Archive for the ‘Bible Study’ Category

It’s primitive. But it’s finished, just in time for the new school year.

Because I want her to learn how to read the Word.


And because she’s 9 and wants it to be more entertaining than white paper and black pens.

And because I love her and know there is one who loves her far better. ❤️


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I get very excited planning for my daughter’s home school year. It’s the craziest thing, since I never expected myself to be in this place…planning, organizing, looking ahead, looking forward, hopeful, anticipating…doing school with her (!).

I’ve just begun to plan out her “Bible reading stuff.” Several have asked me to let them in on what we’ll be doing as we go forward so I thought I’d start sharing it. Today arrived a couple of new books that I’m pretty excited about, so of course I had to start taking photos! Is there any other option in this technological world now?

We already have a few items, are still looking for some missing items (if it’s not under her bed, where could that book be at?!), have others that I’m not sure we’ll use or not, and are pretty set on the others.

IMG_20160701_113552233 I’m not exactly sure how it will all look quite yet, what she’ll do independently and what we’ll do together, but so far what I am fairly certain about is having several layers for her “Bible study.”

Please note that my daughter is going into third grade; some of these ideas will be too much for your little! And one other thing: I have great vision and ideals and goals…that sometimes play out beautifully and sometimes they just don’t. I overwhelm my husband sometimes with all my plans and ideas. Please don’t feel intimidated if this sounds like too much. I would be so sad if you were.

First, she’ll have a daily Bible reading plan. Last year we used this one and it was very sufficient for this. I wanted her to get in the Word independently, I had a new baby (’nuff said), and it introduced her to an Bible reading plan that didn’t overwhelm or intimidate her.

This year, I’ll probably come up with a plan for her myself. So far, I’m leaning specifically towards incorporating Psalm 119 because it speaks of having such great delight for God’s Word. After it gets organized, I’ll share it!

Second, she’ll have a new “topic” for school: theology. In the past she has been pretty entranced by my own studying, so I thought, well why not just be specific about it and add this in?? These are the books that came today, and how exciting to think she can claim to have her own “theology books!” So cute. I’ll be looking through them more closely to see how quickly I want to take her through each one and in what order. This is a part that we may do during the day, or sometimes do later with dad. These books could very easily be done during family time, if that’s your style.

First, we’ll be reading the children’s version of Paul Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, entitled Dangerous Journey. There is a study guide for this book, which I’ve ordered, and I’ll look at that to see how it can be utilized for discussion.

Second, we’ll be reading through a systematic theology book for kids by Machowski, The Ology. It has extra Scriptures and a question or two for each topic. The ages he lists in this are primarily for 6-12. If you have younger kiddos, we just received this book when we dedicated our son at church and it would be a great “theology.”

Third, we’ll be reading through some of her children’s Bibles to keep in mind that “bigger story” in Scripture. We own The Jesus Storybook Bible, The Biggest Story, and God’s Big Picture Bible.

I think those will be sufficient for the year. But if not, we’ll likely dive in to Sally Michael’s God’s Promises. We did her God’s Names in the past and really, really liked it (I think she was about 5 or 6 at the time).

We have done Catechism in the past, and may or may not do some of that again. It’s nice to have a change of pace. If you have older kids and want a supplement to Catechism memorization, we worked through these workbooks last year. They were a little difficult for her in second grade, but they did help us have some good discussion.

Third, she’ll be doing actual Bible study. I’ve had a difficult time deciding which book of the Bible to go through with her, but in the end, I landed on Luke. I really wanted to go through a gospel/narrative with her, and since I found out our church is preaching through Luke this fall, I thought this was practically a no brainer. We’ll be studying passages a little ahead of the preaching schedule, and my hope is that by the time they tackle it on Sundays, she’ll get a little more out of it than she otherwise would (and so will I!).

I am going to type up some pages for her/both of us to fill out. They’ll be simple, there will likely be work for her to do independently, and opportunity for us to discuss together. The work load won’t be huge. Reading through the passage once or twice during the week, doing a day or two of a few questions, and then our discussion of it together. We’ll see how it all plays out. (sigh) I love thinking about this part and can’t wait to see how it turns out!

This step has only just begun, but I’ll post it, too, when I’m done. I plan for us to start studying Luke at the very beginning of August so that we’ll be sure to “be ready” for our church’s sermons! (Egads!)

Fourth, she’ll have some Scripture memory. This is where the curriculum that our church uses on Sundays comes in to play. The amazing Children’s Ministry staff at our church does a beautiful job teaching Biblical truths to the kids in their care. We’ll take a day to do any worksheet she brings home from Sunday School and do our best to memorize the Scripture they are working on. There have been times when we’ve done this well, and times when we haven’t. We definitely need to grow in our self-discipline in this area!

I hope this is helpful for some. If I have the opportunity and mind for it, perhaps I’ll post my motivation and desire for all of this. The purpose behind the doing – to see God and his glory – is really the beautiful motivation of it all. I hope it will be yours, too.

Much love to you!




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May it be said of me, then, that…

In hope Jane believed against hope (against overwhelming odds, against her sin, against her circumstances) that she should become a wholehearted, steadfast, resolute, pure and holy daughter of the living God of hope and be delivered day by day from the entanglements and stumblings of sin for all her days here on earth, just as she had been told, “It is for freedom you have been set free!”

She did not weaken in faith when she considered herself and the weakness of her own body, speech, appearance, and personality which were all just as good as dead anyways (since she was quiet and tearful and hunched over and introverted and slow to argue and quick to be opinionated and stubborn and impatient and prideful). Or when she considered the circumstances of her life (her husband’s schedule, her child’s school, her only child, her “stuff”, her husband’s “stuff”, her rental home, her lack of funds, her not very clean house, her books stacked on floors, her pots and dishes stacked on floors, her very normal and not very dramatic yet very traumatizing in her own mind life).

No unbelief made her waver concerning the promise of God (though it was there at times!), but (instead) she grew strong in her faith (she did not allow unbelief to take over) as she gave glory to God (this is what kept her eyes off of unbelief and doubt and caused her faith to increase with great strength), fully convinced (more and more and more) that God was able to do what he had promised.

That is why her faith will be ‘counted to her as righteousness.’ Because she believes in him who raised from the dead Jesus her Lord, who was delivered up for her trespasses and raised for her justification!

Therefore! Since she has been justified by faith, she has peace with God through her Lord Jesus Christ. Through him she has also obtained access by faith in this grace in which she stands, and she rejoices in hope of the glory of God.

Not only that, but she rejoices in her sufferings (those trials and circumstances and all those silly things listed), because she knows that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.

And hope does not put her to shame, no! Because God’s love has been poured into her heart through the Holy Spirit who has been given to her. For while she was still so, so, so weak (failing every day, unable to keep up with the Jones’, unable to always be nice, unable to be very compassionate, unable to give generously, unable to keep judging and blaming attitudes at bay), Christ died for her. God showed his love for her, that while she was still a sinner (reckless, unloving, wanting to remain unloving, wanting to be right), Christ died for her!

May it be said of me, then, that I am one who rejoices.

May it be said of me…and may it be said of you.

(taken from Romans 4:18 – 5:11)

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Lord, be the hammer that breaks open hearts of stone – in me, around me. May I take up this old-fashioned gospel hammer and strike as hard as I can with it, that I might see hearts burn, the brains of sin dashed, and souls running joyfully to Christ.

(The following are portions taken from We Endeavor: Helpful Words for Members of the Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor, As A Fire…And Like A Hammer, by Charles Spurgeon. Be sure to watch good old-fashioned rock-breaking, too! I think it will enhance your reading, as it did for me.)

Is not my word like fire, and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces? Jeremiah 23:29

Brethren, when you preach, take the gospel hammer, and strike as hard as ever you can with it. “Oh, but I must try to improve the look of my hammer; it must have a mahogany handle!” Never mind about the mahogany handle; use your hammer for striking, for hammers are not for ornament, they are meant to be used for real hard work. And when you come to use the gospel as it ought to be used, the result is wonderful; it is a rock-breaking thing. “Oh!” you cry, “there is a very obdurate man there!” Strike at him with the gospel. “Oh, but he ridicules and scoffs at the truth!” Never mind if he does, keep on smiting him with the gospel. “Oh, but in a certain district, I have wielded this hammer against the rock for years, and nothing has come of it!” Still go on wielding it, for this is a hammer that never failed yet. Only continue to use it; everything is not accomplished with one stroke; nor, perhaps, with twenty strokes. The rock that does not yield the first time, nor the second time, nor the third time, nor the twentieth time, will yield at last. There is a process of disintegration taking place at every stroke; the great mass is inwardly moving even when you cannot see that it is doing so; and there will come at last one blow of the hammer which will seem to do the deed, but all the previous strokes contributed to it, and brought the rock into the right state for breaking it up at last. Hammer away, then with nothing but the gospel of Jesus Christ. The heart that is struck may not yield even year after year, but it will yield at last.

How this gospel has also been like a hammer to break down human obstinacy! The gospel of redemption through the precious blood of Jesus, the gospel which tells of full atonement made, the gospel which proclaims that the utmost farthing of the ransom price has been paid, and that, therefore, whosoever believeth in Jesus is free from the law, and free from guilt, and free from hell,—the telling out of this gospel has made men’s hearts burn within them, and has dashed out the very brains of sin, and made men joyfully flee to Christ.

I am afraid that there are persons of whom we speak as unlikely to be converted, who have never been fully brought under the influence of the fire of God’s Word, or beneath the fall of the hammer of the gospel. “I brought one person,” says somebody. I am glad you have; but have you ever spoken faithfully to that person about his soul? “Well, I do not know that I have; I have said a little to him.” Have you ever plainly put the gospel before him? “Well, I do not think he was quite the person to be spoken to in that fashion.” Ah! I see that you thought you were going to burn him without using fire, and to break that rock without lifting the hammer. The fact is, you believed that something better than the gospel fire was wanted in his case, or that something gentler than the gospel hammer was needed. Will you not try that old-fashioned hammer upon him? Will you not try that old fire upon him?

“But,” says someone, “there are certain districts where you cannot do any good if you try to preach the gospel. You must … have amusements and entertainments for them, you must have penny readings and concerts.” Very well, convert sinners that way if you can; I do not object to any method that results in the winning of souls. Stand on your head if that will save the people; but still, it seems to me that if God’s Word is like a fire, there is nothing like it for burning its way; and if God’s Word is like a hammer, there can be nothing like that Word for hammering down everything that stands in the way of Jesus Christ. Why, then, should we not continually try the gospel, and nothing but the gospel?

“Well,” says one, “but the poor people are dirty; we must have various sanitary improvements.” Of course we must; go on with them as fast as ever you can; the more of such things, the better. There is nothing like soapsuds and whitewash for dirty people and dirty places; but you may whitewash and soapsud them as long as you like, yet that will not save their souls without the gospel of Christ. You may go to them and plead the cause of temperance with them, and I hope you will; the more of it, the better. Make teetotallers of every one of them if you can, for it will be a great blessing to them; but still, you have not really done anything permanent if you stop there. Try the gospel! Try the gospel! Try the gospel!

The sooner we get back to that Word, the better; and the more we throw away everything else but the simple telling out of that Word, the more speedy will be the victory, and the more swift and sure will be the triumph for our God and for His Christ.

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You can find this originally posted at First Free Church, part of a short series on memorizing God’s Word.

Why will you continue to rebel? The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. Isaiah 1:5

“Great is the Lord, and bmmmbsflk mumble jumble…” I heard my daughter say, as we were working on her memory verse for Awana.

“Sweetie, I can’t hear you. You need to speak up and speak clearly.” My insides were churning with rising anger while I attempted to keep the tone of my voice patient and kind. I had stated this verse to her dozens of times. I knew she knew it; I could hear her mumbling it, for goodness sake! And yet the quiet, rebellious heart I have seen in her since she was in the womb was rising up in her each time I asked her to say it herself. Mumbles. Whispers. Silence. Stares. And finally, tears.

“I don’t want to do this!” she cried out. I remembered how often I have felt the same. The work, the practicing, the repeating…it is so annoying. So not fun. I remembered the countless times I have seen in myself this same stubbornness to do things my way, the rebelliousness to not practice as I’ve been told, and the pride I have held that I could breeze through life without exerting effort.

Memorization is hard work. And for some of us who have this natural instinct that wants to go against the grain and not do what we’re told or not put much effort into the process of preparation…this “task” of memorizing can cause that rebel heart to sprout up within us. In the smallest of tasks we are challenged to do, the rebel heart can be stirred awake, make our heads sick with excuses, and our spirits faint with the inability to do the appointed work.

So, our question for today is, as many First Free women around us commit to pursue the hard work of putting scripture to memory, will we surrender the rebellion that we harbor? Will we search our hearts and bravely ask the Lord to reveal how we can die to self in this task? Will we put effort and practice into learning his Word? For, this isn’t about us, is it? It’s about his eternal Word that stands forever in the heavens, his exaltation in our hearts, and his abundant glory to be spread over all the earth. Yes, even in this smallest of tasks, that is what it is about.

Many of us may not struggle as intensely with this willful rebellion; for myself, I see others being so much more teachable than I am nearly every day! I stand in awe of their ease to surrender their opinions and the way they think things should be, and I always desperately wish I was more like them. For I know in the very depths of my heart that I cannot be like them; all my efforts to surrender and submit to my teachers and leaders has failed to help me. Rebellion still stirs and wakens when I hear the call to do something that I haven’t thought of doing myself.

But glory be to the Most High God! There is hope for us stubborn, rebellious ones yet. For we know that we are weak in this, that we cannot be strong, and that we need to hold tightly to the example of willful surrender that Christ has demonstrated to us. For Christ himself prayed that his cup of suffering would be taken away, yet the Father told him to continue his path of obedience, his path of preparation, his path of burial, his path of dying. Thanks be to Jesus Christ, who did not harbor a rebel heart as we so often do, but was without sin and – get this –actually listened to his Father’s voice!

And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” Matthew 26:39

Even in the effort we must make to memorize his Word, the time we must commit, the space in our brains we must surrender, the books or the shows or the crafts we must lay aside for a time, Christ can and will do a work of great proportion in us. Do you know why? Because, beloved ones, we who are so rebellious and fail to listen to the Lord in the smallest of things, have been lavished with not only forgiveness, but with Christ’s life of great surrender. May we ask for the willingness to lay down our rebel hearts and allow God to prompt us by his faithful Spirit to do the work involved. And in so doing, as we lay down these rebel hearts towards this very small task, we will see his work of transformation, the supernatural ability to take up our cross, the power to follow him, and the miraculous willingness to die to self. I’m quite convinced that when we lay down our rebel hearts, he will, in fact, change our “I don’t want to do this!” to, “Lord, I want to know more of you!” Surely, surely he will do it!

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