Friday, December 27, 2013


Samuel was a prophet to King Saul. Saul was rejected by the Lord as King over Egypt, and the Lord told Samuel to go to the house of Jesse the Bethlehemite and anoint a new king for He had chosen one of Jesse’s sons (he had eight sons). Samuel was afraid to go, fearful that Saul would find out and kill him. The Lord instructed Samuel to take a heifer with him and go to the town and tell the people he had come to sacrifice. He was to invite Jesse to the sacrifice and the Lord would show him what to do. So Samuel went and he consecrated Jesse and his sons.

When Jesse’s sons passed before Samuel, the Lord told him not to look at appearance or stature, because God sees not as man sees but He looks at the heart – 1 Sam 16:7.  Seven of them passed before Samuel, yet not any of them were chosen. Samuel asked Jesse if this were all his children. Jesse told him the youngest, David, hadn’t come but was tending sheep in the field, so Samuel sent for him and when he came in Samuel anointed him as king.

At one time, an evil spirit was torturing King Saul and he asked for someone who was skillful at playing the harp. One of his servants told him a son of Jesse played beautifully, so Saul sent messengers to Jesse asking for David to be sent to the King. Jesse sent him, along with a donkey loaded with bread, a jug of wine, and a goat.

When Jesse was old, the Philistines came against Israel and Jesse’s three oldest sons went to battle. Jesse sent grain, bread, and cheese with David to their camp for them and their leader and asked David to check on them. While he is there, David hears the challenge of Goliath, the Philistine, and rises to defeat him when no other Israelites would stand up to him.

David is many times referred to as “the son of Jesse” and Isaiah talks about Jesus coming from the line of Jesse, so he is no doubt a prominent figure in the bible. Isaiah 11:1-2 says, “Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, The spirit of counsel and strength, The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.” In verse 10, Isaiah calls Jesus “the root of Jesse” when referring to His future reign. This is quoted in the New Testament in Romans 15:12 - “Again Isaiah says, “There shall come the root of Jesse, And He who arises to rule over the Gentiles, in Him shall the Gentiles hope.”” 

Thursday, December 26, 2013


Obed was the son of Boaz and Ruth and the father of Jesse.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Boaz and Ruth

The lifespan of Boaz (means Man of Valor/Strength) and Ruth (means Friendship) was during the days of the judges, most likely during the judge of Jair, approx 1126 – 1105 BC.

There had been a famine in the land of Judah, so Elimelech and Naomi, whose son would be Ruth’s husband, traveled to Moab and stayed there. Elimelech died, and Naomi was left with her two sons. They married Moabite women, Ruth and Orpah. Then both of the sons died. Naomi encouraged her daughters-in-law to return to their families for she would not be able to provide a husband for them. Orpah agreed, but Ruth stayed loyal to her mother-in-law and said “…where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people, shall be my people and your God, my God.” Ruth 1:16

So Naomi and Ruth returned to Bethlehem. Ruth suggests that she go glean in the field of Boaz, a kinsman of Naomi’s husband. While she is in the field, Boaz asks about her and one of the servants tells him she is the Moabitess that returned with Naomi. So he told Ruth to not go to any other field but to stay there with his maids. He commanded his servants not to touch her, and he allowed her to drink from his well. She was surprised at his kindness but he said he had heard of her loyalty to Naomi and blesses her.

At mealtime he called her over to eat with he and the reapers and he also told his servants to purposes leave behind some grain for her to gather. When she was done, she beat out what she had gleaned and it was about an ephah of barley, which is 30-40 lbs. So she took it to Naomi, who immediately noticed Ruth had been blessed, and continued to live with her and glean in Boaz’s field.

Naomi then suggests to Ruth that since Boaz is a kinsman, maybe he could redeem her. It was during the evening when Boaz would be threshing, so Naomi told Ruth to put on her best clothes and go down to the threshing floor after he had eaten. She instructed Ruth that when Boaz lay down to go uncover his feet and lay down and that Boaz would then tell her what to do.

So she did, and Boaz told her he would do whatever she asked. She told him he was a close relative, suggesting she was hoping he would marry her. He agreed, but he knew there was one relative still alive that was a closer relative than he, so he said they must give him opportunity first since that was the right thing to do.

Then Boaz went to the city gate and spoke to the close relative. He began by telling him of Elimelech’s death and that there was land to be redeemed and he was the closest relative so he had the first opportunity to buy it. Boaz tells him if he does not buy it, he would because he was the next closest relative. So the relative says he will redeem it. Then Boaz says on the day he buys it, he will also acquire Ruth in order to raise up the name of the deceased in the inheritance. So the relative denies redeeming it for fear of losing his own inheritance (having to split his wealth/land between his children and Ruth’s potential children) and tells Boaz to redeem it.

According to custom, the relative removed his sandal and gave it to Boaz, this was the former way to legally and symbolically transfer property rights. So Boaz redeems the land and acquires Ruth. The elders bless him, saying may Ruth be like Rachel and Leah, who built the house of Israel, may he become wealthy and famous in Bethlehem, and may his house be like the house of Perez.

So they married and Ruth became pregnant. The women called Naomi blessed because of the offspring of Ruth, which would become Naomi’s redeemer and take care of her, and because of her daughter-in-law who loved her. The firstborn was named Obed, and Naomi took him and became his nurse. Obed is David’s grandpa, the father of Jesse.

Interesting note: My bible commentary recognizes firstborns in the blessing by the elders. Tamar, the widow of Judah’s first born son who was denied marriage to Judah’s remaining son. Perez, the firstborn of Tamar who was born out of deceit. If her firstborn would have been conceived properly, it would have been considered her first husband’s son. And Ruth’s first son would be considered the first born of Mahlon, her first husband, the rest of their children would be considered Boaz’s. Similar to Christ, Mary’s firstborn son was not considered Joseph’s son but God’s.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Be Still for a Minute

Just a quick note....

I got out of bed late this morning. My usual routine (or maybe should say ideal instead of usual) is to get up, pray and read my bible before the kids get up. Lately I've been getting up a little late though and so I haven't had as much time. I feel like I rush through my prayer list and hope to skim over some scripture. Then I rush to work, where like everyone else I'm crazy busy all day, then I rush to get the kids, rush to an activity or if we don't have an activity rush to get a workout in and cook supper, rush to pick up the house a little, throw in a load of laundry. Rush to get the kids homework done and everyone in get the picture.

As I sat down and started looking over my prayer list this morning I just felt it wasn't right. I really felt God speak to my spirit and say slow down. With eyes closed almost immediately a praise song came into my head and I stopped and just prayed it to God. Then Silent Night, and I sat with those peaceful words going through my mind fully aware of God's presence and thinking about what He did for us on that night. Sending His Son, who I have the privilege of praying to every day. I get to have a relationship with the creator of the universe. That's awe inspiring itself.

I heard the boys alarm go off and looked over my prayer list. One in particular means a lot to me, and so I did say to God to please watch over my friend today, then I thanked Him for the time we got to spend today and for knowing what is on my list so I don't have to rush through each one before the kids come in but can enjoy the peaceful spirit He had given.

I encourage you during this especially busy time of year to slow down and let God wash peace over you. I feel like I have been refreshed and have a better perspective this morning, just by allowing God a few minutes to instill peace into my spirit. I highly recommend you take some time to do the same. We all need it! Be blessed today and this Christmas. I hope wherever you are God's presence and peace will be apparent to you today and in this season!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Salmon and Rahab

Most of the information I found in the bible about this couple is about Rahab. She is one of the five women listed in the genealogy in Matthew. She is also one of the women mentioned in the hall of faith in Hebrews chapter eleven. Rahab was a harlot in the land of Shittim (Jericho). She trusted the Lord and hid the spies sent into the land by Joshua. She told them she had heard of how the Lord had dried up the Red Sea and how the Israelites had conquered the Amorites.

When they were about to leave, she told the spies where to go to hide so that their pursuers would not find them. They told her to tie a scarlet cord in the window in which they left and they would spare anyone who was in the house with her when Israel invaded.

When Israel, under the leadership of Joshua, attached Jericho, Rahab and her father’s household, including her belongings, were spared and she lived in the midst of Israel because she had helped the spies. Ultimately she saved her entire family.

Rahab is also mentioned in James 2:25 – “In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?” in reference to man being justified by works through faith. James says “Faith without works is dead”

Other notes about Rahab: Psalm 87:4 “I shall mention Rahab and Babylon among those who know Me….” – According to my bible commentary “Rahab” is a monster of ancient pagan mythology and also a figurative word for Egypt. The commentary says this means even the enemies of Israel will one day worship the Lord.

Sunday, December 15, 2013


Nahshon was the leader of the sons of Judah…the leader of the tribe of Judah and its army during the time of Moses (74,600 men). He presented offerings after Moses completed the tabernacle, moreover he was the first to present an offering, which was completed one tribe per day.

He camped at Sinai in the wilderness with Moses and the Israelite people. Thirteen months after the Exodus from Egypt and after eleven months of staying in Sinai, they began their march to the promised land. Nahshon led the sons of Judah, who led the entire march, as they set out.

The Israelites crossed over the Jordan and into the promised land sometime between Nahson and Salmon.


The daughter of Amminadab, Elisheba, marries Aaron (brother of Moses)


I did not find much mention of Ram in the bible. It is possible the friend of Job, Elihu, was from Ram’s family, but I could not validate that 100%.


Son of Perez. Family is the Hezronites.

Of note: Both Perezites and Hezronites were part of the census of Moses that occurred at the end of the forty years in the wilderness after leaving Egypt just before entering the promised land. Both families had inheritance in the promised land. 

Perez (Pharez)

Perez was born out of incest and prostitution to Judah and Tamar. The name means “breach or pushing through”due to the way he bypassed his twin brother at childbirth. His descendants are the Perezites. Generations later, the elders bless Boaz that his house may be like the house of Perez. The Perezites are the main ancestors of the Ephrathites and Bethlemites. I was not able to find much information in the bible about Perez, but it seems like he overcame despite entering the world through deceit and sin.

Judah and Tamar

Judah is the son of Leah and the brother of Joseph. When Israel sent the brothers unknowingly to Joseph in Egypt to get grain during the famine, one requirement Joseph made of them was for them to bring Benjamin, the younger brother, to him. Joseph held Simeon hostage to ensure the brothers would bring Benjamin, and Judah offered to stay in his place but Joseph did not accept his offer. Judah is the one who convinced Israel, his father, to send Benjamin because Israel did not want him to go.

Gen 38 - Before this, during the time after he and his brothers sold Joseph to the Egyptians, Judah moved away from them and married a Canaanite woman named Shua and had three sons. He took a wife, Tamar, for his first son Er. But Er was evil in the sight of the Lord so the Lord took his life. According to custom, Onan went in to Tamar for the purpose of producing an offspring that would bear Er’s name. He knew the offspring would not be considered his, so he “wasted his seed on the ground” so that Tamar would not become pregnant. This was displeasing to the Lord, so He took Onan’s life too.

The third son, Shelah, was not old enough to be with Tamar yet, so Judah told Tamar to go live in her father’s house as a widow until he was old enough. After a while, Shua died and Judah made his way to Timnah. Tamar heard of it and she also knew that Shelah had reached the proper age and she had not been given to him, so she took off her widow’s garments and disguised herself as a prostitute and sat on the side of the road where they would pass. Judah stopped and asked to be with her. She required him to give her a young goat as payment and he said he would send it. She required his seal, cord and staff as a pledge so he gave them to her.

Judah then sent the goat to her by the way of his Adullamite friend expecting to receive his pledge back but when the Adullamite asked where the temple prostitute was the people there said there was not one. The Adullamite went and told Judah he could not find her, so Judah told him to not search for her anymore (commentary says, apparently, “it is not good for ones reputation to keep asking for the whereabouts of a prostitute).

Three months later Judah was informed it was Tamar who played the role of the prostitute and she was now pregnant. Judah exclaims to have her burned for spreading lies, but she shows the seal, cord and staff he left as a pledge and he admits he was unfair to her to not give her Shelah. Judah did not have relations with her again. She gave birth to twins, Perez and Zerah. Zerah started to come out first, his hand was the first out when she was giving birth, but he withdrew his hand and Perez ended up being the firstborn. 

Friday, December 13, 2013


Jacob is the twin son of Isaac and Rebekah. He was born second, holding onto his brother Esau’s heel. His mom could feel them struggling in her womb and asked the Lord about it. He responded, “Two nations are in your womb; And two peoples will be separated from your body, And one people shall be stronger than the other; And the older shall serve the younger.” Gen 25:23. The nations referenced are Edom (Esau) and Isreal (Jacob). The name Jacob according to Strongs means “heel-catcher, ie supplanter”. It is from the root word aqab, meaning to swell out or up, to seize by the heel or restrain.

Jacob and Esau were very different from each other. Esau was an outdoorsman, a hunter, headstrong, hairy and rugged. He was favored by his father, Isaac. Jacob was favored by his mother, Rebekah, and was a peaceful man preferring the indoors. When they were older, Jacob cooked some stew and Esau came in from the field hungry. He asked for a bite of that red stew, for he was famished, therefore he was called Edom (red). Gen 25:30. Jacob responded by telling Esau to first swear to him his birthright. Esau gave it to him, showing he did not value it. This attitude of carelessness toward his own birthright is condemned in Heb 12:16 which states, “that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal.”

When Isaac was old, he called to Esau and told him to go hunt game and prepare a savory dish for him so that he may eat it and then bless him before he died. Rebekah overheard, and since she favored Jacob she told him to go into their flock and get two choice young goats that she might prepare for Isaac so that Jacob could bring it into him pretending to be Esau and take the blessing from Esau. Jacob was afraid Isaac would know, for Esau was hairy and he was sure his father would tell the difference and see him as a deceiver and curse him. Rebekah assures him she will take the curse if so, and she prepares the meal and disguises Jacob in Esau’s clothes and goatskins, for Esau was hairy and Jacob was not.

So Jacob takes the meal Rebekah had prepared into Isaac and requests his blessing as Esau. Isaac questions, he can tell it is Jacob’s voice, but when he feels the goatskins on Jacob’s arms and neck and smells Esau’s scent on his clothes, he believes Jacob is Esau and so blesses him with the blessing intended for Esau. The blessing is as follows, found in Gen 27:27-29 – “See, the smell of my son is like the smell of a field which the Lord has blessed; Now may God give you of the dew of heaven, And of the fatness of the earth, And an abundance of grain and new wine; May peoples serve you, and nations bow down to you; Be master of your brothers, and may your mother’s sons bow down to you. Cursed be those who curse you, And blessed be those who bless you.”

Then, Esau came in from hunting, prepared Issac a meal and went in to receive his blessing. Isaac asks who he is and when he realizes what has happened he trembles. When Isaac tells Esau he gave his blessing to Jacob in error, Esau cries for him to bless him too and says Jacob is rightly named, for he supplanted him twice – taking away his birthright and his blessing. Isaac says there is nothing he can do and gives him his secondary blessing: “Behold, away from the fertility of the earth shall be your dwelling, And away from the dew of heaven from above. By your sword you shall live, and your brother you shall serve; But it shall come about when you become restless, that you will break his yoke from your neck” Gen 27:39-40.

So Esau bore a grudge against Jacob and vowed to kill him once Isaac passed away. Rebekah knew Esau was going to try to kill Jacob and wanted to get Jacob out of Esau’s reach, so she deceives Isaac again by portraying she is most worried about Jacob choosing a Canaanite wife and so Isaac sends Jacob to Paddanaram to chose a wife from the daughters of Laban, Rebekah’s uncle.

So Jacob goes on his way and comes to Haran where he goes to sleep and dreams of angels going up and down a ladder that extends from earth to heaven with the Lord standing over it. He tells Jacob He is the God of his father Isaac and Abraham and that He will give him the land in which he lays, that he will have many descendants, and that He will be with him everywhere he goes and will bless him. Jacob wakes up knowing the Lord was surely there and he was afraid. He made a vow that if the Lord remains with him until he returns safely to his father’s home the Lord will be his God and he set up a pillar in that spot and promises to give God a tenth of everything he is blessed with. Gen 28

Jacob continues on his journey and comes to Laban’s home. He meets Rachael and is falls in love with her. He tells Laban he will serve him for seven years to have Rachael and Laban agrees. But after seven years, Laban tricks Jacob and gives him Leah. When Jacob wakes the next morning to discover Leah instead of Rachel he is disappointed and confronts Laban, who says he could not marry the younger before the older. So Laban gives Rachel to Jacob also after the week of celebration of the marriage to Leah and requires Jacob to serve him another seven years.
Jacob loves Rachel and not Leah. The Lord sees Leah is unloved and He blesses her with a fruitful womb while Rachel remains barren. Leah conceives four sons before Rachel has any children: Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah. Rachel burns with jealously and blames Jacob, who becomes angry and says he is not God and cannot himself make her conceive. So she gives him her maid Bilhah that through her she may have children. Bilhah conceives twice, both sons, Dan & Naphtali.

Leah had not conceived since the birth of Judah and sees the success of Bilhah, so she too gives Jacob her maid Zilpah, who bears a son Asher. A fierce childbearing competition continues. Leah bears two more sons, Issachar and Zebulun and a daughter, Dinah. God blessed Rachel to finally be able to children and she concieves a son, Joseph.

After Joseph was born, Jacob requests to leave Laban. Laban tries to get him to stay by offering him more wages, etc but Jacob wants to provide for his own household. Jacob agrees to stay a little longer, but asks that he be given the speckled and spotted animals from the flock as his wages so he could start building his own flocks. Laban agrees and separates the animals and puts three days difference between the flocks. Jacob watches over the mating process and greatly increases his flocks. The Lord blesses Jacob and he becomes prosperous with large flocks, servants, camels and donkeys.

Laban’s sons grumble about this and encite Laban and he was no longer friendly toward Jacob. Jacob tells his wives and family they are going to flee and that he will no longer stay with Laban, who has continually taken advantage of him and who is now hostile toward him. So he gathered all of his things and family and they secretly flee to Gilead. As they are leaving, Rachel steals the household idols of Laban and takes them with her.

Laban pursues him and catches up to him. He tells him he could harm him if he wanted to, but God had told him not to. He asks why he left without letting him tell his family goodbye and questions why he stole the idols. Jacob knew nothing of this so they search Leah and Rachel’s tents for the idols but find nothing. Rachel deceives them by sitting on the idols (they were in her saddle bag as she sat on her camel and said she could not rise because she was menstruating). Jacob is angry Laban is accusing him. He reminds Laban of all he has done for him, how he took nothing from him and how if it were Laban’s wish he would have nothing.

Laban disagrees and says everything he has is his, but they make a covenant and set up a pillar and agree not pursue each other across the pillar. Laban stays the night and kisses and blesses his sons and daughters in the morning and returns to his place.
The Lord had spoke to Jacob when he was leaving Laban to return to his family, so Jacob went on his way but was concerned about Esau. He sent messengers to him to try to win his favor. They return and tell him Esau and four hundred men are coming to meet him. Jacob prays to the Lord, he knows the Lord sent him back to his family and promised to prosper him but he is terrified of Esau.

He sends a present of livestock to Esau by way of his servants and sends his servants on ahead of him. He tells them when they see Esau to tell him that he is following behind them and perhaps after he receives the presents he will gain Esau’s favor. That night he took his two wives, two maids, and eleven children and when they came to the stream of Jabbock he sent them across and was left alone.

When Jacob was left alone, he wrestled with a man, who was really an angel of the Lord until daybreak. The angel realized that he was not prevailing, so touched Jacob’s thigh so the socket was dislocated. The angel asked to be let go, but Jacob said not unless you bless me. The angel changed Jacob’s name to Israel, which means wrestles with God. Jacob asked the angel’s name, but he would not tell it. He named the place Penuel and left limping due to his thigh. This is why Jews during that time would not eat the sinew of the hip.

Jacob meets Esau and bowed to the ground seven times in front of him. Esau greeted him with joy and offered help, but Jacob asked to just pass through and they parted ways. Jacob came to Shechem in Canaan and bought a piece of land and there he made it know that he worshiped the Lord.

Dinah, Leah’s daughter, goes out and is raped by the son of a Hivite prince named Shechem.  He wanted to marry Dinah, but to get revenge Jacob’s sons deceive him and the town by first convincing Shechem and his father, Hamor, to be circumsized. Shechem and Hamor then encouraged the entire town to be circumcised and once they had done this, Jacob’s sons Simeon and Levi killed Shechem, his father Hamor, and all the men of the city to avenge Dinah. Jacob scolded them, for now the Canaanites would be against them and so God instructs him to leave for Bethel to live there.

So Jacob tells his family to spiritually prepare – put away foreign gods, purify themselves, and change clothes and they left for Bethel. As they traveled the cities were afraid of them and did not pursue him. So he came to Luz (Bethel) safely and built an altar there.

The Lord appeared to Jacob again and blessed him and called him by the name of Israel. He told him he would give him the land of his father Abraham and that a nation and a company of nations and kings would come from him. So he set up a pillar in that place and poured out a drink offering and an oil offering and carried on with their journey, now going toward Bethlehem.

As they were traveling, Rachel went into labor and struggled. She had a son Benjamin, but she did not survive the birth and was buried. Israel, mourning, set up a gravesite and then went on. When he was close to Bethlehem he set up his tent and dwelled there. While they were living here, Reuben his son lay with Bilhah, Israel’s concubine and he found out about it.

He then went to see his father Isaac, who was 180 years old. Isaac died and Esau and Jacob buried him. Jacob and Esau had both become very wealthy and the land of Isaac could not support them, their livestock and servants both. Esau moved to the hill country of Seir. Jacob stayed in Canaan with his family and belongings. This is where his favored son Joseph was sold to the Egyptians. They would have killed him instead of selling him, but Reuben talked them into selling him. Then they dipped Joseph’s tunic in blood and told their father he had been devoured by a wild beast. Jacob tore his clothes and could not be comforted he so mourned the death of Joseph.

But, despite this Joseph becomes a great man of God and has great success in Egypt, trusted by Pharaoh and being made a ruler there. He was also wise and discerning, and when he was put as a ruler over Egypt he realized there would be seven years of plenty and seven years of famine. So, in preparation he went through all of Egypt and for seven years stored up a great abundance of grain and food. When a severe famine came upon earth, Joseph opened the storehouses and sold to the Egyptians. Then people from all nations came to buy grain from Joseph.

During this time, Jacob and his family are also suffering from the famine and he sends his sons to Egypt to buy grain (still unaware Joseph is alive). Joseph recognizes his brothers, but they did not recognize him. Joseph takes care of his brothers but does not let them know who he immediately. Through a series of meetings and requirements of them, including them going back to their home and bringing their brother Benjamin back, he sees all of his brothers. He then makes it known to them that he is Joseph their brother. He deals kindly with them and Pharaoh instructs them to bring Jacob to Egypt where he will give them choice land. So they go back and tell Jacob about Joseph and Pharaoh and they move to Egypt. Jacob/Israel is overjoyed to see Joseph.

On their way to Egypt, God comes to Israel in a dream telling him He will be with him in Egypt and build him into a great nation there and that Joseph will be with him when he dies. So Israel is reunited with Joseph and lives in Egypt in the land of Goshen for seventeen years. He asks Joseph to not bury him in Egypt but to carry his bones back to where his fathers were buried and Joseph promised him he would.

When Israel becomes sick in Egypt, Joseph takes his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim to him to be blessed. Israel tells him of the promises God had made to him, to multiply his descendants, and he tells him he will bless his sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, as his own. He places his hands on the two boys and Joseph bows to the ground. Israel blesses them, blessing the younger, Ephraim, as the older. When Joseph sees this he is upset, but Israel tells him they will both be great, but the younger will be greater than the older.

Israel was about to die and went to bless his sons. He told Joseph he had originally thought he would never see him again and he was overjoyed because not only get to see him, but his sons also. He gave Joseph one portion more than his brothers as a blessing.

These are the children of Israel and his blessing upon each of them:

Rueben (1st born) – his birthright was taken because he slept with Bilah. He would be “uncontrolled as water and not have preeminence”; unstable; (mother – Leah)

Simeon & Levi – because of their anger & cruelty will be scattered (see above Dinah). Simeon was stripped of Moses blessing. However, the Levites were shown grace by God & were loyal to God. Became priestly tribe but did not possess land. (mother Leah)

Judah – prominence & prosperity. As a young and old lion. Abundance. In the Messianic line. “Lion of Judah” On the march through the wilderness, Judah went first and had the largest population in Moses census. (Mother – Leah)

Zebulun – will dwell on the seashore; haven for ships – (mother – Leah)

Issachar – strong & industrious –(mother – Leah)

Dan – “Judge”; eventually abandons his land allotment; omitted in the list of tribes in Revelation; In the way, Falls backwards. (mother – Bilah)

Gad – valiant fighters. (Mother – Zilpah)

Asher – Rich in food & royal dainties. (mother – Zilpah)

Naphtali – beautiful words, military as graceful as a doe. (mother – Bilah)

Joseph  - most distinguished, most directly linked to the Lord for help and blessings, strong even in conflict – “bitterly attacked but remained firm” (mother – Rachel)

Benjamin – ravenous wolf; Both Saul’s are from this tribe – the first King of Israel & Paul. (mother – Rachel)

Israel dies at 147 after these blessings and is embalmed in Egypt and carried to the land of Canaan to be buried by his sons with his fathers as he had requested. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Isaac and Rebekah

Isaac is left everything when his father Abraham dies and he marries Rebekah, Abraham’s niece. They live by Beer-lahai-roi. Rebekah has a hard time conceiving but finally does. She becomes pregnant with twins, who fight in her womb and she inquires of the Lord about the what is going on in her womb. The Lord responds, “Two nations are in your womb; and two peoples will be separated from your body; and one people shall be stronger than the other; and the older shall serve the younger.” (Gen 25:23) Esau, a hunter and outdoorsman, is the older and Jacob, peaceful and living in tents, the younger. When they were born, Jacob was holding onto Esau’s heel. Isaac favored Esau and Rebekah favored Jacob. At one time, Jacob prepared some stew and when Esau came in from the field he was hungry and ended up selling Jacob his birthright for bread and stew.

A famine came upon the land and God instructed Isaac to move his family to Gerar and he will be blessed. So he does and while he is there he is questioned by Ambelech the king of the Philistines about Rebekah, and he lies about her being his sister (like Abraham). Ambelech finds out and Isaac explains he was afraid he would be killed for his wife since she was so beautiful, and Ambelech instructs no one to touch either one or be put to death. (It is mentioned perhaps this protection was God preserving His chosen seed in my bible commentary)

Isaac was very prosperous in Philistine. He sowed the land and reaped a hundredfold. He became very wealthy and the Philistines envied him and stopped up the wells Abraham had dug by filling them with dirt. Ambelech came to him and told him he had become too powerful and asked him to leave, so he left and camped in the valley of Gerar.

There were wells there also that Abraham had dug and he dug them out again, finding a well of flowing water. The herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with him and moved away and he dug a different well which no one laid claim to. He was excited to finally find a place he belonged and could be fruitful and went up to Beersheba. The Lord appeared to him and promised to bless him and multiply his descendants, so he built an altar to the Lord there and dug another well.

Ambelech and the people see the Lord is with him and make an oath with him that they will be peaceful. The same day Isaac’s servant found yet another well.

Isaac was old and he was ready to give his blessing. He calls Esau and tells him to go kill some game and cook it for him that he might give his blessing to him. Rebekah convinces Jacob to pretend to be Esau and steal the blessing. So Rebekah cooked a meal for Isaac to give to Jacob to take into him. Jacob wore Esau’s garments and put the skins of young goats on his hands and neck to be like the hair on Esau and he went into Isaac and tricked him into blessing him instead of Esau, making him Esau’s master and blessing him with servants and new grain and wine. When Esau found out he wept and his anger burned toward Jacob. Isaac tells him his destiny is to live by the sword, and he will serve his brother until he becomes restless, at which point he will break his yoke from his neck.

Rebekah is scared that Esau will kill Jacob, so she convinces Isaac to send him away by saying he needs to find a wife elsewhere. Isaac blesses Jacob and sends him Paddanaram to take a wife from the daughters of Laban and charges him not to take a Canaanite wife.

Isaac dies at 185 years old and is gathered to his people and buried by both of his sons.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Abraham (Name - Terah: Father) /Sara 2166 BC

These are rough notes. As I type the others I will try to be more flowing...Brothers are Hahor & Haran - who is the father of Lot. Left Ur with his family and went to Haran (Canaan). God promises Abram that his descendants would inherit the land of Canaan. He went to Egypt with Sarai due to famine and there he lied and said Sarai was his sister. Once Pharaoh found out they were escorted away. He and Sarai went back to the Negev with Lot. The land was not sufficient for them both so they agreeably separated. Lot chose to go to the fertile valley of Jordan (Sodom) and Abram settled in Canaan. The Lord promises innumerable descendants to Abram and again the land of Canaan for them. He then settled in Hebron.
Lot was taken captive in battle and Abram put his men together and they went and got him.The King of Sodom is grateful, but he denies payment from the king for the return of the people and goods.
God promises Abram a son and then again numerous descendants and land (for 3rd time). He tells Abram he will die peaceful and at an old age and tells him of the Israelite captivity in Egypt. Sarai convinces Abram to conceive with her servant Hagar and she bears Ishmael. God again tells Abram his descendant will be many and changes his name to Abraham “Father of Many Nations” Gen 17:5. Makes the covenant of circumcision which symbolizes profoundly deep cleansing and our lineage physically and spiritually to Abraham. Abraham circumcises all of the males in his household, including himself and Ishmael.
God changes name of Sarai to Sarah “Princess”. Promises them a son. They laugh with joy at their old age. The name Isaac means “he laughs”.
The Lord and two men appear to Abraham at his tent and the Lord tells them that this time next year Sarah will have a child. She laughs and the Lord questions her about it. He tells Abraham of the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah and his intent to destroy it. Abraham pleads on the behalf of the righteous there and the Lord agrees to spare them.
Again, Abraham lies to a king and says Sarah is his sister – 25 years after the first time.
Isaac is born to Abraham at 100 years old. Abraham has a great feast when Isaac was weaned and Ishmael mocks it. Sarah has he and Hagar sent away.
Abraham makes covenant with Ambilech, the king to treat them fairly and share the limited water resources. Abraham offers Isaac as a sacrifice and the Lord saved him and provided a ram and again spoke of the covenenant to make Abraham a blessed nation.
Sarah dies at 127 & Abraham buries her in a field and cave he purchased from Ephron, who gladly did sell for the love of Abraham – he would've given it free. It is in Canaan, where the Israelites will go with Moses and faces Mamre where they had previously settled.
Abraham, old in years, sends his servant back to his homeland to find a wife for Isaac to bring to Canaan. He finds Rebekah, Abraham’s niece. Isaac marries her.
Abraham left everything to Isaac. Gave gifts to his half brothers (by his wife after Sarah Keturah) and sent them east so an not to compete with Isaac. He died at 175. Isaac and Ishmael came together to bury him in the cave in the field of Ephron with his wife Sarah.
Gen 25:8 Abraham breathed his last and died in a ripe old age, an old man and satisfied with life; and he was gathered to his people. ~ Great Epitath!

Abraham is mentioned many more times throughout the bible, commended for his faith & we are his seed if we are born again. 

List of People

This is according to list in Matthew and I have added a few dates/facts as I have been reading, I will continue to update if I find more accurate information as I continue to move down the list. Please know I am not 100% correct on all of these dates and it is not complete. I have found them at one place or another and mostly just trying to get a perspective of the approximate timing for myself and some of them may just be the time they reigned if royalty or other significant events they were part of.

I also found it interesting that one commentary suggested the genealogy is divided in 3 sections as grouped below - 14 generations from Abraham to David; 14 from David to the deportation to Babylon; 14 from Babylon to Messiah. There are a few generations skipped in this point of view in Matthew, specifically Ahaziah, Joash & Amaziah, which I listed and can be found in the middle 14, and one that is in between the last two.

- Abraham & Sara - 2166 BC
- Isaac & Rebekah -  2066 BC
- Jacob & Leah - 2006 BC - entered Egypt  when Joseph was in charge of Pharaoh's household
- Judah (Joseph's 1/2 brother) & Tamar - this generation died before the new Pharaoh took over and        oppressed the Jews in Egypt
- Perez
- Hezron - both Perez & Hezron's families were present during the 2nd census of Moses before entry into the promised land
- Ram
- Amminadab
- Nahshon
- Salmon & Rahab - there is debate if this is Rahab the prostitute during Joshua's crusade or another Rahab. I personally think it is the prostitute.
- Boaz & Ruth (the moabite) - 1126-1105 BC during the time of the judges which was approx 1300 BC - 1100 BC
- Obed
- Jesse
- David & Bathsheba - David became king @ 1010 BC

- Solomon - 971 - 931 BC - temple started 966 BC
- Rehoboam - 931 - 913 BC
- Abijah - 913 - 911 BCE
- Asa - 911 - 870 BC
- Jehoshaphat - 873 - 848 BC - during the time of Elijah the prophet
- Joram 853 - 841 BC - durint Elijah & Elisha the prophets
- Ahaziah - 841 BC Elisha the prophet - skipped in Matthew's genealogy
- Joash - 835 - 796 BC Elisha the prophet - skipped in Matthew's genealogy
- Amaziah - 796-767 BC 
- Uzziah - 792 - 740 BC Hosea the prophet
- Jotham - 750 - 732 BC Hosea prophet
- Ahaz - 735 - 716 BC Hosea prophet
- Hezekiah - 716 - 735 BC Isaiah main prophet to Hezekiah but heavy prophecies during this time including Hosea, Jeremiah & Micah as it gets closer to Babylonian captivity
- Manasseh - 697-643 BC Naham added to list of those giving prophecies
- Amon- 643 - 642 BC lots of prophets - Naham, Jeremiah, Zepphaniah, Habakkuk
- Josiah 641 - 609 BC
(Babylonian exile 605 BC; Daniel and Ezekiel the prophets in captivity)

- Jeconiah - 598-597 BC during Babylonian Captivity

- Shoaltiel
- Zerubbabel (possible adopted?? I'm not sure and haven't made it this far yet)
- Abihud
- Eliakim
- Azor
- Zadok
- Achim
- Eliud
- Eleazar
- Matthan
- Jacob
- Joseph & Mary
- Jesus

Genealogy of Jesus

Last year about a month before Christmas I decided I would read through the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew and look up each person to discover the people who lead up to Him. I thought I'd take the whole month and just quickly read through each one to get an overview. I was very naive to say the least to think that I could get through it in a month! So, I'm still reading today and I'm about 2/3 of the way through. I have to admit I haven't been 100% faithful to it, there have been times I just didn't do it or times I did a different study, or whatever other excuse I might have, but I've written in a notebook about each person I've read about and I'm hoping now to get each one typed into a document that I can save/print etc. So I thought I would share what I have read. I'm no theologian but I have found this study very insightful and interesting. I hope whoever reads any of these posts does too and might inspire some to read deeper into some of them.   I will start at the beginning and post as I get it typed. I hope I can be through by this Christmas, but no expectations after last year at this time thinking I'd be done!!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Godly Leadership

Neh 5:15

But the former governors who were before me laid burdens on the people & took from them bread and wine besides forty shekels of silver; even their servants domineered the people. But I did not do so because of the fear of God.

Nehemiah had favor with the Persian king and had become governor over the Jewish people in Judah when he went back to rebuild the wall. He had every right and authority to take taxes and precedents were set that this what the government and leaders did. But he chose not to do it out of fear of the Lord.

Whatever it is, even if it is the norm & within your authority, don't do it if it goes against the Lord.

To think of how this could affect our country, our governments, our jobs and workplace, our churches....that we would have godly leaders. We each lead in some way or another - in families, work, relationships. We can follow Nehemiah's leadership example and lead with respect and fear of God.

Bless with Blessings

2 Chron 32:25

When benefits (in form of blessing, answered prayer, grace, etc) are given from God - give in return to Him & be thankful. Hezekiah did not, his heart was proud and God's wrath came upon him. Don't let God's blessing turn your heart proud. Remember it is not of you but of Him and always give thanks for what He gives.

Trust Your Conviction

1 Kings 13:16-19

This is about the prophet who confronted King Jeroboam and God told him to eat no bread, drink no water, & not go back to the place he had gone to confront the king. And he did as God said. But on his way back, another prophet finds him and tells him God told him to ask him to come back with him. The first prophet does as this second prophet asks and goes back with him - this is another prophet of God who said God told him to go get him so the reasoning is fairly easy to see - but since the first prophet disobeyed what God clearly told him, God sent a lion to kill him on his way home.

Sometimes we have to trust what we know we hear God say to us, even if another godly person, someone we look up to and trust and know is a Christian and has good intentions tells us they hear something otherwise. Trust God and trust what you hear from God.

Power Over the Repetitive

Heb 10:2-10

Christ came & took away the first (Law) to establish the second (New Covenant Final & perfect sacrifice for sin). He broke the need for repetitive sacrifice - burnt offerings, etc as established by the law. We therefore are able in the power of Christ to break the repetitive cycle of sin. There is no excuse and provision for an abundance of hope.

Moses Departure

Duet 32-33

Moses spoke to the people of Israel about turning from God. The greatness & blessing of God & their coming judgement. He talks about the righteous growing fat on the Lord's blessing & forsaking God by turning to idols. They made God jealous & He promises in turn to make them jealous by allowing Gentiles access to Himself.

v28-29 - For they are a nation lacking in counsel, and there is no understanding in them. Would that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would discern their future!

Evil enemies will come against Israel & eventually God will have compassion on them and vindicate them. In His power He says v37-39 "Who at the fat of their sacrifices & drank the wine of their drink offering? Let them rise up and help you, Let them be your hiding place. See now that I, I am He, And there is no god besides Me; It is I who put to death & give life. I have wounded and it is I who heal and there is no one who can deliver from My hand."

Powerful! Sounds eerily familiar! That we would fully recognize who He is and gain wisdom and understanding... 

Saturday, July 13, 2013


I love God! Sometimes you've just got to say that! I love how He shows things and uncovers truths at the right time. There's nothing more thrilling to me than when something pops out so blatantly and I know its from Him!

I could hardly stay focused when I first started reading this morning. My heart was sad and my faith wavering over situations at our little church. I won't go into details except to say its just really a struggle to stay positive and carry on when there is a lot of negative talk and conflict. Its easy to see both sides of conflict and have a heart divided over it, especially when there are people you love and care about on both sides. I know my rightful spot is to stay where we are and support our little congregation, but its still a struggle and still sad to see so many people conflicted and hurting....and leaving.

I was reading in Hebrews 10 today. It talked about Christ coming and taking away the first (the law) to establish the second (The new covenant and Christ's final and perfect sacrifice for sins). He broke the need for repetitive sacrifice - the burnt offerings, etc that were established in the OT by the law. He offered one sacrifice for sins for all time and...(I love the power in how this scripture goes on to read..v12-14) "Sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time onward until his enemies be made a footstool for His feet. For by one sacrifice He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified."

We are therefore capable in Christ to break our own repetitive cycle of sin. There is power to overcome it, power to live by faith, confidence to know we can depend on the promises of God. We are able to continue in faith and serve right where we are. We are able to see past the conflict, gain insight and to "discern our future" Duet 32:29. We live by faith, and in this way, we truly live!

Romans 1:15-16 says 16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."

So let us draw near God with confidence v22, put aside our willful sin Heb 10 v25, let us not forsake our own assembling together v24, let us encourage one another and stimulate each other to love and good deeeds v 24, hold onto our confidence, for we need an endurance that God can provide v35-36....

And finally v39 - We are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul. 

Although there is conflict, I am encouraged to move forward loving others and serving God where I am. I know it won't always be easy or look pretty, but I truly feel encouraged today to seek God for endurance, to keep positive, to change what I can in His name where I am. Admittedly I have sat complacent and need to get moving. Part of the responsibility lies on me. I can have confidence and hope that God is faithful and will help our church. I pray that we will come together and serve as we should. Reach out to others and lift each other up.

Sorry if this one bounced around! It was just a quick one and there is so much more I wish I could express...I hope anyone who reads this though is at least a little encouraged and spurred on to endure and think about their role and their own faith and confidence to stand if they also are in a troubled spot.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Die to Self

2 Corinthians 4:10 Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.

2 Cor 4:13 references Psalm 116:10; Psalm 116:9-10 - I shall walk before the Lord in the land of the living. I believed, therefore I said, "I am greatly afflicted".

As we come into obedience to God, we realize that we will suffer...physically or emotionally or otherwise for the sake of the gospel. Yet we trust in God and by faith believe that we are producing an eternal glory and will be raised with Christ (2 Cor 4:12-18). Therefore we do not give up when faced with momentary affliction but continue on for the sake of Christ and for the lives of others.

I believe the psalmist in Psalm 116 cried out to God in truth and entrusted Him even in his frustration & affliction. He didn't just give God his best, he had enough faith to believe at he could come to Him even in his negativity and frustration.

Walk in Christ TODAY. Die to self. Bring Him everything. Hope. Trust. Realize there is something greater. Look to the eternal instead of the temporal. Have faith to walk before the Lord now and be strengthened to die to self for the sake of Christ.

I came across this blog this morning.....

4.08.2013Learn To Die

The health and success of your ministry really are a matter of life and death. If you are ever going to be in ambassador in the hands of the God of glorious and powerful grace, you must die.

You must die to your plans for your own life.

You must die to your self- focused dreams of success.

You must die to your demands for comfort and ease.

You must die to your individual definition of the good life.

You must die to your demands for pleasure, acclaim, prominence, and respect.

You must die to your desire to be in control.

You must die to your hope for independent righteousness.

You must die to your plans for others.

You must die to your craving for a certain lifestyle or that particular location.

You must die to your own kingship.

You must die to the pursuit of your own glory in order to take up the cause of the glory of Another.

You must die to your control over your own time.

You must die to your maintenance of your reputation.

You must die to having the final answer and getting your own way.

You must die to your unfaltering confidence in you.

You must die.

And nothing helps “kill us” like private personal worship does. Your private devotional life has the power to kill the “me-ism” that is inside you (and me) that will again and again cause you to be in the way of, rather than part of, whatever it is that God is doing at the moment. Private personal worship is it an effective tool of grace in the hands of God to kill those things in you that must die in order that you be what you have been called to be and do what you have been appointed to do in your place of ministry.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Glory of the New

In 2 Corinthians 3 Paul talks about the glory of the new convenant compared to the old. The old covenant is the law, considered the ministry of death as its message is to condemn. Even so, the glory of the law caused Moses face to glow and he had to veil it from the Israelites for this glory was too much for them, even though it was fading. How much more so the new covenant is filled with glory as the ministry of righteous! The glory of the old covenant is nothing compared to the glory of the new.

Therefore, when we embrace the new covenant, the veil is removed and we are allowed to bask in the glory of it. When we do, there is liberty and confidence. We do not deem ourselves righteous by following the law, which is impossible to follow in completeness, but our righteousness comes from Christ. In Christ, we unashamedly and boldly proclaim His righteousness. It allows us to share the gospel freely, as we are not claiming ourselves perfect in the law, but Christ's perfection. And as we continue to follow Christ and allow Him to guide us, we are being transformed to be more like Him as our relationship with Him grows. We can find such confidence in this as the new covenant depends on Christ and not our own rightousness.

Therefore we do not hide in fear of inadequacy for we do not aim to fulfill all the law perscribes, but we aim to live for Christ. We depend on Christ and follow Him and in turn He makes us adequate to be entrusted as a servant of the gospel, not of ourselves but of Christ.

This should bring such certainty into our lives - to know we do not have to be adequate on our own to handle the gospel or perfectly follow the law to be righteous enough to accept it and proclaim it. In the law of righteousness, which is the new covenant, Christ was crucified to set us free and in doing so He fulfilled the law. The old has passed and the new covenant remains. With unveiled faces we accept the gospel of Christ and are declared righteous in Christ and allowed a boldness and confidence where there once was shame and timidity. Freedom reigns and glory overwhelms if we just accept it. Thanks be to God & Christ Jesus for what has been done for us!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Love the Sinner

I was in a public restroom this weekend when a mother was in a stall cursing her small son to the point I would call verbal abuse. Apparently he was potty training and struggling getting himself clean and she was completely intolerant. It went on several minutes, with her talking in such a mean and condemning tone and using explicit language with him. I would guess he was somewhere between 2 and 3 years old. The restroom was fairly crowded but it didn't seem to bother her or make her try to keep quiet as she was rather loud about it.

One woman was very upset with it and when the mom came out of the stall she yelled at her, telling her she should not talk to her son that way and at one point calling her a "horrible mother". While I too was appalled at her speech toward her small son, something bothered me when the other woman called her a "horrible mother". I know the woman was taking up for the child and I could tell she genuinely cared and at first I was definitely in support of her calling her out, but at the same time my heart went out to the mom. I couldn't deny the feeling of commonality I had with this "horrible mom", although I couldn't quiet figure out why I had such a feeling of connection with her. It felt wrong. It felt like I was sympathizing with her when I felt like surely I should be telling her those same things too to protect the child, but I just couldn't shake the feeling I had in my heart toward the her, even though I would've like to suppress it.

When I left the bathroom, the "horrible mom" was sitting on a park bench by the playground alone while her kids were playing with their dad. I had the thought to go over and ask if she was ok, but then thought, "Wouldn't that in essence be telling her that I thought her actions were ok, letting her off the hook, taking her side?" I certainly didn't want to condone her actions or in any way encourage her to continue to treat her son that way. She left quickly and I didn't get a chance to talk to her, but I kept thinking about it and going back and forth with it in my mind.

Then I was laying in bed last night and I felt God speak to me so clearly. I was able to take a step back and see the situation in whole and see scripture come alive in it. God brought to my mind a radio broadcast I had heard while I was in the car of a woman talking about Jesus and the adulteress in John 8. (See below) She said Jesus was not condoning the sin of the adultress in the story, He was showing what the power of His blood can accomplish.

He loved us while we were still sinners, died for us even. And just as He loved us we are called to love others. In retrospect it's so obvious! Yes, absolutely I should have talked to her, I should have shown her Christ's love. What if I could have lead her to Christ or helped her find some help? The best thing I could've done for the child would have been to go love on the mom. I can leave the fear of condoning the sin aside and be free to love because Christ first loved me, even in my sin - and there is the commonality I felt with her that I couldn't figure out!

The lesson is well learned. I feel like the scales have fallen off my eyes and God has revealed a part of Himself to me that I have always heard buy maybe not quite grasped. My eyes are open. We are called to reach out, not just because we are supposed to, but because we love. Lord I praise you for caring, for revealing this truth and for showing me the love you have for me and for filling my heart with love. I pray I will move forward and share it freely and I'm excited about the adventure it will be! Thank you Jesus, for all you've done and continue to do!

Romans 5:8
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

John 8 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
11 “No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

People Problems

Reading & Commentary from the Life Application Bible Commentary. These were read at the right time for me! Thought I would share.

Proverbs 14:4
An empty stable stays clean, but no income comes from an empty stable.

Commentary: The only way to keep your life free of people problems is to keep it free of people. But if your life is empty of people it is useless. Life lived for self is void of meaning. Share your faith, serve others, and work for justice. Is your life clean but empty.
Proverbs 25:26
If the godly compromise with the wicked, it is like polluting a fountain or muddying a spring.
Commentary: don’t set aside your standards of right and wrong. No one is helped by someone who compromises with the wicked.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Practice, Practice

I think God has brought me back to a very fundamental truth, one I learned a while ago when I first really had a change in my life and turned more to Christ: that although we will never be perfect we must continue to strive to toward the goal that we are called to in Christ. We must continue to put into practice what He asks us to do, through scripture and through conviction. He will not leave us the way we are if we continually seek Him and do not give up.

Phil 1:6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Phil 3:14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus

I remembered talking at one of my mom's retreats one time about this. I had experienced several situations in a short time period where I had the opportunity to "practice" - I had felt God's presence and leading in these situations about how to respond or provide help, demonstrate Christ's love. Some of those situations I felt like I did ok, others left me wishing I had done or said something differently, but I think the key was the focus wasn't on my weakness at that time, I was able to view them as practice, not failure.  I felt as if God was teaching me and molding me, and just like when a coach corrects his players I didn't get beat down or discouraged, I looked forward to the next time I would have an opportunity to do better. I tried to see it from a different perspective. I tried to understand what God would have liked me to do and then apply it to the next opportunity. I tried to realize how the situations could leave a lasting impact if I let God work through me. I guess what I really tried to do was allow God to train me - and train me for something that has an eternal impact.

1 Cor 9:25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 

I've never been quick on my feet when it comes to wit or reactions...I'm one of those who two hours later thinks of an awesome response or come back and regret the missed opportunity! I think this is one area that practicing could really help. In light of the "emergency situation" I found myself in that I posted about previously, I know that more practice would have definitely made me better prepared. While I don't want to find myself in those situations often, where someone else is struggling to hold onto life, I can practice boldness and confidence in my decision making. I can do this on a small level daily. I can choose to look around me to see those God may be putting in my path that I can help, even (or perhaps especially) if it requires me to get out of my comfort zone. I'm not a Jillian Michaels fan personally, but I have done a few of her work out videos and one thing that she said that stuck with me is, "Get comfortable being uncomfortable." Is it possible God gives us opportunity to "practice" doing the needed but uncomfortable things in life on a small scale to make us more prepared when the larger situations come up. I think so. Also similar to the verses I posted earlier this month Prov 1:32 - I believe I have gotten too comfortable and too busy, which is another subject in itself, to recognize and respond to the needs placed around me. I pray God will open my eyes and show me the opportunity that I know all around me to bless others, to serve Him, to share His love in word and deed, unashamed and unafraid, boldly and confidently.

And speaking of busy....I have two boys that need to finish homework and get to bed, so I guess that's all for now! Hopefully I'll get back soon.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Emergency Situation

Today I am just going to write a little to try to sort out what I am thinking. Truthfully I've been pretty discouraged and I am going to try to be really transparent to try to work through some of my thoughts. Let me give a little background info. I started thinking about reactions and helping others in crisis after the Boston bombing. I was really moved by those people who ran toward the chaos to help others. I had wondered what I would do in a crisis situation, pretty sure that I would have ran for my life, but I really wish I were the kind of person who would run to help others instead. It really had an impact on me and I have prayed that I would become that type of person.

Then a couple weeks ago I had a dream about going to a race (one my whole family - little boys included - are actually scheduled to run in soon). There was a shooter at the race and I was the only one who noticed. I'm not sure why he didn't stick out to others as he was dressed as the Grim Reaper, but that's how dreams go! Anyways, I had my pistol with me and I noticed that this guy was holding a gun behind his back. He slowy and rythmically kept switching it from back to front. I tried to get the attention of a man nearby to show him, but couldn't. I wondered if I should kick it out of his hands the next time he put it behind his back, but I worried that wouldn't work and he'd just grab me. Then he yelled and pointed it at the crowd. Everyone ducked for cover. I ducked behind a pickup and pulled out my pistol, intending to shoot. It was quiet though, and I was afraid to load the chamber, fearing he would hear it and shoot me or into the crowd. I sat behind the pick up contemplating what to do, sweating, hearing every breath in my head, terrified and unsure, trying to work up the courage to make a move.....and then I woke up. Man! Before I had the chance to see if I pulled through or what happened, the dream was over and I missed the opportunity to be heroic! I jokingly told my husband, who was a special forces marine corp sniper and a true hero even now, that he had some intense military style training to do on me! I was so disappointed in myself at my dream! My reaction time was so slow and I never did anything because of fear. Not only fear for my life but fear of making a bad move. So I did nothing and proved myself a coward! I know it was just a dream but it bothered me and I thought about it a lot wondering what I would really do.

And then it happened in real life, not on that scale, but I came upon an emergency situation and again did not have the reaction I would've hoped. I was driving down an alley and at the end of the road it appeared there was a pick up stalled on the busy street I was about to pull out on. As I got closer though I realized it was not stalled, and there was a man standing over the man in the drivers seat doing chest compressions. My heart dropped into my stomach. There were 3 men with the man who was in trouble, one doing the compressions, one on the phone, and one standing beside the one doing compressions. I got out and went to see if I could help. I did not go around to the drivers side of the truck where it was taking place, but I walked up to the passenger side and asked the guy standing beside the man if I could help. He looked bewildered and didn't really say anything. I went over to the guy on the phone, my phone in hand ready to call 911 if he hadn't got in touch with them yet and he said the ambulance was on his way. The other man continued doing chest compressions as I stood there wondering what to do.

By this time a few others arrived. Several stood around like me, unsure of how to help. One woman ran up and asked if the man doing the compressions knew what he was doing. I said I didn't know and she ran over and took over the chest compressions. Another woman stood beside me and asked the small crowd of us if we wanted to pray. We stood in a circle holding hands as she prayed over the man's life.There were some true heroes there! I'm thankful for them and I was amazed how they immediately sprung into action.

It seemed like it took forever for the paramedics to get there. Once they did I was stunned by their roughness and intensity, obviously for his good, but nonetheless. The boldness and quickness of those guys was impressive to me. They jerked him out of the truck, his head bobbling, he was completely limp. They got him down on the sidewalk and before I even saw what they were pulling out, they had the shockers on his chest and were shocking him. One continued with chest compressions. I really think the man's rib cage must have been hitting the pavement with each thrust they were so hard. His chest cavity looked like the plastic dummies we were trained on in CPR class. I had no idea the human body could move like that and not break in two.  I'm sure the man at least suffered some broken ribs. They got him in the ambulance and it sat there for a while. Finally I got back in my car and the cops directing traffic allowed me to go. About 5 minutes down the road the ambulance came screaming past me. I don't know what happened to the man but I will never forget him. And I have never been so grateful for nurses, EMT personnel, and all emergency responders and citizens who just jump in to help. What a heart of courage they all have! True heroes.

As I left I thought over the situation and wondered - why didn't i take initiative and jump in and help with the compressions like the one woman did? I've had CPR class, even within the last year. And why didn't I think to pray? I pray every morning and claim to live a life of faith. The truthful answer - I don't know. I stopped with the intent to help, and became dumb on the scene. It was like I didn't have a clue what to do. I was really disappointed in myself, especially knowing that I had already been actively thinking about reactions. As I think over it and read scripture I hope I will find some answers. Am I experiencing God's revealing of weakness in character and feeling His discipline? Is He preparing me for something down the road? Will all of this help strengthen me and move me toward being more outwardly focused? I hope something like that.

There are several possibilities I have seen in scripture and in reflection over the last few days. The main one that I keep thinking though is regardless of what I feel about myself in light of all this, its really not about me. I can be down on myself and hope to change and improve, but truly, its got to turn to be about other people.   

This is one situation where the line between life and death in someones life was getting thin and I witnessed it. Actions were required to keep him on this side of life. I believe the bible wants us to meet the real physical needs of others and this is very important and needed, but to also look at it in the light of eternity. Jesus healed, he fed, he helped and he brought back to life, but His main purpose here was to save people's souls. Don't we come into "emergency situations" every day on a spiritual level? I had the training and the knowledge to preform CPR and possibly help save the man's life, but I didn't use it. I have the knowledge and the training to tell people about Jesus. I know its God's job to save their soul, but as a follower of Christ, He has entrusted me with His Word to give people the information I have to help save souls, and honestly most of the time I don't use it. How many people's eternal lives are on the line and I walk around with the key to life in my pocket, not sharing it, just letting them lay there or depending on someone else to take initiative? I've been in church all my life. It's time to put what I know into practice in a very practical way on a day to day basis. My post earlier on Proverbs was about not getting complacent or comfortable, words of wisdom I need to incorporate into my own life. I hope in the next situation, whether it be a physical crisis or spiritual one, I will be bold...use everything I possess, give all I have, to jump in and help.

I hope to write more about this later...