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Be Aware of the Giant Hoax

Study and do your best to present yourself to God approved, a workman [tested by trial] who has no reason to be ashamed, accurately handling and skillfully teaching the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15 AMP)

Giant Hoax

Giant Hoax

There’s a report floating around Facebook, claiming a group of archaeologists discovered the remains of giants in Greece, thus, proving the authenticity of the Bible. It even went so far as to say that one of the skulls they excavated could’ve been Goliath’s head. That particular skull was separate from the body and bore a crack between the eyes—obviously from David’s stone, according to the article.

At least one flag should’ve popped out at me—this dig occurred in Greece. David killed Goliath in Valley of Elah, which was in Judah not anywhere close to Greece. But no. I ignored that “tiny” piece of knowledge. In my zeal to prove the accuracy of the Bible, I reposted the news.

A day or two later, I decided to check out the creditability of the article on Snopes.com. In case you’ve never heard of the site, it’s designed to debunk rumors, myths, and legends and give us the facts. To my dismay, I discovered the giant-skeletal find was a hoax. Not only had I fallen for it. I caused others to fall for it as some of my Facebook friends reposted the spoof.

Ha-ha! The joke’s on us. These types of shenanigans make Christians look foolish in the eyes of the world. We owe it to ourselves and to our Lord to carefully investigate every article we post on social media and only post what’s true.

We also owe it to ourselves and to our Lord to carefully examine the teachings to which we adhere. Not all who claim to know the Word and preach it, study the Scriptures. Even our pastors and Sunday school teachers can falter in their understanding. We should hold one another accountable by studying the Bible and asking God for wisdom regarding His truth. When we fail to check the Scriptures to see if what we are being taught is true, we run the risk of spreading lies further diluting the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Let’s show ourselves God-approved by examining the facts before repeating or reposting the spoof.

How about you? Have you ever reposted an article on social media that seems so terrific you had to share then found out later it was a hoax?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

P.S. To my Facebook friends who reposted the giant article, I sincerely apologize and pledge to be more careful to check out the facts before I repost.

A is for Adam

When my daughters lived at home, we celebrated advent with a Jesse Tree. It’s an old accustom dated back to the medieval times. With symbols, the story of Jesus’ ancestry is told from Genesis to His birth, crucifixion, and resurrection.

Using this idea, I’m going to attempt to combine the Jesse Tree with the alphabet challenge.

A is for Adam

The woman saw that the tree was good for food, pleasing to the eyes, and the tree was desirable for gaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they knew that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves. (Genesis 3:6‐7)

Creativity on the Loose

Creativity on the Loose

God created all that was and is from nothing. And He saw that it was good. On the sixth day, He created man in His image. He called the man Adam and gave him dominion over all other creatures in the air, sea, and on dry land. Adam named the animals and loved them. But he was lonely. So God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep then formed a mate for him. Adam called her Eve. The couple enjoyed the perfect world God had created for them. They also enjoyed God’s companionship. He visited them every evening and walked through the garden with them.

God had given Adam and Eve one rule to live by—Do not eat from the tree in the center of the garden, which was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. All other vegetation was permissible for them. Nevertheless, Eve found the fruit of the forbidden tree enticing and the desire to be like God even more tempting. So Satan disguised himself as a serpent, luring Eve into eating the fruit. She, in turn, convinced Adam to join her. Immediately, they saw that they were naked and hid themselves from the Lord. Because of their disobedience, God cast them out of the garden. He cursed the serpent, the land, and the couple. At the same time, He promised to send a redeemer to rescue humans from the curse.

During the next 25 days, we discover the steps God took to fulfill that promise.

You can read the events of the creation and Adam and Eve’s fall in the first three chapters of Genesis.

How about you? What reminds you of Jesus that starts with the letter A?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

Sifted

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31-32)

Sandcastle 2As a small child, I played in my sandbox for hours. I dug and sifted the sand, hoping to find buried treasure, too young for understanding pirates didn’t hide their valuables in a child’s sandbox.

Long after growing out of the sandbox stage of life, I visited my uncle in Massachusetts. He took me to the Cape Cod Sand Dunes—miles and miles of unbelievable, white-sand mountains, a sandbox-child’s paradise—which offered an opportunity to sift sand for treasures. Not hidden pirate chests bursting with precious gems and gold coins, but weathered glass smoothed by years of shifting sand awaited discovery. Shades of brown glass popped up frequently. An occasional blue or green nugget remained in the pan after sifting. And then, if the “glass gods” favored you, your pan captured the rarest of all—reds and purples.

Without walking miles, searching, and sifting, we had no hope of discovering the rarest and best pieces of glass. I remember finding a couple brown ones, a green one, and a blue one. I never saw a red one or a purple one, but my uncle assured me they did exist.

Likewise, Jesus assured his disciple that Satan not only existed, but desired to sift Peter like wheat. The enemy knew Peter held very valuable spiritual gems.

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Next Week:

We’ll take a look at what it means to be the light of the world. Prepare by studying Matthew 5:14-16

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks

Fine China Breaks Easily–The Past Not So Much

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:22-24)

 Every family seems to have at least one person who is directed to the sturdiest chair in the house and given a paper plate for his/her meal, while everyone else is eating off of fine China. Some people have a knack for breaking things. They’re the reason plastic was invented, I’m sure of it.

If only the past could be broken as easily as fine China. We’d all line up, eager to hand our past to these I-break-everything-I-get-my-hands-on people. They’d be commended for their special gift and mostly likely well paid.

At least, I’d be glad and grateful to paid someone to break my past for me.

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Next week:

We’ll discuss being alive in Christ. Prepare by studying Romans 8:9-17

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendrick

Humility–A Powerful Weapon

Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” “Lord, I want to see,” he replied. (Luke 18:40-41)

Girl and Bug 2During her toddler years, my granddaughter had a condition known as low muscle tone, which made some activities at the playground a little difficult. But it never stopped her from playing with other children. When they climbed to a higher level on the jungle gym, she simply called out for help. It made no difference if she knew the other children or not. She admitted freely that she couldn’t manage without assistance.

The others came to her aid without hesitation. Some stood behind her and pushed. Others grabbed her arms and pulled. Each time, she ended up on the same platform as her friends, and they resumed their game.

Sydney knew her needs and limitations, but …

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Next week, we will consider another blind man who Jesus gave physical sight and later sought out to offer spiritual sight. In preparation, study John 9.

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks

Generational Curses—Stop the Slavery

And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews. And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying. (Acts 12:11-12)

Anger Paints an Ugly Portrait colorGenerational curses come in many forms from drug and food addictions to anger induced rage. Not every obese person, tyrant, or pedophile can claim their conduct stems from a generational curse. We all have a sin nature and basically choose the path we travel. But some of our characteristics are passed down from generation to generation as the Bible says, “The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation” (Numbers 14:18). We learn and repeat the behavior patterns of those around us—good and bad. But generational curses go deeper into the soul than learned behavior.

How to recognize a generational curse:

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Next Week:

We’ll discuss Being Set Free through Recognizing Our Needs. Prepare by studying Luke 18:35-43.

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks

Captive without a Cause

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18-19)

Accused and Enslaved

Accused and Enslaved

Have you ever been punished for someone else’s behavior? My mother told of a time when her mother’s horseshoe pen holder went missing. Grandmother lined up all of her nine children and questioned them. My mother found humor in the situation and couldn’t hold back her chuckles. Grandmother assumed her guilt and spanked my mother for stealing the pen holder. Shortly afterward the pen holder was found behind the piano. My mother had received unjust punishment for something she obviously hadn’t done. Her only crime was grinning at the wrong time.

Like my mother, Joseph’s descendants found themselves in predicament beyond their control. Although the new pharaoh didn’t remember Joseph, he feared the Hebrews. He considered them a threat simply because God had blessed them with a great population and a staggering amount of livestock. Pharaoh decided they needed to be controlled before they joined with neighboring nations and had opportunity to overthrow his empire. They remained in slavery for 400 years. That’s a long time to suffer for simply being in the wrong place with a smile on their faces. (See Exodus 1:4-18.)

Similarly, many Christians undergo spiritual captivity simply because God is blessing us and Satan wants to destroy our faith.

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Next Week:

We’ll talk about spiritual weapons, beginning with the one of our most powerful weapons. Prepare by reading and meditating on 2 Chronicles 20:15-23.

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks