Monthly Archives: May 2007

Book Review Friday: Judges 6-10

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First things first, we’ll read Judges 11-15 until next Friday. If you read all 5 chapters this past week for chapters 6-10 then pat yourself on the back or buy yourself a chocolate bar. It was a little long compared to the past few we’ve done. :)

I do not feel ready to write anything. I don’t feel that I really learned much except for a lot of names I can’t pronounce and Jair the judge having 30 sons, on 30 donkeys, in 30 towns (isn’t that catchy?).  Abimelech was a scary guy. Glad I’m not related. Can you imagine killing 70 of your relations. How does a person get to that point?!?  Actually, I can answer my own question. The way someone gets to that point is explained for us all the way through this book. You fall away from the Lord and start doing things your own way. It gets worse and worse from there and generations go by until you end up so far from your God that you end up an Abimelech and you should start keeping your head up watching for those millstones being aimed at your head. Not a good way to go.

One thing that I was talking to Charmin about is the story of Gideon. It wasn’t quite what I remembered from my Sunday school class way back when. I’m not even sure that I have ever read this one for myself before. I was so disappointed to find out what manner of man Gideon was. As I explained to Charmin a bit of my thoughts about him being right in there and serving false gods, the Lord speaking to him and he obeyed and had victory, but then immediately turned back to his old ways again. From Charmin’s reaction to what I’d said I knew right away she didn’t agree. :) After she explained a bit of what she got out of it (which I’m hoping she’ll put in her review) I read it with a new way of thinking. Here’s what I think….

Gideon was doing the false gods thing along with everyone else around. God wasn’t going to let them continue on and had pity on His people for the bad shape they were in because of their enemies. The angel of the Lord comes and gives Gideon direction and he obeys. He’s scared and asks over and over again for reassurance that it’s going to be okay, but he does obey and God blesses.  Then, with good intentions he makes an ephod, a symbol to remember what God has done, to put up in the city. The thing is that everyone around is so used to worshiping  things instead of God that they start looking at the pretty gold thing up there on the altar as the thing to treasure and before you know it, everyone is back to where they started and maybe a little worse off. One good man making one bad choice led the whole people astray again.

The new way of thinking brought me to understand that God can use anything or anyone for his purposes and for that I should be very grateful. For all the times I mess up in a day the stories in Judges should keep me going with faith in God’s mercy and patience with His people. We don’t have to be perfect or reach a certain spiritual plateau to be used of God. What I need to realize is that reading through our Bibles there really aren’t too many examples of men or women who didn’t mess up big time when they really should have known better. I just like my ‘heros’ to be all about doing the right thing all the time, never messing up. I want to know that it can be done. It has to be possible to be faithful to God through it all. That is what is disappointing, there’s no perfect ending. It is a comfort to know that Gideon wasn’t a bad guy. He meant to do what was right and he was a humble man, courageous and the people didn’t fall away from the Lord again until after he was gone which meant that he ruled them well.

So it’s a lesson in the tremendous mercy of God for a fallen creature like me. Thankfulness for Him bringing me back each time I start wondering off and not giving up on me yet. And also a lesson to learn from those in the past. These scriptures are here for us to read as a warning to not fall into sin as they did. We’ve been forewarned about consequences of our sin and how easy it is to forget our God while we live among a Godless society.

Gideon certainly liked his women! 70 sons, who knows how many daughters, and many wives and some concubines as well. Seriously.

So, there is my not so well thought out review. I really need to read all of yours so I’ll be waiting ever so patiently to see the names pop up on Mr. LInky. :)

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Movie Reviews: Moody Science Video Classics

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Science_videos_2 I would like to pass along a great series for every person in your home, Moody Science Video Classics Series. All ages will enjoy these great videos, A great resource. If you do get them let me know what you think. Perfectly clean and make my ‘Ultimate Clean movie’ rating. Wonderful for homeschooling, these science videos teach children much without ever making them think they are learning scientific as well as spiritual. My children love them and even though they’ve watched them before, still watch wide eyed and so do mommy and daddy. :) So order them (they are well worth the $) or if you live close enough just borrow them from moi! :)

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Bible study made easy

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I was saved at a very young age but always, always struggled with consistent Bible reading until long into my married life. I thought I had to have pens and paper with highlighters and commentaries and Bible dictionaries at a desk with me to make it worthwhile. It was so complicated I just gave up many times. When the going got hard and I was living far away from family getting more and more depressed I was given an idea. Listening to a John MacArthur message on CD, he talked about how he learned his Bible so well himself. He read it. Go figure, he just read it over and over. I was so impressed by the simple-ness of it that I was moved to action. He explained how all he did was read an entire book every day for a week and sometimes a month or 2 months. By the end of that time he had a good grasp on what was in that part of the Bible. Then he’d move on to another book. Seriously, that is what John MacArthur did to study his Bible.

So I started in with 1 John (a short one of course) and loved it. Though never perfect, the depression left me after filling my mind with scripture each day. Wow, the stuff I learned was amazing! I kept this up off and on with reading Proverbs and doing a different study here and there, but was always drawn back to this method. Now we’ve started as a group in Book Review Friday, sometimes more in a week than others, reading a book of the Bible each day for a week and writing a review. The review is just a simple write up of what spoke to you from the scripture you read. Maybe even just a verse, maybe you just read it once that week. But what a difference the review has made! Everyone involved has said time and time again that when they sit to write out what they learned, that is actually the time that they learn the most. To have to put into words and concentrate on the message scripture is telling us leaves much deeper imprints on your heart than simply reading it and tucking it away again.

I would not want to sound disrespectful but I am finding that pretty much anything you would learn at a Bible college could be learned by a school age child if the family read together in this manner each day. Families reading and implementing what they are reading in their day to day lives would change our world. Seriously. This is such a simple idea that has been completely lost by most Christians of our day. Read your Bible with your kids, who would have thought, it sounds too easy.

It’s a very nice idea to read through your Bibles in year too, but…. you don’t retain nearly as much, at least I don’t. I don’t just want to be able to say I read it, I want to know it really well.

So this is a call to all you gals out there that would love to get to know your Bibles really well, very easily. Someone already involved in BRF said that we’ve done about 14 books of the Bible and Psalm 119 since December. Wow! So if you’d like to jump in right where we are we’d love to have you! Just check on on my sidebar what we’re reading this week for Book Review Friday, read that book as many times as you can and we’d love to see a new name there on Mr. Linky on Friday with a review, or just an email to let us know you are doing it without a review.  And if you think your house is too busy and full and life demands too much, we’ve heard it before. We’ve all got kids of our own and outside circumstances and busy schedules. Nothing could be more important that learning more about your Saviour and getting closer to Him!! :)

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Movie Review: Love’s Abiding Joy

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Loves_abiding_joty_2 So sorry to say that I cannot recommend the movie “Love’s Abiding Joy” on my list of clean stuff to watch, which is not a very long list as of yet. Though they never took the Lord’s name in vain in the movie last night, there was one coarse word spoken. You could quite possibly miss it if you weren’t listening closely as the man says it almost under his breath, but it’s still there. And though the rest of it was clean in language and modesty there were parts that would teach the kids that it’s okay to be sneaky and it will all turn out right in the end.  But other than those two things it was okay.

I will warn anyone slightly emotional to have kleenex handy if you venture to watch it. I was basically choking back sobs the WHOLE way through it. Maybe I was just over-emotional, I don’t know. :(

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BRF: Judges 1-5

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First things first, we will move on to chapters 6-10 for next Friday’s book review. :)

I loved reading Judges! It was easy reading, interesting stories, and it held the kids attention easily too. But there is so much to grasp and learn from it all it leaves my head in a whirl yet again. On one hand I read it and am so thankful for God’s grace and mercy toward me. On the other hand it makes me terrified of how the Lord will deal with me when I sin, which is all the time. These aren’t just stories to read for fun. This stuff really happened. God is REALLY a jealous God. He takes disobedience very seriously. He expects me to obey exactly.

During our second reading of these chapters with the kids and I read yet another verse saying "So the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord", Miss K desperately said, "Why do they have to keep disobeying!?!" You can bet I jumped on that open invitation to talk about all of us doing the same thing everyday. I think a little light went on when the association was made. :) Love little lights. :)

The Israelites were told to go into the land and not allow any Canaanites to remain. Pretty simple directions and since the Lord was with them it wouldn’t matter what the armies looked like that they were up against or how much better their battle equipment was, God was going to give them the land. So God told them what to do and was ready to give it to them. But they disagreed. They started thinking that it wasn’t completely nessecary to wipe out the bad guys. Maybe they could use them for their own good. They could just make them serve them and they would actually improve on their present situation by "putting them under tribute". Bad idea.

Marty and I were talking about it this morning and he made the statement that "we reap what we sow. Actually we reap much more than we sow, every time". When we plant a tomato seed we don’t grow one tomato, it multiplies and we recieve much more fruit than we actually planted. Spiritually it works that way too, good or bad, we reap more than we sow. The children of Israel planted a small seed of comprimise and didn’t consider what it would mean to them in the future. Allowing sin to remain among you cannot possibly maintain or improve your spiritual growth. Something Charmin had put in her post last week fits this thought perfectly. "If you put a clean white glove into the mud, the mud doesn’t get glovy."  Oh so true.

We have our own little homes that are a little like our promised land. By God’s grace He has allowed blessings in our lives. We have our own little homes and families, our pieces of the world that we need to protect. We need to drive anything sinful out without exception. We cannot escape the world but we can guard against it’s infulence. Our priorities are opposite than theirs. We are striving to glorify a God they do not recognize. We are called to a higher purpose and most of us are living as the Canaanites of our own day. We do what they do, watch what they watch, act as they act, even teach our children what they teach their children. We have allowed the world to penetrate our families and our churches to the point that no one would ever know there was a difference, because in reality there isn’t.

If it’s this bad now, and it’s probably worse – I’m just starting to see things for what they are here, then where will we be leaving our children?  In 2:10 it says, "another generation arose after them who did not know the Lord nor the work which He had done for Israel." If all us Christian parents died today and left our children alone in this world, how many of us could be sure that through what we have taught and portrayed to our children up to this point they would take up the torch and obey God at all costs without us to lead them?  How many of us could be sure that our children even recognize the Lord as their Lord and not just yours?  A challenge to me as a homeschooling mom. When done properly homeschooling is the greatest advantage to your children to raise them to glorify God. We don’t have to deprogram our children after hours in a school each day where God is not recognized and they are actually taught the opposite of what we know to be true in scripture. But we also have our children with us ALL THE TIME and that can make for it’s own set of challenges. They know us very well, they see how we handle everything that comes our way during the run of a day, good or bad. They see first hand what place mommy’s Lord has in her life. Just what am I teaching them. I can’t say that I’m doing a marvelous job in this area. I don’t want to just avoid teaching them the wrong things either, I want to teach them the right things all day long and in such a way that they will be able to stand their ground on their own in their teen years and beyond and serve their God no matter what the ‘Canaanites’ are doing around them.

I want to raise kids who will grow up to lead those that are stumbling along to follow the Lord. I want to raise Judges that will stand for the Lord and lead and encourage others in obedience. I want to be that way myself. I would love to be a Joshua or an Ehud. Men willing to step up to the plate and take the action needed to get back on track.

I’d love to keep writing but things are getting noisy upstairs and with all this rain the kids are getting crazier and crazier. I’ll be waiting for the reviews to show up on Mr.Linky. Can’t wait. :)

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I’m watchin a movie tonight

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Just where exactly did the week go???? I can’t believe it’s Thursday and tomorrow is Book Review Friday again! I realized today that we’ve just been enjoying the stories so much in the first 5 chapters of Judges that I haven’t really thought beyond the initial ‘ and Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord’ kind of lessons. I’m really excited about seeing what everyone was taught themselves.

The week went so quickly and it really was full. I realize now how full if I couldn’t even find time to post hardly anything. I’ve been doing the regular laundry and the kids and Marty have been working on garden stuff. I’ve revamped our daily list of things to do from a ‘schedule’ to a ‘routine’ list. The plan is that the new routine will help us all to get better organized and I’ll know that everything is getting done. That’ll be a post later on I hope (if it works).

We’re planning on watching another clean movie tonight. If it is perfectly clean I’ll let you know. Hubby has just gone to see if they’ve got it in town. :) Here’s my definition of clean, just so ya know :)

Clean movie:  a program that has absolutely no coarse language of any kind, nothing sensual in any way, all inappropriate body parts are completely covered at all times, no jokes in poor taste.

Bonus Clean movie: One that actually gives a good biblical example to follow, encourages you to be hard working and have good attitudes, encourages you to do the right thing even when it hurts.

Ultimate Clean movie:  Includes all of the qualifications in the first two definitions above and there isn’t even a burp in the whole production. :)

See ya’ll tomorrow

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Book Review Friday: 1 Cor. 13-16

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First things first, we will read through Judges in one month. The plan is 5 chapter’s a day for 3 of the weeks and 6 for the last. We CAN do it. I’m loving the Old Testament more and more the longer we continue with BRF. :) So we’re on to Judges 1-5 each day until next Friday.

As for 1 Corinthians 13-16 I was disappointed this week. My mind just isn’t grasping a whole lot lately. Maybe it’s because I’m still trying to get a handle on the previous chapters that were pretty heavy duty, along with that message at church on Sunday morning (that still isn’t available yet, sorry). Anyway, here’s what I did get out of it, for what it’s worth. :)

The love chapter is always convicting. I’ll say what I learned in this chapter 13 very plainly, I do not have a sweet clue how to love. God is going to have to work on me big time in that area.

The only thing I really understood about the whole ‘speaking in tongues’ issue is that I need to avoid the whole ‘speaking in tongues’ issue until I understand it more. :)

The only principle that really stuck out to me was in the last couple chapters about learning to die to self. Paul knew that he was who he was only because God had worked a miracle in him. He had found the secret of how to ‘die daily’. What is it really like to be so consumed with Christ and His will that all that matters to you is that God is glorified? I actually had an experience in understanding what that feels like in the past week. It lasted for all of 2 1/2 seconds. I’m being perfectly serious. I can’t forget what it was like. It was the most freeing 2 1/2 seconds of my life where I knew that God was in control and no matter what happened, good or bad, that His glory was accomplished and I was happy with that. Then the same old earthly cares and attention grabbers stole into my soul again and I had lost it before I even realized what was there. Just a flash of Him and I couldn’t hold onto it. I want it back to stay.

I just think of what that would have been like to be someone like Paul, who was a whole lot more practiced in the art of dying than I am. Who can tell what I will become if I die as scripture says. What exactly is God wanting to grow me into if " … what you sow, you do not sow that body that shall be, but mere grain – perhaps wheat or some other grain. But God gives it a body as He pleases, and in each seed it’s own body."15:37,38 Once I have died I will "awake to righteousness" and I’m sure that is where I will find more of the experience I lost in those couple of seconds.

Not a whole lot that I may have grasped but the concept I’m working on swallowing is huge. I’ll just leave you with one of my favourite verses. 16:13,14 "Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love."

Looking forward to seeing your reviews added to Mr. Linky! :)

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