Bible Study Week 2

Somehow I forgot about posting last week’s study. I’ll try to do both of them here. A lot of it is lists of things.

OK, this got REALLY long, click to see the rest…if anyone is actually reading this, let me know. It takes awhile to write these up and I don’t want to spend the time doing it if no one cares…just sayin’. You won’t hurt my feelings but I’m putting this up hoping a few are interested.

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Bible Study – Dateable Week 1

Tonight started my first week with the youth girls going through the book Dateable.  Are you? Are they?.  I was a little worried at first when only 2 girls were there but I think we had 8 by the time it was over and expecting a few more next week.  That’s a good number for a small group study when there is only one adult.

Overall, it went well.  A few of our older youth were being immature at times but that was expected from them.  It’s sad some of our seniors act younger than our middle schoolers.  Anyway, we had good conversation and I think they were relating to what I was talking about.

The first two chapters we went over basically sent the message, “It won’t last.”  No matter what you think about the boy you’re with, statistics show your chance of being married to your high school sweetheart in 10 years is very, very low.  Girls are prone to build up this big fantasy world based on something as simple as a look from a guy, much less telling them I” could be with you forever”.  They talked about the well-known habit of girls writing their names with the guy’s last names, imagining what their kids would look like and picking out kids names even before they start dating the guy.  For a girl, that’s a requirement..if your name sounds bad with his, he’s not even considered.  I am almost jesting there.  And guys tend to say things to get what they want…it may be physical or it may just be the girl’s attention…so they don’t make it easy saying things that help build that fantasy world.   Anyway, none of that means it will last.  They might feel like they’re in love because of the world they’ve built, but for those of us married any length of time, you know butterflies have nothing to do with true love.

I love how the book points out that by giving themselves fully to each guy they date and then breaking it off, they are “practicing divorce, not marriage”.  That’s so powerful.

I don’t think they get that they will likely just be a number to a guy in 15 years.  I told them it’s better to be that one he never had than just another notch on his belt.  A few of the girls were scared about being called square (I had no idea they still said that these days) and I said, it’s better to be square than a skank.  Yeah, your local youth leader actually said those wise words…but I think putting it in their words helped them get it…and it was alliterated so even better 😉

If they can just get the fact that it won’t last, they can actually enjoy dating..not quit dating, but date in the true sense of the word: have fun, learn what you like and don’t like, enjoy being loved and enjoyed by someone other than family and just enjoy their teenage years.  I’m so tired of dealing with boy/girl drama that they shouldn’t even be thinking about, I’d be fine if they got the message “I shouldn’t be dating right now at all” because I truly think some of them need to take a break from it!  But hopefully they’ll see there is a balance where they can come out better, happy, respected people from their dating life instead of hurt and broken.

Wow, I could really chat about this for awhile, huh?

I got “good reviews” from a couple girls and actually had a pretty good time chatting with the girls.  This particular book we’re doing is much more lighthearted and not exactly a “bible” study but one that teaches them important values nonetheless.

Halfway through

On to less frivolous topics…

Today marks the halfway mark for my reading the Bible in 90 Days journey.  And it does feel like a journey.  One that started with marveling at God’s creation in Genesis and is currently gaining wisdom from Proverbs. 

In some ways, I could simply sum this up by saying I read an average of 12 chapters a night and I’ve been doing that for 44 days now (the plan is actually for 88 days!).  It sounds so simple and yet it’s been so much more.  And unless you’ve actually done it, it’s difficult to describe the impact but I’ll try to come up with some highlights.

Some random facts about the logistics of this that a couple people had questions about:

  • I’m reading the NIV
  • 9 times out of 10 I read in bed at night right before I go to sleep
  • At the advice of our leader, I’ve stayed away from reading any commentary on what I’m reading
  • I mark anything that I have questions about or stand out to me either with a post-it note or underlining something
  • It takes 30-45 minutes a day

Some random facts about what I’ve learned

  • I posted it on it before, but I finally understand the history of Israel.
  • I didn’t realize there was so much about David.  I want to post more on him later but he is much more of a military man than I realized.
  • I didn’t realize there was so little about Samson.  And I lost some respect for the guy after reading the story.  Not sure if I can explain it.
  • Leviticus really is the most boring book ever followed closely by 1 and 2 Chronicles which were a replica of 1 and 2 Kings and weren’t too exciting either.  In fact, Deuteronomy wasn’t so fun either since a lot of it was just summary although it would be a good summary book if you hadn’t just read the first four books.
  • I think I could read Genesis over and over.  There is so much packed in that book!
  • There are a lot of phrases repeated through many chapters that I didn’t realize.  Such as “His love endures forever”  “He is compassionate and slow to anger, abounding in love”

If I were to summarize each book I’ve read so far:

  • Genesis: That one about Creation, Noah, Abraham and the Covenant, Sodom and Gomorrah, Isaac, Jac0b and Joseph.
  • Exodus:  That one about the Moses and the Israelites
  • Leviticus: The laws
  • Numbers: That one where they count everyone and then create the Ark of the Covenant.  Isrealites do lots of evil stuff and also fight lots of people
  • Deuteronomy:  That one where Moses rehashes everything you just read.
  • Joshua: That one where Joshua leads the Israelites into Canaan
  • Judges: That one about all the judges in Israel after Joshua as well as the story of Samson
  • Ruth:  That one about Ruth, Naomi and Boaz.
  • 1 & 2 Samuel: That one about Samuel being the judge of Israel and then Saul being anointed king and then David coming up and Saul chasing him everywhere and finally David being king.
  • 1 & 2 Kings: That one about Solomon, Elisha and Hezekiah and the rest of the kings of Israel
  • 1 & 2 Chronicles: See 1 & 2 Kings
  • Ezra: That one where Ezra got the people back on track with God
  • Nehemiah: Nehemiah goes back to rebuild the Temple and tell people to keep the laws.
  • Esther: That one about Esther saving the Jews.  That girls rocks!
  • Job: That one about all the bad stuff that happened to Job and Job still praised God
  • Psalms: Yay God!
  • Proverbs: That one about wisdom

Of course I left out so many details but that gives you an idea.

If I were recommend you reading just a few books to understand more, I would read Genesis of course and then Deuteronomy and Joshua.  I really never thought I would say that.

And I have to say, I really have a respect for the Jews at that time.  I actually like, or at least respect, the reverence they had for God and all the rituals they went through. I think we are so flippant about how we treat God and pray to Him.

My biggest problem right now is meshing the God of the Israelites with Jesus.  There was so much jealousy and anger and war and deaths in the Old Testament and that is not at all who Jesus was while on Earth.  I realize that God showed a lot of mercy and love as well it’s just Jesus was so different that that.  And if Jesus is supposed to be God then what gives?  I’m not questioning that Jesus is God, I’m just looking for a lightbulb moment or that piece to the puzzle that makes it make sense.

I feel like I’ve rambled on about nothing but if I could say anything clearly to you, I would say take the time and commit to doing this for 90 days.  I can’t believe I’m already halfway through reading the ENTIRE Bible.  It seemed like such a daunting task when I first heard about it but it really is no different that sitting down reading a book every night for 30 minutes.  Heck, I’m used to reading for hours on end every night when I’m really into a book.

One thing I’m certain I learned is that the Bible is true, God is real and BIG and amazing and most of all, He loves us and all He really wants us to do is listen and obey.

If you want more info, you can check out the Bible in 90 Days site.  I have a copy of the reading plan if you’d like me to email one to you.

Finding the I in iPod

Not sure why I’m doing so many memes lately but this one is taken from Shalee’s Diner

“In this one, you use your iPod to generate random answers to questions. It’s kind of like Mad Libs meets the Magic 8 Ball.”

Here are the instructions:

1. Put your music player on shuffle.
2. Press forward for each question.
3. Use the song title as the answer to the question.

I had quite boring titles but I bolded some of the more amusing ones.

Q: What does next year have in store for you?
A: Low (considering it so far, i’m guessing that means low on money)

Q: What does your love life look like next year?
A: Fringes

Q: What do you say when life gets hard?
A: Wake up call (yes, wake me up when it’s over)

Q: Song that reminds you of good times?
A: 1000 miles

Q: What do you think when you get up in the morning?
A: ready to find love

Q: What song will you dance to at your wedding?
A: apologize

Q: Song that reminds you of your first kiss?
A: the love song (if only this were true)

Q: Your favorite saying?
A: wait for you

Q: Favorite place?
A: one more day (i do enjoy one more day)

Q: Most Missed Memory?
A: a day without rain (opposite right now..i miss a day WITH rain)

Q: What song describes your best friend?
A: you and i (pretty much. me and you, you and i, we’re best friends)

Q: What song describes your ex?
A: something inside

Q: Where would you go on a first date?
A: because of you

Q: Drug of choice?
A: wishing you well

Q: What song describes yourself?
A: arise

Q: What is the thing you like doing most?
A: never ending journey (someone must have read my post about potty training)

Q: The song that best describes the president?
A: do you know? (LOL)

Q: Where will you be in 10 years?
A: in love with you forever

Q: Your love life right now?
A: imagine that

Q: What is your state of mind like at the moment?
A: 2 man show (is someone trying to say i have a split personality?)

Q: How will you die?
A: namesake (should i be watching emma and lexi with those plastic knives more carefully??)

Peacekeepers, Peacemakers and Lovers of Contention

We are going through Beth Moore’s Living Beyond Yourself study during bible study this time around.  And I get so much out of the videos.  The ones the past few weeks seem to have been perfect timing.  This week was about peace and an opponent of that being discord.   The bible says blessed are the peacemakers.

Blessed are the peacemakers. Matthew 5:9

Peacekeepers and lovers of contention are both opposite than those.

Peacekeepers try to keep a false peace.  They are the ones that hate confrontation and will do ANYthing to keep the peace.  And specifically when there is a “false peace”, or where there is no peace to begin with.  Imagine an abusive father and a protective mother and a wild child.  The wild child does something insanely stupid and instead of confronting it as a family, the mother hides it from the father so Dad won’t get mad.  She is using deceit to keep a peace that is not even there.  Her motivation for “keeping the peace” is based out of fear.  And yet, this attempt not only is keeping a false peace, it breeds even more of a lack of peace.

They dress the wound of my people
  as though it were not serious.
  “Peace, peace,” they say,
  when there is no peace. Jeremiah 8:11

Lovers of contention love NOT having peace.  They wake up wanting to pick a fight with someone.  They soak in tension and thrive when people are bickering.  Ever met someone like that?  Yeah, I know someone like that and it’s not. fun.  This person’s motivation for acting this way can be several reasons.  First, they could just be miserable.  They could just be so miserable inside that what’s on the inside comes out and they simply quarrel with anyone and anything that looks their way. 

Another motivator is the need for power.  Have you ever met a child that has realized the power of being a lover of contention?  That child that can misbehave so much that the entire house of adults and children are controlled by whatever that child does?  Yeah, I know someone like that too.   Everyone’s attitude even is controlled by the child’s attitude.  Power is a God-given thing.  We are meant to influence those around us.  But the less God-centered we are being and the more self-centered we are being determines whether we are negatively or positively affecting our environment.

The final motivator is simply a lack of discipline.  All children realize the power mentioned above and use it to an extent.  They test the boundaries and see how much power they do have with those around them.  And when a child is not disciplined and taught how to behave and use power appropriately, the grow up to be lovers of contention.  These people are so draining to be around are they not?

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11

Now peacemakers.  They are do-ers.  They make peace.   They don’t fix people, but they do confront people.  The first step is to ask God to not take sides in the situation but to take over.  They look to God to build walls where walls need built and take down walls where they need taken.  Peace only comes with God’s authority.

I find that I can be quite a peacekeeper at times.  I hate confrontation and I’d rather just ignore the situation than deal with it.  And when I’m being a peacekeeper, that is when I find I have the biggest lack of peace.  It tears me up inside when something is not right between me and another person and yet I still place peacekeeper and try to keep that false peace.  I really need to learn to trust God and do things His way instead of trying to handle things on my own.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

 All of that is what Beth taught, not me so I’m just passing info on.  I highly suggest signing up for the online study here.  It includes all the listening guides, homework, videos and even extra studies. 

–And this is not a paid advertisement but a personal recommendation of a bible study.