Today’s reading: John chapters 3 and 4.
Welcome to the fourth year of the Lifespring Family Bible. I’m Steve Webb, your host.
This is the first episode of a one year journey through the entire Bible. We’ll be reading about 88 verses per day, and we will begin with the NT book of John, after which we will go the OT book of Genesis. As you might surmise from beginning this way, we are not going to read the Bible from front to back. Actually what we’ll do is go back and forth from the two major divisions of the Bible, the Old and New Testaments. The reason for this is that as a Christian, I don’t want to wait until we’re seven or eight months into this before we get to the New Testament! I love the Old Testament as much as I do the New Testament, it’s all God’s Word, but I am a person who believes in balance, and I want to experience the OT and NT as we go through the year together.
In the first few episodes, I’ll be reading a few different modern language translations, beginning in this episode with the New International Version. I’ll finally be settling on the Net Bible, courtesy of the good folks at Bible.org.
Speaking of other folks, I would like to acknowlege the wonderful Lifespring Allies for helping to support the Lifespring Family Bible. So far, there have been well over a million downloads of the Lifespring Family Bible, and many hundreds of hours invested in production of the episodes. The Lifespring Allies are listeners, just like you, who make financial gifts to the Lifespring Media ministry to help pay the bandwidth and media storage bills that do mount up. If you would like to become a part of the Lifespring Allies and partner with us to get the Word of God onto the computers and mp3 players and other devices of people around the world, I would be most appreciative. Just log onto support.lifespringmedia.com for details.
This year, the only commercial messages you will hear will be an occasional spot that I produce for my own vo services, or other projects that I may be involved with. Yes, I am a professional vo artist. What’s a vo artist? Well, I do radio commercials, corporate video narration, video game narration and acting, audio books, and, well, pretty much anything that requires a voice, announcer, or whatever. I’ve done projects for church productions and podcasts, and of course, there is the Lifesprng Family Bible, that you’re listening to right now.
I would really appreciate it if you would recommend me to the people you may know who might need my services. Is your church doing a play and in need of a narrator? I’m your guy. Is your business or employer doing a video for use on the internet? Send them to SteveWebb.net. Know someone who needs a podcast intro? Give them my name. This is the way I help to pay the family bills these days, and I would consider it a personal favor if you would send some business my way.
Welcome to the final episode of the 2009 Lifespring Family Bible. This completes the third year of the LSFB. If you have been with us for the entire year, I congratulate you. I know it’s taken discipline to make a point of listening to each episode, and I hope that you’ve been blessed by hearing the Word of God each day. Thank you for putting up with me.
I want to thank my guest readers. As I’m sure you can imagine, reading the entire Bible out loud is quite a task, and it was really great to get a few breaks along the way. May God bless each of you for contributing to the LSFB.
I want to thank the good folks at Bible.org. It was their translation of the Bible, the Net Bible, that I used for most of the year. It’s a free, online translation, and I think it has served us well. They gave their permission to use it, several months into the project, and again, I thank them for that.
I want to thank the advertisers we’ve had along the way. They really do help to make it possible to bring the LSFB to you for free. I did not keep track of the hours it took to make these recordings, but there were several hundred hours invested in this project. That’s time away from business, from family, and sometimes from sleep. The generous support of Covenant Eyes, especially, has been a great blessing. I’m not going to do a commercial here, but your support of them is important to the ministry of Lifespring Media.
In addition, I must thank the Lifespring Allies…those listeners who have helped to support us through one time gifts and monthly gifts. Your financial support is so encouraging to us, and in today’s economy…crucial, in making it possible to do this. As the apostle Paul said “I thank God when I think of you.”
And of course, I give praise and honor and glory to God. It never ceases to amaze and humble me that he chose me to be the first one to create a Christian podcast, and that He continues to bring new listeners into the Lifespring family. I thank Him for the gifts He has given me, and that He prepared me to do this show, along with the other shows in the Lifespring family.
If you listened to the lsfb last year, or if you are a lifespring podcast listener, you may remember that at the end of last year, I told you that I was planning to do an entirely new recording of the Bible, which was to be called the ls audio bible, and that i would release it in phases over the course of 2009. Well, it seems as if God had other plans. Imagine that? Sometimes, despite our best intensions and efforts, God steps in to change our plans.
So, some of you know that 2009 has been a very difficult year for my family and I. This is not the forum to go into the details, but suffice to say that I obviously did not complete the ls audio bible. I still very much want to do the project, and I’m earnestly praying that 2010 will be a far better year for ALL of us, but we will see if the Lord allows the completion of the audio bible this year. He is God, I am not, and I’m quite happy with that arrangement!
Some of you even made payments to me, in anticipation of receiving the work as it progressed, and those will be refunded to you shortly.
What’s ahead for the Lifespring Family Bible? Well, at this point, I am planning to run the show again in 2010, and it will begin on January 10th, just as it has in past years.
I hope that you will join me, and that you will invite friends and family to come along.
As you’ve heard me say in the past, we do rely heavily on your financial support. There are costs involved in bringing this show to you, as the download numbers over the years are in the millions. Lifespring Media, Inc., a california non profit 501c3 corporation, bears the hosting costs, bandwidth fees, computer hardware and software costs, and various and sundry other expenses, and we do need your help. Details are at support.lifespringmedia.com.
So to sum up, thank you so much for coming along with me on the Lifespring Family Bible. I hope that you’ve been blessed this year, and I hope that you’ll come back in 2010.
May God bless you richly, may you grow in your faith on a daily basis, and may you continue to seek God’s face.
As I record this, the date is November 13, 2009. and it’s about 10:30 p.m. Almost exactly five years ago at this very hour I spoke very nervously into a microphone at the back of the sanctuary of what was then known as calvary temple, and recorded the very first Christian podcast not based on repurposed church sermons.
I felt as if the Lord had called me to proclaim his name through this new technology, this new medium, and that is what I did. With much trepidation, in a barely lit sanctuary, I sat in the sound booth of that church and told whomever might be listening, why I am a believer in and follower of Jesus Christ. I spoke of his love, and his mercy. I talked about the problem of sin and the wonderful solution God came up with, at His expense, to bring reconciliation between Himself and me…and you.
I think I played music from Anne Davis on that first show. If it wasn’t that one, it was probably the second show.
I invited emails and comments, and I surprisingly heard from folks around the world…almost immediately. I was humbled that anyone would listen, and thankful for the emails. To me, it was a confirmation that I was doing the right thing.
Who knew what would result from that first show? I must say that I had no idea how much my life would change in the next five years. Then, my windshield repair business was doing well, the lovely lady LeeAnn was home schooling our two youngest sons, and I was asking God how I might serve Him.
Today, our windshield repair business is on life support with a weak, thready pulse with blood pressure dropping…as a result of the horrible economy. The lovely lady LeeAnn has had to find employment outside of our business, our middle son has graduated from our local public high school, our youngest is a sophomore at that same school, the oldest is now married to a beautiful young woman, and I’m wearing several hats in order to earn a living…all of them centered around my computer. I’m a voiceover artist, an audiobook editor, a video editor, a wordpress website developer, and a podcaster. I’ve probably forgotten something in there, but the point is that five years ago, I would have never imagined that my life was going to be so completely turned upside down. Nearly everything has changed in my daily circumstances.
There are, as I sit here and think about it, two enormously important constants over these five years. The first that I’ll mention is the love and support of the lovely lady LeeAnn. Through everything, she has been there to love and support me. She is my best friend, she is my sounding board, she is my companion. The strength of our marriage has only grown, and I am blessed beyond words to have her to be my life’s companion.
The second thing that has been constant has been the presence of God in my life. In Malachi 3:6, God says “I am the Lord, I change not.” And that has become for me a wonderful scripture of comfort.
To know that God is not changed by the circumstances and foibles of man, to know that there is a safe place, a source of strength when everything else seems to be about as stable as Jello…well, that knowledge helps me to move forward and keep fighting the good fight.
A scripture that has become very popular over the past few years is Jeremiah 4:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
I love that scripture. It is a wonderful promise, to be sure, but I’ve learned that putting a scripture in context is always a good thing. It brings more clarity and understanding, in most cases.
Now listen to the context.
Because the children of Israel had rebelled against God, He—after numerous warning through His prophets—allowed them to be taken into captivity and exiled from Jerusalem into Babylon. But because of His great love for them, He gave them this promise. Listen to verses 10 through 14:
10 This is what the LORD says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”
What a marvelous, loving God. Even though there was a history of God providing miraculously for them, and them abandoning Him, and this chain of events happening over and over, His loving nature was to, yet again, offer this promise of hope and restoration.
And of course, ultimately, it became apparent that this cycle would never end, because it is the nature of man to rebel…to sin. God allowed the multiple cycles not because He was under any notion that man would someday “get it”, but so that we might see our complete inability to maintain any kind of righteousness. We would never be able to live according to God’s standard of behavior…to be without sin.
And then, according to Gal. 4: 4 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law,5 so that He might redeem those who were under the Law.
At just the right time in history, Jesus came into the world to break that cycle we spoke about. Jesus came to make full and final payment for my sin and yours, so that we might at last have lasting peace and relationship with God. He did that by taking my sin and yours upon himself and paying for them with his own blood…his own life. And then proving his right to do so by being resurrected on the third day. If he had remained dead, then it would have all been for nought. But He showed himself to be God, to be the only one with the power to bring forgiveness to us, by his resurrection. How do we know it really happened? For one thing, there were many eyewitnesses. He appeared to over 500 people on one occasion. The fact that most of his disciples chose horrible deaths over denying Jesus’ resurrection is another fact that lends credibility, and there are others.
The point is that because of what Jesus did all those years ago, and because of the fact that we know God doesn’t change, you and I can have peace and even joy, despite this changing and unsteady world in which we find ourselves.
God is still God. He is still;
El-Shaddai — The God Who is Sufficient for the Needs of His People
Jehovah-Elohim — The Eternal Creator
Jehovah-Jireh — The Lord our Provider
Jehovah-Nissi — The Lord our Banner
Jehovah-Ropheka — The Lord our Healer
Jehovah-Shalom — The Lord our Peace
and all the other names we learn about in Scripture.
If you are looking for peace, my friend, the only place you will find it is in the loving arms of this God. He created you. He loves you with an intensity and a depth that is impossible to express in words. He wants you to know him and to have an ongoing, intimate relationship with him. And that is only possible through knowing Jesus Christ. Listen to some of Jesus words…
“I and the Father are one. No one comes to the Father but by me. If you love me, you’ll keep my word, and my father will love him and we will make our home with you. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life…”
Eternal life. Eternity is a long time. It’s forever. The changes I’ve seen in my own life over the past five years show me that this world is far from forever. There are constant variations and movements in my circumstances. But my Rock doesn’t move, doesn’t change. My present is uncertain, but my future is secure.
How about yours? If you are not sure, if you have questions, if you have doubts or fears, I would love to hear from you. I’m not a preacher. I’m just a guy who has found peace, and I would love to provide whatever answers I can if you have questions.
Email me at steve (a t) lifespringmedia.com, or phone me at 951-732-8511. I will get back to you.
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ON TODAY’S SHOW
We’ve got a jam packed show today. We talk about the “Ten Commandments vs Faith”, and because so many of you have asked me about my opinion of the best selling book, the Shack, I give my review.
Links To Items Mentioned On the Show
David McLaughlin’s review of The Shack is here.
Bryan Duncan’s website is here.
The interview of Bryan on Lifespring! 52 is here.
Bryan’s Twitter page is here.
From @chad_estes tweet, the background on The Shack and the “incredible” interview: here.
Lifespring! shows mentioned in Steve from Texas’ email:
My friend, Wayne Henderson’s website is here.
My social media links are in the right sidebar of this page. ——>
Thanks to our FANTASTIC advertisers! Please support ’em!
Just click on the images above to learn more about each great company.
ON TODAY’S SHOW
In today’s culture of pluralism, it has become acceptable to give equal time to ideas and faiths and lifestyles that once would have NOT have been acceptable. I choose to not participate, and I’ll tell you why on this show. Great music, too! Jimmie Bratcher, Ginger Hohm (RevTim’s wife!), and some surprises.
Jimmie Bratcher’s very cool and bluesy-sounding (of course!) “Right Side Of The Tracks”, from his “Red” CD.
My good friend, RevTim’s, wife Ginger, has a GREAT new CD out, called “This Train”. Tim sent me this track after listening to show number 189. The title is “Let It Rain”. Here’s a link to the song in the iTunes store.
LINKS TO FRIENDS MENTIONED IN THE SHOW
Ed Roberts – New Media maven, and one of the nicest guys I know!
Wayne Henderson – Another voice over guy and podcaster who lives not far from me. A new friend whom I met a few months ago at a tweetup in San Bernardino. Great guy!
Davy’s new podcast, Late December. Davy’s been listening to the Lifespring! shows for a long time!
Bryan Duncan‘s website, which I am in the process of redoing, but as of this writing, the link will go to the old site. Please pray for Rich Davis, Bryan’s original webmaster and friend. He’s very ill.
My son and future daughter-in-law’s wedding website.
Brian Noe will soon be sending me an audio file in which he admits that the Dodgers Rule! That is, as long as the Los Angeles Dodgers win the August series with the St. Louis Cardinals. Go Blue!
The Black Sheep. I ride with the Riverside chapter on occasion, and won this door prize a short time ago:
Robert J. Morgan, the author who’s books “Then Sings My Soul”, volumes one and two, are the basis for Lifespring! HymnStories, is celebrating over two million books in circulation with a 5% off sale at his website, here.
The Gathering, at Lamb’s Fellowship Amphitheater, Lake Elsinore on September 12, 2009. Bryan Duncan in concert, with Doug Smith and One Nation. Looks like they don’t yet have a website, but here’s the phone number to call for more info: 951-679-4667.
I’ll be posting video footage, soon, of a recent motorcycle trip I took.
This is going to be a different sort of Lifespring. I owe you an explanation for the long absence, and it’ll take a while to do that, so let’s call this episode of Lifespring the State of Steve Address. I promise to try not to bore you like some presidents do with their state of the union addresses, and I hope to even inspire you with a message of hope. So hang on!
Artist: Helen Yousaf
CD Title Child of Mine
Song: Meets You Where You Are
Revisiting the story behind “Jesus Loves Me”, perhaps the best known children’s hymn of all time. The reason we’re doing this is that, when I did it in HymnStories #2, I didn’t have a version of the music with the lyrics that was cleared for play in a podcast. Now that more music is available, I felt it was time to bring it back.
Jesus Loves Me
Lyrics: Anna B. Warner
Music: William B. Bradbury
Jesus loves me! this I know,
For the Bible tells me so;
Little ones to Him belong,
They are weak, but He is strong.
Yes, Jesus loves me,
Yes, Jesus loves me,
Yes, Jesus loves me,
The Bible tells me so.
Jesus loves me! He who died,
Heaven’s gate to open wide;
He will wash away my sin,
Let His little child come in.
Jesus take this heart of mine,
Make it pure and wholly Thine;
Thou has bled and died for me,
I will hence-forth live for Thee.
Jesus loves me! He will stay,
Close beside me all the way;
He’s prepared a home for me,
And someday His face I’ll see.
Music In This Episode
James Morrison”Jesus Loves Me”
from “James Morrison: Gospel Collection Volume One”
Special thanks to Larry Elliot for allowing me to use his version in the show.
On Today’s Show
Hosted by Steve Webb
Perseverance is something that many of us need to focus on in these troubled times, and the Bible has many things to say on this subject. Steve Webb shares many of the scriptures dealing with this. We open today’s show with a powerful statement by Dr. S.M. Lockridge on who Jesus is…you gotta hear this! And we hear the debut episode of “Life Out Of Step“, a new show hosted by Bryan Duncan and Steve Webb.
INSPIRATION BY DR SM LOCKRIDGE
Dr. Lockridge, a retired Baptist pastor was spotted in the audience at the beginning of a Baptist convention. The organiser of the convention asked him to come up to the stage, and open in prayer.
What followed was a stunning description of what God means to Dr. Lockridge.
We begin the show today with Dr Lockridge’s powerful and inspiring statement of who Jesus is. Below is the text. If you listen or read this, and are not moved, you had better check to be sure you have a pulse!
The Bible says He’s a Seven Way King. He’s the King of the Jews – that’s a racial King. He’s the King of Israel- that’s a National King. He’s the King of righteousness. He’s the King of the ages. He’s the King of Heaven. He’s the King of glory. He’s the King of kings and He is the Lord of lords. Now that’s my King.
Well I wonder if you know Him.
David said the Heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament show His handiwork. My King is the only one whom there are no means of measure can define His limitless love. No far seeing telescope can bring into visibility the coastline of His shore of supplies. No barriers can hinder Him from pouring out His blessing.
Well, well, He’s enduringly strong. He’s entirely sincere. He’s eternally steadfast. He’s immortally graceful. He’s imperially powerful. He’s impartially merciful. That’s my King. He’s God’s Son. He’s the sinner’s saviour. He’s the centrepiece of civilization. He stands alone in Himself. He’s honest. He’s unique. He’s unparalleled. He’s unprecedented. He’s supreme. He’s pre-eminent.
Well, He’s the grandest idea in literature. He’s the highest personality in philosophy. He’s the supreme problem in high criticism. He’s the fundamental doctrine of proved theology. He’s the carnal necessity of spiritual religion. That’s my King. He’s the miracle of the age. He’s the superlative of everything good that you choose to call Him.
Well, He’s the only one able to supply all of our needs simultaneously. He supplies strength for the weak. He’s available for the tempted and the tried. He sympathizes and He saves. He’s strong God and He guides. He heals the sick. He cleanses the lepers. He forgives sinners. He discharged debtors. He delivers the captives. He defends the feeble. He blesses the young. He serves the unfortunate. He regards the aged. He rewards the diligent and He beautifies the meek.
Do you know Him?
Well, my King is a King of knowledge. He’s the wellspring of wisdom. He’s the doorway of deliverance. He’s the pathway of peace. He’s the roadway of righteousness. He’s the highway of holiness. He’s the gateway of glory. He’s the master of the mighty. He’s the captain of the conquerors. He’s the head of the heroes. He’s the leader of the legislatures. He’s the overseer of the overcomers. He’s the governor of governors. He’s the prince of princes. He’s the King of kings and He’s the Lord of lords. That’s my King. Yeah. Yeah. That’s my King. My King, yeah.
His office is manifold. His promise is sure. His light is matchless. His goodness is limitless. His mercy is everlasting. His love never changes. His Word is enough. His grace is sufficient. His reign is righteous. His yoke is easy and His burden is light.
Well. I wish I could describe Him to you, but He’s indescribable. He’s indescribable.
Yes. He’s incomprehensible. He’s invincible. He’s irresistible. I’m coming to tell you, the heavens of heavens cannot contain Him, let alone a man explaining Him. You can’t get Him out of your mind. You can’t get Him off of your hands. You can’t outlive Him and you can’t live without Him.
Well, Pharisees couldn’t stand Him, but they found out they couldn’t stop Him. Pilot couldn’t find any fault in Him. The witnesses couldn’t get their testimonies to agree. Herod couldn’t kill Him. Death couldn’t handle Him and the grave couldn’t hold Him. That’s my King. Yeah. Praise the Lord. That’s my King.
Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory. Well, all the power belongs to my King. We’re around here talking about black power and white power and green power, but it’s God’s power. Thine is the power. Yeah. And the glory. We try to get prestige and honour and glory for ourselves, but the glory is all His. Yes. Thine is the Kingdom and the power and glory, forever and ever and ever and ever. How long is that? And ever and ever and ever and ever. And when you get through with all of the evers, then, Amen.
Where Is The Meaning?
With all the turmoil and loss of financial and many other types of stability, we take some lessons from Solomon and the book of Ecclesiastes.
Music On Today’s Show
Storms : Songs for the Heart When It Hurts” Big Stuf “Keep Singing”