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Happy New Year 2016!

Happy New Year 2016, everybody! I hope you and all yours will be blessed this coming year through the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ! If you choose to use the tools and resources on this site this year, our prayer is that you will be encouraged, strengthened, and built up by the precious, eternal Word!

Let us know how this site is being used in your life this year, and share it with others as you feel led!

Merry Christmas 2011!

To all our friends around the world, near and far, I want to wish you a Merry Christmas, and blessings in the coming New Year. I hope you have been blessed by the resources on our sites!

To those just embarking on a new trek through the Bible, you are at the start of an incredible journey, and I pray God will pour out His richest blessings to you and all yours!

Whether you are finishing up your journey through the Bible for the past year, or embarking on a new one for the New Year, why not drop us a note in our Guest Book. Your words just might encourage someone else! Click HERE to make an entry.

This past year has been one filled with challenges for me, but as I reflect back, I can thank God for His love and faithfulness, and blessings far more than I deserved.

No matter what trials you have gone through this past year, or what challenges you may face this coming year, never forget to be thankful, and never give up hope in the One who loves you and cares for you infinitely.

First and foremost, He wants to have a personal relationship with you. Isn’t that amazing? The Creator of the universe, a billion light years across, loves you! Find out how to get started HERE!

Then He wants you to grow more Christ-like in your character and walk. Reading the Bible is a good step in helping you toward that goal. Be persistent, don’t give up. If you fall behind, or stumble along the way, don’t be discouraged, but keep plodding along. You will be glad you did!

The Tragedy in Tucson

It has been my privilege to live in the great city of Tucson for the past two and one-half years. I shed tears several times over the past three weeks as I learned of the tragedy of 1-8-11, and the stories of those who were wounded and killed, as well as the stories of many heroes that day.

I was out and about enjoying time with my children on that sunny Saturday morning, when my wife texted me that congresswoman Gabby Giffords had been shot. I immediately felt a deep sense of shock and sorrow. A short while later, she texted me that the congresswoman had died, and then a short while later that she had survived.

Later, away from the children, I turned on the news, and began to absorb the enormity of what had just happened. Six precious lives were lost, my congresswoman and twelve others were wounded, and a community, a state, and a nation were shaken.

I have a precious, nine-year-old daughter (she turned ten on 1-19), and my heart grieves for another family who lost their precious, nine-year-old daughter in the senseless tragedy.

The healing has begun in our city. Today I went out for the first time since the shooting to the Safeway at Ina and Oracle, the site of the tragedy, and visited the memorial set up in front of the entrance to the store. I was greatly moved emotionally as I viewed pictures of those who were lost, and so many flowers, candles, teddy bears, and messages of hope.

It is impossible to understand why tragedies like this happen. Our hearts continue to grieve with those who have been victimized, and our prayers are with them and their families. There is hope and there is healing in Jesus Christ, and it is in times such as these that we can find hope and comfort in the Scriptures.

If you have been following along in the Bible Reading Schedule so far this year, you have recently finished reading through the book of Job, a man who suffered great tragedies. He lost his precious children, his health, and his possessions.

Yet in this book, when God answered Job out of the whirlwind, He chose not to answer the question of “Why?” God told Job, in essence, “Trust in Me.” In the end, Job persevered in his faith, though it had been shaken. God greatly blessed the life of this man after these trials.

In the New Testament, we have this marvelous promise, and I offer the words of Romans 8:28 – words of comfort, words of hope, and words of healing – to the victims and their families, to our community here in Tucson, and to the whole nation:

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (NKJV)

In the end, no matter what befalls us in life, God is working all things together for our good, and for His glory! This gives us “strength for today, and bright hope for tomorrow.” When trials and tragedies strike, dear friend, look to Jesus, and you, too, can find His comfort, grace, and hope, knowing that He will carry you through.

Happy Thanksgiving to You!

Here is a wish for a most blessed and happy Thanksgiving from my family to you and all yours! I hope that the practice of giving thanks is a reality every day of the year for you, that you will acknowledge the blessings God pours out into your life every single moment of every single day, both in good times and in bad. Every next breath and every next heartbeat literally is His loving gift.

It was our distinct blessing and privilege once again to have four generations, representing ages from age 91 to age 6, gathered together this Thanksgiving day in Tucson! The gift of family is one of the greatest blessings of this life, and the moments to cherish together are truly gifts from above.

Above all I am thankful for my Lord and Savior who took my place and died for my sins that I might be forgiven and have a home in heaven! The gift He gave me is greater than all others, the privilege of having the testimony, “This is my story, to God be the glory, I’m only a sinner, saved by grace!”

And so I hope that you may experience His abundant grace through this holiday season and for the next year!

In Him,

Norm Enger

My New Blog Site for Technical Content…

I have created a new blog site, https://thesqlguy.wordpress.com, entitled “The SQL Guy,” where I will be moving any technical content that currently resides on my biblereadingschedule.com blog. I will provide a link at each old blog entry pointing to the new location for that entry. I will continue to use the biblereadingschedule.com blog site for blogging related to this site as well as personal and other topics.

Resolutions for the New Year From the Books of Malachi and Revelation…

Here are some good resolutions to make for the coming year based on the last readings of the year from the books of Malachi and Revelation.

Malachi Chapter 1:

Offer the first and the best of all that you have and all that you are to the Lord this coming year.

God is a great King, indeed Lord of lords and King of kings, and He deserves our best.

Malachi Chapter 2:

Remain wholly committed to the marriage covenant which you made before God, and to the spouse you married.

Maybe you are in a broken or damaged relationship with your spouse. Renew your commitment to God and to the one you married.

Malachi Chapter 3:

Allow the “Messenger of the covenant,” our Lord Jesus Christ, to refine you and purge sin out of your life.

As we reflect on the past year, all of us have things that occurred that we are ashamed of, or areas in which we could have done better. Allow the Lord to purge the things that are displeasing to Him out of your life this new year.

Malachi Chapter 4:

Rejoice in the “sun of righteousness,” God’s Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and in the many blessings He in His mercy and grace bestows.

Revelation Chapter 22:

Maybe you are thirsty because you have been living in a spiritual wasteland this past year. If you are unsaved, say YES to the invitation of our Lord:

“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star. The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.” (Revelation 22:16-17, NIV)

From my family to you and yours, we wish you the best year ever in your walk with the Lord! Happy New Year!

Rubik’s Cube – My Take on a Solution!…

Over the years at various times I have had fun with a Rubik’s Cube solution memorized so that I can solve any cube. Here is my take on a solution. If you are looking for an easy to memorize solution that is rock solid, check it out. You are likely to make some mistakes at first (some of the steps are a bit tricky to describe accurately), but stick with it…the steps are accurate…you will get it!! Good luck!

Merry Christmas, 2009!

From my family to yours we wish you a blessed and Merry Christmas as we celebrate, like angels and shepherds did long ago, the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Our prayer for you in this upcoming year is that you may know the love of Christ, the joy of His salvation, and the peace He gives that surpasses all understanding!

“…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace….”
– Galatians 5:22 (NIV)

Fun online site with free Mad Libs, MasterMind, and Hangman…

If you are like me and love thinking and word games, you will love MadGlibs, at http://www.madglibs.com/index.php, a free site which I recently discovered and have been enjoying of late. In particular I am a big fan of MasterMind, which they call “MadMinds.” Their version of the classic game is extremely fun and challenging, with various levels of difficulty, from very easy to very hard. One nice thing about their implementation is that it is entirely written in JavaScript (in fact most of their site is), and the interface and graphics are simple and large enough to enjoy even on a higher-resolution display.

I am also enjoying their version of Hangman, which they call “MadMen.” And some of their Mad Libs generators, which they call “MadGlibs,” can be quite hilarious! Below is an example I created by clicking their “Totally Random” button to fill in the form for “Letter From Camp” with random words, and then typing in values in the fields that were not populated. There are some other funny ones, such as “The Walmart Difference.” Be sure check out this fun and free site!

Here is the example Mad Lib:

Dear Uncle Alden,
I am having a(n) Flipped-Out time at camp. The counselour is Gothic and the food is Disciplinary. I met Hannah and we became Erratic friends. Unfortunately, Hannah is Changing and I Skidded my Eye Lash so we couldn`t go Stopping like everybody else. I need more Corn and a Tax sharpener, so please Platonically Appraise more when you Dawdle back.
Your Cousin,
Isaiah

 

Was Darwin a fool?

Was Darwin a fool? Recently much has been made of the 200th anniversary of his birth. No doubt his teachings have influenced many to reject the knowledge of or the belief in God. The Bible says in Psalm 14:1, “The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”” Based on that, I would say, yes, Darwin, and those who have been influenced by him or continue to be, were and are fools! Some of them are very intelligent, but that just makes them educated fools. It is the highest foolery to reject God, and the greatest tragedy to enter into eternity without Christ. Click HERE to read a Gospel presentation and learn how to enter into a life-changing relationship with the Creator of the universe!

Wishing You a Blessed New Year!

We come to the conclusion of another year, and the beginning of a new one. It is my hope and prayer that you will find all of your sufficiency in Christ this coming year, and that this will be the most successful yet spiritually for you and all yours. May you find forgiveness for all the shortcomings and failures of the past year, and renewed hope and strength for the journey ahead. It is my prayer that you will receive spiritual strength and nourishment from reading and treasuring up God’s precious Word in your heart over the coming year, and that the tools on this site will minister to you. From me and my family to yours, we wish you a most blessed and happy New Year!

Happy Thanksgiving!

If you have read today’s Old Testament reading, you will find the inspiration for my favorite hymn of all time, “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.” The passage is Lamentations 3:22-23:

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness.

A few years back, when we left Mississippi, and left our former church, Broadmoor Baptist, the folks in the music ministry fulfilled a tradition by giving us a Baptist Hymnal, with kind words of encouragement and prayers written by various members for us, the departing family, above or below each one’s favorite hymn. The following kind words and encouragement were written by one of our dear friends, Susan W., on the page with “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”:

“I pray you will always be aware of God’s faithfulness in your life, clinging to the hope and knowledge of it in the valleys and celebrating it on the mountain tops. Philippians 4:4-7. Susan.”

What an encouragement for us all! Celebrate God’s goodness no matter what!

Philippians 4:4-7, the passage she quoted, says:

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

And so from my family, who will be gathering together this day with four generations present in Tucson, to yours, we wish you a most blessed Thanksgiving!

We leave you with the words of the great hymn:

Great Is Thy Faithfulness
Words by Thomas O. Chisholm, Music by William M. Runyan

Great is Thy Faithfulness, O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be.

Great is Thy Faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed, Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love.

Great is Thy Faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed, Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Great is Thy Faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed, Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Bejeweled 2 – Strategies for High Scoring Games

Okay, a while back I promised I’d share some of my strategies for Bejeweled 2, the stupendously simple, yet superbly challenging game from PopCap. So here goes a brief description of strategies I have discovered for having some very high scoring, long lasting games.

The version of the game I use is Bejeweled 2 Deluxe from PopCap Games and Sony Pictures Digital. I always play the “classic, untimed” game. I first played a Java version on an old cell phone.

So here are my rules and strategies:

1. Hypercubes (5 in a row) are your best friends! Build as many as you can, and never detonate one unless you are absolutely forced to. These are your “life savers,” your “fail safes” when you run out of other moves, and are what will enable you to have very long games – 25, 50, 75 or more rounds.

2. A good move is one that creates, or tends toward creating, a hypercube, leads to other moves, or results in a chain reaction.

3. Powercubes (4 in a row) are your worst enemies! They only tend toward chaos and complicate the task of building hypercubes. Don’t intentionally build them, as a general rule, and if you are “given” one, detonate it as soon and as safely as possible. By “safely,” I mean in a way that does not destroy any adjacent hypercubes.

4. When you have the luxury of doing so, try to “move” existing hypercubes to the bottom three rows. This will clear the upper part of the board for other moves.

5. My ideal board is one in which there are many (4 or more) hypercubes, all located in the bottom few rows, and no un-detonated powercubes. I have had as many as 10 hypercubes on the board at one time…cool, seriously!

6. When you do have to detonate a hypercube, try to choose a color to detonate that has 10 or more of that color on the board…the more the better!

7. Take breaks! Remember, when you exit Bejeweled, your current game is automatically saved in its current state, and will be there waiting for you when you return the next time.

Good luck, and have fun!

Welcome to Tucson!

The week of July 14, I took a week of vacation and relocated, for family reasons, to incredibly beautiful Tucson, AZ. Spectacular mountains surround Tucson, and it reminds me of the verse of Scripture, “As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds His people.” No matter what, He is surrounding us and covering us with his love and care. Even if all else fails in life, He never does!

My employer was gracious enough to allow me to relocate and work remotely. God is truly good! – though I will miss seeing my work friends and church family back in the “Carpet Capitol of the World.” Those of you reading this…you know I miss you!

I have gotten settled in and am starting to adjust to the desert climate. We are in monsoon season, so I have been able to see a few good thunderstorms and downpours rumble through…something to remind me a little bit of back home in Georgia, I guess!

I have found a great church I am visiting, Sabino Road Baptist Church. The believers there are an incredibly loving and welcoming group of Christian folks. I will be playing my violin in the services, accompanying the singing, for the first time tomorrow. Two of the songs are a couple of my favorites, “Our God Is an Awesome God” and “God of Wonders” – fitting for this setting in Arizona, “the Grand Canyon state,” where the beauty of the creation truly testifies to glory of the Creator, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Christmas blessings to you and yours!

Here is a wish from me and my family to yours. May you have a blessed and merry Christmas and a blessed New Year! May your life this coming year be filled with the light and love of God’s written Word – the Bible – and of the living Word, our Savior, Jesus Christ. May your life be flooded with His light and love each day and each moment this coming year.

And a prayer for those of you who have experienced loss or are lonely this holiday season – may the light and comfort and love of Christ fill your life and give you hope and strength and joy.

Would you visit our Guestbook and take a few moments to share how these resources have touched you this past year? Would you also take a moment to spread the word about our site…send our web address to friends and family, post links to us on your own websites, etc.? We want to see as many people as possible reached and impacted for eternity!

Merry Christmas to all, and a Happy New Year!