Online Bible Study

Online Bible Study

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Birth of Christ - New Living Translation

Luke 2

The Birth of Jesus

1 At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. 2 (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. 4 And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. 5 He took with him Mary, his fiancĂ©e, who was now obviously pregnant. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. 7 She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them. 8 That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. 9 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” 15 When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” 16 They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. 17 After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. 18 All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, 19 but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. 20 The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.

Please remember, JESUS is the reason for the season! Merry Christmas!

The Lucado Life Lessons Study Bible, NKJV - Review

I usually read over a book for several weeks prior to posting my review. But I felt extremely convicted to post this review ASAP! There was no reason to dilly dally – this Bible is FABULOUS! I received the Bible in the mail either late last week or earlier this week, but I have read numerous Scriptures during my daily Quiet Time. I have been a fan of Max Lucado for a very long time; however, the words “King James” scare me to death. I remember reading that this Bible was the NEW King James Version, but thoughts of the past haunted me!

As a child, I remember there only being one Bible: The King James Version. I also remember NEVER reading it! As an adult, teaching students in small group, I was searching my memory trying to determine WHY I never read the Bible as a child. The reason finally dawned on me and caused me to do a Google search to confirm my suspicions. I was right; NIV wasn’t created until 1973!!!!! Rather than say I’m old, let’s just say I wasn’t under the age of 10 at the time.

Although it appears the Amercian Standard was created in 1901 – they sure didn’t use it in OUR Church! Nor, did my mother (my Spiritual mentor) have or read one. And to be honest, to this day, I don’t own an Amercian Standard Version. I still can’t understand it!

Not only did I love every word Max Lucado penned (he is such a huge inspiration to me), but I could understand the Scriptures! What a shock! I will read this Bible on a regular basis during my daily Bible study.

Thank you so much Thomas Nelson Inc. for providing a copy for this review! I will treasure this Bible always!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Several years ago, I believe 2002, our Church family read a book together. For me, it was the first time I had read the book and I couldn’t sign up fast enough-I was (and remain) so hungry for God’s leading in my life! Reading this book changed my life forever! As a matter of fact, I have THAT exact copy on my desk to this day (and I have changed desks a few times-I just keep packing this book in a box and placing it on the next desk). The book was The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren; which was instrumental in helping me realize my life has a GOD ORDAINED PURPOSE!

Chazown, in my humble opinion, has taken me to the next level (beyond thinking/praying about my purpose) by providing TOOLS to IDENTIFY my purpose! My heart wants to provide you all the steps so you can travel this road with me; but listing the steps won’t be enough. You need to get your own copy! You need to write all over it like I have! You need to fill in YOUR circles! You need to EXPERIENCE this for yourself!

I will say this book confirmed my belief that God allowed grief in my life in order for me to help others. He alone brought me to a place of acceptance, JOY and willingness to share with others who suffer from the same grief. The author, Craig Groeschel, instructs us to examine three areas of our lives (he calls them circles): Core Values, Spiritual Gifts and Past Experiences. By reading these chapters, I was able to identify all three and understand where they intersect. Now, I’m working on my action plan, as the author states “with specific, achievable, written goals in the five fundamental life priorities identified.” I must admit, taking this journey requires courage; you must be willing to examine yourself HONESTLY and commit to change. It’s not easy, but I can promise the change in your life is well worth it.

The next step-ACTION! And beware – your predator is watching! The author states, “You will face obstacles, mountains, and hurdles. You’ll get distracted. You’ll be tempted to wander off the road. You will procrastinate, putting off God’s best for another day.” His final word of advice: ACCOUNTABLITY! Create an accountability plan and stick with it! And, if you want to start a group study – he even provides the guide!

This book will be a resource I turn to over and over again! I will pack it along side The Purpose Driven Life and take it with me every time my desk relocates!

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review

Red in the Flower Bed - Book Review

I selected this book to review for personal reasons; I, too, was adopted! Although our family was not interracial, I think the word adoption stirs up feelings of exclusion and rejection by many. To me, the word means “SPECIAL”. I remember asking my mother (the woman that raised me-she EARNED the honored title of Mother) WHEN she told me I was adopted; she said, “When I rocked you as an infant.” I asked her if she thought my natural mother ever thought about me; she said, “OF COURSE, especially on your birthday.” I also remember asking her if she HATED my natural mother, like I did; she said, “Oh no, I am truly grateful and thankful for your mother. She loved you so much, knowing she couldn’t provide for you, gave you away so someone else could; someone like me and your daddy!” For some reason, that made sense to me. I adored my mother and had an enormous amount of respect for her; so if that’s what she thought, I would think that too! Forever!

My sister was different; being adopted was difficult for her to accept. Although I have no idea if she asked my mother the questions I did, it was apparent she was bothered by the fact and never wanted anyone to know. Honestly, I didn’t care one bit; as a matter of fact, I was PROUD of it! I remember visioning my parents walking through a grocery store meat market – checking out all the little babies – and PICKING ME! I thought I must have been an adorable little girl and I MUST have been irresistible!

My dream is that every child would feel the way I did! And in my opinion, this little illustrated book sends that message, loud and clear! And if you’re a Christian (like me), there is NO DOUBT God placed US right where He intended us to be; in HIS rainbow! WE ARE VERY SPECIAL AND LOVED!

About the author:

Andrea Nepa is the mother of an adopted Vietnamese daughter named Leah. In 2001, Adoptions from the Heart assisted with the international adoption. Andrea dedicated her book to her daughter: "For my dear Leah, whose journey in her young life has already taken her to far away and unexpected places." In 2006, Leah was diagnosed with cancer. She is currently in remission. Andrea lives with Leah and her husband, David, in Haddonfield, New Jersey. She is a registered dietitian for the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

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