Archive

Posts Tagged ‘roloff homes’

Caught up on my Bible reading! Zowie!

March 23, 2011 Leave a comment

Thankfully, my parents are not offended by my taking our surname in vain. It’s catchy, so no worries. I wish I hadn’t been so shy about that two decades ago when I absolutely insisted–with no success-that my classmates call me Richard and not Zowie. I might as well have asked them to throw away their Van Halen 1984 albums.

So, back to the ranch…

This morning, while doubling my reading in Isaiah and Hebrews, I got caught up on my Bible reading. No more having to read four to six Old Testament chapters a day and no more reading two chapters in the New Testament. I can now focus on quality and not quantity.

I briefly considered keeping my pace so I could read the Bible through twice this year but decided against it and felt it was yet another desperate obstacle of Satan’s to discourage me from reading God’s Word. I take it that The Adversary Formerly Known as Lucifer must not like it when people read in Revelation about his being cast into the lake of fire and how, for the first time ever, he will feel something he won’t like–physical pain. This kind has no morphine to look forward to: it’ll be eternal, excruciating and unspeakably terrible.

So now, I sigh, take a breath and get back into a normal routine. A brochure from the Roloff Homes in Corpus Christi, Texas states the homes had this very strict rule for all its staff and those in its homes: each morning, you begin with devotions. No Bible, no breakfast. No exceptions. Perhaps that is a rule I should modify and implement for myself: No Bible, no internet/facebook/blogging.

Sounds great, doesn’t it?

Coming soon: my potential adventures serving my church’s library ministry and an interview with an outstanding Christian blogger (no, I won’t be interviewing myself–far from it).

Richard Zowie still has a long way to go as a Christian, but he is getting there. Post comments here or e-mail them to richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.

12-3-10 devotions: Hosea 8-10, Acts 16, Psalm 33

December 4, 2010 Leave a comment

I did my Bible reading Friday night after my work was done for the day, and I was upset with myself. Devotions should really be done in the morning–or at least begun in the morning.

In my current path, I think what I will try to do is read the Old and New Testament in the morning and at night, read from the Psalms and Proverbs. Or perhaps it is best to read it all in the morning and to take a closer look at each passage at night; each delve into Psalms and Proverbs provides encouragement to take on the day.

What works best for you, Dear Reader?

I knew of one man who was serving at the Roloff Homes and spoke at my then-home church, Beeville Baptist Church, to speak. He told of how he was reading the Bible through in a month.

Wow! I thought. That is a LOT of reading.

Sometime I may try that just to see if I can accomplish it, but I’m leery because with my short attention span, it would be a classic case of quantity over quality. At least three times in my life I’ve read over Old Testament books like Ezekiel, Amos, Obadiah, the other Minor Prophets along with tiny New Testament books like 1, 2 and 3 John and can barely–if at all–tell you what they were about. In fact, if I died today, I’d have to ask God to let me have a crash course on what Obadiah and other books were about since I must presume that, until we are completely perfected in heaven, it is possible still to feel embarrassment in heaven. (Perhaps some young Christian may even go up to David and say, “Yo! David! Was Bathsheba as hot as the Sports Illustrated swimsuit models?!”)

Rabbit trail aside, what I am trying to say is I like the year-long approach to Bible reading much better.

That being said, what I might do is when I finish reading the Bible through (I am almost halfway through with my current plan that, sadly, I have been doing since 2003), I may see if I can read the Word of God through again before the end of 2011. We will see.

That being said…

Hosea 8-10: In these chapters, Hosea continues speaking to the brick wall that is the hardened heart of Israel as he urges the nation to repent and not face the humiliation of God’s correction. I imagine as he returned home for the night, perhaps Gomer even gave him encouragement and insight. “Honey, you won me back through tough love, and that’s what you need to have in your message to Israel–tough love.”

It’s a question I intend to ask Hosea someday. I am so glad now that when I get to heaven I won’t have to say, “Hello, Hosea! I’m ashamed to have to tell you this, but I don’t remember what your book was about!”

Hosea 8:14 says this: “For Israel has forgotten his Maker, and has built temples; Judah also has multiplied fortified cities; but I will send fire upon his cities, and it shall devour his palaces.”

Acts 16: This chapter touches briefly on a subject I intend to blog about in the near future.

Circumcision.

Timothy, a Christian whose Mom was Jewish and whose father was Greek, was not circumcised. He was in the ministry in Lystra and Iconium, and Paul had Tim circumcised. Since his ministry was among Jews (who were and are still circumcised), it was determined Tim could be a more effective missionary if he were circumcised.

Yes, by modern standards it seems silly that ancient man could get so hung up over foreskins, but it’s about how you can best tend to the needs of those you minister to. Having no respect for the culture of a country you work in makes you an ineffective missionary.

That being done, Paul continued to minister and lead people to the Lord, including the very prominent businesswoman Lydia, a merchant of purple in Thyatira.

Also in this chapter, Paul and Silas were famously beaten and imprisoned for exorcising a demon from a girl who told people’s fortunes. Paul saw her anguish and ordered the demon to leave her, which angered her masters since it deprived them of their lucrative income.

So, Paul and Silas were jailed and through their testimony of praising God despite their tough circumstances, the jailer came to know Christ. I wonder what would have happened had they moped, cried and complained? The jail probably was not a very pleasant place to be, and we can hardly imagine the miserable times there as they were beaten.

After leading the jailer and his family to the Lord, Paul then informed the officers of the local legal community that he and Silas were Roman citizens and that it was illegal to beat them without a trial.

Oops!

This was no doubt why tradition says Paul eventually was probably beheaded instead of crucified. It has been said crucifixion was the most severe form of Roman capital punishment: no Roman citizen could be crucified.

Reading about Paul and his trials leads me to one incontrovertible conclusion: I may be dealing with heartaches and craziness in my own life, but compared to Christians in the Middle East, Sri Lanka, China and other places, I practically live in Beverly Hills.

Psalm 33: As I read through the thirty-third Psalm, I wonder if it has been made into a song. I imagine David in heaven in a recording studio with musical instruments we cannot even begin to imagine, instruments that play melodies well beyond the limits of finite human sound.

In short, it is a Psalm encouraging musicians to use their talents to praise God.

Verse four tells us: “For the word of the LORD is right, and all His work is done in truth. He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.”

This Psalm also speaks of God’s work during Creation (before man ruined things) and how God is in ultimate control over the affairs of man. It speaks of how God works in every human individually, placing things in their hearts that He hopes will bring them to Him.

Verses 18-22: “Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His mercy,

“To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.

“Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield.

“For our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in His holy name.

“Let Your mercy, O LORD, be upon us, just as we hope in You.”

Richard Zowie is going through the Bible in his Richard’s Two Shekels blog when not commenting on Christian issues or blogging about his Christian walk. He hopes in the coming months to complete his first visit with all the Minor Prophets. Post comments here or drop a line to richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.

 

Richard’s Two Shekels on… for July 27, 2010

…No, I’ve never read The Prayer of Jabez (or, for that matter, any of Joel Osteen’s books). When I worked in Christian radio in San Antonio, it was a book everyone seemed to talk about. Then, when I finally got around to checking it out, it seemed to reek of Prosperity Gospel. You know: follow God, obey His commands and pray really hard and He’ll reward you with a fat bank account. That sounds very unbiblical. God promises to meet our needs, but I know of no Scripture where obeying God’s Word and being involved in church means you’ll hit the jackpot…

…One of the most tragic things I’ve experienced in life is that some of the most egotistical, condescending people I’ve ever met have been Christians. That should not be so…

…Speaking of the above, please don’t use that as an excuse to go inactive and drop out of church. God needs Christians to get to work and needs more to be the right type of Christian instead of complaining there are no right types. If you think Christianity has cornered the market on hypocrisy, you are mistaken…

…I have often wondered how horrible it must be like for a lost person who dies in their sleep. How long does it take for them to realize that their unspeakably-horrid nightmare is one from which they’ll never wake up?…

…I used to live in a town where there was a church at practically every corner. Despite this, the town’s Christian bookstore closed. I never understood how a store like that could go out of business in a town where so many attended church…

…Besides the Zondervan King James Study Bible, another Bible I like is the New Open Study Bible. One was given to me as a high school graduation gift by my church; alas, the Bible was packed into a box during a move and inadvertently placed in the basement. After a heavy rain and due to a sump pump problem, the basement flooded. The Bible was ruined. I haven’t seen it in any Christian bookstores but have found out it’s available for online purchase. I’ll have to do that sometime as I liked that Bible a lot…

…That Bible also had a lot of sentimental value, including a few autographs in it. Among those I can remember: my pastor, Tim Stowe of Beeville Baptist Church; Jim Schettler, then the pastor of Pensacola Christian College’s Campus Church; Dr. Arlin Horton, president and founder of PCC; Jonathan King, a pastor who worked at the Roloff Homes; Richard Martin, a pastor and a friend; Dr. Tim Lee; Dr. Johnny Pope; Dr. Jack Hyles; Dr. Gary Coleman (the pastor of Garland, Texas’ Lavon Drive Baptist Church and not the late diminutive actor).

I remember when Dr. Pope autographed and saw Dr. Hyles’ signature (Dr. Hyles performed Dr. Pope’s wedding ceremony and at one time was a good friend), Dr. Pope did a double take.

…John Shore, a Christian writer, said something about Christianity that I feel qualifies as an incontrovertible statement: “Fundamentalist Christians are too limited in their thinking, but liberal Christians too readily dismiss the fundamentalists.”…

Agree with me? Think I’m out of my mind? Post comments here or drop a line to richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.