We truly enjoyed all of the sessions at M-11. It was a revival to our souls, and gave us hope for the direction the church is taking. We ended up not attending our local church this morning, but we have a "favorite" Sunday morning church to attend. It's Thomas Road Baptist Church, with Pastor Jonathon Falwell (Jerry's son). He preaches very challenging messages...the kind that pushes you to make changes in your lives. He's not afraid of offending people, but is very obedient to preaching God's truth. I wish I had a local church that had that kind of preaching!
Sometimes I wonder what Jesus would do on Sunday mornings...except I know HE would be preaching himself in some scenario...not necessarily the church building. My dilemma...do I go to church because that is what Christians are supposed to do...be part of the body of Christ...and yet not enjoy the music style nor be challenged by the "three piece suit" sermon. Or do I listen to a message that I know will encourage me to better serve Christ, and make choices Christ will make. After this morning, I made the suggestion to hubby that we attend the local church, which has the morning worship service first (9:30 a.m.) followed by Sunday School (11 a.m.), and then come home for our SS class...taught by Jonathon Falwell. Well, this is a small dilemma, not that big of a deal, but I am very sensitive about doing what pleases Jesus.
I am following the budget system that I am learning in Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University classes. It looks real good on paper...I'll just have to see how it pans out. I've got us on envelopes for food, gas, household items, and personal care items. Only so much per week to spend, so I have to watch carefully that I don't overspend in those areas. With gas prices continuing to escalate, this could be tight. The rest of the cash flow is budgeted out and paid by check or electronic fund transfer. I put it all down in our register the first of the month so I know what our balance is throughout the month. The idea is to have a zero balance budget. Every dollar is accounted for so that what you bring in for a month is what you spend out (which includes saving). Like I said...looks good on paper. I hope it works for us. In the first six weeks of classes I have been able to pay $1500 on our debts and save our minimal emergency fund. For that I feel grateful. I believe God is helping me on this journey toward financial peace.
By the way, I think I would like to go back to Louisville to tour around some day. It seemed to be a very friendly, clean city, with lots of things to see and do. This trip we were on a tight schedule, with no time for site-seeing. Maybe some day we will make it back.
I'm extremely tired today. I cleaned house and did all the laundry and shopping yesterday while hubby was gone. Today I feel like relaxing, reading, napping. Therefore, let me summarize my week's worth of devotions:
"The Word for You Today"
1. "What you learn in crisis":
- crisis can be the friend that moves you to action
- when you take one step in faith, God moves on your behalf
- God's blessings must be shared with others
2. "Live between the steps":
- make the most of every moment, for you never know when your last moment will be
3. "Praise in the early stages":
- praise is an act of faith: God's plan always prevails, and what God starts, He completes
- praise strengthens you: The joy of the Lord is your strength (Neh 8:10); His joy in you will make your task easier
- praise changes your environment: your outlook changes as you lift your heart in praise; when you praise God in the early stages, you will better complete your task
4. "Walking on water":
- if you are not called by God to do something, don't do it
- learn to discern between God's voice and your own (ouch! Need help here!)
- you must leave your comfort zone to experience miracles
- step out in faith to accomplish God's desires for you
- focus on Jesus, not the storm around you
- setbacks are part of the journey...expect them, but keep going forward in faith
- act regardless of your fear, for that is how you grow and overcome your fear
- staying in the safety zone diminishes God's voice until you no longer hear him
- failing does not make you a failure, but quitting does
- failing is just another opportunity to get it right
- failing comes from letting your fears stop you
- when you fail, Jesus is right there within your reach - call on him
- stepping out in faith strengthens you to do greater things
Leviticus - Old Testament
- The Lord also told Moses to tell the people of Israel, "You must be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy." (19:1)
Mark - New Testament
- Your souls aren't harmed by what you eat, but by what you think and say! (7:15-16)
- It is the thought life that pollutes. For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts of lust, theft, murder, adultery, wanting what belongs to others, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, pride, and all other folly. All these wile things come from within; they are what pollute you and make you unfit for God. (7:20-23)
- "If any of you wants to be my follower," he told them, "you must put aside your own pleasures and shoulder your cross, and follow me closely. If you insist on saving your life, you will lose it. Only those who throw away their lives for my sake and for the sake of the Good News will ever know what it means to really live. (8:34-35)
- Don't be impatient for the Lord to act! Keep traveling steadily along his pathway and in due season he will honor you with every blessing and you will see the wicked destroyed. (37:34)
- The Lord saves the godly! He is their salvation and their refuge when trouble comes. Because they trust in him, he helps them and delivers them from the plots of evil men. (37:39-40)
- Lord, help me to realize how brief my time on earth will be. Help me to know that I am here for but a moment more. (39:4) This verse goes very well with "Live between the steps" above. It's also one of my guide lines for life, but I needed to be reminded of this particular one. I don't behave well in some of my "moments". I struggle with anger, and I take it out on the one I love the most. Why is that? Why can't I realize it and be done with it? I choose to live in the flesh instead of the Spirit in those moments. They make all of us sad and hurt. Lord, I pray you deliver me from anger, in the name of Jesus. Amen
- As the deer pants for water, so I long for you, O God. I thirst for God, the living God. (42:1)
- Yet day by day the Lord also pours out his steadfast love upon me, and through the night I sing his songs and pray to God who gives me life. (42:8)
- The wise man is glad to be instructed, but a self-sufficient food falls flat on his face. A good man has firm footing, but a crook will slip and fall. (10:8-9)
- Men with common sense are admired as counselors; those without it are beaten as servants. A wise man holds his tongue. Only a fool blurts everything he knows, that only leads to sorrow and trouble. (10:13-14)
- Anyone willing to be corrected is on the pathway to life. Anyone refusing has lost his chance." (10:17)
It saddens me that I can read God's Word, highlight it, copy it over in my journal, pray over it, and yet still blow it when I allow negative thoughts to enter my head. I so easily believe the lies of satan, which sets me up for failure. I don't know why God hasn't given up on me yet, but I know He hasn't. He's going to hang in there with me until I get it right. He keeps giving me new opportunities to get it right! I'm almost 61...when am I going to "grow up"? I guess I strive toward perfection, but the perfectionist in me, the idealist, trips me up. I am truly my own worst enemy!!
The song, "I am crucified with Christ, therefore I no longer live, Jesus Christ now lives in me" is playing right now on my computer background music. I have preached on that. I need to be crucified daily, so I am not in charge, but God is. Saturate me with your Holy Spirit, Father! I am so needy!