(a book on cults, world religions and even pop-culture religions and beliefs like Jediism and Vampirism)

2) The Expanded Bible, New Testament

3) Nelson's Complete Book                              of Bible Maps and Charts

(as I remember, a group of you got the Gospels section of this resource free from an earlier offer.  This is the entire resource)

Obviously, the reason for the survey is to assist Thomas Nelson in understanding Bible readers' desires/preferences as to the reading and/or studying of the Bible.

Please click the link below to go directly to the survey.  A friend …

The Story: The Bible As One Continuous Story in NIV for $5!

Great deal especially when combined with your free shipping.  Get this in hardcover for $5!  

Add other great deals at 50% off or greater from Christian Book Distributor's Markdowns

Get free shipping code from:  Free Shipping for Early Christmas Shoppers with Christian Book Distributors (note:  you will need to spend at least $35 and use the code by Dec. 6)

How the King's Sin Brought Judgment on Him and the Nation

Jehoram, who even recognizes the name of this king of Judah? He was the son of Jehoshaphat, a much better known king of Judah. Jehoshaphat was a good ruler. In fact, this is what is recorded of his reign:

Now the Lord was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the former ways of his father David; he did not seek the Baals, but sought the God of his father, and walked in His commandments and not according to the acts of Israel. Therefore the Lord established the kingdom in his hand; and all Judah gave presents to Jehoshaphat, and he had riches and honor in abundance. And his heart took delight in the ways of the Lord; moreover he removed the high places and wooden images from Judah. 2 Chronicles 17:3-6 (NKJV)
Not so, his son. Note what is said of him:

Now when Jehoram was established over the kingdom of his father, he strengthened himself and killed all his brothers with the sword, and also others of the princes of Israel.  Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king, an…