Thursday, January 15, 2009


I have finally accepted that I am not going to be able to keep up this blog in the way I was originally thinking, and the way I started out. I just do not have the time. Accepting my limitations is definitely not my favorite thing, but as I am learning again and again (I wonder why God has to keep showing me...?) it is necessary.

I will still be writing here about my journey of reading through the Bible 5 times this year. I will just not be going into as much detail on the passages...which, really, will be more what I had in mind for this blog. It's just that after I read and then skim through what I've read again to pick out things to share it is so hard to for me to sum it up! So I end up writing way more than I intend and it takes much longer than I actually have! This, in turn, leads to days and days of not posting because I know I need more time than I have...

So, here is my new plan. On this blog I will share some general, overview thoughts on my bible reading, I would like to write everyday but, realistically it will probably be 2-3 times a week. This will also be a 'deeper thoughts' type of blog where I will share about how I am growing in my walk, what I feel God is showing me, struggles I am having, etc.

So, to finish off this post I will bring you up to date on my reading. Yesterday I finished Judges, read Ruth and started 1 Samuel. Exodus was amazing. I am always awed by what God does for the Israelites in the book of Exodus...and by how he is visibly there leading them in the desert. I am also astounded by the Israelite's habit of rebelling in spite of the fact that they can see the physical manifestation of God with them (the pillar of fire by night and the pillar of cloud by day). Then I think of how many times I have rebelled against God and I have his Holy Spirit dwelling in me! Hmm...

Something I took note of this time reading Exodus, which I don't remember much from previous readings, is how God spoke to Moses face to face (33:11 - The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to a friend.) as He had not done with any other man. Also earlier in 6:2-3 God says, 'I am the Lord. I appeared to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the Lord I did not make myself known to them.' I found that fascinating, God revealing a new aspect of Himself to His people!

Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy had a lot of laws, and directions for sacrifices but also more about the Israelites journey in the desert, including their adding 40 years to their sojourn in the desert because they were afraid of the residents of the promised land. Then in Joshua we finally get to see them enter the land God promised them! Reading all the laws and directions for sacrifices was difficult at times yet at the same time it is fascinating to see the detail that God gave them about all these things. It also reminds me that God cares about all the little details of our lives!

Reading so much of the Bible everyday and, therefore, reading through these books very quickly has given me a better grasp of the story told there. It hasn't lost it's flow as it sometimes seems to if you just read a chapter or two at a time, or, definitely, when you just read a bit here and a bit there. I have a better understanding of who the judges were and their significance. I also have a better understanding of the significance of the Israelites wanting a king - as I will be reading about tonight (I haven't done my reading yet today).

I also have an even greater appreciation for God's great mercy and grace for His people. Time and again we see God's chosen people (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, the Israelites...) doing things that are displeasing to God or outright rebelling against Him and yet again and again He shows them mercy! Yes, we see His wrath as well (Korah and his followers, Aaron's sons, several plagues on they Israelites brought about by their rebellion...) and we see the consequences of their actions at times but most often we see His mercy and His graciousness in providing for, and indeed prospering them in spite of their 'mess-ups'. It really is amazing and wonderful!

It is hard for me to really describe how much all this Bible reading is impacting my life. One wonderful thing about it is that it has definitely made Bible reading a priority in my day - as it should be, but I have struggled with this...all my life, really. Having 'reading the Bible in 90 days' as my goal has given me the direction I need - and I have to give it priority if I am going to get all the reading done that I need to do each day to reach my goal. Being in the Word so much everyday has, not surprisingly, helped my thought life tremendously. This is another area that I have struggled with so this is a huge blessing! God has really been helping me in this area for a while now, as I have been asking for His help more, but being in His Word has brought even greater improvement. I find it so much easier to be positive and to have peace about things that I am concerned about.

This first time around I am just reading, taking some notes when I feel the need to and enjoying the story. When I start over again in April I plan to write down questions I have about what I read and other things I want to study further, then I will do my best to find the answers. When I am part of the way through my second reading I will see what I plan to do on the third reading. (-: I am so excited about all that I am learning and will learn throughout this year! I still have such a long way to go as a Christian but I am so thankful for the growth God is allowing in my life!

What an amazing God we have!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Notes from Day 4's reading

(I wrote this about a week and a half ago, I am not going to be posting like this anymore but since I already wrote this I am posting it now.)

On Day 4 I finished Joseph's story. It is such an amazing story!

Here are some of the things that especially stood out to me:

41:1 - Two years have past since Joseph asked the cup-bearer to remember him!

41:31 - The abundance of the previous years is forgotten because of the severity of the famine. Isn't this so very human! I do understanding that if you are starving the feast you had a month ago must seem a very distant memory. But this made me think about how all the blessing God has poured out on us seem to disappear when we face a serious trial. This sentence just really struck a note with me.

41:40b - Only with respect to the throne was Pharaoh greater than Joseph in Egypt!

42:5 - Josephs brothers are among those who must come before Joseph to purchase grain

42:7 - Joseph pretends to be a stranger. It is amazing that he is able to keep his composure! Even though he does weep later (v.24) he is still amazingly in control.

42:21 - Josephs brothers clearly remember Joseph's pleas for his life when they threw him in the, that is rather chilling, isn't it? To think of them listening to his cries, their own brother, and yet remaining unmoved. Yikes!

43:14 - Israel puts things in God's hands when his sons have to return to Egypt a second time and he fears for their life, and the life of Benjamin.

45:1-15 - Sweet forgiveness! What perspective Joseph has - was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you (v.5)

45:16-28 - And so God preserves Israel, and prospers him, in this time of famine.

47:7 - Jacob blesses Pharaoh...I wonder what Pharaoh thought of that.

50:19-21 - Joseph reassures his brothers of his forgiveness after their father dies - intended to harm me but God intended it for good...I will provide for you and your children.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Just a note

Life is crazy busy, though good. I have not had a chance to post my thoughts the last few days but I have been reading, and loving it! I have also been taking notes so I will post...whenever I get enough spare time! So far I have read up to Exodus 28! Woo-hoo! (-:

Can't wait to talk about it...

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Day 4 - Genesis 40 - 50

I finished the book of Genesis today! Definitely good stuff!

I am not going to post any thoughts tonight, however, I will try to post them in the morning instead. I have my part-time munchkin coming tomorrow - the 5-month-old I babysit during the day - so I Must get to bed on time.

Here is Jonathan Edwards resolution for today:

4. Resolved, never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God; nor be, nor suffer it, if I can avoid it.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Day 3 - Genesis 29 - 40

Today's reading was definitly filled with some heavy stuff.

29:15 - 31:9 - Jacob meets his match in Laban, when it comes to being deceitful. After seven years of working to marry Rachel, Laban gives Jacob his daughter Leah in her place! Then he makes Jacob work seven more years after he allows him to marry Rachel also. (29:19-30) And when Jacob makes a deal with Laban that allows Jacob to keep all the speckled, etc. animals Laban takes all his animals that qualify and hides them from Jacob! (30:35&36) Though God increases Jacob's flock in spite of Labans deception. (30:37-43) Finally Labans hostility is too much and Jacob heads back to his homeland after God tells him to (31:3)

Chapter 34 is all about how Dinah is raped by Shechem (and basically held hostage, v.26) and Jacob and his sons retaliate by tricking all the men of the city to be circumcised, then they attack and kill them while they are still weak. Yikes!

35:22 - Reuben sleeps with his fathers concubine.

37:20 - Joesephs brothers plot to kill him.

37:23-36 - At Reubens prodding they tear off Josephs robe and throw him in a cistern instead of killing him, then they sell him to a passing caravan as a slave and then they lie to their father saying that Joseph is dead and break Jacobs heart!

38:6-10 - Er, Judahs firstborn is wicked so God puts him to death. Then Onan purposefully keeps from producing offspring with Er's widow, so God puts him to death.

38:13-26 - Judah does not give Er's widow, Tamar, to his son Shelah as he said he would, so she disguises herself and Judah sleeps with her thinking she is a prostitute. She then becomes pregnant by him and is almost put to death but is able to prove that he is the father (by the pledge he left with her) so she is spared and he is rebuked since he knew he was wrong for not giving her to his son as he said he would.

39:7-20 - Joseph is falsly accused and imprisoned by Potiphars wife.

And lastly the sad words in 40:23 The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him. How could he forget him?! That is so sad! Though I know that it was just not God's timing yet, as I will read about tomorrow. I still feel sad for Joseph having to spend 2 more years in prison.

These are all some pretty weighty things in my view. Deception, rape, murder...selling a brother into slavery, wow!

Again, however, we see God's mercy and grace as well as He works out His plans in spite of sinful people. God gives Leah children first, to comfort her since she is not loved by Jacob (29:31), then He has mercy on Rachel also and opens her womb as well (30:22). He increases Jacobs flocks in spite of Laban's deception (30:37-43). He allows a peaceful meeting between Jacob and Esau(33:4), though Jacob does have his own plans for trying to bring that about and never quite trusts Esau. And then we see God lifting Joseph up even in prison (39:20-23)

Josephs story is one of my favorite stories in all of scripture. I look forward to reading more of it tomorrow. It is so cool to see the words - (God) gave him success in whatever he did. Considering his family history it is amazing that Joseph was such a Godly, righteous man. I have heard it said that he is one of the few (I think even just he and Daniel) main bible characters for whom no sin is recorded. We know, of course, that only Jesus committed no sin but Joseph was definitly an amazingly good guy. And we get to see how richly God blesses him because of that.

Jonathan Edwards resolution for today:

3. Resolved, if ever I shall fall and grow dull, so as to neglect to keep any part of these Resolutions, to repent of all I can remember, when I come to myself again.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Day 2 - Genesis 17 - 28

I woke up this morning looking forward to my Bible reading today!

Now that is a good feeling.

Todays reading was all about Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In reading their stories I can't help but to be struck by some of their amazingly bad choices and just bad behavior. Examples are:

17:17 - When God tells Abraham, again, that he will have a son Abraham falls facedown and laughs!

18:10-15 - Sarah overhears God tell Abraham, yet again, that he will have a son and she laughs, then she lies about it!

19:6-8 - Lot offers his virgin daughters to the mob of wicked, lust-filled men outside his door in place of the angels who have visited him.

20:2 - Abraham once again says Sarah is his sister and lets the king take her into his palace, thereby putting the king and his people in great jepordy, not to mention other obvious things.

21:10 - Sarah, out of jealousy tells Abraham to send Hagar and Ismael away (which he does)

25:33 - Esau sells his birthright to Jacob...for some bread and stew!
(as it says in v.34b - so Esau despised his birthright)

26:7 - Now Isaac lies and says Rebekah is his sister! (This time the king catches him in the lie before he takes her as his wife)

27 - all of chapter 27 is about Rebekah convincing Jacob to trick his father (her husband) into thinking he is Esau so that Jacob can steal his father's blessing.

It is amazing to me that God would make his covenant with people of this type. Of course, what other type are there? They do have their good points as well:

17:23 - As soon as God commanded Abraham to circumcise every member of his household he does just that (on that very day...)

18:16-33 - Abraham pleads with God to spare Sodom and Gomorrah for the sake of the righteous living there (finally God agrees to spare it if he finds even 10 righteous, and it is so sad that there are not even that we know since God did not spare them)

22:2-11 - Abraham is willing to sacrifice his only son at God's command...this does show a deep-seated faith, even though we see Abraham give in to fear and disbelief at times when it comes down to 'brass tacks' he is God's man.

And of course, through it all we just see the awesome grace of God for his people. Just a few examples are:

18:15 - Sarah was afraid when the Lord asked why Sarah laughed and she lied and said she did not laugh - the Lord simply says 'Yes, you did laugh.' - not 'You know what, nevermind you don't deserve a son' or more Sarah - just, 'yes, you did'; it seems to me that God had mercy on her 1) because he had plans that involved her and that was how he was going to do it in spite of her 'frailty' (of course, none of it took him by suprise) and 2) he knew she was afraid and was merciful to her because she was only human - he 'remembers that we are but dust', that is just so sweet to know!

19:16-22 - the angels are going to spare Lot and his family and give them opportunity to flee the destruction of the city - even pulling them by their hands when they hesitate instead of just leaving them - and they tell them to flee to the mountains but Lot pleads to be allowed to go to the nearest town out of fear and God in His mercy allows this. To me this just speaks volumes about how God is so gentle and loving with us in our weakness.

20:6 - God keeps Abimelech the king from touching Sarah - and thereby bringing judgement on him and his people - when he takes her as his wife after Abraham says she is his sister (for the second time)

21:1-2 - Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age. (That pretty much says it)

21:17-20 - After Abraham sends Hagar and Ismael away and they almost die in the desert God saves them himself.

24:67 - God brings Isaac a wife, just when he needs to be comforted after his mothers death. This verse is very sweet to me.

28:10-22 - Even though Jacob had just swindled his brother out of his blessing and had to flee for his life because Esau was so angry, God blesses Jacob in a vision and makes a covenant with him!

God is so great! The more I read the more amazed I am by Him, but also the more I realize I don't quite 'get'. I am so thankful that he is a gracious and merciful God and that He will work out His plan in my life in spite of my weaknesses and faults! Praise the Lord!

Jonathan Edwards resolution for today:

2. Resolved, to be continually endeavoring to find out some new contrivance and invention to promote the aforementioned things.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Day 1 - Genesis 1 - 16

These first 16 chapters of Genesis are so full and rich. I am always amazed, again, each time I read this book at how much happens in just these first few chapters of Gods Word! What I plan to share here are a few of the things that really stand out to me and things that I have noticed either in this reading or in other recent readings that I had not taken note of before.

1:17 (speaking of the sun, moon and stars) God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, - I just love the imagery here of God 'setting' the sun, moon and all those stars in the heavens. Can you picture Him just opening His hand and scattering stars throughout the velvet blackness of space? Stars that we know, scientifically are huge balls of molten gas but God just 'set' them in place. He is so great!

3:6b (after Eve eats the fruit) She also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate it. - I only noticed recently that Adam was with Eve when the serpent got her to eat the fruit, I had always thought she had to take it to him somewhere else in the garden, even though I had read this passage many times, for some reason I just didn't take note of that. I think it puts a bit of a new light on what happened, though I don't fully understand the significance yet - but I do find it very interesting.

3:15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel. - the first messianic prophecy!

3:21 The Lord made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. - What a tender passage! God Himself made clothes to cover Adam and Eves nakedness, so amazing. Ken Ham, from Answers in Genesis, also pointed out that this is the first animal death in God's perfect world...perhaps the first sacrifice, because of the sin of Adam and Eve. Interesting.

4:21-22 - His brother's name was Jubal; he was the father of all who play the harp and flute. Zillah also had a son, Tubal-Cain, who forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron. - Proof that early people had advanced skills, which makes sense since we were created perfect, mature and fully formed in the garden. We have only 'degraded' in intervening years because of the fall.

5:24 - Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away. - Enoch didn't die, cool is that?

5:29 - He named him Noah and said, "He will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the Lord has cursed." - This seemed to indicate to me that Lamech was a man of God so I wondered why the Bible didn't mention him getting on the ark, then I saw that he lived 595 years after Noah was born and Noah was 600 when God flooded the earth. I felt better then, mystery solved.

7:8 - (pairs of animals) came to Noah and entered the ark - Noah didn't have to go search for all the animals God commanded him to bring on the ark (as a board book I read to my boys when they were little indicated) God sent the animals to Noah. It makes sense, but it is still so cool.

7:16b - Then the Lord shut him in. - God Himself closed the door of the ark and shut Noah and his family safely inside.

9:13 - I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. - I love it when I see a rainbow, it just makes my day, and I always think of God's promise to Noah. What a great God.

11:9 - That is why it was called Babel - because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth. - And this is why we have different 'races' today. Pretty interesting.

Chapters 12 - 16

Abram...a great man of God and yet we see him make some major blunders. Letting Pharaoh take Sarai as his wife out of fear. (12:11-20) Having a child by Hagar, thereby taking matters into his own hands and bringing about a whole group of people who would cause trouble for the Jews for the rest of time. (all of chapter 16 deals with this) Yet God credited the faith Abram did have as righteousness (15:6) and God did fulfill His promise to make Abram into a great nation.

I personally am encouraged when I look at these great men of old and see that they made mistakes, even major mistakes and yet they are still used mightily by God. What hope this gives me, as a very imperfect person, that God might still use me! Praise the Lord for that!

I thought I would share some of Jonathan Edwards 70 resolutions at the end of my entries. Here is his 'introductory resolution' , if you will, and his first resolution.


1. Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God' s glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriads of ages hence. Resolved to do whatever I think to be my duty and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved to do this, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many soever, and how great soever.

(Amen, Mr. (Reverend?, Dr.?) Edwards. - I will have to look his title up, it doesn't say on the page I got the resolutions from)