Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Messages from Above

I did another bible study with Catie today. She had an orthodontist appointment and rather than find something to do for 45 minutes between dropping off the little ones and her appointment at 9am, we took her bible and did the bible study in the van right outside the doctors office. We read Gen 3 today. It was about Adam and Eve and the downfall of humanity. I read it once through and we talked about it for a moment. Catie was not sure exactly what God was trying to get to her, so I read it one more time. After I read it again, she said that God only banished Adam. What? She said it again, God only banished Adam out of the Garden of Eden. We talked it out and this is what we came up with. I read it again starting at verse 21. God made them, Adam and his wife, clothes. God then spoke to someone, not Adam and not Eve because He refers to them as "man" and whoever he is speaking to as "us". He tells someone or something, maybe he is talking to himself, He says," The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever." Let me break it down some more. God says, "He must not be able to reach out his hand to take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever." Adam must not be able to reach out his hand (Like Eve already did) to also take from the tree of life and eat and live forever. Here is what I know, Eve reached out first because of the serpent. Here is what I imagine might have happened. She called Adam over and said, "Hey try this, it's really good!" and handed it to him. He said, "Ok" and ate of the fruit of the tree of life. He, however, did not reach for it himself and take the first bite. She did. Verse 23 - So the Lord God banished HIM from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After He drove THEM out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life. So maybe, just maybe, God's plan for man being the leader of the family had already started way back then. Adam and Ever were one in marriage, therefore, where he went, she went. God banished Adam and Eve went too. I think maybe he showed mercy on Adam and Eve. He was probably very disappointed. I was talking to Catie some more about how Satan tries to decieve us and went back to where God was talking to them after the fruit was eaten and how God had to call them out from the bushes. He was talking to them like a parent talks to their child. Child does something wrong, parent calls them out and they come out from hiding looking at the ground kicking the dirt saying they were sorry. I began reading again and had my own message come through loud and clear. This may be something that you all know, but I have read this several times and never heard this before. Verse 14 - So the Lord God said to the serpent..." What! I kept reading and this is what I imagine happened. God call Adam and Eve out. They stand up behind the bushes and Adam says, "She gave me the fruit!" and points and Eve. Eve then says, " He told me to!" and points at the Serpent. I imagine that the serpent smiled a slimy grin, pleased with what he had caused. Slowly God is looking at them then turns his attention and fury to the serpent and tells him how he is now cursed because of what he did to Gods creations. Then he turns to Eve and tells her her consequences. Lastly, he turns to Adam, leader of the family and tells him his punishment. God then leaves and goes back to his home and makes clothes for his people. Still wanting to take care of them in spite of his disappointment. While doing this, I imagine him saying to himself or maybe to an Angel by his side, verse 22 and on. He comes back to Adam and Eve and banishes them out of Eden and locks the door with a cherubim and a flaming sword forever.
One other thing that stood out to me that I had heard before, but did not make much sense till this happened, was that when God is cursing Satan, in verse 15 - I will make you and the woman enemies to each other. Your descendants and hers will be enemies. One of her descendants will crush your head and you will bite his heel.(NCV) Praise God, it hit me! Right there in verse 15 God was already planning on sending Jesus! From the very beginning He was putting his plan in motion. God doesn't talk about Adam in this, he is talking about woman. God sent Jesus through the woman to save us from Satan. Jesus will crush Satan's head in the end and the only thing Satan will do to Jesus and us is bite our heels! How totally awesome is that? When I got all excited about this, Catie was looking at me like I was crazy. I told her that it might be over her head right now but I was proud of her for hearing what God said to her.
Her lesson for today is to watch for people making choices, good and bad. I told her to think about Eve standing next to the tree of life and the choice she made. I told her that it is not easy sometimes to make good choices, but good things come to us when we do.

Until we read again ~

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

side note post

I realized that my spiritual gifts test link was wrong...oops sorry! I updated it...check it out again if you are interested!

God speaking through our children

Wow, how incredible God is. I was inspired by our pastor, Chris and his daughter Torie. They get up every morning at 630am and do a bible study. I have been wanting to do it with Catie for a couple of weeks, but 630am is so early! (I am not much of a morning person.) I have been told and read in the Bible that you should give first fruits to God. Debra at our church recently had a baby and spoke very eloquently about how she just now realized what first fruits were. It is the first of everything you have. Your first breath in the morning, your first tree that you spot everyday, the first sip of hot coffee in the morning, (okay, I added that one.) You get the picture, she painted a very pretty one too. Thank you Debra for taking the time to do that for us.

So, I wanted to start trying to live up to that request from God. He laid it on my heart and gave me sign after sign that that was what he wanted me to do. So, I spoke to Catie about it. I asked her if she would like to do a bible study with me in the mornings before school? She, without hesitation, said yes! I told her that we would get up at 630am and get it done before 7am, so we can get ready for school and all that. She was excited and went to bed earlier than normal so she could still get plenty of sleep. A funny side note. When I brought this up and asked her what she wanted to learn about, she wanted to go into Revalations. That is her favorite, "because it has lots of prayers." Her favorite verse so far in the bible is the last verse of Revalations.

Anyway, my alarm went off bright and early this morning. I had been worried that I would oversleep and had been waking up about every 15 minutes starting at about 530am, just to make sure that I did not over sleep.(yuck) When my alarm went off, I got up and went to wake up Catie. She woke right up. I poured my coffee and then put some water on the stove for her so she could have hot chocolate. I explained to her what we would be doing. Chris suggested starting at the beginning because that showed what God was all about. His creation, His love for his people. What a great basis to begin with a child. Catie has a NIrV bible. It is a young readers version of the NIV. It is really awesome. It has little blurbs about how a child can put to use what the bible says. It also gives backgrounds about areas and bible times. So, we sat down and I told her that I would read Genesis 1. I wanted her to listen to it and if anything stands out to note it and we would go back to it. When I got done reading, we were quiet for about 20 seconds and just looked over the words. When we were done, I let her have the bible and I went to make her hot chocolate. After I sat down again, she had underlined 2 passages. It was the end of verse 18 - "And God saw that it was good." and the beginning of 2:3 - "God blessed the seventh day and made it holy. He rested on it." Wow, I was excited. I asked her what made those stand out? She said that God really like what He did, he made it perfect and worked really hard to do that. She said that after all that, he took a day to reflect and rest. She said that is what we do when we go to church and we need to make sure to do it. I told her that was great! I said, now lets see what else God has to say about it and we took a moment to reflect on those to verses when I read them again. She said basically the same thing. The thing that struck me about it was that she was confident. She knew exactly what God was trying to tell her. I tell you what, my child is connected to God. I knew it after she got out of the hospital and I feel terrible that it took me over 3 years to really get it and start growing her in God's word. I told her when we got done that God has a special plan for her and I don't know what it is, but He does and we need to be sure to get in His word so she can learn it and live it. She was excited! She told me she knew He did and she was sure about it. I sort of felt like maybe that is what Mary felt like while Jesus was learning when he was young. Proud and excited to see God's workmanship in front of her and knowing that He had a very large purpose in his future. I am sure that as he was learning and growing, he knew it and he got it. I know that sounds crazy and I hope that it is not sacrelgious for me to say that, but that was the only way I can describe my feelings of being with her this morning.

At the end of our reading, I told her what I would like her to do today is to take time to look at the things God made that were "good". Breath them in and rejoice in the things He perfected for us. I told her when I picked her up, I wanted to know some of those things that she saw today. She was excited and I can't wait to see what she says this afternoon!

Oh, another amazing thing, I am not that tired. I sort of feel revived. Maybe getting up early is not so bad when you are doing it for God. It is just another chance for God to bless you with energy for the day ahead.

Until we read again...

Faith Writers