Showing posts from December, 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 …