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My Facebook post this morning:

In addition to our current Ladies’ Bible study from Matthew, I’ve also been working on putting together another series for “Hand to the Plow” (recorded at Ark Studio, Inc and currently airing Sunday nights on Comcast channel 241 iHope TV in the Knoxville, TN viewing area). This next series was to be “Running the Race with Faith” taken from Hebrews 11-13…

However, this morning God laid a “hankering” on my heart to teach through the book of Amos… I think that will take around 10-12 episodes. I have money that has been donated for about 6 lessons already. If any of this teaching has helped or encouraged you, please consider making a donation. No amount is too small – it all adds up.

You can send a check to
Betty J. Newman
P. O. Box 6675
Knoxville, TN 37914
or if you want to make a tax deductable donation, make it to
Ark Studio, Inc.
P.O. Box 6095
Knoxville, TN 37914

I promise you that every penny will go to this project. And please, feel free to message me or e-mail for more information or comments.

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As I was preparing to write the Bible study for tonight, I began thinking, “Why do we do this?” Why do we study, using the methods that we do – and by that I mean – studying straight through a book instead of studying topically – studying, searching for a specific answer? Why is it important to learn the setting and the context? Why don’t we just drop in on this verse and that verse (as is so popular today) – why do we study it straight through? “You know”, I thought, “We could get a lot more people into our study if we gave it a catchy title or sought to ‘scratch a particular itch’”.

But the more I thought the more I began to realize that we do this; we study like this because we seek to understand what the Bible says as a whole. We seek to study the “real thing” so that we can spot the counterfeit.

Jesus said that in the last days many would come “In My Name claiming, ‘I am the Christ’”. The words “the Christ” are in italics in most Bibles indicating that these words were not in the original manuscripts. What Jesus said was, “Many will come in My Name claming ‘I Am’”. (And we all know the significance of the words “I Am”…)

But, as I thought of His word, the first phrase struck me – “Many will come in My Name…” Isn’t that true today? Don’t many hold to His Name while living completely unholy or unbiblical lifestyles? And if they are questioned in any way – they immediately jump into “Don’t you dare judge me” mode.

I read an article recently comparing two “Christians”. One came from a missionary home and was known for praying often (regardless of where he was) and living a lifestyle that supported abstinence and purity. This one was also known for quietly caring for others and meeting needs without fanfare.

The other was described as coming from a very poor home, being baptized as a child, but leaving that church for another, and then another. This one was known for having many religious tattoos, a party life-style and having a series of live-in girlfriends. This one gave away large amounts of money to very public endeavors.

The tone of the article ridiculed the first “Christian” and praised the second for being so “vocal” in his Christianity…

My question is – which one of these ‘Christians” lived their lives based on the Bible? Which one actually lived his life “in Jesus’ Name” and which one claimed to live his life “in Jesus’ Name”?

The only way to know that is to learn what the Bible really has to say – verse-by-verse. And that’s why we do this…

Lesson 2 of the series “Our Blessed Hope” is now available on youtube. The title is “The Marriage Feast of the Lamb” from Revelation 19. In this lesson we will explore how the traditional Jewish wedding tradition is a picture of the Church as the Bride of Christ. I pray that you enjoy it, and learn something new!

 

I hope you will subscribe to our youtube channel to receive the studies as they become available. Please “like” and “share” as well. I pray that God will lead us in our teaching of His Word.

 

“The Marriage Feast of the Lamb”

The first lesson in our video teaching series “Our Blessed Hope” based on the last four chapters of Revelation is now up on youtube. I hope you enjoy it and will share it with your friends!

The Facebook prompt said, “What’s on your mind this morning?” and my heart cried out – “So much, Lord! So much!”

I’m excited about the beginning of a new ministry journey as I will begin taping video Bible studies today – but that is tempered by so many needs lying on my heart.

One friend begins another round of chemo today, while another friend is in the midst of her third battle with the dreaded “cancer“. Many other friends have just found out about their upcoming cancer journeys  and yet others have breathed a sigh of relief that the biopsy was benign…

My heart then jumps to children – my own and my grandsons – I pray for their lives and struggles. O God how hard it is to watch your children go through their own struggles. I just want to clear the path and make their lives easy… but I can’t, can I?

School is starting soon and I pray for children making new journeys and for parents praying for “do-overs”, hoping that this school year will be easier (I’ve been there – done that!) I pray for teachers as they prepare. God grant them wisdom and patience and the gift of seeing into the very heart of the children.

But mostly this morning my heart is burdened with the text I got last night from a young friend whose baby daughter is so very ill – and the doctors do not have a clue as to the cause… God – how I pray for that young mother and her family. I pray for the siblings of this little girl as I know they are worried and scared, too.

Guide the doctors, Lord. Lay Your healing hand on this little girl – and give the family peace in the midst of their fear. Little children should be running and playing… not lying in bed crying. But, we don’t live in a perfect world, do we Lord? We live in a broken and sinful world that is groaning in travail. But someday, Lord… someday…

And – maybe someday is today, Lord. Maybe today…

And that – Facebook – is what’s on my mind this morning. Amen.

A dear friend called me yesterday morning and said, “I just wanted you to know, in light of your new ministry announcement, I am praying extra hard for you. I know when we start something new, or are serving God, the enemy’s attacks become stronger. I’m praying for a hedge of protection around you and your family…”

Wow! I SO appreciated that phone call! I hadn’t really thought about it much, but she’s right. Sometimes the “attacks” are huge and debilitating, but more often, they are small annoyances which derail us or cause us to lose focus. So, with that, I would like to ask you to pray for me, my family and this new ministry. May God be glorified in it, and may through it many develop the desire to know God’s Word and to deepen their walk with Him.

We are entering the peak of the “mowing, gardening and canning” season here on the farm. Even though we love it and long to be good stewards of the farm – it is always a hard and busy time. Please pray for our physical strength; that we may get the work done and be able to sleep well and rest as needed.

When I ask you to pray for me – it’s not that there is some specific need or struggle – it’s just an on-going need to be uplifted in His strength and His patience. I appreciate so much the outpouring of encouraging words and support for this new ministry. It has been amazing.

Thank you for your love. Thank you for sharing the news, and thank you most of all for your prayers!

betty

I was scrolling through Facebook this morning, reading posts in a group for frugal living that I belong to, as well as just random posts that show up from friends, and I began to notice several posts concerning kids starting back to school. Many friends were lamenting the early “back to school” ads just immediately after the Fourth of July while others in the “frugal” group were seeking advice as to how to make the “school supplies” budget stretch farther…

All of a sudden, tears came to my eyes and I began to be burdened for families with school age children. Our boys are grown, with children of their own. One son’s boys are still babies, while the other grandson (bless his heart) has been in “school” since he was six weeks old! (His mother is a teacher at a private Christian school, so he’s “always” gone to school. 🙂 )

But I know of many situations where families are struggling… In one instance, the mother has found herself suddenly divorced with two school age children. She can only afford to send one of them to Christian school now, and the older little girl must suddenly (as a freshman and for the first time in her life) go to a huge public school. Bless her heart; I can only imagine the fear.

In other cases, grandparents are raising grandchildren and those school lists are so long, and so expensive. And then there are the single parents… O God, my heart breaks for them. And, often forgotten are the teachers… I have many (many) friends who are school teachers, and I know from watching them the amount they spend on school supplies (taking care of those kids whose parents don’t or can’t or won’t buy what the children need).

And so, I pray for them today…

O Father… my heart is so burdened this morning. I feel the despair in the tone of the words I’ve read. I hear fear and hopelessness, too. This is just one more thing in a long line of things that causes sinking despair. What is the answer, Lord? When the list of “requirements” is so much longer than the budget stretches? What is the answer to this very real struggle that is faced by so many every. single. day…?

“Trust” I hear in my spirit. “Trust and Obey”. Will that put dollars in the bank account my “inner man” asks. “Not necessarily, but it puts peace in the heart” I hear You reply. One day at a time is all we can live, for tomorrow is not promised. Yes, we must prepare for the future; we must be good stewards, but we must not fear it or be obsessed by it.

I was reminded by our younger son recently, when he said, “My Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and so I am not afraid. He will provide for us because He loves us, and we love Him…” What trust. I am so thankful for his faith, Father. Thank You – that encourages this mother’s heart.

But now Father, I pray for those with struggles. I pray that they, first of all, seek You as Savior. I pray that their hearts will be turned to You for salvation. And then I pray that they will turn to You for peace for You will surely provide. How? I don’t know. In each situation it is different – but You promised that you would care for Your children. And we have seen that in our own lives. I lift those to You who are in despair today. Speak to their spirits and draw them to Yourself.

I pray for this upcoming school year. I pray for the children who are afraid, (and in some respect, they all are) but it is a new year; a clean slate. May it be a good year for them. I pray for teachers and administrators and school staff – and for every single person who touches a child’s life this coming year. You have such a special heart for the children, Lord. May we have that heart, as well.

Thank You Father. We praise you, in Jesus’ Name – Amen.

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