Sunday, January 22, 2012

Mid-January - Is Winter Over Yet???

One could only wish!! It's not been a bad winter, but I don't like having to put on coats and boots and hats to go outside, and then walk carefully so as not to fall on ice. The dogs' paws get cold, so they don't walk as much either. We are all tired of being inside so much!! I take the dogs to work with me just to give them a change of atmosphere, and some fresh air in between. We have had lots of snow and sleet this past week, not the best of weeks to be out and about. So glad I live close to where I work!!

Well, hubby had to help me with fixing my blog today, so I am just now getting around to post. I obtained a new email last fall, and today I tried to delete it from the blog domain, and ended up deleting the blog. He was able to get it back for me. Without him, I wouldn't be able to navigate very well on computers. I'm just not naturally technologically savvy. I need icons to direct me, and I need to have procedures written down. And when everything should be getting easier, it seems "they" change things to be more difficult...too many choices, and they don't always make sense to me. So glad hubby is patient with me!! Hey...want to see his picture? I have a picture on my profile that shows my husband, my two sons, and myself. My second profile shows my granddaughters and myself. I have the two profiles because of having the two emails...can't seem to get rid of the original one without deleting the blog, as previously mentioned.

I spent a lot of time at the office this week. Annual invoices were due, so there was a lot of mail to process. I enjoy that kind of work, and paying the bills with the income!! We had our first staff meeting this past week in preparation for the summer camps. We took a friend out for a steak supper one night...our belated Christmas gift to her. I had to get a new key programmed for my vehicle so as to have a spare. I have locked my keys in my vehicle twice in the last few months, and I needed a back-up plan in case that happens again (a sign of aging??). Anyway, it's not cheap to get a new key programmed...costs pennies under $100.

Our cats have been missing for a couple of weeks now...the regular ones that visit the porch for food. I still have a few, and I have two new kittens starting to visit, but about half dozen of the regulars seem to be gone. I hope they found a warm place, like a barn on a farm. I don't want to think of them being hurt or trapped somewhere. I can only do my part, and the rest is up to nature.

Let me share my week's devotional highlights:

The Word for You Today
1. "Learn to Respect Authority"
  • though you were working for the Lord. (Col 3:23)
  • until you know how to take orders, you won't be qualified to give them
  • to be treated with respect, you must treat others with respect
2. "Stop Condemning Yourself!"
  • There is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. (Rom 8:1)
  • when God forgives you, and you don't forgive yourself, you are making yourself more important than God
  • forgiveness comes by faith, not feelings
  • tell satan how your sins are covered by the blood of Jesus and he will flee
  • learn from your failure, grow stronger, testify to God's grace, and move forward
3. "Building Up Your Faith" (1)
  • Building up yourselves on" (Jude vs 20)
  • mechanical faith - flipping on a light switch
  • intentional faith - believing God can do the impossible
  • faith is like a muscle which must be exercised or it will become useless
4. "Building Up Your Faith" (2)
  • We are more than conquerors. (Rom 8:37)
  • to be a conqueror you must fight to win the battle
  • to be more than a conqueror means Jesus fights the battle, which He already has, and He won!
  • the power He has for us comes through praying and allowing the Holy Spirit to live in us and work through us
5. "Caring for God's Creation"
  • God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. (Gen 2:15)
  • just because heaven is our destiny does not mean we have the right to trash the earth, God's beautiful creation

Sparkling Gems

1 Timothy 4:16

New Living Translation (NLT)

Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you.
  • to effectively serve others, you must set aside time to develop your personal relationship with God
  • your spiritual development must be a priority because you can only give out from what is within you
  • when I am in tune with God and filled with His power, then I can adequately serve others

1 Thessalonians 2:18

New Living Translation (NLT)

We wanted very much to come to you, and I, Paul, tried again and again, but Satan prevented us.
  • "prevented" - hindered, a road impassable because of its dangers; a runner shoved out of the way; dangerous and unexpected bumps along the way
  • the devil never gets the last word in God's plan, so hold on because what God has promised will happen

2 Corinthians 1:9

New Living Translation (NLT)

In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead.
  • some of life's problems cannot be handled in our own strength, and death seems to be the only way out
  • the end of our road is only the beginning fro God to step in if we will trust Him
  • a loving Father always brings us hope and a way to move forward
  • God's life-giving power can turn dead-end situations into new beginnings

1 Thessalonians 5:27

New Living Translation (NLT)

I command you in the name of the Lord to read this letter to all the brothers and sisters.

  • "brothers and sisters" - born from the same womb; coming from the womb of humanity we all experience similar emotions, feelings, difficulties in life
  • we are also brothers and sisters when we are born from the womb of God through the blood of Jesus, belonging to God's family
  • brothers are soldiers who fight the battles together with their weapons
  • Paul wrote to the Early Church and called them brothers because he recognized they were in the same fight together, overcoming the enemy...satan
  • he encouraged them to stay committed to the cause of Jesus Christ and to be faithful in their struggles against sin and worldly powers
  • it isn't how well you fight the battles of life, but that you continue...keep on fighting

Romans 8:37

New Living Translation (NLT)

No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
  • "overwhelming victory" - more than conquerors - over, above, and beyond, superior and unrivaled; overcomers, victors, masters
  • people will perceive you as you see yourself
  • with Jesus Christ we are an overwhelming force who always wins...we are never a loser
  • we must see ourselves as God sees us and live in that power so others will also see us as sources of God's power who can defeat any foes satan may send our way
  • we must quit looking at our failures in the past, and focus on the resurrection power Jesus has instilled in us

Ephesians 1:17

New Living Translation (NLT)

asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God.
  • "wisdom" - special or divine insight beyond natural ability
  • "insight" - revelation - something hidden that is made clear suddenly, like pulling back a curtain to see what has been there all along, but hidden by the curtain
  • the kind of wisdom we need must be revealed by God to us, for He alone can replace our ignorance with clear understanding...we just need to ask for it

Jude 1:23

New Living Translation (NLT)

Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.
  • sin is life threatening as it separates men from God
  • "snatching" - pulling, seizing others out of danger
  • when people don't want to change their sinning habit, we must have a sense of urgency to speak forcefully to them and truthfully so they see their need to be freed from that which is destroying their lives
  • we must continue to pray for their deliverance if they refuse to listen to us

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