Women Embracing Faith

Thinking Through the Bible

Halloween and Reformation Sunday October 31, 2010

Filed under: Family Life — womenembracingfaith @ 11:11 am
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We had so much fun with halloween when our girls were growing up.  I wasn’t much on sewing or spending much money on costumes, but we tried to be creative with sheets, of course, and masks and hats.  It was a day for everyone to pretend. In elementary school, we moved on to the school carnival–running auctions, games, etc., but all involving the whole family. Oh, how I hated making those pumpkin cookies for kindergarten class!! I’m so thankful for the memories now.

I’m also thankful for the day Martin Luther nailed his 23 ideas on the Catholic Church door in Germany in 1513.  Now, you know, I’m really a historian at heart.  History is what my education and school teaching was all about.  But, this is even more about spiritual things and Christian history.  I’ve been so blessed by what came out of the Reformation he started that day.  Even more blessed than by our fun on halloween.

  Luther started a “discussion” of ideas that resulted in the good newsl being made more clear to everyone–that salvation was by faith alone. Faith is our steadfast belief that Jesus’s perfect life–His righteousness–was the only thing that could ever erase the condemnation due us because of our sin.  The key words are alone and only.  Luther had read the first five chapters of Romans!  Sadly, the Catholic Church would not accept this, and has not changed any of their views about it since, so we have a great split in the Christian traditions.  Reformation Sunday celebrates his courage and this good news that Jesus is the One promised from the beginning.

I’m blessed because God has given me this faith, and I don’t need to add anything else to it–no ceremony I can attend, no good deeds for my community, no amount of church work, no amount of sacrifice….just faith in the work of Christ Jesus–his perfect life, death, burial, and resurrection— to be enough to cover all my sins. 

Blessings and fun memories to think about……

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One More Time October 27, 2010

Filed under: Teaching Tips — womenembracingfaith @ 3:32 pm
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Back years ago, I found a rainbow to stick on our stationwagon window.  My idea was to remind the children and I that God keeps His promises.  It worked; we couldn’t help but see it every day and we talked about that biblical principle a lot.  I had no idea the rainbow had become a symbol for homosexuality!  

Use it anyway.  God put the rainbow in the sky as a sign of His faithfulness.

One more thing.  God promised Noah He would never destroy the earth again.  He would always take care of it.  The sun would come up each day; the moon would light the night; the four seasons would keep coming around (Genesis 8:22).  Your children or grandchildren need to hear this.  There is something settling about it.  Secure.  Their world is scary; they aren’t sure what is real and what is pretend.  You can remind them of this promise every day.  Watch the sunset together. Look for rainbows.  Talk about the moon.  And talk about how God will take care of it all.

“Then the LORD said in His heart, ‘I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I destroy every living thing as I have done….never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth'” (Genesis 8:21;9:11).

 

Noah’s Ark October 5, 2010

Filed under: Teaching Tips — womenembracingfaith @ 4:25 pm

Did you know that the ark had three floors?  It was about the size of a soccer field or a football field.  It is estimated it could have held as many as 50,000 animals.

These interesting little details don’t help much if you don’t really believe there was a real world-wide flood.  If you look at Genesis as just an ethnic folk tale…..cute for kid’s rooms and learning about the animals.  Ask yourself:  Is it true or not?

Another thing to think about is the Bible’s use of symbols or types. The ark is a symbol of Christ.  Just as Noah and his family  were saved from the flood, we are saved by being “in Christ.” Noah’s story is all about GRACE–his finding unmerited favor with God and thus escaping the judgment of God against everyone else.  Of course, God was patient, waiting for people to turn from their sins as Noah built the ark and preached to them.

Teach your children the whole story:  Grace, Judgment, Repentance., faith.. Put the story in the big picture–salvation provided through faith in Christ Jesus alone. This is the good news–the gospel of grace.  Think about that.