Deuteronomy 6:4-9 - Teach Them Diligently

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Lessons from the Kings

I have been using the same bible for quite some time now.  It is a Inductive Study Bible.

I write all over it, circle words that repeat, numbers that might be significant, and a host of other things - as I try to glen from it the wisdom that God has for me.

Part of the Inductive study nature of it - is to have symbols that represent things and colors that tie concepts together.  Like sin is circled in red and names that represent God are marked with a green triangle.  So when you go back to a passage you can quickly see the connections that are being made.

I also write sermon notes in the margins and things I learn from bible studies.  I like this as I can open to a passage and be reminded of a sermon or some nugget I got from a bible study five years ago.

I don't know what I will do when I have finished all the study notes in it.  I might just get another one and start all over again.  Maybe my next one will be in an entirely different language - won't that be fun.

Right now I am looking at 1 and 2 Kings and filling out a chart about who was king, who was their father, king over - Israel or Judah.  How many years they were king for and the basics info of the kind of king they were.

Right now lessons from the King for me is that in life we can go one of two ways and our lives are recorded as thus:

1.  They lived for (   ) numbers of years and did all that was right before the Lord.
2.  They lived for (   ) numbers of years and did all that was evil before the Lord.

There are of course other facts listed about many of them - things they might have done.  But a few of them it just states if they did right or evil.  If they walked in the ways of the Lord or the way of evil.  They might have a blurb if they started out right but then turned.  Or started out evil and then turned toward God.  Their life was listed and in the scheme of the Jewish nation their life was important.

When we look over all of history isn't that what we do.  We remember people either for their wonderful accomplishments or for the evil things they did to or against humanity.

I'm not done with my study on the Kings I am sure there will be other lessons.

Want to try an inductive study yourself - click here for a link to Precept Ministries free inductive Bible Studies.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Stories from Africa: Rural South Africa - Lessons learned

This will be my last post about my outreach now a year ago to Rural South Africa.

It is always interesting a year after the fact to look back and see how something changed you or grew you in some way.

The Rural Outreach by far was the most physically challenging for me with three kids to take care of, ministry to accomplish and our first team to learn to live with and love. (Picture at Right - Trust in God Church in Mabarhule, South Africa)

I look back and really only remember that - "The Family" made it.
We survived for 17 days with all 5 of us in a tent. (Our tent was the one on the right side of the photo at left.)
We did ministry - and made an impact on the people around us.  Could we have done somethings better, or differently - yeah.  Was it hard, yes, was it fun, yes, was it interesting yes.  Would I do it again - yes!  Wow I don't know if I would have said that the day we left.

We left by the way on my 8th Wedding Anniversary - waiting for the base van to come pick us up.  We had all the tents and camp packed by 10 am and then proceeded to wait until 6 pm and the pitch black night before we got ourselves into the van for the 6 hour ride back!   That was a frustrating day.

Now almost an entire year later - I look back at that whole experience as such a time of growth, uncomfortable as it was - it really showed me that we could endure through anything.  Is that my ministry of choice?  I don't think so - I would rather live in a two bedroom cabin then a tent full time.  But cooking over a fire wasn't too bad - of course I did have a team to help carry the load.  Alone as a family might be a different story.

I am curious as I look into the future what I will see as the benefit of the waiting we are doing right now. The changes we are facing the new direction we are going and the ministry that seems to be waiting for us.

God is so interesting in how he challenges our perception of what he wants us to do with our lives.  How he calls us to obedience and then just asks us to trust Him through it all.

Are we willing to be sent?  If so are we willing to go where he calls us to go.

I am a planner by habit - I like to see my life stretched out before me and kind of have a good idea of how it will all play out.  I can change, but I don't really like change to happen to quickly and I like a bit of a warning.  God continually calls me to stop that planning to put my trust entirely on Him and if I can trust him here in comfy Aberdeen, South Dakota then I really should be able to trust him anywhere.  Out of comfort in Rural South Africa,  in comfort of the expected path of ministry, and "Oh," in the unexpected detours that will ultimately lead us to where He wants us to be in ministry.

So what does this have to do with Rural South Africa - As our first Outreach with our Mission Organization it taught me to go with the flow, stop trying to control everything in my family, depend on the team.  Team life isn't always easy - different people have perspectives on life that are in direct conflict with your own - even though they too love the Lord.  It was hard being the mom and I think for Tony being the dad - because we never got the down time that our teammates enjoyed.  Though they probably enjoyed less of that down time because we "The Family" were on their team.   I can honestly say that I don't think we would have made it without the team.  Not then, not under those circumstances.  We needed the team.   I guess I do hope they ended up needing us in some ways too.

I know they learned something - even if it was only how to change a diaper.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Meal Planning - Meals Matter

I get a lot of e-mails from homeschooling sites that give me neat links to other things - which then lead me on a few bunny trails.  I find some interesting tools this way so I am going to pass them on to whoever might be reading this or stumble upon me in their own bunny trail hunts.

I got a link to a meal planning site - which wanted me to pay a fee to either download the program or for the privilege of being in their meal planning community.  I am getting tired of all the sites that want you to be part of a "community."  

I was very interested in the idea of a site like this as I have started meal planning again for a number of reasons.  Just a few reason listed here:

               1.  It saves money
               2.  Makes the day go more smooth when you know what is for dinner.
               3.  No last minute trip to a fast food joint
               4.  Can plan more healthy meals

Since I am unwilling to pay money for something that is suppose to help me save money I googled meal planning. I found a few sites but the one that rose to the top for me was:

Meals Matter

I liked this site because not only could you plan your meals, it also had functions to allow meals to repeat in a set number of days, weeks, or months.  From your meal plan it helps you make a shopping list and you can then share recipes with others using the site.  The site also seems geared toward nutritional eating with quizzes and links to learn more about eating healthy.  I just found it so I haven't had time to play around with it or  input my recipes but I think when I take the time to get it set up it will be a real time and money saver.

Let me know if you found this link helpful.