Saturday, October 12, 2013

Studying {Nehemiah 7-13}

Nehemiah 7-13

All the exiles from Judah are named. Ezra reads the law to the people. They weep, because they realize their sins. Nehemiah tells them to be happy and to feast, because it's a sacred day. The people tell God of their sin and repent of. The people sign an agreement to obey God's law. They cast lots to decide who will live in Jerusalem. It lists the names of everyone chosen. The wall is dedicated. All the people of foreign descendants are excluded from God's assembly. Tobiah's son-in-law, a priest, gives Tobiah a storeroom. Nehemiah, who has gone back to serve the king, returns and takes all Tobiah's possessions. Then he purifies the room and puts back what belong in it. He also rebukes the priests and Levites for neglecting the house of God, rebukes the people for selling and buying on the Sabbath, and rebukes some of the men for taking foreign wives. He also throws out Sanballat's son-in-law. He asks God to remember his deeds.

What I learned:
-God cares about each and every one of his people, as shown by the list of captives freed. The list also shows God's mercy in setting sinners free.
- The Israelites wept, grieved, and were repentant when told of their sins. This is the attitude we should have when faced with our sins.
-Nehemiah was an extremely faithful servant of God. We need to do our duties the way Nehemiah did his: faithfully and diligently.
-When Nehemiah was serving the king again, the people began to disobey and do wicked deeds. Without a leader, they went astray. The same with us. When we do not follow our Leader, Jesus Christ, we constantly steer crookedly and step off the path, but only when we keep our eyes on Jesus do we stay on the straight and narrow path.

Grace be with you,

Abby :D

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Studying {Nehemiah 4-6}

Here is another installment of... the book of Nehemiah. Here is the link to this passage: Nehemiah 4-6.

Summary:
The Jews' enemies insult them. Nehemiah asks that God remember their insults. They continue rebuilding. News of their enemies plotting an attack reaches the Jews. This is discouraging, as well, as their fellow Jews telling them to stop building. They begin to carry weapons with them as they build. Nehemiah encourages them. The poor people begin to complain about their taxes and interest . Nehemiah rebukes the richer people for taking interest from and selling the poor as slaves. They listen and do what he tells them. Nehemiah explains that he became governor, and that the former leaders took advantage of the people. He does not. There are letters from their enemies distracting from the wall building. A man tries to get Nehemiah to hide from the enemies and ruin his reputation. The wall is completed, and there are people in Judah telling Nehemiah of Tobiah's (the enemy) good deeds and reporting back to Tobiah what his replies were.

What I learned:
-When the enemies were plotting against the Jews, and the other Jews were discouraging them, it reminded me of a situation where perhaps God calls you to do something that sounds crazy, and your family and friends start to discourage you. If this happened, you would need to keep working diligently. This happened in Bruce Olson's life (Bruchko).

-The situation of the poor sounds like our own economic situation in the US. The only way to get out of it is to follow God's way.

-When Nehemiah refused to hide, he proved that he trusted God in even dangerous situations. May God grant us this sort of trust!

Grace be with you,

Abby :D

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Studying {Nehemiah 1-3}

How about a Bible study? I went through the book of Nehemiah and summarized it to get it in my head, and then wrote what I learned. Enjoy! (And here is a link to the Bible passage: Nehemiah 1-3)

Summary:
Nehemiah is sad about the returning captives and the broken down wall. He fasts and prays. The king asks what is wrong. When Nehemiah tells him, he lets Nehemiah go to help rebuild the wall, also giving him supplies and men. Nehemiah inspects the gate, which is in bad shape, and then when the enemies hear about it, they protest and Nehemiah rebukes them. The book then describes all the repairs done and by whom they were done.

What I learned:
-Nehemiah was a captive living in Susa. Even in captivity, God put his people in positions of honor, like the king's cup bearer.
-God pays attention to details and hard work, even small jobs well done. This reminds me of something Jim Elliot said in Shadow of the Almighty,
"A well-made piece of furniture and a healed blind man represented the same thing to the Father-- a job well done, mission accomplished. So with us here. Nothing great, but what is that to Him with whom there is no great and small?"

Grace be with you,

Abby :D

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Examples...

Amy Carmichael ~~~ Saved children in India from Hindu temples.

Jim Elliot ~~~ Died by the hands of the Auca Indians, trying to share the Gospel.

Gladys Aylward ~~~ Helped and took in orphans from China, risking her life many times.

Apostle Paul ~~~ Traveled all over the world sharing the Gospel, often coming close to death.

David Livingstone ~~~ Was a missionary and explorer in Africa for many years.

Hudson Taylor ~~~ Went to China as a missionary and spread the Gospel there.



I'm sure these men and women are familiar to you. You've probably read their stories many times. What do all of these people have in common?

Of course you know. They are all great missionaries. Men and women of God, doing things for God's glory. Have you every said to yourself, "Why can't I be like Paul?" or "I'll never be able to be like Amy Carmichael. She was amazing." I know I have. But here's the thing. God made those men and women like that. He gave them their talents, passions, and ideas so that He could be glorified. Sure, they used them in amazing ways, but they listened to God when He told them how. They were ordinary people, just like you, who followed God's voice when they heard Him talking. Grace was abundant in their lives.

Also, when we get caught up in thinking about how they used their gifts, and wishing we were more like them, we miss the whole point. Those people were imitating Jesus.

Hebrews 4:15
  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.

All the most wonderful missionaries in the world, the ones with the best missions or the most converts, were all sinners. All of them had weaknesses, and struggles, and sins. They were tempted every day, just like you.
And just like Jesus. Except Jesus-- didn't sin. He was perfect. Even though He went through everything, all the sins and temptations, that we go through, He didn't sin. Jesus is our High Priest, our role model.

Hebrews 5:1-3
 Every high priest is selected from among the people and is appointed to represent the people in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness. This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people.

Even the high priests of the temples in Jesus' day had sins, and they were the ones you went to for offering sacrifices so that your sins could be removed. They had to offer sacrifices for their own sins. And the great missionaries of our day aren't any better. Jesus is God's high priest, because He went through temptations as a human, and didn't sin. He was perfect. 

So don't you think, that when we look at missionary's lives, instead of looking at what they did as their own work and strengths, we should look in the background at God's grace to them? And look at Jesus Christ, our perfect High Priest, as our example in all of life?
 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Summer

Summer is here. Sort of.

Heat. Check.
Sweat. Check.
Mosquitoes. Check.
Swimsuits. Check.
Summer break. Oops.

That's right. I don't know about all of you, but I'm doing school over summer break. We've still got at least 50 more school days to go. What are you doing for summer break? Today my sisters and I went to writing class, for the last time! We did some informal impromptu speeches, ate snacks, and said goodbye to class and classmates in a fun way. Honey, who is our puppy in case you didn't know, is getting extremely big. Everyone who sees her comments on her big paws and says, "She is going to be a moose!" or something like that. "I'm sure she'll be big, sir, but it is not anatomically possible for a dog to become a moose as she gets older."  
"I was just using a figure of... well... never mind." :)
Summer is not my favorite season, but I do enjoy the heat and the swimming and popsicles. And of course the hot summer just makes the cool autumn that much nicer... ;)

I am sorry I haven't been blogging much. It's just that, there's these things I have called priorities, and blogging doesn't belong with that group. Maybe when summer break comes (if ever), then I can post more. Till then, don't expect much. Not that you have anyway, of course. See you guys later!

Grace be with you,

Abby :D

ps. i tried to put a picture on here, but for some reason it wouldn't load. maybe i'm out of photo space?
 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I'm doing lots of things...

 Here another list of the things I've been doing lately. Hope you enjoy! I'm still trying to get into a regular posting schedule, so sorry if the posts I post are boring with no pictures.

 1. We went to my cousin's high school play, Bye Bye Birdie. They were really good, especially the two main character, Albert and Rosie. Albert's mother was hilarious, too. I don't know if I would recommend it, because there is a definite feminist theme, but it was entertaining. My cousin had a smaller part where he didn't talk too much, but what he had he did really well.

2. Easter! We dyed eggs with beet juice and onion skins (all of our are eggs are pink and yellow) and went to an Easter breakfast at church to celebrate Christ's Resurrection. The pastor preached about what the world would have been like without the Resurrection. Then we had some family over with yummy food like corn and rolls. It was a lovely day.

3. My birthday. I'm now seventeen! When I thought of seventeen when I was young, I thought it would be an age when I had everything figured out. I would be beautiful, popular, and always know what to say. Well, that didn't happen... But God has blessed me with so much, that I can't really feel bad about the things I thought I would have. Sixteen was a great year.

4. We're doing a book study with some friends. It's called Passion and Purity, by Elizabeth Elliot. It's good so far, and I'm learning more about what relationships are supposed to look like. We're studying it with some really sweet friends, so the fellowship is fun, too.



What have you done in the past few weeks?

Grace be with you,

Abby :D

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The tickle feather **

Spring is here! Ah, a time of warm winds, daffodils, blossoms, and... snowflakes? It sure has been an interesting season. Winter was so warm, I could practically wear short sleeves, and now that spring is here, I have to bundle up before going outside. Strange weather, for sure.... but maybe no mosquitoes in summer? Maybe they'll all be killed by the cold. *evil laugh* That would be worth braving the cold for.

Here are some of my highlights of March so far.

~Highlights of March~ a list

1. I'm entering an altered book contest at our local library, which means I get to cut up books and turn them into art. Mine's turning out well so far. I like how it looks. Maybe I'll post some pictures when I'm done.

2. Speaking of the library, I got my own library card! Hooray! I know there are lots of people that have library cards, but I'm really excited to check books out with it.
(again speaking of the library, I saw my old tennis teacher there when I was getting my card. I thought that was interesting.)

3. I'm working on a research paper for writing class. We picked a career to research and now we're writing about it. I chose a book editor, because I love finding other people's mistakes. :) just kidding.

4.  Our puppy Honey has a serious biting problem. Ugh. You can't even pet her without feeling little sharp teeth on your hand. Can anyone relate? Have any tips?


Well, that's just about it. Of course Easter is coming up (in March this year!) so I might post then. See ya later!

Grace be with you,

Abby :D 


ps. oh, i nearly forgot! my birthday is in a week! i'll be turning seventeen. :)

** the title of this post is from my little brothers who are playing with a feather. :) 
 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Poetry

I felt like sharin' something personal with y'all today. I ain't one of them fancy bloggers who can type up their thoughts real pretty-like, so I decided to share some of my poems! Yep, these are genuwine certified Abby material right here. Enjoy!


This is one I wrote when-- of course-- I wanted some snow. Writing about it's the next best thing, right?

Snow


Tiny ice sculptures blow down from the sky
So dainty and fragile, they melt with a sigh
Delicate, lacy, exquisite and light
Each one is different, but all are pure white.

 Please don't judge this one! It was a science assignment for school. :)

The Pituitary Gland

God’s creation is amazing
For so many things we should be praising
There are wonders in this world galore
The butterfly’s wing and the lion’s roar
But even the sunset can’t begin
To wow me if I look within
Every bacterium and cell
Has its special job and place to dwell
There’s a tiny thing called the pituitary gland
Under the brain is where it stands
It sends our hormones to and fro
Tells them what to do and where to go
It keeps our bodies free of strife
And helps us have a better life
Next time you bow and fold your hand
Thank God above for this awesome gland

Did I already share this one? I'm not sure, but anyway...
Panther
Black and sleek
Bold not meek
Dusky fur
Growl not purr
Leopard black
Hidden spots
Color dim
Courage lots

This one is about one of my favorite types of cats! I know lots of people think hairless cats are creepy, but I like 'em. :)

Sphinx

Naked but regal, they sit straight and tall.
For the fur lover, their skin will appall.
Wrinkled and darling, their gaze says to you,
“Laugh, but please love me, I will love you, too.”

Grace be with you,

Abby :D