Archive for May, 2006

June Bible Reading Schedule

Tuesday, May 30th, 2006

June

  1. Prov 19, 20, 21; Rom 13
  2. Prov 22, 23, 24; Rom 14
  3. Prov 25, 26, 27; Rom 15
  4. Prov 28, 29; Ps. 60; Rom 16
  5. Prov 30, 31; Ps. 33; Eph 1
  6. Eccl 1, 2, 3; Ps. 43; Eph 2
  7. Eccl 4, 5, 6; Ps. 11; Eph 3
  8. Eccl 7, 8, 9; Eph 4
  9. Eccl 10, 11, 12; Ps 94; Eph 5
  10. Song 1, 2, 3, 4; Eph 6
  11. Song 5, 6, 7, 8; Phil 1
  12. 1 Kgs 12; 2 Chr 10, 11; Phil 2
  13. 1 Kgs 13, 14; 2 Chr 12; Phil 3
  14. 1 Kgs 15, 2 Chr 13, 14; Phil 4
  15. 1 Kgs 16; 2 Chr 15, 16; Col 1
  1. 1 Kgs 17, 18, 19; Col 2
  2. 1 Kgs 20, 21; 2 Chr 17; Col 3
  3. 1 Kgs 22; 2 Chr 18, 19; Col 4
  4. 2 Kgs 1, 2, 3; Ps 82; 1 Tim 1
  5. 2 Kgs 4, 5; Ps 83; 1 Tim 2
  6. 2 Kgs 6, 7; 2 Chr 20; 1 Tim 3
  7. 2 Kgs 8, 9; 2 Chr 21; 1 Tim 4
  8. 2 Kgs 10; 2 Chr 22, 23; 1 Tim 5
  9. 2 Kgs 11, 12; 2 Chr 24; 1 Tim 6
  10. Joel 1, 2, 3; 2 Tim 1
  11. Jonah 1, 2, 3, 4; 2 Tim 2
  12. 2 Kgs 13, 14; 2 Chr 25; 2 Tim 3
  13. Amos 1, 2, 3; Ps 80; 2 Tim 4
  14. Amos 4, 5, 6; Ps 86; Titus 1
  15. Amos 7, 8, 9; Ps 104; Titus 2

A good friend recommended this schedule. It was published back in 1983 by Fullgrowth Ministries of Tulsa, OK. Here is how that publication recommends you use their schedule:

If you follow this plan devised by Fullgrowth Ministries of Tulsa, Oklahoma, you’ll read the New Testament through twice and the Old Testament once during the next 12 months.

The plan recommends that you do your reading at a specific quiet time each day. If you miss a day, continue with the current day’s reading and catch up when you have extra time. After you finish your day’s reading, mark off that day.

The Old Testament portions are presented as nearly as possible in chronological order. Passages from prophets are included in the historical narrative where they were given, they are often given in a single day’s reading.

You’ll encounter Psalms throughout the year. Frequently, a Psalm that fits a particular passage has been placed with that passage.

As you enter the New Testament, you’ll read Luke and Acts first, then the letters – with periodic passages from other Gospels – and, finally, Revelation. Thus, the story of the life of Christ is constantly related to your Christian life.

I want to add how very important it is that you follow the guidelines given to read the passages for the date given and catch up when you have time. I have tried reading catch up stuff before the current day’s reading after a family crisis took me away from reading for a couple of days and it just didn’t work.

I have provided here the reading for the month of June. The photocopy that I have says that this schedule is copyrighted by Fullgrowth Ministries, but it also says, “feel free to re-print this chart for use in your church, Sunday school, or just to give to friends.” You are my friend if you got this far into this post. I hope this blesses you as much as it has my wife and me. I do plan to post each month’s schedule from the chart before each month begins in the future.

You can listen to some of my readings from the Bible on The Living Bible page of this blog. Thanks for visiting.

Modern Day Miracles

Friday, May 26th, 2006

There are many discussions going on these days concerning God and modern day miracles. There are various beliefs on whether God heals in this day and age. There are questions about whether gifts of the Holy Spirit like speaking in tongues, prophesying, and healing went away when the New Testament apostles died. I am going to address one of these areas from a recent personal experience. I believe you will come out of this post with a clear understanding of where I stand on the subject of modern day miracles in the form of healing in particular.

God has been working in my life over the past few months on the subject of healing. It was on February 14th of this year during my son’s scheduled visit to the cardiologist for a sedated echo-cardiogram that we were told that Caden would need open-heart surgery to repair a Supra Valvar Aortic Stenosis. The surgery was needed soon (in as little as 3-4 weeks) due to the seriousness of the condition. That message came as a very big surprise. We had seen our son through an open-heart surgery once already when he was six days old where they repaired three major defects with his heart. We almost lost Caden during the events associated with the first surgery and that scared me. This diagnosis was different. This time I was even more scared. I am sure that the bond that had grown between Caden and I had a lot to do with my emotions, but this situation was weighing more on me than just about anything I have ever experienced.

I didn’t know what to do. I got agree, sad, scared, plus about six or seven other emotions that I could not even describe with words. It was a few weeks after the Valentine’s Day appointment that we took Caden in for another test. This test (a sedated CT-Angiogram) verified the original diagnosis. We were told that he would need the open-heart surgery to repair a narrowing of his aorta. The cardiologist offered no other options and he stood firm that this diagnosis was accurate and a serious condition. I believe he used the word urgent. I specifically asked what “urgent” meant. He said he has three basic categories for heart conditions that require surgery. The first is elective or recommend surgeries that can wait for an relatively undetermined amount of time. The second is urgent. That means that the surgery is not an option and that the condition may become life threatening in a short amount of time if not repaired soon. The third is emergent which means that the patient need surgery immediately or they may die at any time. The cardiologist was so certain about Caden’s condition that he had already referred his file to the heart surgeon for scheduling of the surgery in the next non-emergent slot.

It was during this time that my emotions got even more intense. I started questioning God. I had been taught and had learned from my own study of the Bible that God could heal Caden. I thought that I believed it, but I also thought that I needed to do something to get God to heal Caden. I thought there was some unconfessed sin that was in the way of Caden’s healing. I knew I had plenty of sin in my past and I must have forgot to ask forgiveness for one of them. Maybe I had not forgiven someone that had wronged me in the past. I could not figure out what God wanted from me. What did I need to do? What did I need to stop doing? Was there some unconfessed or unrepented sin that was keeping my son from being healed? What needed to be done? I begged my friends who believed that Caden would be healed to tell me what needed to be done in order to see that healing that we all believed in and had been praying for to be manifested. They could not tell me exactly what needed to be done even though they wholeheartedly believed the healing would come. For some reason believing in God and his healing ability was not enough.

“4There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. 7Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” 1 Corinthians’s 12 4-7 (NIV)

So what does a person have to do in order to see God’s gift of healing to be manifested in their life? A common answer to this kind of question is something like, “we will all be healed when we receive our perfect body and join Jesus up yonder.” Another popular answer is “there is no promise of modern day healing, God stopped healing like that after the times of the disciples.” I knew that these were answers that many people including many pastors used due to ignorance or they just didn’t want to tell people what they believed because it might give them a image as being a radical Christian. I spent weeks searching for answers after the diagnosis of my son. I must have talked to a dozen different people who I considered to be Godly counsel. At one point I got down on my knees with my face buried in the floor crying like a baby and begging God to show me what I needed to do to receive the healing for my son that I believed in.

I was at the end of my rope. While God was being very creative at answering prayers to some serious financial needs in our family during this same time, I just could not from my answers and get past the emotions that were boiling inside of me over Caden’s heart diagnosis. I had asked everyone I knew to ask how to receive God’s healing power for my child and no one was giving me an answer that made any sense. I found the most influential and convicting information advice coming from within a small group of believers who gather at my house every Sunday night. Our meeting is sort of like a small church service. We all attend different Sunday morning church services for different reasons but we all seek a deeper understanding of God and how to better serve Him. One member of the group responded to my questions in a way that made me feel like it was all my fault that God was not healing Caden. What he said and what I heard were not exactly the same thing, but the gist of the end result is that he was right, there was something wrong. It was about this time that I went to a faith conference with some of my small group members. I heard some great messages from Jerry Savelle, Creflo Dollar, and Charles Capps. I had also been spending all of my commuting time between work and home listening to other pastors as I still do today. At that time I was listening to a series of sermons on Peace by Charles Stanley. All of these teachings and all of my questions along with my own journey through the Word of God landed me at a point where God showed me the answer. I didn’t know it at the time, but I had finally done what I needed to do for my son to receive from God the healing that we had been asking for all along.

Jesus said in Mark 11:24 …whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (NIV) This scripture came up again during the faith conference. I say it came up “again” because I landed on this scripture in my daily Bible reading during the first week of March. What I did not fully understand until this time was the true meaning of the word “believe” as it applied to this situation. To “believe that you have received” is to have faith in God as if He has already given it to you. This level of faith is like the faith you have when you put on foot in front of the other while walking down the sidewalk or across the floor of your house. Most everyone takes these steps as they walk on the floor or ground with complete faith that the surface will be there for their next step to rest on without ever looking down. You move forward when walking without concern for the consequences of the next step because of your faith in the surface being there. Now, what does that kind of faith look like when working with God in matters of healing you or your child? The answer: You have to surrender to God the control of the situation to the point that you are not concerned with the next step. “You” the one calling on God for a miracle have to relinquish all of your concern for the possible outcomes of the situation and trust God. For me this meant that I had to be okay with whatever God did concerning my child. I had to give up my desires for this child’s life in exchange for God’s desires for the life of this child.

The heart surgeon took a look at Caden’s file and decided he wanted a heart catheter done for diagnostic purposes. The surgeon’s secretary called us and said that the cardiologist would contact us in a few days. This was the first time that anyone mentioned a heart catheter. The cardiologist did call within 24 hours and told us that the surgeon wanted some more information on Caden’s anatomy in that area of his heart. There was some concern about the proximity of the coronary arteries to the area where the repair of the aorta was needed. Three days later we had Caden in for the heart catheter.

The cardiologist who performed the catheter came out to see my wife and I in the waiting room. This is when God gave me a front row seat to his miraculous healing power. The cardiologist proceeded to tell us that he could not explain why, but Caden did not need open-heart surgery. There was no Supra Valvar Aortic Stenosis found during the heart catheter. He told us this with what seemed to be a bit of caution. He even commented that we were taking the news rather well. As the cardiologist explained his findings, Sherry and I just grinned from ear to ear as we looked at each other. The doctor must have thought we were crazy. He explained that many parents would get upset after going through weeks of believing that our son was in need of urgent surgery. Sherry told the cardiologist that this was an answer to prayer. Sherry and I explained that this news was not that surprising to us at all.

We asked in for healing in prayer, believed, and then we received. Praise God!!! The LORD has done what he promised.

Read about another recent experience with God’s healing power by Jay Adkins.

Bush is Firm on Immigration

Thursday, May 18th, 2006

Why are so many people bent out of shape now over President Bush’s position on immigration? President Bush has not changed his tune on this subject since well before the 2000 elections. Let’s compare the 2000 presidential election platform on immigration to the five main points from the Monday night speech by President Bush.

Point 1 from 2006 speech – “First, the United States must secure its borders.”1

Point 1 in 2000 election platform – ” In order to prevent illegal immigration, Bush proposes to step up border control…”2 “Restore credibility to enforcement by devoting more resources both to border control and to internal operations.”3

Point 2 from 2006 speech – “Second, to secure our border, we must create a temporary worker program.”1

Point 2 in 2000 election platform – “Guest worker programs should be revisited.”2

Point 3 from 2006 speech – “…we need to hold employers to account for the workers they hire….new identification card for every legal foreign worker.”1

Point 3 in 2000 election platform – I found no evidence that President Bush spoke on this specific point before the 2000 election. The 2000 Republican party platform did state, “We oppose the creation of any national ID card.”3

Point 4 from 2006 speech – “It is neither wise, nor realistic to round up millions of people, many with deep roots in the United States, and send them across the border.”1

Point 4 in 2000 election platform – “it is far more compassionate to turn away people at the border than to attempt to find and arrest them once they are living in our country illegally.”2

Point 5 from 2006 speech – “…we must honor the great American tradition of the melting pot, which has made us one nation out of many peoples.” The President goes on to say, “English is also the key to unlocking the opportunity of America.”1

Point 5 in 2000 election platform – “…every child ought to be educated regardless of the status of their parents.”2 “We support the recognition of English as the nation’s common language.”3

There is no evidence that shows President Bush to be playing any games or leaning in a new direction to gain poll numbers on the subject of immigration. President Bush is standing firm on the same immigration policy that he has promoted since before he was elected in 2000.

1President Bush Addresses the Nation on Immigration Reform – May 15, 2006
2The presidential candidates on immigration – Updated: April 2000
3REPUBLICAN PLATFORM 2000

Ezzo Parenting Resources

Wednesday, May 17th, 2006

The GFI organization has published some great resources related to the Biblical based parenting programs authored by Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo. The Ezzo Parenting web site begins with the following message:

“The Ezzos’ collective wisdom has now reached eight million parents with books translated into 17 languages. More than 12,000 Churches worldwide have utilized their teaching curriculums. This site contains numerous articles and parenting helps from infancy through the teen years. The topics are divided according to general age category. In addition to this site, Growing Families International has a number of links to other helpful sites where parents can find more encouragement and biblical wisdom.”

Other great resource sites include a Growing Families International Curriculum Review which is a great site for inquirers looking for more specifics about each of the six core curriculum offered by Growing Families International. The site includes a general review of each course, as well as a FAQ section.

Meet Gary Ezzo and Anne Marie Ezzo: This site is not about the Ezzos’ public life or their teaching. It is a small window into their private lives, community, and favorite pastime activities. The fishing enthusiast can visit Gary’s fishing and bait shrimping reports.

Ezzoparenting: Looking for parenting tips and insights? Here you will find a library of parenting helps, practical suggestions, and articles covering ages birth through the teen years.

Growing Kids God’s Way.com: This site is directed toward parents specifically interested in the Ezzos’ core curriculum, Growing Kids God’s Way (Along the Virtuous Way). The history, biblical foundations, chapter summaries, Ezzos’ teachings and beliefs, and much will be found in this very practical forum.

Check out GFI Charleston for Biblical based parenting classes being offered int he Charleston, SC local area.

Fueling The Left’s Fire

Wednesday, May 10th, 2006

One of my favorite conservative bloggers is taking one of the hardest lines against our president with a post titled “Should George Bush Be Impeached?“. La Shawn is not the only conservative fueling the left’s fire. Marl Tapscott, Michelle Malkin, Stop the ACLU, Right Wing News and Daily Pundit are a few who are also feeding this fire.

I’m support our president. I pray for him regularly. I would recommend that you do the same.

Extra! Extra!

Thursday, May 4th, 2006

I have posted a pretty detailed article on the PuTTY application for my super geek visitors over at the Tech Land of Ozz.

In other news, my little miracle boy turned 18 months old this week.

Rick Warren, Music, and Critics

Thursday, May 4th, 2006

Looking for great parenting resources? Check out:

Growing Kids God’s Way

I found a post on a fairly popular (from a traffic perspective) Christian blog where the blogger’s and visitors’ comments were ripping Rick Warren apart for his statements in an article on The Christian Post titled Some Rules for Selecting Music. I had several questions for the blogger and visitors on that blog. This post is largely what I had to say about criticizing Rick Warren over the article.

Have you been to Saddleback? The blogger spoke of the music at Saddleback as if having visited there. I have not been to Saddleback but I have heard Rick Warren in person. I have led a 40 Days of Community group. I have not read The Purpose Driven Life. I started it and lost interest. It seemed to be geared towards non or new believers. I was personally looking for a more in depth study of the scripture at that time. My wife loved the book. I trust her judgement.

Now back to the article and the music issue. As for criticism of the contemporary music in church, I say that you should not get caught up in criticizing of the ceremonial rituals of worship. Your heart condition is what is the most important. I am not saying that anything should be allowed in church services, but a little spirit in the tune is not going to harm anyone.

Like it or not, Rick Warren is helping deliver souls into the arms of our Savior Jesus Christ. That my fiends is what should be the primary focus for all of us. We should not entrench ourselves in tearing down a man for his ministry. I asked the blogger and visitors if any of them had personally witnessed damage caused by Rick Warren himself? I then quoted the following scripture:

“The witnesses must throw the first stones, and then all the people will join in. In this way, you will purge all evil from among you.” Deuteronomy 17:7 (NLT)

At the time of this posting the blogger had not approved/moderated my comments. The category of the post was “Purpose Driven Madness” so you can imagine that my siding with Rick Warren on this issue was not in the majority. In this instance the blogger and visitors were quick to judge Rick Warren for his choice to use contemporary music (new things) in church instead of more traditional hymns.

Hmm??? Why are these folks even on the Internet? They like me seem to have no problem using technology to minister to people. Where are the scrolls? Where are the stone tablets? Where are the animal sacrifices? Why are you using the Internet to transmit to lost souls when there are plenty of leather bound Bibles? If you are against using new methods of reaching people with things like contemporary music then why is the Internet OK? Why don’t these folks just turn off their computers right now and cancel their Internet service?

There are a gazillion lost souls out hear on the Internet. The blogger and visitors mentioned above made no bones about publicly tearing down a man who has been able to reach more people with God’s Word that many of us could have never dreamed of reaching. The fact is that Rick Warren’s material is chocked full of scripture. Thumb through his books and see for yourself. He may misinterpret and use some scripture out of context at times. Point to one man who you are certain does not do this. We are all human. I have not found one person on this planet that I agree with 100% of the time including Rick Warren. Heck, I don’t even agree with myself 100% of the time. Why? Because I am not perfect. I am a sinner.

I say we get these discussions off of the Internet and out of public forums. If you have a problem with your brother in Christ then you should take it to him in private. Have any of you who criticize Rick Warren wrote a letter to him expressing your views of his ministry? There are too many souls to be won out on the Internet and a real enemy to fight. We should not be publicly bickering over what rituals and ceremonies are used to deliver the Good News to the lost. All this bickering among Christians over ceremonies and rituals has better chance of tuning people off instead of leading them to the Lord. I guess some folks are not too concerned about the salvation of others as long as they think theirs is still intact.

Bush, Prayer, and an Onion

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2006

I ran across a news article that just didn’t sit right concerning President Bush and his prayer habits. I used my trusty search engine to search on the topic only to find that a few bloggers had linked to the same article, but no other news source was reporting on this hot Christian topic. It seems that this news site is just a fancy front-end for an online tabloid.

The article found on The Onion who called themselves “America’s Finest News Source” was written about a month ago. It reports on how Christians are criticizing President Bush’s prayer habits. Notice I did not link to the site. I do not wish to endorse “The Onion” or any of its contents. You can cut and past the link from the end of this post to see the original article if you wish, but here is the meat of the article’s message:

“President Bush, already facing the lowest approval ratings in history, is coming under fire from former supporters over what they call his “ineffectual and incompetent” use of prayer for national guidance and assistance.”

The article goes on the quote a fictitious member of the Family Research Council(FRC) who is critisizing Bush’s prayer habits. By the way, that link points to the about page for FRC where President Bush is pictured with FRC president Tony Perkins and several others who are influential in the Christian community. Jack Yoest points out that the FRC member mentioned in The Onion article is not a member of FRC. He should know since his wife Dr. Charmaine Yoest is the Vice President for External Relations at FRC.

Are there requirements to be met before prayer will be answered? Yes! Your heart must be right with God and with others.

In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat her with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. If you don’t treat her as you should, your prayers will not be heard. 1 Peter 3:7 (NLT)

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results. James 5:16 (NLT)

If only you would prepare your heart and lift up your hands to him in prayer! Job 11:13 (NLT)

The LORD is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayers of the righteous. Proverbs 15:29 (NLT)

Does God answer ALL prayers from the righteous? Yes! The answer may not be what you expected, but God does personally take all calls from his children.

May we shout for joy when we hear of your victory, flying banners to honor our God. May the LORD answer all your prayers. Psalm 20:5 (NLT)

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:24 (NIV)

How do you get on God’s preferred caller list? Click HERE to learn how.

(Bible verses in the post are from: BibleGateway.com)

The Onion article quoted can be found at:

http://www.theonion.com/content/node/46938

Can We Fix Public Education?

Monday, May 1st, 2006

Christian parents who send their kids to public school should read the following very carefully if they are concerned about the salvation of their children.

Will your children believe in Jesus when they graduate from high school?

Homeschooled: 94%
Public Schooled: 15%

(source)

I want to offer a big thanks to Dana over at Principled Discovery for leading me to these statistics. You will find an awesome answer to the most popular question raised to homeschooling parents, “What About Socialization?”