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!
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