3 Things you think about when you read your Bible

Stop with the Attitude

As I’m reading through the Bible this year, I find that I’m reading slower, more intentionally vs just getting through the reading plan. You know what I mean, when you’re a task-oriented individual and you have a ton of things on your mind, we’re all guilty of it, that mentality of ‘just get it done!’ Well, Stop It!

So with your actual physical Bible, not your phone or computer – I would highly suggest in order to do your reading plan that you actually think about what this time means. It doesn’t mean it’s another task on your to-do list, it’s actually quality time with the Lord. So, number one – this is what you think about, how do you give quality time to someone you love. You give them your full attention, not keep looking if you got emails or who’s texting you. That’s another reason timing – when you read your Bible – is important. I’m not a morning person, but if I get up a little earlier than when I normally need to, I can focus on the Word with less (not no distractions but less).

Anyone with a smart phone is guilty of being distracted by our phones and not interacting with the people right in front of us!

Stop Distractions

With notebook in hand, one of the tips I’ve learned through the years while reading my Bible is to have 2 – yes TWO notebooks. One for your Bible study notes and one for all those ideas that fly through your brain as you’re trying to read. For example, ‘oh I forgot to buy bread’ or whatever the task is. We all have a short attention span as technology is around us everywhere. So stop allowing those distractions to take from your quality time with the Lord.

Is that You Lord?

How do you know what the Bible means? Well, that’s a pretty loaded question. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit which dwells in us, will be left for us, to comfort, teach, and you can read more in your Bible and reference scriptures you can find here.

I personally journal in a notebook and ask myself questions while I’m reading. For example, although I’ve been a Christian for decades, I often know what a verse means or is referring to, but different translations use different words and if my brain starts to wander, I write that word/question in my notebook to cue myself to look up the definition of a word or how/why it was translated that way – even if I had read that verse dozens of times in the past.

For example I was in Matthew 6, specifically verse 24 – the one where Jesus says we can’t serve two masters. The word mammon struck my thoughts so I wrote that down, it’s part of how we study and think while reading our Bible and opens our hearts and minds to that question, “Is that You Lord?” Is He trying to teach, speak, give you thoughts of things you need to work on in your life or maybe you’re just a curious person, or maybe you’re storing His Word to bring back to rememberance for another time. For whatever reason, write it down and you’ll have lots to think about later when you look it up but you can also keep reading without derailing yourself too much!

Before this becomes too long, I’ll stop here for now. Let me know what thoughts you have or should have when you read your Bible.

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Why did Noah take unclean animals on the Ark?

First what are clean vs unclean animals in the Bible? Here’s a simple definition and examples of clean vs unclean animals according to the Bible:

 

Clean animals: land animals that chew the cud and have a divided hoof, such as cattle, deer, goats, and sheep; seafood with both fins and scales, such as bluegill, grouper, and cod; certain birds, including chickens, doves, and ducks; and even some insects, such as grasshoppers and locusts.

lamb_nelson-eulalio-558134-unsplash

Unclean animals: land animals that either do not chew the cud or do not have a split hoof, such as pigs, dogs, cats, horses, donkeys, and rats; seafood lacking either fins or scales, such as shellfish, lobster, oysters, and catfish; some birds, such as owls, hawks, and vultures; and other animals, such as reptiles and amphibians.

 
Even if you didn’t attend Sunday School in America, if you heard about Noah’s Ark, you had the impression that Noah built this big boat and put two of every animal in the boat to save every species of animals. But the scriptures actually say,

“Take with you seven pairs of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and one pair of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, and also seven pairs of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth” (Genesis 7:2–3). The Hebrew phrase translated “seven pairs” literally means “seven sevens,” so there is some question as to whether Noah took seven specimens of each “clean” species (three pairs and an extra) or seven pairs. Either way, he was told to take more clean animals than unclean on the ark. Only the unclean animals came in pairs (Genesis 6:19). – GotQuestions.org

So the question remains, if God was going to create a flood to get rid of all the evil in the world, why would He have Noah bring “unclean” animals on the Ark? God had a list of “approved” animals for sacrifice and for eating. If you read through the scriptures and commentaries you’ll find that the distinction between clean and unclean was about a person’s diet vs good or bad animals for consumption.

 
The second question is why were there more clean animals than unclean animals on the Ark? God instructed Noah to bring seven pairs of every clean animal, that was for sacrifices to God as well as to repopulate the earth with those animals after the flood receded. I’m looking forward to visiting the Ark Encounter sometime soon in Kentucky to learn more and see the life-size Ark.

 
I’m intrigued by the old testament vs new testament scriptures about what people were “allowed” to eat and why, that will be for another post.

Pray through the Bible in a Year Journal

It’s been a very long time since I last updated this blog and it’s time to reconnect. We’ve been through a lot the past couple of years and I just need to reset, what better way to do that then going through the scriptures and journaling. I was in Sam’s club yesterday and they have a lot of Christian books, journals, Bibles, and devotionals. I stumbled upon this book and liked that it had daily readings listed on each page, with a short prayer and a place to journal – just to get into the habit of journaling again. Although the purpose of this particular book to develop a habit of prayer. So this is where we’ll be in 2019.

What I like about this Journal is that you grab your Bible, you read the passages from the Old Testament, New Testament and Psalms. Join me if you wish and I’d love to share what I’m learning and hearing through the scriptures. Often times we read other people’s devotionals but we don’t actually read the referenced scriptures, I find that as we’ve deepened into social media, everyone’s attention span is a split second, a pretty picture, and the lack of depth of what scripture is saying and only paying attention to what someone else is saying, not what the Word of God is saying to us.

Sadly, I often hear people say, “I never heard that in church.” When a scripture is referenced. I’ve found that many people “attend” church but never read their Bible. A good pastor will tell you, read the Word for yourself, ask the Holy Spirit to interpret the scripture and  God will reveal Himself to you. It’s true, the Word is living – we may have been a Christian for years and you’ll read the same passage one day then wham, the Lord reveals something new, 20 years later! It’s a timing thing, maybe you or we weren’t ready to hear or understand, or for whatever reason, reading God’s Word can’t be beat by any other book that a person writes – so yes, I’m using a devotional that someone else wrote, but I’m reading the Bible, my Bible, and asking the Lord to reveal himself to me.

If you’d like to get a copy of the journal I’m going through, click on this link: Pray through the Bible in a Year Journal. 

Obedience – are you willing to submit to him?

obedience

Military basic training via twitter

“Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything you do. Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. Serve them sincerely because of your reverent fear of the Lord.” ~Colossians 3:22 NLT

When I first read the book “My Life is Not My Own” by Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, I understood that being a Slave to Christ is so much easier than being the boss of my own life. You can read my review of the book by clicking My Life is Not My Own.  There’s also an interesting written interview by Michael Little, president of CBN and Dr. Bright at the 50th anniversary of Campus Crusade now known as Cru. Dr. Bright explains the contract he and wife, Vonette signed to become, “Slaves for Christ.”

Are you willing to be a Slave for Christ?

When I think of the word slave I think I have no power, no choice, just obedience or there will be consequences. The difference is that God allows us free-will. Yet, the Bible clearly states that He is a God of order and peace. I Corin 14:33, 44.

We have the choice to follow Him and His direction based on the Word and the Holy Spirit, or we can choose not to and suffer the consequences of our choices. The definition of being strong-willed or independent are seen as strengths in the secular world, yet as Christians, God asks us to be obedient, followers of Christ. As I journal my devos I have found an ongoing theme of lessons woven in God’s Word – obedience. I continue to see that often times God asks us to step out on faith to do something for Him, and yet it was to build our character for His purpose, not what we could do for others, but what we could learn, and grow from, in order for God to mold us.

So the next time the Lord speaks and ask you to step out in faith and be obedient to him, don’t ask: how, why, when, or wait until you have all the details before you make any decision – just say, “yes Lord” – because often times, He just wants your obedience.

II Timothy 3:16

“All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

 

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Why I have a Fishing Theme on a Christian Living Blog

Matthew 4:19

New King James Version (NKJV)

19 Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

The reason I picked this theme for my blog is because I liked the look. I love the way the colors look and the animation of the fish and whales. Then I thought this would be a great theme for my Bible2Blog site because of this scripture, Matthew 4:19.

The Resurrection of B2B to BibletoBlog.com

Iwo Jima Flag Raising Marines

Iwo Jima Flag Raising Marines

Bible2Blog.com is now BibletoBlog.com

I’m backkkkkk….. Well, it’s been a long, long while that I have written on this blog, mainly because it’s been offline and I went from a free blog to self-hosting and back on WordPress.com. Fortunately, I think I had most of my data before I shut down the prior site and decided I don’t need to monetize this site just yet and will keep my food blog and writing separate from my devotionals and Christian Living topics.

I guess one could consider this a season of change or as in the photo depicted here a newness, a sense of hope as the flag is raised again in battle and a victory won – more on that later I guess – life is a challenge and our hope in Christ is the victory

Much has happened over the past few years when I first began B2B and even in the last year, of which I’m trying to reorganize and categorize my writing into simple categories; unlike life at least we can try in our writing.

In short, I think it’s been about a year that I got a rude awaking from the hosting company that my cost was going to be more than I was making in writing and I needed to rethink the blog. So, I saved my data and held on to it until now. I’m not sure why it’s taken me this long, maybe I have a better direction of what I write and where topics will go. I’ve narrowed it down to keeping my blog title which I really liked but couldn’t get my domain back from the hosting company so I changed the domain from Bible2Blog.com to BibletoBlog.com – semantics I know, but such is life. Since this is going to be on the free WordPress for now, I’ll still refer to it with the number 2 in the middle.

Another change was that I combined two of my other blogs (and probably entries from other sites) that had personal pieces of Christian Living and one on Christian book reviews – in with my devotional blog and decided that Bible2Blog wouldn’t just be my devotional SOAP journals but also various Christian topics, cause God has a plan for our lives (Jeremiah 29:11) and we may not know what it is just at this point, but He is in control.

UPDATE: Feb. 20, 2013 – I have finally gotten the B2B approved and transferred over. You can now search on Bible2Blog.com or BibletoBlog.com and you should arrive at this site!

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My Life is Not My Own, by Bill Bright

My Life is Not My Own by Bill Bright, Founder of Campus Crusade for Christ

My Life is Not My Own by Bill Bright, Founder of Campus Crusade for Christ

A Book Review of “My Life is Not My Own” – by Bill Bright, Founder of Campus Crusade for Christ

Here’s an excerpt from when I first began reading the book.

“…the book by Campus Crusade for Christ (CCC) founder Bill Bright called, “My Life Is Not My Own.” Dr. Bright talks about how we are to be “slaves to God.” Which can be a hard pill to swallow in our American cultural understanding of what it means to be a slave.  However the scripture says in Romans 6:22 that “we have been set free from sin and become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.”  Verse 16 says that were slaves to sin, obeying what the master of that sin was – whether it was a person, job, habit – whatever, we did whatever the master of that sin was. We are to be slaves to Christ who is our ‘go between”‘to God.”

It’s interesting to note that as I read just the beginnings of this book that is opened by letters from Dr. Bright’s wife Vonette, their two sons who are in ministry, and the present president of CCC – even as Dr. Bright spoke to the ministry workers and interviewers and basically everyone he came into contact with – he would say that he never had any problems. When Dr. Bright explained what he meant by this statement, which baffled many; he stated that as a slave to God, only God has all the problems, as his slave we didn’t have to worry about the problem, we just had to be obedient, as God would figure out all the details of how he wanted to orchestrate the issues of the problems and tell or guide us (his slaves) to complete the tasks at hand.

To acknowledge that my life is truly not my own, if I choose to serve Christ and surrender all to Him. I should have no worries and leave all of those pesky problems and thoughts of how things can be done and should be done, by Him, I cannot do them alone and until I realize all of this, I will continue to go through life stressing over all the issues that come before me. I pray that the Lord will help me go through life and know that it is not “I” but His will be done.

Copyright 2012 @mlehua

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free as a gift for volunteering on Vonette Bright’s Christmas card and gifts mailout at Campus Crusade for Christ 2010. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Pali Lookout and Me

I love this picture of me, with outstretched hands as I took my then fiancee, now hubby, to see my home on the Windward side of Oahu. It was his first visit to the islands and meeting my family and friends. We had a limited amount of time to see all that I could show him in a few days. What better way, I thought to myself, then to go to the top of the Pali Lookout and see Kaneohe and Kailua where I grew up, being on top of the Ko’olau Mountain range with a short walk from the parking lot, not having to hike up to Mount Olomana which I saw every morning as a child. Seeing this photo reminds me of the beauty and grace of our God, the unity that we would have, and the freedom that I feel knowing that no matter what, “I love my Jesus”.

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Life’s Lessons, New Insights, New Year…

2011 – I thought I’d start another blog and then decided to combine it with my devo blog. This in contrast to my other writings in order to write about some of the things that I have been going through personally as a new wife, stepmom, living in a different state and culture than I was accustomed to. In addition, the challenges of changes to my body as I not so always gracefully age – the journey of understanding the meaning of life for me here as I know it, and how my relationship with God my Father impacts the rest of how I strive to live day by day.

I started journaling my daily Bible devotions some years ago when I first learned a study method at my home church. Since then I have been able to learn and grow more than I have in my lifetime of studying the Bible. I’ll be blogging some of what I journal using the SOAP method – http://www.enewhope.org/firststeps/journaling/

I find that journaling my devotions allows me to better understand the scriptures I am reading, go back and reflect on things I wrote in the past and see where God is leading, and where I need to follow. I hear Him much clearer when I journal my devotions, rather then just reading alone.

I’m starting to read a book by Campus Crusade for Christ (CCC) founder Bill Bright. You can read my review here: “My Life Is Not My Own.” Dr. Bright talks about how we are to be “slaves to God.” Which can be a hard pill to swollow in our American cultural understanding of what it means to be a slave.  However the scripture says in Romans 6:22 that “we have been set free from sin and become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.”  Verse 16 says that were slaves to sin, obeying what the master of that sin was – whether it was a person, job, habit – whatever, we did whatever the master of that sin was. We are to be slaves to Christ who is our “go between” to God.

It’s interesting to note that as I read just the beginnings of this book that is opened by letters from Dr. Bright’s wife Vonette, their two sons who are in ministry, and the present president of CCC – even as Dr. Bright spoke to the ministry workers and interviewers and basically everyone he came into contact with – he would say that he never had any problems. When in Dr. Bright explained what he meant by this statement, which baffled many; he stated that as a slave to God, only God has all the problems, as his slave we didn’t have to worry about the problem, we just had to be obedient, as God would figure out all the details of how he wanted to orchestrate the issues of the problems and tell or guide us (his slaves) to complete the tasks at hand.

Welcome to a more intimate view of my life, my journey.

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