Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Priestly Sacrifices

    Leviticus has been an instruction manual for the first nine chapters. It lists exactly how to sacrifice certain animals and what each sacrifice means. Chapter ten moves back into action. Aaron goes through the process of sacrificing to God on his behalf and on behalf of the people. Moses and Aaron have asked God to show his presence to the Israelites. They believe that if the people can see and feel the presence of God, they won't be as tempted to sin. Once Aaron completes the sacrificial rituals, God shows his glory and his presence with fire. He consumes the sacrifices, and the Israelites shout for joy.

    I don't sacrifice goats in my backyard, but this story is true to my heart anyway. I pray constantly to feel or see the presence of God. If I feel God with me, then I know I am on the right track. If God is guiding me, I am protected. My sacrifices come in different forms. We give our money to both church and charity. I spend time each morning praying and reading the Bible. Is it enough? Some days I feel that my sacrifice is adequate, some days I know I could have given more to God. I understand that the need for blood sacrifices was paid for by Jesus on the Cross. We don't need to slaughter animals anymore, but God is asking us give back anyway!

    During the day, when I am in the middle of my work or parenting duties, it is easy to lose focus on God. I will go hours at work, so busy that I don't think of anything except the task at hand. It is in these moments that I need the presence of God, but I have to be willing to make time for him to come to me. Sometimes the sacrifice God is asking of me is simply my time.

Monday, May 30, 2011


    I have mentioned numerous times that I am trying to branch my writing skills into new areas. I have prayed about this change for about two years, and have experienced enough success in this field to believe I should keep going. As a writing teacher, I write every day. It occurred to me two years ago to actually do something with these stories and articles I produced for my students. As I began taking some classes and exploring different areas of writing, I quickly learned that if I wanted to make money at this trade, I would have to learn to write in many different styles.

    Most recently, I submitted a few proposals to line up work for the summer. I would love for that work to carry me on through next school year, but I have also learned that God controls my plans more than me. I am encouraged to see this process moving forward.

    The point of this rambling?? Thankfulness. I read Psalm 9 this morning, and it begins with thankfulness. I am so blessed! Why shouldn't I begin with thankfulness? I don't know for sure, I haven't adequately research this Psalm, but it seems as if David is writing about war. He is pursued by his enemies, but knows God is in charge. David is forever thankful for God's guidance for his life and command over his enemies.

    I am not at war. No enemy is trying to kill me. I have so much more to be thankful for! On this Memorial Day, we all have much to be thankful for. We are months from Thanksgiving, but let's celebrate thanksgiving today!

***Note: I learned in a footnote from biblegateway.com that Psalm 9-10 are believed to be an acrostic poem with each line beginning with the letters of the Hebrew alphabet. How incredible is that?!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Who Will Stand Up For Me?

This morning in church, our minister was asking us to put others ahead of ourselves always.  His point was that, in our relationships, we sometimes spend more energy trying to be right than doing what is right.  He told us that we often think we have to stand up for ourselves because nobody else will stand up for us.  But that isn't true!  God will stand up for us.  He said that Jesus not only stood up for us, but was raised up on a cross for us. 

Two hours later, I sat here on my couch and read Psalms 7:10-11.  This is what it says:
10 My shield is God Most High,
   who saves the upright in heart.
11 God is a righteous judge,
   a God who displays his wrath every day.

I hope this week, I can focus more on doing what is right instead of being right!
I am that person who tries to always be right.  I told someone just this week that our lives would be simpler if my husband would just accept that I need to be in charge! 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Guilt, Grace, and Glory

I was raised as a Christian.  There wasn't a defining moment when I remember hearing about Jesus's sacrifice for the first time.  When Christian values and beliefs have been present always, it is easy to take them for granted.  Reading the Psalms reminds me of the power and wonder of God.  David reminds me that I should feel guilty when I have done wrong.  He reminds me that God's grace is what saves me from my enemies.  He reminds me that the Glory of God created the majestic world and me.  When God created me, he made me just the way he wanted me to be.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Spoken About Me

So my lack of knowledge with computers shines with extra brightness tonight.  I haven't posted for a couple of days because I thought something major was wrong with my blogger account. Actually, I just needed to restart the computer.  Once I did that, everything worked just fine.  However, I haven't posted in two days.  Let me recap!  I have read Psalms 3-6 and Leviticus 5-6. 

Tonight, however, I reread them to prepare for a post when I realized it was working for me.  As I reread, two verses spoke to me as if they were written yesterday.  You know how you read an article in a magazine and you realize the author is talking DIRECTLY to you?  That's how I felt tonight.  Here are the verses of Psalms that were written for me.

Psalms 3:3 But you, LORD, are a shield around me,
   my glory, the One who lifts my head high.

Psalms 5:3 In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice;
   in the morning I lay my requests before you
   and wait expectantly.
The first gets me because I am tired.  This was field day at school.  Remember that day?  The day of competition?  Our track events have transformed into water balloon fights, but still competitions.  Storms have kept me awake this week.  After all the tornadoes that have attacked people in their sleep, I wake up to a storm and worry.  However, the Lord is my sheild around me!

The second passage gets me because I usually read my Bible first thing in the morning.  It is when I listen to hear God's voice.  I can't wait to get back into the groove tomorrow morning, even though it is Saturday!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Book of Psalms

Because I am following a scripted plan, my books do not go in order.  After John, I begin Psalms.  I did a little research on the book of Psalms this morning before reading any of it.  I always assumed David was the author, but apparently there is a but of dispute over authorship.  It is now believed that David wrote many of them, but perhaps a group of authors, many unknown, wrote the rest.  It is also believed that David wrote Psalms that were probably carried down throughout the days of Moses. 

When I have more time I would like to look further into how different religions use the Psalms.  I found some information about it, but didn't read much.  It looks as if the Psalms have great importance with several groups, though, from Muslims to Christians, to Jewish and several other groups.

As I began to read Psalms 1-2 today, I remembered how much I enjoyed them.  I have a friend who read one everyday.  Often she comes and tells me a verse that touched her that day. 

I think the draw of the Psalms is timeless.  The word Psalms, translated, means praises.  I spend more time in prayer to God than I do praising him.  This book offers a way to praise God on a daily basis.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Great Endings

As a beginning writer, I am just learning the craft.  As a writing teacher, I have tried to divide the major components of writing into categories that can be taught in a meaningful order.  One of the first things I teach is how to create a beginning and an ending to your story.  When fifth graders develop their ideas, it is usually the middle that they think of first.  They need help figuring out how to create a beginning that catches your attention.  Next, we work on how to create an ending that wraps up their story leaving the reader with a feeling that the plot was satisfied. 

John was a master of beginnings and endings.  He chose not to begin with the birth of Christ, but the first chapter of John grabs the reader into the story of the ministry of Christ.  The ending of chapter 21 struck me as a fantastic ending.  He is clearly speaking to the reader.
 25 Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.
Isn’t that a great ending for the beginning of my day?!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Believing Without Seeing

It seems the passage that speaks to me more shifts between the Old Testament readings and the New Testament.  When I began reading the Book of John, I was not excited to read another Gospel.  I didn't want the same stories over again, but I find my thoughts drawn toward the teachings of Jesus and events of his life.  Before I continue with John, let me update the Old Testament.

Today I began Leviticus.  The name implies this book is directed or written for the Levites, but it is actually the code for the priests.  That only counts for part of the Levites.  Very little is directed toward all of the them.  Like Genesis and Exodus, this was written by Moses and dictated by God.  This book became the law for the priests of the Jewish faith for years. 

As I read through the first chapter, I couldn't help but think how glad I am that we don't have to sacrifice animals to God.  The descriptions are gruesome!
Back to John!  Today's passage, chapter 20, tells of the Resurrection.  The verse that sticks out is this:
29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Jesus says this to Thomas because Thomas refused to believe Jesus was alive until he put his fingers in the nail wounds of Jesus's hands. 

It is easy for me to lose my focus on Christ until something happens to reaffirm my belief.  Seeing and act of God always pulls me back into a tighter relationship with Him.  I find myself in Thomas's shoes rejecting the voice of God until I am faced with evidence of Him in my life. 

Today I pray to believe without needing to see it first!

Sunday, May 22, 2011


John 19 is the chapter that outlines the decision to crucify Christ.  Pilate resisted crucifixion over and over again.  He finally gave up and did what the people were asking him to do.  I don't fully understand the way the government of the day worked, but I know that multiple people were in control of the different groups.  Pilate made few decisions concerning the Jews and didn't want to make this one. 

When I think about Pilate's role in Christ's death, I see that it was necessary, but odd.  In order for God's will to be carried out, Pilate had to do what he didn't think was right.  It is easy to immediately judge him as being weak and too easily persuaded to kill a man he believed to be innocent.  Without his decision, though, Jesus could not fulfill his duty to give his life so ours could be saved. 

I know there are moments in my life when I make a decision that causes me to pause and wonder if I did what is right.  Sometimes I feel I should make decisions that don't feel right.  I trust that my praying for God's guidance, my choices will carry out his will for my life, even when it feels uncomfortable.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


I typically base my posts on the chapters I have read that day.  Today I read John 18 and Exodus 39, and this post has nothing to do with either chapter.  In fact, I have also posted this on my other blog, Making Life Be Enough. 

Today is Saturday, which usually means errands.  As a full time teacher, full time mother, and full time wife with no in-home help, I NEED my Saturdays to run errands.  Today was grocery day!  This usually means two different grocery stores, a discount store (Sharp Shopper) and then either Food Lion, Kroger, or Martin's to buy everything I couldn't find at Sharp Shopper.  I plan my meals two weeks at a time, so the list is usually lengthy.  To gear up for the shopping event, I took Devon to the park for about an hour first.

We left home a little after 8.  We had eaten, everyone was in clean clothes, and I even got to shower this morning.  The day began well.

Devon had a great time at the park.  He even willingly got back into the car without a crying fit.  I thought this was on track to be a perfect day!

Boy was I wrong!

With only three aisles left at Sharp Shopper, Devon discovered that I had tossed a bag of peanut filled pretzels in our basket.  His favorite!!!  Thus began the ear piercing, highly embarrassing fit that disrupted the entire warehouse of a store.  He refused to be consoled by anything other than the bag of pretzels that we had not purchased yet.  I am all for opening a snack in the middle of a store, but these are sold by weight.  We couldn't eat from the bag prior to weighing them at the check-out!

To sum up to miserable parts, he screamed and cried while I finished our shopping, checked-out, and unloaded our groceries into the car.  Mostly, I pretended I didn't hear him.  I received a grand mixture of pitiful condolence stares and glares of disgruntled customers. 

Once I got in the car, I refused to open the bag because he had been so ugly.  This caused him to cry for about fifteen more minutes.  I finally told him that he could have them as soon as he showed Mommy how to be a good boy. 

When we arrived home, he looked at me and told me that he was a good boy.  The tears stopped. He said he was sorry, and he was rewarded with pretzels with his lunch!

I thank God for the patience I was able to show, and for the Grace he sends our way when we need it!  I pray that I handled the situation in a way that will show him a fit doesn't get you what you want, being nice will. 

Parenting is hard.  Only with God's help do any of us make it through!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Prayer for Me

Several years ago, just before I got married, I attended a weekend conference through the church I attended at the time.  I realized about half way through the weekend that people in the church were holding a prayer vigil to pray for ME!  They wanted this conference to make an impact on the lives of those of us who attended.  It was an overwhelming feeling to know that someone I didn't know or didn't know well was asking God to make changes in my life.  I felt a blanket of love that day. 

In John 17, Jesus is praying.  He asks for the glory he had when he was with God before the world began.  That statement hit me hard this morning.  I think of Jesus as the Son who came to Earth as human.  I think of his human birth being his beginning.  I forget that Jesus has been a part of God and with God always.

After Jesus prays for himself and the disciples, he prays for us.  He prays for all who WILL believe in him.  Two thousand years ago, Jesus knelt before the crucifixion and prayed for ME!  Hold that blessing today!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Come Holy Spirit Come Part 2

I mentioned that I am looking seriously about my career right now.  Things continue changing in education and I continue to feel overwhelmed by the pressures.  I had a conversation with my mother last night about my husband's career.  He is working on moving into a new department with his company, but the business is cut-throat.  If you aren't extremely successful, you're fired! 

That isn't the case with teaching.  Unfortunately, there are many bad teachers out there who won't be fired.  A bad teacher can stay in that position until retirement.  I learned yesterday that teacher evaluations in my county will now be based 40% on student progress.  While that puts immense pressure on me and takes my breath, I know that some won't take it seriously.  I also know that the bad teachers will manage to fly under the radar. 

In the coming years, my job will become increasingly more difficult.  More responsibilities and pressures are added each year.  My salary will decrease next year for the fourth year in a row.  The county doesn't call it a pay cut, but the change in insurance means more money comes out of the paycheck for my son's insurance. 

Again this morning I say, Come Holy Spirit, Come!  John 16 teaches us that Jesus explained to the disciples during the Last Supper that The Advocate would come after Jesus's departure.  The Spirit of Truth will be sent to guide our footsteps.  I thank God that the passage I needed to hear was the one I read this morning!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


I love John 15.  I think it is a chapter that sums up the life of a Christian.  Love others above yourself.  Follow God's commands for our life.  Understand that if following Jesus makes others uncomfortable or angry, they were uncomfortable and angry at Jesus first.  We can acheive nothing with any worth unless God is a part of it. 

This last section hits close to home for me right now.  I am contemplating my career right not.  I love teaching, but I am also trying to see if writing could be a possible income source for my family.  I also am trying to open options in case I ever want out of the classroom.  Reading this chapter reaffirms that God is working in my life.  I have to trust his guidance and know that I will be successful and fruitful if God is my focus.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Come Holy Spirit Come!

I totally stole those words from a song, but that is how I feel today.  My son is sick, probably strep throat and what the doctor believes is bronchitis.  We haven't slept in days.  While I have a sub today, my school is closing early because of potential flooding.  That sums up what I see out my window right now!  This is one of those days when you just want to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit.

It is difficult for us to understand the Holy Spirit and what it means to us.  My guess is that everyone feels a little differently about it, and everyone has experience it in different ways.  I feel the presence of the Holy Spirit the most when I am singing with a group of people.  I also feel it after reading a passage in the Bible if I just take time to be quiet and listen.  I have never heard the booming voice of God, but I hear the whispers of the Holy Spirit all the time!

On days like this I take comfort in John 14:15-18.  15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

Doesn't that feel like a warm blanket on a cold rainy day???

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Fresh New Start

Today is Monday.  I always feel like Mondays bring a fresh new start.  I love New Year's Day and the resolutions we attempt.  I also love the beginning of the school year for the same reason.  We feel energized and ready to take on the world.  We are not loaded down yet with the everyday to-do lists.  I don't feel behind. 

Exodus 34 shows a fresh new start for Moses and the Israelites.  They have a new set of commandments, Moses has a new covenant with God, and everyone has been forgiven of past sins.  It is a nice feeling to know that all your sins have been forgiven.  The weight is lifted from my shoulders, and I feel like God is giving me a fresh new start.

In John 13, we see Jesus preparing for his death.  He teaches us to serve others and lead others to him.  It is comforting to know that Jesus willingly went forth with his death so my sins could be forgiven.  Ultimately, it is only because of Him that I can every feel the wonder of those Monday mornings free of sin and free of burden.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Long Weekend!

Good evening!  This has been a long weekend!  I had trouble posting this weekend, so here is what I wrote Friday and Saturday.  I am very sorry that this covers two days worth of reading at one time.  I am even sorrier, that I did not read in my Bible today beyond what I read during church services this morning.


Holy Cow!!  A saying that pops up from time to time in conversation popped into my mind while reading Exodus 32.  I haven't written too much from the Old Testament the past few days.  My focus has been on John, but today I read of Moses returning to camp after receiving the tablets from God.  I read this story as a kid.  I knew he would return to craziness.  I even remember the golden calf.  I did NOT remember that it was Aaron who made the calf.  I also didn't remember Moses grinding it up and forcing the people to drink water mixed with the dust from the calf.  Then, he orders the Levites to go through the camp killing people.  About three thousand were killed that day!  Moses was one tough cookie!  He must of led like a militant!

As much as this caught my attention, I can't ignore John 11.  This is the chapter in which Jesus raises Lazarus.  This is a beautiful chapter in the Bible showing the great compassion of Christ.
Yesterday I wrote mostly about Moses and the crazy antics of the Israelites who just couldn't understand they had to follow the rules of God.  Despite their sin, Moses reasons with God and is blessed repeatedly.  In Exodus 33, Moses begs God to allow him to feel God's presence.  He wants to know that God is with him always.  How often to we pray to feel the presence of God in our lives?!  I read a book recently that explained how we could feel the love and glory of God in those around us.  Many of us who are blessed with strong marriages can feel a bit of God's love in the love of a spouse.  We can feel God's glory in relationships with friends.  There are many days when I need a pick-me-up from God, and he will send it in the form of a friend or a comment from a student or co-worker.  That is the presence of God!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Good Shepherd

The voice of God is a phrase we hear often when we deal with following God's plan for our lives.  Pastors use this phrase for several meanings.  When we read about the will of God, we say it is God's voice.  We believe that God can speak to us through others around us.  Some of us are so lucky as to actually hear a small voice in our heads that speaks to us!

In John 10 Jesus tells us that he is the Good Shepherd that will lead us.  We will recognize his voice and know where to follow. I wish it were that simple.  In today's world there is so much noise that we confuse the voice of God.  I have learned that it takes quiet time with God before I can hear the Voice.  I need to stop at the end of my prayers and listen.  I have to read the Bible in a quiet room so I can hear what is being said to me.

Exodus 31 says that the tablets of Moses were written by God's finger.  I believe that not just his finger, but his entire hand is trying to guide me.  I just have to hear the commands of his voice so I can follow.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Making Life Be Enough

I have enjoyed this process of blogging about my bible readings to much that I have decided to begin a blog devoted more to the happenings of my life and my mind.  As a teacher, mother, wife, and beginning writer, I am going to write my thoughts and tell my story on a new blog with the same title as this post.  I will add the link tomorrow when I am sure it is up and running.

John 9 teaches us that blindness of the eyes and blindness of the mind are not all that different.  When he heals a blind man on the Sabbath, the teachers of the law are so angry with him they begin casting his followers out of the synagogue.  He tells them that those who don't know better are blinded.  They, however, know fully what they are doing. 

Often I pray for my eyes to be opened, so I may make the right decisions and be guided in the right direction.  I suppose I should focus on my job of helping open the eyes of others!

Exodus continues to be a list of directions.  Exodus 30 gives the guidelines for the items placed inside the temple.  I understand the importance of these guidelines for the lives of Moses and his people.  I wish, again, that I had such laid out guidelines for my life!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

More Missing verses

I continue to be amazed at the story of the creation of the Bible.  As a child I questioned the validity of God's Word.  I think I have said before that I asked my Sunday School teacher how we know that our beliefs are true.  I don't need to question the truth of the Bible anymore, but I do question why some passages are included now, but they weren't in the earliest manuscripts.  John 8 is that way.  The first part was not included early on.

I enjoy reading the teachings of Christ in John, but part of me wishes that Jesus had come right out and told those around him exactly who he was.  He beat around the bush so often, it is almost frustrating to read!

Exodus continues to be a list of directions.  This time it explains what to do for the priests, Aaron being one of them. 

Monday, May 9, 2011


If I went to church today and someone stood before the congregation proclaiming to be Christ, would I believe them?  Probably not! I have read enough in the Bible to know the signs to look for in the return of Christ.  I should hear the trumpet call.  He should come throught the clouds. 

In John 7, the people are questioning if Jesus is the Christ or not.  They repeat the signs, but don't understand enough about Jesus to know if he is for real.  I think the same is true in my life.  Many times events occur or ideas pop into my head and I wonder, is this the voice of God?  Am I hearing directions for my life?  I had a minister once who told me the easiest way to discern the voice of God, was to be quiet and read the Bible.  When we read the Bible, we know if the voice's directions line up with the teachings of Jesus.  If they do, than perhaps we should listen.

I am still reading Exodus, and it continues to be a long list of directions for the Israelites.  Exodus 28 gives directions for clothing for Aaron.  It is so detailed!  But it proves that the directions for our lives are out there, we just have to be quiet and listen.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Studying v. Following

Happ Mother's Day to all the mothers out there.  Our church service today focused on God's love being more powerful than the love of a mother. It is easy while sitting in church to believe the pastor's words and the words of the Bible.  It is more difficult when we step back into our daily life.

This has been a very hard week.  I have struggled at work because a new student joined my class and brought with him a horrible story.  His mother died less than two weeks ago, and he has moved back into his abusive father's house.  I am irritated with teachers around me who don't do their job well, and I am frustrated by students who don't care if they are successful in school or not.

Throughout these struggles, it was easy this week to lose sight of God.  It was easier to sleep in than get up and do this blog.  It was easier to eat brownies and go to bed than it was to get my work completed so I could focus on my writing assignments that have looming deadlines.  It was much easier to whine and complain than it was to pray about it all.

Today I read John 6.  Jesus makes it clear to his disciples that there is a huge difference in studying his teachings and actually believing and following them.  It is the difference in being a student of God or a disciple of God. 

Some feel like Sunday is the last day of the week, while others look at it as the first day.  I think of it as a day of renewal before the week ahead.  John 6 put me back on track today.  This week, no matter how difficult, I need to be a disciple, not just a student who can set aside their studies.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Coming in Peace? Maybe Not!

Someone I went to high school with posted on Facebook recently that Jesus would be against war because he came to bring peach on earth.  I disagree completely!  He came to bring peace to our hearts, but even instructed his disciples to go out with swords.  In John 5 Jesus teaches that he will return to judge others.  It won't be the Father who judges, it will be the Son.  Only through the Son, can we get to heaven. 

This made me think about the Trinity and my knowledge of it.  Here is what I believe, please comment if you think I am off base or on track.  I believe that God, the Father, is all knowing and all powerful, but diffucult to relate to.  It is hard to pray sometimes because I don't understand him.  The Bible even tells me his ways are not like my ways and his thoughts are not like my thoughts.  Jesus, the Son, came as human form of God, and is easier to relate to.  I tend to pray to him more because I see him as powerful, but easier to connect with.  The Holy Spirit is the voice in my head and the guide of my heart.  I feel the presence of the Holy Spirit when in prayer and when praising God.  The Holy Spirit is here on earth with me now.  I don't pray to it, I am comforted and guided by it.

What do you think?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Goal

When we think of our job as witnesses to share our story of what Christ has done for us in our lives.  After reading John 4, I don't think that is the end goal anymore.  In John 4:42, the Samaritans are talking to the woman Jesus met at the well.  "They said to the woman, "We no longer believe just because of what you said:  now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world."

Our goal is not just to tell our story.  Our goal is for others to turn to Christ, and then see for themselves the blessings God has given to them.  The true reward will be when these new believers enter heaven. 

I also read Exodus 25 today.  It is a listing of God's instructions to Moses of how to build the Ark of the Covenent, the table, and the lampstand.  There are moments in my life when I wish the directions from God were this clear for my life!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


It is difficult sometimes to figure out how current government structure matches or mismatches the teachings of Jesus.   In Exodus we see God creating the laws for the governing body, Moses and his council.  Since then, governments have grown creating laws for themselves that may not always align with God's will.  We live in a country that purposely separates church and state.  While I see many advantages to that structure, it makes it diffucult to balance sometimes.  While reading John 3 today, I wondered if many who heard Jesus teach felft the same way. 

John 3 tells the story of Jesus teaching Nicodemus, a member of the council at the time.  Jesus is trying to explain the importance of being born again.  It doesn't match what the teaching of the day said.  Jesus clearly explains that we are to put our belief in him above all others.  He was sent to save us from all sin. 

Two things strike me as difficult with this passage.  First of all, I find it hard sometimes to remember that Jesus saved me by grace and not because of things I do.  It doesn't matter how "good" I am, Jesus came for me.  The second struggle I have with this is to remember that God needs to be put first, ahead of work, family, and what others may say is right.  That is a whole new post, though isn't it?!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Role of a Mother

After the story of Jesus's birth, we don't hear a whole lot more about Mary.  Jesus sort of moves away from earthly relationships as he moves through his ministry and death.  However, John 2 tells of Mary encouraging the first of Jesus's miracles.  When Jesus turned the water into wine, his mother and brothers were with him at the wedding.  It was Mary who came to Jesus and told him something needed to be done.  He replied that it was not yet time for him to work miracles.  So how did she know he could??  She must have known all along what this child of hers was capable of!  To help him stay discreet, she called servants to her and told them to follow Jesus's orders.  It appeared as if the servants found the wine. 

As a mother, I think about what Devon will grow up to be.  I am sure my mother did as well.  We try to prepare our kids for their futures, but how would Mary prepare Jesus?  She asked him to begin his miracles early.  This had a couple of purposes.  First of all, the family gained higher respect among the guests.  Secondly, the disciples that Jesus had already called were also present.  They were fully aware of the miracle and put even more faith into following Jesus. 

For this week leading to Mother's Day, let's focus a bit on how our mothers prepared us for our journey.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


One of the most confusing things about the Bible are people's names.  It would be so much easier if they had last names or something else to distinguish one from another.  I wish that every time someone talked about John the Baptist they would make sure to include "the Baptist" in the title.  I get confused with the Johns. 

The Gospel of John, like Mark, skips the birth of Christ.  It begins with Jesus's baptism by John the Baptist.  I found it interesting that John tells us that Jesus, or The Word, is with God in the beginning.  I don't think about Jesus even existing before his earthly birth, but for him to be part of the trinity, he would have to have existed all along. 

I also read Exodus 22 today.  It continues outlining the rules and laws for the people of Moses.  This passage offers protection to those who have wrong done to them and for widows and orphans.  It makes me wonder which of these we are expected to live by today.  Most of these fit our laws, but we don't put people to death as quickly or freely as they did then.  It just makes me think about how applicable the laws of those days are today.