Studies, Lessons and Devotionals

Saturday, 05 May 2012 17:31

Unity in Marriage

As goes my marriage, so goes my relationship with God. We’re two halves of God. To keep unity in God and to keep God whole in our marriage we have to get along. This takes forgiveness.

Before I was a Christian I was not able to forgive. I could ignore, justify and keep the peace - but I couldn’t forgive. I blame my ancestors – anyone who has the unfortunate opportunity to have combined: Spanish, Italian, Navajo and African American genes is in a lot of trouble when it comes to explosive emotions and stubbornness (a deadly combination for relationships). Then to add to that I was brought up in the ubiquitous “dysfunctional family” setting. Sexual and chemical abuse, promiscuity and parental neglect mixed a cocktail of deep insecurity, fear of abandonment, feminism, developmental immaturity and a racial identity crisis that rivals global warming!

Thursday, 22 March 2012 13:04

The Power of Forgiveness:Part 2 of 2

In part 1 I sought to give some background on God’s perspective of forgiveness. In this article I will share some thoughts I have found helpful on my path to forgiving from the heart.

I have come to realize that forgiveness is not just words I speak, or lip service. I must really forgive. Jesus sets the standard of how we are to forgive in Luke 23:34: Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

Wednesday, 07 March 2012 09:17

The Power of Forgiveness (Part 1/2)

Forgiveness is one of the most powerful demonstrations of love.

I can remember when I first studied the Bible, came to grips with my own sinful nature, and realized what Jesus endured on the cross for the sake of my salvation. I remember that feeling of being unworthy, and yet so grateful for forgiveness. I felt free and at peace. I could let go of the hurt, the pain, and the guilt.

Tuesday, 06 March 2012 05:27

Lessons from a Shepherd: The Truth Under the Wool

March is a month that I had been anticipating with great joy. My lambs were due on March 25. Before that time, however, were other needs to be met. The shearer would come on March 4. I would then be able to see the shape that all the sheep were in. I was eager to see if the yearlings had maintained enough weight and if the ewes looked healthy for lambing.

Saturday, 03 March 2012 10:15

Life Check (4/4): Are You Hostile to God?

One Wednesday evening during a church service we heard a lesson about Treasure in Heaven. The lesson contained several profound truths that could change our perspective on how we live this life and the purpose for which we live. Two side thoughts in the lesson that impacted me these are: building on the foundation of Christ from 1 Cor. 3:11-15, and, being hostile to God in our thinking and actions from Rom.8:5-14.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012 03:13 Written by

Life Check (3/4): Nothing Times

One evening in a woman’s Bible study group we talked about the “nothing times.” It started when a young woman said something like this, “I moved here about five years ago. I had a baby who turned out to have serious life threatening health issues. My whole life has changed. My husband and I used to be respected leaders in my church. I was a professional in the field of law and had a respected job. But now I am nothing. No one knows who I am or what I was.” So we talked about those times in our life when we feel as if we are worth nothing, and we are doing nothing.

Thursday, 23 February 2012 21:00 Written by

Lessons from a Shepherd: Eager to Learn

February began with a really fun event that I had looked forward to for quite a while. Periodically, there are a group of us that have the opportunity to learn from a world class trainer of border collies, Kathy Knox . Kathy has been training these dogs for twenty years and is excellent at communicating with both dogs and humans.

Wednesday, 01 February 2012 01:19 Written by

Mercy...A Quiet Time Study

What does mercy mean?

Romans 12:1 (NASB) reads, “Therefore I urge you brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice…”

“Mercies” in Greek is the word OIKTERMOS, which appears five times in the KJV and the NASB. It’s translated “mercy” or “compassion.” It means compassion, pity, mercy; the bowels in which compassion resides, a heart of compassion; emotions, longings, manifestations of pity.

Monday, 23 January 2012 08:36 Written by

Greater Than...

Jesus, speaking of himself, taught that something greater than the Jerusalem temple, greater than Jonah, greater than Solomon had arrived on the stage of human history.

Wednesday, 04 January 2012 06:17 Written by

Trusting the Shepherd

I have become a shepherd. Well, actually I have been shepherding in the church for over 30 years, and yet now as I embark on the endeavor of shepherding a physical flock of sheep, I am gaining new insights into this art of shepherding. I wanted to share with you some of these thoughts.