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50 Years: A Scripture and a Song

Last week I celebrated  my 50th birthday in Jesus and in His Kingdom.  I was born again on February 19, 1971.  I remember that time as if it just happened seconds ago.  My friend Jeff and I were walking down Brinkerhoff Avenue in front of South Park.  After quoting what seemed like the entire Bible to me, he looked at me and asked, “Julie, don’t you know that Jesus loves you”?  And I can honestly say in that moment, I did know it beyond a shadow of a doubt. I didn’t know how I knew it, but I did.

He went on to tell me that I could be born again and have a new start at life. At 17 years old, I was very, very old due to my  life style and a new start sounded wonderful, but at the same time impossible and unattainable.

But, could it really be true?  I remember asking Jeff, “You mean to tell me I don’t have to be me anymore”?

He looked right at me and said, “Julie, you don’t have to be you anymore.”  You will be a new creature in Jesus.  Within an hour I accepted Jesus into my heart and was born again.

So as I look back over these 50 years, I am greatly, greatly aware of His great love for me and His great mercy that He has shown me.

Has it all been sunny days, days without storms, easy roads and smooth sailing?   The answer is No!  Have I made mistakes?  The answer is Yes.  Have I been discouraged, broken hearted and dismayed?  The answer, again, is Yes.

But this is what I  have learned: Jesus Christ is Faithful  and His Word is true.  And 18,250 days later, I am still standing in Him. In the Bible there is a Scripture in the Book of Jude that I have literally clung to my entire Christian life:  “Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless, before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy…”

That is the only reason I am still standing.  The only reason I am still here is because He has kept me.  I am a kept woman.  I am kept by my Heavenly Father. I am kept by Jesus who is seated on the right hand of my Heavenly Father praying for me.  I am kept by the comfort, counsel and enlightenment of the Holy Spirit.

And, I am kept by the miraculous Word of God, my Heritage.

The song that will always speak best for me is, “You Gave Me Love,” by B.J. Thomas:

“You gave me time when no one gave me time of day,
You looked deep inside while the rest of the world looked away,
You smiled at me when there were just frowns everywhere,
You gave me love when nobody gave me a prayer.

“That’s why I call You Savior….that’s why I call You Friend,
You touched my heart….You touched my soul,
And helped me start all over again,
That’s why I love You, Jesus…that’s why I will always care,
You gave me love when nobody gave me a prayer.”

I always said,  “If I was a horse, no one would have ever bet on me.”

One time when I was giving my testimony, as soon as  I heard myself say that, Jesus spoke to my heart and said, “It never was about the horse, but it’s about the owner.”   Once again my life changed, because I knew in that moment in time, again, beyond a shadow of a doubt, through all the crazy years, no matter what anyone had ever thought about me, I was loved by my owner.

So 50 years later, this is what I know for certain:  He loves me and I love Him, and His Word is the greatest treasure and love of my life.

Oh, and one more thing, I also know this for certain, beyond a shadow of a doubt,  HE LOVES YOU!

The Gideon Bible

I remember it was in the afternoon. I heard the front door open and I knew it was my sister Toni coming home from school. I was in the kitchen with my Mom, but as soon as I heard that door open, I ran into the living room to see my sister. Toni wasn’t there she had already run into her bedroom. And there it was just sitting on an end table where my sister tossed it.

I carefully picked it up, for me it was love at first sight. I just held it not knowing what it was, just standing there looking at it, totally amazed. Little did I know as a 5 year old girl what I was holding in my hands would have the greatest  influence on my entire life. I took it into the kitchen to show my Mom. I very carefully held it up and simply asked my Mom, “What is this?” She nonchalantly replied, “Oh, the Gideons must have been at Toni’s school today.”

That much anticipated answer did not help me one bit. I didn’t know who the Gideons were and I still didn’t know what I was holding in my hand. “But what is this,” I asked again. The once again nonchalant voice answered, “Oh, that is a Bible.”“What is a Bible?” There was nothing nonchalant about my voice or question.

Now, my Mom a bit frustrated answered, “Julie Beth, you are too young for that; just go put it away.” I ran into my sister’s bedroom held it up and asked, “Do you want this?” I was so happy when I heard her say “NO.” “Can I have it,” I quickly replied. “I don’t care,” she said. I left her room the happiest little girl in the entire world. I had a Gideon Bible. I begged my Mom to read it to me. But she held firm to the fact that I was too young. I didn’t read much but I could sound out words. So, with determination and a great love for this little book, I began to discover His Word.

Four years later I was in fourth grade. The Gideons were no longer allowed to pass out Bibles in the Public Schools. I was sad about that but very grateful that I had mine. I read that little Bible on and off until I was 14 years old. Then I pushed it aside giving way to other interests. At 17 years old, this little hippie girl was born again.

“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which lives and abides forever.” 1 Peter 1:23.

Thank You Jesus, the seeds that had been planted in in me as I read the Gideon Bible in my childhood had taken root and were breaking through the soil of my heart. And when that happened on February 19, 1971 I was born again. I got out my Gideon Bible once again. Since that time I have moved on to other Bibles but His Word has always remained in my hands and in my heart.

That little 5 year old girl is now a 66 year old woman who grew up to be Director of BibleWalk.

My sister and mother both were born again and also fell in love with His Word. Thank You Gideons for giving that Bible to my sister. Thank You Toni for giving your sister your Bible, because it has been and will be the greatest love of my life. Jesus the Word made Flesh.

Focus in an Unfocused World

I truly want to write something for the New Year that will inspire and give people hope.  No matter what happens with Covid-19, vaccines and distribution of the vaccines, or who occupies the White House, I do believe hope and peace can exist in a world of turmoil.  I believe this because it is written in God’s Word.   But, what is the formula?

As much as I thought about it and as much as I prayed about it, only one thing kept coming to my mind.  But, there was a slight problem with what was coming to mind; it had already been written, and not by me.  It was written in 1922 by Helen Lemmel.  But, actually, someone had already written about it before she took her pen to the page.

Helen Lemmel was inspired by a gospel tract she had picked up that was written by Lilias Trotter, a missionary to Algeria.  In her missionary duties,  Miss Trotter was having great difficulty keeping her focus on Jesus.  She wrote the tract with the following encouragement, not only to give others advice, but also as a reminder to herself to follow her own advice.  “Turn full your soul’s vision to Jesus, and look and look at Him, and a strange dimness will come over all that is apart from Him…”

This wonderful tract birthed the song, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus,” with the lyrics, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”  This is true and it is a guaranteed formula for success.  You can be and will be successfully full of joy, peace, hope and light in a very dark world.

I once heard Miss Kathryn Kuhlman teach on 2 Corinthians 4:6.  I can still hear her today, as if it was just yesterday, reading, “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”  Then, she taught this most remarkable truth as she simply said, “The face of Jesus Christ is the Word of God.”

“Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face.”  All you need to do is open your Bible to read and receive everything you desire and more, as written on those wonderful pages.  His Word was spoken and written.  We need to allow the Holy Spirit to write His Word on our hearts daily and we need to speak His Word from our lips; and,  from the very depths of our soul, we need to love His Word.  Trust me, if you allow the Holy Spirit to do this work in you, the things of this world will grow strangely dim as you continue to LOOK UPON HIM.

His Life Matters

We constantly are hearing the shouts, “Black Lives Matter.” Then, another  shout pierces through the first shout, “All Lives Matter.” Then, another shout pierces through the second shout, “The Unborn Baby’s Life Matters.” Then,
another shout, and another pierce, and another, and another, and another.

Now, it is my turn. I haven’t taken to the streets yet, but that is not to my credit, but to my shame. I need to take to the streets and I need to begin to shout, to shout loud, and after that louder still, “His Life Matters,” and after that louder still, “HIS LIFE MATTERS!”

His life certainly mattered as He was born in a manger. His life mattered so much that an Angel announced it to country shepherds abiding in a field. Then, the Angel with the multitude of the heavenly host began to praise God, saying,
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.”

His life certainly mattered as He went about all the cities and villages teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the Kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.

His life mattered as He spoke with Nicodemus telling him, “You must be born again.”

His life mattered when He shed His Royal Blood upon the Cross of Calvary. That act of love matters to us all: all that have accepted Jesus as our Savior and now know God, not only as our Creator, but also as our Heavenly Father, and
have been reinstated in His Kingdom.

His life mattered when He came out of the tomb, walked the Emmaus Road, and Ascended to His Father.

His life mattered when He sent us the great promise of the Holy Spirit.

Now, I will ask you this one question, “Does His life matter to you?” If you answer “yes,” then please continue reading. If you answer “no,” then please stop reading.

Now, I will ask you a second question, “Are we going to be like William Dawes or Paul Revere?” If you are wondering who is William Dawes, you have already proven my point. Paul Revere and William Dawes both set out to warn the
colonies, “The British Are Coming.”

There was no difference in the urgent message and there was no difference in the length of the ride. Since there was no difference, then why were the people along Paul Revere’s route properly warned and prepared, and on William Dawes’s route, no one was properly warned, and no one was prepared?

Even though they were both fellow revolutionaries, the difference was in the man. The same message, two different men. Only one man was full of urgency, conviction, and passion. And, only one man has history remembered.
Who do you think that man was and who do you want to emulate?

We as Christians have a much greater urgent message to carry to this crazy, darkening world, and someone greater to emulate.

The British are no longer coming, but “JESUS IS COMING!”

That is our message and He wants His people to be properly warned and properly prepared. If His Life really does matter to you, you will be full of Love, which will produce Conviction, Urgency, Passion, and a Burden for lost souls. If His life really doesn’t matter to you, then you are a lukewarm soldier in the Service of our Lord.

It is my choice and it is your choice. I have made my choice, now please make yours. Perhaps, one day we will not only meet at BibleWalk, but we will also meet in the streets shouting, “His Life Does Matter and Jesus is Coming Soon!”

Home for the Holidays

We are rapidly  approaching our Holiday Season with the celebrations upon us of Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years Eve and New Year’s Day.  I honestly cannot think of a better way to celebrate then by keeping Jesus in the center of all our activities.

We are Thankful for Him and to Him. What is Christmas without Jesus?  And after the year we have all just lived through (2020), we all know how dependent we are upon Him for a Happy 2021.

We at BibleWalk want to help and we want you to come Home for the Holidays, come, see and experience the Nativity.  Beginning November 27th and ending December 31st we will be offering the Life of Christ tour Free with the purchase of another tour.  Due to the hardship the Corona Virus has placed upon many families we will also continue to honor our 10% discount on all admissions and children 10 and under will continue to tour Free.

**UPDATE**
Since Richland County has been downgraded from Purple to Red, we are pleased to extend our Home For The Holidays Special throughout the month of January. The Life of Christ tour is Free with purchase of an additional tour.   Jan and Feb we will be open Saturdays only from 11:00am until 4:00pm. If you have a group you would like to schedule during the week please call for special arrangements.  You may call with questions or to schedule a tour Mon – Fri 8:00am – 4:00pm and Sat 11:00am – 4:00pm.

Happy New Year

December 31, 2019
Happy New Year

Recently, I was watching the morning news. After the news commentator finished with the headlines, she simply looked into the camera and said, “Boy, I will be glad when this year is over.” And, everyone at the table eagerly agreed with her.

As I sat at the table drinking my morning coffee, I started to think back to this past New Year’s Eve. No matter where you were, at some point you wished someone, or perhaps even yourself, a Happy New Year. You not only wished it, you believed it, that it would be a better year than the year before. And, if you had big enough dreams and goals, perhaps it would be the best New Year of your life!

I do not need to describe to you what this year has brought, not only to America, but also to the world. As Happy New Year was being spoken around the world in different languages, no one could have anticipated the future we are living. In fact, if I had to describe it, I think at this time words would fail me.

We have had shut downs, loss of jobs, food shortages, isolation, social distancing, face coverings and death, all as a result of a pandemic. We have had chaos and violence in the streets, pulling down of historic and religious statues, and public burnings of the Bible, God’s Holy Word. And, we have had the devastation of tornadoes and hurricanes and watched as entire communities were being uprooted. You may want to accuse me at this time of painting a very grim picture, but that has been 2020. And, let us not forget the upcoming election.

Thinking back again, I remember the excitement and anticipation of coming into this new decade. The phrase, “2020 Perfect Vision for the Future,” was constantly being used.

We can’t control the future, but we can control our vision. We do it every day of our lives. I do it every morning. As soon as I wake up, I reach for my glasses. My glasses only come off when I am ready to put in my contacts. I have perfect vision because I, like so many other people, wear glasses and/or contacts specially prescribed for me. If anyone else would wear what gives me clear vision, it would probably give them blurred vision.

So it is today, we need perfect vision. We need perfect vision for the future—that can only be found as we look through the lens of God’s Holy Word; that can only be found as we look through the lens of the Bible, a lens perfectly prescribed for you. The ironic thing is that people throughout this nation are cursing and burning their only help, God’s Word.

What can God’s Word provide for you? Or better asked, who can God’s Word provide for you? The answer is Jesus. Jesus not only is the answer to the previously asked question, but He also is the answer to all questions. Remember, “Jesus is the Word made flesh.” His Word will not only give you perfect vision for the future, it will give you perfect vision for your future. His Word will also give you the strength, comfort and peace for whatever the future holds.

PLEASE DO NOT BURN THE BIBLE, BUT AS YOU READ THE BIBLE, ALLOW IT TO CREATE IN YOU A BURNING HEART FOR JESUS.

And, on this coming New Year’s Eve, you will know without a shadow of doubt, no matter what 2021 brings, it will be a Happy New Year.

Desperate Times

We all remember the statement, “Desperate Times require Desperate Measures.” This saying originated with the Greek physician Hippocrates.

The actual translation is, “For extreme diseases, extreme methods of cure, as to restriction, are most suitable.”

I am sure that we not only agree with this but are also seeing the reality of both of these statements today. But let me please add something or better said let me add someone.

“Desperate Times require a Desperate Love for Jesus and a Desperate Love for one another.”

This my dear friends will make the difference.

We Have an Abundance

I walk through the grocery stores looking at the shelves that once were full of what we thought of as the simple things of life.  Coolers that were once filled with
milk and orange juice are now empty.  Shelves that were once filled with paper towels, toilet paper, and cases of water are now empty.

I was reminded of something recently as I stood in front of the almost empty shelf space that was once full of bread. All that remained were three lonely loaves. I took one.  It was not a brand that I had ever purchased before, but in this case, I was most grateful for the find.

I was reminded of what God’s Word says in the Book of Amos, “The time is surely coming,” says the Lord, “when I will send a famine on the land—not a famine of bread or water but of hearing the Words of the Lord. People will stagger everywhere from sea to sea, searching for the Word of the Lord, running here and going there, but they will not find it.”

Please do not think for one minute that I am minimizing what has come upon this world. I am not, but we can look at it perhaps in a different way.

There is POWER in the Word of God. Jesus clearly tells us, “Heaven and earth shall pass away but my Word shall not pass away.” All things were created by His Word and His Word will endure all things. Once you put His Word inside of you, you too will endure all things. Not just endure,  but overcome triumphantly. Overcome all things. That is His guarantee.

Ask yourself right now, “How many Bibles do I own?” In this country there is no shortage of Bibles. In the past, I have even seen Bibles in garage and yard sales for as little as a dime or a nickel. I always buy them, only because I hate to see that price tag on the Bible. It puts out a silent message that His Word isn’t worth much.

I honestly do not think anyone in this life has ever clearly known the value of His Priceless Word. In my heart, His Word increases in value day by day. And, to be honest, according to what the day may hold, sometimes the value increases minute-by-minute.

Turn off the news, put down the newspaper, turn off your phone and pick up His Word; there are hope, peace and fulfilled promises that only His Word can create in your heart.

The wonderful thing is that in this country we are not lacking, we have an abundance of Bibles. Now, please read and trust His Word to show you how to live His abundant life.

Yes, it is true that even in hard times an abundant life is possible.

“With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”  Now, that is in His Word and you can take Him at His Word.

BibleWalk 2020 “We Give a Dam”

God’s Word clearly tell us, “When you pass through the waters, He will be with you; and through the rivers they shall not overflow you.”
His Word continues to tell us, “Surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto you.”

Today as we look around whether it be on the news, in our own neighborhood, work place, churches or even in the mirror; we see people drowning. They can be drowning in debt, sickness, despair, fear, loneliness, grief, guilt or unforgiveness, just to name a few. But there are many floods in this life that I haven’t named that are designed by your enemy to overtake you. This simply does not have to happen.

A dam is a barrier that stops or restricts the flow of water and an eventual flood.

At BibleWalk we not only care but through God’s Word you will be given the building blocks to build your own dam.

You do not have to drown in a flood. In fact Jesus came not only to give you life but to give you an abundant life. Please do not settle for anything less.

Again, in God’s Word Jesus is described as our Rock, our Fortress, our Deliverer, our God, our Strength, our Buckler, the Horn of our Salvation, and our High Tower. Now that is Someone who is able. JESUS is able to do anything needed. Whether it be the possible or the impossible, JESUS IS ABLE!

In my lifetime I have experienced both sides of the coin (so to speak). I have experienced the greatest of joys and the deepest of sorrows and grief. But I can tell you for a fact I have never drowned. It may have seemed like it from time to time, but it just never happened. God’s Word always kept me afloat and I am speaking from experience.

But don’t take my word for it. Please take His Word, receive His Unfailing Word.

I hope to see you at BibleWalk.

The King of Hearts

I do not know the value of a king of hearts in various card games, but I do know the value of The King of Hearts.

It was 48 years ago on a cold, snowy Friday afternoon when the King came into the heart of a very lonely, miserable, insecure, 17 year old little hippie girl.  The exact date was February 19, 1971.

That little Hippie girl was me and that is when I was born again. Then on Sunday, February 28th as the ice was cracked on the pond at Grace Haven Farm I was baptized. I can still remember both days and both experiences as if it were yesterday.

As I look back over the years I absolutely shudder wondering what my life would  have been like if Jesus would not have come into my heart at such a young age. Because I certainly remember the path that I was walking down and Jesus certainly does have the Ability and Power to change the crooked to straight. He  is the only one that does.

This Valentine’s Day please accept my invitation and come and visit BibleWalk, to walk through the King’s Word and to accept His never changing love. Please trust me, if He can do it for this little Hippie girl He can and will do it for you.

If you would like to hear more of my story, I would be more than happy to meet you and introduce you to the King. Just ask for Julie when you come to the front counter.

I look forward to meeting you.