Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Application--Romans 12

Why haven't I posted on this site in a while?  Why has it taken me so long to get to this application?  I'd like to say it's because we're been battling some illness around here and between not feeling well and being the caregiver, I just haven't quite gotten my mind wrapped around this.  I'd like to be able to say that, but it wouldn't be exactly true.  The truth is--This is HARD.  I don't know about you, but at least for me, when you get started really digging into Scripture and looking for truth, it will smack you upside the head.  You will find truth you may not always like or may require you to make some changes.  It's certainly easier to live with a sort of half truth so you can honestly say, "I didn't know."  Well, when you do know, you are responsible to make a choice.  Change your life to live the truth OR knowingly disobey God.  And, although it should be an easy choice, sometimes it's not really.

Romans 12 is a challenging chapter and there is so much to apply to life.  What I am choosing to use at this time in my life is verse 2:
"Do not allow this world to mold you in its own image.  Instead, be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind.  As a result, you will be able to discern that God wills and whatever God finds good, pleasing, and complete."  So, although it is hard and really makes me examine my own life and whether I am being molded by God or the world, I will continue to search for truth.  I will continue on this journey and I would love to have you join me.

I really want to hear your thoughts as you meditate on this Scripture with me or at least your thoughts after you read mine.

When have you found it easier to live in denial than to face the truth?

Join me as I start meditating on 1 John 4.

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Thanksgiving for today
480.  People noticing changes
481.Those who willingly give of themselves
482. When years of hard work finally comes together
483.  Peace
484.  Finding truth in unlikely places
485.  Searching for truth

Friday, January 18, 2013


The whole thought of needing community has been bouncing around in my head for awhile and I've thought about posting it on my Memories Forgotten blog.  However, I was reading Romans 12 right now and that brought all the thoughts to the surface, so it fits here as well.  I've been thinking about how we really have a lack of community in our lives.  Unlike when we were growing up and we had natural communities at school and youth group at church, that doesn't naturally happen for adults.  I wonder why not??  Many of us go to work at places with other people, but the sense of community is just not the same.  Many of us go to church as adults, but the sense of community is just not the same.  Why not?  Why are we so wrapped up in our own world that we don't reach out or open up to others?  Why does our free time find us often times sitting at our computers engaging with our "friends" on facebook? 

True community doesn't happen unless we're face to face.  I love facebook, but I don't feel a real  connection with anyone while I'm on there.  Besides, if you're like me, you don't want to post every thought or feeling that enters your mind.  It's just too public.  But, why is it so difficult to find a community we feel comfortable with face to face.  Why do we all lock ourselves in our homes with our immediate families?  Why don't we naturally interact with others and our neighbors?

There have been a couple of attempts to remedy this here lately.  We have started having a "Friendship Tea" where adult ladies get together about once a month.  Also, I am the coordinator of a new chapter of LeadHer  starting this week.  I am super excited about adult women getting together in community to support and encourage each other.

Romans 12 does talk about us all being different parts of Christ's body.  It is not possible for us minister in complete solitude.  We need to be in community.  We need to support and encourage each other.  We need to know there are those we can call when the world seems to be closing in on us.

It is also vital that we spend time with just God--reading the Bible, praying, and listening to what he has to tell us.  We need to learn to be still, but we need to have a community of women (or men if you're a man) we can call when we need a friend or who can call us.  And, we need to have a community that we can just have fun with and ask whatever crazy questions we may have.  I guess what I have discovered is that we must have a balance of both.

How do you make time for balance in your life?

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Thanksgiving for today
444.  "Quarantine" to avoid illness
445.  Agencies who step in when needed
446.  Freedom
447.  Warmish days with time spent outside
448.  Sunshine
449.  Childhood memories shared with kids/cousins
450..  Students excited to learn

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Application--Proverbs 34

There is a lot to choose from in application on Psalm 34, but I feel led to focus on verse 14.  "Seek peace and pursue it." (NIV) "Embrace peace—don’t let it get away!" (MSG) "  Search for peace, and work to maintain it" (NLT).  So, I will be pursuing peace.  This doesn't mean just trying to feel peaceful.  It means actively searching for peace and not looking to start fights.  What does that mean to you?  How do we actively search for peace?  I've been spending time in the Word and time with God.    I've been counting my blessings daily and trying to fill my heart with gratitude and peace and not negative feelings.  I'm been trying to "be still" which is easier said than done.;postID=3887991062914955306
What are ways to actively search for peace?

Today while I was reading my devotion from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, there was some political stuff I was hearing in the background.  It basically was trying to instill fear of the future and encouraging us to prepare for the bad stuff coming not decades or years from now, but months or weeks.  It actually said that the only one we can depend on is ourselves--not our friends, not our neighbors, and certainly not our government.   I certainly hope that is not the case.  I hope my friends and neighbors can depend on me.  I would like to hope we can depend on each other, but even if that is not the case I can still depend on God and my friends and neighbors can depend on me. 

Here's what I read today:
"My Face is shining upon you, beaming out Peace that transcends understanding.  You are surrounded by a sea of problems, but you are face to Face with Me, your Peace.   As long as you focus on Me, you are safe.  If you gaze too long at the myriad problems around you, you will sink under the weight of your burdens.  When you start to sink, simply call out 'Help me, Jesus!' and I will lift you up.
The closer you live to Me, the safer you are.  Circumstances around you are undulating, and there are treacherous-looking waves in the distance.  Fix your eyes on Me, the One who never changes.  By the time those waves reach you, they will have shrunk to proportions of My design.  I am always beside you, helping you to face today's waves.  The future is a phantom, seeking to spook you.  Laugh at the future!  Stay close to me."

Let us all actively search for peace together.
Join me as I begin my meditation on Romans 12.

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Thanksgiving for today
432.  Boy Scout surprises
433.  Preparing dinner independently
434.  Questions answered before they're asked
435.  Coupons worth more than the product costs on sale
436.  Trying new products
437.  Clorox wipes

Monday, January 14, 2013

Psalm 34--Faithfulness

The Inspirational Study Bible by Max Lucado Life Lesson for Psalm 34 really focuses on faithfulness, both in friendship and with Christ.    As I read the following, it really hit me in the gut.  "You may have heard it said that a person does not really know who his friends are until the bottom drops out.  . . . The ultimate measure of friends is not where they stand in times of comfort and convenience, but where they stand in times of challenge and  controversy.  That being the case, apart from adversity of some kind, we would never know who our faithful friends really are."    There are people in my life that have basically disappeared.  I always refer to my life in two parts--before accident and after accident.  People have fallen out of my life and I don't really know why.  Maybe it has nothing to do with the accident and just has to do with people growing and changing.  Regardless, I am thankful for those who stuck by me and the new friends in my life. 

Mostly, I am so thankful that God is faithful and no matter what is going on in our lives, no matter when the bottom drops out, He is there.  Regardless of those around us, God is faithful and always there for us.  "the righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, And delivers them out of all their trouble."  Psalm 34:17 (NKJV)  It doesn't promise to deliver us out of trouble the minute we want, but it will happen.  God's timing is not our timing.  Let's trust Him.  His timing is perfect. 

Do you have any fair weather friends in your life?
Has the bottom ever fallen out of your life when you really needed "real" friends?
When has God showed you His faithfulness?

Thanks to all of you who stuck by me when the bottom fell out.

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hanksgiving for today
432.  Plan B
433.  Z-pacs
434.  Being able to work from home
435.  Getting a definite answer

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Praise Whenever

The first thing that struck me about Psalm 34 was in the very first verse.  "I will praise the Eternal in every moment, through every situation.  Whenever I speak, my words will always praise Him" (Voice) OR "I bless God every chance I get; my lungs expand with praise." (MSG)  Now it doesn't say the word thanksgiving, but that is what I read.  When I am praising God, I am thanking Him for who He is and what He has created.  What do you think?  How do you praise God?  

Notice it doesn't say you praise Him once a week or only when you feel like it.  It says "every moment, through every situation."  Even when things aren't going your way or even when you are down, sad, depressed.  Even then.  Praise Him every day in every situation.  It is hard to do when things are not going your way, but it is possible.  What do you do when it seems impossible?  How do you get through the hard time and do it anyway?

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Thanksgiving for today
411.  Silence
412.  Fixed wheelchair
413.  Fun shoes
414.  UPS Tracker

Monday, January 7, 2013

Application--Psalm 15

Here is my attempt to write an application for myself for Psalm 15

I will make more of an effort to project kindness to my neighbors and not "blame my neighbor"  I will invite them to LeadHer events and will make a casserole to take over sometime in the next month.

I will also print out the list from this chapter and place it in a prominent place for me to look at and be reminded daily.

How would you apply this chapter?

Now we begin meditation on Psalm 34.

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Thanksgiving for today:
405.  Hairdresser who understands my hair
406.  Dog on alert to keep me safe
407.  Healthy debates where everyone still loves each other at the end
408.  Extreme couponing
409.  Really "saving" what you save
410.  BLT Grilled Cheese

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Top Ten (or 9 or 11) List

I have read Psalm 15 in several different Bible translations.  What I have determined is that it is a list of ways to live righteously.  This is my goal for life not just this year.  I wanted to make it a top ten list (Letterman seems to think those work best).  :)  Depending on the translation, I found either 9 or 11 items.

The Voice says: 1.  Live with integrity
        2.  Do what is right
        3.  Speak honestly with truth from the heart
        4.  Don't speak evil against others
        5.  Don't wrong your neighbor
        6.  Don't slander your friends
        7.  Loathe the loathsome
        8.  Honor those who fear the Eternal
        9.  Keep all promises no matter the cost
      10.  Does not lend money with gain in mind
      11.  Live so you cannot be bought to harm an innocent name

The Message says:  1.  Walk straight
                              2.  Act right
                              3.  Tell the truth
                              4.  Don't hurt your friend
                              5.  Don't blame your neighbor
                              6.  Despise the despicable
                              7.  Keep your word even when it costs you
                              8.  Make an honest living
                              9.  Never take a bribe.

These are not items that just come naturally to us.  They are items that require keeping them consciously in your mind and striving toward righteousness daily.  Some of these seem difficult to do in combination.  For example, it would be difficult to "despise the despicable" and still "not hurt your friend."  Maybe this is only really possible with God's help and when you are truly "loving God" and "loving others."  It is definitely not possible through your own power.  May I always depend on God to help me live a righteous life and do the "top 10 or 9 or 11" list.

Which of these are most difficult for you?

My Thanksgiving for each day will be bouncing back and forth between blogs, depending on which one I post on.

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Thanksgiving for today
398.   Boys playing in the snow
399.  The ability to sleep through the night
400.  Learning to state things in a more appropriate way
401.  Kids who know how to entertain themselves
402.  Sharing memories
403.  Fancy fingernails done at home
404.  Technology

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Beginning of the Search for Truth

"The Angel continued, “Don’t seal the words of the prophecy of this book; don’t put it away on the shelf. Time is just about up. Let evildoers do their worst and the dirty-minded go all out in pollution, but let the righteous maintain a straight course and the holy continue on in holiness.” Revelation 22:10-11 (MSG)

Let me maintain a straight course and continue in holiness.  My study this year is my attempt to learn how to do just that.  Join me in this search for truth.  I will be mainly using Rick Warren's Bible Study Methods for most of my study.  Help me know which questions to ask God during my prayer time and comment what He is teaching you.  This week I will begin by really meditating on Psalm 15.  

The prayer in my Tozer on Christian Leadership devotion for today is exactly how I feel about my plan for this year (and ongoing)  "Lord, guide me carefully on this uncharted sea of a new year as I daily seek You in Your word. Then use me mightily as Your servant this year as I boldly proclaim Your word in leading others. Amen."

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