Among other biblical studies, we read through the Bible each year. We have tried several Bible reading schedules. There are some preferences that we wanted to incorporate into the plan, so we have now made our own. Here are some of the features of this schedule:

  • It is designed for reading aloud.
  • The amount of reading is fairly consistent each day, about twelve to fourteen minutes, so you can reliably fit it into your schedule.
  • Each chapter is read completely, instead of breaking the chapter up across different days. We have found it to be distracting to keep in mind a specific verse number to end the day’s reading. When we know the entire chapter is included, then we can focus on reading and just check the schedule chart between chapters.
  • The chapters are isolated when they include many names that are hard to pronounce, so easier passages fill in that day’s reading.
  • Consecutive chapters of difficult reading are on separate days, requiring less endurance of the tongue.
  • The schedule can be printed double-sided on a single sheet of A4 or US letter size paper.
  • It can be folded in quarters and used as a bookmark for the next day’s Old Testament reading.

We tried out this new schedule in 2015 and it has worked well for us. We plan to continue using this plan for the foreseeable future. As we have done with other reading schedules, we make a pen mark on the date for today’s reading, then fold it with the pen mark inside, so the fresh ink does not rub off inside the Bible. By the end of the year, the paper is fairly well worn, so we just print a new one.

Congratulations to the winner for our Leviathan Story Writing Contest!

There would have been one first place choice for each age category: under 10 years old, 10-14, 15-19, 20-29, 30+. However, all of the entries were for the 30+ category, so there is only one winner.

Thanks again to those who entered.

And the winner is Jerry Corbaley!


Before our main topic today, we would like to thank those of you who sent your creative writing work to us for our Leviathan Story Writing Contest. Yesterday, the 30th of September, was the final entry date.

Romans 13:7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute [is due;] custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.

Job 32:21-22
21 Let me not, I pray you, accept any man’s person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man.
22 For I know not to give flattering titles; [in so doing] my maker would soon take me away.

Job 34:12-15
12 Yea, surely God will not do wickedly, neither will the Almighty pervert judgment.
13 Who hath given him a charge over the earth? or who hath disposed the whole world?
14 If he set his heart upon man, [if] he gather unto himself his spirit and his breath;
15 All flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust.

Job 36:2-3
2 Suffer me a little, and I will show thee that [I have] yet to speak on God’s behalf.
3 I will fetch my knowledge from afar, and will ascribe righteousness to my Maker.

Job 36:24-26
24 Remember that thou magnify his work, which men behold.
25 Every man may see it; man may behold [it] afar off.
26 Behold, God [is] great, and we know [him] not, neither can the number of his years be searched out.

Job 37:1-5
1 At this also my heart trembleth, and is moved out of his place.
2 Hear attentively the noise of his voice, and the sound [that] goeth out of his mouth.
3 He directeth it under the whole heaven, and his lightning unto the ends of the earth.
4 After it a voice roareth: he thundereth with the voice of his excellency; and he will not stay them when his voice is heard.
5 God thundereth marvellously with his voice; great things doeth he, which we cannot comprehend.

Job 37:14 Hearken unto this, O Job: stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God.

1 Chronicles 29:11 Thine, O LORD, [is] the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all [that is] in the heaven and in the earth [is thine;] thine [is] the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things.

2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

Isaiah 42:8 I [am] the LORD: that [is] my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.

Psalm 115:1 Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, [and] for thy truth’s sake.

Luke 7:22-23
22 Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached.
23 And blessed is [he,] whosoever shall not be offended in me.

Luke 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, …

Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

2 Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency [is] of God;

Psalm 29:2 Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.

Isaiah 66:2 For all those [things] hath mine hand made, and all those [things] have been, saith the LORD: but to this [man] will I look, [even] to [him that is] poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.

Ephesians 6:1-3
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
2 Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;
3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

Philippians 2:3-11
3 [Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth;
11 And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Mark 14:3-9
3 And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured [it] on his head.
4 And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made?
5 For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her.
6 And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me.
7 For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always.
8 She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying.
9 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, [this] also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.

Philippians 2:25-30
25 Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants.
26 For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick.
27 For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.
28 I sent him therefore the more carefully, that, when ye see him again, ye may rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful.
29 Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation:
30 Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me.

John 12:28 Father, glorify Thy Name.


Want to hear more?

Before our main topic today, we would like to give you one last reminder about our Leviathan Story Writing Contest. The end of this month, the 30th of September, is the final entry date.

Word Studies


This word has a broad meaning and usage, but this study will focus on a calling of God, when a person knows Our Lord is guiding him in a specific path. A separate post addresses the sweeping call of God to salvation.

God gives wisdom to all who request, believing they will receive, but this is not a calling. A calling is personal guidance and direction, and God will grant us the wisdom we need to achieve our calling. Yes, there are several callings of God that apply to all Christians in general; calling to holiness (1Thessalonians 4:7), calling to suffer for living righteously (1 Peter 2:18-25), and calling unto liberty (Galatians 5:13). But the focus of this study is about specific callings. Romans 1:1 says Paul was called to be an Apostle. Ephesians 4:1-16 speaks of specific church ministries to which people are called. Hebrews 5:4 says Aaron was called to the office of High Priest. Ezekiel was called to be a watchman.

It doesn’t seem precisely accurate to say that we “feel” called, or “feel” led of the Spirit in our ministry. The word “feel” implies either physical touch or emotional effect. A calling of God is neither physical nor emotional, though it will have occasion to influence some emotions. It is sensed spiritually, rather than with the physical senses or emotions. It seems like the “sense of calling” could be categorized with the senses of peace, love, hope, and joy. These are sensed by the spirit, rather than the emotions, though they cause emotions, at times. All of these are facets of who you are, elements of your inner being.

Sometimes we have innate gifts, or talents, that will help us carry out our mission, our calling. Other times we will need to grow and change to become the right person for the job. So, the gift, itself, is not a calling. There will also be many occasions when our life’s work will require us to do tasks that are unsavoury, or for which we are ill equipped; almost the opposite of a gift. Our calling is not always our favourite thing to do, though we are driven to do it.

If I happen to see an opportunity arise, also known as an “open door,” that does not equate to a calling. Yes, God will do His part to make a way for me to fulfil His calling in my life, whether He opens a door, or helps me break through barriers. I cannot find my calling just because of some coincidence where it seems easy for me to proceed. On the contrary, taking such opportunities may be a distraction that hinders me from fulfilling my calling.

Another distraction can be a burden that you feel for a cause. Yes, you will be burdened for your calling. However, as a caring person, you would have many burdens for various concerns. You cannot pursue them all. Pray for wisdom and guidance to prioritize the time, talent, and treasure, that you will devote to each of these ministries.

Each person has a deep need to have a purpose in life. God has a purpose for each of you who are reading this. From an earthly perspective, your purpose, or calling, may seem insignificantly small, or it may look overwhelmingly huge. We can be sure that neither of those extreme views are God’s perspective.

Word Studies


I am a Christian. More precisely, I am a follower of The Way, The Truth, and The Life, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Word of God, so I am a student of the inerrant Scriptures, the Holy Bible.


You may have been told that you need to do good to become a Christian. That is backwards. Yes, Christians do good, but that is not how they became Christians. Rather, Christians do good because they are Christians.

There are many who say they are Christians, but they live an evil life. There are three possible reasons for this. Maybe they are not Christians. I am not accusing them of lying. Maybe they have been mislead to believe they are Christians. Perhaps they are ignorant of the teachings of Christ, or they have fallen.

As Christians, we have inside information. We know the Designer and Creator of the universe. He has decided what would be good for everyone to know about the way the universe works and how to live our lives in accord with this. He put all of this information in a Book, The Holy Book, The Holy Bible. Wouldn’t it be wise for us to live in harmony with the teachings of this Book? Christians are those who follow Christ. So, we learn what the Bible says, and do it, so we do good.

So, how does one become a Christian? Repent and believe the gospel. You might be thinking that “repent” means to do good, so I am contradicting myself. Again, that is backwards, repentance results in doing good, but repentance is not an overt action.

To repent, first I must see how extremely bad my sins are to God. Each sin is rebellion against a Holy God. My sins are so bad, Jesus had to suffer horribly, and die unjustly, to pay the penalty for my sin. Yes, it is that bad. I must come to the realization that I do not deserve to be in God’s presence, and that there is nothing I could ever do to merit such an honour. That is the bad news. If I don’t agree, then I cannot repent.

The good news, the gospel, is that Jesus’ sacrifice means He can and does now offer me a pardon for my sins. That is why repentance, and believing the gospel, must both go together. To repent, I am turning from my sinful ways, I am turning from my own way of running my life, I am turning away from rebellion against God. But, I am not just turning away, I am also turning towards. I am turning from death to life. I am stepping off the throne of my life and receiving Christ as my king.

Isaiah 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man this thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.

Acts 26:18 To open their eyes, [and] to turn [them] from darkness to light, and [from] the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

Acts 26:20 … they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

So, you see, repentance does not consist in a change of my behaviour, but a change in my mind, having faith, believing, trusting. There is no virtue in believing on Christ. All of the virtue is in what He has done. I am trusting in His virtue, not my own virtue.

After I have repented, there will be several virtuous things I will do, also known as “works meet for repentance,” now that Jesus is on the throne of my life. I will love the One True God and no other gods. I will not bow down to images. I will get baptized. I will love others. I will build the structure of my life on the foundation of my love for God and others. Those are some examples, and there are many others, but I do not learn everything at once. Over the course of my life, God will keep teaching me, through His Word, about the truths that I did not know, that I misunderstood, or about which I had been mislead.

1 John 2:3-6
3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

Want to hear more?

Before our main topic today, we would like to draw your attention to an article ICR recently published about Leviathan. This is timely, considering our Leviathan Story Writing Contest.

If you read some Bible verses, in isolation, you might come to the conclusion that self defence is not a godly objective. If you read all of the Bible, you will see the whole picture.

When Jesus said that each of His apostles should sell their garment and buy a sword, if they didn’t already have one (Luke 22:36), what was the purpose of the sword? Some say that this was in fulfilment of prophecy. OK, that is interesting. We won’t ignore Christ’s command, just because it was foretold. So, again, what was the purpose of this sword that each of the apostles were instructed, by our Lord Jesus Christ, to purchase?

We know that this sword was not meant to be used to fight off those who came to arrest Jesus, some minutes later, since Jesus told Peter so (John 18:10-11). For this required purchase, the context Jesus mentioned was when He sent them on their missionary journeys. Before, when He sent them, He told them not to take any money, nor an extra staff, nor spare clothing, nor even food. Now, He is saying, things will be different. Now, among other changes, He says to sell your overcoat, if necessary, to buy a sword. That is a big difference. So, it would not be good to live your life using the out-of-date instructions.

God gave honey bees a gift. Each of them has a stinger to ward off attackers. Do we say that God’s protection is not needed for bees, since they have a stinger? No, we say that a stinger is one way that God provides protection for bees. What do humans have for such defence? In the first century they had a sword.

In this fallen world (link to Why is there Pain and Suffering?), we see many examples of defence mechanisms that are clearly designed by God. In paradise, no such defence is needed.

If you want to see my earthly sword of choice, see the following external link.

Historically, martial arts have often been tied to mysticism. This is another reason Christians are suspicious of pursuing this area of study. However, we can learn from the history of alchemy … when you throw out the mysticism, what remains can be quite beneficial. That is one of the reasons the above link is my choice for learning self defence. They have no basis, connection, or allusion to mysticism, and they stand for good ethics in practice.

We can now pre-order the Physics 101 video course from Wes Olson!

Our copy of the new film will ship by the second week of August!

They are offering a 25% pre-release discount!

This offer ends midnight on the 30th of June, 2015.

Want to hear more?

The time has come to provide more details regarding our Leviathan Story Writing Contest.

Since the time the contest was pre-announced, we have posted three sample stories.

Sarcosuchus Leviathan
Kronosaurus Leviathan
Tyrannosaurus Rex Leviathan

Your contest entries do not need to be nearly this short. We hope they help add vitality to your own creativity.

A talented artist has agreed to provide a prize to the winner of each age category. This artist is especially good at drawing dragons, and will render such art work based on the Leviathan description in your own story!

We are still seeking further prize contributions.

The entries will be judged anonymously, and scored based on the following rubric for judging criteria:

35% Innovation
Your story reflects and articulates original and interesting insights and ideas.

25% Impact
Your story produces a strong aesthetic, emotional, or intellectual effect in the reader.

25% Craft

  • Your story exemplifies quality and clarity of expression of ideas and sentiments.
  • Your story demonstrates a compelling writing style that captures and maintains the reader’s attention.
  • Each word in your story is carefully chosen and helps convey meaning.

15% Readability

  • Your story uses correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation throughout with very few errors.
  • Your story is typed or has excellent penmanship.
  • The meaning is made clear in your story, of any advanced words that may be used.

Send your entries to either:

Or by mail to:
Darren Lauser
Farmers Cross
County Cork

We plan to announce the winners in a blog post on the 1st of November. If you have provided us more direct contact information, then we will endeavour to contact the winners this way as well.

Before the main topic today, here is a friendly reminder about our Leviathan Writing Contest. Also, we wrote a third sample story.


James 2:1-13
1 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, [the Lord] of glory, with respect of persons.
2 For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;
3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:
4 Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?
5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?
6 But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?
7 Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?
8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the Scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.
10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one [point,] he is guilty of all.
11 For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.
12 So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.
13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath showed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.

We do not want to become “judges of evil thoughts” (verse 4), so we want to resist the temptation to evaluate others based on the quality of their outward appearance. We do not want to transgress the “royal law” (verse 8) by holding others in honour or disdain, on the grounds of how well dressed and groomed they look, having “respect to persons” (verse 9).

So, you may wear a tie to church, if you like, but beware lest it become a snare, tempting you to establish a dress code which excludes those who are not so opulently attired. Many churches have a high standard for dressing modestly. That is good. We must also have a high standard for respect and honour towards those who have a modest clothing budget, whether it is from a lack of money or from a choice to avoid flaunting their wealth.

This is a point where overcompensation is also a danger. The above speaks of those who are tempted to scorn a person because they are dressed in the clothing of the poor and to favour those clothed as if they were wealthy. Some have the opposite temptation, to scorn a person because they are dressed in the clothing of the rich and to favour those clothed as if they were in poverty.

Leviticus 19:15 Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: [but] in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour.

1 Timothy 5:21 I charge [thee] before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.

Proverbs 28:21 To have respect of persons [is] not good: for for a piece of bread [that] man will transgress.

Proverbs 24:23 These [things] also [belong] to the wise. [It is] not good to have respect of persons in judgment.
Jude 1:16 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling [words,] having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.

James 3:16-18
16 For where envying and strife [is,] there [is] confusion and every evil work.
17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, [and] easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

Job 32:21-22
21 Let me not, I pray you, accept any man’s person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man.
22 For I know not to give flattering titles; [in so doing] my maker would soon take me away.

Before the main topic today, here is a friendly reminder about our Leviathan Writing Contest. Also, we wrote a second sample story.


There is no way to overstate the impact of the resurrection of Christ. It was a cataclysmic shock to the forces of wickedness. They … will … never … recover. Glory to God in the highest! The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus was a triumph so marvellous, so profound, that we can enjoy spending eternity in growing realization of the beauty and majesty of this one event.

If we cannot celebrate the resurrection of the Messiah, then there is nothing we can celebrate. Some say there is nothing we can celebrate. That is between them and God.

You may be imagining Easter bunnies and eggs. That is one celebration we shun completely. Easter just happens to be around the same time of year as the Resurrection. This, and Halloween, are all but removed from the days of the year, for our family.

Really, we celebrate the Resurrection every Sunday, but this article is about the yearly observance. We celebrate Resurrection Sunday with a feast. We usually have lamb roast, succotash, veggie tray with almond dip, and bread rolls. Before that day, we have a series of Scriptures we read, in the preceding days, regarding the passion week. We also have a foot washing service and communion, within our family, on Wednesday evening. You may have been told that communion must be done at church. That is a tradition, not scriptural. Please feel free to limit your participation in communion to within the four walls of a church building, but it would be good to also take care not to cast stones.

Yes, we literally wash each others feet. We each have a turn washing, and being washed. The boys wash the boys, and the girls wash the girls. We don’t make a complicated ceremony out of it. We just do what Jesus said to do, “If I then, your Lord and master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.” We can see your point, if you want to interpret this as figurative language, and to be taken as an example to be a humble servant. We agree with that, and follow that teaching. It would be just like Jesus, just like our Heavenly Father, to also mean this literally. Why not practise this as a dramatic lesson? Once a year is not very often.

For each of our children’s first Resurrection Sundays, they receive a lamb stuffie, as a gift. For the second, they get their own Bible story book. After that, each year, they go on a “Papa date.” These dates start soon after Resurrection Sunday. I take each of the children, individually, on a short trip, we have a sack lunch meal, and we talk about the Resurrection during part of the trip. Often our destination requires us to wait for a day with good weather, so it can take some weeks for everyone to get their turn. That is OK, there is no hurry. Some time before Resurrection Sunday, I will have spent some time meditating about the Resurrection, worshipping God. I pray for Him to guide me as we have our discussions during the dates. I also pray for Him to give me a topic of discussion, regarding the Resurrection. We usually talk about this on our way home, so we talk about other stuff before that.

This year, we are planning to go to the Fota Wildlife Park (Cork’s zoo) for our dates. In past years, we have gone to Multnomah Falls (Oregon), Pacific coast lighthouses (Washington), Cork City Gaol Museum, Garryvoe beach, Youghal beach, Gougane Barra park, James Fort, Charles Fort, and tours of Barryscourt Castle, for example.

Each child plans ahead what kind of sandwich they want. I almost always have the same kind of sandwich that they pick. In place of a salad, we have carrot sticks. They get to pick what kind of biscuits (cookies) they want us to have for dessert. There are occasions when I have been able to have two dates in one day, one at lunch time and one at dinner, so I get two desserts that day. We also let them pick out some sort of chips to go with the meal, and they can have pickles too, if they like.

Later, we may try to make a family trip to the same location, so my wife can enjoy them showing her their favourite things about the place.

1 Corinthians 15:14 And if Christ be not risen, then [is] our preaching vain, and your faith [is] also vain.

1 Peter 1:3-5
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.

John 11:25-26
25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?


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