Acts 16:37, 2 Timothy 2:9

Since St. Patrick’s Day will soon be here, I’m reblogging my St. Patrick post from 3/17/11:

On St. Patrick’s Day, some people think about pots of gold, pointy-shoed leprechauns and/or green beer.  I think about St. Patrick.

Dictionary of Christian Biography says about St. Patrick:

“…the son of a Roman official who was also a deacon (Patrick’s grandfather was a priest), he was captured by pirates and taken to Ireland at the age of sixteen.  He made his way back to Britain and trained for the ministry.  At some point he went as ‘Bishop in Ireland’ (his own phrase), and there spent his life evangelizing…”

All About American Holidays says about St. Patrick,

“…during the forty years that the saint worked ‘with apostolic zeal’ in Ireland, he preached to countless persons in many places, baptized thousands of converts, established churches, schools, and at least one college, and consecrated two others.

In 433, after landing near Wicklow, St. Patrick was almost stoned to death, but nothing could diminish his missionary fervor.  Still he begged the pagans to hear him.  In trying to explain the difficult matter of the ‘Trinity in Unity,’ he realized that the people could not understand so he picked a trefoil or shamrock (this small white clover grows abundantly in Ireland and was employed by the Druids to cure diseases) and used its leaves to illustrate his meaning.

St. Patrick told his hearers that the three leaves of the shamrock represented the three members of the Trinity, that the stem was symbolic of the Godhead, and of the Three-in-One.  And as one source has reported, he asked, ‘Is it not as possible for the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, as for these leaves to grow upon a single stalk?’  Thus the saint explained and convinced his listeners of this truth.”

Wikipedia says:

“Patrick’s position as a foreigner in Ireland was not an easy one. His refusal to accept gifts from kings placed him outside the normal ties of kinship, fosterage and affinity. Legally he was without protection, and he says that he was on one occasion beaten, robbed of all he had, and put in chains, perhaps awaiting execution.[29]”

In the Bible, Paul was a Roman citizen and was beaten and put in chains.  It’s interesting to note the similarities between St. Patrick and Paul.  What a good example of Christian bravery both men are for us!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!



Genesis 1

When I read the first chapter of Genesis recently, I tried to visualize God creating, but my imagination was interrupted as I remembered that my NIV Bible is in English, and the language of the Old Testament was written in Biblical Hebrew.  And since I’m reading the Bible for the third time, I want my reading to be beefed up with details to deepen my relationship with God.  An online search lead me to where I found English to Biblical Hebrew translations.  I found that day=yom, night=layil (lah’-yil), sky=shamayim (shaw-mah’yim), earth/land=erets (eh’-rets), and sea=yam (yawm).  After I write in the Biblical Hebrew translations to my Bible and re-read Genesis 1:1-10, it’ll probably give me chills with the added effect.  Maybe I’ll even read it aloud to my family with ocean wave sounds in the background.  Yeah.

Genesis 2:9, 3:22-24, Revelation 22:12-16

Last Wednesday, I finished reading the Bible.  It was just the second time I’ve read it.  Since Revelation is the last book of the Bible, it was fresh in my mind when I read the news about Billy Graham passing on to Heaven.  There are wonderful details about Heaven in Revelation, but as I read this time, I found the tree of life to be particularly fascinating.  As I read, this time I was reminded that the tree of life is also mentioned in the first book of the Bible, Genesis.

In Genesis 2:9, I read that God created beautiful trees that were “good for food.”  God is perfect, so just know that if He says the food is good, it’s perfectly tasty.  Also, the tree of life was in the middle of the Garden of Eden.  In Genesis 3:22-24, I read that if they (Adam and Eve) would have taken and eaten from the tree of life they would have lived forever.  Because of that, God guarded the tree of life with a flaming sword and cherubim.

In Revelation, Jesus spoke the words,”…right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.”  Putting all of the verses together, it sounds to me like those that are saved get to enter the city gates and take and eat from the tree of life leading to eternal life.  I like to picture Billy Graham and loved ones that have gone to Heaven, walking awestruck through the city gates, picking fruit from the lovely tree of life, eating the delicious fruit and then living happily ever after.

Matthew 5:1, 14:23, 17:1, Luke 24:50-53

Do you like high places?  Jesus did.  In Matthew 5:1, He sat on the side of a mountain and preached.  In Matthew 14:23, He went to the side of a mountain to pray.  In Matthew 17:1, He led some disciples up a great mountain which is where the transfiguration took place.  And in Luke 24:50-53, while Jesus had his hands up blessing them, He ascended to Heaven.  The Living Bible says, “and then began rising into the sky, and went on to heaven.”

Mountains were the highest place on Earth Jesus walked on.  But when He ascended to Heaven, He went higher.  Jesus is so high above us in every way!


1 John 1:9

The other day I was munching on popcorn (our son, Ethan, calls it dropcorn) and a piece of popcorn fell on our begging American Eskimo dog’s back.  I watched to see how he would solve the problem.  After several attempts of trying to reach it,   Ezzo got down on the floor and slightly rolled to the side.  He was rewarded for his problem solving when he heard the popcorn roll onto the floor where he could get his tasty treat.

Let’s say that dropping popcorn represents tripping spiritually.  We don’t need to problem solve.  We just need to go to Jesus in prayer, confessing whatever the sin is and He’ll extend forgiveness.

Revelation 21:4

Recently, a special uncle passed away.  As I read his obituary, I realized one word was used frequently, the word, “was.”  It’s such a small word, but with a big meaning.  It immediately communicates past tense.  His life on Earth is over.  Family, including myself, cried because of the loss.

Thankfully, my uncle was a Christian, so it’s not “game over.”  He is in Heaven now, a place with no more crying or death.  When my son, Ethan, heard the news of his Christian uncle dying, he was happy for him.  He said, “It’s like you fall asleep and wake up in an amazing dream that lasts forever.”

Luke 24:13-35

My family loves to go on walks.  So when I read this passage about two people taking a famous walk with Jesus on the Road to Emmaus, it grabbed my attention.  Can you imagine going on a walk and then Jesus joins you?  Wow!  A fascinating twist though, was that the people walking to Emmaus with Jesus didn’t realize it was Him until it was time to eat and He gave them bread.  Then, they were allowed to recognize Him.  Once they recognized Him, He disappeared.

One great thing about Heaven is that Jesus lives there.  And whenever Christians enter Heaven, they can enjoy Jesus eternally.

Luke 22:39-46

Revelation 21:4

When Jesus prayed on the Mount of Olives, He was distressed.  He hoped that He wouldn’t have to become a sacrifice, but He was willing to be obedient to God’s will.  The Bible reads like He was in such anguish, that He sweat blood that fell on the Mount of Olives.

If you do an online search for sweating blood, one link that pulls up is from Wikipedia. “Hematidrosis is a condition in which capillary blood vessels that feed the sweat glands rupture, causing them to exude blood, occurring under conditions of extreme physical or emotional stress…The episodes may be preceded by intense headache and abdominal pain…(and the) effect on the body is… mild to moderate dehydration from…both blood and sweat loss.[9]

The New Testament indicates that Jesus underwent hematidrosis before the Crucifixion, during the Agony in the Garden (Luke 22:44).[5][12] These claims are plausible, given that the modern day dermatological research notes the presence of hematidrosis in people awaiting execution…[5] Leonardo da Vinci described a soldier who sweated blood before battle. [13]”

We don’t know if Jesus had a massive headache with abdominal pain before sweating blood, or if He had any dehydration from the loss of the blood/sweat combination.  We do know that even before Jesus was arrested, cruelly beaten and killed, He was already suffering.

Since Jesus was in Heaven before coming to Earth, He was in a perfect place with no pain.  We’re the reason why Jesus felt immense pain.  We are all sinners and our sin is why Jesus became the sacrifice for sin for all time. Whatever sin you may be holding onto, give it up!  Show Jesus respect for what He did.  Jesus didn’t die for nothing.

Genesis 1

For Christmas, Emily and Ethan each got a book called, Amazing Animal Journeys from Kerry, a cousin.  In the book is wonderful information about God’s diverse creatures such as finding out that thousands of zebras in Botswana, Africa migrate approximately 360 miles total, and that millions of little, red crabs on Christmas Island migrate from their forest burrows following “the season’s first big rain.”  From there, they tackle cliffs and face other dangers like becoming roadkill, just so the female crabs can get to the ocean to release the eggs.

In addition to migration facts, other information was packed in the book.  For example, walruses have an air pouch so that when they go to sleep, their heads won’t submerge.  Also, a baby zebra has the ability to recognize its mom’s unique stripe pattern.

When Creation was complete, God looked at what He made and “it was good.”  The walruses wouldn’t drown because of the built-in air pouches, the baby zebras would quickly learn how to identify their mothers, etc.  He thought of everything.  Is there anyone that can identify all of the animals God made?  Maybe.  But is there anyone that can identify all of the animals and know everything about them?  Probably not, and animals are just a fraction of what God made.

Evolutionists don’t give God the credit He deserves.  How can they think all of the animals happened by chance?  I want to conclude with a quote from The Collapse of Evolution by Scott M. Huse:  “Extraordinary design and adaptation are found throughout nature in such abundance, perfection, and complexity as to utterly defy evolutionary explanation.  Most of these structures and abilities simply could not have evolved piecemeal because they are useful only when perfect and complete.  Indeed, all of nature proclaims, ‘Behold, the Master Creator!’  As Lord Kelvin has written:  ‘Overwhelmingly strong proofs of intelligent and benevolent design lie around us…the atheistic idea is so non-sensical that I cannot put it into words.'”

Revelation 3:1-6 

Romans 10:9

What does your “to do” list look like?  Maybe it’s a little longer with New Year’s resolutions, or shorter if the resolutions didn’t work out.

In Revelation 3, the Holy Spirit communicated to the Sardis Church.  Most of them were warned to awaken and complete the unfinished deeds.  If they didn’t awaken, repent and obey, Jesus “will come like a thief…”.

There were a handful of Sardis people Jesus found worthy.  He relayed that anyone victorious like those few will get to be with Him.  Jesus promises not to “blot out” the worthy person’s name in “the book of life.

If life has you distracted, force yourself to stop and reflect on your status with Jesus.  If you’re not saved yet, say, “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead.  If you don’t think it’s important to get saved, the enemy is lying to you!  Or if you think you can put off salvation like procrastinating on a project, you may not have the time you think you have.  What if you could see Jesus about to delete your name from the Book of Life?  Wouldn’t you want to stop that action?

I once heard a pastor give an electrifying message on salvation.  He challenged listeners to care about others’ salvation to spare them from Hell.  He begged the congregation to imagine lost people unknowingly walking towards and over the edge of a cliff.  He hoped that if people could actually see others nearing that deadly place, they would call out, “Hey!  Stop!”  Then, they could tell them about Christ.

If you are saved but have a sleepy spiritual life, wake up!  A good way to wake up spiritually, is to complete Experiencing God, a workbook by Henry Blackaby.  I finished the workbook last month and found that although he is not afraid to step on toes, Experiencing God was helpful in deepening my relationship with God.  One bit of wisdom that stands out, is to remember the last thing God communicated to you to do, and then to do that without hesitation.  So, you might have to revise that 2018 to do list.