Brick Builders Illustrated Bible For Children – Review

I have just spent a delightful two hours reading through God’s story.  As the Word always has and always will, this version of the Bible speaks the simple, yet profound, truth in the language of children.

Storytelling is the favored method of Bible writers to point the way to the truth, particularly in the New Testament in the many parables used by Jesus.  In this collection of Old and New Testament stories, by Emily Dammer, the same thing is accomplished in the language of children.

I’m sure young children will love this ‘Bible’.  The illustrations, by Antony Evans, use brick-like figures to illustrate each story.  Each page colorful and eye-catching.

The building blocks at the end of each chapter give life applications in children’s language.  For instance, in the story of Moses God keeps His promises and He will keep you safe are the takeaways.

All in all, I enjoyed reading Brick Builders and can imagine parents and children reading the stories to one another over and over.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

3 Who Parted The Waters

Interesting!  Amazing! Provoking!  Every one of these adjectives describes my Bible reading.  How about yours?  Do you read the Word for study only or, like me, do you take the time to just read it for the pure joy of it.  Don’t get me wrong, I do study the Word!  But every morning, with coffee in hand, I simply read it, asking God to let me see something new and amazing each time.  He honors that request almost every day and today was no exception.

2 Kings 2

We all know that Moses parted the waters at the Red Sea, and stopped the rivers on the journey to the Promised Land.  Did you know there are others?  I found two in 2 Kings Chapter 2.

Elijah was trying to get away from Elisha because he knew he was about to be taken to the LORD.  First, he told Elisha to stay where he was because God had an errand for him in Bethel.   Elisha wasn’t having any of that.  He knew what was about to happen and he wasn’t leaving.  Then Elijah said God had an errand for him in Jericho.  Same thing happened, so they traveled together.  Finally, Elijah said God has an errand for me at the Jordan.  Elisha is not about to let him out of his sight.  When they get to the Jordan, Elijah hits the water with his cloak and it parts allowing them to cross on dry ground.  When they reach the other side Elijah is taken to Heaven in a whirlwind, his cloak falls to the ground.  Elisha, having already asked to be like Elijah, uses the cloak to part the waters again and return to the other side.  As I said, interesting, amazing, and thought provoking.

Transfiguration by Alexandr Ivanov, 1824

Transfiguration by Alexandr Ivanov, 1824

Here’s another interesting connection.  (I love it when the Old and New Testaments connect!)  At the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-13) Jesus met both Elijah and Moses.  Isn’t it interesting that the One who walked on water and the ones who parted the waters were great friends  and needed to talk to one another while Jesus was this side of heaven?

Keep on keeping on!

Heavenly Father, put a great desire in all of us to know more and more of  You!  As David said, Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.  Make it so for all of us Lord!

A Satisfied Spirit Fears Not

No Fear

Throughout scripture we are told not to be afraid.  Why is that?  God knew, when He put Adam and Eve out of the garden, that fear would be a part of everyday life.  So then what do we fear?  For me,  it’s something will happen to someone I love when they are not near me.  Or, there won’t be enough money for everything we need.  Or, not enough time for what I need to get done.  Or, someone will not like how I look.

We fear because we are worriers, we are anxious about the unknown.  I know that God has me in his constant protection, that He is caring for me personally, yet I still give in to wandering thoughts about what will happen if?…

It’s interesting to me that when the Bible talks about fear it is connected to a specific cause.  God told Joshua not to fear when he took over after Moses.  He simply said,  “Take courage, fear not, I was with Moses and I will be with you!”  The angel, messenger from God, said to Jesus’ mother, “Fear not”, you are blessed and highly favored.  God is with you!”  The angels at the tomb told the two Marys not to fear.  (Mark 16)  In Acts 18:9 Paul is told not to fear but to speak out.

I’m told the only way to conquer my fear is to face it.  Perhaps so but the Word says I don’t have to face it alone.  God is always with me and with Him all the the Angel Armies of Heaven.  Why would I fear with that at my Protector’s disposal?

Whom Shall I Fear by Chris Tomlin

Heavenly Father I know You are always with me, always by my side.  Grant me peace in the knowledge that I need fear no evil.  Give me strength to stand and speak for You.  I beseech You in the Precious Name of Jesus, my Lord and Savior.  Make it so!

Holy vs. Common

Rosary Worship

Have you ever noticed that sometimes God puts valuable information in sometimes obscure parts of the Bible?  That nuggets of wisdom are sometimes hiding in the shadows of other information?  We’ll be lighting the shadows in today’s post and looking at Leviticus 10:8-11.

During the time God was giving the law to Moses He spoke to Aaron, his brother, once in a while too.  In this portion of Scripture He tells Aaron and his sons to distinguish between holy and common.  God uses the possibility of to much ‘wine or other fermented drink’ as an example of the kinds of worldly issues that can be brought into the arena of worship.  Basically, He’s giving the First Commandment again…You shall have no other gods before Me!

I want us to particularly look at the idea of holy and common, and what that means in our walk with the Lord.  Let’s start by defining the words:

Holy      The Hebrew word is qodesh and means a holy or sacred thing or place.   It refers to being sanctified which is being set apart for a specific purpose.  The Miriam-Webster Dictionary defines it as – exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness; devoted entirely to the deity or the work of the deity.

Common    The Hebrew word is hol and means not holy, ordinary.  Webster defines it as belonging to or being shared by two or more individuals or things or by all members of a group; falling below ordinary standards, second rate.

With the realization that these commands were given regarding the Holy Place and the use of it and its contents, there are a couple of concepts here that I think apply to my (and perhaps your) personal walk.  First, what is God’s, is God’s.  It is set aside for His purposes, it is holy.  It does not become the object of our worship.  What might this include?  Objects, robes, vestments, furniture, art, buildings, and more that have been given/set aside for His use.  I think sermons, music, lessons, VBS, Sunday School and many other activities of the church are also to be perceived as Holy.

What does it mean to distinguish between the holy and the common?  A synonym for common is ordinary.  He was telling the Priests to be aware of the ordinary invading the holy.  He wanted His place of worship to be holy, sanctified, set aside (as different) from the ordinary.  For me this means maintaining a worshipful atmosphere in the Church/Tabernacle/Cathedral that is all about God and not about the world around.  It means the things of worship are for God.

So…..What is the focus of your/my worship?  Are we bringing so much of the ordinary and common into the Temple that we no longer worship the One and Only?  Have we made the environment of worship so sterile that there is nothing of God in His Temple?  Does God even know the place is set aside for Him?

A musical moment of Holiness – What Do I Know of Holy

Heavenly Father I worship You!  Give me the ability to use the Temple as You intended.  Help me keep out the ordinary and embrace the Holy.  Oh, Lord, You are the Great High Priest!  Cause my worship to be all and totally about You.  Make it so!

The picture at the beginning of this post and following are of the Rosary Cathedral in Toledo, OH.  The first time I was there was with the Toledo Symphony Chorale in singing the Bruckner 9th Symphony w/voices.  It took my breath away then and still does.  God’s presence was so visible.  I am in awe of what God allows man to do so He can be praised and worshiped   Don’t get me wrong,  I worship indoors, outdoors, and all the places in between, but I believe that are places that God has set aside from the ordinary to give us a glimpse of His great glory.

Rosary Exterior

Exterior of the Rosary Cathedral in Toledo OH.

Rosary CathedralThe sanctuary in the evening without worshipers.

Rosary OrganThe Pipe Organ located in upper balcony at the rear of the church.

Rosary AltarThe main altar area.

Let My People Go!

This morning I was having a great cup of coffee and spending some time just enjoying reading His Word.  This is something I do every morning.  I have no plan for reading through in 90 days or a year I just read and let Him get into my mind and heart with whatever He needs me to know at that point.  When I’ve finished I just start all over and read the Bible again.  Today I was reading in Exodus about the Plagues and found some very interesting concepts (Even though I’ve read these words many times before He always adds something new for me to think about.).

Moses and Aaron before Pharaoh (painting by Be...

Moses and Aaron before Pharaoh (painting by Benjamin West) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sometimes, because of the way our Bibles are divided into chapters, I miss something interesting.  At the beginning of Exodus 7 God said to Moses ‘Look at Me’. In the last verse of the chapter before Moses had said to God ‘Look at Me’.  Can’t you just see God smiling in this exchange of words.  Look at me, NO Look at Me!  You’re saying you stutter, I AM saying I’ll make you like a god to them.  one-upmanship at it’s best….

In Exodus 10 Pharaoh’s servants have had enough.  They want to know how long Pharaoh is going to let this go on.  There is basically nothing left of their country.  What wasn’t taken by boils and hail was eaten by flies, gnats and locusts.  It didn’t matter to Pharaoh, even though he called Moses back and said OK you can go, God kept him stubborn as ever.

10 pl

In the 9th Plague God puts a thick darkness on the land of Egypt.  So thick the Word says it was so dark you could touch it.  Can you imagine what fear that would cause?  Ray and I have experienced that kind of darkness, literally.  We’ve been deep in caves under the surface of the earth when the guide turns off the lanterns.  Let me tell you, it’s so dark it can be felt.  Here’s something I find interesting.  The exchange between Moses and Pharaoh is enlightening (pun intended).  Pharaoh says, “Get out of my sight!”  Moses says, “You won’t see my face again.”  After darkness so dark it was blinding, no one could even move because it was so dark, Pharaoh says I don’t want to see you again…Hm-m-m-m!

Before the Plague of Death Moses gives Pharaoh God’s words about the Death to come.  This is powerful stuff!  The first-born will be killed.  This is a huge punishment in this culture and time.  Everything belonged to the first-born.  But, once again, Pharaoh gets stubborn.  Death sweeps through Egypt, saving only the Israelites, and still Pharaoh refuses to act.  Everyone else does, though.  They beg the Israelites to leave giving them jewelry and clothing for the trip.

Isn’t it the same with us.  Aren’t we a bit like Pharaoh?  He truly believed in his god-status and wasn’t about to let the Real One get the upper hand.  When we say my way or the highway, I know what works for me, don’t tell me how to do this or that…aren’t we acting like Pharaoh?

Worship the One and Only with me in song – –Days of Elijah  (Just click on the title)

Heavenly Father speak to me.  You know me and know what I need to ‘hear’.  Open my ears, eyes, mind, heart and soul to what You would have me know from the Words You have ‘breathed’ onto paper.  Make it so, Lord!

40 Years

Ray and I will be married 40 years soon.  I’ve given some though to that number and realized there are a lot of biblical applications for it. 

Moses had 3 sets of the number 40 during his life.  First he spent 40 years learning all he needed to know to be a prince of Egypt (Exodus 2:1-15).  Then he spent 40 years outside of Egypt banished for killing another Egyptian(Exodus 2:16-4.  He spent his last 40 years wandering in the desert yet, heading toward the Promised Land because God had said no one that had grumbled against Him would see Canaan (Numbers 22-23).

Jesus spent 40 days fasting in seclusion, preparing himself for the ministry ahead.  During that time he was tempted by satan 3 times.  He was offered the very things He already had.  By simply quoting the scripture back to the evil one he thwarted the plan.  (John 4:1-11)

So how do these apply to our marriage?  Although neither of us is an official member of Egyptian royalty we are a definite part of the Royal Priesthood.  These 40 years for us have been a time of ‘heading toward the Promised Land’.  Jesus’ 40 days of fasting included temptation from satan.  The evil one has tempted us many times but by spending our married lives reading, studying, and yes, even memorizing parts of it we have been able to keep his legions at bay.  We are not perfect but we certainly know Who is in control.

Praise God for this incredible span of time together.

Abba thank You for these 40 years, for allowing us to walk this journey with You, for giving us such joy and for the miracles you have done in our lives.  Guide us through the next 40.  Give us enough laughter and sorrow to keep us always mindful that You are God and You are in control.    Make it so!