Sunday, August 19, 2018

Isaiah 7

We had a guest speaker (Dr. Todd S. Beall) this Sunday who spoke on Isaiah 7, and it was really encouraging. We started with reading Matthew 1:18-25, which seems random to read in August but it references the prophecy given in Isaiah 7. Here are the notes!

God's Plans vs. Our Plans
Isaiah 7:1-25

  1. A crisis of faith and God's reassuring promise (7:1-9)
    • Israel/Syria wants to replace Judah's King Ahaz. God says it won't happen.
  2. An unbelieving king (7:10-12)
    • God commands Ahaz to ask for a sign. Ahaz says no.
    • A fun thought: if God gave you an incredible promise and told you to ask for a sign, what would you request as a sign?
  3. An amazing sign of deliverance (7:13-16)
    • A miraculous conception (7:14a)
      • pregnant virgin, referenced in Matthew 1
    • A comforting name (7:14b)
      • Immanuel - God with us. The miracle of the incarnation.
    • A promise of deliverance, both now and in the future (7:15-16, 8:5-10)
      • the threatening countries would be deserted when the Child is born
  4. A reminder of the foolishness of man's ways (7:17-25)
    • Ahaz's hired army of Assyria would devastate Judah
  1. Can we fathom God's plans and God's ways?
    • maybe my short-sighted plan is good enough => BAD IDEA
  2. Do we trust God, no matter what?

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Hershey's Gold Review

Alternate title: My quest for Hershey's Gold.
I forgot where I first saw an ad for Hershey's Gold, the new candy bar from Hershey's, but it seemed tasty and I was intrigued. I thought I'd pick up a bar if I saw it in a store while I shopped.
And then I started watching the Olympics. I am a fan of Speed Skating and Apolo Ohno but those commercials are pervasive (granted, not annoying, just repetitive). I then decided I needed to try this new candy bar. And thus began my/our quest (I got my husband to help me).
I added the candy bar to our grocery list, so Mark looked for it when he was at Wegman's. He looked in the candy aisle and in the checkout area, but alas he did not see it anywhere! It was a sad day, and slightly puzzling because we do not live in a rural area and we expect to be able to find any food we desire. I know, First World Problems.
The next time we were out, we were by Target so we looked there. Alas, another strikeout!!! Where is this candy???
I then made it my quest on President's Day, as I ran errands, to find this candy bar. My first stop was Walmart, and there were some empty areas on the Hershey's shelf in the candy aisle but none of the tags mentioned Gold so I was sad. I looked in the checkout as I was checking out and still didn't find it. WHY.
I needed some fresh groceries so I went to Aldi's and didn't expect to find Hershey's Gold and I was correct - no Hershey's Gold there but I did get a load of fresh produce for under $8 which was cool.
My last stop of the day (unless I didn't find Hershey's Gold at which point I'm not sure where I'd look) was CVS. I looked all over the candy aisle and NO GOLD. I was sad. I decided to just check the front checkout and GOLD GOLD GOLD THEY HAD GOLD so I bought a bar.
We planned to try the bar that night, but we had a very filling dinner so it just sat on the table. The next evening, Mark was out but I opened the bar and limited myself to one three-piece chunk (the bar is interestingly perforated) and somehow I was able to keep myself to that limit.

IT IS DELICIOUS. If you like caramelized creme, peanuts, and pretzels, this is the candy bar for you! If you are expecting chocolaty goodness, look elsewhere - this bar is not chocolate. But this bar is different, it's sweet and salty and has some crunch and I would like more places to carry it!!!

I would like another piece but alas, when Mark came home, we broke off one three-piece chunk at a time and shared it but we ate the whole thing. Do I want to know how many servings are in this? I dare to look and WOOHOO it's a two serving bar so we are good! I won't look at the nutrition facts because seriously people, this is a candy bar.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

James chapter 1

We had a guest speaker, Jim Schuppe, do an excellent series on James. Here are my notes from the first three sessions - I found them rewarding and thought I'd share.

Friends We Deplore - Trials (James 1:1-12)
1. Count it all joy - make a choice to see it as good. Thank God for trials. Don't ask why it was taken away; ask why it was given.
2. Go through the trial fully (completely). It will produce patience/endurance/maturity.
3. Ask God for wisdom. He will give it.
4. Ask in faith (no doubts). Faith is not a feeling/emotion - it is an action. 
5. Rejoice in your status change. "to those who love Him"

Terrorists We Adore - Temptations (James 1:13-20)
Five Deceptions/Rationalizations:
1. God made me this way and I can't help it (victim). See Adam & Eve - Genesis 3.
2. The Devil made me do it. Actually: 
 a. Drawn away by desires (normal, human, not necessarily bad).  
 b. Enticed (baited) - offer for wrong fulfillment. 
 c. Sin (action) - grabbing the bait.
3. It won't kill me / hurt me / I can do this and get away with it - FALSE. Many examples. God's way is best.
4. The Devil has better offers / more fun - Satan takes, doesn't give, and doesn't stick around.
5. I can do this myself - rather: 
 a. Listen.
 b. Speak truth to yourself and speak carefully.
 c. Control your anger.

Elephant in the Room We Ignore - Word of God (James 1:21-25)
1. The Word of God helps those who need salvation.
2. The Word of God helps those getting out of / free from sin.
3. The Word of God helps those who capture its words. Hang on, internalize, grasp
4. The Word of God only blesses those who obey it. No other way. Be doers, not just hearers. 

And here's a comic I drew a while ago that's related:
Aaaaaand I've misplaced my notes for James 1:26-27, which is a bummer because there is a lot in those two verses:
"If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world." (ESV)
I found the header: 
The tasks we minimize - Religion (James 1:26-27)

And a summary of chapter two and beyond:
The millionaires we insult - racism (James 2:1-13)

The response we overlook - faith (James 2:14-26)

The instrument so difficult to play - speech (James 3:1-18). I drew some comics on this one so check out my other blog for those - 1 2 3 4.