Tuesday, August 24, 2010

T.I.M.E.--Life in the Valley

  • Who can find a virtuous woman? her price is far above rubies
  • She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness
  • She openeth her mouth with wisdom, and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

I am in desperate need of some T.I.M.E. with God.

I've had a roller coaster of a summer, and I've been really struggling with disappointed expectations--both my own as well as those of others. I feel like I've gone from strengths backward to weakness--physically, spiritually, and emotionally.

Right now, I'm in the valley. Can you tell?

  • I can't seem to order my days rightly.
  • I'm disorganized and messy and distracted and pre-occupied.
  • I have grand plans but little follow-through.
  • I've been upset with circumstances beyond my control.
  • I seem to always be taking two steps forward and three steps back--not just in one area but in many.
  • I'm disappointed with myself--with choices I've made--some of them in times past, some of them more recent.

I was just thinking, though, of words from an old song that goes "in the valley, He restoreth my soul".

And then I think of the part of the part of Psalm 23, where it says "He preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemy".

Right now I am my own worst enemy, no question. But I am thankful that He brings me to places of quiet and stillness, and that He does bring restoration to my soul.

Until next time...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Outdoor Wednesday

These were taken last week at the "oasis" represented at the Explorations in Antiquity Center.
I'd love to have a water feature in my yard with these lovely water lilies.

This post is linked to:

Say Cheese
at It's a Blog Party
Outdoor Wednesday at A Southern Daydreamer

Until next time...

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Blogging Through the Bible in 90 Days--What Day is This Again?

  • Who can find a virtuous woman? her price is far above rubies
  • She looketh well to the ways of her household...
  • She eateth not the bread of idleness...

This has been a busy week, and I am, once again, behind on my Bible in 90 Days reading. Surprise!

One thing I've realized along the way, though, is that the Lord speaks to me through His word every week, and then I get some reinforcement from elsewhere--something may come up in conversation, or I may read something some place else. This week we made a trip back to the Explorations in Antiquity Center, where the settings of the Bible are brought to life, and once again, I had much food for thought.

Part of the exhibit in the garden area includes these representations of ancient altars; the one on the left is rough and crude-looking, and the one on the right is much lovelier and more refined in appearance. The rough looking one is patterned after the Israelite altars, and the smooth, pretty one is patterned after a Canaanite altar. At first glance it doesn't seem to make much sense--Canaanite society was fairly primitive, and Israel was, after all, led directly by the Lord. wouldn't it stand to reason that the Lord would instruct them in building a more attractive altar?

I got so excited when I saw these again this past week--because it hasn't been long ago that I read the Lord's instructions to Israel through Moses--the altar they built was to be of unhewn stone--stone of God's creation, not man's design. The object of worship is not to be the altar...

...but God Himself.

How many times have we done what was right in our own eyes--just as Israel did during the time of the Judges...

...instead of following after the Lord's instruction?

Did he not tell Moses to be sure to build the tabernacle according the pattern that He showed him?

Did He not tell Saul that to obey is better than sacrifice?

And didn't Israel turn their backs on the ways of the Lord over and over again, whether out of


or disobedience...

or ignorance?

I wonder how many times I've built an altar of my own design

or offered up fire of my own making

or ignored clear instruction out of my own rebellion,

or disobedience,

or ignorance?

Monday is a travel day for me, I'm taking our son home to begin the fall semester of college, and moving most of our personal and household goods back to our house in Louisiana. Changes are coming, and I don't know what the future holds for me. It's often tempting to offer up sacrifices of my own making, and then wonder why the Lord doesn't seem impressed with them.

Many years ago I was getting ready to speak at a Women's Ministry event and I was really seeking the Lord--I wanted to really wow them with something really new and fresh and different. And as I was praying one day I felt the Lord speak distinctly into my heart--"Why should I give you something new when you aren't walking in obedience to the things I've already told you?"


I really hope that once I get moved and unpacked and settled in that I have take the time to get caught up on my Bible in 90 Days program. But even if I don't catch up with program, I want to continue to read straight through the Bible from front to back. Doing so has blessed me so much, and I find that the Lord speaks to my heart and my life to my needs every week, no matter where I'm reading--it always seems to be at just the right place.

Until next time...

Friday, August 6, 2010

Trip Back in Time--Explorations in Antiquity Center

  • Who can find a virtuous woman? her price is far above rubies

This week we made a another quick road trip--this time to the Exploration in Antiquity Center, in located in LaGrange, Georgia. The center is an educational museum, founded by Dr James Fleming, a Biblical archaeologist. Through a combination of replicas, displays, and a number of different programs, the center is designed to help foster an understanding of life in Biblical times and places.

The garden is designed as a three-part display of the life of the shepherd, the life of the farmer, and the life of the village.

This a part of the representation of the life of a Bedouin shepherd--the tent itself is an actual handwoven tent made by a Bedouin woman for the center.

"she seeks flax and wool and works willingly with her hands"!

Pretty waterfall at the "oasis"

Reminds me of the woman at the well, Rachel watering the animals of Abraham's servants, or some of the many wells dug by the patriarchs.

A threshing floor with handmade implements

Beautifully built wine press from the life of the farmer area

Rocks added to the logs at the olive press

Another view of the olive press, shaded by a fig tree

Life in a village...

This was new this year--a grist mill turned by a waterwheel by water from an aqueduct.

All kinds of nooks and crannies built into the walls for storage

Doors to lower rooms, and view of the rooms on the rooftops

The seat for the elders or the judge

"her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land"

Every nook and cranny is used for living, for storage, for animals

Roof top trellis

How would like to keep your pantry stockpile here?

One of my favorite replicas--the tower of the watchman...

...and of course the best--the empty tomb

This is a combination eating/sleeping area...

..where you can participate in a Biblical meal--a combination passover and last supper...

..which includes 15 different authentic dishes. The meals require prior arrangements and parties of at least 10--although if you have a smaller group, they can "attach" you to another party if there's another group that has the room.

They even have programs for kids groups, where they learn to dig for artifacts. Wouldn't that be a great field trip for a Sunday School or vacation Bible school class?
This is no where near all that there is to see, but I didn't want to make a post that never ends! Besides the garden, there's a wonderful gift shop with lovely things that are imported from Israel, the dining rooms, and now a new artifact display and some additional areas that are under construction.
Although we've never participated in any of the formal programs, this was my third trip to the center. I always enjoy it, but it seemed especially interesting this time while I've been doing extra reading for the Bible in 90 Days program. If you live anywhere close to LaGrange, it's well worth the drive.
Until next time...


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