How Did He Do It?

How was Jesus a man and God?

When did Jesus know that He was the Son of God?

Was He a normal little boy or did a yellow glow of holiness shine around Him from birth?

These are some of the questions we’ve been discussing during God Talk Tuesdays – lunch bible study with ladies at work, Jesus the One and Only.

This week we discussed Luke 2:21-4:22, regarding His childhood and the beginning of His ministry on earth.

We are given a lot of information, but what we are given seems to show that Jesus grew up basically a normal kid.  At 12 He did know that He had to “be about His Father’s business” ( see Luke 2:49) but then he went home and grew in wisdom (see Luke 2:52), so obviously He didn’t know everything at that point.  He grew in His wisdom and I, personally, believe He also grew in His knowledge of who He was.

But He was God…God knows everything!

But He was Jesus…a man who doesn’t know everything and can’t be in all places at all times.

So how did that work?

By 12, Jesus knew who He was, but He kept that to Himself.

There was no glowing light around Him and except for the star that led the Magi to Him when He was toddler (see Matthew 2:9), there was nothing special about Jesus that made family or friends think of Him as anything other than a normal man (see Luke 4:22), the carpenter’s kid.

As for the “how”….let me use my husband, Ken, as an example.

Right before Ken and I met, he retired at the age of 29 from professional boxing.  He was ranked #10 in Texas Middle Weight in 1985.

528863_187110991410447_316640570_nHe could hurt someone if he wanted to with his punches.

Then we had kids.  He let those kids crawl all over him and “beat” him up.  He could have easily hurt them (not so sure about that with Adam today!) but he “pulled his punches”.  He laid aside his power to interact with his kids, who he loved.

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Ken & Sally 1989sally and kenThat’s how I understand how Jesus did it…how He became a man.

Jesus laid aside His power, His holiness that would not allow sin to be in His presence, and interacted with the children He loved.  He was still God…but He was “pulling His punches” to be with us.

It’s just that simple!

Quilting and Stuff

The queen size hand quilted quilt that I’m doing for a customer is keeping me so busy right now.  My plans were to have it done by this weekend (don’t think I’ll make it!).  My basic plan every night is to do at least half a block every night.  It takes 4 hours to do one block.  The “every night” is the challenge. But I’m on the final row!  There are still a few leaf details I want to add to the borders.

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Now that I’ve combined the Piney’s Needle blog here at A Purple Cloth, I’ve added the categories to the side bar in case you want to pull up just quilting or related stuff.

I’ve had a lot of interest in my custom fabric.  Any locals interested in a class?

Here is some I did from a friends photos (Donna Stack).  I’ve got my pieces cut out and ready to applique flowers for my flower-pot quilt.  The result is gorgeous (photos to come).  I’m wondering what Donna did with her pieces?

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God Talk Tuesdays

One of the statistical statements that I read concerning bible study was that while the bible is, year after year, the top-selling book in the publishing industry, it is also the least read.

Only 16 percent of people who attend church read the bible on a daily basis.*

For too many people, the Bible has become like the Queen of England. It may hold a high position, but it has no real authority. The Bible may be a great showpiece under their arms, or on their desks or coffee tables, but the truth is that it occupies a very insignifi­cant and unproductive place in their lives.**

I asked someone to read through the bible with me in 2015 and they said no, stating that the bible was too confusing and they had enough confusion in their lives without adding anything else to it.  So they never read it, I’ve never seen them read the bible in the over 30 years I’m known them.

I’ve spoken with others that have said the same thing.  They just can’t understand it.  We sit in Sunday school classes where our material tells us what the Greek and Hebrew meanings of words are and these people just shut down.  As new bible readers, they don’t care about that.  So since they can’t pronounce the Greek & Hebrew words either, they just shut the book.

I personally don’t believe that God instructed a book of His Words to be written so that no one could understand it.  I truly believe that if all you have is a simple text of the bible with no reference or study notes, God will give you the understanding you need to read His Word.  We try to make it more difficult than it is.

Just keep it simple.

That’s my goal as I see God leading me to reach out and lead new believers and new bible studiers (if that is a word).  We must know God’s Word, He will help us to understand it as we need to.

If we can’t understand anything else that God tells us to do, Deuteronomy 6 is pretty simple to follow.

Simply love God with everything you’ve got.

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But our reading does have to be more than just a verse a day, skimming of the Scriptures.  It really needs to be focused reading and study.  And then figuring out how what you’ve read can be applied into your life.

I titled this post “God Talk Tuesdays” because on Tuesdays, I’m meeting with ladies and doing some God Talking.  Reading, encouraging, and asking questions.  We can learn from the bible alone, but we can learn more with and from others.

So I’m going to ask you, you who follow my blog or may be just visiting today, to do something this week (until next Tuesday).  Answer these simple questions.

  1. Do you have access to a bible on a regular basis?  (if you need one, please let me know and I’ll get one to you)
  2. How often do you read your bible and how much time do you spend in the reading?
  3. How important is the bible to you?
  4. What’s the main reason that keeps you from reading your bible on a daily basis?

Pick at least one verse as a memory verse and work at memorizing the words and the reference (where the verse is found).  Pray before you read your bible and ask God to help you to listen to His Words, to give you understanding and show you how to respond to what you read.

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*Read the Bible for Life, workbook, George H. Guthrie, page 5

**http://blog.lifeway.com/explorethebible/ebook/?carid=KRD-ETB-ebook-twitter

History Really Isn’t my Best Subject

When studying the bible, there are always mentions of cities and towns that don’t have anything to do with me here in Pinewood, TN…or they don’t seem to.  Why does bible study sometimes seem like a history class?  If it hadn’t been for Mr. B in the 6th grade, I’m not sure I would have ever loved the study of history.

For me, when the bible tells of something happening in a certain place and time, looking at a map of the actual location helps me to visualize it and let’s face it, history and science usually end up proving the bible instead of disproving it.

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On the map above, I’ve highlighted major places mentioned in the study of Jesus’ life.  Judea (Jerusalem, Bethlehem), Samaria, and Galilee (Cana, Nazareth {not underlined}, Sea of Galilee, Jordan River).  Imagine Jesus and his family walking and traveling back and forth between these places.  It’s basically a distance of 70 miles between Judea and Galilee and would take 2 1/2 days to walk.

Today that would take about 1 hour and a half to drive…but I can’t even imagine walking the distance that I drive everyday to work (from Pinewood to Nashville).  My grandfather herded pigs to the market from the Perry County area to Nashville in the early 1920s and that just blows my mind!

Mary left for Judea soon after she received the news she was to carry the Christ-child.  Then 3 months pregnant, she returned to Galilee.  In her 9th month of pregnancy, she and Joseph traveled back to Judea where the baby was born and they lived until he about 2 years old.  They didn’t return to Galilee until after Jesus was several years old (after living in Egypt for a while).  Every year they would observe the Passover and return to Jerusalem to worship.

Jesus’ early life was constant travel between these cities and His adulthood would be the same.

I encourage you to find a map of Israel and start paying attention to what the bible says about the land and the people there.  The Jewish people who lived in Israel were God’s chosen people…they still are.

One day there will be a new Jerusalem, the Holy City.  We will live face-to-face with Jesus and God.  He will wipe away every tear, there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain. (see Revelation 21)

How to: be BLESSED – HAPPY

Who doesn’t want to be happy (blessed)?  If ever there was a step-by-step system to being just that, Psalm 1 lays it out for us.

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To grab hold of this happiness (blessing) we first have to understand that God’s idea of being happy or blessed is not the same as the world’s idea.

God’s abundant favor will rest upon the person who lives a truly God-centered life.*

That doesn’t mean that you have a life without trials and worries, it means in the midst of those, YOU HAVE GOD, you have a hope in something far beyond this world.

James 1:12 says:  Blessed (happy) is the man who perseveres under trial, because when (not if) he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.**

Our focus has to be on eternal blessings.  Sure, God will bless us right now, but His largest blessing lays in the eternal.  I don’t think we focus on that blessing enough.

Next, Psalm 1 tells us what NOT to do.

DON’T:  walk in the counsel of the wicked (ungodly), stand in the way of sinners, or sit in the seat of the mockers.

There is a progression in how we are warned to act in the presence of the ungodly.  God doesn’t tell us not to interact with them; how else will they know about Jesus’ love for them if we don’t interact with them.  Jesus was often condemned for spending time with sinners (see Mark 2:16-17).  The difference is this:  Jesus didn’t allow their influence to change Him.  He didn’t take their counsel and he didn’t build deep relationships with them.

I recently listened to an interview with Doug Seegers***, an up-and-coming country music star, who was once homeless in Nashville and a friend of my husband’s.  He struggled with addictions off and on.  During one of his “off” seasons, he tried to help someone else in their addiction.  He said it didn’t turn out so well because he ended up back on his addictions.  He tried to “walk” with them out of their ungodly life, but he ended up “standing” with them and then “sitting” in their seat….living like they were living.  He was pulled into their lifestyle.

So  how do we reach the lost without becoming entangled in their ways?  What if those ungodly people are your own family?

We have to separate ourselves in some way, if not physically than spiritually.

Psalm 1:2 tells us how:

Meditate on the law of the Lord, day and night and this will become our delight.

Sounds easy enough…except….what are the laws of the Lord?

It’s going to take intense, consistent bible study to figure that out.  But for right now we can just reword Psalm 1:1 a bit and get a starting place:

Walk in the counsel of the godly, stand in the way of the saved sinners, sit in the seat of those that love the Lord.

Surround yourself with people already living out Psalm 1.  Study the bible for yourself.  Meet with a group of believers on a regular basis.

It’s not easy, but nothing good ever is.  In process we become blessed…happy.  Those around us see that and want it for themselves.

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*quoted from Holman Old Testament Commentary, Psalms 1-75, Max Anders & Steven Lawson, page 14, published by B&H Publishing Group 2003

**I added the words in parentheses [ ( ) ]for clarity.

***http://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/doug-seegers-shares-homeless-to-famous-journey-20141007

I didn’t add a link for the Mark 2:16-17 because I want to encourage you to look references up in your own bible.  We are losing the ability to use our bibles with the internet.  Don’t let that happen.  Take the time and find the verse for yourself.

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Upcoming Bible Study – on-line – Read the Bible through in 2015

I’m in the process of gathering a group of ladies in my home once a week for 2015 to read through the bible in a year together.  Plans are sill being made to connect that study here, on-line.  If you are interested in the on-line version, please let me know.  The study will start January 2015.

A Little Retreat 2014

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God sent me Virginia Beach last week to visit with ladies that I’ve only met through Twitter and ministry blogs and it was absolutely wonderful!  2 days I woke early and headed to the beach to get a glimpse of the sun rising over the horizon.

Day 1 of the sunrise:

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Our house, across the road from the beach where the 5 of us gathered to just do some God Talking about certain Scriptures, learning and being encouraged by each other.

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Day 2 of sunrises:

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I loved the mornings on the beach, it was so peaceful and isolated.

I loved even more the fellowship and the Bible study.  Those ladies are so smart!!!  And then we had communion together with antique communion glasses.  They were so neat and the moment was so meaningful.

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I came back from this retreat with some words from God, things that He might want me to be doing, confirmation in what I am doing, definitely doing some things that will make me uncomfortable.