Abiding Tools

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Abiding Tools
A Scripture Study in John 15:1-17
Print the free 4-page PDF with lines for study
Written September 2004, 
revised August 2020 and January 2024

Hudson Taylor was the founder of the China Inland Mission. At his death in 1905, there were 125,000 Chinese Christians in the mission – a fruitful life! But Hudson writes about a time in the early years of his ministry when his life was marked by exhaustion and deadness in his spirit. He belonged to God, but he was not experiencing the joy and rest God promised. He said, “I prayed, agonized, fasted, strove for faith, read the Word more diligently, sought more time for meditation, but all with no benefit.”

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Anchor Awareness

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Anchor Awareness
Our Sure Hope
Print the free one-page PDF

Yeshua (Jesus) said to Nicodemus, “You must be born again.” (John 3:7)

When we receive Yeshua, we are born again (see John 1:11-13). God creates a new heart in us. (2 Cor. 5:17)

Through our new birth, He seals us in Him with an imperishable seed by the Holy Spirit. (1 Peter 1:23)

We are anchored in God. He is our Anchor.

We are in Him (Colossians 3:3), and He is in us (Colossians 1:25-27), and He is with us (John 14:16-17).

“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us...” (Hebrews 6:19)

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His Name - Why is it so important?

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His Name 
Why is it so important?
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People in the Bible have called God by many names that express the aspect of His character they experienced. They are beautiful names and are the reason I created The Hebrew Names of God Collection of art cards. God’s three most used names in Scripture are Yahweh, Adonai, and Elohim. The translators of my Bible (NASB) use the uppercase GOD and LORD to designate His Name Yahweh. They use the lowercase Lord to designate Adonai and the lowercase God to designate Elohim. I love this tool because it informs me of the aspect of His character the author is expressing. Today, I want to focus on His Name Yahweh.

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The Everlasting Covenant

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The Everlasting Covenant 
An Old Covenant Foreshadow of The Best News Ever!
A Short Scripture Study in Genesis 15
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Dearly beloved of God, we are ambassadors of the Gospel (the Good News). In these last days, our clear understanding of this news is critical! So, why is it the best news ever?! And why is it important to understand it? Because “it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…”[1]

Dr. Dwight Pryor wrote, “Our salvation began when the High and Holy One made an everlasting covenant with Abraham.” Chills of awe ran through me as I read these words in a recent email sent by The Center for Judaic-Christian Studies. I went back in my mind to what I had learned in Genesis 15 years ago. I would like to take you back there to share a nugget that confirms the true nature of the Gospel!

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Beautiful Progressions of Repentance, 2 of 3

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Beautiful Progressions of Repentance, 2 of 3 
Psalm 139, Philippians 3, 1 John 1, Romans 8
Print the 2-page PDF
Print the 1-page PDF Handout for your study group.

We follow God’s ways, not because He needs our subjugation, but because He created us to walk in freedom. He established His precepts for our highest good. The result is God’s delight and our joy!

Sin is simply walking in our own ways, not God’s. The Bible often says, “They did what was right in their own eyes” and “They did not inquire of the Lord to understand His ways.”

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Permeating Rest

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Permeating Rest 
His Desire and Design
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In my writing from October 11, Coming Home for the Holy Days, I shared ways our faith in Yeshua (Jesus) is true, high, and distinct from all other worldviews or so-called “religions.” Here are three of many ways:

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Coming Home for the Holy Days

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Coming Home for the Holy Days 
Coming Home to Him
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He is our Home
Most days my heart can barely take the news. How thankful I am that Yahweh, the Eternally-Existent, Majestic Creator, and Sovereign One is our only Home. Although He has allowed the waywardness of humankind to run its course, He is full of hesed (His indescribable, undeserved, vast love) to those who seek Him. Our faith in Him is true and high and distinct from every other so-called “religion” because:

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Stress Relief

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Stress Relief 
Finding calm, clarity, and cleansing
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Dorcas came to my home a few weeks ago. Although I had never met her, I knew her like a sister. We had conversed many times, mostly through email. She is one of those called forth[1] gems in the body of Messiah. We had been praying for years to blanket certain communities in northeast Ohio with Flower Girl Greetings Art Cards. Finally, the day came. We filled her van and prayed for the ways the cards would be distributed and hearts would be softened and transformed by His Word of life.

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He Rested

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He Rested
A Missing Piece Found
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I created the booklet The Feast of the Lamb – A Passover/Resurrection Devotional Haggadah in 2022 to make it easy to gather with friends each spring to celebrate Passover (traditionally called The Last Supper) and to remember Yeshua (Jesus) until He returns. With this booklet, the participants walk thoughtfully through the Israelite’s Exodus and then through a timeline of Yeshua’s life with a focus on His last week on earth. It is a special time to celebrate our deliverance through Him. (You can find the booklet here.)

Regarding timelines in the gospel accounts, it is difficult to find them because the accounts were compiled of collections of gathered writings rather than stories written in order. In their authenticity, much detail was not included. However, with the study of Hebrew culture and idioms, understanding of these timelines becomes clearer.

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Making Forgiveness a Reality

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Making Forgiveness a Reality 
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As the darkness deepens around us, we need spiritual sight more than ever to discern truth and hear God’s voice. He calls us to start by humbling ourselves (2 Chronicles 7:14). Last week, I shared three papers called Beautiful Progressions of Repentance to help us.

Part of humbling ourselves is walking tangibly in forgiveness. I like to ask Father simple questions, and so in my need to be sure my heart was clear toward the one who sinned against me, I asked, “What is forgiveness? When does the idea of forgiveness become a reality?”

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A Passover Meditation

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A Passover Meditation 
We have passed through the waters of forgiveness into freedom!
To use for your celebration, Print the PDF

The Israelites’ deliverance from judgment at Passover by the blood of spotless lambs foreshadows our deliverance from judgment through the blood of the Passover Lamb, Yeshua the Messiah.

The Israelites’ subsequent deliverance out of the enemy’s control through the Red Sea foreshadows our deliverance out of the enemy’s control through our new birth in the Holy Spirit.
We have passed through the waters of forgiveness into freedom!

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Readiness for Yeshua’s Return

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Readiness for Yeshua’s Return 
He is eager to come for you!
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Every message these days seems to flow from the Song of Songs. He is coming back for us, His Bride! We are the delight of His heart, created in His image, the apple of His eye, the crown of His creation!

His love is our driving force for readiness. Let’s love Him back with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strength by the power of the Holy Spirit!

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The Wooing God

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The Wooing God 
A Brief Summary of the Bible
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God created the heavens and the earth and all they contain. He created man and woman for relationship with Himself. He expressed His love to them with His presence and an earth full of sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and pleasures to enjoy with Him and with each other.

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The Masterpiece of Messianic Prophecy

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The Masterpiece of Messianic Prophecy
Layers of Beauty
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The image above is a collage of 40 photographs I took in Mark Gingerich’s oil painting class in 2014. Mark painted this woman with 40 strokes. Each image shows the next stroke Mark added until the painting was completed.

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A Portrait of Paul

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A Portrait of Paul
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Dear Heavenly Father, the Apostle Paul said, “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.” (2 Timothy 3:1f)  We are there. Our hearts break for our brothers and sisters around the world, but we are one kedoshim, one family in You. Although imprisoned at the end of his life, Paul said, “but the word of God is not imprisoned.” (2 Timothy 2:8) There is a glorious picture of lights shining up from the globe as the Gospel of Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah goes forth from the plains, the mountains, the prisons, the suffering, and the pain. The Lord reigns! Adonai wins!

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The Trinity

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The Trinity
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The Trinity refers to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Although the word trinity is not found in Scripture, the concept is. We must have an accurate understanding of Who God is, so we are not deceived and “tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine by the trickery of men and by craftiness in deceitful scheming…” (Ephesian 4:14-15)

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The End Times - Yeshua's Words to Remember

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The End Times – Yeshua’s Words to Remember 
An Organization of Matthew 24-25, Mark 13, and Luke 21
Free Printable PDF

As you may have noticed from my last writing A Distant Grief / An Abiding Joy, I have been asking Father, “How shall I live in light of the unthinkable current events?” If we are in the throws of the end of time or not, we should heed the words of the One Who died, rose, and ascended to heaven on our behalf, even Yeshua1 our Lord. Every word that fell from His lips is crystal clear – truth, purity, and beauty. His words will guide us.

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A Reclaimed Species

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A Reclaimed Species
The Kedoshim
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Dearly beloved of God,
At the beginning of July, I sent this message to you, because the Lord used it to change the way I thought and prayed. A few weeks later, I simplified it to share at a large retreat. I think this version is clearer in its simplicity, and so I am re-sending it to you. Why? Because it is important for us to understand and be reminded of who we are. When I know who I am in Yeshua (Jesus), I can better navigate the adversity around me.

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The Charges of Paul to Timothy for All Soldiers

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The Charges of Paul to Timothy 
for All Soldiers
Free PDF Download

Dear beloved of God, you may replace Timothy's name with your own as you continue reading these charges.

Jesus said, "In this world you will have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33) These are just a few of Paul’s encouragements to his beloved son in the faith as Paul faced serious persecution.

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A Chronology of Jesus' Birth

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A Chronology of Jesus’ Birth 
A Family Reading and A Fun Quiz
Free PDF Download (Printable format)

The following passages are taken from the three Gospels accounts in the Bible that contain portions of the story of Jesus’ birth. As best as I could, I wove them together in the order that the events took place, gave subtitles, and color-coded the portions. I hope you enjoy reading the complete story with your family and friends.
Matthew 1-2 – Verses are in red.
Luke 1-2 – Verses are in black.
John 1 – Verses are in green.

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A Baptism to Undergo

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A Baptism to Undergo
Passing through the waters
A Short Scripture Study and Personal Story
Luke 12:49-50
Free PDF Download

Last July 7, 2020, I awoke with Luke 12:50a on my mind – “I have a baptism to undergo…” This morning, November 16, 2020, I awoke with the verse on my mind again. I had not been reading in the Gospel of Luke on either day, so I believe the Lord brought this verse to my mind to consider.

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The Highway and Messiah’s Return!

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The Highway and Messiah’s Return!
A look at Isaiah 35
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Prophecies are messages from the Lord given through the prophets by the Spirit of God. They give encouragement, warning, rebuke, or they foretell future events.

Messianic prophecies are messages from the Lord given through the prophets that foretell or reflect the life of Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus) hundreds of years before His birth. (For more about Messianic prophecy, please see my writing The Masterpiece of Messianic Prophecy.) 

The prophets of the Old Testament gave messages for their current time; however, their messages often went beyond their own understanding with multiple fulfillments in the immediate and far futures. We see hints in their messages that connect to other portions of Scripture.

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Living in God's Undeserved Love

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Living in God’s Undeserved Love (Hesed)
October 15, 2019, Revisions: September 2020, September 2021, November 2023
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In 2019, I wrote The Tabernacle Hesed Moon, Living in God’s Undeserved Love. The following year, I shared this more-ordered version at a conference. This writing would be easy to use for a discussion around your table; you could facilitate it point by point. Simply print the free PDF at the link above. Here are the contents:

  • What is hesed?
  • The thwarting voice
  • Five truths about hesed
  • Five freedoms we experience as we live in God’s hesed
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The Great Transition - The New Covenant Given

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The Great Transition
The New Covenant Given
2014, revised April 3, 2020 and March 7, 2023
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Contents

  • The Last Passover Meal
  • Passover and the New Covenant Connection
  • The Intimate Transition
    • He cleansed them.
    • He prepared them.
    • He prayed for them.
  • The Anticipation and Fulfillment of the New Covenant
    • Promised, Manifested, Secured, Realized, Experienced, Indwelling, and Permeating.
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The Master Marksman

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The Master Marksman
The Sword/Mouth Connection
A Personal or Group Scripture Study with Conclusions and Questions
Print the PDF (a more readable format for study)
(blue letters represent Scripture references)

What is the Word of God?

Psalm 138:2   

I will bow down toward Your holy temple and give thanks to Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth for You have magnified Your Word above all Your Name.

The Word of God is the expression of His heart that reflects His character.

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The Tabernacle Hesed Moon

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The Tabernacle Hesed Moon
Living in His Undeserved Love
October 15, 2019
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Note:  On October 16, 2019 at 10:30 p.m., we received a phone call from my sister that my brother had passed away unexpectedly. We arrived at my mother’s home about midnight. This blog was posted the day before on October 15. We were told the following Saturday that Doug died on October 15. So, this blog was written in the early morning of the day my brother died.

Dear friends,

The week-long Feast of Tabernacles began this year [2019] at sunset on Sunday, October 13th and will culminate on Sunday, October 20th – “the last day of the great feast” (John 7:37-38). 

My heart has been filled with a warm longing for more of Yeshua as I look at the Tabernacle full moon outside our east window at night and outside our west window in the early morning. Both sights are gentle reminders that Father has enclosed me behind and before and laid His hand of love upon me. (Psalm 139:5)

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Basking in Matthew 13

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Basking in Matthew
A walk through Chapter 13
September 3, 2019
Free PDF Download

Dear friends,

I’ve been basking in the book of Matthew since this past April. Every sentence is exploding with meaning! I have just waded through Yeshua’s parables in Matthew 13. He had been teaching by the Galilean Sea where He had established a temporary home (Matthew 4:13). I always picture the profile of Him sitting on a hill overlooking the Sea.

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Missing Perspectives

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Missing Perspectives
The Ministry of Jesus through the Women of the Church
A Greek-Word Study
2018-1019
With a Collage of Flower Girl Greetings Art of Women
Print the PDF (a more readable format for study)

My soul continues to magnify the utter beauty of God’s Word as I write this study of key passages about women in the New Testament. I give credit to the New American Standard Bible (NASB) Greek Dictionary for helping me discover the meanings of these passages.

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Choice Children, Part 2

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Choice Children, Part 2
Choice or Chaff
August 15, 2019; revised September 21, 2023
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This paraphrase of Daniel 12:3 is from the study of key Hebrew words in Choice Children, Part 1:  

“Those who abide in God consider their steps deeply. They receive discernment, direction and wisdom that causes them to shine so brightly that their lives enlighten, warn, admonish, and teach those around them without speaking a word. Their lives gleam with God’s purifying message, and many are drawn to Him through their brightness.”

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Choice Children, Part 1

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Choice Children, Part 1
Bright like the stars
August 2019; revised September 2023
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Daniel 12:10a
Daniel 12:10a reads, “Many will be purged, purified and refined” referring to the Lord’s people during the end times. When I think of the word purge, I think of getting rid of things I don’t need. But, the Hebrew word for purge in this passage is bârar. Bârar means to clarify, brighten, examine, polish, prove, and make choice. Bârar also suggests the attention given to a favorite.

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Deep Cry, Deep Love

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Deep Cry, Deep Love 
Hope from Psalm 42
Free Downloadable PDF

The Book of Psalms is a collection of songs for God’s people. They are filled with beautiful poetry that expresses the depths of the human heart. From raging pain and questioning to bursting praise and thanksgiving, the Psalms affirm that it is good to pour out our hearts before our loving God for in Him is our help, security, and comfort.

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Beautiful Progressions of Repentance, 3 of 3

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Beautiful Progressions of Repentance, 3 of 3 
The Progression of Abiding in Contentment – Matthew 5
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Repentance is beautiful. It is the key to a life of increase and joy in the Holy Spirit. We surely need His joy more than ever! In 2019, the Lord unfolded three writings to me on repentance:

  • The Progression from Brokenness to WholenessPsalm 51
    • Encouragement after gross sin.

  • The Progression of Abiding in HumilityPsalm 139:23-24, 139:2b-3; 1 John 1:9; Philippians 3:15
    • A refreshing guide to daily repentance (the root of revival)

  • The Progression of Abiding in ContentmentMatthew 5
    • A surprising guide to true contentment
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Beautiful Progressions of Repentance, 1 of 3

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Beautiful Progressions of Repentance, 1 of 3  
Psalm 51
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Introduction
Repentance is beautiful. Understanding it is the key to a life of increase and joy in the Holy Spirit. That is what I found in the early months of 2019 as Father unfolded these three progressions in Scripture. They are detailed but simple when read step by step. Toward the end of 2019, on 8/8 and 12/12, I experienced the beauty of repentance tangibly. I’m still trying to write about these revelations, but they were so personal that words currently escape me. My Scripture Study called The Tabernacle Hesed Moon – Living in His Undeserved Love was a start. This paper begins with the first of three progressions.

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The Scroll of Esther - God never forgets His people

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The Scroll of Esther 
God never forgets His covenant with His people
A Devotional Overview of Esther's Story
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The Context of the Scroll of Esther
The Bible begins with the stories of Creation, Adam and Eve, Abraham, Noah, Moses, Joshua, and the stories of the judges who ruled the land. Then, the Israelites wanted kings. The first kings were Saul, David, and Solomon. Due to Solomon’s sin, the kingdom was divided into the north and south. Most of the kings of these two kingdoms were grossly sinful. And so, both kingdoms were taken into exile by their enemies – the northern kingdom of Israel by the Assyrians in 714 BC; and the southern kingdom of Judah by the Babylonians in 586 BC.

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Spiritual Gifts

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Spiritual Gifts
A Greek-Word Study

My document entitled Spiritual Gifts – A Greek Word Study is a printed learning tool and may be viewed or purchased here.
For a free, downloadable PDF of the conclusions and devotional included on this Study Tool, please click here..

The Spiritual Gifts study tool measures 5.5 x 8.5 inches when folded; it can be easily kept in your Bible. The inside includes a complete list of spiritual gifts from 1 Corinthians, Ephesians, Romans and 1 Peter, along with their Greek words and Greek-word meanings.

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The Work of Rest

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The Work of Rest
A Study in the Book of Hebrews

My document entitled The Work of Rest is a printed learning tool and may be viewed or purchased here. This 6-page study tool summarizes the book of Hebrews. It measures 8.5 x 11 inches when closed. It can be used for personal and weekly group study.

The book of Hebrews was written to wean Jewish believers from dependence on the law of Moses and to teach them (and us) to live in the New Covenant in Jesus their Messiah by RESTING, not in their own works for salvation, but in His power to do His work in and through them. (Hebrews 4:9-11)

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From Light to Light

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From Light to Light
Our Savior's Journey of Passion - A Timeline
(the following text is on the back of the large bookmark shown at the end.)

Jesus’ Passion – the message of the entire Bible

The 16th century word passion means suffering or anguish. This definition has changed over time to mean any strong emotion or enthusiasm

The life of the Lord expresses both definitions. He journeyed deep into passion (suffering), because His passion (a strong, enthusiastic love) is us.

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Roadmap to Revelation

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Roadmap to Revelation
Embracing Your True Identity in Christ
Beautiful, Printable PDF here.
A helpful bookmark called Bookmark – Roadmap to Revelation – Embracing Your True Identity in Christ accompanies this study and is available for purchase here (scroll down to see). This bookmark was designed to be a beautiful, continual, at-a-glance reinforcement of the truths of this study.

To read the Roadmap on this blog, please continue...

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Early Ear

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Early Ear
Seek Him First
Free Downloadable PDF

Adonai Elohim, the Lord Creator God, has given Me the tongue of disciples that I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word. He awakens Me morning by morning. He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple.
Isaiah 50:4-5

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Two Parties

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Two Parties
The Hungry and the Religious
The Alive and the Dead
Luke 5-7
Free Downloadable PDF

Jesus encountered two kinds of people – those who recognized their sin (I will call them the hungry), and those who did not recognize their sin (I will call them the religious). Jesus was invited by both the hungry and the religious to parties given in His honor. 

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Lessons for Young Women, 1 of 3 - Steeping in His Glory

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Lessons for Young Women, 1 of 3 
Steeping in His Glory - 
Changed by Beholding Him
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Created January 24, 2014. Revised February 2021
This writing can be used with the Lessons for Young Women, 2 of 3 (The Tea Party and 3 of 3 (The King's Daughter - what should she wear?)

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Lessons for Young Women, 2 of 3 - The Tea Party

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Lessons for Young Women, 2 of 3
The Tea Party
Lessons in God's Love
Print the PDF (includes the pattern for the teapot and teabags, as well as the pattern to cut out the verses to insert into the teabags)
Created July 2013. Revised February 2021

This writing can be used with the Lessons for Young Women, 1 of 3 (Steeping in His Glory) and 3 of 3 (The King's Daughter - what should she wear?)

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Psalm 4 Retreat

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Psalm 4 Retreat
A Journey from Confined to Spacious

I first created this Bible Study in a morning quiet time in Psalm 4 in June 2013. My Hebrew-word study in Verse 1 inspired me to continue and The Journey from Confined to Spacious was born! Since then, this study has been used in retreat settings. The suggested agenda in the Leader's Guide can be tweaked to suit your time table. This study may easily be used for a small or large group event.

A helpful bookmark called Bookmark – Psalm 4 – From Confined to Spacious accompanies this study and is available for purchase here (scroll down to see). The study is possible without it, but the bookmark was designed to be a beautiful, continual, at-a-glance reinforcement of the truths found in Psalm 4. 

The color in the following two documents specifies certain concepts, so it is important to print them in color. Be blessed!
Psalm 4 Retreat Leaders Guide Free Downloadable PDF
Psalm 4 Retreat Attendees' Handout Free Downloadable PDF.

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Elijah's Life and Last Days

Elijah's Life and Last Days

Elijah’s Life and Last Days
Lessons from 1 Kings 17 – 2 Kings 2
This writing was started on June 23, 2012 and finished for this blog on October 29, 2020
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Or click "Continue Reading" to read the study here.

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Lessons for Young Women, 3 of 3 - The King's Daughter

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Lessons for Young Women, 3 of 3
The King’s daughter – what should she wear?
Created in the Spring of 2006 for Angelita. Revised February 2021 
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Print the Word Document (This Word document is for you to print and give to the young lady you are teaching. Please see the instructions on the document.)

This writing can be used with the Lessons for Young Women, 1 of 3 (Steeping in His Glory)  and 2 of 3 (The Tea Party).

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The Charges of Paul to Timothy for the Young

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The Charges of Paul to Timothy 
Encouraging Words for Any Young Person

I created this little 4.25 x 5.5-inch book as a holiday gift in November 1994. I made one for every friend. Soon, people began to request them with different names on the front! Then in June 2019, I gave the words to a young man, Joshua, upon his graduation. I am sharing this document with you, so you can use it to encourage any person by changing the name from Timothy to that person's name (such as Michael or Julia), and then slipping the charges into a card. 

You may print the downloadable PDF here. To make your own changes to the one-page Word document, click here, download the document, replace the name Timothy with your own, print the document and enclose it in the suggested graduation cards below.

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Welcome to Shale Fragments, a collection of writings and art for individual and group use!

Teaching God’s truth and the beauty of His Word is my greatest delight! My art card company, Flower Girl Greetings, was launched in 2012 with this purpose. In April 2020, ShaleFragments.com became the gathering place for the writings.

As I have studied the rich meanings of the original Greek and Hebrew languages of the Bible, I continue to see beautiful progressions and connections that compel me to organize and convey their life-changing beauty! 

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