Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Time Off for Spoiling Grandchildren

Time Off for Spoiling Grandchildren
November 21-26, 2012

Keep walking in the faith, dear ones.
In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God.

Life should be back to normal by Nov. 27, so check back with me. Be sure to read Jude. we will pick up in verse 3.

I wish you and your family a blessed Thanksgiving. I am spending it with our daughter and her family in Rhode Island. Thank you for allowing me this time off. Laundry between the two trips has not allowed me time to read and write.

See you then.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012


651.  "Serving"            November 20, 2012
Introduction to Jude
Jude, a bond-servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to those who are the called, beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ: May mercy and peace and love be multiplied to you.  Jude 1-2, NAS


Our mission team of 8 people stayed in two homes while we were in the D.R. One was a widow of a retired pastor and the other was a couple who had served in the same capacity. Since we were in and out of each home for 3 days visiting in 7 communities of 6 churches, there were servant ladies who came to cook our meals. How graciously they kept our glasses filled and bowls of food supplied. There was always a table full of a variety of food native to their land. I could tell that their service was from a heart of love. As I read what Jude wrote, I have the feeling that he had the same love for his readers of this small letter. Shall we begin our study?

Who was Jude? He explains in the first verse:
  • the author of this letter;
  • a servant of Jesus Christ;
  • a brother of James, who wrote the Book bearing his name;
  • probably the half brother of Jesus and the son of Mary and Joseph (Matt. 13:55, Mark 6:3);
Jude regards himself as having only one distinction in life-to be forever at the disposal of Jesus, his Master. (Swindoll)

Servant, in this verse, means "one who gives himself up wholly to another's will;" those whose service is used by Christ in extending and advancing his cause among men: of other preachers and teachers of the gospel. (Thayer's Lexicon)

Jude preferred not to mention the family relationship to Jesus directly; perhaps the mention of James, who was a leading figure in the church in Jerusalem, was enough to give weight to his identity. His boast, like Peter and Paul, was that he was a "slave" of Jesus Christ.  (Falwell)

To whom was Jude writing? Perhaps they are in the Palestine area, since they know James. However, it is unknown who the audience with whom Jude was corresponding. So I am thinking, what does Jude have to say to me? to you? to our churches? What does God have to say to us through Jude?


The MacArthur Bible Commentary says this:

Jude lived at a time when Christianity was under severe political attack from Rome and aggressive spiritual infiltration from gnostic-like apostates and libertines who sowed abundant seed for a gigantic harvest of doctrinal error. Except for John, who lived at the close of the century, all of the other apostles had been martyred and Christianity was thought to be extremely vulnerable. Thus, Jude called the church to fight for the truth in the midst of intense spiritual warfare.
The date must then lie somewhere between about A.D. 65 and 80, perhaps A.D. 67-68. Whether before or after 2 Peter, Jude is at least in the same general period. The place of writing is not indicated but quite likely is Jerusalem.  (Liberty Bible Commentary)

Here is what we know about the readers found in King James Version:
  • They are sanctified by God the Father.
  • They are preserved in Jesus Christ.
  • They are called.
The New American Standard Bible says they are the called, beloved, and kept.
The call of God is a call to be loved and kept securely in the love of Jesus Christ (see Rom. 8:30-39).

New Living Translation says: I am writing to all who have been called by God the Father, who loves you and keeps you safe in the care of Jesus Christ.


Verse 2 says, Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied.

Where law and works prevail, there is failure and death. Where grace prevails, there is mercy
 (Eph. 2:4, Heb. 4:16), peace (Rom. 5:1), and love (Rom. 5:5) in abundance. (MacArthur)

This is what I want for you and me today-mercy, peace, and love multiplied from God.


Thank the Lord Jesus that He keeps me safe in His care.

Share the mercy, peace, and love of God with others today.

Be a servant of Jesus Christ today.


Monday, November 19, 2012

Giving Thanks Early

650.  "Giving Thanks Early" 
November 19, 2012

With Thanksgiving coming Thursday, I ponder on what I am thankful for:

*a loving husband who has stayed faithful to me and with me for almost 40 years. Nov. 25 we
  will celebrate that anniversary! He is also faithful in serving God.

*a sweet daughter, who has given me 4 grandchildren and is carrying the 5th. She is teaching
  them the ways of God.

*a wonderful son, who is always looking out for me; allows me to spend time with his
  daughter; loves God.

* the greatest son inlaw who loves God, his family, and others.

*the most wonderful daughter inlaw who is growing in faith in Jesus, loves her family, and
  puts up with me.

*my extended families and their support.

*friends who share the love of Jesus around the world and here at home.

*our church family which loves God, His Word, and others.

*Most of all, I am thankful for my Savior, Jesus Christ, who created me 58 years ago, saved me 42
  years ago, and has never left me; for His love, forgiveness, mercy, and grace that are everlasting.

* for a free country in which I can read the Bible, worship my God, and serve Him.

* for you, who reads what I write.

I hope we don't wait until Thanksgiving Day to give thanks, but we do it everyday of our lives.
Psalm 100 is a favorite of mine. What is yours?

Well, friends, as you read this, I am leaving tomorrow to spoil my grandchildren, which I haven't seen in 1 1/2 years. So if I don't post the rest of the week, you will understand why, I am sure.(I am studying Jude, our next Book in the Bible.)
Read about our mission trip on the previous post. Tomorrow we begin Jude, so will you join me?

May Jesus bless you and your family.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Mission Trip

649.  "Mission Trip"   November 17, 2012
Then the disciples went back to their homes. John 20:10

If you read the rest of the chapter, you will see that Mary stayed at Jesus' tomb, alone, and got to see the Savior and talk to Him. The disciples didn't at that time. They left and went home.
I don't want to be too quick to go home and miss out on experiencing Jesus. Do you?

I sure missed you friends. Each morning I wanted to dig into the word and type a lesson, but God had other things for me to do.

Wow! What a week of experiences! God's arm of mercy, grace, and love is not too short that it does not reach around the world. I thought I'd give a summation of last week. Sorry I did not post any, but there was no internet service until the last few days.

Our mission team preached, taught, and shared the Gospel in 6 churches and 7 communities in the northwest part of the Dominican Republic. There were 22 known saved as a result. I met so many beautiful brothers and sisters in Christ.

On Sunday morning, I taught a children's Sunday school class of 53 about Zacheus. (I love short people, since I am one.) Just as Jesus bid Zac to come to Him, 16 children came to Jesus and found Him as Savior. Glory to God!

We traveled around 500 miles to various towns. God has opened the door for us to return in June to do a VBS, ESL classes, and other activites in a new town for us. We are excited about the prospects of that.

Then on Tuesday and Wednesday we went into a high school where 3 of us shared our testimonies. We had freedom to share the Gospel, but do not know how many prayed to receive Jesus. That is in His hands. Thank you for all the prayers for me. It was the first time I had shared particular things of my childhood, which was very difficult. God gave me strength.

We saw first hand the effects  Hurricane Sandy had upon this island, only 2 weeks earlier. Tall waves washed away some of the dirt supporting a bridge, making it unsafe to travel over in a van, so we walked across it. Floods like never before were experienced in the northern area. They don't know what to do. In spite of such difficulty, Christians continue to praise and worship our God and Savior. It was such humbling  circumstances for me.

We made so many new friends and felt the love of Jesus there.
Please continue to pray for the Christians, churches, and pastors. Truly the harvest is white, but the laborers are few.

I was always amazed at the palm, banana, and coconut trees and gorgeous flowers everywhere. They were  down the middle of the streets and in yards. I am very grateful for hot water and electricity in my home upon returning. Sometimes we had electricity, but hot water was not in the homes where we stayed, only cold.

Last, we went to the bridge where the Haitians crossed over into the country to go to market, if they had money to buy or products to sell. What a sight! Such poverty and suffering! Oh my, but we Americans are so blessed!!! I shall never forget the sight.

No sacrifice is too great when one is serving Jesus. I learned to follow Him and He provides what is needed.

Well, I must go do laundry and take a hot shower. If you listen, you might hear me singing praises to Jesus for His blessings and gifts to me.

I wonder where this country road of faith will lead me next. Only God knows. I am just following Jesus by faith where He leads.
We will get started in Jude on Monday, so be sure to join me. I'll share a cup of tea with you, because I sure missed it last week.
 (Can you believe there are only 2 books left in the New Testament for us to study together?)

In His Love,

Monday, November 12, 2012

Summary and Postcards

648.  "Summary and Postcards"
November 12, 2012
Summary of 3 John-Part 6   


Here we are at the end of John's writings of the three short letters, postcards, full of love, faith, hospitality, and warnings. I couldn't leave until next week, but I had to wrap it up. John spoke of three characters in this third letter: 
  1. Gaius was faithful and hospitable.
  2. Diotrephes was rebuked for being prideful, disruptive, inhospitable, and coercive. 
  3. Demetrius was praised for his good testimony. 
I wonder which one I am most like. How about you?


Maybe I can send you a postcard from the Dominican Republic. If we have internet service where we are going, I can post updates.  There is a team of eight that are going to preach, teach, and witness for our Lord Jesus, sharing the gospel in remote areas of the D.R.
I covet your prayers.  Especially, on Tuesday and Wednesday, the team will be giving testimonies in a high school.

Thank you so much for your faithfulness, friends. We return on the 16th, so check back off and on this week. Have a wonderful week!

Sharing the love, mercy, and grace of Jesus throughout the world.


Friday, November 9, 2012


647.  "Testimony"  November 9, 2012
3 John-Part 5    (verses 12-14)
Demetrius hat good report of all men, and of the truth itself: yea, and we also bear record, and ye know that our record is true. 3 John 1:12 


Yesterday, I went to the local library to turn in some books I had checked out. To my surprise, one of our church members was volunteering at the desk. I visited a few minutes with her and the other lady I had known for years. While I was walking down the isle toward the back door, I could hear the two
ladies talking. I supposed they were talking about me, since one said I was her pastor's wife. I wish I could have been a little library mouse that day and heard their discussion. I wonder what kind of testimony I had.
John is talking about the testimony of a man named Demetrius. This is the only place in the Bible that he is mentioned. He probably delivered this short letter to Gaius.

What do we know about Demetrius' testimony?
  1. He received a good testimony universally from everyone, a good report. Good report, martyreo in Greek, is the same word that is used for preaching, or testifying to the truth of the gospel.
  2. He received a good testimony from the truth itself. His life lined up with its teaching and practice.
  3. He received a good testimony from the apostle and his close circle of friends-and we also bear witness. John gives his word, report, concerning the genuine Christian character of Demetrius.
[Resource: New Testament Postcards, a Bible Study Guide by Charles Swindoll, Liberty Bible Commentary]

Do people know that I am a Christian by my speech and actions? Is my life lined up with the Word of God? Am I practicing what I teach? Do others see my faith and feel my love?

By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (John 13:35)

* I am flying to the Dominican Republic today, along with 7 others on a mission trip. Please pray for us as we witness, preach, and teach the gospel of Jesus Christ in remote areas. Sunday, I will be teaching about Zacheus to a children's Sunday School class at a church. Monday's post gives more details of the plans. Keep checking back with me. If possible, I will update on the Lord's workings.


In the final two verses, what do I hear?
  • John is eager to visit these believers to whom he is writing.
  • He wishes them peace.
  • He sent greetings from other friends.
I am sad to come to the close of John's writings of these three small letters. However, there is one more book which he did write, left for us to study-Revelation. We are studying it on Wednesday nights in my church. so stay tuned, friends.


In her devotional book Jesus Calling, Sarah Young writes as if Jesus were speaking:
Worship Me in the beauty of holiness. All true beauty reflects some of who I AM. I am working My ways in you: the divine Artist creating loveliness with your being. My main work is to clear out debris and clutter, making room for My Spirit to take full possession. Collaborate with Me in this effort by being willing to let go of anything I choose to take away. I know what you need, and I have promised to provide all of that-abundantly!
I am training you to depend on Me alone. Learn to release and receive.
I will close with Sarah's use of scriptures. Am I willing to let go of anything?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Follow the Leader

646.  "Follow the Leader"
November 8, 2012
3 John-Part 4    (Verses 11)
Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. he that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.  3 John 11


As a child, I used to play Follow the Leader with my friends. We would walk behind the leader and imitate what she did. We copied her mannerisms as well as where she went.If she waved her hands like a flying bird, we all did the same. After a while, another girl would be the leader and we mimiced her.
John gives similiar instructions. I am to follow that which is good.
Follow means to imitate, according to Thayer's Lexicon. Imitate means to copy in manner or action; mimic, according to Webster's Dictionary.

So far, in this letter, John has spoken about a good example, Gaius, and a bad example, Diotrephes. What a contrast-Gaius was faithful and hospitable while Diotrephes was prideful and inhospitable. Gaius was a joy maker for others, but Diotrephes was a trouble maker. Gaius had a servant's heart, however, Diotrephes wanted to be served.

Am I imitating that which is good? Although Jesus was the only one who was good, we can still do as others do when they are a follower of God.
What can I do?
  • Give a blessing.
  • Do acts of kindness and beneficence.
  • Be merciful and gracious.
  • Show love in Jesus' name.
  • Minister to the saints.
  • Encourage others to be faithful to Jesus.
  • Confess my sins. 

To contrast, what should I not do?
  • Put me first instead of others.
  • Have a hard heart.
  • Be prideful.
  • Show inhospitality to the saints.
  • Maintain evil thoughts.
  • Don't give mercy and grace.
  • Live in sin.
Sounds like some do's and don'ts, doesn't it? Which character do I want to follow?


Leave the me mentality, and serve others.

Show grace and mercy.

Stay in the Truth.

Practice goodness.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Rotten Tators

645.  "Rotten Tators"
November 7, 2012
3 John-Part 3         (verses 9-
I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.  3 John 9


Have you ever gone to the cabinet and pulled out a rotten tator (potato)from the bag of potatoes? I have. It is mushy, yucky, stinky, and turned bad. Sometimes it had worms crawling on it, too. I noticed there usually wasn't just one rotten tator, but several were in the bag. Often, few could be kept, thus the whole bag had to be thrown away, usually. Does this happen in churches, I wonder. Can one rebellious person bring down others into their bag of sin?

Today's study seems to focus on a rotten tator, so to speak, known as Diotrephes. John is warning this church about him. In verse 9, John starts out saying that he had written to this church previously.

Exactly what was written, we have no way of knowing, since the letter must have been destroyed by Diotrephes or otherwise lost. Diotrephes measures up as a false teacher, an impostor, (John must have been some kind of supervisor of the churches and local bishops.) (Liberty Bible Commentary)

John publicly and in the eternal Word of God, rebukes a man named Diotrephes by name. the apostle of love isn't acting outside of love. He's following the clear command of the scriptures (Rom. 16:17) and the example of other apostles (2Tim. 4:14-15). Any such public rebuke must be made only when necessary, and we must be careful to not judge a brother against any standard that we ourselves would not be judged. (Matt. 7:1-2)  (Guzik)

Do I stay alert as to a bad influence around me? am I turning to Jesus for discernment?


What was Diotrephes' problem?
  • Pride was the main sin in this man. He loved to be first, which is what preeminence means(KJV uses). He wouldn't receive the words of the apostles and John. Pride was Satan's problem when he got kicked out of heaven (Is. 14:14). He wanted to be like God. This is the opposite nature of Jesus, who came in the form of a servant. (Boice)
  • Gossiping, scoffing, mocking, criticising, were things this man did. Prating (KJV uses) means to talk nonsense. Diotrephes showed what kind of man he really was.
  • Discontentment is another characteristic of this man. He refused to receive, welcome, and care for the missionaries himself, and prevented other of doing so. He wasn't happy in what he was doing.
  • He kicked out those that would not support his ways from the church.
What a bad example! What a rotten leader! Am I taking notes on this so I won't be like him?


Watch out for pride. Throw it out when it comes to the door of my heart.

Stay in the Word of God and surrendered to the Holy Spirit.

Be alert to deceivers.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


644.  "Missionaries"                   November 6, 2012
3 John-Part 2
Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers, even though they are strangers to you. 3 John 5


Since I am missions director at my church, I have many ways that I support our denominational missionaries. I pray, give money, lead others to give, educate others about their work and needs, and volunteer as a missionary sharing Jesus at home and abroad. Several missionaries have come to my church sharing about their work for Jesus.

Gaius, the one to whom John wrote this letter, was an indirect missionary. Verse 5 says he was faithful in what he was doing. I am reminded of Colossians 3:23, and whatsoever ye do, do it heartily as to the Lord, and not unto men.
In Matthew 25:40b, Jesus said, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Our works do not go unnoticed by God.

[Be sure to vote today, friends.]


Gaius was a good example to other believers by:
  • faithfully showing hospitality to brethren and strangers (verse 5); missionaries were sent out without support nor places to stay and he provided for them;
  • loving, a proof of genuine Christianity (verse 6);
  • supporting God's representatives on their journey (verse 6);
  • supplying food, supplies, and money for the missionaries, being a fellow-helper (verse 8).
I will be leaving Friday, November 9 with a missions team to the Dominican Republic and will return on the 16. We covet your prayers. We will be teaching and preaching in territory which is not served by a missionary in my denomination. A door has opened for us to give testimonies in a high school. We are praying for all these people to receive the truth of Jesus Christ.


Be a missionary wherever I am, sharing the gospel of Jesus.

Support missionaries who give of themselves.

Monday, November 5, 2012


643.  "Encouragment"           November 5, 2012
3 John-Part 1
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.  3 John 2


Encouragment-who doesn't need a little now and then?
This week I went to the wrong nail place to get my eyebrows trimmed. They wouldn't honor my gift certificate, so I had to pay for it. My car got backed into at a local store. (only scratches) My suitcase is busted and now we have an unexpected expense to purchase one. Pigeons are pooping on my porch. This morning I was eating my homemade biscuit with blackberry jelly (last jar), which stuck to the napkin, causing the purple jellied biscuit to fall down the front of my gray sweats, as I was taking the jar to the frig. An email I sent didn't get there, so I have to retype my lesson for my mission trip. It took 2 hours to write. (No Word on laptop since it costs over $100.) And then there is my right ey, which keeps making tears due to allergies.Well, it is a bright, sunny day today.

Yes, I could use a cup of encouragment about now. How about you? (I should be thankful that I have a dry, warm, watered and well lit house, which some northeasterners don't have.)
John seems to have some encouragment for us. Ready?

3 John is written to a guy named Gaius, a leader of the church to whom John wrote his second letter. We don't know any background on this guy, but John says Gaius:
  • is a dear friend (well-beloved); (verse 1)
  • is  one whom John loves in truth; (verse 1)
  • may prosper, get along well; (verse 2)
  • may be in health, in as good health physically as he is spiritually; (verse 2)
  • had a good witness by brethren of being in the truth; (verse 3)
  • walks in the truth, lives according to the apostles' message; (verse 3)
  • gives John joy. (verse 4)
Am I a dear friend? What do others say about me? Am I walking in the truth, applying God's Word in my life? Give others joy?


How is Gaius a good example for us to follow?
  • walking in truth
  • exhibits hospitality to God's children (Heb. 13:1-2)
  • was a good friend of John's who prays for him in verses 1-4.

Stay in the Truth.

Love others.

Show hospitality to believers.

Encourage others.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Post Cards

642.  "Post Cards"               November 2, 2012
2 John Summary
And this is love, that we walk after his commandments.  2 John 6a


Post cards are fun to get, don't you think? Usually, I receive one whenever our kids are on vacation and they let us know they are fine and having fun. A picture of where they are is usually on the front. A postcard is brief and to the point of what a person wants to say. John is sending a postcard to a church as he wrote 2 John. He was brief and to the point. Shall we reveiw what he said to them?

  • John was walking in truth and love. (verse 3
  • He was sending grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Jesus the Son. (verse 3)
  • The church was walking in truth (verse 4)
  • John reminds them to love one another. (verse 5)
  • He bids them to walk in God's commandments. (verse 6)
  • He warns the church about deceivers in the world who don't confess Jesus. (verse 7)
  • John tells these believers to abide in the doctrine of Christ. (verse 9)
  • Don't allow deceivers, false teachers, into their house, nor bid them God speed. (verse 10)
  • John had other things to say to them, but would do so when they were face to face. (verse 12)
  • He wants their joy to be made full. (verse 12)
  • He sent greetings from other believers in a sister church. (verse 13)
Is God telling me to walk in truth and love balancing them?
Do I know enough truth to recognize error when I hear it?
Do I stand against error?


In his study guide, New Testament Post Cards, Charles Swindoll says:
The following fundamentals form a good checklist with which to examine the teachers that knowk on your door or come into your home through the television or radio:

-Inerrancy of Scripture (2Tim.3:16, 2Peter 1:21)

-Virgin birth and deity of Christ (Isa. 7:14,Matt. 1:18-25, John 1:1,14, 8:53-58)

-Sinless nature and life of Christ (Heb. 4:15)

-Substitutionary death of the Savior (Rom. 5:6-8, 2 Cor. 5:21)

-Effectiveness of Christ's blood to cleanse sin (Acts 20:28, Heb. 9:22, 1John 1:7)

-Bodily resurrection of Christ from the grave (1Cor.15:1-11)

-Ascension of Christ and His present ministry to the believer (Eph. 4:7-10, 1Thess. 4:13-18)

-Literal, future return of Christ to the earth (John 14:1-3, 1Thess. 4:13-18)
I think I will copy this list and carry it in my Bible. Jesus is our faoundation for our beliefs, the corner stone. (Eph. 2:20)

Here are some questions Swindoll challenges us to ask ourselves:

How would you rate your consistency in telling the truth?
How about your ability to  demonstrate love?
How about your use of discernment and discretion?


Don't misplace hospitality.

Keep a balance of truth and love; walk in in truth and love.

Maintain discernment and discretion; watch out for wolves.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Face to Face

641.  "Face to Face"               November 1, 2012
2 John-Part 4   (verses 12-13)
Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full.  2 John 12 KJV


Happy birthday, Jen. She's the most wonderful daughter inlaw I could ever have!
I am so blessed! I get to see my son, his wife, and daughter several times a week.

You know, there's nothing like speaking to a family member or friend in person, close-up, personal, face-to-face. It's been almost 16 months since I have hugged my four grandchildren, daughter, and son inlaw. We have Skyped once,talk on the phone often, but that isn't the same as being there in person. My how the children grown in a year's time. It's 19 days and counting down unto that day comes again. Yipee! We are headin' north this month! My joy will be full, as John put it in our key verse.

I can hear the warmth and love in John's heart as he concludes this second letter. it was a brief one. he wanted to speak with his fellow believers face to face.

God spoke to a man face to face. Do you know who it was? Moses. (Numbers 12:8)

God spoke to Moses "mouth to mouth."
John wanted to speak to this church in the same way, to restore them to spiritual life in Christ. (Falwell)

Face to face is a figure of speech, telling of great and unhindered intimacy. The form of the Lord is what Moses had actually seen with his physical eyes, because he couldn't see the Lord and live. (Guzik)

A heart full of love pours itself out more freely face to face than by a letter. (Jamieson, Fausset, Brown)

Pen and ink were a means of strengthening and comforting others. (Matthew Henry)

How do I speak to a holy God? Does His Spirit speak to me often? Am I listening whenever He does?


That our joy may be full.

The blessing of hospitality is full joy. John uses this same wording in 1 John 1:4. When believers uphold the biblical standards for fellowship, the result is genuine joy among believers because the truths of the Word are maintained.  (MacArthur Bible Commentary)

How is my Christian hospitality? Is it shown with love, unity, truth? Am I filled with joy each Sunday and Wednesday as my church meets for worship and Bible study together? Am I glad to see these brothers and sisters in between those times? Do I share joy with them?


Forgive and let go of hurts so my joy may be full when I see my brothers and sisters in the faith, in my church, other believers.

Show the love of Christ when I speak face to face with others.

I'm praying for our eastern friends since Sandy arrived.

Gaylene, sweet friend, keep us informed of your situation.