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Monday, December 13, 2010

747 Love

"This love to Christ is the inseparable companion of saving faith. A faith of devils, a mere intellectual faith, a man may have without love, but not that faith which saves.  Love cannot usurp the office of faith.  It cannot justify.  It does not join the soul to Christ.  It cannot bring peace to the conscience.  But where there is real justifying faith in Christ, there will always be heart love to Christ.  He that is really forgiven is the man who will really love (Luke 7:47).  If a man has no love to Christ, you may be sure he has no faith."
      J.C. Ryle,  Holiness  p.237

That last sentence is quite striking and is a summation of the greatest commandment. (Mark 12:30)  Beg God for sincere love that you may know you have a sincere faith.

Friday, December 3, 2010

God continues to provide (Tyler turns 3)

Our house is for sale.  Our house is for rent.  We pray it sells.  Today we heard from a very interested renter.  Either way - the Lord provides.

Wed morning I went to Starbucks.  An occasional norm these days.  Wed morning is when the men's small group I lead occurs.  A few of the guys occasionally show up to Starbucks and we enjoy a time of fellowship before our group meets.  The guy in line in front of me goes to pay for his 3 coffee's and his visa doesn't ring up.  They can't type the numbers manually at Starbuck's and he has no cash.  So I paid for his.  The lady behind the counter didn't charge me for my drink (which cost more than his).  I used a gift card to buy the coffee and ended up using .65 cents of my own money.  The Lord provides for others as we show the world that God is more important than money.

Went to grab something for lunch at the grocery store by our church.  I'm studying here at church all day.  (Another way the Lord has provided - it's very convenient since I live a few miles from here, and saves the 20min trip to school)  I saw one of our church staff at the grocery store - he bought my lunch for me.  I told him 2 times I was ok, that I had money to buy lunch today, but he insisted.  The Lord provides.

You see, when your Father is creator of the World, all your needs are met.  Please pray that Ann and I continue to seek first His Kingdom.  God is so kind to us.

Tonight we head to a pizza party for our Sunday School class.  The pizzas will be cooked by CPK on site in a custom outdoor pizza oven.  Yum.  The fellowship will be great.

Also looking forward to our church's Christmas concert in a few weeks.
Per school - I have one Final in Greek Exegesis next week, and two finals the following week.  One in Hebrew Exegesis and the other in Historical Theology.  God will certainly have to provide for me to survive these next few week.

Today is also my son Tyler's 3rd Birthday.  Happy Birthday Ty Ty. (He of course is a frequent visitor on my blog)  8)


Monday, November 29, 2010


This morning I began to study Holiness.  First, searching the scripture, here is what I found.1. Holiness and godly sincerity is a good example of pure Christian conduct.  2 Cor 1:12
2. Holiness is perfected (ongoing) in the fear of God. 2 Cor 7:1
3. Holiness plus righteousness = the new self. Eph 4:24
4. Holiness of heart is how we are to be presented before God at His second coming. 1 Thes 3:13
5. Holiness, derived from discipline, is shared with God. (we share in God's holiness)  Heb 12:10

I pray the Lord enables us to live a life of Holiness through pure Christian conduct, in the fear of God, putting on the new self, from a holy heart and thereby sharing in God's holiness through godly discipline.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

You can have all this world, Give me Jesus

A beautiful song by Fernando Ortega.  Well composed.  Listen to it today.  "Give me Jesus".  Here are the lyrics.

May we seek the Lord while He may be found.

If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  Romans 10:9

May God be praised!

Monday, November 1, 2010

God must draw people to Christ

Do you know and understand the drawing of God?  To whom are those who are saved?  The elect.  This is not disputed.  That God only draws some, creating a desire in them to respond in faith to Jesus is clear, yet many do not believe this.

Consider John 6:44        “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day."

In context, Jesus had just finished doing a miracle and feeding thousands from only a few fish and pieces of bread.  He then tells the crowd in v26, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled."  They missed focusing on the Savior because of their temporal desire for food.  Jesus then goes on to tell them that this food they desire perishes, but they should work for the food which brings eternal life.  How?  By believing in Jesus.  "Working" shows it is not merely a faith which produces nothing, but a life which is working towards Christ.

He then goes on to say in v37 that all the Father gives to Him, will come to Him.  What is the context?  Eternal life!  Here we learn very plainly that those who are called of God, or elect, WILL come to Christ and will be saved, that is "raised up on the last day" as the end of v37 says.

The problem for many, is that they say, 'wait a minute, I thought a person must believe and that God's will is for all to be saved'?  Yes, that too is true, but God doesn't effectually call all men in the same manner, else all men would be saved.  We must let the tention of scripture remain, while not rejecting that which we do not yet understand.  For our lack of understanding does not make something untrue.  If a two year old does not understand how it is possible that a cold oven could all of a sudden burn him with fire, it does not mean that oven's no longer get hot!

The people then understand this problem, and upon hearing that Jesus has said He has come down from Heaven, start to grumble.  Jesus then gives us v44 (which I started this post with) and tells them "Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me". Now ask any preacher, does everyone they teach about the things of God become saved?  No.  So what does Jesus mean.  In context, this again is referring to those who have believed.  Who are those who believe?  The elect.  Why?  Because "of all that the Father has given me [Jesus] I lose nothing." v37.

Still not understanding?  v64 "But there are some of you who do not believe".  Judas was in the crowd, as were many other people who just wanted a miracle and did not want to taste the bread of heaven and receive eternal life.  Jesus was trying to tell them, you can't take salvation, you must receive it.  For something to be received it must be given.  v65 "For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father."  This is the dicotomy of election and it is clear as day.

Do you believe the Bible?  All of it?  Then you must believe, and TEACH others ALL of it.  Not just the parts you like.  The passage then goes on to say in vv66-67, "As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore.  So Jesus said to the twelve, "You do not want to go away also, do you?"  Peter then says, "Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have words of eternal life."  The Bible only presents two options here.  Believe and live according to the teaching of the Bible, or turn away and follow Christ no more. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

My Friend

He is my friend,
and my master

He is my LORD,
and my provider.

He is always near,
yet transcendent above all the earth.

He is the focus of all time,
yet BC and AD are inadequate to describe His impact.

He is the focus of the all time best seller,
and in this book, the Bible, you too can meet my master, my Savior.

His name is YHWH.

Friday, October 22, 2010

A Great Birthday

This past week was my Birthday.  Thanks to many of you who said hbd on my facebook page.  It was a constant stream for most of the day.  Woke up to a few signs around the house Annie posted after I went to sleep.  Sneaky!  When I got home from Seminary that afternoon, there were signs all over the house from the kids.  Cameron just loved the one he put on the toilet...cracking himself up.  They all jumped out from behind the couch when I came in the door and yelled "happy birthday".

That morning was started off as usual with the men's bible study I lead at church.  we read an article on prayer by George Mueller.  Didn't tell em it was my Birthday.  They said they'd get me back for that, and they did.  Later that same day, I had class with my pastor Jack Hughes at Seminary.  He was informed it was my birthday, and so 70 men sang happy birthday to me.  Was fun.  Later that evening while Ann was at Sem wives, Jack, his son and John B took me to Ventura Blvd for sushi.  Was a great time.

The family and I will be heading to the beach tomorrow, Lord willing, to celebrate.

The Lord continues to provide for us in amazing ways.  This week we received some financial help, a new keyboard for our mac at home, a dell computer, and much prayer from those many beloved people in our lives.  God is good.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Syntactical What?

Analysis.  My latest painfully pleasant assignment at The Masters' Seminary is to write a syntactical analysis of Isaiah 1:18-20. It's a beautiful passage showing YHWH's willingness to forgive even the most grievous of sins.  And then if the people do listen to Him, he will not only forgive them but bless them mightily.  What a great God!  Many brain cells have died in the process of writing this paper (they've overloaded), but I gave them a nice burial.  Still praying the Lord (Adonai) resurrects them at His second coming.  Until then, I press on.  8)

YHWH (Capitol "LORD" in the NASB95) is so gracious and kind.  Was at Starbucks this morning "buying" a cup of coffee with my empty starbucks bag (if you turn in the empty used bag, they give you a small coffee) when I saw a friend from Church.  He gave me a $5 so I could buy something to eat as well.  I pocketed the $5 (sorry brother) and will use that to buy a bag of coffee beans at the local grocery store - turning that into many cups of coffee.  God is good.

Our home desktop computer is dying. Please pray for it.  We've milked it for 6+ years now.  One of the bulbs in the monitor burned out two years ago.  This means we have to turn the computer on two times in a row to override the monitors "fix me now" mode.  My kids probably just think all computers need to be turned on twice!  ha.  Annie uses this Mac computer a good bit.  Pray it lasts.

Taught Sunday School class yesterday on 1 John 1:1-4.  The joy of Fellowship in Christ and with other believers.  Not just any joy, but complete Joy.  Many in our culture what to be lone-ranger Christians.  They work hard all week and then take it easy at Church, not serving much and not giving as much effort to the body of Christ as they do their jobs.  This is difficult because the American employer expects much.  I was there.  I understand.  Yet, they miss out on the blessing of fellowship in the body and deprive others in the body of fellowship with them.  Around AD 90 when 1 John was written by the Apostle John, Christians were being tortured and put in prison for their faith.  So complete joy was something that would have gotten their attention right away.  Our culture is just the opposite.  We are a "serve yourself, make yourself happy" culture.  I pray we, including myself, align ourselves under the authority of God's word and submit ourselves to His plan.  John says he has touched the "Word of Life".  How do you touch a word?  You can if the Word becomes flesh and dwells among us.  John says the Word was "manifested to us".  Jesus, came to our world, to impact our world; to seek and to save the lost, and to bring fellowship to a new level among believers.  An intimate joyful complete level.  Press on toward fellowship with the Holy Father (no I don't mean the Pope - see ), with His Son Jesus and with the body of believers.  For in that, you WILL have complete joy.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Luke 10:41-42

41 But the Lord answered and said to her, aMartha, Martha, you are bworried and bothered about so many things;
42 abut only one thing is necessary, for bMary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

At TMS, it is sometimes hard to focus on things other than school work.  There are many men who are becoming brothers to me there.  We pray together, study together and strive to honor Christ in our lives together.  But sometimes I still act and feel like Martha did.  She was more concerned with all the details and checklists instead of realizing that she had an opportunity to sit at Jesus' feet.  She had God incarnate in her living room and was more concerned with dinner preparations.

Only 3 times in scripture does it summarize life down to "one thing".  1.  Psalm 27:4 where King David's singular focus in life was the worship of God.  2.  Paul says in Phil 3:13-14 that the one thing that he does know is a pressing on towards the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  Paul wanted to be with Christ in heaven and it drove everything about his life.  3. Our passage in the gospel of Luke where we find Mary and Martha having Jesus over for dinner.

Friends, nothing in life is more important than Christ.  Not dinner plans, nor contributions to society, nor political endeavors, nor work; Nothing!

Please pray that I seek to sit at my Savior's feet as Mary did.  May Jesus also say to me that my time with him "will not be taken away".  I pray the same for you.

Seek Jesus while He may be found.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Hit the ground running

The semester has started and so has the heavy work load.

Yesterday the family enjoyed a picnic at Oxnard State Beach.  It was a chilly 65, with jeans and a sweatshirt in order.  Back in Burbank that same day it was 85.  Quite a difference when traveling to the beach.  Many students, professors and their families were in attendance.  There were games and a bounce house for the kids.  Very enjoyable.

My Hebrew Exegesis class is led by Dr. Bill Barrick.  He is truly a scholar, having contributed to the translation of the Bible into 9 languages so far, and is very thorough in critiquing our work.  What an honor it is to sit under his teaching.

Our finances continue to be tight.  Our silver car is in the shop and will come back with a bill north of $900.  Ouch!  Though my Father is a wealthy billionaire, so it should be no problem for Him to take care of this for us.  My Father continues to provide for us in due time, as He sees fit.  This being one of the great sculpting tools He uses on us lately.

My church history class is fantastic.  Getting to know the church fathers (apostolic fathers - because they were in succession to the Apotsltes) has been a joy.  Seeing that from Clement to Turtillian to Polycarp and Ignaciaous, the way of salvation has always been by faith and not of works.  With over 1.1 billion "Roman Catholics" in the world saying we need works to justify us for salvation - in that salvation is not by faith through grace alone (Eph 2:8-9) - it is comforting to know that the early church fathers do not agree with them....nor would Christ Jesus the Messiah who, upon His death on the cross to be a propitiaiton for the sins of men, said "It is finished".  The Roman Catholic would have to say - "It is started".

Another great class is Old Testament Survey.  Our professor is taking us chapter by chapter from Genesis through Esther and the rest of the OT will be next semester.  What a joy to see the faithfulness of God to His people.

Guess that's all for now.  Need to get back to translating Colossians chapter 2.  Seek Him while He may be found.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Back to School

August 31 began the start of the fall semester.  I have a larger class load than my first semester with harder classes.  Should be a challenge and encourage me to longer times of prayer.

Cameron is now in the first grade.  Elle will be doing a summer short term pre-school (Lord willing) and Tyler is just having the time of his life with his big brother and sister.

Ann is doing an awesome job of managing the household (Titus 2:5 something every Christian woman should be is a "worker at home" - not that women can't go out and have jobs - but they must maintain their biblical responsibility at home and not outsource it to others)  It's a function and a privilege to serve God in this way, and one of the highest honors bestowed upon women.  Men don't get off the hook though, as the buck stops with them - being called to provide for their family, being the spiritual leaders of their home and the one who serves and loves their wife as Christ did the church.  Another backwards role given societal stigmas.  Christian men though see it as a function and privilege to serve our families as we serve the Lord.

As an intern at Calvary Bible Church, I get to attend the elder meetings and weekly prayer times.  Last night we had a beautiful example of the men discussing a sensitive subject, with many of them personally connected and they handled it with grace and preference to others.  It was a great example to me.  All those at Calvary should thank the Lord for raising up such men who act with integrity behind closed doors!

Please keep us in your prayers that we may grow in our love for Jesus and the proclamation of and obedience to His word.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Thursday afternoon, Lucio Stanisci and I sat down in North Hills California as he told me about his work in Italy.  Less than .01% of the 70 million population is what we call Evangelical Christian.  That is, most of the country claims Catholicism while holding to things quite contrary to the gospel of Jesus the Messiah as presented in scripture.....but that will be dealt with in another post.

Friday evening, my family accepted an invitation from Lucio to attend an open house for friends and family of their ministry.  It was a wonderful evening hearing how the Lord is preparing men at the seminary to go to Italy, the "missionary graveyard" as it's called, to preach the clear gospel of Jesus Christ.  It's called the missionary graveyard because most missionaries leave Italy within 5 years never to return.  The gospel message is what Christ did on the cross, that He completely saves man, to those who believe and submit their lives to Him, and that good works play no part in salvation.  Good works are a result of salvation like turning the car on is a result of having gas in the tank.  But turning the car on (good works) does not put gas in the tank as Catholicism claims.  Catholicism says that we are saved by faith and justified by works, which is a heretical doctrine according to scripture.

There is a dire need in Italy for solid churches and a great need for men to be trained in the exegetical study of God's word.  That simply means that a man can look at the grammar, the context and the historical setting of a passage (among a few other things) and determine what the writer meant to convey to the original audience.  This sounds basic, that a person could read the Bible and understand what is means, but that very notion is under severe attack here in the USA as well as abroad.  "That's your interpretation", "what does the Bible mean to you?" are common ways this ideology is used.

Lucio and another missionary named Massimo Mollica are called to preach and teach the word of God, to plant Biblical churches and to train the indigenous leadership to shepherd their own sheep.  What a fun evening it was!  Tears were shed by some of the Italians that night as they dreamed the gospel will be once again spread to their people.

Lucio explains the situation much better than I.  Want to meet Lucio?  Watch this clip.

Want to meet Massimo?  Click here:

May the Word of the Lord go forth.
(Oh yah, two more days of Gladiator Greek!!!!)

Sunday, August 8, 2010


Fellowship of The Saints.  This is the Sunday morning class Ann and I are part of at Calvary Bible Church in Burbank.  It's comprised of people 25-90 years old.

This morning I had the opportunity to teach on "loving one another".  The capstone of our gift from the Holy Spirit.  The greatest gift we have.  Even if a man can do all miracles, but has not love, he is nothing.  If a person has the faith to move mountains, but has not love, he is nothing.  People will know that we are true disciples by our love.

It was a fun yet convicting lesson to teach.  Very encouraging too, as God continues His work in us and through us: a work that He will finish until the day of Christ Jesus.

I hope you are doing well.  I pray you are pursuing the Lord through His word and prayer on a daily basis.  I pray you are serving in a church and loving those who are your neighbor.  In John 13, Christ gave us a new command to love others as He has loved us.  Loving others is not new, but loving others as He has loved us, in His humanity here on earth, full of submission to the Father and gracious to even Judas as he washed his feet the night he would betray Jesus....yes, that is new.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Baptism Class

One of the many joys I have in being an intern at Calvary Bible Church is teaching their Baptism class.  After a person gets saved, that is they trust Jesus as Savior and live as His servant, they are told in the Holy Scriptures to be baptized as a public identification with him.

The best thing about the class is getting to work with people on writing out their testimony before they get baptized.  Their testimony is their story of how Christ drew them to Himself, saved them and changed their life.  It is pretty neat to see how many different ways a person comes to trust in Jesus as Savior.  They all hear and respond to the same gospel, but their circumstances are all very different.

A question for you.  How many kinds of baptism are spoken of in the New Testament?  1, 3 or 6?  The answer is 6.  Did you know that?  I didn't, until I looked into the scriptures just like I ask those who attend the class to do.  I'd encourage you to do the same.  Remember - Baptism means immerse.  So one can be immersed into many things.  The hard thing is not to bring your presuppositions to the scripture but to let the scripture speak for itself.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Prayer with the Elders

Once a week the time comes for prayer with the Elders.  This is a very enjoyable time of praying for the people of our church, city and nation.  For those not at our church, there is a prayer and praise list printed up each week from requests turned in on Sunday.  That list is provided to the elders and the church prayer team to pray over each week.  We end the prayer time each week by praying with each other at the mtg.  It's a great way to stay in touch with the body (the church) and each other.

Had a nice time reading the Word this morning at 5:30am at Starbucks.  Why go to starbucks?  A friend invited me to come over and bought me a coffee.  We didn't talk much.  Just read and enjoyed good fellowship.  This friend and I have been texting each other daily in the morning to try and encourage the other to get up early and study the Word and pray.  Try it.  Find a friend who can mutually encourage you to draw closer to the Lord.  Do so on a daily basis.  The Lord is good.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Jesus is God

Jesus is God.

If a person knows this, believes it and lives like it, life is different.  It cannot and does not stay the same.  A person's life before knowing Christ and after are and should be drastically different.  When they aren't, then a person should read 1 John.

1 John is written to believers who need to be encouraged of their salvation and to fight against the heresy of the day, which is still prevalent in our day, that a persons talk and walk don't have to match.  What people say today is "that's nice for you" or "I have my own relationship with God, but don't go to church, study my Bible or pray much".  Of course this goes against the picture of the true Christian life painted in 1 John.  "Those who love God, obey Him".  Notice, it's his way or no way.  There is no ambiguity in that statement.

1 John is what I'll be studying in the Greek over the next 5 weeks.  I'm really looking forward to it.

On the family side of things, some of the income we had coming in, is no longer coming in.  Please pray the Lord continues to provide for our needs.  We know and trust that He will.  If that comes in the form of a job for me, please pray I am able to manage my schedule and family well.

I'm half way through Gladiator Greek.  Ann and I are both very tired from the rigors of my schooling.  Please pray the Lord provides in such a way, in all areas of our life, that we are able to press on.  A good friend of mine here at TMS has just decided not to register for the Fall for many reasons (all personal).  The fight to stay here at school is real....

Praying for you,

Thursday, July 15, 2010

At war....

This Christian phrase, at war with the flesh, means one is constantly battling against the desires of the world.  Desires to live sinfully.

But we must walk by the Spirit. (and through the power of the Spirit)

We must submit ourselves to Christ as Lord and Savior.

"For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. " Gal 5:17

CHRISTIANS do not live to please themselves.  They live for the purpose of another.  They live to glorify God.  Do not wait until your dying day to try and turn your life over to Christ.

This past week I went to visit a family.  The Dad was literally dying.  My pastor shared the gospel with him from John Chapter 3.  Hopefully this man could hear and turned his heart to the Lord.

The man died 6 hours after we left.  His funeral is next week.  Please pray for this family...for those left behind.  Pray that those of them who aren't saved, that they will confess with their mouth Jesus as Lord and submit to their lives to Him.

Eternity is at stake.  Where do you stand?

This life, the things of this world, are not worth an eternity in Hell.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Elle Turns 5

Seems like yesterday that...OK, not really. Elle was born in Laguna Beach California, around 7am, 5 years ago. Amidst all the studies, meetings and ministry, the Lord provided a nice time with the family as we celebrated Elle's birthday.

Since our yard is 90% in the front of the house, not much goes on without the neighborhood kids showing up. Once word got out that Elle was having a birthday, a few more guests started to show. Ann anticipated this and made an extra cake....what fun!

Here's a few pics of the occasion.
(first post of pics...hard to read text I know...sorry)

Monday, July 5, 2010


So it's hard to find work in my old business when you can't work a few days / wk. The Lord continues to provide for our family in non-conventional ways though. A guy at church had some heavy work to be done at his home. He hired me for the day and was very generous in his payment. God is good.

This week I have my first test in Greek. The "quiz", and there have been two of them, had 100+ points on it. With the quiz being 4 pages long, the test should substantial. Learning to take study time to work and handle the curve balls of family life has become harder with this summer greek class. God continues to refine my character (and my families) through it all. Again, God is so very good.

As hard as this summer class is, the fall and spring semesters will most likely be harder. Please pray the Lord continue to provide for us. Pray that I will be kind and gracious and set a good example for my family to follow.

- Dave

Monday, June 28, 2010

Greek and CBC Internship

Thanks to a handy song on the web, it wasn't all Greek to me, only most of it. Our professor is, shall we say, eccentric to say the least. He tells us about all these conspiracy theories of what really goes on in the world in order to poke and prod us to focus on the main thing. No, not Greek. Jesus!

He wants us to be so focused on Christ that we let all else fall behind (especially politics). Yes, be diligent in family and in school and at work and church, but that is being diligent as God has commanded which then brings glory to God. Not diligence for an "A", but diligent in that we are good stewards of what God has given to our care. Our focus and goals have to be in the right place or ALL that we do brings shame to the name of Christ.

Greek class is now 3 days per week, and moves at a fast pace. Please pray I can keep up with class given the time my family and I have allotted for it.

This past week my church made me an intern. They wanted to see, as they do with all students, if we can handle the rigors of seminary before investing more time in us. Since I am now through with my first semester, it cleared the way for an Internship. What's involved? More one on one discipleship with a pastor. He'll be able to guide me and give feedback in the ministries I'm currently involved with. Preaching once per month at Burbank Health Care, Teaching weekly, on prayer team etc. I'll also attend the monthly elder meetings and weekly elder prayer meetings.

God has been and continues to be good to us. Someone gave us a box full of frozen food and said they'd make it a regular thing if we liked the contents!

If you're reading this in the Burbank area, please consider coming to Church one Sunday morning at Calvary Bible Church, to taste and see that God is good. The salvation of your soul and where you spend eternity hangs in the balance. Please also consider reading the book of John.

praying for your soul...dave

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Revving up for School

Had a great visit with Ann's parents this week. Went to the beach, had some Italian pizza, enjoyed good conversation. It's nice to have Grandparents who are saved. It gives us eternal things to discuss and enjoy.

Hello to Erin Carlson! Hope you are doing well.

This coming Monday starts my two months of Gladiator Greek, as it's affectionately known. Please pray that I continue to get the needed time with my family, that I can pay attention to their needs and continue to share with them the things I am learning about the Lord.

The Lord has continued to bless us and take care of us financially. We received two more gifts in the mail this past week. He promises to take care of His children, and He does. I so love the Lord more and more as my understanding of Him grows.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Green Tea from God

Today was another Day of God showing us who is God. Of God proving He is sovereign over all creation and that all things are in His control. No, He didn't throw a mountain into the sea, but by the time he is done blessing us daily, it will be a mountain.

This morning, as I got up for Father's Day, I read in Deuteronomy how the Levites did not inherit any land as the other tribes of Israel did, because the Lord was their portion. This would play out for us again today.

A sweet elderly lady at our church came up and handed Ann some money saying, "The Lord has just continued to put your family on my heart." Thank you Jesus.

We were invited over to a friend's house for lunch today - which is a blessing in and of itself as we planned to have a normal lunch to save money - after eating tri-tip steak, partaking of a 5lb fruit tray, corn on the cob (anyone hungry?), hot dogs, home made strawberry pie etc, they send all that remained home with us....about 3 small boxes worth of food. Thank you Jesus.

On the way home, my daughter told me to open up a little tray on near our center console in the car, and the friends who invited us over, sent us home with some cash too. Thank you Jesus.

Green Tea. Ann's parents are coming to town tomorrow. I had asked her what her Dad liked to drink so that we could go to the store and get it before he arrived. She said, "he likes green tea". We'll guess what they sent us home with today from our lunch? That's right, green tea. The providence of the Lord is written all over life, and sometimes it is easy for all to see. No one at the lunch today even drinks green tea, but someone thought they'd get some anyway. God is good.

Thank you Jesus.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Coffee Burn

We've just returned from a great week visiting my parents in Maryland. My nephew Micah was also there. Was good to see him too.

While in Maryland, my Dad and I drove 350 miles to Huntington West Virginia to visit my 89 year old grandpa, Bill Jones, whose health is failing. We stayed only about 4 hours and then headed back home that evening, but it was well worth the trip. Counted 14 deer. Didn't run into any of em, praise the Lord. The rolling forests of the East are vastly different from California. Dark greens, millions of lightning bugs, clear streams. Was good to visit.

Ann's parents are coming out next week. Looking forward to their time here as well.

Oh yeah, coffee. Two weeks ago, Tyler pulled a full pot of coffee onto his right shoulder and neck. Got first and second degree burns. Was quite the tramatic morning. His skin started to sag and bubble. The burbank fire dept. arrived in about 4 min and were excellent in every regard. They took Tyler to the ER where he was treated and released in a few hours. His skin is almost back to normal now, but some healing still needs to occur.

What does Tyler remember? "Fire truck go BUMP". There are speed bumps on our road. "Jesus, gave me a shot". When Tyler was loving life on Morphine, he said some interesting things. The best being "Jesus, gave me a shot". The ER doc is certainly not Jesus, but it's nice to know my 2.5 year old is thinking of the Lord already, even in times of distress.

Greek starts in one week....time to learn another new language. God is good. I pray you know Him. He died for your sins, and rose again on the third day. The book of Romans, chapter 10 verse 9 says, "If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." I pray you turn to Him today.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Summer Break

Hebrew Grammar II is now over. Three weeks of summer break are ahead until two months of Greek summer school start.

We'll be able to visit my family in Maryland and Ann's parents are coming to see us. It will be nice to visit with family.

A few weeks ago we had to replace the tires on the front of our pacifica. Not cheap. We used money in savings to pay for it. Just a few days ago, someone gave us an anonymous gift that covered the cost of the tires and then some. The Lord provides.

Praise. Christopher's wife and baby, Irene and Abbey, arrived from Africa. It's the first time he has seen his new baby and hasn't seen his wife in over 4 months.

I'd like to share a sermon with you. It's about a rich man who was willing to do almost anything to be saved - except one thing. Please listen if you have time. It is both convicting and encouraging.

Seek the Lord, while He may be found.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

We Serve a Gracious God

Memorial Day - was supposed to be a day to spend time with the family and relax a bit before my last push towards the end of my Hebrew Grammar II class. This week Ann had little tutoring because school is out.

The phone rang. A man from our church was doing a roofing job and wanted to hire me for the day to come help out. It turned out to be the same amount of money Ann would have made tutoring that day.

Later that day, as I was driving with the kids, the car started to over heat. Not just a little, but all the way up to "H". There was no more room for the needle to go. Praise the Lord the car just needed some coolant (a bunch of it) and a quart of oil. $20 later and the car is back on the road. You might say a funny day of coincidences, if you don't know the Lord, or, if you do know God Almighty, our loving compassionate, gracious, all-knowing and Sovereign God - you would say - "just another day, with God in control"! And in control He is!

Praise the Lord for He is good.

Tomorrow, I have my last final for Hebrew Grammar II, at which point I'll be half done with my Hebrew studies for seminary. Thanks to all of you for your prayers. We truly appreciate it and are blessed by them. Continue to pray for the salvation of my children.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Others who sacrifice

Hebrew Grammar II will be done next Friday. 3 weeks "off", then 8 weeks of Greek 1 & 2...then the fall semester starts. This coming fall and spring might prove to be the toughest of the 3 years. God is good. God continues to help my family plug away at seminary life while providing little blessings all along the way. Got to school without eating breakfast yesterday which means no food till about 1pm when my study group finishes. Got to school and someone brought in large muffins and then our prof brought in donuts. Next day, same thing except a person offered to buy me breakfast without him even knowing I hadn't eaten. ...and Ann's sister Erin blessed us this week as well. There's more, but I want to tell you about Christopher.

'Others who sacrifice'. Christopher has been here while his wife and newborn baby are back in Uganda. The baby is their first. 5 days without a person's spouse is a very long time, let alone 5 months. Well, the Lord has made provisions for his wife to arrive in a few weeks (she has made it to the states already). Please pray for them as our summer greek class will be very trying. Please pray Irene (his wife) has a smooth transition and is encouraged in the Lord while she is here. He has been a joy to get to know him so far and look forward to meeting his family in person.

Seek the Lord while He may be found!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Qal's and Niphal's and Hiphal's...

Exam I. Hebrew Gram II... tomorrow morning. Learning the Hebrew Gram my first semester is paying off during summer school where we get to translate Genesis 1-4 into English from the Original Hebrew.

It's kind of like being on a boat in the vast ocean not knowing there is a beautiful coral reef down below. Now I get to explore the coral reef first hand (prior to any current oil spills) 8(.

My energy is being tested and for those of you who know our Lord Jesus as Savior, please pray for endurance. The Lord God, He alone is God, and He alone is good.

May the Lord bless your day so that you might give Him praise and honor and glory.


Thursday, May 13, 2010


What a joy. The homework for Hebrew Grammar II was to translate and parse the verbs for Genesis 1:1-10. 3 Hours later, the work was done. It was so amazing to be able to read and translate from the original Hebrew language.

All the work from Hebrew Grammar I is starting to pay off. We also read Psalm 27:4 and Exodus 3:14-15. The Exodus passage is what Jesus quotes in John 8:58 when He claims to be God. "I Am that I Am". Many say this was merely a self declaration of existence from Jesus, but the Jews at the time knew exactly what he was saying. That's why they picked up stones to stone him to death for blasphemy. Jesus quoted the same title for himself that God did in the Old Testament. It was enjoyable to read it in Hebrew.

The family is doing well. Cameron is playing T-ball while Elle and Tyler are enjoying their time at church and with friends. The Lord blessed us with a tiny house to rent when we returned from New York last year. The house has a large front yard, so most of the time there are many kids from our block who come to play. Another blessing from the Lord. Ann had a great time studying God's word on Wednesday mornings at church and plans to continue that in the Fall.

Praying for you....

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Summer School Part I

Passed through the first semester of Seminary. In some regards my classes were easier than I had anticipated, mainly because most of my assignments were due at the end of the semester. My wife Ann was a great help in planning out my workload. After adapting it a few times, we have a good idea of what it takes to stay on top of the work.

Hebrew on the other hand was much harder. Since our goal is to translate and exegete (extract meaning grammatically from the text) rather than speak it, we didn't hear much of the actual Hebrew language spoken. I learn languages much faster the more I hear them, so not being able to hear the Hebrew words was unexpected. After 23 grammar lessons and 400 vocab, I'm able to translate simple sentences.

Tomorrow I begin Hebrew Grammar II. We will focus on being able to translate Genesis chapters 1-4, Psalm 1, 19 and 23 and Isaiah 53:1-6. This will prep me for Hebrew Exegesis I & II for next year where we will do much deeper studies of the Hebrew syntax.

Tonight was fun. Ann and I attended a Master's Seminary Graduation. I sang in the choir with a few hundred seminary students to about 3000 people and enjoyed being part of the graduation ceremony. Over 90% of the grads are already placed in full time ministry which is encouraging to me.

That's all for now. Better get some sleep so I'm well rested for Hebrew in the morning. Praying for you....


Saturday, May 1, 2010

4 down 1 to go

The first semester is coming to a close. Assignments for 4 of my 5 classes are all in. There is one Hebrew Grammar final to go. Then summer school starts with no break.

During the summer, I'll take Hebrew grammar II and Greek I & II. Next fall I'll have Old Testament and Historical Theology along with Hebrew Exegesis I and Greek Exegesis I. So what is "exegesis"? It's a very important term. It refers to examining the text of the Bible to see what it says grammatically, while considering the historical context to determine what the original author meant to communicate to the original audience. We call the answer to this exegesis, an interpretation. There is only one interpretation for any text. We want to know what God wanted to say through the human author.

We don't want to know what some particular denomination says or what an individual preacher says. We don't want to know "what this text means to me". This is where many entire denominations have strayed. They say, "we want to have a conversation about the Bible". They forget God sent preachers to proclaim the Word of God to all nations...not have a conversation with people who've never studied the passage.

One of the main distinctions for the Master's Seminary is the focus on being able to look at the original language (Greek and Hebrew) and determine the singular interpretation of the text. The solid English translations (New King James, New American Standard Version, English Standard Version) are great tools, but they are still secondary sources. Since we as preachers are saying, "This is what God's Word says" and because it deals not just with this short life, but with Heaven and Hell and a man's eternal destiny, we need to be able to use primary sources.

OK - so that's a little to chew on. It's a rigorous program, but one that honors the Lord and the clarity and accuracy of scripture. Read Psalm 19 to see that scripture is a guide and therefore clear. We need to have a clear understanding too.

Praying for you...Dave

Saturday, April 17, 2010


It's that time of the semester. Exams are happening. Papers are due. And God is still, so so good!

I now recognize all the people who work and volunteer at the seminary library. I no longer need to check and see when they're open, because I have it memorized. God is continuing to help me as the study hours get more intense and the work becomes more cumulative.

My last exam is the Week of May 4th. It's 40% of my grade. It's Hebrew Grammar and vocab. It's a big test for me. Some of the guys have rolled into seminary with astute backgrounds in academia. Others of us...not so much. Did I mention God is good? This applies in here too. He gives me all I need. My wife is so gracious and kind to help me along the way. My study skills and efficiency are growing. Hebrew is slowly working into my long term memory. Pray that I finish well. It is grueling and fun combined into one.

Preached my first sermon in about 10 years a few weeks ago! It was on Psalms 27:4. A beautiful passage about the desires of David's heart to worship the Lord all the days of his life. Just like you and I though, he at times failed to do so. It's a wonderful chapter I'd encourage you all to read. The preaching went well for a beginner like me. Feedback was good. Need to be more dynamic.

Summer class starts with no reprive from my current semester. On the Horizon? Hebrew Grammar II and two semesters worth of Greek. The greek class is so infamous by the students they call it "gladiator greek". Only the strong survive.

I hope this post finds you all doing well. I'm praying for you. For you love of the Lord. For salvation. For perseverance in hard times.
- Dave

Monday, April 5, 2010

How to Be Saved...Part 4

Realizing that you are a sinner, and God is perfect and Holy....

Sin brings death

Romans 6:23a The wages of sin is death,

What is sin? Sin is breaking any command of God. Beyond lying, cheating, stealing, murder, and lust, we are told that we must "Love the Lord your God with all your heart mind soul and strength." If you have ever not fully loved God with all that you are ALL the time, you are condemned before God.

and realizing that only those who are perfect go to heaven....

you understand that someone needs to pay for your sin who is perfect.

The only perfect man was Jesus and He did pay for your sin.

Jesus brings life

Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrated His own love for us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 6:23b "but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

1 Cor 15:3-4 "Jesus died for our sins and rose again on the third day" (what Resurrection Day "Easter" is all about)

How we are saved

Eph 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith -- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast.”

John 14:6 “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

You must.

1. Realize you are a sinner, and have God's wrath to look forward to.

2. Believe that Jesus is God and died for your sins, and then rose on the third day.

3. Repent of your sins. That is, turn from your sin and live for Jesus, according to His word.

4. You will know that you are saved by the fruit in your life, your love for Jesus and the Bible, your love to pray and fellowship with other believers. This is what the book of 1 John is all to know you are saved!

If you're not sure you are a Christian, then you probably are not one. Confess your sins to Christ and ask Him to help you understand the Bible and start living for Him. Your life WILL change if you truly believe.

Praying for you...


Monday, March 29, 2010

How to Be Saved...Part 3

So far we have discussed the Holiness of God and the sinfulness of man. So we pause here for a moment of introspection.

There is a grave difference between the aknkoledgement of sin in general and the abhorrence of it. The first is a mental exercise which finds agreement. The second becomes a motivation of the heart which transforms one's entire life.

Yesterday a man was speaking to me of a famous person whom he personally knew. Said this man was a good and moral man. Said he went to Catholic mass every week and lived a good life. I then brought up the fact that this famous person is now living with his girlfriend, not a first for him, and had cheated on his first wife and then got divorced....not to mention that they had a child together before marriage. Do you see the HUGE disconnect between Godly living and the world's standards? It is plain to see.

So take a hard look at your life. If you say you agree with scripture, and yet couldn't quote the verses you live by, it's because you just have a mental agreement with the Bible. A cordial arrangement by which will carry you as far from Christ as any evil.

If your life is a constant struggle against the things of this world, and you readily show the fruit of the spirit born of repentance, constant time in the word (for ALL Christians love to spend time in God's word) and time in prayer, then you are on the right path. If not, then please read 1 John in preparation for my next post. "How then must a person be saved?"

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

How to Be Saved...Part 2

The sinfulness of Man.
from...The Word of the Lord. God's word, the Bible, shows man cannot get to heaven by himself, no matter how "good" he thinks he is.


Has broken God's law.
Romans 3:10,23 - "There is non righteous, not even one...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

Will pay the eternal penalty for sin.
Romans 6:23 - "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Cannot save himself by his good works.
Titus 3:5 - "He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit."

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

How to Be Saved...

Last night my son Cameron had many questions about how to become a Christian. At the age of 6, even he is aware of being a sinful person. Here are some of the passages we shared with him, and now I share with you.

First, one must know who God is and what he requires.
The Bible is God's revelation (revealing of truth) to man. The passages below are quoting scriptures from The Holy Bible.

1. Created and owns everything.
Genesis 1:1 - In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Psalm 24:1 - The earth is the Lord's, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it.

2. Is perfectly holy.
Matthew 5:48 - Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

3. Requires perfect obedience to His law.
James 2:10 - For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.

My next post will cover the condition of man's sin. Is man Holy and perfect and able to be saved apart from Jesus?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Play Set

As I collected wood from the disposable pile at our construction site (the stuff they didn't want) I wondered how I would be able to collect enough to build something for my kids. After stacking it at home, there's only enough to build a small platform (2x2) and maybe a railing around it.

Today when I got home from work, there were many pieces to a kids play set. My wife informed me that someone from church was getting rid of it as their kids were too old for it, and wondered if we wanted it. Of course! It has two little slides, two tiny tunnels, and it just the right size for all three of our children to enjoy it.

Trusting in the Lord, and being content with what we have, doesn't mean God will then provide those things for us. Though He did in this case. It means that He will provide us the grace and patience to be content in whatever the circumstance. Even if it's a little thing like wanting a play set for your children.

May God be praised!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Are you going to Heaven?

The Gospel

God is Holy

Leviticus 19:2 Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.

Problem! No one is Holy!


Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

Sin brings death

Romans 6:23a The wages of sin is death,

Jesus brings life

Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrated His own love for us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 6:23b but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

1 Cor 15:3-4 Jesus died for our sins and rose again on the third day

How we are saved

Eph 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith -- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast.”

John 14:6 “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Our response?

Is 55:7 “Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.”

Rom 10:9 “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

God commands all men to repent

Acts 17:30 “now He commands all people everywhere to repent.”

If I do not repent (turn from my sin) God's wrath abides on me and I will spend eternity apart from Him in Hell.

What happens when I become a Christian?

I am changed!

1 Cor 5:17 “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Shepherd's Conference

Over 3000 Men from 40+ countries
3 days of food, fellowship, and in depth sermons
Much time with my Dad.
It was a great time! Another blessing from the Lord.

People from the "Institute for Creation Research" were there. If you want to learn more about a young earth (things like fossilized trees that traverse multiple rock layers, tropical forests under the arctic and other things an old earth can't explain) visit their web site.

Men like Alex Montoya, John MacArthur, Steve Lawson, Al Mohler and others were there. These men have been heard by hundreds of millions of people and we were blessed to hear them all in the same place during the same week. Go here to hear their messages.

...and the music was beautiful. Philip Webb, who sings at the Metropolitan Opera in NY, brough the house down. To hear the hymns I sing each week at my church sung by Mr. Webb was a pleasant worshipful experience to be sure. I am so looking forward to singing with millions of followers of Christ in heaven....all with thier new bodies and voices praising the Lord together.

But to end where I started, the best part of the whole week was worshipping the Lord with my Dad.


Saturday, February 27, 2010

TMS Banquet

Last night Ann and I had a wonderful time at the TMS annual banquet at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Beside the great food (jumbo shrimp, cheese and bread for ordorves, salmon, steak and potatoes for dinner, chocolate cake (more like a piece of fudge cake) with rasberry sause for dessert), the great service, the beautiful library...besides all of that, the people were just wonderful. As a believer, one of the things we enjoy the most is to talk about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To be around hundreds of people, who wanted to talk about the Lord and the meaningful eternal things of scripture, was a blessing.
We sat at a table with 3 other couples of whom either Ann or I was already aquainted. This was a nice touch of the providence of God because we didn't pick who we sat with. That was assigned by the University based on when we signed up. The girl Ann sat next to is also at her table for Seminary Wives. She and I had a great time.
Jerry Bridges was our speaker. Ann had read and studied his book called "acceptable sins" (which are the sins we unfortunately tolerate). So it was nice for her to hear him speak after having read one of his books.
Dr. MacArthur and his wife Patty were also there. We enjoyed the whole experience.

May you continue to seek the Lord while He still may be found.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Great Week

It was a great week of work for Ann and I. She is enjoying teaching her student in Math and I am enjoying the physical labor of delivering construction materials.

I had my first exam in Hebrew this past Tuesday. It went great! God is so very good to me. A few things to keep you up to speed with the ministry opportunities I have.

I will be teaching the Young Married's Class at our church the next two Sundays; preaching at the senior care facility across the parking lot from our church every other month; teaching the Sr. High school every other Wed night; and continuing to take my small group of men verse-by-verse through Ephesians every Wed morning. Needless to say the Lord has provided many opportunities for me to develop my skills and to begin even now preaching His word.

The family is doing well. We are enjoying using "Skype" with my parents in Maryland. They get to see and talk to the kiddos over the computer. Tomorrow I get to take Cameron to a "Revolutionary War Adventure". Just Dad and Son. Pray I get to give Ann some time to herself as well.

Praying for your salvation and your sanctification.....Dave

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Jehovah Jireh

Jehovah Jireh - means "The Lord provides". Since Dec 18th I have been unemployed. My wife, Ann, and I have been praying for a job that would work with my new schedule. We have also been praying that Ann would be able to start tutoring students in Math. Well, next week we both start work. Ann has her first student to tutor, and I start delivering materials for a construction company (owned by a family in our church).

This will not cover all our bills, but it is a good start. Praise the Lord for His goodness to us.

Per school, this Tuesday is my first big Exam. It's a cumulative Hebrew vocab and grammar exam. I'm looking forward to it, in that I am already seeing the benefits from knowing the original language. Once I can articulate it better I'll share some of those insights my professor is sharing with the class.

If you would, keep my PaPaw (Bill Jones, my Mom's Dad) in your prayers. He is 89, living in West Virginia and no longer able to take care of himself. He most likely will move in with my parents in Maryland or move into an assisted living place near them. He is a believer, so we know he will live forever with Jesus, in a new body that won't decay.

Again, God provides.
I praise Him as well for yesterday was my 11 year Anniversary with the love of my life. I love you Annie!

Monday, February 8, 2010

God is so good

Eph 2:1-10

1And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. 4But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9not at a s a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

Notice in v 4 that "God...made us alive". Subject (God) verb (made alive) and object (us). Salvation is a gift of God. Notice in v8 that a believer is saved by God's grace! Not by works! There in is the major difference between Christianity and all other religions of the world; which is, that good works follow salvation for the believer as opposed to good works saving a person, which accounts for the other religions. Only God can change a man's heart!

Believer: preach this to yourself daily.

Non-believer: take note - it is God who changes a person once you repent (turn) from your sin and believe. Believe what? That you are a sinner! That Jesus died for your sins, which you could not pay. That He rose from the dead on the third day and now sits at the right hand of God. Because you repent and believe you now live for God, and not yourself.

May God be with you.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


The science and art of biblical interpretation. This is the notion that God's Word is not only God's Word, but that there are historical and grammatical methods to help determine what the author meant or intended the original audience to understand. In other words, what does the Bible mean by what it says?

For you and me, as we try to learn what God means by what He says in scripture, the biggest rule to remember is that "context is King". Words do not have ability to communicate complete thoughts on their own, with extremely few exceptions. So we have to read the words based on their context, which includes the cultural and historical settings among other things.

Once a system of "Hermeneutics" is established, the proper interpretation of any given passage becomes much easier to understand. This is different from the application of a passage which can be many, while there is only one singular interpretation of any given text. If there wasn't a singular interpretation, how would one know if they ever applied the scripture in an accurate manner. Hopefully this peaks your interest in the subject. You can learn much more about this here:

Every believer should have good tools to study the Bible. I pray the material on the above link proves helpful in helping you seek out and know God Almighty!

praying for you...

Friday, January 29, 2010


Christopher, my brother in the Lord from Uganda, has been preaching for 20 years. Upon graduating with his undergrad degree, he spoke to the small crowd and told of God's grace in his life. He doesn't have much money or material things in life. His riches are stored where moth and rust do not destroy and thieves do not break in and steal...his riches are in heaven.

At the end of class yesterday, Christopher was waiting around to ride home with me. We just had a Bible software presentation from Logos. It's the leader in having a digital library for pastors worldwide. The professor asks Christopher what he thinks of the software. Christopher likes it very much, but says it is very expensive. The prof, who is an adjunct professor of preaching, and full time pastor, then hands him a form and says he'll pay for it (they had this conversation in private and I found out about it later). What a gift! Pastors don't make much money.

Christopher will also be living rent free in the master bedroom of a new house that his roommate just purchased. Christopher's wife is due to have their first baby in Uganda soon, and then will move here to live with him in that room for the next three years. God, Jesus Christ His Son, is pouring out his blessings and grace on this young preacher from Uganda. May the Lord be praised!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Turn up the heat...

And so the fire is getting hotter. What class? Hebrew Grammar. (Notice my independent clause with a noticeably dependent thought, to start out the post). Yes, Hebrew is getting more intense by the day. We are getting into the intricacies of the Masoretic vowel system. Vocab is cumulative and growing at about 40 words per week. Daily quiz on classroom exercises including vocab. The Prof is a very gracious man and has much patience in teaching this course to us first semester guys. (There are no women students at this school as TMS trains men for the pastorate and adheres to the Bible's role determination of men doing the teaching. Other theologically similar schools may teach women who enter the mission field and teach women overseas.)

I'm enjoying my time with Christopher. I give him a ride home and he tells me about life as a pastor in his native land of Uganda. Quite different from the US. He's a joy to be around. Much wiser than his age, though not privy to the cultural and social ways of our country. He was witnessing to a lady and asked her why she was living with her boyfriend and not simply marrying him. A sound question for one who might seek to please the Lord, but in the self pleasing land of the USA, it's almost an odd question. He told me of many other questions he asked that he later found out were inappropriate here....what a good laugh we had. The lady he witnessed to was nice enough not to mention it.

Enjoying my prayer class very much. Prayer time is becoming a fond time in my daily routine. Before I would pray throughout the day and in small increments. The class is encouraging me to do that and much more. Why pray? Here are some things God promises to believers who seek Him in prayer: joy, mercy, grace, needs met, victory over sin, peace and fellowship with Christ. I'm loving the academic accountability to my spiritual vitality!

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Last night at Church we had a blessed time of prayer. Praying for strength from the One who is strong, and coming before Him, God Almighty in prayer. It was good to pray together.

We spent the first portion of the evening praying for those in Haiti. The devastation as you all know is quite vast. Yes, God is still in control of all things. He uses things like this for many reasons. To wake up a nation, or world. To bring final judgement...yes we all will die at some point. Yes, God is loving and kind. Any parent who disciplines their children understands the two are not exclusive ideas.

Even though we know these things as believers, it is difficult to relate to the immense situation of those directly involved. Some friends at church have siblings who are missionaries there. They are trying to get back into the country, and were not there when the earthquake hit. They are unsure of the condition of many of their friends / loved ones. Others at church have a missionary friend who was there. This gentleman was trapped in an elevator shaft for days, then rescued. Many of his colleagues died. The physical need for food, water and medical help is enormous. The need of their spiritual condition, the redemption of their souls, is even greater! It is said Haiti's national religion is "voodoo". This only honors Satan and not the Lord. Please, as you are helping with the physical conditions, if you know the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob, please pray for His mercies to be upon those who remain, that He may draw them to repentance. That their hearts may turn to God, Jesus Christ.

If you don't know of a good/legit place to donate, this organization is solid. They provide for both physical, medical and spiritual needs.

May God provide us direction as we pray for the nation of Haiti.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Once a week at seminary I have a class called Discipleship Lab. A pastor from Grace Community Church leads our group. There are about 8 men in the group. Three of the men shared their testimony this past week. Again, it was a blessing to hear how the Lord was working in their lives.

A pastor will normally go through times of fire in his life. These are times of refinement. Think of the refining process to get pure gold. The impure rises to the top and is taken off by the refiner. What remains is closer to pure gold than when the process started. In a person's life, the Lord brings about many things to sanctify us (refine us to be more like Him). Though we will always be sinful people while on earth, the pattern of a believer's life should be one of continued growth.

The fire a few of these men have been through is amazing. The humility of one guy, who "had it all" according to the world, from having a Ph.D in science to traveling the world as a speaker for the IBM technology research group to traveling the world speaking at creation seminars; the guy now pastors a church of 150 outside San Franscisco and would never have mentioned those things to us had not one of the guys asked so many questions.

Dear Lord, may you continually mold me into the man of God you've called me to be.

Praying for you...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Yesterday was a blessing. I ran into (no not literally) a few friends on the seminary campus who have gone before me. They are a joy to see. Men of God, transforming the world around them. Example? The child of one of these men was diagnosed with Kidney problems before birth. Complications have arose and the baby (now born less than two months ago) is already in the hospital with internal infections. In talking with him, he wanted to encourage me and find out what was going on with me. He wasn't focused on himself, but on those to whom God has sent him to serve. What an example of "treating others as better than yourself". Oh, the baby is in the Lord's hands. Later that day he found out one of the antibiotics was starting to work. Praise the Lord.

The professors I met made a good first impression. Very gracious. Very kind. Very patient. These are experts and scholars in their respective fields. They were also very humble. I have much to learn. Lord may you be praised in all that I say and do. May the lost see their sin, and turn from their ways, and be saved. Thank you Lord for your goodness to me.

Next up - a wrote test of the Hebrew Alphabet (Alefbet) and it's 5 "final forms". No testing on the Masoretic vowel system yet, developed 500-1000 AD...just in case you were wondering. 8) Prasie God the prophecy in scripture of Israel becoming a nation again came true in 1948! They then adopted Hebrew as their national language and brought much learning of the original text back to commonality.

Praying for you....

Monday, January 11, 2010

First week of Class

Tomorrow is my first day of classes. Hebrew I, Hermeneutics, Exegesis of Prayer, Intro to Preaching, Christian Ministries and Discipleship Lab are coming my way.

Before that kicks in, some insight into my family. My wife and I are Christians. That means we understand we are sinners, incapable of the perfection God requires; "Be holy as I am holy". Therefore we need, and have accepted, Christ's sacrifice on our behalf to pay for our sin. This satisfies the wrath of God, and redeems our soul. Christ, lived a perfect life on earth, died for the sins of man, and conquered death by rising from the dead on the third day. Those who repent (turn from their sin) and believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, will be saved. Believing here is more than an intellectual ascent of understanding (such as the demons have), it requires that one submit their life and all that they are to Jesus Christ, thereby making Him Lord.

During seminary, as in all other times in life, my goals are to:
1. Give God glory in all that I do
2. Love my family and serve them
3. Edify the Church
4. Make disciples.

These goals are both/and, which means they are not compartmentalized, but holistic in nature.

Praying for you.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Tomorrow is the last day of Orientation. So far I've had two assessment exams, a few hours of sermons, a few "pep talks", lots of "how-to's" and lots of laughs. The men I have met so far are an excellent bunch. A few pre-med students, mba grads, a guy from Oxford, engineers etc....yeah, I made pretty pictures for a living....God is so very good to me!

We are much committed to the task of preaching and teaching the Word of God. For it really doesn't matter what my opinion of scripture is, "for no scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation" but "men, moved by the Holy Spirit, spoke from God." It only matters what the singular interpretation of a particular passage is. That is what we aim to communicate. The application thereof can be many, outward from that specific point.

Tomorrow evening is a dessert reception with many professor's and their wives. The seminary provides childcare so my wife can enjoy the evening with me. What a nice touch!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Seminary - Day 1

It has begun.

At the request of some friends, I've started a blog to chronicle my journey through seminary.

Today was fantastic! It was only the first of three days for orientation, but they wasted no time in setting the standard of academic excellence high and devotion to God as central.

I sat in a room with new students from the US, Africa, Great Britain, Australia & France. I on the other hand travelled just under 6 miles. These men travelled across the globe to begin training for a lifetime of service to God. They left jobs as I did, and came to the Master's Seminary. What a blessed day it was to meet them.

The Director of Admissions focused our attention towards our hearts. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. May our treasure be in service to God Almighty, and a pure devotion to His word which never fails. May we please God, rather then men.

The Seminary training is rigorous, but I hope to post many times per week.

To my past Dreamworks co-workers...I will keep you in my prayers and think of you often. To my family and friends, please pray that I am the Husband and Father God calls me to be during this time of pruning and growth.