Cloud Valley

Christian Living


Christian Living

The Christian living sections provides encouraging and helpful articles on a variety of topics for living a godly life as a Christian in today's world as we live our daily lives and work for the Lord.

Thursday, 10 March 2022 15:55

Does Job Fear God For Nothing?

Written by

One time God and Satan were having a discussion about a man named Job who served God devoutly. In fact, God says there is no one like Job, blameless, upright, God fearing, and avoiding evil.[1] Satan asked God, “Does Job fear God for nothing?”[2] The question asserts that Job only serves and honors God because of all the blessings he receives from God.

Monday, 07 February 2022 10:06

Stepping Out In Faith

Written by

Sometimes we come to a situation in life when our faith leads us in a different direction than conventional wisdom would. This disparity produces a dilemma, “Do we trust our faith or our wisdom?” Ezra faced such a situation and chose to trust his faith by stepping out in faith.

Ezra was about to lead a large group of Israelites from Babylon to Jerusalem. The journey could be dangerous and conventional wisdom demanded an armed escort but, his faith assured him they would be safe without one. Ezra explained the lack of an escort to the people as they worshiped God and prayed for traveling mercies for the journey as they prepared to step out in faith.

For I was ashamed to request from the king troops and horsemen to protect us from the enemy on the way, because we had said to the king, “The hand of our God is favorably disposed to all who seek Him, but His power and His anger are against all those who abandon Him.”
Ezra 8:22 (NASB 2020)
Wednesday, 19 January 2022 20:17

A False Sense of Safety: Take Heed

Written by

 The lines across the road marking a crosswalk invite people into a zone of safe passage. But I do not see safety. I see the crosswalk offering little more than a false sense of safety, after all it offers no barrier to harm but only a hope that cars will stop and wait for a person to cross. People feel safer than they really are within the crosswalk zone.

Wednesday, 19 January 2022 09:15

Living A Life After God’s Own Heart.

Written by

After Saul had offered the burnt offering to the Lord instead of waiting for Samuel to arrive, Samuel said to him,[1]

“But now your kingdom shall not endure. The Lord has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.”
1 Samuel 13:14 (NASB95)

This little statement, “A man after His own heart” comes with little explanation. This phrase spoken to King Saul by God’s mouthpiece, the prophet Samuel is not about Saul but rather about his replacement, David. The one that God sees as a person after his own heart is David.  Now, David is a man we soon understand to be imperfect and one who commits grievous sins against God. We wonder how David can be an example of a person after God’s own heart. How can we hope to live a life after God’s own heart ourselves?

Wednesday, 28 October 2020 13:07

Becoming the Christian God Wants You to Be

Written by

I discovered several valuable lessons about living a Christian life as I studied about the adoption of the new Christian by God upon salvation. It left me wanting to learn more about the unity of believers and how it related to the lessons I had learned. Christian virtues came next and then a study about forgiving one another. I realized I had a series developing on a theme of Christian growth. I had not planned a series, but one topic led to the next. The series seemed complete after a studying of contentment through the peace of God.

Friday, 09 October 2020 20:15

The Art of Contentment

Written by

Are you content in your life? What is it to be truly content anyway? Look to Job and Paul in the bible as examples of content people. From these two men we can learn how we ourselves can become content also. We to can practice true contentment.

Monday, 21 September 2020 05:49

A Grateful Heart is a Forgiving Heart

Written by

I have heard people say, “I do not have to forgive someone if they have not asked me for forgiveness.” But as I have studied forgiveness as it relates to our fellow human, I have found this statement is unfounded. It has no basis in scripture.

Wednesday, 04 March 2020 16:16

The Christian Beliefs Of

Written by

This is a Christian website and holds solely to Christian beliefs and doctrines based on the Bible.




We Believe the Bible (Return To Top)

We must know what the Bible is before the title above can have any real meaning. We must first ask, “What is the Bible?” You will see a link for “What is the Bible” when I get it written.

To put it simply, the Bible is the word of God. The revelation of Himself, His desires, and His love for us. The Bible is accurate in everything it addresses and is without contradiction within itself. We approach the Bible seeking to understand its message literally unless a passage indicates it one should read it differently such as in the poetic passages. We seek to understand the intended meaning of the author as the original readers would have understood the Bible in their time and culture. Any other way of reading the Bible leads to misunderstandings and apparent contradictions.

Be believe all sixty-six books of the Bible are the verbally inspired word of God. The Bible is the only inspired word of God. The Bible is useful for understanding what God has revealed to us of Himself, his desire for us to have a relationship with Him, and how we can have a relationship with Him. The Bible consisting of its sixty-six books and the evidence of Him in Creation are the only revelations God has us. This is why we believe the Bible.


There is only one true God.  (Return To Top)

The God of the Biblea god is anything a person worships, there are many gods. Some of these objects of worship may have an evil spirit associated with them; however, there is only one true god. He is a holy god whose name is greatly revered, so we usually simply call Him God instead of using his personal name.

God is the necessary cause of all creation. Without Him nothing would exist other than Himself for he is eternal and the creator of all other things that exist.


God Is A Triune Being.   (Return To Top)

The Bible explicitly states there is only one god, yet there is The Father, The Son (Jesus) and The Holy Spirit. The Bible attributes deity to each of these. Therefore, we understand God is triune, three persons, yet only one god having one essence and cannot divide into separate entities parts. Theologians refer to this as the trinity or the Godhead. It has been the Christian understanding of God from the beginning on and remains the traditional position of the Christian faith.

Let me say to clarify in the beginning of Christianity, people relied on the Old Testament scriptures and the teachings of the apostles. The church did not formulate any doctrines until after the writing of the New Testament and its scrolls gathered and carefully studied. These doctrines assist us in and discussing Biblical concepts.

The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirt are united not only in essence but also in purpose. God is a living sovereign being, self-existent without beginning or end. The Bible describes God as being present everywhere, knowing all things, unlimited in power and unchanging. God is holy, righteous, and full of goodness and truth. God is complex and exceeds our comprehension in many ways, perhaps in every way. We appreciate the mystery of God and anticipate knowing more of His mystery when we get to heaven.


There is only one way to God. (Return To Top)

“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. Matthew 7:13 (NASB95)

A narrow or a wide view of something has no bearing on its truthfulness. 1+2 is always 3. That is a very narrow view but always true. A person can work an algebra problem and show 1=2 using math, but you must break the rules of math to get 1 = 2. That is un-math that leads to untruth. The age-old question, “What is truth?” has become now the common statement, “There is no truth” or “Truth is relative.”

Truth seems elusive after so many lies and partial truths thrown at us by advertising, overwhelming our senses. It seems easier to not accept anything as truth than to sort through all the available information. Probability statistics might indicate the designation of “untruth” or “partial truths” fits all information. The same probability would erroneously say the narrow view that 1+2=3 is not true.

Adam and Eve faced a similar dilemma in the Garden of Eden. God had given them one rule. "Don’t eat of the forbidden tree or you will die." The serpent told them they would not die but instead would be like God knowing good and evil. They chose wrong, they died and all of humanity condemned to death. We all die. We cannot choose not to accept the reality and truth of death.

God set forward a plan to redeem humanity, individual by individual. Each person making the choice for themselves to serve God, or not. Just as in the case of Adam and Eve, there are other voices saying different things like, “any plan will do.” God’s plan is salvation and redemption through the sacrifice of Jesus the Messiah (the promised one).

“And there is salvation in no one else;
for there is no other name under heaven
that has been given among men by which
we must be saved.” Acts 4:12 (NASB95)

The context of the Bible verse above says that only Jesus Christ can save us. There is no other alternative according to God.


We are all a work in progress and not perfected on earth. (Return To Top)

There are various kinds of Christians. Most Christians are Christian by name only and not Christian at all. There are those who were told they were Christian. Perhaps even born Christian. Others said a prayer once and pronounced “saved” and told nothing could change that no matter what they ever did wrong. For them there is no sense of sin and no need for change in their lives. To God they are no different than any other sinner who resists his love.

Others may have had a religious experience but did not nurture their relationship with God. They do not spend time with God to maintain their relationship. They do not read their Bibles, pray, or fellowship with Christians. Jesus once told a parable of seeds that sprouted. Some of the seeds were fried by the sun while others were choked out by overcrowding weeds. In the end these seeds died out and never amounted to anything. This is the story of many would be “Christians.” To God they are no different than any other sinner who resists his love.

Then there are what I would call the real Christian or the true authentic Christian. Some would say “a follower of Christ.” These are people who became conscious of their sins. They understood their sins displeased God and they chose to turn away from their sins. In their hearts, they came to hate the sin in their lives. They realized Christ had to die on the cross because of their sins. Their hearts turned away from their sins. Also, with their will power they implemented changes to avoid sinning against God again. They also let the Holy Spirit help and guide them to a godly life. They repented of their sins with their mind, heart, and will.

They desire God. They desire His love and the personal relationship He offers them. For them, to pick up a Bible and learn of God is bliss and time spent talking with Him is lovely. Time spent with fellow Christians is a source of encouragement and strength for them. To God they are His child.

This may sound like the perfect “Christian.” However, God is working on them all along the way. The Christian will never reach a state of perfection by God’s standard. God’s spirit will direct the Christian to examine various things in their life. When the Christian is sensitive to this leading of the Lord, they will address the issue and repent. This happens many times over as God nudges them toward holiness through this process of sanctification. Through this process Christians become more like Christ, more holy though still imperfect, but a forgiven sinner, and getting better all the time. The authentic Christian is a work in progress as the Lord guides them toward holiness.

Some people live in constant self condemnation. This is not healthy physically or spiritually. We must let God forgive us and we must forgive ourselves. But if you are not experiencing spiritual growth in your Christian walk, you should be asking why. If your church is not teaching this it should, the New Testament of the Bible uses the words sanctify, sanctified and sanctification nearly thirty times. It is a significant theme in the Bible and should be part of our lives.

What kind of Christian are you? Does your life please God?

Further reading

Bible verses: Psalm 139:23-24; Psalm 51:1-12; Romans 12:1–2; Colossians 1:10

Article: Prayer Builds Your Relationship With God


 The Baptism of the Holy Spirit. (Return To Top)

The purpose of the gifts of the Holy Spirit are to help the church in her work of evangelizing the world. There are nine gifts of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit enters people when they become Christians. There is also a second blessing of being “filled with the Holy Spirit” which is often referred to as “the baptism of the Holy Spirit.” Some people claim this vanished with the Apostles of the New Testament. This claim is unwarranted and unsupported by scripture.

The baptism of the Holy Spirit is for today and not expected to cease while the Church is on earth. The purpose of the being filled with the Holy Spirit is for empowerment to build the church and as a sign to those in need of Christ. This purpose continues until Christ comes to gather up his church and take them to heaven. God works through people to do miraculous things. He uses manifestation these gifts

See: Acts 2:4; 4:8; 4:31; 9:17; 13:9; 13:52; 1:8

There are nine gifts of the Spirit listed in 1 Cor 12:4-10. There are no other gifts of the Spirt found in scripture.

The gifts of the Spirit are:

  • The word of Wisdom
  • The word of Knowledge
  • Faith
  • Gifts of healings
  • Gift of miracles, Miraculous powers.
  • Prophecy
  • Discernment of spirits
  • Kinds of tongues
  • Interpretation of tongues.

Some people believe there are more than the nine gifts of the Spirit listed above. They look at Ephesians 4:11-14. This does not list any Gifts of the Spirit. Rather it lists the roles within the church that God has called people to fill for the purpose of “equipping of the saints for the work of service” and “the building up of the body of Christ” (NASB95) This is understood from the context. The gift is to the churches and this gift to the churches are the people filling these roles in the church. Any addition of gifts to the nine above will distort the understanding of the gifts. Read Ephesians 4:11-14 in its context in several translations and you will see it is not listing gifts of the Spirit.

He gave:

  • People to be apostles
  • People to be prophets
  • People to be evangelist
  • People to be pastors
  • People to be teachers

1 Peter 4:10 is another place some find additional gifts. Really it tells people how to use their gifts to serve as a good steward of their gift. There are no additional gifts listed. Some of the gifts of the Spirit involve speaking. Verse 11 simply says to speak “as one who is speaking the utterances of God.” All the gifts are used in service of God and in a spirit of love. Peter is telling us how the gifts are to be used. Be careful of the context of verses people use to identify additional gifts of the spirit. Otherwise it can be misleading. 1 Cor 12:28 does not discuss the gifts of the Spirit either.

The gifts of the Spirit are different than natural God given abilities and not identified by personality test. Not to say personality test are not useful to churches for finding the best service areas for volunteers. They are useful in helping people find their place of fulfilling service within the church body. There are books available to help a person discover their spiritual gifts. These are personality test and have nothing to do with properly understanding or identifying the gifts of the Spirit a person has.

The operation of the gifts of the Spirit should be within a church congregation trained to understand the scriptures relating to the operation of the gifts. There are checks and balances in their use.

There is accountability. This is what is lacking in the ministry of so called “televangelist.” The faith movement ministries designed to line someone’s pockets with riches are disgraceful and harmful. They draw in people by the lure of wealth rather than the desire for God and the people miss God.

The same is true of the person exercising the gifts outside the oversite of such a congregation. The church must evaluate the words of the prophets. The gifts of healing results in the instant or near instantaneous and lasting healing.

Documenting the healings done through a person with the gift of healing allows one to see if they are truly healings. Sometimes they are not healings at all but only some physical manifestation that seems like something occurred. Other times, the healing is short lived. If the documented healings are not real and lasting, the person should stop because it is not God do it. Such a person is doing more harm than good assuming (or pretending) to have the gift because they do not. When God heals, it is a “real” healing that serves a purpose. The gifts of the Spirit are wonderful.

A person must be filled with the Holy Spirit before a person they receive any of the gifts of the Spirit. A person knows they have been filled with the Holly Spirit when they experience glossolalia, speaking in tongues. This is “the first initial physical evidence” of the filling of the Holy Spirit. The Assemblies of God emphasizes this in their training for minsters and I believe is it something they really got right. If a person has not experienced glossolalia, they do not have any gifts of the Spirit because it is “the first initial physical evidence” of the filling of the Holy Spirit.

See: Acts 2:1-4; 10:44-46; 19:1-6; 8:14-19


There is a heaven and a hell.   (Return To Top)

Are heaven and hell for real? Yes, Heaven and hell exist. The resurrection of Christ proves there is an afterlife. Let us see what the Bible says about heaven and hell.

The word “Heaven” heaven in the Bible around 450 times. The Hebrew word and the Greek word translated heaven means “sky.” The phrase “heaven and earth” refers to the universe. Perhaps a good definition of the words translated heaven would be “off the earth.” Exactly where “off the earth” a passage addresses requires careful attention to the context of the passage.

There are three different Greek words translated as “hell.” They occur about fifteen times. Surprisingly, scholars write few pages about heaven while writing many about hell. One must be careful because Dante’s Inferno influences many people’s understanding of hell more than the Bible does.

The thing heaven and hell have in common is that they have to do with the afterlife. There would be no need for heaven or hell if there were no life after death. The Bible presents the afterlife as a given. Everyone who dies is resurrected. The Bible tells us the fact of Christ’s resurrection from the dead shows that we will also experience resurrection.

The Bible reveals two such resurrections in which the dead will rise and receive imperishable bodies. The Bible speaks of the first resurrection as the better resurrection. It gathers up those who have loved and served God and takes them to heaven. About a thousand years later the second resurrection gathers up everyone else for their eternity in hell.

The two resurrections are for two groups of people and separate purposes. The resurrected receive bodies that will last for eternity. There is a place for those who have chosen God and another place for those who closed off God and rejected Him in their earthly life. The Bible describes heaven as the abode of God. To be in heaven is to be with God. Hell is where the devil and his evil angles met their punishment away from the Lord along with the ungodly. The Bible does not reveal anything of anyone ever leaving hell.

The resurrections are real and so are heaven and hell.

For further reading: 1 Cor 15, 1 Cor 15:42; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; John 5:28-29; Heb 11:35; Rev 20:15; Mt 25:41; 2 Thessalonians 1:9


God has foretold the end times.   (Return To Top)

Here is a brief “history” of the future. There will be a “great time of tribulation” followed by a thousand years of peace. The devil will cause the nations to fight against God. There is a good ending and a bad ending. Your ending depends completely on what you have done with Jesus during your life on earth.

God knew the history of the world from beginning to end before He even created the universe. It was no surprise to Him when Adam and Eve sinned. There is still history to be made on earth and God has revealed some of it to us in the Bible. It all fits into His plan and purpose.

God made promises to Israel and their ancestors. He will bless them. Some of them are yet to fulfilled. They will be satisfied in the future. The lands of the nation Israel have yet to expand to the boundaries God described to them. But they will.

Jesus will return to earth to gather up the believers, those that are decease and those living. They receive bodies that will last forever. These resurrected godly people go to heaven with Jesus.

There will be a great tribulation after Jesus takes away the godly people. These seven years will show what life is like without the influence of God or the influence of His godly people on earth. There seems to be three rulers during this time. One of them is the anti-Christ. The three rulers will implement a false religion that seems to mimic Christianity in some ways by forming an unholy trinity.

a thousand years of peace follows that time because God restricts the devil from the earth while Christ rules. This will show what life is like without the devil influencing people, and everyone following Jesus. It will be like life in the garden of Eden in many ways. If the extended peace time is not enough, consider people may not die during this time. That may sound far fetch but are scientist working even today to extend the human lifespan. In some ways it will be kind of like heaven.

At the end of the thousand-year rule, God unleashes the devil. The devil causes the nations of the world to turn against God. There will be a great battle called Armageddon where a tremendous number of people die. This will prove our human nature to resist God. It also shows the devil is all about destruction and discord. God sentences the devil and his demons to hell for eternity. Jesus finally raises up the dead. They are all godless people. Everyone from this resurrection is guilty and sentenced to hell for eternity.

The explanations of the end times can vary greatly on some points. I have sought to avoid points of contention as much as possible in this description. The hope is that people understand that God is always in control and the world is not careening off on its own. There is a good ending and a bad ending. Your ending depends completely on what you have done with Jesus during your life on earth.

Thursday, 20 February 2020 19:00

Cared For By God

Written by

“He found him in a desert land,
And in the howling waste of a wilderness;
He encircled him, He cared for him,
He guarded him as the pupil of His eye.
“Like an eagle that stirs up its nest,
That hovers over its young,
He spread His wings and caught them,
He carried them on His pinions.
“The LORD alone guided him,
And there was no foreign god with him.
Deuteronomy 32:10–12 (NASB95)

Thursday, 13 February 2020 16:00

But By The Grace Of God I Am What I Am

Written by

We all have sinned. We, everyone, since early in life has had a sinful past and need the grace of God. Many of us come from good homes and quickly became fairly decent people. Others of us came from rather crazy homes and grew up with a street like mentality and were not decent people at all. Yet some how God has reached out to us and we have found our way into His loving arms as everyone needs to do sometime while living on earth, but with a past.

Thursday, 06 February 2020 16:00

Do The Old Testament People Miss Out On Heaven?

Written by

Can Old Testament people miss out on heaven because they don't know Jesus? Christians understand there is only one way for salvation and entrance into heaven and that is through Jesus Christ. Acts 4:12, clearly states

“And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”

Thursday, 23 January 2020 16:00

Basket Cases In The Bible

Written by

There are two basket cases in the Bible. A person might be thinking of King Nebuchadnezzar who ate grass like an animal for a time (Daniel 4:33-34) or of the demon possessed in the New Testament but this article looks at two literal cases where baskets were used to save lives.

Thursday, 16 January 2020 16:00

What Does “John 3:16” Mean?

Written by

The pitcher throws the ball and the batter swings. The ball pops into the air and flies into the stands behind third base. The cameras follow the foul ball as a hard-core fan leaps up and catches his prize. While in the corner of the camera frame someone holds up a sign, “John 3:16.”

What does that mean to the masses watching the game? For the Christian who knows their Bible, it brings to mind the very core of the faith they hold dear.

The Rich Young Ruler

The rich young ruler sought eternal life. Jesus offered him life but the
man could not except His terms. We want life on our terms. We must surrender to God

  • Mt 19:16-22, Mk 10:17-22, Lk 18:18-23
Wednesday, 16 October 2019 14:49

Just A Little Tangled: The Traps Of Life.

Written by

The Bible uses many words for traps. How to avoid them? How to strengthen our walk in Christ. The Bible give the answer.  A person does not fall into sin by accident.  It is by their own desires they are attracted to sin and fall into the snare of the devil to get tangled up with sin.

“For he is thrown into the net by his own feet, And he steps on the webbing.  “A snare seizes him by the heel, And a trap snaps shut on him.  “A noose for him is hidden in the ground, And a trap for him on the path. Job 18:8–10

Monday, 14 October 2019 16:43

Not Ashamed Proud

Written by

An investigation of the Bible's double negatives like "Not ashamed" that often become positive with emphasis and are often misunderstood by modern Bible readers.

If you can bear with my math background for a moment and recall that a negative times a negative  {(-1) X (-1) = 1}  is a positive. It’s just amazing how that works.  It’s like going to the opposite of your left.  This kind of thing is also commonly used in language.  The negative of a negative. Now, if I tell you something is not negative, you would probably understand it as a positive rather than a neutral. Enough of the abstract, let’s get back to the real world where this concept influences language.

Page 1 of 2