GOOOOOD morning, Mini-Women! And welcome LLARIA! Your fellow blogettes have already done a great job of making you feel at home, but I wanted to reach out a hand too. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.
Speaking of questions, someone -- and maybe it was JAMIE -- asked what a Talking To God Journal is. Would someone like to explain that in a comment?
One more thing before we move on to today's topic ... I love, love, love that you're praying for each other. That's what makes this such a special community. Let's do this, though: let's not give details about the people we're asking for prayer for. It's best to just say, "My best friend's sister is having a rough time," rather than describing what she's doing. I ask that to protect the privacy of the person -- no, we don't know her or her name, but hers is not our story to tell. God will know what and who we're talking about. Please don't feel bad if you've given a little more detail than we need lately -- it happens all the time. That's why I'm the grandma who comes in and reminds us. No harm done. Lesson learned. Fresh start.
Okay NOW let's talk about last week's topic, which was, "What stories, passages, books in the Bible make you go, "I don't GET it!"? You were more than willing to share! Here's our list so far --
Song of Solomon
Lamentations (I KNOW, right?)
Numbers (ya think?)
Leviticus (as someone said, Do we follow all that stuff or just the Ten Commandments?)
Some of the Psalms (David says all this stuff and then he goes and does bad things; what's that about?)
Haggai ("I have no idea what it's even in the Bible for!" one of you wrote)
It seems like you have the most trouble in general with:
* the prophecies -- Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah .... they actually seem a little crazy sometimes, if you can understand what they're talking about at all
* the descriptions of wars -- boys might like that stuff, but I'm with you: one battle runs right into another and we're not sure what that has to do with us anyway
* the explanations for how to build temples -- like you're going to construct one -- what is with all the minute details? Can you say "numb your mind"?
* the poetry -- which includes Song of Solomon, the Psalms, even the Book of Revelation - it's pretty, but what does it MEAN? For YOU?
I'm not sure you want me to take the time to walk you through each of those in future blog posts. We're not actually a Bible study blog. What I CAN do is give you some guidelines that might help you --
(1) choose what the study in the Bible
(2) get what the hard parts mean when you're faced with them
We're just going to talk about choosing today.
* At this point in your life, I think the very best books/passages for you to study are these --
** Genesis, because that's the story of how it all started. That's the groundwork for our faith
** Exodus Chapters 1 - 20; Chapters 31:18-Chapter 34; This is the story of Moses and the Israelites -- what they went through is a lot like what we go through when we're trying to follow God and it doesn't make sense.
** The Book of Ruth -- it's all about obedience and devotion - and being smart!
** 1 and 2 Samuel -- yes there are a lot of wars in there, which you can skim, but the stories of Samuel and then David will help you see that what you believe and how you love God and where that takes you ARE important to your world.
** Esther -- for the same reason
** Psalms and Proverbs aren't full meals that you sit down and each until you're full. They're more like snack cabinets. You go there to nibble when you need a certain thing -- like evidence that EVERYBODY fails and has to pick themselves up and keep moving, and proof that God's there no matter how angry you are with him --you are loved.
** all four Gospels -- again and again, deeper and deeper
** the Acts of the Apostles -- it's a really good story --and is just as much the foundation for our faith as Genesis
** Romans -- when you want to learn what FREEDOM really is
**I Corinthians -- when you need some help with getting along with people -- especially family and other Christians
**II Corinthians -- if you really, really want to know how to have a relationship with God
** Galatians -- if you're scared of doing "The wrong thing"
** Ephesians -- If you have trouble matching what you believe about God and what you actually do. (and who doesn't have THAT problem from time to time?)
** Philippians -- When bad things are happening to you and you're having trouble finding a way to hang on
** Colossians -- When it feels like all the "church stuff" confuses you about who Jesus really is. Is it really about wearing the right clothes to church and taking or not taking communion? Or is it really about our Lord Christ?
** ! Thessalonians -- If you want to look at what Jesus eventually returning means to how you live your life now
** 2 Thessalonians -- when you're feeling like you aren't DOING anything with your faith
** 1 Timothy -- If you want some inspiration to be a leader in your faith NOW (and not just in the church -- this is about things like forming your own Tribelet ...)
** 2 Timothy -- 1 Timothy inspires you to lead; this one tells you how to do it
** Titus -- If you want to know how to handle people who are just plain rebels
** Philemon -- If you're having trouble accepting someone's apology and forgiving them
** Hebrews -- When you don't have what you want
** James -- If you're having trouble doing the things you've promised God you'll do
** 1 Peter -- If you're feeling like God will never be able to use funky old you
** 2 Peter -- When you're having trouble making a decision
** 1 John -- If you need to brush up on matching what you say you believe with what you actually do
** 2 John -- If you're having trouble reaching people who don't believe in Jesus
** Jude -- when you're confused about loving everyone, but not being pulled into un-God things along the way
* That doesn't mean don't read the other books of the Bible., There's great stuff for you everywhere. These are just the ones that have the most to say to you and will require the least amount of help from other people.
If you want to comment today, choose one of those books to just read in your quiet times over the next few weeks. Tell us which one you choose. And Friday I'll help you with understanding the hard parts you're going to meet along the way. Can't wait!