Sunday, October 23, 2011

Time To Get Ready

We had a gorgeous Saturday yesterday so we took advantage of it and started's time to get ready for winter.  I hear tell that the white stuff (a four letter word I'm not allowed to say) may be falling or flying by the end of this week.  So....time to get ready for another season of hunkering down.

To winterize...and we have a cabin without any form of heat...means that we wrapped the air conditioning units.  I cleaned out the cabin...washing the linens one last time for this year, bringing all of the liquids/cleaning agents over to our house so they don't freeze up over the winter, and covering the furniture on the porch.  All of our house porch furniture was carted to the cottage porch for the winter. I took the flag down, and Paul disassembled my golf cart shed.  We put the golf carts away until spring.

We blew leaves away from the house and cottage, and mulched them.  I trimmed the bushes back.  In place of our comfy porch furniture, I assembled the cat resort for the season ahead.  I take three pet kennels, put some rugs in them, set them up under some metal chairs we leave on the porch year round, and cover everything with old comforters.  The cats can rest on the covered chairs, or they can go into their "caves" and hide.  I like to think that it's warmer in the kennels with covers over them.  Last night I watched the cats checking it out, and by this morning most of them came out from hiding when the food came out.  

The World Series is underway, and at this point St. Louis Cardinals are leading.  The Texas Rangers have been making some good plays, and either team could win.  We lived in St. Louis for ten years, so we obviously root for them...but they are both good teams.

We had a staff member in the hospital, so we made a couple of hospital visits this week.  This weekend we have had two scrap-booking groups on the grounds.  Therefore we had the ILNC Breakfast Buffet Saturday morning, and an evening buffet meal last night.  That's the last time we will be using the Dining Hall until February (the groups coming in are smaller, and we can feed them in other settings).  We want to shut down the Dining Hall...winterize, if you will, to save on heating expense the next few months.  We are looking for as many ways as possible to cut back on our camp expenses through the winter months.  We want to be good stewards of what God has given us.

Today we are having a big luncheon to say goodbye to one of our volunteer couples who are headed back south for the winter, and also to say goodbye to one of our RV couples who are on staff seasonally with us.  I'm providing roast, Sea-foam Jello, rolls, and French Torte (dessert).  Should be a good meal, and a fun time.

For worship today we will head back to the corner church close by...Chapman Memorial Church of the Nazarene.  I'm ready early this morning, thus I am blogging to fill in time.

I talked about it being time to get winterize.  Have you given any thought to it being time to get ready for the rest of your life...your earthly life and your eternal life?  Where do you plan to live eternally?  Are you prepared for that destination?  Have you made up your mind to follow Jesus?  Are you walking in obedience to God's Holy Word?  Are your attitudes like that of Christ Jesus?  Are you working on it?  Are you in step with the Holy Spirit's guidance?  It's time to get ready, for we do not know what lies just ahead for each of us.  There is such peace of mind knowing whatever happens, I'm ready.  How about you?

Here's my devotional readings from this past week:

The Word for You Today
1.  Moving on to Maturity

  • focus on what unites us, not the petty issues that divide us
  • be more concerned about others than yourself
  • love one another
  • be compassionate
  • be humble:  give, serve, learn
  • when you are the child of the King, your words should reflect it
2.  Trials
  • trials test our faith and bring us back to the basics, making us look at our priorities
  • trials will make us stronger if we wait on God as He refines us through the process
  • failure is not fatal, but the fear of failure can keep you from trying
  • failure is a learning experience that gives you another opportunity
  • you are only defeated when you allow the past to take your focus off the future
  • failure makes you less likely to judge others
  • success does not come without mistakes and messes

  • For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord.  They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.  In these days when you pray, I will listen.  You will find me when you seek me, if you look for me in earnest.  (29:11-13)

I & II Timothy
  • ...let them follow the way you teach and live; be a pattern for them in you love, your faith, and your clean thoughts.  (I Tim 4:12)
  • Keep a close watch on all you do and think.  Stay true to what is right and God will bless you and use you to help others.  (I Tim 4:16)
  • Do you want to be truly rich?  You already are if you are happy and good.  After all, we didn't bring any money with us when we came into the world, and we can't carry away a single penny when we die.  So we should be well satisfied without money if we have enough food and clothing.  But people who long to be rich soon begin to do all kinds of wrong things to get money, things that hurt them and make them evil minded and finally send them to hell itself.  For the love of money is the first step toward all kinds of sin.  Some people have even turned away from God because of their love for it, and as a result have pierced themselves with many sorrows.  (I Tim 6:6-10)
  • The Holy Spirit, God's gift, does not want you to be afraid of people, but to be wise and strong and to love them and enjoy being with them.  (II Tim 1:7)
  • It is he who saved us and chose us for his holy work, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan long before the world began---to show his love and kindness to us through Christ.  (II Tim 1:9)
  • Work hard so god can say to you, "Well done."  Be a good workman, one who does not need to be ashamed when God examines your work.  (II Tim 2:15)
  • A man without self-control is as defenseless as a city with broken down walls.  (25:28)
  • Teach us to number our days and recognize how few they are; help us to spend them as we should.  ((90:11)
  • We live within the shadow of the Almighty, sheltered by the God who is above all gods.  This I declare, that he alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I am trusting him.  (91:2)
  • For he orders his angels to protect you wherever you go.  (91:11)
  • For the Lords says, "Because he loves me, I will rescue him; I will make him great because he trusts in my name.  When he calls on me, I will answer; I will be with him in trouble, and rescue him and honor him.  I will satisfy him with a full life and give him my salvation.  (91:14-15)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Home Again!

After a week of relaxation in the prairies of Canada, we are back home in the saddle again.  Had an interesting train ride, and I can verify that if you plan to travel by train, plan to sit back and forget your schedule.  You are on the train's schedule!!  We were ready for that, and decided whatever happened, it was to be part of our trip experience.

Arriving in Shelby on October 7th, the train was two hours late.  Since we were being picked up by a designated driver to take us four hours north to our final destination, we had to keep in contact with her to confirm arrival.  She ended up waiting for us an hour, not too bad.  

On our trip back, our train didn't take off from Shelby until 1.5 hours late, and by the time we got to Chicago, where we were to switch trains, we were four hours late.  Our connection to Kalamazoo had left an hour before.  But it's part of the trip, right? anxiety, no worry, just go with the flow.  

Amtrak delivered us to a Holiday Inn for the night, gave us $100 for food, and picked us up the next morning so we could catch our noon train to Kalamazoo. to have a shower (after two days on the train), order a pizza, watch some baseball, have a terrific breakfast buffet, and arrived in Kalamazoo much more refreshed than we would have the night before.  A very good part of our trip!  Yes, I would take the train again, and remember that schedules are out the window on the train.

Most of the scenery between Chicago and Shelby, MT wasn't all that terrific.  No real color...just sort of bland.  Mostly prairies, some rivers, lots of junk yards (why do they place those along the train tracks?).  It was relaxing for hubby to be able to nap or work on his computer rather than drive all those miles!

I believe I already covered our stay in Rosebud in the last blog. Not too much to do there.  We did go into Drumheller one day to do some shopping, but the rest of the time we walked to church (on the other side of the hamlet from where we were staying...half a mile), walked to the restaurant...halfway between the house and the church.  We walked to the golf course one day, but it was closed for the season.  We had very nice weather, and lots of time for being with our friends and getting to know about how they were doing in this little country area without even a place to buy milk (or chocolate!!).  

When we got back into Kalamazoo yesterday, it was strange how all of a sudden I loved seeing all the stores and gas stations and restaurants and car lots!!  I just wanted to embrace it all!!  I am not a city girl...I consider myself a country girl, but not a wilderness girl.  I need a few people to see, a few places to go, a few things to do.  So I am home, and I am happy.

I'm missing the St. Louis Cardinals baseball game, so let me wrap this blog up with my devotional readings.


  • The heart is the most deceitful thing there is, and desperately wicked.  No one can really know how bad it is!  Only the Lord knows!  He searches all hearts and examines deepest motives so he can give to each person his right reward, according to his deeds---how he has lived. (17:9-10)
  • But if you obey me, says the Lord, and refuse to work on the Sabbath day and keep it separate, special and holy, then this nation shall continue forever.  (17:24-25)
I Thessalonians:
  • For God wants you to be holy and pure, and to keep clear of all sexual sin so that each of you will marry in holiness and honor.  (4:3-4)
  • For God has not called us to be dirty-minded and full of lust, but to be holy and clean.  (4:7)
  • This should be your ambition:  to live a quiet life, minding your own business and doing your own work, just as we told you before.  As a result, people who are not Christians will trust and respect you, and you will not need to depend on others for enough money to pay your bills.  (4:11-12)  (cdc note:  this has been my verse this past year that God has given me to read over and over and implant it in my head and heart...pretty good verse!)
  • Always be joyful.  Always keep on praying.  No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God's will for you to belong to Christ Jesus.  (5:16)
  • May the God of peace himself make you entirely pure and devoted to God; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept strong and blameless until that day when our Lord Jesus Christ comes back again.  God, who called you to become his child, will do all of this for you, just as he promised.  (5:23-24)

2 Thessalonians:
  • God chose from the very first to give you salvation, cleansing you by the work of the Holy Spirit and by your trusting in the truth.  (2:13)
  • With all these things in mind, dear brothers, stand firm, and keep a strong grip on the truth.  (2:15)
  • But the Lord is faithful; he will make you strong and guard you from satanic attacks of every kind.  (3:3)
  • May the Lord bring you in ever deeper understanding of the love of God and of the patience that comes from Christ.  (3:5)

  • I am listening carefully to all the Lord is saying---for he speaks peace to his people.  (85:8)

  • It is a badge of honor to accept valid criticism.  (25:12)
  • Be patient and you will finally win, for a soft tongue can break hard bones.  (25:15)

The Word for You Today:
1.  Three Rules for Living:
  • decide what's important
  • prioritize your time
  • learn to motivate yourself (encourage yourself, pray and build yourself up)
2.  Learn to Delegate:
  • let go of the burdens God did not intend to be yours, and pay attention on what He has called you to do
3.  How to Turn Your Life Around:
  • select a mentor that is right for you
  • select the right field for you
  • allow God to guide you in these selections

Monday, October 10, 2011

Monday, Monday...

Here I sit with our friends...everyone watching Monday night football (Detroit and Chicago) and baseball playoffs (St. Louis and Milwaukee), and me blogging.  Works for me.  I can keep touch with the games, and also do my weekly blog (one day late).  

This past week was spent preparing for and packing for the trip to Canada by Amtrak.  We left last Thursday morning, and arrived at our destination (train station) at 7 pm Friday night...then we had a four hour car ride up into Canada to the home of our friends.  

The train trip was okay.  It was going just fine, really, until two people took the seats ahead of us, reclined them, and cut out about one foot of our leg room overnight.  It was hard to sleep with cramped leg space.  I would say taking the train coach class is okay as long as it doesn't last more than 12 hours or so.  Ours ended up being a 34 hour trip, so by the time we arrived at the home of our friends, we were ready to stretch out on a bed.  Not really looking forward to our return trip later this week.

The first leg of our journey was only three hours long, from Kalamazoo to Chicago Union Station.  We had a two hour layover, so we had lunch there.  Then we got on the train for the long haul...all the way to Shelby, Montana.  The prettiest part of the trip probably occurred during the night when it was dark and we couldn't see.  The train followed the Mississippi River for over 100 miles between Wisconsin and Minnesota, and we were not able to see it.  During the day on Friday we went through North Dakota and Montana, and there wasn't much too look at.

We ate in the Dining Car on Thursday night, and we had a hamburger  from the canteen in the observation car on Friday.  Otherwise we just snacked on the items we brought in our cooler.  That worked out fine.  I thought the dining car meal was overpriced and not that good.  It was nice dining with a new couple and sharing life stories with them.  

We are in Rosebud, Alberta, Canada now.  What a unique village.  It boasts of a population of 100, has one church, no gas stations, no grocery or convenience store.  It has a couple of restaurants, and several gifts shops.  It's claim to fame is the Rosebud School of the Arts where a four year degree can be earned.  There are about 30 students and they have mostly come to learn to perform and produce. The town has an Opera House, and between the students, staff, and towns people, they put on 4-5 shows a year (each show lasting a couple of months).  The tickets cost $15 and includes a buffet dinner prior to the performance.  Our guests treated us to "Queen Millie of Galt"...very well done, lots of humor.  The buffet was very good also!

Today is Canadian Thanksgiving.  We celebrated it last evening in the home of our friends with six other guests....turkey, potatoes, dressing, gravy, sweet potato casserole, rolls, relishes, cranberries, salad, pumpkin cake and apple crisp...the big traditional meal we are used to in USA.  We had been to church (our friend is the pastor) in the morning, and completed the day with the big celebration meal.

Today, the actual holiday, we took a drive to their nearest town where there is shopping...a typical town of 9,000.  It's about 20 miles away...Drumhellar.  We stopped by the Canadian Badlands Passion Play to see the setting... beautiful...hard to describe.  I guess you will have to look it up online...hopefully they have pictures.  

We are having a relaxing time, and the weather has been the 60's and sunny.    Now let me finish this blog with my devotional highlights from this past week.

The Word For You Today:

1.  Stop Hiding!
  • when you hide, you become a phony and it will be hard to be honest with God, others, and yourself
  • allow God to cleanse you, clothe you, and comfort you so you can be who he made you to be
2.  The Importance of Waiting.
  • waiting is a time of training and learning
  • waiting corrects you and helps you focus on God for your answers
  • waiting reveals those around God, but test others
  • waiting forces the truth to surface
  • waiting gives God time to solve the problem
3.  When Nobody's Looking:
  • God sees you all the time
  • make yourself accountable to good counsel
  • avoid situations giving you too much privacy
  • the more open and honest you are, the less likely you'll be to stray
4.  Change Can Happen for You
  • you don't need to change others to change yourself
  • all changes must start by building your relationship with God
  • you must change without conditions
  • you must let go of the past in order to change
  • there is risk in change you must accept
  • change will happen if you don't allow failure to stop you

  • The Lord said to me, 'I knew you before you were formed within your mother's womb;before you were born I sanctified you and appointed you as my spokesman to the world...for you will go wherever I send you and speak whatever I tell you to.  And don't be afraid of the people, for I the Lord will be with you and see you through.  (2:4-8)
  • Obey me and I will be your God and you shall be my people;  only do as I say and all shall be well!!  (7:23)

  • Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right.  Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others.  Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about.  (4:8)
  • I have learned the secret of contentment in every situation, whether it be a full stomach or hunger, plenty or want; for I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gave me the strength and power.  (4:12-13)

  • ...for Christ's death on the cross has made peace with God for all by his blood (1:20)
  • a result, Christ has brought you into the very presence of God, and you are standing there before him with nothing left against you---nothing left that he could even chide you for, the only condition is that you fully believe the truth, standing in it steadfast and firm, strong in the Lord, convinced of the Good News that Jesus died for you, and never shifting from trusting Him to save you.  (1:22-23)
  • ...Christ in your hearts is your only hope of glory (2:7)
  • And now just as you trusted Christ to save you, trust him, too, for each day's problems; live in vital union with him  Let your roots grow down into him and draw up nourishment from him.  See that you go on growing in the Lord, and become strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught.  Let your lives overflow with joy and thanksgiving for all he has done.  (2:6-7)
  • Let heaven fill your thoughts; don't spend your time worrying about things down here.  You should have as little desire for this world as a dead person does.  Your real life is in heaven with Christ and God.  And when Christ who is our real life comes back again you will shine with him and share in all his glories.  (3:2-4)
  • Since you have been chosen by God who has given you this new kind of life and because of his deep love and concern for you, you should practice tenderhearted mercy and kindness to others.  Don't worry about making a good impression on them but be ready to suffer quietly and patiently.  Be gentle and ready to forgive, never hold grudges.   Remember the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.  Most of all, let love guide your life, for then the whole church will stay together in perfect harmony.  Let the peace of heart which comes from Jesus Christ be always present in your hearts and lives for this is your responsibility and privilege as members of his body.  And always be thankful.  (3:12-15)
  • And whatever you say or do let it be as a representative of the Lord Jesus.  (3:17)
  • Don't be weary in prayer; keep at it; watch for God's answers and remember to be thankful when they come.,  (4:2)
  • Make the most of your chances to tell others the Good News.  Be wise in all your contacts with them.  Let your conversation be gracious as well as sensible, for then you will have the right answer for everyone.  (4:5-6)

  • O God, your ways are holy, where is there any other as mighty as you?  You are the God of miracles and wonders!  You still demonstrate your awesome power.  (77:13-14)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Leavin' on a Fast Train...

Well, it's almost time for our fall get away.  We are looking forward to having some "alone" time to ourselves as we take the train west.  We have some Canadian friends who will be meeting us and taking us to their home for a few days, and then we will bring the train back to Michigan again.  First time to do the train.  Very excited about it!  I'm practicing how to pack for a train.  I bought a medium size cooler that has rollers and a handle...easy to transport about.  We are trying to save on food expense on the train.  And to save on the expense of boarding our dogs, we have friends who have offered to stay here and take care of our "kids".  That's a huge money saver!!  

This is one of those trips we are trying to do inexpensively, as much as possible...just a trip to relax on...not necessarily spending money on "things to do" or shopping.  We expect to have a good time with our dear friends, playing games, yakking...sharing our hearts and lives.  We anticipate seeing beautiful scenery as we ride along in the train, and as we pass through parts of Canada.  And we are counting on the Lord Jesus to revive our souls, refresh our spirits, and reveal Himself to us in His many creative ways.  This trip is more about renewal than rushing from place to place.  We feel it is a God ordained time for us.  Thank you, Jesus!!

This past week has been rainy and cold.  According to the weather forecast for the week ahead, we should see sunny days and warmer temperatures.  Sounds good to me!!

Hubby and the guys transformed the tabernacle into a winter boat storage this past week.  That's a lot of pews to stack (well over 100 he says).  Things are looking more and more like a place buttoned down for the winter.  

I trapped three more kittens this week...that's a total of 16 feral cats I have trapped since June.  We are trying to keep the cat population down by not having any more kittens!!

Went shopping with a co-worker/friend mid week, getting ready for the train trip.  Hubby took me to Olive Garden for supper one night (one of my favorite places, not his).  I filled in at the office for two days for one of my co-workers who went to "Come to the Fire".  She deserved a break...I'm glad she could go.  I'll be filling in again for her in November and January and February as she takes her winter breaks to spend with family in far off places.  It's good for our budget for me to work the extra hours, and good to keep me busy during the long, cold winter months.  I'm not complaining at all!!

Yesterday we took one of our volunteer couples to hear the Booth Brothers (Southern Gospel group) at the Gospel Barn, and then out to Bill's Steakhouse afterwards.  Then, of course, a stop at the Dairy Queen on the way home.  Nice day with them.

Today we headed back to Lansing First CON one more time for morning worship.  We had another supply minister today, and he was very good.  He reminded us that the purpose of the church is to make disciples.  Kellogg's makes cereal; GM makes cars, and churches are to make disciples.  It was a good reminder for me as to why we have church...I had sort of forgotten that!  I could sit under his preaching and grow!  Today was a glimpse into the future of the church...I truly believe that it is going to rise up and once again be a lighthouse to bring people to Jesus...and to make disciples.  Several testified this morning, and it was a great encouragement to all of us who were there.   

After morning worship we met Paul's sister and her husband for lunch at Cheddars (I really like that place!!).  Then we all went to visit Paul's parents for the afternoon...sort of an early anniversary celebration (58 years).  Nice day.  The dogs went along with us again.  Always a nice break for us to leave the camp grounds for several hours...a change of scenery!

I have spent this past week reading some very encouraging passages in God's Word.  I speak to God in prayer.  He speaks to me through His Word.  Sometimes He reminds me of what I should be doing, how I should be acting.  Sometimes He lifts my spirit up by letting me know He is with me and loves me.  Sometimes I just feel prompted to copy the scripture in my blog for whoever might be reading, and needs to read that particular passage from God's Word. So sit back, take a deep breath, empty your mind of "all that jazz", and bask in the presence of my Holy Savior...allowing Him to speak to you in the passages below:


  • Follow God's example in everything you do just as a much loved child imitates his father.  Be full of love for others, following the example of Christ who loved you and gave himself to God as a sacrifice to take away your sins.  (5:1-2)
  • So be careful how you act; these are difficult days.  Don't be fools; be wise:  make the most of every opportunity you have   for doing good.  Don't act thoughtlessly, but try to find out and do whatever the Lord wants you filled instead with the Holy Spirit, and controlled by him.  (5:15-18)
  • So again I say, a man must love his wife as a part of himself; and the wife must see to it that she deeply respects her husband---obeying, praising and honoring him.  (5:33)

  • All who seek for God shall live in joy.  For Jehovah hears the cries of his needy ones, and does not look the other way.  (69:32-33)
  • I've trusted you from childhood.  Yes, you have been with me from birth and have helped me constantly---no wonder I am always praising you!  My because you are my mighty protector.  All day long I'll praise and honor you, O God, for all that you have done for me.  (71:5-6)
  • I will keep on expecting you to help me.  I praise you more and more.  I cannot count the times when you have faithfully rescued me from danger.  I will tell everyone how good you are, and of your constant daily care.  I walk in the strength of the Lord God.  I tell everyone that you alone are just and good.  O God, you have helped me from my earliest childhood---and I have constantly testified to others of the wonderful things you do.  And now that I am old and gray, don't forsake me.  Give me time to tell this new generation (and their children) about all your mighty miracles.  Your power and goodness, Lord, reach to the highest heavens.  You have done such wonderful things, where is there another God like you?  (71:14-19)
  • I saw myself so stupid and so ignorant; I must seem like an animal to you, O God.  But even so, you love me!!  You are holding my right hand!  You will keep on guiding me all my life with your wisdom and counsel; and afterwards receive me into the glories of heaven!  Whom have I in heaven but you?  And I desire no one on earth as much as you!  My health fails; my spirits droop, yet God remains!  He is the strength of my heart; he is mine forever!  (73:22-26)
  • But as for me, I get as close to him as I can!  I have chosen him and I will tell everyone about the wonderful ways he rescues me.  (73:28)

  • For God, who knows all hearts, knows yours...and he will reward everyone according to his deeds.   (24:11-12)

  • Seek the Lord while you can find him.  Call upon him now while he is near.  (55:6)
  • This plan of mine is not what you would work out, neither are my thoughts the same as yours!  For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than yours, and my thoughts than yours.  (55:8-9)
  • Be fair and just to all, the Lord says.  Do what's right and good, for I am coming soon to rescue you.  Blessed is the man who refuses to work during my Sabbath days of rest, but honors them; and blessed is the man who checks himself from doing wrong.  (56:1-2)
  • If you keep the Sabbath holy, not having your own fun and business on that day, but enjoying the Sabbath and speaking of it with delight as the Lord's holy day, and honoring the Lord in what you do, not following your own desires and pleasure, not talking idly---then the Lord will be your delight, and I will see to it that you ride high, and get your full share of the blessings I promised.  (58:13)
  • "As for me, this is my promise to them," says the Lord:  "My Holy Spirit shall not leave them, and they shall want the good and hate the wrong---they and their children and their children's children forever". (59:21)  (cc note:  I want to claim that promise, Father!!)

  • And I am sure that God who began the good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in his grace until his task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns.  (1:6)
  • My prayer for you is that you will overflow more and more with love for others, and at the same time keep on growing in spiritual knowledge and insight, for I want you always to see clearly the difference between right and wrong, and to be inwardly clean, no one being able to criticize you from now until our Lord returns.  May you always be doing those good, kind things which show that you are a child of God, for this will bring much praise and glory to the Lord.  (1:9-11)
  • For I live in eager expectation and hope that I will never do anything that will cause me to be ashamed of myself but that I will always be ready to speak out boldly for Christ...and that I will always be an honor to Christ.  (1:20)
  • Then make me truly happy by loving each other and agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, working together with one heart and mind and purpose.  (2:2)
  • Don't be selfish; don't live to make a good impression on others.  Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself.  Don't just think about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and in what they are doing.  Your attitude should be the kind that was shown us by Jesus Christ.  (2:3-5)
  • the name of Jesus every knee shall bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.  (2:10-11)
  • even more careful to do the good things that result from being saved, obeying God with deep reverence, shrinking back from all that might displease him.  For God is at work within you, helping you want to obey him, and then helping you do what he wants.  In everything you do, stay away from complaining and arguing, so that no one can speak a word of blame against you.  You are to live clean, innocent lives as children of God in a dark world full of people who are crooked and stubborn.  Shine out among them like beacon lights, holding out to them the Word of Life.  (2:10-16)
  • ...God's way of making us right with himself depends on faith---counting on Christ alone.  (3:9)
  • I don't mean to say I'm perfect.  I haven't learned all I should even yet, but I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ saved me for and wants me to be.  ...Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God is calling us up to heaven because of what Christ Jesus did for us.  (3:12-14)

"The Word for You Today":
  • Meditate on God's Word (read it, study it, think on it, act on it!)
  • I do not seek my own will but the will of the Father who sent me.  (John 5:30)  
  • Intimacy stems from desire - how much do you desire God?
  • You are as close to God as you desire to be.
  • Decide to be close to God and discipline yourself to be in his house, read his Word, communicate with him.
  • God does not give out assignments that do not require His wisdom and strength...we are dependent on Him, and He wants us to be so.
  • When Jesus is Lord of your life, you give up your right to what it will cost, where it will lead, and how you will be changed.
  • When you walk in obedience to God,  you receive His best for your life.
  • The grace of God that brings salvation...teaches us to say 'no' to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives.  (Titus 2:11-12)
  • If I truly love God, then I will also love:  my brother and sister; God's Word; spending time in prayer with God.