We have had unbelievable weather this week. It's been in the 40's about every day, and quite a bit of sun. Sure does feel like spring...but we know not to get spoiled with it. The fact that Lake Michigan has no ice on it is a hint we could get dumped with lots of lake effect snow in the colder days ahead. But I'm here to tell you, I love dry roads (no black ice) and warmer days!! The dogs and I have done much more walking this week.
The other discipline I am trying to bring into my life is early morning and later evening exercises for my back. They take about 15 minutes, and they are all about stretching and relaxing. I try to have some good Christian music on while I do the exercises, making each exercise last as long as each song. The exercises are from the book, Treating Your Own Back, by Robin McKenzie, and they seem to be helping. I know for sure I am building up my upper arm strength as I do push-ups. I hope this can become a daily routine for me.
Wednesdays have become my weekly day out to do my errands and shopping in Vicksburg and Portage. It's a day away from the normal pace of life, a day away from the office and the campground, and I enjoy having it to myself.
Paul had to be at the District Office on Thursday, so I went out to eat with a campground friend. On Saturday I attended a funeral for the mother-in-law of my sister-in-law. Paul could not attend as he had another meeting at the District Office. The funeral was up in Crystal, about an hour north of the District Office. Took some back roads up and went through some littler villages I had not been through before. It was a nice weather day, so I didn't mind driving at all. I picked Paul up on the way back home.
Today, after morning service, we went out to Logan's Steakhouse for our Sunday dinner. We had a coupon, "Buy one, get one free", as did about everybody else in the place. It was packed!! But it was a good meal, and a nice treat for us. When we got back home I went to visit an elderly friend. Went back out to church again tonight. I know this is Super Bowl night, but I am not into football at all, never have been.
Well, now that I have completed my blog for this week (my devotional highlights were cut and pasted from my Word program), I am ready to exercise and relax for the rest of the evening. I look forward to a good week ahead. I love being busy at the office!! And I spend my evenings reading about Route 66, studying New Testament Greek, and working on my Bible study of I Peter (slowly...just getting back into it...see my blog to the right).
The Word for You Today
1. “Acting on God’s Decisions”
- Your words…were my joy and my heart’s delight. (Jer 15:16)
- You are most effective in your witness when you are transparent to others
- Following God’s will happens one day at a time as we walk in obedience to Him
2. “Fire and Soap”
- He is like a refiner’s fire and like launderer’s soap. (Mal 3:2)
- Soap is used to wash the outside of the body, and fire cleans the inside
- God can cleanse you inside by His Holy Spirit
- God forgives your sins, but He doesn’t ignore them
- Confess your sin and believe God has forgiven you because He loves you and wants your relationship with Him to be restored
3. “Are You Being Tempted?” (1)
- We will receive grace to help us when we need it. (Heb 4:16)
- We are most vulnerable when under stress, or after a spiritual high
- God is always near to help…just call on Him, continually
4. “Are You Being Tempted?” (2)
- Your life is shaped by your thoughts. (Prov 4:23)
- What grabs your attention can capture you
- Refocus on something good to get your mind off the temptation trying to capture you
- Dwelling on something only reinforces it…more your attention to something good
- Monitor your media intake – what kind of thoughts does it provoke?
- God is no respecter of persons. (Acts 10:34)
- Every person you meet has potential
- We must love as Jesus did, without biases
6. “Be Passionate About It”
- I have determined to do his will.” (Isa 50:7)
7. “Stop Trying to Control Everything”
- A man of two minds…unstable and unreliable and uncertain about everything. (James 1:8)
- “fixing” is the opposite of “trusting”
- When you don’t know something, trust the One who does
- Do not become anxious over those things you don’t know, but allow God’s peace to come over you as you hand it all over to Him
Jude 1:23 (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.
- “hate” – an anger that turns violent; a feeling so strong there is no room for tolerance; something repulsive
- Wrong attitudes and behavior comes from something within us that is full of decay
- If we don’t deal with the inner filth, it will permeate our whole life and totally contaminate us
- We must understand the results of sin and learn to deal with in early in the game before we are consumed with it
- Sin is not just a weakness or a mistake…we cannot tolerate it in our lives
- Learn to hate any speck of sin in your life and deal with it as the Holy Spirit enlightens you
Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you wholeheartedly obey this teaching we have given you.
- “slave” – no personal pursuits allowed, living only to obey the master
- Prior to our salvation by Christ, we were a salve to sin, with satan as our master…our sin nature was controlling us
- When Jesus comes into our hearts, we are set free from the bondage of sin and satan
- We become servants of our Father God, and Jesus is our Lord and Master, who energizes us to follow after the plan of God for our lives
- As we yield to the Holy Spirit, the power of God is released within us, and we are enabled to live our lives in obedience to God
Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.
· “fill” – take up permanent residence in a house
· Is the Word of God comfortable and at home in your life, or is it treated like a temporary visitor?
· Make God’s Word a priority in your life
Titus 2:14 (NLT)
He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.
- “free” – to redeem, someone who pays a premium price for a slave; a “ransom” is paid to obtain freedom for a slave
- Jesus paid the ransom for us by His own life…His blood was spilt out on the cross for our freedom
For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.
· Satan uses jealousy and selfish ambition to disrupt relationships and divide churches
· “jealousy” – envy…a fierce desire to put one’s self above all others
· “selfish ambition” –strife…a political agenda where people who agree on something push and control others to be like them
· “disorder” – confusion…rational thinking is replaced by emotional responses
· Jealousy and selfish ambition lead to confusion and wrong doing
· Instead we should be listeners, and consider others to be important, consider their viewpoints
· Choose to be a person who keeps peace and harmony in your relationships
· Value the right of others to have a different opinion than yours
Ephesians 6:10 (NLT)
A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
- “final” – conclusion, something very important put at the end of a letter so it is remembered
- We are to remember that we must use our spiritual weapons to defeat the enemy
- It isn’t enough to have head knowledge about God and His Word, we must put it to practice if we are going to win the race
1 Corinthians 2:9-10 (NLT)
That is what the Scriptures mean when they say,
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
and no mind has imagined
what God has prepared
for those who love him.”
But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets.
- “revealed” – to uncover, a cover suddenly removed
- A revelation is when something hidden becomes clear
- There are things we cannot comprehend in our human mind, only the Holy Spirit can help us understand