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Thanks for visiting our website! This month’s picture is of a seminar in Guatemala at Ezell Clinic, December 2018. [Click picture to enlarge.]

Seminar in Guatemala

Ministry and mission work is a team effort -- Jan and I have shared the task of ministry and mission work for over 50 years! (We traveled together to preaching appointments during the year before we were married.) Countless people have encouraged us, supported us, loved us, and prayed for us. In addition to the customary "Brother Bob" or "Hermano Bob," I am also known as dad and papaw. One of my favorite breakfasts is huevos fritos, frijoles, and tortillas, with a good hot sauce and a cup of rich Colombian coffee! My greatest joy in life is being part of the kingdom; my #1 priority is to advance "kingdom things" and to help develop authentic "kingdom people." I seek to share the good news about Jesus everywhere I go, helping people find Jesus and helping people mature as disciples of Jesus. One of the greatest blessings of my life is to be loved by countless people around the world!


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Archive for December, 2013

Stars to Steer By: In disagreement but still loving

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

Sharing, just in case you have not seen this quote yet.

“Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear them or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.” –Rick Warren

Using Biblical Affirmations in 2014

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

I hope you have enjoyed the affirmations I have shared. As I conclude, I want to share some words of encouragement with you and give you some ideas about how you can incorporate biblical affirmations for spiritual growth and renewal into each day of your life.

For many, the greatest challenge in the use of biblical affirmations is finding the affirmation passages. There are several methods that one can use to identifying biblical affirmations.

  • Some people like to identify random verses and use them for meditation and prayer. This can be done with favorite verses or with random Bible reading.
  • Others like to identify a theme and then find related verses. We used this approach when we considered the nature of God in the New Testament. A concordance or topical index can be helpful in identifying verses related to a specific theme.
  • A third method is to use a specific theme as the filter for a certain section of Scripture. This method is reflected in the affirmations we shared from Psalm 136 about God’s creative works. Each day we identified a factor or result described in a section of the psalm. The affirmations from 2 Timothy 2 focused on the various identifications of the Christian that appear in the chapter. The blessing passages from the Psalms where blessings are pronounced for human beings were identified with a concordance, noting the passages related to human creation.
  • Fourth, a very personal method involves reading a section of Scripture until one finds a verse with special meaning or application in one’s life at that moment. This encourages the continual reading of God’s Word and encourages one to meditate, reflect on, and pray Scripture.
  • All of these are helpful possibilities. The important thing is to find an approach that works for you personally, and to commit to using that approach to include daily biblical affirmations in your spiritual life as you seek growth and renewal.

    The Final Battle

    Monday, December 30th, 2013

    As the end of another year arrives, it is a good time to think about how the end of time will ultimately play out. It seems to me, at least at times, that the sensationalism of premillennialism holds sway in much of what is written about Last Things. The storyline usually goes something like this: the “Final Battle” is summarized in Revelation 19, with God coming to rescue us much as the cavalry rescued those in trouble in the old Western movies.

    What does the Bible say? Where is hope? What does it mean to anticipate the return of Jesus?
    The Bible does not mention a great final battle in the future in which Jesus and innumerable “returned armies” invade the earthly kingdom of His enemies. (Such is a misunderstanding of Revelation and a faulty reading of the text.) The Bible does not speak of a great heavenly invasion of the earth in the future. The hope which sustains the Christian is much better than the premillennial speculations that saturate the beliefs of many today.

    As a new year begins, I am thinking about those who left our earthly ranks during 2013. The battle against Satan is life-long. All of life moves toward death and judgment (Hebrews 9:27). Paul summarizes the ‘final battle’ in this way: “I have run the race, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith” (read 2 Timothy 4:6-8). The promise of a heavenly crown for those declared righteous by the blood of Jesus illuminates each day in the life of a Christian. We eagerly await his coming (Hebrews 9:28). We live victoriously never quite knowing which day will mark our final battle. Those who finish the course are blessed because their labors provide testimony of the battle they have fought and won (Rev.14:13).

    The Psalmist shares words of comfort: “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints. O Lord, truly I am your servant; I am Your servant, the son of Your maidservant; You have freed me from my chains” (Psalm 116:15-16). May we live as God’s servants, freed from the chains of sin, victoriously running and finishing the course, so that we may declare with Paul, “I have kept the faith.”

    A worthy goal for 2014!

    It’s Sunday Again: Looking backward, looking forward

    Sunday, December 29th, 2013

    During the last few days of the year, I typically take time to look back and evaluate what has occurred as a foundation for looking forward to what God has in store in the coming year.
    This last Sunday of the year is a good time to look back over 2013 and evaluate spiritual growth. Amidst the host of activities that seem to characterize my daily life, what story is to be written during the last year about my spiritual growth, my spiritual maturity, and my walk with God?
    The questions are personal–not necessarily for sharing. It is a time to ask about my habits–reading, meditation, and prayer. It is time to ask about how wisely I use my time. It is time to think about relationships, opportunities, and the purpose and direction of my life.
    The backward look is the first step of a meaningful forward look that typically includes some new resolutions. Let me encourage you to take a few moments for self-examination today on the Lord’s Day, or in the next couple of days as another year concludes!

    Affirmations: Update

    Thursday, December 26th, 2013

    For those who may have noticed some lessening in the number of blogs posted….
    Through the end of the year, I am posting the affirmations with an accompanying prayer on Facebook each day. You can find me at my “normal” handle–bro.bobyoung.

    Scriptural Affirmations for Spiritual Growth: December 22-31

    Sunday, December 22nd, 2013

    People of Character are Blessed by God (Psalms)

    [Note: For the last 10 days of the month, here is a list of 20 “blessing” passages from the Psalms, two affirmations for each day. These are meaningful affirmations of blessing upon those who seek to walk in God’s ways.]

    • Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. (1:1-2)
    • Blessed are all who take refuge in him. (2:12b)
    • Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. (32:1-2)
    • Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage! (33:12)
    • Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! (34:8)
    • Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie! (40:4)
    • Blessed is the one who considers the poor! In the day of trouble the LORD delivers him; the LORD protects him and keeps him alive; he is called blessed in the land; you do not give him up to the will of his enemies. (41:1-2)
    • Blessed is the one you choose and bring near, to dwell in your courts! We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house, the holiness of your temple! (65:4)
    • Blessed are those who dwell in your house, ever singing your praise! Blessed are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion. O LORD of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you! (84:4,5,12)
    • Blessed are the people who know the festal shout, who walk, O LORD, in the light of your face, who exult in your name all the day and in your righteousness are exalted. (89:15-16)
    • Blessed is the man whom you discipline, O LORD, and whom you teach out of your law…. (94:12)
    • Blessed are they who observe justice, who do righteousness at all times! (106:3)
    • Praise the LORD! Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who greatly delights in his commandments! (112:1)
    • You, who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD! He is their help and their shield. The LORD has remembered us; he will bless us…. (115:11-12a)
    • Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD! Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart, who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways! (119:1-3)
    • Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them [children]! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate. (127:5)
    • Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in his ways! (128:1)
    • Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the LORD. (128:4)
    • Blessed are the people to whom such blessings fall! Blessed are the people whose God is the LORD! (144:15)
    • Blessed is he, whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God…. (146:5)

    It’s Sunday Again: God and his ice

    Sunday, December 22nd, 2013

    With freezing rain falling all day and ice-laden limbs hanging low in our yard, Jan and I spent all of yesterday indoors. We commented more than once on the beauty of God’s creation and the picturesque scenes God was creating.
    This morning those same scenes are still amazing–even though much less visible with the moonlight, the light from our front yard lamppost, and the yellowish glow of the streetlight at the end of the block. God’s ice looks more challenging today because we will not stay indoors. We will spend time this morning assembling with our spiritual family and celebrating God’s goodness in sending Jesus to handle the sin problem we cannot handle on our own.
    I am glad the earth and all of its fulness is God’s! I am glad he is in control. We needed the moisture–God provides. He gives us every day what we need. Let us praise him, worship his holy name, thank him, and glorify his name!

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