God

Bible Reading Plans for 2015

The new year will be here soon! It’s not too late to start thinking about whether or not you would like to start a Bible reading plan in 2015. I enjoy plans. They help me to be more regular with my reading.

Not all reading plans are the same. Though many are geared towards reading through the whole Bible in a year, there are more options available. There are some that will extend the reading out for two or three years or shorten it considerably. I once went through the Bible in six months. To be honest, it wasn’t planned. I was pregnant and suffering with “morning” sickness so badly that all I could do was read! Some plans focus on just parts of the Bible like the gospels, the Old or New Testament, or bring you through the same books more than once. Plans can also go through the books in the order they appear in the Bible or go through the Bible in the order that things took place chronologically in history. I prefer the latter. […]

Baring Our Souls at Church

A special thing happened at church this past Sunday. My husband and I had the chance to testify to the goodness of God in the midst of suffering. We shared about our life situation regarding my chronic health problems and how God has sustained us through it all. It was a real blessing to be able to attend church again and to testify. We are so thankful that we had this opportunity.

This came about because my husband Butch sent an e-mail to the pastor. The pastor is currently preaching a series on suffering called “Hope in the Midst of Suffering: The Gospel According to Job”. Without me knowing about it, Butch wrote to him to share our story with him and to thank him for the series. […]

Powerful Help in Times of Suffering

Suffering is universal. It is experienced by all who live and breathe upon our planet Earth. It cannot be avoided or paid off or scammed. It comes and for some it comes often and brutally. There are many ways to suffer be it emotionally, mentally, physically, or spiritually. I would not dare to choose which is the easiest to deal with, because suffering is very personal. Some of us can handle physical pain better than emotional or vice versa. In my mind, neither the type nor the amount of suffering can be truly weighed by anyone but the person experiencing it. When people apologize for telling me about their troubles in light of my own suffering, I always tell them there’s no need to apologize. Their troubles are troubles to them. They experience whatever sorrow or pain they do in their own being. If they think it’s bad, then I want to be there for them. I don’t minimize any suffering in light of another.

What I do try to do is share what has helped me through my trials with suffering due to chronic pain. […]

The Beauty of God

God is beautiful. His beauty is discernible even though we cannot see him. Nothing compares to him nor is anyone like him. He is holy and good, not in the sense that we are – only to our flawed, finite, human limits – but intrinsically, infinitely, and perfectly. That alone is mind-boggling beauty, but there is more. There’s always more when it comes to God. […]

A song of Truth, a merry heart

The following post is by blog contributor Judy Bourret

“A merry heart doeth good, like a medicine.” So true! And the opposite is true, too,”but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” Proverbs 17:22 (KJV) My heart tends to be merry pretty easily, for which I am thankful. I see blessings and beauty and fun in my daily life most days. There are days, though, when my spirit does feel broken. Life on this planet can be tough, discouraging, and even depressing. I believe 100% that God is in control, […]

Doxology: An Eruption of Praise

Can you imagine what it was like to be one of the authors of the books of the Bible, sitting there as an instrument of Almighty God, bringing his word to the world, writing about the power of God or about the promise of eternal life or the incarnation? Is it any wonder that they sometimes erupted in praise? As you read through the scriptures you will find verses that seem to be flow out of the author’s saturation with the goodness and glory of God. They are known as doxologies. […]

From the Couch

When I started this website I did not intend to write about my health situation. Though it does deeply impact my life every day, it was not what I wished to focus on. Recently my husband Butch suggested that it would be ok to write about it every now and then. I’ve thought about it, and I’ve become more comfortable with the idea. Sharing some of my experiences about this trial will allow me to testify to God’s mercy and grace. Through all my suffering, he has been my rock and my shield. He has provided for me in many ways. I am happy to share the details about that to his glory. […]

Strong In Hope

In my last blog post I wrote about meekness in marriage. I drew from 1 Peter 3: 3-4. In those verses we read that a gentle (meek) and quiet spirit is precious in the side of God. Before and after those verses Peter writes about submission. He directs his comments to Christian wives and instructs them to adorn themselves with godly submission and behavior just as Sarah and the holy women did in the past. Appearing within these verses is a very important phrase. I believe it has a lot to do with why Sarah and the women of old were able to live as they did. […]

Ministry Update March 2014

It’s been four months since I began working on the Chapter 3 Ministry website! I’m happy with the progress that has been made and with the direction things are going in. This work is a delight for me. I thank God for this opportunity. I love computers, software, writing, the Lord, and his people! It’s wonderful to combine them all together. […]

What say you, Oh Lord?

There is an endless stream of voices in the world. For better or worse, our modern technology allows us to hear those voices like never before. It has given us access to countless people and opinions. Regardless of the topic, we can find experts or self-proclaimed experts who are more than happy to enlighten us. Question is – who do we listen to? […]

God-Fashioned Living

The Christian wife’s biblical submission is a subject that I will be writing about on a regular basis. It is one of the main reasons why Chapter 3 Ministries exists. I have seen the blessing of living according to God’s will in marriage, and it is a delight for me to encourage other women to see it too. Though there are blessings, it does not mean that submission is easy. It can be quite difficult. In my writings I will address both the blessings and the challenges of and to submission. I do not believe that it does anyone any good to ignore or cover-up the challenges. […]

New Year Fresh Start

This New Year’s Eve was the twenty-eighth that my husband and I have spent together. Starting with the first year we met, we’ve never missed a year; even the year I had the flu and he took care of me. I remember details from other New Year’s Eves as well. Remember Y2K? So much hype. So little consequences. We did try to have some fun at our house that night. At midnight we shut the main power off. The house went black! Well, none of our party guests fell for it; but we did all have a good laugh. […]

Christmas Joy and Peace in Believing

Part Five in a Five post Christmas series (Part One) Jesus was promised and sent. His coming, life, death, and resurrection had great purpose. But let me continue to remain quiet and let the scriptures proclaim his glory…
“‘For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!'”
(Luke 2:11-14 ESV) […]

A Son Sent

Part Two in a Five post Christmas series (Part One) The Son promised was Sent by the Father Keeping with my intention to let the scriptures speak:
“But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.” (Galatians 4:4-5 NASB)
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16 KJV) […]

A Son Will Be Given

This is the first of five Christmas posts. It is my desire to say as little as possible in these posts. Instead, I wish to let the scriptures speak to the wonderful reality that we celebrate at Christmas. I will start simply by sharing verses that foretell the birth of Jesus.
“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14) […]

thirdstrand

You may have noticed that my author name on these posts is thirdstrand. I’d like to share its meaning. I came up with the username thirdstrand years ago. I was in need of a new username for an online account. Because I love symbolism, I sat down and tried to think of a name that would have special meaning instead of something like sharon123! I went through different ideas and combinations of words and eventually drew from something that was significant in my life. […]

All Things New

As I mentioned in my previous post, the anniversary of my new birth falls on Thanksgiving this year! I love it when that happens. I would love to tell the whole story right now about how I came to know the Lord, but it is a long story. I hope to write it out someday. Today, I would like to tell part of the story. I think it is a pretty cool part. I came to Christ and out of the domain of darkness (Colossians 1:13) in the darkness. What I mean is, it was night time. That night, after I was given eyes to see the sacrifice for my sins in Jesus’ death and my heart was opened to believe in him, I was filled with incredible joy. […]

For Our Great Profit

The Bible. An amazing book with a fascinating history. Assembled from writings that span millennia, it surely deserves admiration from aficionados of literature. Christians, however, know that it is much more than an amazing book. It is a treasure. It is a treasure to us because we believe the Bible is God’s word. Rightly viewed, its value is beyond anything else on this earth. Many Christians have testified to this with their lives. We in the United States are incredibly blessed to live where we can easily have access to a Bible in our native language and that we can read it without fear of serious persecution, imprisonment, or death. […]