Monday, November 19, 2012

Nov 19-25

Monday: Genesis 46
Tuesday: 1 Samuel 17
Wednesday: Psalm 71
Thursday: Jeremiah 9
Friday: Ezekiel 3
Saturday: Matthew 11
Sunday: 1 Peter 2


Prairie Chick said...

notes on Genesis 46 "be not afraid"

" be paralyzed by fear, however, is an indication that you question God's ability to take care of you."

so true. I have been realizing lately that my anxiety is sin. I haven't been anxious or depressed since sharing last time, just sincerely exhausted and depleted, both physically, emotionally and semi spiritually.

Anyway, God showed me that rest and trust are forms of worship. Mike Hack sent me an email a few weeks back and at the bottom was the caption "sleep is a form of worship, when you sleep you show trust in the sovereign hand that will continue to hold all things together." or something along those lines.

It just made me think how not resting in God is sin. Not trusting in God is sin. I never really related my anxiety to that. God is sovereign... He reigns supreme... what on earth do I have to be anxious for. If I am anxious it is because of sin in me or spiritual attack, and I must repent or fight.

As my (our) life grows crazier and crazier no matter how much we seek to simplify, I have been recognizing the essential need of incorporating rest into my life. I need sleep. I need solitude. I need peace and quiet and times to reflect without having all the people in my life pull me in a kazillion different directions.

I have not been good at having morning quiet times lately precisely because of this need for rest, and not giving myself enough time before school to have time alone with God. I do turn to Him, first thing in prayer and then reflect on stuff in morning devotions with the kids, but it is not the same. I am happy with the way mornings are going in our house though, and so I realize I need to find "a new normal" for my time with God. I taught the kids last week in club that when the gifts that we love crowd the giver out of our life, that is idolatry. I challenged them to make sure to take time with God before they turned to the free time pursuits that they love. So my new normal is going to be that before I turn to my own free time pursuits (which can only happen after the kids are in bed) I am going to spend my time with God and in fellowship with you great ladies here.

I am excited to give the firstfruits of my free time to God, even if it is not the firstfruits of my day.

I was encouraged by Dea's testimony and the hunger for scripture that has developed for her, I was excited and encouraged to hear of the encouraging words shared by some of you to Denise based on what she has shared here. I am excited and look forward to a new normal that will meet me where I'm at and help take me where I need to be. Closer to Him.

Denise said...

Wow, PC. Your notes from yesterday really struck home. So true - trust in HIM!!

Denise said...

Things have been so crazy around here and yesterday I was struck with the thought that while I am praying about, and preparing for this short term mission (while also trying to be a stay-at-home mom, wife, and working for the university online) my Bible has AGAIN found its way to the bottom of my stack of things to do on my desk. OM sent me a pamphlet called “The Basics” and the number one thing I need to be doing to prepare is to SOAK myself in God’s word. So, I cleared everything off of my desk and here I sit with my Bible. I am grateful for Prairie Passages and the women who share, read, and pray here!

1 Samuel 17
“What a difference perspective can make. Most of the onlookers saw only a giant. David, however, saw a mortal man defying almighty God. Goliath was a target too big to miss. He knew he would not be alone when he faced Goliath; God would fight with him. He looked at his situation from God’s point of view. Who or what are the ‘giants’ you are facing? Viewing impossible situations from God’s point of view helps us put giant problems in perspective. Once we see clearly, we can fight more effectively.”

Prairie Chick said...

"What made David effective... was more than his ability with a sling. It was his courage and his faith in God. To fight like David we need David's kind of fearlessness. David had grown strong in his confidence by trusting God... when you face towering problems, recall how God has helped you in the past. Take heart because God gives you strength. Use the skills God has already given you and move forward."

I love this. Confidence in the face of adversity because we know whom we have believed in, that He is able.

Prairie Chick said...

so I shared a little bit yesterday about needing to find a new normal. I've been recognizing for awhile that the pace of my life is not healthy. That I am a flying live-wire just ready to blow a fuse at any given moment. I've avoided gray hair until now but now they are multiplying daily.

Here is a portion of an email I sent to my mentor today;

"I am often amazed at how I start reading a book, and it is soooo influential in my life, and then I put it aside for a time (sometimes a really LONG time) but when I get that nudge to pick it up and continue the very next words on the page just LEAP out at me. Like God knew those words were going to become much more relevant to me at a future date and he put the book on pause until that moment.

Case in point. This morning I picked up this amazing book called "Authentic Relationships: The Lost Art of One Anothering" that I had picked up for 25 cents at MCC last year, sometime. I was slowly working my way through it at a mere page a day because it just gave me so much food for thought. I got to page 66 and then I think summer hit and I laid it aside. I picked it up again this morning and this is where my bookmark was;

"Leaving Room in the Margins"
Richard A. Swenson, in his book Margin: How to Create the Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves You Need, shows us that stress and burnout result when people don't leave any margin in their lives. They fill up every available space with job, family responsibilities, and recreational pursuits and have nothing left in reserve for unexpected crisis or opportunity. Our lives need margins, just like the space at the edge of these pages."

I know my current emotional and spiritual fragility is mostly due to the lack of this idea of margin in my life. I know I need to sit down and focus to change that and articulate what I need and find ways to create a new normal. I have started baby steps to begin that process and will continue it in upcoming days and weeks. I started by deciding to take one personal day per month where I can retreat to a place and extended time of solitude and rest and relaxation. I am also realizing I need to escape either to my bedroom or the bathroom or the hottub whenever possible at the end of the day when I have the opportunity. Again, just an hour of solitude. I think solitude is going to be my word for 2013. It's not that I don't love my family and my friends, or hate all the things that fill up my days, I just lack solitude. Even Jesus had to find a way to get that.

a little later on that page it said, "prayerfully take a look at how busy you are, and remember that you don't have to fill the needs of everyone around you." key words for me.

Denise said...

Love this PC! Thanks SO much for sharing! Margins, and not having to fill the needs of everyone around me! Easier said than done but so important!

Prairie Chick said...

"let me proclaim your power to this new generation, your mighty miracles to all who come after me."

I am sitting here in the church library after just having taught club. I am 100% called and 100% blessed to give my wednesday nights to preparing for and proclaiming God's power to these kids.

To think of the people who built into me... revealed Him to me... prayed for me. Now I get to pass that passion on to the next generation. Who are we that God would make us vessels of His reconciliation? What a privilege to be part of His Kingdom work.

Denise said...

Psalm 71
“My life is an example to many, because you have been my strength and protection” (v.7).
This is what I hope and pray The Freedom Climb will represent to my family. Part of the reason why I want to do this climb is to show what God’s love has done for me, the challenges that He has helped me overcome.

“Remembering our lifetime of blessings will help us to see the consistency of God’s grace throughout the years, trust him for the future, and share with others the benefits of following him.”

Prairie Chick said...

Jeremiah 9. What a depressing chapter, but I got goosebumps at verse 24. "But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone; that they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth, and that I delight in these things."

How rich! How marvelous! To truly know the Lord's unfailing love and the justice and righteousness He brings through His work of redemption. It's all about Him! Praise to His glorious name!

Prairie Chick said...

Ezekiel 3 the watchman. I have always found this passage very disturbing...How God says he will hold Ezekiel responsible for the "loss" of those he didn't witness to. So many "buts" come to the surface for me when I think of this.

my notes say; "All people are individually responsible to God but believers have a special responsibility to warn unbelievers of the consequences of rejecting God. If we fail to do this, God will hold us responsible for what happens to them."

I struggle with this. I struggle with the "buts" like I said. What does it look like to be a "proclaiming person?" Does it just mean to watch for any opportunity or opening where someone "leads into" a chance to testify? I believe I do that... I pray that God would help me to be present in the moment, fully aware and vulnerable to speak into the moment. But I am not the kind of person to go around CREATING moments by opening the subject or pushing my way into people's personal space. Some people are very flamboyant and strong this way, people with the gift of evangelist, like Mike Hack... but I am more of a gentle, back door, hand on the shoulder have the boldness to ask the pointed question when the opportunity arrises. I kind of have a Henry Blackaby type philosophy towards this... to watch and see and feel where the HS is at work, and to be ready and willing to be part.

When I read this passage I wonder if that is not enough. If I am not missional enough. But one thing I have learned. To be missional you must have a great love for, and they must KNOW it, the person you are sharing with. That love is the buffer that pads the punch of all truth that will be shared in a glove of velvet. Without it you are throwing punches and people are deflecting.

Prairie Chick said...

Matthew 11 "Then Jesus said, "Come to me all you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you. For I am humble and gentle at heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear and the burden I give you is light."

this alleviated my burdens after the weightiness of the passage last night. It does seem to confirm to me that this "witnessing" is a partnership with Christ (the yolk) so the watching and listening and being prepared is so key in knowing where/what/who God is directing us to at any given moment. I especially like the "you will find rest for your souls." part. I am in a place of learning what it means to find rest for my soul. Right now I lay here propped up in my bed with my latte after sleeping in until 10... another area of margin my husband and I have agreed will be beneficial to me during this stage of my life, the privilege of sleeping in on a saturday morning and then spending the first hour or so of my waking time with my bible and notebook having a coffee date with my heavenly father. It has been just all kinds of wonderful.

Prairie Chick said...

1 Peter 2:17 "Respect everyone and love the brotherhood."

A short sentence but a tall order. I have been thinking alot about respect lately. And agape love too... seeing others through rose colored (grace tinted) glasses and when people rub you the wrong way or get your hackles up to practice love even when you don't feel love. To pray God's GOOD work and blessing in their life, the outpouring of His spirit, and His peace and joy. And to learn to appreciate people's strengths and passions instead of getting hung up on their faux pas or weaknesses. It's a good groove to walk in.