My Family

My Family

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!