Through the Bible in ’09!

“…I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my necessary food…” (Job 23:12)

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I’d like to challenge you to join my family in reading the Bible through chronologically in 2009.

Why read the Bible through in a year?
Although it’s great to slowly digest a chapter or do word studies, there is a special perspective and understanding you recieve when you read through the Bible at a faster pace. It causes you to step back and see the whole picture at once.

As believers, we are to follow the “whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27) and many haven’t even read through the Bible in it’s entirety. It is certainly difficult to follow that with which we are unfamiliar.

What happens if you get behind?

Sometimes we’re hesitant to set goals because it heightens our possiblity of failure.

I remember feelings of despair from getting behind on my Bible reading plan in the past and realizing something like, “I’d have to read 34 chapters today to catch up! Maybe I should just quit…”

So here’s my plan this year: If I miss a day, I’m going to start fresh the next day at where I am supposed to be reading. Then I’ll record what I missed in a little journal and go back and read it whenever I can.

Here’s what to read for the first week of reading through the Bible chronologically:

Jan 1: Genesis 1-3
Jan 2: Genesis 4-7
Jan 3: Genesis 8-11
Jan 4: Job 1-5
Jan 5: Job 6-9
Jan 6: Job 10-13
Jan 7: Job 14-16

To see the whole schedule, click here.

Our church is doing this together and we’re looking forward to the fellowship it will stimulate. If you decide to take up the challenge, I’d recommend that you find others to do it with you!

The other day, my dad told me about how in 1982 he got 50-60 people to join him in something he called, “The Bible through in ’82”. Even an unsaved neighbor joined and kept up.

God bless you all and Happy New Year!

Herald from Harold

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My Dad wrote a Christmas poem this year. He read it to us last night.
Merry Christmas Everyone!

Harold’s Herald

“Merry Christmas” is everyone’s word,
As they hurry on to shop.
“Happy New Year” is also heard,
Without even time to stop

“Get in the spirit,” some of them say,
“Bah Humbug,” you hear from others.
Christmas is coming, it’s almost the day
To give presents to sisters and brothers.

But as each December flies swiftly away
With shopping, and cookies, and singing,
The ads and the stories and songs do betray
The truth that the angels were bringing.

Shepherds replaced by stockings and toys.
No thought of Emmanuel.
Santa’s coming for girls and boys.
Of the Savior does no one tell.

Though stockings are hung on the mantel with care
And the halls are decked with holly.
Christmas morn seldom starts with prayer
And the hearts are decked with folly.

New songs of the season reflect Him no more,
Nor the tidings that angels did herald,
Nor of the “faithful who come Him to adore,”
So well proclaimed in old carols.

In the sky it’s a sleigh and no longer a star;
The Savior displaced by Saint Nick.
It is reindeer not wisemen that come from afar.
Politically correct does the trick.

Snowmen are nice on a white yuletide day,
And the merriness people have wished us.
But for most of the world, if the truth we did weigh,
The Grinch really has stolen Christmas.

This concept people don’t even remember—
The event called the incarnation.
They simply delight in the festive December
And join in their false celebration.

Christmas used to be a wonderful time
To retell to the world the glad tidings
Of the great plan of God, in both décor and rhyme,
That his Son was with us abiding.

And still to this day we see houses alight,
With electrical technical glare.
But true joy from new life and escape from sins plight?
Of this they seem unaware.

Our country avoids the true Biblical story,
Just pretending it to proclaim;
All to sell some inventory,
Hoping wise men today won’t complain.

Our stores and people, in sales delight,
But from the one whom “this day is born”
They seem to shy away in fright,
And with alternate decor adorn.

What happened to Bethlehem and “no room in the inn?”
To the “Word made flesh and dwelt among us?”
What happened to Jesus who shall save us from sin?
And “Glory to God in the Highest?”

To many it’s just Happy Holidays,
No need to know the reason;
Just have fun with snowmen and sleighs
And the festivities of the season.

Lest money be lost from people offended,
Lest God be given glory.
Lest “politically correct” be unwillingly suspended
By telling the real Christmas story.

The point is missed by so many these days
It’s not a mere memory of birth;
But rather a time to welcome with praise
The coming of God to the earth

This is a concept the world does despise,
Though, they like the gifts and next sale.
Satisfied they are with their compromise
As long as the truth they can veil.

But why sing of mistletoe, snowmen and toys
Let the Wonder of history be heard!
What an insult to God when the world employs
Fantasy instead of God’s Word.

– Harold Mally

Christmas at the Creation Museum

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Sarah, my dad and I spent the weekend in Cincinatti, helping out with some special Christmas events at the Creation Museum.

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We ran into a family who leads a Bright Lights group in Dayton. We enjoyed getting acquainted and were grateful for the way God brought our paths together.

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Sarah and I provided background music for a banquet Friday evening. Since we were asked to play simultaneously in two different rooms, Sarah and I strategically decided to switch places half way through (so we could both play our best songs in each room). People frequently ask if we’re twins anyway so we dressed alike and figured people wouldn’t notice. 🙂 People are a little surprised when we tell them we’re actually 10 years apart.

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Little kids love the harps.

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Last evening we helped with the live nativity on the Creation Museum grounds. Here a “Bethlehem local” tells stories by one of the fire pits.

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The Shepherds captured eveyone’s attention with their animated and humorous stories, and then sent the crowds on their way to see the child.

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I think the event was especially fascinating to the little children…

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Mary and Joseph

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All the animals and authentically dressed actors made everyone feel like they were really in Bethlehem. I heard that about 1,200 guests came through last night.

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I enjoyed helping as a vendor selling hot drinks and “provisions for the journey”.

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Here I am with “the Innkeeper”, (a friend of mine who is the manager of housekeeping at the museum)

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Gomer the camel behaved pretty well, from what I hear. The museum checked into the cost of renting a camel and decided it would be a better deal to simply buy the camel. That started the Museum Petting Zoo. Now they have tons of animals.

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Nice outfits, huh? The Museum design team created them, along with all the other outfits.

I was just praying that God would…

Last Wednesday evening, Sarah, my mom and I were on our way to church. We stopped by a grocery store to pick up some hot cocoa mix.

It was about 10 degrees, but with the wind it felt like it was below zero. As we were leaving the store, I noticed a lady sitting by the door, huddled over in her coat, looking very cold. I handed her a little coin with the 10 Commandments and told her it was a gift for her to look at while she was sitting there.

As she looked up, I noticed she was wearing a Salvation Army apron and had a bell in her hand. Apparently she had come inside for a few minutes to warm up.
She loved the 10 Commandments coin.
“It’s such a cold night to be ringing the bell outside!” I mentioned. “You must be freezing!”
“Well, I’m a flood victim, you see,” she explained, “and some of the flood victims are very bitter and depressed, but the Lord told me to stand by His side, and He’s taken care of me all the way.” She said, “Salvation Army has given me their 100% to help me through this tragedy, and I want to give them my 100% back, so that’s why I’m out there ringing the bell.”
I asked her when she became a Christian, and found out that she has been a believer for eight years. We talked for several minutes about the Lord; it was refreshing to both of us. Eventually, when I had to pull myself away, she stood up, gave me a big hug, and told me, “I was so cold out there, I was praying to Jesus that He would help me–that He would send someone along to encourage me. And then you came! You are my little miracle!” she exclaimed.

I left, rejoicing, and went to the nearby Starbucks to bring back a hot chocolate to my new friend. The cashier girl at Starbucks had a huge tattoo on her neck and her hair was in matted dreadlocks, but she had a very nice smile and pleasant personality. After ordering, I told her how the hot chocolate was for the Salvation Army bell ringer next door and explained the story.
Her reaction was different than what I expected.
“Wow!” she exclaimed, “That is such a good deed!”
“Well, it’s just something small,” I replied.
“No,” she emphasized, “I don’t know anyone else who would go through the effort!”
Because it was such a small thing to do, I was surprised by her surprise. It showed me how much it stands out to people even when we do something small for others.

I couldn’t think on the spot of how to turn the conversation to the Lord (plus there was another person behind me in line) so I figured I’d go back and talk with her later.

As I walked to the other end of the counter to pick up the hot chocolate I heard her say to the next lady, “You are not nearly as bubbly as the last girl who was here.”

Amused by her comment, I discreetly glanced over and noticed that–it’s true–the lady behind me didn’t look very happy. I wasn’t trying to be especially bubbly, it’s just that as Christians we have a purpose for being friendly with everyone we meet. It could lead to a conversation, a friendship, or even leading someone to the Lord. Those who serve the Lord have a motivation in life that others don’t have, and a purpose that others are looking for, so they have an ability to touch people in a special way. And the Christmas season opens lots of opportunities.

When I went back to Hy Vee I couldn’t find my new friend, the Salvation Army bell ringer. So I remembered that the girl who checked me out was really cold because she was located close to the doors. I gave the hot chocolate to her and told her I hoped she warmed up.

So now I have 3 new friends who I need to go “follow up on”. I had just been praying for the Lord to provide opportunities for me to speak encouraging words and witness. Isn’t it neat how He opens doors?