Wednesday, July 28, 2010

LIVING ON LESS


SHEPHERD TO SHEEP


LIVING ON LESS

(Phil 4:11-13) Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: {12} I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. {13} I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

There are times in life when you will be up and times when you will be down. And that is also in regards to finances. The reason could be a tough economy, job loss, a disability, divorce, or a number of things. During times like these we not only need encouragement but also good advice to get us through. What better way than to turn to God's Word? With God's help we will be able to live on less. Here are some things to think about:

- Save. Put some money aside for emergencies as well as for that time when you have to live on less. (Pro 6:6-8) ...the ant...provides her supplies in the summer, and... food in the harvest.

- Keep your expenses low. Be realistic. Don't try to live like the rich man you're not. (Gal 6:3)
For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

- Avoid credit and pay everything off. That way when you have to live on less you won't be agonizing over your low income going toward debt. (Rom 13:8) Owe no one anything...

- Pay cash for large items like appliances, etc. Buy a newer, used car with lower mileage.
(Pro 22:3) A prudent man foresees evil...but the simple pass on and are punished.

- Maintenance. Take care of your things so they won't break down and cost you more in the long run. (1 Cor 4:2) Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.

- Keep on tithing. Remember the poor widow's mites? (Luke 21:4) but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.”

- Trust. You are a child of the King. Won't God provide royally for His own? (Mat 7:11) ...how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

- Attitude. Learn contentment in your financial state. Things will turn around eventually. Until they do you will be able to live on less because of God's strength! Then you will be in a position to encourage others who are struggling. (Luke 3:14) ...be content with your wages.”

- Persevere, because your reward is coming! (James 5:11) Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job...that the Lord is...merciful.

Louie

Friday, July 23, 2010

WHICH TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE IS BEST?


SHEPHERD TO SHEEP


WHICH TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE IS BEST?

A question often asked is which translation of the Bible is the best? You go to a Christian bookstore and which one do you choose? There are so many versions and a person can get confused. You hear one thing from one person and another thing from somebody else. And does it matter anyway? Let’s take a closer look at this issue together.

First of all, you will want a translation that is accurate as well as readable. It used to be that the King James Version was the main version out there. But then there was an explosion of translations that took out the thee’s and thou’s and made the language more contemporary. While this was appreciated some warned that these modern versions weren’t word for word translations from the original language.

There are two basic families of Greek texts from which a Bible is translated. One is the Byzantine family of manuscripts (A.D. 500 - 1000) frequently referred to as the Textus Receptus and from which the King James Version (and New King James Version) was translated. The other is the “Alexandrian Family” manuscripts (A.D. 200-400) which include the three oldest: The Codex Alexandrius, the Codex Vaticanus and the Codex Sinaiticus. (Also called the Westcott and Hort text). From this family comes most of the modern translations (such as NASB, NIV, etc.)

The basic debate is that the oldest manuscripts are better and more reliable. However, this has been cast in doubt by others, especially since the older copies make up only a tiny portion of the large quantity of manuscripts available. At least 90% of the 5,400 existing Greek manuscripts come from the Byzantine family (the basis for the Textus Receptus). And due to the overwhelming numbers of copies with which to compare and verify for accuracy, some Bible scholars feel that the small handful of older texts should not be used to claim superiority over the credibility of the majority. In addition, some feel there were important deletions by scholars Westcott and Hort that might relate to their liberal views.

At Calvary Chapel, we hold to the accuracy of the King James Version based upon the Byzantine-Textus Receptus family of Greek texts. And yet at the seminary I attended they used the NASB which is based upon the other family of Greek texts. After studying both sides I have concluded the King James Version is the most trusted translation. And if you don’t like the ancient language then there is the New King James version which is my favorite and has been for years. Remember what I said…strive for accuracy and readability.

Should you throw away your other Bible translations then? I didn’t. I kept them for reference and comparison. And even those paraphrase Bibles can bring colorful commentaries to a passage. But in all the debate of which translation is best…don’t forget to read your Bible!

Louie (Read Psa 119:140; Pro 30:5-6; Mat 24:35; 2 Tim 2:15, 3:16; 1 Pet 1:23-25; Rev 22:18-19)

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

MORE ISRAEL REUNION PICS

Here's some more Israel Reunion pics thanks to Peter Dunne!:































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Saturday, July 17, 2010

ISRAEL 2010 REUNION

Tonight we had our Israel trip reunion. It was great to be together after 4 1/2 months. This was the coming together of our bus that had about 50 people on it. Some were out of town and couldn't make it but hopefully this blog will give them a taste of the special time we had.

We had lots of great food and fellowship. We ended up outside for worship at sunset. We read some scripture and some shared their favorite memory of the trip or what God had taught them. No one wanted to leave!




(1 John 1:3) that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.



(Psalms 122:6) Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May they prosper who love you.













(Lamentations 3:21) This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope.


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Friday, July 16, 2010

LESSONS FROM JOB


SHEPHERD TO SHEEP

LESSONS FROM JOB

It’s funny how some Christians are so superstitious. Have you heard this one?: “Don’t read the book of Job because you might end up with a ton of trials in your life!” I think some people just don’t understand the book or they feel so sorry for the guy that they just can’t stand to observe his pain. But Job’s pain is ours…just accumulated and accentuated. What he learned we need to learn. Are you ready for some highlights of the book? It will be of such benefit to your life. Maybe you and a friend can study these together. Go grab a cup of coffee and enjoy!
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- There is spiritual warfare going on behind the scenes that we are usually unaware of (Job 1-2).
(Eph 6:12) For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against
powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in
the heavenly places.

- We serve God not for prosperity, but because we love Him (Job 1:9-12). (1 John 4:19) We
love Him because He first loved us.

- Trials do not necessarily mean there is sin in our life or that we have a lack of faith (Job 1:8).
(Isa 53:3) He (Jesus) is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with
grief…

- Trials come to test our faith and improve our character (Job 19:25-27; 23:10). (1 Pet 1:6-7) In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, {7} that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

- People sometimes will misunderstand us but God never will! (Job 13:4; 16:2). (Psa 60:11) Give us help from trouble, For the help of man is useless. (See also Heb 13:5)

- We learn God’s sovereignty and control during times of trial (Job 42:1-6). (Prov 3:5-7) Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; {6} In all your ways
acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. {7} Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the
LORD and depart from evil. (See also Psa 119:68; Psa 37)

- If we persevere, we will be blessed! (Job 42:10-17). (James 5:11) Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord; that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful. (See also 2 Tim 2:12; James 1:12; 1 Pet 5:10)

Louie

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Saturday, July 10, 2010

DEAD SEA SCROLLS EXHIBIT

Today a group of us went to see the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit at Azuza Pacific University. We saw some of the fragments of these ancient scrolls of scripture. How the Lord kept these preserved over the years is so amazing. Afterward we went out to the mall area for lunch and had a nice time of fellowship together.

The exhibit especially emphasized how the Bible was preserved on down the years and into the English language through the efforts and sacrifices of others. Now we can really appreciate our Bibles and not take our own personal copy for granted!




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If you would like to see this exhibit keep in mind that it will only be on one more week at A.P.U.
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SHEPHERD TO SHEEP


THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS

(Luke 21:33) "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

A bedouin shepherd boy was herding his flock in the Dead Sea area of Israel when one of his goats went astray into a cave area. He threw a rock to prompt the creature out and heard the sound of shattering pottery. When he went to investigate he found many jars of clay containing scrolls that were wrapped in linen. Archeologists took over from there and found 900 documents in eleven different caves as they explored from 1947 to 1956. The discovery shook the world and is still speaking volumes today. Why was this discovery so significant?

Before the year 1947 the oldest copy of the Hebrew Old Testament was about A.D. 900. When the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1947, the Isaiah Scroll dated back to about 200 B.C. There was found no major changes between these copies! That’s over 1,000 years!!

The Dead Sea Scrolls substantiate that from the ninth centuries A.D., the Jewish scribal copying of the Old Testament Scriptures was performed with remarkably few errors. With the exception of minute and sparse copying errors, the Dead Sea documents reveal nearly identical readings to the copies of the ninth century. They proved that the doubts expressed by many scholars concerning the accuracy of the Hebrew text of the Bible were speculative and groundless.

For those skeptics who doubted and still doubt the veracity of the Scriptures we would like echo the apostle Paul: (Rom 3:4) … let God be true but every man a liar…!

Can God’s Word be trusted? The Dead Sea Scrolls speak and so does the Bible:

• (Psa 119:160) The entirety of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.

• (Prov 30:5) Every word of God is pure…

• (2 Tim 3:16) All Scripture is given by inspiration of God…

• (John 17:17) Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.

Yes, we can trust the Bible…every word of it. It is inspired, inerrant and infallible. It’s promises are true and trustworthy. We can stand upon the Word of God for every aspect of life. When the cynics pass off the scene God’s Word will still be standing…forever!

• (2 Cor 1:20) For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen…

I feel like reading my Bible!

Louie
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Thursday, July 8, 2010

PATIENCE



SHEPHERD TO SHEEP
PATIENCE

Very few people are patient in nature. In fact, to be impatient seems to come far too easier. But did you know that you can grow in patience? It takes time but the Lord wants to do that work in you so you can be patient with difficult people and trying circumstances of life. Here are some scriptures to encourage you:

- The basis for our patience with others is God's patience with us: (Neh 9:30) Yet for many years You had patience with them...

- Good news! What is not natural with us is supernatural by the Holy Spirit in us: (Gal 5:22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering...

- Stop being so easily frustrated. Get control of your anger. We are to be possessed with patience!: (Luke 21:19) By your patience possess your souls.

- Be patient when things go wrong. Seek to be an example to others that God is always in control: (Rom 12:12) ... patient in tribulation...

- Patience is needed in the mundane (unexciting) routines of life: (Rom 2:7) eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality.

- Reading the Bible will calm you down: (Rom 15:4) For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.



- We can be patient because of the anticipated positive outcome. Don't give up hope!: (1 Thes 1:3) remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ..

- Extra patience is needed in winning others to Christ. Remember how long it took you to yield?: (2 Tim 2:24) And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient.

- Don't give up now. You will be rewarded for your patience: (Heb 6:12) that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

- Patience is a sign of maturity. God can't promote you if you keep throwing fits!: (James 1:4) But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

- Keep sowing seeds and let the Lord rain down His blessings in His time. One of these days the ultimate payoff will come. We'll be in the presence of the Lord!: (James 5:7-8) Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.


I think we pretty much parallel Abraham when it comes to patience. God gave him a promise. He became impatient and took things in his own hands (which became a disaster). He then yielded to God again and settled into that simple trust in the Lord. Then God brought about His plan. Some say not to pray for patience because God might send a trial in response. But I'm usually in some kind of trial so I pray for patience anyway!!

Louie

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Monday, July 5, 2010

CHURCH PICNIC 2010

What a blessed July 4th church picnic we had. There was a great turnout and a special sense of the Spirit amongst us. Everyone was sharing the love of the Lord and the food was amazing. There were many pockets of fellowship going on all throughout the day. People brought their dogs, played games, and shot some hoops. Later when it got dark we broke out the guitars and had some praise and worship. Then we saw the fireworks from a distant. No one wanted to leave but the lights turned off automatically and then it was time to go.

Times like this are great to get to know each other. We are the body of Christs and it's great to come together in His name!


Romans 12:5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.
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Saturday, July 3, 2010

SHORT TERM MISSIONS


SHEPHERD TO SHEEP


SHORT-TERM MISSIONS

(Num 9:18) At the command of the LORD the children of Israel would journey…

In life we have learned that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Sometimes a middle approach is the best course of action. It’s like on laundry day. You don’t have time to do it all so you don’t do any laundry at all. But why not do a little one day and a little the next? That also reminds me of how we look at the mission enterprise. Do I go on the mission field or do I stay at home? Well…why not take a short-term mission trip?

Short-term mission trips is the middle of the all or nothing. You feel called to stay at home and have your regular life and job and involvement in your home church. But you also feel like you would like to visit a missionary or do a short-term mission trip somewhere. It can be for a weekend or for a whole season, it doesn’t matter. Many churches go on a week or two mission to do a work project of some kind. Others just go over and spend time with and encourage the missionary that they know. This center of the spectrum can be good for all. Work gets done, a missionary is blessed, and the short-termer goes home fired up in the Lord.

Here’s a suggestion. You have some vacation time coming from your job. Go visit a missionary! Your church is going on a mission. Sign your family up (your kids will love it!) and go with them. Your missionary friend hasn’t had a visitor in a long time. Surprise them by telling them you are coming to visit them! Or why not combine your desire to see the world with doing a mission? Or maybe go see your missionary and then go on a personal vacation after?

But what about a vacation to rest and relax? Well, let’s look at it a couple of ways. First, there is nothing like serving the Lord! Giving to others is the most enriching experience there is: (Luke 6:38) "Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you." Yeah, you put out but your joy remains full. And the Bible says the joy of the Lord is our strength! (Neh 8:10) Secondly, why not take a restful vacation and later on in the year do a short term mission? Or do a mission trip one year and a personal vacation the next? Do you get my point? It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

The Lord could also use you not only on the trip but also when you get back. You’ll be telling everybody what happened. (In fact you’ll probably be posting pictures and sharing info online while you’re on the trip!) People will learn about the needs and will join you in prayer. They might even want to go with you next time! Then there might be no stopping the flow that the Lord created through you!

It doesn’t have to be all nothing. But a short term mission is SOMETHING you can do!

Louie

Thursday, July 1, 2010

MORE ABOUT ADVENTURE LEARNING CENTER

FOUR OF OUR GO! MISSIONARIES: Ed Yuhas, Jen Lully, Kim Childers, & Laura Danek
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THIS IS SHAWN. HE TAKES CARE OF THE GROUNDS AND THE ANIMALS. HERE HE INTERACTS WITH THE VISITING BAHAMIAN CHILDREN AND SHOWS THEM THE HORSES.

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HERE IS CHERYL WITH FIVE KAREN WHO HAVE IMMIGRATED FROM BURMA TO THE STATES. THEY CAME FOR A MISSION TRIP TO THE BAHAMAS THROUGH THEIR CHURCH. WHAT A JOY TO MEET THEM AS CALVARY CHAPEL NORCO HAS DONE MUCH WORK WITH THE KAREN THROUGH SHARON PORTERFIELD MINISTRIES.

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MEET GO! MISSIONARY MARK WALLACE. HE HEADS THE PLANETARIUM PRESENTATION. HE SHARES ABOUT GOD'S HANDIWORK IN THE STARS AND WEAVES IN THE GOSPEL TO THE BAHAMIAN CHILDREN THAT VISIT FROM THE SCHOOLS. HERE HE IS BRIEFING THE MISSIONARIES ON WHAT HE DOES. THEN HE TAKES US INTO A ROOM AND TELLS US STAR FACTS ALONG WITH THE GOSPEL. THEN WE WENT NEXT DOOR TO THE PLANETARIUM WHERE HE DOES THE SAME.


(MARK HAS BEEN SERIVNG IN THIS CAPACITY FOR NINE YEARS. HE MARRIED A BAHAMIAN WOMAN NAMED KIM AND THEY HAVE A SON NAMED ADAM.)


























(Psa 147:4) He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name.

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