Are You Having Problems With This Web Site?

    All web site owners hope they will have a site that is interesting and helpful… and without problems. I am sure our President can verify that! It is embarrassing to say the least. However, things do come up.
   We are continually working on this site… adding pictures, books, audio, and hopefully video lessons, as well as articles, and more. We encourage all who wish to subscribe to the site and add comments etc… to do so. It’s free after all, so why not?
   We just want you to know that if you have any problems, we welcome and encourage you to let us know so we can work on it and get it corrected. So far we don’t seem to be having any problems as far as I know. If you have some helpful ideas on special subjects you would like to see… let me know, we’ll see what we can do.
   Do you have some special stories or memories of being with mom and dad, we would love to hear from you and especially pictures… to add to the site.
   Well, that’s all for now… just wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year… Just think 2014 is coming! Maybe, just maybe with the Lord’s help it will be a better year for us all.
   Heaven bound,
   Jack Exum Jr.

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That You Might Believe – “The New Temple” John 2:18-25

“The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” But the temple he had spoken of was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken. Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name. But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person” (John 2:18-25).
  
   It’s easier to ‘tear down’ than to ‘build’. The crowds loved him. However Jesus knew and knows what is in man. He didn’t trust them it seems. Rightly so, for you yourselves know how easy it is for people to ‘turn against’ someone they may have praised only a day before.
   Jesus had gotten angry, and chased money changer out of the temple, and turned over tables of the same. He even used cords to do it. Quite a scary sight. To others perhaps he seemed like a maniac… out of control… The Psalmist said, “The zeal of thine house has eaten me up, and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me” (Psalm 69:9). 
   Sometimes people jump to the wrong conclusions, right? Is there a difference in motives here than from others who get angry and turn over tables and chase people out of a building? 
   The reactions of the Jews was “give us a sign” instead of believing all the signs already shown. Hearts were hard, ears closed and eyes blinded by pride and hate.
   The Master promises to re-build the temple. not the one made of stone… but His own body. He was to be crucified, and he knew it. It was all for a purpose.
   The entire Gospel is founded on the fulfillment of this. The resurrection of Jesus is the heart of the “good news”, for without it, there is no good news… just news of another crucified Jew who made a claim he could not live up to.
   He was crucified, buried, and HE ROSE AGAIN!!! The tomb was empty. The religious leaders paid off the soldiers to say the disciples stole the body. Fact is Jesus rose from the dead and lives forever. Take the time and study John 20:19-24; I Corinthians 15:1-7, 12-20; John 5:28-29. See what you think…
   The resurrection was the center and power of preaching in the book of Acts. Take a look at the following:
   1. Peter’s sermon – Acts 2:29-39
   2. Peter’s sermon  – Acts 3:12-16
   3. Peter’s sermon – Acts 4:8-12
   4. Peter and the Apostles – Acts 5:29-32
   5. False witnesses – Acts 6:13-14
   6. Stephen – Acts 7 whole chapter (vss 51-55)
   7. Phillip – Acts 8:12, 26-39
   8. Saul/Paul – Acts 9:1-6, 20
   9. Peter – Acts 10:33, 38-40
   10. Paul – Acts 16:14-16
   11. Paul and Silas – Acts 16:25-34
   12. Paul – Acts 18:8; 1 Corinthians 1:14-17
   13. Paul – Acts 19:1-7
   The miracles of Jesus are called “signs”.  There are three Greek words for this.
   1. “Teras” – Meaning amazing- staggering – marvelous
   2. “Dunamis” Meaning power (dynamite)- extra ordinary power
   3. “Semeion”  Meaning a ‘sign’ which reveals or points to a person – his character and nature. (cf. Hebrews 2:1-3)
   Jesus had the power to heal the sick, raise the dead, feed the hungry… He had the power of resurrection, and indeed, raise up the temple of his own body after three days in the tomb.
   Wonder – Powerful – Sign – Jesus is the Son of God.

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The Wisdom Of The Beatitudes (Part Two)

   “Blessed (happy) are they which hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled” (Matt. 5:6). This is an amazing promise wrapped in a beatitude. There is no limit to growing in Christ. Seeking Him and his kingdom (rule) and righteousness… to the spiritually .. is a spiritual craving that shall be satisfied. Jesus says this one will be ‘filled’… Jesus is the resource that fills the void that so many are searching for in this world. The world tries to fill this void with things, while the believer realizes this void, this hunger, this thirst, can only be satisfied with Jesus. It still remains that you cannot fill that which is full already. The slop of the world may satisfy for a time… but righteousness satisfies for eternity. The empty, broken heart can be filled… and satisfied when the hunger is directed towards righteousness. 
   “Blessed (happy) are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy” (Matt. 5:7). Thus far we have taken three giant steps up the ‘mountain’, and have been filled with His righteousness. Now comes the blessings for others. For you see, going up the mountain is only preparation to come down and serve. These are things that come when one is poor in spirit, mourns and is comforted, meek and humble, hungers and thirsts after righteousness… It begins with giving what is received…. MERCY. It is not given so you can just hold on to it for yourself. Read Matthew 18:23-35. The one who gives mercy benefits as much from giving it as when he first got it and more. Now there is growth involved. The most merciful, is the one who is poorest in his own spirit and has mourned his own sin. When you empty your heart… He fills it with mercy…
   “Blessed (happy) are the pure in heart; for they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8). Well, this is unusual. How can a person see God? Well, not through worldly ‘glasses’ for sure. But then it’s not the eyes, it’s the heart. Always has been. Jesus concern is with cleaning not only the outside of the cup but even more concerned with the inside. The heart that has mourned sin, humbled, hungers for God, and is merciful as a response to being forgiven… is going to see God in his heart, and feels the touch of God in his life. One cannot see God or be in touch with God when the heart is full of sin and corruption and is only seeking the things of the world. Experiencing God, will not happen for the unmerciful, proud, those who are full of this world’s slop.
   “Blessed (happy) are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God” (Matt. 5:9). What else would you expect from one who has traversed this mountain and has come down to serve as Jesus did? Even though the teaching of Jesus may lead to difficulties within ones family and life… the heart of this spiritual ‘mountain climber’ will seek to make peace… share the peace of Jesus with everyone.  God never has liked the idea of his people creating division… but he is pleased with brethren who keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Climbing the mountain is an individual thing… and the one who makes the journey, will be at peace and will share that peace.
   “Blessed (happy) are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:10). Actually verse 11 can go with this… since both verses are dealing with what happens when the ‘spiritual rubber meets the road’. When a person lives the life that Jesus outlines here, most will react in a negative way. Well, what do you expect… it’s the world. That’s why you are here. That’s why you climbed the mountain in the first place… to be a different person. Now you are… and the world doesn’t like it, even if it’s exactly what they need. now it is time to serve… Time to live for your Master… Maybe it’s time to suffer… and die… If it’s for being righteous that you suffer… you will be blessed… Jesus promised it.

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The Wisdom Of The Beatitudes

   One of the first sermons Jesus gave (or was recorded) was on a mountain. Who would have ever expected someone to say anything like this. Call it remarkable, amazing, cross-cultural, or whatever…. When Jesus spoke, people were amazed, taken back. “No one ever spoke like that!” There is a good reason found in Phil. 2:5-11… He was equal with God, but gave it up just to save mankind. Wisdom beyond comparison.
   The word ‘blessed’ simply means happy. He began his ministry by showing what a true believer is like (or can be).
   It’s as if you take a beam of light and press it through a crystal prism. The light is defused, revealing all the different colors. The order of both the break-up of light and the sermon is by design. He is the Son of God, (John 1:14). The attitudes and characteristics are the basic foundation of the Christians life. It is a life of ‘becoming’ through the power of the indwelling Spirit. Without this sermon… the follower may have power, but has nowhere to go… fruitless and faulty.
   “Blessed (happy) are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:3). 
   The journey begins here. The proud will be saved, can’t be saved. Their ‘cup’ is to full for anything else. Heaven will not be theirs… only to the humble, teachable, moldable. “Jesus loves us as we are, but refuses to leave us that way.” To enter the kingdom, one must break his or her heart. Humility enables one to recognize his sin, and be humbled by grace and love. James said, “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble… humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up” (James 4:5,10).
   “Blessed (happy) are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted” (Matt. 5:4).
   Jesus says the opposite of what we would expect. But when your heart is crushed and broken, you always mourn, groan and cry. Like Peter, after his denial of Jesus…when Jesus turned and looked into his eyes… he went out and cried bitterly. Our basic problem comes when life is good and things are going well. We tend to forget God. We use God like a parachute… or a glass which reads, “break in case of emergency”. When trouble comes or death knocks at our door, we look up and cry. Humble people do, proud people don’t.
   “Blessed (happy) are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth” (Matt. 5:5). Break your heart, mourn your sins, receive inward strength – meekness! No, not weakness… but strength… rare quiet strength of character that enables you to stand. Three virtues  are our NEEDS. They come in order, a broken heart – a cry for help – inner peace. 
   (More to come…)

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