Sunday, March 30, 2008
The key for a new life is right there in the next to the last sentence. "Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think." If I could only get my hands around that, if I could only explain how that happens...the benefits...the peace it brings. There are times I am so strong because of God's presence in my life. But there are times I falter and my thinking starts stinking, and I begin to have negative attitudes and snide remarks and a critical spirit. Right then, right there at the first carnal thought, I need to stop, bow my head, submit my prideful heart, and ask God to forgive me and put His Spirit within me.
I need to be led daily by the Holy Spirit, and not the spirit of Carnal Carol. I know the more I submit, the more I stop on the spot and not allow that evil behavior or train of thought to continue, He will instantly deliver me and strengthen me. The more I think on what is pure and lovely and right, the less I will work myself into a self-righteous fervor. I love peace, and I must pursue peace through the Peace Giver!
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Wow! I never read that before---yet I know I have. It's just that it really stands out to me right now because I am going through a time when I have "had it" with deceit. I hate it! I want to confront it and show it for what it is...and yet I know that will alienate people from me. That wouldn't be all that bad, but it's the people I see everyday in my work environment. I can't avoid them. I must figure out how to handle it. I want to conquer the sin while loving the sinner. There must be an answer...Father?
Friday, March 28, 2008
Since none of her book may be copied in any form, I will not be able to use quotes in this blog from this study. I will only be able to give my own synopsis. The Psalms of Ascent are Psalm 120-134. They are even labeled that way in our Bibles, but I never noticed it before. They are the songs that were sung as the Jews made their three times a year pilgrimage to the temple in Jerusalem to celebrate the festivals. Each Psalm represents a step up from the Court of the Women to the Court of the Israelites. There are 15 steps and 15 chapters.
Men and women both could be in the Court of the Women, but only men could ascend and enter the Court of the Israelites, which led to the Court of the Priests and the holy of holies. Thank goodness we live this side of the cross. Because of Jesus' sacrificial death at Calvary, both men and women are able to enter the holy of holies in their own hearts where the Presence of God awaits. As I enter this study, as I fall on my face before God Almighty to hear from Him, may I be stretched and molded more and more into the likeness of Jesus Christ. May I fulfill His complete purpose for my life. May I say yes to whatever He brings into my life, or removes from me. I just want to be His.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
That is why we have a great High Priest who has gone to heaven, Jesus the Son of God. Let us cling to him and never stop trusting him. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same temptations we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
What can we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?
8:35 - 39
Can anything ever separate us from Christ's love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or are hungry or cold or in danger or threatened with death? No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can't, and life can't. The angels can't, and the demons can't. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can't keep God's love away. Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Monday, March 24, 2008
Every person needs love. But the castle-dweller soon becomes a prisoner without love, as one by one people give up attempting to penetrate the fortress. Erected walls have a way of growing higher and higher until we can no longer look over them to see who it is we might be keeping out.
The walls you see men carrying about are defenses. They're there to protect and help him keep his distance. These walls hide hurts, insecurities, frustrations, joys, sorrows and even love. To build walls men use bricks of laughter, silence, intellectualization and withdrawal...
There can be no real intimacy in a relationship without the expression of feelings. Intimacy involves a special relationship, an emotional closeness, and involves understanding and being understood by another significant person. Intimacy also involves a bond of affection based upon mutual caring, responsibility, trust, open communication of feelings and sensations as well as sharing significant emotional responses...
The sad news is that many men do not share their feelings. The good news is that most of them can learn to become complete. They need the presence of Jesus Christ in their lives to give them a basis for a new identity and security. But they also need you to help them in the process of opening up. A man needs to see your requests for sharing as a participation in his life, not an intrusion. He needs to see that you don't want to know his feelings so you can use them against him, but rather to become more intimately involved with him. He needs to see that your desire is not to control him but to share with him. He needs to know about the extent of your caring and that you will no longer continue to exist without experiencing his emotional side. You want him to experience the fullness of life which includes risks and threats, but also the delights and blessings that are available."
(Understanding the Man in Your Life, Excerpts from Chapter 6 - "Feelings -- The Great Male Struggle", pgs. 82-102)
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Determine to worship before you enter the church, no matter what the music is like. Focus on God, not the music. (a synopsis of Chuck Milhuf's admonition in "The Evangelist's Perspective", Spring 2008). I am often dissatisfied with the music at church because it doesn't take me into my "comfort zone" where I can just close my eyes and lift my voice to Jesus in worship. We are constantly being given new songs to sing, on the screen with no musical notes to follow, and I don't know the words or the tune. When I am having to concentrate on putting new words to a new tune, it's hard to concentrate on Jesus. A new song now and then...fine...but every week, it seems, is hard for me to accept and still worship. So Chuck has stabbed my heart with his thoughts. If I am not comfortable learning the new song, is it okay to close my eyes and worship during that time?
Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. You must warn each other every day, as long as it is called 'today', so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God. For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ. But never forget the warning: 'Today you must listen to his voice. Don't harden your hearts against him as Israel did when they rebelled.'" (Hebrews 3:12-15)
The Lord is slow to anger and rich in unfailing love, forgiving every kind of sin and rebellion. Even so he does not leave the sin unpunished. (Numbers 14:18)
"The force behind the hammer wasn't an angry mob...the hand squeezing the handle wasn't a Roman infantry-man...the verdict...wasn't decided by jealous Jews. Jesus himself chose the nails... Had the soldier hesitated Jesus himself would have swung the mallet." "That's how much he loves you." (Max Lucado's quote on pg. 16 in "The Word for You Today")
Don't be troubled. You trust God, now trust in me. There are many rooms in my Father's home, and I am going to prepare a place for you. If this were not so, I would tell you plainly. When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. (John 14:1-3)
This has been a favorite scripture passage since I was a child. Today it is all the more precious to me, for it is the HOPE I hold on to...to be with Jesus, and my loved ones, and the new sisters and brothers in Christ that I am just now meeting, FOREVER!! Wow. Incomprehensible...the Unknown. But I am in love with the Speaker of those words...the Peace-Maker...my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and I excitedly anticipate seeing Him face to face!
Thursday, March 20, 2008
- Refuse to give in to wrong thoughts. (Guard your mind.)
- Resist any temptation toward introspection. (Allow the Holy Spirit alone to search your heart.)
- Fight, using God's Word. (Jesus used Scripture to put satan to flight.)
- Listen to the still small voice of God within. (Discipline yourself to spend time with God.)
- Shift to a higher level of faith. (Today's issues require us to move to a new level of faith.)
- Get into proper alignment. (God is aligning His people for battle through testing.)
- Ask God to give you understanding about the place you are in. (Press through and seize your God-given destiny!)"
If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)
I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who lives, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life that I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Galatians 2:19-20)
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who push the truth away from themselves. For the truth about God is known to them instinctively. God has put this knowledge in their hearts. From the time the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky and all that God made. They can clearly see his invisible qualities---his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse whatsoever for not knowing God.
Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn't worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. The result was that their minds became dark and confused. Claiming to be wise, they became utter fools instead. (Apostle Paul, Letter to the Romans)
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Saturday, March 15, 2008
("The Word For You Today, pg. 12)
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
- Take a moment now and write down everything you have to do tomorrow. ...Include yourself in the list. Write down a time for yourself each day.
- Assign a priority to every item on your list.
- Tomorrow, begin with number one and stick with it until it's accomplished. Then start on number two and stay with that until it's finished. Go on to number three and finish it. And so on down your list. Complete each job. Don't worry if you can't complete everything on your list; the most important items will have been done.
- Keep your daily schedules in a loose-leaf notebook, or use a calendar with spaces large enough to enter your daily activities. This way you keep a running log of your activities. You'll also have a record of when...(you accomplished that task and how much you have accomplished. There is satisfaction in completing tasks.)
(The Total Woman, Marabel Morgan, Fleming H. Revell Company, 1973, pg. 31-33)
This doesn't mean that every firstborn turns out identically. There are no clones. Actually there are two basic types: strong-willed and aggressive or compliant and wanting to please. The first can develop traits that make them the high achievers and hard drivers with lofty expectations and a need to be at the top. Compliant persons strive to please others and usually are very reliable workers. They feast at the table of approval."
(Understanding the Man in Your Life, H. Norman Wright, Word Books, 1987, pg. 34)
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can't, and life can't. The angels can't, and the demons can't. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can't keep God's love away. Whether we are high in the sky, or in the deepest ocean, nothing is all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-39)
("The Word for You Today", Spring 2008, pg. 10)
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
(The Power to be Free, Dr. Frank Moore, Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, 2005, pg. 190)
Monday, March 10, 2008
"The incredible freedom Paul speaks of requires you to choose daily the way you think, value, and live. You have two alternatives to choose from several times a day. One lives life after the flesh, the other lives life after the Spirit."
(Both quotes from The Power to be Free, Frank Moore, Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, 2005.)
("The Word For You Today", March-April-May 2008, Published by WJLY, Ramsey, IL, pg. 9, quoting Orison Sweet Marden.)