Bunny Trails

Yesterday I may have done more to confuse rather than clarify anything about the “last days”, but hopefully today I will help you learn a little bit more about how to search out information for yourself about this topic in the Bible.  When you begin to study a certain book of the Bible, you go chapter by chapter, get the big picture, then go back again and go verse by verse, often word by word.  That is, if you are studying inductively, asking the 5 W’s and an H (who, what, where, when, why and how).  If you are not using the inductive study method, you may just be jumping around here and there, not really having a plan of how to get the true meaning of the book, chapter, or verse.  To learn more about the inductive study method, go to the Precept.org website or check out their blog I have listed in the side bar.  Always remember when studying Scripture, context rules; pulling meaning from a single verse can be very misleading (that is usually how cults get started!).  I am saying all this because yesterday I was throwing verses out to you, but not giving much context.  It was a topical study as opposed to a book study, but still context must rule.

To do a topical study spanning all of the Bible(for instance, “last days”), one must be very careful, and it takes time to be fully accurate.  It was too much to try to put it in a blog post.  It was really sharing my own “bunny trail” with you, though.  A “bunny trail” in Bible study is a side track that is interesting to you, so you go off that direction even though it is not the main point of your study.  I tend to go on “bunny trails”, but it’s not really a bad thing; it just takes time and you need to not let it interfere with the most important part of your study.  If you are excited about a topic and want to study it as quickly as possible, a good web site to use is http://www.blueletterbible.com.  I will put that in the side bar also.  I used it yesterday to copy and paste the verses from the NASB version(New American Standard Bible)( a word for word translation, as opposed to a phrase by phrase(NIV) or paraphrase version(The Message)).  The website offers so many resources for good, accurate Bible study!  You have access to Greek and Hebrew word definitions, commentaries, several different Bible translations and much, much more!  I must warn you ,though, “bunny trails” are even more likely when you use this resource.

I believe God’s Spirit within a Believer puts a desire to know and live out God’s Word when they are born again.  Please do not run to what others say the Bible says, but rather study it for yourself and allow His Spirit to guide you into all Truth.  If you are studying His Word, you are giving His Spirit something to bring to your mind for wisdom, guidance, hope, encouragement and direction.  If you never read and get to know what the Bible says, God’s Spirit will have nothing to bring to your mind!  So, begin today!  Go down “bunny trails” all you want, because they will still be in the Word of God and that is where we need to be!

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End Times

Since I brought up the subject of “end times” in my last post, I thought maybe I should expound on that a bit more.  This is more for helping me get straight what I believe, in light of what Scripture says, than for anyone else.  Of course, I value any comments and would be thrilled to discuss it with anyone.

If you google “end times”, 1,900,000,000 entries come up!  It is a hot topic today, but most of the chatter is not biblical.  Since it is an enormous subject to take on, I am only going to address a small portion of it today.  When I think of “end times”. I think of “last days” as mentioned in Scripture.  So, what is said there?  That  should be of most importance to a Believer in Christ.

Genesis 49:1 is the first place to find a reference to “last days“.  Here Jacob ( renamed “Israel” by God) is about to die and is addressing each of his 12 sons(who are the fathers of the 12 tribes of Israel).  He prophesies to each son what will become of their descendants in the “last days“.  Read that whole chapter and carefully notice what is said about each.  Especially notice what is said about the tribe of Judah(Jesus will come through this line and will be called the “lion of Judah”).  Next, we go all the way to Isaiah 2:2, “Now it will come about that in the last days the mountain of the house of the LORD Will be established as the chief of the mountains, and will be raised above the hills; and all the nations will stream to it.”  Here we read of something occurring with the “house of the Lord”(understood to be the temple in Jerusalem) that all the nations stream to it. Micah 4:1 says, “And it will come about in the last days That the mountain of the house of the LORD Will be established as the chief of the mountains. It will be raised above the hills, And the peoples will stream to it.”  More about the mountain of the Lord(the temple mount). In Jeremiah 23:20,(“The anger of the LORD will not turn back Until He has performed and carried out the purposes of His heart; In the last days you will clearly understand it.”).  There is the Lord’s anger spoken of and an understanding of it in the “last days“. Hosea 3:5 says,”Afterward the sons of Israel will return and seek the LORD their God and David their king; and they will come trembling to the LORD and to His goodness in the last days.

To sum up those verses, we could say the last days will have a focus in Israel, specifically in Jerusalem with all nations “streaming”to the mountain of the Lord.  Also, God’s anger will be revealed.  More later about the “wrath of God”. The “sons of Israel will return and seek the Lord and His goodness”, too.  There are more references to “last days” in the Old Testament, but I will go on to references in the New Testament now.

2 Timothy 3:1-5 gives a detailed picture of what people will be like in the “last days“: “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.” Also, 2 Peter 3:3 warns that mockers will come in the “last days” and mockingly speak of Jesus’ second coming as if it will not come.  Then, of course, the book of Revelation, chapters 4 through 22, is all about the “last days“.

Going by the Old Testament references, we at least see Israel is once again a nation(as of 1948), but the other parts about the mountain of the Lord being established and all nations streaming to it, has not happened yet.  The New Testament description of people in the last days sure seems to describe people today, at least in our nation!  There is so much more I could write, but I am out of time for today.

I know I have only skimmed the surface of this whole topic, but if anyone wants to go further, I am happy to discuss it.

Sweet Fellowship

Yesterday we had the opportunity to host a celebration for one of our long time friends who is going to be married in September.  For at least ten years we have been in a small group fellowship with her and three other couples.  We have done Bible studies together, prayed together, and had meals together.  All of us have seen our children grow ten years older together as well.  As we were talking yesterday, getting to know our friend’s soon-to-be-husband, I was reminded of all we have seen each other through in the past ten years.  We know each other pretty well, with all our individual quirks, but we still love one another.  Because I get so excited when we start talking about Scripture, I was thrilled when the subject of end times came up.  As we discussed God’s Word and reasoned it out together, there was such a sweet fellowship between us all!  We all look forward to Jesus’ return!  Come, Lord Jesus!

Green Beans

Today was sort of a red letter day for me and my green beans.  In the past we have not been on good terms.  They flower almost secretly, then they start growing their beans seemingly over night.  Before I know it, they are ready to be picked – all at once.  I have to drop everything and go pick the beans, because if I don’t, they will start their swelling with the seeds and then it’s too late.  All they will be good for is saving for seeds for next year.  Well, this year I had my eyes open and watched them carefully.  They thought I was going to over look them and be distracted with picking the polite blueberries. ( I call blueberries polite because they ripen in a nice leisurely time frame, a couple weeks or so)  This year I have picked all the beans at the perfect ripeness.  Even better, I have actually processed them all in only 2 days, as well.  We now have 2 gallons of blanched and frozen beans, as well as my experimental quart jar of Fermented Pickled Green Beans.  I’ll let you know how those turn out.  If they are good, I will give you my recipe.  If not, I might not mention it.  🙂

For you who don’t garden, the green bean story is probably a bit odd, but I know other gardeners have had similar experiences with their vegetables.  Plus, if you don’t keep a sense of humor, you might just have to drop gardening altogether.  There is so much to learn in the garden!  I am thankful for the Lord’s great gift!

Worship

I think about worship often, and especially lately as I have been studying Jeremiah.  The Lord speaks to His people through Jeremiah and calls them to turn back from their going after false gods.  They were worshiping everything except the One True God!  They had idols in their homes, idols on the hills, idols even in the temple.  God said they were like an adulterous wife to Him.  They did not honor Him and treat Him as God, but rather turned their backs on Him and ran after every false god they could find.  They would come to the temple to offer sacrifices to God, but then go home to their idols.  Do we, do I, try to do the same thing?  Worship is declaring the worthiness or weightiness of something.  If something is important, we give it our time, our thoughts, our money, a place in our home, a place in our lives.  If people look at our lives, who or what would they say we are giving the most important spot in our lives to?  Oh may I live a life of worship of the One True God and of Him alone!

More Pictures!

Enjoy!

Our old Bajareen (Baji)

New upright blackberry hedge.

Our moveable chicken coop!

Ellie, happy she doesn’t need a bath!

Home School Page Launched

Today I launched the Home School Page!  Give it a read if you want to find out how we started in that whole adventure.  It has been 26 years since we launched out on it.  It is fun to look back and praise the Lord for His great faithfulness in carrying us through it all and helping us do what sometimes seemed an impossible task.  I will share all I think could be helpful for those now home schooling.  May you be encouraged!

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