Update and 2016 Prayer Challenge Final

Well everyone, today I am bringing you the final update on my 2016 Prayer Challenge which I undertook last year. It was 366 days which taught me so much. The Lord really showed me so much through out my days of prayer. The very fist thing I learned is the blessings which come from being proactive in our relationship with God rather than reactive. This was so important because most of the time our relationship with God is reactive, something happened so we pray about it.

When this dynamic changes and we enter a paradigm where we are being proactive (actively seeking God first) we start to see how this relationship edifies every part of our lives. I am hoping to scan the 366 days worth of prayer journal entries, but am not making any promises. I’ve also apologize I know in the original post about the challenge I am supposed to type up the entries and post them as a PDF, but after trying I have come to realize I just really don’t have the time.

The other things which I learned was how vast the chasm is between the trials we go through and how we view those trials. I went through some hard times with friends this last year and through the prayer life I had with the Lord this last year I was able to thank Him for the blessings I was receiving as I grew through these trials. My friends were viewing the problems totally as negative, but I was able to look at the positive, because the Lord opened my eyes.

I have a few updates on the projects which I am working on: Breath of God Ministries is coming under the leadership of Believe Better Ministries. This does not mean the goal for BOG Ministries is going to change any, but rather it will just be under the headship of Believe Better Ministries, who will hold the publishing rights to the BOGV.

I am continuing hard at work with my study of the word and the production of the BSB Commentary series and am hoping to finish 1 – 3 John this year. This would finish off the first volume in the series. (1 John – Jude).

We are also still collecting stories from those who wish to participate in the Experiencing Something Better. We look forward to hearing from you all.

That is all for now we hope you all had a good January and February!


RB

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New Year’s Thought – 2017

Well 2016 is over… I think it is safe to say it was not necessarily a great year for everyone. My thoughts here have been about my blessing of this year. I committed to a prayer challenge last year and I have come through it. One of the things it taught me was not allowing my relationship with the Lord not be reactive but proactive. What I mean by this is in this prayer challenge it has pushed me to confront issues with the Lord before they come up. I’m not just praying over the problems which have occurred in my life. I’m praying and talking with God over my day to day things and having a good relationship with him.

My thoughts on 2016 is I am just so awed by the blessings the Lord has given me and continues to give me. I am so thankful for the people in my life and how they have helped me grow. I have such a great relationship with my siblings. I’m so blessed by my siblings and how they present the love of God for me.

A lot of people, some pretty famous people, died this year, but you know what, (and this is going to sound callous, but,) it doesn’t really matter, at least not to the most of us. Yes, their families are mourning over them, but for the rest of us their death affects our lives just as the death of the countless thousands dying ever moment. There is only one death which affects our lives and we need to honor. But what’s more it is not just His death which we are honor, it is his resurrection. I bet by now you can guess of whom I am referring: Jesus, our Lord and Savior. He is the only death which matters.

Keep your eyes focused on that and focused on taking care of those around you and maybe we can make 2017 a better year than 2016. This year I will be finishing the latest round of Bible read through and really, I’m rather excited to start from the beginning again.

God bless you all and keep your eyes focused on Him.

Christmas Thought – 2016

Christmas has come upon us again. As people begin the celebration of this season, whether they are celebrating one form or another, many people ask “What’s the reason for the season?” Personally, I don’t celebrate what is traditionally considered “Christmas”, but I typically end up celebrating “Easter” twice a year. To me Christmas is and what it stands for (the birth of Christ) doesn’t have very much meaning.

I do not mean Christ’s birth is meaningless, I only mean His birth only has meaning if He did what the Gospels say He did. This is true across religions even. Muslims believe in the virgin birth, they believe in His miracles, and in fact they ascribe more powers to Jesus then do the Gospels. They do not, however, believe in His death and resurrection, which makes His birth meaningless to them except as a story of mythic proportions. Easter, or the event we celebrate at Easter, is the only thing which brings purpose to Jesus’ birth.

As far as importance goes we also can look at the New Testament for dates. The NT is very clear on the day in which Jesus was crucified, but it doesn’t give the slightest clue as to when He was born (except for it wasn’t winter). This points us to the importance of events. Something else which allows us to see importance is how often are the events repeated across the four Gospels. The traditional Christmas story is only put down in two of the four Gospels, but the death and resurrection is written about in all four Gospels. (By this logic Christ’s ministry and the events which took place during His ministry are more important than His birth.)

So as you celebrate Christmas take a moment to reflect on the reason for the season, and note it is not Christ’s birth which makes it so important, but what He did for us which does so. I hope you all have a merry Christmas this year.

Thoughts on the Election

With the election over people on both side are feeling lost, disenfranchised, and even scared. I’ve personally read social media messages by those on both sides of this political season filled with anger hate, and discrimination. Some of these posts were written by friends of mine whom I know Christians. Now before we go any further I am not one of those people who thinks Christians are any better than non-believers. I had this whole argument lined out about redeemed vs. perfected, but I’m going to skip it. Suffice it to say Paul (who wrote almost half of the New Testament) called himself the chief of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15) and said “For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing” (Romans 7:19 ESV). So, yes, all Christians are sinners.

But as I was praying the last night (the 8th) before I went to bed and before I knew the outcome of the election. I prayed a specific prayer:

“Lord Jesus, my sovereign Master and King, as the people of my country choose their next leader, I lift up to You the decision. You are king of all and in control, Lord, lead the decision. But, also, help us to know You are in control over this situation. With a political season which has been so divisive in not just our country, but in Your body, help us to come together unified in love and our common faith. Lord Jesus, You are our head, You are our Savior. Help us to turn our eyes away from petty man-made doctrines and institutions and turn our faces back to You.

I love You, Lord!

—Amen.”

We need to be healing the wounds! We need to be coming together unifying. Christians are not called to do what they are doing. We are called to live quiet lives (1Thes 4:11; 1Tim 2:2), be subject to all authorities and human institutions – including paying taxes (1Pet 2:13-17; Rom 13:1-7; Titus 3:1;), and pray for our leaders (1Tim 2:1-2). These things leave no room for us to be making snide remarks or posting angry things on social media. Christians should be those who are gracious enough to be empathetic, for we have a God who knows what we feel, who shared humanity and gives us grace freely.

Finally I will close with my prayer today when I found out the results the election:

Lord Jesus, my Master and my God, with Trump becoming president lead us and how we should go. Lord God, You are the one who really is in control, You direct the steps of all mankind. I will put my trust in you, not in the institutions of this world.

Jesus, You You are my King!

I love You, Lord!

—Amen.”

Pray for his leading in your life, but more than that, go be a sibling, parent, cousin, aunt/uncle, husband/wife, or just a friend, love someone and help them when they need it.

Updates and Missed Past Events

Well,

I must apologize to all of you for the lack of content being made available on our website recently. I’ve been working hard and have completely forgotten to post anything here. It has almost been two months since and update and I am sorry. Currently there are a few projects on my plate. Firstly (of course) we have the Believe Something Better Commentary Series. I am currently working on the Commentary on First John and it hope to move onto Second John soon. This is taking a lot of work and I am having to put a lot of effort into it. It has taken most of my focus recently.

Second I am putting more feelers out for the ESB Project (if you don’t know what that is you can read about it on this post). We are still looking for anyone and everyone who would like to help with this project in any way. You can e-mail us at Contact@BelieveBetterMinistries.com. Even if you just have questions about the project you can e-mail us.

Third the book of poems, which was talked about here, is actually starting to look as though it will be ready for publish soon. We have been putting a lot of work into the book and are getting ready to launch it. We hope you will enjoy it.

Finally I’ve been continuing the prayer challenge for the year and took a picture which I forgot to post on Sunday. Sunday was the 290th day of 2016 so I wanted to post a picture with my checklist and prayer journal. Here it is: 20161016_154653
That is what I’ve been spending a lot of time focused on prayer and my Bible recently. I hope to have an update soon. Keep your eyes peeled!


RB

A Few Finished Items

Well as we are working on new projects. I am have specifically moved onto working on 1 John and am working on the study notes and commentary of this epistle. With that happening we are looking back at a few of our projects which have already finished (at least as far as the extent of the project was concerned). The first was Jude. You can see our post about Jude here, but there is also a part of this project which you may not know about. The second is Obadiah. We have made a commentary and study notes of these two books. These study notes which were made available as part of the Commentary Project were also given to Breath of God Ministries which were added to the BOGV (and here Paraphrase) as part of the Breath of God Study Bible.  You can get a taste of this Study Bible in both Old and New Testaments (with Obadiah and Jude, respectively) in BOG Ministries’ most recent post.

We hope you enjoy.
RB

Experiencing Something Better

Believe Better Ministries is proud to announce a new project we are working on. This project is called Experiencing Something Better and it is written by Christians for Christians. The project is a series of books each containing stories of real experiences Christians have had with God. So here is what Believe Better Ministries is looking for: Your Story! We are looking for Christians to write stories to fill the pages of this new project.

We will not turn any story away based on denomination, creed, orthodoxy, or the lack thereof. The goal of this series is encourage Christians of all walks of life from every denomination. The way we are defining experience is anything from an answered prayer to a Christophany (a visitation of Christ). So start writing your story about your experience with God and submit them to us via our e-mail. Subject: ATTN: ESB Story.

We look forward to reading your story.

2016 Prayer Challenge Update

Well today is day 176 of 2016 and of the prayer challenge. For me this means the end of the first page of my checklist. Now one hundred seventy-six days in a lot of prayer has happened.  I have truly been blessed by the experience so far and can’t wait to see what is in store next.

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Thank you all for all your support!

The Epistle of Jude – Believe Something Better Commentary Series

Well we are excited to announce the first commentary in the Believe Something Better Commentary Series has been finished. (It is important for you to understand this is not the first volume of the series but rather the first commentary of the series.) The commentary on the Epistle of Jude is finished.

We are posting three things on this blog here today for you to see. The first is the commentary which has recently been finished. We are always open to hearing feedback on anything we post here and you can give us your feedback through e-mail or comments here on the blog. The second thing we’re posting is a set of study notes and an outline for Jude (as you will see the outline is in the commentary as well). These notes are based on the commentary and a set very similar will be made available for each book of the Bible. They are meant to be supplementary to the commentary. These study notes would allow you to have notes available while you study the Bible. The third and final thing we are posting is a complimentary copy of the Epistle of Jude (from the Breath of God Version). This will allow you to refer to this version of the Epistle as you go through the commentary or notes.

These three things are the first in many posts you will see in the future (Lord willing) giving you similar announcements. We do not plan on posting the commentary every time we finish one, but rather just giving a general announcement. We also have the books lumped together to allow for publishing.

We hope you enjoy this and we look forward to seeing feedback from you. Please not this is not the final layout for the commentaries, just an easy layout for it to be presented here on our website for you.

Jude to Come

So the Believe Something Better Commentary Series is about to have its first entry finished. The commentary on Jude is going through its final round of editing then it will be read to be unveiled as the inaugural entry in the series. We will be posting a version of it here under a creative commons license. We also plan on recording it as a free audio teaching here. We plan on putting Jude up here for you to see what things are going to look like.

As far as the rest of the series goes we will only be publishing the audio for free as well as notes and outlines. We plan on having these study aids available for free for everyone to download and use. The commentary series will be available for purchase as an ebook or hardcopy book with all proceeds going back into the ministry to help produce more content and upgrade the website.

All in all this update is here to let everyone know to keep your eyes peeled to see Jude coming out. We have a plan in place as far as getting through the rest of the Bible as well. We look forward to putting this forward soon.