Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
It took half a day of absolute focus-- sweeping, mopping and wiping up every crumb, spraying and boiling the ants, until Steve finally finished them off while I wrote my Bible study in the office. We just were not about to let insects take over the kitchen I work so hard to keep clean for my family! "Whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord..." Colossians 3:24 says, so we did!
We have a bit of a respite from the pests now, so we can enjoy dinner as usual, and relax a bit. But we will certainly be on the lookout. How like our Christian life this is! We beat back the enemy's annoying spiritual attacks with prayer, encouragement from others, and resolute effort, and we do receive a rest for a period of time, a sweet reward from our gracious Heavenly Father. Ephesians 6:10-18, the passage on spiritual welfare, tells us to put on the whole armor of
God in order to stand against the wiles of the devil (v.11), as well as wrestle against principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this age, and against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places (v. 12). We are to be focused, prayerful, resourceful and filled with the Holy Spirit. We are not to fight on our own, but to apply the Word, truth, righteousness, faith, and prayer to win the raging battle!(v. 14-18)
I'm enjoying a respite from a few trials that hit our family in the last couple of months, but I know more difficulties are coming--we live on this earth, don't we? So this time will be wisely used for prayerful preparation, and to pray for others in current trials.
The Christian life is the most joyful and satisfying life known to man this side of heaven, but it is also one of vigilance in prayer and applying the word of God.
II Peter 1:5-7 exhorts us:
...giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self control, to self control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.
And verse 10-11 encourages us:
Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you do these things, you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
The eventual fulfillment of that promise is worth every trial we will ever endure!!
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Friday, August 20, 2010
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
The first step was to email my conceptual editor at Tate publishing and let her know that I'll be using my lecture notes to add to each lesson's commentary. I plan to give more thorough explanations of the text as well as adding personal touches as I would if I were speaking with the reader in a Bible study setting. To my delight, and in confirmation of the decision I'd come to, editor Brianna agreed, having already planned to point me in the same direction!
My concept has been to let the written Word of God, seen in the verses the reader looks up, speak for themselves, as the Holy Spirit leads. And for the women who have completed the lessons independently online, that's the way it works out. Scripture confirms and explains Scripture, and brings to mind just what the Lord has designed each individual to receive. II Timothy 3:16-17 says,
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Some very mature believers are able to glean from the Word for themselves, being very attuned to the voice of the Holy Spirit. Most people, however, benefit much more from having a pastor or Bible teacher lead them into the truths of the Word. Bible teaching guides and shapes the fellowship--koinonia-- that makes up the Church. God has designed us for interaction centered in Him, and calls leaders of the Body of Christ to provide structured settings for that crucial interaction.
I am keeping in mind that a person who comes into a Christian bookstore and picks up the Galatians study will require more background facts and interpretation included than one who can ask her question on the spot in a study setting. And the personal touch, tone of voice, and "birdwalking" I tend to do when teaching can be captured in part if I reveal my life experiences as the Spirit brings them to mind. My desire is that my love for the Bible and my love for the Body would come through on every page!
For today, I added some phrases from my speaking notes, and strove to let my awe and admiration for the Word infuse the study's introduction. There will be much work ahead, and lots of editing. But when I picture this truth, that "you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus," (Galatians 3:26) dawning on someone's heart, and possibly turning them away from false doctrines, it will all be worth it!
Monday, August 16, 2010
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Saturday, August 14, 2010
The human body has many different parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.
Friday, August 13, 2010
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
My prayers were answered for Heidi-- her class is smart, adorable and well-behaved!
Sentimental thoughts of so many friends going back into the classrooom today are normal for me as I enter my second year of retirement. I forwarded to my teacher friends an hilarious email with illustrations of demented and goofy test answers from every grade level. Example: "Where was the American Declaration of Independence signed?" "On the bottom."
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Monday, August 9, 2010
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Saturday, August 7, 2010
The rest of my day has been spent in preparing for a large family gathering tomorrow afternoon --both sides of our family will be here, with plenty of food and yummy desserts abounding! The specialties of the house are tomatillo salsa, ice cream cakes, watermelon sorbet, frozen lemonade pie, and my Heidi's oatmeal cake. As I write this, Steve is collecting green tomatoes for frying; tomorrow we'll pick our corn fresh. As much as the burgers and hotlinks will delight our senses, the desserts will be over the top, and the kiddies will be squealing in the jumphouse, our fellowship in Christ is the key to a harmonious and joyful time. Literally, "the brethren will dwell together" tomorrow(Psalm 133:1) with "Ultimate Frisbee" as a finale.
This evening, Heidi and Pavel brought over the movie "The Book of Eli," about a world devoid of all vestiges of civilization (apparently due to a nuclear holocaust), where a hotel-size bottle of shampoo is a treasure; the vast majority of the population is illiterate; killing by bands of men is a daily occurrence; and women are disposable victims of violence; but one man has The Book. It is literally a savage post-historic world, a world without the Bible, without the consciousness of God in the minds of men.
Yet the few who know how to read, and know what the Bible is, fight to the death for the very last King James Bible to be found. I couldn't help but think of the value of the Word of God to believers in hostile countries, who treasure as little as one page per underground congregation!
Bible-loving Christians identify with Jeremiah 15:16: "Your words were found and I ate them. And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; for I am called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts."
Jesus Christ, the logos, the Word of God made flesh, is made known through His Word. Through the Bible we come to know His heart, His character, and find strength to follow His commands!
The Book of Eli presents a horrifying spectacle of a world without the precious, civilizing effect of God's word. It answers the question, "Where would we be without God in this world?" Man becomes a feral beast--kill or be killed, no understanding or wisdom. As Psalm 49:20 puts it, they are "like the beasts that perish."
Psalm 119, a paean to the glorious Word of God, says it all in verse 105:
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.
May we never experience a world without the Word!