Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Our Little Trouble Maker...Samuel



Samuel Addison is our youngest.  We call him "Samo" sometimes.

Sam is every bit of 3 years old & more.

One minute I am hugging & kissing on his sweet little cheeks & the next minute I am pulling him off the counters & out of my sugar or flour tubs or find him sneaking into his sister’s purse looking for gum.  He is trouble with a capital T, but melts my heart every time he comes to me saying, “Hold you, Mommy”

Tomorrow I will wake up & he will be 16 & not have much time for me anymore.  Almost makes me not want to go to sleep.

My daughter Sarah is the photographer of these pictures & Picnik was used to create the collage.



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Experiencing God’s Protection

For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. Psalm 91:11

We believe in angels.  Scripture talks about them.  We teach our kids about them.  I tease my sons that they give their guardian angels a great workout.

I have so many stories I could share with you about times when I knew that my children were being protected from harm.  God used his angels to protect my children from harm countless times.

This past week, we experienced it again.

We always stay with my parents in East Texas for several days after Christmas.  This year was no different. My brother  John is home from college and it is always fun to see him too. 

Saturday John & my two oldest sons, Josh & Collin were going to Tyler to run some errands.  As they entered an intersection on a green light, they were hit by a man who ran his red light.  The impact was great enough to send the mini van spinning in the middle of the intersection.  The man hit the van right behind where Collin was sitting in the back on the drivers side, causing him to be thrown around & eventually thrown into the floor board.  His seat belt didn’t hold him in.

The man was knocked unconscious by the impact. 

Our boys were o’k, just shaken up quite a bit.  Josh had a sore shoulder & some bruising on his neck from the seatbelt & on his leg from hitting the door.  My brother has some bruised ribs.  Collin had a level 2 concussion with bruises & lot’s of soreness.  We don’t know the condition of the man as he was taken to the hospital.  We do know that he didn’t not have insurance.

As we sat around for the next couple of days, we all were very much aware of how great was the protection of our God.  In our conversations we sifted through all of the “what-if’s” and are so thankful that they didn’t happen. 

For my family it brought back memories of another car accident we had 10 years ago that my older children still remember.  The accident was much more serious, but still we saw God’s protection on our lives in a big way.  No one lost their life, our injuries were very minor compared to what they could have been.  Our vehicle was completely totaled, but our lives were saved. Not many people survive a roll-over the way we did.

It is important to let our children flesh out these memories by letting them talk about what they remember & reminding them of the way God took care of us instead of letting them dwell on the painful part of the memories. 

Christmas 2009 was a very special Christmas for our family for many reasons, but I think we will always remember how God protected my boys & my brother from serious injury from that accident.  I will always have the vision in my mind of angels in the van with my boys taking the brunt of the impact so they would not be more seriously injured.

God is good & his promise of protection is mighty & alive in our hearts and minds as we start a new year.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Struggling with God’s Ways

A few weeks ago I wrote a post on Proverbs 3:5-6, Trust in the Lord, not Yourself.    Learning to trust the Lord completely with every detail of my life is been much harder than it sounds.  I memorized the verse a long time ago and it has brought great comfort to me, but when it gets down to the nitty gritty of my life, I still struggle with it.
Today, I am struggling with how God is providing for my family.  It is not in a way that we would choose, but it His way right now.  I fight against the pity party.  I wrestle with thoughts of doubt.  I want to say, “God, are you serious?  Are you sure you know what you are doing?”  I guess me writing it here is the same as saying it since he knows our thoughts before we think them.  Trusting His ways that seem completely hidden from me is what faith is about.  I do know that I am not the only one who felt this way.
Job said in Job 3:23;

Why is life given to a man whose way is hidden, whom God has hedged in?

Job didn’t know what we know.  He didn’t know that God had allowed Satan to take everything away and yet he trusted God anyway. 
Shall we accept the good from God and not trouble? Job 2:10
When we are in the midst of adversity we don’t know what God knows.  We can’t see the big picture. All we see is what is right in front of us and it usually doesn’t look very good.
Man’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed. Job 14:5


Job knew that his days were numbered by God, he cannot live longer than God had already determined him to live and he wouldn’t die before God had determined him to die.  God is sovereign, in complete control.  When His ways don’t make any sense to us, but they make complete sense to him and we must trust that. 
I am learning to be o’k that I may never know why God is allowing our family to experience what we are experiencing right now.  I am learning to trust His ways, instead of what I think he should be doing.  It is a daily choice, sometimes an hourly choice to trust him.
My first step towards this is worship; turning my focus off of myself and onto my God by meditating on his promises, singing & praying his words back to him.  Just saying “Thank you” even if you are not sure what you are thankful for can do amazing things to your spirit.
Use your imagination and picture Jesus standing before you and say to him, “Thank you”.  Then start a list of what you are thankful for.  Spiritual maturity comes when you can be thankful for the adversity because you know it is drawing you closer to God and your knowledge of him.
I think I will go take my own advice!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Understanding His Birth

I originally wrote this 2 years ago and had it posted on my previous site, Living Stones 4 Moms.
 

I love the Christmas season.  When I was young, my mom always made Christmas an extra special time of year.  She would decorate the house from top to bottom many times with her own handmade decorations.  We would bake special desserts that were only made during Christmas and share them with friends who visited.  My sister and I always knew that Christmas was really about the birth of Jesus, but the presents and decorating were our favorite part.
When Scott & I married and I was left to begin my own traditions for my family.  We would decorate the house and find a big tree to decorate.  We would buy the kids tons of gifts and bake a lot of sweets.  It was a time of year when we did things that we normally did not do through out the year.  We told the kids that Christmas is really about celebrating the birth of Jesus.  We had a nativity set up and talked about it with the kids.  We tried to pass on to them an appreciation for the true meaning of Jesus, but I myself still didn't have a  real deep understanding of Christ birth.
One Christmas changed all of that.  A few October's ago we had found out we were pregnant and we were so excited.  This would be our ninth baby.  When my midwife came for my first check up I was feeling pretty well, which was not a normal feeling during the first trimester for me.  She tried to find the baby's heartbeat but couldn't find it.  We thought maybe it was too early so she would come back in a few weeks to try again.  As the days went on I began to feel some cramping, but I had done that in the past so once again I didn't think much about it.  A few days before my midwife was to come back I began spotting.  I had never done that before and now I was really worried.  The morning of my appointment I told Scott that I knew that Renee would not find a heartbeat.  I knew the baby was not alive.  My worst suspicions were confirmed.  There was no heartbeat.  She told me what would happen as my body would naturally begin to expel the baby.  She said it could only take a few days or it could take a few weeks.  I cried, not because I was afraid of what was about to happen, but because this baby that I already come to love so much was dead inside my body.  I would never be able to hold and nurse this baby or kiss his fat little cheeks.
The days turned into weeks as my body slowly did what it knew to do.  We came into the Christmas season and I was not in the mood for Christmas cheer.  This was about celebrating Jesus, but I was still mourning my baby's death.  I went through the motions of celebrating, but was not in it at all.  Then Christmas morning came and as I was helping my little ones open their gifts my body reached the peak of the miscarriage.  I was in horrible pain and knew what was happening.  I ran to the bathroom and cried out to God.
"Why on today would you let this happen to me?  How can I celebrate your sons' birth when my body is discarding my dead baby?"
I spent the day at my in-laws in pain, emotional and physical pain.  I was feeling very sorry for myself and really just wanted to be at home in bed rather than pretending to enjoy Christmas Day.  That evening as the pain began to lessen I asked God again why this had to happen today of all days.  It was my worst Christmas ever.  Never again would I be able to celebrate the Christmas season without remembering losing my baby on Christmas Day.  I felt the Holy Spirit speaking to me.
"Your baby was conceived to serve a purpose in my plan for you.  My son was conceived with a purpose; so he could die for you.  Your baby died so that you would understand my son's birth." 
This realization pierced my soul.  I knew that it was o'k to mourn the loss of my baby, and now I had a greater understanding of my Savior's birth.  The pain I felt as my body progressed through the miscarriage was great, but the pain of my sin was even greater to my God.  I began to ask myself if I had the ability to control conception would I conceive a child knowing that he would be born to later die so that others would live; knowing that he wouldn't just die, but that his death would be traumatic and excruciating.  I know I could not do this and my God did it for me!  He knew that we needed someone to walk among us and show us his love.  He knew that we would need Jesus, but he knew that it meant that his son would have to die so that we could live.  He would do away with the Old Testament covenant and Jesus would be the new covenant.  And for all of this to take place God orchestrated a brilliant plan to send Jesus to earth in a way that we all can relate to; as a baby born from an earthly mother. 
I don't know about you but the realization of what Jesus was born to do so that I, a selfish sinner, could live eternally with him in Heaven brings me to my knees in humble adoration.  I can't even begin to describe to you the emotions that overcome me.  It is hard for my flesh to understand how and why anyone would do anything so great and sacrificial for one who has hurt him so deeply.  But that is why I am not God, because I could never do that, I am too selfish. 
This miscarriage gave me an even clearer picture of God's grace.  In his grace and mercy he gently led me into a deeper understanding of his son's birth which resulted in the ultimate act of love for me.  I realized that God didn't have to send his son to die, just like he didn't have to allow me to conceive that baby, but he did.  He didn't even have to let me wake up this morning, but he did.  Christian author and speaker, A.W. Tozer said,
"Whom God will use greatly, he will hurt deeply." 
He loved me so much and wanted me to experience him in a deeper way and for this to happen I would need to experience a painful loss.  He knew my pain and my loss, yet his was much greater than mine, but he loved me still; enough to send his son to earth to die for me, knowing how sinful I would be.  How can I not love him with all that I have in me?  How can I not devote my life to serving him?
So, we have Christmas; a time each year to remember that a baby wasn't just born to live a perfect life, but he was born so that he could die for you and me.  I know that Christmas is a holiday that the world has commercialized in a huge way.  But for our family it is a time to stop and remember.  We can thank God for his son Jesus everyday.  We can remember everyday that Jesus came to earth to show us how to love God and each love other.  He came to die for us and even more amazingly he was raised from the dead.  I know that we don't need a special day to do this, but taking that day is special.  Now when this time of year approaches I become especially mindful of what all God has done for us through out the year.  I understand his birth in a much deeper way and it has made a tremendous affect on my relationship with Christ.
I feel very blessed that the Lord not only gave me a spiritual reason for the miscarriage but the physical reason also.  We later found out that I actually had a virus that had attacked the baby causing it to die early on. I went through treatment, cleaned up my health by eating better foods and was soon pregnant again; this time with my first girl in 10 years. We gave her the middle name of Grace as a reminder of God's abundant grace in our lives.  22 months later we welcomed another boy, our 11th little blessing (10 on earth & 1 in Heaven).  I still hear the kids talk about the "baby who died in moms tummy" and that is all they remember.  But for me I will always remember the baby that helped me to come to a deeper relationship and love for my Lord Jesus Christ.  Every Christmas I thank my God for allowing me the very short time with that little one and for the way he so greatly blessed my life.
Please don't let this Christmas come and go without going to your Lord Jesus Christ and thanking him for giving his earthly life for you.  Share this truth with your children and pray that they too would come to a deep understanding of the meaning of Jesus birth, life, death, and resurrection.
There is a book that I enjoy reading with my children every year called, One Wintry Night by, Ruth Bell Graham; the late wife to Billy Graham, world renown evangelist.  This book will bless you as you read the story of Christmas beginning with creation and going all the way to Jesus resurrection.  The last few sentences in the book sum all of this very well...
"Through his death and resurrection, the baby born in Bethlehem had become Lord of all.  This is the real meaning of Christmas, the joy and glory of it all!"




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Monday, December 14, 2009

Phototinks

Ok, here is another cool find I made online this morning.

Widdley Tinks is a cool site that offeres tickers, widgets, photo cards & more all for free!  I made a few Christmas cards & sent them through Facebook.  Below is my favorite.

To make a card simply pick a card, upload your photo & them create the text you want & there you have it, a free way to send special greetings to your favorite people.


Photo Albums at WiddlyTinks.com
Photo Tinks by WiddlyTinks.com



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Saturday, December 12, 2009

12 Days of Christmas; Bailey Style




On the first day of Christmas a Bailey showed to me;
Half of a Christmas tree.
On the second day of Christmas a Bailey showed to me
Two tired parents.
On the third day of Christmas a Bailey showed to me
Three teenage daughters.
On the fourth day of Christmas a Bailey showed to me
Four headless dolls.
On the fifth day of Christmas a Bailey showed to me
Five teens on cell phones!
On the sixth day of Christmas a Bailey showed to me
Six smelly boys.
On the seventh day of Christmas a Bailey showed to me
Seven loads of laundry (everyday)
On the eighth day of Christmas a Bailey showed to me
Eight homeschooled kids.
On the ninth day of Christmas a Bailey showed to me
Nine minute showers
On the tenth day of Christmas a Bailey showed to me
Ten kids home for dinner.
On the eleventh day of Christmas a Bailey showed to me
Eleven people sleeping (mom doesn’t sleep)
On the twelfth day of Christmas a Bailey showed to me
Twelve coats by the door




Written by: Dana and The Tribe, © 2007-2009, All Rights Reserved


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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Phonics Freebies using 100 EZ Lessons


Over the years I have found that one of the easiest & pain-free ways to teach my kids to read is to use the book,Teaching Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessonsalso known to other home school moms as the "100 EZ Lessons" book.

But one of my frustrations was that to reinforce what they were learning, they needed to practice the sounds more & practice writing them a lot and there were no resources that were available that I knew about.  We usually just made our own flash cards and then the company came up with some.  Our handwriting practice consisted of me writing it down while they watched and then they copied what I wrote.



This morning, I found a FREE treasure on DonnaYoung.org.  If you have homeschooled very long, you probably know of this site.  This lady has so much on her site that it would take you years to find it all AND she continues to add to it.  It is all FREE, that is the best part.

O'k, what I found was that she has created handwritng pages and other nifty little resources to reinforce the lesson in the book.  It all goes along with the EZ Lessons book.

These pages are PDF downloads & you can save them to your computer to print when you are ready.

Click here to download your own set of pages.

She has a lot of handwriting resources along with forms, lists, calendars & whatever you can think of using for home and school.

Be careful,if you have never visited Donna Young's site before, you could be there all week!  Enjoy!

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Monday, December 7, 2009

How Does the Messianic Community Celebrate Christmas?

This is an article that I found that I thought was very interesting.  If you are interested in studying more on the Biblical Holidays, I highly suggest Robin Sampson's book, A Family Guide to Biblical Holiday's.  You can use it with your children & teach them our Biblical roots.

I hope you enjoy this article by Rabbi Scott Sekulow
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How Does the Messianic Community Celebrate Christmas?
By Rabbi Scott Sekulow
When I was asked to write about how a Jewish believer in Messiah celebrates Christmas, I thought about the different expressions of celebration. They range from those who put up trees, decorations to those that don’t because of the pagan influences. There are also different days to celebrate Yeshua’s (Jesus’ Hebrew name) birth. Do we follow the decree by Pope Julius I in the fourth century of December 25th or the Greek Orthodox Church which celebrates two weeks later?
So how does the Messianic Community celebrate the birth of Messiah? First, we take our clues from the Biblical Feasts. We believe Yeshua was born on Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) based on scripture, historical events and Jewish culture. More importantly, it is consistent with God using His Feasts as prophetic foreshadowing’s of upcoming events.
To date Messiah’s birth, we first turn to the birth of John the Baptist. We know Zacharias was ministering in the Temple when he receives the announcement of the birth of his son. Zacharias was a priest in the division of Abijah, ministering in the Temple during Sivan 12 to 18. Calculating a normal pregnancy at 40 weeks, John the Baptist’s birth was at Passover.
“…Elizabeth conceived, and she remained five months in seclusion…In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent by God … to a virgin engaged to a man named Joseph” Luke 1:24,26
Mary visited Elizabeth when she was 6 month’s pregnant, putting Messiah’s conception at the time of Hanukkah (December). Calculating a normal pregnancy at 40 weeks, Messiah’s birth was at Sukkot (September/October).
It has been taught that Mary and Joseph were required to go to Bethlehem to register for their taxes, and due to this there were not any accommodations. While it’s a beautiful story, but is it the whole story?
First of all, when the decree was issued, citizens were given a full year during which to register. There was no reason thousands of Bethlehemites would come to their hometown all at once register. So why would Joseph bring his wife Mary all the way from Nazareth to Bethlehem to register when her pregnancy was so far along?
There were three great feasts each year when the Jewish people were expected to make every effort to go to Jerusalem: Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot (Exodus 23:14). During these feasts, the population of Jerusalem would swell from about a hundred twenty thousand to something over two million people.
During Sukkot, every family was expected to live at least part of each day in their booth, called a sukkah, a temporary dwelling usually made out of palm and/or bamboo branches. These sukkot were available for overnight lodging and the homeowners would stock them with food. The food was placed on a food-tray attached to the inside wall of the Sukkah to keep it up off the ground. It was not a shelter for animals
Bethlehem was a small village just about four miles south of Jerusalem. Mary and Joseph had apparently decided to register with the census-takers when they came up to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles. Evidently they intended to spend the night in Bethlehem, register in the morning, and then proceed to Jerusalem for the Feast. Since there were no vacancies, the innkeeper offered them shelter in his Sukkah. When the Baby was born, they laid Him on the food shelf to keep Him up off the damp ground. It is interesting to note that the origins of the word “manager” refer to “sukkot”
Another clue that December is wrong timing for the birth is given by the Shepherds. Luke 2:8 tells us: “There were shepherds in the same country staying in the field, and keeping watch by night over their flock." By December in Israel it is quite cold, and the sheep would have been brought into the fold for the winter.
Since we have shown Yeshua was six months younger than John, it is easy to establish the time of His birth as September/October. The only reason Bethlehem would possibly be crowded at this time would be for Sukkot.
At Congregation Beth Adonai, we celebrate Messiah’s birth in conjunction with the Feast of Sukkot because we know Messiah dwelt (tabernacled) among us. Remember Yeshua is the reason for all the season.
The Feast of Tabernacles
Thought:
The Apostle John uses a verb form of the same Greek word that is used to translate the Hebrew word for “booth” (sukkah) when he wrote, “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt [tabernacled] among us.” (John 1:14) He tabernacled among us, and He will tabernacle among us again in the messianic future. The celebration of the Festival of Booths (Sukkot) celebrates the Messiah who once tabernacled among us, now tabernacles within us, and in the future will again tabernacle among us.
Commentary:
The last appointment on God’s Leviticus 23 calendar is the Feast of Booths, a seven-day harvest celebration. The Hebrew name of the festival is Sukkot, a word that means “shelters, stables or huts.” These temporary, tent-like structures are often translated as “tabernacles” in our English Bibles. The festival is so named because Israel is commanded to annually build such dwelling places as a reminder of the post-exodus years when they lived in huts and booths, following God in the wilderness.1Sukkot is a time of joy and celebration, a time to celebrate the harvest and revel in God’s goodness.
Many beautiful traditions are attached to the annual Festival of Booths. For example, it is traditional to invite guests into one’s booth for a festive meal each night of Sukkot. Among the list of invitees are some auspicious names: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron and David. Each are specially invited to come into the booth and pull up a chair at the table. Obviously, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron and David are unlikely to actually attend the meal, since they are all dead. That, however, is the point of the ritual. The Feast of Booths anticipates the Messianic Age, when the dead will be raised to life again and we will all sit at the table with the aforementioned in the kingdom of heaven.
When Messiah comes, He will bring in the final harvest of God’s kingdom and institute an age of peace and prosperity upon the earth. The prophets relate that day to the festival of Sukkot, a day when every man will sit beneath his own vine and fig tree.2 Isaiah 4:6 tells us that God will spread a tabernacle of glory over Jerusalem.
According to the prophets, the Feast of Booths celebrates a time when all nations will ascend to Jerusalem bearing tribute to King Messiah and celebrating the festival. In that day, all nations will ascend to His throne in Jerusalem in order to celebrate the Festival of Booths (Tabernacles). Obviously, this is a very important festival for disciples of Messiah today.
Sukkot is the great festival, the culmination of all the appointed times. Sukkot is to the other festivals what the Sabbath is to the other six days of the week. As such it is a fitting foreshadowing of that great celebration of creation when the entire world will live in peace and brotherhood under the reign and rule of the righteous Messiah King. Just as the weekly Sabbath foreshadows the millennium, Sukkot also looks forward to that great age. Therefore, the festival of Sukkot, like all the festivals, foreshadows Messiah.
Commentary from FFOZ – First Fruits of Zion ~ ffoz.org
Endnotes

  1. Leviticus 23:42–43
    2. Micah 4:4; Zechariah 3:10
CONGREGATION BETH ADONAI
Rabbi Scott Sekulow
4141 Bancroft Circle, Tucker, GA 30084
770-939-1152
bethadonai.com ~ mail@bethadonai.com

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Free Advent Study - Inductive Method

Anytime I see FREE posted on Twitter or Facebook, I am checking out the link.  Tonight, I followed a link and found a really neat download of an Advent study that focuses on the Inductive way of Bible study.  This caught my attention.

For years we have done simple studies that mainly involved reading a scripture passage & discussing it a little.  This new study I found seems to get the kids more involved in the actual study of the Scriptures by paying close attention to details in the passage.

You will find this FREE download at Our Grace Journey.  There are 2 different way's to download; in Microsoft Word or in PDF.  There are about 60 pages that you print out to use with your children.

I haven't used it yet, but have printed it out & have been looking over it hoping to start it tomorrow with the kids.  I have kids of all ages that will be sitting in on our study (17 yrs - 5 yrs).  I think you could use it younger elementary age to older very easily.

Go to Our Grace Journey of your free Christmas Advent study.

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Take the Roosevelt Challenge



So, Now What?

The Thanksgiving holiday has passed – the first of two Christian holidays nationally established by Congress back in 1870 (the other was Christmas). Today, there is not much organized religious activity to fill the five weeks between these two national celebrations, but in 1944, President Franklin Roosevelt made an excellent recommendation worth following today:
I suggest a nationwide reading of the Holy Scriptures during the period from Thanksgiving Day to Christmas. . . . [G]o to . . . the Scriptures for a renewed and strengthening contac t with those eternal truths and majestic principles which have inspired such measure of true greatness as this nation has achieved.
While the five week period between Thanksgiving and Christmas is the focus of this particular email, it is still worth noting that many presidents before Roosevelt similarly urged Americans to delve into the Bible – including President Zachary Taylor, who declared:
The Bible is the best of books and I wish it were in the hands of everyone. It is indispensable to the safety and permanence of our institutions. . . . Especially should the Bible be placed in the hands of the young. It is the best school book in the world. . . . I would that all of our people were brought up under the influence of that Holy Book.
And Daniel Webster had earlier affirmed:
To the free and universal reading of the Bible . . . men [are] much indebted for right views of civil liberty. The Bible is . . . a book which teaches man his own individual responsibility, his own dignity, and his equality with his fellow man.
And well before Daniel Webster, the Founding Fathers had declared the same:
The Bible is a book worth more than all the other books that were ever printed. Patrick Henry
For nearly half a century, I have anxiously and critically studied the Bible and I still scarcely ever take it up that I do not find something new. Were you to ask me to recommend the most valuable book in the world, I should fix on the Bible as the most instructive both to the wise and the ignorant. Were you to ask me for one book affording the most rational and pleasing entertainment to the enquiring mind, I would still stay the Bible. And should you ask again about the best philosophy, or the most interesting history, I would still urge you to look into your Bible. I would make it, in short, the alpha and omega of knowledge. Elias Boudinot
The Bible is the best of all books, for it is the word of God and teaches us the way to be happy in this world and in the next. Continue therefore to read it and to regulate your life by its precepts. John Jay
Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the Bible for their only law book and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited . . . What a Utopia! – What a paradise would this region be! John Adams
The Bible is the chief moral cause of all that is good and the best corrector of all that is evil in human society. . . . All of the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery and war, proceed from them despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible. Noah Webster
So significant was the Bible to America's greatest statesmen that many of them committed themselves to reading through the Bible from cover to cover once every year. For example, John Quincy Adams stated:
The first and almost the only book deserving of universal attention is the Bible. I have myself for many years made it a practice to read the Bible once every year. I have always endeavored to read it with the same spirit and with the same temper of mind which I now recommend to you. That is, with the intention and desire that it may contribute to my advance in wisdom and virtue.
Considering this background, right now – that is, the next five weeks – is the perfect time to begin doing exactly as President Roosevelt recommended:
"I suggest a nationwide reading of the Holy Scriptures during the period from Thanksgiving Day to Christmas."
Urge those in your family, church, business, youth group, school, or whatever, to take the Roosevelt Challenge: regularly delve into the Bible from now unto Christmas.
By the way, if you have never read through the complete Bible and are wondering which version of the Bible to read, perhaps a recommendation made by John Quincy Adams in 1817 may be useful to you. When asked the version he preferred, he replied:
You ask me what Bible I take as the standard of my faith. I answer, any Bible that I can read and understand.
Indeed, select a version that you "can read and understand." And if you are further wondering just how to go about reading the complete Bible in a year, let us recommend the One-Year Bible a full Bible divided up into 365 daily readings. (The One Year Bible is available in all major Bible translations so that you can select the one you can best " read and understand.")
Give yourself an early Christmas gift – commit to read through the Bible in the next twelve months; and encourage those around you to do the same. By so doing, you will be giving yourself a gift that truly keeps on giving!
God Bless!

David Barton


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