Bible 100 Lenten Edition Summary 3

Judges-Chronicles

This Lent we are learning the Bible, Bible 100 style. In other words, we’re developing an overview of the entire collection of 66 books. Here’s a summary of what we covered this week. If any of this sparks your curiosity, I hope you will watch the short videos I recorded through Facebook Live.  Of course, you can always turn to the Bible to learn even more!

Lessons 13-18

Lesson 13: Israel’s Judges (Judges 1-21)

  • Judges 2:16-19 gives us a glimpse of the unsatisfying ending this period of Israel’s history will have.
  • In the book of Judges, there are 12 Tribes who work together when necessary; there is no “nation of Israel.”
  • In the book of Judges, there are 12 Judges (rulers) over the course of several hundred years.
  • There are interlude periods when the Israelites are ruled by non-Israelite leaders. For example, Judges 3:14 tells us they were ruled by a Moabite king for 18 years.
  • There is a left-handed judge named Ehud. (Judges 3:15-30)
  • Abimelech, a usurper, dies after a woman drops a stone on his head. (Judges 9:52-55)
  • The period of the Judges ends with everyone doing what is right in his/her own eyes (Judges 21:25), harkening back to Genesis 6:5 where every thought was evil all the time.

Lesson 14: Looking at One Judge, The Honorable Gideon? (Judges 6-8)

  • Gideon is the least of the least. (Judges 6:15)
  • He is chosen by God to lead the Israelites against the Midianites. (Judges 6:33-35)
  • Gideon tests God with two rounds of dew and fleece. (Judges 6:36-40)
  • God tells Gideon that 32,000 troops is too many because “Israel would only take the credit away from [God] saying, ‘My own hand has delivered me.’” (Judges 7:2)
  • God reduces Gideon’s army to only 300 troops. (Judges 7:3,8)
  • Gideon and his 300 troops successfully defeat Midian. (Judges 7:25)
  • The Israelites wanted Gideon to establish a dynastic monarchy, but he refused. (Judges 8:22-23)
  • Despite having spoken with God face to face (Judges 6:22), Gideon made an idol and worshiped it. (Judges 8:24-27) The idol “became a snare to Gideon and to his family” and “all Israel prostituted themselves to it.” (Judges 8:27)

Lesson 15: The Epic Love Story of Ruth (Ruth 1-4)

Bible 100 Lenten Edition Summary 2

Genesis 26-Joshua

This Lent we are learning the Bible, Bible 100 style. In other words, we’re developing an overview of the entire collection of 66 books. Here’s a summary of what we covered this week. If any of this sparks your curiosity, I hope you will watch the short videos I recorded through Facebook Live.  Of course, you can always turn to the Bible to learn even more!

Lessons 7-12

 Lesson 7: Jacob Becomes Israel (Genesis 26-33)

  • Jacob leaves in search of a wife and a life away from Esau.
  • He goes to his mother’s homeland, Paddan-aram, where he meets and falls in love with Rachel.
  • Rachel’s father (Jacob’s Uncle Laban), tricks Jacob into marrying Leah.
  • Jacob eventually has children with both Leah and Rachel, and their maidservants.
  • Jacob fathers twelve sons.
  • God changes Jacob’s name to Israel in both Genesis 32 and Genesis 35.

 Lesson 8: Joseph, Dreamcoat to Death (Genesis 37-50)

  • Joseph is #11 of the 12 sons of Jacob (Israel).
  • He has prophetic dreams and the gift of interpreting dreams.
  • His father showed him preferential treatment, once giving him a coat of many colors.
  • Joseph dreams his brothers will bow down to him. (Genesis 37:5-11)
  • Joseph’s brothers conspire against him. He is sold into slavery.
  • Joseph rises to prominence after interpreting Pharaoh’s dreams. (Genesis 41:39-40, 43)
  • Joseph is unexpectedly reunited with his brothers during a widespread famine.
  • Joseph forgives his brothers and brings the entire family to live safely in Egypt.
  • Genesis ends with the death of Joseph. (Genesis 50:26)

 Lesson 9: Meet Moses (Exodus 1-2)

Bible 100 Lenten Edition Week 1

Genesis 1-28

This Lent we are learning the Bible, Bible 100 style. In other words, we’re developing an overview of the entire collection of 66 books. Here’s a summary of what we covered this week. If any of this sparks your curiosity, I hope you will watch the short videos I recorded through Facebook Live.  Of course, you can always turn to the Bible to learn even more!

Week 1

Lesson 1: Introduction to the Bible Play_Video

  • The Bible was written by more than forty people over the course of two millennia.
  • The Bible is a collection of 66 books, 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament.
  • “The Apocrypha” is a collection of books that are included in the official scriptures of the Roman Catholic, Greek, and Slavonic churches, but are not included in the Jewish Tanakh or Protestant Bible.
  • The places and people depicted in the Old Testament are all located in the Middle East. The New Testament expands to Greece and Southern Europe. (Click here to see a satellite image of the area.)
  • The shortest verse in the Bible is John 11:35 (KJV), “Jesus Wept.” The shortest chapter in the Bible is Psalm 117, and its neighbor Psalm 119 is the longest.

Lesson 2: Creating Perfection (Genesis 1-2) Play_Video

  • In Genesis 1, there are six distinct acts of creation and then God rests. (Or, as I like to see it, God created rest on the 7th Day.)
  • God saw everything he made and deemed it very good.
  • Genesis 2 offers a second creation story. Some people read this as creation from a different perspective. Genesis 1 is God’s perspective. Genesis 2 is told from the perspective of Adam. Bible 100 won’t settle this for you, but it will encourage you to learn the Bible one question at a time.
  • When Creation is done, we have two humans living in perfect harmony with one another and with God.
  • Perfection is short-lived.

Lesson 3: Sin Enters Creation (Genesis 3-5) Play_Video

No Sacrifice on the Sundays in Lent

Why the Sundays in Lent Don't Count

child_dessert_messy_Beth_Demme

The Sundays In Lent Don’t Count

By Beth Demme

Lent is a season of the Christian Year where Christians focus on simple living, prayer, and fasting in order to grow closer to God.” Rev. Penny Ford

Many people choose to give up something in Lent as a devotional act. Some people give up chocolate, desserts, or all sweets. Others sacrifice a bit of their time to add more Bible reading into their day.

Lent is the 40-day period before Easter. Since Easter moves around on the calendar, Lent moves around, too. The first day of Lent, Ash Wednesday, is on March 1 this year, but in 2018 it will arrive on Valentine’s Day!

However, no matter when Lent begins, the Sundays in Lent don’t count.

That’s right, Sundays are not a time for sacrifice even when they fall during a sacrificial season on the church calendar.

Some might call it a loophole, but I promise it’s legit.

You should observe your Lenten sacrifice six days a week, not seven. Here’s why.

Learn The Bible This Lent {Starts Tomorrow}

Beginning TOMORROW, Wednesday, March 1

Bible 100: Lenten Edition

During Lent, Beth will offer a free Facebook Live video each day, Monday thru Saturday, to take you through the entire Bible in about 5 minutes a day.

If you (or a friend) want to know the Bible better, this is your chance! Follow Beth on Facebook and Twitter to be notified just before she goes Live.

Are You A Work In Progress?

A Lesson from Gideon

work-in-progress-woman-painting

Are You a Work in Progress?

By Beth Demme

I’ve written before (here, here, and here) about how I love the Old Testament. One of my favorite Old Testament heroes is the long ago judge of Israel, Gideon. (Judges 6-8) I appreciate Gideon’s story not because of his heroism, but because of his lack of it.

Gideon teaches me that even Heroes of the Faith sometimes:

  • wonder if God is absent;
  • feel inferior; and
  • worship the wrong thing.

In the time of Gideon, the Israelites were being attacked by nearby enemies. Their crops and animals were being stolen and/or destroyed. God appears to Gideon and appoints him to be The One who saves Israel from those enemies.

Gideon looks at the world around him and says, “God, where are you?”

The first thing the angel of the Lord says to Gideon in Judges 6 is, “The Lord is with you, you mighty warrior.” In response, Gideon says, “nuh-uh.” Actually, he says, “If the Lord is with us, why has all this bad stuff happened to us? … The Lord has cast us off, and given us into the hand of our enemy.” (Judges 6:13)

Gideon looked at the world around him, saw how troubled it was, and assumed God had vacated the premises. Gideon was really saying, “if God cared about me, only good things would happen in my life.”

It’s tempting to measure God’s love based on our current situation.  The better we feel about our life circumstances, the more blessed we think we are and the more we feel God loves us. But as Gideon’s story teaches us, God is present with us even when times are tough. In fact, sometimes it takes a difficult circumstance for us to surrender our self-sufficient attitudes. When we move beyond an “I’ve got this” attitude, we discover God’s love and the supernatural peace that passes understanding.

Gideon felt he was the least of the least, but God saw him as a work in progress.

Learn The Bible This Lent

<<Special Announcement>>

Beginning Wednesday, March 1

Bible 100: Lenten Edition

If you (or a friend) want to know the Bible better, this is your chance!

During Lent, Beth will offer a free Facebook Live video each day, Monday thru Saturday, to take you through the entire Bible in about 5 minutes a day.

Follow Beth on Facebook and Twitter to be notified just before she goes Live.

The Power of Apology

Soften the Heart and Open the Mind

Power of Apology Psalm 32

The Power of Apology to Soften the Heart & Open the Mind

By Beth Demme


Apologies are powerful things.

I learned this first-hand when I practiced law full-time. I often represented nursing homes being sued for negligence in the death of a resident. You might not believe me, but most of the time people in nursing homes die of natural causes, not negligence.

In litigation, my only opportunity to interact directly with the family of a deceased resident was at mediation. I had a knack for working things out at mediation and keeping the whole case out of court.

My secret weapon? Apologizing, and meaning it.

At mediation, we all started out together in one room. The family’s lawyer went first, explaining the ways they felt my client failed. Good plaintiff’s attorneys would spend at least a few minutes talking about the lost loved one, about the kind of life they lived and how much they meant to their family. Not-so-good lawyers would spend all of their time yelling angrily about how awful nursing homes are.

When it was my turn, I always responded calmly. I smiled and made eye contact with any family member who would look at me. I would say, “First, on behalf of my client, let me say we are so very sorry for your loss. We are sorry for any way that we let you down. We know that your loved one was a wonderful person and that her life mattered.”

Hear me on this, I never said these words for the purpose of manipulation. I always meant what I said. The sentiment was true and it was in my client’s best interest for this message to be communicated personally and clearly.

It was in my client’s best interest for an apology to be offered.

An apology has the power to soften the heart and open the mind.

After I apologized, the family members were able to hear my client’s side of the story. They could hear me talk about the standard of care and how our staff had done their best to meet it.

Can you think of a time you felt someone owed you an apology? Whether it was a friend, a family member, or a business, the lack of an apology probably hurt your relationship. Maybe you also know the power of offering an apology and receiving forgiveness.

An apology works the same way in our spiritual life.

Wholeness and Doughnuts

Are You Empty Inside?

woman_doughnut

Wholeness and Doughnuts

By Beth Demme 

If you were a doughnut, what kind would you be?

Would you be a delicious hot glazed Krispy Kreme, fresh off the conveyor belt? Would you be a Dunkin’ Donuts Old Fashioned, ready to dive into a hot cup of coffee? Or are you a jelly-filled doughnut, sweet and surprising inside?

I know this seems like a silly question, but I’m guessing you need some levity in your life today. I know I do. In a world filled with tension, fear, and grief, I’m thankful for a quick smile and, come to think of it, a doughnut never hurts. 😉

The genius of a doughnut is its empty center (jelly-filled doughnuts aside). In people, however, an empty center is less appealing.

There might be something to this theologically, or maybe not.

Mercy for My World and MySelf

Kyrie Eleison

hands_in_prayer

Praying for Mercy for My World and MySelf

By Beth Demme

Kyrie Eleison, Christe Eleison, Kyrie Eleison. Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy.

It’s an old, old prayer from around the 300’s. This prayer is almost too simple in its construction. It is, perhaps, too Roman Catholic for someone like me who was raised in a Protestant church with an ingrained sense of pride for our Reformation heritage. We Protestants might even balk at the idea of praying in Greek, transliterated into Latin, preferring to rely only on our own language when communicating with God.

And yet, this prayer calls to me. Kyrie Eleison, Christe Eleison, Kyrie Eleison. Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy.

With these few words, I acknowledge my need for mercy and my belief that God will pour it out. I trust “in God’s infinite, inexhaustible mercy and compassion” as I place myself, with all my “strengths and weaknesses, in God’s hands.” (Pray-As-You-Go)

Kyrie Eleison, Christe Eleison, Kyrie Eleison, because I get it wrong so often.

I want to be a beacon, a lighthouse that sends the light of God’s love out into the world. I want to be the kind of person Jesus describes in the Beatitudes (Matthew 5) when he says blessed are those: