For a variety of reasons, I have decided to stop blogging here and move over to karikingdent.com. I will leave Precept Camden open and all past blog posts will remain accessible as well as all recorded classes on the Listen Here page. However, all Key Word Symbol Sheets – plus a lot of new ones! – will move over to karikingdent.com. I hope you will follow me over at karikingdent.com!
Have you ever been to Israel? I have always wanted to go and must admit that I was pretty jealous of everyone I knew that was able to go. Every person I’ve ever known who has made a trip to the Holy Land has come back saying it is life changing. They say that you will never read the Bible in the same way again. I thought this trip-of-a-lifetime would always be just out of my financial reach and probably would never happen. However, a few years ago it happened! I went to Israel! And I must tell you, that everyone was right. It is, indeed, life changing and you will not view the Scriptures – or really the world – in the same way again.
David and BJ Lawson of Hope and Help International are leading a tour to Israel and you are invited! The Lawsons are seasoned teachers of the Word and have led tours to the Holy Land with Precept Ministries International and now with Hope and Help International. The Scriptures will literally come to life as you sit among the backdrop of history while receiving biblical teaching on site.
Don’t let this opportunity pass you by. Don’t say, “I can’t afford it!” Start saving (and praying) now! Forget Disney World and all those other vacations that will have no lasting impact on your life. Take the vacation of a lifetime and go to Israel with the Lawsons! For more information, click here.
There’s a familiar story in the Bible about Jesus’ encounter with a woman who was living a lifestyle of sin until the day she met the Giver of Life. It is called “The Woman at the Well” and its beauty is not diminished by its familiarity.
Jesus, weary, hungry and thirsty from his journey and waiting for His disciples while they presumably had gone to find food, sat down by a well where women came every day to draw water. But this was the hottest part of the day and no women came to draw water during this time. Except for one. She was an outcast on every level: a Samaritan with whom Jews did not associate, a five time divorcee who was living with a man who was not her husband, and not least of all, a woman. She is astonished when this Jewish man asks her for a drink of water. That request opens the door to a conversation that literally changes her life. She comes to realize that this man is not just a man – He is the promised Messiah, the Savior of the world – and He offered her living water that would forever satisfy her spiritual thirst.
Water. It is the elixir of life and no less important and hard to come by in 2016 than it was 2,000 years ago when Jesus was sitting beside that well. Oh sure, in the US of A we simply turn the tap and out it flows. But it isn’t that easy in other parts of the world.
That’s where Water4 comes in. Founded in 2008 by Richard and Terri Greenly, they are committed to “eradicating the world water crisis.” This video called Sweet Water explains it so much more clearly than I. Please watch it. In a nutshell, the Greenly’s friend Steve Stewart invented a hand pump and a drilling technique that can be done manually without expensive, hard to repair parts like well pumps. (In Africa alone there are over 200,000 BROKEN well pumps!)
Water4 is not just interested in quenching physical thirst either. They are empowering local communities by providing clean water which leads to good health, local jobs, and opportunities to share about Jesus and His living water that truly and permanently satisfies the deepest spiritual thirst. Check out their website at water4.org and see how you can get involved. One way is to give a well to a village without one. (Some women spend 6+ hours per day just getting water.) The website has information on many ways you can help.
The next time you turn on the tap and fill a glass with fresh clean water, remember those who don’t have that luxury. Visit water4.org and see how you can make a difference in the world water crisis.
The 2016 World Watch List has been released by Open Doors. Each year the World Watch List gives detailed analysis of Christian persecution worldwide. Countries are evaluated and ranked according to the severity of persecution that occurred in the past year. The World Watch List is a ranking of 50 countries where persecution of Christians for religious reasons is worst. The list covers persecution of Christians of all denominations in the entire country. The focus is on persecution for their faith, not persecution for political, economic, social, ethnic or accidental reasons. The World Watch List is part of the mission at Open Doors to inform and inspire others with the message of the persecuted. Join the cause of the persecuted and share the World Watch List with your friends and family. (This information was taken from various materials supplied by Open Doors.)
The 12th chapter of the book 1 Corinthians tells us that individual Christians are like the individual members of a body. We make up the body of Christ. And when one member of that body suffers, we should all suffer with it. We have brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering acutely all over the world simply because they are Christians. We have not just the responsibility but also the deep privilege of upholding them in prayer, giving them encouragement, and bringing their situation to light through whatever means we can.
Use the 2016 World Watch List to make yourself and others aware of what is happening around the globe as well as to take action on behalf of those who are suffering. And don’t forget to PRAY for the persecuted. Open Doors provides a monthly prayer guide to help you pray in specific ways. You can sign up here to receive a newsletter and prayer guide. Learn other ways you can take action on behalf of persecuted Christians here.
Sunday, November 1, 2015, is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP). It is a day where Christians all over the world make a special effort to pray for those believers who are suffering for their faith. I encourage you to join us as we pray for those who share our faith but not our freedom.
For more information on IDOP and other ways you can support suffering Christians click here.
There’s an ongoing debate in our country about immigration, and it can get pretty heated at times. With so many sides to this complicated issue, sometimes it is hard to separate fact from misinformation. As Christians are we supposed to welcome one and all with open arms? Should we build a wall? Do we provide education and healthcare for those here illegally?
Well, there is a woman in Atlanta, Georgia, who decided to leave politics to the politicians and actually DO something for the large and diverse immigrant population in her community. She started an organization called Refugee Beads that utilizes the talents of individuals to make gorgeous handmade jewelry. Not only is Refugee Beads providing jobs for people, it is also using the profits from the sale of the jewelry to fund after-school and mentoring programs for children. You can read about this wonderful organization here. Visit their online shop here.
As a believer, I have wrestled with those questions asked above. I can see valid points on both sides. However, I have decided that when it comes to this issue I am going to be ruled by these 2 principles: (1) I am going to declare and live like this world is not my home and I’m just a passin’ through, as the old hymn says. That means that even though I am extremely grateful to have been born in the United States of America, I recognize that my true citizenship is in heaven and my home here is temporary. With the privilege of being born in a free country comes tremendous responsibility to advocate for those who were not. (2) When I am unsure about how to respond to the immigration crisis or to immigrants (whether legal or not), I am going to determine to have the heart of God. What exactly does that mean? I am going to search the Word of God and see how He instructs His people to treat aliens in a foreign land. The way God asks His followers to behave reveals His attitude. Believe it or not, the Bible has a lot to say on the subject.
Jesus said that everything we need to do and be as a follower of Him is wrapped up in two statements: love God and love people (Matthew 22:36-40). We MUST stop living our own agendas and start living a life of self-sacrifice. I am trying. I hope you are, too.
I have been a fan of Pat Marvenko Smith’s artwork for several years. I have used them when teaching Bible study – not just in Revelation but also Daniel and Ezekiel. She is a very talented artist. She also has a unique ability to illustrate scenes from Scripture. There are some very vivid descriptions of heavenly scenes in the books of Revelation, Daniel, and Ezekiel. Because the things described are other-worldly, it is difficult to form a mental picture of the scene, event, or creature. Pat has no such difficulty. She truly brings passages of Scripture to life through her art. They are not only beautiful but also biblically accurate.
She has a book that includes all of her paintings. It can be purchased here. She also has individual prints, cd’s, note cards, and digital downloads available for purchase here. These are great to use for teaching purposes.
You can watch a short video about her book here.
Click here for more information on Yom Kippur.
Just in time for all of you who will be starting back to Bible study soon after the summer hiatus, here are the new and expanded A-Z Key Word Symbol Sheets! These have almost 100 extra words than the previous ones. I hope they will help you dig deeper into God’s Word through inductive Bible study (IBS). To access these brand new A-Z Key Word Symbol Sheets click
here. UPDATE: (7/28/16) I have moved all of my Key Word Symbol Sheets over to my new website karikingdent.com! There are BRAND NEW A-Z Sheets plus MANY more sheets specific to some books of the Bible and a couple of topical studies. Go here to see all the new Key Word Symbol Sheets!
Don’t forget that marking the text is a tool of IBS; it isn’t the point of IBS. Marking key repeated words while you are reading helps you slow down and interact with Scripture. It helps you focus as you read. When you are finished, then you have a visual picture of what the text is saying.
Another tool of IBS is making lists. After you mark key words, a good practice is to go back and make a list on every key word. Note what the text says about the key word, how it is used, if it answers any questions such as Who? What? Where? When? Why? or How? You will be amazed at how much more you will draw from the Word with these 2 simple tools than by reading alone.
If you’re interested in using a workbook to guide you through a book of the Bible, Precept Ministries offers the best IBS materials out there. They have different study series that require different skill levels and time commitments. For an overview of each of their series click here.