My Biblically based opinion on all things. Political, Social, Cultural, Spiritual, etc...
"For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope." The Romans 15:4 Project
Mick Dobra

Friday, May 29, 2009

Bible Challenge 2009 - Week 8

Knights and Ladies,

Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy.
Luke 1:58

They shared her joy.

Zechariah and Elizabeth “had no children, because Elizabeth was barren; and they were both well along in years.” (Luke 1:5-7)

Could you imagine the great joy of this family? After, most likely, giving up hope of ever having children, they now have a child blessed to be used by God! And their neighbors and family rejoiced with them, “they shared her joy.”

How often do you rejoice with those around you for great blessings? Or, how often do you smile and say “congratulations” while thinking “why them and not me?”

Much family conflict can be found in the envy and strife of looking over the fence and comparing rather than rejoicing for what God is doing for others regardless of our current situation. We should “take pleasure in the prosperity of our neighbours and friends, and to be thankful to God for their comforts as for our own.” (Matthew Henry’s Complete Commentary on the Bible)

Sunday, May 31, 2009 - Luke 6
Monday - Luke 7
Tuesday - Luke 8
Wednesday - Luke 9
Thursday - Luke 10
Friday - Luke 11
Saturday - Luke 12

“When Paul listed the fruits of the Spirit—characteristics that appear in the lives of Christ's followers (Galatians 5:22-23)—the first fruit he mentioned was love. Jesus said that all the law and the prophets hang upon love (Matthew 22:40; Mark 12:28). God is not merely a loving God, but God is love, and love defines His very essence. Every action of God has been carried out, ultimately, because of His magnificent love. . .

William Evans wrote: ‘As love is the highest expression of God and His relation to mankind, so it must be the highest expression of man’s relation to his Maker and to his fellow-man’ (1994, 3:1932). God’s love should motivate us to express our love for Him by obeying His commands. Jesus could not have put it any clearer than He did when He said, ‘If you love Me, keep My commandments’ (John 14:15). Let us pray that as we obey Christ, we will be able to ‘comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height’ of His love, which ‘passes knowledge’ (Ephesians 3:18-19).”
(“God’s Love” by Caleb Colley. apologeticspress.org/articles/2604)

“It is always best to drink at the well and not from the tank. You shall find that reading the Word of God for yourselves, reading it rather than notes upon it, is the surest way of growing in grace. Drink of the unadulterated milk of the Word of God, and not of the skim milk, or the milk and water of man's word." ("How to Read the Bible" a sermon by C. H. Spurgeon)

Accept the challenge, take the quest!

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
(2 Timothy 3:16-17)


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Friday, May 22, 2009

ReCap - 05-22-2009 - 5 Years of Marriage

Marriage

Today is my fifth wedding anniversary! I thank God for my wife and family every day!

"But at the beginning of creation God 'made them male and female.' 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."
Mark 10:6-9 (Jesus quotes from Genesis 1:27, 2:24, and 5:2)

What's going on:

1) Cry Out America 2009!
America is in a Spiritual Crisis - - Your Participation Can Make a Difference!

2) Peoria FCA Power Camp: a multi-sport day camp
Fellowship of Christian Athletes Power Camp Partnering with: Youth for Christ & The Christian Center June 15 - 17, 2009 Woodruff High School Peoria, IL

3) Has the missing link been found?
. . . Um, NO! "Given [the] facts, it may seem incredible that anyone would hail this find as a 'missing link.'"

4) Bible Challenge 2009 - Week 7
From the very beginning, before churches or governments, God created the man and woman in His image to compliment each other so that their union in marriage might reflect His image!

Grateful for:

- I am so grateful for my wife! I love you, Jessica! You are God's gift to me as my wife, and you are a wonderful mother! Thank you. I love you for today, tomorrow, and forever!

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

Our Marriage, God's Battle Formation!



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Bible Challenge 2009 - Week 7

Knights and Ladies,

"But at the beginning of creation God 'made them male and female.' 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."
Mark 10:6-9 (Jesus quotes from Genesis 1:27, 2:24, and 5:2)

Jesus defines marriage. Something we seem to have trouble with today.

From the very beginning, before churches or governments, God created the man and woman in His image to compliment each other so that their union in marriage might reflect His image!

Are we making the investment in our marriages to ensure they won’t be torn apart? Are we making sure that Christ is the central figure in our marriages so that they reflect God’s image?

"The natural family, creation of God, is the fundamental human community, based on the life-long marriage between a man and a woman, in which new individuals are conceived, born and raised."- World Congress of Families. The Warsaw Declaration, 2007.

Sunday May 24, 2009 - Mark 15
Monday - Mark 16
Tuesday - Luke 1
Wednesday - Luke 2
Thursday - Luke 3
Friday - Luke 4
Saturday - Luke 5

“The real transforming work of marriage is the twenty-four-hours-aday, seven-days-a-week commitment. This is the crucible that grinds and shapes us into the character of Jesus Christ. Instead of getting up at 3:00 A.M. to begin prayer in a monastery, the question becomes, ‘Who will wake up when the baby's diaper needs changing?’

Any situation that calls me to confront my selfishness has enormous spiritual value, and I slowly began to understand that the real purpose of marriage may not be happiness as much as it is holiness. Not that God has anything against happiness, or that happiness and holiness are by nature mutually exclusive, but looking at marriage through the lens of holiness began to put it into an entirely new perspective for me.”
(Gary Thomas, “Sacred Marriage”)

“It is always best to drink at the well and not from the tank. You shall find that reading the Word of God for yourselves, reading it rather than notes upon it, is the surest way of growing in grace. Drink of the unadulterated milk of the Word of God, and not of the skim milk, or the milk and water of man's word." ("How to Read the Bible" a sermon by C. H. Spurgeon)

Accept the challenge, take the quest!

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
(2 Timothy 3:16-17)



{ Bible Knights } { The King } { The Sword } { The Quest } { The Fellowship }

{ The Chaplain } { The Project } { The Vision } { The Blog }


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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Has the missing link been found? [updated: 5-24-09]

. . . Um, NO!

"But does Ida actually support 'the evolution of early primates, and, ultimately, modern human beings,' as one news outlet reported? . . . [No] rather than an apeman-like missing link that some media sources have irresponsibly implied, the real story is quite underwhelming and should in no way faze creationists. . . Given [the] facts, it may seem incredible that anyone would hail this find as a 'missing link.'"
Learn more: Ida: the Missing Link at Last? Does Ida Deserve the Attention? A Preliminary Comment

- Is Great Grandma Ida Getting More Accolades Than She Deserves?
So the big day is finally here. "Ida", a 47-million-year-old primate skeleton from Messel, Germany has finally been unveiled on PLoS One and in a flurry of press releases, book announcements, and general media hubub. Under different circumstances I would be happy to see an exceptional fossil receiving such treatment, but I fear that Ida has become a victim of a sensationalistic media that values audience size over scientific substance.



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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Peoria FCA Power Camp: a multi-sport day camp

Fellowship of Christian Athletes Power Camp
Partnering with: Youth for Christ & The Christian Center

June 15 - 17, 2009 Woodruff High School Peoria, IL
Ages 10 - 13
Cost: $10
Description: This is a multi-sport day camp that will combine the passion of competition in sport with the love of Christ.

We offer a variety of sports for both boys & girls. Each camper gets to choose which sport they will specialize in for the week.

For more info or to register: contact the Peoria FCA Office at 309.682.7322 or go online to http://www.peoriafca.org/

What Clinics Will Be Offered?
Boys: Baseball, Basketball, Football, Soccer, Wrestling
Girls: Basketball, Soccer, Softball, Volleyball

Cole Espenschied
http://www.peoriafca.org/
Cell 309.222.0374
Office 309.682.7322


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Monday, May 18, 2009

Cry Out America 2009

"....and cry out to the Lord." Joel 1:14

America is in a Spiritual Crisis - - Your Participation Can Make a Difference!

On September 11, 2001, America was shaken to its foundations by a series of surprise terrorist attacks. All of us were awakened to the new reality of global Islamic terrorism. Eight years later our nation needs to be awakened again, not just to the threats of terrorism, but to our critical spiritual condition.

Americans are now in desperate need of a fresh Christ Awakening. Over the last few months our economy has been deeply shaken. Overall church attendance continues to decline across the nation, America is now the third largest mission field in the world and an entire generation is growing up with little understanding of absolute truth. Yet, in what appears to be a very trying time for the Church in this nation, we believe that America is on the verge of a sweeping move of God’s Spirit that will touch every state, every county and every heart. Americans are now in desperate need of a fresh Christ Awakening.

The historical patterns of America’s Great Awakenings indicate that it is in precisely this type of seemingly hopeless national environment that God chooses to move in response to the cries of His people. Historically, when the people of God have set aside their differences to come together across this nation in extraordinary, united prayer, God has heard from heaven and responded with great outpourings of His Spirit.

In the mid 1700’s the nation was swept by the First Great Awakening after Jonathan Edwards called for concerts of prayer. In 1801, at a time when people declared that the church in America was too far gone ever to be redeemed, God poured out his Spirit on America's frontier in places like Cane Ridge, Kentucky, sparking the Second Great Awakening. In 1857, in the midst of national economic collapse, hundreds of thousands were converted in the Great Prayer Awakening. To learn more about America's Awakening history, click here.

In response to our nation’s need and God’s Biblical and historical pattern for bringing awakening to America, we are calling for extraordinary, united prayer in every county of the nation. At noon, on Friday, September 11, 2009, tens of thousands will gather at county courthouses across the nation in repentance, prayer for the lost and crying out for God to send a Christ awakening to our nation again.

We are currently in need of coordinators for counties across the nation. We’d like to invite you to prayerfully consider organizing believers in your county to join with us in this effort. As a coordinator you will receive a wealth of Awakening America resources as well as access to weekly conference calls with other coordinators around the nation.

SIGN UP TO SERVE AS A COORDINATOR IN YOUR COUNTY

Find out what a coordinator does

Locate a gathering near you

Read testimonies from Cry Out America 2008

Will you help us reach EVERY STATE, EVERY COUNTY and EVERY HEART in our nation during this season of desperate need for another Great Awakening?

The Awakening America Alliance

mail@awakeningamerica.us
1-888-9-AWAKE-US



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Friday, May 15, 2009

Bible Challenge 2009 - Week 6

Knights and Ladies,

He replied, "Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: " 'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.' You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men."
Mark 7:6-8

Tradition vs. Transformation!

The Jewish leaders and teachers of the law were overly focused on outward rituals and traditions. (Mark 7:1-5)

Jesus corrects them about what God is most concerned about, a transformation of the heart! (Mark 7:6-23)

In one sense our faith is easy, we don’t have to memorize a list of religious rules and traditions! On the other hand, what God really wants is our hearts. He wants what is on the inside. For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man 'unclean.' (Mark 7:21-23)

Submitting your heart in obedience to God is how we allow Him to truly transform us! I give you my heart, O God, transform it for Your glory!

Sunday, May, 17, 2009 - Mark 8
Monday - Mark 9
Tuesday - Mark 10
Wednesday - Mark 11
Thursday - Mark 12
Friday - Mark 13
Saturday - Mark 14

“Those clean hands and that pure heart which Christ bestows on his disciples, and requires of them, are very different from the outward and superstitious forms of Pharisees of every age. Jesus reproves them for rejecting the commandment of God.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on the Bible)

“It is always best to drink at the well and not from the tank. You shall find that reading the Word of God for yourselves, reading it rather than notes upon it, is the surest way of growing in grace. Drink of the unadulterated milk of the Word of God, and not of the skim milk, or the milk and water of man's word." ("How to Read the Bible" a sermon by C. H. Spurgeon)

Accept the challenge, take the quest!

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
(2 Timothy 3:16-17)



{ Bible Knights } { The King } { The Sword } { The Quest } { The Fellowship }

{ The Chaplain } { The Project } { The Vision } { The Blog }





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Friday, May 08, 2009

Bible Challenge 2009 - Week 5

Knights and Ladies,

Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment.
(Matthew 22:37-38)

What does it mean to love God with all of my heart, soul, and mind?

I can’t help but grip my chest and get a little bit short of breath when I think of God’s great love for us! We are such broken people, and yet, through the atoning act of Christ, we are sons and daughters of God, eternal spiritual beings!

Heart: I think this starts from a true understanding of our sinful nature and just how much God loved us to send Jesus to save us. He is the creator! I was reminded of this when I smelled the lilacs this morning on the way to work.

Soul: Our eternal perspective of God. Our soul love should be reflected in our storing of treasures in heaven, not earth. People, and their eternal identities.

Mind: Jesus should be at the center of every thought. Every thought, decision, course of action should stem from our love of God, from how we use our time to how we spend our money. In everything we do, we should try to honor and glorify God. (Matthew 16:23)

Sunday, May 10, 2009 - Mark 1
Monday - Mark 2
Tuesday - Mark 3
Wednesday - Mark 4
Thursday - Mark 5
Friday - Mark 6
Saturday - Mark 7

“Our love of God must be a sincere love, and not in word and tongue only, as theirs is who say they love him, but their hearts are not with him. It must be a strong love, we must love him in the most intense degree; as we must praise him, so we must love him, with all that is within us, Ps. 103:1. It must be a singular and superlative love, we must love him more than any thing else; this way the stream of our affections must entirely run. The heart must be united to love God, in opposition to a divided heart. All our love is too little to bestow upon him, and therefore all the powers of the soul must be engaged for him, and carried out toward him. This is the first and great commandment; for obedience to this is the spring of obedience to all the rest; which is then only acceptable, when it flows from love.”
(Matthew Henry’s Complete Commentary on the Bible)

“It is always best to drink at the well and not from the tank. You shall find that reading the Word of God for yourselves, reading it rather than notes upon it, is the surest way of growing in grace. Drink of the unadulterated milk of the Word of God, and not of the skim milk, or the milk and water of man's word." ("How to Read the Bible" a sermon by C. H. Spurgeon)

Accept the challenge, take the quest!

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
(2 Timothy 3:16-17)


{ Bible Knights } { The King } { The Sword } { The Quest } { The Fellowship }

{ The Chaplain } { The Project } { The Vision } { The Blog }





All Scripture links by BibleGateway.com Unless otherwise noted.

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Friday, May 01, 2009

Bible Challenge 2009 - Week 4

Knights and Ladies,

Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.
(Matthew 16:24-25)

Last week we acknowledged that God’s harvest is plentiful, that there is plenty of soul saving work to be done, and that we should pray for harvest workers, even consider what our own calling is.

This week, Jesus calls us to follow Him!

Deny ourselves; deny our sin nature, desires of the flesh, and worldly ambitions.

Pick up our crosses; accept the struggles, challenges, temptations, and persecutions.

And follow Christ!

Sunday, May 3, 2009 - Matthew 22
Monday - Matthew 23
Tuesday - Matthew 24
Wednesday - Matthew 25
Thursday - Matthew 26
Friday - Matthew 27
Saturday - Matthew 28

“A true disciple of Christ is one that does follow him in duty, and shall follow him to glory. He is one that walks in the same way Christ walked in, is led by his Spirit, and treads in his steps, whithersoever he goes. . . If any man will have the name and credit of a disciple, let him follow Christ in the work and duty of a disciple.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on the Bible)

“The gospel Jesus proclaimed was a call to discipleship, a call to follow Him in submissive obedience, not just a plea to make a decision or pray a prayer. Jesus' message liberated people from the bondage of their sin while it confronted and condemned hypocrisy. It was an offer of eternal life and forgiveness for repentant sinners, but at the same time it was a rebuke to outwardly religious people whose lives were devoid of true righteousness. It put sinners on notice that they must turn from sin and embrace God's righteousness. It was in every sense good news, yet it was anything but easy-believism.” (“The Gospel According to Jesus: What Is Authentic Faith?” by John MacArthur)

“It is always best to drink at the well and not from the tank. You shall find that reading the Word of God for yourselves, reading it rather than notes upon it, is the surest way of growing in grace. Drink of the unadulterated milk of the Word of God, and not of the skim milk, or the milk and water of man's word." ("How to Read the Bible" a sermon by C. H. Spurgeon)

Accept the challenge, take the quest!

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
(2 Timothy 3:16-17)



{ Bible Knights } { The King } { The Sword } { The Quest } { The Fellowship }

{ The Chaplain } { The Project } { The Vision } { The Blog }





All Scripture links by BibleGateway.com Unless otherwise noted.

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