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Finding Our Foundation

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  • Steve Hall
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ NOTES FROM THE VALLEY - August 5, 2000 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will
    Message 1 of 10 , Aug 2, 2000
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      NOTES FROM THE VALLEY - August 5, 2000

      "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of
      death, I will fear no evil for you are with me." Psalm 23.
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      TOPIC: FINDING OUR FOUNDATION


      "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into
      practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The
      rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against
      that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the
      rock. " Matthew 7:24-25

      The Bible. I cannot overstate the absolute necessity of having it,
      reading it, and applying it to our day-to-day lives. It is the
      rock, the foundation, that God gave us to build our lives upon. In
      good times and bad times, God's Word is a constant source of help for
      whatever needs we may find in a day. Comfort, strength, joy, peace,
      love, and encouragement. The list is endless and it's all there.
      But to find it we must seek Him through His Word with intentionality
      and purpose. Our intention must be to find within His Word the
      message our Heavenly Father has prepared for our specific needs each
      day. And our purpose must be to take the wisdom and guidance of that
      message and apply it to our lives - to the way we live out that day
      and every day thereafter. Simply stated, but I'm sure some of you
      find the task a bit daunting. I'd like to reassure you that, from my
      experience, it doesn't have to be.

      We belong to something over forty lists on the Internet. And every
      day we read advise from any number of well intentioned people about
      how to study the Bible. Everybody seems to have their own favorite
      study guide or system for digging into God's Word. And I applaud
      their enthusiasm and intent. But, for a brand new Believer (or Baby
      Christian as one list I'm privileged to be a part of likes to refer
      to themselves) all the rules and supporting materials these people
      require just to read God's Word must seem a bit overwhelming. If
      that's the case for you, maybe you'd like to try this more simplified
      approach:

      (1). Get a Bible.
      (2). Give God some time.
      (3). Ask for His help.
      (4). Read.
      (5). Pray what you read.

      Over the years I've learned a few very basic truths. One is - the
      power is in God's Word. It is the powerful, two edged sword. So
      that's what He wants us to read. Reading what others have to say
      about His Word is fine, but He wants to reveal His truth to us
      personally through His Word. Which means we have to spend the time
      reading that Word. And He has promised His Holy Spirit to guide us
      and open the eyes of our understanding if we will give Him our time
      and attention. So I encourage you, find an accepted Bible
      translation that you're comfortable with. One that you find easy to
      read and understand. And then just read it, a little each day.
      Start at Genesis and read until you hit the end of Revelation and
      then go back and start over again.

      Each morning, before my coffee and breakfast, I consciously force
      myself to stop everything, relax, and then say a simple prayer to my
      heavenly Father. I ask Him to help me as I read His Word so I'll
      find what He wants me to learn for that day. Then I just read.
      Normally one chapter. It usually takes me less than ten minutes.
      Then I say a short and simple prayer to Him about what I've read. He
      is my Abba Father. He's written me a letter filled with His love and
      some wonderful, Fatherly advise. I thank Him for the letter, for the
      advise, and for His love. I tell Him how I'll try to use His advise
      to meet the challenges of the day that lies ahead. I ask for His
      help in doing it. And I tell Him I love Him.

      I know this "system" probably seems overly simple to many, but I've
      never found God to be overly complex in what He expects from us or
      what He offers to us. I've never really understood why men try to
      make Him seem so complicated. We may be wrapped up in unlimited
      shades of grey, but He is a God of black and white. There is much
      about this complex world that I do not know, but what I do know is
      this: Cathy and I have been through some amazingly tough time in our
      lives. We are in the midst of some very tough situations right now.
      But no matter how bad thing may get, we know the comfort, peace, and
      encouragement of our Father. We find it daily in His letters - the
      foundation for life that is His Word.

      We remain His grateful children and your brother and sister in Christ,

      Steve & Cathy Hall



      SOME "BIBLE" THOUGHTS

      God did not write a book and send it by messenger to be read at a
      distance by unaided minds. He spoke a book and lives in his spoken
      words, constantly speaking his words and causing the power of them to
      persist across the years.
      A. W. Tozer

      The Bible is alive, it speaks to me; it has feet, it runs after me;
      it has hands, it lays hold on me.
      Martin Luther

      The Bible is my church. It is always open, and there is my High
      Priest ever waiting to receive me. There I have my confessional, my
      thanksgiving, my psalm of praise, a field of promises, and a
      congregation of whom the world is not worthy-prophets and apostles,
      and martyrs and confessors-in short, all I can want, there I
      find.
      Charlotte Elliot

      The Bible - banned, burned, beloved. More widely read, more
      frequently attacked than any other book in history. Generations of
      intellectuals have attempted to discredit it; dictators of every age
      have outlawed it and executed those who read it. Yet soldiers carry
      it into battle believing it more powerful than their weapons.
      Fragments of it smuggled into solitary prison cells have transformed
      ruthless killers into gentle saints.
      Charles Colson

      In regard to this great book, I have but to say, it is the best gift
      God has given to man. All the good Savior gave to the world was
      communicated through this book. But for it we could not know right
      from wrong. All things most desirable for man's welfare, here and
      hereafter, are to be found portrayed in it.
      Abraham Lincoln

      Its critics, who claimed it to be filled with forgery, fiction, and
      unfulfilled promises, are finding that the difficulties lie with
      themselves, and not the Bible. Greater and more careful scholarship
      has shown that apparent contradictions were caused by incorrect
      translations rather than divine inconsistencies. It was man and not
      the Bible that needed correcting. It is the blueprint of the Master
      Architect.
      Billy Graham

      One night I was so lonely I couldn't sleep. I decided to try
      meditating on Psalm 36. As I read the words, vivid images began to
      fill my mind. I pictured myself sitting at the edge of a beautiful
      flowing river of God's delights with a demitasse cup. I filled my
      cup and took a sip. It was wonderful. Then I heard the Lord
      say, "Carole, why don't you jump right in?" That night I found that
      when you ask God for daily insights from his Word, it's as if he taps
      you on the shoulder and says, "This is just for you today."
      Carole Mayhall, Can a Busy Christian Develop Her Spiritual Life?



      A COMMENTARY FROM MATTHEW HENRY
      (Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible)

      "The Holy Scripture is of much greater benefit to us than day or
      night, than the air we breathe, or the light of the sun . . . It is a
      sure direction in the way of duty. It is a sure fountain of living
      comforts, and a sure foundation of lasting hopes. The statues of the
      Lord are right, just as they should be; and, because they are right,
      they rejoice the heart. The commandments of the Lord are pure, holy,
      just, and good. By them we discover our need of a Saviour; and then
      learn how to adorn his gospel. They are the means which the Holy
      Spirit uses in enlightening the eyes; they bring us to a sight and
      sense of our sin and misery, and direct us in the way of duty.
      (Psalm 19:7-10)



      THE BIBLE IN 50 WORDS OR LESS
      (Contributed by Jeanarie of Heart-Prints - Author Unknown)

      God made; Adam bit;
      Noah arked; Abraham split;
      Joseph ruled; Jacob fooled;
      Bush talked; Pharaoh plagued;
      People walked; Sea divided; Tablets guided;
      Promise landed;
      Saul freaked; David peeked;
      Prophets warned; Jesus born;
      God walked; Love talked;
      Anger crucified; Hope died;
      Love rose;
      Spirit flamed;
      Word spread;
      God remained.



      GUIDEWORDS - BIBLE STUDY
      (Author - Paul Borthwick)

      I supposed I knew my Bible,
      Reading piecemeal, hit or miss,
      Now a bit of John or Matthew,
      Now a snatch of Genesis,

      Certain chapters of Isaiah,
      Certain Psalms (the twenty-third),
      Twelfth of Romans, first of Proverbs --
      Yes, I thought I knew the Word!

      But I found that thorough reading
      Was a different thing to do,
      And the way was unfamiliar
      When I read the Bible through.
      You who like to play at Bible,
      Dip and dabble, here and there,
      Just before you kneel, aweary,
      And yawn through a hurried prayer;

      You who treat the Crown of Writings
      As you treat no other book,
      Just a paragraph, disjointed,
      Just a crude, impatient look,

      Try a worthier procedure,
      Try a broad and steady view;
      You will kneel in very rapture
      When you read the Bible through.

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      Guidewords is compiled by Sharon Paxton (Btlfan910@...)
      with the Springtown Church of Christ in Springtown, Texas.



      AND A FINAL THOUGHT FROM A CHILD

      While sitting next to my first grade daughter during our morning
      worship service one Sunday, I noticed her look down at my open Bible.
      In a low whisper, she asked, "Did God really write that?"

      "Yes," I quietly whispered back.

      Looking down at my Bible again, she said in amazement, "Wow! He
      really has neat handwriting!" Susan Wright, DeBary, FL.

      Editor's Note: This last one is good for a smile, but I also included
      it because it illustrates a very important matter of faith we
      addressed in last week's issue of Humor from the Valley. Read again
      the words of Jesus in Matthew 11:25 and Luke 18:16-17. Meditate upon
      those scriptures. Then, guided by the Holy Spirit, share a child's
      faith and amazement at the neatness of God's handwriting.
      ________________________________________________

      Copyright © 1998-2000 by Stephen J. Hall - Weekly letters of
      encouragement to Christians written by Stephen J. Hall unless
      otherwise indicated. Notes from the Valley and Humor from the Valley
      are never intended to offend anyone. They're meant only to brighten
      your day and encourage you along the way. Most of "notes"
      and "humor" are a collection of items provided to me by subscribers
      and friends. Credit is given to both the contributor and to the true
      author, where known. If you are blessed by them, please feel free to
      make copies and pass them along to others. If you have something
      you'd like to contribute to a future edition or would like to ask us
      a question or make a comment, please contact us at:

      sossteve@...
      ________________________________________________

      Your love, God, is my song, and I'll sing it! I'm forever telling
      everyone how faithful you are. I'll never quit telling the story of
      your love - how you built the cosmos and guaranteed everything in
      it. Your love has always been our lives foundation, your fidelity
      has been the roof over our world.
      (Psalm 89:1-3 The Message)
    • sossteve@worldnet.att.net
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ NOTES FROM THE VALLEY - July 15, 2001 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear
      Message 2 of 10 , Jul 12, 2001
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        NOTES FROM THE VALLEY - July 15, 2001

        "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of
        death, I will fear no evil for you are with me." Psalm 23.
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        TOPIC: FINDING OUR FOUNDATION

        "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into
        practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The
        rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against
        that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the
        rock. " Matthew 7:24-25

        The Bible. It is the rock, the foundation, that God gave us to build
        our lives upon. In good times and bad times, God's Word is a
        constant source of help for whatever needs we may find in a day.
        Comfort, strength, joy, peace, love, and encouragement. It's all
        there. But you've got to put in some time reading God's Word if
        you're ever going to find them. And, for many people, that tends to
        be a problem.

        In Christian circles there's always plenty of wonderful advise about
        how to study the Bible. Everybody seems to have their own favorite
        study guide or system for digging into God's Word. And I applaud
        their enthusiasm and intent. But, for many, all the rules and
        supporting materials these well intentioned people require just to
        read God's Word must seem a bit overwhelming. I know it did for me.
        If that's what's been keeping you from getting into God's Word,
        please consider the following thoughts from a formerly reluctant
        student of the Bible.

        Always remember that the power is in God's Word. It is the powerful,
        two edged sword. So that's what God wants us to read. Reading what
        others have learned from reading the Bible is fine as long as it's
        not done at the expense of reading the Bible for ourselves. God
        wants to reveal Himself to each of us in a close, personal way
        through His Word. He has promised us His Holy Spirit as a guide to
        that revelation. But we've got to do the reading. So I encourage
        you, find an accepted Bible translation that you find easy to read
        and understand. Then set aside a little time each day to read it.
        It doesn't have to be a lot of time, but it does have to a time when
        reading the Bible has the sole priority. Early morning works for me,
        but chose what works for you.

        I usually try to start my reading time with a simple prayer. I ask
        God to help me as I read His Word so I'll find what He wants me to
        learn for that day. Then, after I read a chapter or two, I say a
        simple prayer to Him about what I've read. I thank Him for His
        Word. I tell Him how I'll try to use the lessons He's given me to
        meet the challenges of the coming day. I ask for His help in doing
        it. And I tell Him I love Him.

        I know this "system" probably seems overly simple to many, but I've
        never found God to be overly complex in what He expects from us or
        what He offers to us. I've never really understood why men try to
        make Him seem so complicated. We may be wrapped up in unlimited
        shades of grey, but He is a God of black and white. There is much
        about this complex world that I do not know, but what I do know is
        this: Cathy and I have been through some amazingly tough time in our
        lives. We are in the midst of some very tough situations right now.
        But no matter how bad things may get, we know the comfort, peace, and
        encouragement of our Father. We find it daily in the foundation for
        life that is His Word.

        We remain His grateful children and your brother and sister in Christ,
        Steve & Cathy Hall



        SOME "BIBLE" THOUGHTS

        God did not write a book and send it by messenger to be read at a
        distance by unaided minds. He spoke a book and lives in his spoken
        words, constantly speaking his words and causing the power of them to
        persist across the years.
        A. W. Tozer

        The Bible is alive, it speaks to me; it has feet, it runs after me;
        it has hands, it lays hold on me.
        Martin Luther

        The Bible is my church. It is always open, and there is my High
        Priest ever waiting to receive me. There I have my confessional, my
        thanksgiving, my psalm of praise, a field of promises, and a
        congregation of whom the world is not worthy-prophets and apostles,
        and martyrs and confessors-in short, all I can want, there I
        find.
        Charlotte Elliot

        The Bible - banned, burned, beloved. More widely read, more
        frequently attacked than any other book in history. Generations of
        intellectuals have attempted to discredit it; dictators of every age
        have outlawed it and executed those who read it. Yet soldiers carry
        it into battle believing it more powerful than their weapons.
        Fragments of it smuggled into solitary prison cells have transformed
        ruthless killers into gentle saints.
        Charles Colson

        In regard to this great book, I have but to say, it is the best gift
        God has given to man. All the good Savior gave to the world was
        communicated through this book. But for it we could not know right
        from wrong. All things most desirable for man's welfare, here and
        hereafter, are to be found portrayed in it.
        Abraham Lincoln

        Its critics, who claimed it to be filled with forgery, fiction, and
        unfulfilled promises, are finding that the difficulties lie with
        themselves, and not the Bible. Greater and more careful scholarship
        has shown that apparent contradictions were caused by incorrect
        translations rather than divine inconsistencies. It was man and not
        the Bible that needed correcting. It is the blueprint of the Master
        Architect.
        Billy Graham

        One night I was so lonely I couldn't sleep. I decided to try
        meditating on Psalm 36. As I read the words, vivid images began to
        fill my mind. I pictured myself sitting at the edge of a beautiful
        flowing river of God's delights with a demitasse cup. I filled my
        cup and took a sip. It was wonderful. Then I heard the Lord
        say, "Carole, why don't you jump right in?" That night I found that
        when you ask God for daily insights from his Word, it's as if he taps
        you on the shoulder and says, "This is just for you today."
        Carole Mayhall, Can a Busy Christian Develop Her Spiritual Life?



        THE BIBLE IN 50 WORDS OR LESS
        (Contributed by Jeanarie of Heart-Prints - Author Unknown)

        God made;
        Adam bit;
        Noah arked;
        Abraham split;
        Joseph ruled;
        Jacob fooled;
        Bush talked;
        Pharaoh plagued;
        People walked;
        Sea divided;
        Tablets guided;
        Promise landed;
        Saul freaked;
        David peeked;
        Prophets warned;
        Jesus born;
        God walked;
        Love talked;
        Anger crucified;
        Hope died;
        Love rose;
        Spirit flamed;
        Word spread;
        God remained.



        GUIDEWORDS ON BIBLE STUDY
        (Received from Sharon Paxton - Author Paul Borthwick)

        I supposed I knew my Bible,
        Reading piecemeal, hit or miss,
        Now a bit of John or Matthew,
        Now a snatch of Genesis,

        Certain chapters of Isaiah,
        Certain Psalms (the twenty-third),
        Twelfth of Romans, first of Proverbs --
        Yes, I thought I knew the Word!

        But I found that thorough reading
        Was a different thing to do,
        And the way was unfamiliar
        When I read the Bible through.

        You who like to play at Bible,
        Dip and dabble, here and there,
        Just before you kneel, aweary,
        And yawn through a hurried prayer;

        You who treat the Crown of Writings
        As you treat no other book,
        Just a paragraph, disjointed,
        Just a crude, impatient look,

        Try a worthier procedure,
        Try a broad and steady view;
        You will kneel in very rapture
        When you read the Bible through.



        AND A FINAL THOUGHT FROM A CHILD

        While sitting next to my first grade daughter during our morning
        worship service one Sunday, I noticed her look down at my open Bible.
        In a low whisper, she asked, "Did God really write that?"

        "Yes," I quietly whispered back.

        Looking down at my Bible again, she said in amazement, "Wow! He
        really has neat handwriting!"

        Susan Wright, DeBary, FL.

        Editor's Note: This last one is good for a smile, but I also included
        it because it illustrates a very important matter of faith. Read
        the words of Jesus in Matthew 11:25 and Luke 18:16-17. Meditate upon
        those scriptures. Then, guided by the Holy Spirit, share a child's
        faith and amazement at the neatness of God's handwriting.

        ________________________________________________

        Copyright © 1998 - 2001 by Stephen J. Hall - Weekly letters of
        encouragement to Christians written by Stephen J. Hall unless
        otherwise indicated. Notes from the Valley and Humor from the Valley
        are meant to brighten your day and encourage you along the way. Most
        of "Notes" and "Humor" are a collection of items provided by
        subscribers and friends. Credit is given to both the contributor and
        to the true author, where known. If you are blessed by them, please
        feel free to make copies and pass them along to others. If you have
        something you'd like to contribute to a future edition, would like to
        ask a question or make a comment, please contact us at:
        sossteve@...
        ________________________________________________

        Your love, God, is my song, and I'll sing it! I'm forever telling
        everyone how faithful you are. I'll never quit telling the story of
        your love - how you built the cosmos and guaranteed everything in
        it. Your love has always been our lives foundation, your fidelity
        has been the roof over our world.
        (Psalm 89:1-3 The Message)
      • sossteve2001
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ NOTES FROM THE VALLEY July 14, 2002 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear
        Message 3 of 10 , Jul 13, 2002
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
          NOTES FROM THE VALLEY
          July 14, 2002

          "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of

          death, I will fear no evil for you are with me." Psalm 23.

          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

          "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into
          practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The
          rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against
          that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the
          rock. " Matthew 7:24-25

          The Bible. It is the rock, the foundation, that God gave us to build
          our lives upon. In good times and bad times, God's Word is a
          constant source of help for whatever needs we may find in a day.
          Comfort, strength, joy, peace, love, and encouragement. It's all
          there. But you've got to put in some time reading God's Word if
          you're ever going to find them. And, for many people, that tends to
          be a problem.

          In Christian circles there's always plenty of wonderful advise about
          how to study the Bible. Everybody seems to have their own favorite
          study guide or system for digging into God's Word. And I applaud
          their enthusiasm and intent. But, for many, all the rules and
          supporting materials these well intentioned people require just to
          read God's Word must seem a bit overwhelming. I know it did for me.
          If that's what's been keeping you from getting into God's Word,
          please consider the following thoughts from a formerly reluctant
          student of the Bible.

          Always remember that the power is in God's Word. It is the powerful,
          two edged sword. So that's what God wants us to read. Reading what
          others have learned from reading the Bible is fine as long as it's
          not done at the expense of reading the Bible for ourselves. God
          wants to reveal Himself to each of us in a close, personal way
          through His Word. He has promised us His Holy Spirit as a guide to
          that revelation. But we've got to do the reading. So I encourage
          you, find an accepted Bible translation that you find easy to read
          and understand. Then set aside a little time each day to read it.
          It doesn't have to be a lot of time, but it does have to be a time
          when reading the Bible has the sole priority. Early morning works
          for me, but chose what works for you.

          I usually try to start my reading time with a simple prayer. I ask
          God to help me as I read His Word so I'll find what He wants me to
          learn for that day. Then, after I read a chapter or two, I say a
          simple prayer to Him about what I've read. I thank Him for His
          Word. I tell Him how I'll try to use the lessons He's given me to
          meet the challenges of the coming day. I ask for His help in doing
          it. And I tell Him I love Him.


          I know this "system" probably seems overly simple to many, but I've
          never found God to be overly complex in what He expects from us or
          what He offers to us. I've never really understood why men try to
          make Him seem so complicated. We may be wrapped up in unlimited
          shades of grey, but He is a God of black and white.

          There is much about this complex world that I do not know, but what I
          do know is this: Life is tough. But no matter how tough things have
          gotten, I've always been able to find comfort, peace, and
          encouragement from our Father. I find it daily in the foundation for
          life that is His Word.

          I remain His grateful child and
          your friend and brother,
          Steve Hall



          SOME "BIBLE" THOUGHTS

          God did not write a book and send it by messenger to be read at a
          distance by unaided minds. He spoke a book and lives in his spoken
          words, constantly speaking his words and causing the power of them to
          persist across the years.
          A. W. Tozer

          The Bible is alive, it speaks to me; it has feet, it runs after me;
          it has hands, it lays hold on me.
          Martin Luther

          The Bible is my church. It is always open, and there is my High
          Priest ever waiting to receive me. There I have my confessional, my
          thanksgiving, my psalm of praise, a field of promises, and a
          congregation of whom the world is not worthy-prophets and apostles,
          and martyrs and confessors-in short, all I can want, there I
          find.
          Charlotte Elliot

          The Bible - banned, burned, beloved. More widely read, more
          frequently attacked than any other book in history. Generations of
          intellectuals have attempted to discredit it; dictators of every age
          have outlawed it and executed those who read it. Yet soldiers carry
          it into battle believing it more powerful than their weapons.
          Fragments of it smuggled into solitary prison cells have transformed
          ruthless killers into gentle saints.
          Charles Colson

          In regard to this great book, I have but to say, it is the best gift
          God has given to man. All the good Savior gave to the world was
          communicated through this book. But for it we could not know right
          from wrong. All things most desirable for man's welfare, here and
          hereafter, are to be found portrayed in it.
          Abraham Lincoln

          Its critics, who claimed it to be filled with forgery, fiction, and
          unfulfilled promises, are finding that the difficulties lie with
          themselves, and not the Bible. Greater and more careful scholarship
          has shown that apparent contradictions were caused by incorrect
          translations rather than divine inconsistencies. It was man and not
          the Bible that needed correcting. It is the blueprint of the Master
          Architect.
          Billy Graham

          One night I was so lonely I couldn't sleep. I decided to try
          meditating on Psalm 36. As I read the words, vivid images began to
          fill my mind. I pictured myself sitting at the edge of a beautiful
          flowing river of God's delights with a demitasse cup. I filled my
          cup and took a sip. It was wonderful. Then I heard the Lord
          say, "Carole, why don't you jump right in?" That night I found that
          when you ask God for daily insights from his Word, it's as if he taps
          you on the shoulder and says, "This is just for you today."
          Carole Mayhall, Can a Busy Christian Develop Her Spiritual Life?



          THE BIBLE IN 50 WORDS OR LESS!
          (Contributed by Jeanarie of Heart-Prints - Author Unknown)

          God made; Adam bit;
          Noah arked; Abraham split;
          Joseph ruled; Jacob fooled;
          Bush talked; Pharaoh plagued;
          People walked; Sea divided;
          Tablets guided; Promise landed;
          Saul freaked; David peeked;
          Prophets warned; Jesus born;
          God walked; Love talked;
          Anger crucified; Hope died;
          Love rose; Spirit flamed;
          Word spread; God remained.



          GUIDEWORDS ON BIBLE STUDY
          (Received from Sharon Paxton: Author - Paul Borthwick)

          I supposed I knew my Bible,
          Reading piecemeal, hit or miss,
          Now a bit of John or Matthew,
          Now a snatch of Genesis,
          Certain chapters of Isaiah,
          Certain Psalms (the twenty-third),
          Twelfth of Romans, first of Proverbs --
          Yes, I thought I knew the Word!

          But I found that thorough reading
          Was a different thing to do,
          And the way was unfamiliar
          When I read the Bible through. You who like to play at Bible,
          Dip and dabble, here and there,
          Just before you kneel, aweary,
          And yawn through a hurried prayer;

          You who treat the Crown of Writings
          As you treat no other book,
          Just a paragraph, disjointed,
          Just a crude, impatient look,

          Try a worthier procedure,
          Try a broad and steady view;
          You will kneel in very rapture
          When you read the Bible through.



          AND A FINAL THOUGHT FROM A CHILD

          While sitting next to my first grade daughter during our morning
          worship service one Sunday, I noticed her look down at my open Bible.
          In a low whisper, she asked, "Did God really write that?"

          "Yes," I quietly whispered back.

          Looking down at my Bible again, she said in amazement, "Wow! He
          really has neat handwriting!" Susan Wright, DeBary, FL.


          Editor's Note: This last one is good for a smile, but I also included
          it because it illustrates a very important matter of faith. Read
          the words of Jesus in Matthew 11:25 and Luke 18:16-17. Meditate upon
          those scriptures. Then, guided by the Holy Spirit, share a child's
          faith and amazement at the neatness of God's handwriting.

          ________________________________________________

          Copyright © 1998 - 2002 by Stephen J. Hall - Weekly letters of
          encouragement to Christians written by Stephen J. Hall unless
          otherwise indicated. Notes from the Valley and Humor from the Valley
          are meant to brighten your day and encourage you along the way. Most
          of "Notes" and "Humor" are a collection of items provided by
          subscribers and friends. Credit is given to both the contributor and
          to the true author, where known. If you are blessed by them, please
          feel free to make copies and pass them along to others. If you have
          something you'd like to contribute to a future edition, would like to
          ask a question or make a comment, please contact us at:

          sossteve@...
          ________________________________________________


          Your love, God, is my song, and I'll sing it! I'm forever telling
          everyone how faithful you are. I'll never quit telling the story of
          your love . . .
          (Psalm 89:1-2 The Message)
        • sossteve2001
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ NOTES FROM THE VALLEY July 11, 2004 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil
          Message 4 of 10 , Jul 11, 2004
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

            NOTES FROM THE VALLEY
            July 11, 2004

            "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
            I will fear no evil for you are with me." Psalm 23.

            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

            "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into
            practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The
            rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against
            that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the
            rock. " Matthew 7:24-25

            The Bible. It is the rock, the foundation, that God gave us to build
            our lives upon. In good times and bad times, God's Word is a
            constant source of help for whatever needs we may find in a day.
            Comfort, strength, joy, peace, love, and encouragement. It's all
            there. But you've got to put in some time reading God's Word if
            you're ever going to find them. And, for many people, that tends to
            be a problem.

            In Christian circles there's always plenty of wonderful advise about
            how to study the Bible. Everybody seems to have their own favorite
            study guide or system for digging into God's Word. And I applaud
            their enthusiasm and intent. But, for many, all the rules and
            supporting materials these well intentioned people require just to
            read God's Word must seem a bit overwhelming. I know it did for me.
            If that's what's been keeping you from getting into God's Word,
            please consider the following thoughts from a formerly reluctant
            student of the Bible.

            Always remember that the power is in God's Word. It is the powerful,
            two edged sword. So that's what God wants us to read. Reading what
            others have learned from reading the Bible is fine as long as it's
            not done at the expense of reading the Bible for ourselves. God
            wants to reveal Himself to each of us in a close, personal way
            through His Word. He has promised us His Holy Spirit as a guide to
            that revelation. But we've got to do the reading. So I encourage
            you, find an accepted Bible translation that you find easy to read
            and understand. Then set aside a little time each day to read it.
            It doesn't have to be a lot of time, but it does have to be a time
            when reading the Bible has the sole priority. Early morning works
            for me, but chose what works for you.

            I usually try to start my reading time with a simple prayer. I ask
            God to help me as I read His Word so I'll find what He wants me to
            learn for that day. Then, after I read a little, I say a simple
            prayer to Him about what I've read. I thank Him for His Word. I
            tell Him how I'll try to use the lessons He's given me to meet the
            challenges of the coming day. I ask for His help in doing it. And I
            tell Him I love Him.
            I know this "system" probably seems overly simple to many, but I've
            never found God to be overly complex in what He expects from us or
            what He offers to us. I've never really understood why men try to
            make Him seem so complicated. We may be wrapped up in unlimited
            shades of grey, but He is a God of black and white.

            There is much about this complex world that I do not know, but what I
            do know is this: Life is tough. But no matter how tough things have
            gotten, I've always been able to find comfort, peace, and
            encouragement from our Father. I find it daily in the foundation for
            life that is His Word.

            I remain His grateful child and your friend,
            Steve

            Some "Bible" Thoughts

            God did not write a book and send it by messenger to be read at a
            distance by unaided minds. He spoke a book and lives in his spoken
            words, constantly speaking his words and causing the power of them to
            persist across the years. A. W. Tozer

            The Bible is alive, it speaks to me; it has feet, it runs after me;
            it has hands, it lays hold on me. - Martin Luther

            The Bible is my church. It is always open, and there is my High
            Priest ever waiting to receive me. There I have my confessional, my
            thanksgiving, my psalm of praise, a field of promises, and a
            congregation of whom the world is not worthy-prophets and apostles,
            and martyrs and confessors-in short, all I can want, there I
            find.
            - Charlotte Elliot

            The Bible - banned, burned, beloved. More widely read, more
            frequently attacked than any other book in history. Generations of
            intellectuals have attempted to discredit it; dictators of every age
            have outlawed it and executed those who read it. Yet soldiers carry
            it into battle believing it more powerful than their weapons.
            Fragments of it smuggled into solitary prison cells have transformed
            ruthless killers into gentle saints.
            - Charles Colson

            In regard to this great book, I have but to say, it is the best gift
            God has given to man. All the good Savior gave to the world was
            communicated through this book. But for it we could not know right
            from wrong. All things most desirable for man's welfare, here and
            hereafter, are to be found portrayed in it.
            - Abraham Lincoln

            Its critics, who claimed it to be filled with forgery, fiction, and
            unfulfilled promises, are finding that the difficulties lie with
            themselves, and not the Bible. Greater and more careful scholarship
            has shown that apparent contradictions were caused by incorrect
            translations rather than divine inconsistencies. It was man and not
            the Bible that needed correcting. It is the blueprint of the Master
            Architect.
            - Billy Graham

            One night I was so lonely I couldn't sleep. I decided to try
            meditating on Psalm 36. As I read the words, vivid images began to
            fill my mind. I pictured myself sitting at the edge of a beautiful
            flowing river of God's delights with a demitasse cup. I filled my
            cup and took a sip. It was wonderful. Then I heard the Lord
            say, "Carole, why don't you jump right in?" That night I found that
            when you ask God for daily insights from his Word, it's as if he taps
            you on the shoulder and says, "This is just for you today."
            - Carole Mayhall, Can a Busy Christian Develop Her Spiritual Life?


            THE BIBLE IN 50 WORDS OR LESS
            (Received from HeartPrints - Author Unknown)

            God made; Adam bit;
            Noah arked; Abraham split;
            Joseph ruled; Jacob fooled;
            Bush talked; Pharaoh plagued;
            People walked; Sea divided;
            Tablets guided; Promise landed;
            Saul freaked; David peeked;
            Prophets warned; Jesus born;
            God walked; Love talked;
            Anger crucified; Hope died;
            Love rose; Spirit flamed;
            Word spread; God remained.


            GUIDEWORDS ON BIBLE STUDY
            (Author - Paul Borthwick)

            I supposed I knew my Bible,
            Reading piecemeal, hit or miss,
            Now a bit of John or Matthew,
            Now a snatch of Genesis,

            Certain chapters of Isaiah,
            Certain Psalms (the twenty-third),
            Twelfth of Romans, first of Proverbs --
            Yes, I thought I knew the Word!

            But I found that thorough reading
            Was a different thing to do,
            And the way was unfamiliar
            When I read the Bible through. You who like to play at Bible,
            Dip and dabble, here and there,
            Just before you kneel, aweary,
            And yawn through a hurried prayer;

            You who treat the Crown of Writings
            As you treat no other book,
            Just a paragraph, disjointed,
            Just a crude, impatient look,

            Try a worthier procedure,
            Try a broad and steady view;
            You will kneel in very rapture
            When you read the Bible through.



            A FINAL THOUGHT FROM A CHILD

            While sitting next to my first grade daughter during our morning
            worship service one Sunday, I noticed her look down at my open Bible.
            In a low whisper, she asked, "Did God really write that?"

            "Yes," I quietly whispered back.

            Looking down at my Bible again, she said in amazement, "Wow! He
            really has neat handwriting!"

            Susan Wright, DeBary, FL.


            Editor's Note: This last one is good for a smile, but I also included
            it because it illustrates a very important matter of faith. Read
            the words of Jesus in Matthew 11:25 and Luke 18:16-17. Meditate upon
            those scriptures. Then, guided by the Holy Spirit, share a child's
            faith and amazement at the neatness of God's handwriting.


            ______________________________________________________________________
            ______________________

            Copyright © 1998 - 2004 by Stephen J. Hall - Notes from the Valley
            and Humor from the Valley are meant to brighten your day and
            encourage you along the way. If you are blessed by them, please feel
            free to make copies and pass them along to others. If you have
            something you'd like to contribute to a future edition or would like
            to ask us a question or make a comment, please contact us at:
            sossteve@...
            ______________________________________________________________________
            ______________________


            Your love, God, is my song, and I'll sing it! I'm forever telling
            everyone how faithful you are. I'll never quit telling the story of
            your love . . .
            (Psalm 89:1-2 The Message)
          • sossteve2001
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ NOTES FROM THE VALLEY July 10, 2005 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I
            Message 5 of 10 , Jul 9, 2005
              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

              NOTES FROM THE VALLEY
              July 10, 2005

              "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
              I will fear no evil for you are with me." Psalm 23.

              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

              "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into
              practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The
              rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against
              that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the
              rock. " Matthew 7:24-25

              The Bible. It is the rock, the foundation, that God gave us to build
              our lives upon. In good times and bad times, God's Word is a
              constant source of help for whatever needs we may find in a day.
              Comfort, strength, joy, peace, love, and encouragement. It's all
              there. But you've got to put in some time reading God's Word if
              you're ever going to find them. And, for many people, that tends to
              be a problem.

              In Christian circles there's always plenty of wonderful advise about
              how to study the Bible. Everybody seems to have their own favorite
              study guide or system for digging into God's Word. And I applaud
              their enthusiasm and intent. But, for many, all the rules and
              supporting materials these well intentioned people require just to
              read God's Word must seem a bit overwhelming. I know it did for me.
              If that's what's been keeping you from getting into God's Word,
              please consider the following thoughts from a formerly reluctant
              student of the Bible.

              Always remember that the power is in God's Word. It is the powerful,
              two edged sword. So that's what God wants us to read. Reading what
              others have learned from reading the Bible is fine as long as it's
              not done at the expense of reading the Bible for ourselves. God
              wants to reveal Himself to each of us in a close, personal way
              through His Word. He has promised us His Holy Spirit as a guide to
              that revelation. But we've got to do the reading. So I encourage
              you, find an accepted Bible translation that you find easy to read
              and understand. Then set aside a little time each day to read it.
              It doesn't have to be a lot of time, but it does have to be a time
              when reading the Bible has the sole priority. Early morning works
              for me, but chose what works for you.

              I usually try to start my reading time with a simple prayer. I ask
              God to help me as I read His Word so I'll find what He wants me to
              learn for that day. Then, after I read a little, I say a simple
              prayer to Him about what I've read. I thank Him for His Word. I
              tell Him how I'll try to use the lessons He's given me to meet the
              challenges of the coming day. I ask Him help me in doing it. And I
              tell Him I love Him.
              I know my approach to reading the Bible probably seems overly simple
              to many. But I've never found God to be overly complex in what He
              expects from us or what He offers to us. I've never really
              understood why men try to make Him seem so complicated. We may be
              wrapped up in unlimited shades of grey, but He is a God of black and
              white.

              There is much about this complex world that I do not know, but what I
              do know is this: Life is tough. But no matter how tough things have
              gotten, I've always been able to find comfort, peace, and
              encouragement from our Father. I find it daily in the foundation for
              life that is His Word.

              I remain His grateful child and your friend,
              Steve


              SOME "BIBLE" THOUGHTS

              God did not write a book and send it by messenger to be read at a
              distance by unaided minds. He spoke a book and lives in his spoken
              words, constantly speaking his words and causing the power of them to
              persist across the years.
              - A. W. Tozer

              The Bible is alive, it speaks to me; it has feet, it runs after me;
              it has hands, it lays hold on me. Martin Luther

              The Bible is my church. It is always open, and there is my High
              Priest ever waiting to receive me. There I have my confessional, my
              thanksgiving, my psalm of praise, a field of promises, and a
              congregation of whom the world is not worthy-prophets and apostles,
              and martyrs and confessors-in short, all I can want, there I
              find.
              - Charlotte Elliot

              The Bible - banned, burned, beloved. More widely read, more
              frequently attacked than any other book in history. Generations of
              intellectuals have attempted to discredit it; dictators of every age
              have outlawed it and executed those who read it. Yet soldiers carry
              it into battle believing it more powerful than their weapons.
              Fragments of it smuggled into solitary prison cells have transformed
              ruthless killers into gentle saints.
              - Charles Colson

              In regard to this great book, I have but to say, it is the best gift
              God has given to man. All the good Savior gave to the world was
              communicated through this book. But for it we could not know right
              from wrong. All things most desirable for man's welfare, here and
              hereafter, are to be found portrayed in it.
              - Abraham Lincoln

              Its critics, who claimed it to be filled with forgery, fiction, and
              unfulfilled promises, are finding that the difficulties lie with
              themselves, and not the Bible. Greater and more careful scholarship
              has shown that apparent contradictions were caused by incorrect
              translations rather than divine inconsistencies. It was man and not
              the Bible that needed correcting. It is the blueprint of the Master
              Architect.
              - Billy Graham

              One night I was so lonely I couldn't sleep. I decided to try
              meditating on Psalm 36. As I read the words, vivid images began to
              fill my mind. I pictured myself sitting at the edge of a beautiful
              flowing river of God's delights with a demitasse cup. I filled my
              cup and took a sip. It was wonderful. Then I heard the Lord
              say, "Carole, why don't you jump right in?" That night I found that
              when you ask God for daily insights from his Word, it's as if he taps
              you on the shoulder and says, "This is just for you today."
              - Carole Mayhall, Can a Busy Christian Develop Her Spiritual Life?



              THE BIBLE IN 50 WORDS OR LESS
              (Contributed by Jeanarie of Heart-Prints)

              God made; Adam bit;
              Noah arked; Abraham split;
              Joseph ruled; Jacob fooled;
              Bush talked; Pharaoh plagued;
              People walked; Sea divided;
              Tablets guided; Promise landed;
              Saul freaked; David peeked;
              Prophets warned; Jesus born;
              God walked; Love talked;
              Anger crucified; Hope died;
              Love rose; Spirit flamed;
              Word spread; God remained.



              GUIDE WORDS ON BIBLE STUDY
              (Author - Paul Borthwick)

              I supposed I knew my Bible,
              Reading piecemeal, hit or miss,
              Now a bit of John or Matthew,
              Now a snatch of Genesis,

              Certain chapters of Isaiah,
              Certain Psalms (the twenty-third),
              Twelfth of Romans, first of Proverbs --
              Yes, I thought I knew the Word!
              But I found that thorough reading
              Was a different thing to do,
              And the way was unfamiliar
              When I read the Bible through.

              You who like to play at Bible,
              Dip and dabble, here and there,
              Just before you kneel, aweary,
              And yawn through a hurried prayer;

              You who treat the Crown of Writings
              As you treat no other book,
              Just a paragraph, disjointed,
              Just a crude, impatient look,

              Try a worthier procedure,
              Try a broad and steady view;
              You will kneel in very rapture
              When you read the Bible through.



              AND A CLOSING THOUGHT FROM A CHILD

              While sitting next to my first grade daughter during our morning
              worship service one Sunday, I noticed her look down at my open Bible.
              In a low whisper, she asked, "Did God really write that?"

              "Yes," I quietly whispered back.

              Looking down at my Bible again, she said in amazement, "Wow! He
              really has neat handwriting!" Susan Wright, DeBary, FL.


              Editor's Note: This last one is good for a smile, but I also included
              it because it illustrates a very important matter of faith. Read
              the words of Jesus in Matthew 11:25 and Luke 18:16-17. Meditate upon
              those scriptures. Then, guided by the Holy Spirit, share a child's
              faith and amazement at the neatness of God's handwriting.

              ______________________________________________________________________
              __________________

              Copyright © 1998 - 2005 by Stephen J. Hall - Notes from the Valley
              and Humor from the Valley are meant to brighten your day and
              encourage you along the way. If you are blessed by them, please feel
              free to make copies and pass them along to others. If you have
              something you'd like to contribute to a future edition or would like
              to ask us a question or make a comment, please contact us at:
              sossteve@...
              ______________________________________________________________________
              __________________


              Your love, God, is my song, and I'll sing it! I'm forever telling
              everyone how faithful you are. I'll never quit telling the story of
              your love . . .
              (Psalm 89:1-2 The Message)
            • Stephen J. Hall
              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ NOTES FROM THE VALLEY July 9, 2006 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil
              Message 6 of 10 , Jul 11, 2006
                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                NOTES FROM THE VALLEY
                July 9, 2006

                "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
                I will fear no evil for you are with me." Psalm 23.

                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into
                practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The
                rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat
                against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its
                foundation on the rock. " Matthew 7:24-25

                The Bible. It is the rock, the foundation, that God gave us to
                build our lives upon. In good times and bad times, God's Word is a
                constant source of help for whatever needs we may find in a day.
                Comfort, strength, joy, peace, love, and encouragement. It's all
                there. But you've got to put in some time reading God's Word if
                you're ever going to find them. And, for many people, that tends to
                be a problem.

                In Christian circles there's always plenty of wonderful advise about
                how to study the Bible. Everybody seems to have their own favorite
                study guide or system for digging into God's Word. And I applaud
                their enthusiasm and intent. But, for many, all the rules and
                supporting materials these well intentioned people require just to
                read God's Word must seem a bit overwhelming. I know it did for
                me. If that's what's been keeping you from getting into God's Word,
                please consider the following thoughts from a formerly reluctant
                student of the Bible.

                Always remember that the power is in God's Word. It is the
                powerful, two edged sword. So that's what God wants us to read.
                Reading what others have learned from reading the Bible is fine as
                long as it's not done at the expense of reading the Bible for
                ourselves. God wants to reveal Himself to each of us in a close,
                personal way through His Word. He has promised us His Holy Spirit
                as a guide to that revelation. But we've got to do the reading. So
                I encourage you, find an accepted Bible translation that you find
                easy to read and understand. Then set aside a little time each day
                to read it. It doesn't have to be a lot of time, but it does have
                to be a time when reading the Bible has the sole priority. Early
                morning works for me, but chose what works for you.

                I usually try to start my reading time with a simple prayer. I ask
                God to help me as I read His Word so I'll find what He wants me to
                learn for that day. Then, after I read a little, I say a simple
                prayer to Him about what I've read. I thank Him for His Word. I
                tell Him how I'll try to use the lessons He's given me to meet the
                challenges of the coming day. I ask Him help me in doing it. And I
                tell Him I love Him.
                I know my approach to reading the Bible probably seems overly simple
                to many. But I've never found God to be overly complex in what He
                expects from us or what He offers to us. I've never really
                understood why men try to make Him seem so complicated. We may be
                wrapped up in unlimited shades of grey, but He is a God of black and
                white.

                There is much about this complex world that I do not know, but what
                I do know is this: Life is tough. But no matter how tough things
                have gotten, I've always been able to find comfort, peace, and
                encouragement from our Father. I find it daily in the foundation
                for life that is His Word.

                I remain His grateful child and your friend,
                Steve



                SOME "BIBLE" THOUGHTS

                God did not write a book and send it by messenger to be read at a
                distance by unaided minds. He spoke a book and lives in his spoken
                words, constantly speaking his words and causing the power of them
                to persist across the years. A. W. Tozer

                The Bible is alive, it speaks to me; it has feet, it runs after me;
                it has hands, it lays hold on me. Martin Luther

                The Bible is my church. It is always open, and there is my High
                Priest ever waiting to receive me. There I have my confessional, my
                thanksgiving, my psalm of praise, a field of promises, and a
                congregation of whom the world is not worthy-prophets and apostles,
                and martyrs and confessors-in short, all I can want, there I
                find. Charlotte Elliot

                The Bible - banned, burned, beloved. More widely read, more
                frequently attacked than any other book in history. Generations of
                intellectuals have attempted to discredit it; dictators of every age
                have outlawed it and executed those who read it. Yet soldiers carry
                it into battle believing it more powerful than their weapons.
                Fragments of it smuggled into solitary prison cells have transformed
                ruthless killers into gentle saints. Charles Colson

                In regard to this great book, I have but to say, it is the best gift
                God has given to man. All the good Savior gave to the world was
                communicated through this book. But for it we could not know right
                from wrong. All things most desirable for man's welfare, here and
                hereafter, are to be found portrayed in it. Abraham Lincoln

                Its critics, who claimed it to be filled with forgery, fiction, and
                unfulfilled promises, are finding that the difficulties lie with
                themselves, and not the Bible. Greater and more careful scholarship
                has shown that apparent contradictions were caused by incorrect
                translations rather than divine inconsistencies. It was man and not
                the Bible that needed correcting. It is the blueprint of the Master
                Architect. Billy Graham

                One night I was so lonely I couldn't sleep. I decided to try
                meditating on Psalm 36. As I read the words, vivid images began to
                fill my mind. I pictured myself sitting at the edge of a beautiful
                flowing river of God's delights with a demitasse cup. I filled my
                cup and took a sip. It was wonderful. Then I heard the Lord
                say, "Carole, why don't you jump right in?" That night I found that
                when you ask God for daily insights from his Word, it's as if he
                taps you on the shoulder and says, "This is just for you today."
                Carole Mayhall, Can a Busy Christian Develop Her Spiritual Life?



                THE BIBLE IN 50 WORDS OR LESS
                (Contributed by Jeanarie of Heart-Prints)

                God made; Adam bit;
                Noah arked; Abraham split;
                Joseph ruled; Jacob fooled;
                Bush talked; Pharaoh plagued;
                People walked; Sea divided;
                Tablets guided; Promise landed;
                Saul freaked; David peeked;
                Prophets warned; Jesus born;
                God walked; Love talked;
                Anger crucified; Hope died;
                Love rose; Spirit flamed;
                Word spread; God remained.



                GUIDEWORDS ON BIBLE STUDY
                (Author - Paul Borthwick)

                I supposed I knew my Bible,
                Reading piecemeal, hit or miss,
                Now a bit of John or Matthew,
                Now a snatch of Genesis,

                Certain chapters of Isaiah,
                Certain Psalms (the twenty-third),
                Twelfth of Romans, first of Proverbs --
                Yes, I thought I knew the Word!

                But I found that thorough reading
                Was a different thing to do,
                And the way was unfamiliar When I read the Bible through. You who
                like to play at Bible,
                Dip and dabble, here and there,
                Just before you kneel, aweary,
                And yawn through a hurried prayer;

                You who treat the Crown of Writings
                As you treat no other book,
                Just a paragraph, disjointed,
                Just a crude, impatient look,

                Try a worthier procedure,
                Try a broad and steady view;
                You will kneel in very rapture
                When you read the Bible through.



                A FINAL THOUGHT FROM A CHILD

                While sitting next to my first grade daughter during our morning
                worship service one Sunday, I noticed her look down at my open
                Bible. In a low whisper, she asked, "Did God really write that?"

                "Yes," I quietly whispered back.

                Looking down at my Bible again, she said in amazement, "Wow! He
                really has neat handwriting!" Susan Wright, DeBary, FL.


                Editor's Note: This last one is good for a smile, but I also
                included it because it illustrates a very important matter of
                faith. Read the words of Jesus in Matthew 11:25 and Luke 18:16-
                17. Meditate upon those scriptures. Then, guided by the Holy
                Spirit, share a child's faith and amazement at the neatness of God's
                handwriting.

                _____________________________________________________________
                ___________________________

                Copyright © 1998 - 2006 by Stephen J. Hall - Notes from the
                Valley and Humor from the Valley are meant to brighten your day and
                encourage you along the way. If you are blessed by them, please
                feel free to make copies and pass them along to others. If you
                have something you'd like to contribute to a future edition or would
                like to ask us a question or make a comment, please contact us at:
                steveh.rbis@...
                _____________________________________________________________
                ___________________________


                Your love, God, is my song, and I'll sing it! I'm forever telling
                everyone how faithful you are. I'll never quit telling the story of
                your love . . . (Psalm 89:1-2 The Message)
              • Stephen J. Hall
                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ NOTES FROM THE VALLEY July 22, 2007 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil
                Message 7 of 10 , Jul 26, 2007
                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                  NOTES FROM THE VALLEY
                  July 22, 2007

                  "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
                  I will fear no evil for you are with me." Psalm 23.

                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                  "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into
                  practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The
                  rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against
                  that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the
                  rock. " Matthew 7:24-25

                  The Bible. It is the rock, the foundation, that God gave us to build
                  our lives upon. In good times and bad times, God's Word is a
                  constant source of help for whatever needs we may find in a day.
                  Comfort, strength, joy, peace, love, and encouragement. It's all
                  there. But you've got to put in some time reading God's Word if
                  you're ever going to find them. And, for many people, that tends to
                  be a problem.

                  In Christian circles there's always plenty of wonderful advise about
                  how to study the Bible. Everybody seems to have their own favorite
                  study guide or system for digging into God's Word. And I applaud
                  their enthusiasm and intent. But, for many, all the rules and
                  supporting materials these well intentioned people require just to
                  read God's Word must seem a bit overwhelming. I know it did for me.
                  If that's what's been keeping you from getting into God's Word,
                  please consider the following thoughts from a formerly reluctant
                  student of the Bible.

                  Always remember that the power is in God's Word. It is the powerful,
                  two edged sword. So that's what God wants us to read. Reading what
                  others have learned from reading the Bible is fine as long as it's
                  not done at the expense of reading the Bible for ourselves. God
                  wants to reveal Himself to each of us in a close, personal way
                  through His Word. He has promised us His Holy Spirit as a guide to
                  that revelation. But we've got to do the reading. So I encourage
                  you, find an accepted Bible translation that you find easy to read
                  and understand. Then set aside a little time each day to read it.
                  It doesn't have to be a lot of time, but it does have to be a time
                  when reading the Bible has the sole priority. Early morning works
                  for me, but chose what works for you.

                  I usually try to start my reading time with a simple prayer. I ask
                  God to help me as I read His Word so I'll find what He wants me to
                  learn for that day. Then, after I read a little, I say a simple
                  prayer to Him about what I've read. I thank Him for His Word. I
                  tell Him how I'll try to use the lessons He's given me to meet the
                  challenges of the coming day. I ask Him help me in doing it. And I
                  tell Him I love Him.
                  I know my approach to reading the Bible probably seems overly simple
                  to many. But I've never found God to be overly complex in what He
                  expects from us or what He offers to us. I've never really
                  understood why men try to make Him seem so complicated. We may be
                  wrapped up in unlimited shades of grey, but He is a God of black and
                  white.

                  There is much about this complex world that I do not know, but what I
                  do know is this: Life is tough. But no matter how tough things have
                  gotten, I've always been able to find comfort, peace, and
                  encouragement from our Father. I find it daily in the foundation for
                  life that is His Word.

                  I remain His grateful child and your friend,
                  Steve



                  Some "Bible" Thoughts

                  God did not write a book and send it by messenger to be read at a
                  distance by unaided minds. He spoke a book and lives in his spoken
                  words, constantly speaking his words and causing the power of them to
                  persist across the years. A. W. Tozer

                  The Bible is alive, it speaks to me; it has feet, it runs after me;
                  it has hands, it lays hold on me. Martin Luther

                  The Bible is my church. It is always open, and there is my High
                  Priest ever waiting to receive me. There I have my confessional, my
                  thanksgiving, my psalm of praise, a field of promises, and a
                  congregation of whom the world is not worthy-prophets and apostles,
                  and martyrs and confessors-in short, all I can want, there I
                  find. Charlotte Elliot

                  The Bible - banned, burned, beloved. More widely read, more
                  frequently attacked than any other book in history. Generations of
                  intellectuals have attempted to discredit it; dictators of every age
                  have outlawed it and executed those who read it. Yet soldiers carry
                  it into battle believing it more powerful than their weapons.
                  Fragments of it smuggled into solitary prison cells have transformed
                  ruthless killers into gentle saints. Charles Colson

                  In regard to this great book, I have but to say, it is the best gift
                  God has given to man. All the good Savior gave to the world was
                  communicated through this book. But for it we could not know right
                  from wrong. All things most desirable for man's welfare, here and
                  hereafter, are to be found portrayed in it. Abraham Lincoln

                  Its critics, who claimed it to be filled with forgery, fiction, and
                  unfulfilled promises, are finding that the difficulties lie with
                  themselves, and not the Bible. Greater and more careful scholarship
                  has shown that apparent contradictions were caused by incorrect
                  translations rather than divine inconsistencies. It was man and not
                  the Bible that needed correcting. It is the blueprint of the Master
                  Architect. Billy Graham

                  One night I was so lonely I couldn't sleep. I decided to try
                  meditating on Psalm 36. As I read the words, vivid images began to
                  fill my mind. I pictured myself sitting at the edge of a beautiful
                  flowing river of God's delights with a demitasse cup. I filled my
                  cup and took a sip. It was wonderful. Then I heard the Lord
                  say, "Carole, why don't you jump right in?" That night I found that
                  when you ask God for daily insights from his Word, it's as if he taps
                  you on the shoulder and says, "This is just for you today." Carole
                  Mayhall, Can a Busy Christian Develop Her Spiritual Life?



                  THE BIBLE IN 50 WORDS OR LESS
                  (Contributed by Jeanarie of Heart-Prints)

                  God made; Adam bit;
                  Noah arked; Abraham split;
                  Joseph ruled; Jacob fooled;
                  Bush talked; Pharaoh plagued;
                  People walked; Sea divided;
                  Tablets guided; Promise landed;
                  Saul freaked; David peeked;
                  Prophets warned; Jesus born;
                  God walked; Love talked;
                  Anger crucified; Hope died;
                  Love rose; Spirit flamed;
                  Word spread; God remained.


                  GUIDEWORDS ON BIBLE STUDY
                  (Author - Paul Borthwick)

                  I supposed I knew my Bible,
                  Reading piecemeal, hit or miss,
                  Now a bit of John or Matthew,
                  Now a snatch of Genesis,

                  Certain chapters of Isaiah,
                  Certain Psalms (the twenty-third),
                  Twelfth of Romans, first of Proverbs --
                  Yes, I thought I knew the Word!

                  But I found that thorough reading
                  Was a different thing to do,
                  And the way was unfamiliar
                  When I read the Bible through. You who like to play at Bible,
                  Dip and dabble, here and there,
                  Just before you kneel, aweary,
                  And yawn through a hurried prayer;

                  You who treat the Crown of Writings
                  As you treat no other book,
                  Just a paragraph, disjointed,
                  Just a crude, impatient look,

                  Try a worthier procedure,
                  Try a broad and steady view;
                  You will kneel in very rapture
                  When you read the Bible through.



                  AND A FINAL THOUGHT FROM A CHILD

                  While sitting next to my first grade daughter during our morning
                  worship service one Sunday, I noticed her look down at my open Bible.
                  In a low whisper, she asked, "Did God really write that?"

                  "Yes," I quietly whispered back.

                  Looking down at my Bible again, she said in amazement, "Wow! He
                  really has neat handwriting!" Susan Wright, DeBary, FL.


                  Editor's Note: This last one is good for a smile, but I also included
                  it because it illustrates a very important matter of faith. Read
                  the words of Jesus in Matthew 11:25 and Luke 18:16-17. Meditate upon
                  those scriptures. Then, guided by the Holy Spirit, share a child's
                  faith and amazement at the neatness of God's handwriting.

                  ______________________________________________________________
                  __________________________

                  Copyright © 1998 - 2007 by Stephen J. Hall - Notes from the Valley
                  and Humor from the Valley are meant to brighten your day and
                  encourage you along the way. If you are blessed by them, please feel
                  free to make copies and pass them along to others. If you have
                  something you'd like to contribute to a future edition or would like
                  to ask us a question or make a comment, please contact us at:
                  steveh.rbis@...
                  ______________________________________________________________
                  __________________________


                  Your love, God, is my song, and I'll sing it! I'm forever telling
                  everyone how faithful you are. I'll never quit telling the story of
                  your love . . . (Psalm 89:1-2 The Message)
                • Stephen J. Hall
                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ NOTES FROM THE VALLEY July 20, 2008 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil
                  Message 8 of 10 , Jul 18, 2008
                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                    NOTES FROM THE VALLEY
                    July 20, 2008

                    "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
                    I will fear no evil for you are with me." Psalm 23.

                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                    FINDING OUR FOUNDATION

                    "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into
                    practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The
                    rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against
                    that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the
                    rock. " Matthew 7:24-25

                    The Bible. It is the rock, the foundation, that God gave us to build
                    our lives upon. In good times and bad times, God's Word is a
                    constant source of help for whatever needs we may find in a day.
                    Comfort, strength, joy, peace, love, and encouragement. It's all
                    there. But you've got to put in some time reading God's Word if
                    you're ever going to find them. And, for many people, that tends to
                    be a problem.

                    In Christian circles there's always plenty of wonderful advise about
                    how to study the Bible. Everybody seems to have their own favorite
                    study guide or system for digging into God's Word. And I applaud
                    their enthusiasm and intent. But, for many, all the rules and
                    supporting materials these well intentioned people require just to
                    read God's Word must seem a bit overwhelming. I know it did for me.
                    If that's what's been keeping you from getting into God's Word,
                    please consider the following thoughts from a formerly reluctant
                    student of the Bible.

                    Always remember that the power is in God's Word. It is the powerful,
                    two edged sword. So that's what God wants us to read. Reading what
                    others have learned from reading the Bible is fine as long as it's
                    not done at the expense of reading the Bible for ourselves. God
                    wants to reveal Himself to each of us in a close, personal way
                    through His Word. He has promised us His Holy Spirit as a guide to
                    that revelation. But we've got to do the reading. So I encourage
                    you, find an accepted Bible translation that you find easy to read
                    and understand. Then set aside a little time each day to read it.
                    It doesn't have to be a lot of time, but it does have to be a time
                    when reading the Bible has the sole priority. Early morning works
                    for me, but chose what works for you.

                    I usually try to start my reading time with a simple prayer. I ask
                    God to help me as I read His Word so I'll find what He wants me to
                    learn for that day. Then, after I read a little, I say a simple
                    prayer to Him about what I've read. I thank Him for His Word. I
                    tell Him how I'll try to use the lessons He's given me to meet the
                    challenges of the coming day. I ask Him help me in doing it. And I
                    tell Him I love Him.
                    I know my approach to reading the Bible probably seems overly simple
                    to many. But I've never found God to be overly complex in what He
                    expects from us or what He offers to us. I've never really
                    understood why men try to make Him seem so complicated. We may be
                    wrapped up in unlimited shades of grey, but He is a God of black and
                    white.

                    There is much about this complex world that I do not know, but what I
                    do know is this: Life is tough. But no matter how tough things have
                    gotten, I've always been able to find comfort, peace, and
                    encouragement from our Father. I find it daily in the foundation for
                    life that is His Word.

                    I remain His grateful child and your friend,
                    Steve



                    SOME "BIBLE" THOUGHTS

                    God did not write a book and send it by messenger to be read at a
                    distance by unaided minds. He spoke a book and lives in his spoken
                    words, constantly speaking his words and causing the power of them to
                    persist across the years. A. W. Tozer

                    The Bible is alive, it speaks to me; it has feet, it runs after me;
                    it has hands, it lays hold on me. Martin Luther

                    The Bible is my church. It is always open, and there is my High
                    Priest ever waiting to receive me. There I have my confessional, my
                    thanksgiving, my psalm of praise, a field of promises, and a
                    congregation of whom the world is not worthy - prophets and apostles,
                    and martyrs and confessors- in short, all I can want, there I
                    find. Charlotte Elliot

                    The Bible - banned, burned, beloved. More widely read, more
                    frequently attacked than any other book in history. Generations of
                    intellectuals have attempted to discredit it; dictators of every age
                    have outlawed it and executed those who read it. Yet soldiers carry
                    it into battle believing it more powerful than their weapons.
                    Fragments of it smuggled into solitary prison cells have transformed
                    ruthless killers into gentle saints. Charles Colson

                    In regard to this great book, I have but to say, it is the best gift
                    God has given to man. All the good Savior gave to the world was
                    communicated through this book. But for it we could not know right
                    from wrong. All things most desirable for man's welfare, here and
                    hereafter, are to be found portrayed in it. Abraham Lincoln

                    Its critics, who claimed it to be filled with forgery, fiction, and
                    unfulfilled promises, are finding that the difficulties lie with
                    themselves, and not the Bible. Greater and more careful scholarship
                    has shown that apparent contradictions were caused by incorrect
                    translations rather than divine inconsistencies. It was man and not
                    the Bible that needed correcting. It is the blueprint of the Master
                    Architect. Billy Graham

                    One night I was so lonely I couldn't sleep. I decided to try
                    meditating on Psalm 36. As I read the words, vivid images began to
                    fill my mind. I pictured myself sitting at the edge of a beautiful
                    flowing river of God's delights with a demitasse cup. I filled my
                    cup and took a sip. It was wonderful. Then I heard the Lord
                    say, "Carole, why don't you jump right in?" That night I found that
                    when you ask God for daily insights from his Word, it's as if he taps
                    you on the shoulder and says, "This is just for you today." Carole
                    Mayhall, Can a Busy Christian Develop Her Spiritual Life?



                    THE BIBLE IN 50 WORDS OR LESS
                    (Contributed by Jeanarie of Heart-Prints)

                    God made; Adam bit;
                    Noah arked; Abraham split;
                    Joseph ruled; Jacob fooled;
                    Bush talked; Pharaoh plagued;
                    People walked; Sea divided;
                    Tablets guided; Promise landed;
                    Saul freaked; David peeked;
                    Prophets warned; Jesus born;
                    God walked; Love talked;
                    Anger crucified; Hope died;
                    Love rose; Spirit flamed;
                    Word spread; God remained.


                    Guidewords on Bible Study
                    (Author - Paul Borthwick)

                    I supposed I knew my Bible,
                    Reading piecemeal, hit or miss,
                    Now a bit of John or Matthew,
                    Now a snatch of Genesis,

                    Certain chapters of Isaiah,
                    Certain Psalms (the twenty-third),
                    Twelfth of Romans, first of Proverbs --
                    Yes, I thought I knew the Word!

                    But I found that thorough reading
                    Was a different thing to do,
                    And the way was unfamiliar
                    When I read the Bible through.

                    You who like to play at Bible,
                    Dip and dabble, here and there,
                    Just before you kneel, aweary,
                    And yawn through a hurried prayer;

                    You who treat the Crown of Writings
                    As you treat no other book,
                    Just a paragraph, disjointed,
                    Just a crude, impatient look,

                    Try a worthier procedure,
                    Try a broad and steady view;
                    You will kneel in very rapture
                    When you read the Bible through.



                    AND A FINAL THOUGHT FROM A CHILD

                    While sitting next to my first grade daughter during our morning
                    worship service one Sunday, I noticed her look down at my open Bible.
                    In a low whisper, she asked, "Did God really write that?"

                    "Yes," I quietly whispered back.

                    Looking down at my Bible again, she said in amazement, "Wow! He
                    really has neat handwriting!" Susan Wright, DeBary, FL.


                    Editor's Note: This last one is good for a smile, but I also included
                    it because it illustrates a very important matter of faith. Read
                    the words of Jesus in Matthew 11:25 and Luke 18:16-17. Meditate upon
                    those scriptures. Then, guided by the Holy Spirit, share a child's
                    faith and amazement at the neatness of God's handwriting.

                    ______________________________________________________________________
                    ______________________

                    Copyright © 1998 - 2008 by Stephen J. Hall - Notes from the Valley
                    and Humor from the Valley are meant to brighten your day and
                    encourage you along the way. If you are blessed by them, please feel
                    free to make copies and pass them along to others. If you have
                    something you'd like to contribute to a future edition or would like
                    to ask us a question or make a comment, please contact us at:
                    steveh.rbis@...
                    ______________________________________________________________________
                    ______________________

                    "Your love, God, is my song, and I'll sing it! I'm forever telling
                    everyone how faithful you are. I'll never quit telling the story of
                    your love . . . " (Psalm 89:1-2 The Message)
                  • Stephen J. Hall
                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ NOTES FROM THE VALLEY August 2, 2009 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil
                    Message 9 of 10 , Jul 30, 2009
                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                      NOTES FROM THE VALLEY
                      August 2, 2009

                      "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
                      I will fear no evil for you are with me." Psalm 23.
                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                      FINDING OUR FOUNDATION

                      "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. " Matthew 7:24-25

                      The Bible. It is the rock, the foundation, that God gave us to build our lives upon. In good times and bad times, God's Word is a constant source of help for whatever needs we may find in a day. Comfort, strength, joy, peace, love, and encouragement. It's all there. But you've got to put in some time reading God's Word if you're ever going to find them. And, for many people, that tends to be a problem.

                      In Christian circles there's always plenty of wonderful advise about how to study the Bible. Everybody seems to have their own favorite study guide or system for digging into God's Word. And I applaud their enthusiasm and intent. But, for many, all the rules and supporting materials these well intentioned people require just to read God's Word must seem a bit overwhelming. I know it did for me. If that's what's been keeping you from getting into God's Word, please consider the following thoughts from a formerly reluctant student of the Bible.

                      Always remember that the power is in God's Word. It is the powerful, two edged sword. So that's what God wants us to read. Reading what others have learned from reading the Bible is fine as long as it's not done at the expense of reading the Bible for ourselves. God wants to reveal Himself to each of us in a close, personal way through His Word. He has promised us His Holy Spirit as a guide to that revelation. But we've got to do the reading. So I encourage you, find an accepted Bible translation that you find easy to read and understand. Then set aside a little time each day to read it. It doesn't have to be a lot of time, but it does have to be a time when reading the Bible has the sole priority. Early morning works for me, but chose what works for you.

                      I usually try to start my reading time with a simple prayer. I ask God to help me as I read His Word so I'll find what He wants me to learn for that day. Then, after I read a little, I say a simple prayer to Him about what I've read. I thank Him for His Word. I tell Him how I'll try to use the lessons He's given me to meet the challenges of the coming day. I ask Him help me in doing it. And I tell Him I love Him.

                      I know my approach to reading the Bible probably seems overly simple to many. But I've never found God to be overly complex in what He expects from us or what He offers to us. I've never really understood why men try to make Him seem so complicated. We may be wrapped up in unlimited shades of grey, but He is a God of black and white.

                      There is much about this complex world that I do not know, but what I do know is this: Life is tough. But no matter how tough things have gotten, I've always been able to find comfort, peace, and encouragement from our Father. I find it daily in the foundation for life that is His Word.

                      I remain His grateful child and your friend,
                      Steve



                      SOME "BIBLE" THOUGHTS

                      God did not write a book and send it by messenger to be read at a distance by unaided minds. He spoke a book and lives in his spoken words, constantly speaking his words and causing the power of them to persist across the years. A. W. Tozer

                      The Bible is alive, it speaks to me; it has feet, it runs after me; it has hands, it lays hold on me. Martin Luther

                      The Bible is my church. It is always open, and there is my High Priest ever waiting to receive me. There I have my confessional, my thanksgiving, my psalm of praise, a field of promises, and a congregation of whom the world is not worthy - prophets and apostles, and martyrs and confessors- in short, all I can want, there I find. Charlotte Elliot

                      The Bible - banned, burned, beloved. More widely read, more frequently attacked than any other book in history. Generations of intellectuals have attempted to discredit it; dictators of every age have outlawed it and executed those who read it. Yet soldiers carry it into battle believing it more powerful than their weapons. Fragments of it smuggled into solitary prison cells have transformed ruthless killers into gentle saints. Charles Colson

                      In regard to this great book, I have but to say, it is the best gift God has given to man. All the good Savior gave to the world was communicated through this book. But for it we could not know right from wrong. All things most desirable for man's welfare, here and hereafter, are to be found portrayed in it. Abraham Lincoln

                      Its critics, who claimed it to be filled with forgery, fiction, and unfulfilled promises, are finding that the difficulties lie with themselves, and not the Bible. Greater and more careful scholarship has shown that apparent contradictions were caused by incorrect translations rather than divine inconsistencies. It was man and not the Bible that needed correcting. It is the blueprint of the Master Architect. Billy Graham


                      One night I was so lonely I couldn't sleep. I decided to try meditating on Psalm 36. As I read the words, vivid images began to fill my mind. I pictured myself sitting at the edge of a beautiful flowing river of God's delights with a demitasse cup. I filled my cup and took a sip. It was wonderful. Then I heard the Lord say, "Carole, why don't you jump right in?" That night I found that when you ask God for daily insights from his Word, it's as if he taps you on the shoulder and says, "This is just for you today." Carole Mayhall, Can a Busy Christian Develop Her Spiritual Life?



                      THE BIBLE IN 50 WORDS OR LESS
                      (Contributed by Jeanarie of Heart-Prints)

                      God made; Adam bit;
                      Noah arked; Abraham split;
                      Joseph ruled; Jacob fooled;
                      Bush talked; Pharaoh plagued;
                      People walked; Sea divided;
                      Tablets guided; Promise landed;
                      Saul freaked; David peeked;
                      Prophets warned; Jesus born;
                      God walked; Love talked;
                      Anger crucified; Hope died;
                      Love rose; Spirit flamed;
                      Word spread; God remained.



                      GUIDEWORDS ON BIBLE STUDY
                      (Author - Paul Borthwick)

                      I supposed I knew my Bible,
                      Reading piecemeal, hit or miss,
                      Now a bit of John or Matthew,
                      Now a snatch of Genesis,

                      Certain chapters of Isaiah,
                      Certain Psalms (the twenty-third),
                      Twelfth of Romans, first of Proverbs --
                      Yes, I thought I knew the Word!

                      But I found that thorough reading
                      Was a different thing to do, And the way was unfamiliar
                      When I read the Bible through.

                      You who like to play at Bible,
                      Dip and dabble, here and there,
                      Just before you kneel, aweary,
                      And yawn through a hurried prayer;

                      You who treat the Crown of Writings
                      As you treat no other book,
                      Just a paragraph, disjointed,
                      Just a crude, impatient look,

                      Try a worthier procedure,
                      Try a broad and steady view;
                      You will kneel in very rapture
                      When you read the Bible through.



                      AND A FINAL COMMENT FROM A CHILD

                      While sitting next to my first grade daughter during our morning worship service one Sunday, I noticed her look down at my open Bible. In a low whisper, she asked, "Did God really write that?"

                      "Yes," I quietly whispered back.

                      Looking down at my Bible again, she said in amazement, "Wow! He really has neat handwriting!" Susan Wright, DeBary, FL.


                      Editor's Note: This last one is good for a smile, but I also included it because it illustrates a very important matter of faith. Read the words of Jesus in Matthew 11:25 and Luke 18:16-17. Meditate upon those scriptures. Then, guided by the Holy Spirit, share a child's faith and amazement at the neatness of God's handwriting.

                      ____________________________________________________________________________________________

                      Copyright © 1998 - 2009 by Stephen J. Hall - Notes from the Valley and Humor from the Valley are meant to brighten your day and encourage you along the way. If you are blessed by them, please feel free to make copies and pass them along to others. If you have something you'd like to contribute to a future edition or would like to ask us a question or make a comment, please contact us at: steveh.rbis@...
                      ____________________________________________________________________________________________

                      "Your love, God, is my song, and I'll sing it! I'm forever telling everyone how faithful you are. I'll never quit telling the story of your love . . . " (Psalm 89:1-2 The Message)
                    • sossteve2005
                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ NOTES FROM THE VALLEY August 1, 2010 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil
                      Message 10 of 10 , Jul 30, 2010
                        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                        NOTES FROM THE VALLEY
                        August 1, 2010

                        "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
                        I will fear no evil for you are with me." Psalm 23.

                        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                        FINDING OUR FOUNDATION

                        "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. " Matthew 7:24-25

                        The Bible. It is the rock, the foundation, that God gave us to build our lives upon. In good times and bad times, God's Word is a constant source of help for whatever needs we may find in a day. Comfort, strength, joy, peace, love, and encouragement. It's all there. But you've got to put in some time reading God's Word if you're ever going to find them. And, for many people, that tends to be a problem.

                        In Christian circles there's always plenty of wonderful advise about how to study the Bible. Everybody seems to have their own favorite study guide or system for digging into God's Word. And I applaud their enthusiasm and intent. But, for many, all the rules and supporting materials these well intentioned people require just to read God's Word must seem a bit overwhelming. I know it did for me. If that's what's been keeping you from getting into God's Word, please consider the following thoughts from a formerly reluctant student of the Bible.

                        Always remember that the power is in God's Word. It is the powerful, two edged sword. So that's what God wants us to read. Reading what others have learned from reading the Bible is fine as long as it's not done at the expense of reading the Bible for ourselves. God wants to reveal Himself to each of us in a close, personal way through His Word. He has promised us His Holy Spirit as a guide to that revelation. But we've got to do the reading. So I encourage you, find an accepted Bible translation that you find easy to read and understand. Then set aside a little time each day to read it. It doesn't have to be a lot of time, but it does have to be a time when reading the Bible has the sole priority. Early morning works for me, but chose what works for you.

                        I usually try to start my reading time with a simple prayer. I ask God to help me as I read His Word so I'll find what He wants me to learn for that day. Then, after I read a little, I say a simple prayer to Him about what I've read. I thank Him for His Word. I tell Him how I'll try to use the lessons He's given me to meet the challenges of the coming day. I ask Him help me in doing it. And I tell Him I love Him.

                        I know my approach to reading the Bible probably seems overly simple to many. But I've never found God to be overly complex in what He expects from us or what He offers to us. I've never really understood why men try to make Him seem so complicated. We may be wrapped up in unlimited shades of grey, but He is a God of black and white.

                        There is much about this complex world that I do not know, but what I do know is this: Life is tough. But no matter how tough things have gotten, I've always been able to find comfort, peace, and encouragement from our Father. I find it daily in the foundation for life that is His Word.

                        I remain His grateful child and your friend,
                        Steve


                        SOME "BIBLE" THOUGHTS

                        God did not write a book and send it by messenger to be read at a distance by unaided minds. He spoke a book and lives in his spoken words, constantly speaking his words and causing the power of them to persist across the years. A. W. Tozer

                        The Bible is alive, it speaks to me; it has feet, it runs after me; it has hands, it lays hold on me. Martin Luther

                        The Bible is my church. It is always open, and there is my High Priest ever waiting to receive me. There I have my confessional, my thanksgiving, my psalm of praise, a field of promises, and a congregation of whom the world is not worthy - prophets and apostles, and martyrs and confessors- in short, all I can want, there I find. Charlotte Elliot

                        The Bible - banned, burned, beloved. More widely read, more frequently attacked than any other book in history. Generations of intellectuals have attempted to discredit it; dictators of every age have outlawed it and executed those who read it. Yet soldiers carry it into battle believing it more powerful than their weapons. Fragments of it smuggled into solitary prison cells have transformed ruthless killers into gentle saints. Charles Colson

                        In regard to this great book, I have but to say, it is the best gift God has given to man. All the good Savior gave to the world was communicated through this book. But for it we could not know right from wrong. All things most desirable for man's welfare, here and hereafter, are to be found portrayed in it. Abraham Lincoln

                        Its critics, who claimed it to be filled with forgery, fiction, and unfulfilled promises, are finding that the difficulties lie with themselves, and not the Bible. Greater and more careful scholarship has shown that apparent contradictions were caused by incorrect translations rather than divine inconsistencies. It was man and not the Bible that needed correcting. It is the blueprint of the Master Architect. Billy Graham

                        One night I was so lonely I couldn't sleep. I decided to try meditating on Psalm 36. As I read the words, vivid images began to fill my mind. I pictured myself sitting at the edge of a beautiful flowing river of God's delights with a demitasse cup. I filled my cup and took a sip. It was wonderful. Then I heard the Lord say, "Carole, why don't you jump right in?" That night I found that when you ask God for daily insights from his Word, it's as if he taps you on the shoulder and says, "This is just for you today." Carole Mayhall, Can a Busy Christian Develop Her Spiritual Life?


                        THE BIBLE IN 50 WORDS OR LESS
                        (Contributed by Jeanarie of Heart-Prints)

                        God made; Adam bit;
                        Noah arked; Abraham split;
                        Joseph ruled; Jacob fooled;
                        Bush talked; Pharaoh plagued;
                        People walked; Sea divided;
                        Tablets guided; Promise landed;
                        Saul freaked; David peeked;
                        Prophets warned; Jesus born;
                        God walked; Love talked;
                        Anger crucified; Hope died;
                        Love rose; Spirit flamed;
                        Word spread; God remained.


                        GUIDEWORDS ON BIBLE STUDY
                        (Author - Paul Borthwick)

                        I supposed I knew my Bible,
                        Reading piecemeal, hit or miss,
                        Now a bit of John or Matthew,
                        Now a snatch of Genesis,

                        Certain chapters of Isaiah,
                        Certain Psalms (the twenty-third),
                        Twelfth of Romans, first of Proverbs --
                        Yes, I thought I knew the Word!

                        But I found that thorough reading
                        Was a different thing to do,
                        And the way was unfamiliar
                        When I read the Bible through.

                        You who like to play at Bible,
                        Dip and dabble, here and there,
                        Just before you kneel, aweary,
                        And yawn through a hurried prayer;

                        You who treat the Crown of Writings
                        As you treat no other book,
                        Just a paragraph, disjointed,
                        Just a crude, impatient look,

                        Try a worthier procedure,
                        Try a broad and steady view;
                        You will kneel in very rapture
                        When you read the Bible through.


                        AND A FINAL THOUGHT FROM A CHILD

                        While sitting next to my first grade daughter during our morning worship service one Sunday, I noticed her look down at my open Bible. In a low whisper, she asked, "Did God really write that?"

                        "Yes," I quietly whispered back.

                        Looking down at my Bible again, she said in amazement, "Wow! He really has neat handwriting!" Susan Wright, DeBary, FL.


                        Editor's Note: This last one is good for a smile, but I also included it because it illustrates a very important matter of faith. Read the words of Jesus in Matthew 11:25 and Luke 18:16-17. Meditate upon those scriptures. Then, guided by the Holy Spirit, share a child's faith and amazement at the neatness of God's handwriting.

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                        Copyright © 1998 - 2010 by Stephen J. Hall - Notes from the Valley and Humor from the Valley are meant to brighten your day and encourage you along the way. If you are blessed by them, please feel free to make copies and pass them along to others. If you have something you'd like to contribute to a future edition or would like to ask us a question or make a comment, please contact us at: steveh.rbis@...
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                        "Your love, God, is my song, and I'll sing it! I'm forever telling everyone how faithful you are. I'll never quit telling the story of your love . . . " (Psalm 89:1-2 The Message)
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