Free and Inexpensive Personal Devotional (and Sunday School and Sermon Series) Materials from Beulah State University.
The SOLE aim of 789GracePlace.com is to point Christians to the Bible, God’s Word as His expressed foundation and framework for ALL of Life — to show relevance in ways possibly not previously noted. We do not intend, in any way, to add to God’s Word rather to ensure we are not, in practice, limiting what God is saying (and, therefore, not reading and applying it “for all it is worth”) by overly narrow interpretations.
We all hear many voices we are responsible for filtering in (right and helpful input) or out (less than helpful “noise”) – sermons, Sunday School lessons, conversations with other Christians (and non-Christians!), movies, TV, internet…we are personally responsible for our sanctification and, as a result, must:
Test everything. Hold on to the good. 1Th 5:21
The Bible, God’s Written Word, is the only reliable basis for this testing — we are to test everything against it!
Sadly, to many professing Christians, Jesus and grace (beyond eternal salvation) are rather theoretical, nebulous, old-fashioned and nostalgic concepts. Or, worse yet, but nonetheless common, only for when we die and go to heaven. Yet Jesus warns:
I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? Jn 3:12
What really really surprises most first time or casual readers of the Bible is that Jesus makes many very bold, tangible and daily practical promises for TODAY/NOW! 4 times, in the Bible (once in the OT — 3 times in the New) we are told (and warned):
Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.
We, at 789GracePlace, are seeking to hear God’s Voice, in His Word, TODAY and for ALL of life and to aid others in this grand mission and blessing! Read God’s Word first (develop this life-changing discipline of Christian Disciples) and if some time remains we invite you to read some of our related thoughts.
There are key Mountain verses and passages EVERY authentic Christian should readily know … they are essential to understanding the rest of God’s Word. Highlighting and contemplating these key verses will provide a much greater understanding of the Bible’s important foundational themes. These Mountain verses provide us improved perspective (from God’s point of view) to keep us from being distracted and potentially, in the process, missing His Way.
Knowing God’s Word, anchored by His Mountain truths, is the way to make our spiritual eyes better and better, to place the relative molehills of life in proper perspective in relation to far more important temporal and eternal realities and truths affecting all aspects of life: physical, emotional, spiritual …
Just as the essence of Life is Time, the quality of Life is largely the result of what we do with our Time, the correct focus of Life is Hope <=> Better with appropriate self-disciplines being the important tools of Better Hope/Time/Life.
These are 3 great truths, and their all-important supporting “to do” to make these truths positive realities in our Lives. These truths and tool, considered and applied, are the key to achieving ever-improving Success (Better) in Life.
The Bible is certainly not a collection of random thoughts, rather it is the harmonious Word of God providing His personal Word to each reader to aid them in accomplishing, from God’s standpoint, the great purpose of earthly life — the salvation of our souls for eternity.
We should not wonder why people are confused, failing to make much progress, when churches take a totally inappropriate approach to teaching and leading, especially shortly after folks are born again. It is much like entering college with a philosophy that you can start any month and any day, enter any classroom and start learning. No! There is a proper process and precise plan.
In even the best case, the initial introduction to Christianity, when a person is born again, is going to be almost overwhelming — there will be many new terms and ideas to deal with. If we are not told and taught, soon after we are born again, which are the big, primary and foundational truths (versus which are secondary) there will inevitably be confusion.
The Gospel of Better - A Compilation and Harnessing of Powerful Wisdom Principles to Improve Daily Life
Better is a very big and important word. In contrast to some terms that are weak, anemic and discouraging, better has the fresh, clean spring-like “smell” and feel of hope!
Faith is not measured by how much we have read or superficially understand about the Bible, but how much of it we are “doing” because to really Understand This Christian Thing in any meaningful way we must be applying it to our lives in the present tense.
Application is experience and not until we acknowledge both our great need and personal inability apart from Christ will we humble ourselves to seek and listen to Him.
The Bible boldly proclaims: The kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. 1Co 4:20 This power is Grace and this short book on Grace has as its goal to rediscover Grace – its true meaning, what it is and isn’t, how we receive it for daily life and how we grow in it as we approach and enter the long forever we all face.
The greatest of all possible treasures is Jesus – if we “have” Him we have the goal of our faith – the salvation of our souls and all the day-to-day benefits grace also offers. On the other hand, if we do not see real and compelling signs in ourselves or others we have reason to doubt because grace always leaves a definite “footprint.” This book highlights the tangible signs we will see as we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.
Good intentions are just that, intentions – ideas and thoughts, until coupled with appropriate disciplines that make these goals and plans real and useful! “Discipline” is one of the most confusing words in the English language because, while a very important word, it has two almost opposite, and therefore confusing, uses – punishment and training. But, in any case, the normal connotation is one of bad not good, dread not delight – even if the ultimate objective (to properly train) is good, the process of discipline, to get there, is considered agony. It is too often considered a 4-letter, dirty, word synonymous with pain (and certainly, most people feel, something to grow out of as we age).
Properly and maturely viewed, however, discipline is not punishment – rather it is what keeps us from being punished! Discipline is the tool of self-control – without discipline we will not achieve the focus of effort necessary for any meaningful accomplishment.
The book highlights keep Christian disciplines providing the security and freedom Jesus promised to only those who know His truth!
Maybe the most destructive modern-day “Christian” misunderstanding and concept is that the grace, promises and blessings of Jesus are unconditional – “we believe and then Jesus unconditionally gives us salvation and all the good that comes with it!” Even a cursory and casual reading of the New Testament makes mockery of this ridiculous notion.
Grace and “required certain behaviors” are not incompatible, they are complimentary! Grace is the beginning of a process, not the end. We have a need, God gives us grace for which He expects us to use it for our good, not to our harm.
Jesus’ Great Covenants are His good news for mankind – promising freedom, release, sight . . . God’s favor in an otherwise hostile and difficult world.
The “network,” foundation and framework for facts are the themes that hold them together. Seeking, seeing and understanding themes are keys to really understanding what the Bible says – Ten Great Themes of The Bible highlights foundational themes to help modern-day Thessalonians become Bereans instead!
It is not coincidental (rather it is almost humorous) that God uses the term “Gospel” (Good News) to describe His Word and message – which has more meaning in the early 21st Century than ever before. There has never been a greater need for Good News than now - even with (and maybe because of) our unprecedented wealth, leisure and comfort. Chautauqua Headline News is a Bible companion guide to help readers see how God’s Good News looks in our contemporary environment.
Timothy Henderson, in lighthearted and simple letters to friends and family, shares the atmosphere, charm, sketches of top professors and some profound lessons learned at Beulah State University, a truly one-of-a-kind center of “higher” learning.
The letters (and topics covered) focus on key issues of life and how to better and better navigate the difficult facets of living. Spiritual? Yes. Motivational? Yes. Better Mind, Body and Spirit? Yes, yes, yes! Beulah State concentrates on the foundational basics necessary for a happy, meaningful and productive life. In some cases, suggestions are made. For other topics, interesting and stimulating questions are raised for on-going reflection and contemplation. Sometimes the alternatives are common-sense while, at other times, they show how a paradox holds the answer, the key to an otherwise perplexing mystery. But in all instances, the lessons are vital for life, but too often ignored or overlooked in the quick pace of today’s world.
Letters from Beulah State University, the best of where education, knowledge and wisdom has been, is now and is headed – as one of Beulah State’s mottos says: “If something is worth doing [and certainly life, itself, is!] it is worth doing better and better!” The lessons are best learned early, but it is never too late to benefit from these lessons – from the mid-teens till age 94, these letters, and their thought-provoking messages, will help those seeking better! Letters from Beulah State University, a bridge over the all-too-frequent and increasing gap between Christian rhetoric and Christian living.
When Time becomes a burden, as it so often does to the retired, then Life becomes a chore and a burden and we effectively stop Living at the peak possibility - and that, at a Time, we can and should really start Living to the fullest. Never Retiring is like racing with those much younger (and like racing against ourselves when we were younger) - all things being equal we will surely lose. But everything is not equal! 40 – 50 additional hours per week is like starting on the 80-yard or 90-yard line in a 100-yard dash - if we don't think about it, or worse yet mope and dilly-dally around the 80-yard line, we will be Worse versus Better. But with our great Time advantage in Never Retiring (if we take and use this great gift) it is inconceivable we cannot be Better in every area of Life. We are our own worst enemies if we do not give thought to "Why not Better?" often and in multiple ways!
The best of Beulah State University in short articles of practical interest to Christians seeking a more meaningful life. Happiness? Its secret is found, in a special way, in only Jesus. Joy of repentance? Yes, joy will accompany true repentance! Truth or Consequences? Yes, there are consequences, good or bad, to how we live, who we listen to, what we do . . . Things I wish I had known when I was a kid and things I wish I had known 25 years ago – these are a few of the practical Beulah State wisdom lessons offered for Sunday School, Sermon Series or personal devotional use.
Free Personal Devotional (and Sunday School and Sermon Series) Materials from Beulah State University.