Friday, December 31, 2010

Get On Board!

Hey Y'all!

Tomorrow the train is leaving the station and we will be on our journey to read through the Bible in one year.  I hope you are excited to find your seat and let the scenery start passing by your window.

Here are some benefits to reading the Bible and participating in a virtual study group:
  • You can do this in your pajamas and no one will know it.
  • You can bring a snack to the study and not have to share with anyone.
  • You can do it at 2 am in the morning when you have insomnia.
  • You can mispronounce all those Old Testament names and no one will hear you.
  • You can speak up at any time and not be interrupted.
  • You can text or call someone during the study and no one will be bothered by that.
  • You can do it in the comfort of your own home.
  • No one will know if you miss a day.
  • If you're bored at work, you can log on and do this study instead!

But seriously, folks, this is a chance to do something unique.  We will read through the greatest book ever written (best seller each year since the invention of the printing press) and talk about it with people from different areas of the country. I hope you will make some new friends.  Another benefit is realizing that you are not alone in seeking God each day.

Let's experience a Year of Jubilee, finding rest, reconciliation and restoration through studying God's Word.  If you have not signed up yet, please go to the Sign Up to Follow page for instructions. If you are signed up, make sure to put the link to this blog in your bookmark bar/favorite sites.  Check in each day to see my post for that day's reading. Then make sure to comment and tell me what you notice each day.

Some of the initial days in January will be quite long to cover the material.  That is because there is so much ground work laid at the front of the Bible.  Please be patient with me and with yourself!

Okay, let's go!


Jubilee Gal
Kathy Fullerton

Monday, December 27, 2010

Just Reload...

Never retreat. Just reload. ~Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin is a controversial character.  Some of you may love her and some of you may hate her.  If you are one of the ones who hates her, please hang with me anyway.  I have a point. I promise!

I recently watched Sarah's new reality show Sarah Palin's Alaska.  In the first episode, which is the only one I have seen, Sarah goes on a variety of wildlife adventures in the beautiful Alaskan wilderness.

The one adventure that interested me the most was her rock climbing experience.  Why did I like this segment so much?  This segment showed me very clearly why Sarah Palin has gotten as far as she has. It is because she is a fighter. 

In this segment, we see Sarah and Todd (her husband)  trudging across a crevasse-filled glacier on cross-country skis  tied together by ropes and attached to their wilderness guide. As they trek along, you can tell that Sarah is getting tired, but the beauty of the landscape and the challenge of avoiding those crevasses seems to keep her buoyed.

After successfully navigating the glacier, Sarah arrives at the portion of Mt. McKinley that she is expected to rock climb.   She mentions that she is afraid of heights, but gamely begins to climb, anyway.

About half way up, she encounters an obstacle.  Sarah gets to a point on the mountain where a large stone is jutting out of the side of the mountain.  It is right in her path, and as it protrudes out near her mid-section, she cannot figure out where to get a foothold or a hand hold in order to get around this stone. Sarah is stuck in this position for 45 minutes.  Can you imagine how tired she must have been?

Regardless, after being frozen with anxiety on the side of a mountain for over 45 minutes, Sarah finds a way to climb around the obstacle and reach the summit.

So what did I learn about Sarah Palin's character in this story?  I learned that the lady who says, "Never retreat.  Just reload." actually lives her life that way.

But what does this have to do with a blog about reading the Bible every day for a year?  It reminds me that you and I are in a battle every day.  We face obstacles and are in a spiritual battle every minute of every hour of every day on planet earth. 

Within this battle, you and I are constantly facing obstacles and crevasses.  Every day is filled with struggles and strife.  Worse yet, we are battling against real forces of evil.

The Bible tells us in Ephesians chapter 6 that we  are in an epic battle.

Read this quote from Ephesians 6:12, "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."  NIV translation

So how does this battle manifest itself in our lives?  In a variety of ways that include:

  • All manner of temptations
  • Lies in our heads about our self-worth and ability to be loved
  • Negative coping mechanisms for our pain including addictions, self-harm, abusive behaviors
  • Bitterness and the inability to forgive others
  • All forms of envy, strife and anger
  • Immoral sexual behavior

We need to fight back.  How do we do that?  Very simply, the greatest means you have of battling these forces in your life is the Word of God.  The truth found in Scripture is the truth that will set you free (John 8:32).  Jesus was not joking when he said that truth in our lives sets us free from the powers of darkness in the world. 

The words in the Bible and the concepts taught throughout the text are the ammunition we must use to fight.  

In conclusion, as you and I face our daily temptations and come against unseen forces in our lives, we need to "Never retreat.  Just reload."

Please join me in the fight!

We begin our reading very soon!


Jubilee Gal
Kathy Fullerton
P.S. Why don't you get a friend to sign up and read the Bible with you?  It will be fun!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Hey, I Want A Gift From You This Christmas!

What we are is God's gift to us.  What we become is our gift to God. ~Eleanor Powell

Several years ago my husband and I were invited to a white elephant Christmas party.  I love white elephant Christmas parties and I love white elephant gift giving.  The concept of going to a party where you exchange presents with people with the intent of disappointing them, horrifying them or at least making them laugh is divine.

Needless to say, in preparation for the gathering, I ran down to my storage room in the basement and began rooting through all my junk.  I had to find the perfect horrible gift to give to someone.  It had to be perfectly atrocious and laughable.  The first thing I found was a broken ornament in a little holiday basket.  That would be disappointing to the receiver of the gift, but not awful.  I brushed the ornament aside. 

Next, I found an old pot holder made by one of my kids.  Truth be told, it was pretty ugly, but sentimentality and the strong pull of motherly loyalty prevented me from offering this hand-made wonder as my gift.

After that, I contemplated giving away the old Monopoly board game that was missing most of its pieces and most of the fake money that had once been in the game bank.  My friends are very creative, though, and rather than being scandalized by this gift, they would probably find some way to have fun with it.  That just wouldn't do.       

Finally, behind the tub of baby clothes I'd saved from twenty years ago (don't ask me one will ever use these, I know, I know!!!) I found the perfect gift.  As I pushed the Rubbermaid tub aside, the appalling gleam of the ceramic statue appeared.  Long, long ago, at a party far, far away, I had received this little gem.  I call her "the demon fairy." 

To say this little piece of artwork is eerie is an understatement.  She sits at an angle, her black eyes transfixed with a dead and unholy gaze.  Her hair is painted a garish yellow and her fairy wings are slime green.  She sits poised to make you jump if you have the unfortunate experience walking into a dimly lit room where she is. No sane person would ever decorate their house with this abominable creature.

I was thrilled.  Bingo. Game over. I wrapped my little friend in a beautiful gift bag and giggled as I dressed for the party.

So what is the point of my white elephant gift story?  Believe it or not, it is to tell you that you are a gift to the world from God.  Yes, you are a gift and YOU ARE NOT A WHITE ELEPHANT GIFT.

As a bible study leader for many years and as a female for even longer, I am saddened at how many women hate themselves.  In their minds, they are the white elephant person.  They are the worthless mistake and the lousy product of a cosmic accident.  Or, if there is a God, somehow, He does not care about them and their life situation.  It breaks my heart that many women believe that they have absolutely no purpose on this earth and that their lives are pointless.

This season, during the gift-giving frenzy of the holiday season, I want you to know that YOU are a GIFT from God to this earth.  He has uniquely blessed you with gifts and talents that only YOU with your personality and background, whether that background is good, bad, hardship-filled, abusive, perfect or just normal, can use to help others on this earth.    

God sees each of us a a gift to others.  If we embrace Jesus as our Savior, claim His death as our redemption and begin to let God's Holy Spirit work through our unique life experiences, we can glorify God as we become His hands, feet and heart to a hurting world.  God wants to use your life to help others. He wants to give purpose and meaning to your existence.  Why does He want to do this?  Because He made you for a purpose and He loves you.  Your life reflects His glory!

This Christmas, I hope you will see yourself as the gift from God to the world.  Pour out your life for others.  Give of yourself with abandon.  Unwrap the joy that God has put into you and share all that He has made you for with others.  This Christmas, I want a gift from you!  I want you!


Jubilee Gal
Kathy Fullerton
P.S. Remember to sign up to follow this blog.  You can only make comments if you have signed up to follow it.  I want to hear from you!  We begin reading the bible together very soon!

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Cross is the First Christmas Tree

Isn't there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about? ~Charlie Brown

Every Christmas season I try to make sure I'm home on the evening that A Charlie Brown Christmas airs.  As you might guess, I have it on dvd, but that doesn't matter.  I want to experience the show like I did when I was growing up.  I know I could dvr it and skip the commercials, but that just wouldn't be the same.

I love so many things about this show, but perhaps my favorite part of A Charlie Brown Christmas is when Charlie goes to pick a Christmas tree for the set of the Christmas play he is directing. Charlie is convinced that the play should not focus on the commercial aspects of the holiday, but instead present a more traditional message.  Charlie feels that a Christmas tree is just what they need.  They will decorate the tree and experience the real meaning of Christmas. He and Linus trudge through the snow to the Christmas tree lot.  Charlie finds a scrawny little pine with a sad narrow trunk and a few wispy branches. To Linus' dismay, Charlie chooses this "real wooden" tree.           

Charlie proudly carries the tree back to the play rehearsal only to be pummeled by the assembled cast with waves of derisive laughter.  Filled with self-doubt, Charlie begins to wonder loudly and with despair if he really knows what Christmas is all about.  Linus says he can tell him and then launches into one of the greatest moments of animated history.  Linus, under a spot light says,  

"'8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.'"
"...and that is what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."
With new found conviction, Charlie leaves the auditorium taking his little tree with him, intent on decorating the tree at home and showing the others that it will work.  After stopping by Snoopy's decked out doghouse, Charlie borrows an ornament to hang on his tree. 

The tiny branch bends to almost breaking under the weight of the shiny bauble.  Depressed that he has killed the little tree, Charlie walks away discouraged. 

Unbeknownst to him, his cast has followed him out of the auditorium realizing that they had gotten caught up in the commercialism of the season.  They decorate the little tree as they hum "Hark the Herald Angels Sing."  When Charlie Brown comes back to see what they have done, they all shout, "Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!"  Who can forget the ending chorus of "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" as the credits roll? 

This Christmas as I run around buying gifts, attending parties, and cooking for the family, I want to remember one other lonely tree that sat on a hill of derision.  That tree is the cross where Jesus died.  As I embrace this holiday season, I will strive to remember this message:

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree." Galatians 3:13

The baby born in that manger so many years ago grew up to be the perfect Savior who died for my sins on a cross.  This Christmas, as I decorate my tree, I want to remember the gift of that baby and the sacrifice of that man.

Merry Christmas and Blessings,

Jubilee Gal
Kathy Fullerton

P.S. We begin reading the One Year Bible on January 1, 2011.  We are reading the version that has Old Testament, New Testament, Psalm and Proverbs each day.  We will NOT be doing the chronological Bible.  Hope you are planning to join me!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Lick Your Inner Perfectionist

I bet you are thinking...

I'm not gonna start reading the Bible this year because something may come up and I'll have to miss a day.


Of course you are going to miss a day now and then.  So what?

Don't let that stop you from getting started.  Don't let your inner perfectionist rule.

Chill out.  Relax. 

You can do this.

Some of you have said you are going to follow the blog, but you haven't signed up to follow yet.  You need to be a follower in order to make comments.  I want to hear from you, so here are instructions on how to sign up:

Instructions for Sign-Up to be a Follower of
My Year of Jubilee

Once you are on the site at do the following:

·        Scroll down until you see “Followers” on the right lower side of the page.

·        Click on the “Follow” button to “Follow with Google Friend Connect.”

A new page will pop up that allows you to either sign in using an account you’ve already created with Google, Twitter or Yahoo!, or you can click the “Create a new Google Account” link.

If you have an existing account with one of these companies, log in.

If you do not have an existing account…

·        Click on the “Create a new Google Account” link.

Just enter the required information, including your email address, the password you want to use for the new Google account, and your birthday.

·        Type in the “word verification”, accept the terms of service and you’ll have a new Google account. 

They will then want to text you your “Google Verification Code”, so you will need to enter your cell phone number and they’ll text it to you.  You enter the code where indicated and you’re good to go.  They can also call you with the Google Verification Code if you don’t have text messaging.

Hope this helps.  Now, stop being a perfectionist and sign up!! : )

Jubilee Gal
Kathy Fullerton