Monday, February 27, 2012

Feb 27-Mar 4

Monday - Genesis 8
Tuesday - Judges 4
Wednesday- Psalm 33
Thursday- Isaiah 37
Friday- Micah 6
Saturday- John 21
Sunday- 1 Thess 3


Prairie Chick said...

Gen 8:1 Then God turned his attention to Noah...

This got my wheels turning. Some translations say "God remembered." I honestly don't think that can be a good interpretation. Not in the way that we use that word... it implies that He can be "forgetful" of us. I looked up the Hebrew word "zakar" in my Strongs dictionary and it means among other things to "mark" or to become mindful of.

It made me think how I am with my kids. Sometimes I focus special attention on a child that needs it, giving them character training or teaching them disciplines or just giving them special times of nurturing. Other times I let them coast along while I focus my attentions on one of their siblings who are experiencing a special time of growth or challenges. It doesn't mean I have "forgotten" my other kids. There are times that God turns his attention to us on a deeper level than normal, He has a special plan, or some growth He wants to focus on in our lives and He is going to get out His chisel and start chipping away and concentrating on our formation in a more intense way than normal. At other times He backs off for a time and lets us "adjust" and step up to the plate and figure out our role before He steps in and again and chips away some other part off the old block.

It is at once comforting to know that He is never finished, as it is to know that He does give us breathers and times to adjust to our new "do". I like that picture.

Joan said...

Good thoughts PC. I too agree that the word "remembered" is not the best.

Also, what a great example of patience do we see in Noah.

Denise said...

Gen 8
"Countless times throughout the Bible we see God showing his love and patience toward men and women in order to save them. Although he realizes that their hearts are evil, he continues to try to reach them. When we sin or fall away from God, we surely deserve to be destroyed by his judgment. But God has promised never again to destroy everything on earth until the judgment day when Christ returns to destroy evil forever. Now every change of season is a reminder of his promise."

Prairie Chick said...

judges 4. the men in this chapter are all completely emasculated, Jael and Deborah are the heroes and the strong leaders, spiritually and even physically. On the one hand, how sad for men when they don't fulfill their God ordained roles to lead, protect and fight for justice and freedom and women arise to fill that need and put them to shame. On the other hand I love to see the wisdom and power of women that God enables to be and do mighty things in His power and for His name. I want to be that kind of woman, but I pray that God will flood our nation with Godly male leaders, in our homes, in our churches, and in society.

Denise said...

Judges 4
“How did Deborah command such respect? She was responsible for leading the people into battle, but more than that, she influenced them to live for God after the battle was over. Her personality drew people together and commanded the respect of even Barak, a military general. She was also a prophet, whose main role was to encourage the people to obey God. Those who lead must not forget about the spiritual condition of those being led. A true leader is concerned for persons, not just success.”

Prairie Chick said...

Psalm 33:12 says, "blessed are the people He has chosen for Heritage." The Message writes that;

"Blessed are the people He's put in His will."

that really struck me. I am a child of God. I am written into His will. I am appointed to receive a glorious heritage. It kind of gives me goosebumps in my soul.

Prairie Chick said...

Denise, everytime you comment I think "I want that bible!" but then I always re-thing... no, I want Denise to keep commenting so I can be blessed by the thoughts in HER bible :)

Prairie Chick said...

Isaiah 37:26-27 "Haven't you gotten the news that I've been behind this al along? This is a longstanding plan of mine and I'm just not making it happen."

Sovreignty of God, choices of men. It came up yesteday in Elle's readaloud, just about took my breath away. Madeleine L'Engle writes, in A Wrinkle in Time;

"How can I explain it to you? Oh, I know. In your language you have a form of poetry called the sonnet...

It is a very strict form of poetry is it not?...

There are fourteen lines, I believe all in iambic pentameter. That's a very strict rhythm of meter, yes?...

and each line has to end with a rigid rhyme pattern. And if the poet does not do it exactly this way, it is not a sonnet, is it?...

But with this strict form the poet has complete freedom to say whatever he wants, doesn't he?...'re given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself. What you say is completely up to you."

Very thought provoking treatise on sovreignty and free will! I love knowing that God's will is set, there is no coloring outside the lines, but the colors within the lines, our part in filling the page is not color by number so much as a flexible, transient work of art in process.

Denise said...

Shame on me that I almost went to bed without reading my Bible. I had enough energy to check Facebook, my email, even some scrapbooking forums.

Psalm 33
“The Lord’s plans stand firm forever.” “Are you frustrated by inconsistencies you see in others or even in yourself? God is completely trustworthy – his intentions never change. The Bible promises that whatever is good and perfect comes to us from the Creator who never changes. When you wonder if there is anyone whom you can trust, remember that God is completely consistent. Let him Counsel you.”

Isaiah 37
8-10 “Although the answer to Hezekiah’s prayer was already in motion because Tirhakah was posed to attack, Hezekiah did not know it. Her persisted in prayer and faith even though he could not see the answer coming. When we pray, we must have faith that God has already prepared the best answer. Out task is to ask in faith and wait in humility.”

Denise said...

Aw, thanks PC (I just saw your above comment)!

The reason the Deborah comment stuck out to me was because it reminded me of you!!

Denise said...

This part: “How did Deborah command such respect? She was responsible for leading the people into battle, but more than that, she influenced them to live for God after the battle was over. Her personality drew people together and commanded the respect of even Barak, a military general. She was also a prophet, whose main role was to encourage the people to obey God."

Prairie Chick said...

>>Shame on me that I almost went to bed without reading my Bible. I had enough energy to check Facebook, my email, even some scrapbooking forums.<<

Not shame on you! Good on you for RECOGNIZING that. I am so proud of you for not shoving that bible back on some shelf and allowing the business of life to leave it there to collect cobwebs. You are getting your daily bread, and it will nourish your spirit and build up your faith muscles over time.

Prairie Chick said...

>>The reason the Deborah comment stuck out to me was because it reminded me of you!!<< oh dear. :) wow. I'm not sure what to say. I have to admit that when I do the spiritual gifts tests I come out frighteningly strong on the prophet/teacher side and I have to admit that I have always leaned towards viewing that more as a curse than a gift. They are strong and public gifts that involve speaking into the lives of other people and not always in a warm fuzzy way. I've always wanted to be a warm fuzzy :)I have to say, Nise, that you have been instrumental in helping to affirm me in being who God has designed me to be because you have always been super sensitive and responsive towards any challenges or thoughts I have presented to you and never taken offense or bristled that I might be suggesting in some way you weren't good enough. You see me for the heart I have, that I don't want just "good enough" for myself or others, I want God's BEST. And you make me feel great about being alive and being me and walking this journey in step with you.

Prairie Chick said...

I love this chapter.

"Remember all those stories... keep all God's salvation stories fresh and present."

it's in reading about history, Him and Us in History that we learn what He desires for us, that we learn from others mistakes and victories. If we take our eyes off the history we get lost in the present and don't have a vision for the future.

"How can I stand up before God and show proper respect to the high God? Should I bring an armload of offerings topped with yearling calves? would God be impressed with thousands of rams, with buckets and barrels of olive oil? Would he be moved if I sacrificed my firstborn child, my precious baby, to cancel my sin?

But he's already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women. It's quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, and don't take yourself too seriously- take God seriously."

Wow. I LOVE that.

Prairie Chick said...

I read the passage on Saturday and was struck by how we are to step in and take over Jesus role. Jesus was effectively telling Peter, that if Peter loved him, Peter would "fill his shoes" if you will in His absence. "Feed his sheep." around here, that would be like saying "do my chores for me while I'm away". what was the work of the master? To teach, to disciple, to befriend in the deepest sense of the word. What God is showing me recently is that we are all called to pastor. That we pay a pastor so that they can devote themselves to the teaching of the word, but that does not mean we are ALL not supposed to be teachers of the word. That we pay a pastor so that he will be available to mentor and care for the flock, but that doesn't mean we ALL aren't supposed to mentor and care for the flock. More and more, as time goes by we find ourselves in "pastoring" roles of teaching, speaking, mentoring, counseling, supporting, and just last night for the first time, I realized that this is as it should be. It was like a light bulb went on. As disciples we are all called to "feed Jesus' sheep." We are all called to be missional and do the "choring" and not just leave it to our pastors.

Prairie Chick said...

yesterday, I didn't read the passage, but I meditated on the one passage that came up in the sermon. Collosians 3:12-15 It just was an answer to prayer that God would open my eyes to my lazy "I've got it pretty well together spiritually attitude" I knew that I had grown kind of complacent towards the things in my life that really need eye opening acknowledgment and repentance, and I wanted a wake up call to get me recognizing and claiming true humility. The kind of humility that is so aware of one's own need for God that it doesn't have room to look at anyone else and feel anything but love and compassion. I prayed this prayer again during worship yesterday and it was like the heavens opened up and the scales fell off when I read this passage in Colossians.

Clothe yourselves therefore, as God's own chosen ones (His own picked representatives), [who are] purified and holy and well-beloved [by God Himself, by putting on behavior marked by] tenderhearted pity and mercy, kind feeling, a lowly opinion of yourselves, gentle ways, [and] patience [which is tireless and long-suffering, and has the power to endure whatever comes, with good temper].

13Be gentle and forbearing with one another and, if one has a difference (a grievance or complaint) against another, readily pardoning each other; even as the Lord has [freely] forgiven you, so must you also [forgive].

14And above all these [put on] love and enfold yourselves with the bond of perfectness [which binds everything together completely in ideal harmony].

15And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ's] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always]."

I looked at that list of characteristics and realized that I am so far from embodying most of those characteristics that is almost frightening after 20+ years of Christ following. How can I ever find time for judgment and criticism when I have so much shortfall in my own life? I don't have time for that, and when I practice it it is giving the enemy a foothold to distract me from the path and my final destination. A life of Christlikeness. So yesterday I just read over that passage about 5 different times and soaked it in.

Prairie Chick said...

This morning, going back to read the Thessalonians 4 passage, I was struck by these two parts.

"...we ask you- *urge* is more like it- that you keep on doing what we told you to do to please God, not in a dogged religious plod, but in a living, spirited dance." v1


"God hasn't invited us into a disorderly, unkempt life but into something holy and beautiful, as beautiful on the inside as the outside." v7

I love that. It really shows the difference between discipline and legalism. God calls us to order our lives so that they can be balanced and beautiful inside and out. If I am going to have external order, I need to have internal order. If I am going to have internal order, I need to have my priorities in order. If my priorities are in order time with God will be a priority, it's not a legalism anymore than brushing my teeth or eating a meal is legalism. It is essential for my health and life. The spiritual dance. I love that visual.

Prairie Chick said...

I just realized that I read 1 Thess 4 rather than 3 last week. Going back to read chapter 3 this morning I was struck by the following;

"And may the Master pour on the love so it fills your lives and splashes on everyone around you..." v11

I love that. Filled to overflowing, flooding, dousing others in Godlike love.