Richard Mansel

Writer, Preacher, Historian and Bookworm

Author Archive

Review of K.M. Weiland’s Annotated Jane Eyre


“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.” (Stephen King).

We cannot be effective writers unless we are fueled by powerful words. It’s impossible to overestimate the importance of filling our minds with quality writing. Learning from the best accelerates our own growth as a writer.

When we read the best, we accomplish several things.

  1. We’re edified by reading.
  2. We’re elevated intellectually by the story.
  3. We’re enriched by the writer’s craft. Read more…

The Walk


[Editor's Note: My friend, David, showed me this article and I knew I had to share it with my readers. Not only does it provide a good Biblical message, but it's a heartwarming story of a time long forgotten. It's easy to idealize the past and forget about the hard times. Meanwhile, others abhor the past on principle, which is a miserable way to be. Instead, we should examine the times for what they are, as a historian. In the olden days, things weren't perfect by any means. There were societal injustices that cannot be denied. Yet, there were also people of goodness and kindness with a vigorous sense of community, which is desperately needed in our cold, modern world.] 

by David Ferguson

I was just three years old when we began living in the tiny country town of Bruce, Illinois back in 1964. We lived there for almost three years and in many ways it was very much like the fictional town of Mayberry, North Carolina [from the Andy Griffith television series].  Read more…

Three Keys for Deeper Bible Study


by Richard Mansel

Without Scripture we wouldn’t know anything about God. The Bible is greater than our minds can conceive. “Your word is a lamp to my feet, And a light to my path” (NKJV). Without it, we cannot be saved (Romans 10:17).

No one who aspires to heaven can give an acceptable answer to why they aren’t avid Bible students. We should be voracious in our appetite for truth. The following three keys will accelerate our journey. Read more…

Sermon on John 21

In 2012, I delivered this lesson at the Southeast Georgia Lectureship in Richmond Hill, Georgia. I was honored to speak on John 21 and the amazing story of Jesus appearing to the apostles on the seashore. This is a great passage full of so much deep meaning.

As a disclaimer, the stationary camera and my pacing are bad combinations. But it doesn’t affect the audio.

Online Resources for the Apostle Paul [Updated]

Two Edged Sword

by Richard Mansel

I want to offer the diligent Bible student tools to use in their study of the Apostle Paul. We need to use discretion when doing research. Just because a scholar says it, doesn’t make it right.

Novelty can be appealing but Biblical authority is of much greater importance (2 Timothy 3:16-17). We must stay in the Word but never be afraid to study history to supplement what we learn from Scripture.

Read more…

Bible Research Tip


I know most preachers are busy people and time is at a premium. However, we cannot allow that to endanger our work.

When we’re called upon to speak or write about a false doctrine, we must examine the bigger picture. The easy choice is to read all the people we can access that agree with us, collate the material, paraphrase it and call it done.

Friends, we must resist this urge with all of our being! Read more…

Remembering D-Day


On the 70th anniversary of D-Day, a variety of news and history sites posted retrospectives on the attack at Normandy. I wanted to share some of those stories and links.

The courage exhibited during the D-Day invasion was one of the most stirring moments in modern warfare. Incredibly brave soldiers stormed the beach knowing they would most likely die. Yet, they did their duty and changed the world. We are all free because of their resolve and iron will. Let us always remember their sacrifice.

Hope you find these links helpful.  Read more…

Why our Good Ideas Don’t Matter to God


by Richard Mansel

Good ideas are ones that are interesting or beneficial to us in some way. They can even serve an altruistic purpose. However, there are boundaries for the most noble of plans.

When we become a Christian, we must reorient our minds to service and submission.

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2, NKJV).

We walk by Christ and his plan, instead of our own (Ephesians 4:1).

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105).

Read more…

Learning How to Think like a Christian


by Richard Mansel

In the transformation process, we use what God has given us to develop a spiritual mindset (Romans 12:1-2). A large part of this is learning how to think properly.

All we once knew must be filtered through a new perspective. A heavenly view of the world comes only through a humble and diligent study of Scripture. The flesh is a liar and all its fruit must be thrown away.

Human thought fails when we act instinctually instead of spiritually and intellectually. God gave humans an advanced intellect for a reason.

Read more…

Is Jesus the God of the Second Amendment?


by Richard Mansel

A radio announcer talked about a church where they were celebrating guns and Jesus. My reaction was, “What does one have to do with the other?”

Christians are citizens of a spiritual kingdom despite living in a fleshly country (Philippians 3:20; Romans 13:1-5). We are to be salt and light, commissioned to bring the lost to Christ (Matthew 5:13-16; Mark 16:15-16).

Political ideas and Biblical teaching sometimes do intersect (abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality, etc.). When they’re two separate issues, we must be careful to keep them apart so as not to taint God’s Word.

One of the most passionate issues in our nation is gun control. Some want to take guns away from citizens in order to stop crime. They mean well, but good intentions cannot override a bad idea.

Read more…

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