Sunday, October 31, 2010


JOB 22-24

Pastor Rick Jackson


1. Falsely Assumes Job’s Motives [v. 1-4, Matthew 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.]

2. False Accuses Job [v. 5-17]

3. Frustration Advocates Prosperity Gospel [v. 18-30]


1. God’s Explanation Would Be Welcome [v. 1-5]

A good Christian doesn’t live by explanations, he lives by faith!

2. God’s Person Encourages His people [v. 6-7]

3. God’s Working Even Though We Might Not See Him [v. 8-17, Hebrews 11:27]

By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.


1. Wicked People Do Sometimes Prosper in this Life [v. 1-12]

2. Wicked men Fear Men Rather than God [v. 13-17, Romans 3:18]

There is no fear of God before their eyes.
Psalm 36:1 The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.

3. God is Watching & Will Act [v. 18-25]


MATTHEW 10:24-42

Pastor Rick Jackson

When I was a child my friends and I liked to watch scary movies with couch pillows to hide behind. Mind you the scary movies we watched were mild compared to today’s fare but nevertheless we were scared. Of what are you afraid?


1. Man Made myths - Frankenstein’s monster, Vampires, Zombies, Freddy, Jason. Etc.

2. Man Made Religions - Buddhism, Islam

3. Man Mutilated Truths - Angels, Demons, Witches, “Christian” cults


1. Lies About Your Person [v. 24-26]

2. Physical Threats for Jesus Sake [v. 27-28a]

3. Being Forgotten [v. 29-31]


1. Rejecting the One True God [v. 28b]

2. Rejecting the Gospel of God [v. 28c]

3. Rejecting the Service of God [v. 32-42]

Saturday, October 30, 2010

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Why did God create apes with human features?

Answers Weekly | newsletter archives | contact us
October 30, 2010

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top leftIn this issue . . .

Q: Why did God create apes with human features?

Since God knew these similarities would be misused by evolutionists, why did he create apes?
A: First, similarities between organisms—like those between humans and apes—cannot be used to prove evolution. All living creatures down to bacteria share similarities (for example, see this article for more information on similarities). We can argue that the similarities are actually evidence for a common Designer. Why wouldn't God create living things using similar principles? After all, an artist or builder will often create different works with a similar design.
Whether one interprets similarities as evidence for evolution from a common ancestor or evidence for the Designer depends on one's presuppositions. The evolutionary idea of homology—inferring common descent from structure similarity—is an assumption by those who reject the Creator's account in the Bible.
The biblical account of Genesis is clear. At the end of the Creation Week, God called His creation "very good" and "finished" (Genesis 1:31, 2:1–2). No evolutionary process of death improved His design by leading to humans from an ape-like ancestor. Although created on Day Six with the land animals, Adam and Eve were distinct from apes and other animal kinds because God created humans in His image (Genesis 1:26–27). God gave people unique linguistic, aesthetic, rational, moral, and spiritual capacities that were not given to animals.

Continue reading to read more of the biblical answer to this question.

News to Note Quick Look

Jawbone of contention: Experts in human evolution thought they had most of it figured out—when our ancestors left Africa, the major evolutionary steps since then, etc. But a human jawbone discovered in China just doesn't fit. Read more.

Corvid college: Crows' remarkable intelligence has been one of our favorite topics over the years (our last update came in April). Here's the latest. Read more.


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Friday, October 29, 2010


History is God's providence in human affairs. - Daniel Webster

There is not enough in this world to give you joy. You only find joy in Jesus. - Sunday School Teacher Greg Trentham

Things that Jesus cares about bring you joy. - Trentham

Judicial forgiveness is for the sinner, Parental forgiveness is for the saint. - Trentham

If that didn't bless you- you're dead. You just haven't fallen over yet. - Pastor Norris Belcher

If you come here as you are you'll leave as you came. - Belcher

I have never seen a monument erected to a pessimist. - Paul Harvey

There are two ways of exerting one's strength: one is pushing down, the other is pulling up. - Booker T. Washington

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Once it was the blessing,
Now it is the Lord;
Once it was the feeling,
Now it is His Word;
Once His gift I wanted,
Now, the Giver own;
Once I sought for healing,
Now Himself alone.

Once 'twas painful trying,
Now 'tis perfect trust;
Once a half salvation,
Now the uttermost;
Once 'twas ceaseless holding,
Now He holds me fast;
Once 'twas constant drifting,
Now my anchor's cast.

Once 'twas busy planning,
Now 'tis trustful prayer;
Once 'twas anxious caring,
Now He has the care;
Once 'twas what I wanted,
Now what Jesus says;
Once 'twas constant asking,
Now 'tis ceaseless praise.

Once it was my working,
His it hence shall be;
Once I tried to use Him,
Now He uses me;
Once the pow'r I wanted,
Now the Mighty One;
Once for self I labored,
Now for Him alone.

Once I hoped in Jesus,
Now I know He's mine;
Once my lamps were dying,
Now they brightly shine;
Once for death I waited,
Now His coming hail;
And my hopes are anchored
Safe within the veil.

A.B. Simpson

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


GENESIS 25:27-34, 27:34-41, 28:6-9, HEBREWS 12:14-17

Pastor Rick Jackson

God’s Word declares that Esau was a profane person. Profane is not a common adjective in our time but it is an apt one. “Profane” means a thorough secularization, someone who is profane has no place for God but are open to everyone and everything else. The profane person was unable, unworthy, and even unwilling to enter a sacred place. Esau was such a man- godless, without God, without thought of God or without caring what God may say about aspects of his life. The life of Esau is a great warning about losing so much to gain so little.

I. WHAT DID ESAU LOVE? The answer is simple- Esau loved Esau.

1. Self-centered [John 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease.]

1 Corinthians 15:31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.
Mark 8:35 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it.

2. Self-confident [Eph. 2:8-9]

Psalm 34:2 My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.
Psalm 44:8 In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name for ever. Selah.
Psalm 49:6 They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches;
Psalm 94:4 How long shall they utter and speak hard things? and all the workers of iniquity boast themselves?

3. Self-indulgent [2 Timothy 3:4]

Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;


1. Discernment [2 Corinthians 4:18]

While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

He could not discern true quality- the difference between the passing and the permanent. He, like many others, sacrificed the eternal on the altar of the immediate.

He could not discern true value- the difference between the “pricey” and the priceless. “He is no fool who gives up that which he cannot keep for that which he cannot lose.”

2. Devotion [Deuteronomy 6:5] He recognized no cause but his own.

And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

3. Discipline [Deuteronomy 6:6] He recognized no authority except his own.

And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:


1. He Lost the Delight & Blessing He Could Have Been to Others [Gn. 26:34-35]

2. He Lost the Earthly Destiny that Could Have Been His [Heb. 12:16]

He wept but- Not because he was a sinner but because he was a loser
Not because he sold the birthright but because he lost it
Not because of his sin but because of his loss

3. He Lost the Eternal Destiny that Could Have Been His [Heb. 11:20-21, 12:14-16]

Blessing or Impressing?

Bill Rice Ranch - First Light Devotionals 

I Corinthians 13:1  "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal."



Have you ever received something valuable as a gift, yet you didn't highly value it because it was given by obligation?  The gift becomes more about impressing you with the giver's wealth than about the giver's love for you.


Contrast that kind of gift with a silly piece of paper you probably have hanging on your refrigerator.  Your child's artwork is not worth a nickel to anyone else, but it means the world to you!  It's not about the gift; it is about the person who gave the gift.


I was just thinking about some people that I know who are supremely gifted.  When I think about each of these people, I instantly think about their talents.  I realized that I have not been blessed by their talents; I've merely been impressed.  There is a difference between blessing and impressing with what you have!


On the other hand, I can think of some very accomplished people who are a blessing because of what they have done with their gifts.  In other words, I'm not impressed, although their gifts are impressive; I am blessed!


The truth is, if your gift is impressing instead of blessing, you are a failure.  On the other hand, if you are blessing people while going unnoticed or unheralded, that's just fine.  The reason God gave you your gifts in the first place was to bless people, not impress people!


If the dominant impression I leave with you is how good I am, I have failed because I have not blessed you; I have impressed you.  Impressing you results in either discouragement (because you are not as good as I am) or a desire to be better than me.  Those results never help the body of Christ!


The gifts mentioned in I Corinthians 13 are impressive: "tongues of men and of angels . . . gift of prophesy . . . all knowledge . . . all faith, so that I could remove mountains . . . bestow all my goods to feed the poor . . . give my body to be burned. . . ."  Great gifts and even good things, without charity, mean nothing if they impress but do not bless!  The only way to bless others with your gifts is to be driven by charity (love).  Charity is something you have, not something you give.  How do you know if what you are giving is driven by charity?  Well, start with "suffereth long" in verse 4 and end with "endureth all things" in verse 7!  Are your gifts blessing or impressing?  Are you driven by biblical love today?

Prayer Requests
- Service tonight in Greer, SC
Browse our fall events schedule on our website:
Bill Rice Ranch | 627 Bill Rice Ranch Road | Murfreesboro | TN | 37128

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

5 Favorites- fictional Doctors

I was reading in a book where two men were trying to defuse a bomb when finally one said in exasperation, "Confound it... I am a doctor, not an explosives expert!" If you are old enough you probably thought, as I did, of Dr. McCoy. The doctor speaking however, was Dr. Watson of Sherlock Holmes fame. I believe the author, William Seil, threw that bit in for us Trekkers (more grounded than Trekkies). This got me to thinking about fictional doctors and hence the impetus for this blog. Here, in random order, are my 5 favorite fictional doctors.

1. Dr. John Watson, M.D., friend and biographer of Mr. Sherlock Holmes. If the only Watson you have seen is Nigel Bruce in the movies you DON'T know Watson. Not that I blame Bruce for the scripts he was given- just not accurate to the books by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. An intelligent man in his own right, he was the perfect friend and sounding board for Holmes.

2. Leonard "Bones" McCoy, M.D., played to perfection by DeForest Kelly in the original Star Trek (and respectfully followed up by Karl Urban in the latest movie) Bones is the quintessential fish-out-of-water, an old-fashioned country doctor in outer space. The trio of Spock-Kirk-Bones is one of the finest friendships where no man has gone before.

3. Victor Von Doom, the greatest anti-hero or villain in the comics. The monarch of Latveria, arch-nemesis of the "so-called Fantastic Four" and one of the greatest minds in the Marvel Universe. Complex and cunning Doom is always an entertaining read. See the blog for more on the "good" Doctor.

4. Clark Savage, Jr. otherwise known as Doc Savage is an adventurer from the age of pulp magazines that has survived a horribly written film, so-so stories and countless villains. With the help of his five aides/friends whom he calls "brothers" the Man of Bronze is an actual surgeon, scientist, and expert in many fields who has dedicated his life to fighting injustice. My daughter would be upset if I didn't mention his cousin, Pat Savage, who appears in several of the 120 plus stories.

5. Jeffrey Geiger, Heart doctor. He was House before Gregory House was invented. Smug, arrogant and oh so talented. I recommend watching the first season of Chicago Hope and perhaps the second if you don't believe me. ER and Hope debuted the same year and ER swept the Emmys except for Mandy Patinkin (Geiger) winning over Anthony Edwards portrayal of Dr. Mark Greene. I still remember George Clooney whining about that. Once Mandy Patinkin left the cast Chicago Hope was doomed though it retained many fine actors.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Bill Rice Ranch - First Light Devotionals 

I Corinthians 12:7  "But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal."
Over the past several years, my son has received some exciting and wonderful gifts from his grandpa.  He received a couple of pocket knives, a high-powered pellet gun, and some other dangerous items.  These gifts are wonderful because they keep on giving!  Whenever he is in Illinois, he can worry Grandma and Grandpa with knives and guns!
The gifts that God gives us are much the same-they are gifts that keep on giving.  Your gifting should profit others, not just yourself.  The point is not what gift you have; rather, it is what you are doing with what you have.  In other words, whatever gift God has given you is only as good as the good it is doing.  It is true that "a man's gift maketh room for him" (Proverbs 18:16), but your gift was not primarily given just to make a way for you.  The gifts God has given are not toyou but through you.
You may have a different gift than I do, but both our gifts came from the same Source.  My gift is not better than yours, nor is it a lesser gift than yours.  The gifts came from "the same God which worketh all in all."  (I Corinthians 12:6)  You can't do better than a God-given gift!  If you are not sure what your gift is, start serving somewhere and you will find out soon enough.   After all, God gave you the gift to "profit withal"!
Everything I have that is worth anything comes from God.  It matters not what I have; it only matters what I am doing with what I have.  The only good your gift has is the good it is doing.  So what are you doing with the gifts God has given you?  Are they gifts that keep on giving?

Prayer Requests
- Service tonight in Greer, SC
Browse our fall events schedule on our website:
Bill Rice Ranch | 627 Bill Rice Ranch Road | Murfreesboro | TN | 37128

Sunday, October 24, 2010


JOB 20-21

Pastor Rick Jackson


1. The Folly of a Hasty Answer [v. 1-3, Proverbs 29:20]

Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him.

2. The Folly of False Generalizations [v. 4-10]

Example- Girls like cats. Herb likes cats. Herb is a girl.

3. The Folly of Unjustified Application [v. 11-29]

Such was the case of Job. Sometimes illness can be the result of sin in one’s life but this was clearly NOT the case for Job, Fanny Crosby or the man born blind in John 9:2.

II. JOB’S SARCASM [21:1-5]

1. Try Listening & Thinking at the Same Time [v. 1-2]

2. Let Me Speak then Resume Mocking [v. 3]

3. Pay Attention- You Might Learn Something [v. 4-5]


1. Sometimes the Wicked Prosper in this Life [v. 6-15]

2. God Has His Reasons for Delaying Judgment [v. 16-26]

3. Your “Comfortings” are Worthless Falsehoods [v. 27-34]



Pastor Rick Jackson

We are not implying that Christians leave Jesus and then are no longer saved. We are simply stating the sad truth that some of God’s children decide to leave off following Jesus and decide instead to act like the Devil’s children- at least in some areas of their lives.


1. Believe [v. 24-29]

2. Come [v. 30-35]

3. Security [v. 36-40]


1. Christ’s Deity is Foundational [v. 41-46]

2. Christ’s Death is Foundational [v. 47-52]

3. Christ’s Resurrection is Foundational [v. 53-58]


1. Christ Offends Some in His Narrowness [v. 59-61, Matthew 7:14]

Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

2. Christ Offends Some in His Uniqueness [v. 62-66]

3. Christ Offends Some in His Necessity [v. 67-71, Acts 4:12]

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Question of the Week: Is evolution religious in nature?

Information in today's blog provided by:

originally received on June 10, 2006 


 Weekly News        

Q: Is evolution religious in nature?
A: Philosopher of science Dr. Michael Ruse has said, "evolution, akin to religion, involves making certain a priori or metaphysical assumptions, which at some level cannot be proven empirically." In fact, evolution underpins the religion of humanism. The people who composed the Humanist Manifesto, which claims that humanism is "a philosophical, religious, and moral point of view," built their entire way of thinking on the basis of evolution.
Julian Huxley and his humanist friends were very clear in claiming that the evolutionary story was the foundation for their new humanist theology. They knew that the long evolutionary past of millions of years, if accepted by society, would remove the Judeo-Christian God from the culture. In place of God would be the "time and chance" of evolution!
Sadly, though, when taken to a logical conclusion, if there is no God, people are free of divinely sanctioned laws and codes. In other words, they can do what is right in their own eyes … and justify the selfish desires of their hearts, just as the Bible describes in Proverbs 30 and Romans 1.
These humanists understood that evolution was really an anti-God religion, and they said so in their Manifesto.
Evolutionary scientists don't want to admit that they are also very religious people, who put a blind faith in time and chance, instead of a real faith in a loving and infinite God.

Would you like to read more on this particular topic? See Get Answers: Religion for a more in-depth answer.

Evolutionist quote of the week

"A religion is essentially an attitude to the world as a whole. Thus evolution, for example, may prove as powerful a principle to coordinate men's beliefs and hopes as God was in the past. Such ideas underlie the various forms of Rationalism, the Ethical movement and scientific Humanism.

"Humanism: An outlook that places man and his concerns at the centre of interest. Modern Humanism, which does away with traditional Christianity, is characterised by its faith in the power of human beings to create their own future, collectively and personally."

Ed. Sir Julian Huxley, Growth of Ideas. The evolution of thought and knowledge. 1965, pp. 99, 336.



Thursday, October 21, 2010



Lord, help me live from day to day
In such a self-forgetful way
That even when I kneel to pray
My prayer shall be for others.

Help me in all the work I do
To ever be sincere and true,
And know that all I’d do for you
Must needs be done for others.

Let "self" be crucified and slain
And buried deep, and all in vain
May efforts be to rise again,
Unless to live for others.

And when my work on earth is done
And my new work in heaven’s begun
May I forget the crown I’ve won
While thinking still of others.

Others, Lord, yes, others;
Let this my motto be.
Help me to live for others,
That I may live like Thee.

—C. D. Meigs

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I KINGS 12:26-33

Pastor Rick Jackson

The kingdom had just split due to the sins of Solomon and the foolishness of his son Rehoboam. The northern 10 tribes faced a crisis hour due to the fear of their king. The background is laid for us in chapter 12, but let us see what the Lord has for us in chapter 13, in the hour of crisis.


1. Courage [v. 1-3, Joshua 1:5-7a]

2. Compassion [v. 4-6, Jude 20-22]

But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference:

3. Convictions [v. 7-10, Joshua 1:7-9]


1. Deception [v. 11-18, Ephesians 4:14, 5:6]

That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.

2. Compromise [v.19, James 1:14-15, Pr. 1:10-19]

3. Disobedience [v. 19-23, James 1:21-25]

“It’s not the parts of the Bible we don’t understand that give us the most trouble…”


1. The Wages of Sin Have Never Changed [v. 24, Rm. 6:23]

2. Denying Our Nature is a Price Paid to Serve God [v. 25-28, James 1:13-16]

3. Sin Will Blunt Our Effectiveness [v. 29-34]

Results of Witnessing

Days of Praise
Results of Witnessing

"Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples." (John 15:8)


If any Christian ever becomes discouraged in his witness for Christ, he should remind himself of the many blessings that are promised to those who faithfully bear testimony for His name's sake. First of all, it brings unique joy when he sees the fruit it bears. "They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him" (Psalm 126:5-6).


There is also the inestimable worth of even one soul. "Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins" (James 5:20).


Faithful witnessing will eventually lead to revival. In the early church we are told that "daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ" (Acts 5:42) with the result that "the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith" (Acts 6:7).


Then, there are special rewards in heaven for faithful witnessing, not least of which is the very presence of those who would not have been there otherwise: "For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?" (1 Thessalonians 2:19). "And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever" (Daniel 12:3).


Best of all, however, is the simple knowledge that our witnessing shows Christ our love and brings honor to our heavenly Father. "Herein is my Father glorified." Therefore, "let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not" (Galatians 6:9). HMM


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Institute for Creation Research | 1806 Royal Lane | Dallas | TX | 75229

Daily Devotional for October 20, 2010

Bill Rice Ranch - First Light Devotionals 

I Corinthians 4:7  "For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?"
God-given Stewardship
Who do you know that is exactly like you?  That's what I thought!  Nobody is exactly like you!  Who made you to be different from everybody else?  God did.  God is a God of diversity and variety.  Being different (in this context) is not a bad thing; it is a good thing because God made us that way!
God has placed us in the body "as it hath pleased him." (I Corinthians 12:18)  Our place in the body and the corresponding gifts have been given as a stewardship from God.  Regarding this stewardship, God says in I Corinthians 4:2, "Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful."  His standard is faithfulness: nothing more and nothing less.  So don't try to live up to a benchmark that He has not given to you!  Often we make someone else's stewardship the standard.  That's silly!  God has given you a stewardship, and He requires faithfulness in that stewardship.  It would be wise to find out what your particular stewardship entails and then "go for broke" about it!
If I think I am great because of my own efforts, that is "wood, hay, stubble," and everyone will know it soon enough. (I Corinthians 3:12-13)  However, what I truly am is a God-given stewardship; it is not mine to begin with!  Since it is God's, I had better give Him the glory and credit for what I do.
God made each of us different from everyone else, and He has given us everything we need to effectively serve Him.  God has given people to preach, to serve, to teach, and to encourage and comfort.  Since we are each given a unique stewardship, we can rely on the fact that we can do what we should do.  That's true of everyone here on the Bill Rice Ranch, and that's true of you!

Prayer Requests
1. Services tonight in Lancaster, CA; Clinton, TN; Howard, PA; and Glastonbury, CT
2. Recruiting of college summer staff this week
Browse our fall events schedule on our website:
Bill Rice Ranch | 627 Bill Rice Ranch Road | Murfreesboro | TN | 37128

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

One and Many

Bill Rice Ranch - First Light Devotionals 

Romans 12:5  "So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another."
One and Many
When we trust Christ, the Bible tells us that God places us in the body "as it hath pleased him." (I Corinthians 12:18)  I don't know where you are in the body of Christ, but I am thankful that we are not all doing the same thing!  Notice the words many and one in Romans 12:4-5: "For as we have many members in one body . . . we, being many, are one body. . . ."
Your physical body is one body, but it is made up of different parts like eyes, ears, toes, and lungs.  They each have a specific purpose, and they are all important.  As for which is more important, I always say that I want to keep everything I came with!
The important truth to keep in mind is that God has placed you where it pleases Him.  He placed you where He wanted you, and you can't do better than that!  You may not know exactly where He has placed you or what He has gifted you to do, but you can be faithful with what you do know right now.  It is wonderful that God never asks more,  or expects less, of you than faithfulness.
There is no room for pride or jealousy in the body of Christ; there is only room for gratitude to God for where He has placed you!  He has placed you in a unique spot, in concert with others around you.  Thank God for His care for you and for the fact that you are not in the body alone.  As you serve the Lord, be thankful you can work with so many different "parts" and serve together as one body!

Browse our fall events schedule on our website:
Bill Rice Ranch | 627 Bill Rice Ranch Road | Murfreesboro | TN | 37128

The Third Firmament

Days of Praise
The Third Firmament

"And the likeness of the firmament upon the heads of the living creature was as the colour of the terrible crystal, stretched forth over their heads above." (Ezekiel 1:22)


The English word "firmament" in the Bible is a translation of the Hebrew raqia, meaning "expanse." Its meaning is not "firm boundary" as biblical critics have alleged, but might be better paraphrased as "stretched-out thinness" or simply "space."


Its first occurrence in the Bible relates it to heaven: "And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. . . . And God called the firmament Heaven" (Genesis 1:6, 8). This firmament obviously could not be a solid boundary above the sky, but is essentially the atmosphere, the "first heaven," the "space" where the birds were to "fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven" (Genesis 1:20).


There is also a second firmament, or second heaven, where God placed the sun, moon, and stars, stretching out into the infinite reaches of space. "And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth" (Genesis 1:17).


The firmament in our text, however, is beneath the very throne of God, and above the mighty cherubim (Ezekiel 1:23) who seem always in Scripture to indicate the near presence of God. This glorious firmament, brilliantly crystalline in appearance, must be "the third heaven" to which the apostle Paul was once "caught up" in a special manifestation of God's presence and power, to hear "unspeakable words" from God in "paradise" (2 Corinthians 12:2-4).


All three heavens "declare the glory of God" and all three firmaments "sheweth his handiwork" (Psalm 19:1). Therefore, we should "praise God in his sanctuary" and also "praise him in the firmament of his power" (Psalm 150:1). HMM

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Institute for Creation Research | 1806 Royal Lane | Dallas | TX | 75229

Monday, October 18, 2010

Quotes of the Week

All the quotes today were taken from the book THE KING'S WATER BOY by Lee Roberson

Paul wrote 14 books of the New Testament. Now some people do not get much from Paul's writing because they do not share his convictions. They fail to see what Paul was doing, and so they get little from his writings. Paul was a fundamentalist! He believed the Word of God.

The devil will try to make you a rebellious Christian every day of your life.

Don't bargain with God- just take His Word and follow it.

The Lord is calling for you to to live in such a way that others can see Christ in your life.

How blessed it is to know that you are ready to meet your Lord. How good it is to have all accounts straightened up and to know that if He should call you at any moment, you are ready to meet Him.

How wonderful it is to know that we have a Christ who is concerned about us. We are never out of His sight, never away from His love. In the hour of need, the eye of faith can look upward and see and know that Christ is watching over us.

There's More!

Bill Rice Ranch - First Light Devotionals 

Romans 11:33  "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!"
This summer, an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico exploded, and the resulting millions of gallons of oil that spewed out captivated our nation and much of the world.  Each passing day, there was endless work with the hope that the oil would stop, but it just kept coming!  About that oil rig you could say, "There is more where that came from."
In the Pacific Ocean, there is a place called the Mariana Trench.  It is nearly 36,000 feet deep-almost 7 miles!  If you were in a submarine and on your way to the bottom, you could say, "There is more where that came from!"
If you are ever hiking out of the Grand Canyon on Bright Angel Trail, I have some good news and some bad news.  The good news is, there is great ice cream at the top; the bad news is, looking back at the trail you've already hiked, there's more where that came from!
In the early summer, a thirteen-year-old boy summited Mount Everest.  The summit is 29,028 feet elevation!  Base camp at Everest is 14,000 feet.  Most of us have never been to 14,000 feet, and that is only half way up!  Many a hiker has said on his way up Everest, "There is more where that came from."
The four examples above pale in comparison to God's supply.  Romans 11 reminds us that there is more where that came from!  God's wisdom and knowledge is never depleted.  Have you ever needed wisdom that you didn't have?  God's supply is deeper than your greatest need!  What's more, His ways even defy our ability to comprehend.  He truly is God!
You will never run dry if you are tapped into God.  If you are tapped into yourself, you'll run dry before the day is done!  God has all the wisdom, energy, and strength you lack.  You would sooner drain the Mariana Trench with a straw than exhaust what God has available.  I can't think of a better encouragement for today than verse 36: "For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen."

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