Monday, December 29, 2008

The Heathen I Was!

Can I just say I wasn't always this blathering Bible thumper?

I was a "regular" person who just believed in God, but thought it was someone else's job to spread the Word. And I didn't need to read the Bible or go to church. That's for those maniacs who don't have lives to live.

My transformation started 3 years ago when I got a new job. It was encouraged by a very stressful financial situation which, to this day, gives me heart palpitations when I let it. Through daily meditations, a new church and a Bible study class by Beth Moore that knocked my socks off, I've landed here.

But before here, I was like everyone else. It's funny how things I used to tolerate and not think twice about (crude jokes, nasty pictures) now hold absolutely no interest for me. I prefer not to hear the joke, be part of the conversation or see the pictures. I simply turn them off. However, I don't judge others who don't feel the same. Judging others is a distraction I'm turning away from.

So I don't care what your blog is about. I appreciate that everyone can be depressed and need some support. Life is way too hard to do it on my own. I need others and I hope that I can also support other people. Here's to getting through life leaning on each other... and God.

Rushing Through the Day

One of my sources for daily meditations focused on a more prayerful life for 2 days. At first I felt disappointed on the 2nd day when I realized they were sticking to the subject. I was ready to move on. But God wasn't ready for me to do just that cuz yet another source I use for daily meditations quoted a poem on the same subject just a few days later.

God can really hit you over the head when He wants you to pay attention to Him.

Of course, since the poem really touched me, I have to share it with everyone.

"Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord;
Abide in Him always, and feed on His word...

Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;
Much time spend in secret with Jesus alone;"

by William D. Longstaff (1822-94)

May the time you spend alone with Jesus today be fruitful.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Encouragement to Get Through the Depression

As I struggle with my own personal problems that drag me into depression, I turn to the Bible and other Christian writing for the words that remind me to have faith in God.

For those of you going through struggles and finding yourself crying through the scary world, here are some verses in which I find reassurance:

"I can do all things through him who strengthens me" Philippians 4:13

"For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies." Psalm 57:10

"He sends from heavens & saves me..." Psalm 57:3

"in God I trust: I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?" Psalm 56:11

"... Everything is possible for him who believes." Mark 9:23

"Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens & earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you." Jeremiah 32:17

"I will praise you, O Lord. Although you were angry with me, your anger has turned away and you have comforted me. Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation." Isaiah 12:1-2

"If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you." John 15:7

"Yet this I call to mind and therefor I have hope. Because of the Lord's great love, we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail." Lamentations 3:21-22.

"You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures." James 4:2-3

"God has come to help his people." Luke 7:16

I hope one of these verses helps you. I hope even more that one of these verses encourages you to open a Bible and find more verses of encouragement. They are in there. Just ask the Lord to show them to you.

May God bless everyone who is depressed this holiday season.

If you need to find a verse to help you, please contact me. My goal is to share scripture.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Same Today as 2000 Years Ago

One of my favorite prayers from scripture doesn't need to be modified because it is as relevant today as it was when written. I am constantly amazed by the relevancy of writing about 2000 years old to today's life.

I hope you enjoy this, especially if you are struggling with daily finances. It's so hard in our materialistic society to remember priorities.

I pray that God answers this prayer for everyone struggling with finances and/or falsehoods.

Proverbs 30:7-9...

Two things I ask of you, O Lord:
do not refuse me before I die:

Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.

Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
and say, "Who is the Lord?"
Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonor the name of my God.

Solution to 15 months of TV

Last night I didn't do anything earth shattering instead of TV, just folded laundry and sorted fundraiser items. Tonight, I'll spread peace throughout the world!

Actually, I'm going grocery shopping. Hope someone else is using the time to save the world.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

15 Months of TV

Coming into work this morning, I was listening to Greg Laurie's ( sermon about what it takes to get to heaven. He mentioned a statistic that stunned me. The average person watches 15 months of TV during their lifetime.

This time of year, when it's already cold and dark by the time I get home from work, it's way too easy to immediately sit on the couch and veg in front of the TV for the evening. Prying myself away to cook dinner is excruciating, much less doing anything else. All of the sudden I have lead in my rear-end -- and the inactivity actually leads to me looking like I have lead there. Anyway, by the time I know it, bed time rolls around and I have just watched 3 hours of TV and done little else. At 5 days a week, that's 15 hours of TV.

Pastor Laurie's sermon started me thinking what else I could be doing during that time. I could read the Bible, write a blog that might inspire someone to turn to Jesus, work on a Bible study to increase my knowledge and grow my relationship with God, play a board game with my child, knit a scarf to give to the homeless shelter, start a home business... The list goes on. 15 hours is a lot of time to get something accomplished.

But now spread that over my life time. 15 months is the statistic Pastor Greg presented. What good can I accomplish in 15 months? What would I do if someone told me I have 15 months to do whatever I want?

Pastor Greg just made me realize I have 15 months to do something special and all I have to do is stay off the couch and turn off the TV when I get home from work today, tomorrow and the day after.

I'm challenging myself and everyone out there to turn off the TV and do something to make a difference out there instead. Good luck!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

To Know a Greater Love

Dear Lord,

Help me love and honor others above myself since it is too easy to be selfish. Help me keep my spiritual fervor, serving You, O Lord, instead of making excuses and being lazy.

Help me be: joyful in hope for I give up too soon; patient in affliction because I am so weak; and faithful in prayer because I am distracted too easily.

I ask your blessings on those who criticize or belittle what I do and gently remind me not to curse them.

By your Grace may I always leave room for your wrath on others, instead of giving them all of mine. Instead, help me lend my energy to positive actions which praise you.

Please do not let me be overcome by evil, but help me overcome evil with good.

Through Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.

Based on Romans 12:9-13...

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in prayer. Share with God's people in need. Practice hospitality.

The Struggle to be Perfect

Dear Lord,

Replace my foolish pursuit of perfection and replace it with the pursuit of God. While I am created in the image of You and You ask me to follow the example set by the new covenant, Jesus Christ, I know I will never be perfect. Striving for perfection is the worship of myself and not the worship of You. Instead, I strive to surrender my life to your will and to love others as You love me.

May your wisdom and strength guide me when I am weak and foolish.

Please send your Holy Spirit to guide me. I ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Based on 1 Corinthians 1:25...

For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength.

Turning Away from a Life I'm Embarrassed About

Dear God,

I remember my mistakes and my aimless wandering which made my life useless and without meaning. Such memories make me wince with embarrassment and shame. As I remember them, my soul is downcast within me.

Yet, this I call to mind and therefore have hope. Because of Your great love I am not consumed by my past, for Your compassions never fail. They are new every morning, great is your faithfulness. And so each morning I start with a clean slate to rebuild my life in the image You have set through Jesus Christ and the new covenant.

You are good to those whose hope is in you and to the one who seeks You. So it is with all my heart that I hope in You and seek You. Please don't let me be distracted by earthly treasures. I pray to keep my eyes on You, O Lord, God Almighty.

I ask for the assistance of the Holy Spirit this day, and each day. Through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

Based on Lamentations 3:19-23, 25...

I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I will remember them, and my soul is down cast within me. Yet, this I call to mind and therefore I have hope. Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning, great is your faithfulness.
The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks Him.

I'm Lost and Confused

Dear God,

Please give me the Spirit of wisdom & revelation so that I may know You better. I pray also that the eyes of my family and our hearts may be enlightened in order that we may know the hope to which You have called us, the riches of Your glorious inheritence in the saints and Your incomparably great power for us who believe.

I ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

This prayer is based on Ephesians 1:17-19...

I keep asking that God our Lord Jesus Christ, the Glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your hear may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his gloroius inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.

Why Am I a Blogger?

Dear Lord,

Please give me the strength and persistence to continue in what I have learned and have become convinced of, because I know You have brought me to the people who have taught me, and from infancy You made sure I knew the Holy Scriptures, which make me wise for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

I know all scripture is breathed by God and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that I may be thoroughly equipped for every good work you wish me to do on your behalf. I desire to be deemed righteous by you, O Lord, so I look to Your words as given to us by the saints.

Thank you, God, for the gifts you've given that have brought me here. I hope my efforts will help others discover your love for all of us. Amen.

This prayer is based on 2 Timothy 3:14-17:

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for slavation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.