Friday, March 27, 2015

Joel and Amos, books #36 and #37


I am going to try and keep up better now that life has returned to .... well, I don't think there is any normal these days.  As my good friend says, "Normal is on a setting on the washer."

Plugged through Joel and Amos this morning.  Joel had an interesting effect on me, this little three chapter book.  It started out again, as with so many old testament prophet, doom! doom!  I was sort of ho humming through it thinking it's a wonder any of them are alive today when BAM! 

2:12-13  “Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.

2:18, 25-26  Then the Lord was jealous for his land and took pity on his people. “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten— the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm my great army that I sent among you. You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the Lord your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed.

Again, despite how detestable the acts they have done are, despite how horrible they have been, when they repent He will have pity on them!! 

3:16 But the Lord will be a refuge for his people, a stronghold for the people of Israel.

Then there is Amos, who was not a prophet but a shepherd!  The word of the Lord still came to him!  Lots of judgements and laments here, especially again for His people Israel.  Tying into what I said yesterday about do you seek God more in your misery or your peacefulness, I found chapter 4 interesting.  The Lord mentions all this "bad" stuff He did to them ... gave them empty stomachs, withheld rain, ruined gardens and vineyards, sent plagues, and "yet you have not returned to me," declares the Lord. I guess for the Israelites it was easier to seek Him in the peacefulness.  The Lord reminded them over and over again in chapter five Seek the Lord and live, but they just refused. Seeing the big picture this side of history it makes you just want to scratch your head, but the same could be said out our nation.  

Big news coming the next day I have time to read!

O:)
Melissa


A good chart to have right now ...


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Daniel and Hosea, books #34 & #35

Ok, this picture may be illegally taken, but it is really cute!

Daniel:

It was good to get back to stories again.  At least for a while!  The thing that surprised me about this book was how short it is!  I guess it has been a while since I've been in that book! Obviously there are the stories about Shadrach and his friends and that furnace, then the whole lions thing, and lots of references to end times.

Hosea:

I used to think this book was another all-confusing array of I have no idea what until I read this book, which helped me to see what the Lord was trying to say here with Hosea. The verse that jumped out at me the most was 5:15 ... in their misery they will earnestly seek me.  The question is this ... do you seek God more in your misery or your peacefulness?

Keep reading!!

O:)
Melissa




Twice Loved, book #33

Since I was finally able to get caught up on my Bible reading, and since I found this little novella at LifeWay for $2.97 as a Bargain Book, I decided to read it.  It was certainly a quick read and just to refreshing book I needed to take a break from the prophets!

This book is set in Christmas 1945 with Bev, a single mom whose husband died at Pearl Harbor and Dan, whose wife died of leukemia.  Bev ends up working for Dan at Twice Loved, a used toy store.  Will love follow?  

Beloved, bestselling author Wanda E. Brunstetter tells a touching story of World War II widow and single mother Bev Winters who discovers unexpected kindness—and love—during the Christmas season. Also included in this beautifully embellished book are 1940s recipes and handcrafts along with stories and trivia from Christmas 1945. (picture and description from amazon)

On to Daniel and whatever comes next!  Keep reading!

O:)
Melissa


Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentation, Ezekiel, books #29 - #32, with references to Egyptian Christians in 2015, the Sabbath in 2015, and a timekeeper


And so we begin the prophets.  Although I do love the Old Testament more than New, it is really the history I love more than the prophets.  I think they were not meant to be read so quickly.  

Isaiah:

Not to be read while on a 16 hour bus with middle schoolers.  But alas, I tried. Love seeing the foreshadowing to Jesus and the final days...
11:1 - A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse ....
11:11 - In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the remnant that is left of his people ....
26:19 - But your dead will live; their bodies will rise.  You who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy.
27:13 - in that day a great trumpet will sound ...
29:6 - Suddenly, in an instant, the Lord Almighty will come ...
All of chapter 53


Jeremiah:

Poor guy.  No wonder they call him the Weeping Prophet.  He had a huge load to tow.  But the thing that really hit home to me in this was chapter 11 ...
21 Therefore this is what the Lord says about the people of Anathoth who are threatening to kill you, saying, “Do not prophesy in the name of the Lord or you will die by our hands”— 22 therefore this is what the Lord Almighty says: “I will punish them. Their young men will die by the sword, their sons and daughters by famine. 23 Not even a remnant will be left to them, because I will bring disaster on the people of Anathoth in the year of their punishment.”  Beside this in my Bible I wrote, "Hang tight, Egyptian Christians, the day of reckoning WILL come!!"

Also, as I was reading 17:19-27 where it talks about keeping the Sabbath holy, it made me wonder what Sabbath looks like here in 2015.  Have we totally gone off the deep end with all we do on Sundays, or does Sabbath just look different in this day and age and culture?

And my deep desire right now:

31:3-4 I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.  I will build you up again, and you, [Melissa], will be rebuilt. Again you will take up your tambourines and go out to dance with the joyful.

Lamentations:

Short and sad, but also filled with hope.

Chapter 3:21- 26, 55-57
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.” The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.

I called on your name, Lordfrom the depths of the pit. You heard my plea: “Do not close your ears to my cry for relief.” You came near when I called you,
and you said, “Do not fear.”

Ezekiel: 

The thing I noticed right off about old Ezekiel was his love of dates.  In many chapters he would start out ... in the ___ year, in the ____ month, on the ____ day ... I started counting how many times he did that and it was 13 times that he specifically mentioned a date like that.  I love how the Lord shows Ezekiel's personality through that!  Other than that, with all the laments, prophecies, parables, allegories, the other thing that kept running through my head was, "How on earth did he remember all that The Lord said?  It all starts, "The word of the Lord came to me and said ..." and it is some pretty specific stuff.  Sometimes in other times it might say "The Lord had me take a stone and write this..." but not in this book.  Either he had an amazing memory or the Lord indeed caused him to remember every word that was said.

So whew!  I finally got caught up from the trip to Disney and am back on track!

O:)
Melissa


Saturday, March 21, 2015

Tending Roses, book #28

Ahhh.... a sweet break from the old testament.  Not that Psalms and Proverbs are all that bad, but I was reading Isaiah in between with this, so yeah.  

For that one person following me, you know I have all these stacks around my room I was trying to work through.  Well, once I started the 90 day challenge and then got off track with book club I figured that whole plan of reading around the series' was going to go kaput.  But then there was a strange twist of fate that allowed me to start reading from the Tending Roses stack so I jumped in.  My mom had raved about how this was one of her favorite books in a long while so I was anxious to read it.  

The summary from Amazon pretty much covers the basics of what happened, but it was how it happened that I loved.  There were two particular quotes that stuck out to me.  

The first one is from some writings Grandma Rose was doing to "speak" to Katie as she relived memories of her childhood.  In this particular one, Breaking, Grandma told about troubles her and her husband had early on in their marriage and how they worked through them.  In the end she said this, 
 
Sometimes we must try to view the actions around us with forgiveness.  We must realize that they are going on the only road they can see.  Sometimes we cannot raise our chins and see eye to eye, so we must bow our heads and have faith in one another. 

That one really opened my eyes to issues I have with a certain person.  I need to let go of what I am trying to make them see what I see and realize they can't even see my road, as I can't see theirs.  We need to bow our heads together to find a new road.  

Secondly, at Grandma Rose's 90th birthday party someone asked her what her secret was for living for so long.  After thinking a good long while she said,
“The secret to a happy life is not in getting what you want.  It is in learning to want what you get.  Don’t waste your time crying over what you’re not given.  When you have tears in your eyes, you can’t see all the beautiful things around you.”

How many of us are crying over what we do not have and don't even want what we have? How many of us have something amazing and can't even enjoy it, because it is not what we think we want.  Ouch.  



The lessons that most enrich our lives often come at unexpected moments and from unlikely places. That’s what Katie Benson learns when she moves temporarily—with her husband Ben and baby son—to her grandmother’s Missouri farm. She arrives at a time of crisis and indecision—struggling with the demands of being a new mother, a not-so-new wife, and a well-meaning but often impatient granddaughter. The family has assigned her and Ben the job of convincing Grandma Rose, who’s become increasingly stubborn and forgetful, to move off the land that means so much to her and into a nursing home. Katie knows such a change would break her grandmother’s heart. But what is right for her grandmother? And what is right for herself and her family?
Just when Katie despairs of finding answers, she discovers her grandmother’s journal. A beautiful handmade notebook, it is full of heartwarming stories that celebrate the virtue of patience, the power of love, and the importance of family, friendship, and faith. Stories that make Katie see her life—and her grandmother—in a completely new way…and lead her toward a new, more meaningful future… (picture and description from amazon)

I finished Isaiah on the way down to Disney and really wanted to keep up but that was next to impossible.  I will be spending the next several days catching up before I can stick my nose into another non-Bible book!

Keep Reading!

O:)
Melissa

Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs, books #25- #27

After a hiatus of this little crazy trip to Disney with 170 middle schoolers, I am trying to catch up on all my blogging and reading.  It had every intention of attempting keep up with my Bible reading while gone, but 14 hour days in the heat and walking will wear a body out!!

Proverbs ... some of my favorites:

10:4 Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth.

14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. 

16:9 In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. ~ This one was especially dear to us in 2003.  We had just moved to "the big house" and the little ones were feeding themselves, potty training for Leah was on the horizon, there was lots and lots of room to spread out, and we had almost survived the baby years.  Then, a few months later, I found out I was pregnant with Katie.  Yeah, that was not in OUR plan, but she turned out to be exactly what we needed!!

18:21 Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. ~ Companion verse to above!!

21:2 A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart. ~ And again!

Ecclesiastes

The main thing that struck me this time was in 3:2-8, A Time for Everything.  In that little ditty, the point to remember is that HALF of all the events mentioned include pain.  The LORD made pain and joy both for us to experience.

Songs of Songs

7:11 Come, my beloved, let us go to the countryside, let us spend the night in the villages.  

Take some time away and spend it with your spouse.  Then read the rest of the book together.  The end.

O:)
Melissa