Monday, February 26, 2007

Confession Time

I am a WHOLE WEEK behind in my Bible reading! Before you jump to conclusions, I have been reading every day in order to prepare for the Moms of Grace website Bible study. But I didn't even think about my "Read the Bible in a Year" schedule.

I had a little extra time this morning, so I caught up by 3 days. I'll have to find a way to do the rest because I'm committed to making this work for once. I can always read two day's worth of lessons for the next few days and then I'll be back on schedule.

I'm in Numbers right now, which is a lot of cool and a lot of shocking things that happened to the Israelites in the desert. I'm at the point where the spies went into the land of milk and honey to bring back a report. There was lots of disbelief in God and animosity toward Moses and Aaron at this point. But even when God's wrath occurred in front of the people, they still rebelled. In the reading I did today, over 15,000 people have died of unnatural causes!

Yet God continues to want the best for them and to forgive them at Moses and Aaron's request. It is good to remember that our God is awesome and loving, but also that he is vengeful and all powerful.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Just an Update

What a week it's been! Sammi has been pretty ill for a little more than a week now. We had her in and out of Children's Hospital ER for potential appendicitis or ovarian cyst. After lots of tests and needles, they decided she had gastroenteritis (I think that's Latin for "you have a bad stomach ache and we don't know why"). She was doing really well on Friday and over the weekend, but she threw up at school again today and spent most of the day sleeping.

Christopher was feeling a little punky yesterday, but I knew he was sick when he laid down on the couch at 4:00, covered himself up and promptly fell asleep! He slept straight through until morning. I checked him at his normal bedtime and he had a temperature of 102.4, so needless to say he didn't go to school today. We've watched a McGuyver marathon (the dvds were due at the library today!) Chris loves contraptions, so he's been thrilled.

Becca has a bad sore throat and headache, but no fever, and I've had a migraine since Friday...boy, aren't we a crew! Doug and Kevin are ready to pack up and move so they don't catch anything!

I've been having a lot of fun working on the daily Bible study for Moms of Grace, and I've got a couple of writing assignments (one for pay!) to work on this week.

The weather has warmed up to almost fifty degrees, so bye bye snow! I'm getting excited again about the little green things popping out of the ground.

Well, nothing profound to say today, just wanted to explain why I haven't updated much lately. Hope you are all more healthy than we are!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Feb 15 - God Changes the Rules

Read Acts 10:17-29

Context: Peter had been sitting on his roof when he saw a vision of a large sheet being let down to earth that contained all kinds of four-footed animals as well as reptiles and birds. A voice told him to get up, kill and eat.

17While Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision, the men sent by Cornelius found out where Simon's house was and stopped at the gate. 18They called out, asking if Simon who was known as Peter was staying there.
19While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, "Simon, three[a] men are looking for you. 20So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them."
21Peter went down and said to the men, "I'm the one you're looking for. Why have you come?"
22The men replied, "We have come from Cornelius the centurion. He is a righteous and God-fearing man, who is respected by all the Jewish people. A holy angel told him to have you come to his house so that he could hear what you have to say." 23Then Peter invited the men into the house to be his guests. The next day Peter started out with them, and some of the brothers from Joppa went along. 24The following day he arrived in Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence. 26But Peter made him get up. "Stand up," he said, "I am only a man myself."
27Talking with him, Peter went inside and found a large gathering of people. 28He said to them: "You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with a Gentile or visit him. But God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. 29So when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection. May I ask why you sent for me?" (NIV)
Acts 10:19 One early manuscript two; other manuscripts do not have the number.
taken from

Up to this point, God had sent the disciples to many different countries, but they were to witness to people like them, the Jews. They shared heritage, culture, and daily rituals.

Cornelius was a perfect person to facilitate the transition of God's salvation to the Gentiles. While he was a centurion in the Italian Regiment, he and his family were God-fearing and they prayed to God regularly. An angel had come to him first, so Cornelius actually initiated the search for the truth instead of the Jewish disciples trying to convince the Gentiles to believe.

With Peter's vision, God was really throwing out the Mosaic Law. Early in Jewish history he had given them many rules about what to eat and how to cook it. Now, out of the blue (literally!!!), he is saying that they can eat everything. Then someone knocks at the door and Peter is called to witness to people who were also considered 'unclean.' I'm not sure we can comprehend the significance of this change. These things were against the law to them, the thought of it was detestable.

But God didn't give Peter much time to think about it...he showed Peter the 'new way' and then thrust him right into the fray!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Let's all Sparkle!

God has sprinkled diamond dust on the world! When I looked outside at the yard, I was almost blinded by the sunny sparkles that covered the snow. How does he do it? Not only did God create this wonderful fluffy white stuff for us to play in, he made it strikingly beautiful! This morning while I was watching the yard (ok, so maybe I need to get a life), it occurred to me that this wonderland was created one snowflake at a time. What beautiful landscape could we create if each person would join together reflecting God's love in the same way?

Let's all 'be' snowflakes, reflecting the Son as we sparkle through the day (oh, dear, it looks like I got up on the Pollyanna side of the bed...).

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

New Bible Study on Grace

Join me and lots of other moms for a Bible study on grace! I am hosting a virtual Bible study for the Moms of Grace forum. Click the button below to join should be fun.

I Love Snow!

This may not be a very popular perspective these days in St. Louis, but I have to admit that I really do love snow!

We've switched from rain to ice to snow in the past hour or so, and the ground is now covered...we might get up to 7 inches...YIPPEE! Unfortunately we don't really have any hills in walking distance, so the roads have to get clear before we can go sledding.

Ok, so sledding is really fun in theory...but in reality it gets cold, wet, and I get really tired climbing the hill over and over for a few seconds of thrill. At least the hot chocolate afterwards will be worth it!

I actually have a dilemma that I'd never considered before. Given the history in Florissant/St. Louis that past few months with significant power outages every time we have a little storm, I don't know whether I should go to the store and stock up in case we get snowed in OR if I should avoid any new perishable purchases so I don't lose them if the power goes out! In reality I really don't need to buy anything...other than 1/3 gallon of milk we have enough food for an army for a week!

The Bible mentions snow a couple of times (e.g. being washed white as snow). I wonder if Jesus played in it?

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Joys of Leviticus

Well, we've been at this for more than a month...are you still reading every day? I have gotten one day behind, but I have some time to make it up today. I have to admit that I really got stuck in Leviticus, so I took a break and read Psalms for a couple of days...that helped a lot.

Today I read about 'clean and unclean' food, skin disease, and mildew (all before breakfast...yuck!). I am SO glad that I live in this day and age, not back then. Did you know that if mildew was found in your home you had to move out for 7 days to see if it spread? And if it did, you had to tear out the contaminated stones, scrape all the inside walls of the house, and then replace it with new stones, new clay, and new plaster. I imagine that 95% of Americans would be getting new bathrooms about now! (Hmmm....)

I am amazed at the job of the priests. They had daily chores, such as grain offerings and incense lighting, then they had to slaughter a wide variety of animals and birds for sin, friendship, and a host of other things. Then they had to look at every skin lesion, examine all mildew on clothing, and put people in isolation for long periods of time. Then of course, there is that little part about making a mistake that would render them dead in seconds! I'm not sure Aaron thought it was an honor.

I can't wait until tomorrow when I get to read about unclean discharges and eating blood!

Even if you have gotten off track, be sure to read every day....see what you've been missing?

Thursday, February 01, 2007

'My' Verse for the Year

I've found a neat blogger's website called Faith Lifts. It is managed by twin moms who are helping Christian women (mostly moms) link up via their blogs and websites. They have a lot of interesting information and columns to read -- check it out!
A Group Blog for Christian Moms

One of the writers, Marybeth Whalen, challenged readers to pray for a verse that they could claim as their own for a year. I've decided that Psalms 3:5-6 will be 'my' verse and my challenge this year:

Trust in the Lord with all of your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
In all of your ways acknowledge Him
and He will make your paths straight. (NIV)

It is hard for me to even read this verse without singing it in my head. It is really hard for me to just trust the Lord. I want so much to understand the whys and the wherefores of every instruction, every challenge, every blessing. I often fool myself and think that I accomplished something on my own, without giving Him credit. I don't like to follow instructions, and I foolishly seem to be drawn to meandering paths.

I've posted this verse by my computer and on my mirror. I may even put a copy in my purse and car. I hope that at the end of the year I will feel that, with LOTS of God's help, I will have moved a good way down that straight path.

Do you have a verse you want to choose as your focus for the year? If so, leave a comment and tell us what it is.