Monthly Archives: November 2006

Bible College In 2007

ArlingtonComplex.jpgI have decided to enroll at Arlington Bible College in Baltimore County, Maryland, for the Spring 2007 Semester.

Over the years, I have often thought about studying the bible. I had looked at various home study (correspondence) courses, some on-line (internet) course, and the more on-site traditional setting. While I could do the correspondence and/or internet courses, I didn’t want to go that route. I felt I needed a more traditional setting in a classroom with interaction and give and take.

Prices on various types of study varied from low ($40 per semester) to very high ($200 per credit hour).

Arlington Bible College offers a traditional classroom setting at a very reasonable price ($97 per 3 credit course). The cost of $97 per 3 credit course also INCLUDES the textbook.

They are a full degree granting college which satisfies all of the criteria established by the State of Maryland for the status of a religious degree granting college. As such, they must constantly requalify to keep their accreditation.

They currently offer:

A. A one-year Certificate in Bible (30 credit hours)
B. A two-year Associates in Arts (A.A.) degree (60 credit hours)
C. A Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in Biblical Studies (126 credit hours).

If a study has a Bachelors, Masters or Doctorate degree, he also can earn a B.A. in Biblical Studies by completing 16 Biblical Studies course (48 credit hours).

A student must sucessfully complete 6 courses, either at this college or accepted by the registrar with an acceptable certified transcript:

New Testament Survey
Old Testament Survey
Foundation Truths
Principles of biblical Interpretation
English Grammar & Composition I
English Grammar & Composition II

On Monday, I went to the college and spent about 45 minutes taking to Donald Brooks, Dean of Arlington Bible College. He advised that because I already had a B.A., I didn’t need to take the two English Grammar & Composition course. Therefore, I only had to take the first four courses cited above and any other twelve courses offered.

Of special interest is the fact that Arlington Bible College regularly offers Independant Study courses each semester.

Courses are held on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings from 6:15 to 9:15 PM, with a brief break for chapel.

The schedule for the Spring, 2007 semester is:

Church History 2
Foundational Truths
Pauline Epistles 1 (or) How We Got The Bible (The ‘or’ means that only one of these course will be taught, depending on the number of students registered.)

Philosophy of Christian Life
Book of Hebrews (or) Book of Acts
Major Prophets (or) Minor Prophets
Principles of Biblical Interpretation

Old Testament Survey
Book of Leviticus
Book of Romans
Introduction to Missions
Theology 3 (Angelology & Ecclesiology
Hebrew 2 (or) Greek 1

Spiritual Leadership
Book of Matthew
Introduction to Missions
1 & 2 Samuel / 1 Chronicles

More on Arlington Bible College tomorrow.

Website & Blog

You might have noticed that I retouched the photo of my father on the right side of this blog.

The original photo had some glare on the background, due to a reflection of the flash against a glass patio door.

I pulled the photo into MicroSoft Image Composer and using both a spray and paintbrush tool, made the background black. This makes the image stand out.

I have several photos of my father, that I really like. However, this one is only a few years old and is one of my favorites.

Nelson KJV Giant Print Bible

SampleBiblePage.jpgAs noted in an earlier entry, I was looking for a single bible to use. I have several study bibles, and would grab a different one each time I read the bible. The problem was that I’d highlight each one, but not have all of the stuff together. I was making myself frustrated and decided to look for one bible that would have many of the features I liked.

The one I decided on did not have all of the features I was looking for. In fact, I don’t think the bible I was looking for, with all the different features I wanted is even made. I decided against a study bible for a few reasons. I have several good study bibles and either single, or multi-set, commenteries. I did not find exactly what I wanted with extra wide margins to make my notes.

However, I came across one from Thomas Nelson Publishers. I chose a King James Version translation with Giant Print. I looked at several ones with ‘Large’ print, but some of these really weren’t that large. This Giant Print bible has a 13.5 point size, which is very nice. It has a center column with references. Also, I got it in black bonded leather with thumb index. It is a ‘red letter’ edition, meaning all of the words Christ spoke are printed in red.

I think what sold me the most was the font size. The 13.5 is very nice. I still have some reference notes in it, although not to the extent of a study bible. One reason I chose against a study bible, was that sometimes they can be a little distracting.

One of the ads for the bible states the following.

Set in giant print type (13 1/2 point), this King James Giant Print Bible is great for individual study, teaching, or reading from the pulpit. It makes using a reference Bible more comfortable and less eye-straining. Added features include: center-column references and notes in large type, translation notes, topical running heads, self-pronouncing text, and stars to mark messianic prophecies. The affordable price and beautiful leather binding make this a great choice for anyone who is looking for value in a giant print Bible.

I was able to purchase the bible for $40. I must admit it is very readable at a 13.5 point font size. Also, I purchased a dozen or so, ‘dry’ highlighters last year. The dry highlighters are nice as they don’t bleed through the page, onto the other side. I can’t use a ‘flair’ type pen; instead, I must use a ballpoint pen, if I want to write anything on a page.

My Father & Other Items

Today marks the one month anniversary of my father’s death. I can’t believe it’s been that long already. To say I miss him is an understatement. However, I’d rather see him at peace then the way he was the last month he lived. He could hardly walk or get around. He couldn’t eat. Towards the end, he couldn’t even drink.

He’s in a much better place now, although I feel he is still with me. From nowhere I’ll get the feeling that he is right here with me. It’s comforting.

I’m off work this week. I had wanted to get quite a few things done this week and really wanted to try and get back into the swing of things.

Nora and I did go out Friday night for our 7th wedding anniversary. That was very nice. Saturday, Nora, her father, and I, went to breakfast; then, I took my mother to the graveyard. When I came home I ordered 21 volumes of the Preacher’s Outline & Sermon Bible for my collection. I’m looking forward to receiving this collection in the loose leaf bound version. I’m thinking about scanning to PDF format, so I can put onto the computer. I might even then convert the PDF files to Word format. I downloaded a sample PDF from their website and was able to convert the other day. This works well.

Saturday afternoon I took a short nap, then drove to Windsor, Pennsylvania, picked up my son; and drove to Hershey for the ice hockey game. Reb & I had a great time. I bought a few presents for my future grandson. I got a very nice plush bear, a toy Zamboni, and a toy Hershey Bear’s bus. I thought it wise to have on hand as I think Sara might deliver by Christmas. She is due on January 5th, but I don’t think she’ll make it that long.

While at the game there was a young girl sitting in back of us. She wasn’t probably older than 5 or 6. She was very cute and kept telling the Hershey Bears to ‘put it in the net’. I can’t wait until my grandson is old enough to enjoy hockey and baseball. We’ll go to quite a few games. York, Pennsylvania is going to have a minor league baseball team this year. Reb & I intend to go to several games. We’ll take my mother with us. She doesn’t like ice hockey but loves baseball. I took her to a Hagerstown (MD) Suns game in August, 2005. It was a perfect night for the game and she really enjoyed it. My father said that is all she talked about for months.

Yesterday was spent at home in my office. I labeled up envelopes for Christmas cards, signed cards, and got most of them ready for mailing today. For the last few years I’ve sent out a booklet of my writings during the year. I did this in 2003 & again in 2004. Actually, in 2004, I sent out two booklets. One was the regular booklet and another was a booklet I had written about telemarketers. I didn’t send one out last year. I did quite a bit of writing last year, but most of it was for my horror novel “Siamese Sister”.

This year I got back to writing about April and wrote quite a few political and social commentary / satire pieces about the illegal immigration mess this country is going through. I also included part of a chapter of my novel. Finally, I included the eulogy I did for my father. Many people wanted copies of it. This year’s booklet was the largest I’ve done. It went 52 pages. Xeroxing at Office Depot was very expensive, as costs have gone up. I think if probably cost me about $1.50 each to have printed. To that I add the cost of the mail and postage. I’m not sure what the postage will be for each one mailed out. I’m including a Christmas card in each one. It probably runs me a good $3.00 total for printing, mailer, and postage. Since I send out about 100 each year, it does get rather expensive. It’s difficult to say if I will continue to do this in the future. The cost is high.

Also, I’ve really lost my enthusiam for reading and writing horror and social and political pieces. It’s gone; perhaps forever. I no longer listen to any of the talk shows. I had a subscription to Rush Limbaugh’s and Michael Savage’s websites and would download their previous day’s shows onto the computer in mp3 format. Then I’d burn them to a CD once a week for my father. I found myself doing this again last week without thinking. I can’t even stand to watch the news shows. I would really only watch Fox News, rarely CNN. I now find the announcers to be very silly in the morning show. I don’t even watch it anymore.

I also spent some time yesterday reading E.M. Bounds book on prayer. I like his style. He writes short, powerful sentences that are easy to understand.

This morning I’m working in my office. I still have more straightening up to do. A few weeks ago, I bought a collection of ‘get well’, ‘birthday’, and ‘sympathy’ cards. I haven’t been good about sending cards out in the past. I learned quite a bit during my father’s last month and since then. He got a huge collection of ‘get well’ and ‘birthday’ cards. He really liked them. Also, I read every sympathy card I received several times. We’ve saved every one of them. They meant quite a bit. I’m putting all of the cards I bought together today, close at hand, to send out when needed.

Today, I want to make a decision on something. I have several ‘study bibles’.

  • Ryrie Study Bible – King James Version

  • NIV Study Bible – New International Version

  • John Hagee Life Plan Study Bible – New King James Version

  • Charles Stanley Life Principles Study Bible – New King James Version

  • Scofield Stye System Bible – New King James Version

  • I’ve used them all, and have marked up and have various notes in each. That’s part of the problem. I’ll grab a different one each time, but want to decide on just one to use as my main study bible. The other’s will be used as a backup for reference. Actually, I’m not entirely sure if I’ll use one of these, or purchase another. All have some things that I really like. Most have cross references in the margins. I like that every much. I also like having notes at the bottom of the page to explain different things, but I can get along without that. As I’m getting older, I’m leaning towards a larger print bible. Also, I would like wide margins on each page to make my own notes. Finally, I would like one that is already indexed. I add ‘tags’ to my bible, but find they can rip the page rather easily. Boy, I sure have quite a few requirements:

  • Larger print
  • Wide margins
  • Chain reference
  • Soft Cover
  • Red Letter edition (Words of Christ in red)
  • Indexed
  • Pages can’t be tissue thin for highlighter or ink to bleed through
  • Study notes (if possible)
  • Translation ???

  • Of the items listed above the study notes, red letter edition, and indexed are the least important; while the thickness of pages, wide margins, chain reference, and larger print are the most important. I would probably either go with a King James Version or New King James Version. Although I’ve used the NIV and have read portions of the ESV, I would probably not go with them as my main study bible.

    I’m meeting Tom for lunch today. I’m going to go to His Way Christian Bookstore in Glen Burnie and take my time looking at the various bibles. They also have a store in Ellicott City. I could check there also. Sometimes the supplies are different. I’ll try to get a better idea of what is available and price range. Then I can always write the information down and check for costs on the internet.

    Nora also wants me to check out a digital camera for Christmas. With the grandson on the way, it would be nice to have a digital camera. Talk about styles, features, and price range! That’s enough to make your head spin around in circles.

    I have to run now. I need to get the various greeting cards in order and clean up the kitchen, before I get out of here today.

    With a little luck, I’ll hear back from Arlington Bible College before I leave. I’d like to go there tonight and talk to someone and possibly sit in on a class.

    A Little Update

    In a previous posting of the other day I mentioned that I felt as if my father was still with me. Sometimes I can ‘smell’ him. I had also mentioned that my mother heard sounds in the kitchen during the middle of the night and felt someone tugging on her leg.

    I mentioned this to my son the other day. He said that ever since my father died, doors have been opening and closing by themself in his house. This had never happened before and had just only started.

    Specifically, he said that the door to the baby’s nursery was constantly opening and closing.

    It’s like my father is still around, waiting on his great grandson and checking on his room.

    I mentioned everything to Nora. She said that I did ask my father to send us a sign to let us know he was OK. This could be his way of doing just that.

    Bible College & Bibles

    Yesterday I phoned the Scripture Truth Book Company and placed an order for the 14 loose leaf volumes of the New Testament in the King James version. I also ordered the first seven loose leaf volumes of the Old Testament, which covers Genesis through Deuteronomy (commonly known at the First Five Books Of Moses or Pentateuch (a Greek word that is derived from two words: penta meaning “five”, and teukhos which means “implement” which refers to the Hebrew Bible’s books of Genesis, Exodus , Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy) It is also sometimes referred to as the Torah, which is a Hebrew word meaning “teaching,” “instruction,” or “law”.

    Wikapedia states: For Jews, the Torah was traditionally accepted as the literal word of God as told to Moses. For many, it is neither exactly history, nor theology, nor legal and ritual guide, but something beyond all three. It is the primary guide to the relationship between God and man, and the whole meaning and purpose of that relationship, a living document that unfolds over generations and millennia.

    I’ve always enjoyed reading the first five books of the Old Testament, along with Psalms, and Proverbs.

    The Preacher’s Outline & Sermon Bible series has not yet published Psalms or Proverbs. Currently, they have completed Genesis, Exodus , Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1st & 2nd Samuel, 1st & 2nd Kings, 1st & 2nd Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Isiah, and Jeremiah.

    I’ll slowly add others to my collection; however, today’s total was $607.95. I’m using income from my web design business to pay for these bibles. Hopefully, customers will pay their 2007 invoices before the end of this year!

    I’m also going to use income from the web design business to fund part of my tuition at Arlington Bible College. I phoned them yesterday and ask for an application. I’ll have to contact UMBC and have my transcript sent to them.

    I asked Arlington Bible College to call me before noon on Monday. As I’m off next week and in town on Monday, I’d like to stop there Monday evening and talk to someone about the Spring semester. I’m also going to request permission to sit in on a Monday night class to get the feel of the college. That will be very helpful in making my final decision about attending in the spring.

    I’m going to probably see about purchasing a few more study bibles and commentaries. I get quite a lot out of the various commentaries and find them very useful. I have, in book format, Zondervan’s NIV Old & New Testament Bible Commentary (two hardbound volumes – 2,801 pages), J. Vernon McGee’s ‘Thru The Bible’ series (5 hardbound books – 1,080 pages), Matthew Henry’s Complete & Unabridged Commentary on the Whole Bible (one hardbound volume – 2,485 pages), and Matthew Poole’s Commentary on the Holy Bible (5 hardbound volumes – 1008 pages). I refer to these all of the time.

    Within eSword, I currently have 19 bible commentaries. While I like have the commentaries in electronic format, nothing beats the printed word.

    Oh yes, within Quick Verse 8, I also have several commentaries.

    I understand that the Expositor’s Bible Commentary (12 volumes, edited by Fran E. Gaebelein) is another very good source. Currently, is selling this set at $119.99. It retails for $456.88.

    Arlington Bible College has a library that I would like to check out when I visit.

    I hadn’t thought of it until yesterday, but it is possible, after I receive the Preacher’s Outline & Sermon Bible in loose-leaf format, to take everything out of the binders, and scan everything into PDF format. This way, I can always have it on my hard drive and with me, at all times.

    Yesterday & Today

    Yesterday was very difficult. I went to bed about 9 PM on Thursady and woke up very early Friday morning. I believe I was dreaming about my Dad right before I woke up. Suddenly I was wide awake. I sometimes refer to this as waking up with a ‘bang’. It happens from time to time, generally on the weekend when I have quite a bit of work I want to get done.

    However, this was slightly different, a little scary, yet comforting.

    I sat up sharply in the bed for no good reason. Sometimes one of the dogs wakes me up to go outside, but this wasn’t the case.

    I instantly looked at my watch. Still groggy, I started trying to remember which day of the week it was.

    Then it hit me. I was 2:15 AM on Friday morning. I started to cry. Dad died 2:15 AM on Friday morning, exactly four weeks ago.

    How do you explain that? Over the past month I’ve woken up exactly at 2:15 AM on several days; however, I was able to get back to sleep. Not yesterday.

    The Maryland Veteran’s Cemetery in Crownsville requested we not return until about a month after burial. They bury everyone in a row and generally there is machinery and loose soil in the immediate area. It takes about a month before they move far enough away, that everything isn’t muddy.

    I picked up my Mom and went down to the cemetery this morning. It was very easy to find Dad’s grave as the cemetery is very well laid out and clearly labeled. The more recent headstones even have the section, row, and grave number carved on the headstone.

    It was a very difficult couple of minutes for both of us. I know how difficult it has been for me over the past month; I can’t comprehend what it has been like for my Mother. On some days, I seem to be doing very well, then something happens and I start remembering and thinking about my Dad, then I get upset. Right now, it is difficult to remember the good times and him in good health. I imagine that is par for the course. In time, that will change; but right now I only think about his last few months and what he went through.

    When I walk in my Mom’s living room, I immediately look over to the spot where his hospital bed was. I do it without even thinking about it.

    My Mom said the other day she was in bed and heard noises coming from the kitchen. She got up and checked, but nothing was there. This repeated itself several times. Then she fell back to sleep and woke when she felt someone tugging on her leg. Naturally, no one was there.

    I believe the moment you die, your soul goes forth, but that your spirit stays behind. Perhaps that is what we are both feeling.

    Also, the last few weeks my Dad had a slight odor about him. You could only smell it if you were right up against him. I thought it might be from the chemo treatment, medicine, or disease. Also, he was sweating and clammy, at times. It wasn’t really a foul smell, but it wasn’t a good smell either. It was something different. In fact, I didn’t even notice the smell at the time. However, after he died, for days, I smelt it on my hands and about my face. I would only smell it if I was leaning in very close and whispering in his ear.

    That smells comes and goes, several times a day. Last night, Nora went into the Giant to do a little shopping. I stayed in the car. From out of no where I got the smell in my nostrils. Where did it come from?

    I have now come to enjoy that smell. To me, it’s like my father is with me – either right beside me or actually within me. It’s not scary – it’s reassuring. I feel comforted when it happens and hope it always remains. It’s like Dad is right here with me, checking up on me to see if I am OK.

    Well, Dad; I’m doing the best I can. I’m trying to become a better person – more like you in every way. I’m making changes in my life for the better. I find myself now thinking, “What would Dad do?” in various situations. Most often, it’s a different and better decision that what I would rush to do in the past.

    He’ll be gone a month, this coming Monday. My mother said today that she’s lost her best friend. I can’t imagine how difficult it has been on her. She is dealing with everything that needs to be done financially, etc. She is dealing with all of the household issues and is starting to clean out some of his items. Today she gave me a few a his hats. One was his ‘Bonnie Blink Cornhusking’ baseball hat. She also gave me his Masonic hankerchiefs and a few other items. She’s also going to give me all of his ties.

    I got up early again today (5 AM). I’m going to try and get a few hours sleep, then drive to Windsor, Pennsylvania to pick up my son. From there we are going to Hershey to watch the Hershey Bears (hockey team) play.

    Life goes on. I intend to buy my soon-to-be-born grandson a Hershey’s Bears ‘teddy’ bear and a toy Zamboni. A Zamboni is the machine that cleans the ice during the hockey games.

    I need to remember to tell my son that the funeral home is sending a small tree to his house, in the spring. He can plant it in remembrance of his grandfather.

    On Tuesday, I’ll pick up my Mom in the early afternoon and head to West Virginia. Nora will come up after work on Tuesday and we’ll spend the Thanksgiving holiday up there. This will probably be a little easier on my Mom. I’m going to take a few days and do some bible study and perhaps a little genealogy. Sometimes I can almost hear my Dad telling me, “Don’t sit there doing nothing – get something accomplished.” I was never one to sit idle; although I’ve done my share of that this past month.

    Actually, I’ve enjoyed it, once I realized that I really needed some quiet, reflective, down time. It’s almost like prayer. I sit and think about things, including my father, and look at everything that is going on in my life. I’ve learned a lot more about myself and my father, during the past few months. I’m trying to capture some of that grace and dignity he had his entire life. While it came naturally to him; I have to work at it – but I am making the best effort I can. So far, I’m pleased with my changes. I think he would be pleased also.

    Arlington Bible College & Preacher’s Sermon Bible

    Nora and I discussed the possibility of me taking a course (or two) at Arlington Bible College in the spring.

    She’s reminded me that over the years, I’ve said things like that before but never carried them out. I did take a course through Writer’s Digest, but did take a few months off in the middle of it, before I completed it. Also, I signed up for another writing course, but dropped it after two weeks. The course was advertised as a ‘mystery’ writing class, but was very slanted to crime novels. That was the reason for that.

    She also reminded me that I’m very tired when I get home at night and hate to go back out. There’s no arguing with that, as it is 100% correct. I’m just feeling this is something I really want to do and will make every effort to carry it through.

    However, with that said, she is behind me 100% in going back to college. I’ve been away for about 31 years now. The last time I attended any courses was in the Master’s program in Criminal Justice at the University of Baltimore. (And, NO, I didn’t complete the entire program, as I left the criminal justice field).

    It is possible I might take one class on campus (1 night a week), plus take one independant study course. That would give me six credits.

    As I’m off work next week, I might go up there on Monday night to talk with an advisor. I might ask if I can sit in on a class to get the feel of being in the classroom again.

    Also, tomorrow I’m going to see about purchasing the Preacher’s Outline & Sermon bible as written about in previous postings. I’d purchase the entire New Testament (14 volumes), plus the first five books of the Old Testament (7 volumes). I’m going to call tomorrow to check on the availability of the loose leaf version.

    Arlington Bible College

    Arlington Bible College is located in Baltimore County, Maryland. It is an outgrowth of the Arlington Bible Institue which was started in the early 1970’s. Classes are held on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings, with an occassional class on Saturday.

    The college satisfies all of the criteria established by the State of Maryland for the status of a religious degree granting college and offers a one year Certificate in Bible (30 credits), a two year Assoiciate of Arts (A.A.) degree (60 credits) and a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in Biblical Studies (126 credits).

    If a student already as a Bachelors degree, he can earn another B.A. in Biblical Studies by completing 16 Biblical Studies courses (48 credits).

    There are six mandatory courses for the B.A. degree:

  • New Testament Survey

  • Old Testament Survey

  • Foundational Truths

  • Principles of Biblical Interpretation

  • English Grammar & Composition I

  • English Grammar & Composition II

    If you already have a Bachelor’s degree and have a transcript sent to Arlington Bible College showing satisfactory completion of the two English grammer & composition courses, you would only have four required courses to take.

    Arlington Bible College has a tuition rate of $97 per credit hour or $291 per course. Textbooks are included with each course offered. Discounts apply when taking more than one course per semester.

    Two courses cost $562, three courses cost $833, four courses cost $1104.

    It is possible that I might take a course in the Spring, 2007, semester, as Arlington Bible College is only about a 35 minute drive from my home. Classes run from 6:15 to 9:15 PM, with a half hour chapel and break period per evening.

  • Dr. Charles Stanley

    Note: This was originally posted on my personal blog in December, 2005.


    Here is the educational biography for Dr. Charles Stanley:

    At the age of fourteen, Dr. Stanley received a clear call to the ministry, which later led him to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Richmond in Richmond, Virginia, and a Bachelor of Divinity degree at Southwestern Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.

    He then earned the degrees of Master of Theology and Doctor of Theology from Luther Rice Seminary in Atlanta.