Rhyming Sermon Notes: BSF Week 1 “Genesis – Malachi”

We had the first regular study this week for People of the Promised Land 2, which will be studying from the time of Solomon through the prophets, until the end of the Hebrew (Old) testament. The study for this week was more of an introduction and overview study to get things going.

The way BSF structures the study has four parts:

  1. Study on your own during the week, to focus first on the Bible, with questions to guide your study.
  2. Discuss the passages and questions with others who have also been studying.
  3. Listen to a lecture to bring together the passage(s) from the week.
  4. Read notes (like a commentary) on the passages from the week.

Repeat as we work our way through the Biblical book or books that we are studying that year (30 weeks).

For more about BSF or to find a group near you, go to www.bsfinternational.org.

The following are my notes from the first week. They are set to rhyme to help me pay attention and process while listening to the lecture, and to make for a fun review later and to share with my family.


2022/09/19  BSF Week 1 – Cary Michalak – Genesis – Malachi

Don’t go to seminary and lose your faith.
Facts are good, Heart is great.

Israel many inventions has, Immigrants more per capita than any land.
The Holy Land, small and quite obscure, but great things come from this small, rugged band.

God chose Israel, his people to be
Jesus Messiah, from them, to set the world free

Israel’s part in God’s plan matters to believers today. [AIM]
This is true, no matter what men may say.

God reveals himself in two ways: General, Creation, and Special, the Son.
God’s special was varied, to the people and prophets he knew each one.

God doesn’t just want us to know figures and facts,
But to know him in person and to see his loving acts.

The Bible is God’s filter for our minds he has given.
It’s the way we can know, and be open with him living.

God reveals himself so we can know him. [Principle 1]
But why choose Israel if he knew we would fail him.

Why not just send, Jesus straight out?
It’s a continual story, of restoration, no doubt.

Why people? Why Israel? Why you and me?
When we sinned and rebelled, why not just cut us free?

God made a way, to bring us all back.
Promised to crush the head of the serpent’s attack.

God in his grace chose Noah, Abraham, Moses.
Through Israel to all bring the gospel. Let them all know this.

Those of faith, of all Abraham’s sons.
Blessed by God, through them, his purpose still runs.

How did God bring it? Through Israel come?
A Savior, new Israel, God’s one true son.

Jesus repeated Israel’s time.
Egypt, wilderness, tempted, He came out just fine.

Jesus fulfilled, obeyed God all the way.
He came to bring grace, not just law to obey.

Why the law? What’s the purpose? Why did God send?
To point to our sin. Our knees in repentance to bend.

On our own we’re unable to trust and obey.
The law shows us God and our weakness each day.

The Law cannot save us. Only Christ can.
He sent us a Savior, Christ the perfect God-man.

The church continues the mission, though doesn’t replace.
We’re not seen by our blood line, but the blood on his face.

The church to point to him, to know and obey.
Our purpose in life to yield and to worship each day.

Other purposes lacking, they always fall short.
They can distract us, but in the end fall apart.

As we know him and follow, he redeems us from sin.
God redeems the world so we can be with him. [Principle 2]


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Rhyming Sermon Notes: 2022 August

The following are my rhyming sermon notes from the month of August 2022 (scroll down just a bit). Our family has been using these as part of our weekly sermon review after church, and it has been a fun blessing.

A few weeks ago, Pastor Dean asked me what I think is an excellent question, that got me thinking. He basically asked if I was able to benefit from the sermon and to focus on the Word and allowing it to speak into my life, or if I was so focused on the words for rhyming that I may miss actually thinking about it and being changed by it. Excellent question!

It really made me think, and here is the conclusion that I came up with.

  • When I am taking notes, I am mostly focused on the content. I am thinking about what the sermon and the scripture passages say and mean, so that I can catch that meaning (and attempt at exact quotes) in rhyme.
  • While a point may jump out to me as having special application to my life, I don’t usually have time to really dwell on it much at that time, but do make sure to include it in my notes for later.
  • Then after church I type my notes. While typing, I focus on typing and pay very little attention to what is actually being said. I then skim through one time to find and fix obvious typos, etc. (Basically the things the computer highlights as possible errors).
  • I then usually go to lunch with my family and come back to it later in the day.
  • Then come several important steps.
    • I read it again out loud checking for rhythm and rhyme, at that time I am paying attention to the words and also fix typos and rhythm and rhyme that doesn’t quite work.
    • I then read it again, this time usually quite smoothly since many issues have been worked out. This time I really pay attention to the words and meaning.
    • I then read through it yet again, this time really dwelling on the meaning. What was God speaking to me during the sermon and what is he saying now? This time is primarily for processing and allowing the Word to convict, encourage, instruct me by the power of the Holy Spirit. I may find and fix an occasional error, but the focus is on meditating on the Word of God.
    • Note: The typing is the slowest and most boring part of the whole routine. The poem itself is written during the sermon. I just use a few minutes to clean it up a bit.
    • Then finally, I read it with my family at our Sermon Review, pointing out what God was teaching me, etc.

So as I thought about if my note taking is distracting from processing the sermon, it does do that a little bit at the time, but in reality, if I only heard it once, no matter how much I was focusing, it would soon be pushed out by conversations, etc. after church. With having time to take notes and then read them over and over and think through them deeply, I get so much more out of the sermon than I would have (and was getting) before.

This actually reminds me of the way that I was taught to study the Bible with Homiletics (discussed in another post). First focus on the Content, then the Meaning, what God meant by it, then finally, after dwelling on the content and meaning, the Application in my life. I am grateful for a church that teaches with this perspective. We need to know what the Word says first, before we can apply it. It is so easy, and so common, to jump directly to Application, without first really understanding what the Word is saying.

It is a joy to take notes each time and I start to look forward to it as the time approaches. I am more alert and involved with the sermons than ever before. I am also grateful that it is less exhausting now than it was at the beginning. When I first started doing this, I would be wearing down by the end of the sermon with fully processing the whole time. I am still fully engaged, but it is becoming easier and less tiring to do this during the sermon.

I say all this not to focus on what I do, but as an encouragement. “The word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” As we try new ways to study the Word, we may find that God is speaking to us more than we had ever been listening. Try something new for a few weeks, you may find a way God was going to use to help you live in the Word and be made more like Christ by it.

With that said, the sermons from the month of August 2022 (with a link to sermons during a Family Camp we went to one week)…


Grace Church of North Olmsted – Wednesday, 2022-08-03
Nathaniel Lauer
Psalm 127 (Series: Psalms)

Psalm 127, a song of ascents, and a wisdom Psalm.
Though of authorship, there is debate, it says “a Psalm of Solomon.”

Apart from God we all will see the vanity of man’s toil.
Build the house and guard the city and still it will fall and spoil.

Rise up early, stay up late, to work for our own pleasure
Instead we eat a sorrowful bite, and have a painful measure.

The Lord, to his beloved gives, the sleep of rest in him.
He keeps us safe and gives us peace and cleanses us from sin.

The reward of man’s gift from God, children the fruit of the womb.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior young, keeping one from shame and doom.

Blessed truly is the man, with a quiver full.
Happy is he and in the gate he shall not be shamed or fooled.

The enemies IN the city are, not only from outside.
We can speak with our enemies, no need to fight or to run and hide.

Man’s toil will all pass away. Our bodies to dust will go.
God’s blessings are all here to stay. That his blessings to the world might show


Grace Church of North Olmsted – Sunday, 2022-08-07
Sunday School – Chris Pierre
Colossians 1:9-12 (Series: Prayers of Paul)

From Ephesus in Turkey, the Colossian church did come
Epaphras brought the gospel, of truth and life in the Son.

What is the context of the prayer? What is the “it” in verse nine?
The “it” of “faith” produced by the gospel, come from God, divine.

Do you have a question of Scripture? To the Scripture go.
God gives us words to understand, that him we’ll love and know.

This prayer is a plural prayer, not from Paul alone.
From the heart of Paul and Timothy, that the Colossians Christ may atone.

We also must pray plural prayers, our words alone he does not hear.
We must pray in the beloved son, God then holds our prayers dear.

The Spirit helps in our weaknesses, how to pray we do not know.
But in the power of the Spirit; he leads in which way to go.

As we pray with other believers, encourage and challenge on the way,
God confirms his purposes, as we praise him day by day.

This prayer is perpetual, their prayers they did not cease.
Our prayers are a necessity, to give life and hope and peace.

What do we value as a necessity? We know by what we do.
If prayer is a necessity, we continue and see it through.

This prayer, it is personal, he prays for them by name.
True love is always personal, because people are not the same.

So now we have the context, an important part to know.
Now we go to the content, as we hear this prayer’s flow.

The prayer has four parts, that we may learn to pray.
Let’s’ continue on, to what they do and say.

Pray that they may be filled, with the knowledge of his will.
Transformed in their mind, that with his word, God would fill.

The gospel is the root, that causes life to sprout.
And the gospel is the tree, that grows and lets fruit out.

Knowing the Word of God, is not the final place to be.
We pray that it would change us, that the fruit of the Spirit we would see.

We pray to be fully fortified, in a place of strength.
To rest in the God of power alone, with no limits in depth or length.

God has the power to save us, by nothing we can do.
Then to live and grow by this same power, that in his strength we grew.

The true believer has new life, the old self put away.
By his power, and his alone, do we grow day by day.

We’re not just saved from wrath, as important as that may be.
We live and have our life in him, that life in him we see!

The prayer ends with rejoicing, in the knowledge of the Lord.
In the certainty of our Savior, can we stand, in the promises in his Word.

Joy leads to thanksgiving, to the Father we give thanks.
We are eternally grateful to be in his Family’s ranks.

Jesus came to save us, at the Father’s plan.
The Father he so loved us that sin and death he sent his son to ban.

We have joy in our position, that God has qualified
to be adopted by him for ever, by his will, not because we tried.

Is that inheritance in heaven, reserved in heaven for you?
Do the Scriptures give confirmation, or conviction, which is true?


Grace Church of North Olmsted – Sunday, 2022-08-07
Pastor Dean Good
1 Peter 3:18-22 (focus on vs. 22)

Christ is our example, of suffering to glory.
God has exalted him, and showed how he works out the story.

Of this exaltation, the history, significance and ministry we did see.
We now look at the expectation of exaltation for you and me.

When we see Christ in glory, sitting at the Father’s right hand.
We have hope for the future, that the enemies of sin and death are banned.

His enemies as his footstool, his reign o’er all the earth.
All wickness destroyed, his righteousness bringing new birth.

Our hope is in Christ alone, not the governments of men.
He’s coming back to rule! Amen and Amen!

What is the basis of this expectation? How do we know it’s true?
The prophecies given over time, of his reign and peace, he’ll do.

David wanted to build a house for God, God said it would be his son.
His descendent would build the eternal house, he will be the one.

This promise, not just for Solomon, but looking further on,
Looking at the Messiah, after David is long gone.

David’s righteous branch, the Lord our righteousness
Will rule in Jerusalem, the promise, we are blessed.

The certainty of this expectation, by God was written there,
Spoke of death and resurrection, this certain hope God did share.

This dead and raised Messiah, will return to rule and reign.
he will reign and judge the wicked, the world won’t be the same.

On that day the Lord will deliver his chosen Israel.
He’ll claim what he has purchased, the glory will be surreal.

In Zechariah 14, we hear of the Messiah coming to fight.
Returning to the Mount of Olives, his enemies will take flight.

There will be no more “religion”, no more idolatry.
The king will sit enthroned and reign eternally.

The temple in Ezekiel, the Lord will come to fill.
From there he will reign forever, and then all will be well.

The antichrist will mimic, until Christ does destroy.
Jerusalem still the focus of politics today, until Christ will rule and reign and give his people joy.

Have you been humbled before the Savior? To stand beside the cross?
We will see his glory, when he comes to heal all loss.


Grace Church of North Olmsted – Wednesday, 2022-08-10
Pastor Dean Good
Psalm 126 (Series: Psalms)

“Turn again our captivity”, repeated then and again,
could be to “restore our fortunes, like done for Job back then.

First interpret the context, the principles to know,
then see the application, how we are to grow.

Looking in Deuteronomy, keep the law, be blessed.
Refuse to follow the Lord, in captivity be stressed.

The Lord says the curse will come, they certainly will disobey,
but their hearts will change to follow the Lord, and the Lord will blessings say.

Love the Lord your God, with all your heart, soul, might.
This is the call for everyone, to love and not to fight.

When you turn and follow the Lord, the Lord will turn and bless.
This turning comes when they follow the Lord, and forever in the land will rest.

They entered the land and followed Baal, and worshiped other gods.
The anger of God was kindled, and by enemies sent discipline rods.

God raised up judges to save them, to “turn their captivity.”
Then they would follow God for a while, and during that time be free.

The land was the gift of the promise, given by God to them.
Though the land was taken captive, the Messiah would return again.

Returning to Psalm 126, the author first looks back,
then in verses four through six, looks at what they now lack.

The people would have sweet dreams, with joy to sing and laugh,
When the people had been delivered, rescued from God’s wrath.

When God does save the people, the surrounding nations will see.
Though they are a small, weak people, God’s people they will be.

We saw this happen in Daniel, when Nebuchadnezzar was proud.
He saw God’s power displayed, and turned and worshiped out loud.

When we reflect on God’s actions, even with troubles still near,
We rejoice in praise and worship, and reflect in holy fear.

Verses one to three looking back, then a prayer here in verse four,
verses five and six a principle, that we may praise him more.

When we ask God to turn our captivity, what are we to do?
We are to trust the Savior, and sow in faith that’s true.

We may not see the hope, the plan God has in store,
but we can trust our God, and humbly follow the Lord.

Sow in tears, in dark dark days, when God seems far away,
but trust the Lord, see what he’s done, and walk joyfully by faith each day.


Grace Church of North Olmsted – Sunday, 2022-08-14
Sunday School – Daniel Pierre
1 Thessalonians 3:10-13 (Series: Prayers of Paul)

This prayer of Paul is personal, to the people in the Church.
It looks like an ideal family photo, but to get there they went through the lurch.

The church was going through tribulation, and he wanted them to remember love.
So that in their difficulties, they could cling to God above.

Hebrew writers often put the main idea in the center of the book.
So that they could discuss it before hand, and then after take another look.

The church in Thessalonica was young, Gentile, and struggling.
Paul, Timothy and Silas wrote to help them persevere through all things.

On the first missionary Journey, they went through these areas first.
Paul now writes to them, to see if they are doing better or doing worse.

When writing to Gentile believers, the goal wasn’t to keep the law.
The goal was to love and follow God, to encourage one and all.

From Philippi to Thessalonica, Paul had been forced to go.
The church there, then was planted, Paul now writes to help them grow.

After the church was planted, Paul and Timothy again forced to leave.
Off to Berea, then to Corinth, both of which the gospel did receive.

The church in Thessalonica, attacked from without and from within,
Paul writes to strengthen the church, help them not fall into sin.

Timothy and Silas give Paul a great report.
He then writes to the Thessalonians, with gladness his hope did not fall short.

The content of the prayer, the object of the request:
That we may see your face, be there in person as your guest.

Paul elsewhere in the scripture, writes to express his love and desire to see.
Paul longs to have time with them, an encouragement to be.

Hearing they are doing well, causes Paul to have joy deep.
He writes to them with pleasure, though in prison he does sleep.

As we live our Christian lives, fellowship have we,
with God our Father above, and other believers that we see.

While distance relationships and tools, all may have their part.
Fellowship is meant to be in person, as we live heart to heart.

Paul’s prayer echoes the high priestly prayer, for heavenly unity.
As believers through all eternity, have this love when him we see.

But now we live in a sinful world, with sin and struggle in our hearts.
But this more limited fellowship we have, and this is a great start.

If we say that we really want something, our efforts they will show.
As we seek in sincerity, our efforts let others know.

Paul longed to be with them, so had sent Timothy.
Paul was so glad to hear from them when Timothy he again did see.

This supernatural love is from God and not from us.
What does this love in my heart cause me to do? If it’s real it will show, it must.

The goal of this request, to build them in their faith.
This service is infinite, good even when they see God’s face.

In Second Peter chapter one, Peter lists benefits of mature faith.
Partakers of divine nature, faith eternal, forever stayeth.

The granter of the prayer, the Father and Jesus Christ.
He is all the omni’s, he is holy and and he is right.

Jesus now at the Father’s right hand praying there for us.
He now empowers our prayers, to pray in him we must.

How does God answer the prayer? Bring Paul and friends to them.
He directed them before, and he’ll do it again.

God is sovereign over details, his plans will always stand.
We need not fear or doubt or on our own control demand.

Bright lights, earthquakes, dreams and many other ways,
Paul knew that God’s throne is established, we can trust him all our days.

The outcome of the prayer: faith, and hope, and love.
These the gifts of God, they come from God above.

May God increase their love, for God and other men.
This love comes with sacrifice and service. Provide this Lord, Amen.

This love shows to believers and to those who are not.
We can give them common grace, and the gospel lest they rot.

True love is to direct a man to God’s word and also to his hope.
This should be for all men, whether they repent or if they say “nope.”

Paul prays that “without blame”, we could be and live.
This is only through Jesus Christ, when justification he does give.

The continuing growth, sanctification it is called,
This is continuing from God, his work is never stalled.

This work that God is doing, it brings us certain hope.
This is not the dreaming of the world, that can be “yes” or “nope.”

God’s story doesn’t change, we need not fret and worry.
The path we do not know, but we know the end of the story.

Jumping to the end, how did God answer this prayer?
Paul did see them again, approximately four years later.

Even four centuries later, we see evidence that they were there.
And even now today, they set an example of Christian love and care.

Sinners we may be, but work in us God can do.
To pray, encourage, help, are just a few things for me and you.


Grace Church of North Olmsted – Sunday, 2022-08-14
Pastor Dean Good
1 Peter 4:1-3

First Peter four: one and two, the focus of the book.
to live like our suffering Savior, knowing that on us he does look.

This world is not our home, not our lasting hope.
We are to live as aliens, this vision is our scope.

Submitting to authorities, not popular then or now.
But called to trust God and suffer, and he will show us how.

Suffering for righteousness, the theme of the rest of the letter.
Following Christ’s example, for who has done it better.

Follow Christ in his purpose, for to this we were called.
He willingly came to suffer, to gain a higher call.

To die for sins, to bring us, to reconcile to God.
Though Satan tried to tempt him, he took God’s wrath and rod.

Through the things he suffered, he learned obedience.
We too are to arm ourselves with this purpose, not to flee to great distance.

If you expect life’s fun and easy, when difficulties come,
this will leave you lost, bewildered, and true faith you may just shun.

If you want to grow in purpose, ask the Lord to start
to help you see the truth as he opens up your heart.

When walking through this life, our faith will face the test.
Will we take comfort in the world, or suffer for what is best?

To walk firmly in this world, we must have dedication.
To have Christ’s attitude in suffering, without modification.

We have been called to suffer, following in his steps.
Though the Lord was perfect, he took it and was blessed.

He looked to future glory, for the joy that was to come.
We’re called to anticipate the glory, at the coming of this Son.

He suffered resolutely, knowing what the future held.
Set his face to Jerusalem, though he faced the power of hell.

The prophecies of Isaiah, written well before he came.
Wrote of the suffering servant, it’s amazingly the same.

Set his face like flint to follow, no matter what may come.
It’s not just forgiveness we are given, the cost we must well sum.

The significance of imitating his purpose, is to cease from sin.
This does not mean suffering equals sanctification, but to repent and follow him.

The willingness to suffer as Christ we follow now,
To suffer loss and die, as Jesus shows us how.

The result of imitating his purpose, to live all of our days.
for the will of God, forever and always.

A change in motivation, from the lusts of the flesh
to the will of God, our motivations all made fresh.

If you want to follow your lusts, just do what you want to do.
To eat or watch or enjoy, do it all for you.

But to follow God, obey him, deny yourself today.
Not living for yourself, but following him all the way.

To know the will of God, and walk it day by day.
Present your body a living sacrifice, in what you do, and think, and say.

Knowing the Word of God, doesn’t mean we know his will.
Only when we obey it, will he with this knowledge fill.

John Bunyan saw the truth that he must be dead to ALL
to live upon his God or else he’ll certainly fall.

If we’ll truly follow Christ, then dead we must fully be,
We must be dead to self and world, that the Savior we will see.

Dead to job, provision, and everything we know.
Trusting God alone, that then his blessings flow.

Looking back at life, we see the time we wasted.
This life of lusts and pleasure, the emptiness we’ve tasted.

We can work really hard, to make great sacrifice,
to live for our lusts, this all seems really nice.

This, the way of a fool, passing onto death.
Drinking, sex and sensuality it fills our every breath.

As we look back at our lives, we see the grace of God.
He paid for all our folly, his own blood by him shod.

He suffered death for us, do we suffer death for him?
As we turn and live for God, he purifies from sin.

When we are low and humble, we need not fear the fall.
When we have little, it sets us free, to live for him our all.


We were at a Christian, Homeschool family camp on Wednesday, 2022-08-17
Click here for my notes from that camp


Grace Church of North Olmsted – Sunday, 2022-08-21
Sunday School – Dave Howard
2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 (Series: Prayers of Paul)

We continue with the prayers of Paul in second Thessalonians one: eleven and twelve.
Similar to Colossians one: nine to 12, but instead of tribulation, in peace they did dwell.

Colossians talked of peace, of not being influenced by the world.
Thessalonians speaks of struggle, either way walk worthy in the Lord.

Walk worth, Powerful Faith, In the power of Christ
Not for himself, that their suffering may cease, though this would be quite nice.

Seek the Lord, submit to his will, as hard as that may be.
The church loved each other, gave support, overcame and hope could see.

From first to second Thessalonians, their love it deeper grew.
They were a prime example of living under persecution, too.

An evidence of God’s just judgment, Christians persecuted they will be.
Their end is sure, judgment will come the evil will surely see.

“I never knew you”, Christ will say to those who faithless lived.
“Welcome”, “Enter into rest” to them this hope he gived.

The bookends of the prayer, the glorification of Christ
in his return and in you, praise God with all your might.

The Lord’s prayer starts and ends, “Hallowed be thy name”
“Your will be done on earth and heaven” in both it is the same.

Job was not about Job, but about the glory of God.
All our lives from start to end, God’s praise is our job.

Paul doesn’t pray for pain to end, to petition government.
He prays they would walk worthy, to the world be sent.

Paul prays that they would be, in submission to the king.
Worthy of the kingdom, in persecution sing.

When our own standard we create, better we will seem.
But God’s standard, “Did I know you?” helps us to see that we’re unclean.

We’re called to follow him, submit fully to his way.
How is he leading you? Follow day by day.

Revelation three verse four, garments still all clean.
Walking worthy in the Lord, holy to be seen.

What are your desires? Through the internet connected?
Reality is quite different, often angry and dejected.

Romans fifteen: fourteen pursue goodness in your life.
Galatians five: twenty-two, the Spirit brings goodness, and not strife.

Do not quench the Spirit, delight in His Word.
Convicts of sin, guides in His way, we need to act, His Word not only heard.

Faith should active be, not simply in our thoughts.
“Work” and “Labor”, not simply “wait”, follow as we’re taught.

“Glory to Christ” our ultimate goal.
By his power, change our mind and soul.

First Samuel two: thirty, honor me, I’ll honor you.
Trust and follow the Lord our God and see what he will do.

This little light of mine.
I’m going to let it shine. Let it shine. Let it shine. Let it shine.


Grace Church of North Olmsted – Sunday, 2022-08-21
Pastor Dean Good
1 Peter 4:1-6 – Follow Christ in His Rejection

When the Lord our hearts do follow, our lust will start to fall away.
When this happens the world will hate us, rejected, suffering day by day.

Christ was rejected, we know we will be too.
John fifteen: sixteen sayeth, go bear fruit. From the world, I chose you.

We annoy the world, they will hate us. They will turn, and hate, reject.
The world’s rejection of the believer is quite natural. This rejection we should expect.

The world’s confused by how we live and we’re confused by their lives to.
We’re aliens to them. In like manner, they are aliens to me and you.

Vanity fair, want what you want, say what you say, do what you will do.
Pilgrims come, looking, speaking strange, not wanting what they offered, but seeking only what is true.

The world’s rejection of the believer is revealing, their depravity clearly shown.
Surprised we don’t run with them to folly, their sinful pursuits all may know.

It’s a mad dash, work, work, go, go.
a stampede of pleasure seekers, seeking their own will to flow.

Believers seek the will of God, not our own desires and pursuits.
Baalam sought to be wealthy, by a donkey received his fruits.

An excess of excess of sins they have galore.
They do not see the judgment that is surely for them in store.

Drunkenness, sex, no self control, the world’s committed to their lusts.
Self-justified but not godly, they want us to join, confirm their trusts.

God says don’t be filled with wine, but filled with the Spirit be.
Drunkenness it fully controls them, Filled with the Spirit, controlled by thee.

All I think, say, do, desire, filled overflowing with the Spirit’s power.
Am I thus filled with the Spirit? Growing in his fruit hour by hour.

We a joyful, holy Christian, the world confused and annoyed.
Reveals their sin, their pride, their folly. This condemns, does not bring joy.

This light of truth and condemnation, they call us “holier than thou.”
If we just act and go, run with them, they’ll accept us, love us now.

Don’t be surprised at the world’s rejection, the fiery ordeal must surely come.
When you suffer as a Christian, continue to fellowship, continue to run.


Grace Church of North Olmsted – Wednesday, 2022-08-24
Pastor Dean Good (no sound on recording)
Psalm 129 (Series: Psalms)

Psalm 129 a Psalm of affliction, suffering and pain.
Satan afflicts the children of God, by God’s will and for our gain.

The first part a declaration, a prayer the second part.
Victory for the persecuted, and curses for the persecuting hard of heart.

Promises in Moses and the prophets, before the time of Psalms.
Promises to bless and establish, when God the nation calms.

In Jeremiah 28, God the nation would save.
God rescued then and rescues now, may his presence we crave.

Jacob, his brother and uncle, later the Philistines and more.
God’s people always afflicted, many a time must endure.

God always saw them through it, over and over again.
From the Jews of old to Hitler and more, God over Satan does reign.

God delivers from the work of Satan, but allows his people go through.
To help us turn, depend on him, to know and trust he is true.

No matter how deep the trials, the child of God not destroyed.
God will always take us through, his presence forever enjoyed.

In verse five, begins a transition, from facts to a prayer to God.
A prayer that evil plans will fail, frustrated and judged with a rod.

Enemies like the grass on a rooftop, dry and blow away.
Their lives are fruitless, going nowhere. It’s harder to follow than say.

Prayer of a curse on persecutors, those who stand for sin.
Trusting God to protect us, to destroy evil, that we will win.

The surrounding trials are short, passing in the night.
The judgment and reward, eternal, in or out of his light.

Pray for other believers, that they would stand steadfast.
To be counted as his children to be counted as those who will last.

All for our Lord God’s glory, for his purpose and his name.
Live for him by his power, the One who overcame.


Grace Church of North Olmsted – Sunday, 2022-08-28
Sunday School – Jonathan Underhill
2 Thessalonians 3:1-5 (Series: Prayers of Paul)

The passage has two parts: spread of the gospel and perseverance of the saints.
The Thessalonians an encouragement. to Paul and Timothy their impact relates.

Verses one and two, Paul asking for prayer.
Three through five Paul prayed for them, out of his deep care.

Paul here discontent, at the speed the gospel spread.
Are we content, not pushing on, a faith without works is dead.

The Gospel to Thessalonica, Paul in the synagogue proclaimed.
A large number to faith and followed, proclaimed Jesus’ name.

Paul is now in Corinth, things are moving slow.
Paul wants the gospel to go forth, then the church to grow.

The color in the water, faster than on paper spread. [Visual illustration]
Paul is finding this in Corinth, slow though the word was read.

God promises to Paul, to press on, to not give up.
Though the work was slow, God would raise, many people up.

Not only was acceptance slow, their rejection it was fierce.
God again did promise, He would work, the attacks not grow worse.

In 16,000 people groups, the Christians very few.
With only 5 or 1 percent, what would God have us do?

Nothing can stop the Word of God, the Jews wanted Paul out.
But God said stay and preach, the Gospel you should shout.

What hinders the spread of the gospel? Barriers people raise:
Government stops and slows, hindrance and not praise.

Christians go other ways, business, teach, and give.
The gospel will go forth, in what we preach and how we live.

Culture blocks understanding, Language blocks the words.
Our selfish hearts block our going, and finances from being heard.

The magistrate said no preaching, but Paul preached anyway.
He didn’t just want hearing, but for faith to grow, spread, stay.

When a life is changed, people take notice. The change an impact will make.
We become a slave to all, to all resistance break.

Live only for the gospel, not selfish desires, pursuits
Give all go the distance, and God will bring the fruits.

Wicked men stand up opposed, the gospel is a threat.
Non-religious just don’t want it, religious try to benefit.

Paul spoke against religious men, the gospel they rejected.
They acted as religious, but faithless, faith dissected.

Religious claim authority, only they can know.
The people are bewitched, and willingly follow.

Colossians two verse four, the wrong gospel, not to share.
Debates generally push away, but humility shows you care.

Trusting in the Lord’s strength, and not our words and skill,
depends not on our own strength, but on the Lord’s to thrill.

Satan comes like a light, his followers to deceive.
The people of the darkness look good, but come to make us grieve.

God is always faithful, His people he does guard.
The Love of God and steadfastness, carries us when life is hard.

Jesus doesn’t pray, that from the world we’d go,
but that we from the evil one, be protected and grow.

Even when the world’s against us, and often seems to win,
God gives the strength to win victorious, and keeps us from all sin.

Persecutions we endure, they do not go away.
This happened to Lord Jesus too, he was strengthened to obey.

Paul didn’t use big, strong muscles, but knew the Word of God.
He was “bubble” wrapped in God’s power, led, protected by his royal rod.

Unbelievers can not follow, God they cannot please or obey.
But God through the Holy Spirit, works to keep and form us day by day.

We have opportunity to know, be changed and follow God.
This only by his work, as His Spirit does lead and prod.

How did Jesus follow, through suffering, defeat, and death?
He knew that God would lift him up, give glory, life, and breath.

Prayer is the propellant, to the gospel spread.
Don’t give up get overwhelmed, trust God and have no dread.


Grace Church of North Olmsted – Sunday, 2022-08-28
Pastor Dean Good
1 Peter 4:1-6 – Follow Christ in His Rejection, Part 2

God created us to be social, not to live alone.
We want to be accepted by those around us, by family and friends be known

But when we live for the Savior, to do the will of God,
we will receive his rejection, our lives to the world seem odd.

Last week looked at the world’s rejection, of the people of God.
This rejection is natural as they run to death, and revealing as with pursuit of self and pleasure are shod.

The world’s rejection of God’s people is verbal, blaspheming what is strange.
They revile God, and all his ways, his people they try to change.

Verbal abuse of believers, by those who the gospel reject.
Many words Paul does use, to describe this abuse and inspect.

Most Christians in history, have not for their faith died.
But all Christians at some level, by verbal abuse are tried.

Some may curse you out, some falsely accuse.
Say you are wicked, but see you are right, when they do abuse.

Say “You’re not moral” when they sin, true values they will twist.
From history past this has not changed, we still have the same list:

Legalist, immoral, foolish, socially deranged,
biased, hater, condemning others, ideas wrong and strange.

The gospel is an offense to the world, condemnation brings.
Sin, death, hell, eternity, right and wrong and things.

Superstitious, blind; foolish and confused.
No one wants to be seen this way, to be daily abused.

Nothing new under the sun, the same both then and now.
Mocking, hating, sarcasm, thinking we will bow.

Look on with condescension, turn Jesus, teacher, into God.
Look with mocking pity, Christians misled and odd.

This leads to persecution, seen in the book of Acts.
Steven mocked and slandered, publicly attacked.

Steven pointed to God, spoke boldly of the truth.
Hatred intensified, stoned while Saul stood aloof.

Leaders, teachers, parents; tease don’t understand.
Those closest to us, in the church; against us they may band.

This rejection not just of Christians, the rejection is of Christ.
Blaspheming man and God, a rejection of truth and light.

How should we respond to abuse? What should we do?
Five ways to respond, the Word will walk us through.

Do not be surprised, when the world rejects the way.
We share what God has done, they reject what we say.

Second, keep a good conscience, don’t respond in a sinful way.
That even when they slander, live for God each day.

Third, do not respond in kind, repeating as they speak.
But giving a blessing instead, be strong while they are weak.

Bless and do not curse, do not say foolish things.
Pray for them, that they’d be saved, with grace let your words ring.

Fourth, commit yourself to the Lord, trusting his power and way.
The truth will always win in the end, He’s the Lord at the end of the day.

Trust yourself to a faithful creator, in doing what is right.
He will give you grace and strength, to live by his great might.

Fifth, be ready to give an answer, for the hope that is in you.
With gentleness and reverence, sharing what is true.

In Ephesians two: one to ten, I was dead in sin.
But Jesus died for me and rose, giving life again.

When filled with the hope in his Word, in the Spirit walk.
These attacks don’t bother at all, we can obey and talk.


Grace Church of North Olmsted – Wednesday, 2022-08-31
Jonathan Underhill

Psalm 130 (Series: Psalms)

The Psalmist in the world is struggling with life. The pain deeper, deeper does go.
Jonah felt similar, drowning in life, down where life is so low.

What brings us down? Sorrow and sin, melancholy situation so low.
Other will be there, and can surely relate, as up to Jerusalem they go.

Without hope in God, we have no hope at all, no matter how high or how low.
God is the one who hears, provides, protects, In our struggle his power does show.

In the depth and despair, we cry out to the Lord. Our confidence in him alone.
If we refuse to submit, to his will and his way, his righteous recourse will be shown.

“I, even I, will wipe out your sins.” Justice is not within us.
God gives the pardon, only he sets us free, only in him is our trust.

Do you have the pardon, the freedom in him? To rest and trust in his way?
Only in this do we rest and we wait, writing expectantly for his bright coming day.

The watchman is waiting, knowing when the sun will rise. He’s expectant and soon will go home.
We too should be watchful, looking for him, looking to the eternal home.

Morning is coming, we know this is true, though the timing is hidden from us.
Waiting for his coming, not hoping it’s true, but knowing as in his Word we trust.

With eager expectation do you wait? Do you long? For the Lord to come back, you believe.
Some say they believe, but the going gets hard and the path to Christ they do leave.

He himself, he will do it, in Christ God has come, to cover our sorrow and shame.
God comes to destroy, not only the sin, but the source of all sin by his name.

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Highlights of Psalm 37 in light of today’s world

Have you noticed that the world seems to be changing at an increasing speed, where wrong is proudly celebrated as right, right is violently opposed, systems and powers are roaring for control while at the same time shaking and breaking? 

Does all of this cause you to worry?

Today is July 7th. In keeping with our Psalms reading plan (that I don’t always keep, but come back to when not studying other things), today’s Psalms were Psalm 7, 37, 67, 97 and 127. My wife asked me to read Psalm 37 in light of our recent conversations about homesteading as a way to raise food and animals to the glory of God, as a means to connect with others, and share education.

This Psalm is perfect for the world we live in. Rather than my talking about it, I’m going to post the whole Psalm below with my highlights.

Key for Highlights

  • Commands not to worry, etc.
  • Commands to trust the Lord, etc.
  • God’s judgment of the wicked
  • Blessing of the Land
  • Blessings (other than land)

Psalm 37 (NKJV)

Of David.
1 Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong;
2 for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away.

3 Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

5 Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this:
6 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.

7 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.

8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil.
9 For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.

10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found.
11 But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity.

12 The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them;
13 but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming.

14 The wicked draw the sword and bend the bow to bring down the poor and needy, to slay those whose ways are upright.
15 But their swords will pierce their own hearts, and their bows will be broken.

16 Better the little that the righteous have than the wealth of many wicked;
17 for the power of the wicked will be broken, but the Lord upholds the righteous.

18 The blameless spend their days under the Lord’s care, and their inheritance will endure forever.
19 In times of disaster they will not wither; in days of famine they will enjoy plenty.

20 But the wicked will perish: Though the Lord’s enemies are like the flowers of the field, they will be consumed, they will go up in smoke.

21 The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously;
22 those the Lord blesses will inherit the land, but those he curses will be destroyed.

23 The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him;
24 though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.

25 I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.
26 They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be a blessing.

27 Turn from evil and do good; then you will dwell in the land forever.
28 For the Lord loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones.
Wrongdoers will be completely destroyed; the offspring of the wicked will perish.
29 The righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever.

30 The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom, and their tongues speak what is just.
31 The law of their God is in their hearts; their feet do not slip.

32 The wicked lie in wait for the righteous, intent on putting them to death;
33 but the Lord will not leave them in the power of the wicked or let them be condemned when brought to trial.

34 Hope in the Lord and keep his way. He will exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are destroyed, you will see it.

35 I have seen a wicked and ruthless man flourishing like a luxuriant native tree,
36 but he soon passed away and was no more; though I looked for him, he could not be found.

37 Consider the blameless, observe the upright; a future awaits those who seek peace.
38 But all sinners will be destroyed; there will be no future for the wicked.

39 The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord; he is their stronghold in time of trouble.
40 The Lord helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.

Our hope is truly, and only, in the Lord. Any hope that we place in our own efforts is a passing vanity.

His promises continually return to “the land”. As we return to the land we have wonderful opportunities to see God’s provision, how he is the one who sends the rains and makes things grow. The land gives a unique opportunity to experience our dependence on God and his provision.

It is now July 9th and several verses jumped out that relate to the above:

Psalm 9:15-16 (and all of Psalm 9)

15 The nations have sunk down in the pit which they made;
In the net which they hid, their own foot is caught.
16 The Lord is known by the judgment He executes;
The wicked is snared in the work of his own hands.

Psalm 39:4-7

4 “Lord, make me to know my end,
And what is the measure of my days,
That I may know how frail I am.
5 Indeed, You have made my days as handbreadths,
And my age is as nothing before You;
Certainly every man at his best state is but vapor. (Selah)
6 Surely every man walks about like a shadow;
Surely they busy themselves in vain;
He heaps up riches,
And does not know who will gather them.
7 “And now, Lord, what do I wait for?
My hope is in You.
Our hope is in the Lord. 

As Solomon summarized in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14:

13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:
Fear God and keep His commandments,
For this is man’s all.
14 For God will bring every work into judgment,
Including every secret thing,
Whether good or evil.

And in 1 Corinthians 10:31 Paul states, “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

Faith comes by HEARING

“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17

This past year our BSF study was going through the People of the Promised Land 1 (Joshua-Solomon). As part of that study, I was blessed with the opportunity to give the lecture on the book of Psalms.

Before preparing the lecture, I wanted to get the full picture of the Psalms by reading through them at least once and hopefully several times. It was at this time that I learned from my wife the wonderful blessing of LISTENING to God’s Word. Yes, I enjoy reading it, but LISTENING added a whole new element. Interestingly, this is the only way that many people through the years have learned God’s Word as books were not always as available as today. This became my go-to to listen to while driving, and helped to seize every moment for Christ.

When looking to listen I tried out a few audio Bibles. They were OK, but didn’t really draw me into the Word.

Then I found one that did! I felt like God’s Word came alive.

And as an added bonus the best one I found was free!!! That means that not only can I enjoy it, but I can easily point others to it as well.

It is at https://www.faithcomesbyhearing.com/.

The specific Bible that I listen to (now thoroughly enjoying Acts as we prepare for next year) can be found at:

https://www.faithcomesbyhearing.com/audio-bibles/download/eng/engesvn2da for the New Testament (ESV) and https://www.faithcomesbyhearing.com/audio-bibles/download/eng/engesvo2da for the Old Testament (ESV). Or click here for either Google/Android or Apple/iPhone.

These particular recordings are dramatized with music and different voices reading the ESV translation. It is also available in a non-dramatized version, as well as just about every language in the world.

I pray that this may help your enjoyment of God’s Word come alive as much as it has for me.


As an added note, for the study of the Psalms, I had certain Psalms that I listened to (and continue to listen to fairly often) for each day of the month. This is in addition to listening to other areas in God’s Word that I am currently studying.

I consider a month to have 30 days, so listen to every 30th Psalm starting with that day’s date.

For example on the first of the month, I listen to Psalm 1, Psalm 31, Psalm 61, Psalm 91, Psalm 121 and Proverbs 1.

For the second of the month I listen to Psalm 2, Psalm 32, Psalm 62, Psalm 92, Psalm 122 and Proverbs 2.

Notice, just take the day of the month and keep adding 30 until you run out of Psalms.

For Psalm 119 (the longest chapter in the Bible), I sometimes listen to it as scheduled above, or I put it by itself on the 31st day of months with 31 days.

The way that I made this more convenient is that I made playlists on my phone. Everyday has a playlist with just the right Psalms & Proverb. Then, when it is that day, I can just play that playlist. It is ready to go every day, every month.

I download the playlists to the phone so that I can listen on the go without using my phone data.


This gift has been an amazing blessing to me, which is now enjoyed by our whole family as we play it at home. I pray that soaking in God’s Word will be a blessing to you as well, as the Holy Spirit makes the Word alive to you.

Homiletics Post 3 of 3: Examples, Tweaks & Additions

Previous related posts: Part 1 of 3: “My story”, Part 2 of 3: “What is Homiletics?”

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…
Colossians 3:16a

Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica;
they received the word with all eagerness,
examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.
Acts 17:11

In the previous posts, I shared my story and when and how I started learning homiletics. Like me, you may tweak this design or add to it as you get more into God’s Word and see what helps you to draw near to him. As I have done my own homiletics and read more about homiletics, I also have added sections to my homiletics, but still use the above mentioned plan as my base.

I gained a lot from “Biblical Preaching: The Development and Delivery of Expository Messages“ by Haddon Robinson, which was recommended by my pastor as a main book used in seminaries. From reading this book, I added a section to my homiletics which further broke down each Division into a Subject, Compliment, Idea, Application and Principles. I further broke down the Application sections into “What does this teach about God?” and “How does this impact my life?”.This also gives mom and I areas for deeper spiritual discussions and applications as we both love God’s Word.

When I was learning, I know that examples were as, if not more, helpful than explanation. My homiletics for John 2 make for a fairly clear and complete example. More examples, as well as glimpses into what God was teaching me at the time, are available here: Revelation, John. You can also copy my template, which I update as I think of new areas that would be helpful. (Again, mine are not the best homiletics, and I have grown over time. Don’t let mine limit or intimidate you.)


A word of caution & insight

Develop your own style, don’t just copy mine – I encourage you to develop your own style. Part of the growing for me has been in tweaking my homiletics sheet as I learn more about God and His Word and see ways that would help me to focus to know him even more. It’s all about the process!

Viewing others homiletics – I am hesitant to include the links to my homiletics other than one example for John 2. I don’t want them to be something you look at first, but as you are doing homiletics yourself, sometimes it is fun to discuss yours and see others. I also want to have them available for if I am gone, so you can see a glimpse into your dad’s journey before you. I would enjoy seeing your homiletics as well, and to see how the Lord is speaking to you!


Remember, the goal is to draw near to God through His word, not to simply have an academic understanding of the Bible. Pray that God would open your eyes to see Him and His truths and applications in His Word.

May the Word of God dwell in you richly!

Dad

Note to Others: In keeping with the purpose of our site, this is a letter to our kids and grandkids to leave as a legacy if something should happen to us. If you find any benefit, praise God!

Homiletics Post 2 of 3: What is homiletics?

Previous related post: Part 1 of 3: “My story”

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…
Colossians 3:16a

Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica;
they received the word with all eagerness,
examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.
Acts 17:11

So, what is homiletics?

Homiletics is taking you, God’s Word and the Holy Spirit and wrestling through and hashing out what God is saying in a systematic way. Commentaries, while they have their place, are not invited to the party at this time. (As an aside, if you read a Bible Outline, it is basically someone sharing their homiletics. If you listen to an expository sermon, it is likely based on the framework of the pastor’s homiletics.)

There are variations on how to do homiletics. I have no opinion on which is best other than whatever draws you closer to Christ. What I will share below is my story, how I started, that worked for me. I will then briefly mention some changes I have made as I saw what may be useful for me and read about other ideas for homiletics.IMG_20160725_172435040_HDR

Think of homiletics like an hourglass. The whole passage goes into the wide top of the hourglass. It then gets shrunk down until it can come through the hole in the middle, then it expands again.

Part One: Preparation

  • Pray for God to open your eyes to see Him and His truths and applications in His Word.
  • Read the passage several times to just let it sink in and the Holy Spirit to speak through His Word.
  • Have only your Bible, paper and pencil (I do mine on the computer, but have to be careful to shut out other distractions.). NO commentaries, etc.

Part Two: Content

  • Summarize the entire passage in 10 to 20 lines. Give the reference for each line. You are basically taking notes on the passage.
  • This should only have facts, not your interpretation.
  • It does not have to be full sentences.
  • If you are doing a chapter of 20-40 verses, this isn’t too hard. If you are doing multiple chapters, you are really needing to summarize.

Part Three: Divisions

  • Divide the whole passage into two to four divisions. Give the reference for each division.
  • Have a complete sentence summarizing each division.

Part Four: Subject Sentence

  • Write a sentence that uniquely describes the passage. If someone knows the Bible and reads your subject sentence, they should know what passage you are studying.
  • The sentence should be 10 words or less. (Forcing you to really get down to the core.)
  • Have facts, not interpretation.

Part Five: Aim

  • Write one main truth that the Lord is teaching you and that you want to pass along to others.
  • ONE main truth, not several smaller truths.
  • Start with “Cause audience to learn….” or even “Cause myself to learn…”
  • This is starting to deal with application, not just facts.

Part Six: Application

  • These should be in the form of a question. The questions should cause thinking and change, convict and/or encourage and change the heart over behavior.
  • Write at least one application question for each division.

A Word of Caution and Insight

Caution

Homiletics, as with anything, can also become “computerized”, something you do without really processing, or thinking about the words and missing the meaning. The key has always been and will always be, prayerfully coming before the Lord and experiencing the Holy Spirit bring the Word to life. Homiletics is simply a tool in helping to dig deeper into the Word. It may also appeal more to some personalities than others.

Insight

While I love homiletics, my homiletics are not very “good”. As I hear others share from their homiletics, I delight in hearing the ways they make the divisions flow, or the Subject Sentence catch the meaning almost poetically, etc. While I love hearing theirs (and I really do), I love mine more! (sound vain?) The fact is, mine is mine, it is what God spoke to me. The result may not be as beautiful, but it is through the process of thinking through the Word in communion with the Spirit, that real impact is made. It’s the process, not the result that really matters. I hope I am growing in my results as well, but it is growth in the process of becoming absorbed in God’s Word through His Spirit that really matters.

Don’t let comparison keep you from experiencing the depths of God through His Word!!!


To be continued… Part 3 of 3: “Examples, Tweaks & Additions”

Homiletics Post 1 of 3: My Story

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…
Colossians 3:16a

Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica;
they received the word with all eagerness,
examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.
Acts 17:11

Hi Elijah & Isaiah,

This is for my “buddy buddies” :o) who are now five and two.  I love you guys. Hopefully, I will be around to teach and model this for years to come, but just in case… I want to share with you this joy… and look forward to seeing you in the twinkling of an eye. ~ Dad

(In keeping with the purpose of our site, this is a letter to our kids and grandkids to leave as a legacy if something should happen to us. If others find any benefit, praise God!)

God has given us a letter. It is a letter of love. It is a letter of sacrifice. It is a letter of guidance. It is a letter of encouragement. It is a letter of correction. It is all these things, and much, much more. Most of all, it is a letter of God revealing himself to us!!!IMG_20160725_172507316

Do you read God’s letter? (If not, I’ll keep praying for you till I go Home to be with Jesus.)

Assuming you do, you may be like I was for years even after going to a strong Bible teaching church, Christian college and being involved in participating and leading Bible studies. I really didn’t know how to study the Bible (though I didn’t fully realize it). I would read the Bible, which was good. I would see what it would say, which was good. If I saw application, I would try to apply it, which was good. I may have a Bible Study guide, which was good (but can pull away from actually reading the Bible). I sometimes looked at commentaries for ideas, which was good (but again can be a distraction).

But I still didn’t really feel like I knew how to study the Bible. I thought about my pastor and others who teach the Bible. How do they study the Bible? Is it just reading, reading some commentaries and getting practice and putting a message together… or is there a way to really study the Bible that I am missing. (I sure felt like I was missing something.)

Then I joined Bible Study Fellowship (BSF), which was amazing. The BSF format is four fold: 1. Study on your own with some guiding questions, but no other resources. Just me, the Holy Spirit and the Bible. 2. Discuss our week’s study with other men (or women for mom) to hear other’s insights (still no commentaries, just prayerfully allowing the Holy Spirit to open His Word to us). 3. A lecture from what we had already been studying on our own. 4. Reading notes/commentaries to gain additional insights (after we already put the first focus on God’s Word). I love it! It spoke to my heart and brought the Bible to life. I love it!

But… then I became a BSF group leader and was introduced to a whole new world of Bible study… the joyous introduction to homiletics. (Mom mentioned and I agree that this is the 5th fold of the BSF study method, the other “folds” in our minds being in the area of prayer and fellowship with strong believers and their insights into God’s Word.) The Holy Spirit used Homiletics to bring the Word to life in my life and sharpen its sword to pierce my heart, give limitless hope, reveal God and show me what His Word says about living life.

I love homiletics and have seen it impact my life, family and walk with God!  

To be continued…
Part 2 of 3: “What is Homiletics?”
Part 3 of 3: “Examples, Tweaks & Additions”

 

Called to go, Willing to stay: A Blessing Counting Journal (12)

  1. Parental blessing (b)

Let the Little Children Come! (Matthew 19:14)

Okay, back to the times of house repair. I am grateful God has allowed me to see more of His preparations from years ago for the heart work for His eternal glory. The trip to China confirmed His unchanging love and perfect timing in everything and every season in our life. Since I didn’t have a set time or place to study God’s Word during the house construction, I did my Bible study whenever I could, in front of the kids. It was not my favorite way of studying the Bible. But the Lord not only knows my season in life but orchestrates it. He always provided what I needed to hear and met me where I was. It could be just one verse, one hymn or a radio program, which was sufficient for my day.

My four year old then could see my genuine need to spend time with the Lord. Not only did he learn to have some quiet time together with me, but he also wanted to read his own children’s Bible and took notes like I did. Whenever I think about this, my heart is warmed by God’s grace. Our kids don’t need us to put them first but they do need to see Who (the Ultimate higher authority) we are under and worshipping. God used my children to challenge me to worship Him at all times and see life as an adventure with my Lord.

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It takes creativity and open mind to grow life in the midst of house repair. 🙂

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