Monday, May 4, 2020

A Quick Minute Bible update...

This is just a quick update to let you know that The Minute Bible is now up on YouTube.  The entire series 68 books (66 Bible books plus 2 'special features'.   I hope you enjoy them.  Remember, on YouTube you can change the speed so that you can slow the pace down by 25%, 50% even slower if you prefer... you can even speed it up if you would like, but this is not an option for the faint of heart.  I hope you enjoy this new addition to the Minute Bible family and please subscribe to the channel and share to help us spread The Word.

The Minute Bible Guy

Thursday, March 26, 2020

I Travel In Time…And I Can Prove It

I Travel In Time… And I Can Prove It!

This might require some deep thinking, but the truth is, we all travel in time… We all travel forward in time one second every second.  Scientifically it is more complicated than this, but I’m not trying to compete with Einstein here. Think of it as if we are all on a train moving forward on a track all moving at the same speed and in the same direction; the train is moving forward at a rate of one second every second.  We are confined by this fact.  It is so much a part of our existence we are hardly aware of it and can hardly imagine anything not existing with these same confines, but God is not confined by this train or this track.  I think of it as if we are in that train on that track and God is in an airplane and can see the beginning and the end of our track and go wherever and whenever He wants to… Again I know this is over simplification, but you start to get the idea (actually He is is ALL places at the same time).  Later I may talk about God in the analogy, but today I want to talk about us riding on this ‘time train’.  I usually prefer reading the NIV Bible, but there are some verses and passages that quite frankly just sound better in the King James Version.  One of those is Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment”   We only get one ride on this roller coaster of life.  We can’t go backwards, we can’t go sideways (though I’m not sure what that would accomplish).  We can’t go slower and we can’t go faster.  Therefore it is vital that we make the most of the time we have here on Earth.  So what does that mean????

For me there are a few verses that I look to in order to answer this question.  Micah 6:8 gives us the very basics, the bare minimum when he writes that The Lord requires us to 1.) Do justly  2.) Love mercy and 3.) Walk humbly with God.  If you want to do the very least that you can do, there you have it…but your return on investment will likely be the bare minimum as well.  While I usually prefer larger chunks of scripture, I’m gonna get a little bit choppy here.  In Romans 12: 1 Paul urges us to offer up ourselves as living sacrifices holy and pleasing to God.  Then in Ephesians 2:10 Paul says For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

So as I read it, if we want to get the most out of this short life in living for Christ, we need to remember that God has good works planned for each of us that He has created us for and that if we are faithful enough to offer ourselves as a sacrifice to Christ that He will use us and fulfill our purpose for our time here in this life.  I don’t know about you, but if I’ve only got one ride on this train of life I want to get the most out of it that I can.

I hope you have found this helpful.  I’ll be honest, I need your feedback to keep motivated, so if you have any questions, or comments or you just found this helpful, please leave a little comment. 

Today’s Minute Bible upload will be The book of Hebrews.

The Minute Bible Guy

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

The Love Chapter, A New Perspective...

The Love Chapter, a new perspective…

Spoiler alert, you may never look at First Corinthians 13 the same again; you have been warned.  Chapter 13 of First Corinthians is most often called The Love Chapter, and for good reason, love is patient, love is kind etc. etc.  This chapter is often used in wedding ceremonies among other things.  Most of the chapter is pretty self-explanatory, but when you get to the end and it starts talking about prophesying in part and thinking like a child, I always got a little confused; what does this have to do with love?… until I stepped back and looked at it in CONTEXT. 

Love is NOT the point Paul is trying to make here; most of this chapter is just a parenthetical statement (According to, Parenthetical statements are clauses or phrases used in sentences that contain secondary information unnecessary for the completion of the independent clause).  The beginning section about the resounding gong and the clanging cymbal, and the end part about prophesying and looking in a mirror are transition into and out of this parenthetical statement. 

Paul is instructing the folks of Corinth that they need to work together.  In chapter 12, Paul is talking about using their Spiritual gifts for the glory of God, and that they need to use these gifts by working together in love as if they were one body...  Then he ‘stops’ and says ‘but wait, I should probably tell you what love is’…If you have all these gifts, but don’t use them in love you’re just a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  In other words, if you can speak like an angel, prophesy, and fathom all mysteries but don’t do it in love, you’re BUGGING God.  I always picture that little monkey that just sits there and claps his cymbals together endlessly.  Then, at the end of the chapter he transitions back to talking about spiritual gifts.  When we get saved, we all receive spiritual gifts; and everything changes.  Turning to  the beginning of chapter 14 Paul goes back to speaking about the gifts of The Spirit again.

So there you have it; one of the most famous and beloved verses in The Bible is really just an aside, an ‘oh, by the way’ (it does make more sense when you realize that).  Don’t worry, it’s still a great chapter.  That doesn’t make it any less important, or for that matter any less beautiful.  It is, and it will always be The Love Chapter, and with good reason.

I hope you have found this helpful.  I’ll be honest, I need your feedback to keep motivated, so if you have any questions, or comments or you just found this helpful, please leave a little comment.  

The Minute Bible Guy

For a quick overview of First and Second Corinthians, check out these Minute Bible videos

First Corinthians in one minute

Second Corinthians in one minute

Thursday, November 21, 2019

The Whole Shebang

I have been blessed throughout my life to have been taught by MANY wise and Godly people.   One of those Wise and Godly people was Pastor Ken Solomon.  Pastor Solomon spent many years as a missionary in Argentina before “retiring” into the position of Assistant Pastor (as well as founding a local Spanish speaking church in town).  I was in my early teens when he came to our church, and one thing I always remember about him was that he prayed some of theLongest prayers I had ever heard.  I also knew that he just radiated wisdom; to this day when I think about wise men, he tops the list. 

The most important thing that I learned from Pastor Solomon was what he often said when he would read a few verses or a chapter especially from one of Paul’s letters.  He would say something to the effect that ‘these verses that we are reading are good, but remember, Paul wrote this and intended it to be read in one sitting like any letter that anyone would write’.  That always struck a chord with me.  I was never what anyone would consider an avid reader, so it was quite some time before I would see how right he was, but I never forgot him saying that.  In fact that was one of the early seeds planted that led to The Minute Bible. 

Reading an entire book of The Bible may seem a little daunting, but it certainly adds a new perspective to the message.  Paul’s letters in particular are so jam-packed with good stuff, verse by verse that it is often difficult to zoom out and read an entire book as if it were a letter, which in fact it is, but once you do, it will give you a whole new perspective; especially with Paul’s letters.  Let’s take a look at Paul’s letter to the Ephesians as an example.  A very friendly letter, Paul tells the Ephesians that they are saved through faith, they (basically Jews and gentiles) are now ONE body under Christ, that they should do good, imitate Christ, set good examples for non-believers, work on proper relationships with others, prepare for spiritual battle and be prepared to stand strong for Christ… It is a very encouraging book.  It is very easy to get focused on the many fabulous verses and sections that even though it is a short book/letter, reading it as a single letter takes some effort.

To help get an overview of this wonderful letter, check out The Minute Bible summary of Ephesians…

Some of the great verses in Ephesians:

Ephesians 2:8 for it is by grace you have been saved…

Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s handiwork… or KJV workmanship - any Keith Green fans out there?

Ephesians 4:26 In your anger, do not sin…

Ephesians 4:29 Husbands love your wives, just as Christ loved the church…

And of course Ephesians 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power…

Soooo much good stuff in there!

I hope you have found this helpful.  I’ll be honest, I need your feedback to keep motivated, so if you have any questions, or comments or you just found this helpful, please leave a little comment.  

The Minute Bible Guy

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Time Well Spent

Time Well Spent

When I was about five years old my Aunt Pearl came to visit.  We went for a walk around the neighborhood that we had recently moved into.  I showed her all the important sights, my friend’s houses, the tree that I liked to climb and the places that had the best mud puddles when it rained, you know, all the important stuff.  I also found a rock that I thought was interesting and I gave it to her.  Looking back, I’m pretty sure that it didn’t make much difference to her which trees were the best ones to climb, or which puddles had the most mud for making mud balls.  What was important to her I suppose, was spending time with her little nephew who was terribly excited to show her around and tell her all that he had discovered in his new world.  The fact that it was so important to me was what made it important to her.    

I think spending time with God can be a lot like that.  What can we say to God in a prayer that He hasn’t already heard and what request can we make that He doesn’t already know about?  What good can truly come from just reading some ‘old book’ (The Bible)?  While I would argue that quite a bit of good can come from reading The Bible (and spending time in prayer), I realize sometimes it feels like it’s just reading some old book that doesn’t seem to have any relevance to my ‘real life’.  Like that walk with Aunt Pearl so many years ago, sometimes it is more important just to spend the time on the relationship and realize that what we go through IS important to God because it IS important to us.  Like any relationship, if you work at it a little, I’m sure you will become more comfortable reading The Bible and praying and strengthening your relationship with God… You will also start to see just how relevant that ‘old book’ can truly be in your life.  No doubt there are some sections of The Bible that are difficult to read, but believe me when I tell you, there plenty of interesting, exciting, emotionally fulfilling, encouraging and relevant passages in The Bible.  I recommend you find some good Bible study materials to help you get the most out of what The Bible has to offer.  Personally, I like to listen to podcasts of good Bible teachers.  If you have some good suggestions feel free to mention them in the comments section below.  I realize I am a bit biased, but The Minute Bible is a good start to help you understand the big picture before you dig in.  Remember, the time spent together in a relationship is often as valuable as what was done with the time.  

I hope you have found this helpful.  I’ll be honest, I need your feedback to keep motivated, so if you have any questions, or comments or you just found this helpful, please leave a little comment.  Also, let us know what Bible study tools you find helpful.  

Epilogue:  Several years later we went to visit my aunt… do you know she still had that rock that I gave her?  I gotta say, that made a little twelve year old kid feel pretty special. 

This weeks Minute Bible upload will be First and Second Timothy because…

16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,  17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16–17 NIV

First Timothy

Second Timothy

The Minute Bible Guy

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Context... The Big Picture

Context... The Big Picture

One of my favorite words when it comes to studying The Bible is Context; that is in fact what The Minute Bible is all about.  Context is the parts of a discoursethat surround a word or passage and can throw light on its meaning  2 the interrelatedconditions in which something exists or occurs :environmentsetting(Merriam-Webster dictionary).  
Information that is presented out of context can be very misleading and The Bible in particular has been abused (intentionally and unintentionally) throughout history by taking certain verses out of context. When you read The Bible it is important to ‘zoom out’ and look where the verse or verses you are reading fit into the big picture so that you get the proper understanding of what you are reading. Let me give one of my favorite examples to illustrate context…

In my Eleventh grade American Literature class we had a research paper due at the end of the year, no surprise there.  We could pick our topic, but we were required to turn our ‘thesis statement’ in for a grade early on in the process.  Being the procrastinator that I was, I waited until the last minute to research and decide on my thesis statement.  Following a halfhearted research effort, I decided on the following statement “Gliders Make Good Reconnaissance Aircraft During World War 2” (yes, I was on odd child).  I submitted my thesis statement and it was approved.  There was only one little problem… When I actually didstart to do the research, I found out that my thesis statement wasn’t true at all; what to do.  Options: 1. Tell my teacher I made a mistake not knowing what the consequences might be. 2. Just pick a new thesis statement and hope that he didn’t notice, or 3. Prove the thesis statement with the same erroneous information that mislead me in the first place… option 3 it is.  I was required to have a certain number of quotes from a certain number of different books, so let the fun begin.  

Long story short, I turned in my research paper with the proper number of quotes and books listed in the bibliography knowing full well that it wasn’t true (sorry Mr. W.) and got a B on it.  Somewhat dishonest? I guess so, but it did give me a lifelong sensitivity to information presented out of context, and I have noticed it happens a lot, particularly with The Bible.  

Many stories in The Bible tell stories of people who did things wrong, so if you read the story without the proper context that points out how wrong they actually were and the negative consequences, you can really get the wrong idea.  The book of Ecclesiastes is a great example of this. In Ecclesiastes, Solomon spends the entire book telling about things he tried to find fulfillment, but that didn’t work; hard work, philosophy, wine, women and songs etc.  It is only in the last few verses that Solomon concludes that the whole duty of man is to fear God and keep His commandments.  If you read Ecclesiastes out of context, without realizing that most of the book is listing BAD examples, you can really get the wrong idea

So the bottom line is DON’T let yourself be fooled, especially if someone tries to convince you of something that doesn’t make sense.  Try and ‘zoom out’ a little and look at the surrounding verses, maybe even an entire chapter or two.  Trust me, if you want to know the truth, you’ll be glad you did.

Here is The Minute Bible summary of The Book of Ecclesiastes in exactly One minute…

I hope you have found this helpful.  I’ll be honest, I need your feedback to keep motivated, so if you have any questions, or comments or you just found this helpful, please leave a little comment... And don't forget to check out my website

The Minute Bible Guy

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Baby Steps

Baby Steps

As believers it should be our purpose in life to do God’s will.  That’s all well and good if you know what God’s will is, but personally I have never opened my eyes to see an angel, a burning bush or even a talking donkey telling me what God wants me to do.  In reality, even in biblical times, this was not all that common, though it might seem so due to the fact that The Bible spans somewhere in the neighborhood of 4000 years.  In my experience, God is usually much more subtle in His directing and we also tend to have much greater expectations as we look for his guidance in our lives.  I am not going to pretend that I know what God’s will is in your life, I barely know what I believe it is in mine. What I will say is that God will let you know what His will is if you let him.   We want God to speak from the burning bush like he did to Moses, but in my experience, He is much more likely to speak as He did to Elijah, after the great wind, after the earthquake, and after the fire, God spoke to Elijah in a low whisper.  The closer we are to God; studying His Word, spending time in prayer etc., the more likely we are to hear his whispers.  
We also want Him to lay out the roadmap for the next 10, 20 or 40 years, and sometimes He does, but that has rarely been the case in my life.  I felt called to ‘the ministry’ at a very young age.  At the time I understood that to mean being a Pastor, a missionary or some other formal (and lifelong) vocation; but that doesn’t seem to be the case for me.  Whenever I started to head in that direction the doors seemed to close for me.  Hmmm what to do now?  God had other plans for me, and He tends to let me in on the plan one step at a time rather than a mile, or a year or a decade at a time. One thing that I came to understand when God laid the idea for The Minute Bible on my heart was a realization that God made me weird because He had some special projects in store for me. Some people might not like the use of the word weird, feel free to substitute unique, different, or peculiar (1 Peter 2:9 KJV) if you prefer.  My point is that sometimes God does let us know what His long term plan is for us, and sometimes He does speak through a burning bush, an Angel, or some serious life event. I believe, more often than not, that He speaks to us in a low whisper when we are close to Him and that He only illuminates the next step (or two or three) on the path and wants us to have enough faith to just take that next baby step and leave the route and final destination up to Him.  That would not be my preferred method, but then again, I am NOT the creator of the universe.

Job certainly didn't know what God's plan was for him, but he continued to trust God even with all he went through and in the end God blessed him for his faithfulness.  Below is a link to the Minute Bible summary of The Book of Job in exactly one minute.

I hope you have found this helpful.  I’ll be honest, I need your feedback to keep motivated, so if you have any questions, or comments or you just found this helpful, please leave a little comment... And don't forget to check out my website

The Minute Bible Guy