Posted by: Barbara Wilbur for ElysJoy Church | July 22, 2015

Jonah: The Running Prophet

As I was preparing for my Bible study class this morning, I ran across this great chart that outlined the book of Jonah from Charles Swindoll. I have been a fan of his ministry for years because he just cuts to the chase and outlines the Scriptures in simple language. I thought I would share it today because this little book is about much more than being swallowed by a whale!

To learn more about the life of Jonah, check out the teaching on the Insights for Living Website or download the PDF Version an overview by Charles Swindoll here:  Jonah-Insight for Living Ministries.

Jonah Overview Chart

Image Credit Insights for Living Ministries










Posted by: Barbara Wilbur for ElysJoy Church | July 20, 2015

Chapter by Chapter Summary of 1 Corinthians

Overview 1 Corinthians

Video link to an overview of 1 Corinthians via The Bible Project

We just wrapped up our study of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians in our Thursday night Bible study. This book is full of information still important to the body of believers today.  Here is a printable outline of 1 Corinthians chapter by chapter to give you an idea of what’s inside this important letter!

Download the Chapter Summary Chapter Summary 1 Corinthians

Overview of 1 Corinthians Chapter by Chapter

Posted by: Barbara Wilbur for ElysJoy Church | January 4, 2015

New Year’s Resolution to Dig into the Bible

2015 is here!  The start of a new year is the time we think about starting things.   This year why not start to study the Word of God.  Begin to build a relationship with the one that created you and knows exactly what you need.   Here are a few ideas you can morph into your for 2015:Bible-topical-300x231

  1. Start a new Bible Reading Plan – There are tons of them out there but be sure to start one that is not overwhelming.  Ask God to help you stick to it every day.   Your life changes when you are in the Word of God every day.  To start your plan:
    1. Download a Bible Reading Plan and put it in your Bible and in your car.  That way when you are stuck in traffic you can read from your smart phone or a pocket Bible you place strategically where you can get to it.
    2. Pick a Bible translation you can read and understand. While the Holy Spirit is the key to understanding and knowledge, it is easy to get discouraged if you have no idea what you just read at the top level.    The Bible you use this year may not be the one you use five years from now.  Pick a translation that makes sense to you now.  Our blog post that outlines the various translations is a good place to better understand the different translations.   I use the NASB or MEV  when I study now, but years ago I started with an NIV and it was exactly what I needed at the time.
    3. Be sure to pray before you start.  The Holy Spirit is the key to understanding the Word of God.  Ask him to be with you as your read and to fill you with the application of the passage to your life.
    4. Schedule it.  Set a time and  a place to read the Bible every day.  If you miss it, make it up the same day if possible.  Doing it first thing in the morning will start your day right.
  2. Join a Bible Study.  Through your local church, a community Bible study or even an online blog can get you going.   Both Beth Moore and Kay Arthor have loads of information on their sites.   CBS Community Bible Study is also a nationwide study that is non-denominational and interprets scripture with scripture.
  3. Memorize Scripture- Even if it is one verse a month, write God’s word on your heart.  The Holy Spirit will bring it to your remembrance when you need it the most.


Posted by: Barbara Wilbur for ElysJoy Church | November 12, 2014

Bible Translations Explained

Bible Translation ComparisonI know there is a lot of controversy in the United States, especially among certain denominations about which translation of the Bible is acceptable to read and study.   This blog post is my thoughts on the subject and some charts and definitions to help you decide  for yourself.   Use this information and pray about it and God will reveal his will to you.

My feelings are that as a new Christian you should be able to understand what you are reading so some of the more modern translations like the NIV or God’s Word translation are perfect for that.   As soon as you feel comfortable, a step from the “thought for thought” translation style to the “word for word” translation style may be what will work at your next level.   These help you get the full impact of the text and are recommended for word studies and the original language research of Greek or Hebrew.

My Bible translation of choice varies depending on what I am doing.  I use the  NASB (New American Standard Bible) the most.  It is true to the original language, is a word for word translation but reads much easier than some others.    I also use for personal study time and many blog posts and lessons, the HCSB, (Holman Christian Standard Bible)  It reads well and is closer to the word for word translation method than some others.  For deep study, I use the interlinear Bible.   This is  a bible which has the Hebrew or Greek word then the English word right under it including the Strongs’ Dictionary number.  A great tool for deep study.   You can get the interlinear on line for free at  That is a great site!   When I am working with a new believer, I often give them a NIV translation or even a God’s Word  or CEV translation to get them started.

Bible Translations Explained To see a great overview of the most common translations, click on the Bible Translation button on the right to read Mike Bryant of KY’s blog about Bible Translations.  He does a great job of explaining it simply.

Now I know I must address the situation of the people that believe the King James Version 1611  is the only acceptable Bible so here goes.   While a great translation for people already familiar with the Bible, for new Bible readers and students, that translation is very hard to understand.  I find it often makes them discouraged because it is not in contemporary English they can even understand.  The thees and thous get them.   While the Holy Spirit is a powerful thing which can do ANYTHING, handing a new Christian a KJV Bible and telling them that if they are saved then the Spirit will interpret for them makes them feel like they will never understand God’s Word which is never God’s intention and even question their salvation.    The Bible is for everyone!  Interestingly,  the first manuscripts written in the New Testament were Greek.  That was the language of the day and could reach many more people than writing in Jesus’ language which scholars document as Aramaic.  And that was obviously God’s plan.  He uses all things for His glory!

Here is one more chart that we use often when helping people choose a translation that fits them and below that find a chart you can download and review more extensively.

Bible Translation Chart

Bible Translation Chart to Download– This is a PDF Document you can easily print.

Now go get a Bible and watch God move!

So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11 NIV

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. Isaiah 55:11 KJV

Posted by: Barbara Wilbur for ElysJoy Church | November 7, 2014

My Top 5 Favorite Sites for Christian Information

I am always interested in the websites people visit and the places on the web where they spend their time.  It really does tell you a ton about a person.   Sites like Pinterest and Facebook can really eat up your time.    Sometimes though we are able to click a link or read a post that really gets to the heart of something we needed to know.   Here are my top 5 Christian Info Go To Sites: (not really in any order)

Charisma Magazine – A great place to get news about the Christian walk including news stories not covered by our main stream media.   From the lasted Bible translation available to great blogs and not issues dismissed by the mainstream press,  this magazine doesn’t hold back.   Charisma is also available in a print edition.

Proverbs 31 Ministries – This ministry site is a must visit for Christian women today.   It is full of topics important to women and includes free on line Bible Studies!   With daily devotions and the ability to listen on line to their radio show, this site inspires and teaches.  A great pick me up anytime.

The Jerusalem Post – This news site is the most up to date regarding the happenings in Israel and the Middle East.   Seeing the events of the world through the eyes of the Israel news is so incredible.  I am always amazed that our US press doesn’t cover many of these stories.   This news site doesn’t hold back which is why I love it so much I get breaking news alerts sent to my phone.   Be careful with that though, remember Jerusalem is 7 hours ahead of us so the middle of the night here is their busiest news cycle!

Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk – This started years ago as a radio show which continues today.   But their website springboards on those topics and covers just about everything related to building a strong Christian family.  This is great for parents, grandparents or even spiritual family members.

Koinonia House 66/40- This is a site for DEEP Bible study.  If I could only subscribe to one podcast the one from this site would be it and the study notes from this site are incredible.   This site digs deep, deep, deep into the scriptures and the founder Chuck Missler is one of the most gifted and enlightened teachers I have ever encountered.

Go Visit some of these and try them out for yourself then post back here some of your favorite sites!

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