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Showing posts from February, 2011

Herod who??

I must admit, I still get confused by all those Herods mentioned in the New Testament. To keep them straight, I find it helpful to read the biblical text with a genealogy of Herod's family at my side (here's one from the Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible).

Well, so much for simplicity. Even this chart looks more like an engineering schematic than a family tree. To boil it all down, there are four key members of Herod's family mentioned in the Gospels...

Herod the Great. This is the original Herod of them all. The very name sent shivers up the spine of ancient Jews. Son of Antipater, he was a cunning politician, ruthless dictator, and brilliant architect. He was responsible for constructing the temple mount in Jerusalem, fortress palaces at Herodium and Masada, and a harbor at Caesarea -- all which continue to astound archaeologists and engineers today. In addition to killing several kin who threatened his throne, Herod murdered all the young boys in Bethlehem at the news that…

Book review: Wycliffe Bible Commentary

Someone recently asked me what I thought of the Wycliffe Bible Commentary. Overall, it's a good conservative commentary.

Though relatively brief (the 1990 edition is only one volume), the WBC goes a step deeper than today's Study Bibles like the MSB, ESV, and HCSB which have notes alongside the text. However, it's certainly not as deep (or expensive) as a more scholarly multi-volume commentary. The WBC is rather dated (originally published in the early 60s) and fairly light on application, but could be a very good starter tool for Bible students and teachers.

Jim Rosscup, in his book Commentaries for Biblical Expositors, says, “Conservative and premillennial scholars here have been experts in their fields. The work contains brief introductions and attempts to give a verse-by-verse exposition, though it does skip over some verses. The treatments vary with the authors, but as a whole it is a fine one-volume commentary for pastors and students to use or give to a layman. Outs…

Welcome, Abigail!

Praise the Lord! Abigail Adelle Jones was born yesterday at 1:08 pm. She weighed 7 lbs. 14 oz. and is 19.75" long. Thank you all for your prayers.

Natalie had very heavy post-delivery bleeding, clotting, and sharp pain for about five hours. Finally, the doctor did a DNC which revealed a small placenta lobe still attached to the uterus that was causing the bleeding. Once back from OR and stabilized, she received four units of blood and is now doing much better. She gets her first meal this morning. Thursday was a long day full of pain and frightening moments, but we knew God was with us and felt His grace in many ways. There are so many reasons to be thankful.

The doctors did their first ultrasound on Abigail for her hydronephrosis. We’ll get an update sometime today of what needs to be done next. The cupping on the right kidney is still there, so we will probably be referred to a specialist, but don’t know how much of this will happen while we’re still at the hospital. Thankfully…

5-month enhancement campaign underway

Over the past 25 years, God has blessed First Southern Baptist Church of Yucca Valley with a very comfortable and adequate facility. But the time has come to make some repairs and improvements. In 2011, we hope to enhance our facility in four key areas.

First, we need to replace stolen equipment and expand our preschool playground to be more kid- and family-friendly. Second (and the most urgent), we need to repair our leaking sanctuary roof with a new Fibertite roofing system and skylights. Third, we need to upgrade our sound system with new microphones, speakers, and wiring to better broadcast God’s Word. Finally, we need a new front sign to help invite our neighbors. These four components will not only get us back up to standard, but will improve our ability to minister to people in the 21st century.

This project represents the fruit of many hours of prayer and research by our church leaders. As I recently noted from 2 Chronicles 24, “how we care for God’s house reflects how much we …

God never fumbles

Next Sunday, over 100 million people are expected to watch Super Bowl XLV, making it the most viewed TV event in American history.

Imagine the pressure on these players! They’ve spent every waking moment of their lives preparing for this single game, and it’s winner take all. Every play will be crucial. Every pass. Every rush. Every tackle. Every kick. A single play could change momentum and spell victory or defeat. One misplaced finger on the ball could result in a fumble. One misjudged pass could cause an interception.

This year’s matchup promises to be a good game, but in the end, it’s still a game. I’m so thankful that with the weightier matters of life -- like heaven and hell -- there’s no risk of a fumble. If God is carrying you in His arms, then your salvation is secure. He’ll never drop you or let the Enemy strip you out of His hands.

Jesus Christ our Good Shepherd says, “My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never …