Gods Glory in Our Stories

On December 4th, I started teaching a class entitled "God’s Glory in Our Stories." 

God has done and is doing so many amazing things in the lives of His people. 

We will be looking at testimonies 

  in the Bible (Biblical)

  throughout church history (Biographical)

  in our church family (Personal)

and what these real-life stories show us about our amazing God. 

Along with Biblical and historical teaching, individuals will have the opportunity to consider and share their own stories of God’s faithfulness. 

Each week of class will contain a Biblical, Biographical, and Personal element.

In some ways, this class is an experiment or a lab.  

The Personal part of the class is going to be dependent on the class members' willingness to share life with one another.

A schedule of Biographies has been set up but this has some flexible and can change depending on class discussions.

The Biblical portion of each week will look at passages that include people's life story (Matthew 1 - Jesus, Joshua 23, 24 - Joshua, John 9:1 - 34 - The blind man's testimony, Acts 7 - Stephen, Acts 22, 26 - Paul, Philemon - Onesimus)


This article, 8 Reasons to Read Christian Biographiesincludes some great reasons to read biographies.

It is my prayer that the class will challenge people to glorify God in their lives as they see how God has been glorified in other people's lives.

Below is the video to Big Daddy Weave's song "My Story."  This song is what I pray people attending the class would think about.  

Here are the first two parts of the song 

If I told you my storyYou would hear hope, that wouldn't let goAnd if I told you my storyYou would hear love that never gave up
And if I told you my storyYou would hear life, but it wasn't mineIf I should speak, then let it be of the graceThat is greater than all my sin


Great Reminders from Joshua

As the year winds down, I am thankful for the way the calendar is set up. 

- Be thankful.
- Remember Jesus.
- Wrap up the old year and start a new year.  

These year-end reminders should be an ongoing lifestyle.

Be thankful for who God is and what He has done.  
Trust in Jesus.
As you reflect on the past, live in the now, and anticipate the future, be thankful and trust in Jesus.

This year has had its blessings and its challenges and God is good no matter what.  

Recently in Bible club and Children's church, God has used the book of Joshua to remind me of some BIG truths at the end of 2022 and I am very thankful for this.

The book begins with a repeated reminder to "Be strong and courageous."  

Chapter 1, verse 9 says

Be strong and courageous.  Do not be frightened and do not be dismayed, FOR THE LORD YOUR GOD IS WITH YOU WHEREVER YOU GO.  (emphasis mine)

The people of God are strong and courageous because of who God is.

Then the story of Achan shows the seriousness of sin.  In Joshua 7:20-21, Achan says he has sinned against the LORD.

  • he saw the cloak, gold, and silver (not a sin)
  • he coveted them (clearly a sin)
  • he took/stole them (clearly sin)
  • he hid them in order to deceive God and others (clearly sin)
His personal sin had a wide-reaching impact.  Thirty-six soldiers died at Ai and his family was stoned with him because of his rebellion against God.

Sin is a serious problem for people because it is against God.

At the end of the book, it is a faithful man of God wanting to remind others of God's faithfulness and how they should live because God is faithful.

 He told them that the Lord your God has fought for you (23:3, 10).

He reminds them to be very strong (23:6). 

And then he says,

You know in your hearts and souls, that not one word has failed of all the good things that the LORD your God has promised concerning you.  All have come to pass for you; not one of them has failed.  (23:14)

Chapter 24:1-13 is a rehearsal of what God has done. Followed by a challenge to fear the LORD and serve him in 24:14-28.

Fear the Lord and serve Him.

  God is good.
  Sin is a serious problem.
  Fear God and Serve Him.

Once again, I am so thankful for God's Word and how it challenges me to grow.  



November Prayers

Two November prayers

The first is from Valley of Vision, a collection of Puritan prayers.
There are 17 different things listed in this prayer to praise God for.

The second is a Black Friday Prayer written by Scotty Smith and shared at www.thegospelcoalition.org
I made some modifications to the original content so the prayer could be used leading up to Black Friday, not just on the day it was originally posted.

If we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 1 Tim. 6:8 (ESV 

So do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matt. 6:31-33 (NIV)

Click scripturetype.com for this graphic and a coloring page

You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way. 2 Cor. 9:11 (ESV)

Lord Jesus, they should have called it Black Thursday this year, or Black Week, because before we even had our Thanksgiving coffee, the stores [will be] opening and beckoning shoppers with tantalizing markdowns on all kinds of stuff.  [We will wake up ] with more cyber deals in my email inbox than I can possibly shake 10 credit cards at.

I judge no one, Jesus, for I am as spoiled and covetous as anyone. I praise you that I’ve never had to be concerned about what I’ll eat, drink, or wear; and I’m very happy a lot of people will get some really great deals the next few days.

But on Black Friday, I’m especially grateful for Good Friday, and what you accomplished for us by your life, death, and resurrection. It’s only because of your finished work that we have peace with God—the Father who knows our every need and answers before we ask; the ├╝ber-generous Lord who gives us all things richly to enjoy, and freely to share; the One who satisfies our hunger, slakes our thirst, and clothes us—not only with cotton and wool, but in your righteousness and grace. We are wealthy beyond measure and deserving.

As we begin the season of Advent, grant us grace for seeking your kingdom first, and our fiefdom of self, last. Rather than spending more money and expending more worry on ourselves, where would you have us invest our time and treasures, talent and tears? Jesus, free us to love and serve others with joy during the season of Advent. So very Amen we pray, in your grace-full and glorious name.



Picture Perfect Posts

A Facebook post I wrote tonight and wanted to share here for those who may not have Facebook.

Often times Facebook seems like the place for picture-perfect posts. THIS IS NOT THAT POST.  

It has been a couple of emotionally draining days. On Thursday, it was the 18th anniversary of my dad's death. It was a hard day and part of that was because Friday was Josiah's last football game of his first season playing. I was thinking about how much my dad would have loved to see Josiah play. 

Sunday was a good, but tiring day of teaching - Adult Class lesson on Jonah, a Children's Church lesson on Joshua and Ai, and leading a small group Sunday night. Ministry in the midst of challenging times is hard AND God is good. 

This week's Fighter Verses, 2 Corinthians 4:17-18, is a good reminder at times like this.

[For] this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, ¹⁸as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18



Bible Study for Growth 3

During the first two weeks of the Bible Study for Growth In Me and Others class, we have been developing a UNIQUE theme.
By saying a UNIQUE theme, I am not suggesting I have come up with a unique and new way to study the Bible.
I do mean the Bible is a UNIQUE book (week 1) and because of this fact, it needs to be thought of and studied in a UNIQUE way (week 2).

One quote that helps show the uniqueness of Bible reading and study is 
"No amount of advice on Bible reading techniques can compensate for minds that are not willing to humbly follow God." (Read the Bible for a Change by Ray Lubeck)

It is my prayer that as we continue this class study our minds will be challenged, our hearts will be stirred, and actions and attitudes will be transformed by God for His glory.

Next week will look at Seeing and Understanding God's Word.  The class will cover pages 11-21 in the workbook and chapters 4 and 5 in Reading the Bible for Change.