Monday, April 30, 2012

Z is for Zophar


“Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this adversity that had come upon him, each one came from his own place – Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. For they had made an appointment together to come and mourn with him, and to comfort him.” (Job 2:11, NKJV)

Zophar is the third of Job’s three (3) friends who came to mourn with Job in light of the great tragedy’s that had come upon Job. Scholars are unsure and even undivided over what his name means. Some have suggested that “zophar” means “young bird.”

Scholars also are unsure as to where his home was. Naamah cannot be located with absolute certainty. Zophar was probably from across the Jordan River.

Zophar is considered to be a wise man. Since he was always mentioned last and his seemingly mercilessness attitude toward Job suggests he may have been the youngest of Job’s friends. He was certainly a man who favored common sense. Zophar liked to choose and use words very carefully:

“Should not the multitude of words be answered? And should a man full of talk be vindicated.” (Job 11:2, NKJV)

Zophar was the first of  Job’s three (3) friends to suggest that Job’s troubles might be a result of the fact that Job had “sinned.” He even suggests that Job did not receive what he actually deserved. Listen to him:

“But oh, that God would speak, and open His lips against you, that He would should you the secrets of wisdom! For they would double your prudence, know therefore that God exacts from you less than your iniquity (sin) deserves.” (Job 11:5-6, NKJV) (emphasis is mine)

Zophar was harsh in his judgment. He seemed to have hope that Job could be restored to a “right” relationship with God. However, his speech seemed to make a mockery of this idea. Read very carefully Job 11:13-19.

Zophar only speaks to Job twice. He speaks in chapters eleven (11) and in chapter twenty (20). Scholars seem to think that his penchant for little words and his common sense held him back from speaking more to Job. It seems that Zophar thought Job might be “unteachable” since Job didn’t seem to heed Zophar’s counsel.

What can we really learn from Zophar? It seems that Zophar typifies the man that although possesses common sense who lets facts take the back seat to his preconceived ideas. It is dangerous to have a preconceived notion and ruthlessly hang on to it in spite of facts and truths.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

What is Your Claim?

No man hath a right to claim God as his Father, unless he feeleth in his soul, and believeth, solemnly, through the faith of God's election, that he has been adopted into the one family of which is in heaven and earth, and that he has been regenerated or born again.

--Charles H. Spurgeon

(19 June 1834 – 31 January 1892)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Y is for Yarborough


This is a name given to a “hand” of cards that contain no cards higher than a nine. It is used in the game of Contact Bridge. The name was given to this hand by Lord Charles Anderson Worsley, the 2nd Earl of Yarborough.

The probability of getting a Yarborough is  which \frac{\binom{32}{13}}{\binom{52}{13}} which is \frac{347,373,600}{635,013,559,600} or about \frac{1}{1828}.

The Earl offered £1,000 to anyone who achieved a "Yarborough" – on condition they paid him £1 each time they did not succeed in getting one.

Friday, April 27, 2012

X is for Xanthippe


You have all known one of these. Yes you have, don’t tell me you haven’t. Xanthippe was the name of Socrates mean, shrewish, and bad tempered wife. Many scholars will say that there is more “legend” than truth handed down about her. My thought is that there must be some “fire” if there is “smoke” present.

Xanthippe is defined as “ill-tempered woman.” We are warned about her in Proverbs:

Proverbs  21:9 -  It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide  house  {a brawling…: Heb. a woman of contentions} {a wide…: Heb. an house of society}

Proverbs 21:19  - It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman {in…: Heb. in the land of the desert}

Proverbs 25:24 It is better to dwell  in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman  and in a wide house.

What was Solomon up against? What was he trying to tell us? He wrote this three (3) times. It seems that he would rather live in a corner rather than in an entire house. He would rather live in a dry, hot, barren, and dangerous desert. He would rather live in these undesireable locations than live in a great big spacious house with a angry, contentious, or argumentative woman.

If any one would know it would be Solomon, right? After all he had 700 wives and 300 shack-up jobs. If ever kiss began with "K:" he must have kept K-Jewelers and FTD busy all the time.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

W is for Wine into Water

Wine into Water
T. Graham Brown

T. Graham Brown spent most of the '90s out of the spotlight and the reason why was alcoholism. As the title says, he spent many years trying to figure out how to turn the wine into water, and the record shows that there is indeed light at the end of the tunnel. Wine Into Water is one of Brown's very best albums, not only because it finds him coming to terms with his own personal demons, but because it is so well-crafted. He's decided to pursue the gritty direction of Dan Penn, Spooner Oldham, and Delbert McClinton, creating a record that falls between country, soul, blues, and roots rock. Brown wrote all of the songs with Bruce "Troy Duke" Burch, and the results are alternately haunting and soul-affirming. It may have been painful to create, but this is the quality record that Brown has been promising he'd deliver for many years. ~ Thom Owens, Rovi

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

V is for Virtue

V is for Virtue

Word Study

“For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue…” (II Peter 1:5a, ESV)

Step # 1 – Select a word to be studied. For this word study I have selected the word “virtue.”

Step # 2 –   Compare English versions to see how translators dealt with this             word.

                   KJV – Used five (5) times, four (4) = virtue; once = praise
                    ESV - Translates the word as "virtue"
                   NKJV – Translates the word as “virtue”
                   NASB – Translate the word as “moral excellence”
                   NIV – Translates the word as “goodness”
                   RSV – Translates the word as “virtue”
                   NLT –  translates the word as “moral excellence”

Comparing these translations and our paraphrase we initially conclude that virtue is to be thought of in relation to morality or to that which is good.

Step # 3 – Define the English word using an English dictionary

Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary (1969) defines virtue as:  1. “a conformity to a standard of right – morality” 2.  “an angel of the fifth highest rank”  3.  “a beneficial quality or power of a thing” 4:  “manly strength or courage” 5.  “a commendable quality or trait” 6.  “a capacity to act”  7.  “chastity esp. in a woman”

Step # 4 – Use an Exhaustive Concordance, locate other passages in which the English word (virtue) is used by the same bible writer.

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (p.1099) shows that virtue appears again (in the KVJ text) in:

II Peter 1:3 – “as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,…”

II Peter 1:5“But also for this very reason giving all diligence , add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge.”

Step # 5 – Define the word in its original language

New Thayer’s Greek English Lexicon of the New Testament (p. 73) tells us that “virtue” in II Peter 1:5 translates the Greek word αρετη arete (ar-et’-ay). It is used widely in Greek writings meaning “any excellence of a person in body or mind or of a thing, an eminent endowment, property or quality. It was used of the human mind and in an ethical sense. It includes a course of thought, feeling, and action; moral goodness. It also is used of any particular moral excellence, as modesty or purity.

Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (p. 661) tells us that “virtue” properly denotes whatever procures preeminent estimation for a person or a thing; hence intrinsic eminence, moral goodness.

Henry Alford’s New Testament for English Readers (p. 1673) tells us that “virtue” means “strenuous tone and vigor of mind.”

Vincent’s Word Studies in the New Testament (p. 677) tells us that Peter used this word “virtue” in the original classical sense denoting excellence of any kind – bravery, rank, nobility. He adds in a note that “virtue” as used by Peter means energy with which Christians are to exhibit, as God exerts his energy upon them. Christians are to exhibit virtue or energy in the exercise of their faith, translating it into vigorous action.

A. T. Robertson’s Word Pictures in the New Testament (p. 151) tells us that virtue means moral power, moral energy, and vigor of soul.

Step # 6 – Trace the Origin of the Word

The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, Vol. 3 (pp. 925-932) tell us that αρετη (arête) is a noun derived from the root ari which means “to please, or pleasing.” Originally our word meant the specific quality appropriate to an object or a person.

In its earliest use it was used of things, animals, men and gods. It can connote the excellent quality or arms or horses. When used of men the reference is usually in fighting or of the mind. So αρετη arete is used of the whole man, of both physical and spiritual qualities.

In I Peter 2:9 and II Peter 1:3 it is God’s αρετη arete that is mentioned. It gives the idea of praiseworthy acts of God. Those praiseworthy acts of God are to be proclaimed by the people of God.

In II Peter 1:5 our word virtue is used in the sense of good and correct behavior.

Step # 7 – Consult Commentaries for any additional light that they might shed on the passage

Simon Kistemaker in his New Testament Commentary on II Peter, in regards to our word virtue, of the seven “virtues” they relate to God’s characteristics. Our daily conduct should be a demonstration of moral excellence. Faith and excellence support one another.

It seems that as believers we have been given everything that we need that pertains to living godly lives to the honor and glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. God, through Christ has given us the qualities that we need to live a godly and holy life. To say we cannot see changes in our lives in regards to our behavior is to deny this truth and call God a liar.

God gives us the initial faith that leads to both redemption of our soul and the life changing process of sanctification. We are to supplement that God given faith by “adding” to or “supplementing” it with various attributes worked into us by God through His Son Jesus Christ.  There is to be a moral excellence, a quality of “goodness” that characterizes our life as a child of God. 
  • Take inventory – if you are a believer, is there a moral goodness or excellence characterizing your overall life and behavior? 
  • Ask God to illuminate and reveal areas that this characteristic may be missing. 
  • Make the necessary changes to rid yourself of those things that may inhibit moral excellence from being promoted in your life. 

  • Trust God and depend upon the energy given to you by Him through His Holy Spirit to develop , maintain, and utilize this energy in your life.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

U is for Ucalegon


I was contemplating which word I would use for the letter “U” when I came across the word “ucalegon.” When I saw this word I realized that I have had at least one ucalegon in my life time. I was very sorry for the occasion that afforded me an ucalegon. It was a very frightening experience. I hope none of you ever have an occasion where you discover that you have an ucalegon.

You wonder how I discovered that I had an ucalegon. Well, it only takes a moment to share this harrowing experience with you so I shall.

My Mother and Father were vacationing at my home in Vancouver, WA from Modesto, CA in the summer of 2005. We were sitting at a card table that my wife had set up in our living room playing “Spades.” As we were sitting at the card table playing Spades my father quietly announced that he smelled smoke.

Neither my parents nor Irene or I smoke so we decided that we might be mistaken. As the game progressed my Father became more certain that he smelled smoke. We opened our front door and did not detect a reason for our surmising’s. We then exited out back door and stepped into our yard and we were immediately confirmed in our suspicions.

Our neighbor’s home was on fire. Flames were racing heavenward from a bedroom window. We yelled for the women (my mother and/or wife) to dial 911 as my father and I ran towards the ucalegon.

Upon reaching the house we vigorously banged on the front door and rear door in hopes of rousing any ucalegon who might yet be inside. Arousing no one, we continued to shout “any one home – any one inside?” In a very short time the Vancouver Fire Department arrived on the scene and entered the home. They did not encounter our ucalegon and they heroically fought the fire until it was defeated.

There you have an account of my only known ucalegon. I hope to never have another. I trust that fate will also spare you, my dear reader from ever having an ucalegon of your own.

What’s that? You still don’t know what an ucalegon is? An ucalegon is a neighbor whose house is on fire or has burned down. My neighbor’s house had caught fire. 

How? Well, it seems that as a part of a sensuous “after-noon delight”, our neighbors had lit some candles. When finished they apparently forgot about the candles and left their home. The candles burned down catching the carpet on fire which then spread to the bedrooms wall. It was but a short time that the entire back portion of the house was ablaze.

Now you know the rest of the story!

Monday, April 23, 2012

T is for Tilapia

Here is my famous pan fried tilapia!
Dry Rub  

  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 3 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

 Stir peppercorns, mustard seeds, and cumin seeds in a small skillet over medium heat until toasted, about 2 minutes. Let cool. Put the next six ingredients into a spice grinder and pulse until finely ground. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.



  • 4 (4 ounce) fillets tilapia
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • Dry Rub


  • Rinse tilapia fillets in cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Season both sides of each fillet with salt and pepper. Rub the dry mixture of spices into the fish. Place the flour in a shallow dish; gently press each fillet into the flour to coat and shake off the excess flour. 
  • Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat; cook the tilapia in the hot oil until the fish flakes easily with a fork, about 4 minutes per side. Brush the melted butter onto the tilapia in the last minute before removing from the skillet. Serve immediately.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

How Do You Say Faith?

So long as we are occupied with any other object than God Himself, there will be neither rest for the heart nor peace for the mind. But when we receive all that enters our lives as from His hand, then, no matter what may be our circumstances or surroundings--whether in a hovel or prison-dungeon, or at a martyr's stake--we shall be enabled to say, " The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places" (Ps. 16:6). But that is the language of faith, not of sight nor of sense.

-- A. W. Pink

Saturday, April 21, 2012

S is for Shannon, Sonja, Sharon, and Stacy

S is for Shannon Annette (September 6) Shannon is our oldest. Shannon is very outgoing, bubbly, and happy-go-lucky. Shannon is usually the “life of the party” and can be impulsive. Shannon gave us Madilynn Nichole on December 20th,, 1995. Shannon is a Mortgage Loan Processor. Shannon lives in Vancouver, WA

S if for Sonja Aurora (February 17) Sonja is our second girl. Sonja is very industrious and dependable. Sonja can have loads of fun but always is steady, sharp, and successful. Sonja gave us Gregory Douglas (January 3rd, 1997) and Bryttany Lynn (May 3rd, 1998) Sonja is a Property Resource Manager. Sonja lives in Milwaukee, OR

S is for Sharon Amber (March 18) Sharon is our third girl. Sharon is very adventurous. Sharon had a spirit that was untamable and wild. Sharon gave us Diontre Paul Gresham IV (January 12th, 2001) Sharon is a home-maker. Sharon lives in Peoria, IL

S is for Stacy Alaine (March 17) Stacy is our fourth and final girl. Stacy was a much unexpected but much loved surprise, coming 364 days after Sharon. Stacy is vivacious, outgoing, and yet very sensitive and caring. Stacy is a Care-giver. Stacy lives in San Tan Valley, AZ

All four (4) of our girls are loving, kind, and generous. They, as it should be, are all different. I love them all very much and am thankful God gave           these four (4) special girls to us.         (Sharon)

 (Shannon, Stacy, Sonja)

Friday, April 20, 2012

R is for Redeemed!

“All my theology is reduced to this narrow compass – Christ Jesus came into this world to save sinners.”

--Archibald Alexander

The word for redeemed implies the idea of a slave standing on an auction block being offered for sale to the highest bidder. However, an outside bidder wins the bid, purchases the slave only to give him his unconditional freedom. The newly freed slave in overwhelming gratitude binds himself to the winning bidder and offers himself as a bond servant for the rest of his life.

Man is separated from God by sin. Man is also in absolute bondage by sin. Man, from conception is under the condemnation and judgment of God. Here is another however; God is freeing a company of mankind from the bondage or slavery of sin by the slaughter of His only son, the Lord Jesus Christ. In other words, God is at work redeeming a company of sinners by reconciling them to Himself through the payment of a price by Jesus Christ.

The realization of this great work of redemption by God through Christ causes the newly redeemed sinner to sing, Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it, redeemed by the blood of the lamb.

FannyJ. Crosby, a blind songwriter, who wrote over 8,000 songs,  joined with William Kirkpatrick’s music and wrote this gospel favorite:

Redeemed, how I love to  proclaim it!
Redeemed by the blood of the lamb
Redeemed through his infinite mercy
His child, and forever I am

Chorus:  Redeemed, redeemed,
Redeemed by the blood of the lamb
Redeemed, redeemed
His child and forever I am

Redeemed and so happy in Jesus
No language my repute can tell
I know that the light of His presence
With me doth continually dwell

I think of my blessed Redeemer
I think of Him all the day
I sing, for I cannot be silent,
His love is the theme of my song


I know I shall see in his beauty
The king in whose law I delight
Who lovingly guardeth my footsteps
And giveth me songs in the night.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Q is for Quinquagesima


 This is a liturgical term used by the Western church derived from a Latin word which means “fiftieth.” It is used to designate the Sunday before Lent, which according to some early Roman calculations, was fifty (50) days before Easter. It is also known as Shrove Sunday. 

Quinquagesima which means fiftieth is at times incorrectly used to designate Pentecost, which falls fifty (50) days after Easter.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

P is for Parvis

Parvise or Parvis 

 A parvise or parvis refers to a room over the porch of a building used for the gathering of the church. These rooms are found in Norman buildings and meeting places throughout England. At times these rooms were used as school rooms. 

 A parvise or parvis also refers to an enclosed area or courtyard in front of a building – especially a building like a cathedral or building designed for the gathering of the church. In some cases a parvis is like a cloister which is surrounded with colonnades or porticoes. If there is a single portico or colonnade in front of a building it is considered to be a porch.

 The word 'parvis' comes to via an Old French from the  Latin word 'paradisus', meaning 'paradise. It is from Anglo-Norman and middle French derivatives. It was used to describe the front of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

O is for Ossuary

Greek - ostwfagoi
Latin – ossuarium

Meaning – “For Bones”

Ossuaries were small clay or limestone chests that were used for the burial of human bones. They typically were 20-30 inches long, 12-20 inches wide, and 10-16 inches deep.

The common practice at the time of Christ was to bury a body in a cave or a tomb in the rocks until it decomposed enough for the bones to be gathered and placed in a small chest, ossuary, for reburial. The Jews used this procedure to make room for additional or new burials in their tombs.

Apparently hundreds of these “bone-boxes” have been found near Jerusalem and Galilee. They are dated prior to AD 70. E. L. Sukenik found several ossuaries in a family tomb outside of Jerusalem in 1945. One of the boxes had a coin of Herod Agrippa in the box dating it between A. D. 42-43.

An announcement was made on October 21, 2002 in the Washington press that reported the finding of James’ Ossuary. Great excitement ran through the archeology field which believed that they had found the box of bones of James the brother of Jesus. Cut into one side of the box was an Aramaic inscription (Ya'akov bar-Yosef akhui diYeshua) which when translated reads, “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus.”

However, authenticity of the inscription has been challenged. The Israeli Antiquities Authority in 2003 determined that the inscription was forged. They purport that the inscription was forged at a much later date.

Many of the discovered ossuaries have inscriptions in Greek, Aramaic, or in both languages of the deceased’s name and at times their profession. One ossuary was discovered with the inscription “Simon – one of the builders of the sanctuary.” Simon may have been a mason or engineer that worked on Herod’s temple. Another ossuary was inscribed “Herein were placed the bones of Ussia, the King of Judah. Do not open.”

Some of the bones discovered in these ossuaries contain evidence of violent deaths of the buried individual. Some show evidence of death by crucifixion, violent beatings, and starvation. One set of bones depicted a woman who probably died while giving birth.

It is interesting to read some of the inscriptions on these clay/limestone “bone boxes.” Many, who know me, know how much I love to read tombstones. The inscriptions are very telling. A few who know me, know that I have already written my epithet for my gravestone. It goes:

A husband, a father, a friend for a time
Now he has come to the end of the line
Our gracious God was merely a lender
Therefore, please return me to sender!

Monday, April 16, 2012

N is for Nave's Topical Bible

Topical Bible
Nave, Orville J.

Nave’s Topical Bible is the time-tested choice for finding what the Bible says on over 20,000 topics. Nave’s Topical Bible features 100,000 Scripture passages arranged under more than 20,000 heading by topic or idea, not merely by word. Arranged alphabetically and with a complete system of cross-referecnes, you can find the information you need on any subject - an

A to Z

of ideas, concepts, and information that helps you get the most out of your Bible study.

  •       Complete and unabridged 

  •      Fan-Tab Thumb Index Reference System 

  •      Works with any Bible translation

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Whitefield and the Doctrines of Grace

A sense of my actual sins and natural deformity humbled me exceedingly; and then the freeness and riches of God’s everlasting love broke in with such light and power upon my soul, that I was often awed into silence and could not speak.

This however, is my comfort, “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever. He saw me from all eternity; He gave me being; He called me in time; He freely justified me through faith in His blood; He has in part sanctified me by His Spirit; He will preserve me underneath His everlasting arms till time shall be no more. Oh the blessedness of these evangelical truths! These are indeed gospel; they are glad tidings of great joy to all that have ears to hear. These, bring the creature out of himself. These, make him hang upon the promises, and cause his obedience to flow from of a principle of love.

Satan will accuse me; my answer shall be, The Lord Jesus is my righteousness; how darest thou to lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? I stand here, not in my own, but His robes; and though I deserve nothing as a debt, yet I know He will give me a reward of grace, and recompense me for what He has done in me and by me, as though I done it by my own power. Oh, how ought this to excite our zeal and love for the holy Jesus.

--George Whitefield,
From his Journals

Recorded in George Whitefield, Vol. 1, p.404, 406

What is your testimony?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

M is for Metcalf

Medcalf - Metcalfe

This very interesting surname recorded in the spellings of Medcalf, Metcalf and Metcalfe, is English. It is chiefly recorded in the county of Yorkshire, and there have been claims that it represents the very first hereditary surname. This is arguable, but there is no doubt that it was one of the very first.

 It is probably topographical, but may be occupational, and in either case derives either from the Olde English pre-7th century word "mete" meaning food or meat, plus "cealf", a calf, with the translation of "a calf to be fattened for eating (at the end of the Summer)", or when the first element is written as "med" it may derive from "mead", and describe a pasture or meadow where calves were fattened.

It is thus either an occupational name for a herdsman or slaughterer, or a nickname for a sleek and plump individual, from the same word in a transferred sense. I find this to be very interesting and “coincidental!” (Look at all those perspective BBQ Hamburgers!)

I am a sleek and plumb individual. I also worked in a Butcher Shop and on the slaughterhouse floor, slaughtering and butchering sheep, pigs, and cattle. There is no one who likes "burgers and fries" more than I do! :)

The first recorded spelling of the family name is possibly that of Adam Medecalf. This was dated 1301, in the Subsidy Rolls of Yorkshire, during the reign of King Edward 1st, 1272 - 1307.

Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Friday, April 13, 2012

L is for Lazarus

λαζαρος - lad’-zar-os

John 11:1-57

Lazarus was the brother of Mary and Martha. He is mentioned only in the Gospel of John, although his sisters are mentioned in the Gospel of Luke. Lazarus lived with his sisters in Bethany. (See B-Bethany) This family seems to have some means of wealth since Mary anointed Jesus with a costly ointment and Lazarus had his own burial tomb.

Lazarus became sick one day and his sisters sent for Jesus. Lazarus had been described as a person whom Jesus had loved very much. When the messenger from the sister’s told Jesus and the disciples that Lazarus was sick, Jesus told the disciples”

“…This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be gloried through it.” (John 11:4, NKJV)

Jesus was teaching the disciples that Lazarus’s sickness and death would be an opportunity to reveal the glory of Jesus which would point to His divine nature and role. Jesus delayed two whole days before he traveled to Bethany.

When Jesus arrived Lazarus had died and been buried for four (4) days. Jewish Rabbis taught (with no biblical basis) that the soul hovered near or right above the body for three days after death and then the soul returned to God. The fourth (4th) day would signify that Lazarus was truly dead. There is no record that Jesus accepted this “tradition.” However, he did accommodate the Jewish superstition in order to prevent any questions about Lazarus’s death.

Lazarus had been buried in a dry hot climate. The body was anointed with spiced oil and then bound in linen cloth. The deceased was mourned up to thirty (30) days, sometimes with hired or professional mourners.

Jesus ordered the stone rolled away from the tomb. Jesus then commanded Lazarus to come forth from the dead and the tomb. Of course Lazarus could only do one thing – obey! When he did come out of the tomb having been raised from the dead, Jesus ordered him to be unbound by the linen cloth.

This was a pivotal miracle and event in the life of Jesus. John 11:53 says:

“Then, from that day on, they plotted to put Him to death.”

The raising of Lazarus put in motion the action of the Jewish court that would ultimately culminate in the death of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Jewish leadership began to conspire to have Jesus killed from the moment they heard reports of this great miracle.

The last time Lazarus is mentioned in the Scriptures amazes me. His last mention is in John 12:1-11. This passage contains an emphasis on the miracle of his being raised from the dead. It also informs the reader of the great enmity it caused amongst the Jewish leadership. With Lazarus at the dinner table partaking of the Passover, no one could doubt the power of Jesus. When the Pharisees saw how many people began to believe in Jesus, they plotted to kill not only Jesus, but also Lazarus. They wanted to put Lazarus to death, again. He had just died! He was made alive and restored to this life and his sisters. The Pharisees wanted to stamp out the proof of Christ's power by killing a man who had already died. Amazing.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

K is for Kakorrhaphiophobia





An abnormal fear of failure

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

J is for Joanna


“Now it came to pass, afterward that He went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with Him, and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities – Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward and Susanna, and many others who provided for Him from their substance. (Luke 8:1-3, NKJV)

Little is known of this dear woman called Joanna. However, what we do know of her endears her to the hearts of all of those who love our Lord Jesus Christ. She is only mentioned twice by name and referenced one time with other women in the New Testament.

Apparently she had been “healed” or delivered from some type of “infirmity” and oppression of evil or demonic spirits. She also was a woman of some financial means. She used her money to provide for the needs of Jesus and His twelve apostles as they traveled and ministered in the region of Galilee.

Luke 23:55 – 24:10 tells us that she was with the group of women who were present when Jesus was laid in his tomb. She watched as the large stone “door” was rolled into place sealing the tomb. She also observed the Roman guard set into place as they guarded the burial tomb.

“And the women who had come with Him from Galilee followed after, and they observed the tomb and how His body was laid.”

Then we are told that Joanna returned with the women and prepared the spices and oils that they would use to anoint the body of Jesus. After their preparations they settled in to observe the Sabbath.

We see Joanna next on the first day of the week (Sunday morning) with the other women as they came to the tomb hoping to anoint Jesus body. Of course she and the others found the large stone rolled away from the tomb. When they went inside they found the tomb to be empty of Jesus body. She encountered the angels and their wonderful message that Jesus had been raised from the dead. Joanna and along with the other women raced back to share what they had just seen and been told.

“It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles.” (Luke 24:10)

Such a wonderful testimony we have of this woman who had been the recipient of such marvelous grace. Her name and actions are forever recorded in God’s Holy Word for all to read. I trust that this little post gives you an appreciation for Joanna and all the women who risked their wealth and reputation because they believed that Jesus was in fact the Messiah.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I is for Iota


 “For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.” (Matthew 5:18, ESV) 

 The “iota” is the English transliteration of the Greek word ιωτα. The iota is the ninth (9th) letter of the Greek alphabet. The iota is the nearest equivalent of the Hebrew yod, which is the tenth (10th) letter of the Hebrew alphabet. 

 The iota is the smallest projection of any part of a letter such as an accent or breathing mark of a text. The meaning of Matthew 5:18 is “not the smallest part of a letter will be abolished in the law or the prophets until all things are accomplished or fulfilled.” 

 Jesus Himself is affirming the absolute inerrancy and authority of the Old Testament as the very word of God. He affirms the inerrancy and authority of the Old Testament right down to the smallest stroke or letter of the alphabet. The significance of this to you and me is the reasoning that the New Testament did not supplant or abrogate the Old Testament. The New Testament has fulfilled and exonerated the Old Testament. The ceremonial aspects of the Mosaic law were fulfilled in Jesus Christ. So the smallest letter will not be erased or destroyed. All is fulfilled in Christ. Not in you or anything that you can do; not in "the church" since no church can save.

This means everything thing written in the Scriptures will be fulfilled. This includes all of the promises of blessing and bliss. This includes all of the judgment and punishment.  Not one promise as small as the smallest letter or breathing stroke in the Old Testament or New Testament will go unfulfilled. Do not kid yourself and think that the majestic, holy, righteous, and glorious God will overlook one statement of truth in His Word for anyone.

Monday, April 9, 2012

H is for Hoopoe

Hoo poo

“And these you shall regard as an abomination among the birds; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination”… “the stork, the heron after its kind, the hoopoe, and the bat.” (Leviticus 11:13,19, NKJV)

The hoopoe is one of the most peculiar and famous birds living in Palestine. This bird has a large curved bill and a very beautiful plumage. The hoopoe is about the size of a thrush. The hoopoe’s back is a rich cinnamon color and its head is a golden buff crested with gold feathers. The head is banded in white feathers with black tips that gradually lengthen as the feathers cover the head. The bird’s wings and tail are black banded with white and buff trim.

The hoopoe lives in holes and hollow trees. Ornithologists all agree that this is a very nasty and filthy bird in both its feeding and breeding habits. Apparently the hoopoe never cleans their nests and they nests become soiled, dirty, and foul smelling. This could be the reason the hoopoe was included in the list of abominable birds which could not be eaten by the Hebrews.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Saved to Worship

“Then Jesus said to him. “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’” (Matthew 4:10, NJV)

“The foundation upon which true worship is based is redemption. The supreme objective in the salvation of sinners is an eternal display of the glory of God: “so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:7). Worship, of course, not only magnifies God’s glory; it is our only fitting response-“to the praise of the glory of His grace” (Ephesians 1:6). So in the grand scheme of redemption, one of the principal things God is doing is transforming sinners into worshippers.”

--John MacArthur,

Worship: The Ultimate Priority

Saturday, April 7, 2012

G is for Golgotha


“And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left.” (Luke 23:33, NKJV)

The Greek word Golgotha and the Aramaic word Gulgalta mean “the skull.” This term or word is found in three (3) places in the New Testament, Matthew 27:23; Mark 15:22; and John 19:17. It is interpreted as kraniou topos, or “the place of a skull.” In Luke 23:33 it is called “Calvary” which comes from the Latin Vulgate, calvaria, which means “skull.”

From what little information that we have from the New Testament this place seems to outside of the city of Jerusalem (Hebrews 13:12.) It was close enough to the city to be visible from some parts of the city. Although we are not told this is why it is referenced as a “hill.”

Why is it called “the place of a skull, or “the skull?”  There seems to be at least three (3) reasons for this name.

Locality of Skulls

Some have suggested it was named this because it was a place where “skulls” were found lying around. This may have been because it was thought to be a place of execution.

Likeness of Skulls

The second reason may have been because of the “skull-like” shape of a hillside. First of all it is important to note that none of the early church fathers suggested this reason. Secondly, the New Testament does not suggest that the crucifixion took place on a hill or hillside.

Legend of Skulls

The third reason seems to be a little far-fetched, but it has been bantered around from the time of Origen, (ca. 185-254) It seems there was a legend that the skull of Adam had been found in that location. This is the oldest reason that has been given for the name.

The New Testament sheds absolutely no light on the location of Calvary  or the burial tomb of Jesus. However, a “traditional” site has been advanced and is known as “Gordon’s Calvary. If one looks close enough at a photograph one can “see” the shape of a human skull in the rocky hillside. It must be stated that the “eye holes” and the rounded top are not natural. They are the result of ancient excavations. Which brings us back to where many have started. We are not sure where the crucifixion and burial took place. Praise be to the living God we don’t need to know the exact spot. We rejoice in the fact that the inspired text tells that that Jesus Christ was brutally slaughtered outside of the city of Jerusalem as the means of satisfying the wrath and judgment of His father against sin.