Hopeful Thoughts

Archive for July, 2009

The Right Resources…

One of my favorite things about BTCL was the course on Bible Study Methods.

I remember when I was first learning about what it meant to walk with God each day and started to incorporate a daily quiet time into my routine.  As a poor college student, I felt frustrated, because it seemed that in order to truly study God’s word, I needed to have a Bible study book.  I thought I needed something with blanks that I had to fill out as I read.

During the Bible study methods course, I learned strategies to get the most out of God’s word.  We learned about the three main steps: 1. Observation, 2. Interpretation, and 3. Application.  By the end of the semester, I felt that, instead of buying one of those study books, maybe I could write one!  (That may be a goal for the FAR off future!)

We also discussed the idea of “context” in great deal.  In some cases, this meant what was happening in the surrounding passages on the text, but in other cases, this meant what was happening in history.  The culture and location in which something occurred have a huge impact on how one interprets literature.  

For example, let me refer to the 10 camels in the story of Rebekah that I posted last week.  By looking at the historical context, we learn how deep Jacob’s well really was, how much water she could carry in her jar, and how much it takes to water one camel.  With this information, we can begin to see how tough and TRULY kind her job really was instead of just glossing over it as a small good deed.  

Of course, the historical and cultural contexts are not typically given right in the Bible.  So, I was once again left feeling the need to buy some kind of supplement to my study.  However, I have been pointed towards an amazing web site that is brimming with notes and details about every book of the Bible.  If you find yourself in the same situation, check out soniclight.com.  This web page boasts plenty of background information for any passage you might be willing to study.  Just be prepared to do quite a bit of scrolling if your question is about chapter 12 and not chapter 1!

Happy reading!

Read it At Last

One of my all time favorite reads has been the Mitford books by Jan Karon.  I got into them after most of them were already out, but early enough that I had to wait in anticipation for the final book to be released before I could read it.  When I found out that Karon was going to continue the story of Father Tim in a new series, I was ecstatic, but the waiting began again.  Once the book finally came out, I still couldn’t read it because I was working full time and had too much going on to read anything for fun.

Now that summer is here, reading time has returned.  While I was at my parents’ house in early June, I was finally able to borrow the book from my mother.  I had to let me sister read it first, but I was able to bring it home and finally dig into it myself.

It was SO worth the wait!!  Characters briefly mentioned from Father Tim’s past in the original series now come to life as Father Tim travels back to his home town.   And BOY does he have a past!  We learn about the trials that he experienced as a child that lead him to become the lovable, balding, Episcopal priest of the Mitford books.


Of course, now I am left with the problem of waiting again until the next book is released.  It’s not slated to come out until 2010!!!!!

Coffee Cup Chronicles: Part II

Today’s cup of choice happens to be the one I am sipping out of as I compose today’s post.  It is a favorite both because I love the design, and because of it’s large size.  Bigger is quite often better when it comes to a good cup of coffee.  However, it is most precious to me because of the memories.  This lovely mug shines in pastel print with some of the names of our Wonderful God and was given to me at a very special time.


I moved to Denton just over six years ago.  I’m kind of shy in new situations, and don’t easily come out of my shell unless circumstance force me to.  So, when I moved here to get married, I decided that if I was to make new friends,  I was going to have to jump in head first and  join the first Bible study my new church offered, no matter what.  It ended up being a study of Titus 2.  (GREAT stuff, by the way).  As a result, I became good friends with many of the women in the church.

Not long after, I was invited to serve on a team to plan our annual women’s retreat.  As a newly married woman, not long out of college, I was quite surprised and very honored to be asked to help some of the women I admired most in my church (including the wives of several elders) to plan such an event.  We planned the weekend retreat around the theme of “The Names of God”.   Each name of God reveals something about his character, and the mugs were given to each woman to remind us daily of who God is. 

So now, years later, as I hold this lovely mug filled with coffee, I am reminded of the love of God and the precious women in my church.

It’s Food Day Already???

Perhaps unknown to you, dear readers, I have plans for my blogs.  I sat down just the other day and decided exactly what I want to blog about on each day of the week.  This is mostly meant as a motivation to actually blog more often.  If I know what I’m doing before I sit down, then I am more likely to do it. 

Thursdays are my theme day.  For now, it’s the Coffee Cups.

Fridays are for books.  What I’m reading, what I want to read … you know!

Saturday and Sunday are unassigned.  Those are days to talk about whatever.

Mondays are for the things I’m learning about God.

Tuesdays are about crafty things I am doing or planning to do.

And, according to my plan, today, Wednesday,  is supposed to be the day I talk about food.  

Last week I picked up my first Organic Produce Co-Op  goodies, and I really hoped that I would have some pictures to make mouths water and a savory story to go along with them.  However, no such pictures were taken of the dishes those fruits and veggies turned into.  

In fact, the only interesting thing that I made was egg plant parmesan.  I am excited to say that it was a success.  I was dreadfully afraid that it would turn out mushy, yet it was tender with a perfect crunchy coating.  The egg plant was sliced, lightly salted, and left to drain on paper towels for about 30 minutes.  I dredged each piece in flour, egg, and bread crumbs before frying until golden in a bit of olive oil.  I didn’t have enough bread crumbs to dredge all the pieces, so I pulled out my mini food processor and ground up some generic wheat crackers.  I still can’t believe it tasted good, since I didn’t really follow any recipe!!  My most favorite days in the kitchen are those when I throw something together.  

Should life ever hand me another egg plant, I will not be afraid.  However, I will not be buying another on my own.  I stilll prefer chicken in my parmesan!!!