Monday, February 28, 2011

Genesis 8 Matthew 8

Genesis 8
I'm all for enjoying a day on the lake in a boat, but poor Noah!  Genesis 8 is all about the end of the Great Flood.  This is my best guess as to time frame for Noah and his family, assuming his calendar also had 12 months.  After about 150 days of flooding, close to five months, it took another 2 1/2 months for mountains to be visible.  It took 2 more months, I think, for dry ground to appear.  THEN, it took two more months before God finally told Noah he could come out.  When Noah got out, he sacrificed some of the clean animals and clean birds.  I bet he was willing to kill just about anything after being stuck on a boat that long!

Matthew 8
This chapter is all about the healing powers of Jesus.  He does everything from healing a man of leprosy to healing Peter's mother-in-law!  Huge brownie points for Peter, right? 

Here is the confusing part for today...
8:21 Another disciple said to him, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father."  22 But Jesus told him, "Follow me, and let the dead bury the dead." 

So what do you think of this???

Chapter 8 goes on to explain the calming of the storm and driving the demons out of men and into pigs.  The townspeople them begged Jesus to leave their region. 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Genesis 7 and Matthew 7

A day of celebration!!!  Today marks one week of this blog. I have many weeks remaining, but we are well on our way. 

This will be a very short post because I simply have little to say about these two chapters.  Genesis 7 tells us about the Great Flood, and I feel as if that is the most common Bible story.  My son even knows who Noah is and can name some of the animals on the ark because of his little Bible.  What amazed me was the length of the flood.  I guess I was thinking 40 days and nights only, but actually water covered the land for 152 days.  That's just crazy!!

Matthew 7 continues still the list from Jesus' sermon.  He tells us to not judge others, to ask for God's blessings, and to search for the narrow gate, rather than follow the crowd to the wide one.  We learn that only those who DO God's will will enter the gates of Heaven. It isn't enough to acknowledge Jesus.  We must walk the walk, too.  We end with the warning to build our houses on solid rock, not sand.

If we listen carefully, God is trying to remind us of these basics daily.  We need to reminders!

Have a great Sunday!!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Genesis 6 and Matthew 6

To all of you busy people out there who are actually reading my ramblings, I hope you are reaping the benefits of a daily Bible study. 

So in this chapter I totally have an answer to my question yesterday.  6:3 Then the Lord said, "My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal, his days will be a hundred and twenty years."  Now, I don't know many people who have lived that long, but at least it sounds a bit more like what we have these days as our life expectancy.

This chapter made me sad.  God regretted creating mankind.  Other than Noah, he felt the need to destroy everyone and everything that was so beautiful about his creation. 

We end with the order and building of the ark.

Matthew 6

We continue with Jesus' message from yesterday.  The list of how we should live our lives continues.  We see Jesus ordering those who would listen to give to the needy, but not so everyone could see them.  We are to pray, but not just so others can hear us and think we are something special.  Jesus teaches the Lord's Prayer so we all can pray directly to God the Father without needing intercession from others.  Then we get to fasting.  Has anyone out there fasted?  I have not, but am curious about it.

Jesus also tells us to NOT store up treasures on earth and to not worry.  If I didn't try to store up treasures of money in my savings account, I wouldn't worry nearly as much.  That is a touchy subject though, isn't it?  We know that we much prepare for the future, for our sake and for our children.  But Jesus tells us that tomorrow will worry about tomorrow.  I approach issues like this with balance.  I store money, but try not to obsess about it!

I'd love to hear other's thoughts on that issue.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Genesis chapter 5 and Matthew chapter 5

Wow!  Old age takes a new meaning here!  One of my girlfriends commented yesterday that she remembers the day when 30 seemed old.  My husband turns 28 today!  Noah was 500 when his three sons were born!!!  What happened from Noah's time until today??  Without modern medicine or technology, these men of Genesis lived generations and generations!  What did they do?  If Noah waited 500 years to have children, was he afraid of commitment?  I understand that some men are afraid of the responsibility, but that's a bit extremem, don't you think?!

Basically this chapter just outlines the lineage from Adam to Noah.  I don't think I realized that Noah was a descendant of Seth, but since Abel didn't live to be in his hundreds, he didn't really have much of a chance to have kids.  I wonder if the aging process was different back then.  Maybe if you live to be 800, you don't actually hit puberty until you are over one hundred. 

Matthew 5 is loaded.  When I think of stories from the New Testament that I learned as a child or a teenager, many of them are in this chapter.  We begin with the beatitudes, perhaps the most inspiring and hope-filled passages in the Bible.  Then we hear the lessons on being worth your salt and letting your light shine.  Want to sing This Little Light of Mine anyone??  We hear all of the following:
  • Uphold the Laws Moses
  • Murder is bad, but so is harboring anger toward your brother
  • Settle matters quickly with others
  • Looking in lust is just as bad as commiting adultery
  • Be truthful always
  • No more Eye for an Eye business-Be good all the time
  • Love your enemies

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Genesis 4 Matthew 4

Good morning,
Today I am thankful that my biggest worries are my husband's birthday dinner and how much ice cream my son intends to eat tonight.  I pray for those in New Zealand, the families of the victims of the pirate attacks off the coast of Somalia, and anyone living in an area full of riots. 

Genesis 4:7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted?  But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.

God said these words to Cain after his offering was found unfavorable.  It made me think of my motives and decisions as I go throughout my day.  With everything I do, what am I trying to prove?  Who am I trying to impress?  Why do I "play it safe?"  We teach our kids to try new things, but do we branch out ourselves?  All God is asking is for us to try our best and we will be accepted by him.

Question of the day???
Where did Cain find a wife???

Matthew 4 Temptation of Jesus
40 days and nights of fasting?? Is that safe??  I realize that he was the Son of God and all, but I don't think we should try that!

I love that during the temptation attempts by Satan, Jesus became the comeback King.  The first yo' Mama jokes were apparently yo' Daddy instead. 

This passage did make me think that if Satan is going to quote scripture to me, maybe I better have a good understanding of it myself.  This furthers my reasoning for this two year Bible study!

Lastly, Isaiah predicts the journey for Jesus as he begins his ministry.  I wonder how Jesus felt knowing that his very footsteps were predicted years before!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Genesis 3 Matthew 3

THE FALL OF MAN!!!  Oh the Blame Game!!  We know that game well in fifth grade.  Even Devon knows the Blame Game.  When he makes a mess or does something he KNOWS he shouldn't, he blames his friends at the babysitter.  He hasn't figured out yet that we can see through his lies when he is the only child in our home.  I just tell him that I'm fairly sure his friend Abby didn't spill the cookie box when Abby has never even been to our house.

Because of the Blame Game and falling into temptation, we all suffer the curses.  Man is cursed to work for food.  The serpent is cursed to remain enemies of man and woman.  And, of course, woman's curse is the pain of child labor.  I'm pretty sure that carries over into child rearing!

Question of the day???? 
In Genesis 3:16  God says to Eve "Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you."  How literal is this passage supposed to be?  How many of our friends are in marriages that follow this interpretation of marriage instead of the relationship God originally intended for us to have???

I think the passage of time is confusing.  Suddenly we have Jesus as an adult being baptized by John the Baptist, whose sole mission is to pave the way for Jesus.

Here is a confusing section for you!  Matthew 3:8 and 3:10 John the Baptist says to the Sadducees and Pharisees, "Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.  The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire."  He goes on to annouce that another is coming to separate the good from the bad.

So my best guess at this one is that baptism and now forgiveness of our sins are available to all.  However, we have to stick to the plan God has for our lives and not stray from his rule.  We have to produce fruit for Him.  That probably means something a little different for each of us. 

I welcome your thoughts on this!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Genesis 2 Matthew 2

Good morning on an icy morning for us!!
I love that Genesis 2 tells us that the 7th day is blessed and Holy!  In our family, Sunday is our family day as much as possible.  My husband works a few hours one Sunday a month, but we try to hold that day for us to spend time together, even if it just means cleaning house together. 

2:9 tells us that the trees in the Garden of Eden were pleasing to the eye.  God wants us to enjoy the beauty of his creation. 

This chapter ends with the first marriage.  We are told that a man should leave his parents to unite with his wife.

Matthew 2
We learn all about  the Magi searching for the Christ child for Herod.  A dream warned them to not return to Herod.  I love that God speaks to us in different ways so that we can carry out his plan.

The next section is tragic.  It discusses the murder of little boys under the age of two.  This just shows that even the birth of Christ was muddled with tragedy, but even this was a fulfillment of prophecy.

Have a great day!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Genesis chapter 1 Matthew chapter 1

Day one-The plan I chose for this quest takes me through the entire Bible once and the psalms and New Testament twice.  As with any trip, we must begin at the beginning.  My read a Bible that is NIV.  I will also share some of the information from sidebars in my Bible. 

My Bible suggests that Genesis was probably written by Moses sometime in the 1400s BC during the time the Israelites were wandering in the desert.  Why is it that we call the people of Israel in the Bible Israelites, but we call the people of Israel today Israelis????

In this first chapter of the first book of the Bible, God calls order to a formless, shapeless "deep."  I sure wish he would call order to my desk in my classroom or my tupperware cabinet!!!  He demonstrated so much power in those first 6 days.  If he can do all that in 6 days, think of what change he can bring in our lives as we learn to listen while reading. 

As a writing teacher, I come across questions about language rules every day from my students.  I was struck in this first chapter by God's naming of things.  He didn't just create night, day, sky, and land.  He also created their names.  God wants us to talk about them and discuss his creations.

Matthew 1-written by Matthew, a tax collector, around AD 70, sometime before the destruction of Jerusalem.

We begin this book with a list of Jesus's ancestors, 42 generations worth!  The purpose?  I suppose to prove that Jesus was a descendant of Abraham and David. 

We also meet Joseph as an angel appears before him telling him to NOT divorce Mary.  How many marriages does God save each day with that trick???!!!  This past weekend, several of our friends attended the Love for Life conference hoping to heal their relationships.  I bet some angels were present Saturday!

Here's the question of the day!  I thought Mary and Joseph were engaged to be married.  So why was he told to not divorce her?  How were their marriage laws different from ours today??

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I begin my journey...

Tonight I begin my daunting journey through the Bible in two years.  A few years ago, before I married my husband, Josh, I read the Bible in about 18 months.  I remember very little.  I made no attempt to understand the passages.   I hoped the information would enter my mind magically, I guess.  This time will be different.  This time I have spread out my plan and will blog about my readings.  I will check for commentary from professionals in the field of ministry and keep my posts updated with the information I learn.  I am not trained or educated in Biblical Studies.  I am a fifth grade teacher who simply wants to understand the secrets in God's Word.  I know that if I am to teach the Bible stories to my son, who is almost two, I must understand them myself. 

Join me as I go down this road.  Read along with me, or simply read my thoughts and questions about the passages I read.  If you know more about the Bible than I do, please enlighten me with your knowledge.  I will begin with Genesis and Matthew.