Tuesday, April 02, 2013
Another devotional by Julie Clinton of eWomen. This stepped on my toes, and blessed me.
April 2, 2013
"Let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." James 1:4 NKJV
Many of us have forgotten the path of patience we must take to get to the next level in our relationship with Christ. It has been rejected by a society thriving on instant gratification, faster technology, and a fear of commitment. We want it now, or we don’t want it at all. Even committing to a two-year cell phone agreement is considered a courageous feat these days. No wonder we balk when we hear the word “patience.” Our culture has denied it, and most of us have forgotten it.
To discover God’s dream for our lives, we’ve got to rediscover the forgotten path. Surely the path is paved with patience, but if you live your life constantly trying other routes, hoping that a quick devotion in the morning and a ten-second prayer for your neighbor with cancer will get you to the next level, you’re likely to grow frustrated and resentful. We learn patience as we embrace tough times.
When you’re facing difficult times, remember the hope found in the Easter story. Life can come after loss, and we can bear it because of Christ. The question isn’t whether you will have tragedy and loss in your life. Those are givens. The question is, what will you decide to do with it? Will it take you under? Will it make you stronger? Will it take you deeper? Will you allow God to use it for His glory?
Teach me patience Lord. Patience to endure hard times and loss. Patience to see that difficulties draw me nearer to You. Bring me to a higher level of relationship with You through the tough times in life. Amen.
Bible Readings for the Week Ahead:
Monday: Habakkuk 2:3
Tuesday: Hebrews 10:23
Wednesday: Hebrews 3:14
Thursday: Isaiah 25:9
Friday: Psalm 37:7-9
Saturday: Psalm 40:1-3
Sunday: Psalm 25:3-5
Saturday, March 30, 2013
I'm writing this Saturday evening because tomorrow will be a busy day.
First, Sunday School and Church, as usual. Then a lighter than usual lunch. In the late afternoon one of my SIL's will be home from work, so all of us will gather here (sans the other SIL who has to work until 6-ish) for dinner. I'll be heating a spiral sliced ham, making scalloped potatoes (slightly 'lighter'), cooking green beans, and serving rolls. One of my daughters is tasked with bringing dessert, and the other will bring crudités. After that fine repast, a few of us will do dishes, and maybe we can play a game or two before folks have to go home. Three of them have to work on Monday.
So, what's the big deal about Easter? Is it hiding colored eggs? Or pigging out? Or a mythical bunny bringing sweets? A RESOUNDING NO!
A couple of thousand years ago God sent His Son, Jesus, as a baby. Jesus lived a sinless life. Then, after 3 years of preaching, Jesus was crucified and buried. The third day, He rose again. Hallelujah! My God reigns! That's what we celebrate on Easter.....Jesus' victory over death, sin, and satan. Because He lives, I will live (in heaven). And as the song says, "Because He lives, I can face tomorrow" no matter what tomorrow brings.
I pray you will accept Him, too.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Julie Clinton is head of Extraordinary Women, and writes a weekly devotional. I'd like to share this week's devotional with you.
The One Who Dwells Within
March 27, 2013
By: Julie Clinton
"And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you." John 14:16-17 NKJV
Ever wonder what it means to truly have the Holy Spirit living within you? It’s a strange thought. But, comforting none the less.
As the passage in John tells us, we know the Holy Spirit, we recognize and have a relationship with Him, because He “dwells with [us] and will be in [us].” These words present a mental picture to me of the Holy Spirit not only living within us, guiding and directing us, but also walking beside us, holding our hand along the way, the manifestation of God’s “very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).
Whether you are on a crowded city street or on a deserted island with no one else present, you are never alone. Many times, the loneliness you experience is the result of simply not acknowledging who is already there. Acknowledge Him and He will be there. Even now. You always have an audience of One!
Father, thank You for always being there for me. Help me to know that I am not alone. Holy Spirit, walk with me and dwell in me as I seek to become one with You. As I abide in You, may my feelings of loneliness be overcome by the beauty of solitude. Amen.
•Bible Readings for the Week Ahead:
• Monday: 1 Samuel 12:22
• Tuesday: Psalms 27:10
• Wednesday: Psalms 46:1
• Thursday: Psalms 147:3
• Friday: Isaiah 54:10
• Saturday: Matthew 28:20
• Sunday: John 14:1
Sunday, March 24, 2013
Hello, All. I hope each of you is well, healthy, and plenty sassy.
I totally blew my calories today - too bad. I'll do better starting in the morning.
Our small group (see explanation below) met tonight for supper and game night. Supper was a delicious lasagne 'substitute' using ziti instead of lasagne noodles. It was delicious, but fattening and yes, I ate too much. Also enjoyed garlic bread and salad (DH and I brought that). Then, I indulged in dessert - 'monkey bread' almost dripping in sugary goo. Ok, now you know the worst. I'd eaten well at breakfast and lunch, if that makes any difference to anyone. And if it doesn't, I have to admit I don't care a whole lot. I'm well aware that when I indulge like that, I set my weight loss back some.
Small Group: our church has small groups of no more than 12 people (our group is only four couples) who meet approximately every other week for the purpose of studying the Bible. Sometimes we study a subject, sometimes a person of the Bible, sometimes a book of the Bible. Every so often we get together for game night. Tonight we had three very spirited rounds of something like "Catch that Phrase" - actually, I think I have the title a little wrong. It was a lot of fun, especially with like-minded people.
Which brings me to 'my' Spark Team - Healthy Lifestyle Forever. I have a great co-leader and a wonderful (but kinda small) team. We encourage and challenge each other, as all good SP teams do. Each month I put 3 games 'out there' and several of us have fun with them. Another good thing for Spark team to do. My co-leader, 2WHEELEDSHARON, comes up with a new challenge for us each month - generally a combination of eating and exercise. I have such a good time with these folks - they encourage me, challenge me, and hold me accountable.
Today is Palm Sunday. I am so glad to be celebrating the start of "Holy Week" - I accepted Jesus as my Savior (repented of my sins and asked Him into my heart) many, many years ago. He has never let me down; and has promised so many things - such as always being with me, of leading me when I am willing to follow, of sustaining me in grief, and so many other things. Praise His name!
I hope you all have a great week. Oh, before I totally forget, I'm going to put a picture in my gallery of the two pair of socks and the washcloth I knitted for my SIL. She's such a sweet, giving person, and we enjoy spending time with each year; so the knitted things are a way of giving back. : )
Monday, March 18, 2013
This devotional is from the book “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young. It is written as if Jesus were talking to you.
It is good that you recognize your weakness. That keeps you looking to Me, your Strength. Abundant life is not necessarily health and wealth; it is living in continual dependence on Me. Instead of trying to fit this day into a preconceived mold, relax and be on the lookout for what I am doing. This mind-set will free you to enjoy Me and to find what I have planned for you to do. This is far better than trying to make things go according to your own plan.
Don’t take yourself so seriously. Lighten up and laugh with Me. You have Me on your side, so what are you worried about? I can equip you to do absolutely anything, as long as it is My will. The more difficult your day, the more I yearn to help you. Anxiety wraps you up in yourself, trapping you in your own thoughts. When you look to Me and whisper My Name, you break free and receive My help. Focus on Me, and you will find Peace in my Presence.
Philippians 4:13 (NIV) “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”
Proverbs 17:22 (NIV) “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”
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