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?

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Receiving Surrendered Blessings - An Unexpected Double Portion

Because of the many different crafts I do and instruments I play, I use my hands a LOT. I used to say that if there was one thing I wouldn’t want to lose, it was my hands. Never did I think something would actually happen to make me experience that.

This January, God allowed me to have a very complex hand injury. I went to many different doctors, and was told many things, one of them being I may never have full function, mobility, and strength in the two smaller fingers of my right hand. For most people, this would have just been an inconvenience, but for me, it was a bit more.

I love playing classical guitar. I received my very first guitar almost twenty years ago, and have played it off and on ever since. I taught myself with the help of an occasional friend for seventeen years, took lessons from a music major for a year, and last spring I was blessed to be able to take a semester from an advanced classical guitarist.

While classical guitar was not something I played much in public, I would often sit down with my guitar to just relax and have fun. I loved to be able to play, and one of my passions was to be able to arrange hymn arrangements for the classical guitar.

When I first injured my hand, I was naturally disappointed that I would be hindered from playing any instruments for a while, but when I heard about the possibility of long-term damage, the first thing I thought of was my classical guitar playing. I used my fourth finger all the time in my playing, and I didn’t know what I would do if that was suddenly taken away from me. After a month and a half, I realized that, even though I dearly loved playing my guitar, it was not the most important thing in my life. God would give me other ways to make music, and I had to surrender my hands and my guitar to Him.

The next couple months passed, and I went from a cast, to a removable cast, to just wearing it occasionally. There was a lot of pain, and I could tell there were some major restrictions in my movement. We got a CAT scan and some nerve tests done, and they identified where it had been broken and healed, and felt that the nerves had been bruised and possibly pinched. The Doctor finally relieved me to try to use my hand as normally as possible. Immediately I began to work with my hand, and though progress was very painful, I did see progress.

I had gotten to the point where I was fine with not playing any instruments, but as I began to see more progress in my hand’s mobility and function, I began to look at my dusty guitar case. To be perfectly honest, I was scared to take it out, for fear that I would only become discouraged and upset if I couldn’t play it.
A few more weeks passed, and finally I pulled it out. One of the strings had popped, but oddly God urged me to look through my music books, and lo and behold, a new set of my personal favorite strings! I changed the strings rather slowly, tuned up, stretched the strings and tuned up again.

Finally, I pulled my guitar into my lap, bowed my head for a second, surrendered to God whatever would happen next, and began to play.

“Seek Ye First” was the song that worked its way onto the strings, and as I played through the first verse, it was almost as if I was watching someone else playing my guitar. As the second verse began, tears began to run down my cheeks, and by the end of the song I was sobbing.

Even though I had surrendered my guitar and the ability to play it to the Lord, I had missed it so much! Realizing that God was now giving me back something that I had surrendered to Him only made me feel so humbled and unworthy. True, it was sloppy and full of mistakes, and it hurt to play, but it was a lovely pain, and the mistakes were not important. God was giving me back one of the things I loved the most, and I couldn’t begin to thank Him or praise Him enough for it.

“Delight thyself also in the Lord: and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” –Psalm 37:4

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Bible Challenge (2 Chronicles 33:12-13)

"And when he was in affliction, he besought the Lord his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, And prayed unto him: and he was intreated of him, and heart his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Them Manasseh knew that the Lord he was God." 2 Chronicles 33:12-13

There will be times when God brings me times of affliction, am I willing to humble myself to learn what He has to teach me? Am I willing to let the Lord work in my life and prove He is God?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


Home is opened to others,
Offering food and fellowship.
Sharing time and testimony,
Peace and love in hardship.
Inclining your ear to others,
Taking and giving advice.
Asking spiritual questions,
Loving in “being nice”.
In all you say, in all you do,
Treat others as God would have
                        You to. Show hospitality!

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!