My Family

My Family

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.