Striving to create a home strong in the foundations of love, respect, and God's truths ...

Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Family Banner

So the people of Israel did everything as the Lord had commanded Moses. Each clan and family set up camp and marched under their banners exactly as the Lord had instructed them. ~ Numbers 2:34

This verse really struck me. As was repeated over and over, the tribes were following God's directions exactly and completely, including the making of, flying, camping under, and marching under of family banners.

What did these banners look like?

Wendy's comments are full of information. Jan from TN quotes Vernon McGee and describes these banners. He says that Judah's banner featured a lion, that Reuben's had a man's head on it, Ephraim had an ox, and Dan's had an eagle. McGee notes that these line up with Ezekiel 1:10. Grace and Peace quotes Courson and says that from the air, the encampment would have been shaped like a massive cross.

If you read on to today's comments, Karen from Basel describes the significance of the colors used for securing the Tabernacle pieces for transport. I wonder how these might have been used in the banners?

At MOPS they talk about how important it is for our families to have our own traditions and identy; how this will help our children feel secure now and confident moving out on their own when the time comes. Thinking visually, if our families were to have a banner now, what would it look like? What rallying point do we have? What sets us apart and identifies us as belonging to each other? What mark would we camp out under and fly proudly as we follow God?

I think my family might just have to create one of these. I like the idea of this rallying point. Even more, I like what the author of Psalm 20 has to say about it. I see a project just waiting to happen .....

What would be on YOUR family banner?

In times of trouble, may the Lord answer your cry.
May the name of the God of Jacob keep you safe from all harm.
May He send you help from His sanctuary
and strengthen you from Jerusalem.
May He remember all your gifts
and look favorably on all your burnt offernings.

May He grant you your heart's desires
and make all your plans succeed.
May we shout for joy when we hear of Your victory
and raise a victory banner in the name of our God.
May the Lord answer all your prayers.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Updated Book List

The votes are in, and it sounds like we're changing a book! I've reposted the list below. Happy reading!

March 30th ............ 'A Can of Peas' by Traci DePree
April 20th .............. 'The Stones Cry Out' by Sibella Giorello
May 25th ............... 'The Stain' by Harry Kraus, MD
June 22nd ............. 'A Penny for your Throughts' by Mindy Starns Clark

I'm not sure what the plan is for Tuesday. As soon as I receive confirmation, I'll let you know!

Friday, February 26, 2010

'The Clouds Roll Away' by Sibella Giorello

Raleigh Harmon is a forensic geologist with a secret life as an FBI agent. Following her father's death and her return to her Richmond hometown, she works a civil rights case with a famous victim and a drug-running task force when her files begin to intersect. With a suspicious boss, the return of a love interest and an emotionally frail mother, how will Raleigh solve the case without anyone else getting hurt - including herself?

Giorello writes beautiful, descriptive text that draws the reader in. Although seemingly distant at times, throughout the book Raleigh takes on a life of her own until she seems to be munching on a Big Mac right next to the reader. The history of the Richmond area is included in a realistic way, not only bringing the area to life but helping to round out the edges of Raleigh's case. The plot keeps the reader in suspense while not being too over the top. While faith was definitely a part of Raleigh's make-up, it seemed to be a distant part. A deeper exploration of her return to faith would have made her character's transformation more complete.

My biggest concern with this book lies with its history. This is the second Raleigh Harmon book, and apparently much happens in the first book that is relevant to her Richmond roots - only it isn't fully explained here. I felt as if I would have been better able to understand Raleigh throughout the first half of the book had Giorello taken a bit more time to explore her background here and catch new readers up to speed. This will not deter me from reading these books - they are very well written - but these are definitely not stand alone books. I will recommend these to my friends - starting with the first one.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 "Guidelines Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Thursday, February 25, 2010

We're Reading ...

On Tuesday we chose books for the next several months. Here's a list of dates and the book information as I recorded it. If you see any errors, please let me know. :-)

March 30th ............................. 'A Can of Peas' by Trace DePree
April 20th ............................... 'The Clouds Roll By' by Sibella Giorello
May 25th ................................ ''The Stain' by Harry Kraus, MD
June 22nd ............................... 'A Penny for Your Thoughts' by Mindy Starns Clark

I am still waiting for the exact date of our dinner with our special guest. It's coming ... I'll post it as soon as I have confirmation!

Someone also asked for the Christian websites that I frequent for money saving deals. You can find them here and here.

Wendy has posted some wonderful vlogs lately! Leviticus is hard, but if you're really struggling, try to take some time to watch her videos or read through some of the comments. The extra information can really make these passages come alive! If you've gotten behind and you want to catch up - which is extra hard for me when I'm in Leviticus! - maybe a treat will help. Maybe you can settle down with a favorite snack or head out to a shop or restaurant to hang out with a cold drink in a quiet corner to spread out your stuff and catch up. Think outside the box!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Anybody Interested?

When I opened my Bible this morning and saw that we're still reading about the legalistic technicalities of sacrificing, I wasn't exactly thrilled. There's definitely interesting stuff there, but it's not the riveting adventure story that Genesis was! It got me thinking ... Wendy's been talking about all the foreshadowing that she's seeing within these rules, and others are posting about it, but lots of questions came up on Tuesday. If our favorite local peace-filled seminary grad and mommy-to-be-again was willing to do a Q and A with us about that, would you be interested? Maybe we could meet a bit earlier for dinner somewhere and pick up her tab for her trouble? Just a thought ... Let me know .....

Friday, February 12, 2010

Tim McGraw's 'Love Your Heart'

Katie McGraw is getting ready for her school talent show. Which of her many talents would best be suited for the show - and will her dog Palio agree to go along with her plans? Katie's daddy supports her every effort - funny and charming as they are. Who will win at the show - and is that what's most important?

Little girls will love reading about the all of Katie's talents. Although quietly confident, efforts don't always proceed as planned, and readers will see that it's the heart - not the final outcome - that determines a winner. Readers will relate to Katie's diverse talents and laugh along with her struggle to find the perfect talent for the show.

With short conversations on each page and very colorful illustrations, this book can be read to the very young toddler and taught to older elementary students. This book is definitely a winner!

For more information about Love Your Heart, go here.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review by Thomas Nelson.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Ark of the Covenant

Oh, my, but for a day that I found so hard to read, there is TONS of good stuff within! I wish I'd been able to read the comments before we met last night. Karen of Basel did some research about the Aaron's breastplate, and others had lots of good nuggets, too. I'll try to update this later and include some of it, but since life is a bit hectic here right now, I wanted to post this, at least, in case I don't make it back. If you don't normally watch Wendy's vlogs, definitely check it out for Tuesday, Feb. 9! She included this link to see a replica of the Ark of the Covenant. Don't miss it!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Contrasts of Moses

Jan from TN posted a list of how far apart Moses' beginnings and earthly plans were from where he eneded up in God's plan. It's really neat, so I thought I'd share it here.
  • He was the child of a slave but the son of a queen.
  • He lived in a hut and in the palace.
  • He inherited poverty but had unlimited wealth.
  • He was the keeper of flocks and the leader of armies.
  • He was the meekest of men and the mightiest of warriors.
  • He was educated in court but dwelt in the desert.
  • He was fitted for the city but wandered in the wilderness.
  • He was given the wisdom of Egypt but had the faith of a child.
  • He was tempted with sin but endured hardships of virtue.
  • He was awkward with speech but spoke with God.
  • He held the rod of a shepherd but the power of the Infinite.
  • He was a fugitive from Pharaoh but an ambassador of Heaven.
  • He was the giver of the Law but the forerunner of Grace.
  • He died on Mt. Moab but appeared with Jesus in Judea.
  • No on assisted at his funeral but God buried him.

Isn't that cool?

One of those points brought to mind that scripture I was searching for the last time we met. This isn't it exactly, but it does move Moses forward into the New Testament. Mark 9:2-4:

Six days later Jesus took Peter, James and John, and led them up a high mountain to be alone. As the men watched, Jesus' appearance was transformed and his clothes became dazzling white, far whiter than any earthly bleach could ever make them. Then Elijah and Moses appeared and began talking with Jesus.

See you next week!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Since so many of our books for next week's book discussion have not yet been delivered, we're going to postpone this meeting until the February 25th. Our new schedule will be:

Feb. 2: Cancelled due to road conditions
Feb. 9th: Discussion of Exodus at Isabelle's house
Feb. 16th: Regular Bible study at Amy's house
Feb. 25th: Book club discussion about Whispers of the Bayou by Mindy Starns Clark

See you next Tuesday!


Due to bad road conditions on the streets of Isabelle's neighborhood, our Bible study has been cancelled for tonight. We'll meet again next Tuesday, February 9th, at 8 PM to talk about the book Whispers of the Bayou by Mindy Starns Clark.

See you then!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Intercessory Prayer

A new group has formed from those following Wendy Pope's blog. It's kinda neat how it sprung up from comments left when we were reading Genesis. An intercessory prayer group has formed to pray for salvation for the souls of the spouses of those doing this study. If you'd like to join in, you can find a list of prayer requests on Wendy's page under "We're praying." Brandee from TN has also started a prayer blog and is posting prayers to guide this effort. Won't it be wonderful to see how God works on this list through the upcoming year??