Quiet Time Plans for the New Year

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New Years is almost upon us.  We start thinking about our plans for reading and for goals, for lists, and new adventures. How we want to grow?  What we want to stop or pursue.

This year my plan was to read through the Word and write down what it tells me about God.  Its been rather insightful, even though I’ve not gotten as far as I would like.  I think I will keep at it though not as systematically as I’ve done this year.  I love flipping through already read passages and quickly seeing how God shows up in the Word.  How brilliantly he displays himself.

This next year, I want to read the Gospels and tell what they tell me about how Jesus, the Son of God, makes God known to the world because He reflects His Father, perfectly.

Two new devotionals I’m going to start out with: Earth Psalms (which I just got for Christmas) from Francine Rivers (a review later) and Waiting for Wonder.  Litfuse sent me this book (all these opinions are my own) and I’m super excited to really dig into this book and study the life of Sarah.  In the Old Testament, we read and study so much about Abraham, but we don’t know much about Sarah – or maybe not as much as we would like.  In this book, Marlo Schelesky, writes for women who are anticipating what God is going to do in their life – much like what Sarah had to do.  Wait  and Wonder.  She picks up the Biblical narrative of Sarah and adds to it (like making some of it fictional).  I think any woman who has ever waited for anything should be able to understand and internalize many thoughts she puts out there.  I love how it is chock full of Scripture and will use it in the new year to not only study the Word more, but hopefully bring my heart around to God’s in this prolonged season of unknown we are in as a family.

You can this waiting for wonder gift pack! Head over and find out how!


Knowing God in the OT #3

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The God Who Is

I’m a little behind, but I am still loving this study of the OT.  When I come across the written accounts throughout history of what God did – and who He was – I know that He is the same very God today and we can believe Him!

These are some of the ones that stood out to me in my readings:

1.  God cares for his children.

2.  God’s Word is true.

3.  God speaks to His people.

4.  The Word of the Lord is to be feared.

5.  The Lord brought His people out of slavery.

6.  The Lord will fight for you.

7.  The Lord triumphs gloriously.

8.  The Lord is my banner in my war.

9.  The Lord is greater than all Gods.

10.  The Lord is compassionate.

May these truths remind of who God is for you today!

Winner's Mudhouse Sabbath

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There is more to this book than just a cool title.
My friend Janel had this book at her apt when I went to visit in January. I had just started reading through the Bible doing B90x (which I’m still doing by the way) and this aided in my understanding of some of the Jewish laws. With all the fun that we had that wknd, I only got about halfway through it before I left (I’m not a fast reader). But, I was so intrigued by it that I had to pick it up later and finish it. I just did.
This book was helpful in learning more about the laws and customs of Judaism, modern and ancient. This was helpful in seeing a Christian Jew live out her faith but not be under the obligations of the law. Helped to see how community and the law are so important to folks who are devout Jews.
Winner covers many different aspects: food, the sabbath, hospitality, death, doorposts, weddings, candles, etc. All offered insight into what was practiced, what is still being practiced, and how a Christian can incorporate these practices into her life.
On Fasting: “People who have fasted for years tell me there will come a time when I look forward to fasting.” (88). Man – this is hard. I remember in recent churches I have been in when the pastors would call the church to a corporate fast. I would try to do it. Most of the tie, I did it out of trying to please certain pastors. Not in an effort to pray and seek the face of God as part of the beautiful Bride of Christ. So, I did it more out of pride, man-pleasing, and legalism and I always failed at it.
On Fasting: “When I am sated, it is easy to feel independent. When I am hungry, it is possible to remember where my dependence lies.” (91) This applies to more than just food. Yes, food is the way Lauren talks about it here – but more recently I come to recognize this in finances and material goods. God has been more than gracious to me in so many ways and there is nothing for which I want. But, even toward the end of the month where I have to be more careful and rely on him for guidance on spending and scheduling – I realize that I need to do that all through the month and not just the last week. God is good.
On Aging: “Christianity and Judaism both offer narratives that make sense of death.” (101). A few months ago I thought about this paragraph (yes, before I read it). There were a coupld of deaths in my life that occurred all in a short span of time. And I was also helping others through greiving, etc. I started to think that we would never understand death. I came to the conclusion that we were never meant to understand death because we weren’t created with death in mind. Adam and Eve were created to live with God in the garden in perfect harmony forever. Then…SIN. Sin is what brought death. God made a way to conquer death – but He never said he would explain it to us.
On Candles: “Even when I am lighiting two thin tapers over dinner, I like to think about the light of Christ rectifying the sin by which came death to the world. The Light of Christ, I sometimes say to myself, Thanks be to God.” (119) Most of the time when we have lit candles in our homes they are to create ambience or help eliminate odor. I wonder what would happen if Glade or Yankee Candle Co started marketing to Christians as way a remember this Light of the World. Probably what would be the result is some cheezy fish candle or cross candle just like Testamints or other silly things like that. But, what would happen if we lit candles in our home and made it an intential part of that lighting to thank God for sending the Light of the World to use so that we could behold his glory and truth?