Tuesday, January 17, 2023




Put On the New Self

  Romans [ESV] 12:1-3 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. 

  Colossians 3:1-3 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 


  FACT: Life never stops changing.

  FACT: God’s John 1:12;3:3 children we are to adapt and mature accordingly in ways pleasing to Him.

  In discussing the two facts above with a friend experiencing change in a number of ways, not the least of which in the adverse effects of progressive MS, she  today responded with the following insightful remarks that I identify with: “Snails do great things too. It took me the better part of 3 years to adjust/understand my new body with its limitations I could never imagine. I had never been accustomed to slowing down before to take it easy, sitting down and allowing my body to rest, which often means a nap. There are slow days resulting in tasks not completed.

  Now a big dose of acceptance toward my body must be given each and every day and being okay with it.

  And I don’t forget to thank the Lord for mixing things up in my life so I may continue to mature.”

  Who among us is not traveling this path?

EBB4 & Annamarie

Monday, January 16, 2023



How should a Christian view yoga?

physical exercise and strengthening and improving flexibility of the muscles. However, the philosophy behind yoga is much more than physically improving oneself. It is an ancient practice derived from India, believed to be the path to spiritual growth and enlightenment.
  The word yoga means "union," and the goal is to unite one’s transitory (temporary) self with the infinite Brahman, the Hindu concept of "God." This god is not a literal being, but is an impersonal spiritual substance that is one with nature and the cosmos. This view is called "pantheism," the belief that everything is God and that reality consists only of the universe and nature. Because everything is God, the yoga philosophy makes no distinction between man and God.
   Hatha yoga is the aspect of yoga that focuses on the physical body through special postures, breathing exercises, and concentration or meditation. It is a means to prepare the body for the spiritual exercises, with fewer obstacles, in order to achieve enlightenment. The practice of yoga is based on the belief that man and God are one. It is little more than self-worship disguised as high-level spirituality.
  The question becomes for many Christians in the West who don’t understand the history behind it, yoga is simply a means of is it possible for a Christian to isolate the physical aspects of yoga as simply a method of exercise, without incorporating the spirituality or philosophy behind it? Yoga originated with a blatantly anti-Christian philosophy, and that philosophy has not changed. It teaches one to focus on oneself instead of on the one true God. It encourages its participants to seek the answers to life’s difficult questions within their own consciousness instead of in the Word of God. It also leaves one open to deception from God’s enemy, who searches for victims whom he can turn away from God (
1 Peter 5:8).
  Whatever we do should be done for God’s glory (
1 Corinthians 10:31), and we would be wise to heed the words of the apostle Paul: "Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise" (Philippians 4:8, NLT). A Christian should exercise caution and pray for discernment regarding involvement in yoga.


Sunday, January 15, 2023





Psalm 119:105-112 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments. I am afflicted very much: quicken me, O LORD, according unto thy word. Accept, I beseech thee, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O LORD, and teach me thy judgments. My soul is continually in my hand: yet do I not forget thy law. The wicked have laid a snare for me: yet I erred not from thy precepts. Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart. I have inclined mine heart to perform thy statutes alway, even unto the end. 


  When we lived in the country there were no street lights as there are in town, so on nights there was no moon, it was dark!

  But even when I was up at night tending to the babies or answering the phone, I had no trouble finding my way in the dark because I knew where everything was.

  I find this true of my walk with Christ. Because I have His Word in my heart He lights my life-path so I don’t stumble.

  May I always keep my heart turned to Him, “even unto the end.”

Leslie Nivens (12/12/1928 – 3/1/2020)

Wednesday, January 11, 2023





Romans [BBE] 12:1-2 For this reason I make request to you, brothers, by the mercies of God, that you will give your bodies as a living offering, holy, pleasing to God, which is the worship it is right for you to give him. And let not your behaviour be like that of this world, but be changed and made new in mind, so that by experience you may have knowledge of the good and pleasing and complete purpose of God. 


For God’s Jn.1:12; 3:3 children, encouragement is helping another person see a difficult situation from a Biblical point of view. (Abridged from various readings.)


Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, or your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. 



Tuesday, January 10, 2023



Question: "How can we be rejoicing in hope (Romans 12:12)?"


Answer: In Romans 12, the apostle Paul encourages believers to live together in love, serving one another as members of the body of Christ: “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer” (Romans 12:10–12, NASB).

Paul’s charge to be “rejoicing in hope” refers to glad-hearted, celebratory confidence in an expectation being fulfilled. Such was the experience of Abraham: “Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations” (Romans 4:18, NLT). Abraham looked forward with joyful expectancy to the fulfillment of God’s promise. King David also rejoiced in hope, steadfastly anticipating the Lord’s salvation: “I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay” (Psalm 16:8–10).

After Jesus sent out seventy-two of His disciples to minister to the lost, they returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” But Jesus told them not to “rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:17–20). As Christians, our joy and hope must not be anchored in our accomplishments and victories here on earth but in the future expectation of heaven. Only then will we have the power to persevere through difficult circumstances, persecution, and afflictions in this present life.

Paul informs us that we can be rejoicing in hope even as we endure suffering, looking forward with confidence and joy to the Lord’s return and the glory to follow (Romans 5:1–5). The nature of our hope is joyful and sure because it rests on the character of Christ, the One in whom we place our hope. In Christ, we can trust that we will receive everything He has promised, even though we must wait for it. For now, we stand by faith in His grace, delighting in the knowledge that one day His glory will be revealed in us.

In Romans 8:16–17, Paul explains that the Spirit of God now dwelling in us reassures us we are God’s children and thus destined to receive an inheritance that includes participating in God’s glory. We may be suffering now, but we can be rejoicing in hope because “what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are” (Romans 8:18–19, NLT). By His Spirit, “we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope” (Galatians 5:5).

Paul likens the experience of rejoicing in hope to “groaning as in the pains of childbirth” (Romans 8:22, NLT). An expectant mother endures the agonies of labor, but not without the joyous expectation that, after her travail, she will hold her precious baby in her arms. We “groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently)” (Romans 8:23–25, NLT).

We can be rejoicing in hope as we read Scriptures, which “give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled” (Romans 15:4, NLT). We can look forward “with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed” (Titus 2:13, NLT).

The Bible tells us to rejoice in the Lord always (Philippians 4:4; 1 Thessalonians 5:16; 2 Corinthians 13:11), even as we wait for the promise of His glorious salvation: “You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:8–9, NLT). Like Peter, we can be rejoicing every day in the living hope of eternal life: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3) 

Monday, January 9, 2023





Marks of the True Christian

Rom 12:9  Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 

Rom 12:10  Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 

Rom 12:11  Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 

Rom 12:12  Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 

Rom 12:13  Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. 

Rom 12:14  Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 

Rom 12:15  Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 

Rom 12:16  Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 

Rom 12:17  Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 

Rom 12:18  If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 

Rom 12:19  Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 

Rom 12:20  To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 

Rom 12:21  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. 


  What is your hope when it comes tom salvation?

  Some professing Christians tell me they hope so; “I’ll find out when I die.”

  I and others trusting Christ have peace in His promised hope, blessed assurance.

  Are you a ”hope so” Christian? I encourage you to do a know-so study in First, Second, and Third John.

  God in His Word provides blessed assurance.


Sunday, January 8, 2023




Sunday, January 8, 2023

  Last evening family and friends gathered at my home for a surprise dinner party celebrating my completion of my 87th year.

  As is said, “Today is the first day of the rest of my life!” (Year 88.) which I pray I will face with Pauline maturity in trusting my Lord. (Phil.4:12)