Friday, September 30, 2016

Being In The Word...I Can Do This!

Hey Friend,

Welcome to my new digs.  My blog site got a face for its writer lol. It's kind of like that feeling you have after getting a fresh new have a little bounce in your step.  I hope you will always feel welcome here and feel like kicking off your sandals and taking a walk along the shore!  Okay, let's go...

I was looking at my tagline scripture below my blog title.  

Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light for my path.  (Psalm 119:105)

This line from God's Word is so very true, yet I struggle some, no many, days with being in His Word.  Oh how I want to have a heart like David's.  I believe God called David a man after His own heart because David LOVED the Word. 

Oh how I love your law!  I meditate on it all day long.  (David speaking in Psalm 119:97)

Over and over again in the Psalms, David talks about his love for the law...for God's Word.  It's like a drug that he can't get enough of.  Oh how I want to be like David!  

Sometimes, for me, making time to read the Bible is like making time to exercise.  I know God tells me to do it.  I know it's good for me.  I know after I do it, I feel great and I wonder just what it was that kept me from doing it in the first place.  Do you ever feel like that?

Nothing is so fulfilling to me as  having a session with God...communing with Him in His Word...digging and mining His Truth for nuggets of gold...yet I hesitate....Why?

I know that in this world there is always a struggle between good and evil.  This is no minor struggle, it is an epic battle.  

The enemy would like nothing more than to isolate me from God and destroy me.  

The enemy delights when my attention gets caught up in some other "shiny" object - the TV, Facebook, internet surfing, my phone, you name it.  

Every minute he pulls me away from God's Word, he pulls me closer to destruction.

So what is one to do to not be a deer in the headlights when it comes to being in the Word regularly?  

If you're like me, you gotta have a plan.  I need a road too?  Google "Bible Reading Plans".  You will find chronological plans (read the Bible in 90 days, 1 year, 2 years), historical plans that paint the landscape of our spiritual heritage, in depth chapter studies, studies that combine some of the Old and New Testaments each day, Word studies that dig into Hebrew and Greek roots, studies with commentaries...  My point being is there are a myriad of ways to study the Bible.  (Other than the open the Bible and see which page you land on method).

Have a plan.  Have a daily plan.  Make an appointment on your calendar with God and keep it.  (I am talking quite frankly to myself here!!!)

Hear, O Israel:  The Lord our God, the Lord is One.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give to you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children.  Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind then on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.  (Deuteronomy 6: 4-9)

The following points are from excerpts of a message I heard at church...

The hand of the Lord is with us when we are....

1.  Taking in the Word of the Lord.  

For the gracious hand of his God was upon him.  For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach the statutes in Israel.  (Ezra 7: 9b-10)

God's hand on Ezra had something to do with God's Word being IN Ezra.

I noticed how Ezra didn't stop at taking in the Word of the Lord....he did it....and he taught it.  I am gently convicted by God to not stop at just taking in God's Word.  No, there's much more.

The hand of the Lord is with us when we are...

2.  Walking out the Word of the Lord.

For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach the statutes and ordinances in Israel.  (Ezra 7:10)

Study it>> Do it >> Teach it

I am seeing, more and more, that understanding comes from obedience and true transformation comes from obedience.  

Obedience is taking a step of faith.

God commands me to be in His Word.  He does this not to just be bossy.  He wants to commune with me.  He wants to breathe fresh new life into me.  He wants to transform my life....if I will just do it!!  (Think Nike swoosh)

I can do this.  I can take a step of faith knowing that God is good, and loving, and merciful and He has only my best in mind.  There is a life-giving reason He wants me in His Word daily.  The question is:

Will I be obedient to Him and just DO IT?  

I am starting a daily reading plan on the New Testament.  The focus of this plan is none other than Jesus!!  Will you pick a plan and join me?

What keeps you from being in God's word?  What benefit could you reap from studying scripture?  What detriment could there be for not being in the Word?
What works for you?  I'd love for you to share...

Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for all the excuses I give for not being in Your Holy Word on a daily basis.  Please give me the determination to want to be obedient to you - to want to commune with you in the best way you've given me - The Bible.  Help me to turn away from distractions that the enemy sets before me.  Keep my eyes from turning away from your Word.  Teach me, O Lord to LOVE...really LOVE being in your Word.  Help me to not only take it in but to walk it out - to study it, and to do it, and to teach it.  Enable me to become more like Jesus (your desire for me) by setting my heart on your precious Word.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Be blessed.....

ps.  THANK YOU, THANK YOU for putting the Word of God into the hands of the orphaned and impoverished children that attend Redeemer Christian Foundation's school in the Middle East.  Each child has a Bible in Urdu - their native tongue.

THANK YOU as well for putting a computer in the school (the Director's laptop was getting a real workout).  Thank you for giving these children hope through getting to know the love of Jesus for them and having the chance at an education and hope for the future.  

Here is Kajol doing some independent study on the computer...

We currently have just one computer for nearly 50 children learning on multiple levels.  Would you help us put another computer in the classroom?

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

What True Friendship Is All About

Hey Friend,

I apologize for not being more regular with my writing.  My work with Redeemer Christian Foundation, Inc. keeps me pretty busy full time.  I truly do miss my time writing and communing with you, my readers, and also reading the musings of my writing friends.  

Perhaps the first rule of friendship is bearing with, and forgiving others when they don't measure up to our expectations or their own expectations??

That being said...let me delve into this subject...

I remember, vividly, heading down the highway from Pennsylvania to North Carolina in our white mini-van.  The moving van had already started out ahead of us.  Our children, ages 9 and 4, were watching (or more exactly) arguing over what movie to watch.  It was a beautifully sunny, crisp, fall day in early September.  

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Finishing Strong

Hey Friend,

It pains me greatly that I have not been able to find time to write...writing is one of my passions.  Even though God has been speaking so many things into my soul, I have just been too busy to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard.

So what have I been up to???  I have been quite busy (full time) with my work heading up Redeemer Christian Foundation, Inc.  Our Mission (if you haven't already heard it a million times):

Redeemer Christian Foundation, Inc. exists to promote the hope and love of Jesus with people around the world with a particular focus on providing a Christian education to those who are impoverished, oppressed, orphaned, or persecuted for their faith.

We are wanting to finish the year strong...
Here's how you can help: