Monday, January 31, 2011

A Study for Healing

I have read a couple Kay Arthur books and you don't read a Kay Arthur book you work through it.  She brings you directly to the Bible and you grow.  This book is no exception and it can easily be adapted for small group Bible study.  There are several approaches a Bible study leader could take to lead a group through this book, some of the ideas include:

1. throughout the book are "Healing Truths" that could be used as talking points for small groups or as general topics for the leader's sermon to open each study.

2. each chapter has a Bible study within it that could be used as the basis for the study.

3. at the back of the book there is a list of questions for each chapter that could be used to guide discussions.

4. The book ends with 7 "Practical Helps" that could each be a study topic.

This book has great potential for a group Bible study, but what I love the most is that every step through the book brings you back to the Word and back to God.  Rather than trying to make our own way through pain and suffering or learning to cope we can turn to God for genuine healing.

Here is the link to the first two chapters.

Disclosure: WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group provided me with a complimentary copy of this book as part of their book review program.

Memory Monday - 2Corinthians 5:17

Last week I found this Topical List of scriptures to memorize.  Love that it is all neatly laid out for me!   Anyway, the first verse was nice and short and easy to memorize (I hope - let's see)... Oh and this is also my Jan 15 verse for Beth Moore's 2011 Siesta Scripture Memory Team.

Christ the Center
2 Corinthians 5:17  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation.  The old has gone, the new has come.

WooHoo!  Got it!  But what does that mean exactly?  What does it mean to be a new creation?

When we accept Christ into our lives we may not appear any different, but we are.  We are not at all like how we were.  It is not about being reformed or changed or improved, no it is much more than that - we are recreated!  It means that all of a sudden we are adopted into God's family and will spend eternity with Him!  And when we understand that and start to grow our relationship with Him through Jesus we want our lives to be reformed, changed, and improved!

This week I will be memorizing another verse that makes Christ the Center.

Galatians 2:20 I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  So I live my life in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

About Memory Monday
I originally found Memory Monday with Joanne at The Simple Wife.  I had been away from blogging for quite sometime and when I got back into it one of the first blogs I checked in on was Joanne's.  That was the day after she suffered a major stroke. Please join in Memory Monday as a way to be blessed by hiding God's Word in your heart. And also join me in prayer for Joanne.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Sabbath by Dan B. Allender
It is difficult to decide how to review this book. Was is good or was it not that great? It is both…

The good part, no - the great part of this book is the subject. It covers a concept of the Sabbath that sadly has been lost in our culture. Observing the Sabbath is one of the Ten Commandments – and it is “the longest and most expansive of all ten”. As Christians we are not bound by the laws of the Old Testament, but are we to continue to observe the Ten Commandments? If we are, then we are to observe the Sabbath; just as we are not to lie, steal, or murder.

The author has a fascinating way of viewing the Sabbath. He says on page 4 of the book that “The Sabbath is an invitation to enter delight. The Sabbath, when experienced as God intended, is the best day of our lives.” The sounds delightful and I want that for both myself and my family.

However, that’s about where the book lost me. I found it hard to get through, it did not engage me and certainly did not keep my attention. Perhaps part of the problem was that I started to become annoyed with all the quotes from other authors and sources (the bibliography has 5 pages of references). It read more like an essay trying to convince me to view the Sabbath in this manner, but I was already convinced of the concept by page 4. I would have rather had more real life examples of how his family and others are successfully observing the Sabbath in this way. I could then take those ideas and apply them to the development of our family beginning to observe the Sabbath to experience that joy.

Disclosure: Thomas Nelson Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book as part of their book review bloggers program.

I review for BookSneeze

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Proverbs 31 completed

We have reached the end of our Proverbs 31 study in which we were guided by Elizabeth George's workbook "Discovering the Treasures of a Godly Women".

Today's lesson had 4 points to consider that are a nice wrap up to this study...

1. Proverbs 31 is "an example of feminine excellence".

2. The Proverbs 31 example is "God's ideal for you".

3. Thank God for those virtues that you can claim you have.

4. Acknowledge the virtues that you need to improve on and ask God for help.

Change of plans...

I had just finished posting my Memory Monday post and got on the phone to order our next Bible Study.  We will be doing Beth Moore's Stepping Up study.  I am already so excited!!!!  Please pray for me so that I can blog through the whole study!

Anyway, while I was thinking about Beth Moore I decided to check out her blog.  You will never guess what I found!  She does scripture memorization on her blog!  Can you believe it!  It is so fantastic I can hardly type properly I am so excited to have found it! 

Here is the post about the rules.  But basically you post what scripture you will be memorizing twice a month - on the 1st and the 15th.  That is 24 verses you will memorize for the year.  I am totally late for January, but that's okay I will be on top of it for the next posts.

Then there is a cute little spiral notebook you can order to write your verses in.  I already ordered mine!  If you participate all year then you can attend an event next January.  How fun would that be!
My original plan for Memory Monday this week was to memorize the Roman Road.  As much as I love the Roman Road, I have changed my mind on that.  But with all the thousands of verses in the Bible it can be overwhelming to know what to pick!  I am really not that good at coming up with stuff on my own - (which is why I love Beth Moore Bible studies) so I wondered if there was a Scripture Memory plan.  You know, kind of like a Bible Reading plan.  Googled it... Who knew that there were so many resources available - books even!  I totally need all help I can get.

Well, I found this link to a Topical memory system.  I like it because there are two verses for each topic and the topics, at least at first glance, appear to be foundational doctrine-type topics.  The list has 60 verses so I will continue with Memory Monday doing a verse a week.  Then I will link up with the siesta's on the 1st and 15th maybe with whatever verse I happen to be working on that week.

This week I will start with the first verse...

LIVE THE NEW LIFE - Christ the Center
2 Corinthians 5:17  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (NIV)

Oh, and just a side note.  Usually for my Bible study posts I copy and paste scripture from but when I am using a verse for memorizing I will be typing the whole thing out.  I figure that way I will learn it better - kind of like writing it out.

This was also just to exciting to let sit for one day!  I had to link up with

 at Heavenly Homemakers Gratituesday.  Usually my Gratituesday posts are on my family blog, but today I was too grateful over here to ignore it!

I am grateful to have been led back to at just the time when sweet Joanne needed so much prayer.  I am grateful that she is starting to recover and am praising God for the healing she is receiving. 

I am grateful for Beth Moore and her amazing bible studies where I learn so much!  I am especially grateful for the precious ladies in our little Bible Study group, they truly inspire me!

I am grateful to have found Beth's Siesta Scripture Memory Team and a wonderful resource in the Topical Memory System to help me make memorizing scripture a priority in my life.

I would have to be blind not to see the Holy Spirit guiding me on this path.  Do you see it too?!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Proverbs 31:31

Proverbs 31:31 Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Now at the end we see that she is to be praised and that the merit of her works will bring praise.

The lesson had a great summary of how she works and it is this work ethic that brings her praise.
Verse 13 - she works with eager hands
Verse 19 - her hands are busy
Verse 20 - she extends a helping hand

Who is to do the praising?
Verse 28 - her children
Verse 28-29 - her husband
Verse 30 - The Lord
Verse 31 - the community

Notice she is not praising herself!   Proverbs 27:2 in the NLT is nice and blunt and to the point.  The easiest lesson in humility you will ever have HA!
Proverbs 27:2 Don't praise yourself; let others do it!

The end of today's lesson had an interesting quote, part of which said "showing contentedness and happiness in the domestic circle depend upon the foresight and oversight of this queen of the hearth."  In other words, a happy home is dependant on how we prepare and manage our lives and most importantly how we pursue a relationship with Jesus.

Memory Monday - Psalm 23

I originally found Memory Monday with Joanne at The Simple Wife.  I had been away from blogging for quite sometime and when I got back into it one of the first blogs I checked in on was Joanne's.  That was the day after she suffered a major stroke. Please join in Memory Monday as a way to be blessed by hiding God's Word in your heart. And also join me in prayer for Joanne.

For my very first Memory Monday I attempted to memorize Psalm 23.  I have wonderful memories of my Grandma praying this when she tucked me in whenever I had a sleepover.  When I came back to Memory Monday last week I tried to recite it but had a couple spots that were not perfect and so Psalm 23 is what I have been working on this past week.  Typed from memory, corrections are noted...

Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes to me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me down in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for You are with me.
Your rod and your staff they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil, my cups runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Well, not too bad - just a couple errors! 

In the first section, verses 1-3 describe the Lord as our shepherd.  When we obediently follow him we experience:
contentment - we have everything we need
safety - think of animals, if they are in a green pasture they will eat until they are full and then if they feel safe they will lie down. We are safe in the Lord's protection.
joy - imagine being thirsty and being led to a raging river, how frustating would that be to try to get a drink.  No, our Lord allows us to drink in the Word peacefully and be restored.

In the second section, we are assured of His presence.  No matter what we are facing we need not fear, He is guiding us through.

In the final section, the Lord is our host, providing the ultimate feast of goodness and mercy, protecting us from our enemies and bringing us into His house for eternity.

Psalm 23 is so rich and beautiful!

This week, my Memory Monday will be the Roman Road.  Not sure if I will make it through all the verses, but I am going to try...

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned; all fall short of God's glorious standard.

Romans 5:8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 10:9 For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Romans 10:13 For "Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Proverbs 31:30

Proverbs 31:30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the LORD will be greatly praised.

Have you ever thought that having a fear of the Lord was to be afraid of Him?  It is one of those unfortunate English translations.  The word used here actually means to stand in awe of, be awed,  as well as to fear, reverence, honour, respect. 

So if we fear the Lord, we are in reverence.  Yeah, I had to look that up too... reverence is a feeling or attitude of deep respect tinged with awe.

What else can we learn about a fear of the Lord.  Best place to look of course is scripture...

Proverbs 1:7 Fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge.

Proverbs 8:13 All who fear the LORD will hate evil. That is why I hate pride, arrogance, corruption, and perverted speech.

Proverbs 9:10 Fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in understanding.

Proverbs 22:4 True humility and fear of the LORD lead to riches, honor, and long life.

Doing this lesson today adds to the message we had at church which was about the difference between knowing about God and knowing God.  Truly knowing God comes with having a relationship with Jesus Christ.  In developing and growing that relationship we gain knowledge and wisdom and learn to live in true humility.

If you claim to be a Christian and maybe even practice 'religion' but you do not know the joys and peace of a relationship with God, you can change and start to "know God". You can change all that by praying this prayer and believing it in your heart that you can come to know God through Jesus.

Jesus, I know I am a sinner, but I want to repent of my sins and turn to follow You.  I believe that You died for my sins and rose again victorious over the power of sin and death, and I want to accept you as my personal Savior.  Come into my life, Lord Jesus, and help me obey You from this day forward. 

It all begins with asking Jesus into your life. Now grow in knowledge and wisdom through the study of the Word of God. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Proverbs 31:29

Proverbs 31:28b-29  Her husband praises her: "There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!"

What is it about the Proverbs 31 women that causes her husband to think she surpasses all other virtuous and capable women?  Today's lesson had an exercise to scan each verse, and in a word or two pinpoint her traits that made her so excellent.  You might choose other descriptions, but here are the words that first came to my mind...

verse 10 - valuable
verse 11 - trustworthy
verse 12 - helpful
verse 13 - busy
verse 14 - provider
verse 15 - organized
verse 16 - profitable
verse 17 - hard-working
verse 18 - thrifty
verse 19 - crafty
verse 20 - helps needy
verse 21 - prepared
verse 22 - talented
verse 23 - known in community
verse 24 - resourceful
verse 25 - no fear
verse 26 - wise & kind
verse 27 - aware
verse 30 - Godly
verse 31 - praised

As you look over your own list of words, where do you need to improve?  This women in Proverbs 31 seems to be unattainable, but perhaps we can focus on improving one or two traits at a time.  Any improvement towards living a more Godly life is improvement in the right direction.

And during all of that, if this woman is being praised by her husband it is logical to think that she is also praising her husband.  Have you praised your husband today?  I need to go do that right now - to thank him for giving me the day at the computer to complete some work, to check FB (shhh!), and to do my Bible study.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Proverbs 31:28

Proverbs 31:28  Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her;

How can we get to the place where our children 'call her blessed' as the NIV states and we are praised by our husbands.  Today's lesson is one of humility.  It states "we should be much more concerned about the qualtity of our lives and our love for our children (and loving our husband) than we are about receiving praise. 

Proverbs 22:6 Teach your children to choose the right path, and when they are older, they will remain upon it.

Titus 2:4 These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children,

So forget about the praise for doing what you do, you probably aren't going to get it anyways - at least not in the moments when you think you need it!  Instead focus on teaching your children biblical principles and values and learn how to love your husband and your children. 

Memory Monday - starting all over again

Memory Monday was hosted by Joanne at The Simple Wife.  Today was the day that I was going to start linking back to her blog for Memory Monday.  Her blog will not have a Memory Monday post but I feel that the Holy Spirit has lead me back to memorizing scripture.  And so I am starting Memory Monday all over again while I pray for Joanne.

I started with memorizing Psalm 23.  I can remember most of it, but there are bits and pieces that I need to work on this week.  Here is Psalm 23 in the NKJV because that is closest to how I remember my Grandma reciting it :)

1 The LORD is my shepherd;

I shall not want.

2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.

3 He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name's sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD

Pray with me...

I know that because I pretty much dropped off the face of the bloggy-world for most of last year that there are very few who follow this blog.  But if you are still here please join me in praying for Joanne.

I know Joanne only through her blog The Simple Wife. A couple years ago I found her blog and immediately loved her blog and her writing.  But the most meaningful part of her blog to me was that she introduced me to her Memory Monday.

I was not very faithful with Memory Monday, but the tool has really stuck with me (even if I have not been doing it faithfully).  In fact, when I finally got back to blogging and reading other blogs one of the first blogs I checked in on was Joanne's.  That was on the 12th.  On Jan 11th she suffered a major stroke and I have been praying for her ever since.  I also learned that she is the same age as me and for some reason that hits even closer to home.  Please join me in praying for her and her precious family -  but also join me in participating in Memory Monday as a way to strengthen your own walk with God.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Proverbs 31:27

Proverbs 31:27  She carefully watches all that goes on in her household and does not have to bear the consequences of laziness.

uggg "the consequences of laziness"  I already don't like this lesson. I just know it is going to hit hard (maybe because I slept in this morning).  hmmm maybe if I look at other translations it might not be so bad?  (see this is me procrastinating so I can avoid learning the hard lesson).

Well the NIV uses the phrase "does not eat the bread of idleness".  Is that any better?  Not really it just tells me that the Proverbs 31 women is never idle...sigh...

I suppose this really is a simple lesson - one that we have already seen in the lessons of get up early & stay up late in order to get all the work done.  It is a lesson in increasing diligence to make the most important duties and tasks a priority. 

Here are a couple quotes from the lesson today:
"godly excellence can be lived out at home and in our home management."
"your home (is) a great and privileged responsibility"
"you must..guard what has been entrusted to you. You must pursue excellence in these two vital areas of your life - the care of our household and the care of yourself."

So that makes sense right!  The care of my household would be ensuring the needs of my kids and my husband are met.  My priorities that I should be diligent to make a priority are first to love them, then to feed them(preferably healthy), and to educate them (the kids that is, hubby is beyond training haha).  The care of myself includes spiritual growth and my health.  Anything beyond that list is 'wants' and we all know that we should focus on needs vs wants anyways.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Proverbs 31:26

Proverbs 31:26 When she speaks her words are wise, and kindness is the rule when she gives instructions.

Here we learn about "the aim of her words", that when she speaks it is with wisdom and kindness.  Today's lesson had many scripture references and as I went through them I felt like I was getting a great big kick in the butt. And after the morning we had around here I needed to hear these!  Funny how the Holy Spirit can just pour on that conviction sometimes.  Here are some of the verses that hit me especially hard today...

Proverbs 10:14 Wise people treasure knowledge, but the babbling of a fool invites trouble.

Proverbs 17:28 Even fools are thought to be wise when they keep silent; when they keep their mouths shut, they seem intelligent.

Proverbs 15:1  A gentle answer turns away wrath, but harsh words stir up anger.

Proverbs 16: 24 Kind words are like honey--sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.

Ephesians 4:29 Don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

Ephesians 4:31-32 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

Titus 2:3 ...Instead, they should teach others what is good.

Titus 3:2 They must not speak evil of anyone, and they must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone.

So if I take the key words from these verses as I can apply them to today, here is what I pulled from that...

Today as I was a babbling fool, I should have kept my big mouth shut.  Or instead of yelling at my kids I could have given them a gentle answer, because as soon as I yell at them they also turn into raging lunitics!  Ok, so instead of yelling I need to use kinder words, words that are sweet, good and helpful.  Rather than losing my temper I need to be kind and tenderhearted so that in return I am teaching my children what is good.  If I am gentle and show humility perhaps they will become more gentle as well and will also avoid fighting me and with each other.

Boy oh boy is this a tough one...easier said than done.  I may have to review this lesson every day, several times a day...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Praying for Evie's Family

When you read other mom-type blogs you will find lots of things that are interesting, useful, funny, and sometimes very sad.

There are certain stories that have captured my attention and I have followed for awhile, and then there are the stories that break my heart and all I can do is pray.  Sadly there is another family with twins that one of the twins has passed away.  I will now continue to pray for sweet little Evie and her family.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Proverbs 31:25

Proverbs 31:25 She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs with no fear of the future.

So how do you "laugh at the days to come" (NIV)?  How do we get to that place where we are worry free about everything?  Can it be as simple as turning to God?  Let's see what He has to say...

Psalm 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

Psalm 37:3 Trust in the LORD and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.

Psalm 37:5  Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you.

Proverbs 3:5  Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;

Proverbs 3:26 For the LORD will be your confidence, And will keep your foot from being caught.

Philippians 4:19 And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

At the end of todays lesson was a sentence that captured me:  "...give your life afresh to God and proceed full-faith ahead into your beautiful day."
I like that - "full-faith ahead"!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Proverbs 31:24

Proverbs 31:24 She makes belted linen garments and sashes to sell to the merchants.

So she finds wool, spins it, twists it into thread and makes her own fabric. Then she makes warm clothes for her family, quilts bedspreads, and gowns of the finest quality for herself.  Now we see that she also makes linen garments and fancy sashes to sell. 

Are you wondering the same thing I am?  When does she have the time to get it all done?  Well of course she gets up before dawn (verse 15) and stays up late into the night (verse 18).  And of course I certainly could get up earlier and be a little less lazy in the early morning hours.  And of course I could do more in the evenings, perhaps setting aside time specifically for working on projects.

Speaking of being a little less lazy, I apparently needed to have this point beat into my head because this study pulled several verses on this - ouch...

Proverbs 6:9-11 But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep? When will you wake up? I want you to learn this lesson:  A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest and poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.

Proverbs 10:4 Lazy people are soon poor; hard workers get rich.

Proverbs 12:11 Hard work means prosperity; only fools idle away their time.

Proverbs 18:9 A lazy person is as bad as someone who destroys things.

Proverbs 28:19 Hard workers have plenty of food; playing around brings poverty.

Yeah, I think I need to get up earlier tomorrow morning.  The end of today's lesson stated this:

"she shows us how to manage our time and our lives so that we can pursue our passions without neglecting our work and those at home. She used her time (every second of it), she planned and prepared, she followed a schedule, and she worked hard."


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Proverbs 31:23

Proverbs 31:23 Her husband is well known, for he sits in the council meeting with the other civic leaders.

I always thought that this verse was somewhat out of place, it didn't seem to fit into the flow of the description of the woman.  I didn't see that where it told me specifically what I can do to be a more godly woman.  Well, that was until I did this study - we need to back up to verse 11 and verse 12.

v11 Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life.
v12 She will not hinder him but help him all her life.

And then look at this verse:

Genesis 2:18 And the LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a companion who will help him."

No matter what job a husband has, the wife is his helper.  She needs to do whatever she can to help him be successful at his job, in the community, and in the home.  When she does this, his life is enriched - and so is hers!!

Proverbs 31:22

Proverbs 31:22  She quilts her own bedspreads.  She dresses like royalty in gowns of finest cloth.

Hooray! We finally get to the verse that gives us biblical backing to support our quilting habits.  Okay, not really, but it was fun for a moment.  What really is fun is the time we are spending working on quilts after our time of Bible study.  What a great way to spend time with friends - studying the Word of God and making quilts together. LOVE IT!!

So, here we get a picture of a woman who not only finds the wool, but she also spins it and twists it into fabric, then uses that fabric to make clothes for herself, her family, and to sell.  Now we learn that she makes all the coverings for the beds and that the clothes she makes are of the finest cloth.  Is this an unattainable perfection we are seeing?  Can we live up to this level too? 

Obviously I am not going to go out and spin my own wool and make my own fabric - although that would be fun, I don't think I am going to give up the convenience of shopping at the quilt shop for fabric.  And most definately I am not going to make my own clothes, just too convenient to get them at the store.  However, what do we do with the items we purchase and the items we make.  What care and effort do we put into the appearance of our homes and ourselves? 

Ohh this one is kicking me in the butt...perhaps I should quit typing and go make my bed or something......There that's better!  Perhaps I can make a bigger effort to make my bed everyday, to teach my kids to make their beds everyday, to make a beautiful quilt for my bed (now that sounds like fun!).

A question in the study guide was to descibe the first impressions your physical place may be sending out.  The first impressions of our home is probably - cluttered and messy with pawprints, fingerprints, sticky floors, baskets of laundry, and toys everywhere - first impression: lived in!  No show home here... and not that I would want it to be, but geez could I at least have the satisfaction of a clean room before it gets trashed five minutes later. 

What can we do to improve the appearance of our homes?  Well, even before this lesson I have really been trying to put in the extra effort to wake up to a clean (well cleanish) house every morning.  The idea being that if it starts clean every day, then it should be relatively easy to keep clean throughout the day and be clean-ish when we go to bed.  I will let you know how it works out - we are still trying to get to that clean-ish starting place.  The point is that we are trying, we are putting in the effort to make a change.

But what of this women who "dresses like royalty in gowns of finest cloth".  Are we to dress the same?  I remember my high school grad gown and my wedding gown and how on those two days I did indeed feel like I was dressed like royalty.  But I also was incredibly grateful to get out of those gowns and back into something much more comfortable.  No, I don't think we are to dress like royalty, let's leave that to the royals and the celebrities.  So where does that leave us?  The Bible gives us the answers we need...

1 Timothy 2:9-10 And I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes. For women who claim to be devoted to God should make themselves attractive by the good things they do.

1 Peter 3:3-4 Don't be concerned about the outward beauty that depends on fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should be known for the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.

Proverbs 31:21

Proverbs 31: 21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.

Most of the translations I looked at used the term "scarlet".  The NLT used the term "warm clothes", but I wondered what was the importance of scarlet.  Well, according to the concordance the word occurs many times and after a very quick scan of the verses it seems to be a color of yarn or fabric associated with wealth and riches.  I have no idea why the NLT would change the term to warm, but it makes more sense to not be afraid of snow if you have warm clothes than if you simply had scarlet clothes.  Anyway, someday in my spare time I will do a more in depth study of that... 

I think that the point here is that no matter what the circumstances the Proverbs 31 women is prepared.  Here, her family is appropriately dressed for a cold winter. Just as in verse 15 she arises early and plans out the day.

haha maybe I should write the blog post after reading the entire lesson!  In the lesson we are told that scarlet "indicates warmth, quality, and cost". So there you go, the Proverbs 31 women is not only prepared but she is well prepared by providing top quality clothes for her family - clothes that she made herself from cloth she spun herself!   Fascinating isn't it!?  God provides so that we may be prepared!!!

We recently had a huge snowfall - over a foot of snow!  That is alot even for me!!!  I was prepared with my totes packed full of winter clothes for the kids - parkas, snowpants, boots, hats & mitts.  Maybe by next year I will add pants, boots, hats & mitts for myself!!!  And looking ahead I really should be more prepared for hurricane season...

But what if I am not prepared and a hurricane (or some other disaster) comes, what then?  Be afraid? of course not...

Psalms 46:1-2 God is our refuge and strength,  always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear, even if earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea.

Boo to New Year's Resolutions!

So if I were to be serious about making any New Year's resolutions I would probably include "more consistent blogging".   Well, it is a good thing that I am not serious about making new years resolutions because it is already the 2nd and I would have blown it.

Anyway, what I can do is try to be better.  Afterall, I did not finish blogging my way through the Daniel study, completely missed blogging through the Ruth study, and now we are half way through the Proverbs 31 study and I have not blogged about that either.  So rather than back track and try to update you on what I have missed, I will just simply start where I am and try to get back to blogging while I do my Bible study.

We are currently studying Proverbs 31 using this study guide: