Reflections on life, marriage, and a young woman who is constantly learning how much there will always be to learn!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

My weekend reading recommendation

From a new-to-me blog I've been enjoying very much:

Sara does a wonderful job condensing Proverbs 31 into its key points, and then shares practical down-to-earth encouragement for those of us striving to live these verses! This is a long read, but I highly recommend it when you get a few moments.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I think my poor little blog needs a fresh post

I'm still around, as some of you know who have been following our other site, Frugal Living Journal! I'm just taking to heart the encouragement I received a while back that I shouldn't feel pressed to post something just to be posting. Perhaps a little bit too much to heart! :op

Since only posting every two weeks is kind of ridiculous, I suppose I need to become inspired a bit more often. It's either that or reevaluate continuing to post on this blog at all...but at this point in time I'm not ready to give it up! I enjoy having a place to write about anything I want...something that our topical website doesn't provide. So I hope you'll forgive me for the neglectfulness that unfortunately surfaces from time to time when life becomes busy. Please know that I always appreciate your readership and comments, even when I fail to respond to them in a timely manner! And for my part, I will try to become--at least a little bit--more timely:o)

Lately, I've been dividing much of my time between home projects (cleaning, cooking, organizing, etc.) and "frugal research." Yes...when you publish a frugality website, you must do research! But much of what I'm doing is stuff I would probably be doing anyway, site or no site. I'm researching and seeking to implement new ways to manage our resources better, and getting to share them with others is an added benefit! And yet, there's never enough time to do all I would like to in this area, as in so many others. Is life always this way? Too short and too full to accomplish my never-ending list of aspirations? Again, I marvel at the idea that homemakers could ever be bored.

Discussing this with Micah recently, he asked: "How did we do all this stuff when you were working full time?" I reminded him, "we didn't!" We rarely had home-cooked meals on weeknights, excepting eggs or spaghetti. We spent weekends (partially) cleaning the house and completing other projects and errands, which was frustrating since both of us just wanted to rest and have some fun time together! And forget a simplified, frugal lifestyle, or any type of serious organization. We were doing good just to get bills paid on time!

That was then, and I am so thankful for now...though I'm amazed at the way time just continues to slip through my fingers. Bored? Never! Could I please just get my time to stand still for even one day?

How do you moms do it, adding children into the mix? Despite the fact that mothering is about as time-consuming as you can get, I hope that God sees fit to give me that challenging privilege someday:o)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

An Unfortunate Incident from an Easter Past

Don't ever buy me a chocolate Easter bunny. My mom confesses why. (Except, I don't think she fully expresses the scope of the trauma which accompanied the Easter Bunny Incident. There was wailing. There was tear-soaked chocolate.)

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Studying God's Word

As I wrote about several weeks ago, I'm trying to find the best way (for me; I believe different people have different "best ways") to spend daily focused quiet time with God.

For Bible study, I decided that some in-depth expository commentaries would be very helpful, because:

a) Reading through passages on my own often raises questions that I--with my relatively limited knowledge of biblical language and culture--find perplexing. While I think the most important points in the Bible--namely, those related to the Gospel message--are very clear, I want to make sure that my interpretations of the more minor points are accurate; that I'm understanding contexts correctly, etc.

b) I am weary of "devotional books" that ask lots of surfacey questions, like "Name five times you failed to trust God this week" (Good grief...I wish it were only five!) or "Why do you think God instructs us to forgive?" (Umm, because He-first-forgave-us. Can we get past the sunday school questions now? Thanks :op ) Again, this is just my opinion. I'm not necessarily saying some of these books don't have their place...especially for new Christians or those just beginning to study the Bible. Perhaps the biblically-accurate ones can be a good starting place, but aren't meant to nourish someone who has been a Christian for 20 years.

So, I've borrowed a couple of John MacArthur commentaries from my dad. Right now I'm beginning to work my way through 1&2 Thessalonians, and I think I've found what I wanted! From the preface:

It continues to be a rewarding, divine communion for me to preach expositionally through the New Testament. My goal is always to have deep fellowship with the Lord in the understanding of His Word and out of that experience to explain to His people what a passage means. In the words of Nehemiah 8:8, I strive to "give the sense of" it so they may truly hear God speak and, in so doing, may respond to Him.[...]

This New Testament commentary series reflects this objective of explaining and applying Scripture. Some commentaries are primarily linguistic, others are mostly theological, and some are mainly homiletical. This one is basically explanatory, or expository. It is not linguistically technical, but deals with linguistics when that seems helpful to proper interpretation. It is not theologically expansive but focuses on the major doctrines in each text and how they relate to the whole of Scripture. It is not primarily homiletical, although each unit of thought is generally treated as one chapter, with a clear outline and logical flow of thought. Most truths are illustrated and applied with other Scripture. After establishing the context of a passage, I have tried to follow closely the writer's development and reasoning.

From what I've read so far, I highly recommend MacArthur's commentaries to anyone wanting to study the Bible in-depth. I like how his entire focus is ON THE SCRIPTURE instead of extra-biblical application, because I think the ability to apply God's Word to our daily lives must first grow out of our proper understanding of and internalization of that Word. Life application comes later, when the fruits of hiding God's Word in our hearts spring forth naturally. This cannot be manufactured.

I'd love to hear what helps you in your study of Scripture!