“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road;
make me a fork
, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.” - Jim Elliot

Friday, February 27, 2009

Abigail

Well, I've been hanging out with my new friend, Abigail, a lot lately.

I hope you don't feel slighted.

She has my full attention right now... but she'll be moving on after Tuesday.

I wouldn't mind being remembered like her...

"...she was an intelligent and
beautiful woman... "

1 Samuel 25:3 NIV

If you want to get to know Abigail a little better, stop by 1 Samuel 25.

I'll be teaching on Abigail on Tuesday, March 3rd... I appreciate your prayers!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Is There a Difference between
Following God
and
Following God's Plan?


I'm sitting here... studying and praying, as I prepare to teach on Abigail next week... when I followed a little "rabbit trail"... to a study on David. And when I read it, I thought...

I know someone who needs to hear this...

and perhaps you do, too...

"Instead of taking matters into his own hands, David's first response after the death of Saul is to inquire of the Lord. He is following God, not following his own ambition, or even following God's plan. Often, we act as if God's primary interest is in us accomplishing His plan,

when in fact,

He wants us simply to follow Him.

The results are in His hands.

There is a difference between following God and following God's plan.

We must seek for God's will to be done in God's way, and that is what David did."

- David: A Heart to Follow God (Lesson 2) in Following God: Life Principles from the Kings of the Old Testament

So, today as you are struggling with God's will for your life... I want you to consider... are you more concerned with following God's plan... or simply following God?

I'm right there with you, sisters!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Dusty Prayers

View from the Mount of Olives
Remembrance Stones on a Jewish Grave

Have you ever wished that Jesus would hurry? A song on my ipod plays in my head... "Jesus, hurry come back for us we cannot wait..." and I have to admit that I've lived most of my life wishing for it. Wanting to go on for the prize. Why be here... if heaven is so great... and Jesus is there... no pain... no tears? Why wait?

Until the other day... when I saw God's hand at work... I saw movement in prayers that are over 25 years old. My dusty prayers being answered.

My dusty prayers... prayers that I pray and pretty much leave on a shelf... until I hear someone say, "Let's pray for any lost loved ones..."

And I wondered... if... let's just say... Jesus really had hurried...

But now my heart is so encouraged... that I have decided to take a couple more prayers off the shelf. Dust them off... and start praying... and petitioning... and anticipating... and looking for God's hand.

And I'm thinking... you probably have some dusty prayers, too. And so, I encourage you to go to that shelf.. where you have placed some old prayers... dust them off... perhaps... today is the day?

Why not share that request with someone? So that they can toil with you in prayer... and rejoice with you in the victory.

And always remember... you have a sister here... who is praying for you!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

CHrIS
ToPHER


When you have a child with 11 letters in their name... it is very expensive to purchase individual letters as magnets... or wooden trains... or tiles... or wall plaques... or beads. Everything time$ 11!

So, when I saw these do-it-yourself magnets in a Family Fun Magazine... I thought... that looks easy... I could do that! Well, I purchased the materials about 2 years ago... and finally, when my Sissy visited this January, on a snowy day... we pulled out some magazines and started cutting.

I decorated an Altoids tin and gave it to him for Valentine's Day. He was so excited to have something with his 11 letters on it.

It really is the small things, isn't it?

Friday, February 20, 2009

What Were You Thinking?

May my lord pay no attention
to that wicked man Nabal.


He is just like his name—
his name is Fool,
and folly goes with him.

But as for me,
your servant,
I did not see the men my master sent.

I Samuel 25:25 NIV


I received an e-mail the other day...
"Interesting memory verse…I’m familiar with the story, but curious how it came to be a focus for memorization…if you care to share."


February 15th arrived... and it was time to pick my next Siesta Scripture Memory Verse. Once I pick my new verse, I print it out four times. One for the bathroom mirror, one in my office, one by the kitchen sink and one in the family room where I sit and write my blog... or watch TV... or play sudoku.

Another habit I've started is adding the verse to my signature on my e-mails. So, I see it every time I write an e-mail. This is why someone asked... What Were You Thinking?

As I looked ahead and wondered... what memory verse might be helpful over the next two weeks... it was obvious... 1 Samuel 25:25! Okay, okay... so I have the opportunity to teach our ladies Bible Study on March 3rd. We're teaching on (obscure) women of the Bible. My gal? Abigail.

So, what verse did you pick this time... and why?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Disclaimer


Thanks so much for your Valentine wishes...

but here's the truth...

I did not come up with the VALENTINE John 3:16 acrostic.

I saw it.
I liked it.
I copied it.

However, I graciously receive your kind comments about the hanging hearts. They are my original... and I haven't taken them down yet...

I love you, sweet sisters!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

...be my valentine


For God so

..loVed the world
..thAt he gave his one and
..onLy Son, that
.whoEver believes
...iN him shall
..noT
.perIsh but have
eterNal
.lifE.

John 3:16 NIV


We know what real love is
because Jesus gave up His life for us.
So we also ought to give up our lives
for our brothers and sisters.
~ 1 John 3:16, NLT



Love.

If you're feeling unloved today,

I pray you will immerse yourself in the love of God.


If you're feeling loved today,

I pray you will embrace a brother or sister
with the love of God.


And if no one has said it to you yet today...

I LOVE YOU!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Favorites: And I thought... who are you?

This post originally aired on March 9, 2008. I've been led to post it, again. And if I've learned anything... you gotta post when the Lord leads!


And I thought... who are you?


I met you today. I might've passed by you, but I noticed that you were filling out a "Friendship Card" before church which made me think that you might be a visitor.

I casually stopped by and said hello and introduced myself. You mentioned that you used to attend church here about a decade ago... but so much had happened... Then I noticed you were shaking and you mentioned that your wife had recently committed suicide.

My husband joined us and we found out that you knew a former pastor who still attends church here. Anthony thought if you knew the former pastor you might also remember Sam and you said you did. We prayed with you and asked if you would join us in Sunday School. You weren't sure, but we looked in and saw that Sam was there... we asked Sam if he would come out and speak with you... and he did.

Anthony and Sam caught you before you exited the church. They took you over to our new little cafe area... and spoke with you... and ministered to you. I thought to myself... who are you that God would providence that we would meet... Anthony would ask if you knew Sam... and Sam would be here today... and you would be ministered to?

I went to Sunday School and then church service not knowing how it all worked out... the choir sang "I'm Amazed"... and I thought I hoped you were in service because I knew that song would minister to you.

And then the former pastor that you knew got up on the platform to pray... and my heart jumped... and I wondered... who are you that God would work all these things together for you? This former pastor had not gotten up on the platform in a long, long time... I knew God had planned this for you.

And then... the former pastor mentioned that he had run into someone he hadn't seen in a while whose family member had committed suicide... and my heart jumped again, because I knew you had hooked up with him.

And as I wondered who you were that God would love you so much to bless and minister to you this morning... I realized I knew you. You are a precious child of God.

And then I realized how much God must love me to show His Handiwork in progress... that He would give me such a glimpse into how He cares for you... made me realize how much He cares for me, too.

I'm Amazed
No one knew how alone I was feeling,
And the emptiness I tried so hard to hide.
Though I laugh and said my life was fine without you.
I was covering up the secret tears I cried.
Then one day someone told me of your mercies,
And the love you showed on a Hill called Calvary.
There you died and purchased my redemption,
When you broke in spite and set my spirit free.

Chorus
I'm amazed that you love me I'm amazed how you care
Through Your precious blood I've found pardon
And my sins are washed they're all washed away
All my sins are washed away

Yes there've been days when I've failed you.
Lord you know the many times I've gone astray.
Lord I've learned your love is stronger than my weakness,
And your ear is open every time I pray.
No one else has ever cared for me like you Lord.
Other friends could never be as close to me.
I'm not afraid to face the problems of tomorrow,
Knowing you are everything I'll ever need.


Monday, February 9, 2009

Love Makes the World Go Round...


Congratulations to Vintage Girl at Heart! You have won the mini-memory book kit. E-mail me your snail mail address... and off it goes... just in time for Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

altars

"Memory" Book

For some reason, I am enthralled with the altars that are built in the Old Testament. Often built with only the intent of remembering what God had done. After Noah left the ark. After Abram (later Abraham) received the covenant. After the Israelites had passed through the Red Sea.

So that if they ever passed by that way again, they would see the altar and remember what the Lord had done. That He had been faithful. That He keeps His promises.


And I am drawn to building an altar. Or placing a "memory stone" as Henry Blackaby speaks of in "Experiencing God." To remember what God has done. Because I am prone to forget.


I found this memory book kit... and I thought... wouldn't this be a great way to capture the scriptures I am memorizing throughout this year? Instead of photos, I could fill it with the 24 scriptures that will define my spiritual growth in 2009. A Scripture Memory Book.


A Scripture Memory Book... an altar... a memory stone.
For 2009. Small. Simple. Reminder.


And I thought of you. I thought... you might like to have one of these memory books, too. Perhaps you'll use it as an altar. A reminder of something God has done in your life.

If you're interested in having this precious mini-memory book kit, leave a comment on this post. In your comment, tell me about one of the times that God did something in your life... that is worthy of an altar. I'll use random.org to pick the winner on Sunday evening.

Then come, let us go up to Bethel,
where I will build an altar to God,
who answered me in the day of my distress and
who has been with me wherever I have gone.
Genesis 35:3 NIV

Updated 2/9... Contest closed. Congratulations to Vintage Girl at Heart!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I am NOT Worrying....

Lovebirds

As I was praying for a dear loved one this morning... I began to worry. Fear got the best of me. Tears filled my eyes as I thought that the Lord may decide that His plans were in the better interest of all involved.

And then it hit me... didn't I just write a post about wielding scripture? Wasn't I memorizing a scripture that reminded me that God was in control... and that my job was to pray?

Yup...

And it brought me back to a quote that Pastor Ray used on Sunday by George Macdonald:

It is not the cares of today,
but the cares of tomorrow,
that weigh a man down.

For the needs of today
we have corresponding strength given.

For the morrow we are told to trust.

It is not ours yet.

It is when tomorrow's burden
is added to the burden of today
that the weight is more
than a man can bear.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will worry about itself.
Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:34 NIV

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

It's Not Enough...

As I said yesterday... there is more to memorizing scripture than... well, memorizing scripture...

It's not enough to know the Word of God... we have got to WIELD it, sisters!

There are many of us who know the stories of the Bible... or retain scripture verses... but to memorize it... and then use it.

to Wield - a verb meaning:
  • to hold and use (a weapon or tool)
  • to have and be able to use (power or influence)
Okay, so we are holding the Word of God in our minds, girls... but are we really ready to use it? We have the Word of God... but are we able to use it?


Take the helmet of salvation and
the sword of the Spirit,
which is the word of God.
Ephesians 6:17 NIV



For the word of God is living and active.
Sharper than any double-edged
sword,
it penetrates even to dividing
soul and spirit, joints and marrow;
it judges the thoughts and
attitudes of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12 NIV



"Have I not commanded you?
Be
strong and courageous.
Do not be terrified;
do not be discouraged,
for the LORD your God
will be with you wherever you go."
Joshua 1:9 NIV



Oh, Lord... as we store up your Words in our hearts... help us to wield them... as we fight the good fight...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

What Was I Thinking?

...when I chose my scripture verses?

Verse 1: Isaiah 43:2 NIV
January 1st. I thought... I'll pick a verse that was important to me in the past.

I remember being at church for a prayer meeting on a Wednesday evening. Perhaps around March 2006? One of our friends, Jeff P., had went up front to share a verse... he didn't know why he shared it. He just felt compelled to do so. And I was on my feet before I realized it... with my heart in my throat. Reaching into my pocket I pulled out a scrap of paper that had Isaiah 43:2 written on it. Pastor Dave asked women to come down and pray for me. It was the first time I really remember having people surround me in prayer during my depression. It was a glimpse of hope.


Verse 2: Psalm 121:3-4 NIV

January 15th. By the time we were to pick out our second verse, I had watched Beth's mini-tutorial about RENEW (see this post). I was struck with the fact that it is helpful to memorize scripture you NEED. So, on January 15th, I thought... what verse WILL I need during the next two weeks? Wow! Being pro-active... you know I love it!

What was ahead of me... Anthony leaving for Ethiopia... and the inauguration. I asked the Lord to show me a verse that captured His care for me during Anthony's trip... and His concern for the changing times. Looking back... I can see where I was being a demanding, but God is faithful!

Verse 3: Mark 9:28-29 KJV
February 1st. Sometimes I think that what I bring to the table is enough. That I know what to pray... or what to say... or what the Lord would want me to do... in certain situations. Basically, a feeling of pride... "It's okay, God... I can handle this one from here."

But lately, I have been in situations that I can't handle. That when I come to the proverbial table... I've got nothing. No words. No thoughts. Nothing. Nothing, but God. And so, during these past few days, I have been brought back to the realization that there really are some things... well, many things... that I can do absolutely nothing about... except pray.

I decided to use the King James Version of this verse because it included "and fasting." Some versions do not include these two little words. Although I am not someone who "fasts" per se, those two little words add a punch to the verse. "Prayer and fasting" to me means... more than a little popcorn prayer that I throw up to God and say, "Help!" It reminds me that sometimes, there are situations that require more intense time in prayer. A more intense time of realizing that I shouldn't be trying to "cast out demons" without first going to the Lord in prayer.

And so, I have found out that there is much more to memorizing scripture than... well, memorizing scripture. There is an incredible, awesome God with this amazing plan who keeps His promises... who keeps me close... and who reminds me that in all things I can turn to Him and He hears me. Thank you, God!



Sunday, February 1, 2009

Siesta Scripture Memory Team


On January 1st, I decided to join my other "siestas" at the LPM blog... and memorize scripture. We are encouraged to memorize a scripture of our choosing every other week. I am listing my verses on the sidebar.

I encourage you to stop by and join us. Even if you take a couple minutes to watch Beth Moore give a mini-tutorial on the RENEW process of scripture memorization.

Read It
Examine It
Need It
Echo It
Wield It

"Need it" and "wield it" have been the most helpful to me. Although I have memorized scripture in the past when I have needed it, I am now being pro-active. I am looking ahead at the next two weeks and asking the Lord... what verse should I memorize? Looking at my upcoming events... what verse might I need? And then to wield it as necessary.

So, how about you? What verse do you need to see you through the next two weeks? God's Word is full of His promises, His truth, and His love.