More Questions

Why Do I Worry?

Luke 12:25, “And which of you by worrying can add an hour to his life?” New English Translation

Last year, Derek auditioned for a couple of worship pastor positions. David was excited.

I cried and cried and cried. I worried because that would leave us with two instrumentalists and two vocalists on Sunday mornings. When would I see Gideon?

I wrestled with God and finally gave up. I decided God can move his children anywhere.

They prayed about each position and God closed the doors. I lost a few hours worrying for nothing!

Later, God moved our guitar player and soundman. We miss them.

Sunday, we had a new guitar player join the worship team. Our oldest son Luke will play part-time. (We share him with the army.)

When I was a teen, I dreamed of having a family band. Back then, family bands traveled from place to place. I’m much happier playing with my family in one place! That was another secret desire God granted me.

Did I Say That Out Loud?

John 11:16, “So Thomas (called Didymus) said to his fellow disciples, ‘Let us go too, so that we may die with him.'” New English Translation

I can identify with Thomas. My thoughts have popped out of my mouth more times than I care to admit. And I wonder, “Did I say that out loud?”

Caiaphas showed me the cure. Study the Bible and the Bible will come out of your mouth.

John 11:51, “(Now he did not say this on his own, but because he was high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the Jewish nation.)” New English Translation

How Did He Disperse the Crowds?

Matthew 19:2, “Large crowds followed him, and he healed them.” New English Translation

Last week, I questioned how Jesus dispersed the crowds. Here’s my answer – “He healed them!”

Not everyone needed healing, some needed a kind word. Some were satisfied to go home and ponder His teachings.

But it would take hours. Perhaps this is why He sent His disciples ahead in the boat. He knew they would tire while waiting. And why He fell asleep in the boat?

Matthew 19:13, “Then little children were brought to him for him to lay his hands on them and pray. But the disciples scolded those who brought them.” New English Translation

When Jesus fed the five thousand, they only counted the men. They had large families. Who knows how many were there – 20,000? Or more?

Yet, he took the time to lay his hands on each child and pray for them. Then He went on his way, verse 15.

Have I Ever Been a Spy?

Luke 20:20, “Then they watched him carefully and sent spies who pretended to be sincere…” New English Translation

Have I ever been a spy – judging another church? Or a Christian artist? Or organization? Repeating what they said?

Am I spying to find faults or to make myself look better? Even worse, do I gossip about it?
Dear God, forgive me!

“Why do you think hypocrites and prideful people will receive a more severe punishment (v. 47)? Ask God to show you any areas of hypocrisy or pride in your life. Ask God for forgiveness and strength to live a humble life.”

New English Translation notes on Luke 20:45-47

What Else Did I Learn?

  1. The Lord sent others ahead of himself, Luke 10:1.
  2. I need to stay salty, Luke 14:34.
  3. Jesus loved Martha and Mary equally, John 11:5.
  4. I can either hush the hurting or encourage them to go to Jesus, Mark 10:48-49.

The steps to the temple where Jesus taught.

2023 Rainbow Bible Reading Guide ©2009-2023  All Rights Reserved.


John the Baptist Asked

Matthew 11:2, “…he sent his disciples to ask a question.” New English Translation

John’s question was for his disciples’ sake. He wanted to decrease so Jesus would increase, John 3:30. He didn’t want his disciples to follow him to death but to follow Jesus to eternal life. Jesus confirmed who John was in verse 10.

Peter Asked

Matthew 17:27, “But so we don’t offend them, go to the lake and throw out a hook. Take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth, you will find a four-drachma coin. Take that and give it to them for me and you.” New English Translation

This picture was taken from the Faith Boat on the Sea of Galilee.

Jesus performed a miracle – a fish catching a coin and then biting Peter’s hook! He provided the tax money for Peter and Himself.

He didn’t provide it for his 11 closest disciples, the other 70, or the women who followed Him. He provided for Peter because he asked.

God is a personal God. He meets the needs of individuals.

When we give, we can’t help everyone. We look for those nearby to help.

Ask for Forgiveness, Release the Guilt

John 8:11, “…and Jesus said, ‘I do not condemn you either. Go, and from now on do not sin anymore.'” New English Translation

If Jesus does not condemn me, why do I condemn myself?

“Imagine Jesus saying verse 10 directly to you; then respond to Him in prayer…name and repent of the…sins that come to mind. Ask God to bring you into the light (v. 12).”

New English Translation notes on John 8:1-12


“Go, and because you have had an encounter with Jesus, you can rise above your past.”

The Word for You Today, 1-13-23


In Case You Asked

John 10:22, “Then came the Feast of the Dedication of Jerusalem.” New English Translation

What is the Feast of Dedication? Hanukkah!

“…The commemoration of the dedication…of the temple by Judas Maccabeus in December, 165 BC, after it had been profaned by Antiochus IV Epiphanes… This was the last great deliverance the Jews had experienced. …”

New International Version Study Bible notes on John 10:22


“…Antiochus IV Epiphanes (…who ruled from 175-164 BC) …attempted to consolidate his empire through a policy of radical Hellenization. [Creating a world united by Greek language and culture]. …

He…attempted to destroy all copies of the Torah [the first five books of the Bible] and required offerings to the Greek god Zeus. His crowning outrage was the erection of a statue of Zeus and the sacrificing of a pig in the Jerusalem temple itself. …

This triggered the Maccabean revolt, a 24-year war (166-142 BC) that resulted in the independence of Judah until the Romans took control in 63 BC.”

“The Time Between the Testaments,”
New International Version Study Bible,
pp. 1571-1573


Questions That I Asked Myself

  1. Do I know the Bible, or Book of the Law, well enough to defend my faith, John 7:50-51?
  2. How did Jesus disperse the crowds? Did He bless them, heal them, shake their hands, or have a word for each one, Matthew 14:22?
  3. What is in my heart? Dare I even ask, Matthew 15:18?
  4. Is my mind set on God’s interests, Matthew 16:23?
  5. What do I possess that Jesus can multiply, Mark 8:1-21?
  6. Do I sprinkle the good news like salt or dump too much out at once? Am I at peace with everyone, Mark 9:50?

Join me in reading the 2023 Rainbow Bible Reading Guide. I would love to hear from you in the comments section below!

©2009-2023 All Rights Reserved.

Giving and Receiving

Sermon on the Mount of Beatitudes

The Mount of Beatitudes is a natural auditorium. A small cove at the base of the hill is where great crowds gathered around Jesus, so he got into a boat and taught them.

The Mount of Beatitudes is now farmland.

“Modern tests have confirmed that where there was a hillside location that formed a natural “Y”-shaped auditorium, thousands of people could sit on that hillside and hear one person speak.”

Dr. Jim Solberg, National Director, BFP United States


Ascending the Mount of Beatitudes.

This is the view the people had while they listened to the Sermon on the Mount!

Matthew 5:3, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.” New English Translation

“‘Blessed.’ The word means more than ‘happy,’ because happiness is an emotion often dependent on outward circumstances. ‘Blessed’ here refers to the ultimate well-being and distinctive spiritual joy of those who share in the salvation of the kingdom of God. See notes on Psalms 1:1, … ‘Poor in spirit’ in contrast to the spiritually proud and self-sufficient. Theirs is the kingdom of heaven. The kingdom is not something earned. It is more a gift than a reward.”

New International Version Study Bible notes on Matthew 5:3


“… ‘Blessed.’ The happy condition of those who revere the Lord and do His will….and who put their trust in Him… Reference is not first of all to health and wealth but to the assurance and experience that they live under the guardianship and faithful care of the gracious Lord of Life.”

New International Version Study Bible notes on Psalms 1:1



Matthew 5:42, “Give to the one who asks you, and do not reject the one who wants to borrow from you.” New English Translation

“Probably not a general requirement to give to everyone who asks but a reference to the poor. …”

New International Version Study Bible Notes on Matthew 5:42


This verse does not give me the right to ask someone to give me something. I may borrow it but I cannot demand anything.

On the other hand, when God blesses me, my first thought is, “I’m unworthy. I don’t need this. Maybe I am to give it away to someone with a greater need.” I leave the gift in the box and wait.

That’s just as wrong. God gives me things to use and enjoy! I have some boxes to open!

Luke 6:30, “Give to everyone who asks you, and do not ask for your possessions back from the person who takes them away.” New English Translation

When I loan something out, I trust God for its safe return. I am not to nag the one I loaned it to.

John 6:9, “Here is a boy who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what good are these for so many people?” New English Translation

The boy had faith that Jesus could multiply his lunch. When we give, we have faith that God can multiply it and meet our needs, too. The boy was hungry just like the rest of the crowd.


Matthew 7:7, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you.” New English Translation

“…If a small child asked you for something dangerous, you’d refuse. If he or she asked for something healthy, you would gladly give it. Likewise, God knows what is good for us and what isn’t. Because He’s a good Father who loves His children, He will give us only what is beneficial for us. In this context, He invites us to ask, seek, and knock.

Jesus described God as a loving Father who desires to give good gifts to His children. When you pray, do you believe this? Ask God to help you trust Him with the outcome of your prayers. Ask Him for everything on your heart. Then trust Him and expect good results!”

New English Translation notes on Matthew 7:7-11


Luke 8:17, “For nothing is hidden that will not be revealed, nothing concealed that will not be made known and brought to light.” New English Translation

My hand mixer broke as I was finishing Christmas baking, see “God Rewards My Work.” I posted on Facebook: “Christmas baking is done – my mixer broke.”

The responses ranged from: “Get out a wooden spoon” to “I’ll loan you mine.” Several recommended investing in a Kitchen-Aid mixer.

My secret desire was no longer hidden. I admitted that I was saving for one and was three-fourths of the way there. I went online and researched the best models. The prices had gone way up! I decided to buy the best hand mixer that I could find.

Luke 8:18, “So listen carefully, for whoever has will be given more, …” New English Translation

A card came in the mail after reading this verse. I saw the “Thinking of You” sticker on the back of the envelope and thought, “This can’t be for me! It must be for my sister who is recovering from surgery.”

I opened it and found a check with my name on it! The card said, “Enjoy this gift! Buy your Kitchen-Aid and any accessories you need!”

Seeing the check, David said, “It’s like God added a zero to the check I just mailed to the missionary and gave it back!” (I pray that God adds a zero to this check and gives it back to the giver!)

“When you witness a miracle, do you skeptically dismiss God’s power or rejoice and tell everyone you know?”

New English Translation note on Luke 8:26-39

Hey, everyone! I’m getting a Kitchen-Aid mixer!

My heart desired it and I wouldn’t even admit it to myself but God knew!

God is not like Santa Claus but He loves blessing His children. Why not share the desire of your heart with Him?

Give. Save. Ask.

Join me in reading the 2023 Rainbow Bible Reading Guide. I would love to hear from you in the comments section below!

©2009-2023 All Rights Reserved.

Following Jesus

Led by the Spirit

Matthew 4:1, “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” NASB

When people talk about being “Spirit-led,” it is usually something wonderful: A chance encounter, a close parking spot, a good deal, or a miraculous blessing. But that is only part of being “Spirit-led.”

The other part is times of testing, places that force you to grow, crossroads where you walk away from something, and difficult journeys. These rub off your hard places making you more like Jesus Christ.

The key to being “Spirit-led” is knowing the Bible. The answer to every test is in there. You will find direction, correction, strength, as well as wisdom, fail-proof business principles, secrets to wealth accumulation, and retention. (Jesus answered every test by quoting scripture.)

Luke 4:1, “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness.” NASB

In the wilderness, Jesus learned to follow the Spirit. It’s a dry, barren land. And vast! The only water I saw was at En Gedi. You couldn’t drink the water from the Dead Sea. I’m sure the Spirit led Him to water in places only God knew about.

Luke 4:14, “And Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through all the surrounding district.” NASB

Jesus returned from the wilderness in the power of the Spirit! On the other side of our testing, hard times, crossroads, and difficult journeys are more power, resolve, determination, and clarity.

What was the news about Him? He hadn’t performed one miracle. He hadn’t preached. He just walked through the desert forty days and forty nights – without food – and marched out stronger!

Good Fruits

Luke 3:8-9, “Therefore bear fruits in keeping with repentance, … 9) …so every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” NASB

What are the good fruits?

  1. Give your extra coat or bread to him who has none, 3:11.
  2. Collect only what is required, 3:13.
  3. Avoid extortion, 3:14.
  4. Testify truthfully, 3:14.
  5. Be content with your wages, 3:14.

Ignore Debris

Mark 2:1-2, 4, “…Jesus came back to Capernaum… 2) And many gathered together, so there was no longer space, … 4) …they removed the roof above Him; …” NASB

This is between the White Synagogue and Peter’s house in Capernaum. You can see how compact and close together the houses were.

In Nazareth, we saw homes with thatched roofs. It had beams, a layer of flax stalks, a layer of leafy branches, and finally, a layer of dirt.

The paralytic’s friends dug through the dirt, and removed one layer at a time, piling them on the sides of the hole. When they reached the beams, they removed one and let the cot down.

Debris must have been trickling down on those below. Jesus brushed it off and kept teaching.

Perhaps falling debris caused people to leave. There was no longer room, v. 2. Yet, after Jesus healed him, the paralytic got up, picked up the pallet, and went out of the house in front of everyone, v. 12.

Ignore debris; a miracle is coming!

Moses’ Writings, Jesus’ Words

John 5:47, “But if you do not believe his [Moses] writings, how will you believe My [Jesus] words?” NASB

This is why it is important to read the Old Testament. The Passover lamb was a type and shadow of things to come – Jesus, The Passover Lamb. The prophecies are recorded in the Old Testament and fulfilled in the New Testament.

It’s exciting to read the red letters of the Bible. They are Jesus’ words. But the explanations are found in black and white in the Old Testament. There are so many connections that you could read the Bible every year and still not see them all!

I’ve been blogging for over a decade and find something to ponder every day. The principles from the Bible give me the answers I need for today!

I believe Moses’ writings and Jesus’ words!

See Isaiah 40:8; Isaiah 46:10-11; Isaiah 55:10-11; and Hebrews 4:12.

Come to Jesus

John 3:2, “This man came to Jesus by night…” NASB

If you are uncomfortable coming to church, then watch the sermon at night. Jesus is your only hope and the Source of hope.

Come for His teachings, v. 2, and stay for salvation. (See, “Save Me, Jesus, Prayer.”) Being born again, vs. 3-8, is like Christmas, New Year’s, and your birthday all rolled up into one! A new life, a new year, and new experiences in bright, fresh colors.

The day you pray that prayer is your spiritual birthday. Record it on your calendar on repeat. When you feel hopeless or mess up, look at that date. Jesus forgave all your mistakes – past, present, and future.

We tell Him we’re sorry and receive forgiveness again. His lovingkindness and mercies are new every morning, Lamentations 3:22. (My spiritual birthday is January 25th!)

See Isaiah 1:16-18; Isaiah 43:25; Isaiah 44:22; Isaiah 54:10; Isaiah 55:7; 2 Chronicles 7:14; and Ezekiel 18:32.

“Do not dwell on the past…I am doing a new thing.”

The Word for You Today 12-29-22


Join me in reading the 2023 Rainbow Bible Reading Guide. I would love to hear from you in the comments section below!

©2009-2023 All Rights Reserved.