Showing posts from 2017

Save those candy canes from Christmas!!

If you don't have mini candy canes on hand....go get some now at 50% off during this post Christmas season!!!I made these suckers for Valentines last year.  Believe it or not, they turned out just like they should have from the Pinterest idea I pinned and they were easy to make!! Yes, I have a child that is at the age where he gives Valentines  to everyone in his class room, but these suckers are much too elegant for little kids ! These are for us adults!! (In my sweet tooth opinion) Your girlfriends will ohh and ahh when you hand them one of these!  Who wouldn't ohh and ahh over white or dark chocolate? These are how mine turned out: If you want step by step directions go to this website:

Day 88~ Last three chapters of Rev and we're done!

After reading about all the tribulation and death, it sure is nice to get to the happy ending!! How cool- “God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them.” (21:3)  Can you imagine?  The same God that freaked out all the Old Testament people to the point of wanting to die, the same one who, just being in His presence made Moses too bright to look at,…will now be the one to “wipe every tear from their eyes.” (21:3)  That sounds so tender and sweet! But sadly there will be those who will miss out on the tender side of God.  A whole list is given of those who won’t be in heaven (21:8). Most are obviously evil & shouldn’t get to experience God’s glory- you know- the vile, murderers, sexually immoral, etc.  But there is one, to me, that doesn’t seem down right evil; the cowardly.  Being a coward is evil? Did you notice that the cowardly are separated from the unbelieving?  That means they believe that Jesus is the Son of God, but they are to chicken

Day 87~ Rev 17-19

“I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of God’s people, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus.” (17:6) Right there….pre-Christians should really consider if they want to become a Christ follower….one literally puts their life on the line when doing so. We Christians in the US can’t really imagine that, yet….but it will get there!  She (the woman) is actually a great city that rules over the kings of the earth.  So, this ‘great power’ hated Christians so much, that they were being killed in such great number, she appeared drunk on their blood. 😳 Did you catch that this power ruled over all the peoples, multitudes, nations and languages (vs. 15)? Sounds like a ‘one world power’, doesn’t it?  Side note: then an 8th king will rise up & hate her (vs. 16).  It’s not surprising that evil hates evil, but it’s interesting don’t you think?  The ‘one world’ power will be destroyed by a different evil entity.   Anyway, back to the woman…to me she sounds li

Day 86~ Rev 13-16~ 666?

It’s kind’a funny how I, being an American, with my English language, can read this section of scripture and not have a clue what it means.  How can I use wisdom and be the person “who has insight to calculate the number of the beast” (13:18)?  The problem is, I took Spanish as a second language in high school instead of Hebrew or Greek.   If I had taken one of those languages, I would know that the letters of their alphabet can also be used for numbers!  The first letter of their alphabet can represent the number “one”, the second letter is “two” and so on.  With this system the letters of a name are changed to numbers, and the numbers are then added to arrive at a total.  I wonder how many Christians throughout  history have calculated the names of evil people to see if that person was going to be the prophesied “beast”. I know some did this at the time John wrote this book.  Nero Caesar- a very evil emperor in AD 54, killed a lot of Christians.  His name, just using the c

Day 85~ Rev 10-12

These have got to be the three most confusing chapters of the book!  It really seems like John is seeing visions that jump back and forth in time (which is very hard for me since I am in a chronological state of mind). Chapter 12 in particular seems like the vision of the woman giving birth to a male child would be referring to Israel giving birth to Jesus 2000 years ago.  Indeed, many scholars feel that is exactly what the vision means.  Yet, I did some digging and found what other scholars think about this section and what it represents (and it seems to go with a chronologic sequence of events).   First we need to understand that John used images and symbols that the first readers would be familiar with.   For example, the readers understood that the woman clothed with the sun, moon and stars symbolized a glorious triumphal entity that would be greater than the light of the sun, etc. (The sun, and standing on the moon was not a new symbol for them.  These were common enough t

Day 84~ Rev 7-9~ Meteriorite?

The rest of mankind who were not killed by those plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands;…” (9:20). Still did not repent…..they sound stubborn don’t they?  However, I want to propose something.  I think these ‘end time’ people are the same as people today.  As we read of the events in Revelation, we get the behind the scene insight that the events are caused by supernatural forces.  Angels hold back the winds (7:1), angels open the Abyss (9:1) and demons inflicting pain (9:5).  We get to see the spiritual battle going on around these humans still on the Earth.  But the people don’t see the obvious spiritual warfare, just as we don’t see it today.  I wrote a post one time that said I think the old saying, “Seeing is Believing” is wrong.  In reality it is “Believing is Seeing”.  When you believe in Christ, your eyes are opened to see the spiritual battle that is waged against you.  When you don’t believe, you chalk  plagues and such, up to natural causes.  I am

Day 83~ Rev 4-6

“I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside,” (Rev 5:4) Why did John cry?  I ask myself that every time I read this! How did he know to weep?  After all, he is new to the scene, just having walked through the door of heaven (4:1).  You would think that he would be so taken with the sights around him that he wouldn’t be able to think straight!  Yet, his purpose for walking through that door was to see “what must take place after this.” (4:1)  So, his whole purpose for being there was not going to come to fruition because no one was found worthy to open the scroll.   But, again, why would John cry over that? My commentary gave me some insight as to why John would cry.   “In the ancient Near East, a royal official would inscribe the king’s will onto a scroll.  the king would seal the scroll with a ring pressed into wax.  The seal would remain bound until it was unsealed and read by the properly designated royal official.  Then the

Day 82~ Rev 1-3

The group of people in the Thyatira church sound very similar to churches today.  They were not all “like minded”. Some, were doing it right; they had love, faith, service and perseverance.  This outward demonstration of commitment to Jesus not only was theirs from the beginning of their faith, but it was growing as time went on (2:19).  Yet, some in that church weren't living like that.  Maybe they had the mentality that many Christians have today, “I can’t judge others”.  However, Jesus held that against them!  He doesn’t like Christians being tolerant to sin in the church (2:20).  Being tolerant to sin leads to falling for “her teaching” and getting sucked into “Satan’s so-called deep secrets” (2:24) I thought the wording Jesus chose was interesting when he said to those who were doing things right, “I will not impose any other burden on you…” (They already had faith, love, serving and perseverance.) “… except hold on to what you have until I come.” (2:25) I think

Day 81~ 2 Jn & 3 Jn

One week left of reading chronologically through the New Testament!  I think this has gone fast!  I’m going to be starting back up again January 1st.  I hope you join me!  It will be at a slower pace. So, instead of finishing the New Testament in 3 months, it will be 6 months.  Very do-able!!!  Make it your New Year’s Resolution! I really like how John clarified, exactly, what loving one another means, “And this is love, that we walk in obedience to his commands.” (2 John 1:6) So, here is an example.  Jesus tells his disciples- and I am one of them- to “go make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matt 28:19).   If I don’t do that,……I am not obeying.   If I don’t walk in obedience, I am not loving to the people around me. 😳  It’s not loving to hold back from telling others of Jesus. The clarification statement John made expands on the idea of “g

Day 80~ 1 John 1-5- Liar!

There is some debate as to whether John, who wrote these letters we are about to read, is the same John as the apostle.  Let’s just say he is.  The apostle John died around AD100.  If Jesus died at around AD 30, 70 years had lapsed since the resurrection of Jesus.  John was probably the youngest disciple; let’s say he was in his late teens.  That would make him about 88 years old while he was writing these letters!  Old people can get away with being very direct.  They don’t have time to beat around the bush! My husband was listening to talk radio a few years ago when he heard someone with an Indian accent call into the program.  It became a heated conversation and the accented man blurted out, “You’re a liar! A liar to da pee-pole!  Well, that caught my husbands attention and tickled his funny bone.  He came home and told me about the dialogue.  That saying became one of those phrases that became part of our family’s vocabulary.  We use it with each other, but you probably won’t

Day 79~ Heb 10-13- Earthquake!

OK, this is the last time I’m going to mention my geology class!  I took my final yesterday!! Whew!!  But, I can’t help applying what I learned about God in the class to what I am reading today! Chapter 12 speaks of God’s awesomeness.  God can be so huge and powerful that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.”  Learning about how expanse the universe is has definitely reminded me how big God is.  So now let’s get down to the earthquakes!πŸ˜‰ First, when it comes to geological time, there are 7 principles geologists go by to date rocks.  The first principle is uniformitarianism.  This principle say, “The key to the present is the past.”  The physical processes we observe today also operated in the past.  That means everything moves slow today so that is how it moved in the past…slowwwwly…. The Israelites, in the desert , experienced the ground shaking when God spoke to them (12:26) and they were  filled with reverent fear.  The ground shook every time God spoke.  This was a n

Day 78~ Heb 7-9

"Just as people are destined to die once, and after that face judgement, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.” (9:27) Did you notice that it says “many”, not “all”.  He died for all (2 Cor. 5:15), but he will only take away the sins of those who chose to accept this gift.  He will not take away the sins of those who don’t. 😳 A friend once asked me if I thought people get another chance to choose Jesus after one dies. God is love, after all, why wouldn’t he offer that?  A person can “show contempt for the richness of His kindness” (Rom 2:4) their entire life, but a second before they die, they can have a change of heart and chose to take the gift.  After all, we see that example with the thief on the cross (Luke 23:43).  So, if it is possible to be forgiven of all, a second before one idea, why not a second after one dies?  I get the

Day 77~ Heb 4-6 Diligent to the end

"We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized.” (6:11) This verse has a sad note in it for me.  I can’t help but think back to a girl I met when I was 19.  She was about 25.  She was a beautiful piano player who led worship for the college group at the church I went to at the time.  She always seemed so engrossed in the worship.  Which to me, displayed that she had “the hope” of eternal life with Jesus.  She appeared to be in love with Jesus and sang passionately.   Well, life led me to a different church and I lost touch with her.  About three years later, I bumped into her at a gas station as we were both filling our cars.  I asked her how she was doing and if she was still at that church.  Her response utterly floored me!  “No, I don’t go to church.  I’m not into that anymore.” 😯What?!?! Not “into that”??? Sadly, she didn’t “show the same diligence to the very end”…what she had hoped for will nev

Day 76~ Heb 1-3

“We must pay careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.” (2:1) We are a water skiing family. If it is real hot at the river, we may need to take a break from pulling a skier so that we can all cool off.  We get on our lifejackets, grab a cool drink and hop into the cool, clear water.  We usually go with friends, so we take this time to chat with people from other boats.  Eventually someone may call out, “The boat is getting near the rocks!”  That usually gets one of us to swim quickly to the boat and bring it back. We, or the boat, had drifted! What I know from this analogy about drifting is that it is a quite, subtle process that happens without you noticing. I can’t help but think of another example of drifting.  I have two very different children. They both were, and are, curious kids. One will go explore without thinking of what she is drifting away from, and the other will not.  The first, when we are in a crowd, will see someth

Day 75~ Jude 1; 2 Peter 1-3

Some of the wording in Jude is similar to that of 2 Peter, so scholars feel that these letters were written at roughly the same time.  That is why we are reading it here in our chronologic reading. The following verse stuck out to me, “The Lord will come like a thief, the heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.” (2 Pet 3:10) Since the verse talks of elements being destroyed by fire, I thought I would give you the quickest review ever given of elements, since I recently learned all about that in my geology class! 😜 Elements are the primary constituents of matter.  When the Big Bang occurred hydrogen and helium were created in a millisecond. In extreme heat, these combined (fused) creating heavier elements like carbon and oxygen.  Through the fusion process you can make everything on the periodic table up to iron! Fusion takes place in really hot stars. When stars explode (superno

Day 74~ 1 Peter 1-5

The exact date is not known, but it is speculated that Peter was martyred during the reign of Nero in about AD 64.  So this book may have been written just prior to that in AD 63.  Christianity had been a growing movement for about 30 years, and at this point believers were experiencing persecution.  This letter was written primarily to bring a message of hope and encouragement.  It may seem like we Christians, in the United States, don’t experience persecution these days,…..but we do. As I was doing today’s reading, i couldn’t help but think of a young  Christian friend of mine that recently broke up with his girlfriend.  Rather, his girlfriend broke up with him because he was “too moral” for her.  He is really sad at this point.  He is suffering “for doing good” rather than doing evil” (3:17).  This girl was “surprised that (he) did not join her in reckless, wild living, and she heaped abuse on him” (4:14). I would love if this Christian brother read and took to heart the

Day 73~ 2 Tim 1-4

On day 70 & 72 I mentioned learning.  I love to learn!  I had an instructor say to me once, “Nurses are life-long learners”.  I would agree with that, at least concerning myself.  So, you can imagine how I perked up when I read Paul’s description of some women who are victims to false teachers.  He described them as “gullible women, loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (2 Tim 3:7).  Ugg!  Always learning but never coming to the truth?  That would kill me!! That would bring such despair!  Learning is good, only when it leads to truth. The writer of Ecclesiastes was known to be very wise.  He had spent a life time learning, yet this was his conclusion- “Then I applied myself to understanding of wisdom,…but I learned this too, is a chasing after the wind.” (1:17) He also pursued pleasures (like the ladies described above) and worked hard for material gain.  This was his

Day 72~ Titus 1-3

Titus is a very practical letter!  My take away is, “The grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.  It ( the grace of God) teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions…” (2:11) We can learn “what is appropriate to sound doctrine”(2:1) We can learn all the practical steps from pastors like Titus and Timothy, but it is the grace of God (truly understanding what that is) that prompts us to act as the thankful servants we are.  With thankful hearts, good flows. “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart.  For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” (Luke 6:45) Pretty simple!  If Christ is in you heart, speaking good things and “living self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age” (2:12) will be the natural out pouring.

Day 71~ 1 Tim 4-6

“For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.” (4:5) My dad, bless his heart, was not an outspoken Christian. You would not find him preaching on a street corner, that is for sure!  Yet, he lives his faith.  He serves the Lord by going to the church whenever the pastor asks, to fix whatever electrical issue the building may have or any other mechanical issue for that matter.  He is the Lord’s servant. However, as far back as I can remember, the one verbal thing he never failed to do was to pray over his meal.  If the family had already started eating and he came in late from work, he would sit down with us and silently pray by himself.  At times I would think, “Opps!  I forgot!  I better pray with him.”  How can I forget to be thankful? I admired my dad; he never forgot to be thankful. I operate best when I have a “trigger” to remind myself of things I want to

Day 70~ 1 Tim 1-3

Here’s a tidbit of information for you; 1&2 Timothy and Titus are letters that are addressed to pastors, not to churches. Therefore, they are called the Pastoral Letters. They are believed to be written near the end of Paul’s life, so that is why they are placed here in our chronological reading. In line with what I mentioned yesterday about learning, this verse stood out to me today, “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission.” (2:11) I thought my commentary made an interesting point. “Women were generally far less educated then men. Jewish women were far less likely to be trained in the law. In such context, the admonition for women to ‘learn in quiteness’ might prove more striking for its emphasis on learning than for an emphasis on doing so quietly, which was considered the appropriate way for all novices to learn.” I love that way of looking at it! That means women should be learning too (which is something I love to do!), just as the men should be l

Day 69~ Eph 4-6

In our scientific, research based world, a nonbeliever may throw the accusation out, "Christianity is a blind faith that involves no scientific fact."  "Religion is a crutch."  If you listen to the world long enough, you can start to think that Christians are a bunch of jello brains unable to articulate an intelligible thought. Yet, Paul, here in Ephesians, talks a lot about learning.  The thing is, the world doesn't like what we are learning.  The world is learning to "indulge in every kind of impurity" (4:19), while we are learning to stand firm in the truth. (6:11) Paul actually goes out of his way to stress that we need to continue to learn. "That, however is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him..."(4:20). "You were taught , with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self." (4:22) ".. find out what pleases the Lord." (5:10) ""Be carefu

Day 68~ Eph.1-3 -Good works?

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Eph. 2:10) Just marinate in that for a moment…we are God’s handiwork.  “God saw all that he made, and it was very good.” (Gen 1:3)  He loves what he made; he has “great love for us”(Eph 2:4)!! πŸ€—It’s good to think on that, remember it and truly believe it.  After Paul established how God feels about us, he further clarifies that it is by God’s grace alone that we are saved (2:8). So, with the realization that we are loved and saved, what are these “good works” that he prepared in advance for us? Well, you actually have to do a little bit of tomorrow’s reading to get the context.  Satan would like to have us believe that it is any ‘kind’ act.  The more kind acts you do, the better odds of getting into heaven, according to him, right?  So, keep cleaning the beaches and save the whales.   However, “good works” would be anything that creates “unity in the f