Sunday, December 30, 2007
As everyone is setting their thoughts towards New Year's resolutions, I want to put my two cents worth in on the subject.
Each year I have one goal that remains the same: Read the Bible in the year. That doesn't mean I always do it, but it is my goal!
If you haven't done so yet, I would like to redirect you, at this point, to my husband's blog entries for December 11, 12, and 13 on the Power of the Word of God. www.PastorRustysBlog.blogspot.com . Then I want you to consider making it a goal of yours to read through the entire Bible in 2008.
My question for each of us is this:
If every professing Christian in our nation would read the entire Word of God in 2008 what changes would take place in our lives, in our churches, in our communities, in our nation!?
Well, it starts with one. I want to be a change agent for the Kingdom of God. I want God to be able to use me more than He ever has before. I want to take the challenge of reading through the entire Bible again in 2008. Will you take it with me?
Being the "on-line" Bible study that we are, I have a resource to make it even easier for you to read through the Bible this year. (Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!) Just follow these simple steps and your daily reading passage will be emailed to you each day of the year!
1) Log on to www.studylight.org
2) Scroll down to the left hand side of the screen to the tab "Study Resources".
3) Find the one that says "Daily Reading Plan" and click.
4) To the right of that day's date there are small letters that read "Bible in a Year" by email. Click that.
5) The Bible in a Year tab is BIAY. Log in your email address and select your translation! You will need to verify with your first email to continue to receiving your scriptures. Also, add the incoming email to you address book so that your mail server will not spam it.
Is that not awesome?! I have been receiving my daily scripture reading via email for over a month now. I love it because if I don't read it, it is still sitting there in my inbox reminding me..... "You haven't read the Word yet....!"
If you skimmed through this post, please remember to go back and read Pastor Rusty's blogs for the 11th, 12th, and 13th of December. I pray it challenges you as never before to read and pray God's Word!
I wish you all a Happy New Year! May your Year bring you closer to the Savior than ever before!
May you continually:
Seek His Face- pursue and intimate relationship with the Savior
Know His Truth - gain ultimate reality about His Kingdom
Love His Word - desire passionate revelation of His Nature - and
Live His Will - daily submit to His plan and His way for your life.
Love you all!
Monday, December 24, 2007
I wish you all the most wonderful Christmas of all. My Christmas wish for each of you is that you all know the joy and peace He brings.
If you have a chance during the holidays, post a testimony of God's faithfulness to you! I would love to hear from each of you.
For those of you who have the time for a Bible study this week, here is a short one for you to dig into:
1) John 1:1,2,14
2) Luke 2:12
What do the verses in John chapter 1 have to do with the Christmas story?
How does John 1:14 correspond with Luke 2:12?
Here is a question for you to ponder:
John 1:14 says that we beheld His glory. If Jesus did not come in all of His glory, but was clothed in humanity, how did John pen the words, " and we beheld His glory full of grace and truth"?
I love you all and wish you a wonderful Christmas day! Celebrate His birth with the wonder the miraculous!
With a heart of worship,
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
The first week of advent centers around HOPE. Hope for the Messiah to come, as He did 2000 years ago, and hope for our Messiah to return, as He has promised. The cry of the prophets from the Old Testament as they were longing for the Messiah to be born should be mirrored in our longing for our Savior and Messiah to return.
The second week of advent usually centers around PEACE. The peace that Messiah ushered in as He, the Son of God was born as the Son of man, is ours because He came.
The third week of advent is JOY. Joy that we have a Messiah. Joy that He is our Savior! Joy that He has promised to return!
The fourth week of advent concentrates on the LOVE He brings. The advent season ends on Christmas Eve as the final candle is lit to focus on Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
If you would like an even more in depth study, I found a resource I am comfortable giving to you for your devotions with your family at home. Please go to: http://sbcommunity.org/life/pdf/advent_study.pdf
This week in our studies, I want us to examine our life and our traditions during the beautiful holiday season.
Do we focus on material things or is everything we are doing pointing our families to Christ?
Are we so busy and so hectic that Christmas joy is Christmas stress?
Do we point out to our children the wonderful hope of our coming Savior? Is the fact that we celebrate His birth enough? Or -is there a way to also emphasize His soon return?
I believe the Avent celebrations, although not a Biblical mandate, are a beautiful way for us to focus on the deep spiritual richness of Christmas.
I encourage you, if you do nothing else on the Bible study to go to the website listed above, print the study, and highlight some things you want to share with your family.
May the Christ of Christmas fill your hearts and flood your soul with His peace!
Friday, December 7, 2007
So, let me know. Have you ever heard of advent? Have you ever celebrated in a traditional advent service?
Do you know what the four Sundays and colors and candles of Advent represent?
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Why? I can't put it in just a few words. I guess it is all that the season means and the joy it brings when we focus on the real reason for this season.
So, for the next few weeks, we will take a break from our "Lord, Help Me I'm Human" Bible study and focus on Christmas.
Advent is a beautiful liturgical celebration of the coming of Christ. For those of us raised in good old Assembly of God churches, we might have missed the ceremonial aspect of this beautiful worship experience. Until after Christmas we are going to look at the four candles in the advent wreath, what they mean to our Christian walk and inspection into God's Word on this subject.
I am going to take this study in small steps, rather than one each week. The reason being is that I am not up on my advent "stuff" and will research sites and scriptures and pass them along as I find them.
So, for the first leg of our study, please go to www.crivoice.org/cyadvent.html. Now, please be aware that if I send you to these sites, it does not mean that I agree with their doctrine, practices or basic Biblical views. I will be referring to a few places because of their historical and research information on advent.
1.) Review the information at www.crivoice.org/cyadvent.html (This is from a Protestant perspective.)
2.) Another look at from a Catholic perspective is www.cptryon.org/prayer/adx/index.html
3.) Begin to look at your Christmas traditions at home. Do they prepare your heart and the hearts of your family for the coming of Christ?
4.) Is there something you can change in how you celebrate this beautiful season to make your family and especially your children and/or grandchildren be more in love with the Christ of Christmas?
Later on this week, I will post a survey on Christmas traditions. Maybe we can encourage each other to have the most beautiful and spirit filled Christmas ever!
Sunday, November 25, 2007
After doing the Bible study for last Monday (which I couldn't post until today), I noticed some things in God's Word about a thankful heart and looked at my own past experiences and decided a "thankful heart" is a very powerful thing.
How is a Thankful heart powerful? When we begin to recount the things we have to be thankful for a positive change takes place. We begin to focus on blessings rather than complaints. We begin to see God's hand at work in out lives. We realize that all of the good we have is not from our hands!
You have heard the phrase "attitude of gratitude". Well, when we begin to give thanks for things, our attitude is shifted. Our attitude is one then that is pleasing to our Heavenly Father.
When I did last week's treasure dig for the word "thankful", I chose the Contemporary English version in studylight. The verses that stood out to me are Psalm 22:26, and Psalm 50:14 and 23.
Psalm 22:26 says that those who are thankful will live in hope! Wow! That's is pretty powerful.
Psalm 50:14 says that God doesn't want a bunch of sacrifices other than that of a heart of thanksgiving and verse 23 says that when we are thankful God will show His power and save!
So, as the Thanksgiving holiday has passed us, let's not stop giving thanks for all the He has done for us! Oh my goodness, we are so blessed! Let us determine that we will thank God for His goodness and His blessings as well as accept adversity and trials - all with a heart of thanksgiving.
Ok. My post question for this fun part of the Bible study is this:
What are you most thankful for? List them in categories.
To get you going here are my answers:
I am most thankful for:
Spiritual - God's saving Grace through His Son Jesus Christ. The song by Avalon- "Can't Live a Day Without You" is my theme song in life! I am so thankful to know that I have an eternity with the Lover of my soul!
Material - I guess my home. I love my cozy old house- even with it's "blueness". Ha! I love the fireplace and the big rooms - and I am thankful that I have a house that needs new carpet and new bathtubs and new lighting..... ha! It has its problems, but I love it! Oh! A very close second thing I am thankful for is my job! I love going to work! I love using the things God has given me for ministry.
Relational - This is easy- My wonderful, adorable, Godly, and very handsome husband! He is the love of my life, my best friend, my soul mate, my priest, provider, and protector! I am so madly in love with him! Also - my four wonderful children! (I love my life!)
Emotional - I am very thankful for a wonderful childhood with 2 awesome parents that gave me security and love.
Whimsical - Fun times! Being able to laugh at myself (that really comes in handy when you are an airhead klutz!) I am thankful when I can remember where my shoes are and where my keys are. I am thankful that I can go to bed and sleep even if my house is a wreck! M&Ms and Chocolate!!!!!! and Diet Coke!
Okay - bare your soul and share what you are most thankful for! I want to hear from ALL of you!
Have a great day! I love you all! (Don't forget to do the Bible study - Dig for Treasure!)
The Message Bible
Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.
Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious--the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.
Since Thanksgiving is upon us, I want us to look at what God’s Word says about the subject.
I am sitting in our condo in Branson, without internet and having to do this Bible study the old fashioned way….. (I am having to crucify my flesh many times over on this one! Ha!) My kids and grandkids are all around me having a blast and my heart is full of thanks. I have been contemplating this word and it’s meaning – Thanksgiving. Looking back at the experiences of my own life, I can see where having a thankful heart is a very powerful thing. So began my search for what the Bible says.
Our scripture above is from Philippians 4:6-8. Why don’t you take a few minutes and read this scripture in several translations? In the NIV you will see the word thanksgiving used in verse 6.
Using your online tools with studylight.org find the original Greek meaning for the word used in verse 6 – thanksgiving.
Next, go to Webster’s Dictionary online (I think it is websters-merriam) and find the English definition of thankful, thanksgiving, and thanks.
Is there a difference in our English definition and the original Greek word?
Now let’s use an Old Testament verse and see what we find.
Go to Psalm 107:22 and find the Hebrew word used for thanksgiving.
Why would the psalmist call it the sacrifices of thanksgiving?
Here is a challenge treasure hunt for you.
You can use study light or your e-sword resource. Pull up every verse in the Bible that has thanksgiving, thankful, or thanks in it. Try to find all the different Hebrew words used for those words and the original meaning.
How many words did you find? And what did they mean?
Sometime next week, I will post my thoughts on Thanksgiving and the Hebrew words. But in the mean time, I hope you ponder Philippians 4 in your heart and memorize this word.
I love the way the Message Bible phrases this powerful verse. According to this verse in the Message Bible, what happens when you have a thankful heart?
I pray you all have a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving! May we all look around us and see all that we have to be appreciative of. God is so good and His mercy endures forever!
I am thankful for each of you!
Love you all!
Monday, November 12, 2007
As we enter into the wonderful holiday season, I can't help but think back on seasons past and all of the fun times I had as a kid growing up.
I want you to think about the most fun and/or memorable Thanksgiving you have had and share that with us. Let us all be thankful together for the goodness and mercies of our Awesome God!
Well, I have lots of wonderful and even humorous Thanksgiving Memories. Of course, at my age, memories begin to run together and I wonder if that happened at Christmas, Thanksgiving, or in my dreams! ha!
I guess my most memorable Thanksgiving started out as a sad one. It was 24 years ago, right before Rusty and I got married in December. Because we were getting married during Christmas break of college, we had to both work through the Thanksgiving holiday. We were bummed- we had never fathomed a holiday away from our parents. We were students at Central Bible College in Springfield and madly in love.
We decided we would make the best of our first holiday away from home. I remember getting up in the eerily quiet dorm on Thursday. It felt and sounded like a ghost hall. I called Rusty's dorm and we made our plans for the day. We would meet for lunch wherever we could find an open restaurant and fill our day with play and study before we had to report to work.
Not only was our college campus empty and quiet, but the streets of Springfield were strangely void of traffic. It felt like we were in a sci-fi movie where aliens had abducted everyone.....
We finally found a restaurant open serving the traditional Thanksgiving day meal. We walked in to the most crowded and loudest place we had seen so far. There, other lone stragglers gathered to celebrate a holiday and hide the lonliness everyone had to feel. We ordered our turkey and dressing. Our meager meal was served and I know we both thought about our mom's and grandmother's meals they were serving. What we had before us could never compare. Once again self-pity engulfed me.
I remember Rusty taking my hand and praying over our meal. At that moment, as he prayed for all of our Thanksgivings to come, I knew how thankful and blessed I really was. I had been in the "mullygrubbs" for not getting to celebrate the way that I was accustomed to, but suddenly I saw a wonderful future ahead of me- a future full of Thanksgivings, Christmases, and other holidays with the man of my dreams - the love of my life.
From that moment on the day was magical. We ate, laughed, and went to the park and played football with some other "left behind" students. I guess that was our first time to be our "new family" in our hearts- if that makes sense. We missed like crazy our traditional time with our parents and siblings, but we were in love and were together.
So, share your most memorable Thanksgiving! Funny, sad, silly.... whatever. Gives us your thoughts!
Love ya all! (and I am waiting on you gals to post from the Bible Study!)
Thursday, November 8, 2007
I hope you are all doing well on this beautiful day!
We have had a couple of weeks break and I am chomping at the bits to get back into our Bible study full swing. I hope you are also.
We have been looking at different issues we face with being human- basically struggling with our humanity while serving our Savior. Last time we looked at the word "trust". I haven't heard from all of you on that one, but I hope you have given it some thought and done the scripture search on it.
The next two weeks we are going to look a little more in depth at our tri-partite beings and the struggles we face. Before we go any further, it would really help to make sure you have completed the Bible study from October 1st, on looking at our sinful nature. Here is a link to that page to refresh your memory:
One of the greatest "revelations" for me in my Christian walk was when I gained an understanding of how God made me (all humans) and how to gain victory over my unChristlike desires. That is what we will be looking at this week.
How God Made Us
- Genesis tells us that we are made in His image. (Genesis 1:26) Notice it says, "Let US".
- Use your studylight.org reference tool and check out the word used for God in that verse.
- Now go to 1 Thessalonians 5:23. This is a classic verse that references HOW, we as humans, are made in God's image. We saw in Genesis 1 that the word "elohim" was the plural form of God, used when God is speaking of the fullness of the Godhead - the trinity - Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
This Bible study is so simple, yet can be so revolutionary to our thinking. I pray that you have an enlightening from the Holy Spirit on this subject. I know many of you have heard Pastor Rusty preach a sermon series on this, but I need to make sure we are all on the same page.
We are made in His image a tri-partite being- Body, Soul, and Spirit.
- Our body, through our senses (sight, touch, taste, hearing, smell), is world conscious.
- Our soul, through our thoughts, feelings, and will is self conscious.
- Our spirit is God conscious through our conscience and convictions.
The part that I want to bring together is the fact that we struggle with our "flesh" or the desires that our body has, but we control those desires through our soul - our will. We also struggle with our "flesh" through innate desires -and again we control those through our will.
Let's take a basic "sin" and look at it for a moment. Galatians 5:19 lists several. Drunkeness is one. Through the sense of taste the body "drinks" an alcoholic beverage and becomes drunk. If the person enjoys the taste and likes it and the "buzz", a "desire" is born. But the spirit of man, the conscious, says losing control is not good. Our soul man thinks about what his conscience is telling him, has an emotion about it (positive or negative) and makes a choice to drink again or not. It is our will that is in our soul that sets us apart. God has given us a free will to choose serving Him and His ways or not. We are in control of what we choose.
Now think about this for a moment- we are born with a carnal nature- a sinful nature. We don't teach our children to lie or disobey. They do those "sinful" things naturally. We have to teach them to tell the truth and to obey, etc. Those "sins" come from our fleshly desires.
Keeping all of this in mind, let's go to our next study passage: 1 John 2:15 - 17 and Genesis 3:1-19. Research the meanings of the original Greek and Hebrew using your studylight reference tool. (http://www.studylight.org/ - use the KJV with Strong's numbers, then click on the word(s) you need.)
Looking at the two texts listed, place the following phrases into the proper category below. (It is my natural tendency to just put it out here for you, but I want you to "dig" this out for yourself.)
Phrases from 1 John 2:
(NIV) "the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes, and the boasting of what he has
Phrases from Genesis 2:6:
(NIV) "saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom..."
1 John 2; Genesis 2
Body World Conscious
Soul Self Conscious
Spirit God Conscious
Here are your life application questions: (You do not have to post your answers, but please make some kind of post when you are finished.)
1) List three areas in your life that you continually struggle with.
2) Under what part of your humanity do each of those struggles fall- body, soul, or spirit?
3) Do you feel that any of these struggles would be considered by God as a "love for the world"?
4) What does 1 John 2:17 mean to you?
For those of you who complete these studies easily and quickly, here are some challenge questions and a sneak preview into November 19th's study:
- Read Isaiah 53:4-7 Place those into our chart above.
- Find other 3s in the Bible that can be placed in our Body, Soul, and Spirit chart.
I know this week is a different study, but I want you each to be able to draw the conclusions from God's Word yourself, rather than me telling you. The truths in this lesson are a great tool for you to gain victory over your flesh. I pray that as we complete the next couple of lessons, that all of this will make sense and come together for you as it has in my life.
Please feel free to email me personally if you have any questions at email@example.com
Remember - you guys voted to have the Bible study every other week. On the off weeks, I will try to post something fun. Usually posts are made on Mondays or Tuesdays. (This week was a little late because I am getting old and have been quite under the weather.) POST POST POST!!! I want to hear from you! And if you have to post anonymously- don't forget to put your name so we will know who it is from.
Love you all!
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
I am still working on this week's study. It has been a very difficult one to put into words. I have been working on it for 2 weeks, and still struggling for the exact terminology. The topic this week is the central part of this whole unit on "Lord Help Me, I'm Human". So, I want the message to be clear and insightful.
If you are caught up and waiting on what is coming next, please re-read Romans 6, 7, and 8. If you are not caught up, please make sure you do the study on October 1st.
As always, it helps me gauge where you are when you post your answers.
Love ya all dearly!
Friday, October 19, 2007
Trust is such a simple, little word. With it, a child walks through life confidently and unscathed. Without it, the strongest man will be crippled and withered emotionally.
Webster defines trust as
1 a: assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of
someone or something.
My favorite scripture in God's Word is Psalm 25:1,2. "To you O, Lord, do I lift up my soul. In you I trust, O, my God. Let me not be ashamed. Let not my enemies triumph over me." David was in a situation where he proclaimed through music his trust in God.
If you go to studylight.org and study this verse out, you will see what the "soul" of man is all about.
soul, self, life, creature, person, appetite, mind, living being, desire, emotion, passion that which breathes, the breathing substance or being, soul, the inner being of man ,living being, living being (with life in the blood), the man himself, self, person or individual, seat of the appetites, seat of emotions and passions
activity of mind, activity of the will, activity of the character.
In Sunday school classes I have taught that the soul is man's awareness of himself as opposed to the spirit being God conscience and the body being world conscience. It is in the soul - our emotions, our will, and our intellect - that we battle the flesh as mentioned in Romans 6, 7, and 8.
So, with all of the above in mind, the psalmist says, "To you O Lord, I lift up my soul." He, David, gave up everything that was about David. His thoughts, his desires, his feelings, his emotions, even his will, he surrendered to God. When he did that, he was able to pen the next phrase, "in you I trust, O, my God. And there is that simple little word, trust.
When we really trust someone, we trust their nature, their character, their words,and even their intentions. Hmmmmm. That is profound isn't it? I trust my husband. I am safe with him. He loves me more than he loves himself. But more than even that, I trust God. It doesn't always come easy, just like I mentioned in my last blog about Taylor. But when we daily lift up our soul to God - our thoughts, our feelings, and our wills,- then we can trust God's nature, His character, His Words and even His intentions and plans for our life.
I could go on, but I am going to stop there and ask you to do a word search on the word "trust". You can do it in any translation you like and then find the original Greek and Hebrew word used. Just take about 10 of the verses you found and look at them. What was the writer referring to when the word trust was used? What was the situation that required trust in God? Was there anything else that stands out to you about the word trust in these scriptures?
Simply trust. Sometimes we have to learn it. Sometimes we have to just do it. Sometimes we must die to our self in order to trust.
What about you?
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
I pray each of you are enjoying the blessings of God today!
As we get ready for another Bible study, I challenge you to pick up your shovels and get ready to dig in to find the treasure in God's Word.
We have been studying about our fleshly nature or our carnal selves. I haven't heard back from many of you, so I hope you have completed that assignment. The whole point of our previous lesson was for each of us to understand that the Word of God says to "die to our self" and our desires.
The power of salvation comes through death. Jesus died so that we might have life. When we die to ourselves, we then can accept the life Jesus offers us and live an abundant life eternally.
I am not so sure if today is going to come out as a Bible study or a devotion, but I have things on my heart that I want to share.
I read a series of books by Ted Dekker (who by the way is my most favorite author of all times) called the Martyr series. The theme throughout the three books is- "In loving we die and in dying we live." The characters learn that when you truly love someone, you are willing to die for them, and it is at that moment -when you are willing to die for someone else, that you really begin to live."
It is very simple, yet very profound - and at the same time, hard to live out in every day life. Our affluent and self-centered culture can consume our lives. If we are not careful, we will buy into the philosophy that preaches material gain and daily comfort. But, what does God's Word say about trials and persecutions?
- Read 2 Corinthians 8:2; Hebrews 11; 1 Peter 1:7; 1 Peter 4:12; and 2 Timothy 3:12.
I don't know how to say what is on my heart without sharing this personal story, so please bear with me. Most of you know the story of Taylor's birth, but for the sake of those who do not know, please allow me to briefly summarize.
I was 29 weeks into my pregnancy. Because Mackenzie had been premature and because I was over 35, I was in the weekly office visit stage. I weighed in and had gained 14 pounds in 6 days! They immediately scheduled an ultra sound to investigate. Literally 5 seconds into the ultra sound, they sent me to the hospital because of the mass amount of fluid in my womb and in Taylor's abdomen.
To make a long story short, Taylor was not expected to live. We had to make the decision to allow them to treat her in the womb or to induce labor and let them try to treat her out of the womb. After prayer we felt God wanted to her out of my womb so they could work on her. The doctor's words echoed in our head, "Your baby will die whether we treat her in the womb or induce labor. The was no chance of a live birth."
My unborn child was going to die??? I would never see her smile. Never hear her laugh. I would never know what her voice would sound like. I would never take her to her first day of school? Never buy her a pretty dress for a special day? The room begin to spin and I reached for Rusty's hand. It was trembling. I looked in his eyes and saw the heartbreaking pain. The doctor left the room for us to have a few minutes. We clung to each other as if we were about to fall off of a cliff, both trying hard to be brave for the other one. We prayed a simple prayer and felt God's peace in allowing them to induce labor the next day.
The night before she was born, I had to make a decision. I had to decide where I stood with God regardless of the outcome. My heart was broken. I was scared. Rusty was scared. We were leaning with our whole hearts on our Mighty God. But before I sound like a "super spiritual saint", please know I battled that night.
I struggled with all of the normal questions. "Why?" "What have I done wrong?" "Why are you doing this to me?" "How could this be happening?" "I thought You would always take care of us?"
As tears streamed down my face and my heart breaking in two, feeling as if a giant elephant was sitting on my back, I heard God's gentle whisper, "Will you still love me passionately and worship me if Taylor dies?" "Will you trust me no matter what?" "Will you still serve me with your whole heart?"
I couldn't answer right away. I lay on the side of the bed. My heart was beating so hard I thought it would wake up Rusty next to me. My pillow and my hair was wet with the tears that had fallen continuously for over an hour. I heard the question and I didn't know if I could take another breath. This was it! This was a climatic moment in my walk with God. I had served Him almost my whole life. I had "surrendered all" so many times in altar calls I couldn't even count them. I had promised to follow Him all of my days. BUT - what if the all powerful God I served chose not to intervene and not to heal my unborn child? Could I still passionately pursue that God? Would I?
The clock beside ticked seconds that seemed like eternity. I knew this was not a question that I could just raise my hand in the emotion of the moment and say, "Yes, Jesus!" This question my Creator posed before me was one that placed my faith at the ultimate crossroad.
I was afraid to breathe. My hand traced my swollen abdomen. This little heartbeat had been inside of me for seven months. How would I handle not bringing home a baby from the hospital? - not seeing her take her first steps. - not having to change the diapers I had already bought. - taking the infant car seat out of my car not having a need for it?
Would I still serve God passionately? I knew I would still serve Him, but would I always have a resentment in my heart?
I wish I could say I knew immediately that I would love God no matter what. But it didn't happen that way. I had to choose. I had to make a choice to love Him and worship and adore Him regardless of the outcome the next day. I had to choose to let go of what I thought was a happy, normal life in order to let God be in ultimate control.
With a coarse, breaking voice, I whispered, "Help me, Jesus!" At that moment the floodgates of heaven released a torrent of peace that swept through my very soul. In that moment I knew I would passionately adore my Jesus no matter what the outcome. I knew He would strengthen me and help me. I literally lay my wishes, hopes, desires, and my very soul in His arms. When I "died" to what I wanted to happen, I felt more alive than I ever had before.
You may be at a crossroad in your life. You may have financial struggles that are weighing so heavy you feel as if you can't move. You may have teenagers that are wringing the very joy from every part of your life.
The frustration and bitterness is beginning to build. "Why isn't God showing up?" "Why can't He just do one small miracle for me this time?" "Why is He not answering my prayers?"
Can you let go completely, and say truthfully in your heart -
"Even if I have to declare bankruptcy, I will gladly worship and adore my Savior!"
"Even if my child continues the path he has chosen, I will gladly worship and adore my Savior!"
"If I never get another answer to prayer again, I will passionately pursue and love my Jesus!"
And that my friends is when you really begin to live. John 10:10 says "....but I have come that they might have life and have if more abundantly."
Okay, so I have shared with you one of the darkest moments of my life. What will you do with your situation? I challenge you to go back and read our scriptures from the last Bible study. Will you die to self on a daily basis? - even in the small stuff?
I leave you with my favorite scripture of all.
With a heart of worship,
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
There is a $35 Registration fee and if you want to spend the night, the hotel is $23/person for the night. Please see Sis. Ruby as soon as possible if you would like to go. I am working hard on figuring out a way to go myself. I will be there for the Friday evening service. I would love to see our group represented well!
Also, in case you don't know, you are a part of our WM group by being a member of this Bible Study! Any time you see a WM meeting announced, that is an invitation to YOU! WMs is a vital ministry of our church and supports great missionary endeavors. I encourage each of you to give to WMs even if you are like me and can't make all the meetings. You can mark your envelope WMs on Sundays.
One last thing, I want us all to get together for an in person time of fellowship before this year is up. If you have any ideas or suggestions, let me know!
Have a great day!
Monday, October 1, 2007
Have you ever awakened and just plain felt cruddy? You didn't feel like being nice to anyone let alone praying and talking to God. Have you ever been having a great day, and then someone says something to you that really aggravates you, and you know you shouldn't respond a certain way, but you do it anyway? Sometimes we blame our feelings or reactions on pms, hormones, or lack of chocolate, but I think sometimes we give way too much credit to these things. They are not in control of us, we are. We choose our own actions and reactions.
We are human beings. We are created in God's image to serve and worship Him. We, who are saved and follow Christ are new creations, but we still struggle with what we call our "carnal" or "sinful" nature. It is that aspect of who we are that we are going to be looking at this week, and let me warn you, it isn't a pretty sight.
So, before I post a Bible text, let me ask you to think about a few things. If you want, I would love for you to post your thoughts on these.
When you think of the following phrases, what do you think they mean?
- sinful nature
- carnal nature
- crucified with Christ
Post your thoughts on those phrases and then our Bible study text will be in the next blog.
With a heart of worship,
1) Please read Romans 6:6 and Romans 7:15-25. Then please read Romans chapters 6, 7 and 8. We will be focusing more on chapters 6 and 7, but I did want you to read about the positive side also. :) The results of the following will vary for each person due to the different translation you each use in your study.
2)Re-read the chapters, this time underline or highlight in your Bible, or write on a piece of paper, the different phrases used for sinful, flesh, carnal, etc.
3) Now, lets see what these phrases mean in the original Greek.
4) Do you see any repeats? If on each of the above you will click on the underlined number to the left. Then scroll down to the bottom of the page, you will see scripture references where that word is used. Look at the words in the chapters we are looking at.
My goal in having you go on this particular "treasure hunt" is for you to understand exactly what Paul is saying when he is talking about our struggle with our flesh - our carnal and sinful nature.
There are basically a couple of different words he uses in the Greek and then they are translated differently once we get into different versions of the Bible. It is important for us to understand our human nature. It is more important to understand the power we have through the Holy Spirit- but that is another Bible study lesson coming soon.
You don't have to post the actual answers to your questions, but I would love to hear any comments you have regarding the scripture passages. Has there ever been a time when you were a Romans 7:15-25 Queen candidate? Did ya just know you shouldn't do something, but ya did it anyway? If it is not too damaging or scary, please feel free to "share"... :)
I love you all!
Have fun digging for treasure this week!
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
I have had so much fun reading all of your comments and answers to our questions this week! I think we are getting the hang of this online Bible Study/Fellowship! I don't know about you girls, but I like it!
I sent an email out earlier today saying that I wasn't going to post a study this week to give everyone a chance to catch up. Also, starting Monday we are switching gears a little. We will begin to look at our carnal nature and what God's Word has to say about that.
If you want to get a head start, you can cross reference some verses on "flesh", "carnal nature", "soul", etc. Remember, our subject is "Lord, Help Me I'm Human!"
I pray you have a wonderful rest of the week and that you seek His face, love His Word, and know His Truth!
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
I am a slow learner. Everytime I ask - "Who left this food here?" My children I know reply, "Not me!" Then I ask for someone to take out the trash and one of the three in this house I have met will say, "Someone else can do it!"
So, today it finally dawned on me that I have never met Not Me and Someone Else (when did I give birth to these kids???)
Not me is definitely the slob in our household and Someone else never does his/her chores.....
So - just wondering -
Whether you have kids or hubby or not- what is the most hated household chore in your house?
Who is the best cook?
What is your favorite household chore?
Can't wait to see your responses..... EVERYBODY!!!
love ya all!
Monday, September 17, 2007
Ok, girls! It is Bible Study day! As I have been praying and seeking God for His direction on this week's study, my mind has gone in a thousand different directions.
Yesterday we celebrated 60 years of our church's history. What an incredible day! There were pictures and displays of so many things that have taken place through the ministry of First Assembly.
This past week I have been on a quest for a certain picture taken around 1972 of at church camp. I had received the Best Camper runner-up award and had to stand there with the boy who received the same award. It is an old polaroid picture and not the greatest quality. When it was taken it was actually thrown in the trash to get a better picture. I confiscated the picture from the trash and kept it in my keepsake box as a little girl. It was forgotten, along with a lot of other little mementos, until I was 19 years old.
The summer that I was 19, I had returned home from my freshman year of Bible college in love and engaged. My whole heart belonged to Rusty Blann (and still does)! He had come to visit me before he was headed off to church camp as a kid's counselor. As our conversation turned to our years as campers, we discovered that we had both received the Best Camper runner-up award the same year.
I ran to my little girl treasure box and dug out the blurry Polaroid. I knew it was me, but was that Rusty? He didn't know, so he took the picture with him to Fordyce to ask his mother. She confirmed his identity.
So, in an instant, a discarded and forgotten photograph became a treasure. It was something that very few couples have- pictures taken of them together at a young age. It was transferred from my little girl treasure box to my "grown up" valuables!
Since I grew up in this church and my husband is now the Senior Pastor, I thought it would be rather nice to have that "treasured" photo in our timeline yesterday. So began my treasure search for the past week. Since my move, over a year ago, certain things are not where I thought they were, namely my treasured pictures.
I dug through boxes, albums, closets and drawers. The picture was no where to be found! What at first was a quest became an obsession! "Could it have been discarded? Could we have lost it in the move? How could I have been so careless with something that cannot be replaced?"
My house now looks like a disaster area. All of the boxes and albums and storage containers are in our family room. I didn't find the picture for the 60th Anniversary celebration. I told my husband how frustrated I was and that as soon as the celebration services were over and I had my nap, then my search would resume.
So, before I went to bed last night, I had the "treasure" in my hand! It had been in an overlooked envelope with pictures I had set a part at one time to put in a special album.
I told you the short version (ha!) of that story to hopefully give you even more insight into this chapter in 2 Corinthians.
Things I can relate from this story to God's Word:
- I had a treasure that at first I didn't realize was a treasure.
- Once I knew I possessed a treasure, I eventually was careless with it.
- When I realized my treasure was misplaced, it became valuable again.
- My treasure was hard to find because it was hidden inside a common envelope.
- I searched and searched until I regained my treasure.
We established in the last two weeks that the treasure referred to in 2 Corinthians 4 is the gospel message that we carry around in our earthly bodies. With all of the above in mind, go back and read chapter 4 - again. You ladies are all treasures. I hope you each realize how special you are.
Let me take a little liberty and take the scripture a little out of context. Sometimes our lost treasure can be innocence, self-esteem, confidence, security, love, joy.... and I could go on and on.
So my questions for you this week are more personal.
1) How can you relate my story of looking for the picture to the spiritual or emotional side of your life?
2) Can you find other scriptures that relate to finding treasures that were lost? (Do a word search on any of the resources listed.
3) This one isn't a question but a request: memorize 2 Cor 4:7 - 10.
I would love to hear from ALL of you! Oh, if I can, I am posting my little picture on the side...
Love you all!
Sunday, September 9, 2007
Any way, I have established that I am human and need all the help I can get! You girls like Rosie and Jennifer with those wonderful organizing personalities can just come organize my life anytime you want, meanwhile I'll be looking for my keys and matching socks !!!
Seriously, I have read and re-read again this amazing chapter of God's Word. I taught Sunday school class on it today, and I want to challenge each of you to go even deeper in studying this chapter this week.
Instead of going in chronological verse order, I am going to skip down to the last 3 verses of the chapter for this week.
Verses 16 - 18:
"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal".
If you were in my Sunday school class this morning you already have some of this, but here are some treasure for you to dig for:
1.) What does the word "fix" in verse 18 translate to in the original Greek?
2.) How can we fix our eyes on the unseen if it can't be seen?
3.) What is Paul talking about when he says "outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day"?
4.) What are some other verses that talk about being "renewed". (Use your study tool links I gave you.)
5.) Lastly, how do these verse apply to us today in our lives and in our society? What do they mean to you personally?
I loved your posts from last week. Keep them coming. Those of you who didn't post, that is okay - but just let us know you are there!
One more thing. Please pray for Renee Jumper's daughter Mandy. She broke her foot. That is not a "tragic" thing - but here's the clincher moms, Mandy just had her third child about 2 months ago. Her other two children are 3 and 18 months. Oh my goodness! Pray for her! Renee has the oldest two right now - (so pray for Renee and Kenny too) .
Remember, we are a community of believers! Hold each other up in prayer.
Tuesday is Women's Ministries night at our church at 6:30 I believe. By being a member of this Bible study, you are a WM. So, come on out and enjoy the fellowship! I can't be there because my child has a game- but I sure would love it if most of you could go!
You are all wonderful and I love you! Thanks for digging in God's Word for His treasure!!!
Seeking His Treasure,
Thursday, September 6, 2007
As I have read and re-read this chapter over the last couple of days, I have gained so much more than what I expected.
Whenever I read a passage of scripture, I try to think and understand what was going on at the time it was written. It must have been trying times for the new believers. Paul was desperately wanting them not to lose their faith because of the trials.
This treasure he referred to is the gospel of Jesus Christ. We carry His gospel, His light in our frail, earthly bodies. We are nothing. He is everything. When we face trials, we have a choice to either moan and complain about it or ask God to receive glory however He sees best.
I talked about a bad day I had when I ran out of gas. How trivial and frivolous compared to our brothers and sisters in other countries being truly persecuted for their faith in Christ. We may not be in danger of execution for our faith in Christ, but I know we have hard times. But- we have Christ!
Verse 7 which I have zeroed in on says that God put His treasure, His light in us so that everyone can see that this all-surpassing power is from God and not us!
There is such rich stuff in this chapter. I pray in my heart of hearts that each of you store this deep in your spirit man. My first story was a silly day that happened to me because of my carelessness but I want to share with you some "dark" days in my life when I was in the midst of a spiritual battle.
The early morning light hit my face and began to shake the sleep from me. As my consciousness awakened, the sick feeling hit my stomach. It was morning which meant I had to get up and face the day. "Oh, God! Why didn't you let me die in the middle of the night? Now, I have to face my husband, and tell him - again - that I am not pregnant." It was as if a dark shroud hovered over me everywhere I went. This was how my days would start.
It wasn't just having a "barren womb". It was everything! The bills kept coming in and there wasn't enough money to even cover half of them. It was time to buy groceries. We would have to choose- car payment, utilities, or groceries. Then to make matters worse, we had received something from Uncle Sam saying what we had filed was incorrect and we owed way more than we thought.
I remember feeling like a robot. Going through the motions, but there was nothing inside of me. I loved my husband, loved my God and enjoyed being in the ministry - but there was so much turmoil it seemed in every aspect of my life.
I felt I was being punished for something, I didn't know what, since I couldn't have a baby. I was letting my husband down, who I knew would be the most awesome father in the whole wide world. I was a failure. God was mad at me and I didn't know what I had done.
I hated waking up in the mornings. I just wanted to die and go to heaven. I felt if that happened then everyone would be relieved of the burden I placed on them. My parents wouldn't have to worry about me. My friends wouldn't have to feel sorry for me and my husband could remarry and find a wife who could give him children. This was my thought life during that time in my life.
Everyday coming home from work I drove through a dangerous curve with a great big tree beside it. Everyday I "wished" something would happen and I would just miss the curve and hit the tree.
I felt as if my whole life was being squeezed on every side. I was totally perplexed and confused. I felt defeated and worthless. (4:8) But I knew God loved me. I knew that He had a plan for my life (Jer. 29:11). So, I had to change something.
I remember lying in bed one night thinking, "Something has to change." At that moment my attention was brought to Philippians 4:8 that I had learned and memorized as a Missionette.
"Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true; whatsoever things are honest; whatsoever things are just; whatsoever things are pure; whatsoever things are lovely; whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue; if there be any praise, think on these things."
I thought, "Well, instead of thinking on all of the negative things in my life I am going to think on the positive each night before I go to sleep." And that is when the dark shroud started to slowly lift. I began to thank God each night for my wonderful and godly husband, for my great godly parents and for God's love and mercy. Then I would quote Phil. 4:8 over and over and over again until I went to sleep because outside of my husband and family, there seemed to be nothing else true, honest, just, pure or lovely.
I began to notice that my days didn't seem so awful when my eyes first opened. I still looked at the tree as I passed it. But the desire to just curl up and die wasn't as strong.
So began my discipline of God centered thinking. In the next few months, God raised the bar on my "thinking". When it was evident once again that I was not with child, He asked me to thank Him for that.
"What?!! Thank you God that I am not pregnant?! Thank you that once again I have to go to another baby shower or sit through another baby dedication knowing that I am inferior to everyone else???!!!" God simply said, "Yes. Trust me."
So, after I knew that I was not pregnant, I laid across my bed. Tears burned my eyes and covered my pillow as I reluctantly whispered, "Thank you God that I am not pregnant. Even though you know my heart! I want a baby to hold and love and kiss, God!!! But thank you that you are God and you know what is best. I praise you regardless."
Again, the sun streamed across my face of the mornings. My consciousness was aroused and - here it was another day to face, not knowing how the bills would be paid, how would we buy groceries. But again and again, we lived through it. Not much changed on the outside like I wished, but on the inside the peace of God was gaining ground.
I still felt the dark shroud, but it not longer consumed me. It was about this time that I read for the first time Frank Peretti's book Piercing the Darkness. As I read the fiction book based on scriptural principles, I realized that Rusty and I had been in the very center of a spiritual battle. My praying began to change and so did my Bible Study habits.
My problems didn't instantly go away and I didn't get all my prayers answered instantaneously and bankruptcy still looked like the only sane option - BUT God was faithful. As we prayed and began thanking God, even in the brunt of the storm, our hearts were hearing His voice more and more.
It was years later before we climbed out of the financial cesspool we were in and a few months later God gave us Glenda! We had a child and were a family. The depression left as I learned to war against the enemy with the Sword of the Spirit and intercession.
One thing I know, God never left me. He heard every prayer, and felt every tear. He gave me the gift of inner strength and endurance when the enemy was trying to cloud my "spirit vision" with lies from the pit of hell. Once I began focusing my thoughts on the things God had for me, my spiritual eyes were able to discern the truth from the lies.
I guess that is why 2 Corinthians 4 is so special to me. I want to encourage each of you to "not lose heart". You may feel hard pressed on every side, but you are not crushed! You may feel perplexed, but you are not in despair! You may feel persecuted, but sister, you are not abandoned! You may feel struck down, but Oh, my! You are not destroyed!! Isn't that awesome!
The all-surpassing pwer is from God and not from us! Look at verses 17 and 18:
"For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."
Well, I said this blog wasn't going to be a devotional blog, but I hope something that I have written today challenges you to dig a little deeper in this chapter than you have already.
Next week we will take a look at a few more of the original Greek phrases in this verse.
Remember to post any prayer requests on Lauries on-line forum. The link is in the top left corner.
Also, post your thoughts or discussion questions in the comment section. I would love to hear from all of ya! It doesn't mean you have to give a full answer to all the questions. I don't want that to scare any of you away that have full schedules.
Here is an easy comment discussion:
- Have you ever had a time in your life when you felt like verse 8 was talking about you?
- If so, how did you overcome that trial?
Post your answers to these questions in the comment section!
Love you all and am praying for you!!
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Well, you girls voted and "Lord, Help Me! I'm Human" won on the Bible study topic. It's funny, because the day I set the poll options, I was having a gi-normous "human" day.
Have you ever felt so unspiritual and unChristlike that you thought you'll never make it to heaven? I have those days - often. Oh, the day will start out fine, but after a few minutes of life in the Blann home, I know it's going to be a doozy of a day. Let me share a particular day with you.
We had just moved to the area. It was fall, but not quite cold yet. One of my children had some type of sports practice in the Marion area and I was driving on the service road. Now, it may come as a surprise to some of you, but don't be too upset - I was running a little late. I had to choose when we got in the car, be on time or get gas. True to my personality, I chose to be on time (quit laughing!). I really do try. Plus, I did the mental math, 2 gallons and a few fumes would get me to Marion and then I would get gas before heading back home.
Here's where the really human part comes in. My mental math was correct. I made it there fine, my child was NOT late and life was good. Now understand that if one child is practicing, then the other two are with me. So, somehow a sibling disagreement broke out on our way to the neighborhood gas station. Being the "focused" parent that I am, I immediately set out to teach my children some great principle about life, love, and stop hitting your sister. The next thing I know, my wonderful car, that has been heaving itself on the last few fumes of gasoline, has given up the ghost. It is at that moment that I realize we did not stop at the little gas station a half mile back.
No problem. I have a cell phone and I have a wonderful husband. Meanwhile, my wise words of parental instruction have gone unheeded and World War ten thousand and fifty-two has erupted in the back seat. Ring Ring. Ring Ring. Ring Ring. Hmmmmm. There is no answer on my wonderful husband's phone - and then I am reminded that he was going to be in an area that did not have reception.
At this time, I see very bright, very vivid blue flashing lights in my rear view mirror, while I am looking at two very misbehaving children, who at the sight of the very bright flashing lights began to wail and scream. (Have you ever had a day like this? Well, put your seat belts on 'cause I "ain't" through.)
A nice over-sized gentleman walks to my vehicle and asks if there is a problem. I mumble that I have run out of gas. He asks me if he can call someone for me and I tell him I am getting in touch with my husband. He says that since it is getting dusk and visibility is not its best that he would keep his squad car behind mine to prevent a traffic hazard. I am thinking - "Traffic hazard!"
Not wanting to tie up the kind man's time with his very bright, very blue flashing lights that I am sure can be seen five states over, I call my parent's home, knowing a land line will surely get reception. My dad graciously said he would be right there.
In the mean time, the very kind man with the very bright and very blue flashing lights approaches my vehicle again. He was checking on some things- which I am sure he was probably trying to make sure I had not kidnapped the sweet, wonderful children in the back seat who are still making enough racket to disturb the fish in the Mississippi River. I get out of the car to tell him that I had reached my father who was on his way with precious gas. In my nervousness I began twisting my hair between my fingers.
No big deal. I talk. I get nervous. I twist my hair. Always have. Always will. It's not a bad habit, unless it is way past time to go to the salon and get your acrylic nails filled in. I mean, as in some of the nails are lifting off and you are just praying they don't pop off at some really bad time- like when you are stranded on the side of the road talking to someone who thinks you might have kidnapped your own children. Good news.... not one of my nails popped off. Bad news..... my hair got all tangled underneath one as I am twisting my hair. Worse, somehow or another it was my left hand on the right side of my head. Go ahead. Put your hand over there to try and figure out how on earth I did that. You figure it out and you can call me and tell me. Then we will both know.
Okay, let's review. I am stranded on the side of the road with no gas in my vehicle. My children are screaming. And I am standing there talking to an officer with my hand crossed over my head and can't move it. Try that and act sophisticated! I yank and I tug, all the while trying to act calm, cool, and collected. Yeah, right. Well, I finally yank hard enough and my hand gets free. I look at my newly acquired hand and you guessed. I am minus a nail or two. Where? Hanging out my blooming head!!!!!
Thankfully my dear old dad drives up at this time. Then my phone rings and my husband has seen where he has missed my last hundred calls and is worried sick about me. The kids now decide to go to sleep. I have gas in my car and can go home. But of course, now it is time to pick up the child that I dropped off.
Now, I shared that story with you - and without much exaggeration- to let you know we all have those days. Those days that make you think, "Why on earth did I even bother to get out of bed this morning?" Days that years later may be humorous but at the time are trying. I shared the physical events, but what wasn't so humorous was what was going on inside of me. I didn't feel like shouting, dancing, or singing "hallelujah". I just wanted everyone to go away and for Jesus to come "fix" everything - immediately.
But it didn't work like that. I had to live through the situation and go on with life.
For the next few weeks we will study 2 Corinthians chapter 4. Before you go to the reference material and study questions, please read chapter four through at least twice. Before you read, ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate the Word of God to you and show you what He wants to show you about this passage of scripture.
Our study questions and other material will be posted in a separate blog entry.
I think that is why 2 Corinthians 4 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. There have been some really trying times in my life and I felt like verses 8 and 9 - hard pressed from all directions, perplexed, persecuted, and struck down. On the flip side, I was never crushed, totally in despair, nor abandoned or destroyed!
Now, remember, this is an INTERACTIVE Bible Study. I am going to list some questions below. There are not right and wrong answers. Each person will have a different response. Please, post your answers in the comment section.
Lord, I ask you now in Jesus' Name to speak to our hearts through Your Holy Spirit. May You illuminate the Word as we read and study. You know our trials, our heartaches, and our joys and victories. May we grow and learn something as we dig for the treasure in Your Word today. I ask also that each lady learns of the treasure You have placed inside of her. Amen.
Before we get started, I want to refer you to one more on line resource - http://www.studylight.org/.
I actually like this link to the Greek Lexicon better that the others I mentioned earlier. It is not as user friendly in some ways, but it has a wealth of resources.
1.) What do you think is the ministry Paul is referring to in 4:1? (Read chapters 1 -3)
2.) Why would Paul say "we do not lose heart"?
3.) How many more times does he say that phrase in this chapter?
4.) What do you get out of verses 1 - 6? (Chapter 3 sheds more light on these verses.)
5.) What is the treasure he is referring to in verse 7?
6.) On the Studylight.org page, type in 2 Cor. 4:7 in the search bar. Under the reference you will see a string of links. Click the "Greek" link. On the side of that page you will see a search bar that says "Search this resource". Type in "Treasure". There are 6 words in the Greek New Testament for "treasure". Look at the meaning of each of these. Find the one for 2 Cor. 4:7. What does that meaning say to you in light of this chapter?
This is difficult. I have tried this 3 times and still have a hard time finding this spot. But this is a really neat insight into this verse. So, try doing this. www.studylight.org/lex/grk/search.cgi?word=treasure . (We will save this address and use it again - just changing the word= part.)
Okay, I could put another gazillion questions, but I will stop. Please post your comments!!!!!
If you have any questions, please feel free to email me.
God find some Treasure!
Love ya all!
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
This first online lesson is to introduce you to and acquaint you with some tools that will make our "treasure digs" easier. (If you refer friends in the future to this site, please make sure you tell them to visit this blog spot date first.)
Each month (and later on a weekly basis) we will have a theme word and verse. Each week we will do some treasure digging on the meaning of the word in the original Greek or Hebrew for each verse and then have some questions for online discussion.
Here is a sample of what we will be doing in a very simple format. This is just to get you familiar with some of the online tools.
Treasure word: Truth
Theme verse: John 8:32
Links and online resources:
- http://www.studylight.org/ (This is an AWESOME on line tool. Practice with it because it isn't as user friendly to get to the Greek Lexicon items.)
- In addition to this studylight link, here is a code to refer back to. This address looks up a word in the New Testatment and displays all the Greek words used for that meaning. http://www.studylight.org/lex/grk/search.cgi?word=word . (We will substitute the red word for whatever word we are looking up. Clear as mud, huh!?)
- http://www.ibs.org/ (This is the NIV Bible on-line. It is not down loadable, but great for NIV reading and searches.)
- http://www.e-sword.net/ (This is a free down loadable Bible study software.)
- www.blueletterbible.org/ (Online Bible with study notes.)
- (Type in John 8:32 in the blue search box. At the verse you will see the following initials. KCLIVD.
- The K will lead you to the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge. This tool will give you correlating passages using similar words and phrases. The C will take you to the Greek and Hebrew concordance. Here you can find the original meaning of each word used in the text. The L is the link to the Bible commentary section. Here you can choose a Bible scholar's commentary on the text. The I is available only when there is a hymn or picture associated with the text. The V gives you different versions and translations of the same verse. The D is the icon to the Dictionary Aids available on the text.)
2) What does truth mean in this verse?
3) What does it mean by "set you free"? Set free from what?
Monday, July 30, 2007
I recently viewed with my kids for the umpteenth time the movie "National Treasure". I love the adventure in finding and deciphering the clues. In the end, the relentless search for the "mysterious" treasure pays off.
I think many times we don't see or believe in the treasure that God is depositing into us. We don't see a treasure or even the clues because we are looking for the wrong treasure. Many times we go through life searching. We search for true love. We search for happiness. We search for success and security. Many times we live a lifetime without finding what we are looking for - but the key is not in searching, but in knowing what to look for. I hope this blog will point you to the Truth and teach you what to look for so you will find the ultimate treasure!
Seek His Face. Pursue an intimate relationship with the Savior.
Know His Truth. Gain ultimate reality about His Kingdom.
Love His Word. Desire passionate revelation of His Nature.