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Teacher David Bernthal

That’s the Way I Heard It

Most people have heard of, if not played, the telephone game. In this party pastime a leader whispers a tricky word or phrase to the next person in line. This message is then passed along until the last individual in line reveals what he believes he has heard. Hilarity may ensue as the garbled phrases are compared to the original. Whether the mix-ups were from poor diction, inadequate listening skills, or intentional misdirection doesn’t really matter. The goal of the game has been reached—message mangled.

Isn’t our world much like the telephone game? Oral histories passed down through the ages often bear little resemblance to the events that inspired them. Some important bits of history are forgotten, overlooked, or intentionally left out of textbooks because they may not fit with the agenda of the publisher. And, let’s face it, we often aren’t totally honest when we review our own pasts either.Read More »That’s the Way I Heard It

Divine Treasure Map

DEVOTION

SOLA Scriptura

Anyone who has ever heard of the Superstition Mountains of Arizona has most likely also heard of the Lost Dutchman’s Mine. This legend, which most experts agree is based on distorted facts, is the stuff of movie plots and fantasy. Many have searched for the riches of this lost mine, some even losing their lives in the effort. However, without a clearly marked map (“X” marks the spot) the mine, with its promise of wealth, is still lost to all.Read More »Divine Treasure Map

Gifts Galore

DEVOTION – DIVERSITY OF GIFTS

Did you know that there are over 30,000 different species of fish in our world? Scientists, and others who keep track of these things, tell us there are about 300,000 different species of plants for our enjoyment. But the granddaddy of diversity goes to the insect kingdom with a whopping 950,000 different kinds of insects and more being described or discovered nearly daily! No doubt about it, our God is a God of variety and diversity. The diversity of plant and animal life that God has given us is astounding! However, the riotous variety of colors, sounds, tastes and abilities of nature that God has provided pales in comparison to the variety of abilities He has provided the crown of His creation, mankind.

Throughout history we see many examples of the relentless curiosity of man expanding or expounding on our knowledge of God’s creation. Although man’s inquisitiveness may at times get him into trouble, we often have the opportunity to praise God because of the creative abilities of others.Read More »Gifts Galore

The Benefits of Belonging

There is no doubt about it, there are a lot of lonely people in this world. Whether people are missing a loved one, have lost one, or haven’t found one; the ache of being alone can be overwhelming. Our God, in His infinite wisdom, knew it wasn’t good for Adam to be alone, so He created a marriage covenant for him with the perfect partner, Eve.

God had a plan when He put Adam and Eve together in the Garden of Eden. He intended for family members to belong to each other, and to support, discipline, teach, and learn from each other. In our family relationships, we can feel accepted, despite our faults. Family members love each other enough to point out one another’s mistakes for the purpose of correction.Read More »The Benefits of Belonging

A Long Road to Spring

If  there is one thing to look forward to here in the Midwestern part of our country, it is spring. I can remember long and brutal winters that seemed to hang around forever. I recall waiting with longing for the daylight to lengthen and the temperatures to rise. Everyone seems eager to see that first green shoot come up, or perhaps the first hardy robin to arrive. It’s a time of anticipation and preparation for good things to come.

The Lenten season is a long road of anticipation as well. As far as can be determined, the word Lent comes to us from an Anglo-Saxon word for spring. As early Christians anticipated the coming of Easter in the springtime, they would prepare themselves during this penitential period. Many of the devout would fast during the Lenten season in order to reflect on their sins and the consequences they bring. Read More »A Long Road to Spring

Complicating a Simple Ending

Premillennialism, postmillennialism, and amillennialism—these are words that tangle the tongue, and concepts that twist the brain. If there is one thing humans seem to be adept at doing, it is complicating simple situations. God tells us in straightforward language in Genesis 1 that He has created the heavens and the earth, but man invents evolution as his origin. The Lord tells us to simply believe and trust in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ and we will be saved, but man adds his own works and efforts in order to assist God in the work of salvation. Jesus plainly taught that He will bring this world to its conclusion when He returns to gather all believers to Himself, but man says, “Not so fast!”Read More »Complicating a Simple Ending

Opposite Sides of Different Coins

Our minds were designed by our Creator to work on the basis of logic. Researchers tell us that this is why optical illusions work on us. Our brains, in attempting to see patterns in chaos, will often fill in “missing” information allowing us to see things that aren’t actually present. We all like logic and order in our lives, to different extents. We want to know the sun will rise tomorrow and that two plus two will still equal four. However, our God has given us our logic and reasoning ability to figure out problems and day-to-day strategies in this physical life. There is a whole different set of rules for our spiritual one.Read More »Opposite Sides of Different Coins

Re-Gifting the Holy Spirit’s Gifts

DEVOTION – GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT

I’m pretty sure re-gifting is not a recent idea. Although it seems to be gaining popularity, there are those who consider it a tacky practice. The idea is that if you get three toaster ovens for your wedding, for example, you could give two of them away as gifts to someone else. It is important to take stock of the things we own. “If it’s not being used, it’s wasted” is my wife’s motto. I seem to have a hard time living up to this expectation and often find unused and underappreciated items in my possession.

God gives us much more than the earthly blessings of house, job, and family. He also gives us spiritual blessings.

Gifts, of course, come to us in many different forms. Our Heavenly Father is truly the giver of every good and perfect gift (James 1:17), but God gives us much more than the earthly blessings of house, job, and family. He also gives us spiritual blessings, including faith to know Read More »Re-Gifting the Holy Spirit’s Gifts

B R E A T H O F G O D

If God truly gave us His Word
in written form, as He has in
the Bible, then what do
we have with which
to compare it? 

In a certain sense, we have all been inspired at one time or another. A moving poem, the birth of a child, a once-in-a-lifetime beautiful sunset, or a heartfelt sermon could all serve to inspire us. This is generally the world’s view of inspiration. Inspiration is viewed as merely a strong feeling or emotional tug, an intellectual movement to action—whether through song, painting, writing, or activism.
This is why it is so essential that we remember to define the doctrine of verbal inspiration as being of divine origin rather than being a product of the emotions or minds of men. Our Bible Read More »B R E A T H O F G O D

Happy Pentecost Harvest!

(Please read Acts chapter 2)

Pentecost – This word is derived from the Greek word Pentecoste, fiftieth, because the feast of Pentecost was celebrated the fiftieth day after the sixteenth of Nisan, which was the second day of the feast of the passover. The Hebrews call it the Feast of Weeks, Exodus 34:22, because it was kept seven weeks after the passover. It was the Jewish harvest-home. (From Cruden’s Complete Concordance)

God’s timing can make an interesting case study. We know from the Holy Scriptures that Christ was sent into Read More »Happy Pentecost Harvest!