Two Dates You Need to Know to Understand the Old Testament Prophets

The Old Testament prophetic books are not in chronological order. They are divided into two groups: the Major Prophets and Minor Prophets. The Major Prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentation, Ezekiel, Daniel) are called the Major Prophets because their books are longer. (Exception: Lamentations is technically a poetic book, but because it was written by Jeremiah, in the Christian Bible it tags along behind Jeremiah.)

The Minor Prophets are minor prophets because the books are shorter. Some even have just one chapter.

Since the prophetic books are not in chronological order, there are two dates from history that you need to know so you can quickly understand the prophet’s message.Read More »

The Bible in 90 Days: The Benefits of Reading through the Bible at a Breakneck Speed

Years ago our church read through the Bible together in 90 days. The pastor preached the sermon on a passage from the week and our Sunday school class discussed the week’s readings. It was a great program and although not everyone finished, they read more of the Bible than they would have. I certainly didn’t finish in 90 days. I had small children at the time and I ended up finishing in about 690 days! But I did finish it!

This summer I decided to try again reading through the Bible in 90 days. I needed a plan for what Bible reading I would do in the summer when our Bible Study Fellowship group was on summer break. I hadn’t read through the whole Bible in while and I felt like I was missing out on the big picture since I had only done concentrated studies the last few years. I purchased a used copy of The Bible in 90 Days and braced myself for the face-paced ride.  Read More »

Saved Through Childbirth? The Difficulties of 1 Timothy 2:15

When it comes to the hard parts of the Bible you can’t get much harder than 1 Timothy 2:15. The first commentary I looked at stated: “This is one of the most difficult verses in the New Testament to interpret.”

1 Timothy 2:15 says in the NIV:

But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love, and holiness with propriety.

The ESV says:

Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.Read More »

My Birthday Experience and a Fitting Tribute for Thomas Edison

The Schmoyer family celebrates birthdays not with presents, but with a birthday experience selected by the birthday person. For my recent birthday, I chose a day seeing historical sites in Northern New Jersey. First, we went to see the Grover Cleveland Birthplace because of my interest in First Ladies history. Then we toured Thomas Edison’s home, Glenmont, and his laboratories.

My kids and Thomas Edison in front of Glenmont.

Thomas Edison’s laboratory looked like an amazing place to work. Read More »

Sweet Nuggets of Truth in Ezekiel

The Bible book of Ezekiel is hard to read, hard to understand, and hard to apply. Ezekiel lived during the exile of Judah when God’s people were conquered and taken captive by the nation of Babylon (2 Kings 24:11-16). The book of Ezekiel is full of messages from God to His people reminding them that it was their sin that resulted in their scattered state. There are a lot of exact measurements for the new temple. In fact, “cubit” is the second most used word in the book.

But Ezekiel has a couple of gems that feel like rewards for digging through the tough stuff. My friend calls them the “sweet nuggets of Ezekiel.”Read More »