Archive for December, 2005

A Favorite Bible Verse

Sunday, December 25th, 2005

Psalm84:11:For the LORD God [is] a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good [thing] will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.

I love this verse; as I meditate upon it, I am encouraged to take my attention off myself and place my attention upon the LORD God. First, the LORD God is a sun. This reminds me of John 1:4: “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” The Lord gives His people the light of true spiritual knowledge. Psalm 84:11 also brings to mind the following verse:

Psalm 27:1: [[[A Psalm] of David.]] The LORD [is] my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD [is] the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

The LORD can give wisdom (light of understanding) to know the right things to think, do and say in even difficult circumstances. As I depend upon Him, though circumstances be daunting, yet I need not succumb to fear and anxiety.

Psalm 119:114: Thou [art] my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word.

The LORD, our shield,defends us from His and our enemies. He gives us hope and encouragement through His Word.

2Corinthians 3:18: But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord.

The LORD gives us the grace of salvation and finally brings us to glory; as we were reminded in a sermon by Christopher Love today based upon 2 Timothy 2:1: “Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus,” Christ is the Author of grace; He gives the being of grace and the increase of grace.

Psalm 34:9: O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for [there is] no want to them that fear him.
Psa 34:10 The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good [thing].

The LORD gives His people every good thing, spiritual and material. As we reverence Him in godly fear, as we seek Him, as we live lives of purposeful obedience to Him, we can trust our desperate and continuing needs to Him. He will give us the wisdom we need in difficult situations. He will give us the grace to behave lovingly when we are tempted to do otherwise. He will give us a calm and trusting heart when we are tempted to be fearful or anxious.

Proverbs 2:7: He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: [he is] a buckler to them that walk uprightly.

God is not indiscriminate in the bestowing of His good things, His spiritual pearls (Matthew 7:6: Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.); His spiritual blessings are for those who walk uprightly, who trust in Christ for salvation, and who live lives of purposeful obedience to Him. If we claim to love God, this will be evidenced by our obedience to Him:

1John 2:3: And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
1Jo 2:4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
1Jo 2:5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.

Some Favorite Bible Verses

Sunday, December 11th, 2005

Ecc 7:14: In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.

When one considers life’s changeable circumstances, it is a temptation to be anxious. When we remember that it is God who determines our days of prosperity and days of adversity, we can leave the matter in His hands. We can focus on our present duties, rather than worrying about what may occur in the future.

Pro 14:23: In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips [tendeth] only to penury.

It is profitable to focus on the duties that the Lord sets before us, and to work diligently in our callings. It doesn’t matter if the work is menial, repetitious or unnoticed. We can do our work with the Lord’s assurance that there is profit in it. Another consideration is that we can trust the Lord with our finances, if we are diligently working, for He has promised profit for labor.

Thinking about Pro. 14:23b, “. . . the talk of the lips [tendeth] only to penury,” reminds me of another favorite verse: Jam 1:22: But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. (emphasis added)

As the common saying goes, we must “walk the walk” as well as “talk the talk”. We must show, by our works, that we love the Lord and the brethren:

Jam 2:17:Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

A New Look!

Wednesday, December 7th, 2005

Philip helped me implement a “new look” for my blog. I like it so much better. Thank you, Philip!

Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs

Sunday, December 4th, 2005

Those Christians who do not sing psalms only in the worship of God often point out the verse, Eph 5:19 (emphasis added):

Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

A quick glance at Ephesians 5:19 would seem to commend the practice of singing man-made hymns. However, it is wise to be careful with God’s Word, and to let Scripture interpret Scripture. When we look at the book of psalms, we find that there are categories of psalms:

  • psalms
  • hymns
  • spiritual songs

I came across the following interesting information on psalms, hymns and spiritual songs as I was using the study tools provided by the Blue Letter Bible.

Divers names are given to the psalms. ( 1.) Some bear the Hebrew designation _shir_ ( Gr. ode, a song). Thirteen have this title. It means the flow of speech, as it were, in a straight line or in a regular strain. This title includes secular as well as sacred song.

( 2.) Fifty-eight psalms bear the designation ( Heb.) _mitsmor_ ( Gr. psalmos, a psalm), a lyric ode, or a song set to music; a sacred song accompanied with a musical instrument.

( 3.) ( Psa 145), and many others, have the designation ( Heb.) _tehillah_ ( Gr. hymnos, a hymn), meaning a song of praise; a song the prominent thought of which is the praise of God.

This is taken from

Easton’s Bible Dictionary, the Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, by Matthew George Easton M.A., D.D. (1823-1894), published three years after Easton’s death in 1897 by Thomas Nelson. Because of its age, it is now a public domain resource. Despite its name, many of the entries in Easton’s are encyclopedic in nature, though there are short, dictionary-like entries. It contains nearly 4,000 entries.

Easton’s Bible Dictionary contains an extensive set of entries used in the Bible, from a 19th century Christian viewpoint. Some of the entries in it are now out-of-date, many are only short dictionary entries, but much remains that is useful source material.

The information on Easton’s Bible Dictionary is taken from its entry on Wikipedia.

A Journal Entry from My Education Class

Saturday, December 3rd, 2005

A Review of The Book of Think (or How to Solve a Problem Twice Your Size) by Marilyn Burns

The Book of Think by Marilyn Burns is a Brown Paper School Book published by Little, Brown and Company, and is still in print. The copy I reviewed was published in 1976, and is part of our home school library. As I reread the book, I mentioned some of the “brain teasers” to my younger children, ages 9, 12, and 13 (who had not yet read the book). They became engrossed in the problems, and immediately set about to solve them. It seems to me that the young teen audience is the one being addressed by the author. The book is an easy, entertaining read, but the concept being addressed – problem solving – is dealt with in a thorough manner.

Throughout The Book of Think, the young reader is encouraged to become responsible for recognizing problems, developing the skills necessary to deal with problems, and exercising good judgment to know who to ask for assistance, when necessary. This reminded me of the emphasis on the “Significant Seven Perceptions and Skills” mentioned in Positive Discipline by Jane Nelsen. Particularly, The Book of Think would aid a young person to develop:

• Strong perceptions of personal capabilities (“I am capable.”) (Perception 1)
• Strong perceptions of personal power or influence over life (“I can influence what happens to me.”) (Perception 3)
• Strong intrapersonal skills (the ability to understand personal emotions and to use that understanding to develop self-discipline and self-control) (Perception 4)
• Strong interpersonal skills (the ability to work with others and develop friendships through communicating, cooperating, negotiating, sharing, empathizing, and listening) (Perception 5)
• Strong systemic skills (the ability to respond to the limits and consequences of everyday life with responsibility, adaptability, flexibility, and integrity) (Perception 6)
• Strong judgmental skills (the ability to use wisdom and to evaluate situations according to appropriate values) (Perception 7)(from Positive Discipline by Jane Nelsen, page 6)

In The Book of Think, the young person is encouraged to be more self-observant. For example, he or she is told to explore personal sensory needs: What causes sensory overload for him/her? What is conducive to his/her concentration and creativity? This is an intrapersonal skill, one of the Significant Seven Skills. The young reader is also encouraged to wisely observe the behavior of friends and family to decide who would be a likely problem-solving helper. This is another of the Significant Seven Skills, an interpersonal skill.

The importance of using the strengths of both sides of one’s brain is also explored in The Book of Think. The author explains that the “left brain” is logical and orderly, and has much to do with speech and hearing. The “right brain” handles feelings, experiences, appreciation of art and music, and is inventive. This is reminiscent of the Chapter “A Path to the Future: Hemispheres, Learning Styles, Handedness, and Gender Differences” in Your Child’s Growing Mind by Jane Healy. Some of the exercises described in Your Child’s Growing Mind for helping the two hemispheres of the brain work together are also recommended in The Book of Think:

• Games that combine visual and verbal cues
• Visualizing pictures from listening or reading
• Describing actions with words
• Verbalizing intuitive discoveries
• Describing problem-solving experiences

The Book of Think concludes with “It’s not easy to know when you’re right. Thinking about thinking can help you get a head start.” “Thinking about thinking” is metacognition, described in Your Child’s Growing Mind as “clarifying one’s understanding of a topic, experimenting with ideas, or simply enjoying the landscape of one’s own mind.” (page 292) Also, on page 252 of Your Child’s Growing Mind, the author states that metacognition “means being able to stand back and view one’s own learning strategies and mental operations.” In The Book of Think, on page 73, the reader is encouraged to “Look at how you think, and how you get stuck. When you’ve got a solution, try to figure how it can help you next time.” This is another reference to metacognition.

I would highly recommend The Book of Think to any young person who wants to become more aware of his world and more creative in solving intellectual and life problems. The principles behind the book can be found in both of our class texts, Positive Discipline and Your Child’s Growing Mind.