Tuesday, December 14, 2010
12 Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13 “Make level paths for your feet,”[b] so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.
Sometimes I get discouraged and just want to quit the things God has put into my path to help lead or show others. It's a good reminder that even through hard times (unpleasant and painful) God is training us. I think He is trying to remind me of my feebleness...that I truly can't do anything without His help. When I get a a place of weak knees, I find myself depending more on Him to work. I can do my best and do my best to strengthen my attitude toward it all, but I must always keep in mind that God is the one making the level path for me. God I need your healing and to truly understand what it means to wake up in the morning with The Cross of Christ as my focus.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
It's easy to get discouraged in doing good work. There are times where I just feel burned out and that all of my projects are going to crash around me. Paul reminds those in ministry to "persevere." Lord my my heart be one of perseverance....one that doesn't give up. May You open the doors of projects I am to follow you in and shut others that you want me to let go of. I want to do Your good work, but I do know it can't be done in my strength. Encourage and help me Persevere!
Monday, November 29, 2010
A good reminder of God's grace- He doesn't desire us to suffer- even upon His return. Our hope is that fact that once life ends we live together with him, because he died for us.
THEREFORE- Lord help me encourage those around me and to build them up. Teach me how to be better at that.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
It's been a while, too long, since I have journaled. Recommit. But I felt a calling back to God's Word today.
I was pondering this expression of Paul. Truly the Thesselonians and all those God intrusted to him, Paul loved. He had an intense longing to minister to them. I began wondering if everyone has a passion, and intense longing to minister to certain individuals. For some, it's the poor....for some it's Africans, for some it's their children. For others it may be their co-workers.
I also wonder how everything would change if we would ask the Lord to give us the same hope, the same joy, and the same crown of glory that Paul felt for them, to us, in our context. How would that change how I minister? How would that change how I serve?
God give me that passion the areas you have called me over: Children's Ministry, African Awareness Ministry, Administration, Friendship, Ministry to my family.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
These verses have been said many time in my life...in fact I could probably quote them. But, what stuck out today was the application to my life now. God has given me this passion to be active in my "love for Africans.." What does this mean? What does it mean to God? If I truly love the Sudanese, of whom I am trying to speak for (getting the word out about their situation through film and speaking) but I have not "LOVE" it is for nothing. How can I change my strategy to always have love on the forefront?
Love is patient: even with inaction
Love is kind: even toward the enemy
Love does not envy: toward those who perhaps are doing what appears to be better activism
Love does not boast-is not proud: remembering that ALL knowledge and $ and heart behind activism toward the situation in Sudan is GOD GIVEN
Love does not dishonor others: even those in Northern Sudan
Love is not self-seeking: even though I want God to use me to do more in Africa, this is not the launching pad....this is only because I love the Southern Sudanese.
Love is not easily angered: even at inaction
Love keeps no records of wrongs: a difficult thing to do, which such wrong is taking place- but I think God is saying "know I will hold them accountable. This is MY war to fight too."
Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth: My our hearts be guarded against false reports. May we rejoice in the truth of His Word!
7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. May we protect one another and may be do our best to protect more Southern Sudanese for death by human hands. May we trust God's hand and may we ALWAYS HOPE and ALWAYS PERSEVER!
Help us LOVE SUDAN as YOU LOVE SUDAN!
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
I know this verse was written for those who literally are slaves or who have kept slaves...but it really struck me in a different way.
How often do we become slaves (through fear or rejection or need of approval) to human beings and then we are stifled by that fear? I know I have.
May God give us the confidence (IN HIM) to not be held slave by fear of human beings. He has such great work for us to accomplish, if only we will release our fear.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Give just 60 seconds for Sudan
On Friday, President Obama will join with other heads of state in a high-level, high-stakes meeting about Sudan. The decisions made at this meeting could mean the difference between violence and peace in Darfur and all Sudan as the country prepares to vote on the secession of Southern Sudan.
Send your message to President Obama right now and urge him to lead the way toward a peaceful, free and fairly-implemented referendum in South Sudan.
“‘the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light;
25 the stars will fall from the sky,
and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’[c]
26 “At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.
28 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 29 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it[d] is near, right at the door. 30 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
So Bible reading has been minimal this last week. Don't want to give excuses, but the last week's events have included:
1. Arm surgery to remove a lympoma
2. Trip to the E.R. for my son (which ended up being nothing)
3. Work and other obligations
4. And getting ready to spur our church onto a renewed commitment to Children's Ministry
5. Getting sucked into the global conversation at the Lausanne Conference, online.
I am a bit worn. And trying to recoup before it all starts again. So, I am just going to reflect on rest tonight. Not feel an obligation to read a Scripture. I know what the Scriptures say about rest. God rested when he created the earth. I thought the other day...do I really think my work (personal/church/This is NOT Africa/Prop 19/etc.) is more important than CREATING THE EARTH? If not, then why am I not taking a true Sabbath from it all?
It's so hard to rest in todays world. With constant ads, dirty dishes, blogs to upkeep, facebook to check, profound things to tweet, etc. Sometimes we just really need to UNPLUG! I leave for Montana in 9 days and my plan is to unplug from it all, enjoy family, and rest.
If God said to do it, we probably should listen.
Monday, October 11, 2010
in mortal men, who cannot save.
on that very day their plans come to nothing.
whose hope is in the LORD his God,
the sea, and everything in them—
the LORD, who remains faithful forever.
and gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets prisoners free,
the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down,
the LORD loves the righteous.
and sustains the fatherless and the widow,
but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.
your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the LORD.
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
Oh how do I need a Daniel right now in my life! God is writing on the wall baby! But not quite sure what he is saying yet....God send me a Daniel to help me discern.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Of David. A psalm.1 The LORD says to my Lord:
"Sit at my right hand
until I make your enemies
a footstool for your feet." 2 The LORD will extend your mighty scepter from Zion;
you will rule in the midst of your enemies.
3 Your troops will be willing
on your day of battle.
Arrayed in holy majesty,
from the womb of the dawn
you will receive the dew of your youth. [a]
4 The LORD has sworn
and will not change his mind:
"You are a priest forever,
in the order of Melchizedek."
5 The Lord is at your right hand;
he will crush kings on the day of his wrath.
6 He will judge the nations, heaping up the dead
and crushing the rulers of the whole earth.
7 He will drink from a brook beside the way [b] ;
therefore he will lift up his head.
This is comforting! Knowing God fights and is fighting our battles. He has made us priests and ultimately made Christ the ultimate Priest of our lives. He will crush those who come against us...he will judge the unjust. I love the end....He will drink from a brook beside the way; therefore he will lift up his head. Sometimes we just need to sit by a brook and drink from it...this often lifts our head!
When I was a child, we lived by Blue Creek, outside of Billings Montana...when there were 'battles' in my life that were too heavy for me to handle, I would go sit by the brook, beside the way. I would sit; wait on the Lord; and let Him hear my heart.
Now, I have San Predro Creek...and I went there today- There are 'battles' in my life that I can not fight anymore...only God can fight them. Thank you for this reassuring verse that YOU are. And that my head will be lifted! Praise God for this encouragement.
Monday, September 13, 2010
By your magic spell all the nations were led astray.
Sometimes when I read Scripture I feel convicted that this is talking about our great nation. The U.S. in so many ways has become great; and in so many ways has led other nations astray.
May God have mercy on the ones he loves. May a remanent be saved from the destruction that these verses speak of. Lord we commit our lives to you. May you be great in us and may our nation turn to you. Amen.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
The Beast out of the Earth11Then I saw another beast, coming out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon. 12He exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. 13And he performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men. 14Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth. He ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. 15He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. 16He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, 17so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name. 18This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man's number. His number is 666.
The dreaded verses of the 1990's church...everyone knew the "mark" was coming soon....and it still might be.
But I never really listened to the last verse of this chapter and find it interesting. The apostle is actually saying that those with insight should try to calculate what the number is. I find this interesting and I suppose a little less skeptical of those believers who spend their life looking for The Beast and his number.
May God help us in these last days. Give us the wisdom and insight that these verses speak of.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
16 "Therefore say: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Although I sent them far away among the nations and scattered them among the countries, yet for a little while I have been a sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone.'
17 "Therefore say: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will gather you from the nations and bring you back from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you back the land of Israel again.'
18 "They will return to it and remove all its vile images and detestable idols. 19 I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. 20 Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God. 21 But as for those whose hearts are devoted to their vile images and detestable idols, I will bring down on their own heads what they have done, declares the Sovereign LORD."
What struck me about this passage is how easy it is for God to take away the glory of a country. In one second they are prospering and the next they are scattered across the wind. They don't have control of it....it's all in God's control. Sometimes I feel that way with our nation. We have turned our back, from God in so many ways. I just pray God spares His faithful- for those who truly repent- like he did Ninevah.
God please forgive me for so many sins against you. Forgive my country for so many sins against you. Amen.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
18We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him. 19We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. 20We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true—even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.
Commentary from Jamieson, Faussett & Brown:
17. "Every unrighteousness (even that of believers, compare 1Jo 1:9; 3:4. Every coming short of right) is sin"; (but) not every sin is the sin unto death.
and there is a sin not unto death--in the case of which, therefore, believers may intercede. Death and life stand in correlative opposition (1Jo 5:11-13). The sin unto death must be one tending "towards" (so the Greek), and so resulting in, death. ALFORD makes it to be an appreciable ACT of sin, namely, the denying Jesus to be the Christ, the Son of God (in contrast to confess this truth, 1Jo 5:1, 5), 1Jo 2:19, 22; 4:2, 3; 5:10. Such wilful deniers of Christ are not to be received into one's house, or wished "God speed." Still, I think with BENGEL, not merely the act, but also the state of apostasy accompanying the act, is included--a "state of soul in which faith, love, and hope, in short, the new life, is extinguished. The chief commandment is faith and love. Therefore, the chief sin is that by which faith and love are destroyed. In the former case is life; in the latter, death. As long as it is not evident (see on 1Jo 5:16, on 'see') that it is a sin unto death, it is lawful to pray. But when it is deliberate rejection of grace, and the man puts from him life thereby, how can others procure for him life?" Contrast Jas 5:14-18. Compare Mt 12:31, 32 as to the wilful rejection of Christ, and resistance to the Holy Ghost's plain testimony to Him as the divine Messiah. Jesus, on the cross, pleaded only for those who KNEW NOT what they were doing in crucifying Him, not for those wilfully resisting grace and knowledge. If we pray for the impenitent, it must be with humble reference of the matter to God's will, not with the intercessory request which we should offer for a brother when erring.
Pretty crazy stuff. The writer doesn't even want you to pray for this person. We are to pray for our enemies, but those who adamantly deny Christ are not to even be prayed for. This gives me some new perspective in how to pray and what to pray for. May God give me wisdom in this and to not rush to conclusions about who this truly talks about. But, by God's grace, may I not waste time (prayer or ministry) on those who already have apposed Him.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
1My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for[a] the sins of the whole world.
Someone asked on facebook the other day "What defines a Christian"? Tough question in today's world.
But man, does 1 John 2 give the answer! Powerful stuff...LIVE LIKE CHRIST DID! That's the definition of a Christian...wow- we all are striving then!
I love this verse about Christ being our advocate before God. After my short Jury duty event, I have a new found respect of our judicial system...and also a fear of it- because there are corrupt Lawyers who only desire to defend the one who is paying them...and I suppose that's their job, but when justice isn't served, that's frustrating.
But, Christ, is the perfect lawyer (ha...I hear a joke coming on.) No seriously, he waits for us to sin, and when God is ready to say "Ok, that's it...time to let this girl seriously face the consequence of her choices" Christ steps in and is our greatest defendant. I imagine him saying, "But Father, remember how I died for her? She is my child...look at me and view her though me." WOW! NOW THAT IS POWER! So thankful to have a full understanding of the cross!
Thursday, August 19, 2010
This must have been so crazy. For Jesus to have died; been raised and then for him to randomly appear to the disciples. I am sure they kept thinking "when is he doing to do it again"....and it's interesting to me that he appeared early in the morning. It seems like Jesus was a morning person- Maybe he was just trying to avoid a crowd, but Jesus does decide to do it then- and then he provides breakfast! How cool is that. They were probably hungry and fishing wasn't going great and all of sudden they have a ton of fish, bread and coals to cook them on. Christ knew the importance of meals- of relishing time with friends- around a meal. I think we often forget this and get really busy and forget about hospitality. Some of our greatest blessings have been when we invited people over for dinner. May God continue to give me the grace to do this.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Ah yes...the staple of childhood...Macaroni and Cheese. I grew up on the Kraft Variety and although I still crave that processed cheese goodness, by body has developed some sort of allergy to one of the ingredients in it. (perhaps the sodium thipolphosphate or yellow 5, yellow 6 additives? Who knows.)
Anyways, I have been experimenting...As I cook Jackson's Kraft Macaroni, I have come up with a recipe for a killer cheese sauce- pretty natural and oh so good for grownups. So, mom's out there...give it a try-
One pack of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese (1/2 the noodles to the kids; 1/2 to you!)
2 cups of Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese (I really love Tillamuk...although pricier, it's yummy)
3/4 cup of whole milk (you could probably use 2% if that's all you have.)
1 Tbls. of Corn Starch
1 T. of Chopped Dried Onion
2 Tbls. of Parmesan Cheese (Yes the shaker type)
1 T. of Pepper
1 T. of Dry Mustard
Chopped Chives if you have them for a little bit of color.
While boiling noodles for your kids:
1. Warm milk in a pan- add all cheese- grated.- Cook at low/medium until melted. Watch this close and stir regularly. Add Parmesan Cheese & Dried Onion.
2. Add 1 Tbls of Corn Starch to some water and stir...Turn up heat on cheese and add Corn Starch+Water slowly as it thickens. Do not heat too much. And once thick, turn heat to low.
3. Add Pepper and Dry Mustard and Chives.
4. After you drain the noodles, add the amount of butter/margarine that you would to the whole batch (but not the milk). Let butter melt on noodles. Then divvy out 1/2 of the noodles for you and 1/2 for the kids.
5. For the kids- Add 1/2 milk and 1/2 cheese powder that you normally would and serve.
6. For you- stir your desired amount of cheese sauce over your noodles!
Everyone is so happy!
Let me know what you think!
K. I know it's funny to pick out this verse to journal on, but it struck me that the cloth was folded up. Regardless of who did the folding- Jesus, God or the angels...it's important to God to have the cloth folded up. God does care about order. Now, I know people can become obsessive about it and go super annal about cleaning and organizing, but I would like to think a view of godly organization and cleanliness is healthy. Although it's not biblical this phrase had to originate from something legit- "Cleanliness is next to godliness."
Those of us with the gift of Administration love it!
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
13When Pilate heard this, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judge's seat at a place known as the Stone Pavement (which in Aramaic is Gabbatha). 14It was the day of Preparation of Passover Week, about the sixth hour.
"Here is your king," Pilate said to the Jews.
15But they shouted, "Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!"
"Shall I crucify your king?" Pilate asked.
"We have no king but Caesar," the chief priests answered.
16Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.
So interesting that on the DAY I GET CALLED FOR JURY DUTY, I read the trial of Jesus. What injustice was done to our Lord...and it was by Jury...it wasn't by a single man's hand. It was in the control of the peoople...we crucified Christ. That is very humbling and makes me weep in my heart for the sin-nature of man...how we crave violence and that people receive punishment, even if they are innocent. God give me grace, humility and strength; wisdom and your heart to know right and wrong.
Monday, August 16, 2010
So, No more Corinthians- onto John
8"I told you that I am he," Jesus answered. "If you are looking for me, then let these men go." 9This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: "I have not lost one of those you gave me."[a]
10Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant's name was Malchus.)
11Jesus commanded Peter, "Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?"
Man, to be reppromanded by Jesus for fighting for him must have been devistating. How often do I rush the gun and try to fulfill what I believe "God's will" is, when I should just stand back and watch His will accomplished, without my help. May I have patience and not try to fight the war for Christ, which He is already fighting.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
I have always heard that those who don't believe the "outward" gifts (prophecy, wonders, miracles, tongues, etc.) are for today believe that God gave them to the apostles as a sign of their authority. This verse, I am sure they use to confirm that. Paul did come as a sign of a true apostle, performing signs and wonders. But, it does not say that these wonders are limited to the apostles. And why would we limit out great God to only perform miracles among one group of people, in one small span of time? I don't agree with this theology, not only because of the many stories I have heard, the experiences I have been through and Scripture itself.
May God make his wonders more evident to me in this time and age. May they show Him as mighty and may many come to Him because of it.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
17But (AG)HE WHO BOASTS IS TO BOAST IN THE LORD.
18For it is not he who (AH)commends himself that is approved, but he (AI)whom the Lord commends.
Always a challenge for me. I want the credit when things go right. I want the credit when a problem is fixed. I want the credit when my work creates fruit. But, this challenging verse puts a stop to all that....it's a reminder that EVERYTHING I have (my talents, my money, my intellect, my bodily function) are all by the grace of God ....it is Him who allows anything to be accomplished though me. May God commend me for my work...and may I boast in Him, always.
Friday, July 30, 2010
11so that no advantage would be taken of us by (N)Satan, for (O)we are not ignorant of his schemes.
It's interesting to me that Paul is talking about forgiving a brother that has done wrong in the church. He says to forgive him and to show him love. And he adds "that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes." Interesting when you think about it...how bitterness or lack of forgiveness can add fuel to the fire of what Satan wants to accomplish. May God help me truly forgive those who have wronged me and those who have wronged the church. May Satan's schemes NOT be rooted in my heart in any way.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
2On (E)the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that (F)no collections be made when I come.
3When I arrive, (G)whomever you may approve, I will send them with letters to carry your gift to Jerusalem;
I find it interesting that Paul puts the line "as he may prosper" in this verse. Obviously I do not believe in your typical "Prosperity Gospel", but there is something to the fact that if we put God first, in the area of giving/finances, that will will prosper....whether it's spiritual prospering or other prospering; God desires that we prosper when we give. Let us give cheerfully!
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
I have always loved this verse. I actually put it in my college essay. (Wow, did I think I had things figured out then.) :) Each year I get older and learn more I know this verse is more and more true. By God's grace, I am what I am. And because I still have a lot of growing to do, I labor hard for Him....not, I, but the grace of God with me. Man, I just love that. It makes his work seem easy and light. (Oh yeah...that's Scripture too.)
Monday, July 26, 2010
2For one who (E)speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God; for no one understands, but in his spirit he speaks (F)mysteries.
3But one who prophesies speaks to men for (G)edification and (H)exhortation and consolation.
4One who (I)speaks in a tongue (J)edifies himself; but one who (K)prophesies (L)edifies the church.
5Now I wish that you all (M)spoke in tongues, but (N)even more that you would prophesy; and greater is one who prophesies than one who (O)speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may receive (P)edifying.
I really love this. Growing up in the AG where "tongues was IT" I really love what Paul says in relation that gift. As a 'tongues speaker' myself, I can attest to the way that it edifies me....but also not that for many it's scary and weird. But, Paul does wish people to experience the gifts God has for the, whether tongues or not. Let us all continue to seek the Lord for the gifts He has for us.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
24Let no one (AN)seek his own good, but that of his neighbor.
25(AO)Eat anything that is sold in the meat market without asking questions for conscience' sake;
26(AP)FOR THE EARTH IS THE LORD'S, AND ALL IT CONTAINS.
27If (AQ)one of the unbelievers invites you and you want to go, (AR)eat anything that is set before you without asking questions for conscience' sake.
28But (AS)if anyone says to you, "This is meat sacrificed to idols," do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for conscience' sake;
29I mean not your own conscience, but the other man's; for (AT)why is my freedom judged by another's conscience?
30If I partake with thankfulness, (AU)why am I slandered concerning that for which I (AV)give thanks?
31Whether, then, you eat or drink or (AW)whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
So good....so good! I think it's kind of funny that Paul says..."don't ask" about what is served to you. That all that is from the earth is God's. Anything legal, that we eat or drink is permisable....may not be beneficial. Lord help me to clearly see the difference. Amen.
Monday, July 19, 2010
4(G)Do we not have a right to eat and drink?
5(H)Do we not have a right to take along a believing wife, even as the rest of the apostles and the (I)brothers of the Lord and (J)Cephas?
6Or do only (K)Barnabas and I not have a right to refrain from working?
7Who at any time serves (L)as a soldier at his own expense? Who (M)plants a vineyard and does not eat the fruit of it? Or who tends a flock and does not use the milk of the flock?
8I am not speaking these things (N)according to human judgment, am I? Or does not the Law also say these things?
9For it is written in the Law of Moses, "(O)YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE THE OX WHILE HE IS THRESHING " God is not concerned about (P)oxen, is He?
10Or is He speaking altogether for our sake? Yes, (Q)for our sake it was written, because (R)the plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher to thresh in hope of sharing the crops.
11(S)If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we reap material things from you?
The best portion of Scripture that explains why Ministers should be paid, allowed breaks and "take along a believing wife". Interesting to wonder whether Paul was married or considered being married. What a hard life that woman had, if so.
Friday, July 16, 2010
3but if anyone loves God, he G)">(G)is known by Him.
I love this first verse...it really puts you in your place...we all have knowledge...but knowledge makes arrogance...isn't that true. Some the the most educated people I know are the most arrogant people I know. For some reason they think their knowledge will save them. Don't get me wrong...I struggle with this too.
But, love edifies. I love that too! Especially after reading "Love is an Orientation". Our greatest combat tool in helping people come to Christ is LOVE! I know it's not rocket science, but it's good enough for God. And if it's good enough for God, it's good enough for me.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
I ordered this book because (especially after moving 20 minutes from San Francisco) the issue of how to approach the GLBT community has challenged me. I have been to a predominately GLBT restaurant and karaoke bar in the City and both times were actually very memorable and gave me pause. Why do I, as a Christian FEAR having relationship with GLBT people?
Well, primarily it's because I believe that promiscuous sex is not biblical and being a friend to people who think it's ok will somehow lead me, and those I love, astray.
But this book, for the first time, has given me a true understanding of what God's word says on this subject (or doesn't say) and why so many GLBT people are hostile toward the church. Gaining this perspective is going to greatly help me as I navigate through this world. Not only in the issue of dealing with the GLBT community...but also in dealing with anyone in my life, who I am fearful of approaching because they differ in their opinion of what is biblical.
I highly recommend this book for all Christians and non-Christians. It's time to get over our fears and start talking about why we have, for so long, hated the GLBT community through our jokes/ words/ and actions. Forgive us Lord for not truly loving YOUR children.
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
This verse was shoved down our throats as teenagers as a repellent to having sex, doing drugs and drinking. And, I suppose it worked for me....well mostly. But now that I'm married, feel the freedom to enjoy a glass of wine occasionally and eat a pretty healthy diet I have asked the Lord to show me how it applies.
I believe God is challenging us to use our bodies for His work. He has given us hands to serve; feet to go; minds to learn more about Him; hearts to love and eyes to see His glory around us. He has given us mouths to praise, ears to hear His word; and touch to minister comfort.
God help me use my body and all of it's function to honor you.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
8Therefore let us celebrate the feast, (O)not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
9I wrote you in my letter (P)not to associate with immoral people;
10I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with (Q)idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world.
11But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called (R)brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or (S)an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler--not even to eat with such a one.
12For what have I to do with judging (T)outsiders? (U)Do you not judge those who are within the church?
13But those who are outside, God judges. (V)REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES.
I find this section of Scripture difficult...especially when Christ ate with tax collectors and comforted woman who were accused of prostitution and idolatry. Even "drunkard" is listed.
I am reading a book called "Love is an Orientation" which challenges the Christian community to bridge the gap with the GLBT (Gay/Lesbian...) community. I really have to ask the question is it truly OK to continue to "eat with a so-called brother" if they choose to be immoral or covet or party explicitly? How do we reach out to these without allowing the "leaven to affect the whole lump?" My only answer to this is PRAYERFULLY.
May God help me to discern when I need to love and accept a brother/sister in Christ and when I need to draw the line because their actions begin to affect me or the Body of Christ.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Saturday July 10, 2010
Christian radio programs are regularly aired on national and on a multiplying number of local FM stations in the larger urban centers - but all lack consistent quality, organization or leadership. Avotra, a local ministry, has a radio station in Nosy Be with some ministry to Muslims. HCJB and the Islands Mission have helped to set up a number of the FM stations. Both TWR-Swaziland and FEBA-Seychelles broadcast a total of 9 hours in Malagasy and 7 hours in French weekly. Pray that Christ will use these programs to draw people to Himself.
7So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.
This is a good thing for all of us to remember, especially those of us in vocational ministry. It's not one of us (or our programs, or small groups, or bible studies, or fellowship times) that cause growth in people...but rather the work of God. I think the best way to be co-labors in God's work is through prayer. It's a challenge to prioritize prayer over planning, scheming and developing. God help me.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
5that in everything you were (K)enriched in Him, in all (L)speech and (M)all knowledge,
6even as (N)the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you,
7so that you are not lacking in any gift, (O)awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ,
8(P)who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in (Q)the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9(R)God is faithful, through whom you were (S)called into (T)fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 4(J)I thank [a]my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus,
5that in everything you were (K)enriched in Him, in all (L)speech and (M)all knowledge,
6even as (N)the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you,
7so that you are not lacking in any gift, (O)awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ,
8(P)who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in (Q)the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9(R)God is faithful, through whom you were (S)called into (T)fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Wow! I find these verses so amazing. What a WORK God has done in US through Christ.
1. We received God's Grace
2. We are enriched in Him, in all (L)speech and (M)all knowledge,
3. We will be confirmed to the end, blameless in (Q)the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
4. We are not lacking in any gift
5. We were (S)called into (T)fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
What an amazing work God has done through what Christ did for us. Without it God would see us as 'unclean' but now we have His grace; without it we are unenriched and lacking knowledge; without it we have no confirmation before God when Christ returns; without it we are lacking spiritual gifts; without it we are not called to be in fellowship with Christ.
Thank God for his calling! I am incredibly grateful for it!
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
I am struck, in this verse, how Paul says Satan will be crushed under OUR feet (not Christ's feet). It gives me confidence in the battle we rage. Christ in us allows US to crush Satan. We don't need to fear his evil or feel like we are (in any way) defeated by him. Christ in us allows us to soon crush Satan under OUR feet. Praise God.
Monday, July 5, 2010
1Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of (A)those without strength and not just please ourselves.
2Each of us is to (B)please his neighbor for his good, to his (C)edification.
3For even (D)Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, "(E)THE REPROACHES OF THOSE WHO REPROACHED YOU FELL ON ME."
How hard is it to not just please ourselves? We can become so self-consumed, daily...there is so much to do; clean house, watch kids, work, volunteer, etc...but if we aren't pleasing our neighbor to his edification, we are not allowing Christ's likeness to manifest itself in us. May God help me to not only please myself, but look for opportunities to please my neighbor.
Friday, July 2, 2010
13Therefore let us not (U)judge one another anymore, but rather determine this--(V)not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother's way.
This chapter is a good one for me because it answers some of the questions about 'grey areas' in the church. Do we drink wine, or not? Do we dance or not? Do we play poker or not? Do we get tattoos or not? Should we do everything possible to have natural childbirth? Should I see that movie? Should I watch that TV show? I tend to be on the more liberal end of a lot of these questions, but I should never judge my brother/sister who feels like these issues are very important to their spiritual walk. This is a good reminder not to get frustrated with my sisters and brothers in Christ, but to remember that I AM GOING TO HAVE TO GIVE AN ACCOUNT TO GOD. What will my testimony say? Will God say, "Well Done" or "You could have done better". I am so thankful for our freedoms in Christ, but am also extremely grateful to those brothers and sisters who choose to abstain as an act of worship. May God bless them in that abstinence. And may God give me the grace to know when it's my place to abstain.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
7(G)Render to all what is due them: (H)tax to whom tax is due; (I)custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.
8Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for (J)he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.
Firstly- I always complain about paying California taxes....I could go on and on about how corrupt this state is...and how rediculus it is that I have to pay a much, much higher percentage of state tax than I ever did in Texas or Montana...but this verse challenges me to stop complaining. I choose to live here and therefore should devote myself to the rulers. That doesn't mean I can't be involved in helping change, but to walk around with a attitude of hating rulers is not what God has intended for us.
Also, I am challenged to love my neighbor. This has really become more evident to me in traveling the world and really how every area of the world is a neighbor to us now (because of internet, quick plane flights, etc.) How to I love our friends next door and how do I love my sisters and brothers in Africa...I ask myself this question often and I know I fall short of loving them "as myself." May God help me grow in these two areas.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
5so we, (K)who are many, are (L)one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
6Since we have gifts that (M)differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if (N)prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith;
7if (O)service, in his serving; or he who (P)teaches, in his teaching;
8or he who (Q)exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with [a](R)liberality; (S)he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with (T)cheerfulness.
9Let (U)love be without hypocrisy (V)Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.
10Be (W)devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another (X)in honor;
11not lagging behind in diligence, (Y)fervent in spirit, (Z)serving the Lord;
12(AA)rejoicing in hope, (AB)persevering in tribulation, (AC)devoted to prayer,
13(AD)contributing to the needs of the saints, (AE)practicing hospitality.
14(AF)Bless those who persecute [b]you; bless and do not curse.
15(AG)Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.
16(AH)Be of the same mind toward one another; (AI)do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly (AJ)Do not be wise in your own estimation.
17(AK)Never pay back evil for evil to anyone (AL)Respect what is right in the sight of all men.
18If possible, (AM)so far as it depends on you, (AN)be at peace with all men.
19(AO)Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, "(AP)VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY," says the Lord.
20"(AQ)BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD."
21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
WOW! There is so much here to be challenged by. If every Christian were living out these verses the church would be transformed dramatically. I am challenged to use my giftings to do what God has intended for me. The two areas I feel God has gifted me and is calling me to are 7if (O)service, in his serving; or he who (P)teaches, in his teaching; May God bless the giftings HE HAS PROVIDED...and may I always acknowledge they are from him. Amen!
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
"(AQ)THE DELIVERER WILL COME FROM ZION,
HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB."
27"(AR)THIS IS MY COVENANT WITH THEM,
(AS)WHEN I TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS."
28From the standpoint of the gospel they are (AT)enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God's choice they are beloved for (AU)the sake of the fathers;
29for the gifts and the (AV)calling of God (AW)are irrevocable.
30For just as you once were disobedient to God, but now have been shown mercy because of their disobedience,
31so these also now have been disobedient, that because of the mercy shown to you they also may now be shown mercy.
32For (AX)God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.
33Oh, the depth of (AY)the riches both of the (AZ)wisdom and knowledge of God! (BA)How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!
34For (BB)WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, OR WHO BECAME HIS COUNSELOR?
35Or (BC)WHO HAS FIRST GIVEN TO HIM THAT IT MIGHT BE PAID BACK TO HIM AGAIN?
36For (BD)from Him and through Him and to Him are all things (BE)To Him be the glory forever. Amen.
So grateful for God's mercy on Israel and us. I am so glad to be part of his family, to be called by him. He does recieve the glory forever.