Monthly Archives: June 2007

Book Review Friday: 2 Cor.8-12

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First things first, we’ll be reading through Genesis this summer if you’d like to join up with me and the rest of the gals doing Book Review Friday. This week we start in on Genesis chapters 1-6. Looking ahead, we will finish up our last Book Review in Genesis on Sept.7th. With it taking up 50 pages in my Bible I just divided up the chapters into approximately 5 pages worth each taking up 10 weeks. Sounds reasonable eh? I’m excited to get to know Genesis!

Now for a HUGE apology on my part about this weeks book review. I don’t have one. In fact I don’t think I read through the rest of 2 Corinthians once this week. I did read a couple chapters at a time most days, usually with a bad headache and I was tired so I didn’t catch much. Something that was encouraging even though I couldn’t get my reading done was that I had read so much along with the other BRF ladies these past number of months that I still had much scripture swimming around in my head to mull over as I was up through the night and tired by day with my sick kids, and as I layed on the couch being sick myself.

I do have one question that I hope someone else can answer, and it’s probably really simple but my mind isn’t working so well. What does Paul mean when he says in 8:2 "but I am testing the sincerity of your love by the diligence of others." ???

So, I’ll be checking on Mr.Linky today to see all that you gals learned. Can’t wait. :)

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Book Review Friday: 2 Cor.1-7

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First things first, we’ll finish off reading 2 Corinthians this week and read chapters 8-12 for next Friday. Now for my take on chapters 1-7…

One of the first verses right in chapter 1 seemed to say it all to me at first. Verse 12 says, "that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God". Loved it. But then, just what does ‘in simplicity and godly sincerity’ mean exactly?? I think Paul explains a lot in the next 6 1/2 chapters. For me it’s a WOW. It’s something we all know and I’ve learned before, but each time I learn it it’s more real and more personal.

This review is all about the greater purpose. No matter what we may be going through, good or bad, God is working out His eternal plan and that’s all that matters. The point is that I don’t matter, God does. These chapters seemed to work together for me to bring me to a point where nothing matters but giving God glory. That’s not an easy attitude to keep hold of. It’s purely the Spirit’s power if it stays in my heart for even a second or two. But if I could just keep this attitude it would change the way I live completely.

Paul was encouraging the Corinthians to realize just what there place was in Christ. If they were going through good times and living for the Lord, they could praise Him and help those going through rougher times. If they were being hard pressed, perplexed, persecuted and struck down it still was all working for a greater purpose and in God’s will, and they would then be able to sympathize and comfort others more having experienced pain themselves. God knows what He’s doing and I just forget constantly that there is that huge spiritual battle going on and I’m part of it.

I think the movie Facing the Giants said it really well. (If you haven’t seen that one yet what are you waiting for?!) One of the great quotes from the movie is, "If we win we praise Him, if we lose we praise Him." All that we can do is give God %110 and leave the results up to Him. We can praise Him when we win and when we lose only when we recognize who He is and keep in a close enough relationship with Him so that we are more concerned with spiritual matters instead of temporary earthly pleasures that take up most of our time.

I found 4:11 to be a big verse for me. "For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh."  That word ‘always’ is what stuck out. It made me nervous to think that if I really am saved I can count on being delivered to death. Death hurts. Then for a moment the fact of dying to myself is exciting because God would be doing His work in me, and then that thought flickers away as fast as it came yet again and I start feeling desperate to clutch on to something, anything, and try to take control again.  I believe Paul wanted to warn the people against getting into this rut and getting their focus mixed up like me. That’s why he told them to "not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal."

Life is so much bigger and deeper than I know. I feel like I’m barely starting to scratch the surface of this whole life in Christ thing. I’ve got a long way to go.

And of course I’ve learned a whole lot more from these chapters than what I’ve written and have the pages of written notes to prove it, but I would have you asleep if you aren’t already. :) I love Book Review Friday and the fact that there are a bunch of other ladies out there excited about reading their Bibles too. Can’t wait to see the reviews on Mr.Linky. :0)

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BRF: Judges 20-21

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First things first, we’re moving on to 2 Corinthians 1-7 this week. So exciting!! It wasn’t that long ago that we finished up 1 Corinthians, and we’ll be able to finish up 2 Cor. in two weeks. I know it’s going to be a big  kick in the pants, but doesn’t that sound exciting!?! :)

Now, for Judges. The whole book is a story of the life of every wandering soul. As Christians we mess up time and time again. What caught my attention more so was the fact that these people had no clue they were messed up. It’s a scary fact for me to see that I could be completely blinded in my own sin and quite happy that way.

From when I began reading this book to when I finished it I caught a glimpse of how far a mistake here and there or a little disobedience, whether knowingly or not, can take a person. By allowing the world to enter our lives even a little bit we are opening ourselves to create the same finish as Judges had. "In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes." 21:25  What a sad way to finish it off. At first when the Israelites sinned they confessed more quickly and were more repentant. By the time all those years had passed and they had sinned so often they weren’t as quick to repent. They lost their focus and were more interested in themselves, not in the God that had been all consuming at one time.

In chapter 21 after they had fought the tribe of Benjamin because of the horrendous crime committed by the people, they were worrying about losing a tribe and took the remedy in their own hands. Not a good move. God is bigger than that and doesn’t need help to work it all out.  I was glad that the Lord didn’t give them victory in their war with Benjamin in the first couple of attempts. Not sure exactly why I’m glad because He is very merciful to me every single day in the same way. Maybe God was letting all of Israel be chastised a bit for their own fault in the situation  or maybe just to let them know victory isn’t given to them like a cheap magic potion.

In so many ways I am one of the Israelites. I have had the Creator of the universe make Himself known to me, He has lifted the veil from my eyes to give me understanding when reading His word more every day. He has showed Himself and His power in my life over and over. I’ve seen His hand of protection, His chastisement on my very disobedient heart, different ‘judges’ brought into my life to move me back to a place where I can see Him more clearly again.

I have been a Deborah stepping up into a place not natural for women and set my hand to lead those who should have been leading me.
I have been Jephthah’s daughter, used and the victim of nasty circumstances created by a misguided someone due to their lack of understanding of the Lord’s will.
I have been Jephthah himself, trying to manipulate God into doing what I want.
I have been Samson, self-willed, conceited, & self-absorbed to the point where I am only concerned with my own feelings and wishes.
I have been Micah, who thought He could make God into anything He wished.
I have been Gideon, when he unknowingly caused others to stumble and move far from the Lord.
I have been humbled by this awesome book I had never read before.

I am convinced now more than ever that we haven’t got a clue. Seriously. We are such self absorbed, idiotic creatures, that we more often than not couldn’t care less if we please God. This whole book is a huge warning and call to repentance from a life that is not just far from God, but just a little bit off track. There is no in between. Either you are running the straight and narrow path toward the Saviour, or you take just one step off that path and will be heading totally in the wrong direction.
We have to be so careful!

Now please add your link to my Mr.Linky here and hopefully everyone is back and ready so we can see some more names. And of course if you are new, we’ll be even more excited to read your review. Isn’t it great to know that there are other women out there excited to really get to know their Bibles & their Saviour just as much as you!? :)

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Book Review Friday: Judges 16-19

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First things first, we’ll finish off the book of Judges with an incredibly short reading this week. Judges 20-21 is on the menu for next Friday.

Reading chapters 16-19 left me with a lot of questions. There was a lot of good stuff for me to glean as usual, but an awful lot of confusing things too.

One of the not so confusing thing is the ongoing lesson in God’s providence throughout the whole book. No matter what we do, good or bad, is all in the hands of God and he works everything for his purpose. But for a bit of a different note than I usually put down for BRF I’ll ask some questions and hope for some answers. I’ve already discussed them with hubby and would love to hear what you have to say. :)

Here are a few of my questions for you… Why didn’t the spirit of the Lord leave Samson when he touched a dead lion which he was not allowed to do but it did when his hair was cut?  When speaking of Samson wanting the wrong kind of wife 14:4 says, "But his father and mother did not know that it was of the Lord – that He was seeking an occasion to move against the Philistines." So does that mean that God wanted Samson to sin??  Why did the Levite cut up the woman? Why wasn’t he in trouble for sending his concubine out to be abused to protect himself? He was a jerk and he was part of the murder! Why did the womans father try to keep the man with them? Was is to protect his daughter from this guy or did he really like him?

Those are just a couple of things that I wondered about. I learned stuff too but my time is short this week and I wanted to get answers to my questions more than write anything else right now. :) Hope you can help me! Maybe you answered them all in your reviews and I just have to check Mr.Linky. That would be great.

If you would like to join up with Book Review Friday, jump right in where we’re at. We’d love to have you. You can find the info for it all up on my left hand sidebar.

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(Edited)Book Review Friday: Judges 11-15

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First things first, we’ll be reading Judges chapter 16-19 for next friday’s book review. I looked ahead and I’m pretty excited about it seeing that I’ve never read it and don’t think I’ve ever heard of the story there before. :)

I’m going to need a little bit more time for my review but of course do not want you to miss the chance to get your name on Mr.Linky if you are ready right away. So link away, and I’ll be posting this evening when my very busy day is done.

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I’m back with my review. It’s been a good but busy day and I’m wiped and ready for a nice long sleep. :) But first I have to say a little bit (or a lot) about Judges…

We have to remember we are continuing the story from when the Israelites begged for mercy of God because of being oppressed by the people of Ammon. God had enough of Israel’s continued disobedience and was ready to turn them over to the enemy for good. But He had mercy and Israel wanted to have someone lead them to victory against Ammon, and this guy Jephthah was who they chose and God used.

Jephthah was what our society today would be labled a ‘victim of circumstance’. He must not have been brought up in a loving home, that’s for sure. It would be hard to raise a son from such a circumstance,to know that your hubby cheated on you and now has a son by another woman. Hard, really hard. Jephthah is a lot like the kids on the street today, and a lot of them have just as weird names too. There are a lot of guys out there who come from disfunctional families, banding together with worthless men and doing their own sort of trouble making. Many of them have lots of potential like Jephthan who was considered a man of valor, but are channeled in the wrong direction. It’s hard to get angry with guys like this when you hear how they grew up. Makes you wonder how much of a chance they had in the first place.

Though I can feel sorry for how he grew up and ended up it seems to me for Israel to be taking a step backward to go to this type of guy for help. Certainly by now they have learned that God doesn’t need a ‘mighty man of valor’ to bring them deliverance, and definitely not one that enjoys getting into trouble. This is yet another lesson to me showing that just because the Lord may be using me and working through me does not mean that I am in His will. I may be just a fool in the middle of my folly being used to bring about God’s will. Big difference folks.

Long story made short is that the Israelites win with Jephthah leading them because God chose to put His spirit on a man that was completley unworthy of it.

Also, quite a different attitude showed up in Jephthah than that of Gideon in the previous chapters. When Gideon was chosen to lead the people in battle he aslo was led to victory by the Lord, but humbly declined any gain it could possibly bring him or his family. Gideon wanted to do what was right because that’s what God said to do. But when Jephthah was asked to lead he immedeately asked what was in it for him. He wanted power and social standing, maybe a little payback for all the grief his upbringing caused him. I believe he wanted to do what was right for the wrong reason. Jephthah obviously knew the history of his people. He knew what the Lord had done for them. In all of his faults he still was willing to recongnize and put faith in the God of his people. I love the challenge he sends to the people of Ammon in 11:24. Shannon’s paraphrasing says, ‘You can have whatever your worthless god gives you and we can have whatever the Lord our God gives us!’. In essence he was saying that ‘we have each decided where to place our faith, now we’ll see who is right and who is completely wrong’.

About jephthah’s vow to sacrifice the first thing he sees when he gets home after victory… the only thing I can think of is to be very careful of what you vow to the Lord, and his daughter must have been a very submissive young woman to go through with it.

Mostly in Judges I am learning that yes, there are many judges who ruled over God’s people, but God is the judge. He judges over us and uses people and circumstances in His own way to bring about His will. He has used many different men, and one woman, some more thought of than others but none perfect. Sin never goes unnoticed or not dealt with. Consequences come whether it’s right away, 7 years, or 40 years later and it affects the next generation even more than it affects the present. But the fact is that we can be assured that if we are one of God’s children that are not where we’re supposed to be He will do something to chasten us and bring us back to a right place with Him.

I have to say the kids got a kick out of the Ephraimites not being able to pronounce ‘Shibboleth’ in 12:6. I felt like Larry the cucumber when I read that part aloud to them. :)

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