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Fi mum23

Royalty, Wife, Mummy, friend, teacher, student & fitness blogger

Month

July 2016

Surveying the Old Testament

This afternoon, I finished my final lecture in the subject entitled Old Testament Survey.  It was a very long 29 lectures, with so so much information within the teaching, but I loved every minute of it.  Once again, I am riding that feeling that I haven’t taken everything in, but as I’ve said before, I have learnt that it sits in there and digs in deep (The roots of my tree planted by the water are going in deep), ready for me to draw on it in the future when I need it.  :0)

One fun part was memorising the minor prophets.  The point was made that we remember things best when we teach it to ourselves in the silliest fashion.  I don’t know how this is going to come across on paper, but here goes…

Imagine a hose (Hosea).. now imagine a jewel (sounds like JOEL) pushing it’s way through the hose.  It flies out the end towards a target, but misses it … a miss (Amos).  Now imagine a whale …  makes you think of… (Jonah).  The whale has an eye patch … Oh, bad eye (Obadiah).  The Whale now steps up to a microphone (Micah) and clears his throat (Nahum).  He’s nervous… he needs to have a cup-a-tea (Habakkuk).  Look into the cup of tea and you’ll see a car, a particular car… a Zeffa (Zephaniah).  Zoom in on the car and you’ll see a rather unattractive lady is driving ..  a bit of a hag to be honest (Haggai). She isn’t valued by others, she’s ‘not work a Zack’ (Zechariah).  This whole thing has been quite the malachi (Malachi).

I told you it was going to be silly…. but it actually works.. I doubt I’ll ever forget the canonical order of the minor prophets again.  ha ha !!

I also came to realise how much Veggie Tales taught me in the years that I inflicted my children with their DVDs.  A lot of Sunday school teaching can give quite a brushed over teaching of the well known bible stories.  eg.  Cute little Ark’s with giraffe heads sticking out the windows and monkeys hanging off the sides.  Within the teaching of the book of Jonah, many probably do read the story and believe that he didn’t want to obey God’s directive because he was scared of the Ninevan people… because they were wild, rough and troublesome, when in fact he himself did not have a clean heart towards them. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to go because he thought they wouldn’t listen to him… he didn’t want to go in case they DID listen to him.  Jonah KNEW that God was a good, gracious and merciful God and that he would forgive them of all wrong and bless them.  Jonah didn’t want them to be blessed, so he ran away…. literally in the opposite direction. And, well, you know the rest of the story.

Another fascinating thing that I gleaned from OT survey (particularly in the book of Judges, but also in most of the minor prophets) was the cycles that the people of that time went through.

pattern-of-israels-judges.preview

I think I’ve said it before, but I would strongly recommend bible college to ANYONE who is keen to grow in their walk with The Lord.  I had already developed a love for bible study over the last few years, but this is just like that.. on steroids… LOVE IT !!!!  I think the biggest take-home from the OT is God’s faithfulness.  It’s just awesome to sit back and soak in that knowledge…. KNOWING that He is so faithful, merciful, trustworthy,true.. and so much more.  It really does make you feel that you can handle anything that life throws at you when you have that knowledge on-board.

Historical content is something I love delving into.  There’s just so much to be gleaned from the OT, but when you marry the historical content up with the story, the depth of learning expands amazingly.

I know a lot of us have maps and charts in the back of our bibles, but memorising those maps and charts can hugely magnify your depth of learning.   Knowing how close, or far, people travelled can add an entirely different dimension to what you are reading.  We all know that the Israelites wandered in the wilderness for 40 years when it was, in fact, an 11 day journey, but it really brings it home exactly how CLOSE they were to the promised land when you consult the map in conjunction with reading it.

I could really go on & on, but I’d really rather sign off here, hopefully having stirred up a little bit of additional interest in the Word, but particularly the OT..   Dive into it peeps, it’s beyond rich in it’s content.  If you aren’t able, time-wise or financially, to be able to commit to a year of bible college, there are great bible studies that can start you off.  Beth Moore does a fantastic study on Daniel, Esther, Deuteronomy … to name just a few.

Within my own church, you can attend Bible College one evening a week and complete two subjects over the course of a year, so see if there’s something in your area that offers something similar.  You’ll grow in so many ways… not just in your personal walk with The Lord, but in your marriage, friendships, work-life, family relationships etc etc.

Blessings.  xox

 

 

 

Like a tree planted by the water

Hi all…

God laid a blog post on my heart a few weeks back, but life’s been cray cray busy, emotionally draining and. well, just a tad poopy to be honest.  So, my blog post has been a bunch of notes and dot points on note paper by my Mac ever since then.  Now, tonight, I finally have the time, and emotional capacity, to get it ‘written down’.

Quite often, The Lord gives my blog post during praise & worship time.  This can be quite frustrating if he decides to give it to me during P & W at church….  I have to try and remember it all…  I really should start taking my journal to church with me for this very reason.

The title of tonight’s blog may have given it away, but it was Psalm 1 that was given to me that particular evening.

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lordand on his law he meditates day and night.  He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.  In all that he does, he prospers.  The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.  Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;  for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

I always find it interesting that the Lord gives me different things for my blogs… sometimes pictures, sometimes songs, sometimes a direct message.  I was given this Psalm, and then I ‘happened’ to search up a ‘Chat with Priscilla Shirer’ to watch one evening in the week following having been given the Psalm, and low and behold, her guests were Mark & Melanie Hall.  Mark Hall is the lead singer of Casting Crowns.  I have a few of theirs albums, but must say I didn’t know much about them.  Their story is amazing.  The band is completely made up of Pastors.  I’d strongly encourage you to google them and read their testimony.  Powerful stuff !

Anyway, I had strangely (nothing like this is ‘strange’, it’s just God ‘doing his thing’ when we don’t realise He’s doing it) purchased the ‘Thrive’ album the previous week and had listened to it enough times to be quite interested in what Mark had to say about it.  Surprise, surprise… it’s based on Psalm 1.  I guess if I’d put some deep thought into it, I would have realised that after listening to the ‘Thrive’ track, but I mostly listen to it while working out, so I’m not always putting 100% attention into lyric meaning.  You know, not dropping the weight bar on my face is more significant.  LOL.

The lyrics of ‘Thrive’ go like this :

Here in this worn and weary land Where many a dream has died
Like a tree planted by the water We never will run dry
So living water flowing through, God we thirst for more of You
Fill our hearts and flood our souls With one desire
Just to know You and to make You known ,We lift Your name on High
Shine like the sun made darkness run and hide
We know we were made for so much more Than ordinary lives
It’s time for us to more than just survive… We were made to thrive
Into Your word we’re digging deep To know our Father’s heart
Into the world we’re reaching out To show them who You are
So living water flowing through God we thirst for more of You
Fill our hearts and flood our souls With one desire.

The Believers Bible Commentary tells us this about Psalm 1:3-5 – The man who is separated from sin and separated to the scriptures has all the qualities of a strongly, healthy, fruitful tree.    Planted by the rivers of water – he has a never-failing supply of nourishment and refreshment.  It brings forth it’s fruit in it’s season  – he displays the graces of The Spirit, and his words and actions are always timely and appropriate.   It’s leaf also shall not wither – his spiritual life is not subject to cyclical changes but it characterised by continuous inner renewal.  As D L Moody puts it, :”All The Lord’s trees are evergreen.”  ( I LOVE that, don’t you.)

This kind of man shall prosper in everything he undertakes.  The reason, of course, is that he is living in fellowship with The Lord, and all his service is therefore guided by the Holy Spirit.  The only way to be efficient and successful in the Christian life is to be led by the Spirit of God.  Self-directed activity is an enormous waste of time, money and effort.

The ungodly are not so, that is, they are neither well planted, fruitful, enduring, nor prosperous.  Like chaff, they lack body or substance.  When the storms of life blow, they prove unstable.  a strong wind drives them away.  The ungodly shall not stand in the judgement. They will, of course, appear before God at the judgement of the Great White Throne (Rev 20:11). But the meaning here is that they will have no adequate defence.  In idiomatic language, they won’t have a leg to stand on.  Furthermore, they will never stand in the congregation of the righteous;  they will be forever excluded from company of those who are saved by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

(If I haven’t told you before… I LOVE my ‘Believers Bible Commentary’.  I bought it about 4yrs ago now and find it an extremely handy resource.  It is written by William MacDonald and is based on the New King James version. ©1995, 1992, 1990, 1989)  And as a bonus for me, it’s LARGE PRINT…. which also makes it a good addition to my weights workout.. LOL.

13718042_10154380578339540_1104673967_o

The cover of the ‘Thrive’ album is so great and tells such a great message, as well as visually depicting Psalm 1.  Digging our roots DEEP in the scriptures, while still reaching OUT into the world.  I’m sure I don’t need to tell you all that having deep roots in the Scriptures make marriage, work, church, friendships…well, basically anything, work BETTER !!!

tree-with-roots

Getting back to what the commentary says of Psalm 1… I love knowing that I have a NEVER FAILING supply of nourishment and refreshment.  Man, I’ve needed that this year with the ups and downs of the last few months.  Even this past week, Master 11 had major eye surgery.  I actually didn’t even realise quite how major it was until he’d been in theatre 3hrs with no sign of getting that magical phone call saying ‘Your child is in recovery.. you can come in and see him now.”  Thank The Lord, that phone call ended up being the surgeon coming to us after 3hr 10mins in theatre, saying that it had all gone beautifully and our son would soon be in recovery.  It would be another nail biting half an hour before I got the call saying I could come in to recovery to see him.  Apparently he’d been under quite a deep anesthetic due to the length of the surgery and was taking a bit to come out of it.  He gave us some entertaining moments over the next few hours until he was fully awake and with it.  The knowledge that our loving heavenly Father was in that operating room, guiding the hands of the surgeons, greatly comforted me in those stressful last 2hrs in theatre.

I also want to be characterised as having continuous inner renewal.  I certainly know that I thrive for this, by both digging into the Word, and reaching out to others with the gifts and talents the Lord has blessed me with.

Speaking of reaching out to others, I have to take this opportunity to share with you the most beautiful thing that happened in hospital this week, the morning following the surgery.  I stayed in overnight with Master 11 of course, and when we were sitting having breakfast (well, he was having breakfast, I was stealing off his plate.), he nonchalantly says to me “I’m thinking after breakfast, I’m going to go and pray with each child.”  Seriously, my heart nearly burst.  Due to nurses coming, going through discharge proceedures etc, he only got to pray with one little girl, but oh well, that’s one girl who’s life he touched that morning.   My son is an EVERGREEN…..  love it !!!!

I also love what Psalm 1 says about ‘when the storms of life blow’..  and that this played out in our life this week.  The storm was hectic… there were other things going in our lives too this week…..  not so great things.. that are way too complicated to go into (future blog post), but while I was tossed around a bit, emotionally, physically….  because my roots are planted DEEP in the word, and planted by the rivers of water, I was able to power on through it, knowing who I am, and whos I am !!!

I also love these particular lyrics in ‘Thrive’ We know we were made for so much more Than ordinary lives.. It’s time for us to more than just survive… We were made to thrive.

I know that I don’t want to settle for an ordinary life… I don’t want to ‘just survive’ …I want, and plan to THRIVE !!!

Blessings Peeps  xox

Getting my mo-jo back !!

Hiya blog readers….  It’s been a little while I know, but after my exciting trip to Adelaide with my sis, my lovely DH shared the flu with me…. and yes, it was actually the flu..not just a bad cold.  It’s a pet peeve of mine when people have a slight runny nose and tell everyone they have the flu…. um, no you don’t, suck it up cupcake and put some vicks on it.  :0)  When you’ve had the full blown flu, you know about it.  :0(

Anyway, so I’m nearly 100% better… maybe I’m at 98%, still a lingering cough happening, but I’ve been able to knock out 3 half decent PT sessions, so I feel ok about it.

However, last week, when I was trying to get back into my fitness routine, it was a hard slog…..  low on energy etc. It was a complete head game I’m telling you…. I seriously had to fight the feelings of having completely fallen off the healthy lifestyle wagon, having to resort to midday naps, and the occasional naughty comfort food.  (darn those fundraising Freddo frogs for Miss 15’s dance comps).  While I knew I’d only missed 3 PT sessions all up and a few nightly walks, I honestly felt like I had stepped back 6mths when it came to my fitness level.

I had to constantly remind myself that it was just a blip in the timeline and I was well on the way to being 100% back on track.  As I improved physically, I was able to better grab hold of those negative thoughts and toss them to the kerb.

Perhaps it’s perfect timing that my lovely PT is beginning a 6wk challenge t’row.  Other clients of hers are going to ban together to achieve great things in the next 6wks.  To say “I can’t wait!” is an understatement.  To add to my forward momentum, I’ve also committed to running/walking/cycling/elliptical’ing 5kms per day for the entire month of July.  It’s a cause in aid of a Local Pastor’s wife who is battling brain cancer at present.  I’ve done the 5kms locally yesterday and today, but I’m sure I’ll have to resort to trustie Ellie the Elliptical on days when I just don’t have the 40mins to get out and walk it.  Here is the gorgeous view from yesterday and today on my walk.

I must say, when I was out on my walk today, joined by Master 11, I was in awe of the beauty in my local suburb.  It was mid afternoon, maybe 22degrees, a thousand and one Lorikeets in the many trees… and I couldn’t help but thank God for this wonderful blessing, to be able to not only have this beauty to walk amongst, but to actually live in this area. 

It brought to mind some of the lyrics from Hillsongs ‘Transfiguration’….

Holy is the Lord revealed before my eyes

And my burning heart can scarcely take it in
As I behold your beauty with unworthy eyes
The only song my soul can find to sing
Is Hallelujah Hallelujah Hallelujah my KingWhile marvelling at my surrounds, God reminded me that I’M beautiful too.  Genesis 1:27 says So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.   Ephesian 2:10 tells us that we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.  When thinking on this, it really did remind me that even when things seem very difficult (it’s election day today here in Australia), God has it all in hand.  When we know He can create gorgeous sunsets and settings like those two I took on my walks, it’s really not much to trust that He has a little thing like the political situation in hand.     :0)
Back to fitness (aka Respecting the temple), I also made a purchase on Thursday of two new fitness friends (actually they’re identical twins)….   2 x 4kg kettle bells.  I’ve got a 6kg slam ball, a 6kg kettle bell and loads of dumb-bells, but I didn’t have two weight of equal weight to squat with etc, so I was excited to get these two new workout buddies.  They don’t talk much, but hey… you gotta take what you can get, right.  LOL.

Ok peeps….  it’s off to bed for me…. well, after I check out the latest poling numbers for today’s federal election.  It’s really similar to when a disaster happens around the world…..  the twin towers, the lindt cafe etc …. you want to turn it off and go do something constructive with your time (like sleeping), but you just can’t turn away.

Blessings Peeps !!!!

xox

 

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