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Showing posts from December 12, 2014


Basilica ‎In some translations, the snake mentioned in Isa 11:8, Isa 59:5, Jer 8:17, and Prov 23:32 is rendered as basilisc or basiliskos. However, this translation is incorrect, since that snake only occurs in Africa. Therefore newer translations refer to the adder, since the text obviously talks about a venomous viper that is prevalent in that region. ‎Isa 11:8; Isa 59:5; Jer 8:17; Prov 23:32


December 9

Isaac Watts, 1674–1748
  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” (Luke 2:10)
As one of the most joyous of all Christmas hymns, this carol omits references to shepherds, angelic choruses, and wise men. It emphasizes instead the reverent but ecstatic joy that Christ’s birth brought to mankind. For centuries hearts had yearned for God to reveal Himself personally. At last it happened as “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” The entire Advent season should be filled with solemn rejoicing as we contemplate anew God’s great gift, providing the means whereby sinful man might live eternally.
“Joy to the World” is a paraphrase of the last part of Psalm 98: Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth; make a loud noise and rejoice and sing praise. Let the floods clap their hands; let the hills be joyful together before the Lord; for He cometh to judge the earth; with righteousness sh…

The Woman Caught in Adultery

The Woman Caught in Adultery Excerpt
This story, beloved for its revelation of God’s mercy toward sinners, is found only in John. It was almost certainly not part of John’s original Gospel. The NIV separates this passage off from the rest of the Gospel with the note, “The earliest and most reliable manuscripts and other ancient witnesses do not have John 7:538:11.” That is, the earliest Greek manuscripts, the earliest translations and the earliest church fathers all lack reference to this story. Furthermore, some manuscripts place it at other points within John (after John 7:36, John 7:44 or John 21:25), others include it in the Gospel of Luke (placing it after Luke 21:38), and many manuscripts have marks that indicate the scribes “were aware that it lacked satisfactory credentials” (Metzger 1994:189). Furthermore, it contains many expressions that are more like those in the Synoptic Gospels than those in John. MoreWhitacre, Rodney A. John. Vol. 4. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Pre…

Jesus’ teaching on discipleship

Jesusteaching on discipleship Excerpt Disciples’ love, like the heavenly Father’s, must be “perfect” (v. 48), that is, all-inclusive (cf. neb). As God’s common grace is showered upon both the evil and the good (v.Matthew 5:45), so disciples’ love is to extend not just to those who love them (v. Matthew 5:46), nor just to fellow Christians (v. 47), but to enemies and nonbelievers as well (cf. Matt. 22:39Luke 6:36). More Elwell, Walter A. Evangelical Commentary on the Bible. Vol. 3. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1995. Print. Baker Reference Library

Do Not Turn Away from God

Do Not Turn Away from GodHebrews 3:12–13 Excerpt In verses Hebrews 12:12–13, this example is now applied to all who read Hebrews. The writer’s argument is: If unbelief kept Israelites out of the land of Canaan (a picture of God’s rest), how much more serious is it today to give way to unbelief and thus miss the greater rest (the rest of justification and salvation). The warning is addressed to the whole assembly (See to it, brothers, … encourage one another daily). These phrases recognize individual responsibility to act (that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart, … none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness) and describe accurately the terrible result of sin’s hardening (turns away from the living God). More Stedman, Ray C. Hebrews. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1992. Print. The IVP New Testament Commentary Series.

Caesarea: Roman Theater

Caesarea: Roman Theater

‎The Roman theater in the south of Caesarea, decorated for tonight’s performance of Verdi’s opera, “Aida”. Summer is a busy season with dance and music shows in the oldest extant Roman theater in the east. The theater, built by Herod, which is one of the only sites exposed intact in the city, had been repaired and rebuilt over the generations. The stage front is 7 meters wide. It is about 100 meters in diameter and can seat an audience of 3,000, all facing the sea. An exciting experience is in store for them, especially at sunset, when sea breezes carry the notes with them like superb natural amplifiers.

Begin at the Beginning (John 1:1–18)

Begin at the Beginning (John 1:1–18)John 1:1–18 Excerpt ‎We perceive and know through our senses: hearing, sight, smell, touch and taste. For John, the basis of perception is the ‘Word’—the mind or ‘essence’ of God. The ‘Word’ is the conveyor of life and meaning. Without the ‘Word’ nothing is understood, and if it is not understood then it might as well not exist (v. 3). The ‘Word’ illuminates and enlivens creation. Constantly available, it is there for those who will receive it—rather like radio waves or television signals. They are all around us, but we need to switch on our receivers before we can tune in to their message. For those with difficulty in tuning their sets, God has sent an engineer—a TV evangelist by the name of John the Baptist. He will show us how to switch on and select our programme. The function of an evangelist is to convey good news, to ensure it is understood and to witness to its veracity. This is precisely the role of the writer of this Gospel. … More McFadyen…

Mundy's Quote for the Day

Mundy's Quote for the Day
4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth HisSon, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons (Galatians 4:4-5).
The New King James Version. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982. Print.
I share this verse with you that was sent by a dear Christian sister of mine: Sister Shirley Thomas "WindFall (Give us this day our daily bread. ..Matthews 6:11) When God shuts a door, don't bother knocking on it, because what's on the other side has the potential of stopping your blessings. Be bless[ed]. Have a good Safe day and weekend. As always Much Love

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

December 12

"...He [Jesus] … looked up to heaven, ..."
Mark 6:41
In working for God, first look to Heaven. It is a grand plan. Over and over again our Lord Jesus Christ looked to Heaven and said, “Father.” Let us imitate Him; although standing on the earth, let us have our conversation in Heaven. Before you go out, if you would feed the world, if you would be a blessing in the midst of spiritual dearth and famine, lift up your head to Heaven. Then your very face will shine, your very garments will smell of myrrh and aloes and cassia out of the ivory palaces where you have been with your God and Saviour. There will be stamped upon you the dignity and power of the service of the Most High God.

Hardman, Samuel G., and Dwight Lyman Moody. Thoughts for the Quiet Hour. Willow Grove, PA: Woodlawn Electronic Publishing, 1997. Print.

Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions

December 12

Source unknown (stanzas 1, 2), John Thomas McFarland, 1851–1913 (stanza 3)
And she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped Him in cloths and placed Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2:7)

The shepherds had an angel Christ watches me, His little lamb, The wise men had a star Cares for me day and night, But what have I, a little child, That I may be His own in heaven; To guide me home from far, So angels clad in white Where glad stars sing together Shall sing their “Glory, glory,” And singing angels are? For my sake in the height.

—Christina Rossetti
No Christmas song is more loved than this tender children’s carol. With its simply worded expression of love for the Lord Jesus and trust in His faithful care, the hymn appeals to young and old alike. It is usually one of the first Christmas songs learned in early childhood; yet its pleasing melody and gentle message preserve it in our affections all through life.
For some…

My Utmost for His Highest

December 12th


That they may be one, even as we are one. John 17:22.

Personality is that peculiar, incalculable thing that is meant when we speak of ourselves as distinct from everyone else. Our personality is always too big for us to grasp. An island in the sea may be but the top of a great mountain. Personality is like an island; we know nothing about the great depths underneath, consequently we cannot estimate ourselves. We begin by thinking that we can, but we come to realize that there is only one Being Who understands us, and that is our Creator.

Personality is the characteristic of the spiritual man as individuality is the characteristic of the natural man. Our Lord can never be defined in terms of individuality and independence, but only in terms of personality, “I and my Father are one.” Personality merges, and you only reach your real identity when you are merged with another person. When love, or the Spirit of God, strikes a man, he is transformed, he no longer in…

Connect the Testaments

December 12: Forgiven and ForgivingJeremiah 23:1–24:10; Romans 3:21–31; Proverbs 18:1–24
Idioms are often unhelpful because their overuse has robbed them of meaning. But the idiom “putting up walls” has a twist in Proverbs: “A brother who is offended is worse than a city of strength, and quarrels are like the bars of a fortification” (Prov 18:19).

The writer of this proverb gives us imagery that helps us understand how people react to offenses. Regardless of whether we intend to, we can raise a great structure, like a “city of strength,” in the gulf between ourselves and others. Such barriers make it difficult to reach those we have offended, which may suit us perfectly. But we’re called to live differently.

None of us can live perfectly in this life, so conflict is inevitable. If we have the insight to see that “we all fall short of the glory of God”—and more specifically, how we have fallen—we’ll see we have no right to hold a grudge (Rom 3:23). When rifts develop in relationships, …