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Mutual Encouragement in Christ XVI

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Question #1:  

Thanks Bob,

There's a quiet calm in your response that I needed to hear and feel. Not that long ago I felt that peace, calm and contentment as I felt myself slowly growing in the Word. I knew the direction of travel and even had new blessings from God. In a very small time I seem to have been thrown into mess, noise and chaos and I know our God is not the God of confusion and so this has the enemy all over it.

Of late I seemed to have become something of a spiritual firefighter, trying to put out the strange fire that others are giving and it has made me look like a running around headless chicken. My attempts at stamping out ___'s Catholicism has made her double down on her allegiance to Rome. My attempts at converting ___ has made him go from saying he is an agnostic to an atheist and my more recent attempts to convert a relation who is neck deep in conspiracy theory has just made him all the more gung ho about his confirmation bias. I have failed spectacularly and it has even robbed me of a great deal of the peace I had.

So this is what I am going to do: I am going to pick myself up, dust myself down and calmly and quietly carry on going along the narrow path. I will stick with my bible and my commentary books, read yours and Omo's sites and continue putting up my videos. I will calmly and quietly apply the Truth to my life and walk the walk. My walk will be a witness to my faith.

Whilst doing this I will help ___ to have a more stable life as a friend whilst praying for his salvation. I will also help my mum and dad round the house whilst praying for their salvation. I will quietly work on my own business and set about fulfilling the job offer I have been given. I will politely tell my relation that I contacted him to hopefully help him out of conspiracy theories not to get myself further mired in them. That I have the full truth now in Jesus Christ. I will also pray for him.

I have been arrogant about my evangelical abilities and now I have been humbled and it even took away a little part of my own faith in the process of trying to wrestle with others against their own. I learnt the lesson the hard way but I do know that I can trust God with all these things and I will and I do. Of myself and the times we live in, I am uncertain but in God I am very certain!

Amos 5:13
Therefore the prudent shall keep silence in that time; for it is an evil time.

Thank you for your prayers, kindnesses and fellowship.

In Jesus,

Response #1: 

What a wonderful email. If I could have written one for you, I couldn't have done a better job (except that I don't think you've been arrogant, merely loving, a little past the point of prudent self protection: Matt.7:6).

I am inspired by your spiritual courage, my friend.

I promise to keep you in prayer on all this, all the way to the end.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #2:  

Dear Teacher

I shouldn't still be giving you such work, Sir, but this year has been weird. Last year, I decided that I would start figuring out ministry proper and earning a living. But there's been quite a bit of confusion and distraction thrown in since then. I still feel acutely the loss of ___'s friendship.

Rereading things that are still fresh in my mind is very hard for me ordinarily, so rereading the Ichthys studies at the time was tricky. And I felt overwhelmed by everything too.


This has been long, but I wanted to tell you everything I have been feeling however I could manage to. Putting it in words has not been easy. I think the reason is that I felt that I should be past all this by now.

Okay, that's that for now, Sir.

Your student in Jesus Christ

Response #2: 

No worries about the files. I'm just very busy at the moment, so thanks in advance for your patience until I manage to get to them.

Speaking of busy, you DO have a lot of irons in the fire! Hard to be consistent with and make good forward progress on so many things at once. It's also true that while a good routine is conducive to getting things done, when one's routine is disrupted, it's easy to lose one's footing. Time and experience help us to get better about carving out a new and a good one when what we are used to gets undermined or even eliminated. But there are only so many hours in the day and only so much "gas in the tank". We fight this fight one day at a time. If we didn't organize and follow through with our efforts in a near perfect way yesterday, we shamelessly forget and determine to do better "today" – repeat as often as one has opportunity to do so.

In your case, "doing" is difficult to the extent that "planning" is still in train. If I knew what you should do about all this I would be happy to tell you (actually, I dislike giving advice, but really try to steer clear when "the solution" is not mine to see). I do think that focusing is good – once you know what to focus on. And of course on top of this we have the present unpleasantness making it very difficult for you to know just when or how you're going to be able to advance your plan exactly. Sounds to me as if you are doing a good job of trying to cover all the bases. No doubt you can get better at it, but it's a trap to start beating yourself up about past imperfections of application. How are you doing TODAY? If you're not on it, get on it. But don't let the fact that you weren't on it yesterday stop you from being effective today; and don't let what might or might not happen tomorrow upset you either. In this regard at least, we have to have the conscience of a robber, so to speak, not caring about yesterday and being unconcerned about consequences – of doing good, however, rather than evil.

Plenty of people out there are ready to give advice. But they are not "you" – and "you" are the one who is responsible to the Lord for what you do and don't do.

As to our friend, it does grieve me that the two of you have fallen out. As I have mentioned, the two of us are not on very sound footing at the moment either. I think our friend has confused his personal interpretation of the truth and also his personal application of it with "the truth" in all too many instances. We all do that to some extent; but that can be deadly if we are unwilling to allow that others may have a different view and a different experience. In any case, I certainly haven't lost hope about reconciliation, but I'm not seeing or feeling that yet.

Final thoughts: Don't do too much comparing of yourself with others. You are different, your experience is different, your specific gifts and starting points are different – and God's particular purpose for you is different. I'm sure I shared with you about considering taking up plumbing when I made a similar mistake of comparing what I thought I could do with what my mentor and pastor-teacher was doing. But God worked out what He had for me . . . which was different from the model I so admired. Also, please don't let the perfect become the enemy of the good. You did only 70% of what you might have done yesterday? OK, so you can do better. But the absolute WRONG thing to do is to get all depressed about being at 70%, get into a funk, and start doing 10% or less as a result. Getting full of yourself for doing 70% and not trying to stretch it a bit is also a mistake. Best practice: don't even bother to evaluate yourself at all except for asking "what am I doing RIGHT NOW". That is all we actually have. That is where the fight is fought, in the here and now and no place else.

Know that you are in my prayers daily, my friend. I am confident that the Lord will make clear to you the right way to proceed in all things, and bring about the purpose He has always had for you.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #3:  

Dear Teacher

Your email was a real tonic. It was a really big help. It still surprises me (although it certainly shouldn't) that you can say something to break me out of a spiritually difficult place. I really deeply appreciate that, Sir. Thank you, Sir.

I am grateful that I don't have to compare myself to others. I believe that you once posted a similar response on the email postings. I drew similar encouragement from it. I am convinced that the Lord has a perfect plan that puts everyone right where they need to be (although we certainly make the choices that we make). I will keep trying to make each day as productive as I can.

How is your knee doing today, Sir?

Your student in Jesus Christ

Response #3: 

We are all different in many ways, even though we are all part of the perfect Body of Christ. I do admit to longing for the day when we are all standing together in New Jerusalem, the perfect Bride adoring our Master in perfect unity forever, singing His praises as one.

Knee – at this moment – is not feeling too bad, but it really is ten steps forward and nine steps back. I'm trying to lay off of it, but life goes on (including of course my job).

"I will keep trying to make each day as productive as I can." That's the spirit! That is the best any of us can do.

I'll be keeping you and your families in my daily prayers.

In our blessed Savior.

Bob L.

Question #4:  

Hey Bob,

I was just looking through my notes and I found something that I wrote down to focus myself when I was struggling.

No need to be ANGRY : God's judgement will be perfect.
No need to COVET: God will always provide and with abundance. Our treasure is free of moths, dust and rust.
No need to be LONELY: God will never leave us or forsake us.
No need to be AFRAID: Jesus told us not to be afraid and God has said many times to fear not.
No need to WORRY: God is working it all out for good.
No need to LOSE FAITH: Jesus said "It is finished".
No need to be OVERWHELMED BY THE WORLD: God created the world and Jesus overcame it.
No need to GET LOST IN THE TROUBLES OF THE DAY: For tomorrow Jesus will bring His kingdom and we will be a part of his flock.

Count it all for joy as that is all there is left for us, to feel joy and thanksgiving as we have no need for anger, covetousness, loneliness, fear, worry, loss of faith, being overwhelmed or lost.
So go forth and love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbour as yourself.’

Your friend in Jesus,

Response #4: 

Good stuff!

It's always nice to see a believer using the truth of the Bible to confront the attacks of the evil one – which is exactly what we are supposed to be doing.  Lots about this in BB 6A and also SR 4.

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
James 4:7 KJV

In Jesus.

Bob L.

Question #5:  

Dear Teacher

Just writing to check in. This week's email posting was a reality check (as it often tends to be). Thank you, Sir, for always sharing these things.

At the moment, things appear to have improved in the family. [omitted]

I make some progress everyday with my programming studies and with math, but it isn't nearly enough progress. Things appear to finally be going back to normal, so the matric exam is very likely going to hold on schedule, which means that I have to double down on my work on preparation. Then also, the December deadline that I set for myself with respect to programming is just three months away, but I haven't made sufficient progress to believe that I will meet it, after all. I'm getting somewhere with Greek, but it is still too much of a long way off for my liking.

In all this, the Lord has been way kinder to me than I deserve. I wouldn't be so accommodating to me, if I was Him, but for that I am thankful that I am not and couldn't possibly be Him. I'm just grateful to have any net progress at all, however chaotic and agonizing and difficult-to-retain it has been.

It was good to read of what I believe to be our friends' progress toward getting a house in Texas. I have been praying for them and their family here. Still haven't heard back from them, but I'm sure there's a lot going on for them right now. How is everyone there?

Your student in Jesus Christ

Response #5: 

Before I forget, I'm reminded of my shortcomings (Gen.41:9): as you probably saw in the most recent posting, our friend is always asking me to tell you how grateful he is for you and for your help (don't think I've done that enough).

Great to hear that things are improving and that there is some growing peace in the family situation, my friend! I'm also very happy to hear that your plans and your approach to reaching your objectives is solidifying. I can't speak to programming (except to say that in regard to what little I've learned of mark-up, things are constantly changing), but as to Greek, no one ever feels that they are making enough progress fast enough – Greek will keep you humble. I think focusing on the most important task at hand so as to be able to get on with your university career is not a bad idea at all!

We're all doing fine here, and thanks so much for your prayers! I expect we'll know if everything went well for our friend and her family sometime this week – I'll make a mental note to let you know if I hear anything. I'm also (finally) having lunch with my former colleague this week (some restaurants finally opening up in a normal way).

I do hear you on the way the Lord comports Himself towards us. I think we are ALL so very grateful that things haven't gone as bad for us as they certainly might have, absent His abundant grace.

The LORD is merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.
He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.
He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor punished us according to our iniquities.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;
As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
As a father pities his children,
So the LORD pities those who fear Him.
Psalm 103:8-13 NKJV


In our merciful Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #6:  

Hi Dr.

I pray you all well as well as your family, work and ministry. Prayers for you are continuous from me day to day.

I need prayer for my son. I found out that he is "coming out". I understand all sins are deplorable to the Lord but this one is a tough one for us. He didn't come out and tell us. We just happened to find out through __ who happened to read his journal.

So prayers that first and foremost that he finds the Lord and get saved and secondarily this spirit leaves him. This is a difficult sin but the Blood covers all sin.

Thank you and God bless you

Response #6: 

I'm terribly sorry to hear this, my friend. I will say that there are many good Christians who have similar trouble, namely, family members near and dear who become involved in this and other related things in our present crazy world.

Let me also affirm that this is a behavior to which some people are tempted more than others. The fact that some of us are tempted not at all by that particular sin does not mean that others are not, whether a little or a lot. But it is the devil's lie to suggest to people "this is who you are". No. You chose what you do. The fact that someone is tempted does not mean that they have to like . . . or respond to it.

In our culture at the moment this is more of a problem because the justification of it and similar behaviors and even now the glorification of them has unquestionably resulted in them becoming much more prevalent and led many more people into them than would otherwise be the case. Even someone who is, say, only 10% tempted to this or some of the other related list of trending abnormal lifestyles is more vulnerable to being drawn into this net under present circumstances. This was the case in the ancient world as well, so it is historically verifiable that the involvement in this type of activity is even more cultural than it is "unchangeably biological".

I will certainly be praying for your son and you and your entire family.

As you say, no sin cannot be forgiven for those who belong to Christ and ask for forgiveness – but being tempted into sin is not a sin; rather it is an indication that we need to take extra care in fighting off things that particularly tempt us individually.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior for whom nothing is impossible.

Bob L.

Question #7:  

Dear Teacher

I'm very grateful to the Lord to be useful to you in any way at all.

I hope that the police have stayed up to task with the protesters and troublemakers.

In a conversation with my Mom today, she mentioned how I may not be able to appreciate just how much my dad meant to my older brother (her first son). She had four children in an earlier marriage and my dad took her and her children (they were all toddlers at the time) in when he married her. (It's a pretty annoying story about the mistreatment she received at the hands of her first husband's relatives and his negligence in protecting her and their little ones from them.) She told me by way of illustration that my brother told his biological dad that if he had been the one who raised him, he wouldn't have turned out as well as he actually did. I've been thinking about that, and I realized that what she might have been trying to point out to me is that I was raised by the man who had the responsibility to raise me, and so I might not understand what it means to be raised by a man who had no obligation to raise me and who still went on to do an excellent job of it.

I think that I understand her and she is certainly right on some level, but it called to mind the fact that I was raised spiritually and am still being supported in many significant ways by a man who should not have had to do all this work, if human beings only did as they should do and raise their children in the "training and instruction of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4, where, incidentally, this job is clearly spelt out to belong to the fathers). I certainly don't take lightly the provision of physical nourishment, clothing, and shelter (not to mention education and emotional support) that my parents made for me all these years. I still think of them as a blessing for the most part although they certainly were never particularly enthused by my attitude to learning to know the Lord. I think that if I never had to measure by spiritual standards, I had two of some of the best parents that this world has to offer (taking into account that they were not by any means wealthy by the time I was born). The main difficulty in my relationship with them from childhood until now has been my almost total disinterest and possible disregard for the normal material ambitions that everyone has and my preference for the Bible and what it teaches. I was headstrong (still am) and an emotionally difficult child to raise or handle (still am), but I also tried hard to make people happy because I was well aware of my own natural arrogance and how the Bible teaches that we should prefer others to ourselves. So, I think that I'm right when I say that our difficulties largely resulted from our differing attitudes and appreciations of what the Bible says.

To be taken in by you, cared for, taught, encouraged, endured, and prayed for by you, is more than I thought was even available to wish for in the matter of spiritual tutelage. I realize that if my brother could feel such a reverent respect and love for a man who took him in as a child although he wasn't his and raised him to the level that he did and made him able to stand on his own feet and make his way in the world, I have far more reason to feel the same way toward you. For some reason, I have always felt more like family with those that I share spiritual affinities with, and few enough times I have had to "raise my guard" to such people before I came to Ichthys, but I am at peace and unthreatened and have been since the Lord brought me here. You didn't have to do for me any of the things that you have done, but you did it anyway, certainly because you love the Lord and therefore love His children too, but that is all the reason I have ever needed for anyone to do anything at all for me. I'm grateful, very grateful to the Lord for you.

When I think of your example, the work that you've put into preparing yourself for ministry (especially from the perspective of trying to prepare as well and seeing just how hard it is to do all the work involved in preparation), the sacrifice that you've made in careers, the incredible work you must do to keep up with all the communications that you must be receiving nightly, the sheer size and depth of the studies that you have written to feed the Lord's children, I'm both inspired and afraid. While I led prayers this morning, I thought about what I want to write for ministry and experience tells me that writing or somehow teaching a systematic theology seems to be non-negotiable for believers, yet, what can I write to bring out the full teaching of the Bible on anything at all? Yes, I remember you've told me that it is unwise to compare ourselves to others with far more experience than us, but I really wish I could do as well as you have. Today, I taught my mom and her cousin the significance of John's much weeping in Rev 5:4, and it came home to me too just how strongly he felt about the conclusion of this war of the Lord's to take back his universe. I have since then been recalling

21 For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus.
(NKJV) Philippians 2:21

Every time I read how Paul gave nearly 100%, I just get a little sick of my own self. John understood that whereas the Lord has never been short of generous and faithful to us, He is the One Who was, for want of a better way to put it, "driven from His Home" by a wayward, rebellious child of His who is destroying everything that God cares for. The revelation of Jesus Christ certainly does us every bit of good, but it commences the return of the King to His Kingdom, of the Father to His Own Household, of God to the Creation that He made and loves. He doesn't let us suffer unduly just because of the treatment that the work of His Hands have subjected Him to, but I tend to forget that this whole war was declared and has been unceasingly and unrelentingly been waged against Him, for nothing wrong that He ever did to anyone, no less. John's strong feelings about the conclusion of this war so that the embattled but righteous King can return home to "his own things" told me that I am right about myself. I'll grant that I have suffered a few inconveniences and that I am still in the midst of inconveniences, but there is no true comparison between what I have endured or am enduring and what the Lord has had to endure from His Creation all this time. And knowing this, sometimes I still want to ignore it and just take a break and have some fun. I know that I should not feel guilty about needing a break every now and then, but the thing that constitutes fun is sometimes joining the persecution of the same Person I have just spoken of.

I used to ask the Lord (it was a very frequent complaint growing up) why He didn't make me an angel so that I never sinned against Him (when I didn't know that the angels had to make their own choice) or an animal that didn't have to make a choice about my behavior. I was frustrated with my seeming inability to do the right thing when I wanted to do it. I don't feel that frustrated anymore. I haven't for some time now, since I have been studying under Ichthys, but I still feel disappointed with myself. We can all do better, but I think that I've been significantly more blessed than probably any other believer I have met. I have a grasp of the Scriptures and the teachings that I have learned on Ichthys that seems stronger than any other that I have come across, so I should be far better at walking in the things that I have learned, but I'm sure that I'm underperforming significantly.

I'm happy for every crumb of progress. Whenever I realize that I have come some way, I'm thrilled, but compared to what I have seen and what's possible, it feels like I would be fortunate to get away with one crown at all. The Lord deserves everything. That statement feels like a cliche. It feels like saying that the sun shines. It's unnecessary to say it at all, and yet it seems an easy thing to disregard or forget in the midst of daily pursuits.

You say essentially that the right thing to do is to just keep putting one foot in front of the other everyday. I know. I tend to prefer doing one big thing once that finishes everything; a little at a time feels like not moving at all. Still I know that that is really the only way things work. Even with speed reading, you're limited by how much your eyes can take in at once. I get this intellectually, and I try to live by it everyday, but I wish I could do better. I wish that I could do all the things I want to do everyday and end up a few months down the line at the point that I want to be. It just feels like I never get to the finish, personally. I want to be just like you, Paul, and John, and certainly Moses. But I feel like the man who ends up marveling at the genius of chess grandmasters and enjoying the beauty and power of their games although he could never play quite so well.

On another note, I have been debating compiling an old discussion that I had in 2018 over the nature of the Scriptures with a Roman Catholic and an atheist/agnostic and sending to you. I think that I made too many errors and reversals there for it to be a public posting (although I would love very much to know what you think when you read it), so I have been reluctant to do it since I left the conversation. I do want any thoughts you may have on it though, so I might go on and compile it and send to you. I delayed this email because of that debate. I thought that since you're working on bibliology now [note: BB7 is posted at the link], it might be useful to send it to you now, but as I browsed through it again, I felt hesitant again.

Did you have your meet with your colleague yet? How are they doing? Any news from the our friends yet?

Your student in Jesus Christ

Response #7: 

I haven't heard from our friend since they were about to close on the house in Texas. I'm curious too, but I thought it better to wait for news (since they are either very busy or very disappointed). I did have lunch with my colleague the other day, and I'm afraid the news is not so good. Her one son fell off the wagon and is in rehab, and her other son is still bitterly alienated for no reason I can understand. She is also having back problems – not to mention becoming "stir crazy" from the Covid isolation like many of the rest of us. So prayers are in order (thanks for jogging my memory).

You gave me a good chuckle! "I want to be just like you, Paul, and John, and certainly Moses." Pretty august company you put me in – would that! Reminds me of an old joke: "Mozart is dead, Beethoven is dead, and I myself am feeling poorly as well".

It's right and good for us all to aspire to the three crowns and a good report commensurate with a bountiful inheritance at the judgment seat of Christ (Heb.11:6). And it is also salutary for us all to remember that Paul (number one in your trio) had this to say about that:

But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God.
1st Corinthians 4:3-5 NKJV

And . . .

Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Philippians 3:8-11 NKJV

And we also know that "the man Moses was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth" (Num.12:3 NKJV).

We're talking about ACTUAL humility here too, not affected humility. Paul and Moses (and John I would say too) got to the point of actually understanding something about just how "big" what God has done for us is, and just how "small" we really are in comparison. That does take spiritual growth. The image of God inhabiting a body infested by the sin nature is a recipe for arrogance as the natural default setting.

Truly the hearts of the sons of men are full of evil; madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead.
Ecclesiastes 9:3b NKJV

Imagining oneself equal to God – or greater (as the devil and his followers angelic and human always come to do) is the epitome of insanity. Truly, if the vast majority of human beings can't be swayed by the prospect of the most terrifying thing in the world – their own death – then madness has come full circle, always having at its core an unwillingness to bend their will to the Will of God. We all started out there. Spiritual growth is in many ways a slow march back towards sanity. That is essentially what godliness is, namely, seeing things as God sees them. If all of a sudden we were given to see things exactly as God sees them, no doubt we would instantly expire out of shock, terror and despair – at least as far as a correct analysis of the world and ourselves is concerned. But blessedly there is the other side of that: seeing the mercy and the goodness and the grace and the healing and the love of God. Hallelujah for the cross of Jesus Christ!

So, yes, I'm going to repeat myself. It's the essence of all decent teaching, after all. I was somewhat fascinated with mountain climbing when I was much younger, though I never got around to any "technical climbing". One main reason for that is that I'm not particularly fond of heights (to say the least). But even in an ascent where ropes and such are not necessary, there's still only one way up: one small step at a time. You can't just instantly jump to the top like characters do in cartoon movies . . . and wouldn't it take all of the fun out of it if you could? It would certainly remove the challenge. Spiritual growth is a challenge – and so is the fulfillment of the plan that God has for our lives. It's often difficult. We seldom attack it as aggressively as we should at the least (let alone as much as we could at the most). But it can be fun. What is more fun than pleasing the One we love more than life itself, doing what He would have us to do, fighting in a conflict that doesn't just have temporal consequences and earthly glory but heavenly and eternal ones? We all lose that perspective from time to time. In fact, we all need to make the effort to capture then recapture that "high ground" whenever it slips away from us. You are known to the Lord personally. Your name is written in the heavenly records, and the angels are watching you to see how you fulfill the potential it's been written that you will fulfill. I hope that is true of myself as well, but I can tell you that any angels watching me when I was young, "when I was your age" (as old people are wont to say), would have hung their heads in despair and disbelief. But just because we are down now does not mean we cannot get back up and get back into the fight. And just because we may be feeling the load now and not be satisfied with the way we've been handling it up to now does not mean we can't get more serious about what really counts in this life and in this world . . . right now.

You're dealing with a lot and you have a lot of irons in the fire. Under such circumstances, distractions are inevitable. So you have to take extra measures to embrace the joy of being a godly warrior in this fight. We marvel at the list of David's "mighty men" and their accomplishments, recorded in the Word of God forever. But spiritual accomplishments and exploits in the real war that is being invisibly waged are not only much more important but will receive their due reward and recognition forever. There are only two things we need: to recognize and remember that principle – which had a lot to do with us ever getting serious about this fight in the first place – and then to act on it.

Could you do better? I could do better. We all could do better. Fight the fight.

Thanks for your really touching and encouraging testimony, my friend! I appreciate your good words more than you can know. Let me tell you, you are a very great encouragement to me. For all the more reason then, keep fighting the fight.

I'd be happy to look over whatever you've written any time, my friend (editing takes me a little longer to get to).

Your mother is VERY blessed to have a good and dutiful son like you. Believe me, there are others who don't have it so good (like my colleague).

Everyone's fine here – keeping you and your family in my prayers daily.

In Jesus Christ our God and our King.

Bob L.

Question #8:  

Dear Professor

I always look forward to your weekly postings. I hope you are doing well in your somewhat complicated situation in the north. On a light note, I see the undeserved reputation buses have gained as a cause of death (why aren’t trucks, or more accurately cars so implicated?).

And yes, the Lord is able to provide a teacher for His people and all glory belongs to Him, though realising all that would still not avert the grief we all would feel, should ...
I haven’t seen anything else that comes close to what He has provided at Ichthys and we are all very grateful for the blessing of your Ministry. All us “offshoots” have been instructed and encouraged by you. Again all glory to God for His gracious gifts to His children.

Last night I attended my first Bible fellowship/lesson meeting in a couple of months. Our teacher gave a lesson from Mark 13 on the signs to look for now that it is “at the doors”. Naturally, I made some points, especially to hammer home the falsity of the pre-trib rapture theory, and to remind that the Tribulation is 7 years once it starts. He said all the materials are ready for the temple construction which can completed very rapidly. Finally he announced that they will be moving to the city in about 4 weeks, that he would give the next lesson on Revelation 12 and 13, and then the following one would be up to me and then another man in our small group. We were surprised/shocked and one wife was moved to tears. The teacher’s wife is one of the most smiley friendly faces I have ever seen - even when she is tired and in pain. She works at the nursing home and will be sorely missed there as well.

I was “surprised” hearing myself say that I was lazy and that was one reason why I was happy not to be teaching. However the crunch is coming and we need to continue in the faith. Some (more) of my reluctance comes from feeling unworthy of teaching (even in a small group) because of our family situation.

My daughter, son-in-law and kids were here for a few days. He said they have a Chaplin at their school now (first one in 3 years), a woman from Victoria. They now have assemblies with prayer, hymns, and scriptures. Being an Anglican school, so they should, he says. While I was alone with him we did talk about the gospel (my daughter hasn’t wanted to go near there for years so had this while they were out). He keeps saying what if it doesn’t happen? Be believing before it does. Weather is cold to cool so they have given till the 14th to burn off, so doing that too - had one of the four bonfires so far with them.


In some of the above there are sensitive issues and some avoiding strategies need to be employed (oh that life was less complicated/beyond our control).

That’s my messy update condensed and very limited (for your sake).

Keeping you and yours in my prayers.

Your student

Response #8: 

Thanks for keeping up!

I should have more consideration for the bus drivers in my flock before I say such things (sorry). Of course you know that this is just my way of expressing the possibility of the unexpected event. Buses are pretty big, fairly slow and relatively easy to avoid. And yet . . .

For what it's worth, I think this is an EXCELLENT opportunity for you, my friend! You have a great deal to offer, and I wouldn't let the fact that you're not perfect in your own estimation stop you from doing what the Lord is wanting you to do. If I had taken the same position – which I easily might have done – I would never have launched this ministry in the first place. Instead, I brazenly and shamelessly pressed forward. Anyone with a godly, humble attitude should indeed be circumspect about taking the Word of God upon his lips. But even that can be pushed too far.

Then Moses said to the LORD, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” So the LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the LORD? Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.” But he said, “O my Lord, please send by the hand of whomever else You may send.” So the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses,
Exodus 4:11-14a NKJV

Thanks for the update on the family et al., my friend. Pretty much all of us face similar issues with those we love. You do have a good dose of it. They are all blessed to have you.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #9:  

[report on a charismatic church omitted]

I also just put together that, in asking us to be on fire, He is asking us to be (genuinely) emotional (and that doesn't exclude any thinking). So again I have allowed the culture to trick me into treating God not so well. Sigh. The people doing this certainly have emotion and I have found when they try to get us to do this, they won't put forward their alternative because it is always either emotion based with no logic, or the logic is tenuous at best even on its own. Who would want to try a sand castle next to the water to a brilliant shimmering ages long real castle?

Response #9: 

From our long correspondence I would adjudge that you are properly and genuinely zealous (a better word) for Jesus Christ. God is not impressed by ginned up displays of emotion, people waving their hands in the air and jumping up and down. He knows what is really in the heart of each person.

In Jesus.

Bob L.

Question #10:  

I am a bit frustrated because of my job. They don't treat their good employees well and seem to expect them to know more and do better than themselves (management). Under all of our lower employee job descriptions should be "soothing upper employees' ego' and playing secretary even for other departments because they force us and then take criticism for doing so (asking why we don't have our own work done). I am actually not opposed to secretary work, it is just when they say one thing and then get mad you did it. And then praise you one year (verbally, so there is no written record) and then when it is convenient say your work is always bad and their mistakes are actually yours. And get mad you didn't read their minds over what they wanted, though they change their minds day to day anyway, so that is a bit moot. And pile more on when you are already doing extra, and complain. Goodness they are awful.

I am a would-be great employee, but have kind of been curtailed by management for years. So I have given up on that. I will be average to slightly above average. And pour myself into my real job: prayer, Bible reading and study, and Greek. I am almost getting a good routine on all of them.


Response #10: 

Knowing you for some time, I am sure that you are doing a good job "as unto the Lord" (Col.3:17). It is typical of positive believers to always feel that they are "inadequate" when in fact they are being honorable and well above average in their secular work. It is not incumbent upon us to "live the job" the way some do. The Lord is more than capable of blessing us in any job beyond what even we ourselves feel we may deserve, even while those who are ruining themselves to get ahead don't do much better – because God is with us and not them. And never forget that any organization is blessed by the Lord through the believers therein – most especially if they are positive believers pushing towards spiritual maturity and beyond. So once again, spiritual growth is "job one".

As to your other question/comment, I am not good at being a doormat, and in my life I have "sounded off" and taken other actions in situations such as you describe, sometimes seeming right to myself even later on consideration, sometimes later feeling that "discretion" would have been "the better part of valor". The main thing is to remember that this life is all about Jesus Christ, not about us. He is well aware of all we are enduring – and the plan of God decreed it all before creation began, along with our deliverance. So the main thing is to understand that the Lord is with us – so no one can stand against us if we are doing what is good and right in His sight. One of my favorite passages on that:

Wait on the LORD,
And keep His way,
And He shall exalt you to inherit the land;
When the wicked are cut off, you shall see it.
I have seen the wicked in great power,
And spreading himself like a native green tree.
Yet he passed away, and behold, he was no more;
Indeed I sought him, but he could not be found.
Mark the blameless man, and observe the upright;
For the future of that man is peace.
But the transgressors shall be destroyed together;
The future of the wicked shall be cut off.
Psalm 37:34-38 NKJV

In Jesus our dear Savior and Deliverer.

Bob L.

Question #11:  

Hey Dr. Luginbill,

How are you? I hope you're doing well and that this year is being kind to you. I know a lot of people have been having a rough time with the lock downs, including me. Will you please pray and make a mighty intercession for me? Please pray that I would receive a mighty miracle and deliverance like in the bible. And I'll join you alongside in prayer. My grandmother also tells me that she prays for me and all of her grandkids nightly. So my hope is that with the three of us gathered together in prayer, God will be in the midst and hear and take pity and move powerfully in my life. Thank you so much for always being there for me and encouraging me in the Lord.

An update on my daughter. She just turned two months on the 15th. Could you please pray to God that he would bless me with many years to be with and love, care for, and grow my daughter in his teaching.

Thank you so much,

Response #11: 

I'm very happy to hear that things are going so well for you.

It seems to me that the Lord is already walking side by side with you – and there is nothing better than that (the still small voice of the Spirit is better than the most amazing portents: 1Ki.19:11-12).

I have indeed been keeping you and her in my prayers, and will continue to do so.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #12:  

Dr. Luginbill

I wanted to thank you for the over abundance of work you have done for us here at ichthys. I am constantly in awe of the volume of information contained here. You certainly honor the Lord and have been doing so for many years. I was surprised to hear that you have 10,000 visitors a week. How many emails do you receive each week? I just don't know how you are so good at managing your time.

My family or 4 of us anyway, have still been meeting weekly on Sundays to do "church" and you are still serving us all as pastor/teacher. We did have to a few changes but seem to have a groove now. Instead of the Satanic Rebellion we are doing Christology and now I just added the Peter series which we are using the MP3 files to listen straight through instead of really breaking it apart slowly like we are doing with Christology. It adds to the time but also gives a break. It was so interesting today that just as we studied under the name of Christ we did "Rock" then listened to Peter lesson 2 and it was even deeper on the same subject. I just smiled, thanking Jesus for bring things together in His way.

My 20 yr old daughter is lost but says she is seeking God. Not many weeks ago she told me she didn't need Jesus to get to heaven. More recently she is saying that there are other religions and mine may not be the right one. I believe she is most interested in the Hindu type but seems to me to be worshiping a god that is not God. Praying and meditating to what though? Seeking her higher power. I still try to bring her to reality but she doesn't like my negative talk....but you and I know its not negative but The Way. If you have anything or can send me somewhere reputable that could explain to me and to her why the other religions are not the truth. I was trying to listen to some of Ravi Zacharias videos but quickly knew that was not the thing I need. In fact there is nothing out there I have found that is good. I'm getting less tolerant of these online faces and also I'm quicker to see there errors thanks to you!

In Him who is The Way, The Truth and The Ligh

Response #12: 

You're so welcome as always, my friend. But please don't be overly impressed by the numbers. On the one hand, thousands upon thousands of people actually attend and give their money and their all to all manner of dubious churches around this land every week; and on the other hand, as I said in context, the vast majority of those who "bump into Ichthys" click out nearly immediately – so it doesn't do them any good whatsoever. [note: Ichthys' internet traffic has dropped over 50% since the pandemic]

On your "church services", I'm thrilled to hear it!

On your daughter, I think we all have similar experiences with at least some of our children or other family members. It's not unusual for them to "go off to a far country" like the prodigal son, and need to find out the hard way that there isn't anything of value on the other side of "fool hill" (as my maternal grandfather used to say). How to handle it? That is not easy to say, but one thing I do know is that this usually isn't a question of "information" or "presentation"; this is usually about a young person trying to make his/her own way in the world, and a part of that always seems to be differentiating themselves from "us". The bad things they embrace to do that (and the good things they temporarily abandon too), always gives us fits – but for them that is the "icing on the cake", it often seems.

As to books, one doesn't have to read far into the Bible, the New Testament in particular, and the gospel of John most especially, to see that the Bible leaves no doubt about Jesus Christ being the ONLY way to salvation. Even unbelievers who read John would have to admit that – it's just that they don't accept what is said as true. That is between them and the Spirit – and the Spirit always makes the actual truth clear to them in their heart of hearts, regardless of what they tell others.

My best advice is to keep the lines of communication open in a loving way, while at the same time never failing to make your own position clear: Jesus is the only Savior, and that is clearly what the Bible teaches.

I have said a prayer for your daughter and I do promise to keep her along with you and your family on my list.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #13:  

Dear Robert,

It's been a while since I've written, but, I've still been visiting your site and reading all the latest emails. I've got all the same scenarios in my life, so nothing new to report. I've been over-indulging in reading the news and sometimes I wonder why. It's like I can't, not, read it and it's somewhat troublesome and yet, the need to 'look' is overwhelming.

I know it's said that the Tribulation will be like 'honey' in my mouth, but 'bitter' in my belly and it's true. At first, it was a bit frightening, but, I could feel the Lord calming me to remember that all that is happening is His will. I also have to remind myself of His promises of love and care during these times and then I am relieved. It isn't like it is frightening in that it is happening or that His Word is very, plainly revealing His truth, or that I am frightened of that which is happening, no, it's not that type of fear, but one of the short time and if I'm still in His good graces...will Jesus say to me that He knows me and welcomes me into the wedding supper.

Why? You may ask, should I feel this way after so much time loving and knowing Him and it is because of a sin I have not given up. I smoke cigarettes and even more so in these lockdowns and no work. And, it's not like I've not ever quit to some degree before going back to it. I've felt His push to quit all while I've felt Him refine and prune all other worldly desires from me and wonder why He leaves me with this one thing that I hate doing and will not just take it away too. He's brought me to the point of not wanting to be in this world at all...not suicide by any means, but a sick feeling in my whole being about all that I see around me; to the point of almost not being able to see His beauty that still remains, however, hard I try to find it...I always do though, seemingly, just before I feel to ask Him to just take me from this world. After all of this I then feel bad because I still have no purpose in my life and pray for Him to bring me to one. I know He will and I know I want to do whatever He asks, but doubt myself if I cannot even just quit smoking.

Of all the things I've felt Him remove from me, love of music, movies, work, cooking, all small things, but things that brought me joy...they do not any longer. Even friends and family have diminished a strong part of my life. I know it is necessary to be refined of these worldly things and it doesn't bother me, in hindsight, and realizing what He's been doing, but, I ask Him, why leave me with this one thing that is still so strong. I don't want to smoke and I know I could leave it so easily and yet, I won't and it is bothering me. It's like I know I'm going to and each day I wake up and light up knowing it is killing me...and then I'm like, I just don't care anymore. And, this is the problem because I am to be living for Jesus, doing His work and forgetting myself and spreading the Gospel. These are things I want so badly and yet, each day is seemingly, not the day.

I've felt like the Jews in the wilderness going around the same mountain and it's now year 34 and that I am not going to make it to the promised land. I feel like I'm wasting each day away. I've come to the point of not caring about my household chores, my own health, working or anything else. I do the bare necessities of feeding my husband, my cat or vicariously living through the life my daughter lives. I have no joy, no fellow Christian family, no church (still) no one who thinks or feels like I do. No one wants to hear the things I see going on that bares the brewing and birth pains of the times to come...no one. I feel so alone, so wasted and barren. I believe my clicking on familiar news commentators or youtube channels gives me some feeling of others who believe as I do and that seems pretty pathetic that they should calm my loneliness.

I've prayed and prayed for God to help me stop smoking if it is the thing keeping me from His will, for His blessings are still with my family and I, He still takes good care of us through these trying times and I feel Him and talk to Him often. I could never 'not' know Him, love Him or feel Him, it's just this waiting and feelings of guilt and like I'm no where near where I should be or doing what He wants of me. All this 'knowledge' of current events matching up with what I've learned from your teachings seems moot and draining and sits only within me, as the apathy all around me is almost toxic.

Every job I've applied for has never called or I've gone for interviews, but never hired and then I think that God just doesn't want me to work now and has granted us with money to hold us over in spades, so I sit and wait.

There are lots of details here and there in my life that I could go into that could give clue to what's going on, but, it would be so tedious to write you of them it seems unnecessary to the ultimate worry of Jesus Christ, only and that I want Him, to be deeper into Him and to just be in love and walking with Him and yet...He seems so far at times.

I already know the scriptures you will send me and tell me that most Christians may be going through the same thing, yada, yada, yada. This doesn't mean I don't appreciate any words you may have for me, but, like opening the Bible, feeling like I already know what I will read makes me feel even more alone, useless and wretched. So disgusting to feel this way about you and especially my Lord and His Word.

I hate not caring about anything any longer, but, accept it and wait for my Lord, but, the guilt of waiting and not doing anything is strong upon me. I honestly do not know what to do accept the same routine I do every day which is read the news and do some daily chores and waiting to see if the Lord wakes me up for another day and feeling like I'm so, sadly, letting Him down.

Response #13: 

Great to hear from you, my friend! I have been keeping you in my prayers daily. I'm sorry to hear, however, that you are having some issues.

Let me say first that while smoking is clearly harmful to one's health (as a great many other things are too), I don't find any biblical basis for calling it sinful per se. Now if a person is convicted that is something he/she shouldn't be doing, well . . . they should, and God will help if we trust Him to do so (as with dieting and exercise and consistency in Bible study and so many other challenges we face).

This world really is a rotten place and pretty depressing at that. But we believers have a right to lift our perspective up above what's right in front of us and focus instead on all the wonders and glories to come. Imagine the best place you've ever been in your life and the best possible circumstances in that place. Even if you could snap your fingers and bring that situation about, it would still be only temporary – while the New Jerusalem is eternal. And the most "humble abode" and "humble situation" in our coming city will be better to an infinite degree and more pleasing to an infinite degree than that "best place" we can imagine down here.

It's not uncommon for believers to get their perspective knocked out of whack. The devil's entire world system, all of his minions, and our sin natures all collaborate to do just that. But we have a right to rise above that noise and churn and look instead unto our dear Lord Jesus (Heb.12:2), thinking instead of the things above (Col.3:1-4).

As I and most of my correspondents in this ministry can confirm, the present recent Covid unpleasantness is making our holding of the perspective more difficult. But it really is good practice. Once the Tribulation begins, it's not as if it's going to be easier to do that.

If we take pains to engage with the peace that is ours as children of God and part of the Bride of Christ, we find in giving ourselves over to what the Lord wants us to do in communing with Him at all times and in opening our hearts to all of His truth that the joy will come.

If you are doing that, you are NOT letting Him down (and He doesn't require that you give up everything – like cooking, etc. – to honor Him).

In Jesus Christ who is our all and our everything.

Bob L.
[note: our friend did give up smoking successfully and did land a job – but please keep praying for her]

Question #14:  

Dear Professor

Today I met the 3 young men who were in the crashed car. Indonesians on backpack working visas. 2 Muslims, the driver is the ‘sticker’ (slaughters the lambs at the local abattoir for Muslim consumption). 1 a Christian sharing house with them and working at grain handling facilities. We sorted everything out and organised the tow truck which has just picked up the car for the crusher. They all got off with cuts and scratches. The roof was not completely flattened and he tells me they were going just 60 kph when power steering failed. A friend is going to help me fix the fence tomorrow after work.

Finally got to explaining to them about the interesting times we are coming in for and rather than being defensive they said I should come around for dinner sometime and sample their excellent Indonesian cooking. I did mention about Abraham as I know Muslims and Christians believe we are blessed through Abraham, which I explained rather poorly, meant that through the Abrahamic promise God made we are actually all blessed through our Savior Jesus Christ. I did a quick talk on the signs of the Tribulation (you never know if this will be your only chance) and the dangers of believing in the false signs and miracles. It was after I had spoken for some length that they extended the invitation, so I am always hoping for their favorable response to the Spirit of Truth.

Thank you for your encouragement in the truth. I certainly appreciate your help and good work and words, when sometimes it might be tempting to judge rather than offer hope. Your following the Spirit in all things is a constant blessing to us all.

Your latest installment, Bible Basics 7, is another help and blessing for all who partake freely of God’s good gifts to us. We certainly need all that God offers us, and pray we can pass the tests that always come our way.

Through Him only, Jesus Christ, who makes all things possible.

Your student

Response #14: 

I'll say a prayer for your success in this witnessing effort – this particular "nut" is a tough one to crack, but the Holy Spirit can do anything.

Your friend in Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #15:  


I have a question. I’ve been studying Daniel and see how much he was a young man of conviction and uncompromising. I’ve lived a life of compromise and impurity growing up and even as an adult. Is it too late for me to be pure in heart so that I can see God more clearly? I’ve been working on this for years. I’m now 59.

[email #2] I’m sorry about yesterday. I was at a low point after reading about Daniels impeccable life to the Lord. I’ve never turned my back in the Lord but failed Him many times. After reading further that the road to success is paved with failure.

I’m not giving up.

Thank you,

Response #15: 

Good for you, my friend!

That is the correct attitude – and the one we all need to have for continued spiritual growth. If the Lord only accepted perfect people, none of us would be acceptable. If the Lord never forgave those who failed, we would all be doomed – including Abraham, David, Moses and Elijah . . . and probably Daniel as well (even if we are not privy to whatever stumbling he may have done; he was human, after all).

(13) Brethren, I do not consider that I have already acquired it. This one thing only [do I keep in mind]. Forgetting what lies behind me [on the course] and straining towards the [course] ahead, (14) I continue to drive straight for the tape, towards the prize to which God has called us from the beginning [of our race] in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13-14

Keep running your good race day by day!

In Jesus our merciful Savior.

Bob L.

Question #16:  

Dear Teacher-

Knowing how busy you are, I was so touched that you replied to my first email within the same day, it was all I could do to keep from replying right back! All the better, as I can now also share the joy of your completion of the Bible Basics series. After an initial “quick” reading of Bibliology, I can say it was worth the short wait for this student, and I look forward to rolling up my sleeves and really digging into it!

As I read it, I was again filled with gratitude for having been brought to your teaching ministry, and I realized that the illumination your teaching provides was what led me to ponder that question of when I was first saved. Without getting too wordy, I can only say that I clearly recognized the Spirit in your studies, and after just a short time, my personal reading benefitted beyond what I had encountered in your studies. It was as though the mere exposure to good teaching unlocked the Word to me in a way that I was blessed to recognize was leading to true spiritual growth. In utter amazement, I wondered that I was actually His before!

Of course, it’s a marathon and not a sprint, but God seems to have set me up to find your studies just when I would be most ready and able to be edified by them. Thank you so much for answering and being so faithful to your call to this ministry!

In our Dear Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Who is faithful to provide just what we need when we need it!

Your student,

Response #16: 

It's my pleasure!

And thanks to you for your encouragement and even more especially for you enthusiasm for the Word of God. It really does make a difference, doesn't it? Not necessarily in ways the world can see and perceive . . . immediately. But WE see it – and it causes us to see the world in a whole different way, a godly way. And God most assuredly sees that too.

So keep persevering in the Marathon, my friend! There are medals of gold on the other end.

Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the LORD,
The Creator of the ends of the earth,
Neither faints nor is weary.
His understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,
But those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:28-31 NKJV

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #17:  

Good morning, Bob.

I just want to wish you and your family a blessed day. Also, Thank you for heeding the promptings of the Holy Spirit and building this beautiful website/ministry. I am sure that you helped our Lord build up some of His saints for His (Christ) kingdom.

You certainly are helping a loved one of mine, (Thank you, once again). Please pray for me and my children, I am praying for you.

I wish you safety and may God's hand be on you always, now and in the times to come.

We are strong in the Lord,

Response #17: 

Thanks for your encouraging words!

I have put your new email address on my pray-through list.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #18:  

Hey Dr. Luginbill,

The procedure went very well, thank God. It didn't hurt nearly as much as I expected it to. The doctor said all my numbers are perfectly normal. He says my heart is fine. He does think I may have sleep apnea and wants me to follow up with a sleep study. I'm very thankful and grateful to God. My primary care doctor is pretty confident that I have asthma. She's helping me find the right long-acting inhaler to treat me. Hopefully we find one that works well. Thank you so much for praying for me and my daughter.

Thank you,

Response #18: 

I'm sorry you had to go through this procedure to find out that nothing much ails you – but it's blessed news nonetheless!

No doubt you are under a good deal of stress too now in this lock down as most of us are – even those of us who are not caring for a newborn alone. So try to get some rest, and remember that the Lord has it all in hand.

Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.
Psalm 55:22 NIV

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #19:  

Hi Doctor,

Been a bit since we communicated; I’m glad you’re still at it. Things have been interesting. Since my friend and I split things have improved dramatically. Don’t remember if I had my current position when we last spoke, but I’ve been working an ATT wireless position almost exactly a year now and it’s gotten better and better. So much so that we now have a new house (though very simple/reasonable in design and “affordable” for us) it’s fits everyone nicely and I can afford it even though it’s still fairly pricey. Our lot is just under an acre and includes a few nice sledding hills for the kids. They’re all well too, we (He) added another girl 5 months ago, so we’re up to 5 total. We’ll see if there’s more coming, but at least we have a home we don’t have to worry about leaving or having costs raised on us.


I’m certain a huge portion of this is from our God answering your prayers and we can’t be more thankful.

I’ll get that to that read of BB 7 ASAP. I still pray you’re doing well. Hopefully not too much protester nonsense at your work.

Response #19: 

Great to hear back from you, my friend! I'm very happy to learn that the job continues to go well (I have been keeping that in prayer). Good to hear too that you all have a solid place to live. There are a number of Ichthys readers who are presently betwixt and between; the Covid mess isn't helping there either.

I'm also happy to hear that your health is improving in this regard – I have been praying for that too, but I am sure that I am NOT the only one. Heard back from our friend but he didn't share many details. Hope you're still keeping up with him.

Things are quiet in Louisville . . . at the moment. Guess we'll have to wait and see what the next few weeks has in store.

And congrats on your growing family!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #20:  

Hi Bob,

How are you? I hope all is well. I would like to introduce myself. I was formally a very devout Catholic so I have been on quite the journey as my son encourages me to read the Bible for myself which I did not do much up until now. I cannot but keep wondering in amazement how I believed I knew our lord Jesus Christ well enough by praying the rosary, going to mass, and confession and never reading the bible. The hours and hours I spent praying to Mary and the Saints when I could have been reading and conversing directly to our Lord makes me wonder how I survived. However, I am blessed to be growing in the true faith of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Once more, I thank you for your valuable website and bible study material you share with all who happen to be lucky enough to stumble upon it on the internet.

In Christ,

Response #20: 

Thank you for your encouraging testimony! Breaking free from any false system is never easy. Please don't fret yourself over wasted time in the past. I rejoice with you that you are FREE now and moving forward with Jesus Christ! We all have "back stories". As our Lord said . . .

"But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.' For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance."
Matthew 9:13 NKJV

And such were we all in one way or another – only the specifics are different.

And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
1st Corinthians 6:11 NKJV

But now we are indeed "justified by faith", made righteous in God's eyes – the only Person whose opinion counts – by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ in whom we have put our faith for life eternal.

I am keeping you in my daily prayers.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.



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