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FOCUS

5 Feb Blog Psalm 625-6

Joining Kate Motaung today in Five-Minute Friday and the word is Focus.

Proverbs 425

Do you ever find yourself driving and clutching the steering wheel with both hands, your eyes straight ahead not looking to the left or right when it is pouring down rain, icy, or you find yourself on a winding road?

Proverbs tells us we are to be like that all the time.  Ouch!  I get distracted sometimes. How about you?  Ever gone to another room to get something or put something away, and the first thing you know you are doing three or four things and lost your focus?  I do that probably everyday.  I will get on the computer to post in some of my on-line Bible study groups or to blog, and a message pops up on the screen and thirty minutes later I have gotten involved in surfing or looking at something pretty to buy.

Blog Psalm 625-6

There are times when we let our fears take our focus off Him?  We get sidetracked on earthly things.  Can we just focus on this moment – focus on today – not what is going to happen tomorrow, next month or next year, but right now – this moment?  Let’s just pour our hearts out in prayer  knowing His ways are better than our ways or our worries and thoughts?

I am reminded of Romans 12:12 to “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer”.  Jesus spent His time on Earth always looking ahead to His Father. He was the perfecter of faith and He is our role model.  He never varied, always looking at the task ahead.

I am daily reminded that my focus is on what really matters and that is God, family, friends, and others.

You pile up enough tomorrows, and you’ll find you are left with nothing but  a lot of empty yesterdays.  I don’t know about you, but I’d  like to make today worth remembering.  Meredith Wilson (The Music Man)

What joy are you finding today?  What blessings are you counting today?  Have you even slowed down enough today to count your blessings, to spend time with Him thanking Him for all He has done yesterday and today and what He is going to do tomorrow?

 

In the waiting, we need to trust, we need to pour our hearts out to the Lord as we are on our knees praying, we need to be in the Word, and remain steadfast in the hope of the Lord.  It’s in the waiting we see Him at work.  It’s in the waiting we see His purpose in our lives through every season.

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Second Conversation With Wendy Blight

3 Feb

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My friend, Wendy Blight, is releasing a new Bible Study, I Know His Name: Discovering Power in the Names of God. Wendy teaches how the very names of God reveal His character and heart.

Wendy is a member of the Proverbs 31 Ministries’ First 5 Writing Team and serves as the Proverbs 31 On-Line Bible Study Small Group Ministry Training and Development Coordinator. She is the author of 3 books and most enjoys helping women, through Bible study, gain confidence so that they can tackle life’s problems through God’s Word.

I’d love to share with you A Conversation with Wendy Blight about her passion for Bible Study:

What led you to be so passionate about teaching God’s Word?

At age 21, just days after my college graduation, I survived an attack by an armed masked man hiding in my apartment. The acts committed against me that day spiraled me into a place of fear and despair I lived in for years. I tried so many avenues for healing. It wasn’t until I began reading, believing and praying God’s Word that freedom, wholeness and healing came. God’s work in my life, through His living and active Word, ignited a passion to help other women do the same. I’ve been teaching and writing ever since.

What ideas do you have for women to find time for Bible study in their busy days?

Discipline. That’s what it takes. It’s hard to carve out the time. But we must. God breathed every word of this beautiful love letter for us. Every word, from beginning to end, comes directly from His heart with the desire it land in ours. Bible study is simply setting time apart each day to be with God in His Word … early morning, carpool line, lunch behind closed doors in our office, bedtime. We can do it alone or walk alongside a group of friends. What matters is that we set aside time to meet with God in His Word because it changes, rearranges and renews us in unimaginable ways!!

As a part of Proverbs 31 Ministries’ First 5 App writing team, what is your hope for the over 500,000 worldwide that spend their #First5 with you each morning?

To fall in love with God’s Word and to understand how every word of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation is God-breathed and points to Jesus. Every story, every person, every chapter and verse reveals God overseeing His plan of salvation for His people … to regain what was lost that day in the Garden.

Do you have a favorite Bible verse or Life Verse?

I have a few. Psalm 40:1-3. Romans 8:28, 37-39. Isaiah 26:3.

You have such a heart for prayer. What is one suggestion you would offer women who struggle to spend time with God in prayer?

Understand prayer is simply talking to God. It’s sweet time with the One who created us, who loves us and understands us more than anyone else. And He WANTS to talk with us. He is waiting.

Because prayer made me uncomfortable at first, I started by writing my prayers in a journal, writing my thoughts to God. That got me more comfortable with praying. And then as I grew in my faith, I learned about praying God’s Word. And I began to take God’s Word and pray it back to Him.

For example Romans 8:37 says, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” We can pray, “Thank You, God that no matter what I am walking through right now, because You love me and live inside of me, empowering and equipping me, I will be more than a conqueror!

Just for fun: Salty or Sweet?

Oh, so hard. I’ll combine both. Dark chocolate with sea salt.

Tell us one thing about you that would surprise your readers.

I’m a lawyer by trade. When I practiced law in Dallas, Texas, a group of women in our firm asked me to join in, for the first time, to buy lottery tickets. The jackpot was 33 million dollars. I didn’t have any money in my wallet. So I said ask me next time. The next morning, I was out of the office and called in for my messages. It was hard to hear the receptionist through all the commotion. The 12 women who banded together to buy the tickets had the winning numbers! They won $33,000,000!!! There is no way to put into words the feelings that overcame me that day. But what I can say is if I had won, I never would have moved to Charlotte, NC. I never would have been part of Proverbs 31 Ministries, and I most certainly would not be celebrating the release of I Know His Name. What seemed such a great loss at the time, God has worked together for such great good in my life! He has done exceedingly, abundantly above all I could ever ask or imagine.

I invite you to check out Wendy’s newest Bible study, I Know His Name. Visit her blog to get a sneak peek of I Know His Name and also sign up for her FREE companion devotional, “5 Days to Knowing God More Intimately.”

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A Conversation With Wendy Blight

2 Feb

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My friend, Wendy Blight’s new Bible Study was released today,  I Know His Name: Discovering Power in the Names of God. Wendy teaches how the very names of God reveal His character and heart.

Wendy is a member of the Proverbs 31 Ministries’ First 5 Writing Team and serves as the Proverbs 31 On-Line Bible Study Small Group Ministry Training and Development Coordinator. She is the author of 3 books and most enjoys helping women, through Bible study, gain confidence so that they can tackle life’s problems through God’s Word.

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I’d love to share with you A Conversation with Wendy Blight about Writing Books and Bible Studies:

I Know His Name is your 3rd published book. How is writing Bible studies different from writing a book?

My books are an interesting combination of both. They are Bible studies because they require digging deep into God’s Word and contain challenging and practical application questions. But they are also filled with personal stories, anecdotes and my beloved and nerdy research, which I love, to bring alive what we are studying. I don’t just want women to read a book. I want them to meet and experience God in the pages of my book. I want them to develop a hunger and a thirst to continue in the Bible long after they turn that last page of my book.

What part of I Know His Name was the hardest to write and what was the easiest?

The research was much more intense for this book. My past books had me mostly in the New Testament. This book is filled with many Old Testament stories, and it stretched me more than ever before. But I absolutely LOVED it!! I learned so much, and I can’t wait to share all God taught me with my friends who read I Know His Name.

Do you like to write “old fashioned” with pen and paper or do you write electronically?

Before I begin a book, I sit down at my antique dining room table, covered with my grandmother’s handmade lace tablecloth, and pray, inviting God into every step of my book-writing process. My initial note taking is pen and paper with hardcopy commentaries and books stacked all around me. My second phase is electronic research. And then when the writing begins, I actually “write” on the computer.

What are your favorite Bible study tools to use for research in your writing?

Commentaries. Bible dictionaries. Biblegateway. Logos. Books by my favorite authors who have written on the topic. My journals. Notes I have taken along the way.

What do you like to do when you need to take a break from writing?

I walk over to my couch, have a snack and watch an episode of one of my favorite shows. It might be an old show like Murder She Wrote or Matlock. It might be a new episode of Hawaii 5-0 or NCIS Los Angeles. Sometimes even Bewitched or I Dream of Jeannie. Something to stop thinking and just relax and rest.

I invite you to check out Wendy’s newest Bible study, I Know His Name. Visit her blog to get a sneak peek of I Know His Name and also sign up for her FREE companion devotional, “5 Days to Knowing God More Intimately.”

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Purchase your book here or other locations TODAY!

Wendy BlightWendy Blight is a member of the Proverbs 31 Ministries’ First 5 Writing Team and serves as the Proverbs 31 On-Line Bible Study Small Group Ministry Training and Development Coordinator. She is a national speaker, Bible teacher, attorney, and author of 3 books including her newest Bible Study: I Know His Name: Discovering Power in the Names of God. She most enjoys helping women, through Bible study, gain confidence so that they can tackle life’s problems through God’s Word.

Wendy’s favorite place to be is at home in Charlotte, North Carolina writing and enjoying time with her husband, Monty, and their two children, Lauren and Bo.

 

 

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Praying to God Our Promise-Keeper

30 Jan

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Do you believe in the power of prayer?

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16 (NIV)

I invited my friend Wendy Blight to share with you today about Praying to God Our Promise-Keeper.

Knowing God by name. Calling upon God by name. Praying His Word … His Promises … back to Him are powerful and effective ways to usher God’s life-transforming work into our lives because our God is a Promise-Keeper.

But prayer is hard. It doesn’t come naturally to most women. I know it didn’t for me. The thought of praying out loud intimidated me. Made me feel uncomfortable.

But I have also learned that without prayer, we will never get to know the promise-keeping side of God. In order to know our Promise-Keeper, we’ve got to interact with Him. Pray to Him. And more than just pray, pray His promises … His Word … back to Him. It’s the substance of His promises that transform our prayers to be those powerful and effective prayers James talks about in James 5:16.

This truth came alive to me last year at a women’s conference in Houston.

The women’s ministry leader invited me to share my testimony. It’s a hard story for me to tell. In 1986, just days after my graduation from Baylor University, I fell victim to an armed, masked man hiding in my apartment. The horrific events of that June day locked me in a prison of fear for years. I hated God. I felt abandoned and forgotten by the One I grew up believing loved and cared for me.

A few weeks after my attack, a friend gave me this promise: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deut. 31:6, NIV). But at the time, it meant nothing. In fact, I saw it as a lie. He had forsaken me. He sat on his throne in heaven and watched what happened to me and did nothing.

Thankfully, God did not leave me in that dark place. As time passed, my heart slowly opened to God’s Word. It was a long and arduous journey, but over a decade later, through much prayer and the transforming power of His Word healing came. Freedom came. My test became a powerful testimony.

As I closed my message and stepped off the stage, a woman walked up and shared her story. Little did I know it was my story too.

She had been a student at Baylor at the time of my attack. She was part of a ministry whose leader invited them to pray for the young woman who had been attacked (me). They prayed a passage from Psalm 62 over me every week … for two years!  They prayed the promises of the Promise-Keeper.

Grasp the miracle here. At the very time I felt abandoned by God, He had raised up believers to pray. And not just pray, but pray God’s Word. His promises. She showed me her Bible. Yes, she still had it! Next to the passage was 1986 and my name.

As I read the passage, I saw clearly how each promise had come alive in my life. My promise-keeping God had honored each and every one.

I pray my story not only encourages you to pray but also opens doors for you to invite others to pray. Because you never know what God is up to in the midst of all those prayers!

Will you join me in praying God’s Word back to the One who is our Promise-Keeper? He always honors His Word. In fact, Isaiah 55:11 promises His Word will never return void and will accomplish everything He desires and achieve every purpose for which He sent it … even thirty years later!

 

In addition to God Our Promise-Keeper, there are hundreds of Names of God. I invite you to visit Wendy’s blog to get a sneak peek of her newest Bible study, I Know His Name and also sign up for her FREE companion devotional, “5 Days to Knowing God More Intimately.”

 

Here is a link to Wendy’s public page.

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Current and Future Goals and Dreams

28 Jan

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Here are some of my dreams and goals for this year that are in line with my one word for the year – Savor.  You can read about my one word here.

1  Spend more time with my Lord in prayer and Bible study.

2  Savor the marital moments we have together.

3  Spend more time with our two children and their spouses.

4  Make fond memories with the two grandsons.

5.  Serve more at church.

6.  Find more time to write.

7.  Enjoy walking and exercise more.

8.  Savor the coffee moments.

Joining 52 Lists for this week 4.

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