Thursday, August 19, 2010

While watching a little TV on Sunday instead of going to church, I watched a church in Atlanta honoring one of its senior pastors who had been retired many years. He was 92 at that time and I wondered why the church even bothered to ask the old gentleman to preach at that age.

After a warm and welcoming introduction of this speaker, and as the applause quieted down, he rose from his high back chair and walked slowly, with great effort and a sliding gait to the podium. Without a noteor written paper of any kind he placed both hands on the pulpit to steady himself and then quietly and slowly he began to speak...

"When I was asked to come here today and talk to you, your pastor asked me to tell you what was the greatest lesson ever learned in my 50-odd years of preaching. I thought about it for a few days and boiled it down to just one thing that made the most difference in my life and sustained me through all my trials... The one thing that I could always rely on when tears and heartbreak and pain and fear and sorrow paralyzed me... the only thing that would comfort was this verse...

"Jesus loves me this I know.
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong,
we are weak but He is strong...
Yes, Jesus loves me....
The Bible tells me so."

When he finished, the church was quiet. You actually could hear his foot steps as he shuffled back to his chair. I don't believe I will ever forget it.

A pastor once stated, "I always noticed that it was the adults who chose the children's hymn 'Jesus Loves Me' (for the children of course) during a hymn sing, and it was the adults who sang the loudest because I could see they knew it the best."

"Senior version of Jesus Loves Me" (Below)

Here is a new version just for us who have white hair or no hair at all. For us over middle age (or even those almost there) and all you others, check out this newest version of Jesus Loves Me.


Jesus loves me, this I know,
Though my hair is white as snow
Though my sight is growing dim,
Still He bids me trust in Him.

Though my steps are oh, so slow,
With my hand in His I'll go
On through life, let come what may,
He'll be there to lead the way.

When the nights are dark and long,
In my heart He puts a song..
Telling me in words so clear,
"Have no fear, for I am near."

When my work on earth is done,
And life's victories have been won.
He will take me home above,
Then I'll understand His love.

I love Jesus, does He know?
Have I ever told Him so?
Jesus loves to hear me say,
That I love Him every day.

If you think this is neat, please pass it on to your friends. If you do not pass it on, nothing bad will happen, but you will have missed an opportunity to "reach out and touch" a friend or a loved one.

God Bless Us All!

by Bonnie S. Calhoun

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I'm sorry for the delay but life got in the way! that I have regaled you with my poetic rhyme I will give you the awaited answers. And LOL...only two of you were somewhat close!

The well-known evangelist that committed suicide is Judas in Matthew 27: 1-10

The innocent man tortured and executed while townspeople cheer is Jesus in Luke 23:13-25

The fat man found murdered is the story of Ehud in Judges 3:12-25.

The man who cuts up his raped wife is the Levite in Judges 19:22-30.

The woman savaged by vicious dogs is Jezebel in 2Kings 9:30-37.

And the woman who used the tent peg thru the head to pin the man to to ground is in the Song of Deborah. It's Jael in Judges 5:20-27.

There are a ton more great and interesting stories in the Bible. How many of them do you know?

God bless.

by Bonnie S. Calhoun

Friday, July 02, 2010

How many of these bible stories can you name? I'll give you the answers over the weekend...LOL...or tomorrow if enough people bug me :-)

And there's another one to add to the mix:

42 Youth Mauled by Bear for Taunting Prophet!

by Bonnie S. Calhoun

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Names of Jesus

Prompted by a Facebook comment about the name of Jesus not being valid, I decided to share this teaching I have done on His name in the past.

The Tanakh, which is the Old Testament in Hebrew, was translated into Greek for the Jews of the 2nd and 3rd centuries B.C.E. The translation was called the Septuagint or LXX. Septuagint means “Translation of the Seventy” because it was transcribed by 70 Jewish translators.

You must remember that this was a translation of the Masoretic Text, so even though it works great really for certain types of biblical research, it does not take authority over the original Hebrew. Now that I’ve added that caveat, let’s look at the Hebraic concepts that were translated into Greek.

The Greek equivalent of “Christ” comes from their word “christos,” which is the equivalent of the Hebrew “messiah” (masciach) meaning the “Anointed One.”

In the Septuagint, a short list of finding “christos” (Christ) and “christian” which are the the direct subjects of verbs takes us to these places in the Old Testament.

Leviticus 4:5, 6:15, 21:12
1 Samuel 24:7, 24:11; 26:9, 11, 16, 23
2 Samuel 1:14, 16; 2:5, 19:22, 23:1
2 Chronicles 22:7
Lamentations 4:20
Amos 4:13
Psalm 19:7, 20:6, 88:39

There is also textual evidence that before Jesus came, the Greek-speaking Jews of that day referred to the Maschiach as Christos…ergo “Christ.” During the time of Jesus, when he was considered the Messiah, they referred to him as ho christos “the Christ.”

Now for the name of Jesus. Yeshua originated from Joshua’s Hebrew name, Yehoshua, which when shortened was Yeshua, which when translated to Greek becomes Iesous (Yay-soos). In old English, the “y” sound was rendered as “j”, and so we get “Jesus.”

To argue that Yeshua’s name was incorrectly transliterated is like complaining that the Jews are called “Jews” rather than the exact term “Y’hudi” which was also transliterated from the Greek word Ioudaios and thusly became our English word “Judean.”

ROFLOL…So we should really be calling Judiasm by the name “Yoodiasm.”

The bottom line is that for those of us raised with the Latin alphabet in English speaking countries, our Lord’s name is Jesus Christ…and it’s all good. AMEN.

by Bonnie S. Calhoun

Friday, June 18, 2010

Son Of God Scroll

Today we're going to look at the "Son of God" scroll.

This was found in Cave Four known as 4Q246, and it refers to the hope of a future Messiah figure. Amazingly this scroll refers to the Messiah as "the son of God" and the "son of the Most High." These words are the exact words recorded in the Gospel of Luke.

The Text of Scroll 4Q246 – the Son of God Scroll

"He shall be called the son of God,
and they shall designate [call] him son of the Most High.
Like the appearance of comets, so shall be their kingdom.
For brief years they shall reign over the earth and shall trample on all;
one people shall trample on another and
one province on another until the people of God shall rise and all shall rest from the sword."

Compare the words in the scroll to the inspired words found in Luke 1:32 and 35!

Anyone comparing these two first century texts will be startled by the amazing similarity of concept and wording describing the Messianic leader. One of the great differences between Christians and Jewish conceptions of the promised Messiah revolves around His relationship to God.

While the Jews believe the Messiah will be a great man, such as Moses, with a divine mission, the Christians believe that the Bible teaches that the Messiah would be uniquely "the Son of God."

The Jewish view usually held that the concept of a "son of God" violated the primary truth of monotheism found in Deuteronomy 6:4, "Hear, O Israel" The Lord our God is one Lord."

The Christians believed that Jesus' claim to be the Son of God was not a violation of Deuteronomy 6:4. Rather, Christians believe in the Trinity, the doctrine that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are revealed in the Bible to be One God, revealed in three personalities.

As Christians, we do not believe in three separate Gods. Therefore, Christians understand the statement about Jesus as the Son of God to be in complete conformity to the truth of monotheism─there is only one God.

The presence of these statements in the Dead Sea scrolls suggests that some of the Essenes either accepted the Messianic claims of Jesus to be the Son of God or anticipated this concept. The discovery of the virtually identical wording "the Son of God" from Luke 1:32 and 35 with the scroll found buried in a cave in A.D.68, stands as a tremendous witness to the early existence and transmission of the Gospel record within thirty-five years of Christ.

If the Gospels were written and distributed within thirty-five years of the events of the life of Jesus, then they stand as the best witness historical records we could ever hope to possess.

In fact, all of these ancient historical records confirm the truth of the Gospels

To do personal study on the Dead Sea Scrolls, I recommend these two sites"

Portions of this article came from Grant R. Jeffries "The Signature of God"(but this is a revised edition not the original that we studied)

Scrolls from the Dead Sea

Dead Sea Scrolls

by Bonnie Calhoun

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Get Walking

Someone sent this to me today I couldn't resist sharing. It's written by Dan Miller of 48 Days.

"I prayed for twenty years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs."
-- Frederick Douglass

Far too many people who are 'praying' for solutions and answers, and simply living in that prayerful mode - hands folded and eyes closed, waiting on God to supernaturally give them the specific answer that will remove their challenge. So, just how does God answer our prayers?

Imagine any of these situations with me:
You really need a job
You'd like a better car
You want to make peace with your spouse
Your lawn mower is broken
You want to have a best-selling book
You would like to have a college degree
You want to be a more effective parent
You must have $5,000 for a new air conditioning unit

I believe God is the providential supplier of everything we need. But I also believe that his delivery system requires our active participation - 'praying with our legs.' If you need a job identify 30-40 target companies; contact them each three times and God will provide a job. If you want a best-selling book write something of value then be willing to persist through the rejection of 14 publishers as Max Lucado did with his first book (his books have now sold over 30 million copies.) - and watch God open doors. If you want a college degree explore six options for doing so that are possible even while you continue working. Block out 2 hours a day for focused study and see God allow that degree to be yours.

And can I find scripture to support faith and prayer that involve our legs? Oh yeah. My favorite is in Exodus 14:15. Moses is dealing with those whining, complaining children of Israel who see the Egyptians coming after them in the desert. I can just see them on their knees, praying and begging God to solve their problems. And the verse says - 'Then the Lord said to Moses, "Quit praying and get the people moving! Forward, march!" - (Living Bible)

God provides food for the birds - but he doesn't just show up and throw it in their nest. Sometimes the exercise of faith we need most may be to engage our spiritual quadriceps, stretch those hamstrings and use our gluteus maximus for something other than supporting our head while we pray.

by Bonnie S. Calhoun

Friday, June 11, 2010

This week and next week we're going to study the biblical evidence about Jesus, written in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

If someone had asked a minister in 1947 to prove that the original Hebrew Scriptures from the Old Testament were reliably copied without error throughout the last two thousand years, he might have had difficulty proving an answer.

The oldest Old Testament manuscript used by the King James translators was dated approximately A.D. 1100. Obviously, that old manuscript was a copy of a copy of a copy, for over two thousand years.

How could we be sure that the text in the A.D. 1100 copy was identical to the original text? An extraordinary discovery occurred in the turbulent years before Israel became a nation!

A Bedouin Arab found a cave in Qumran near the Dead Sea which ultimately yielded over a thousand priceless manuscripts dating back to A.D.68, when the Roman legions destroyed the Qumran village during the Jewish war against Rome.

When the ancient Hebrew scrolls, discovered by this Arab shepherd boy, were examined by scholars, they found that the Qumran site contained a library with hundreds of precious texts of both biblical and secular manuscripts that dated back before the destruction of the Second Temple and the death of Jesus Christ.

The most important discovery was the immense library of biblical texts in Cave Four. They found every single book of the Old Testament with the exception of the Book of Ester. Multiple copies of several biblical texts such as Genesis, Deuteronomy and Isaiah were found in Cave Four.

Scholars were able to reach back a further two thousand years in time to examine biblical texts that has lain undisturbed in the desert cave during all of the intervening centuries. The scholars discovered that the manuscripts copies of the most authoritative Hebrew text, Textus Recepticus, used by the King James translators in 1611, were virtually identical to these ancient Dead Sea Scrolls.

Aside from a tiny number of spelling variations, not a single word was altered from the original scrolls. How could the Bible have been copied so accurately and faithfully over the many centuries without human error entering into the text?

The answer is found in the overwhelming respect and fear of God that motivated Jewish and Christian scholars whose job was to faithfully copy the text of the Bible. In a later lesson I will show how the Masoretic scribes meticulously copied the text of the Scriptures over the centuries.

In 1991 the world was astonished to hear that one of the unpublished scrolls included incredible references to a "Messiah" who suffered crucifixion for the sins of men. The scroll was translated by Dr. Robert Eisenman, Professor of Middle East Religions of California State University.

This five line scroll contained fascinating information about the death of the Messiah. This exciting discovery reveals that the Essene writer of this scroll understood the dual role of the Messiah as Christians did.

This scroll identified the Messiah as the "Shoot of Jesse" [King David's father] the "Branch of David", and declared that he was the "pierced" and "wounded." The word "pierced reminds us of the Messianic prophecy in Psalm 22:16: "They pierced my hands and feet." The prophet Jeremiah [23:5] said, "I will raise unto David a righteous branch."

We will continue this study next week with the "Son of God" scroll!

by Bonnie Calhoun

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

My power verse for the week: 2 Corinthians 5:10..."For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad."

Yikes! Doesn't that put a stab in your heart! First response is, "But I'm washed in the blood and forgiven." In other words..."I should be forgiven for everything I ever do bad, even when I know I'm doing wrong 'cause I'm cleaned of my sins by Jesus."

ROFLOL...right! And what do you think that God thinks when you willingly sin, but ask for forgiveness after the fact?

Accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior gives us that reliablity that we are NOT going to be sent to hell for our sins. Because God can not look upon sin. He turns away. But when we accept Jesus, He covers those sins so God doesn't have to turn away.

But the verse clearly tells you that we're going to get a talking to...just thankfully not sent to hell for the transgressions. I like to say in heaven there are many crowns. Some of us are going to get crowns...and some of us are going to get crowned!

The teens in my Sunday School class were discussing this a few weeks ago, as they had never seen this particular verse, and were aghast that their going to get a talking to.

My response: "If you don't want a talking a righteous life."

by Bonnie Calhoun

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

The celebration of the 12 Days of Christmas has long been heralded in the song by the same name and that song has led to the misnomer that it is celebrated in the 12 days leading up to Christmas. But this is not the case.

Eastern and Western churches both celebrate the Epiphany 12 days AFTER Christmas. But they both celebrate it slightly different to add to your confusion!

The Eastern Churches celebrate the baptism of Christ in the Jordan, calling it the Feast of Theophany, where the emphasis is on the "shining forth" and revelation of Jesus Christ as the Messiah and Second Person of the Trinity as the baptism occured. They celebrate on January 6th.

The Western Churches celebrate the coming of the Magi (traditionally named Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar) when they sought out the infant Jesus with gifts that carried great prophetic significance. Gold reflected the kingship of Jesus the Messiah. Frankincense was a spice used in the priestly duties. And myrrh was an embalming ointment that signified Jesus' death.

The Western historically observed it as 12-day feast beginning on Christmas Day and ending on January 5th. But the liturgical church (Roman Catholic Church) in 1970 revised their calendar of saints and Epiphany is now celebrated on January 6th.

Urban legend declares that religious symbolism is hidden in the gifts named in the popular 12 Days of Christmas song. That is questionable, but it's interesting to take note of the symbolism that some people have placed on the gifts:

A Partridge in a Pear Tree - Jesus Christ
Two Turtle Doves - The Old and New Testaments
Three French Hens - Faith, Hope and Charity, the theological values
Four Calling Birds - Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, or the Four Gospels
Five Golden Rings – The five books of Moses, the "Pentateuch", which gives the history of man's fall from grace.
Six Geese-a-Laying – The six days of creation before God rested
Seven Swans-a-Swimming – The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments
Eight Maids-a-Milking – The eight Beatitudes
Nine Ladies Dancing – The nine fruits of the Holy Spirit
Ten Lords-a-Leaping - Ten Commandments
Eleven Pipers Piping - Eleven faithful disciples
Twelve Drummers Drumming -Twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed

Here is a great rendition of the Twelve Days of Christmas. Be blessed!

by Bonnie Calhoun