Tuesday, March 31, 2009

1 Samuel 13-14

Day 90

Chapter 13  Going to war with the Philistines and Saul has to muster his troops and wait for 7 days....during this time the army slowly dwindles away.  But Saul didn't wait until the 7th day. He got impatient and his disobedience and arrogance got in the way and HE offered up the sacrifices himself....No, no, no, no, no!  Only the priest can do this! OH MY!!!  The king is going to cost himself his own "dynasty."  

Also, interesting to note that "not a blacksmith could be found in the whole land of Israel" (v. 19). And it was because of the control of the Philistines....how convenient for them!   So, the Israelites had to take their tools and weapons to the Philistine's to have them sharpen the stuff.  Sounds like a good deal for the Philistines, but they forgot one thing......God is on the Israelites side! Not theirs! :)  

Chapter 14  Jonathon, son of Saul,  and his armour-bearer caught the Philistines off guard. The whole war and theology here is that God is in control. Jonathon leads the victory and they win against the Philistines.

Hungry kids......gotta go!  

Tomorrow:  chapters 15-17  

Monday, March 30, 2009

1 Samuel 9-12

Day 89

Ahhhhh.....my OWN bed with my family! Nothing as good as being gone and coming home!!!  Sigh.  :)   

Chapter 9-10  Saul gets chosen as king!  In the midst of searching for the lost donkeys, of all things, Israel's future King ends up meeting with Samuel.  All Israel knows the prophet/judge Samuel but not Saul.  But hey...they've asked for a king and they are getting one.  The Israelites didn't realize how special they are to be God's chosen people and they He is their King, but they wanted to be similar.....not special!!  So there's Saul, been out looking for 3 lost donkeys all over the countryside.....he's bound to be filthy and dirty and he's been annointed with oil.  Sounds like a mess to me!  But God is with Saul (v. 9) and there is nothing he cannot do with God.  When God is with us, powerful things happen.....with God is with us we are attuned to him and we can do whatever our "hand finds to do," because it will be God working through us, directing u, and fulfilling His purpose through us!!!  

Chapter 11  Saul's first victory   Here we have Saul rescuing the city of Jabesh.....God moved him to make this move (v. 6) and then the people respond (v. 7)....."they turned out as one man."  Meaning, that for the first time, since maybe Joshua, the nation is united!!!  This is a good start to the new king's reign.

Chapter 12  Pretty stern words here in Samuel's farewell speech.    This is marking the end of the period of the judges.  Samuel has always alerted the people to be aware of the reign of a king in their midst to be like other nations.  So ironic that this prophet took nothing from the people "what have I done against you?"  and the people found Samuel innocent.  But here will a king that will take and require everything from them.  He is replacing a prophet who asked for nothing.   Ironic, huh?!  All in the name of progress?!  

Tomorrow:  13-14

Sunday, March 29, 2009

1 Samuel 4-8

Day 88

Well now...THAT was some snow!!!! I'm headed back to Weatherford today! Finally. I've missed my kids and hubby!! But I got TONS of pictures in their books.....about 70 pages....35 in each book...give or take! :)

1 Samuel 4-8 Here's the rundown so far......Hannah grieved and Hannah sang (chapter 1); we had the scandal of Eli's sons (chapter 2); Samuel finally heard and answered God's call (chapter 3); and now....oh the Philistines!!! They seized the Ark (4:1-11) and the shocking news literally kills Eli (4:12-22). Now, the Philistines think THEIR god is this Dagon guy and that he has given them victory of a "trophy"...its really the ark of the covenant and even their "god" Dagon bows down his face in worship. Then, the next day the figure of Dagon is dismembered and then God's power breaks out of the temple and falls upon the people in the form of plagues. Every time they move the ark more plagues break out and the diseases spread and spread. Do you think they'll get the picture yet?? After this happens for 7 months, the Philistines have had enough already! The religious leaders advise the Ark's return....but they do it in a way to see if it's really Israel's GOD that is doing all of this. The cows aren't trained to go in a certain direction and they are expected to stay with their calves. But rather, they take off for the border like they had been in a yoke a million times before and they head right to the Israelites country. The ark is returned and there is rejoicing......but not for the 70 who look inside the ark...even Israel is still called to be humble and not overstep their ground with God! Chapter 7 gives us Samuel ruling as a judge after 20 years of being reverent to the Lord and actually worshipping only him.
Saul will become the first King even after the people have been warned as to what he will do to them and how they will be treated by the king. So God says to Samuel....fine...appoint them a king. Boy...THIS is going to get interesting!! Hang on for tomorrow!

Lessons learned: be careful what you ask for! :)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

1 Samuel 1-3

Day 87

The snow has just now made it to Tulsa.....huge flakes and a real soft snow. so far.

Katie read the Bible with me this morning.....Jamie overheard us.....Jamie thinks I need to make a CD to read it aloud....she was enjoying "my version" of the Bible reading! Ha! :)

Chapter 1-3 hi....That was from Katie!! :) The quick version for today............Israel it wanting a king like the other nations...remember, all throughout Judges it said, "there was no king at this time." Well, there is about to be king....only because they have whined and bothered God to give them one. So here comes Samuel as the last and final judge and Saul is going to get appointed as their first king. In these chapters Hannah prays for a son and is given one. She dedicates him, Samuel, to the Lord and offers up a prayer. The house of Eli is in big trouble and Samuel has to be told to answer the Lord when he calls him. I loved that part. How often do we miss the Lord calling straight out to us? Listen today for him. He calls you and loves you.

Friday, March 27, 2009


Day 86
WELL, WELL, WELL..............................I am in Tulsa blogging this morning from my friend's house. We are friends from OSU! We've been the best of friends since we met when we were sophomores and have always stayed in touch!!! Their daughter is even named after me! So the kids are gone to school and Jamie and Russ are at work and tonight and tomorrow I GET TO SCRAPBOOK!!!!!!!!! I drove up last night....took almost 4 hours! Sang the whole way! And I beat the snow storm...might be stuck here but at least I'll get my pictures worked on.
Talked to Dusty this morning.....they have cancelled and closed Elk City and Merritt schools today. He was already up and dressed though by the time they called. Hannalee slept allll night but he was awake every hour listening for her and afraid he'd not hear her. So, they are all camped out at Nana's for the day. They've already had 2" of HAIL!!! He said he'd thought it never stop!! Said if you looked outside you'd think it had already snowed. It stopped and they made it around the corner a 1/4 mile to his folks house to play and hang out for the day. As Dusty put JJ in his truck in the carseat to go JJ said, (sniff, sniff) "I smell sausage daddy!" He was ready to eat at Nana's!!! Yes...I cook sausage sometimes too, but its better at Nana's! :) So I get to scrapbook and school was cancelled anyway for Dusty. Glad I didn't stay home! :)
The book of Ruth: Such a sad story. Such a sweet story. Such a great story about everyday normal life after all of the wars and murders in Judges. The quiet tale of Ruth is a great and strong contrast to those events we've been reading. The story is that of love and sacrifice. Love for family! There is nothing else of importance....love of God and love of family. Finally, a book in the Bible that illustrates normal, daily life and living. Though times around them were tough and trying and people were not keeping the commands of the Lord, there were those faithful few that gives us a glimpse of hope for the Israelites! Can you imagine the 3 women who have lost their husbands and are living in the times where women were wholly dependent on their father and husbands for provision. The 3 women have become powerless....even moreso now that their providers are gone! However, God has special concern for the helpless. God orders our daily lives....even for the unimportant people.
I love the words in 1:16-17 "where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die and there I will be buried!" Sacrifice. Genuine love! Unceasing faith that God will provide......no matter who you are and no matter where you are.
Ruth's life is turned around and is of utmost importance for she in now from the line of David. Descended from Ruth is King David. And from there....our holy and only Messiah!!! Go Ruth!!! :) Gotta love our women of the Bible!! Seek God like Ruth and Naomi. Find peace and purpose in Him.!
Tomorrow: 1 Samuel 1-3

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Judges 19-21

Day something.....  :)

So the electricity has been off 4 times in the past hour!  And the snow hasn't even gotten here yet!! 

But!!! After my whining yesterday, I'm leaving this afternoon to get to Tulsa and STILL get to scrapbook.  My mother in law offered to keep the kids since my mom wouldn't be able to get here.   So, me and the kids are off to take their Easter pictures together!  This will be their first portraits TOGETHER!!  I'm excited!  

Chapters 19-21  Okay......about the lady the got chopped into 12 pieces.......first  of all: YUCK and WHAT IN THE WORLD??! She was left for dead.  And boy are the Benjamites in trouble!!! They are refusing to submit to GOD and the the authority of the tribal assembly.  So...to prove a point about how far immoral they are the concubine is cut up and sent to each of the 12 tribes.  Their lives were just going on about their daily business while this lady was raped and beat to death AND NO ONE NOTICED, CARED, OR STOPPED THEM!  Their lives were not affected....or so they thought until now!!!   The Benjamites refused to hand over the men who did this (the men of Gibeah) a civil war ensues.  The outcome of the war is a near extinction of Benjamin and a great national tragedy.  

The whole book of Judges makes plain the disastrous consequences of breakdown of authority, when people become a law unto themselves, setting their own standards of permissiveness.  Hum...sound familiar in today's times??  

Well....the electricity has gone OFF ......AGAIN and it lost my oh so profound summary!  GRRRR!   

Okay.....the short of all of the book of Judges......it is already summed up in verse 25 of the last chapter:  "all the people did as they please."    This is also saying "they didn't listen to God and to His commands.  The entire book of Judges is about being loyal to God and to God alone.   

Tomorrow:   all of the book of Ruth.....all 4 chapters! :)  

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Judges 16-18

Day 84

OH I  AM MAD!!!!!!   DUMB SNOW.  DUMB WEATHER! I AM SOOOOOOOOO DISAPPOINTED!!!  The one time I'm supposed to go somewhere BY MYSELF WITHOUT KIDS and there is a snow storm coming???!!! OH PUH-LEEEEEEZ!  Does the weather not realize that winter is officially OVER!!   We didn't get spit for snow all winter and now its a storm coming with 4" of snow?!!  ARGH!  HUMPH!  

Okay......I'm done pouting.   :(  I guess I'll scrapbook by myself.  Ya right!  

Chapter 16  Samson and Delilah      Samson was quite the lover of women!   And I read that the name "Delilah" is the root word of an Arabic name that means "flirt!"  Well, well.   I don't think she was in it for true love with Samson....she sold him out pretty quickly and tried to cohort him all along to shave his hair.  When Samson DOES let her shave his head he is renouncing his Nazirite vow.  This is important because it was the special and unique  way for God's presence in Samson life. So then....no hair, no God!!!!   Look at verse 20....it says it right there.  After his head was shaved "the Lord had left him."  But his hair began to grow again.....so God didn't abandon him forever.....just long enough for Samson to realize his foolishness!  

Chapter 17-18  Micah's idols      Everyone was doing "as he saw fit."   This was definitely a time of do-as-you-please!   They still had no king......not that they were supposed to.....there was no one in charge and no one to ensure that God's commands were being lived out.  There is no moral compass and the commandments just don't seem to be important enough for the people to obey.  So....everyone does their own thing and does as they wish.  Instead of worshipping one true God, Micah sets up his own household idols and makes his own place of worship and hires a Levite priest as his own priest.  HELLOOOOOO?  Does anyone see what is wrong with this picture??   Even the Levites, who are the priest, have even become lawless!!!  The place of worship for GOD is at Shiloh at this time....not in Micah's house or in his own mind even! ha!   

So the Danites have stolen Micah's idols and assume that there will be a war over them.  So, the cowards that they are....the Danites put the children out front!!!  To protect themselves and hope that war won't ensue because the children and their mothers are out front!  How cowardly and cruel!!!   And the Danites set up their own place of worship in the North....all the while that GOD has said the place of worship for HIM is in Shiloh!!! Shame, shame, shame!!!!

Lesson's learned:  be pure before the Lord and keep worship of the Lord as the highest priority.  Not because of ourselves, but also because its the Lord's commands.  Don't be like Samson and compromise!  Stick  firm to your convictions in the Lord.

Tomorrow:  Judges 19-21 to finish off another book!

Enjoy the SUN!!!  Yippeeee! :)  The snow is coming.  ARGH!  :)  

But I"ll be grateful for the moisture that comes and not have to get moisture from a rain/tornado storm!!!  There.....the silver lining! :)  

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Judges 13-15

Day 83

Ahhhhhhhh! Maybe we are all well!  Thank you, Jesus!!   

Chapter 13    Samson was born and was  set apart for his task from conception!  His hair, because he was a Nazarite, was never to be cut. I think this comes from Numbers 6 where it talks about the Nazarite vow.  So Mrs. Monoah was pretty certain that God was not going to kill them...they have been given a task to complete....to give birth to Samson.  Poor Monoah thought they were going to die for seeing an angel of the Lord.  But Mrs Manoah was rather calm about it all.... if he were going to do it, He wouldn't have accepted our burnt offering.  So there.  Samson was born and grew up in the Spirit of the Lord. 

Chapter 14  Samson gets married ....to someone he really wasn't supposed to marry.  He wanted to marry an outsider and not one of the local Israelite girls.  God had already previously commanded the Israelites not to intermarry with  the nations  around them....they worship other gods (Deut 7).  But Samson was weak.  He had his dad arrange the marriage for him and they had a 7 day feast.  So here comes this crazy riddle. I don't think I ever knew that the Bible had riddles in it!!! Now I know!!  The heifer in the riddle was Samson wife and the people threaten her ("plow" with her) and threaten her family.  Finally, Samson gives in and tell the answer to the riddle to her.  He has been deceived.  

Chapter 15    So....Samson goes and seeks vengeance on the Philistines.   He wants to get back and do to them what they did to him.  Samson led Israel for 20 years even while the Philistines were ruling over them.  

lessons learned:  Even though Samson broke the commands of the Lord, he was still used by God to accomplish His purpose and will.  And....in spite of Samson's foolishness...and in spite of ours....God purposes will still be fulfilled!  Amen?!  Amen!!!

Tomorrow:  chapter 16-18

Praise God from whom all blessings flow..............

Monday, March 23, 2009

Judges 10-12

Day 81

Okay......I"ve still been reading......just missed another blogging day!!  JJ is sick still and we are off to the doctor at 10:45!!!!!  Thank goodness!!!!  He hasn't eaten but twice since Friday night!!!!!  OH MY!!!!   

Judges 10  Tola and Jair are just two "judges" of Israel.   These two leaders were not military leaders...there was no war during their time.  

Judges 11    Jephthah made a might vow!!!!   He obviously didn't really understand how God works!!!    The human sacrifice was what they were used to with the"heathen" gods.   He was ignorant about the vow he made, but he did do it in good faith with his heart.  He kept his word even though it cost him his daughter.  How do we understand a God that allows this to happen?  How do we make sense of this?   I think after doing some reading, we have to keep in mind the times.  We have to keep the Bible stories in their history....in their time period.  The people were in the midst of instability, trying to establish community, trying to figure out who they are as the people of God and everyone else in the world is against them because of who they are.  They  are never to be seen as role models.  Their stories are recorded and not to be glorified obviously.  BUT!! We do learn from their faith and their courage.  We aren't completely clear and sure as to what really happened to his daughter.    But she probably died.  But she would rather give her life than her father break his vow to God!  OH MY!!!!!!!

Judges 12  Not much to say about these judges...the donkeys are noted though.  This shows a sense of wealth.  Horses were not common during these times....and won't be until the time of Solomon who imports them from Egypt!  Remember.......Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem.  Not because of HIS wealth but because of his humility and grace!!!

Lessons learned:   live with faith and courage; keep vows you make...be reasonable though!  

tomorrow:  we might be back to a normal and well schedule around here......read Judges 13-15!

Love you all!!!!!!!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Judges 6-7

Day 80

Well....it was the last day of spring break, we woke up at 7;30, jumped out of bed and ran out the door to the city to try and watch one of Dusty's nieces at the statewide pig show.  Missed her but had fun.   Back home, kids are in bed and NOW......I'm afraid JJ's sick!  He said himself (without me even asking) that his throat hurt and he hasn't really eaten or drank anything alllll day. Poor thing! So......medicine for him!!! ARGH!!!  

Judges 6  So Gideon uses his wits and only 300 men to might and face off with the Midiante hordes!!!  After he secretly threshes his grain harvest in the winepress, he uses a surprise attack! But, in truth, never forget that the victory is GOD'S!!!  

Judges 7  I thought the part about how they drank their water was very interesting and why it was important.  My new little "Bible Handbook" (much easier to read than my seminary commentaries!) says that they men who scoop up the water and lap it from their hands are MORE ALERT (because of their position) to danger than those who kneel!! INTERESTING!!!!  Now you know why not to lap up your water like a dog!! :)  Be alert!! :)  

Tomorrow:  Judges 8-9

Friday, March 20, 2009

Judges 3-5

Day 79

Well....it happened. I actually missed a day.  I can't believe it.  I missed one day.  Oh well...I'm feeling better and life might get back to normal.....whatever THAT is !! :)  Thank you mother and daddy for helping with JJ while I was so sick!!  He had a ball and we are grateful!!!  

So...are you believing the drama of Judges??!  Hum.....interesting stuff and a nice (but gross) change of pace.  I mean, two murders in these chapters?  What is going on?  And then a song about it??  WOW!!   :)

Chapter 3  They did it!! We knew they would.  We knew it was coming.  Their parents didn't do their job.  They didn't get rid of the evil and negative influences around them and it happened.  They forgot God!!!  Because they had failed to drive everyone out of Canaan, they begin to worship their gods and idols of Baal and Asherahs.   It was bad enough that they forgot the God that have saved them, delivered them, and provided for them. But then, to add injury to insult, they worshipped another god.   So these new judges are descendants of Caleb.   Each time they forget God, they get turned over to a king, they go  to war, and then God forgives the Israelites and gives them peace in the hands of the judges:  Othniel, Ehud, & Shamgar.  And the KING that died at the hand of Ehud!  What a surprise.....and not very nice to say, but kinda funny.....only in that the servants thought he in the potty the whole time.   He was a rather crafty and deceptive assassin.  Ehud says to the king, "I have a secret message for you, O king!"  A secret I'd say!!  A secret weapon upon his upper thigh that goes straight into the ol' king's belly....and right out his back.   And seems then to be swallowed up by all of his FAT!!!  GROSS!!!!  And then he gets away with the murder because the servants didn't know the king was dead until Ehud was long gone!!!  Then Israel had peace for 80 years!!  

Chapter 4  Oh Deborah!  She was a warrior I'd say!!  Strong, brave and courageous among men.  So, she was in charge for a bit and the Israelites leader and judge.....a judge even under her own palm tree!!!    There are 3 people who contribute to the whole process of saving Israel this time.  1) Deborah:  the prophet and judge. She brings God's word to fight the Canaanites and accompanies the Israelite warriors into battle with words of encouragement and guidance.  2) Barak: is the general of the army who leads the victory against the Canaanites but fails to kill his Canaanite counterpart, the general Sisera.  3) Jael--she is not an Israelite, but a Kenite who invites Sisera (the Canaanite general) into her tent and then proceeds to kill him.  With a  tent peg through the temple!!!!!  

Chapter 5  The song of Deborah -- a song that is about a powerful and divine warrior and a weak Israel, the willing bravery of some Israelite tribes and then passive reluctance of others!  A song of contrasts really.

God works through all of these people with their shared leadership and mutual responsibility.  Our lesson learned:  to work together for the glory of God!  

tomorrow:  Judges 6-7 and it starts to go downhill.......

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Judges 1-2

Day 78.....missed yesterday...WAY TOO SICK in bed!!!  ERP!!!!

SoI assume you read the end of Joshua. Today we've begun  Judges...they've mutilated soldiers by cutting off their thumbs and toes.  OUCH!!  I guess that is what you call "hand to hand" combat!  In chapter 1 the Israelites were trying to finish off the Canaanites but they didn't quite get rid of them.  I can tell you now......this is going to be trouble!!!  They were supposed to do away with them completely.....now they are going to be tempted to worship their gods and their idols.  They will be influenced by them even though they were living there as slaves.  Not a good thing. 

Look at chapter 2....it even says that the whole generation forgot to tell their own children about the power of God and how He saved their forefathers.   Verses 10-12.......here we have it...they served other gods (Baal) and did evil in the Lord's eyes.   Here we go....its the beginning of the end!!  We have to teach our children about God and what he does for us!!!! They must know!!!!  They aren't going to learn by osmosis...they have to be taught!!!  Lesson learned: teach our children and grandchildren about God and who He is to you and for you!!! The commands of the Lord are to be upon our hearts!!  

Tomorrow:  Judges 3-5

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Joshua 19-21

Day 76

I just might get to enjoy this beautiful sunny day it promises to be!!! I think I feel  better today!!!  I think Hannalee is better too.....minus the POOOOOOOP I found her in this morning. 

Chapter 19  have you found it interesting yet, or noticed, that God has promised and GIVEN the Israelites the land (given them!) BUT yet they are still having to fight for it!!  Don't you think that is interesting???  It's like saying "Okay.....here's your Christmas present but you'll have to fight your brother for it!"  And ....the people they are fighting aren't just there welcoming them...they aren't packed up ready to leave their own homeland.  The Israelites are having to fight established people in established towns!!!!   This isn't just open wilderness they are taking over.  They are and winning the land city by city by city by city.

Chapter 20  Well...these cities of refuge are ONLY if they kill someone by accident....not for those who have killed in the military campaign for the taking over the land.   If a murder occurs, by accident, then the killer can flee to one of these 6 cities, be provided protection, and wait there for a trial.  There are 3 cities on each side of the Jordan River.....this provides easy access for anyone in need and is just one more way that God provides protection for His people.

Chapter 21  the Levites.....well, we've learned and surely remember that they don't get their own land inheritance.   Their inheritance is the offerings from the sacrifices.  They are allotted these cities....happens to be the same cities as the ones of refuge.   Who better to live in the cities of refuge for murderers than the priests of the Israelites?!!  Sounds like a rather grand plan to me!!!    And all of these cities and their boundaries chapters end with the promise of God fulfilled!!!!  Verse 43-45 close the past couple of chapters that we have stumbled through reading. We end with the Lord giving Israel all of the land He promised (though they had to fight for it!) and the final words of the fighting remind of God's faithfulness:  "not one of all the Lord's good promises to the house of Israel failed; every one was fulfilled!"   

Lesson learned:  God does what God says He will do!!! No doubt about it!!!!    No matter how hard your "fight"...God will give you what He promised....grace, love, mercy, forgiveness and eternal life for belief in Him and Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit!!!  Amen??? Amen!!!

Thank you God...........

tomorrow:  Joshua 22-24

Monday, March 16, 2009

Joshua 16-18

Day 75

sick.  going to bed.  been at doctor with Hannalee for 2 hours!  She's sick.  I'm sick.   Yes!! 2 hours it took to get looked at for 5 minutes and get meds! ARGH!!  The boys are off to walmart for us while we nap.  

Chapters 16-18  ...not much new.   keep reading though!!  We'll get to some new material in a couple of days.  Then next thing you know we'll be reading Judges and Joshua will end.   land conquered.  land divided.  there.  ;)  

to bed for rest!! so sorry!!  

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Joshua 12-15

Day 74

A much better night was had by all!  

Chapter 12 -15 ( and really clear until chapter 22!!)   This is all about the distribution of the land.  And if you can pronounce ANY of those names of the cities...you are awesome!  Us...not so much...we could hardly stand to read the chapters last night for stumbling over the words!! And of course had no idea of where the boundaries REALLY are.   But we do know that they've conquered the land.....in rather barbaric ways....they've taken possession and they've divided it all up!  And....all of a sudden Joshua is old and he begins to bid them all farewell.  They get some land, they divide the land.  They get some land, they divide the land.  Get the picture?  They even cast lots to find out who gets what and where.  Why lots?  This does two things.....its keeps the tribes from fighting over the land amongst themselves and it puts God in charge of the process.  This way there is no manipulation and no political agendas.  It is interesting to note that Caleb gets the land he requests.  "Hey....I've been following Moses all this time; I've been faithful; I've been strong and helpful so give me my personal wish of land!"   And he did. My commentary calls him "a great hero of obedience!"    

The shortest blog yet.  There won't be much else to say until after chapter 22.   Just boundaries and cities that we can't pronounce!  :)  

stumble through chapters 16-18 for tomorrow! :)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Joshua 9-11

Day 73

What a night!!!  I felt sick to my stomach after eating Mexican, Dusty had a runny nose that used an entire box of kleenex and I guess he thought he was keeping me up because he went to sleep in JJ's bed (who is at Papa's and has a bed full of sand from the sandbox!), and Hannalee was up at least an hour coughing!!   And I"m hot!!!   The heater was on I was ready to open a window!   Ugh!! And I didn't even get to enjoy sleeping or sleeping late!  Yawn.............but  it's Dusty's spring break!   Ahhhhhhhh!

Chapter 9  More sneakiness and deception!  Who knew?! The Gibeonites were prepared for war! Well, they were at least ready to act as if they were from far, far, away!  They did this because there was more leniency and hospitality toward people who weren't considered a "neighbor" and a threat.  The Gibeonites had such a fear of the Israelites that they deceived them first.  They even offer themselves up as the Israelites servants so they can have some bread that isn't moldy!  BUT!! The Israelites forgot to "inquire of the Lord" about these men!!  So they are then stuck in a peace alliance with them and can't go to war with them so they make them into woodcutters and water boys!   So they are cursed to the menial  task of tending to the altar and making sure their is continual wood for offering sacrifices.  

Chapter 10 The big 5 go down!!!  It takes a long chapter to basically say that the five kings of the entire Jersusalem region are destroyed....as well as their cities.  

I had to look up what "the book of Jashar" is......"a collection of Hebrew poetry and literature that records military exploits of the nation of Israel."  It names national heroes and the nations high points.  

And how the sun and moon stood still......well, God did it.......He figured if He could create it, He could make them stand still too!  Makes sense to me! :)

Chapter 11  Now the northern kings are defeated..  "How" I hear you ask?   :)  Because the Lord hardened their hearts to wage war against Israel so that they might be destroyed and be exterminated without mercy!!! WOW!!!  That better have hit you square in the eyes.....God hardened their hearts so that He didn't have to show them mercy?!!!!!!!!  Hum......when God  calls you His child, you have great power and strength and mercy on YOUR side!!! He was on the side of the Israelites......no doubt  about it!!

I think I'm beginning to like Joshua......he's a strong and consistent leader carrying out all the commands Moses and the Lord tell him to!  He is living a life as a positive role model of faith!  Who is your role model in faith?!!  

Tomorrow:  chapter 12-15

Be thou my vision O Lord of my heart...........

Friday, March 13, 2009

Joshua 5-8

Day 72

Honestly.......this is a chore today than a joy.  Bear with me! :)  Maybe I"m being selfish.....right now, I'd rather take a shower first.  And I'd rather work on some scrapbook stuff.  But if I even showered first......I'd never make it back in here....laundry would call. Then kids. You know the story!  :)  Enough whining like an Israelite!  Ha! Let's study the Word!  

Chapter 5  This circumcision is not being done "again" to the same men. That's what I thought first at verse 2!  I thought, "What??  AGAIN??"  OUCH!! Once ought to be enough...............but this was "again" as in for the new generation.  The circumcision is important because it is a sign of Israel's unique relationship with God (look back to Genesis 17:11-13)! It's been there all along.  Then we begin to focus on Jericho.....have you heard the music on the player today?  Several songs about Jericho and the Jordan.  Jericho is going down.....total siege and destruction.  This city is important because of its location.......its got an oasis, its just off the Jordan river, and its closely located to Jerusalem.  So, I guess you could say "location, location, location!"  :)  the place where Joshua was standing was "holy!'   The city is set on a hill and is surrounded by a mammoth wall.  "it was tightly shut up." (6:1).  Lesson learned:  being close to God, and in a right relationship with God makes us holy!  

Chapter 6   So they march....and they march....but the people of Jericho probably assume they are rather safe and sound behind their wall.  But there is complete devastation......everything is gone, burnt, plundered and taken.....nothing is left of the Canaanite city!  I guess just one remnant.....Rahab the prostitute and her family.....but she was completely loyal to the Israelites cause! Otherwise, a complete break away from it!! A new beginning for the Israelites.  If anyone even tried to rebuild the city, Joshua had already cursed that person.......whoever it may be (v. 26).   God helped them knock down the wall.  God and His power and holiness.  Lesson learned:  God is at work in our lives! 

Chapter 7  But wouldn't you know......somebody has to spoil the victory for them all! One bad apple!! Acahan thinks he can save some of the plunder that is supposed to be devoted to God.   He just wanted a few things.......silver and gold.   He thinks if no one sees him taking them, he could hide them in his tent.  I mean....no one is watching right?   No one saw him take it...it should be fine!  OH !  Right.......GOD SAW HIM!  DUH!!!! He didn't have a very big understanding of God did he??! :)  God is watching and Achan's rebellion and sin had an effect on his life that cost him everything......all he owns and his family.   Lesson learned:  we can't hide our sins!  

Chapter 8   Ai (ay-eye).....two long vowel sounds is how we THINK it's pronounced.  Except the teacher in me wants to say "when two vowels go walking the first one does the talking!"  :)  But Ai is a word that means "ruins."  It had a been a significant town in the highlands, but....wall or no wall......they were taken over.  Joshua and the men were so dern sneaky....I love it! how clever but yet conniving!!!  The place was utterly destroyed and the people knew that Joshua was going to be able to be the leader Moses was!  He was able to fulfill the commands, lead the people, and be successful.  Joshua was then to build an altar......just like all of the altars in the past......out of rough rocks.....no fancy tools used......and then he read the law.  Lesson learned:  there is no excuse for turning away from God and His promises when you know the law and the commands and the covenant.  :)

Tomorrow:  chapter 9-11

Jesus is marvelous and wonderful........  

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Joshua 1-4

Day 71

Okay......I read about 30 pages of commentary last night about the history of the book of Joshua and the literary style of its writing......I'll spare you!  :)   But here's a quick view......they will have successfully settled into the land of Canaan.  We will have more repeats here about settling the land and such, but it will be a simpler version than what we've read in the past books.  It will not tell the actual events in detail of settling the land.  This book will describe Israel, past and future, in its relationship with God, and the kind of society it WISHED to be!!!  

Chapters 1-12 will be about the settlement of the land as the tribes take over Canaan.  The violence we read here will be harsh.....they had to acquire the land, in part, through violent means.  

Chapters 13-21 are about land distribution

Chapters 22-24 are three stories that focus on the loyalty that Israelite tribes owe to their God who has given them the land.  The book of Joshua affirms that God's purpose for Israel was served....even in the evil take over.  

The purpose of this book is to move people to faith through obedience in God....who bring good out of evil.  Should be hope for watching the evening news any day.....good prevails through evil!!    This book was not written as an "eyewitness" account as it was happening....it was not composed and written all at once.  It is, though, an accurate account of an time in history and was a "gradual" writing of the events over time!  

Chapter 1  The Lord addresses Joshua and he receives his commission.  Verse 1-9 is the Lord re-commissioning Joshua.  Verses 10-11 is Joshua given his first order to his army officers; and verses 12-18 the tribes declare that they will follow Joshua as their leader and guarantee their obedience to him!  Joshua has established his authority.  Just as Jesus was commissioned so was Joshua.  

Chapter 2  Rahab the prostitute helps Joshua out by allowing his spies to stay at her house.  In  return, they promise her safety when they return to take over the land.  They must have been a very poor family for her to have turned to prostitution to make ends meet for her family.  Here, she will now be regarded as a hero for saving her family!  Her people as a nation fear the Israelites......the Lord dried up the Red Sea for them and because they took over the Ammorites!  This caused great fear....so she believed and was willing to help!  She is even mentioned in the New Testament in Hebrews and in James!  She is a model that "faith without works is dead."

Chapter 3   Crossing the Jordan leads to the battle of Jericho!   The ark of the covenant is being carried on the shoulders of the priests (they are the only ones that can touch it) and it is the very presence of the Lord.  They are to keep about 3,000 feet away from it even!!! The water is held back by the presence of the Lord and the Israelites tramp through the river bed to the other side.  Another symbol and reminder that they are the redeemed children of God. God provides...again and again!  They took a step of faith.....they river was a full force at the time of year they passed.  This wasn't a dry creek bed with a few trickles of water.  The river was at full force......a step a faith!!!!  

Chapter 4  Anytime God does something amazing (and when doesn't He?!!)  the Israelites are to leave a memorial in that place.  The cross the Jordan on dry land and enter the promised land without a wet foot among them!!!  Their sandals were dry!!!  The stones will be there for generations to come to remind their children of what God did for them!!  They will tell the stories over and over again to their children!  They must remember!!! 

What ways do you remember what God has done for you?  What are you passing on to your children about God?  When was the last time you stepped out in faith?  Leap out and see whatGod will do!!!! 

tomorrow:  chapters 5-8

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Deuteronomy 32-34

Day 70

I cried. I mean...cried.......tears streaming down my face, snot running out my nose, crying!!!!  I couldn't believe I was one breath away from losing it and going into a complete sob-cry!!!!   Moses died!!!  It hit me so hard! I was so sad....sad that he never saw the promised land, and sad that he died!  But.....silly girl, its not like I hadn't heard the story before.  It's not like I didn't already know how it was going to end! :)  I just looked at Dusty as we finished reading Deuteronomy and said, "I need a kleenex!"  He handed me one. I said, no....I'll need more!!  And another one!!! :)  Dusty had tears in his eyes too.  He said, "it's kinda like watching Old Yeller or Where the Red Fern Grows....you know the ending but it's still sad!" Silly I know......but I guess that's what happens when the Word dwells within you.  I'll miss Moses and I'm just positive that I won't like this new guy... Joshua!! hahaha!  

Chapter 32....the Song of Moses....well, I got ahead of myself yesterday and I think I've covered the high points of the song! The word most repeated in the book of Deuteronomy is the word "remember."  All throughout, Moses wants to them remember who they were, where they came from, who saved them, and whose they are now!!!  This song is also about faith lived in a practical life!  There are verses (24-25) in which the people are in a time of crisis...."the teeth of beasts" have been sent against the people and so the question remains as to WHY God let this happen?  The song/poem answer is to try and say that it had simply become necessary for a time, but that the time would soon pass.  It is simply (or NOT so simply!) trying to convey the complexity of God's nature.  Remember, remember, remember!!!  Remember God's deliverance, remember past blessings, remember God's presence in the world, and remember....WE are free in Christ and slave to no one!!!  

Chapter 33  Moses blesses the tribes.  This blessing/poem is divided into two sections:  one about praising God in verses 2-5 and 26-29.  Moses acknowledges the divinity of God and then uses that the bless the tribes with a well.  Then, in the blessings to the tribes, Moses gives them all their own understanding of the divine power and gifts.  These blessings have addressed the laws of Israel, the warnings, the threats, and the exhortations to heed the Word of God!!! Be obedient to the Word and the law of the covenant.  And then, those were all the final words of Moses.

Chapter 34  It is appropriate that the final chapter in the final book of the Pentateuch (the first 5 books of the Bible) end with the death of Moses.  It reports the death of the great leader and reminds us that he didn't set foot on the promised land.  He was praised as an unbelievable leader of the nation!   And!!! OH!!! Did you catch and notice who buried Moses?!!! Go back and read verse 6!!  Look and figure out who the "He" is!!!  The Lord himself buried Moses!  He was mighty in power and awesome in deeds!

Tomorrow:  Joshua 1-4!!!


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Deuteronomy 30-31

Day 69

Rain?!  Was that the sound of soft pitter-patter rain I heard this morning?!  Yes!!!!  As light as it may have been.....it was rain!!! It  counts!!!!  Thank you, Lord!! Send more!!!!

Chapter 30 Okay.....so this "turning  to the Lord" means that they better get ready to repent.  Actually, the writer is assuming that they are going to exile anyway....because they are "wherever the Lord your God disperses you among the nations."  So.....there is an assumption that they aren't going to obey and aren't going to be able to keep the laws and commandments.  So, when they end up in exile, they are to turn to the Lord!  They are given two choices:  life or death.  It is all laid out before them....all they have to do is choose.  Life here is not merely the extension of their days, it is also the love and obedience of following the Lord.  They are to love and to love abundantly.  They have been continually reminded to make good choices.....they must choose life so their children can life.  "Circumcising their hearts" means to set their very being and will toward the Lord!

Chapter 31   Well....ol' Moses is going down!  He's about to die........surely from old age....I mean....I think 120 is old enough to have lived! :)  Moses acknowledges that he is old and will soon die and he commissions Joshua to be his successor.   I am almost sad the poor Moses never saw the very promised land he had led these people to!  He had been the most faithful of them all! I think.....I think he even changed God's mind when God was ready to blot them away because of their disobedience....but Moses convinced God otherwise!!!!  Poor Moses....but he faithfully continues to tell them, several times, to be strong and courageous!  Be strong and courageous!

Moses writes down the law and has it placed in the custody of the Levi priests.  They are to get it out, dust it off, and read it every 7 years.  The Lord commissions Joshua to take over and God even predicts Israel's disobedience!  Then we have an introduction to the Song of Moses. Very few Israelites could read or write, so passing down the hope of deliverance had to be done in song!   It is a song that is about the sovereign greatness of Israel's God, the national disobedience of Israel, and their eventual vindication (rescue/deliverance) by God.  Joshua will lead.  The law will be preserved.  But life after Moses will never be the same again! If only Moses could have lived forever!  OOPS!! I got ahead of myself with the song!!! Its in tomorrow's reading! I got so excited and sad about Moses dying and carried away!!  Sorry!!

Go read chapter 32 & 33 for tomorrow!!   

Be strong and courageous!  

Monday, March 9, 2009

Deuteronomy 28-29

Day 68

Chapter 28 is pretty darn long!! And...if you noticed while you were reading...you are reading right?......If you noticed....the curses far outweigh the blessings.  Well, they don't outweigh the benefits ....they are just longer in verse and more severe.  Definitely worth it to be blessed than to be cursed.  The chapter begins with restating that blessings follow obedience to the commandments.  The commandments seem to hold the key to happiness of life, prosperity and security.  Everything is included in the blessings....family, agriculture and success with the military.  If you obey the laws and commands you will be blessed and happy.  So the opposite must be true too! If you don't obey....you will be cursed.   That is apparent here.  And man, oh man, does God tell it like it is here!  Mercy.....I don't think we've read something as horrific as the curses for disobedience.  I wondered and realized that the curses were more numerous than the blessings...why???   Well, think about it...the Israelites don't have an established history of of obeying....they have been quite the disobedient children and have brought upon disaster after disaster.  This is how they've proved themselves as a people of God.  they have been called by God to do NOTHING but obey and follow the commands of the Lord.  He called them His people and that was their job....nothing but obedience.  That was all they had to do.  Should have been freeing.....and should be to us too.....you don't have to think about how you are going to do things or what the answer is....just follow the commands of the Lord and you are freed to do many things!!!  But....if you called to follow the commands you must also be judged by them!  OH!!!!!!  There it is.....live by the commands OR be judged by them.  Its our choice.  God is a God of justice.  We love it for others....but its the same God that will judge us! But!!!!! (there's always a "but").  But I'd rather be judged by a merciful and graceful God than an enemy any day!!

Chapter 29  Some have called this Moses' great farewell address.  After having been hammered by the threat of curses (now remember....those curses haven't happened....yet.   But they might IF they don't obey!).  After the gentle reminder of obedience (ya right!! T hat was rather harsh I'd say!) Moses preaches about the miraculous ways God has always, always, always provided for the Israelites.  Their clothes never wore out for 40 years......they didn't even eat bread and they were fine!!!!  Why did they need reminding of the curses?  Because 3 days into the 40 year journey....they were complaining and would rather have gone back to slavery in Egypt.   We have in this sermon/speech that Israel's covenant is being renewed...they've had a covenant at Horeb as well as Moab.  This seems to give the children of Israel a sense of hope!  God will fulfill His promises...not only to those present, but also to those who are yet to come.  Moses encourages them with the grace and love of God.  Moses is appealing to their renewal of faith and loyalty.  Their hope for the future is not simply about wishful thinking towards being saved from their enemies.....it is about seeing that God is in their very presence.....calling them to love Him, calling them to obey Him, calling them to worship no one other than Himself.  There is proof (v. 19) that doing things our own way will not work!! Ever!  We cannot be self-reliant, self-dependent, or even selfish.......we must drawn upon God and obey, obey, obey.  AND!!! Please hear this!!  We are to obey out of LOVE for God not out of fear of chapter 28!!!   If you truly LOVE the Lord your God with all your heart and strength..you will WANT to obey....out of love, because of love!!!!  Amen!!!

Tomorrow:   chapter 30-31

Trust in the Lord with all of your heart........

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Deuteronomy 24-27

Day 67
Government! Time change! Why do we do this?!! It's already nine o'clock!!!! Church time before long...not much time to blog!!!
Chapter 24 Verse 5!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Helloooooo?!!!! I love this!!!! What a great idea! And God even says so!!!! For a husband to stay home for a year to have no other duties but to bring happiness to his wife!!! In other words....marriage is important. We don't get this pleasure in our contemporary society today, but God is making the point that marriage is sacred and nothing should be placed above it. This is not a law we can literally follow, but must take to hear the spirit of the law!
Chapter 25 These are a lot of verses about "if then's" If this happens, then do this. If a brother dies without a son, then the widow must not marry outside the family. If two men are fighting......if you have different sizes of weights for selling and measuring....etc. These continue with the commandments about family.....how to take care of the poor among you, what is rightfully yours....Moses is reminding the Israelites.......repeatedly.....how to live their life as free slaves.....how to live outside of slavery and Egypt. They are at least....at the very least....to treat each other fairly. Surely after Egyptian slavery, that is the least they can do to and for each other. This life of conduct is based on God's commands to live a life of justice, truth, and community.
Chapter 26 Give your first fruits as a tithe. A tenth for the Lord and save the leftover in the fields for the poor and widowed, the fatherless and stranger in the land. Follow the Lord's command for your possessions will be yours as God as promised. Trust in the Lord, follow Him in all of your ways, that is what Moses is preaching to them again....to be a holy people to the Lord their God!
Chapter 27 Curses and blessings! As they make an altar on Mount Ebal they are to do it exactly as the Lord commands! They are to do it in the exact place where the Lord commands. They are to eat and fellowship there as the Lord commands. They are to use the uncut stones that have not been used by tools. The place of worship is to be distinct from heathen altars, which use iron tools to cut things. This altar is to be guarded and set aside for worthy worship of the Lord. Then certain tribes will stand on Mount Ebal and pronounce curses from it. These curses here are repeat almost of the 10 commandments. Cursed are those who break the 10 commandments. They must keep their allegiance to these commands. We are called to do the same....to live well and love well!!!
Tomorrow: chapters 28-29
Praise God from whom all blessings flow..............

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Deuteronomy 21-23

Day 66

We went and saw Sesame Street Live last night!!! It was great!! The opening song kept JJ absolutely mesmerized!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He was so excited to see all of the "friends!!" The show was a "go green" theme....cute but got a little long towards the end and a tad over their heads, but we had fun! We bought an Elmo balloon whose eyes alone are bigger than your hands and all together twice the size of Hannalee. 

So we are in Weatherford. Meme is giving Hannalee a bath....along with JJ and cousin Skylar helping!! Not sure who is really getting the bath!! :) 

Chapter 21 I guess this is the biblical version is CSI....what to do in the case of an unsolved mystery.....basically make atonement. Okay...feeling a little lost here.....my commentary (the real ones, the "big" ones....are at home!) So....feeling lost without them! But the elders and the priests are to make atonement for the body found laid slain. They are to use an unworked and unused heifer to make the atonement. The priests and elders are to do this so as to purge themselves from the guilt....they did not commit the crime! We also have different laws here about marrying a captive woman, the right of the firstborn and a rebellious son. The laws (although they seem like a long list of more "thou shall nots") they really are to help them live a distinct and purposeful life.....set apart from those who worship "gods." They are to be set apart and different from the cultures around them. God's purpose to help create a people who belong soley (souly?!) to God and God alone. Their actions will reveal their loyalty and love! Who they are as a people is to be lived out in life and faith...not just to be who they are because of their birthrights.

Chapter 22 The laws here are to remind the people are protecting their family life. These laws address the relationship between husband and wife. From the beginning, God decrees the bond between husband and wife is the foundation of the family. It should be honored and guarded above all else! A lesson we all need to remember and learn and set aside time for!!! 

Chapter 23 Keeping clean is part of personal hygiene in order to prevent plagues!! If you're dirty, you'll get the plague....OR God will send it upon you for lack of obedience. God is in the details here I think. Loving His people and giving them laws to show that He exists, that He notices them, that He hasn't forgotten them and has a plan for them. Just like us. He is in our details! He loves us, notices us, cares for us, and has great and might plans for us to worship Him and give Him the glory!! 

Tomorrow: 24-27

Come, Holy Spirit, Come................

Friday, March 6, 2009

Deuteronomy 17-20

Day 65

Its a freeeeeeee day and Dusty is out of school!!  We were "supposed" to be going to the state basketball games.  oh well......we get to go to Meme's and Papa John's instead!! Much more fun!   We are going to Elmo and Sesame Street Live tonight in OKC  and then back to Meme's house until Sunday afternoon!  Dusty and Hannalee are staying at Meme's while JJ and I go with cousins to OKC!

Chapter 17   If you they see someone else bowing down to a god, they are to "investigate it thoroughly."  If it is found to be true....stone them to death!  There must be more than just one witness!!!  Why are they to do this? To purge the evil from within their community.   They are going to want a king because everyone else has a king.  But they are only to appoint the one the Lord says!  

Chapter 18  The Levite priests get no inheritance of the land and everyone else must take care of them. Moses warns the people that the Canaanites are a strong spiritual people and not to be impressed by their practices.   You can be "spiritual" and not be truthful and honest about worshiping God.  They are not to engage in any of the detestable practices they may learn of.   For if they do, their relationship with God will be at stake!!  Don't trade God's glory for lesser practices that are only enticing. 

Chapter 19    Be good neighbors!  Just as Jesus said, "love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and strength and mind......and love your neighbor as yourself!"  Loving God and loving neighbors are intrinsically linked!  I love God ...and I love my neighbors! They are so much fun!!!   Don't move the boundary stones though....or your fence line!! It is where your property starts and ends.  Moving them is equal to stealing!  Leave the stones!!!   You must have witnesses to take any action against anyone.  Always a good rule to follow anyway!  

Chapter 20  Going to war against one's enemies comes with rules of war and stipulations. This chapter simply states how they are going to take over the Canaanite land.....they are to destroy everything....for the people have detestable practices and must be dealt with so the Israelites won't be tempted to sin against God in their worship.  The nations that are suffering are doing so because of their rebellion against God already!   

Worship God and God alone!  Give Him the glory in your life today and everyday!!!   

Tomorrow:  21-23 

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Day 64

I love praise and worship music! I'm going to change some of the songs on my playlist on here today.  I'll see if I can find one of them that we sang last night at church.  Its a beautiful day!!!  I've got my sister in laws dog for the day....I had her bring him over to have a "playday" with Choco (our dog!).  They are outside wrestling and will wear each other out for a good hour at least!!!  

Chapter 14  Here we go....maintaining and keeping the holiness of God's name!  The children are affirmed in verse one of who and whose they are.  This chapter, like many others, are about how to live as a holy people.  What to eat and what not to eat.  This should all sound familiar, right?!  If they eat "unclean" things it is regarded as an infringement of the demand that Israel should be a holy people. Everything they did was to conform to the rules, laws, and commands about how to be holy and what makes you clean.   I don't know about you, but I don't need God to tell me that gazelle, antelope and sheep are not on my diet!   When it comes down to it, these are really just rules about hygiene....I mean, who wants to eat a vulture and carries and kills his own food and then you eat it too?! YICK!  

Chapter 15  This law about the 7th year is really a year for the poor people.  The sabbatical year, similiar to the Jubilee year (but it is every 50 years), is a year to cancel all debts.  My version uses the word "remission" of debts...that word literally means "letting fall"  and is even used in terms of the land and crops.  With the crops, they are to leave them uncultivated.  The law does not apply to a foreigner or alien who visits for business.  A neighbor is a fellow member of the covenant.  Not only are debts canceled, but slaves are to be freed...IF they want to go.  And if they do, they take an "awl and push it through his ear lobe into the door!"  WHAT?!!!  Now, I"ll tell you....I piereced my ears in 7th grade during BAND class while Lori Card used an actual earing to poke the hole with!!!!  I wasn't up against a door frame or anything....but it is not how Hannalee will pierce her ears!!!  The commentaries don't comment about the ear lobe to the door!! It just states that the male and female servants are to be treated equal!!  HUM!?  

Chapter 16 More festivals.  We've had these before.  Its all about sacred time, holy time, time for God, really!    This is how they are to pass time.....through their routines and their agriculture.  Each season is accompanied by a festival.  And it is all bound up in the power of the divine!

What season of life are you in right now?  What power are you finding in the divine? 

Tomorrow:  chapters 17-20

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Deuteronomy 11-13

Day 63

Good morning!  Sleeping children! Aaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh! :)  Sweet bliss!   HannaLee is getting pictures made today! She'll be precious.....minus the first bump on her head! I can't believe the day before pics she bumped and bruised her pretty little head! She's crawling like a speed demon and even already pulling up!!! 8 months on Saturday!  She'll be walking before she's one!!!!!! Yikes!

Chapter 11  Moses' final sermon that summarizes all of  chapters 5-11:  the Ten Commandments are vitally important and must never be forgotten!  Again...kind of a repeating theme.....keep the commandments,  be diligent in doing so!  They are to keep in them in mind and to keep them close to their hearts by binding them as a sign to their hands, to teach them to their children, and to think upon them wherever and whenever it is possible.  This is important not only because God said to do, but also because possessing the promised land is conditional upon doing so!!!!  No obedience, no land, no way!!!

Chapter 12   We've had the covenant code, now we get the first law of the land!   The next several chapters are going to lay out the laws of the new land in correlation with the Ten Commandments.  There is to be only one place to worship the Lord. Unlike with other nations, they could worship  their "god" anywhere and anyhow....without much reverence.  Here, however, there is to be one single place to worship and only one place to make sacrifices and burnt offerings. They are to go in and destroy any and all idols that are in the land...these will get in the way of worshiping their one true God.  Idolatry is to be avoided at any and all costs!!!  This goes right along with the first commandment to worship no other gods.  Worship is to be centralized to gain uniformity among the people and to strengthen their spiritual faith as a people.  A relationship with God is demand and His presence will be made known!  Yes, it seems that other nations and "god-worshippers" do such unthinkable practices as sacrificing their own children.  Might be a clue that you need a new god!!!!!

Chapter 13  they will always be tempted to worship idols or gods....from prophets tempting them.  God said that anyone who entices or tempts you they will be put to death!!!!  There must be no evil among them! God is a jealous God.....He holds the power of life and death in His hands.  The words of "death" might be harsh...but after all, there is a lot at stake! 

Lesson's learned:  don't be tolerant of other religions!!  That is what got us "here" in the first place!! Worship God and pray for others!! 

Tomorrow:  chapter 14-16


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Deuteronomy 8-10

Day 62

THE BACHELOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  WHAT IN THE WORLD??!! I can't believe it and I know those girls can't either!!  That's all I'm saying and embarrassed to admit that I watched it all! :)  hahahaha! 

Chapter 8  Don't forget!  Remember! Take care! Be careful!  Remember, remember, remember! Got the point of chapter 8?! :)  Here's another long sermon from Moses warning the "children" with passion and consistency.... "take care to remember that the Lord God who gave you the land, also gave you the commandments to observe!"  This is the major point here!  There is danger in forgetting the Lord because they will forget how God provided for them in the wilderness.  And they'll forget the Lord's commands because of the deceit in their hearts.  They are about to have a life of abundance and prosperity.  To forget the Lord and His commands is to send them into a life of worhsipping idols and gods...which will send them into a pit of destruction -- they will be destroyed like the nations before them if they forget! 

Lesson learned:  don't be complacent and think that you have it all going your way and not need God.  God is always necessary for your life!!! :)  

Chapter 9   Another but brief sermon from Moses preparing them to cross the Jordan River and enter into Canaan.  It is not because they are righteous that they will they inherit the promised land.  They will inherit it because of God...because God promised it to their forefathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  They are to have courage and loyalty and obedience! These are their "prerequisites" for entering into the land.  I don't think I ever realized that God had to drive out people that were already there in order to give them the land!  God was serious about this!!! How did they not get it??!!  Same way we don't always remember and get it today?!  :)   But the nations that were getting destroyed were full of wickedness and tainted with evil spirits.  But they weren't getting the land because of their own actions...it was because of God's power, love, grace and strength.  They were to be bold in the Lord and not be griped by fear.  Remember, don't forget, that God is full of justice and mercy!  He is God after all!  They are to learn from their failures as a people and to boast in God and God alone--NOT in a golden calf!!!!

Chapter 10     Fear the Lord!  Get your heart right and get rid of all the things that keep you from having a fulfilling spiritual life.....get your heart circumsized.......don't have a "heart disease" with God!  Just let him be your doctor!  

Monday, March 2, 2009

Deuteronomy 5-7

Day 61

Have you seen the forecast for this week?! Get out the sun hat and sunscreen!!!! And yard toys and GET OUTSIDE!!!!!!  I feel spring fever comin' on this week!  Temps in the 70's and even 80's!! WOW!!   And we already "spring forward" next Sunday!!!  Sheesh!  Winter just might be over. UH-OH.....that only means one thing to me...better get ready for tornado season now! 

Chapter 5  Okay...this may just look like another summary of the Ten Commandments but it is done together with an affirmation of the covenant.  God's laws are inseperable from His covenant!  There is no faith without the laws AND the covenant. And there is no freedom without the laws AND the covenant.  They are a free people because of God's laws and covenant but there is no freedom without the law! They must follow God's laws in order to be free people.....otherwise they would worship gods and idols and would not be God's people!!!  THIS IS THEIR FREEDOM!!!!  They are to teach these to their children's children and live long and prosper!  

Chapter 6  Love the Lord your God !  These words are the cornerstone of Deuteronomy and are a call to be diligent in obeying the Lord.  These words found here in verse 5 are the words of Jesus in Matthew 22: 37-38.  Moses tells the people very specific instructions:  to write this commandment )"love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength") on their hands and foreheads, to post it on their front door and all the interior doors, to talk about it at breakfast, to talk about it at work, at school, at Walmart, at United, at the beginning of the day and at the end of the day!! :)  This is soooo important for it is the primary requirement for really living!!  REALLY living....loving God...not getting sidetracked into loving something or someone!    There is a picture below of the "mezuzah" that Jewish people use to post this very commandment on their doorframe!    Obeying God takes great intentionality, care, and diligence!  Verse 2 says to "be careful that you don't forget the Lord!"  Be careful to obey the Lord! Be careful to remember Him in your busy day!  Be careful to  work on your relationship with Him!  Be careful, be careful, be careful!!!!  Their ancestors were careless with Him and spent 40 years in the wilderness.....they could have been there in 11 days had they obeyed!!!  A life of love of God is marked by obedience!  
Chapter 7   This is how to live in the promised land....they are looking ahead to a future life in the land they have been hoping and waiting and working for.  No matter what they have been through with the Lord....His love for them is unending.  Moses encourages these wanderers that there is One who longs for them and loves them.  His commands are not out of meanness (for them or us!) but it is out of love....to protect them and their relationship with the Lord!  This story is a foreshadowing of how God chose us, sent His Son to die for us, lives to love and sustain us and is preparing a place just for us....our own promised land!  Amen?!  Amen!!!!!!

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, your soul and strength today! Be careful!

Tomorrow:  chapter 8-10

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Deuteronomy 3-4

Day 60!  WOW!! That's two whole months my friends!!!  How cool!!

Our team LOST! WAAAAAAA!  I was so looking forward to going to the state tourney to watch the girls play.  They just didn't get it done.  Lots of seniors too!  Bummer!!!   PS.....JJ stayed in bed all night.  He was worn out, I don't even think he moved!  :)

Chapter 3  King Og gets defeated.  Why?  I hear you ask....because the Lord handed them over to the Israelites!  If you can't win a war when the Lord hands over your enemy to you...then there's something wrong.  Something wrong like that they aren't being obedient.  But they defeat old King Og and destroy the people completely.  They were struck down and left no survivors.  The enemies had to be completely obliterated.   Why was this necessary?  Well, if there are people are that worship false gods, then the Israelites would be tempted to turn away from their worship and devotion to God and would look towards others false religions. They had to be destroyed in order for the Israelites to remain devoted to the Lord!!  This do though demand faith and courage on the Israelites part. Where do you need faith and courage?  

My version shows several interesting things in parentheses. One is about King Og's "bed."  It states how big it is and what it is made of.  There is a picture of it here today at the bottom of the blog. Scroll on down!  Moses then spends time retracing their history from the beginnings from the time of revelation of God on Mt. Horeb to the eve of the people's entry into the land.  This has been Moses' first sermon and continues to remind the 2nd generation of their failures and victories. He is preparing them to fight and to go ahead and enter the land of Canaan....without him.  He will die before seeing the promised land because of his disobedience right along with Aaron's.  Joshua is about to take over.  Not that he will be another "Moses" for there never was, but he will be a successful leader.  All he has to do is ensure that the people will follow through and carry out the commands and instructions of Moses.  Joshua must faithfully carry these out....sounds simple enough right?! Right! Ha!  :)

Chapter 4  So far (chapters 1-3) we've been reminded about who the Israelites are.  Now, here in chapter 4, we are reminded who GOD is and who God is not.  God is not like the gods of silver, gold, wood or even stone.  This is a great summons and command and warning against idolatry!  They are to be careful and watch themselves closely....so they don't forget the things their eyes have seen.  Don't forget what miracles God has done!!  Don't forget who you are devoted to!  Don't forget!  Then Love.....ah love....a many splendid thing! :)  All of this boils down to the love of the Lord.  Moses keeps preaching about the law of love "because He loved your forefathers and chose their descendants after them and brought them out of Egypt." (v. 37) God did all of this with His power and strength....did it out of love for His own people that He created!!!  Once again we return to the theme of the covenant.  The people are continually reminded of God's unwavering love.  Though times might be difficult and challenges before them seem greater than God...the reality is, is that God is there. In their midst.  In their presence.....loving them all along the way!  The other gods of wood, gold and silver and stone won't love them.  CAN'T love them!!   Only God can love them.  And only God can love us!!! 

Remember......there is no other God than our God of love and grace and mercy and forgiveness!