Wednesday, September 8, 2021

A PURE HEART

Today’s Reading: 2 Timothy 2

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

A modern day Roman soldier stands guard at the Palazzo del Quirinale – the President’s residence in Rome.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: 2 Timothy 2:15, 22b

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth…but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

 

Today’s reading continues the military manual for spiritual warfare. “Endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2:3). “No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life” (2:4). Our weapon of choice is “The sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” (Eph. 6:17b). “The Word of God is not chained” (2:9b). We are “not to strive about words to no profit.” Let us keep to God’s Word and not become caught up in conspiracy theories, etc. “Avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife” (2:23). Finally, God approves of those who “rightly divide the Word of Truth” (2:15b). In division in mathematics, there are several factors. Remember the divisor, etc.? Even so, comparing Scripture with Scripture will help us learn “TRUTH”…rightly divided.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray, as I often heard my Father pray as we would kneel after breakfast around the kitchen table, “Father God, may the smile of Your approval be on my life this new day.” In Jesus’ Name I ask this mercy, Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

My Dad in his prayer would often quote the couplet, “Heaven came down our souls to greet, and glory crowns the mercy seat.” God is seated in mercy toward all who have confessed their sin, repented with godly sorrow, and turned away from sin. What great assurance!!!

For some reason as I read today’s Scriptures, I thought of the time when Norma-Jean and I, along with our four children, were in a tough place financially. I was offered a job selling pots and pans from door to door in order to supplement our $25.00 per week salary from the church. The Scripture about not “entangling” myself came to mind. I determined to spend even more time visiting from door to door with the message of Jesus than I would have spent trying to sell pots and pans. The result was that more people began attending services and the offerings grew to more than I could have ever made in sales. When we brought in a new Pastor we were able to pay him $60.00 per week!

Yours for being “diligent” in the reading of God’s Word,

David

Palazzo del Quirinale – the President’s residence in Rome. Someone said, “Let us make Jesus, not just resident in our lives, but PRESIDENT, in charge of our lives.”

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

NO FEAR

Today’s Reading: 2 Timothy 1

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

There are many foundations of shops and homes that can be seen in ancient Ephesus. In this photo you can see a threshold to what was once a shop or home. The symbols that can be seen indicate that a Christian lived here, and the many small round divots that were carved into the threshold had a very practical purpose…so that people would not slip as they entered.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: 2 Timothy 1:7

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

 

The New King James translation is an excellent study Bible. The edition I use for this blog is called “The Open Bible Expanded Edition.” Here are quotations from the commentary on 2nd Timothy: “It is clear from the sharp imperatives that his letter is really a combat manual for use in spiritual warfare: ‘stir up’ (verse 6) – ‘do not be ashamed’ (verses 8 & 12) – ‘share with me in the sufferings’ (verse 8 ) – ‘hold fast…sound words’ (verse 13) – ‘that good thing…keep’ (verse 14).”

These orders continue on throughout 2nd Timothy. Our key verse contains what may be the most important fact for us to know with absolute assurance. Fear cripples people. There is the fear of the unknown, of people, and of death, to name a few. Fear will cause us to shrink back by demoralizing us (1 Samuel 13:5-8) and by giving us an attitude of defeat (Numbers 13:30 – 14:2). God does not intend His people to live in fear!!!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I confess with my mouth, backed up by my whole heart, these words as I pray, “You have given me power, love, and a sound mind.” I ask for grace to take and use Your gifts to me again today and every day. May I seize the opportunities that surely will come my today. In the Name of the One whose motto could be, “NO FEAR,” Jesus, Himself, Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I can imagine Timothy there in Ephesus, standing under the shadow of that immense Temple of Diana, one of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World, attempting to speak about Jesus with those who were entering or exiting the gigantic structure to give themselves to the goddess. I know that I would surely be in fervent prayer for boldness!

I take encouragement from Timothy. From his first letter I learned that Timothy may have had stomach problems (1 Timothy 5:23). Illness is a human problem we all face from time to time. To bolster my courage for today, I’ve read again 1 Timothy 6:12-16. I serve the One who is “the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honour and everlasting power. Amen!” Almighty God has become One of us in the Person of Jesus! How amazing is that?

Yours for sharing Jesus today and every day with those we meet,

David

A closer view of the threshold described in the photo above.

Monday, September 6, 2021

THE GOOD FIGHT

Today’s Reading: 1 Timothy 6

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

As King of Sardinia and victor over the Austrian army in Lombardy, Victor Emmanuel had become a symbol of the Risorgimento, the movement for a united Italy. After his army joined forces with Garibaldi and defeated the Papal army (believe it or not, the Pope had an army! – but from this point (1860) onward, the Pope was restricted to being ruler over Vatican City with no army), the Kingdom of Italy was proclaimed in 1861 with Victor Emmanuel as king. This is his monument in Rome.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: 1 Timothy 6:12

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

 

It’s obvious that the fight symbolized in today’s photo is VERY different from the fight of which Paul writes. By writing, posting, and reading this blog, we are “fighting the good fight of faith.” Our reading today identifies the enemies against which we fight. Arrayed against us are (1) “Disputes and arguments over words from which come envy, strife, reviling and evil suspicions” (verse 4). And (2) “Useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain” (verse 5). Could this mean the “prosperity teachings” so prevalent today? Perhaps as on the football field, we need to call a “time out,” withdrawing for a time from the fight for a renewal of our commitment to Jesus, who Himself often withdrew to a time of prayer, alone with His Father. Let us fall on our faces before God, letting the firepower of the enemy pass over us. Then, renewed in strength and purpose, let us rise up and “pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness” (verse 11). These are our invincible weapons in the fight “against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12 – read once again Ephesians 6:10-20). On the human level, “no attack, no defence,” only love. But we need to move out with our testimony that “Jesus is Lord” into our workplaces, our neighbourhoods, and beyond. The 100 Huntley Street television ministry is doing just that this very day and night in the Name of Jesus and in the names of all who pray and support this outreach. The war is being won by our great Commander-in-Chief, the Lord Jesus!!!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, Your Word says, “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal [human efforts] but are mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God” (2 Corinthians 10:4 and 5a). I pray that today and every day I will “fight the good fight of faith.” Jesus, in whose Name I pray, did this, and I believe that through Him, I can do this too! Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I’ve used far more than 100 words above so I’ll try to be brief here. I don’t believe that God is finished with the old churches which made many mistakes through the centuries (e.g. a Papal army). I believe that God is putting in place leaders who are true to His Word and His ways! There is a new humble desire to do God’s work as Jesus did God’s work. Let us pray fervently for the Bishop of Rome (the Pope), the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Patriarch of the eastern churches, and the leaders of the Protestant Reformation churches. Amazing new churches are being planted. God is a God of great variety, but the one Constant is the Person of Jesus, who through His cross, His resurrection, His ascension, and His return will bring all His purposes to fulfillment.

Yours to encourage us all to “fight the good fight of faith,”

David

Sunday, September 5, 2021

DOUBLE HONOUR

Today’s Reading: 1 Timothy 5

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

Canadian and long-time Christian leader in Israel, Jay Rawlings, holds his Bible on the path that leads to the Eastern Gate of the Old City of Jerusalem. Jay and his wife, Meridel, have built many bridges of relationship between the Jews and Christians. Jay has a Masters Degree in Hospital Administration and was Assistant Administrator of Henderson Hospital in Hamilton as a young man. I had the privilege of serving as their Pastor when God called them to world missions, specifically with a calling to bless God’s ancient people, the Jews. Jay sold his much-loved Corvette Stingray and with their little son, David, they left all to follow Jesus. Jay and Meridel are surely worthy of “double honour,” as they have served as true elders, as Paul said, “in the Word and doctrine.”

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: 1 Timothy 5:1, 17

Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, the younger men as brothers…Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine.

 

Timothy was in a difficult position. As a very young man, he was appointed as Pastor of the church in Ephesus. We are not told that Timothy was not treating the older men with reverence, affection and respect, but Paul wanted to make sure young Timothy was showing the deference needed. Today there is what some call “a youth cult.” The media gives us the impression that anything worthwhile has to be new and that the most desirable time of life is “youth.” The Bible clearly teaches against this kind of upside-down thinking. It is no accident that leaders of the church are called “elders.” Yet at the same time Paul said to Timothy, “Let no one despise your youth” (1 Timothy 4:12a). There is a balance here that all, young and old, need to learn.

Yesterday we considered “a local church constitution.” The “rule” of the elders came not as an order from one person, but as a duly moved, seconded and carried motion. The admonition of Paul was not to an “elder” but to “elders.” We need to be able to say of decisions which “rule” that “it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us” (Acts 15:28a). We may want to read Acts 15:22-29 and meditate on the way the church leaders made their decisions.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Dear Lord, I pray that today You will guide me to someone older than myself who needs a word of deep appreciation for their faithfulness and wisdom over the years. May I find an elder who has “laboured in the Word and doctrine” and creatively give “double honour.” In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I want to thank my fellow bloggers who did not “rebuke” me about the ministry of women in the Church, but exhorted me “as a father.” Nevertheless, I still believe that Paul, who wrote to one individual, Timothy, was giving specific instructions to that one person about his specific problems in Ephesus (home of one of the seven ancient wonders of the world, the Temple of Diana and its female cult), and not to all the other churches. A good example of this is the matter of the hairstyle and the wearing of “gold or pearls” (1 Timothy 2:9). It is my understanding that the prostitutes who served in the temple “braided” their hair with strands of gold woven into their hairdo. Paul is saying that Christian women, in Ephesus specifically, should not appear to be as the priestesses of Diana.

As a young woman in 1924 on her way by ship to Egypt (to marry my father who was already there), my mother was forbidden by the missionary society from wearing an engagement ring. She told my sister that if she had a ring on, it would have discouraged the attention she was receiving from some men on board the ship. This was a cultural requirement by a denomination, not one from Scripture. Otherwise how do we understand the story Jesus told of the prodigal son’s father saying, “Put a ring on his hand” (Luke 15:22)? I try always to remember, “Let the Bible interpret the Bible.”

Your fellow student of the Word,

David

Saturday, September 4, 2021

A SPIRITUAL GIFT

Today’s Reading: 1 Timothy 3-4

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

The building on the left is known as the Mamertine Prison. Tradition tells us that Paul and Peter were both held in this prison before they were martyred. From here the letters to Timothy and Titus were written during the final imprisonment of Paul. In Paul’s first incarceration he was allowed to stay in a private house. Upon entering the city of Rome, “Julius, a centurion of the Augustan Regiment” (Acts 27:1), handed Paul over to the Prefect of the Praetorian Guard (the commanding officer). The official duty of the Prefect was to keep in custody all accused persons who were to be tried before the Emperor. “Now when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard; but Paul was permitted to dwell by himself with the soldier who guarded him” (Acts 28:16). The church of San Giuseppe dei Falegnami, built in the 16th century, now stands above the Mamertine.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: 1 Timothy 4:14a

Do not neglect the gift that is in you…

Chapter three gives practical instructions for those who carry the responsibilities of leadership in the church. The word “Bishop” is used interchangeably with “Pastor” in the churches of the first century. The role of a “Deacon” was defined in the first church in Jerusalem (read Acts 6:1-8). Stephen, the Jerusalem Deacon and first martyr, is a powerful example of someone who “served well” (1 Timothy 3:13b). Stephen most certainly had “great boldness in the faith, which is in Christ Jesus.”

Chapter four gives us a solemn warning concerning false teachers. We need to remember that Satan went into the religion business at the beginning of the human family (Genesis 3). Here are instructions for Timothy and all his helpers: (1) Instruct (2) Be a good minister (3) Follow carefully good doctrine (4) Reject fables (5) Exercise…to godliness (6) Bodily exercise profits a little – keep in good physical shape (7) Godliness is profitable in all things (8) Let no one despise your youth (9) Be an example (10) Give attention to reading (how about this blog) (11) Our key verse – exercise the gifts God has given (12) Meditate on these things (13) Take heed to yourself and the doctrine.This is good counsel for all of us too!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray that I will not neglect the gift that is in me. May I faithfully recognize the gifts that are in my brothers and sisters in the faith. Help me to listen more carefully to the teaching of others who are called by You to teach, preach, witness, and serve. In Jesus’ Name I ask these requests, Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

When I look at the pictures my son has taken and freely shared with us, I recognize that obedience to the call of God requires, if necessary, death to my own plans and ambitions. While still a teenager, I took great delight in following Jesus. I realized that as I “Delight [myself] in the Lord, He will give [me] the desires of [my] heart.” I’ve just taken time to read from King David Psalm 37:1-8, which teaches me that I should seek to know what delights the heart of God, and then line my desires up with His. When my desires are the same as His desires, “He shall give you [me] the desires of your [my] heart” (Psalm 37:4).

Rev. Keith Running planted a new congregation in Brighton, Ontario. I followed him as Pastor there in the Fall of 1958. He had developed a marvellous document called a “Local Church Constitution.” The roles of Pastor and Deacons were outlined carefully, as well as other organizational matters. I learned a great deal from Keith. Because of such a wise document, even the church business meetings were enjoyable.

Yours for learning and applying the practical teachings of ministry in the local church,

David

In the lower level of the Mamertine Prison there is only one entrance and exit from the prison…you can see the hole in the stone ceiling through which Paul and Peter would have been lowered. It is said that Paul was chained to the pole at the back of the room.

Here you can see Peter and Paul depicted in these statues which are in the main room above the prison.

Friday, September 3, 2021

CHIEF SINNER

Today’s Reading: 1 Timothy 1-2

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

The Odeon (Bouleuterion) in Ephesus. This building has the shape of a small theatre. It had a double function in use. First, it was used as a Bouleuterion for the meetings of the Boulea or Senate. The second fuction was the Odeum – a concert hall for performances. It was constructed in the 2nd century A.D by the order of Publius Vedius Antonius and his wife Flavia Paiana, two wealthy citizens in Ephesus. Paul assigned Timothy to remain and minister in Ephesus (1 Timothy 1:3-4).

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: 1 Timothy 1:15

This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.

 

The first and second letters to Timothy and Titus are the last letters Paul wrote. He was in the dungeon now, not the rented house where he served time earlier under house arrest. No doubt he expected his execution any day. These are the only letters addressed specifically to individuals. History proves that all human development for good or evil can be traced to the decisions of one person.

Our key verse is the most concise statement of the mission of Jesus on earth! Yes, He did come to earth to teach and to set the highest moral example as to how we should live our lives, but first and foremost His number one reason for becoming human was to save sinners! Until we trust Jesus for our salvation, we can’t even begin to follow in His steps. If Jesus had only come to show us how to live, we would have been frustrated and doomed, wallowing in our own constant failure! In spite of Paul’s great success as the Apostle to the Gentiles, and having won many to Christ, he never lost sight of his desperate need for the Saviour.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

O Holy God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, I confess with Paul that I am the chiefest of sinners, and that You, Lord Jesus, came into the world to save me and all sinners who will believe on and in You (not just about You). As Paul wrote, Lord God, “For this reason I obtained mercy…” (1:16a). “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honour and glory forever and ever! Amen!!!” (1:17).

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I can’t let this reading go by without reference to Paul’s words concerning women in ministry. I’ve mentioned before about Mrs. Willows from Winnipeg, whose ministry had a profound impact on my life. She was a powerful preacher/teacher. In the light of this fact, how do I understand Paul writing that women are “to be in silence” (2:12)? The golden rule of Bible interpretation is “Let the Bible interpret the Bible.” Because of Paul’s experience in Corinth with the husband and wife team of Priscilla and Aquilla, both of whom were teachers of God’s Word, we must draw the conclusion that Paul was dealing through Timothy with a circumstance culturally specific to Ephesus. In the worship of Diana, in her great temple in Ephesus, the leadership was provided by women priestesses. Also, there is the Orthodox Jewish approach to women in the Temple and in the synagogues that we should consider. In traditional Judaism women were forbidden from public ministry. Timothy had to balance these factors. Therefore, I conclude that these were not instructions for the whole Church, but specifically for the one person to whom Paul was writing, Timothy, and just for this specific congregation. In Acts 21:8-9 we find the four daughters of Philip were prophetesses.

Yours for ministry, public and private, by all God’s children,

David

Another view of the Odeon described in the photo above.

One of the main roads of ancient Ephesus that is just in front of the Odeon.

Thursday, September 2, 2021

CELEBRATION

Today’s Reading: Job 41-42

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

Pictured above is a homestead in Haran which is now in modern day Turkey. After the Lord called Abraham from Ur of the Chaldees, he settled in Haran for many years (Genesis 11:31; Acts 7:2-4).

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: Job 42:10

And the Lord restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.

 

“Behemoth” and “Leviathan” are the names of two roller coaster rides at Canada’s Wonderland just north of Toronto. These creatures have captured the imagination of people everywhere. At the Chinatown parades, an awesome creature that seems to resemble Leviathan snakes its way through the streets. Stories of fire-breathing dragons abound in almost every culture. It does appear that God wants to get people’s attention! His approach worked well for Job and his friends. In sincere humility, Job confessed, “I have uttered what I did not understand” (42:3b). Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar humbled themselves and submitted to God’s instructions for Job to pray for them.

Surprise! Job, who was now about 60 years old, was doubly blessed by God! As we are faithful to God, we can expect that the Lord will bless our “latter days” also. Job’s prayer for his friends was probably a daily discipline in Job’s life. We can learn much from these readings, which conclude today. Tomorrow we move back to the New Testament and Paul’s first letter to the young man, Timothy.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray with all my heart that I will continue learning the lessons Job and his friends learned about You. I sincerely want to hear You well and see You clearly with eyes of understanding. Grant me, I ask You, the discipline and concern necessary to pray fervently and consistently for all who come before me. I pray in the Name of Jesus, the One who went away by Himself every morning to pray, Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

According to the last words of the book of Job, there was a great family party. I find it a great joy to celebrate! From time to time I need to relax, break the routine, and simply enjoy life, family and friends. I confess that most of the time I’m too serious, and through the years I’ve learned to celebrate more. I was thinking of Job’s party described in the last seven verses of the book. He must have enjoyed the festivities immensely! My eldest son, our blog photographer, is the father of Elizabeth, wife of David Lee, who gave our family one of the greatest parties when his Toronto Argonauts football team at the time won the Grey Cup (2012). One of my great-grandsons, James Stowell, who was featured yesterday with his dinosaur cap, put on David’s Grey Cup ring (photo below).

Yours in celebration of God speaking through His Word and by His Spirit!

David

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

GOD’S QUESTIONS?

Today’s Reading: Job 40

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

It was in this area of the Jordan River that Jesus was baptized. Looking from the Jordanian side, you can see the Greek Orthodox Church in the distance. Five kilometres beyond the church is Jericho. Today’s reading says of the Behemoth creature, “The Jordan gushes into his mouth” (Job 40:23b). This may have been a description 0f a brontosaurus dinosaur who, so it is estimated, could grow to a weight of 30 tons.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: Job 40:7-8

Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me: Would you indeed annul My judgment? Would you condemn Me that you may be justified?

 

Some day at the final judgement, God will ask the questions. Until then, we humans have lots of questions for God. This one is often one of those… “If God is good and all powerful, why does He let people die in war, famine, and disease?” Our answer is found in the key verse. People try to justify themselves or our fellow humans by making God out to be the culprit. Take the current events in Syria and iraq for example. In order to make the killing stop, God would have to violate His own moral standards and rob Isis leaders of their free will. They pray unwittingly to Satan, and the result is that they become destroyers like Satan. Free choices, the very qualities that make us human, are ours to make, and thus we suffer the consequences. The 20th century saw the greatest number of people in human history murdered. Perhaps 10 million perished as a result of what was called National Socialism in Europe (Hitler), and as many as 100 million in Russia, the Ukraine, China, Cambodia and other countries through Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and others (Communism). The undergirding belief common to them was that lower forms of life should be wiped off the earth so that more highly evolved people could thrive in a socialist paradise.

Dress the holocausts up however we will, it was the belief that we will never stand before God in judgment (either He does not exist or as one of the fathers of such thinking taught, “God is dead”), along with the belief in “the survival of the fittest,” which was the genesis of such tremendous evil! People who claim to believe that they are answerable to the great Creator of the Universe could not commit such atrocities without trembling in fear.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray that increasingly I will fear You in great awe and respect, so that I’ll live my life honouring You, Your creation, and all the people on earth. Because You, Lord Jesus, took judgment for evil upon Yourself as You suffered on the Cross, I am justified in Your sight, O Holy God. Thank You for changing everything, Lord Jesus! In Your Name, Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

As a boy I was intrigued by dinosaur skeletons which we would visit in Canada’s national museum in Ottawa. When I made it clear that I believed God created these amazing creatures, I was ridiculed by my teacher. I felt like saying, “Pick on someone your own size,” but I did not believe I could defend my position at the time. I would have loved to have shown my science teacher our Crossroads Creation Series, which aired on television across the Soviet Union about 28 years ago. The set of 13 shows fell into the hands of the head of the Russian Academy of Science, and he in turn gave them to the head of Radio and Television Moscow. I received a fax asking me for permission to air them across all 15 republics. I faxed back to the effect that I could’nt believe that the USSR, the centre for the promotion of world atheism, would do such a thing. I asked for an affidavit and a formal contract before I would believe them and agree to their request. Within a week they complied and carried our series in prime time for 13 weeks from January through the end of March,1989. They were released as the first Christian-produced telecasts ever carried on USSR television. Forgive me if I’m repeating myself, but my mind is still boggled at the magnitude of this development. This resulted in my invitation to preach the very first ever conference of church leaders from all 15 Soviet republics in Moscow. A mobile TV production truck, which Crossroads donated to a newly created Russian ministry, covered the conference, but that is another story far too long for this blog (I think I covered it in my latest book THIS FAR BY FAITH.

Yours for the greater glory of our great Creator God!

David

P.S. The descriptions of unusual creatures in today’s and tomorrow’s readings cannot be anything other than Dinosaurs. Today’s sounds like a brontosaurus (the Behemoth, Job 40:15-24). Dinosaurs are so exciting to children that my great-grandson, James Stowell, wore a dinosaur hat. I find it difficult to resist sharing such pictures with you. Here it is…

 

Apatosaurus, also known as the Brontosaurus, possibly fits the unusual description of the Behemoth in today’s reading.

 

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

DO YOU KNOW?

Today’s Reading: Job 39

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

In Israel’s Jordan Valley, the wildlife reserve Hai-Bar Yotvata is located in the southern Arava Valley north of Eilat. It was established to foster the breeding of the kinds of animals mentioned in Job 39 and other endangered desert animals.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: Job 39:13a

The wings of the ostrich wave proudly…

Mountain goats, wild donkeys, onagers, wild oxen, ostriches, storks, horses, hawks and eagles are all mentioned in today’s reading. Most of us have sat in classrooms and listened to teachers who taught that all life came into being as a result of some cosmic accident. In addition to truth about God’s power, there is much here in chapter 39 about the origins of each species. In the fossil records, all these creatures appear suddenly and fully formed. There are no fossils that show part dinosaur and part ostrich! If one transformed into the other over millions of years, there should be thousands of intermediate creatures in the fossil record. There are none to be found where a creature is being changed gradually into another species. National Geographic had several pages where they pictured a creature from the Gobi Desert in China that someone claimed was part reptile and part bird. Six months later a tiny article stated that the so-called evidence had been faked. This was also the case of other “missing links.” The Piltdown Man, the Nebraska Man, and others were all fakes created because of desperation to find some shred of evidence to disprove Intelligent Design and God’s creation.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord, I praise You for Your amazing, mind-boggling acts of creation! I feel the need to pray to You as the “Creator,” joining King David in his prayer, “Create in me a clean heart” (Psalm 51). I need You, Great Creator, every day in every way. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Crossroads has produced and released a documentary which features several highly credentialed scientists who are believers in Jesus as Saviour and Lord (click HERE to watch the trailer). For Crossroads, this is the first major effort at a “Science & Faith” production since 1979 when we produced the Crossroads Creation series. As I mentioned yesterday, God took that series beyond North America and all 13 episodes were released across all 15 republics of the former Soviet Union in the Russian language on prime time television.

Here is an excerpt from the documentary, Science & Faith, which highlights the story of one of the four prominent scientists featured (click HERE).

Yours for God’s creative power flowing through us to do His will!

David

P.S. Below is a photo of me holding an ostrich egg. There is a story behind this egg…and behind the Scripture verse on it. I’ll have to tell you about it in a future blog posting.

 

Monday, August 30, 2021

WHO? WHAT? WHEN? WHERE? HOW?

Today’s Reading: Job 38

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

An aerial view of Greek islands in the Aegean Sea.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: Job 38:4

Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding.

 

Who? What? When? Where? How? The “WHY?” question is not asked by God in our reading. He may be leaving that to us to figure out. God speaks!!! We must learn to be among those who know His voice. Jesus said, “My sheep know My voice” (John 3:27).

Job 38 amazes me. It speaks of God’s protection of the continents from being inundated by the sea. It infers that the Earth rotates like a potter turning his clay. It seems to refer to the great ice age when the light was withheld from the Earth. It’s obvious that the constellations in the heavens are still the same. The Lord refers to the human mind, which the famous neurosurgeon, Dr. Wilder Penfield of Montreal, declared “is NOT the brain.” Yet we know that the human brain is the most complicated organization of matter in the known universe. The “mind” lives on after the brain has gone to dust. The “heart” (our innermost being, not the pump in our chests) lives forever. Let us spend time meditating and perhaps reading this chapter several times slowly. Listening to it being read online is worth trying, if you haven’t already (HERE is the link, then click on the small speaker icon above the Scripture passage). The New King James translation, which I use, does not yet have an audio recording available on the BibleGateway website. The NIV is also an excellent translation.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I need Your help to even begin to get my mind around the fact of Your greatness. I sing, “How Great Thou Art” (click here for a worship experience). I pray in the Name of the One Who is “Creator,” Who, according to Paul, was the reason all things were created…”All things were created through Him and for Him” (Colossians 1:15-17), Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I hosted a TV series produced back in 1979 which became the first Christian production ever carried by state television across all 15 republics of the Soviet Union. It was designed to create doubts in the minds of those who declared, “There is no God.” The disastrous experiment of atheistic government would not have been possible without some source of intellectual undergirding. Charles Darwin provided that philosophical foundation. The evils of the Nazi regime, as well as the communist regimes, were based on the concept of “the survival of the fittest.” Of course, the Russian language was recorded over my English words and those of my guests. These were thirteen 30-minute shows. The second Christian series carried across the USSR was a children’s program we produced called Kingdom Adventure. More than 1,000,000 letters were received from kids into the Moscow office asking for the colouring book, which explained the way of salvation and invited the children to believe in Jesus and invite Him into their hearts. In my most recent book, This Far By Faith, which was published in June, 2013, I give many more details of this amazing intervention of God into USSR prime time television (pages 105, 109, 112, and 166-172).

Yours, as I’ve written many, many times in my letters over the years, “in Christ’s love and service,”

David

P.S. I love this picture of Myles, one of my great-grandsons, and me. It’s from a few years ago when Myles was starting to ask the what, why, where, when, how, and who questions!!!