Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What’s for Breakfast?

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Sunday morning I made monkey bread for breakfast and as Zachary was sitting at the table obviously enjoying it, he said to Rick,

“I really like monkey brains.”

Yum.

 
Head on over to Mary's at Not Before 7 for some more Tiny Talk Tuesday!!
 

Monday, March 29, 2010

Bible in 90 Days {B90} ~ Day 88 Check-in

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It’s official!! Last night {Day 87} I read the last page of Revelation, closed my Bible and FINISHED READING THROUGH THE BIBLE.

Sorry for shouting.

Needless to say, I’m a wee bit excited. For me this has been a huge accomplishment personally and saying I’m 'proud’ of myself seems wrong {grins}, so excited pretty much sums it up.

I went between two different Bibles this week, so my notes & underlinings are all over the place ~ so I feel a bit scattered in my thoughts on what I read.  My reading this week was from the beginning of 2 Corinthians through Revelation.

Here are a few things that I marked and jotted down this week:

~ So much of the things I read this week were a huge encouragement {obviously since they were letters written to various churches}, but hearing repeatedly of all the Christ did for us was wonderful. Love this verse:

‘God made you alive with Christ. He forgave all our sins. He canceled the record that contained the charges against us. He took it and destroyed it by nailing it to Christ’s cross.’

Colossians 2:13b-14

~ I know we are told to live each day as if Christ is returning soon, but I wonder how the early Christians felt as the years progressed and Christ had not returned as quickly as they thought he would.

~ The persecution that the early church endured ~ and that we are so fortunate to not endure right now.

~ The whole issue of discipline {both for myself and what it means as a parent}

‘No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening ~ it is painful! But afterward there will be a quiet harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. So take a new grip with your tired hands and stand firm on your shaky legs.’

Hebrews 12:11-12

There was so.much.more that I enjoyed this week, but you all would be overwhelmed if I listed it all out. Let’s just say there was lots of underlining, much conviction, plenty of encouragement and even more to ponder.

If you are interested in learning more about the 90 Day Bible reading challenge, visit Mom’s Toolbox ~ she’ll be starting up the challenge again on July 1st. You can also download your own printable reading bookmark if you want to join along in the challenge ~ you can start at any time because the bookmark isn’t dated.

 

Friday, March 26, 2010

Melissa & Doug Deals

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Barnes & Noble is having a HUGE sale right now on all of their Melissa and Doug toys ~ 45% off with free shipping when you hit $25. We love their toys and use them often in our house!

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I’m browsing the selection of stuff right now and finding some great deals, so I wanted to pass the info along to you…before I snag too much!

Thanks so much to one of my readers that sent me this heads up ~ because she knows how much I love Melissa and Doug toys!!

 

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Here Burns My Candle {Book Giveaway}

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Lady Elisabeth Kerr may have married into a family with different beliefs than her own, but she still holds tightly to the beliefs her own mother held and taught her. She worships in secret, careful that her husband and new family do not discover that she doesn’t believe as they do.

Lady Kerr isn’t the only one hiding secrets. Although she refuses to believe the rumors, her husband Lord Donald has strayed ~ more than once. She just isn’t able to accept his betrayal.

When the rebel army captures their town of Edinburgh in 1745, families and friends are divided as they have to decide where their loyalties lie ~ to the current ruler or to the invading ruler. Lady Kerr and her family find themselves facing dark moments and deep losses and she soon discovers that although her god cannot rescue her, there is a God who can.

My Thoughts

A few years ago I was introduced to Liz Curtis Higgs and I fell in love with her writing. Here Burns My Candle is another book that will find a permanent niche on my bookshelves. Set in Scotland during the year 1745, this story is a more modern retelling of the story of Ruth and Naomi.

While I knew many of the events that were going to happen {based on the Biblical story}, I was completely pulled into the story and still hoping things would be different. Higgs weaves an intricate story of love lost, love regained and ultimately of hope in difficult times.

The end of the book came too quickly, but there is a sequel coming to the book {much relief here}. You can read the first chapter of Here Burns My Candle, by clicking HERE or get a little ‘video peek’ at the book:

 

 
 

About the Author

Liz Curtis Higgs is the author of twenty-seven books with three million copies in print, including: her best-selling historical novels, Thorn in My Heart, Fair Is the Rose, Christy Award-winner Whence Came a Prince, and Grace in Thine Eyes, a Christy Award finalist; My Heart’s in the Lowlands: Ten Days in Bonny Scotland, an armchair travel guide to Galloway; and her contemporary novels, Mixed Signals, a Rita Award finalist, and Bookends, a Christy Award finalist. Visit the author’s extensive website at www.lizcurtishiggs.com.

The Giveaway

Would you like to win a copy of  Here Burns My Candle by Liz Curtis Higgs? I have one copy to mail to one of my readers! Leave a comment on this post ~ be sure there is a way for me to contact you. The giveaway will be open until Tuesday, March 30th at 8pm.

 

This was book and giveaway were provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah. All opinions expressed in this review are solely my own.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Happy Hour for Kids?

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We spent some time at the park last weekend and there were a LOT of kids there. Swarms, really. One of the reasons was a birthday party at one of the nearby park shelters.

Later when we were out at Dairy Queen, McKenna got this thoughtful look on her face and said, “I wonder why there were so many kids at the park today?”

We said it probably had something to do with the nice weather and the birthday party. McKenna thought about it for a few moments and then said, “No. I think it’s because it was happy hour.”

Huh? We later realized that she was reading a sign on the wall of Dairy Queen that talked about Happy Hour being between certain hours each day…not because we frequent Happy Hours {grins}.

 
Head on over to Mary's at Not Before 7 for some more Tiny Talk Tuesday!!
 

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Bible in 90 Days ~ B90 Day 81 Check in

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It’s the final stretch and in all honesty, I’m rather shocked! While I know that I was determined to finish this from the beginning, I am still amazed that I am one week away from completely reading through the Bible.

Consistently.

This week I didn’t read everything in order, but chose to read entire books at a time. I was in the mood to read 1 Corinthians, so I read the entire book one day. The next day I read all of Romans. Here I am at the start of 2 Corinthians and barring any major diversion this week, next Monday will be my last post in the Bible in 90 Days Challenge!

Here are a few things that I marked and jotted down this week:

~ The book of John seems a little more ‘in-depth’ than the other gospels. There are a few more stories, etc… I am amused that John refers to himself by always saying ‘the disciple whom Jesus loved.’ Just made me smile.

~ Even his own brothers didn’t believe him {John 7:5} ~ just find that incredibly sad and wonder what Mary must have been thinking

~ The blind man in John 9 became quite the witness for Jesus! :)

~ Jesus had a lot of ‘slipping away’ moments where he disappears when the leaders are ready to arrest him.

~ What would it have been like when Jesus washed Judas’ feet during the last supper? It says he washed all their feet and Judas hadn’t left yet. What was going through each of their minds during that time? 

~ Did the 40 men who took an oath not to eat until Paul was killed die of starvation…or did they break their oaths? {Acts 23:14} Just wondering…

~ Have I mentioned that I love Romans? I do. No longer a slave to sin, but free. So much in this one book.

~ 1 Corinthians 14 just brought some new light to me on a few things personally {which I love}. :) Way too much to sum up and explain in here, but it’s all good!

Those are a few of the things that I was contemplating about this week and I am looking forward to finishing up my reading this week!!! If you are interested in learning more about the 90 Day Bible reading challenge, visit Mom’s Toolbox ~ she’ll be starting up the challenge again on July 1st. You can also download your own printable reading bookmark if you want to join along in the challenge ~ you can start at any time because the bookmark isn’t dated.

 

Friday, March 19, 2010

Spring Reading Thing 2010

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When I first sat down to look at the books that I wanted to read this spring, I didn’t think I had too many to read.

Then I realized that I have a HUGE ol’ pile of books sitting on my dresser. Definitely enough to keep me busy for quite some time.

This week I’ll be finishing up my biggest book reading endeavor ~ reading through the Bible in 90 Days. I am on schedule to finish up on March 29th. I am working on a plan to read through the Bible again, but this time I would like read it at a little slower pace ~ and chronologically {that’s why I have one of the books on my list below}.

Here is the pile of books that I am definitely focusing on over the next little bit, listed in order how I’m planning to read them. I will be writing reviews on quite a few of these and also hosting some giveaways on Saturdays. Here are the books {so far} in my pile.

Fiction

~ Here Burns My Candle by Liz Curtis Higgs ~ a retelling of the story of Ruth and Naomi set in the late 1700’s in Scotland

~ Beguiled ~ Deanne Gist & J. Mark Bertrand

~ Menu for Romance  by Kaye Dacus ~ I’ve read the other two books in the Brides of Bonneterre series and really enjoyed them

~ Not a Sparrow Falls ~ Linda Nichols

~ Hunter’s Moon ~ Don Hoesel

~ Michal by Jill Eileen Smith ~ a story written from the perspective of Michal, King David’s first wife

~ Ransome’s Crossing by Kaye Dacus ~ this book is scheduled to release June 1st and I’ve already added it to my Amazon cart in anticipation of reading it! If you love Jane Austen books, be sure to check out The Ransome Trilogy by Kaye!

~ Eighth Shepherd / Ninth Witness / Tenth Stone by Bodie and Brock Thoene ~ all are a part in the A.D. Chronicles series

Non-Fiction

~ Chronological Guide to the Bible ~ Thomas Nelson

~ The Heart of Anger by Lou Priolo ~Bible study time with a friend is back on soon.

~ The Bible ~ hopefully 1/3 of the way through it again by the end of the this reading challenge!

Spring Reading Thing 2010 is hosted by Katrina at Callapidder Days and runs from March 20th til June 20th. If you are interested in joining up, or learning more, be sure to stop by and visit!

 

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

God Bless You, Chick-fil-A

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You might know that I'm a little fond of Chick-fil-A. Count me in if there are waffle fries involved.

Even BETTER if there is a peppermint chocolate chip milkshake on the line.

And if Tim Hawkins has a song to sing about it, I might as well be in Chick-fil-A heaven.

 

 

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bible in 90 Days {B90} ~ Day 74 Check-in

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I have to admit, when I looked at my bookmark yesterday and realized that there are only TWO more weeks left to this challenge, I about fell over.

This check-in post is a day late in coming, but I’ll be honest and say I got behind last week and had little time to catch up until Sunday night and yesterday. Since we’re SO CLOSE to the end, I can’t fall off the B90 wagon in the New Testament ~ especially since I managed to make it through Leviticus and all the major prophets. To quit now would just be … well, it won’t happen!

The New Testament is so much more lovely to read. While I am definitely more familiar with things in the first four books, there were a few things that I underlined and wondered about:
  • Love when Jesus talks about vows ~ ‘just a simple yes or no is enough. To strengthen your promise with a vow shows that something is wrong.’ {Matt 5:37}
  • Never realized that John the Baptist had his own group of disciples.
  • It amused me that John’s disciples were all bent out of shape that they had to fast, but Jesus’ disciples did not {Matt 9:14}
  • Made me laugh when the disciples asked Jesus why he always told stories when talking to the other people.
  • How many times Jesus told people he healed to ‘not talk to anyone’ about what had happened ~ and they promptly left and spread the news to everyone.
  • The disciples at times never cease to amaze me ~ love that they asked Jesus what his stories meant {Mark 4:10}. He used parables to speak in public and then would later explain their meaning to the disciples {Mart 4:33}.
  • When Jesus sent the demons into the herd of pigs, only Mark mentions how many ~ 2,000! I’m guessing the pig’s owners were none-too-pleased! {Mark 5:13}
  • Jesus sends his disciples out two by two to cast out demons and just a short while later, after He feeds the 5,000 and walks on water they still had hardened hearts and ‘did not believe.’ {Mark 6:52}
  • Love that there are 4 different perspectives on Christ’s ministry ~ and two different genealogies showing his lineage from both his mother and father.
Two weeks left! After this I am planning to take a little break from this intensive reading, but I am hoping to start at the beginning of May ~ this time reading chronologically in a 6 month time frame. :)

If you are interested in learning more about the 90 Day Bible reading challenge, visit Mom’s Toolbox ~ she’ll be starting up the challenge again on July 1st. You can also download your own printable reading bookmark if you want to join along in the challenge ~ you can start at any time because the bookmark isn’t dated.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Was-AHHHHH!-bi

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Just in case you were wondering….

Eating wasabi-covered peas while reading is fine.

Reaching up to wipe something out of your eye and forgetting your finger is dusted in wasabi powder ~ not so fine.

‘Ow’ pretty much sums it up.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Wii Have Jesus

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Apparently our kids have been busy creating different Mii profiles for friends ~ and others.

I turned on our Wii the other day and this is what I found on the screen. Notice anyone in particular?

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Yes. It’s Jesus ~ or at least our kid’s visual take on him. When I asked the kids why they made Jesus a Mii, Laurianna answered,

“It’s for when He comes back. That way we can play Wii!”

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At least He won’t have to sign in as a guest in our household when He does come. For now He’s stuck playing the outfield when we play baseball.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Bible in 90 Days {B90} ~ Day 67 Check-in

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Officially, I have finished the Old Testament. This week the readings went from Ezekiel to Zechariah. Truthfully, there were days when I was thinking I couldn’t get out of the Old Testament soon enough ~ but that seems almost sacrilegious to say.

But for Daniel this week, I believe I might have been swimming in a see of doom. The more I continue to read though, I am determined to read through again chronologically to put some of this all into an even better perspective ~ specifically how the prophets all fit in to the timeline of kings, etc… I think reading it in order will help to see how prophecies are fulfilled and give me a grasp on where Israel was as a country.

All that aside, here are a few of the things that I jotted down this week during my reading:

  • Ezekiel not being able to grieve when his wife died…wow. In today’s society I could see him being tried for pre-meditated murder or something since he told everyone it would happen and then it did.
  • It would be so helpful {while reading Ezekiel} to have maps around that show where these cities are in relation to those that are attacking them.
  • The comparison of Israel and Judah to prostitutes was umm…interesting {Day 61}
  • Love the ‘Good Shepherd’ analogy in Ezekiel 34
  • Ezekiel started out more ‘doom & gloom’ and then somehow turned into a re-hashing of Leviticus {laws, etc…}
  • Ezekiel 40 ~ I would love a virtual tour of the temple that Ezekiel in envisioning. Just so I can picture what he is seeing in my own mind.
  • Amazed at the SPECIFIC measurements in his vision of the temple ~ why is that?
  • In Daniel 1:6 ~ the King attempted to change their names in an attempt to change them. Each one of the men’s Hebrew names involved the name God/Lord. Their new names attempted to change them to other gods.
  • Why {when we talk about Daniel} do we always refer to him by his Hebrew name, but the other three we use their Babylonian names? Makes me determined to learn their other ones and call them by those ~ especially knowing what their new names mean.
  • Daniel 2:24 ~ Daniel chose not to let the imposters be killed after they interpreted the king’s dream incorrectly. He is a much better man that I would have been.
  • Daniel 3:16 ~ Love the words from the men in the furnance ~ “He will rescue us…. but even if He doesn’t…” Such confidence, but also completely secure in their God!
  • Chapter 4 in Daniel ~ what a horrible feeling to know what the king’s dream meant {him becoming like a beast in the fields} and have to relay that.
  • Never realized that there were 4 kings during Daniel’s time in Babylon

That’s it for this week ~ of course there were lots of other prophets…but my brain hurts just thinking about some of the stuff. :) Next week ~ the New Testament!!!

If you are interested in learning more about the 90 Day Bible reading challenge, visit Mom’s Toolbox ~ she’ll be starting up the challenge again on July 1st. You can also download your own printable reading bookmark if you want to join along in the challenge ~ you can start at any time because the bookmark isn’t dated.

Preaching the Good News

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Kaleb has been cracking us up over the last two days. I’m not sure what triggered the whole thing {i.e. a specific story or lesson}, but he has been letting his siblings continually know that ‘Jesus loves you!’

When Zachary starts playing a game and misses something, Kaleb quickly runs up to him, leans in front of him and says, “It’s ok Zachary. Jesus loves you!” He then runs back and sits down.

Zachary has apparently heard it often enough that he feels the need to run away. He came charging through the back door yelling behind him ~ “ I KNOW, Kaleb! You don’t have to keep telling me!’’

About 5 seconds later Kaleb came following through the door reminding him over and over ~ “Jesus loves you!”

Who am I to tell him to stop? It’s true ~ and I would MUCH rather he chases down his siblings with encouragement!

Head on over to Mary's at Not Before 7 for some more Tiny Talk Tuesday!!

Monday, March 8, 2010

What’s in the Bible? Review & Giveaway!!

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Official Stop On The What's In The Bible Blog Tour
Do you know what is in the Bible? Is the Bible true? What is a canon? Can you explain to your children what patriarchal history is?

If not, you are definitely not alone. Phil Vischer, the mind behind Veggie Tales, has created a new DVD series called What’s in the Bible? to help walk families through the Bible together in a fun and humorous way. The series will eventually have 13 DVDs covering it all ~ even the tough stuff, covering topics such as the DaVinci code, who picked the books to be in the Bible, and was the world literally created in 7 days.

The kids and I sat down to watch the first two episodes of What’s in the Bible? with Buck Denver and fell in love! If the entire series were available today I would most certainly invest in every single one of them for our family. Not only are the kids learning things {and laughing along}, I am learning and laughing too.

Want to get a little peek at the series and see for yourself? Check out this 3 minute clip.



 

I am so impressed with what I’ve seen that I’ve already been trying to figure out how we could incorporate the DVD series into our homeschool teaching ~ we love it that much. I am eagerly anticipating the release of future DVDs too. Running time for each is approximately 1 hour.

The first two DVDs in the What’s in the Bible? series are currently available
The Giveaway is now closed ~ thanks for entering!

Would you like to win a copy of Episode #1 ~ “In the Beginning” or Episode #2 ~ “Let My People Go”? Leave a comment on this post ~ be sure to include your email address! I will choose two different winners {one for each of the DVDs}. The giveaway will be open until Sunday, March 14th at 8pm.


I was given this product to review by Tyndale House.  I do not have to return the product. I was not paid for this post. All opinions expressed in this post are mine.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A Case for Love ~ Kaye Dacus

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Forbes Guidry is well-known around town, both from family ties and the name he has created for himself as one of Bonneterre’s best lawyers. He also happens to be one of the Bonneterre’s most eligible bachelors.

Love literally walks into Forbes one evening in the form of Alaine Delacroix, a local tv news reporter. Before their relationship has a chance to develop, Alaine finds herself at odds with Forbes ~ his family owns a corporation that is threatening to demolish the community she grew up in, one where her family still resides and works. Alaine attempts to help her family by getting a pro bono lawyer ~ Forbes Guidry.

Forbes is put in a difficult position. He stands the chance of losing things that are precious to him ~ his lifelong ties with his family and his newly developed feelings for Alaine. Will God intervene and show him a way to keep both?

My Thoughts

From start to finish I thoroughly enjoyed this book ~ I even stayed up far too late in an attempt to read it in just one night. Dacus has created some wonderful characters that pull you into the story ~ from the immediate family members to the diverse ethnic community that is threatened with demolition.

Truthfully, I’m a little saddened that it is the last book in the series, because there are other family members that I would enjoy reading more about! A Case for Love is the third book in the Brides of Bonneterre series by Kaye Dacus, following Stand-in Groom and Menu for Romance

If you enjoy historical fiction, Kaye also has another wonderful series set in the early 1800’s ~ the Ransome Trilogy. The first book in that series, Ransome’s Honor is currently available and the second Ransome’s Crossing ~ I loved the first book so much I’ve already pre-ordered the second! 

Be sure to visit Kaye’s website where she shares writing tips and insights. Her site is one that I visit almost daily and really enjoy the various series that she has provided.

What {else} I’m Reading
Be sure to stop by and visit 5 Minutes for Books and their monthly meme called "What's on Your Nightstand?" and also the Saturday Review.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

It’s Almost Time for Spring Reading Thing

This post may contain affiliate or advertiser links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

March has already started and I’m beginning to wonder where January and February went…

With the start of spring, Katrina at Callapidder Days will also begin a new reading challenge ~ Spring Reading Thing 2010.

If you want to join in, start making your piles and lists of things to read and then check in with her on the 20th to link up with your list.

I’m off to start making lists {because I love lists!}.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Relevant Conference…Here I Come!!

This post may contain affiliate or advertiser links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

I mentioned a little over a week ago that I was hoping to attend the Relevant Conference this coming October.

Well, tickets went on sale on March 1st and I was one of the first in line to nab a ticket for what promises to be an amazing conference!! My room has been reserved ~ and I’ll be spending some FUN time with Carisa from 1+1+1=1!!

Needless to say, I’m just a wee bit excited.

This is the line up of AMAZING speakers for the weekend ~ some incredible ladies will be sharing with us:

Alyssa Francis from Kingdom First Mom

Angie Smith from Bring the Rain

Ann Voskamp from A Holy Experience

Bonita Lillie from Encouraging Words for Writers

Crystal Paine from Money Saving Mom

Jen Schmidt from Balancing Beauty and Bedlam

Kimba from A Soft Place to Land

Kristen Welch from We Are THAT Family

Melissa Michaels from The Inspired Room

Sally Clarkson from I Take Joy

Sarah Pinnox from Real Life Sarah

Serena Woods from Grace is for Sinners

The Relevant Conference is a one-of-a-kind conference that seeks to engage women by teaching blogging techniques and social media skill while also urging and encouraging women to live fully integrated lives with their faith and family.

So very, very excited!!!

 

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Defining Middle-aged

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Who gets to take a turn first, second, etc… can sometimes be a battle. When we were playing a game the other day McKenna said, “I should be next since I’m the middle-aged person in this family.”

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After church was over, we were asking the kids what they had done/learned that day. McKenna answered, “All we did was watch a movie with lots of killing in it.”

I asked her what they were watching.

“Gospel Bill.”

It just made Rick and I laugh…

 

Head on over to Mary's at Not Before 7 for some more Tiny Talk Tuesday!!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Bible in 90 Days {B90} ~ Day 60 Check-in

This post may contain affiliate or advertiser links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Heavy reading this week. Very heavy reading. Jeremiah, Lamentations and Ezekiel are really not three books that I would choose to read if I’m needing encouragement.
 
{grins}
 
That’s not to say that there aren’t some great passages in any of the books, but overall it was difficult to muddle through at times. After reading perspectives from the various prophets at the time, I cannot even begin to imagine being called to be a prophet during that time. A most unthankful and difficult job it would have been.
 
I’m not sure I would have wanted to do it personally {just being honest}. Years of mocking, prison time, running from others, and just overall difficulty.  Not exactly a position of high esteem to be calling down judgment on your fellow Israelites and other countries.
 
Some of my thoughts while reading this week:
  • False prophets vs. prophets of God ~ how often do we surround ourselves by what we want to hear instead of what we know is true & don’t want to hear.
  • How discouraging to have God tell you “Don’t pray for these people anymore.” {Jer 14:11} ~ and be told that it wouldn’t matter what you say
  • felt pity for Jeremiah {20:8-9} when he describes that he is weary of holding in the words of God because they burn in his heart ~ and know that all are mocking you constantly.
  • Israel is referred to in both male and female tenses {Jer. 31:20-22}. it is both ‘my son, my darling child’ and ‘my wayward daughter’. Don’t ever remember it being referred to as a male
  • Love the passage in Lamentations 3:20-26. Thinking of some of the more difficult times in my life/walk with the Lord and knowing that His love and faithfulness never end. He IS full of mercy.
  • Wish I could get a ‘glimpse’ of what Ezekiel saw in his visions. :) Just can’t even begin to imagine some of the things he saw.

That’s it for this week ~ picking out encouraging things in these three books is just rather hard. And truthfully…there are just some things in those books that I don’t even want to think about.

If you are interested in learning more about the 90 Day Bible reading challenge, visit Mom’s Toolbox ~ she’ll be starting up the challenge again on July 1st. You can also download your own printable reading bookmark if you want to join along in the challenge ~ you can start at any time because the bookmark isn’t dated.

 
 

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