Tuesday, March 05, 2013

One day at school

Tuesday March 5th  blog

4:30 am  - Rise in the morning to prepare for the day, as I have been doing all year.  The early morning start gives me a chance to have solitude not only for morning prayer but also a chance to sort my thoughts for teaching today.  Compartmentalizing the duties of the day are of utmost importance, since so many new variables have come my way in the form of counseling and after-hours mentoring.

6:00 am - On the way to school after a good 30 minute run on the treadmill.  The doctor visit is set on Thursday and ever since he warned me of my family's history of diabetes, I have been in a regimen not only of avoiding any processed sugar and eating salads, but also a daily running routine.

8 am - Sociology class:  we covered the cultural of local speech and finished a project on dialectical differences around the USA.  We then had a very serious study on the Suicide Forest tucked next to Mt. Fuji in Japan.  What causes so many young people to migrate to this forest and hang themselves?  What type of counseling could a Christian offer to give hope to these disillusioned and hurting young folk?  One student told me how this study has been reaching deep inside her.

9 am - Talked with the students in Bible 10 about the need to have a college-prep approach to all of our studies. Was well met.  The teens of the second period continually impress me with their deepening desire to ask and ask.  Romans 7 talk on sin, Romans 8 on eternal security.

Impromptu after-school counseling took me near 4:30 but it was a powerful time in seeing a student take serious steps toward returning to church and a powerful Christian walk, including a regular Bible reading.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

As we move into March...

It has been an eventful February, to say the least.  The Winterim Theology Camp in January was perhaps the most enjoyable and fulfilling camp I have experienced in years.  The campers were almost obsessed with asking questions and studying the Scriptures about the New Heaven and New earth... wow, th whole week was almost transcendent to any camp I have had the privilege of organizing.  A second camp - a weekend retreat, really - is already being set up and the reservations are filling up fast. 

Now for February.  The contests have been heated, and the projects have been plenty. Sociology Class has been finishing up a report about polling and surveys.  We have also had debates, where I play the atheist.  We have studied cults and mob hysteria.  The students of the second period Bible class (Epsilon Delta) that I teach has been amazing in their desire to learn and mature.  We are now into the New Testament Survey (currently in Acts) and have been adding a new Koine Greek word to their vocabulary every other day.  This class won't slow down!  They have picked up comprehension, and so have their grades.

This is not to say that their contemporaries haven't followed their lead.  The past week had student speeches as part of the learning process.  The third hour (Omega Rho) also stunned me with the quality of their speeches.  In the past I would have complaints about the challenge of standing up and giving a presentation, but that has quickly faded - the attitude is positive.  Three students in a row - L., L, and T. all were exceptional.
This week we will survey the book of Romans and add demonstration speeches as well.  The students will show me how to make a sandwich.
I have been using the Zockoll University website as a source for the students' in-class notes and reading, and the class enjoys the fun of the fictional college, hoping that I may have sneaked their name in a time or two.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Theology Camp: Heaven

This coming week is our Theology Camp, and the theme is Heaven.  And when I say theme, I mean the whole drive, the whole approach, the whole study, the whole discussion time, the whole intensity will be on the afterlife of the Christian.

We're not going into the false views nor are we going into a study on Hell. We are talking about where Christians will be a thousand, a million, a trillion years from now.  I believe that my generation has been shortchanged in learning about Heaven and the coming New Earth.  Just as Satan wants, the average Christian doesn't say much about what heaven is like because he has been taught almost nothing about it.  Revelation 13 states that Satan is achieving one of his objectives, and that is of blaspheming God's dwelling place.

This coming week will seek to change that in the hearts of 17 students.  Please pray for us as we venture into some of the most exciting territory I've ever studied.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve 2012

I think what I like best about the Christmas celebration of the birth of Jesus is that it reminds me that I am loved.

And this takes me a while to digest every time I think about it.

I am plain-looking at best.  I have overgrown front teeth.  A rapidly receding hairline.  My legs are short and stumpy.  So are my fingers.  I've wrestled with a weight problem virtually all my life.  Yet I am loved. 

I have few talents to speak of.  I forget things constantly.  My work desk is a mess.  My organizational skills are weak.  I get impatient when i should be calm.  I get frustrated with myself on a daily basis.  Yet I am loved.

I have disappointed people, some deeply.  I have said stupid, stupid things.  I have fallen short of goals many times in my life.  I deeply regret idiotic decisions I have made when people depended on me.  Yet I am loved.

I am a boring person.  I wear black every day to work.  My pants are almost always wrinkled and my shoes are falling apart.  I am anything but fashion-conscious.  Yet I am loved.

I grow old.  I have two teeth missing in my mouth, and my eyesight slips every year.  I battle depression due to a thyroid ailment.  My sinuses are a constant problem.  Insomnia hits me weekly.  I am not specimen of physical prowess.  Yet I am loved. 

God sees right through me, warts and all.  He knows my weaknesses and yet He not only accepts me, He cares for me.  He sent His Son to die for me and He wants me to join Him in a forever relationship.  This is something that constantly amazes me.  His ways astound me.I celebrate that.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Break 2012

It's Christmas break and I finally have time to rid myself of the last vestiges of this flu and put away the schoolwork so that I can have time to reflect and rest.  And, boy, do I need this rest.  The week-long virus has hung on and battled the household - Nicholas came to visit and picked it up, taking it back with him to Johnson City - and cold weather has been chilling the shopping experience as we tool around town.  I won't bore you with details.

What I do want to say is this is the break where I get to be with my closest friends:  my family and my God. 

In both cases, I get a chance to control time rather than letting time control me.  I can sit and converse, play, listen, reflect and enjoy.  Really enjoy.

There have been numerous distractions during this past year.  Now is the time to let it all fade away and concentrate on my loves.

Romans 1:4 says that Jesus was declared to be the Son of God ... that word "declared" is horizo.  It means "boundary" or "limit" and it's where we get the English word "horizon".  Paul is saying:  "I show you Jesus Christ, and here are His boundaries... He's God!" Sort of blows away the fences, doesn't it?   Paul is saying "Do you want me to tell you the limitations of this man Jesus?  That's like trying to tell you the limits of God, since He is God.  There are no limits!  He is omniscient, omnipresent, omni-present..."

This is the Jesus I want to enjoy this holiday.  I want a vacation into the Secret Place of the Most High.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Rallying around Anna

One of our students, Anna Hamilton, has been diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma, and is currently at home under treatment.  This is a great concern for the student body as a whole, and a number of people - teachers and students alike - have gone into intense prayer as well as  having stepped up to raise money in assisting with the many expenses that proper medical care can cost.    One group is holding a small festival.  Some teachers are taking bids to let someone shave their heads.  I've decided to once again put on hiking boots and take a 50-mile walk while taking donations for Anna and her family.  I will be making the trek on Monday October 22nd here on the school grounds.  I am asking for pennies - a penny per mile - so that the half-dollars here and there can help the Hamilton family with expenses such a gas and food money while taking treatments.  So far the coins have been coming in steadily - in two days we have around forty dollars.  I have time - I'm going to get more aggressive in raising the amount.  I'd like to aim for at least three hundred dollars in funds for the family so they can handle transportation expenses and maybe a few McDonald's meals. 

This was a week of debates and the students held up well.  The topic was the deity of Christ, and they have learned that using the Bible as a resource for citing the doctrines of the divinity of Jesus is paramount.  The presentation was in a standard round by round construction, and there were a few stumbles around the way (I am trying to get them to stop beginning speeches with "okay," for one thing).  Overall, though, by the second day the teams were up to the task.  Today we will cover the teaching about Heaven.  It will be fun to see how they do. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Next step: speeches

As of this week at Grace Christian Academy, I have added a "little extra" to our Bible teaching.  We have been studying a variety of subjects such as Islam and non-Biblical sources attesting to the life of Jesus, but our greatest thrust right now is on the doctrine of Jesus.  However, the method of teaching has changed for this week and part of the next:  the students will be teaching me.  Yes, it is time for them to learn a bit about speech. This will occur on and off throughout the rest of the year.

Our first speeches were 15 seconds long - the students spoke about Hebrews 4, Luke 4, the humanity of Christ, or key words such as "doctrine" or "deity."  Then immediately we will be moving into Jesus' plan of salvation, and each student will have part of a series of Powerpoint slides in order to tell me about a vital part of the Scriptural teaching of salvation in Jesus Christ.  These speeches will be twenty seconds long.

I find it vital for young people to be able to clarify and enunciate properly the clear plan of salvation; sadly, not enough teens know how to do this.  My current methodology is to not only teach the Bible truths but also instruct each student the proper way to stand in front of a group and share God's Word.

I'm not very popular right now for taking this course of action, but I feel it is a needful part of every Christian's life.  Learning how to speak clearly is a necessary talent for the Believer.  The students might complain a bit but they'll be able to use this training for the rest of their lives.

On another note, the students are learning the first chapter of John in Koine Greek, and the excitement and interest level has been very strong. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The awakening

Shock to my system!  S has awakened and is one of the most dynamic members of his class.  I am not sure what spark lit him - either the movement of God or the threat of his parents or a teen-mid-life-crisis - but the effect is heartening to us all.  He is active in class Bible reading and in Konie Greek translation.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Realization

We have been, as a class, watching the growing anti-American sentiment throughout the Middle East.  The attacks on the Embassy, fueled in part by the YouTube video containing statements considered slanderous to Islam prophet Mohammed, have led to a change of my teaching direction last week.  We did an intensive look at Islam, studying the various approaches toward the Quran and the way Islamic followers interpret the writings.  Numerous students have asked questions about the way we engage conversations with Muslims, along with questions about the violence that erupts among the extremist camps.

P is puzzled by the fundamentalist Muslim approach.  "How do they win followers, then?" J is intrigued by the hajj - the once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage as part of the five pillars of faith.  "are those all people in that picture of Mecca?"

"It sure is, " I answered.  "... heading towards the ka'aba, to walk around it."

"So many people in one place," she whispered.  "Really amazing."

And yet the unrest also has made the students aware of the realization of knowing the Scripture and how the Jehovah God is love, a concept puzzling to many Muslims.  They have also become aware of the reality of possible persecution in their lifetime, because of their faith in Jesus Christ.


We talk about the doctrine of Christ, and the intriguing part will be in 1 Peter, whenever we discuss when Jesus went to the gates of the prison after His crucifixion, preaching.  This will be fun to teach, because of the unequivocal victory He exclaims to the demons of the underworld.  I love to teach it!


"The thing I like about class so much," said J," is that we get to ask you a question and you take time to answer it, or at least try."

Yes, I try.  And I hope I am getting the answers the students need.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Open Line Friday

I'm back facing that familiar double-edged sword that many teachers encounter at this time of year: one blade is intense excitement over the progress made in these early stages, and the other is a flat-out fatigue.

For those of you who might not be aware of the Teacher September-Syndrome, it hits many of us and stays until our bodies can adapt to the pattern (and at my age it gets a bit longer each year).  The adrenaline rush of teaching and the gung-ho schedule drive a teacher to such a weary state that the face-in-the-dinner-plate position is not unfamiliar to members of said teacher's family.

Ah, but the rewards in the classroom!  P has gone from a flat-out 'F' to a fighting' 'C', and I see him grasping the concepts of the Godhead and the truths of the Bible.  L has learned to take his eyes off himself and work as a team and I see him taking notes that are actually legible...he's trying.

Then there is M, who is a step short of stunned by the Bible.  It's not an emotional excitement I see, but a sit-up-straight electrified intensity at most every word on the PowerPoint.  She is locked in on the target.  

Friday was Q & A time - I call it Open Line Friday, where I take questions from the students.  Queries ranged from the subject of angels to questions of how would a person get saved if he never heard the Gospel.  The questions were all intense.  So was the listening.

More to write later, but let me just say that this group of classes has a great potential.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

The month's winner: Pi Kappa

Pi Kappa won the month of August, and so they win a free test credit (100 points to their grade) and an in-class party.  They earn points through numerous ways, but the most significant is the end-of-class game each day.  The day's lecture notes are used as quiz questions,  along with some pretty off-the-wall trivia questions.  The students may use strategy and wit, because some questions include betting their current points or even getting revenge on another team by taking points away.  Zeta Chi had a significant lead going into the final week of August, but couldn't hold off the onrush of teams wanting that top prize.  Beta Gamma actually tied Pi Kappa, but revenge points from two other teams pulled them into second place.  The competition gets pretty fierce. 
We all go back to zero and start the September run.  Epsilon Delta looks good in these early stages, but Omega Rho seems to be sneaking up on them...

Monday, September 03, 2012

Guzik on John 1:4

In him was life, and that life was the light of men.

John 1:4 is a breath-taking description of Jesus, titled "the Word.". Bible scholar David Guzik gives powerful insight to this verse:
In Him was life: The Word is the source of all life. The ancient Greek word translated life is zoe, which means "the life principle," not bios, which is mere biological life. This life is the light of men, speaking of spiritual light as well as natural light. It isn’t that the Word "contains" life and light; He is life and light.
Therefore, without Jesus, we are dead and in darkness. We are lost. Significantly, man has an inborn fear towards both death and darkness.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Labor Day weekend

The three day weekend is promising to be as humid as the summer months; in fact, Jill announced that the weather report called for a full week of high temperatures and high humidity, broken only by one or two small rains.

Our studies in the classroom involve the doctrines of God among other things.  This has brought up numerous strong points of discussion, mainly in the names of God which describe His character.

Yahweh Maccadesham - "God who cleanses."
Yahweh Shalom - "God of peace."
Yahweh Raah - "God the Shepherd."

... many more that give our students the fact that God names Himself the mighty attributes that we can rely upon.

R came to me and told me of an atheist that is baiting her family over the internet.  She wasn't so much scared or intimidated as she was determined.  Determined to know the Scripture well enough to take on the attacks.

M is having a turn for the better, it seems.  At first he was the prime example of self-centered ness, but I see a crack in the granite.  His attitude is getting better and his interest in the deeper things of the Word seems to be coming along.

B is going gung-ho to go to the Theology Camp.  So is J.  They both have stopped me in the halls to see what else they must do to qualify.

N wants to go mainly because his family is comprised mostly of unbelievers and he wants to get answers for himself as well as have places in the Bible for references for their queries.  I have noticed in class that he is ready with an answer, or a question, for that matter.  Mark it down - this young man will be going with us to the Camp.

Pi Kappa won this month's competition among the class teams.  They get an automatic 100 on the September test and a party as well.  They have earned it.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

My heart as a teacher

3 John 1:4
"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. "

I would say the same about my students. 

I remember the time that one class went above and beyond in grasping the truth in our study about salvation and the doctrine of God, calling the answer back to me in amazing fashion.  From all over the room I was getting rapid-fire answers about what we had researched, and there was excitement in their voices. They had not only locked it in their hearts, they were ready to use it.  They were enthusiastic and energetic about the Bible.

I actually started crying in class. 

It was a great, great moment.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The desire for God's Word

Several students have approached me and insisted that I take their application to the Theology Camp seriously.  This is what puts joy in my Bible mission work here at the school.  When I query them as to why this wish to attend, each one of them said they wanted the Q & A time that will allow them to get answers to the Bible that they've wanted to ask for so long.  One young lady even said, "When you mentioned that we'd sit in front of a fireplace and have a question time about the Bible each evening - no matter how long the question time would be, we'd get answers - well, that's when I looked at a friend next to me and said 'this is what we've been waiting for.'  I sense a real hunger for learning God's Word.

We're studying a number of different subjects this week, including the doctrine of God (specifically the proof of His existence) and the reality of Hell.  There are also some lessons on cults as well as looking at some more Koine Greek words from John chapter 1.

A former student of mine stopped by the house last night, in much need of encouragement and help in his impending career and ministry.  We spent some hours together, talking about the necessary steps he needs to take in order to make available the doors God is opening to him. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Weekend thoughts

I am planning a Theology Camp for this January during the school's two week Winterim break.  I will only take a dozen students to an intensive four days of Koine Greek, Bible Q & A and Leadership training.  The Lord has made it possible for a generous family to allow us access to a cabin near Ft. Loudon Lake, thus saving a monstrous expense in cabin fees.  The Lord is clearly showing that He is guiding in this camp.  I had originally planned for a trip to England but it totally fell flat.  Shows God's leading.

The classroom personalities are coming out now, and it is encouraging to see what is developing.  Oh, of course you'll want to me to express an opinion on the problems - yes, L still panics if he doesn't get the room attention (which he doesn't, especially with the team cooperation) and he still sniffles like a child at times, but he's learning that maturing is the only way to make life tolerable in this class.  And there is J, a girl who touches on the idea of grabbing attention by trying to blurt out trivial questions, but - even above my correction - the class soon let her know that they wouldn't stand for it.

Here's what I am seeing:  T, a girl who was purported to be a self-centered girl last year, is opening up and sharing our daily Bible instruction at her dinner table.  She has expressed an almost-manic desire to go to the Theology Camp.  Another student, J, has settled in and is quickly becoming a spot-on leader in his class.  He is picking up the nuances of apologetics, greek and the doctrines.

I have been debating the classes in Bible, playing the part of the agnostic.  The prophecies - Psalm 22, Micah 5:2 and Psalm 4:20 have come into play quite strong as of late.  I have been also training them with excerpts from CS Lewis Mere Christianity.  The progress has been steady.  It is encouraging.

I also played a bit part in science professor Jason Cobb's comedy series concerning Science truths. I haven't seen the final cut, but I am told I held up well.  I really don't hear the siren call of Hollywood, however. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Chapel today

The theme of the very first chapel today is "Transformed." Romans 5 was where the key Scripture, especially 5:12' "therefore just as sin entered into the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned..." among many other Scriptures. In fact, the opening singing was prefaced by the reading of the scripture in this passage.   As I listened to Matt Mercer, the school chaplain,  I was heartened by the fact that our school chapels are intricately intertwined with the Word of God.  John 14:6, Romans 5:1, Romans 5:21, Ephesians 2:8... Passages pertinent to the message that sin closes us off but faith in Christ is the pathway to Heaven.   Lord, spare us from onstage entertainers and anecdote-only chats.  Give us all - teachers and students alike - the true, slam-into-the-soul Word directly from You through Your speakers.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The personalities come out

Today's work was more challenging.  Q is a student with very little interest in the things of the Bible; she's not rebellious, just overly casual to the Scriptural part of the lesson.  It's a shame.  I can see a dullness flicker over her face when it comes time to open our Bibles.  I pray she gets an energy from on high - perhaps she needs salvation.  I'll keep an eye on her as we get deeper into the year's study.

There were a few groans in being quizzed on the Koine Greek alphabet (the second set of letters).  It helps me see the Maginot Line set as far as education: one group attacks every challenge with vigor, another  mulls over the benefits of doing so and responds  if it feels like it is in their favor, and still a third resists.

I let the class know that this is the way it must be.  "I'm not here to be your friend, " I told one class.  " but I'm here to prepare you on the 2 Timothy 2:2 principle.  I am teaching you to be teachers to others, and you then continue the line of Scriptural teaching as you lead them in the ways to instruct others in the Word.  None of this is going to be easy, but it is amazingly important. " Their reception is good, especially one young man, K, who took it as an exciting challenge.  "Let's do it, then," he said.

Well said.
 Let's grow up and do it, students.

Prophecies in the classroom

We're now into Tuesday of the school week and I have a few minutes before we take a lunch break.  I have just finished loading the quiz grades and so far it looks like the class has adjusted to the pace of college-prep note-taking in its early forms.  We are moving at a brisk pace on the Powerpoint and the reception seems to be determined - I have heard virtually no complaints as I go into the next gear in the study.  We talked today about the prophecies of the Bible , from Psalm 22's Messianic truths played out in the Gospels (specifially verses 1, 16 and 18) to the stunning realization that Christ fulfilled Psalm 34:20 even in His physical death:  "...none of His bones will be broken." 

I actually heard some gasps as we revealed the prophecies.  That is what makes this teaching so exciting - the honest and open excitement about Scriptural discoveries. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Starting the second week: August 20

I'm sitting at my desk at the end of school, relaxing and mulling over the day's ministry.  The inital shock of our very first quiz is now officially over, and the students get the idea of the pattern of testing I'll use.

Of special interest is the video we watched of the Stanley Milgram experiment.  This 1961 event was created at Yale to answer the lingering question of why seemingly very calm german people of the previous generation were so cruwl and sadistic when under nazi rule.  Is it plausible to accept the fact that they were "just under orders?"  The ensuing experiment tested whether people would administer pain when simply (under no duress) told to do so.  The results are stunning.  You can view the link here:


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Week one reflections

The first week of school is under our belt.  This group of students are, for the most part, ready and able to take on the studies at hand.  Each class is designated as a literary society, from Beta Gamma to Omega Rho, and the questions on the study of Heaven have been increasing.  I am happily exhausted and encouraged by the seriousness and yet energetic attitude of the sophomores.

There are exceptions, of course.  Of special note is one particular student whom I was told is a "self appointed class clown.". How frustrating was his first day whenever he realized the class was intent on serious Bible study and building teamwork within the classroom.  His "look at me" efforts went for naught.  I pray the Lord continues to take away his pride and shows him how to aim his energies in a more positive light.

Our initial study was in Christology but I am moving toward Ouranology (the study of Heaven) for the first full week.  We will then blend the doctrine of Christ into this as we move on.  We have also started the initial stages of Koine Greek including transliteration and the alphabet, along with learning a few words such as kai ("and"), kainos ("new"), ouranos ("heaven"), and theos ("God").  

Lots of questions about our subject material.  Lots of questions about Heaven.  Good note-taking.  Leadership within the rooms is already taking shape.  One football player is showing a genuine, almost manic intrigue with the study of the New Earth.

Right now it is the weekend and I am immobile from a severe boil that has run rampant on my thigh.  It is so massive that I can hardly walk.  I am applying medication and hopefully will see it reduce enough for me to make it to school on Monday.

μειζοτέραν τούτων οὐκ ἔχω χαρὰν, ἵνα ἀκούω τὰ ἐμὰ τέκνα ἐν ἀληθείᾳ περιπατοῦντα. 

"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in the truth." - 3 John 1:4

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Today was the first day of school for the 2012-201 year at Grace Christian Academy in Knoxville, Tennessee.  We had the students in short introductory sessions of thirty minutes apiece.  Already I am enthusiastic for the next day of school to come.  There are so many truths in the Bible to glean, and so little time!

I hold this portion of Scripture up as my personal teacher's verse for the school year:

1 Thess. 2:4  - "...we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts." 

This verse gives the spirit of my passion to teach.  I am not here to be the students' "buddy," nor am I desiring to win a Teacher of the Year award (the very idea of it is repugnant to all of my values as a   Christian teacher). I am here to teach the pure and powerful Gospel so that these young people may find Christ as never before - for some, salvation - and then be teachers of the very same explosive and powerful Word.  My only desire is to please God as I serve Him in the classroom each day.

Monday, July 16, 2012

The summer's work and the heart's desire

Jill, Julie and I will be flying out to Salinas CA for my work in a youth camp in the central part of the state during July. This is the highlight of my summer. To be truthful, the rest from school was much needed for all of us, and the break has provided us with a time of physical and spiritual refreshment. But now, to the mission work ahead. It is amazing to see the power of God work in lives, especially those of teens... I get excited because it is not I, but Christ that works within me... Really, in all of our Zockoll "ministry team." Jill's caring and quiet spirit ministers to many a person, and Julianne's enthusiasm for Jesus is contagious. Each day I am reminded of how little I can humanly do, but that as I lean upon the power and direction of the unseen Christ in prayerful reliance, we all can walk away from any event and see that God has indeed been at work. Last week a student wrote me and let me know that he had used notes from Bible class to successfully defend against attacks on his faith. Man, that was an uplifting time as I saw that once again, God's Word will not return void. Less of me, more of Him. That's my prayer for these next weeks and this coming year, and yes, the rest of my earthly life.

Thursday, June 28, 2012


The death of my brother Bruce this past January was, to say the least, a deep shock to all of us in the family.   He was not yet 57 years of age.  The one great assurance I have is that Bruce was a Believer in Christ. In deep reflection in knowing that he has taken the step ahead of us and gone into glory, I spent - and still do spend - copious amounts of time studying the truths of Heaven as we find in the Bible.  A few that have brought great comfort to me are:

Rev. 21:4 -  there is no more pain in Heaven;
Luke 13: 29 - It'll be a grand festival of many, many folk who want to fellowship, and, well, party.   "And they shall come from the East and from the West, and from the North and from the South, and sit down in the kingdom of God."
Rev. 21:4  - sorrow is over as well.  "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying..."
2 Corinthians 4:17 - It'll be forever... no end of the great times!   "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."
Revelation 21:27  - There will be no sin in Heaven.  "And there shall in no way enter into it any thing that defiles..."

It's very hard to consider that while here on Earth I will not see Bruce again, I have a growing peace about meeting him in the home of God - a place of rest, comfort, and festivals.  That fits right in with how Bruce would want it. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

This, my friends is what it is all about. A man gives his shoes to a homeless person in Rio De Janeiro.  This is compassion and it is beyond words for me.  This touches my heart in a way few pictures can.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Reflections on 2011 Part 1

It has been a wonderful year, and it's also been quite a while since I entered anything in my blog. I'm writing this with a little over an hour until the new year of 2012 comes our way, and I wanted to take time to reflect on the many good things that have happened this year to the Zockoll family here in Tennessee:

My wife Jill has been growing stronger - bit by bit - and getting help to be able to overcome her fibro myalgia. We have applied for Social Security benefits and still await an answer. Meanwhile, she has made the homestead an enjoyable and Godly one. Jill is homeschooling Julianne part of the week (Julianne goes to Rivers Edge Academy, which is a home-school co-operative academy that only meets three days a week.)

Peter has accepted the Lord as His Savior in a very powerful decision made about two months ago. After quite a season of seeking, Peter called upon the saving power of Jesus here at the house in front of our fireplace after a long discussion with me. Please pray for his direction and spiritual growth.

My job at Grace Christian Academy has been an exciting one. In one grade level alone (10th) at least a half dozen students have come to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. Students are learning Koine Greek enthusiastically and the atmosphere in the classroom is powerful.

Sequel Films wants to make my book Gas Tank Chronicles into a movie. There's a lot to be done and I am working on the script, working from the book. John McMillen is heading up the program, and it's quite an interesting project.

More to come...