Saturday, September 19, 2009

Daily Mug Shot

"believe in this life" taken by Kary Shay spray painted
ground zero on 9/11

celebrating my seven- year itch to my beloved Michael on 09 20 09. giving hope to staying married despite the up's & downs...and giving hope to those without clean water $20 dollars @ a time.

this is significant for me because as I'm struggling to put up fences and boundaries in many areas in my life personally. One of those areas is in the way of "spending". On any given year of our anniversary I would spend $500 plus dollars creating an experience to celebrate our anniversary together by booking overnight stay @ an expensive hotel, lavish dinner etc. While enjoyed. Neither Michael or I have the $$$ to do that this year. We are in counseling struggleing to stay committed to each other in marriage. It's working! We are "mending" fences.

Why would I post such a personal subject on my "company blog" Moon Monkey Coffee Company....because Moon Monkey is one of my favorite things aside from my (2) children he gave me Nicole & Benjamin. The Monkey turns 5 in just a few days...has taken it's toll on our 7 year marriage...but it was a gift from Michael!

So this year, join us in celebrating our 7 year itch!~ committed to staying married...& giving hope to others $20 dollars @ a time on 092009 by donating to "clean water"

What's the bull dog got to do with it? well, with dog-like determination...anything is possible....this bull dog was on the back of a motorcycle on Michael & I's last trip to Nashville so with Dog like determination and DOG spelled backwards..."GOD" we are staying married! & providing living water....for both our marriage $20.00 at a time and giving hope to those without clean water!

092009 our 7 year itch!~
Don't miss Sunday's webcampus Service 092009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mug Shot

If I were a little better at science I would become a CSI, just like on TV. My days would include searching out clues and catching criminals! But, alas, I’m but a student of the bible. But what if the bible was my “crime scene” and good interpretation was my goal? Wouldn’t the bible become much more interesting when approached as a great mystery to be solved?

Methodical Bible Study by Dr. Robert Traina portrays the bible as just that – a mystery in need of great detectives (Horatio Caine sunglasses & Hummer optional). A CSI would never approach a crime scene haphazardly, hoping the clues would just jump out at them. Real investigators bring the right tools and carefully scan the scene in a methodical approach – to avoid missing even the smallest piece of evidence.

Studying the bible should be done in the same way.

Dr. Traina lays out a thorough 4-step approach to help avoid missing any of the clues in the bible. The book is written for students of biblical study, but there is much to be learned for all readers.

1.) Observation – As you are reading a book of the bible, or section, make note of every detail you can find – even the obvious. When you are done observing the passage, observe some more. The details you uncover will amaze you! Some key things to look for include: context, relationship between words, literary forms (think back to middle school English), and atmosphere.

2.) Interpretation – This step involves determining the meaning and importance of all the details you collected. Think of it as taking the evidence back to the lab. This step can become a long, drawn-out process (sorry, no short one hour episodes here). It includes discovering the basic meaning of the evidence collected, the reasons those clues were placed in the passage, and what those clues imply about the passage as a whole.

A very important part of interpretation is to put yourself in the shoes of the author. Who were they writing to? Why were they writing? What was going on around them politically, socially, and culturally? Many clues can be taken from the text, but sometimes outside resources will be needed for full understanding. Just make sure to START with the actual text and utilize it as the MAIN source of evidence.

3.)Evaluation and Application – During this phase of study, the reader determines the value of a particular passage, not based on their own opinion, but based on the facts they have gathered. The reader must also ask if the passage is applicable to contemporary life. Some passages were written to a specific audience for specific purposes and are not applicable (consider the dietary laws of the Old Testament), but others are timeless truths to be applied.

4.) Correlation – the final step is really an on-going step. To further the CSI analogy, this is cataloguing all of the cases you have investigated to enhance future cases. Keep a journal or blog of your insights so that as you study other passages you can make connections throughout the bible.

This isn’t an approach to read through the bible in a year and it’s not a process that will ever be completed, but let me know how it’s going. What amazing insights is God revealing to you as you methodically investigate His word?

(Guest blog post by Abbie Mantor, a Master of Arts in Biblical Studies student at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Ky.