Monthly Archives: March 2009
I have always wanted to put my faith story in writing. But it takes time. It’s not something you can write down within an hour or two. There’s a lot to ponder, at least this is true for me.
So when I saw LauraLee’s post, challenge & giveaway I knew we had to add this to the What’s on Your Mind ’09 list. What I didn’t realize at the time is that I would be in Michigan visiting family the week before and on a pastor wives’ retreat during the actual “event”. So, I am SO bummed that I can not join you today with my own story. But I do promise to complete this task soon! Really, I promise (someone hold me accountable here, please)!
So, enjoy reading each other’s stories… not here today, but with http://www.surviving-motherhood.blogspot.com/. Thank you Karen for hosting. I’ll catch up with everyone later in the week!
Most of this week will be unplugged for me. I love getting away, slowing down, and being still. And I pray that God will renew my heart and lead me to a wonderland of peace.
There is a lot going on in bloggy-land though! I’ll keep you posted to the happenings!
#1: This Monday the Kettle Club will meet again.
Below are our March Discussion Questions. You do not have to answer every question. Feel free to choose one to elaborate on or read the questions below to get an idea of the type of discussion we are hoping to start. You are also welcome to share your own thoughts, without answering any of the questions!
- What are some practical ways you maintain a consistent “in the Word” time?
- Do you have a certain morning system that accompanies your quiet time? If so, share it with us! A special place in your home you go to read? A special devotional or Bible you use?
- Do you journal, drink tea, pray out loud or have a picture board of those you are praying for?
- In what ways have you been applying what you are learning in your devotional time into your day?
- If you are working on memorizing Scripture, can you offer a few tips that help you for our other Kettle Members?
- Share a standout lesson you’ve learned this month and why it has made such an impact on you.
#2. Have you ever written your story of coming to Christ? Maybe now is the time. This Tuesday What’s on Your Mind ’09 challenges you to share your faith journey. Read LauraLee’s post (maybe even participate in her giveaway) or spend time reflecting on your own. If you are a scrapbooker you may even consider journaling your thoughts in a faith book (not that you can complete such project by Tuesday).
Special price until April 1st at midnight CST.
ONLY $12.95! Regular prices will return on April 2nd.
Below are some details of this ONLINE conference:
A Woman Inspired is all about giving you a spiritual dose of adrenaline because we all need it sometimes. Maybe you are concerned about your calling or perhaps you are afraid to begin walking toward what God has for you. Maybe your faith has taken a nose dive and you need to pointed back in the direction of our Lord, Jesus. Or, it could be that you just need someone to tell you that it is okay that you failed but you need to get back up! It happens to all of us.
The event speaker line-up is phenomenal. These are some great women of God, humble enough to serve and strong enough to stand up and proclaim His word to all who are in need of hearing it. This conference is for any woman in need of revival in her spirit.
- An online audio conference uses the Internet as a conference venue. What this means to you is that you will be able to access the conference from anywhere in the world using standard browser software which we provide. This software is compatible with all computers including Macs and it is provided by us, to you, with the cost of admission. All you need is a computer, internet connection, and speakers!
- No traveling is required. Well, except a walk over to where your computer is located. But, there are no layovers, no shuttles and no hotel rooms. Ah well, there goes room service. I hope your fridge is stocked.
- Makeup and fixed hair is optional. BUT, let me point out how much better you will feel if you actually do get out of the sleep clothes, splash some water on your face, apply some face powder and give your hair a quick fix. C’mon ladies. Show yourself some love.
- No childcare needed. Okay so someone has to watch the little ones while you are being transformed but we are women and we can do two things at one time, right?
Today, how will you let your light, your Jesus, shine?
Spending time with Christ changes our world. Our face may glow like Moses. Or maybe your reaction time slows a little – thinking before speaking. Someone may notice something different about you and ask what brings you such confidence and peace.
To read more, head over to Exemplify’s blog.
I’ll begin this post with a confession. My devotional life is out of whack right now. I’m a bit off from my normal routine.
Why? I believe the main purpose comes from my false ability to separate my research for a new talk with my quiet time with God. Let me show you how I prepare and I think you’ll get the picture.
DEVOTIONS: There is one main text – The Bible – for my devotional life. I also have other resources that may speak to the text that I’m reading at the moment. Then I have my notebook and pen ready to respond to what I’m written. The journey using ends in writing my prayer to God.
RESEARCH: When I am preparing for an event topic the Bible is my central text. I may have some other books or resources from my life that I use to help prepare. I usually purchase a new notebook and pen and then go to town writing down ideas for good topics and conversation. I often begin and end these sessions by writing in prayers both before I begin and after I finish my work for the day.
See how similar they are? I’m having a hard time separating these 2 very vital and important pieces in my life and preparation. Sometimes it’s not bad because what God is teaching me is what I need to be teaching others. But that’s not the case right now. I feel like I’m putting them both off because I need to set boundaries.
Enough about me – let’s get to Moses. Here was Moses’ devotional life, found in Exodus 33:
Now Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the “tent of meeting.” Anyone inquiring of the LORD would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp. And whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people rose and stood at the entrances to their tents, watching Moses until he entered the tent. As Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, while the LORD spoke with Moses. Whenever the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance to the tent, they all stood and worshiped, each at the entrance to his tent. The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.
I love the sentence that I highlighted above, “The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend.” I would love to visit Moses, spend some time with him for just one day to see how he did it. He needed direct contact from God on how to lead, where to go, what to say. This whole leader of the Israelites was definitely not on his own. He needed time with God to be refreshed, restored and renewed. But he also needed specific details on how to handle the situation of the day.
Luckily for Moses, he didn’t have the option like I do, just forget about the whole thing. Procrastinate! Rebel! Not on his terms of vocabulary. But, maybe what the Lord is showing me, is that HE knows what I need. Allow my mind to quiet, come to Him in humble reverence and allow Him to lead the way.
When Moses came down from Mount Sinai… he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD
And maybe when I get up to speak on behalf of the Lord, my face will shine with His glory and not my own.
I’m really looking forward to hearing what you have to say about these verses. Please play along and fill out a comment. Or, you can blog about it then leave us to your permalink in the comments. Facebook friends could use the note section and link us to your page. Also, if you have suggestions for a topic that you’d like to discuss, please let us know! Thank you!
Visiting my home church this weekend, the pastor relayed a story about a preschool art project. The students were instructed to squirt primary colors on a paper plate and squish the colors together by covering it up with an additional clear paper plate. The result was beautiful! An abstract planet earth. As a final step, children were asked to glue on a black cross. One boy hesitated, then told the teacher, “I don’t want Jesus to ruin my world.”
Can you relate?
The presence of the cross should shake up our world. Jesus’ love is radical and life changing. But how often do we keep our world pretty? As if it’s our own creation. As if it’s ours to keep.
Catching just a few clips from The Amazing Race last night I was struck by the differences in competitors’ attitudes. The race traveled through poverty stricken streets in India. While passing people, animals, and debris on the road one young man was overcome with tears to see the way people lived. Meanwhile, another couple, didn’t seem moved at all. They could only think of the race, getting ahead in the game, and their own selfish ambition.
Which path do you choose today? Will you allow the cross to reform your heart and love others unconditionally? Or will you wallow within your sinful soul and sink into selfishness?
It all starts with the presence of the cross. And how do we get close to that love? Allowing Christ to cover our world and spend time in His living Word.
Moses did not have the advantage of the written Word of God. Instead, He had the awesome priviledge of witnessing the actual presence of Word of God. After spending time with God, Moses’ face was changed. Read from Exodus 34:
When Moses came down from Mount Sinai… he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD… When Moses finished speaking to them [the Israelites], he put a veil over his face. But whenever he entered the LORD’s presence to speak with Him, he removed the veil until he came out. And when he came out and told the Israelites what he had been commanded, they saw that his face was radiant. Then Moses would put the veil back over his face until he went in to speak with the LORD.
Can people notice the difference in your face today? Let that be our prayer. Come back tomorrow for What’s on Your Mind ’09 to discuss our personal devotional life. To prepare, read through Exodus 33 & 34, and see how God speaks to you.
I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
and he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
and steadied me as I walked along.
He has given me a new song to sing,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what he has done and be amazed.
They will put their trust in the Lord.
I’ve written in the past about Psalm 40 and my life… but I didn’t realize U2 had their own Psalm 40~
Hope you enjoy your weekend. I’m headed to Michigan for my sister’s baby shower. Pray for me and safe travel with my 2 girls. Also need prayer for my preacher-hubby who is sick, trying to recover before preaching on Sunday! If you want to read more about my life as a pastor’s wife check out Lisa’s blog at The Preacher’s Wife.
Last week I decided to meditate on Psalm 63 one verse per day. As usual, I haven’t kept the pace. However, my flaws have not stunted the voice of God. Let me share with you the “results” of my daily meditations in order to bring glory to God and His unfailing word.
The first day began with this passage~
O God, you are my God;
I earnestly search for you
My soul thirsts for you;
my whole body longs for you
in this parched and weary land
where there is no water.
I felt my soul yearning for more. But I savored the taste of hungering after God and allowing Him to fill my every need.
The next verse came on Sunday morning. Prior to leaving for church, I opened my Bible to set my mind on Him. This is what I read~
I have seen you in your sanctuary
and gazed upon your power and glory.
Isn’t that amazing? I had NO idea that verse was coming up! Had I read it too soon, I wouldn’t have been amazed of God’s timing… me walking over to church… God telling me to look for his presence, power and glory. And the service, was astounding!
Sunday night I was looking over my schedule. I began to feel the nerves of deadlines quickly approaching. My next speaking engagement is at a retreat in April. It will be based on John 10:10 where Jesus says, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” So thoughts of life have been on my mind.
Monday morning I woke up to find my verse of the day~
Your unfailing love is better than life itself;
how I praise you!
When I read that verse it literally took my breath away. God’s love is better than life, even abundant life. I would not have been impressed with this verse had I not been taking Psalm 63 piece by piece. I probably would have “blown” right through it – read right over the beauty.
Today, my portion~
I will praise you as long as I live,
lifting up my hands to you in prayer.
When I read this during the day I wondered what significance it would bring. But, I felt the need to just obey. So I spent several quiet moments in prayer and thanksgiving (trying not to over glamorize what was happening with these daily verses). Yet, when I stood up in front of church this evening leading a reflective lenten worship in song, my heart leaped within my being.
I can’t wait to see what God has in store for tomorrow~
You satisfy me more than the richest feast.
I will praise you with songs of joy.
How is God speaking to you today?
I don’t know about you, but when I’m feeling down, something new can really cheer me up. It might be a new outfit, a new scent, or even a new book. (all of which I obtained today!)
The problem with new stuff… it doesn’t stay new very long. The outfit gets washed and worn. The scent gets boring. And the book offers it’s final chapter.
The Midday Connection show last week reminded me that we often hunger for worldly objects to fill our weary souls. It might be in the area of shopping, emotional eating, unhealthy relationship, etc…
Yet, when I spend time in the word of God, He brings old words new life.
Revelation 21 begins this way~
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth…
Sounds familiar, right? But the words that follow are bringing me fresh life today~
And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.
He makes all things new. Isn’t that beautiful?
What is it you need? Fill in the blank with that need:_______.
He [Jesus] can make you new even though _______.
And you know what? That’s even better than a new haircut!
So, for those of you following along with my fun, crazy hair dare… I apologize! I tried… but it didn’t quiet happen the way you voted. And, here’s the real story.
My hair stylist is incredibly talented. She knows what will look best. She also remembers the last time she gave me a small side bang and how I grew it out immediately! But, I have been assured, that this cut will flip. So, although I do not sport a flip in this after picture, I promise to work on that this week and will post results soon!
Trusting in the One who makes all things new,