Tuesday, September 16, 2014

2 Peter 1

12 For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth.  13 Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you,

5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.

The above is how I did my SOAP for yesterday's chapter reading. I tend to be somewhat of a rule-follower, so I almost didn't do it this way, even though the notes are mine and for me to read. But then, I realized, sitting there arguing with that little finger-pointer for half an hour (yes! I know! that's way too long to argue with one's self) and all that this worrying about the order in which I was noting Scripture was keeping me from learning!! So, yes, I changed the order, here's why: I read "for this reason" and wondered, hm…what's Peter talking about again? It was important and he didn't want to be negligent to remind you "of these things." What were these things? So, I looked back and found the other verses. So, in the moment that's how I came to write it in that order, just to keep it straight in my mind! Ha.

Onto the Scripture now.

Oh, wait, before we go there. I see both sets of verses I chose say "for this reason" and, you know, "also for this reason" … what is he talking about? One thing is "escaping the corruption," which is found in verse 4.  I won't go over everything, I'm not really teaching you, just sharing a few things I noticed.

Now, onto the Scripture, for real this time…

5 But also for this very reason,
giving all diligence, [careful and persistent work or effort]

add to your faith [complete trust or confidence in] virtue [behavior showing high moral standards]

to virtue [behavior showing high moral standards] knowledge [facts, information, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject/awareness or familiarity gained by experience of a fact or situation],

6 to knowledge [facts, information, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject/awareness or familiarity gained by experience of a fact or situation] self-control [the ability to control oneself, in particular one's emotions and desires or the expression of them in one's behavior, especially in difficult situations],

to self control [the ability to control oneself, in particular one's emotions and desires or the expression of them in one's behavior, especially in difficult situations] perseverance [steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success],

to perseverance [steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success] godliness [conforming to the laws and wishes of God; devout; pious],

to godliness [conforming to the laws and wishes of God; devout; pious] brotherly [showing affection and concern; affectionate] kindness [the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate] love [1 Corinthians 13:4-7New King James Version (NKJV) 4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.].

12 For this reason I will not be negligent [failing to take proper care in doing something] to remind [cause (someone) to remember someone or something] you always of these things,

though you know and are established in the present truth.

13 Yes,

I think it is right,

as long as I am in this tent [body],

to stir you up [arouse, awaken] by reminding you,

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Esther Chapter  4

1 When Mordecai learned all that had happened, he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the midst of the city. He cried out with a loud and bitter cry. 

The news was devastating! Frightening.  Was there hope?  He put on Sackcloth and ashes.  

Here is the definition for sackcloth and ashes from Biblegateway.com:  Sackcloth is a coarse, black cloth made from goat’s hair that was worn together with the burnt ashes of wood as a sign of mourning for personal and national disaster, as a sign of repentance and at times of prayer for deliverance.

He cried out with a loud and bitter cry.   It does not say that he prayed, but based on the above definition, we can suppose his crying out was to God. 

So Esther’s maids and eunuchs came and told her, and the queen was deeply distressed. Then she sent garments to clothe Mordecai and take his sackcloth away from him, but he would not accept them.  

I wonder why she sent garments to Mordecai.  Maybe living the way she was, in that house near the palace, she didn't quite understand?  Maybe she was young and didn't grasp the gravity of the matter?  Maybe she didn't understand the significance of the sackcloth and ashes.  

"he would not accept them."  When facing life and death or having experienced a house fire, we look at our clothes and makeup and household items and realize how insignificant they are.  We wonder why we ever thought so much of our stuff.  Why did we think they mattered?  Perhaps another reason he wore the sackcloth and ashes was to be a spectacle; so that people would see something was happening.  Maybe it is a way of announcing tragedy?   

11 “All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that any man or woman who goes into the inner court to the king, who has not been called, he has but one law: put all to death, except the one to whom the king holds out the golden scepter, that he may live. Yet I myself have not been called to go in to the king these thirty days.”

Esther, perhaps, is thinking he doesn't understand that she can't do anything.  She may be queen, but she has no real power.  She is probably not feeling confident that the king would be willing to allow her to speak, it had been 30 days since she had seen him last!  When you live on the same grounds and 30 days goes by without a conversation, you probably don't feel very close to that person.
13 And Mordecai told them to answer Esther: “Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews. 14 For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

Mordecai lets her know that if she does not take action, she will die.  Not only that, but it would be the end of her father's lineage.  Period.  She is without hope.  He was sure deliverance would come for his people though, somehow, someway.  He did encourage her that if she takes action, there is a chance her life will be spared. 
15 Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai: 16 “Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!”

She asked for all of her people to fast, giving up food and drink day and night for three days.  Not just fasting morning or night or a single meal, but day and night for three days.  She and her handmaidens would do the same.  I don't know, but I would imagine the handmaidens were not Jewesses.  Prayer is not mentioned, but prayer and fasting usually go together.  I won't go so far as to say I know they did pray, but I will say I know God knew they were fasting and why.  

She was still courageous even though her only real choice was to take action because, as it says in the previous verse, she would die if she didn't.



Monday, September 1, 2014

Monday - September 1, 2014
Day 2 of Reading Through the Bible

Esther Chapter 2 
Scripture is from New King James Version via BibleGateway.com
Definitions are from Dictionary.com

The following is not my SOAP, just some verses/phrases that stood out to me as I read through chapter 2. 

From verse 7:  "The young woman was lovely and beautiful." 

adjective, lovelier, loveliest.
1.  charmingly or exquisitely beautiful:
a lovely flower.
2.  having a beauty that appeals to the heart or mind as well as to the eye, as a person or a face.
3.  delightful; highly pleasing:
to have a lovely time.
4.  of a great moral or spiritual beauty:
a lovely character.

1.  having beauty; possessing qualities that give great pleasure or satisfaction to see, hear, think about, etc.; delighting the senses or mind:
a beautiful dress; a beautiful speech.
2.  excellent of its kind:
a beautiful putt on the seventh hole; The chef served us a beautiful roast of beef.
3.  wonderful; very pleasing or satisfying.
From a quick glance at the definitions, it seems lovely may be more character related.  Beautiful seems to be more related to the senses.  But they both clearly are related.  Esther had both.  At first reading I thought, wow, God really wants us to know she was quite the looker!  Ha.  But, reading the definitions, she was more than that.    

Now the young woman pleased him, and she obtained his favor; so he readily gave beauty preparations to her, besides her allowance. Then seven choice maidservants were provided for her from the king’s palace, and he moved her and her maidservants to the best place in the house of the women.

I copied this verse because after learning that she is both lovely AND beautiful, beauty preparations were still given to her.  She received 7 "choice" helpers and was in the "best place in the house" of women.  This may be off topic, but I'm getting the idea that in the eyes of people we can never be lovely or beautiful enough...this concern will find its way in my prayers today.

12 Each young woman’s turn came to go in to King Ahasuerus after she had completed twelve months’ preparation, according to the regulations for the women, for thus were the days of their preparation apportioned: six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with perfumes and preparations for beautifying women.  

A year's worth of beauty treatments?  Six months of oil and six months of perfumes.  I just copied this verse on here because it made me go "wow."  I wouldn't mind researching this a bit, but I'd need to make the time for that and I'd just be getting sidetracked.  This won't be in my SOAP notes, but someday I will look this up...

14 In the evening she went, and in the morning she returned to the second house of the women, to the custody of Shaashgaz, the king’s eunuch who kept the concubines. She would not go in to the king again unless the king delighted in her and called for her by name.

This just made me sad.  In the evening she went to him and in the morning she returned.  

15 Now when the turn came for Esther the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her as his daughter, to go in to the king, she requested nothing but what Hegai the king’s eunuch, the custodian of the women, advised. And Esther obtained favor in the sight of all who saw her.

We see here she was politically minded.  She requested nothing but what the king's eunuch advised.  Because of her political savvy, she obtained favor in the sight of all who saw her.  (In addition to her loveliness and beauty she was politic also.  

17 The king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins; so he set the royal crown upon her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.

It worked.  He LOVED her.  She received grace and favor from this king who loved her.  She became his queen.

18 Then the king made a great feast, the Feast of Esther, for all his officials and servants; and he proclaimed a holiday in the provinces and gave gifts according to the generosity of a king.

She received her own holiday!  "according to the generosity of a king."  (Think back to chapter 1 in case you're wondering about his generosity during a feast, ha.)
20 Now Esther had not revealed her family and her people, just as Mordecai had charged her, for Esther obeyed the command of Mordecai as when she was brought up by him.

She was obedient. 

21 In those days, while Mordecai sat within the king’s gate, two of the king’s eunuchs, Bigthan and Teresh, doorkeepers, became furious and sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus.

I just added this because I found it shocking.  For some reason I tend to think as eunuchs as peaceful.  I don't think of them as getting furious and certainly not murderous!  

22 So the matter became known to Mordecai, who told Queen Esther, and Esther informed the king in Mordecai’s name. 

Esther informed the king, but made sure to mention Mordecai's name. 

 23 And when an inquiry was made into the matter, it was confirmed, and both were hanged on a gallows; and it was written in the book of the chronicles in the presence of the king.

We will find later the importance of "it was written in the book of the chronicles in the presence of the king." Believe me, this is important.   :)

Okay, these are some notes on Esther chapter 2.  I will be SOAPing later today.  

Be blessed as you read through the Bible where we are just learning, word by word.


Sunday, August 31, 2014

It is August 31, 2014.  The first day of our Read Through the Bible series.  We are reading one chapter a day. 

Here are a few things I've seen in chapter 1 of Esther.  

King Ahasuerus was in the third year of his reign.  

He decided to throw a party.  The party lasted for 180 days.  

He then decided to throw an after party.  This party lasted 7 days.  (wow!)

This was in the court of the garden of the king's palace.  (Quite the garden party.)  Just because it was outside, it was by no means casual on the part of the king, here's the setting: 

  • There were white and blue linen curtains fastened with cords of fine linen and purple on silver rods and marble pillars
  • The couches were of gold and silver on a mosaic pavement of alabaster, turquoise, and white and black marble.
  • They were served drinks in golden vessels, each vessel being different from the other (no set of Libby glassware)
  • Royal wine in abundance, according to the generosity of the king.  
It says not everybody drank, it was not compulsory (mandatory) you were free to drink the wine or not.  

While this party is going on, the queen was also making a feast for the women.

On the 7th day of the this after party, the king sent 7 eunuchs to fetch his queen so he could parade her in front of the people to show how beautiful his queen is.  

She refused to come.  

The king was angry.

The 7 princes, wise men, who were closest to the king.  It says they "understood the times."  (Something about that phrase clicked in my brain...) advised him he needed to make a proclamation that "all wives will honor their husbands, both great and small."  

Who were they concerned with?  The king?  Maybe a little.  Themselves, most certainly.  

Here's what the king did:  He sent letters to all the king’s provinces, to each province in its own script, and to every people in their own language, that each man should be master in his own house, and speak in the language of his own people. 

What did I learn from this chapter?  We haven't changed much.  

  • We like to feast. 
  • We don't like to be embarrassed. 
  • We look out for our comfort and interests.  
A question I have from this chapter:  Why did he send 7 eunuchs?   Was that just protocol or did he expect she may need extra encouragement to come?  I don't know.  

What did you learn from our first chapter? 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Tomorrow is August 31, 2014.  We will be begin our reading journey together as we Read Through the Bible. 

We are starting out with Esther Chapter 1.  I look forward to our time together.



Just Learning Word by Word.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path. 

Psalm 119:105

When praying for a new friend, God impressed this verse into my thoughts.  Yes, in a sing-song manner.  :)  

The sing-song words would not go away.  Not at all.  Over and over, it played in my thoughts.  What do I do when things like this happen?  I research. 

I checked the concordance and found it was in Psalm 119.  Uh, oh.  Confession time.  I tend to avoid chapter 119 because, well, it's long.  Very long.  If I were to intensely SOAP the verses of that one chapter it would take 176 days!  Whoa!  That's a long time in one chapter!

But, I just decided to read it, no pressure to SOAP every verse.  I would SOAP if I felt impressed to do so (which I did), but I decided no pressure.  Just read it.

Wow.  Over and over it speaks about reading God's word.  Read His testimonies.  His decrees are counsel for us (verse 24).  His Word strengthens (verse 28).  His Word gives us understanding (verse 130).  On and on this chapter tells why we should read His Word.  

So, I'm going to attempt blogging as I read through the Bible along with "Good Morning Girls" and Women Living Well.  I don't have a very good track record with my blogging, I tend to drop it.  

So, pray with me as we read.  We are starting with Esther 1 on August 31, 2104.  I probably won't blog daily, but hopefully will at least blog once a week.  Thanks for tagging along with me in this journey through the Bible. 

Just learning, word by word.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Luke 8:24  -  And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying, "Master, Master, we are perishing!"  Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water.  And they ceased, and there was a calm.   


And - then
they - the disciples
came to 
Him -Jesus
awoke - it doesn't say the method they used, maybe shaking?  I don't know, but they were probably shouting the the following statements ...
Him, - Jesus
  • a person with the ability or power to use, control, or dispose of something
  • owner of a slave, animal, etc.
  • employer of workers or servants
  • male head of household
  • a person eminently skilled in something as an occupation, art, science
  • a person whose teachings others accept or follow
  • a worker qualified to teach apprentices and carry on a trade independently
  • the Master, Jesus Christ (actual definition found in the dictionary)
Master, - they repeated this name, not Jesus, but Master...
we - disciples and Jesus, everyone on the boat
  • causing destruction, ruin, extreme discomfort or death
  • to die or be destroyed through violence, privation, etc.
  • to pass away or disappear
  • to suffer destruction or ruin
  • to suffer spiritual death
Then - next
He - Jesus
  • got up from lying, sitting, kneeling
  • awakened
  • move upward; mount; ascend
and - next
rebuked - expressed sharp, tern disapproval of; reprove; reprimand

  • air in natural motion
  • gale, storm, hurricane
  • any stream of air as that produced by a bellows or fan
  • air that is blown or forced to produce a musical sound in singing or playing an instrument
and - also, in addition
  • angry fury; violent anger
  • fit of violent anger
  • fury or violence of wind, waves, fire, diseases, etc.
  • violent desire or passion
water.  - lake water
they - the wind and waves
  • stop, discontinue
  • come to an end
  • pass away, die out
  • put a stop or end to
and - then

  • without rough motion; still or nearly still
  •  not windy or stormy
  • free from excitement or passion; tranquil
  • freedom for motion or disturbance
  • wind speed of less than 1 mile per hour
  • freedom from agitation, excitement, or passion; tranquility; serenity
They went to Him, Jesus.
They called Him "Master" - twice!
They believed they were perishing - being destroyed
The wind was powerful.
The waves were raging.
Jesus got up when came to Him panicked.
Jesus rebuked - sternly reprimanded/commanded - the wind
The wind stopped.
The waves stopped crashing.
The surroundings were tranquil.


Remember where to go when in need.
Remember where to go when panicked.
Remember, when in the storm, I am not alone.
Remember His name is also Master - He is qualified to work in any of my situations.

Jesus, sometimes I forget I am not alone.  Sometimes I forget to call Your name in the middle of a storm.  Sometimes I get caught up in the crashing waves or the sound of the winds overwhelm me and forget that I can still listen to the Voice whom brings calm.  You are with me in storms and in times of tranquility.  I am not alone.  Forgive me for my short-term memory.  Thank You for loving me.