James and Cindi Runyon

Living the life God has called us to live.

Train Up a Child and … What?

Airplane Boy

I grew up hearing this verse. All the time. In fact, it was a often-used reason for my sweet mama to spank my ornery little self.

But when my husband learned Hebrew and began to translate the book of Proverbs, he shared something with me that shook my world.

It was one of those moments when you want to deny it and explore it at the same time. Here is what shook me up.

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 (King James Version)

But wait! look at this one. It comes from the Complete Jewish Version and it makes my point.

Train a child in the way he [should] go; and, even when old, he will not swerve from it. Proverbs 22:6 (Complete Jewish Version)

Interesting thing about this verse. The word “should” isn’t really there. But translators, trying to make it a complete thought, added it in.

The word “go” here is the word ol-phi [פ -עַ ל] meaning “way of him” or the “way he is.” So it really reads:

“Train up a child in the way he is, and when he is old, he shall not withdraw from the way he is.”

Continue reading “Train Up a Child and … What?”

When You Walk Through the Fire…

Isaiah 43:2

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

It’s funny how we can look at a verse all wrong for most of our lives and then one day see it so differently. So clearly, the way He intended us to understand it.
Water and Fire600

The Best Part

For years, I’ve seen this verse only for its “I will be with you” theme. And that’s the best part. Really the only part that matters. But even the main thing, out of context, can be understood the wrong way. Here’s what I focused on.

Continue reading “When You Walk Through the Fire…”

Are You Poisoning Yourself?

We’ve all got a story right? I mean, you’ve been through hard stuff, so have I. Here’s something written by someone close to me about his reaction to life’s unfairness.
Man with head in hands at sunset

There’s been one simple, insidious phrase that’s been hurting me and holding me back in every area of my life. Here it is:

“Easy for YOU to say…you:
…have more time than I do.
…have more money than I do.
…are smarter than I am. Continue reading “Are You Poisoning Yourself?”

Has Pain Shaken Your Faith?

I tell my children that God has a path for them – and He does! He WILL use them to help others and shine the Light of Truth to a dark and perverted world. BUT, they can choose to make it a painful experience for themselves through disobedience.
Long path


Sometimes we make the path more painful as we make choices out of greed, fear, lust, pride, or insecurity. But as time progresses, we can see how He has already worked in what appeared to be my inadequacy into this foregone conclusion of His amazing plan.

I realized something somewhere along the way. If you belong to God, He WILL use you to accomplish His plan for your life. The choice you DO have is whether or not you enjoy it.
Continue reading “Has Pain Shaken Your Faith?”

Mansions in Heaven?

Who doesn’t want to own a mansion?

How about a ten car garage? An Olympic-sized pool? A movie theater? From my childhood, I’ve heard about mansions prepared for me in heaven. Will I finally have that giant house of wonders? But wait a minute. What does the word “mansions” really mean in the Bible?

“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” ~ John 14:2, King James Version

This is a very comforting verse, but let’s examine two important words. Continue reading “Mansions in Heaven?”

Top Ten Ways to ♥ Your Spouse

Top Ten Ways to Make Your Spouse Happy

This has been on our Marriage page for a while. Before we change it, here’s one last look. And just before Valentine’s Day. Enjoy!
Dr. James and Cindi Runyon

10 Ask her out on a date
9 Give her a hug – or a long hold
8 Do something special for her
7 Tell her how she’s beautiful Continue reading “Top Ten Ways to ♥ Your Spouse”

Recovering After the Storm

Recovering from the storm

It’s really more like reorientation.

We lived in North Carolina during Hurricanes Florence, Isadore, Frances and Ivan (fortunately, for me, we’d moved before Hurricane Cindy, in 2005). Little tickles of unease kept us awake each time a tropical storm hit 74 MPH off our coast. Then, rivulets of concern when the power went off.
Continue reading “Recovering After the Storm”

Faith: Resolution of the Year

How much faith do you want to have this year?

In God?
In your family?
In yourself?
How about in what you think is true, your understanding of how stuff works?


This year, I want you all to do something crazy. And I mean mind-blowingly crazy.

Change your mind.

That’s right. Maybe – just maybe – you could be wrong about something. Continue reading “Faith: Resolution of the Year”

Stop Worrying in 1 Easy Step

Charles Spurgeon explained God’s sovereign will (His plan) and Man’s free will are welded alongside one another like railroad tracks. They are each unique, and they are always following the same path.

RailRoad Tracks
God’s plan & Man’s free will run parallel like railroad tracks.

This shook my world. I work so hard to be on the right path and fear failing Him when I veer from it. But…
If I can’t screw up His plan…
If other’s bad choices won’t ruin my life…
If I can’t cause my life to shift irrevocably away from God…
Continue reading “Stop Worrying in 1 Easy Step”

Mountain Moving Faith

As a child, I remember my mom wearing a necklace with a pendant on it. The pendant was a solid glass ball approximately ¾ of an inch across, and it contained a small, brown, mustard seed.

Matthew 17:20

For I assure you: if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move.

If we are in Christ, we can do impossible things through Him. Since I believe that, moving mountains with a small amount of faith has never seemed like a problem to me. But, the real question has always been the mountain.

What mountain was Jesus speaking of when he was trying to teach the disciples about great faith? In the Greek it says, “this mountain”, so Jesus must have been looking one. Some think it’s Mount Tabor, or possible Mount Herman. Bt a far more ominous mountain stood right in the path of Jesus and the Jewish people. The Herodium.

Herod was known for doing the impossible. He brought water to the desert by way of aqua ducts. He built marinas that housed larger boats than had ever been brought to the shores of Israel. Yet his greatest feat was in the building of one of his palaces.

If one looks southeast from Jerusalem on a clear, day you will see one of the palaces of Herod called the Herodium. Many believe he was buried somewhere within this massive complex crowned with hot and cold running water, amphitheaters, and intricate mosaics. But what makes it unique is the foundation of the complex is a manmade mountain.

HerodiumHerod had big ideas, and I guess there was a mountain in the way of the view from his soon-to-be-built palace. Used to getting whatever he wanted, Herod ordered the manpower to cut the top off of it, using the lopped off portion as a base for his new palace. Pictures of the area still show a mountain with the top cut off sitting next to a mountain housing the palace complex for Herod.

Not one to waste manpower (especially when taken by force), Herod enslaved the Jewish people to build this great monument to himself. He had at his disposal unlimited resources and power at that time.

As Jesus stood at the base of Mount Tabor, he must have looked to the South, and used the mountain Herod had moved to teach His disciples a powerful lesson.

Where Herod needed the slave work of a nation, resources from taxation, and decades of time, the people of God can move a mountain instantly with just a mustard seed-sized faith in our all-powerful God.

The story makes a strong point when seen through the Savior’s eyes.

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