Online Bible Study

Online Bible Study

Saturday, January 4, 2014

2014 - the Year to Read Through the Bible!

THIS IS THE YEAR!  I am going to do it!  I MUST!  I am really motivated to "grow up" this year.  Don't get too excited, I will still act like a child with my daughters and my granddaughter; but will focus my "free" time on Him and learning (maybe a little less Netflix).

As I began my reading this week, I thought I would note a few Scriptures/ideas I came across that were reminders of what matters (or just plan fascinating).

This week, our Bible reading plan kept us in four books of the Bible:  Genesis, Ezra, Matthew and Acts.  These are the points that stand out!

    • Genesis 4:25-26 The Birth of Seth:  Eve said, "God has granted me another son in place of Abel, whom Cain killed.  When Seth grew up, he had a son and named him Enosh.  At that time people first began to worship the Lord by name."  My Study Bible says this in the notes:  This is the first instance Scripture records of God's people coming together to worship him (Beth Moore says the first time something is mentioned in His Word, it's important - this Scripture does NOT disappoint).  The name Enosh means frail man-better highlighting the humble God worship in the line of Seth (in contrast with the self worship of the line of Cain).  The humble reliance on God from the line of Seth must not be lost.  Self-reliance always leads to worship of self, while meekness before God has always been essential to biblical worship.
    • Ezra 4:8-23 Opposition under Xerxes and Artaxerxes:  This Scripture chronicles a letter sent from Judah's enemies to the newly crowned king.  Rehum the governor and Shimshai the court secretary wrote this letter to explain the current situation in Jerusalem.  They explain how the Jews returned from Babylon to rebuild the rebellious and evil city.  They go on to tell the King how they wanted him to know because they are so loyal.  WHAT A HOOT!!!!  The king, being intelligent, sees right through it.  NOT!  He gives these men power to STOP THE REBUILDING and they RUN (not walk) to Jerusalem, "with a show of strength, they force the Jews to stop building."  (Spoiler alert - the story's not over yet!!!!)
    • Matthew:  I love reading Jesus' Words (in red).  I can imagine His presence (which I assume to be FELT) while reading His Words.  Breathtaking!
    • Acts 4:23-31 The Believers Pray for Courage:  Peter and John are released from the leading priests and elders and share the situation with the other Believers.  "All the believers lifted their voices together in prayer to God:  O Sovereign Lord, creator of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them-You spoke long ago by the Holy Spirit through our Ancestors David, Your servant, saying:  Why were the nations so angry?  Why did they waste their time with futile plans?  The king of the earth prepared for battle; the rulers gathered together against the LORD and again His Messiah.....But everything they did was determined beforehand according to your will.  And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give us, Your servants, great boldness in preaching Your word.  Stretch out Your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of Your hold servant, Jesus."  Now, THAT'S a prayer!
I can't wait to see what morsels He has for me to read next week!!!!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My last wonderful day with Harper!

Today was my second, and last, day with Harper this week; and we had a fabulous time!  My helper, Aunt Brooke, decided to take the day off; I flew solo! 
I am so thankful to Chelsea's mom and dad for caring for Harper every single day since Chelsea returned to work; after Harper's birth!  I wish I could help more, but volunteer to watch Harper whenever I can! I love every minute I am privileged to spend with our precious baby girl!
After my fiasco yesterday (see post dated December 30th), I decided to play it safe today!  Harper still had the privilege of riding in the wagon, but it was a little different today (see pictures below):

Harper riding in the wagon, while watching Miss Patty Cake (in the safety and warmth of her home)!

More Miss Patty Cake's singing and dancing!
At the end of our ride today, we noticed a souvenir from yesterday, in the trunk!
More to come of "The Adventures with Harper Noelle" on the next government holiday or vacation day!

Monday, December 30, 2013

My Graceful Moment....

You may be wondering why I added the picture to the left on a post entitled, "My Graceful Moment."   I can't wait to tell you ALL about it!

Today was a fabulous day; my daughter, Brooke, and I spent it with my granddaughter, Harper Noelle!  Not only was she a complete Angel, we had a great time watching movies together, watching her drive her new wheels in my son and daughter's driveway, and watching her enjoy her new Christmas toys!

Although it's winter in Virginia, it's been relatively mild (it was actually 80 degrees a couple of weeks ago!).  That being said, we decided to go for a little walk with her new fancy wagon (it even has a trunk, for heaven's sake)!  It became apparent early, Harper wanted no part of riding in the wagon; she was content walking (holding my or Brooke's hand).

Everything was going extremely well, until I decided to take a picture of Brooke and Harper walking hand in hand in front of me.  It was the first picture taken on our walk and not very well thought through.  We were walking on an asphalt path surrounding a beautiful lake, in a subdivision located next to theirs.  The ground was completely saturated, as it had rained off and on most of the day before.  As I stopped to take the photo, I didn't realize the path was on an incline; and I left the wagon unattended behind me.  As soon as I had the camera "in place" for the perfect photo, I heard a noise behind me.  As I turned to get a look, I saw the NEW WAGON heading straight for the lake!  I started to panic (like any good grandmother would) and took off running to save it!  I wasn't sure how deep the lake was and didn't want to find out (by jumping in to save the wagon)!  As I began to gain speed, just about to grab the wagon, my feet FLEW out from under me, causing me to fall and land on the ground.  Although I was wet, I am happy to report I wasn't hurt.  

The best news:  I SAVED the wagon!  The better news:  Brooke DIDN'T have her video camera on!  Although she was laughing at the top of her lungs, I must admit, I was too!

Harper in the driveway with her NEW WHEELS!

Brooke and Harper (the beautiful lake to the left)

Harper finally going for a ride in the wagon (notice the trunk)!

Granny STILL enjoying the beautiful walk, lake and day with her daughter and granddaughter!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Did you know I was adopted?

As long as I can remember, I knew I was adopted.  As a matter of fact, my mom told me she rocked me as an infant and told me; she said adoption made me special - BECAUSE I was adopted.  I remember as I got older, her explanation included that unlike children who were NOT planned by their parents, not only was I planned, I was SOUGHT OUT!!!!  I always believed her, why wouldn't I?  She never lied to me.  (I WAS special!)

I'm the second one from the left (the youngest)
After my parents passed away (in 1980 and 1981), I experienced a fleeting moment when I considered finding my natural mother.  After obtaining my "non-identifying papers" and attending one support group meeting, I decided it might not be a good idea.  Although I lost my REAL parents when I was young (and more immature than most girls my age), I was not ready to open myself to the unknown heartache possibly awaiting me.  I learned at the support group you're never guaranteed a "happily ever after" ending; and I already had enough to deal with in this life (and to overcome).

On the other hand, my sister, Tammy, found her natural mother very shortly after we lost our parents.  I was so grateful she made that decision (not immediately, but eventually), as she restored a loving relationship with her natural mother.  Her mother played a vital role in her life and the lives of her two children (Christopher and Brian); especially after she unexpectedly passed away at the age of 36 from brain cancer.  (It's true the good die young; she was a saint!)

Here it is 2013 (approximately 30 years later), and I made the decision to give it a shot.  The laws in the state of Virginia have changed over the years and all that's required of me, the adoptee, is to ask social services to locate her.  Of course, she will be given the option to say "No" if she would rather not "meet" me.  But it's only fair she be the one to make that decision, to reopen a very private (and most likely secret) part of her life; or to allow the decision she made all those years ago to be her final one.

The motivation for my search is different now, too.  As I consider the reality of abortion and how much easier it would have been for her to eliminate my existence; I NEED to thank her for giving me life!  Her giving me life allowed ME to give life to three amazing children (Peter, Brooke and Kristina) and a PRECIOUS granddaughter (Harper).  And, as a mother myself, I can't imagine how difficult it must be to live your life not knowing what happened to your child.  I NEED to tell her I had a wonderful life; I was loved beyond comprehension, and provided everything I ever needed (and wanted).  I need to tell her, "THANK YOU.  You made the right decision, to put me up for adoption."  Anything beyond that (a possible friendship) would be icing on the cake.

From what I've been told at this point in the journey, the social worker was able to contact my natural mother (at least they believe she is my natural mother) and left  a voice message asking her to return the call.  Although I don't know what the voice message said, I was told it could take years for her to return the call (if she ever does).  No matter what happens, I told the social worker my reasons for wanting to contact her and I pray she passes the information along, even if she isn't open to meeting me.

This is another one of those times in life where having faith provides MUCH comfort.  I KNOW without a doubt, if He wants us to be reunited, we will be.  If He doesn't, we won't.  Either way, I am truly grateful for my many blessings!

Jeremiah 29:11

English Standard Version (ESV)
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Luke 12:7
New Living Translation (NLT)

And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.

Facebook Treasures of the day!

"'For all thy blessings, known and unknown, remembered and forgotten, we give thee thanks,' runs an old prayer, and it is for the all but unknown ones and the more than half-forgotten ones that we do well to look back over the journeys of our lives because it is their presence that makes the life of each of us a sacred journey. We have a hard time seeing such blessed and blessing moments as the gifts I choose to believe they are and a harder time still reaching out toward the hope of a giving hand, but part of the gift is to be able, at least from time to time, to be assured and convinced without seeing, as Hebrews says, because that is of the very style and substance of faith as well as what drives it always to seek a farther and a deeper seeing still." - Frederick Buechner 
(Thank you, Jessica Winkley)

How many books do you plan to read in 2014?


Experiencing Charlottesville, Photo by James Marshall

My prayer!

With four day greasy hair, I'm sitting here this morning thinking about 2013. It hasn't been an easy year. I've been stretched, humbled, heartbroken, challenged, and forced to come face to face with some of the toughest questions in my faith journey. Ultimately it's this question that I want to answer with a resounding yes...

"Lysa, if you are a woman with faith then are you willing to live a life that actually requires faith?"

Lord, I am. There has been a time for tears but now they've turned into a battle cry! So with a sometimes trembling heart, I grab Your Word, I proclaim Your Wisdom, and I walk in Your Way. What the devil meant for evil, You will surely use for GOOD! I'm believing it. I'm living it. Amen!

Onward and Upward, sweet sisters. Together!!! But first, a shower:)

Lysa Terkeurst

Carter Mountain (More from Charlottesville)

Beautiful Snow Fall in Charlottesville

Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies's photo