Saturday, April 30, 2011


Yea!  Ze last lettter Iz here!!


The father of John the Baptist, who didn't believe that he would be a recipient of a miracle. He spent at least nine months not being able to talk because of his disbelief.

When the baby was born, everyone expected him to be named after his father, Zacharias. His mom, Elizabeth, reported that his name would be John. The people grumbled and complained that there was no one in his family by the name of John and that it would only be proper to name him after the father.

The Bible says that the people motioned with their hands and asked Zacharias what the child should be named. He asked for a tablet and wrote the words, "His name is John".  Then he began to praise God.

I love this story.  The only question that I have is why did the people motion with their hands to ask Zacharias their question? The Bible doesn't say he was deaf, it says he was mute.  hmmm

Haven't figured that one out yet.  Any ideas?


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

"V" is for Vashti

I don't think Vashti has ever gotten a fair shake. (She was the queen whom Esther replaced.) Esther was great, really. And I know that she was there for "Such a time as this". She did save her people from extinction, it's true, but really, all Vashti did was say that she didn't want to get shown off to a bunch of drunk men just because her husband called for her....

I don't know. What do you think?


"U" is for you.

Okay, here's the deal.
God created the perfect world.
Satan convinced Eve that her world could be even more than perfect, if she would just eat a piece of the forbidden fruit. So she did. That was the moment that our world became broken, the moment that death became part of life.

Every one of us bears a crack in our soul created by Eve's endeavor.
The chasm between God, the Holy One and you and me was almost insurmountable.
Almost. And then came Jesus.
The perfect one. He lived on earth, fully human, fully man, and he never ever sinned. not once. And because of this, death couldn't hold him. The curse did not apply. And yet he chose it. He chose to die. For me. For you. For all of us.

And death still couldn't hold Him. Three days later, He rose again.

Now we can live forever.... if only we choose him.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

"T" is for Testament (New)

My secret for remembering the order of the "t" books (and the rest of the New Testament...)

The gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) and Acts and Romans 1st and 2nd Corinthians.(Just know them, sorry, no trick)

the Paul letters- You know the vowels? A,E,I, O, and U? Tthat's the order of the Paul letters: g"A"lations, Eph"E"sians, Ph"I"lippians, C"O"lossians.... cool huh? A good way that "U" can remember.

(Here comes the "T" part) 1st and 2nd Thessalonians, 1st and 2nd Timothy, Titus- they are alphabetical.

and then philemon and Hebrews,  (No trick, but it's only two books. You can remember!)

James, 1& 2 Peter, 1,2,3 John (Jesus' three closest friends, the closer they were to Jesus, the higher the number... )

Jude and Revelation!

Happy Resurrection Day, friends!


Friday, April 22, 2011


Stephen, the First  of Jesus' followers to be martyred...and Saul (later to be renamed Paul) watched while the others stoned him to death. hmmmm.

I love Stephen. I love that he asked God not to count the sin of his murder against those that were murdering him.

My lesson? Surely if Stephen could do that, I can forgive the little things people do to me...


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Rueben, Rebecca, Rahab, and Rachel

Rueben- First son of Jacob and Leah
Rebeccah- Wife of Isaac
Rachel- Second (favorite) wife of Jacob
Rahab- Ah, Rahab, What a story!

Rahab is best known as the prostitute who hid two Israelite spies when they were scoping out Jericho. In doing this, she saved her own family from destruction. Pretty good story so far, yes?  Well, wait til you hear the clincher!

Salmon was the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab., Boaz was the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth. Obed was the father of Jesse who was the father of David, a man after God's own heart.
(Matthew 1:5)

She was the great great grandma of King David! Cool eh?


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Quirinius or Quirinus?

Okay, so I had to laugh. When I was trying to find out more about Quirinius, the very first fact that I saw was that he shouldn't be confused with Quirinus.  No sir, I sure wouldn't want to do that!

Now I'm sitting here wondering who Quirinus was! Were they twins? Were they of the same time period? Did his mom just spell his name wrong on the birth certificate?  Are they actually the same person, and when he was a teen, he decided to change the spelling of his name? (Some teens do this you know.)

According to the Gospel of Luke, Jesus was born while Quirinius was governor of Syria, specifically during a world-wide census. That's all I have on Quirinius.... Now I have to go look up Quirinus....


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Peter, Paul, and Phillip

Love Peter. The rock. The loud mouth. the denier, the hothead, the passionate one...

Used to hate Paul... thought he was arrogant and pushy.
Have come to appreciate Paul more in the last few years... He sure went through a lot of struggles, but finished strong.

Phillip... Love the story of Phillip and the Ethiopian. He meets this guy on the road, overhears him reading the book of Isaiah out loud, and asks him if he knows what he is reading. The Ehiopian says "How can I understand unless someone explains it to me?" So Phillip explains all about Jesus starting right from where the ethiopian was reading.  That is amazing to me. I'm thinking that Phillip knew the scriptures so well, that he could have talked about Jesus no matter where the Ethiopian was reading!

But the really cool part of the story is that after Phillip baptizes the ethiopian (at his request: "There is some water. What keeps me from being baptized?") He disappears and reappears in a city far away!

That's like Star Trek stuff back in 35 AD!


Sunday, April 17, 2011


Obed's parents were the famed Ruth and Boaz from the book of Ruth. Obed grew up and had a son named Jesse who had a son named David, who just happened to become the King of Israel, and a man after God's own heart. That's all I know about Obed, but it's enough.

I know this isn't always the case, but I like to imagine that Obed must have been a good dad and grandfather. I know his parents were filled with faith and it appears that  heritage was passed down through the next few generations.

When this happens, and sometimes it does happen, I wonder "why"? I wonder "How"?  My deepest desire is that my children stay strong in the faith for their entire lives... I've made a zillion mistakes as a parent, I know...but my kids seem to be doing okay, more than okay, they're awesome.

But how will I ensure that they "win the prize"? I will pray. For the rest of my life, I will pray, as my mom did, I'm sure. I will pray that they will not only endure to the end, but that they will finish strong.

I believe in a God who answers prayers like these...


Saturday, April 16, 2011


Nicodemus- A secret follower of Jesus. He revealed himself as one of Jesus' disciples when he helped Joseph of Arimathea take Jesus off of the cross and put him in the tomb. It's interesting to me that he followed secretly until Jesus died and then he made himself known. What good is it to be a follower of a dead man? 

Can you imagine when he and Jesus met again after the resurrection?
I'll bet Nick was happy he stayed faithful!


Friday, April 15, 2011


I have heard so much about Martha and Mary recently that I just really don't want to write about them. Normally, I'd give it a try, but let's see if  can find a different "M".

Methusaleh is good... Melchizedek...Michael...  uh oh, I can feel my ADHD kicking in. I'm only half way through the alphabet and I'm beginning to be bored with my own writing! Not good.

Okay, back to the "M"s. Matthew! Also known as Levi. Writer of the book of Matthew... Tax collector turned disciple. (Appropriate for April 15th!) Took Jesus to his home, invited all of his tax collector friends to hear this great teacher... I'm not sure how the Pharisees came to be at the party, but they were there, making their presence known by their negative "Sinner hating" attitudes. They asked each other, "Why is he hanging around this scum? Doesn't he know what they are?"

Jesus put them straight. "Healthy people don't need a doctor, sick people do". then he added "Now go and learn the meaning of this scripture 'I want you to show mercy not offer sacrifices' for I have come to call not those who think they are righteous but those who know they are sinners."

Sometimes I think I act like a pharisee.
Sometimes I know that I'm "sick".

Lord, Help me to show mercy.  for showing it to me.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

"L" is for Lazarus

Oh, what a story!

Wrapped up in grave clothes, looking like a mummy, he exits the tomb. He's been in there for four days, yet it only seemed a moment. He's been called away from paradise now by his good friend, Jesus. Nothing less than that would have pulled him away. As  someone unwraps the strips of cloth that bind him, he  squints as  light penetrates through the few layers that are left.  His eyes adjust and he sees a crowd of people. Most look ecstatic. Some look murderous. He continues to search the crowd. Then he sees Him. Jesus, standing tall and sure, smiling in his direction. He takes off running, tripping a bit over what is left of his death clothes. They collapse into each others arms. Yes, being held in the arms of Jesus is better even then paradise.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

"K" is for....a math problem.

Keturah- If you read my “H” blog you will know that I did chat about Keturah for just a second the other day.

She is a fascinating study for me because I have so many questions! I didn't even know this was part of the Abraham story when I was growing up!

The Bible says that after Sarah died, Abraham married Keturah and had 6 more sons! Zimram, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah were their names.

Abraham lived for 38 more years after Sarah died. He could have actually had a 25th wedding anniversary with Keturah!

I love the idea that Keturah could have actually been Hagar. If she was, there are even more questions:
I wonder, how old was she when she had Ishmael? Ishmael was 14 when isaac was born (Sarah was 90), Isaac was 37 when Sarah died at 127, making Abraham 137.

If Hagar had Ishmael at 16, she would have been 67 when Sarah died.

6 more sons after she was 67! Wow! Can you imagine chasing a toddler around at 70?!

It was hard enough at 37!


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The "J" Names

Why I love “J” names:

Jacob, Joshua, Josiah, Joseph, Jesus

I love “J” names. When I was growing up and playing with my friends, my name would be Jill or Julie, or Jennifer. Interestingly enough, the only “J” name that I used while naming my children was “Joy”, my eldest daughter’s middle name.

My fascination with “J” names continues. Joseph, Joshua, and Josiah are three of my favorite Bible characters. I can’t say much about Jacob though. In my opinion, he’s one of those people that prove that God will use anybody! (And I am quite grateful for that!)

So here are the reasons that I love Joe, Josh, and Jo…

Joseph: Dreamer, trusting God no matter what, wise, and forgiving. Had a rough life, but finished strong!

Joshua: Always wanting more of God (He stayed in the tabernacle soaking in God’s glory, even after Moses left), obedient to whatever God wanted him to do, Great servant, great leader. Finished Strong!

Josiah: Youngest King. Heart for God. Finished strong (but died rather young.- If you’ve never read it, you should it’s a great story.) 2 Kings 22-23

And then there is Jesus. my King, my Best Friend. Lord, Help me to finish strong.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Isaac and Ishmael

Half brothers

Same dad, different mom

Ishmael: son of Abraham and Hagar (Sarah's servant)
Isaac: son of Abraham and Sarah, son of the promise.

Ishmael was 14 years older than Isaac…. A teenager when Isaac was born.

That puts a whole different light on some of the scriptures…

Abe and Sarah were having a weaning party for Isaac. That probably means he was two or three years old which would make Ishmael sixteen or seventeen.  Ishmael is caught mocking his brother during the party. This is not good. Sarah tells Abraham to send Hagar and Ishmael away. Abraham doesn't like the idea, but God tells him that it's okay, that God will take care of them and Ishmael too, will be a great nation.

….So I can easily imagine a 16 year old mocking his younger brother, but what I can’t see is why the scriptures talk about Hagar putting “the boy” (Ishmael) under the bush and holding his hand as they are being sent away by Abraham. No seventeen year old that I know would hold his mother's hand...

Genesis 16 and 21

Anyone have any ideas on this?


Saturday, April 9, 2011

"H" is for Hagar

Hagar- Egyptian servant to Sarah. Mother to Abraham's firstborn, Ishmael.
There isn't a lot written about her, but my imagination paints this picture of the beginning of her story:

Hagar sat patiently waiting for Abraham. She had been told by her mistress to bathe and then come to the main tent and wait. Wait for what? Was she in trouble? occasionally Sarah yelled at her for things that really weren't her fault, but most often, Hagar was just another piece of furniture in the room, silent but ready to be called upon when needed.  

"Why the special attention now?" she wondered aloud.

"Perhaps because Sarah has a desire that she can't make happen without your help", Abraham said from the doorway. He actually looked apologetic and a little bit sheepish. 

All of a sudden, Hagar knew why she was there. She was to become Abraham's concubine so that Sarah could "have" a child. It had been Sarah's desire for many many years to be a mother, but up to this point she was barren. And Sarah was an impatient woman. In this culture, she could have her slave  bear a child that would be considered hers.

Slavery had never been as bitter as it was this moment. Not only was she not able to give her love freely to whom she wanted, but she would not be able to be the mother to her own biological child...

Hagar wept silently. She turned to her master in outward obedience as she wondered where her life would go from here. "Oh God, please help me", she whispered as she laid back onto the bed.

Wow! Did you ever write something and not know where it was going until you were done?
Hagar did get to raise her own child, because Sarah did end up having her own son, Isaac.
Hagar's life wasn't a bed of roses, (If you want to read more about it, read Genesis 16 and 21. I'm trying to keep my posts shorter!) but God did help her.

I was doing a bit research a few months ago, and found something that said that after Sarah died, Abraham had another wife named Keturah. Some people think that this may have been Hagar....

Interesting, very interesting.


Friday, April 8, 2011

"G" is for Gideon and God

Gideon, the mighty warrior… not. At least that’s what Gideon thought. He thought of himself as the youngest son of the weakest family in his tribe. But God saw him as he could be, if he would only trust God and do what he was asked to do.

And Gideon did. Only he almost always asked for proof, which I think is interesting. When God told him to fight the Midianites, Gideon responded with “okay, but first let me make sure this is really you God. Stay here until I can come back with a present for you”. God promised to stay.

Now Gideon was probably gone a pretty long time since he was preparing a goat with broth and some unleavened bread. I don’t know if any of you have ever prepared goat (I did eat it once- my neighbor’s pet goat! But that’s another story for another letter….) I'm pretty sure it takes a few hours, But God always keeps His promises, and He was there just like He said He would be. Fire sprang up around the food and burnt it all up. (Funny, that’s probably what would happen if I cooked goat!)

Then Gideon knew it was God he was speaking to and decided that he should and could do what He was telling him to do. He also did the old "dry fleece, wet ground" thing too.  He wanted to be doubly sure, I guess.

 He wanted to fight using 32000 soldiers. There were 120,000 people in the enemy army. That seems like it would still be a tough fight, but with God on your side, doable. Well, God thought it would be too easy. He knew that if the Israelites beat the Midianites using 32,000 people, they would think they did it under their own power. So he told Gideon to shrink his army.

Gideon sent all who were fearful back home. This left him with about 10,000 people. If my math is correct, that means that there was one of Gideon's men to every 12 of the enemy! God still thought that was too many Israelites. So He sifted them out by the way that they drank from the river. If you cupped your hands and drank, you were in, if you dunked your head down and drank straight from the river you were out. A bit unorthodox way to pick your army, eh?

But think of it this way. Those men would be able to move quickly if in danger. They would see it more quickly, and they were already on their feet ready to roll. But not too many men did this. 300 of them were what was left of Gideon’s army.

We are now down to a 1 to 400 ratio! I can just see Gideon's eyes rolling to the back of his head. "Are you kidding me, Lord?"

But Gideon obeyed and Gideon won again in a pretty unorthodox battle.

That's my God.  Using weak people and turning them into mighty warriors. winning batttles against seemingly unsurmountable odds, and doing it all in ways that baffle this little finite brain of mine.

Go God!  :)


Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Problem with "F"

ummm. I hate to say this, but I don't think there are any Bible names that start with "F". Of course my entire research consists of watching the movie "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" in which all of the children are named alphabetically with Bible names. The 6th child was a boy. They named him Frank... short for Frankincense because they couldn't find another name.... 

I like that. Creative parenting. 


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The "E"s have it!

Eli, Elijah, Elisha, Ephraim, Esther, Ezra, ,Elizabeth,  Ehud, Ezekiel, and Emily. Too many "e"s. don't know which one to pick... It's 9:53. I just got home. I think that this is my mulligan day. What's a mulligan? From what I understand, it's a golf term that means you get to take a shot over again.
You guys could just tell me which one you want to learn more about.
Eli- Fat priest with ungodly sons... raised Samuel, who was one of the best.
Elijah- Fabulous prophet. Did lots of miracles, mentored Elisha.
Elisha- Asked for a double portion of Elijah's power. Did some really strange miracles.
Ephraim- Son of Joseph, brother to Mannaseh
Esther- One of my favorite people in the whole Bible. "For such a time as this, she was born."
Ezra- Was in charge of rebuilding the temple.
Elizabeth- Mother to John the Baptist, cousin to Mary who was the mother of Jesus.
Ehud- Great Judge of Israel, who killed a fat king (already wrote about this one though.)
Ezekiel- Don't ask me about him. I'll have to do too much research.

Okay, so, it's up to you!


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I won! I won!

I got an blog award! I can't believe it! I've never won a blog award before! Thank you Deirdre from  To quote Sally Field when she won an Oscar, "You like me, you really like me!"

Hopefully, I'll be able to figure out how to post it! :)

Thanks again for reading... and commenting!


"D" is for "dat darling Delilah"

Delilah, David, Daniel

I’ve already talked about David a few times, that would be too easy of a “D”. And Daniel, well, you know, everybody knows that Daniel didn’t get eaten by lions… okay, there’s more to Daniel, but really, I feel like writing about Delilah.

Dandy Delilah doted deliriously on Dumbo*. Dumbo didn’t deal deliciously with dis daughter of da devil. Delilah distorted her devotion. Decidedly decadent, Delilah delved into devious doings. Da Dilemma dat disturbed Delilah was dat da dummy was durable and heavy duty. Delilah induced Dumbo to divulge his undisclosed dirt. Dumbo did divulge dat dissecting his do’ did decimate his durability.’ Delilah dispatched her other dummies and did devious dealings to Dumbo .

And dat’s da last we hear of Delilah.

* Dat Dumbo is Samson


Sunday, April 3, 2011

C is for Committed and Courageous Caleb

Caleb- One of the quiet heroes of the Bible.

Twelve spies went into the promised land to explore the area to see what kind of country it was. Most of them came back and reported that it was a great place but “there were giants in the land”. Their advice was to choose a different destination.

Joshua and Caleb came back from the same trip with a different story. They were excited that God had given them this land and said “let’s go get it!”. Unfortunately, the Israelites paid no attention to Joshua and Caleb.

God punished them all for their unbelief and lack of trust by making them stay in the wilderness for forty years until all the men (20 years and older at the time of the exploration) had died. Joshua and Caleb were they only adults to be allowed into the land at the end of the forty years.

So here’s my question. Poor Caleb, who didn’t do anything wrong, had to hang around the desert for forty years. Joshua ended up being the leader of the people after Moses died, so he got his reward (If you call that a reward!) What did Caleb get?

Well, after a bit of digging, I found out three things that I think are pretty cool. First of all, Caleb pretty much got the pick of where he wanted to locate in the promised land. He chose Hebron, where the giants really did live. He still had enough of an adventuring spirit to want to fight the giants!

Secondly, he was 85 years old when they divvied up the land and the Bible says that Caleb was just as strong as the day that Moses sent him to spy out the land.

And finally at the end of the chapter (Joshua 14), the Bible says that “Then they had rest from war.”

The pick of the land

Healthy strong body and a spirit of adventure

Peace from war.

I’d say those are pretty good rewards for a life well lived.


Saturday, April 2, 2011

B is for The Beautiful Bathsheba

Bathsheba, Barnabas, Benjamin:

Hmmmm- Hard to decide which "B" to discuss: Benjamin, youngest son of Jacob and Rachel, full brother to Joseph...

Barnabas, follower of Jesus known as the encourager...

or Bathsheba, wife and widow of Uriah, Mistress and then wife of David, mother of Solomon, Nathan, Shimea, and Shobab. Okay, let's talk about her.

Bathsheba was married to a soldier hero named Uriah. In fact he was one of David's mighty men. One day, while he is off fighting one of David's wars, David notices Bathsheba. He wants Bathsheba. And what David wants, David gets. He is after all, the king.
A couple of months later, Bathsheba notifies David that she is pregnant. Can you imagine? I can see her sitting in her kitchen waiting to see how David would fix this. She hears of his plan to bring Uriah home so that people would think the baby was his.  She knows Uriah well enough to know that this won't work. He is too honorable to come home when the rest of his soldiers are still in the battle. She is wondering what David will do now.
The next thing she knows is that her husband is dead, killed in a battle that just didn't make any sense. She suspects that David has "fixed" their problem. And sure enough, she is called back to the palace and they are immediately married. 
Fastforward a few months. David is visited by Nathan the prophet and is convicted and repents of his sin. A few more months pass. The baby is born and dies. David comforts Bathsheba and they have another child, Solomon. and then another and another and another.
Talk about a soap opera life! And the most amazing part of the whole story is that through all of this yucky story, God's plan is unfolding. Ultimately Bathsheba and David are the great great great (etc) grandparents to Mary, mother of Jesus (through Nathan) and Joseph (through Solomon ).
I'm so glad that He sees it all and makes it work for good.