Monthly Archives: April 2008

Busy Hen.

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Since there really isn’t a whole whack of time for me to be blogging because my life is insane these days, but I still want to update my precious blog very badly before another Book Review Friday is here, I shall share a picture with you. Why not! :)
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Book Review: Take 2

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My review was bothering me. I really wasn’t sure that I’d grasped things properly and asked hubby to read what I wrote. We had a long discussion and I’m here to fix up a couple points. I understand that I didn’t say anything unbiblical in my review yesterday, but I misunderstood Jude a bit. :(

First, I honestly didn’t realize that the book was talking about apostates infiltrating the church. We are to be on our guard and not allow these false teachers in.  Instead of worrying that I might become the ‘spot’ that Jude was talking about, I need to be grounded in the Word so that I won’t be taken in by these false guys. Hubby and I had a long talk about the difference between false teachers and those who have become ‘shipwrecked in the faith’.  The problem we have today is that we have been influenced by false teaching and not cleansed it as we should to the point that we start mimicking the world. By that I meant we can become ‘spots’. Now I know that spot actually is talking about those false teachers among us in our church. I can’t be a spot, only a bad testimony for Christ. Terminology you know. :)

The whole of Jude was a warning against those false teachers and then in verse 22 or 23 he mentions us true Christians, “Beloved”. That’s when we are exhorted to be in the word, pray, love, believe in our God.

I probably missed a few things that I was mistaken in my review. I don’t have my Bible with me at this moment. I just had to clear this up, it’s been bothering me all night and before breakfast the fix-it job just had to be done! :)

So, I’m going to go check out my review comments and see if anyone was brave enough to mention my mistake. I hope so. After all, you can’t allow those false teachers to be ignored!!! :)

 

Book Review Friday: Jude (Edited to add my review)

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First things first!!! We’ll move on to read 1 Samuel 1-6 until next Friday.

If you do not know what Book Review Friday is please check out my sidebar for all the details, and feel free to join in wherever we are! :)

I will have to post a review on Jude tomorrow. My life is busy. I’d like to do a proper review and so I will be late and get it done on Saturday instead of Friday. Bad, I know, but necessary.

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Now for my review:

After reading Jude once I realized that maybe we hadn’t read it before in BRF. At least, if we did I don’t remember it at all. It was all new to me.  Jude had some major warning for the church. He said that he wanted to write about their faith but ended up having to write them so they wouldn’t lose it.  Little by little the church had allowed the ungodly to take root among them. Little did they realize just how bad that would be in the end if they allowed it to continue. Jude reminds them all of the way others before had turned out and how God dealt with their sin. Judgement for the Israelites, Sodom & Gomorrah, even the angels who would dare live outside God’s law. Did they want to be next?

Verse 12 stuck right out to me.

 “These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves.” 

Many people (even many of us ‘Christians’) are spots in our own local church. We allow many unrepentant sinners to join in with us never dealing with their sin, carrying on as if all was right in the world. We allow people to take part in our churches when they have no place there. Many of us are doing things in the church that we shouldn’t be according to scripture. If we are doing that, it means we are spots, rotting away the church a little bit at a time.

I can even be a ‘spot in the love feast’ when no one sees. What I am watching, listening to, how I handle situations in my home. How I care for my home & family can make me a spot too. Do I do it the way Scripture says?  How’s my attitude? How do I encourage other believers around me? 

And then, by just seeing other spots starting in the body of Christ and not going to encourage them in God’s way I am actually becoming a spot myself. Jude wanted the church to deal with such ones. (Hey people, if I’m a spot tell me, please!) It was important.  The fact that those spots could be there unknowingly is scary. We could be one big rotting church  and not know it. We could be full of ‘great swelling words,’ sounding spiritual and busy doing ‘ministry’, but be deceived in ourselves. We could actually be working against God and bringing ourselves to judgement in our own spiritual delusions.  I think that’s scary. I don’t want to be mistaken and find out too late that I was way off track.

Since I don’t want to be a spot I made sure to look for symptoms as I read so I would know how to avoid it. Verse 12 gave me a bit of a clue with, “serving only themselves”.  Even if I am doing the right thing at the right time but not doing it with a humble & thankful heart all for my Saviour, I am just serving myself. That’s a big one.

Another set of clues was in verse 16, “These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage.”  I never grumble or complain… ever. So that can’t be talking about me…. I’ll just move on to the next part. :)  Great swelling words, flattery, advantages…. My! Jude really wants people to start getting to the heart of things. Motives seem to be a big part of a proper relationship with Christ, and in whether our ministry is actually ministry or not.

Another clue there in verse 19, “These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.” My Bible says that word sensual means worldly. So am I a worldly person. Do I care about where I’m at, what I’m doing, what I have, what I can get, who I know, where I can go, more than I care about Christ and His Word? Then I’m worldly.   Do I enjoy some things that this world offers that Christ wouldn’t want to be part of? Then I’m one of those worldly people.   Jude really wants to make a person think about which direction he’s headed.

That is all the bad news. Verses 20 – 23 gives direction for all of us who read and then want to do something to change. “But you beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith,”Well, that’s what BRF is all about. Reading and studying, giving God lots of ammunition to do battle with my heart. Then, “praying in the Holy Spirit,”comes up. Without prayer all this studying and meditating on God’s word becomes just knowledge. It says in 1 Cor.8:1 that Knowledge puffs up, makes a person arrogant. Prayer is the final weapon that God can use in our lives. We get our knowledge through His Word, then He changes us when we become close to Him through prayer.  Thanks for the reminder Jude!  Verse 21 keeps on going with direction for those who wish to work on things, “keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.”  Love. Whether it hurts or not those spots must be dealt with in love. Love for the good of those being led away by sin, love for the whole body of Christ, but most of all love for Christ Himself who gave Himself for us. Another verse I love that could go along with this is in 1 Cor.16:13,14 “Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love.”  Hate everything about sin. Hate it all. Hate what it does, how it affects us, hate the pure evilness of it, but love the people in it all the way to repentance. Don’t let sin get away with itself, deal with it.

And just in case all of this seems to be too tall of an order for lil ol’ me, Jude has another reminder. “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,”   Just in case you thought it was all up to you, Jude says it isn’t. It’s up to God. Stay close to Him. As Daniel did, I must ‘believe in my God’.  He’s the one who saves me, He’s the One who keeps me. He’s the One who does all the work. 

Check your motives, keep the faith, pray, love, God’s in control. Chase life, Be ready. :)

Here is Mr.Linky for y’all. I know there are a couple people with reviews all ready and waiting to link. Love it. So ladies, link away. :)

 

Pop Quiz #2

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How about a little Bible knowledge quiz?

1. Which country did Ruth come from?

2.What did Naomi’s two relatives exchange before one could marry Ruth?

3. Who wanted to kill all the Jews living in the Persian Empire?

4. Where was Paul held under guard in Caesarea?

5. On which island was Paul shipwrecked on his journey to Rome?

6. Who did God send to restore Saul’s sight?

7. How long did the plague of darkness over Egypt last?

8. Which two fishermen brothers did Jesus call to be his first disciples?

9. What did Jesus take from the mouth of a fish?

10. Name the village where Ruth and Naomi settled after leaving Moab.

Just 10 quick questions to see how your Bible knowlegdge is rating. :) We’re Christians, we should know our Bibles. Remember that tomorrow is Book Review Friday and Mr.Linky will be awaiting all those links to your reviews. You still have lots of time to read Jude before tomorrow. It is very short and it doesn’t have to be an involved process to write a little tidbit up about what you read.  Long & deep or short & sweet. Read then write, that’s the name of the game.  Try it, you’ll like it.

Have I persuaded you yet? :)

 

How many gardens can you fit on 2 acres?

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The gardening has begun at Watchthesky. Exciting times. Hubby has everything well thought out and planned by the time March comes around.
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Here is a sneak peek at our first greenery of the year.
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Tomatoes! We are growing about half of what we did last year. We ended up throwing hundreds of tomatoes out. Not good.

And here is our main garden that will have all the veggies, potatoes & stuff in it.
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Here is our 2nd garden that will be full of strawberries, rhubarb, and I forget what.
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Here is garden # 3 which will grow me some very cool fairytale pumpkins & gourds.
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Here is garden #4 that is going to produce lots and lots (we hope) of very cool, home grown, oh-so-tasty, popping corn. (And notice the very cool fort under construction over yonder.)
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So we’ll be busy up-keeping all this summer. I cannot wait for that first ripe, fresh picked, toasted tomato sandwich. Oh, and that first batch of green beans totally drenched ( and I mean drrrrrrrenched) in butter. BRING IT ON!!!

BRF: Psalm 9-17

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If you don’t know what Book Review Friday is, please check my sidebar for all the details. I dare you to take part, it’ll change your life!

First things first, I’m moving on to Jude for the next week. I hope you all will join me. It is a short book and we’ve done it before. I was reminded of it this week and was embarrassed to find that I couldn’t remember much of what it was about. So I’m going to tackle it again and this time I’m sure a little more will stick. I’m looking forward to it. :)

I enjoyed Psalms, I think we all did. I was convicted by the very first 2 verses in chapter 9. My pastor, messages I’ve listened to this week, my reading… all telling me to praise the Lord. I tried to think of when I actually did this and couldn’t really think of anything. My mind is usually just taken up in the next task at hand and I don’t make the effort in what I’m doing at the moment to give glory to God.  Gotta change.

For the most part chapters13-16 this week were what I dwelt on.  It is a bit of a personal testimony that most of you have probably heard a few times over. These verses were some that I had read and re-read in some very dark times.

“How long shall I take counsel in my soul, Having sorrow in my heart daily?”  13:2

I was very low, very unhappy. Life was a moment by moment struggle. I was far away from any family, my marriage was painful, depression plaguing me worse each time I had a baby. I really felt that I was the walking dead. I think the Lord brought me to that place where I was completely on my own and feeling this way for a few years to create in me a desire to know Him. Because I was desperate I started living off of the Scriptures. I read them morning, noon, and night. Most of the time I saw answers there and was just too tired and depressed to do anything about it, but I kept reading. That reading sparked a prayer life. Because I was reading God’s Word, He was showing me how much I am in need of His strength. I began praying almost every moment I breathed.  It was during the first part of this transition that I came upon Psalm 13. The first few verses caught my attention because I felt like the writer had been spying on me. That was exactly how I felt. I thought there would be an answer to my problem before the chapter was done. I was not disappointed.

“But I have trusted in Your mercy; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, Because He has dealt bountifully with me.” 13:6

Trust, rejoice, sing to the Lord. Trust, because He promises deliverance. maybe that deliverance will come soon, maybe it will come when I see Him face to face, but it will come. Rejoice because I’m saved. I was lost but am found by my Saviour. He could have left me a sinner destined to hell, but He chose me! I’m already saved, I just haven’t been delivered from this cruel world yet. Sing to the Lord because of all He has already done for me. It is possible to rejoice by yourself, quietly, but when you keep rejoicing it naturally starts to show. If someone is singing you will know it. You hear them and what you sing speaks to others around you. I wondered what kind of song people were hearing from my life as I walked, defeated, one day after another. Not a very nice song. That had to change.

I had ups and downs after this realization. At one point I was in the doctors office getting a prescription passed to me. God was there delivering me yet again though. When the doctor said, “Just go home and take these and you’ll feel much better”,  it just didn’t seem right. I know the Holy Spirit was warning me against those pills. I went home and started plugging away at my Bible study and prayer instead. I didn’t want to treat the symptoms and carry on with life, I wanted to kill whatever was robbing me of the ‘fullness of joy’ that I knew was out there somewhere.

 This is where Book Review Friday really started. I was a desperate, unhappy women that had no where to go but to her Bible. I heard John MacArthur speaking about getting to know the scriptures. If you want to know the Bible you’ve got to read it over, and over, and over, and over again, is what he was explaining.  Psalm 16:8, “I have set the Lord always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.”  I highlighted this verse. I was claiming this as a promise to myself. If I keep plugging away with reading and praying, ‘someday God will do an awesome work and I will be be grounded in Him’ I thought. Hope had made its way into my thoughts. And then a few verses down I highlighted some more. “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasure forevermore.” vs11.    Oh yeah, that’s what I was looking for.

I can’t boast of anything that happened. It was all God’s work in an unhappy & sinful life. Even the desire to start reading His Word was all from Him. I’m thankful He was there to work in my life, that He chose to work.  Of course, I still have moments of defeat, that’s life. But God has done awesome things for us at Watchthesky, and these verses will always mean a lot to me.

O Lord, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You maintain my lot. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Yes, I have a good inheritance. 16:5,6

Here is Mr.Linky for all those reviews that are going to be pouring in. :) Remember, short & sweet or long & deep. Either way doesn’t matter, they are all an encouragement to those faithfully getting into the Word!