Thursday, June 14, 2012

Brushing My Teeth: One Glorious Memory!

Psalm 119:11 (NIV1984)
I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you.

Brushing my teeth isn’t my favorite task of the day. But I’d like to share with you one of my favorite memories that happened (many years ago) while I was brushing my pearly whites!

Finishing up my dental hygiene duty, I was rinsing off my toothbrush and studying one of my SMCs (Scripture Memory Cards) at the same time. I don’t remember what verse I was meditating on, but I do remember that suddenly it felt as if my entire being was enveloped in an amazingly overwhelming sense of love and awe.

I swirled around and leaned against the wall. I told the Lord (Who seemed very near) in a hushed voice, “I love Your Word, O Lord. I love Your Word!” I couldn’t stop saying it. I wasn’t just expressing my appreciation for the verse I was studying, but for His whole Word, His whole being – everything He is and everything He has meant to me!

And as I proclaimed my love for His Word, my heart was filled with indebtedness for the love I knew He had for me. And then (toothbrush still in hand), tears streamed down my face. My heart felt as if it would burst with love for my Lord. The sweetness of that moment has stayed with me; I will never forget how special it was.

I am a believer in the benefits of memorizing and meditating on Scripture.

And in my zeal to encourage others to join me in this amazing discipline, I began The Memorizing Scripture Blog. Since then, the blog has added another important feature: accountability. In fact, I have started a women’s accountability group, “Coffee with Sheryl,” as the result of the blog. Plus, God has opened the door for me to do a short radio program on Wave 94 in Tallahassee. The program will also be called, “Coffee with Sheryl.”

Therefore, within a couple of weeks, I have decided to tie this blog to my other ministry outlets and rename the blog, “Coffee with Sheryl.” We will still have a strong emphasis on Scripture. The goal of the blog will be to pray, support and encourage one another to overcome sinful or bad habits while meditating on God’s Word.

I’m excited to see how God will continue to mature me (and hopefully others) as we progress on this exciting – and holy – endeavor!
By the way, this week’s verse is the verse I chose for my very first post last July 6th! (See A Return to Memorizing Scripture).

What do you think?

• Will making accountability with other readers a more obvious part of the blog encourage you to take advantage of the extra support it will provide?

• Do you have a special memory which happened while you were studying God’s Word or having quiet time with Him?

Friday, June 8, 2012

He Won’t Quit!

Philippians 1:6 (NKJV)
Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;

Philippians 1:6 (AMP)
And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.

Wendy stood at the large full-length mirror in her wedding gown with her bridesmaids. They talked excitedly as they prepped themselves for the very important day.

Okay, now as the mother-of-the-bride I should – should what? I panicked. I didn’t feel ready for this responsibility. Only a few months earlier I had begun my journey out of decades of severe chronic anxiety disorder.

I know I should be involved in some way – at least be saying something “motherly.” But I just stood there – almost unable to move or speak. It didn’t take much stress to send me into a panic attack. I took a deep breath and forced my feet to move as I walked across the room pretending to search for something in my purse.

Thankfully, my sister, Teri, entered the room. I mouthed “help” and unsuccessfully tried to stop my hands from shaking. Recognizing the situation, she tactfully coached me regarding what I needed to do for the next several hours.

Disappointed that I wasn’t where I wanted to be emotionally, I thanked God that at least I was better than I was a few months previously. A kind of peace surrounded me knowing I would be even stronger a few more months down the road. As I was learning to trust in His Word – rather than living by my emotions – I was confident that God was finally beginning His miracle helping me to be the stable person I prayed to be for so many years. And now, many years later I rejoice at His finished work! Well – almost finished work!   

This week’s verse encourages us that God will never stop working in us to make us the person He has designed us to be. In fact, no matter what area in your life you’re struggling with, I firmly believe that as we yield to His grace to obey His Word, we will see Him perform dramatic changes in us.

Even when we don’t see changes as quickly as we would like, it’s nice to know He doesn’t quit on us, isn’t it? Especially when we’re about ready to give up on ourselves!

Okay, so …

     • In what area do you need to trust God to finish His work in you? Will memorizing or meditating on this week’s verse help?

     • Or do you need to ask God to begin to work as you set a goal to overcome a sinful behavior or habit?

     • Are you willing to apply Philippians 1:6 for others, too?

Thursday, May 31, 2012

When Did I Become a Chronic Complainer?

Psalm 19:14 (NASB)
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.

I could feel my face turning red! Once again my immaturity was showing because I didn’t get my way. Later that night, I thought about my behavior and I believe I had a sobering divine revelation: I was a chronic complainer. And I do mean chronic. It shocked me as I realized how much of my thinking and speech was ruined with complaining and criticism. How embarrassing to be a Christian for so many years, and find myself behaving so immaturely – and possessing such an ungrateful heart!

Since then I have been making an effort to get control over this sin. On days when I hear myself constantly complaining, I write goals stating “I will not complain for ten minutes.” When I begin to feel a bit confident that I can go for a longer stretch, I set the goal for one hour at a time. Now my goal is to not grumble during the time it takes me to complete this post. And so far, it’s working!

Are you a chronic complainer?

Test yourself. Be aware of every thought and word for the next forty-eight hours. Maybe even jot down the times you catch yourself in a less than grateful mode. For me, complaining sounds like: I wish I didn’t have to clean the house, go to the store, or even wash my hair.  I am also griping when I criticize someone for not performing better on my schedule; or for not treating me fairly.

If you do not struggle with this childish vice, then I sincerely ask you to pray for me as I now fight to become consistently thankful. I will rejoice and be thankful for a home to clean and hair to wash!

Will you join me this week in setting a goal to stop complaining and start being more thankful? Let’s literally stop ourselves each time we’re about to complain about anything!

It may be helpful to start a list of things we can be thankful for and list some of them on the back of our Scripture Memory Card. This week’s verse is a perfect one to memorize or meditate on to help us change our attitudes.

A friend of mine told me a story about a lady who kept a journal of all the things she was thankful for. She made it a goal to add daily a new reason to be thankful. It became a great reminder of how faithful God has been in her life!

What about you?

     • How much joy are you missing out on when you spend so much time concentrating on “what’s wrong?”

     • Will you begin a list (and add to it daily) of things you can be thankful for? Will you start that list today?

     • Will you commit to memorizing or meditating on Psalm 19:14 this week?

(If you subscribe to the blog via email, I’ll send this verse to your inbox in various translations formatted to fit a standard index card.)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I Can Handle It (with God’s help)!

Philippians 4:13 (NASB)
I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13 (AMP)
I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].

“Hi, Jay. I’m calling to check on you.”

“We’re doing okay. Thanks for asking.” His voice was somber, but strong.

Whenever I call my brother and his wife, Wendy, it’s hard to keep my voice from cracking with emotion. Last August, their second (and youngest) son was killed in a motorcycle accident. (See “Jesus Wept” post).

In the weeks following the accident, I often wondered how he could be doing so well. But it wasn’t really a mystery. He and Wendy have always been forthcoming regarding the source of their strength: God.

What about you? Are you also undergoing a horrific trial? Or do you need God’s strength to complete a challenging task (even cleaning the house while working full-time or as a mother of small children)?

Perhaps you’re relying on His power to help you to be a better spouse, employer/employee, student, or neighbor. Or maybe you’re trusting Him to help you forgive someone – or yourself.

God knows how to enter into our lives and help us succeed at anything that is part of His plan for us. Notice how the Amplified Bible (above) states it: “I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me.”

Ready for anything and equal to anything. Wow!

In the April edition of “In Touch” magazine, Charles Stanley says, “It is crucial to realize that you walk around with Almighty God inside you.”

This week, let’s return to setting weekly goals  as we seek to change specific areas in our lives.

I’ll go first: This week it’s my goal to stop complaining, and be more thankful. I pray to do whatever it takes to accomplish this – even if I have to look at my Scripture Memory Card (see link above) a hundred times a day.

Your goal may be too sensitive to share with us. I understand. However I encourage each of us to be proactive in quitting the sin in our lives. And please, as always, remember we’re here to support and pray for one another.

So …

     • Will you commit to memorizing or meditating on Philippians 4:13 this week?

(If you subscribe to the blog via email, I’ll send the weekly verses to your inbox in various translations formatted to fit a standard index card.)

     • After trying unsuccessfully for years to quit a habit, what behavior do you need God’s help to change?

     • How can we specifically pray for you this week?

Friday, May 18, 2012

How You Living?

Romans 6 (NIV 1984)
:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I sat opposite the principal of the private school where I was teaching. I couldn’t even look at him for fear of what he was going to say.

He cleared his throat and when he spoke, it was easy to see that he was nervous too.

“Sheryl, we’re going to have to let you go. You’re a good teacher; but your declining mental health isn't good for your students. We will help you find a good psychiatrist who knows how to treat eating disorders.”

The tears quickly streamed down my face. I was devastated.

What about you?  What kind of life are you living?

I’m not talking about what social class you enjoy. Instead, I’m asking what return are you receiving regarding the choices you’re making?

Are you enjoying the good life: peace, joy, and fulfillment? Are you where you want to be regarding your character and legacy? How are the relationships in your life? On an even more somber note, are your choices earning you turmoil and regret? Finally, are you disappointed in the kind of person you’re becoming?

When I wrote the last question, I felt emotional because I understand the feelings of failure due to wrong choices. Certainly, God has brought me out of a pretty destructive past which yielded much sorrow – including not being able to raise my children and the loss of several jobs. And today I often choose to give into a sharp tongue, squandering time while watching too much TV – and I’ve noticed that I’ve been complaining a lot lately. (Bert may say I’ve been complaining for a lot longer than lately!) None of these behaviors will yield the return my heart yearns for.

Can you relate?

So, are we going to continue to do the things that offer only disappointment? Or will we finally begin to allow God to help us obey Him with every choice we make?

This week we conclude Romans 6! This has been a powerful, powerful eleven weeks for me! I have honestly been working on memorizing this entire chapter! I’m being changed because of it.

Even if you’re not memorizing this chapter, I hope you have been spending time dwelling on the verses. If so, which verse(s) spoke most to you? (I would really love to know.)

Bert loves to greet people with a huge smile and ask, “How you living?” His question (though perhaps a bit grammatically incorrect) is a great question for us as we end our discussion on Romans 6.

So  …

     • How you living? Are you going to get a good pay check for your choices?

     • How has God redeemed your poor decisions in the past? Will you trust him to redeem your recent poor decisions?

Next week, we return to weekly smaller sections of Bible verses to memorize/meditate and obey.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Talk About a Great Question!

Romans 6 (NIV 1984)
:21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! :22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. (Italics added)

I’m so ashamed!

Wow! Does the question in verse 21 kick you in the gut like it does me?

May I ask another unsettling question? Are you too easy on yourself when it comes to the sin in your life? Many times, I am.

As we begin to end our discussion on Romans 6 (we finish the last verse next week), I’d like us to seriously look at the possibility that we are tolerating sin in our lives.

Without going in the other extreme of beating ourselves up for our failures, will you join me in some hard self-examination? And though I have several areas I struggle with, here a few I’m willing to share:

After I say unkind things, I’m mortified seeing how mean-spirited I can be. Watching the wrong thing on TV, allowing myself to act selfishly, or judgmentally… are more actions which result in shame and death for me. (We begin a dying process in our relationship with God and others when we choose certain behaviors.) In fact, I can’t recall a time when I didn’t experience at least a little shame whenever I gave into temptation. Can you?  Life is hard enough without us adding more shame to our lives.

And whenever I don’t do something God wants me to do (like visit a sick neighbor, or check in on my mother-in-law), I don’t sigh with relief for the extra time I’ve carved out in my schedule. Instead I’m burdened with the task of justifying why my to do list was more important than His list for me.

Yet each time I choose to obey Him – or when I follow through with the things on His list – I’m almost ecstatic with glee (especially when it was hard to obey).

Jesus died a very painful death for a reason: our sins! Are we going to just dismiss that?

Or are we going to hide God’s Word in our hearts and pray consistently for each other so we can choose behavior that leads to life and holiness? We can succeed because God paid a big price!

Yes, obedience is hard. But so are the consequences of sin.

So …

     • How would you answer the question in verse 21: What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of?

     • Is the resulting shame worth it?

     • How would your life be different if you asked God to forgive you, and help you make better choices?

     • Would the resulting peace and joy be worth it?

Friday, May 4, 2012

Warning! High Probability of Increasing Sin!

Romans 6 (NIV1984)
:19 I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness.
:20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness.

Romans 6 (AMP)
:19 I am speaking in familiar human terms because of your natural limitations. For as you yielded your bodily members [and faculties] as servants to impurity and ever increasing lawlessness, so now yield your bodily members [and faculties] once for all as servants to righteousness (right being and doing) [which leads] to sanctification.
:20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.

The emergency alert signal blared, interrupting my agenda:

“This is G.O.D. News Network. Due to compromising conditions, we have issued a severe sin alert! Sin has been sighted in your activities which could lead to worsening sinful conditions. Please evacuate and seek immediate protection in God’s Word.”

Did you notice the phrase “to ever-increasing wickedness” in verse 19?That’s one of the consequences of sin: the snowball effect. Once we compromise our convictions it’s easier to give into temptation the next time, and soon we’re doing things we never dreamed we were capable of.

What is the worst thing you’re involved in that you really regret? Do you remember how you got there? One wrong choice, led to that lie which led to more wrong choices and more lies, and so on.

One of the most sobering verses in the Bible is James 1:14-16:

       :14 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire,
             he is dragged away and enticed.

       :15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin;
             and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

      :16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers. (NIV1984)

I think that says it all, don’t you?

So, what now?

     • What sin alert are you ignoring?

     • Are you willing to do what it takes to overcome it this week? (Confess your sin, read your Bible, be accountable to someone, fellowship with believers, etc.)

     • How can we pray for you?

Friday, April 27, 2012

Tell Me Your Story

Romans 6:17.18 (NIV 1984)
17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted.
18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

Romans 6 (AMP)
17 But thank God, though you were once slaves of sin, you have become obedient with all your heart to the standard of teaching in which you were instructed and to which you were committed.
18 And having been set free from sin, you have become the servants of righteousness (of conformity to the divine will in thought, purpose, and action).

Thank God! Literally.

Did you notice the opening to verse seventeen: But thanks be to God, that though you used to be slaves to sin …?

When I was struggling with the eating disorder I discussed in previous posts, I couldn’t imagine ever being free from the constant hunger and anger of not being “allowed” to eat. Along with the behavior associated with anorexia, I also fell into immorality due to extreme loneliness and “needing to be held.” Ten years ago, I was hungry, angry, and sexually immoral. Thankfully, I was able to break free from all of that because of God’s great mercy!

But I certainly wasn’t sin-free. Several years later, after marrying my wonderful husband, Bert, I discovered I had other nasty sinful habits. So almost six years ago, I found out I was critical, judgmental, and selfish. Again, thank God, I began the process of being transformed by His grace.

Almost two years ago, I began writing for this blog. But it wasn’t until I disciplined myself to take the time to memorize the verses, did I experience again a dramatic change in my behavior. So for the last several months, I’m finally becoming more loving and less demanding of others to make my life better! (I can hear all the Berts out there saying, thank God!)

How different are you from the person you were ten years ago? Six years ago? Even three month ago?

What are you no longer enslaved to? I really hope I get some comments on this. It’s exciting to see the changes God has brought about, isn’t it?

Go, God!

When we’re no longer under bondage of a bad or sinful habit, we are free to live the life God has planned for us. We’re free to fulfill His purpose for us which results in amazing peace and joy.

Let’s continue pursuing Him and His ways as we persevere in resisting sin. He is eager to help us!

In the meanwhile
     • What sin or bad habits have you been set free from?

     • How has it changed your life? Your legacy?

     • Have others lives been changed because of what God has done in your life?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I Will No Longer Be Your Slave!

Romans 6 (NIV 1984)
:15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means!
:16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey -- whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?

Romans 6 (Amplified)
:15What then [are we to conclude]? Shall we sin because we live not under Law but under God's favor and mercy? Certainly not!
:16Do you not know that if you continually surrender yourselves to anyone to do his will, you are the slaves of him whom you obey, whether that be to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience which leads to righteousness (right doing and right standing with God)?

“I will no longer be your slave!”

A couple of weeks ago, I shared a portion of my struggle with anorexia nervosa and bulimia – behaviors that had such control over me that they could have killed me.

Today, though I no longer struggle with starving myself, there are many things I give into that could result in death: death in the opportunities I squander due to laziness; an end to relationships I abuse by lying or being judgmental; the demise of dreams that could have come true if I had not compromised my convictions; etc.

Sin will take you further than you want to go,
Cost you more than you want to pay,
And keep you longer than you want to stay.

I don’t know who said these words originally, but according to Ed Stetzer, Ted Haggard used to say this. He probably believes it now more than ever.

Sin is always deadly.

What besetting sins are you enslaved to?

When are we going to hate sin enough to stop being its slave? What will it take to make us wise up to what really could make us happy – living the life God planned for us?

Let’s decide this week, as we continue to study Romans 6, to hate sin and choose obedience. You’ll live and sleep better.

 I promise!

So …

     • This week, let’s decide which entangling sin we will you no longer be slaves to; and choose to be accountable to each other (or someone we know) to help us succeed.

     • How may we specifically pray for you this week?

Friday, April 13, 2012


Romans 6 (NIV 1984)
:13 Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.
:14 For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.

Romans 6 (Amplified)
:13Do not continue offering or yielding your bodily members [and faculties] to sin as instruments (tools) of wickedness. But offer and yield yourselves to God as though you have been raised from the dead to [perpetual] life, and your bodily members [and faculties] to God, presenting them as implements of righteousness.
:14For sin shall not [any longer] exert dominion over you, since now you are not under Law [as slaves], but under grace [as subjects of God's favor and mercy].
Okay, I’ll click on “Select All,” then hit “Delete.” There! All my bad and sinful habits no longer exist.

Do you wish it were that easy to delete the behavior you no longer want to be doing? Me, too!

The sixth chapter of Romans reminds us repeatedly that Jesus’ death on the cross does delete our sins. That’s called grace. We now need to learn how to apply that truth and offer our lives (and the parts of our bodies) to be used for God’s purposes. But how?

I believe it’s something we have to keep practicing. Maybe remembering these two facts will help:

     • Remember that Jesus died to pay for your sins and to set you free from   their control over you.

     • When you’re tempted to give into past behavior, remember what it cost you last time. 

Practice saying no to sin, and yes to God. In His strength, you can do anything that is His will for you. Decide to obey God in this one instance and watch His power at work.

Each time you obey Him, your confidence in His ability to keep you from future sin increases.

Read His Word daily, and pray for His guidance and strength. His power is made perfect in your weakness. Isn’t that incredible?

In Christ all things are possible. Nothing is impossible! You could even say that in Him your sins have been deleted! And you can “replace” those areas with better choices.


     • How might contemplating the cost of your sin before you commit it help to prevent you from committing the sin?

     • How can meditating on the fact that Jesus died to free you from your sin make a difference in your life?

     •  How can we specifically pray for you?

Friday, April 6, 2012

Anorexia Nervosa No Longer Rules!

Romans 6 (NIV)
:11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
:12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.

Romans 6 (Amplified)
:11Even so consider yourselves also dead to sin and your relation to it broken, but alive to God [living in unbroken fellowship with Him] in Christ Jesus.
:12Let not sin therefore rule as king in your mortal (short-lived, perishable) bodies, to make you yield to its cravings and be subject to its lusts and evil passions.

If only I was allowed to eat! 

That earnest desire plagued me most of my life. Whose rules was I following that kept me so hungry that my every thought was about food? It certainly wasn’t God’s.

For years, I felt powerless to say no to the behavior associated with anorexia nervosa and bulimia. While I acknowledge eating disorders are considered a mental health issue, I also believe that for some, it eventually becomes a sin issue. It did for me.

As my relationship with God grew, I became aware that I had choices. I could continue to choose to be oppressed by the destructive behavior, or I could yield to God’s grace. But knowing I had the choice didn’t stop me from becoming more creative in my methods for losing weight. And each time I resisted God’s help, I knew I was actively disobeying Him.

The consequences of sin reigning in my body (mind, and soul) cost me my health – and even cost me the raising of my children. (See "Love is Not Jealous” post.)

I felt hopeless and defeated. I no longer wanted to live.

One day while sitting on my couch, I totally surrendered my actions and motives to God, asking Him to help me. I don’t know why that day “the prayer seemed to take,” but since then, I have consistently experienced His grace.

I began, again, to meditate on His Word, especially whenever I felt tempted to starve myself or purge. I made sure every thought was centered on Him. And I chose to believe He loved me- even as I was.

Not long after that, I noticed my love for God was growing stronger than my need to lose weight. In time, by God’s grace, I was able to break free from Satan’s clutches.

I have been free from my eating disorder for almost ten years! Yeah, God!
Today is Good Friday – a very somber day. Every Good Friday I can feel my throat tighten as I imagine how much Jesus suffered and died 2,000 years ago, so that today I can live – and eat! – free from bondage.

So …

     • What sin or bad habit has the knowledge of Christ’s death and resurrection set you free from? If you haven’t totally surrendered that sin to Christ, what better day to do so than Good Friday?

     • As we continue to memorize/meditate on Romans 6, consider asking God to show you what other area of sin you are yielding to. We would be thrilled to pray for you.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Announcing Memorizing Scripture Blog’s Monthly Drawing Winner!

Congratulations to Verna Norris:  Memorizing Scripture Blog’s Monthly Drawing Winner!

Verna will receive a $10.00 gift card from Eternal Grounds (new Christian coffee shop in Tallahassee).

Plus a choice between:

One ticket for a free seminar at The Center for Biblical Studies (Bible college and leadership training center)


The President Was a Good Man a suspense novel by Murl Edward Gwynn.

How to enter the monthly drawings:

Beginning February 1, 2012, each subscriber’s name will be entered into a monthly drawing for various prizes, such as: Rayanne’s Christian Bookstore, Lifeway Christian Bookstore, or Eternal Grounds (a Christian coffee shop) gift cards; great resource books, etc., or tickets to The Center for Biblical Studies seminars.

And to encourage more sharing and accountability on the blog, every time subscribers comment on any post, their names will be entered again into the monthly drawing.

I hope you win!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Coffee with Sheryl

Yelled at your husband – again? Said things you wished you hadn’t? 

Would you like to be a better wife, or mother?

Do you have addiction problems, or other bad or sinful habits?
Or perhaps you worry too much.

If you want to mature in your Christian walk – and need the support of others

Come to a new group:

Coffee with Sheryl
A small group for women who are ready to grow in their relationship with the Lord                 and likeminded women.

Every 2nd Monday morning at 10:30. And every 4th Monday at 6:30 p.m.

The group will meet at the new Christian-owned coffee shop,
Eternal Grounds at 1400 Village Square Blvd.
(near Fresh Market and Rayanne’s Christian Bookstore)

We’ll have serious and fun moments as we grow in Christ together
using Scripture, prayer, and accountability.

Confidentiality will be practiced and sharing struggles will be voluntary.

Email for more information.
Sponsored by:

Thursday, March 29, 2012

“I’m Breaking Up With You!”

Romans 6 (NIV 1984)
:8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.
:9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him.
:10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

Romans 6 (Amplified)
:8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,
:9 Because we know that Christ (the Anointed One), being once raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has power over Him.
:10 For by the death He died, He died to sin [ending His relation to it] once for all; and the life that   He lives, He is living to God [in unbroken fellowship with Him].
“I’m breaking up with you!”

Ouch! It hurts when someone decides to stop being our friend or significant other. Even when we’re the ones doing the breaking-up, there’s pain involved.

However, I can’t think of a more liberating feeling than telling Satan, “I’m breaking up with you! You won’t control me any longer. I found Somebody else!”

What sin(s) or habit(s) is Satan using to harm your relationship with God?

Jesus’ death on the cross made it possible to end our relationship to sin, and begin living for God. Hard to grasp the full meaning of that, isn’t it? Think about how meditating on that truth can free us from destructive conduct, negative thought processes, and the very way we view ourselves.

I planned on focusing on just two verses, but as I struggled to write this post I had to include verse ten. It sums up the previous verses perfectly, doesn’t it?

As we continue memorizing (or meditating on) and applying Romans 6, let’s persevere so we can truly celebrate the Easter season!

What about you?

     • What habitual sin or habit is controlling you?

     • This week, will you ask God to help you die to that behavior once and for all?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

When Will I Ever Change?

Romans 6 (NIV 1984)
: 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—
: 7 because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.

Romans 6 (AMP)
: 6 We know that our old (unrenewed) self was nailed to the cross with Him in order that [our] body [which is the instrument] of sin might be made ineffective and inactive for evil, that we might no longer be the slaves of sin.
: 7 For when a man dies, he is freed (loosed, delivered) from [the power of] sin [among men].
“Oh, God, when will I ever change?”

Countless times I beseeched God to help me change in specific areas. And thankfully, God has helped me mature in some of them, but I still have much more growing to do. Just ask my husband, Bert. (Rather, please don’t!)


What does it take to really change?

We have to nail our disobedient nature to the cross with Christ.

But how?

Simple, but challenging. We say no to sin, and yes to Christ each time we’re tempted. We realize His death on the cross not only paid the penalty for our sins, but His death and resurrection even delivers us from being controlled by sin.

I’m not trying to say this is an easy practice, or that there’s some kind of instant deliverance involved when we memorize these verses. But I am telling you (from personal experience) that there is victory over sin – even from those that seem to cling to us – when we continually surrender our will to the One Who surrendered His life for us.

Choose today to be free from sin. Again, let’s obey God one choice at a time. (It helps me to keep my Scripture memory cards near me, especially when I’m having trouble overcoming temptation.)

What about you?

     • Is meditating on Romans 6 helping the season of Lent become more    meaningful to you?

     • Are you able to recite the previous five verses?

To be honest, I’m not able to recite all the verses perfectly. But as I continue the effort to commit the verses to memory, I can feel myself acquiring a level of maturity and a deepening love for God’s Word. And remember, even if you just spend time each day meditating on these verses, you’ll reap huge benefits.

I promise!

Friday, March 16, 2012

If I Die, I Die

Romans 6:5 (NIV)
If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.

Romans 6:5 (AMP)
For if we have become one with Him by sharing a death like His, we shall also be [one with Him in sharing] His resurrection [by a new life lived for God].

“If I die, I die.”

Bee Wood was definitely one of my favorite ladies I cared for when I was a private caregiver.

Whenever she suffered any pestering symptom that indicated something serious, Bee would let out a heavy sigh and say, “Well if I die, I die.” She made it clear that she wasn’t afraid of “being dead,” she only dreaded the dying process. Like most of us, she hoped she would pass in her sleep. She certainly didn’t want to suffer through a long, lingering death.

With respect and compassion to many who have and are suffering excruciating physical pain in their final days, it is not my intention to diminish their very real physical suffering. Indeed I stood by many bedsides (including my mother’s) and prayed for their suffering to end. But there is a type of pain that goes with dying to ourselves in the spiritual sense. That’s what I want to focus on today.

Since Bee’s death in November 2010, I’ve thought about how much I relate to the attitude she had on dying – but mostly in a spiritual sense. Whenever I have to give up something (a bad habit, wanting my own way, or anything that isn’t good for me) I undergo a definite (often a long drawn out) season of suffering until I finally die to that desire or behavior.

Until recently, I failed to see the positive aspect of death in this context. I wonder if you have too. Wouldn’t it be a relief to die to some things – to be free of sinful behavior such as slandering, addictions, or immoral behavior?

Just as Jesus died on the cross for our sins, we could choose to share in His death by dying to ourselves.

This week, especially during Lent, perhaps our goal could be to confess to God (Who intensely loves us) a specific area we’re struggling with, and ask Him to help us die to it – to give it up for Him.

What about you?

      • What sin or habit do you think God is asking you to die to this week? It could even include selfish desires or ambitions.

     • How might meditating on the agony that Jesus faced on the cross, and his ultimate triumph over sin and death, help you as you put your sin(s) to death this week?

Friday, March 9, 2012

The First Day!

Romans 6 NIV 1984
:3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
:4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

Romans 6 (AMP)
:3 Are you ignorant of the fact that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?
:4 We were buried therefore with Him by the baptism into death, so that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious [power] of the Father, so we too might [habitually] live and behave in newness of life.

“All right, class, let’s begin your speed typing drill. Begin on the count of three. One, two, three!”

Clickity click, clickity click immediately filled the room as we typed one of my favorite sayings:

“Today is the first day of the rest of your life.”

Back in the mid-seventies at Slidell High, typing was one of my favorite classes. I excelled to nearly the top of my class with the speed drills; and not only did I love the rhythm of typing the above saying, I loved the message of the sentence.

Even then, I was comforted with the reality that I could start over today, and begin a different direction for the rest of my life. It meant that today I could make the choices I wished I was already living by – including in my spiritual life.

This week’s verses refers to the symbolism baptism provides regarding dying to our old life (the years before receiving Christ as Savior) and rising to a brand new life in Christ.

A new life!

 As we focus on these two verses, don’t forget to review last week’s as we continue to memorize (or meditate on) Romans 6.

Before I close, I’d like to say good-bye to Mary, a lady I once cared for when I was a private caregiver. Each day, I would go “off the clock” and we would talk about what God was doing in our lives. Our prayer times together were special. She recently passed away, and is now talking to God face-to-face. I love you, Mary. You were a good friend.

What about you?

• If you haven’t already done so, would you like to know how to experience a new life with Christ as your Savior? If so, feel free to email me (see sidebar), or comment on this post and allow the readers to respond and to be praying for you.

• For others: How does your new life experience look in your life? What old habits or old ways died with your conversion and what new patterns resulted?

• What is your goal for this week towards becoming more Christlike? How can we pray for you?

Friday, March 2, 2012

“Sorry” Doesn’t Cut It Anymore

Romans 6 NIV 1984    
:1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?
:2 By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?

Romans 6 (AMP)
:1 What shall we say [to all this]? Are we to remain in sin in order that God's grace (favor and mercy) may multiply and overflow?
:2 Certainly not! How can we who died to sin live in it any longer?

“Haven’t I told you to stop doing that?”

How often have you heard that question? Perhaps it was asked by a parent, teacher, spouse, or by God, Himself.

There are things we do repeatedly and pray that one day we’ll stop. Yet we still continue doing that sinful behavior or habit. Why?

We love our spouse or friend, but we continue to nag, lie, or something else – and if we’re honest – we figure I know I shouldn’t, but I’m just going to do it one more time. And then I’ll say I’m sorry…

Soon, regret and self-hate sets in more and more as we realize we aren’t changing.

We do the same thing with God, don’t we?

This week’s verse begins with a question referring to the case made in the previous chapter of Romans: As man’s sins increased, God’s grace and mercy increased more.

Therefore, what shall we say then? Shall we go on sinning knowing He’ll keep forgiving us? Do we really want to take God’s kindness for granted and continue the downward spiral?

When is it time to stop?

During the next twelve weeks, I want to see how much we can grow while memorizing Romans Chapter Six. Together, let’s die to sin and rise to a new life in Christ during this Lent and Easter season!

We’ll take it one or two verses at a time. But even if you don’t memorize it word for word, I encourage you to stay with us on this journey. I honestly believe we will experience amazing victories as we commit to this endeavor.

Will you join us? Are you excited?

What about you?

• Are you ready to push harder to become the person God can help you be?

• What one sin or bad habit will you ask God to help you with this week?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Memorizing Scripture Blog’s Monthly Drawing Winner!

Congratulations to Jo Earley 

Ms. Earley will receive a $10.00 gift card from Eternal Grounds (new Christian coffee shop in Tallahassee).

Plus a choice between:

One ticket for a free seminar at The Center for Biblical Studies (Bible college and leadership training center)


The Word of Promise New Testament audio CD set (presented in dramatic audio theatre).

How to enter the monthly drawings:

Beginning February 1, 2012, each subscriber’s name will be entered into a monthly drawing for various prizes, such as: Rayanne’s Christian Bookstore, Lifeway Christian Bookstore, or Eternal Grounds (a Christian coffee shop) gift cards; great resource books, etc., or tickets to The Center for Biblical Studies seminars.

And to encourage more sharing and accountability on the blog, every time subscribers comment on any post, their names will be entered again into the monthly drawing.

I hope you win!

Friday, February 24, 2012

What Are My Choices Saying?

John 14:2 (NIV1984)
Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.

John 14:21 (AMP)
The person who has My commands and keeps them is the one who [really] loves Me; and whoever [really] loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I [too] will love him and will show (reveal, manifest) Myself to him. [I will let Myself be clearly seen by him and make Myself real to him.]

“Yes, Father, I’ll go.”

Who knows if there were actual words spoken regarding Jesus’ leaving magnificent heaven to live for a while on flawed earth? Relating it to human terms: it must have been some kind of culture shock!

Talk about obedience.

Can we come anywhere near His example?

This is the second week of our goal to love God with our whole heart. As this week’s verse states: those who obey God are the ones who really love Him. Is that a bit sobering to you? It is to me.

Face it. If God is determining my depth of love for Him by the level of my obedience to Him, how does my love for God measure up? (Not to mention the fact that He deserves my love and obedience.)

It’s easy to say I love Him, but do my choices prove my devotion to Him? What kind of relationship do I want with God?

Which brings us back to this week’s verse. Did you notice the last section? If we purposely strive to obey Him, He says He will show Himself (make Himself real) to us.

Can you imagine Jesus making Himself real to you?

Let’s pray that for each other!

And as we walk in faith, attempting to obey him, His power is unleashed in us allowing us to accomplish these weekly goals.

What do you think?

     • During this season before Easter (Lent), do you want a closer relationship with God?

     • What one change are you willing to make in your life to become more obedient to God? (God knows you cannot do this on your own. If you ask Him, He will help you change)

The last post “A Goal That God Has Gotta Love” elicited some interesting comments. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I look forward to hearing what you have to say this week as we continue with our goals.

Friday, February 17, 2012

A Goal That God Has Gotta Love

Deuteronomy 6:5 (NASB)
You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

Deuteronomy 6:5 (AMP)
And you shall love the Lord your God with all your [mind and] heart and with your entire being and with all your might.
Everyone felt it – especially the woman standing half-dressed in front of the condemnatory crowd. Even a passerby could sense the crowd’s impatience, eager to inflict “righteous judgment” by stoning the woman caught in adultery.

She stood alone – afraid to look up, fighting back tears. Surely her fate was sealed.

Or so it seemed.

“I do not condemn you. Go and sin no more,” Jesus said after sending her accusers away to consider their own sinful history.

This story can be found in the eighth chapter of the Gospel of John. We’re not told what the woman did after this encounter with Jesus; but I know how I would’ve responded. Although I’ve never committed adultery, I too have been forgiven much.

And since I’ve been shown great mercy, I love God a whole lot.

However, I don’t love Him as fully as I could.

What would it be like to love God with every thought, and with all my strength? How would my actions and my motives change if I esteemed Him with that much intention and energy?

As I continue to recall times I experienced His mercy, would it stir within me an increasing desire to love Him with all my heart?

As we memorize or meditate on Deuteronomy 6:5, let’s make practicing to love God with our entire being this week’s goal. And as we pray for each other to succeed, can you picture how delighted God would be to hear those prayers?

What do you think?

• Does recalling times God has forgiven you, make you want to practice loving Him more?

• What does it mean to you to love God with everything that’s in you?

• What changes do you hope to see in your relationship with God as you pursue this goal?

• If you have chosen another goal, let us know how we can pray for you.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Can Something So Magnificent Happen Again?

Ephesians 3:19 (NIV 1984)
And to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Ephesians 3:19 (Amplified)
[That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]!
 “Lord, I want to experience Your love. Please flood me with Your presence.”

A few years ago after reading this week’s verse (in the Amplified), I was filled with so much emotion that I literally stood up and prayed those words out loud.

The thought of actually being flooded with God Himself brought me to tears of anticipation and awe. I was so excited just even imagining the vastness of what I was asking. The joy that followed was astounding.

Did it last?

As with most of my spiritual victories, the business of life distracted me, until I gradually returned to a knowledge that He loved me, rather than the daily experience of His love. But with your help (prayers and accountability), I will return to this glorious verse and begin again to enjoy the fullness of God.

Does knowing that Someone so great loves you change the way you handle stress? How is it transforming your prayer life? Your feelings about God? (Next week, we’ll focus on how we can love Him more.)

For those of you who are continuing the goal to personally experience God’s love more and more, let me (and others) know how you’re doing. Is it changing the way you think about yourselves or others?

If you’ve set different goals for this week to overcome specific behavior or sin areas, let us know how you’re doing and what Bible verses are helping you. How can we pray for you?

What do you think?

     • Did you gain a deeper understanding about His love while memorizing verse eighteen last week?

     • Is learning how much God loves you affecting the choices you’re making – for yourselves or for others?

Friday, February 3, 2012

It Didn't Look Like He Was Glad To See Me

Ephesians 3:18 (NIV1984)
(that you) may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ

Ephesians 3:18 (AMP)
That you may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints [God's devoted people, the experience of that love] what is the breadth and length and height and depth [of it]

The line was long but moving steadily. We were all dressed the same, in our long white robes. I was nearing the front of the line and I could see Jesus’ face beaming as He greeted each newcomer into heaven – until He saw me. His countenance changed from one of loving delight to that of well-I-guess-since-you’re-here-you-might-as-well-come-in kind of look.

And each time (during that period of my life) when I envisioned the day I would enter heaven, the above scenario played through my mind.

I didn’t doubt my salvation; I just couldn’t imagine that He would be happy to see me.

Furthermore, I’m sure my feelings of being unlovable (even by God) played a lot into many of the destructive choices I made during that time. But as I spent time memorizing and meditating on His Word, the more secure I became. I became rooted in His love for me. But it wasn’t easy to get to the point where I could even begin to comprehend such great love.

However now I see Him not only beaming, but holding me tight on that future day. In fact, there are times I’m convinced that I’m His favorite. Yet, there are still days when I need to experience His love more deeply.

Which brings me to my February goal: to know and recognize God’s love for me more and more.

How would our lives change if we spent this week asking God to help us apprehend how much He loves us? Is it possible to grasp such a love? Can you think of a more enjoyable pursuit?

How would realizing the depth of His love for you change the way you think about yourself – and others?

Since this is the month we celebrate love, I thought we’d spend the first two weeks meditating on God’s love for us, and then the last two weeks on our love for Him.

Next week, we’ll memorize and/or meditate on the next verse.

By the way, we are also approaching the season before Easter (Lent). I want to encourage us to spend this time really pressing in to grow spiritually. One of the links I have on this website, Ryan Graham’s “Truth in Faith” has a 68 Day Challenge. It’s a simple plan that can make a difference in our relationship with God during Lent. Check it out.

I couldn’t close today’s post without mentioning God’s greatest act of love:

John 3:16 (NIV1984)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.

What do you think?

• Will meditating on how much God loves you change you?

• Who do you know could use prayer to discover God’s loves for him or her?

• What is your February goal? What area in your life do you want God to help you with?

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Announcing: Drawing for subscribers who comment on the blog!

There is a new reason to subscribe to The Memorizing Scripture Blog:

Beginning February 1, 2012, I will enter each subscriber’s name into a monthly drawing for various prizes, such as: Rayanne’s Christian Bookstore, Lifeway Christian Bookstore, or Eternal Grounds (a Christian coffee shop) gift cards; great resource books, etc. or tickets to The Center for Biblical Studies seminars.

And to encourage more sharing and accountability on the blog, every time subscribers comment on any post, their names will be entered again into the monthly drawing.

I hope you win!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Looking Differently

Hebrews 12:2 (NASB)
Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith…

Hebrews 12: 2 (AMP)
Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]…

I remember clearly what could have been a defining moment for me:

David, a dear friend, leaned against the door frame of where I was staying, and paused. His voice was serious, his eyes intense. With his kind voice he said, “Sheryl, you know the song that starts with: ‘Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full into His wonderful face?’ I think you need to try that.” And he was right.

But I didn’t heed his advice that day.

David knew me well. He knew that although I had a deep love for God, I wasn’t focused on Him and His will for me. I was distracted with other desires including seeking attention, being popular and entertaining. I chose to pursue other things more aggressively than God.

Unfortunately, I didn’t recall David’s words until decades later. By then I wished I could go back to that moment and follow his suggestion. Of course that wasn’t possible.

But as of today, I give Him my full devotion.

As I continue my January goal of showing my husband, Bert, more respect, I will do so by fixing my eyes on Jesus: His love, His ways, His mercy, His greatness and power (His ability to change me) – and especially on His love for Bert.

Each time I’m tempted to focus on Bert’s imperfections, I’ll go to the Source of my faith and ask God to bring me another step towards maturity. I want to envision His loving face encouraging me to step closer into my relationship with my husband – and with Him. And I want to envision Him calling Bert closer as well – to me and to Him.

If I have to, I’ll print this post to remind me! Where would I be today in my marriage (and my Christian walk) if I had heeded David’s advice those many years ago?

With God’s help, I think I can do this. What about you?

Will you join me?

• How different would our Christian walk be if we merely fixed our eye on Jesus all the time?

• How much grief and suffering could we bypass if we looked away from all our distractions and looked to Jesus instead? How would it affect our relationships?

• Are you going to set a new goal for February or do you need to spend more time on your current one?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Lord, Help Me Stay Quiet!

Psalm 39:1 (NASB)
I said, “I will guard my ways that I may not sin with my tongue;
I will guard my mouth as with a muzzle…”

Psalm 39:1 (AMP)
I said, I will take heed and guard my ways, that I may sin not with my tongue; I will muzzle my mouth as with a bridle…

“Call me back when you have something better. I expected more from you.”

I got off the phone a little stunned. I could almost feel the scrape across my soul in the pit of my stomach. Sales is a tough profession. And though I receive a lot more complimentary words than critical ones, a critical word always affects me – it’s demoralizing at times. And as this unsettling feeling lingered, I decided again that I don’t want to cause others – especially Bert – to experience similar feelings due to my insensitive comments.

Instead I want to be known – again, especially by Bert – as one who encourages and supports another.

In context, Psalm 39 is referring to holding your tongue in the presence of an enemy. Let’s agree our husbands (or the person we’re in conflict with) are not our enemies – even though we sometimes behave as if they are.

Certainly, there are times when our husbands (or others) push our buttons, and treat us unfairly.  But what if, even then we muzzle our tongues and pray instead.

My immediate prayer would have to be, “Lord, help me stay quiet!” (They say God can do anything, right?) Then, what if my very next prayer would be one for my husband?

After all, what is my purpose as Bert’s wife? Certainly not to change him to my standards.

And how is my character being defined as I yield, or not yield, to God’s grace? Do I yield to Love, or to the enemy’s maliciousness?

Unfortunately for me, many times holding my tongue only lasts a very short while – a few seconds! But, I’m not giving up (and neither is Bert, thankfully) I can see that God is at work within me, and each time I actually yield to God’s grace to hold my tongue, it gives me confidence that I’ll do it again.

What do you think?

• How are you doing with your goal?

• How can we help?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Go Ahead, Ask Me

Colossians 3:17 (NASB)
Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

Colossians 3:17 (AMP)
And whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus and in [dependence upon] His Person, giving praise to God the Father through Him.

“Bert, I don’t have time to clean the house, my post for the blog isn’t finished yet.”

Even though I could tell Bert wasn’t happy, that line of reasoning made sense to me because the house didn’t look that bad, and what would the world do without my insights? (Totally kidding with the last part of that sentence – well, maybe not totally!)

Last week I shared the goal I’m working on for the rest of January: to show more respect to my husband, Bert. Guess who loved that goal (besides God)?

Since then, I picked Colossians 3:17 as my verse to help me. The Amplified version reminds me to depend on God to help me to do all things (even change my priorities) with the right attitude.

The verse also depicts the attitude I want to emulate: to do everything as one representing God Himself – with thanksgiving. What if every word I spoke and every deed I performed for Bert, I spoke or did as if I were literally representing the ultimate Servant? I assure you, I would really have to depend on God’s presence within me to accomplish that – especially when you add the “giving thanks” part. But could you imagine what that attitude could do for a marriage?

I truly believe that we encounter amazing joy and peace as we pursue a higher level of obedience. Do you crave that kind of joy and peace? I do. Each time we’re tempted, let’s obey God – one choice at a time.

And although cleaning house is not an extraordinary act, I also want to respect Bert by prioritizing in ways that honor him. After all, I am blessed with a great husband.

Now, readers, I give you permission to ask me: Is my tone when speaking to Bert always loving? Are my thoughts concerning him affirming ones? Or, how did I handle it when he asked me to run an errand that he was suppose to run – especially when I’m already feeling stressed with my schedule?

Okay, now it’s your turn. What is your goal for the rest of January? What verse(s) are you going to memorize or meditate on?

I heard from a few of you via email or by commenting on the blog. Your feedback helped formed this week’s post. Thank you.

What do you think?

• Do you want to experience profound joy and peace as you pursue a higher level of obedience?

• What’s keeping you from joining us in setting a goal for the next two weeks? What verse(s) would help you with that goal?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

I Need Your Help

Psalm 32:8 (NASB)
I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go;
I will counsel you with My eye upon you.

“I’m sorry, Bert.”

It seems I say that a lot – especially lately. Just ask my husband, Bert.

Even though I truly regret the words or conduct that warrants the apologies, it seems I stay in the same behavior rut way too many times. And could it be true that since I began this blog, I’ve even gotten worse in some areas? How could that be?

I’m embarrassed to say that I spent more time writing about the verses then spending time in them.

But this week’s verse encourages me that God is keeping His eye on me instructing me in the way I should go. I need – and want – His constant watch over me. It’s comforting to know He doesn’t let me stray from His sight.

But I also need your help.

Naively, I thought since I knew you’d be reading where I struggle, I would naturally start doing better due to the accountability factor. But, believe me, it ain’t happening. At least not enough.

During 2012, I would like to direct us toward one of my original goals for the blog. From some of the emails I’ve been receiving, I’m convinced it could be effective for others as well.

Would it be helpful for you to have others praying with you and pulling for you in the areas you struggle with? Do you need accountability in the way you eat, the choices you make, behavior issues, the way you treat others, etc.?  Is there an entangling sin or habit you want to break this month?

I’m thinking it would be neat to set a goal each month and watch what God can do in us as we memorize, or meditate on relevant verses. Remember you can share any verse that applies to your struggle. Who knows who else would benefit from your input?

I hope you will join me and share your struggles, including prayer requests regarding areas of struggles. Of course, we’d love to hear about areas of victories as well. Hopefully, it will evolve into a dialogue as we leave comments (you can choose a pseudo name if you’d like). But the main thing is to also pull for one another as we pray and support each other.

I’ll go first. My goal for the rest of January is to show more respect to my husband. I will spend this week seeking the appropriate verse and share it with you next time.

As we each pursue becoming the person God designed us to be, here’s a powerful reminder:

Ephesians 3:20 (NIV1984)
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us


What do you think?

• What is your goal this month toward becoming more Christlike?

• What verse would help you with that goal?
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