Monday, August 27, 2012

Mark 8:22-26 - The Healing of the Blind Man of Bethsaida

22 And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him. 
23 And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought.
24 And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking.
25 After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.
26 And he sent him away to his house, saying, Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town.

      The Lord Jesus and the disciples land their boat in Bethsaida.  No doubt people knew that the Lord was a Healer for they brought to him a blind man.  What is interesting about this miracle (which is the second of its kind only to be found exclusively in Mark’s Gospel, the other miracle exclusive to Mark was the one recorded in 7:31-37) is that the Lord Jesus leads the blind man out of the town to heal him privately.  The Lord’s healing was done in two stages.  Certainly, a word from the Master would have sufficed, even perhaps a gentle touch.  But our Lord seems to be teaching this blind man some particular lessons that he needed to learn, and in doing so, we too, learn some things about God and ourselves.  First, God doesn’t always deliver us from our trials and testing immediately or urgently.  Sometimes He deals with us about certain things over and over again.  If we learn to participate with His work in our lives, then there is spiritual progress.  How thankful are we that God takes the time to instruct us and to do it effectively in His own good time?  Second, sometimes God uses things or tools that we would not choose.  What an unorthodox method of restoring one’s sight!  Yet, we are not called to reason but we are called to faith.  Do we trust the Lord and His Word when at times the situation or circumstances contradict His Word?  How is it that we know more than Him?  We don’t but sometimes we certainly think so.  This man’s sight was finally restored, but I am sure he gained more than physical vision, and so should we.  Let us learn, ever the more, to trust in Him.  Let us also be reminded that God has His good and perfect timing upon our lives.  He knows our needs and He knows exactly what He wishes to use to help and instruct us along the way.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Disciplines for New Believers (ebook edition)

It has been about ten months now since the first publication of my book Disciplines for New Believers.  First, I upgraded the print edition a couple of ways (tried correcting more of the typo errors, improve the contents a little, and enhanced the cover).  I had a few people asked me what was the deal with the first cover.  It was supposed to be a Paul and Timothy type of a picture.  But what it looked like was a couple of men in chains.  It communicated that the Christian life is a life of drudgery.  HA!  Far from it.  But I do understand that people do judge a book by it's cover.  Now, we know better, but many unfortunately don't.  So I went ahead and revamped the cover.  It looks nicer now, at least.

The digital version of DfNB ($3.99) is done with the help of Vook.  I tried doing it on my own; that was fatal.  What a time waster.  I am glad for the 120 some odd downloads of my book when it was under the Amazon Kindle format, but now through Vook my ebook can be purchased in virtually any ereader or tablet format (not just through Amazon's format).  I am certainly excited about this new opportunity via Vook.  You may purchase DfNB via the Vook storefront here, and Amazon's Kindle reader here, or as a NOOKBook here.

Two publishers carry my print book for distribution, and I am thankful to God for them.  They represent what I believe to be a good Christian/Baptist resources type of organizations (or book distributors).  There is Starr Publications which is owned and operated by Pastor Randy and Shirley Starr.  BTW, they now carry many home school curricula and some are discounted with an extra 10% off discount.  Then there is Local Church Bible Publishers a book and KJV Bibles distribution ministry based out of Parker Memorial Baptist Church in Lansing, MI.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Remembering Don Meckley

Don Meckley was a sincere Bible student.  He would often stop by my office loaded with questions.  Sometimes he stopped in to drop off an article that really sparked his interest from the "Baptist Bread" devotional.  He loved his family, he loved his church (Mt. Zion Baptist Church), and he was a good worker especially with the church's Bible assembly ministry.  He loved the book of Revelation, and read just about every commentary I loaned him.  We miss him, but at the same time we are glad to know that his sins have been forgiven by the Lord Jesus Christ.  We look forward to the glad reunion day!

Below is a copy of his obituary:

WINDSOR Donald E. Meckley, 75, went to be with his Lord and Savior on Friday, August 10, 2012, at home, surrounded by his family. He was born September 9, 1936, in York, the son of the late Harry and Gladys Meckley. He served in the United States Marine Corps from 1953 to 1957. He retired from Stone Container Co. in 1998, after 29 years of service. Donnie Meckley was a member of the 12th Ward Democratic Club and Mt Zion Baptist Church. He enjoyed riding motorcycles, fishing, bowling, and hunting. A visitation will be 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at the John W. Keffer Funeral Homes and Crematory, Inc., 902 Mt. Rose Ave., York, with a memorial service to follow at 1:30 p.m. His pastor, the Rev. Ronald Starr, will be officiating. Burial will follow with full military honors by the York County Veterans Honor Guard at Susquehanna Memorial Gardens. Donnie is survived by his wife of over 55 years, Shirley A. Meckley; a brother, Maurice and wife, Elfie Meckley of Killeen, Texas; his daughter and son-in-law, ConSandria (Sandy) and James Parker, Sr. of Wrightsville; son and daughter-in-law, Laverne and Bernadette Meckley of Dover; grandchildren, Melissa Seifert of Red Lion, and Alan Tyee Meckley of Dover; stepgrandson and wife, James and Courtney Parker of Dover; step granddaughter, Leanne Wallace of York; a great-grandson, Taylor S. Seifert of Red Lion; six step great-grandchildren; and various nieces and nephews. Donnie Meckley was preceded in death by brother, Charles Meckley of York. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society , 924-N Colonial Ave., York, PA 17403.
Published in York Daily Record & York Dispatch on August 13, 2012