This is from Chuck Swindoll’s Searching the Scriptures Study Guide.


Read the passage


When we observe our passage, we examine:

1) The who, what, where, when, why, and how

2) What you can see, touch, taste, hear, and smell

3) The logical connections, flow of thoughts, and range of subjects

4) What’s repeated, emphasized, related, alike, and unalike


Understand the

passage deeply

When we interpret our passage, we study:

1) The author’s language and literary genre

2) The author’s culture

3) The historical events

4) The biblical context

5) The author’s beliefs about God and life


Compare the passage


When we correlate our passage, we compare:

1) Our passage’s history with biblical texts addressing the same event

2) Our passage’s theology with biblical texts addressing the same core truths

3) Our passage’s application with biblical texts addressing the same principles


Internalize the passage


When we apply a passage, we:

1) Look for ways to pray in light of what the passage teaches

2) Ask questions about your behaviors or thoughts that need to change

3) Heed our Lord’s warnings

4) Obey our Lord’s commands

5) Believe our Lord’s promises

Remember: we study the Bible to cultivate our relationship with our risen Lord—and as the great reformer

Philip Melanchthon said, “To know Christ is to know his benefits.”

I would add a couple of other tools, a good bible dictionary, a good study bible like the Life Application Study Bible, available in just about any translation, a dictionary of theology. And a one volume commentary like Matthew Henry’s.

Also, Word Search software, is one of the most affordable bible study software there is and it comes with dozens if not a hundred free books.

And as the bible says; “we are to study to show ourselves approved… a workman not ashamed.”

God bless from

Pray for Paul K, considering a career change.

Pray for Paul C, safety and protection.

Remember Caliste Burt, still in the hospital and still no answer to brain tumor number three.

Bill Warneke, chronic pain and depression

Remember Steve H, and the hunt for a great pastor.

Remember me in prayer, still in a lot of pain, and the doctors are going to have to come up with plan b, cause plan a, isn’t working. The medicine did not shrink the mass in my chest.

Pray for Kristal, our three now saved, former Adult film stars have led her to salvation in Jesus and the excitement is contagious. What a great encouragement for them all.

  “Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain” (Phil. 2:16).

  Many Christians are bogged down between the nursery and the schoolroom; between the playpen and the workshop. These resist the weaning period; but the spiritually hungry-hearted are eager to have their feelings replaced by faith.

It is true that the Father does take up those who are spiritually immature and permit them to speak His words years before they fully understand their import; but He does not wish any of us to stop there. We may go on that way for awhile, but is it not true that from the time when He begins in us His work of formation through discipline and chastening, it slowly dawns on us how little in fact we know of the true meaning of what we had been saying?

Our Lord intends that we should reach the place where we can speak, with or without manifest gifts, because we are that which we share. For in Christian experience the spiritual things of God are less and less outward, that is, of gift, and more and more inward, of life. In the long run it is the depth and inwardness of a work that counts. As the Lord Jesus Himself becomes more and more to us, other things—and this must include even gifts—matter less and less. Then, though we teach the same doctrine, speak the same words, the impact on others is very different, manifesting itself in an increasing depth of the Spirit’s work within them also.

Our Father’s hand is on the helm. We are being guided, even when we feel it least. The closed door is as much His Providence as the open, and equally for our good and the accomplishment of His own great ends. And one learns at last it is not what we set ourselves to do that really tells in blessing so much as what He is doing in and through us.”

  “Thou wilt show me the path of life” (Ps. 16:11).


God bless from


Caliste is doing great and says thanks for the prayers


Bill W, new medicine is helping somewhat.


Paul K, pray for healing of the two cysts on his pancreas


Olivia is doing great, appreciates our prayers.


Pray for Barbara D, the list of her illness and the hosts of other physical problems is amazing she can function, her cancer is back and we need to keep her in prayer.


Pray for the Perales family, salvation for Norma, Rick Sr. and Rick Jr.


Remember Steve H, and the church’s search for a pastor.


Pray for me as I am seeking new employment.

  “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Gal. 3:27).

  The Holy Spirit baptizes us into the Lord Jesus, and fills us with Him.

  “The one spiritual baptism positions the believer ‘in Christ’ (Rom. 6:3, 4; Gal. 3:27; Col. 2:12), and into His Body (1 Cor. 12:13). Since this position in the Lord Jesus is unchangeable, and eternal, the baptizing work of the Spirit is not repeatable. One ‘in Christ’ positionally, can never again through all eternity be ‘out of Christ’ positionally, as that position depends wholly upon the efficacy of the finished redemptive work of the Son, and does not hinge upon human merit or faithfulness.

The filling with the Spirit, on the other hand, is repeatable (Acts 2:4; 4:8, 31; 9:17), and is, in fact, a continuous process, as it conditions variable experiences, and has nothing whatever to do with immutable position. Christian position is effected by the baptism of the Spirit at the moment of the new birth. Christian experience is affected by the filling with the Holy Spirit. One effects our position, the other affects our condition.


The Holy Spirit gives a living knowledge; His light is the light of life; He is the ‘Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.’ We see the Father and the Son as seeing us. When we behold them by the ministry of the Spirit it is as beholding us with infinite love, and bestowing upon us the blessings of grace. We know because we are known. ‘Thou Father, Thou Son, seest me’ is the immediate consciousness of the soul, when there is spiritual perception of the Father. In other words, love, petition, listening to the Father’s voice, receiving the love and peace of the Lord Jesus, fellowship, are invoked in this knowledge.


  “The communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Cor. 13:14).


God bless from


Pray for “gramps” a neighbor of my son that has become a grandfather to him. ‘gramps’ is in horrible, never ending pain. And shared with us that he cannot go on any longer, the pain has brought with it great depression. He is a Christian, but is in so much pain he can’t imagine lasting any longer. I can relate because I suffer from chronic pain and know the effects upon me mentally as well as physically. Pray that in pain he sees the handiwork and beauty of God and a focus that some will never know.


December 26, 2018

  “That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection” (Phil. 3:10a).

  Fellowship with the written Word is the foundation, and fellowship with the living Word is the superstructure, for spiritual growth.

Most of us have probably heard a sermon on Martha and Mary. That Jesus said “Mary has chosen the better part”. We can be to busy doing church work or our jobs and not spend enough time being with the Lord.

While Martha was cumbered about much serving, and her love, most true in its way, went forth in actively providing for the Lord’s outward need, Mary, unconsciously perhaps, proved her stronger faith and deeper love by sitting at His feet and drinking in His words. The thought of Martha’s heart was, What a feast I must give Jesus!

Mary, on the contrary, felt that the best feast for Him, and for herself, was to receive and treasure up all she could from Him—to see, and hear, and be with Him. If we are learning thus from the Lord Jesus, we honor and please Him incomparably more than by anything we think to confer upon Him. In the long run, too, it is the listening at His feet which best fits for the most acceptable worship and service.

  We should ever remember that Christianity is not a set of opinions, a system of dogmas, or a number of views; it is pre-eminently a living reality—a personal, practical, powerful thing, telling itself out in all the scenes and circumstances of daily life, shedding its hallowed influence over the entire character and course, and imparting its heavenly tone to every relationship which one may be called of God to fill.

In a word, it is that which flows from being associated and occupied with the Lord Jesus. This is Christianity. There may be clear views, correct notions, sound principles, without any fellowship with the Lord Jesus in glory; but an orthodox creed without communion with Him will prove to be a cold and barren thing.

  “And the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death” (Phil. 3:10b).

I pray that the New Year coming fast upon us will be one where you spend more time with Jesus, in prayer, in communion, reading the bible. Choosing less television, better books, less internet.

God bless from

I am always being asked what I am reading currently. It’s usually several books at once. But the last two weeks I’ve been re-reading for the 5th or 6th time, Walter Martin’s book; “Kingdom of the Cults” 1985 version is free online. Then I get asked “why read a book about cults”, one, make sure what you know, and where you may have weak spots in your theological growth. Second, Language, the most important thing his book teaches is cults use the same language as the Evangelical does, it just doesn’t mean the same thing.  Third, how a cult member sees you as an enemy and especially with the Jehovah Witnesses, to hate you. Harsh, but true.

We are commanded by the Lord to be ready to give an answer, make sure you can give the right one.

Christian Zombies???

December 18, 2018

Ok, you may notice our death theme this month, ironic since we are celebrating the birth of our Savior. Well the two go hand in hand, death to self, born anew to the Kingdom of God.

  “Oh, wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Rom. 7:24).

  While both are essential, it is far more difficult to get to know the old man than it is to know the Lord Jesus. Many who know something of Him, know little or nothing of themselves.

There is not a more difficult lesson in the Christian life than to come to a true knowledge of what the flesh is. Its terrible power, its secret and universal rule, and the blinding it exerts in keeping us from the knowledge of what it is, are the cause of all our sin and evil. Hence it comes that so few really believe in their absolute inability to obey God or to believe in His love. And there is nothing that can deliver us from it but that entire willingness to die to the old man, which comes when by faith we understand that we have died in Christ Jesus.

 It seems that God’s Spirit has to take every growing believer through a drastic process of self-exposure. That fleshly principle lurking within has to be looked in the face. Its presumptuous claim to be a sufficient source of wisdom and ability has to be exposed in its big lie. Its save-yourself attitude has to be recognized and rejected. And such knowledge can only come through failure, humiliation and despair.

  If you come to feel, through ever-recurring misery and defeat, that unless Another shall lead you into the land of fruitful obedience your whole Christian career will be a spiritual and moral chaos, then perhaps you are ready to venture your all upon your union with the Lord Jesus in His death and resurrection.

  “There is no joy like that of realizing our nothingness, while at the same time reposing upon the Father’s all-sufficiency.”

  “I thank God through Jesus Christ, our Lord” (Rom. 7:25).

Thank God for the book of Romans, all of the gospel in one book.

Remember Steve H, and his church looking for a new pastor.

Pray for Jennie, newly saved, and in her new salvation she had to quit a very well paying job. Big lifestyle change for her.

Pray Larry d, it’s his birthday today and he’s having some health problems.

Pray for Luke, a young, successful Hollywood star, his show has been canceled, his fiancé left him (because he’s not acting in Hollywood). A young Christian and now in Texas doing ranch work, which seems to suit him fine.


December 12, 2018

  “Alive unto God in Jesus Christ, our Lord” (Rom. 6:11)


  Until the believer’s faith is firmly established in the fact of his position in the risen Lord Jesus, he will not be able to rest in Him during the process of his position becoming his condition. One must be sure of the Source before he can trust for the growth.


  “The standing of the believer is settled, perfect, eternal. His state is imperfect and fluctuating. He is partaker of the new life which cannot sin; but he bears about within him the old man which can do nothing else but sin. Now his standing is in the new and not the old. He is not in the flesh, but in the Spirit (Rom. 8:9). He is not under law, but under grace. This is his perfect and unalterable position; his sins are gone before God; his person is accepted by God—all complete in the Lord Jesus Christ.


His practical condition can never touch his position. It can very seriously affect his fellowship, his worship, his testimony, his usefulness, his spiritual enjoyment, the glory of the Lord Jesus as involved in his practical career. These are great consequences in the estimation of every sensitive conscience and well-regulated mind; but the position of the true believer remains intact and unalterable. The feeblest member of the family of God has this place of security and is perfect in Christ. To deny this is to remove the true basis of self-judgment and practical growth.


We are spiritually both in the wilderness and in Canaan; we are partakers on earth of the heavenly calling, and we are seated in Christ in the heavenly places. The enjoyment of the favors of the Father to us, in the heavenly places in Christ, enhances the sense of His favors to us in the wilderness.


  “We are identified in union with Him who stands as really for us in the glory of the heavens as once for us He hung upon the Cross.”


  “For to me to live is Christ” (Phil. 1:21).


God bless from


Remember Steve H, has his church looks for a new pastor

Pray for Steve L, and the beginning of dementia

Pray for Randy K, he has a very tough, demanding job physically,, and he’s wondering how much longer he can do it.

yes, you can be victorious!

December 11, 2018

Compulsiveness is defined as “an irresistible, repeated impulse to perform some irrational act.” A few common examples of compulsive behavior are: gambling, sex, eating, talking, drinking alcoholic beverages or taking drugs, working, spending money, punishing children, etc. Some of the activities named are perfectly innocent in themselves and others are nearly always harmful. Whether an act is intrinsically right or wrong, it becomes wrong, and even dangerous, when performed compulsively. For instance, while there is nothing wrong with eating, the compulsive eater will become overweight and suffer ill health.

The Apostle Paul warns those who are compulsive: “But when you follow your own wrong inclinations your lives will produce these evil results. . . ” The list includes eagerness for lustful pleasure, murder, drunkenness, etc. (Gal. 5:19-21). But when the Holy Spirit is in control, he produces such fruit as love, peace, patience, goodness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22,23).

God understands us and knows how very much we need his help. Take a moment to reflect on Jeremiah 13:23: “Can the Ethiopian change the color of his skin? or a leopard take away his spots? Nor can you who are so used to doing evil now start being good.” In order to change, the compulsive person needs to first make Jesus Christ his Savior and Lord. The one who has tried on his own to overcome compulsiveness will not find it hard to believe Jesus’ claim that “apart from me you can’t do a thing” (John 15:5). Prayerfully explain to this person how he can trust in Christ and become a child of God.

But don’t be surprised to find a Christian who still has a problem with compulsiveness. In Romans 7:22-25 the Apostle Paul describes his struggle and how he was set free by Christ: “I love to do God’s will so far as my new nature is concerned; but there is something else deep within me, in my lower nature, that is as war with my mind and wins the fight and makes me slave to the sin that is still within me. In my mind I want to be God’s willing servant but instead I find myself still enslaved to sin. So you see how it is: my new life tells me to do right, but the old nature that is still inside me loves to sin. Oh, what a terrible predicament I’m in! Who will free me from my slavery to this deadly lower nature? Thank God! It has been done by Jesus Christ our Lord. He has set me free.” The Christian can overcome compulsive behavior as he follows these four scriptural principles: Recognize that your old sin nature is dead. “So look upon your old sin nature as dead and unresponsive to sin, and instead be alive to God, alert to him, through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 6:11).

Thank the Lord for what he has done. “Thank God! It has been done by Jesus Christ our Lord. He has set me free” (Rom 7:25). Allow the Holy Spirit to control your life. “But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. . .” (Gal. 5:22, 23). Cooperate with what Christ has accomplished in your life. “Do not let sin control your puny body any longer; do not give in to its sinful desires. Do not let any part of your bodies become tools of wickedness, to be used for sinning; but give yourselves completely to God. . .to be used for his good purposes” (Rom. 6:12,13). “So I run straight to the goal with purpose in every step. I fight to win. I’m not just shadowboxing or playing around. Like an athlete I punish my body, treating it roughly, training it to do what it should, not what it wants to. Otherwise I fear that after enlisting others for the race, I myself might be declared unfit and ordered to stand aside” (1 Cor. 9:26, 27).

Cooperation with Christ will include some tough decisions, like turning down an invitation to the dog track if you are a compulsive gambler, or to a cocktail party if you are an alcoholic. If you have a problem with pornography, you will have to stay away from certain areas of town where you might be tempted by the drug store’s magazine rack may have to be avoided. If you are a compulsive spender, you may find it helpful to destroy your charge cards. The compulsive eaters may become stronger by joining a dieter’s club where he is accountable to someone. Jesus said, “So if your eye – even if it is your best eye! – causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. . .And if your hand – even your right hand – causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. . .” (Matt. 5:29,30). What Jesus is saying, in the strongest language, is that you should do whatever is necessary to avoid compulsive behavior.

I know I can hear you right now, “you don’t know how many times I’ve tried to quit.”

Well, this time might be the one that works. Just don’t give up. Support groups are the best way to go. Just be aware that the people attending those groups can form an unhealthy group. So go with your sponsor or someone you trust to make the group is on the up and up.

So, now your paranoid. If you live in a large city there are always plenty of groups to choose from. If you are in a small town, check out what programs the local churches offer.

God bless from

Pray for churches that are looking for pastors, pray the pulpit committee has discernment. In this day and age, do a credit check, a background check. Letters of reference, call them. The extra work is worth it.

Pray for Jimmy W, extreme, chronic pain.

Pray for Marilyn A, battling depression.

Pray for Alison K, eating disorders, peer pressure, being bullied. Pray she opens up to her youth pastor or someone she trusts.

Pray for Karla T, forgiveness, she will forgive and move on in victory over her past.


December 8, 2018

  “For when for a time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God, and are become such as have need of milk, and not of solid food” (Heb. 5:12).

  It is a great comfort, during our growing up in the Lord Jesus, to know that He is our perfect provision, and that He provides the perfect processing.

  When the queen bee lays an egg, there is deposited in the cell with it the food on which the larva is to feed during its development. Similarly, when the Father placed us ‘in Christ,’ He also made provision in Him for our whole life. Christ is made unto us wisdom to enable us to walk aright in a perplexing world, righteousness to replace our sinfulness, sanctification to impart the growth we so greatly need, and redemption of the body to consummate the whole.

As with the seed that is buried once for all, but then disintegrates through a gradual process that sets free the new life, even so does the Father deal with our old man by delivering it to death with the Lord Jesus once for all, and then bringing about its mortification in detail through the circumstances of life, until the power of the flesh has lost its hold.

Our Father is faithful and wise as well as a gracious and patient Teacher. He will not permit us to pass cursorily over our lessons. Sometimes, perhaps, we think we have mastered a lesson, and we attempt to move on to another; but our wise Teacher knows better, and He sees the need of deeper ploughing. He will not have us mere theorists, He will keep us, if need be, year after year at our scales until we learn to sing.

  “Solid food belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Heb. 5:14).

We don’t determine if we have mastered a lesson, He does.

God bless from

As we mentioned before the change that has come over Mr. Perales and his son, since we have put them on the prayer list is remarkable. This weekend will be the first large family gathering in years. We promised the mother that we will be in prayer, but my concern is to see such a change in someone and having it not be a part of a conversion experience, frankly, has me concerned. Knowing the wickedness of the heart, I worry about the mother being more superstitious than realizing that maybe it’s God at work. Who knows. The whole family 18 in all, none have a relation with Christ. Pray that door opens as well.

Pray for Sherrie, she had a near death experience, I know she has again made promises to God, but her lifestyle never changes for long. Even though she says that she asked Jesus into her heart, I think it was a bargaining chip mixed in with the event. I pray she truly commits her life to the Lord.

Pray for Todd T, shoulder surgery coming up soon and he doesn’t have insurance.

Remember Marilyn A, in your prayers, a great friend, a fine Christian woman, has been battling not only depression, but a fear of going crazy, literally. This fear has plagued her for years.


December 5, 2018

This ain’t sexy but it’s short and it’s user friendly

If you lay down with dogs, you will get fleas.

That’s it.


So what’s the point you ask?


Simple, the reason we put such an emphasis on devotions, bible study, bible reading, good wholesome books, trusted books, alone time with God.

Do the math.


Whoever you spend the most time with is who you will be the most like.


So stop doing everything that makes you less like Jesus.


God bless from


Remember our prayer list from yesterday.

Only add one more name, Marilyn A, depression

changes that go down deep

December 3, 2018

  “We all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord. . . “ (2 Cor. 3:18a).

  During the first half of your Christian life you are concerned about your doing; in the second half you will be burdened about your being.

The more simply devoted you are to the Lord Jesus, who is worthy of all devotion, the more you will sense a closeness that will be in all your ways; for it will be manifested that you are not seeking yourself, not wincing because your rights are invaded, or that you are not as much cared for as you are entitled to be. Rather, there is only one governing thought of your life about everything, and that is, how you may distinguish Him who fills every need in your heart, and lights it up with unfading joy.

Nothing can be so divinely beautiful on earth as a believer so transformed by the Spirit of God, that he is in heavenly manners here on earth; so that he does not in any of his ways deny the Lord Jesus Christ; but in the most trying hour of his history upon earth the Lord can say of him, ‘thou hast a little power, and hast kept My Word, and hast not denied My Name.’

One of the greatest comments you can receive is when someone you knew from before Christ was Lord in your life says what a difference they see. Or when someone from your new days as a babe in Christ, sees the changes made even deeper in your life.

  In creation God planted a man in the garden in innocence; in redemption He has planted a Man in heaven, in glory. There is a glory that excelleth. The glory in redemption leaves the glory that was once in creation as nothing.

  “For every believer who actually crosses over into the Promised Land there are far too many who stand for awhile and look longingly across the river, and then turn sadly back to the comparative safety of the sandy wastes of the self-life.”

  “. . . are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord “ (2 Cor. 3:18b).

Thank God for the changes, thank God for the mercies he shows when we stumble.

God bless from

Pray not for the ones that have fallen in their Christian lives, but for the elder brothers or sisters that don’t practice forgiveness. Pray for those that need encouragement. Pray that God places new people in their lives to help love them.

Remember Karey P, she’s a great reader and today we’ve found a great book from a former JW, that gives their testimony and great bible verses to help them.

Remember Richard Perales Jr, that grace continues to build in his heart and as he forgives his mom he finds God’s forgiveness for him.