Wednesday, March 17, 2010


"A sound heart is the life of the flesh: But envy the rottenness of the bones." (Proverbs 14:30) - What a wonderfully, powerful Scripture; Allow God to let His peace keep your heart and reap the amazing blessing of a healthy life! Let's look at this Proverb in more detail.

The original Hebrew word for "sound" is "marpe'". "Marpe'" means, "health, healing, cure, sound mind, and also, to heal of personal/individual distresses." That pretty much covers anything, and everything, that concerns our well-being, doesn't it? Thank God for that!

"Heart" originally comes from the Hebrew word, "leb". The definition of "leb" is: Inner man, mind, will, heart, and understanding. It refers to the midst of the inner parts and includes: 1) midst (of things), 2) heart (of man), 3) soul, heart (of man), 4) mind, knowledge, thinking, reflection, memory, 5) inclination, resolution, determination (of will), 6) conscience,
7) heart (of moral character), 8) as seat of appetites, 9) as seat of emotions and passions, and 10) as seat of courage. Read this paragraph carefully, allow this knowledge to enlighten you, and peace will follow.

"Life" originally comes from the Hebrew word, "chay" and literally means "living thing". As long as there is breath in each of us, there is life!

The original Hebrew meaning of "flesh" is "basar" and means, "the flesh of the human body or animal body; the body itself". Our flesh is our body. Without flesh, we cannot live. It is the protective barrier between our inner parts and the environment. It is a very important part of our body. Skin is our largest organ; adults carry some 8 pounds (3.6 kilograms) and 22 square feet (2 square meters) of it. This fleshy covering does a lot more than make us look presentable. In fact, without it, we'd literally evaporate (since we are mostly made up of water).

"Envy" comes from the Hebrew word, "qin'ah", meaning: ardour, zeal, jealousy. Any of these three things can separate us from God if we allow it to become sin. I am so thankful for God's love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness (See Psalms 103:12)!

The final word for study today is, "Rottenness": It translates from the Hebrew word, "raqab", simply meaning, "decay".

"A sound heart is the life of the flesh: But envy the rottenness of the bones." In a nutshell, our life is in having a sound heart! Is your heart "sound"?

It was just a few weeks ago that I had to re-examine my life, re-prioritize, and beging "renewing my mind". I pray that each of you think on this Scripture and let God lead you!

God bless you!

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Attention friends and family! At 7:30 am tomorrow (29th) I am undergoing open-heart surgery in Las Vegas at San Martin Hospital. It's a very complicated surgery; replacement of my aortic and mitral valves with bioprosthetic (part pig/part mechanical) valves. Please keep me and my family in your thoughts and prayers. I'm in for the long haul! Be back on this blog as soon as I can! Keep reading your Bible. :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

January 10 Reading

Job 15 - 22. Once again, Job's three friends (Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar) reprove him. Eliphaz describes the type of life a "wicked man" has. Chapter 15:20 says, "The wicked man travaileth with pain all his days, and the number of years is hidden to the oppressor.". Then verse 24 goes on to state, "Trouble and anguish shall make him afraid;...", and the last Scriptures I'm citing is 15:29-30, which say, "He shall not be rich, neither shall his substance continue, neither shall he prolong the perfection thereof upon the earth. He shall not depart out of darkness;..."

Let's focus on verse 24 for a minute. Even as Christians, we are going to experience trouble and anguish in our lives. For the "wicked" this brings about fear. But thankfully, for us Christians, it should cause us to turn to God to seek peace and resolution. Faith and fear don't mix!

Job 19:25 states, "For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth.". It is my utmost hope that each person reading this blog knows this, as it is just as true today as it was baback then!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

January 9 Reading

Job 8 - 14. In chapter 8, one of Job's friends there for support, Bildad, speaks up. Bildad discusses God's justice to dealing with men according to their works. As he continues, he speaks of how our lives are so short, "because our days upon earth are a shadow" (8:9), we need to be cautious to not become hypocritical (8:13). He ends by offering encouraging words to Job that God would not "cast away a perfect man, neither will He help the evil doers:" (8:20).

Chapter 9 tells how Job acknowledges God's justice and admits that there is no advantage/rightness to contend with God, because of who He is (9:32).

In chapter 10, Job really starts complaining about his afflictions, which, at this point, are many. He complains of life and simply wants a little ease from pain before he dies. I think verses 15-16 noteworthy of quoting, "If I be wicked, woe unto me; and if I be righteous, yet will I not lift up my head. I am full of confusion; therefore see thou mine affliction; For it increaseth...". I am confident in saying that everyone reading this has, at some time, been "full of confusion". But, notice what Job does as he admits his confusion; he immediately asks God to see it, because it's getting almost too hard to bear. Can we honestly say that we do this? If not, we should! It never hurts to beseech God and ask for a little help.

Chapter 11 begins with Job's final friend, Zophar, speaking. He reproves Job for justifying himself; believing he's a good man, that he does what's right, that he's not wicked, that he's done nothing to his knowledge to deserve any of this, etc. Zophar announces that God's wisdom is unsearchable and assures Job that blessings come with repentence. Additionally, just to show how much grace God gives to those of us who believe, in verse 6, Zophar wisely says, "Know therefore that God exacteth of thee less than thine iniquity deserveth.". Verse 13 offers sound advice, "If thou prepare thine heart, and stretch out thine hands toward Him...". How true this sage reasoning is for us today! We should pray for God to help us prepare our own hearts and to help us to reach toward Him. Verses 14-20 are just beautiful! Zophar expounds on how much peace can come from repentence.

In chapter 12, Job responds to the messages that Zophar had just given to him. He continues to maintain his innocence and righteousness now agaist all three of his friends. Job acknowledges God's omnipotency. A couple of Scriptures jumped out of me, verses 9 and 10, "Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the Lord hath wrought this? In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind?". We must take care to not forget that our existence is in God's hands... and our protection.

In chapter 13, Job reproves his friends once again and professes his confidence to God. He yearns to be able to know his own sins and to learn God's purpose for him as He allows him to be afflicted. One of the verses (15) is one of my favorite old hymns, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him". Job asks two things of his friends: 1) Go far away from him at this time, and 2) Don't let their dread make him afraid (verses 20-21). He pleads with himself, them, and God to show him his sins (verse 23).

Job asks God for favor in chapter 14; the favor being the shortness of his life. He seems to be in a hopeless dilemma, having lost everything, but despite his circumstances, he still waits for a change to come his way. Job hangs on by a thread, but he hangs on!

January 8 Reading

Job 1 - 7. Job is living THE LIFE. He's healthy, wealthy, wise, and has a very strong belief in God. Much like Abraham, remember?

The book of Job begins by recounting the facts surrounding Job; his wealth, his family, and his health. He seems to be living a sweet, sweet life, when suddenly Satan approaches God with his unwarranted, bitter philosophy that no one in the world really loves God for who He is; but rather Satan argues with God that people only love him for the material riches.

At this point, enters Job. The perfect candidate for Satan to prove his ideas to God.

In the beginning of this book, Satan was contually busy: Job 1:7, "From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it". He still does this today. He is always alert to try to find the "holes" in our faith; our weaknesses. Once he finds one, he focuses on trying to destroy our faith. God surrounds us with a "hedge" (1:10) of protection, but occasionally our faith is tested.

Unfortunately, Job's faith was tested to the extreme. He lost his family, wealth, and health, but he held fast to his faith in God. Even his own wife told Job, "Dost thou still retain thy integrity? Curse God and die." She showed her foolishness in her advice, but "In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly".

Three of Jobs friends show up for moral support: Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, "... they made an appointment together to come to mouurn with him and to comfort him" (2:11) for "... his grief was very great" (2:13). Do you have friends that support you? I hope so! They can be such a blessing!

When Eliphaz spoke, he began trying to figure out Job's situation and advise him. He tells Job what he though he should do and reproved him (Chapters 4-5). Job, however, defends himself and reproves Eliphaz of unkindness, "To him that is afflicted pity should be shewed from his friend..." (6:14).

Job, in his response to Eliphaz, says, "Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth?..." (7:1). Job's wondering if his time has come!

Sometimes when life overwhelms us, health-wise, and we feel near death, it is a time to consider what the divine purpose of God's will is. Our life, afterall, is in His hands! I am thankful for the life God has given me.

On a very personal note, I am scheduled for a very complicated open-heart surgery on January 29, 2010. I think to myself, what if I don't make it? If not, it's my time to go and I can be very happy with that (24/7 pain for a year is very hard to deal with and has taken a major toll on my physical body). I will join my Father and Christ, along with my loved ones that have already past. But, then, I think to myself, I need to make it! My family has suffered such grief over the past 5 years that it is unimaginable. I have things to do! Relationships to strengthen. My own spirituality to focus on! God has saved me from the clutches of death so many times over the past couple of years, that it is unreal, literally. He obviously has a plan for me and I need to quit messing around and figure out what it is!

I am blessed. I am happy. I am at peace. Like Job, how can I complain about aches and pains when I have my faith to hang on to?

Thursday, January 21, 2010


The author of Job is unknown and was written in the Land of Uz, approximately 2000-1800 B.C. This book discusses suffering and the blessings that can come from it. Bible scholars mostly agree that Job is the oldest book of the Bible and that Job lived in the same era as Abraham. This explains why our reading journey makes a leap from the middle of Genesis over to Job.

Abraham and Job had a couple of things in common; both were wealthy and both possessed a strong faith in God.

Throughout Job, he complains of his afflictions (which include the loss of his family, his wealth, and his health) to his friends. He spends a good amount of time dwelling on his suffering until he finally realizes that it isn't his place to question God. He repents and God immediately restores his health, gives him another family, and makes him more wealthy than he had been before.

Job ends his personal suffering with a simple, yet powerful, message: "I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes." (Job 42:6).

Everyone has their own battles to fight, but this book serves to remind me that I, like Job, need to be repentant and just trust God. It is too easy at times to complain about life. My hope is that I pray my way through life and not complain my way through life!

Holy Bible: The Poetic Books

In an earlier post, I mentioned that the first 17 books of the Bible gave the history of civilization through various authors.

There is also a different set of books in the Old Testament (OT) that are called, "The Poetic Books". These books include: Job, Psalms, Proverrbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon.

The poetical books do not address the history of mankind, but instead they relate life's experiences in matters of the human heart. These books explore such things as suffering, life, love, wisdom, and most importantly, a glimpse into who God is. These books link the history of our past with the prophetic books that were to come in the future.

These books are the most read in the OT. Personally, I find a lot of peace and comfort within these books! I pray that you do also, as we continue our journey through the Bible.