Nov 30, 2011

Joshua 17

I had a great idea while I was reading through Joshua when the tribes of Israel were casting lots for their land.  "Heeeey, I should take an old map of Israel and shade in the areas of the different tribes and where they settled!  That would really help me get through these chapters of names after names after names."

Call it a ditzy moment.  Or milky Christian moment. Whatever you want.  I flipped to the back of my bible and sure enough.  Some smarty pants had already done it.  Hundreds of years ago.  

I know, I know.  The maps have always been included in Bibles, I just had never really cared.

It was really fun to study the map and compare it to my reading.  Okay, there is Beth-Shemesh (Joshua's city he picked), there are the cities of refuge (Kedesh, Shechem, Hebron, Bezer, Ramoth, Golan), and there is the hill country that the children of Joseph were talking about!

My favorite part this week was how patiently Joshua speaks to the children of Joseph when they say the hill country is not enough for us, and all the Canaanites who live in the plain have chariots fitted with iron.  I giggled a little bit.  

I had to think of the children of Nathan and Joni.

Humph.  (Arms folded.)
What's wrong?
I can't.
Iron chariots.
Iron chariots?  Really?  After all God's done, you are worried about iron chariots?  C'mon.  You can do it, you are a big boy.  I know you can!

It is so fun to have a reading plan and accountability to other women...
It's taking me to places I've never been.

Like to those shiny maps in the back of my bible.

Nov 28, 2011

Homework for my Monday morning girls.

"Trying to improve on God's plan is more pretentious than trying to improve the Mona Lisa with an ink pen.  All you'll do is ruin the masterpiece."

We are working our way through Hebrews 11 with John MacArthur in our bible study.  This week's assignment was a flurry of reading from Genesis 26 - Exodus 14.  We have an unfair advantage as we read about the Patriarchs.  We know the end of the stories.  We know about God's promise to Abraham and we know that God will work anything for good to accomplish His purpose.  We know that he can and will use deceit (Jacob and Esau, Joseph sold into slavery, Rachel and Leah's father), reluctant obedience (Isaac), conditional obedience (Jacob), wicked edicts (Moses in basket), and foolish women (Rebekah, Potiphar's wife) to bring His plans to fruition.

Today is Nate and I's thirteenth anniversary.  We married and began our family while we were still young.  The first year was a little rough and we both went through some "what if's" and "we should have's".  We have an advantage now that we didn't have then to know that love, even if it starts out unsteady and with shaky steps, can bloom into a masterpiece.  This story isn't over, we have no idea what will happen today.  We may be faced with a trial unlike we have ever known, but my prayer is that we can face any struggle together.  God, in His faithfulness, knew that the selfish, spoiled youngest girl needed the stubborn, sarcastic oldest boy to accomplish His purpose in their marriage.   This song was sang at our wedding...

Recognize it?  Psalm 27... our study's memorization for the week.  It sounded great at our wedding, but we didn't know what we were getting into.  We didn't know what dwelling in the house of Lord was going to mean.  It meant giving up of self, it meant following the Lord wherever He leads, it meant clinging to each other when we felt alone, it meant not keeping a record of each other's sins, it meant a vow to each other and to God that was not easily broken.  I look forward to the rest of the days of our life together, we can be confident and fearless if we continue to seek after the Lord and his salvation.

God is the artist and the author of our life.  He knows what happens when the last page is written and the paint has dried.  We can't flip to the last page and we can't unveil the painting, but we can boldly step in faith and trust God and His perfect plan, just as the great heroes of our faith did.  Don't ruin the masterpiece by impatiently picking up your own ink pen.  Let God paint.

Nov 22, 2011

Scripture memorization.

  Romans 6:4
We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death 
(immersion... experiencing the death of Christ)
   in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, 
(submersion... experiencing the forgiveness of sins)
 we too may live a new life. 
(emersion... rising to walk in newness of Christ's resurrected walk )
 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death 
(immersion... experiencing the death of Christ)
  in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, 
(submersion... experiencing the forgiveness of sins)
 we too may live a new life. 
(emersion... rising to walk in newness of Christ's resurrected life)
 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death 
(immersion... experiencing the death of Christ)
  in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, 
(submersion... experiencing the forgiveness of sins)
we too may live a new life. 
(emersion... rising to walk in the newness of Christ's resurrected life)

Repeat it and apply it all day long.

Letters from home.

Your Grand and Gram told me of your special Boom!
Another animal you caught, but can't put in your room!
I'm sure you are excited with your BIG point buck,
An eleven year old that had some good luck!
Possibly his head will be mounted and hung inside,
Then you can spend time to stroke his hide!
 I wanted to Congratulate you on a job well done,
I know you enjoy telling your friends about all the fun!
When Grandma Randy was a young boy, 
he kept animals of all sizes - 
but never a deer was among his surprises!
Thank Goodness!

You put your best paw forward!
Along with your muzzle loader!
Love ya,
Grandma Great Montgomery

My Grandma really gets Drew with all his animals and his adventures.  She had a little boy just like him.  When my dad was young, he had a pet chinchilla that he loved dearly.  When the chinchilla died, my grandma had it mounted.  She saved it for many years and my mom used it for a centerpiece for our Christmas dinner. Along with deer antlers and dad's old shotgun shells.  I miss my family and our quirkiness... thirty five more days and counting until I go home.

Nov 20, 2011

Needle, thread, scissors, scraps, and a lot of glue.

 The LORD God is our Creator.
 He made us and is slowly molding us to become the women He created us to be.
 Sometimes, He has to cut away the excess to create something beautiful.
 He uses the troubles and trials of this life
 to slowly begin to mold our hearts
 into hearts that resemble His Son.
 We can use the gifts that God has given us
 to serve others, enjoy Christian fellowship, and reach out in the community
with the message of Jesus Christ.
Big thanks to Cindy B. for organizing the first sewing class at Twin Oaks Baptist Church.  I paraphrased her devotional into my own words... forgive me if anything is misquoted.  Class Two = Scarves.  Coming soon.

Nov 19, 2011

Hoo ARE you?

 I made this owl pincushion for a door prize at church.  I thought the little guy turned out great and he felt right at home in my sewing room.  He liked hanging out with the stinkbugs and spider webs.  (Picture Hunt:  Find the stinkbug.)  My favorite detail was the little knobby knees that were made from tying a knot in his legs. 

Did you READ what I said?  I said that the owl had knobby knees on his legs!!  I mean it was a cute detail and I didn't notice for a long time...but...owls don't HAVE long legs!

I was so confused.  Why did they put flamingo legs on an owl?  Is a cute detail worth making a mixed up bird?  Should I still give it away even if it's weird?

In the end, I didn't really give a hoot.  He can still be used as a pincushion and he still looks cute on a shelf.


Fuller's Field, outside of Jerusalem in Judah
 Been there.
  Done that.
The fuller's field is mentioned in Isaiah 7:3.  Isaiah is sent there to speak to King Ahaz and here is where the virgin birth of Immanuel is prophesied.  It was in my bible reading this week and it caught my attention because I thought the name was cool sounding and anything to do with fabric or sewing gets me every time.  The fuller's field was just outside of Jerusalem and it is where the fullers washed processed cloth and bleached clothing.  The fullers bleached cloth white using a mix of alkali, soap, putrid urine, sulphur fumes, and plant ashes.  I just used a handy dandy Clorox pen.

I made the shirt as a token to remember my journey through the bible in a year and to remind myself of what Immanuel did for me.  He removed my transgressions as far as the east is from the west and he washed my sins until they were bleached as white as snow.

Church notes.

Some of these notes are from a past sermon given at Twin Oaks Baptist Church.  It was fun to look back through Pastor's outline and see what the boys heard...

My personal favorite.  I didn't write it but my kids were involved in the loud coloring. 

Nov 17, 2011

Singing psalms...

I love it when I find the bible verses that inspire some of my favorite songs. I always jot the name of the song that comes to my head when I read certain verses. Sometimes the song lyrics are exactly the same as the psalm and I bust right into singing. I love that. I think David would be amazed that his words are still inspiring musicians today. My psalm for the day is Psalm 3... do you recognize the song?

LORD, how many are my foes!
How many rise up against me!
Many are saying of me,
“God will not deliver him.”

But you, LORD, are a shield around me,
my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
I call out to the LORD,
and he answers me from his holy mountain.

I lie down and sleep;
I wake again, because the LORD sustains me.
I will not fear though tens of thousands
assail me on every side.

(Listen for Psalm 121...)

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

Nov 16, 2011

My dead.

Drew has a few different styles of hunting.

Sometimes he gets up early with Uncle Greg and piles on the camo, tiptoes to the blind, and then promptly falls asleep. Uncle Greg has to nudge him a few times so his snoring doesn't alert the animals.

Sometimes he creeps around the yard with a BB gun and pops anything that moves... I have the birds and squirrels in my freezer to prove it.

Sometimes he rigs a snare with wire and a green tree branch and catches the cat.

But if you ask him, the best time he's ever had hunting was when Uncle Greg called him and whispers the location of a buck that is trailing a doe and he jumped in the truck, belly crawled to the field in the same clothes he wore all day, and twenty minutes later he hauled a trophy to the truck.

I have never seen my son so excited. He's been smiling all week, walking with a new swag, and changing the lyrics to his favorite songs...

All the other bucks with the pumped up horns you'd better run, better run, outrun my gun.
All the other doe with the pumped up legs you'd better run, better run, faster than my bullet.

(One of my favorite stories I always tell about my boys is when Finn was little, he used to play hunting with Drew and he was always the deer. He'd flop to the ground, roll his head back, hang out his tongue and say, "My dead." It wasn't just when they played. We would ask him to pick up toys... "My dead." Tell him to hurry up... "My dead." Bedtime... "My dead.")

Nov 14, 2011

5 Lessons.

I am seven days in to my bible in a year plan. I try to pick one thing per day to study a little deeper. I am burning up pages in my Bible Dictionary and googling more than normal. My top five lessons I have learned this week...

1. Satan's very real presence. In Genesis 4, after Cain and Abel present God with their offerings, God tells Cain that sin is crouching at his door. He has sneaky and has many methods of attack. He desires to have us but we must learn to master the attacks. When Satan tests Job in chapters 1 and 2, he uses the Sabeans to attack, the Chaldeans to raid, winds to destroy, disease to infect, and friends to confuse.

2. There is nothing new under the sun. God uses His Word to teach the lessons that I still enjoy debating today.

Why do good things happen to bad people? (Job 1-2)
What can I do to earn God's favor? (Genesis 4, Isaiah 1)
Why in the world did God begin with laws that no one could live up to? (Romans 3-4)
What does TRUE FAITH look like? (Noah, Rahab, Abraham, Abel)

3. Genealogy reveals the types of people that God can use to deliver His people. (Tax collectors, prostitutes, adulterers, and murderers) There is a blessing in reading Matthew 1 and Genesis 4 if you are determined to not skim your way through it.

4. God CAN and WILL shed new light on old passages. It's no coincidence that I just read about Abraham, Rahab, and Abel and we begin a study on Hebrews 11 at bible study, or a friend posts a link on Facebook about Job. God's just cleaning off my spiritual glasses that had gotten a little blurry. I've learned new things, too. Do YOU know what the Nephilim are in Genesis 6:4? I didn't. My Zondervan says that they were giants or aboriginal dwellers that were violent men. (Some scholars think that they were fallen angels. I would suggest not googling. I thought the images were disturbing.) My conclusion? It explained the abnormal skulls found that people use to argue evolution.

And finally.

5. If I take Friday and Saturday off, I will spend a big part of Sunday and Monday doing catch up.

Nov 8, 2011

Confession time.

I just wanted you to see that I have tried the bible in a year thing. Twice, in fact. The X's and the check's. I quit on February 14th. And January 10th. I wish I knew what year it was. 2000? 2002? Somewhere in there. Soon after that I became a checklist rebel. In my eyes, Checklists = Legalism. My bible plan was proof positive that I couldn't even begin to please God by my own merits. Here's what I would do... Pray for the Lord's guidance and plop my bible open to wherever He led. He just always "happened" to plop my bible open to the New Testament. Or wherever Beth Moore led me that morning.

But at some point yesterday, I read and accepted an invitation. I printed out a few plans and made my choice. I am doing the 52 Week Plan and I began today on Tuesday of Week One. What is the difference this time? Only the Lord knows. He nudged me to accept and He's going to be with me through it. I am reading from the New International Version and this makes all of the old familiar passages come alive. And the best part? I have friends to cheer me along and keep me from straying.

I began today in Joshua 1-5. It couldn't have been a more fitting reading for the first day.

Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.

God's Word is alive and I can't wait to see all of the new things He has for me to discover this year.

Nov 1, 2011

channing raine

I just hate it when I am rocking a new outfit

and my skirt keeps riding up over my Missoni leggings

causing my bum to hang out.

It's so embarrassing.

"People getting a little dramatic about food"

Did you know that there are 45 episodes of Man vs. Wild on Netflix? Drew does. He already knows what he wants for his birthday in June. He wants us to drop him and a few friends off at the edge of the woods at 9:00 AM pick them up 24 hours later. No food, no water, no matches. He has his plan. First you build your shelter, then you start your fire, then you find food and water. That's what Bear Grylls says! They've been practicing.