Friday, July 29, 2011

Proverbs 5: 15-23

(If you got an email with jibberish at the top I am sorry. It was my notes....before I typed the study. I forgot to  take my notes off! There are a couple that will get them and think I am crazy because they don't even look at the blog but they study along everyday. Oops!)

Before we read today's passage, let's think about yesterday's for a moment. Yesterday's passage was focused on the negative. " Do not do 'this or that' or this or that bad thing will happen."
 If you need to, review the first part of Chapter 5 again.

Now read Proverbs 5: 15-23.

So if yesterday was all about avoiding the negative...the adulterous....what is today's passage about? I'll answer for you. It is about focusing on the blessings that you this passage it is about focusing on the wife.

Let's look a bit closer at verses 15--18 for a moment. I know that some of you are very new to reading your Bible and sometimes it can be very confusing at first! This passage is not talking about a literal well, but rather is using the well, and water as an example that you need to fulfill your needs with what you already have. There is no need to look elsewhere for satisfaction.

God has blessed us with clear instruction on how to avoid the things in which he told us to avoid. The Bible is full of God's positive instruction on how to avoid sin from the Old Testament to the New Testament. You all had a very nice discussion going after yesterday's passage. So after reading yesterdays passage we know the the dangers of the temptation, and after reading today's passage we know that we will find satisfaction in the blessing that God has already given us.

I close with an illustration. When a farmer goes to plow his field, he picks an item at the very far other end of the field and focuses on that item. If he keeps his eye on the item, by the time he gets to that end of the field, he will have plowed a straight line. But if he moves his focus...for even a moment, something distracts him and takes his attention away from that focal point, then when he gets finished and looks back...his row will not be straight.

Keep that focus where it should be...and your path to Christ will be straight.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Proverbs 5:1-14

Adultery. Adultery is discussed often in the Bible. Old and New Testament. Many might argue that my husband and I are adulterous as we are divorced and remarried. Now don't be getting shocked and don't try to argue that point one way or another as you would need to 'know your stuff' and that subject will come up someday in the right context.(Because we are all going to be studying right here on this blog together until Jesus comes and someday we'll get through the whole Bible and divorce/remarriage will come up at the right time.)  This passage that we are reading today is for sure talking prostitute.

I am pretty sure that everyone reading this passage with me today isn't caught up in prostitution. Yet with it discussed so often in the Bible...and in the Ten Commandments...then I think it must be a very important subject. Looking at society today, I'd say that it probably is an important subject that needs to be taught to our youth. Prostitution is available everywhere. Please don't be afraid to discuss these matters with your teens. The best way to approach it? A Bible study of Proverbs of course. That is why I like Proverbs so much. There is something there for everyone. (Although I could do without the drippy faucet verse. Don't know what I am talking about? We will get there...)

When you read Proverbs 5:1-14, pay special attention to verses 11-14. What words of depression and utter devastation these are! Yet it all could have been avoided how? (vs 13).

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Proverbs 4: 20-27

My husband and I made a total diet change this past May. It has actually become a total life change for us. (Although I still have that sweet tooth I am trying to hard to work on...but it is very hard!) When we decided to get rid of all sugar, corn syrup, flour, bread, rice, pasta, processed foods, potatoes, corn--it was a huge step. Americans live on this stuff. But the difference it makes in our bodies is amazing. We don't notice it so much until we 'be bad' as we call it and go out to eat. We always get so mad at ourselves the next day as we are tired, sluggish, have upset stomachs. All it takes is an order of mashed potatoes and gravy, or fried chicken to affect our body in it's entirety. (Including me...and I am not a diabetic.)

As Christians, that is why it is so important to flee from evil. One little movie, or book....just a bite of evil...and you've affected everything.

Read today's passage paying close attention to verse 22...then note the different areas of the body Solomon talks about in verses 23-27.

What part of your body is always getting into trouble? Worse than that is it seeking evil? When you close in prayer today, ask God to reveal to you areas in your life that need to be more hasty in fleeing from evil. Ask for help with the little temptations that you keep falling into.

For our discussion, you don't have to discuss your own self and temptations, but name a body part or two and tell how it can cause you to fall into temptation.

Before closing, I want to point out verse 25. Read it again. How often have you been to the store to get ONE thing, but your little eyes couldn't help but dart around and see all the other things that you NEED. (even though you don't.) To me this verse says it all. If we would just keep our eyes fixed on the path we are supposed to be on..the path to Christ...then we wouldn't see all these goodies the world has to offer us.

I really, really want to encourage you, if you never have...pick up a copy of Pilgrim's Progress. It is written in Old English and some might find it hard to understand, but there are updated, modern versions in today's English. It is about a man and his journey on his path to Christ--it is in story book form. Like a fairy tale, but is an allegory of our Christian walk. It is a great read aloud for family reading time too. I know there are several of you doing this study that are very new to Christianity and there are others who aren't that could stand to read it again. You can go RIGHT HERE to obtain a copy.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Proverbs 4: 10-19

Here in the beginning of Proverbs you may feel like much of what you read is redundant. But I ask you, how many times did you have to tell your son to put his clothes in the hamper instead of the floor before he actually did? Did he ever? We have to be instructed, instructed, instructed. 

Continue to log the instructions and benefits of those instructions in your journal as you read Proverbs 4: 10-19.

A couple of verses jump out at me for discussion.

Vs 13--how can we take hold, guard, and not let go of instruction? (NASV) My version says, "Guard her for she is your life". Those are pretty strong words---it's a matter of utmost importance.

Vs 14-15--When you hear the word, "the wicked" what does it make you think of? My first thought goes to those 2500 prisoners that live a mile away from our home. But then I have to remind myself wicked is everywhere and it is just down right scary how it is now integrated into and accepted as part of every day life in our society. What are some things that are accepted in our society today that should someone who has the wisdom of God (or at least is trying to) should stay away from? Think of things across all platforms: political, social, media, education...let's discuss! And be specific too if you would like.

What does the Bible say to do about these things? The Bible is very clear on this. My version (vs 15) says AVOID it, Do NOT EVEN PASS BY it, TURN AWAY from it...

I am usually a person that cannot stand confrontations. I don't like arguments or debates. But this is my HOT button. I'll behave though. Good thing you aren't a class of Jr High students that I am more used to teaching. I really like to get them going on this topic. (Although I would love to see a healthy discussion here. Those of you that read this by email, I wish that you could come back here and log on this evening and see the comments. The conversations are a big part of the study, same as a classroom setting.)

On a friendlier verse 18 again. Isn't that warming? I just love this verse! I am so looking forward to the 'full day' (the day that Christ comes back to get us) aren't you?!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Proverbs 4: 1-9

I am SO glad that Monday is here!!! I miss our study on the weekends, don't you?
There are some new pages up top; let me know what you think and if you have anything to add.

Read Proverbs 4: 1-9

Once again I am humbled by reading this. Our study has caused me to pray more diligently for my children and want to impress upon them the importance of working to obtain Godly wisdom through studying His word. It is so hard once they grow up and they are not allowing God to be first in their life. It breaks my heart. I want to be diligent about my God time so that my children can learn by example.

In your journal, write down the reference to today's passage. Then right down all the commandments and/or instructions given in verses 1-9.

Then below that make a list of all the benefits. We have already done this once in our study but it is nice to keep a list to refer to. This list can even be lovingly referred to when disciplining our children.

Do you pray before you discipline? I truly hope so. We all lash out in the moment, and I end up having to apologize to my teen son too often because of that. (It is good for your kids to see you apologize, you know!) Perhaps you could refer to some of your Proverbs journal entries before disciplining your child. I know that many of you might just skip right over that because your child is grown, but my adult child still needs disciplined too. I had to handle a problem just this past week.

For our discussion today, let's have some fun with verse 9....what do you think of when you read this. Or how would you rewrite it in your words?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Proverbs 3: 32-35

Read Proverbs 3: 32-35.

These verses warm my heart. I surely want:

* to be intimate with God (vs 32)

*my home to be blessed (vs33)

*grace (vs 34)

*honor (vs 35)

They were very encouraging to me today. I haven't given you my Verse of the Day for awhile. Just as a reminder, daily I pick a verse from the passage that we are reading to be my Verse for that day. I write it on a sticky note and put it somewhere that I will glance at it over and over. Today's verse is Verse 33. I think every woman desires that her home be blessed. This verse is a great reminder to try to stay pure so that my home will receive this blessing.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Proverbs 3: 27-31

Read Proverbs 3: 27-28. When I read these two verses, I tried to think of a time that I could have done was in my power to do it...and I didn't. "Good" can be so many things. It can be giving a gift. Giving a shoulder of emotional support. Sharing my faith. Writing a letter. I am humbled to think of how often I am selfish and un-giving.

Verse 28 was even more of a wake up call. I have a blog friend that has been expecting a gift from me. She is the entire reason I started my quilt ministry. I told her that I would make her a quilt. Then one thing led to another. One charity quilt after another. Then my shoulder/arm froze up and I had to quit making anything larger a small wall hanging. This person saw a place mat that I had made for another blogger and she got very upset and left a very snotty comment. She mentioned for all to see that I promised her a quilt and she didn't get it. Obviously she has been hurt;and I could be judgmental and write her a letter telling her that if she read my blog she would know I was physically not capable of quilting for a year, but that would not be right. Because she refuses to talk to me, I did what I needed to do. I gave the situation to God. But I have to wonder, what if I had been more timely in my giving? She certainly would be blessed instead of hurt right now!

Read verses 29-30. Are you a person that likes to stir up trouble? Just don't. Search your heart and if you struggle with this then please ask God for help. I have a grandmother that likes to stir up trouble. I won't go into details. Let me just say that she is almost 90 years old. Has no family left, and I think, last I knew, only 1 friend. She lives out in the middle of nowhere and if she passes away in her sleep or something, it will be quite sometime before it is noticed. Yet she still tries to continue to stir up trouble where ever she goes. It is so sad.

Read verse 31. I can honestly say that I have never envied anyone that had anything to do with violence. But I also know that each has struggles that others don't. I have another family member that struggles with this. And all it does is land him in jail about once a year. Again, so sad.

In close, I just want to clarify that I tell my stories as examples. I am not pointing the sins of others to make them look bad or me look better. I have so many many many sins in my past. I am forgiven though. And I can claim victory over them through Jesus Christ. Praise the Lord for that! When someone comes to mind, like the ones above, instead of pointing my finger at them, I pray for them and pray that God will humble me to hurt for these people.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Proverbs 3: 21-26

Read Proverbs 3: 21-22

It is interesting that this passage says that wisdom and discretion is life to your soul and an adornment to your neck. (NASV).

 I am going to go completely off topic here because when I read this my mind did some skipping around. It was one of those one thought led to another, that led to another moments. Yet, it seems a good point to bring up even if it has nothing to do with the passage. Do you wear a cross around your neck? Do you wear a Jesus fish on your bumper? When you are doing that, what are you saying to people. Does that cross really mean something to you? There are many many people in the world that wear crosses anymore. I assure you...most give no thought to God on a daily basis. But do you, when you put that cross around your neck? What does it really mean to you? Just a little rhetorical question there. Back to the passage...

Read verses 23-24. This passage is a principle, not a promise.(Have I said that too many times? I am sorry.) You are not guaranteed no night mares if you seek the wisdom of God. What do you think will happen though? (Concerning your sleep at night?)

Read verses 25-26. You will be afraid. You are human. But, it is so much easier facing that fear with the knowledge of God carrying you through it. I have ready of many believers that while they were tortured for their faith in their Savior, they stood there and quoted Bible verse after Bible verse. With a smile on their face. I pray that the day never comes that we will have to face martyrdom for our faith here in America. But I fear that is much closer than we realize. We need to be prepared with God's wisdom in our heart. And in our children's and grandchildren's hearts. Our world is getting worse and worse. The onslaught of the wicked will come. (verse 25). I am not sure that our children will be graced with the freedom's that we have now.

I think I would like to stop here today, and close with that thought. Please, as you go about your daily tasks, be in prayer for wisdom for yourselves and your offspring to deal with the unknown of the future. Don't be afraid of it. Remember, we have to trust God and lean on HIS understanding. Just pray and take steps to help you be prepared.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Proverbs 3: 13-20

Today's passage lists blessings that can be found for the person who finds wisdom. Remember, we talked about this in our introduction to Proverbs. Proverbs is just that. A proverb not a promise. These verses contain principles to help us in our everyday lives.

Read Proverbs 3:13-20.

I don't have much to discuss today. So, let's talk about how we learn.

If you are an artsy type journal person, I can see several ideas for drawing out what you learned today.I am not a journal person. And I cannot draw. At all.

I do learn best by writing it out, then going over and over it. I like to write out my verse of the day; memory verses, etc. How do you best learn?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Proverbs 3: 1-12

Good Morning! I hope that you all had a wonderful weekend. I am working on getting a few new pages added up top. One for prayer requests, one for important Bible verses, and another explaining true Christianity.
I do all of my blog work at night and my little guy has not been behaving about bed the last several days. He's had some late nights, so while I have started working and planning these pages, they are not ready to be published yet. I am sorry. I am alone with the little guy all this week while my husband is out of town so I cannot make a promise to get them done until next week but I will sure try!


Today as we read we will notice several instructions and reasons for those instructions. Depending on the version that you read, it might say, "Do this..," and then later "So that". Or your version may say "Then" instead of "so". As you read, note the instructions and the principle behind the instruction.

Read Proverbs 3: 1-2. Here is the first instruction given and the reason why. Note it in your journal.

Read Proverbs 3: 3-4. Here is the second instruction. Do the same with these verses and continue on through verse 12, reading and noting the instruction and the reason behind it.

My husband and I differ on disciplinary methods. I am sure that surprises you. (NOT!). He believes that when he gives an instruction, it is to be carried out immediately, no questions asked. And I agree. There is a reason that God gave men the role of head of household; and I need to respect him even in disciplinary methods. My children need to know that instruction needs to be carried out without asking why. If anything, it is about them learning respect.

 But there are many times that when I give an instruction, I also include a reason for that instruction. I think that God also created women to be softer in our discipline for a reason. Kids naturally want to know why. That is how they learn. In fact, I want to know why. That is how I learn.

 When Solomon wrote this passage, he must have asked his wife for input or something (*grin*) And speaking of the reasons, aren't they wonderful--reasons like--Finding favor with God and man, peace, healing, refreshment...who wouldn't want these things?

Of all the instructions listed, what is the hardest one for you to do? You may share if you like but you don't have to.

 Mine is "Trust the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding". I am a laid back kind of person, but I am wishy washy in my trusting God with things. I don't worry about major things that others might worry about. Tornadoes, natural disasters, crimes, murders...I just have always had the mindset that when it's time for me to die, then I will and there is nothing I can do to stop it. If it's not the time that God has appointed for my death, then I won't. But then I get into the little things, the day to day things, and I forget that I need to not lean on my understanding; but rather on God's.

 For an example, I'll use my son's sleep habits. The baby doesn't need much sleep. He has always slept well below the average hours for a child his age. It's frustrating, maddening even at times, tiring, and very trying to my patience. But God must have a reason for it. Perhaps Stephen will work in a field someday (we are praying preacher or mission field) that he just won't have much time to sleep. So God created him to be able to deal with that. Or perhaps the reason Stephen doesn't sleep is for me to keep my focus on what is important on the very limited free time I have each day. No time to waste means to not have time wasters. (Um...I fail in this area.)

In close, review Verse 12, and remember that when God disciplines you it is out of love; just the same as when you discipline your children.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Deuteronomy 6

As an introduction to our study in Proverbs 3 next week, spend some time reading Deuteronomy 6 this weekend. This may take you a bit of time, so please take your time!

Here are a few thought questions for you as you read. You may put them in your journal:

1) Why did God give the commandments to Moses (who is the writer of this passage.) See verses 1-2

2) and if you listen to these teachings, what will be the benefit? See verse 3.

3)Verse 5 is a very commonly quoted verse. I ask you....Do you?

4)Verses 6-9 are always a wake up call for me. I am not diligent enough when teaching God's Word to myself, much less the rest of my family. More on this in a moment...

There are so many more things to learn in this passage but I am going to stop here as this pertains to our lesson on Monday. Feel free to read the rest of Deuteronomy 6 though, as there is much to learn in this short chapter of 25 verses.

Today for our discussion, I would like to ask you all for ideas. In ancient Bible times, the young men truly did keep the Scriptures in a little box attached to their wrist or their forehead. What ideas do you have to put the Word of God in plain view for your family?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Proverbs 2:20-22

Today we will conclude our study of Proverbs 2 with a very short study.

Read Proverbs 2: 20-22.

What are the benefits listed in this passage of having the Wisdom of God?

Verse 22 goes back to our original discussion of having Fear of the Lord. Why? what are your thoughts on this today?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Proverbs 2:16-19

Today we are going to focus on Chapter 2 verses 16-19. So take a moment to re-read them now.

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you read these verses? A prostitute?  Yes, of course, especially considering verse 16.  But hold up a moment! Read verse 17. Have you made a commitment to follow God in the past? Did you make Jesus LORD of your life? Did you allow Him to REMAIN Lord of your life in it's entirety? OUCH. There goes the bruised toes again. How many times have you taken the driver seat, instead of allowing your Lord to direct your path? Believe me. I am ashamed at how often I have failed to let Him be Lord above all.

Verse 19 gives us yet another thing to ponder today. It says that those that go to this woman will not find the Paths of Life. I wonder, do I show others the Path of Life? Or does my life lead them wondering around aimlessly? Some of us were discussing in the comment section last week how it is hard for us to be bold in telling others about Christ. I thought about that conversation all weekend and it led me to share an example. Now before I share, I do hope that I don't sound judgmental. I don't know the background of the person that I am going to mention, so who knows where she is coming from. So, please understand, I am merely using her as an example.

A bit over a year ago we moved into our duplex. It was a 350 mile move, so we knew no one in this town. We live in a rather nice neighborhood that just happens to have two duplexes here together that face each other. We live in one of those duplexes.  Not long after we moved, my husband was outside working in the yard and our neighbor that shares our duplex came home from work. (Oh, let me back up a moment. This is a prison town. It is a rather small community with two very large state prisons side by side. Almost everyone works for the state. Out of the four residences here in our duplexes 3 of us make a living by working at the prison. The other couple is retired.) Jerry tried to ask her a question and she literally ran into her garage and shut the door--completely treating him like he's a plague or something! Over time I tried many times to talk to her; she ran every time. Finally a year ago on Fourth of July, she had some company over for a few minutes. Her lady friend was very friendly, invited me to the local fireworks show, and together we struck up a conversation about church. My neighbor joined in. Turns out that she is a Christian, who loves her church family. She tries to schedule her days off around church activities. 

Today, a year later, we still have yet to speak to each other more than a handful of times. If she sees us she runs the other direction. When she passes Jerry in the halls at work, she turns her head and pretends not to see him to keep from acknowledging him. Yet--we share a house!!!! We know it can't be anything we have done, as it has been that way since we moved in. And we know to pray for her because obviously she is a very shy person.

I have to ask though...What if we weren't Christians? How would she look to us..knowing that she goes to church and professes to be a Christian? Would that make me want what she has??

Why tell you this story? Not for us to judge her. I don't know what brought her to this point. That is between her and God. You certainly may pray for her if you would like! Forget about her now, though, and look at your own life. When someone meets you do you show them the Path to Christ, or are you so shy about it that there is no possible way that they will ever find Christ through you? In your Christian walk are you just here for the fellowship, or here to point others the way to Salvation?

Let's not be so quick to judge the prostitute in these verses. I think all of us might have some of the very same sins in our life. 

My Verse of the Day is Proverbs 2:17. I do not want to abandon the God of my youth. 

For our discussion today we will talk about the last letter of our prayer acronym. "S" for Supplication. List one thing that you are praying for that you don't mind sharing.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Proverbs 2:6-19

Begin by reading Proverbs 2: 6-11.

Yesterday we discussed treasures; and how the wisdom of God is a treasure. According to these verses, how should we begin this Great Treasure Hunt of Wisdom?

Now read Proverbs 2: 12-19. 

Today I want you to make a little drawing in your journal. Now, I can't draw a thing, so don't worry if you can't either. No one is going to see it unless you decide to share it. Draw a path with a stick person reading a sign that says, "The Way of Evil". Now, along the path either draw or write the things your little stick person would come across if they walked the path. Just go verse by verse to find them. For instance, starting in verse 12, there is "The man who speaks perverse things". (your version of Bible may say it differently). I looked up the word 'perverse' in an online dictionary and then on my path I wrote ' Unacceptable speech and language'. 

Just follow the passage, verse by verse,  and draw out 'The way of Evil". After you are finished, get a red pen or marker and circle some things along the path that you need Wisdom to help protect you from. Really ponder these things. For instance, verse 15 talks about someone being devious. Don't just think Dr Doofenschmirtz here! (He is the evil villain on the the tv cartoon Phineas and Ferb. I love this cartoon for some reason! When I think devious he comes to mind.) Aren't there many ways of being devious? Lying? Twisting words around? Gossiping which can hurt others? I am sure there are other stops along the path that we can ponder a bit more deeply to see if we can relate to them.

Tomorrow we will discuss verses 16-19 in more detail. 

My verse of the day is Proverbs 2:7. 

Today in the comments we will move on to the "T" part of our ACTS prayer helps. "T" for THANKSGIVING. What are you thankful for today? List 10 things if you can. One for each finger. Then as you go throughout the day remember to Praise God for these things. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Proverbs 2:1-5

Let's go on a treasure hunt today. I want you to think about your greatest material possession. What is the one thing that you own that you treasure the most? Now, just to be clear...we are talking MATERIAL possession. So, your children, husband, family--they don't count. And, your Bible doesn't count either. What one thing do you treasure the most above all other things that you own?

For me, I could say that my greatest material possession is our family car. NOT. It is our biggest asset; but I sure don't treasure it. I would think my greatest treasure is probably my fabric collection. I have an expensive sewing machine that may become my greatest treasure someday, but I am not in love with it as much as my fabric collection. How did I get my fabric collection? A lot of work, that's how! I inherited some...but that was not as easy as it sounds. The story of how I got that fabric to my house is not for here, but take my word, it was a lot of work. And then the rest of my collection, I dug for. I searched for. I longed after. I scraped together money to get it. I received it as gifts. It has been a work in progress; a lot of hours, thought, and joy put into it. If you could only see my Creation Station, you will see how I treasure my fabric! I go to bed at night looking at it up on the walls, dreaming what I would like to make next.

 (Mind you, this can get into a whole other discussion of "idols" but all I am going to say on that today is while I love my fabric, if God should take it away then so be it. He and His Word are more important to me. If given the choice between fabric and Bible--I'd choose Bible.)

My point is, a TREASURE is something that you really work for. It is so much more than an asset or possession.

Read Proverbs 2:1-5.

Do you remember in chapter 1 we read that God's Wisdom is begging you to be found by you? Today we read that God's Wisdom is a treasure. Not a possession or asset. Something that you have to work at. Dig for. Seek after. (verse 4).

Guess what? You are doing this Bible study. You are reading your Bible. You are collecting your Treasure. Isn't that a nice thought?

It was kind of hard for me to choose a VERSE of the day as I really like verses 4-5 together. So those are my verses of the day today.

For our discussion topic...let's have some fun. Tell us--What do you treasure? And your answer can not be family, friends, people, the Bible. I am wondering what MATERIAL possession do you really love? Would it really bother you to lose?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Proverbs 1:20-33

The book of Proverbs is written in a poetry type format. The verses that we are going to read today gives 'wisdom' personification...meaning wisdom is given a 'voice' so to speak. Wisdom as well as foolishness is personified throughout the book of Proverbs---just something to keep in mind as we go forward. 

Read Proverbs 1:20-33.

According to verses 20 and 21, how easy is it to find wisdom? I was imagining myself on a road trip as I contemplated these verses. Do you read billboards? I do. I usually am not the driver anymore (thank goodness!!) so I like to look at the scenery around me. Those big billboards catch my attention every time. Even the stupid ones I see a billion times in my lifetime. But I was thinking just come the things that God places right there in front of me do not catch my attention? I actually have to go out of my way to ignore them. Why do I do that?

Verse 29 parallels closely to what verse that we read earlier in the week?

What eventually happens to the person who doesn't have wisdom?

My verse of the Day is verse 20 because I need the reminder that the Wisdom of God is right there, seeking me. At times I play The Fool and I don't notice what is right in front of my eyes!

For today's discussion...
I really enjoyed yesterday's discussion of Adoration to our God. Let's just continue on with the A.C.T.S. method and move right onto confession. UH OH! No, you don't have to reveal your closet skeletons unless you want to. Every single one of us sin every single day. And every single one of us struggles with some particular sin day after day after day. If you are comfortable with it...then reveal it. We will at least be a listening ear for you and will pray along with you that you may overcome it. If you don't want to...then that is fine too.

I will not post anything on the weekends from this blog. I would encourage you to read through Proverbs 1 again this weekend and be on the lookout for Wisdom shouting to you from the street!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Proverbs 1: 8-19

Before we begin our Bible study today, I am curious, have any of you tried the ideas under the Prayer tab up top? What are some Adorations that we can begin our prayers with today? After yesterday's conversation about the Fear of God, I thought it might be interesting to list some Adorations to God in our comments today. Just one word descriptions, or whatever you would like.

Read Proverbs 1:8-19.

Verses 8-9 really stand out to me in a couple of ways. 

First, the passage basically says to listen to your parents. It doesn't say listen to your parents only when you are children. Always listen to your parents. In my own life, my father has chosen not to be a part of my life. While I have given up ever trying to be a part of his life; if he should ever want me to be a part of it again, I know that I need to be respectful to him and listen to him. 

Secondly, this passage is a reminder to me that my children will always be learning from me no matter their ages. My 21 year old still seems to need me just as much as my 18 month old. I need to always be lovingly teaching my children to take the right path in life. 

Verses 10-19 are so very true! Were you ever one that fell to peer pressure as a teen? I actually never did. I was the 'odd' one in class that if the teacher left the room and all the other kids were cutting up, I would just hide my nose in a book and ignore all around me. There was no way you'd catch me doing something wrong! (I really was extreme in this...I never talked in class or anything. Don't worry...I had enough OTHER problems that I dealt with. This was just not one of them.)

I know someone that I deeply care for that really struggles with falling into peer pressure. He has a meth addiction and has spent a good part of his adult life in prison. I have tried to help him when I can and when he is ready and trying to be helped. One time he lived with us on house arrest. His sentence was for 6 months. He had a job, he helped me around the house, he was doing so well. His probation officer was proud of him even. One day when I drove him to his weekly visit to the probation office he ran into one of his old so-called 'buddies'. I knew that right then and there was the end of his 'being good'. It was just one month from freedom from house arrest, yet he and this 'buddy' got into trouble and were on the run again. Within a month after seeing his 'buddy' this person that I cared for was back in prison. He was so close. If only he would have heeded these verses! If only he would not let sinners entice him. If only he would realize that their feet run to evil. Sadly, as time went on...he became the one that would run to evil and entice others. We have not spoken for 3 years. He knows where to find me when he's ready though. 

My verse of the day is Verse 8. 

In your personal prayer time today, ask God to help you teach your children to take the correct path in life. (No matter what their ages are.) Pray that they not be enticed by choices that look enticing but only lead to destruction.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Week 1: Proverbs 1:1-7

Read Proverbs 1: 1-7.

Right here in the beginning Solomon gives quite a few reasons for his writing of Proverbs. List these reasons in your journal. Do any of these reasons relate to you? Put a star by them or circle them.

Let's take a look at the reasons verse by verse. Read each verse again and look at the corresponding note matching each one below:

Verse 2)  I could certainly stand to have more wisdom in my life, how about you? Remember from yesterday, we are talking about the kind of wisdom that comes from God, not man.

Verse 3) To receive you take instruction as you should? Or do you rebel against it...thinking that you don't need it? Do you get angry and throw a fit, or do you take it humbly. Do you get your feelings hurt? (I do. I am a sensitive person and I have to work hard on not getting my feelings hurt.) When you teach your children something, it is because you want them to learn and not make mistakes. God wants the same for us. He just wants to help!

Verse 4) I am one of these people that have the tendency to be naive. Now I believe there are things in this world that it is good to be naive about. But I need the wisdom of God to keep me out of sticky situations. Also in verse 4; Proverbs is a very good book for young people to study. Teenage years are very hard...even in Solomon's time. Teens seem to find plenty of ways to get into sticky situations!

5) Notice the passage said a wise man will "hear". That means "be quiet and listen". Are you a good listener--especially to your elders?

6) I giggled when I was typing this. I keep seeing some scenes from Kung Fu Panda in my head. At first Panda just did NOT 'get it'. Over time he found wisdom and was able to understand the riddles of his teacher. Is the Bible a riddle to you? Open up your heart so that you might understand it better.

Verse 7 is my choice for my VERSE of the DAY.  Do you understand what it means to have a Fear of the Lord? This verse is confusing for many people. Isn't God supposed to be a loving God? Then what is this Fear that the Bible talks about? Should we be afraid of God? Let's discuss this today in the comments section...What are your thoughts on this verse?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Day 1: an Introduction to Proverbs

Before we begin, I wanted to tell you that I added a page at the top of the blog titled "How to Pray". When you get a moment, read through it. I think it will help you in your prayer life. It sure helps me! 

Wikipedia defines the word Proverb as:

A short pithy saying in general use, stating a general truth or piece of advice.

As we begin our study, let's keep in mind a couple of things.

The book of Proverbs is just that. Proverbs not Promises. A book that is full of advice. Of course this book of advice was written by the wisest man that ever walked the face of the earth! King Solomon was given a wisdom that no other person has ever known or will ever know. Read 2 Chronicles 1 : 7-13. What else was Solomon given, and why?

1 Corinthians 2: 6-7 talks about the type of wisdom we should strive for. What type of wisdom is it?

I am going to enjoy our journey through the book of Proverbs. I have read the book many times. I have taught through the book at least 3 times that I can think of; and each time I learn something new or am reminded of something that I should be working on. Have any of you read through Proverbs? There are even some humorous verses that I can't wait to get to!

No matter what verse you read, no matter what Book of the Bible that you read, realize that you are working towards gaining a better knowledge of that Wisdom of God. 

In close, read Isaiah 40:8. This is my choice for today as my Verse of the Day. Isn't it nice that in this crazy world when we can't always trust our government, or even our neighbors, friends or family sometimes, that we can rely on God's Word forever?!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Final preperations

We begin on Tuesday!
Just a couple of last thoughts before we begin...

If you truly want to get everything you can out of this study, then:

  • Pray before you begin! If prayer is hard for you, then just try the best you can. In fact, this reminds me, I have a way that I use when I am praying that will help. I'll try to post it on a page before the end of the weekend. 
  • Grab a journal or notebook to jot thoughts or even prayers. Some people do better praying by way of writing letters to God. I am not so good at that as I am not a journal kind of person, but I do like to jot down thoughts or things that I might want to look up later. I also will have some thought questions you might want to answer on paper.
  • Have some note cards ready. Or post it notes. Jot down verses that you would like to memorize. Another thing that I like to do is pick a verse of the day from whatever passage I read that day. I jot that verse down on a sticky note then put it somewhere where I can look at it all day. The next day I pick a different verse. For a while I even texted my verse of the day to a whole bunch of people. I might start doing that again. I think it is fun to select them!
  • Finally, clear some time. Don't just read through this study as you do your other blogs. Pop it out of your reader and save it for some time when you are alone, phones are shut off, and the house is quiet. I know this is very hard to find this silent time. Mine is about 11 p.m. every night after everyone is in bed. I take a nap during the day so that I will be awake enough for my Bible study time. Do what works for you. Many people prefer early morning study. 

These will be very small and easy to do quiet moments each day. So no worries there! Meet me here Tuesday morning, armed with your Sword and ready!

Friday, July 1, 2011

How do you study?

When you open your Bible to study it,
do you come armed with pens, pencils, highlighters and a notebook?

Or do you approach your Bible with white gloves and fear of wrinkling a page?

I am a 'semi-marking' person. I like to mark verses that mean something to me.
But, I am not good about marking it as much as I'd like. 
I have read stories about people losing their mother, 
and then picking up her Bible and finding marks, notes, prayers, etc.--
and those markings being the most precious gift that she left her children.
Her Bible allowed them to see a glimpse into her heart.

So for this study I am going to try to work harder at putting away my white gloves,
and making my Bible what it should be---
my most important personal possession. 
When someday I am entering the pearly gates,
I want my children to be holding my Bible in their hands.
 And I want it to bless them.