Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Gods and Idols

This marks Anna's last year of confirmation class, and Emily's second year of confirmation class.  It's hard to believe how quickly they are growing up!  This year's focus will be The Ten Commandments and The Lord's Prayer.

The Topic for the past week and a half has been GODS AND IDOLS.  This week got away from me, so I'll post all of the Bible verses for this lesson in one post.  When we receive our new study guides, I'll try to keep up with daily posts.

Day 1
Exodus 20:2-3  I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.  You shall have no other gods before me.

Day 2
Exodus 20:4  You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.

Day 3
Exodus 20:5  You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me

Day 4
Matthew 6:21  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Day 5
1 John 5:21  Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.

Day 6
Isaiah 44:6  This is what the Lord says - Israel's King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty:  I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.

Day 7
Exodus 20:2-4  I  am the Lord you God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.  You shall have no other gods before me.  You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.

Important Items To Remember!

Scripture Memorization
Exodus 20:2-3
I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.  You shall have no other gods before me.

Catechism Memorization
1st Commandment Meaning
We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.

After you memorize both items, you can write them out on your Family Covenant sheet so that we can turn them in at our next confirmation class.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Why Worry

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.  

Matthew 6:34

Have you ever looked around at your home and your family and felt completely and totally blessed?  When I find myself consumed with worry, I try to remember all of the multitudes of blessing that I enjoy.  If nothing good ever happens to me again, I have still been blessed beyond measure.  I have a wonderful husband and three sweet children.  I was blessed with a Mom and Dad and sister who gave me a secure and loving home throughout my childhood.  I have a warm bed to sleep in every night and food to eat when I am hungry.

So why do I dwell on things that may or may not happen tomorrow?  Why do I worry about things I have no control over?  I worry because I believe I have control over my life and I cling to that control - I worry about losing control.  When I worry, I need to remember who is really in control.  God is in control.  He has a plan and I can trust Him.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.  Matthew 6:33-34

As you read through the sixth chapter of the book of Matthew,  pray that God will show you your many blessings and that He will help you to give your need to control, over to Him.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

What Would You Do?

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
Philippians 4: 12-13

What would you do if neither time nor money were an issue?

This is a question I would answer in different ways depending on when you asked me.  In my 20s, I would have told you that I wanted to continue to study music, to get a Masters Degree, and then a Doctorate of Music.  I wanted to teach trumpet in a university and play in a symphony orchestra.  I would tour the country - or even the world - giving master classes and soaking up the local culture.

As I approached 30, I would have told you that I wanted desperately to be able to have children.  If I had been able to afford testing, I would have tried to find out why I wasn't able to do so.  I would have searched for the best doctors and tried the latest therapies.  I prayed and I waited and I continued to dream of becoming a mom.  My dream to have children was eventually fulfilled.  I have two beautiful daughters and a handsome little boy as well.

In my 30s, I would have answered in a different way, still.  If I had lots of money and time wasn't an issue, I would have tracked down every autism expert to get help for my daughter, Anna.  I would have exposed her to every promising new therapy.  I would have learned how to do all the therapies myself.  I would have made sure that she had the best medications.  I would have worked with other parents and experts to try to prevent autism and to cure or diminish it's effects in children and adults who live with it.  We did the best we could with what we had at the time, and we will continue to do everything possible to improve the lives of all three of our children.

I turned 40 this year.  Looking back over my life.  I can see that God has blessed me abundantly.  None of us has unlimited time and I certainly do not have unlimited funds.  But what I do have is plenty.    There have been dreams realized, and dreams that I had to let go of.  I can see that even through times when I felt very small and completely insecure, God had a plan for me.  He has given me many talents.  Many of these, I have used in unconventional ways.  I'm not playing in an orchestra, but I used music to help my daughter to learn everything from our street address to the states and properties of matter.  And I am helping my other children learn to sing and play instruments.  They are all musically inclined and I love to watch them as they acquire new skills and perform in concerts and plays.

The Lord has added to my own set talents as well.  God has given me an abundance of patience over these many years.  He has helped me to use my training and experience as a teacher to help my own children.  He has used my organizational skills to help me to keep track of the many therapies, doctor's appointments, rehearsals, school projects... you get the idea.  There's a lot to keep track of at our house!  He has helped me to let go of my plans and to trust that His plans are better.  This is the time to invest in those beautiful children that I prayed so many nights for.  It is my job to teach them and to lead them.  I won't let myself, or anyone else, minimize that very important job.  They need me.  And God wants me to teach my children His ways, and forever and in all ways to lead them to Him.  It isn't an easy task.  Some days it seems impossible, but I know that in His strength, all things are possible.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Unpacking John 1:12

Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.  John 1:12

Yet to all who did receive Him:  to ALL people who the Lord has bestowed the Holy Spirit,

to those who believed in His name:  to ALL people who have faith that Jesus is the Lord, God

He gave the right:  God Almighty gave His guarantee 

to become:  to come to be

children of God:  the heir of the One True God, His child whom he loves and cares for

Thank you, God for your amazing Grace!

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Unfailing Love

Unfailing Love
an original poem, by Kim Merritt

Undeserving and unworthy, I come before Your throne.
In my anguish and desperation, I feel so all alone.
Reaching toward the heavens, I lift my frantic cry.
My hopes and dreams and all my plans, all that I held high,
It all seems very distant now,
So before my Lord, I bow.

His voice echoes in my mind, "Beloved, be not afraid.
Draw near to Me, Precious Child, let your worry fade.
I chose you before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in My sight.
Rest in my presence.  The Lord, your God, Himself will fight.
I will never leave you nor forsake you.  Be courageous and be strong!
My unfailing love indwells you, to almighty God, you belong."

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Unpacking Psalms 36:7

How priceless is your unfailing love!  Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings.  Psalms 36:7

It is week 2 in the A Confident Heart online Bible study.  Today I am "unpacking" our memory verse for the week.  This verse is really speaking to me already!  It is so good to know that God's unfailing love is our perfect shelter!

How priceless:  Priceless means having a value beyond all price; invaluable.  Priceless can also mean delightfully amusing or absurd.  Some synonyms for "priceless" are: irreplaceable, precious, costly, and incomparable.

is your unfailing love:  God's love for us is unfailing.  His love is endless and completely dependable. 

Both high and low among men:  God loves us ALL!  Our position in life doesn't matter.  God loves us no matter how much stuff we have, no matter what our job is, no matter what we look like, no matter what the world thinks of us.  We are His precious creation and he loves all of us perfectly.

find refuge:  In God's love we are safe.  We can rest in God's love and know that we are sheltered from all that life throws at us.

in the shadow of your wings:  God gathers us to Himself like a mother bird gathers her babies to herself.  He shelters us and draws us to Him especially when the world's storms threaten our peace.