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Archive for the ‘Plow Points’ Category

I am extremely excited to announce a new ministry opportunity that has opened up for me beginning this summer. As many of you know writing and teaching Bible Studies is my passion. Just this past year we started uploading the audio of our Bible study lessons to SoundCloud. You can learn more about these on our Audio Bible Study page 

Now we are taking Bible studies to a whole new level – video Bible Studies! This has been a dream of mine for years, but due to costs, it was only a dream. Earlier this year a lady (whom I have never met) donated enough money to Ark Studio (a Christian recording studio located in Knoxville, TN) to  cover the filming of an initial series of Bible Study lessons. These studies will be 30 minutes in length and available to watch on youtube.

The title of the program will be “Hand to the Plow”

Those of you who know me, know that we live on a 225 year old family farm and our rich Appalachian heritage is very important to us. I am just a farm wife, mother, grandmother and writer whose passion is Bible studies. I have a definite Appalachian accent and make no apologies for it – it’s just me. I have been studying and writing for more than 40 years and now I have an opportunity to share that with you.

We will begin recording very soon and I will share those videos with you and information how you can subscribe to get a notice every time a new one is uploaded. This first series will be titled “Our Blessed Hope”. It is based on the last four chapters of the Book of Revelation. Every believer needs to know these facts. We do, my friends, have a “Blessed Hope” promised to us – and we need to learn how to share it with others! I hope you will pray for me and this new ministry!

And… (more exciting news) these videos are being designed with the format to be televised if a sponsor can be found. If you would like to support this ministry no donation is too small. We hope to raise enough to keep recording studies until God opens the door for television ministry. Please share this with anyone you know who would enjoy serious, verse-by-verse Bible studies!

We will soon offer PayPal for your online donations, but for now you can send donations to:

Betty Newman

P.O. Box 6675

Knoxville, TN 37914

I am not (yet) a non-profit ministry, so your donations will not be tax deductible (I assure you every penny will go toward the ministry) – but if you’d prefer to donate to a non-profit, send donations to:

Ark Studio

P.O. Box 6095

Knoxville, TN 37914

and designate that it is for Betty Newman.

Above all, I ask for your prayers, that God would direct me in His service! Amen!

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Most folks who know me, know that we live on a farm and always have a huge garden every year.

We can, freeze and preserve from this garden to feed our family for the next year (and I sell a little, too, to help pay the costs of the garden seed and plants).

As you can imagine, a garden this size requires a lot of work – and that’s before the canning starts! This morning I was pulling weeds out of the beans and came across a “parable”.

Can you tell the difference between the morning glory (a weed) and the beans in this picture?

Maybe this picture makes it a little clearer.

Much like Jesus’ parable of the wheat and the tares, the morning glories and beans look very similar. The morning glories are the more pointed leaves, and the beans are darker green and more rounded – but as you can see, you have to look closely (discern) which is a destructive weed (of which morning glories most definitely are) and which is the food giving bean plant.

If you aren’t a gardener, you may actually buy morning glory seeds to plant for flowers – and they are very pretty – but they also can choke the life out of other plants. This is a picture of a morning glory in bloom from last year’s garden.

In the early morning, in the dew and fog – they are absolutely beautiful, but morning glories are a lot like sin and false teaching. It is very pretty, and very difficult, at times, to tell from the food giving plant (or truth). The morning glory is also very invasive. One morning glory plant left to itself can wrap around several food plants – and wrap in such a way that it is nearly impossible to remove it from the food plant without breakage or damage (and although weeds, broken off, grow back profusely – a food plant, once broken, dies).

The only way to remove a morning glory plant is to pull it out by the root – which is also hard to do because it is hidden among the plants. What you have to do is trace it out – back to the source (root) and pull it out.

Sin and false teaching is the same way. It must be traced back to the source, and pulled out – and destroyed. There is no other way. It cannot be allowed to live alongside true teaching, for no matter how “pretty” it is – it will destroy everything around it.

 

I love living on the farm, and I even love working in the garden – but I especially love it when God shows me truth in the midst of my daily life!

May God bless you today! Amen!

 

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We continue our study in the book of Hebrews with chapter 12. Here is the audio study I hope you enjoy it.

If you are listening to these studies – I’d really appreciate some feedback on them. I am contemplating doing a video series. Would you be interested in that, possibly with a study guide to go along with it.

Please join with me in prayer as I listen for God’s voice in this ministry. We’re going to “Put our hand to the plow – and dig deeper into God’s word!”

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It has been an extremely busy time for our family, and I just realized that I didn’t post a link to the audio for chapter 8 of Hebrews. So here are both chapters 8 and 9.

Hebrews Chapter 8

Hebrews Chapter 9

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Discernment is…

discernment

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Oh my Father, why is it that those who feel Your presence so closely, also feel anguish so deeply at times? I think of Elijah and his depression immediately after so great a victory at Mount Carmel, and I think of Jeremiah, who was so devastated that he declared that he would no longer preach, but surrendered and understood that if he did not, the Word would “burn” in his heart “like a fire”. Then there is David, a “man after God’s own heart” and his cries of “How long, O Lord…” And a host of others in Your Word…

I think of the “saints” – Spurgeon and Luther among the called and realize that they saw Your face and yet struggled with the very same “darkness” that many of us deal with at times.

At different times in our lives we cry to hear Your word, to see Your direction, and to feel Your presence. We can’t expect those who have a superficial relationship with You to comprehend the heights of our joys in communion with You – so how can we imagine that they would understand the depth of the agony we sometimes feel when seeking Your face?

But agony we do feel at times, and so today Lord, I pray for those “soldiers of the Cross” who are doing battle with their own questions. I pray, Father, for those who long – no ache, to know and do Your will; those who are miserable and yes, even depressed. I pray that they will hear Your voice and see Your directions; that Your way will be made abundantly clear and Your purpose secure within their hearts.

We know, Father, that You always direct us. We know that Your divine will is perfect. We know from past experience that in time You will direct the footsteps of the one who seeks, that in time, he will be able to look backward and see perfect harmony and how every cog in every wheel fitted so perfectly together.

But in the meantime, Lord, in the meantime, give them peace. Give them the peace that Paul speaks of, which goes beyond any intellectual understanding; that they may say, “Lord, I don’t know or understand what You have planned, but I am calm, I am still, and I know that You are God!”

This I pray for my brothers and sisters in Christ who are struggling or in despair this day, and I pray it in the name of the One who struggled Himself and then cried out “Thy will be done”, even Jesus, Amen.

 

 

 

 

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God’s blessings begin like a small eddy in a pool that continues to swell with our obedience, into an all encompassing whirlpool reaching to heights and expanding to distances that we never dreamed possible.

God always, first blesses us. Then it is our privilege/responsibility to respond to His blessing, which in turn, He blesses even more. We see this throughout the Bible (and history) as He calls, blesses, expands, enlarges, and blesses even more according to the individual’s (or nation’s) obedience.

The danger in understanding this (at least for me) is that one must be very careful that service to God always be due to love for God, and in response to, His blessings, rather than so that He blesses.  In other words, what’s our motive for service? What is our attitude in service?

Often, as I am praying, or in joyful thanksgiving to God for His blessing, the (Satan inspired) thought comes to mind, “Well, you knew He would bless you. Isn’t that why you did it?”

I know that at difficult times in my life (and even not so difficult times) I’ve rejoiced in knowing or finding out that someone was praying for me. There have been times that knowing that was the only thing that got me through the struggle. So, I like to let people know that I am praying for them, but as I do, I begin to think, “You know that God blesses in return according to or in proportion to, your prayer for others. You only want to be “noticed” by them. That’s the only reason you’re doing this…” And it truly isn’t! But what keeps it from becoming true?

Why not just pray in silence? Why risk the temptation that might come from this? The risk is worth it because encouragement, by the very definition of the word, comes with the giving of strength or support, and so it is what I must do. And so it is what I, in practice, do.

 

And I pray, “God, protect my motives, protect my attitude. May all that I do be in pure obedience and adoration to You.” Amen

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