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10/21/2018 — Matthew Chapter 17 & Mark Chapter 9

Mark 9:    3 His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. 4 And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus.  5 Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 6 (He did not

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10/20/2018 — Matthew Chapter 16 & Mark Chapter 8

Again in today’s reading we go from a “mountain-top” to a “rock-bottom” moment This time it is one man — Peter who experiences the momentous change. The mountain-top:  Matthew 16:  5 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”  17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon

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10/19/2018 — Matthew Chapter 15 and Mark Chapter 7

Matthew 15:   15 Peter said, “Explain the parable to us.”  16 “Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked them Mark 7:   7 After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. 18 “Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them?  So, when I read

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10/18/2018 – John Chapter 6

OK, so when I first read John 6: 51-55 literally: 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”   52 Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh

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10/24/2018 — John Chapters 9 & 10

As is usual with the Gospel of John these chapters are crammed with Jesus’s teaching (e.g., the shepherd and his flock, the sheep and the gate.)  I do enjoy studying but sometimes do I study too much and “miss the forest for the trees?” I was reminded of this as I read just two verses

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10/17/2018 — Matthew 14; Mark 6; Luke 9

Matthew 14:  16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”  17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. Mark 6:   37 But he answered, “You give them something to eat.” They said to him, “That would take more than half a year’s wages[e]! Are we to go and spend that

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10/16/2018 — Matthew Chapter 10

Matthew 10: 16 “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. Being compared to a “dove” has never bothered me as a believer.  But what about being compared to a “snake?”  (I immediately think of a “Snake-oil” salesman-type image.) Well, the popular view of snakes has

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10/15/2018 — Mark Chapters 4 & 5

Mark 4: 26 He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. 27 Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. 28 All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. 29 As

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10/14/2018 — Matthew Chapter 13 & Luke Chapter 8

Maybe (well, probably) because Liz and I have been blessed with three daughters and two granddaughters I cannot read the story of the healing of Jairus daughter in Luke 8:40-56 without actually becoming personally immersed in the emotion of this miracle. As we discussed yesterday, like Jairus, I would certainly pray shamelessly for the healing

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10/13/2018 — Luke Chapter 11

Again, each section of scripture that we read is filled with wisdom and examples.  There are many in this chapter.  But in 11:8 one word, as translated in the NIV, caught my attention: 8 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your

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10/12/2018 — Matthew Chapter 11

Isaiah 35:   3 Strengthen the feeble hands,  steady the knees that give way; 4 say to those with fearful hearts,  “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.”  5 Then will the eyes of the blind be opened  and the ears of the deaf unstopped. 6 Then will the lame leap like a deer,  and the mute tongue shout

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10/11/2018 — Matthew Chapter 9; & Luke Chapter 7

These chapter present so many episodes that “pull the heart” that is is hard to choose just one on which to comment.  But what caught my thoughts today is an episode of “questioning.”  Adam Sullivan and I have spoken of the need for our youth to never quit questioning.  When they move from home this

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10/10/2018 — Matthew Chapters 5-7

As I read through the Beatitudes I was reminded of a Bible Class lesson taught by Jim and the sermon brought to us the same day by Artie. Both referred to the reality of Matthew 6: “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will

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10/9/2018 — Matthew 12; Mark 3; Luke 6

I have always found a common incident in these chapters one of the saddest commentaries on the nature of the Leaders of Israel.  And how much their morality appears to have changes in the 400 years since Malachi.  The following is the description provided by Mark in 3:1-6 3 Another time Jesus went into the synagogue, and

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10/8/2018 — John Chapter 5

I believe that this chapter contains one of the longest teachings of Jesus predominantly specifically directed at the “Jewish Leaders.”  And we can see the importance as Jesus continues to establish his “authority.”  But there is one section that reminds me of a famous and very logical quote by CS Lewis. Personally, to me this

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10/7/2018 — Matthew Chapter 8 and Mark Chapter 2

When I read these chapters there are two heart-wrenching but remarkable examples of a characteristic of being a follower of the Lord. Matthew 8:  8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under

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10/6/2018 — John Chapters 2-4

In today’s reading I find a dichotomy of the people in two towns.  The first is Nazareth (his home town) which is alluded to in John 4:44 (“Now Jesus himself had pointed out that a prophet has no honor in his own country)   But the reaction of the town is more fully explained in yesterday’s

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10/5/2018 — Matthew Chapter 4 and Luke Chapters 4-5

Let’s suppose we have gone to a town concert and have set our chairs and spread our blankets near the bandstand.   Soon a gentleman approaches and tells us, “I’m sorry but you will have to move.  This area is reserved for some special guests.”  Well, my first thought would be “who gave you the authority

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10/4/2018 — Matthew Chptr 3; Mark Chptr 1; Luke Chptr 3

Certainly the common element we have in these chapters is the mission of John the Baptist (or Baptizer as some say.)  And another common element is John’s statement of the difference in the baptisms he was performing and the baptism that Jesus would bring. Matthew 3:  11 “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one

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10/03/18 — Matthew Chapter 2

As you read through Chapter 2 did you note something significant about Matthew’s gospel?   I am referring to the number of times just in chapter 2 that Matthew quotes or references the Old Testament & ties the event into a prophecy. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: 6 “‘But you,

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