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WWYD - What would you do?

I’m about a month into my Bible journey, and it’s so exciting to have traveled from the Garden of Eden, through a Great Flood, to the twin cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, to the land of the Canaanites, to the great land of Egyptian kings, through the parting of a Sea of Reeds, and then finally through the desert not knowing where my next drink of water would come from. What a trip! Day 30 – Leviticus 1-4 and Psalms 30 The next leg of this journey takes me to the book of Leviticus, where I read through the bloody world of animal sacrifices. At this point, I’m wondering what must have been going through the minds of the Israelites, having come from such a different world. They may have been fami

Who is Bezalel?

If you’re asking, “Who is Bezalel?” I would respond, “Who is Bezalel, indeed!” Anyone who’s important enough to be filled with the Spirit of God had to have an important role to play. And in today’s chapters, we see just how important he was. Portrait of Bezalel by artist, James Tissot Day 29 – Exodus 35-40 and Psalms 29 Bezalel was in charge of building the Tabernacle of God and the Ark of the Covenant. Up to this point, no other structure where God’s presence would reside had been built by man. The golden Ark would contain not just God’s Holy commandments, but His mighty power, too. The specifications with which they were constructed required precise knowledge and ability. And, Bezalel was

Details details

When Scripture takes you deep into the life of a particular person, like Joseph or Moses, the pages almost turn themselves. The ups and downs of their lives are gripping, and you can’t wait to read what’s going to happen next. When Scripture takes you on a roller coaster ride of events, like the ten plagues, you don’t even want to close the book. Even though you might know what’s coming, you can’t help but root for Pharaoh to make the right decisions. But, then he doesn’t. If I close my eyes, I can almost picture myself sitting in a theater, watching each time Pharaoh told Moses to take his people and go, but then changed his mind. The audience around me would throw popcorn at the screen, an

Bible marathon

You know how some brave and determined souls challenge themselves to swim across the English Channel? Or, how about those who endeavor to climb Mt. Everest? While I'm not comparing myself to those remarkable humans at all, I do feel like I've decided to run my first marathon. When you hear the starter pistol, you're all smiles, running in the crowd, with people cheering you on. It's exciting. Exhilarating. You're running for a good cause, and you feel a sense of purpose. Then the pack opens up. The further you run the fewer runners you see around you. You get thirsty, but there aren't as many drink stations as there were near the start of the race. The spectators are also thinning out. They

Film review: "The Exodus Decoded"

I truly appreciate The Bible Project videos that make an occasional appearance on the Read Scripture app schedule. But, I’m the type of girl that needs a little more in depth study on the topics that I’m reading. And, today I watched the best documentary I’ve ever seen on the book of Exodus. Day 25 – Exodus 25-27 and Psalms 25 Streaming on Amazon Prime, The Exodus Decoded presents archaeological and geological evidence proving that the Biblical Exodus is not just a fairy tale. It really happened. I get so excited when I see films like this, not because I need scientific proof for the faith that informs my life, but because so many other people do. What’s tragic to me is that, even when there

Did God sanction slavery? (part 2)

It's still very early in this year's journey through the Scriptures, and when I came to chapter 21 of Exodus, I felt a knot in the pit of my stomach. Much of it lays out the laws governing slaves (or servants, depending on the translation you're reading). But, upon closer examination, I don't believe that it encourages the subjugation or oppression of an entire race of people. In no way does it describe the African slave trade that brought my ancestors to the Americas against their will. Neither does it describe or give permission for the ongoing brutality and generational enslavement that occurred for centuries. My previous post, Did God sanction slavery? (part 1), takes a closer look at th

Did God sanction slavery? (part 1)

On my first read through the verses in chapter 21 of Exodus, I felt myself tightening up on the inside. As a descendant of enslaved Africans, I’ve always had a difficult time with the notion that God could sanction the enslavement of human beings. There are many people of African descent who point to verses like these in the Bible when explaining their rejection of a God who could permit such a thing. Day 23 – Exodus 19-21 and Psalms 23 I’ve heard many arguments around the fact that European slave traders used verses like these to prove their superiority, and therefore, their God-given right to kidnap, possess, torture, subjugate, oppress, and brutalize an entire race of people for centuries

Child of God

God is like a Father to me. I see Him as a parent with a bunch of unruly children who not only talk back disrespectfully, but who also misbehave no matter how many times they’re taught right from wrong. They’re spoiled little brats who expect all the best presents on Christmas morning, and who pout when something from their list is missing. They make a mess everywhere, then grumble when they have to clean it up. And, they’re only attentive and loving when they need something. Day 22 – Exodus 16-18 and Psalms 22 This could describe the Israelites after the Exodus, but it could also describe people today. Is God really the same yesterday, today, and forever? If so, shouldn’t we be afraid of ge

The way out

If you think my 30-year-old Bible is tattered and torn, then take a look at my husband's. Published in 1976 by Thomas Nelson, it's the King James Version with phrases like "beseech thee" and "thou hast made my days as an handsbreadth." Although this particular kind of English is difficult to comprehend, we both cherish this Bible because his great-uncle gave it to him way back in the 1980s, and because the notes that introduce each book are beyond enlightening. I loved these notes so much, that I copied many of them by hand into my easier to understand New Kings James Bible, wherever I could find blank space. Like so... This was enormously helpful to me in my early days as a believer. Someti

Ode to the Pharaoh in you

Hardened hearts refuse to listen. They don’t listen to reason. They don’t listen to wisdom. They don’t listen to God. All they do is listen to themselves. Their own ego. Their own pride. Hardened hearts refuse to obey. They follow after their own rules. They’re above all others. They place themselves on a pedestal that no one of faith can climb. Hardened hearts refuse to love. They refuse to give. They refuse to acknowledge that it’s by the grace of God that they live. Even when the worst case scenario occurs, hardened hearts are driven to anger. They are driven to unforgiveness. Because their hearts are hard, their hearts are like lead. Their hearts are dead. So many have hardened hearts to

It's question time again...

As usual, I'm full of questions now that the second leg of my trip is underway. Yesterday I arrived at Exodus, and after taking a moment to get settled, I'm ready to begin my tour of Egypt and Midian. But first, I have to do something about all those question marks floating around in my head. Day 18 - Exodus 4-6 and Psalms 18 Someday, I suppose I'll research some of these inquiries. But for now, I'll just list them along with the verses that sparked my curiosity, starting with the first chapter. Maybe someone might stumble across this post and help me answer some of them. In the meantime, I'll keep thanking God for giving me understanding. Chapter and verse 1:6-8 - Why does The Bible Project

Are we there yet?

I’m not a world traveler, but I’ve been to a few tropical places. And, whenever I arrive at my destination, I like to pause and catch my breath before venturing out to parts unknown. So, now that I’ve departed Genesis, and arrived at Exodus, I’d like to take a moment to reflect. Day 17 – Exodus chapters 1-3 and Psalms 17 This Bible journey means everything to me. It’s the first time that I’ve ever committed to writing every day...consistently. It’s been 2½ weeks, and I can honestly say that I’ve never read the Bible every day for this many days in a row...until now. What I’m doing is an act of obedience. I believe that I’m being led by God to marry two of my passions, writing and His Word. W

God bless the child

It's day 16 of my Bible journey, and I feel a sense of accomplishment for having completed the first leg of my trip. The curtains closed on Genesis today, and the final act was Jacob blessing his sons before taking his last breath. It was bittersweet because I'm happy about moving on, but I'm going to miss the spectrum of emotions I felt while reading about everyone from Adam and Eve to Jacob and Rachel. Day 16 - Genesis 48-50 and Psalms 16 There was love, hate, fear, desperation, heartbreak, disobedience, consequences, triumph, loss, and so much more. Genesis was a jam-packed introduction to the Scriptures. Having read about its well-known figures many times over the years, I now feel like

Love over hate

On day 15 of my Bible journey, I find myself in Egypt...Goshen specifically. That's the land where Jacob and his sons settled after reuniting with Joseph, his beloved favorite who he thought was killed by wild animals. Instead of hating his brothers for banishing him to a life of enslavement, Joseph decided to forgive them...even love them. Day 15 - Genesis 46-47 and Psalms 15 Jacob's family had suffered greatly during a brutal seven-year famine. The Egyptian people were so desperate for food that they sold their land and all their livestock to the government in exchange for enough provisions to survive. They even sold themselves into servitude for the privilege of giving back to Pharaoh one

God's gift

I'm often amazed by the gifts and talents that people have. Some people can run or swim at record speed. Some can play piano by ear. Some sing like angels. Some can perform complicated scientific calculations. Of course, they work on perfecting their crafts, but the innate ability to develop these talents is a gift. Joseph recognized this when he told Pharaoh that his gift of interpreting dreams was not his own ability, but God's through him. Joseph didn't brag or boast about his gift. He didn't even use it to get himself out of prison sooner. Joseph used his gift for good, and he gave God the credit for it. Day 13 - Genesis 41-42 and Psalms 13 Gifts are usually given from one person to ano

Genesis is binge-worthy

Somebody needs to put the book of Genesis on film. Pronto! It could be a 10-episode binge-worthy series on Netflix or Amazon Prime. And, I would definitely throw a watch party for it, complete with popcorn and milk duds. Just when you think you've seen it all, from brotherly homicide to a drunken naked patriarch to ravenous men roaming the streets at night to incestuous daughters to a stolen inheritance to death during childbirth to false imprisonment...and then there was Tamar. Day 12 - Genesis chapters 38-40 and Psalms 12. A woman posed as a prostitute in order to trick her dead husband's father into impregnating her. Judah's first son was married to Tamar when he was struck down by God fo

Poor Rachel!

Poor Rachel! That’s all I could say when I read about her life and death. First Rachel fell for a guy, and waited seven years to be able to marry him, only to watch her own father trick the guy into marrying her sister instead. Rachel spent an entire week after their marriage, heartbroken I’m sure, as her sister Leah began settling in as Jacob’s wife. Then, she had to settle for sloppy seconds when she became Jacob’s second wife. Day 11 - Genesis chapter 35-37 and Psalms 11. Rachel may have been first place in Jacob’s heart, but she had to endure her sister’s fruitful womb over and over again. Meanwhile her own womb refused to fulfill her desire for children. It must have been torture for Ra

Forgiveness is Divine

There was never a dull moment in the life of Jacob. In today's reading, we find him fleeing in fear of the twin brother he swindled out of his inheritance. He wanted badly to return to his homeland, so he sent messengers to Esau to feel him out. When they came back saying that Esau was on his way with 400 men, Jacob was understandably shaken. Why would someone travel with 400 men if they didn’t anticipate a battle of some kind? Day 10 - Genesis 32-34 and Psalms 10 Jacob must have felt pretty vulnerable, with all of his wives, children, and livestock to protect. So, to minimize the collateral damage, he split them up into two separate camps. And he prayed. Jacob’s prayer Jacob’s prayer began

Laban's antics preempt the Psalms

In my previous post, I planned to reflect on the first 7 chapters in Psalms today, but the drama in Genesis was too juicy not to mention. I promise to get into the Psalms later, but first...Jacob’s uncle/father-in-law is a piece of work! Isn’t he? My husband and I listened to Genesis in the car this morning, and poor Jacob was catching it right and left. First Laban made him work 7 years to marry the girl of his dreams. Then after the 7 years, instead of giving Jacob the daughter he was promised, Laban slipped the older, less attractive Leah into their honeymoon quarters. When Jacob freaked out, as any man would do, Laban made him wait a week before marrying Rachel also, but not before makin

66 Books!

On January 1st, I embarked upon this journey to complete all 66 books of the Bible before the end of the year. It’s just one week later, and I’m already having to push myself to stay on track every single day. You see, I’m not a creature of habit. I get bored with routine. I’m not very good at planning ahead, not even a week out. Day 8 - Genesis chapters 25-28 and Psalms 8 So, taking on a challenge like this, which includes a daily schedule for the next 12 months, well it’s rather daunting! Add to that the second commitment I made to myself of writing down the thoughts, questions, and revelations I have as I read...every single day. It’s starting to feel like a monumental task. There were tw