Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Tongue Twisters…Nehemiah 7

Skipping Without a Rope
My dad taught me all about how to take a simple piece of flat shale and using just the right wrist movement and fling, that thin piece of dark shale would joyfully skip across the surface of the flat calm surface. If it didn't work the first time, you just kept trying until you got it. Not sure why exactly, but what an enjoyable activity. Once I learned that, I would look for any rock flat enough (only if there was no shale of course) to skip across any water surface. Some would work, some went kerplunk. Oooh, remember Kerplunk? Hmm, but I digress. But don't ya just like saying that word though? Okay, back to the matter at hand, skipping rocks. Turns out, I also skip proverbial rocks across the Bible as well. What do I mean exactly?
Well,  don't know about you, but when Craig and I come to those chapters in the Bible that are all about the genealogies and/or names that tend to twist the tongue in the Bible (not to mention knowing how to pronounce them), we skim across the surface to get to the next chapter. I wouldn't feel too bad about it. But then, during last week's group study, our leader told a couple of us who were reading passages out loud, to not bother finishing the verse because of the difficult names in it. It was then I felt convicted about skipping across the names in our personal studies. After all, this is God's Word we are reading, not some history book or novel. If those names are in there, there's a reason. On that note, here we are today, chapter seven of Nehemiah, the chapter of names.

It's All About Genes
Just like other passages in Scripture, this chapter is not just about who's related to who (or is it whom?), but the names of some individuals who were tasked with specific duties. There were those who basically did the security watches. There were singers appointed and porters, Nehemiah's brother, Hanani, and someone named Hananiah, the ruler of the palace, were both placed in charge over Jerusalem.  
In verse 7:5, Nehemiah was lead by God to gather the nobles and rulers together, as well as the rest of the people to document or record their genealogy. I think we all know genealogy is whose parents are who or who begat who. In the case of a report like this, it is also to record as well, just how many of them there are. He actually found a register or document with the information. It would appear to be somewhat of a census, so they would know who the people of Israel were since they returned to Jerusalem. (just my guess as to why?)

The document is specific and in some places breaks the people down into specific categories, such as singers and porters. What is a porter you ask? As far as I can tell, they are the gate keepers. Hmmm, think maybe of the Porters that work in Hospitals and Hotels and such….Hope that helps.

[Neh 7:43-63 KJV] 43 The Levites: the children of Jeshua, of Kadmiel, [and] of the children of Hodevah, seventy and four. 44 The singers: the children of Asaph, an hundred forty and eight. 45 The porters: the children of Shallum, the children of Ater, the children of Talmon, the children of Akkub, the children of Hatita, the children of Shobai, an hundred thirty and eight. 46 The Nethinims: the children of Ziha, the children of Hashupha, the children of Tabbaoth, 47 The children of Keros, the children of Sia, the children of Padon, 48 The children of Lebana, the children of Hagaba, the children of Shalmai, 49 The children of Hanan, the children of Giddel, the children of Gahar, 50 The children of Reaiah, the children of Rezin, the children of Nekoda, 51 The children of Gazzam, the children of Uzza, the children of Phaseah, 52 The children of Besai, the children of Meunim, the children of Nephishesim, 53 The children of Bakbuk, the children of Hakupha, the children of Harhur, 54 The children of Bazlith, the children of Mehida, the children of Harsha, 55 The children of Barkos, the children of Sisera, the children of Tamah, 56 The children of Neziah, the children of Hatipha. 57 The children of Solomon's servants: the children of Sotai, the children of Sophereth, the children of Perida, 58 The children of Jaala, the children of Darkon, the children of Giddel, 59 The children of Shephatiah, the children of Hattil, the children of Pochereth of Zebaim, the children of Amon. 60 All the Nethinims, and the children of Solomon's servants, [were] three hundred ninety and two. 61 And these [were] they which went up [also] from Telmelah, Telharesha, Cherub, Addon, and Immer: but they could not shew their father's house, nor their seed, whether they [were] of Israel. 62 The children of Delaiah, the children of Tobiah, the children of Nekoda, six hundred forty and two. 63 And of the priests: the children of Habaiah, the children of Koz, the children of Barzillai, which took [one] of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite to wife, and was called after their name.
Then it appears (if I have this correctly), there were some who were priests but when it was discovered that they didn't have the proper genealogy or DNA, they were removed from priesthood.

[Neh 7:63-64 KJV] 63 And of the priests: the children of Habaiah, the children of Koz, the children of Barzillai, which took [one] of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite to wife, and was called after their name. 64 These sought their register [among] those that were reckoned by genealogy, but it was not found: therefore were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood.

Sacred Decision Making
In Craig's synopsis, he noted that in verse sixty five, someone named the Tirshatha, also known as the Governor (In this passage, Nehemiah used that title, it was a title used by the Persian Governor) then said that they shouldn't eat of the most holy things until there was priest with Urim and Thummim. Urim are called "lights" and are stones kept in the high priest's breastplate, that he used to determine God's will regarding certain decisions. The Thummim, which means "perfection," they were stones provided for the purposes of achieving a sacred lot used in conjunction with the Urim, to know God's decision on a matter. 
Think drawing straws, well, sort of. No, this does not endorse gambling as some assert. Using these methods to know His will, were ordained by God Himself and are not games of chance. It was God who let the specify rock/s "speak" or be selected. 

Not only did they total the specific number of male and female singers, but the horses, mules and camels were counted as well…

[Neh 7:67-69 KJV] 67 Beside their manservants and their maidservants, of whom [there were] seven thousand three hundred thirty and seven: and they had two hundred forty and five singing men and singing women. 68 Their horses, seven hundred thirty and six: their mules, two hundred forty and five: 69 [Their] camels, four hundred thirty and five: six thousand seven hundred and twenty asses.

Chapter seven ends with details on how much gold and and other valuables were given to accomplish God's work, one being the rebuilding of Jerusalem. Then, by the seventh month (I looked it up, it is October during this calendar period) everyone had settled down in their cities and towns. I am assuming that they mean they returned to where they lived prior to the Babylonian captivity.

Ha, Craig pointed out that here we are, studying this in October! Cool.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Conspiracy Fact

Conspiracy Theories
Believe it or not, Craig and I enjoy researching conspiracy theories to learn which ones are conspiracy fact. Unsure about what a conspiracy theory is, keep reading… 

It is pretty common that when you tell someone what you believe really may have happened regarding say, the JFK assassination or September 11, 2001, they look at you like you are out of your mind. It gets worse when you tell them about how secret or elusive societies such as the Freemasons, the Illuminati, the Bilderberg Group, or the Bohemian Grove and such, seem to really exist. It is why we usually only discuss it between the two of us :o)

Merriam Webster Dictionary's definition of conspiracy is "a secret plan made by two or more people to do something that is harmful or illegal and conspiracy theory   definition: "a theory that explains an event or situation as the result of a secret plan by usually powerful people or groups." 
Basically, conspiracists don't tow the party line that the mainstream media presents us with, regarding explanations for events and subjects, such as mentioned above. Usually we reject what we've been told in most cases because the evidence just doesn't stack up. When that happens, those who want a more acceptable answer or in many cases, those who really want to know the truth, do detail research on whatever it is. And then there are those who come up with the ideas or theories on the truth. 
Based on what we have learned thus far, there are legitimate conspiracies that prove to be true and those that, well, appear to have a tad too much time on their hands. For example look at what some conspiracists came up with when the Malaysian Air Flight MH370  couldn't be found or the theories about how the deaths of some celebrities such as, Robin Williams have been illuminati sacrifices. So I can understand why one might roll their eyes…
However, if you choose to not take all "news" word for word,  often enough, you will discover that there is plausible evidence to discredit what we believe to be true. Asking questions is always a good thing.

For sure, the age of the internet has helped give a voice to anyone who wants to express a thought, including ones that should probably be kept to oneself. Regardless, conspiracy theories can not just be entertaining but quite sobering as well. 

If you are now, a tiny bit curious, feel free to check out a sampling of what is available regarding some of the mentioned topics that I have posted on my Pinterest account. (click)

Believing Without Seeing
We may have learned to question all we hear and see in the media or even from the government, but, we can rest in knowing beyond all doubt, that all we read in God's Holy Word can be taken at face value. Word for Word, God's Truth is reliable and solid. Go ahead and ask questions if you want, God's Word is not questionable - there is nothing to doubt. That includes this conspiracy that we read today in Nehemiah Chapter six!

Here are my notes from reading Nehemiah Chapter six. I do confess that after my husband read his synopsis, I added some points I missed. Thanks Craig! It's why we are doing this together :o)

Nehemiah Chapter 6
When Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab, and Nehemiah's other enemies found out that he was done rebuilding the wall, they begged Nehemiah to meet with them. They sent multiple messages. Realizing they were intent on harming him, Nehemiah replied by asking why should he stop working to meet with them. This exchange of messages repeated four times - the exact same words back and forth. However, it was the fifth time when Sanballat sent his servant with a letter that talked about how there was a rumour about Nehemiah and his intentions regarding rebuilding the wall. It was rumoured that the Jews were planning a rebellion and that he wanted to become Nehemiah their king, among other related stories.

Nehemiah replied again, telling him the stories were completely false. The letter challenged Nehemiah to come and talk with their King. He refused to go. 

A Conspiracy  
A false prophet was sent to Nehemiah asking him to basically hide out in God's temple for protection. He told Nehemiah that Tobiah and his cronies were planning on killing him. To hide out in God's House was not something Nehemiah believed was the right thing to do.  He clearly was a bold, courageous prophet of God. Then Nehemiah was given God's discernment and he concluded that this fellow was not of God, but was hired to deceive him, by Tobiah and Sanballat. didn't listen to him. 

In [Neh 6:10-11 KJV] 10 Afterward I came unto the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah the son of Mehetabeel, who [was] shut up; and he said, Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple, and let us shut the doors of the temple: for they will come to slay thee; yea, in the night will they come to slay thee. 11 And I said, Should such a man as I flee? and who [is there], that, [being] as I [am], would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in.Nehemiah was determined to work even harder on the rebuild because he knew these fellows where trying to intimidate him and tempt him to sin, in an attempt to ruin his credibility, and get him to slow down or stop the work in Jerusalem.

On October 2nd, it was complete. It took fifty two days to complete it. Hmmm, I wonder if that number is significant considering there are 52 weeks in a year??

Humiliated and Scared
The enemies of the Jews were quite bothered by the restoration and could not deny that the Nehemiah and his people had the help of their God. In spite of all this, Tobiah sent many letters to the nobles of Judah who had an alliance with Tobiah, because of certain "social" connections. They would say many nice things about Tobiah to Nehemiah trying to scare him and then would report back to Tobiah whatever he said.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Interest Free Loans

The people cried out against their fellow Israelites because they were worried about the famine or dearth in the King James. 
Dearth is Hebrew for 
1. famine, hunger  A. famine (in land, nation) i) of Jevhovah's word (fig)
B) hunger (of individuals)
They mentioned that they had even mortgaged their homes and land in order to buy food. Even the children were being forced, I assume by their parents, into slavery. I think when they say that because their fields and vineyards belong to others, that is why they have had to force their children into bondage - as a form of payment. It is sad to think that in order to eat, children can be used as payment in some degree. 

When Nehemiah heard what these people were crying about he talked with the nobles and the rulers and convicted them on their usury. They were using the famine as a  means to gain wealth/slaves from their own people who didn't have the means to repay what they owed. Yet if the people who borrowed from them couldn't pay, they would pay with the lives of their youth. Interest on loans being charged among their own people was never acceptable to God. Nehemiah told them to lend without the usury part. 

Usury means in Hebrew: 
USURY means:
1. lending on interest, usury 
2. n Neh. 5:11, the rate of "usury" was only one per cent

Nehemiah asked them to restore to their own people, all they had taken from them, houses, lands, vineyards, olive yards, and the hundredth part of the interest the paid in money well.

The nobles and rulers agreed to restore everything and said they would require nothing from them. Nehemiah made an oath with them to make sure they would abide by what they said.

Nehemiah became the governor of the people. Those who were governors prior to him, were not above board. In fact they were chargeable because they had stolen (from what I read) money and food. Nehemial did what was right because he feared God.

He had his servants help build the wall and he never bought any land. Nehemiah shared his table with an hundred and fifty of the Jews and rulers and some heathen as well.

Nehemiah asked God to remember him for good because of all that he had done for the people of Jerusalem.

Armed, Ready, Build!

Chapter 4 of Nehemiah
Sanballat was livid when he heard that the wall was being rebuilt. He mocked the Jews. He talked to his army of Samaria, asking things about what the rebuild could mean…"will they fortify themselves? Will they make and end in a day?”
Tobiah tried to make fun, by saying that if a fox went on the wall, he would break it down.
Nehemiah prayed to God, saying “we are despised…”
When Sanballat and Tobiah, the Arabians and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites heard that the walls of Jerusalem were coming along, that all of the breaches were repaired , they were very angry. So angry they conspired all night (verse 4:8) against the Israelites, how to fight them and hinder them.
Nehemiah and the people prayed to God and placed people in places to watch throughout the night and day. Judah was concerned that the strength of the bearers is weakening because there is too much rubbish, to move.“
Their adversaries said, that the Israelites won't know or see us until we come and slay them and make the work on the wall stop.
Jews who lived close by were concerned that they could be attacked from every direction. But when the enemies heard about the plans Judah had to protect every angle and part of the area, half worked on the wall and half held spears, shields, *habergeons and bows - verse 16, God had frustrated their plans.
A Habergeon is: 1.body armour, 2. a weapon, 3. perhaps a lance, javelin
So the enemies plans were all for nothing, God thwarted them. The people got back to work, all the ones who had a spare hand, had their sword by their side. As well Nehemiah was the one to sound the warning alarm (a trumpet) And half of the men held their spears on guard from morning until night, while the other half worked on the rebuild.
Nehemiah told them that the Lord would fight for them when the trumpet blows. He also told everyone who lived outside of the walls to to stay in Jerusalem to help with guard duty and work. None of them ever took off their clothes or went without their weapons, and only took off their clothes when they had to wash.

Who Did What and Who Didn't?

Nehemiah Chapter 3

Chapter three seems to be about listing the names of those who helped with the building of the wall of Jerusalem and even mentioning those who didn't help. Here are just a few notes on what I believe this chapter is about. 

One thing that came to mind was that nothing in God's Word is in vain. Meaning, that even the lengthy lists of genealogies and details have special purpose. So I cheated and googled that thought. Because specific names of gates and areas are mentioned, I thought it would be a good idea to have a diagram of Jerusalem to see where these places and names fit in.

On that note, here's what I saw in chapter three and after that is the link that gives an idea of what all of the details may mean. 

In verse one we are told that Eliashib, who was the high priest, with his brethren the priests, built the sheep gate and sanctified it, as well as setting up the gate's doors. They also blessed the tower of Meah, and the tower of Hananeel I am guessing that each gate or area has a significant meaning which means, I looked it up and found some interesting notes and diagrams at a sight linked here (incase you are interested) 

The rest of this chapter tells us specifically, who built what and who didn't.  
There was the fish gate that was rebuilt, as well as…
Fortified the bros wall of Jersusalem
The valley gate
The Dung Gate
The gate of the fountain

The Tekoites repaired but their nobles did not.

As mentioned, the gates of Jerusalem have both a personal and prophetic aspect. I’ll use a table to display this so that you can read which ever column you want.

The Gate of Jerusalem Personal Significance Prophetic/Historical Significance

Sheep Gate'
the House of Eliashib
the Water gate
the Wall of Ophel
The priests their own houses
the East Gate
Individuals repaired their own chambers and homes
The gate Miphkad

Here is the article the diagram was taken from if you want to hear someone's interpretation about Nehemiah's Jerusalem (click here).

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Nehemiah Chapter 1 and 2 - A Plan to Rebuild

Chapter 1
My synopsis is from reading the New American Standard Bible and the King James. I totally endorse the King James Bible, but the way my brain works, I just have a very difficult time understanding what I am reading at times. So to help explain it, I do reference some other translations. However, the KJV, I believe, is the number one standard to use. I know that sounds confusing and makes little sense- if I believe it is the best Engish translation, but, it is where my head is at for now. 
As visual artist/creative person that I am, reading the KJV, is sort of like solving math problems. Might I say, my first semester of math in grade nine was 29%! I think old english accesses the left lobe of the grey matter, like math does. My right lobe, never shuts down, but the left…well, all I can say is, I hope that makes some sense.
I don't believe it is a sin to use another translation, but I do think it gets too confusing when we do not have one standard to use as a plumb line. On that note, here are the notes from the study my husband and I are doing (well my notes anyway) We decided, instead of just reading the Bible out loud, while I doze off (it's his soothing voice that does it), we could both take 30 minutes, read the chapter and write what we believe it was about. Thought it would be fun to post it in this blog. You know, since I didn't keep up with my earlier "inductive" study plans.

Chapter 1 (we are doing Nehemiah because our Bible study leader is going to take us through it this year- thought it would be good to do home work ahead of time, instead of winging it the night of.)

Nehemiah is cupbearer to the king Artaxerxes.
The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, the gates burned with fire. And there is a remnant who escaped captivity and are in distress.
When Nehemiah heard about this he was distraught and prayed to the God of Heaven, fasted, wept and mourned for days. 
Nehemiah confesses sins, on behalf of his people Israel, as well as those within his own house. He says that they have basically rebelled against God by not following the Lord's commandments that He gave to Moses. And Nehemiah does acknowledge that God warned them that His people would be scattered if they were unfaithful to Him.

However, Nehemiah points out that God said *even though your outcasts are in uttermost parts of Heaven," (verse 9), He would gather them and bring them to the place where He has has chosen to make His Name dwell there.   Of course if they repent, keep His commandments and turn from their sins, back to the true God then he will restore them.

Nehemiah 2
It was the month of Nisan, (I looked it up and Nisan means: Nisan = Nisan = 1. "their flight" or 2. the 1st month of the Jewish calendar corresponding to March or April)

Nehemiah was giving wine to the king and the king asked why he was so sad, after all he was not ill or anything. Nehemiah hadn't displayed such an emotion in front of Artaxerxes before .

Nehemiah explains to the king how he is basically heart sick for his people because their homeland lies in ruins and also, many have perished. The king asks him what does he want to request of him? Nehemiah prayed to God to  give him favour with the king, to release him, in order to be able to go and rebuild Jerusalem. The king (and his queen was present) asked how long he would be gone? When Nehemiah told him, he was thankful for God granting him favour with the king, because he was letting him go to rebuild. He also asked for special letters from the king that I assume, authorized him to pass through certain places in order to safely get to his destination. As well he was given a letter to the person in charge of the forest, so he could obtain timber for the rebuild of Jerusalem.

As Nehemiah journeyed with some officers of the army and horsemen, there were two men he encountered who were not happy with the favour and care being given to the Israelites. Sanballat the Horonite (a Horonite is Horonite = "native of Horonaim" an inhabitant of Horonaim in Moab
the designation of Sanballat, the opponent of Nehemiah)
and Tobiah the Ammonite (Ammonite = see Ammon "tribal"
descendants of Ammon and inhabitants of Ammon)

He got through and stayed in Jerusalem three days but had told no one what God had put in his heart to do.  All he had was his horse with him. He inspected the walls and gate. When he went to the Fountain Gate and the King's pool, apparently his horse wouldn't fit. Not sure if this was a gate or not. The officials (I assume the Israelites in Jerusalem) didn't know where he had gone or what Nehemiah was up to. In fact these would be the ones he expected to do the work - the priests, nobles and officials and the rest.
He lets them know about the favour God has given him with the King and what his plans are for rebuilding. They agree to do it but those two opposing fellows, Sanballat and Tobiah and an other, called Gesham the Arab find out about and they give them a really hard time, despising them, asking if they are rebelling against the king?

Nehemiah tells them that the "God of Heaven will make us prosper, and we His servants will arise and build, but you have no portion or right or claim in Jerusalem."

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Proverbs 30-31. Notable Verses and Thoughts

[Pro 30:5-6, 8, 11-14, 18-20, 25-26, 28, 33 KJV] 
5 Every word of God [is] pure: he [is] a shield unto them that put
their trust in him. 

6 Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. 

... 8 Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: 

... 11 [There is] a generation [that] curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother. 

12 [There is] a generation [that are] pure in their own eyes, and [yet] is not washed from their filthiness. 

13 [There is] a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up. 

14 [There is] a generation, whose teeth [are as] swords, and their jaw teeth [as] knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from [among] men. 

... 18 There be three [things which] are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not: 

19 The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid. 

20 Such [is] the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness. 

... 25 The ants [are] a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer; 

26 The conies [are but] a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks; 

... 28 The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings' palaces. 

... 33 Surely the churning of milk bringeth forth butter, and the wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood: so the forcing of wrath bringeth forth strife.

[Pro 31:6-7, 10-12, 18-23, 25-28, 30 KJV
6 Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. 

7 Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more. 

... 10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price [is] far above rubies. 

11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. 

12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. 

... 18 She perceiveth that her merchandise [is] good: her candle goeth not out by night. 

19 She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. 

20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. 

21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household [are] clothed with scarlet. 

22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing [is] silk and purple. 

23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. 

... 25 Strength and honour [are] her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. 

26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue [is] the law of kindness. 

27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. 

28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband [also], and he praiseth her. 

... 30 Favour [is] deceitful, and beauty [is] vain: [but] a woman [that] feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Proverbs 27 -28. Notable Verses and Thoughts

Been a while since I said I was going to blog my studying to be accountable. Well, forget the excuses, yah, the excuses. Okay, I will write about them in the next entry :o). 
 [Pro 27:1, 5-7, 12, 14-15, 17 KJV] 
1 Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. … 
*This reminded me of James 4. 
[Jas 4:13-15 KJV] 13 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: 14 Whereas ye know not what [shall be] on the morrow. For what [is] your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. 15 For that ye [ought] to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.

Pro 27:5 KJV Open rebuke [is] better than secret love. 

6 Faithful [are] the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy [are] deceitful. 

7 The full soul loatheth an honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.

 ... 12 A prudent [man] foreseeth the evil, [and] hideth himself; [but] the simple pass on, [and] are punished. 

... 14 He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it shall be counted a curse to him. 

15 A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike. 

... 17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

[Pro 28:5-6, 9-10, 13, 18, 23, 25-26 KJV] 5 Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all [things]. 

6 Better [is] the poor that walketh in his uprightness, than [he that is] perverse [in his] ways, though he [be] rich. 

... 9 He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer [shall be] abomination. 

10 Whoso causeth the righteous to go astray in an evil way, he shall fall himself into his own pit: but the upright shall have good [things] in possession.

 ... 13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh [them] shall have mercy. 

... 18 Whoso walketh uprightly shall be saved: but [he that is] perverse [in his] ways shall fall at once. 

... 23 He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue. 

... 25 He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife: but he that putteth his trust in the LORD shall be made fat. 26 He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Baby Steps

I almost didn't do this...didn't I say that's what happens...good intentions and all. But here I am, thank You God for those heart tugs. Didn't actually do any official studying today but here are some thoughts.
Baby Steps...
Wasn't sure where to begin but since my goal is to study the entire Bible, it makes sense to start at the "Blue Letter Bible." is a great study for online/digital users. There is a great lexicon and a bunch of translations, not to mention dictionaries and commentaries. I believe God wants me to focus on asking the Holy Spirit to show me and not depend on the teachings of man.  He has blessed some with the gift of teaching so He can teach us through others. We just need to remember to test the spirits and watch our life and doctrine closely.
book f Genesis. The
Ready, Set...Study....
Regarding what translation of the Bible I believe I need to use. To date, based on prayer and experience, so far the King James is the main one, but not the only one. I do like referring to the New Living Translation paraphrase and comparing with other translations. And then another helpful tool is the Greek/Hebrew lexicon that you can use on the online versions.
And...if you have a hard time writing or typing like I am right now, due to muscle fatigue, you can make notes by audio or video. I may try that.
Study tools...
If you are going to do the inductive Bible study method (there seem to be a few variations of it), you will have seen that you are to have coloured pencils and markers and a Bible and notebook to make notes and cool codes beside passages and such. Because of my physical issues, lifting heavy Bibles are difficult, so I am going to try to do my study digitally.
Disclaimer :o) Ultimately, these study blogs are meant to help me be accountable and not being made "pretty" for the public. Obviously, blogging means it is open to anyone who happens to look. Bonus if anyone out in internet land finds anything here useful. Please keep in mind, I do not plan, so far, to make this fancy production for, so forgive me if anything isn't of good visual or audio quality. Lord willing, I will be here every day to record my study. If you want to join along, feel free.
Jesus Is The Word

I just read yesterday, that less than 10 percent of Christians have read the Bible cover to cover. It is
actually rather stunning to think that 90 percent of us who claim to believe in Jesus Christ, as our Lord and Saviour,  have not read His Word. How can that even be possible? Oh, but it is. I have been a believer for over twenty years and even though I have read portions of the Bible throughout, I can only remember purposely reading cover to cover once! Shame on me.
The How To Manual
Wait a minute, if we buy a new gadget or do dad, we always read the owner's manual - don't we? Well, I am one of those people who tend to wing it and try to figure out how to work something by trial and error. But, you know where that leads me? Firstly, I don't get the full usage or benefit of the item because I don't even know how to use it properly. Secondly, I end up damaging or hurting it, or myself. Depending on what it is, I may even ruin it. Hmmm....well, apply that to the becoming a Christian and it explains a lot. If we turn our life over to Jesus, yet do not read His Owner's Manual, how on earth can we live as Christians? It makes sense why so many of us, 90 percent to be more precise, failing, flip flopping and running around blindly, no different from the rest of the world. Thankfully God is patient and we can't earn our salvation. But He doesn't want us to just do our own thing, our own way. Here are some of many passages about His Word.

[Psa 19:7-14 KJV] 7 The law of the LORD [is] perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD [is] sure, making wise the simple. 8 The statutes of the LORD [are] right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD [is] pure, enlightening the eyes. 9 The fear of the LORD [is] clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD [are] true [and] righteous altogether. 10 More to be desired [are they] than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. 11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: [and] in keeping of them [there is] great reward. 12 Who can understand [his] errors? cleanse thou me from secret [faults]. 13 Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous [sins]; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. 14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

[Jhn 1:1-5 KJV] 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

[Jhn 1:14, 18 KJV] 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. ... 18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared [him].

[Heb 11:3 KJV] 3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

[Psa 119:160 KJV] 160 Thy word [is] true [from] the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments [endureth] for ever.

[Psa 119:50 KJV] 50 This [is] my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.

Thank you Lord for tugging at my heart and causing me to come here to be accountable by blogging what I study. Help me tomorrow to dive in and actually do that deeper studying part. Please help all of us to hunger and thirst for more of You. Give us wisdom  and discernment to understand and know You better and please bless anyone who reads this blog. Help them to know how much You love them and want them to let You into their life. Thank You for your love, forgiveness, patience and that you love us more than we can ever know. Help us to honour You in all we do. In Jesus' Name, Amen

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Dig Deep!

 Have you ever listened to or read someone's testimony or teaching about their relationship with Jesus Christ and their words affected your heart, stirring that longing to be as close as you possibly can with Jesus? So you vow from that moment on to get studying and reading, praying and learning. You even buy a new Bible, a note book and some fancy new coloured highlighting pencils! Then the sun rises on the next day and before you even got started, there you are distracted with life. In my case, whatever impulse that has caught my attention, be it sewing, organizing, drawing, yapping, creating, writing, watching cooking videos...whatever it may be. Poof, the sun sets and my new notebook is unmarked. Thankfully, we can't earn favour with God and He knows our hearts, thankfully He isn't distracted and is patient, loving, merciful, kind and so much more than that.
God Intentions
If you are the kind
of Christian like me, then there was a time when you did mark up your notebooks and Bible, even attending Bible studies, studied on your own, listened to all kinds of Bible teachers, bought books to help you learn more in and had quiet time with God every day.
After the first ten years or so, my quiet times lessened, and when I got married, I got really docile (spiritually speaking.) riding on my husband's coat tails. He reads and prays and I listen and times I nap! Hey, he has a soothing voice.
On my own, I may read a chapter a few times a week or less and when I am not distracted by videos on the internet, I will listen to an audio Bible. It goes in spurts. As for consistency and intense, deep Bible study, my intentions are there but failure to do overtakes me.
No one's fault by my own. It is called the fleshly, sinful "old man" that wages war against the new "spiritual man," 24/7.
Well today, God reminded me of truths that I have lost sight of. He spoke to my heart through the words of a wise young lady who is only twenty years old.  She is one of the daughters of one of my very beloved sisters in Christ who sent me the recent update from her daughter's blog. As I read it out loud to my husband, tears of inspiration and joy flooded my eyes. I can't do justice to what she said so read directly, what God has been doing in her heart. (click here)
As I endeavour for the umpteenth time in two decades, to take on studying the Bible in a deeper more intense way, the way she talks about. God reminds me through her words before I even begin:
"Not, together." On my own, I can't do this.
The method she has been using is call the"Inductive" Bible study program. Not just reading the Bible but studying, praying and applying God's Truth to her life. In fact in nine months she read the Bible through five times! Like she said, she didn't do it on her own, but with Him, together. "Not I, but Christ."
So here I am sharing what happened this morning, along with information for anyone else who may be interested in digging into God's Word deeper. No, my brain is not as young as her's, so studying forty plus hours a week, won't be happening. My goal, for now is a chapter a day. Well, unless God sees otherwise. (May I listen and not be selfish!)  To hold myself accountable, my intent is to blog a little every day or once a week :o) to share what God teaches me, a blog as I go Bible study. Hopefully, that may help me learn some discipline. Oh, the "D" word! I know it is part of the Fruit of the Spirit, but I seriously lack it. You heard me mention the word impulse right? Having ADHD doesn't help. Oops, I am making excuses before I even begin.
It is so awesome how He touches our lives with each other's. All part of the great big body of Christ.  When we are blessed, it makes sense to pass on that blessing.
Inductive Bible Study
The type of study method she has been employing at the "School of Biblical Studies." Click here to see a video about the SBS is called (click to learn more) Inductive Bible Study. at the University of Battambang in Cambodia..

Some Inductive Bible Study "How TO" Links:
I am just starting so I have decided to just share the links that look pretty decent. I am not saying one is better than the other. So pray, ask God to show you what He wants and check out these links.
1. From Precept Ministries: Inductive Bible Study
2. University Of Battambang: Inductive Bible Study
3. Precept upon Precept: How To Study Your Bible Inductively 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

"Heaven Is Real, but Heaven Is for Real Is Really Not"

Have you ever felt that something you heard or read under the banner of "Christianity," just doesn't
seem right? It happens too me a lot. It doesn't mean I am right, but it is something that I struggle with often. It is why articles like this appear on this blog.
Yes, sometimes I wonder if I am being too "picky" about what is okay to watch, read or listen to, from a Christian stand point that is. A valid query I think, especially in light of how many fellow Christians, leaders and organizations in this world, unquestioningly endorse all kinds of so called "Christian" books, movies and such. Yet when I get these warning signals in my heart and research whatever it might be, more often than not, it turns out I am not alone. There are other brothers and sisters in Christ who also feel like minded. That comforts my heart and convicts me even more to speak out, to share what I have learned. Not because I enjoy critiquing others, but because the Bible tells us to be alert and sober and to warn each other.

On that note, here are some more articles about the most recent "Christian" Hollywood movie called "Heaven Is For Real," by The Bible Answer Man, Hank Hanegraaf.
Part One: Heaven Is For Real
"To speak of heaven is not a trifling matter. It is quite literally everything we look forward to and everything we long for. Thus, when people say they have been there and know precisely what it entails, we are all ears. Inevitably we are told that heaven is somewhere up there. If you travel upward from the perspective of Jerusalem (downward from Tonga), we will inevitably encounter the heavenly city. Upon their return, many near-deathers speak of entering the heavenly city through pearly gates and walking on pure gold. But is that true? Is heaven really up there somewhere? Does it really have a street of gold? And if so, how exactly do we get there?"

Part Two: "Heaven Is Real, but Heaven Is for Real Is Really Not"

"There is nothing new under the sun. From the time occult parapsychologist Raymond Moody coined the moniker “Near-Death Experience” (NDE) to the present, bestsellers on NDEs have abounded—Embraced by the Light by Betty Eadie; Beyond Death’s Door by Maurice Rawlings;Life after Life by Raymond Moody; The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven by Kevin Malarkey; 90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper; My Journey to Heaven by Marvin J. Besteman; Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife by Eben Alexander—to name just a few. The following are ten reasons I consider the movie Heaven Is for Real to be a dangerous diversion:..."
Watch Hank's Video Presentation here: "10 Reasons Why Heaven Is For Real Is Dangerous"

The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven-The Story Behind The Story
As well here is the truth behind the other young fellow who has been in the media with claims about going to Heaven. Not the story we are told in reports.... Click the title to read the full article:
The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven-The Story Behind The Story

Thursday, March 20, 2014

A Deeper Healing - by Joni Eareckson

Joni Eareckson Tada...even those who aren't Christian seem to know about her. My first "encounter" with her was through an LP  my sister shared with me back in the mid 70s, I enjoyed her voice a lot.  Turned out she also had an autobiography about her life detailing the story of how she ended up paralyzed and all that she had learned thus far. Her life was one that was unlike anyone I had ever heard of before. For an adolescent like me, that was a big deal after all, she and I had a few things in common, she may have been older than me, but we both used a wheelchair, and just like me, she loved to make art and sing. Needless to say, her life inspired me. I learned about living with a disability, how to deal with challenges and over come them, most importantly she affirmed what I always felt, my disability was a gift from God. Having physical challenges would cause me to depend on God's provision. Just like she had to learn by suddenly facing a disability, I was born with mine and would be blessed with a slower learning curve.
When I first "met" her, I wasn't yet a Christian, she was and that fact spoke to my heart as well. No, I didn't believe in Jesus after I saw her movie, but God knew it was beneficial for me to know about her early in my life. My teen years were spent mostly depressed and lost, searching for a Sure Hope. I read Joni's books as they were published, listened to her music now and then, but I assume God knew I had to go through my own dark times, so I too could come to a point where I would know beyond all doubt that Jesus Christ was The Sure Hope I had been searching for since I was bout seven.
On that note, I want to share this video with you. It is a recent conference portion where Joni talks about healing, not physical like we would assume, but a deeper healing.
At a future time, I want to share what she experienced as she initially believed God would heal her body and my brief experience dealing with others who believed  should be healed....until then, here is a video worth watching, even if you do not share the similarities we do.

A Deeper Healing - Joni Eareckson Tada

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Delivered from the Kingdom of Satan to the Kingdom of Christ Jesus | A Testimony by Paul Flynn

Sure Hope!
We always like to share Christian ministries and organizations that others may also be inspired and encouraged by. Paul Flynn from Ireland has quite a life transforming testimony. He was a satanist, and had declared war on God, steeped in the enemy's ways. Just as God transformed Craig and I, Paul Flynn's life was also saved, making him a new creation in Christ. It is always good to be reminded that we can never "earn" salvation or God's favour by being "good" or living what some may say, "properly." Even if we "do" all the right things morally, without Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, we have no hope.
If you are searching for the meaning of life and are at rock bottom, like we once were, or if you are cruising along believing all is well yet you don't know Jesus as Lord of your life...know that you are loved with a love that no human can offer us. All you have to do is cry out to God and ask Him to show you His Truth. 

We strongly suggest watching the full video testimony and pass it on to anyone who may feel like they are beyond help. 


Here is Paul's website called "Megiddo Films" and his You Tube Channel. Lots of great video/radio shows.

[John 3:15-18 KJV] 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Friday, March 14, 2014

What About Movies and the Commandment about Graven Images?

Been thinking about the commandment regarding graven images and whether or not making "bible" movies and such are "okay." Actually, as an artist it has been something that has bothered me for years. I just can't bring myself to make any images representing Jesus because it doesn't sit right. So, why share these verses. As well, I just found a video of a fellow named Paul Flynn who discussed the very thing I wanted to know more about. Not done listening to it all yet, but wanted to share it anyway. May God give us wisdom and discernment and may He be our strength to walk according to His will.

[Exo 20:4 KJV] 4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness [of any thing] that [is] in heaven above, or that [is] in the earth beneath, or that [is] in the water under the earth:
[Deu 4:23-25 KJV] 23 Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of the LORD your God, which he made with you, and make you a graven image, [or] the likeness of any [thing], which the LORD thy God hath forbidden thee. 24 For the LORD thy God [is] a consuming fire, [even] a jealous God. 25 When thou shalt beget children, and children's children, and ye shall have remained long in the land, and shall corrupt [yourselves], and make a graven image, [or] the likeness of any [thing], and shall do evil in the sight of the LORD thy God, to provoke him to anger:
[Deu 5:8 KJV] 8 Thou shalt not make thee [any] graven image, [or] any likeness [of any thing] that [is] in heaven above, or that [is] in the earth beneath, or that [is] in the waters beneath the earth:
The' Son Of God,': Romanism, Jesuit Mysticsm and Blasphemy - by Paul Flynn

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Our True Compass

Let The Bible Be Our Compass- Not Hollywood
The "Son Of God" movie was released on February 28th and we have decided to avoid it, for all the reasons mentioned in the original article. Just the
other night, my Mom asked me if we knew anything about a new "God" movie. After I spewed out why she should avoid it. She responded with how people can easily take out the parts that aren't in the Bible, no biggie. Her choice of course. Maybe she'll tell us if she see's it, I'd be curious to know what she thinks.
This is the very reason why we are trying to warn others, so those who do go and leave do not leave unquestioning any of it, embracing it as proper doctrine. We must always use the Bible as our compass. Nothing and no one but God's Word can off  His unchanging Truth. We must do all God warns us about helping little ones or young believers from stumbling, falling into deception.
[Mar 9:42 KJV] 42 And whosoever shall offend one of [these] little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea. 
Considering the names of the "Christians" who are endorsing it. It really does infuriate me, in fact the more I read the detailed reviews from believers, the more my blood boils as I picture the many attending the theatres,  because their church or pastor encouraged them to watch it, or a well known Christian organization gave them tickets, so therefore, it must be biblically a-okay- no questions asked.
More and more, the statistics sadly show, that even Christians hardly read their Bible. If we aren't familiar what God's Word says, then we are super susceptible to deception. It is how Satan's spiritual war against the world goes. Create teachings, movies, programs, Bible translations, and such that contain say, 90 percent fiction, and offer 10 percent Truth and voila, you have a recipe that will appeal to millions. Even when the Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormon's come to our door and we say, "No thanks, I am a Christian," they say, "So am I," and because they said they are a Christian - some will let them into their home and then if they don't know their Scriptures well enough, their false teachings into there hearts. [1 Peter 5:8 KJV] 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
[2 Corinhians 11:3-4, 13-14 KJV] 3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or [if] ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with [him]. ... 13 For such [are] false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

We are aware there are other hollywood movies coming out such as "Noah," but they are not being promoted by actual Christians and Christian organizations like the "Son Of God," movie is. If this we chalk this up to just another "hollywoodized" bible movie, full of errors and assumptions - take it or leave it.  The minute the Christian community starts endorsing it as "biblical" and good to see, then we will definitely take issue. There is am organization that has actually made a movie to "counter" the "Noah," movie. If you are interested, click below to watch the video.

Back to the"S.O.G." movie and sharing a review by a Christian who saw the production. Thanks to "Abandoned To Christ blog" they affirmed in their article called "'Son of God' Is Most Certainly Not The Son Of God." the very issues that we were concerned about without having  seen it...
  • Excerpts taken from Abandoned to Christ Blog - click to read full article, it is well worth reading..."Last year I was contacted by a media group for The History Channel. They emailed me requesting my help in promoting their upcoming 10-episode miniseries called "The Bible". After reviewing their material, Bible studies based on the series, and clips of every episode, I responded kindly telling them that due to the unbiblical nature of the series, I was unable to help promote it. After watching the entire miniseries I wrote and published my review and I haven't heard from them since."

  • "If someone called to you, suggesting that you come out of your comfortable home to take you to a more comfortable and elegant home, you may think they're nice, but you wouldn't consider this to be great news or even an impossibly generous gift. Which is the essential message of this film. But if you were in a burning inferno and someone called to you with instructions on how to be saved from a horribly painful and terrifying death, you would consider this person a great savior with the greatest news you've ever heard, and you would listen to him. This is the Gospel—the true Good News of Jesus Christ.

    The truth is, we're all in the burning and destructive inferno of our sins until we are washed by the pure and precious blood of Jesus. We are all covered with the ash of our sins until we are baptized into Christ and made new creations, with new hearts and new minds; no longer darkened and depraved but enlightened by the Gospel and credited with the righteousness of Christ.

    There is no evidence of this glorious truth anywhere in this movie. There is no evidence of God's authority, righteousness or saving and powerful love that continually conforms us into the likeness of Christ."

Friday, February 28, 2014

Yes, Heaven Is Real

If you are a Christian, you know that Heaven is real, it is where God dwells and where we will spend eternity with Him. Over the years I have heard a testimony or two, about people who "died"' on the operating table or some such thing, and then experienced what some call heaven. You know the lingo, "I saw a tunnel of light or a great light..."

When I first became a Christian I really struggled with these testimonies, wondering if they were true or not. As I always did way back then, I asked my big sister/mentor in Christ Sue, for the answer. She pointed out that we should look at what the fruit of their experience was. Did the experience draw them to, and honour Christ or did it do the opposite, leading people away from Jesus Christ? That helped a lot.
Since then I have also learned more about the spiritual battle that rages on 24/7 not just against believers, but how Satan and his cohorts are always trying to draw people's attention to anything else but Jesus, as many of these stories ultimately do. [1 Peter 5:8 KJV] 8 "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:"

A great example of that, is someone I once knew. She proudly told me one day, that she wasn't scared of death because she died on the operating table once, she saw light and felt total peace. This person believed she had no need for Jesus because of her "experience." It caused great concern in me, to hear her confidence, knowing she was deceived. She was in my prayers for a while and still should be, not sure if she is still on earth or not. Sigh.
Recently, my husband and I learned about a couple of stories involving children who say they've
experienced Heaven. The thing is, their Dad's are Christians, I even believe both are Pastors and at first the stories sound indisputable, inspirational even. After all why would kids make up such great details about what they witnessed. In fact one of the books has now been turned into a big Hollywood movie. That is wear the concerns begin. Yes, I am applying my dear sister's advice. Yes, the stories point to Jesus. But as I began to research these books, watching interviews and reading some reviews, the answer about the stories pointing to Jesus change from, "yes," to " well, kind of, maybe - not so much." [2 Corinthians 11:14 KJV] 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
Stories like these capture our attention because, we are curious. They are focused on a subject that no one has ever experienced before. Only Jesus Christ has risen from the dead and not until it happens to us, will we truly know what it will be really like. None of us have died and then talked about it, well, except for the claims from these folks. As well, these stories often contain so many intricate details that stun the imagination. Therefore, it must be true. And in the cases I am most recently familiar with, it doesn't hurt having Christian parents either. After all, at a wee age they most likely would have been told many a Bible story, heard people praying, talking in "Christianese" and attended church and Sunday school.

One of the children even knew about a miscarried sibling prior to his birth, claiming that this unknown little girl kept hugging him. I might add that this kid was only three years old when he apparently had his near death episode. Mind you it wasn't until four months later when he started telling his Dad, I believe, about what he saw, and as the years went on, more details emerged. But that was one of the accounts that helped his parents believe that he really did experience Heaven. Not saying any of these stories are purposely made up, what I do want to point out is that we must remember if someone tells us anything that colours far outside the lines of the Biblical account, we must proceed with caution and discernment and even turn and run at times.
Lest we forget that these kids went through traumatic experiences, were on medication/anesthetic and such. Not to mention the mind is a fragile, amazing part of our anatomy that scientists and Doctors will never fully understand, because God made it that way. There are so many possible explanations for what these people experienced. I myself, have had dreams at night that are so vivid and detailed, even full of smells and tactile sensation,s that the next day it feels as if I am missing something. 

Not to mention, Satan can't read our minds but, he and demons know all about us and the generations before us. They can put images into our minds while we sleep or are unconscious (pray for protection before you go to sleep if this happens to you). People who claim to see "ghosts" and alien abductions, who have been able to provide physical descriptions and even drawings are not seeing aliens and ghosts, but demons manifesting. There job pretty much is to keep us distracted from Jesus Christ and the Truth, the absolute, perfect Truth of God's Word. They know what our great granny looked like. They know that mommy lost a baby...thankfully they can't read our minds and are not omnipotent, but they can deceive us if we aren't familiar with the Bible. Just some thoughts to consider.
No, I am not saying that these people are spreading Satan's work or stories. Just suggesting that if it isn't part of the amazing workings of the mind, it can be a spiritual manifestation that is not of God. It's just a good reminder to us all, to only go by what is in Scripture regarding Heaven and take extra Biblical accounts with a grain of salt. It is very easy to slip into the, "wow, is that the what Jesus really looks like? mode, and get distracted. Oh yes, did I tell you that the three year old also saw Jesus and pointed him out, when he saw a drawing that a child artist drew of "Jesus?" She apparently also saw Heaven and drew who she claims is Jesus. Actually the young boy's Dad showed him a bunch of renderings of what some use to represent our Lord and Saviour and he kept asking if he looked like any of them, all of his answers were "no." That was until the time he saw this young girls' drawing. I guess his Dad forgot the commandment about how we are forbidden to make images... [Exd 20:4 KJV] 4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness [of any thing] that [is] in heaven above, or that [is] in the earth beneath, or that [is] in the water under the earth:

In conclusion, can't say that I would recommend these books, I just don't know, haven't read them. But based on what Craig and I watched and read,  we can recommend strongly that if you want to know about Heaven, look to the only true source that we should, God's Word. Listening to the stories are alright, but we must be careful not to take them than more than what these people saw. They can be from their imagination, a dream, subconscious, what they heard from others while unconscious or just while having visitors, or unfortunately, the enemy himself. It is important to note that the three year old didn't start talking about what he saw until four months later and more as time went on. Something to think about.  If a vision or dream is from God, it would line up with Scripture and not add to it or imply things that aren't there. Something we all should consider.
God's Word On The Matter
 Below are a collection of verses I searched for about Heaven and what we have to look forward to. Also included below is an excellent article on the topic from a great website called the Berean Call.

An excerpt from The Berean Call: Heaven Is For Real For Real?: An Exercise In Discernment "Although these individuals supply much information, the content raises many questions. Obviously, everything they say can't be true because some of the content in one book contradicts what's written in others. How do we know who is giving us an accurate and truthful account?"
God's Word on Heaven

Here are some verses about Heaven. Not all of them...
[Luke 23:42-43 KJV] 42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. 43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

[Jhn 10:27-29 KJV] 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any [man] pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave [them] me, is greater than all; and no [man] is able to pluck [them] out of my Father's hand.

[1Cr 15:35-58 KJV] 35 But some [man] will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? 36 [Thou] fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: 37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other [grain]: 38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. 39 All flesh [is] not the same flesh: but [there is] one [kind of] flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, [and] another of birds. 40 [There are] also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial [is] one, and the [glory] of the terrestrial [is] another. 41 [There is] one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for [one] star differeth from [another] star in glory. 42 So also [is] the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam [was made] a quickening spirit. 46 Howbeit that [was] not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. 47 The first man [is] of the earth, earthy: the second man [is] the Lord from heaven. 48 As [is] the earthy, such [are] they also that are earthy: and as [is] the heavenly, such [are] they also that are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. 50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where [is] thy sting? O grave, where [is] thy victory? 56 The sting of death [is] sin; and the strength of sin [is] the law. 57 But thanks [be] to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

[Hbr 11:16 KJV] 16 But now they desire a better [country], that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

[Jhn 6:47-51 KJV] 47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. 48 I am that bread of life. 49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

[Jhn 14:1-6 KJV] 1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if [it were] not [so], I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, [there] ye may be also. 4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. 5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? 6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

[Col 3:1-4 KJV] 1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, [who is] our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

[Rev 22:3-7 KJV] 3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: 4 And they shall see his face; and his name [shall be] in their foreheads. 5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever. 6 And he said unto me, These sayings [are] faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done. 7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed [is] he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

[Mat 22:29-33 KJV] 29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. 30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. 31 But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, 32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. 33 And when the multitude heard [this], they were astonished at his doctrine.

[Rev 21:1-5 KJV] 1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God [is] with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, [and be] their God. 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

[1Cr 2:7-9 KJV] 7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, [even] the hidden [wisdom], which God ordained before the world unto our glory: 8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known [it], they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

[Mat 25:46 KJV] 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

[2Pe 3:12-13 KJV] 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

[Luk 12:31-34 KJV] 31 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. 32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. 34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

[Rev 21:22-27 KJV] 22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. 23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb [is] the light thereof. 24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. 25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. 26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. 27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither [whatsoever] worketh abomination, or [maketh] a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.

[Mat 5:17-20 KJV] 17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach [them], the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed [the righteousness] of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

[Isa 25:8-12 KJV] 8 He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken [it]. 9 And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this [is] our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this [is] the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation. 10 For in this mountain shall the hand of the LORD rest, and Moab shall be trodden down under him, even as straw is trodden down for the dunghill. 11 And he shall spread forth his hands in the midst of them, as he that swimmeth spreadeth forth [his hands] to swim: and he shall bring down their pride together with the spoils of their hands. 12 And the fortress of the high fort of thy walls shall he bring down, lay low, [and] bring to the ground, [even] to the dust.

[Luk 13:29-30 KJV] 29 And they shall come from the east, and [from] the west, and from the north, and [from] the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God. 30 And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.

[Jhn 3:12-18 KJV] 12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you [of] heavenly things? 13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, [even] the Son of man which is in heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

[Rev 3:20-21 KJV] 20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

[2Pe 1:11 KJV] 11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

[1Pe 1:3-5 KJV] 3 Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

[Rev 21:21-27 KJV] 21 And the twelve gates [were] twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city [was] pure gold, as it were transparent glass. 22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. 23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb [is] the light thereof. 24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. 25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. 26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. 27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither [whatsoever] worketh abomination, or [maketh] a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.

[Hbr 12:28-29 KJV] 28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: 29 For our God [is] a consuming fire.

Links On the Matter
Related Article Links Addressing some recent books and interviews about children and adults who claim they saw Heaven during clinical death

"Is Heaven For Real" for Real?: An Exercise In Discernment - article by the Berean Call

The Burpo - Malarkey Doctrine - article by Phil Johnson Grace To You

Heaven Tourism- article by Tim Challies

Book Review "Heaven Is For Real" by Time Challies

1 Peter 5:8 KJV 8 "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:"