19 May 2017

1 to 20 and 20 to 1

Damon quickly picked up counting to 10. (He may be a numbers guru like Daddy!) So naturally we moved on to counting to 20. That proved a little more difficult. He tended to forget 13 and 16. But about a month ago, he finally started saying all 20 numbers without any prompting.

Then we moved on to counting backwards from 20. He still needs a little coaxing, but he’s starting to figure it out. And here is the video proof!

He also can count to 49 without help. After that, he needs help with the tens. Thanks to two grandmas who are former teachers and a big sister who wishes she was a teacher, Damon is getting plenty of “classroom” instruction.

18 May 2017

11 May 2017

09 May 2017

BSF 2016-2017: What I learned this year

In the blink of an eye, we are finished with our study of the Gospel of John! Here is what I learned this year:

What I learned in my personal study

Jesus’ love knows no bounds. He loved me so much that He willingly died on the cross for me. My heart was broken as I again read about Jesus’ brutal death and willing sacrifice. And then I considered that He did all of that for me. Who am I that He should love me that much? I am so grateful and blessed that He calls me His child!

Jesus is concerned about the details. John recorded so many details about Jesus’ life, especially related to the prophesies surrounding His death, burial, and crucifixion. And Jesus was concerned about many details in His followers’ lives, things many of us would have overlooked. I’m a detail person too, so it’s comforting to know that God cares about every detail of our lives!

What I learned by serving in the School Program

God will make His plan for our lives very clear. All we need to do is listen and obey. Just before this BSF year began, God revealed to me that He was calling me to leave BSF. I needed to be sure that I heard His plan correctly. I spent many months praying for clarity and confirmation from Him. He did just that, giving me peace that I was making the right decision. So after 14 years in BSF with nine being in a leadership position, it is time for me to leave this organization. God has given me many years of training and preparation through my studies in BSF so now I can train Avery and Damon to read and understand God’s Word, pray to Him, and become His children.

I hope you enjoyed our study through the book of John! Have my posts piqued your interest about studying God’s Word? Are you looking for answers to your questions about Christianity? Check out BSF! Find a class near you and commit to learning about God through a study of the book of Romans next year. Or find a Bible study at your local church, ask a friend to study with you and hold you accountable, or start studying on your own. God will reveal amazing things to you and will change you from the inside out when you commit to studying His Word.

04 May 2017

02 May 2017

BSF 2016-2017: John 21

John ends his Gospel with an interesting story – an appearance by Jesus to the disciples.

Seven of the eleven disciples were at the Sea of Galilee. They were obeying Jesus’ instructions to wait for Him in Galilee. They decided to go fishing all night. At first, they didn’t catch any fish. Then early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples didn’t recognize Him. He asked if they had any fish. When they replied in the negative, He instructed them to cast their nets on the other side of the boat. When they did this, they brought in 153 fish.

Then John recognized that the figure on the shore was Jesus. Peter jumped in the water and swam to Jesus. The other disciples hauled in their catch in the boat. When they landed on the shore, they saw a fire with fish and bread on it. Jesus invited them to have breakfast with Him. He invited them to participate by adding their fish to the meal. They certainly didn’t eat all of them but probably sold many of them to earn money since they were going to head out on a mission for Jesus and needed some financial support.

After feeding the disciples physically, Jesus fed them spiritually. He restored Peter to a right standing with Him. Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved Him. Peter answered “yes” three times. Previously Peter denied Jesus three times; now Jesus gave him three chances to confess his love for Him.

Jesus commanded Peter to feed His lambs, take care of His sheep, and feed His sheep. Lambs could represent new believers. Sheep could represent established believers. Jesus reinstated, restored, and recommissioned Peter. Because Peter’s sin was public, Jesus publicly restored him. Peter’s discipline prepared him for feeding Jesus’ sheep.

Next Jesus predicted Peter’s death. Jesus said Peter would die by crucifixion. Tradition tells us that Peter indeed was crucified. But because he didn’t think he was worthy to die in the same manner as Christ, Peter was crucified upside down.

Jesus had this conversation with Peter, and John was following them. Jesus again commanded Peter to follow Him. “What about him?” Peter asked about John. Jesus said what He does with John is not Peter’s concern. This reminds us to stay focused on our callings from God and follow Him instead of being concerned about God’s calling on others’ lives. We should not be distracted by ourselves, others, or our circumstances. We should care for one another but remain focused on Christ and His work for us.

Things to Think About
  • Jesus calls all of His disciples to be fishers of men. Being a fisher of men requires courage, faith, and persistence.
  • Where has Jesus directed you to spend time and effort fishing for people?
  • Our love for Christ must be our motive for serving Him. If we love Christ, we must love His sheep too.
  • God has individualized plans for His children. He has common purposes for all of us, but He also has unique purposes for each of us.
  • Are you seeking to live out God’s purpose for you? Are you comparing your purpose to someone else’s?
  • Are your eyes on Christ or someone else?

This Week’s Memory Verse
He said, “Lord you know all things; you know that I love you. ” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.” John 21:17 NIV