Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A Plan for 2016

Photo by One Way Stock (Flickr)
Early in my first marriage, money was tight; therefore, I offered to cut my husband’s hair to save a trip to the barber. I was a bit nervous because I had never cut anyone’s hair before, but snip, snip – so far, so good.

Then after one more snip on the right side of his head … well, let’s just say, that was one snip too many.

Out of nervousness, I began to laugh as tears rolled down my cheeks. My husband ran to the bathroom mirror – and left me seven years later.

I can only conclude that it must have been the “one snip too many” that caused the demise of our marriage. I mean, certainly, it wasn’t because of any character flaws in either of us, right? Truth be told, our marriage would have been better served had a few of our character flaws been snipped off rather than my husband’s short locks.

I’m incredibly thankful for all God has done in me since that time. However, I want to see more growth and maturity. Therefore, with God’s help, I resolve to purposely pursue a more Christlike behavior, month after month, in 2016. Will you join me?

Let’s ask God to examine our hearts so we can begin the new year with a realistic plan that will allow us to see steady growth throughout the year.

Psalm 139
:23 Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! 
:24 And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (AMPC).

What if, at the beginning of each month, we were to ask God to search our hearts and thoughts to show us one area in our life (the choices we’re making) that is displeasing to Him? Then, prayerfully, throughout that month, we did whatever it took (meditating on scriptures, LOTS of time spent with God, accountability, etc.) to change.

If we were to do this month after month, imagine how much we would have to celebrate on New Year’s Eve 2016.

______

Would you like to discuss this further? If so, leave a comment or email me (see About tab for my email address). If you are reading this from your smartphone or email, click on the title of this post and it will take you to the actual blog where you can leave a comment. Thanks!

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.

Also, please click on the tabs on the top of the page to receive tips on memorizing and/or meditating on the Word of God.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Gift Worth Searching For

If you were told you had treasure of great worth hidden on your property, would you put off looking for it until you considered it worthy of your time?

Or would you immediately begin asking questions about its location and begin diligently searching for it right away?

Personally, I’d fall on my knees crying out, begging for information about how I could find the treasure to make it my own. And I wouldn’t stop asking and searching until I found it.

Photo by Trocaire (Flickr)
With that thought in mind, consider Proverbs 2:3-5 (NASB):
:3 For if you cry for discernment, 
    Lift your voice for understanding; 
:4 If you seek her as silver 
    And search for her as for hidden treasures;  
:5 Then you will discern the fear of the LORD 
    And discover the knowledge of God

Here’s the point: if we were to value true discernment (God’s wisdom) as much as we value silver and hidden treasure, how much different would our lives look?

One of the easiest ways to obtain true Wisdom is by reading the Bible. However, I worry that many of us take God’s Word for granted. That we don’t realize how much we need our heavenly Father’s counsel for every area of our lives. Because if we truly valued Wisdom for what it is, we would spend every possible minute seeking it – as if we were indeed seeking the greatest treasure of all.

Question: How much would it bother you if you weren’t allowed to own a Bible?

Could it be that we’re spoiled by easy access to Scripture; therefore, the Bible doesn’t have the same appeal for us as it does in oppressed nations? What if (in a way) we had to actually dig for even one page of this great Treasure. Would it be worthy of our time?

If it came down to it, would we do whatever it took to get hold of a Bible? Even if it meant risking our lives?

Thankfully, we don’t have to – at least not yet.
______

Would you like to discuss this further? If so, leave a comment or email me (see About tab for my email address). If you are reading this from your smartphone or email, click on the title of this post and it will take you to the actual blog where you can leave a comment. Thanks!

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.

Also, please click on the tabs on the top of the page to receive tips on memorizing and/or meditating on the Word of God.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Do You Dread December 26?


Photo by Stephen Poff (Flickr)
December 26 is one of my least favorite days of the year.

It has less to do with saying good-bye to the most wonderful season of all, and more to do with how I live the weeks leading up to Christmas Day.

It shames me to say that my focus for the season hasn’t been as much on Christ as it has been on my desperate need to have the warm and fuzzy Christmases that Hallmark movies depict. Perhaps I’m constantly trying to compensate for past Christmases, especially those without my children.

Ultimately I’ve become so emotionally driven, that every year, I claw desperately for that perfect Christmas – totally making me and my needs the reason (or at least my focus) for the season.

It’s not like I didn’t know I was doing this year after year. In fact, I repent every December 26. But I seemed to be at a lost on how to move beyond my hurt-filled past

What about you? Would you also like to make this Christmas season a better one? Maybe meditating on and applying Matthew 2:11 will help us.

After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh” (NASB).

During the remainder of this holy season, let’s worship Him by reflecting on Who He is and thanking Him for coming over 2,000 years ago – and for remaining with us since.

We can also ask God to show us what gifts we can present to Him, such as an unforgiving heart or a dispiriting attitude. Perhaps if we choose to trust (and rest) in His sovereignty regarding our past, it’ll be easier to give Him our todays.

In addition, let’s seek ways to serve and give. By allowing God to use us in our communities, we defeat self-focused behavior.

In so doing, we’ll represent Emmanuel, proving that God is very much with us – and very worthy of our focus.

(I want to thank Jennifer Ashford Kirkes (my inspiration for this week’s column) for posting her thoughts on Facebook, December 5, on this subject. It would be worth your while to read it.)
_____

Would you like to discuss this further? If so, leave a comment or email me (see About tab for my email address). If you are reading this from your smartphone or email, click on the title of this post and it will take you to the actual blog where you can leave a comment. Thanks!

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.

Also, please click on the tabs on the top of the page to receive tips on memorizing and/or meditating on the Word of God.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

What If You Judged – Wrongly?

Photo by ssalonso (Flickr)
When I was a young mother, I had to pick up and return my children to my former husband every other weekend. Every time I dropped them off, it was painful.

It hurt not only because I ached deeply for my children when they weren’t with me, but also because of the reality of my situation. My obsession to lose weight (anorexia nervosa) became so important that it cost me my family.

My disappointment in me was tortuously painful and affected me greatly.

One Sunday, I drove to the designated place to hand over my small children. Surprisingly, my sister-in-law met me there, rather than the children’s father.

Seeing my sister-in-law caught me by surprise and I became so self-conscious that I couldn’t speak or look at her. As I helped the kids get into her car, I knew how I must have looked: snobbish and ungrateful for her time.

In that moment, my sister-in-law could have easily judged me. How could she not? If I were in her shoes, I would have thought the woman who didn’t have the decency to even look at me, much less thank me, was at least rude. Wouldn’t you? But, if that is what she was thinking, then she would have been wrong.

In reality, I was just too ashamed to face her.

And that’s the point. Most of the time, we don’t have all of the facts to make a fair judgment about someone in a particular situation. John 7:24 commands us to “Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment” (NIV 1984).

My sister-in-law probably never judged me as I imagined. (Knowing her, she most likely didn’t.) However, many times, I’ve formed an opinion about someone – and thought I was correct in my assessment – but I was wrong. Sometimes completely wrong.

So wouldn’t it be wise (and compassionate) to consider the possibility that perhaps we’re judging a situation by mere appearances?

Isn’t that what we would want others to do for us?

Please consider meditating on and/or memorizing John 7:24. And let me know how I can pray for you.

Would you like to discuss this further? If so, leave a comment or email me (see About tab for my email address). If you are reading this from your smartphone or email, click on the title of this post and it will take you to the actual blog where you can leave a comment. Thanks!

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.

Also, please click on the tabs on the top of the page to receive tips on memorizing and/or meditating on the Word of God.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Our World Needs Our Prayers

Photo by Upstream (Flickr)
With the increasing violence happening around the world (which seems to have escalated recently), I’m asking everyone to pray for our world. In so doing, it may help to take some of the focus off our own fears.

Remember, God is still in control and none of this is a surprise to Him.

Will you join me in praying? Then share your prayers on Twitter, Facebook, email, other websites, including this one. (No limit policy!).

Pray for our nation (and all nations) that God’s Truth, Light and Love will prevail over deception, darkness and hatred.

Other areas to consider praying for:
  • All leaders (spiritual and political) to pray to the God who created all things, asking Him for guidance about what is right and wise for their people – and the courage to lead accordingly
  • Protection for every nation (or grace to endure to the end) when threatened or attacked by terrorism
  • Christians who are being persecuted
  • Wisdom and protection for Israel’s leaders and people
  • The gospel to be spread into hostile territory
  • Protection of missionaries as they persevere to share God’s love and the good news of the gospel
  • Protection and continued growth of the underground house church movement in communist countries
  • Every person to experience God’s grace to love our enemies while walking in wisdom in how to deal with them
  • Every person to discover and grow in the revelation of God’s Word and to experience His love and faithfulness

As we memorize and/or meditate on this week’s verse, let’s remember what a powerful God we serve.

“For nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37 NIV1984).

Would you like to discuss this further? If so leave a comment or email me (see About tab for my email address). If you are reading this from your smartphone or email, click on the title of this post and it will take you to the actual blog where you can leave a comment. Thanks!

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.

Also, please click on the tabs on the top of the page to receive tips on memorizing and/or meditating on the Word of God.


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving?

Photo by Matt Searles (Flickr)
Depending on your circumstances, this may be a sad Thanksgiving for you.

Years ago, I suffered with chronic depression (resulting in multiple hospitalizations); therefore, I understand some of what you’re experiencing. Yet, I can’t know everything you’re going though because I’m not you.

But having come out of the darkness and hopelessness that depression brings, I want to share a few thoughts.

First, don’t believe the lie that no one cares, even though people often say all the wrong things and lose patience with your time table for overcoming depression. Believe me, they don’t mean to be insensitive. Even with my background, I regretfully fall short when dealing with the longevity of someone else’s depression.

However, I’d like to suggest something you’ve probably heard before, especially from your church friends. When you heard it, you probably felt (just as I used to) that they were minimizing your pain.

But given that friends and family aren’t able to provide what you need at this time (as much as they would like to), consider going to Someone Who is bigger than your depression.

Cry out to your heavenly Father – even if you’ve tried it before, more times than you can count. Tell Him about your sadness, disappointments and fears. Tell Him you’re scared that you’ll never get better and that you’ve already worn out everyone around you. And consider memorizing or meditating on this week's verse:

Hebrews 4:16 (NIV 1984)
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. 

You can find relief in the fact that God is fully aware of your reality and will listen, for as long as you need Him to. You can’t wear Him out. Rather, He longs to tell you He loves you, even now.

Remain in His presence a long, long time. Ask for His help. Focusing on Him will help displace some of the darkness.

There is hope. You will survive depression; indeed, you will come out of it. I pray it begins now.

Would you like to discuss this further? If so leave a comment or email me (see About tab for my email address). If you are reading this from your smartphone or email, click on the title of this post and it will take you to the actual blog where you can leave a comment. Thanks!

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.

Also, please click on the tabs on the top of the page to receive tips on memorizing and/or meditating on the Word of God.


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Thank You, Father, For This Minute


Photo by deux-chi (Flickr)
By the time I’m finished writing this thank you letter, many more minutes will have passed. Each minute that ticks by reflects your patience, your sovereignty and your work in my life.

I will never know (unless you to choose to reveal to me when I meet you face-to-face) what tragedies you withheld for my sake in the minutes I’ve already lived. Likewise, I have no idea what the next minute will hold.

But right now, I want to thank you for every minute, including the minutes you still have planned for me that will allow me another chance to learn from my mistakes – a chance to start over. And possibly (with your help), do better the next minute by correcting and making right a poor choice, an unkind word or a sloppily done project.

Thank you, also, for each minute in which I wait for you to send another creative thought and opportunity my way. Another minute to live the life you have customized just for me.

And, Lord, I am tremendously thankful each time your mercy, love and wisdom got me through difficult and disappointing moments. Without you watching over me minute-by-minute, I’d be hopelessly lost. Hopelessly hopeless.

In other words, You are a powerful and sovereign God; yet remain a devoted Father, as well. In a word, You are more than wonderful

Thank you for all that You are to me, every minute of every day.

This is my Thanksgiving prayer. If you would like to form your own prayer of Thanksgiving, perhaps meditating (with the intent to memorize) this week’s verse will help. 1 Peter 5:7’s tender message reminds us of God’s constant involvement in our lives.

Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully. (1 Peter 5:7 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition).


Would you like to discuss this further? If so leave a comment or email me (see About tab for my email address). If you are reading this from your smartphone or email, click on the title of this post and it will take you to the actual blog where you can leave a comment. Thanks!

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.

Also, please click on the tabs on the top of the page to receive tips on memorizing and/or meditating on the Word of God.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Washing Dishes in Jesus’ Name

Photo by Edwc (Flickr)
“Bert, I don’t have time to clean the house. My column for The Wakulla News isn’t finished yet.”

Even though Bert’s response was sweet, I could tell he wasn’t happy. However, that line of reasoning made sense to me because the house didn’t look that bad, and what would people do without my insights? (Totally kidding with the last part of that sentence.)

Then a few days later, Sheila, one of my blog visitors, emailed me saying she was setting a goal to “respond in a cheerful voice consistently to my husband, even when I feel very tired.” Following suit, I decided to make it my goal to prioritize my husband above ministry, and do it cheerfully! Want to join me in resetting our priorities?

If we use Colossians 3:17 as our motivation, we could extend this concept to every relationship – even those at work, church and school. “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father(NASB).

This verse depicts the attitude I want to emulate: to do everything as one who is representing God Himself – with thanksgiving.

What if every word we spoke and every task we performed, we did so as if we 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? For any relationship? Not to mention, giving a higher perspective to our tasks.

I truly believe we encounter amazing joy and peace as we pursue a higher level of service. Do you crave that kind of joy and peace? I sure do.

Each time we’re tempted to grumble when we have to clean the kitchen or scrub the toilet at home; or when we need to redo a work-related project for our boss – let’s make it our goal to do it all in Jesus’ name – with a thankful attitude.

Would you like to discuss this further? If so leave a comment or email me (see About tab for my email address). If you are reading this from your smartphone or email, click on the title of this post and it will take you to the actual blog where you can leave a comment. Thanks!

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.

Also, please click on the tabs on the top of the page to receive tips on memorizing and/or meditating on the Word of God.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Getting Older, With a Purpose

I need a younger look, Chuck. Someone thought I was five years older than I am.” I laughed when I said this, but I certainly wasn’t laughing on the inside.

The owner of True Blondes assured me he would fix the problem. A shorter haircut later, almost like a miracle, a younger looking me got up from the chair. At least, my husband, Bert, said I looked younger. (He wouldn’t lie, would he?)

Photo of the four sisters! 
I wish I could say I didn’t care how much my age is beginning to show. Having sisters who seem to be aging more gracefully doesn’t help. Although we’re about the same age, their chins, arms and midriffs look better than mine. Sigh.

If you read last week’s column, you’re probably wondering if someone else is writing this week’s. Don’t be confused. My ambivalence is due to my entering a new decade (a decade that has an older-sounding number).

Yet, I still want God to be my purpose for living. Don’t you? In fact, let’s ask God to use us every day for the rest of our lives. Let’s continue to declare His faithfulness, especially to this generation.

Psalm 71:17-18 (NASB) says, “O God, You have taught me from my youth, And I still declare Your wondrous deeds. And even when I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me, Until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to all who are to come.”

I like this verse, a lot.

Therefore, even though I am beginning to resemble one who is old and gray (though, with True Blondes’ help, you’ll never see the gray part), I have purpose. So, from this – may I say mature – woman of God, get ready – you haven’t heard nothing yet.

O God, thank You for my life, all 60 years of it! I pray You will grant me (and everyone who reads this) more years so we can declare Your wondrous deeds, strength and power to this generation and to all who are to come. Amen!


Would you like to discuss this further? If so leave a comment or email me (see About tab for my email address). If you are reading this from your smartphone or email, click on the title of this post and it will take you to the actual blog where you can leave a comment. Thanks!

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 28, 2015

I Can’t Wait Until My Next Birthday!

Photo by Wendy H. Schmit
“How are you going to celebrate your birthday, Grandma?”
___

Even though I’m dealing with the issues of entering another decade (which I’ll talk more about next week), I had a great birthday. My grandchildren’s phone calls made it even better. However, due to a Bible verse I read recently, I’m looking at the question they asked me in a different light.

Before I give you the whole verse, I want to focus on the section that caught my attention:

Deuteronomy 30:20b (NIV 1984)
For the LORD is your life.

I can’t help but love its grand declaration.

When I consider everything the phrase could mean for me personally, a stirring desire grows in my soul: to live as if God, Himself – the creator of the universe, the King of Kings – was actually my purpose for living.

If I lived that way, it would mean the Lord would become the center of all my dreams and goals. Plus, He would be my motivation for living a life of obedience, rather than wanting to obey only for the sake of pleasing others.

If I were to allow God to teach me how to make those desires real in the way I live, I can only imagine how much I will have to celebrate by my next birthday.

Are you beginning to get excited, too? If so, let’s pray and ask God to help us live as if He and His purposes are our reason for living. Perhaps reading and applying the first part of Deuteronomy 30:20 can help us get started. Here is the verse in its entirety:

Deuteronomy 30:20 (NIV 1984)
And that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

May it be so with me, Lord.
_____

Would you like to discuss this further? If so leave a comment or email me (see About tab for my email address). If you are reading this from your smartphone or email, click on the title of this post and it will take you to the actual blog where you can leave a comment. Thanks!

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.

Also, please click on the tabs on the top of the page to receive tips on memorizing and/or meditating on the Word of God.


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

When the Walls Seem Overwhelming

Photo by William Warby (Flickr)
During the past several weeks, I’ve been sharing about the time I was unfairly blamed for an incident involving dear friends of mine. Although it happened a long time ago, I still remember the devastation I felt.

I can’t share many details of the actual incident, but as I’ve explained, the aftermath caused me to feel as if I had slammed into a wall, emotionally.

As I spent time in counseling – and lots of time praying, reading my Bible, and memorizing and meditating on scripture, I became confident that, one day, things would be okay. But I knew I had formidable obstacles facing me.

Thankfully, Psalm 18:29 says, “With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall” (NIV 1984).

The first wall I had to scale was my own recklessness because I knew some of the choices I had made in previous years contributed to the situation that brought me so much pain. Therefore, I asked God to forgive my lack of prudence.

That lack of prudence included the inflated value I placed on what others thought of me. Therefore, knowing I was still vulnerable to making foolish choices, I placed myself under the accountability of people I could trust.

For instance, as painful as it was, I knew I had to separate myself and break off all communication with the people I had been living with. In the months following, whenever I was tempted to contact them, my accountability people helped me stick to my resolve.

However, I think the toughest wall to scale was that of unforgiveness. I prayed to forgive the couple who had betrayed my trust. I’m convinced that it’s no coincidence that the more I progressed in extending mercy to this couple, the more stable I became.

With God’s help, we can advance against any troop and scale any wall that is not part of God’s plan for us. And while we’re at it, let’s trust Him to help us knock down a few of those walls!

Try memorizing Psalm 28:29 every day this week and watch your confidence in God's faithfulness soar!

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.



Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Are You Living in Emotional Darkness?

This week, I will continue the story I began two weeks ago about a season in my life that happened a long time ago.

Photo by Fabio (Flickr)
Beginning in my teens, I struggled with self-hate and all that goes with it.

My self-esteem was either determined by what I did or didn’t accomplish, or by what others thought of me at any given time. That driving need to be loved and accepted drove me to unhealthy relationships, which left their emotional scars.

In fact, each time I was hurt, my outlook on life grew dimmer. By the time I was in my twenties, emotional darkness closed in. I seriously wondered if I would survive, mentally.

Psalm 18:28 became one of my favorite verses during that time. “You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light” (NIV 1984).

I clung to that verse! Yet, I found myself constantly slipping back into hopelessness. I knew instinctively that if I didn’t begin to believe that God was actively involved in my circumstances, the darkness would finally overtake me for good. Therefore, I sought Christian counseling and spent as much time as I could praying and reading the Bible.

In time, I was able to see that I needed God to help me desire Him and His love for me more than the love and approval of those around me. I was amazed at how much my outlook brightened when I finally understood what real love looked like.

His Word and presence began reaching into the areas of my life that desperately needed it. I still had a long way to go, but I grew confident that God was at work in my life. (I will conclude my story next week.)

If you’re walking in spiritual or emotional darkness, would you consider meditating on and/or memorizing Psalm 18:28 every day this week? And if I can be of any encouragement, please email me.


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.



Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Are You Facing an Overwhelming Situation?

I had never faced anything like this before.
Photo by nimble photography (Flickr)

Due to a serious and unfair accusation from a friend, my credibility was damaged and friendships were lost. That led to feelings of paranoia, imagining what others were saying about me.

My desperation for love and attention was to blame for not stopping the escalation of events before they got out of hand. But bearing the consequences alone was more than I could handle. Due to the delicate nature of the issue, there was no way I could defend myself without making matters even worse.

I felt totally overwhelmed.

During that time, a friend counseled me to memorize scripture. In so doing, I began to experience God’s presence and compassion.

Thus, Psalm 18:16-17(NIV 1984) became very real to me:
He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me.

Though my situation didn’t suddenly resolve itself, I was able to think more rationally and make good decisions about what I needed to do next. I’ll continue this a little more next time.

Until then, how are you doing today? Are you drowning in the deep waters of depression or anxiety? Or perhaps you’re feeling as if some of life’s circumstances are overwhelming for you.

Please don’t give up.

I pray, as you seek God’s presence and direction, you will experience the hand of God taking hold of you. He cares about what you’re going through – whether or not you caused the circumstances.

Never give up on God’s compassion and ability to rescue you. He is your redeemer.

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.



Wednesday, September 30, 2015

What Would We Do?

Photo by Marleah Joy (Flickr)
“Father, I have no idea how to handle this.”

I picked up my Bible from the nightstand and sat on the edge of the bed. Flipping through the pages, my heart pounded when I began reading Psalm 18. Actually, for several minutes, I couldn’t get past the first verse.

“I love you, O LORD, my strength” (NIV 1984).

Tears flowing down my cheeks, I repeated those very words over and over again. Then I added to my prayer, “Father, I love You very much. Thank You for giving me Your strength so many times when I needed it. Now, Lord, I’m asking You to help me to actually see You as being my strength during this stressful time.”

Then I began repeating again – from the deepest part of my being, “I love You, oh Lord, my strength.”

During the next several weeks, I will continue this true story in my opening as we make our way through sections of Psalm 18.
___
David wrote Psalm 18 after God delivered him from huge trials. As we spend time on this Psalm, consider how the verses relate to the issues you are facing. You might even want to journal some of your thoughts.

Your might write about the times you witnessed God’s strength when you felt overwhelmed or threatened. The times God made you stronger – stronger than you ever thought possible – to face a crisis or unfair circumstances. The times you now see (as you look back) when you did experience Him as your strength.

Think about how thankful you felt each time. How did those seasons change your relationship with the God of all strength?

Consider what you would do without Him – and without His mighty strength.

How would meditating on loving God and declaring Him as your strength give you a different perspective regarding everything you are facing today?

Would you consider memorizing this short verse? Let me know what happens in your circumstances if you do, okay?

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, September 24, 2015

Is God’s Word Void of Significance for Your Life?

Perhaps you wouldn’t say it out loud to any of your church friends, but you can’t help but wonder
what people get from reading the Bible.

Photo by Grace to You (Flickr)
Maybe learning how to personalize (reading the verse using personal pronouns) and praying through the Word will help you receive the encouragement, hope and confidence you need to get through your circumstances – thus making the Bible more meaningful to you.

For instance, let’s say you’ve been worried about your teenage son. You might try personalizing 1 Peter 5:7: “ … casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you” (NASB) by reading it this way:

“I will cast all my anxiety on You, Lord, because You care for me.”

Going a little deeper, if you were to use the same verse and turn it more into a prayer, it would go something like this (with help from the Amplified Bible):

Father, I’m so worried about Tommy’s recent failing grades and the kids he’s hanging out with. And I’m scared he might be doing drugs, or worse. Father, I cast all of these concerns on You (once and for all) because I know You care for me affectionately. And thank You for carefully watching over me and my son.

Personalizing can transition a verse into a personal declaration between God and us. We begin to recognize more clearly who we truly are: Christ-followers, God’s representatives, lovers of people – and individuals totally dependent on a God Who loves us.

As we do this, we grow in our trust in the only One Who knows exactly how to intervene in our struggles.

A Bible verse can transition from dry words on a page to words that overflow with hope that leads to building a relationship with the Author.

This is not my original idea. I learned it years ago from those who knew that the only way they could continue to grow in their faith was by trusting God’s Word.
___
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.

Also, please click on the tabs on the top of the page to receive tips on memorizing and/or meditating on the Word of God.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Are You Automatically Going to Heaven?

Photo by Frank Farm (Flickr)
Reverend Timms, the hospice chaplain, lowered the bedside rails so he could lean in closer.

Dale gripped his arm. “I’m not ready to die. I wish I could know for sure if I’m going to heaven.”

The minister leaned in even closer. “Before our visit is over, you will know – for sure – if you’re going to heaven. Okay?”

Dale smiled, faintly.

“Have you ever heard about Jesus’ dying on the cross for your sins?”

“I remember hearing John 3:16 as a kid in Sunday school. So is that it?” Dale paused to catch his breath. “Does that mean I’m automatically going to heaven?”

“Just because we may have heard about Jesus paying for our sins on the cross, that doesn’t mean we automatically get to go to heaven. But the Bible does say, ‘That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved’” (Romans 10:9 NASB).

“That means, we have to believe – put our faith and confidence in Who Jesus is and what He did for us, not in the good things we’ve done.”

Dale wrinkled his brow.

“It’s not meant to be complicated. It comes down to this. Are you able to say that Jesus is Lord – will you recognize Him as the ultimate authority over your life and all things?”

Pause. “Yes. I recognize Jesus as Lord.”

“Do you believe He took your sins on the cross, died for them, rose from the dead, and is alive today?”

Nod. “I do. I believe.”

“Then, according to God’s Word, you are going to heaven when you die. Welcome to God’s family!”

Dale smiled. A very definite smile. “Thank you.”

(A modern parable to illustrate the gospel.)
___
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.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Why Did He Do It?

Photo by Waiting for the Word (Flickr)
The night before Jesus was crucified, He knew every detail about what was coming.

He “began to be struck with terror” (Mark 14:33, Amplified Bible). And “He fell on the ground and kept praying that if it were possible [the fatal] hour might pass from Him” (verse 35).

Given the fact that Jesus was God in the flesh (which means He didn’t have to do anything He didn’t want to do), why did He consent to something so horrifying, and humiliating?

Because He loved me.

Later that night, due to Jesus’ unbreakable love for His Father and His desire to set me (and all mankind) free from Satan’s control, the Son of God ended His prayer by saying, “Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will” (Mark 14:36 NASB).

If Jesus had decided to go with His will instead of the Father’s, I probably would have committed suicide. Or I’d still be living as a hate-filled, unforgiving, selfish person.

If Jesus had not put my needs ahead of Himself that night, I would never have experienced His unconditional love or amazing grace.

If Jesus’ love for me had not exceeded the love I display in most of my relationships – above all the flaky way I treat Him – I would be separated from Him (and His love for me), forever, without the slightest chance of seeing heaven.

However, because His love for me surpassed His feelings of terror and dread that night, He chose to take the punishment for my sins. His death and resurrection saved me from Satan’s control and gave me the assurance of heaven. There is no way I could have achieved any of this on my own.

And He did it all because He loved me.

He loves you, too.

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.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

When I Finally Got It

Photo by Matt (Flickr) 
During my high school years, I thought I was automatically going to heaven due to my religious affiliation. Therefore, even when I listened to Billy Graham on TV, I didn’t understand that the gospel message was relevant to me. I thought I was already “in.”

Later, while a freshman in college, several people I met on campus became some of my best friends. They invited me to prayer meetings where I loved what I heard, but I still didn’t know the message was something I needed.

Several years later, I was a new mom living in married student housing on the LSU campus, where I finally got it. At last I understood the significance of Jesus’ death and resurrection for me.

It happened one morning as I was leaning over to wipe breakfast crumbs from our small table. I stopped for a moment and straightened up. “Oh! That’s what that means!”

As I kept on cleaning (which my husband thought was a miracle in itself), the scriptures I’ve heard for years were now making sense to me. At the time, I couldn’t understand what was happening, but now I realize the Holy Spirit was helping me comprehend what had eluded me for years.

Until that morning, I took the whole “Jesus’ death” thing for granted. Although I knew He died on the cross, I never went from knowing He was crucified to comprehending why He was crucified.

Photo by Dr. Ashraf Fekry (Flickr)
But at that moment, I began to grasp why He died a painful and humiliating death. He did it because He loved me. (I’ll go in more detail about this point next week.)

My heart filled with gratitude as I realized the extent God was willing to go to for me so I could be with Him in heaven.

John 3:16 (NASB)
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 

We will continue this next week. In the meanwhile, please consider memorizing and/or meditating on this unbelievable verse!

And please pray for me as I write my next post. I want to it to be an effective one.

_____

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.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

She Will Not Fall

This week, Denise K. Loock is my guest blogger. Denise is a freelance writer, editor, and speaker. She’s the author of two devotional books, Open Your Hymnal and Open Your Hymnal Again. She is the founder of Dig Deeper Devotions, a website dedicated to encouraging and enabling Christians to dig deeper into God’s Word. Denise is also the editor of Journey Christian News and a nonfiction book editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas.

She Will Not Fall

Psalm 46 begins with a powerful declaration about the nature of our God: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (v. 1). Many Bible scholars believe this psalm was written after a monumental military victory, perhaps the one described in 2 Kings 19:35. But regardless of when it was written, I derive great strength from the truths about God that the psalm celebrates – particularly the security I have because I am His child.

Verse 4 refers to Jerusalem, “the city of God.” When the psalm was written, God’s presence dwelled in the temple: “the holy place where the Most High dwells,” said the psalmist. When enemy armies threatened to conquer Jerusalem, the people depended on God to protect them:

God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day. (v. 5 NIV)

But I claim this truth for myself, because God no longer dwells in a bricks-and-mortar building. He lives in me (Galatians 2:20).

Photo taken by Sue Libera
Most mornings I walk around the lake near our home. Often, as I think about the tasks that lay ahead of me on that particular day, or I pray about the problems that have arisen in my life or my loved ones’ lives, I recite Psalm 46:5. Its words encourage and strengthen me. God dwells within me. He has promised that He will never leave or forsake me. He has promised that He will make a way for me to handle whatever circumstances confront me. He will come to my aid, providing the emotional, spiritual, or physical strength I need.

How about you? Do you begin each day with confidence that God is with you and in you? Do you rely on His help?

I encourage you to memorize Psalm 46:5. When stress, anxiety, anger, or bewilderment creep up your spine during the day, pause. Breathe deeply and recite the verse aloud. Allow its truth to settle your soul. God is within you. You will not fall.
____
Denise's publisher, Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, is offering a giveaway of her books through September 4, through goodreads. Click on Open Your Hymnal or Open Your Hymnal Again for your chance to get a free book!


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

I Can’t Go to God

Photo by Jeff Meyer (Flickr)
Perhaps it’s not easy for you to go to God when you’re struggling, especially when dealing with the consequences of your poor choices.

Maybe you’re disappointed in the way God answered your prayers in the past which left you feeling as if He wasn’t listening or didn’t care about you or your problems.

Or perhaps the idea of going to your heavenly Father doesn’t feel like a safe option because your relationship with your earthly parent(s) is messed up.

But what if you’ve allowed the past consequences of your choices, your lack of understanding of God’s timing and sovereignty, or the imperfection of those around you, define who God truly is?

What if He is a much better Father than you’ve ever dared to believe? It’s at least worth considering, isn’t it?

God wants you to know that He loves you—intensely. He grieves for (and with) you for the situation you’re in. Consider having a conversation with Him, similar to that of the Prodigal Son’s.

Luke 15:18 (NASB)
I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight."

Even if you think it won’t work because you’ve tried it before, risk trusting in God’s love for you, one more time. If necessary, call someone who has a relationship with God and let him or her pray with you.

Please don’t wait until things get worse. You may not survive worse. Allow God to throw His strong and compassionate arms around you, so He can help you break that cycle.

There is hope. There is a right path for you to take—beginning at this moment.

This week, read Luke 15:11-24 every day, especially in the Amplified Version, if possible, and discover more about yourself—and your heavenly Father.

Which verses stand out for you? Consider meditating on them, and possibly memorizing those that will help you, as you deal with your failures and your need for forgiveness.


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.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

What Will It Take?

Photo by Maria Elena (Flickr)
If the previous year of your life were to be featured in a magazine article, would you send copies to your family? Would you invite your friends on Facebook to read it?

There was a time I wouldn’t have.

If you were to take snapshots of the difficult seasons of my life, you would end up with a collage depicting huge failures and disappointments. The worst photo would be the one showing me alone—separated from my young, adorable children.

Every time I made destructive choices to cater to my addictive behaviors, I was choosing to sabotage important relationships and opportunities. How I wish I could relive those years. Why did I wait so long to come to my senses?

The prodigal son probably asked that same question after squandering all he had with loose living.

Luke 15:17 (NASB)
But when he came to his senses, he said, “How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger!”

We all have them—habits or behavior we hate.

Perhaps this morning, you lied to your parents about what you and your friends are doing tonight. Now, lying seems to be something you’re doing a lot of and you fear where it may be heading.

Or maybe, those phone calls you’ve been making to someone who isn’t your spouse started out as purely business, but now you’re feeling sick about the past several months.

One bad choice turns into another one, and soon we’re entangled in sin. And then we fall for the lie that we can’t change until we’ve hit bottom. So we continue down the wrong path.

The prodigal son almost lost everything, including his reputation, relationship with his family, finances, and his self-respect. Why did he wait so long to come to his senses?

While you memorize and/or meditate on this week’s verse, ask yourself:

Where are you today, compared to where you were a year ago? 
What will it take for you to come to your senses?

(To be continued.)

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.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Is It Time to Rise Up?

I will get up, go to my father, and tell him I’m sorry—that I’m really, really sorry. Jason let out a heavy sigh and slid down the wall to a seated position. He squeezed his eyes shut for a long moment. But after all I’ve done to him, why would he forgive me?

Then Jason sat up straighter and almost smiled (the first time he came even close to smiling in months). Talking to an empty liquor bottle, he said, “What if I go back home and ask Dad if I can sleep on the floor of the garage? I’d eat whatever leftovers he would give me.” His stomach growled in agreement. “In return, I’ll wash and wax his cars, mow the grass, and clean the gutters.”

Jason picked up his backpack and took his first steps back toward home.

While still a long way off, he could just barely see the fence that surrounded the house he once called home. He wiped the sweat from his eyes with his sleeve and noticed a man hurrying toward him. “Whoa! Is that Dad? If that is him, I have never seen Dad run so fast. He must be madder than I thought.” Jason turned to flee in the opposite direction.

“Jason! Jason!! Don’t turn away. Wait for me!”

Jason didn’t know what to think, but out of sheer exhaustion and desperation, he decided to wait. As his dad got closer, nervous sweat poured from Jason’s brow. His heart pounded.

But to his surprise, his father threw his arms around him, wrapping him in a bear hug. “I’ve been waiting for you to come home.”

Jason hesitated only for a moment before he buried his face in his father’s shoulder. “Dad, I’m sorry.”

“I forgive you, my son. Come, let’s celebrate your return!” (Based on Luke 15:11-24: The Story of the Prodigal Son)
____
Is it time for you to rise up and go to your Father?

We will continue this next week. Until then, read Luke 15:11-24 every day, especially in the Amplified, and discover more about yourself—and your heavenly Father.

Which verses stand out for you? Consider meditating on them, and possibly memorizing those that will help you, as you deal with your failures and your need for forgiveness.


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.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

What Are Your Children Seeing?

Photo by Spirit-Fire (Flickr)
What do your children see when they watch you?

Psalm 1 presents two contrasting scenarios. Read all six verses, and consider which scenario reflects the choices that are shaping your life.

In previous weeks, we looked at the first half of the psalm that speak of blessings, delightfulness and the satisfying fruit we experience when we choose to be nourished by God’s Word and His ways. Consequently, our lives produce good outcomes and reflect mature decisions.

This week we will conclude our discussion on Psalm 1. Notice the sharp contrast in the tone of the last half of the psalm:

Psalm 1:4-6 (NASB)
4 The wicked are not so,
But they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
6 For the LORD knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the wicked will perish.

Are these verses convincing enough to persuade you to make some changes? These verses give serious warning to those who are living without God. The Amplified Bible ends verse 6 with “but the way of the ungodly [those living outside God’s will] shall perish (end in ruin and come to nought)."

For sure, the last half of Psalm 1 is less fun to read or even think about. But important in its warnings, nevertheless. Our heavenly Father is loving, good and merciful. I can only begin to imagine how profound His longing must be in wanting us to choose the correct path. But the choice is ours.

Which scenario do you want for yourself: Do you want to seek God and His wisdom? Or do you want to rebel against God and His ways? Think about it: we can have purpose, direction and meaning, or we can live recklessly – ending with disappointment and regret.

Which scenario do you want for your child? He or she is watching 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.

As always, please remember that 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.


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Today Can be a Prosperous Day

Bert and Helen
About a year before my mother-in-law, Helen, died, Bert and I drove to the next town to celebrate her
97th birthday with her.

On the way to the facility where she lived, I meditated on Psalm 1:3.

Psalm 1:3 (NASB)
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.

Due to Helen’s dementia issues, she sometimes behaved in a hostile manner toward me. Therefore, grabbing the last part of the verse, I asked God to prosper my time with Bert’s mother. I prayed that the visit would be a good one – one that would bring joy to Helen and that I would represent my Heavenly Father well. On our way back home, I thanked God for a good visit.

I am grateful for God’s Word. I stay dependent on the Holy Spirit to mold and shape me so I can be ready to serve Him throughout my day, in all circumstances. This includes becoming better at loving and respecting my husband, Bert, and becoming better equipped to serve my family, church,
and community.

I look forward to becoming the kind of person Psalm 1:3 describes: a solidly planted Christian, who isn’t easily distracted from whatever God is calling me to do, at any given time. One who doesn’t become discouraged or cop out when faced with uncomfortable or challenging obstacles.

Therefore, I constantly ask God to help me not stray from His presence. I need His Spirit to teach, guide and recharge me.

I know God is able to prosper and mature my (and your) labor, exactly on time (in its season) – including all future endeavors He has planned for us. However, we must firmly plant ourselves in Him and His Word, first. Continuing to memorize and meditating on Psalm 1:3 will help.

I hope you have a truly prosperous day. I’m trusting God you will.

_____

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.

Also, please click on the tabs on the top of the page to receive tips on memorizing and/or meditating on the Word of God.



Thursday, July 16, 2015

To Delight in the Midst of Stress

My goal is to find my delight in God and His Word, even in – no, especially in – the midst of my stress.

Photo by Unlocking the Bible (Flickr)
Recently, during one particularly stressful week, I struggled with how to handle a personal situation that involved family members who are very dear to me. I wanted us to stay in each other’s lives, yet I knew I couldn’t go along with the direction they had chosen. As I spent more time in the Bible and thinking about the passages I was reading, I was able to discern ways to handle the emotional and awkward situation.

If you need to know how to handle problems you’re facing, the best thing you can do is spend time in Scripture. Without a doubt.

Last week, Psalm 1:1 warned us not to align ourselves with people who mock God and His ways. This week, verse 2 encourages us to desire and habitually meditate on God’s Word:

Psalm 1:2 (NASB)
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.

Re-reading a passage of the Bible over and over again, and taking time to think about what His Word is saying to you regarding your own circumstances, will help you esteem the Author on a deeper and more personal level.

For instance, after pondering each word or segment of the verses last week and this week, it could evolve into a prayer, something like this:

Father, I want a closer relationship with You and to live a life You can bless. Please give me the perseverance to meditate and reflect on Your Word, as much as I need to – even if it’s all day and all night. And as I do this, help me resist anyone and anything that mocks You; including: inappropriate friends, TV shows and music. Amen.

I hope you experience tremendous delight as you meditate on God’s transformative Word.

___

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.

Also, please click on the tabs on the top of the page to receive tips on memorizing and/or meditating on the Word of God.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

You Don’t Have to Stay Friends

Photo by Emanuele Tripani (Flickr)

Are you hanging out with people who offer bad advice, or invite you to go to unsuitable places or makes fun of ideas you hold sacred?

Have you been wishing you had the courage to break ties with them? Sometimes, we need to make the tough decision to end a friendship.

If you are becoming increasingly frustrated because of the choices you’re making, and you know that it’s greatly due to the influence of another person in your life, then please read (and seriously think about) this week’s verse:

Psalm 1:1 (NASB)
How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, 
Nor stand in the path of sinners, 
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! 

What if, with each choice you make this week, you reconsider the short and long-term consequences, including who you spend your time with – or even seek advice from?

If you want to get back on track (or get on track for the first time), try memorizing and/or meditating on Psalm 1:1 every day this week. Allow this verse to help you take those important (but difficult) steps toward a better life.

If this isn’t something you struggle with, perhaps you could mentor someone who has trouble making sound choices. Most likely, your pastor can refer you to someone who could use your help.

By the way, we will continue this discussion next week. However, if you can’t wait to find out the next step on how to begin living a life even your old friends might envy, continue reading the rest of Psalm 1. It’s only six verses. Six life-changing verses.
_____

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.




Friday, July 3, 2015

I Just Had the Best Chat!

Carol waved to her best Friend from across the grassy field, then grabbed her three-year-old daughter and swung her onto her right hip. She could feel Shelby bumping up and down as she hurried to greet Jesus.

Upon reaching Him, Carol greeted Jesus and began chatting with her Lord. “I'm glad to see you again! I have so much to tell You since the last time we talked …”
___

Photo by Ashraf Fekry (Flickr)
Using the above story, picture yourself as one of the people in this week’s verse:

Mark 9:15 (NIV)
As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him. 

During one of my quiet times, this verse moved me so much that I pictured myself face-to-face with Jesus. I could feel His delight when I told Him how much I adored and needed Him. Then I thanked Him for the sale I made the day before – and especially for all He’s done in my marriage. And I hung onto every word I imagined Him saying back to me.

During our chat, I also shared important prayer requests (for the salvation of family members, and for friends to be healed), and some of my dreams (to be an author and speaker). All the while, I sensed He was pleased to be spending time with me, too.

It was such an incredible time that I want to make running up to Jesus a regular habit.

Remember, we don’t have to wait until we’re in a crisis to talk to Him. Imagine running up to your closest Friend to share the latest news about how your job is going; or to your Shepherd, when you need protection; or to your Counselor, when you need advice. If you don’t necessarily need anything, take a moment just to worship your Creator.

Spend time imagining yourself actually chatting with Jesus face-to-face. What would you talk about? What do you think He would say to you?

This week's goal:
This week, I will develop the habit of running up to Jesus throughout the day to: share good news (or sad news), request His help (or thank Him when His help came through!), and to express my love for Him. In addition, I will take time to listen to what He says to me.

My prayer:
Father, help me to realize how much You delight in my running up to You. Thank You for loving me so much that You want to hear about my day and everything that matters to me. Most of all, Lord, give me ears to hear every word You speak to me.

1 Peter 5:7 (Amplified Bible) 
Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.


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.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...