Monthly Archives: May 2015

Bible Dementia

Don't rip pages out of Bible

E.G Marsh was truly a godly man. He spent his life teaching, preaching, writing and leading a Bible college through dark days. He never wavered from presenting the Bible as God’s Word. In his last days, though, friends and family watched with sadness as dementia silently crept into his life and frayed his connection with reality. One day, his caretaker found him in his room, deliberately ripping pages from his Bible and discarding them on the floor.

Today, we watch with sadness as Bible Dementia creeps into churches. We expected non-Christians, left-leaning liberal churches, and cults to reject basic teachings of the Scriptures, but we did not expect the churches that rose out of revivals of the early 20th century to lose touch with the reality of  a personal walk with God and obedience to his Word.

How can we avoid Bible Dementia?
Leave all the pages in the Word of God.

You may not understand everything, but leave the pages alone.  You may even disagree with others about the importance or interpretation of some scriptures, but don’t rip out any pages.  Each generation finds its hope in the Word of God and your verse of encouragement may not be on the same page that another generation will find hope. The page you rip out may be what your grandchildren need for guidance and strength to face spiritual battles you never could have imagined.

You may not avoid physical dementia,
but you can avoid Bible Dementia.



Martha Hawn VanCise©2015


The Bible as Literature

I enjoy reading the Bible not only as a Christian, but as an avid reader and writer.  The pages abound with literary devices including metaphors, similes, contrasts, and parallels.

Jesus spoke of his longing to protect the children of Jerusalem as “a hen gathering her chicks under her wings.” (Luke 13:34) He infuriated the hypocritical Pharisees by telling them they were like beautiful whitewashed mausoleums, with rotting bones inside. (Matthew 23:27)

Isaiah wrote about:
Earth wearing out “like a garment.”  (Isaiah 51:6)
“The bread of adversity and the water of affliction.” (Isaiah 30:20)
People drawing sin along with “cords of deceit.” (Isaiah 5:18)

Paul spoke of our bodies as “earthly tents” and ” jars of clay.” (II Corinthians 5:1, 4:7) Peter wrote of the devil “prowling as a roaring lion.” (I Peter 5:8) The Christian journey is likened to running a race in an arena filled with spectators. (Hebrews 12:1)

Job spoke of God “wrapping up the waters in clouds.” (Job 26:8)
About himself Job said, “I’m nothing but skin and bones: I have escaped with only the skin of my teeth.” (Job 19:20)

Amos spoke of a “famine of hearing the words of the Lord.” (Amos 8:11) Jeremiah described Israel’s turning away from God as “forsaking the spring of living water and digging broken cisterns that cannot hold water.” (Jeremiah 2:13)

Hosea spoke about lawsuits “springing up like poisonous weeds.”  (Hosea 10:4) James said that doubters are “like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” (James 1:6)

Many familiar sayings that originated in the Bible have become clichés and can be found in lists on the internet. As for the trite saying, “God helps those, who help themselves,” you’ll find that in Hezekiah 6:1. (Let me know when you find the book of Hezekiah.)

Familiar Sayings from the Bible

Earn something by the sweat of your brow.” (Genesis 3:19)
A man after my own heart. (Acts 13:22)
Out of the mouths of babes. (Psalm 8:2)
Pride goes before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18)
A time and place for everything. (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we will die. (Ecclesiastes 8:15; Isaiah 22:13)
A drop in the bucket. (Isaiah 40:15)
Rise and shine. (Isaiah 60:1)
A leopard cannot change his spots. (Jeremiah 13:23)
Go the extra mile. (Matthew 5:41)
United we stand. Divided we fall. (Matthew 12:25, 26)
The blind leading the blind. (Matthew 15:14)
A little birdie told me. (Ecclesiastes 10:20)
The powers that be. (Romans 13:1)
List taken from

Martha Hawn VanCise©2015


Is Your Name Written There?

Where is Your Name Written?Do you ever Google your name? Have you ever thought of all the different places your name is written? You would be surprised to find the databases that include your name: graduating classes, organizations, churches, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and property records. Your name may even appear in a list of arrested, ticketed, or wanted people.


Friends and acquaintances may be impressed by the places our names are listed, but in the sight of God our earthly accomplishments — both good and bad— are written in sand. For most of us, the tide of a couple generations will wipe out remembrance of our names. No matter where our names are written, revered, or despised all earthly records will someday be deleted. When all the books, Kindles and Nooks are closed and the databases of the world no longer load and open, two books will still remain—the Word of God and the Book of Life.

“…the word of the Lord stands forever …”  (I Peter 1:25; Isaiah 40:8)

The Book of Life is mentioned several times in the Bible. Paul speaks of fellow workers “whose names are written in the book of life.”  (Ephesians 4:3) The writer of Hebrews speaks of a day when “thousands upon thousands of angels meet in  joyful assembly, with the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven.” (Hebrews 12:23)

In the Revelation, God reveals to John, the importance of being prepared to reject the anti-Christ by having our names written in the book of life. “All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast —all whose names have not been written in the book of life…”  To those in Sardis who were dying spiritually, the warning comes, “Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die….” so that your name will not be blotted out of the book of life. (Revelation 3: 1-5)

Near the end of the Revelation an angel takes the Apostle John on a tour of the capital city of heaven, the New Jerusalem, and tells him, “Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. (Revelation 21:27) The Revelation continues with a verse that describes the fate of those who ignore or reject God’s free gift of eternal life. “Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.”  (Rev. 20:15) To be honest, I would like to delete Revelation 20:15 from the Word of God, but the last paragraph of the Revelation warns against adding or deleting any of the words of this prophecy.


Don’t “Hope so.”  Make sure. If you aren’t sure, tell God, “I want to make sure my name is written in the Book of Life. I am a sinner, and don’t deserve to have my name in your Book of Life. My only hope of being made pure and acceptable to you is by trusting Jesus to forgive me of my sins and to give me eternal life. I’m trusting and asking Jesus for eternal life, right now. Write my name in the Book of Life.”

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16).

Martha Hawn VanCise©2015