Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, and James, books #64-#67

Finally, the last post of the books of the Bible to catch up!

Titus

Grace.

2:4-5 They [The older women] can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. Although I didn't have any Titus 2 women in my life, I do hope to be one as I get older.

Grace.

Philemon 

Grace. 

4-5 I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear about your love for all his holy people and your faith in the Lord Jesus. I hope someone can say that about me!

Grace.

Hebrews 

3:13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We need to be sure to do that, even if we don't feel like it!

4:15-16 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. He has been tempted too and was able to withstand it.

8:5 They [the high priests of a new covenant] serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” I was thought it was strange back in the old testament that God was so specific about the measurements of things in the tabernacle, but this made me understand why!  

Grace.

James 

1:14-15 Each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

2:14-17 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. Explaining the importance of having both faith and deeds!

4:13-17 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.  Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil.  If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them. Trying to do more of this and less of making plans .... of course if you fail to plan then you plan to fail!!

Whew!

Hopefully by the end of the week I will be done with this 90+ day challenge!!

O:)
Melissa

1 & 2 Thessalonians and 1 & 2 Timothy, books #60-#63

1 Thessalonians

Grace and Peace.

4:11-12 Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody. Pretty much sums up how we should live.  

5:13 Live in peace with each other. Simply said.

Grace.

2 Thessalonians 

Grace and Peace.

3:13 And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good.  

Grace. 

1 Timothy 

Grace, Mercy and Peace. 

4:4-5 For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.  If someone blesses you with a chocolate cake, eat up!

Grace.

2 Timothy  

Grace, Mercy and Peace.

4:3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.  This probably applies to many "teachers" today.

Grace.

 

1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, books #54-59

Plugging right along ...

1 Corinthians

Grace and peace.

10:12-13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.  Some days this is pretty hard to remember!

10:31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Even laundry and washing dishes.

Grace.

2 Corinthians 

Grace and Peace. 

9:6-8 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.  This one never ceases to amaze me.  The more we give away, the more the Lord blesses!

Grace.

Galatians

Grace and Peace.

5:16-18  So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.  For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.  He speaks over and over about this gratifying the flesh.  Oh how I long for the day to be free of that!!

Grace.

Ephesians

Grace and Peace.

1:17-18 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.  I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people. Moms in Prayer verse!!

Peace and Grace.

Philippians 

Grace and Peace.

2:14-15 Do everything without grumbling or arguing,  so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky  as you hold firmly to the word of life. Hard to remember, but a goal to reach for!

Grace.

Colossians 

Grace and Peace.

3:17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Goes back to 1 Corinthians 10:13.  Do it all in love and in His name!

Grace.

 

 

John, Acts and Romans, books #51, #52 and #53

John
 
Sweet, beloved John.  I love how all the gospels give varying accounts of many of the same events, all seen from different perspectives, and I love how John often refers to himself as "the Jesus loved".  

There are many classic and oft quoted verses in John, but the most interesting thing I found was in 18:10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) This is the only gospel that mentions the servant's name.  Maybe he was a friend of John?

Acts

Full of all the amazing acts of the apostles.  

Takeaways:

16:1-3 Paul came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was Jewish and a believer but whose father was a Greek.  The believers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him.  Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. I wonder how his father felt about him getting circumcised and leaving?

17:26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set out for them and the exact places where they should live.  I love that God is involved in every part of our lives, down to exactly where we should live!

Romans

The first letter Paul wrote, and it starts out with Grace and Peace, a recurring theme in all of his letters. 

Takeaways: 

2:1 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Yeah, I have a little problem with this. 

7:14-24 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin.  I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.  And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.  As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.  For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.  For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.  So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me.  For in my inner being I delight in God’s law;  but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.  What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?  Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!  Yeah, pretty much sums up my life. Thanks indeed be to Jesus!!

And, like all the other letters, closed with Grace.

O:)
Melissa


 

Luke, book #50

Well, I have been so busy reading, working, driving my kids around, going to Texas, sewing, and who knows what else, that I have gotten behind on updating this blog!  So since I am so close I can taste it to being finished I decided to take a break and catch up on posting.  I am sure that there are less than five people who are even reading this, but it is a good reference for me and it keeps me up on my writing skills.

Of course, with Luke, we mainly think of the Christmas story, but it is indeed so much more than that.  As I mentioned in my last post, Dr. Luke is a details guy and he did not disappoint.  

Takeaways:

1:50 His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.  Even when humans have no mercy, GOD always does!

3:1-20 John the Baptist Prepares the Way - Did you ever wonder if John knew Jesus was his cousin?  When you read through the gospels of John's interactions with Jesus, there is nothing that makes you think he knew.


5:5  Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” Reminds me of my favorite story in the old testament about the widow of Zarepheth. (1 Kings 17)  She thought Elijah was crazy to ask her to give him her last bit of bread when she and her son were about to starve, but she did anyway and was blessed beyond measure.  Same here.  We must learn to follow God's directions even when it makes no sense.

6:21-25 In my Bible I have a hand written note that calls this the Sermon on the Plain, these blessings and woes. 

Blessed are you who hunger now,
    for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who weep now,
    for you will laugh. ...

  Woe to you who are well fed now,
    for you will go hungry.
Woe to you who laugh now,
    for you will mourn and weep.

It seems that the NOW point is well made.  Here is these days and times NOW is an important thing, but He wants us to not think about NOW.

8:39  “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him. Often times Jesus would tell people He healed to not tell anyone, but here He specifically told the man to "return home and tell."

9:45 But they did not understand what this meant. It was hidden from them, so that they did not grasp it, and they were afraid to ask him about it. So why exactly was He always telling them things that were "hidden from them"?  Was it because the messages were for us?

12:4 I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. Again, reminds me of the Egyptian Christians who were killed earlier this year.  And all the others killed for following Jesus.  Do not be afraid, they can do NO MORE.

And now it is time to get moving again...hope to write more later today, depending on how my day goes!

O:)
Melissa 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Mark, book #49

You know, I've heard Mark's gospel described as being the newspaper version and reading it back to back from Matthew I can see now why they do!  Mark is like BAM! then this happened and then BAM! this happened and then BAM! this happened!!  No wonder he was able to tell his version in only 16 chapters!

A few interesting takeaways:

2:27 Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.  Again, most typical Sundays in "good Christian homes" involving Sunday School, worship service, teaching, home, back to teach/attend class, worship service and maybe even choir practice is probably NOT what the Lord had in mind for Sabbath.  I think He gave us a clue here in this verse .. Sabbath [rest] was made for man .. but what DOES Sabbath look like here in 2015?  All I think is, there is no rest for the weary ...

5:34  He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” Again, is my faith not strong enough for my healing?

6:47-50 Later that night, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land. He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. Shortly before dawn he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them, but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, because they all saw him and were terrified.  I wonder how many times Jesus has almost passed me by and I didn't recognize him.

9:43-47  If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out.  And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell,  Follows the whole - what does a blessing from the Lord really look like? - theme.  

10:27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”  The whole Nothing is Impossible with God theme is one I have claimed for my family, even when things still seem impossible.  I see it used over and over and one day [soon!] I want to find all the times this is used and make a list of them.  

The next version is Luke's and I sure it will be speaking to that detail-oriented side of me! ;)

Happy Reading!

O:)
Melissa

Friday, April 3, 2015

A bride for keeps, book #48

In between all the other crazy this week I finally had time to pick up another book.  This one was really sweet and fun and really gave me some insight into the whole Mail Order Bride culture.  I was, of course, familiar with it from Sarah Plain and Tall, but this one made me realize the important duty these brides could have, and the chance to have a new life when there was no where to go at all.  

Loved being back with my pioneers!!

Although Everett Cline can hardly keep up with the demands of his homestead, he won't humiliate himself by looking for a helpmate ever again--not after being jilted by three mail-order brides. When a well-meaning neighbor goes behind his back to bring yet another mail-order bride to town, he has good reason to doubt it will work, especially after getting a glimpse at the woman in question. She's the prettiest woman he's ever seen, and it's just not possible she's there to marry a simple homesteader like him.

Julia Lockwood has never been anything more than a pretty pawn for her father or a business acquisition for her former fiance. Having finally worked up the courage to leave her life in Massachusetts, she's determined to find a place where people will value her for more than her looks. Having run out of all other options, Julia resorts to a mail-order marriage in far-away Kansas.

Everett is skeptical a cultured woman like Julia could be happy in a life on the plains, while Julia, deeply wounded by a past relationship, is skittish at the idea of marriage at all. When, despite their hesitations, they agree to a marriage in name only, neither one is prepared for the feelings that soon arise to complicate their arrangement. Can two people accustomed to keeping their distance let the barricades around their hearts down long enough to fall in love? (picture and description from amazon)


Keep Reading!

O:)
Melissa