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Posted 11/9/15 at 6:40 PM | Jack Wellman
Here are five great places to find or to watch good Christian movies.
Christian Film Database
If you’re interested watching good Christian movies on DVD then you might think about buying them instead of renting them or waiting till they show up on TV and there might be no better resource than Christian Film Database (christianfilmdatabase.com). You’ll find solid Christian movies like War Room, Woodlawn, A Matter of Faith, Son of God, The Color of Rain, God’s Not Dead, Saving Christmas, and probably just about any good Christian movie you remember having watched. Of course, just because it’s a Christian movie doesn’t mean that it’s always clean. In some of my viewing experiences, the movie was rated G but the language, although not vulgar, was full of euphemisms (swear word substitutes) and “oh my God’s” so reading reviews of your prospective purchase is a very good idea. And movies like Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ are very good for adults but they are not appropriate at all for children because of the intense physical violence. FULL POST
Posted 11/4/15 at 11:57 AM | Jack Wellman
Here are five ways that you can find encouragement in the Bible.
Putting your name in the Scriptures
One of my favorite ways to read the Scripture and one that I recommend to others is to put your name where Scriptures says “you” and “you all.” One example is in Matthew 16:24 where it reads “Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” which could be made to have personal application if read as “Then Jesus tells you “If you (or put your name here) would come after me, you must deny yourself and take up your cross and follow me.” This works in many places in the Bible like in Psalm112:6-7 “For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever. He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord” which can read “For I will never be moved; I will be remembered forever. I am not afraid of bad news; my heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.” The Bible was written to believers so why not insert your name or “I” in the Scriptures when you read them? It doesn’t change the context and it makes it more personal as well as having personal application for you. FULL POST
Posted 1/10/15 at 10:38 PM | Jack Wellman
Let me tell you about a ministry that is reaching men behind the prison walls with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Here is a summary of what they do. They offer a free Bible Study course to any person in a correctional institution. I would have qualified many years ago as a former prisoner of the State of Kansas. Working Men of Christ (WMOC) sends them “The Captivity Series Workbook”, by Katie Souza, and will then send the Answer and Question booklet after they’ve sent their completed their workbook and receive a signed application form. It takes about 2-4 weeks for delivery. As soon as the 3 chapters are completed and all the questions are answered and returned, the men will receive a credit toward the $160.00 incentive. After the entire completion of the course is done successfully, WMOC will mail them a certificate of completion and a Study Bible. Upon their release from incarceration they’ll receive credits totaling $160.00 dollars if they mail their certificate of completion within (30) days of their release and WMOC. What this ministry is doing is getting the Word of God into the hearts, souls, and minds of these men and since we know that God’s Word has power (Rom 1:16) and that His Word never returns without accomplishing what He sends it out to do, this ministry is changing men into disciples of Christ. FULL POST
Posted 10/25/14 at 10:04 AM | Jack Wellman
What exactly does this Bible verse mean and what can we take away from it?
The best way to interpret difficult Scriptures is by finding similar verses or the original Scriptures where the verse or verses are quoted or in other words, interpret Scripture by using Scripture. When I read a verse that is hard to understand, I need to back up and read the entire chapter and sometimes the entire book to see what this verse is really saying in the full context. As has been said before, text taken out of context can create a pretext and a false one at that. Frequently, New Testament authors will quote Old Testament verses because that’s all the Scriptures they had at the time. One of Jesus’ favorite authors is Isaiah which He quoted frequently and Paul sometimes used Genesis but the point is that they always put the text into its proper context and that is something that Christians must be careful to do.
First Timothy 5:18 Meaning
First Timothy says “For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages.” For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages.” Paul was quoting Deuteronomy 25:4 which also says “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain” which is part of the Old Testament laws which show that God expected Israel to treat animals in a humane way. If an animal is laboring for its owner, then it should be provided for like being fed and properly cared for but Paul was using it regarding church elders and in the context that the church should provide for its own church leadership. It is best to expand the entire context of 1st Timothy 5:18 to include 1st Timothy 5:17-18 “Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages.” Clearly, Paul wasn’t talking about Timothy’s oxen or to the Christians in general to take care of their animals, although we know that this is morally right. Instead, Paul is quoting Deuteronomy 5:18 as a way of saying that since we are commanded to treat animals worthily and provide for their needs according to their labor, so too must the church provide for the church elders, like the pastor, and pay them for their labor. They are due a “double honor.” Paul is clear that he is speaking, not about the care of animals, but about the laborer for the Lord, like the pastorate, and that they are worthy of the church’s support. Paul is very specific about this, writing “especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.” Was Paul writing this to Timothy because of the first century church complaints about paying church pastors and teachers? It must be at least considered a possibility because why else why would Paul have to even write about such a thing if it weren’t necessary? FULL POST
Posted 10/25/14 at 9:57 AM | Jack Wellman
How does the Bible describe children? What can parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and teachers learn from what the Bible teaches about children?
Gifts from God
Children are certainly a blessing and this agrees with what the Bible says about them like in Psalm 127:3-5 “Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.” Sons and of course daughters are from the Lord and, I love this, they are “a reward from him.” Like the arrows in the hands of a warrior, children are born and like arrows, they are held steady, directed, and aimed but where they land is up to the arrows (or the children). The implication is that we can teach them, direct them, lead them, hold or point them in the right direction but where they land is up to them but hopefully, in God’s sovereignty, they will find their purpose. When Esau met his brother Jacob and his family, he said “Who are these with you?" he asked. Jacob answered, "They are the children God has graciously given your servant" (Gen 33:5). Even Jacob got it…children are a gift from our heavenly Father and like a gift, we did nothing to deserve them or earn them…it is only because God is so good that He gives us our beloved children. FULL POST
Posted 9/18/14 at 2:21 PM | Jack Wellman
What is the role of the church for the believer and the family? What does the Bible teach the role of the church is?
The Church is…
The word church is from the Greek word “ekklesia” which means “an assembly” or literally the “called-out ones” so the church are those believers who God called and saved through repentance and faith in Christ. The word church is hardly mentioned at all until after the gospels but then it is frequently called by name (Rom 16:5; gal 1:1-2). Strictly speaking, the church is the Body of Christ, doing the work that the Head of the Church, Jesus, directs her to do for the purpose of glorifying God and part of that purpose is seeking those who are lost. By being called the Body of Christ, the church is to be the hands, mouth, and feet of Christ on earth. Each member has been gifted by God to perform a vital function in the church so that the church is edified, encouraged, and grows in grace and knowledge. Each member works in unison with other members for one another and each member’s function is to help the Body of Christ perform what she was created to do.
The Church’s Purpose FULL POST
Posted 9/17/14 at 8:16 AM | Jack Wellman
What is the trend for the church in America? If it is declining, then why are they leaving the church today?
Church Attendance Declines
There are many reasons that people are leaving churches in America. Part of the reason might be is that the number of Americans who believe that faith is losing influence in society is growing. In fact, 67% of American adults think religion, as a whole, is losing influence while only 27% think that there’s an increase in societal influence.1 The numbers from 2006 indicated that churches are averaging around 600 congregants with about 125 children in attendance on average. Singling out a medium state, Massachusetts, they had only 30% who attended church on a weekly basis. This number was half that a hundred years ago.
A report from a 2005 study published in The Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion by sociologists C. Kirk Hadaway and Penny Long Marler revealed a precipitous decline in church attendance over the last 30 to 40 years. While the numbers recently indicated about 40% of the nation belonged to a church, in reality only 17% were consistent in attending each Sunday. The disparity is seen when the number of members verses the number of non-active members is compared with one another. Someone can claim to be a member of a church but that doesn’t mean that they attend regularly. Many of them only passed through church doors for Easter and Christmas services so this somewhat reconciles the difference between the claimed 40% who belonged to a church and the 17% that were actually in church weekly. That is as low as it has ever been since statistics have been recorded for the U.S. FULL POST
Posted 8/26/14 at 4:00 PM | Jack Wellman
We use the word "its heaven" so much that it has lost much of its wonder. Think about this. Look at the news or read the headlines of the newspaper. What a dreadful sight indeed. There are wars and rumors of wars, there is terrorism, there are deadly diseases, earthquakes, floods, and droughts, however if we contemplate the future, we ought to think of our final destination. When we took a vacation to a ski resort in the Colorado Mountains one year we were thinking about it well ahead of our departure. We began to picture the ski slopes, the fresh snow, the clean, crisp mountain air, and the hot tubs at our resort.
This is not our final destination. Our temporary dwelling place in this life is but a vapor compared to what our eternal destiny holds. Vacations run out but eternal life in the presence of God will never end. The saying that "he's no earthly good because he's so heavenly minded" is so not true. I believe it should be "he's so earthly minded that he's no heavenly good." When we live with the end in mind, with the knowledge of our eventual home, it ought to make the present easier to live with. Romans 8:18 speaks about this coming glory as Paul described it: "For I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." Here Paul is trying to encourage the Roman church, who had endured very severe persecution, to dwell on their eternal destiny. This time and place is not our home; we are pilgrims and we are all on a journey to an exceedingly better place. We are wanderers who are presently living in a foreign land. It’s like we are traveling to our vacation resort in Colorado but the trip is not the destination. We are but weary travelers in eager expectation of our arrival. We cannot yet see it, but we can imagine it. FULL POST
Posted 8/19/14 at 6:09 PM | Jack Wellman
How can believers remain patient when everything around them is going wrong, when people are treating you unfairly, and when no one else around you has any patience?
What is Patience?
The dictionary defines patience as: the ability or capacity to remain patient, the state of endurance under difficult circumstances, persevering in the face delay or provocation without acting upon it. This is like turning the other cheek which is what Jesus commanded His followers to do. Precisely, Jesus said in Matthew 5:39 “Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” Contrary to what people think, this is does not mean that we shouldn’t defend ourselves. This was not talking about physical violence but about being insulted. We are to turn the other cheek in the sense of not retaliating when we are insulted for Jesus’ sake. That is the context of verses 38-42 because He goes on to say “if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.” Clearly this is a command to go the extra mile for someone and not give “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” (Matt 5:38). We have read the world’s definition of patience but what is the biblical definition of patience? Is it different from the way the world defines it? Oh yes. FULL POST
Posted 8/18/14 at 5:49 PM | Jack Wellman
The Bible has a lot to say about joy. How can the believer find joy? Leave a comment and tell us how you think we might receive more joy.
What is Joy?
The Bible never promises the believer happiness but joy, now that’s a different story. The Greek word used for joy is “chara" which means “gladness” or “an occasion of joy” so it basically means what the word is translated from. In the Old Testament, the word used in Psalm 47:1 where the saints are told to “shout to God with cries of Joy” is the Hebrew word “rinnah” which literally means “a ringing cry, proclamation,” or “praise.” Another word usually translated into joy is found in Proverbs 10:28 where it says “The prospect of the righteous is joy” from which the Hebrew word for joy is different than rinnah. Here the Hebrew word “simchah” means “mirth, gladness,” or “pleasure.” Sadly, many believers don’t show this joy on their face. Too often they go around looking just like the world, but don’t we have every reason to be full of joy? Certainly the answer is yes; unfortunately we often depend upon feelings although human feelings are one of the shallowest, most undependable of all human emotions. Happiness is based upon happenings…and it is so fleeting and temporary. Happiness comes and goes like money. We cannot buy happiness any more than we can buy love but joy, that’s something completely different as we will discover. FULL POST