Friday, June 28, 2013

Why the Sabbath is 25 Hours Long

Each week, the Sabbath comes around. The Sabbath isn't just for 8 hours, 12 hours, or even 24 hours. It's actually 25 hours long. But why is the Sabbath 25 hours long?

The Sabbath is a day of rest. Jewish days go from evening to evening. (So for today, it is sundown on June ___ to sundown on June ___).

The internet gives several reasons for a 25 hour Sabbath.
1) 25 hours gives more security in knowing you have definitely rested for the Sabbath.
2) There is a tradition to add a little more to sacred times, from the secular time, to remind us of the holidays preciousness.
3) It's important to make the Sabbath a priority.

You can read more on the Sabbath on these site articles: Article 1 and Article 2

Do you keep a Sabbath day of rest?
What are the component parts of your Sabbath?

Monday, June 24, 2013

Favorite Recipe Involving Beans & Rice?

My hubby & I will be moving to a country (you can read more about it here) where one of the main staple food is beans & rice. I have some recipes that build around them, but I want more recipes and more variety. 

If you have a favorite recipe centered around beans & rice please send it to me (including ingredient list & how much of each ingredient and directions) with an optional photo of it.

My husband and I look forward to hearing about and trying new recipes!!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Did You Inquire of the Lord?

God really delivered the Israelites from some fierce and powerful enemies. They called on Him and he delivered.

Yet a few places in Scripture, the Israelites figured they had it sorted. They could handle it on their own. They did not inquire of the Lord.

In Joshua 9, the Israelites took some ambassadors at their word and made a peace treaty with them. They didn't inquire of the Lord and were unable to follow His directive to fully clear the Promised Land. God would have seen through the deception, but no one asked Him.

In 1 Chronicles 10:13-14, when Saul's death is described, one of his wrongs he committed was not inquiring of the Lord.

In 1 Chronicles 15, the first attempt to bring the Ark of the Lord into Jerusalem is a disaster, because no one inquired of the Lord, to see how He wanted it done. The second time was a success because people did inquire of the Lord and followed His instructions.

In my life, I have a tendency to consult God on my BIG problems, you know, the ones I can't handle on my own, but I handle all my small problems.

That isn't what God wants. He wants us to inquire of Him, often and frequently. Over big decisions and small decisions. Nothing is too big for God to handle and nothing is too small for Him either. He wants to be your first "go-to" person, in the event of a crisis or dilemma.

If life seems to be conspiring against you, may your first question be "Did I inquire of the Lord?"

And may your answer be "Yes."

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Letters to Fathers and Father Figures

It seemed only natural to write letters to fatherly figures, after I wrote letters to motherly figures (see here).

Dear Dad,
Thank you for showing me how a man should treat his wife. Thank you for being around while we were growing up. Few moments were as treasured as our father-daughter dates on my birthdays. I am grateful for your sense of humor and jokes. I'm grateful you taught me to find a job I love, regardless of the pay. You lovingly showed me that I have your ears (you introduced the topic by saying "I had big ears as a child. You have my ears.), hair color, and temperament. You gave me tips on my temperament and how to interact with others. You reminded me that it's important to have a sense of humor, even during my grumpy phase. When we got season passes to King's Island, you got the best deal because you took just you & me, just you & Jen, just you & mom, and the whole family there. You taught me the beauty in nature, campfires, and camping. You showed me it takes courage to apologize, but it is necessary to do so.
Your daughter,

Dear Grandpa,
Thank you for being in my life. It was always a special treat to get to go to your home and it was even more special to get to spend the night. Thank you for playing games with us; those memories are especially treasured. I have fond memories of the shows you acted in (especially Mr. Periwinkle's Christmas Party), family gatherings at your home, and your beautifully decorated tree each Christmas. Because of you, I was introduced to Star Trek (even if I found Klingons too scary to watch initially). You raised a wonderful daughter who became a wonderful mother. Your love and acceptance of our family made a strong impression on me. I am grateful you are in my life.
Your granddaughter,

Dear Daddio (i.e.father-in-law),
Thank you for being in my life. You sure are a good listener and an observant people watcher. I am thankful for the son you raised and share with me through my marriage to him. I enjoy our candid conversations and discussions. I am grateful you are in my life. Thank you for opening your home (and pantries) for Sunday dinners. Thank you for the rides to and from places, the extra storage space, and the garden last year (that I sorta forgot to water). I am grateful you are in my life. Thank you for the advice you offer and also for encouraging Lucas & I to come to our own conclusions. I am grateful you are in my life.
Your daughter-in-law,

Dear father figure (Roger),
You may or may not have noticed how closely I watched you over the past 4+ years (in a non-stalker way), but I did. You helped show me that my faith needs to be real and in order to sing "wherever He leads, I'll go" I need a passport. You showed me the beauty in instrument-less songs. I learned when studying the Bible with a group, it's a good idea to quit while we're having fun. You taught me that questions aren't bad and we should think through our faith. I am grateful you are in my life.
Your BCMer,

Dear fatherly figures,
I may not always show affection, but I am grateful for having you in my life. You have taught me many lessons of the years you have been in my life. You have taught me lessons in joy, self-control, and friendship. You were friends and supports for me. Thank you for the time you were willing to invest in a growing Christian. You have had a deeper impact than perhaps you know. I am grateful you are in my life.
Your friend,

Monday, June 10, 2013

Marriage Resources

I am still learning what marriage means (after all, I've only been married for 2.5 years). Learning from those who have more experience, who have gone before, is something I highly value.

So many people out there have a negative word to say about so many things: marriage, pregnancy, future plans, etc. These people will write off optimism as ignorance and some will see it as their duty to pop bubbles of "unrealistic" dreams. I don't like such advice, however well-meaning it may be. I want people to share in my joy, to give words of encouragement, to help me over rough patches. It is important to warn of danger spots and signals, but it's also important to share positive memories and words of encouragement. Believers, there are enough naysayers in the world. We need joy-sayers in our lives.

I just wanted to share some of my favorite books, websites, and resources relating to marriage. These resources have definitely helped me and I wanted to pass them on to y'all.

The Dating Divas: When I want a fun date with my hubby, I typically visit this site instead of attempting mental gymnastics. I adapt dates to suit us. The wonderful thing about this site is that it has a collection of dates for MARRIED couples.

Romancing Your Husband: This is one of my favorite all-time books. It challenges my assumptions and gives me ways I can improve myself. You can read 2 prior blog posts on this book here and here.

Love and Respect: This is another one of my favorite books. The author teaches how women need to know they're loved above all else and men need to know they're respected above all else. He backs up his ideas with Scripture.

5 Love Languages & Apology Languages:  You give & receive love best in certain ways. Your spouse gives & receives love best in certain ways. What are the best ways to show love to your spouse? (Take the quiz & have your spouse take it too in order to learn theirs). What actions/words are the most hurtful to you and to your spouse? (Based on each love language, there are things that are more hurtful than other things. i.e. words of affirmation people find criticism hurtful). Additionally, there are languages of apology. Learning your spouse's (and your) apology languages can shed light on disagreements over apologies. Did I mention, both quizzes are free?

Bible: When in doubt, go to the source. It has instructions on Christian living (for households) and romantic poetry in the Song of Songs/Solomon.

What books and resources have had the biggest impact on you and your marriage? What thoughts have shaped how you view marriage?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Reviewing "A Bond of Blessing"...A Must-Read Book

Mothers-in-law get a bad rap. They get complained about and dreaded to boot. They are the brunt of jokes. But what if there was another way for daughters-in-law to interact with mothers-in-law? (there is) What if the Bible provides a case study into a relationship between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law in the book of Ruth? (there is)

Jaime Farkas wrote a Bible Study book called "A Bond of Blessing: Insights from the book of Ruth for Mothers-in-law and Daughters-in-law" which is available here for kindles for $3.99 at <>.

This book uses the story of Ruth and Naomi to outline positive ways to interact with one's daughter/mother-in-law. Both sides are addressed. Daughters-in-laws and mothers-in-law have discussion questions at the ends of chapters, and both sides of the proverbial equation are addressed.

Potential problem areas are also addressed, including how a son's relationship changes with his mother after he gets married, the impact a mother has on her son's life before and after marriage, the value of a grandmother's experience when it comes to children, how the parents make the final decision in child-rearing tactics, and the importance of forgiveness.

Chapter 1: The Man
Chapter 2: The Grandchildren
Chapter 3:  Naomi & Ruth: Real Women
Chapter 4: Naomi-The Perfect Mother-in-Law?
(I'm really not sure why there isn't a chapter 5)
Chapter 6: Ruth-The Daughter-in-Law
Chapter 7: Forgiveness-The Key to Success
Chapter 8: More than Meets the Eye
Chapter 9: A Modern Day Example
Chapter 10: The Blessing-A Legacy of Love

I highly recommend this book for all mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law out there. This book Biblically-based and a great book.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Are You to be Avoided?

Time and time again, the Scriptures tell believers to avoid quarrels and arguments, as well as people who breed quarrels and arguments. (See here and here).

The Scriptures also tells us to NOT be quarrelsome. (See here and here).

We aren't supposed to chase controversies and split hairs. (See here and here).

I searched through the New Testament looking for passages giving instructions on Christian living passages. Time and time again, Paul and other writers warn believers to avoid quarrelsome people and avoid quarreling themselves.

I got to thinking (uh-oh). Do I behave in a way that others believers should avoid me or is my conduct pure? Do I act in such a way that *I'm* quarrelsome and to be avoided? Am I a quarrelsome wife that eats at my hubby like a dripping faucet or that makes it preferable to live on the roof or in the desert? Or am I someone who overlooks an insult, who doesn't constantly bring up controversies?

Sometimes love is losing (or avoiding) an argument and saving a friendship. Sometimes starting a quarrel is like breaking a dam (see here). Sometimes winning a fight is missing the point. Sometimes I need to swallow a comment or let a comment roll off my back in order to not be quarrelsome.

(Side tangent) I first wrote this post in a hard-copy notebook. My first draft included spots for hyperlinks, much to my hubby's entertainment.

Are you to be avoided based on a quarrelsome attitude?  What needs to change to change this behavior? (a hint: always look inward before looking outward).