Captivating Online Bible Study, Chapter Seven

This was a great chapter! Aside from that fact that I’m just a little uncomfortable at how they worded some things in this chapter (they use the word “Lover” to refer to how we should view Christ, which is not a problem in and of itself, it just has a very physical connotation in our society, therefore making the reference a little uncomfortable) I think the overall message in this chapter was a very good one. Basically what they are getting at in this chapter is to step up your relationship with Jesus, to become even more intimate and dependent upon him, to really strive to get to know him, to really be true with him, to fall deeper in love with him.
In this chapter the different types, or stages of relationship with Jesus Christ are mentioned; servant/master, sheep/shepherd, child/parent, bride/bridgroom were a few of them. This chapter really focuses on the bride/bridegroom relationship. They present it as the ultimate type of relationship you can have with God, and the type of relationship you should be striving for. One of the ways they suggest to do this is to have your daily time with him: DAILY. To not ever skip it- to show God how important he is to you by not ever sacrificing this time for lesser things. This can be a very difficult thing to do, but it is oh, so important. Truthfully, I have had a very long struggle with keeping a daily Bible reading/devotional quiet time. But a while back, a fellow blogger buddy, wrote a little post about exactly what she does in order to have her quiet time each and every day, (it was Heather, and the post was a while ago, so I’m not sure where to find it) and she made it seem so easy, and simple and matter-of-fact that I’ve been able to keep my quiet time almost every day since reading that little inspirational post, friends. (See, blogs are good for something!) So I just encourage you to do whatever it takes to have that daily meeting time with Jesus- even if you only have time to read one verse. Not only does it make a difference in your day, your relationship with Jesus will begin to grow, and you’ll find that you cannot go a day without your time with him, and you’ll hunger for that time with him. Also, start thinking about your relationship with him in that bride/bridgroom respect. How is it like that type of relationship? How is it not? What about your relationship needs to change?

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Welcome To My House

Okay, Boomama has put together the first annual Tour of Homes. (I would have used the nifty little logo she made, but I couldn’t get it to work on here…totally my problem, btw.)
So without further ado, welcome to my home!

Front Door
The front door. I’m really not a fan of our front doors, they need to be painted and I don’t like the frilly design on the glass, but alas… they have come a long way.

Living Room
This is the living room, what you see right after I welcome you through the front door. When we bought this house, almost 3 years ago, you would have been looking at mangy blue carpet, light blue walls and an acoustic (a.k.a popcorn) ceiling. My husband scraped all the ceilings in the house and re-textured everything-in addition to new paint, carpet and tile…LOTS OF HARD WORK! But, I digress, the living room is where I often sit and blog. Do you see the blue boppy on the couch? That is where I sit and nurse Beau, and blog at the same time. (Gotta multi-task you know!)

Kicten and Dining area
Then we have the kitchen and dining area. Before, this was closed off from the living room by two walls. Kev ripped them out with just one swing of his hammer (yes, they were barely in there) and it made a world of difference.

Dining Area
Here is a closer shot of the dining area. Like our big octogonal window? Some days I do, and some days I don’t. What I do know is it looks much better without the valance that the previous owners had put up there!

Kitchen
And here we have the kitchen. The kitchen is definitely the hub of the household, much conversating and cooking, and yes even blogging, goes on here. (See my laptop charging there on the right?) Before the remodel, there were lovely yellow countertops, a bright yellow sink, pink and mauve painted cabinets and a strange island with a grill in it (that we would never have used.) Looks, much better, dontcha think?

Family Room
Step right out of the kitchen, and you’ll enter the family room, also known as the playroom. Lots of lightsaber battles take place here, but you’d never know it… The toys are all behind the couch.

Master Bedroom
This is the master bedroom, which is oddly enough, right off the living room, instead of being down the hall…but we like it. And I really like my new bedspread, which I got as a birthday present (thank you to all of you birthday money contributors!)

Master Bathroom
Master Bathroom
Then we enter the master bathroom, currently one of my favorite rooms in the house. I love the orange and purple (yes, you read that right) paint on the walls. This bathroom used to be about a quarter of the size it was, and it had a bright (not cool) color orange sink, bright canary yellow walls with weird purple flowers and ivy stencilled onto it. It was so small that if you sat down on the toilet before you shut the door, well, you couldn’t shut the door.

Takin' a Spin
And this is where I get my inspiration…The Laundry Room. And who I get my inspiration from…my kids. (Most of the time anyways.)

And that is my house, boys rooms, guest room and guest bathroom are down the hall. Kevin’s studio is in the basement. Which, I might add, had a full sized hot-tub in it when we first bought it! The whole house smelled like chlorine and the floors were wavy from the moisture. It has come a long, long way. Thanks a ton to my wonderful workaholic hardworking, hubby and many friends hands- especially my father, who is a kick-butt carpenter and fully installed ALL of our kitchen cabinets and more! When we first bought this house, we fully intended to flip it, but after being here for a while, and with all of our modifications and renovations, we decided we really like it and it fits our family well…so we’ll probably stay for a while…

You can find many many more home-tours from the list of links at Boomama’s site.

Captivating Online Bible Study, Chapter Six

This chapter brings up some interesting points, some I agree with, some I’m still mulling over in my head. One thing that should be addressed, and has been by some of the other participants in the group is the semantics that are used to describe certain things, the wording is at times odd, and I find that maybe that is not exactly what they are trying to say through further reading of the chapter.
In reading the “Hemmed In” section, I really had to read and reread, because at first glance
“Why did God curse Eve with loneliness and heartache, an emptiness that nothing would be able to fill?….It seems unkind. Cruel, even.” then, “He did it to save her,” just doesn’t seem right, or at the very least, respectful. I mean to me that says, God put us in this terrible position so he could then save us. But God didn’t put us in this position, the curse, was a result of our own decisions. Then they go on to explain (you’ve really got to concentrate on this part), “something in Eve’s heart shifted at the Fall. Something sent its roots down deep into her soul-and ours-that mistrust of God’s heart, that resolution to find life on our own terms. So God has to thwart her. In love, he has to block her attempts until, wounded and aching, she turns to him and him alone for her rescue.” I’m glad for this explanation. This explanation really resonates with me. Because, as I’ve referred to in other Captivating posts, I am aware of my heart not wanting to really trust in God’s heart. I am aware of my fear that he will ask me to do something I can’t, or don’t want to do, or that some terrible calamity will come upon my head if I fully give myself over to him. And because of this fear, I do exactly what the authors describe, I try to find life on my own terms.
I also had an aversion to one word they were using a lot in this chapter: thwart. In the book, “Jesus has to thwart us too- thwart our self-redemptive plans, our controlling and our hiding, thwart the ways we are seeking to fill the ache within us.” At first reading, thwart seems like such a bad word, especially when you’re saying that Jesus and God thwart us. So I looked it up:
thwart:
To prevent the occurrence, realization, or attainment of: They thwarted her plans.
To oppose and defeat the efforts, plans, or ambitions of.

And after reading the definition, I’m glad that Jesus prevents my self-redemptive plans, my controlling and hiding, prevents the ways I am seeking to fill the ache within myself. I just don’t like the way thwart sounds- I feel like it’s a thump on the head. And I prefer to think that Jesus is a little softer with me than that. And I think he is at first. But sometimes, when the softness isn’t getting through, I think he allows us to get to “rock bottom”- so that we’ll finally turn our face toward him. You know what I’m talking about. We’ve all had that friend or been that person that has to experience pain and suffering to a certain point, whatever your “rock bottom” is, until we finally realize we need to seek him for our answers.

So I think I’m getting it. I’m getting their message, or at least a message from the book, it’s just taking A LOT of concentration, and truth be told, it is hard to give the book that much attention when I have the two little ones running around.

The other thing that I am realizing with this chapter, is that I do have wounds that I am covering- or not allowing to be healed. I’m not sure I know what they all are, because I have a tendency to really shut painful things away and throw away the key. But, I really want to heal from those things, I want to live my life fully. I don’t want any wound that I have suffered from in the past to affect or hinder my future decisions or experiences. So with that being said, I’m going to give my (fearful) heart over to God, he knows me, he knows I’m fearful. I’ve been honest about that. I’m going to let him heal any wounds, known or unknown. I’ve got to remember that this isn’t a journey to uncover old pain so I can relive it again, (because that is a fear) it’s a journey to uncover those wounds, so they can properly heal. I think a really good verse for this chapter, or for the whole book, rather would be John 10:10- “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Like they addressed in the beginning of the chapter, so many people accept Jesus into their hearts so they can get a ‘free ticket to heaven” and that is as far as they ever go, but God wants to do so much more with our lives, he wants us to have full and transformed lives, and that is what I think this chapter was trying to say.

Just a Few Things

I don’t have much to say today. I wish I had some thought-provoking or interesting post, but I do not. I have much cleaning and mothering to do today…and many thoughts swirling around my head that I’d like to write out…but not the time today. Hopefully, sometime in the near future I’ll have some time to sit down and get them out.

Kevin and I had a wonderful time last night celebrating his birthday. My mother came and watched the boys, and we headed out for a drive over some beautiful country in our area, watching a spectacular lightning show along the way. It was good to get out with just my hubby and reflect on our lives and how much God has blessed us. I’m turning 27 over the weekend! I don’t feel that old, I feel like I’m 19 or 20, really…

In other news, my mom is doing rather well with her MS treatment. She is starting to feel pretty good and get her energy back. She has been seeing some very helpful doctors who have helped to get her on the right track for what I hope will be some pretty significant, if not full healing. I’m very proud of her, she has a really good attitude, even through her struggles: and I can see how this is making her a stronger person already. I love you mom!!

Anyways…that is all for now, I guess I had more to say than I thought 🙂