29 September 2015

BSF 2015-2016: Overview of Revelation

Since we have reviewed the Bible and biblical prophecy, it’s time to take a bird’s eye view of the book of Revelation. This outline of the book will help guide us this year:

  • Christ and the Churches – Revelation 1-3
  • The Judge and the Judgments – Revelation 4-18
  • The Coming King and the Coming Kingdom – Revelation 19-22

The apostle John wrote the book of Revelation. He had a deep relationship with Jesus during his time on earth. In Revelation’s prologue, John explains that God sent an angel to reveal His plan in a vision to John.

Revelation is written in apocalyptic form. This form of writing uses symbolic imagery and communicates both hope and warning.

John begins the book with messages to seven churches. We will study these in depth next week. Through these letters to the churches, Jesus demonstrates that He is aware of my deeds, afflictions, and shortcomings. He sees us serving Him and suffering for Him. He calls us to keep doing good deeds for Him, to patiently endure our afflictions, and to repent of our shortcomings.

In Revelation chapters 4 through 18, we will see the coming world judgments. There will be three seven-part judgments: the seven seals, the seven trumpets, and the seven bowls. As we study these judgments, our sinful minds probably will wonder if God is being fair. Because God sets the standards, His judgments are just.

Finally, Revelation ends with visions of the eternal city and Jesus as the coming King. Satan will be bound, and Jesus will reign. We will live with God eternally!

If you learn nothing else this year as we spend time in Revelation, I hope you will take away this truth – Jesus is coming soon, and we must be ready!

Things to Think About
  • God promises us a blessing for reading His words in Revelation and for applying the words to our lives.
  • The world is not spinning out of control. God is in control of everything!
  • Is your hope in Christ alone? Are you ready for His return?

This Week’s Memory Verse
“Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.” Revelation 1:3 NIV

24 September 2015

22 September 2015

BSF 2015-2016: Overview of Prophecy

Since we will discuss a lot of prophecy as we study Revelation this year, today’s lesson will give an overview of biblical prophecy and will describe some prophecies of Jesus Christ.

Prophecy is the telling of God’s plan for all creation. Biblical prophecy reveals God’s story and its fulfillment. More than a quarter of the Bible is prophecy – 62 of the Bible’s 66 books contain prophecy.

God has a perfect record of fulfilling prophecy. This is sufficient for us to trust Him completely. God always does what He says He will do. When we see fulfilled prophecy, we know we can trust God.

We must know God’s Word so we can recognize false prophets. We can recognize false prophets by what they say (it doesn’t come true or it contradicts the Bible) and by their fruit (they point to themselves and not to God).

The greatest prophecies ever described and fulfilled are the prophecies about Jesus Christ, the Messiah. Jesus is the promised Son, Savior, and King. The first promise of the Messiah is in Genesis 3:15. Later in the Old Testament, there are prophecies about Jesus’ birth, life, and death. These prophecies were written hundreds of years before Jesus was born, and they were fulfilled exactly as they were prophesied.

Jesus is the greatest prophet. Jesus Himself prophesied about His death, resurrection and second coming.

Knowing prophecy enables us to believe God, and believing God gives us security for today and hope for tomorrow. Everything we need to know is found in God’s Word. We don’t need to seek fortune tellers, horoscopes, or tarot cards. The future is written – believers are victorious in Christ!

Things to Think About
  • Because God knows and controls the future, we can trust Him.
  • Prophecy enables us to know God, and knowing God enables us to believe God.
  • Everything will happen just as God says it will happen.
  • Do I have complete confidence in God?

This Week’s Memory Verse
“The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land.” Jeremiah 23:5 NIV

17 September 2015

15 September 2015

BSF 2015-2016: Overview of the Bible and the Redemption Story

Many of us in the BSF world have been waiting with bated breath for this year. Finally, we are studying the book of Revelation! Once again, each week, I will provide summaries about the lessons, starting today. Since I serve in the School Program, I also will share the students’ memory verse each week.

While the book of Revelation is filled with signs, symbolism, and uncertain timelines, the book is more about Jesus than anything else. In fact, the entire Bible is one story about Jesus Christ. So before we start looking at Revelation, we need to understand the outline of the Bible.

There are 39 books in the Old Testament:

  • Genesis to Deuteronomy are the books about the law.
  • Joshua to Esther are the books of the history of Israel.
  • Job to Song of Solomon are the books of poetry.
  • Isaiah to Malachi are the books of prophecy.

There are 27 books in the New Testament:

  • Matthew to John are the gospels about Jesus’ life on earth.
  • Acts is the book about the disciples and the beginning of the church.
  • Romans to Jude are the epistles (or letters).
  • Revelation is the revelation of Jesus Christ.

The Bible contains 66 books. More than 40 human writers composed the Bible as they were directed by the Holy Spirit. The Bible was written over the course of 1,500 years. God is the Bible’s Author.

God uses the Bible to reveal Himself to the world and to reveal His purposes. The Bible is one story about Jesus Christ.

Here is a brief overview of the story of the Bible.

God created all things. He created man to take care of the earth and to commune with God. God has a purpose for all of creation, including you and me. Adam and Eve are the first people God created. They chose to sin and disobey God. They made one wrong choice that resulted in severe consequences for themselves and all of humanity.

Then wickedness and evil spread everywhere. God was disappointed at how man had rejected Him, so He sent a flood to wipe out mankind...all except for Noah and his family. But because sin is passed down to everyone, sin continued to grow in people’s hearts around the world. Sin affected everything God created.

The rest of the Bible speaks of the history of Israel, Jesus’ life on earth and the establishment of the church.

Through it all, God promised to send a Redeemer who will crush Satan. Jesus is the only way we can be saved from an empty life. He fulfilled the law, lived a sinless life, died on the cross to pay the penalty of our sins, buried, rose again, ascended, and now sits at the right hand of God the Father. He is the only way we can be redeemed from the penalty of sin.

Finally, in the book of Revelation, we will see Jesus crush Satan. Jesus will return to earth as the reigning King. He will usher in a new heaven and a new earth, and everyone who believes in Him as their Savior will live with Him forever and ever.

As you can see, there is one redemption story from Genesis to Revelation. Everything points to Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

This year in Revelation, we will learn all about Jesus’ coming, the end of the world as we know it, and the beginning of the new heaven and the new earth. I hope you’re as excited as I am about everything we will study this year!

Things to Think About
  • Knowing that God has a purpose for you, does it change how you approach daily tasks, how you spend your time, and how you think?
  • Is Christ your Savior? Do you act like it by obeying and submitting to Him?

This Week’s Memory Verse
“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all the peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Genesis 12:2-3 NIV

10 September 2015

03 September 2015

Throwback Thursday: Three generations of jockeys

Here are three very special pictures of a very special toy horse. Grandpa Hromada had this wooden horse as a boy. Then he passed it along to me and Aunt Karen when we were kids. For Damon's first birthday, Grandpa cleaned up the horse and made a few repairs so now Damon can enjoy it for a few years.

Grandma Hromada managed to find pictures of me and Grandpa on the horse. Damon's picture completes the set!

August 1945

June 1980

August 2015

01 September 2015

Microwaved scrambled eggs

I've never been very good at making scrambled eggs. They're either too wet or too dry. And they take too much babysitting. So when Chris' mom gave me this microwaved scrambled eggs recipe several years ago, I knew I had to try it. And now it's become my go-to recipe for scrambled eggs. The eggs from this recipe are perfectly fluffy and delicious. Plus, since they're cooked in a microwave, they're easy to make!

Salt and pepper to taste
(see amounts in chart below)

Preparation instructions
Combine eggs and milk in greased bowl or casserole dish. Beat eggs and milk together with a fork or whisk. Add salt, pepper and butter. Cover with glass lid. Microwave for half of total cooking time. (See chart below.) Stir with fork to bring edges to center. Microwave for remaining half of total cooking time. Remove from microwave while eggs are moist. Let stand covered for 2 minutes. Eggs will continue to cook and set completely during standing time. Stir gently with a fork before serving. Add more salt and pepper if needed.

Eggs Milk Butter Total cooking time
1 1 tablespoon 1 teaspoon 1 to 1 1/2 minutes
2 2 tablespoons 2 teaspoons 2 to 2 1/2 minutes
4 4 tablespoons 4 teaspoons 4 1/2 to 5 minutes
6 6 tablespoons 2 tablespoons 7 to 7 1/2 minutes