Friday, March 31, 2006

starting Ephesians today

2-3 days behind. But am enjoying taking one epistle at one sitting. This morning was Galatians. I love chapter 5 - freedom in Christ - children of the promise :)

But the verse which spoke most today was Gal 2:20

I live by faith in the Son of God , who loved me andgave himself for me.


be blessed

Finally...

Finally into the New Tesatment, hanging in there. Yippee!

If I read one more image that referred to Israel as a loose woman with skirts overhead...I won't blame it on God, but I think some of the prophets had series issues with women!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Romans

read Romans this morning before my exam. It was time well spent and I loved it. It's a long time since I've dipped into Romans I think. Some say Romans is a difficult book. I disagree. Paul's theology is - in the main - quite logical here.

Some thoughts:
Rom 1:25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie.

I've been down that road, thought things that are not true in God's eyes. Especially about myself. One of the problems ofthe postmodern world in which we live is that we are taught that there is no absolute truth. That's at odds with belief in God and that Jesus is our salvation.

Rom 5:3 We rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverence, perseverence character; and character hope. And hope does not disappoint.


we often quote v 4 but the foundation to the hope is that our character is built up in Christ. I need to learn that. And the softy inme rebels against suffering. I think that's ok so long as it doesn't lead to denying or watering down the gospel.

Rom 10:15-16 How can they hear without someone preaching to them, and how can they preach unless they are sent?


A real call to ministry.

and finally Rom 12:9
Love must be sincere.


I hate plastic smiles and phoney friendship. Love is sincere, genuine and real. Sometimes love hurts butit never destroys because it's always about serving God

Be blessed

Romans

read Romans this morning before my exam. It was time well spent and I loved it. It's a long time since I've dipped into Romans I think. Some say Romans is a difficult book. I disagree. Paul's theology is - in the main - quite logical here.

Some thoughts:
Rom 1:25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie.

I've been down that road, thought things that are not true in God's eyes. Especially about myself. One of the problems ofthe postmodern world in which we live is that we are taught that there is no absolute truth. That's at odds with belief in God and that Jesus is our salvation.

Rom 5:3 We rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverence, perseverence character; and character hope. And hope does not disappoint.


we often quote v 4 but the foundation to the hope is that our character is built up in Christ. I need to learn that. And the softy inme rebels against suffering. I think that's ok so long as it doesn't lead to denying or watering down the gospel.

Rom 10:15-16 How can they hear without someone preaching to them, and how can they preach unless they are sent?


A real call to ministry.

and finally Rom 12:9
Love must be sincere.


I hate plastic smiles and phoney friendship. Love is sincere, genuine and real. Sometimes love hurts butit never destroys because it's always about serving God

Be blessed

Sunday, March 26, 2006

fallen behind again

there just wasn't ANY time at all at this conference. I only managed seven chapters of John in 4 days. Sigh.

I'm trying to get into John again today, and start playing catch up a bit tomorrow and then on Tuesday after my exam.

How are you doing?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Luke

So much of Luke seemed unfamiliar. It's really strange. Of course the events, miracles and parables that are in Matthew or Mark (having just read them) were familiar but still - reading Luke was somehow really new to me.

I think it's probably because I've studied Mark in seminary, and because I love Matthew, I'm more familar with his account of the Gospel, but Luke ... ? Luke 15 is my favourite passage. It's brought me such a lot. But when reading Luke this time I was shown many other things too - it was as if God took a highlighter pen with me :)

For example Luke not only gives the beatitudes - the blessed are you, but he spells out the consequences of not being (or aware of being) poor, hungry and sad.

(Luke 6:25.woe to you who are well fed now, for you will go hungry)


And there's one short statement that intrigues me.

And he tried to see Him


...he being Herod! He wanted to see Jesus! (Luke 9:9) Yet later on Jesus calls Herod 'that fox' (Luke 13:32) because the pharisees told Jesus that Herod wanted to kill him.

Later on (Luke 23:8-9) we read that When Herod saw Jesus he was greatly pleased, because for a long time he had been wanting to see him. From what he had heard about him, he hoped to see him perform some miracle. He plied him with many questions but jesus gave him no answer. a few verses on (v 12) it states that 'that day Herod and Pilate became friends, before this they had been enemies'. Interesting!

I don't quite understand the parable of the shrewd manager. (Luke 16:1-15) I need to re-read that and maybe some commentaries too.

I'd forgotten (or never noticed before!) that the leper who came back to thank Jesus for his healing was a Samaritan (Luke 17:16)

I love the end of Luke though. The accounts of the Resurrection. We get a glimpse of what it was like on the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. A sabbath - spent in obedience and waiting to visit the tomb to prepare Jesus' body.

And the walk to Emmaus. They recognised Him when He broke bread with them.

Wow!
Now onto John. (I cannot open bible in 90 days - so am not sure where we should be - but this is where I am now, and loving it)

be blessed

Monday, March 20, 2006

68 Days

I just finished the Hebrew Scriptures. Finally! And here is the cool thing. I started this venture on my birthday, January 11th. Over the course of the reading, I kind of lost track of where I was in terms of the reading plan. Tonight, I added up all the days and realized I have been reading for 68 days. And today, I finish day 68's reading. So I am actually right on target.

WOW.

And, since I have read the entire New Testament before, I have now, technically, read the entire bible. However, I am going to continue to read through the NT to the end of this 90 days project because, well, you can't get too much of it, can you?

Wow.

A busy day all around.

Luke 1

I'm sure I've read Luke 1 before. I'm sure I have. But it was as if I read it with new eyes this morning.

Zechariah was silenced for questioning the angel,(Lk 1:18, 20) Mary was not.(Lk 1:34) The same angel (Gabriel), the messenger of God, coming and speaking with His authority, spoke to them both. I doubt that the angel had different criteria, because we know that God is consistent.

So why was Zechariah silenced? And not Mary?

I think it must come down to their attitude.

God saw it - and we do not.

He knows what's going on in our hearts and isn't fooled by the outward appearance. It is possible that Zechariah was doubting the message - doubting the answer to prayer - and perhaps he'd have spent the next 9 months or so, ridiculing the whole thing. In a way self cursing himself, his wife and the son to be.

God didn't want that. So he silenced him.

The film Bambi is one of my favourites. There's that scene where little Thumper repeats his mother's teaching. If you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all. It's a lesson I've still to learn I'm afraid, though sometimes I realise that I am making progress and that's good!

Mary did question the angel. But I suspect that she wasn't doubtful, just puzzled.
Her attitude to the message was "I am the Lord's servant" - something well worth emulating.

(cross posted at stf)

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Yes! Yes! Yes!

I finally did it! Read two chunks today (again...) so I'm finally up to date again. Phew :)

Having some troubling thoughts when reading. Like... Jesus wasn't really David's family, was he... Since it was Joseph who was, but he wasn't Jesus' father because Mary was a virgin. Wondering if there's a list of Mary's ancestors somewhere...

Hmh. Some people start believing when they read the Bible. And it seems, that other's tend to start questioning things when reading it *blush*

No, I'm not questioning Jesus. Just wondering some parts in the scripture. He Himself is too........ well, too something for me to question Him :D

-e-

From Proverbs to Song of Songs

I`m slowly catching up and getting into reading again. I quite enjoyed the book of Proverbs although at times some of them seemed a bit repetitive. I did notice that chapter 25: 6-7 seemed to have links to one of the stories of Jesus and verse 21 too had links to his teaching. Which made me realise that these books of the Bible would possibly have been the ones Jesus had been taught from too.
Ecclesiastes, although I was familiar with the first 8 verses of chapter three, I`d never read any of the rest of it before and I found it a good read, and liked the thinking and thoughts from it.
The Song of Songs puzzles me though, as to why it`s in the Bible, I couldn`t see any kind of a link to what had gone before, and to me, it just didn`t seem to fit.

Mark

I read this in bed this morning BEFORE I got up at 8am. (Everyone else woke up early too - maybe it's the lighter mornings and the fact we all went to bed early last night!)

Mark is fast paced. Easy to read. But also easy to miss great bits too I think.

It is such a relief though to be on familiar ground again.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

awaiting the Messiah

I read Matthew today (grin) and I had such a sense of relief. Somewhat akin to those first believers who recognised Jesus as the Messiah. There had been a silent period for 400 years since the end of the OT - (there were the Hellenistic writings - the apocrypha - but the prophetic era was over) - and they were waiting and waiting and waiting for Him to come.

I love the gospel of Matthew because there is so much of Jesus' teaching and his ministry. It's always a shock to me that there's little of the passion (only three chapters) but the teaching is deep and thorough. If only I could take it all on board :)

My favourite passage has to be Mat 11:28. Come to me -and I will give you rest. I was reading a book about boundaries last night and it talked a lot about burdens (things that are too heavy to carry alone) and loads (which we are supposed to carry - like a backpack) - the really wonderful thing about Jesus is that He steps in and carries the burden IF we are yoked with Him.

If ...

It's a lesson I forget and learn and forget and learn. These past few months have been really tough ones for me (will blog about this over in my place in due course) but suffice to say that the one thing I've hung onto is Jesus. I thank God for this 90 day reading - this community - and the commitment. It's helped me such a lot.

Be blessed

Friday, March 17, 2006

Cheering us on ...

Hello, companions on this scriptural journey!

I haven't exactly been keeping up "my end of the bargain," but I am sending encouragement and support to all, especially those who have been more faithful to this journey on a daily basis.

Peace,
Lisa

Bye bye Ezekiel


I am pretty sure I could construct a proper Temple to the LORD at this point. I know just how many doors, how many cubits, how many palm tree shaped columns. I know about the proper way of slaughtering the sacrifices and who gets what meat to eat.

Ezekiel was mostly a diatribe of God's fury... which makes for difficult reading. There were only a few things that really stood out for me. One was the initial vision by the river, which I already talked about over at my place.

But comparing Jerusalem to a prostitute was a bit of semi-pornographic weirdness. It just went on and on! And got pretty darn graphic. It made me wonder what the effect of it was on the people Ezekiel was telling. Were they shocked? Angry? Embarrassed?

I love the Valley of the dry bones. I have heard it several times before because it is always read during Holy Week. But to read it in context for the first time was interesting. It is really the turning point, isn't it? It is the point where God begins to offer hope that all is not lost. That He, and He alone, can redeem the Israelites. That He can breath life back into them. How true this is. Only God can breath life back into us. And while I am not such a big fan of the "God is a wrathful, jealous kind of guy" school of thought, I do find the idea of his willingness to redeem us very powerful indeed.

And finally, the twisted stick. Reuniting Judah with Israel. What a great metaphore.

I found Ezekiel pretty tiresome in parts. But the bits that spoke to me were really gems, so I am happy to have read it.

On to Daniel and the lions....

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Home, sweet home!

Weird...

I thought that reading the Gospels, the thoroughly-familiar-even-boring text, would be a drag, but no! It actually feels like coming home - to the safe, familiar environment after the wild wars of the Old Testament - even if I enjoyed the OT very much.

Matthew is not light reading. It's full of tough words and serious sermons, but reading Jesus' words was like bathing in milk and honey!

Really weird. Praise the Lord!

-e-

PS. now I'm only one day behind :)

The complete post is on my blog

PHEW!

It is finished....sort of :-)

God Bless!

those pesky minor prophets

good grief. it seemed to take me forever to get though them.
But I'm done :)


This passage stuck out most.

Was it really for me that you fasted? Zec 7:5

And then an echo from Isaiah

this is what the Lord Almighty says: Administer true justice, show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other.

That's the cry of Jesus - and as I breathe in today - and step into the NT - it's His Spirit that leads me and opens up the scriptures and I hope helps me to practice my faith. Lent is also a time of alms-giving though we hear little of that, and I've yet to put it into practice in a significant way.

Forgive me lord. Help me become a do-er of Your word. Amen

Yay!

Finished the Old Testament last night. Today I plan on starting Matthew - so still a couple of days behind, but it's been worse at times.

And I am going to catch up! I am!

Yeah, well...

-e-

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Behind

I`m all behind but I`m trying hard to catch up. I`ve just finished reading Job, which I found a struggle. I think I`m going to "cheat" and skip Psalms and go back and read them afterwards, as they seem to need more reading that in a few days. (I notice some of you too have said that Psalms didn`t seem right to read through so quickly)

Here`s a suggestion for you all. How about, when we all finish the Blogging through the Bible in 90 days, that we have a joint go at reading a Psalm a Day, and sharing our thoughts on them?

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

hello

I have been struggling with depression for a while...and there's been no way I could gallop through the Bible for long, but I plan on reading a big chunk today. I think my 90 day endeavor will become something like "Blogging Through the Bible in a Year" maybe. Been checking on you folk who seem to be left and cheering for you in my own way. ;-)

Monday, March 13, 2006

phew only two days behind now

Daniel check

Hosea check - Ilove the final verse
Who is wise? He will realize these things
Who is discerning? He will understand them
The ways of the Lord are right
the righteous walk in them
but the rebellious stumble in them


Joel check - this is prob my favourite minor prophet. The verse about God restoring the years stolen by the locusts has been a personal promise /prophesy over my life

Amos check - I'm not sure I've ever really read this. I found the repetition of the For three sins of ____ even for four I will not turn back my wrath intriguing. This is a face of God that doesn't get talked about much nowadays, but I found it so comforting that in spite of it all God's voice *Seek me and live* (Am 5:5) rings out clearly.

It feels good to be back in the word again. Tonight I try to read and catch up some more.

But remember it's all good :)

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Ezekiel

Ezekiel hits home over at the Big Dunk.

lagging

I've had a really traumatic week. Today I dust down my Bible and get back into the Word. I've read little bits this week but not sat down and concentrated for the time I should have, and am stuck in Ezekiel 45 . Time to dig deep

Lord give me Your spirit today as I try to catch up again. Open your Word to me and let it feed me and encourage me.Amen

Edited to add:
I did catch up some today. Read the rest of Ezekiel. Went through Daniel. I love the beginning of that book, but don't (yet) understand the prophesies. Managed Hosea too. It's another book I don't quite get.

Tomorrow I will start Joel. It's nice to be in the minor prophets at last :)

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Jeremiah, I hardly knew ye.....

I have to agree with Lorna, Jeremiah is a drag. It has all become a blur.

I have at least one more day to slog through before I finally get to Lamentations. (Why does Lamentations, of all things, seem uplifting after the whiney-pants Jeremiah? No wonder the King keeps wanting to kill him... he never has anything nice to say.)

Plus, the whole premise is so weird... God is going to send you into slavery and then deliver you. If you try to escape slavery, you are doomed to die by various unpleasant means. Rinse, repeat, like 50 times in case you didn't get it the first 49.

But. But, there IS a revolution brewing in Jeremiah that is worth pointing out. It states, quite clearly, that the old way of punishing the children for the sins of the father will be gone. Now, we pay for our own sins and our children are free of our guilt. That is a shift worth slogging through 52 chapters for.

Jer 31:29 In those days they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children's teeth are set on edge.
Jer 31:30 But every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge.

Another couple of days.

Let the Lamenting begin!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Ezekiel

Blogger ate my post :(

I can't visualise the four living creatures and I'm realising that there's a lot of Ezekiel I don't know. I wonder if I've ever read / heard some of this before (blush)

I took a look at the reading plan. We are 2/3 through - a month to go and most of that will be NT.
After Ezekiel Daniel and then the minor prophets. I don't know them very well either, but am looking forward to reading them in the light of the rest of the OT

it's all good and I'm starting to enjoy this again :)

Monday, March 06, 2006

good bye Jeremiah

I'll visit you again sometime, but for now I was glad to get away.
Lamentations was interesting (and short)
and now I'm getting stuck into Ezekiel.

What I'm finding is that having read this history books really helps. I don't claim to understand the prophetic and I cannot visualise the four living creatures - I just don't have that kind of brain.

What I find interesting are the prophetic acts.

how about you?

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Groan

I'm struggling with Jeremiah. It feels like a lot of hard work. I'm feeling quite annoyed that I have to rush through the whole Bible, I've done tons of highlighting and penciliing and sticking page markers in there for future reference, but it's getting to me that I have to race through each book without being able to have the opportunity to reflect on it more deeply, there just aren't enough hours in the day to do that.

Anyone know where we're all supposed to be up to. I never bothered keeping to the reading schedule and now I don't know if I'm behind, or how far I'm behind if I am at all?

God Bless.

Reading Jeremiah

Like Lorna, I'm reading Jeremiah, too. A couple of days behind my schedule, but hanging in there. Blogged about it over at the invisible:

This week I've been galloping through the book of Jeremiah. It's not a pretty or sweet book to read, and I know that some 10-15 years ago it would have made me crazy trying to read all that judgement and words of horror. But at this time it speaks to me.

Read the rest of it HERE.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Jeremiah continues

This isn't my favourite book - I find it confusing - but there are some wonderful wonderful verses and thoughts.

Jeremiah did NOT have an easy message to deliver and suffered because of it. We can only commend him for his faithfaithful to God.

be blessed

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Jeremiah

I'm struggling a bit here, yet when I've pushed myself to get on with it - I've been so blessed!

Today's a good example!

Listen to this

Although they fast, I will not listen to their cry; though they offer burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Instead, I will destroy them with the sword, famine and plague."
Jer 14
What's encouraging about that?- you may well ask! On its own, nothing at all!

But listen to this

If you repent, I will restore you
that you may serve Me. (Jer 15:19)


That's said to Jeremiah, but it's also said to us. It's a blessing and an encouragement to press in. And on this the first day of lent, it's especially wonderful!

be blessed