Friday, November 7, 2014

Bible Challenge (Romans 7:1-4)

Romans 7:1-4
"Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?
"For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
"So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
"Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God."

Once I accept Christ as my savior and spouse, I am to be His and His only. When I flirt with the temptations of the world, and succumb to its wiles, to Christ it is as if I am committing adultery! Am I the Lord's and His alone?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Bible Challenge (Matthew 5:16)

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." - Matthew 5:16

How brightly am I shining for the Lord? Is my light tainted with pride of unsurrendered things? My purpose in life is to bring honor, praise, and glory to the Lord. Is my life such as will compel others to do the same?

Monday, November 3, 2014

Bible Challenge (Psalm 71:7-8, 16)

"I am as a wonder unto many; but thou art my strong refuge. 
"Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honour all the day.
"I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD: I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only." - Psalm 71:7-8, 16

As God strengthens me to humble myself before Him and surrender to Him daily, others WILL notice the working of the Holy Spirit in my life. I know that I am SO thankful for what the Lord has done in my life, but do I praise Him on, fervently, and continually? (Especially before others?)

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Thankfulness Challenge (Day 2)

I Am Thankful For...

     8. The fact that never at any time, for the rest of my life will I be without the presence of God.

     9. Faithful preachers of God's Word

     10. The fun we 7 sisters have getting ready for church in one bathroom! (Imagine four of us brushing our teeth at the same time, talking, laughing, and trying not to make a mess!

     11. A church family that will pray for me when I need it.

     12. God's wonderful peace.

     13. The love of my little sisters (shown even more by the fact that I'm gone to college much of the week.)

     14. My new Bible.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Thankfulness Challenge (Day 1)

I Am Thankful For...

I have been challenged by a dear sister of mine to try the 30-day Thankfulness Challenge. It basically involves prayerfully discovering seven things a day for which I can be truly thankful for. Here are the first seven!

1. The challenges God places in my life to help me grow in faith and trust in Him.

2. A wonderful friend like Rebecca (Who is coming to visit next weekend! Yay!) 

3. The book of 1 Peter (My "book of the month", meaning I read it through once a
day for the entire month.)

4. How so many times God has just the right passage prepared for me in my daily 
reading of His Word.

5. Only five weeks of school left!                                                                             

6. My brothers finally got the clothesline put up! :-D                                            

7. The beautiful day God blessed us with today (Albeit a bit chilly)!                      

Friday, October 31, 2014

Bible Challange (Psalm 90:12)

"So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom." - Psalm 90:12

My time on earth is very short, so it is vital that I spend what time I can serving and honoring the Lord, daily seeking His wisdom and administering His truth.

Time on earth will soon be past, 
What work is done for Christ will last.
-C. T. Studd

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Bible Challenge (Psalm 71:16)

"I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD: I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only." - Psalm 71:16

The only way I will truly be effective in my service to the Lord is if I go in His strength. But humility is also vital to my walk with Him in that it is by His strength that I am walking. Am I faithful to defer praise to the Lord and His righteousness, and not push myself, my knowledge, and my achievements forward?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Bible Challenge (Psalm 69:30-32)

"I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.
"This also shall please the LORD better than an ox or bullock that hath horns and hoofs.
"The humble shall see this, and be glad: and your heart shall live that seek God." - Psalm 69:30-32

A common theme the Lord has been showing me lately is the vitality of praise. Even this passage indicates that praise is better than sacrifice! How faithful am I to truly praise the Lord in my daily walk with Him?

Friday, October 24, 2014

Bible Challenge (Psalm 62:8)

"Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah." 
- Psalm 62:8

I know I trust the Lord, I know He is my refuge, but how often do I act on this knowledge? When was the last time I fully poured out my heart before Him?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Bible Challenge (1 Peter 1:5-7)

"Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
"Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
"That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:" - 1 Peter 1:5-7

When I am going through numerous trials and testing of my faith, I can rejoice and praise the Lord for it because He has allowed it. He loves me so much and is interested in me as an individual! He loves me so much that He is not only concerned about my spiritual birth, but even my spiritual growth He counts as something so precious, it cannot compare to gold! Am I rejoicing in the pain of my growing faith? Do I also consider it a precious thing?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Bible Challenge (Psalm 51:17, James 4:10,8)

"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise." - Psalm 51:17
"Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up." - James 4:10

"Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded." - James 4:8

Humility before God is one of the most important aspects of my with with Him. He will never have complete freedom to work in my life until I admit my inability and natural sinfulness apart from Him. Am I faithful to humble myself before God and those around me to the point that i'm willing that HE should get all the glory? Will I take the steps needed to be able to "draw nigh" to my Lord so He will "draw nigh" to me?

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Positive/Negative: When God Covers the Bad to Reveal the Beauty

Recently in my drawing class, our assignment was to create a positive/negative drawing. The technique is simple, but the results can be profound. I basically took a marker and carefully colored in everything that was not there. In the end it revealed a beautiful composition of a couple pieces of God's glorious creation.

As I was looking at the finished assignment and talking with a friend, God began to show me how this is such a great demonstration of how His Holy Spirit works in my life to take my sinful self and turn it into a beautiful reflection of Jesus Christ and His righteousness.

In order to help understand the concept, let me give a couple definitions...

Positive Shape - the identifiable figure (What makes us identify what the shape is). It implies goodness, rationality, and importance and refers to shapes that can be named or described with words. (Curtis, Brian. Drawing from Observation)

Negative Shape - Describes the background. It carries with it the suggestion of insignificance. In everyday use it refers to ambiguous and undifferentiated space whose most noteworthy characteristic is that it serves as the place in which positive shapes can be found. (Curtis, Brian. Drawing from Observation)

When I first came to Christ, I was like a sheet of paper, one with a very light sketch on it. The sketch showed a slight resemblance to what the finished product will be like, but there was SO much work to be done!

When I accepted Christ as my personal Savior, He took my sinful flesh and covered it with His righteousness. As a babe in Christ, there were so many areas that my old self still showed through, making it still a bit difficult for anyone else to see and recognize me as a child of God. Then came the Holy Spirit...

Bit by bit, the Holy Spirit began to work in my life, teaching me how to seek the Lord and focus on my walk with Him. Through the years I started to become more and more of what God wanted me to be. My insignificant sinful flesh began to be conquered, covered, and forgotten through the working of the Holy Spirit, and served only make the righteousness of Christ shine out more and more.

After a while it wasn't only I who was seeing the difference, but others around me also started recognizing that I was beginning to take on the shape of a child of God. Through the power of Christ and the working of the Holy Spirit, the "negative space" in my life began to be a place that where "positive space" was found.

What once was a babe in Christ, barely recognized as a child of God was now becoming a beautiful, vibrant reflection of the righteousness of Christ. Granted, my life is still continually undergoing the transition, and it will not be complete until the Lord calls me home, but how amazing it is to realize that God not only covers those "negative spaces" in my life, but uses them to create something beautiful that is easily discerned by others for what it is - a child of God.

All glory and praise be to Him Who can change the vilest of sinners through His blood!

"But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and rightousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
"That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord." - 1 Corinthians 1:30-31

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Bible Challenge (Jeremiah 2:13)

"For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water." - Jeremiah 2:13

When I first read this, I wondered how anyone would even want to leave a Fountain of Living Water to try to find another source! But as I meditated on this verse, the Lord showed me a startling truth. This happens with us, with me today! I will turn aside from the simple truths of God's Word to find a "better way" to do things, even good things! But apart from the Source of Living Water, there is nothing that I can do that will even "hold water". (Excuse the pun, but it fit!) How will I get my water today?

Monday, October 6, 2014

Bible Challenge (Psalm 46:1, 5, 10a)

"1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
"5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.
"10a Be still, and know that I am God:" - Psalm 46:1,5,10a

Precious promises! Nuff said! :-D

Friday, October 3, 2014

Bible Challenge (Jeremiah 33:3)

"Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not." - Jeremiah 33:3

Such a small verse, but with so much in it!!
1. It's a command (CALL unto me)
2. It's a promise. (I WILL answer thee)
3. He adds to that promise, exceedingly and abundantly (AND shew thee great and mighty things)
4. He never wastes our time. (which thou knowest not)

There is so much more, but after meditating on this most of the night God brought me to one conclusion, His desire for me is to call on Him, rely on Him, and go to Him for everything. He is waiting, longing to answer and to share from His endless supply of wisdom and wonder. Will I call so that He can answer?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Bible Challenge (James 5:16b)

"The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." - James 5:16b

Is God working in a mighty way in and around my life? No? Not that much? I don't know? Well then what does my prayer life look like?

Monday, September 29, 2014

Bible Challenge (Psalm 37:23-24, Philippians 3:13-14)

"23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.
"24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand." 
- Psalm 37:23-24
"13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
"14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." 
- Philippians 3:13-14

Knowing that God will always pick me up when I fall should strengthen my walk with Him in that I should not look back on the falling and failures of yesterday, but keep my focus forward and on the Lord Jesus Christ. When I focus on my failures of the past, I only hinder my walk in the present . Am I faithful to forget and keep my eyes forward?

Friday, September 26, 2014

Bible Challenge (Psalm 31:24)

"Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord." 
- Psalm 31:24

Courage is a demonstration of an act of will contrary to what I am feeling. It is God's desire that I demonstrate courage in following Him. As emotions, temptations, and trials come up, He has promised to strengthen my heart and make my menial courage a beacon of strength in Christ Jesus.a

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Bible Challenge (Philippians 3:13, Psalm 30:5b)

 "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before," 
- Philippians 3:13
"weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." - Psalm 30:5b

Just as God removes my sin as far as the east is from the west to remember them no more, so should I let go of the fallings, failures, and faithlessness of today, focusing only on how He will empower me to victory for tomorrow.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Bible Challenge (Psalm 25:12)

"What man is he that feareth the Lord? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose." - Psalm 25:12

Do I fear God? Am I giving Him the reverential awe due Him and His Word? If this is my pursuit and goal, I can rest assured that He will continually teach me and lead me in His will. (Even if it is not in my timing!) :-D

Friday, September 19, 2014

Bible Challenge (Psalm 19:7-11)

"7 The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward."
Psalm 19:7-11

If I am diligent to delve into God's Word, God will use it to convict me, simplify my understanding, give me joy, enlighten my countenance, warn me against evil, and in obeying it, God will grant such rewards as only He can. Am I lacking in any of these areas? How diligent am I in God's Word right now?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Bible Challenge (James 4:1)

"From whence come wars and fightings among you? Come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?" - James 4:1

When I am having a difficult time with anger, or getting along with my family, it is time for a heart check. What am I doing, thinking, or feeling that is not of God?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Business No Excuse....

Hello Everyone!

I know that I have been pretty scarce of late, and I apologize for allowing myself to get so wrapped up with school that I have not been posting my verses! By God's grace, my priorities are hopefully straightened out, and school will not be all-consuming!

By way of update, I started college this August, and it has been quite the experience! I always thought that I would never go to college, that I would just stay at home until the Lord brought a husband my way, and then I would be a keeper at home and a help-meet for my spouse, supporting him in whatever work the Lord directed him in. This summer, however, the Lord opened wide every possible door, and I followed Him to the college campus with a working goal of Agricultural Informative Science.

Even though I am in college now, I am following God one day at a time, and one semester at a time. If it is His will for me to go completely through college, then praise His name! If not, it is because He has something even better for me!

I really struggled the first few weeks with old temptations, priorities, and having temptations to be something I'm not. I guess "peer pressure" (sounds ridiculous when everyone is years younger than I am!) and a spirit of independence started to actually work on me! In the back of my mind, I knew God wasn't in complete control of my life, and I began to feel the tension and stress.

I finally had to give up what I thought I wanted, and fully yield once more to following the plans God has for me in my life. Since then it has seemed like I am running a marathon of temptations and frustrations to try and get me off that path, but through Christ's strength, I know He can and will help me to continue on this road of victory in Jesus! I'd appreciate your prayers as I continue to strive to follow Him in EVERY area of my life.

I think that one of the reasons the struggles are so difficult is because I know God also led me to college specifically to grow in the area of witnessing. He has been teaching me a lot this summer, and He blessed me with college as a mission field. Please pray that I would have the boldness to speak up, and the discretion to know when to simply be a silent witness.

Thank you all for your love and prayers! Have a blessed day in our Lord!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Bible Challenge (1 John 3:5-6)

"And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him." - 1 John 3:5-6

When I sin, I revert back to acting through the sinfulness of my flesh. It is when I am acting through my born-again state that I do not sin. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Bible Challenge (Psalm 1:2-3)

"But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper." 
- Psalm 1:2-3

Just as the tree draws the very essence of its life from the rivers of waters, it is God's desire that His Word be the Living Water that flows through the veins of my entire being. God's desire is that I become so dependent on His Word, that apart from it I cannot survive. Am I praying for a hunger and thirst for His Word? Do I drink from His Word daily and live my every minute being quenched and refreshed and urged to grow through meditating on His truths?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Bible Challenge (James 1:5-6, 3:17)

"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 
"But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." - James 1:5-6, 3:17

Lord, am I humble enough to recognize my need for wisdom, desirous enough to ask for it, teachable enough to learn it, bold enough to use it, and meed enough to give You all the glory?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Bible Challenge (1 John 5:17a)

"All unrighteousness is sin:" - 1 John 5:17a

If I am unsure of something, will I stop and ask, "Is it righteous?" If I hold it up to the light of God's Word, if it is not righteous in God's eyes, then what is it?

Friday, August 22, 2014

Bible Challenge (James 1:5-6)

"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbriaideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed." 
            - James 1:5-6

God is the ultimate provider of wisdom, and is eager to pour it out on His children, but am I faithful to ask for His wisdom? Am I willing to WAIT for Him to show me His wisdom, or will I jump ahead and try to figure things out on my own?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Bible Challenge (Hebrews 13:5)

"Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." - Hebrews 13:5

No matter where I am in life, there will always be someone who "has it better", be it position in life, possessions, or people. Will I determine to focus on Christ, and rest content and willing to be "filled with all the fulness of God"? (Ephesians 3:19)

Monday, August 18, 2014

Bible Challenge (Job 17:9, Psalm 24:3-5)

"The righteous also shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger." 
- Job 17:9

"Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of His salvation." - Psalm 24:3-5

How clean are my hands?

Friday, August 15, 2014

Bible Challenge (Job 13:15a)

"Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him:" - Job 13:15a

My purpose and ultimate calling in life is to bring God glory by trusting in Him. Will I trust Him with my desires? My future? My life? How far am I truly willing to go with that trust?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Bible Challenge (Psalm 119:11)

"Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." - Psalm 119:11

If I am having struggles with sin, do I stop and prayerfully consider how diligent I have been in God's Word? What will my answer be?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Bible Challenge (1 John 2:6)

"He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked." - 1 John 2:6

I profess to abide in Christ, and I may be walking like a Christian walks, but am I walking how CHRIST walked? It isn't enough to be as others are, but to pursue Christ as He is.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Bible Challenge (Job 1:20-22)

"Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the found, and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly." - Job 1:20-22

I am ready and willing to bless the Lord when He blesses me with good things, but am I just as willing to bless Him when He takes things away?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Bible Challenge (2 Corinthians 5:21)

"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." 
- 2 Corinthians 5:21

He covered Himself with our sins so He might cover me with His righteousness. What a humbling thought! How unworthy I am! May I not taint His righteousness with my own!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Bible Challenge (Isaiah 43:25)

"I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins." - Isaiah 43:25

If God forgives and forgets, who am I to hold on to regret? It will only hinder my effectiveness in serving Him!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Bible Challenge (Hebrews 7:19)

"For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God." - Hebrews 7:19

Is my life in Christ a mixed-up method (focusing on the Law: doing what I know should be done) or a renewed relationship (focusing on Christ, and resting in His righteousness)?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Bible Challenge (Hebrews 6:10)

"For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister." - Hebrews 6:10

Is my goal in serving to labour in love toward Jesus' name, or to receive recognition from others? Am I willing to serve just as diligently with only God to recognize and appreciate what I am doing?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Bible Challenge (Hebrews 11:17-19)

"By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promisees offered up his only begotten son, Of whom it was sai, that in Isaac shall thy seed be called: Accountig that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure." - Hebrews 11:17-19

Am I willing to offer even that which is most precious?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Bible Challenge (Hebrews 4:10)

"For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works," - Hebrews 4:10

What a blessing to be able to rest in the righteousness of Christ, and not try to work up my own!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Bible Challenge (Isaiah 58:13)

"If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:" - Isaiah 58:13

Whose pleasure will I do on the Lord's day? Where is my focus?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Another "Reliable" Acrostic! :-D

Ready to do chores well
Eager to help
Loves to do things for others
Is a hardy worker
Available all the time
Breaks the ice to ask “can I do something?”
Listens to all instructions carefully before starting
Even in dark places is always cheerful

Posts from the Past
Every Wednesday (Now Tuesday!) I post something that I have written in the past. It may have been written a long time ago, or a very, very long time ago! :-D So please forgive any mistakes!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Bible Challenge (Isaiah 55:8-9)

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9

I KNOW God's plans for my life are infinitely better than mine. Am I open to His plan? Am I willing to follow His way for my life?

Friday, July 18, 2014

Bible Challenge (Nehemiah 4:17-18)

"They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon. For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me." - Nehemiah 4:17-18

The children of Israel had their tools in one hand and their weapons in the other. So many times I get so busy in the Lord's work, I let down my guard towards the Enemy, or I get so busy fighting the enemy I neglect the Lord's work. Am I prepared, by God's strength and through His might, to work for the Lord AND be able to fight against the Enemy?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Bible Challenge (Isaiah 45:9)

"Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands?" 
- Isaiah 45:9

Who am I to find fault with the trials God brings me through, or the ways He chooses to teach me and draw me closer to Him? Am I so desirous to learn of God and to be drawn closer to Him that I am willing to go through ANYTHING He brings my way to get there?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Vision Discretion? What for?

What is vision discretion anyway? Well, to some people it would mean just being careful when you’re at the mall or ball game and making sure you watch the place where there’s not an extra display of skin, or some would also put it as not watching bad movies. What I’m going to talk about is personal vision discretion. What’s good or bad for us.

I know one area all of us girls have struggles with is keeping our minds and thoughts pure. What has that to do with vision discretion? What kind of movies do we watch? What kind of books do we read? “I don’t read any bad books or watch bad movies!” you say. No, you probably don’t. But were you aware that what is “Bad” as far as language, witchcraft, gushy ungodly romance, or attitudes is not the only thing that can be bad in a book or a movie?  What many of us do not realize is that even the “good” movies and books can poison our minds, but not in placing a horrid picture or word. 

Many of your good old movies such as westerns, adventures, romances (pride and prejudice, etc.), or everyday life have things that will fuel the mind in our battles with pureness. One of the main ones for me was westerns, but any movie really that has a handsome guy, or a beautiful girl will cause us to think. We may not realize it, but it’s true. 

I had to stop watching everything for a month, I made a commitment to God that I wouldn’t watch any movies for a month, and then when I watched something or if someone would suggest watching something, it was easier for me to say “No, that’s one that I can’t watch.” It might be fine for the rest of my family, but I know that I’ll probably have certain impure thoughts as a result of watching it.

The same thing happens with books. How many of us like reading the Hardy Boys, or Nancy Drew? These also can place impure thoughts in our minds. Not necessarily about the book, but the things in the book can fuel other thoughts in our mind and cause them to leap up and make themselves known again.

It may take us separating ourselves from all movies and books and just stick to the Word of God for a while in order to replace our level of discretion. But it helped me greatly in keeping my thoughts pure, and if you have problems with impure thoughts, it will doubtlessly help you too.

“Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.” - Proverbs 16:3

Posts from the Past
Every Wednesday (Now Tuesday!) I post something that I have written in the past. It may have been written a long time ago, or a very, very long time ago! :-D So please forgive any mistakes!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Bible Challenge (Isaiah 40:8)

"The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever." - Isaiah 40:8

How much time and effort do I spend investing in the one thing that will last longer and create a greater impact in the life of myself and those around me than anything else in this world?

Friday, July 11, 2014

Bible Challenge (Ezra 7:10)

"For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments." - Ezra 7:10

When I open God's Word do I prayerfully prepare my heart to hear from Him, commit to applying what He teaches me, and be willing to share what I've learned with those around me?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Bible Challenge (2 Timothy 3:14, 16-17)

"But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." - 2 Timothy 3:14, 16-17

God has fully equipped me to deal with every area of life in a way that brings honor and glory to Him. Am I faithful to read and study His Word? The Manual is there, will I use it?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

"Where Is God in All This?"

            I remember the thought of my graduation being right around the corner, I remember the excitement, the wonder, and yes, even fear at coming to this large milestone in my life. Many of the girls I knew who were graduating had plans on what they were going to do, what college they were going to, what business they were going to have, and all that stuff. I didn’t really. I knew I wasn’t going to college, I had an interest in boarding dogs, and I was going to stay home, help around the house, and learn my “home-keeping” skills. There’s nothing wrong with that is there?

            Well, let’s be honest for a minute, what is really the first thing you think about happening after you graduate? Honestly. With myself, and the majority of the girls I’ve talked to, it’s been graduate, get married, and have a family. Even though I didn’t think about it as my goal, and even though I was committed to “waiting” for my prince charming, I unconsciously let myself slip into expecting this to happen. I graduated, and just four months later found myself sinking into discontentment, discouragement, and despair. I finally had to sit down, pray, and ask myself what went wrong.

            Through the beginning of this time, I read something in a book that asked what the thing I thought about most was. That was pretty easy to answer, since I was “waiting” for marriage, my thoughts often turned in that direction. I often looked at young men that I knew and figured out in my mind why he would or wouldn’t make a good husband, or would just let my imagination run wild for a few minutes and get into thoughts that were, to put it plainly, sinful.

The book said that if God was not foremost in my mind, I had to check and see if I was putting anything before God. I had to think about that. Yes, I did think about young men and movies more than I though about God, but I didn’t think I was putting them before God. I thought back over the past few months and asked myself, did God have complete control over my life?

Well, for the last few months I had been full of anger, selfishness, and pride. I was always not feeling good, I always had a headache and never felt completely healthy. Now, I didn’t know what not feeling good had to do with the other, but when I looked back, this was what I saw with all the rest of the stuff.

            I also had to get to the blunt question, where was God in all this? How was my relationship with Him? After a minute of thought, I had a whole list of things. I was not letting the Lord lead my life. I had my ideas, my plans, and my expectations. Yes, I was praying for God to help me in these areas, and give me wisdom in this, and bless my efforts in that, but I was unconsciously putting God in a box and telling Him where in my life He could work, instead of opening my heart and making myself available for whatever and wherever He wanted to work.

            Let me tell you, I felt terrible after all the true dirt and grime had been exposed. I sat there with tears streaming down my cheeks. I asked myself “Why am I living? What is my purpose in life?” I knew what the answer should be, but I knew what it really was. I saw a book setting on my sister’s small table called “Quest for the High Places” by Natalie Nyquist. I picked it up and started reading. It was exactly what I needed. It really put the horrid truth in an understandable light, but also put a solution in its place.

            The first thing I did was to pray and give God all the young men in my life. There were two in particular, but I gave up every one that I had thought of. Then after a while of praying, reading scripture, and thinking, I committed the next two years of my life to the Lord. I had heard of people doing that, but I never thought I would be one. Oh, and when I committed the next two years to the Lord, I meant my main focus during the next two years was going to be on my relationship to the Lord.

I wish I had time to tell you all the lessons I have been learning, but it would take a book to hold it all. I did gain a victory over impure thoughts, and stopped thinking about young men. But each time I get a victory, I find another fall just around the corner along with another big lesson to learn.

A friend told me the other day, “Do you realize your two years is almost up?” I cringed inwardly. Has it already been two years? When I looked over the last two years I saw innumerable falls, hurtings, despair, and many tears, bumps, and bruises. A real trying time, have I spent these two years building my relationship with the Lord? Did I stick to my commitment?  It seems all that’s happened the last two years has been one fall after another. But, as I look over the last two years I not only see the sad, bad, and hurting times. I also see times of victory, healing, and learning that closeness to God is essential in order for me to even live.
Even though it seems these have been the most trying two years of my life, I would say without hesitation that these have been the best two years of my life. I wouldn’t trade them for anything. I found that the anger, selfishness, pride, and not feeling good was all a result of having my mind on things that were not pleasing to the Lord. It may sound funny, but it’s true.

So, putting it plainly, I had some plans for my life. I had ideal ways I wanted to act. But I soon found out God had other plans. Please don’t do like me and put God in a box, telling Him where He can and can’t work, but open your lives and become willing vessels, ready to be molded and used however He desires.

Interesting note: This was written eight years ago!

Posts from the Past
Every Wednesday (Now Tuesday!) I post something that I have written in the past. It may have been written a long time ago, or a very, very long time ago! :-D So please forgive any mistakes!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Bible Challenge (2 Timothy 2:21)

"If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work." - 2 Timothy 2:21

Purging can be a very long and painful process, but what a reward to become "Meet for the Master's use"! Am I willing to let God point out all the dirt, even the tiniest specks, so that I can be fully purged, and become ready and willing to be used for His service.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Bible Challenge (2 Chronicles 34:27)

"Because thine heart was tender, and though didst humble thyself before God, when thou heardest his words against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, and humbledst thyself before me, and didst rend thy clothes, and weep before me: I have even heard thee also, saith the Lord." 2 Chronicles 34:27

When Josiah heard the words of the Law, his immediate response was grief and humility for the sin that had/was existing in the nation. When I open God's Word, do I also open my heart? Do I receive His Words with conviction and respond in open humility?