Tuesday, March 29, 2016

CURVE BALL OF DEATH

Life just keeps throwing me curve balls.  My best friend in the world died February 26.  I'm again finding myself unfocused and foggy.  Grief is making a home in my heart again.  I'll need to find a way out again. 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

I'M BACK

It's been way too long since I've had fun blogging about my faith.  I'm hoping to get some ideas going and be back in February.  It's been a busy but lazy time.  I'm looking forward to sharing my thoughts again. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

2014

I am spending this year in an intensive bible study course and I'm having a blast.  However, I can't seem to keep up with this blog lately.  So, I'll leave it up for reference, but I probably won't be posting for a while.  Hopefully, this Summer I can get back into the swing of things.

May God bless all your adventures.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

WHO WERE THE NEPHILIM, WHO WERE THE SONS OF GOD?

Follow this link for "Answers in Genesis"'s answer to the questions
Who were the Nephilim?
Who were the Sons of God

Answers in Genesis

Friday, November 29, 2013

GOD IS MY PROVIDER

I have a sense of safety based on my conviction that God will provide for all our needs.

Creator and Provider

Oh, great Creator
I prosper through you
Drawing my abundance
From Your infinite stores

You know my needs
And provide for them
You know my dreams
And bring me their fulfillment

I rely on You as my Source
You are the rock
On which
I build my life

Friday, August 23, 2013

SELF CONFRONTATION


Scripture tells me to examine and humble myself.

MAT 23:12 – Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

1 COR 11:31 – For if we judge ourselves we will not be judged.

Turn to God as my only hope of eternal salvation.

ROM 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Self-confrontation must continue throughout my Christian walk.

MAT 7:1-5 – 1. Judge not, that you be not judged.  2. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.  3. And who do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye.  4. Or how can you say to your brother “Let me remove the speck from your eye” and look, a plank is in your eye.  5.  Hypocrite!  First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

LUK 6:41-42 – 41. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye? 42. Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye?  Hypocrite!  First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother’s eye.

Self-confrontation must be achieved in accordance with the Word of God.

2 TIM 3:16-17 – 16. All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, reproof for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17. That the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

HEB 4:12 – For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

I want to seek God in all I think and do, to please Him. 

2 COR 5:9 – Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him.

COL 1:10 – That you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.

COL 3:2 – Set your mind of things above, not on things on the earth.

COL 3:17 – And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Training is not to learn how to save my life but instead how to lose it for Jesus’ sake.

MAT 16:24-25 – 24. Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me, 25. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it”.

LUK 9:23-24 – 23. Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. 24. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.

The only complete source that identifies causes and provides solutions to all of life’s problems (attitudes, relationships, communication, and behavior) is the Bible.

To develop spiritual maturity I must be willing to confront my failures and shortcomings and make appropriate changes according to biblical standards.

ROM 12:1-2 – 1. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

2 COR 5:9 – Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him.

COL 3:1-17 –1. If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2.  Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. 5. Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, 7. in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. 8. But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. 9. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10. and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, 11. where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all. 12. Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering 13.  bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14.  But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Spiritual discipline is a necessary ingredient for godliness.

1 TIM 4:7-8 – 7. But reject profane and old wives fable, and exercise yourself toward godliness 8. For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.

Faithfulness

LUK 16:10 – He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.

1 COR 4:2 – Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.

Diligence

2 TIM 2:15 – Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Lord, help me become a doer of the Word

JAM 1:22-25 – 22. Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves, 23. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24. For he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets the kind of man he was 25. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and  is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

Life application focuses on living according to the two greatest commandments stated by Jesus Christ. (I need to love God and my neighbor).

MAT 22:37-39 – 37. Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind”. 38. This is the first and greatest commandment. 39. And the second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself”.

1 JOH 4:20 – If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?

Relationships on this earth are direct indicators of our relationship with God.  There is a battle between flesh and the Spirit.

GAL 5:17 – For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.

God’s standard for the believer’s life is wholehearted love for God and others.

MAT 22:37:40 – 37. Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind”. 38. This is the first and greatest commandment. 39. And the second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets”.

Since God says that loving Him and loving others are His criteria for evaluating me, I need to pay attention to how to practice love. 

God has given me characteristics of love by which to examine myself.

1 COR 13:4-8 – 4. Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5. Does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6. Does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7. Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8. Love never fails.

God tells me how to love.

JOH 13:14-15 – 14. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.

J0H 13:34-35 – 34. A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  35. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another”.

God gives me an excellent demonstration of love. 

JOH 13:4-5 – Jesus 4. Rose from supper and laid aside his garments, took a towel and girded Himself.  5. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciple’s feet, and to wipe them with a towel with which He was girded.

Since Jesus is the perfect example I am to follow I am to evaluate my love using His example as the comparison.

1 PET 2:21-22 – 21. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow his steps: 22. “Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”.

Jesus laid aside his right to be served by serving his disciples instead.  Jesus said he did not come to be served, but to serve.  Loving means being a servant to others.  I am to serve in the same way as Jesus did.

JOH 13:12-15 – 12. So when He had washed their feet, taken his garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13. You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am.  14. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.

God loves me in spite of my sin, but His plan is for me to change into Christlikeness.

The more the Apostle Paul matured in the Lord, the more he saw himself as a sinner.  It was not that he was sinning more; rather, he was increasingly aware of, and sensitive to his sin.

1 COR 15:9 – For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

EPH 3:8 – To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.

1 TIM 1:15 – This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.

Frequently ask “What does God say?” and “How does this scripture passage apply to me?”

God has not promised to bless my own wisdom or my experiences; but He has promised to bless His Word.

ISA 55:11 – So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

Only God’s Word is to be the source and basis for teaching me how to live.  Complete reliance on the Scriptures, not worldly wisdom, is the key to living a godly, contented life in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Following God’s word is always best for me.  He has given me the Holy Spirit to encourage and give me the power to follow God’s way.  I tend to measure myself by man’s standards rather than by God’s perfect standard. I focus on myself instead of God. 

7019
 

1 JOHN STUDY


Why did John write this book?

I believe John wrote this book to tell me how I can have eternal life, to assure me I am saved.

How can you be sure you are saved?

According to several bible passages in 1 John I believe the following are true and attainable.

1:9 – I must confess my sins

2:3 – I must keep his commandments

3:6 – I must abide (reside) in his love, or his presence

4:4 – As a child of know I need to remember I can overcome anything, as long as God is in me and I am not in the world

4:10 – God loved me so much that he sent his only son to die for my sins

4:16 – God is love and if I abide in love, I abide in him

4:20 – How can I love God who I haven’t seen, if I can’t love someone I have seen

5:12-13 – I have eternal life if I have the son because I believe in him and continue to do so.

This all begs me to answer if I truly am a believer.  I don’t love everyone I know, and quite frankly I hate a few people, I don’t follow all of God’s commandments, I sometimes justify my sins and I don’t always think I can overcome any obstacle.  I am a sinner with a future, good and bad. 

FAITH THAT ENDURES

Hello to anyone still out there.  Its been almost 9 months since my last post.   I haven't forgotten about this little blog of mine, but the strength in my faith had wavered for a little while and I just had to get back into the groove.  I am disappointed in my church that is constantly preaching "you have to be saved" but after someone is saved they seem to drop the ball.  I've attended this church for over 10 years, and I was simply looking for more substance to the sermons and more teaching away from Sunday mornings.  I have been blessed in many ways in the past 2 years.  I am living as a happy single mom struggling through things I never had to worry about before.  Its humbling to be on this side of poor.  I am so much richer without the luxuries I once had.  I have found a new church, which I always knew about and respected the pastor, but seemed like too far a drive to travel a few nights a week along with weekend services.  I was quickly able to make a decision once I realized I was no longer desirous to serve in the student ministry in my current church.  I no longer had a reason to attend 2 services during the week.  This church is just 3 miles from my home, but not my best fit.  So I traveled the long distance to the other church I had always admired.  Wow!  It was only 6 1/2 miles away.  Why in the world did I think it was so much farther.  Perhaps because when we are not motivated to be near God, the distance seems just too wide to travel.  I am happy to say that I am now enrolled in a class at my new church (I'll post more about my new church later) and I also attend Sunday and Wednesday services.  I feel nurtured and fed while I am there.  The pastor is currently working through the bible teaching it verse by verse on Wednesday nights.  I arrive 90 minutes early and attend a bible study along with answering questions we had been given on the chapter to be preached that night.  I am learning so much.  The class I'm in is called Self-Confrontation.  It sounds intimidating and scary, and it is in some ways.  However, I need this.  I need to get back on track with my relationship with God and be grateful for my blessings on an hourly basis.  I have relaxed my walk with Christ, now its time to get back on the narrow path.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

HAPPY NEW YEAR

I hope everyone has been well and 2013 exceeds your hopes and dreams. I'm sorry I've neglected this blog for a while again. I will try to contribute more and perhaps streamline the subject matters. 6576

Monday, November 26, 2012

IMAGERY IN THE BIBLE

Sometimes the imagery used in the bible tells me more than the words themselves. The first two verses of Genesis are a perfect example. As God began to create the world we now call home the Spirit of God is described as “hovering over”. Over the unformed and unruly mass much as a mother bird fluttering over her brood. The picture I envision is the very careful and loving attention God gives to us, his creation. He is protecting, shaping and guiding our development. There is no room for chance or randomness. Everything is under his control. As God’s Spirit hovers he extracts from our chaos perfect order, boundaries and purpose. This appears to be the job description of the Holy Spirit. He continually hovers over all our disorder (our pain, uncertainty, betrayal, financial issues, deceit, fear, anger, greed, laziness, pride, lust, jealousy, unforgiveness, isolation) and brings us the design, the blueprint that he wants for us and that he intended from the beginning. If there is any short message or basic summary I can extract from the bible’s story of creation, it’s this. God is in charge. He is in charge of everything, all the time and for all time. What greater comfort could there be for us. Let’s hold on to the promise that he will rescue and save us.

Monday, September 3, 2012

THRIVING THE DANCE WITH JESUS

There are times when I don't listen to God's music because I'm too distracted by the noise of my life, especially during dark uncertain situations. If I remember to take just a moment to focus on God I begin to year the soft hum. When I take the time to read the bible and study notes I begin to discern the melody. When I speak and pray to God directly, in a personal relationship, I begin to distinguish the chorus and when I surrender to Christ completely I hear the glorious band in all it's magnificence, every note distinct and clear. I want to spend my life dancing with Jesus so I might better know the steps through practice. I don't just want to survive the dance, but I want to thrive because of the dance. ********** This weekend I was asked to serve God in a way I didn't want to. I was hesitant and made it known. However, I chose to surrender to God fully and accept the challenge he placed in front of me. Only after I had done this did the situation work out and my desires were met. Had I chosen to not serve, or compalined longer, I might not have rewarded with the chance to thrive because of the dance.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

JOY OR HAPPINESS?

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.  Against such thing there is no law.  Galatians 5:22-23


Whats the difference between joy and happiness?  I am a happy person, but not always filled with joy.  Happiness for me personally is feeling at peace with my life, contentment, patience for God's plan, fulfillment, and love for the people in my life.  Joy is an exhuberant feeling of knowing I am a child of God and loved and protected like no other.  He guards my life, my heart and my mind.  This is the kind of joy that makes me strong.  Anything is possible if I trust in God.  This has served we so well over the years, especially this year.

Monday, August 13, 2012

BIBLE INFORMATION

What I learned in SALT class today about the OT. 

The bible is unique in a few ways I never gave much thought to.  It's in total harmony.  It is God breathed (2 Tim 3:16).  The people who wrote it were moved by God to do so (2 Peter 1:21).  The Holy Spirit allowed people to remember the Word (John 14:26).

The opposition to the bible is so vast, more than any other published work, it makes me wonder exactly why people are so scared of its circulation.  Because they are afraid their belief will be proven wrong?

The suffering endured by Christians over the centuries has numbers too high to count.  Is any other group in the world persecuted as much?

The bible has something to say to every generation, not just ancient civilizations.  The word is current and everlasting.

It occured to me years ago that I had never given much thought to the actual bible.  It's just always been there for me and I never questioned it's authenticity or reliability.  Then my belief was shaken over a particular issue and I ran to the bible for answers.  I found my answers, and they contradicted what my church at the time was teaching.  I realized that this particular denomination was skewed in more ways than one.  I investigated and interviewed and finally came to the realization that the bible alone is my church, not someones interpretation of it.  I belong to a non-denominational Christian church now that is awesome.  I have never once heard a teaching that goes against the bible's teaching.  This is such a comfort to me.  The bible is total truth, not just opinion.  The bible is accurate, no need to have doubt.  The bible is complete, every aspect of our lives is covered.

As I am reading the bible through to the end this year I pray that God will continue to open my eyes to what he wants me to learn.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

EXODUS SUMMARY/OUTLINE FOR SALT CLASS

Summary of each chapter in EXODUS

1. Jacobs family goes to Egypt but become slaves when their number increase too much according
to the king, Pharoh orders baby boys to be killed
2. Moses is placed in the Nile and Pharoh's daughter finds him & raises him, Moses kills an
Egyptian beating a Hebrew, flees to the wilderness, marries
3. God speaks to Moses through a burning bush, God commands Moses to return to Egypt
to bring the Israelites out of Egypt
4. Miraculous signs, Moses staff into snake, leprous hand, his brother Aaron is appointed as
helper, Moses leaves for Egypt in obedience
5. Moses asks Pharoh to free Israelites, slaves have to build bricks without being given
straw, 
6. God has heard Israelites groaning and renews a covenant with them, promising to free
and redeem them
7. Moses & Aaron warn Pharoh, Aaron's staff into snake, Pharoh's sorcerers do the same,
Aaron's staff swallows their staffs, First Plague: water to blood
8. Second Plague:  the country is filled with frogs, Third Plague: dust will become gnats,
Fourth Plague: swarm of flies
9. Fifth Plague: all Egyptian livestock struck dead, but Israelites livestock untouched,
Sixth Plague: festering boils, Seventh Plague: hailstorm causing death
10. Eighth Plague:  locusts, Pharoh's officials tell he should let the slaves go, Ninth  
Plague: darkness for three days
11. Tenth Plague: first born sons die, 
12. Mark the doors with lamb's blood, passover, exodus of Israelites gold and silver in
hand
13. First borns belong to God, Israelites led by pillar of cloud and fire
14. Pharoh chases Israelites, Moses parts the Red Sea, Pharoh's army is dead
15. Moses sings a song glorifying God and all he has done, makes bitter water sweet and
God tells them to be good to avoid punishment
16. Exiles are hungry in Desert of Sin and God rains down food from Heaven, they are
greedy but eat manna for 40 years
17. Exiles leave Desert of Sin, Moses brings water from a rock, they are attacked but
Moses holds his hands up during battle and they win, he builds an altar
18. Jethro, Moses father in law comes to the dessert with Moses' family, Moses appoints
 judges over the people
19. Arrive in Mt. Sinai, Moses called to mountain, Go descended and met with Moses &
Aaron, no one else allowed
20. God gives Moses the 10 commandments, mountain shakes, thunder, lightening,
smoke, people fear God
21. Laws to obey regarding slaves' freedom and fighting and injuries.
22. Laws regarding personal property, and how to treat others
23. Laws regarding how to behave, rest, celebrate.  An angel (Jesus?) is coming to guard
the Israelites, we must do what he says and not worship other gods
24. Moses called to Mt. Sinai again, wrote down what God said, build an alter of 12
stones
25. Offerings from each man as propted to give, then he commanded a tabernacle be
built
26. Requirements of the curtains in the tabernacle
27. Requirements for altar, courtyard, oil lamps
28. Requirements for garments for Aaron, called to be a priest
29. Requirements for ordaining Aaron, and daily offering
30. God commands building an alter for incense, outlines giving, bronze basin for washing, annointing oil and incense
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40

GENESIS SUMMARY/OUTLINE FOR SALT CLASS

My computer just crashed and I lost some homework for my SALT class, so I'm going to post what I have so far so I have a permanent place to access this information.

Summary of each chapter in GENESIS
1.  Creation
2.  Day of rest, Adam & Eve
3.  Serpent deceives Eve, Adam & Eve outcast
4.  Cain kills Abel, has to flee
5.  Adam's life to Noah's
6.  God is greived he created man, Noah builds ark
7.  Noah enters ark
8.  Land found, Noah exits ark, God promises to never destray mankind again
9.  New life, beasts, birds, fish can now be eaten, rainbow establishes God's covenant, Noah drunk and curses Ham, father of Canaan, Noah dies
10.  Noah's son's lives and families
11.  Tower of Babel built, people disperse, Shem's family to Abram
12.  Abram leaves Haran to Egypt, deceives Pharoh claiming Sarai is his sister, they are sent away
13.  Abram & Lot separate, Abram to Canaan, Lot to Sodom
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41.  Joseph tells Pharoh what his dreams mean (abundance/famine), and puts him in charge of everything, 7 years of abundance ended, famine began
42.  Joseph's brothers come to buy grain, he sends for his youngest bother Benjamin, leaving one of his brothers in prison
43.  His brothers return with Benamin, and the feast with Joseph, still not knowing who he is
44.  Joseph sets Benjamin up to be a slave, and his brothers plea for mercy
45.  Joseph reveals who he is, then tells his brothers to go get Jacob, his father
46
48
48
49
50

Thursday, July 26, 2012

GENESIS 41-45

So I've read the bible completely through about 7 times, and some books even more, but...rereading the book more directly for my SALT program is really getting me going. I love reading the bible. As I finish each chapter I write a sentence or two about what I've read. Today's five chapters? Genesis 41-45 -

41. Joseph tells Pharoh what his dreams mean (abundance/famine), and puts him in ch...arge of everything, 7 years of abundance ended, famine began
42. Joseph's brothers come to buy grain, he sends for his youngest bother Benjamin, leaving one of his brothers in prison 

 43. His brothers return with Benamin, and the feast with Joseph, still not knowing who he is

44. Joseph sets Benjamin up to be a slave, and his brothers plea for mercy

 45. Joseph reveals who he is, then tells his brothers to go get Jacob, his father and their familes so they can share in Joseph's wealth

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

WHAT ELSE IS THERE?

I enjoy love in my life. I strive for order in my life. I feel happiness in my life. I discern beauty in my life. There is abundance in my life. I value peace in my life. I'm grateful for health in my life. I love God in my life and all the blessings he provides my little family.

Waking up VERY grateful this morning that I have beautiful kids on the inside, and as a bonus they're pretty good looking on the outside to. I have a beautiful home, an excellent car, food at arm's length, a right to have a bible in my home, sunsine coming through the window, change in my wallet and two les to stand on.

What else is there?

Monday, July 16, 2012

READING THE BIBLE IN 10 MONTHS

While in SALT I will be required to read the bible in it's completion by April 14, 2013, only 10 months away.  While I've read the bible many times over, I haven't read it this quickly.  I also am uncertain how much I will retain while reading at least 5 chapters a day and trying to concentrate enough on the word to study it.  I can read fast.  I could probably read the bible in a week if I wanted to, but at what cost.  Reading alone won't allow me to drink it all in.

Lord, I understand that it is essential for me to gain wisdom and knowledge of your Word by reading and concentrating on it's meaning.  I ask you to allow me to approach your Word with desire, faith and an open heart so that you will bring to light any concepts you want me to understand.  I am determined to follow the SALT reading schedule and I ask you to remove obstacles, both within my own heart, and those outside influences I have no control over.  Help me to apply your Word to my personal life and be the example you want me to be to others.  Slowly sculpt me into the image you want to see.  I also ask you, fervently, to fight evil influences around me and my family and not allow them to touch oru lives.  Calm the stormy waters we have been riding lately so that I may be able to concentrate fully on your Word and the changes you want to see in me and my life.  Make me bold enough to say "No" to requests of my time that will take me away from you and my commitment to study your word this school year.  Allow me to persevere to the end of the SALT program and to the end in which I have pleased you by my actions and words.  Thank you, Lord, for all the blessings you have rained down upon my family during the past 7 difficult months.  I thank you for bringing us to our new home and for protecting us.  I thank you for calming my heart and bringing me closer to you.  I will forever endeavor to follow you and please you.  Amen

SAGEBRUSH ACADEMY for LEADERSHIP TRAINING (SALT)

For three years now I've wanted to take the SALT prgram at my church.  I've been prevented from doing so for various reasons.  This year I prayed about it again and was again called to apply for the program.  Orientation class was yesterday.

I'm excited to get started.  We were asked why we wanted to participate in this program.  I answered it was because I'm not very good at witnessing to people.  I want to have enough knowledge about my own faith to be able to have a loving and intelligent conversation with others about my faith and about their own.  I shy away from discussing religious matters with friends and family.  I want that to change.

The two bible verses I am to reflect on during my SALT class:

Don't let anyone think less of you because you are young.  Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.  1 Timothy 4:12

Well...I'm certainly not young any longer, but I am young at heart.  I don't think I do a very good job of being an example for others in what I say, but certainly in what I do.  I try to live my life loving others and being true to my faith.  As for purity.  The program requires I don't wantch R-rated movies or publically drink (among other things).  I can handle that, however, I love watching horror films with my son and most of them are R-rated.  I also love my wine.  I'm good at keeping rules when I have to, but I'm also known to break a few societal rules.  Other rules that won't be such an issue to deal with are; being honest and not stealing church resources, using this program dishonest personal gain, dating or being alone with someone currently in this program, or using inappropriate language or being unkind to others.  I do curse when I stub my toe, doesn't everyone?  I guess thats the point.  Does everyone who is truly following God's commandments?  I hope to see a change in myself not only in knowledge, but personal attitude and behavior.

Work hard so you can present yourself o God and receive his approval.  Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.  2 Timothy 2:15 

Our instructor spoke about whether or not we would be ashamed to face God.  Would we be called a good worker and receive his approval?  Would we be able to stand before God and state that we shared his word of truth faithfully with others?  I would not be able to do so.  I would be ashamed to admit that I shy away from sharing God's word and I didn't apply myself to this command.  I speak with neutral parties; teenagers I work with at church, strangers I come across, other adults with like beliefs and writing on my blog.  However, I shy away from from discussing God's word from my close friends and family who are not believers.  I truly want to see them saved, but don't feel it is my gift to bring them to Christ.  Perhaps this class with give me the confidence to reach out to others in a more formal way with knowledge to back up my love and desire to share God's word.

6146

Friday, July 13, 2012

OPEN YOUR FRONT DOOR

The King will reply, "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me".  Matt 25:40

I find myself again helping a young man during a hard time in his life.  I love helping those who need shelter and food and a place to call home.  I wish I could build houses or fix cars for them, but those are not my gifts.  There are so many stories of abuse and neglect out there, and of violence touching the lives of God's faithful.  I'm grateful for helping this young man from a great family whose parents have placed conditions on him which he was unable to meet.  He is getting there and doing a fine job in the process.  I know he will be home soon to his loving family.

God comes to me in quiet times, watching a mother stroll with her child along a sidewalk, the homeless man on Central Ave, the woman who flees an unhealthy relationship, the addict who stumbles once again, the man who has lost his job, the old widow sitting in church alone....

We all tend to water down the realities of life, but the words of Christ bang on my heart, "Whatever you do for the least of these..."  I realize that not doing anything IS doing something, it's turning the other cheek and ignoring the need.  Thats the truth for most of us.  I will never become a missionary, I will never help out with Habitat for Humanity, etc.  I will continue, however, to feed, shelter and clothe those God's allows me to provide for.  I will donate time, money and energy when and where I can. 

Jesus Christ walks among us, now!  The mother strolling with her child does so because she might not have a car, the homeless man on Central Ave might have been abused, the woman who flees her husband might be protecting her children as well, the addict needs love and understanding, not judgment, the widow is just lonely and a simple smile or "hello" might make his day.  God commands us to "do for the least of these".  Jesus disguises himself as a poor mother, a homeless man, an abused woman, an addict and a lonely widow.  God doesn't need to speak to me because I already know what he is saying.  "Will you help me, please?"

I have been on the receiving end of mercies untold an countless blessings when I needed them in the past 7 months.  I open my heart and my door to shelter, feed and clothe those in need.  I have had doors opened for me in my time of need BECAUSE I have been there for others in their time of need.  God calls all of us to serve, to love to help where and when we can, NOT IF we can.  We can all help in some way, even if its just praying for everyone you know who is in need. 

God enters the world through the truth of how Christians live their lives.  We are not called to help Christians who are clean, loyal, honest and wealthy.  We are called to help the down and out, the homeless, the lonely, the abused and all the children of the world.  Oh wait...we are ALL children of the world!

For the sake of the least of these, please find a place to serve God by honoring his command to go out and serve those in need. 

I have an abundant life, not because of money, but because I have loved those God has entrusted to my care.

6135