March 13, read through the Bible in a year.

Today there are only 2 chapters to read.

March 13: Mark 13, Deuteronomy 6 (click on the chapter to begin reading)

Mark 13.  Jesus tells of the Signs of the End of the Age, the Great Tribulation, the Coming of the Son of Man, the lesson of the Fig Tree and the Day and Hour of his return unknown.

In Deuteronomy 6 Moses lays out The Greatest Commandment, he recommends phylacteries to keep them always in remembrance of the LORD and cautions against disobedience. The Old testament law has lots of New Testament references.


March 12, read through the Bible in a year.

Today there are only 2 chapters to read.

March 12: Mark 12, Deuteronomy 5 (click on the chapter to begin reading)

Mark 12 begins with the parable of the unfaithful tenants, then the Pharisees try to entrap Jesus with the question “Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar? You know the answer. Then it is the Sadducees turn to entrap him with what happens to  marriage at the Resurrection. Then Jesus answers what is the Greatest Commandment, and answers the riddle “whose son is the Christ?” Finally, looking at temple offerings Jesus notices the widow’s two Mites.

In Deuteronomy 5 the Ten Commandments are enumerated a second time, the first time was in Exodus 20. The people are afraid of God’s presence, but not in reverential fear.

March 11, read through the Bible in a year.

Today there are only 2 chapters to read.

March 11: Mark 11, Deuteronomy 4 (click on the chapter to begin reading)

Mark 11 starts what is called the Holy Week with the Triumphal Entry. The next day Jesus curses a fig tree (symbol of Israel) and clears the Temple. Following morning the fig tree is withered, and all marvel. Finally, Jesus authority questioned.

In Deuteronomy 4 God promises the people they will enter the promised land, but if they are disobedient they will be scattered all over the earth. Obedience means no idolatry “for the LORD, your God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God”. Three Cities of Refuge are mentioned, and a short summary of God’s Law.

March 10, read through the Bible in a year.

Today there are three chapters to read.

March 10: Mark 10, Deuteronomy 2, Deuteronomy 3 (click on the chapter to begin reading)

In Mark 10 Jesus explains the Christian concept of Marriage: One man, one woman, one lifetime,“6 But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Then  Jesus blesses the little children and says that “, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.” The Rich Young Ruler asks what he must do to receive eternal life, but he cannot do what is necessary, so Jesus says ” It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”  Jesus then  predicts his resurrection. James and John want to be great, but Jesus points out that Greatness comes by Serving and finally Jesus heals Bartimaeus.

Deuteronomy 2 tells of the first 38 years of wandering in the the Desert, the generation entering the desert has died off, then with the help of God King Sihon is Defeated.

Deuteronomy 3 tells how King Og Defeated and the Israelites conquer the land East of Jordan but Moses is forbidden to cross the Jordan and enter the Promised Land.

March 9, read through the Bible in a year.

Today there are only two chapters to read, but they are big.

March 9: Mark 9, Deuteronomy 1 (click on the chapter to begin reading)

Mark 9 begins with the Transfiguration and an explanation on Elijah, he had already come. Then a boy with an evil spirit is healed and the disciples ask why they could not drive out the evil spirit. Then Jesus predicts his Death and Resurrection but the disciples so not understand, instead they argue among themselves who is the Greatest. Jesus picks up a little child as an object lesson and explains what it means to be a servant of all. Jesus teaches Unity, not division, “whoever is not against us is for us.” Jesus warns of the dire consequences of offenses and tells them to be Salt with savor and be at peace with each other.

Deuteronomy 1 starts with the command to leave Horeb and enter Canaan. Leaders are appointed and spies sent out, but Israel’s refuse to enter the land. The penalty for Israel’s rebellion is that no one would enter the promised land except Caleb and Joshua.


March 8, read through the Bible in a year.

Today there are five chapters to read.

March 8: Mark 8, Numbers 33, Numbers 34, Numbers 35, Numbers 36, (click on the chapter to begin reading)

Mark 8 begins with Jesus feeding the four thousand, the Pharisees are still looking for a sign, but Jesus warns of the yeast of the Pharisees and Herod, all very confusing for the disciples; they are still not thinking in the spiritual realm. Jesus heals a blind man at Bethsaida, then follows Peter’s Confession and  Jesus predicts his death.

Numbers 33 is a reciting of Israel’s Journey from Egypt, and provides instructions on how to conquer Canaan.

Numbers 34 defines the Boundaries of Canaan and mentions all the leaders appointed to divide the land.

Numbers 35 names the Cities for the Levites and defines the six Cities of Refuge.

Numbers 36 tells about the Inheritance of Zelophehad’s Daughters and why the Israelite women must marry within their tribe.

Long live the Amish! – Off the grid.

It is March 6 2019, a cold morning in Intercourse, Pa. The temperature is 19F and the snow is still deep. There it is! A recently built Amish homestead with the telltale clothesline, but also a small wind turbine and four solar panels to provide

electricity. Contrary to popular opinion the Amish do not shun electricity, they just want to be left unconnected to the “English”, in other words, live off the grid. Their desire to be independent force them to be resourceful and innovative, since they also follow the law of the land whenever possible. So it was, when the farms were mandated to refrigerate the milk before pickup they installed electric coolers. The electricity was generated by diesel generators, so bingo, they could get electricity for their workshops as well, and turn from primitive hand work to fully modern wood workshops, I know, they provided a first class kitchen for our home in Intercourse. They had a problem, federal law mandated headlights on their buggies to be street legal. The propane lights with gas stockings burned well, but were too fragile to last the bumpy buggy rides so they installed car headlights running on car batteries. They had to be charged often, and it became quite expensive, so the Amish in 2003 made the first commercially available LED headlights for their buggies, thereby extending battery life nine-fold for a marine deep-charge lead-acid battery, from six hours to 100 hours.

Even at 120 dollars a piece it made economic sense. How do you charge batteries? This is where the solar panels come in, they are used to charge the batteries. When the sun doesn’t shine the wind may blow, a reasonable backup. Now they have 12 volt electric power. The next step was to wire the house and install 12 V LED lights and provide 12 volt DC or 24 volt AC outlets for small appliances. The lights are done, the appliances are still run the hard way, diesel engines providing compressed air, which run their wells with jet-pumps and in their hand mixers they take out the motor and replace with a compressed air motor. The LED lights beat kerosene lamps any day for efficiency, and even a compressed air driven refrigerator is much more efficient than a kerosene driven refrigerator.

So if the grid goes down for an extended period of time, who is better off? The Amish are far ahead of us in preparation for catastrophes.

And the Amish do get together and fellowship for any reason, but mostly for their Sunday services, which are held in the upper room of their workshops, or in the kitchen for the women and the basement for the men. The horse-drawn pew-mobile is in the picture above, to the right. This is a tell-tale sign who has the service next time.