Saturday, January 30, 2010

Take Ten In '10, Week 5 Reading Schedule

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I have learned so much reading Matthew and Exodus. Even though they are familiar books there have been times where it felt like I was reading them for the first time. Much of it has been so fresh and new. Do you think perhaps the Holy Spirit is teaching me? What a wonderful God we serve and what a wonderful Book He has given us so that we can know him!

This week I was struck by how many times Matthew used the word "authority." Matthew's gospel presents Jesus as The King. And who has all authority if not The King? Not a king but The King! If you are reading through a red-letter edition of the New Testament you probably noticed how much of chapters 5, 6, and 7 are nothing but the words of The King.

Now revisit another king with me that we read about this week. In Exodus we find Pharoah, someone who just thought he was a god. The real King, the LORD God (the 1st person of the Triune Godhead) boldly asks him in Exodus 9:17, "As yet exaltest thou thyself against my people, that thou wilt not let them go?" He had just warned him in verse 14 ". . . there is none like me in all the earth."

But about the time that I began to shake my head because Pharoah didn't let the Children of Israel leave Egypt after about the sixth or seventh plague, the Lord convicted me of my own arrogancy. He told me to read a little bit closer and perhaps I'd see someone I recognized. So I did. . . and I did. I didn't like what I saw. I saw a person who wanted to bargain with God instead of altogether yielding to God's authority.

See if any of this sounds familiar:
  • Moses tells Pharoah that all of the people and all of their flocks must leave Egypt to go to the wilderness in order to hold a feast to the LORD, the God of Israel, because God commanded them to do so. Pharoah retaliates by saying, "Who is this God? I don't know the LORD!" (5:1-2)
  • After the 4th plague Pharoah is a bit worried but thinks he can bargain by allowing them the option of offering their sacrifices as long as they do so without leaving Egypt. In other words, he felt he was being magnanimous by giving them a holiday off of work to partake of a mere religious display. Everything would then resume an air of normality.
  • Prior to the 7th plague is the warning from in chapter 9 mentioned above. Those who refused to listen lost livestock and workers in a terrible hailstorm that is the plague #7. Pharoah stubbornly refuses to yield.
  • After the 8th plague, Pharoah's servants try to reason with him, fearing the total destruction of Egypt. They beg Pharoah to allow the Israelites to leave. Pharoah tries to broker another bargain. What if he allows only the men to leave but not the children? By holding the children as bargaining chips (hostages) he can guarantee that the adult workers will return.
  • After the 9th plague Pharoah agrees that the children can go, too, but the Israelites must leave behind all of their livestock. In other words, the people can go through their superstitious religious rituals if they must but no way this God person should have any claim upon possessions!

Only after the most drastic means necessary does God get Pharoah's attention. God has the authority over everything including life itself. How silly we humans are to think we can hold anything back from him, and yet, in some way, I think I do so every day of my life. Has God ever commanded you to do something that you didn't want to do? Maybe we're a lot more like Pharoah than we want to believe. Next time you find yourself hearing God tell you to do something that you don't want to do pay attention to the ways you try to bargain with Him. See if you follow the steps of Pharoah:

  1. Who are you, God? What right do you have to ask this of me?
  2. How about I just attend Sunday church services even if I don't really put my heart into it? I'm pretty comfortable right where I am thankyouverymuch.
  3. I know you're God and all, but really, shouldn't you just stay in the church where you belong? No need for you to concern yourself with the things I do on my own time.
  4. Well, okay, I'll teach my children about you, Lord. After all, I want them to know enough about you to get a ticket to heaven, but I sure don't want them to be weird or something. What would the neighbors think?
  5. You want my finances, too? Seriously, God. Don't you think you're going just a bit too far?

Who is the king of your life? Okay, I'm done preaching at us. Hope you have a wonderful week with the Lord and His word.

Schedule for February 1-7, 2010


Monday, February 1st
Exodus 16-18
Matthew 14

Tuesday, February 2nd
Exodus 19, 20
Matthew 15, 16

Wednesday, February 3rd
Exodus 21-23
Matthew 17

Thursday, February 4th
Exodus 24, 25
Matthew 18, 19

Friday, February 5th
Exodus 26-28
Matthew 20

Saturday, February 6th
Exodus 29, 30
Matthew 21

Sunday, February 7th
No reading. Use the day to finish any that were missed.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Fen Gets Around

We were gone only 5 days but in that time little Fen learned to synchronize his movements well enough to crawl. Now he no longer stays where I put him, as even poor Pepper was distressed to discover.

Oops! Lost a sock.
Better pick that up. Pepper might think it's something to eat.

Oh, who cares? Just leave it.


I've got more important things to worry about . . . like . . . emptying the DVD cabinet.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The End of a Magical Week

Why, yes, we did have fun later in the week while we were in Orlando! Not that I'm implying that going to church from Monday evening straight through to Wednesday evening with afternoon breaks and evening sleep time wasn't fun because. it. was. Period. It's just that we thought we'd see some of the other things the area had to offer. You know, things that everyone on the planet might recognize.

We spent all day Thursday here:


And all day Friday here:
And even when we're taking a few days off basketball is part of the "magic." Friday evening we watched the Orlando Magic beat the Sacramento Kings. The magic is everywhere in Orlando.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Do Parents and Teenager Speak the Same Language?

In this household? Um...no. But then, Pastor Dad and I studied French, as did our former teenagers, and the one who lives here now wants to learn Spanish. I think you see our problem.

(What? You thought I meant something else by my question? :) )





Anyway, I discovered this opportunity to win Rosetta Stone software and I just must enter for a chance to win their Spanish version. You see, we already have their French...

So if you would also like to participate in the contest or are interested in taking the language immersion trip (which we might want to do in the future if we win and someone learns to speak Spanish) see the information below:

* * * * * * *
Surround your family with language. By taking them there!
Travel to Paris, Madrid and Barcelona with Homeschoolers from all over the United States. Join Rosetta Stone Homeschool, Heart of the Matter and Fusefly on the inaugural Homeschool Language Learning and Networking Trip August 2-11, 2010. Become immersed in new lands, explore history, culture, art and community. And truly speak to the world. For more details visit www.RosettaStone.com/Homeschool/LanguageLearningTrip.
Hurry, registration for the trip ends February 15, 2010.
For your chance to win a Rosetta Stone language product, please visit Heart of the Matter. Entries are being accepted until February 1st.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Beginning Of A Magical Week


A previous tourist in the Orlando, FL area

Our magical week in Florida began with temperatures that were not so different than those experienced by everyone we left behind in southern Ohio. But we were not among those in Ohio this past week. Pastor Dad, the Bear, and I were in Orlando because Pastor Dad was preaching in a conference.

So while others in that vicinity were sad about the unseasonably cooler weather, which quickly became temperatures that we in Ohio would think of as unseasonably warm if they happen at home, we were spending our time marveling at those wearing winter garb.

But perhaps we were poor judges of temperature because we weren't outside much those first few days. We spent our time in church. This was nice as we were able to visit with old friends - fellow pastors or missionaries and their wives - and fellowship around great food, both physical and spiritual. About the only time I was cold was when the air conditioner ran full blast.

Pastor Dad was not the only one of our little family who ministered at this conference. The Bear found himself the sidekick for an evangelist's wife who was riding herd on a bunch of renegades in each a.m. and p.m. children's service. Since the Bear is well-known to her and she thought he had fine credentials for the job,

  1. he has helped her before in our own children's ministries,
  2. he is the uncle of four young 'uns, and
  3. he knew how to wrangle a wiggly two year old to sleep - impressive indeed!

she insisted that he help her. So help her he did.

I guess that I was the only member of the family who did not actively minister this week. I probably should feel guilty about this but I don't. I'd like to think of it as just part of the magic.

The Bear sizing up the pool situation. Is the water warm enough to get in or should he just hit the hot tub?

Take Ten In '10, Week 4 Schedule

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I always enjoy studying the life of Joseph and this week was no different. God brought something encouraging to my attention.

Have you ever noticed that during his slave years God blessed everyone around Joseph abundantly because of Joseph? And even though God granted Joseph great favor he was still a prisoner/slave and an innocent one at that. No one would confuse Joseph with a prosperous man during those trying years!

I wonder if Joseph ever felt resentful at the blessings others enjoyed as a result of his efforts. Or if he ever wondered when God's blessings would be experienced in his own life.

Have you ever felt that way? I have. Joseph's example teaches us to cling to integrity even if it seems that everyone else is reaping the lion's share of the benefits. Perhaps God will use that time to set the stage for something important yet to come as was the case with Joseph.

We will be transitioning into the book of Exodus this week. We've seen how God used Joseph and the Pharoah who respected him to bring the Children of Israel into Egypt and now we'll see how God used Moses and the Pharoah who had little respect for him to take them back out.

Have a good week!


Schedule for January 25-31, 2010

Monday, January 25th
Exodus 1-3
Matthew 6

Tuesday, January 26th
Exodus 4,5
Matthew 7,8

Wednesday, January 27th
Exodus 6-8
Matthew 9

Thursday, January 28th
Exodus 9, 10
Matthew 10,11

Friday, January 29th
Exodus 11,12
Matthew 12

Saturday, January 30th
Exodus 13-15
Matthew 13

Sunday, January 31st
No reading. Use the day to finish any that were not completed this past week.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Going To Great Lengths To Go Great Lengths

Pastor Dad, the Bear, and I have a couple of airline trips in our near future. We've had a bit of trouble in the past with our luggage not arriving at our destination when we do. Since these upcoming trips are working vacations (meaning, Pastor Dad will be preaching soon after our arrival) it is imperative that our dress clothes not take the airline's scenic route.

A solution to this problem presented itself for the first trip. A couple from our church is going to the same city but they are leaving earlier because they are driving. Since we will be meeting and sharing adjoining accommodations in our destination city we sent our dress clothes ahead with them. This way our luggage can take the scenic route and still be there when we need it to be. What a change to have the luggage waiting for us instead of us waiting for it!

It seemed like such a good plan until this morning when I began to get ready for church. It was then that I realized that I had sent all of my good Sunday shoes and other wardrobe amenities along for the ride with the outfits with which they coordinate. I stood in front of my open closet looking at the choices before me and panicked. Did I have undergarments, hosiery, shoes, and clothes to make an acceptable ensemble? The options based upon my limited resources were not promising.

But even if I did look somewhat like a character out of Little Orphan Annie today I hope to be styling once my suitcase and I are again reunited. And dear church members of Pastor Dad's flock, fear not! Your pastor's wife will not embarrass you by meeting the people of that faraway church by dressing like she did today.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Take Ten in '10, Week 3 Schedule

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Can you believe we're getting ready to read for the 3rd week?! I hope that you're excited, especially if you've never read the Bible through in a year before. They say (whoever "they" are) that it takes three weeks for something to become a habit. If this is true, you have now established a wonderful habit, one that I hope will continue the rest of your life.

I had one of those weeks last week that requires the built-in make-up day. But even though I am a few chapters behind in the reading I still have a few tidbits to share.

I noticed some good lessons in prayer this week:

  1. John 14:13 - Whatever is asked in the Son's name will be granted as long as it glorifies the Father! (That rules out selfish requests, doesn't it!)
  2. John 15: 7, 8 - Whoever abides in the Son will have his petitions granted as long as it glorifies the Father! (Living in Jesus guarantees that God will listen to petitions that glorify Him.)
  3. Then an example of this teaching on prayer is plainly illustrated in Genesis 24 when Abraham's servant goes to Haran to find a wife for Isaac. He prays and asks God to show him the person He has in mind (v. 12). The servant didn't even finish his prayer before God answered it (v. 15). The servant worshiped the LORD (glorified God!) because of the answer (v. 26).

In Genesis this week, I was struck by Jacob's conversion. When talking with his father, Isaac, he calls God (27:20) "the LORD your God." But when Jacob meets Him himself, Jacob promises that "the LORD will be my God" (28:21). Each person must have a personal relationship with God and cannot depend upon his parents' relationship with Him.

One of the teachings of Jesus that I found encouraging this week was in John 13:21 and 14:1. Jesus was troubled in spirit because of the betrayal of a follower and because of the "work" that he came to do. Later, he tells his disciples that their hearts are not to be troubled because his "work" would provide a place (legal standing with the Father) for them. With Jesus bearing all of the burden there is no reason to be troubled! Praise the Lord!

We finish the Gospel of John this week and begin the Gospel of Matthew. The writers were both disciples of Jesus but they tell about him from their differing perspectives. John presents Jesus as God whereas Matthew presents Jesus as King. We will also finish the book of Genesis this week.

Bible Reading Schedule for January 18th - 24th, 2010

Monday, January 18

Genesis 36-38
John 20

Tuesday, January 19

Genesis 39, 40
John 21

Wednesday, January 20

Genesis 41-43
Matthew 1

Thursday, January 21

Genesis 44, 45
Matthew 2,3

Friday, January 22

Genesis 46, 47
Matthew 4

Saturday, January 23

Genesis 48-50
Matthew 5

Sunday, January 24

No scheduled reading.
Use today to finish any readings that were missed.

God bless you this week as you spend time with Him in His Word!

Friday, January 15, 2010

That Bossy Woman In The Car

We recently acquired a GPS and I have named her/it "Iris." I'm not exactly sure why I settled on the name Iris. I think it is because Pastor Dad set the voice to sound like a British female and I tried for days to think of that woman's name on one of those British sitcoms. But her name wouldn't come to me no matter how hard I tried to come up with it. All I remembered was that the woman had a floral name and her surname was "Bucket" but that she insisted that it be pronounced "Bouquet."

By the time the Princess reminded me that the name was Hyacinth I had already been calling our GPS "Iris"for several days because I needed a moniker when I yelled at the voice as it tried to send me in ways that I did not wish to go. I couldn't just sit quietly while she assumed her longsuffering air when I'd disobeyed her directions.

"Iris," I said, "that is not a good idea and I refuse to go that way!"

"Recalculating," she sighed.

It is really Pastor Dad's gadget but it doesn't seem to bother him when she gives him driving directions that he doesn't want to follow. But then, he's had a lot more experience ignoring the female voice in the car giving him driving directions.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Are You Going? Here's A Reminder

Yesterday, Pastor Dad and I were looking at the calendar to see what obligations we have in the next few months. That was followed by peeking of our financial plans covering that same time period. Discussing calendars and cash made something click in my mind. I noticed that I had penciled in an event for April 8-10 but had not purchased our tickets for it yet.

So, if - like me - you made plans to attend the 2010 Midwest Homeschool Convention in Cincinnati, then get on over here and buy your tickets today!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Take Ten In ’10, Week 2 Schedule

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Genesis & John Comparison

1:1 – In the beginning

1:1 – In the beginning

1:1 – God created the world

1:1 - God the creator was the Word

3:1 – 15 Serpent as type of deceiver

3:14 – Serpent as type of deliverer

4:1 – physical birth explained

3:3 – 8 spiritual birth explained

15:5 – Abraham given promise of many physical descendants

8:33-59 – Jewish leaders told that they are not Abraham's spiritual descendants




I added something new to my Bible reading routine this year: a journal. It isn't the first time that I've kept notes but it is the first year that I've kept them all in one leather bound volume devoted solely to the things God shows me as I read. I noticed a few interesting things that I just had to show you. The chart above is one that I composed during these first few days of reading. Get a small notebook and keep it next to your Bible while you read. I think you'll be surprised how much better you'll remember the things that you've read.

Schedule for January 11-17, 2010

Monday, January 11th
Genesis 21-23
John 13

Tuesday, January 12th
Genesis 24, 25
John 14

Wednesday, January 13th
Genesis 26-28
John 15

Thursday, January 14th
Genesis 29, 30
John 16, 17

Friday, January 15th
Genesis 31, 32
John 18

Saturday, January 16th
Genesis 33-35
John 19

Sunday, January 17th
No reading. Use the day to finish any readings that were missed this past week.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Forgive Us Our Trespasses

There was a heating problem in one of our church buildings yesterday so most of the little ones who come to prayer meeting with their families were in the main auditorium with everyone else. Given her change of venue, Sweet Pea elected to sit with me.

What began well quickly degenerated into utter chaos when everyone's eyes were closed. The prayer list had been read and several people had been called upon to pray. My head was bowed. My eyes were closed. My ears were hearing . . . thwock! I glanced up to see what had made this unusual sound over the reverential prayer being offered nearby. There was Sweet Pea making a quick return to the pew from the side aisle. Where had she been? And what was that funny noise I'd heard?

I waited but I did not close my eyes. There it was again -- Thwock! -- And there went Sweet Pea out of the pew once more to retrieve a ball made completely out of mini suction cups that was now rolling down the wall!

After some scuffling, a few hushed words of warning, and several frowns between the two of us, Sweet Pea sat peacefully next to me and I resumed an attitude of prayerful reverence.

It lasted about 10 seconds.

I peeked just in time to see Sweet Pea heave a ball of interwoven plastic tubing over the shoulder of the man seated ahead. I gasped and lunged for it. It felt like one of those slow motion moments from a baseball movie where the outfielder dives for the ball to save the win for the home team. Except there was no cheering crowd, I had neglected to bring my fielder's mitt that night, and I didn't land in a supine position on the outfield turf. Oh, yeah. I also didn't make the catch.

The ball missed the man but hit his pew and rolled under the one ahead of him. It sat mocking me with a light show triggered by its impact with the floor. I did manage to get Sweet Pea in my mitts just in time to keep her from sliding under the pews after it. There the ball remained until the man who almost got beaned returned it after church while graciously accepting my heartfelt apologies.

Sweet Pea made a hasty exit from the game soon after her windup and pitch was discovered by her manager mother. I attempted to return to my former attitude of prayer but the only request running through my mind repeatedly was "and lead us not into temptation."

Too late.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Midnight Snacking on Spiders

The average person eats 8 spiders during their lifetime, mostly while asleep.

The average person. This is one time that I'm hoping I'm well below average.

How do I know this tasty tidbit? The Bear told me. He has a new trivia app on one of his ever-present devices and decided to enlighten me.

E-e-e-w!

He then continued by saying this means that I have probably already consumed 4 spiders. How about that? Not only can he gross me out but he can insult me about my age at the same time! Score two foul-shots for the Bear!

In order to combat unwanted and unexpected consumption I have decided that I shall now keep my mouth shut while sleeping. I don't have much hope for this plan's success as I do not seem to be very good at accomplishing such a thing even while awake.

Bon app├ętit!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Fudging on the Resolutions

"Haste makes waist." That's one of my new mottoes. It isn't misspelled either, so the Grammar Police need not write me any tickets for improper homonym usage.

This new motto of mine covers a little problem I have with the ol' New Year's resolutions, specifically the one pertaining to dieting. There was quite a bit of fudge left from the holidays because - try as I might - (and try I did!) I was not able to finish it all before the calendar turned to 2010. So here I am with diet-busting fudge in the house. Oh, and eggnog, too.

I'm eating and drinking it s-l-o-w-ly. Think of that Pepperidge Farm Milano Cookie commercial with the baby floating in the pool while savoring every bite. That's me, except the only ones in this region floating in pools are the polar bears at the zoo. But the savoring part pertains.

And although I am well aware that it is going to "waist" there ain't gonna be any of it going to "waste" so don't even suggest such a horrible thing!

The leftover fudge and eggnog have caused me to adapt a second motto, too. "Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we diet." Just not today. Or yesterday. Or any day where there is fudge and eggnog in the house.

Take Ten In '10, Week 1 Schedule

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If you haven't made the commitment to read the Bible this year it isn't too late to do so. Only two days have passed so it is not too late to catch up.

My own Bible reading plan had me reading the first 5 chapters of Genesis and the first 3 chapters of the Gospel of John through today. I loved reading the words "In the beginning . . ." in both books on the same day! Genesis tells about the creation and John tells about the Creator. Awesome!

Here is this week's reading assignment for those of you who want to read along with me. But even if you aren't using the same plan that I am I cannot encourage you strongly enough to read, READ, READ. Yes! It really is that important.

It's okay to make a resolution to go on a diet but most people are not spiritually fat. More likely, we're all somewhat spiritually malnourished. So leave the dieting for your physical body but feed your spirit well! :)

Schedule for January 4th-9th, 2010

Monday, January 4th
Genesis chapters 6 & 7
John chapters 4 &5


Tuesday, January 5th
Genesis chapters 8, 9, & 10
John chapter 6


Wednesday, January 6th
Genesis chapters 11 & 12
John chapter 7


Thursday, January 7th
Genesis 13, 14, & 15
John chapter 8


Friday, January 8th
Genesis 16, 17, & 18
John chapters 9 & 10


Saturday, January 9th
Genesis 19 & 20
John chapters 11 & 12


Sunday, January 10th
No scheduled reading.
Use today to catch up any missed readings.

I pray the Lord blesses you this week as you read His word.