Reading through the Bible - PHILEMON

Some Books of the bible are very short and some are very long but this one is one of the shortest.


18th book of the NT 
57th book of the Bible

What is it?

The Book of Philemon is one of the Epistles in the New Testament which means it is a letter.

Who was it written to?

It was written to Philemon, a Christian and church leader, who owned a slave Onesimus.

Who Wrote it?

The Apostle Paul (previously called Saul) 

Although Paul does include Timothy in the first line of the letter

"Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother"

How does it start?

It starts with a greeting v.1-3    

This is not only to Philemon but also to the church who meet in His house.

pronouncing a blessing of Grace and Peace on them all.

I love the blessings pronounced in God's Word and they are still blessings to us as well.

Then it continues straight away in verse 4 with an encouraging statement that they are not forgotten and are prayed for regularly.

How Long is it?

It has only 1 chapter which contains 25 verses.

When was it written?

It is generally thought to have been written around 60AD.

Why was it written?

It was written so that believers would accept a slave, called Onesimus, as a brother in Christ since he had met Paul and got saved.
Paul actually sent the letter with Onesimus to Philemon and asks Philemon to whom Onesimus had been a slave to forgive him for running away but also requests that he may let him return to stay with Paul.

The Overview Bible  tells us the following

"Paul strongly recommends that Philemon accept his runaway slave as a brother, not a slave."


which is seen in verse 16

 "no longer as a slave but more than a slave—a beloved brother, especially to me but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord."


Teach Sunday School  tells us the following

"Paul's message is that even though slavery was an accepted part of Roman society, we should treat each other as equals, like he encouraged Philemon to treat his slave like a brother "

What format does this book take?

The Overview Bible  tells us the following

  1. Paul greets and affirms Philemon (Phm 1–7)
  2. Paul requests that Onesimus be accepted as a brother (Phm 8–19)
  3. Paul anticipates Philemon’s obedience (Phm 20–25)

How does it end?

With greetings from 5 others that are with Paul in verses 23 & 24

and with a blessing


An example of how we should remember to bless others


The 5 Best Quotes on Forgiveness - Coffee & Conversation

I am not a fan of QUOTES

In fact sometimes I get very annoyed at how people almost treat a quote
 as more important than the Word of God

I actually wrote a blog post about Do We Really Need This Quote?

However I've been thinking about Forgiveness this month and there are some good quotes on the topic.

I have seen quotes from so many people on Forgiveness but I prefer to only refer to or recommend ones from people who I trust as standing firm on the Word of God.

So in the list below I will quote

Not Joel Osteen  but  St. Augustine

Not Joyce Meyers   but  Corrie Ten Boom   

Not William P Young (author of the Shack)  but  C.S. Lewis

1.  Saint Augustine

"Forgiveness is the remission of sins. For it is by this that what has been lost, and was found, is saved from being lost again."

2.  C. S. Lewis
"I find that when I think I am asking God to forgive me I am often in reality.... asking Him not to forgive me but to excuse me."

3.  C. S. Lewis

"I think that if God forgives us we must forgive ourselves.  Otherwise, it is almost like setting up ourselves as a higher tribunal than Him."

4.  C. S. Lewis

"To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because god has forgiven the inexcusable in you.  "

5.  Corrie Ten Boom

"Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart."

and I cannot but think that C.S. Lewis is definitely speaking for us all when he said

"We all agree that forgiveness is a beautiful idea until we have to practice it."


A personal Question of my own about Forgiveness is


Reading Through the Bible - OBADIAH

There are 2 main facts about the Book of Obadiah.

1st Main Fact
It is the shortest book in the Old Testament and the 4th shortest in the whole Bible (only 3rd John, 2nd John & Philemon are shorter).

Watch out for the 2nd main fact later in this blog post.


31st book of the OT 
31st book of the Bible

It starts with a statement in v.1

"The vision of Obadiah."

and then continues straight into the prophecy that God gave to Obadiah about the country of Edom. 

What is it?

The Book of Obadiah is one of the Minor Prophets in the Old Testament which means it is Prophecy.

How Long is it?

It has only 1 chapter which contains 21 verses.

Who Wrote it?


There are differences of opinion here it could have been

1.  Obadiah the servant of King Ahab
2.  An Obadiah that lived around the same time as Jeremiah

When was it written?

It is not exactly clear when this book was written but there are thoughts of two possible periods of time

1.  around the time of Elijah during King Ahab's reign
2.  around the time of Jeremiah when there were similar messages to the country of Edom.

Why was it written?

It was written as a warning to the people of Edom

The Overview Bible  tells us the following

"Obadiah warns the neighbouring nation of Edom that they will be judged for plundering Jerusalem."

Teach Sunday School  tells us the following

"Obadiah warns the neighbouring nation of Edom that they will be judged for plundering Jerusalem.."

Who or What does Obadiah talk about? 

The coming judgement of God on the people of Edom v 1-9

The cruel treatment of the people of Edom to the people of Israel v 10-16

The final Triumph of Israel v 17-21

What background/history is there to the story of Edom?

It comes from the time of Isaac's twin sons Jacob and Esau in the Book of Genesis.

Esau lost his birthright to Jacob and the brothers were estranged but later there was a reconciliation.  God gave them both land but Jacob still had the blessing.

Later Esau's descendants were the people of Edom and Jacob's name was changed to Israel so his descendants where the Israelites. 

What does Obadiah write as encouragement? 

Edom may seem to have won against Israel but God is the one who wins in the end.

How does it end?

It ends with verse 21

Then saviours shall come to Mount Zion
To judge the mountains of Esau,
And the kingdom shall be the Lord’s.

2nd Main Fact
It is the least popular book in the Bible!

I have to add here that there were no verses or short passages in this very short book that enticed me to make any Bible Verse graphics!!!

So if you read this Old Testament book the

The Overview Bible  says

"you’ll be able to say you read Obadiah—how many people do you know who can say that? (Probably not many … it’s the least popular book of the Bible.)"


Another 10 Easy Ideas for Face Timing with Kids - Stuck at Home & Need Help!

Are you stuck in the house?

If you are confined to home

                                      or just a long way away from your grandchildren   

 then you probably need some good ideas for things to do

                            when face timing or on a Zoom call with your grandchildren.

If So  


This is the place to find ANOTHER 10 Easy Ideas that you can do to have fun & interesting Facetime calls or Zoom meetings.

Yes Another 10 easy Ideas 
but you also might like to check out our previous posts

1.   Where's the Rock? 

We do not always have to be indoors to facetime.

We can go outside into the back garden sometimes and do things there that the kids would like to do when they visit.

On Easter Sunday we did a family Zoom Call which included the Banbridge Blacks (Fred & I), the Belfast Blacks (our son and daughter-in-law and the 3 grandchildren), the Malvern Black (our son who lives in England) and the Korean Blacks (really the Yoons - our daughter and son-in-law in South Korea).

I had hidden just 6 small Easter Eggs in two of the rooms and we took some time to walk round the house and do an Easter Egg Hunt for Matthew & Ruby.

In previous years we have done one inside and one outside in the back garden when of course they have been with us.

Another version of this is hiding large stones (possibly even painted ones) in the garden and then let the kids watch as you walk or run round the garden to see who can spot each stone first.


The grandkids could hide stones in their garden and take you out to find them!

2.   Telling a Story

As well as enjoying to read books together we can also tell stories.

Children like to hear about the grown-ups when they were little boys and girls so I knew our grandkids would enjoy short stories about things their dad and uncle Jonathan and auntie Linda did when they were young.

(Some day we need to get uncle Stephen involved to tell them stories of when he was a young boy growing up in South Korea because we don't know those things yet either.)

One way of doing this would be to show some pics of when their parents were young or of a family outing and tell the story from there.

eg.  we could tell the story of the day we went to the Ark in Vlissingen in the Netherlands

3.   Seek & Find Books 

This type of activity book is great for this type of event.

We have 

"Where's Wally?"


"Old Testament - find the parts of the pictures or find the characters"

Kids love trying to see who can find the things first.

In this I would hold the book and then Grandad could see if he could beat them in finding the items or people.

4.   Ballerinas & Ninjas

This is something our grandkids are very much into at the moment.

We have Matthew showing us his "Ninja Moves"
These are mostly cartwheels now (but started off with forward rolls) with some punching of air thrown in as he runs about.

We also have Ruby showing us her "Ballerina Poses" and then running round the room.
She started off with dainty steps and standing still with arms lifted high but progressed to running steps and trying to stand on tiptoe now.

Then the youngest one Sarah has found a way to join in - she leans over forwards and puts her head on the floor, we guess any day now she will tip on over into a forward roll.

They have so much fun doing this that we just have ask them to show us and then have a good laugh and clap them.

In other words remember what they are interested in that is very active and get them to "show you their moves"

5.   Colour, number, sound, action QUIZ!

This is actually a four-in-one idea but just think about things they might be interested in and it can be used several more times than this.

In the first "10 Easy Ideas for Face Timing with Kids" post I gave suggestions for quizes but this time you can use these new ideas and you can also have the kids use these simple ideas to prepare and be the Quiz Masters.

Colour Quiz:
Get various items they have seen before (of different colours) - then describe the item and see if they can remember the colour.

Number Quiz:
Can they remember or guess the number of items you have in certain places - lamps in the living room,  cushions in the sun room,  pictures in the hall,  ornaments on the windowsill?

Sound Quiz:
Do some little recordings of certain noises and then have them guess what made the noise (or who made the noise - Grandpa snoring!)

Action Quiz:
A quick demonstration of something they will have seen you do before without any props.
A bit like charades.

6.   Teach them to draw something.

I'd been learning to draw things to amuse the kids but some of the things I have learnt to draw are easy enough for them to try as they watch me do it.

So just warn their mum or dad that they will need some pencils and paper for this activity.

Here is a picture of the book I had bought to learn from

The birds, fish, rockets and robots are simple for them to start with and of course they will add their own flair to them all.

There is also a site online where you can get more ideas 

7.   Indoor simple exercises and dancing.

Just warn their mum or dad that they will need a bit of space.

Make sure you know what music you want to play.

Now this is good for you and them because we know we need to keep exercising too.

Make up some silly dance moves to go with some of their favourite songs and then have a few laughs.

8.   Indoor Scavenger Hunt.

Make up a list of at least 5 or 7 items - make it an odd number so that there will be a winner.

Have grandpa race against the kids and they can work together or the kids can race against each other or they can all race against each other.

My list below is an example thinking of what I know would be available on the ground floor of the grandkids home so that there is no rushing up or down the stairs

1.  1 blue item
2.  2 cuddly toys
3.  Hair brush
4.  3 crayons or colouring pencils or pens - 1 red, 1 black, 1 blue
5.  a slipper
6.  4 coins
7.  a musical instrument

9.   Guess the family member.

Think of 10 different things that would either describe a certain member of the family or tell something someone did when they were young or think of something one particular person likes and have the kids guess which family member you are talking about.

You can easily reuse this idea just by getting grandpa to do the thinking of the descriptions, or have the kids do it for you to guess.


Print out 5 pictures of different family members and cut them each up into 4 /5 pieces.
Then place one piece down after another and see if they can guess the person after just two or three pieces - keeping the head to the last of course.

10.   Learn a Bible Verse.

There are several ways to do this that will be fun for the kids.

1.  Do it as a rap.
2.  Use puppets.
3.  Dress up as a pirate or an astronaut or anything else and use a silly voice.
4.  Use a whiteboard or chalkboard
5.  Use Word Cards
6.  Use Picture Cards
7.  Make it into a Jigsaw
8.  Sing it

1.  I have done this years ago and I regret it was never taped.
2.  See Video
3.  Our son did this for his church during lockdown - see video
4.  See Video
5.  See Video
6.  Same idea as 5 but with pictures instead of words
7.  Pic
8.  See Video