Saturday, December 27, 2014

God Can Help Us Want to Obey Him

Photo by Maaar ツ  Maria Marganingsih (Flickr) 
Can you recall a time (or two!) when you couldn’t stop asking God for His forgiveness and mercy? Do you remember when you were finally able to smile again as hope began to replace despair?

Then as time went on, you found yourself able resist temptation more consistently (by leaning and trusting in God’s power in you); thus, ultimately experiencing profound joy?

Let’s dig back into Psalm 51. This is our twelfth week of exploring King David’s marvelous prayer of repentance as he sought to be restored. Notice that even the great king needed God’s help to obey, and he willingly asked for help in doing so.

Psalm 51:12 (NIV)
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
    and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Psalm 51:12 (CEV) / For meditation purposes:
Make me as happy as you did when you saved me; 
    make me want to obey!

"I have always found this verse to be such a great comfort in the Christian life because it acknowledges God loves us so much that He’s even willing to supply our “want to” in regard to obedience. Praise Him for that!" (Lee Warren, freelance writer/editor. Comment he made while critiquing this post.)

What about you? Let’s pray:

Thank You, Father, for saving me from the consequences of my sin! I rejoice at the thought of one day being with You in heaven. And if that wasn’t enough, You not only offer me redemption from my past (a chance to begin again), but You also offer me the strength, power to do so.

Please don’t stop Lord! Continue to give me the desire to please You every minute of every day, for the rest of 2014 and throughout the New Year.

Amen. So be it!!

Would you like to discuss this further? If so leave a comment or email me (see About tab for my email address).

I will send you the weekly verses, formatted to fit a standard index card. You must be subscribed to the blog, via email. Leave a comment to let me know what translation you prefer.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

An Unimaginable Thought!

Have you ever felt like you’ve been tossed aside because you were despicable? This week’s verse may be one of the most distressing verses in Psalm 51, if read with an old covenant mindset.

Psalm 51:11 (NIV) 
Photo by Michael Gil (Flickr)
Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.

Psalm 51:11 (New Century Version NCV) / for meditation purposes
Do not send me away from you
or take your Holy Spirit away from me.

Thank you for joining us as we continue making our way through Psalm 51, one verse per week.

Old covenant saints had a limited understanding of the Holy Spirit and sometimes feared losing His presence. I can’t think of anything more despairing or unimaginable than the thought of being cast from God’s presence, can you?

Thankfully, that is the furthest thing from God’s heart – even when we’ve sinned against Him. On the contrary, what God desires most is for us to go to Him, confess our faults and receive His mercy! Today, under the new covenant, Jesus promises to never leave or forsake us.

Rather than believing (and therefore, reacting as if) God is withdrawing from you, draw near to Him by reading and meditating on His Word. The more time you spend with God, the more His nearness becomes evident. And the more you get to know Him, the more you become convinced He will never ever cast you away from His presence. Not ever.

Emotions lie. God’s mercy, faithfulness, and compassion are real – for you … today … right now!

Let’s pray:

Father, I come before You asking You to give us, during this Christmas season, and every season following, a knowledge of Your true nature – the reality of Your unconditional love. Please, Lord, help us open our hearts to receive that love. And also, Father, enable us to go to You when we need You most – during our times of failure. 
Amen! So be it!!

As always, I’m here if you need me. You can use a pseudonym if you want to share a little about your struggle (via the comment link). I’d be honored to pray with you.

I will send you the weekly verses, formatted to fit a standard index card. You must be subscribed to the blog, via email. Leave a comment to let me know what translation you prefer.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

How Would a Steadfast Spirit Affect Your Choices?

Photo by 19 Upstream (Flickr)
Finally, David reaches the point in which he is not satisfied with just repenting and regretting his sin. In this week’s verse, David petitions God for a different heart and spirit.

We are a little over half-way through memorizing and/or meditating on Psalm 51, one verse per week.

Psalm 51:10 (NIV)
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Psalm 51:10 (AMP) / for meditation purposes:
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right, 
persevering, and steadfast spirit within me.

David realizes the only way to get right with God is for God, Himself, to replace his sinful heart with a new, clean heart. However, David is fully aware how much he needs God’s constant help to keep him from giving into any temptation.

And so do I!


What about you?

  • What does a steadfast spirit look like to you? How would it change your choices?


Father, I need You to create in me a new heart. Please help me make choices that reflect loyalty to Your love and faithfulness to me. I want to be resolute in this decision! But , once again, I am aware that I cannot achieve this without Your help. Please help me to finish this year honoring You and Your purposes for me.


Feel free to leave a comment (using a pseudonym, if you want) letting me know how you’re doing, or how I can pray for you.

I will send you the weekly verses, formatted to fit a standard index card. You must be subscribed to the blog, via email. Leave a comment to let me know what translation you prefer.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Tormented by Shame and Guilt

Photo by Andy Morales (Flickr)
When I read Psalm 51:9, I experience a profound and familiar sadness, layered with deep shame, regret and guilt—the kind of shame that causes you to hide; the kind of regret that makes you want to curl up in a ball and try to forget what you did; and the kind of tormenting guilt that forces you to scream out to God, over and over again, to please erase the entire incident from your record!

We are in our ninth week of memorizing and/or meditating on Psalm 51, one verse per week.

Psalm 51:9 (NIV)
Hide your face from my sins
    and blot out all my iniquity.

Psalm 51:9 (VOICE) / For Meditation Purposes 
Cover Your face so You will not see my sins,
    and erase my guilt from the record.

Once again, David pleads, asking God to blot out his sin and to take away his guilt. Have you noticed how many times in Psalm 51 David repeats these requests? Do you think if he could have rewound time and gone back before his sin, he would have made different choices?

What about you?

  • Have the consequences of your choices been worth the emotional torture you’ve experienced?


Please remember, God is full of mercy! He will not forsake you or turn away from you when you go to Him.

Feel free to leave a comment (using a pseudonym, if you want) letting me know how you’re doing, or how I can pray for you.

I will send you the weekly verses, formatted to fit a standard index card. You must be subscribed to the blog, via email. Leave a comment to let me know what translation you prefer.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Joy Follows Repentance

Photo by Daniel Oines (Flickr)
I have been the recipient of God’s correction quite a few times. Sometimes, the resulting emotional pain was so deep that it felt like was I being crushed by the weight of it. However, when I stopped justifying or minimizing the seriousness of my behavior – when I honestly repented of my sin – joy and gladness eventually returned. And when the joy returned, it returned with great abundance. (Click on the comment link to read more.)

Psalm 51:8 (NIV) 
Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones you have crushed rejoice.

Psalm 51:8 (GNT) / for meditation purposes
 Let me hear the sounds of joy and gladness;
    and though you have crushed me and broken me,
    I will be happy once again.

I have learned that if it wasn’t for God’s firm, but always loving hand of discipline in my life, I would have strayed from Him, or at least strayed from His purposes for me. So, until I reach the point of not ever needing His correction, (ha! as if that day will ever come!), I will thank Him for loving me that much.

What about you?

  • What are some of the ways God has disciplined you? Were you able to discern His love and compassion even while being disciplined? (Click on the comment link to read a little about one of the times I experienced God’s discipline.)
  • Once you repented of your sin, were you able to enjoy a deeper appreciation of God’s love? Did you grow to also appreciate the standards He was calling you to?

Just as our earthly parents often hate to enforce disciplinary actions, our heavenly Father loves us enough to allow us to experience consequences of our sins so we will learn from and regret our choices. Thank God (literally!).

I’m here if you need me. You can use a pseudonym if you want to share a little about your struggle (via the comment link). I’d be honored to pray with you.

I will send you the weekly verses, formatted to fit a standard index card. You must be subscribed to the blog, via email. Leave a comment to let me know what translation you prefer.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Do You Need a Bath?

Sin can leave us feeling unclean – even stinky dirty. As we enter into our seventh week of memorizing and/or meditating on Psalm 51, one verse per week, we again acknowledge our need to be cleansed from our sin.

Psalm 51:7 (NIV)
Photo by Sheila (Flickr)
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

Psalm 51:7 (TLB) / For meditation purposes:
Sprinkle me with the cleansing blood and I shall be clean again.
Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.

David asked God to wash him even before Jesus bled on the cross – and long before Robert Lowry penned the old hymn, “Nothing but the Blood” in the 1800s.

What a refreshing visual: to be washed so clean as to be whiter than snow! We cannot commit a sin that is too filthy that it cannot be cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ!

What about you?

Are you in need of some serious cleansing? Perhaps this prayer would help:
Father, my sin has left me feeling dirty and soiled. I long to feel pure again; therefore, please forgive me and wash away my sin with Your cleansing blood. Amen.

I’m here if you need me. You can use a pseudonym if you want to share a little about your struggle (via the comment link). I’d be honored to pray with you.

I will send you the weekly verses, formatted to fit a standard index card. You must be subscribed to the blog, via email. Leave a comment to let me know which translation you prefer.


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Weeping for Helen

Helen Q. Boldt (November 2013)
“Hi, Bert. This is Tammy with Big Bend Hospice. Your mother is declining at a much more rapid rate. We have changed her status to imminent.” Tammy had been giving us regular updates regarding Bert’s 97 year-old mother, Helen, for several months.

We weren’t surprised to hear the nurse’s words because we had been witnessing Helen’s deteriorating health. Still the news was hard to hear.

For the next ten days, we spent a lot of time at Helen’s bedside at Harbor Breeze, an assisted living facility in Carrabelle. Although she was mostly unable to respond, we talked “with” her, sang hymns she might remember, and did a whole lot of praying, asking God to grant her a peaceful passing.

Then early on a recent Wednesday morning, the phone rang. Helen was gone. My throat tightened when I saw the tears in Bert’s eyes.

We all fear it: the phone call that changes our immediate priorities – the one that announces a death, or an illness of someone very close to us. And suddenly we’re changing schedules, cancelling appointments, and gathering with our loved ones for a heartbreaking family reunion.

This week, we're stepping away from Psalm 51 to memorize and meditate on the shortest verse in the Bible:

John 11:35 (NIV)
Jesus wept.

I’ve heard many interpretations on why Jesus cried at Lazarus’ gravesite. Today, I’m inclined to believe one of the reasons He wept was because He had compassion for the grieving. I’m thankful God cares deeply about the things we go through.

As we memorize and meditate on John 11:35, let’s remember God’s nearness during the times we needed Him most. Likewise, let us pray to ask God to help us show His compassion to the hurting, as we weep with those who weep.

What about you?
  • Have you ever felt Jesus weeping with you?
  • How has God's compassion for you help you show compassion for others?
As always, if you need to talk, I’m here. Please feel free to share via the comment link or click on the About tab to obtain my email address. Pseudonyms are allowed!

I will send you the weekly verses, formatted to fit a standard index card. You must be subscribed to the blog, via email. Leave a comment to let me know which translation you prefer.





Thursday, November 6, 2014

Are We Lying to Ourselves, About Ourselves?

Photo by bark (Flickr)
Do you have events and memories deeply hidden in your inmost heart? Even hidden from God?

The longer we allow ourselves to be deceived by the lies we tell ourselves, and the secrets we keep, the more difficult it is to face the truth.

We are in our sixth week of memorizing and/or meditating on Psalm 51, one verse per week.

Psalm 51:6 (NIV)
Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;
you taught me wisdom in that secret place.

Psalm 51:6 (AMP)
Behold, You desire truth in the inner being; 
make me therefore to know wisdom in my inmost heart.

What about you?
  • Are there areas of your life you would rather keep hidden from yourself – even hidden from God, if it were possible?
  • Have you been lying for so long that you wonder if you even really know your true history? 
  • Would you agree that it is in our best interest to allow God to show us the truth about ourselves?
  • Would you also agree that God deserves for us to approach Him with utter sincerity and truthfulness, the best we can?
As always, if you need to talk, I’m here. Please feel free to share via the comment link or click on the About tab to obtain my email address. Pseudonyms are allowed!

I will send you the weekly verses, formatted to fit a standard index card. You must be subscribed to the blog, via email. Leave a comment to let me know which translation you prefer.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Are You Out of Step with God?

Psalm 51:5 is a very blunt verse, isn’t it?

Photo by Chris Connelly (Flickr)
Psalm 51:5 (NIV)
Surely I was sinful at birth,
    sinful from the time my mother conceived me.

Psalm 51:5 (MSG) 
I’ve been out of step with you for a long time,
    in the wrong since before I was born.

All of us have gone through seasons in which we’ve wandered far from God and into sin. But long before we wandered, we needed a Savior. Indeed, whether we understand it or not (or whether we think it’s fair or not), due to sin entering the world through Adam and Eve, we have needed a Savior since the moment we were conceived. And just as it was true for Adam and Eve, our sins affects others – sometimes even future generations.

Please let me know if memorizing (and/or mediating on) Psalm 51, one verse per week is helping you.

What about you?

If you can relate to feeling out of step with God, is it time to get in step with Him today? Did you know that Jesus’ death on the cross was for this very reason? He died so we could be free from making those sinful choices. His death and resurrection frees us to make the choices we really want to make – the choices that take us in the direction God had planned for us. (Choices that result in a generous, rewarding and satisfying life.)

Would you like to discuss this further? If so leave a comment or email me (see About tab for my email address).

I will send you the weekly verses, formatted to fit a standard index card. You must be subscribed to the blog, via email. Leave a comment to let me know what translation you prefer.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Are You Able to Trust God (Who Loves You!) with Your Fate?

When I sin, I not only hurt myself, but I hurt others, including those who love me. But even worse, I have sinned against my Lord, the One Who loves me most!

As we persevere in memorizing (and/or mediating on) Psalm 51, one verse per week, we continue to focus on sin’s consequences. Are we willing to see our sin for what it is?

Photo by Paleontour (Flickr)
Psalm 51:4 (NIV)
Against you, you only, have I sinned
    and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
    and justified when you judge.

Psalm 51:4 The Message (MSG)
You’re the One I’ve violated, and you’ve seen
    it all, seen the full extent of my evil.
You have all the facts before you;
    whatever you decide about me is fair.

Why do we foolishly choose to behave in ways we know are wrong?

What about you? (You may use a pseudonym.)
  • Are you able to see your sin as “evil in God’s sight?” How do you feel today about those choices?
  • Are you able to trust God (Who loves you!) with your fate? Can you trust Him to be fair when deciding your verdict? Why or why not?
  • What choices can we make today to avoid certain regret?

I’m here if you want to share a little about your struggle (via the comment link). I’d be honored to pray with you.

I will send you the weekly verses, formatted to fit a standard index card. You must be subscribed to the blog, via email. Leave a comment to let me know what translation you prefer.

Ed McNeely, pastor of Mission by the Sea in Alligator Point, FL talks about 1 John 1:9:



If you have a favorite Bible verse that you've memorized or love to meditate on, or if you have a Bible memorization tip - do tell! You can send me an email with your tip or send me videos of you or your little ones reciting any Bible verse. If you’d like, give a short testimony of why you love the verse. (You can record from your Smartphone or other device and email me the video. Click on the “About” tab to find my email address. Or, if you know how, please upload the video to YouTube and send me the link.)

And, if you're so inclined, please start (or join in) the conversation by commenting on one or more of the discussion points in the "What about you?" section.

Thank you for stopping by!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Is Your Sin “Staring You Down?”

Over the next few weeks we will examine several verses from Psalm 51 in which David speaks very candidly about the seriousness of his sin. I appreciate verses three though five a lot. I must first acknowledge the seriousness of my sin, and the need to confess my sin, before I can receive God’s mercy.

Photo by Ananth BS (Flickr)
Psalm 51:3 (NIV)
For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.

Psalm 51:3 (MSG) / For meditation purposes.
I know how bad I’ve been;
my sins are staring me down.

What about you?
Is your sin staring you down each time you look in the mirror, but you can’t bring yourself to admit what you’ve done?  God will give you the grace you need! Please go to Him today.

I’m here if you need me. You can use a pseudonym if you want to share a little about your struggle (via the comment link). I’d be honored to pray with you.

I will send you the weekly verses, formatted to fit a standard index card. You must be subscribed to the blog, via email. Leave a comment to let me know what translation you prefer.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Want to Be Cleansed from All Your Guilt?

Photo by Robert Vitulano (Flickr)
When I deal with the aftermath of my sin, I long to feel pure again, cleansed from my guilt.

This week as we continue memorizing and/or meditating on Psalm 51, one verse per week, we focus on another verse from one of my favorite Psalms.

Psalm 51:2 (NIV)
Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.

Psalm 51:2 (TLB) / For meditation purposes.
Oh, wash me, cleanse me from this guilt. Let me be pure again.

What a heartfelt prayer!

What about you?

  • When did you last feel pure before God and to those closest to you? Don’t wait another day to confess your sin to God and to those you have sinned against. Allow God to wash away your iniquity and cleanse you from your sin, and the associating guilt!

If you need to talk, please feel free to use a pseudonym! As you share (via the comment link), you might also help others struggling with the same issue. Perhaps you can relate to the comment I left for last week’s post.

This week, Mary Brock shares one of her favorite verses, Psalm 16:5.



If you have a favorite Bible verse that you've memorized or love to meditate on, or if you have a Bible memorization tip - do tell! You can send me an email with your tip or send me videos of you or your little ones reciting any Bible verse. If you’d like, give a short testimony of why you love the verse. (You can record from your Smartphone or other device and email me the video. Click on the “About” tab to find my email address. Or, if you know how, please upload the video to YouTube and send me the link.)

I will send you the weekly verses, formatted to fit a standard index card. You must be subscribed to the blog, via email. Leave a comment to let me know what translation you prefer.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Do You Need God to Wipe Out Your Bad Record?

You will love many of the verses in this meaningful Psalm! We all are in need of God’s mercy, so let's commit this psalm to memory (and/or meditate on it), one verse per week. David wrote Psalm 51 after the prophet Nathan confronted him about his sin of adultery and murder.

Psalm 51:1 (New International Version)
Photo by Maria Marganingsih (Flickr)

Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.

Psalm 51:1(The Message) / For meditation purposes.
Generous in love—God, give grace!
Huge in mercy—wipe out my bad record.

I am thankful to serve a God Who loves me and extends mercy to me, every time I confess my sin to Him!

What about you?

  • Recall a time when you knew you didn’t deserve God’s love—when you desperately needed God to wipe out your bad record. Take some time thanking Him for His incomparable compassion. (You don't have to leave a comment about this. But if you do, please feel free to use a psuedonym. Click on the comments icon to see my response.)
  • Will you join me in memorizing and/or meditating on Psalm 51, one verse per week? I love this Psalm so much, that it will be hard to wait 19 weeks to finish memorizing it!
I will send you the weekly verses, formatted to fit a standard index card. You must be subscribed to the blog, via email. Leave a comment to let me know what translation you prefer.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Need Direction About a Decision You Have to Make?

If you’re at a crossroad or feel confused about how to handle conflicts, this week’s verse would be great prayer for you.
Photo by Upstream (Flicker)

Psalm 25:4 (NIV)
Show me your ways, LORD
teach me your paths.

Psalm 25:4 (LB) For meditation purposes:
Show me the path where I should go, O Lord; point out the right road for me to walk.


What about you? (Pseudonyms are allowed)

  • As you memorize or meditate on this verse, consider praying the words regarding your circumstances.
  • If you can, please share your story with us.

I will send you the weekly verses, formatted to fit a standard index card. You must be subscribed to the blog, via email. Leave a comment to let me know what translation you prefer.

For something different, click on the play button to see Melanie Kidd’s 34-second YouTube video putting music to Psalm 25:4-5.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Bringing Your Life to God. (Plus, a reader shares her favorite verse.)

Another short verse that packs a powerful punch! I love both versions, each gives a thoughtful perspective. This will be a great verse to memorize and meditate on all week.

Photo by Patrick Lim1996 (Flickr)
Psalm 25:1 (New International Version)
In you, LORD my God, I put my trust.

Psalm 25:1 (Amplified Bible)
Unto You, O Lord, do I bring my life.

David, the Psalmist, had a relationship with God, which I envy. It was candid and filled with confidence.

What about you? (You may use pseudonyms.)

  • Share with us the peace you've experienced while trusting God - or while you continue to wait for Him - during a long and difficult season.
  • Or (as many of us have done), did you start strong trusting in Him, but eventually gave up believing God is able (or even cares to) intervene? Will you allow us to stand with you in prayer? 
  • What thoughts does the Amplified Bible bring to your mind and heart? In what ways can you bring your life to God? (Click on the comment link to read my answer.)

______
This week, Barbara rose to the challenge and shot a video of herself (using her iPad) to recite several verses from Psalm 121.  I appreciate her also sharing why she loves the psalm.

Please send me videos of you or your little ones reciting any Bible verse. If you’d like, give a short testimony of why you love the verse. (You can record from your Smartphone or other device and email me the video. Or, if you know how, please upload the video to YouTube and send me the link! Click on the About tab to find my email address.)

I will send you the weekly verses, formatted to fit a standard index card. You must be subscribed to the blog, via email. Leave a comment to let me know what translation you prefer.

And don’t forget to share your comments asked in the “What about you?” section.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

My Prayer for My President (and Every Leader)

Photo by vishwaant (Flickr)  
This week, we are pausing from memorizing our weekly Bible verse so I can share a post I wrote a year ago today.
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Anytime I am at the end of my rope, or when I don’t know which way to turn, I am inclined to go to Someone Who knows exactly what to do every time.

And that is exactly what I am praying my president (and every political and spiritual leader) will do.

I try to imagine the stress President Obama is under. And whether I agree with his politics or not, he is my president, the leader of my country. President Obama is the highest representative of the country I love: the United States of America. That alone gives me reason to pray.

It is my hope that President Obama will recall (and gain encouragement from) the way some of the leaders in the Bible handled extreme stress:

David’s men were so angry at him that they spoke of stoning him. But David “encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord his God.”  He then “inquired of the Lord, saying, Shall I pursue this troop?”(1 Samuel 30:6, 8 Amplified Bible).

And when Jehoshaphat was facing a great army that was coming against them, he prayed as he stood before his people, “O Lord, God of our fathers, are You not God in Heaven? And do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations? In Your hand are power and might, so that none is able to withstand You.” And ended the prayer with, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.” (2 Chronicles 20:6, 12 Amplified Bible).

David and Jehoshaphat made their choices after inquiring of the Lord.

One more thought: I can’t help but remember the many times God has used difficult times in my life to mold me to become more like Him. Therefore, I am convinced God can use anything – any trial, any occurrences – in anyone's life to draw him or her to God’s love and for His purposes.

My prayer for President Obama:
Father God, I pray President Obama will have the courage to do what is right and wise for all; that the leader of this wonderful country will ask You for wisdom and direction about what is best for the United States of America; that he will seek clear direction regarding everything he is facing. And, Lord, please help President Obama, during these demanding times, to grow in the revelation of Your Word. Help him to personally experience Your love, Your faithfulness, and Your purposes for him.

That is my prayer for my president. What is yours?

Monday, September 1, 2014

We Can Overcome in the Midst of a Trial (Plus, my turn to recite a verse!)

I wish some trials, including emotional, physical, and spiritual battles weren’t so long and difficult!

But this week’s verse reminds us that we can overcome in the midst of being attacked by the enemy – or life itself. This includes emotional/physical breakdowns and illnesses, and even when we’re faced with constant temptation!

Photo by Expert Infantry (Flickr)
Psalm 18:29 (NIV)
With your help I can advance against a troop;  
with my God I can scale a wall.

Psalm 18:29 (AMP)
For by You I can run through a troop, 
and by my God I can leap over a wall.

The footnote in my Bible says “advance against a troop” also means that with God’s help we “can run through a barricade.”

Let’s picture ourselves leaping over some of life's walls and running through barricades that obstruct us! And while we’re at it, with the victorious strength God provides, let’s knock down a few of them.

What about you? (Share your answers and comments, via the comment link below.)

  • What do you like best about this week’s verse? Why?
  • What walls do you need God’s help to scale over or demolish?
  • Let me know when you’ve memorized Psalm 18:29. Or share with me what you gleaned from meditating on it.


This week, Bert recorded a video of me reciting Psalm 18:1 and 16 (and explaining why this verse means so much to me).



Please send me videos of you or your little ones reciting any Bible verse. If you’d like, give a short testimony of why you love the verse. (You can record from your Smartphone or other device and email me the video. Or, if you know how, please upload the video to YouTube and send me the link! Click on the About tab to find my email address.)

I will send you the weekly verses, formatted to fit a standard index card. You must be subscribed to the blog, via email. Leave a comment to let me know what translation you prefer and if you would like the “First Letter with a Blank” memory tool (for the verse) to be included.

And don’t forget to share your comments asked in the “What About You?” section.


Monday, August 25, 2014

Is Your World Too Dark? (Plus, my husband recites his favorite Bible verse!)

Photo by Julian Haler (Flickr) 
Even when I was in the midst of depression, I loved the verses that spoke about light and life because of the optimism they offered.

Psalm 18:28 (NIV)
You, Lord, keep my lamp burning;
    my God turns my darkness into light.

Psalm 18:28 (Amplified Bible) For meditation purposes.
 For You cause my lamp to be lighted and to shine; 
the Lord my God illumines my darkness.

As we continue in our endeavor to memorize and/or meditate on some of my favorite verses from Psalm 18, keep in mind David wrote this Psalm after God delivered him from a long, hard (often discouraging) time in his life.

What about you? (Share your answers to any of these questions, via the comment link below. You may use a pseudonym.)

  • Do you feel as if you’re walking in spiritual or emotional darkness?
  • If so, would you consider memorizing and/or meditating on this verse every day this week?
  • Have you experienced a time when God “turned your darkness into light?”
  • How has God’s Word kept your lamp burning and shining?

This week, “my featured guest” is Bert. B. Boldt, II (my husband!), reciting his favorite Bible verse.



Please send me videos of you or your little ones reciting any Bible verse. If you’d like, give a short testimony of why you love the verse. (You can record from your Smartphone or other device and email me the video. Or, if you know how, please upload the video to YouTube and send me the link! Click on the About tab to find my email address.)

And don’t forget to share your comments asked in the “What About You?” section.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Memorizing and/or Meditating on Psalm 18:1 (Plus, A Scripture Memorization Tool!!)

As I mentioned last week, rather than memorizing a whole Psalm, this week we will begin focusing on verses in some of my favorite Psalms. (Please share some of your favorites.)

Photo by Waiting for the Word (Flickr)
We begin with Psalm 18. How could I resist loving verse 1?!

Psalm 18:1 New International Version (NIV)
I love you, LORD, my strength.

I especially love the passion expressed in the Amplified Bible!
Psalm 18:1 (Amplified Bible) 
 I love You fervently and devotedly, O Lord, my Strength.

David wrote Psalm 18 after God delivered him from huge trials. As we spend time over the next few weeks on select verses from Psalm 18, consider how this Psalm relates to the issues you face. You might even want to journal about what the Lord tells you.

In addition, I would like to hear how you memorize scripture. I have a few methods on the Tips on Memorizing Scripture tab under the blog’s header. This week, I’m adding a method I used a couple of years ago, and plan to start using again:

Write out the verse on one side of an index card. On the reverse side, write only the first letter followed by a blank for each word. For example:

Psalm 18:1 (NIV)
I love you, LORD, my strength.

Psalm 18:1 (NIV)
I    l___   y__,   L___,   m__    s____.

After reading the verse several times, I flip the card over and try to recall the verse using the side with the blanks. You will be amazed how quickly you’re able to master memorizing verses with this method!

As mentioned in previous posts, I include the written text from the Amplified Bible for meditation purposes on my Scripture Memory Cards (SMCs).

What about you?

  • Have you read Psalm 18, lately? What are your favorite verses? Why?
  • How will memorizing this week’s verse about loving God and declaring Him as your strength, help you mature in your Christian walk?

Did you know that memorizing helps your brain to stay healthy? Not to mention your spirit!!

I will send you the weekly verses, formatted to fit a standard index card. You must be subscribed to the blog, via email. Leave a comment to let me know what translation you prefer and if you would like the “First Letter with a Blank” memory tool (for the verse) to be included.






Monday, August 11, 2014

Do You Feel Like You’re Drowning? (Plus, a video of a 7-year-old reciting Psalm 18:1!)

Photo by Hot Shot (Flickr)
The verses below are especially meaningful to me this week. I am trusting God to take hold of someone very special to me, and rescue this dear person from the deep waters of depression and anxiety. (I’d appreciate you joining me in praying!)

I couldn’t separate these two verses, so we will be memorizing (and/or meditating on) both verses. I think you will find them very easy to memorize!

Psalm 18:16-17 (New International Version)
16 He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
    he drew me out of deep waters.
17 He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
    from my foes, who were too strong for me.

Psalm 18:16-17 (Amplified Bible) For meditation purposes
16 He reached from on high, He took me; He drew me out of many waters.
17 He delivered me from my strong enemy and from those who hated and abhorred me, for they were too strong for me.

What about you? (Share your answers and comments, via the comment link below.)

  • Do you ever feel like your drowning in the deep waters of depression or anxiety?
  • Or are you feeling as if certain people or some of life’s circumstances are too strong for you?
  • Have you ever experienced God’s hand taking hold of you to draw you out of an emotional battle, real danger, or a terrible situation? Even when you caused the situation yourself?


Also, please keep sharing what methods you use to memorize scripture and your stories about how memorizing God’s Word helped you during difficult seasons. I am hoping to share some of the stories (with your permission) in a future post.

_____
I am pleased to hear that Ariana, a seven-year-old, has successfully memorized last week’s verse! Her  grandmother sent me the video (see below) of her reciting Psalm 18:1.

Please send me videos of your little ones reciting any Bible verse. I’d love to post them! It would also be nice to have our older participants send recordings of them reciting scripture, too. And, if you’d like, give a short testimony of why you love the verse. (You can record from your Smartphone or other device and email me the video. Click on the “About” tab to find my email address.)

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Memorizing and Meditating on Psalm 1:6 (Plus, a prize for some of you!)

This week, we complete Psalm 1!

Waiting for the Word (Flickr)
Psalm 1:6 (NIV)
 For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous,
    but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

Psalm 1:6 (AMP) For meditation purposes:
For the Lord knows and is fully acquainted with the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly [those living outside God’s will] shall perish (end in ruin and come to nought).

Which person mentioned in this week’s verse would you rather be? While it seems like a silly question, the continued somberness of the Psalm begs for attention. We would be wise to devote time to it while considering the choices we make.
____

If you’ve memorized Psalm 1 or faithfully meditated on each verse, I’d like to reward you by sending you a Christian novel or non-fiction book (by well-known authors) that I have obtained from Doug Apple, Wave 94 general manager (he often receives free books from authors for interview purposes, etc.). To be eligible, you must be subscribed to the blog (via email). Once you are subscribed (or if you are an existing subscriber), then please leave a comment on this post letting me know what type of book you would like.

Now, where do we go from here? One thing for sure is that we will keep memorizing and/or meditating on God’s Word, one verse per week!

For a while, rather than memorizing a whole Psalm, we will focus on some of my favorite verses in Psalms. (What are some of yours?)

How are you doing?

  • Did you memorize or meditate on every verse of Psalm 1? If so, be sure to let me know so I can send you your free Christian novel or non-fiction book.
  • Has spending time on Psalm 1 helped you change some of your choices or priorities?
  • What are your favorite verses in the book of Psalms? What makes them your favorite?


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Memorizing and Meditating on Psalm 1:5 (And a short word from John Piper)

We are almost finished with memorizing and/or meditating on Psalm 1. Next week will be our final verse!
Waiting for the Word (Flickr)

This week’s verse continues the serious warning for those who are living without God.

Psalm 1:5 (New International Version)
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
    nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

Psalm 1:5 (Amplified Bible) For meditation purposes.
Therefore the wicked [those disobedient and living without God] shall not stand [justified] in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous [those who are upright and in right standing with God].

Although I am not “enjoying” the message of the last half of Psalm 1, I appreciate the reminder of the seriousness of our choices when we choose not to follow God.

How are you doing?

  • If you are just now joining us, be sure to read the first three verses of Psalm 1 to get the full meaning of the last three verses of the Psalm.
  • Who do you need to pray for regarding their relationship with God? Has it been a while since you’ve prayed for the salvation of your unbelieving co-workers, relatives or friends?
  • When can you schedule time to spend with them to answer any questions they may have about God and eternity?
I will email you a copy of the weekly verses, formatted to fit a standard index card. Be sure to subscribe to this blog (via email) and leave a comment letting me know what Bible translation you prefer.

As a special treat, I have included (below) a special message from John Piper, which was uploaded onto YouTube Jan 18, 2009, titled, “The Value of Memorizing Scripture.” In this short message, he humbly, yet passionately, explains the benefits of memorizing scripture especially in regard to the spiritual battles we face (“Memorizing Scripture helps me to hit the devil in the face with a force he cannot resist!... and [the devil] hates you, and your family….!”).




Sunday, July 20, 2014

Memorizing and Meditating on Psalm 1:4

Photo by James Temby (Flickr) 
Thank you for continuing with us as we memorize and/or meditate on Psalm 1. The first three verses spoke of blessings, delightfulness and fruit being offered to those who choose to be nourished by God’s Word and His ways.

Notice the sharp change in tone beginning with this week’s verse:

Psalm 1:4 (New International Version)
Not so the wicked!
    They are like chaff
    that the wind blows away.

Psalm 1:4 (Amplified Bible) For meditation purposes.
Not so the wicked [those disobedient and living without God are not so]. But they are like the chaff [worthless, dead, without substance] which the wind drives away.

My! That doesn't sound very appealing, does it?

For sure, this verse (and the verses we will focus on over the next two weeks) are less fun to memorize (or even think about!) than the first half of Psalm 1. But important, in their warning, nevertheless!

How are you doing?

  • While you commit this verse to memory (and/or spend time meditating on it), how does its seemingly harsh message make you feel? Does it effectively display the consequences of choosing not to dwell on God’s Word and His teachings?
  • How might this verse cause you to pray for those who are not seeking God’s truth so that they might avoid such outcomes?

I will email you a copy of the weekly verses, formatted to fit a standard index card. Be sure to subscribe to this blog (via email) and leave a comment letting me know what Bible translation you prefer.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Memorizing and Meditating on Psalm 1:3 (Plus, my "first" radio interview!)

We are in the third week of memorizing Psalm 1. Congratulations to those who have committed verses one and two to memory!

Photo by Nicholas_T (Flickr)
If you haven’t quite mastered the first two verses, or if you’re just now joining us, no worries! You can start fresh with this week’s verse: (The verse is referring to a person who chooses not to hang with the ungodly, but delights in God’s Word and ways, instead).

Psalm 1:3 (New International Version)
 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
    whatever they do prospers.

Psalm 1:3 (Amplified Bible) (For meditation purposes)
And he shall be like a tree firmly planted [and tended] by the streams of water, ready to bring forth its fruit in its season; its leaf also shall not fade or wither; and everything he does shall prosper [and come to maturity].

Last week, I often kept my Scripture Memory Card (SMC) near me so I could glance at it between sales calls for Wave 94. As I delighted in God and His ways (Psalm 1:2 AMP), the stress of my day noticeably lessened!

At the end of this blog post, I am posting a radio interview I did with Doug Apple (Wave 94 general manager). It was recorded in 2011, several months before I began working for him. I had so much fun doing this interview, my first one in over twenty-years! Let me know what you think about Doug’s dedication to memorizing scripture and how it has affected his life. (It opens with a bit of my testimony, too.)

How are you doing?

  • Have you noticed any changes in your life or personality since beginning memorizing and/or meditating on Psalm 1?
  • Do you have a story about how memorizing scripture has changed you?
I will email you a copy of the weekly verses, formatted to fit a standard index card. Be sure to subscribe to this blog (via email) and leave a comment letting me know what Bible translation you prefer.



Monday, July 7, 2014

Memorizing and Meditating on Psalm 1:2

Photo by Alyssa Rees (Flickr)
I hope you’re enjoying memorizing Psalm 1. Again, we’re not striving for perfection. Even if you choose to just meditate on these verses, you will love what happens in your relationship with God and His Word!

Here’s the next verse:
Psalm 1:2 New International Version (NIV)
but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, 
and who meditates on his law day and night.

Psalm 1:2 Amplified Bible (AMP) (for meditation purposes)
But his delight and desire are in the law of the Lord, and on His law (the precepts, the instructions, the teachings of God) he habitually meditates (ponders and studies) by day and by night. 

Here’s the method I use most often to memorize scripture. (You will find several fun ways to memorize verses, alone or with other people, on the “Tips on Memorizing Scripture” tab, located under the blog’s header.)

When using Scripture Memory Cards (SMCs):
1. Recite the verse reference (for example: “Psalm one, verse two”)
2. Recite the verse
3. Recite verse reference, again

Repeat this process three times during one sitting every day, looking at the verse less and less each time. Most likely, you’ll have it memorized within a week!

How are you doing?

  • How did you do with the first verse of Psalm 1? Memorized it, yet—even imperfectly?
  • Which part(s) of the first two verses do you love most?
  • Will memorizing scripture enable you to delight more in God’s ways?
  • What is your favorite way to memorize (or meditate on) scripture?
I will email you a copy of the weekly verses, formatted to fit a standard index card. Be sure to subscribe to this blog (via email) and leave a comment letting me know what Bible translation you prefer.




Monday, June 30, 2014

Finally, Memorizing Scripture on the Memorizing Scripture Blog!

Photo by 19 Upstream (Flickr)

It’s been a long while since I’ve posted. Sorry about that.

I’ve taken this brief “pause” so I could think about what Memorizing Scripture Blog should be about. The name of the blog implies there is some serious memorizing going on here.

I can’t help but wonder if perhaps people stop by, anticipating the challenge of memorizing, but leave disappointed after finding a more devotional-type blog.

For that, I apologize. I want to be truer to the blog’s name.

My plan is for us to memorize sections of the Bible, one verse at a time. Sometimes, one small segment at a time. By the way, no one will be quizzing you! So as you attempt to memorize these verses (or segments), don’t worry if you can’t recite them perfectly.

Instead of me writing a devotional about the verse (or segment), I hope you and I will discuss (via the comment link) what the memory verse means to us or how it applies to what we’re going through. From time to time, I may interview authors and others who have been memorizing scripture for years. If you have a story how hiding God’s Word in your heart has helped you, please email me! It would be interesting to hear people’s stories on how scripture have changed them.

Also, in addition to memorizing a verse a week, I will sometimes include techniques for memorizing Bible verses. Again, please email me your favorite methods. Even better, share your idea via the comment link below.

Okay! Let’s get started with Psalm 1, verse 1! I will include the Amplified Bible because I love its wonderful depth. You can memorize the verse in the NIV, and use the Amplified version as a meditation tool.

Psalm 1:1 New International Version (NIV)
Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers

Psalm 1:1 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Blessed (happy, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable) is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly [following their advice, their plans and purposes], nor stands [submissive and inactive] in the path where sinners walk, nor sits down [to relax and rest] where the scornful [and the mockers] gather.
___

I will email you a copy of the weekly verses, formatted to fit a standard index card. Be sure to subscribe to this blog (via email) and leave a comment letting me know what Bible translation you prefer.


  • What do you think about this new direction for Memorizing Scripture Blog?
  • What does this verse mean to you regarding your experiences?


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

I Will Remember that God Loves Me

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. When our eyes met, it seemed His countenance changed from one of loving delight to that of a well-I-guess-since-you’re-here-you-might-as-well-come-in kind of look.
_____

Many years ago, each time I envisioned the day I would enter into heaven, the above scenario played through my mind. During that period of my life, I was very performance-based (seeking approval and love by striving to “be the best” or doing whatever was expected of me). I wasn't doubting my salvation, I just couldn't imagine that Jesus would be happy to see me.  Especially since I was much less “perfect” than those in line with me.

Last week, we discussed starting our day by telling God we loved Him even if we’re not sure whether He loves us. This week, I'm hoping you begin to understand God most certainly loves you—even when you’re living in a constant state of messing up.

Romans 5:8 (NKJ)
Photo by GaborDvornik (Flickr)
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Jesus died for us before He had any evidence that we wanted His love.

Jesus died for you and me before we had a chance to prove our worthiness. (Even if it were possible to earn that kind of love).

Jesus died knowing we would never be able to do anything to earn it!

As a person who used to never feel worthy to be loved by anyone, most of all by God, it took me a while to accept God’s love for me.

But as I began to spend more time around people who were secure in God’s love for them (and believe me, they weren't all that perfect, either), the more I was able to accept that perhaps He could love me, too.

I started to spend more time with God through prayer and Bible reading. Eventually, when I prayed, it felt more like I was talking with my loving Father, rather than to a distant God. More and more I began looking forward to “our” time together.

And now, when I picture that future day when I enter into heaven, I see Jesus not only beaming, but holding me tightly!

Prayer:
Thank You, Father, for loving me a lot! I pray others will begin to consider Your great love for them, as well. Holy Spirit, continue to show us that Your love is not based on anything we do (or don’t do), but on Your very nature, love. 

This week’s goal and practical application:
This week, while meditating on (with the intent to memorize) Romans 5:8, I will continue to remember God loves me(!)—even when I am not acting “perfectly.”

For instance, when I behave disrespectfully toward Bert, overeat for a whole weekend, or don’t keep the house as tidy as I would like, I will remember that (although God exhorts and enables me to do differently), I am not a failure in His eyes because He loves me. (However, I will also remember that it would be easier for Bert to “love me” if I would continue to make progress in these areas!)

What about you? (I’d love to hear from you via the comment link)

  • Do you wonder if God loves you?
  • How would being absolutely convinced of His love for you, change you?

How can we pray for you?

(Pseudonyms may be used when you comment)

Note: Memorizing Scripture Blog (for anyone) and the Coffee with Sheryl blog (for ladies) both have the Current Goals tab located under the blogs' headers. "Current Goals" offers several practical links including topics such as: being a better spouse or parent, choosing better eating and exercising habits, overcoming addictions, dealing with depression, etc. The Immediate Goals link (for setting task-related goals) is only available at the Coffee with Sheryl Blog.


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Having Trouble Getting Out of Bed in the Mornings?

Photo by Sodanie Chea (Flickr)  
The sun broke through the curtains. Another day.

I don’t want to get up. There’s so much to get done, but I’m still so tired. And I’ve put off doing so many things that now I don’t even know where to start. 

I’m afraid Steven is about ready to give up on me. My friends from church already have ….

The thoughts rolled in, each outdoing the previous with its negative and foreboding messages.

“I wish I could turn off my brain!” Stacey screamed into her pillow.
_______

I remember what it was like to dread the beginning of another day. Racing thoughts about the things I had put off doing for way too long (plus every other way I was failing at life) escalated the anxiety. And the unrelenting thought that I was a constant disappointment to everyone—including myself—reinforced my fears.

Sound familiar? May I suggest something that helped me?

What if, at the beginning of your day you choose to tell God you love Him.

Please don’t shut me out.

I know how many times you've heard something similar. People mean well (honest, they do!), when they freely offer “helpful, easy” tips, but often those same people don't even know how to spell “anxiety” or “depression.” And they don’t have a clue to what it is like to have an addictive or eating disorder problem. But I do. So please hear me out.

What if you were to spend the first 60 seconds of every morning, before the usual fearful or negative thoughts have a chance to take root, telling God you love Him? Even if you’re filled with doubt about whether He loves you, spend 60 seconds telling Him how much you adore Him. If all you can do is repeat, “I love You, God. I love You God” over and over again, then do just that.

This morning, I did just that. In lieu of using a bunch of words, I said out loud, "I love You, God. I love You, Lord" several times, with meaning. After a few times repeating to Him those simple words, something sweet began to happen. Very sweet.

Consider proclaiming your love out loud to Him. Hearing our voices exalt Him actually increases our awareness of how awesome He is. (I promise not to tell if you go beyond a minute!)

It could change your day—and perhaps it could eventually change your life.

Next week, we will spend time discussing our feelings and fears about God’s love for us.

Think about it: 
Could this be an easy, but effective way to help you to begin to face the day—or at least help you get out of bed? I realize it won’t solve all of your emotional struggles, but give it a try!

Psalm 18:1 (New American Standard Bible)
I love You, O LORD, my strength.

Prayer:
Lord God, I love You. I love You. I love You! Please help us to express our devotion to You, even when it feels as if You’re too far away to hear us. 

This week’s goal and practical application:
This week, and for all the weeks to come, while meditating on (with the intent to memorize) Psalm 18:1, I will continue to express my love to God for the first 60 seconds of my day. I will repeat this practice throughout the day, whenever I am feeling overwhelmed.

For instance, when I'm feeling stressed at work because I am having a poor sales day, I will pause and say out loud to God, “I love You, Lord!”

And when I receive troubling news or my mind begins to re-play negative tapes, I will begin to sing a song to the One I love most.

Will this work in your world? (I’d love to hear from you via the comment link)
I realize your story is different from mine and your struggles may be much worse than mine were. But I’m hoping this post will help.

Please tell me how I can be praying for you.

(Pseudonyms may be used)

Note: Memorizing Scripture Blog (for anyone) and the Coffee with Sheryl blog (for ladies) both have the Current Goals tab located under the blogs' headers. "Current Goals" offers several practical links including topics such as: being a better spouse or parent, choosing better eating and exercising habits, overcoming addictions, dealing with depression, etc. The Immediate Goals link (for setting task-related goals) is only available at the Coffee with Sheryl Blog.


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Getting Control of My Day and My Diet – Most of the Time!


Photo: Mr. Wilson (Flickr)

 “Though enormously talented and loaded with potential, Sheryl H. Boldt seems unable to follow through on several commitments she’s made to herself. Rumors have it that the promising writing projects, she had once been so passionate about, may become the latest casualty of her apparent inability to manage her time wisely – mostly due to her spending too much time watching television and on the Internet. Even her once svelte figure is all but a memory due to her missing too many days of exercise …”

The opening paragraph is a mock narrative I envision the Biography Channel running about me. Although it’s a bit of an exaggeration, the resulting anxiety and depression I experience after another unproductive day often causes me to feel defeated and worthless.

It saddens me to see how some of the people actually featured on the Biography Channel wasted away their lives with drinking, drugs, and harmful relationships. Although not as devastating as those choices, I find the foolish ways I choose to use my time very detrimental, too.

Some days are worse than others; however, if it wasn’t for the mutual accountability I’ve found with this blog, I would practically remain in a constant state of anxiety and depression.

Joining others as we set daily task and health-related goals helps us to be more effective with our time and choices! The support and prayers have been invaluable. Thankfully, I’m now becoming more consistent in checking things off of my to-do list. Consequently, I go to bed most nights feeling better about my day. (See the Immediate Goals (Coffee with Sheryl Blog) and the Eating and Exercising Habits (both blogs) pages by clicking on the Current Goals tab.)

 Psalm 90:12 (NKJV)
So teach us to number our days,
That we may gain a heart of wisdom.

A Biography Channel update:

“Sheryl H. Boldt has taken positive steps in realizing some of her dreams. Rumor now has it that she has been receiving help from some pretty awesome people on her blogs: Coffee with Sheryl Blog and the Memorizing Scripture Blog. As Sheryl continues to recover from her TV and Internet addictions, she has just completed her latest inspirational piece for her blogs. And with her astonishing now week-long record of daily exercising, she is already experiencing better muscle tone and improved energy levels.”

Prayer:
Father, I want to make every day productive! Please help me to be more responsible with the time and opportunities You’ve given me. Please continue to show the ladies and me how to effectively help and encourage each other with our choices so we can honor You each day.

This week’s Goal and practical application:
This week, with God’s help, I will meditate (with intent to memorize) Psalm 90:12 as I strive to make each day a productive one.

For instance, each evening I will visit the Immediate Goals  and the Eating and Exercising Habits pages to post my goals for the next day. I will commit to the ladies that I will revisit the pages during the day whenever I “get stuck” or begin to swerve off course.

What do you think?

  • Do you struggle with procrastination or not managing your time wisely? If so, how?
  • Would accountability help you develop a more consistent exercise habit or make better food choices?


If we can help you, please consider joining us in setting daily goals! It really works and can be fun, too!

Note: Memorizing Scripture Blog (for anyone) and the Coffee with Sheryl blog (for ladies) both have the Current Goals tab located under the blogs' headers. "Current Goals" offers several practical links including topics such as: being a better spouse or parent, choosing better eating and exercising habits, overcoming addictions, dealing with depression, etc. The Immediate Goals link (for setting task-related goals) is only available at the Coffee with Sheryl Blog

You may use pseudonyms (fake names).

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Need to Forgive Someone?

A little over a year ago, one of my visitors to the blog asked me (via email) how I handled Mother’s Day. Due to constant rejection from her mother, she has a difficult time “celebrating” the day. And since I know many have similar issues with their moms - and others, including their dads - I thought I’d share what I wrote to her again with you. (I changed her name.) Be sure to read the paragraph before this week's verse.
___

Photo by Tavallai (Flickr)

Tina, I have a minute so I’m going to take a stab at this topic. First of all, I’m so sorry for all the pain you are experiencing.  :(

Pain is painful. You may want to write that one down!  :)

And rejection always hurts.

As a child and teenager, I didn’t understand why my mother slept all day. I resented her mostly for not getting up and being like other moms. I would have given anything if she would have taught me how to cook, keep house and how to be a wife and mom. Looking back, I realize she was depressed, and she truly did the best she could.

A few months before she died, she wanted to be there for me. I was struggling again with an eating disorder and other destructive behavior and she wanted to travel from Florida to Louisiana to help me.

Unfortunately she was unable to make the trip due to tremendous pain she was suffering - which we soon learned was from cancer. When she phoned to say she wouldn’t be coming, she expressed how sorry she was for not being a good mom. I thank God I had the opportunity to tell her that I loved and forgave her. (Neither of us knew she was dying.)

I realize, Tina, that it is easier to forgive someone when they're sorry. I pray one day your mom will see her ways and that she will experience mercy from God - and from you.

But, dear friend, do not wait for her to act first. Forgive her with the same forgiveness God extends to you. However, don’t tell her you forgive her, because if she doesn’t respond “the right way” you will be setting yourself up for disappointment.

And Tina, I strongly encourage you to meditate/memorize scriptures on God’s forgiveness for you. Plus, ask God to show you the times He’s forgiven you. Then ask Him to help you forgive your mom, asking Him to have mercy on her, too – the same mercy He has shown you.

I suggest you buy the book Total Forgiveness by R. T. Kendall. A lot of what I’m saying, I learned (or re-learned) from his book. I have added a link for R. T. Kendall's Ministries  to My Blog List.

I hope none of this sounds trite, Tina. I sincerely hope I didn’t minimize the pain you are experiencing. I will be praying for you.

Another thought: Forgiveness isn’t earned. Aren’t you glad?  :)
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Dear reader, if your relationship with your mom, dad or anyone else is strained, consider taking steps to allow God to heal the relationship(s). Set a goal (with God's help!) to practice the verse below  and see what God will do in your heart - and maybe in the other person's heart, too. Who knows, for some of you, maybe this Father's Day (and/or next Mother's Day) will be one you will always want to remember!

Ephesians 4:32 (NIV)
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Feel free to share your comments.

Note: Memorizing Scripture Blog (for anyone) and the Coffee with Sheryl blog (for ladies) both have the Current Goals tab located under the blogs' headers. "Current Goals" offers several practical links including topics such as: being a better spouse or parent, choosing better eating and exercising habits, overcoming addictions, dealing with depression, etc. The Immediate Goals link (for setting task-related goals) is only available at the Coffee with Sheryl Blog

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