Monday, March 26, 2012

March 26-April 1

Monday - Genesis 12
Tuesday - Judges 8
Wednesday- Psalm 37
Thursday- Isaiah 41
Friday- Nahum 3
Saturday- Acts 5
Sunday- 2 Thess 3


Prairie Chick said...

Genesis 12 "God appeared to Abram and said, 'I will give this land to your children.' Abram built an altar at the place God had appeared to him."

"He moved on from there..."

"Abram kept moving, steadily making his way south to the Negev."

It's my birthday! I am blessed among women. I thank God and praise Him for adopting me, an unloved, bedraggled waif and calling me to walk away from Sodom and never look back. Move forward into the promises and plans He had and continues to have for me. He is the most loving, wonderful Father and Jesus is the gentlest, most caring shepherd, and like the header on this blog says, "in pastures green He leadeth me".

A few weeks ago God spoke to me in a mighty way, and gave me a promise. Since then I have seen that promise come to pass, He has broken chains that had continued to tie me down throughout my life. Chains of oppression that the enemy had double padlocked to keep me in bondage to lies. My chains are gone, I've been set free, my God, my Savior has ransomed me, not just my soul, which has been a reality for 30 some years now, but this earthly body as well, and my mind.

Like Abram, I received a promise, like him, I continue to press forward, to claim it, to live it out, to receive all that God has for me. And I rejoice because each day I can open my eyes, and continue to step heavenward.

I have never before been standing right where I am today, The past is past, the future is future but today is an opportunity to live to the fullest in close communion with my Lord, and I embrace it fully!

He has been faithful, every step of the way. I have not, but this I promise. To always grow, and to grow all ways. To never stop "moving steadily on".

Prairie Chick said...

I'm still playing catch up. Judges 8. Gideon. I'm left quite speechless. In the beginning of Gideon's story he seems a meek and quiet type, threshing grain by night, but what comes out in this chapter is just... well... it's violent and he ends up being something of a paradox. Smashing baals and thrashing hostile forces, but then exercising horrific violence/revenge and falling into his own area of idolatry with the ephod and creating a stumbling block for others in that area as well. And why did he have so many wives? What can I learn from this? I can be obedient and triumphant in some ways and still be utterly blind and miss the mark in others. What are the things that even in the name of religion (the ephod) can distract me from my true centre of worship? To be perfectly honest, and this might sound ridiculous, but church can become that for me. I can get so focused on the details, the structure, people, the ins and outs of this "institution" that I lose sight of the one I am there to worship. Even the church can become an idol, if it is not the conduit to turn our eyes and prostrate our hearts before our God.

heather said...

I'm reading Eugene Peterson's book "Working the Angles" and it talks a lot about how the Psalms are an essential prayer guide. I love this way of looking at them. He says "...the Hebrew prayers (Psalms) are essential. Prayer means that we deal with God first and then the world. Or, that we experience the world first, not as a problem to be solved but as a reality in which God is acting." Love that.

Prairie Chick said...

Psalm 37.

"Keep company with God, get in on the best." v4

"Righteous chews on wisdom like a dog on a bone, rolls virtue around on his tongue. His heart pumps God's Word like blood through his veins; his feet are sure as a cat's." v30-31

"Keep your eye on the healthy soul, scrutinize the straight life; there's a future in strenuous wholeness." v37

Pastor Darrell preached on healthy spirituality last Sunday. Practicing the spiritual disciplines. A healthy soul is one that has been steeped in healthy habits. One that has been and continues to be washed in the word. His heart pumps God's word like blood through his veins. Wow. I think that understanding and implementation of spiritual disciplines is one of the most glaring missing links in our christian culture. I see God working to reveal acknowledgment, conviction and desire in the lives of many, this is exciting to me. We need to learn how to equip and inspire the church to drink deeply, daily and be empowered by the Word, to understand and live out the word.

Prairie Chick said...

More thoughts came up in our family devotions after my last comment as well.

"Did you know you can take a bucket full of dirt from your yard to a lab and have it tested to see what it needs to grow plants better? More important, did you know we are supposed to have the soil of our hearts tested?

Jesus described hearts as having different kinds of soil. And he said we need to examine or test teh soil of our hearts if we want his word to take root there and grow into a crop of right living.

For some people the soil of their lives has been hardened by disappointment and doubt. Their hearts become calloused when they are pricked over and over by the truth but they fail to respond.

For others the seed of the God's Word falls on hearts with shallow stony soil. These are people who never allow God's word to run deep and take root in their lives.

All of us find the soil of our hearts infected at times with thorns and weeds. Our lives become so easily cluttered with time-wasting and soul absorbing things. We find ourselves sitting in church thinking about other things or rushing through our devotions so we can "get on with our day". This type of heart soil is dangerous and deceiving, as we may hardly notice the weeds of empty pleasure and activity growing around us. The weeds choke out the true seed of God's Word before it can grow into something beautiful and fruitful in our lives."

Prairie Chick said...

Isaiah 41

"my good friend Abraham". It amazes me. I was just thinking this exact thing, this morning, as I prepared my latte, right before I went to sit down in my quiet spot with my Bible that THIS is what I want. I was thinking of people, praying for people, thinking of myself and my role in their lives and what is it that I want? What do I want to be known for, what mark do I want to leave? I want to be known for being a friend of God. I was thinking that if I had to pick a legacy I would aspire to live out that would be worthy of my tombstone I would want it to read "she walked with God and inspired others to do the same."

What more faithful friend and companion? I highlighted words to pass on to a friend who is "in the valley",

"you're my servant, serving on my side. I've picked you. I haven't dropped you. Don't panic. I'm with you. There's no need to fear...I'll hold you steady, I'll keep a firm grip on you...

I have a firm grip on you and I'm not letting go. I'm telling you, Don't panic. I'm right here to help you." ...

Do you feel like a lowly worm? don't be afraid. Do you feel like a fragile insect? I'll help you. I, God, want to reassure you....

I'm transforming you from worm to harrow, from insect to iron....

but you will be confident and exuberant....

The poor and homeless are desperate for water, their tongues parched and no water to be found. *I'm* there to be found, I'm there for them, and I, God, will not leave them thirsty. I'll open up rivers for them on the barren hills, spout fountains in the valleys. I'll turn the baked-clay badlands into a cool pond, the water-less waste into splashing creeks."

What words for the lowly. What hope for the hopeless. What a friend in time of need. Praying that my friend will hear and know that He is carrying them to brighter, greener, higher heights today.

Prairie Chick said...

>>What more faithful friend and companion?<< than God. I wasn't clear :)

Prairie Chick said...

Acts 5

"by this time the whole church and, in fact, everyone who heard these things had a healthy respect for God. They knew God was not to be trifled with."

those words "trifled with" really grabbed my attention this morning. How many times do we "trifle" with God. Treating Him like the cherry on the cake rather than the be all and end all of our sustenance, purpose and direction? Everything ELSE is trifling, and yet mankind has this horrible blindness to how we put the cart before the horse. Fit God (or try to, or fail miserably at trying to) into our lives instead of shape our lives around God. I don't want to "trifle" with God. I want to start my day, eyes wide open as to who He is, heart ready to see where He is at work, body and soul ready and willing to live with purpose beyond the menial.

Chris said...

I hope Gamaliel's wisdom lasted until he was able to see the truth of the apostles' words for himself- what a wise and courageous thing to say! vs39 made me want to stand and applaud him! What I noticed was, after he spoke persuasively, the apostles were STILL flogged and STILL told to cut it out. And they rejoiced! Talk about conviction.

Persuades me to think about motives. In this passage, I see men /women acting out of pride (greed, jealousy), fear, and also out of love and devotion. Love must be our driving force and our goal.

Prairie Chick said...

2 Thess 3

"We hear that some of you are not busy, but busybodies..."

This verse has long convicted me. In the sense that one of my insecurities has always been in my relationships (lack of such as a child) and therefore I have spent my life neglecting duty in order to seek to forge meaningful relationship. I am older and wiser now and realize that I must embrace the relationships that God has gifted me with and recognize as them as icing on the cake, but not neglect the cake at the expense of the coating. A few weeks ago I sat down to write myself a "mandate" for living. My commitment to the things that I recognize and claim as my duties. I will post it here as one of those "monuments" that will stand over time. I have it posted on my fridge and a copy in my bible.

My Mandate
1. I will delight in God my Savior. I will live this out by devoting the first-fruits of my day and week to private and corporate worship and communion with Him. If there is an epitaph that I will aspire to it is; “She walked with God and inspired others to do the same.” ~Luke 1:47 "...and my spirit rejoices in God my savior.”~

2. I will bless my husband by doing him "good"; investing in his needs, relationally, physically, practically . ~Proverbs 31:12 ...”She does him good and not harm all the days of her life.”~

3. I will devote my days to training my children in righteousness and wisdom and the stumbling blocks of the evil one. ~Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. “~

4. I will look to the ways of my household, managing it with diligence in order to create a beautiful and orderly environment for us to live out the preceding three values in a spirit of peace and joy. ~Proverbs 31:27 “She watches over her family and never wastes her time.”~

These will be the four pillars of values I will build my household on. On these pillars, ON and not at the expense of, I will build a floor of service to and relationship with the rest of the world. I will open my doors, open my heart, and welcome others into our lives; letting my service be the natural outpouring of my love for Him. ~Luke 6:45, “A good man from the good stored up in his heart brings forth what is good.”~

~Proverbs 14:1 “Every wise woman builds her house and strengthens her family, but the foolish woman destroys hers with her own hands, by what she does.”~

Lois said...

Wow, that's great.