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SOW: Genesis 4

I thought I would share one of my favorite   SOW Bible studies, I did in the past with my family & others on Genesis 4.

God asks Cain why has his countenance fallen and then warns him that “sin is crouching at the door of his mind/heart to rule over him, but do not let it.” God tells Cain that he knew what was the right thing to do concerning the sacrifice offered to God, but Cain refused to do the right thing…a blood sacrifice. He could have easily traded his best grains for Abel’s best lamb, as an offering to God.

Lessons learned…

  • Obedience is better than sacrifice.
  • Man does not want God to rule over him and will justify & blame others for their bad choices.
  • God, the “Holy Spirit will warn/convict us of sin, guide us to Truth, and empower us to live a holy consecrated life for God’s sacred use and purpose”.
  • By God’s grace, we must refuse to let sin rule/master us.
  • Cain could have repented (confessed that he was wrong to be angry & jealous, and do what was right, but he didn’t; so the consequences of his choice to continue in sin, was the murder of his righteous brother Abel.
  • Sometimes the choice to do what is right and pleasing to God is hard and may seem impossible, but God will & has provided the way. Ex: Daniel’s decision not to defile himself led him to appeal to the King’s eunuch. His enemies could not find anything in His life to reproach him with.

Prayer: Lord God, may we always “choose life not death, blessing not cursing, good not evil.” in Jesus’ name.



Holidays are holy days!

Everyone is getting ready for the holidays…when family & friends reunite. But what really is the purpose for holidays…Holi is short for holy…holy means set apart for a sacred purpose or use. For Christians, this means a day set apart to honor and glorify God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, not Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, or the Pilgrims. Though the birth of Jesus & His resurrection were not really on December 25th or Easter Day according to the Jewish Calendar, it doesn’t really matter what day it happened but that we remember and celebrate what was done for us. For each holiday, we give thanks for God’s provision, Jesus’ miraculous birth, life, teachings, death, & resurrection to pay the penalty of our sins. So let’s purposely focus on the real meaning of these holidays. Ways we can do this is by decorating the house with symbols that represent and teach what God has done for us…pumpkins for the bountiful harvest each year, manger scenes and lights for Jesus who came to earth to reconcile (made right) with God, and the cross for Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins and the egg for the new birth we receive when we accept Jesus as our Savior. We also recite Scripture, sing hymns, act out the lives of Bible heroes, pray, make a special craft such as a Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter ornaments that tell the Biblical story of God’s creation and redemption of mankind, minister gifts or good deed to the homeless, orphans, widows, imprisoned, etc. and watch special movies such as “It’s a Wonderful Life”, “Scrooge”, “Jesus of Nazareth”.
Praying that you each have a blessed holiday filled with love & joy & peace. I love this scene & song in White Christmas…

What are Juaizers and Legalists?

Most Christians desire to please God, but do not know how? They often think, it is by their works that they gain favor or access to the Father/Heaven. But according to the Bible, the only thing that pleases God is faith (remaining belief and acceptance) in Jesus’ works,… His teachings, miracles, death, resurrection, & coming again. “Jesus said, ‘I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life,’ He, who comes to the Father, must come through Me.”John 14:6
“Without faith it is impossible to please God, One must believe that God exists and He is a rewarder of them who diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6
“It is by faith you have been saved; it is a gift from God, not by works, that no man shall boast.” Ephesians 2:8,9
This personal study is on “Judaizers” and “legalists”. They are not the same, but both are considered false teachings, relying on works, not faith alone in Christ.

Who/what is a “Judaizer”?
Judaizer = Christians, who live as a Jew in accordance to Jewish/Mosaic laws such as circumcision, Sabbath and Feast Days, & dietary laws of the Old Testament.

Who/what is a “legalist”?
Legalist = those who require works beyond those found in the Bible. The Pharisees & leaders of Jesus’s time were the “legalist” of Judaism, demanding the Jews keep man made customs beyond the laws of God such as the OT commandment of “Keep the Sabbath”. They added to this law by teaching the Jews not to help the sick or hurting on the Sabbath. This was just one of hundreds of man made customs forced on the Jews that were extraBiblical. The Legalist of Christianity, today, will demand that Christians work for favor with God by doing man made customs such as wear or not wear skirts/pants, cut or not cut their hair, wear or not wear makeup, or go or not go to church twice or more per week, use electricity /computers or not use, eat or not eat meat, keep or not keep this sacred day.
According to Apostle Paul, you may keep or not keep rules & regulations, personally, but must not force, require, or judge others, who do or do not.
Note: Salvation or favor with God is not gained by keeping or not keeping any works found in or out of the Bible.
Read Acts 15, Galatians, Hebrews for more clarity on the subjects of Judaizer and legalist.


So what is true, Biblical Christianity? Thankfully , we do not have to debate or argue over these doctrines; for the Bible is now available for everyone to read & study on their own. The reason there are so many false doctrines is that people do not sudy the Scriptures for themselves as Paul, the Apostle of Christ, suggests. Today, most Christians let one man or organization teach them what to believe via a weekly sermon or youtube/video. Most people, will sadly find out, too late, that they have been following a false teaching or religion.
The Biblical true Christian is someone who…
1. accepts the atoning (acceptable substitution by the perfect male lamb) sacrifice of Jesus Christ for all their sins.
2. abides/lives in the Spirit of God. If you walk in The Spirit, you will produce the fruit of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, self control. Those who choose to let the flesh/Satan control their lives, will produce these fleshly deeds… immorality, greed, cursing, violence, covetousness, drunkenness, idolatry, steal, etc..By faith, we must allow the Spirit of God to continue controlling our lives through repentance (thank God, the Son, for dying on the cross for our sins, ask God, the Holy Spirit, to empower us to live a holy (consecrated for God’s purpose & use) life, and confess (agree with God) and turn away from the sins of the flesh.
3. submits to the Word of God (the laws of God can be summed up in this “Love God with all your heart, mind, & soul, and love your neighbor as yourself. (In doing this, you will fulfill all the laws of God… God’s Love will not allow you to steal, covet, hate, curse, defile anyone sexually, etc..)
All three are necessary to be a Christian and live the Christian life! “Beware! do not use your liberty in Christ to sin.” “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in and through me.” Galatians 2:20

I challenge you to read the New Testament every day and ask God to reveal the truth to you. He loves you and desires that all come to Him and have an intimate relationship with Him forever. But every person is in bondage to sin, so it is impossible to have a personal initmate relationship with a Holy ( perfect) God on our own. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that who soever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” John3:16

If you want to discuss the Bible and pray, please contact me.
You are invited, once a week, to a Christian fellowship in our neighborhood to share a meal, the Word, and prayer with us. Love Merle

Martin Luther: Heretic or Saint??? My personal study…


This week, October 31st, marks 500 years ago, since Martin Luther (ML) nailed his 95 thesis (points) of reform to the Roman Catholic (RC) Church door. ML was an extremely dutiful but embittered Augustinian monk of the RC church). All he could see was a God of hate: judgment and hypocriticalness  from those who preached and practiced Christianity. After years of trying to find his salvation through penance (punishment and self-affliction and works), he was sent to a university to learn and teach Bible studies… the reading, inductive studying (questioning, discussing, critically thinking) of the Scriptures changed his thinking about God. Scripture is the Living Word of God, able to “warn, rebuke, teach, exhort…” 2 Timothy 4:2  “pierce through bone and marrow” to change the mind and heart of sinful men towards God”.  Hebrew 4:12

It was Scriptures on “faith”, that transformed ML from a man, who hated God and himself to “love God with all his heart, mind, and soul, and neighbor, as His self” Matt 22:37, 39

Romans 6:23 “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord,”

Ephesians 2:8,9). “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;  … 

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

 Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

John 1:12  “Yet to all who did receive him (Jesus), to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—

Romans 1:17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to lst, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

Romans 10:9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Romans 10:10  “For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.  

Galatians 2:16 “know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.”


For more information, see this Movie: Luther… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuT-SDDdRVU

What reforms did ML, and others before, during, and after him, want from the RC Church? Simply, “Scripture Alone”, The Bible is the final authority for Christian doctrines and practices. But, that change, was not so simple. Like in Jesus’ day and today, there were men/organizations using God’s Word for profit, power, and gain… no one could buy or sell, marry, birth, baptize, die or bury without permission and payment to church/government authorities. The “Feudal” government authorities (national to local level) of Europe levied taxes and fees, which they split with the “RC church”. The RC church (national to local level), also, collected tithes, and sold relics (bones, hair, cloth, wood, etc., supposedly, used or of Jesus, the apostles, and saints), indulgences (rite of passage, without repentance, straight (no waiting in purgatory) to heaven, to all those who paid a fee), & church positions (from pope, cardinal, bishop, priest, etc.). By God’s grace, ML lived to marry, have a family, pastor the first Lutheran church (round table Bible studies that discussed and studied Scriptures in his home), and create Christian doctrinal hymns.

In conclusion: why do I say this same argument for faith in “Scripture Alone”, is, as in Jesus’ time and ML’s, vital, if man wants to find true salvation (an everlasting personal relationship, as Father to his  sons/daughters), with his Creator.

As it was then and is even now, the kingdom of God is at war with satanical forces, worldly philosophies, and fleshly greed resulting in the souls of many persons to continue in their bondage to sin and its judgment.  I Thessalonians 2: 18 “Therefore we wanted to come to you—even I, Paul, time and again—but Satan hindered us.” Romans 5:5Those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh; but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.6The mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace.”

God was using ML to wake up the church so that his people would walk in the light of God’s Holy Word and understand the riches of our inheritance in Christ. (“The Truth shall set you Free.” “I came that you might have life more abundantly.” “We write these things so that our joy may be complete.”)

These religious practices of the RCC, which were challenged by Martin Luther and other Christian martyrs throughout the centuries, are manifesting themselves in the modern Christian  Church today by their bad theology and the empowerment of “professional church leadership” instead of the equipping of the saints.

Many Christians train themselves to live the Christian life from sermon to sermon or audio/video, rather than being equipped to study  God’s Word. True Biblical discipleship says “Go and make disciples (followers/students) baptizing (immersed) in the Father, Son, & Holy Spirit, teaching them God’s Word (all that I commanded).”

Like ML, the solution  to our dilemmas (bondage to sin and lack of love, peace, kindness, goodness, and joy are found in yielding to the Spirit of God and submitting to the Word of God. Let us see that this is being done diligently and faithfully, corporately and individually.

 Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word [a]of Christ.


Hebrews 11:6 “Without faith it is impossible to please God; a man must believe God rewards those who diligently seek Him.” 



Prayer: All that I love, will diligently seek God and by faith believe and receive Jesus Christ, as their Savior (atonement for sin),   so that they may have abundant, everlasting life, liberty, and joy.

PS…I am begging you to study a chapter in the New Testament every day and ask God to reveal Himself to you. If you would like to discuss and pray about what you are learning, please contact me. You are invited to come to an adult Bible study fellowship that meets in our Sherwood Forest neighborhood in BR every week.

Love Merle Reece


How to “Get rid of Anger”?


  1. Scripture Concerning Anger…

Proverbs 14:2929 Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.

Proverbs 29:11 Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.                                                                      Proverbs 15:1818 A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.                                                                                                                                                                                        James 4:1-3 Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet[a] you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Psalm 37:8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil.

Proverbs 22:24 Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered,

Proverbs 16:3232 Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city. Ecclesiastes 7:99 Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.

Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Ephesians 4:26-31 NIV

26 “In your anger do not sin” : Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,

27 and do not give the devil a foothold.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others upaccording to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, 31and every form of malice. My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,

22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment.                         Proverbs 19:11 11 A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.

Colossians 3:8 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.







  1. Observations (who, what, when, where, how, why) & Interpretation (Defining Scripture with Scripture)
Question: Anger: Patient
What? Wrath, rage, quick/hot tempered; filthy language, malice; slander Self control; calm
Who? Fool Wise
How? Harsh words stir up anger; provoked in spirit;

Do not associate or make friends with thos easily angered; refrain from wrath; turn from anger; do not fret (worry/anxious); comes from your desires.

Wisdom yields to patience; overlook an offense; does not quarrel about your desires but ask God; gentle answer turns away wrath; Get rid of anger; soft answer turns away wrath; be quick to listen & slow to speak & slow to become angry.
Why? Subject to judgement; leads to evil; you do not ask God for your desires; your motives are for your own pleasures. To one’s glory; has great understanding


III. Application (How do I apply what I learned about anger  to my life?): Paul addresses the issue of anger in the church. Tha statistics show that there is a large percentage of the churched using their liberties in Christ to justify their right to display anger.  This sin is never brought to light because of fear, shame, reprisal, & rejection. A true believer, Christian will hate this sin, but is ignorant of what the Word says nor knows or understands how to “get rid of anger”. According to the Scriptures,  anger leads to more wrath, evil, and judgement. Before Jesus died & rose again, He displayed to His disciples how they should love and serve one another by washing their feet and saying this Mark 10:42 “Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles, lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 

Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. 44 And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Therefore, let us not be ignorant of God’s Word concerning how to walk with one another…

  • “confess sins… “If we confess our sins, God is faithful & righteous to forgive ous sins & cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
  • “be filled (controlled/led/abide) by the Spirit.”
  • “pray without ceasing.”
  • “forgive & (Agape-sacrificially, like Christ) love one another.” “Think of the other person as more important than self.”

All 4 of the above commands must be practiced/implemented by faith to “get rid (turn away from) the evil of anger”.

Prayer for us all to walk in Spirit, truth, and love.


 IV. Conclusion:  Let us embrace and act upon this truth…James 1:20 “Human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”

Interested in learning more, contact me, or you are invited to come to our GBF church that meets at Florida Blvd Baptist church ( fellowship hall) 10am Sundays.


Great Articles concerning anger…

http://www.desiringgod.org/books/when-i-dont-desire-god John Piper

https://www.intouch.org/read/magazine/features/no-offense Charles Stanley







My personal study of Galatians 5, “The Spirit filled life”…

 Galatians 5, “The Spirit filled life”…
“24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. “

I. Observation (who, what, when, where, how, why) & Interpretation (defining Scripture using other Scripture):
A. We, Christians (those who believe & receive Christ) should/have/must…
• crucify (put to death our carnal nature, deny self) the flesh.
• walk (abide, live, & remain in, controlled by, yield to) the Spirit (God….the Father, the Son, & the Spirit).
B. God’s Word promises,…
• Those, who walk by/in/for/through God’s Spirit and Word, WILL produce good fruit (works)…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, & self control.
• Those, who walk by/in/for/through the flesh (carnal nature), Will produce bad/evil fruit (works)…greed, cursing, covetousness, selfishness, etc..

II. Application: There’s problems when we, the church, walk in the flesh, not the Spirit or try to live the Christian (holy, consecrated, sanctified) life by works, and not by faith (applied belief) in God’s Spirit and Word. Therefore, when each Christian does not see God like characteristics in our life, but instead, carnal fruit, we are not walking in the “Light”, as we should. Therefore God commands His disciples (followers of Christ) to repent (Confess & do what is right/good fruit). “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive out sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The application of these truths by GRACE is the Spirit filled- led life, which glorifies God.

III. Conclusion: By God’s GRACE (God’s riches at Christ’s expense) with Faith (applied belief) in God’s Spirit & Word, Christians WILL always produce good Fruit (works) that glorify God.

Prayer… Lord God give all Christians your abundant GRACE to walk the Spirit led life while “in the world but not of it”.

Warning!!!Are you living a different Gospel? Galatians 1:6-10

I am realizing how important it is to understand and live/walk/abide by faith in the “True Gospel of Jesus Christ”. Paul writes in his letters to the Galatians his concern that the believers there may be ACCURSED (doomed to evil or misery, or banishment).


“Galatians 1:6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.

10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.”



Inductive study… Galatians 1:6-10



  1. Observation…
  • Galatians turning away from gospel Paul had preached
  • Some are troubling the brethren by preaching a perverted gospel.
  • Those who preach a different gospel be accursed.



  1. Interpretation…
  • True Gospel…man saved by faith in Grace & works of Jesus Christ…His death & resurrection.

The true gospel is the good news that God saves sinners. Man is by nature sinful and separated from God with no hope of remedying that situation. But God, by His power, provided the means of man’s redemption in the death, burial and resurrection of the Savior, Jesus Christ.

The word “gospel” literally means “good news.” But to truly comprehend how good this news is, we must first understand the bad news. As a result of the fall of man in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:6), every part of man—his mind, will, emotions and flesh—have been corrupted by sin. Because of man’s sinful nature, he does not and cannot seek God. He has no desire to come to God and, in fact, his mind is hostile toward God (Romans 8:7). God has declared that man’s sin dooms him to an eternity in hell, separated from God. It is in hell that man pays the penalty of sin against a holy and righteous God. This would be bad news indeed if there were no remedy.

But in the gospel, God, in His mercy, has provided that remedy, a substitute for us—Jesus Christ—who came to pay the penalty for our sin by His sacrifice on the cross. This is the essence of the gospel which Paul preached to the Corinthians. In 1 Corinthians 15:2-4, he explains the three elements of the gospel—the death, burial and resurrection of Christ on our behalf. Our old nature died with Christ on the cross and was buried with Him. Then we were resurrected with Him to a new life (Romans 6:4-8). Paul tells us to “hold firmly” to this true gospel, the only one which saves. Believing in any other gospel is to believe in vain. In Romans 1:16-17, Paul also declares that the true gospel is the “power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes” by which he means that salvation is not achieved by man’s efforts, but by the grace of God through the gift of faith (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Because of the gospel, through the power of God, those who believe in Christ (Romans 10:9) are not just saved from hell. We are, in fact, given a completely new nature (2 Corinthians 5:17) with a changed heart and a new desire, will, and attitude that are manifested in good works. This is the fruit the Holy Spirit produces in us by His power. Works are never the means of salvation, but they are the proof of it (Ephesians 2:10). Those who are saved by the power of God will always show the evidence of salvation by a changed life.





  • Perverted doctrine … saved by man’s good deeds or obedience to the Mosaic law.

Doctrine is “a set of ideas or beliefs that are taught or believed to be true.” Biblical doctrine refers to teachings that align with the revealed Word of God, the Bible. False doctrine is any idea that adds to, takes away from, contradicts, or nullifies the doctrine given in God’s Word. For example, any teaching about Jesus that denies His virgin birth is a false doctrine, because it contradicts the clear teaching of Scripture (Matthew 1:18).



As early as the first century AD, false doctrine was already infiltrating the church, and many of the letters in the New Testament were written to address those errors (Galatians 1:6–9; Colossians 2:20–23; Titus 1:10–11). Paul exhorted his protégé Timothy to guard against those who were peddling heresies and confusing the flock: “If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing” (1 Timothy 6:3–4).



As followers of Christ, we have no excuse for remaining ignorant of theology because we have the “whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27) available to us—the Bible is complete. As we “study to show ourselves approved unto God” (2 Timothy 2:15), we are less likely to be taken in by smooth talkers and false prophets. When we know God’s Word, “we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming” (Ephesians 4:14).



It is important to point out the difference between false doctrine and denominational disagreements. Different congregational groups see secondary issues in Scripture differently. These differences are not always due to false doctrine on anyone’s part. Church policies, governmental decisions, style of worship, etc., are all open for discussion, since they are not directly addressed in Scripture. Even those issues that are addressed in Scripture are often debated by equally sincere disciples of Christ. Differences in interpretation or practice do not necessarily qualify as false doctrine, nor should they divide the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 1:10).



False doctrine is that which opposes some fundamental truth or that which is necessary for salvation. The following are some examples of false doctrine:



  • The erasing of hell. The Bible describes hell as a real place of eternal torment, the destination for every unregenerate soul (Revelation 20:15; 2 Thessalonians 1:8). A denial of hell directly contradicts Jesus’ own words (Matthew 10:28; 25:46) and is therefore a false doctrine.



  • The idea that there are “many paths to God.” This philosophy has become popular recently under the guise of tolerance. This false doctrine claims that, since God is love, He will accept any religious effort as long as the practitioner is sincere. Such relativism flies in the face of the entire Bible and effectively eliminates any need for the Son of God to take on flesh and be crucified for us (Jeremiah 12:17; John 3:15–18). It also contradicts Jesus’ direct words that He is the only way to God (John 14:6).



  • Any teaching that redefines the person of Jesus Christ. Doctrine that denies the deity of Christ, the virgin birth, His sinless nature, His actual death, or His physical resurrection is false doctrine. A group’s errant Christology readily identifies it as a sect or cult that may claim to be Christian but is actually teaching false doctrine. Even many mainline denominations have begun the rapid slide into apostasy by declaring that they no longer hold to a literal interpretation of Scripture or the deity of Christ. First John 4:1–3 makes it clear that a denial of biblical Christology is “anti-Christ.” Jesus described false teachers within the church as “wolves in sheep’s clothing” (Matthew 7:15).



  • Teaching that adds human religious works to Christ’s finished work on the cross as necessary ingredients for salvation. This teaching may pay lip service to salvation by faith alone but insists that a religious ritual (such as water baptism) is salvific. Some groups even legislate hairstyles, clothing options, and food consumption. Romans 11:6 warns against attempts to mix grace with works. Ephesians 2:8–9 says we are saved by the grace of God, through faith, and nothing we do can add to or take away from it. Galatians 1:6–9 pronounces a curse on anyone who changes the good news of salvation by grace.



  • The teaching that presents grace as a license to sin. Sometimes called “easy-believism,” this false doctrine implies that all one must do for right standing with God is to believe the facts about Jesus, pray a prayer at some point, and then resume control of one’s life with the assurance of heaven at the end. Paul dealt with this thinking in Romans 6. In Matthew 7:21–23, Jesus warned those who adopt this doctrine that they did not know Him at all. Second Corinthians 5:17 states that those who are “in Christ” become “new creatures.” That transformation, in response to a believer’s faith in Christ, changes the outward behaviors. To know and love Christ is to obey Him (Luke 6:46).



Satan has been confusing and perverting the Word of God since the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:1–4; Matthew 4:6). False teachers, the servants of Satan, try to appear as “servants of righteousness” (2 Corinthians 11:15), but they will be known by their fruits (Matthew 7:16). A charlatan promoting false doctrine will show signs of pride, greed, and rebellion (see Jude 1:11) and will often promote or engage in sexual immorality (2 Peter 2:14; Revelation 2:20).



We are wise to recognize how vulnerable we are to heresy and make it our habit to do as the Bereans did in Acts 17:11: “they . . . examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” When we make it our goal to follow the lead of the first church, we will go far in avoiding the pitfalls of false doctrine. Acts 2:42 says, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Such devotion will protect us and ensure that we are on the path Jesus set for us.

  • Accursed = doomed to evil or misery, banishment such as Cain; possible destruction such as Ananias & Saphira.



III. Application…

  • Study the Scriptures for true doctrines.
  • Compare/examine what you believe and walk in with the Scriptures.
  • Repent of false doctrines and not walking in Spirit, truth, & love.
  • Christ must live in and through me.





  1. Conclusion…

Galatians 2:20 (NKJV)

20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.





How God ministered to my sufferings through the life of Job!

My life in Christ is not dependent on how I feel, the weather condition, the church’s doctrinal divisions, the government’s decrees, the doctor’s report about my health, the lacking of wealth to make ends meet, the approval of my family and friends, the welfare of my marriage, the decisions of my children, nor any other created thing. For nothing can separate me from the love of God; I am His beloved and He is mine! This marriage with Christ is till death do us part!
There may be many times, like Job, that I have wanted to die, because the emotional, physical, mental, spiritual pain was so excruciating! Satan has been given permission by God to try… to cut off my seed from salvation, destroy my ministry of reconciliation, inflict infirmities on my mind, body, and soul, kill my relationships I have invested my life into cultivating, increase extreme emotional stress, and hinder my intimate walk with God. I may not understand what is happening to me or have all the answers figured out, but through it all God has sustained me and is using these things to build my faith and give me compassion to comfort others with the comfort God has given to me. It is times like these that I increase my worship, mediation of the Word, relying on the Holy Spirit’s power who gives wisdom, rebuke, and warning from His Word.
Personally, I have been listening and meditating on the book of Job. Are you going through suffering, pain, trials, persecution and need prayer or want to study Job together, contact me? 1225-590-3444
This is what I am learning …
• Job was a wealthy prominent man in his community who loved the Lord and walked in His ways making sacrificial offering for he and his family every day. Job was righteous and lived righteously (He had a heart for God and did what was right in God’s eyes.). Christians are made right by the blood of the Lamb, the works Christ has already done through His death on the cross, His rising again, and now seated on His judgment seat. Jesus’ works for us will always produce good works through us to others! Shouldn’t we be confident about our position in Christ as a child of God … we are God’s beloved. This knowledge and understanding of who we are in Christ will determine how we react during a crisis!
• Satan asked to test Job’s faithfulness to God. God gave Satan permission to afflict Job. This good news not bad news for Satan meant this for evil in our lives but God will use it for good in our lives and others. He has a master plan that is for good not evil!
•Job questions God… why? Do we experience suffering because of the consequences of sin, the disciplining of His children for their good, testing and building of our faith in Him, or administering wrath and punishment on the wicked (those who do not repent) or other. Abraham’s faith was tested, Aaron’s sons were killed because they were wicked priest’s of God, Jacob was disciplined for His deceit, and so on. What we do know is God is in control of all things, good and bad. Nothing (storms, wars, betrayal, sickness, famine, persecution, death, loss of a job, or any other kind of pain or suffering) takes God by surprise!
• Everything Job owned (his home, income, employers, friends, wealth, health, reputation, including all his sons and daughters) were destroyed and also afflicted with physical pain. Suffering did not come upon Job because He sinned (rebelled against God in thoughts or actions) or being wicked (those who do not repent of evil), but for righteousness sake! Satan and those he uses, will try to deceive, accuse, lie, blame you into thinking God is not good and does not have your best.
• Yet during all that Job suffered, He still praised God and offered his usual daily sacrifices to God demonstrating his love and devotion to Him as always. Should we continue to deny self, finish the task, and follow Jesus no matter what? Yes, what ever task God has called us to, we must continuously do it cheerfully through the power of the Holy Spirit, in Jesus Christ, and for our Father. This is our “perfect and living sacrifice that is acceptable to God”.
• Job’s friends did not comfort, console, or have compassion, but heaped only misery by giving advice and reasons why God had abandoned Job and he deserved to suffer. Like Job, this is what some “friends” told me during times of extreme suffering and pain… “You are wrong to mourn because God did this.”; “You caused this to happen?”; “You need to repent?”, “This would not have happened if you did this, this, and this.”, “You are haughty and prideful to question God why?”, “You aren’t really suffering because I saw you smiling?”, “You haven’t suffered, like I have suffered?” The advice and accusations about Job nor God were true about why people, who trust & love God, suffer. Should we make assumptions concerning another person’s trials? Unless, we have walked the talk, we are ignorant fools to try to explain why? “Angus said to Scout, ‘we can’t understand sometimes why somethings bad happens to others until we have walked in their shoes for awhile.” To Kill a Mockingbird
• Job answered his friends that he already knew these things about God and man and that this was not the time to remind him; He desired comfort and compassion! God is sovereign (nothing happens without His permission); God punishes the wicked; I do not understand all God’s ways and reasons; No one can stand before a holy and just God. This is a case of the “wrong reason at the wrong time”. Job says it would have been better if his friends kept silent. So true, suffering people really need… hug, holy kiss, a serve (meal, babysit, clean house, monetary gift or other), prayer, a comforting Scripture, and just being there says volumes. Ecclesiastes says “There is a time for everything.”
• Job was in tremendous mourning and grief over his losses and pain that he wanted to die. Job begged God to take his life and gave God reasons why. Who wouldn’t want to be in a peaceful, pain free, sinless world during extreme mental, emotional, or physical pain? Paul said it like this, ”It is better that I leave this world to be with Jesus but better for you that I stay.”
Actually, the friend that told me I was Biblically wrong for mourning was wrong! All throughout the Bible, heroes of the faith mourned. King David did not stop mourning until his son’s death; God answered his prayers, not with a yes but a no. Mordecai tore his clothes, heaped ashes and wept bitterly for his people’s possible annihilation by Haman’s decree; God answered yes and delivered the Jews. It is natural to weep! Asking God for mercy is a good thing… it is a way of humbly declaring who God is and admitting who we are without Him. On the other hand, Aaron was rebuked by God for mourning God’s judgment of death of his rebellious sons. Aaron should have wept for their souls while they were alive, now it was too late; judgement and God’s wrath were administered, justly!

***The statements about the book of Job was what I wanted to say but this author said it best… “God answers Job and his friends, not with answers but questions (38:2-41:34). By these questions, and their implied answers, he teaches Job.
1.Was Job there at the beginning. (38:4).
2. Is Job the great architect and builder (38:4-6).
3. Did Job set the limits (38:5,8-11).
4. Does Job sustain everything (38:12).
Does Job govern all the nations.
5. Did your creative work bring forth praise and joy (38:7).
Like Job, we can also learn for our trials…God knows what He is doing and is in control. God vindicates Job’s conviction that God is not punishing him for sin, and on the other hand, calls him on to an enlarged knowledge of God, and to an enlarged faith (40:4,5). Job’s knowledge of God had been true; what it needed was a massive filling out of the meaning of that truth.
From 40:6 to 41:34 God points out that just as it is impossible for man to capture or subdue behemoth or leviathan so also it is impossible for Job to call God to account for his justice, or even for Job to administer justice on earth.
God has revealed himself, making known his power and wisdom. Such a self-disclosure draws only one response from the man of faith: ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner’ (Luke 18:13 KJV);’Woe to me! …I am a man of unclean lips… and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty (Isaiah 6:5); ‘…now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes’ (Job 42: 5b-6).This is always the response of faith, face to face with almighty God. God has told us through Job’s miseries what is truth… ‘The fear of the Lord is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding’ (28:28).This verse tells us exactly why Job was right and the friends were wrong: he was a God-fearer, a believer in God and His Word. There was a lot about God and his working, Job didn’t know, but he knows God. Confronted now by the trauma of his own massive suffering, Job also knows that the traditional explanation, which up to the point of his suffering he had carelessly and thoughtlessly assumed to be true, cannot be true. God is now doing to him what others experienced. He knows there has to be some other explanation. But when God speaks, it is not with answers and explanations, but with a whole series of questions meant to teach Job more about the God he loves and serves.”

1. I can see the wisdom of God that His children endure testings by Satan and go through trials. Satan’s question to God is logical … “If you take away everything from man will he curse or bless your name?” Though Satan’s motives are evil towards Job and you and I, God is going to use it for good! My answer to Satan’s question is how I live out my faith in God during extreme pain…I will either curse God or praise Him and even in that there is granted repentance. God is a merciful God and a pursuing lover till I die! 2. How many times have I assumed that the reason a person is suffering is because of some sin? An example of this kind of foolish thinking was when I had to receive government care when I lost my eye sight. As I sat in the waiting room, I noticed the people all around me. I met lawn care workers, cash attendances, maids, family members of the military, etc.. These people were not pimps, prostitutes, and lazy bums off the streets but hard long hour working people who needed care. (Not theat the others do not need extreme love & ministering too!) I was himbled and I cried for my selfish and evil thinking of these people. Many of those sitting next to me year every year were God fearing people! I not only learned something about me, but about God!
3. Through God’s questions, God reminded me that this is true about God and myself…God is God; I am not. God is infinite and I am finite. God is strong; I am weak. God is sinless; I am not till I get my glorified body! I live in a world of sin, suffering, evil; one day I will live with Christ in a pain and sin free world.

My prayer: Lord let me…remember who I am in Christ; do not despise your disciplines for you are good all the time, and comfort others with the cofort you have given me. “Through it all I will learn to trust in Jesus!” Love, your child, merle
PS…If you are suffering, please contact me so we can pray, meditate on the word, and comfort one another.
Suggestions: If you read or listen to Job..I recommend Job 1-15 then jump to 38-42 for short.
When you are suffering sometimes you do not have the strength to read the Bible; this is a Bible audio to listen to the book of Job!

The Book of Job (/ˈdʒoʊb/; Hebrew: אִיוֹב Iyov) is one of the Writings (Ketuvim) of the Hebrew Bible, and the first poetical book in the Christian Old Testam…
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Why am I hesitant about using the SOW Curriculum?

  1. Lack of vision: Most  homeschool parents lack a vision for educating their children. They have no goals and become victims to every plan made by man. When persecution comes or doubts arise, there is no reason to stand firm. God has already given us in the Bible a vision for educating our sons and daughters. It is called discipleship. Discipleship unlike education, will include not only academic learning but spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical growth. 

  2. Government, Society, and Family Disapproval:     The governmental system wants control over our children’s education because they lose money every time a child leaves the school system.  The agenda for educators is that our children have a world view, not a Biblical one.  Family members will not understand your decision to place discipleship over educating your children. Friends, even those in the Church, might be some of your strongest critics. 

  3. Confused: A third reason is that other homeschooling materials have stated to be Bible based, only to be disappointed that these claims were not true. We, too, have searched and have collected quite a large library of  resources claiming to be Bible centered but in fact are curriculums focusing on literature, creation science, missions, character traits, doctrines, portion of scripture, history, etc.  The SOW Curriculum is truly Bible centered. 

  4. Disappointments: The SOW Curriculum will disappoint some. No one has written the perfect curriculum or plan that will meet to your family’s needs. Only God has written the perfect curriculum–the Bible. We felt; that if, we could utilize the Bible as the main text, follow the Biblical mandate to disciple our children, copy the example of Jesus in teaching His disciples–how to pray, walk in the Spirit, preach and teach others the gospel, to care for His creation, etc.; then God would do what He has promised to do–make our children wise, guide them into all truth, protect them from the evil one, and give them a future and a hope. Use the SOW Curriculum as a tool or framework to accomplish your goals for your family; and, you will not be disappointed.

  5. Comfortable: Most people are comfortable with what they are using.  But being comfortable should never be a motive. The plan, that you devised and should be implementing in your home, should be God given and driven.  Don’t let the responsibility of training and educating your children become over whelming and paralyze you from doing what God has called you to do as a Christian, parent, and teacher.                                     

  6. Lack of social opportunities, rewards, and recognition for our children: We literally believe; that if,  we “put God first, all things shall be added.” We also believe many of the programs that are offered in the school systems promote self glorification. We believe that Christians should seek to glorify God, not ourselves. We feel  that the school systems teach our children to be self sufficient; when, they should be learning to depend on God. We believe the schools systems teach our children individualism or the “I am”, instead of that, we are a body and we need each other.  The hardest things to give up were, what we called, the riches of Egypt–all those titles, rewards and recognitions that the world offers that give us a false sense of security and pride. Instead, we encouraged our children not to compare themselves with others, but by God’s standards in His Word. When we do that, we all fall short. When we recognize our weaknesses and sins, we should turn to God to empower us and give us wisdom. 

  7. Stated goals vs real goals: It is very wise to count the cost for every decision we make. God warns us not to start building the house without counting the cost, less others mock because of our double mindedness. God calls us to narrow our choices as we walk with Him. Choosing to leave your former religious believes for a relationship with Jesus Christ, choosing to marry a Christian, choosing a type of job career that is pleasing to the Father, choosing to homeschool, or choosing to disciple your children,  will make waves. Are your stated goals, your real goals? Where and on what do you spend most of your time and resources? What do you think and dream about?

    8.Perseverance to the “task”: Because the SOW Curriculum’s vision, method, and use of the Bible as the main text is so different from the typical way most were taught to learn and different from other Christian or secular curricular, there will be, at first, a time of perseverance needed until the teacher and student become familiar with how to use it. You will need to reeducate yourself  by reading thoroughly through the material. These differences will require you to gain wisdom on how to use it, and then teach each of your students, beginning with the oldest, how to use the SOW Curriculum until they master using the scope & sequence, charts, daily lessons, resources, & skill level worksheets in each subject. We recommend a full month of slowly doing all SOW subjects Lesson #1 before going on to the lesson #2 in each subject. We hope that you will be able to value the differences that SOW brings to your education experience!


       9. Check motives: Check to see, if your motives for educating your children are spiritually pure             and  Biblically founded or are they tainted with worldly reasons. God has told us not to be                     fearful, but have courage as we take back the land (children) that the enemy (Satan) has stolen.             “Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.”


Toddlers & Preschoolers…”training them in the way they should go”!

These are suggestions that worked for me…


  • Personal devotions vital for success! To see myself through this journey (parenting, motherhood), I had to know for sure … I was ordained and called by God to have children and make disciples of each, God would be with me and give me direction every step of the way.  My first obligation was to be a disciple of Christ before I could disciple my children. This meant putting prayer, the Word, and walking in the Spirit by faith priority in my daily routine.
  • Rest time for me and the children! After lunch and reading a story aloud, I would put the children down for a nap or quiet time from 1-3pm every day on separate mats, beds, or rugs. They could read or play quietly but they were not allowed to make a sound or get up except for an emergency.
  • Create a safe setting that fosters play, creativity, and learning! I had a room (the dining room) especially set up as a play room/ school room with low lying shelves for boxes, buckets or baskets of specific  toys (blocks, dress up, puzzles, play house,  matchbox cars, picture books, etc.) with a comfy bean bag chair. There was a table and benches for them to play and work on. I also had a cabinet with a door for art supplies, play dough, paper, glue, paint, scissors, popcycle sticks, colors, markers, etc. I would use for supervise play only. The garage or carport,  full of scooters, & tricycles & 3 wheelers, was used  for inside play during bad weather; for good weather there was a fenced yard with swings, slides, climbers, covered sandbox (to keep critters out), etc..
  • Children are not allies! God reminded me that as a parent…I am a type of Moses (called by God to lead the Israelites to the promise land) and my children are like the Israelites (who complained, rebelled, in fact wanted to kill and stone Moses,  and  go back to Egypt and slavery, and were jealous and doubted my power and position, etc.). So He warned me that my children will not be cooperative in this journey and that I must lean on Him.
  • Be a parent centered /controlled home, not child centered! I found it helpful to ask myself continuously…Am I in control of this situation or is my child?  Is this a parent centered home or child centered home? In a parent centered home…the parent knows that God has given them the responsibility of teaching and training the child the way he should live… this means the parent knows what is best for the child… what, how, when, where, why  to dress, play, sleep, bathe, eat, watch, read, listen, learn, work, etc..  The parent needs to let the child know the parent is in control, because God said so. If the parents let God be in control of their life, in control of the parent so they can trust you to do what is right and good for them. Children want and need to know their parents are in control. This is how they feel loved and secure. In fact a child that is or thinks he is in control of his life is miserable and becomes a self centered… brat!
  • Be a strong chord of 3! Be in unity and one with your spouse, and God because this is true, “a house divided can not stand.” Even toddlers can pick up when there is discord in the home.  Maintain a oneness in marriage by participating in …church, prayer, devotion, date nights, fellowship with other believers, couples Bible study, &  good communication.
  • Do not ask them…tell them! Do not ask …what they want to eat?, do they want to go to bed?, what show or movie to watch?, what do they want to play with?, what do they want to wear?… All these questions confuse the child and they will not be able to make the good choices such as cookie or spinach for lunch? You, as the parent, should know what they need. Wait till their teenagers and then give them choices. You are the Moses in your home….ordained by God with the direction to how to get to the promise land. They may want to grumble or even stone you…but stand firm!
  • Serving others will keep them from being self focused! Once a week…be involved with extended family life…grandparents, cousins, siblings, etc.; visit the elderly & play simple games together, teach  children to share by giving quarter earned to church or give surplus clothes & toys to needy, write a card to those sick, fix a meal, pray with, cleaning. It is especially important that they see you doing these things!
  • Do something fun as a family with friends! At least once a week…Go to the park, field trip, library, arts or crafts, nature walk, sports, play at home, backyard BBQ, share, or other.
  • Teach and train them first! to love God and His Word; Worship God; PRAY-Praise Repent AskYield, obey the Bible & parents, use Scripture to determine right from wrong; walk by faith in the Spirit not in the flesh (repent & ask God for help).
  • Use the principle of “sowing and reaping” by rewarding good deeds and attitudes and disciplining bad deeds and attitudes like …I am not going to answer you when you whine; must say please and thank you; If you touch this …, I will spank you with this spoon; you must pick up your toys before …; you finished your spinach so you can have …. If a dog can obey his master, so can they!
  • Anger does not accomplish anything good! Watch your facial expression, voice tone, and what you say! Repent when you do it wrong!
  • Be a good example! Walk in Spirit, truth, and love at all times…. When you sin make sure to confess it and do what is right. Forgive offenses immediately. Teach them to do the same.
  • Do what is good and right for them no matter what..
    1. Eat nutritional good foods daily…vege, grains, fruit, dairy, protein…no sugars except on special occasion, and only drink water;
    2. Do not let them watch too much TV or play on media (at most 1 hr per day…1/2 hour each time)  and it must be morally good (no violence, no anger, no calling names, no rebelliousness, no cursing, etc.).
    3. Dress modest & moderate at all times…don’t dress them in bikinis or too tight or baggy pants when young unless you want them in bikinis or tight shorts when they are older.
    4. Pretend, but don’t lie! You will regret teaching your children to believe in  Santa Claus, Easter bunny, Superman, etc. are real or that babies come from starks! The truth spoken in love & Spirit at the right appropriate timing is always best.
  • Boundaries are vital… physical boundaries give them security and safety, like a fence in the back yard, play pen in home, baby gate in room, rug in a specific space, high chair at the table, stroller in a busy mall or street,  life jacket while swimming; quiet in church, no begging at the store, no stomping & temper tantrums to get your way, no saying no to parents unless it is a question. None of these scenarios are acceptable & immediate response must take place… isolate for few minutes (use timer if necessary); teach them to repent (say I am sorry to God & offender, thank Jesus for forgiving that sin, do what is right, & ask for power from Holy Spirit,); practice role playing what & how they should do action correctly (repeat until they get it right).
  • Shoot your arrows at the bulls eye! Someone once told me that if I shoot my arrows at nothing that is what I will get, NOTHING. Setting goals every year is a must do if you want to be successful. Can you imagine a business not setting goals for itself? Some goals to start with…Physical goals… eat good nutrition,  sleep well, exercise, drink water, brush and floss daily, dress properly, etc.; Spiritual goals… memorize scripture, read and study Bible, PRAY, worship, serve others, walk in the Spirit, etc.; Mental goals…study God’s creation, His story, love good literature, train life skills, good friendships, etc.
  • Have a specific plan or schedule for every person in your household! Something like this…
    1. Breakfast…egg, whole grain toast/hot cereal (oatmeal, etc.), orange or cantaloupe
    2. Hygiene…brush hair & teeth, wash face, and dress appropriately
    3. Duties…Help clean house or room … a simple duty like picking up after yourself before doing something else.
    4. Worship…music & march with pots & pans around the house
    5. Bible…tell Bible story using puppets, markerboard, felt, etc. (let them retell or draw, etc.)
    6. Learn Scripture memory from Bible story
    7. Learning center time… numbers, colors, shapes, nature study, community workers, etc.
    8. Playtime… inside (games, dress up, blocks, coloring) or outside (games, hikes, climber, etc.)
    9. Lunch…turkey or tuna sandwich, apple, carrot/celery sticks & dressing
    10. Read good book aloud to them & give them picture books to read on their own.
    11. Nap (1-3pm no later or they will not get to sleep at nite)
    12. Snack…peanut butter & banana & graham cracker
    13. Field Trip… Library, park, visit neighbor or friend, zoo, nature walk (Do this with others & train infants, toddlers to stay in strollers even for a nap)
    14. Playtime… inside -games, dress up, blocks, coloring or outside -games, hikes, bikes, etc.
    15. Duties…Help clean house before Dad gets home
    16. Fix supper…children watch good DVD (Vege Tales, Bible Storytime) while you fix hot cooked meal (crockpot great)
    17. Supper time… protein, whole grain, veges, healthy  dessert, etc.
    18. Play time with Dad while you clean & pick up supper
    19. Bathe & put on clean outfit  before put in bed (keeps germs & sickness away)
    20. Listen to Odessey, taped Bible story, etc.; blessing & prayers before bed.
  • People love to be around grateful children… so train them to have manners & say thank you & please, greet people with eye contact, & appropirat hug or kiss.

Truly “children are a blessing from the Lord”, but they need to be “trained in the way they should go”. A wild vine; if left to tend on its own, will grow to be a harm to other plants & everything around them. It will eventually have to be pruned / disciplined or risk future destruction. What a privilege it is to be used by God in such an enormous task as parenting. I love Dr. Dobson’s book title…”Parenting is not for Cowards”; this is so true!

Prayer… Lord give us… wisdom, courage, power, & love to “train children in the way they should go”.