Tag Archives: Bible

God’s Law ~ law(s)

God's Law LAW part one

Define law. When I looked it up at Dictionary.com, here is the number one definition for the noun law:

the principles and regulations established in a community by some authority and
applicable to its people, whether in the form of legislation or of custom and policies
recognized and enforced by judicial decision.

Reread that.

  • Principles and regulations – ideas, plans, thoughts, ways to be, thing to do or not do, guiding ideals and actions, customs and policies
  • established – not random but planned, thought out, and placed
  • in a community – a group of people, no definition of big or small, but a group that has something in common uniting them
  • authority – one who has a reason and ability to be over the community, in charge of them, guiding them, responsibility
  • applicable to its people – this is referring back to the principles and regulations being something that is needed by the community

The rest of the definition goes into some fine details of how we currently see law but really think on those first few words and phrases.

Do you see the Bible that God gave us this way?

In Psalm 119, we see that the writer saw it this way. There are 44 verses that refer to God’s LAW. That is in this single chapter of the Bible. God’s LAW is there to help us, to provide us those principles and regulations that were put in place to help our community, God’s church, act in ways that are in keeping with the one who is in authority over us, God. And when we act in accordance with God’s LAW, we are blessed (verse 1).

The LAW is described throughout Psalm 119 in various ways that help us to see how important it is. In verse 7, it is described as righteous. In verse 39, the laws of God are good. Again in verse 62 we see the law to be righteous. “I know, O Lord, that your laws are righteous” – again righteous is used in verses 75, quoted here, and verse 106.

The LAW is long-standing. From verse 52 the law is described as ancient and they are comforting. “I remember your ancient laws, O Lord, and I find comfort in them.” Verse 91 tells us that “Your laws endure to this day, for all things serve you” showing us that God indeed is the being in control of these laws. In verse 160, we see the extent of the reign of the LAW – “All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal.” What powerful LAWS to stand and be worth obedience through time.

From the ancient days through eternity, God’s LAW will stand. And we can get so much from it. (emphasis is mine)

Verse 18 – “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.”
Verse 29 – “Keep me from deceitful ways; be gracious to me through your law.”
Verse 43 – “Do not snatch the word of truth from my mouth, for I have put my hope in your laws.”
Verse 77 – “Let your compassion come to me that I may live, for your law is my delight.”
Verse 92 – “If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.”
Verse 102 – “I have not departed from your laws, for you yourself have taught me.”
Verse 149 – “Hear my voice in accordance with your love; preserve my life, O Lord, according to your laws.”
Verse 156 – “Your compassion is great, O Lord; preserve my life according to your laws.”
Verse 165 – “Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.”
Verse 174 – “I long for your salvation, O Lord, and your law is my delight.”
Verse 175 – “Let me live that I may praise you and may your laws sustain me.”

Our culture kind of frowns on laws and seems to think that they are overburdening. But looks that list of benefits from follow the LAW God has set before us. Seeing wonderful things. Keeping me safe. Giving me compassion and preservation of life. Something to sustain me. Great peace! Not allowing anything to make me stumble.

And

Salvation!

Is there anything better?

I am going to call this part 1 of the word LAW because there are two more big sections that the word LAW groups into. Next week, we will look at those who disdain the LAW and how the psalmist loves the LAW. Opposites.

Blessings to you all as you ponder God’s LAW and what it can do for you.

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God’s Law – ways

God's Law WAYS

When I went through Psalm 119, I wrote down each of the words that referenced God’s laws in some way or another on notecards and then noted the verses that went with each word. I ended up with 11 cards: 8 are words specifically about God’s law, 2 are references that I haven’t fully decided upon yet (they fit but yet they don’t in the NIV), and 1 is a note on the verses that don’t mention God’s law.

I am choosing to start with the word WAYS. In the NIV, this word only appears twice, in verses 3 and 15.

Verse 3: They do nothing wrong; they walk in his ways.

Verse 15: I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.

Look up the definition of the word WAYS. You’ll probably find two options. 1) a method, style, or manner of doing something; and 2) a road, track, path, or street for traveling along. There were a couple of others that I found in different places by doing a search on the internet. But let’s look at these two.

Verse 3 seems to be using the 2nd of these literal definitions, but in regard to what God wants, the laws he wants followed. So, the Psalmist will walk in the WAYS that God directs him. How is he directed? That is really clear in the reading of the surrounding verses. God directs the ways to walk through his laws. When walking in his WAYS, we have a clear path marked out by which our travel is easier. When we follow that path, his WAYS, we can see where we are going and we have an easier time of it.

a method, style, or manner of doing something

When you have a way of doing something, you have a particular method which you desire to have followed. Maybe it is a set order of steps. Maybe it is specific materials. Maybe it is an expectation of being like you in how you handle something. In any regard, you have an expectation that things will be done specifically.

In verse 15, the Psalmist is saying that he is considering, thinking about, the manner or method that God desires. He is being aware of the fact that God has a plan that he wants his children to follow. The Psalmist is acknowledging that and abiding by it. How happy that must make God!

So, consider the word WAYS. How can we apply this thinking to our own life? Am I following that clearly delineated path God has made for me and learning it by reading the Bible? And I learning the method and manner of living life by God’s standards, His WAYS? Or am I leaning too much on my own sight, my own interpretation of the markings along the path?

I encourage you to read Psalm 119, to find encouragement in seeking out God’s WAYS.

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God’s Law

God's Law

I am going to start a weekly series that I am titling “God’s Law.”

I don’t honestly know where it will go but I am starting in Psalm 119. I am going to be looking at the verses that address God’s law and the different words used to label God’s law.

Some of the words:

  • law
  • precepts
  • ways
  • commands
  • word

And these are just from the first few verses of this chapter. Psalm 119 is 176 verses long and I will be using the NIV Study Bible as my main source. It is the 1985 copyrighted version, which I prefer over the newer ones. I am also expecting to use the NKJV some.

God’s Law, His word, is where we should be looking for guidance in this world. I was reading through Psalm 119 a few weeks ago and found great encouragement and comfort in the verses here. Then, in Ladies’ Bible Class, something was mentioned about how many different words are used to talk about God’s laws and how each word brings a slightly different focus. I knew then that it was the theme that I had been looking for, waiting for, trying to find, and that Psalm 119 was where to begin.

One other indication that this was the place to begin? Miss J has been working on memory verses for Bible class and we have been singing “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119:105) This has been in my mind quite often for the past few weeks, including now. 🙂

I don’t know the extent of this study. I am going to follow it where it leads and learn what I can from it. I hope you will join me and read through some, if not all, of the posts as they come your way. Regardless, I am praying that this is a fruitful journey for me and for anyone who follows along.

At Home.

Brinkman Adventures Season 4 ~ a Crew review

Brinkman Adventures review image

Our first experience with Brinkman Adventures was when we were asked to review Season 3. Miss E absolutely loved it so when Brinkman Adventures Season 4
came up for review, she jumped for joy and begged. She was thrilled to get selected to review another season of adventures.

Brinkman Adventures 

Are you familiar with Brinkman Adventures? This audio production is based on real-life family and real-life missionaries that they have met, encountered, and heard of. The stories are true and about modern missionaries, though some of the details may have been adapted or fictionalized.

Season 4 consists of 12 episodes (officially episdoes 37-48). Each episode is based on a true story and you can read about those true stories on the website for Brinkman Adventures.

Some of the favorite episodes in Season 4?

  • A Paradise Lost – The Brinkman family is hosting a Bible camp at a lake but the dam broke so the lake is gone. A big storm comes while they are playing games and they cannot find the campers. Through all the chaos of storms, games, tornadoes, and even Mom going into labor, they turn to prayer and find that it calms them.
  • The Crashed Kitchen – Aunt Sara is part of a mission in Zambia, Africa. She runs a kids’ club but most of them have stopped coming. She begins to feel she is doing more harm than good. Someone else has to leave and she has to drive without knowing very well what she is doing. She accidentally crashes into a kitchen that belongs to the family of one of the children from the kids’ club. His father is sick. The father had bought charms from a witch doctor believing they would heal him. When they did not, he followed the understanding that his child had and went to Aunt Sara. They started praying together and he came to believe in Jesus. He got better right away.
  • War of the Raccoons – (This one is stated as being completely fictional.) Ian is trying to build a robot called RD. It is supposed to unlock doors and do some of his chores. Their neighbor is Mr. Pennington and has fish. A raccoon ate one of the fish and Mr. Pennington wants to shoot the raccoons. So, he borrowed a paintball gun and RD, attaching the robot to a rover to move around and shoot the raccoons. Hilarious things go wrong (including painting a car orange) and Ian seems to be causing more of them by not keeping his word. At the end, Ian realizes that he has not been keeping his promises. He prays to God and tries to be better at keeping his promises.
  • What Brings Us Together – Anthony and Michelle are getting married. Things keep going wrong – the catering company is did not get the confirmation so is booked elsewhere; Mr. Pennington and Ms. Bernice cause a fire which burns down the tent; Dad gets reported to the police as a thief. Before going down to the police station, Anthony and Michelle prayed together and a realization that is brought to mind helps clear Dad of any wrongdoing so the wedding can go on.

Prayer seems to be a bigger theme in this particular season than in the previous one we have listened to. What a wonderful theme to have! Prayer should always be our first response and Brinkman Adventures shows us real life examples of its power (plus some fictionalization that does the same). These adventures bring life to ideas and show real examples of prayer.

Brinkman Adventures is a series that I really like having around, as do the girls. I like having adventures for them to listen to while their hands are busy with other good things and to know that that what they are listening to is encouraging them to live out The Great Commission as found in Matthew 28:18-20. They are hearing about folks who, though we hold beliefs that may be different in a few places, are giving their lives to the one true God who can work through them to save souls. The girls are hearing stories about people who trust in God with their whole lives and believe in Him wholeheartedly. They are hearing about God responding to prayer in all sorts of ways, big and small. While some of the story may be dramatized for effect, the stories themselves are encouraging. They show that while the life of a missionary (at home or abroad) might be hard or bring surprises or have you end up someplace completely different than you thought, it is God’s will guiding you on the path He directs if we turn to Him for guidance.

listening to the adventures

As I am typing, all three of the girls are snuggled into one room with these playing, excitement to hear more floating down the halls. “Come on! Let’s go listen to another one!”

That is a winner.

You can find more about Brinkman Adventures on their website, including a sneak preview of Season 6. There are the real-life stories, a blog, and samples from each of the seasons so far.

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Read what other families thought about Brinkman Adventures Season 4 by clicking the banner below.

 

Brinkman Adventures Season 4 

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Bulletin Boards – Middle School Monday

bulletin boards

Year-round events are the core of the Lads to Leaders training. There are many areas that have a year-round element: Bible reading, Bible Bowl, song leading (males), songs of praise (females), mass media, puppet theater, and more. One of these areas that Miss E has participated in this past year was bulletin boards.

The purpose of this event and training is to help those interested to learn the ins and outs of creating, designing, and executing the putting up of an effective bulletin board. These designs could be either just seasonal/encouraging or they could be teaching designs.

I thought I would share with you some of the ones Miss E put up recently. She created all that I am sharing here.

The Pearl Seeker bulletin board

The Pearl Seeker, prepared to go with Becky Blackmon’s book The Pearl Seeker; given to the author of the book

The Color of God's Word

a board to asssit with memory work in a 4th/5th grade classroom

Steps of Salvation bulletin board

a teaching guide for the steps of salvation

ALL bulleting board

a teaching board with examples of people in the Bible who applied the idea of doing all that God says (Ruth 3:5 is the key verses here)

Putting up bulletin boards not only serves to assist teachers who might not enjoy or have time to create bulletin boards but it helps the one putting it up to really think about what the purpose is, what is being conveyed through the board. This requirement to really absorb and study the concept or idea is a good help for the middle school student who is learning to see things from a different perspective as they grow and mature.

At Home.

Prepared – Middle School Monday & Blogging Through The Alphabet

P Prepared“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” I Peter 3:15 (NIV)

When I was thinking about what to write for letter P, this word and verse came to mind. That could be because of the Bible study that our family is participating in. It could be due to the fact that this is one of the major goals of educating our children. It could be that God placed that thought in my head. Whatever the reason, I wanted to chat a bit about preparing.

We prepare for many things in life – storm season, trips, chores (yes – don’t you buy the things you will need to do this?). But sometimes, we neglect the most important form of preparation – that of being able to speak of the hope that we have in Christ Jesus, what He has done for us, and that He wants everyone to accept His gift and to obey His word.

How do we prepare to do as Peter wrote about?

P Prepared verse

First, we need to know God’s Word. We need to study His word and all that He put there, not just the interesting stories that we enjoy teaching to little ones. We need to know more; there is always more to learn! One wise woman commented at Bible study tonight that she makes it a point to share that she is always learning, even after 40 years of being a baptized follower of Christ. We need to set aside and honor time to learn what God has to say. Don’t just schedule it in; make it a priority. That is part of being prepared.

Second, we need to be able to articulate that hope – put it to words. This is probably where I struggle most. I know what I believe and why I believe it. I know what obedience to God’s word means but am I capable of stating that to others? And what about the last part of the verse – “with gentleness and respect”? Can I do this?

Third, I need to recognize that if I have worked diligently with the first two points that it doesn’t make a whit of difference if I don’t step out boldly and actually use the words about that hope to share with someone who is lost. If I am not sharing that hope that I have prepared to share about, I am not obeying the word of God. He is telling me to share it.

As part of a course I am taking (Homeschool Rescue from Only Passionate Curiosity – review coming soon), she asked us to write out 10 goals for our children when they exit our education. Being prepared to speak boldly about their hope is one of ours. So, I need to be working on helping them prepare. I will end this by sharing some of the things we are doing to help the girls be prepared.

  • Regular attendance at all worship and Bible classes – Sunday morning we attend both Bible class and worship; Sunday evening we attend worship; Wednesday evening we attend worship and class; Tuesday mornings the girls go with me to Ladies’ Bible Class; Monday nights we are doing an in-home Bible study;
  • Daily personal Bible study – As part of their course work, we ask the girls to study the Bible personally. This takes a couple of different forms but this is a daily expectation.
  • Memory work – The girls are working on KidSing memory cards. These cards focus on different parts of the Bible and the themes for those parts of the Bible.
  • Bible Bowl – We have the girls participating in Bible Bowl through the Lads to Leaders program at our church. In the past, they have studied Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Matthew, Job, Esther, and Ruth. This year they will be studying I & II Corinthians. This is an in-depth study of the books and they learn a lot about God, who He is, and what He wants of His people through this.
  • Other  – Whether it be writing an article, giving a speech, reading the Bible out loud for an audience, leading a song, doing a puppet program, or making a meal for someone, we encourage the girls to serve and find ways to use the abilities God has given them to put action to their belief and faith.

All of these are ways that we can work on being prepared to give reason to our hope. Encouraging the girls to be prepared, I also find myself more prepared. Are you “prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have “? (I Peter 3:15 NIV)

At Home.

Please visit A Net In Time and Hopkins Homeschool and link up your ABC posts.

Drive Thru History® – The Gospels ~ a Crew review

The GospelsHow does history go from “ho-hum” to “Wow! What else can we learn?!?” Just put on an episode of Drive Thru History®.

Host David Stotts drives the viewers around various history sites related to a given theme; in this case it was Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels”, though he has also hosted a number of others from American History, to Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece. (We have used all of these at one time or another and they are fantastic!)

watching The Gospels

Drive Thru History® brings history to life by taking you to the places where history happened. Visually appealing and content rich, this series will bring history to life while you can just sit back and watch. Being able to see the sites where history was made helps the viewer really understand and remember. Viewing it all through a biblical lens strengthens the worldview, as well.

Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels” is a set of 3 DVDs that brings you 18 episodes of about 30 minutes each. In these episodes, Mr. Stotts takes you to visit over 50 sites where important events took place in the biblical books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. With visually stunning video, the sites come alive with Mr. Stotts retelling of the happenings right where they would have taken place 2000 years ago. Geography, history, archaeology, and art show the life of Jesus and prove the truth of the Bible.

DVD images

With over 9 hours of video, there is so much to be seen and learned. The Gospels comes with a study guide, neatly tucked inside a hardcover book that houses the DVDs. There are stunning images and art work reproductions throughout the 118-page guide. Each episode has a section that includes scriptures to read about the people and places in the episode, 5 questions relating to each episode, a quote, and historical side note.

We enjoyed using this study guide after each episode. It was simple to use and did not take us long, yet it was a good reinforcement for what they had just watched.

 

Drive Thru History The Gospels

One note – The episode relating the sites and direct activities about the crucifixion has a warning on it about its graphic nature and violence. I appreciated this as I have some very highly sensitive and emotional children that feel things very deeply. I watched this episode privately first to decide whether it was appropriate for them all to see. Most of the episode I would not be concerned about but there are several minutes that are video reenactment of the crucifixion. These are extremely graphic. Miss E watched the episode but, at this time, I am not showing the episode to the other girls. This is a decision for each family to make on their own.

This series is just so fascinating. I can’t say enough good things about it. We loved Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels” so much that we are planning a small group Bible study for homeschoolers next fall using these DVDs as our core. Drive Thru History with Dave Stotts is a video program that you can feel good about your students watching. If you can’t travel to the historical sites yourself, this is perhaps the next best thing – being taken there through well-done video tours full of explanation, history, and insight.

answering questions from study guide

Now for the girls’ take on the series:

  • Miss E – age 13: Drive Thru History’s Mr. Stotts is funny and I didn’t want to stop watching when it was time for school lessons. I learned about The Gospels because Mr. Stotts brought us to where it happened. When you read it in the Bible, you know it happened, but when he is showing me where it happened and I see people doing things somewhat related to what actually happened, it makes it feel more real to me. A lot of the time in my Wednesday night Bible class, my teacher says “Check the Bible. Some people say things wrong. Sometimes they say the wrong thing on accident.” And I felt that the statement at the end of each episode was saying the same thing – Read it yourself; check the Bible. This statement was accompanied by Bible passages to read about the people and places from that episode.
    I didn’t like how it showed John the Baptist pouring water over Jesus’ head at his baptism instead of immersing him. I did not really liked the fact that Mom made me wait to watch the crucifixion episode, but I understood why she did.
  • Miss L – age 10: I like Drive Thru History – The Gospels. I appreciated Mr. Stotts’ sense of humor, even if I didn’t get all of his jokes. He had a very creative and descriptive way of saying things that made me excited to hear his next sentence. I learned a lot of history with this series of DVDs in between the Bible lessons. I liked how he actually went to places instead of just telling us a little bit about each place and then saying a few words and stopping there and moving on. I really felt like he was excited to show us each place and actually enjoyed being there and getting to show us all of the places. I really appreciated that. It is much nicer to get to have a person who clearly likes his job and wants to be there teaching. I liked the part at the end where the statement said, “This show hopes to provide some illumination on The Gospels but there is no substitute for reading The Gospels yourself.” It made it feel like they really cared if you learned the truth about The Gospels and the Bible, in general.
  • Miss J – age 8: I liked that he walked around in the actual places and didn’t just stand in one spot. I liked that he walked around in the Kidron Valley. I liked how they drew the pictures about in the same places as they were talking about. There was not much that I did not like; I really liked Drive Thru History – The Gospels!

When you get this kind of praise from all three of the girls, it is a definite winner. Please visit Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels” to learn more.

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Want to know what others thought? There were 100 families reviewing Drive Thru History. Click on the banner below to read their thoughts.
The Gospels {Drive Thru History® Reviews}
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