Monthly Archives: September 2010

10 Commandments

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God gave Moses the first set of stone tablets, which he had already written on-both sides in fact!  Scripture supports this statement-see below.  So, what happened?  Well, Moses had been on the mountain for so long that the people weren’t sure what had happened to him, or if he was coming back.  So, they looked to Aaron, Moses’ brother, as their spiritual guide.  Well, Aaron- who certainly knew better-told them to give him their gold so he could make a golden calf for them to worship.  So they did.  When Moses came down from the mountain and saw the golden calf he became angry and he threw down the tablets.

Well, you know how you can read something over and over and never notice it until God suddenly points it out to you?  Well, I think this is funny because it reminds me of what little kids do, and sometimes we are all like little kids from time to time.  Here’s how it “goes down” between the brothers….

Exodus 32:21Then Moses said to Aaron, “What did this people do to you, that you have brought such great sin upon them?”22Aaron said, “Do not let the anger of my lord burn; you know the people yourself, that they are prone to evil.23“For they said to me, ‘Make a god for us who will go before us; for this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’24“I said to them, ‘Whoever has any gold, let them tear it off.’ So they gave it to me, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf.”

Previously in verse 4 it said that Aaron took the gold from them and fashioned it into a molten calf with a graving tool!!!!!!!! Doesn’t that sound like something a kid would say to keep from getting into trouble?    “Uh I dunno Moses,  I just threw it in the fire and out came this  golden calf…”

uh gee, how’d that happen Aaron?  Duh!

I have had myself a good little chuckle over that tonight.  Sorry folks- but it’s funny because it is so much like us!  Where’d you get that cookie Donna?  Uh, I dunno, I just opened the oven and it flew right out into my hand….busted!

This just shows me over and over how God uses simple things to get our attention and how he uses everyday ordinary people to do His work.  It’s not funny because the people were sinning against God by worshipping an idol.  That is a NO NO!  However- God gives them another chance !  He never gives up on them-or on us.  No matter how many times we have to go around the mountain!

READ, READ, READ your bible!  You never know what might hit you upside the head!

Blessings on you as you study and pray…


Exodus 20

The Ten Commandments

1 And God spoke all these words:2 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.3 “You shall have no other gods before me.4 “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hateme, 6 but showing love to a thousand {generations} of those who love me and keep my commandments.7 “You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. 11For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.13 “You shall not murder.14 “You shall not commit adultery.15 “You shall not steal.16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”18 When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance 19 and said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.”20 Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.”21 The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.

Exodus 24: 12Now the LORD said to Moses, “Come up to Me on the mountain and remain there, and I will give you the stone tablets with the law and the commandment which I have written for their instruction.”

Exodus 32:15  Then Moses turned and went down from the mountain with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand, tablets which were written on both sides; they were written on one side and the other.16The tablets were God’s work, and the writing was God’s writing engraved on the tablets.

Exodus 32: 19It came about, as soon as Moses came near the camp, that he saw the calf and the dancing; and Moses’ anger burned, and he threw the tablets from his hands and shattered them at the foot of the mountain.

Exodus 34

The Two Tablets Replaced

1Now the LORD said to Moses, “Cut out for yourself two stone tablets like the former ones, and I will write on the tablets the words that were on the former tablets which you shattered.2“So be ready by morning, and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai, and present yourself there to Me on the top of the mountain.So he cut out two stone tablets like the former ones, and Moses rose up early in the morning and went up to Mount Sinai, as the LORD had commanded him, and he took two stone tablets in his hand.

Exodus 34: 5The LORD descended in the cloud and stood there with him as he called upon the name of the LORD.

Exodus 34: 27Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write down these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.”28So he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did not eat bread or drink water And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant,the Ten Commandments.

Need more help?  This is for Emily, Elizabeth and Lydia!  Love you gals!

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Bethel

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( Michelangelo-Creation)

Hi!

For the next 2 years most of my posts will be related to what we are studying in Bethel.  Bethel is a 2 year study of the Old and New Testaments of the Bible.   I love to use art ( other artist’s as well as my own) to help people visualize what they are reading.  For me-it works.  So, I will be using certain scriptures along with art to help you learn along the way.  I hope you enjoy the journey as much as I already am!  I have discovered that I have no time to draw because I am so busy reading and studying and that’s cool.  Right now I am hungry for God’s Word and I know He will lead me to draw when it is time.  We’ve already gone through Genesis and Exodus and I am amazed at what insight God has given me already!  Bring it on!  I am really excited about this leg of my journey!

May God bless your reading, looking and listening!

Mount Sinai

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Exodus 19: 9 & 16-19 NIV

The LORD said to Moses, “I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear me speaking with you and will always put their trust in you.” Then Moses told the LORD what the people had said.

16 On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled. 17 Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. 18 Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the LORD descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, the whole mountain trembled violently, 19 and the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder. Then Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him.

Can you imagine being a witness to this?  You know it amazes me that the Israelites were so stubborn in their disbelief.  I mean, here is God, in fire, smoke and thunder, on top of Mount Sinai, speaking to Moses.  It would make a believer out of me!  But don’t we all know people like this even today?  God can be right there, in their face, and they still refuse to believe in Him?  But no matter what happened, God never gave up on the Israelites, never.  We shouldn’t give up on people either.  God will bring them to himself in His time- not ours.  Look how long and how many times the Israelites needed to be shown.  Phew!  I am so thankful that God doesn’t give up on us and that he never gave up on me either.

Red Sea Crossing

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Red Sea Crossing by Justin Gerard

Wow…I just love the depth and colors of this painting.  As the Israelites crossed the rocky bottom of the Red Sea, the book of Exodus says there was a wall of water on either side of them.  God’s wonder was holding it back.  In this picture you can see the whales and sea life watching them as they cross.  Some of the people’s faces are serene, others are a little worried, and the picture is seemingly calming, at a first glance.  But is it really?  If you look further into the painting you will notice the firelight flickering and the robes moving in the wind.  There’s a little boy who looks a little frightened in the right hand background, maybe saying, ” C’mon!  Faster! Before the water falls!”  In the left front a little girl is fearfully clutching at her robes, yet the babe in the mother’s arms is sound asleep.

Isn’t this how we all are from time to time when we see God moving in our lives?  Sometimes we are fearful, calm or asleep.  But look at Moses in the left corner-looking straight ahead-eyes on the prize of getting to the other side, calm and unwavering in his leadership.  Wow.  I hope I can be like that one day!

Thanks to the artist for your beautiful rendition of the Red Sea Crossing!

Now for a different view watch this video.

Live a life that is pleasing to God

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Listen while you read…

Moses praying

(all images from internet)

Ok- just a quick post so I don’t forget that this happened!

Today, during our “What’s so amazing about Grace” bible study we were talking about leadership in the church universal and how a leader is entrusted with teaching others what the bible says and how to live it out.  In other words, leaders must be good examples to their students and they should be living what they are teaching.      This seems to be a controversial topic and it can appear judgmental but we must abide by God’s commands. This is why it is so very, very, important that we study God’s Word for ourselves. That way we KNOW what the bible says and what God’s commands are.  I cannot stress this enough.

Well, I sat down to study my Bethel work and the answer was right in front of me.  I get sooooo excited when God shows me things I’ve never seen before, or things that have just come up in a bible study.  It is affirming to me that this is something I am supposed to “get.”    In Exodus 18 Jethro, Moses’ father in law, reunites Moses with the rest of his family by bringing them to him.  As they reunite, Moses shares the good news of everything God has done with Jethro. Jethro is delighted.  The next day Jethro looks on as Moses works to counsel and teach the people in his care.  ( 600,000!!)  Jethro is troubled by all the work that Moses is doing alone. He tells Moses that he will wear out without help.  Then he gives him some sound advice.  Here is what he says…

Exodus 18:9-26

9 Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you. You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their disputes to him. 20 Teach them the decrees and laws, and show them the way to live and the duties they are to perform. 21 But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. 22 Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you. 23 If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied.”

24 Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said. 25 He chose capable men from all Israel and made them leaders of the people, officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. 26 They served as judges for the people at all times. The difficult cases they brought to Moses, but the simple ones they decided themselves.

Let’s break it down like this:

1. Moses is God’s representative just as our Pastors are to us.

2. Moses teaches the people the laws of God and how to live by them-just as our Pastors do for us.

3.  Moses was to delegate some of the responsibility to people who a) fear God b) are trustworthy c) honest .  These people would help lighten the load for Moses and they would help him carry the burden of teaching and counseling all the people in their care.  They did the everyday work and let Moses take care of the harder things.

Teamwork.

When we share the load-not one person has to take the full brunt of it, but it is spread out among many leaders.  This is an important responsibility that comes with an accountability to God and then to your Pastor and church.   If you are in a leadership position you are being entrusted with those people under your care.  This means that you have to live in the most holy way you know how.  You have to put off sin, and put on integrity and honesty in everything that you do.   You WILL be held accountable by God.  You must begin everything in an attitude of prayer and seek the will of God.  Don’t just haphazardly jump in just because it sounds good, pray about first.  I have been known to be one of those “jump first, think later” people.  I think it’s my creative side-my free spirit as Cort calls it.  I have a hard time saying ” let me pray about it first and I’ll get back to you.”    I hate to disappoint people by saying ‘NO.”  When I do that, I am not putting God first and I must always put Him first and foremost and if that means saying “NO” then so be it.  I’m learning a little at a time.  Like Moses, we cannot do it all.  We aren’t meant to do it all, that’s why God has given us other people to help us.  So, if you are finding yourself head over heels in mindless work from morning to evening with no end in sight-consult God, read the scriptures and pray.  God will show you what you need to do, I promise.  If you are asked to be in leadership position within your church, please don’t take it lightly.  Consider all aspects of it-especially how you live.   We are called to live a life that is holy and pleasing to GOD and God alone.   I pray that I will be ever mindful to seek God’s counsel and strive to live a life that is Holy and pleasing to God.  When we love someone- we want to give them our very best-

after all-

He did for us-

didn’t He?

Rain by donna godwin

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Rain

By Donna Godwin
Sept. 27, 2010

Rain…

Tears of rain fall from His eyes…

through the holes in the hands of His nail scarred Son.

The hands that healed, baptized and served the world in humility.

The hands that ever so gently

tend, nurture and care for His Creation.

Like a gardener…

He feeds, waters, prunes and waits.

Yes, He waits.

He patiently waits…

for just the right time to pick the harvest,

Everything has to be just right…

The rains…they come…

sometimes gently, sometimes torrential and wild.

Without them there  can be no soft, smooth, aromatic petals

groaning out of their buds and bursting into beautiful blooms.

There can be no beauty to see.

No sweet aroma lingering in the air.

Rain.

It can flood our soul with a cleansing power…if we let it.

And when we do…

well…

God’s magnificent and unfathomable wonder happens

and we are instantly immersed in His Grace.

It is only when we embrace the

healing and graceful tears of forgiveness

that fall from our Father’s eyes

that our hearts can bloom at the work

of Our Redeemer’s

gentle,

graceful,

forgiving,

loving,

and

perfect hands.

( all photos from internet)

Music-the color of our soul

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No matter what is going n in my life, these three songs always lift me up.  My kids say I am ” old fashioned” but that’s okay because I used to say that about my parents!  Eventually time catches up with us and our ears change pace, volume and meaning.  These songs speak to my soul.  I hope they do yours too.  If they don’t…give God some time and see what happens….

Blessings!

d.

Our GOD

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“The Lord is My Banner”
by Gustave Dore
Exodus 17
The Amalekites Defeated

8 The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. 9Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.”

10 So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. 11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 12 When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset.

God impressed this scripture upon me this week as I studied for Bethel.  Moses had just parted the Red Sea and the Israelites were safely on the other side.  It wasn’t long before they began to grumble about being in the wilderness without water.  Three days in fact.  You would think that after seeing the wonder of God, as He raised the walls of water from the sea for them to safely pass through, that they would be a little more thankful.  Well, they did sing a song of triumph upon their safe arrival to the other side,  but their joyous mood didn’t last for long.    When they complained of having no water-God brought them to place with 12 wells of water!  They soon departed into the wilderness, only to complain to Moses about being hungry and how he brought them to the wilderness to starve, yada,yada,yada.    And yet again the Lord provided!  Manna rained from heaven!  So much in fact that they ate it for 40 years!  In Chapter 17 we hear them complaining again, about having no water and why did you bring us here, wah, wah, wah.    God heard them and he commanded Moses to strike a rock.  He did and water came out of it.

How many times do we need to see the presence of God before we will trust that He truly is with us?  Are we like the Israelites?  Am I?  Yes, I’m afraid so.

But the best part of chapter 17 is yet to come.  At least for me anyway.  Even through the Israelites  whining and complaining, God still insists on showing them His presence!  Doesn’t he do that for us too?  I know He does me!  Thank you Lord!

In verse 8 the Amalekites go to battle with the Israelites.   Moses was on top of the hill with the rod of God in his hand and when he held the rod up the Israelites were winning, when he tired and dropped his arms they were losing.  They needed to see that Moses was cheering them on.  He was their cheerleader, so to speak.  God was working through Moses.    But Moses couldn’t do it alone.  He had to have help holding his arms up when they tired.  So, Aaron and Hur went to help him. TEAMWORK!    They sat him down on a rock and then they each held up a hand so the Israelites would know that Moses was still there cheering them on.  They held his hands up until the sun went down and the battle was won.

WOW!  Isn’t that awesome?  I think it is.  Here is Moses with the power of God in a stick, ( a stick!  )  holding it up for all the Israelites to see.  He was their encouragement to keep fighting, to keep looking UP to win the battle!  I think our church leaders do this for us.  They lift up God’s Word to us by preaching, teaching, serving and ministering to our needs every single day, just as Moses did for the Israelites.   They encourage us to keep looking up, to keep fighting the battle.  They have been placed here by God and we are to trust them, just as the Israelites trusted Moses as he stood with his arms up.  Sometimes our leaders become weary and need help holding up their hands, this is where we come in.  We stand beside them and hold them up until the battle is won.  We never give up.  TEAMWORK!

Now, as for the whining part-I have a lot of work to do in that area and I thank our Pastors for putting up with me and my little wah,wah,wah moments.  We all have them, don’t we?  However, I really want to thank our Pastors and church leaders for their determination, perseverence, patience and grace, grace, grace in getting us all where we need to go spiritually and eternally.  If you need help with either-please talk to me or your Pastor today!  We are all on the same side-and that side is GOD’S!  It takes all of us, helping each other, to get the many ministries of the church done everyday.  So, let’s continue being Aaron and Hur and hold each other up!  TEAMWORK!

Thank you Bethel Leaders, Pastor’s Ty &  Ronnie, and Church Council for this amazing opportunity to study God’s  Word through this course.  I am truly blessed!

Lifting Up the Cross,

d.