Sunday, July 31, 2011


JOHN 4:1-42

Pastor Rick Jackson


1. Israel [v. 1-3, Micah 5:2]

2. Samaria [v. 4, 3:16]

3. Calvary [3:13-15]


1. Gender and Race Barriers Will Not Stop Jesus [v. 5-9]

2. Social and Moral Barriers Will Not Stop Jesus [v. 9-18]

3. Religious and Ignorance Barriers Will Not Stop Jesus [v. 19-26]


I didn’t say “solve“, I said “remove.”

1. God Can Remove the Blindness of Christians [v. 27-28, 31-35]

2. God Can Remove the Meaninglessness of Life [28-30, 36-38]

3. God Can Remove the Sins of Sinners [v. 39-42]

A lawyer said, “Before I was saved, I used to think that if I ever became a Christian it would have to be in some great center of learning where all my questions would be answered. But instead, I was saved in a rescue mission as I knelt at the front with human derelicts all around me. When I knelt, I had all my questions. When I arose, they were all gone. God didn’t answer them. He removed them.”
He will remove your questions. He will save your soul. Simply come to Him in faith believing. - Lee Roberson


LUKE 1:57-80

Pastor Rick Jackson

We are often in a hurry. The old saying is often true that “Haste makes Waste.” There are times of course when time is of the essence but those times are not as often as we often suppose. God however, is never in a hurry. God takes His time, does it right, and knows just when and where to act. Proverbs 25:11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.


1. The Crowd Rejoices [v. 57-58]

2. The Crowd Assumes [v. 59-62] Assumption is a dangerous thing.

3. The Crowd Fears [v. 63-66]


1. The Work of God [v. 67-73]

2. The Work of the Believer [v. 74-75]

3. The Work of John [v. 76-79]


1. God Has Plans [v. 12-17]

2. God Has Patience

3. God Has Places (for everyone)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Question of the Week: Can angels and demons have emotions?

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Answers Weekly | newsletter archives | contact us
July 30, 2011

a weekly look at

top leftIn this issue . . .

Q: Can angels and demons have emotions?

A: The Bible reveals that angels sang for joy at creation (Job 38:7) and have joy when people become believers (Luke 15:10).
Luke 8:29–36 describes Christ's encounter with Legion (called this because many demons had possessed the man). They begged Jesus not to send them into the abyss. These demons clearly displayed the emotion of fear, since they did not want to be tormented "before the time" (Matthew 8:29).
These examples are enough to show that angels and demons do have emotions. One thing we must never forget to do is look to the Scriptures to find these answers, rather than to movies and TV shows. The Bible is the only reliable source of information on Satan, demons, angels, etc., so one would be unwise to neglect it.

Continue reading to see more of what the Bible has to say on this topic.

News to Note Quick Look

Dino-bird confusion: For over a century evolutionists have intermittently speculated that birds evolved from dinosaurs. The current wave of dino-bird popularity continues as evolutionary paleontologists strain to see feathers in dinosaur fossils. Read more.

Terror in Norway: Anders Behring Breivik has been arrested for last week's terrorist attacks in Norway. Initial reports suggested the self-confessed terrorist was a "right-wing Christian fundamentalist." Closer examination has revealed that Breivik's beliefs and stated motivations have nothing to do with biblical Christianity or Christian faith and practice. Read more.


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Friday, July 29, 2011

[Slice 2515] A Good Book?

  A Slice of Infinity

A Good Book?
In publishing his godless Bible for those with no faith, A. C. Grayling may have expected a mixed reception. The 'religious Bible' (as he calls the Christian original) often sparks controversy, so one might have assumed that his would prompt a powerful reaction.(1)
But although there have been eyebrows raised, support given, and criticism leveled, I can't help feeling that there is something a little flat about it all. Perhaps it is because we are in the midst of celebrating the 400-year anniversary of the King James translation of the Bible with its majestic impact on the English language, that one struggles to muster any strong reaction to this book. One of the repeated observations made about Grayling's moral guide for atheists is that it just doesn't seem to be as good or interesting as the original.
Jeannette Winterson, author of Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, had this to say:
I do not believe in a sky god but the religious impulse in us is more than primitive superstition. We are meaning-seeking creatures and materialism plus good works and good behaviour does not seem to be enough to provide meaning. We shall have to go on asking questions but I would rather that philosophers like Grayling asked them without the formula of answers. As for the Bible, it remains a remarkable book and I am going to go on reading it.
Perhaps it has something to do with what seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding on Grayling's part: the Bible is not merely a book containing moral guidance, as he seems to think it is. While Christians would say that it does contain the moral law of God and shows us how to live our lives, the actual text of the Bible is much more besides.
It is the history of a people and a grand narrative of redemption for all people. At its heart, it is the story of a relationship, and not a collection of platitudes. As the New Testament opens with God coming in human form, we encounter Jesus walking the earth, not simply to restate a moral code, but to offer us peace with God through himself. It's about a personal God to encounter, not a set of propositions to understand or laws to follow. This is drama with a capital D.
The Bible also contains narrative history, at its most fascinating with well-preserved accounts recording personal perspectives on historical events. Whether it be a prophet like Jeremiah, writing in the 7th century BC, or the gospel writer Mark in the 1st century AD, this is compelling writing whatever our religious convictions. Who could not notice the honesty and detail of Mark's turn of phrase when he recounts that "Jesus was in the stern sleeping on a cushion, the disciples woke him and said to him 'Teacher don't you care if we drown?'" (Mark 4:38). As history alone the Bible is compelling.
In as much as Grayling's 'Good Book' cobbles together some of the finest moral teaching from our history, it will surely be useful to some. But from an atheist perspective is this really a legitimate task? Without God what is morality other than personal perspective or social contract? Do we need Grayling's personal perspective any more than our own? And is he really in a position to tell us what a socially agreed set of morals should be? Great atheists of the past, like Bertrand Russell, rejected religious moral values arguing against overarching morality—do they really want Grayling to reconstruct one? "I don't think there is a line in the whole thing that hasn't been modified or touched by me," he says. While his own confidence in his wisdom is clearly abundant, will others feel the same way? Readers might also note that from the 21st century, his is the only voice to make the cut and be included in the work.
In calling his worthy tome The Good Book, Grayling, perhaps unwittingly, references the story about a rich young ruler found in the Gospel of Mark. The man approaches Jesus and addresses him as "Good teacher." "Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good—except God alone." Jesus preempts centuries of philosophical debate about the nature of morality and locates goodness as an absolute in the being of God. We are challenged to question: "Without God, what is goodness?" As the debate over his book continues it will be intriguing to find out how Grayling knows his godless Bible to be a benchmark of "goodness."
In the meantime, no doubt the Bible will continue to top best-seller lists, and engage audiences spanning all ages, backgrounds, and cultures. I for one will keep reading it.
Amy Orr-Ewing is UK director of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Oxford, England.
(1) Originally printed in Pulse Magazine, Issue 8, Summer 2011, 10-11.
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Scripture Says/God Says

Days of Praise
Scripture Says/God Says
July 29, 2011
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." (2 Timothy 3:16)
Among the many evidences for verbal inspiration, both within and without Scripture, is the frequent interchange of God recognized as the author of a particular passage with the human author who actually penned it. This can be true only if the very words recorded by the various authors are "God breathed" (the meaning of "inspiration").
For example, the early Christians exclaimed, "Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things?" (Acts 4:24-25), thereby recognizing that God spoke through David, who wrote God's words in Psalm 2:1-2.
Likewise, Paul, in his masterful dissertation on God's sovereignty, claimed "the scripture saith unto Pharaoh" (Romans 9:17) that which God Himself had spoken unto Moses (Exodus 9:13). In other words, what Scripture says, God says.
Even Christ Jesus, who Himself had written with His finger "honour thy father and thy mother" (Exodus 20:12) on tables of stone, personally ascribed the authorship of the passage to Moses (Mark 7:10). Evidently to Christ, there was no difference. That which Moses had written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and in this case what he had copied from the stone tablet, was fully the Word of God.
We can be sure that what Scripture says, God says. "That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works" (2 Timothy 3:17). We can trust our lives on earth, our view of history, and our eternal destiny to what is written on the pages of Scripture. JDM
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Your Greatest Danger

Bill Rice Ranch - First Light Devotionals 

I Chronicles 15:26  "And it came to pass, when God helped the Levites that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, that they offered seven bullocks and seven rams."


At first glance, I Chronicles 15:26 does not look like an important verse; but I guarantee you that it was important to the Levites!  The Bible says that "God helped the Levites that bare the ark. . . ."  The word help means "to surround, defend."  God helped the Levites in a specific way-He surrounded them and protected them.  From what or whom did the Levites need protection?  Well, think about Uzza just a few chapters before!  Would you want to move the ark when the last guy died doing the same thing?  They needed protection from the judgment of God!


God can either be your greatest danger or your greatest defense.  Israel's greatest danger in bringing the ark back was not the advice of friends or the assault of enemies.  Their greatest danger was God!  When they brought the ark back, there was a sense of thankfulness and praise.


So what is the upshot of all of this?  Whatever you are worrying about today, it is probably not God.  So much of our day is consumed with pressure from a boss, from coworkers, or from peers.  Your entire day can be shaped by what you think about what people think about you!  Instead of being consumed with what people think, be concerned with what God already knows about you.  Your greatest danger is not displeasing someone at work or school; your greatest danger is displeasing God Almighty!


There is no need to walk around your day with a complex and a fear of the doom and judgment of God.  I don't know what will consume your time and attention this day.  The point is, frame all of your cares in light of who God is and what He can do.  Is God your greatest danger, or is He your greatest defense? 




Camp Quotes...

"Unforgiveness always brings misery."

-Evangelist Matt Downs



Prayer Requests: 

1. Safety for groups traveling home tonight and tomorrow

2. Families and individuals traveling to camp this weekend




Looking for more devotionals?  Visit the archives here

Bill Rice Ranch | 627 Bill Rice Ranch Road | Murfreesboro | TN | 37128

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Dog Tales

Greystoke was our Merle Great Dane. He brought many years of joy and hours of amusement to all of us... but not just us. We had to go out of down so we boarded Stokie with a local vet.

Cecil was the man in charge of the boarded dogs and he and Stokie soon were fast friends. He told me this story.

When I came to feed him I put the bowl on the floor and he just stood there and looked at me. I said, "Go ahead and eat," but he just stared at me. So I thought, "Okay, what's the problem here?" So I figured, okay- he's a tall dog. Maybe he doesn't eat off the floor. So I put the bowl on a stool and he ate it right up. When he finished he knocked the bowl off the stool with his paw telling me, "You can clear the table now."
At night I put an extra blanket in the run for him and he laid right down and went to sleep. First thing in the morning though he did number one on it so I figured he was finished with it for the day. The rest of the week went fine since he let me know what he wanted. I would give him a clean blanket at night and take away the dirty one in the morning after he took care of business. That's a smart dog- he knows what he wants and knows how to ask for it.

And so he did. We may not always know what we want but sometimes we wonder why God doesn't give us something in particular we want or need. It could be that He is just waiting on us to ask. James 4:2 have not, because ye ask not.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011



Pastor Rick Jackson

Everybody suffers. No ifs, ands, or buts when it comes to suffering. Naturally, God has a way for His children, not to avoid suffering, but to make the most out of it. One book of the Bible that really helps is the book of James. You could say the key to the book of James is suffering, and a key to handling suffering the right way is the book of James.

I. GET THE KEYS [v. 1-4]

1. Count it Joy [v. 2]

2. Know it’s Purposeful [v. 3, 2:20, 5:20]

3. Let it Work [v. 4]

II. TURN THE KEYS [v. 5-27]

1. Count on God- pray for wisdom [v. 5-8] each trial is different, John lost his head, Daniel lived

2. Know God’s Way- get the Facts [v. 9-17]

3. Let God be God- Obey to His Word [v. 18-22]


1. Lest you be Deceived [v. 22-23]

2. Lest you be Forgetful [v. 24-25] literally “to lose out of mind”

3. Lest you be Vain [v. 26-27]

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Worshipping the Creature

I recently read an interesting and scary [to me] account of a "joyful" event. It said a 17 year-old girl was "sobbing uncontrollably" in a booth at the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con international, her tears motivated by "uncontrollable joy and happiness". She had traveled 800 miles from her home in New Mexico and while at Comic-con had a chance run in with Alexander Skarsgard, who plays "the luscious vampire Eric Northman" on TRUE BLOOD, an HBO series. He was very kind and gave her and her mother autographs. The girl "was still so overcome and shocked at her unexpected good fortune that, even ten minutes later, she was still trembling, had tears streaming down her cheeks, and could barely speak."

Sounds familiar to me. How often have I heard the stories of fans down through the years at Elvis concerts, New Kids on the Block, Michael Jackson, Tom Jones, et cetera, et cetera, ad nauseum- [I love the latter term because this is making me nauseated to think about it] swooning over their idols.

Males are not immune either. Sport/sport entertainment fans who hold up blasphemous signs like "MICK FOLEY IS GOD" are guilty of this blatant worship. Even politics. Remember the way Obama [whether you like him or hate him this is undeniable] was portrayed by some as a messianic figure of godlike proportions. That's nothing new as this account from the New Testament documents:

Acts 12:21-22 And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them. And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man.

However common it is- these things ought not to be. I certainly understand how pagans can be so misguided but the truth is Christians can be just as bad- worshipping men, or movies, or fictional characters, or... well, you get the idea. We should check up on ourselves and make sure we only worship God.

Romans 1:21-25 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Quotes of the Week

Remember- the Gospel is dynamite! Share it with someone today. - Rev. Bob Circeo

Finish the job. - Bob Jones Sr.

In my understanding, emptying comes before filling, confession before forgiveness, and poverty before riches. Christ said there is a happiness in that acknowledgment of spiritual poverty which lets God come into our souls. - Mabala Fred

If you should do it, then you can do it. The God that commands is the God that enables. - Evangelist Wil Rice IV

We are all saved to serve. - Evangelist Ron Reilly

The issues of your life are a result of the decisions of your heart. - Evangelist Chris Miller

God wants for you what you would want for yourself, if you were smart enough to want it. - Pastor Jason Gaddis

Sunday, July 24, 2011


LUKE 1:22-56

Pastor Rick Jackson


1. A Pure Daughter of David [v. 24-27]

2. A Promised Daughter of Destiny [v. 28-33, Gn. 3:15, Is. 7:14]

Jeremiah 31:22 How long wilt thou go about, O thou backsliding daughter? for the LORD hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man.

3. A Perceptive Daughter of Dedication [v. 34-38]


1. The Momentum of the Submissive [v. 36-45]

2. The Moving of the Spirit [v. 40-41]

3. The Message of the Saint [v. 42-45]


1. The Song of the Saved Sinner [v. 46-47]

2. The Song of the Satisfied Servant [v. 48-54]

Matthew 10:25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. …

3. The Song of the Sacred Scripture [v. 55-56]

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.


PSALM 17:15

Pastor Rick Jackson

Everybody wants satisfaction but no one has found it beneath the sun. The book of Ecclesiastes tells of Solomon’s efforts to be satisfied and his inability to be thus. If the richest, wisest man of his time failed how, with our meager resources, do we hope to be satisfied?


1. The Testimony of Job [Job 19:26-27]

And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.

2. The Testimony of Paul [1st Thessalonians 4:13-18, I Cor. 15]

3. The Testimony of John [1 John 3:2]

Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.


Generally speaking not everyone is satisfied by the same things or the same people. What satisfies your sweet tooth?

1. The Difficulties of this Life [Ps. 17:1-8]

The closest we come in this life is living in fellowship with Him but we fail! Are you satisfied with your spiritual life?

Proverbs 27:20 Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.

2. The Opposition of this Life [Ps. 17:9-13]

3. The Injustice of this Life [Ps. 17:14]


And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

1. The Testimony of John [1 John 3:2]

2. The Testimony Of Paul [Philippians 3:21]
Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

3. The Testimony of Peter [2 Peter 3:13 compared with Ps. 17:15]]

Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Question of the Week: Is the Trinity three different gods?

Answers Weekly - Answers in Genesis
Answers Weekly | newsletter archives | contact us
July 23, 2011

a weekly look at

top leftIn this issue . . .

Q: Is the Trinity three different gods?

A: The Bible should be accepted as the final authority for the believer. Therefore, we must look to Scripture to learn what God has revealed about Himself in His inspired Word. The famous passage known as the Shema (Hebrew: "hear") starts by stating, "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength" (Deuteronomy 6:4–5). The Bible is quite clear: God is one!
The Bible is also clear that there are three Persons who are each called God. This plurality of God is presented in 2 Corinthians 13:14: "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ [the Son], and the love of God [the Father], and the communion of the Holy Spirit [the Holy Spirit] be with you all. Amen" (bracketed information added). With our finite minds it is impossible to fully comprehend the infinite God. It is also difficult for us to apprehend the concept that God is one Being in three Persons.

Continue reading to explore more about the Trinity as revealed in Scripture.

News to Note Quick Look

The Ark sails: As reported nationwide this past week in a syndicated Associated Press article picked up by dozens of newspapers and websites, the Ark Encounter themed attraction is tentatively scheduled to break ground in a few weeks. Read more.

Dawn over Vesta: NASA's Dawn space probe, after an almost four year trip, is now orbiting VestaĆ¢€"one of the largest objects in the asteroid belt. Dawn will orbit Vesta until next year and then move on to the dwarf planet Ceres. Vesta and Ceres are the most massive bodies in the asteroid belt located between Mars and Jupiter. Read more.


Biblical Authority Devotionals

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Friday, July 22, 2011


Bill Rice Ranch - First Light Devotionals 

I Chronicles 4:9-10 "And Jabez was more honourable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow. And Jabez called on the God of Israel. . . ."


What's in a Name?


What do you think of when you hear the name Jabez? If you know anything about Jabez, you probably think of his prayer in I Chronicles 4. More than likely, you do not think about what his name really means: sorrow! Why did his mother name him "sorrow"? I'm not sure, but it was not exactly a snappy beginning to his life!

Years ago when my grandfather went to the Congo in the 1950's, it was a common practice among the tribal people to name their kids the worst name they could think of. In their thinking, the Devil hated them and would do their kids harm if they appeared to love them. They chose names like "Utterly Worthless" and "Ugly Monkey"! Can you imagine getting a name like that or a name like "sorrow"?

Regardless of the circumstances of your birth, God is both capable and caring. Jabez "called on the God of Israel," but more importantly, he saw the "God of Israel" as the God of Jabez. In contrast to David's sons, Jabez had no privileged standing at birth; his own mother named him sorrow! Don't miss the truth that you can do one of two things with the name you have today: you can accept it blindly, or you can do something about it. What your name means to other people is purely a matter of what you make it mean!

Today, you have the name your parents gave you and the name you give yourself. Jabez started out as sorrow, but he ended up with God giving him what he asked for! A dishonorable name by birth was transformed into an honorable name by living. Begin today with the end in mind. That is, if you want to end up being reliable, start that way today. If you want to end up being honest, determine to be truthful in everything today. What's in a name? Well, I guess that depends on what you make of it!


Camp Quotes...

"We are all saved to serve."

-Evangelist Ron Reilly

 Prayer Requests: 

1. Campers traveling home from camp tonight and tomorrow

2. Groups traveling to the Ranch from Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, South Carolina, North Carolina, Kentucky, Missouri, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Texas, Michigan, and South Korea

3. A special word from Brother Rice about summer staff needs




Looking for more devotionals? Visit the archives here


Bill Rice Ranch | 627 Bill Rice Ranch Road | Murfreesboro | TN | 37128