Resolutions for 2010

  • #1 Raise $10,000 For My Husbands Garage
  • #2 Spend 1 Year Without Cable Television
  • #3 Spend a 24 Hour Period in Complete Silence
  • #4 Loose 15lbs By Memorial Day Weekend
  • #5 Listen to only Christian radio stations
  • #6 Read the entire Bible
  • #7 Conquer my Diet Coke addiction

Friday, July 9, 2010

Resolution #1 is happening!

We have officaly started construction on the garage! We were hoping to save all the money by December 2010, and here we are in July starting construction. Glory to God who cares about the meaningless material posessions that humans desire for happiness and comfort.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Half Way Point

It has just occured to me that I am half way through the year and most of my resolutions are still going strong. God is so amazing. Here is a brief description of each resolution.

-We are starting construction on the garage next week !!!
-Even though I have not bible blogged in a while I just finished the book of Numbers
-I have lost 6 lbs and swiched to a semi-vegitarian/low dairy lifestyle
-I can't even remember what secular music sounds like
-T.V.? What is this "T.V." everyone is always talking about?
-Diet comment
-Silence I should have tried years ago. Have not had one fight with my husband.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


"To be absent from the body, is to be present in the LORD"

Blanch Hanna, known to me as Great-Grandma Hanna (technically my husbands great-grandma), had been alive for almost 91 years. What I didn’t know about her was a lot, and what I did know about her were these few facts:

She survived the loss of three of her six children. She loved butterflies and hummingbirds (or at least she liked to collect figurines of them). She did not have a big wedding; She spontaneously eloped on a road trip and stayed married for over 50 years. She survived the death of her road trip partner and had been widowed for more than 20 years. She loved coffee, costume jewelry, church, books, and See's Candy. She once took in her rebellious teenage granddaughter to live with her.

It is safe to assume that she knew and loved many people throughout the 90 plus years she spent on planet earth. So when she chose the people who were to surround her on her deathbed, it was no surprise to me that she picked her formerly rebellious teenage grand-daughter, Diana, my mother-in-law. What did surprise me is that her great grand-children and their spouses, who barley knew her at all, got to share in her death as well. It could have been her three remaining children. It could have been the nurses at the hospital. But she chose us. We weren't there when she was born. We weren’t there when she got married, had her children, or celebrated her 50th wedding anniversary. But we were there for her last breath. We were there when she experienced uninterrupted peace, flew with angels, and met God face to face.

Monday, May 3, 2010

May, 2004

“I love you, you’re the ONE” he said.

“I love you too.” I lied. He kissed me and left for work. Maybe it was my own guilty conscience, but something about that phrase coming from his mouth was simply inconceivable. I had done nothing to deserve this man, I met him at my drunken divorce party just two weeks prior to this little love confession for goodness sakes!

One week later on Memorial Day weekend, he moved in. He needed a place to stay temporarily, and I needed another roommate to split the rent with. I knew he was safe enough to live in my apartment, and to be around my daughter, I could feel it. When I would come home from work every night, there he was, sitting on my couch in his pajamas. “I love you,” he’d say to me with the ease of someone who had just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

“I love you too.” I’d lie as I secretly questioned his motives. I wondered how soon it would be until this Prince Charming façade wore off and he moved out.

“I don’t like that you have to work so late at night, when are you going to quit your job, and let me pay the bills?” When Hell freezes over, I thought.

One week later we go on our first official date: CALICO Ghost Town. Yes, I said CALICO. Not a typical first date, but keep in mind that he first and foremost wanted to impress my 20 month old daughter. Mission accomplished.

After CALICO, we head to his Grandparents house. I am uneasy. It is nearly summertime in the desert and I am dressed in very short shorts and a very small tank top…….not my best Grandparent introduction attire. After being warmly welcomed into their home, Grandma gives my daughter a journal and a marker to color with. When she is done coloring Grandma says, “I’ll keep this picture to show you one day when you get older.” Then she looks me in the eye, and gives me a little smile. My palms get sweaty and my heart begins to race, and then, a revelation: Grandma is going to watch my daughter grow up, and so is her grandson.

“I love you, you’re the ONE!” I say to him as we are driving home from his grandparents house.

“Ya, I know, that’s what I’ve been telling you all along. What took you so long?”

Happy (early) 6th anniversary to a man that I am more sure about everyday……And Happy Birthday Grandma Sandridge, who knew my fate even before I did.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Prodigal Dog

I'm not sure what this blog has to do with my resolution list except for the fact that I am typing this blog instead of eating Easter candy and that applies to resolution #4. And now, on with the Michelle Show

FACT: Pets are a gift from God

In the summer of 2008, an energetic, black and brown spotted female beagle wandered into our yard, and we all quickly fell in love with her. After about ten minutes, of experiencing her strong-willed-stubborn-feminist, “personality” we decided to name her Xena, Xena, the Warrior Princess. After two weeks of a good, honest effort to find her owners to no avail, we decided to adopt her…..later that day, before we registered her, she vanished.

Fast forward to 6 weeks ago, Spring of 2010. My kids really want a dog. They keep reminiscing about Xena. John and I are not sure if we are ready for the responsibility of a pet (I can‘t even keep our house plants alive). I tell the kids to pray about it and that God will bless us with the right dog for our family in HIS time, not ours, after all He cares about the little things. One week later we are in Church and instead of doing his sermon, Pastor Phill decides to let us all have an entire service of nothing but prayer and praise. I feel foolish as I silently pray for a dog. Fifteen minutes pass and church is over. The kids and I walk home and John has a smile on his face, “Got a present for you in the back yard,” he says.

It is an energetic, black and brown spotted female beagle… is in fact, Xena! I say in astonishment, “I was just praying for a dog!”
John says, “About how long ago were you praying?”
“About 10 or 15 minutes ago in Church.”
“Really?” says John, “That’s about the time she wandered into the yard.”

FACT: God listens….and sometimes answers with humor

After a couple of days with Xena, the sequel, and trying to find her owner on our own, we call the pound to find out if we can keep her. They tell us that they will pick her up and hold her for 2 weeks. If no one claims her in two weeks, she is ours. When I get home from work that day she is gone and I assume the pound has picked her up-----they hadn’t, she ran away. Garrett begins to cry (he is only three years old after all) as I am putting on his little shoes at the front door so that we can pick up Isabelle from school. “Mom, I really want God to send us a dog,” he says between sobs.

“Lets just keep praying and God will find us another dog, okay? Dear Jesus, please bring us a dog to love and to take care of, Amen.” I open the front door to go out to the car and Xena literally jumps in the front door and onto Garrett.

She has been running away and returning again every time we pray, ever since.

FACT: God speaks through animals…

….and I’m not just referring to God talking through his donkey to Balaam in the book of Numbers chapter 22 (wow, that was really difficult not to replace the word “donkey“ with “ass”). I am talking about God using animals or what ever else it takes to speak to us, since humans are so thick headed.

You would think that since I am still in the Old Testament, inching my way towards finishing resolution #6, that I would be learning about God’s wrath, but what I am learning the most, is that if I want to see God, and understand Him better all I need to do is look around. We have all heard the metaphor that humans are like sheep and Jesus is the ultimate shepherd, but what I have learned is that humans are like dogs, energetic, black and brown spotted female beagle dogs to be exact.

Here is what I see when I look out my window at all of the holes Xena has dug to get out of our yard: Xena wants free will, in her mind she is smart enough to make her own decisions. I love her too much to keep her on a leash, and I don’t want to force her to stay in my presence, I want her to WANT to be here. So she goes. I am a little sad because I know that it is best for her to be in the confines of our yard where I can feed her, love on her, and protect her from danger. As time passes I go from sad to a little angry. I have given her everything and she has thrown it away! I wait. Eventually she returns-dirty, hungry, and probably defiled (knowing the other male dogs in this neighborhood), but nonetheless I am ecstatic to see her again! My little girl is back! I feed her, clean her, and enjoy the time I have with her until she leaves again….because she will. She is only a Dog and she doesn’t know better, and even though I do, I will not say “I told you so” I will just wait.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

#6 Update

Even though I have yet to publish my Joseph blog, I am pleased to announce that I have officially finished the entire book of Genesis...even the footnotes! Let me clarify. Not only have I finished reading one of the most scandalis books ever published, but I also understand it. I have read Genesis before, many times actually, and I grew up knowing all the stories (although highly edited for obvious reasons)and the songs to match, but I never really retained much of what I read and I certainly never related to the stories or characters before. This time was different, I don't know if it was the praying before each read, or the fact that I had to read, re-read, and write about each chapter, but I finally got it. I know every character in the book, even the obscure ones, and I know the order of every story and more importantly, I feel I have learned the lessons from them that God intended me to.

Even though I am thrilled to accomplish this much, I can't help but look on to the next couple of books with nervousness. For the most part, Exodus will be exciting, but after the parting of the Red Sea there are a lot of rules and tabernacles. I pray that my boredom won't overtake me, and that I can make the last part of Exodus and the few "Law" books that follow interesting for my Bible study group as well.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A letter to Resolution #4

Dear Resolution #4,
I really regret the day I posted you on my blog. I can't remove you now, too many people will know that you once existed and that I failed miserably at checking you off the list legitimately. Why am I such an overachiever? Three resolutions, a job, two kids, and a husband wasn't enough, so I had to add 4 more resolutions?!? What's wrong with a size 6? I live in the fattest country in the world and I am unsatisfied with being at the ideal weight and size for my height and age....what is wrong with me? No wait-----what is wrong with YOU resolution #4?!!!!! I HATE YOU.


Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Have I mentioned how very much I LOVE bacon? This is one of the many reasons resolution number 4 is so very very far away *sigh*

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Jacob: Genesis 28:10-36:43

Running, Wrestling, and Reproducing, this is the story of the evolution of Jacob.
Chapter 28:10-22 So, Jacob is running away from his brother and is on his way to Haran to stay with his Uncle Laban when he has a dream. In his dream, there is a stairway to heaven (insert Led Zeppelin melody here) with angels going up and down the stairs. Then God talks to him and lets him know yet again that he will have plenty of descendants. This time though he adds this really great verse that I love, “What’s more, I will be with you, and I will protect you where ever you go. I will someday bring you safely back to this land. I will be with you constantly until I have finished giving you everything I have promised.” Jacob wakes up acknowledging God and sets his pillow (a stone…ouch) up as a memorial pillar and names the place, Bethel, or “House of God.” And just when you think Jacob is coming around and is finally going to submit to God, he basically says, “Okay God, IF you keep that little promise you just made, about protecting me and bringing me back to this land safely, I guess I will make you my God and I will tithe to you” ….as if he is doing God a favor. Jacob has gone from a bratty, deceptive little kid to a cocky young adult, but don’t give up on him just yet, watching his evolution has been my favorite part of the Bible so far.

Chapter 29 (and part of Chapter 30) is basically a trashy romance novel minus the penis euphemisms (not, that I‘ve ever read a trash romance novel….). It starts out innocent enough as Jacob arrives in Haran and seeks out his Uncle. He is having a conversation with some shepherds about where to find his uncle, when he sees Uncle Laban’s daughter Rachel. I love, love, love this next part. Jacob sees Rachel and recognizes her has his cousin so as it was customary in those days, he goes over to give her a kiss on the cheek. As he kisses her, his eyes fill with tears, and he is instantly head over heels in love with her. After a month of working and living with his uncle, Laban offers to pay Jacob for his work, but Jacob doesn’t want money, he wants Rachel. And so it is agreed upon that Jacob will work for 7 years to “pay” for Rachel. Talk about a love story! I can’t remember the last time I worked 7 years for anything other than a paycheck! But don’t get too wrapped up in the romance, coming up next, Jacob the deceiver has the tables turned on him. Laban tricks Jacob by sending his older daughter Leah into Jacob’s tent after his wedding to Rachel. So once Jacob has blindly slept with Leah, he has no choice but to marry her. He is still in love with Rachel though, and is obviously furious with his father-in-law. Laban tells Jacob that he can have Rachel too, as long as he promises to work for another seven years. Laban gives him Rachel a week later and Jacob actually keeps his promise to Laban by working for another 7 years. Then the text clearly states that Jacob loves Rachel more then Leah….poor Leah. During the next 7 years Jacob turns into a baby making factory. God allows Leah to have kids to compensate for her feeling unloved by Jacob. First she has Reuben, then Simeon, then Levi and then Judah.

Chapter 30 Okay, here’s where the romance novel turns into a trashy romance novel. Rachel starts getting jealous that she is not having any babies, so she yells at Jacob about it, as if it’s his fault. After a huge fight, they decide to solve this problem by prayer…..just kidding! The book of Genesis would not be has interesting if everyone actually turned to prayer for their problems! What really happens, is that they decide to solve Rachel’s infertility dilemma by having Jacob sleep with Rachel’s maid Bilhah. Bilhah pops out two more sons for Jacob, Dan, and Naphtali. So Leah gets jealous and gives Jacob her maid, Zilpah to sleep with since she stopped having babies after the birth of Judah. Zilpah gives birth to two more sons, Gad and Asher. One day the oldest son of Jacob and Leah brought home roots from a mandrake plant for his mother Leah, and Rachel wanted some (it is safe to say that if you are fighting over a root, you have reached new lows of insecurity and jealousy). So Rachel says to Leah, “I’ll let you sleep with Jacob if you give me some mandrake root.” So Leah and Jacob make their 5th son, Issachar, and then a sixth son, Zebulun, and then finally a daughter, Dinah. Then God decides to give Rachel a son from her own womb instead of from her servant Bilhah, and she names him Joseph. Yes, that Joseph, you know the one with the Technicolor dream coat? Remember him. With all the sex Jacob had been having I’m not sure how he managed to get any real work done. But work he did, and his wealth started to increase. He had finished paying his debt to Laban so he asked to take his wives and children back to his homeland. Laban begs him to stay offering him any wages he wants. Jacob strikes a deal with him (I guess he hasn’t learned his lesson) and says that he will stay if Laban agrees to give Jacob all of his livestock that is speckled or spotted, and all of the dark sheep as his wages. As soon as they agreed, Laban removes all the livestock that is supposed to go to Jacob and gives it to his sons, who moved the herd 3 days distance from Haran. The next part is weird. Jacob takes fresh shoots from a bunch of trees, then sets them up by the watering troughs so that the animals would see them when they drank water and mated. This method apparently created offspring that were exclusively streaked and speckled. I’m not sure if this is something God made possible or if this was a farming practice of this time period, but the details don’t matter, all that matters is that it worked. Furthermore, Jacob only used this tree shoot method with the stronger animals so consequently his flock of animals were stronger than his Uncles.

Chapter 31 This causes tension between Jacob, Laban and his brother in laws, so after God speaks to Jacob in a dream, he decides to gather up his children and wives and return to Bethel (the place where Jacob turned his stone pillow into a memorial) without telling Laban. On their way out of town, Rachel decides to steal some of her fathers idols, but she doesn’t tell anyone what she has done. Three days later, Laban realizes that Jacob and family are gone so he gathered some relatives and went after him. Laban and his men catch up with Jacob in seven days. Laban confronts Jacob about leaving so suddenly without giving him a chance to say goodbye to his daughters or grandchildren. Then he brings up the fact that he is missing some idols and accuses Jacob of stealing. Jacob tells him to search everywhere for his stolen items and search he does. He never finds the idols though because Rachel is up on her camel sitting on them and when her father tries to search her camel she basically says, “back off Dad, I’m on my period.” So, like all men who are totally grossed out by women’s menstruation , he backs off. After some arguing, Laban and Jacob make a peace treaty and set up a pile of stones to commemorate the terms of this peace treaty.

Chapter 32 So Jacob and crew are back on the road to Bethel and after they are met by some angels of God, Jacob decides it’s time to mend fences with Esau so he sends some messengers ahead of him to tell Esau, “Humble greeting from your servant Jacob…” the messengers return with the news that Esau is on his way to meet Jacob….with four hundred army men. Jacob is terrified, even though God had already promised him that he would make sure he and his family returned home safely, so he divides his flocks and servants so that if one group is attacked the other groups might have a chance at survival. Jacob turns to prayer (a very novel idea), and reminds God that he was promised a safe journey…as if God forgot. Then, Jacob makes a present for Esau. Since Hallmark doesn’t make a, “I’m sorry I stole your Blessing” card, Jacob sends his messengers back to Esau with livestock gifts, in hopes that Esau will be friendly towards him. So up until this point everything seems normal and logical, so naturally their has to be some sort of crazy supernatural event…..brace yourself it’s good. After sending his children and wives across the Jabbok river, Jacob has a wrestling match with God (more on this phenomenon in the Questions that got answered by….” section). After wrestling all night with God, God finally touches Jacobs hip and dislocates it. Then he asks Jacob his name, when Jacob responds he says, “I am changing your name to Israel because you have struggles with God and Man and have won.” Then Jacob asks for God’s name but doesn’t get a response. Instead Jacob gets blessed, and then he names the place of the wrestling match, “Peniel which means “face of God.”

Chapter 33 Pretty soon, Jacob sees Esau coming with his army. He positions his concubines and their children first, then Leah and her kids behind them and Rachel and Joseph behind Leah (talk about playing favorites!). Esau immediately runs to Jacob and kisses him and they are both in tears at the sight of each other. The rest of chapter 33 is the brothers getting reacquainted and assuring the reader that Esau has completely forgiven his brother. They part on good terms and Jacob went off to settle with his family in Shechem while Esau went back to Seir.

Chapter 34 This next chapter is a very sad story about Jacob’s children and their less than admirable choices. Dinah, Jacob’s only daughter goes to visit some friends in the area when a local prince named Shechem rapes her. Jacob tells his sons about the rape and they are all very upset as you can imagine. Meanwhile Shechem, the rapist, tells his father Hamor that he is in love with Dinah, and he wants to marry her. Both men go to Jacob and sons and ask for their permission to have Dinah as Shechem’s wife. Jacob’s sons say, “Sure, but you, and every male in your city, has to be circumcised.” The King and Prince agree and everyone is circumcised right away. Three days later, two of Jacobs sons, Simeon and Levi, took their swords into the city and slaughter every man there. They rescued Dinah and removed all the women, children, and livestock from the city and the rest of the brothers help burn the entire city down. Jacob is angry at Simeon and Levi for taking revenge, because now everyone in the surrounding cities will most likely come after Jacob and his family to avenge the people of Shechem. But Jacob’s sons argue that they were justified in committing murder because their sister was not to be treated as a prostitute.

Chapter 35 After the mass murder, God tells Jacob he needs to move to Bethel. Jacob tells his family to destroy all their idols (it’s about time!) and to clean up before the move. Jacob takes all of the idols and their earnings and buries them beneath a tree. God protects Jacob and family as they travel to Bethel, and once they get there Jacob builds an altar. Soon after their arrival, Rebekah’s nurse dies. God comes to Jacob in a dream and reminds him that his name is not Jacob, but Israel, and then reiterates the “may descendants,” and “promised land” covenant he made to Abraham. Next is the surprise birth of Benjamin from Rachel, who dies just after an excruciating labor. Then there is a brief paragraph about Ruben (Jacobs oldest son) having sex with his fathers concubine. After a brief reminder of who the 12 sons of Jacob are, and who the babies mamas are, chapter 35 concludes with the death of Jacob’s Dad, Isaac and his burial by both of his sons Esau and Jacob, which makes me feel nostalgic because Isaac and Ishmael burried Abraham together. Brotherly love is very important to God.

Chapter 36 Not much to report here, just the family tree of Esau. It is also mentioned that Esau settled in the land of Seir because him and his brother were so filthy rich that the land of Canaan could not support their multitude of livestock.

Things I loved:

I loved to watch the transformation in Jacob from a mischievous little boy who deceives everyone to a responsible man who wrestles with God and wins.

I love that all of the characters I have read about are average Joes. God does not choose heroes, he creates them.

Laban is a great example of how God uses bad situations to His advantage. All the things Laban did to Jacob were unfair but they served a great purpose. Jacob getting a taste of his own medicine and being deceived and forced to work so hard for what he wanted matured Jacob and turned him into the man that God intended him to be.

Things I Did Not Love:

Jacob having sex with all of those women. I know it was socially accepted during this time period, but as a woman, I was a little offended.

Jacob’s sons committing murder…..was that really necessary guys?

Questions to Ask God When I Get To Heaven:

I want more details on the wrestling match. I feel like there is a multitude of lessons to learn from it and I have only begun to scratch the surface.

Questions That Got Answered By Doing This Bible Study:

I have read about some pretty amazing miracles and supernatural happenings. Did they really happen or are they metaphors/fairy tales/embellishments? Yes, they happened. You can’t believe in some of the miracles like Jesus rising from the dead but not believe in other miracles like Jacob wrestling with God. Each of the miracles in the Bible served a purpose and accomplished something that couldn't be accomplished in any other way. I do not think that we should waste our energy contemplating if or how God accomplished these miracles, that would be missing the point. What our energy needs to be focused on is what we can learn from these events.

In verse 32: 22, who was the “Man” that wrestled with Jacob? I believe it was God in the form of a man. After the wrestling match in verse 30, Jacob says “….I have seen the face of God and my life has been spared.” To further back this theory up, the author (Moses) writes the word “Man” with a capital “M.” Everywhere else in the bible, when referring to God, or Jesus a capital letter is used (He, Him,).

If the “Man” was God, why did it say that he realized he couldn’t win in verse 25? Obviously he could win because in verse 25 be barley touches Jacobs hip and it knocked out of joint. I think the phrase “he could not win,” and “Let me go, it is nearly dawn,” was not God admitting defeat, rather it was God expressing that Jacob was not going to back down from the wrestling match and God needed the wrestling match to be over and done with since Esau and his army were on their way.

Why did the man ask Jacobs name, if the “Man“ was God, didn’t he know Jacobs name? In my opinion, He wasn’t asking, “What is your name?” he was asking, “Who are you?” So when Jacob answered, “Jacob, the deceiver” it became apparent to Jacob and to God that that was not a fitting title for him anymore. The wrestling match was a pivotal point in Jacobs life. Hence, the name change to “Israel.”

What does God want us to learn from the Wrestling match? The wrestling match is by far my most favorite part of the bible thus far. I think there is a lot to learn that I haven even began to understand. But for now what I have learned is this: Before the wrestling match, I don’t believe that Jacob had a relationship with God. Sure, he believed in him, but he only referred to him as, “the God of my father Isaac,” or “The God of my grandfather Abraham.” He never builds an altar to worship God, like Isaac and Abraham did, he builds “memorial pillars.” And yes he talks to God, but he was probably talking to other “Gods” and idols as well. Just before he wrestles with God and his fear about his brother killing has overcome him, he begs God to save him and I believe the wrestling match was the only way that Jacob became “saved.” Once he wrestled with God, he began a relationship with God. Jacob was the grandson of Abraham, but that want enough. God wants us to want him, and in the definition I found to the word “wrestle” was the word “effort.” God demands effort. Yes, God chose Jacob (and Isaac and Abraham for that matter) but Jacob needed to choose God as well. I think another interesting point is that even after Jacob’s hip was knocked out of joint (which I imagine was excruciating!), he still did not let go of God. He simply went from fighting with God to clinging to God, and it was in his clinging that Jacob finally realized how much he needed to be with God. He needed God so desperately that he clung to him even after his hip came out if socket. I also think this is a beautiful metaphor for why God allows us to experience such hardships in our lives. When we are afraid or injured (physically or emotionally) that is when we are the most vulnerable and when God can really communicate with us clearly.

When did Jacob realize he was wrestling with God? I think it was after his hip was knocked out of joint, up until then I assume he thought he was wrestling with a robber or with Esau.

Final thoughts: I am finding that the most far fetched and random stories are the ones that I am learning the most from. As with most things in the bible, the wrestling match between God and Jacob has been speculated to be a metaphor much like the pillar of salt thing. When I am reading the bible and a shocking story or a story that seems like it doesn’t fit (noah being dunk, enoch disappearing) happens I don’t think the issue is weather or not it literally happened. I think the issue is why did God include this in the Bible? And, what does he want us to learn from it? After all, those stories must stand out for a reason.

Monday, March 29, 2010


It has been a while since I blogged! Sorry, things have been crazy lately. I have been having vertigo (it is very hard to type, when you can’t see straight!), my husband has a knee injury, and we got a dog! I could blog about these subjects for days but I know that everyone who reads my blogs are only reading them for one reason: THE RESOLUTIONS duh! So here are the resolution updates.

Resolution #1: One the plus side, since we are almost to our $10,000 goal, we have started all the preliminary things that go into construction. We have had the plans drawn up and are waiting for clearance from the county to begin building. On the negative side, now that my husband is hurt, we might have to use some of the money we saved for medical bills, and, even if we don’t have to dip into the garage fund, there is still the issue of actually building the garage since John is on crutches and he was to be the main builder of the garage.

Resolution #2 and #5 are still going strong. It is amazing how God can just take away your desire for certain things and replace them with healthier options. I should have given up those things years ago…..but maybe the timing wouldn’t have been right.

Resolution #3 What a difference keeping my mouth shut has made!!!! I have notice obvious positive differences in the relationships around me. And to my surprise it is actually getting easier, and is becoming more of a lifestyle.

Resolution #4 and #7 I would love to update you on these ones but I am currently gorging on goldfish crackers and a diet coke and I don’t want to get anymore artificial cheese on the keyboard than I already have…..

Resolution #6 I am through the book of Genesis and I hope to post the last two blogs of Genesis by the end of the week. Having the weekly Bible study has really been great and I am learning so much.

Thanks everyone who messaged me to ask why I hadn’t blogged in a while, it is nice to know my blogs have been missed. Thanks for the continued support and encouragement. I am going to work on my blog about Jacob now….

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

#1 is almost done!!!

Major resolution news!!!!! Less than a month ago our garage fund was at $1,580.25This was a huge accomplishment for us considering we managed to save this amount in just 2 short months. Then we got our tax refund back and two days later, when I walked to my mail box we received a major blessing from God…..past due child support courtesy of the US government intercepting my ex-husbands tax refund!!!!! Brace yourself…….Our garage fund goal is $10,000.……. We are now at $8,695.25 in less than 3 months.!!!! With this amount we can begin the process of drawing up plans, laying concrete, getting permits and buying some material. Thank you God for caring about the little things like getting my husband into a garage. A garage is not something that we can take to heaven with us but it will sure make life on earth a lot more comfortable!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


It is time for #4. Yes, I know I have plenty of time before my Memorial-Day-weekend-bridesmaid dress- goal but I need to get back on the healthy wagon soon or I will have to go shopping for brand new bigger clothes….which is a direct violation of #1. So loose the weight I must, and I started with my eating today. I will hopefully be able to get back to walking by the end of the week when the weather finally clears up. I am going to start posting my daily food journal on my blog, real interesting, I know, buut at the very least it will keep me motivated and accountable. So I am officially giving my readers permission to give me a hard time if I eat junk! Don’t feel bad, show no mercy, the 15lbs needs to come off ASAP!! Here is what I ate today:

Breakfast: 2 pieces of Ezekiel toast with light margarine

Snack: 100 cal low fat yougurt

Lunch: 10 Triscuits, 1 can of cooked chicken with 1tbs of light mayo, 3 large strawberries

Snack: 5 Triscuits and 1 slice of cheese

Dinner: 1 serving spoon full of Hamburger Helper, 2 serving spoons of broccoli with ½ serving spoon of rice pilaf

Thursday, March 4, 2010

It's Hard to Hear the Voice of God When You Won't Shut Your Mouth

I have made an executive decision about resolution #3. I can not bear the thought of maintaining silent around my children for a whole day for fear that they will feel ignored or neglected. So, I will put this resolution on hold until my children are teenagers, and they are giving me the silent treatment so much that they won’t notice that I am being silent as well. Until then, I am making an amendment to my earlier resolution. When I feel inclined to speak, I will remain silent for 7 seconds before I comment or question. Seven is a very holy number, so my prayer is that God will use that 7 second window to let me know if I what I am about to say is stupid. I have really been working on keeping my mouth shut when I would have otherwise spoken for the past couple of months. Let me just say that it has worked wonders. Unfortunately, I can’t blog about any of the good things that have come from not speaking, because all of my stories involve people that read my blog. It would compromise my relationships with these people to speak of our private conversations and the things I wanted to say, but didn’t. The main point I am trying to make, is that I have always regretted the words I have said more than the words I have not said. As a society, we underestimate the power of the spoken word in both it’s positive and it’s negative aspects. If you say you are sick, well then sick you will be. If you use a name, good or bad, to describe someone, they will surely live up to that word. Thoughts can have power, but the spoken word does have power. Thoughts can be controlled, once words are spoken they cannot be taken back. The gift of speech and the ability to bond, and express ourselves through speech is something special that God has given almost exclusively to women. Men speak too of course, but I think we can all agree that they do not speak as often or as intensely as women do. Women need to be careful with our God given gifts such as speech, and we need to make sure that we use this gift to honor God alone.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Isaac: Genesis 25:19-28:9

Fraud, furriness and the filling up of water wells, No this is not an episode of Malcolm in the Middle, this is the story of Isaac, his naughty children, and his insubordinate wife…..hmmmm maybe Malcolm in the Middle is a spin off of the story of Isaac, just a thought.

I wish I could say, don’t worry, the story of Isaac is only 4 chapters long. But it doesn’t matter I still found plenty to write about.


Chapter 25:19 When Isaac was 40 years old, he married Rebekah who had trouble getting pregnant. So, Isaac prayed for her to have a child and almost 20 years later, God answered his prayers and Rebekah became pregnant. Rebekah must have been having horrible gas, and morning sickness, because she is quoted as asking God, “Why is this happening to me?” Geeze, you think she’s be a little more grateful seeing as how she tried to get pregnant for nearly two decades. Anyways, ever patient, God explains to her that the sons (yes, I said sons, as in twins) in her womb are destined to be two rival nations, and that the descendants of the oldest brother will always serve the descendants of the younger one. So D-Day comes and the twins enter the world fighting. Poor Rebekah….no epidural for her as the first boy comes out with the second boy holding onto his heel…literally. I am so glad I gave birth in the 21st century with 21st century medicine. Anyways, the flames of sibling rivalry are fanned when Isaac and Rebakah name the boys. The first born is named Esau, which means “Covered in hair.” And the second twin is named “Jacob” which means, “He deceives.” I’m not sure what their parents were thinking naming their children this, because as we all know, children live up to their names. There is nothing mentioned about their early childhood but based on the way they came into this world, it is safe to assume that they both spent a majority of their early years in timeout…..or being flogged. Esau became a hunter, which is appropriate because his hairiness probably provided him with very good camouflage. All that is said of Jacob is that he “liked to stay home,” I guess the term couch potato had not been invented yet. Isaac favored Esau, and Rebekah favored Jacob. We don’t need Dr. Phil to tell us that this is never a good parenting tactic. One day as Esau was out hunting and providing for his family, Jacob was inside watching the Food Network and cooking stew (sorry, do I sound biased?). Esau comes home famished, from hunting for who knows how long, and asks his brother Jacob for some food. Jacob says, “Sure, I’ll trade you a bowl of soup for your birthright (refer to the “ Questions that got answered…” for more on birthrights),” and without much thought, Esau allows his hunger to control his better judgment as he makes the trade. It’s pretty much all down hill for Esau from her on out.

Chapter 26 I thought I was having déjà vu when I read the next chapter. Turns out that it was actually a case of like father, like son. Remember Abimelech? He was the king from chapter 20 that Abraham lied to, then in chapter 21 Abraham makes a treaty with him? Well, Isaac and Rebekah had to move to Gerar due to a famine, so when Abimelech’s men ask about Rebekah, Isaac says, “she is my sister.” Any guesses on what happens next? Well, it’s not the same exact thing that happened to Abraham, but it might as well be. Abimelech catches Isaac feeling up Rebekah, and is obviously very upset about being lied to. God blesses Isaac anyways with lush crops and livestock to spare. Next there is this big long boring part about conflicts over water rights, and Abimelech kicks Isaac and family out to the valley. Gerar Valley to be exact. Then there was more arguing over water wells so Isaac and Rebekah moved to Beersheba. God appears to Isaac and reassures him that he will be blessed…..yadda yadda,…..lots of descendants,….. Blah, blah , blah, so Isaac builds and altar. But wait, we haven’t heard the last of Abimelech. In the final part of chapter 26 he finds Isaac and offers him an alliance. They celebrate with a feast then take a solemn oath of nonaggression. Then there is a prelude into the next chapter, stating that Esau married Judith and Basemath (both pagans), who made Isaac and Rebekah’s lives miserable. Okay, so now me and Esau have three things in common: hairiness, love of soup, and love of upsetting our parents.

Chapter 27 Okay, so now this is where the story of Isaac turns into, “Days of our Lives.” Isaac is almost blind and is basically on his death bed when he asks Esau to make him his favorite meal, so that after he eats he can pronounce his blessing over Esau (for more on this “blessing” read the “questions that got answered….”section). Like any good woman, Rebekah is eavesdropping and she wants Jacob, being her favorite, not Esau, to receive the blessing (talk about your dysfunctional family). In Rebekah’s defense, her actions did fulfill what God had told her when she was pregnant, that Esau and his descendants would have to serve Jacob and his descendants (25:23). Once Jacob stole Esau’s blessing, it would make Jacob the official owner of the family birthright. However, the way Rebekah went about fulfilling Gods promise was wrong. She did not trust that God would make Jacob the head of the family, so she took matters into her own hands, which as you can guess turns into a catastrophe. Anywho, back to the story. Rebekah talks Jacob into tricking his father into thinking that he is Esau. Isaac gives Jacob Esau’s blessing even though he is skeptical. Just as the blessing is finished, Esau comes back from his hunting trip and discovers that his brother has stolen his blessing, which means that Jacob is now the official owner of the birthright. He weeps and begs his father to give him a blessing too. The best Isaac can do is to promise Esau that after a time of serving his brother, he will be free from him. Which is not much compared to the list of blessings Isaac accidentally gave Jacob. Esau is filled with hatred and decides to murder Jacob (I’m having a Cain and Able flashback), but before he can, Rebekah tells Jacob to flee to Haran to see his uncle Laban (Rebekah’s brother). Rebekah then tells Isaac that she does not want Jacob to marry one of the local Hittite women.

Chapter 28:1-9 Isaac accepts the fact that Jacob is now destined to be the head of the household, so he blesses him (intentionally this time), and sends him off to Uncle Laban’s house telling him not to marry a local woman, but to marry one of Uncle Laban’s daughters. Esau gets wind of this and is upset, so he went to his Uncle Ishmael’s house (Isaac’s half brother), and married one of Ishmaels daughters. Although, I’m not sure why.

It is really starting to concern me that the only characters in the Bible I can relate to, are the ones that end up causing so much controversy. First Hagar, then Ishmael, and now Esau. I think I need to go pray.

Things I loved:

*25:21 God made Isaac wait for his wife to get pregnant just like his father Abraham had to, but Isaac did not make the same mistake his father did by getting a concubine pregnant. A lot of children tend to repeat the mistakes of their parents. Isaac was not perfect and he did repeat at least one of his fathers mistakes that we know of (lying to Abimelech), but when God promised him a child he believed God and waited, and God blessed him with not one, but two children at the same time.

* 26:1-11 Abimelech. It is safe to assume that this is not the same Abimelech that Abraham deceived, but nonetheless, the Abimelech family seem to be very tolerant and understanding. They were deceived in a particularly cruel way, and yet they forgave and even offered both Abraham and Isaac an alliance.

*26:12 Even after Isaac lies to Abimelech, God blesses him. Yet another example of Gods unfailing love and patience toward his children.

*26:17 I was pretty bored reading about all the water rights conflicts, but looking back on that section (and reading a lot of research on the subject, refer to the, “Questions That Got Answered by doing….” section), I can now see the lesson of peace that God wants us to get out of this section. There are so many examples in the Bible of the way God expects us to live our lives. One of the ways that we are to live, is in peace. Heaven is a peaceful place and as Christians, we are not meant to cause conflict, we are meant to keep peace in our homes and in our lives. I need to keep this in mind when a conflict arises. I believe that turning away from conflict, even if it means relocating like Isaac had to do, is necessary and is full of rewards. And I don’t just mean the earthly reward of not fighting, I am talking about heavenly rewards as well. That being said, I do think that sometimes God calls us to be warriors and fighting sometimes is necessary. But the amount of battles we must fight are a lot less than the compromises we must make for peace sake.

*27:45 When sending Jacob away, Rebekah tells Jacob to stay with his Uncle until his brothers fury is spent, then she says, “….Why should I loose both of you in one day?” I interpret this as Rebekah expressing sorrow for loosing Esau to his anger and his intentions to murder. Rebekah must have known that in choosing murder, Esau had chosen a life without God, which I imagine to be one of the most heartbreaking scenarios as parent can experience. Even though Jacob was her “favorite” she still loved Esau.

Things I did not love:

*Okay, I’m not going to name any names here (Rebekah, Sarah, and Abraham!) but I am really getting sick and tired of everyone taking matters into their own hands. I mean, I know God blessed us with free will and everything, but come on!!!! When God tells you that he is going to take care of things, like giving you a child, or giving your younger son the birthright, let him! God is so unbelievably patient. By now, I would have struck everyone down with leprosy or something.

Questions to ask God when I get to heaven:

* Why did Esau marry Ishmael’s daughter? Was he trying to upset his parents more, or was he finally trying to please them? I wish we knew more about the relationship between Isaac and Ishmael. Like I said in the Abraham blog, I never found any evidence that these brothers hated each other. So maybe it pleased Isaac and Rebekah to see Esau married to one of Ishmael’s daughters.

Questions that got answered by doing this bible study:

* What is a Birthright? A birthright is a special honor or privilege that was given to the oldest son of every family. This included leadership over the family when the head of the household died, as well as a share of the family inheritance. The head of the household (the father) had final say over who has the birthright. If he feels that the oldest son is unfit he can give the birthright to another son. The birthright is not officially put into action until a blessing is spoken over the chosen person just before the death or resignation of the head of the house hold.

*Why was Esau indifferent to handing over his birthright? He might have been indifferent because the birthright trade off would not be official until his father blessed it, therefore he probably assumed that he would still get the birthright since he was favored by his father Isaac and perhaps Isaac didn’t know that he had traded his birthright for a bowl of Cambell’s.

*Wasn’t it unfair for Jacob to tempt Esau with food? Upon first reading the part about Esau trading his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of soup, I felt sympathy for Esau. I felt that Jacob had taken advantage of Esau’s hunger to gain what he wanted. This is only partially true. Yes, what Jacob did was wrong. He wasn’t named “he deceives,” for nothing! But Esau was not a victim. He had a choice. Everyone of this time period knew the importance of a birthright, Esau included, it‘s not like he didn‘t know what he was giving up. In the New Testament, there is a story about Jesus fasting for 40 days in the wilderness and then Satan tempting him with food. I believe that one of the many reasons this story was included in the Bible was because of Esau. Jesus proved that it was physically possible to go without food and to withstand temptation through the power of God. Jacob obviously wanted the honor of the birthright more than Esau. He wanted it bad enough scam his brother into trading it. No, it was not fair of him to so this, and it was obviously Gods will for him to have the birthright, but Jacob shouldn’t have taken maters into his own hands. God would have found a better way for Jacob to claim the birthright without the seed of hatred that this action planted in Esau.

*What is a blessing? A blessing can mean a lot of different things depending on the person, place and time period. People in America today tend to think of a blessing as “well wishes” for someone. The word “blessing” as referred to in the story of Jacob and Esau was a ceremonial, legally binding oral contract. A blessing was given by the head of the household to his intended son when he was near the end of his life. A blessing was the official handing over of the birthright and all the privileges that, that entails.

*If Isaac meant the blessing for Esau, wouldn’t it have gone to him even if Jacob was the one in the room? No. Like I mentioned before, a blessing was a legally binding oral contract. Once Isaac spoke those words, there was no going back. I believe also, that Isaac, being a man of God, recognized that since Jacob received the blessing, that it was Gods will for Jacob to be his heir. I also believe that deep down Isaac knew that it was Jacob because of how hesitant he was to perform the blessing in the first place.

*Why couldn’t Isaac give Esau the blessing once he found out that he was deceived? Again, Isaac would have broken the law had he revoked Jacobs blessing. It’s not like Isaac had an unlimited amount of birthright/blessings to hand out. There was only one, and Jacob got it!

*Abimelech. The Abimelech that Abraham deceived was probably not the same Abimelech that Isaac deceived. The name Abimelech literally means “Son of a King.” It was a common name of Philistine kings, much like the name “Pharaoh” was of the Egyptian kings. This is good to know especially since we will being seeing the name Abimelech in later books of the bible.

*What can be learned from the water rights conflict? After Isaac tricks Abimelech, into thinking that Rebekah was his sister, you would think that God would punish him, but God does the opposite and blesses him…..majorly. But as is true today, once things start going good in your life, the devil is waiting right their to attack. And attack he does. The devil uses jealousy among the philistines to provoke them into filling up Isaacs water wells with dirt. This is such an assault on Isaac for so many reasons. #1, those wells were dug by Isaac’s father Abraham‘s servants, so they must have been sentimental to him. #2 During this time, if someone dug a well on some property, they didn’t go to the escrow office to make it official with paperwork, they dug a well to stake their claim on that land, so those wells being filled up with dirt was not only illegal, but it was also an act of war. #3 Gerar was a desolate place located in a desert. Those wells were the only source of water, if someone filled them up with dirt, that meant that they wished death upon you, which would surely happen without a working water well. From Isaac’s reaction we can learn a great deal about his character. He had every earthly right to go to war with the Philistines but he instead chose peace by moving away from the conflict. This eventually paid off because Abimelech finds him and offers him a peace treaty.

Final Thoughts:
When I saw this portion of my Bible, I thought to myself, “It’s only four chapters long, this will be short and easy!” that was 10 days ago. I have learned so much about God from such a little section. He is consistent, patient and he wants to bless us regardless of our actions. I can’t wait to read what’s coming up next. Stay tuned for the on going saga of Jacob….

And the Total February Garage Fund is.......

Our February goal was to save just under two-hundred dollars for the garage fund, so can somebody please explain to me how we ended up with $762.76?! All I can say is that God cares about the little things. You would think he’d be a little to busy, performing miracles and listening to prayers, but no, he has somehow fit my husbands garage into his busy schedule. This brings the Garage Fund total to $1,580.25. March is going to be a great month financially for us as well, because I will start seeing the money from my new job and we will be getting our tax return back. There is also a good chance that I could receive some back child support in the form of my ex-husbands tax return! Bottom line: After the month of March we should be half way to our goal of $10,000!!!!

In other resolution news, #6 is well underway. Not only have I been faithfully reading my bible and understanding it better than ever, but I have also been given permission from my pastor to turn my journey into a bible study. Starting this Sunday I will be leading a group of women in a bible study from Genesis to Revelation. I have broken up the Bible into 127 sessions which means that #6 will be finished in 2012, if I stay on the schedule of reading and reporting/discussing at least one Bible session per week.

#7 has it’s ups and downs. For the past two weeks I have only had 1, two liter bottle of Diet Coke. What’s interesting is that like with any other drug, my caffeine tolerance is so minimal that one glass of D.C will keep me buzzing all day and unable to sleep at night. I wonder when the government will step in and officially name caffeine as an illegal drug.

That’s all or now everyone, thanks for the continued support and prayers. If anyone is interested in joining the Bible study, contact me for details.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Abraham: Genesis 12-25:18

Conflicts, casual sex, and co-parenting at it’s finest…oh and something about a covenant too.

General Summary:

*Chapter 12 leaves off right where chapter 11 ended. Abram is in Haran because that’s where he, his wife Sarai, his father Terah, and his nephew Lot had settled on their way to Canaan. One day God tells Abram to leave his country, relatives, and fathers house to some land that eventually will be revealed to him because he is to be the father of a great nation. So Abram departed with his wife, and nephew and all of his wealth (a.k.a. livestock and servants), and started traveling. While in the area of Canaan, God tells Abram that he is going to give this land to Abram’s offspring, so Abram builds an altar to commemorate Gods visit. Then a famine strikes, so Abram and his entourage head for Egypt to wait it out. Before they go to Egypt, Abram tells his wife Sarai to tell everyone in Egypt that she is his sister. Apparently, Sarai is so beautiful that Abram fears the people of Egypt would kill him to get to Sarai if they knew she was his wife, so Sarai agrees. Sure enough when they get to Egypt, everyone spoke of Sarai’s beauty. Eventually Pharaoh gives Sarai’s “brother” many gifts in exchange for her. God sees that Pharaoh had taken another mans wife (unknowingly) and sends a terrible plague upon his household. Pharaoh is mad at Abram (rightfully so) for lying to him and sends all of them out of the country.

*Chapter 13 Abram and crew begin to back track, camping at many of the same places they stopped at on their way to Egypt including the place Abram built an altar in chapter 12. It doesn’t take very long for conflicts to arise among Abram and Lots entourages because the land they were occupying could not support all the livestock (talk about being rich!). Abram gives Lot first choice at any land he wanted to inhabit, so naturally Lot chose the best possible (superficially speaking) land for him and his posse. They settle just outside the city of Sodom even though Sodom was known for it’s wickedness. After Lot was gone, God told Abram to look around and that everything in his sight range was going to be given to his offspring as a permanent possession. So Abram settles in Hebron and builds an altar to God.

*Chapter 14 Next, a war breaks out between a bunch of kings whose names I cannot pronounce or spell. Lot is captured in the midst of the chaos and when Abram hears of this, he gets a bunch of men from his household (318 to be exact, which shows just how rich he was) together and they rescue Lot. Abram is returning from battle when a man named Melchizedek is introduced to us. He is referred to as the king of Salem and the priest of God most high. His character is one of the great mysteries of the bible (for more on him read, “Questions that got answered while doing this Bible study” section). He brings Abram bread and wine and blesses him. Then Abram presents the bibles first mentioned tithe, one tenth of all the goods he recovered from the battle, to Melchizedek. This chapter ends with Abram giving the goods he won from the battle to his allies and Melchizedek is not mentioned again until Psalm 110:4, and Hebrews 5-7.

*Chapter 15 Later on God speaks to Abram in a vision reassuring him that he will have a son eventually. When Abram asks how he can be sure God tells him to make a sacrifice. While Abram is making his sacrifice to God, he suddenly falls into a deep sleep and has a horrible nightmare. Then the Lord tells Abram that one day his descendants will be oppressed slaves in a foreign land but eventually delivered and their enemies will be punished. Then he tells Abram he will die an old man in peace. As the sun went down Abram saw a smoking firepot and a flaming torch pass between his animal sacrifices and God goes into more detail about the land that Abrams descendants will eventually inherit.

*Chapter 16 After such a personal encounter with the creator of the universe you would think that Abram would be well behaved , at least for a little while, but instead, he and his wife Sarai decide that they are going to have a child on their terms-not Gods. So Sarai gives Abram her servant, Hagar, to have sex with so that they can have a child before they both get too old. I’m sure Sarai really had to twist Abrams arm to talk him into that one. As you can imagine, that plan back fires because once Hagar gets pregnant, she starts treating Sarai with contempt (can you blame her?!). Then Sarai has the audacity to blame Abram and tell him that God is going to punish him. She then treated Hagar “harshly” which I interpret as abusive. Poor knocked up Hagar runs away to a desert spring (probably not as 4 star as it sounds), and an angel of the Lord comes to Hagar and tells her to return to Sarai and submit to her authority. Then the angel makes a similar promise to her that was made to Abram (she is carrying Abrams child after all), that she will have more descendants than she can imagine. He also tells her that she is to name her baby boy Ishmael. The angel goes on to say that Ishmael is going to be a wild child from the get-go, with a free spirit and he is compared to a donkey saying that he will be against everyone and everyone will be against him….poor Hagar. She doesn’t react anything like I would, she instead gets excited and nick names God, “the God who sees me.” She returns to Abram and gives birth to his son Ishmael when Abram was 86 years old. I am putting on my “Team Hagar” shirt as we speak. What a woman!

*Chapter 17 Fast forward 13 years and God is still consistent. He speaks to Abram again and reminds him of the covenant to give him many descendants. Abram falls face down in the dust which is very interesting to me because God has spoken to him so many times before, but this time he has this kind of reaction? Maybe it was because he hadn’t heard from God in over a decade. Anyways, after God repeats his covenant, he tells Abram that his name is now to be changed to Abraham and then God introduces circumcision as Abrahams part of the covenant. God tells him that all currant males in the household, future male descendants, and male servants need to have their foreskin removed. God changes Sarai’s name to Sarah and tells Abraham that Sarah will bear a son in a year that is to be named Isaac. Abraham responds by laughing to himself and saying, “Ya right!” God continues on by telling Abraham that not only will Isaac enjoy many blessings but so will Ishmael. Abraham wastes no time and takes Ishmael (who is now 13 years old) and every male in his household and circumcises them all….ouch.

*Chapter 18 starts off soon after the circumcision with 3 visitors coming to Abraham’s house. Two of them are angels and one of them is God himself. The three of them are disguised as men and come to visit Abraham and Sarah to reiterate that in a year, Sarah will have son, and that they will be returning during that time. Sarah is eavesdropping nearby and her reaction to her having a child within the year is, “Ya right.” God of course hears this doubt and asked Abraham why Sarah laughed, because nothing is too difficult for God to do. So, when Sarah is confronted, she denies ever laughing….I think I’m becoming less and less of a Sarah fan as I read… The rest of the chapter is God telling Abraham that he is planning on destroying Sodom and Gomorrah because the people that reside there are, “extremely evil, and everything they do is wicked.” Keep in mind that Abraham’s nephew Lot and his family live there because it can help explain what Abraham does next: He spends the next 9 verses bargaining with God. What an ego! But ever patient, God bargains back with him about how many innocent people there would have to be in Sodom and Gomorrah before he would reconsider destroying everything, and they settle (as if God didn’t already know) on 10. If there are 10 innocent people God will not destroy Sodom and Gomorrah.

*Chapter 19 Turns out their aren’t 10 innocent people in Sodom and Gomorrah because in this chapter the cities are reduced to rubble. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Chapter 19 starts out with the two angels entering the city of Sodom and going strait to Lot’s house. Lot washes their feet and prepares a feast for them. Just before bedtime, every male in the city (a huge number, I imagine) surround Lot’s house and demand that he send the two men (the angels in disguise) so that they can have sex with them. Lot pleads with them to have sex with his virgin daughters instead, which infuriated the gay men. They attacked Lot but the angels pulled him back inside and blinded the men of Sodom so they could not get in the door of Lot’s house. The angels then tell Lot to get himself and his relatives out of the city because it was going to be destroyed. Lot tries to round up his daughters fiancés but they don’t believe him. At dawn the next morning the angels urge Lot even more to leave. Lot still hesitates and the angels grab his hands and the hands of his wife and daughters and force them to leave the city telling them not to look back. Apparently, bargaining runs in the family because as the angels are leading Lot to the mountains, he asks that they take him and his family to a small village instead, because he is afraid that disaster will catch up with him in the mountains. The angels concede and take the family to a village that is later named Zoar (meaning “little”). Just then a fire storm of sulfur rains down upon Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot’s wife makes the mistake of looking back and she is immediately turned into a pillar of salt. A while later Lot becomes afraid of the people of Zoar, so he and his daughters move to the mountains, which I guess are not as scary as he thought they were when the angels were trying to get him to move there. Anyways, brace yourself for the last part of chapter 19. While in the mountains, Lot’s daughters take it upon themselves to preserve their family line by getting their father drunk and having sex with him since there are no other men in the mountains…..eww. Both of them get pregnant by their father (Lot) and give birth to Moab and Ben-ammi double eww. But God still blesses Lot’s children/grandchildren by making them the ancestors of great nations, the Moabites and the Ammonites.

*Chapter 20 sure made me feel better about my own spiritual short comings, because for the second time Abraham pretends that Sarah is his sister when they move to a town called Gerar. Just like chapter 12, the king takes Sarah to live with him in the palace This time, God intercedes and makes it so King Abimelech never touches Sarah and warns him that she is married. Abimelech argues that he had no idea he was about to sin with a married woman (I think he kind of has a point here). God makes all the women in the kingdom infertile until Sarah is returned to Abraham. Of course Abimelech is furious with Abraham for making him sin. Abraham cops out with the whole, “It wasn’t a total lie, she is my half sister” excuse and then the king gives Abraham livestock, silver, and his choice of where he wants to live in the kingdom. God removes the infertility curse and everything goes back to normal.

*Chapter 21 This is when God finally fulfills his promise to Abraham and his wife Sarah by giving them a son. He names the boy Isaac and he circumcises him on the eighth day of life, just as he was told to by God. When Isaac grows up and is weaned, Abraham throws him a party. At the party, Sarah notices that Ishmael is making fun of Isaac and then promptly comes to the conclusion that this little blended family-co-parenting-situation is not working for her anymore. She kicks Hagar out and when Abraham gets upset God tells him to get over it, and to do what his wife says. Hagar and Ishmael wander around the wilderness until they are almost dehydrated to death. Hagar cries as she leaves Ishmael 100 yards away because she can’t bear to watch him suffer. She is visited by an angel who tells her that the Lord has heard her prayers and for her to go back to Ishmael because God was going to give him many descendants. As God opens Hagar’s eyes there is a well in front of her and her and Ishmael drink. Then there is a brief epilogue stating that Ishmael became and expert archer and his mother arranged a marriage for him with an Egyptian girl. Go team Hagar! The last part of this chapter comes out of left field for me. It is about King Abimelech (from chapter 20, the one Abraham deceived) finding Abraham and making sure that he will never deceive him or his offspring. Then they talk over a fight that broke out between their servants, exchange some livestock and go on about their business.

*Chapter 22 The most famous part of the Abraham story. The almost sacrifice of his beloved son, Isaac. God tells Abraham to go to the land of Moriah (about a 50 mile journey), and to sacrifice Isaac. Just as Abraham lifts a knife to Isaac, an angel stops him and tells him that God was just making sure that Abraham was still faithful. So, Abraham sacrifices a ram instead and God speaks to Abraham from heaven telling him yet again that he would have many descendants. Soon after this, Abraham gets word that his brother Nahor has eight sons, and that one of his sons Bethuel , has a daughter named Rebekah (remember her, she is very important). Then it mentions the kids Nahor has from his concubine.

*Chapter 23 (don’t worry there are only 3 chapters to go until the end of Abrahams story) Sarah dies at the ripe old age of 127. Abraham was devastated. She dies while they were in Hebron and the people of this city agreed to give Abraham any place he wanted to have to bury Sarah. Even though Abraham offered them money the wanted to give him the burial plot for free. Abraham ends up insisting on paying him something, and Sarah was burried in the cave of Machpelah.

*Chapter 24 Abraham is getting very old by this point in the story, and he gets to thinking about how Isaac is going to survive without him. He wants Isaac to have a wife, so he sends his servant Eliezer to find someone suitable for Isaac. Abraham has a few stipulations though. First, she must be from his homeland, second, Isaac was not to accompany him, third, the bride-to-be was to come back with Eliezer immediately. Abraham tells Eliezer that God has sent an angel ahead of him to make sure there was a good wife there for Isaac. Eliezer takes off on the journey and when he reaches a spring to take a water break, he prays to God for a sign. He wants a girl to offer him and his camels water, as a sign that she is the one God wants for Isaac. Sure enough, while he is in mid-prayer, Rebekah (from chapter 22) comes to the spring and gives Eliezer and his camels water. He praises the Lord and asks Rebekah to take him to her parents. After meeting her parents they all decide that Rebekah is meant to go with Eliezer and is to be married to Isaac. And now for one of the great, “How I met your mother stories” of the bible. As they approach the city where Isaac is, Rebekah sees her husband-to-be and it is love at first sight. She dismounts from her horse, and covers her face with a veil. Isaac is staring at her mesmerized while Eliezer tells him the whole story. They immediately go into a tent and get married….and probably consummate their union as well…at least this is how it happens in my imagination.

*Chapter 25:1-18 Okay, this is the last official part of the story of Abraham. It concludes like any good blockbuster, with death. But before that, he does what any God fearing man does after their wife dies…. He gets himself another wife (named Keturah), and a couple of concubines and starts having babies with them. He lives another 175 years and when he dies, Isaac and Ishmael burry him next to Sarah. Then there is a list of Ishmael’s descendants noting that he had twelve sons that have 12 tribes named after them. Ishmael died at the age of 137 and it says he joined his ancestors in death which I think means that he went to “the place of comfort” section in Hades to wait for Jesus to take him to heaven (refer to the “questions…..”section in my Adam and Eve blog for more on where people in the Old Testament went when they died.).

Things I loved

*14:17 Melchizedek…..I love a great mystery.

*16:9 God tells Hagar to return to her abusive master (Sarai). This seems very unfair on first read, but it teaches a great lesson in submission. God calls on us to submit to our earthly masters (our husband, boss, parents, etc.), even when they are not being kind to us. Keep in mind that when we obey our earthly masters no matter what the cost, we are actually showing respect to God (Ephesians 5:12), because God has put them in charge of us for a reason.

*16:12 God knows our personality before we are born. When Hagar is prego with Ishmael, she runs away and is visited by an angel who tells her among other things, what to expect from her son. The angel goes into great detail of the type of personality Ishmael is going to have. I love that God knows our personality and our destination in life before we are even born.

*17:20 When Abraham asks for God to bless Ishmael, he does, even though Isaac was the son that God intended to bless.

*18: 22 Abraham begs for mercy and God is very patient. This is the part where Abraham bargains with God to spare the innocent in Sodom presumably because Lot and his family reside there. God doesn’t yell at him and say, “how dare you question me?!!!” Instead he is patient and humors Abraham by engaging in his bargaining.

*21:12 God insists on a peaceful home. When Hagar and Sarah are having yet another fight (I’m sure their little co-habitation scenario was like MTV’s the Real World) Sarah kicks Hagar and Ishmael out of the house. Even though Abraham is upset at this, God tells him to let them go. I translate this as God showing how much he values a peaceful home.

*25:9 The brothers reunite to burry their Dad. I’m not sure how much actual animosity was present between Ishmael and Isaac. I think the conflict was more with the grown-ups. But naturally there might have been some tension between the boys. If I were Ishmael, I would be most upset over the fact that I had to get circumcised when I was 13 verses being circumcised as a baby like Isaac. Whatever issues there might have been, they made peace long enough to have a funeral for Abraham.

Things I did not love:

*Abraham has always been so glorified. Yes, he did do many great things. He was obedient at times and faithful to God. But when I think of that song about him I sang as a kid at vacation bible school, I feel like I have been deceived! You know the one I’m talking about:

Father Abraham had many sons,
many sons had father Abraham,
For I am one of them.
And so are you,
So lets just praise the Lord….

Why didn’t that song tell the whole story? I guess the words adultery, and concubines were a mouthful for school-aged children, but up until I became an adult and read his story myself, I had no clue that he ever sinned because all we ever hear about him is how great he was!

Questions to ask God when I get to Heaven:

*17:9 Why circumcision? As the mother of a little boy, I can tell you the circumcision ritual seems kind of barbaric, couldn’t God have chosen something else for Abraham to do to hold up his end of the deal?

*16:16 When did 86 become old? This verse is the end of chapter 16 when Hagar gives Abraham a son. It was decided that Abraham would have a baby with Hagar because he and Sarah were getting too old. It was just a few chapters ago when Noah and everyone else on earth was popping out kids when they were over half a century old…what the heck?

*19:2 Did Lot know that the two men were angels before he invited them to his house?

*19:8 Why would Lot rather protect his guests (the angels) from being gang raped than his daughters virginity? Was hospitality that important? If Lot knew that they were angels he would have known that God would not have allowed them to be raped.

*19:18 Why did God punish Abimelech and his family even though they were innocent?

*22:10 How old was Isaac when his dad tried to sacrifice him? Did he know what was going on when his Dad tied him up?

Questions that got answered while doing this Bible study:

*14:17, and Hebrews 5-7 Melchizedek. No, I did not get all of my questions answered about him. But in researching him I have learned a lot. Here is what I know for sure: Mel was of a higher spiritual standings than Abraham because Abraham tithed 10% of all the goods he recovered from battle. Mel recognized God as the “Most High.” Mel did not have parents…some interpret this as him being and angel or a pre- incarnate Christ, but he could have just been an orphan. He was considered a king and referred to as, the King of Salem which means the king of peace. Here are the main theories about him: 1. He was a respected King in the region, 2. He was a type of Christ, 3. He was an angel…What do you think?

*19:26 Lot’s wife turns to a pillar of salt, literally? Or was that just an expression? At first I was sure this was some sort of expression. I mean, I know God is capable of doing this, but why would he choose to turn her into a salt lick? I think if this was a metaphor, it would be a metaphor for death because we know that Lot’s wife is not around anymore after this. So, why then is this “metaphor” not used anywhere else in the bible to describe death? If this was a common phrase used during this time, we would have heard this phrase throughout the bible which we do not. So yes, in my opinion literally she was turned to a pillar of salt…..what a way to die!

*Are Ishmael and Isaac to blame for the currant wars in the middle East? It has been said that there can be no “peace in the middle East” because of the whole Ishmael/Isaac thing. In my opinion, this is NOT true. I have not found any evidence that Ishmael and Isaac were enemies. The only thing close, was Ishmael making fun of Isaac when Isaac was a baby, but that just sounds to me like good old fashioned brotherhood to me. I think the animosity that did exist was between Hagar, Sarah, and Abraham. In verse 25:9, it states that the two brothers reunited to bury their father Abraham, so their couldn’t have been too much hatred between them. I think that the continuing battles between Jews and Arabs in the middle east today are because of religious and geographical misunderstandings and differences. I still believe that there is hope for , “peace in the Middle East.”

Final thoughts:

God wants to (and does) bless us in spite of our sins. When I think of Abraham, I know I should reflect upon his faithfulness, but instead, I can‘t help but think of how many mistakes he made. I don’t want this to minimize the miraculous amount of faith it took for him to leave his homeland without so much as a name of the destination, or how obedient it was of him to almost sacrifice Isaac, but for some reason all I could focus on while reading his story was his mistakes. He lied, he had affairs, he was impatient, he was a human. Regardless, God chose him, blessed him, and never turned his back on him.

On a personal note, this is a very powerful lesson to me because since the birth of my daughter, I have been waiting for God to pull the plug on my blessings. I used to think that Isabelle was the result of three solid years of direct and deliberate sin on my part. Now I know she is the direct, deliberate result of Gods grace and mercy. She was born into chaos but healthy nonetheless. So from the time she was born I have been waiting to reap the consequences of all the things that lead to her birth. I waited, and she only grew stronger and more beautiful every day…..5 months later we were both saved from the clutches of an abusive man through a series of miracles. Once we were safe, I waited for my well deserved punishment….a year later I met my husband, the one God made just for me that I should have waited for in the first place, but didn’t… I waited for him to leave,…….one year later he gave me a ring, and gave Isabelle a father…..still I waited. I waited for the catch, it was too good to be true….…then we got married…….okay, now God will finally punish me, my husband is going to leave me…..a year later we had our son, perfect and healthy, I have been waiting for the bottom to fall out ever since. For some reason God chose me to bless. Yes, I chose him too…eventually. But how many mistakes have I made along the way? And How many times has God blessed me before I even thought to ask for his forgiveness? Countless.

Grace. God does not bless us because of our good deeds. God blesses us in spite of our bad ones, with infinite patience, mercy and love. From my earthly perception there is no rhyme or reason to who or why God blesses, all I know is that he does.


*The earthly author of Genesis was probably Moses. He wrote Genesis between 1450-1410 B.C. which is the time period from when Moses lead the Israelites out of Egypt to when he died. The oldest biblical manuscripts of Genesis were found among the Dead Sea Scrolls (a collection of about 900 documents discovered between 1947-1956 in 11 caves in and around the northeast shore of the Dead Sea) , while all the newer copies of Genesis are found among the Codex Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, The Masoretic Text, and the Samaritan and Syriac texts.

*All of my research as been through prayer, the Life Application Study Bible: The New Living Translation,,, discussions with fellow believers, discussions with pastors, and one of the blogs I follow:


The Classic Crime - Salt In The Snow
From the album The Silver Cord

Give me wings, give me peace
These are the things that I need
I’m tormented, broken and shamed
Are you listening?
Give me shelter from the storm,
I know it’s a lot to ask for
considering how recent I’ve piled the dirt on your name
Are you listening?

I have heard that winter’s cold will give way to summers warmth,
Oh no! Like salt in the snow I’m melted and left all alone on the side of the road

Is this where I am for your sake, stuck between sleep and awake? My mind is dreaming of things. Are you listening?
I took you for granted again and threw you aside and pretended for one minute that I had control of my life and direction it seemed to be in
I was wrong again, are you listening?
I will wait for you to come again,
and I can’t pretend like I’m confident
and I can’t pretend like it makes much sense when it doesn’t

I have heard that winter’s cold will give way to summers warmth,
Oh no! Like salt in the snow I’m melted and left all alone on the side of the road

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Silence is Golden

Why is silence so uncomfortable? I am finding resolution #3 (spend a 24 hour period in complete silence) very frightening. It is the only one of my resolutions I have not worked on yet. How often do we really experience silence-especially in our own homes? How many daily moments do we spend without musical or television background noise, cell phones ringing, kids talking, car horns honking, and the neighbors dogs barking? My answer is zero. Tonight John is out with the boys racing and the kids have been put to bed. With no TV and no radio on (I don’t want to wake the kids), I am finding myself jumping at the very sound of the icemaker. When I stop typing the quiet is too much. So I got to thinking of my pending day of silence. When I wrote that goal, I hadn’t really given it much thought. Do I want 24 hours of silence around me, or do I want to be around noise and I have to remain silent? The reasoning behind this resolution is because my mouth is constantly getting me in trouble. I am always saying to much. I don‘t listen, I wait to talk, and sometimes I don‘t even wait. So I guess that answers one of my questions. My 24 hours of silence will be me keeping my big mouth shut with the world talking around me (maybe next year I will attempt a day without sound around me). So how do I do this? I have to do it on a weekend because I would get fired if I didn’t talk at work, but how will my kids react? Belle might understand and I can write her notes but Garrett won’t understand he is still too little and might think that I am ignoring him. If I do a day of silence without my family, that kind of negates the purpose of my little experiment. I want to NOT talk when things are going on around me, I want to watch and listen. Any ideas/thoughts on how I am going to pull this off?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Recipe For a Great Valentines Day!

The best thing about being on a tight budget for Valentines Day (thanks again resolution #1), is that we are all forced to give presents from the heart (aka presents that are free). I had pink construction paper hearts left over from Isabelle's class party. I wrote things on them that I loved about the kids and taped them all over the house for them to find. Then I made an X rated heart for my hubby with pictures and everything! I got up early and made heart shaped least I attempted to, its the thought that counts right? My husband made me a homemade card chronicling our life together. To my surprise it was the best Valentines Day I ever had. No pressure, no crushed expectations, no kids on sugar highs. To my even greater surprise my kids loved it. They loved finding all of the pink construction paper hearts and reading (or hearing, since I had to read them to my 3 year old) all the ways that they were special to me. Money or not, every year I will be doing some variation of this recipe for a great Valentines Day.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Noah: Genesis 6:1-11:32

Angelic Intercourse, Arks, and A Construction Foreman’s Nightmare!.....This is Entertainment Tonight...I mean...This is the story of the great flood and the city of Babel....

It appears as though all of my Bible blogs are going to be more lengthy than the passages in the Bible from which the came, so from now on, if you see a Bible blog, plan on skimming it or setting aside an adequate amount of time to read it. I will format them all as follows (in list form to make it more reader friendly):
General Summary,
Things I loved,
Things I did not love,
Questions to ask God when I get to Heaven,
Questions that got answered by doing this Bible study,
Final thoughts, and

General Summary:

*Chapter 6 begins with some very shocking details. I had to keep flipping to the cover of my Bible to make sure I wasn’t accidentally reading a tabloid. Verses 1-4 are all about fallen angels having sex with mortals and creating giants….but there is a large debate about this (refer to the, “Questions to ask when I get to Heaven” section). God gets fed up with how wicked everyone has gotten on earth so he gives them 120 years to change there ways…I think (this is also up for debate, and is further discussed under the “Questions to ask when I get to heaven” section). As God looks down upon how horrible things have gotten since the fall, he becomes very sad and decides to wipe out the entire human race except for a man named Noah, and his family. God tells Noah about his plan for humanity to start over again by destroying everyone and everything in a massive flood. He tells Noah to build a boat and even gives him the blueprint to build it so that he, his family, and some animals are safe from the flood waters.

*Chapter 7 God tells Noah that he has one more week until the 40 days and 40 nights of rain begin, and then he gives him some more specific directions on how many animals to bring on the ark. So, the day comes and all the animals hop on board, so to speak, and the rain begins. But not only is it rain falling from the sky, it is coming from underneath the ground as well. This chapter mentions twice that Noah is 600 years old when this happens. The chapter closes by going into details as to the immensity of the flood, at one point describing the flood waters to be 22 feet (approximated from the Hebrew measurement of 15 cubits) above the highest mountain peak.

*Chapter 8 Once all living things outside of the boat have been adequately destroyed, God sends the wind to begin drying up all of the water. After 150 days the boat comes to rest on top of a mountain. Then 2 months later the flood waters receded enough to show other mountain peaks. Forty days after that, Noah opens a window and releases a raven, and then a dove to see if they can find dry land. But the dove comes back, so 7 days later Noah sends the dove out again and it returns with an olive branch in it’s beak. Noah knew that the water was almost gone. He waits another week and sends the dove out and this time it does not come back. What a time of celebration that must have been!!! God told Noah to leave the boat, and release the animals (what a time of celebration that must have been for the animals!). Then Noah builds an altar and makes an animal sacrifice. It is then that God makes his promise to Noah to never destroy all living things even though he knows that humans will continue to sin.

*Chapter 9 God blesses Noah and his family and tells them to re-populate the earth. Then he gives them power over the animals and tells them they are only to eat animals that are dead (Were they eating animals that were alive before?), and that murder is forbidden, and then he restates that they need to go and repopulate the earth. Then he repeats his promise to Noah and his sons about never flooding the earth again and tells them that a rainbow in the sky is a reminder of this promise. God sure does have to repeat himself a lot! Maybe it was to make a point to the readers that these facts hold some sort of importance, or maybe it was because Noah was so dang old he couldn’t hear. Then there is a funny little story about Noah getting drunk and naked and one of his sons, Ham (yes that was his real name), telling his brothers about his fathers nakedness instead of immediately covering him. Noah’s two other sons cover up their lush-of-a father and when Noah wakes up, he is furious with Ham so he curses all of Ham’s descendants (the Canaanites). Then he blesses the descendants of his other sons, Shem and Japheth. Lastly, this chapter states that Noah lived another 350 years, making him 950 years old when he died.

*Chapter 10 This is a chapter of genealogy lists for each of Noah’s sons. No disappearing Enoch’s here (like Chapter 5), just a good old long boring list. Japheth list is the shortest, and it closes by saying that his descendants became “seafaring peoples in various lands.” Next is Ham’s list which is longer than the list of Japheth’s descendants mainly because in the middle of the list, there is a lengthy description of a man named Nimrod. Apparently, Nimrod was a “heroic warrior in God’s sight,” and was famous even after he died. Chapter 10 ends with the descendants of Shem and it is pointed out that Shem was the older brother of Japheth.

*Chapter 11 The story of Babel. At this point in history people all spoke the same language, but because of their sinful ways God had to change that. You see, for some reason the people that settled in the land of Babylonia thought it would be a great idea to build a monument to their own greatness. When God saw that they were working together for bad, instead of good, he decided to strike them down and make them all speak different languages so they could no longer communicate and team up to build monuments to themselves. Last in chapter 11, is the prelude to the story of one of the most well known characters in the bible, Abraham. The prelude starts with another genealogy list linking Shem (Noah’s son) to a man named Terah. Terah had three sons mentioned in this passage: Nahor, Haran, and Abram (later to be named Abraham….)

-Haran has a son named Lot
-Abram married a woman named Sarai (who is later named Sarah) who was unable to have children.
-Nahor married Milcah Lot’s sister (It doesn’t say if Milcah was the daughter of Haran or nor, she could have been Lot’s half sister).

Are you still with me? These genealogies can be so confusing. So next, Haran dies leaving his son Lot, so Terah decides to take Abram, Abrams wife Sarai, and his grandson Lot to the city of Canaan, but they never make it and instead settle in the village of Haran.

Things I loved:

*6:20 Noah did not question or complain (unlike some other people we will read about in upcoming chapters and books). Even before Noah was told to build the ark he was faithful to God. So faithful in fact, that he and his family alone were chosen to survive the flood. When God told him to build the ark, he did it. He didn’t bother to ask God the details like, “how am I supposed to gather all these animals,” or, “how long is this gonna take?” He just said, “yes, sir” and let God handle the details….which of course God did.

*7:16 “The lord shut them in” I believe that this actually physically happened, I believe that God shut the door in a literal sense but I also believe that God shutting the door is a beautiful metaphor for the assurance that God was present and going to protect Noah’s family. It could have read, “Noah and his sons developed a lever/pulley system to close the boats door” but no, there was no need. God shut the door, God took care of it and took care of them.

*9:16 The creation of rainbows, and the promise that they represent. Enough said.

*We get to see more examples of Gods personality traits. He was powerful enough to flood the entire planet, he was fair in punishing wicked and rewarding good, he was faithful in keeping his promise to Noah.

Things I did not love:

*I could not find one thing I did not love. I’m a little bummed that we all have to speak different languages now because that means I have lot of work to do learning different languages before I can travel abroad, but mostly I just loved everything I read. It had all the makings of a great story: scandal, awe, love, anger, redemption and a 601 year old man getting drunk and naked. What‘s not to love?

Questions to ask God when I get to Heaven:

*6:3 How should I interpret God saying, “My spirit will not put up with humans for such a long time, for they are only mortal flesh. In the future, they will live no more than 120 years.” I used to think that this meant that humans were not allowed to live to be over 120 years old but in chapter 11 the genealogy list has people that lived to be over 400 years old. It has also been suggested that this was Gods warning before the flood that the people had 120 to change their evil ways, but why would he give them the time when he knew that they weren’t going to change? Was it to give Noah time to build the ark?

*6:1 Did fallen angels really impregnate mortals to create giants? Let me be clear. The beginning of chapter 6 does not use the word “angels,” but rather the term “Sons of God.” It is assumed that the, “Sons of God” mentioned in chapter 6 are angels because when the phrase, “Sons of God” is used else where in the Old Testament, it is in reference to angels. There is also a theory that the “Sons of God” were the product of Seth’s descendants breeding with Cain‘s descendants. Because Cain was a murderer, his descendants would have been a bad influence on Seth’s descendants creating evil to take over.

*Have all of Cain’s descendants been wiped off the face of the earth? Noah was a descendant of Seth, but what about Noah’s wife and Noah’s daughter -in-laws? Were they a descendant of Cain or Seth?

*7:9 How did all of those animals get on the ark? According to my 7 year old who is reading this over my shoulder as I type, her bible says that God “sent” them. So I guess that answers that question. I guess that I will have to ask God to elaborate. Did he send them all at once when the ark was ready, or did he send them little by little over the years?

*7:6 and 7:11 Why does the Bible constantly remind us that everyone lived for many centuries? Was God bragging or does he need us to know these peoples ages for a specific reason?

*10:6 Why were Ham’s descendants successful even after Noah cursed them? Nimrod, who God refers to as a great warrior was one of Hams descendants.

*11:7 and 1:26 God referrers to himself in plural form. I ignored this when I read it in 1:26 but when I read it again it made me wonder…was he talking about himself, Jesus and the Holy Spirit? Or maybe himself and a team of angels?

*11:27-32 Was is just a coincidence that Terah had a son named Haran and then settled in a town called Haran?

Questions that got answered while doing this bible study:

*6:6 Did God regret creating humans? As God is looking down upon the earth at all the sin, my bible says that he was, “sorry he had ever made them” I used to think this was God filled with regret and admitting to making a mistake. But the more of the Bible I read, the more I understand that it would be impossible for God to make a mistake, or to change his mind. God knows the outcome of every creature he creates yet he continues to create them and watch them screw up. My bible translation says at the end of verse 6, “It broke his heart.” I think his earlier rant about how he was sorry he ever made them was an expression of his sorrow and him feeling sorry for the decisions they were making, and for the fact that he was going to have to destroy them.

*6:7 Why a flood? Why not a disease? We know that God is capable of selective extermination because he kept all the Israelites from the plagues during the story of Moses. So why didn’t he use that same method here? I did not find the answer to this question in any text. The more I thought of it the more the flood made sense to me. If God would have struck everyone down with an illness, archeologist today could have just attributed it to an epidemic. But because God did a massive flood, he left earthly evidence for modern day man to find, therefore proving that what is written in the bible is true, which would make skeptics wonder if the rest of the Bible stories are true as well.

*6:9 Was Noah sinless? I knew that Jesus was the only one ever to be sinless but all we ever hear about Noah was how favored he was by God for his obedience and faithfulness. My bible uses the word “blameless” to describe him. But he was by no means sinless. Maybe Noah and his family were the only ones who made animal sacrifices after their sins, so they were forgiven. I guess that is why God still saved them from the flood even though God knew that after the flood (a story that showcases Noah’s attributes), the whole drunken-tent-flashing incident happens. Which partially answers my next question:

*9:21 Why was the drunken-tent-flashing incident included in the Bible? From what I can see, it was included so that we see that Noah was not sinless. And also to show the character of Noah’s sons. Ham did not cover his fathers nakedness, but the other boys did. This gives us insight into the type of people Noah‘s sons were. Which in turn gives us insight into the personality of Abraham, one of Shem’s descendants.

*7:2 Why did God need animal sacrifices in the Old Testament , but he doesn’t now? Animal sacrifices were necessary to repent for sin. Why animals? They were sinless. We don’t need them anymore because Jesus, who was sinless, was our sacrifice which is why he is sometimes referred to as “the lamb” (and all this time I thought he was “the lamb” because he was so gentle, I should have paid more attention in Sunday School instead of checking out all the boys in my class).

*7:4 Was the flood was the first time the earth had seen rain? Most likely yes. Rain is mentioned in the Bible for the first time in 7:4. During creation, and the Adam and Eve story (Genesis 2:6), vegetation was kept watered by H2O coming up out of the ground.

Final Thoughts:

God is the perfect parent. On first read, it seems harsh of God to kill almost everyone of his children because they were making bad choices. But it wasn’t just bad choices they were making, Noah was not sinless, he made bad choices, and God saved him. The people God killed were not just being disobedient- they were evil. God wiping out all of the evil people on earth was done to protect not only Noah, but to protect all future generations. Yes, there is still evil in the world today, but imagine if God had not wiped out the evil people of Noah’s day. They would have kept breeding and bring more and more evil into the world and Noah’s family could not have birthed enough good children to kept up with their pace.

The closest hypothetical earthly comparison I can think of, would be this: I have two children, Jane and Joe. Jane decides to do drugs and eventually becomes an addict causing her to be violent and untrustworthy. Joe grows up and makes good choices, he is not sinless, but he tries hard and is obedient to me. After repeated attempts to get Jane into rehab, she just gets worse and she is becoming a major threat to Joe. As a parent, my two choices would be to keep Jane in the house and endanger the rest of the family, or I could implement tough love and kick her our of the house. If I chose to keep her in the house, her bad influence could eventually wear off on Joe or she could harm him physically. If I kicked her out, I would be devastated, but I would be putting an end to the evil influence that she had brought into my household (Hey, I think I just created my very own parable).

****Prayer break: Dear Jesus, Please protect my children from evil. Please do not ever allow me and John to be in a position where we would have to make the same hypothetical decision I mentioned above. Bless the parents of children that do have to make these kinds of decisions, give them comfort, wisdom and peace. Amen.***

God must have been so hurt having to watch his children drown. Evil or not, they were still his children, his creations. He did not love Noah’s family more than he loved the ones who perished in the flood. The decision that he made was not a happy one, but a necessary one.

The fact that God is a perfect parent is one of the major things I got out of reading this. There are so many other obvious lessons to be learned from the flood and the city of Babel. Fear and reverence of God, obedience to his wishes, and of course, the main theme of the Bible that is echoed in every chapter I read: Love. The consistent, unwavering love of God for his children.


*When converted to modern day measurements, Noah’s ark was 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high, with three decks inside.

*Scholars estimate that almost 45,000 animals could have fit on the ark

*Noah and his family were on the ark for approximately 370 days

*All of my research as been through prayer, the Life Application Study Bible: The New Living Translation,, and