Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Blind Love and Blessings: First Things First

My first rocking chair and a baby book similar to the one that documents my progress through toddlerhood

When I was a small child my parents kept a baby book that documented many of the firsts in my young life: first tooth, first steps, first foods, and things of a similar nature. If you ask my mom a question about one of my early accomplishments she might pull the book out of her cabinet to find the answer.

My parents kept track of milestones because they love me.

Later there were firsts that didn’t make get recorded in a baby book. Perhaps you can recall some of the same firsts in your life.

Do you remember your first day of school? Or the first time you rode a bicycle without training wheels? How about your first pair of high heels (if you are a woman) or the first time you asked a young woman for her phone number (if you are a man)? Do you remember your first day of high school? How about college?

I remember the first time I saw the young man who would be my husband. He was standing at a podium making announcements during my college freshman orientation. The first time he saw me was a few days later when I was the first student to walk in a door at the same college on the first morning of classes. He was working in the foyer and was the first person I encountered. I'm not sure it was love at first sight for either of us, but Pastor Dad likes to tell me that he loved me before I loved him. I’m not sure if that’s true either, but perhaps it is.

Those are good firsts, but every person experiences bad ones also. Just how bad depends on whether they are merely distressful or truly devastating. Sometimes it takes time to know the difference.

Do you remember the first time someone humiliated you and you wanted to crawl into a hole and die? Or do you remember the first time you embarrassed yourself so badly that you thought you would never be able to laugh about the incident? I remember those firsts, too, and they don’t seem as bad now as they did when they happened.

I also remember the first time my hair fell out in such large patches that they could not be covered by styling. It was not the first time this autoimmune system disorder had caused me to lose some hair in the 6 years since it first attacked, but this was the first time that it had been this severe.

This first occurred in the shower on a busy Sunday morning when we had a guest speaker scheduled. When I called Pastor Dad he told me to stay home. As much as I wanted to do so, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I already owned the red felt hat that I still wear in season; in those years I wore it paired with a certain winter suit. It was cool enough that day for the ensemble's seasonal debut.

The hat many years later. Perhaps it should be bronzed like my baby shoes were as another token of growth.

Once that first shock passed I had to run an emotional gauntlet when dealing with people. I found that some possess refreshing wellsprings of kindness I never knew existed. Unfortunately, I also discovered that the reverse is true. Honestly, I was angry with individuals who said or did the wrong thing. Those incidents are best forgotten. Whether they were deliberate is not something I can assess. However, I am acutely aware of my own faltering thoughts, words, and deeds when dealing with others experiencing grief and that is enough to help me forgive.


My parents are not the only persons who ever noted my actions in a book. The Bible says that God keeps records, too. I wonder sometimes what is in that book and what it will be like when He brings it out for review. When my parents took note of my early deeds I was not even aware that these were noteworthy, those routine accomplishments that a growing child achieves, because I was immature and without understanding.

I might be surprised at the things God records too, being too spiritually immature to realize the consequences of some of my actions. There might be incidents there that I do not want recorded. Honestly, I was sometimes angry with God in those early days because I knew He had the ability to keep this trial out of my life but chose to allow it anyway. I am ashamed of the times when bitter waters spouted from my heart instead of the sweet waters of praise to my God. These are best forgotten because scripture tells me that through the words and deeds of Jesus Christ I have been forgiven.

I am reminded that the book my mother kept contains positive milestones in my life. Nowhere in that book is my first temper tantrum or the first time I disobey my parents recorded. As my heavenly parent, does God's journal show my spiritual growth?

Although I cannot say with any certainty what is in that book I know that God loves me, too. Actually, He loved me first and of all the people who love me He loves me best. I have no reason to fear what He has recorded.

The Beloved Apostle says in I John 4:18, 19

 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He tht feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us.

Before my children, Pastor Dad, or even my parents - all of whom have helped me to realize that what was at first a devastating experience is now merely a distressing one - loved me, God loved me. Because of this truth, I love Him and do not fear what the record says but am determined that the record be one that shows spiritual growth and progress.

(Beautiful words! Beautiful voice! Beautiful hair! )

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Bible Reading Schedule & Memory Verses for May 28 - June 3, 2012

May 28 - June 3, 2012

Monday, May 28, 2012
I Samuel 27-29
Acts 25

Tuesday, May 29, 2012
I Samuel 30, 31
Acts 26

Wednesday, May 30, 2012
II Samuel 1-3
Ephesians 1

Thursday, May 31, 2012
II Samuel 4, 5
Ephesians 2, 3

Friday, June 1, 2012
II Samuel 6, 7
Ephesians 4, 5

Saturday, June 2, 2012
II Samuel 8-10
Ephesians 6

Sunday, June 3, 2012
No scheduled readings; if necessary use the day to catch up if you are behind

Memory verses taken from the schedule:
  • Ephesians 1:3-6
  • Ephesians 2:1, 2
  • Ephesians 2: 8-10
  • Ephesians 2:13
  • Ephesians 4:32
  • Ephesians 6:11-17

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Thursday Tune-up: Mid-year Reminder

Remember those New Year's Resolutions you made back at the end of December, 2011? I hate to alarm you, but that was 5 months ago! How are you doing with them?

Yeah, me too.

Or at least, that's the way it has been with some of my goals. There are things I wanted to do that I haven't done yet but there are other things that are becoming part of the fabric of my life. Let me review a few of my "successful" resolutions:
  • Sing solos in church. Check. (The most recent time was last Sunday morning.)
  • Ride my bike more than I did last year. Check. (Pastor Dad and I biked 11 miles this past Tuesday and yet we were still able to retain the ability to walk without wincing (Win-win!). Since we didn't even take the bikes off the ceiling mounts in 2011 this goal has already been completed. Every bike ride we take the rest of this year is considered a BONUS!)
  • Regularly read my Bible. Check. (Keeping up with the schedule!)
Okay, I'm not even going to list the things that haven't come to fruition yet. I need to get busy on them in the 7 months that are still left in 2012.

What about you? Have you kept up with your Bible reading? If not, I can help. You can begin ANYTIME to read your Bible and with summer reading programs kicking off perhaps this would be the optimal time for you to add daily Bible reading to your routine. It is a lie to think you need to wait until January 1, 2013 to try again!

If you'd like to receive a yearly schedule designed to run from June 1, 2012 - May 31, 2013 sign up for the weekly email containing the week's assigned passages. Like the regular 2012 schedule there will be no reading on Sunday. But for this schedule there will be a highlighted verse that you might want to memorize or meditate on all week.

Or if you prefer, you can take 18 (actually, 19) months to read through the Bible. This choice is for those who do not want to read both Old Testament and New Testament passages simultaneously and would prefer to have no assignments on Sundays or holidays (hence the need for 19 months). This schedule is designed for June 1, 2012 - December 31, 2013 and will be sent each week by email.

Contact me by email if you wish to sign up.  Tell me which plan you want to receive. It is not necessary to give your name or in any way to reveal your identity. I will not use your email address for any other purpose than the weekly delivery of the assigned reading.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Blind Love and Blessings

What follows is the introduction to a love story between a man, a woman, their family, and God.

One early spring morning my husband and I were looking out the window at our bird feeders when a male cardinal appeared with his mate. He sported the kind of brilliant red plumage that often causes me to run for the camera. The female, on the other hand, was not so lovely, but her lack of beauty went beyond the muted colors for which female cardinals are known. She was grossly disfigured! Scars covered her body and even her crowning glory, the feathered crest that identifies the finch species, was absent. She looked as though she had survived a battle with hedge clippers and perhaps she had.

While we watched the pair eat – first the female and then the male – my husband said jokingly, “What does he see in her?!” This question is one that I often ponder but rarely in conjunction with birds. As I slowly turned to give my own mate a meaningful look I felt the Lord prodding, “It’s time to talk about it.” 

Talk about it? Really? I wasn’t easily convinced so it has taken time to decipher whether this was the leading of the Lord or just preoccupation with something that could easily be mistaken for a heavenly nudge. This state of indecision was such that I searched the scriptures for almost a year. You see, it wasn’t this spring that Pastor Dad and I were looking at the cardinals. It was last year. I haven’t seen her recently and she is unmistakable! I tell you all this to say that I really don't want to tell you all this at all!

But God is good and after much prayer and Bible study I think I understand why this story must be told. Somehow God will get glory from it. And somewhere someone needs this information. Isn’t that what everything that touches our life is supposed to do? Glorify God and help others? Perhaps it is by helping others that we glorify God. I don’t know. I only know that it is our responsibility to tell and it is up to God to do with it as He wills. If I'm wrong and the Lord wasn't prodding the only thing I have to lose is a bit of dignity, but if the Lord was nudging and I don't tell I will be disobedient to His leading. I'd rather risk my dignity.

My husband and I have agreed to relate the story by telling it through two different perspectives, his and mine, and by means of two different blogs, his and mine. We agree that it is risky to leave ourselves open to either criticism and/or voyeurism but it seems the only way to give the glory to our God. To not talk about the things the Lord has taught us is to fail to acknowledge God’s goodness.

And that reveals another problem. There is always the fear that someone will think the motive is self-exultation. Such a thing seems sadomasochistic, but I know we all must stand vigilant to be able to avoid pride so we covet your prayers in this matter. Pray that we do not forget that it is God who sustains us through His grace.

If I was clever I would give our story the title of “The Love Between the Man of the Cloth and the Woman in the Hat” with the subtitle “How God taught a pastor and his wife lessons in Righteousness, Relationships, and Reality.” Or maybe the subtitle would be “. . . lessons in Faith, Family, and Facades” or even “. . . lessons in Burdens, Blessings, and Beauty.” (This paragraph was included to show that my sense of humor has not suffered while wrestling with the nudging.)  J
These articles will not appear according to any certain schedule but will be available as we're able to produce them. They will be linked between this blog and Pastor Dad’s (Exception Noted). Also, they will not be the sole topic of discussion. Just as our lives continue with a certain sense of normalcy, so will our blogs. Together Pastor Dad and I invite you to share in our attempt to “tell [you] how great things the Lord hath done for [us] and hath had compassion on [us]. “ (Mark 5:19)

I am closing this introductory article with a music video of the song that reminds me of the many prayers I prayed asking God to bless in this situation. He did bless, just not in the way I anticipated.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Timeline for Samuel and Romans

This week we continue in the same books that we began last week, the Old Testament book of I Samuel and the New Testament book of Romans. Is anyone besides me being blessed by reading Romans?! Wow!!!! Yes, I read it every year, but still, "Wow!!!!" What an encouragement to be more like Jesus!

Since I've mentioned Romans let's begin our synopsis there. This Pauline epistle was written near the end of Paul's third missionary journey, perhaps while Paul was in Greece (Acts 20:2-3). It's spot on the timeline would be about AD 57. Paul gave this letter to a woman named Phebe (Romans 16:1, 2) to deliver. As Lockyer's book, All the Women of the Bible, suggests Phebe (or Phoebe, as is the modernized spelling) was a woman Paul held in high esteem as evidenced by his glowing description of her and the fact that he trusted her with this important missive.

At the time of this writing, Paul had not been to Rome. The theme of the letter (doctrinal teaching) would suggest that he did not know many, if any, of the recipients personally and therefore was undertaking the task of educating them through writing.

Our other scheduled book, I Samuel, is one of two named for the beloved (and last) judge of Israel who reluctantly assisted the nation into transitioning into a monarchy. I Samuel is a historical book that was in part authored by the man for whom it was named. Of course, he did not write the book in its entirety because his own death is recorded in chapter 25. The complete book itself may have been compiled by Levitical scribes many years later but it seems probable that Samuel's notes and writings would be used.

Therefore, the date of the writing and the time of the events told in this history are not synonymous. This book was probably compiled after Israel and Judah were divided following the Rehoboam-Jeroboam confrontation. The events themselves  begin with Samuel's birth which occurred during the time of the judges. The timeline of Jones in his volume The Chronology of the Old Testament places Samuel's birth at approximately 1150 BC.  He also places the reign of Saul at 1095-1055 BC. The death of Israel's first king and the heir apparent are the final events of the book.

Monday, May 21, 2012

"Amazing Bible Memory" Monday

Many of us think it is impossible to memorize long portions of scripture. Here is a link (scroll down when you get to the web page) to someone who has proven otherwise. Meet the Bible memory man, Tom Meyer. And if you are in the Cincinnati area this coming July you might want to meet him in person, too.  He has some  memorization hints at the website, too, that go far beyond my method of using index cards. His ability tends to verify the success of his method.  So go watch, and read, and be inspired. Then get busy memorizing!

Here are some verses from this week's schedule that you might like to commit to memory. And there is one that I forgot to mention last week. (How did that happen?)

  • I Samuel 15:22
  • I Samuel 16:7
  • I Samuel 17:45
  • Romans 10:8-10
  • Romans 10:14
  • Romans 10:17
  • Or perhaps the passage: Romans 10:9-17
  • Romans 11:33
  • Romans 12:1-2
  • Romans 12:10
  • Romans 13:8
And the verse I neglected to list last week:
  • Romans 1:16
Like I said then, maybe it would be a good idea to memorize the whole book of Romans so that you don't miss any good ones.  Tom Meyer might be the inspiration I need to do that. :)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Not Too Late to Begin

In the last couple of weeks I've heard several people say that they began reading their Bible in January but got behind somewhere along the way and subsequently quit. May I make a suggestion? Why not begin on June 1st and read the Bible through from June 1, 2012 to May 31, 2013? Nowhere is it written that you must begin a new Bible reading schedule on January 1st.

To make sure you have no excuse I am going to offer private assistance by email to those who want it.  Once a week I will send reminders to anyone who requests it. And to further encourage people to read the Bible - which really is my goal, after all - there are multiple options.

1. The regular 2012 semi-chronological (perhaps best described as "historically contextual") plan modified to begin June 1, 2012 and end May 31, 2013. It includes daily assignments from both Testaments, Old and New. No readings will be scheduled on a Sunday!

2. The 18 month plan. This modified version begins June 1, 2012 and ends December 31, 2013.  The New Testament will not be read until the Old Testament is completed: truly more chronological/contextual! No assigned readings on Sundays!

Here is how this would work:
  • Send me an email ( stating that you would like to receive weekly email reminders and the weekly schedule for the plan you've chosen. You must include your email address (your name is not necessary) and which plan you want to receive (stating Plan 1 or Plan 2 would suffice).
  • Once a week (usually on the weekend) you will receive your email reminder and schedule for the week. Each will have a suggested memory verse for the week.
  • There is no cost to participate but the rewards could be eternal.

Bible Reading Schedule: May 21-27, 2012

May 21-27, 2012

Monday, May 21, 2012
I Samuel 14, 15
Romans 10, 11

Tuesday, May 22, 2012
I Samuel 16, 17
Romans 12, 13

Wednesday, May 23, 2012
I Samuel 18, 19
Romans 14, 15

Thursday, May 24, 2012
I Samuel 20, 21
Romans 16

Friday, May 25, 2012
I Samuel 22-24
Acts 21, 22

Saturday, May 26, 2012
I Samuel 25, 26
Acts 23, 24

Sunday, May 27, 2012
Attend church!
Catch up any readings that were missed.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Memory Verse Monday

Here are some verses from recent weeks that you might want to commit to memory:
  • Joshua 23:11
  • Joshua 24:15 (portions of this verse are well known but try the complete verse)
  • Ruth 1:16
  • Ruth 4:14
  • I Samuel 2:1-10 (The psalm of Hannah after taking Samuel to serve the LORD at the tabernacle)

  • I Corinthians 2:9
  • I Corinthians 4:1, 2
  • I Corinthians 6:19-20
  • I Corinthians chapter 13 in its entirety
  • I Corinthians 15:3, 4
  • II Corinthians 2:14-16
  • II Corinthians 4:16-18
  • II Corinthians 5:9, 10
  • II Corinthians 5:17
  • II Corinthians 7:10
  • II Corinthians 9:6-8
  • II Corinthians 10:3, 4
  • II Corinthians 12:9
  • Romans 2:11-13
  • Romans 3:10-18
  • Romans 3:23
  • Romans 5:1, 2
  • Romans 5:6-8
  • Romans 5:12
  • Romans 5:19
  • Romans 6:12
  • Romans 6:23
  • Romans 7:24-25
  • Romans 8:1
  • Romans 8:15-17
  • Romans 8:28-31
Memorizing the whole book of Romans would be a splendid idea if you have the ability to do so. So much meat to digest that it is hard to pick out a few verses for the list!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Bible Reading Schedule: May 14-20, 2012

May 14-20, 2012

Monday, May 14, 2012
Ruth 3, 4
Romans 1, 2

Tuesday, May 15, 2012
I Samuel 1, 2
Romans 3, 4

Wednesday, May 16, 2012
I Samuel 3-5
Romans 5

Thursday, May 17, 2012
I Samuel 6-8
Romans 6

Friday, May 18, 2012
I Samuel 9, 10
Romans 7, 8

Saturday, May 19, 2012
I Samuel 11-13
Romans 9

Sunday, May 20, 2012
Attend church!
Catch up any readings that were missed.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Family Friday: Counting Multiple Blessings

Last night the ladies of our church enjoyed our annual Mother-Daughter-Friend banquet and the speaker is a lady that our family has known for several years. Early in 2010 she received the news that her daughter was carrying quads! Our family was privileged to follow the story from the time the family received the news and we shared information with our church so they, too, could pray. God answered in miraculous ways and many ladies who prayed were in attendance last night. They were able to meet the grandmother, our guest speaker, and her daughter, the mother of the babies. No, the babies weren't there. I know someone will ask me about this.  :)

A DVD that was shared with our group is also online. The link to that is here. I thought some that weren't able to attend the banquet, and perhaps some that were, might like to see it.

The family was also featured by the cable series Facing Life Head On "Episode 17: A Blessing Times Four." You can find the link to that episode here. There is also a link at the site of an update that was filmed several weeks prior to the birth of the babies.

When I count my blessings my children and grandchildren are definitely included but so far all of them have arrived one at a time. This is an amazing and beautiful story of what can happen when those blessings are multiplied and it is much too good not to share!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wednesday's Wisdom: A Few Random Thoughts

Getting behind in my posting recently has served as a reminder that neglecting the blog schedule is one thing but neglecting the Bible reading schedule is quite another. My first word of wisdom is that as you reach a busy time in your life, which these days pretty much covers anyone who lives in the northern hemisphere, make your Bible reading and prayer time your top priority. Nothing is more important than spending time with the Lord. Relationships become weak and sickly whenever they are neglected and the same holds true for the spiritual relationship.

Speaking of relationships, it will not be long until we celebrate the day I officially became a mother. I say officially because I cradled my daughter in my womb many months before I cradled her in my arms. Anyway, in honor of the "second anniversary of her 29th birthday" my oldest daughter, Karen, is having a give-away on her blog. The wise person will register to win this fabulous prize. Does that mean I'm going to enter? Of course!

And speaking of birthdays, it was pointed out by my friend, Vicky, that I did not post a link to the recipe I used last week when making strawberry pies for The Bear's birthday. That was probably because I had the recipe written on a piece of paper and not bookmarked on the computer. But that has been corrected now and I am more than happy to share the recipe and give the person that submitted it the credit due them.  You can find the recipe here.

There were a few suggestions under "reviews" that I intend to try (see #5 below the recipe at the link) but the recipe I used was almost exactly like the original at the link. I may cut the sugar back a bit as one reviewer suggested.

And as a final tip, let me suggest that it is wise to shop frugally for the ingredients. I bought store brand pie crusts for the sake of time but homemade crusts would have greatly reduced the price. The same could be said for whipped cream made from heavy cream and piped onto the pies with a tube decorator (I'm a bit snobbish when it comes to whipped cream because I prefer the real thing over the topping in tubs) but a can of the real stuff had to suffice. There was just barely enough in the can to go around the two pies.  The cost of the pies (minus crusts and cream) breaks down as follows:
  • 3 quart cartons of strawberries (used 2 1/2 for the pies) = $2.50. Aldi had them for $0.99 per carton;
  • 1 package of strawberry gelatin = $0.34 from Aldi
  • 3/4 cup of sugar = who knows but not much; I estimate less than $0.25 based upon 11 1/4 cups per 5 lb bag
  • candles = recycled from previous birthday parties; rare is the person in this family who gets new candles (and when they do it gets deducted from the cost of their gift. Just kidding).

And if you've read this far perhaps you'd like to see what happened to the leftover strawberries and a few melted chocolate chips:

They don't look as pretty as they would have if moved to a another platter but The Birthday Boy requested them at the last minute.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tuesday's Timeline: Let's Get Caught Up!

Four books will be highlighted today even though one of them has already been completed on the reading schedule.  (Sorry about that! But I hope all have kept up with their reading.)

Let's look at the Old Testament Timeline first. 

As we made our way into the book of Joshua we had just completed the Pentateuch which concluded the transfer of leadership to Joshua the son of Nun (descendant of Joseph through the tribe of Ephraim; see Numbers 13:8 and I Chronicles 7:22-27). I am always momentarily sad whenever I read of Moses' final good-by to the Children of Israel, his ascent up Mount Nebo, and his viewing of the Promised Land from the heights before his death, but the sadness gives way to thankfulness as I remember that God did not leave His people without a guide (even the name Joshua means "Jehovah saves"[1]) and that Moses' ascent went much higher than Mount Nebo that day as he was taken to the very presence of his friend, Jehovah. The impatient me grieves that Moses didn't get to go with this new nation into the land of Israel but the patient me that has 20/20 vision knows that Moses' feet did touch the Promised Land when he met with Jesus there on the Mount of Transfiguration.

With that in mind let's first survey Joshua. 

If you are still keeping a timeline, and I hope you are, the year would be approximately 1451 BC or about 2550 years after the world's creation on a strict, literal timeline based upon events and dates given by Moses in the first five books of the Old Testament.  Joshua died at the age of 110 (Joshua 24:29) which would have occurred in approximately 1424 BC[2].

With the exception of the passage that details Joshua's death, it is believed that Joshua was the author of this history. Actually, Joshua was probably the author of the last few chapters of Deuteronomy that dealt with the death of Moses as well. Someone like Samuel probably added the last few verses to the book of Joshua.

The history given in the book tells of the seven years of conquest with the resulting land division. The spiritual description tells us of the failures of the Israelites to rid the land of its idolatrous inhabitants. Bible readers know that this sets the stage for the book of Judges.

After the death of Joshua the people had no strong leader. This was meant to be a good thing as the LORD Himself intended them to follow Him and Him only. We are told that the people served the LORD during Joshua's lifetime and that of the elders that had experienced the miraculous events of the conquest (Joshua 24:31) but that once that generation had died their offspring did not follow the Lord but worshipped the idols of the people they had allowed to remain in the land (Judges 2:6-13). Thus began the cycle of sin, slavery, and salvation (or degradation, depression, and deliverance) for which the book is known. The people turned from God, He punished them, they repented, and He sent someone to deliver them from their predicament. Oh, how like these people I am!

As for our timeline, we can put the date of the events that transpired from about 1425 BC to at least 300+ years later (see Judges 11:26).  This all fits within the framework that Paul gave for the 450 years in Acts 13:20. I Kings 6:1 tells us that construction on Temple began 480 years after the Children of Israel left Egypt and in the fourth year of Solomon's reign.  Using the date of 1491 BC as the Exodus and 1451 as the entry into Canaan we can date Jephthah's war with the Ammonites at about 1152 BC. We also know that the Philistines ruled over the Israelites for 40 years (Judges 13:1).  Added to the years that Jephthah judged, which were six, we can add the 40 years to see that the judges listed in this book judged until about 1095 BC which would be about the time that Samuel anointed Saul to be king. Add the 40 years of Saul's reign plus the 40 years of David's reign with the 396 years from the Exodus to the coronation of Saul, which ended the period of the judges, you will arrive at 476 years. Add to that to the 4 years of Solomon's reign when he began Temple construction and you will arrive at 480 years. (See resource #2 for a discussion of the 450 year period of judges.)

The main narrative that is the skeleton of the timeline ends with the death of Samson in chapter 16. Since it is believed that Samuel was the author of Judges it would be likely that he was led of the Holy Spirit to add the story of Micah and the idolatry of the tribe of Dan in chapters 17 and 18 to explain Samson's way of life. Chapter 19 sets the stage for the introduction of the lineage of Saul from the tribe of Benjamin in I Samuel. Samuel himself was the judge that followed Samson. It isn't stated which generation in Saul's family tree had to capture his wife from the women of Jabesh-gilead or the daughters of Shiloh that came out to dance but it is for certain that one did (see I Sam. 9:1 for Saul's lineage back as far as Aphiah, Saul's 3rd great-grandfather).

But before we get ahead of ourselves - and our reading schedule - let's take a look at the story of Ruth.

Whereas King Saul's lineage merited the disgraceful last chapter of the book of Judges, King David's family history is told in the beautiful book of Ruth. This story also took place during the time of the judges. Boaz and Ruth were the great-grandparents of King David and this Boaz was the son of Nahshon and his wife, Rahab, the former harlot from Jericho.

Already it can be seen that this is a story of grace. Although David was of the tribe of Judah, his family tree included the former idolaters, Rahab the prostitute and Ruth the Moabitess. It's the story that explains to us the work of the kinsman-redeemer which would ultimately be fulfilled in their descendant Jesus (a word that means that same as Joshua: Jehovah saves).

The book of Judges might be labeled a tragedy. If Ruth were classical literature it would be labeled a comedy. After the depressing ending of the book of Judges, when every man did that which was right in his own eyes (Judges 21:25) give thanks for the book of Ruth where we find that "blessed be the LORD, which hath not left [us] this day without a kinsman (which means "redeemer'), that his name may be famous in Israel. And he shall be unto thee a restorer of they life, . . ." (Ruth 4:14,15

And finally, we will look at our New Testament book.

II Corinthians
This second letter to the church at Corinth was written while Paul was somewhere in the Macedonian region, possibly Philippi. It was not written much later than his first letter to them; perhaps about one year later. This would put the time of writing as approximately AD 56[3].

In his first letter Paul had used harsh words with the believers that made up the church at Corinth and in this second letter he rejoiced to hear that the notorious fornicator had repented. But he was sad to hear that the man was suffering much grief from his guilt. Paul encouraged them to welcome the man back with love and forgiveness.

Some of the other issues that Paul wrote about in this letter were false teachers who were trying to turn the people from their faith by insulting the character of Paul, collecting offerings for the poor at Jerusalem, defense of his apostleship, and the exhortation to avoid carnality. He stated his intention to come to see them again for the third time and warns them that he will not be gentle in his rebuke if they refuse to change from their wicked ways.


[1] The MacArthur Study Bible,  commentary by Dr. John MacArthur for the book of Joshua
[2] The Chronology of the Old Testament, by Dr. Floyd Nolen Jones, explanations for Chart 4
[3] The Open Bible, Thomas Nelson publishers, various commentators, notes for II Corinthians

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Bible Reading Schedule: May 7-13, 2012

May 7-13, 2012

Monday, May 7, 2012
Judges 10-12
II Corinthians 5

Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Judges 13, 14
II Corinthians 6, 7

Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Judges 15-17
II Corinthians 8

Thursday, May 10, 2012
Judges 18, 19
II Corinthians 9, 10

Friday, May 11, 2012
Judges 20, 21
II Corinthians 11, 12

Saturday, May 12, 2012
Ruth 1, 2
II Corinthians 13

Sunday, May 13, 2012
Attend church!
Catch up any readings that were missed.

Friday, May 4, 2012

And We're Back This Friday Evening

It seems like I recently found myself in a world similar to the one Lewis Carroll created in Alice in Wonderland, a world exhibiting a whole lot of scurrying about accompanied by an equal amount of no sense of time. I wish to thank my readers (both of them: "hi" Karen and Josh) for reminding me that there are schedules to be kept. I'll try not to let the White Rabbit be my time keeper again.

So what's been happening lately? Well . . . a lot of the stuff but much of it has revolved around my son.

First, he decided that he wanted to try his hand at designing and building his own computer. And so he did. But in order to finance the project he needed to sell his old one. To his dad. Since The Bear's "old" computer dates back to 2010 and Pastor Dad's computer is somewhere in the neighborhood of eight years old it wasn't a hard sell.  :)

Both gentlemen are now very happy with their desktops, although "desktop" might be a misnomer in describing The Bear's computer. And I'm still very satisfied with this laptop of mine (and don't you DARE take IT apart to see how it works) thankyouverymuch.

I was mainly involved in the driving back and forth to the computer parts place across town. How ironic is it that the least geeky person in the household is the one with an account at the computer store?!

Second, he got a job. Just in time, too. I'm pretty sure that - besides the computer - we're not interested in purchasing any more of his possessions from him.  Old Yu-Gi-Oh cards, anyone? :)

His job is ~um~ interesting. He is a guide at an outdoor recreational area. He loves it and I've noticed that he has spending money these days.

My part involved completing the paperwork. Good grief! If I got paid by the hour to fill out all the forms involved in his "employment packet" I could take that trip to Europe now that's on my bucket list. I'm truly mystified at how any illegal could slip unknowingly through the employment system, but that's a rant for another day.

Third, he had a birthday. He asked that I make homemade strawberry pies for the occasion. I found a simple recipe last year that we really liked and I am now convinced that the people who sell strawberry glaze in cartons in the produce department at the grocery store are laughing all the way to the bank. Really. I think the glaze to make 2 pies cost about 50 cents.

And then there are the non-son related things that have been keeping me otherwise occupied:

Nice days could mean trips to the park with my grandson.

Showing his new skill at walking on the balance beam/spring

Even not so nice days aren't bad ones when there is our new granddaughter living right up the street!