Monday, April 9, 2012

April 9-15

Monday - Genesis 14
Tuesday - Judges 10
Wednesday- Psalm 39
Thursday- Isaiah 43
Friday- Habakkuk 2
Saturday- Acts 7
Sunday- 1 Timothy 2


Prairie Chick said...

"when Abram heard that his nephew had been taken prisoner, he lined up his servants...all of them... there were 318 of them - and chased after the captors all the way to Dan. Abram and his men split into small groups and attacked by night. They chased them as as far as Hobah..."

this morning this verse spoke to me in the area of spiritual warfare. I have a friend who has been "taken captive" by the lying, thieving, shaming enemy. I will fight this kind of Abram fight for this friend, on my knees, waging battle against the forces of darkness that are doing what they do best. Stealing, killing and destroying. I won't give up until I see the enemy turn tail and flee and I see my friend free.

I need and desire my friends to realize though, that God can't be this fluffy grandfather in the sky, just waiting to send gifts and love from afar. That he wants authentic, living, breathing, committed relationship with them, and what that looks like. Taking time to listen, desire a closer walking, talking, relationship, pray from the heart, and live connected, plugged in, and charged by the source of our living, moving and being. Wake us up, Lord. Shake us up. Don't let us sleep walk through a fog of complacency. Sharpen our senses to the reality and presence of you.

Prairie Chick said...

Judges 10

... they just walked off and left God behind, quit worshiping him. And God exploded in hot anger at Israel...

... they cleared house of the foreign gods and worshiped only God. And God took Israel's troubles to heart.

I think sometimes we don't get what this looks like. This leaving God behind thing. We do it too. I don't think it is such a blatant rejection/disbelief, abandonment thing as we might imagine. But more a gentle creeping crowding out and filling up of everything else but God. That broken cisterns mentality. Constantly turning, running, searching, distracted by everything, anything but Him.

My heart gets offended for God sometimes when I see his professing children don't take time, make time, value time to turn to, talk to, listen to and worship and be filled by Him. Sometimes it makes me sad and sometimes it makes me mad. Sounds like it's the same for Him.

Prairie Chick said...

Psalm 39

1 I said, "I will be careful how I act
and will not sin by what I say.
I will be careful what I say
around wicked people."
2 So I kept very quiet.
I didn't even say anything good,
but I became even more upset.
3 I became very angry inside,
and as I thought about it, my anger burned.
So I spoke:"

I can see myself here. I'm a talker. A processor. An analyzer. An idealist. A dreamer. I've seen over the years how I need to learn to exercise restraint and not speak my mind in any and every situation.

Other times I recognize I should open my mouth and speak and I lack the courage. Proclaiming people. Extreme integrity (this word on extreme integrity I have adopted from a friend in my ladies bible study and taken to heart). Extreme integrity means being true to God, and all he has invested in/with me, being strong and courageous in who he has shaped and called me to be but walking in humility and grace and patience.

Prairie Chick said...

Isaiah 43:22-24"But you didn't pay a bit of attention to me, Jacob.
You so quickly tired of me, Israel.
You wouldn't even bring sheep for offerings in worship.
You couldn't be bothered with sacrifices.
It wasn't that I asked that much from you.
I didn't expect expensive presents.
But you didn't even do the minimum—
so stingy with me, so closefisted. "

So much in this chapter. This makes me so sad. and again, a little mad. we are a stubborn people, too.

Prairie Chick said...

Hab 2:4 But the person in right standing before God
through loyal and steady believing
is fully alive, really alive.

This verse kind of got my attention. It is not your standard "by faith alone" type translation. The NCV reads simply;

But those who are right with God will live by faith.

the amplified reads;

but the [rigidly] just and the [uncompromisingly] righteous man shall [a]live by his faith and in his faithfulness.

and the definition of the Hebrew word "faith or faithfulness" as used here is;

literally firmness; figuratively security; moral fidelity: - faith (-ful, -ly, -ness, [man]), set office, stability

Pegging "faith" has always been rather elusive to me. I just got a kind of lightbulb moment that steadfast faith will reveal itself in steadfast faithfulness.

Prairie Chick said...

Acts 7

I was impacted by the image of the Israelites wandering in the desert, seeking something to worship, while God was right there, right in their midst. Then David, wanting to build a house of worship and God trying to pound it into his head that that wasn't what mattered. Even us. Do we get that we are the temple of the indwelling Lord? Or do we continue, so "bullheaded! With calluses on our hearts and flaps on our ears! Deliberately ignoring the Holy Spirit, just like our ancestors."

Are we any different? They "had God's Law handed to you by angels- gift-wrapped!- and squandered it."

we have more than that. We have the gospel, God's love letter to us from time beginning, outlining his plan until the end... we have the freedom and the joy of entering into His throne room and climbing right up into His lap. And how we squander it. Take it totally for granted and don't bother to make an appearance for days, weeks, sometimes months or even years. Open our eyes, Lord. Soften our hearts. May we hunger and thirst for you, and may we find that life giving daily bread and living water that is found in You alone.

Joan said...

I look forward to reading your insight into the scriptures PC. Thank you so much.for what you do for a lot of us everyday.

Prairie Chick said...

I have to be more careful about how I word things, and how they might be perceived by others. I want to find the balance of healthy honesty, that doesn't always mean full disclosure. How I say something is as important as what I say, so let's try that again...

1 Tim 2:8-10 "Since prayer is at the bottom of all this, what I want mostly is for men to pray- not shaking angry fists at enemies but raising holy hands to God. And I want women to get in there with the men in humility before God, not primping before a mirror or chasing the latest fashions but doing something beautiful for God and becoming faithful doing it."

I always feel like such a loser in the fashion/beauty department, I guess because I just don't have time or money to invest in that, or don't give it priority. But I do want to be beautiful, for me being a beautiful person takes a lot of work, figuratively looking into the mirror if you will, asking who I want to be, and what choices are going to help contribute to my own spiritual growth and that of others.

Prairie Chick said...

Joan, thank you for your words, I have been thinking through things a number of times this week, when I came to post my thoughts here, I wondered and worried about how others would "see it", and both times I said I was going to be true to myself and be honest and vulnerable. If I'm going to do this, I'm going to be real about it and not worry overly about other people's perceptions of where I'm at (will this be viewed as judgmental? am I being negative? is this too heavy?, etc, etc)... that's where grace can come into play. There is definitely a cost to living an open book kind of life, but I do think it is the kind of life God calls us to. A life of fellowship and mutual support and discipleship. Daryl, your Daryl hit that nail on the head this morning. We can't expect to have it all together, but we can put ourselves out there and connect our journeys with the journeys of others and spur one another one to Christ centered, Christ inspired, Christ empowered living.

Prairie Chick said...

was just sharing this with a friend, and thought I would share it as a milestone in my journey here, as well.

I'm reading through a number of books on friendship, one anothering and authentic relationship right now. These quotes are taken from "Authentic Relationships: discover the lost art of one anothering" by Wayne and Clay Jacobsen.

"Even with close friends many of us can't seem to steer the conversation beyond our children, jobs, weather, or sports to share the depth of our spiritual lives. And when we hurt the most it seems like everyone scatters into the busyness of their own lives."

"Healthy relationships, however, are not created by sitting together in the same building or participating in the same activities, but by capturing Jesus' heart for life-changing relationships."

"People have many acquaintances yet few real friendships. We don't know how to make them, cultivate them, or enjoy them and often end up just doing the best we can on our own." (SO TRUE. so sad.)

qualities of a quality friend:

(a number of these were, elements of 7 and 8, were "ouch" moments for me, definitely have maturing to do in those areas. I love this list and will aspire to live it out.)

1. they take an interest in you just because they care.

2. their concern is not tied to their own needs and desires in the relationship.

3. their care for you demands nothing in return and rejoices to see you blessed.
4. they open their life like a book and let you read it freely.

5. you don't ever have to guess what they are thinking, because they will come right out and tell you

6. they make you feel safe enough that you don't have to pretend with them

7. they offer their counsel freely but never demand that you follow it

8. they give you the freedom to disagree and the flexibility to do things differently from how they would do it without ever compromising their love for you.

9. almost without thinking they would give you the shirt of their back if they knew you needed it (but they won't always give you everything you want)

10. They look past your faults

11. they celebrate your promise and offer their help to get you there.

12. you may not see them for months or years at a time, but the next time your paths cross, you will feel as though you have never been apart.

13. when they say they will pray for you, you know they will.

14. when you go through your darkest moments, they will stay by your side.

15. they will let their presence comfort you even when the right words escape them.

Such friends find their origin in God's heart. No one can love so freely whom God has not first loved deeply. Discover the power of His love and you will never be lonely again."