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You are invited to subscribe to the Joan K. Snipes e-newsletter and receive interesting and helpful information about the Bible and teaching Bible stories to children. Each e-newsletter will include an essay, comments about Bible reference books, upcoming Bible workshops, and/or other helpful info. The e-newsletter is published six times a year and costs $10 per calender year. Enter your email address and click 'sign me up! Then, you can pay via check or PayPal (an established and secure way to make online payments.) Checks should be sent to:
Bible Teaching Press
1070 Willowdale Drive
Shepherdstown, WV 25443
If you want to subscribe using a credit card (via PayPal) please send me an email at snipes.principia.edu. (Do not put your credit card number in the email.)
Exploring the Bible: Essays, Worksheets and Resources, Volumes 1 and 2 are available from Bible Teaching Press. Both are compilations of essays by Joan K. Snipes. Volume 1 is a 45-page booklet and is a compilation of material written in the first 17 issues of this e-newsletter. The information has been reorganized, slightly rewritten, and edited. A two-page table of contents makes finding specific information easy.
Volume 2 of Exploring the Bible: Essays, Worksheets and Resources, compiles three years worth of information that first appeared in my e-newsletters from December 2003 through October 2006.
A variety of topics are included in the second booklet, including: Jesus' reliance on the Hebrew Scriptures, Amos's plumbline, archaeology, mountains, biblical literacy, gift ideas, and the epistle by James. In addition to the essays, I have book reviews, the words to some fun Bible songs, and two Bible worksheets. I have also included web addresses for interesting Bible sites.
Both booklets are printed on 8 1/2 x 11 paper and bound in a simple folder. The cost is $10.00 per booklet or $15 for both volumes plus $2.00 shipping via first class mail for the first copy and $1.00 for each additional copy. Booklets are also available as a PDF file for $5. each. To order, please send me a reply email.
Newsletter Dated: 12/8/2005 3:46:08 PM
Subject: Amos's plumbline
Contents of this issue of the Joan K. Snipes e-newsletter:
- Amos's plumbline;
- "Christmas in the Manger" by Nola Buck and Felicia Bond;
- "I Love Bible Stories," a heartwarming new CD;
- Bible-related gift ideas;
- "O Little Town of Bethlehem" by Phillips Brooks;
- Upcoming Bible workshops.
Recently, my husband and I had the opportunity to tour the Masonic Lodge in Shepherdstown. It is an historic building on German Street. We'd never been in a Masonic Lodge before, so we enjoyed learning more about the organization, which traces its roots to the building of David's temple in Jerusalem. (Please see mention of masons in II Samuel 5:11.)
On the south wall of the Lodge meeting room is displayed a symbolic plumbline. You likely know that a plumbline is a heavy weight suspended from a line. Carpenters and masons use this instrument in building to test verticality -- to determine the accuracy and precision of their work. (Those hanging wallpaper may use a plumbline, too.) Figuratively, the word means "to test." The prophet Amos used the plumbline as a figure to teach Israel that God's judgments were just, impartial, and exacting.
According to author Berenice Shotwell, "consecration, obedience, and love of God bring men's lives into alignment with God's will and purpose."
The Scriptures repeatedly show thought and action brought into line with divine demand. Examples include Abraham, Moses, Samuel, Elijah, Isaiah, Mary, Jesus and Paul. Shotwell's book, "Getting Better Acquainted with the Scriptures," highlights these experiences. (See p. 94 for citations. This book may be read online at http://www.shadwold.com/)
Bible scholar Gehman notes that Amos's vision of the plumbline indicates that judgment "is according to the undeviating standard of righteousness." (See "The New Westminster Dictionary of the Bible," p. 40.)
It's not surprising that Masons hold the plumbline close to their hearts. It's a tool that can help all of us stay on the strait and narrow way.
Here are the pertinent verses from the book of Amos:
Amos 7:7, 8
Thus he shewed me: and, behold, the Lord stood upon a wall made by a plumbline, with a plumbline in his hand.
And the Lord said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A plumbline. Then said the Lord, Behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people Israel: I will not again pass by them any more....
CHRISTMAS IN THE MANGER
"Christmas in the Manger" by Nola Buck and Felicia Bond is an excellent choice for a simple picture book for very young children. This board book has nice illustrations and easy to understand text. It begins: "I am the star that shines in the east, I light the stable for man and beast." Subsequent pages introduce "the donkey," the ram, the ox, the shepherds, the wise men, Mary, and baby Jesus. I recommend this book for children two and under. It makes a great first Christmas present.
I LOVE BIBLE STORIES
"I Love Bible Stories" is a new CD published by and available for $10 at www.BibleWise.com. Nicholas (age 3), Katie (age 4), and Jacob (age 5) happily tell about Noah, Daniel, the three Hebrew boys, Jonah, and some of Jesus' healings and parables (the Good Samaritan, the Sower and the Seed, and the Prodigal Son.) The children's enthusiasm and love for the Bible will warm your heart and put a smile on your face. My friend, Genelle Austin-Lett, adapted the Bible stories. They include interesting background details, contemporary language, and humor.
The story telling is touching, cute, sweet, funny at times, educational, and inspiring. The three featured children are wonderfully talented. I also liked the story selections -- many of the basics, with both Old and New Testaments represented.
BIBLE-RELATED GIFT IDEAS
If you'd like ideas for Bible-related Christmas (or birthday!) gifts, please see:
The list includes a baby blanket, a ten commandments bracelet, a board game, and an inexpensive silicone bracelet with "God is Love" on it.
O LITTLE TOWN OF BETHLEHEM
One way to encourage Bible literacy for children is through the medium of music. Do the children you love know the Christmas carol, "Little Town of Bethlehem?" If not, be sure to teach it to them. Here are the words.
O Little Town of Bethlehem
Phillips Brooks and Lewis Redner
O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by.
Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.
For Christ is born of Mary, and gathered all above,
While mortals sleep, the angels keep their watch of wondering love.
O morning stars together, proclaim the holy birth,
And praises sing to God the King, and peace to men on earth!
How silently, how silently, the wondrous Gift is giv'n;
So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of His Heav'n.
No ear may hear His coming, but in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive Him still, the dear Christ enters in.
To sing along, to read more about the author and composer, or to find the final two verses, please see: http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/o/l/olittle.htm
BIBLE WORKSHOPS IN FLORIDA, TEXAS AND CALIFORNIA
I'm happy to report that my calendar for January through April 2006 is filling up. I have workshops scheduled in St. Petersburg, Austin, New Braunfels, and Los Angeles. For details, please email me.
Joan Koelle Snipes
Volume 5; No. 6
Published six times a year by:
Bible Teaching Press
1070 Willowdale Drive
Shepherdstown, WV 25443
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THAT YE MAY TEACH THE CHILDREN
To read the preface, introduction and bibliography of my book, "That Ye May Teach the Children," click http://tinyurl.com/2wsom To order the book for $29.95, please send me a reply email. For those who have already purchased a copy, there is a discount for additional copies -- only $19.95 each, postpaid.
"Exploring the Bible: Essays, Worksheets and Resources," a 45-page booklet by Joan K. Snipes, is available from Bible Teaching Press. This booklet is a compilation of material written in the first 17 issues of this e-newsletter. The information has been reorganized, slightly rewritten, and edited. A two-page table of contents makes finding specific information easy. The booklets are printed on 8 1/2 x 11 paper and bound in a simple folder. The cost is $5.00 per booklet plus $2.00 shipping via first class mail for the first copy and $1.00 for each additional copy. Thus the total price for one copy is $7; for two copies, $13. To order, send a check to Bible Teaching Press.
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