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I Peter 2:9-10 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you ar

Updated: 2017-10-24T02:44:32.530-04:00


2 Corinthians 3:17-21 - day by day


2 Corinthians 3:17-21 (ESV) 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr" style="height: 240px; width: 120px;"> 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.Have you ever seriously read the beginning of this chapter?   Where Paul is SO confident in the work he is doing in the Spirit that he sees the Corinthians church as a letter of recommendation?  "You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all."  I read that and it was like wow... what kinds of letters of recommendation do I have in my life?   Where is my confidence in the work that I do?   Do I even have that confidence that Paul has?  Paul is very clear though, his confidence is confidence not in himself but in the work that GOD himself does.    i have to admit it,... I struggle with that.   Though I am getting better!   The more I learn to trust God more deeply, the more I learn to be confident in the work that God is doing in my life and in my family and in my community.   It feels like a painfully show process though.As I went on through the chapter, reading to get to the verses of the day it became abundantly clear to me why reading verses in context helps make sense of them.   Today's verses talk about God being spirit, and in the spirit of the Lord there is freedom and we can come with unveiled faces to behold the glory of the Lord and that God is transforming us.Now the whole unveiled faces thing would NOT have made an impact on me if I hadn't just read through Pauls explanation of the difference in how we can approach God and how MOSES had to approach God.  Moses needed to veil his face before the Glory of God, but we don't need to.   We have a boldness that Moses didn't have, but we are functioning under a different revelation.For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory.  We live under righteousness.Not death, not condemnation...but under righteousness...that's what Christ's death did for us.     And through it, God is transforming me.   His Spirit moves within me causes me to be someone different than I was years ago.   Isn't that cool?   He is the one helping me to grow and to change, to see more of him than I used to.   Just consider these verses 12 Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, 13 not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. 14 But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. 15 Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. 16 But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.  The veil is removed!   God has given us so much more.    Get to know him folks, see that there is so much more to life than what you've known before.  :)What does Chuck have to say about these verses?  um.. well.. he talked a[...]

Prayer... when is it important


The other day hubby and I were talking, and he mentioned how he hasn't been sleeping well lately, so I asked him if he'd prayed about it.   His response was that it wasn't a matter of prayer as nothing was bugging him, it was just a pattern he's gotten into lately of not sleeping through the night.I have to admit to feeling bothered by that.God has been ramming down my throat lately about the need to trust him more implicitly with EVERYTHING in my life.  He reminds that I often fail to pray about homeschooling, about the rabbits, about my tiredness, about my lack of exercise or willpower with food, my fear of appearing foolish to my friends or neighbours about my growing concern to love them better and to show them God more clearly in my actions and words. So when it comes to something as fundamental as our ability to sleep (which affects our relations with family, our ability to work well and clearly) it's like why isn't that a matter to bring before God?Just because you can't track down why you are in an unhealthy pattern of sleep, doesn't mean that God doesn't want us to talk to him about it.Even as I write these words I can feel myself convicted of all the times I have taken that same approach, God won't care if I don't talk to him about that.  If I just continue to go my own way and lean on my own understanding of a situation.  But that's not what God wants of me.he wants me to trust in him, to lean on him, to not just see my own wisdom.Proverbs 3 tells us5  Trust in the Lord with all your heart,    and do not lean on your own understanding.6 In all your ways acknowledge him,    and he will make straight your paths.7  Be not wise in your own eyes;     fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.8 It will be healing to your flesh    and refreshment to your bones.The more I see God, the less I fret.What in your life causes you to fret?   How can you learn to lean more on God and less on yourself?Talk to God more, trust yourself less.[...]

Day by Day - Nehemiah 1-6


day by day by Charles Swindoll frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr" style="height: 240px; width: 120px;"> Nehemiah 1-6before we get into my take on these chapters I would like to take a moment to point out what Mr. Swindoll had to say.He points out this is a section that should be required reading for all leaders. Nehemiah had a passion for the projectHe had an unswerving confidence in God.He had the ability to motivate othersHe was resilient and patient through oppositionHe had a practical, balanced grip on realityHe had a willingness tow work hard and remain unselfishHe had the discipline to finish  the job. Good points, good things for those in leadership, or contemplating leadership to consider.When I read through this section of the bible I was struck by Nehemiah's humbleness before God evidenced in his prayer.  5 And I said, “O Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 6  let your ear be attentive and your eyes open, to hear the prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night for the people of Israel your servants, confessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against you. Even I and my father's house have sinned. 7  We have acted very corruptly against you and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, and the rules that you commanded your servant Moses. 8 Remember the word that you commanded your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the peoples, 9  but if you return to me and keep my commandments and do them, though your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of heaven, from there I will gather them and bring them to the place that I have chosen, to make my name dwell there.’ 10  They are your servants and your people, whom you have redeemed by your great power and by your strong hand. 11 O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants who delight to fear your name, and give success to your servant today, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.”Nehemiah hears of the sad state of the temple in Jerusalem and his first thought is to confess the sins of the people to God.    He praises God for being who he is and then says Oh God...Forgive us your wayward people.   I read these words and I stand convicted.   how Often I KNOW that I am in the wrong and I don't want to admit it.   And yet this passage calls me to so much more.   It calls me all the more to trust in God.   To acknowledge him in all my ways.Having talked with God about the matter he went before the king and asked permission to rebuild the temple.   That permission was given.  Throughout the whole process though, Nehemiah talked with God.    He prayerfully gathered up the workers needed, he dealt with the opposition, and he set to work.   They were threatened while doing so, so they prayed to God, set a guard and got the job done.   Throughout it all Nehemiah took the time to correct bad things the people were doing.   And so Nehemiah did everything in 52 days, talking with God the whole time.Makes me think of how little I give of my day to God, how little I fail to talk to him about everything, and how often my prayers seem so dutiful.   May my prayers and conversations with  God be heartfelt and humble, and a good way to show how much he does indeed mean to me.How much does God mean to you?   Do you know him personally?   Does God really matter to you in your daily life?   Email if you have questions, please. :)  I'd l[...]

Christian Carnival


this week's christian carnival in random order. What Constitutes a "Real University?" is given to us by Chris over at American Church History.  I watched Bill Maher a few times many years ago, so I did not actually watch the show under discussion. Maher, an evangelical atheist, complained about Mitt Romney giving a talk at Liberty University because "a) he's a liar and b) Liberty University isn't really a university." Maher is at some level a comedian, but on another level his speech is often hate-filled toward those he disagrees with. He complains about people of faith who want to spread their ideas and beliefs, yet he does not shy away from sharing his ideas and beliefs. The Olympic Flame presented by Ridge of Ridge's Blog. When I looked at how strategic and important these people believe the Olympic flame is, how carefully they treat it, I began to think how flippant I am about the Holy Spirit."The Slipping Value of Life shows up via Russ homed at Thinking in Christ.  If an alien dropped into one of the super zips today, what would he think about the value we place on life?  Blood and Death comes to us by way of Greg at InFaith's Mission Blog.  While we were studying the life of King David in the Old Testament at Bible club, one girl said to me, “Why are there so many killings and so much blood in these stories?” Indeed, nearly every story had someone dying a violent death: Goliath and other Philistines, Saul and his sons, Eli’s sons, Amalekites and their king, Uriah the Hittite, Uzzah who touched the Ark of the Covenant, and others that we did not even mention in the stories. I replied, “These are not myths or fairy tales. They are real history. We are telling you truth here, not make believe.” Prayers for Meetings is presented by Michael at Prayers for Special Help.  Here is a collection of prayers for meetings that I've put together. It is good to have a few prayers prepared if you're hosting a prayer group, bible study, or church get together. Then sings my soul is brought to us by Charis at Charis: Subject to Change.   It's a simple message really; Love the Lord, love your neighbour. Safe Church given by Diane at Crossroads.   Maybe we should look at the old legalism, but do it with a new spirit to make church safer. How to Be Prepared for an Insurance Claim shown to us by Jocelin at One Money Design.   Follow these tips to help you be prepared in case you need to file a claim with your home or auto insurance. You can start by making sure you have a... Waiting for the Clouds to Move by Dan at keyboard theologians.  "While I was reading Robinson I did find some of my efforts to enjoy the sun being thwarted by clouds."Should Parents Pay Children an Allowance? by Jason at One Money Design. My wife and I have started to get more serious about teaching our children principles of stewardship by providing opportunities for them to earn money and use give, save spend banks.THE ALCHEMIST: REAL OR FOOL’S GOLD? submitted by Paul over at Paul Kuritz: Opinions. Does Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist belong in the Christian literary canon? Windows of Wisdom: Proverbs 10:1-6 by Annette at Fish and Cans.  Back and forth sayings.   I like these.  :)  Shows the differences between actions and hearts and how they have an affect.[...]

Windows of Wisdom - Proverbs 10:1-6


frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr" style="height: 240px; width: 120px;">Windows of Wisdom by Stephen Olford, today's study is on Proverbs 10:1-6.   The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son makes a glad father,     but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother.2  Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit,     but righteousness delivers from death.3  The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry,     but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.4 A slack hand causes poverty,     but the hand of the diligent makes rich.5 He who gathers in summer is a prudent son,    but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame.6 Blessings are on the head of the righteous,    but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence. Back and forth sayings.   I like these.  :)  Shows the differences between actions and hearts and how they have an affect.I wish I could do a chart! but I don't know how to do that in a blog so we'll make do.Verse one.  I find it interesting that the author not only show the difference in response that a parent would have to a wise or foolish child...but parental gender is also pointed out.   Wise child - glad father, foolish son - sorrowing mother.     Verse two: long term view on life: wickedness may bring treasures, but no lasting profit.  Righteousness on the other hand keeps one from death.Verse three: The Lord himself helps the righteous, but thwarts the wicked.Verse four: The diligent make their way in the world, the lazy don't.Verse five: One who works and prepares while work is to be done is prudent, one who does not work is shameful.Verse six: the righteous are blessed, the wicked hide their violence.The only problem with back and forth verses is finding the continuity between them.   Though the general over-riding theme is the righteous and the wise will prosper in the long run and the wicked and foolish will not.   There is a seeming disconnect in some of these verses.  Verse four speaks to being diligent, but verse three speaks to God helping the righteous.     They are good verses to learn from and to stand by.    God cares for the righteous and the wise, God does not wish us to be wicked or foolish.Olford's focus in this section is on diligence that being diligent is a person who is busy doing what needs doing and requires a person to discipline themselves to get things accomplished. [...]

day by day - James 1: 2-4


As a basis for study, using Day by Day with Charles Swindoll. frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr" style="height: 240px; width: 120px;">James 1:2-42  Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.Have you ever had passages misused or stuck in your face when going through a hard time?  I have.  This has been one used.  But you should be happy that you are going through this.  Means that God thinks you can handle it, and .....Makes me want to say ARGH!  :)  But when you stop and think about it for a while...trials are a help to us, even if at times they seem more like a hindrance.For instance: I never put much effort into understanding people who deal with migraines...until I suffered one, and now all I do is feel empathy for those who have to live with a head that is filled with that much discomfort regularly.   It's like OUCH.   They are worse than regular headaches.      So that suffering brought about understanding, and that understanding brings about the knowledge that this too at some point shall end.   Knowing there is an end in sight means that someone can bear up under it.And ultimately in life, there is an end to everything.If you are a believer in God the end is glory in heaven with God himself.   Ah.. sometimes that thought makes me smile.If you are not a believer, that end is simple... death and torment with Satan.  Not an end I would wish for anyone.One of the sadness things I've ever read was a comment from an atheist.   Someone in her family died and so she wrote words to the effect: "we don't believe in God so there is no hope for the future.   Just dead."    All I could think was .. how sad is that.  To not have any hope?   It's like live life, die. the end.   What's the point of that?   I want to know there is something more, and I know there is something more and that gives me a reason to strive to be something more.  I really really want to LIVE.. not just exist like atheists do.. but I really want to live.Don't you?   Won't you join me in really living?In knowing that there is something more that is beyond us.  That the one who created us is calling us to something bigger?   And it starts with just knowing that he is real and then seeking after him.Have hope.Know that what you go through in life is preparing you for something more. You will lack nothing in Glory with God.  [...]

Windows of Wisdom - Proverbs 9:1-12


Today's devotional comes from Windows of Wisdom by Olford.Proverbs 9:1-12 1  Wisdom has built her house;    she has hewn her seven pillars.2 She has slaughtered her beasts; she has mixed her wine;    she has also set her table.3 She has sent out her young women to call    from the highest places in the town,4  “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!”     To him who lacks sense she says,5 “Come, eat of my bread    and drink of the wine I have mixed.6 Leave your simple ways, and live,     and walk in the way of insight.”7 Whoever corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse,    and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury.8  Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you;     reprove a wise man, and he will love you.9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;    teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.10  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,    and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.11 For by me your days will be multiplied,    and years will be added to your life.12  If you are wise, you are wise for yourself;    if you scoff, you alone will bear it.Wisdom ...the whole of Proverbs is about gaining wisdom and living in a way that pleases God.I have to admit, I do have problems seeing wisdom and something that calls and beckons to folk.   Making it like a person.   It's hard imagery for me.Though I know that being seen as a wise person beckons to me.    I just don't see wisdom as doing the beckoning...more like me seeking after it.   And most of the time thinking that I am failing in it.So with that understanding, note that I have a hard time wrapping my head around the idea of wisdom preparing a place for folk to come and become wise.  :)as the author writes: 1  Wisdom has built her house;    she has hewn her seven pillars.2 She has slaughtered her beasts; she has mixed her wine;    she has also set her table.3 She has sent out her young women to call    from the highest places in the town,4  “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!”Regardless of the struggle the picture is placed in front of us, of wisdom wanting to be shared/learned.   That the simple are called to come and learn.These words speak to me, they say learn to to be wise, learn a better way to live.   Learn more about how to live for God.     6 Leave your simple ways, and live,     and walk in the way of insight.”     reprove a wise man, and he will love you.9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;    teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.10  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,    and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.11 For by me your days will be multiplied,    and years will be added to your life.12  If you are wise, you are wise for yourself; Though I have to admit to wondering about the last line.. of being wise for yourself.    To me what's the point of being wise if you don't share that wisdom?   But then again, one can't truly gain wisdom for others can they?   If you are wise you are wise in yourself, not wise in others and your wisdom can be used for the benefit of others.  (if that makes any sense at all).  :)I often don't feel wise.I often feel like I'm blundering about li[...]

a puzzle, can you figure it?


Day by Day - Micah 6:8


Using as a base of Study, Day by Day by Charles Swindoll    frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr" style="height: 240px; width: 120px;"> Micah 6:8 (NIV)He has showed you, O man, what is good.    And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy    and to walk humbly with your God. I learned this verse back when I was in Calvinettes.    It was a girls club in my church.  I think now-a-days it's called Gems.  I couldn't link to the main page as it wouldn't open for me so this wiki page will have to do.Putting that aside, I find that it is generally not helpful to look at verses without knowing the context so...for some context I'm now including the verses that came before:6 With what shall I come before the LORD    and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,    with calves a year old? 7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams,    with ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression,    the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? 8 He has showed you, O man, what is good.    And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy    and to walk humbly with your God. Do you ever find in your life that you want to give God something to show him your gratitude for what he has done in your life?   I do.   But because this verse was hammered into me as a child I KNOW what God wants from me.  He doesn't want my stuff, he doesn't want me giving him whatever of my things... it belongs to him anyways.  What he really wants is for me to act in a just manner, he wants to me love dispensing mercy to others, and he wants my humility.    These are the types of things that God wants.They need to be offered willingly or they aren't truly offered.    And oh man, it is so easy to forget this in the bustle of life.It's so easy just to say.. okay God I'm going to give you half an hour in the morning and a quick prayer before we eat and that should do you.  But God wants so much more than that.  He wants himself to affect my life.   And to act in just manner, to love mercy, to walk humbly before will take my life ACTION to complete.Oh that God may bring all this more to the forefront in my life... this is my prayer.   So what does Chuck have to say about this?Chuck went on about how there are lists everywhere for all sorts of things, and God has made lists as well.  Lists of things he hates, lists of things he likes and that this is one more list of things that God likes.I don't know, that list left me wanting something more....To extend mercy: Chuck took the time to remind us that God has let us know what he wants us from us.   All we must needs to is to exercise wisdom and DO IT.Let us today: act in a just manner, love to do mercy and to walk humbly before him.  Shall we?    :)[...]

Windows of Wisdom - Proverbs 8:32-36


Using as a base of study today Windows of Wisdom by Stephen Olford. frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr" style="height: 240px; width: 120px;"> Proverbs 8:32-36    (ESV)32 “And now, O sons, listen to me:     blessed are those who keep my ways.33  Hear instruction and be wise,    and do not neglect it.34  Blessed is the one who listens to me,    watching daily at my gates,    waiting beside my doors.35 For whoever finds me finds life    and obtains favor from the Lord,36 but he who fails to find me injures himself;    all who hate me love death.”The Proverbs are a bunch of wisdom sayings.  If we play attention to them, they can help us to better live lives pleasing to God.Today the author is telling us to keep God's ways, to hear his instruction and to not neglect what we are hearing.  We need to be wise in our life.If I look at the rest of the chapter I see that God created wisdom.  23 Ages ago I was set up,    at the first, before the beginning of the earth.and so we are wise to seek after wisdom, blessed if we do what is wise.    Part of doing that is to listen to instruction and then the heed what we hear.   If we don't we are not wise.  Being wise is a necessity in brings us the favour of God, it brings us to truly living life.     What the alternative to seeking after wisdom?  We end up injuring ourselves and loving death.   Not something I'm keen on.  :) But seriously, what does this mean for practical living.   I know lots of people who don't love the Lord.  And they seem to be living lives of contentment.  I know that in the end, if they fail to find God then they will suffer the second death, they will end up in a place of punishment.  Is this what the author is talking about?   I don't get that impression.    This lack of seeking after wisdom seems to have a more immediacy about it.God set up the world in such a way that seeking after wisdom should be a part of life.  As believers we know that true wisdom comes from seeking after the things of God.    So if people don't love God or think of him as a part of life, then they are missing out on something vital in life.    So perhaps this is what the author is talking about.  If people don't pursue what should be a natural part of real living, then what's the point really?    It's like an unseen injury to themselves that only becomes truly apparent when they die.Olford touches on this in his  meditation;He talks about how we are blessed (happy) if we seek after wisdom and do as wisdom says.   We are happy if we seek (like children) to learn and then to do what we have learned.    And all those who don't seek after wisdom are being self-deceptive and don't truly have happiness.[...]

Day by Day - John 17:1-8


Using as a base of Study, Day by Day by Charles Swindoll  frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr" style="height: 240px; width: 120px;"> Today's reading is from John 17:1-8 17  When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, 2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 4 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed. 6 “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7 Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. 8 For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me.When I first started reading this passage I was drawn to the words "when Jesus had spoken these words.."   I immediately wondered.. what words?  So I went back and looked them up.  In John 16 Jesus had spoken to them about the power of the Holy Spirit in their lives, and how he would be leaving them and then once they told him they could understand and believed him he replied with “Do you now believe? 32 Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. 33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”This is what had caused Jesus to lift up his head to heaven and then he spoke to God above.   The whole of Chapter 17 is Jesus talking to God his Father.   Jesus knows his work on earth is about done.  He knows it will be a difficult time for him and he needs to talk with his Father.  (at least that's the impression I get).  If you read on in the passage you will see Jesus' concern for the disciples, that God protect them from Satan.    And not only for the disciples but for all those who would come to know and believe in God.   He prays to God for our protection.    Jesus gave us the knowledge of who God truly is, and also prayed to God for our protection.I feel very humbled when I read these words.  So much aware of how much Jesus loved us, LOVES us, how much he was willing to spend for us to bring us back into right relationship with God.   I how very unworthy of this I feel.   Jesus loves me.   He prayed to God on my behalf to keep me safe.   That to me is a humbling thing.Swindoll's thoughts on John 17:1-8He focuses on John 17:4  4 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.    Jesus accomplished what he came to earth to do.   And then on the relief it would bring to him to be done and to back in glory with God his Father.I have to admit, I hadn't thought of things quite in that regard.   Good to see things differently.Jesus came to earth to accomplish a task - to bring us into right relationship to God and that nee[...]

The Skipper


width="420" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> I watched this over at 22 words this morning. What struck me as how absurd it seems, but he's so willing to talk about something he firmly believes in. How more like him we Christians should be. Willing to talk about our Lord and Saviour much more freely.

christian carnival posted


It's over here this week.

Windows of Wisdom - Proverbs 7:1-5


Proverbs 7:1-5 says: (TNIV)  1 My son, keep my words    and store up my commands within you. 2 Keep my commands and you will live;    guard my teachings as the apple of your eye. 3 Bind them on your fingers;    write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”    and to insight, “You are my relative.” 5 They will keep you from the adulterous woman,    from the wayward woman with her seductive words.Do you ever think about these words "store up my commands within you".     What that means?How other translations put itESV: My son, keep my words     and treasure up my commandments with you;Amplified:  MY SON, keep my words; lay up within you my commandments [for use when needed] and treasure them.CEV:  My son, pay close attention   and don't forget   what I tell you to do. ERV:  1 My son, remember my words. Don’t forget what I have told you.KJV:  1My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with theeMSG:  Dear friend, do what I tell you; treasure my careful instructions.NASB:  1 My son, keep my words And treasure my commandments within you.Keep, pay close attention, do what you are told, remember, lay up, treasure, don't forgetThese words are used in conjunction with what God tells us to do.We need to consider them as importantly as treasure we could find anywhere.I NEED To consider them as important as my house, my family, my critters, my time alone... I need to treasure God's words into my very own heart and life.IF I do so...then I will be more readily kept from sin.  I will live as the apple of God's eye.IMAGINE THAT.   Just take a moment to imagine living in such a way that you know you are the apple of God's eye.   That's what happens when we take God's word and treat it like it's the apple of OUR eye.   Of my eye.  God's word is THAT important.God's word keeps my path straight.God's word keeps my ideals where they need to be.God's word will help me be the kind of mom I really want to be.God's word will help me be the wife I really want to be.What do you suppose God's word would help you be?What does Olford have to say about this text?"Obedience is love's active response to all the will of God - with joyful anticipation."- The demands of obedience    We need to receive God's words and we need to reflect upon them which leads us to relating God's word to our lives. - the delights of obedience      We will have vitality and longevity in life if we hold to God's word. - the dynamics of obedience   The saying to wisdom you are my sister and to understanding that you are my kin.   I honestly don't get where he was going with that... in calling wisdom your sister is calling for encouragement and understanding as a relative means you are accepting discipline.     I don't get it.   Perhaps others might.     To me these words show the importance of wisdom and understanding.  Just as I hold my family close to me in my heart, so I should hold wisdom and understanding close to my heart. [...]

bible story books.


We have a number of bible storybooks in our house that we read every night.   Not all the books every night, but we rotate through them.  there are things that I like in each one, and things that I don't like.The lad's favourite BY FAR is the Big Picture Story bible frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr" style="height: 240px; width: 120px;">And I have to admit, I like this book too.  it has big pictures, simple text and sets out to do what it wants to do.. it presents the big picture of what the bible is doing.. setting out God's love story to us and how Jesus in woven throughout it.  From Amazon's page.Presents the big picture of the Bible to children ages 2-7 through easy-to-read stories and striking illustrations. Now includes an audio reading of the book. No child is too young to begin learning about the greatest love story of all-Gods love for his people, as portrayed in the Bible. David Helm and Gail Schoonmaker have together created a colorful book of Bible stories written especially for children ages 2-7. Rather than simply retelling portions of the Bible, this book presents the big picture-the unified story running through the Old and New Testaments. Twenty-six stories together form parts of this big picture. Simply written and beautifully illustrated, this book teaches children the Bibles whole story so they can begin to appreciate the fulfillment of Gods promise to his people. My only fault in it is that I sometimes want there to be more details.  But that is not this books' aim.  It is presenting the big picture of God's love toward us and his attitude toward people turning away from him.   God's love for his people is VERY clear to see in this book.  Then we have the Jesus Storybook Bible frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr" style="height: 240px; width: 120px;">now this book is one that I really like.   It tells the story of the Bible in a fairy tale like way.  Amazon has this to say:With beautiful 4-color artwork throughout, this Bible storybook for children ages 6 and under uses a traditional storytelling format, with a fairytale flavor, to help children learn more about Jesus. A bone I pick with most storybook bibles is their lack of accuracy  and I do NOT have that bone to pick with this book. it is well-written. But the lad, though he likes listening as I read it, just isn't as keen on this book.   And though it is marketed for the under 6 crowd, I honestly think it's for older children in how it is written.    Good book, love listening to it on CD. My first bible. frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr" style="height: 240px; width: 120px;">This was the lad's very first bible story book and one that we both have very much enjoyed.   Perfect for when he was little, the stories are short, they are accurate without going into t[...]

Homosexuality and RCA


two good articles by Kevin DeYoung.   Homosexuality and the RCA: A Call for Action, Consistency, and Faithfulness (Part 1) Homosexuality and the RCA: A Call for Action, Consistency, and Faithfulness (Part 2) Good articles to make you think. Must say that I agree with him. It's time to stop "dialoguing" and just make a decision  and let the fall out be what it is. NOTE: I do not have a problem with homosexual persons.   But as a believer in the Lord I firmly hold to the model of what God is to the church, is what a husband is to his wife.   And two men or two women can't model this properly.   and yes, I know it can be argued that male/female marriages don't often mirror God's intent properly either...but at least they have a better chance at it.    It's the deliberateness of turning from scriptural truth and historical church truth that is at issue.   Not the love of the person who struggles (or chooses not to struggle).  Third part in the series  An Overture Regarding Homosexuality and the RCA I have to admit, I read through the list of all the folks contravening synod policy and I'm wondering why they aren't being disciplined. part four  Does the Heidelberg Catechism Have Anything to Say About Homosexuality?understanding the history and times of documents being written in valuable. [...]

Day to Day - I Kings 2:1-4


Using as a base for devotions, Day by Day by Charles Swindoll. frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr" style="height: 240px; width: 120px;">I Kings 2:1-4 (NIV)is the passage for today and it reads as follows: 1 When the time drew near for David to die, he gave a charge to Solomon his son.  2 “I am about to go the way of all the earth,” he said. “So be strong, act like a man, 3 and observe what the LORD your God requires: Walk in obedience to him, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and regulations, as written in the Law of Moses. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go 4 and that the LORD may keep his promise to me: ‘If your descendants watch how they live, and if they walk faithfully before me with all their heart and soul, you will never fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.’ wow!   it's that a great promise?   Live for God and God will help you prosper and he will keep his promises.I can understand from this verse how the prosperity gospel came to be.   Do right, and God will help you prosper.The thing is... it's rather hard to do right all the time.God helping us prosper isn't a given.But putting that aside...Here is David, he's about to die, and therefore he wants to live last instructions, or a good guide to life, to his inheriting child.Be StrongAct like a manObserve what the Lord your God requiresWalk in obedience to GodKeep his decrees and his commands, his laws, his regulations - as written in the Law of MosesRemember God's promise to me:  If your descendants watch how they live, and if they walk faithfully before me with all their heart and soul, you will never fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.If Solomon does this, then God may prosper in all him do and wherever he goes. For Solomon to do this he will need to know well God's word.  He will need to stay in close communication with God.  Because THAT is how one follows the Lord God.   By knowing him well and desiring after him.   He will need to be different and stand out as one who loves God.But we know that Solomon became influenced by the world around him.He allowed things he shouldn't have.   He didn't stay true to what he should have.My challenge before me is NOT to be so influenced by the world around me and the desires of my own heart, but to be more influenced by the Love that God has for me.This is Charles Swindoll's challenge to us as well"Start modeling the truth...the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God.   Think truth.  Confess truth.  Face Truth.  Love truth.  Pursue truth.  Walk truth.  Talk truth.  Ash, that lost one!   That's a good place to begin.   From this day forward, deliberately, consciously, and conscientiously speak the truth.  Start practicing gut-level authenticity." [...]

Christmas Gift Idea I'm thinking...


Supplies needed

  • Etching cream
  • Glasses
  • Self-adhesive stencils

  • Stick adhesive stencils onto glass.
  • Apply etching cream onto stencil with a foam brush
  • Leave it alone for 10 minutes.
  •  Wash off etching cream and remove stencil.
 Wash glass and enjoy!

Windows of Wisdom - Proverbs 6:12-19


Today as we read from Windows to Wisdom by Stephen Olford we take a look at Proverbs 6:12-19.Proverbs 6:12-19 (ESV) 12  A worthless person, a wicked man,    goes about with crooked speech,13  winks with his eyes, signals with his feet,    points with his finger,14 with perverted heart devises evil,    continually sowing discord;15 therefore calamity will come upon him suddenly;     in a moment he will be broken beyond healing.16 There are six things that the Lord hates,     seven that are an abomination to him:17  haughty eyes, a lying tongue,    and hands that shed innocent blood,18  a heart that devises wicked plans,     feet that make haste to run to evil,19  a false witness who breathes out lies,    and one who sows discord among brothers. Verses 12-15 talk about what a worthless person is- wicked- saying things with his body: eyes, feet, hands- his heart is perverted and he figures out ways to do bad - continually finds ways to help people to not trust each otherTo such a person will calamity come suddenly.  This person will end up broken, beyond healing.Verses 16-19 speak to things that the Lord hates- haughty eyes- a lying tongue- hands that shed innocent blood- heart that devises wicked plans- feet that make haste to run to evil- a false witness that breathes out lies- a person who sows discord among believersI was wondering what these sections had to do with each other until I read the sixth and seventh thing that the Lord hates.   A false witness and a discord sower.  These things are part of what make a worthless person.   Even the heart that thinks up evil plans, this too is part of a worthless person.   I see that list and I want to do all I can to make sure I'm not a worthless person.   Who wants to be worthless?   Who wants to end up being broken beyond repair?Not something I want for my life or for my child and family.God tells us "trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths".    If I truly believe this to be true... then I won't be a worthless person because I will have my thoughts and actions directed by him.  I won't be lying, I won't be saying wrong things with my mouth or with my body, I won't be like those who want to stir up drama, who will encourage folks to do wrong, and so forth.   My trust will be in the Lord the one who HATES such things.    If I let him direct my paths then I won't do the very things he hates (at least I'll be well on my way to that anyways). :)    What does Olford have to say about this passage?Olford points out that 1. There are things that we must hate first God describes what he hates (in the worthless man)then God defines what he hates (his list of seven) vanity, falsity, cruelty, subtlety, villiany, perjury, and enmity2. There are times that we must hate A quote that I like "This means that when God hates, he does so with due regards to His nature as life, light and love.  .....  If you and I are to identified with the Lord of life, light and love, we also will have to hate evil and love good".[...]

Lemon Trout


So I had lemon trout and rice for supper tonight.the trout was on sale for 2.99/lb so.. I was happy about that.Here's the link: Lemon Trout.INGREDIENTS:4 cups all-purpose flour2 tablespoons lemon pepper1 1/2 tablespoons salt1/2 teaspoon dried thyme1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper1 teaspoon onion powder1/4 cup grated lemon zest, divided4 (6 ounce) fillets rainbow trout1 lemon1/2 cup lemon juice1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oilDIRECTIONS: 1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, lemon pepper, salt, thyme, cayenne and half of the lemon zest. Combine the lemon juice and remaining lemon zest in a shallow dish and soak fish fillets for about 1 minute. 2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Dip the trout fillets in the flour mixture so that both sides are coated. Shake off the excess and place fillets in the hot oil. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until golden brown and fish can be flaked with a fork. Discard the leftover lemon juice. 3. Remove from the skillet and drain on paper towels briefly before serving. Garnish each serving with a wedge of lemon.SHOULD mention I made some changesI did 1.5 cups of flour.I used about 3/4 cup oilI use dried lemon peel instead of fresh lemon zest.I substituted paprika for cayenne powder. It turned out okay.   I'd have no problem making this again.[...]

The church as family, day by day - Mark 3


Using as a base for devotions, Day by Day by Charles Swindoll. frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr" style="height: 240px; width: 120px;">today's scripture is based on Mark 3.In this chapter we read about a man with a withered hand, a great crowd that follows Jesus, the 12 apostles that follow Jesus about Jesus using the words of the Jewish Leaders to defend himself and about Jesus stating where his first allegiance lies.It's an awfully varied chapter and it's hard to pick where to focus, and reading through what Charles Swindoll had to say on it wasn't particularly helpful...and I'm really not sure how this passage pertains to memories and how the church becomes family... didn't make any sense to me, so... I'm back to reading it over again and seeing how God will speak to me today.  :)I read through this passage again and what jumped out at me where two things1. Jesus is making a new way - he challenged what could be done on the Sabbath by healing a man, he chose apostles, he taught people, he forbade the evil spirits to talk about him, he went without food in order to teach, he challenged the religious leaders and he chose his ministry and his love of God before his physical family.2.20 Then he went home, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat. 21  And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.” I read that and thought HUH?  What is this all about?  I do not understand why this would cause his family to think he'd lost his mind.   It still doesn't make sense to me.And when they came to get him, he refused to go with them saying that those who do the will of God are his family.   31  And his mother and his brothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called him. 32 And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, seeking you.” 33 And he answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” 34 And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35  For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”ah... and thus I see where Charles gets his family thing. :)   Family ..... do we truly consider the people that we worship with, who are part of the visible and invisible church of God.. do we truly consider them to be family? Jesus did.    In fact he left his family who wanted to pull him away from his ministry to teach and lead and guide his spiritual family. I have to admit, I don't feel like I have family in this church, with the exception of a few.   Maybe that's my fault, maybe it isn't.   I don't know.   There are times when I long for closeness with those I worship with.   But I don't know how to gain that either.  Today I'm left with more questions than answers... [...]

Windows of Wisdom - Proverbs 5


Today's Scripture reading from Windows of Wisdom by Stephen F. Olford is Proverbs 5:15-18 15 Drink water from your own cistern,    flowing water from your own well. 16 Should your springs be scattered abroad,    streams of water in the streets? 17 Let them be for yourself alone,    and not for strangers with you. 18 Let your fountain be blessed,    and rejoice in the wife of your youth, I have to admit to wondering why Olford doesn't take the entirety of this chapter to study as it is all about the same thing.   Don't commit adultery.  Stay true to the one that you married.As the author says later in this Proverb 20 Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman    and embrace the bosom of an adulteress?21 For a man's ways are before the eyes of the LORD,    and he ponders all his paths. 22 The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him,    and he is held fast in the cords of his sin. 23 He dies for lack of discipline,    and because of his great folly he is led astray. Being committed to the one that you marry is a discipline.    There are all types of distractions out there for folks in life.   People will joke about being a golf window, a computer widow, a Whatever you want it to be widow, people will spend time with people who will lead them away from their families.  It's a choice.  We can choose to stay committed to that which GOD himself has called us.   For me... I can spend HOURS on the computer...talking with others about rabbits, guinea pigs, reading up on the lives of others, playing games and what not...hubby was complaining so I made a choice...I will sit on the couch with him and watch TV.  Do I do this every night and all night?  NO.. but I do it more often.  I will play lego with my son, I will teach him, I'll drag the family out for a walk.  It's a choice.. I can take my 'me time' later, I can do "my thing" later.   God calls me to love that which he has given me.  I can do only what I want without thinking about it, or I can make choices that serve God better and my family more, and it's interesting, the more I exercise discipline in following the calling God has placed on my life...the better I do, and the better my family does as a family.   frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr" style="height: 240px; width: 120px;">Anyways, what does Olford have to say?   He makes two main points1. Divine Love Condemns lustful marriage I had to read this section a few times to get what he was getting at.   A man should be the husband of one wife and should commanded of God to not touch another woman in a lustful manner.2. Divine love Commends lawful marriageBut the contrast is that a man should desire his own wife and should want to spend time with her.  that drinking water from his own well should satisfy him. other carnival posts can be found here: christian carnival.[...]

Sweeter than Birdsong


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Sweeter than Birdsong was an excellent read. I got this book from Booksneeze in order to review it. Booksneeze is Thomas Nelson's book blogging program which offers books in order to get reviews. They don't pay for them, they merely offer up books in exchange for the review.     Anyways, I picked this book thinking it would be a light read and I wouldn't have to think of anything, and it seemed the best of the options available for an actual book (they also do ebooks). 

BUT wow.. I was very pleasantly surprised.   It wasn't just a light read toss it away afterwards book.

Sweeter than Birdsong is an historical fiction novel that speaks of hope and faith that is inspired by real people and events. A good book to read. It speaks to hard life circumstances, of people making difficult choices, of young men and women maturing into their faith and God's calling upon their lives, and more.

The book was well written, I could quite well imagine what life was like in those days, from higher class society, to the poorer of society.  The working men and women of those days as well as the restraints placed upon them by who they were or wanted to be in life.   Be sure to reading the closing remarks as it explains what happened in real life and how characters were modified (or not modified) to fit the books storyline.    I always find it helpful when authors do that.

I would enjoy reading more novels written by the author Rosslyn Elliott. 


Weight of a Flame


A while back I joined a facebook group where a person could choose to do reviews for folks.  Could be an e-book or a actual book.

Weight of a Flame is an actual book.  Written by Simonetta Carr.

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It is part of a series called "Chosen Daughters".  The subtitle is "the passion of Olympia Morata".   This lady was an actual figure in history.   From 16th century Europe.

Wow... I have to admit it took me a while to get into the book.   The writing style of the author was somewhat different than what I normally read.   But I found myself hooked.  I wanted to know what would happen, how would her life end, and how would she be influential in her world.     And that's what books are supposed to do right?   Draw you in, make you see things you hadn't seen before?

I am aware of how the reformation affected the lives of the people in those days.  The struggles, the death, the sure fire cling to the truth of God's word, the hardships, the murders in the name of religion and politics.  A fascinating book.  Olympia was a scholar, tutor, and a poet.   She was fluent in Latin and Greek.  She was an influential lady in her world.   It was good to get to know her.

This is indeed a book worth reading...not only for your personal reading pleasure, but also to learn more about church history.   It is good to know from what we came, as it helps us to stand stronger in what we believe and know.

just discovered the authors website.   On it she has a truth or fiction area for the book.  :)