Saturday, January 28, 2012

Cranberry Bran Banana Muffins

These are REALLY good.  :)

Preheat oven to 400

1 egg
1 cup mashed banana
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Mix these five ingredients.
Add 1 1/2 cup 100% bran cereal  - NOTE: I used bran flakes as that is what we had on hand

let it set for a while to soften the bran.  

Mix the following together in a separate bowl
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Plus OPTIONAL ingredient: 1/2 cup walnuts  (I did not add the walnuts as I don't much like them in food, and we don't need the extra calories). :)

Mix both bowls together until just moistened.

Set to one side 3/4 cup whole berry cranberry sauce (we used homemade)

NOW; grease your 12 cup muffin tray.  Note: greasing is important for this recipe (or use paper muffin thingeys).

Spoon mix into muffin spots until half full.

Then put one tbsp of whole berry cranberry sauce on it.

Then cover that cranberry sauce with another scoop of muffin mix.

Cook for about 25 minutes.  In our oven it took 27 minutes.

Then eat them.  NOTE: we found them best eaten warm, though cold was fine...warm was better.  :)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Day by Day - Hebrews 5:12-14

Using as a base for devotions, Day by Day by Charles Swindoll.

12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, 13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. 14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

And here it is in the NIV
 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
 I have to admit, I am so used to looking at things in context that I find myself wondering...what comes before this for him to say "for though ..."

Ah... here is verse 11 which shows why this is an issue:   
11 We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand.
The people the author is writing to are no longer trying to grow in their faith.  They are old enough as believers to being taking in the meat of the word but all they want to do is take in the easy stuff.   They are being encouraged to eat more meat!

This is the struggle isn't it?
To work out our salvation as God tells us to.   We mustn't be satisfied with what we have, we must continue to hunger after the truth of God's word.

What Charles has to say: He talks about how spiritual growth needs work "it's a painstaking process that God takes us through, and it includes such things as waiting, failing, losing, and being misunderstood --each one calling for extra doses of perseverance."  We need to apply what we learn into our lives.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Windows of Wisdom : Proverbs 4:20-27

Today's Scripture is Proverbs 4: 20-27 ESV
 20 My son, be attentive to my words;
   incline your ear to my sayings.
21 Let them not escape from your sight;
   keep them within your heart.
22 For they are life to those who find them,
   and healing to all their flesh.
23 Keep your heart with all vigilance,
   for from it flow the springs of life.
24 Put away from you crooked speech,
   and put devious talk far from you.
25 Let your eyes look directly forward,
   and your gaze be straight before you.
26 Ponder the path of your feet;
   then all your ways will be sure.
27 Do not swerve to the right or to the left;
   turn your foot away from evil.
I find it fascinating sometimes to read the same passage in different translations.
here is the same passage in the easy to read version

 20 My son, pay attention to what I say. Listen closely to my words. 21 Don’t let them out of your sight. Never stop thinking about them. 22 These words are the secret of life and health to all who discover them. 23 Above all, be careful what you think because your thoughts control your life.
 24 Don’t bend the truth or say things that you know are not right. 25 Keep your eyes on the path, and look straight ahead. 26 Make sure you are going the right way, and nothing will make you fall. 27 Don’t go to the right or to the left, and you will stay away from evil.
Isn't it interesting to see how different folks translate or paraphrase the same words?  I do find though that one needs to be alert when reading out of different translations.  Sometimes it can change the meaning of a passage and then more checking and reading is needed to discern the truth.

Enough of that though...
Listen to what this passage tells us about God's word.
1. we need to PAY ATTENTION..
  • that means to listen closely 
  • to keep them in sight/in mind
  • to never stop thinking about them
2. be aware they are life to all who find them
  • and this I know is a difficult one to can words to be life?  How can God's word make our lives more of a life?   I know for me they give definition and purpose to what I do.
3. keep your heart with all diligence.  
  • Hmmm.. What does that mean?   Does that imply that we can control our hearts?   Can we control our emotions?
4. Watch what you say.
  • well that one makes sense.   And there is a passage, I think in the new testament that talks about what is in our hearts comes out on our lips which links these two verses doesn't it?   What is in our heart comes out in our speech.   I just wrote a piece on my rabbit information blog about the need to be careful how we think about animal rights people as it affects how we write and communicate with them.   That would be an example of this in real life.   Guard your hearts, watch your tongue.
5. Watch where you are going
  • in other words...don't walk looking backwards or to the side.  You know the adage of where you look is where you drive...guess what.. same thing goes for life.  If you want to move forward you need to look to where you want to go.   Just as in rabbit breeding one develops a picture in one's head about what they want their rabbits to look like so you breed to that end.  If you want to raise a child to be a certain way.. you train them to that end.   If you want to be a person called after God's own heart...then look to God and his word and train yourself to that end.   Walk toward what you want to be.
6. not only look to where you are going...but THINK about it.  Ponder it in your heart.
  • If you think about where you are going you'll have a better picture in your brain about what you need to do to get there.
7. Don't wander off the path.
  • If you set your mind on the things of God you aught not to be going off it after things that aren't of God.  
  • OR.. in bunny language.. if you want to breed a polish rabbit with a nice big head with eyes that pop.. well you don't go keeping the one with squinty eyes.    
  • Keep focused on the goal and don't let other things get in your way. :)
This is at least a brief look at what I think on this passage...
And in keeping with what God has laid on my heart lately.. on how I am to trust him with my whole heart.  If THAT is my end goal.. to really totally trust God.. then I need to keep my eyes on HIM.   Not on the world around me with it's worries and cares...but ON HIM.  Not letting myself get freaked out about the events of life and what not.  My goal needs to on God.

what does Olford have to say about this passage?
"for this chapter the dominating theme is that of Discipline"
"if our lives are going to please our Father, then we must accept discipline over our hearts (v. 23), our lips (v.24),our eyes (v.25) and our feet (v.26).

Sunday, January 22, 2012

this made me laugh. what do you think? :)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Cod with Lemon and Dill

Going to make this recipe for supper

Baked Cod with Lemon and Dill.

I'm going to play a bit since I have fresh dill not dried, and dried lemon Zest not fresh.. so we'll see how it turns out.  :)

 Hopefully good.

I'm going to have pasta on the side with it, and probably a salad.

The lad is going to try some of the fish, but will mostly have bacon instead of fish.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Christian Carnival - January 18, 2012

Welcome to the January 18, 2012 edition of christian carnival ii.

Charles Chua C K presents All About Living With Life: 5 Ways to Live With an Attitude of Gratitude posted at All About Living with Life.
An attitude of gratitude is good for your health and happiness. How do you develop a habit of thankfulness and appreciation?

Shannon Christman (blog editor) on behalf of author Ridge Burns presents Letting Love Lead posted at Mission Blog.
I’m asking God to help me have a heart of love for people this year. I want to love them not with a “because I should do it” attitude, or an “it’s the Christian thing to do” attitude, or a “because they love me first (or well)” attitude, but with a love that is purely from God, a love that will reflect Christ in the things that I am doing and the way that I am being as I work with others, serve others, and meet them along the way.

Jason Hess presents It Is Religion That Makes Us. posted at eckSermonator.

Religion when viewed and participated in correctly is the manifestation of the unseen belief we call faith.

Joseph Lule presents Day of the Lord: Sin and Salvation posted at Day of the Lord.
What is sin?
Rom 14:23 “…..whatever is not of faith is sin.”

What is faith? It is described in Heb 11:1 that “Now faith is the essence of things being hoped, the evidence of things not having been seen”.

Chelsea Prescotti presents Mortgage Lenders Hunt Home Owners Even After Foreclosure posted at, saying, "No one ever buys a home with the intention of one day losing it to foreclosure or being forced by circumstance into a short sale. Unfortunately, that is exactly the situation in which many homeowners find themselves. Financial struggles push thousands of homeowners into short sale or foreclosure every year. When the housing market collapsed in 2008-09, many found themselves upside-down in their mortgage and opted to simply walk away, leaving the bank to foreclose on the property and sell it for whatever a buyer would pay."

Chris Brooks presents Why was Jesus Rejected? posted at Homeward Bound, saying, "Examining what the Jews of Jesus' day were looking for in a Messiah."

People didn't know what to do with Jesus. Some people accepted Him for a while, then turned against Him. Some rejected Him from the beginning, Even those that followed Him to the end didn't respond well to his execution and didn't expect His resurrection - despite the fact that they'd been warned.

Isabel Anders presents The Faces of Friendship | BlogHer posted at BlogHer, saying, "That there is something about earthly friendship which, like an icon, invites us to see through it into sacred dimensions."

I chose the book’s title, The Faces of Friendship, and the publisher kept it, which is not always the case. I intended it to function in two ways, the first of which is the literal sense, which these wonderful faces on the cover of the new edition show—how friendship is mediated from person to person.

But the first edition of the book, with its icon of St. Ann and St. Joachim embracing, provided a sense of the second meaning: That there is something about earthly friendship which, like an icon, invites us to see through it into sacred dimensions—into the many faces or facets of friendship as sacrament.

Chris Price presents Catholics, Evangelical Protestants, and a Shift in Presidential Politics posted at American Church History.

The evangelical voters considered Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Perry. The very fact that they chose Santorum shows a significant shift in American Protestant politics over the past few decades.
Dan Lower presents To Men Who Style Themselves Chivalrous posted at keyboard theologians, saying, "In which I speculate that the first place a truly chivalrous man ought to make his stand is his own mind."

Chesterton said that fairy tales describe what sane men do in mad worlds, and modern psychological novels describe what mad men do in sane worlds. We are the heroes of modern psychological novels, we are trapped in the setting of fairy tales, and there is no hope for us but in Christ.
Annette at Fish and Cans presents Day by Day - Psalm 139.
The lad and I talked a bit about this the other day. How God ALWAYS knows us. That God knew we would get upset even before we were born, He knew that I would like bunnies and that The lad would like angry birds and lego and telling stories. That he knew that RIGHT NOW we would be eating breakfast. God knows us full well.

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of christian carnival ii using our carnival submission form.
Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Day by Day - Psalm 139

Using as a base for devotions, Day by Day by Charles Swindoll.

Psalm 139. You can find the whole psalm here.

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

1 You have searched me, LORD,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, LORD, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.


The lad and I talked a bit about this the other day. How God ALWAYS knows us. That God knew we would get upset even before we were born, He knew that I would like bunnies and that The lad would like angry birds and lego and telling stories. That he knew that RIGHT NOW we would be eating breakfast. God knows us full well.

When I think of this in the light of how God is impressing upon my heart that depth of what it means to trust him... I feel VERY secure. Perhaps for the first solid thinking as an adult time in my life I am starting to feel VERY secure in God's love. Knowing how bad I can be within myself. Knowing the God knows that and for some strange reason loves me none the less. It kinda blows my mind.

It's like my hubby loves me even when I'm a jerk at times.
It's like my son loves me even though I fail him at times.
God loves me MORE....but he uses my family to show that to me at times.

God is SO infinitely more. And he calls me, know that I have your long term best interests at heart. Even if you have hard days, even if you aren't perfect, even if you fail, even if you make me smile.... I will love you, I will watch over you, I am always, and forever THERE.

I don't have to impress God. I don't have to make myself someone different for him. God won't reach out and surprise me, telling what I've done wrong. HE KNOWS what I've done wrong, he tells when I've done it if I'm willing to listen. ALL I need to do is live for him. To do my best for him and that's ALL he wants. I think perhaps this knowledge is too simple, and yet too big for me. :) One of those conundrums that is God.

To trust him with my everything....he knows it anyways...

What does Chuck have to say about this passage?
Chuck talks about the importance of upholding Human Dignity. How in today's clime it is so easy to lose that personal touch.
And he calls us to trust him completely.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Windows of Wisdom - Proverbs 3:1-6

Today's Scripture Proverbs 3:1-6

1My child, remember

my teachings and instructions

and obey them completely.

2They will help you live

a long and prosperous life.

3Let love and loyalty

always show like a necklace,

and write them in your mind.

4God and people will like you

and consider you a success.

5With all your heart

you must trust the LORD

and not your own judgment.

6Always let him lead you,

and he will clear the road

for you to follow.

When I read this verse: "Let love and loyalty always show like a necklace, and write them in your mind". I smiled. I don't know why, but it just painted a picture in my head of goodness.

Jesus died for me.
He did this out of obedience to his father who is God above. God LOVED me that he sent his son to do this for me. To bring me back to him while I was still a sinner...he did this even before I was born because he knew how much I would need him. That shows the most love and loyalty I've ever known. So for me to return that... by showing love and loyalty to others is not such a hard thing to ask is it?

Particularly if I do what the rest of these verses ask me to do.
  • I must remember the things God teaches me
  • I am to obey the teaching and instruction
  • I am to know that these teachings and instructions help me to live my life
  • I should know that my life will be long and prosperous if I remember them
  • I am to write these instructions on my mind.... memorize bible verses perhaps?
  • With all my heart I have to trust God (the Lord)
  • I must trust God and not my own judgement
  • I must always let him lead me
  • If I do so, he will make the road before me clear so that I can follow him.

These things I need to do. Remember, obey, commit, and trust. This is what God asks of me. All he did was all the above for me when I didn't deserve any of it. Why should it be such a difficult thing for me to do in return? All it takes is a bit of time and commitment and a whole lot of remembered focus.

This I can do, it's ALL I can do in response.

What did Olford have to say?
Olford focuses on these verses
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
And makes these three main points
  • The decision to trust must be foremost in our lives - God asks for ALL our trust
  • The devotion to trust must be fostered in our lives - We must live the scriptures
  • The direction of trust must be followed in our lives - God will guide us.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Day by Day - James 4:13-17

Using as a base for devotions, Day by Day by Charles Swindoll.

In james 4:13-17 (CEB) we read
13 Pay attention, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such-and-such a town. We will stay there a year, buying and selling, and making a profit.” 14 You don’t really know about tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for only a short while before it vanishes. 15 Here’s what you ought to say: “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16 But now you boast and brag, and all such boasting is evil. 17 It is a sin when someone knows the right thing to do and doesn’t do it.

I normally read from the RSV or the ESV but I sometimes switch to the CEB - common English Bible. I find it helpful to read familiar words in a different way. Anyways, my thoughts on these verses?

my first thought is Oh! So when I say I am going to do something, if I say it without the caveat that I will do so if the Lord allows it, I am boasting? huh... never would have thought that.

God doesn't like us boasting.
God likes us to acknowledge that all that we have or are or do is all because of him.

Seems to me then that it is a good idea to remember that. To remember that my transitory life is all that God allows it to be. My goodness though.. it is so easy to forget that isn't it? So easy to make plans and forget that God is actively and intimately involved in our lives.

Kinda puts a different spin doesn't it.

For instance.. I didn't sleep particularly good last night. But God allowed that. Ergo...should I complain about it? Not really, since God knows ALL about my life. Everything. He always has my best interests at heart.

Even if I don't understand what is good about not having a lot of sleep, perhaps God is trying to tell me something about my life that I need to change and not sleeping well might just be the wake up call or perhaps the nudge I need to get myself going in a different direction?

Point to ponder eh?

Now.. what does Chuck have to say about this passage?

okay, I had to read over this devotional a few times to get what he was trying to say. He used a negative approach to make a positive suggestion and that always throws my brain for a loop. He basically suggested that we do five things which were (from a Christian perspective less than stellar)....and then much time are we wasting doing these types of things already? And after I let that sink in, it was like okay, good point. :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Stumbling Into Grace - a book review

Stumbling into Grace: confessions of a Sometimes Spiritually Clumsy Woman is a really good book. I thoroughly enjoyed readying. I read it as a devotional but could easily see it being used in a women's bible study. Real life examples, scripture, good examples of what it means, and questions to ask yourself at the end. Chapters are easily readable.

Lisa Harper will make you laugh, she'll make you think. This book is written in a conversational style so you don't feel like you are being lectured. You feel like you are just learning. Personal stories draw you in, scripture is shared, and learning occurs. Just what you want from a devotional. :)
Could the materials be more indepth? probably...but that's not the point of this book. The point is to make you think about how scriptures relate to your life. How you can better live for the God you serve. This is a book written by a woman, for women...though men could learn from it to. The intended audience is women.

Heartily recommend you read it yourself.

You can pick it up for yourself here.

I review for BookSneeze®

as per booksneeze policy I put my review up on a commercial site.

For more reviews go here.

Just so you know, I received a copy of this book for free from so I could read it and review it. Cost me nothing. Did not influence my review.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Today was a day in my life

So today...I once again slept in. I really have to stop doing that. Sets the whole day back too far. and leaves me no time for devotions and at night I tend to be way too distractable to have them.

But that said, it was a productive day.

Did the bunnies. All are doing well. Nicky's chocolates are growing, Bella's kits are showing their colours...looks like three chestnut, one chin/blue?, and one magpie or dilute harlequin of some sort. Biscuits girls need to move out of the cage as Biscuit is wanting to be rebred...and so she's getting techy with her kits...but I've nowhere to put them except outside and I really would rather not do I'm trying to have them wait until I move out some piggies. Don't think I'll manage it though....if they were all three pounds I could just cull them out in a permanent sort of way and send them to the snake guy... he takes them starting at three pounds.... here's hoping they grow quickly.

Had breakfast. The lad did cereal, I did an egg/cheese sandwich. Learned the lad does NOT like goat cheese which of course means MORE FOR ME! :)

Did some homeschooling with the can read about that here.

Then I got all the Christmas stuff cleaned up, put away even! Took a while to do this as I couldn't locate three boxes for putting my village away. Finally had the brainstorm to look under the village for what made my 'mountain'.. voila! The missing boxes.
Got the dishes done.

Therefore the house is feeling more liveable again. Hubby dear feels better internally when the house is cleaner so I am trying hard to make more of an effort. He does often pinch in with helping with the dishes so that's a good and helpful thing.

Got the lad outside for some exercise. I'll need to put the pics of what he did. He ran around the house twice. This lad of mine makes me laugh. ONE time I chose to punish him for being not so nice in the car. Made him run around the car five times. He thought it was a hoot and excellent exercise... and therefore when I tell him he needs to get out of the house and exercise he will often run around the house until he is tired. he also tried to make snow sculptures.

Fed the lad supper...we really had a horrible lunch just had liquids and some piroulines. yeah, I know NOT a good mommy today for feeding the lad..BUT supper was good! We had tortellini, cheese, and crescent rolls. Not great, but good. He was happy and full.

After supper I got three baskets of laundry folded and put away, and took out the spring/summer wear from my closet. Hopefully tomorrow I'll see about getting my winter wear upstairs. Would be about time eh? :)

And now I'm updating the blogs, and then will hopefully watch more Serenity (Firefly) on netflix with hubby and it will all be good.

OH>.. I do need to sit down and plan tomorrow's activities with the lad. but looks like my day is running down...which is a good thing...I'm getting tired of being busy. :)

Friday, January 06, 2012

Heart of Wisdom - Proverbs Two

I will be varying which book I use for devotional times. Today it's this one by Stephen Olford, called Windows of Wisdom: Devotional Studies in Proverbs.

Today, we look at Proverbs Two.
1 My son, if you receive my words
and treasure up my commandments with you,
2 making your ear attentive to wisdom
and inclining your heart to understanding;
3 yes, if you call out for insight
and raise your voice for understanding,
4 if you seek it like silver
and search for it as for hidden treasures,
5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD
and find the knowledge of God.
6 For the LORD gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
7 he stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
he is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
8 guarding the paths of justice
and watching over the way of his saints.
9 Then you will understand righteousness and justice
and equity, every good path;
10 for wisdom will come into your heart,
and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
11 discretion will watch over you,
understanding will guard you,
12 delivering you from the way of evil,
from men of perverted speech,
13 who forsake the paths of uprightness
to walk in the ways of darkness,
14 who rejoice in doing evil
and delight in the perverseness of evil,
15 men whose paths are crooked,
and who are devious in their ways.

16 So you will be delivered from the forbidden woman,
from the adulteress with her smooth words,
17 who forsakes the companion of her youth
and forgets the covenant of her God;
18 for her house sinks down to death,
and her paths to the departed;
19 none who go to her come back,
nor do they regain the paths of life.

20 So you will walk in the way of the good
and keep to the paths of the righteous.
21 For the upright will inhabit the land,
and those with integrity will remain in it,
22 but the wicked will be cut off from the land,
and the treacherous will be rooted out of it.

Ah the promises in this Proverb. Oh it makes me long to follow God and his word more closely. I have SO far yet to go. God is gracious though and continues to teach me and show me his way.

But consider what one gets if one follows God and treasures up his word.

  • will understand the fear of the LORD
  • find the knowledge of God.
  • will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path;
  • for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul
  • discretion will watch over you
  • understanding will guard you
  • delivering you from the way of evil,

From The Lord God himself we will see that he

  • stores up sound wisdom for the upright
  • gives wisdom
  • gives knowledge and understanding
  • is a shield to those who walk in integrity
  • guards the paths of justice
  • watches over the way of his saints.
And just what is evil?
  • it is a way of being
  • men of perverted speech
  • forsake the paths of uprightness
  • walk in the ways of darkness,
  • rejoice in doing evil
  • delight in the perverseness of evil
  • men whose paths are crooked
  • devious in their ways

Those who follow after God will be delivered from the forbidden woman, from the adulteress with her smooth words. In other words... Evil is sneaky, it's forbidden, it seems different than what it is. These words make me think of con-men who come to us with their plans and ideas and fool us into listening to them and giving them our resources.

AND to think... if we turn to God, he'll protect us.

Does that mean that no evil will befall us? No... but it does mean that we have someone watching out for us IF we take the time to learn from him. It is active you know... learning from God. One can just say Yes! I believe in God and then think that it will all come by osmosis. It doesn't... yes we can learn much of God by seeing the world that he gave us, but really knowing God means taking the time to KNOW him. To read his word, to listen to good teachers, to meditate on it. If we do this, The Lord God himself will surely guide us.

and so God leaves us with this promise

20 So you will walk in the way of the good
and keep to the paths of the righteous.
21 For the upright will inhabit the land,
and those with integrity will remain in it,
22 but the wicked will be cut off from the land,
and the treacherous will be rooted out of it.

What does Olford say?
"the Lord gives possess this wisdom we must fulfill certain conditions. ... we must receive God's wisdom...We must request God's wisdom...we must research God's wisdom".

The rest in this Series
Proverbs One.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Day by Day - Psalm 119:1-16

Using as a base for devotions, Day by Day by Charles Swindoll.

Psalm 119:1-16(ESV)

1 Blessed are those whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the LORD!
2 Blessed are those who keep his testimonies,
who seek him with their whole heart,
3 who also do no wrong,
but walk in his ways!
4 You have commanded your precepts
to be kept diligently.
5 Oh that my ways may be steadfast
in keeping your statutes!
6 Then I shall not be put to shame,
having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.
7 I will praise you with an upright heart,
when I learn your righteous rules.
8 I will keep your statutes;
do not utterly forsake me!


9 How can a young man keep his way pure?
By guarding it according to your word.
10 With my whole heart I seek you;
let me not wander from your commandments!
11 I have stored up your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you.
12 Blessed are you, O LORD;
teach me your statutes!
13 With my lips I declare
all the rules of your mouth.
14 In the way of your testimonies I delight
as much as in all riches.
15 I will meditate on your precepts
and fix my eyes on your ways.
16 I will delight in your statutes;
I will not forget your word.

What jumps out at me in this bible reading section?

First the build up of what a person is if they obey the Lord: blessed, blameless, steadfast, not put to shame, one who is not forsaken, taught, and delighted.

And second - how does a person do this? By guarding what they do according to the Word of God.

I was talking with a fellow homeschooler the other day about TV commercials. She mentioned she doesn't allow her children to watch them since there is too much, I'm going to use the word, garbage (though I know that's not the exact word she used) out there. I mentioned that my approach is to let him watch them but to comment on them on occasion. And generally I am purposeful about that. I'm raising a boy child.. and boys/men are very visual generally speaking and we live in a day and age where we are bombarded with all sorts of images. Some of these images glorify God and others draw us away from him. I want him to start learning discernment about what he sees and what he dwells on. By commenting on things I am hopeful that he will start to think about what he is seeing, and thereby learn to guard his path.

I find that as my boy matures I am more often pointing out scriptural things to him. I want to help develop his love for God and his desire to walk in accordance to it.

I do so want my boy to be blameless, blessed, not put to shame, and so forth when the time comes for him to stand before God. I know how weak and frail I am...and how frequently I fail. I know that God loves me dearly...but I also know how frequently I fail him. So if I can better teach my boy child how to be discerning in what he does and what he dwells on, I think I'll have done well by him in his relationship with God. He needs to learn to guard his path.

Anyways, What does Chuck have to say about this passage?

In point form Charles Swindoll's main points.
the first eight verses point out three absolutes
1. the reality of God's blessing
2. the authority of God's word
3. the necessity of God's presence

And how can we keep our life pure?
1. Seek the Lord on a regular basis
2. Treasure the truth in your heart
3. Openly tell others of Him
4. Rejoice and delight in God's working
5. Spend more of your free moment meditating on his principles
6. Give God your full respect.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Windows of Wisdom - Proverbs One

I will be varying which book I use for devotional times. Today it's this one by Stephen Olford, called Windows of Wisdom: Devotional Studies in Proverbs.

This devotional goes through the Proverbs. It goes through one proverb each day. This may prove to be longer than I want to do, but there generally is value in looking at things as a cohesive unit as well. So I may look at entire proverb one day and then break it down the next time I look at it. My devotional time... my decisions right? :)

Anyways, using the ESV translation today from Bible Gateway, here is Proverbs One. It's a rather long passage, so I'll only put into my blog the verses that jump out at me. I don't know about you, but I tend not to read blogs that appear too long. :) And the link to Proverbs One so it can be read in it's entirety is right here. :)

1 The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel:

2 To know wisdom and instruction,
to understand words of insight,
3 to receive instruction in wise dealing,
in righteousness, justice, and equity;
4 to give prudence to the simple,
knowledge and discretion to the youth—
5 Let the wise hear and increase in learning,
and the one who understands obtain guidance,
6 to understand a proverb and a saying,
the words of the wise and their riddles.

7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction.

8 Hear, my son, your father's instruction,

and forsake not your mother's teaching,
9 for they are a graceful garland for your head
and pendants for your neck.

20 Wisdom cries aloud in the street,
in the markets she raises her voice;
21 at the head of the noisy streets she cries out;
at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:
22 “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?
How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing
and fools hate knowledge?
23 If you turn at my reproof,
behold, I will pour out my spirit to you;
I will make my words known to you.

This passage calls us to want to be wise...and true wisdom comes from God. It warns us what will happen if we ignore the call to wisdom. I am hopeful that by choosing to homeschool our lad that we will help him choose the path of wisdom, to follow that call God has on his life. I am hopeful that over the course of this year that I will seek wisdom more often. Being wise... hmm... now that is a goal to seek after is it not? :)

What does Olford have to say?
he points to verse 7: 7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

what does the fear of the Lord mean? It means that you are aware of how wrong you have been. That you see how holy God is. It's not a "I'm running all afeered, scared type of thing" It's a "wow God, you are so good and I'm so not there". This fear is a GOOD thing. It brings a person to a place where they can begin to learn and grow and change and become more than what they merely are.

But there are those who don't want learn and grow and change. Who merely want to be what they are. These folks the bible calls foolish. And it is indeed foolish to not want to look beyond yourself. To not see there is something more infinite out there.

The author calls us to face this you want to be wise OR... do you want to be a fool?

I'll choose the path of wisdom....won't you join me?

Monday, January 02, 2012

Psalm 108

Using as a base for devotions, Day by Day by Charles Swindoll.

I often don't like using devotionals as frequently what someone else gets out of a text I don't...and frequently the text has nothing to do with what the person is talking about except in a generic sense. That I just find annoying. So I'll see how this one goes. :)

Psalm 108 (CEV)
1Our God, I am faithful to you

with all my heart,

and you can trust me.

I will sing

and play music for you

with all that I am.

2I will start playing my harps

before the sun rises.

3I will praise you, LORD,

for everyone to hear;

I will sing hymns to you

in every nation.

4Your love reaches higher

than the heavens,

and your loyalty extends

beyond the clouds.

5Our God, may you be honored

above the heavens;

may your glory be seen

everywhere on earth.

6Answer my prayers

and use your powerful arm

to give us victory.

Then the people you love

will be safe.

7Our God, from your holy place

you made this promise:

"I will gladly divide up

the city of Shechem

and give away Succoth Valley

piece by piece.

8The lands of Gilead

and Manasseh are mine.

Ephraim is my war helmet,

and Judah is my symbol

of royal power.

9Moab is merely my washbasin,

and Edom belongs to me.

I shout with victory

over the Philistines."

10Our God, who will bring me

to the fortress

or lead me to Edom?

11Have you rejected us?

You don't lead our armies.

12Help us defeat our enemies!

No one else can rescue us.

13You are the one

who gives us victory

and crushes our enemies.

Wow....this is an interesting Psalm to read isn't it?

The promise that David gives to God.

The plea for help...for God to act in the best interests of his people.

I kind of feel like David right now, promising God that I will rise early and "start playing my harps". Granted, if I did that literally in my household it would engender a fair amount of annoyance! :) Even if my harp was the keyboard. But I do want to start having a regular, accountable devotion time. j

I do want to more deliberately have to take time to say God...this is who I am, and yes, I know that God already knows who I am but it different if you take the time to say it. To take that time to deliberately say to God that I KNOW WHO YOU ARE! Meaning to take that deliberate time to praise him and to thank him for what he does in my life. And with that to also deliberately take the time to say God, this is where I need your action in my life. To be able to say GOD.. I love you and I praise you and I want my boy child to grow up to love and praise you. I want my hubby to have a knee what works well for him. I need you to guide my days.

David promises much to God in this Psalm and he expects at lot from God as well. He wants to see God in action on behalf of his people.

I want to see God do much on behalf of my people as well. My church... To shake it up, to make it want to do more. My family... to see them all grow in the knowledge and Love of God, to see my hubby healed of his bum knee. I want my Dad to have a decrease in the pain he suffers daily. I want to see this community changed by the Love of God. I want much. But I have to admit....I'm a bit afeared by what the wanting much would me for me.

Charles Swindoll says "you will have to change...and that won't come easily". I don't always welcome change. Change can be alarming. Change can also be life-affirming. So I wonder what change God might have in store for me.