Archive for March, 2020

NOTE: I have been doing a Bible study for around ten years now. I have attendees from the denominations of Free Methodists, Presbyterian, Non-denominational, Catholics and Lutherans. I was considering doing this study again since new people have come on board since I first read the study. With the Coronavirus issue keeping everything shut down I decided to share the study. Hope you can find some hope in these uncertain times.

By Larry A. Smail

People hearing of resurrection may have varying mindsets as to what the event actually is. In this study, we are going to use scripture to seek information, and evaluate the meaning of a Biblical resurrection.

First, we need to analyze the word, “resurrection” in regards with scripture. A resurrection is the spiritual and bodily reunion of an individual to eternal life. This body will be a glorified body. We will include scripture, later on, as to what Jesus’ glorified body consisted of prior to his ascension to heaven. How God completes this event is beyond human comprehension, but scripture has many words to express on the event. We need to remember in Matthew 19: 26, Christ states “Nothing is impossible with God.” Christians need to believe this with faith!

One may hear the word used in other ways. One may hear, sometimes, of resurrection in regard to flowers. The thought pertains to the flower drying up and dying in the fall. Flowers will again be resurrected come spring as new life emerges. However, the flowers never truly die. The bulbs: tubers, and rhizomes are still alive as winter moves onto the landscape. These roots are alive, but dormant until the warmth of spring activates the new growth. If the flower dies completely over winter, there will be no growth come spring.

A very early statement of a future resurrection comes to us in Job 19: 25-26. Job who was a righteous, and faithful man of the Lord, stated the following: “For I know that my redeemer lives, and at last he will stand upon the earth; and after my skin has thus been destroyed then from my flesh I shall see God.” Job knew he was to die, and return to the earth, but he, also, knew he would be brought back to life, and see God on earth. This information had been revealed to Job.

David, in Psalms 17: 15, states: “As for me, I shall behold thy face in righteousness: when I awake, (resurrection) I shall be satisfied with beholding thy form.”

The prophet, Daniel, in Daniel 12:13, was told by an angel in regards to the end of the age: “Go your way till the end: and you shall rest, (Die) and shall stand in your allotted place at the end of the days.”

In Isaiah 26:19, the prophet wrote: “The dead shall live, their bodies shall rise. O dwellers in the dust, awake, and sing for joy.

Some Verses from Christ Concerning Resurrection.

Many of Christ’s words can be found in the first four books of the New Testament. I will not include all of them, but I will list some verse references. In Matthew 12: 39-40, Jesus told the Pharisees what was to happen. These words were in regard to those people requesting a sign as to who Jesus was. Jesus said, “No sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days, and three nights in the belly of the fish, so will the Son of man be three days, and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matthew 16:4; Mark 8:1; Luke 11:30)

In Matthew 16: 21, Jesus told the twelve he would be killed and rise up on the third day. (Other verses stating this are: Matthew 17:9; Matthew 17:22; Matthew 20: 18-19; Mark 9:9; Mark 9:31; Mark 10:34; Luke 9:21…)

The story of Lazarus is not a true resurrection. The story is in John 11: 38-44. Jesus’ friend, Lazarus had died. Jesus is sent for, but he delayed arriving until four days later. Lazarus had been in the grave for these four days allowing for decomposition to begin. Lazarus’ sister, Martha had hoped Jesus would have arrived before her brother’s passing. Jesus told Martha, prior to raising Lazarus to life, that her brother would rise again. Martha replied, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection, and the life; he who believes in me, though he dies, yet shall he live, and whoever lives, and believes in me shall never die.”

Remember the definition of true resurrection. Lazarus, indeed, had been raised from death, however, he didn’t have the glorified body as Christ, and the First Fruit had, and has! Lazarus would die again in the future and be placed in a tomb.


The resurrection is the most important aspect of God’s plan for salvation for us today. Christ, himself spent three days, and three nights in the grave, or, at least, the physical part of him did. Spiritually, he spent that time in

Paradise with all the righteous individuals of the past. The word Hell actually refers to the grave.

Sometime prior to the morning of the first day of the week, Christ rose from the grave in victory over death. Take note, the Bible does not state Christ was resurrected on the first day. The evidence of the empty tomb was made known at the break of the next day when some of the women followers approached the tomb. It was empty! He had risen!

The resurrected Christ in his glorious new body spent forty days on the earth preaching about the coming kingdom. (Acts 1) He ascended to heaven and is awaiting the time of the Gentiles to be fulfilled. At that time Jesus’ Second Advent will occur. The resurrection chapters are located in Matthew 28; Mark 16; Luke 24 and John 20.

The Glorified Body

After the resurrection, as stated above, Jesus was on earth for forty days preaching about the KINGDOM! What were some of the features of his glorified body that we can know through scripture? Unfortunately, the writers did not include many details. In John 20:19, Jesus simply appeared with the disciples despite the door being shut. This body was physical, yet he had the ability to appear, and disappear. Notice, when Jesus, again appeared for Thomas’ sake, he told the man to touch his physical wounds for evidence that Jesus was actually bodily present. (John 20:27)

In John 20:30, the writer simply wrote that Christ did many things, and healings.

At another event, found in John 21: 12, Jesus called out the disciples to greet him on the shore of the lake. Jesus had a fire going. Jesus ate the fish, and bread with them.

In Luke 24: 43, scripture says Christ ate with the disciples. So, this glorified body eats food.

In Luke 24:31, Jesus appeared, and later disappeared, after meeting and dining with the two men on the road to Emmaus.

This glorified, physical, and spiritual body is capable of anything, and everything.
Paul’s Words on the Resurrection

Paul, known primarily as the Apostle to the Gentiles, had much to say in regard to resurrection. Much of what we know of resurrection comes from the words of Paul.

In Acts 24: 14-15, Paul, during his defense at Caesarea, told those in attendance of resurrection…”having hope in God which these themselves accept, that there will be a resurrection of both the just, and unjust.” In Acts 26:8, Paul said, “Why is the thought incredible to any of you that God raises the dead?”

In Paul’s letter to the Romans, he wrote in Romans 6: 4-5, “…as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too, might walk in new-ness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall (Not may.) certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.”

Romans 6: 9, “For we know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again.”

Romans 4: 24, “It will be reckoned to us who BELIEVE in him that raised from the dead, Jesus our Lord who was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification.”

Romans 5: 21,”as sin reigned in death, grace, also, might reign through righteousness (Faith) to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 10: 9-10, states the following: “because, if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord, and BELIEVE in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For man believes with his heart, and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips, and so is saved!” (Gospel)

The Apostle, Paul, goes into great depth reinforcing the truth of resurrection in his letters to the Corinthian people. These letters were in response to questions, and concerns from members of the Corinthian church.

The next paragraph is one example of the gospel needed for salvation.


In 1 Corinthians 15: 1-4. Paul reminds the members of the GOSPEL TO BE SAVED! He wrote, “I would remind you brethren, (Believers) in what terms I preached to you the GOSPEL (Good news) which you received, (These people had heard and received the gospel of grace through Paul’s preaching.)in which you stand, by which you are SAVED, if you hold it fast- unless you believed in vain. (This gospel is for salvation if you truly believe in faith.) For I (Paul) delivered to you as of first importance which I, also, received. (This message of salvation is the MOST IMPORTANT words he received from the Risen Christ.) that Christ died for our sins in accordance with scripture. (Christ was crucified so ALL could be forgiven of their sins as prophesied in the Old Testament prophecies.)that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day according with the scriptures…” (CHRIST RECEIVED RESURRECTION BACK TO LIFE.)

1 Corinthians 15: 12-14, “Now if Christ is preached as raised from the dead (Resurrected) how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. (Jesus would still be dead.) Then our preaching is in vain, and your faith is in vain.” (Everything we have preached and everything you believed is in vain.) Paul, through verse 18 wrote of futile faith if Christ has not been raised, and we all are STILL IN OUR SINS, and those who have died have perished.

1 Corinthians 15: 20, “Christ has been raised from the dead, the FIRST FRUITS of those who have fallen asleep.” (Died)

In 1 Corinthians 15: 51, Paul wrote of a revealed secret to him. “We shall not all sleep (Die) but we shall be changed. At the last trump, the dead will be raised, and we shall be changed. He wrote of the perishable putting on imperishable, and the mortal putting on immortality. (Those dead coming back to life and those believers changing to immortality occur through the resurrection.)

Galatians 3:11, Paul wrote…”He who through faith is righteous shall live.”

In 1 Thessalonians 4: 16-17, Paul wrote explained that the dead in Christ (Those who had died as believers of the gospel.) will rise first, then we who
are alive shall be caught up together…

1 Thessalonians 5:9…”to obtain salvation through out Lord, Jesus Christ who died for us whether we wake, or sleep we might live with him.”

One more from the pen of Peter. In 1 Peter 1: 3-4, Peter, towards the end of his life, wrote: …”By his great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and to an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading..”

First & Second Resurrections

There are two primary resurrections shown in scripture. The first one will be those who have passed in righteousness, and those martyred during the tribulation period. The second resurrection will be against all those from the beginning who had died faithless, and rejected, with unbelief God’s words.

The angel told Daniel, in Daniel 12:2: “Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

Jesus, in Luke 14: 14 talked of being repaid at the resurrection of the just.

Jesus talked of two resurrections in John 5: 29, when he stated: “…for the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come forth, those who have done good (Righteous believers) to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil (Rejection and no belief) to the resurrection of judgment.

The Book of Revelation talks of the two resurrections in Revelation 20: 5 where the writer stated, that after Christ’s thousand years of the kingdom has been completed the second resurrection will occur. (Those who have been lost over time and those who had taken the mark and worshiped the beast will be resurrected after this time. This is known as the Great White Throne Judgment prior to the second death.) He, also, states blessed are those who share in the first resurrection.

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Black Bear (Notice the right eye.)


For over thirty years I wanted to explore some wooded land approximately thirty miles away from my home. Every time I ventured through the area I would remind myself of the need to explore and learn about these lands. Today, was the initial beginning of checking out the terrain and forest diversity.

Yesterday, March 26, Laurie and I walked a local game lands for exercise and to enjoy the warm, spring-like weather.  We saw five deer. This morning I was on my own. I knew I would be gone for, at least, half a day if not more. I was anxious to see what interest would befall my jaunt as I began to walk through the woodlands.

  The woodlands began as rather open country, but as I moved down the hill’s side I found some clear-cut areas. Soon I would be walking along a

Old Beaver sign

creek and noticing the remnants of a past Beaver dam. The waterway area was covered with downed grasses from last year. Also, many dead trees were visible wherever the water level from the dam submerged their roots. Downed trees were present and numerous old, weathered cuttings from a Beaver’s history could be readily viewed.

I stopped briefly to have a nature call when I saw the obvious head of a Black Bear. the bruin was about forty to forty-five yards from me. The nature call was aborted immediately!

I quickly realized two observations. One was that the bear was bedded and secondly, he was a huge bear. he turned his head, both left and right at times. Eventually, his gaze was in my direction. The big bear had something wrong with his right eye. (Look closely at the photos included here.) Obviously, I began taking photos whenever I could see the head well enough without limb interference. The head was big and the bear was obviously a huge male bear.

I stood on site for somewhere between five and eight minutes, before the bear stood up. Once I saw the body the size of head fell into place. The bear appeared to relieve himself. Once completed the bear turned towards the left and meandered upslope between an opening on the hill behind.

  I moved upstream to find a place easily forded. I moved through a wetlands before going up and over a slight rise in the terrain. My hope was to circle around for better photos. The bear was never viewed again although I moved up a hollow and up over a hill. I was tickled at seeing this great beast.

I walked along for approximately five hours this day seeing  a flock of turkeys and seven deer. At one point, I noticed something white at about thirty-five yards. A gobbler’s head with his body hidden by terrain. As soon as our eyes met the bird was gone.

A lot of BlueJay feathers told the story of a hawk’s meal.

I actually became bewildered for a time in this big area, but as you can see I found my direction.

Other sightings included a Red-tailed Hawk, Canada Geese, Wood Ducks, Mallards and Vultures. I was home around two and somewhat tired, but I sure was thrilled with this day’s events.








Last year’s Squawroot.



Canada Goose


Frog eggs


Wood Ducks




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A Painting For Christmas

Christmas Lights


Christmas season is quite some time into the future as I type this entry. However, I completed the painting of an elk entangled with some vintage Christmas lights. This concept happened last year within my early thoughts. I had completed, over the years, several other Christmas themed paintings featuring Whitetail Deer, a Turkey and a Black Bear. I used them as Christmas cards. I began thinking along the line of featuring an elk in a Christmas-style painting. The above painting is the results of those months of planning and working towards this goal.

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Some Of My Old Art

Clown in a cafeteria line??? (Age 6-First Grade)


Musky in abstract lines









I have been interested in drawing and coloring since I was very little. One of my first words was, “Gidda”. When I said this word the issue at hand was to have my parents give me a pencil. Obviously, I don’t remember this at all. In fact, my parents got me a Jon Gnagy Art kit when I was around six or seven. he had an art show on the television at the time.

I was in my parent’s attic checking for a water leak this past week. High winds had blown a tree over onto the house roof. I was looking to see if the rain was coming in the attic. Upon my departure I noticed an old, and rather, big envelope. This envelope had a lot of my early year art in it. I brought it home to check it out once I had some more time.

Historical personalities

Most of the drawings included had no year  on it so determining how old the art is is only estimated. However, some have my grade school class on them. The earliest to be known is fourth grade.

Some of the art shown here was school assignment projects such as the abstract. Most are wildlife or historical in nature. These interests have endured throughout my life.

Maybe the art will bring you some chuckles as they did for Laurie and myself.







Snowman (4th Grade)


Indian says Ughh dandruff






Fighting bucks


George Washington and cherry tree (1st Grade)


Years ago, Exxon had adds saying to put a tiger in your tank.
















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The Natural World


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Since having issues with placing photos on my site, I still have been out and about enjoying the natural world. I always enjoy seeing wildlife and I have heard gobblers on a couple of mid-morning jaunts. I am always looking for those small items of interest often overlooked by most people.  Some of the photos feature such things of interest.

Alder blossoms

Although I have been seeing Robins over winter at times. The numbers of Robins over the last several months have been plentiful. many times I hear

A group of mollusk shells all together.

of  people seeing their first Robins and making issue of spring being here. However, Robins can be found throughout even in winter as long as a good food supply is present.

One interesting observation were a number of mollusk shells. We always called them snails. They were all grouped together. Were they trying to keep warm or having a snail party?

Canada Geese are apparently nesting. two gave me some mean honks as I circled a pond. I didn’t look for their nest, but I suspect it may have been close because of their actions.


Ringneck Pheasant tail feather


Somebody spit out their chewing gum. (Turkey dropping)



Praying Mantis egg case

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I have been on this Pennsylvania Game Commission property several times over the years, but this particular area I had not been on for a long time. The last, and only, time I hiked this section was at the time the Deer Tick explosion was in full swing.  I was calling turkeys in September and the birds were very vocal. I had my camera ready as I crouched between some limbs from a downfall. For whatever reason I glanced down to my pants and ticks were everywhere. I killed a few and decided to get the heck out of Dodge.  Ticks can ruin an otherwise enjoyable hike. In fact, I removed and destroyed about ten this morning, too. I hadn’t seen many at all over the hunting season last year.

I lucked out with watching a longboard gobbler with his harem of about eight hens. He wasn’t too concerned over my presence with so many admirers all around him.  They carefully went up the hill away from me and within moments they were all out-of-site.  I saw several deer, too.

Owl pellet

I kept my eyes towards the trees, as I walked, searching for a Great-Horned Owl’s nest. I found  one of his pellets. Hair and bones within the pellet told the story of some poor

Multiflora Rose

mammal being utilized as food. I did not see any nests. (Owl pellets consist of any hair, feathers and bone regurgitated by the owl. These are not digestible and discarded from the internal stomach of the owl. I have found complete mouse skulls on occasions.)

Much of the area had fairly open timber with visibility of over a hundred yards, however, once I got into an area with Multiflora Rose I began noticing ticks. Those pesky critters like to crawl out the stems and attach themselves to anything that brushes against the rose stalks. Theses plants are around the first to leaf out each spring.

There were some patches of another painful plant scattered throughout the walk.The Green Briar is a native plant to Pennsylvania. Those thorns can add much pain to a human calf or arm.

I circled around this property and eventually began a descent back towards my jeep. The walk was enjoyable and I was plea


Green Briar


Birch leaf illuminated by the early sun.



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Redbank Creek

Last week I was on the Redbank Valley Association’s trail to hike from the community of Climax, Pennsylvania to New Bethlehem. The day was to be sunny, but the temperature at dawn was below freezing for I could see ice build up on non-moving water.

Eagle nest

I was chilled initially for the sun had not risen over the tops of the hill hills to my right. However, it was bright enough to see. I kept a quickened pace to get the “blood flowing” as the old timers used to say. Laurie and I had walked a section of this area last spring, but this time I was determined to complete my goal.

Various birdlife was heard and viewed along the trail. Chickadees, Cardinals, Song Sparrows and Bluejays were common. Crows flew overhead at times as did a Red-Tailed hawk. I had hoped to see a Bald eagle foe a nest is visible to see to the observant. The big birds were not active this morning.

Old railroad ties

Canada geese were present at places with their honking “to scold me” racket. I did see a hand full of deer.

Beaver sign was spotted throughout the traveling. Some cuttings were old and some were fresh. Turkey, deer and coyote tracks were on the trail.

A lot of history remains can be seen along this trail,. Old coke ovens from the later twenty years or so of the eighteen hundreds are scattered around. they would refine the coal into a carbon for hotter burning. An old bridge over Long Run had some wash out issues and was roped off, but I crossed it anyway on the way back through. Old remnants of railroad ties could be seen here and there. They were in bad shape for the most part and covered with a thick carpet of moss. I walked through the old Climax Tunnel which recently had been repaired for public use again.

As I maneuvered along, especially on the return trip, the sun had come up and created some warmth. It was a beautiful morning to be out.

I haven’t been able to add photos the way I had traditional completed the task. I have discovered an different way so I am back in action again.

Bridge over Long Run just south of New Bethlehem.



Old coke ovens


Song Sparrow


Beaver cuttings


Climax Tunnel

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Screech Owl


Screech Owl

Early this morning I went outside to do some yard work in preparation for spring. The more I can done early at this time the more time I will have to chase gobblers and hike and fish in April and May.

I entered into my backyard gazebo and noticed some white “splats” on the floor. I thought this is odd and looked up to see two big yellow eyes staring at me at about four feet. The Gray-phased Screech Owl was the culprit. The bird was perched on top of a home-made box trap of mine that I had placed across the gazebo’s rafters. This owl must be nesting inside of the box trap.  I eased out and retrieved my camera and snapped a few quick photos.

The last two years had failed to produce young owls in my owl box. The Gray squirrels took dominance of that box.

Interestingly, later in the morning I ventured out again and heard the Bluejays and Chickadees in a noisy frenzy at the owl box. The were worked up and even landing at the hole’s edge. They were peering into the box. Immediately, I thought, has another owl laid claim to the box again. All other years when owls were present in the box the birdlife acted in this manner. Yesterday, I saw a squirrel at the hole’s entrance so if any owls have moved in it had to have just happened since yesterday. Time will tell. As I type this the Gazebo Owl is still perched at the box trap.

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