losing track of why we started

So, it’s confession time, and it’s as much a confession to myself as it is to you.

I have been having difficulty with sitting down and writing for the blog.

It’s not that I haven’t been keeping up on my readings this year.  Surprisingly enough, I’m on schedule. Which I find remarkable, considering we just finished Leviticus today.

Actually, I have to give a lot of credit for my consistency to my friend Luna who writes over at My Jar of Rocks.  She has joined me in a journey through the Bible this year using bible:365, and the company has been greatly valued.  She has been my accountability in this journey, checking in regularly, asking where I am in my reading, if I’m on track with my goals. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever had accountability like this; any “accountability partner” I’ve had in the past has always started out with great intentions, but the execution was always lacking. So, as it turns out, real, consistent accountability does work!

But, back to my confession. continue reading

bible:365 Genesis 1-10 [2013]

Looks as though New Years resolutions are still on my mind after yesterday’s post.

The first portion of this reading that really stuck out to me is from Genesis 2:3:

So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work he had done in creation.

Well, if we’re talking about things I did not do so well in the past year, “remember the Sabbath, and keep it holy” is certainly one of them.

While the Pharisees had it wrong, and the Sabbath is not about a laundry list of  what you can and cannot do on a given day, that doesn’t negate it’s importance, and God’s command to remember it.

In Genesis God works for six days, and on the seventh He rests. But why? Surely the Lord Almighty doesn’t need to rest. It’s not as though he’s all tuckered out from a hard week’s work, wanting nothing but warm slippers and a cup of tea while sitting on the couch. While he might enjoy those things, it’s not necessary for him, he doesn’t need to recover from a difficult week. So then why rest if he doesn’t need to? continue reading

not giving up on eating

I’ve never been very good at following through with things I commit to do regularly. Whether it’s working out, preparing lesson plans prior to the night before, going to bed at a decent hour, or prayer and spending time in the Word, the pattern is the same. I start out excited and committed, yet within a week, two weeks, or even a month or more, the commitment wanes until I look back and realize it has been weeks since I’ve (insert commitment here). It’s a pattern I’m determined to break.

Implementing new habits is difficult. Doing so requires time, energy and motivation, which make keeping them up very difficult when something comes up and we no longer have the time, or we have a bad week and lack motivation to do anything, or we’re tired and can’t possibly imagine doing something extra. Unfortunately, this is what I see happening with my attempts to build new habits. continue reading…

[bible:365] Intro to 1-2 Samuel

The authorship and date of writing for 1-2 Samuel are uncertain. While some scholars attribute parts of 1 Samuel to Samuel, there is no way he could have written all of it, as he dies before 1 Samuel ends (25:1).

A majority of Biblical scholars view 1-2 Samuel as part of a larger compilation, the Deuteronomistic History, which includes Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, 1-2 Samuel and 1-2 Kings. These books chart the theological history of the nation of Israel from the conquest of Joshua to the dissolution of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, evaluating the nation based on the laws and principles of Deuteronomy. continue reading…

[bible:365] Ruth

Nicolas PoussinI’ve realized trying to catch up was holding me back. It was/is a daunting task, and honestly, I was greatly discouraged by it, and it dissuaded me from even trying. So, I’m just going to skip ahead to where I should be on schedule, and go from there. As for the parts I’ve skipped, I will come back to them, whether it’s retroactive starting next year, or I work on it steadily throughout the year, I will cover Genesis through Revelation. Anyways, on to Ruth!

I find the book of Ruth extremely interesting, particularly how such a short book about how a foreign woman is married to an Israelite (twice I suppose) finds such prominence to be Scripture. It is a remarkable story, and there is a great deal we can learn from it, but amidst great narratives of Israelite history, voluminous collections of poetry from many sources, prophetic words from the Lord, and writings of kings and prophets, this book is unusual. continue reading….

still here, I promise

I suppose I should update you all so you don’t think I just disappeared. Again.

My life has just gotten much busier.

I’m teaching a couple enrichment courses, and getting ready to add a few more to my schedule, which has been time consuming. Particularly as it all has been last minute, giving me little time to prepare. I am thoroughly enjoying teaching though, which is further solidifying my desire to go for me teaching credential.

Secondly, looking for a job is really a full-time job, and that is the second place much of my time and energy is going.

Point is, I’m still here and working on this. Just because I haven’t posted in a while, doesn’t mean I’m not going to!

I’m currently working (and have been for a while) on putting together an article on reading and understanding Old Testament law, something of vital importance as we are in the middle of the books of Law.

Thank you for your patience, and don’t give up on this! I sure haven’t.

 

Edit: post on reading and understanding biblical law: done! See it here.

[bible:365] Exodus 1-19

There are few sections of the Old Testament that capture our imagination quite like the story of the Exodus from Egypt. From the interwoven story of Moses, a murderer in all respects (2:12), to the incredible plagues of Egypt, to the parting of the Red Sea, there is nothing quite like it, and it is likely the Old Testament’s most well known story.

The Israelites’ time in slavery must have been terrible for them. Slavery is horrible for anyone, but the Israelites had been promised so much by God, they were going to be a great nation, and God was going to give them a land of their own. How would this promise have looked to them while they were slaves in Egypt? Might they have felt as though God had abandoned them? Maybe thinking that God had broken his promise to them, or he had never intended to keep it? continue reading…

[bible:365] Days 8-10 – Genesis 35-50

I love the Joseph story (and it’s various retellings. Technicolor Dreamcoat anybody?). It’s always been a particular favorite of mine, seeing how God uses one man to impact so many people, even though things don’t always seem to go well for him.

I can’t imagine what it would have felt like to be him: to be sold into slavery by your own brothers. The sense of abandonment he must have felt, and yet he never turns away from God. Then, to go from rock bottom as a slave in a foreign country to being household overseer for an important man, only to have it all taken away from him when he did nothing wrong. I can’t believe I ever complain about my circumstances. continue reading…

Discouragement, Commitment and Good Pretending

I don’t know how to feel: it only took me through week two to get discouraged with this project.

I began the bible:365 project with high hopes and expectations, ready for a great year of reading through the Bible and sharing my thoughts with anyone who would listen. The first week of posting went great, I loved the reading, and was having a lot of fun going through the stories, thinking out loud, and sometimes sharing things I learned over the years in classes and studying. I loved it, and the amount of time I was spending on each post was of no consequence: I didn’t care.

Then week two hit. continue reading…

[bible:365] Day 7 – Genesis 31-35

Our heros are not perfect.

These people, those we herald as the “heroes of the faith” were not perfect: they had very real flaws, made very real (and often disastrous) mistakes, and did not follow God perfectly.

This is something that I have noticed throughout Scripture, but it really stood out to me in today’s reading. Honestly, it’s one of the most comforting themes I see in Scripture: that those extolled for their faith were not perfect.

In this reading, Jacob does not trust that God will take care of him. God has promised Jacob blessings and descendants, and tells Jacob he will be with him as he returns to the land of his father (21:3). But despite this, Jacob is fearful of Laban, continue reading…