Genesis 4: Thinking About Scripture

genesis 4I encourage you to read Genesis 1-4, especially chapter 4, and then carry on with reading my thoughts on the passage.

If Adam, Eve, Cain and Abel are the only four people on the earth, who is available to find and kill Cain after ADONAI bans him and sends him away? Where did all these other people come from whom had Cain so worried for his life? (And such a coward…kills his brother and then worries for his own life!) And who would be available to marry him? I was always told it was his sister… well, I’m not sure I believe that. With what I know about Yahweh and what I’ve been learning in my recent journey to read the Text (Bible) with new glasses so to speak, Yahweh could very well have created more than just these four people. These people Cain was concerned about could certainly be a detail left out of the first 3 chapters of Genesis. (Remember I talked about holes in the story in an earlier post about Genesis?)

Now looking more specifically at the first eight verses of chapter four…

How many years into the life of the world are we talking about? They are, at this very early point in history, offering sacrifices to Yahweh. It seems obvious to me that the Law laid out later in the Torah was not really new to the people. They knew this stuff already! The Torah is like a refresher course for them (and a training manual for us). Yahweh has taught his people – right from the get-go, it would seem – how to love him, how to have a relationship with him.

Where did we go wrong? What excuse do we have? Why do we blatantly choose not to love Yahweh the way he has asked us to? I mean, how many books out there tell us how to love our spouse, how to love our kids, how to get along with others at work, how to interact with different personalities? We gobble up this information like candy, but we can’t take Yahweh at his word – HIS VERY WORDS  – and love him as he asks us to.

I’ve heard other claim over and over that the Bible is God’s love letter to us, but part of that love letter tells us how to love him too. Have you thought about that?

Just thinking, just digging,

jotsig

The Five Love Languages for Men Review

{AUTHOR’S NOTE: Stay tuned for a giveaway near the end!}

My initial reaction to The Five Love Languages for Men by Gary Chapman was one of “oh, this guy knows he’s talkin’ to men!” The graphics, charts and quote boxes are ideal for men looking for a quick read. I don’t know many avid male readers, so this is perfect for the men in my life.

If you are familiar at all with the 5 Love Languages series you’ll know that they include:

  • words of affirmation – Verbal compliments or words of appreciation are powerful communicators of love.
  • acts of service – Anything you can do to ease the burden of responsibilities will speak volumes.
  • receiving gifts – This is not materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift.
  • quality time – Nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention.
  • physical touch – Holding hands, kissing, and “accidentally” coming into contact with another are lifelines

At the end of each chapter dedicated to the love language is a chart of action steps for becoming more fluent in that language! HOW COOL! Also included at the back of the book is a his and hers personal profile so couples have a relationship specific list to test their love languages. This is such a useful tool. Now, the standard test works too, but this one is a little more specific to the issue at hand – that of marriage relationships.

Two key points that are addressed in this book are crafting apologies and dealing with anger. If your marriage is anything like mine these topics are highly useful! The issue of anger is summed up in two basic steps – address the flash points and come up with a plan for when anger makes its appearance. And for me, usually after anger appears, there are apologies to be made; apologies are a huge step in making things right with our spouse. “Done well, an apology can bring closure to tensions, conflicts and hurt feelings… it can change the way your wife thinks of you… (and) break down barriers.” (page 138) I love that these two things are included in this book!

My Conclusions

I look forward to reading this book with my husband. I think (but we’ll have to re-take the test to confirm) one of his love languages is quality time; he just likes me to be with him. Part of that is he loves when I read to him! I think he’ll really enjoy seeing the artwork and the easy to find points, as well. I would recommend this book to men looking to love their wives better, or for wives looking to be better loved!

 

Giveaway Details

I have one copy of The Five Love Languages for Men to give away.

To Enter:

  1. Sign up for my newsletter (see the side panel for the form), and comment that you did / already do.
  2. Share this post (daily, if you like) including the hashtag #5LL4MEN; leave a comment with the direct link. ( For example: Check out this review of #5LL4MEN by LaDonna at Just Our Thoughts. http://bit.ly/5LL4MEN )
  3. Use your best guess, or take the free quiz at www.5lovelanguages.com, and leave a comment telling me your love language or that of another family member.

Giveaway ends on February 27, 2015 and will be announced on March 2, 2015.

 

 

From the back cover5_love_lang_4_men, five love languages for men

At the heart of every man is a desire to master what matters. Getting a compliment at work or on the court is nice, but nothing beats hearing your spouse say, “You make me feel loved.” If you haven’t heard that in a while or feel like you are not bringing your A-game into your relationship, this books is for you. The 5 Love Languages has sold 10 MILLION COPIES because it is simple, practical, and effective. In this edition, Gary Chapman speaks straight to men about the rewards of speaking their wife’s love language. You’ll learn each language, how to identify your wife’s, and how to speak it clearly. Packed with helpful illustrations and creative pointers, these pages will rouse your inner champion and empower you to master the art of love.

 

 

About the Author:5_love_lang_4_men, five love languages for men

Gary Chapman, PhD, is the author of the bestselling The 5 Love Languages series, which has sold more than 10 million worldwide and has been translated into 50 languages. Dr. Chapman travels the world presenting seminars on marriage, family, and relationships, and his radio programs air on more than 400 stations. He lives in North Carolina with his wife, Karolyn.

Found on Facebook here.

Found on Twitter too.

 

 

 

Learning to love him better,

jotsig

 

 

 

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. 

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Roadmap Genesis Giveaway Announcement

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And the winner of the Roadmap Genesis Giveaway is Jackie McMichael. (Jackie, I will be in contact.)

She said her favorite verses from Genesis were:

Genesis 1:14-18 (ESV)

14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16 And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17 And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.

nVIprf2

 

 

Striving to live and learn Yahweh’s principles,

jotsig

Passionate History

The history of where I came from, given to me by Yahweh, in a quantity and quality that allows me to comprehend most fully in the story of that history which my King desires that I know and understand. It fascinates me to think that we only know what Yahweh tells us. We know and learn some very basic facts; Yahweh doesn’t expound or give a lot of description. In recent months, what he leaves out, what he doesn’t say, has intrigued my imagination.

Genesis         B’resheet

Just as in every story we relate to friends or family, he does not include every detail. In Genesis he tells us about a specific series of events relating to creation. When you tell me about your school week, you don’t include every meal you prepared and consumed, or every thought that entered your head. What is he not telling us? Are there other things, people, or places that he created, on those days or others?

I find the omissions intriguing. On one hand he gave us what he knew we could handle while on the other hand he created us with an ability to create (albeit differently than himself) and an imagination. He had to know someone would wonder!genesis

The Text (the Bible) in its entirety is an amazing piece of literature. Each time I read, I learn or see something new. I dig a little deeper. Watching (and reviewing) Roadmap Genesis has intrigued me to start at the beginning, to dig deeper into my family history, my beginnings. What did Yahweh me in Genesis? What does he want me to see now – viewing, reading and studying with new eyes, a new mind and a new heart?

This time when I read the genealogies they won’t just be a series of names. They are a series of family members, my family! This time when I read the failings and stumbling and the successes and joys of the heroes, I won’t skim over them but will see the woman or the man behind the words on the page. A woman or a man, just like me. This time when I read will allow myself to feel the emotion of each individual. To feel their emotion will allow them to be real people, not just storybook characters. I will become immersed in the text; the more immersed, the more passionate we become.

These are not just words on a page. These words are a message, a description of my history. The Text is the story of my beginnings, where I came from and where I desire to return. I desire to be a child of Yahweh, grafted into his family, an adopted daughter of the King. I desire to know everything I can about that heritage – the culture, the heroes, and the villians. This history is what leads me to my rabbi, and will help to feed the passion that is a requirement of a true disciple, a talmid of Yeshua. Knowing the facts and filling in the holes with my imaginations allows me to know Yeshua and his heart. Knowing where he started, his people gives me a connection. Knowing the history, seeing the land, feeds a passion to know the future which feeds the passion to walk as my rabbi walked. Without passion I’m a poor example of a talmidim, without the history I have no starting place. The history connects the present to the future, and creates a passion for relationship to make that future the best that it can possibly be.

Finding the passion,

jotsig

Roadmap Genesis (Giveaway included)

Giveaway closed. Winner announced here.roadmapgenesis

Thankfully I took notes while I watched Roadmap Genesis. The content of this documentary caused thought processes I never expected. I will read Genesis with new eyes!!! (Stay tuned to the end; I have a copy to give away.)

Here are some of the notes I jotted down while watching:

  • “In the beginning, Yahweh created…” I love that the very first verse is a verse of action.
  • Our creative God created in me a creativity because I am created in His image. Left to ourselves we create chaos. We were created to be caretakers but we haven’t done so. Creating always happens at the spot of chaos.
  • Genesis 11 – tower of Babel – we are repeating this in our society…
  • Genesis is the history that Yahweh has revealed to us concerning who we are and where we came from. It is the foundation of the remainder of the Text.
  • Science and the Bible will always agree.
  • Genesis 5 – the list of descendants of Adam to Noah and then Noah to Abram suggests that the world is structured and organized.
  • The Bible (and more specifically the book of Genesis) creates a sense of belonging and continuity by showing that we all came from the same beginnings. Genesis 14 – fight for family. Family is more important than anything else! Where you come from matters, and we all came from the same place.
  • Art and literature have been shaped by Genesis. Moby Sick. Macbeth.
  • We have a generational loss of biblical authority.
  • Genesis 12 – obedience of Abraham – leave where you are. Don’t stay where you are. Move and grow.
  • Genesis is a book of hope and promise.
  • Genesis points to relationship.
  • Life is about personal responsibility.
  • Read it with a fresh heart, fresh eyes, fresh mind!
  • Genesis is a compass for life.

Roadmap Genesis invites Americans of all faiths to engage in a dialogue about the relevance of the Bible in the modern age. Through interviews ranging from Gov. Mike Huckabee of Fox News Channel to Rabbi David Wolpe, from Alan Dershowitz to the Archbishop of Chicago Cardinal Francis George, from Erick Stakelbeck of the Christian Broadcasting Network to Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum, and many, many more, Nolan explores the rules that God has set forth to help us maintain a successful and working society.

FIND Roadmap Genesis online:

Check out & share the TRAILER 

Official WEBPAGE

Official FACEBOOK

Official TWITTER

OFFICIAL HASHTAG: #RGChallenge <— Let’s get this trending!!

Check out the challenge and use the hashtag above.

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

I don’t do many giveaways, but this is a great documentary. So I have one copy of Roadmap Genesis to giveaway to one lucky reader. Simply leave a comment with your favorite verse from Genesis. Come back and enter daily with a new verse for multiple entries. (One entry per day.)

GIVEAWAY ENDS: Friday, February 13, 2015. Winner to be announced on Monday and contacted via email or social media.

Watch for more of my thoughts on this documentary next week.

Digging deeper,

jotsig

 

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

A Very Special Announcement

stork

 

I don’t think I’ve formally announced our latest real news. We’ve been telling people as it comes up in conversation and such, but now it’s time to tell you.

 

Pink or blue? We don’t know.

Time will tell; in 6 months or so.

Our 9 will be 10.

Officially a large family, I think.

Don’t you?

 

We are so excited! I strongly suspected it but wanted confirmation. I couldn’t wait to go home to take the pregnancy test. While hubby was shopping for Christmas gifts in Canadian Tire, I sneaked off to the ladies room. Once he finally clued in to the hints I was dropping over the next couple of hours, he started texting and calling family.

There are many logistics this new addition creates that need to be worked out (new vehicle, sleeping arrangements) but even though we were ‘done’ we are surprisingly excited and open to receive this blessing. I plan to write often about this adventure. I’m older, I’m experienced and I’m tired. It will be an adventure! Maybe my sharing (over sharing?) will help someone and maybe it will terrify others. Time will tell.

Geography Fair and Potluck: Vikings

I found this amazing idea while scrolling through Facebook one day. Here’s the idea:

Imagine a Science Fair, but instead each family can set up a table and present any country (or more) they are interested in. Another twist to this would be a country at another time in history – such as Vikings or Monks. Or get creative and explore something “out of this world”. :)

How you want to represent and DISPLAY that country is up to you. You can focus on one area of particular interest or the whole country.

The purpose of the PRESENTATION is to provide an opportunity for public speaking/performing. The presentation can be song, dance, story, a reading, or just a brief explanation of why they chose that country.

The purpose of the INTERNATIONAL POTLUCK is to eat and experience new and different foods.

So I presented this to our local homeschoolers where the concept was well received. On presentation day we had 5 families attend and children from 4 of those families presented on topics such as Vikings, indigenous peoples of our area, the building of the Canadian Railroad and the Ukraine.

Our family choose to present on Vikings which was our current unit study.

vikings
Vikings 1

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Our Presentations (Slides and Speeches)

Where Vikings Lived (Mommy and Rayna)

Viking Food and speech (Marrissa)

Viking Ships and speech (Wyatt)

Viking Weapons (Kristyn)

Viking Clothing and speech (Cora)

Viking Housing (Matty and Daddy)

 

Learning every day,

jotsig

Breaking Stereotypes

I read in Jeremiah when a passage in chapter 44 jumped out at me. Jeremiah is warning the people that if they don’t leave Egypt where they’ve fled (he also warned them not to go there in the first place, but they didn’t listen) and return to Judah (where he told them to stay) that destruction would come to them. I guess there’s nothing too mind boggling there; they’d been well warned; this seems like a second or third chance. The mind boggling point is that he addresses the women! The women are the ones offering oblations and incense to the “Queen of Heaven” with the full knowledge of their husbands. But instead of addressing the men of the community, he addresses the women!

Here I thought men were the head of the house – the ones to keep their homes in order and in line. Aren’t women supposed to submit to their husbands? Aren’t women free of responsibility when they do something with the full knowledge of their husbands?  This is the stereotype we live by.

We have these stereotypes of women that we think comes from the Bible – that women are nothing, that we are supposed to be doormats who just do what we’re told. I am seeing over and over again that this is simply not true! True, our husbands are commanded to be the heads of their homes. True, we are commanded to submit, but it looks different than we have learned. The more I learn and dig deeper, I’m seeing my job as a strong and powerful neck to support and turn those heads in the direction Yahweh would have our husbands lead.

How many times have you, as a Christian wife, seen and understood something spiritual before your husband? What did you do with that information? I’ll tell you about me. In the past, when I saw something first, I’d beat him with it. I’d accuse him of not being a spiritual leader and why couldn’t he see something so simple. I was rude and disrespectful!  My actions did nothing to honour God or my husband. Things are different now, with this new understanding of my role.

When I have stepped into this position of neck and gently (no whipping the head around) turned him in the direction that Yahweh is leading us, I have seen my husband grow in leaps and bounds. And it’s exciting! (Catch more flies with honey than vinegar, right?)

And I believe this passage / chapter in Jeremiah is just one example of how powerful a force we are. If that force is used for Yahweh, what an amazing team we will be for him. But the opposite is true as well.

Just some food for thought,

jotsig

Becoming a Better Mother

I am a better mother, housekeeper and business partner because I choose to detach from the world wide web. Let me explain.wasted time

Time is so easily wasted; as I reflect (when I’m not utterly exhausted at the end of the day) on the day’s events, I discover too many minutes wasted at the computer. Since purposely noticing and creating an awareness of this wasted time, I physically detach myself from the computer more consistently and easily. I gather the children around to read a story, or we play a silly game together. I take time to help with the meal chores rather than defaulting to my chair. If I see a child fooling around, I get up and start their chore (or I join in with the silliness), rather than holler at them. I suggest and nag and cajole less; I just get up and do the job myself.

Modifying my schedule so I have a solid block of time to work on business projects has helped immensely as well. I get up earlier in the morning, and nap in the afternoon, so I can work without (or with fewer) interruptions. One of my biggest challenges as a homeschooling, work at home mom is the constant interruptions. Creating a loose schedule, that starts earlier in the day, has been key to my switching hats more smoothly. I work for 2-3 hours before anyone else is moving around (as I type, all I hear are snores from my bed and the occasional little one calling out in his sleep). This allows me to complete a thought, after my first cup of coffee of the day, sipped slowly while digging into Scripture.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still online a lot, even through the day. It’s a passion and a business focus for me, but I’m being intentional about what I do now. By creating a simple routine in my life, and sticking to it, I am better able to interact with my children, with my business and with the community around me.

 

Creating a routine,

jotsig

Planning our Steps

In the cool morning air, I listen attentively to an audio recording called Conscious Language while walking Doc, my Rottie-mix. Presented in this audio was a different take on Proverbs 16:9. The man paraphrased this verse (at least I think he referred to this one, as he didn’t give a reference) to something like “We plan our goal but God directs the steps we take to get there.”

Proverbs 16:9 (CJB) says:
A person may plan his path,
but Adonai directs his steps.

 

For me, the reasonable explanation is simple: we can plan what we want but God will do as he wishes. Such negative thinking! I recall thinking, “Well what’s the point then? Just let God have his way; I won’t plan anything.” Currently, I see things differently. We must plan, set goals and head somewhere. When our plans are in alignment with what Yahweh desires he’ll get us there – just might not look like what we expected.

Here’s a personal example:

We desire to own land to grow our own meat and eggs. (While living in town, we can garden, but meat and eggs have proven more difficult.) We are currently searching for property that could work. However, this may not be the location Yahweh has in mind for us.

Because I’ve heard this viewpoint on verses like this twice now, I’m prompted to dig deeper to see what I missed.

 

Digging deeper (almost) daily,

jotsig