Bible Reading Plan for 2020
Since we live by EVERY word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matt 4:4), and since ALL Scripture is inspired by God and profitable (2 Tim 3:16-17), it's necessary for us to have a plan to regularly be exposed to ALL of God's word, the Bible. Here's the plan I've been on for several years, modified from the classic by M'Cheyne. It takes you through the NT and Psalms every year, and through the OT every 2 years, at the pace of usually an OT chapter and a NT chapter each day. On the plan I recommend a very helpful devotional commentary by D.A. Carson where he comments daily on one of those chapters. I've added the option of a few verses from Psalms and Proverbs. Here's the link to download or print the PDF: 2020 Bible Reading Plan, with Psalms and Proverbs added
God And The Bible
Though I'm happy to teach piano to anyone, no matter what your religion or lack of it, the most important thing in my life is knowing God as He's revealed Himself through His word, the Bible, and through His Son, Jesus. And, though I won't use piano time to talk about these things (unless I know you're fellow Christians that WANT me to tie in piano with Bible :-), I would LOVE to discuss God, the Bible, and any questions you have about these things! There's a six-session Bible study through the short section in the Bible called the Gospel of Mark that I'd love to do with you, that highlights what Jesus Himself said about what it means to really know and follow God.
You can download (left) a short paper (front and back of a single sheet, that you can fold into a one-page booklet) I wrote on knowing God and being right with Him. So many people think they're fine with God, but Jesus warned more clearly than anyone else about the wrath of God that's coming on MOST people, poured out in ETERNAL fiery judgment in hell. Jesus lived the perfect life we all SHOULD have lived (and none of us have), then gave His life as the perfect sacrifice, taking on the cross the hell that WE deserved, for all those who turn from their sin and living life their own way (the Bible calls this repentance) and trust in Him as our Savior, Lord (leader of ALL areas of our life), and our everything. This short paper explains in more detail, and you can customize it with your church's data on the back, or put in your email and hand it out personally. No copyright on this - I'd LOVE for you to use this in sharing the Good News about how God has provided the only way to Him through Jesus!
Old Testament Survey
OT Survey 1 - Gen 1:1-27
Handouts for Class 1: /files/1059273/ot-survey-gen-1.pdf
OT Survey 3 - Gen 2:18ff
Handout for Class 3: /files/1062064/ot-survey-3-gen-2v18-gen-3.pdf
OT Survey 5 - Gen 3
OT Survey 7 - Gen 4 - The first murders and first polygamy - the quick, sad slide downhill AND God's heart for justice
Handout for Class 7: OT Survey 7 PDF
OT Survey 9 - Gen 6 - Worldwide flood: the worst climate crisis EVER - not from "crimes against the planet," but sins against God
Handout for Class 9: OT Survey 9 PDF
OT Survey 11 - Gen 9 - New chance after the Flood, but same sinful hearts. Big changes God brings in! Sometimes lethal force is necessary, and is linked to the sanctity of life.
Handout for Class 11: OT Survey 11 PDF
OT Survey 13 - Gen 12 - The call of Abram / Abraham. God makes a covenant and chooses the people that will lead to Messiah Jesus!
Handout for Class 13: OT Survey 13 PDF
OT Survey 15 - Gen 14 - Abram rescues Lot, who now is IN Sodom. Great pointers to Jesus in Melchizedek.
Handout for Class 15: OT Survey 15 PDF
OT Survey 2 - Gen 1:26-Gen 2:18
OT Survey 4 - Gen 2:24ff - God establishing marriage
OT Survey 6 - Gen 3:6ff - Sin/the Fall, where EVERYTHING went wrong
OT Survey 8 - Gen 5-6:8 - Sin brings forth death, but there is HOPE
Handout for Class 8: OT Survey 8 PDF
OT Survey 10 - Gen 7-8 - God's way brings SECURITY, but is NOT always easy! - Noah and his family in the ark for a YEAR.
Handout for Class 10: OT Survey 10 PDF
OT Survey 12 - Gen 10, 11 - The Table of Nations and Tower of Babel / Babylon. This is where different languages/cultures begin. This ends the FIRST HALF of human history!
Handout for Class 12: OT Survey 12 PDF
OT Survey 14 - Gen 13 - Abram generous with Lot. In Lot, we get a vivid illustration of a compromising believer. But also hope-filled reminders that the generous believer is NOT losing out.
Handout for Class 14: OT Survey 14 PDF
OT Survey 16 - Gen 15 - God affirms His covenant with anxious Abram, powerfully pointing to the cross as God Himself takes the dark, bloody path.
Handout for Class 16: OT Survey 16 PDF
What I Believe the Bible Teaches (Statement of Faith)
The MAIN things I stress in life and with my students is the Gospel (the Good News about how God has made a way for sinners like us to be right with Him through His Son, Jesus - see the top of this page). But for those of you that wonder about other things I believe, here's a statement of faith I put together for the little church I once pastored. Then there's an extensive "appendix" that answers questions I've had over the years about "Calvinism". "Calvinism" is NOT my favorite term for what I believe about God being in charge of EVERYTHING and yet our human decisions and actions still matter (somehow :-). I came to these ideas simply in Scripture, never having read a word by John Calvin (I have since then, but that's not how I came to these thoughts). But it sure makes for interesting discussion among Christians (this is NOT something you should let yourself be distracted by if you're not yet sure you're right with God by trusting in Jesus - that's SOOOOO much more important - see the top of this page).
Where Is 'Joy to the World' When I'm Grieving?
Grieving can be even more painful when so many around you seem to be happy. I wrote this short article to help Christians rejoice in the Lord even when grieving, and to help us encourage our hurting friends.