Archive | April, 2014

Living So That – Week 3 – Memory Verse – Finding Treasure in the Word

24 Apr

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Sometime life does not make sense, sometimes it is so hard, sometimes it is more than hard – gut wrenching and chaotic.  Sometimes life is going along just so peaceful, and all of a sudden it is shattered with heartache and heartbreak, and you find yourself in a valley wanting back on that mountain top.  Sometimes we just feel disconnected with everyone around us including our Lord.  We don’t know why – we are just disconnected and sometimes even depressed.

What a comfort this verse was to me as I broke it down and verse mapped it.

Let us THEN.  What is the definition of then.  Merriam Webster defines it as this:

                then – at that time: at the time mentioned – used to indicate what                             happened or happens next

So what should be done when our lives are shattered?  This verse tells us THEN – then we should approach.

                 approach – To move or become near or nearer in time to something

When life shatters us, we are to THEN APPROACH the throne of grace.  The throne as defined by Merriam Webster is “the seat of a deity“.  That THRONE is where our loving, glorious, holy, almighty, worthy, almighty, sympathetic Jesus sits and welcomes us.  That THRONE is where we are in the presence of the glory of Christ where we can and utter our requests and our praises.  That THRONE where the greatest deity of all time sits. That deity who already knows what those requests will be, and he is just waiting for us to sit at His feet.

In times past only certain individuals, the priests were able to go to the throne. Today because He lives, we are all invited, and He is there 24/7 just waiting for us to humbly come before Him.  What a privilege – direct access – and we do not use it!  It is free, it is available and He is ready to give us mercy and grace.

“So what is prayer?  Prayer is a gift.  Prayer is a privilege.  Prayer is two-way communication with God.  Prayer is a love relationship with the God who created us.”  Wendy Blight

Because Jesus died for each of us, we can approach the throne without worry, fear,  or being anxious that we don’t deserve His grace and mercy.  We can approach the throne with love and adoration and praise for our King.  We can approach the throne with EVERYTHING.  We can approach the throne with CONFIDENCE.

Wendy also shared this week how her friend, Lisa Allen shared prayer triggers.  I loved that so much.  “When you have a person for whom God calls you to pray, be creative.  Think of something that reminds you of the person.  invite God to open your eyes to see that trigger and use it to remind you to pray.”  She said that Lisa loves leopard things so when she sees something leopard, she prays for Lisa.  One of the ladies in our studies shared that she was wearing a piece of jewelry on the wrong arm to remind her to just pray about anything during the day.  Today I wore my watch on my right arm.  As I stood in the cafeteria as a monitor this morning, I prayed for the 300 students in there (6th graders), later when we were in the gym and our seniors were there to help us I prayed for each of them as they prepare to graduate, one of our special needs children hurt me today and I prayed for him as I had to go down to the nurse, and on the way home I prayed for families as I passed their homes.

prayer trigger

We can take steps days by day to draw closer and closer with ALL that we are, united with Christ, to the Throne of God.  Any time is the perfect time to go to the THRONE – morning, noon, during the day, evening, midnight, when you cannot sleep, before meals.  We can go to the THRONE in all kinds of ways – kneeling, on our face, standing, sitting, publicly, alone, with friends, with family, with strangers, driving or riding in our cars, taking an afternoon walk (I love to prayer walk), riding a bicycle, shopping, working, cleaning, resting and even when you awake during the night. I find myself awake many times at 2 or 3 in the morning and I know it must be God telling me I need to pray so I lay there and pray.  We can go to God anytime.  We do not have to wait for perfect conditions or circumstances.  Just go to the THRONE and pray following the example of Jesus!

 

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Living So That – Week 3 – God’s Word

24 Apr

Here we are in week 3 already of Living So That by Wendy Blight.  Can I say this is a powerful study book.  The verses we have been memorizing prick the heart and I’m learning each week how to really dive in and dig into God’s Word and memorize the Word.

One of the topics we could choose this week was to share creative ways we are displaying our memory verses around our homes and to post pictures.  Here are a few of the ways I am creatively displaying God’s Word which has helped me tremendously in memorizing the week’s verses.

This weeks verse is Hebrews 4:16.  We are studying about prayer this week and how we can approach the throne of grace.  Here is my kitchen window with my little bird picture holder – for me it is a scripture holder.  What better way to display my verses above the sink looking out my kitchen window at the spring birds and flowers!

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And while in the kitchen close to the table on my countertop and by the phone I keep this plaque filled up with the Word each week.

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Here is week 2 (2 Tim 3:16-17) and what a difference it makes when you KNOW that ALL scripture is God-breathed.  Not just a book, a verse, a sentence, but EVERY SINGLE WORD in the Bible is God-breathed to equip us for whatever happens in life.

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Here is a little bird displayed in my guest bathroom!DSC03247

 

And week 1 we memorized John 3:16 if we didn’t know it.  I knew the words by heart, but I learned so much about that verse in week 1.DSC03212DSC03235

 

Living So That – Week 2 – God Spoke SO THAT

19 Apr

So we finished week 2 of Living So That by Wendy Blight on Good Friday.  WOW!  Perfect timing.  This was our memory verse this week.

Blog - 2 Timothy 316-17

 

ALL scripture is God-breathed, not just some of it, not just a verse here or a verse there, but ALL of it – EVERY word, every sentence, every paragraph.

ALL scripture is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.  It doesn’t say some verses, it says ALL!

ALL scripture thoroughly equips the servant of God for EVERY good work!

In Chapter 2 we began with praying scripture.  Here are some of the beautiful verses that Wendy shared for us to adapt and pray truths from God’s Word and I will begin with my favorite and the one that spoke to me the most:

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A couple of others Wendy shared changed so we could pray them were:

Help me to keep my way pure by living according to Your Word.  Psalm 119:9

Thank You that Your way is perfect and Your Word is flawless. (2 Samuel 22:31; Proverbs 30:5)

Help me not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive myself.  Enable me to do what it says. (James 1:22)

Wendy talked about how God’s Word is sacred and we should treat it as such.  I can remember when even as a small child the Bible was treasured, churches were revered, seeing a nun was an awesome thing to me as we lived next door to a Catholic church and so much respect.  Wendy talked about a Dr. Livingston that treked along through Africa carrying many books and as they traveled further and further they had to dispose of all of them.  In the end the only one remaining was his Bible.

The Word is sacred and holy.

Part 2 -Established in Truth

 

Blog-2 Tim 3.16-17

 

In Part 2 we studied Colossians 2:7 – “Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him.  Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.”

Spend time in the Word – read and study!  It is more than church and Bible Study – it is commitment to read and study.

“God’s deepest longing is for His creation to know Him, love Him, believe Him, and obey Him.” (Pg 55)

“The call to spread the gospel did not end with the disciples.  We, too, are called to go and make disciples of all nations.  But the spreading of the gospel will never occur, let alone be effective, with out people who have a deeply rooted faith, firmly established in the Word.” (Pg 57)

Part 3 – The Word as Spoken Thru Luke

“Whenever you doubt a promise or a truth because of something going on in your life, ask the Lord to bring this verse to mind.  He will use it to comfort you and remind you that His Word is truth, written for you today, to speak specifically into your life and your circumstances.”  (Pg 58) 2 Tim 3:16-17

Jesus told his disciples that there were secrets that not everyone knows in the Kingdom of God. If we are to know those secrets we have to go deeper.

In this chapter Wendy talked about the parable of the seeds and how the farmer planted seeds and some of them traveled along a dirt path that was well traveled and the seeds would lie on top until eaten by birds.  Some fell among rock where there was soil to allow them to take root but not deep roots, others fell among thorns and some fell in rich, good soil and that produced a good crop.  Those seeds falling on the good soil represented people with noble and good hearts who hear and receive the Word.

“God’s Word makes it very clear that the state of our hearts determines the quality of our “listening ears.” (Pg 63)

Part 4 – The Word As Spoken Through John

John – the disciple that Jesus loved (John 13:23).  “Oh that we would have that confidence to unabashedly speak those same words: “I am the girl Jesus loves!” No matter my actions, no matter my words, no matter my mistakes, no matter my exploding emotions, “I am the girl Jesus loves!” (Pg 68)

“In the midst of our everyday living, we must believe Christ for who He is and what He promises He will do.  Even when our circumsances scream otherwise because our physical eyes cannot see and our emotions cannot feel, we must believe.  Even when all seems hopeless, we must believe.” (Pg 69)

Part 5 – The Word As Spoken Through Paul

“Paul knew the one and only way to overcome Satan was through God’s Word and prayer.” (Pg 82)

“We are rich in the One who is our All in all.

He is our Sufficiency.

He is our Portion.

He is Wisdom.

He is Truth.

He is enough.

He is all we need!

 

 

 

 

 

Easter – How Glorious The Cross

18 Apr

Easter Cross

May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Galatians 6:14

The Easter season in Texas comes with all the spring rains and even storms with hail and tornadoes.  We got our first hail storm last week, and that’s the only part of Spring I don’t like – the storms.  My first tulips have bloomed and they have a special meaning for me because my Dad planted them many years ago so he’s always on my mind when they start blooming.   The days are now longer and the mornings a little darker.  The birds are singing and over the years our two doves have become about ten and I so enjoy listening to them coo.  The first dove at our house arrived the day we got home from a funeral for our precious nephew, and he was sitting at the entrance as we walked up to the porch.  I think about both my nephews who have gone home to the Lord each time I look outside and see all the doves in our bird baths and feeders.  The grass is turning green and we mowed last week for the first time in 2014.  Spring has sprung and new life has sprung.

Easter is the oldest Christian holiday, and probably the most important day of the church year, or at least it has always been so at our churches as they fill to capacity and more nursery workers are called in to help that day.  It’s a beautiful time of the year as we celebrate the resurrection of Christ three days after his death.

At this time of the year I think about our new creation in Christ – our “new life“.  In 2 Cor 5:17 it says, The old has gone, the new is here for each of us if we are in Christ.  Easter is all about new life. Christ died for our sins and He rose on Easter.  Every sin nailed Him to the cross.

This week we began a new study called Living So That.  We talked about from the grave to grace.  How awesome is that?  One of our ladies shared how she could picture a mummy with all those rags labeled with things like fear, doubt, etc. being torn off.  I could picture that mummy with all the words and all the rags of our life being torn off.  On my best day I am NOTHING but filthy rags.

At church last Sunday our pastor talked about the cross and what a horrible meaning it had back in Jesus’ time, and how beautiful we portray it today with our decorations and jewelry we wear.  In those days when Jesus was crucified, the cross meant horror, it meant torture being nailed to a cross, nails driven thru the wrists most likely, but possibly through the palms, and Luke depicts Jesus’s sweat becoming as blood.  He was spat upon, struck, scourged with a whip, ultimately with the skin of the back in ribbons, and a crown of thorns pressed upon his head, stumbling and falling as he was forced to carry his cross, nails driven through his feet, being unable to get a fresh breath of air and that’s only a small part of what the agony and pain our Chirst suffered on that cross for each one of us for six long hours.

This week as we prepare for Easter ponder right now on all that He has done for you.   Do you realize that he died humbly, willingly and lovingly for us?  I am overwhelmed as I think how God sent His only begotten son to die for my sin.

In the shadow of his glorious cross how can we forget?  Reseurrection Sunday is today and every day!

 

 

Living So That – Week 1

17 Apr

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This week has been absolutely amazing studying Living So That by Wendy Blight (LST).  If you want to go deep in Bible Study this one is perfect, but even if you don’t there is so much in the book to make you fall more in love with our Savior.  I have never delved so deeply.

lst book

Here are just a few nuggets from the first week of Living So That:

CHAPTER 1 – JESUS CAME SO THAT – “God’s Word is my most cherished possession” (Wendy Blight) – Is God’s Word your most cherished possession?  It took me a long time to get that.  We have to study God’s Word if we want it to work on our hearts.  Wendy talked about how we can so easily memorize songs and movie lines, but we don’t memorize the Word.  Some months back I wanted to make that a practice for me.  I bought this plaque from Mary and Martha and put it in my kitchen.

DSC03216This was how it looked at the beginning of the week, but as I fell more in love with this verse I have been quoting since I was a child I kept going in and adding to it.  This is how it looked at the end of last week.   DSC03235

I also print out our memory verses from our Proverbs31.Org Bible Studies and put them on a simple picture holder in my kitchen window sill as well as one in my bathroom and on my computer table.

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I keep a chalkboard in my laundry room.

Our memory verse this week was one most of us know, but this week I got to know it better.  I changed the plaque and put our names on it.  Try inserting yours in this one where it is underlined

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Part 1 – “Our lives should not be self centered and static; rather, they should be others-centered and active, making a difference for the kingdom of God.” (Wendy)  One of my favorite parts of this chapter was when Wendy said, “Life is messy, and God knows that.  One of the reasons He gave us the Bible is to equip out our faith in the midst of our messy lives………We can choose to make faith-filled choices, or we can make “faith-less” choices.”

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Part 2 – The Law – In part 2 of Ch.1, Wendy shares a quote by Dr. David Jeremiah: “…because of our sinful nature, when something is forbidden, the law makes us aware of it and we desire to do it all the more.”   Are you desiring to do something forbidden?  Do laws and rules bother you? Not me, I have always been one of those that like following the rules.  Wendy told us the “Spirit of life frees us from being held captive by the laws of sin and death. Because of God’s GRACE we are no longer bound by the law of sin and death.”

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One of my favorite things she said was “No matter how often we read the Word of God, we receive something fresh and new each time.”   This is so true and even though we may have read a verse years ago, and it did not speak to us, today is a new day.  I find over and over that I skipped over or did not understand verses, but now because I am older or more mature in the Word, they mean so much more than they did when I read them at some other time.

“What fills our hearts determines our choices.” (Wendy)

“Grace is underserved.”  Just as Jesus forgave the thief hanging on the cross beside Him that day, we are forgiven.  “What a wonderful, beautiful reminder that you and I do not have to do anything to earn God’s grace.  It’s a free gift.  Grace does ot depend on what we have done, but on what God has done for us.” (Wendy)

Part 3 – New Life

This chapter was so awesome.  It talked about Romans 6:4 and how we can walk confidently out of the grave into a new life.  This is not talking about a grave as you think of it, but rather as we are buried with Him through baptism we walk into a new life.  At the moment of our salvation we die to our sins, and know a new life.  We walk in the “freedom of the cross.”  “Our flesh is weak.  The Holy Spirit is strong.  We can feed one nature or the other.  The one we feed most will be the one to gain power.”

So my friends do you live in God’s freedom, or are you bound up in grave clothes?  Are you held captive by anger, unforgiveness, bitterness, fear, doubt, etc.”  Jesus is calling us to live and walk in the freedom of that cross.   Jesus wants you to live and walk in the freedom of the cross.”

What has you bound up today? Give those burdens to your Father and walk in the freedom of the cross!

Part 4 – Holy Living 

“God’s holy spirit convicts us to know that we have not pleased him.  He then speaks truth into our hearts and empowers  us to change SO THAT we can do what is pleasing to Him.”

“Holiness becomes a reality when we surrender our hearts and minds to God.  We must turn away from our old ways and old habits.”

Part 5 – Prayer –  I just love how she describes  prayer as a “precious gift” (pg 33). It is a gift to us showing us how Jesus communicated with His Father while He was here on earth. Jesus began and ended His ministry with prayer. We need to follow Jesus’ example and remember that we can petition the Father on our own behalf. 

Here is Wendy Blight’s prayer for us during Living So That.  I wanted to remember it so designed this little picture.  I am praying this for each of my family and friends each morning during this study.

LST - Week 1 - Wendy's prayer

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