Newsletter 56, June, 2000
Christ the Healer | Faith Lessons: That the World May Know|Bible Quiz Questions|Little Old Winemaker - Me!|Parents Should Evaluate Harry Potter Books | Youth Activities|Lesson From Columbine | Bible Story Project | People Empowered With Authority | Philosophy of "Help Lines"|Get the Right Point-Sized Bible | They Don't All Do It!|Our Everything, Every Knee Shall Bow | Speaking in Tongues | Song of Our Syrian Guest | Kansas Prayer Rocks World | Is All Animal Flesh Good Food? | The Smugglers -- God's Outlaws
Many books can be read as easily as fish are filleted with an electric knife. In 1995, Dr. Samuel Bacchiocchi gave me an autographed copy of his book, God's Festivals in Scripture and History. I read the entire book, cover to cover, that evening. The next morning, when I was ready to discuss the book with him, he exclaimed, "Mama mia!" when I told him I had already read and digested his book.
When I review a book, I usually give a summary and significant points of the book, because I realize not everyone will take the time to read it. In the case of the classic book, Christ the Healer, by F.F. Bosworth, I cannot follow the usual routine. This book is a spiritual journey. Any words of summary or discussion of its contents seem flat compared to the actual content of the book. I cannot write an adequate review to do this book justice. All I can do is to ask you to read this book, available free from Giving & Sharing. Because it is so profound, I could not read it at one sitting.
Today, the Church of God has largely forgotten fifty percent of the gospel message. The message of the Messiah had two salient points: preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, and healing the sick. The gospels attest to this fact (e.g. Matthew 9:35 - 10:8). His disciples and the early New Testament Church followed this two-point program precisely. In today's faithless age, we are more sophisticated than that. The Gospel has become merely an announcement of the coming Kingdom of God on this earth. We doubt that it is God's will to heal us when we are sick. So, you do not see the Church covering the half of the Gospel that deals with our physical healing. You see few healings because there is so little faith (see Luke 18:8).
When we repent, how are we sure that our sins are forgiven by God? Why, by faith in the Word of God! Is it God's will to forgive us for our sins? Can we have confidence that the death penalty for our rebellion against the Almighty has been removed by the blood of our Savior? Certainly, because God's faithful Word says so, I John 1:8-9; I Peter 1:18-19; Revelation 7:14. Do you believe that God forgives all your iniquities? Psalm 103:2-3 says so, "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget all His benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities . . . ." Can we believe this? Do we have faith in God's Word because He says so? We should also have faith in the rest of verse 3, ". . . who healeth ALL thy diseases."
Many in the Church of God today are faith destroyers, rather than faith builders. A little two-letter word, "if," destroys the faith of thousands. "IF it is God's will to heal you," they say to the sick, "He will heal you." When a leper came to Jesus wanting to be healed, he said, "If thou wilt." Jesus, "moved with compassion," settled the matter immediately, informing this man, "I will; be thou clean," Mark 1:40-45. Jesus healed ALL that came to Him for healing. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Another hackneyed excuse that destroys faith in God's healing power is the mistaken idea that Paul's "thorn in the flesh," II Corinthians 12:7, was a physical ailment or sickness that would not go away. However, every place this expression is used in the Bible, refers to persons, "messengers of Satan," or pagan Canaanites, Numbers 33:55; Joshua 23:13. Paul's thorn in the flesh was a demon who caused him to be persecuted.
Faith is the core message of the Gospel, and the Bible. F.F. Bosworth's Christ the Healer, 241-pages, is available free from Giving & Sharing, Box 100, Neck City, MO 64849. Originally written in the early 1920s, it has inspired thousands with Bible-based Truth on healing. Will you claim God's promises for healing in the same way you have confidently called on Him to forgive your spiritual sins? Christ is the Healer!
The ancient land of Israel is evidence of the greatness of what God did in that country, a testimony of the Truth of the Bible. Historian/teacher Ray Vander Laan, in co-operation with Focus on the Family, has produced an outstanding VHS video series that brings the Bible to life. Filmed on location in Israel, each of these five two-video sets give "Faith Lessons" and a wealth of interesting insights into Scripture. These videos are ideal for group Bible study and discussion.
By understanding the culture and history of the land of Israel, we gain much insight into the meaning of Scripture. The western mind is based on Greek thought and teaching, where bullet points are laid out in precise order and the meaning of words are clearly defined. Instead, the oriental mind of the land of Israel is taught by pictures and parables (metaphors).
Giving & Sharing is pleased to recommend That the World May Know videos for your Church or study group. You may borrow these excellent videos from our free lending library. Write: Sharing Library, PO Box 581, Granville, OH 43023.
Here are the contents:
V231, Promised Land: Crossroads of the World; V232, Prophets and Kings of Israel; V233, Life and Ministry of the Messiah; V234, The Death and Resurrection of the Messiah; V235, The Early Church: Conquering the Gates of Hell (covers the cities of Sardis, Pergamum, Ephesus, and Laodicea).
There are many lessons to learn from these videos. For example, Ray takes us to the ruins of Chorazin, one of the three cities in which Jesus spent most of His ministry (besides Capernaum and Bethsaida). We see a house with additional rooms attached to it. He explains that when a Jewish young man wanted to marry, he would build the prospective couple a room attached to his father's house. When it was finished, he would come and get his bride, take her to their house (attached to his father's house), and they would dwell together as husband and wife. Now I can better understand the words of Jesus, "In my Father's house are many mansions [rooms]: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also," John 14:2-3.
Why are there two recorded miracles of Jesus feeding thousands of people from a few loaves of bread a few fishes? In His own country, at a desert place near the Sea of Galilee, Mark 6:1, 31-46, Jesus fed 5,000 men (plus women and children), and there were twelve baskets of fragments left over, verse 43. Ray Vander Laan takes us to the second place, Decapolis, a pagan center on the southeast side of the Sea of Galilee. Here Jesus fed 4,000, and there were seven baskets left over, in pagan country, Mark 7:31-37, 8:1-9. To the Jewish mind, the number twelve signified the twelve tribes of Israel; the number seven is also related to the seven pagan nations displaced by the Israelites in the Promised Land, Deuteronomy 7:1. The Decapolis, on the east of Jordan, was in Jesus' day the center of pagan worship. Could it be that a lesson Jesus was giving is that His salvation would be available both to the Israel and the Gentiles? Even in His miracles, Jesus taught profound lessons.
When Vander Laan, a Protestant, is wrong, I still learned something. He points out that Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem occurred on the presentation day of the Passover lamb, Nisan 10, when the lamb was set aside, Exodus 12:3-6. Vander Laan says this occurred on "Palm Sunday." Actually, if the time when the crowds waved palm branches and cried "Hosanna" (Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11; John 12:12-19), was the Passover lamb presentation day, Nisan 10, it could not have been on a Sunday. Passover, Nisan 14, can only fall on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and (rarely) on a Sabbath. This makes Nisan 10 on a Thursday, Sabbath, Monday, or Tuesday, respectively. Since we know that in the year Jesus was crucified, Passover fell on a Wednesday, that would put Nisan 10 on the preceding Sabbath. Instead of the traditional "Palm Sunday," we actually have "Palm Sabbath."
In his final video, Ray takes us to the city of Laodicea in Asia Minor. Nearby is the city of Colosse, which had clear, cold, refreshing, water, and Hierapolis, which had hot mineral water beneficial for healing. (See Colossians 1:2, 4:13-17.) When Jesus wishes the Laodiceans to be either hot or cold spiritually (Revelation 3:14-16), rather than lukewarm as they were, He was telling them that both hot and cold characteristics are good. We are to confront our culture by combating evil, being hot for God. Also, we are to be refreshing and cool to the tired and thirsty people seeking God's rest that satisifes. Frankly, the Laodiceans did not care to be either one!
Ray Vander Laan's "Faith Lessons" videos are a great learning tool.
Have you watched the popular television show, "Do You Want to Be a Millionaire?" The questions are often interesting and educational. Using this format, we plan to conduct a Bible quiz at the next Feast of Tabernacles. Would you please help us create more Bible quiz questions? We will update the growing list on the Internet as new questions are mailed to us. We reserve the right to edit questions. If you do not have Internet access, we will mail you a free copy of all the questions just before Fall Feast time.
Please follow our suggested format: Column 1, question number; column 2, scripture reference where the answer is found; column 3, the question; columns 4-7, answers a, b, c, and d; column 8, the correct answer, a, b, c, or d. See our current list of Bible Quiz Instructions and Questions at www.giveshare.org/BibleStudy/quizinstructions.html.
Enter your questions on a spreadsheet and E-mail us your questions to add to our list. Our address is email@example.com. If you don't have a spreadsheet program such as Excel, Lotus 123, Quattro Pro, or Works spreadsheet, give us your questions in a word processing file, or send questions on a sheet of paper to: Richard Nickels, 3316 Alberta Drive, Gillette, WY 82718. Or, FAX your questions to us at 413-228-0483.
Creating quiz questions is an excellent way to study the Bible. Your questions will help others learn as well. Remember to make your quiz questions as practical and useful as possible.
Thanks a lot for your help, and have fun studying the Bible and creating Bible quiz questions. Is that your final answer?
Anyone who is a serious student of the Bible knows that wine is a foundational Bible food. Wine is one of the blessings from God. Rather than always be a consumer of someone else's products, I like to produce some of my own. So, I decided to grow my own grapes, and ferment my own wine.
Growing grapes in Wyoming is not for the fainthearted. During our long winters, we can experience periods of below zero degrees Fahrenheit, sometimes -40 degrees F. I always say that it really doesn't get cold until it is -10 degrees or colder. Actually, in our dry climate, +15 degrees on a clear windless day can feel quite comfortable, but then, I have ice in my veins. Anyway, I found a North Dakota variety of grape that is ideal for our cold climate. After a couple of years, I got small purple grapes that are quite tasty. The trouble is, they are ready to harvest around Feast of Tabernacles time, and I have to fight the birds to get any grapes. It is best to keep the grapes on the vine after a couple of frosts (usually in late September or early October), which increases the sugar content of the grapes.
A friend in the Church gave me a recipe for making wine that proved to be almost idiotproof, even for me. I tried it, and in spite of a little difficulty, was satisfied with my first feeble effort to produce my own "Le Chateau Nickel" variety of wine. Here is how it works:
Obtain a five-gallon plastic pail. Pick fourteen pounds of grapes. Do NOT wash the grapes, because the natural mold is what will cause them to ferment. Put some of the grapes and 2-3 inches of water in an electric blender, and blend at low speed. Dump the squashed grapes into pail and repeat until you blend all the grapes. Add ten pounds of sugar (less to make the wine not so sweet). Stir the pail and add more water until the mix is about two inches from the top. Slide a plastic garbage bag over the pail. Stir the working wine twice a day, for at least 21 days, or a month. At the end of this initial fermenting period, obtain cheesecloth or similar screening material, and strain out the seeds and grape skins, by squeezing the mix through the cheesecloth into quart or half gallon bottles. Put some plastic wrap over the top of the bottles and fasten with a rubber band. Poke some holes in the plastic, since the wine will continue to ferment, and it needs to breathe. Put the bottles in a cool dark place to begin the secondary fermentation stage.
At this point, you might consider some winemaking supplies. Leeners is a good source: www.leeners.com, Leener's Brew Works, 10216 Northfield Road, Northfield Ohio 44067, 800-543-3697. They have basic supplies such as bottles, a corker (which is a must), bottle brush, as well as varieties of yeast, hygrometers (for testing for the completion of the fermentation process), etc. You may be able to obtain free used wine bottles from a local restaurant.
When is it time to bottle your wine? Here is where I ran into a minor disaster, because I assumed my wine was ready to bottle, when it wasn't. After a couple of months, it looked to me that my wine was ready to bottle, so I bottled it all, and laid the bottles on their sides in the basement. After a couple of days, there were a couple of fearful explosions as the still-fermenting wine popped the corks, and my precious product gushed out on the floor. Frantically, I took the remaining bottles outside, carefully uncorked them, and managed to save most of my wine. I should have had a hygrometer to test the alcohol percentage. When it reaches a certain amount, no further fermentation is likely to occur, and they are ready to bottle. Next time, I will cork one bottle and see if all is well, before proceeding with the rest of the batch.
The wine in the remaining six or eight bottles tastes really good. I hope to have a couple for Night to Be Much Remembered. My wine, unlike some store-bought products, has no sulfides or chemical preservatives. It won't win a contest, but I like it. I plan to continue experimenting with making wine. The Bible says that wine cheers the heart of God and man. Making your own wine increases the blessing. Since our three children consider me old, you can now call me a little old winemaker!
Parents, do you want your children reading books about Harry Potter? Some parents don't. Some have even sought to have them banned in our local School District.
Meanwhile, Potter books are enjoying widespread popularity among children, parents, and teachers. Some teachers even read them in class. Many parents may not be familiar with their content. I would like to share with you some of the text of one of the Potter books, randomly selected.
To set the scene, a man named Harry and others with him have just experienced an encounter with a "dementor." The book describes his reaction:
"An intense cold swept over them all. Harry felt his own breath catch in his chest. The cold went deeper than his skin. It was inside his chest, it was inside his very heart. . .
"Harry's eyes rolled up into his head. He couldn't see. He was drowning in cold. There was a rushing in his ears as though of water. He was being dragged downward, the roaring growing louder...
"And then, from far away, he heard screaming, terrible, terrified pleading screams. He wanted to help whoever it was, he tried to move his arms, but couldn't . . . a thick white fog was swirling around him, inside him . . .
"[H]e felt cold sweat on his face.
"I thought you were having a fit or something, said Ron, who still looked scared. You went sort of rigid and fell out of your seat and started twitching . . . ."
As a minister, I have dealt with demon problems. I immediately recognized this account as a frighteningly accurate portrayal of demon possession. Of course those who don't believe in a literal devil would scoff at this and claim that this literature is merely harmless fiction. But it is difficult for me to imagine how a Christian parent or teacher could approve of any child reading such material.
This might be a good time to review the gospel accounts of Jesus' encounters with demons. It might be an even better time to explain the subject to your school-age children in order to put this matter into a biblical perspective.
What does our entertainment media say about the spiritual condition of our culture? We have gone from the Waltons to the Simpsons. From Leave it to Beaver to Malcolm in the Middle. From chess and checkers to Dungeons and Dragons (a fantasy role-playing game with content similar to Potter books).
Don't count on a reversal of the downward spiral of morality in the media. Don't expect to remove objectionable books from libraries or porn from the Internet.
Remember the old saying, "Garbage in, garbage out"?
God expects us to feed our minds and the minds of our children on edifying material. The Bible teaches us to focus on positive, inspiring topics (Philippians 4:8). This admonition is more vital to the mental and emotional health of our children than ever before. I encourage pastors and parents to investigate the Harry Potter books in the light of the scriptures. - by Larry J. Walker, Pastor, United Church of God, Bend, Oregon
Worthwhile Church youth activities are an investment in our future. Giving & Sharing promotes and advertises Church youth camps and other young peoples' activities on our website at www.giveshare.org/youth.html. If your Church group would like to post youth activities to our listing, please E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Thursday, May 27, 1999, Darrell Scott, the father of Rachel Scott, a victim of the 1999 Columbine High School shootings in Littleton, Colorado, was invited to address the House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee. The following is a portion of the transcript.
"We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence. The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of that heroic teacher, and the other eleven children who died, must not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers. The first recorded act of violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field. The villain was not the club he used. Neither was it the NCA, the National Club Association. The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain's heart.
"In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA. I am not a member of the NRA. I am not a hunter. I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent or defend the NRA because I don't believe that they are responsible for my daughter's death. Therefore I do not believe that they need to be defended. If I believed they had anything to do with Rachel's murder I would be their strongest opponent.
"I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy - it was a spiritual event that should be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies! Much of the blame lies here in this room. Much of the blame lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers themselves. I wrote a poem just four nights ago that expresses my feelings:
Your laws ignore our deepest needs,
Your words are empty air.
You've stripped away our heritage;
You've outlawed simple prayer.
Now gunshots fill our classrooms,
And precious children die.
You seek for answers everywhere,
And ask the question "Why?"
You regulate restrictive laws
Through legislative creed.
And yet you fail to understand,
That God is what we need!
"Men and women are three-part beings. We all consist of body, soul, and spirit. When we refuse to acknowledge a third part of our makeup, we create a void that allows evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and reek havoc. Spiritual influences were present within our educational systems for most of our nation's history. Many of our major colleges began as theological seminaries. This is a historical fact. What has happened to us as a nation? We have refused to honor God, and in doing so, we open the doors to hatred and violence.
"And when something as terrible as Columbine's tragedy occurs, politicians immediately look for a scapegoat such as the NRA. They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws that contribute to erode away our personal and private liberties. We do not need more restrictive laws. Eric and Dylan would not have been stopped by metal detectors. No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months planning this type of massacre. The real villain lies within our own hearts. Political posturing and restrictive legislation are not the answers. The young people of our nation hold the key.
"There is a spiritual awakening taking place that will not be squelched! We do not need more religion. We do not need more gaudy television evangelists spewing out verbal religious garbage. We do not need more million-dollar church buildings built while people with basic needs are being ignored. We do need a change of heart and a humble acknowledgment that this nation was founded on the principle of simple trust in God!
"As my son Craig lay under that table in the school library and saw his two friends murdered before his very eyes, he did not hesitate to pray in school. I defy any law or politician to deny him that right! I challenge every young person in America, and around the world, to realize that on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School - prayer was brought back to our schools.
"Do not let the many prayers offered by those students be in vain. Dare to move into the new millennium with a sacred disregard for legislation that violates your God-given right to communicate with Him. To those of you who would point your finger at the NRA - I give to you a sincere challenge. Dare to examine your own heart before casting the first stone! My daughter's death will not be in vain! The young people of this country will not allow that to happen!"
The New School Prayer
sit me down in school
Where praying is against the rule.
For this great nation under God
Finds mention of Him very odd.
If Scripture now the class recites,
It violates the Bill of Rights.
And anytime my head I bow
Becomes a federal matter now.
Our hair can be purple or orange or green,
That's no offense, it's the freedom scene.
The law is specific, the law is precise,
Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice.
For praying in a public hall
Might offend someone with no faith at all.
In silence alone we must meditate,
God's name is prohibited by the State.
We're allowed to cuss & dress like freaks,
And pierce our noses, tongues & cheeks.
They've outlawed guns; but FIRST the Bible.
To quote the Good Book makes me liable.
We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen,
And the unwed daddy, our Senior King.
It's "inappropriate" to teach right from wrong,
We're taught such "judgments" do not belong.
We can get our condoms, & birth controls,
Study witchcraft, vampires & totem poles.
But the Ten Commandments are not allowed,
No Word of God must reach this crowd.
It's scary here I must confess,
When chaos reigns the school's a mess.
So, Lord, this silent plea I make:
Should I be shot,
My soul please take.
- from the Internet
Basil Wolverton's Bible Story was uncompleted at his death in 1978. To complete the project, we believe would need another three or four volumes on top of the existing six that Basil wrote. One new volume would cover the return of the Jewish captives. One or two would cover the life of Christ and the last would cover the Acts of the Apostles after Christ's life. Is there anyone who'd like to write at least one volume and/or draw the illustrations for the books? If you would like to work on this project, please contact: Bible Story Project Coordinator, Roger Waite, PO Box 6177, Woodridge, QLD 4114, AUSTRALIA, E-mail: email@example.com.
Born in Central Point, Oregon, on July 9th, 1909, in his younger days, Basil Wolverton was on the local vaudeville scene, and at one point had his own radio show. Wolverton was baptized in the winter of 1941 in the ice-cold Columbia River, and ordained an elder in 1943. In the early 1950s, Herbert Armstrong commissioned Wolverton to begin work on two projects. One was writing and illustrating a story of the Old Testament, which began serial publication in The Plain Truth in 1958 - later to be published in six volumes. The other was this series of spectacular illustrations depicting shocking scenes from the Book of Revelation, to accompany a series of articles on that subject in The Plain Truth - later reprinted in two booklets, "1975 in Prophecy," and "The Book of Revelation Unveiled at Last."
His worldwide fame as a cartoonist lives on, in reproductions from comics and MAD magazine, which continue to thrill his audiences. I loved this gentle man who made myself and so many others laugh, and taught me so much from The Bible Story.
The called and chosen sons and daughters of God have been given great authority. They have authority under God to ask anything in His name, and He will give it. They have authority to share the Word of God with others. They have authority to stand up against sin and resist it, and teach against it. God's people have the authority to forgive repentant sinners and accept them back into the Church. The people of the Almighty have much authority, if they would only use it, in His name. The Roman Centurion understood authority, Matthew 8:8-9.
God's people do not have any authority whatsoever to go beyond or contrary to God's commands. They do not have authority to accept liars and hirelings as their elders. We people of God do not have His authority to worship human leaders.
It is a strange paradox that God's people today often do not exercise the authority God has given them, but they wrongly usurp authority He has NOT given them!
Psalm 40:4, "Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies." Psalm 56:11, "In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me." Psalm 118:8-9, "It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes." Psalm 146:3, "Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help."
The poor widow in the Church has more spiritual authority than the Pope of Rome! Her prayers are heard by the Almighty. Her moral influence can stop false ministers in their tracks. Her saintly life can melt the heart of the recalcitrant sinner. "When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn," Proverbs 29:2. We have usually applied this verse to political or Church leaders, but the text does not demand such a narrow application. I have known righteous widows who are clearly in authority in spiritual matters, by the strength of their character. Members of the congregation recognize their moral authority, and come to them for advice and counsel. When the people of God exercise their righteous authority, great things happen. When they fail to do their duty, grief is the result. The Master taught as one having authority, and not as the scribes, Matthew 7:29. He had done His homework, and He knew the subjects He spoke about.
Every member of the Church of God has been given authority, a work to do, Mark 13:34, Luke 9:1. The Savior will reward some with authority over ten cities, Luke 19:17. Ministers have been given authority for our edification, II Corinthians 10:8. This means training others to exercise authority, not keeping it all to themselves. Unfortunately, because of ministerial abuse, many members have jumped into the opposite ditch and now despise all ministerial authority. We individually have a lot more authority than we realize. Let's recognize, and properly use, our God-given areas of authority.
The "Help Lines" service, led by Steve Kieler, exists to be of assistance to people with all kinds of problems. Giving & Sharing supports this service. Here is a poem which reflects our philosophy:
If I Could Catch A Rainbow
If I could catch a rainbow
I would do it just for you
And share with you its beauty
on the days you're feeling blue.
If I could build a mountain
You could call your very own
A place to find serenity
A place to be alone.
If I could take your troubles
I would toss them into the sea
But all these things I'm finding
are impossible for me.
I cannot build a mountain
or catch a rainbow fair
But let me be what I know best
A friend that's always there.
If you have a problem and need help, please contact: Steve Kieler, 2193 Sheker Drive, Fort Dodge, IA 50501-8707, 515-576-5743, E-mail: Steve.Kieler@giveshare.org.
An older reader from California wanted information about a Large Print KJV Leather Bible, since he is having difficulty reading the fine print in his Bible. Many Bibles have a standard 8 or 10 point font (there are 72 points to the inch). Giving & Sharing has been distributing Bibles at discount to Sabbath-keepers since 1978. Bibles listed in catalogues often do not give the point size of the text. Here is a guide: Large Print = 11 to 13 pt., Giant Print = 13.5 to 15 pt., and Super Giant = greater than 15 pt. This is 8 point. This is 10 point. This is 11 point. This is 12 point. This is 13 point. This is 14 point. This is 15 point. This is 16 point.
Giant or Super Giant KJV Leather Bibles cost from $26 to $40, plus about $5 postage. Order on our website, www.giveshare.org/amazon, or send us your request, and we will send you sample descriptions from which you can choose. If you need a larger print Bible and cannot afford one, we will send one free, as funds are available.
As a teenager, I am bombarded with so many sins and tribulations everyday. Sex, drugs, alcohol, even profanity is everywhere. Peer pressure is a daily custom for me, and all teenagers. When will society ever put a stop to it?
Sex is openly discussed and done. In Health Class, instead of being taught not to do it, we are taught how to do it safety. Sure, teenagers are going to still be having sex, even with a four-hour lecture on how dangerous it is, but abstinence should be taught more than safety.
In school, I must hear the word 20-30 times a day. Just walking down the halls in school, you'll overhear something along the lines of it. Sex is common - part of our everyday language as teenagers. "Should I do it with him?" "Do I love him?" "Do I love him enough to do it with him?" What's that all about? What ever happened to the meaning of love? Does love = sex? To many teenagers, the answer is yes.
In school, my Health teacher showed us a survey from a poll last year. One in two teenagers will graduate high school without their virginity. That means that 50% are going to disobey God's truth in high school! Hard to believe, isn't it? Well, since I go to school with those teenagers, it really isn't hard for me to believe.
One of my friends was telling me the other day about this girl I didn't know very well, who was four months pregnant, smoked so much pot one night that she had a miscarriage in the bathroom of the party, and came out and still continued to light up. Sure, it could have just been an awful rumor, but these terrible things do happen.
I recently got a job at a fast-food restaurant to help my car funds, and I was appalled to find how many teenagers smoke! Out of 32 people that work there, 21 of them are teenagers and 19 of them are regular smokers. There are only three teenagers who didn't spend their breaks polluting their lungs.
At an employee meeting that I recently attended, we had to wait outside because my boss wasn't there yet to open the doors, and the majority of my co-workers were smoking. There were only a few exceptions. And there I stood, while my friends were polluting my lungs with second-hand smoke. SOME FRIENDS!
Why must evil live in all of these people?
"If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell," Matthew 5:30.
I know I would gladly chop off my leg or arm than burn up in the lake of fire. But so many of the youth today would not. And to me, that's incredibly sad. Please, people, let's pray together for today's youth before it's too late. -- written by Mandie Nickels, age 16.
Robin Todd has a clear baritone voice and wonderful musical talent. He sings and composes scripturaly based songs that have inspired thousands at the Feast of Tabernacles and through cassettes and CD's. Through a special arrangement with Robin, Giving & Sharing is pleased to offer Mr. Todd's wonderful songs, on CD ($9.95), or audio cassette ($7.00). His delightful songs are like dessert to your Sabbath or Feast. Titles include, "Every Knee Shall Bow"; "Go and Sin No More"; "His Kingdom is Coming"; "Eternal New Song"; "Our Everything"; and others. If you do not agree that his songs are positive, uplifting, and Bible-based, we will give you a full refund.
"Pentecostal" Churches claim that "speaking in tongues" is what they do, when they shout unintelligible gibberish. That is NOT what the Bible says. A well-written explanation of exactly what it means to speak in tongues is Herbert W. Armstrong's 15-page article, "Tongues: Is the Pentecost Experience Being Repeated Today?" Write us for a free copy, or, view it online at www.giveshare.org/BibleStudy/tongues.html.
First published in 1904, The Song of Our Syrian Guest, by William Allen Knight, has been a source of inspiration for thousands of people, around the world. This little book has been translated into many languages. To really understand the Twenty-Third Psalm, you must understand the life of a shepherd. Then you will see the loving care provided to us by the Great Shepherd, Our Savior. This inspirational spiritual classic is short and powerful. You may order this book from Amazon.com through Giving & Sharing.
Here is an interesting prayer given in Kansas at the opening session of their State Senate. When Minister Joe Wright was asked to open the new session of the Kansas Senate, everyone was expecting the usual generalities, but this is what they heard: "Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask Your forgiveness and to seek Your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, ‘Woe to those who call evil good,’ but that is exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values. We confess that we have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and called it Pluralism; We have worshiped other gods and called it multiculturalism; We have endorsed perversion and called it alternative lifestyle; We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery; We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare; We have killed our unborn and called it choice; We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable; We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self-esteem; We have abused power and called it politics; We have coveted our neighbor’s possessions and called it ambition; We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression; We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.
"Search us, Oh, God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and set us free. Guide and bless these men and women who have been sent to direct us, to the center of Your will, we ask it in the name of Your Son, the living Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen."
The response was immediate. A number of legislators walked out during the prayer in protest. In 6 short weeks, Central Christian Church, where Wright is pastor, logged more than 5,000 phone calls with only 47 of those calls responding negatively. The church is now receiving international requests for copies of this prayer from India, Africa, and Korea. Commentator Paul Harvey aired this prayer on "The Rest of the Story" on the radio, and received a larger response to this program than any other he has ever aired.
With the Lord’s help, may this prayer sweep over our nation and wholeheartedly become our desire so that we again can be called one nation under God. If possible, please pass this prayer on to your friends. "If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for everything."
-- written and compiled by Richard C. Nickels