Wednesday, August 22, 2012

My Thoughts on My Weekly Bible Reading ~ Genesis 6-9

I wrote this article in 2002/2003 which was posted at the time on my online ministry site. It is not up and running at this time, though I consider from time to time to restart it. I share the article here because it was so powerful to me at the time. It was the first time it was revealed to me that the ENTIRE word testifies of our Messiah, Yeshua. It was the first time I had let God lead my study of His word. It was amazing.

Noah's Ark-Blueprint for Endtimes.

Four weeks ago I taught my Sunday School class about Noah's ark. We read the scriptures and made an ark and animals, and talked about how Noah must have felt being on that Ark, and about how the people outside of the Ark felt and about how God felt. They were excited about all the animals that came to the Ark. They were interested that Noah did what he was told to do with no evidence that a horrible disaster was coming except a whispered word. But when I told them that God killed everyone outside the Ark, they were a little distressed. "Everyone?" they said to me. "Everyone."

I knew how they felt. It was so sudden it seemed, Noah built a Ark, got on, and everyone else died. I went home. I read it again, and again, and again. I prayed about it often, and lay in bed thinking about it. I was missing something. But what.

The word said:

Genesis 6
5 The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.
6 The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.
7 So the LORD said, "I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth--men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air--for I am grieved that I have made them."
8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.
13 So God said to Noah, "I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.
14 So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out.
17 I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish.
18 But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark--you and your sons and your wife and your sons' wives with you.
19 You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you.
20 Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive.
21 You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them."
22 Noah did everything just as God commanded him.
Genesis 7
1 The LORD then said to Noah, "Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation.
5 And Noah did all that the LORD commanded him.
6 Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters came on the earth.
7 And Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons' wives entered the ark to escape the waters of the flood.
8 Pairs of clean and unclean animals, of birds and of all creatures that move along the ground,
9 male and female, came to Noah and entered the ark, as God had commanded Noah.
12 And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.

I had found what I had been missing. In my Sunday School class we had read this, but I had not noticed it and I doubted my children did either. There was no rain for seven days. Noah sat in the ark for seven days waiting for it to rain. And the people outside the Ark had seven days to change their minds.

The people outside the ark: they did not worship God, or acknowledge Him, they did not live by His laws and commandments, but "sought to do evil continually." They had hard hearts and they thought Noah was crazy for building his big Ark with no clouds in the sky. But they had also witnessed an amazing thing. As the Ark was near completion, a great caravan of animals came, peacefully, of their own accord, walking to Noah's home to get on an Ark. God had given these animals wisdom, making them peaceful and unafraid, to go to the Ark and get in it and be saved. The people outside the Ark saw this great sign and still turned away. Noah got on the Ark and waited, I think somewhat impatiently, asking God, "How long? You said you would make it rain. You said you would destroy this evil generation. How long before you do?"

And after seven days the floodwaters came on the earth.

So the next Sunday also, I taught about Noah's Ark, and the seven days that the people had the choice to be saved also. They did not, but they had the choice.

But still I was missing something. This story, about a man long dead, held something more than I could not comprehend. Something more, why was it in the bible at all? Why did God choose this story to tell about Him, His salvation, His promise of a Redeemer?

I prayed and read and prayed and read. Then one morning, early, when every one else was sleeping, I found myself wide awake wondering about it. I prayed. "God, What am I missing. I sense that there is something very important. What is it?"

"Seven days."

It seemed that the seven days held great meaning. What happened during those seven days? It says that the people were eating and drinking and marrying as before, doing their evil continually, laughing at crazy Noah. And the animals were all in the ark, waiting, knowing that God had sent them there to be saved. And Noah? Noah was asking God, "How long?"

Psalm 74:10
How long will the enemy mock you, O God? Will the foe revile your name forever?

Psalm 82:2
"How long will you defend the unjust and show partiality to the wicked?

Psalm 94:3
How long will the wicked, O LORD, how long will the wicked be jubilant?

Psalm 119:84
How long must your servant wait? When will you punish my persecutors?

Isaiah 6:10-12
Then I said, "For how long, O Lord?" And he answered: "Until the cities lie ruined and without inhabitant, until the houses are left deserted and the fields ruined and ravaged"

Jeremiah 12:3-5
How long will the land lie parched and the grass in every field be withered? Because those who live in it are wicked, the animals and birds have perished. Moreover, the people are saying, "He will not see what happens to us."

Habakkuk 1:2
How long, O LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, "Violence!" but you do not save?

Revelation 6:10
They called out in a loud voice, "How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?"

That last scripture is from the chapters of Tribulation in the Bible. The seven days were the seven years of tribulation, when evil reigned on earth unhindered by the hand of God. The ark represented the Ark of the Covenant, which represented the Covenant that we are saved by, Jesus Christ. And those who entered it were saved, Noah, his family, the animals, all those who rested in the promised Redeemer. They entered in the covenant and God closed the door. And for seven days God waited. Why?

Matthew 18:14
In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.
He did not want any to be destroyed. So, giving them every possible chance to follow him, he made signs, in heaven and earth for them to see, but they did not turn His way.

Noah getting on the Ark is representing the Rapture. And finally, the flood is representing Jesus' great army which is coming after the tribulation to destroy all evil and to bind Satan for a time as has been written.

That was what I had been missing. Right there, before me, in a story for children, of a past we do not remember and many doubt existed at all, was the pattern of salvation. And here too, evidence of the promised wrath of Revelations, that many deny will happen, and many more have never heard.
Last Sunday I taught my children in my class. I said, "Forgive me, but I must speak about Noah's Ark one more time." I sensed their disappointment. But I knew that if they understood what I had learned they had that much better of a chance to be on that Ark when it came time. They want to be in Jesus. And if I, their Sunday School Teacher, never tell them how to be there, that is one missed blessing for me, and many missed blessings for them, and possible blood debt on my part which I do not take lightly.

So I taught them again on Noah's Ark. I told them about the Rapture, the Tribulation, and the End. And I told them about the Ark, the Ark of the Covenant, the Covenant, and Jesus Christ. I told them that those who follow Jesus are saved. And I told them that they must accept Jesus to be saved by Him. And I told them about following him, walking the walk. I told them that I did not believe works were necessary for salvation, that we were not saved by doing good deeds, but only by faith. But I also told them what we have to gain by following Him completely and doing His will. And I told them what we have to lose when we do things our own way. Not our salvation, for that is securely promised, but blessings, and peace, and joy.

This was a very hard subject. And as I spoke they got more and more quiet, stopping their whispered conversations, laying down the markers they were coloring with and looking at me seriously. They asked me what they had to do to be saved, seriously. And I told them. I had always held back, thinking they were too young to understand, but as I spoke to those 6 and 7 year olds, last Sunday, they looked at me and told me they had never heard this before and would seriously consider it and think about it and remember it forever. We prayed, not the prayer of salvation because that is a personal choice and must be to be real, but a prayer for wisdom and blessing, and protection.

The moment passed, but I cannot forget Hailey's eyes looking back at mine, astonished that Jesus was our Ark and we could be saved by entering in. And I remember Britney's face as she began to understand the blessings we can have, and the blessings we can lose, by our walk. They understood, and they were glad I had told them. No longer disappointed but seriously thinking about the Kingdom and considering their own citizenship in it.

I believe that it was my greatest Sunday School Class. It lasted only a short time, after which we played games and colored a picture with flowers and a cross that said JESUS LOVES ME. But that didn't negate the power of that message.

And I am blessed, because it was not mine, but given to me also.

For those of you who read this, I must say that Jesus does Love You. And I must say that His promise is for you, and for your children and as many as God may call.

May God richly bless you, brethren in Christ.


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Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Joys of BOYS!

I admit, I take it for granted most days.

But I LOVE my little boys.  I just read a couple of articles about raising these critters, and with smiles and some outright laughter, I was reminded again that boys really are awesome.

Civilized Not Feminized

Chickens Are Gross, Boys Are Too

My oldest son, 6, has so much energy and spunk.  I often don't know whether to laugh at his antics or give him time out.  His younger brother, 1, is already such a climber, runner, and wrestler.  They are a handful.

But they are a heartful too.

Already I can see in these young lads, such adventurousness and bravery.  My son would LOVE to go wandering in the woods with a mere stick spear, for hours on his lonesome if I let him.  I know that someday I will have to let him.

Right now my boys are young.  But I am grateful of the reminder that I am not just raising little boys... I am raising future men.  I hear so often now, "There are no real men out there."  What a sad thought.  Perhaps that is because society lost sight of the value of REAL men.  I don't want to make that same mistake!

What qualities do we desire in our men?How do we instill these traits?

For me, I hope my sons grow up FILLED with....


And my daily prayer...

A Heart that pursues God all the days of his life.

Not just my boys but my daughters as well.

How do we train them?
I think the answer is easier, and at the same time harder, than we care to admit.


Be a mother, father, brother, sister, friend that is
And pursue God all the days of your life.

After our children see that kind of discipleship in our lives, they will face every decision, temptation, and struggle with the fortitude we ourselves have shown them.

I pray the Lord remind me of this daily. My sins will be magnified in my children's hearts. I lean on Yeshua and his example of discipleship. May I rise this and everyday and live the life I want my children to see and learn.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Rocket Stove - Build Your Own

We had a great time last weekend, BBQing chicken, burgers, potatoes, and roasting marshmellows.  We stayed up late and looked for meteors.  It was wonderful.

But we noticed that we went through ALOT of wood.  We recognize that our open fire pit is not the most efficient in design.  It is OK for BBQing and nice to sit near for some added heat.

But sometimes efficiency is key.  We need a way to heat food (and ourselves perhaps) quickly with as little fuel as possible.

And that is where a rocket stove shines.  It's compact, closed shell, with the necessary venting provides a big punch in a little package.

I will start building one today!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Homeschooling Thru The Summer

Unlike most public and homeschoolers, we have been attempting to continue school through the summer.  Having started his first grade curriculum in January, we just haven't gotten through it yet and I thought we should trudge right one through.

However, it is very slow going.  Finding time for school with the multitude of summer duties is not as simple as I thought it would be.

Of course, we still have our regular daily duties to attend to, dishes, laundry, diaper changes and meals.  Add to that, we're spending about 2-4 hours working outside everyday now.  With the watering, and tending of the garden, feeding and watering the goats, chickens, ducks and turkey (while keeping an eye on the littles) takes alot of time.

I understand that this is why the public school system chose to operate from autumn to spring.  When the communities discussed setting up public schooling for children, and had to 'entice' the adults to allow their children to attend, they had to accommodate the FARM WORK.  Planting, tending and harvest are labor intensive and the children really do HELP and make it joyful work!

While I don't want my homeschooling to mimic public schooling, I can see that 'every season has a purpose'.  In the spring we plant our seed, hatch our chicks, kid our goats, (or perhaps welcome little milk calves hehe) and continue the efforts to make our soil and garden beds fertile and rich.  In the summer we tend the growing plants and watch vigilantly for pests to plants and animals alike.  In the autumn we harvest the food, butcher meat animals and put up food to keep us and the wintering animals through the coming winter.  In the winter we must venture out to care for our animals.  But the majority of the time will be spent indoors.

So winter lends itself perfectly to the learning and reflection that is necessary for some school subjects.

Of course... life teaches lessons throughout ALL these seasons.

How better to display the wisdom of the Lord and His word.  As He directs us to be like the ant, to prepare for times when things are not so plentiful, I can point out the easily visible seasonal ebb and flow in my own garden.  As He directs us to follow His word for the promise of rain, and milk, and honey, I can easily show my children the integral importance of water to every living creature and plant, and the bountiful blessing of milk and honey to make life an abundant joy, not just mere survival.

My children learn the life cycle of a tree, a bean, a flower, a chicken, a goat, and human beings, simply by living it.  I love that my children save all their seeds instead of tossing them and beg to plant them anytime they find one.  Those tiny little seeds hold amazing potential in the eyes of my children.  I love that they eagerly collect eggs, and would rather incubate them then eat them because they KNOW that each egg COULD be a new baby chicken if cared for properly.  I love that my children ask me constantly to learn what each weed is in the yard, because they have learned that some of those 'weeds' are actually nutrient rich food, or have amazing medicinal properties that can help make us healthier or treat wounds or illnesses.

So while I lament that we didn't read enough books this summer or get through enough math.... I can rejoice that the Lord provided ample learning opportunities to my children.  He certainly provides a rich tapestry of life to learn.

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead... - Romans 1:20a

What have you and your children learned while not 'schooling'?