Tuesday, January 24, 2012

8 profitable ways to read the Bible, by J.C. Ryle

I read this because I subscribed to get daily quotes from J.C. Ryle,  sent to me via email and this one really spoke to me and I thought it worth sharing...may it encourage and bless you as it did to me.

8 Profitable Ways to Read the Bible 

1. Begin reading your Bible this very day. The way to do a thing — is to do it; and the way to read the Bible — is actually to read it! It is not merely meaning, or wishing, or resolving, or intending, or thinking about it — which will advance you one step. You must positively read. There is no royal road in this matter, any more than in the matter of prayer. If you cannot read yourself, you must persuade somebody else to read it to you. But one way or another, through eyes or ears — the words of Scripture must actually pass before your mind.

2. Read the Bible with an earnest desire to understand it. Do not think for a moment, that the great object is to turn over a certain quantity of printed paper, and that it matters nothing whether you understand it or not. Some ignorant people seem to imagine, that all is done if they advance so many chapters every day, though they may not have a notion what they are all about, and only know that they have pushed on their bookmark ahead so many pages. This is turning Bible reading into a mere ritual form. Settle it down in your mind as a general principle, that a Bible not understood — is a Bible that does no good! Say to yourself often as you read, “What is this all about?” Dig for the meaning like a man digging for gold.

3. Read the Bible with child-like faith and humility. Open your heart — as you open God’s book, and say, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening!” Resolve to believe implicitly whatever you find there, however much it may run counter to your own desires and prejudices. Resolve to receive heartily every statement of truth — whether you like it or not. Beware of that miserable habit into which some readers of the Bible fall — they receive some doctrines because they like them; and they reject others because they are condemning to themselves, or to some relation, or friend. At this rate, the Bible is useless! Are we to be judges of what ought to be in God’s Word? Do we know better than God? Settle it down in your mind — that you will receive all and believe all, and that what you cannot understand — you will take on trust. Remember, when you pray — that you are speaking to God, and God hears you. But, remember, when you read Scripture — that God is speaking to you, and you are not to “dictate,” but to listen!

4. Read the Bible in a spirit of obedience and self-application. Sit down to the study of it with a daily determination that you will live by its rules, rest on its statements, and act on its commands. Consider, as you travel through every chapter, “How does this affect my thinking and daily conduct? What does this teach me?” It is poor work to read the Bible from mere curiosity, and for speculative purposes — in order to fill your head and store your mind with mere opinions; while you do not allow the book to influence your heart and life. That Bible is read best — which is practiced most!

5. Read the Bible daily. Make it a part of every day’s business to read and meditate on some portion of God’s Word. Private means of grace are just as needful every day for our souls — as food and clothing are for our bodies. Yesterday’s food will not feed the laborer today; and today’s food will not feed the laborer tomorrow. Do as the Israelites did in the wilderness. Gather your manna fresh every morning. Choose your own seasons and hours. Do not scramble over and hurry your reading. Give your Bible the best, and not the worst part of your time! But whatever plan you pursue, let it be a rule of your life to visit the throne of grace and God’s Word every day.

6. Read all of the Bible — and read it in an orderly way. I fear there are many parts of the Word which some people never read at all. This is to say at the least, a very presumptuous habit. “All Scripture is profitable.” [2 Timothy 3:16]. To this habit may be traced that lack of well-proportioned views of truth, which is so common in this day. Some people’s Bible-reading is a system of perpetual ‘dipping and picking’. They do not seem to have an idea of regularly going through the whole book.

7. Read the Bible fairly and honestly. Determine to take everything in its plain, obvious meaning — and regard all forced interpretations with great suspicion. As a general rule, whatever a verse of the Bible seems to mean — it does mean! Cecil’s rule is a very valuable one, “The right way of interpreting Scripture is to take it as we find it, without any attempt to force it into any particular theological system.”

8. Read the Bible with Christ continually in view. The grand primary object of all Scripture, is to testify of Jesus! Old Testament ceremonies are shadows of Christ. Old Testament judges are types of Christ. Old Testament prophecies are full of Christ’s sufferings, and of Christ’s glory yet to come. The first coming and the second; the Lord’s humiliation and His glorious kingdom; His cross and the crown shine forth everywhere in the Bible. Keep fast hold on this clue, if you would read the Bible aright!

I might easily add to these hints, if space permitted. Few and short as they are — you will find them most profitable when implemented.

~ J.C. Ryle

Friday, January 20, 2012

For Today...

Outside my window... everything is still beautifully white, and...it's snowing...again.

I am thinking... of how grateful I am to be able to get up at 5:00am to make oatmeal for my husband before seeing him off to work.

I am thankful for... a recipe in my inbox sent from a friend I've never actually met (yet :) ) thankyou R. M.

From the learning room... we are doing devotions from a book called 'The Narrow Way' by Pearables, it is a character curriculum and family bible study based on 2 Peter one-verse 5-8.

From the Kitchen... the smell of oatmeal and raisins lingers, and meat is thawing, waiting to be made into stew.

I am wearing... my grey skirt (handmade by Grandma), a black long sleeved shirt, with a black sweater, and slippers.

I am creating... a handbag that I'm crocheting, and homemade cards for birthdays that are coming up.

I am going... to take my oldest son on a date :)

I am reading... my bible and 'One Thousand Gifts' a dare to live fully right where you are, by Ann Voskamp (highly recommended)

I am hoping... and praying for the salvation of all my family members.

I am hearing... the sound of the leapfrog on my fridge playing the alphabet song

Around the house... my older two are doing their schoolwork and  laundry is waiting to be folded.

One of my favorite things...(there are many) is being served tea every morning by my oldest,  watching my daughter learn to love to cook and serve for her family, and hearing my youngest tell me every night before bed, "I love you all the way to moon and back". (ok so that was 3 things :)

A few plans for the rest of the week... to meal plan whole foods recipes, borrowing a much needed snowblower for our yard and driveway, to read up on raising chickens (so excited) and plan for a games night with the family.

Here is a picture thought I'm sharing...

Phillipians 2:one-3
Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.  Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Let it Snow , Let it Snow, Let it Snow ...

You all know the song, 'Frosty the Snowman' right?  remember the part that goes "In the winter we can build a snowman"...well we built one and all thats left showing is his head!  Does that give you an idea of just how much snow we have???
This icicle hangs outside Dustin and Corey's bedroom and just keeps growing larger and larger.

We had very blizzard like conditions today, the wind was blowing the snow in every direction, it was quite amazing to see.  It seems some days all it does is snow, or if it isn't snowing, (because the snow never really melts,) we just marvel at  the beauty of seeing everything white and sparkly.  Don't get me wrong, we LOVE the snow, and no we're not even close to being sick of it yet, in fact, quite the opposite.  If it doesn't snow for a couple of days, I  feel like 'oh no, is this the end of winter,  is it not going to snow anymore?' and then low and behold...it snows again :) Winters we're learning are loooong up here, something we're not used to at all.  It really is awesome to wake up and see that nothing has changed from the day before (just maybe more snow).  I'm used to seeing the rain wash it all away within a day or so.


my handsome son, doing his schoolwork :)


My beautiful Kassidy wearing a skirt made by Grandma.

Sweet Corey, I don't think his face can smile any bigger! He's proudly showing his paintings :)

I am loving this slower paced life...we have been blessed for such a time as this.  We are working at being wise with our time, spending more time studying the word of God as a family, keeping our hands busy, not being idle, and really enjoying each other. 

    2 Peter 3: 18

but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. 

It was snowing in this picture which is why it seems darker, but can you see the snowmans head back beside the barn?


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Happy New Year

Wow, where has time gone??? I never intended to take such a large break, and yet so easily days turned into weeks turned into months turned into a year and half (almost).

So much has changed...God has each of us on a journey, and each of us is somewhere different in that journey.  In Hebrews 13:8 it says Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.  I am so glad He is the one who NEVER changes, but it is us who by God's grace should be continually growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour.

One of our biggest changes has been that as of recently, we have moved.  This may not come as a shock to those who know us, but this time it was different.  I have lived in the lower mainland my entire life...this move took us to the Kootenays,  Fruitvale to be exact.  My husband was transferred up here for work, and the decision came rather quickly and left us with mixed emotions.  We have always had a love for this area, ever since Dustin and Kassidy  brought us here through their swimming club several years ago.  I remember the first time like it was yesterday...being surrounded by majestic mountains, the beauty was breathetaking.  It was then, that it became our hearts desire to be here, to live here.  Well....here we are.  We feel as though we don't deserve to be here, and we awake everyday and stand in awe of the Lord's creation that surrounds us.  God has a plan for us being here, that we know.  But with this move came a whole lot of sadness that was unexpected.  I always knew in my mind that to leave family and friends would be hard, but the reality is...it's really hard.  I have learned how easily we take for granted, living in the same area with those you hold dearly in your heart.  I'm a hugger...I love to get them and to give them.  There's something powerful about a hug...it tells the one your hugging how much you care about them...it brings comfort to the hurting and the lonely, and it's one way we can share the love of Christ with others.  Have you ever been talking with someone and you just want to reach through the phone and HUG them...I feel like that ALL the time now.  I can't just hop in my car and drive over to give that hug, and share a cup of tea.  An email, or skype, or even a phone call can never replace that physical touch of a hug and the warmth a smile can bring.  All that to say, I miss my family...every single one of you...even the ones we never spoke to very often, and my friends...I think friends are the family you do get to choose, and therefore they are family too :) So you have been warned, the next time I see you and give you a hug, I may not ever let go!! 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.  2 Corinthians 1:3

I am thankful for the comfort I know can only come from Christ.

This photo is just a glimpse into my world, my love of homeschooling, my love of snow and my love of the view out our kitchen window :)

It feels good to be blogging again...I promise not to leave for such a lengthy break this time!

I'll leave you with a favorite winter muffin recipe of mine...a comfort food!

Apple Bran Muffins
(this recipe is large, but you can keep it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days and just bake them fresh daily or as needed :) ).

4 cups flour (I use half whole wheat/white)
3 cups natural bran
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter (room temperature)
3 eggs
14oz. can unsweetened applesauce ( I used my own homemade)
1 1/2 cups buttermilk ( if you don't have any use any milk and add 4 tsp. lemon juice)
1/2 cup molasses
1 cup raisins
1 medium apple, peeled, cored and chopped

Stir together flour bran, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg.  In seperate bowl, cream together sugar and butter. beat in eggs  at a time until fluffy.  Stir in applesauce, buttermilk, molasses, raisins and apple.  add to flour mixture and stir just until dry ingredients are moistened (batter should still lumpy) fill greased muffin tins (or use paper lined muffin cups) 3/4 full.   bake in preheated oven at 375 degrees for approx. 15-20 mins. depending on your oven or until toothpick inserted into center of muffin comes out clean.
Serve with love and hugs

God Bless

Monday, August 30, 2010

Two ways of Life

Mathew 7:13-14
13.   Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14.  For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

Have you ever read a passage in the bible so many times over the years only to find that one day you read it and hits you like never before??? like for the first time that it really hits you and makes you ponder and think and pray???  This verse did that for me. 
I don't know about you, but I want to be certain that I am on the narrow way.  The narrow gate is by faith, only through Christ, constricted and precise.  It represents true salvation in God's way that leads to eternal life.  The wide gate includes all religions of works and self righteousness, with no single way, but it leads to hell, not heaven.  

Christ continually emphasized the difficulty of following Him;

Mathew 10:38 - And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. (He is demanding a total commitment from us!)

Mathew 16:24-25 - Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.  25. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it". (again demanding a total commitment from us, even unto physical death!) 

John 15:18-19 - If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.  19. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. (I love this...I am chosen... this was tough for me to grasp when I realized this, but Wow, how humbling.)

John 16:1-3 - These things I have spoken to you so that you may be kept from stumbling. 2. They will make you outcasts from the synagogue, but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God. 3. These things they will do because they have not known the Father or Me.
(The connotation of the word 'stumbling' has the idea of setting a trap.  Remember this verse was talking about Paul, before he was saved, and how he personified this attitude as he persecuted the church, thinking that he was doing service for God! After Paul was converted, the persecutor became the persecuted because of the hatred of the world.)

Acts 14:22 - strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying, "Through many tribulations we must enter the kindom of God".
(His way is narrow!)

Salvaton is by grace alone, but it is not easy.  It calls for knowledge of the truth, repentance, submission to Christ as Lord and a willingness to obey His will and His word.

Matthew 7:21 Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdon of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven will enter.

May I encourage you to spend time daily studying God's word and making the time to pray to your heavenly Father.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

sugar n spice and everything nice...

God is good, all the time! isn't He
Psalm 127:3
Behold, children are a gift of the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
I prayed...and I prayed...and I prayed...
"Lord if only you would allow me to have just one, just one child, just one chance to be a Mom...
I promise...."
Not only did the Lord Bless us with a son, just 4 months later we received a call from the same birth Mom as Dustin, asking us if we would be willing to take on another baby????? 
This was 2 weeks before Christmas and it was the most blessed gift we could ever have imagined.  I remember falling to my knees as I held the phone and crying with Joy...a joy that I could never put into words...after all I didn't deserve any of this.
God had a plan, and who was I to question His ways?
We were priviledged to be a part of  the last 6 months of pregnancy with birth Mom and how blessed we were to find out that we would be having a daughter!  We rejoiced that God gave us more than  our hearts desire. 
We witnessed again the miracle of birth and on August 23rd Kassidy Nicole Christina entered this world and took her first breath. (2 weeks late I might add!!!) 
She was the cutest baby in the whole wide world.  She was perfect.  She was my baby girl, the little girl I always dreamed of that I would get to dress in the prettiest pink frilly outfits. 
We promised to raise her in the fear and admonition of the Lord...and that's exactly what we're doing. 

Kassidy,  you have made us sooooo proud.  You are growing up to be a Godly  woman, who loves the Lord.  We have watched you as you transition from our little girl to a beautiful young lady. 
You stole my heart the day you were born, but I remember clearly when you were about 4 and all you wanted to be when you grew up was a 'Mommy'!!!
To this day you talk to me about raising a large family, but for now you focus on learning all the qualities you will need to be a Proverbs 31 woman.  You strive to grow in your knowledge of God by spending time with Him daily by reading His word and even encouraging us to pray daily. 
Kassidy you are beautiful both inside and out...
You are an amazing sister to both your big brother and now to your baby brother.
Proverbs 22:6
Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it
We are blessed beyond measure.
Happy 12th Birthday Kassidy
You are loved !