I'm doing my weekly blog tonight just in case we head out of town tomorrow. We weren't leaving until Monday morning, but there's another severe winter storm watch effective Sunday-Monday. They are saying we'll have a lot of ice and some snow. Ice is the problem....don't care to be out on it in traffic. So we may be leaving tomorrow, heading to Louisville, Kentucky.
We are going to M-11...a conference sponsored by the International Church of the Nazarene, "Igniting Our Passion for Making Christ-like Disciples". We have been asked to have a booth for the Michigan District camp - Indian Lake Nazarene Camp (see our website at http://www.nazcamp.org/). We will also be attending workshops that will teach and inspire us. I'm looking forward to a get-away, and an inspirational one at that! Just have to get out before the storm shuts us down!!
The weather the past few days spoiled us...made us think spring was on it's way. It was up in the 40'-50's and the sun shown every day. Most of our snow is melted...the snow that was two feet high last weekend!! The dogs and I have been out walking more...walking back and forth to work. I enjoy being able to do that. So do the dogs!! Need to rebuild those walking muscles after a cold and icy winter of not walking much.
We finished watching our Great American Rail Journeys video series. The last two were train trips through Alaska. What beautiful scenery that is! Would love to cruise to Alaska, and take the Alaskan Railroad excursions! So much to see, so little time (not to mention money??) So the video series is the best substitute we have. Very enjoyable.
I attended my Dave Ramsey "Financial Peace" class this week. It's quite interesting...Dave is absolutely a gifted speaker who keeps one's attention...even on DVD!! He's funny, he's easy to understand, he relates to where we are at. (Pause...hubby wants to get beat at Sequence...be back after a couple of games!) (I'm back, and I'm good for my word...played three games, as usual, and he won the first, as usual, and I won the next two...as usual. We always play the best two out of three, and rarely does a person win it in the first two games...seems like there is always a "play-off" game.)
Anyway, back to my Ramsey class. I think the guy makes a lot of sense, and I wish young people would take his class and take it seriously. If so, they could retire millionaires. For me, it's too late. I can only hope to get out of debt and have a few months' emergency funds if the program works for me as I hope it will. Please check out his web site and learn all you can...it can change your financial picture. http://www.daveramsey.com/home/
Had a wonderful meal out at our neighbors'/co-workers this week. She knows how to make fried chicken!! And homemade noodles... mm mm good!! Had to go to a Sunday School board meeting afterwards, knowing I had eaten too much. Even the candy on the table at the meeting did not tempt me!!
It won't be long and out will come the golf carts...and that's what I enjoy about living on a campground!! I can pretty much park the car, except for trips into town, and either walk or drive the golf cart. The dogs love to go for golf cart rides. They think they own the grounds...they act like sheriff deputies as we cruise the streets. I have a rain guard on my cart, so even in cold or wet weather I can get around. I just don't drive it in the snow.
Here's a recap of my devotional reading for this week:
The devotional magazine "The Word for You Today" focused on "building men and women of God" this week. For those of you still raising children, here are the highlights:
- you must practice scriptural principles as an example to your children
- live by what you preach
- be genuine
- talk about your principles/standards to your children
- walk the talk
- act on teachable moments
- teach your children to stand up for what's right
- teach them we become like the company we keep
- teach them true friends seek the best for each other
- teach them whatever you sow, you will reap/pay the consequences
- teach children to choose the right heroes
- God's correction is not rejection
- discipline should be fair, not excessive...but be consistent and follow through...be a person of your word
- respect governing authorities so that your children can learn from your example how to respect authorities (parents, teachers, police, pastors)
- share your own personal growth experiences with your children
- teach your children how to handle temptation
- sexual sin is made so prevalent by television and the internet...teach your children when to turn it off, and how to say NO to such exposure/suggestions
- teach your children that addictions lead to a life of no fun
- teach children if they honor God financially, He will honor them...teach them how to handle money appropriately (earning, giving, saving, spending...in that order!)
- teach children to delay gratification until they can afford what they want...don't use loans and credit cards (lead by example!)
- teach children the value of hard work
- "Honest work is God's provision for human happiness, as well as for personal, social, and spiritual growth." (The Word for You Today)
From Exodus and Leviticus:
- ...here come the rules. I have a tough time reading Leviticus with all the gory descriptions of how to cut up animals for sacrifice. I tend to skim through most of that.
- details were given regarding the priestly garments to be worn by Aaron and his sons, and how the tabernacle was built, the utensils in the tabernacle, and the Ark of the covenant. If you like details and rules, Leviticus is the book for you! (it is NOT the book for me, even though I do like details...just not those details.)
- laws are given for every kind of sacrificial offering...be it animals, grain, breaking commandments, guilt...oh my...I am so glad we live on this side of the cross!!
- there is one verse I appreciate...one law...at the end of Lev. ch 7 it basically states to not eat fat or blood. I like my steaks well done, and now I know it's biblical!! And even the doctors agree about eating fat is not healthy. I guess God knew what He was doing!!
- When you have followed the Lord's instructions, his glory will appear to you. (Lev 9:6)
From Matthew and Mark:
- and be sure of this - that I am with you always, even to the end of the world. (Matt 28:19)
- Mark starts out his gospel with John the Baptist preaching in the wilderness and baptizing. He was the forerunner of Christ
- Jesus himself was baptized by his cousin John before being led into the wilderness to be tempted by satan for 40 days. I mean, Jesus was put to the test!! You can read about it and how he called his disciples and began his preaching ministry all in the first chapter of Mark.
- Mark's gospel is one that reads quickly, and everything tends to happen "immediately". Mark liked to move along in his story telling...he was a fast paced guy.
- early in Mark's gospel the Jewish religious leaders are continually judging Jesus for His words and actions...and are already plotting to kill Him in chapters 2 and 3...and I believe it is because of their jealousy and fear of losing their positions...do we perhaps experience that or see that in our churches today? You can assassinate a person's character and be just as guilty as if you had murdered him.
- A kingdom divided against itself will collapse. A home filled with strife and division destroys itself. (Mark 3:24-25) I can tell you that it is my constant prayer that God will help me keep our home a place without strife...a place we can retreat to and feel safe and accepted. Hubby does great with that...I am the one who struggles with fault-finding, nit-picking, insecurities. Definitely an area I am working on, and hubby is helping me.
- Jesus' style of teaching was to use parables (read Mark 3:31-4:25)
- Do you want a long, good life? Then watch your tongue! Keep your lips from lying. Turn from all known sin and spend your time in doing good. Try to live in peace with everyone, work hard at it.
- For the eyes of the Lord are intently watching all who live good lives, and he gives attention when they cry to him... Yes, the Lord hears the good man when he calls to him for help, and saves him out of all his troubles.
- The Lord is close to those whose hearts are breaking; he rescues those who are humbly sorry for their sins. The good man does not escape all troubles - he has them too. But the Lord helps him in each and every one...
- But as for those who serve the Lord, he will redeem them, everyone who takes refuge in him will be freely pardoned.
- the above scriptures are from Ps 29:12-22)
- Pour out your unfailing love on those who know you! Never stop giving your blessings to those who long to do your will. (Ps 36:10 - the Psalmist talking to God)
- Be delighted with the Lord. Then he will give you all your heart's desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him to help you do it and he will. (Ps 37:4-5) Okay, the key here is to delight in the Lord. When we do that, our desires match His desires for us.
- Stop your anger! (Yes, God, I hear you...I am working on it!!) Turn off your wrath. Don't fret and worry...it only leads to harm. (Ps 37:8)
- But all who humble themselves before the Lord shall be given every blessing and shall have wonderful peace. (Ps 37:11)
- It is better to have little and be godly than to own an evil man's wealth; for the strength of evil men shall be broken, but the Lord takes care of those he has forgiven. (Ps 37:16)
- For the Lord loves justice and fairness; he will never abandon his people. They will be kept safe forever; but all who love wickedness shall perish. (Ps 37:28)
- Teach a wise man, and he will be the wiser; teach a good man, and he will learn more. For the reverence and fear of God are basic to all wisdom. Knowing God results in every other kind of understanding. (9:9-10)
Personal note: I am enjoying reading through the Bible this year in this manner...something each day from the Old Testament, the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs. The Living Bible is also a very readable version. So easy to comprehend and visualize and apply! Hope you are reading God's Word daily in your favorite version, and asking Him to speak to you through His Word. It's one of the best ways to deepen your relationship with Him. I tend to say prayer first, and then end my prayer by asking Him to highlight what He wants me to learn in His Word as I read it. What I write in my journal (and ends up in this blog) are the verses I feel He wants me to pay attention to. I want Him to keep working on me, making me the best I can be for Him.