Friday, September 30, 2011

1 Chronicles

Wow!  I went through 1 Chronicles pretty quickly.  I actually read it all in one day.  It was easy considering the first nine chapter are constant genealogy.  It's something that can be very interesting if you put a lot of study into it, but what I found the most interesting about it was in the middle of chapter four the genealogy suddenly stopped for two verses and mentions Jabez.

1 Chronicles 4: 9-10
"Jabez was more honorable than his brothers.  His mother had named him Jabez, saying, "I gave birth to him in pain."  Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, "Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory!  Let your hand be with me and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain."  And God granted his request."

I'm sure that some of you remember a few years ago when the prayer of Jabez was everywhere. There was a book, plaques, pictures, mugs and even hand towels with the prayer etched on it.  It was very popular for a short while there.  I even bought the book during the craze but I didn't read it until about a year ago.  We don't know anything about Jabez other than what is written in these two verses, but we knew that he asked God to bless him and enlarge his land and keep him safe and God granted his request.  What I learned is that if you are faithful to God you can ask things of Him.  It's ok to ask.  It's ok to ask to be blessed and safe and for more, but you also have to do your part and remain with God.  It's pretty simple if you really think about it.

So, moving on, 1Chronicles covers again David's reign from Saul's death to his own.  It shows how the Israelites were divided up, what their jobs were and lists much of the genealogy through each of the tribes.  It's turns out that most of this book consists of hundreds of names of people who was the father of this son and that son of that father.  It goes on and on and on.  But over all it was very interesting.  It goes through a little more detail of the the what David did in running his kingdom without going through all his faults.  This is a place where you can really see that David loved God and had him in mind with the decisions of his kingdom.  I'm excited now to move on to 2 Chronicles and really see how Solomon ran the kingdom and then into the kingdom split.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

40 Days for Life


Michael and I are starting a fast today for the 40 Days for Life. This a a campaign that goes on every year to which you fast and pray for the end of abortion. While this is a subject that is touchy with a lot of people and something that should be prayed about regardless of the time of year, this is a time that we set aside and really concentrate on this issue.

While many during this time will stand outside of abortion clinics and speak to who they can and will pray in front of the building, I will not. I will be praying each day and will be talking to people about my fast and what it is all about. I personally will be fasting reading any book that is not the Bible for the next 40 days. This is something that will not be easy for me. I love to read. I love to read fiction and we all know that sometimes reading the Bible can be tough but I really feel pushed to set aside that I normally do during the day for reading and get that extra Bible time in. It will also add more time to my devotional time during the day.

If you want more information about 40 days for Life you can go to their website /www.40daysforlife.com/ It talks about where there is participation and more on what they do.

2nd Kings


Finally, finally, finally I have finished reading 2nd Kings. I've been a super slacker on my Bible reading over the last couple of months, but today I am done.

Honestly, reading 2nd Kings was exhausting, there is so much information and so many kings and people and prophets that they talk about it's hard to keep up. I did take a few notes on a couple of things that I found interesting, but did not stay on top of it like I did when reading 1st Kings.

Let's start with 2nd Kings 6:1-7

This talks about when Elisha went with the prophets and they started to build a new place to live and one man had an ax that he was borrowing from someone. As he worked, mid-swing, the axhead flew off and landed in the water of the Jordan. The man was upset because it was not his, so Elisha helped him to retrieve it by causing the axhead to float.

I know that this story seem completely insignificant to the other things we learn in the Bible, almost like this passage wasn't worth reading but it made me think about how God is in the little things, like helping someone to retrieve an axhead from the bottom of a river.

Then in the same chapter we see verses 24-29. This talks about how the famine in Samaria was so bad that it caused many of the people to turn to cannibalism. If the Israelites hadn't been so separated from God this would never even be a consideration. I mean in all honesty, it grossed me out. It's unfortunate and disgusting.

We finally reached the death of Jezebel in 2nd Kings 9:30-37. She was thrown from a window, trampled on by horses and then devoured by dogs and all that was left of her was her skull, her hands and her feet. Pretty graphic, I know.

There were few great kings and many evil ones. I guess many just found it easier in life to turn away from God. Many kings worshiped and sacrificed to idols, even their own children. God gave his people many chances to follow him before letting the Assyrians take over Israel and the Babylonians taking over Judah.

There is a lot more that happens within these chapters, a lot to take in. Next time I read it, I'll have to take it slower and do some cross referencing to really help it soak in, but for now, on to 1st Chronicles.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Homework


It's all new for Sidda.... Homework each day after school. She works so hard!

Monday, September 5, 2011

This is how the Abell's do S'mores!









We decided to have some fun with the kids tonight so we made s'mores! We were out of propane for our BBQ and were feeling kind of lazy but had a great time roasting marshmallows over the fire from our stove. The kids had a lot of fun setting them on fire and blowing them out! (Michael did too!)

Friday, September 2, 2011

My Guilty Pleasure



I love reading, this is not news, I know. But in my reading I sometimes love to read terribly generic teen fiction. Especially books that I read when I was in my early teens myself. It's so embarrassing! But sometimes. you really just need some easy to read teen drama to let you relax and give your brain a break. Not that I read complicated stuff, really. Every once in a while I like to pick up books that are thought provoking, interesting and intense and usually after I read such books I usually pick up something easy going, laughably ridiculous and fun.

The current series that I am reading again is the Making Out series by Katherine Applegate. She is the same who author who wrote the popular Animorphs series (something that I actually haven't read, but have heard that is really, really good... Maybe when the kids are older I'll read it with them.) Anyway, the Making Out series is about a group of teens that live on an island off the coast of main, and have all grown up together and have pretty much known each other all of their lives and follows all of the angst that comes with being a teen.

There are 28 books in this series but each of them are short and easy and can be read in just a couple of hours. I began reading these books when I was 12 or 13 and picked them up to read again at 24 or 25. And I am taking them for another spin. It's like watching a serial teen drama on tv, like the OC or Glee. It's overly dramatic and funny, and entertaining enough to keep me reading them. Besides you always have fond memories of books you read as a kid. It's the same whenever I read Sloppy Kisses to my kids (it was one of my favorites when I was little) I get that warm feeling of nostalgia.

So, that is my embarrassing confession. That is my dirty little secret, my guilty pleasure, the joy of reading really old teen fiction.