Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Why I Left Bible Bowl Part II

The more and more I studied for Bible Bowl, I came across verses like "Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another" Romans 12:10,
Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Phillipians 2:3

What I learned is that God's methods not only do not include strife, but the very principles of His government are against it. I had to ask myself the question, "Why do I need an incentive of winning to study God's word. It is not enough that I have been commanded to study to show myself approve or that God promises that I will find Him when I search for Him with all my heart?

I left Bible Bowl because as God began to reveal Himself to me, the model of the game did not fit His character and how can two walk together except they be agreed? I left because God called me out to study to find Him, to study to be changed into His likeness, to study to fill my mind with the things of Him.

I thank God that every day with Him is sweeter than the day before.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Why I left Bible Bowl Part I

Let me first begin with why I joined Bible Bowl. There was a time in my life that I was busy working for God, but I was not spending time with Him. I knew of Him, but I didn't know Him personally and intimately. My conscience (the voice of God) kept telling me to study. I wanted to study, but for many reasons that I won't get into here, I never did. At least not on a consistent basis.

I knew my Bible, probably better than most, but I knew that God was not pleased with my study habits and my efforts to know Him better. So I joined the Bible Bowl. At the time I believed it was an answer to prayer. I would be forced to study in order that I not look bad when the competition came. The first year we had a team we decided to divide up the books among us. My book was Deuteronomy. I was so discouraged because it wasn't really in a story format and I wasn't sure how to go about reading. At any rate, my team won the first few rounds of competition and off to Ohio to the National games we went. I was blown away at how well read the teams were and how quickly they answered questions, often with only a few words haven been read.

The games were a success, except for the guy in the hallway who was arguing over his points and the little kid that cried because he got the question wrong. I figured that was just a part of the game and didn't take much notice.

After we came back from our win, we recruited others to play in the other age groups. We would meet after church to go over the material and study. Fast forward a few years and the youth team makes it to the National competition, but they are no match for one of the other teams.

They lose, but are confident that it's just because they didn't take the time necessary to study. So this time they want to "study", but they don't want to take time to be bothered with the principles of the story of any "unnecessary" details because at Bible Bowl they are only required to regurgitate facts. Finally, they didn't want to participate at all because they knew they couldn't win.

A similar thing happened with my team. One of my teammates was one of the best in the country, and no one would show up to play us because they didn't want to lose. What happened to everyone is a winner in Bible Bowl? What happened to you win because you opened your Bible and read? I would ask other teams for tips on how to study and no one wanted to share, because we might beat them. Wow, I thought this was about studying to know God.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Putting Sin to Death

Today's Sabbath School Lesson was about David, his sin with Bathsheba and his repentance. I have read and heard this story many times. Each time I come away with something different. David was supposed to be at battle, but instead he stayed home (his first mistake). While on his rooftop, he sees a beautiful woman and enquires about her. He is told exactly who the woman is and who her husband is (his way of escape-I Corinthians 10:13). He calls for the woman anyway and sleeps with her. She becomes pregnant so David calls for her husband to come home from war. This is his first attempt to cover up what he has done. He tried, unsuccesfully to get the man to sleep with his wife so he will think the baby is his. After this attempt fails, he resorts to murder. He brings the woman to his home, and marries her. He then goes on about his life as if nothing has happened until...

Nathan the prophet confronts David, but with wisdom and skill that only God could give he uses a parable to tell David of the wrong that he has done. David acknowledges that he has sinned against God and repents. God forgives David and cleanses him, but the baby that was conceived dies.

This time when I read this story, the death of the baby stood out to me. The word conceived stood out in my mind and God brought James 1:15 to my mind: Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

This baby symbolized the sin brought forth from David's lust. Even though God forgave David, He had to separate him from the sin that had defiled him. I always found it interesting that David cried and cried until the baby died, but isn't that how it happens? We are caught up in the very thing that God doesn't want from us. He tells us that He is going to take it away and we are sorrowful. Perhaps it's a job we shouldn't have, maybe a relationship. It could be anything that separates us from God. But once that thing is gone and we realize that God has taken it away we can now move forward and walk in God's purpose for our life.

I myself have experience that pain of God putting my sin to death, but O the joy that comes in the morning when God has cleansed me and created my heart anew! What a beautiful lesson in how God separates us from sin, puts that sin to death, gives us a new heart and sets us on a new path, the path that lead to Him.

Stay faithful and I pray that I will see you at the end of the path.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Our Daily Schedule

A friend of mine asked me about our daily schedule and so I decided I would write a blog post about it.

We keep this schedule (or the routine of the schedule) 95% of the time. I have learned to be flexible and so we adapt when necessary.

6:00 am Mom's quiet time with God

7:00 am Children rise and complete morning routine, Mom's morning routine and breakfast prep

8:00 am Family Worship, Breakfast and Breakfast Clean-up

9:00 Morning walk or other exercise

10:00 School

12:30 Dinner Prep

1:00 Dinner, Kitchen Clean-Up, Afternoon house pick-up

2:00 Room Organization time (Because we are moving)

3:00 Quiet Time (Don't call my name and I won't call yours!) :-)

4:00 Craft Time (Knitting, Crocheting, sewing, etc...)

6:00 Supper or Light snack then cleanup

7:00 Family Worship

7:30 Bath Time, then Bed

A few notes about the schedule. I am not a schedule type of person. I have time restrictions and I really struggled to come up with one. The more time I spent with God, the more He impressed me to be accountable with my time and to teach my children to do the same.

In the morning the children must have their routine completed before coming to the breakfast table. Our philosophy is that the man who does not work, does not eat (II Thess 3:10).

I often get the question of how can we finish school in 2 1/2 hours. This block is mainly for what I need to teach or go over with the kids. Most of their work is done independently after I give assignments and so a lot of time I may be doing something else during this time. Also we do not do every subject every day. We use the Unit Study method of learning and may spend a week on history, a week on science, etc. We generally 2 Bible plus 2 subjects a day.

For our meals, we eat our heaviest meal for Breakfast and we eat at 5 hour intervals with no snacking in between. This has worked wonders for us. When we snacked, my kids had little to no appetite at meal time and always wanted a snack. This encouraged us to eat junk as most kids to not associate anything healthy with "snack food". Not eating between meals means that my kids are hungry when it's time to eat and they eat well. We drink 2 hours after eating or 15 minutes before.

Hope this helps and I would love to see the schedules of others. May God be with you as you seek to use even your time for His honor and glory.