Sunday, February 28, 2010

On My Nightstand - March

5 Minutes for Books
I've been reading a lot this week while I've been sick. My book pile is starting to get rather small. I checked out a couple more books today but they are all specific to fulfilling reading challenges.

Emma & Knightley, by Rachel Billington - I need to work on my Jane Austen reading challenge.
Knit the Season, by Kate Jacobs - I've read a couple of books by this author and have enjoyed every one of them.
Vanity and Vexation, by Kate Fenton - Another book for the Jane Austen challenge.
Just Jane, by Nancy Moser - I really enjoyed the last Moser book I read about Elizabeth Barrett Browning and I'm really looking forward to this book.

My Life in France, by Julia Child - I've seen Julie & Julia (wasn't impressed) but wante to read Child's memoir. She seems like an interesting person.
A Thousand Days in Venice, by Marlena De Blasi - I've heard great things about this book.
A Thousand Days in Tuscany, by Marlena De Blasi - The sequel to A Thousand Days in Venice.
Scheisshaus Luck, by Pierre Berg - I'm sure this book will make me cry, but I've always been interested in this time period.

If God is Good, by Randy Alcorn - I'm not sure I'm going to get to this book before it's due back at the library, but I will certainly try.

Bible in 90 Days - Day 58

I finished reading Jeremiah. It's not a very uplifting book, in spite of a few texts that talk about God's love.

The last few chapters talked about the punishments that certain cities were going to receive. And that's really all I have to say about the end of Jeremiah. On to Lamentations!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Bible in 90 Days - Days 56 & 57

I finally made up one of my missed days! Today I read Jeremiah 27 through 47.

The reading was mostly Jeremiah telling people that they had disobeyed God and so He was allowing them to be taken captive. In every one of Jeremiah's warnings was the promise that if the people turned back to God, He would save them.

I believe that the story of Israel and all of history can be summed up as follows:

The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee
Jeremiah 31:3.

Reading the Bible so quickly has shown me that God really is patient. Over and over and over and over Israel rejects God. And God keeps calling them back. Sometimes the people have to pay the consequences for their sins, but God never fails to love them.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Bible in 90 Days - Day 55

Today's reading schedule is Jeremiah 11 through 23 but I read through chapter 26. I'm hoping to read a few extra chapters for a few days and make up one of my missed days. I really want to finish the reading in 90 days or less and I don't want to read all of Revelation on day 90!

I marked another prophecy about Christ.

Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.

In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely:
and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS

Jeremiah 23:5-6.

I also found this promise:

Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD,
and whose hope the LORD is.

For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit

Jeremiah 17:7-8.

This promise sounds glorious to me, especially because I live in a desert. The image of a tree planted by waters, green leaves, ever yielding fruit... It just sounds so peaceful and I would love to be sitting under that tree right now.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Bible in 90 Days - Day 54

Bible study tonight was canceled because the host is attending a raw "cooking" class. It was great timing as I've been sick the last three days and don't feel much better than I did day 1. So I'm glad I get to stay home. I haven't left the house since Monday and I'm really happy about it. My energy is nonexistent.

Today's reading covered Jeremiah chapters 1 through 10. I didn't find anything really thought provoking until chapter 9.

Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches:

But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD

Jeremiah 9:23-24.

I think these two verses are really cool. Even if a person is wise, mighty, or rich, they are not to glory in it. Instead, they are to glory that they understand and know the Lord. I wonder if this text is talking about God the Father or Jesus. It is possible to know both. After all, Christ said that "if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him" (John 14:7).

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Bible in 90 Days - Day 53

I have finished reading Isaiah! Today I just wanted to post a prophecy about Christ.

Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?

For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors

Isaiah 53.

I found it interesting that Isaiah prophecies that Christ would have "no beauty that we should desire Him." Crowds flocked to Him but it wasn't His beauty or His popularity or His money. He didn't have any. People wanted to be near Christ because of who He was, because of His teachings, and because of the way He treated people. No one could accuse Christ of winning popularity contests based on His looks because He wasn't considered handsome, at least not by earthly standards. His character reflected God the Father and that is what attracted people.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

This and That

I have a number of other topics I really want to post about, but writing about the Bible reading takes up all of my creative energy! I've had some interesting cooking experiences lately, have read some great books, and I'm decluttering our apartment. Decluttering is a way more involved job than I thought it would be!

On the creative side of my life, I just finished tying my first quilt today. I should have had it done five weeks ago but I've been procrastinating. All I have left is to sew an "in the ditch" seam around the borders and then fold the border over and sew the quilt closed. I'm planning on doing the sewing tomorrow but we'll see how I feel. I've been feeling terrible all day today.

Bible in 90 Days - Day 52

I am almost done with Isaiah, today reading chapters 42 through 52.

Right away I found a passage that I absolutely love. It's beautiful.

Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein:

I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;

To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.

I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.

Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them

Isaiah 42:5-9.

And then in the very next chapter, the Lord tells us why He created us.

Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him
Isaiah 43:7

He created us for His glory! It's amazing what kind of facts and such you find when you're reading but not looking for anything specific (or with an agenda).

Monday, February 22, 2010

Bible in 90 Days - Day 51

Today's reading covered Isaiah chapters 29 through 41. I found a few interesting texts that I will have to study later. The reading goes so quickly that all I can do is make notes about things I need to come back to!

And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him
Isaiah 30:18.

This text reads to me like a contradiction. The Lord will wait and be gracious and exalted, that He may have mercy. Why? Because he's a God of judgment. What? This doesn't fit with my idea of judgment, though I understand that God is gracious, exalted, and merciful. I need to do a Bible study on the idea of judgment.

And the work of righteousness shall be peace;
and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever

Isaiah 32:17.

I love this text, how the work of righteousness is peace. It reminds me of James 3:18. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

And this last text is a wonderful promise.

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint
Isaiah 40:31.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Bible in 90 Days - Day 50

Today's reading was mostly completed in the afternoon as our morning was completely off our normal routine. I read Isaiah 14 through 28. The first three fourths of the chapters were doom and gloom predictions. I was really tired during my reading and had trouble pushing through it. But then I came to some really interesting passages.

Right after several nations are issued very terrible prophecies, Isaiah writes:

O Lord, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.

For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall

Isaiah 25:1, 4.

Isaiah knows that the nations prophesied against brought about their own destruction. Even though he could see God issuing these terrible proclamations, he was still able to praise God because of all the wonderful things He has done.

Then there is this wonderful promise about heaven:

He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.

And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation

Isaiah 25:8-9.

It will be wonderful to know that death will never again raise its ugly head. We will never have to cry because God has saved us and we can rejoice in His salvation. What a wonderful thought! This passage is very similar to several in Revelation about what John saw in vision of the New Jerusalem.

Isaiah then gives us powerful instruction.

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength

Isaiah 26:3-4.

Trust. Perfect peace. Everlasting strength. All of this can be mine and yours if we keep our mind on God.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Bible in 90 Days - Day 49

Today's reading (Isaiah chapters 1 through 13) took some slogging through. The vast majority of it is doom and gloom threats to the Israelites if they continue to abandon God. Isaiah was warning the Israelites what would happen if God removed His hand of protection from them. It was going to be dire.

In the middle of all of these warnings are a few prophecies about Christ.

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel
Isaiah 7:14.

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this

Isaiah 9:6-7.

I love the names of Christ: Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Each name illustrates some aspect of His character. I have multiple names (wife, daughter, someday-a-mother, friend) and each says something about me but you have to add them all together to get a complete picture. It is the same way with Christ. When you look at all of His names, you obtain a better understanding of who He is.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Bible in 90 Days - Day 48

Today was a very interesting mix of chapters. I read Ecclesiastes 3 through Song of Solomon 8. Talk about very different subjects!

Ecclesiastes can be summed up in two verses.

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14.

The first time I read Song of Solomon, years ago, I was completely confused. Over the years, that confusion didn't clear and I never studied the book. My Bible (KJV) has the book broken up into six songs, but there are no other breaks in the text. Hubby has a NKJV and the first time we read the book together, my eyes were opened. The book is a conversation! No wonder I was so confused. In my Bible, it is very difficult to tell where one person's declarations end and the other's begin. Reading my hubby's Bible turned the book into something meaningful.

Song of Solomon was fun for this read through. Hubby and I read it aloud to each other. Some sections were a bit embarrassing and others were confusing in that today's compliments are very different (your hair is like goats?). But it's a great love story.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Gotta run

I finished my Bible reading this morning but I have no time to post about it. I have a huge contract project due tomorrow at 5 and we're leaving for Bible study in a little over an hour. The more work I can get done tonight the better, as hubby has his first day off tomorrow! This is the first time he's been off with this job, which started last June. Great timing for me being swamped with work! ;)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Bible in 90 Days - Day 46

Today I read Proverbs 7 through 20. There are a lot of verses that deal with wisdom. But my favorite verses talk about finding God.

I love them that love me;
and those that seek me early shall find me

Proverbs 7:17.

For whoso findeth me findeth life,
and shall obtain favour of the LORD

Proverbs 7:35.

What wonderful promises! If I search God, I will find Him. And when I find Him, I find life and obtain God's favor. What blessed thoughts.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bible in 90 Days - Day 45

This morning I finished reading Psalms and started Proverbs! The reading covered Psalm 135 through Proverbs 6.

The very last verse of Psalms is used in a more modern praise song.

Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord.
Praise ye the Lord

Psalm 150:6.

I'm very excited to start reading Proverbs, though I know will only be spending several days reading through it. Every time I read through Proverbs, I learn something new. It seems that each verse is packed with wisdom and knowledge.

The proverbs of Solomon
the son of David, king of Israel;

To know wisdom and instruction;
to perceive the words of understanding;

To receive the instruction of wisdom,
justice, and judgment, and equity;

To give subtlety to the simple,
to the young man knowledge and discretion.

A wise man will hear, and will increase learning;
and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:

To understand a proverb, and the interpretation;
the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge:
but fools despise wisdom and instruction

Proverbs 1:1-7.

I want to be one who has the fear of the Lord! I want to hear and increase learning.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Bible in 90 Days - Day 44

Today marks the halfway point of the Bible plan. The program is called Bible in 90 Days but the schedule is actually 88 days of reading with two "off" days. I am now on Day 44, thus I have read half the Bible (when measured in pages).

The reading covered Psalms 109 through 134. I actually noted quite a few praise song based on the Psalms but I only marked two that have spoken to me personally.

This first psalm is used in Steven Curtis Chapman's song "Moment Made For Worshiping." It's a beautiful song and reminds us that every moment is a moment made for worshiping.

From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same
the LORD's name is to be praised

Psalm 113:3.

This second song is one that I remember hearing many times as a child. The year we sung it as the theme song for Vacation Bible School was particular poignant.

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet,
and a light unto my path

Psalm 119:105.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Bible in 90 Days - Day 43

Today I covered Psalms 90 through 108. I thought it would be fitting to post a psalm that I think makes a great Valentine to and from God.

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God;
in him will I trust.

Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler,
and from the noisome pestilence.

He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust:
his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night;
nor for the arrow that flieth by day;

Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness;
nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand;
but it shall not come nigh thee.

Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.

Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge,
even the most High, thy habitation;

There shall no evil befall thee,
neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

For he shall give his angels charge over thee,
to keep thee in all thy ways.

They shall bear thee up in their hands,
lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder:
the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him:
I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

He shall call upon me, and I will answer him:
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him, and honour him.

With long life will I satisfy him,
and shew him my salvation

Psalm 91.

Great books

I wanted to highlight a couple great books I've read lately.

In the Time of the Butterflies is inspired by the true story of the Mirabel sisters, known as las mariposas (the butterflies). From the back of the book - "They were the four Mirabel sisters - symbols of defiant hope in a country shadowed by dictatorship and despair. They sacrificed their safe and comfortable lives in the name of freedom... [the book] describes the everyday horrors of life under the Dominican dictator Trujillo."

I knew the book was going to be a tearjerker. But I didn't realize how much it was going to draw me into the story, make me feel as if I lived under that government and was suffering for want of freedom. I was pulling for the sisters, hoping (irrationally) that they would survive in the end, knowing full well that the sisters were martyred. I couldn't put the book down even though I was heartbroken by the way the government treated its people and the consequences people suffered in standing up for themselves. This really is a story of courage and standing up for one's beliefs.

June Bug surprised me. I spotted this book on the "new" bookshelf at my library and grabbed it on a whim. I'd never read anything by this author, though I'm definitely going to look for his other books. This is the story of a young girl who discovers her photo on the missing persons board at Walmart. It describes her experiences in trying to find out who she really is as well as her adopted father's thoughts and feelings as he tries to raise his daughter by himself. The writing was great and I felt the author had an authentic voice for June Bug. What was even more shocking was how the ending, the events around John's adoption of June Bug, came as a complete surprise! Normally Christian fiction is very formulaic but this book was a breath of fresh air.

My only complaint is that I wish there had been just one more chapter. I wanted to know what happened next!

I loved How Do I Love Thee?, a slightly fictionalized account of Elizabeth Barrett Browning. This is the first Nancy Moser book I've read but I can't wait to get my hands on others. The book started a bit slow and I almost returned it to the library. But then I started getting really interested in Elizabeth and Robert and wanted to know how they were going to marry when Elizabeth's father had forbidden any of his children to marry. Could their love break Elizabeth free from her controlling father?

While reading through the book, I couldn't help but wonder how much of it was based on truth and how much was fictionalized. The author was kind enough to include a chapter by chapter list of the events that were true to life. The vast majority of this book is true! That made the story all the more engaging.

This is one of my new favorite poems (and just in time for Valentine's Day!):

If thou must love me, let it be for nought
Except for love's sake only. Do not say
`I love her for her smile ... her look ... her way
Of speaking gently, ... for a trick of thought
That falls in well with mine, and certes brought
A sense of pleasant ease on such a day'
For these things in themselves, Beloved, may
Be changed, or change for thee,--and love, so wrought,
May be unwrought so. Neither love me for
Thine own dear pity's wiping my cheeks dry,
A creature might forget to weep, who bore
Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby!
But love me for love's sake, that evermore
Thou may'st love on, through love's eternity.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Bible in 90 Days - Day 42

I'm so excited that I'm still reading through Psalms on this Sabbath day. What a wonderful way to spend time this morning and again this afternoon. Today I read Psalm 70 through 89.

Instead of finding praise songs in the psalms, I found one text that is a great model for living life and another that praises God.

I will remember the works of the LORD:
surely I will remember thy wonders of old.

I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings

Psalms 77:11-12.

Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him;
that glory may dwell in our land.

Mercy and truth are met together;
righteousness and peace have kissed each other.

Truth shall spring out of the earth;
and righteousness shall look down from heaven.

Yea, the LORD shall give that which is good;
and our land shall yield her increase.

Righteousness shall go before him;
and shall set us in the way of his steps

Psalm 85:9-13.

Praise the Lord! He is good. His mercy endures forever.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Bible in 90 Days - Day 41

Today's reading covered Psalms 46 through 69. Psalms is so long that I cannot believe I have already read half of it. This schedule really pushes you through the Bible.

I found two texts almost back to back that I know as praise songs. I love this first song, sung by Steven Curtis Chapman.

Be still, and know that I am God:
I will be exalted among the heathen,
I will be exalted in the earth

Psalm 46:10.

O clap your hands, all ye people;
shout unto God with the voice of triumph

Psalm 47:1.

I couldn't find a video for the version of this song that I'm familiar with. But it was an old campfire song that we loved to sing.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Bible in 90 Days - Day 40

I am really enjoying reading through Psalms. I only wish I could slow down a bit to savor them. This morning I read Psalms 25 through 45. As I was reading, I kept looking for praise song lyrics and found several more.

Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul.

O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed,
let not mine enemies triumph over me.

Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed:
let them be ashamed which transgress without cause.

Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths

Psalm 25:1-4.

O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together
Psalm 34:3.

As the hart panteth after the water brooks,
so panteth my soul after thee, O God

Psalm 42:1.

Listening to these praise songs makes me really content. They bring back a lot of really good memories and I feel close to God. Singing praises to Him is one of the very best forms of worship.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Bible in 90 Days - Day 39

Today I read Psalms 1 through 24. As I was reading through these Psalms, I was looking for verses that I know are praise songs. I found a few. With Psalm 8:9, some translations show "majestic" instead of "excellent."

O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!
Psalm 8:9

Who is this King of glory?
The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah

Psalm 24:10.

For this last Psalm, I'm not sure if verses 1 and 2 are contemporary songs. Verse 3 is a well known praise song, but I loved verses 1 and 2 and had to include them in my list.

I will love thee, O LORD, my strength.

The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised:
so shall I be saved from mine enemies

Psalm 18:1-3.

The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock;
and let the God of my salvation be exalted

Psalm 18:46.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Bible in 90 Days - Days 37 & 38

I'm still trying to catch up with my reading after having missed both Sabbath and Sunday. Today I finished reading Job (should be on Psalm 45). Tomorrow I'll try to read through Psalm 45 and then I will be only one day behind. Hopefully I can catch up fully by this weekend.

Job is still a bit confusing to me. I understand the basic story. Satan attacks Job because God says that Job is perfect. Job mourns his losses but doesn't curse God. Job's friends chastise Job for harboring secret sin when Job hasn't done anything wrong. Another friend sticks up for Job but lectures him about not portraying God correctly. God tells Job that Job isn't God. Job gains back all his prior wealth (plus some) and has a second set of children.

I don't understand why Elihu was lecturing Job. I also don't understand the exchange between God and Job. I'm going to add this book to my list of Bible topics to come back and study later this year. While I am reading through the Bible quickly, I miss the in-depth study.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Playing catch up

I missed a second day (yesterday) in the Bible in 90 days program. I'm pretty bummed about it, but I'm trying to catch up. I'm half way through Job but should be around Psalm 24. Tomorrow, I'm planning on finishing up Job and starting Psalms.

Job's story is a real tear jerker. He lost everything but his wife and his own life. All in one day, he lost his cattle, his servants, and his children. That's like losing your family and all your wealth. Unfortunately, Job's friends are accusing Job of harboring secret sin. They believed that God was punishing Job for something.

It's been a long time since I've read Job, but I'm looking forward to seeing what God's response is.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Missing a day

I'm not exactly happy about it, but I've decided to skip my Bible reading today. The schedule allows for two miss days but I haven't missed anything thus far. I'm at my brother's house until tomorrow and there is no quiet here. The house has been full of people all day, sometimes up to 30 at a time.

My dad, his friend, and myself went to church this morning. I've been begging to attend church here each time we visit, but I've never been able to get anyone to take me. Thankfully, my dad decided that we would go this morning. The church service was really nice. The church is small, as this is a tiny military town. The people were very friendly and I was happy to spend an hour worshiping God in the middle of this crazy day.

I'm really glad to spend time with my brother, but I miss my husband. I love the life we have together and I like the routines, our time together, and my own bed! Sometimes I feel silly missing him so much when I'm rarely away from home and usually only for a weekend at a time. But we've been married only four years and I still want to spend every single day by his side.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Must Rush!

I was going to post about today's Bible reading but I am out of time. I'm leaving in about 20 minutes to head down to my brother's house for a mini family reunion. I guess I'll have to combine today's thoughts with tomorrow's.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Bible in 90 Days - Day 35

Today's reading covered the entirety of Nehemiah. This is the first time I've read Nehemiah as one story. It's only 13 chapters, but there are still a few genealogy and city lists. Thankfully, most of it was really interesting.

The story is about Nehemiah rebuilding the Jerusalem. He received permission from Artaxerxes to return to Jerusalem and repair the city. There were several setbacks along the way, but ultimately, Nehemiah was successful. After the project was complete, Nehemiah reads the entire law to the people. In return, the people confess their sins and ask for God's forgiveness. Included in this confession is an admission to how often Israel backslides.

But after they had rest, they did evil again before thee: therefore leftest thou them in the land of their enemies, so that they had the dominion over them: yet when they returned, and cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and many times didst thou deliver them according to thy mercies
Nehemiah 9:28.

Many times, Israel did evil before the Lord. Many times, the Lord left them under the hand of their enemies. Many times did Israel repent and cry unto the Lord. And many times did the Lord "deliver them according to [His] mercies." I am so glad our God is merciful.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Bible in 90 Days - Day 34

I have arrived at the period of the captivities. Today's reading covered 2 Chronicles 36 through Ezra 10. That's all of Ezra.

Most of the reading was about the rebuilding of the temple. Were they allowed to build the temple or weren't they? Was the king going to allow the Israelites to rebuild the temple or was a group of naysayers going to convince the king that Israel would rebel against him once the project was complete?

The story summed up as follows:

And the elders of the Jews builded, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they builded, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia
Ezra 6:14.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Bible in 90 Days - Day 33

Today I read 2 Chronicles 23-35. I think Chronicles does have some additional information than what Kings covers. But I have a hard time remembering the difference between each king, much less the differences between the stories in Chronicles and Kings. Sometime I'll have to make a list...

This was an interesting text:

And he [Amaziah] did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, but not with a perfect heart
2 Chronicles 25:2.

Amaziah kept God's commandments and did the right things. But his heart didn't match up with his actions. That means it would be possible for me to do the right things but not have a heart that is one with God. Is that having works without faith?

But the priests were too few, so that they could not flay all the burnt offerings: wherefore their brethren the Levites did help them, till the work was ended, and until the other priests had sanctified themselves: for the Levites were more upright in heart to sanctify themselves than the priests
2 Chronicles 29:34.

I thought the above text was really interesting as well. Position is also no guarantee of a perfect heart. The priests had a constant reminder of God's love and commands. And yet here was an example of everyday people being more upright in heart than the leaders. This would also prove to be the case in Christ's day.

I'm not a priest, nor a king, but I hope that God can give me a perfect heart like His. I want to love like God does, not love like a selfish human being loves.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Bible in 90 Days - Day 32

Today's reading covered 2 Chronicles 8-23.

I found several more verses that pertain to my perfection question.

But the high places were not taken away out of Israel:
nevertheless the heart of Asa was perfect all his days

2 Chronicles 15:17.

For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars
2 Chronicles 16:9.

And one from an earlier reading -
All these men of war, that could keep rank, came with a perfect heart to Hebron, to make David king over all Israel: and all the rest also of Israel were of one heart to make David king
1 Chronicles 12:38.

I'm going to keep an eye out for other verses that pertain to this topic. I really do want to understand our goal regarding perfection and sin while living on this earth.