What is the Point of Reading Scripture?

Years ago, when our house was up for sale, a realtor asked, “Why do you have Bible verses taped to your kitchen window and hanging on the walls?”

“They help me to live my life.”

Once, I taped a verse to the kitchen window and I told a close friend of my husband’s I felt it was for him. After he read it, he said it pertained to him and his wife. I had no idea.

Sometimes, I read the Bible out of duty or because I’ve set a goal to read so many chapters. Other days, I put on the tea kettle and picture myself having tea with our invisible God. Later, I read the Bible as I sip, and anticipate learning more about the Creator, the joy giver, the author of my faith, the God Who possesses Wisdom, according to (Proverbs 8:22, NKJV).

(John 10:10, NKJV) says: “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

The real Jesus came to watch over His sheep, His followers. The thief, the anti-Christ comes to steal, kill and destroy people. Sometimes, I don’t want to read the book of Life, God’s Word which nourishes my spirit and my soul because of spiritual warfare-which I’m not always aware of.

(https://www.youversion.com/the-bible-app-for-kids/)

I read Proverbs this week, chapter 1-12 so far. Wisdom is telling us in (Proverbs 8:30-31, NKJV) that during the creation of the world, “Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman; And I was daily His delight, Rejoicing always before Him, Rejoicing in His inhabited world, And my delight was with the sons of men.”

Wisdom is always with God. So, God’s Word is filled with wisdom, which I need every day. When I rejoice and am grateful it changes my attitude, the brain develops healthier memories and releases dopamine-a pleasure hormone. For more insight, check out “Neuroscience Reveals: Gratitude Rewires Your Brain to be Happier,” a blog from goforthrecovery.com at https://goforthrecovery.com/articles-news/addiction-recovery-neuroscience-gratitude…

God says we are fearfully and wonderfully made in Ps. 139:14. So many encouragements, so many promises, so many warnings and incredible truths in the Bible. To me, that is the point of reading Scripture: to know God better and His ways for us.

From Creation to Confusion

 

My husband is teaching Genesis Chapter One to Chapter Eleven and he’s entitled it: “Creation to Confusion”.

Tonight, we went through Chapter Two verse by verse. This is where Adam gets put to sleep by God and Eve is fashioned from a rib or part of Adam’s side.

After Adam named all the animals, perhaps he noticed they were created male and female and as of yet, he didn’t have a female counterpart.

In Chapter Two, God speaks prophetically about man leaving his father and mother to unite with his wife as “one flesh”.

Adam and Eve didn’t have earthly parents, which is why leaving parents and cleaving together is for future couples.

The first man and woman at the end of Chapter Two were “naked and not ashamed”.

They were alone with God; they knew nothing of evil.

Next week, we’ll study Chapter Three in Genesis, when sin entered the world. The difference in Adam and Eve’s life must have astounded them and brought great regrets.

I like going to Bible studies because the leader digs into other resources. In our case, commentaries; dictionaries; experts; and of course, a thorough reading of the Bible and prayer for guidance are employed.

We decided Adam must have been more intelligent than we are now because he named every animal and bird. “How many could you name?”

One of the classmates said maybe thirty.

We guessed there must have been a huge multitude of animals and birds represented. It occurred to me, not only did the names need to be created, but remembered so he didn’t repeat himself. Yowza!

Adam lived to be eight hundred years old, so the children, grandchildren, and on and on, his following generations could have asked, “What was the garden of Eden like?”

In Genesis 2, it says God formed trees before Adam’s eyes.

So, for eight hundred years, he could tell of his personal experience with the Creator to anyone willing to listen.

I’ve read Genesis over the years. Tonight’s conversation brought some insights I’d never considered before.

That’s what’s so amazing about the Bible. There’s always more to learn.

My husband asked, “As God brought forth the animals living on land and the birds of the air to Adam, to be named, how would this newly formed man relate to God?”

I said, “He would have been in awe of God and His amazing creativity.”

When we considered that Adam hadn’t been around for more than a matter of hours, this was an opportunity for Adam to get to know God in a way we’ll never experience this side of heaven.

My husband and I believe Creation occurred over six twenty-four-hour periods of time. Adam, Eve and all animals, (with trees and herbs for food), came into being fully grown so they could function and then eat the produce immediately.

Genesis is an extremely important book in the Bible. If I don’t believe Genesis is God’s Word, inspired and given to men, then what else in the Bible can I pick and choose to believe or disregard?

May God bless you!

 

 

 

 

Creating for Fun

 

I looked through a booklet I received when my children were born, entitled NAMES FOR BOYS & GIRLS with an advertisement from Enfamil baby formula in the center.

 

I wanted to name some characters with their heritage and personality in mind. To me, that’s fun. I got online for names that didn’t make the book.

 

When I see people, animals, plants, rock formations, clouds, forest, bodies of water, the stars and moon, etc., I get amazed all over again by the creativity of God.

 

Gen 1:1, (KJV):  In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

 

Gen 1:26  Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

Gen 1:27  So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

 

God told us to take care of the earth and the animals in Genesis 1:26.

 

Well anyway, we’re all so different. I got thinking of a guy I went to high school with; he was a pretty good student.

 

He was in my English class and afterwards he’d tell me how much he hated that subject.

 

Math tripped me up and he excelled in that. I’ve found over the years that the more I use math, the better I get at it. In high school, math was like a foreign language to me that I’d never encountered before. I learned it all through elementary school, but it didn’t register in my brain. I did just well enough to be average.

 

In New York State back in the day, if you were on a certain track in school, you didn’t get to take art or photography unless you worked diligently with your counselor to put it in your schedule. Those classes filled up quick, too. One of my best friends was an exceptional artist, so she took the same courses I did but majored, so to speak, in art.

 

I learned to crochet during my lunch hour with a teacher and two other girls. I signed up to work on the school newspaper and took gymnastics after school as well, but the writing grabbed my attention and the sport lost out.

 

Another guy I knew from high school absolutely hated conjugating verbs for French class. I took German and that’s got a lot in common with English, some of the time. I don’t remember struggling with the verbs, although their word placement is different than ours. One fellow in class went to Germany over the summer with his family and he came back with a strong accent. I never sounded like anything but an American trying to pick up another language.

 

A family friend went to school near Geneseo State University and she learned Spanish, I think, at a very young age because they learned that children pick up language easily the younger they are. She might have started in pre-school or kindergarten.

 

I had intended to write about some creative writing books I’ve been working through tonight. So, I hope to do that tomorrow.

 

What things did you try in school that you’ve incorporated into your life as an adult or young person?

 

I hope you are well! May God bless you!

 

 

We Need Each Other

 

Hebrews 11:1-3, (NKJV) says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.”

My husband preached a little from Hebrews 10 on Sunday with a selection from Genesis 2 where God said it wasn’t good for man to be alone so He made woman from Adam’s rib, a helpmeet for him.

By faith, Christian and Jewish believers accept Genesis’ account of God creating the world by speaking it into being. “…things which are seen were not made of things which are visible,” as referenced above in Hebrews 11:3 and here in Genesis 1: 1-3, (ESV): Gen 1:1  In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

Gen 1:2  The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

Gen 1:3  And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

God continued to speak the Creation into being in the beginning of the book of Genesis.

I wrote a letter to a man undergoing cancer treatments in Buffalo. In the letter I told him that some decades ago our newborn son contracted a virus that ate 90% of his liver. The head doctor of the infectious diseases department warned us that it could move to his heart or other major organs. When we listened to her we didn’t react much. “Don’t you hear what I’m saying?”

“We hear you, but we are praying,” we responded.

I think she wondered if we’d lost our senses.

I wrote this man with cancer about our experience with sickness to encourage him to hold onto God’s word even in the midst of a bad report.

Now, I’ve never been able to manufacture faith. It is a gift of God’s Spirit as listed in 1 Corinthians 12:9 (NKJV), “to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit.”

I think as people exercise their gift of faith and see God’s faithfulness, it helps faith grow. But when our son battled for his life for thirty days, my husband and I believed together some of the time and many times when my faith floundered he felt confident that God would heal our son and when he struggled to believe, my faith in God buoyed him up.

As it turned out, God heard our prayers and those of family and friends. A week before he came home from the pediatric Intensive Care Unit, my husband felt sure God was directing him to tell our church to stop praying for healing, but to thank God for the healing before we saw it happen. Someone else told him they had the same impression from God, which he received as confirmation, before he spoke to the congregation.

God answered all those prayers and chose to restore our son’s liver and destroy the virus’ power.

In Hebrews 10, this Sunday my husband reminded us that we need each other. Here is part of the Scripture in Hebrews that he preached about: Heb 10:21, (ESV), and since we have a great priest over the house of God,

Heb 10:22  let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

Heb 10:23  Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.

Heb 10:24  And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,

Heb 10:25  not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Believers in Christ are to “meet together” not only for worship and the reading of the Word of God, but also in casual gatherings so they can get to know one another. They need to learn to get along together and to speak the truth in love to one another if someone needs correction. They need each other if some should suffer lack. Then the other believers can learn of their predicament and share from their plenty. There are lots of reasons for believers to assemble. Jesus sent the disciples out in pairs to preach the gospel, to deliver people from demonic influence, to lay hands on the sick so they would recover.

Well, anyway, we need each other, if it’s to keep from being discouraged, or to keep from being lonely, God made mankind to rely on one another, as risky as that may seem if you’ve been hurt. In addition, we need God to direct our paths and to trust Him to take care of us as we develop friendships and relationships.

May God bless you and protect you and lead you in paths of righteousness.

Letchworth State Park

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Today my husband and I drove a significant number of miles to meet friends at Letchworth Park. We had a great visit and we got to see some magnificent views. I took some snapshots before they arrived.

The spring photos I took today, and after I spoke to my sister, she sent me some from autumn. I’ll show two more of mine and then I’ll include hers.

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I love New York State parks. I heard on the radio that NYS just purchased more acreage in the Adirondack Mountains for more State Park lands.

Here are pictures of Letchworth State Park in the fall with a different vantage point:

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My father-in-law used to call Letchworth the Grand Canyon of the East. He visited the Grand Canyon in Arizona; I’ve never had the privilege.

What a beautiful planet our Lord created! The account of creation can be found in the earliest chapters of the book of Genesis.

Be blessed!

 

Birds Outside My Window

Two years ago, I won a bird feeder from a charity fundraiser. Once I began putting bird seed in it, visits came from feathery friends. I couldn’t get over the joy I experienced watching the variety of birds.

After many months, I didn’t enjoy it quite as much, but I kept providing food as I could. This week, some Common Grackles found the feeder and then I needed to convince myself that since God made all the creatures, He loves the ones that are appealing and the less appealing ones. Common Grackles have a beautiful black body with a sleek bluish-green colored head that shines beautifully in the sun. What I don’t like about them is that they are more greedy than the blue jays even. Their yellow eyes are cold and beady. Little birds wait patiently and then they sneak in for a quick nibble when the Common Grackles take a break.

I found them on the http://www.Cornell.edu bird watching site and then found a picture of them on  http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-38376802/stock-photo-common-grackle-black-bird-with-an-iridescent-blue-neck-and-head.html.

I don’t do pictures anymore because my computer got messed up and I was without it for a time. I miss the pictures, and will use pictures if I know the source without a doubt.

Anyhow, I have a friend who feeds birds as well and she is a pastor. She tells me she gets such spiritual insight from watching the birds. She even draws hummingbirds with sugar water. They didn’t visit my place, so I see them at her home.

I found a couple of verses I like about birds: Luk_12:24 (KJV) Consider the ravens. They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn, yet God feeds them. How much more valuable you are than birds!

1Cor_15:39  (KJV) All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one flesh of humans, another flesh of animals, another of birds, and another of fish.

James_3:7 (KJV) For every species of beasts and birds, reptiles and sea creatures, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind.

Have you glanced at the skies to see one species of God’s magnificent creation? If you have a window to look out, look up.

Psalm 19:1 (RV) says, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.”

Birds are a tiny fraction of God’s created warm-blooded vertebrates. He amazes me.

 

Montrose Christian Writers Conference

Montrose Bible Conference hosts Montrose Christian Writers Conference in July. This year I made my way there with the intent to seek God and then concentrate on writing. Last year, it was all about me. Am I a good writer or great writer, or not?

I asked Cec Murphey something about a piece I crafted and he said, “Oh, you’re looking for affirmation,” in an understanding tone. I nodded my head, almost ready to cry. I don’t remember what he said after that. He’s a nice guy. A best seller and a nice guy.

This year, Monday morning, the new director, Marsha Hubler read part of my essay to the assembled throng and told them to listen to this, it’s very good.

Image result for Marsha Hubler, author

I sat there very still and could almost feel the blood rushing through my veins. It’s amazing to me that when people who love God let go of stuff and agendas and people, God gives back more than they expect. I love God because He drew me to Him. 1 John 4:19 (KJV) says, ” We love him, because he first loved us.”

Patti Souder stepped away from the directorship at Montrose so she could have more time to write. She chose the order of the readers for the Thursday night theater presentation. She had me go first. I almost missed it, because I’m usually somewhere in the middle and I arrived less than ten minutes before the start. As my peers clapped after hearing the three hundred word essay on “Equipping Writers for Eternal Significance,” I felt humbled.

I often feel humbled after God blesses me in little ways and big ways. When I sing the lyrics to the song, “I am a Friend of God,” which starts out, “Who am I that You are mindful of me, that You love me, who am I?” I truly mean it. God is all powerful; all knowing; merciful; gracious; our healer; our provider; our protector; our creator; Jesus, God the Son is our intercessor when we’re in trouble, the perfect parent and so much more. He’s just and tells us to leave vengeance up to Him. He gives us peace beyond our comprehension.

I’ve experienced that lately, especially in the car during a severe rain storm with lightning so close, I felt a bit traumatized after the fact. During the drive I was enveloped in a bubble of calm and sat quietly, for me, as my friend drove the car.

If you think God is distant and uncaring, pick up the Word of God and ask Him to reveal Himself to you in all His many facets. I think You’ll stand amazed at God as so many millions have over the centuries.

Power Releasers?

As I lay in bed this morning, I got thinking about God. I got thinking about God and mankind.

In recent sermons, my husband, the man who likes Science and Math and Business and People, has been preaching on the book of Genesis. In the beginning, God created. When He created man and then woman, it was the only time He said, “It was very good.”

After God created the heavens, the earth, the plants, the sun, moon and stars, the animals, He said, “It was good.”

We believe in a six day creation; one of the reasons is because God made the plants on one day and the next day He made the sun. He made mankind in God’s image, “Our image,” He said: Father, Son, Holy Spirit. He spoke the world into being.

So, if God is all powerful, why does He ask us to pray? Why does He include us in the running of this world? Be fruitful and multiply. Take dominion over the animals and the planet. In other words, be good stewards over the animals and over the earth. Treat them kindly.

In the Scriptures, it says, “Ask and you shall receive,”(John 16:24). “If two or more agree as touching anything on this earth, it shall be done of them by the Father,” (Matthew 18:19).”If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land,” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

Are we power releasers? Why does God want to include us in helping to determine the condition of this world?

I wrote my ten year old grandson a letter about this idea of prayer releasing God’s power in a fashion that a ten year old would understand. He is a deep thinker. He loves super heroes. He doesn’t like bullies. Well, who does want to be bullied? 🙂

God is a creative God and we are made in His image. Maybe that’s why I feel more alive when I write. I’m looking at prayer in a much deeper way this day, because of His written word.