The most powerful thing about the Bible is that it is not neutral---in fact, there is no such position as a "neutral" one. One way or another, we must all contend with its claims. To not make a decision about whether or not it will serve as the authority for your life is, in fact, to decide against it. - Greg Hall in Already Compromised, co-authored with Ken Ham, published by Master Books

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Pretty Hair by Lilla Rose

Hello again!

In the effort of Spring Cleaning and in preparation for Mother's Day (It's May 11th!), I am finally getting to post a review I have been wanting to and planning to post for waaaaayyyy tooooo looonnnnggg!!! :) Please check out my (very amateur) pics below and consider this for a sweet lady or young lady in your life.

A precious friend of mine is a distributor for a very cool hair accessory line called Lilla Rose. She is actually a consultant along with her daughter. I had never heard of these hair accessories until getting to know my friend Jennifer. Now that I have been introduced, I am sure to get to know more of their products. :)

I got the XS (Extra Small) Flexi-Clip from her in a gold tone. It has been so handy and versatile and pretty that I have used it at several stages of my hair length over the past few months. It is so nice because it is one piece even though it looks like it is a separate pin that sticks through the main holder. They are actually joined permanently so you never lose either. And they are very durably made as well.

I ordered mine when I had relatively short hair, but wore it through several lengths (and color shades!). 
  

As you can see, I could wear it half up at that time.












And, when my hair was shorter, I could even wear it all up as in these few pictures. I could have continued to if I had a larger size, which they do make.




I liked it so much I started noticing who else around me would benefit from wearing it and would enjoy it. I even loaned it to my sister-in-law to wear on Easter Sunday. She, as you can tell, has much longer, thicker, naturally curly hair than I ever will. Yet, the XS worked perfectly for her to wear her sides back as she often does. She will likely be ordering a couple in larger sizes so she can wear more of her hair up in one.


I also love all of their other products and look to order some more soon. I really need their beautiful badge holder(s) since I work in healthcare and have to wear an ID badge all the time. Some other products I like (& my sis-in-law, too) are the hair sticks, pony tail holders, hair pins, and beaded headbands.

So, do yourself and/or some special lady or girl you know a favor and grab one or more of these cool hair accessories. You and they will love them! And you could send a badge holder my way if you want. ;) lol!

P.S. I did this review for no compensation. These opinions are solely mine...and my sister-in-law's.

Following Rabbit Trails with #WriteTheWord

Hi, everyone!

It's been awhile since we did some #WriteTheWord together. Lots going on around here. I'll tell you more about that in a future post. For now, how are you? Did you have a great Resurrection celebration during the past several weeks pre and post Easter? I did! So much to be thankful for.

On that note, I want to branch away from Joshua for a bit with this #WriteTheWord and show you something I did on Good Friday.

One of my pastors preached on Palm Sunday (the Sunday prior to Easter - read about it in Luke 19:28-44). In that message, he mentioned an Old Testament passage that is one of the many prophecies about the Messiah that Jesus fulfilled. For some reason that passage struck a chord with me, so I decided to dig a little deeper with it and used it to #WriteTheWord on Good Friday.

That passage, Zechariah 9:9-10, though short has many cross-referenced verses that can lead one on many power-packed rabbit trails throughout God's Word. So, in the pictures below you will see how I followed the cross-references in my Bible. I didn't draw any conclusions. I just wrote---The Word. Good stuff, too!

Oh, and after you look through my pics, I urge you to check out a new Bible Study resource site I found thanks to a dear friend. It is awesome! It's called BibleHub.com. As a matter of fact, here is a link to that scripture passage (Zech. 9:9-10) on BibleHub.com. It finds FOR YOU all the rabbit trails you could ever imagine and then some...including commentaries and maps and everything!

So, here are my pics from this rabbit hunt...get it...












In case you have any questions about cross-references, please feel free to ask and I'll do my best to help you figure them out. They typically follow a logical flow, and most often are explained in the front part of your Bible where there is an introduction from the publisher on how your specific Bible is structured. Either way, let me know if you have questions as you start to navigate cross-references.

I say, have fun with them! It's even more involved and enlightening to look at the cross-references on a verse you were cross-referenced to and go that much deeper and farther down a rabbit trail. I have learned some really neat things that way. And it can be a way to get your self into a Bible-study that can go on as long as you want it to. You can spend several weeks or even months just writing through cross-references of cross-references and keyword searches and more cross-references.

Seriously, this is truly my kind of fun!

:)

Okay, you can go ahead and call me a Bible Nerd! 
I'm right proud of it!

Now, go be a nerd for yourself and see what the Holy Spirit has to show you through that much-neglected middle column of your Bible.

Let me know what questions and revelations you have!

Go #WriteTheWord!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Catching up with #WriteTheWord

Back again and for one last #WriteTheWord "catch up" post. The rest from here forward will be me writing along with you through the remainder of Joshua. In those posts I will also share some more techniques with you to add to your #WriteTheWord repertoire.

Without further adieu, here are the last parts I have previously written from Joshua which include chapters 13, 14 & the beginning of 15.
My Chapter 13 Side Notes:
Main point of v.1-7 - Our LORD will continue to guide us & work through us & fight for us---even in our very old age, should we live so long.

Main point of v.8-14 - When ultimately trusting God for victory & following His plan, we will receive the promised land as our inheritance---in spite of impatience, mistakes, & disobedience along the way.

Oops! Looks like I skipped writing verses 15-23
Here they are for you to read over (& write if you would like):

15 This is what Moses had given to the tribe of Reuben, according to its clans:

16 The territory from Aroer on the rim of the Arnon Gorge, and from the town in the middle of the gorge, and the whole plateau past Medeba 17 to Heshbon and all its towns on the plateau, including Dibon, Bamoth Baal, Beth Baal Meon, 18 Jahaz, Kedemoth, Mephaath, 19 Kiriathaim, Sibmah, Zereth Shahar on the hill in the valley, 20 Beth Peor, the slopes of Pisgah, and Beth Jeshimoth— 21 all the towns on the plateau and the entire realm of Sihon king of the Amorites, who ruled at Heshbon. Moses had defeated him and the Midianite chiefs, Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur and Reba—princes allied with Sihon—who lived in that country. 22 In addition to those slain in battle, the Israelites had put to the sword Balaam son of Beor, who practiced divination. 23 The boundary of the Reubenites was the bank of the Jordan. These towns and their villages were the inheritance of the Reubenites, according to their clans.

v.27 - Valley = part of God-given inheritance
Main point of v.24-28 - Valleys, though often difficult & dark, are necessary & special gifts to us. They offer nourishment and times of growth unmatched on the mountain top.

Main point of v.29-33 - Even if you have no known inheritance on this Earth, as a child of God---the LORD is your inheritance! You will inherit His riches which He has promised to us.

My Chapter 14 Side Notes:
Main point of v.1-5 - Sometimes even those in God's service receive no earthly inheritance, yet He always provides for their daily needs while on this Earth. He often does this so that we will depend on Him for our daily bread & draw close to Him in the process.

Main point of v.6-11 - Following the LORD produces a strong core, strength, & endurance for the training & trials of life.

Looks like I left out another small section in chapter 14
Here are verses 12-15 for you to read (& write):

12 Now give me this hill country that the Lord promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the Lord helping me, I will drive them out just as he said.”

13 Then Joshua blessed Caleb son of Jephunneh and gave him Hebron as his inheritance. 14 So Hebron has belonged to Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite ever since, because he followed the Lord, the God of Israel, wholeheartedly. 15 (Hebron used to be called Kiriath Arba after Arba, who was the greatest man among the Anakites.)

My Chapter 15 Side Notes:
Main points of v.1-8:
As we roll away from our valley of trouble we roll full circle back into it only to find it is a doorway of hope & valley of fruitfulness.
- Valley of Achor = "valley of trouble",
but becomes a valley of fruitfulness & a doorway of hope
- Leads up (north) to Gilgal
- Gilgal = "circle" (of stones); also "roll away" (like a wheel)

So there you have it! Looks like I left you & me both hanging a bit with chapter 15 (there are a total of 63 verses in it)...sooo, I get to pick up with you in verse 9 of chapter 15 for our next #WriteTheWord session.

In the meantime, do share what you have learned from chapters 13-15 and/or whatever other portions of Scripture you are currently writing.

See you again soon! 

Keep on writing!!!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

What's next with #WriteTheWord?

Glad to have you back. 

I think about you all often in our in-between post times and wonder how your #WriteTheWord journey is going. I love when I get surprised by little posts and comments from you sharing what you are learning.

Now that we are back, I am getting very excited as we are sort of drawing to a close but really we are nearing a beginning.

What do I mean by that?

Well, we are nearing the point where I took a (very long) pause from writing The Word through Joshua. I stopped several months ago around chapter 15. My posts here have been taking you through what I had written and learned prior to that pause (so I have been learning it all over again, and more...definitely needed it!).

Once I get you all caught up to where I paused, I will begin writing fresh and anew with you the rest of the way through Joshua. (and if you are writing through another portion of Scripture, you can keep writing along with us and sharing what you are learning in the passages you are writing through.)

While I am catching you up, I'll continue with the multi-chapter posts to zip through. Once I start writing new chapters, I will also start showing you some more extra things I like to do to dig deeper.

Now, here we go with the next group of chapters. 
Are you ready?!

My Chapter 10 Side Notes:
Main point of v.1-6 - Put feet to the words of your oath---even in tough times. 
Do what you say. Live what you say.

Main point of v.7-11 - The LORD alone completes our battles. He fights the enemy FOR & WITH us, so we NEED NOT FEAR.

Main point of v.12-15 - Our God can & will stop the sun for us if that's what it takes to win our battles!

Main point of v.16-21 - Don't let your guard down just because you have small victories along the way.
DON'T STOP! The battle is still on. 
PURSUE YOUR ENEMIES (the strongholds in your life). 
The LORD has given them into your hand.

v.25 - Just as the LORD had said to him... 
(Joshua told his army the same thing God had told him.)
Main point of v.22-27 - Encourage others in the LORD just as He Himself has encouraged you.

Main point of v.28-33 - When we follow & obey the LORD in battle, He gives the enemy into our hand. We have FULL VICTORY with our LORD.

Main point of v.34-39 - Stay on the offense against the enemy by staying in the 
Word of God & in prayer.
Attach the enemy.
Win the victory.
Keep marching.
Repeat.

Main point of v.40-43 - Our LORD is not a dictator. 
Yes, He is holy & mighty, but He also comes alongside us & carries our burdens.
Our LORD fights for us so that we can follow His commands & 
be victorious against our enemy.
He promised us the land. He will help us take it & claim His promise to us.

My Chapter 11 Side Notes:
Main point of v.1-5 - When we are victorious against our enemy 
because our LORD is fighting for us, word spreads!
Often our enemy will gather larger & stronger forces to attack us, 
but our God is still bigger, stronger, & victorious.

Main point of v.6-9 - Our LORD commands us not to fear the enemy & promises us that He will be our DELIVERER!
He guides, instructs, & commands.
We obey.
He delivers.
AND He even delivers when we don't obey!
GRACE & MERCY!
(P.S. Do you like my superhero sheets to go along with the "deliverer" theme?!)
Main point of v.10-24 - Sometimes we have to wage against the enemy for a long time.
(Big enemy = satan; small enemies, too, like debt, etc.)
Once we have taken the entire promised land, 
we & the land will finally have rest from war.

My Chapter 12 Side Notes:
v.2 - Borders are often waterways of some kind.
Main point of v.1-6 - Even before we reach our Jordan crossing, 
we have some battles to fight & win.
But once we cross the Jordan the battle is not over---
there are many more to come.

v.8 - Arabah = plain or wilderness
Negev = dry, arid; south
WOW! 31 total kings on west of Jordan.
Main points of v.7-8 - Many lessons here:
1.  We will have many leaders in life---
often a different leader for each season.
2.  Sometimes YOU will become the leader for the next season.
Be teachable & ready!
(#3 & #4 are on next pic)

v.8 (cont'd) - Kings are like CEOs on steroids!
Even the ones who may have a quiet, humble strength 
are strong nonetheless or they would not be in their position.
- 2 on the East; 31 on the West. 
I told you there were MORE battles 
AFTER crossing the Jordan!
Main points of v.7-8 (cont'd) - More lessons here:
3.  Even though our equivalent to crossing the Jordan 
may be difficult & take tremendous bravery, 
life will not necessarily be easier on the other side---
it may be harder for awhile!
4.  Can you imagine conquering that many KINGS!?!
With God's help only can you defeat 
the strongest opposition in your life.

WOW! That was a LOT! 
But every bit of it hit me right square between the eyes all over again! 

It's just amazing how God works like that. I did this part of the study a little less than a year ago, yet it is pertinent and perfect timing all over again. Some in the same way as then, and some in a whole new way for this season of my life.

How about you?! 
Keep the updates coming!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Movin' along with #WriteTheWord

Back again!

What did you think of that spin I threw you last time? Have you been contemplating any word or words to dig deeper into? Have you already been digging? Can't wait to hear more about that.

Now, I would like to jump back into Joshua for some more #WriteTheWord.

Speaking of Joshua, have you been continuing on further in your Joshua #WriteTheWord study? If so, where are you and what have you learned? Please share! Also, I know some of you are using these #WriteTheWord tips and techniques to study other portions of Scripture, so please do share what you are learning as well! LOVE learning what God is teaching others as we journey together in studying His Word!

Back again to Joshua. Movin' along...

What I want to do now is share several pics of my pages I have written in the next couple of chapters of Joshua. I want to share more than one chapter this time (even though I know that may be a lot of content for one post...you can handle it!). I want to do this so we can build and keep some momentum and also so we can get to the spot where I honestly left off in my own #WriteTheWord study of Joshua that I am sharing with you now. I am ready to pick it up again and start learning new stuff along with you once we hit that spot. (And besides, you know how my consistent post intentions don't always match my actions, so this way I am giving you extra content to chew on and work through in case it takes me a while to come back and post.)

Buckle up! Here we go!

My Chapter 7 Side Notes:
v.1 - All for one & one for all.
Main point of v.1-5 - When God's holy anger burns, guilty hearts melt. BUT GOD---uses melted hearts to mold & form new hearts set on Him.

Main point of v.6-9 - Sometimes life will be difficult in the Promised Land & we will question whether we ever should have crossed into it.

v.11 - Don't whine about times when it seems like God has misled & unfairly left you to fail. INSPECT THE SITUATION. You may need to repent of sin.
v.12 - Are you secretly holding on to things that are Devoted to Destruction?! GET RID OF THEM!
v.13 - So thankful that, because of the sacrificial work of Jesus on the cross, God is ALWAYS WITH His children now. His Spirit is INSIDE OF US, unlike in the Old Testament days.

v.15 - SO THANKFUL that Jesus took God's wrath upon Him IN OUR PLACE so we don't have to.
v.16 - Joshua didn't wait to obey. He did it early.
Main point of v.14-19 - What a way to confess! Give glory & praise to the LORD first. Then truthfully, openly confess what you have done.

v.24 - Valley of Achor = "deep ravine" - named after Achan but means "trouble" (Remember my "valley" study in the last post?! God is the BEST weaver of the tapestry of our lives and our studies in His Word!). 
Isaiah 65:10 (after Joshua) "...the Valley of Achor (will become) a resting place..."
Joshua 15:7 - part of the boundary of the Promised Land.
Hosea 2:15 "...(I) will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope..."
Achan = "one who troubles"
Main point of v.20-24 - WHAT'S IN A NAME? Achan = "one who troubles" - The valley where he & his stolen goods were taken was named after him. Achor = "TROUBLE" - BUT that valley later became a valley of REST & a doorway of HOPE!

v.25 - Achan = one who troubles
v.26 - Valley of Achor = Valley of Trouble - later became a doorway of hope & a resting place
Main point of v.25-26 - Again so thankful that Jesus paid the price for our sin, ONCE & FOR ALL. Because of His shed blood, we don't have to face the wrath of our Holy God's anger & can instead bask in His unending, undeserved LOVE & FORGIVENESS and MERCY & GRACE!

My Chapter 8 Side Notes:
Main point of v.1-5 - Our LORD has already won the war, but we still have battles to fight. We have to go into battle on the alert but knowing OUR GOD IS WITH US & ALREADY HAS DELIVERED US! NO FEAR! NO DISCOURAGEMENT!

v.6 - Their previous mistake of not consulting God for plans is now being used for good.
Main point of v.6-10 - RISE UP from past mistakes! Seek God & do what He commands & He will turn your past mistakes into stepping stones toward His best for you.

Main point of v.11-16 - Sometimes in battle, fleeing is the right thing to do & the desert is the right place to be. Trust God's plan even when others may think it's crazy.

Main point of v.17-20 - When God tells you to stretch...you stretch! When you do, victory is sure to rise!

Main point of v.21-26 - Matthew Henry quote - "Joshua conquered by yielding, as if he had himself been conquered; so our Lord Jesus...seemed as if death had triumphed over Him...BUT in His resurrection He rallied again & gave the powers of darkness a total defeat."

Main point of v.27-35 - In times of victory & success, we must be very careful to stay focused on The Source of our blessing. We must be deliberate to read & meditate on the Word of God & give Him the praise for favorable outcomes & circumstances.

My Chapter 9 Side Notes:
v.1 - Lots of description about the kings & their locations & the people.
Main point of v.1-15 - If you do not inquire of the LORD, you will likely fall for the enemy's ruse & make a treaty of peace with the enemy.

Main point of v.16-21 - Godly leaders are to uphold their oaths & keep their promises, even when the situations are tough.

Main point of v.22-27 - Some curses can be blessings as well. 
Curse = Gibeonites serve (in tough, hard-working service jobs) in God's house.
Blessing = Lifelong service in God's house & exposure to His teachings.

So there you have it! 
3 chapters of Joshua to chew on as you #WriteTheWord along with me.
And if you notice, I was writing these portions around the same time last year. As a matter of fact, the last page was written on last Easter Sunday. Interestingly, as I write this today, we are nearing the beginning of Lent in just a few short days. (Yep, it's Mardi Gras time here in South Louisiana!)

Looking forward to your Spirit-led takeaways from this section of Joshua and/or whatever sections of Scripture God has you writing The Word in right now.

Do share! :)
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