Sunday, January 31, 2010

New Thru 30 - Jan.19 - Mark 12-16:20, James, Galatians

Well, as you can see I am way behind on my blog notes for New Thru 30. I'm a little ahead on my reading, but not much. I'm planning on catching up both on my blog notes and on my reading this week and finish in style! Anyway, here are my humble observations on this days readings:

Mark 12:29-31 - It is true, that if you follow these two commandments that you will be following all of the other commandments. You would think that these commandments would be easy. Why are they sometimes so hard? Lord, help me to love You with all of my soul, mind and strength and to love my neighbor as myself.

Mark 12:43, 44 - It's not how much you give, it's how you give it. Lord, help me not to be as the Pharisees but as this poor women (poor in wealth but rich in spirit).
Mark 13:7, 8 - This reminds me so much of the state of our world today. We just have to keep on keeping on. Lord, help me not to worry about what is going on around me, but help me to keep serving you.

Mark 14,15 - I think I mentioned this in my notes from Matthew, but it is hard to pick certain things out to comment on when it comes to the last days of Jesus' life and the crucifixion. It is strangely heart wrenching and heart warming at the same time. Heart wrenching in that Jesus had to go through all of that just for us, but heart warming that He did go through it just for us. Lord, thank you for being willing to die a terrible death so that we could have life.
Mark 16:15 - Lord, help me to always live my life as a witness to you as well as going out to tell others.

James 1:2-4 - I always try to remember these verses when I am going through trials. Even the trials that we bring on ourselves God can use to strengthen us. Thank you Lord for refining us like gold through the trials that you give us. Although they are painful, you are turning us into something beautiful for you.

James 1:17 - Amen!

James 1:19 - I am so often the opposite of this. I am quick to speak and quick to get angry but slow to listen. Lord, help me to memorize this and put it in my heart to obey.
James 2:1-4 - I have experienced this first hand from working with low income folks. Churches are quick to accept the doctors and lawyers that can do something for them, and also quick to shun the less fortunate. Lord help me to always be accepting of all folks no matter what they look like.

James 2:8-11 - Now I know why they had us read James before Galatians. These verses fit so nicely in with the theme of Galatians. Salvation is by grace. Thank you Lord.

James 2:17 - Lord, help me to have a live faith!

James 3:1-12 - This is for us all. We all need to tame the tongue. Please forgive me for the things I say everyday to my family and friends that should be left unsaid.

James 3:17,18 - I suppose there is a place for those Christians who feel the need to protest at rallies and in front of abortion clinics and the like. There was a day that I would do the same ~ perhaps even still today if the occasion were right. How much more affective, however, is a Christian who is truly accepting to the sinner but just hates the sin. Lord, help me to be quick to love and not quick to shun.
James 4:7-10 - There is no way that we can reach the glory of God. The only thing that we can do is humble ourselves before God and allow Him to do the work. Lord, help me to stop trying to do things on my own, and to allow you to do things in me and through me.

James 5:15, 16 - "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Lord, help me to be a righteous man.

James 5:17 - Elijah was an awesome man! Lord, I have so little faith at times. Please forgive me.
Galatians 1:4 - Have there ever been any ages that weren't evil? Lord, I echo that verse. Please rescue us from this present evil age.

Galatians 1:6-10 - How relevant to this day and age. Oh Lord, help me to always preach a clear and true Gospel.
Galatians 2:4,5 - There are still "false brothers" that try to infiltrate our churches even today. Help me, Lord, not to be a false brother, but help me, again, to always teach a clear and true Gospel.

Galatians 2:12 - I chuckled to myself when I read this. Not because I thought that what Peter was doing was funny, but I have mentioned so many times in my notes about how much the disciples had grown and how powerful the Holy Spirit had become in their lives. This verse, however, reminded me of the old, impulsive Peter. Lord, help me to never put my hope in any man, but only in You. Men are human, and we all make mistakes and sometimes slip back into our old ways. Thank you for always giving us another chance.

Galatians 2:20 - Amen!

Galatians 3:24-25 - I used to be so confused about what Galatians is saying. I still get confused sometimes, but it is a lot clearer. The laws of the Old Testament were to show us that there is no way that we can follow them perfectly. We can't get to Heaven by following rules and laws, we need a Savior. Thank you, Lord, for being that Savior.

Galatians 4:21-31 - I know that I have studied Galatians before. Why has this never stood out to me? Lord, thank you for always revealing something new to us as we study about You.
Galatians 5:22-23 - Help me, Lord, to always bare the fruits of the Spirit.
Galatians 6:7,8 - These are two of the first verses that I taught to my nephews when I was discipling them many years ago. Sometimes I need to reminded of them myself. Lord, help me to remember that I will reap what I sow.
Galatians 6:14 - Help me to never boast in anything but you, Lord.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Too Much Going On!

My poor blogspot blog. I have neglected it so. Lot's has been going on at my angelfire Families Again blog. Please check in over there. Just click here.

One thing that has been going on is that I've created a Facebook Fan Page so that folks can keep track of the goings on of both of my blogs. To become a fan, just click on the badge above and it will take you straight to the Families Again Facebook Fan page. You don't have to be a member of Facebook to become a fan!

In the meantime, I will be posting more on here this week ~ beginning tomorrow. I have been reading in the New Thru 30 challenge, but I am still behind some, and I'm hopelessly behind on blogging about each days reading! I will catch up someday.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

New Thru 30 - Jan. 18 - Mark 1:1 to 11:33

Argh! I am so behind. But, I am forging ahead. Perhaps, if I keep reading a day's worth of readings every day, I will catch up during the grace days.

I changed the way I am phrasing the titles. I wasn't sure if I should add the grace days in and call this "Day 8" or just "Day 6", so I just decided to not call it either one. I'm listing the day that it should be read on according to the Reading Plan. Maybe I will go back and change the other titles to the same format. Anyway, here goes with my notes for Jan. 18th's reading.

Mark 1:6 - My first thought was how I would treat Jesus' cousin, John, if I were to meet him today. Would I think he was some kind of loon because of the way he was dressed? Would I be accepting or rejecting? It really made me think. Lord, help me to be accepting to all people no matter how they dress, smell, or act because I know, Lord, that You use all types of people from all walks of life for Your glory.

Mark 1:20 - Would I leave everything for Jesus? Lord help me to realize that everything comes from you and everything ultimately belongs to you. I can do nothing without you. Thank you for all that you have given me. Help me to hold loosely to all things.

Mark 2:7 - So many times we look down on the religious leaders of Jesus' day. While reading this I started thinking ~ "Am I really that different from them. Would I react that way if something like that happened to me?" Lord, help me to never look down on people. Help me to learn from their mistakes so that I don't make the same ones. Help me to realize that if it weren't for Your grace, those mistakes could be mine.

Mark 3:11,12 - I have read this many times, that Jesus gave people or demons the command to not tell people what had happened or who He was. I have often wondered why that was so. Lord, I don't always understand all things, but I do understand that now you have given us the command to go and tell others about you. Help me never to be afraid to speak boldly of you.

Mark 3:29 - For some reason, people have a hard time with the so called unpardonable sin. My feeling is that this is the unpardonable sin. If you refuse to believe that Jesus is God and that He died on the cross for your sins, then there is no way that you can be saved. Thank you, Lord, for providing a way of salvation.

Mark 4 - I have always loved the parables of Jesus. You can learn so much from them. Thank you, Lord, for your teachings and your wise parables.

Mark 5:38-43 - What great faith on the part of the woman and what great power Jesus possesses. Oh to be able to just touch the tip of your coat, Lord.

Mark 6&7 - I didn't take many notes for these two chapters. Jesus' teachings and miracles are awesome. Thank you for preserving your word, Lord.

Mark 8:17-19 - Again the tendency is to shake your head in wonder at how dense the disciples could be. However, again, would I be much different if it were me? Lord, I ask that you help me to never get big headed.

Mark 8:34 - Lord, help me to put things in perspective and remember that all I really need is You.

Mark 9:5,6 - I have to smile sometimes at things. I would probably do the same thing, but I'm often amused at how impulsive Peter could be. Lord, thank you for helping us to see humor sometimes. Help us to learn from that humor.

Mark 9:24 - Lord, I do believe: help me overcome my unbelief.

Mark 9:35, 10:43-45 - I often have to remind myself that I need to serve others. There is an old song that we used to sing at home ~ Jesus and Others and You, what a wonderful way to spell JOY. Lord, help me to always put You first, Others second and myself last.

Mark 10:6-8 - If we (including me) could just learn to live by those verses, so many problems would be avoided in life. Help me, Lord, to be united with my wife and to put her needs above all other humans needs.

Mark 10:27 - Thank you, Lord, for those verses. Help me to always remember that all things are possible with You.

Mark 11 - The events of the days that led up to Jesus' crucifixion are fascinating but sad. Thank you, Lord, for all that you went through for us. So that we could have a chance to spend eternity with you.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

No, I haven't forgotten. I plan on posting more notes tonight. I am a little behind on my reading, but my main thing is that I'm behind on my note posts. I'm still working on it, and I'm still praying for all of you who have taken the challenge as well.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

New Thru 30 - Day 4 - Acts 5:1 - Acts 15:41

I have to say that I am having so much fun doing this. Even with a degree in Bible from a Bible college, I have so much more to learn, and I am learning so much more through the New Thru 30 challenge.

I used to be a very "be careful with my Bible" type person, and would never allow a stray mark or anything in my Bible. I would use a ruler or straight edge to underline things and make sure that I used my fine line pen to write very neat notes and for the underlining. I also always did this only in my study Bible. A couple of years ago Sarah bought me a parallel Bible that included the King James, Amplified, New American Standard and New International versions of the Bible side by side. I have done extensive reading from this Bible, but have never done any underlining or note taking in it. So, I have thrown caution to the wind and just started jotting notes in this Bible. I am using the New International Version this time, but am planning to use the other versions in my next readings through.

Yes, I am planning some other readings, but, more news on that later. Right now, on with my notes on today's reading.

Acts 5:1-10 - My first reactions to this passage was not the sinful acts of Ananias and Sapphira, but the acts of Peter. Is this the same Peter that denied Jesus three times? He is now healing and boldly preaching! If we allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives, we, too, could do great things. Lord, please give me the boldness that you gave Peter, so that I can speak to others about you with confidence.

Acts 5:29 - "We must obey God rather than men." ~ I have read this passage, and have know that this is true, but for some reason it stuck out to me in today's reading. Maybe because of the condition that the world is in, indeed, the condition that our own United States is in. Are we someday soon going to have to personally make this statement "We must obey God rather than men"? Dear Jesus, help me to be able to obey you when the going gets tough. Help me not to follow the pressures of worldly individuals and help me to always follow and obey you.

Acts 6:7 - This is another "I guess in the back of my mind I knew this" moment, but it really stuck out to me this time around. Praise God that these learned men turned to belief in Jesus. Lord help me to remember that there are even "religious" men that don't really know you. Help me to speak boldly of you even to those that seem to already "have it all together".

Acts 7 - The testimony and stoning of Stephen always seems to amaze me. Again, I pray that I am that bold. Lord, again, help me to be bold for you.

Acts 8:26-30 - The story of Philip and the Ethiopian is another one of those stories that always amazes me. Not just how the Ethiopian trusted the Lord ~ praise the Lord for that ~ but also how the whole circumstance came to happen in the first place. An angel of the Lord speaks to Philip, then he meets the Ethiopian. The Ethiopian just happens to be reading Isaiah. They just happen to come upon a body of water on a "desert" road. Then, POOF, Philip is gone. It must have been amazing to live in Bible times. Yet, if we really look around us, miracles and things like that are happening all around. Lord, help me to see your everyday miracles that you do all around me.

Acts 9:10-19 -Not just the amazing story of the salvation of Saul, but also the story of Ananias, another of those reluctant men who were used by God. Lord, help me to overcome my sometimes fear and to be used by you. Please continue to stretch me in my Christian walk.

Acts 9:32-42 - Another amazing account of how bold Peter now is. Lord, help me to be so bold.

Acts 10:26 - This incident with Peter reminded me how so many men today would let power go to their heads. We all need to remember that we are only men ourselves. Please, Lord, help me to never allow power to go to my head. Help me to give all praise to you.

Acts 10:34-48, 11:1-18 - We praise you, God, that you allowed all men to accept your free gift of salvation.

Acts 12:21-23 - It really hit me what consequences we face if we do not give God all of the glory. Right now, God, I want to give you all of the glory for all good things.

Acts 13:9-12 - Why do I not possess this same boldness? Lord, help me to have this same boldness, to proclaim your name to all that I meet. Even when the situation is difficult.

Acts 14:14,15 - Again, I thought how a weaker man (perhaps even me) might let all of this go to his head. Lord, I have seen the results of someone who doesn't give you the glory. Please, help me not to allow praise to go to my head.

Acts 14:21-22 - Would I have the same courage to go back to the same places where folks had tried to kill me and to the same people who rejected me before? Lord, this seems to be the theme of this days reading. Again, I ask that you give me boldness to proclaim your name even when the going gets tough.

Acts 15:19-21 - Freedom from bondage to rules and freedom to live from Christ. Thank You Lord.

Friday, January 15, 2010

New Thru 30 - Day 3 - Matthew 24:1 - 28:10 & Acts 1:1 - 4:37

I know, I know! I'm a day late and a dollar short as the old saying goes. Actually I'm two days late, because this reading was Wednesday's reading. And I was doing so well. What you all don't know is that I really started on Sunday, and was blogging on what I read the night before. Until my computer problems - then, everything got behind. I will catch up this weekend during the catch up days though.

Anyway, here are my thoughts on Day 3:

Matthew 24:7,8 - My first thoughts guessed it...Haiti. Lord, please be with the people of Haiti right now. Heal their hurts, their sorrow, their pain. Please make us aware of how we can help them.

Matthew 24:28 - For some reason, this verse really struck me. Lord, help me not to be deceived. Help me not to be a vulture.

Matthew 24:42 & 25:13 - We need to always be vigilant. Lord, help me not to fall asleep. Help me to always be at work for you and looking for your coming.

Matthew 25:34-40 - I have seen so many churches who only cater to the wealthy, or those that can do something for the church. The scriptures give a far different command. Lord help the less fortunate of the world. Please bless them, help them, help me never to neglect them.

Matthew 27:9 - I am constantly amazed at how people still refuse to believe that the Bible is true, even after Old Testament prophesies are time and time again fulfilled. Lord, help the unbelief of others, and help my unbelief.

Matthew 26,27 - If I were the only one alive, He still would have done it for me. Thank you, Lord, for what you did for me by dying on the cross. Help me never to trivialize that.

Matthew 27:51 - I don't remember ever reading that before. I'm sure I learned about it and have read it (I've read through the Bible), but for some reason it has never "stuck". How interesting and how odd that must have been. How could people still not believe! How magnificent are your ways, Lord, and how unusual.

Matthew 28:11-15 - I remember taking a college class called "Christian Evidences" that talked about how so many people still believe things like what is stated in this passage. I wonder why God allowed "loop-holes" where folks could still find an excuse for not believing. Lord, some things I will never understand. Help me to just accept that fact.

Matthew 28:19, 20 - The great commission. Help me, Lord, to never forget your great command to us.

Acts 1:8 & 1:14 - This is what made the difference with the disciples and can make the difference in Christians today. Help us never to forget, Lord, your Spirit, and communication with you.

Acts 1:26 - I put a note to myself to watch and see if Matthias was ever mentioned again in the New Testament. Thank you, Lord, for spurring me on to more Bible study.

Acts 2 - What an amazing thing that must have been to witness! Can you imagine - all of these people from countries around the world hearing the disciples in their own language. How can anyone not believe. Thank you Lord, for your greatness.

Acts 2:42-47 - The model of perfect fellowship of believers. Lord, help us never to be selfish with one another.

Acts 4:12 - Amen!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I Haven't Forgotten! I Promise

No, I haven't jumped off of the wagon already! We had internet problems yesterday, and that really made all things "dicombobulated" as Mom would always say. I was really off track, and didn't get all of the reading done, let alone my notes typed up for you. I've completed yesterday's reading, so I am now only one day behind, but I am just too tired tonight to post my notes. I promise I will do it in the morning. Perhaps tomorrow I could read two days and get caught up. We'll see.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

New Thru 30 - Day 2 - Matthew 13:1 - 23:39

You can probably tell that yesterday, although I really did get a lot from the reading, I didn't take notes. I learned from my lesson and had pencil in hand when I read today's passage. Here are my thoughts on a few things from the reading:

Chapter 14:22-45 ~ My first thought after reading of Peter's lack of faith was "I, too, am so lacking in faith." Please Lord, forgive me for my lack of faith. Help me to have the faith of a mustard seed.

Chapter 15:8-9 ~ Are my teaching nothing but rules? Do I only honor God with my lips and not with my heart as well? Lord, help my Christian life not to be just obedience to rules, but help me to go beyond the veil, beyond the curtain and into the Holy of Holy. Help my Christian life to be a life in your actual presence.

Chapter 15:19-20 ~ An old saying but really a good prayer - Lord, help my words today to be tender and sweet, because tomorrow I may have to eat them.

Chapter 15:33 ~ I found it funny that Jesus had just fed the 5000 and now, when He asks His disciples to feed 4000 they ask "Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?" You would think that they would have learned there lesson! My wife often quotes a Beth Moore prayer - Lord, help me to learn my lesson in the classroom so I won't have to learn it on the field trip.

Chapter 16:16&23 ~ I want to really see Christ and know His mind. Lord, again, help me to go beyond the veil and into your presence. Help me to see you and to really know your mind. Chapter 17:20,21 ~ Oh, to have the faith of a mustard seed. Lord, again, forgive my unfaithfulness and help me to have faith.

Chapter 18:15 ~ So many times people quote the Matt. 18 verses as a formula for confronting people who are committing sins. In my view (emphases on my view), the verse says that if a brother sins against you. I had never noticed the against you part. This isn't a blanket outline for how to approach any sinner. This is an outline for going to someone who has sinned against you. We need to confront others sins with boldness, but only after we have spent time before the throne of grace. Lord, help me to be careful to apply the appropriate Biblical approach to the proper situation. And help me always to come before you first to seek your guidance.

Chapter 18:35 ~ And when a brother asks for forgiveness, Lord, help me to forgive that brother with all of my heart, not holding back anything. Let me forgive his transgressions as you have forgiven mine - completely.

Chapter 19:13-14 ~ Again, didn't Jesus just teach a lesson on children in chapter 18. Unfortunately, I am often like the disciples and am very thick headed and slow to learn. Lord, again, help me to learn my lessons the first time.

Chapter 19:23-26 ~ Many things in life seem to be impossible to men, but with God, all things are possible. Thank you for being a mighty God and for allowing all things to be possible through you.

Chapter 21:18-21 ~ Oh, to have such faith. Help me Lord to have the kind of faith that can move mountains.

Chapter 23 ~ Woe to all of us that do not learn these seven woes. Lord, help me to learn my lessons through the examples in your Word before making the same mistakes in life.

Again, these are simply the things that stood out to me. There are so many other things to be learned from the book of Matthew. I am anxious to read what you all have learned from today's passage.

Monday, January 11, 2010

A New Men's Monday Meme Question Has Been Posted

I've just posted a new question for my Men's Monday Meme on my angelfire blog. Don't know what the Men's Monday Meme is? Click here to check it out!

New Thru 30 - Day 1 - Matthew 1:1 to 12:50

I've been teaching the Bible to children for nearly 30 years now and it never ceases to amaze me how I learn something new all of the time. One problem I have, though, is really studying the Bible for myself. I love teaching, but often neglect the personal quiet time that I should be having. It reminds of the Larnelle Harris song I Miss My Time With You. Here are the lyrics to the verse:

I miss my time with you Those moments together I need to be with you each day And it hurt's Me when you say You're too busy Busy trying to serve Me But how can you serve Me When your spirit's empty There's a longing in my heart Wanting more than just a part of you It's true I miss my time with you

It's a song about God missing the quiet time that He should be having with us. You would think that as a full time missionary that I should have learned this lesson long ago, but I haven't. That's why I am so excited to be taking part in the New Thru 30 Challenge! I have been reading a day ahead of time, so the comments I am making for today are from what I actually read yesterday.

It is so refreshing to be in God's Word for myself - not studying for some Bible Club or homeschool lesson that I have to do. I have been doing a lot of teaching on the Old Testament lately, and I didn't realize how much I missed the New Testament. I loved it! The Lord spoke to me in so many ways while reading it. The Beatitudes, lessons on trust, worry, discipleship - I needed to hear them all. I was worried that I would get bogged down or tired while reading so many chapters at once, but it flowed and took no time at all. It was truly refreshing!

I'm really looking forward to this challenge!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Tomorrow's the First Day!

The first day of what you might ask! The first day of New Thru 30! If you aren't quite sure what New Thru 30 is, hop on over to my angelfire blog to find out. Just click here to read all about it. I'm going to kick off the grand opening of this blog by posting my thoughts about each days reading after we have all had time to read it. I've already read the first passage. What do I think? You'll have to tune in tomorrow to find out!

I'm here! But I have no idea what I'm doing!

Yep, this is my very first blogger post! Hopefully I will get used to blogger soon. It doesn't seem too difficult! We'll see. Not sure whether or not I'm going to totally let go of my other angelfire blog, but we will see. If you would like to view it, just click here. What I do know is that I am going to begin posting a lot here as well, so get ready for a bumpy ride!