July 29, 2021

Control Yourselves... The Book of James Bible Series


Hello, friend!  I hope your summer is going well - I can't believe we are already near August! Which may or may not explain why this is technically a few days late! It's fine. We're fine. Everything is fine. (For real.)
We're back with another installment in our Book of James Bible Series and today we dig into the first 5 verses of Chapter 3! 

Let's go! Here is our portion of Scripture for today: James Chapter 3, verses 1-5! We get to focus on one of my favorite subjects: The Power of Your Words!

Let's read it together here, starting with The Passion Translation Bible:

"My dear brothers and sisters, don’t be so eager to become a teacher in the church since you know that we who teach are held to a higher standard of judgment. We all fail in many areas, but especially with our words. Yet if we’re able to bridle the words we say we are powerful enough to control ourselves in every way, and that means our character is mature and fully developed. Horses have bits and bridles in their mouths so that we can control and guide their large body. And the same with mighty ships, though they are massive and driven by fierce winds, yet they are steered by a tiny rudder at the direction of the person at the helm.

And so the tongue is a small part of the body yet it carries great power! Just think of how a small flame can set a huge forest ablaze." (The Passion Translation)

July 15, 2021

The Full Expression of Your Faith... The Book of James Bible Series


Hey there!  We are back with another installment in our Book of James Bible Series! I'm like a broken record, but I have every --ok, not 'every' - but many!?-- intentions of writing in between these bi-monthly posts, and yet... I haven't quite found myself sitting in this chair ready to tap out words! It's a strange but blessed and full season and yet I'm confident I will find myself back in this seat again soon! Until then, we will just plan on continuing to meet right here, every two weeks! (Even when I consider not meeting here every two weeks --God is still the boss of me and He has some plans He just won't back off from, I suppose!)

So here we are...ready to dig into 
James Chapter 2, verses 18-26! 

Let's read it together here, starting with The Passion Translation Bible:

"But someone might object and say, “One person has faith and another person has works.” Go ahead then and prove to me that you have faith without works and I will show you faith by my works as proof that I believe. You can believe all you want that there is one true God, that’s wonderful! But even the demons know this and tremble with fear before him, yet they’re unchanged—they remain demons.

O feeble sons of Adam, do you need further evidence that faith divorced from good works is phony? Wasn’t our ancestor Abraham found righteous before God because of his works when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? Can’t you see how his action cooperated with his faith and by his action faith found its full expression? So in this way the Scripture was fulfilled: Because Abraham believed God, his faith was exchanged for God’s righteousness.

So he became known as the lover of God! So now it’s clear that a person is seen as righteous in God’s eyes not merely by faith alone, but by his works.

And the same is true of the prostitute named Rahab who was found righteous in God’s eyes by her works, for she received the spies into her home and helped them escape from the city by another route. For just as a human body without the spirit is a dead corpse, so faith without the expression of good works is dead!" (The Passion Translation)

July 1, 2021

When Talk is Cheap... The Book of James Bible Series


Happy Summer, my friends! I hope its official arrival has brought you some of the best of the season! For me? Well - it's brought swimming with Lil' Miss (yay!), visiting family from out of town (yay!),  and triple-digit heat for so many days in a row I stopped counting (not yay!)!  It's also stirred up a renewed love of and gratefulness for our A/C! (Yay -- Yes and Amen!)

Today we are back again with another installment of our James series! We are diving into some more familiar verses, reading through James Chapter 2, verses 14-17! 

Let's read it together here, starting with The Passion Translation Bible:

"My dear brothers and sisters, what good is it if someone claims to have faith but demonstrates no good works to prove it? How could this kind of faith save anyone? For example, if a brother or sister in the faith is poorly clothed and hungry and you leave them saying, “Good-bye. I hope you stay warm and have plenty to eat,” but you don’t provide them with a coat or even a cup of soup, what good is your faith? So then faith that doesn’t involve action is phony." (The Passion Translation)

June 17, 2021

How to Take Dominion... The Book of James Bible Series


Hello, Sweet Readers! I am going to start off real honest here... I have had thoughts of throwing in the towel.  I've entertained ideas to just put this whole thing on hold --or loosen my timeline... or - well, like I said, just give it up altogether!  

I've been doing this blogging gig for a long, long, LONG time... long enough to remember what it was like in its heyday! Even for non-celebrity bloggers, there was a time when there was real community and great give and take in the blogosphere.  As much as I miss that, I have always said God called me into this before I even really knew what a blog was and I was never doing it for attention or applause. At least not from you... I write for an Audience of One and He is the One who gets to boss me around and He is the One who put this series on my heart.

But the struggle is real, Y'all! Now, I know some of you are reading along because even if you don't comment, I can track the 'hits' and I know I'm not all alone here in this corner -even if it does feel like that from time to time! Again - even if I was on my own here, I am getting so much out of this study... so I push back the temptation to give up or give in, and I sit myself down in this chair and I type out Scripture and trust that if you are sitting there, reading these words, He is drawing you and teaching you and showing you Truth! So for you, and for me, and mostly for Him... I write on!

Today we are reading through James Chapter 2, verses 11-13! 

Because, if you haven't caught on yet, it's one of my favorite translations, we'll start with The Passion:

June 3, 2021

Fulfill the Royal Law of Love... The Book of James Bible Series


Hello, Friends! I hope your Summer is kicking off with lots of exactly what you need -- whatever that may be! We're back again for another installment in our Book of James Bible Series and today we are reading through James Chapter 2, verses 8-10! 

Let's go!  We'll start with The Passion Translation Bible:

"Your calling is to fulfill the royal law of love as given to us in this Scripture: “You must love and value your neighbor as you love and value yourself!” For keeping this law is the noble way to live. But when you show prejudice you commit sin and you violate this royal law of love! For the one who attempts to keep all of the law of Moses but fails in just one point has become guilty of breaking the law in every respect!" (The Passion Translation)

While we know full well that this calling is far from easy --James spells it out for us so simply! And how much do we love the way The Passion puts it: Your calling is to fulfill the royal law of love.  

I mean...?  

May 20, 2021

The Chosen...The Book of James Bible Series


Hello again, Sweet Readers! We are back with another installment in our Book of James Bible Series and today we are diving right into James Chapter 2, verses 5-7! 

I managed to stay on track even while on vacation so let's see if we can keep this going!

Let's go!  We'll start with JAMES 2:5-7 in The Passion Translation Bible:

"So listen carefully, my dear brothers and sisters, hasn’t God chosen the poor in the world’s eyes to be those who are rich in faith? And won’t they be the heirs of the kingdom-realm he promised to those who love him? But yet you insult and shun the poor in your efforts to impress the rich! Isn’t it the wealthy who exploit you and drag you into court? Aren’t they the very ones who blaspheme the beautiful name of the One you now belong to?" (The Passion Translation)

I think I have mentioned this before --but I so hope Y'all are watching The Chosen. It's so good!  This verse asks a question about who the chosen are. Of course, we know Jesus was THE Chosen One... and also - we are all grafted in and He has chosen each one of us to be His!  But here, James suggests that God has chosen the poor in the world's eyes to be those who are rich in faith... and who will be heirs of the Kingdom He promised to those who love him!

I love how the Passion points out that it is not just the poor --but the poor in the world's eyes. This isn't limited to the poor who are struggling with finances - but anyone the world would think of as poor or lacking. (This broadens things a bit!)  

May 6, 2021

Are We Judges Who Can’t Be Trusted? ...The Book of James Bible Series


I really had intentions of writing other posts this year... (in addition to this Series, that is!) However, so far anyway... I'm only managing to sit in this chair to write about every two weeks!  Today, we're back for another installment in our Book of James Bible Series and we are kicking off Chapter Two!

We jump in to Chapter Two today beginning with JAMES 2:1-4! 

As usual, let's begin with The Passion Translation Bible:

"My dear brothers and sisters, fellow believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ—how could we say that we have faith in him and yet we favor one group of people above another? Suppose an influential man comes into your worship meeting wearing gold rings and expensive clothing, and also a homeless man in shabby clothes comes in. If you show special attention to the rich man in expensive clothes and say, “Here’s a seat of honor for you right up front!” but you turn and say to the poor beggar dressed in rags, “You can stand over here,” or “Sit over there on the floor in the back,” then you’ve demonstrated gross prejudice among yourselves and used evil standards of judgment!" (The Passion Translation)

I know!? You can't really say I didn't warn you ahead of time! James calls it like he sees it --or maybe, more like how HE sees it! Jesus and James, man... they're not gonna let us slide, guys! They are FOR us and they want the best for us... they want the best to flow to us and through us and -oh my goodness- how favoritism just gets in the way! 

And here's the deal: We are all guilty of it.  We all do it. 

You may be shaking your head and disagreeing with me passionately because -- ugh.... rich people!  You see... one way or another... one 'class' or --dare I even say it?-- race or gender or belief... ends up being treated as better or favored or more important than another with us humans! 

And here's the other deal: We all know it's wrong! 
Thankfully, we can also know that even though WE may do it... 
HE never does!

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