Tuesday, August 29, 2017



This is the fourth of a series of Reasons to Believe blog posts with my sister, Betty Haynie. Our thoughts may be helpful to those who don’t believe in God as well as others. Betty wrote down her beliefs in detail several years ago. I’ll post her thoughts monthly and add my thoughts and beliefs to each one. Our thoughts are intentionally brief on subjects that could fill volumes.
By Betty Haynie

People have spent centuries trying to make Jesus go away so they won’t have to deal with the question of His status as God. If Jesus is NOT God then He becomes acceptable to everyone. The Koran honors Him as a prophet and teacher. Jesus the man is acceptable to most religions. Nicodemus recognized Him as a rabbi and prophet. (John 3:1) The problem is Jesus said He was the Son of God.

It’s the divinity of Jesus that sets him apart. I believe He was 100% human and 100% God. There are many examples but his human and divine attributes come together in the following story. Jesus was in the boat with His disciples, sleeping in the stern when a storm came up. The disciples, full of fear, woke Him up. With a wave of His hand and an admonition about the limits of their faith, He quieted the storm. Now, obviously He was mortal - He needed sleep; but He was also capable of stopping a storm - hardly a human ability!! (Matthew 8:23-26, Mark 4:36-30, Luke 8:22-25).

I believe Jesus is the second person of the trinity. God gave us His Word in the Bible and He gave us His Word made flesh. Jesus was the Word made flesh. John writes that Jesus existed even before the beginning of time. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.”  John 1:1-3 NIV

My Bible commentary says that “In the beginning” meant not the beginning of time, but before time was. John used the phrase in an absolute sense to refer to the beginning of time, prior to the world and the universe. Thus, Jesus, the second person of the trinity always existed, he always was.

It is difficult for us mere humans to understand God’s Word so He made the Word into a form we can understand. We can identify with another human because we are human. We are not gods (no matter what some religions believe). Jesus came as God’s expression of Himself - to give us a God we could relate to.

Did Jesus claim to be God? Yes, he did. In the following verses Jesus is clearly claiming that He and the Father are one.

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we shall be satisfied.” Jesus replied, Phillip, don’t you even yet know who I am, even after all the time I have been with you? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking to see him? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?” John 14:8-10 NLT

Further, Jesus claimed that He existed before Abraham was born. “Jesus said to them, ‘’Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I AM.’" John 8:58 NASB

Jesus also asked his disciples who they thought he was: Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of John for flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 16:15-17 NASB

C. S. Lewis, a Cambridge University professor and former atheist wrote about Jesus in Mere Christianity:

“A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher... Either this man was, and is, the Son of God - or else a mad man or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool; you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

No one in history is like Jesus. He alone deserves our trust and He alone is the path to God. No one comes to the Father EXCEPT through Jesus!

Blessings, Betty

By Dottie Parish

Betty said it very well, Jesus is our only path to God. I didn't believe this when I walked into Main Street Church in 1990 after decades away from God and church. I thought of God as a force. That first Sunday, while singing a hymn about Jesus, I choked up and my soul found God in person. What a difference! When God is just a force we are in charge of how we want to live. When God is personal we bow to him in awe and wonder. We listen to him. We follow him. He does not force himself on us. He is gentle, loving and kind. And change comes gradually following our initial surrender.

Jesus is now my Lord and Savior. Jesus is God. Jesus lived on this earth – fully man and fully God. He performed miracles, healings, stopped storms, held children on his lap and taught 12 men profound things about who God is and what he wants from us. Jesus died on a cross to save us from our sins. Because God is Holy, no one unholy can be in his presence. If we accept Jesus as our Savior his blood covers our sins and we can enjoy his loving presence and guidance here and now and we will be with him in heaven. 

Remember, Jesus is alive! After his resurection He was seen by the twelve disciples and by two men on the road to Emmaus and by 500 people. His followers were told to spread the Good News about Him and they did. Our faith is built on historical facts as well as the evidence of missions, ministries, hospitals and churches all over the world with followers of Jesus.

What if this is true? Don’t wait and be left behind. Seek God and he will embrace you. Jesus lived in history and is still alive in glory with the Father. Who do you say Jesus is?

“I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the father but by me.” John 14:6

“It's in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and in everyone.” Ephesians 1:11 The Message

Blessings, Dottie

Watch for the next Reasons to Believe post on WHY I BELIEVE IN THE HOLY SPIRIT in late September by Betty and Dottie

Tuesday, August 22, 2017


Q. A group of my friends were discussing dreams recently and we disagreed over how often we dream, why we dream and what dreams mean. Could you write a post on dreams?

A. Everyone dreams every night; usually four to seven times. Often we don’t remember our dreams. We dream during the phase of sleep known as REM or Rapid Eye Movement sleep. During REM sleep our eyes move rapidly as though we were watching a tennis match. The REM phase of sleep occurs when we are having vivid dream images.

Studying your dreams can put you more in touch with your inner self. Dreams can point to and can even heal repressed conflicts that control the way we think and behave in our daily life. Dream books found in super markets will not help you understand your dreams and they may hinder you. Instead, consider yourself the best authority on what your dreams mean. They mean whatever you think they mean as they were created by you.

Carl Jung, pioneering psychiatrist and colleague of Freud, said: “I have no theory about dreams. I do not know how dreams arise. On the other hand, I know that if we meditate on a dream sufficiently long and thoroughly - if we take it about with us and turn it over and over - something almost always comes of it.”

Dreams come to help us. Even nightmares can show us something we weren’t aware of about our inner conflicts. Dreams also can lead to breakthroughs, pointing to solutions to problems or showing us possibilities we’ve never considered. A number of inventors and scientists have attributed their discoveries to a dream. 

Dreams are Significant                                                                           
Similarly, dreams can help us make decisions when consciously we feel stuck. They also can help us take risks and move beyond our routine ways of being. We can discover in dreams parts of ourselves we’ve denied or rejected. When we study our dreams we can heal inner splits in our personality.

Dreams can also serve as practice for future achievements. Pregnant women who dream frequently of childbirth spend less time in labor. Similarly, dreams that rehearse a perfect golf swing or an upcoming business presentation can enhance our performance.

To study your dreams you will first have to remember them. This will require determination on your part and you will need to do the following:

1. As you’re falling asleep ask God to help you remember your dreams.

2. Have paper and pencil handy so you can write down your dreams when you first wake up.

3. If possible, let yourself wake up without an alarm clock, as the noise may jar you into forgetting your dreams.

4. Write down your dreams immediately or they will fade and you won’t be able to remember them. Names or phrases in the dream can be especially revealing. Write down whatever you remember even if it’s only a very brief fragment of a dream.

5. Keep your dreams in a journal and later write down any associations you have to each dream. What does the scene in the dream remind you of?

6. During the day play around with the images in your dream. Remember it is visual and symbolic. Don’t try to understand it rationally.

7. Tell your dream to someone you trust. Just ask them to listen to it without comment.  Sharing your dreams will help you discover additional meanings to them.

The Bible is full of dreams from God to specific people. Think of the boy Samuel, the many dreams of Joseph, and Daniel. God can speak to you through your dreams if you pay attention to them. God also today is speaking to many Muslims in their dreams. For more on this see book review on Dreams and Visions here.

“I trust in you, O Lord, I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in your hands.” Psalm 31:14-15

Blessings, Dottie

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Two Excellent Books on Finding a Great Job

How to Get Any Job                                        
(Or how to avoid living in your parent’s basement)
Life Launch and Re-launch for Everyone Under 30

By Donald Asher

“Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Confucius.

This is an excellent book with much wisdom, knowledge and advice about how to find just the right job for you. The book details a plan to help you discover your interests and talents. Implementing this plan will take time and thought on the part of the student/young person but will save you from many mistakes and from landing in a dead end job that doesn’t fit you.

Part 1 will teach you to examine employment interests and develop a plan for your life.

Part 2 takes this further in helping you explore your interests in “the real world.”

Part 3 will teach you how to get a job.

Throughout the book there are case studies that flesh out the issues being taught. These are very helpful. Any student who is uncertain about his/her career direction should study this book and follow every suggestion in order to discover the type of career that will best suit you. Do the homework first and you will be able to find what you want and will be ready to do well in job interviews.

In the last chapter on the job Interview Asher explains much about the hidden job market – how many jobs are filled from within or from a friend of a friend. And many jobs are filled with a persistent job searcher who doesn’t take no for answer.

To whet your appetite a bit here are some interesting thoughts from the book:
  • Prior generations needed to find 9 jobs between college and retirement. Asher believes the current generation will need to find 20-30 jobs!  Pg 4
  • 40-60% of CEOs are liberal arts majors. pg 7
  • Don’t compound a poor choice of major with a poor career choice. Pg 8
  • You will be fired through no fault of your own. Pg 14 
A little failure is part of every successful life. Walt Disney’s first cartoon production company went bankrupt. Elvis Presley got a C in high school music, and his teacher told him he couldn’t sing. Edgar Allen Poe was expelled from college. Einstein dropped out of school without finishing his degree.” 133

I highly recommend this book.

What Color is My Parachute? 
A Practical Manual for Job Hunters and Career Changers

By Richard Bolles

What Color is My Parachute is another excellent  book for job seekers. It is updated frequently so the information will fit today’s job market.The author, Richard Bolles, asks what is your purpose in life? Most of us think we’ll be happy at work if we make good money and are valued for what we do. 

Bolles says that’s not enough. He says that the happiest people at work are those who have discovered their mission in life. They have found a way to use their skills and abilities to earn a living and to also make a difference in some small part of the world. He will tell you how to find your mission and thus how to find a job that will do more than just give you financial support. While we think we’re in control of our lives, we never really are - but God is.  Pray for guidance about his plan for you.

May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us – yes, establish the work of our hands. Psalm 90:17

Blessings, Dottie

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Psalm 119 Meditations and Prayers Relating to the Law of God  

This is the sixth section of Psalm 119 – the longest chapter and the longest Psalm in the Bible. There are 8 different terms referring to Scripture used through out. These are: law, testimonies, precepts, statutes, commandments, judgments, word and ordinances. A pastor suggested reading this Psalm verse by verse, meditating on it and journaling on each verse.


41 May Your loving kindnesses also come to me, O Lord,
Your salvation according to Your word;

Father, I know Your loving kindnesses and they come to me daily. Thank you, O Lord,
Especially for your salvation told of in your Word.

42 So I will have an answer for him who reproaches me,
For I trust in Your word.

Father, I do have an answer for anyone who disputes my beliefs or taunts me for them, (as some of my relatives have). For I know your Word is true.

43 And do not take the word of truth utterly out of my mouth,
For I wait for Your ordinances.

Father, Do not take your word of truth out of my mouth or out of my mind. Guard me from false words which abound in our culture. Help me remember your Word and hide it deep in my heart. For I need to feed on your Word.

44 So I will keep Your law continually,
Forever and ever.

Father, As I feed on your Word - then I keep your commandments – both continually,
Forever and ever – I hope.

45 And I will walk at liberty,
For I seek Your precepts.

Father, I walk with you, free and at peace,
Because I seek you and your Word. Keep me in Christ and in the Word.

46 I will also speak of Your testimonies before kings
And shall not be ashamed.

Father, I will witness to anyone, even presidents; help me share your Truth, your testimonies and not avoid this. I will not be fearful or ashamed to speak up. I hope this is true. Guide me when to speak and when no to do so.
47 I shall delight in Your commandments,
Which I love.

Father, I rejoice in your commandments.
I love them!

48 And I shall lift up my hands to Your commandments,
Which I love;
And I will meditate on Your statutes.

Dear Father, I lift my hands in loving praise for your commandments,
I meditate on your commandments, laws, word and statutes! You are the Word made flesh. I abide in You.

Blessings, Dottie

Tuesday, August 1, 2017


This is the third of a series of Reasons to Believe blog posts with my sister, Betty Haynie. Our thoughts may be helpful to those who don’t believe in God as well as others. Betty wrote down her beliefs in detail several years ago. I’ll post her thoughts monthly and add my thoughts and beliefs to each one. Our thoughts are intentionally brief on subjects that could fill volumes.
By Betty Haynie

I believe the Bible is the result of God’s inspiration. The words in the Bible are NOT God’s exact words. But they are God’s exact messages. These are God’s thoughts expressed in man’s words. The writers communicated what they believed God wanted them to, expressed in their own style and verbiage. The most important thing to realize is that the Bible benefits us and even corrects our mistakes as described in the verse below.

“Every part of Scripture is God-breathed, and useful one way or another – showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.”  2 Timothy 3:16-17 The Message

The Bible began as oral tradition. Stories and lineages were taught from one generation to the next for hundreds of years. Many people wonder about the accuracy of such a beginning. When Alex Haley began researching his family for his book Roots, he traveled to Africa and located the elders of his family’s tribe. The oldest elder was able to recite the entire history, just as Alex had heard it, due to the respect they had for passing along accurate history. The early Hebrews had the same respect for tradition and history. They memorized lists of the names of their forefathers from Adam to Abraham. They kept mental records and passed them on because people regarded their “roots” as something significant.

It doesn’t make sense to me that God would create the world and all the people in it and not give us some sort of directions on how to live, or answer questions such as, “Why am I here?” I believe God left us a Guide book to help us find our way as Rick Warren writes in The Purpose-Driven Life:
The Bible tells us:
1. Why we are here
2. How life works
3. What things to avoid
4. What to expect in the future
5. What our individual purpose or ministry is (that He planned for us before we were even conceived!)

I like to read the Bible almost every day for it blesses me. Since 1990 I have read through the Bible several times, taken Bible classes and read a number of books about the Bible. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Chuck Missler’s book “Learn the Bible in 24 Hours” and Henrietta Mears’ book, “What the Bible is All About.”  Check them out!

The Bible contains verifiable history and geography, poetry, songs, love stories, truths for living called proverbs, and over a thousand prophecies. It includes “how- to” advice for daily living, the struggles and lives of real people including the honest presentation of their weaknesses and failures, and prophecies of things to come. The Bible also gives us the life, miracles, teachings, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus, the works of the disciples after Jesus’ death, the letters of Paul to nine churches and the revelations of things to come, and SOOOOO much more.

Most people accept the fact that Moses is credited with the writing of the first five books. Poets and prophets wrote much of the Old Testament. Paul is credited with writing much of the New Testament in the form of the Epistles - letters to the various churches which had begun to slip from their original commitment to the Lord. The other books were written by various people starting within 30 years of Jesus death and continuing over another 50 years or so. It matters not in the slightest who actually wrote down the books included in the Bible, it’s the message they present that is all important.

If God is all powerful and all knowing then certainly He could manage to find a few people to write down His messages. If you believe otherwise you are not giving God credit for being God. In this case I would suggest you read Your God is Too Small by J. B. Phillips. When I think of the hundreds of thousands of preachers who have preached each and every week, 50-52 weeks a year, for over 2,000 years (over 500 years in this country alone), using the Bible as their main source for thought, reflection, inspiration, truths and revelation, it boggles the mind how absolutely incredible this book is. Has any other book every supplied so many dissertations?

The Bible, the world’s all-time best seller - is filled with promises, reminders, challenges, history, poetry, and knowledge of God. It fills and soothes the troubled, weary or sad soul just as chicken soup soothes our physical aches and pains. But the Bible also gives us a connection with God that leads to praise and worship which in turn fills our heart’s soul and brings peace and contentment into our often hectic lives.

When you get right down to it, believing in anything requires faith. Even an atheist has to have faith - faith that there is no God. The choice is whether to believe in a faith built on God’s Word or believe in a faith built on man’s word. We need a standard by which we live our lives. The Bible - God’s Word, fills that place for millions. It is the bottom line in every decision we make. It is the bottom line in every relationship we have. It is the bottom line in every problem or situation we have on this earth. Living by this standard makes life a peaceful, joy-filled, wonderful experience.

Blessings, Betty

By Dottie Parish

Betty presents good evidence about the validity of the Bible. For anyone who has questions read my blog post on The Case of Christ by Lee Strobel – or see the movie!

So what more can I say?  As a child I memorized verses every Sunday in Sunday school. These verses, in part, brought me back to God in 1990. As a teen-ager I won a New Testament by memorizing Luke 15 including The Story of the Prodigal Son! Amazing, since I did stray away from God for decades.

Since 1990 I have been in Bible Studies almost continually. Adult Bible Classes provide a support group as well as life changing information. A new pastor in 1997 introduced us to Disciple Bible Study which included reading and studying 80 percent of the Bible in 34 weeks. We continued in these classes for four years. We also joined a fifteen week Alpha class in 2008 which answered questions about our faith. Every one of these classes inspired and changed us. The Bible is the Word of God.

I began journaling Scripture at the suggestion of Bible teachers. This is a great way to learn the Bible and also make it personally applicable. I journaled Psalm 51 for Lent one year. This is David’s Psalm asking for forgiveness after he committed adultery and murder. He was a man after God’s own heart yet a sinner. I confessed my own sin with each verse, a truly life changing time. The Bible is the Word of God.

I went through the promises of Jesus and the commands of Jesus and wrote my thoughts about each one. Most recently I began journaling Psalm 119 the longest Psalm in the Bible. All of these are on my blog. Journaling scripture leads to inner change. The Bible is the Word of God.

The sermons we have absorbed in the last ten years have also been Bible studies! These help us live out our faith on a daily basis. The most important parts of the Bible are the accounts of Jesus life, death on the cross and resurrection. If the resurrection is not true – Christianity is of no value. The many prophecies of the coming messiah are amazing also. The letters by Paul and others give instruction to the Church and its members on how to live and how to be the Church. It is the Word of God.

The Bible reveals the character of God showing us he is holy, omnipotent, trustworthy, and personal. He is working out his plan through Christ Jesus. The Bible feeds our faith, guides our walk, holds us accountable, and gives us great hope. The beauty of the language in the Bible is like no other book. Consider the 23rd Psalm and the Lord’s Prayer and the Love chapter 1 Corinthians 13. Will you open your Bible and read it? Check out this amazing book. It is the Word of God.

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.” Colossians 3: 16

Blessings, Dottie

Watch for the next Reasons to Believe post on WHY I BELIEVE IN JESUS in late August by Betty and Dottie