My Family

My Family

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Proverbs 7

S: Proverbs 7:17 I have sprinkled my bed with myrrh,with aloes, and with cinnamon.

O: in this chapter again we read about seduction and adultery. This verse the woman tells the young man she has her bed ready. The bed can reference a burial place. Also the spices she mentions were used in funeral feasts. The seductress and the act of adultery here will be the man's death.

A: when I am tempted by any trick of the devil, I must be strong enough to see that it could lead to my spiritual death. Any stray from God's word could not only hurt myself, but my family and friends. I must be true to God and myself.

K: Lord, keep me close. Protect me from the tricks of the evil one. Give me strength to avoid him.

Proverbs 6

S: Proverbs 6:23 For the command is a lamp, and the teaching a light,and a way to life are the reproofs that discipline,

O: God's word is a light for us to use in the world filled with darkness. Just as we use a flashlight, lamp, or fire to lead us to safety in a storm, God's word can lead us to the safety of heaven in a world where evil hides around every corner.

A: I need to trust in God's word and use it as my light. This light can not only guide me to safety, but it can also be used as a beacon to call to others who are lost. I need to use God's word as my light to help others as well as myself. 

K: Lord, I put my faith in you every day, knowing you will not lead me blindly into darkness. You are my guide in this world. I hope and pray that I can also guide others back to you. Amen.

Proverbs 5

S: Proverbs 5:15-16 15 Drink water from your own cistern,running water from your own well.16 Should your water sources be dispersed abroad,streams of water in the streets?

O: The water here could represent a person's affections or desires. We are not to want love and affection from someone outside our marriage. We should only drink in the love of our own marriage.

A: This chapter is beautiful in a way. It reminds us of God's love for us as well as love of a husband and wife. Just as we are married to our husband, we are married to God. If we seek love outside of the realms of our vows, we are also seeking love away from God. 

K: God I thank you for my husband and my family. I thank you for the bond of marriage. I am renewed every day as I wake up next to my husband and know that he is mine. Please keep my heart guarded against those who want me to stray. Amen.

Proverbs 3

S: Proverbs 3:27-28 Do not withhold any goods from the owner when it is in your power to act.28 Say not to your neighbor, “Go, come back tomorrow,and I will give it to you,” when all the while you have it.

O: One way to serve God is by showing kindness to our neighbor. Neighbor can be our actual next door neighbor, the guy down the street, the homeless man, etc. 

A: How often do I withhold goods when I should act? How would I feel if I knew God was withholding from me?

K: God, allow me to have mercy and grace for others as you have shown to me. Allow my heart to be opened so that I may see.

Proverbs 2

S: Proverbs 2:6 For the LORD gives wisdom, from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;

O/A: verses 1-4 again say if we ask for God, listen to his word, accept him, we will know God's wisdom. We are only given wisdom through God. I know today, we are so quick to assume every good thing we accomplish is ours alone. Or maybe we just forget to thank God. All our blessings, gifts, talents are from him alone. We could not have gotten where we are without him.

K: Thank you Lord for all the blessings you have bestowed upon my family. We are grateful to you!

Proverbs 1

S: Proverbs 1:32-33 For the straying of the naive kills them,the smugness of fools destroys them.33 But whoever obeys me dwells in security,in peace, without fear of harm.” 

O: here we are told that if we obey we will be secure with God, but those who disregard His word will be lost. 

A: how often do I listen but not hear? I can listen to the message in the homily but am I really hearing what I need to? Just as it is easy to ignore what a person is saying, it is far too easy to ignore what God's word is saying. I know I don't want to be lost and want to feel secure with God. I need to do better about listening to what he is really saying. 

K: Lord, I kneel before you praying to hear what you need me to hear. 

Welcome Katie Mae

Katie Mae LeDoux joined us May 25, 2015 at 1:25 PM (we got to hospital at noon!). She weighed 8lbs 8oz, 21" long, and is so sweet. Labor went so fast that there as no time for the epidural. 



Leviticus 24 & 25

S: Leviticus 24:8 Regularly on each Sabbath day the bread shall be set
out before the LORD on behalf of the Israelites by an everlasting
covenant.

O/A: God commanded on the Sabbath day that we should rest and the
bread should be presented before the Lord as a covenant. Today, every
Sunday, we in the Catholic church set the Eucharist out before the
Lord as we partake in communion, which is our new covenant with God.
He gave us his son, who died for us, and we will forever share in the
covenant with the Eucharist.

It again is amazing how God is foretelling in the Old Testament though
it is not plainly seen.

S: Leviticus 25:23-25 And if you say, “What shall we eat in the
seventh year, if we do not sow or reap our crop?” I will command such
a blessing for you in the sixth year that there will be crop enough
for three years, and when you sow in the eighth year, you will still
be eating from the old crop; even into the ninth year, until the crop
comes in, you will still be eating from the old crop.

O: God will provide. Have no fear, because he will provide for his people.

A: How many times have I questioned God in my life in fear of
something bad happening? How many times have I been just like the
Israelites and fearful of not being taken care of? Instead of just
knowing that God will provide. We do not always know the way, but we
should just know that He will. It is hardest to see this in darkest
times, but our faith in God should prevail and pull us out. No matter
the outcome of a situation, God will provide.

K: Lord, thank you for continuously providing for us. Though we may
not see it, and do not always believe, you are there next to us,
guiding us through life. I pray for a stronger heart and soul so that
I just know you are there. Amen.

Leviticus 23

S: Leviticus 23:15-16, 19 Beginning with the day after the sabbath, the day on which you bring the sheaf for elevation, you shall count seven full weeks; you shall count to the day after the seventh week, fifty days. Then you shall present a new grain offering to the LORD. (19) One male goat shall be sacrificed as a purification offering, and two yearling lambs as a communion sacrifice.

O/A: For the Israelites, this was the Feast of Weeks. It commemorates God giving the Ten Commandments 50 days after the Exodus, 50 days after the Passover. The presentation of the goat as a purification offering and the lambs as a communion offering could be symbols of what was to come, in Jesus being our purification and communion sacrifice. To most modern day Christians, this holy day is the day of Pentecost. It is celebrated 50 days after Easter and the Resurrection of Jesus. It is when the followers of Jesus were given the holy spirit from Heaven. In Acts Chapter 2, it mentions them all being together, and tongues of fire rested on their heads.  

k: Lord,  I again thank you for all that you have done. From releasing the Israelites from Egypt, to having your son die for our sins, you have shown us how much you love us. Although we are not worthy of your love, you continue to give us. I pray that I can be as unconditional in my work here on earth as you are to me. Amen.

Leviticus 22

S: Leviticus 22:15-16 The priests shall not allow the sacred offerings which the Israelites contribute to the LORD to be profaned nor make them incur a penalty when they eat their sacred offerings. For I, the LORD, make them holy.

O/A: Any offerings given to the Lord shall not be made unholy. I see "profane" as "made unholy" or to pollute something. When we give offerings to God today, whether it be a donation or confession of sins, we shouldn't allow the offering to be made unholy by not being pure in our offering. If we confess a sin without the intention of turning away from it, we have made our offering profane. If we donate money to the church with an ill will behind the money, it is no longer a holy offering.  
1 Corinthians 13 "If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.  If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing."
This verse can be related in the fact that if our offerings are not with love, they are nothing. 

K: Lord, I pray that I always give with unconditional love and my offerings are pure of heart. Amen.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Leviticus 21

Good morning ladies! I am sorry I was quiet last week. The training kept me busy. It was training to do audits of crime laboratories. I enjoy auditing based on operating requirements, so I very much enjoyed the class.
My due date is Thursday, though it is but an arbitrary date in my book. My first was 2 days late, my second was 5 days late. Little miss will get here when she is ready.

S: Leviticus 21:6 They shall be holy to their God, and shall not profane their God’s name, since they offer the oblations of the LORD, the food of their God; so they must be holy.

O/A: God was giving instructions for the priests and high priest to remain holy to Him. He did not want the priests to defile themselves by being near corpses.
 It struck me funny at first that the priests were not allowed to be by a corpse. But then I remembered this is the Old Testament and sins hadn't yet fully been forgiven by Jesus, so the souls hadn't gone to heaven. 
I'm not sure how mch direct contact priests have with the a corpse today. I know they can offer prayers for the sick, and are near the casket at funerals/grave sites. I'm guessing that because of Jesus's death for us, which allows us into heaven, priests can have some sort of presence near a dead person. I feel some digging needs to be done :)
K: Lord, I thank you for all the blessing you have bestowed upon me. Especially for you son, Jesus, who is our high priest. I strive daily to be holy for you, though I admit my struggles. Amen.

~Ada LeDoux~


Monday, May 11, 2015

Leviticus 15

Emailed Friday.

I don't have a specific verse from this chapter. I was intrigued by the woman being unclean for 14 days total once she started her period. But it makes sense to think that she would be clean right around ovulation, in time to make a baby. These 14 days she could give homage to God and pray that she may become pregnant. 

I know how hard it is personally to see the cycle come when you prayed to get pregnant. I also know how devastating it is to see the flow when you are pregnant. Our bodies are just as mysterious as God. 

I want to wish all the mommas very Happy Mother's Day. We all deserve a day of relaxation and love.  

Leviticus 16

Leviticus 16:29-30 This shall be an everlasting ordinance to you: on the tenth day of the seventh month every one of you, whether a native or a resident alien, shall mortify himself and shall do no work. Since on this day atonement is made for you to make you clean, so that you may cleansed of all your sins before the Lord...

So this isn't really a soak, more of another research for me. I was interested in finding out about the 10th day of the 7th month. I know that the Jewish calendar is different from the Gregorian calendar, so it was not July 10. Here is the article that explains it a bit

http://www.new-life.net/faqs/biblical-questions/when-is-the-day-of-atonement-jewish-calendars/

How interesting, and amazing where the biblical dates fall in sync in the Old and New Testament!

I hope you all had a great Mother's Day. Back home, my dad's family always got together to eat on Mother's Day. We got together every holiday and lots in between. We like to eat and enjoy being together. They got together yesterday as usual. Here in AR, my little family cleaned house and put things that had just been placed down in its rightful place. Smaller burst of energy in preparation for baby. Maybe. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Leviticus 13

This chapter was a bit hard to read only because I kept getting lost with all the "if,then" descriptions of the disease. It seems like there were a lot of rules about leprosy, mostly to protect the rest of the community from a contagious disease. The priests had to be extra careful about their examinations of the skin so as to not rule anything out. Even the clothing was quarantined! 

We have the same quarantine issues today, as we have seen recently with Ebola. Some people didn't heed the warning and it spread more than it should have. I have also heard they may be still having issues with the thought of it still being present longer in the system than first expected. Scary. 

Doctors are not God. But they do issue warnings to protect to community, like God did here. There are many soapboxes to be stood on for and against what doctors say. I'm not touching those issues. Just saying sometimes we should listen to them. They didn't get to where they are in the medical field by accident.

Lord, thank you for all the gifts you have bestowed on us. Thank you for the knowledge you have blessed people with. And thank you for the specialists you have granted extra knowledge with, so that they may help people in need. Amen. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Leviticus 12

Leviticus 12:4 "and then she shall spend thirty three days more in becoming purified of her blood..."
5... "After which she shall spend sixty-six days in becoming purified of her blood."

Wow. At first reading, my blood boiled. How could God be punishing these women for something that was not totally in their control? If a woman laid with her husband and conceived, she was dirty after giving birth to a child? And 2/3 longer if the child was a girl?

So I had to do some research. I found this site (https://bible.org/seriespage/9-offending-god-clean-and-unclean-part-ii-leviticus-12-15 )which explained a bit more. Here is a quote
"you stop to think about it, most of the conditions which caused the state of uncleanness were those which resulted from the fall. All sickness and death is the result of the fall. Child-bearing is at least related to the curse. Sex was distorted and diminished by the fall, to the point where Adam and Eve were ashamed of their nakedness and fled from God.This first view that sex was “dirty” and unacceptable to God originated with man, as a result of the fall, not God. Thus, we can say that uncleanness was a condition resulting from the fall, from sin, and thus uncleanness also required a sin offering. As the Israelite offered up the sin offering due to uncleanness, he or she also acknowledged their sinful condition inherited from Adam."

They were born with sin because of the fall of Adam and Eve. And not until Jesus's death could we fully be cleansed of our sins. The blood and the small suffering a woman experiences during childbirth is nothing compared to the blood shed and suffering that Christ endured because of man. 

The Old Testament is hard to understand because we don't follow the same rules. But these rules governed and shaped our Christian history. So I am glad be struggling as I read, as it makes me want to learn more and research things.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Leviticus 11

S: Leviticus 11:45 Since I, The Lord, brought you up from the land of Egypt that I might be your God, you shall be holy, because I am holy.

O: God has given the Israelites laws on what they can and cannot eat. He wants them to remain holy by not contaminating themselves with unclean, forbidden animals. 

A: some religions still practice similar rules for food. Catholics are called to abstain from meat on Fridays as a suffering for Christ's sufferings. It's not because anything is "unclean" though. Anyway, God has given us other laws we are to follow to remain holy. He wants us to be holy so that we might be with him in heaven. He created us. Why would he take the time to create each one of us if he didn't want to keep us with him forever?

K: Lord I want to be one of the treasures you keep forever. Help me to remain holy in your laws. Amen.

*************************************

I don't have any food allergies or restrictions. When I was nursing Hunter, I noticed he has reflux issues when I consumed dairy. So I avoided dairy. Then when he started whole milk, he had an allergic reaction to cow's milk. We switched him to almond. Luckily, it's nothing scary like peanuts which are everywhere. He can eat foods cooked with milk. He can have a few bites of ice cream and be ok. 
If the word came from God that he didn't want Hunter to drink milk, I would have understood. And maybe that's what was going on when I was nursing. Perhaps God was forewarning me ;)

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Leviticus 9

Leviticus 9:24 Fire came forth from the Lord's presence and consumed the holocaust and the remnants of the fat on the altar. Seeing this, all the people cried out and fell prostrate. 

To see God's all consuming fire must have been a sight. Both glorious and terrifying I suppose. The Israelites had seen God's power before with the plagues and parting of the sea. But fire is in w sense magical on its own. To watch God's fire consume the offerings is a reminder that his love consumes our sin and his anger can consume the lost. 

Lord, I pray I never anger you to the point of seeing your wrath, and that you consume my sins out of love. Amen. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Leviticus 8

This chapter is on the ordination ceremony for Aaron and his sons as priests. I don't have a specific verse to SOAK. What I took in after rereading the chapter was at the end of the first 4 paragraphs in my Bible is the sentence "as the Lord had commanded him to do." This is also in the next 2 paragraphs, 8:29b "All this was in keeping with the Lord's command to Moses," and 8:36 "So Aaron and his sons did all that the Lord had commanded through Moses."

God spoke and Moses obeyed. Unlike in Exodus, where Moses needed a little prodding when God commanded him to do something, here Moses obeyed instantly. Perhaps the mighty power of God freeing the Israelites and bringing them out of Egypt showed Moses God meant business. 

What will it take for me to completely and instantly obey God's command? I have seen his power in the Bible and through the the death and resurrection of his son. But still I need prodding in some instances when I hear him calling me. 

Lord, please don't give up on me. I want to obey you in an instant, but I still need pushing and I don't know why. Help me release whatever is holding me back so I can answer right away. Amen. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Leviticus 7

This chapter is very similar to previous chapters 3-4. It rèminds me of the detail in Exodus that God gave Moses to build the temple. No detail was spared, and often repeated. 

With the details of he offerings being repeated, did the Israelites get it right the first time they did an offering? I think of a child listening to instructions for an adult and how often they need to be repeated before the child does them right. Or an adult. How often to do we hear the details of how Christ died for us before it clicks in our head and we follow God's commands correctly?

Lord I pray that I can follow your instructions in my daily life. I know I struggle and I want to be better. Please continue to guid me and my family to you. Amen. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Leviticus 6

Good morning. I hope everyone had a restful weekend. 

S: Leviticus 6:5 The fire on the altar is to be kept burning; it must not go out. Every morning the priest shall put firewood on it. On this he shall lay out the holocaust and burn the fat of the peace offering.

O: God told Moses to make sure the fire was continuous for the offerings. It would be a constant chore to have someone watching the fire to make sure it didn't go out, with a priest adding firewood tide a day to the fire, and another priest taking out the burnt ashes. 

A: if we consider Jesus's death and resurrection as our peace offering with God, the fire is in out heart and souls. It is our want to be with God. Daily reflections can help "add firewood" as well as "take out the ashes (ask for forgiveness of sins)". We are the fire keepers. We must keep the fire lit. 

K: Lord, humble me so I seek you daily, constantly. There is nothing I can do on my own. Help me to add firewood to the fire you lit in my heart. Amen.



What are some ways to keep the fire lit? 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Leviticus 5

Today's chapter continues with offerings, this time for guilt. The inccured guilt would be from not knowingly committing a sin and then realizing it later. The Israelites are still new believers, so it seems that God is giving them leeway for when they accidentally commit a sin. I haven't seen anything yet for when someone purposefully commits a sin. That person may be turned away from the camp. 

Regardless, this is showing God's love for his people. That even when they accidentally mess up, he offers them grace. God still does this today. Sometimes it is hard for people to understand His ability to forgive, and think "I've done this. How could God forgive me?" But he does. 

Lord, I thank you for your love and grace, that you continuously offer it even though we may stumble and fall. Please continue to help me grow so I may see the mistakes before I make them. Amen. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Leviticus 4

This chapter discusses the offerings of animals for sins committed inadvertently, or with out purpose. I am glad that we no longer have to follow the rules of burning an animal for forgiveness of sins. I couldn't imagine how bad it smelled with the blood splashed on th altar. Jesus gave his life for us for our sins, and I would much rather confess my sins to a priest. 

On AirOne radio yesterday, the host presented an intriguing issue. He said he didn't want to go to heaven. Then he clarified that statement by saying he wants to go to heaven, just not yet. And then went on to say how so many of us how such a love for worldly things that we aren't ready to go to heaven today. It was such a good topic of discussion to listen to. Made me realize how many things I am letting hold me to the earth. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Leviticus 3

Levictius 3 talks of peace offerings and specific parts of the animal to be sacrificed. After doing some research, I found that after God's portion of fat and kidneys/liver were placed on the altar, the breast meat was given to the priests and then the offerer got the remainder. The meat had to be eaten that same day, so basically the peace offering was a large dinner between the offerer, his family, the priest and his family, and God. 

When we receive communion at church, and partake in the last supper, we are sharing the dinner with our family, the priest, and God. Jesus is the sacrifice brought to the altar, Jesus is the priest who divides the sacrifice, and Jesus is God, in which we offer sacrifices to. Jesus is th peace offering. 

Lord, I pray that each and every time I receive communion I take the time to realize the bigger meaning of the sacrifice of your son. He is the peace offering between you and me. Amen.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Leviticus 2

S: Leviticus 2:13 However, every cereal offering that you present to the Lord shall be seasoned with salt. Do not let the salt of the covenant of your God be lacking from your cereal offering. On every offering you shall offer salt. 

This verse intrigued me because I have no idea what the salt covenant was. I found this

http://www.vawtermark.com/COVENANT_OF_SALT.htm

The author mentions that the salt covenant is is a symbol of incorruptibility and permanence. The act of eating together is a bonding commitment. So adding salt to the offering showed the covenant as permanent and indestructible. 

K: Lord I pray I add enough salt to my spiritual life to show that my covenant with you is permanent and indestructible. I do not want to take your word lightly. Amen. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Leviticus 1

Good morning! Our group took a "vacation" for a week after Easter, but I am so glad to be starting up again. 

S: Leviticus 1:2-3 " Speak to the Israelites and tell them: When any one of you wishes to bring an animal offering to the Lord, such an offering must be from the herd or from the flock. If this holocaust offering is from the herd, it must be a male without blemish..."

O: one of the reasons to offer a sacrifice to God for the Israelites was for forgiveness of sins. Her, God says when one wishes to bring an animal. He does not say you must bring an animal this day, this day, this day, etc, but when the person felt necessary. And God requests a holocaust, or for the animal to be wholly burned in the offering, not partially. 

A: Though these burning sacrifices were laws in the Israelite time, I think from this chapter we can take away the fact that God requests a whole sacrifice and not partial. The same is for us. He wants us wholly, not partially. We can't partially give ourselves to him and partially stay with the progress of the world. When we ask for forgiveness of our sins, our whole heart must ask and we must repent wholly. 

K: Lord, help me to come before you wholly and not partially. I need to give my whole heart and soul to you when asking for forgiveness. Amen

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Matthew 28

S: Matthew 28:20 ...And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.

O/A: Jesus told his disciples to go teach and make disciples of all nations, and reminded them that he will always be there with them. Even though we do not see him, Jesus is with us. He is right along side us through our hard times and good times. Let us not forget he is there.

K: God, I thank you for giving us your son so that he may die on the cross for our sins. I am thankful he is with us in spirit. Help me to remember he is there and I am not alone.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Matthew 27

Since adulthood, I have always had a hard time listening to this part of the gospels. The passion and crucifixion. I can't put my finger on the exact reason, but I always end up hurting so badly in my heart and crying for comfort like a child. It could be because at Mass on Good Friday we read the gospel from where Jesus was arrested through his burial, and we, the congregation, read aloud the parts of Peter's denial and the crowd demanding for the release of Barabas and demanding Jesus be crucified. It could be as I read those parts aloud in church, I am the one denying Jesus and I am the one demanding his crucifixion. 

Matthew 27:25 And the whole people said in reply, "His blood be upon us and upon our children." 

He people have acceptd the responsibility for Jesus' death. Verbally anyway. They really have no idea what they have taken responsibility for. They had been encouraged by the high priests to ask for Barabbas to be free and Jesus to be crucified. 

Still today, we deny Jesus the way Peter did. Each time we knowingly sin or willingly put outlives into bad situations, we deny Jesus. We put him on the cross.  

Friday, April 3, 2015

Matthew 25

We are nearing the end of Matthew. Another chapter almost done. I'm hoping yall have a wonderful Easter weekend.

Matthew 25:13 Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour. 

Some of the lessons in this chapter are similar to Chapter 24. Jesus doesn't necessarily want us to never sleep. Instead by "stay awake" he wants us to always be ready for we do not know when his return will be. If we are not prepared, it will be like the man to the virgins saying "I do not know you."

This is the same as yesterday in which we should think if he came back today, would we be ready? And honestly I need to strive to live this question daily. I need to do some serious soul searching and get myself there. We have no idea if we will have time to "prepare" for his arrival, since we don't know when that will be. It will happen so w just need to be ready daily. 

Lord, I need you. I need to let go and be ready. Show me how. Amen. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Matthew 22

Matthew 22:21 ... At that he said to them, "Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God."

Jesus is saying that those who willingly use the coin that is Casesar's should repay him in kind. And they should repay God with the good deeds that are his due.

While here on earth, we must follow the laws of our government, which includes paying taxes for the money we spend or incur. We must also be preparing for our eternity in heaven, and "repay" for that with good deeds we give up to God. Think of it this way: if you live on w piece of property, you pay property tax to the government as they allow to live there. We won't have to pay to be in heaven. Because of Jesus, we don't have to pay to get there. But just being a good Christian and going to church is not doing our share. We need to be spreading the good word of God, and we can do this with our good deeds. This is a way to "repay" or merely thank God for giving us Jesus and allowing us the chance to spend eternity with him. 

Dear Lord, help me to see ways daily to repay you with good deeds. Amen. 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Matthew 21

Good morning. I hope yall had a blessed weekend. Mine was busy and ties into the discussion  for today.

Matthew 21:16 and said to him, "Do you hear what they are saying?" Jesus said to them, "Yes; and have you never read the text, 'Out of the mouths of infants and nurslings, you have brought forth praise'?" 

The children in Jerusalem were praising Jesus because they believed. It is awesome to see a child's belief and their belief can bring a grown person to their knees. A child's innocence and faith is a blessing, and it is terrible how to world can destroy that faith. I pray daily to have the same faith as my child does.

My "nesting" has kicked in I supposed. I started spring cleaning this weekend. It will take a few weekends, but on Friday night I got the foyer done. I put in 8 hours at my job to build maternity leave on Saturday. Then yesterday I cleaned the master bathroom. I scrubbed and scrubbed. I found grime and nasties in places I didn't know existed. I feel that this is part of the fruit I am producing for God's kingdom as I try to do it willingly and without grumbling. I clean because it needs to be done and I want to show my children that hard work pays off. I want them to see service through work at home as well as good deeds outside of the home. Any aches and pains while cleaning are given up to God. My bathroom sure is shines now. 

Friday, March 27, 2015

Matthew 20

Good morning. Sorry I haven't presented a SOAK for Matthew 19; I will do that tomorrow. On Wednesday, I woke up a little before my alarm so I turned it off. I assumed that night that it was on and didn't check it, and therefore oversleep yesterday. 

Matthew 20:16 Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last.

Jesus says this in the previous chapter and twice in this one. The first time is in reference to the workers who are envious of the ones who came at the end of the day and received equal pay. The second time was when James and John joined them, and the other 10 disciples were angry that they would be treated equal.  Jesus wants us to know that no matter what time he is acceptd into people's hearts, they will be allowed to ent the kingdom of heaven. I think, for instance, if someone doesn't accept Jesus until their death bed, we should not be envious that the person also gets into heaven next to someone who accepted Jesus years earlier. 

We shouldn't be jealous or envious when it comes to those accepting Jesus. But human nature makes it easy to see why it would happen. You work all your life, giving everything to God, and someone comes along at the last minute, after having struggled all their life with their demons, and both of y'all get the same treatment. We should instead be joyful that they found God, and won't suffer eternity in the fire. 

Lord, help me to understand what you want me to see. Help me not be envious of others but instead be joyful. Amen. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Matthew 18

Good morning. Our morning (and evenings) is filled with sniffles and coughs. Yay for spring! Though I didn't have a SOAK for yesterday, I did read Matthew 17 and Mark 9. My bible study at work is on Mark 9 as of yesterday, so some of the readings correlated and I liked being able to see different persepctives in the two different books. 

Matthew 18:3 and said, "Amen I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven."

As children are completely dependent on, and trust in, their parents, Jesus also wants the disciples and us to be dependent on God.

Matthew 18:6 Whoever causes one of these little ones to sin, it would better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. 

Here Jesus may be referring to those who are little in their faith. Whether it be a new believer or someone who is struggling with their faith, or something in their life like an addiction. Whoever leads them astray will not be tolerated by God. It is our job to guide those people back to God, not to help them continue to fall away. You wouldn't give an alcoholic a beer or someone addicted to porn a magazine of naked pictures. 

Just as our children trust in us, we must also trust in God. And we must show the "little ones" how trusting in God is better than the alternative.  I don't always feel worthy of the task because there are days I feel like I am falling. But I trust in Jesus, and I trust he will catch me, turn me around, and welcome me back with open arms. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Matthew 16

Matthew 16:21-23 From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders,the chief priests, and the scribes and be killed and on the third day be raised. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, "God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you." He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me Satan! You are but an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do."

Peter refused to to accept Jesus's prediction of suffering and death, and Jesus scolds Pet as tis is seen as an attempt to deflect Jesus from his God appointed course. Jesus refers to Peter as Satan and an obstacle in his path. 

There are many obstacles in our way on the path to our God appointed course. What we may see as a boulder, God sees as a pebble. We need to stop thinking as humans and move past the obstacles. Greed, sloth, envy, wrath, pride, lust and gluttony are just a few obstacles Satan has put in our way to watch us fail. In verse 24, Jesus says

 "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."

The notes in my bible says "to deny oneself is to disown oneself as the center of one's existence." Again, we need to stop thinking as humans do. Stop putting ourselves first. We cannot lose our life for Jesus if our life is focused around ourselves. Literally this would be martyrdom, dying for believing in Jesus. But spirutually, physically, and figuratively, I think this is letting go of ourselves, or needs, wants, possessions here on earth and follow Jesus will provide for our life with him in heaven. If we choose to stay on path where is is self centered, to save our life, we will forfeit our life in heaven because we will loose our soul and connection with Jesus here on earth. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Matthew 15

Happy rainy Friday. Or at least it is here. 

S: Matthew 15:18-20 But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile. For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, uncharitable, theft, false witness, blasphemy. These are what defile a person, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile. 

The early Jewish teachings instructed that if people ate with unclean hands, the food they ate would've then be unclean. Jesus called the Pharisees hypocrites because they were true to their ancient beliefs about the washing of hands, but broke the commandments of God in other ways. He was teaching that it is not what goes inside the body that defiles a person, but what comes out.

Ther are so many times we pick and choose which rules to follow and exactly how to follow them, usually if they benefit us at the moment. That is why Christians are easily categorized as hypocrites. We follow certain rules from the bible, but are easily led astray by our hearts. A big way to overcome this is to be aware of what situations we let ourselves be in. It is easy to fall into place with coworkers, neighbors, friends, with gossip, bad thoughts, etc. instead of standing up for what is right. We need to be the light for others to find Christ, even if it means walking away from people we called friends. We must not let our hearts defile us.

Lord, please help me have a pure heart and strong will for you desires. Amen. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Matthew 14

Good morning all. Morning came fast today as it was a long night watching the clock. Boo. 

Matthew 14:13-14 When Jesus heard of it, he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself. The crowds heard of this and followed him on foot from their towns. When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, and he cured their sick.

This verse follows Jesus learning of the death of John the Baptist. Jesus already had a long day of teaching and was tired, as were his disciples. Mark 6:31 and 34 says "He said to [the disciples ], 'Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.'  People were coming and going in vast numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat," "When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things."

Jesus was so moved by the people that even his weariness was set aside for them at that moment. He continued to teach them instead of saying "y'all come back tomorrow so I may rest." Their faith touched his heart and he was not selfish. He did not deny the people God's word, which was the will of God.

 I think of the many times at the end of the day when my kids ask for something and I say no because I am tired. Though this is not a spiritual teaching I am denying them, I am denying the because of my own personal wellbeing. How about the few times i debate getting up and going to Mass because I am tired? That is when I would be denying my children and myself a spiritual connection with Jesus because of my selfishness. And I would also be saying my sleep is more important that God's will. 

If Jesus had turned away from the people, they may have stopped believing. If God had ever said "I'm too tired to deal with you people," where would we be today?

Lord, when I am weary, give me the strength to carry on, as is your will. Amen. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Matthew 13

Matthew 13:12-13 To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because 'they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand.'

Jesus had just spoken to the crowd, and the disciples asked why he spoke to them in parables. It was because they were not ready to see and hear what Jesus had to say. They had not yet been made worthy of understanding.

When I first read this section I was confused because I thought Jesus was saying the rich would get more and the poor would get less, which contradicts his other teachings. Maybe it was because I wasn't ready  to understand. But I get now that those who have the knowledge of Jesus will continue to get more and be rich, and those who do not have the knowledge will have everything taken from them. We must be ready to see, hear and listen, and understand the knowledge of the kingdom of God. 

Lord, open my eyes, my heart, and my mind so that I am ready to know you. Amen.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Matthew 12

Good morning and happy St. Patrick's Day!

Matthew 12:35 From the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks. A good person brings forth good out of goodness, but an evil person brings forth evil out of a store of evil.

Jesus was talking to the Pharisees as they watched him drive out demons. He acknowledged that the Pharisees could not admit Jesus was good because of the evil in their hearts. Jesus goes on to say that on the day of judgement, all will be held accountable for the words they speak.

If we have evil in our hearts, we cannot fully accept Jesus. We must rid ourselves of the evil, which can be anything from doubt to viciousness against others. We may forget in a week, a month or ten years the hateful things we said, but we will have to answer to it on judgement day. 

Lord, I pray you help hold my tongue, calm my heart and thoughts when someone has transgressed against me, that I might not speak, feel, or think evil agains them. I want to have a pure heart for you. Amen.

Matthew 11

So my iPad battery died and I couldn't find the charger. I could only do emails on my phone so I am copying and pasting yesterday and today's SOAKs now

Good morning ladies. We had such a good day yesterday. It got up to 70, so we BBQ'd outside for lunch and I made homemade root beer to go with it. Both Shawn and I have memories of homemade root beer growing up. The kids got to play on the porch while we BBQ'd and after. It was so nice and relaxing!

S: Matthew 11:25 At that time, Jesus said in reply, "I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned, you have revealed them to the childlike."

O: I believe the "wise and the learned" are the Pharisees and scribes, who have rejected Jesus and his teachings. The "childlike" would be those who are open to receive as children are usually open to knowledge and easily accepting.

A: as adults, sometimes we are the wise and learned and it is hard for us to see and believe, where as children more easily take in all of God's wonders. This can also go for those of us who would be "childlike" in their faith and still new to it. I am amazed at how often my daughter helps to open up my eyes and see things in a better light. She often says how "Jesus made this" or "this makes God smile." She's 4. I'm 30. She can make me be humble :)

K: Lord, I want to see things as a child does and be open to your word every moment. Help me to see that I am not too old to still be childlike. Amen.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Matthew 8

Matthew 8:26 He said to them, "Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?"

A violent storm erupts in the sea and the disciples are frightened enough to wake Jesus asking him to save them. When Jesus calmed the sea, they were amazed by him. 

There are times in our lives where we cry out to God to help us because we are afraid. Could it be said that at those moments we have little faith? I would have thought that because we were calling out to God knowing his power, that meant we had great faith. But I guess it could be that we should just know he will help his children. 

Lord, I pray that I always know and feel your presence so as to not be afraid. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Matthew 7

Matthew 7:4 How can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove that splinter from your eye,' while the wooden beam is in your eye?

It is so easy to see the faults of othe people. And it is easy to point them out. Here, Jesus is asking us not to point out other people's faults without first recognizing our own. It is hard for some people to see their own faults, to accept their faults, and to be humble about them. An easy example is the person who complains that their coworker is either always late or doesn't stay long enough while that person is enjoying their second 30 minute break of the day. Sure it's easy to see the coworker isn't accountable for his time, but the first person isn't either and doesn't see their own fault. 

Lord, please make my heart more gracious towards others and help me hold my tongue and thoughts until I can fist deal with my own shortcomings. Amen.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Matthew 6

Good morning and happy Monday.

Matthew 6:33-34 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides. Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil. 

This chapter continues to tell us of Jesus sermon. He is trying to teach us how to be more godly. This particular chapter talks of how we shouldn't be like the hypocrites and promote ourselves for more than we are when it comes to donations, praying, fasting. We aren't doing these things so that others see us. We are doing them to better ourselves and our church. 

He also teaches us that we should depend on God and not worry so much about what may or may not happen tomorrow. If it will happen, there isn't much we can do to prevent it. It is hard not to worry about things we have no control over. The weather for instance. We can't prevent two feet of snow, and we can prepare for being stuck inside, but it's hard to say "Don't worry about the possibility of your roof collapsing." However, Jesus is wanting us to do just that. If we depend on God, he will provide. And if something does occur because of the weather, we will be taken care of.

My biggest worry at the moment besides the ever worrisome finance department is the upcoming new member to the family. And that worry does curl into the finance worry. I know I need to let go and let God, and he will provide what is needed by his standards, but it is hard not to worry about all the what ifs. I will pray.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Matthew 5

Matthew 5:15-16 Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lamp stand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Heavenly Father. 

These verses ar a great tool for us as Christians. We were once in darkness but now we are light in the Lord (Eph. 5:8). We should think of ourselves as a flashlight in a power outage. We shouldn't stay hidden in a drawer, but we need to shine so that those who are still in darkness can find their way. It's not about how petty of a flashlight or lamp we are, but the fact that we give off the light. We also need to be the lamp in our household so that our children may see how to glorify God. 

Don't shine so that others can see you, shine so that through you others can see him. C.S. Lewis

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Matthew 3

Matthew 3:4 John wor clothing made of camel's hair and had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey.

It appears that John was a simply dressed man, and one may have considered m crazy looking. But he was appointed by God to baptize Jesus, even though he knew he was not holy enough to undo Jesus's sandals. His food was bugs and honey. How strange to constantly be fasting. But he knew three were good things to come through Jesus. Maybe he was preparing himself.

We don't need all the riches in the world, the fancy dress, the exquisite meal to know God. We just need a pure heart, and God will make a home in us. 

Lord, I pray I can overcome worldly temptations and see these things are not what are important. I need to humbly give myself to you. Amen,

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Matthew 2

Matthew 2:10 After having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way. 
Matthew 2:11 When they had departs,the angel of th Lord appeared to Jospeh in a dream and said, "Rise, take th child and his moth, flee to Eqypt, and stay the until I too you. Herod is going to search for the child and detroy it."
Matthew 2:19 when Herod had died, the angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Eqypt and said " Rise, take th child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child's life are dead.

In these three verses in this chapter, God forewarns the Magi and Joseph of things to come. He has done this throughout the bible and as we continue on our bible study, we will see many more times God forewarns his people in appearances of angels or in dreams.

I was taught God gave us the ability to know right from wrong. And that he gave us a subconscious to be able to sense when things are wrong. I feel that when we are in a situation, and we get the feeling that something isn't right, that is God's way of forewarning us to leave the situation. 

I think one example for me of God trying to remove me from a bad situation is when I was previously engaged to someone else. I was far from home, had met this guy in college, thought I was in love, you know the story. Things were starting to get rocky between us in the end, and I always had that feeling of something isn't right. But I ignore it. And then one night, he broke it off with me and told me to leave. Now, it may not have been God stepping in between us, but He was surely helping me out and getting me out of a bad situation. Now I am happily married and mother of soon to be three :)

Lord, I thank you for always trying to intervene when you know something is wrong, and I am sorry for not always wanting to listen. Please continue to allow me to feel the uneasiness of situations and know hear trying to protect me. Amen. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Mathew 1

Matthew 1 starts with th genealogy of Jesus. I became confused with the names because I thought Jesus was in the same direct line at Moses. Moses was from the line of Levi, and Jesus was from the line of Judah, Levi's brother. So yes they are the same family, and both from Abraham, but Jesus and Moses area like distant cousins and not great-grandparent relationship. Not that it makes a difference. 

I always love reading about the birth of Jesus. About how God picked Mary, who was betrothed to Joseph, to carry His son. And Joseph at first did not understand and wanted to divorce Mary until the angel spoke to him. Then he took her into his home and waited until after she had Jesus to have relations with her. That was a great things that Joseph did, to trust in the angel that Mary hadn't been unfaithful to him. In today's world, I don't think it would be that easy.

There have been many times that I had to set aside my own will to follow God's plan for myself. In a few instances I can remember, God works through a friend of mine to help me see the right way as I was trying to go down a different path. And I am glad I listened and haven't looked back.

Lord,I pray that I can release my heart to you so that I may continue to follow the path you lead me on. Amen. 

I haven't had time to find a picture, but I can tell you I am named after my great-grandmother, and I can trace our middle name (Jeanne, like my daughter) in our genealogy back to France in the early 1600's. 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Exodus 40

We have reached the end of another book in the bible and it's pretty amazing. This chapter ends with a God making himself present in the dwelling. He could be seen as a cloud during the day and fire at night. 

I couldn't imagine how the Israelites felt when the dwelling was finished and they could witness what ws accomplished.  And to be able to see the glory of God! I wonder how long it took to make the whole thing. 

I cannot say that I am aware of how God is leading me in my life. And it could be because a I do not look hard enough at times to find him. We have had many possible futures presented to us as my husband finishes his residency. I am not sure where we will move, but we still have two years before that happens. I pray about it and will pray more about it when the opportunities come to a crossroad. But for now, I am hoping that the way I am leading my family by working to help provide income while he finishes his program is what God intended being that he blessed us with soon to be three children. I can only hope. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Exodus 39

KThis chapter talks of how the men and women made the vestments for Aaron as God instructed. I wanted a visual of what it would look like, and I found this site which talks on the instructions of the temple
http://www.templestudy.com/2009/04/12/mosaic-tabernacle-aaronic-temple/

This is a picture from th site of Aaron's vestments



Catholic priests have difference color vestments for different seasons. Here is a site with a calendar view of which color is worn when and for what reasons: 
http://www.solonstmary.org/church-seasons--celebrations.html


White: innocence, light, purity, joy, triumph
Season of Christmas, Easter, Feasts of The Lord, Feasts of Mary, All Saints Day, Feast of Apostles, Nuptial Masses

Red: the Passion, blood, fire, God's love, martyrdom
Feasts of the Lord's Passion, Blood, and Cross, Feasts of martyrs, Palm Sunday, Pentecost

Green: the Holy Ghost, life eternal, hope
Time after Epiphany, Time after Pentecost

Violet: penance, humility, melancholy
Advent, Lent, Good Friday

Black: mourning, sorrow
All Souls Day, Masses for the Dead

Rose: joy
Third Sunday of Advent, Fourth Sunday of Lent

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Exodus 37

Exodus 37 continues the building of the temple. The details were given when God told Moses, and the details are repeats again here as it is being built. I think the repetition is important to show God wanted his dwelling to be specific. I do not believe the builders completely understood the magnitude of the task of building God's dwelling box. The discussion question today asks if we truly comprehend the magnitude of the truth of God  dwells inside of his children. Do we care for his temple as we should?

1 Corinthians 3:16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy that person; for the temple of God, which you are, is holy.

I think as Christian parents, this may be an important issue to have in the forefront of discussions with our children as they grow. So that they may understand at an early age exactly what it means to be a temple for God. Sure, I remember hearing the verse growing up. But I did not fully understand its meaning. And now looking back, I wish I would have done some things different, as I do not believe I was always fitting to be a temple for God. But now I strive each day to be that temple so others may see God through me. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Exodus 36

Snow, snow, eveywhere! Another snow day here in central Arkansas. Schools and daycare closed, meaning kids stayed home, meaning I had to take the day off work. I worked 8 hours yesterday as my husband had to go in on Saturday. But I was hoping to put the 8 hours towards maternity leave later. Well, at least it will cover today so I don't have to use annual leave :/

Exodus 36:3 They receive from Moses all the contributions which the Israelites had brought for establishing the service of th sanctuary. Still, morning after morning the people continued to bring their voluntary offerings to Moses. 

The Israelites had brought so much in offerings, Moses actually had to ask them to stop making contributions! Can you imagine in the people of the world who had gave for those who had not so often, that the organizations would ask them to stop? How amazing would that be. The sad part is it could happen if we wanted it to. It's just that not everyone has a generous heart like Jesus asks of us. 

In Chapter 36, the Israelites begin working on the camp God wanted, made it according to his every single detail he prescribed to Moses. God asked for very specific details, and the people listened. And a beautiful camp is being made. God does love details. And he puts so much time into every one. If one side of the veil was shorter, it wouldn't work. If there was 49 loops instead of 50, it wouldn't work. God knew these details needed to be exact. 

Just as exact are the details of each one of us. Some of us are quieter than others. Some have different talents. A certain hair color or eye color. As Bob and Larry say at the end of each Veggie Tale, God made us special and he loves us very much. He loves every detail about us. There may be days we wonder why we are the way we are. Especially if you are a teenage girl who isn't fitting in. I've been there. It took a long time to realize I did fit in exactly where I was meant to. My group of friends may have been a bit nerdy, but we looked out for each other, we never caused trouble, and we all turned out ok. We weren't football players or cheerleaders, but we all know people go to the football game to watch the band perform anyway ;)

God loves detail and cares about every moment of our life. And a turn of events for me today: it started snowing hard at 11, so my boss ended up telling all my coworkers to go home, giving us the day! So I didn't lose any hours today and get to keep my 8 towards maternity leave (praying nothing comes up before then). 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Exodus 35

Exodus 35:29 Every Israelite man and woman brought to the Lord such voluntary offerings as they thought best, for the various kinds of work which the Lord had commanded Moses to have done. 

Moses asked the people to bring a contribution "as his heart prompts him" to give to the Lord for the table, tent, linen etc. The people searched their hearts and did this. 

God calls us to give back from which he has blessed us with. We are taught in church to tithe 10% of our income yearly. This has always been hard for me to do. I need to sit down and look at our finances and regroup to try and give back more. But there are other ways we can give back to God besides money. Volunteering at church functions, helping teach religion, helping with programs for the children or elderly, food drives, clothing drives, etc. Even though some church try to make it all about money, the time you spend helping at church is also giving back. 

I pray this week that God continues to give me strength in my search for a common ground of teaching religion in my household.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Exodus 34

Exodus 34:6-7 "The Lord, the Lord, a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in kindness and fidelity, continuing his kindness for a thousand generations, and forgiving wickedness and sin; yet not declaring the guilty guiltless, but publishing children and grandchildren to the third and fourth generation for their father's wickedness!"

The first part of God's statement shows he is kind. These are behaviors we should try to mimic. We should be slow to anger and rich in kindness. We should be forgiving. The second part of the statement shows he does also demand respect for if we go against him, he will punish the wicked. 

God wants us to pursue a life devoted to and living for Him. I strive to go to church every weekend to be with God, and to bring my children with me. So that they may see my relationship with God. I strive to teach my children about God and Jesus, so they can develop their own relationship. I pray I am teaching them well. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Exodus 33

It feels like I have been gone forever, and I am sorry for that. 

Exodus 33:4 When the people heard this bad news, they went into mourning, and no one worn his ornaments.

The Israelites went against God when they made the golden calf as they thought Moses wouldn't return. It took just a few bad apples to bring down the nation. God wanted to destroy the entire nation, but Moses convinced him not to. Then when Moses went down with the tablets,he saw for himself what the people, and his own brother, had done and he became furious. He then allowed those who still wanted to be with God to destroy the others.

God then decided he no longer wanted to travel among the people, because his anger might examinate the people. His not wanting to be with them is what caused them to go into mourning. My question is, did they not know they had to face consequences of their actions? 

It was God's grace that allowed them to live. It is by God's grace we get to continue living each and every day. Anytime we confess our sins we are calling upon God's grace. 

Lord, thank you for continuing to allow us to live on earth, though we are all sinners. Thank you for giving us grace and forgiving our transgressions. Amen. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Exodus 28

Exodus 28 gives descriptive details on the vestments God wants Aaron and his sons to wear as priests. After reading th details I wonr if the vestment was heavy. And if the weight of the vestment would also be a reminder of their duties. 

I don't know anything specific I can say for our discussion question. I am not sure how I keep my life set apart and different so that I might be a sacrifice for the Lord. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Exodus 26

Exodus 26 continues to show God specificity of details for his holy altar. He tells Moses exactly what color thread to use on the tent cloth and veil, how big to make each and how many to make, with gold and silver plated walls and pedestals. This altar will definitely be a sight to see. All of the riches the Israeltites received from the Egyptians before their flight must be going into this altar since they had nothing before the left. 

God says in verse 33 "Hang the veil from clasps. The ark of the commandments you shall bring inside, behind this veil which divides th holy place from the holy of holies. Jesus' death on the cross ripped the veil that separates us from the most holy of holies, Heaven. We can only entr now because of Christ's blood. We are so fortunate that our God loves us enough that he gave his only son to die for us so that we may enter his kingdom. Praise be to God! 

Friday, February 6, 2015

Exodus 25

Exodus 25 gives specific instructions for the Israelites to prepare a tabernacle and a table for the Lord. He tells Moses exact dimensions and materials to be used, and such intricate details. For instance, he wants cherubims on the ark, with their wings over above the ark, turned towards each other, but their faces looking gods the propitiatory.

If we think about it, God use a lot of intricate detail to form our lives as well. First of all, the amount of air on our planet has a precise amount of oxygen verses nitrogen for it to be breathable by us. We are the perfect distance from the sun so that the planet isn't smoldering nor is it freezing. And the design of the human being itself. We have to have a certain number of cells, blood vessels, a specific circulatory system, digestive system, etc for our bodies to survive. God loves details. 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Exodus 24

Exodus 24:17-18 To the Israelites the glory of the Lord was seen as an all consuming fire on th mountaintop. But Moses passes into the midst of the cloud as he went up on the mountain; and the he stayed for forty days and forty nights.

I wonder if forty days is some sort of significance. For Noah, God made it rain for forty days and nights. Jesus later is in the desert for forty days and nights. And then I believe it was forty days between Jesus' resurrection and ascension. I'm sure somewhere in between there are more references. 

Moses was going to talk to God and obtain stone tablets that the commandments were written on. The Israelites saw Moses heading up to an all consuming fire on the mountaintop. I bet they were afraid and their fear will get the better of them. 

Lord, I pray as I continue on the journey you have set out for me that I am not afraid and will not let fear consume me. If I see your powers before me, help me to see I have no reason to fear. Amen. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Exodus 23

S: Exodus 23:4-5 When you come upon your enemy's ox or ass going astray, see that it is returned to him. When you notice the ass of one who hates you lying prostrate under its burden, by no means dessert it; help him, rather, to raise it up. 

O: God was specific in the social laws of those doing wrong being punished. In this verse he wanted his people to also have a compassionate side to help our enemies when it is needed. 

A: a lot of times in today's society, it's a dog eat dog world, and if we saw someone (especially our enemy) stranded and needing help, people would continue on the way without a second thought. But the best way to show God's love is to love our enemies. This can be a hard bit to swallow. 

K: Lord, help me to see my enemies in times of their need. Open my heart to them so I may show your love.

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Also in this chapter, God talks again about rest. He says to sow the land for six years, but let it rest on the seventh year. He also mentions again about resting on the seventh day of each week. I do not rest nearly enough. My rest constitutes of me watching 30 minutes of TV after the kids going to bed before falling asleep myself. I do crochet, but I am usually to third during the week to get much of the project done. So I try to work on it while the kids are napping on the weekend (of course after I take a quick nap). But every other weekend now I am working 8 hours at work to build up time for maternity leave. We have 12 weeks granted through FMLA, but it is unpaid. And I need to have at least 20 hours paid each week to cover insurance,taxes, and medical benefit plans. Yay for working for the state in one of the greatest countries, which does not offer paid maternity leave. :) At least I have a job. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Exodus 22

I think having been slaves to the Egyptians limited the Israelites to nothing. They owned nothing. Then when they are freed, they now have all of these belongings and aren't sure how to handle themselves. There must have been cheating and stealing, jealousy of another's property to bring about these rules. These same things happen today, which is why we also have laws. To keep people in order. The same reason we give children rules. So they learn what is appropriate and what isn't. 

A verse taken away for me is Exodus 22:20 "You shall not molest or oppress an alien, for you were once aliens yourselves in the land of Egypt." It has been hard for me to watch all he political stuff on TV, especially about the immigrants coming into America for free. I may not agree with how the government is handling it, but this verse right here reminds me that we were once aliens to this country too. Met of us came from somewhere else. My ancestors were kicked out of France, and then kicked out of Nova Scotia. We were aliens twice in to new countries and were allowed to stay here. Now there is a system set up that people can go through to become a citizen. I think something we as Christians can do to help is to help the immigrants who want to stay along the right path to being a citizen. Maybe help them learn the customs of our country, or the history so they can understand the test. I'm sure if we looked into it, there are lots of ways to donate our time to welcoming the aliens

Monday, February 2, 2015

Exodus 21

Good morning and Happy February! We have complete another month of bible reading and I couldn't be more excited about it! In today's chapter, God is continuing on his laws for the Israelites to follow. First he goes over slaves as property, and even a master selling his daughter as property. In our culture today, this not does exist so it is hard for me to imagine it. Thn God goes on to talk about punishment for personal injury. Here God says people should be put to death for certain reasons. God was very serious about respect towards ones father and mother. Being put to death for striking or cursing ones mother and father is far fetched today, but we don't carry the same respect towards our parents that the Israelites were expectd to. I do think that is a shame. Kids have less and less respect for their parents, themselves, others, and other people's property today because they aren't taught to and aren't held to higher standards. I could spend all day on that soapbox, but I'll save you from it. 

As far as being put to death for malicious murder, this is still a possibility in some states here today, and in other countries. Of course here, it usually takes 15-20 years of the person in jail before that day comes, along with several continuations because the lawyer is trying to get the person off. An eye for an eye comes into play if a person hurts a pregnant woman and causes her to miscarry as well as injury. I don't you could cause enough pain or suffering to someone for them to adequately understand the pain of a miscarriage. You can't really rip a man's womb out. Again, there are still punishments today for someone causing a woman to miscarry in an injury. This conversation topic could lead to more soapboxes for me but I'll save that for another time. I need to go make breakfast. I hear little ones stirring. Have a great day!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Exodus 20

Exodus 20 brings about the Ten Commandments. I know I had to have learned the before 5th grade in school. We used to have religion during school growing up, but it stopped after 5th grade because of the whole church separate from state thing. After that, we only had a region class on weekends once we got to highschool. I never memorized them, though I feel I should have. I could probably stumble my way through them if someone asked me. 

I'm pretty sure I have heard homilies in Mass on all of the commandments at one time or another. I think the hardest to obey would be to not bear false witness. We gossip so easily these days, sometimes before we even realize it. I would say that none of them are least difficult to follow/understand. It takes daily work to follow God and to remember his commandments. It takes practice to follow them. 

The commandments have set a precedence in our man made laws we follow. It is illegal to kill and steal. Growing up, lots of stores were closed on Sunday (though we already discussed that was not the intended Sabbath day) because people were going to church. You can get in trouble for saying false things about people. 

Exodus 19

Sorry I didn't post this yesteryear. I sent it through my bible study group, but got hungry for French a toast and just forgot. 

In Chapter 19, God tells Moses that the people must wash and sanctify themselves before they see God. How would this work today? This is a good question to think about. We have so much more things that keep our minds busy today compared to Moses's time. So there would be a lot more things to break from before we met The Lord. He would want us to meet him with clear minds and not have anything else on out hearts.

So I would think no TV for a few days so we wouldn't have news reports, TV, commercials, etc stuck in our thoughts. Also we would need to put our phones, computers, iPads, etc down for a few days prior to completely give ourselves to him. 

Think about it, in the middle of a church service, you see people check their phones, answer a text, turn off an alarm, set an alarm, make a grocery list, or something else. People may start thinking about what they are doing after church, what's for lunch/dinner, what they saw on Facebook, what they saw on TV... All these things are stopping us from completely focusing on The Lord when it is his time at church. We allow our minds to become preoccupied with the world. So before we would meet him, I feel we would need to get away from all these things to cleanse our minds and spirits. Of course, we should be doing this every week before we go to church, because I was taught we are going to meet with God every time we go to Mass. I for one am guilty of being a mind drifter. I know I need to work on it. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Exodus 18

Exodus 18:24 Moses followed the advice of his father-in-law and did all that he suggested.

After dealing with Pharaoh and the plaques, crossing the Red Sea, and having traveled thus far with the Isrqleites, Moses was probably tired and worn. He was not a young man. Jethro noticed this and gave Moses advice to help him and the people, by appointing judges to discern small arguments. Moses willingly heeded the advice. 

How many times does pride get in the way in our every day lives that we ignore wise counsel from others? In our culture in America I can give one gr eat example. New mothers are subjectd to so much pressure to be and do many things, and to get them done with a smile on, that if someone offers advice, our pride will snub them. We don't normally follow the old "it takes a village to raise a child" saying anymore and haven't for a few generations. 

I remember when I had my first born, I wants to try to figure things out for myself, so when my mother gave advice, I would ask her to stop. of course, to me, her advice sounded a whole lot more like criticism, like I wasn't doing a good enough job. Of course when my friends gave me similar advice, I listened and followed. I also think nowadays, there is such overwhelming "advice" when it comes to child-rearing, that it turns mothers against each other, friend against friend, and more into a competition of who does a better job. (You know, with the cloth vs disposable, breast vs formula, crib vs co sleep, etc). But again, a lot of the arguing falls back on pride, which is not a good thing. We just need to step back, listen to the advice, pray about what is best, and follow our instinct and what we feel God is wanting us to do. 

Lord, I thank you for giving me the mind and ability to make choices. I pray the choices I make are not prideful ones, but ones to give you glory. Amen. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Exodus 17

Good morning eveyone. 

S: Exodus 17:7 The place was called Massah and American, because the Israelites quarreled ther and testd the Lord saying, "Is the Lord in our midst or not?" 

The Israelites would quarrel whenever something was wrong,but again they themselves didn't stop to pray to God. I agree with the post from yesterday that maybe if they had, instead of testing God, they may have received more than manna. And maybe in this chapter, they would have had more than a rock release water. 

It seems no matter how many signs God gives them the Israelites will turn their heart when something isn't going their way. They say that God will let them die, they should have just stayed slaves, instead of trusting in the fact that God will lead them to the land promised. 

People today can be just as fickle as the Israelites, and their hearts easily turned from God. They need visible proof to know God is there. But even then, as soon as something goes wrong, they blame God. 

Lord, I pray that you keep our hearts strong and turned to you even in the face of evil. Help us not to waiver in our beliefs, and allow us to show others your love. Amen. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Exodus 16

Exodus 16:28 Then the Lord said to Moses, "How long will you reuse to keep my commandments and laws? Take note! The Lord has given you the sabbath. That is why on the sixth day he gives you food for two days. On the seventh day everyone is to stay home and no one is to go out."

God has given the people of Israel a test, to see if they listen to his instructions. Here it is to rest and keep the sabbath, which is one of our commandments. 

At the bottom of my pages in my bible, I have some footnotes. For this chapter, one foot or reads: "On the fifteenth day of the second month: just one full month after their departure from Egypt. They encamped in the desert of Sin on a Friday; th murmuring occurred on the sabbath, th arrival of quail th evening before Sunday, followed by six mornings of collecting manna before he next sabbath."

It is interesting the desert's name is Sin. Also, the description of the timeline has me to understand the sabbath as being Saturday at this point. Does your church consider the sabbath as being Saturday our Sunday today? 

http://www.ucg.org/booklet/sunset-sunset-gods-sabbath-rest/sabbath-beginning/which-day-sabbath/

Here is what I found on the matter. Interesting. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Exodus 15

S: Exodus 15:22 ...After traveling for three days through the dessert without finding water, they arrived at Marah, where they could not drink the water, because it was too bittter.

O: this is the first bump in the road the Isreailtes come upon after crossing the Red Ses. And at first sign of trouble, the grumbling begins. Later it reads that the Lord tells them if they listen to the voice of God, and heed the commandments, He would not afflict them with the diseases he did the Eqyptians. For the Lord is their healer.

A: Is it human nature that at the first sign of trouble, everyone rebels against the leader? Maybe if the people had prayed directly to God, they would have had water earlier. Who knows. But when we come up against roadblocks in life, God wants us to call on him, to keep him at the forefront of our mind, to heed his commandments. 

K: Dear Lord, I pray that I look for you first when I come to a roadblock,instead of trying to set blame. You may have intentionally put the roadblock so I would seek you out. I pray I remember to look for you. Amen.

A song that came to mind as I was reading today's songs by the Israelites was Sing a New Song. It's a song we sing at church. Here is a YouTube video from someone's church
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=sYIOmk88GuM

And here are the lyrics
http://gospelyrics.blogspot.com/2007/07/sing-new-song.html

The second verse sings how Yaweh's people dance for joy with glad tambourines. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Exodus 14

Exodus 14:13-14 But Moses answered the people, "Fear not! Stand your ground, and you will see th victory the Lord will win for you today. These Egyptians whom you see today you will never see again. The Lord himself will fight for you; you have only to keep still."

The Isrealites were afraid of dying in the desert once they saw the Eqyptians coming after them. They told Mosesthey would have rather stay slaves in Eqypt than die in the desert. 

Fear is a great evil. Because of fear, people can fall away from God without a second guess. Because we are afraid of a certain outcome, we may choose the wrong road. Fear may make us loose faith in God, or doubt God. Think of times as we ar growing up when we come to a crossroad. For instance, out of fear of not fitting in, you do what the cool kids want (drink, do drugs, etc). For fear of not fitting in with friends or at work, we allow ourselves to fall into the gossip zone. How about fear of starting over convinces you not to move to a new city or move on in general? It's not like you did something purposefully in God, but you chose not to trust him.

We need to stand firm in God and trust that he will help us fight our battles. He did not leave us here on earth alone. In each of those situations, the outcome would have been scary had we chose to stand our ground with God,  but we was end up better off because we chose God. Dady after day, no matter what we do, God continues to choose us. He continues to stand by us, ready to fight for us. We need to remember to chose him and stand our ground. 

dear God, thank you for helping me fight the daily battles against the evils here on earth. I pray you continue to help me stand strong against fear because it can so easily control me. Thank you for being the. Amen. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Exodus 13

S: Exodus 13:9, 16 It shall be as a sign on your hand and as a reminder on your forehead. 

O: God wants to Isrealites to remember that he brought them out of Egypt with a strong hand. It is mentioned twice about them having a sign on the hand a reminder or pendant on their forehead, so that they may always remembered God is with them. 

A: Different people wear different signs to remember things. Some people get permanent tattoos in rememberance of a loved one. Married couples wear a ring as a symbol and to remind them of their vows. Some people wear crucifix or medallion to remind them of God. Here, God is asking us to put his word on our forehead, at the front of our thought process, that we might keep from letting evil desires come into our mind. He wants us to always have his word at the forefront of our thoughts to help prevent us from sin. 

K: Lord, I pray to always keep you in my mind and on my hands to prevent my mind and hands from allowing desires into my mind and my hands to act on them. Help me keep you in my thoughts to prevent me from sin, Amen. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Exodus 12

Wow. Exodus chapter 12 has such a dark, ominous tone. God instructed every family to procure a lamb, to shed its blood, and not break any of its bones. These lambs were a "prophetic type of Christ, immolated to free men from the bondage of sin" according to the footnotes in my bible. 

There wasn't a single verse to SOAK on because the entire passage was so full of imagery to me. I have lays loved reading books that I could sink into and see myself in the scenery. This chapter did the same. I could see myself there, watching the hysteria of the Eqyptians waking up to find dead children, hearing their cries. I could see the Isrealites leaving th city with all their belongings. 

As far as the discussion question today, over the last year or so, whenever money was really tight and we were starting to worry, God provided. Something always happened and a check was in the mail. Whether it was a refund from overpaid medical bills, or an inheritance (from my father in law passed), the unexpected money was definitely a gift from God. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Exodus 11

Good morning! I must say it is so nice to be able to put a picture to a face now. Thank you all for sharing.

S: Exodus 11:5 Every first born in this land shall die. From the first born of Pharaoh on the throne to the first born of the slave girl at the handmill, as well as all th first born of the animals. 

O: There are no more warnings for Egypt. God means business now, and will show his great opener by taking the lives of all the first born children of Egypt. In Genesis, God asked Abraham to sacrifice his own first born Issac to show God his love. Later on, God sacrifices his son Jesus to show us how much he loves us. But here, this is no sacrifice. God is punishing the Egyptians to show them he is ruler and to show his people his true might. Of course as we continue to read in a few chapters, they easily forget...

A: just like the Israelites, we easily forget God's abilities and power. We did not get to see them first hand like they did, but we know what he can do and we still choose to ignore or "forget" until we need something. 

K: God, help me keep you at the forefront of my life, that everything I do is for you and not me. Help me not to easily forget. Amen.

Discussion: this may sound cheesy, but I can see God pursing me daily through my kids. I see their eyes watching me, learning, copying what I do. These are gentle reminders that I need to focus my life on God and show my children how I follow God, so that they can too. The copycat children reminders strike me well when they repeat a not so nice thing I have said, give the same mean look, or put their hands on their hips. God has a funny way of showing us parents that we need to stop rushing and focus on our children before they are too old to want to be focused on. 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Exodus 10

Good morning and happy Friday! 

Exodus 10:1-2 Then the Lord said to Moses, "Go to Pharaoh, for I have made him and his servants obdurate in order that I may perform the signs of mine among them and that you may recount to your son and grandson how ruthlessly I dealt with the Egyptians and what signs I wrought among them, so that you may know I am the Lord."

O: God used these signs not only to show Pharaoh and the Egyptians his power but to remind Moses and have him and his descendents nerve forget what God can do.

A: it has been many generations since the 10 plagues happened, and many people have forgotten or doubt. Scientists have even proven the plagues happened, yet people doubt God's power. If He wants to remind us today about his strength, I wonr what it would take to turn people's hearts back to him. 

K: Lord, I pray that the believers continue to believe without having to be shown, and that non believers will continue to look for you in their lives because it means they are looking for something. I pray that our actions can help others to wonder and plant a seed in those who are obdurate to your works. Amen.