Monday, July 26, 2010

Stick With Me! (New Testament)

I thought I would split this post in two... I know that I would be more likely to read it that way. So, stick with me, these are my updated thoughts on the New Testament to date.

Ask, Seek, Knock is my favorite passage in the book of Matthew. "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Love, Love, Love!
I am loving reading through Matthew and reading all of the miracles of Jesus. I could post every single one, but I know that you get the idea... Jesus heals the blind, heals the sick, just heals, heals, heals!.
I was reading Matthew 9:9 and got totally stumped. Matthew wrote the book of Matthew. How did Matthew write the first 8 chapters if he had not yet met Jesus? And...
9As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector's booth. "Follow me," he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.
Why would Matthew not have written...
"Follow me," he told me, and I got up and followed him.
Maybe I am just reading too much into this, but I want to make sure that I am getting out of this experience everything that I can!!
"As you go, preach this message: 'The kingdom of heaven is near.' Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons.
Freely you have received, freely give." Matthew 10:7-8 -- There is nothing I can say to follow that! Go ahead and read that again, Freely you have received, freely give.

Elevation is doing a series a series titled "Christ Alone" on Romans 8 for the next few weeks. This falls right in with my reading, so I am stoked about it. This week was great! Pastor preached on Romans 8:1-2 - "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, becuase through Christ Jesus the law of the spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death". The band sang "Christ Alone" which is totally one of my favorite songs. In Christ alone, my hope is found...
When I read Romans 8:31, I am reminded of Chris Tomlin's newest song Our God.
And if Our God is for us, then who could ever stop us, And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?

"It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy" Romans 9:16
"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality." Romans 12:12
"If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Romans 12:20-21. It is so hard to read a passage like that. I wish that I was this good of a Christian. I actually just posted something on my status on facebook about being bitter towards people who do me wrong once. I wish that I could read a passage such as Romans 12:20-21 and say oh yeah, I do that. I hope that one day I can say with confidence that I overcome evil with good.

2 Thessalonians
What a great, short, book. I loved the eternal perspctive that Paul wrote about in this book. It was a great reminder that there is something (so much better) after life on this Earth. I do not have a favorite verse from this book. I can't possibly pick one. As a skim over it again, I can't chose one verse. "But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. We have confidence in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we command. May the Lord direct your hearts into God's love and Christ's perseverance." 2 Thess. 3:3-5

1 Timothy
"But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and recevie eternal life" 1 Tim. 1:16 - I am so thankful for God's unlimited patience. I do not know where I would be without his unlimited patience.

So there ya go. Those are my updated thoughts up to day 12!! I hope that you were able to stick with me through these long posts. I have read 4.8% of the Bible so far! :)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Stick With Me! (Old Testament)

So. This will probably be a longer post. I haven't posted in a couple of days, so I am just going to talk about what I have been reading since I posted last. I am going to list my thoughts and such by book, instead of day, since I have so much to go back over! stick with me!

The Rainbow - God states that He will never flood the Earth again to destroy all living creatures and to symbolize this He will put a rainbow in the sky after a storm. I love looking at something as simple as a rainbow and think about a promise like that from God.

I just have to say that in general... I am having a hard time wrapping my head around the God in the Old Testament. In Joshua 7, one man committed a sin, and his children were punished for it. I have to say that as people living in present day, we are so truly blessed and we don't even realize it. I wish that everyone would take just a moment to realize how blessed we are.
One of the questions in the margins of my Bible asks "Why rely on military strategy to defeat Ai? Joshua 8:3-19 The response says God uses a variety of means to achieve His purpose. Can I just say Amen! This is the truth. God will perform any many different ways. He is God!
I read Joshua 8 and had a hard time understanding why God had commanded Joshua to attack Ai. I googled Joshua 8 and several things came up. I ended up on Victory at Ai. And the short of it is that Joshua 8 reminds us that sin can't be tolerated. But, it also reminds us of the importance of repentance.
The Sun Stands Still... Can I say more? Joshua prayed such a powerful prayer, and God responded. Joshua asked for the sun to stand still, so the sun stood still and the moon stopped

Definitely going to have to spend more time on this when I am done. For now, I am just going to read it and get what I am getting from it. I talked to John Bishop about the Book of Job yesterday. He said that Job could possibly be the oldest book in the Bible. My Bible says that the story of Job was probably passed down from generation to generation and later written down. I asked John Bishop how the conversation between God and Satan was recorded. He said that God may have spoke to the writer of Job, and that's what he wrote.
Job 11:13-20 This is officially my favorite part of Job so far. It is all so true. "You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take rest in your safety" vs. 18

"O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!" Psalm 8:9
"Those who know Your name will trust in You, for You, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek You" Psalm 9:10
"For those who avenges blood remembers; he does not ignore the cry of the afflicted." Psalm 9:12
"You hear, O Lord, the desire of the afflicted, you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more." Psalm 10:17-18

"Te fear of the Lord is the beginning of the wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding" Proverbs 9:10
He who gathers crops in summer is a wise son, but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son" Proverbs 10:5 -- So, I spend most Saturday's sleeping all day until I have to be at church. I have been struggling with wondering if this is actually a sin (sloth?). It's not like I sleep all day every day. I worry that I am trying to rationalize this. Reading this, just gave me another reason to think I shouldn't do this.
"When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices; when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy. Through the blessings of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is destroyed." Proverbs 11:10-11 -- The note in my Bible on this says "Does God actually bless entire cities?" I would say yes. Charlotte is such an example. I feel so blessed to live in Charlotte. God is moving here.

Isaiah 12 This is such a beautiful passage.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Just a lil' something

I have fallen a day behind. :( I will catch up no doubt. I am on a role with this. I know this is possible, no one (not even the enemy can stop me). So, I am just going to post a little something I have been thinking.

The thing I have loved the most so far is that a few months ago, I tried to read through the Bible and just could not do it. Now, I am stoked to get into the Word. The tv is off more than ever. It is awesome! Seeing that change in myself is so cool. I am, also, loving the fellowship of this experience as well.

Being able to talk to my co-workers and friends about this rocks! I am learning from them. I can only hope that at least one of them is learning, or will learn something through/from me doing this! It is exciting to know that people can earn and have my strength through me in this!

God is at work on my heart. He is rocking my boat, challenging me to be a better person and a stronger Christian. There are not words to describe how much I am loving learning and growing through this.

I am still being challenged by Pastor's message the last two weeks. I am praying that God will give me the heart and mind to do what is right. I know what I need to do, but am unsure about how to go about the situation.

There is another situation that I am praying through right now. I know God has a plan to what is right. I am just being impatient about the situation.

I hope everyone is doing well! I know I have at least two readers, that's exciting! :)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Day 5 and 6

Hey. I did not get a chance to post yesterday. I went walking with my friend Emily, and then made it a movie night and sat on my couch watching It's Complicated and Bounty Hunter. They were both good. So here are my thoughts on yesterday and today.

First and foremost... I am having a really hard time reading Job and Acts. Can't seem to wrap my head around those. So, I will continue to read them, ask many questions and probably go back when I am done after the eight months to spend more time in those books.

Genesis 5 was genealogy. :/ I have always had a hard time reading the genealogy in the Bible. I can't figure out why it matters to us, why it was printed. My Bible (Quest Study Bible NIV version) had an article about why it is important to read the genealogy, and I found it interesting. I will paraphrase for you. It states that many different cultures find genealogy interesting because it tracks where people came from and such. But, we can find interest in it because we can start to make connections in Biblical stories. It also says that we will find the most interest in the genealogy of Jesus because we can see the connections in Gd's promise to Abraham and the birth of the Messiah. Just thought that was all interesting... with that being said, I still skipped right over chapter 5.

Matthew 5 is the Beatitudes. Verse 12 is my favorite verse in that chapter. "Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted prophets who were before you." I also like verse 16 "In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." My friend Ellen and I were talking about this sort of thing on Sunday.

As I stated before... I had a hard time with Acts 5. I can't understand the beginning. I went to a lady I work with, and she made it her homework to figure out because she couldn't quite understand either. Her only explanation was that things were that serious back then. They lied directly to God, so they died.

I loved 1 Thess. 5:8 "But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet." We finished reading 1 Thessalonians yesterday. I really enjoyed reading it! 1 Thess. 5:234 "The one who calls you is faithful and He will do it!"

Romans 5:8 is so real and true. Thank God for this truth. "But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Amen. Go ahead, read it again. It is real and true, and worth reading over and over again becuase I will never be able to wrap my mind completely around how easy it is for me to have a life with Christ... and all that Christ went through for me to have that life with Him. "But God demonstrates His own love for us int his: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

And today...
Genesis 6 is the beginning of the flood. There is a note in my Bible about the reasoning behind the cypress wood - cypress means uncertain in Hebrew. I found that interesting.

I love my Bible. Reading was Joshua 6 sort of confusing. I could not figure out why they were circling around the city over again. I understood the significance of the number 7 thanks to last weekends sermon. Seven symbolizes completion and perfection. The notes in my Bible explained that the reason they were circling the city was because it was an ancient ritual of siege, and they were carrying the ark around because it symbolized the presence of God among the people.

Overall, I loved all of Matthews 6. Some of my favorite parts were Matthews 6:22-23 that states "The eye is the lam of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness; how great is that darkness!". I have always loved Matthew 6:33-34 which says, "But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." I used to worry so much, and I am so thankful that God has freed me of that. I no longer worry, because I know my God is a powerful God and will not put me through anything which I can't handle. His plan is greater than I could ever imagine. Matthew 6:33-34 just reminds me that I have nothing worth worrying about.
For the last two weeks at Elevation we have been talking about forgiveness. When reading Matthew 6:14-15 it was just a reminder of what I have learned the last two weeks at church, and of what I need to be focusing on right now.

Mmmmmmmm... How I just love the book of Romans. It is all amazing. I could highlight the whole book! I loved all of Romans 6, but some of my favorite parts were verse 11-12 - "Int he same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires" and verse 23 - "For the wages of sin is death, but the git of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

I apologize for the long post. I had a lot to say today!

I will close with this...

For sin shall not be your master, becuase you are not under law, but under grace Romans 6:14 -Amen

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Day 4.

Forgot to post these yesterday....
-Joshua 3:17 is amazing. How God stops the flow of the Jordan River for them to cross... Amazing!
-Acts 3:6 is powerful to see Peter heal this man by the power of God.

Day 4.
-1 Thess. 4:3-12 is about being sanctified or to be holy. This means to become more like Jesus. There are three ways in which we can be more like Christ in this passage: in a realtionship with a spouse, in a relationship between Christians and a relationships with all others.
-I can't read Romans 4:25 enough. We are justified when we stop trying to justify ourselves and depend completely on the finished work of Jesus Christ. All we have to do is believe. Jesus did the rest for us. He did for us, what we could never do for ourselves.

I am so proud of my co-worker, Candance, who is doing this reading plan along with me. She is keeping up. Mind you, we are only a few days in. But, I know that we can both stick with it, an finish the Bible in 8 months.

Pastor talked all about forgiving last weekend, and continued this weekend with an amazing sermon. I balled. I have been very challanged. I have a lot of work ahead of me, and I know that God is going to guide me through it. It may be tough, but He will prepare me for it. If you did not see last weeks sermon, watch it. Same goes for this weeks. It will go up by Tuesday (I believe).

God Bless.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Prof. Horner's Eight Month Bible Reading Plan

On Thursday a co-worker and I were talking about the Bible and on the spot picked a reading plan from an app that she had to read the Bible in 8 months. I wanted to keep track of everything that learn from this experience, favorite passages, and questiosn that I have. I figured using this blog would be a wonderful way. There is no way I can loose the blog!

We are reading 10 chapters a day. The cool thing is that it isn't 10 chapters from one book, it is a chapter a day, from 10 books. We are starting with Matthew, Genesis, Romans, 1 Thessalonians, Job, Psalm, Proverbs, Joshua, Isaiah, and Acts.

To start with, these are the things I have written in my journal.

Day 1:
-I fell in love with Joshua 1:8. Those are words to live by.
-Acts 1:11 is real and true. Christ's return will be both unexpected and dramatic, just as his depature was.
-I am so grateful for the promise that is within Matthew 1:21.
-I have read through Romans before. I am enjoying reading it again and finding things I skimmed over before. Romans 1:6 says that I am among those who are caled to belong to Jesus Christ :)

Day 2:
-Love the end of Romans 2:4.
-I love Proverbs 2.

Day 3:
-1 Thess. 3:3 is real and true. God uses our unpleasant experiences to accomplish His higher purpose in us. Suffering for our faith builds character and develops faith within us. It is good to know that even in times of suffering, I am learning something and God has a greater plan. I may not know what is next, but God has a plan... and that is all that matters. I can trust in His greater plan.
-Proverbs 3. Love it.

I am so excited for the journey ahead of me. My life is about to be changed even more.

ps. stoked about tomorrows "F-Bomb" message. I heard Pastor the answer to the question I tweeted him!